Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Beginning...

Like many people, I have recently been caught up in the hunt for my past relations. My explorations in genealogy have taken me across the ocean and back several times over, although only virtually so far. Along the way I have made many fascinating (to me at least) discoveries and even solved a mystery or two. I've also hit many a brick wall in the form of relatives that seem to appear out of nowhere, as well as photos of people whom no one can identify. These are the common frustrations of an amateur genealogist. Online genealogy programs can only offer so much. They are wonderful for discovering facts and absolutely fantastic for connecting with people searching for similar information but they lack the ability to do the one thing that interests me most. They fail to tell the stories.

I began this blog as a place to fill in some of the details between the facts. Of course not everyone has a story that's noteworthy enough to write about and among those that do, much has been lost over time. Some of the people I hope to write about didn't leave enough behind to tell their own stories, so in some cases I may have to speculate the reasons why they ended up where they did, both geographically and philosophically. And in some cases I may just write about what I know and what I wish I did, in the hopes that someday someone else will be able to fill in the gaps.

With the exception of my French ancestors (who are a whole book unto themselves, with the pedigree to prove it), most of my relatives arrived in Canada sometime in the early part of 19th century. It was a turbulent time in the soon to be new country and things were changing rapidly, My great great grandfather John McCluskey, pictured in the header, appears on paper to lived in a number of different places but in reality he moved only once; it was the frequent renaming of the region he lived in that makes him look like a nomad! How and why he came to be there in the first place is the part that I find most fascinating and what I hope to be able to find out more about. His is just one of the many stories I hope to write about here.

These are not my stories, but they are the stories that made me who I am. I hope I do them justice.


  1. Hi Callie, I found your blog via a comment you made about personal libraries over at the Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op (I'm a voracious reader too, and I find it hard to understand people who think that books are, for the most part, "a terrible waste of resources").

    As a fellow amateur genealogist, I love the look of this blog, and I thought I should drop you a line to encourage you to start telling those stories you've alluded to!

    I was captivated by the memoir of a great, great uncle I never met, who lived (as coincidence would have it) not far from where I live now. And, being the book nut that I am, I (gleefully!) turned his story into a self-published book - a draft copy can be viewed online at

  2. Thanks Samantha! I probably should have written some of the stories before I created the blog- there are many, but it's hard to know where to begin and other things always seem appear to keep me occupied. I will be traveling to England this summer to do some genealogy search so hopefully thatwill motivate me to write something soon!

    Thanks for the link- I will happily check it out!

  3. Silly me ... I just found your "other blog"! Meaning this one. I went to this first entry, so I look forward to reading more. I'm sure it will be as interesting as Backyard Farms!
    - Brenda

  4. No worries Brenda, it's not like I sent out an announcement about it and I've hardly been a prolific writer here in any case. I hope to change that this year tho, and as I mentioned, I might borrow your anniversary theme to motivate me!