The Cowkeeper's Wish: A Genealogical Journey by Tracy KasaboskiThe Cowkeeper's Wish: A Genealogical Journey by Tracy Kasaboski

The Cowkeeper's Wish: A Genealogical Journey

byTracy Kasaboski, Kristen Den Hartog

Hardcover | September 15, 2018

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 165 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


In the 1840s, a young cowkeeper and his wife arrive in London, England, having walked from coastal Wales with their cattle. They hope to escape poverty, but instead they plunge deeper into it, and the family, ensconced in one of London’s “black holes,” remains mired there for generations. The Cowkeeper’s Wish follows the couple’s descendants in and out of slum housing, bleak workhouses and insane asylums, through tragic deaths, marital strife and war. Nearly a hundred years later, their great-granddaughter finds herself in an altogether different London, in southern Ontario.

In The Cowkeeper’s Wish, Kristen den Hartog and Tracy Kasaboski trace their ancestors’ path to Canada, using a single family’s saga to give meaningful context to a fascinating period in history—Victorian and then Edwardian England, the First World War and the Depression. Beginning with little more than enthusiasm, a collection of yellowed photographs and a family tree, the sisters scoured archives and old newspapers, tracked down streets, pubs and factories that no longer exist, and searched out secrets buried in crumbling ledgers, building on the fragments that remained of family tales.

While this family story is distinct, it is also typical, and so all the more worth telling. As a working-class chronicle stitched into history, The Cowkeeper’s Wish offers a vibrant, absorbing look at the past that will captivate genealogy enthusiasts and readers of history alike.

Tracy Kasaboski and her sister, Kristen den Hartog, co-authored The Occupied Garden: A Family Memoir of War-Torn Holland (McClelland and Stewart, 2008), which was selected as one of The Globe and Mail's best books of the year. She lives in Deep River, ON. Kristen den Hartog is the author of several books including The Perpetual Ending ...
Title:The Cowkeeper's Wish: A Genealogical JourneyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 9.1 × 6.4 × 1.4 inPublished:September 15, 2018Publisher:Douglas And McIntyre (2013) Ltd.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1771622024

ISBN - 13:9781771622028

Look for similar items by category:

Editorial Reviews

The Cowkeeper’s Wish is like a camera panning across decades of change, the rise and fall of families and the way fate and fortune conspire to create the present and the future . . . these fascinating family stories inspire us to ponder the many upstream tributaries that have transformed the rivers of our own lives.”

- Stephen R. Bown, author of Island of the Blue Foxes