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“My Search for the Girl with the Blue Eyes" by Susan Schank

Reincarnation (rē'ĭnkärnā'shən) [Lat.,=taking on flesh again], occupation by the soul of a new body after the death of the former body. Beliefs vary as to whether the soul assumes the new body immediately or only after an interval of disembodiment. Although some religions teach that it may inhabit a higher or lower form of life, most believe that the soul is consistently reincarnated in the same species.1 Backgrounder On Friday Oct 5th 1962 13 year old Joanne MacIver, from Orrilla Ontario was hypnotized by her father Ken MacIver. Two of Joanne's friends were visiting and playing cards after school, when the conversation turned to hypnotism. Her father tried to hypnotize one of the friends after Joanne had failed. Her father, a believer, learned hypnosis while serving in the army. Ken was unsuccessful in his attempt to regress the friend but his daughter, Joanne, fell under instead. Joanne's father asked Joanne to describe her fifth birthday. The names Joanne mentioned were names her father could not recall. Joanne revealed that she was a girl named Susan Ganier living on a farm north of Massie in Grey County Ontario in the year 1848. Her father started hypnotizing Joanne regularly gathering details of her past life. Susan Ganier speaks through Joanne MacIver Susan Ganier was born in 1833 in St. Vincent's Township the child of parents from Quebec, Catherine and Mason Ganier. The nearest settlement was Massie in Holland Township. They attended the Methodist Church. They kept cattle, pigs and had an apple orchard. Her father's grain was milled by a Mr. McKelver. Joanne (as Susan) spoke of MacGregor and Milligan, the storekeepers in Massie. She also referred to a farmer named MacGregor whom she had a fondness for. She also mentioned the names Urqhart and Watson. Susan had a brother Rueben who married a woman named Rachel Brown that Susan didn’t like very much. Susan could not read or write. Susan at age 17 married Tommy Marrow, in July 1849. Their wedding ceremony was performed by a lay preacher named Mc Eachern. Tommy had a small farm in Sydenham Township2 near Morley on the Sydenham Township line that he bought for $100.00. She also mentioned a farmhand who worked on their farm named Yancey who attempted to attack her in her own home. Susan stated that she and Tommy had no children. After fourteen years of marriage, Tommy died in a farming accident in his barn around the year 1863.The blade of a sickle fell from its hook and into the back of Tommy’s neck. Tommy died from loss of blood. A Mr. Brown was present at the accident. A doctor named Black tried to revive Tommy, with no success. Tommy was buried on their farm in Sydenham the day after his untimely death. Susan then sold the farm and stock for around $400.00 to a McMillan who lived south of their farm and she retired to an abandoned cottage/hut about a mile up the road. The owner of the property allowed her to live there as long as she paid to fixed it up herself. She never remarried. She had a vegetable garden and was given a

pig every year by a Mr. Thompson who would help her with day-to-day chores. Susan was befriended by a Mrs. Margaret Speedie, the post-mistress at Annan. Susan led an extremely quiet life. Susan described her own death and stated that she died around 1903 and she was buried in a church yard. The above history was gathered through Joanne during hypnotic regression.

In June 1963 Ken MacIver took a trip to The Meaford Express office in Meaford seeking help in researching and proving Joanne’s previous existence as Susan Ganier. Mr. MacIver was firmly convinced that his daughter had lived before and determined to continue his search to prove it. By the summer of 1964 the story received the attention of the media.3 Enter Author Jess Stearn 4 Lee Barker, an editor from New York listened to the tapes that Ken MacIver made of the controlled hypnotic sessions with Joanne and decided to call Jess Stearn. Jess Stearn, was educated at Syracuse University. He began his career with 17 years as a reporter for The New York Daily News, then as an associate editor at Newsweek magazine. He was the author of more than thirty books; several on the subject of reincarnation including the book, Edgar Cayce, The sleeping prophet.5 Lee Barker knew Stearn was more than qualified for the research into Joann’s claims of a past life. Stearn a non believer in hypnotism was sent to Orillia to interview Joanne MacIver. In 1966 Jess Stearn visited the Meaford, Owen Sound area that Joanne, as Susan Ganier, said she resided. Stearn called the research, "The Search for the Girl with Blue Eyes"6 as both Joanne, and Susan Ganier had penetrating blue eyes. The search ranged through Sydenham and St. Vincent Townships, Massie, Balaclava and the property Susan shared with her husband that is now owned by the Tank Range. 7 Stearn and McIver meet Major Spike Malone, Mr. Joe Walker, Miss Vina Ufland, 8 Milford Johnston, Mrs. Duncan Lourie and her mother, Mrs. McDonald and Arthur Eagles.9 Arthur Eagles wrote a disposition stating he remembered the Ganiers and the Marrows. His statement gave credibility to Susan having lived in a former time. Supporting Sources of Susan Ganier’s existence gathered by MacIver and Stearn MacIver and Stearn were able to track down some names within census that would seem to be relevant to the data obtained during hypnosis. Names such as businessmen from Sydenham that were in fact MacGregor and Milligan did show up. Other names were close in spelling. Finding records for the Ganier family were difficult as the only Catherine Ganier, no mention of the father Mason, was a woman too young to be Susan's mother. They did however find a few possibilities with the surname Granier. They also learned that Mrs. Speedie was indeed the postmistress of Annan during that time period. A Dr. F. Crawford Jones an area psychiatrist interviewed Arthur Eagles who lived on the 11th line near Woodford. He stated that his parents knew the Marrows and even claimed he knew Susan when he was a young child. Mr. Eagles knew Susan as a widow living alone in a rundown house. Eagles said Susan’s farm was near Annan. Eagles also said that Yancey had lived at a place called the Mountain. 10 He also said that McKelver’s mill was near the twin churches that were on land now occupied by the Meaford Tank Range. He also mentioned that McKelver was called McGillvary11 by some people. Arthur and his father Charles Eagles took Susan by horse and buggy to Owen Sound on occasion. Eagles stated that Susan died in the winter of 1903 at the age of 71 or 72.

