Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

Is GenealogyWise Being Wise?

I joined GenealogyWise a few days ago after reading Randy Seaver’s blog at Genea-musings, when there were only 19 groups and a couple of hundred members. I had received an email earlier in the day from, requesting help in launching the site. They were looking to hire 15 people to work for 10 hours to help get the site ready for the launch date, on July 17th. I thought that they wanted people with experience in IT field, but they just wanted people to create as many groups as they could think of in 10 hours, it seems. The membership is growing but not nearly as fast as the groups! There were about 1900 members and over 1100 groups this morning.

I have started receiving what I would call “spam” in my inbox, from members who were hired to promote the site. I don’t think creating thousands of groups will promote anything, it seems as if the creators are just concerned with “who can make the most groups”. I joined a couple of groups at first, but now I don’t think I’ll stay with the ones that were created by the “employees” of, how can they possibly expect to manage and monitor all of the groups that they create? Or will they abandon them after a few weeks? I did join the Geneabloggers group there and some special interest groups, but, unless a group is highly reccommended I will not be joining any more.


Filed under: Genealogy, Research Resources, ,

Our First Family Reunion – Counting The Days

The first Fairbairn Family Reunion is less than a month away, on August 8th & 9th. My cousin and I are organizing the two-day affair to be held in Amherstburg at the Jellystone Campground. This is my first experience at organizing a family reunion so we’ll see how it goes. My cousin lives in British Columbia, so we have been keeping in touch through Facebook, Fairbairn Family Reunion group on Facebook, the reunion website, Twitter, emails and since we switched to cable for our phone, I can call her anytime, at no cost.

I am going to be making shareable CDs with my Rootsmagic4 program. I was going to make printed copies of a family book, but since I already have the program, I think family members would have fun playing around with all the features of Rootsmagic4,, and if they want a book, they can design and print one up themselves. The shareable CD is the full program, but it is not editable. There is only one database. There will be a lot of old family photos to be scanned to CDs and photos of the reunion activities and group photos that I will be putting on CDs as well. It will keep me busy, since I won’t be participating in any activities, I will be recovering from major surgery. I am going to make a giant wall chart to be filled in at the reunion by the family members also. We put a form on the website for updating family information too.

The RSVPs and t-shirt orders are coming in steadily, and there will be a quilt raffle at the end of the reunion. We are taking orders for t-shirts and raffle tickets for the quilts on the reunion website, through Paypal, or by mail. My cousin and I decided that even those family members who are unable to attend the reunion, should be able to participate in the quilt raffle, t-shirts and CDs, so we are requesting a shipping address with the orders.

We are planning a scavenger hunt of a different sort, so the little ones can play too. Insteead of a list of items to find, the participants have to find any item that starts with the letters that make up the words FAIRBAIRN FAMILY REUNION.

We are also going to have a softball tournament, weather permitting, and since I have tons of fabric, I am sewing team “shirts”, actually more like halter tops, one size fits all, in two different colours.

My cousin reserved the group campsite for the reunion, and there will be a tent set up where I will be scanning and making CDs. I would like to hold some family interviews there too. I’m looking forward to it, and I’ll let you know how it turns out in a month. If this one is successful, I might just organize a family reunion with my dad’s family!

Filed under: Fairbairn, Family Files, Genealogy, ,

Smile For The Camera 15th Ed. – They Worked Hard For The Family

this photo is of the Taylor farm, Essex, in front of the barn
used for the stagecoach horses, ca 1880

A little history about the Taylor family of Essex, Ontario:
My 3rd greatgrandmother, Jean Taylor, was born in Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland in 1812. Her parents were Alexander Taylor and Grace Duncan. Her family immigrated to Quebec, Canada about 1820. Her brothers, Alexander and John, were born in Quebec after they immigrated. Alexander Taylor and Grace Duncan Taylor’s family settled in Essex, Ontario. Jean Taylor married John McDowell of Maidstone, Essex County. Their daughter, Jane McDowell, married George Fairbairn of Essex. Their son, Robert Fairbairn, married Jessie Doan of Essex. Their daughter, Ruby Fairbairn, married Orville Neil of Paquet’s Corners, Their daughter, Marian Neil, married Earl Hines, they are my parents.

Filed under: Carnivals, Fairbairn, Family Files, Genealogy, Photos, Smile For The Camera, ,

Wordless Wednesday – My Gardens

Filed under: Daily Genealogy Blogging Themes, Wordless Wednesday, ,

COG – #76 – My Favourite Summer Vacation

When I was young, my father always took us to historically significant vacation destinations, even day-trips. One summer we crossed the province from west to east along the lakes and St. Lawrence River to Cornwall, just about to the Quebec border. My youngest sister stayed home with my grandmother, she was just a baby. We have a rather large family so we travelled in a station wagon. As if six kids in the car wasn’t enough, my cousin and a friend came with us as well so you can imagine the close quarters, 8 kids in a station wagon!
Dad decided that we would drive all the way to Cornwall so we could see the dams, but the workers were on strike when we got there, so we turned around and headed back.
Well, it wasn’t a wasted trip anyway, on the way, we stopped at Upper Canada Village, went on the Thousand Islands cruise, rented a couple of cottages for a couple of nights in Brockville, and went swimming in the St. Lawrence River, was it cold! When we went through Kingston, we saw the Maximum Security Pennitentiary and a few miles down the road we went through a police roadblock, there was an escape and they were looking for the prisoner. Mom was really nervous after that and made us keep all the doors locked for about a hundred miles.
We stopped at every memorial marker and way sign on the highway, toured the Alexander Graham Bell House, the Mohawk Chapel, and learned a lot about early Ontario history. I think there must have been some complaints about the cramped ride and the heat, but I can’t remember anything but the best vacation of my childhood.

