I have decided to create a second genealogy blog with stories about my life for my children and grandchildren and anyone else who's interested, to read. I have been made more aware of my own mortality recently and have started to consider what is really important to me and what I can do about it. I have decided my first priority is my family and enjoying as much time as I can with them.
I will be posting about my experiences as well as re-posting some blogs from my other sites that are relevant to me.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I Remember When...We Got A Pony

One evening in the late 60's, mom and dad got all of the kids in the car and said "we're going to the Comber auction". Well, you can imagine the groans and objections, an auction is no place to take a bunch of kids, but once we found out it was a livestock auction we changed our tunes. We can go see all kinds of animals, it wouldn't be boring after all.
What we didn't know is that dad had built a stall in the barn and was planning on buying a pony.
We had a blast at the auction, watching the horses and ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep etc. being auctioned off. Dad bid on a draft pony, dappled grey guelding with a white blaze on his forehead. He was huge, almost the size of a horse. Dad was the winning bidder, he bought us a pony and saddle for $56. His name was Starlight.
We took turns taking care of Starlight, we all curried, fed and watered him, but it was my dad and older brother who cleaned out the stall every day. Since we didn't have a fenced-in yard, we tied Starlight out on a lead beside the apple tree where we had our tree-house, that was the biggest open area with a lot of shade.
We had a lot of fun riding and taking care of Starlight that summer, but, one day Starlight started acting up, there was a mare a couple of fields over that was coming into season. He wouldn't listen to us, all he wanted to do was try and get to the mare. He started running around, circling the barn and almost trampled my sister. Dad finally got a rope on him and arranged for the previous owner to come and pick up the pony that day. We all missed Starlight but understood why he had to go. It was nice while it lasted.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I Remember When... The Science Fair

I remember when I entered my project in the Science Fair at Gosfield North Central School, it must have been about 1970. I did my project on "The Killing of the Great Lakes'. While the rest of the kids in the family were in swimming, I walked along the shoreline taking pictures of the dead fish and litter on the beach. It was disgusting! I wouldn't go in the lake after that for years.
My dad helped me with my backboard, which was made of two pieces of plywood hinged together. I painted it and started to put pictures on it. I had a jar of lake water and even "captured" some air pollution in a mason jar by burning some "Black Snakes" a novelty item that looks like a black pellet and when lit, expanded really fast into an ash snake with a lot of black smoke.
As it turned out, I was the First Place winner for my grade and my prize was a model replica of the Apollo rocket and lunar module, I guess they didn't expect any girls to win. I let my older brother build it and play with it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Dad's Silver Buckle

My fondest memory of my dad's silver buckle was the day of my first wedding. I was young, only seventeen, and my mom made my wedding dress. It was made of white satin and had a Chantilly lace cape instead of a veil and train. The crowning touch was the silver buckle that my dad let me use for my dress. The silver buckle was the 'something old' and the 'something borrowed'. To think that my wedding day was the first time the buckle had actually been worn in over a century! It was quite an honour and I wore it with pride when my dad walked me down the aisle.
My second wedding was 25 years later, 5 years after my dad died. I made my own wedding dress and my flower girl's dresses.

My "Silver Buckle"

Searching for family history is really addictive, the more I learn about my ancestry, the more I want to know. I am interested in how they lived, what their daily lives were like, what style of clothing they wore, what they did to entertain themselves, their beliefs, both religious and political, well, everything.
I have some unanswered questions which may never be answered such as "Why did my great-grandfather change his surname a century ago?" and "Who was Sarah's mother?" I have two Sarah's with unknown mothers, they are huge brick walls but I'm trying my best to break through them.
Family History research is very similar to detective work, you have to weed out the false leads and dig into people's backgrounds, and find out as much as there is about them. Once in a while, if you're lucky, an ancestor may become famous or infamous and there are lots of records available. Most of the time, however, the ancestor is only recorded in the census, vital records or passenger lists and immigration records.
Most people avoid cemeteries like the plague,only going when absolutely necessary, but genealogists take their cameras and go sight-seeing like tourists in among the gravestones. I've got to confess, I have arranged my vacation with a few trips to cemeteries I wanted to see. More than once I have dragged my husband from cemetery to cemetery for a hundred miles looking for a particular relative.
History and family history go hand in hand. You can't really understand how your ancestors lived their lives unless you know the outside influences in their lifetime. I am especially interested in the Revolutionary war and the plight of the United Empire Loyalists. I guess it's because my father took a great interest in the history of Canada and when we were young would take us to places which were historically significant, near or far. He would stop at every way-sign and memorial on our travels.
My dad had a silver buckle, my brother has it now, and he told us that it was from the Revolutionary war. My grandfather gave it to him, he said it had been given to him by his father. Of course, as kids, we couldn't imagine something that old, it didn't look that old. My dad kept it put away, and only brought it out to show someone and then put it back right away, it was the only heirloom from his ancestors and he was going to make sure nothing happened to it. I have since learned that that was the style of buckle in those times, and it would have been a treasured article, passed down from father to son. He treasured it as well, even more so, as he never really knew his grandparents.
I am researching my family history so that my grandchildren will know about their ancestors, where they came from, why they left their homeland, how they lived, what they did in their leisure, what they were like, well, everything. I want future generations to know all about our ancestors. My family history is my "silver buckle".