Wednesday, 29 January 2014


I always feel like I've won something when I'm contacted by another one of my relatives on my father's side.

My Dad as I've mention before never talked about his side of the family. My Mom and some of my cousins have said that the split was racial.  I don't think so.  I'm hoping to get to the bottom and with my two new found cousins I'm hoping we can put together more of our past.

When I got in contact with Barbara she was not aware that she had family right in the city.  The same is true with Ron, but I'm so glad that we have found each other.

Barbara has shared photos with me and so has Ron.

I now know what my Great grandfather looked like.

These two people are my Great Grandfather and Grandmother.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

52 Week Challenge

A few of my colleagues on Facebook have taken up a challenge to write about one person from their tree each week for a total of 52 week.

They threw down the gauntlet and I have picked it up.  I have some catching up to do but let's see if i can do it.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

It's a small world after all.

I went looking for my Dad family and found more than I bargain for.

I started my research hoping to find answers.  What I found were cousins.

I have have found two of my 2nd cousin living right here in Montreal with me.  And were not that far away from each other.

It's small wold after all.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Getting better

 I find that I am getting better at picking up on those clues hidden away in documents.

I've learnt not to discount something because no ever told me.  There is a WHOLE lot that I was not told.

I was over look sometimes as a child, maybe because I was so shy.  But I was always watching.

I tell people that if you do not want me to know something or if you make a remark that you don't want me to hear, make sure that I am far far away.

Just a thought for now.

More to come....

Friday, 22 November 2013

CBC Writes Contest

I just submitted the story below to CBC Writes Contest.  Wish me luck.

“She was hit by a car crossing St. James Street.” 

That was the first thing I learned about my grandmother. The second was that she was born in England.  She came to Montreal in 1904 at the young age of 17 to join her mother and older sisters who had come over the previous year.

I often wondered if she knew that within a year she would take the biggest step of her life and marry a black man.  On August 5, 1905, Mary Ann Grimshaw married William Saunders at St George’s Anglican Church, on the corner of Stanley and De La Guachetiere. The church is still there today.

They set up house at 291 Aqueduct Street in Old Montreal and had nine children, seven who survived. My Dad was number five.

What was it like back then to be a bi-racial couple?  What kind of problems did they face?  That was the question that started me on my research.  But before I could even begin with their lives together, I found that on October 12, 1939 my grandmother was killed by a drunk driver while crossing St. James Street.

Through my research I found several newspaper articles about her accident. The articles were full of information about how and when she died. One publication even had a picture of her at the time of her death.  The only picture I had of her was taken not long after she had become a mother.

I also was able to get a copy of her coroner’s report.  The report listed all of her injuries and had the testimony of the two gentlemen, who had tried to help her after she was run down, as well as the name and address of the man who took her life.  It took great deal of effort not to go looking for his family members; you have to remember I had just read the coroner’s report which stated that he had not stopped after hitting her.

Some would say that after reading these accounts, I would lose the taste for genealogy, but as my fellow genealogists know, they just wet my appetite.

As I look back on the years that I have devoted to the research on my family tree, I’m always amazed with the facts and stories I have found. The picture that is slowly emerging shows a family overrun with tragedy, from falling from roofs to being struck by drunk drivers, it’s a wonder that I am even here.

To me genealogy is a puzzle to be put total one person at a time and when all the pieces fit, these are the people I call my family.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

In the beginning

As I look back on the years that I have devoted to the research on my family tree, I’m always amazed with the facts and stories I have found.

The picture that is slowly emerging shows a family over run with tragedy, from falling from roofs to being hit by drunk drivers, it’s a wonder that I am even here.

Let me go back to the beginning.

I remember visiting with my Aunts and Uncles, as we would always go "a calling" on Sunday afternoons.

Back in the 60’s and 70’s that was what you did on a Sunday and I was always fascinated with the relationships between my Dad and his brother and sisters.

My Aunt Alice was the HEAD of the family and what she decreed was law.
My Aunt May was the sick lady; she always seemed to hurt somewhere.
My Uncle George was that big guy with the loud voice.
My Uncle Teddy always made my Dad laugh.
My Aunt Lucy was the pretty lady who always smiled.
My Uncle Manny was as good looking as my Dad.

These were the people I started with.

Left to right:
Top row Uncle Manny, my Dad, Uncle George
Second row: Aunt Alice and May
Bottom row: Uncle Teddy and Aunt Lucy
to be continued....

Friday, 4 October 2013

Feeling GREAT!!!!

A few days ago I posted in Facebook that I wondered why I sit up all night looking through record after record and getting no hits.

Well not long after that I hit upon the obit for my great grandfather on my mother's side.  I had lost hope of finding anything on him.

Well today I got an email from a member on my father's side of the tree.

You have to realize that my Dad never spoke of his mothers family and that I knew next to nothing about them when I started my research.  Now I have a whole tree full of them and now have made contact  with a living, breathing relation.

Ask me if I'm feeling great!!!