Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

Fairbairn Family Reunion – Aug 8 & 9, Amherstburg, Ontario

I am busy with as much of the last-mintute preparations for the family reunion this weekend as I am able to do. My cousin is going to be here on Sunday, she’s driving here from British Columbia, they left last Sunday. We have to get together next week and finalize all ot the details. She has to pick up the T-shirt order, there were enough orders to get the T-shirts at a great discount, so there will be plenty extra for sale at the reunion.

I bought the blank CDs and DVDs and jewel cases online to make photo DVDs of scanned old photos and reunion photos and Rootsmagic4 shareable CDs. I made enough in my yardsale to pay for them. I will be able to make copies at a bargain price, much less expensive than if I would have printed out Family History books. Family History books can be printed from the CDs for anyone who would like one as well as all of the other features of Rootsmagic4. I will be printing a small number of the photos at the reunion as well, if requested.

I went shopping the other day for Raffle Items. I bought some large Seagrass baskets on sale 75% off, and am filling them with different theme items. I have one for Bar-b-Q (Meat thermometer, planks, salt/pepper grinder, grill brush, grill set, etc.), I’m making a Scottish theme (Tartan Coaster set, Family History Book (to be filled in), some tins of cookies, Scotch whiskey, smoked fish, etc.) , a Picnic theme (linens, plastic dishes, pitcher and glasses, condiments, thermos, coolers, citronella candles), and an Summer Activities theme (fishing rod, tackle, badminton set, frisbees, beach toys, kite, etc.). I’m hoping the proceeds will pay for at least one DNA test for the Fairbairn Surname DNA Project.

We aren’t going to be camping but I’m going to take a tent and set it up as a “Welcome” tent, to get name tags, information, wall chart, first aid and have a couple of tables, one for the Raffle items and tickets and T-shirts, one for the PSC and my laptop, I will be spending a lot of time here. I am going to have coffee, tea, lemonade and baked goods there also. I’m going to be busy doing some baking this week. I’m making cupcakes for the kids to decorate with Hallowe’en theme candies.

I will be gathering some decorations for the Hallowe’en theme weekend at the park as well. I’m going to be taking a skeleton, and a hammock, Christmas lights, solar lights, and a variety of small decorations to put up around the group campsite.

In keeping with the Hallowe’en theme, we may even tour the Fairbairn Family Cemetery after dark!

Filed under: Genealogy, , , ,

Tidbits Gleaned From Small-Town Newspapers

I thought maybe I’d find some family births, marriages and obits when I started searching the old newspapers, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. The Essex Free Press is a small-town weekly newspaper filled with all of the news from the county. If you want to find out who bought what farm for how much and where the previous owners were relocated to, you read the Essex Free Press. When the December exams and June report cards came out, the students’ grades were published in the paper. There was nothing that wasn’t newsworthy, so and so had a cold, stop the presses!

My family has been in Essex County for over a hundred years and some were involved in local government. I was surprised to find so many references to my ancestors and their daily lives.
I discovered that my greatgrandfather’s family moved to Alberta in the spring of 1918 because of my greatgrandfather’s health. He had suffered from gall stones for years and at that time, Alberta was the place to go for health problems. Maybe it was the mountain air, or the warm spring water in Banff, but, for whatever reason, they went there. They returned in October, with no improvement to his health. He passed away in December of 1918, when my grandmother was six years old.

Another article gave me a lot of information about my grandmother’s family, my dad didn’t have much information about them to share as he would just sit on the front porch while my grandmother visited because he didn’t understand French and their family just came to Ontario from Quebec in 1890.

My granduncle was the first casualty of the First WW in the town of Essex:

There is over a century of my family’s history here, some amusing, some embarrassing, some tragic, but all in all, I’d rather read a small-town newspaper and learn alot more about the people than a big-city paper that doesn’t have the time or space for all of the everyday events that occur in a small-town.

Filed under: Genealogy, Obituaries, Research Resources, , ,

Wordless Wednesday – The George Fairbairn Family

Here is a picture of my great-great-grandparents, George and Jane McDowell Fairbairn and their family. We are having a family reunion next weekend and descendants of this family will be getting together for the first time.

Filed under: Daily Genealogy Blogging Themes, Fairbairn, Family Files, Genealogy, Photos, Wordless Wednesday, ,

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – What Luck!

I just found out that our area newspaper, “The Essex Free Press” has been digitized from microfilm and is available online. The paper covers the time frame of 1896-1968. I have just found an article about my grand-uncle’s death in September 1916 and have made a few discoveries with just the first article:

Private Fleming Hines was the first war casualty in the town. I found out that he died Sept. 18, 1916 in hospital from several wounds incurred on Sept. 15, 1916. His parents were notified by telegram of his being wounded and another telegram notified them of his death.
My greatgrandfather built the house that my grandparents lived in their whole lives, and my dad was born in. The house was built before the 1907 railroad explosion, at which time most of the houses in town had their windows blown out and the houses were raised from their foundations. I’ll leave further information for my entry into the Canadian Genealogy Carnival #6 – ” Home Sweet Home” in September.

