I’m Lk and I’m the Family Historian for my family.
I am also helping a few people who are close to me find their family history as well.
Well one of them. I guess you could say I started it and brought my sister and cousin into the journey with me.
I started my journey into Genealogy and Family History in 1999. It was late in the year, November or December, and I was searching for information on my maternal grandfather and his family. I knew some of the names of his siblings and his parents as well, where they lived, but that was about it.
It was a neat start to the journey because it was in that search that I found lost cousins. People that had been separated from the family because my grandfather’s sibling or their spouse didn’t want to have anything to do with the family.
We planned a family reunion. . It was in 2007. We met cousins and Aunts that previously we didn’t know. My mom knew many of them but had lost touch with them as we often do in the course of our lives. I think about 150 people altogether were there. It was a good time.
We would try to plan another one, but only a few people would end up coming to the reunion. We still had a good time, but I was saddened that others wouldn’t come out.
My journey didn’t stop with my Maternal Grandfather’s line.
I was also looking for my Dad’s family lines. I got lucky with those two branches of the family though. My Paternal Grandfather’s line was pretty much done all the way back to the early 1600’s by a distant cousin in Massachusetts. He sent me the information and the tree, which was extremely helpful. My Paternal Grandmother’s branch was done as well by a cousin in England.
Now it would be for me to confirm their findings for myself. Not because I didn’t trust them, but that’s part of the journey. Getting the documentation and discovering stories about as many ancestors as possible.
Unfortunately my Mother’s side of the family would prove to be the challenge.
I knew my maternal great grandfather was Irish. That has presented a problem as his father and mother have become my brick walls. Since many of the records prior to 1900’s was destroyed in a fire I have been unable to move past them. There are clues that we have but without definitive information and other records to draw from that brick wall may be there a while.
But I haven’t given up. Oh no lol. It’s just delayed.
My Paternal Grandmother was a bit of a different story and we had a bit more information.
We knew that we had some indigenous ancestry. You could see it in my Grandmother and both my uncles. As my mom ages you can see it more and more in her as well.
So we started with what we knew and worked our way back. It was neat because this was where my Sister really got interested. I found a connection to the HBC and Fur Trade in Canada and well, it’s been a frustrating and wonderful journey through that. In 2007 my Sister and I went to Winnipeg to visit the HBC Archives. It’s a trip I hope we can do again. I would get printed copies of post journals that I had got electronic copies of, and some of the post manifests that I got single pages for I would also get printed copies of the whole book as well as a digital copy of the whole book. They do have the same information at the Metis Nation of Alberta, but last time we tried to take a look they refused us access so not sure that we would ever be able to use their copies of things. I’m going to guess it’s just for their researchers to utilize, which is a shame. I shouldn’t have to go all the way to Winnipeg (as nice a city as it is lol) to do the research.
This is where my journey started.
It’s been a wonderful journey, but also different levels of frustration and disappointment scattered in there. We have discovered many things, some of the things we have discovered give us a different perspective on our family and what shaped them.
I am indifferent to some of what I have learned because I know it was a different time. To be angry or ashamed of things my ancestors did would be to take onto myself the weight of their actions and choices and I won’t do that. That is not my responsibility as a Family Historian.
I must always remember, no matter what I find, it was a different time. Morality and belief systems were different than they are today. And whether I like what I find or not, it helped shape them and those that came after them. And therefore helped shape who I am today.
But It is not who I am and it is not the only thing that shaped me specifically. In fact, it was only a small part, but an important part for without those ancestors, I would not even be here now typing this entry.
Thank you for reading.