Austin Anger – a story by Lynda Sykes
My cousin Lynda Sykes wrote this story about our grandfather Austin Anger. She and her mother had dug out some old family pictures, including the one here of Grandpa giving her a “whisker rub” that she describes in her story. The photo was taken July 13, 1963 on Grandma and Grandpa’s 50th wedding anniversary.
All of us grandkids remember Grandpa as he is described here – his unique use of language, his sense of humour and his affection for us. Fortunately, we also have Lynda and her ability to capture our memories in words. Thanks, Lynda, for allowing me to reprint this here. click to read the story…
That Good Night (Oct. 17, 2012)
Yes, I thought, “old age should burn and rage at close of day.” But Dylan Thomas knew something I didn’t, I think, even when he wrote those words. He was still a young man, but he knew something that becomes apparent with age: sometimes it’s time to hang up your hat and say goodbye. Evidently, he never showed the poem to his father. He wrote it for himself – the child pleading to, and for, the father. He knew, maybe, that what his dad wanted was to go peacefully and quietly.
Four weeks ago my mother, my remaining parent, died. I know in my sensible brain that it’s good that her death was quick and peaceful. But there’s another part of me that says no, you should have fought to stay, you can’t leave me. more…
Poems by C. H. Burwell (Aug. 23rd, 2012)
It took a year but I have my grandfather’s poetry book in pdf format. If you would like to print it out, click here and download the file links on the page.
I don’t know when he began writing poetry but the 1st edition of his booklet was printed January 1946. The 2nd was printed in June 1958 and the 3rd, nine years after his death, in 1974. It is the 3rd one that I have scanned. There are some different poems in the first two and I will add those later.
He used poetry in two ways: one as a way to witness for his faith and the other to comment on life around him. The subtitle is “Poems concerning the things of today and poems confirming the Heavenward way” and that pretty much sums them up. more…
Mabee Graves (Feb. 8th, 2012)
These are the gravestones of Nancy Mabee Ostrander and her family at Jackson Cemetery near Courtland. Len Fluhrer, a London local history writer, sent me the photos. He took them while at the cemetery with Kate Ford who is part of the Canada GenWeb Cemetery Project.
Jackson Cemetery is just outside Courtland. Nearby, on the Otter River, is the site of the Middleton Hotel. It was owned by James Clark(e) Ostrander with his first wife Nancy Mabee and then his second wife Louisa Maria Haney. more…
Anger by name… (Nov. 23rd, 2011)
Years ago, I was in a public library in Los Angeles and found reference books on family names. I looked up mine, Anger. It said the name came from France, from the region of Anjou, with its main city being Angers. I was thrilled with the idea of being French.
When I came home, I told my father. He said “French! No! We’re German.” He had always said when asked that he didn’t know the family origins – “a little bit of everything” was his answer. So I remained convinced that we were French.
Much later, when I started delving into family history and found other family members doing the same, I discovered that Dad and I were both right.
The family was Huguenot or French Protestant. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Protestants in France had to convert to Catholicism or be killed or expelled. Or they fled the country. They went to Protestant countries, among them the territories that became Germany. And that is where the known history of our family starts. more…
Charles Hercules Burwell poetry
After having a couple people ask about my grandfather Burwell’s poem books, I have started scanning them and hope to reproduce them as closely as I can to the original format. I will then put them here probably as pdfs so that they can be easily downloaded and printed if you wish to. I believe he would like that. He had them printed and never charged anyone for them. It will take me a while, and I will update the site when they are ready. (August 12/11)
United Empire Rebels (July 12th, 2011)
A couple weeks ago, I posted the family tree of the Mabees, my paternal grandmother’s family. It’s the family I knew least about, other than there are a lot of them in the Tillsonburg-Courtland area. And I claim the fabulous figure skater Christopher Mabee, from Tillsonburg, as kin. Don’t know how he’s related, but I believe he must be, so I call him “Cousin Chris”.
Anyway, the internet allowed me to connect my limited knowledge of the Mabees with sources of a lot of information about them. The thing that I was delighted to discover is that the Mabees came to Canada from the US as United Empire Loyalists. That makes my entire lineage, both sides of both parents’ families, UEL. more…
The family trees posted on the following pages are of my birth and marital families. They are far from complete. I haven’t worked on them extensively or for long, relatively speaking. But, while looking around the internet, I haven’t found many sites specifically dedicated to these families. I know each one has members who have been researching its history for many years. Thanks to them, I have what information I have here. I hope I can return the favour by presenting the information here in a consolidated form. (click for links to sites related to Newfoundland Mi’kmaq genealogy)
I have done kinship research for many years as part of my education and employment. I developed extensive family trees first with index cards and sheets of paper and later with computer databases and programmes. But it was always other people’s families on which I worked.
