Saturday, November 17, 2012

Writing about Herbert

Before I begin my next story, I just wanted to say a few words about the process of writing about Herbert. Since early on in my family history research, it has been in my head to write about my family so that the stories would not be lost. I made a promise to myself that I would start my blog when I had gathered all the files and records about Herbert that I needed to tell his story. His past was always so intriguing and such a mystery, and it always struck me as so sad that we were no longer in touch with his family in England, or with the relatives of my English grandfather for that matter. I am happy to report that I am in frequent contact with one of Herbert’s brother Alick’s descendants, and have made contact with some Herbert’s sister Lizzie’s descendants. In addition, recently, I have met a relative of Herbert’s paternal aunt, Maria, on line, and we have been corresponding. I am indebted to Bert S., Alick’s grandson in Australia, for his contributions about Alick, and the family’s early life in England, and also Julie E. of the U.K. for data about Alick’s life which I have not included here. My email correspondence with Bert and Julie has been an amazing and inspiring adventure of discovery, which has been my pleasure to share with other close family members who also have been supportive of my research.

I also extend my thanks to my mother Barbara, my brother Brad, my Uncle Roy, and my late grandmother Alice for their contributions; and also to my son Devon, my sister Susan, and my Uncle Stan for their support. And, of course, I would not even be doing family history if it were not for my husband Jerry’s inspired birthday gift of a subscription to Also, I want to express my gratitude to my friends who have allowed me to “bend their ears” while I gushed about my findings. Last, but not least, I would like to thank Tamara, of the Family History Centre in Bellingham, Washington, and the volunteers at the British Columbia Genealogical Society in Surrey, British Columbia, for their assistance in researching Herbert's life. Putting Herbert’s story together bit by bit over the past year has been one of the best puzzles I have ever tackled, and it is by no means “solved”. The more I find out about his quintessentially Canadian story, the more questions arise. I look forward to learning more, and to making more connections with family, both near and far, as time goes on. Writing about Herbert in this blog, and charting the rest of my family history, has been a soul-satisfying process.

It has also been helping to bring my research into focus, and to examine my data more closely. It has already led to my finding a local history on line which includes information about Herbert’s wife Faith’s family, and a photo of her! (You’ll hear more about my favourite resource type, the local history, as time goes on). I have read that it is good genealogical practice to write a narrative about each ancestor when you have completed your research, so this blog is a place for me to do this.

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