Welcome to Roots to the Past, home of the genealogy column by the same name and the genealogical ramblings of a proud Atlantic Canadian.

The page titles listed above include:

Blog: This is the front page for my genealogy blog. It contains snippets (usually the first few paragraphs) of blogs posted over the past few weeks. To read more of a particular blog, click the ‘read more’ link. You can subscribe to this blog by entering your email address in the box to the right under ‘Follow this Blog’. I blog at least twice a week, sometimes more. Comments are always welcomed.

Census: A list of resources where census returns for Atlantic Canada can be found for free.

Column: Lists the newspapers which publish my Roots to the Past column and the dates it appears in each.

Links: A list of links that will aid in genealogical research with the focus on Atlantic Canada. This is a new page which will grow in the coming months.

McDonald: This is my one-name study. The name I’m studying is William McDonald (MacDonald). I use Mc because until around 1910, the family name was spelt without the A between the M and C. Almost all the spellings for every family I’ve encountered in Nova Scotia spelt it this way. On this one-name-study page, I will listed every William McDonald I’ve encountered. To date (January 20, 2011), I have only 31 names. Eventually, I’m going to sort the Williams into birth groups. In other words, those born between 1850 and 1900 will be on one page and those born between 1800 and 1850 will be on another. It will make it easier for everyone to see if their William McDonald is in the list.

If you have links to a McDonald family in Nova Scotia, you may be interested in joing the MacDonald Nova Scotia mailing list. To learn more, visit the blog I wrote about it.

Municipality of St. Mary’s, Guysborough County Mailing list is open to everyone researching this area of Nova Scotia. To learn more about his list, visit New Genealogy Mailing List for Guysborough County.

Projects: This section contains projects I’m currently working on. They include research on veterans in and around Liscomb Mills, Guysborough County to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and Book Indexes. To date, two books have been indexed and added to this section.

1921 Census: Transcriptions of the 1921 Canada Census done by Diane Tibert. The areas include communities on the Eastern Shore between Harrigan Cove and Goldenville.

St Mary’s Municipality Mailing List: The Roots Web mailing list is for anyone interested in learning about the history of the Municipality of St. Mary’s which is located in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Canada. This history encompasses everything from history on the individual communities to the families who made it their home. Interested individuals can join  the St. Mary’s Mailing List. I wrote a post about it here.

Please, visit again soon to see what I have in store. Better yet, enter your email address in the box on the right and follow me on my journey. You’ll receive an email message when new posts are added.

Thanks for visiting.

Diane Lynn Tibert McGyver, author of Roots to the Past genealogy column.

25 thoughts on “Home

  1. Hi Diane,
    I see your roots go back to the Burin area. I have the “Descendants of Charles Grandy” list which states he was born in the Channel Islands abt 1745 (Grandin). His son Morgan was purported to be a trader in St. Pierre. One of the two other children listed (Margaret Grandy) is my paternal ancestor. I am in possession of all the pertinent church records re: your ancestors and they are not quite the same. Please contact if you with to compare notes. I will be glad to “talk”.

  2. Hi! Thanks for posting a link to my blog. Much appreciated. In the future, however, please only post a portion of my blog post with a link to the rest to encourage people to visit my blog. After all, one of the things bloggers like is visits to their blog. Although it was only a short item, it took me some time to write and edit. Thanks!

    Nice to discover your blog. I’ll be following.


    • Thanks, Gail. I did the auto-reblog this time. WordPress chooses how many words to snip. I don’t have any control over it. After reading your blog, I simply reblogged without realising WordPress had taken so much. Thanks for letting me know. I’ll watch for that in the future. And thanks for visiting my blog.

  3. Thanks for making the change — and thanks for following. I now also know how the auto-reblog works. Who knew? I learn something new every day. 🙂

  4. I’d like to check the WW1 Military Records online, but the link you provided “tllg.net/NC71” does not work. This was in the Moncton Times and Transcript on Nov 1, 2014.

  5. I am looking for information on The MacDonald’s who I am told came from Scotland in 1833. My Grandfather was Scott MacDonald who lived on Parker’s Ridge New Brunswick. His father was Alexander Young MacDonald who also lived in this area. Alexander’s parents were John MacDonald and Ellen Spencer who also lived in the Miramichi. I believe that John’s parents may have been the ones who immigrated from Scotland. I think their names were Alexander MacDonald and Jessee Young. I cannot find any further information so if anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it.