In my work-related genealogical collection, people would ask me, “What about your people? Where do you come from?” I could tell them very little, other than where my parents were born. I realized I knew nothing about my own family. My grandparents’ names, a few names of great grandparents, a few places where some of them had lived – that was the extent of my knowledge. This was despite have a grandmother who knew and wrote down names, birthdates and places of birth and death of her and her husband’s family. All photographs had full names, places, dates and people’s ages on them.
My mother would give photographs to me with her full name written on the back. When I laughed, saying “Mom, I know who you are”, she’d say “Yes, but will someone who looks at this thirty years from now know?” My mother, grandmother and aunts would have made great archivists. They certainly made the work of archivists and genealogists easier.
My mother-in-law also loved family history and stories. She kept track of papers with vital information about her forebears and those of her husband. When computer genealogy programmes and online ancestry sites became available, she transcribed her information into computerized form and continued her research through the internet. She connected with relatives she had never met and shared materials. She wrote down in narrative form the story of her life, her life with her husband, and the stories of their parents and grandparents. It’s an entertaining tale, covering many decades and many parts of the United States.
Despite the stirring of interest in my own family history that questions like “Where do your people come from?” created in me, I didn’t find the time to methodically start research on my own background. I did start asking my mother and other relatives more questions and started taking notes. But like many people, I’d left my own efforts too late to gain the more first-hand knowledge my grandmother and her cohort had. But I have many of Grandma’s hand-written pages detailing names, relationships, places and dates of birth and death. (Grandma liked lists. In her papers, there’s one entitled “Names of Neighbourhood Dogs”.) I also have information, photographs and newspaper clippings my mother and aunts collected. On my paternal side, I have two cousins who have been researching that family through records and internet searching. And I have genealogy printouts, photographs and the life stories collected by my mother- and father-in-law on their families.
In the following sections, some of this information is presented and will be added to as I can correct and update. I have more boxes of papers that I have not gone through yet. However, even with that, I know I do not have complete information. Incompleteness is the nature of genealogy. So I welcome any information and corrections that you can provide.
You will see that information on living people is “privatized” so no dates are shown. The dates, if I have them, are in my database, so if you need dates or more information on someone, please let me know. If I can help, I will.
The families included are (I’ve put links to other genealogy sites on each of them):
1. Anger family (South West Ontario & North East USA)
2. Burwell family (South West Ontario & North East USA)
3. Lymburner family (South West Ontario and North East USA)
4. Mabee family (South West Ontario and North East USA
5. McConkey family (South West Ontario – partial)
6. Stewart family (Kentucky)
7. Smock & McDonald families (Kentucky and Southern USA)
In September 2012 I upgraded to Family Tree Maker 2012. Until then, I had used Family Tree Maker 2006. The consensus of comments and reviews was that 2006 was perhaps the best version for basic, simple database entry which was all I wanted. But it works on Windows XP and so, sadly, is out of date.
With the 2011 and newer versions, the format changed and reviews were overall positive about their capabilities and ease of use. The new emphasis is on connecting with the online ‘community’ of family trees on Ancestry, making albums, and adding photographs and documents. Family Tree Maker 2012 Essentials
adds an interactive function so that you can work on one computer or device and have the changes also made on your other ones. You can also collaborate with others in building a mutual family tree.
I bought FTM 2012 despite still having a working XP system and still happy with 2006. But it was right after my mother’s funeral and maybe I did it as a tribute to her and her work on family history. I haven’t regretted it and the little ‘leaves’ that pop up on names are indeed thrilling.
‘My Old Valley Home’ is a poem written by my grandfather, Charles H. Burwell, about his family’s farm. The photograph is of that farm on Eden Line beside the Otter River. Wilfred Burwell, my mother’s first cousin, and his wife Madge (my dad’s first cousin) lived there and farmed for their entire married life. The woman in the bottom photograph is said to be my father’s maternal great-great-grandmother. See the Mabee page for more on her.