April 30, 2012

Lost & Found: A. L. Bowers WW1 ID Tag

This is a Canadian soldier's WW1 ID tag from later in the war. The early aluminum tags were phased out as aluminum was expensive, and these pressed material tags issued.

This tag is stamped with the name A. L. Bowers and Regimental Number 2498308.

The next line has a "P" presumably for rank, and the bottom has the soldier's unit. In this case it is 4C.M.R. which stands for 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles.

We also have two of Pte Bowers'  medals stamped with his name and Regimental Number on the side.

Who was A.L. Bowers? Did he survive the war? My hunt began with the online CEF database where using the Regimental Number on the ID tag I found the Attestation Papers of Arthur Leslie Bowers born 13 April 1894.

Arthur was living in Oshawa but was born in Engfield England. He gave his father, also living in Oshawa as his next-of-kin but failed to provide his father's name.

Pte. Bowers' WW1 Medals
He is a horse driver and a single man. His attestation took place in August 1917 in Toronto. I wanted to know more about Arthur so using Ancestry.com I searched census and marriage records. There was nothing conclusive in the census records for 1911 or 1901 but marriage records showed Arthur marrying in October 1924.

Arthur was listed as Arthur Leslie Bowers living in Oshawa born England age 30 son of Arthur John Bowers and Kate Anne Brant. His bride was Elizabeth Daisy Dunk born England age 30. Her parents were George Dunk and Mary Emily Wilcox.

Once I found the marriage record I was able to locate the family in the 1911 census for Athol Township, Ontario. The father Arthur Bowers, a baker, was shown as immigrating from England in 1910. His date of birth was June 1865 in England. His wife Kate was born March 1866 in England. Their children were listed as Leslie (this is Arthur Leslie) age 17, Slanty [?] a son age 10, Sidney age 7 and May age 2.

I next found the family sailing from Bristol England to Quebec on the Royal George on 2 June 1910. They are going to Picton Ontario. The passenger list revealed the name of their second son - Stanley.

My curiousity and genealogy obsessed mind wanted to know more. I looked for the family in the  1901 England census and found them living in Enfield, Middlesex England. Kate was listed as born Dalston, London England and Arthur gave his birth place as Carshalton, Surrey, England.

Little 6 year old Leslie was born in Enfield, Middlesex, England, as was his 9 month old brother Stanley.

I was unable to find death records for Arthur Leslie Bowers.



April 29, 2012

Sharing Memories (Week 18): My Town

Welcome to Week 18 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey for 2012. This is our third year writing our memoirs and childhood memories for our descendants.

If you are just joining us, you can take a peek at the last two years' of prompts by clicking on the Sharing Memories tab at the top of the blog. You can jump in at any time and you can skip topics that you don't like. There are no rules, it's all about getting your memories down on paper. The prompts are here as a guide to help if you are stuck for ideas.

Share your memories here in the comment section, on your own blog, or privately in a journal you keep at home.

I grew up in a very small town called Ajax. In fact it was a village when I was little. There were no sidewalks and no paved roads. Little war time homes were built for the women who came to work in the Munitions Factory at the start of WW2. The town was about 35 minutes by car from Toronto, the capital city of Ontario Canada. When I lived there it was surrounded by farmers fields.

My mother and grandmother settled in Ajax sometime during WW2. My aunt came too but her job was to look after her young son and my mom's three children, while my mom worked to earn money for the two families. Both my father and uncle were overseas during the war and my mother and aunt had 4 children ages newborn to 7 years. So my aunt volunteered to look after them all while Mother held down a job. My grandmother married a guard from the Munitions Plant so she had her own home. I wasn't born yet.

The town was divided in two by economics and by the McDonald-Cartier Freeway (later renamed Highway 401) and the railroad tracks beside the highway, both of which ran east and west. The north side was called "the old area" and that is where I lived.  We had a one story, one or two bedroom home on York Street.  I have to ask my older siblings how many bedrooms there were. We moved when I was 4 years old to a two story four bedroom home on Cedar Street. Luxury!

The new area was in the south side of town and was unfamiliar territory to those of us from the old area. Each area had it's own school from Kindergarten to Grade 6. The new area kids lived in newer homes and their dads usually had better jobs. I don't know if the adults mingled but we kids didn't.

I don't know any other other mothers except mine who worked outside the home. After the war and when I was young she worked in "the City" (Toronto) for a major pharmaceutical company. Most moms in Ajax stayed home with their kids so my mom was a bit of an oddity. 

When kids from both areas passed to Grade 7 we were all put together in one school which was situated in the new area. That was a scary time for us old area kids! The new area kids had home team advantage and we felt like outsiders. We were always made to feel as if we were the poor relatives reluctantly invited to Christmas Dinner.

I'll talk more about my town and my teenage years in my Sharing Memories post next Sunday. But now, tell me about the town/city where you grew up!





April 28, 2012

Assumptions vs Working Theories - The Good and the Bad

Steve asked Olive Tree Genealogy a very good question about making assumptions from details on a census.
How can one determine the relationship of individuals on the 1860 census. On the 1860 hardy county va census, my great grandfather Thomas Wilson is placed below a Pamelia Wilson, and above that a Judy Wilson. Can I safely assume that Thomas is Pamelia's son born out of wedlock? 
Steve - This is an important question in genealogy. The short answer is "Absolutely not!"

