2017 Book Update

The format of the book has changed.  Writing is well underway and today I am taking the .pdf file down to a printer to give me a draft copy to edit.  I’ll look for gaps and questions and things I do not understand and get back into researching.

It was started as a simple document about all Helen and I knew concerning Richard 1 but quickly expanded to all our notes and references in one place, with a good bit of sequential order.  It is over 100 pages and has some good illustrations Helen has put in, maps and photos, etc.

I’ll write subsequent essays here about the gaps, questions, and research we are working on as a result of editing but the book is now about our actual genealogy research rather than a book of essays.  I hope to reprint draft copies every quarter to work on through this year and the first quarter of next.  I hope we finish the book after I return from England and can get it formally printed in the first quarter of 2019.

Good Olde Richard Edward

My great great grandfather, Richard Edward Cardin (1805-1871) bought a slave and her two children (by him) and “knew” her for 5 children’s worth from when they were both teenagers (1825ish) to around 1833-35 by which time he had freed them and arranged for their care.  In 1837 he went to England and married my great great grandmother and they came back to St. Kitts and started their family.

Slavery was done in St. Kitts in August of 1834, and my great great great grandfather died in October/early November.  Richard Edward became head of the family at that time. Before he left St. Kitts to take his English family back to London in 1843, he arranged that his oldest son would manage things in St. Kitts, would have some work.  I believe James Derrick Cardin was one of Richard Edward’s grandsons, so my 2nd cousin, once removed.

At some point I would like to have Helen help me trace my half-cousins, see if there are any remaining and what became of all that part of my family.

Emigration Date

I know when my great grandfather, Frank Charles Cantrell Cardin (1856-1936) came to the United States with his next older brother, Edmund (1854-1915) in 1873:


But I do not know when their mother, aunt, and grandmother came. Their older sister and brother-in-law and, I believe, aunt’s daughter and son-in-law emigrated in 1874 but the sequence of events and who came when, from where, etc. I would like to further understand. I believe I recall the aunt’s eldest daughter and son-in-law were married a week/month before getting on the ship and emigrating.

The above record is the original which shows Edmund and Frank lied about their age to appear older (so they would not get messed with or for some legal reason?). Too, they left from Liverpool, and there are many “Cardin” names in the records whose ships left from Liverpool and Queenstown. The number of Cardins leaving from that port and wrong dates of birth pose additional problems identifying my family members.

Writing Springboard

I love to research and am good at it.  However, at some point you have to put down the research and start the writing.  I have not been able to get to that point yet because I perceive too many gaps in “the” story.

I came up with the “Walking Back to Sussex” story line over a year ago; I’d write about my research as I worked for a year to get fit and healthy, to be able to travel to Lewes, Sussex, and work on that most interesting aspect (to me) of the story, in person.  But I could neither figure out the writing transition between the research and the walking nor could I get the physical work to be consistent as well as interesting to write about.  I wrote one blog post on my personal web site and then got wrapped up in my personal trials and tribulations for 2015 and am only now getting back to working on how to write “the” book.

Thinking about “the” story this year, themes began to arise, subject groups I either know something about or wish I knew more about.  I realized I could write essays better than chapters of a one-story book; the essays would only have to be loosely connected or date ordered.  I could weave information through and build on it gradually; subtly go over some basic information multiple times from different directions without it getting tedious.

Base genealogy is records of birth, baptism, marriage, military records, death; public, state, and church records of that ilk.  I realized I have some interesting stories surrounding those records; I have a second great grandfather born at sea during the Napoleonic Wars; multiple wills that trace a single heirloom, and heirlooms mentioned that one wishes one could see and are jealous were not handed down.

There’s a death it took five years to find and move from mystery disappearance to Dunkirk, France; a surprising result. The problem with France is they speak French and I don’t.  Just hiring a French researcher to find out the details has been an adventure all its own.

There’s a book of poems by a great aunt’s female business partner with a poem about the sweetness of a younger great aunt, the first’s namesake niece, for whom there’s a confirming 1863 photograph of an 1808 portrait painting; the photograph sent to the author in the United States from her fourth cousin in Australia.

Maybe “the” story does not exist as I would like it to but there are still worthy stories to be told.  My second great grandfather, Richard Edward Cardin (1805-1871) had a son Richard but his line died out in South Africa nearly 100 years ago.  My great grandfather was Frank Charles Cantrell Cardin (1856-1936) and his line is down to my first cousin who only has a daughter.

There are still a couple male 4th cousins with the Cardin name but I am reminded of my third great grandfather’s immediate family, one I call “the lost generation” as only my third great grandfather and his youngest sister married and had children, out of nine siblings.  It makes me think of the punch line of John Donne’s “Meditation 17”:

And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. . .