All posts by Tracey Arial

Tracey Arial explores how Canadians create meaningful lives with true stories about ancestors, businesses, community action and gardening. She produces books, courses, the Unapologetically Canadian podcast and helps run the Coop CAUS nonprofit.

Family History Writing 2014 Begins!

Today is the beginning of Family History Writing 2014.

Lynne Palermo, from http://www.thearmchairgenealogist.com/ challenges all of us to place a family history story on our blogs every day this month. She’s also created an online forum so that those of us participating can ask questions and share our work with one-another.

AnneMargueriteMarieHurtubiseArial

I’m participating for the first time. My challenge is to begin communicating some of the stories about ancestors identified by my grandmother, Anne Marguerite Hurtubise Arial, in a family tree that goes back to 1589. Looking through her documents shows how hard researching family history used to be prior to the on-line resources we have today. Marguerite’s documents include letters to researchers, cousins and authorities, mostly in Quebec, where many of her ancestors hail from. She’d be blown away by the National Archives digital resources now available via http://www.banq.qc.ca/, especially Iris and Pistard.

Although all of her work seems to be accurate so far, few sources and original documents are included in the package of material passed on to me. After digitizing her work, I’m now redoing her research and attaching sources to it for future generations. I’m also working on the family tree on my mother’s side.

This month, I’ll share some of the stories I’ve discovered while redoing her research.

Note: This post is cross-posted from http://arialview.ca.

“Our Canadian Roots” February 20

Ruth Dougherty (left) and Joan Benoit chat in front of Earl John Chapman who is seated at the table speaking with Oskar Keller.
Ruth Dougherty (left) and Joan Benoit chat in front of Earl John Chapman who is seated at the table speaking with Oskar Keller during Military Roots Day.

The Quebec Family History Society (QFHS) Heritage Centre and Library in Pointe Claire held an open house for people interested in genealogy and history related to their Canadian Roots last year, Wednesday, February 20.

The event was the brain-child of executive secretary Joan Benoit, who has been helping run the QFHS for the past 32 years. “We basically want to bring members together to celebrate and share our common interests in a fun way.” she said. “It caught my imagination.”

The event took place from 1:30 until 4 p.m. at 173 Cartier Avenue, Pointe-Claire, just south of the highway. About a dozen showed up to enjoy coffee out of their own mugs and pleasant family history research discussion.

This was the third in the “Roots Day” series that took place last year. The previous one, Scottish Roots, was the most popular, attracting some 55 people. It was followed up by Irish Roots on March 20, English Roots on April 17, Female Roots on May 15, and Quebec Roots on June 19.

The series began the previous December with an event focussed on military traditions. That one attracted about thirty people over the afternoon and evening. Author and amateur historian Earl John Chapman was there talking about his books, including a history of the Black Watch and his most recent work, “Bard of Wolfe’s Army: James Thompson, Gentleman Volunteer, 1733-1830.” The work collects Thompson’s journals together with historical commentary to help readers understand the times. It might appeal to people with ancestors who served during the siege of Louisbourg, the Battle of the Plains of Abraham or the attack on Quebec City.