An important part of this search happened when I posted on the Rootsweb Message Board for Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The link to my initial post is given at the end of this blog. What followed was an exchage of 25 posts that added a lot of background material and confirmed other findings. You can follow the responses between myself and two contributors.
At the early stage of this research, some of the names that were quoted didn't make much sense. Having delved more deeply into this family I can now place these other ancestors. The results of the thread does show the power of these message boards and the ability to link with living family members.
Three days after my initial post I received a response. Here I was confronted with the names Bramley and Bowater. Also that William died in 1882 and his son Thomas had married Sarah Ellen Bramley. Also an obituary for William's granddaughter Dorothy Jean Bowater. I will link this into a later blog when I record the full family tree (to date).
Three months later another person started contributing to the thread. A lot of information was to follow on what became an active thread. The above Dorothy Jean Bowater (nee Brown) was her great aunt. Her grandmother was Sarah Brown who married John Edward Ovington b.13 Aug 1899 d. 24 Mar 1980, England. Their parents were Thomas Brown and Sarah Ellen Bramley, b.1869, Rothwell, Yorkshire. They were married on the 31 Dec 1887. There is more on the Bramley side of the family which I will add in my final blog for this family.
In part of another post I received the information that William Brown married Margaret Manson (who was a lace maker) b. February 21, 1840, Lewich, Sandwich Parish, Shetland Islands. sometime in 1865 in Hamilton, ONT. They lived for a few years around Acton, ONT and came to Nanaimo July 1, 1875 via San Francisco. In a later post she gave the full marriage record including their Shetland parents. This was exactly the information I wanted and it prompted me to then post on the Rootsweb Hamilton (Ontario) Message Board for confirmation. As a bonus, she also listed all the children of Thomas Brown and Sarah Ellen Bramley.
Yet another post gave a link to a rootsweb ancestry tree for those families affected by the 1887 mine disaster. While William Brown was killed in an 1882 accident there does appear to be some confusion here. On the positive side, the link is valuable in that it provides an excellent link to Sarah Ellen Bramley's parents and ancestors. From the 'Children' select Thomas Brown, then select Sarah Ellen Bramley. Again I will pick this up in a final blog for this family.
Throughout these exchanges I provided updates of the story so far, one of which gave a good summary of the main individuals. All the time, I had to check their names and dates some of which were slightly out according to the British Columbia Vital Records. It is good practice to keep contributing to any thread that you start and ensuring that it doesn't go off track. This is another example where the Rootsweb Message Boards prove their worth to family history researchers.