Thank goodness Chris tripped, was rushed to the hospital, and we missed our flight or I may have missed out on this discovery.
Late Friday evening my wife and two friends departed from the Vancouver International Airport in British Columbia for the last leg of our Legacy Genealogy Cruise. After a week's absence, we would soon be greeted by our families at the airport in Boise, Idaho. When our delayed flight landed in Seattle and we knew that we may miss our connection, we began to run for the next gate. The next thing I knew, Chris was on the concrete walkway, face down, dripping blood from his forehead. Somehow he tripped and landed face first. Dazed, and no doubt in pain, we made it into the terminal where the paramedics were soon on the scene. The large gash above his left eye needed immediate attention and so before we knew it, Chris and his wife boarded the ambulance and were rushed to the airport. He gave a thumbs up on his way out. Yesterday he had a headache and some new stitches, and is doing much better.
Later, we discovered who tripped him. Because of what happened next, we're placing the blame on my ancestor, Loring Lowell.
The day before we left for the cruise, the divorce case papers for my ancestor, Marsden Brown, arrived in my mailbox. While it was a sad case to read, it gave me what I hoped for - the names of his two daughters' husbands. They've been very difficult to find, and when I wasn't eating, sleeping, teaching or rappelling on our cruise, I was thinking of how excited I was to return home to follow my new leads.
In the midst of the excitement (probably the wrong word though...) at the airport, my flight was rescheduled for a couple of hours later, while our friends wouldn't return home until the next morning. So while our trip didn't end on a happy note, my ancestors seemed to keep calling.
Tanya and I sat down and tried to decipher the name of Mary E.'s husband from the divorce papers. Take a look, what do you think it is:
Studying the other a's and 0's in the document, I concluded that his name must be Larin Lowell. Tanya thought it read Lorin Lowell. To prove that I've actually learned something in our 19 years of marriage, I went with her recommendation and began searching for a Lorin Lowell on my phone.
I first found a Loring W. Lowell in the 1880 census, age 26 (born 1854 in Maine), living in Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota. He was listed as being married, but wasn't living with his wife. Most interestingly, Marsden Brown, his possible father-in-law, was also living in Brainerd.
Next, I found who appears to be the same person, Loring N. Lowell, in the 1930 census living in Alaska. He was widowed at this time.
Interesting - we just spent 7 days in Alaska.
Next, I found Lorang Lowell in the 1940 census living in Seattle, Washington. Seattle! That's where I was sitting right then. Again, based on the age and birthplace, it appeared to be the same person as before.
Next, I found Lorning N. Lowell in the Washington Death Certificates index. He died in Seattle on May 18, 1945 at the age of 91 years 4 months and 4 days, suggesting a birth year of 1854.
Finally, I found an 1878 Minneapolis marriage record of Loring N. Lowell to Mary Brown - both of Hennepin County, Minnesota where Marsden's divorce case was filed.
I'll of course follow up on these findings with other research, but it appears that I've identified the correct husband and marriage record for Marsden Brown's daughter. Amazing the research we can do with our phones now, isn't it? Maybe it helped that I was wearing the right shirt too.
While I likely would eventually have found Loring Lowell later at home, it seems he couldn't wait. He was on my mind as we explored Alaska. He was on my mind as we waited in Seattle. He lived in both places. Did he have a hand (or a foot) in Chris' fall Friday night in the airport causing all of us to miss our flight? Maybe, maybe not. But it sure seems like a coincidence to me. Some might call this serendipity. At the very least, we made lemonade out of lemons that night.