Monday, October 25, 2010

Military Monday

The military has been a fixture in my family.  My father served in the Candian Navy during WWII on a supply ship, his twin brothers were in the Air Force retiring from that branch of service.  My brother joined the Armed Forces, Naval Branch and has retired now.

I have three brothers-in-law - two navy and one army - two nephews - one navy, one army.

Luckily, none of them were injured or killed.

My maternal grandfather, Clarence Arthur McCann, enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1915 and spent four years overseas.  He did make it home, but he suffered from a variety of illnesses including trench mouth and foot problems from being in wet boots for weeks on end in the sea of mud they called Ypres.  He was also gassed and suffered from chest pains for the rest of his short life.  He died just before his 56th birthday of a heart attack.  So, maybe he really was a casualty of war.

Clarence wrote many letters to his father, mother, brother and sister between 1915 and 1919 and over 100 of them have survived.  I have created a blog, Clarence's Letters Home , so I can share those letters with other researchers.

I am extremely proud of my grandfather.  Clarence gave up the comforts of home and family to fight for freedom.  He saw and heard things that no human being should have to experience.  As a result, his descendants have freedoms galore.

Go on over to the blog and have a look.  Hope you find the letters interesting.  Leave a comment to let me know you stopped by.

Until next time, Happy Researching!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Blog for My Grandfather's Letters 1915 - 1919

A number of years ago, my uncle, Bob, transcribed over 100 letters that his father, Clarence Arthur McCann, had written during WWI.  These letters were discovered amongst Clarence's sister's belongings after she passed away.  The first letters were written from Fredericton, NB where Clarence had enlisted and the remaining ones from England and France and Belgium.  I had always thought I would publish them, but after listening to a webinar on blogging at I decided to bite the bullet and create a blog.  The link to Clarence's Letters Home is in the side bar.  I have typed the Introduction that I found in the binder of transcriptions that my uncle gifted to me and also typed the first letter which was rather long :)

I hope to go back and fill in some of the info on the people and events mentioned in his letters, but will wait until I have finished typing the letters.

There is a lot of interesting information in these letters and if you have an ancestor that served overseas in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, it will give you an insight into what they may have experienced.  If your ancestor was from Windsor, NS, you may find mention of them in the letters.  If you do, please drop me a line and let me know.

As time goes on, I will add photos of Clarence, his family, his childhood home and anything else I come across.

Until next time, Happy Researching!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Links, Links and More Links!

I've begun reading a number of blogs and checking out the links that the authors have posted.  There is tons of genealogy related stuff out there that I didn't even know existed.  a BBC series described as "A series exploring the practice of researching family history, one of the UK's most rapidly growing pastimes" - a site devoted to gathering digital photos of Canadian headstones - searchable database and organized by Province - Webinars on various topics including blogging - recommended by Dick Eastman

Quicksheet – Genealogical Problem Analysis: A Strategic Plan developed and authored by Elizabeth Shown Mills - I've wanted one of these for a while.  This might be a Christmas present from me, for me :)  Genealogy in Time Newsletter - I enjoy this newsletter.  This week has info about Google developments. Google URL Shortener

Ancestry has started to advertise Family Tree Maker 2011.  It looks like there have been some interesting enhancements in Chart making in this version.  I've been using FTM for quite a few years, but have plenty of work to do to get all of my research into the program.  I think I'll work with the version I have until the bugs have been worked out of FTM 2011.

Until next time, Happy Researching!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pros and Cons of Writing Family History

I emailed my siblings yesterday to ask about their growing up Christmas memories as I want to compile a small "book" about holidays, the house we grew up in, etc. I also asked if my father, who died when I was young, had ever worn a hat. I had been watching a tv program about unseen footage of JFK and noticed that a lot of the men were wearing hats in 1963 and that prompted me to wonder about Dad.

I've received two responses so far. One sibling says that he will jot down some things in the next few days and that Dad sometimes wore a hat - not often, but when he did it was one like Al Capone's. So far, so good :) That would be one of the pros.  I had to Google images of Al Capone to see what that might look like.  Here's one photo:

Al Capone's Snazzy Hat

The second sibling emailed that she didn't have any good memories of Christmas and then related a story about a gift gone bad from when she was 15 or 16. So, I guess I won't be including that story :)  That would be one of the cons.

Hopefully, I'll hear from the other three and be able to put something together. In the meantime, I'll start writing my own memories so they are ready to insert when the time comes. Maybe I'll read them to my own grandchildren around Christmas time. I bet they'll like that!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pet List Continued

Well, I started my pet list tonight. I like the way this blog prompts me to do something I said I would do. The list of budgies, cats, dogs, fish and a canary and hampster is quite long.

Now to jot down everything I can remember about them. It's a good opportunity to talk to Mom about the cats that belonged to my family when I was born and the budgies we used to have. Maybe she can remember them and we can have a warm, fuzzy talk and maybe even a laugh or two.

There are some fish that were nameless until just a minute ago. Hank and Scully were named after the characters on Dr. Quinn.

After the stories are written, I'll add the photos I can find for each of them. Sadly there aren't any of the early budgies but they were kind of standard looking :) The challenge will be to find photos of all the pets before digital cameras.

The other challenge will be to wade through the tons of digital photos that aren't tagged or named.

I think I've identified another project!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Genealogy Mysteries

I've been reading some genealogy mysteries lately and was happy to see an article on Dick Eastman's genealogy newsletter that talks about the website Stop You're Killing Me, a website that lists hundreds of mystery books and their authors. There is a new genealogy section and I will be looking for these books at my library.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pets and Genealogy

You might say "what do pets and genealogy have in common" and, I guess the answer is nothing. However, my kitty, Skittles, certainly adds some laughter and comfort to my life and that got me to thinking that I've never really recorded any information about pets that I've had during my time here on earth. From the cats that my family had when I was born to budgie birds and dogs and more cats, they all had unique personalities and provided a few funny and sad stories here and there. I do have pictures of most of them too. So, I will have to make a list and start writing about them. After all, they were part of my family and deserve to be remembered.