You should never assume anything in genealogy research. You can however create what I call a Working Theory, based on the facts you have found.

In the example you gave, you don't know how Thomas is related, or even if he's related at all. Let's look at some possible scenarios (with the caveat that you have not told me the ages of the individuals and that's an important consideration when developing theories).

1. Thomas might be Pamelia's son.

2. Thomas might be Pamelia's nephew.

3. Thomas might be Pamelia's cousin.

4. Thomas might be adopted

5. Thomas might be from a completely unrelated Wilson family

There are other possibilities depending on the ages of Thomas and the other individuals in the census.

You think that Thomas might be Pamelia's son. That's a good working theory. Your next step would be to search for records that PROVE or DISPROVE your theory.

* Can you find Thomas or Pamelia in 1850 or 1870 census?
* Look for Thomas' birth record
* Look for Thomas' marriage record
* Look for Thomas' death or obit

Continue researching Pamelia. Find out what you can about her. Is her father named Thomas? That might add a little more weight to your working theory (although that still would not be proof of a mother-son relationship). Perhaps Pamelia has an obit that mentions a son Thomas.

The bottom line is that unless you find proof, it's only guesswork. And genealogy is about facts and truth, not guesses. Guesses based on a record you found are important to aid you in developing a working theory but you still must prove (or disprove) that theory. 



April 27, 2012

Who Do You Think You Are with Rob Lowe

Don't miss Season 3 of Who Do You Think You Are? sponsored by Ancestry.com take you all over the world and inside the fascinating family histories of 12 celebrities.

Tonight - Actor Rob Lowe ventures into his past and discovers an ancestor who battled against George Washington during the American Revolution.

It's been two weeks since the last episode from Season 3 and I'm really looking forward to tonight's. I'm guessing Rob found out he had Loyalist ancestors (as I do). I'm only praying the producers don't make the mistake that grates on every Loyalist descendant - and that is calling them Tories instead of Loyalists. Fingers crossed!

April 26, 2012

Lost & Found: William Bulger WW1 Medal

One Side of WW1 Medal
Pte. W. R. Bulger's name is stamped on the side of this Canadian WW1 Medal which my husband and I have in our WW1 collection. In tribute to Private Bulger and all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in defense of our countries, I will be posting images and research on the various soldiers whose identified items are in our collection.

Pte. Bulger's Regimental Number is difficult to read but it ends in 2369. He is noted as being assigned to 2-CMR which stands for 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles.

A search for his Attestation papers online reveals that his full name was William Robert  Bulger and his Reg. Number was 3032369. He was born Sept. 28, 1888 in Georgetown Ontario but was living in Toronto when he enlisted.

His next-of-kin was his mother, Mrs. Margaret Bulger in Toronto. He gave his occupation as Attic Trimmer. The year he enlisted is not given but it was probably either 1917 or 1918.

Sadly William never made it home from the war. He was killed August 11, 1918 and is buried 3/4 Mile South of Amiens, France in the Hospital Military Cemetery. 

Side View Medal with William Bulger's Name
The CEF Burial Register states that "while en route to his Battalion he was wounded by a bomb dropped from an enemy airplane. He was evacuated to #48 Casualty Clearing Station where he succumbed to his wounds" It was further noted that he had penetrating schrapnel wounds in his back.


Thanks to Lisa Haas we can also read a newspaper clipping about William's death. Lisa's great-grandfather's brother was married to William Bulger's sister and Lisa had this clipping in her research files.





April 25, 2012

ANCESTRY.COM INC. TO ACQUIRE ARCHIVES.COM


–“Simple and Affordable” Fast-growing Start-up Adds Complementary Offering to Ancestry.com–

PROVO, Utah, April 25, 2012 – Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Archives.com, a family history website, for approximately $100 million in cash and assumed liabilities. 

This transaction will enable Ancestry.com to add a differentiated service targeted to a complementary segment of the growing family history category. In addition, Ancestry.com will welcome a team of talented engineers, digital marketers, and family history innovators into the Ancestry.com fold and also gain access to a proprietary technology platform that has supported Archives.com’s rapid growth.

Archives.com is owned and operated by Inflection LLC, a Silicon Valley-based technology company.  Since Archives.com’s launch in January 2010, the site has rapidly grown to more than 380,000 paying subscribers who pay approximately $39.95 a year.  Archives.com offers access to over 2.1 billion historical records, including birth records, obituaries, immigration and passenger lists, historical newspapers, and U.S. and U.K. Censuses. 

“Archives.com has built a fantastic and fast-growing business that we think is highly complementary to Ancestry.com’s online family history offering,” said Tim Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry.com. “We love their focus on making family history simple and affordable, and we are excited to help the talented Archives.com team continue to grow alongside Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, and Family Tree Maker.”

“Family history remains a dynamic and growing online category,” added Sullivan. “Archives.com’s focus is consistent with our mission to help everyone discover, preserve and share their family history, which will help continue our efforts in delivering amazing discoveries to an even broader audience.”