The site that Susan (Joanne) had said was her old farmhouse with veranda that she and Tommy lived in was located despite the fact the house was in ruins. They were, however, unable to obtain Susan's death certificate or any documents of her existence. The evidence seems to indicate that Susan had existed. In the mid-nineteenth century records of deaths or birth sometimes were not filled out or were misplaced or destroyed by a fire at the town office. My Search for the Girl with the Blue Eyes An old 1840 map shows Archibald Marrow on Lot 31, twelfth line St. Vincent .Although he did not fulfill the land grant conditions it does prove there were Marrows in St Vincent even though he was not on the 1851 census St Vincent or in The Grey County Gazetteer 1865-6. Widow Susan Marrow lived out the rest of her life in a shack on this very property.12 The twin churches on the corner that Joanne as Susan Ganier talked about were the Methodist and the Baptist Churches near Morley. Reference to this was found on page 210 in the book “History of Sydenham: A Centennial Project”. Massie was 12 to 15 miles south of the Mason Ganier farm. Mason and Catherine Ganier lived on lot 37, 9th line of St Vincent 4 or 5 miles east of Tommy Marrow’s parents. Tommy Marrow’s parent’s farm was near Strathaven. Neighbors of the Tommy and Susan Marrow were Norris and Brown. Peter McKelver’s (Mc Gillvary’s) mill was on Tank Range property. Arthur Eagles said he and the Ganiers both knew a Jack Stitt There was a James and Alfred Stitt living in Meaford in 1937 who were named as brothers in Mrs. Noble Burleigh’s obituary. Source: August 5th 1937 in the Meaford Express. There was a James STITT M Male Irish 50 Ontario Farmer C. Presbyterian who had a son James Stitt age 18 Source 1881 census Euphrasia, Grey East, Ontario James Stitt the son was 23 when he married

003897-86 (Grey Co.) James STITT, 23, farmer, Euphrasia, Euphrasia, s/o James and Mary STITT, married Mary Jane CURRY, 25, Euphrasia, Euphrasia, d/o James and Ann Jane CURRY, witn; Nelson CURRY and Mary Jane MILSON both of Euphrasia, 13 April 1886 at Euphrasia. Widow Susan Marrow lived 3 miles south of Vail’s Point and was a squatter. Tommy Marrow had leased his farm in Sydenham Township from a man whose name started with an A. Donald McGilvary lived Lot 35 Concession 9 St Vincent near Mountain Lake. Malcolm Macgregor lived north ½ Lot 7 12th Concession Sydenham Township in 1842 and was a free Grant from the Crown of fifty acres and the other fifty was paid for at 2.50 an acre. Alex Fraser lived where the Susan and Tommy Marrow farm used to be. It was the north half of lot 33 on the 1st concession line of Sydenham opposite the Tank Range13. Milford Johnson owned this farm in 1966. Fraser sold to Wamsley who sold to Milford Johnson. Milford’s wife was the granddaughter of Michael Fettes who came to Sydenham in 1847.She said the house that Widow Marrow lived in was the King house. Charles King bought it from the Hughes family and Mr. King moved the house to Owen Sound but the foundation was left the same. A Jim Smith rented from Walmsley then a George Baker

Silcote used to be called Mountain. Arthur Eagles had stated that Yancey had lived at a place called Mountain. Mountain was first settled in the 1840s and 50s. The population was comprised of settlers from Ireland, Scotland and other parts of Canada Samuel Eagle attended the Methodist Parsonage branch under David Neelands in 1851-2. This Samuel Eagles was grandfather to Arthur Howard Eagles. Samuel Eagles received his land grants in St Vincent

Township on 4 SEP 1843. He was granted 200 acres after meeting the requirements. He studied to be a medical officer and he also served as a doctor and dentist for St. Vincent Twp. He also was farmer, veterinary, magistrate, justice of the peace and lawyer. Samuel Eagle’s children married into the Brown, Watson, McDonald, Johnson, and Macgregor families all names that Susan Ganier mentioned. Since the Eagles were Methodist and so were the Marrows and lived in the neighborhood maybe this is why Charles Eagles would help Widow Marrow over the years. Mrs. Margaret Speedie was the post mistress at Annan, between 1885 to 1899, and was 78 and a widow in 1901 living in Sydenham Township. I have not found the 1903 death certificate for Susan Marrow yet .I ordered film from Ontario Archives but did not find the death registration for Susan Marrow in the 1901-2-3-4-5-or 6 in St Vincent, Sydenham or Owen Sound . This could mean that nobody registered her death.

