Saturday, September 19, 2009

London & Middlesex Genealogy Society

The London and Middlesex branch of the Ontario Genealogy Society will meet next on Tuesday, 06 Oct 2009 7:00pm-9:00pm at the Westmount Ferraro branch of the London Public Library on 3200 Wonderland Rd. S. Topics include youth and genealogy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Favourite Blogs

I am not a big blog reader probably because I prefer blogs that provide useful information that I can use. There are not a lot out there that relate to my research in South-Western Ontario. There are exceptions( aren’t there always!). I do like blogs that look at genealogy in a light hearted way.

These are my favourite ones to date:

Anglo-Celtic Connections
A very well written blog that keeps you up to date on what’s going on in Ottawa, and in the British Isles.

Canadian Genealogy or ‘Jane’s Your Aunt’
A blog based in British Columbia with information on what the Canadian Genealogy Carnival is up to.

Canada Gen Web’s Blog
One should also keep an eye as to what is happening with Gen Web.

Genealogy Canada
Elizabeth Lapointe covers Ottawa through to the Maritimes.

Genea Musings
Randy Seaver’s blog I like for the technical discussions of Genealogy programs.

Then there are my exceptions. These two blogs are great for lightening up the mood and make you see that there is humour in what we are doing.

The Educated Genealogist
The Genealogue

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Two Hundred Years Ago

Well now this is a challenge. One hundred years ago my ancestors were well established in Ontario. Where were they two hundred years ago. It is hard sometimes to describe Upper Canada as it was two hundred years ago. It was a British colony and utterly dependant on Britain. The majority of the people in Upper Canada were what we call United Empire Loyalists. Population was centered around the Niagara and Kingston. London did not exist. The Talbot Settlement along Lake Erie was just getting going. The process of settling the province was getting underway. The War of 1812 was yet to come.

One branch the Shoemaker’s(from my paternal great grandmother) were already in Pennsylvania. What would be my great great great great great great grandfather Jacob Shoemaker was born sometime around 1676(thank you for the Latter Day Saints research) in Switzerland, and died sometime around 1751 in Pennsylvania. From there it runs Jacob Shoemaker(b.1708 in Germany-d.?), Jacob Shoemaker(b.1754 in Pennsylvania-d.1847 in Waterloo County, Ontario), George Tyson Shoemaker(b.1778 in Pennsylvania-d. 1884 in Waterloo County, Ontario), Jacob D. Shoemaker(b.1799 in Pennsylvania-d. 1902 in Waterloo County, Ontario). Martha Shoemaker(b.1831 in Waterloo County, Ontario-d.1914 in Kent County, Ontario), and my great grandmother Hannah McKay(b.1860-d.1947). The Shoemaker’s were part of a migration of Mennonites to Waterloo County in the 1820’s and 1830’s. One thing that the Hillmans and the Shoemakers had in common was that when they found a Christian name that they liked they ran with it through the generations!

The Hillman’s were still somewhere around the village of Westbury, Wiltshire. George Hillman and Susanna Brown were married in Wiltshire(England and Wales Marriages, 1536-1940. Why did they immigrate? They were farmers, and after the Napoleonic Wars things got tough. The tough times resulted in the Swing Riots of 1830. Perhaps they could see what was happening. The Hillmans immigrated to Canada sometime before 1830, probably around 1828-1829. A connection? Maybe so.

The Turners were from the Highlands. Enough said. I often remark that for the highlanders it could often be a choice between starvation, the British Army, the hangman’s noose, or immigration.

The exception seems to be the Thomas’s who were Cornish. From what I can find out they seem to be villagers not farmers. But then again they did not arrive until the 1890’s.

Two hundred years ago the common thread between all of the families seems to be farming. They were pioneers.