Sunday, 14 February 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

My maternal grandparents around the time of their wedding (circa 1955).

This is the perfect time of year to watch (or rewatch) one of my favourite of Crista Cowan's webinars on finding the love stories in your family tree.

"Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. 
Be still, they say. Watch and listen. 
You are the result of the love of thousands." 
- Linda Hogan

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Genealogy Education: NGS's "The Basics"

After years of casual consumption of webinars and blog posts being my main form of genealogy education, I have decided I would like to pursue more formal educational opportunities in the hopes of one day in the distant future achieving certification.  However, being a university student currently limits my options mainly to online or local courses due to financial and scheduling constraints. In searching the internet for suitable options, I came across the National Genealogical Society's American Genealogical Studies series.  While it is called "American genealogical studies", when I looked at the course syllabi, it seemed to cover fairly general concepts that would also apply to my (primarily Canadian and European) research.  So I decided to sign up for the introductory bundle which includes "The Basics" and "Guide to Documentation and Source Citations" for $100.  This post will review my experience with "The Basics".

"The Basics" has four modules: Getting Started, Creating a Research Plan, Home Sources, and Family Traditions & Connecting with Others.  Within these categories, topics covered include: genealogical standards, pedigree vs family group sheet, steps to building a research plan, photographs/clippings already in your possession, evaluating the family Bible, theories and hypothesis, assessing family lore, interview techniques, letters/queries to potential info sources, and social media.  The course syllabus is available online.  As someone who has been doing genealogy for more than three years, a lot of this course was review of information I had already figured out as I went along.  That being said, it was still really helpful to see these various topics formally laid out.

The part I found most useful was the module on creating a research plan, as I had never really created an actual research strategy before besides just "find out more about so-and-so".  I am looking forward to putting these newly acquired skills to the test soon and hope it will help me achieve success with some of my more complicated ancestors to research.  I also enjoyed the sections about evaluating a family Bible and interview techniques.

Because "The Basics" was mostly review for me, it didn't take me long to complete the course (I would estimate about 6-8 hours total).  The grading scheme is based on a number of multiple choice quizzes. I'm excited to now move onto "Guide to Documentation and Source Citations" as that is definitely a knowledge area that I know I need to work on...

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Welcome to my blog!

Hello everyone!

I grew up in a family that valued our family stories, but I didn’t start “seriously” researching my genealogy until early 2013. I was taking a military history course at the time, and rather than writing a traditional academic term paper, the prof gave us the option of writing a narrative based on a soldier’s life. I decided to write about one of my great-grand uncles that was at Vimy Ridge and as soon as I had my hands on his service record at the national archives (perks of living in the capital city!) and started looking up the family’s census records I was hooked!  Since then, I have become increasingly passionate about discovering the stories in my family's history. I started this blog as a way to collect and publish these stories, and hopefully also find cousins along the way!

My ancestry is primarily Scottish, Dutch, Norwegian, English, and Danish, with immigrant ancestors arriving in North America from the early 1600s to the 1930s.  Some immigrated directly to Canada from Europe, and others spent some time (sometimes several generations!) in the United States before moving North.  Some of the particular areas/topics that I have focused research on include: early Manitoba settlers, Outer Hebrides living and immigration, Dutch Mennonites, Canadian WWI soldiers, British mariners, and Loyalist immigration to Canada following the American Revolution.

Locations: Netherlands (Andijk, Opperdoes, Enkhuizen), Denmark (Gloslunde, Bostrup), England (Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle/Gateshead, Spaldington), Scotland (Harris, Inverurie), Canada (BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick), USA (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Massachusetts), Norway (Skonseng, Ringebu)

Surnames: Ruiter, Zwier, Verfaille, Groot, Newgard, Rasmussen, Middleton, Hetherington, Breem, McDermit, Leetham, Cook, Churchill, Melvin, McRae, Chisholm, Algar, Erickson, Christensen, Hjelstuen

If you're looking for me at other places in the genealogy world, you can find me at:
Ancestry: Click Here
Find A Grave: Click Here
Facebook: Click Here 
Instagram: Click Here