I am hoping to find hundreds of family articles, birth, engagements, marriage announcements, obits, etc. for all of my family for 114 years.

Essex and Community Historical Research Society


Great News for Essex and area Researchers

Laurie Brett, Owner/Editor of the Essex Free Press has announced that the





to the Essex Free Press

Owned and operated by the Brett Family since 1896

A Wonderful source for researching Essex County genealogy and history over that last 114 years.

Filed under: Daily Genealogy Blogging Themes, Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, ,

Weekly Prompt #30 – My Social Network

I was reluctant to join Facebook when first invited by several family members, I held off for a long time, but, when I found out that my cousin, whom I’ve been out of touch with for over a decade was a member, I thought I’d join, just to keep in touch with her again. It’s been about two years since I joined, and I am not a “friend collector”, most of my Facebook friends are family members. I have found Facebook useful in getting the news and information out about our upcoming family reunion, since a group was formed for this purpose. I also joined Geneabloggers on Facebook as well. I look forward to the messages and invites from Thomas about upcoming carnivals and events. I use some of the apps on Facebook such as “I Remember” and “MyHeritage” but I don’t get into the games and other stuff.

I joined Twitter a while ago at the request of my daughter-in-law and forgot all about it (so did she). When I started geneablogging, I decided to start using Twitter. I joined the genealogy group on Twitter and started following a few people. When I started to get Twitter emails from people who started following me, I would check out their profile, and, if they had the same interests, I would follow them back. I’m not interested in making money on Twitter, so I don’t follow the marketing entrepreneurs, although they follow me and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. I tweet about the weather, interesting genealogy sites that I come across, my blog posts, current events and often participate in Follow Friday on Twitter, which is my personal reccomendations for people to follow, and Surname Saturday, where I tweet my surname interests so that anyone searching the names I post can contact me. I’ve even joined a couple of twibes. Most of the people I follow are in the Genealogy world, but I follow some people with different interests such as gardening, sewing and crafts. I often go to sites referred to by people that I am following, and have found some that I wouldn’t have found without their tweets.

I am still waiting to see if GenealogyWise is going to be of any benefit. I have joined a few groups, but there doesn’t seem to be much happening there as of yet. The forums are disorganized, no categories, just one post after the other. The blogs have no sense of direction either, they are all over the place. Some I wouldn’t even consider blog posts, they would have been better off placed in the forums. I joined a few groups on GenealogyWise, but I’m not very hopeful that they’ll help much in my research. Some groups were created as a way to get more exposure to blog posts, but I think there should be more to offer than just another place to read the same postings. Some of the groups don’t seem to have much direction either, just post your research interests and then what? I’d rather have some kind of directory for researchers to get in touch with one another.

Another social networking site I use is Multiply, one that is familiar to anyone who belonged to an MSN Group. I have a homepage and have started a few family groups there. Some of the things I like about Multiply is the control of privacy and unlimited storage available.

Filed under: Genealogy, Weekly Prompts/09, , , ,

Fairbairn Reunion Family History Updates

Since I have a lot of time to work on my laptop while recovering from my surgery, I have been working on my Fairbairn database, I’m hoping to have it finished by the first of August, then I’ll start working on designing the shareable CD for the family reunion.
I opened a new database in Rootsmagic 4 and dragged my Fairbairn ancestors over into it from my Family history database. I am filling in all of the blanks, and adding sources and media files to it. I am sorting through all of the Ancestry records and my research files, finding images for all of my Fairbairn descendants.
The Scottish naming patterns for our Fairbairn family are the same as for most of the Fairbairns in North America, so I’m going cross-eyed with all of the Thomas, Robert, George, John and James Fairbairns there are, generation after generation, sorting out what is my family. The Fairbairn families are differentiated by where they lived on the borders in Scotland. Mine are the Fogo Fairbairns.
I am glad that the censuses for Ontario are online, to help me match up who goes with what family here. Some stayed in Detroit, Michigan as well, and I’m having a hard time sorting them out.
I am trying to fill in the blanks for the families that stayed in Scotland and a few that immigrated later also. John Fairbairn, the only brother of my immigrant ancestor that stayed in Scotland, married Marjory Rose and lived in Leitholm, Berwickshire. Isobella Fairbairn, sister of , Robert Fairbairn, married Alexander Luke and had a family in Coldstream, Berwickshire, Scotland. After Alexander’s death in 1854 and Isobell’s in 1858, the rest of the Luke family immigrated first to Ontario and then to Minnesota and ended up in Spokane, Washington.
I have a form on my family reunion website to send information for updating family history. Quite a few family members used it, and I am very gratefull that they did. I just have to enter the new data from the emails into my RM4 program.
I am creating a giant wall chart for at the reunion as well, filling in what info I have, and leaving spaces for new information to be filled in at the reunion. I will then enter the new data there, in my Rootsmagic-to-go and create the disks when all of the data is recorded. I am planning to have the wall chart kept to take to future reunions as well.

