Cemeteries of Whatcom County, Washington

After moving to Bellingham almost a 10-years ago, this little slice of the Pacific Northwest has become my home away from home. I now consider it my hometown, even though I was born in Utah. It has become my part of paradise and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. As a genealogist, one of the first places I went to when I arrived was the local cemetery closest to me. In fact, it was my first picture taken here.

Oct. 28, 2008 - Bayview Cemetery
Oct. 28, 2008 – Bayview Cemetery

Cemeteries are important to me. They provide information for my research and profession and are my ‘happy place’. What genealogist wouldn’t want to spend all day in a cemetery?

Bayview Cemetery

In Whatcom County, there are over 45 known (or former) cemeteries. I’ve been to several of them, but not nearly all. There are many that are now on privately owned land that I may never see, but below are all the cemeteries that have ever been on Whatcom County land.

  • Bayview Cemetery
  • Bethany Lutheran Cemetery
  • Beth Israel Cemetery
  • Blaine Cemetery
  • Blaine Masonic
  • Buchanan Cemetery (a.k.a. Woodlawn Cemetery)
  • Case Cemetery
  • Central Cemetery
  • Enterprise Cemetery
  • Glacier Cemetery
  • Goshen Cemetery (a.k.a. Sulkanon Cemetery)
  • Greenacres Memorial Park
  • Greenwood Cemetery
  • Haynie Cemetery
  • Hillsdale Cemetery
  • Hopewell Cemetery (a.k.a. Licking Cemetery)
  • Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery
  • Jobe Cemetery
  • Kendall Cemetery
  • King Mountain Cemetery
  • Lakeside Cemetery (a.k.a Clearbrook Cemetery, Pangborn Lake Cemetery, and Van Buren Cemetery)
  • Lummi Island Cemetery
  • Lummi Tribal Cemetery
  • Lynden Cemetery
  • Lynden Jim Cemetery
  • Maple Falls Cemetery
  • Mt. Calvary Cemetery
  • Mt. Hope Cemetery (a.k.a Deming Cemetery)
  • Monumenta Cemetery
  • Mountain View Cemetery
  • Nooksack Cemetery
  • Nooksack Indian Cemetery
  • Nooksack Tribal Cemeteries
  • Old Maple Falls Cemetery (a.k.a. Cannon Cemetery)
  • Perry Cemetery
  • Point Roberts Cemetery
  • Saxon Cemetery
  • Semiahmoo Indian Cemetery
  • ST. Anne’s Cemetery
  • St. Joseph’s Catholic (a.k.a Clipper Cemetery)
  • St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery (a.k.a. Columbia Valley or Deming Catholic)
  • Sumas Cemetery
  • Ten Mile Cemetery
  • Van Zandt Cemetery (a.ka. Grange Cemetery)
  • Welcome Cemetery (a.k.a Kulshan Cemetery)
  • Wickersham Cemetery
  • Woodlawn Cemetery (a.k.a. Paradise Cemetery)
  • Zion Lutheran

In future posts, I will be going more into more detail about the history of these cemeteries and information about them. Which ones would you like to see featured first?


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Momma Went Missing: Carrie S. Nickles

Not much is known about Carrie S. Nickles (née Burnap), except that she died in May of 1897 — her body wasn’t found until June of 1897. Details of Carrie S. Burnap’s early life are not known, but she was the wife of Benjamin J. Nickles and the mother of two sons, on an unknown and Benjamin Harrison Nickles (the husband of my first cousin 3x’s removed).

When Benjamin Jr. was only nine years old, his mother, Carrie went missing. This was in 1897, 23 years before women got the right to vote and much before good mental health practices were developed.

On May 27, 1897, Carrie went missing from her home in Centralia, Washington — a little town just south of the state capital, Olympia,.

An article in the Morning Olympian in 1897 made mention of this incident:

Momma went Missing

The article is as follows:

Searching the Skookumchuck

Mrs. Nickles, of Centralia, Thought to Have Drowned Herself

Centralia, May 28 — Mrs. Nickles, wife of B.J. Nickles, mysteriously disappeared from her home yesterday evening. It is thought that sickness and trouble deranged her mind. she left without a wrap or head covering, after her husband and two sons had retired, and has not been heard of since.