Over the past two years, Archives.com has partnered with multiple well-known family history organizations that have helped build out Archives.com robust collection of family history records. Most recently, Archives.com partnered with the U.S. National Archives to provide free digital access to the recently released 1940 U.S. Federal Census.

“We are proud of the experience we’ve built with Archives.com and believe strongly in its future potential,” said Matthew Monahan, CEO and Co-Founder of Inflection.  “Combining with Ancestry.com positions Archives.com to best capitalize on that potential, pairing complementary visions of the marketplace and the opportunity.  We’ve long admired Ancestry.com’s content and technology and the innovations that the Ancestry.com team continues to bring to market.  We’re excited to see how this transaction expands the reach of family history to an even larger audience.”

Upon completion of the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration of the HSR waiting period, Ancestry.com will continue to operate Archives.com separately retaining its brand and website.  Multiple Inflection employees, including key product and engineering executives are expected to join the Ancestry.com team.


Update on Genealogy Re-organization

Well, these 8 filing cabinet drawers in my current office are empty. And the files they contained have been sorted and purged.

You can see a few of the boxes of files ready to be moved to their new home. Those that I need on a daily or weekly basis are going to my new office in the loft.

Those that I use a few times a year will go to our basement family room and the ones that I need to keep but probably never look at again are going to our basement storage room.

I still have to empty 2 more lateral filing cabinet drawers (6 linear feet) and 2 letter size filing cabinets.

Then I'm ready to tackle the bookcases!

Phew. My son will be here on Friday to help move the furniture so I have to have everything ready by then.

Hubs moved some of the packed file boxes to the basement for storage and he's going to move the rest into our dining room temporarily. I can hardly move in my office at this point!

On the right you can see the huge box of papers I'm burning. Hubs already burned one box this size. The box is as tall as my desk.

It's been exhausting and tedious but what a great feeling to purge! I had no idea I'd enjoy it so much.

There's much more to do but we've passed the half-way point now!

April 24, 2012

Nick and the Fort Garry Hudson's Bay Co. Tin

Fort Garry Hudson's Bay Co. Tin
Recently I met Nick when he emailed me about a man named Henry Taylor. Henry was a British soldier who was hidden from the German army in Italy by Nick's grandparents.

Nick wanted to find Henry's family so that his aunt could reunite with them. During our many email and Skype conversations Nick found out that I collect, among other things, antique tins.

 Much to my surprise and delight Nick sent a gift - a tin he found in the bush up north many years ago. Nick told me he was working near the Albany River when he found this tin pictured on the left.

The Albay River flows northeast from Lake St. Joseph in Northwestern Ontario and empties into James Bay. So it's pretty far north.

Tin cleaned and displayed with  my smaller tin collection
The tin may look in rough shape to a non-collector but it's actually a very nice tin made circa 1910.  It's not easy to find tins with Hudson's Bay Company wording. So for me it's a gem!

And having been sent it as a kind gesture from a new friend makes the tin even more special in my eyes. I think it's so great that Nick kept the tin all these years in hopes that one day he'd meet someone who would cherish it and give it a home.

Once the tin arrived from Nick's home in British Columbia, my husband cleaned it up a bit to get rid of some of the rust. You have to be careful doing that as you don't want to damage the surface or the graphics.

Some of you will be wondering what kind of tins a person can collect. Well I collect themes as well as miscellaneous tins that appeal to me for their graphics or colours. I enjoy thinking about the people who might have owned them.

One of my collections is antique coffee tins. Here is one of my favourites on the left. I also collect antique medicine tins and vintage marshmallow tins.


 Someone once asked me how many tins I have displayed in our home.

Well I just counted and I have 29 coffee tins displayed in the kitchen, 21 medicine tins in the bathrooms, 7 marshmallow tins in the family room, 5 WW1 tins, 5 starch tins and 5 tea tins also in the family room.

Really, not many, less than 75. Nick's tin is a very welcome addition - thank you Nick! Not just another great tin to add to my collection but a new friend. And as an added bonus Nick's wife sent a jar of her homemade Saskatoon Jelly - yummy! How lucky can one person get!



April 23, 2012

Case #14: MIA bracelet for Gordon C. Hall - Help Find Family

Rhonda wrote to Olive Tree Genealogy blog about wanting to find the family of Gordon C. Hall, MIA in Vietnam.  Perhaps my readers can help? Here is Rhonda's email:

I am very touched by these stories I have read about these MIA bracelets. I too am trying to find any family belonging to the soldier of the MIA bracelet that I have. His name is Gordon C Hall. 

I went to the Vietnam Wall last week and penciled a sketch of his name and left a letter thanking him for his service. (my father was in Vietnam). My mother has kept this bracelet all these years and I wanted to leave it at the wall, but we decided to hopefully find his family.

April 22, 2012

Sharing Memories (Week 17); First Bike!

Welcome to Week 17 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey for 2012. This is our third year writing our memoirs and childhood memories for our descendants.

If you are just joining us, you can take a peek at the last two years' of prompts by clicking on the Sharing Memories tab at the top of the blog. You can jump in at any time and you can skip topics that you don't like. There are no rules, it's all about getting your memories down on paper. The prompts are here as a guide to help if you are stuck for ideas.

Share your memories here in the comment section, on your own blog, or privately in a journal you keep at home.