Filed under: Carnival of Genealogy, Carnivals, Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines,

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – 4th of July

Since I live so close to the border, Windsor and Detroit celebrate the International Freedom Festival, which starts in June and runs for two weeks. We often go to watch the Freedom Festival Fireworks on the Detroit River, which is one of the biggest displays in the world. When we can’t make it to the fireworks, we can watch them on TV. The fireworks were held on June 24th this year, I remember when I was young, they were always held between the 1st and 4th of July.

I lived in Windsor for about five years, twenty years ago, and the first year, we watched the fireworks from the rooftop of my mom’s apartment building, but the rest of the time we just walked down to the river, about 5 minute walk, and watched them.

Yesterday, we celebrated my husband’s birthday, which is tomorrow, with a barbecue at my son’s house. The guys played Bocci Ball and had fun starting the campfire, and my grandkids had fun eating (and wearing) mulberries. We got home in time to watch some fireworks on TV.

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

Blogging And More At

About Viviti:

“Our goal was to create something easy to use for anyone, but powerful enough for professionals as well. We all use it to maintain our personal blogs, but it can be used for so much more than that.”

Viviti started as a big idea in the small town of Parksville on the West coast of Canada.

What if we threw out the conventional idea of a CMS (content management system) and made it so you could edit your site while looking at it, right in your browser? We were sold on the idea right away, and set out to create it.

After a year of meticulous planning and development we finally launched open beta, and within 3 months were serving thousands of happy customers.

Now Viviti serves personal blogs, small business web sities, news portals, bands, churches, pet groomers, artists, musicians, and… well, you name it. People are flocking to Viviti by the thousands and we’re pleased to keep on doing what we do – enabling people to create and maintain great looking dynamic websites.

What is Viviti?

Viviti is a Content Management System and Website Builder that allows you to easily build your own dynamic website, either by selecting one of our pre-made themes or make your own theme simply by using html and css.

Everything is hosted for you and all management and creation is done in your browser.

Viviti is more than just a blog site, it can be used for a number of different sites, I created a family reunion site here: Fairbairn Family Reunion. There are private pages that are password protected.

I also am in the process of creating an online store as well, here: Earlybird online yard sale. I will have my Ebay listings and Paypal when finished.

But, it is a great blog site as well, with RSS feed. There is a blog search, blog roll of favourite blogs, blog archive, blog comments.

I started using Viviti as a website builder just after it’s Beta release in March of 2008, and have recently started to blog there, after becoming interested in blogging. The free sites can have up to 15 pages.

Viviti has a Wiki too at Wiki.Viviti where there are tutorials on creating your website.

Disclosure: Although has provided a custom free site ($5.00 per month value) for being a Beta-tester, I am not getting anything in exchange for my endorsement of the site.

Filed under: Blogging, ,

Sharing My Loyalist Research

While researching my Loyalist ancestors, I have acquired quite a bit of information, from many different sites on the web. After two years of researching and storing of information about “All Things Loyalist” I found there was not one group I could join to share my finds and post queries that dealt with Loyalists in particular, there were several Canadian genealogy sites and Rev. War sites, but no UEL group. Last fall, just before MSN Groups announced the closing of it’s doors, I started a group specially for people researching their Loyalist ancestors or just interested in Canadian history or the United Empire Loyalists called Loyalists Re-United. It was a new group so there wasn’t much to move, so I moved it to Multiply Groups. There is quite a bit of information there, but only a few individuals have joined the group.
I have more blog sites on Viviti where I plan on blogging about my UEL ancestors, membership and certification progress at My Loyalist Heritage. I also have a blog about the United Empire Loyalists in general at Loyalists Re-United blog.
My reason for creating these sites is to aid in researching your Loyalist ancestors and further educating the readers about the impact these people made on the history of Canada.

Filed under: Genealogy, Loyalists, , ,

Happy Canada Day!

We are going to celebrate Canada Day by flying a new flag on our flag pole. The neighbourhood was ready to take up a collection to buy a new flag for our pole as it was left up over the winter and was tattered and faded, so my husband bought a new flag. The only problem was that it was way too small, about the size of a dish towel. So for the past month we’ve been pretending that we had a very tall flag pole, lol.

We bought another flag, the right size for the pole, a couple of weeks ago and decided to wait until July 1st to fly it.
After supper we will be watching the fireworks display that the town is sponsoring at the marina.

Filed under: Special Events,

July 2009
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