Several theories as to her whereabouts have been set forth, the most general being that she had drowned herself in the Skookumchuck river, which flows near the Nickles resident. Giant powder and drag-hooks have been used, but as yet without avail. 

After reading this small amount of print dedicated to the life of Carrie Nickles it is a wonder what she is running from. We can assume that the remark from the article that relates to “sickness and trouble deranged her mind,” is remarking to some sort of mental illness or psychiatric condition that Carrie suffered from.

Pontiac State Hospital  - Oakland, Michigan, Administrative Building (1939)
Pontiac State Hospital – Oakland, Michigan, Administrative Building (1939)

Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people across the globe, which if you think about it, is a staggering number (450 million). This can range from anxiety to depression to schizophrenia and any number of mental illnesses.

NAMI

Nearly all of us have suffered from some moment in our lives where we have fought off a depression or faced anxiety about something — and I want to let you know, you aren’t alone.  My own mental illnesses aren’t something I talk about in public too much because they are still considered a taboo topic to converse about in many circles.

I am a bipolar, ADD/ADHD, anxiety-ridden person. I’m not saying this to brag or to show off, but to let you know that you aren’t alone. You don’t have to be alone.

If you are looking for resources be sure to check out NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), a grassroots organization dedicated to helping those who suffer.


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Family History Friday: Tree Jokes

As a long time writer, journalist and record keeper, I often come across old entries and rough drafts of online posts or stories that I’ve written. This particular one holds significance to me as it includes a personal story from when my husband and I first started dating.
This prompt came from Mama’s Kat (now Mama’s Losin’ It) and was originally posted on a former online blog Radical Geekery, now The Art of Radical Geekery. Drumroll, please!
1. Share a joke that always makes you laugh
 Q : What kind of math is a tree’s favourite?
A : TWIG-onometry
Funny Joke
There is actually a story behind this joke. When I was a freshman in college, I had just begun dating my husband. Back then, we were creative in where we liked to hang out and what we did. There was a small park with a couple of trees that we tended to frequent. These particular trees were just at climbing height and we liked to climb up into them and sit in the branches and talk.
One summer evening we were sitting we sitting in the trees just chatting and he looked right at me and said, “What kind of math is a tree’s favourite?”  Inwardly, I groaned slightly but loved it because this is the type of jokes my father and brothers always told growing up. When he gave the answer of “twig-onometry” I laughed really loud because it tickled me that the man I was dating was like my family. I knew he would fit right in with my family at that moment.
Join us next week for Family History Friday and leave your favorite jokes below!

Passion Projects — An Update on Life Stories Transcription Services

I can hardly believe it, but after months of working my ass off, I’ve put together my first solid business — Life Stories Transcription Services. This idea came about after graduating with my bachelor’s degree from Western this last summer. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life and retail wasn’t cutting it anymore. Late night musings and a couple of glasses of wine lead me to my current business model.

Life Stories Transcription Services
Logo by Timber Cove Design

Owning a successful business was something I never thought I could do, as I’ve had many failed (albeit passionate) ideas, projects and businesses in the past few years (handcrafted soap, social media consulting, and a couple of other more risque items). It took several times of failing to find a passion and a way to earn money that had attracted the same values. And I finally did it with genealogy + transcription. =)

If Plan A didn't work, the alphabet has 25 more letters! Stay cool.

Early this morning, in the witching hours of 3 a.m. (my natural state), I was finishing up my first client’s transcription and realized how much I loved this work. I love personal histories. Stories of peoples lives are so fascinating to me.  Listening to the voices of men, women, and others talk about their life stories and experiences. How different will we sound to our children and grandchildren?

If you are wanting to preserve your family stories, be sure to hit me up. You can message me here on Facebook. I love working with people and accept alternative payments if we can work it out. =)

 

 

Wake Up. Kick Ass. Be Kind. Repeat.

Photo from Project Happiness

Succeeding at this, I’m feeling more empowered and ready to kick some major slacker ass in myself. What are some of your projects that you’ve finally seen to

What are some of your projects that you’ve finally seen to fruition? Share them in the comments below with a link to your small business or service. No MLM’s please and thank you!