Do you remember your first bike? How old were you when you got it? Did you start off with training wheels? A tricycle? Who taught you to ride your bike?

I never had a bike. My brother tried to teach me to ride his old bike when I was 10 but I fell off, got mad at him and never got back on!

I did have a tricycle when I was younger and I loved it! We had dirt roads, not paved and no sidewalks in our little village.  I used to go tearing down our gravel driveway to the dirt road peddling like mad down the street.

When I was much older (in my 30s) I tried to teach myself to ride a bike, even bought a lime-green lady's bike but no luck. I'm just not very good at it. My lime-green lady's bike ended up being the bike my husband rode back and forth to work every day - a 45 minute ride along a rather busy highway. I'm sure he must have received some odd looks from passersby.



April 21, 2012

Family Tree Huge DNA Sale!

Family Tree DNA is having a huge Sale! I didn't hear about this until this morning so you've already missed a day. But you've still got today to take advantage of these great savings

The sale will begin at 6PM Thursday April 19th and will conclude at 11:59PM on Saturday April 21st. There will be no need for a coupon - all prices will be automatically adjusted on the website.

New Kits
Current Group Price SALE PRICE
Y-DNA 12 $99 $59
mtDNA $99 $59
Y-DNA 37 $149 $129
Y-DNA 67 $238 $199
Family Finder $289 $199
mtFullSequence (FMS) $299 $249
Y-DNA 12 + mtDNA $179 $118
FF + Y-DNA 12 $339 $258
FF + mtDNA $339 $258
FF+ Y-DNA 37 $438 $328
FF + mtDNAPlus $438 $328
Comprehensive (FF + FMS + Y-DNA 67) $797 $657
Upgrades
Y-DNA 12 $89 $59
mtDNA add-on $89 $59
Y-DNA 12-37 Marker $99 $69
Y-DNA 37-67 Marker $99 $79
Y-DNA 12-67 Marker $199 $148
mtFullSequence upgrade (HVR1 to Mega) $269 $199
mtFullSequence upgrade (HVR2 to Mega) $269 $199
mtFullSequence add-on $289 $219
Family Finder add-on $289 $199


Just use this link for Family Tree DNA to order your kit at these sale prices

April 20, 2012

Youth Program at NGS 2012 Family History Conference


YOUTH PROGRAM AT THE NATIONAL GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY 2012 FAMILY HISTORY CONFERENCE
The Ohio River: Gateway to the Western Frontier

(Arlington, VA)–The National Genealogical Society's thirty-fourth annual Family History Conference, The Ohio River: Gateway to the Western Frontier, will be held 9–12 May 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. 
A highlight of the NGS 2012 Family History Conference will be the Genealogy Youth Kamp on Saturday, 12 May 2012, at the Duke Energy Convention Center from 8:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.  The Kamp, designed to develop an understanding of family history, is intended for youth 8 to 16 years old.  Scouts and 4-H groups are encouraged to participate in the event with their leaders.  The morning will be composed of a variety of hands-on activities including a workshop focusing on genealogical merit badges.  A special program is planned for interested parents, grandparents, and adults who are welcome to attend. 

The Genealogy Youth Kamp is free, but registration is required.  Space is limited.  Go to http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/attendee_registration to register.  After registering, please prepare for the Kamp by following the directions on the NGS Genealogy Youth Kamp web page http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/conferences_events/annual_conference/youth_kamp 

April 19, 2012

Scanning Auntie's Life Story Pages with Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

Using LiveScribe to Record Auntie's Memories
Here's another way I got to use my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner with Auntie. We usually chat and drink tea while I scan her box of photos.

This time I recorded some of her memories using my LiveScribe Pen and then I used my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner to scan the start of her life story she'd written out on loose pages.

You can see the pages she'd written sitting on the coffee table waiting to be scanned. The stitching software with Flip-Pal allowed me to easily scan the pages in sections then stitch them together seamlessly when I got home.

All I did was transfer the scanned sections to my computer and let the stitching software do the work putting them together in one seamless page after the other.

Journal for Auntie's Memorie
I also bought a small journal for Auntie to write down more life stories as she thinks of them. I'm looking forward to visiting again to see what else she's remembered. I'll take my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner with me of course to scan any memories she has done. 
Scanning Auntie's Photos with Flip-Pal

If you don't have one of these amazing scanners yet there's a good deal right now that might interest you.

Use Promotion Code: FPDC412A

Coupon is good from April 18 – 29

Offer: Save $20 when you purchase a Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner plus a Deluxe Flip-Pal mobile scanner Carry Case with Pocket! (Both items must be in your shopping cart!) Use this link Flip-Pal Mobile Scannerto make your purchase

April 18, 2012

Update on Major Genealogy Re-Organization

 Stage 1 of the genealogy re-organization in preparation for the move shows some of the tubs and boxes I'm using for the sorted files.

These are some of the files that are going up to the loft once the filing cabinets are moved.

My method is to go through every filing cabinet drawer in my current office space. I'm sorting and tossing - a huge purge of papers!

Once I've sorted a file folder I decide if it's going to the loft (where my new office space will be) or to the basement filing cabinets (so I can still access it if needed) or to basement storage

Basement storage is where I put items that I don't need to access in the foreseeable future but don't want to throw out. It also includes paperwork relating to my business which I must keep for 7 years.

