Lee Sacrey Photography – Lee's Chatter

Mainly Photography but a little of everything at times

Tracing my roots

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While we were travelled to Newfoundland this summer there was a place we visited that is a big part of my history. That place is Barr’d Islands, a small fishing community on Fogo Island in Newfoundland and Labrador. I have traced my mother’s side of my family back to when they originally left Cumberland, England and wanted to go  visit the area where they arrived in Canada (although it wasn’t part of Canada at that time). The information I have on those early family members doesn’t give me locations and place names of where they first settled. The only information is that the first Combden (that is my mother’s maiden name) was brought to Fogo Island to help run a Merchant Business for a man from England. So, with my family (including my mother-in-law and my mother) we were off to spend a day exploring Fogo Island and Barr’d Islands. My mother was born and raised in the area so it was great that she went with us. Her and I could explore some of the areas together. She could point out places that she remembered (and some that she knew but was too small to remember) and with camera in hand I could photograph what we saw. My mother has a photograph of Barr’d Islands that has a house owned by my Grandparents. The house no longer exists and where it was has since grown over but, I knew my mother could get me close to where it was. She did just that. A small piece of land that to me didn’t look big enough to have a house,  a storage shed and of course some flakes and a stage on it. My mother pointed out the location and told me where we could go to look down on the property. I, of course, took a different route. Once there I started looking for a way to get on this small piece of land that held an important part of my family history. I got close but with grass and weeds growing to about 4 feet high, I couldn’t see a good path to the house location. I didn’t let that stop me however. So, I decided to jump down from the rocks on which I stood and hoped for the best. I landed on solid ground in chest high grass and brush. Moving through the area, trying not to disturb too much, I made it to where the house stood. There was a small set of concrete stairs, only three steps high. I got to them and from there I could see parts of a foundation in the grass in front of me. I wandered around the site and investigated. Some foundation, old canvas flooring and what seemed to be the remains of a chimney base were relatively unharmed. As I walked the site my mother stood above me on the rock outcrop and explained to me the layout of the home that once stood on the empty piece of land. It was a moving experience for me and knowing what this meant to my mother just made it that much better. I found an old 8 penny nail sitting on one of the foundation walls and I got a loose brick from the chimney foundation. Along with my camera gear I managed to get back up the rock outcrop to deliver the items to my mother. It was a great family history lesson for me. Boy, has our views on dwellings changed since the time that my Grandparents were starting off with their young family. So without continuing on with what my be a boring history to you people reading here are some photos of what I saw. Thanks for reading and as always Happy Shooting.

Just behind the boat you will see a small rock face and on top of it, on the flat piece of land is where the house once stood.

Part of the foundation wall, looking out from the right side of the house site.

Looking down the concrete stairs.

Part of the foundation looking toward the back wall.

Part of the chimney foundation.

From inside looking toward the front of the house. The chimney foundation and steps directly in front.

Part of the foundation at the front of the house, just in front of the chimney location.

The brick removed from it’s original location.

What the view out the front door would look like today.

The view today out of what would have been the homes right side (living room).

The view of where the home once stood from the rock outcrop above.

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Written by leesacrey

July 25, 2010 at 2:22 PM

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