Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Continuing Mystery of Lillian Alling

Lillian Alling's past is a mystery. Her intriguing story, for us, starts as she leaves New York in December of 1926, and crosses the border at Niagara Falls, into Canada. From there, she headed west eventually ending up in Hazelton, British Columbia. After many adventures, and many kilometres later, she made it to Nome, Alaska and then headed to Siberia. And then? We don't know.

My book about her, "Lillian Alling: the journey home," follows the Canadian and Alaska portions of her trip. But we do not know how long she had been travelling before and after that. I hope that some diligent and enthusiastic Russian researcher will take up the cause and try and find Lillian's trail after she arrived in Siberia in late 1929.

I also hope that some keen genealogist will pick up Lillian's earlier trail. Where did she come from? Poland? Russia? Estonia? Somewhere out there, someone will hold the clue to these answers. Perhaps she can be found in some unopened archive in New York, or Ontario. Or a hint could be found someone's long unread letters to a long forgotten relative.

In the meantime, I hope readers will enjoy the story of what we now know about Lillian--her time in Canada and Alaska. I loved researching about Lillian's journey, and was pleased to find new information, new stories and share them in the book. In a future blog post I'll talk a little bit more about how I found this new information. As for the book, it can be pre-ordered on Amazon ordered directly from Harbour Publishing or from me. Remember, though, if you buy it in your local book store, there are no shipping charges  and you'll be supporting a local business.

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