The image on the right are cardboard file boxes that I had to purchase in order to pack up some items. The bottom two are going to the basement for storage even though one is research for a book I hope to write one day. The key words are "one day".

I will store the research material out of my main office until I am ready to start compiling it. The box labelled PEER BOOK is going to the loft but once there it will be sorted.

The first volume of my planned series on the Peer family of N. America has been published so I'll remove the research material I used for that book. Volume 1 research materials will be given room in the basement storage area but the rest will stay in my new office so I can access it.

So my basic simple plan is to sort into 3 types of files:

One is current and important papers and documents (genealogy, business, personal) that stay in my new office and I can access easily. These are things such as research for a current book I am working on, client work, and so on. These will go in my new office space.

Two is papers and records I might need in the next few months or year. These will include research on books I have planned to write but are in the queue waiting their turn. These will go in the basement filing cabinets.

Three is papers and documents that I may never need again but I can't bear to throw them out! This also includes the 7 years worth of business receipts and records that I'm required to keep by law.  These will be boxed, labelled and put into the basement storage room.

I'm almost finished all the filing cabinet drawers. I just have 1 1/2 lateral filing drawers to sort and 2 smaller legal size drawers in another cabinet.

Once I'm finished those drawers I'm moving on the piles and piles of loose papers on my desk, on my credenza, on the floor and stacked in tubs. Oh boy. I've got a plan in mind as to how I'm going to sort and re-organize those loose papers and will talk about that in my next blog post.

Above you can see the huge box I'm filling with papers for hubs to burn. This is my second - he already burned one full box!

April 17, 2012

Last Day of Flip-Pal Daily Deals!

The Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Spring Daily Deals! You all know how much I love my Flip-Pal. Well here's your chance to get a deal. For 6 days Flip-Pal offered a Daily Deal. Today's the last day!

Just use the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner link and the Promotion Code given here for your Daily Deal.



All promotion codes are active 12:00 a.m.–11:59 p.m. MDT (-6 UTC) on their respective dates.

Use Promotion Code: sdd417
Tuesday, April 17
The grand slam—Save $30 on the purchase of a Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner when you also purchase all of the following items (all 4 items—including the scanner—must be in your shopping cart!):
•       A Deluxe Flip-Pal mobile scanner Carry Case with Pocket
•       A Flip-Pal mobile scanner Sketch Kit
•       An Eneloop AA 4 Pack with AC Charger

Identified Photo in the Hooper-Squires Photo Archives


This is one of the photographs that was in the Hooper-Squires musty box which I wrote about yesterday in Rescued - the Hooper & Squires Photograph Archive

We know that Edgar J. Hooper is the young man on the right and my husband thought he remembered his Aunt Florence telling him that the other two boys were Edgar's brothers.

The only clue, other than clothing and hairstyles, to help date the photo  is the photographer's logo which isn't visible in this image on the left.

It is in the bottom left corner and reads "Webster & Co. St. Mary's"

The first thing I needed to do was find out when Edgar was born. So I turned to Ancestry.com. I knew Edgar's father was John Hooper and figured Edgar was born circa early 1880s since his son Wilbert (Aunt Florence's husband) was born circa 1913.

The first document I found was the 1901 census for Blanshard Township, Perth County Ontario. There was 16 year old Edgar with his parents John and Kezia Hooper. Edgar's siblings were listed as Luther age 14, Edith 11, Milton 11, Eva 6 and Ella 3.

Next I looked for information on when Webster & Co. was in business in St. Mary's. That was a bit challenging as I don't have a book on early Ontario photographers but it seems they were in business starting circa 1907. 

We do not know for sure but it seems quite possible that this photograph is Edgar, Luther and Milton Hooper probably taken circa 1907-1910. If this is Milton I also found that in 1915 he was in Huron County Ontario where he married Josie Bell Elsley.

I did check the 1891 census to see if Edgar had an older brother but he is found as a 6 year old and the oldest in the family with siblings Luther and Edith.

If anyone knows for sure who the two young men are with Edgar or has a better timeframe for  Webster & Co. photographers please do let me know in the Comments section of this blog post.

April 16, 2012

Daily Deal with Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

The Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Spring Daily Deals! You all know how much I love my Flip-Pal. Well here's your chance to get a deal. Every day this week Flip-Pal is offering a Daily Deal. Be sure to come back to Olive Tree Genealogy blog for tomorrow's deal

Just use the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner link and the Promotion Code given here for your Daily Deal.

All promotion codes are active 12:00 a.m.–11:59 p.m. MDT (-6 UTC) on their respective dates.

Use Promotion Code: sdd416
Monday, April 16
Save $30 when you purchase a Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner with Creative Suite Craft Edition DVD plus a Deluxe Flip-Pal mobile scanner Carry Case with Pocket! (Both items must be in your shopping cart!)

Here's a preview of the other daily deals that you'll find here on Olive Tree Genealogy blog tomorrow. It's the last day for the Daily Deals.

