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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Change of pace in PEI

While waiting for free time to start doing the manual research all over Ontario for my Dunn research, I've changed the pace and started researching the Ancestors of my sister in law.  She was able to provide me with the names of her grandfather, great grandFather and great great grandfather on her mother's McLeod side (including the first and Maiden names of their wives) She also told me they lived in PEI.  A lot of info to help get me started. 

This is my first research opportunity in PEI and has been a pretty good learning experience.  I started by putting in what I knew into a new Ancestry tree.  From that I was able to find record of the great grandparents (Joseph McLeod and Minnie Gas) in the the 1911, 1901 & 1891 census.  PEI was setup back then as "Lots" for subdistricts and they were in Lot 65.  From there I was able to get a list of most of their children (but not her grandfather Daniel who was probably born after 1911).  After some more research I was able to get the census records for the great great grandparents (George McLeod and Ann Henderson), they were over in lot 65 as well and had 9 children.  Since there is going to be limited info available due to privacy issues around the her grandfather and his siblings, I then started to go through and try to find as much info on her great great great uncles and aunts as possible.  I haven't got through them all but I do know that their eldest son and child Archibald McLeod was a carpenter and settled with his family in Massacheusetts in the early 1900s. 

Ancestry does not have any BMD details for PEI in their database so I started to do some google research.  I came across the PEI Public Archives site and discovered that PEI did not start keeping civil records until ~1906.  They do have a couple of good online databases and I was able to look up baptisms for Archibald and a few of his siblings including the great grandfather George.   I took a break from the McLeod side for a bit and looked at the great great grandmother Anne Henderson.  Using the online baptism search I was able to find what I believe to be her baptism entry for 1842 (she reported on most Census records that she was born 1843/44 but the month and day matched).  Now I have her parent's names (including maiden) and entered them into the Ancestry tree.  In doing that I was able to find her and her parents in the 1891 census and I'm now armed with the name of one of her siblings (Richard) and a widowed sister Jane (with 2 kids).  I also know from the 1891 census that Anne's parents were both born in PEI (1810 & 1820) and  grandfather on her mom's side was born in the US and her grandmother in Ireland.  Anne's grandparents on her dad's side were both born in Scotland.  I got a hit for another family tree on ancestry with Anne Henderson married to my George McLeod so I am reasonably sure that I am on the right track.  I haven't look further into the other person's tree and don't intend to unless it is a last resort.  I've been burned in the past and have learned not to trust someone else's work especially when sources are not cited... 

Armed with 6 names, I've come up with 43 of her ancestors in only a few hours woo hoo!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

3 years 3 months 11 days 11 hours

That's what's written on the back of George Alexander Dunn's baptism card.  I know from previous research he was born May 25, 1903 and died Sept 5 1906 from Diphtheria suffering for 3 days beforehand.  I also know his mom could read and write so I can only assume she put it on the back of the card.  George was the first of three children his parents buried.  I've been to George's gravesite.  He is buried with his brother, Clarence Oliver who was born on Sept 25, 1911 and died Aug 31, 1912.  I found his birthday card from the "Cradle Roll" program at the Hope Methodist Sunday School.  On the back it reads "There's a little band in heaven which is not quite complete and God hath called your darling boy to fill a vacant seat."  Clarence died of cardiac failure with primary cause attributed to Colitis in Sick Kids Hospital and suffered 3 weeks.  Their grave along with those of their older sister Esther Irene who died of TB in 1928 and grandparents, cousins and aunts and uncles are all unmarked in St John's Norway cemetery in Toronto.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Research Windfall

I went to the annual Family Golf Tournament in Beaverton yesterday and the Dunn family has honoured me with 2 boxes full of family pictures, baptismal records and death records for the Dunn line.   First step is to organize and scan all of information and backup. Next step, file the originals in archival quality sleeves and sheets.

Major finds:  a picture of the kids Great Great Grandparents (with Dora Elizabeth in full victorian dress) details about the first wife of the kids great grandfather (including children and marriage date) and some written family history from the kids great grandfather.  Some of the accounts do not line up with my research which is to be expected since oral history (especially by a gentleman in his 90s) may not always be historically accurate.

