Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

Tombstone Tuesday – Memorial Marker Mistakes


This is a perfect example of misinformation on gravestones. It is a Memorial to Fleming Wesley Hines, born 1897 – died 1916. At least they got the country that he died in right.

Filed under: Daily Genealogy Blogging Themes, Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines, Photos, Tombstone Tuesday, , ,

A Wedding To Remember

My niece was married on Halloween with, you guessed it, a Halloween theme. She and her new husband have two daughters together, 16 and 13.

the blushing (or shall I say paling) bride
She’s making her Grand Entrance…

the Groom

the Family

Filed under: Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines, Special Events,

Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture #16 – My Creator

This edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture hosted by Small-leaved Shamrock is “Irish Portraits”. It is a twist on the old cliche “a picture says a thousand words”. I am “painting a portrait of my mother” with words so you can get a better picture of what she was really like.



My mother was born “Marian Joyce Neil”, youngest daughter of Orville and Ruby Fairbairn O’Neil. She and her twin brother were born in Windsor, her twin dying shortly after birth.

Mom lived all of her life in Essex County, raising a family of three boys and four girls. She knew my dad all of her life, and she “knew’ that she was going to marry him someday. He proposed to her in jest when she was eight years old but she made him stick to it and they were married twelve years later.

Mom was a very creative woman, always eager to learn something new. She was a great teacher too, teaching me to sew, knit and crochet along with the alphabets. I was a good student and was sewing my own clothes before I was ten. She was a seamstress, self-taught, and had a few customers that she sewed for, mostly evening-wear and costumes.

I think my mother had a touch of ADD, she would get going on something, learn how to do it, get tired of it and start looking around for a different project. She went through many “phases”. She went through a “chalk” phase, drawing portraits of us and a mural for the Church. Then there was the “paint” phase when she created a few still-life paintings in oil and acrylic. About this time she was taking correspondence courses in Art, English and Latin and got into her “poetry” phase. She went through the “macrame ” phase in the ’70’s and made a macrame bassinet for my oldest son as well as a few hanging tables and assorted hangers. Then there was the “Ojo” phase, when she bought all kinds of dowels and yarns and made “Ojo de Dios’ “(God’s Eye) of all sizes, from Christmas tree ornament size to 3′ high multi-coloured, complex geometrical shapes. Mom even went to school and taught my sister’s first grade class how to make them.

There have been numerous more phases through the years, and it seemed that she liked sharing what she learned as much as she enjoyed learning the skills. And me, being her #1 student, got involved with the majority of her adventures. I went with her to get her supplies, I was there by her side at all of the craft fairs where she would sell her creations. Whatever she didn’t sell, she would give away to her grandchildren. She never made any money from it, it was a “labour of love” she said. She just enjoyed creating.

Mom was “ahead of her time” in some areas. She had a “water feature” in her garden in the ’60’s, complete with water lilies long before it became popular. So it was just a wading pool with a fountain in it, but back then pond supplies were hard to come by. Faux finishing and stencilling were “old hat” to her by the time they became popular too. She was always experimenting with different techniques when redecorating. I remember the time that she faux painted the dining room table and chairs one day while dad was at work. Well, all H— broke loose when he got home and saw the “marbled” antique cherry wood!

I have my mother to thank for my gift of creativity, which has saved me money at times and gotten me into trouble a few times as well. I learned from my mother that I have to take risks sometimes, be unconventional and try new ideas, and think for myself, not just follow the crowd.

Filed under: Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture, Carnivals, Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines, O'Neil/Neil, ,

Treasure Thursday – My Mother’s Poetry

I have always admired my mother’s talent for creating poetry. She wrote poetry for contests, like “If You’re Canadian” and “Centennial Pride” which she wrote for a poetry contest in 1967, Canada’s centennial. She was taking a creative writing course when she had to pick an ordinary object and write a poem about it. She chose “Cups” for her subject. She wrote love poems, etc. I have a few online here.