Tuesday, April 17 - Come back on Tuesday to Olive Tree Genealogy blog for the Promotion Code
The grand slam—Save $30 on the purchase of a Flip-Pal mobile scanner when you also purchase all of the following items (all 4 items—including the scanner—must be in your shopping cart!):
•       A Deluxe Flip-Pal mobile scanner Carry Case with Pocket
•       A Flip-Pal mobile scanner Sketch Kit
•       An Eneloop AA 4 Pack with AC Charger





Rescued - the Hooper & Squires Photograph Archive

Pile of photos from Musty Box
When my husband's Aunt Florence died, no one wanted a dilapidated cardboard box full of photos. The box was stored in a damp basement and was musty and dirty. Many of the photos inside were damaged and water stained.

But my husband rescued the photos and brought them home. He threw the box out and went through the photos, noting on the back who the people were that his Aunt had identified when he was younger.

Then he tucked the photos away and there they lay for a few years. Until last weekend. He pulled them out of storage and we went through them again.

There are some lovely photos and I can't bear to see them just sit in storage in our home so I'm going to share them here on my blog and then scan them to publish on my Lost Faces website. I hope descendants will find them!

There are 50 assorted photos, postcards and letters. One letter is from a WW1 soldier and is dated 1916 and written on birch bark.

15 items from the Hooper-Squires Photo Archives
We know that all the photographs have some connection to the Hooper and Squires families of St. Mary's Ontario Canada. That's a small town in southwestern Ontario where most of my husband's ancestors (maternal and paternal) settled in the early 1800s. In fact he's related to most of the townspeople!

Aunt Florence was an Elgie and she married Wilbert George aka Wib Hooper. Wib was born in Granton, just outside of St. Mary's in 1913 to Edgar John Hooper and Ettie Squires.

Wib's birth wasn't registered at the time, but in July 1947 his mother filed affidavits to testify that was his birthdate and that she was his mother. The nice thing about a late birth registration is that more detail than normal is given. For example Wib's late birth registration found on Ancestry.com gave me the information that his mother was born in Tuckersmith, Huron Co. Ontario and his father in Blanshard Twp, Perth Co. Ontario.

Second pile of 15 items from Hooper-Squires Archives
The Hooper family is/was well known in St. Mary's. They ran a dairy (Hooper's Dairy) for many years. So my husband knew quite a bit about the family history already.

We noted several photos of Edgar J. Hooper ranging from him as a young man to a much older man. There are family photos of Edgar with his mother and father and siblings so we know we can search census and birth records to find out names of everyone in those photos.

Hubs knew that Edgar's father was John Hooper and that Edgar and Ettie had two boys - Wilbert (Wib) and Earl.  He can't recall John Hooper's wife's name but we know that marriage records will provide that detail.

3rd pile of items from Hooper-Squires Photo Archive
There are also a few photos of Edgar's wife Ettie Squires. There are also photos of Ettie with other young women who appear to be her sisters. There's quite a family resemblance and most of the girls wear glasses.

So my days of fun are about to begin as I research the Hooper-Squires family in St. Mary's and Granton Ontario using Ancestry.com.

I'll start by putting up the photos that we can positively identify and also any research I do on the people in them. It's going to be a lot of fun (and work!) because we also plan to run some facial recognition software to help us match uncertain photos with known.

Once we have all the photos organized, inventoried, scanned and published online, we will probably donate them to the St. Mary's Museum. We will also consider requests from any interested descendants.

April 15, 2012

Sharing Memories (Week 16): Discipline

Welcome to Week 16 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey for 2012. This is our third year writing our memoirs and childhood memories for our descendants.

If you are just joining us, you can take a peek at the last two years' of prompts by clicking on the Sharing Memories tab at the top of the blog. You can jump in at any time and you can skip topics that you don't like. There are no rules, it's all about getting your memories down on paper. The prompts are here as a guide to help if you are stuck for ideas.

Share your memories here in the comment section, on your own blog, or privately in a journal you keep at home.

Something I remember vividly is the disciplinary methods my parents used. I'm sure we all have these memories, good or bad!

I was never spanked or slapped or physically harmed in any way as a child. My husband tells stories of his mom wielding a fly swatter as her disciplinary tool!

My father did take my oldest brother under our staircase to discipline him. There was a small storage area there and we kids knew that was where Dad took his belt to anyone who was mouthy or defiant. My older sister got his belt a few times too but never me.

My mother never hit us although she did take a willow tree switch to my brother's legs if they were late coming home. We all had strict curfews for supper time and bedtime and I guess my brothers were also too busy playing and having fun to notice the time. So she'd go looking for them in the neighbourhood and when she found them she'd whip their calves with her willow switch all the way home.

I think I got sent to my room a few times by my mother. My rare punishments were always for talking back to my mom, never any terrible disobedience.  I don't think my father ever disciplined me, at least I certainly don't remember if he did.

I actually did a few things that might have required stricter discipline - like hiding kittens in my bedroom closet even though I knew we were forbidden to have cats because my mother was allergic to them. Like scratching my initials into the brand new stereo system and then lying and saying my brother did it. He had the same initials as me so I guess my 8 year old brain thought it was a brilliant move to claim my 18 year old brother did it. 

I also played hookey from school in Grade 2 many times (and was caught), like locking all the bathroom stall doors in school when I was in Grade 3, then denying it was me,  and a few other transgressions. But I was never punished for any of them. I was just given the severe scolding and lecture which always made me feel really bad!

