Friday, October 24, 2014

Family Friday - William Henry McCann b. 17 Oct 1867; d. 25 Nov 1934 - Part I

Last year, before I fell off the blog wagon, I published a blog post about my 2X Great Uncle, Will McCann . I never did get back to finish it, so I thought I should pick up where I left off.

According to the 1901 census, William Henry McCann was born in October 17, 1867. Will was the third child, and second son of George William and Mary Jane (Martin) McCann. His death certificate says he was born two years earlier in Newport, Nova Scotia. However, I haven't yet found a church record to confirm which of those dates is accurate. has a record for his birth citing the 1865 date, but I haven't yet figured out where their record can be found. If I do, perhaps I can find his parents' marriage record and births of his siblings. More research is needed to determine the location of the residences in each census.

By the time the 1871 census was taken, Will's family had moved to Windsor. He was enumerated along with his parents, 1 brother and three sisters. His age was given as 5 which would agree with the October 1865 birthdate.

According to the census, Will's maternal grandmother, Mary Martin and his great aunt, Annie, share a dwelling with them. The following year on Christmas Day, Annie would marry Edward Stockall, an engine driver with the Intercolonial Railway in Halifax. I'm sure this would have influenced Will's employment path later in his life.

By the 1881 census, Will, age 15, is still living with his parents and siblings in Windsor. There is no occupation listed for him and he is not going to school. His father, George's, occupation is Farmer so perhaps he was helping his father at home. Annie is married and living in Halifax. Will's grandmother, Mary, is living with Annie, her husband and three children.

When 1891 rolled around, Will seems to be working as a blacksmith and boarding with a John and Annie Brenton in the north end of Halifax. He was also enumerated with his family in Windsor. Perhaps his parents weren't sure if he'd be staying in Halifax and included him as still living with them. I have no proof that "my" Will is the Will in Halifax, but the age is about right and his occupation is one that "my" Will continued for many years.

After the turn of the century, the census shows Will working as a blacksmith for the Intercolonial Railway. He has been employed for 12 months and has earned $700. Will is boarding with his Great Aunt Annie and her husband, Edward, and their two grown daughters in Halifax. Edward is now a foreman for the same railway.

Stay tuned for Part II of a glimpse into Will's life - from his marriage to Ida Roast, their experience with the Halifax Explosion and Will's career, to his death and burial in 1934.

Until next time, Happy Researching!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Skittles and Lindy

As requested, here are pictures of my kitties:

Lindy will be two years old around February of 2015:

Skittles will be six in April:

Until next time, Happy Researching!

Nursing My Bruises

You see, I fell off the wagon AGAIN! Last year, I planned on regularly updating this blog, but again, life happened. This is how it went: In September every year, I attend a dollhouse miniature camp called Camp Mini Ha Ha. It's five days of fun, workshops, good food, laughter and hobnobbing with like minded friends. There is some preparation involved like packing tools and supplies. Also, it's a busy time at work since I take two week's vacation around Camp time. Then, I'm always working on an issue of The Nova Scotia Genealogist right up till the minute I leave. On the other end, I need a couple of days rest after Camp, I usually spend a couple of days doing some genealogy research sometimes at the Land Registration Office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia or at the West Hants Historical Society in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Then a few days resting, visiting my family and doing errands. By that time, we are into October - Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas preparations and yucky weather is well on its way.

Last year at the beginning of December, I got a new kitty, Lindy, from the Halifax Cat Rescue Society. She is a sweet brown tabby that was about 10 months old when I got her. Her introduction into my home and to Skittles is another blog post entirely! Just over two weeks after I brought her home, I fell in the parking lot of my apartment building and broke my right wrist. It's the first time I have ever broken a bone and, wouldn't you know, it would be my dominant hand! Any outstanding Christmas preparations were cancelled and I managed to drag my way through the holidays. In case I didn't have enough fun, just after New Years, a water pipe in the ceiling of my bedroom froze and burst and flooded my apartment. My insurance company paid to have all of my belongings packed and moved to another building for about six weeks while they repaired the pipe and damage to the apartment. Mid-February, I was moved back, had my cast removed and then went back to work. Physio followed for a few weeks and then our short summer was upon us.

The summer was filled with meetings at the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia. Our landlord gave us a Notice to Vacate on July 1 so we had to find a place to house the Association within three months. Lots of busy-ness ensued and we finally got moved to our new location the first week of September.

Then the cycle started again. :) In the coming days, I'm going to work on a realistic schedule so I can post regularly and avoid those bruises!

Until next time, Happy Researching!

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Book of Me - Prompt #1 - Who Am I?

I haven't been motivated to write here for a while. Life gets busy and time gets short. "Free" time is spent fooling around on Facebook or falling asleep in front of the TV.

However, I've been eagerly awaiting the first writing prompt for The Book of Me, Written by You and it finally came on Saturday, August 31!

Julie Goucher will be leading participants on this journey for the next 15 months. If you want to know more, head over to Thomas MacEntee's Geneabloggers site - the prompts will be posted there each Saturday. Or, check out the Book of Me, Written by You Facebook page.

The outcome will definitely be interesting. It's an excellent opportunity to get to know myself and leave something for my descendants so they don't have to wonder about me. From time to time, I will post my writing here - maybe edited versions of my actual "Book of Me" entries. Some of the prompts might inspire some deeply personal writing that I will only share with my loved ones.

Here is the first prompt:

"Prompt 1: Who Are You?

The prompt for week 1 is a recognized psychology test: Ask yourself 20 times “Who are you?” Each time you should give yourself a different answer, and if you can easily go beyond 20 entries then that is fine too. This prompt is about how YOU see YOU."

It was a little difficult and I will admit that I read the lists of some of the other participants. However, I don't think they influenced my answers. My list is fairly simple and in the order that the words came to mind but I hope to revisit it periodically to see if the answers have changed, perhaps if my writing style has matured or maybe my comfort level with "me" has increased.

For what it's worth, this is me!

Who am I? I am:

Pam, Pamela, Pammy, Mom, Nana
Kitty Lover
Family Historian
History Lover
Book lover
Computer lover
An unfinished work...

Until next time, Happy Researching!

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!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I was looking around for a logo to print on a tshirt.  The Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia will have a booth at the Halifax Pride Community Fair this coming Saturday and I wanted a tree.  A friend sent me the link to and away I went.  There are tons of images to choose from and you can create one free!  Check it out for your genealogy newsletter or business cards, or maybe you need something for a poster.  Great site!

Until next time, Happy Researching!