Surprise family ties discovered

There are some days when you open a letter that it is a pleasant surprise. Monday was such an occasion.
Last week, I wrote of the discovery of a treasure of family history–and it is a treasure that keeps unfolding. A letter arrived from New Zealand wondering if I had a grandmother related to Jane Ribchester.
More amazing was that the letter had been mailed on April 4, 2017.
Jane’s maiden name was Dawson and she had married George Ribchester, and the couple had arrived in Canada with their children in 1905. All but one child had travelled to Canada. Their remaining son eventually had settled in New Zealand.
Vera Treble has been researching her family history. She has traced the Dawson family tree back to the early 1700s and the Ribchester family back to the early 1800s. One of our pictures is of an “Uncle Bob” Dawson Ribchester, who became lance corporal and died at Vimy Ridge.
The picture was taken of “Uncle Bob” after he had enlisted.
It wasn’t until Sunday night that I had thought to look up on the web to see if any of my relatives had died at Vimy Ridge. Today I learned of the connection.
It is a surprise to connect with history. The photo albums have a great deal of history included in them.
On Monday afternoon, I e-mailed Vera and Arthur Treble with the history of our family going back to my grandmother, Annie, and her children. I included in the e-mail pictures of Bob Ribchester and a picture of his grandmother, Jane Dawson, with my grandmother.
I had tracked down his home location and discovered that he lived south of Auckland, New Zealand in the small town of Cambridge.
Yesterday morning when I opened my e-mail, there was a message back from the Trebles. “What a thrill to have a photo of my great-grandmother and see her for the first time. Her face shape is the same as my grandfather, Robert Edwin Dawson.”
All of this is happening as we clean out my mother’s home. I think that she inherited many of these photographs following the death of my Aunt Georgina.
Unfortunately, there are many photographs that have no information attached with them. Occasionally, there are a few lines scribbled on the back that will say gramma and Alice or Art and Aunt Edith.
I had put off even looking at the photos until the letter arrived and I felt it imperative to answer back to the Treble letter. I suspect that Vera Treble must be older than me, and is searching out her family tree and all the branches that it contains.
She and I have the same common great-grandmother.
The Cumming family is small and I never looked beyond my grandfather in terms of relatives. The blind reaching out of someone from New Zealand to see if we are related is exciting.
I now can forward additional pictures to the Trebles of several of the Ribchesters that I have found.

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