Who did the disciplining in your house and what kind of punishments did you receive?




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April 14, 2012

A Good Start to Genealogy Re-Organization

One empty drawer...
Yesterday I wrote about starting a big genealogy re-organization. Well I'm happy to report some progress was made! After four hours I got one drawer in one lateral filing cabinet sorted, reorganized and emptied for the move.

The filing cabinet drawer you see on the left was full. The filing folders you see in the tub are what I pared it down to. The binder is just to hold the files upright. 

I have 5 more of those drawers to go plus two more the same size in my credenza. That's not counting my other filing cabinet in the room.

I don't want to do the math to get a total number of hours needed just for the filing cabinets.

Of course I need to figure out where the files being moved are going until the loft is cleared out. Oh boy that's another little problem of logistics!


 
The start of a pile of books going to new office
I also managed to clear part of one bookcase and sort the books into three categories.

1. going to my new office in the loft
2. going to Kak's pine bookcase in the sunroom
3. going to the basement

I might take this opportunity to inventory the books too.

I have a pretty big stack of papers for burning and some have been shredded.

It's fun to find things that have been mis-filed or that I forgot I had! I found a short story I wrote about 12 years ago and had no idea where it had gone.

I want to create some simple drawings to go with the short story and turn it into a 15 - 20 page children's book. Then I'll publish it through Shutterfly and give a copy to each of my grandchildren. 

Do you think I have time? Hubs has already cautioned me not to get side-tracked.

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April 13, 2012

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A Big Genealogy Re-Organization Starts Today!

Today's the start of an exciting project. Because my husband received so much antique furniture, china and collectibles from his grandmother Kak's home, we need more room. We already have a house full of furniture and our own antique collections. An addition is out of the question so I'm giving up my 16x20 office.

I'm downsizing from that big room that I've used for the past 15 years to our much smaller 12x15 loft room. That's not a sad decision, it's an opportunity to make big changes and purge and organize my paper files! That's always been a hard thing for me to do. I'm a paper saver. Yes. I love paper files. I've digitized about 50%, but I always want my paper backups.

Downsizing is Tricky

Some of my current filing cabinets
But not only is the loft smaller, it has slanted ceilings and only 3 walls. Because one wall is railing where the loft overlooks our cathedral living room. So I don't have room for the tall credenza and two tall bookcases that I currently use.

Because the loft is chopped up with a dormer at one end and a small powder room at the other, I don't have a lot of wall space. And there is only one full height wall. So no room for my two lateral 3' long filing cabinets, and my rolling antique dentist unit that I use for office materials, or my pine harvest table that currently holds my hanging files or.... well you get the picture!

I am going to have to weed down to 3/4 of my current desk (hubs has to figure out how to make an l-shaped desk out of a u-shaped one), my credenza and one lateral filing cabinet. Oh yeah and one bookcase.

So all my files have to fit into the credenza or one filing cabinet. A challenge to be sure! I am going to have to purge like crazy. The one bonus is that I can put my second lateral filing cabinet in the basement for overflow. Phew. 

Hanging File folders on harvest table and one bookcase
Today's the day I begin sorting and organizing and purging. I'm anxious about it but a big part of me is looking forward to it. It's spring. It's a new beginning. And the pot of gold at the end is an entertainment/family room full of Kak's bequests mixed in with our own furniture that we've been cramming into whatever space we could find elsewhere in the house.

Figuring Out a Working System

I've got a bit of an idea for a working system to start the process. I figure I'll sort first into business vs genealogy vs personal. Three basic "piles". Business vs personal is easy - anything older than 7 years gets shredded. The rest gets organized into categories, labelled if needed and only the current year stays in my files. Older years go into a large envelope, labelled by year and taken to basement storage.

This will be a flexible system, and I'll change it as needed. 

Sorting Genealogy Papers

Genealogy is the hard one for me!  I'll start by sorting papers by the following criteria and then decide what goes to the loft and what has to go to the basement:

1. my personal genealogy
2. client work
3. research for family history books I'm writing or planning/hoping to write

That means I finally have to steel myself to toss the photocopies of French documents I used to write my first Van Slyke history book. That's a pile of papers at least 3 feet high. Maybe higher.

That means I have to throw out the copies I've keep of documents about various family lines that aren't mine. You know, the ones you keep "in case". In case some other genealogist ever asks you about that family. In case you one day find out you are related. I'm taking the plunge, after 25 years with me I don't think I need them taking up space in my home anymore. That's going to be tough to do.

But perhaps I'll finally be able to proudly proclaim that I have indeed organized my genealogy!


April 12, 2012

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April 11, 2012

Kak's Antique Hutch: A Cool Genealogy Story

Kak's Antique Hutch in our home
One of the antique items that my husband's grandmother, Kak, left him was the antique hutch on the left. This hutch sat in her big farmhouse kitchen for the past 20 years.

Kak always kept her fancy china and dishes in the top. The bottom was full of her favourite candies (Hershey Kisses and Hugs) and other snack food.

Her stereo was in there too and every morning at 5 a.m when she got up, the stereo went on.

