Thursday, January 4, 2018

52 Ancestor Challenge

Would dearly like to do another 52 Ancestor Challenge but it will not happen this year. I shall aim towards doing that 52 Ancestor Challenge beginning in 2019. It will look at the 4x great grandparents of our son in law. All 64 of these 4x great grandparents are known so I shall combine a few of them. Amazingly he never has a duplicate set until one gets back further in time. When I first started this project I had the impression that many many descendants of these early French Canadian settlers had many lines in common. Indeed they do but their families were so very large that often enough in the case of our son in law he is descended from a number of children of the same couple way back in the 1600s and 1700s. The story of the French Canadians is a very important one in Canadian history and it is good that so many are involved in putting together these descendants of that early group. The priests were so very helpful as well carefully recording the birth parishes in France for the many couples who married in Quebec City in the 1600s and they continued with that careful reporting up to the present. Such a wonderful set of historical documents on the early history of Canada.

With three grandparents born in England and the fourth although born in Canada descendant of individuals also born in England, my footprint on this side of this ocean is incredibly small as just my mother, her father and his mother were born in Canada; all the rest were born in England as far back as I have been privileged to trace their lines.

My husband, on the other hand, has a much deeper footprint with his own lines being part of the very early migrations to the New England Colonies/New Holland Colonies dating back to the 1620s.

As I think about all of this history at my fingertips, I must admit some regret at not taking up the mantle of genealogical research much earlier. My husband (his forays in genealogy go back 50 years looking at his Kipp family in particular) started to attend the Ontario Genealogical Society Meetings, Ottawa Branch, in the early 1980s but I simply did not want to get involved in research. My mother was busy going to the Family History Library and collecting information on her family lines which she mentioned in her letters to me so the need to do so never really occurred to me. My mother was still alive when I first went to England in 2001 and I mentioned to her the feeling of being at home in London. At that time, she did mention that she thought the father of her grandfather Buller was from London. My mother passed away several months after that. It took several more years for me to put together my thoughts on that trip to England (I was still working fulltime and that pretty much along with my husband and children occupied my life at the time) and the idea of doing research. It was my cousin George DeKay though who really accelerated the idea of doing genealogy. He wanted a bio for my Pincombe family (my mother was a Pincombe) as an early settler in Westminster Township in 2003 for publication in 2005 (gave me two years to do it!). He was editing the history book for this Township and told me that he had 40 bios to write and I needed to do this one for him. If I did not do it then my cousin would and that cousin believed that my grandfather had a grocery store on Wharncliffe Road. Well that pretty much did it; that Pincombe was my uncle not my grandfather who was a farmer and I did want the history to be right!

Now as I ponder paths backwards in time, the idea that it had to be right bringing me into genealogy, I have to chuckle. I try to have it right; I love it when autosomal DNA matches shows me that indeed I am on the right path but getting it right is not as easy as I may have thought at that time. You can get the early generations pretty well right on but further back even the most exhaustive searches can, on occasion, miss interesting details that would have taken you another path. DNA helps so much with all of that. It would be wondrous if everyone would take their results into Gedmatch I must admit.

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