My thoughts History is the continuous, systematic narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race as well as the study of all events in time, in relation to humanity. Source of definition was provided by Wikipedia. Are the events that Joanne MacIver describes history or urban legend? All I know for certain is as a young girl I lived on the 11th line St Vincent from 1961 to 1967 down the road from Arthur Eagles. I remember Mr. MacIver driving up our lane and asking my Dad how far up the road was it to the Eagles farm. We also knew Howard Eagles Arthur’s son who lived on the 11th line. I remember as soon as the book came out I read it with great interest at the age of 15. I have always been fascinated by this story and I hope to one day to prove the existence of Susan Ganier.

Susan Ganier and Arthur Eagles told Jess Stearn that Charles Eagles drove Widow Marrow to town in a Democrat like the one above

Map Showing the Tank Range


1- Columbia Encyclopedia 2- By 1843, Sydenham Township had been fully surveyed and large new tracts of land were opened for settlement and farming. The area quickly became dotted with small farming settlements and communities as farmers grouped together to build and share much needed services. 3- This story was covered by Alan Spragget in 1965 for the Toronto Star

4- Stearn died of congestive heart failure at age 87 on March 27, 2002, at his home in Malibu, CA one month before his 88th birthday. 5- Edgar Cayce: the sleeping prophet- Non-Fiction- ISBN: 0553260855- written by Stearn, Jess. Publisher: Bantam Date published: 1989-10-01 Cayce was known as "the sleeping prophet" because he would close his eyes and appear to go into a trance when he did his readings (Stearn 1990). At his death, he left thousands of accounts of past life and medical readings. A stenographer took notes during his sessions and some 30,000 transcripts of his readings are under the protection of the Association for Research and Enlightenment. 6- This research was published in 1968 as the book “The search for the girl with the blue eyes-A

Venture into Reincarnation” and was also published in 1969 under the name “The Second Life of Susan Ganier: Startling Story of Reincarnation “ 7- The Tank Range is now called LFCATC Meaford and is located approximately 25 km east of Owen Sound on a peninsula extending into Georgian Bay. 8- LaVina Rose Ufland 1891-1986 was the editor of the History of the Schools of St. Vincent Township and Other Chronicles 1847-1967 Published by the St. Vincent Township Council, 1968- ISBN: 0-823667-20-0) 9- 007737/22 (Bruce Co) Arthur Howard EAGLES, 42, farmer, Balaclava Grey Co., St. Vincent Twp, s/o Charles EAGLES (b. St. Vincent twp) & Amy WAIT, married Barbara WRIGLEY, 36, Wiarton, Wiarton, d/o Henry WRIGLEY (b. Manchester England) & Annie Bell CAMERON, witn: Margaret E. MacKENZIE of Owen Sound & W.H. SNELL of Meaford Ontario, 26 April 1922, Wiarton 10- Silcote used to be called Mountain. Arthur Eagles had stated that Yancey had lived at a place called Mountain 11- The name McGilvary is found on the 1851 Agricultural Census on lot Con St Vincent close to Mountain Lake 12- Page 243” The Search for the Girl with the Blue Eyes: A Venture in Reincarnation” 13- Page 219 Tommy and Susan Marrow lived on the north half lot 33 First concession of the Sydenham Township line. Same book as footnote 12 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Books The Search for the Girl with the Blue Eyes-A Venture into Reincarnation. Published by Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday, 1968. ISBN: 0876043953 History of Sydenham Township: Centennial Project, 1967, Richardson, Bond and Wright, Owen Sound. Sources Meaford Express article- Silcote formerly Mountain

Balaclava Explanation of reincarnation Eagles Family Tree Samuel Eagles Bio Post Masters Apparitions that have been reported on the Tank Range Meaford

greycounty/meafordtank01.htm Transcription of the 1851 census of St Vincent 938-1.html

1903 (Vol.4) Grey, Haldimand, Haliburton, Halton, Hastings MS 935, Reel 110

My search for the Girl with the Blue Eyes  

Story about reincarnation in Grey County Ontario Canada in the early 1800's. Takes place in Massie, Sydenham, Morley, St Vincent Township

My search for the Girl with the Blue Eyes  

Story about reincarnation in Grey County Ontario Canada in the early 1800's. Takes place in Massie, Sydenham, Morley, St Vincent Township