December 2011

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2011.

Here are my favourite blog posts from this past week.

The Findmypast blog has a post regarding “Start Your Family Tree Week” in the UK although I think it can be done in North America as well. It goes from 26 December through 1 January. They are running a competition and provide you with some prompts to start your research.

The Intrepid Band blog had a post called “Mrs. Seacole at Christmas” which looks at the experiences of Mrs. Seacole a nurse in the Crimean War.

Chris Paton of the British GENES (GEnealogy News and EventS) blog is holding a competition. The winner receives a copy of his book “Irish Family History Resources Online.”

Are there any postings in the last week that you think need to be on this list? Let me know in the comments below.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Merry Christmas


Joyeux Noël


Nollaig Shona


Nollaig Chridheil

Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

Christmas Eve is our Christmas celebration day. We all meet at my parent’s house for the present exchange, conversation and cheer. The tree is now in the living room near the fireplace and I have passed on my present distribution duties to my niece. Mum, as always, will put on a lovely spread. There are hors d’oeuvres of shrimp, cheese and pate. Then it is the roast beef dinner that we look forward to all year. Dessert is my job and I have a hard time finding something new every year. Then while the coffee is being served so are my homemade cookies and truffles.

This was originally published in December 2010

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

My Great Great Grandparents James Edward Cheetham Brooks and Mary Bartington married on Christmas day in 1868 at St. John’s Church in Manchester, Lancashire, England. It is not known if there was a particular reason why they chose Christmas day to marry. It could be because that was the only day they could both get off work.

A Great Great Grandmother, Susan Boxwell Malone, married her first husband on 27 December 1854 in Wexford Ireland. She was a Quaker and they were married in the Presbyterian Church. He died just before the birth of their third child, a daughter. Susan then married my Great Great Grandfather Henry Thompson who was also a Quaker.

My Blair Grandparents married on December 27th. I know they chose that time to marry because my Grandfather was working on the Gold Coast in Africa and was home for the holidays.

My parents were married on December 30th. Again I know they married at this time because my father, who had already moved to Canada, had the time off work.

My father had a little glitch getting back to Ireland for the holidays and the wedding. He was working up in Northern Ontario and planned on taking a train into Toronto to get to the airport. The train derailed and he was stuck in Sudbury. His father was working in Toronto and they were due to fly to Dublin together so he gave him a call. He was told to take a taxi to North Bay and then a flight to Toronto. The taxi cost him $90.

He arrived at Toronto airport just in time to spend a little time with the small party that had gathered to wish him well and then get on the flight. This was the time before the big jets and flights overseas were not as regular as they are today. He would not have been able to get a flight to Dublin much before the day of his wedding so anything he had to do, or pay, to get to that flight on time was done.

This was originally published in December 2010

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

We did not go to visit cemeteries at Christmas. The only family members in Canada were with us around the table. We did remember absent people with a toast at the beginning of the meal.

This was originally published in December 2010

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

My parents had a collection of Christmas records from the 1960s. One of my favourites was Jungle Bells by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in 1962. The other favourite was Ballad of the Christmas Donkey by Ed Ames. I could listen to these for hours.

For overall variety it was Mitch Miller and the Gang with two Sing along with Mitch Christmas albums. One was traditional songs and the other the novelty songs of the season. Of course Christmas would not be complete without the Bing Crosby Christmas album. Bing was one of the constants of the season when I was a child.

We sometimes went caroling. I can remember one year doing it with the Girl Guides to collect money for charity. We went from door to door singing our hearts out. One year our church held a caroling service in a local park which was open to everyone in the community. The Salvation Army Band provided the musical back up.

This was originally published in December 2010

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

When I was small we went to Church on Christmas day if it was on a Sunday. The Advent Sunday’s were regularly attended.

When I became an adult I started attending the Christmas Eve service. This service was particularly peaceful and joyous. The lighting and music in the church was uplifting.

After the service I would take a walk through town in the cold night air. It was serene and hushed since not many people were out and the street decorations were lit and sparkling. When I got home I made hot chocolate and watched “A Christmas Carol.”

This was originally published in December 2010

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Here are my favourite blog posts from this past week.

The findmypast.ie blog has a post called “Irish Burial Records and Gravestones” where they look at the rituals for burials in Ireland.

Marian’s Roots and Rambles had two interesting posts this week. The first was “Heritage Gift: The Deck of Cards has Arrived.” She described in an earlier post how she designed a deck of cards using family photographs. Well the cards have arrived and now she tells us what she thinks of the whole process.

The other post is called “You’re Researching but Are You Reading?” which looks at the importance of reading about the research methods and the importance of the methodology books to genealogy.

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter had a post called “Elizabeth Shown Mills’ New Website” where he talks about Elizabeth’s new website that has links to many articles she has written.

Chris Paton has decided to discontinue writing his Scottish GENES (GEnealogy News and EventS) blog. He will keep the blog online as an archive. You can read about the news and events of Scotland and Britain on his blog “British GENES (GEnealogy News and EventS)

Are there any postings in the last week that you think need to be on this list? Let me know in the comments below.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

In our family Christmas shopping was always done early to avoid the rush. My Dad usually ended up going to the mall on Christmas Eve but that was to pick up a box of Laura Secord’s French Frosted Mint chocolates for my Mum.

Shopping was different forty years ago. Shops were not open seven days a week and were not open really late at night either. You could not shop 24/7 online but you could order from catalogues. I remember the Sear’s Wish Book arriving on the door step and things being ordered from it.

This was originally published in December 2010

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

My Christmas stocking was always put at the foot of my bed. I could only open my stocking when I woke up in the wee hours of Christmas morning and had to stay in my own room, although my brother and I sometimes would go into each other’s room. There was always a mandarin orange, a chocolate Santa, a roll of film and in the very bottom of the stocking a quarter.

At one point it developed a hole in the sole and I rather expertly (?) mended it. I still have my original Christmas stocking.

This was originally published in December 2010

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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