Discover your inside story with AncestryDNA®

October 30, 2020

A Different Hallowe'en

 It will be a different Hallowe'en this year. Covid-19 means it may not be safe to take our children or grandchildren Trick or Treating. 

So with a sense of nostalgia, let's look back at some of the costumes I made for my kids or they put together themselves. I never let them wear a purchased costume, instead we'd go up into the attic where I kept stacks and stacks of clothes from the 1960s, 70s and 80s, and we'd let our imaginations run wild.

For example here's a pirate costume I put together for my youngest son - from a purple dress I loved in the early 80s, white gauze pants from the early 80s, a colourful sash from the 70s, and other bits and pieces I cut from clothing. I'm not a seamstress so I tacked it all together as best I could.

I forgot what he was but he was thrilled with my oversize caftan from Mexico, a coloured sash, sandals, some chunky jewellry, a toy sword and baby powder to whiten his hair.

I hope you can still make this year's Pandemic Hallowe'en fun for your little ones.

October 28, 2020

New Netherland Settler Jan Sipken


Jan Sipkens was a Dutch soldier who settled in New Netherland sometime before October 1674. 

His marriage intentions were recorded in the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church that month, and they revealed his origins were in Amsterdam Holland. 

A search of the Amsterdam church records found his baptism in 1656 to parents Sipke (aka Zipke) Auckus and Baefje Jans.

October 23, 2020

What is Your Oldest Ancestral Item?

It's always a thrill to inherit or find an object that once belonged to an ancestor. I had chills when I found store tokens made by my 9th great-grandfather Henry Noldred of Ramsgate Kent England. Henry was a grocer who had his own tokens created to spend in his store in place of official money.

I was so intrigued by this new-found information that I started researching to see if I could find any of his tokens and I found that one of his existed created circa 1650!. I also learned that Ramsgate was spelled Romansgate back then. 

Once I found that one of Henry's tokens had been sold on an auction site a few months before, I became determined to find another and purchase it. I'm excited to say I succeeded! I managed to find two in England, and I bought them both. I plan on having a small plaque made with Henry's birth, death and location. Then I'll have the tokens and the plaque framed and it will have a place of honour on my wall.

This is the description of the tokens: (rosette)HEN.NOLDRED.IN.ROMANS , around beaded inner circle, three tobacco rolls / logs of wood.

Rev: (rosette)GET.IN.YE.ISLE.OF.TENNET , around beaded inner circle, HIS HALF PENY in three lines. M. Dickinson 454. Neither obverse or reverse dies represented in Norweb.

What is the oldest ancestral item you own?

October 21, 2020

New Netherland Settler Harmen Janie Ryckman

1644 Marriage of Harman Janss Ryckman

 Harmen Janse Ryckman (my 9th great grandfather) came to the New World with at least one child - his daughter Margarita (Grietje) Harmense Ryckman. By 1662 Grietje had married Jacques Cornelise Van Slyke the son of Cornelis Antonissen Van Slyke and his Mohawk wife, Ots-Toch. Jacques and Grietje settled in the new village of Schenectady. Grietje's father lived in Albany as early as 1666 and there he died circa 1677

October 18, 2020

Lost and Found: HAIGHT family mementoes

 Joyce McFarlane in Ontario has the following items to give to any descendant who wants them.

Have been going through some old boxes of parents stuff. I have come across, a picture, a bible, and hymn book. picture labelled Jay Haight, bible belonged to Mrs Claire Haight, and Hymn book, Clement Haight. Looking for any relatives that might want these.



You can contact Joyce through her Facebook page

Looking for an ancestor photo? See!


October 16, 2020

Walking Photographs

My Father & Mother 1946

Someone posted an intriguing photo on Twitter. It was simply a photo of two sisters walking down a sidewalk circa 1940s. It suddenly occured to me that during the time of Sidewalk Photographers roaming the streets of large cities, there must have been hundreds if not thousands of such candid photos taken. 

Of course the way it worked was the photographer would snap a picture then try to convince the subjects to purchase a copy. 

I have a few of those "Walking photos" and thought it would be fun to post them here. Maybe you have some too? Tell us about them in the comments below.

 Left is a photo of my mom and dad in 1946. I love this photo because mother is pregnant with me! 

I have another earlier Walking Photo of my grandmother and mother holding my brother's hands. Behind them is my aunt (mother's sister) with her son. It was taken ca 1939 either in Guelph or Toronto Ontario Canada


Next is a Walking photo of one of my Australian cousins - my grandmother's brother Albert Simpson with his grandson Johnny Salmon. It was taken in the early 1950s







October 14, 2020

New Netherland Settler Hendrick Meesen Vrooman

Image: 1648 record for Hendrick Meesen Vrooman

Hendrick Bartholomeus (Meesen) Vrooman and five children ages 15, 13, 11, 7 and 5 years old are on the passenger list of D'Eendracht (The Concord) arriving in New Amsterdam New York on 17 April 1664. 

The ages of these children fit the children known for Hendrick: Adam born ca 1649, Eve born ca 1651, Johannes baptised 1653 Leiden Netherlands, Kathlyntje baptised 1657 Leiden, and Bartholomeus baptised 1659 Leiden. Hendrick's wife and mother of the children was not with them and we might assume she was dead. 

October 11, 2020

Curious About Ancestor Effigies or Busts?

Hertfordshire churches contain numerous effigies and busts of people whose images were not recorded elsewhere. 

Inside All Saint’s church in Willian, Thomas and Lucy Wilson are remembered with these colourful carvings on their memorial

October 9, 2020

Don't Miss This New Saskatchewan Database!

 MemorySask: the Saskatchewan Archival Information Network is a database of descriptions of archival material held in Saskatchewan archives as well as Nunavit. It is a work in progress, with new descriptions being added regularly.

You can search names or locations. If you have Saskatchewan ancestors you will want to check this out.

October 7, 2020

New Netherland Settler Lodewyck Post

Sometime between October 1647 and July 1652, Lodewyck Cornelils Post, his wife Agnietje Bonen, and their children left Amsterdam Holland to settle in New Netherland (New York). Research into Naarden Holland church records has revealed the birth of Lodewyck, and the marriage of his parents in that city.

October 1, 2020

Olive Tree Genealogy on Episode of TV Series Historical Niagara!

Recently I was asked to appear as a guest on a TV series produced by Peter Andrew Sacco, called Historical Niagara. The series is seen on TV in Ontario Canada and the episode I was asked to appear in is on Laura Secord. Peter interviewed me via Zoom and it was a great experience.

The Laura Secord episode is available to watch on YouTube. If you use the scroll bar to find me, look for my bright pink top around the 28 minute mark. I hope you'll watch the entire episode as it's quite interesting, and walks you alongside Laura on her famous journey.

If you don't know who Laura Secord is (no, not the chocolate makers!) she is our Canadian heroine who warned the British during the War of 1812 that the Americans were planning a surprise attack. To warn the British forces, Laura had to walk through thick forest 20 miles inside American occupied territory. But watch the episode and you will learn much more about Laura.