Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my great-grand uncle, William Henry McCann. You see, I have just discovered that the house where he lived with his wife and children during the Halifax Explosion in 1917 is still standing! And, I drive by it several times a week, giving a figurative tip of my hat to Will each time. I feel a connection with this collateral ancestor of mine that I can't quite explain. I didn't know Uncle Will, as my mother called him. He died in the fall of 1934 long before I was born. I didn't even hear a lot of stories about Uncle Will. Someone mentioned that his brother (and my great-grandfather), Fred, made the hour and a half drive once a month from Windsor to Halifax to visit Will. And my mother said that when she was a teen, she stayed for a few days with Uncle Will and his wife, Aunt Ida. A cousin said that Uncle Will worked for the Intercolonial Railway or ICR. These short stories were a tease for me as I needed to know more about him. I pictured Uncle Will as a sort of rough, work-a-day kind of guy. He was a labourer his whole life; a machinist, blacksmith and carpenter and worked hard in the Car Shop of the ICR. I expected his garb in any photos would be overalls and work shirts. Well, I was literally gobsmacked when I first saw a photo of Will, Ida and Fred. They were dressed to the nines and a good-looking bunch to boot! That photo hasn't yet been scanned, but I will add it here as soon as it is. Next time, I'll tell you what I learned about Uncle Will through my research. Until next time, Happy Researching!
Sunday, February 3, 2013
So, I signed up for the Family History Writing Challenge and pledged to write 250 words per day. Ha! My intentions are good, but it's Day 3 and I just started writing today. If you've ever wanted to write about your ancestors, but have put it off for one reason or another for far too long, you should bite the bullet and sign up. Check out the website make the pledge and sign up for the daily email prompts. You'll receive lots of encouragement and plenty of constructive criticism if you want. Today, I worked on my first writing a bit and managed to jot down a few paragraphs about my great-grand uncle William Henry McCann. And, I'll post it here in a few minutes. Be gentle with your critiques :) Until next time, Happy Researching!
Posted by Pamela Wile at 11:32 PM
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I was looking around for a logo to print on a tshirt. The Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia will have a booth at the Halifax Pride Community Fair this coming Saturday and I wanted a tree. A friend sent me the link to LogoSnap.com and away I went. There are tons of images to choose from and you can create one free! Check it out for your genealogy newsletter or business cards, or maybe you need something for a poster. Great site!
Until next time, Happy Researching!
Posted by Pamela Wile at 10:26 PM
Saturday, January 7, 2012
On January 1, I started working towards one of my genealogy goals by sorting out my piles of genealogy papers, notebooks, magazines and envelopes with notes and contact information scribbled on them. Progress is slow, but it is really satisfying to see the stacks take different shapes. I have emptied one box and one plastic tote so far and the second one is sitting in front of me.
Also in front of me are five containers - one for each of my grandparents' surnames: Deal, McCann, Smith and Wile and one for general genealogy stuff like maps, community histories and notes that apply to more than one family. One added bonus to all of this sorting is that because I can't help but read through the notes, I am discovering leads that I may have missed before! I am also discovering correspondence and genealogies that I'd forgotten about.
I am feeling really motivated to get this done and looking forward to sorting the surname files and getting closer to the point the information can be analyzed with fresh eyes.
This organizing project might be exactly what I need to break down some brick walls. Wouldn't it be funny if I've had the answers in front of me all along?
Until next time, Happy Researching!
Posted by Pamela Wile at 9:30 PM
Sunday, January 1, 2012
The resolutions...I mean goals... are are coming fast and furious so I thought I would jump on the band wagon. Marion Pierre-Louis' blog post at Marian's Roots and Rambles inspired me to think about what I'd like to accomplish this year. So, here goes:
1. Organize my research material. It's been all over the place for a long time - in boxes and various bookcases. I've made quite a dent in this one in the last few days and I hope to be finished within the week.
2. Organize my genealogy research notebooks and paper. It's been all over the place for a long time too - in too many places to mention. Marian mentioned that she had watched Mary Hill's FamilyRoots Organizer System webinar so I found the preview on the Legacy Family Tree Webinar Page and watched it today. It seems like a reasonable and easy to follow method for organization so I'm going to give it a try. It'll be fabulous to be able to lay my hands on a piece of info within minutes and I'm sure it will save me hours of duplicate research. Once I have the paper under control, I have to discipline myself to inventory new documents and research notes.
3. Organize my photos and share them. Not just the vintage ones, but all the photos I've taken over the years. Those from the 70s, 80s, 90s and up to about 2005 have to be scanned, the duplicates set aside for my daughter and the out of focus, crappy ones pitched. Then the digital ones have to be renamed. It's going to be a big job but I'm determined to be in a better place with this by the end of this year.
4. Post to my blog more often. I can't promise every week, but at least twice a month. I also want to continue to post to Clarence's Letters Home regularly until the all the letters have been shared. I enjoy reading them again and other researchers will find them helpful.