Forgotten Women of History Friday: Lulu Marie Sayer

As this blog has evolved and grown over the past couple of months, I’ve tried to consolidate all of my genealogical-type posts in one place, here at The Hipster Historian. One of these types of posts was my feminist-centered blog on Tumblr called Forgotten Women of History, which I am reviving here at The Hipster Historian.  You can check out a former post about Philena Mae Fairbanks here.

Forgotten Women of History

Today we are bringing you the story of Lulu Marie Sayer.

Lulu Marie Sayer

Lulu Marie Sayer (1892 – 1968) ~~ The Mother Who Abandoned Her Child

It is hard to imagine that any mother would ever abandon their child, but in the time before reproductive rights for women, this was very common for many reasons. It was during this troubled time of rights for women, just a year before the 19th amendment was passed that a young mother by the name of Lulu Marie had a child in the city of Rome in upstate New York.

Ms. Sayer had already give been birth two children to her first husband, Arthur J. Tanner before he died in October 1917 from a freak accident after being hit by a passenger train, breaking his leg. Only being married seven years, Lulu was widowed at age 25 with two small children in the early 20th century where she had no rights.

Working in Rome while she tried to figure out how to support her small family, Lulu became pregnant by an unnamed man, the only clue we have is the newspapers clippings at the time. The authorities had identified him (through Lulu) as a man residing in Whitesboro, New York.

At this time we will never know if the child produced from this meeting was one of consent or not, but during the early 1900′s rape was not widely reported due to the stigma in our culture.

After she became pregnant with her son, Lulu gave birth to him in May of 1919 and left him at the House of the Good Shepherd in Utica, New York at their home on 1700 Genesee Street.

The young boy remained there until Lulu came back for him after she married her second husband, Theodore D. Spencer on the 24th of September of 1919.

After she brought back the infant back home the story complicates a tad – depending on who you talked to, it certainly made headlines in the Syracuse Post-Standard.

image

Lulu was quoted by the Watertown Daily Times in 1919  as saying that she loved the baby, but that her new husband, Theodore would not accept another man’s baby around, even though he accepted her as his wife. She insisted that she had told her husband everything about the origins.

Theodore has another story to tell. According to the report from the Daily Times, Theodore told authorities that Lulu was lying and he assumed the child to be from an illegitimate union of one of his new bride’s sisters.

Either way, it went, the couple decided to get rid of the infant in the best way they could deem possible – by leaving him in the woods near Parish, New York, hoping the child would be found by someone willing to take care of it.

Luckily, to hunters in the area found the baby boy and were able to take him to get greatly needed medical care. The only reason they were able to identify Lulu as the mother was a hand embroidered handkerchief left with the child.

image
What would have happened at any other time in history? It is hard to really say, but one thing is for certain – the rights that Lulu possessed not only to be in charge of her reproductive choices and what to do when face when faced with what seems like an insurmountable problem was challenged.

Back in the day, we didn’t have anything like Planned Parenthood or access to birth control, which would have helped Lulu. I greatly encourage all of you to support reproductive rights by donating to Planned Parenthood and click here.
Sources Cited:

  • Year: 1900; Census Place: Richland, Oswego, New York; Roll: 1144; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0141; FHL microfilm: 1241144
  • Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
  • Spencer Couple Who Abandoned Baby Say They Didn’t Want Tiny Thing to Die. (1919, November 13). Syracuse Post-Standard, p. 1.

The Italian Genealogical ABC’s: Days of the Week

I’ve recently been enamored with Italian genealogy (see here) because of digging into friends with Italian ancestry. I’ve come across names like Bugni, Catania, and Sorrentino and fell in love with the language and decided to learn it. As part of my study, I’m starting a series called “The Italian Genealogical ABC’s” on important genealogical words you’ll find in Italian documents.

The Italian Genealogical ABC's

This week it is all about the days of the week. While days are not as common as years or dates (21st, 22nd, etc.), they are still important when translating the document. In the picture below, you will find the days of the week — Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday — translated into Italian as well as the Italian abbreviations.

Now that you’ve gotten a chance to check out the translations and abbreviations, let’s go into a little history, etymology and other trivia facts about the days of the week in Italian.

