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Old 01-07-2008, 09:40 AM   #1
Jesse Joe
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,863
Default Hey cousin Catrinka !

Hi Cathy, I thought of you when I saw this article in this morning newspaper... May interest you ?

Do you know where you came from?

The beginning of a new year often sparks an interest in the past

By Emily Ridlington
Times & Transcript staff Published Monday January 7th, 2008

The gifts have been opened, good meals have been had and holiday fun with friends and loved ones has now come and gone. The holidays are a time when many Canadians begin thinking about where they have come from and the importance of their family history or genealogy.
And New Brunswickers are no exception. In fact, according to a national survey recently released by, New Brunswickers are the most genealogically-interested people in Canada.
Eighty-four per cent of the New Brunswickers included in the survey, which polled over 1000 Canadians late last year, reported they were interested in their past, while at the same time they suggested they actually know the least information about their ancestry.
One third of New Brunswickers don't know the maiden names of any of their grandmothers, which is the lowest percentage in the country in that category. Thirty-one per cent of New Brunswickers don't know what their grandfathers did for a living.
"I think that people are just not interested because they are busy with other things," says Diane Lynn Tibert, columnist of the Times & Transcript's Roots to Our Past column.
"At the genealogy meetings, you look around the room and I am the youngest one at 40 years old. People are busy with school and kids even though the intention is there," she says, explaining that the typical age for most people at the meetings is 50 or 60 years old.
Having always been interested in the past, the first family tree Diane completed was in elementary school.
"I was interested in asking my parents about their past and I wanted to know who people were," she recalls, explaining she comes from a large family with 11 siblings and that her father comes from a family of 17 children.
With all those names and stories, Diane admits it is sometimes hard to keep track of everybody.
Although seemingly pretty basic, she says she started to record everything in journals and write as much as she could in order to keep it all straight. Now with years of experience under her belt, she still recommends writing as a good starting point for beginners who are trying to figure out their basic family history.
According to the survey, it's no surprise Diane found herself so interested in the past -- its data suggests women are more interested in family history than men.
"I think that women are more connected to the family," she says, noting that often women have more patience, are the ones filling out the baby books and the ones making the notes as children grow up.
Megan Smolenyak, chief family historian at agrees.
"I do orphaned heirloom rescues where people wind up with other peoples' stuff say if they buy an old house and there is a bible in the activity. I track down the descendants of the original owners. For that research I almost always focus on the maternal lines because they keep the family photos and they know who the second cousins are. It is just that we (women) are programmed that way it seems," says Megan.
During family gatherings and events throughout the year is a good place to start your genealogical research. It's an easy time to ask older members the family what they can remember going back as possible.
"The key things are vitals "" birth, marriage and death certificates," Diane says.
For those who are Internet savvy, there is wealth of information to go through. Diane recommends the New Brunswick Archives site and their Daniel F. Johnson database. Discussion groups, chat rooms and forms can also help connect you to individuals who might have information you're looking for.
Megan says the beginning of a new year often creates more interest in the past. "We always have a huge spike on the website and that is from everyone getting together over the holidays," she says. "It tends to inspire folks when they sit down with grandma and they hear a story they have never heard before and makes them curious. People tend to go nuts with family histories in January."
In addition to asking family about their history, she suggests bringing photos to family gatherings because they are good conversation starters and they also often provoke memories. Talking about and compiling special holiday recipes is another way to record family traditions. With the technology available, camcorders at family events can easily record what is going for future generations to view.
Local libraries, archives and museums are also good places to start. Beginning genealogists should look for photos of headstones, important related artifacts, birth and death certificates, census records, passenger ship lists , cemetery listings and military records to help them find clues and linkages to and about their past.
With these tips and all the resources available, take advantage of the next family get together if you think you are at least all interested in genealogy as you never know what can be learned over a good cup of tea and a biscuit.
"Grandmas are living libraries. I always tell folks to talk to anyone in their family 20 minutes older than them because everyone can bring a different piece to the puzzle," says Megan.
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