Our daughter Lindsey, near Mont Saint Saveur, Quebec, Canada. Photo taken by Ruth October 25 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode, Ontario, Canada. Just south of Ottawa.

And where are they going next? We leave November 1st for a six week trip to Romania and Moldova.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Do you know your family history?

My father's family lineage came to Canada from Yorkshire, England as part of the Yorkshire migration to Nova Scotia that took place between 1772 and 1775. I was lucky, in that most of that family history has been passed from generation to generation including dates and occupations.

That history has been traced all the way back to Stephen Read who was born in 1734 in Yorkshire, England. He went on to become a Colonel in the British Army prior to moving to Nova Scotia in the 1770's.

But Ruth's family history had a lot of question marks, and so a few years ago it was a hobby of mine to find out more.

Both of her parents were born in England, and it turns out that England has made it fairly easy to get the details of your family history. I'm pretty sure that many of our readers have their roots in the United Kingdom, so perhaps this info will benefit anyone who is curious about their history from that area.

I was able to go back to 1820 with Ruth's family.

The GRO (General Registry Office) in Britain keeps all birth, marriage, and death records dating back to 1837. Provided you know some of the more recent names and dates, once you get started you can often get right back to the mid 1800's.

And that's exactly what I did with Ruth's family. She knew very little of her family history, and thankfully I was able to get some more details from her father (who is now 81) to get me started.

Once you find the registry listing, you can then take that listing and order a copy of the actual certificate...birth, marriage, or death. That certificate costs money (currently £9.25, about $18 CAD each) but it will give you details such as the parents full names and occupations, cause of death, occupation, address...all kind of info!

I spent about $300 to get Ruth's family details, so it's not cheap but it's a hobby so I did it over the course of a year a long time ago.


It's free to get the index numbers themselves...


The National Census Records also tell you a lot of info, and they are also free...


You need to start slowly or you'll get frustrated. And, you need a place to keep track of the info that you find.

I use the free software at http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/ ...just click where it says Standard Edition Free Download. There's a bit of a learning curve, but once you input yourself and your spouse you simply go on to inputting your parents...your spouse's parents and whatever other info you have. Then when you start to draw blanks, you need to start the research.

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And, for the RV'ing golfer, this a great deal on a practice putting mat. And remember, father's day is coming up...

SKLZ Accelerator Pro Golf Putting Mat (2016 Version)


  1. Absolutely love the picture of Ruth with the grandchildren. Looks like you two are making the most of their visit.

    1. It is one of my favourites ones now with the grandchildren! We are having a blast with them. :-)

  2. Suzie has been doing her genealogy research for many years and has gone back as far as she can now just does updates to keep things current.
    It sure is interesting reading.
    Great hobby.

    1. That is wonderful that she has done all that work and is keeping it up to date and will be able to pass all this information on to other family members for the future.

  3. Love family history:) A combination of our visit to the Mormon Family Center in Utah and a diatance cousin who devoted a great deal of time to our family trees, I have a written geneology that goes back to the 1600's

    1. We have based several of our travels around family history in order to gather additional information or for photo opportunities.

  4. My family history is from England to I am so close to the Queen I almost get invited to private function

    1. I think it is possible that we may be related as well then! ;-)

  5. I have been able to trace my maternal great grandmother's line back to Charlemagne, Henry I and William the Conqueror. The line after Henry I turns to mutt however, due to being descended from his oldest son NOT born of Queen Margaret.

    First to come over to the colonies came to the Plymouth Colony on the Fortune, in the second groups of ships to arrive.

    It has been fun and interesting research.

    1. Sounds like you have done a lot of work on your family history in order to get that far back. Well done!

      Yes, I remember Kevin really enjoying himself when he was working on it a number of years ago. Definitely an interesting hobby.


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