War Classics: Canadian service records and Daniel Gordon Campbell

Originally posted on Flora Johnston:

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Canadian National Memorial at Vimy

Over 100,000 Canadian First World War service records have just been made available online. It was a thrill to discover that the Attestation Paper for Daniel Gordon Campbell is among them.

I discovered something of Gordon’s story as I carried out research for War Classics. When Christina visited Vimy Ridge in March 1919, she wrote:

My eyes had turned to the horizon again, to the heights that once were St Eloi. Someone I knew lay there, who had been a Canadian, and it was too far for me to go. I could only see the Ridge where he had been killed, and not the place where he lay. 

Putting together clues from Christina’s narrative with information preserved elsewhere in the family, I was able to confirm that the ‘Canadian’ of whom she was thinking was Daniel Gordon Campbell. He had grown up near the Keith…

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Column: Shedding Light on Adoption in Ireland

Between today and Saturday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Title: Shedding Light on Adoption in Ireland

Snippet: Are you over forty years old, Irish, Catholic, adopted and living in North America? Are your origins a mystery? Then you should watch Philomena.

The film Philomena is based on real events. It’s about a single Catholic woman living in Ireland who became pregnant and was sent to a convent. The nuns delivered the baby, only to sell him to an American family when he was three years old.

Philomena’s fateful journey began at the age of six when her mother died. She was placed in a convent school where she remained until she was eighteen. She left there not knowing about the facts of life, including where babies came from. Shortly afterwards, she became pregnant.

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.

Column Discontinued at Kings County Record

I received news yesterday that Roots to the Past will no longer appear in the Kings County Record, Sussex, New Brunswick. Limited space due to restructuring the news has prompted the paper to discontinue the genealogy column.

Roots to the Past first appeared in the Kings County Record in the February 21, 2006 issue. I was told the final column appeared Tuesday November 25th. It enjoyed an eight and a half year run.

Thank you to everyone who read my column in this newspaper and to the wonderful editors who I had the pleasure of working with over the years.

Column: Going Wayback to Dig Up Old Websites

Between today and Saturday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Tuesday: The Kings County Record (Sussex)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Title: Going Wayback to Dig Up Old Websites

Snippet: August 6, 1989 is a very important date in history. The way we share information, communicate and research has never been the same since that day, the day the World Wide Web became accessible to the public.

Two years later, on August 6, 1991, European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) published the first website. It contained a basic explanation of the World Wide Web (a wide-area hypermedia information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal access to a large universe of documents.), as well as available software products, a summary of the history of the project and other pertinent information for first-time users. You can see it for yourself on the Project Page at CERN.

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.

Roots to the Past Book Update

Roots to the Past book updateAfter reviewing the ten Roots to the Past columns written in 2005 and forty of the fifty-two published in 2006, I’ve learned I talk a lot about my family.

From one column: When my grandfather returned from overseas after the First World War, he witnessed the aftermath of the largest man-made explosion of his time. A large section of Halifax and areas of Dartmouth had been destroyed when the Mont Blanc exploded in Halifax Harbour. It left an impression that followed him home to Newfoundland.

From another: As an example, I used my grandmother’s obituary. Primadine Appleby, a strong-willed family lady who lived a full 97 years, but you wouldn’t know that from her short obituary. Seventy-five years from now, the genealogist finding her obituary will be left with several questions. Who were her parents? Where was she born? Did she have any siblings?

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