Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Organizing Continued - A Smidge Closer to My Goals

On January 1, I started working towards one of  my genealogy goals by sorting out my piles of genealogy papers, notebooks, magazines and envelopes with notes and contact information scribbled on them.  Progress is slow, but it is really satisfying to see the stacks take different shapes.  I have emptied one box and one plastic tote so far and the second one is sitting in front of me.

Also in front of me are five containers - one for each of my grandparents' surnames:  Deal, McCann, Smith and Wile and one for general genealogy stuff like maps, community histories and notes that apply to more than one family.  One added bonus to all of this sorting is that because I can't help but read through the notes, I am discovering leads that I may have missed before!  I am also discovering correspondence and genealogies that I'd forgotten about.

I am feeling really motivated to get this done and looking forward to sorting the surname files and getting closer to the point the information can be analyzed with fresh eyes.

This organizing project might be exactly what I need to break down some brick walls.  Wouldn't it be funny if I've had the answers in front of me all along?

Until next time, Happy Researching!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Genealogy Goals for 2012

The resolutions...I mean goals... are are coming fast and furious so I thought I would jump on the band wagon. Marion Pierre-Louis' blog post at Marian's Roots and Rambles inspired me to think about what I'd like to accomplish this year.  So, here goes:

1. Organize my research material.  It's been all over the place for a long time - in boxes and various bookcases.  I've made quite a dent in this one in the last few days and I hope to be finished within the week.

2. Organize my genealogy research notebooks and paper.  It's been all over the place for a long time too - in too many places to mention.  Marian mentioned that she had watched Mary Hill's FamilyRoots Organizer System webinar so I found the preview on the Legacy Family Tree Webinar Page and watched it today.  It seems like a reasonable and easy to follow method for organization so I'm going to give it a try.  It'll be fabulous to be able to lay my hands on a piece of info within minutes and I'm sure it will save me hours of duplicate research.  Once I have the paper under control, I have to discipline myself to inventory new documents and research notes.

3. Organize my photos and share them.  Not just the vintage ones, but all the photos I've taken over the years.  Those from the 70s, 80s, 90s and up to about 2005 have to be scanned, the duplicates set aside for my daughter and the out of focus, crappy ones pitched.  Then the digital ones have to be renamed.  It's going to be a big job but I'm determined to be in a better place with this by the end of this year.

4. Post to my blog more often.  I can't promise every week, but at least twice a month.  I also want to continue to post to Clarence's Letters Home regularly until the all the letters have been shared.  I enjoy reading them again and other researchers will find them helpful.

5. Continue to educate myself in the field of genealogy and to help new researchers when I can.

6. Spend more time learning about the features of Family Tree Maker and make a regular effort to source every piece of data that I've entered.  This goal might be the most difficult.

7. Work towards getting my research in a format that can be easily shared with family and other researchers.    I don't want my daughter to have to wade through piles of paper and little scraps with scribbles on them trying to figure out what is important.

8. Learn more about Evernote and start using it for my genealogy research log.

Hmmm.  Seems that I've set the bar for 2012 quite high.  I think I'm up to the challenge.  Stay tuned as I will post my progress here!

Until next time, Happy Researching!