Wednesday, October 13, 2021



One of those things some of us always wondered about....  Advertisement from The Mail Herald, Revelstoke, BC., Sat. 23 November 1912, page 3. Please let me know if you've seen any other similar ads especially for the seamless Pen-Angle Hosiery, manufactured by Penmans Ltd. in Canada. Newspaper source, courtesy the University of British Columbia Library, Open Collections, BC Historical Newspapers. 

OK, I know we are into October. More news about this month later, I promise.

September was a busy month! Some highlights were: 

The Scottish Indexes conference and, after so long, a chance to see many members of my family. 

Coming Up! Scottish Indexes Conference - the next is Sat., 23 October 2021 - virtual.

Don’t miss it if you are at all interested in Scottish genealogy. In the meantime, check out the Learning Zone on the site - full of helpful information and tips - and, of course, their indexes: 

Mary Risseeuw's presentation to the Virtual Genealogical Society (VGA) 

“Nellie was a Rebel: Unusual Sources to Find her Child’s Father.” was excellent. This was for VGA members' only but I believe if you join now, you can see it. And many more.

And a must - Elizabeth Shown-Mills presentation on “Context: A Powerful Tool for Problem Solving”

One of the 2021 Joy Reisinger Memorial Series Lectures, from the BCG, available free but only till 31 October, 2021. Don’t wait till Halloween to watch this. It may/should change the way you think about researching. 

Since I've been working on the Scottish Lewises for the Lewis One-Name Study, I've found myself thinking much more about Scotland and about names - given and surnames - even nicknames. Any Lewis families or lost individuals in your family tree? 

History Scotland

Featuring talks on medieval Scotland right now. Dr. Matthew Hammond's talk on "Exploring the Origins of Scottish Surnames and Personal Names" was enlightening, (as was the October talk -"Women of Medieval Scotland" ). More lectures coming up: 

Genealogy Related News

Obituaries often seem to involve points of contention - one way or another. Here’s a recent Ontario, Canada story to think about as these situations could arise anywhere-  “Family blindsided after marketing company, funeral home cash in on father's obituary” by Rosa Marchitelli, CBC ‘GoPublic, posted  Oct 11, 2021: 

For the Readers in the Crowd 

A nice article by Emily Temple at Literary Hub - “The 25 Most Iconic Book Covers in History” - she says “ You Probably Already Have One On a T-Shirt”, October 7, 2021. I don’t have any literary T-shirts. (Socks, yes, and most of the books but no T-shirts here): 

And speaking of reading, the last few years, I’ve been using My Book Pledge for keeping track of the books I read but the website is closing at the end of the year. I've joined The StoryGraph now and so far I do like it. Not yet quite enough to subscribe but it is growing on me. I always like book suggestions and have mile-long TBR lists. Any other ideas there for keeping reading track? (OK, pen & paper...I know.) 

Looking forward to October’s Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon.

Any excuse to read more works for me!  October 23, 2021 (starts at 8pm EST). Readathon Registration here, free: 

Interested in more genealogy tools?

The Guild of One-Name Studies often has free webinars coming up online for all - and now available - on ORA, the Online Repository Assistant (“automated assistant for use with online repositories”), and on Zotero, “a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite and share research. Autumn & Fall 2021 - Technology Tools

Any Journalers out there? Do you journal every day, or ?  

I journal only occasionally, except for some challenges I join or set myself periodically. I am thinking I'll do this in 2022 though I feel I'll more likely keep it up if I'm able to use my phone. 

I did watch a quick Journal video with Mitch at FamilySearch - he's using the Day One app,  but also mentioned Journey & Momento. I've an Android, but Day One looks like it would be fine for me, although the Android version isn't as full featured. If you are using a journaling app, do let me know which one(s) you like. 

The FamilySearch video by Mitch is here:  There is an ASL one too:  

Looking for hopeful prompts?

I recommend Buddha Doodles:  

And just for fun, another old genealogy joke - 

“ ‘Bragson talks a great deal about his family tree.’

‘Yes, a family tree is much like other trees. The smallest twigs do the most rustling.' ”

From the Marpole-Richmond Review, Eburne, BC, Canada, Wednesday, 25 December 1940, page 8.

Guild of One-Name Studies - Technology Series link, 15 Oct. 2021

Thursday, October 07, 2021

A Thursday Stray - William Chamberlin Robinson

Here is another stray from my photo collections - a carte de visite this time, found in British Columbia, Canada. The photographer was F. W. Evans of London, England. 

On the back, written in two different hands - "William Chamberlin Robinson"  "of Folkstone, England. Son of Capt. John Robinson".

Solemn little one caught with his eyes closed. 

I think he was born in Folkstone in 1869 and his parents were John and Diana. And I believe he died in Toronto, Canada. What (or who) I wonder was the connection to British Columbia.

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.)