So much information, so little time…

A few days into my Canadiana dive, and I’ve already found something. It’s not a big something — in fact, it’s somewhat small and more anecdotal than anything — but it’s something more than nothing.

That second paragraph, after the “Modern Shediac” title?  Simon à Pierrote Leblanc was my 1st cousin, 7 times removed. So to be clear, I wasn’t exaggerating when I said this was a small anecdotal find 😉 But still, to read something something like this, a published work that establishes my extended family in an area hundreds of years ago — I feel like this is the first step in what will eventually become an important process.

With that said, there’s SO MUCH INFORMATION!! I feel like I’m drowning in trying to wrap my head around how much is there. It’s amazingly fun 🙂

Countdown to Canadiana

There’s now just over a week to go before Canadian genealogists can reveal in the bounty that is the soon-to-be-free-of-charge Canadiana collection. From the Canadian Research Knowledge Network press release:

As of January 1, 2019, 60 million pages of Canadian digital documentary heritage will be available at no charge to users. The Canadiana collections are the largest online collections of early textual Canadiana in the world. The removal of the subscription paywall will allow unimpeded access to this unique historical content for researchers, students, faculty, and all users in Canada and around the world.

The Canadiana collections include three flagship collections: Early Canadiana Online, Héritage, and Canadiana Online. The Early Canadiana Online and Canadiana Online collections are comprised of Canadian monographs, periodicals, government publications, newspapers and annuals and amount to over 19 million pages. The Héritage collection, developed in partnership with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and CRKN, includes 900 collections of 41 million pages of archival materials. The Héritage collection includes scans of microfilm taken from some of Library and Archives Canada’s most sought-after archival collections. “LAC is proud to have partnered with CRKN to develop this fundamental collection for researchers, students, teachers, and all Canadians interested in their ancestry and shared history,” states Dr. Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. “We applaud CRKN’s decision to increase access to our documentary heritage.”

I don’t know what everyone else has planned for New Year’s Day, but I’ll be camped out on the couch with my laptop, some sparkling juice, and 60 million pages of digital heritage research materials 🙂

Using Death Records to Understand Life

Family History Fanatics has a great post this month on how to evaluate your family’s death records. As the post points out:

A death record may contain:

  • death date and place
  • burial date and place
  • birth date and place
  • parental names
  • marital status and spousal name

 

If you can understand which information from the death record can be vital in filling in gaps elsewhere, these could be the best documents that you will have in your repository.

Planning Ahead for RootsTech 2019

For those of us who can’t make our way to Salt Lake City, Utah for next year’s RootTech 2019 conference, technology will now allow us to enjoy all the information and fun directly from the comfort of our own homes! Use this handy streaming guide to tune into your favourite speakers or topics,  and use the #NotAtRootsTech hashtag to connect to other remote attendees.

I’m definitely tuning into the “Connecting Your DNA Matches” session on the Wednesday afternoon, and the “Research Road Map” discussion on Friday evening.

 

Grandma.

When I decided to start looking into my family history, it made sense to start with my father’s family first. My mother was fairly close to her family, and between her siblings and our cousins and extended aunts and uncles, there are plenty of people available to help with gathering information and understanding how the clan functions. That’s not the case on my dad’s side. He wasn’t particularly close to his dad, and his sisters both lived quite a distance away for my entire life. I was also drawn to learn more about the one grandparent that I had never met — my father’s mother, Alvina Marie Leblanc.

Continue reading Grandma.

The Nova Scotia Archives

If you’re a Canadian genealogist, chances are pretty good that at some point in your research you will find yourself looking for records kept in Nova Scotia. Since the 1600s, settlers and explorers have traveled through the eastern gateway into Canada; some have stayed and established roots, and others were only here long enough to sign their names to a card at Pier 21. Either way, there is a lot of genealogical documentation to be found in Nova Scotia, and thankfully the province has done what they could to make that information accessible to everyone.

The Nova Scotia Genealogy Guide is a great research for anyone who is just starting out with their research, or who may be new to searching for records specifically within Nova Scotia. There are also over two centuries of birth, marriage, and death records digitized and available through the Nova Scotia Genealogy website.

If your focus is less about documentation and more about culture, the Nova Scotia Virtual Archives has a plethora of databases and collections on dozens of different topics. Lists of the deceased from the Halifax Explosion and the Titanic disaster, old recipes from traditional Nova Scotian kitchens, newspapers on microfilm, census records from the 1700s, historical maps, Acadian cemetery records — if it happened in Nova Scotia, chances are pretty good there’s a reference for it in the archive. For anyone who is learning about their heritage and finds themselves needing to know more about the land known as New Scotland, this website is a treasure trove of information. It’s definitely at the top of my bookmark list.

The Acadian Project

One of the projects that I will be talking about a lot through this blog will be centered on information that I gather while researching my Acadian heritage. While there may be some information pertaining to Le Grand Derangement, the majority of the data will be about life in Acadian Nova Scotia prior to the expulsion.

Growing up, I knew that my father’s mother’s maiden name was Leblanc and she was from Moncton, New Brunswick. It wasn’t until I was an adult and I moved to the Maritimes that I understood what that really meant. For those not from this area, Leblanc is like Smith or Jones — you shake a stick and you’re bound to hit a Leblanc, and if you’re a Leblanc and you meet someone else with the same last name you’re probably related.

When I started delving into my family tree, the Leblanc branch quickly became the easiest to fill in because there was so much that has been published about the Acadians and their lives. Within months, I discovered that I am a direct descendant of one of the first Acadian families to settle in the Maritimes. Even crazier, their family homestead was located in a part of the province that was only half an hour from where my parents currently live, in a village now called Paradise. I first became interested in this hobby as a way of understanding my roots, and I had been practically sitting on them the whole time without knowing! These types of discoveries are what have continued to feed my interest in genealogy over the years, as I’ve grown to have a better understanding of where I came from and how that relates to the world around me.

I’m not going to do too much in terms of regurgitation of data on this site. There are way too many experts in the field who have published their own findings on this particular subject. And by no means do I consider myself an expert on Acadian history. But I will be talking about some of the things that I find in my research that can give me a better understanding of the life that my great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents lived while in the province that I now call home.