Filed under: Fairbairn, Family Files, Genealogy,

Weekly Genealogy Prompt #29 – My Favourite Canadian Genealogy Websites

My Canadian genealogy is divided into several different time periods which I am interested in. First, the Acadians, who came to the maritimes from France in the early 1600’s, then there are the Canadiens, who came to the Quebec region in the 1600’s as well. The Loyalists came to Upper Canada in the late 1700’s, the Quakers, soon after the Loyalists. Each period in history is unique and I am listing my favourite websites for each of them.

Here is a list of a few of my favourite websites for researching:
Acadian genealogy:

  1. Acadian Roots
  2. Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management
  3. New Brunswick Provincial Archives

Canadien genealogy:

  1. Quebec Archives
  2. McGill University Library
  3. Your Folks

Loyalist genealogy:

  1. United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada
  2. Upper Canada Genealogy
  3. Ontario Genealogy
  4. Our Ontario

Quaker genealogy

  1. The Quaker Archives and Library of Canada

Filed under: Genealogy, Research Resources, Weekly Prompts/09, ,

COG #77 – God’s Wrath

My mother was babysitting her seven year old younger brother, Glen, on Friday, June 14th, 1946, the day before her mother’s birthday. She was nine years old at the time and was fairly responsible for her age. Suddenly, he ran out into the street and was struck by an automobile, and was killed instantly. She felt responsible for his death, but it wasn’t her fault, it was just an unfortunate accident.

On the following Monday, the day of his funeral, June 17, 1946, there was a tornado in Windsor, Ontario, that killed 17 people and injured hundreds. She was one of the injured, a brick wall fell on her and her knee was crushed. She had to have it surgically repaired and a pin remained in her knee for the rest of her life, as a reminder of what she’d done. She told the story many times over the years how God had sent the tornado as a punishment for her not keeping a closer watch on her brother.

Here is more information about the tornado that hit Windsor and Tecumseh that day:

Filed under: Carnival of Genealogy, Carnivals, Fairbairn, Family Files, Genealogy, O'Neil/Neil, Obituaries, , , ,

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Google Me

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with Randy Seaver at Genea-musings.

It’s Saturday Night, and time for some Genealogy Fun. Here are the directions (I know, not everyone follows directions to these little escapades, but what matters are the results, not being a stickler for details) for tonight’s little game:

1) Google yourself at Put your first name, middle initial and last name, plus the name of your city or town in the Search box to see what other persons may have mentioned you online, or to see which blog aggregators are “collecting” you.

2) Then go to the “Images,” “Videos” and “News” links and see what they show.

3) Tell us about any surprises you found, either in your blog or in Comments to this post.

Earline Bradt, Leamington, Ontario
web – 388 hits, 84 hits more relevant, 10 with all words
images – 46 from blogs

Earline Hines Bradt, Leamington, Ontario
web – 309 hits, 10 all words
Images – 155 hits, 150 images

Earline Bradt, SW Ontario
web – 1380 hits,
images – 288 hits,

Surprises – there is a site which is mapping my Twitter relationships here:

Filed under: Daily Genealogy Blogging Themes, Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, ,

Genealogy Prompt #28 – The Magic of Rootsmagic

I have been using Rootsmagic genealogy software for a few years, I started with version 3 and upgraded to version 4 when it was released in the spring. When I started researching my family history I used the PAF program to record my data. Although it was functional, and free, I wanted a program that had more features and was more user-freindly.

I used trial versoins of different programs until I found the one I liked. That was Rootsmagic, it has all of the bells and whistles anybody could ask for, editing, reports, charts, records, pdf. books, shareable CDs, scrapbooks etc.

The shareable CDs are fully functional Rootsmagic programs that only have one database, and is uneditable. Everything works just like the original program, even the web search feature! Books, reports, charts etc. are all printable. The opening page of the program is editable also, you can have a Title page with photos, if desired. I am going to be making some at my family reunion.

I really like the Rootsmagic-to-go feature in version 4, you can have a fully functional program anywhere you go, installed on a USB flash drive. If hard drive space is a premium, you don’t have to install the program on your computer. You can take it everywhere and open and edit the data when and where you are doing research, instead of gathering info to enter into your program when you get home, so that your database is kept up -to-date more accurately and efficiently.

Filed under: Genealogy, Research Resources, Weekly Prompts/09,

July 2009