Phamily Photos (June 30th, 2014)
I was looking through old albums and envelopes of photos and came across very old ones of my Grandpa Burwell and his family. I scanned some and added them to my Genealogy – Photographs page. Also I found one of Sam Trickett and his stepson (my grandfather Anger) and his son-in-law. Wow.
Battle of Ridgeway (June 2nd, 2014)
Today marks a bizarre incident in Canadian history. Irish-Americans invaded Canada, planning to hold it hostage as leverage to end British rule in Ireland. My family’s farmhouse was smack-dab in the middle of what became known as the Battle of Ridgeway. Reading about it, the threads I picked up led far into North American and Anglo-British political and cultural history.
June 2, 1866, soldiers of the US-based Fenian Brotherhood met Canadian militia at a limestone ridge near Ridgeway west of Fort Erie, Ontario. It was a kind of “who’s on first?” fight. more…
G. Frederick Anger UEL (Apr. 29th, 2014)
In colonial times [Georg] Frederick Anger, a native of Germany, lived on the Susquehannah River in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. During the American Revolution he joined Butler’s Rangers at Fort Niagara. Following the war, Frederick Anger settled in Bertie Township, Welland County. The following is his Claim for Revolutionary War Losses heard by the Commissioners of Claims at Niagara on 23 Aug 1787. (AO 12 Vol. 40 P. 335-338)* more…
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)
I have always loved Dylan Thomas’ exhortation to his dying father: Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
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… 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. 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. 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. more…
Mabee’s Corners (Apr. 21st, 2011)
My cousin Lynda Sykes wrote this about her visit to Mabee’s Corners, after reading about my ‘sighting’ of the road sign for it. She graciously gave me permission to post it (also in Seeing the World).
Ever since I can remember anything, I remember Grandma telling me many times with great pride how her family came to found Mabee’s Corners, which I vaguely knew was somewhere down around near Tillsonburg. 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 in my education and employment. I developed extensive family trees first with index cards and sheets of paper and later with computer databases. 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 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 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 do not have complete information. Incompleteness is the nature of genealogy. So I welcome information and corrections that you can provide.
You will see that information on living people is “privatized” so no dates are shown. Dates, if I have them, are in my database, so if you need 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)
I use Family Tree Maker 2012. I had been happy with my FTM 2006 but decided it was time to upgrade while doing so was still possible.
The 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. If you subscribe to Ancestry, you can use the ‘leaves’ that pop up for your own database, even if you don’t post your tree on Ancestry’s website. The leaves show you what other members have posted on particular people. It’s helpful, but you still want to be cautious. Sometimes errors just get passed from one tree to another.
‘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.