FUN FACT #1: Italian days of the week are never capitalized.

FUN FACT #2: The origin of most of the days of the week come from Teutonic deities.

FUN FACT #3: The translation for ‘days of the week’ in Italian is ‘giorni della settimana’

FUN FACT #4: In addition to being named after Teutonic/Roman deities the days of the week are associated with a body in our solar system.

  • lunedì = Luna = Moon
  • martedì = Marte = Mars
  • mercoledì = Mercurius = Mercury
  • giovedì = Giove = Jupiter
  • venerdì = Venere = Venus
  • sabato = Saturno = Saturn
  • domenica = Sole = Sun

What other facts or tips do you have about learning and transcribing the days of the week in Italian? Be sure to comment below and share with your fellow genealogy friends.


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How City Names Change: From Salem, Utah to Bellingham, Washington

Cities have longed dotted the landscape of this planet and ever since Argos, Greece over five millennia ago we have congregated in them. As we search through the records of our ancestors, thousands of cities in dozens of languages stand out to us as genealogists. For many of us, New York City and Ellis Island are particular names of places that our ancestors first stepped on the shore of.

Ellis Island, 1905
Ellis Island, 1905

Why do cities or locations mean so much to us? It gives a grounding of who we are where we come from. It gives a place to come back to and as short story author Simon Van Booy said:

for-those-who-are-lost

Sometimes we are puzzled and hit a brick wall when the city we see on the record doesn’t match any city on earth. This could be for a number of reasons but it is always difficult when we come across this. In fact, a few months ago this happened to me and I was stumped about where to find the following city:

Badzas Vylak

Turns out, the place still exists, but because of wars and border changes, it is now in a completely different country.  According to this WWII Draft Card, the name of the city the individual was born in was Badzas Vylak, Czechoslovakia. I scoured the internet for the tiny town or village but to no avail, so I turned to Reddit. It just so happens to be the R/Slovakia subreddit that was able to answer my question. Turns out that it was a horrible translation of Bodzásújlak, which is now located in modern-day Slovakia.

Other times, the city still stands and is running, but is known by a completely different name. For instance,  Salem, Utah located in the middle of the state of Utah and named in honor of an early pioneer to the area,  Lyman Curtis’ birthplace in New Salem, Massachusetts.

Lyman Curtis
Lyman Curtis

I was going through some census records 1870 to find more information about a family living in the area and I kept seeing references to Pondtown, Utah. This puzzled me as I had never heard of the place before. Again, I started down the rabbit hole that is known as Google to find some more information.

It turns out that Salem, Utah was known as Pondtown for a great number of years and is still used colloquially around the area in such things as the Pondtown Christmas Festival. Knowing this can help me better map individuals in a tree, even if the original name of the town has been changed, forgotten or merged.

 

Pondtown Utah
Salem (formerly Pondtown) Utah

One of my favorite stories of a town name change is about the city I currently reside in –Bellingham, Washington. The change happened when four distinct villages: Sehome, Fairhaven, Whatcom and Bellingham all merged into one on November 3, 1903. Even though it is all one city, legally, we still recognize each one of those neighborhoods (plus dozens of more) as residents.

Bellingham, Washington - Abt. 1909
Bellingham, Washington – Abt. 1909

What other towns or place names have you found that have disappeared? Share them in the comments below!


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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem,_Utah#cite_note-5

 

http://person.ancestry.com/tree/103951046/person/340035904984/facts

Italian Surnames: 20 Most Popular Surnames

Since I’ve been knee-deep in Italian research for several families (Serago, Sorrentino, Bugni, & Pescatore) I decided to take a more in-depth look at Italian surnames, their history and what they mean. Today’s blog post goes over the twenty* most popular Italian surnames according to the Italian Surname Database.  While this list is by no means exhaustive, it is a start on some of the more popular Italian surnames you will find in your research. What other ones have you come across? Leave a comment below with your favorite Italian surname.

*Yes, there is two picture missing, but that is because Rossi and Russo are derivatives of each other as are Ricci and Rizzo.

ROSSI

Rossi is said to be the most common surname in all of Italy and very common in other countries due to the Italian diasporas during the 19th and 20th centuries. Due to these diasporas, you can individuals with the last name Rossi and Italian heritage across the globe, including in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Switzerland, the United States and Uruguay.

