Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Library and Archives Canada - New Data Base

On September 23 Library and Archives Canada launched it’s new data base “Upper Canada Land Petitions (1763-1865)". The data base contains more than 77,000 references to petitions for grants or leases of land by individuals who lived in Upper Canada (Ontario after 1867) from 1863 to 1865. This data base will give you a reference to the microfilm that contains the petition.

For example, a search for Hillman results in six names of which George Hillman(great great great grandfather), and John Hillman (great great grandfather) are listed.

Name: HILLMAN, George
Place: Zone
Year: 1848
Volume: 245
Bundle: H 4
Petition: 127
Microfilm: C-2100
Reference: RG 1 L 3

What remains now is getting my hands on that microfilm.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Blue Eyed Family

You should know Cary Brothers' song “Blue Eyes”. If not shame on you.
“Cause Blue Eyes
You are all that I need
Cause Blue Eyes
You’re the sweet to my mean”
I have no idea what sweet to my mean means? I’m not with it. Must be a generation gap.

Occasionally I surf through scientific web sites not necessarily understanding what I am reading. I did tend to duck science and math at school as fast as it was thrown at me. Mind you not as fast as I ducked philosophy, and sociology definitely would send me fleeing for the nearest exit.

However, an article in the “Science Daily” web site hit my weird bone. Apparently blue eyed people have a common ancestor who lived sometime during the Neolithic. Mother Nature had thrown up a genetic mutation that had created a switch which turned off the ability to produce brown eyes. ALL RIGHT! We are mutants - what’s my special power? - can I join the X-Men?

I grew up in a blue-eyed clan. My parents, my grandparents, my children all have blue eyes. Sooo - should I come across a Hillman with brown eyes I’ll just cross them off as possible ancestors. Eh!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogical Fun- Your Genealogical T.V. Show

Randy Seaver’s  September 3rd. “Saturday Night Genealogical Fun”  asks for a timeline and ideas for a genealogical based T.V. show. Be funny or crazy. Well since I am either one or the other we can certainly do that.

For sometime now I have been thinking that some of the episodes in the lives of my ancestors could fit well as a novel (fiction of course). Perhaps it would work in a movie or T.V. show? I am thinking more along the lines of Monty Python.

My great grandfather was in the local militia during the Fenian Raids(1866-1870). His militia unit guarded the town of Sarnia against those nefarious Fenians. Needless to say not a shot was fired. The young men volunteered to protect Queen and country. They supplied their own equipment - muskets, fowling pieces, pitch forks. They rode whatever horse that their father would let them have - broken down plowing horses generally - generally Belgium mixes. Did I mention that this is a cavalry unit. They will be trained by an English officer on loan from the barracks in London. I was thinking that John Cleese would fit this role very well.

In one scene our heroes will practice charge a hill that supposedly The Fenians could be occupying. Think “Charge of the Light Brigade”, although with Belgium crosses perhaps it should be a “Charge of the Heavy Brigade”. Any one who knows anything about these horses knows that a run for them is probably a leisurely stroll for a thoroughbred. Since the average weight of men at that time was around 140 lbs. (60 in the unit), picture 8,400 lbs. of Upper Canadian manhood on 60 tons of horse. Meanwhile, there is time for the British officer to set up a table and chairs for a spot of tea, and cucumber sandwiches, while he watches the action (courtesy of the local farm ladies). I'll work on the love interest later.

Call this action adventure “The Wardsville Raiders”. or “What Did You Do During The Fenian Raids Daddy?”.