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General News · 20th September 2013
Mike Manson
A funny thing happened while at the cemetery ......

A couple weeks ago while at the cemetery to pay respects to my family I came upon a mystery of sorts. Beside my grandmother's grave site is the grave marker for "Beesley" with the word "Mother" inscribed above. I remember this marker well as I recall as a young boy my father telling me Mrs. Beesley and his mother Margaret ( my grandmother) had both died within a few months of each other in 1925.

As I reminisced over distant memories it suddenly dawned on me "Beesley" was not spelt as "Beasley Road" at Mansons Hall. Could the road be named after a different family of Beesley's?

A quick trip to the museum to confirm my findings, but no help to be had as Lynn added that they did not know Mrs. Beesley's first name. I had heard of Walt Beesley, could this be his mother or did Walt spell his name Beasley?

The first clue came with the discovery of my grandmother's birthday book, a small book in which she had dutifully recorded the birth dates of family and friends. There under June 15 was an entry for Anna Beesley, this being the same birthdate as on the grave marker. Further checking through the pages found entries for her husband Edmund and her son Walter. But could my grandmother have mis-spelled Beesley? She was consistent with the spelling in her book but that didn't shed light on Beasley.

A check with the BC Archives Vital Statistics website brought a twist to the case when I could not locate a death certificate for Beesley in the year 1925. But surprise, there was a death certificate for Hannah Beasley of Cortes Island dated June 13, 1925! The cemetery marker shows June 12, 1925, clearly a match. No further on-line information was available for the death certificate. Now we know Hannah is the Anna in my grandmother's birthday book.

A check of the death certificate of Edmund Beesley showed the "maiden name of wife of deceased" to be Hannah Pittman, and the certificate had been executed with the hand-written signature of Walt Beesley, spelt without an "a". And furthermore the death certificate for Walt Beesley confirms Edmund as the father and Hannah Pittman as the maiden name of Walt's mother.

It is obvious that the Beesley's knew how to spell their name, so unless another family by the name of Beasley pioneered here, it is safe to say our signs are wrong.