Alternate Surname Spellings: ROSSO, ROSSA, RUSSI, RUSSO, RUGGIU, RUBIU, ROSSELLI, ROSSELLO, ROSSELLINI, RISSIELLO, ROSSILLO, ROSSETTI, ROSSETTO, ROSSETTINI, ROSSITTI, ROSSITTO, ROSSINI, ROSSINO, ROSSOTTI, ROSSOTTO, ROSSINI, ROSSONE, ROSSUTO, RUSSELLO, RUSSINO, RUSSOTTI, RUSSOTTO, RUSSIANI, RUSSOLILLO

FERRARI

This last name is an occupational (job) surname from the Italian word ‘ferraro’, which means blacksmith. This is originally derived from the Latin word ‘ferrum’ meaning iron. This particular surname is the Italian equivalent of the surname Smith, meaning it is incredibly common.

Alternative Surname Spelling:  Ferari

Ferrari

ESPOSITO

This was a surname commonly given to children in Italy who were abandoned or given up for adoption by their parents. This name is from the Latin word, ‘expositus,’ the part participle of the Latin verb ‘exponere,’ which literally means to ‘placed outside’ or ‘exposed. After the unification of Italy in 1861, laws were put in place that forbid the practice of giving surnames that reflected a child’s origins.

Alternative Surname Spelling: Esposti, Esposto Esposti, Delgi Esposti 

Esposito

BIANCHI

This surname comes from the word ‘bianco,’ meaning ‘white’ and was often given to a person who had white hair or a very light complexion.

Alternative Surname Spelling: Bianca, Bianco, Bianchessi, Bianchetti, Bianchini, Bianciotti, Biancolini, Bianconcini, Biancotto

ROMANO
Romano is the Italian for of ‘Romanus,’ the Latin word for Rome. This popular Italian surname was often used to denote an individual from Rome, Italy.
Alternative Surname Spelling: Romani

COLOMBO
This surname is from the word ‘colombo’, which means dove and was a last named often give to dove keepers. This name also increased in popularity during the Middle Ages due to the fact that the dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit in Catholicism.
Alternate Surname Spellings: Colombani, Colombera, Colombini, Colombrino
RICCI
This surname is drived from the Italian adjective ‘ricco’ which means ‘curly. Ricci and its variations like Rizzo are a nickname for someone with curly hair:
Alternate Surname Spellings: Riccio, Rizzi, Rizzo, Rizza, Risso, Riccelli, Ricciarelli, Riccetti, Riccini, Riccioli, Ricciolino, Ricciulli, Ricciotti, Riccioni, Ricciuto, Ricceri, Riccitiello, Rizzello, Rizziello, Rizzetti, Rizzetto, Rizzini, Rizzoli, Rizzola, Rizzotti, Rizzoni, Rizzone, Rizzari, Rizzato, Rizzieri, Rizzuti, Rissolo.
MARINO
The surname Marino has derived from the Latin word, ‘marinus,’ meaning ‘of the sea,’. The Marino and Marini surnames indicated someone who lives or works near the sea (‘mare’ – Italian/Latin).
Alternate Surname Spellings: Marini, Marin, Marinelli, Marinella, Mariniello, Marinetti, Marinuzzi, Marinolli, Marinotti, Marinoni, Marinato, Marianacci
Marino
 GRECO
This surname indicates an individual from Greece.
Alternate Surname Spellings: Grieco, Greci, Grechi, Grego
BRUNO
From the Italian word for brown, Bruno was a nickname for a person with brown clothing, hair, or skin. It comes from the German word, ‘brun,’ meaning dark brown.
Alternate Surname Spellings: Bruni, Bruna, Brunazzi, Brunello, Bruneri, Brunone, Brunori
Bruno
GALLO
This was a nickname for a proud person or one with a vain or cocky attitude. It comes from the Latin ‘gallus,’ which means cock or rooster.
Alternate Surname Spellings: Galli, Galletti, Gallini, Galloni, Gallucci
GALLO
CONTI
Deriving from the Old French word, ‘conte’ meaning count, it denoted someone who worked for a count (noble) or was possibly himself a count. It was adopted as a mark of nobility for many individuals.
Alternate Surname Spellings: Conte, Contiello
DE LUCA
A patronymic (a name that derived from the name of the father) surname meaning ‘son of Luca.’ The given name Luca is the Italian translation of Luke, from the Grek name Loukas meaning from Lucania, a region found in Italy.
Alternate Surname Spellings: Di Luca, Diluca
De Luca
 COSTA
This surname denotes a person who lived by a river or the sea and comes from the words coast or riverbank. It is Italian, Spanish and Portuguese in origin.
Alternate Surname Spellings: Da Costa, Di Costa, De Costa
GIORDANO
Giordano comes from the Italian form of the name Jordan. This particular surname has its roots in the Hebrew name “Yarden” which is the name of the Jordan river flowing between the countries of Jordan and Israel. It is derived from ‘yarad’ which means to descend or flow down.
Alternate Surname Spellings: Giordani
GIORDANO
MANCINI
This comes from the Italian word ‘manco’ which literally means left-handed and is Italian in origin.
Alternate Surname Spellings: Mancino, Mancinelli
MANCINI
 LOMBARDI 
This is a geographical surname for someone who came from Lombardy, a specific region in Italy which received its name from the Lombards, a Germanic tribe who invaded the region in the 6th century.
Alternate Surname Spellings: Lombardo, Lombardini, Lombardelli
MORETTI
This name is derived from the diminutive of the given name of Mauro, the Italian form of Maurus, meaning dark-skinned of someone coming from Mauritania in northern Africa. This surname may also be derived from the word ‘morro’ meaning rock.
Alternate Surname Spellings: Moreti, Moroelli, Morini, Morucci, Moruzzi, Morucchio, Moratelli, Morisi, Moratti, Morazzi, Morassutti, Moreschi, Moroni
MORETTI
That is is for the 20 (er..18) popular Italian surnames. Which other names have you come across in your Italian research?

