Monday, August 30, 2021




Oregon trip with mum, early 1950s.

Just for fun, for the next few months, I’m going to write a SHORT newsletter. 

I did this in the really old days – then it was a new idea and almost all about genealogy.  Now it likely will be mostly genealogy, but other topics may appear – British Columbia museums, books, libraries, wildcats, who knows.

Hope you get an idea or two for yourself or your research, or that something here brings a smile.


Any Lewis family members? This month in the evenings when I’ve been home (and that’s almost always) I’ve mainly been researching Lewis individuals and families in Scotland around 1851 and earlier. 

I’m an Associate with the brand new Lewis One-Name Study registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies. We’ve divided the research up geographically and many different people are building family trees and useful databases for Lewises worldwide. I just happened to pick Scotland.  If you are interested, do contact us. See our Lewis Study website:  

A silver lining to the Covid 19 closures has brought genealogists worldwide together as never before. Surely we won’t want to go back into our own little pockets – even though we still want to see our local research buddies and friends again. Zoom and the like have been a blessing. Projects and groups I belong to were pretty quick to recognize this. Much of the talk I hear nowadays is about ‘hybrid meetings’ which will benefit local people as well - bridging weather, illness, or transportation issues. 

And just look at the array of free (or very reasonably priced) webinars, seminars and conferences that have been and still are available to us – just dress up and BYO lunch! Be appreciative! 

I’m set for fall - from the Mayflower Conference I attended this weekend, to the Scottish Indexes Conference XII on the 4th September (my favourite! ), the Oxfordshire FHS On-line Fair ( ), October 2nd– and more in between. What are you planning to attend? 

I am honing down my next research trip ‘want list’ – if all goes well I’ll be out at the Cloverdale Branch of Surrey Libraries in late September to attend a group and to add substance to my current genealogy research projects.


Visiting a library used to be weekly, sometimes daily!  To make up, I’ve been using a wider array of libraries online. Many, I’d love to see in person. This month, Deichman Bjørvika in Oslo was named the Public Library of the Year by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).  Norway has innovative libraries – learn more about ½ dozen of them here -

Did you know Oslo has a library NOT for adults? And another that’s age and dementia-friendly. There are even services for floating bookworms. 😊


If you are on Twitter, don’t miss out on #Genchat - twice a month, Friday nights 7 pm Pacific time. Topics vary widely; discussions are ‘fast and furious’ (always in a fun way!)  The last two were ‘Gold Fever’ which I facilitated– such interesting stories people had! And last week’s was ‘Treasure Hunting on eBay and Other Sites’.

The Twitter hashtag is #genchat Follow @_genchat and the co-hosts, Christine @geneapleau and Liam @leprchaunrabbit

Check out the fall schedule right here:


Funny how even my reading changed over this extended time at home. I seem to be reading fewer books (still lots) but far more articles, and more poetry too.  Part of that is likely that I’m not getting in all that daily digital reading time on Skytrains and buses!

My favourite lighter non-fiction book for 2020 was Love at First Bite: Tales from a Veterinary Life by Dr. Yair Ben Ziony about his work experiences in Israel and Iran (2018; now on Audible). 

And Bookcrossing – yes! The Lower Mainland Bookcrossing Group had a safely distant meetup in a local park recently. Felt so good to see friends, and of course, there were travelling books. I’ve had several books journaled lately from afar lately too. Hope to be able to really see all the group again soon.

And speaking of hope, if you’d like a daily reminder of good things happening around the world, do visit or sign up for “Not All News Is Bad” – a daily story to raise your spirits. And you will likely learn something new each morning from the stories. I have! (You may already know the founder as “Ask Leo”, Leo A. Notenboom, the technology answer guy).

 Here's a genealogy joke for today - 

 A family tree sometimes demonstrates how respectable we can be in spite of our ancestors.

(From my personal historical collection of genealogy quotes. Tuesday, 4th July 1911, The Winnipeg Tribune, Manitoba, Canada, p. 4.)


Sunday, June 27, 2021

Sunday Strays - Victoria BC Canada- a 'Movie Snaps' street photograph

Here's another stray photograph from my collection. Sad to say, but no names at all.  The Movie Snaps stamp is on the back though with the address and phone #. And a #   7717

On the back is written in pencil - "To Mother hope you like it"

Certainly looks like 1940s/early 50s clothing to me. Someone doesn't look too happy there. A nice early fall - or more likely - an earlyish spring day in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada?

According to David Mattison's Camera Workers, the British Columbia photographers database, Movie Snaps was in business at 707 Yates St., Victoria from 1949 to 1951. 

The City of Victoria Archives doesn't seem to have any 'Movie Snaps' photographs listed, but there are online photos of Yates Street theatres

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Scots in Canada! The Scottish Indexes Conference

This weekend I was at the 10th Scottish Indexes Conference - not only to learn and enjoy, but also to talk about 'Scots in Canada'. 

The next Scottish Indexes Conference will be 10 July 2021 and you can register starting - now (free)! 

If you are doing Scottish genealogy and are not taking advantage of Scottish Indexes, do go there today and see all they offer - no charge, no need to login in. The latest news is that they've added another 107,729 records to their 'Criminal Database' - a research 'gold mine', as we say in British Columbia. And check out the Learning Zone where there's information on all the databases, and read the blog too.


My Drummond cousin, William, in Saskatchewan, Canada, about 1915.

'Scots in Canada' is a topic 'close to my heart'. 

My own Scottish ancestors came in the 1830s/1840s and settled in the areas that became Victoria and Simcoe County in Ontario. (Scott/Gilchrist/Carmichael)  And many other Scottish relatives came as well, as did William's father, Alexander Steele Drummond, born in 1878 in Edinburgh.  

I will say it was very very hard to choose which Scottish-Canadian topics not to talk about at the Conference. Scots have been coming to Canada for a long, long time. Some think the first might have come with the Vikings (or even been 'Viking'). 

For this Scottish Indexes Conference, I wrote up a web link/book list - it's only about the topics I chose for this talk. But I hope it will be useful to some. 

I've received questions since, and expect to answer them all in the next few days. Let me know if you don't hear from me :-)  Or if you'd like a copy of the list. 

This is a holiday weekend here in Canada as it is in Edinburgh, Scotland. In Canada, we're celebrating both the birthday of Queen Victoria and of our own Queen Elizabeth II - and the start of summer! 

Happy Victoria Day, everyone!