Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Occupations in French Canada

Once you start to work on your French Canada you are going to find that they have very good records. Among the records are census returns from 1666, 1667 and 1681. Among the questions asked was the occupation. Drouin has listed these occupations in the wonderful Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles du Quebec des origins a 1730. 

I own a copy of this book and it is a wonderful if somewhat expensive resource. While Ancestry does have the index it doesn't have the complete book. Records are of course, in French. This may lead to some confusion about what exactly the occupation of your ancestor was. Some are obvious, soldat is soldier and fermier is farmer. But what about if you see arpenteur, boucher or boulanger? 

Luckily, there is a blog that offers a post to help with this. Unfortunately, I can't tell you who the blogger is, it is anonymous but it is helpful just the same.  



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Our Canada-Your Family Building a Nation June 16-18 Ottawa, Ontario

Members of all 34 branches and special interest groups of the Ontario Genealogical Society and other family historians from across North America and around the world will meet in Ottawa in June 2017 for three days of inspiring lectures, workshops, displays, and other learning opportunities. Don't miss it!

Open registration is closed but walk-in registration will be available every day. This conference has some things of interest even to those who don't have any connection to Canada. Check out their brochure


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Some Good News on My English Genealogy

One thing that happens when you do genealogy is that you will meet people who are related to you in a distant way. It is inevitable. I became friendly with someone who is probably a 5th cousin or so. In our many interactions, she told me that she had come across a marriage for one of my ancestors that I had never seen. It was in another town.

To put it as simply as possible, I had Ann Deacon as my ancestress and she said it was really Ann Spinks. My ancestor John Ollard, had two wives named Ann. He married Ann Deacon in Newton, had children there and then Ann Ollard died in 1737. I can be forgiven for thinking she was Ann Deacon.

I contacted the Wisbech Fenlands Museum online and asked them to check the records for Tydd St Giles for a marriage between John Ollard and Ann Spinks. Yes,  there is one, in 1716 the year before my ancestor Spinks Ollard was born. So it seems, he was given his mother's last name as his first name. There is no death recorded in either town for Ann Deacon Ollard but no doubt she died before 1716.

So another mystery is solved and now my genealogy is correct. Thank you, Heather.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Shocking discovery blows my Irish genealogy

Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. Of course, in genealogy, we don't believe this but I have to say, my shocking discovery has made me wish I had left well enough alone. 

Let me set the stage. In May 1995 I sent to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for a marriage certificate for Cornelius Donahue and Johanna O'Connor. Did I know that they were married in Massachusetts? No, but they weren't married at St. John in Middletown and their son was baptized there in 1855 so they had to be married somewhere. Cornelius was naturalized in Massachusetts in 1854 so I took a chance sending my request and a check. 

I was rewarded with a certificate that stated that Cornelius Donihue son of Jeffrey Donihue and Johanna Connor daughter of Dennis Conner had been married in Chicopee in December 1853. This was my most spectacular discovery to date. 

In his naturalization certificate, Cornelius told me that he was born in Killarney on or about January 14, 1832,  and had arrived in the United States on July 6, 1847, at age 15. Now I knew his father's name. 

In December 1995 I went to Killarney and looked at the records at the cathedral. I found Cornelius, son of Jeffrey and Johanna Sullivan baptized in April 1853. They were from a townland about 8 miles away. I assumed it could have taken them a while to get into Killarney for the baptism. 

No other Cornelius, born to a Jeffrey was baptized in Killarney on any other date, ever. So for the last 20 odd years, I have been researching this family. Imagine how shocked I was when with the new records available online I was able to search for records relating to any Geoffrey Donoghues and I found a marriage in Killarney in 1878 for Cornelius Donoghue and Bridget Reardon and his parents are Jeffrie Donaghue and Johanna Sullivan. What the what?????

My Cornelius died in 1872 in Portland, Ct from cholera at 40 years old. So obviously, my Cornelius wasn't the son of Geoffrey and Johanna but whose son is he?   I have no clue. The only other Geoffrey in Killarney at this time having children is married to Mary Begley and they don't have a son Cornelius. They also don't seem to have the names that predominate in my family. I have to admit, I always wondered about the whole name thing with Geoffrey and Johanna since their other children also had names we never see in my family. 

So where am I? Back to where I was in 1995 before my trip to Ireland. I so wish the 1841 and 1851 censuses still existed, it would clear up this mystery for me. But they don't and so I have nowhere to go with this. 


Friday, April 28, 2017

NERGC: DNA Workshop was Awesome

On Thursday morning we spent the first two hours in a DNA workshop with Jennifer Zinck learning about what the results that we see from our Ancestry DNA tests can tell us. It was very interesting and the entire room was spellbound the entire time. 

Jenn is very good at imparting the information is a way that is both entertaining and educational. While I have been playing with this DNA site for quite a while, there was plenty for me to learn as well. 


One takeaway that will be very helpful is the use of the site PiPL to help find out who some of the people who won't respond to you on Ancestry really are. You can put in their username and you may be able to find out who they actually are.  

All in all, this was a very worthwhile workshop and well worth the additional cost. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

NERGC It's Finally Here

We are checking into the NERGC on Tuesday. We, Kathy and I,  have a room at the Marriott Hotel. On Wednesday we are attending DNA Day. We are hoping that we will learn some things about the DNA tests that we have taken. How to use the results effectively. 

There is still time to join us, the regular conference begins on Thursday and even if you can't attend until Saturday, that is okay, they have a one-day option. Hope to see you here!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

NERGC Next Week April 26-29

It is finally that time, the time we wait two long years for, the NERGC is here. There is still time to register for the full conference or for just one or two days. Visit the conference website and check out all the details. 

If you are a Genealogy Roadshow fan you will recognize two of the presenters,  Mary Tedesco and Kenyatta Barry. Enjoy all the advantages that being together with hundreds of fellow genealogists provides. Great vendors, exciting speakers and the opportunity to get help with your person brick walls will all be available. 

Stay tuned, I will be posting daily next week from the conference. Wednesday is DNA Day!!!