5. Continue to educate myself in the field of genealogy and to help new researchers when I can.
6. Spend more time learning about the features of Family Tree Maker and make a regular effort to source every piece of data that I've entered. This goal might be the most difficult.
7. Work towards getting my research in a format that can be easily shared with family and other researchers. I don't want my daughter to have to wade through piles of paper and little scraps with scribbles on them trying to figure out what is important.
8. Learn more about Evernote and start using it for my genealogy research log.
Hmmm. Seems that I've set the bar for 2012 quite high. I think I'm up to the challenge. Stay tuned as I will post my progress here!
Until next time, Happy Researching!
Posted by Pamela Wile at 12:56 AM
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Hardly a week goes by when there isn't something good happening in my genealogy world.
On Tuesday, I participated in a chat session on the National Institute Genealogical Studies website. This particular one was for those interested in the Social Networking for the Wise Genealogist which is a free course I'm taking in May. Gena Philibert Ortega moderated the chat session that was attended by 44 people mostly in North America. I say that because I don't know where everyone was from, but those that spoke up were from the US, Gena was in California, Sue de Groot was in Ontario and then there was me in Halifax.
In order to attend the session, I had to download the software for Live Meeting from the NIGS website which went very smoothly. The session was in the middle of the day - luckily it coincided with my lunch break at work. I had my headset with a microphone which was good because I was at work, but if you don't have either of those, you can listen using your computer speakers and you can type questions/answers on the chat board.
It was an interesting experience as attendees provided information about particular websites that would be considered Social Media. Also, one attendee works for FamilySearch and I can see that being important later on.
If you want to check out the NIGS chat sessions which are open to everyone, you can see the schedule by going to the NIGS website , click on Information and then click on Live Meetings.
Then on Thursday, my friend Helen and I travelled to Truro to the Colchester Historical Society Museum and Archives to attend a lecture given by Paul W. Bennett entitled "The Little White Schoolhouse". He talked about the beginnings of one-room schoolhouses in Nova Scotia, how a great deal of the people in the Province were opposed to their children being educated and how certain men persevered to have education standardized in the Province. He has written a book entitled "Vanishing Schools, Threatened Communities: The Contested Schoolhouse in Maritime Canada" (ISBN9781552664018) which will be out in a month or so.
Both Helen and I have teacher ancestors and we both decided we need to find out more about their experiences as teachers and more about the schoolhouses they taught in.
We had a nice drive there and had fish and chips at Murphy's before the lecture. I was tired at work the next day since I didn't get home until about 11:00 - past my bedtime!
Then on Saturday, we had the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia monthly meeting/lecture. Deborah Trask spoke about gravestones in Nova Scotia and showed us a PowerPoint of photos of examples of the types of stone and the carving she was talking about. Very good talk. There were about 27 people there which is a good number for our society. We had a door prize draw and the president, Allan Marble, presented his suggestions for another of the Brick Wall queries we had received for our September lecture. He has been selecting from those that they weren't able to work on for the September lecture. This particular one was for the surname McDonald which is a very popular name in Nova Scotia. We all enjoy hearing his suggestions as it helps us learn ways to do our own research.
Our next meeting is our Annual General Meeting and it will be held on May 14. Our speakers will be from Antigonish and Kings Counties.
Today, I listed to a bit of the Friday night GeneaBloggers BlogTalkRadio program. It's on from 11:00 to 1:00 Halifax time and I was simply too tire to stay up for it. However, you can find the program in the Archives and listen to it at your leisure.
Tonight, I hope to organize my notes from last week so I can focus on a couple of items to find for my Deal Family research. I have until April 16 to pull something together. So,
Until next time,
Posted by Pamela Wile at 4:49 PM
Sunday, March 20, 2011
When I first started my genealogy research, I was hard-pressed to find anyone who didn't roll their eyes when I talked about it.
Now, I hardly have time to work or do my own research. There's so much to do in the genealogy world! Between, attending free webinars offered by the Southern California Genealogy Society, chatting on GenealogyWise or listening to GeneaBloggers Blogtalkradio shows, I barely have time to work or sleep. O Happy Day! :)
Of course, I am also starting to work on my own genealogy. Yesterday, I attended a meeting to learn more about the proper way to do source footnotes in a genealogy. I learned a lot and it will make putting the genealogy together a little easier. Then I did some research at Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management. I have to say, trying to read Nova Scotia BMDs in church records that were recorded in German is no treat. Especially, if you don't know German at all :) I did find a few things, but it was long and arduous especially since I was sleep deprived after staying up late to listen to Geneabloggers most recent radio show. However, I am now re-enthused about my own research and have vowed that I won't let it go as long as I have recently. I need a regular fix to keep me interested.
Until next time, Happy Researching!
Posted by Pamela Wile at 2:31 PM