Did you notice? I am struggling this week! The chatter about the election is deafening….. my brain can’t focus….Covid is on the rise…people are dying…. And here I am writing about people who I never knew but it feels like I do and I should. I am filled with bits of them in my own dna. They shared the essences of their cells with me…and I will share with those who come after me… Long after me ! So here I sit trying to put the pieces of a life together.
Every where I looked this week I found very little usable, reliable, verifiable information. Clarissa Blake is my three times Great Grandmother. Some people believe that she was born in Canada. Others think she was born in England. The year was likely 1819. I have no idea who her parents were. I spent time looking for Blakes in the areas that I know that she lived. There were a few but no information that would tie Clarissa to them… So for now she stands alone.
Clarissa Blake married John Dingman on May 6, 1835 in Whitby, Ontario according to Ancestry.com. On Ancestry, the marriage record shows fairly clearly “ Dinsmore” but was transcribed as Dingman. (Densmore, Dinsmore and Dunsmoor are all associated with this family at one time or another. The marriage was witnessed by Margaret Thomson and Daniel Way. So I searched around this week to see if there was a Margaret Blake? Maybe her sister…but found nothing. When John had arrived from Ireland is also a state of confusion. He was thought to have arrived as a 24 year old clerk in 1838…three years after his marriage?? How can that be?
So here is what is known. John and Clarissa had six children; Nancy (1836), John (1839), William Thomas (1842), Mary Perry (1843), James (1849), Caroline (1852).
I find the Densmore family in the 1851 Canadian Census in Whitby, Ontario with 5 children; Nancy, John, William, Mary, Jane. The records lists the last child, Jane as a female, not a misspelled James…even though this is more likely according to most researchers.
We do find death records for some of the children which indicate that their parents were indeed John Densmore of Ireland and Clarissa Blake including my two times Great Grandfather, John Densmore. I find a marriage records for James which identifies that his father as John Dunsmoor and his wife as Clarissa Smith? I find a marriage record for Caroline Rebecca to an Archibald McKechnie which identified her parents as John Dunsmoor and Clarissa.
So even though the information is mixed today I write about Clarissa Blake Densmore, my 3 times Great Grandmother who died one hundred and forty five years ago on October 27, 1875. I wish I knew for sure where she was buried but I don’t. Someday when the border with Canada reopens, I ‘ll go spent time with my cousin, Corlene Taylor in Canada and see if we can clear up some of this information . I’ll update you all then!
Rest in peace, Clarissa!