Saturday, November 13, 2010

Surname Saturday - SPEARING, Hants County, Nova Scotia, Canada

Mark Spearing is my 4gr-grandfather and he arrived in Nova Scotia sometime prior to his August 1816 marriage to Patience Lake.  Apparently, he had had been Shanghied in Britain as a boy and spent a period of time at sea before jumping ship in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  He made his way to the Kempt Shore area (now Hants County) where he, according to family lore, obtained a land grant for his service to the King.  Is this story true?  Well, I think he obtained some land, but I'm not certain how or why.

There are no known photos of Mark or Patience.

According to entries in a bible that had belonged to Emma Collicut (Mark's Great-Granddaughter), Mark was born on 24 March 1789 , died on 04 November 1858 and Patience Lake was born 10 June 1787 and died 25 May 1861.  Mark and Patience were married on 08 August 1816.  No places or parents' names were recorded.  Mark and Patience were buried in High Head Cemetery, Cambridge, Hants County. 

I will have to do some research to confirm these dates so I think I will start with the marriage and then check out the land grant indexes at NSARM.  Their website also lists a microfilm number for High Head Cemetery records, so I've put that on my to-do list.

I have a cousin, a 2gr-granddaughter of Mark's, who I can call to discuss this with so I will try to do that this weekend.

Please see the link on the side bar "Spearing Family" for the unsourced information that I have gathered so far about Mark, Patience and their children.  I am descended from their son, Nathan and his wife, Ellison (Cox) Spearing.

Next week, I will report on my progress on this family.

Until next time, Happy Researching!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Series of BBC Videos on WWI on YouTube

I watched the first in this series of videos and I was hooked.  The ends are "chopped" off a couple of them, but I was happy to see the film footage and photos anyway. BBC World War One from Above - 1/4 BBC World War One from Above 2/4 BBC World War One from Above 3/4 BBC World War One from Above - 4/4

Until next time, Happy Researching!

Certification with the Genealogy Institute of the Maritimes

I attended a very informative meeting for potential applicants to the Genealogy Institute of the Maritimes last night.  We are a small group of 6 (maybe 7) who have applied to the Institute or are considering it.  We wanted to learn more about the process and gain some confidence in our ability to create a submission that would be accepted.

I think most of us felt intimidated by the process going into the meeting but now feel that it is do-able.  A couple of us realized just how much work we have ahead of us.

I think I will bite the bullet and apply sometime in the next few months.  Now to decide whether to apply for Genealogical Researcher [Canada] [GRS (C)]; or Certified Genealogist [Canada] [CG(C)].  That decision will partly depend on how many points I can rack up on the application form.  Here is the Guide for Certification Candidates

In order to have a submission critiqued before actually submitting, I have to create a report on a family that I won't be submitting to GIM.  Our "mentor" Dr. Allan Marble, CG(C)", is an examiner for GIM and it would be a conflict of interest for him to help us with our actual submissions.  So, I have to pick two families that I want to research.  I will have to have a practice one ready for our January meeting so it can be viewed and critiqued by Allan and the rest of the group.  It will be a lot of work, but fun too, so I'm looking forward to it. 

I've tentatively chosen the two families - Descendants of Mark Spearing/Patience Lake, Hants County, Nova Scotia Nova Scotia for my practice one and Descendants of John Jacob Deal/Elizabeth Heyson, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia for the actual submission.  Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind if one or the other becomes too difficult! :)

So, now to become disciplined and get working on my Mark Spearing research.  Family lore says that he was Shanghied in Britain at the age of 14 and spent an unknown number of years at sea before jumping ship in Halifax with another boy/man.  Mark is an interesting character who was once suspected of murdering a sherriff (later determined to be false) and who received a land grant in Hants County that was mismeasured and resulted in him getting a lot more land than he should have.

Well, now to get started...

Until next time, Happy Researching!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Do I Want to be a Certified Genealogist?

I've thought now and again that I might want to work towards gaining my certification, but I've been intimidated by the process and I'm unsure if I'm ready.  However, I'm going to a meeting tomorrow night to learn more about the application, the required submission and the exam, so I may decide to take the plunge and spend the next year working on it.

If I decide to go for it, how will I decide which family should I use for the submission?  I'm hoping I will come away from tomorrow night's meeting with a better idea of how to decide.

If you're interested in knowing more about how you can gain your certification in the Canadian Maritime Provinces, check out the Genealogy Institute of the Maritimes website.

Until next time, Happy Researching!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Surname Saturday - Sherman, Smith, McCann, Wile, Deal, Carmichael, Cox, Spearing - Hants County, Nova Scotia Ancestors

It's been raining forever - or so it seems - and today is a great day to think about organizing some genealogy.  I am really fortunate that most of my ancestors stayed in one place for a big chunk of time.  It makes it easier to find them in church, census and land grant records.

In keeping with the daily blogging prompts over at Geneabloggers, I decided to post some of the surnames I've been working on.

Here are some of my earliest known Hants County ancestors, in no particular order, and where they were prior to coming to Hants County, if known:

SHERMAN - George William Sherman married Lucy Ann Rafuse in Cornwallis in 1863.  George must have been beamed up from another planet as I can find no records of him prior to the marriage and he must have beamed back to wherever he came from, because after the birth of their son William in 1876, he disappears.  It's possible that he was from Apple River, Cumberland County as their eldest son, George Frederick, was born there (according to his obituary).  I wonder if this family removed to the States at one point because they aren't listed in the 1871 or 1881 Canadian census.  Lucy Ann was described as the 3rd daughter of Daniel Rafuse of Cornwallis.