So as to not underplay the Petersen's generosity this is right up there with the extensive family tree that Ebba gave me to last year with Danish ancestry going back 200 years.

What an honour!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My first potential costly mistake

Well I should have know better but I got over confident and jumped the gun.  I have the marriage registration for my husbands great grandparents.  His great grandmother's family came to Toronto for a few years, had a couple of kids then went back to England and had his great grandmother.  His great grandmother returned to Toronto and married a man from Simcoe (would be interesting to know how they met).  I have their marriage record which gave me her mother's maiden name (Eliza Garret) and in turn led me to her parents's marriage record.  The names as usual were common.  After digging around, I did manage to order the birth cert for Eliza Garret but misplaced it almost as soon as I got it...  I did remember her mother's name was Hannah and I thought her maiden name is Barber.   I went on happily finding census records for George, Hannah and Eliza (and siblings) which in turn allowed me to trace additional birth and marriage records for the family.   Fast forward a few months and while reviewing my tree details, I decided to bite the bullet and order the records from GRO (at the cost of ~$180).  I got them this week.  Now that I have them I can see that this Hannah has the last name of White....  and looking a lot closer at things Eliza Garrat was born in Cheshire and the census records I uncovered and used as the basis of my Garret research clearly shows repeatedly that the Elizabeth noted was born in Basford Nottinghamshire.....

How did I get myself into this situation?  I have everything housed on ancestry and did not take the time to print and file and organize things on paper to make things easier for me to review and not make these types of mistakes....

Time to step back and organize!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Trying to work out relationship between people with the same name in the same town

My focus this week in Simcoe and the Gilchrist, McNabb and McLean side of the tree.  One thing I have noticed is that large extended familys emigrated from Scotland together and along with their neighbors settled in the same area, in my case Oro.  There were many cases were more than one child in a family married siblings from a neighboring family and this happens through the generations.  The result is a lot of people in a community with the same first and last name having children with the same first and last names as their neighbours born in roughly the same time frame....  Talk about confusion.  One way to weed through it is to look at the big picture.  Look up the parent's marriage record to confirm maiden names of the wives then find the birth registration of the children and hoping that the wife was registered with her maiden name and not married name.  Finally look up all of the death registrations to make sure they all match up.  Another resource that has help me in this endeavor is the cemetery pics available in Tombstone Territory on Wayne Cook's website.  It's not fully indexed or transcribed but with some searching around, I've been lucky in most cases in that the woman's maiden name is on the stone along with the husband and possibly (unfortunately) some children.  Using these dates helps to confirm various records as well if there are still some outstanding questions that hold up a true confirmation of records. 

What would we do without genealogy volunteers??

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Welcome to my blog!

  Genealogy is both my passion and my hobby, if I could figure out how to quit my day job and get by, I'd spend all day doing it.  I really started my genealogy research about 3 and a half years ago.  It's had it's ups a downs but so do most things in life.  My roots start in Canada with me and my parents and in the case of my mom, her parents.  After that the maternal roots trace back to Poland, Ukraine, and Austria (a part which I believe was once part of Poland).  On my paternal side my father's parents and ancestry trace back to Poland.  The research on my own tree  has been slow going.  If not for the high school project one of my cousin's Barbara did, I would know very little about my grandfather whom she did a family history interview with.  As for my maternal ancestry, even though my moms parents hailed from Manitoba, it is has been difficult to get information.  As a result I put my side on the back burner and focused on my husband's tree.  His paternal ancestors almost entirely emigrated to Canada generations ago and settled predominantly in Simcoe County and York County.  Others were in Halton, Grey and Victoria.  I've managed to trace back to the mid 1700s in a few lines to Scotland and the UK.  For the hubbies paternal side it has been alot of work, starting from scratch with very little information to work on and only a few tidbits from his family here and there but thanks to Ancestry, Scotland's people, Ted Larson's Islay page,  the UK General Register office and the Simcoe & Ontario Archives, I've amassed quite a collection of information.  My downfall:  I did not orgranize from the start and now I must. 

  My goal of this blog is to share my tips, resources and stories as I do my research.  I'm a young 40 :) and most people I talk to have little interest in hearing my stories.   In sending them out to cyberspace I can feel like I am telling someone (even if no one reads it) :)