Mitchel­mores of Green Is­land Cove learn about their roots

Dis­tant rel­e­vant Michael Mitchelmore trav­elled from Aus­tralia to de­liver fam­ily tree pre­sen­ta­tion

Northern Pen - - Front page - BY DANETTE DOO­LEY SPE­CIAL TO THE NORTH­ERN PEN danette@nl.rogers.com

GREEN IS­LAND COVE, N.L. – A fam­ily cel­e­bra­tion took place at the Green Is­land Cove Lions Club on July 11 when over 50 peo­ple — mostly Mitchel­mores — came to­gether in cel­e­bra­tion and to learn more about the Mitchelmore fam­ily tree.

The high­light of the evening was a pre­sen­ta­tion by spe­cial guest Michael Mitchelmore who trav­elled from Syd­ney, Aus­tralia with his wife Elisabeth.

A world trav­eller, Michael’s first job was teach­ing in Ghana. He then stud­ied in Ohio be­fore mov­ing on to teach in Ja­maica where he met Elisabeth and fol­lowed her to Germany. Then the cou­ple moved to Aus­tralia.

While Michael first be­came in­ter­ested in the his­tory of the Mitchel­mores dur­ing his col­lege years, it wasn’t un­til the per­sonal com­puter and the in­ter­net be­came com­mon­place that he started to make real progress with his re­search.

Fam­ily his­tory

Michael first learned about the Mitchel­mores of the small fish­ing vil­lage of Green Is­land Cove on New­found­land’s Great North­ern Penin­sula through a mes­sage on an in­ter­net genealogy board. He replied to the mes­sage but didn’t get any re­sponse.

Then, in 2006, Con­nie Mitchelmore and Michael be­gan cor­re­spond­ing online and shared in­for­ma­tion they had gath­ered about their fam­ily his­tory.

Con­nie’s hus­band Kevin Mitchelmore is from Green Is­land Cove. The cou­ple came from Le­duc, Al­berta to take part in the fam­ily cel­e­bra­tion.

With Con­nie’s added in­for­ma­tion, Michael was able to iden­tify Thomas Mitchelmore and linked him into one of the sev­eral Mitchelmore trees that he had been able to re­con­struct.

Ac­cord­ing to Michael’s notes, Thomas – who came from Dart­mouth, South Devon, Eng­land — was the first set­tler in Green Is­land Cove in the 1850s.

Con­nie said dur­ing his pre­sen­ta­tion, Michael gave more in­for­ma­tion about where Thomas came from and what life would have been like back then.

Link

Michael also high­lighted the long-term link be­tween Dart­mouth and New­found­land.

John Cabot sailed from Bris­tol to dis­cover New­found­land in 1497. By the late 16th century, Michael said, an ex­ten­sive trade had been es­tab­lished be­tween the West of Eng­land and New­found­land.

Ac­cord­ing to Michael’s notes, “Fish­er­men trav­eled to New­found­land in spring, re­turn­ing in au­tumn. Their catch was pro­cessed on land (salt fish, cod liver oil) and other ships took the pro­duce to the Mediter­ranean and re­turned to Eng­land with fruit and wine... Later, ships go­ing to New­found­land in Spring also took sup­plies for those who had set­tled there.”

Thomas was one of the last, if not the last, Dart­mouth fish­er­men to set­tle in New­found­land.

Ex­ten­sive re­search Michael’s re­search is as ex­ten­sive as it is fas­ci­nat­ing.

While doc­u­men­ta­tion on the Mitchel­mores goes back to the 1630s, Michael said, in­fer­ences can also be made from ge­netic genealogy.

“Our DNA type is most com­mon in North­ern Germany so per­haps we are de­scended from the Jutes, An­gles or Sax­ons that in­vaded Eng­land in the 6th century,” he said.

(More in­for­ma­tion on the DNA project can be gleaned from the web­site noted at the end of the ar­ti­cle).

Spe­cial visit

Michael had been say­ing for sev­eral years that he would like to visit New­found­land. Con­nie said she and all the other Mitchel­mores were de­lighted when they heard that Michael and Elisabeth were in­deed com­ing to the province.

Michael said he and Elisabeth are en­joy­ing the trip a great deal.

“I fi­nally de­cided to come and see what all these Mitchel­mores were up to here, why they set­tled here and what their life was like,” he said. “It’s a lovely com­mu­nity, re­ally im­pres­sive. And I re­ally en­joyed meet­ing them all and telling them about what I’d found out.”

Thanks to Michael’s ef­forts, Chris Mitchelmore said the fam­ily now has thou­sands of peo­ple on its fam­ily tree.

Chris – who is from Green Is­land Cove — is also St. Bar­beL’Anse aux Mead­ows MHA and Min­is­ter of Industry, Cul­ture, Industry and In­no­va­tion.

“It’s not ev­ery day you get to meet a sev­enth cousin, twice re­moved who can tell you ex­actly how you are con­nected,” he said.

Chris has al­ways been fas­ci­nated by fam­ily his­tory and in 2007 trav­elled to Dart­mouth, Devon County Eng­land to learn more about the Mitchel­mores.

“We are so thank­ful for Michael, his re­search and oth­ers who as­sisted along the way,” he said.

Any­one who would like more in­for­ma­tion about Michael’s re­search can visit www.mitchelmore.info.

PHOTO CON­TRIB­UTED BY CON­NIE MITCHELMORE

Michael and Elisabeth Mitchelmore trav­elled to Green Is­land Cove all the way from Syd­ney, Aus­tralia to de­liver a pre­sen­ta­tion on the Mitchelmore fam­ily tree.

PHOTO CON­TRIB­UTED BY CON­NIE MITCHELMORE

A group photo of the Mitchel­mores at the Green Is­land Cove Lions Club.

PHOTO CON­TRIB­UTED BY CON­NIE MITCHELMORE

Pic­tured (from left) – Rhoda Mitchelmore, Con­nie Mitchelmore, Michael Mitchelmore, Kevin Mitchelmore and St. Barbe – L’Anse aux Mead­ows MHA Christo­pher Mitchelmore.

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