SMITH - Charles Henry Smith who was actually Henry D'Arcy.  He arrived in Nova Scotia in 1889 fresh out of a Reform School in England through General Laurie's channels.  He worked for a time on the Hants Shore.  He married Mary Elizabeth Sherman in 1893 in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and they had 5 children who were born in Wentworth Creek, Hants County.  My maternal grandmother, Ada May Smith was their eldest daughter.  She married Clarence Arthur McCann in Falmouth, Nova Scotia in July of 1912.

McCANN - George William McCann is my earliest proven McCann ancestor.  He was born in Newport on January 25, 1836.  I believe his parents were William and Elizabeth McCann but I have found no records to prove this - I haven't located a record of his marriage to Mary Jane Martin or his birth record.  Their son Arthur Frederick married Ella Jane Carmichael.  Their son, Clarence and his wife, Ada May Smith, are my maternal grandparents.  I also have not found a marriage record for William and Elizabeth McCann.  I believe that William's parents were John and Ann McCann whom I found in the Overseers of the Poor records, but have no proof.  If I can connect George to William and William to John then my earliest McCann ancestors were in Hants County by the 1790s.  I have no idea where John and Ann were prior to that time.  Family tradition says the McCanns were originally from Ireland.

WILE - Frederick Wile who was born in 1820 in Bridgewater came to Wile Settlement (formerly known as Mt. Summerville) from Bridgewater sometime around the 1870s.  His son, Henry, lived in Leminster and his son, Willard (my grandfather) built a farm in Mt. Denson where my father, Frederick Elkanah, was born.

DEAL - John Elkanah Deal who was born July 29, 1827 came to Hants County from Bridgwater around the 1870s.  I am descended from his son, Timothy.  Timothy's daughter, Bessie Cecelia married Willard Wile.  They are my paternal grandparents.

CARMICHAEL - James Knox Carmichael, born July 7, 1789 dropped into Kings County, Nova Scotia on a spaceship from Londonderry - but which one? :)  He was a school teacher and eventually migrated to Hants County date unknown.  I am descended from his son, Anaxamander, who was a carpenter and coffn maker on the Hants Shore.  He also dabbled in owning ships along with his father-in-law, Nathan Spearing.  He married Martha Jane Spearing and they had a daughter Ella Jane who married Arthur Frederick McCann.  Their son, Clarence, married Ada May Smith.  They are my maternal grandparents.

COX - William Cox was on his way home to England aboard the ship "Harpooner" in 1816 when it was wrecked off the coast of Newfoundland.  He made his way to Nova Scotia and settled in Hants County.  He married Mary, a "native" of Hants County.  Her surname may have been Ritchie and she may have been aboriginal.   I am descended from his daughter, Ellison, who married Nathan Spearing.  Their daughter, Martha Jane, married Anaxamander Carmichael, whose daughter, Ella Jane married Arthur Frederick McCann. (see McCANN above).

SPEARING - Mark Spearing was Shanghied in Britain (possibly Ireland) and jumped ship in Nova Scotia.  The story was that he and another boy at the age of 14 were lured to a tavern where they were plied with drink.  He woke up on a ship in the middle of the ocean.  It's unknown how long he was at sea.  At some point, the story goes that he was granted land in the Cambridge, Hants County area for military service.  He married Patience Lake in Nova Scotia in 1816.  Their son, Nathan, married Ellison Cox.  Their daughter, Martha Jane, married Anaxamander Carmichael (see CARMICHAEL above).  I haven't done a lot of research on the Spearing surname, but a cousin has said that she has never found that surname and wonders if it was changed in Nova Scotia  so he could avoid detection after jumping ship.

If you are researching any of the above families, please leave me a comment or drop me a line at pamelawile AT (replace the AT with @) I'd love to hear from you.  Maybe we can share our research.

Until next time, Happy Researching!

Christmas Memories Update

A couple of weeks ago, I emailed my five siblings and asked them to send me any Christmas memories they had of food, gifts, traditions, etc. from their growing up years in Windsor, Nova Scotia.  My brother responded and said he would jot some things down and a sister wrote that she didn't have any good memories of Christmas!

A couple of days ago, I received an envelope in the mail that contained several handwritten pages of memories from another sister.  I enjoyed reading through them and plan to type them in the next few days.  I'm hoping to get ready for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories at Geneabloggers.  And, I think my grandchildren will enjoy hearing about Christmas in the "olden days" lol.

Until next time, Happy Researching!

Canada 1914-1918 Ypres

It's been a while since I posted here.  I've been working on another blog, Clarence's Letters Home, where I've been adding letters that my grandfather, Clarence Arthur McCann, wrote to his family during WWI.  So, when I saw this website on an email list, I thought I would share it here.

This website is for The National Schools Vigil which is a Remembrance of the 68,000 Canadians who died in WWI.  These soldiers' names will be projected one at a time and displayed for 25 seconds simultaneously in each of the participating schools in Canada and in Belgium.  Please have a look at  Canada 1914-1918 Ypres  and read about this worthwhile project.

Lest We Forget