Sunday, February 3, 2013

William Henry McCann

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!

My First Post for the Family History Writing Challenge

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!