Genealogy in the Works: The Ultimate Genealogist Blogger

Genealogy waits for no man (or woman) and it’s been a few weeks since I was able to get an interview for Genealogy In The Works out on the blog. But wait no longer, today’s interview is with Thomas MacEntee from Geneabloggers.

Thomas and I met when I posted my first Genealogy In The Works with Patrick Barrett — you can view it here. Through friends, I was introduced to him and other like-minded genealogy bloggers and quickly came into a deep appreciation for what he does. I’ve even done a few of his prompts with Tombstone Tuesday.

Without further ado, here is Thomas MacEntee, founder of GeneaBloggers.

1. Your website, GeneaBloggers is one of the most well-known in the social media community of genealogists. How did this start and what did you/do you hope to get from that?

In late 2008, I was able to step back and see the coming convergence of Facebook, Twitter, improved Internet access speeds and genealogy to realize there would be a need for a site such as GeneaBloggers. I know I wasn’t the only genealogy blogger and there was a small hardcore group of bloggers who were also passionate about family history. So I decided to organize these bloggers into an online community to promote the concept of blogging family history, to promote various blogs, and to provide resources to get people started on blogging.

Thomas MacEntee, 2016
Thomas MacEntee, 2016

2. How did you get started in genealogy?

My first taste was in 1977 when the mini-series Roots appeared on television. I watched the series with my great-grandparents, and after each episode, we’d discuss our family history. I was told there was a “book” about our genealogy that had been printed.

Sure enough, in the late 1980s, I received a copy of this “book” when my great-grandmother died – it was printed in 1916 and traced my mother’s Putman line back to 1645 in New York.

I really didn’t pick up the genealogy bug until the mid-1990s when Family Tree Maker software gained in popularity as did Ancestry.com

3. What is your current area of study or passion?

As a business owner of a small genealogy company, I’m trying to figure out how to communicate and create a sense of “urgency” to current and future family historians. Historically, genealogy has been something that older people pursue when they retire. We need to preserve family stories and artifacts NOW, not later and get all generational levels of the family passionate about family history.

