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!

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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, , ,

July 2009
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