The first time I saw this photograph was in 2008 in a book I’d heard about, Lilacs and Limestone. The book was written by William J. Patterson who is a local historian and writer in Kingston, Ontario. The photo depicted a family portrait from the 1800’s and in the book it was simply titled The Beatons . Even though I’d been researching the Beaton family in the same location I didn’t know for sure if they were my direct family or related to my family.
Then in 2011 I met a researcher on Ancestry named John. John was also researching the same Beaton family that I was. I wrote him about my great-grandfather; William Beaton telling him that the family story was that William had been adopted by his own father. But that the woman who had raised him wasn’t his mother. He politely told me that he was working on the family with some other researchers but that he had no information to offer me at the time but that he would keep my contact information.
Fast forward to 2013 when, out of the blue, I was contacted by John. He said he’d inherited his aunt’s photos and he’d come across one that he just had to send to me.
There is was, the photo from the book, but this time with names and the notation; Willie (adopted) . This was the first time I realized that this was William Beaton; my great-grandfather when he was just a young child and he has been Willie Beaton, to me ever since.
Note; the photo from the book; Lilacs and Limestone, was from the collection of D. MacDonald who I’ve since met and is a direct descendant of William Beaton Sr.