Filed under: Daily Genealogy Blogging Themes, Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines, O'Neil/Neil, Treasure Chest Thursday, , , ,

Proving Dad Was Right!



The American Revolutionary War was the defining point of where loyalties were placed and how people were judged because of their loyalties. It brought out the best and worst of human behavior. Over two centuries later, we still look back on that period in history with overwhelming pride in our ancestors’ decisions to stick by their guns and fight for what they believed was right, whether he be a patriot or loyalist.

It is this pride and sense of honour that we join lineage societies such as the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada – UELAC, or the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution – DAR and SAR. These organizations, although representing two sides of the war, have more similarities than differences. The are involved in educating the youth about their heritage and preserving the history of their nation. They both require genealogical proof of heredity that entitles the person to bear the initials U.E., SAR and DAR after the person’s name. The ancestor had to be involved in the military, or aided the military, or been in some way beneficial to the cause.

I have a few ancestors who qualified as Loyalists as well as one that is recognized by the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution. I decided, since I am Canadian, I would like to be certified by the UELAC, to honour my Loyalist ancestors and their beliefs.

My Loyalist ancestor, Joseph Haines, Sr., was also my fourth greatgrandfather. He served in Butler’s Rangers along with his son, Nathaniel Haines, who was my third greatgrandfather. Anyone with a proven Loyalist ancestor can be certified, no matter where they live now.

But, if I were in the USA, I would probably seek certification with the Daughters of the American Revolution. My American ancestor, Joseph Hawkins, born in Maryland in 1753, was my sixth great-grandfather, and he fought in the battle of King’s Mountain and other skirmishes in the Tennessee area. He was Col. David Crockett’s uncle.

It isn’t for bragging rights that I wish to be certified, I want to help preserve the history of our country, and be involved with educating the youth of our nation while at the same time, I want to learn as much about my Loyalist heritage as I can, and pass what I’ve learned on to the future generations of my family. Most of all, I’m doing it for my dad, Earl Hines, who has always been interested in the history of Upper Canada and “knew” he had Loyalist ancestry. He didn’t know what our Loyalist ancestor’s names were, he didn’t even know that our surname was changed, but I have the proof and I am proving that dad was right!

Earl Hines 1926-1996

Filed under: Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines, Loyalists, , , , ,

Wordless Wednesday – First Day Of School

My grandson’s first day of Junior Kindergarten.

Filed under: Daily Genealogy Blogging Themes, Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines, Photos, Wordless Wednesday, ,

CCEEG #23 – Carousel – “My Silver Buckle”

I originally posted this to my blog on Multiply, but I thought I’d add it to my genealogy blog as well. I don’t know if it has anything to do with European genealogy, but I think the buckle was made there and the Haines family originated from Germany. This carousel is hosted by Amber at “Still More Genealogy

Searching for family history is really addictive, the more I learn about my ancestry, the more I need to know. I am interested in how they lived, what their daily lives were like, what style of clothing they wore, what they did to entertain themselves, their beliefs, both religious and political, well, everything.

I have some unanswered questions which may never be answered such as “Why did my great-grandfather change his surname a century ago?” and “Who was Sarah’s mother?” I have two Sarah’s with unknown mothers, they are huge brick walls but I’m trying my best to break through them. Family History research is very similar to detective work, you have to weed out the false leads and dig into people’s backgrounds, and find out as much as there is about them. Once in a while, if you’re lucky, an ancestor may become famous or infamous and there are lots of records available. Most of the time, however, the ancestor is only recorded in the census, vital records or passenger lists and immigration records.

Most people avoid cemeteries like the plague,only going when absolutely necessary, but genealogists take their cameras and go sight-seeing like tourists in among the gravestones. I’ve got to confess, I have arranged my vacation with a few trips to cemeteries I wanted to see. More than once I have dragged my husband from cemetery to cemetery for a hundred miles looking for a particular relative.

