Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Discovering Your Roots With No Rot

Great Great Grandfather McCormick
Recently I joined to see what information they have for exploring my family tree. Well it’s just amazing! They have actual documents, not copies mind you, scans of actual documents for all sorts of things. I found forms signed by my grandparents authorizing their children to enlist for military service, records of birth, death, marriage….anything you can think of. An amazing list of records and I was stunned to find I could access all this information without leaving the house.

But that’s not the point.

The point is, bear with me here, my ancestors were a pretty dull lot. I don’t know what I was expecting, but certainly more! They came from various countries in Europe – England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium (no surprises there), settled in Canada, and did various things from farming to running shops in Montreal. I guess this would be more interesting if one of the businesses was, say, Macy’s or Eaton’s, but then I’d be in a different family wouldn’t I? I haven’t found any famous painters, actors, authors or even criminals. Just regular folk.

I’m having a good time working on this (although it’s mainly a winter project). I’m lucky in that I have a lot of photos going back to my great-great grandparents, and most my relatives are buried in Montreal (the dead ones that is). holds information you’d never think of – they even have a list of the people executed during the French Revolution.........

"This database contains an index to more than 13,000 individuals who were condemned to be executed in connection with the French Revolution between 1792 and 1796. The majority of the executions were by guillotine. However, this index also contains the names of some individuals condemned to be executed by hanging, drowning, firing squad, or otherwise."

(No, I didn’t find a connection there. Maybe just ‘plain folk’ is better after all).

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  1. My husband and I are Ancestry addicts...for about 10 years now. That site sure has grown and sure does provide a lot of other site can compare to it! I have some roots in Canada...mostly eastern Ontario. I am hoping they release their 1921 census soon...there seems to be a hold up with it. Ah well...eventually it will get on there I am sure! Cheers!

  2. Once you start, you can't stop! It's very addictive. There's always more info to be found. Good luck with your search!