Private John Angus McNeil

John Angus McNeil was the second of six children—four sons and two daughters— born to Donald “Brown” and Sarah (Grant) McNeil of Malignant Cove, Antigonish County, NS. Donald passed away around 1886 and the couple’s two youngest children—daughters Catherine and Isabelle—died before 1891, leaving Sarah to care for four young boys.

While Sarah’s eldest son, John Joseph, remained at Malignant Cove, the three others ventured westward sometime before 1911. John Angus worked as a foreman in a Vancouver Island logging camp, while his youngest brother, William Bernard—known to family as “Willie B.”—was employed as a labourer in the same camp. Alexander, the third sibling, toiled as a logger on nearby Thurlow Island.

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Column: Online Database for Lloyd’s Register of Ships

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

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

TitleColumn: Online Database for Lloyd’s Register of Ships

Snippet: The oceans were the highways for our ancestors. The majority of them arrived in North American by ship. The goal for many genealogists is to locate the vessel that carried their ancestors here. Sometimes this is an easy task. Other times it’s a mystery that is never solved.

The Internet has greatly increased the success rate of finding ships, as well as adding pertinent information, such as dates and ports of departure and arrival. The Lloyd’s Register of Ships is one of those resources created over the centuries that now aids researchers, both genealogists and historians.

The Registers were published from 1764 to 1766, from 1768 to 1771 and then annually since 1775. They recorded details of merchant vessels that sailed across the globe. Initially, only vessels classed by Lloyd’s Register were recorded. By the 1870s, all merchant vessels over one hundred gross tonnes, which were self-propelled and sea-going were listed. The classification was not taken into consideration.

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

Column: Family Photographs in Sticky Situations

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

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

TitleColumn: Family Photographs in Sticky Situations

Snippet: My family didn’t accumulate a huge number of photographs before the 1990s. My parents took pictures only on special occasions: birthdays, weddings, Christmases. Sometimes, they took candid snaps of family members, but they were few and far between.

As a result, they possessed only about 100 photographs. They fit neatly into one photo album. I looked at them often, and by the time I was ten I could identify everyone in the photographs and the circumstances around them.

Back in the 1970s and 80s, magnet albums were all the rage. Pictures were positioned on the sticky pages and clear plastic was placed over top to protect them and to keep them from falling out.

These albums weren’t only popular, they were cheap and found in almost every store. This meant every household used them. We didn’t know how destructive they were to photographs, or things may have been different.

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

Column: Old Illnesses on Death Certificates

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

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

TitleColumn: Old Illnesses on Death Certificates

Snippet: A week ago, I had the unfortunate experience of puncturing the back of my hand with a barb from metal fencing while cleaning the barn. I wiped away the wee spot of blood from the pin hole, slapped on a bandage and kept working. Almost immediately, this wound felt different than the thousands of other cuts and scratches I’ve experienced in life. Still, the barn needed to be cleaned, so I ignored the unusual feeling and kept working.

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Autosomal DNA Testing 101 – What Now?

When I first started this blog, my goal was to provide explanations and examples of genetic genealogy topics so that there would be fewer questions and easier answers.

That sounded like a great idea, but the reality of the situation is that the consumer market for autosomal DNA testing has exploded – meaning more and more consumers with more and more questions.  Compounding that situation, the consumers who purchase these tests today, especially on impulse, and mostly I’m referring to Ancestry.com here, often have absolutely no idea what to expect or even what they want except that Ancestry will find their ancestors for them.  That’s because that’s what Ancestry tells them in their advertising.

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Private Henry Scott Hart

Henry Scott Hart was the fourth of six children—three sons and three daughters—born to George Wilberforce “Will” and Ella Blanche (Smith) Hart of Canso, NS. A native of Guysborough County, Will served with the 66th Regiment, Princess Louise Fusiliers, rising to the rank of Major before retiring to Canso, where he established a mercantile business. Will and Ella’s first two children—Levi Martin “Lee” and Louisa—were born while the couple resided in Halifax, the remaining four arriving after they moved to Canso.

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Column: Acadians and French-Canadian Genealogy

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

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

TitleColumn: Acadians and French-Canadian Genealogy

Snippet: The Acadian & French-Canadian Ancestral Home website is celebrating its 17th anniversary. Since 1998, the site has grown to include extensive research material, including genealogies, historical documents, parish registers, research aids and related documents to help those descended from Acadian and French-Canadian ancestors, as well as those with Cajun and Franco-American ancestors.

The databases available include information on census records, ships’ lists, Acadian deportation, lists of exiles, prisoners’ lists, mtDNA and much more. The site is updated frequently, so if you haven’t visited for a while, it may be time for another look.

The menu in the left margin is the best way to browse the site. At the top of the list are links to Lucie’s Blogs, including Lucie’s Legacy, Ancestral Home, Whispers Through the Willows and Petits Enfants Souvenir d’un viellard (information and lyrics to a song passed down through the generations).

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