Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Who lurks in your family photos?

Family photos tell stories...

Even those who have only a passing interest in the family history can at times be found pouring over old photos. Although I am not into the whole process,I am delighted that my mother kept old pictures (and labelled them) and also wrote stories about her Nova Scotia childhood.

A sketch from a photo of my grandmother's Sherbrooke house.
It is difficult to describe how I feel when I look at those pictures. They are a window into a life I've heard about. And seeing the family resemblances creates a link, a connection and a sense of continuity. My mother and five of her six siblings are no longer with us. And the previous generations are long gone and buried. But the photos give me a bridge to forgotten people and places.

I look at photos from my mother's collection, check the names and remember visiting my mother's Aunt Libby or Aunt Mary, women that to me were old and smelled of cookies, lavender and roses.

I was reminded that Aunt Mary had seven sons, a fact that lay buried deep in my childhood. And two of them were twins. A precursor perhaps for the several sets of twins now in the family.

I see photos of sea captains, lawyers, professors, mothers, ministers, farmers and more. The complex lives that built our family and our country.

We seem to have a fascination with looking like our ancestors.

"Oh my, little Donnie 

looks just like Uncle John." 


The resemblance may be to others in the family as well. Although as a little girl, I apparently cried when told I looked like my Aunt Nettie. At the time she looked OLD to me and I wasn't impressed.

Do you have old family photos?  Is there an ancestor you resemble?
And why do you think we want to know about those who have come before us in the family?



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Where are your families' roots?

Canada - settled by immigrants from around the world

Immigrents from many countries came to Canada and helped her grow into the country she is today. I'm Scottish, and Scottish immigrants settled all across Canada from the 1700's forward. Both sides of my family came from Scotland but at different times.

In 1773, the ship Hector sailed from Scotland and landed in Pictou Harbour, Nova Scotia. On that ship were seven MacDonald brothers, one of whom is my ancestor. There are descendents of those seven spread over Pictou and Guysborough Counties, Nova Scotia. MacDonals, Camerons, Clarkes, Frasers, MacLeans, Rumleys and more.

 Much later, 1910, my father's parents immigrated from Scotland with his older sister.  They worked as farm workers in Homewood, Manitoba for a year and my father was born in July of 1912. They homesteaded later near Myrtle and Roland, Manitoba. Their holdings eventually included a full section.

My father remembers farming with the 18 horses they owned and the help of Polish farm workers.To the day he died he had a soft spot in his heart for grey-dappled Percherons'.

Grannie  brought with her several of her prized possessions. Among these were her weaving loom, her Luster wear milk pitcher and a plate showing the Union Bridge in Aberdeen. I have one of the blankets she made on her loom, the Luster wear milk Pitcher and the plate.

When did your ancestors come to Canada? And what are their origins? Do you have mementos of your fore-bearers?