Friday, July 24, 2009

Ph.D. defense

My most exciting news of the last couple of days is my eldest daughter's successful defense and submission of her Ph.D. Thesis. She is now officially a Ph.D. in her chosen field of study - Library Science. It seems a long way from her first school days when she was already able to read and write comfortably - an accomplishment for a four year old which stood her in good stead in the years ahead. Initially I wondered if she had just memorized the books but as we went further afield into libraries and she would read books she hadn't seen before I knew she had accomplished that one task that separates us from our babyhood. Congratulations to my eldest daughter.

Our second exciting news was a visit to Fort Wayne and another Rathbun Reunion. Whilst there we attended the Allen County Public Library which is truly a marvelous collection of genealogical material quite likely only eclipsed by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City in the United States. I held in my hands there, the original of the Siderfin family published by James Hooper Sanders in 1912. What a thrill that was and I carefully photographed every page. It is out of copyright. Although there are a number of errors in his charting, the text of his book is a fascinating story of the Siderfin family as he puts forth his proof for the subsequent genealogy that he produced. I think that he made transposition errors (or he hired someone to make the tree and didn't check it well). He can certainly be forgiven for his errors (he was 68 when he created this family history). Already his mother had been dead for 30 years and it was her family line that he was tracing. More on the Siderfin family later. I will put up a transcription of the book on my website.

The drive to Fort Wayne was quite beautiful. We traveled to London, Ontario and then on through Sarnia/Port Huron and across to Flint and Lansing and then turned south heading for Fort Wayne. That is actually your destination on the road signs making it very straight forward to do the drive. There was a little construction but not that much actually considering the distance that we traveled. The wait at the border going into the USA was about 50 minutes and about 40 minutes coming back into Canada. We went down on a Sunday and came back on a Thursday.

While we were at the Genealogy centre in the Allen County Public Library I took a total of 390 pictures of various items (including 55 images of the Siderfin book) and will now work at transcribing some of the details which I will add to my blog in the weeks and months ahead. I am still working on my 2500 images from Salt Lake City and the Family History Library there and I have another 100 images from our visit to the Ontario Archives. There I took pictures of the Talbot Maps and I would like to produce a listing of the individuals listed on his maps. I have a longer interest in Colonel Talbot but this is a beginning. Needless to say I have an entire winter's work ahead of me. Fortunately I already have my lecture in September prepared except for making any last minute revisions due to new evidence or results. Other than that my time will be spent transcribing and sorting through all my images.

Our next big event is our youngest daughter and her partner's events and more on that later.

We came through heavy heavy rain on our way home yesterday which slowed us down a little but after the rain came the clearing and some of the most spectacular rainbows that I have ever seen. They were absolutely huge and the lighting incredibly strong. The last couple of hours were much improved for lighting and we arrived home exactly at midnight (as predicted by our GPS).

Today I need to copy over my images to my main computer from the portable, wash clothes and come back to earth once again and see what else I can accomplish.

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