4. Tell us a quick story about our family!

My family can be traced to Rhode Island (Robert Austin of Charlestown, b. 1628), New York (David Putman, arrived Schenectady 1645) and New York (Hugo Freer, founder of New Paltz, NY, arrived abt 1675). I’m sure there are scandals like any family but I haven’t found too many of them so far!


5. What advice would you give to genealogists?

Go slow – this is not a race.

Be accurate – you want to leave a solid legacy, not sloppy work.

Cite your sources – know how you found information.

Connect with others and share – you are a steward for your family history

6. Why is genealogy important to you? 

Genealogy helps understand certain familial traits and behaviors and it also helps me put my family in the context of history overall.

7. What is your favorite thing about genealogy? 

I love problem-solving and cracking open mysteries about my families.

A big thank you to Thomas! You can find him at the wildly popular GeneaBloggers website here and on Facebook + Pinterest. Be sure to follow The Hipster Historian on Facebook here.

Genealogy in the Works – Reuniting Families

Happy President’s Day! It seems like this month has gone by so quickly – but most February’s do. We here at The Hipster Historian were able to get out to a cemetery in the county and take a few pictures (see here) as well as interview our newest member of the Genealogy in the Works family, Karen from the British Home Child Group International (BHCGI).

The British Home Child Group International is a group of genealogists and historians seeking to help those families who are searching for their long-lost loved ones.  As the website states,

“From the early 1860’s up to the 1970’s, children who were institutionalized in ‘Homes’ across the UK, were sent, to countries across the British Empire to be used as indentured farm workers and domestics. The majority of the up to 120,000 British Home children sent to Canada, arrived between 1869 and 1939. Mostly, they ranged in age from four to fifteen.”

The BHCGI  is something I hadn’t heard of and I just had to interview with Karen to get to know more about the hundreds of thousands of home children who have been lost to history. Read on to learn more.

1. What is the British Home Child Group International and how did you get involved?

The BHCGI is an organization that myself and 3 others founded in 2015. Our mission statement is to provide free research and genealogical tips and to reunite families of British Home Children world-wide. Through our Facebook page and website we help those seeking information. We have some amazing researchers who are always willing to help.

2. How did you get interested in genealogy?

From a young age I was always interested in my family history.  My dad started in 1969 when he learned that our surname had been changed from Gandley to Stanley.

3. What is your current study or area of passion?

I have a few areas that I enjoy researching, of course British Home Children, but I find the history of my Province (Ontario) quite fascinating. I am a volunteer with the Sharon Burying Ground which contains members of the Children of Peace, an offshoot of the Quaker’s. They played an important role in the area.

They built the Province’s first homeless shelter, started the first civilian band in Canada and developed the first farmer’s co-operative. The Children of Peace also played a critical role in the development of democracy in Canada. I also enjoy researching the First World War. I am quite proud that Lt. John McCrae, the writer of In Flanders Fields, went to my high school.

Sharon Burying Ground
Sharon Burying Ground

4. Tell us a little quick story about your family history! 

I enjoy researching the “black sheep” of the family. As I said earlier my great grandfather changed our surname from Gandley to Stanley upon entering Canada in 1906, but after he came back from serving in the First World War, he disappeared never to be seen or heard from again.

Eventually I found that he went back to England, changed his name back to Gandley, married another woman and had 4 more children. I thought the story of my other great grandfather Thomas Shorter who was a butler in England and Ireland was a pretty simple story, until a few years ago I was contacted by a gentleman in England whose grandmother was a parlor maid in the same household as my great grandfather in the 1901 UK Census.

A year later, she had a baby boy, naming him after the butler. Why did she name him after the butler, was he kind to her in her time of need, or was he the father? Well, it turns out the Butler did do it and I have a new great uncle and family.

 

5. What advice would you give to genealogists?

My advice to genealogists would be to think outside the box, not everything is black and white and to have an open mind while researching. I would also encourage people to talk to their more senior family member’s, they can be a wealth of information that may help you in your research.

karenmahoney

6. Why is genealogy important to you?

Genealogy is important to me as it reminds the living of those who have passed. It honours the struggles and joys of your ancestors and what they went through to where you are now. It’s a passion that can be very rewarding.

Give a big thank you to Karen for her interview. Check out the British Home Child Group International website here and be sure to check back next week for our next Genealogy in the Works interview.

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