But the hutch has a convoluted family history! It was locally made in or near the small town of St. Mary's but we are not sure of its age. It appears to be a unique piece of work, not factory produced.

Its journey began with the Mercer family of St. Mary's, who co-incidentally married into my husband's Purdue family through his 2nd great grand aunt Caroline Purdue (born 1877)


Caroline Purdue Mercer
The hutch was in the Mercer home for many years until it was purchased by one of two sisters Lena Tovell and Elsie Hyde sometime after 1930. The sisters moved in together after their husbands died. The hutch ended up in their back kitchen.

In the 1980s Kak ended up working for the elderly sisters as a housekeeper.  Since it was a small town they knew Kak was connected to the Mercer family and they told her the story of the hutch's history.  When the last sister passed away Kak attended their estate auction and bought the hutch.


Hutch Ready to be stripped
 The hutch was in very bad shape, and had many layers of paint with white being the top layer.  There were several layers of wallpaper glued to the inside. It was such a mess that Kak asked her grandson (my husband) to refinish it for her.


 
Bits & Pieces
He tore the hutch apart, stripped the paint and wallpaper off, then refinished it and put it back together. Then it went to his grandmother's house in St. Mary's. It was her intention that the hutch be given to my husband on her passing.

And so here it sits in our home. As you can see we've started putting a few of our own treasures in it for display. 

Below is a photo of the hutch when Kak had it in her home. Two other things of interest - see the dishes in the bottom left of the hutch when Kak had it in her kitchen? Those are 4 antique soup bowls, double handled. Kak loved soup and had it every day for lunch.

Kak's Hutch in her home
Those were the bowls she ate her soup out of. And when the dishes were removed from the hutch after Kak's passing, it was discovered that those bowls had my name on tape on the bottom.

Kak taught me to make soup and she knew I made it all the time. How wonderful that she thought of me, her grandson's wife. I eat my soup from those bowls now too.

The last thing that we love about this is the red tray you can see in the photo of the hutch as it stands now in our home. You can't see it very well but it's on the bottom shelf, middle.

The tray was one that Kak used when she worked as a waitress at the Royal Edward Hotel in St. Mary's in the late 1930s. The Hotel was owned by Mr. & Mrs. Pinney and because Kak was a young bride with very little money they often gave her items and furniture from their own home. My husband and I have some of those items in our home now but that's a story for another day.

Kak working at Royal Edward Hotel
And here is Kak as a young woman working at the Royal Edward Hotel, sitting on the beer delivery wagon. She didn't drive the wagon, she just jumped on to have her picture taken.





April 10, 2012

Great-Grandpa's Trunk

Great-Grandpa DeMeulenaere's Trunk
A few days ago my husband went to help clear out his grandmother's house. She passed away in January this year but the family wanted to wait for nicer weather to tackle such a sad but necessary task.

Kak as the family called her, lived in an older yellow brick farmhouse which was full of her beloved antiques. She had family treasures from ancestors on all sides of her family as well as her husband's. She also bought her own antiques and had a good eye for beautiful and unusual pieces.

One of the family heirlooms Kak had was this trunk on the left which her father Archie made by hand. It's quite large and has a slightly curved top. It sat in a spare bedroom covered with antique quilts.

Kak spent the last 20 years making lists of where each family heirloom or prized antique was to go. She remembered the history of every piece she bought and every item passed down in the families. And she knew what grandchild or great grandchild was to be given the privilege of caring for each heirloom when she was gone.

Many of the items had names written on tape attached to the back or the bottom of the piece. Other smaller items were listed and described, with the name of the person who was to have it on her death.

This trunk had my husband's name on the bottom on a piece of green tape. It was his great-grandfather's and we know it was built by Archie (aka Achille DeMeulenaere) after he arrived in Canada from Belgium, so after 1900. Kak couldn't remember when her father made it but we are hoping to find out more information from Archie's grand-daughter who we co-incidentally "met" online yesterday!

Meantime the trunk sits in our sunroom where it can be enjoyed and treasured for many years to come.


April 9, 2012

Finding Your Roots - Two Thumbs Down

I finally managed to watch an episode of Finding Your Roots on PBS last night. It featured Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgewick. The host, if you haven't seen this series, is Henry Louis Gates Jr.

I thought I'd love this show. Especially this episode. I expected to be glued to the television while it was on. But the truth is it didn't grab me. I was bored. It didn't show any of the research behind the scenes. It didn't walk me, the viewer, through any steps that showed me how they got to Ancestor "A" or "B" or whoever they were focused on.

It also seemed to be a celebrity love fest - with a whole lot of buttering up of Kevin and Kyra. Don't get me wrong I like both of them as actors, very much. They seem like great people. But the show is called "Finding Your Roots" and that's what I want to hear about.

There was also an awful lot about the host himself.  Certainly more than I was interested in. That confused me. I didn't expect to be seeing photos of Professor Gates as a student and hearing his stories about his own life.

I'll watch one more episode to be fair. I'll try to be open-minded. But in comparison to Who Do You Think You Are? on NBC it fell short.  By a lot.  At least for me. I wanted to like it. I tried to find something good about it. But I couldn't.

I expect I'm in the minority and in fact I'll probably get a lot of criticism from my readers but I have to call it like I see it.