  6. I am a direct descendant of the MacDonald families who were ‘pressed’ from their ship during the US War of Independence and fought in a Scots Battalion. When these men were mustered out they were provided with land grants in Nova Scotia under Colonel Smallwood. All this happened beginning in 1776 – 1778.
    We have accounted for my MacDonald relatives, many of whom still live in the area of the original land settlements.
    I’ll do more research and share that with you so that you can add my family information to the portfolio you are creating.
    Laurel Ann MacDonald Armstrong

    • Thanks, Laurel. There are several Alexander McDonalds recorded who arrived in Nova Scotia around 1780. My Alexander ancestor came to Shelburne where he received a land grant. I have not found the ship he arrived on, but I believe it was around 1783, when the war ended. He was held prisoner when York fell.

          • The 1851 census for New Brunswick lists Alexander McDonald as 40 and Jennet at 37. They were both born in Scotland

        • The 1851 Census for New Brunswick list the McDonald’s in the Stanley Parish of York County. The children named are Alexander McDonald, Thomas McDonald, John McDonald, George McDonald,
          Margaret McDonald, and Timothy McDonald

    • Hi Diane,how are you doing.I judt wantef to give you something to go on .My father’s mom was named Auldis E. MacDonald and his dad was John Jack Snow.they lived in Halifax before and had relatives in Victoria ,B.C.too.I’m related to alot of Snows There.
      I’ll talk about that later on.I need to find out what Auldis ‘Elizabeth Macdonalds or McDonald’s parents names were.She was born in the early 1 1900’s so was John her husband,he was in the army there.The Snows come from along line of military.Lately I’ve been doing alot of research h and I have alot of Scotiish ancestry .I have it thru two other families too.One is on my mother’s side.Talk to you soon,bye,bye Suzie

      • Hello Suzie. Thank you for visiting. As far as I know, I don’t have a connection to the Snow family as far as I know, and there is no Auldis E. MacDonald in my McDonald family tree. There were plenty of Mc/MacDonald families who settled in Nova Scotia.

        Good luck with your research.

    • Laurel,
      In your research did any of your McDonalds settle at Balls Bridge, NS? Some records say Balls Creek. I am looking for Alexander McDonald ( b- abt 1800-1812) who lived in that area. I was told he was a loyalist- or at least his father was. Any help appreciated. My Alexander was married to Sarah/Marion McLean.

    • Thank You. The New Brunswick Census of 1851 says they came here in 1833 and names her as Jennet. I have also been told that she went by Catherine so I am not sure what her legal name was. I also found death certificates for two of their sons, Hugh and Thomas and they say Jessie Young (Apparently it was common for Jennet’s to get the nickname Jessie)

  7. Hi Diane
    Just a note to let you know how much I enjoyed your column “Song of the family tree” in this weeks paper. It made me think about how many events in my life are remembered by music. I admire your writing ability and the imagination it must take to come up with new story ideas every week. Looking forward to seeing you on the 18th. Cheers, Thom

    • Thank you, Thom, for the kind comments. Some might call me a music addict. They’d be right. If a day goes by without listening to music, I’m not myself. I’ll be thoroughly tired by meeting time. I have two markets plus a Brett Kissel concert to attend on Friday night. My longest weekend, however, began with a Huey Lewis and the News concert decades ago. Thanks, Diane.

  8. Hi. This maybe a shot in the dark but it’s worth a try. I recently read an old newspaper article which mentioned that my Great Grandmothers family originated from the Antigonish area however I have trouble finding any info to support this. Her name was Mary MacDonald and I’m thinking that she would have been born in the 1880-1890’s considering she started a family around 1915. The earliest info I can find has The MacDonalds living on an island in Bonavista Bay called Burnt Island ( some times referred to as Deer Island). Mary was married to James Maher. I’m not sure but I’m thinking that her family may have settled on the island years earlier as she had several brothers who also lived there. Most of the brothers eventually moved to Montreal and Boston. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • Jason, I don’t have any information on this woman or her family. With a name like Mary MacDonald, she’ll be like finding a needle in a hay stack. At least you have her married name, so you have something to go on. Perhaps someone reading this blog will have information. Good luck.

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