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All the way from California

My name is Dorcas Lee Aunger. I live in Arcadia, California. I am the great-great-granddaughter of John Laskey Aunger (of Blairton) and his first wife, Catherine Stanbury. I am  a half-first cousin twice removed to Patricia “Pat” Aunger Solmes, who told The Aunger Family story. Pat is the Grand Daughter of John Laskey Aunger and his second wife, Mary Jane Merriam .

I have been researching our family history since 1948, when I was a teenager. I had heard my grandparents refer to family in Canada, but knew nothing about them, except  a family joke which said that my grandfather, George Stanbury Aunger (a grandson of John Laskey Aunger) had been smuggled into the USA under his mother’s apron.  Actually there was no smuggling. His mother was pregnant with him when his parents, Edward and Edith Aunger emigrated from Canada to the U.S.

George Stanbury Aunger and his wife, Emma Catherine Holland, lived in Los Angeles , California, Shortly after Emma died in 1963, George had a stroke and came to live with my parents. He died on 13 March 1966. In going through some of his papers, I found a letter he had started to write to his Uncle George in Marmora. I wrote a short note to “Uncle George”,  informing him of my grandfather’s death, and enclosed  in it the partially written letter.

George R. Aunger, Handy Store Madoc St....south side and a bit east of Victoria St.

“Uncle George” was George Reanfrey Aunger, who had a variety store in Marmora, a son of John Laskey Aunger.

It was about 4 months later that I got a reply to my letter, but not from “Uncle George”. It was from “Aunt” Mabel, the widow of his brother, William Richard Aunger. Mabel told me that George Reanfrey Aunger had passed away on 24 July 1966. I continued corresponding with Mabel, but after just a few letters she told me that her eyes were bad and she had trouble reading the letters. Would I please write to her daughter Pat Solmes.  I found that Pat was a kindred spirit and as interested in the family history as I. Thus began a long-distance collaboration, which still exists.

The home of Edward Stanbury, Sr., and Mary Jane Aunger

In 1982, my mother and I made a trip to Ontario and spent a week with Pat’s family. Pat took me to visit her mother and brother, and several family members of the older generations. We walked cemeteries together, and went to the local library to do more research. She took me to the home of Edward Stanbury, Sr., and Mary Jane Aunger. It was the second house built in  Northumberland County in 1832. It is still occupied as a private home today.

PS If you are interested in information on other descendants of John Laskey Aunger in later generations, who moved to other places.  I have been able to keep track of a great many of them, and are also in touch with the descendants of Anne Aunger and Catherine Aunger, the sisters of John Laskey Aunger's father.  These sisters, started the two branches of the Aunger family who went to South Australia and Victoria at the time of their goldrush and are still there today.  I also have John Laskey Aunger's ancestry going back seven generations in the Aunger line, eight generations in the Pearce line, eleven generations in the Pomeroy line and eleven generations in the Mutton line.  Much of Mary Jane Merriam's ancestry is the same as John Laskey Aunger's because they were first cousins one removed.  I can carry the Merriam line back 12 generations and the Stanbury line back 16 generations.  I will be happy to share any of that information if you are interested.