History and family history go hand in hand. You can’t really understand how your ancestors lived their lives unless you know the outside influences in their lifetime. I am especially interested in the Revolutionary war and the plight of the United Empire Loyalists. I guess it’s because my father took a great interest in the history of Canada and when we were young would take us to places which were historically significant, near or far. He would stop at every way-sign and memorial on our travels.

My dad had a silver buckle, my brother has it now, and he told us that it was from the Revolutionary war. My grandfather gave it to him, he said it had been given to him by his father. Of course, as kids, we couldn’t imagine something that old, it didn’t look that old. My dad kept it put away, and only brought it out to show someone and then put it back right away, it was the only heirloom from his ancestors and he was going to make sure nothing happened to it. I have since learned that that was the style of buckle in those times, and it would have been a treasured article, passed down from father to son. He treasured it as well, even more so, as he never really knew his grandparents.

My fondest memory of my dad’ silver buckle was the day of my first wedding. I was young, only seventeen, and my mom made my wedding dress. It was made of white satin and had a chantilly lace cape instead of a veil and train. The crowning touch was the silver buckle that my dad let me use for my dress. The silver buckle was the ‘something old’ and the ‘something borrowed’. To think that my wedding day was the first time the buckle had actually been worn in over a century! It was quite an honour and I wore it with pride when my dad walked me down the aisle.

I am researching my family history so that my grandchildren will know about their ancestors, where they came from, why they left their homeland, how they lived, what they did in their leisure, what they were like, well, everything. I want future generations to know all about our ancestors. My family history is my ‘silver buckle’.

Filed under: Carnivals, Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines, Loyalists, , , ,

Smile For The Camera #17 – School Days

Here is my kindergarten picture, taken in 1963. I was wearing my favourite dress that my mom made, I called it my “beef stew” dress. It was brown, white and orange plaid. I was also wearing my Stanhope Cross with the Lord’s Prayer in it.

Filed under: Carnivals, Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines, Photos, Smile For The Camera, ,

Somber Anniversaries

Marian Neil Hines Nov. 30, 1936-Aug. 15, 2008

I have been in a somber mood the last couple of days, yesterday being my dad’s birthday, and today being one year since my mom passed away. It doesn’t seem like it’s been a whole year. I still call the spare bedroom “Mom’s room”.

There were times in the past year when I was having health problems that I needed my mother, but, she wasn’t here so I had to go through it alone. I needed to hear her say “everything’s going to be okay” and her favourite sayings “God doesn’t give you burdens that you can’t bear” and “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. I know that hearing those words from her woudn’t have made any difference in the outcome of my condition, but I would have loved to hear them just the same.

It doesn’t matter how old or “grown-up” you think you are, when a crisis hits, the words and advise of your mother are always a comfort and that’s what I miss most. I miss her sense of humour and her optomistic outlook. She was always looking at the good that would come out of some difficulty, and I miss her embraces that were often too tight.

My mom was my best friend and I could tell her anything, I miss being able to share my successes and failures with her, or just watching TV. She couldn’t miss a single episode of Y & R, she even had to watch her show before she went to the hospital the day she died. Right after her show was over, she and my sister where leaving to get a different prescription from the ER and didn’t make it out of the driveway when she passed away. I remember walking her down the steps with my sister, and mom was joking about if she fell, she’d probably take me with her.

Mom was a strong-willed woman, who, even though she knew she was going to die soon, was always in good spirits and was grateful for every day that she had. Her only fear was that she’d die in a nursing home if I couldn’t take care of her. It was getting to the point that I wasn’t able to care for her anymore and she knew it, but, she said she didn’t want to be a burden on me either. I think that she died when she wanted to, and where she wanted to and I am glad that she went suddenly, without pain, and I was able to be with her when she did, and I’ll always remember the peaceful look on her face when she uttered her last words, “Here it comes”.

Filed under: Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines, O'Neil/Neil, Special Events, , ,

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,

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