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?

My grandfather Hubert Appleby (standing) during the First World War.

My grandfather Hubert Appleby (standing) during the First World War.

And from the same column: Try to weed out long-time family myths. In my father’s obituary, it was stated (and we honestly believed) he lied about his age to get into the army. However, if you do the math, he was 17 when the Second World War began, the ripe age for enlisting.

Together the fifty columns processed to date contain a total of more than 33,000 words. Doing the math, the first Roots to the Past book will contain approximately 141,500 [225 words x 52 weeks x 5 years + (225 words x 10 weeks)].

I still have a long way to go.


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