Tracing Your Family Tree
Have you ever wondered about your family tree?
Are you curious to find out more about your family history?
I was given away at 13 months old. I had already been with a few other families but only for a short time, plus I had been in the hospital for 2 plus weeks. Now there are a lot of details which there normally are with stories like these. I am from Ontario, Canada.
I lived next door to my birth mother for 14 years. (My adopted mother who I called mom), she literally told me everything when I was 4 years old. I knew I was adopted so it never bothered me it just seemed normal and I went on with my life.
My mom had already raised 11 kids and was a grandmother, many times over by the time she got me and she set about raising me now. She was 54 years of age when I came into her life .
Now you have to realize mom had no money, she was a widower and had been married 3 times already before she got me. I was raised without a father as mom was single now.
I never missed not having a father or lacked because of it. My mom was such a strong woman and influence on me that I did not feel I was without a father figure or miss the presence of a father with never having had one around.
Now a days, with all the red tape with adopting this would just not have happened no money, her age. I do not think I would have been placed in her home.
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I became a mother & moved to Alberta
My son was 11 months old. Starting over
??Time to think about what's next
I was always writing letters to somewhere, or someone and looking for information on my birth family.
In 1986, my mom passed away. I was tired of always flying back and forth from (Alberta) to Ontario for funerals. So, I decided to put on a family reunion it was going to be in Ontario. Something happy.
Prepare For A Family Reunion
I decided to organize a family reunion.
Okay now what?
What is involved?
I didn't know anyone who had put on a reunion. Plus I lived thousands of miles away from where the reunion will be held.
Little did I know just how much work was involved.
For 2 full years I spent all of my money to go towards pictures, plane tickets for my son & I to fly from Alberta to Ontario and back.
The phone bills which were outrageous then we did not have phone plans for long distance then so they were in the hundreds of dollars a month.
I spent literally thousands, thousands of dollars for those 2 years to pay for the phone bills because then you paid by the minute. I was paying for the hall where the reunion was going to be held, & food for a few hundred people and lots of other details I would learn along the way as something else came up.
I pretty much wrote anywhere, and everywhere basically in Canada. Night & day.
This was before computers, so all my letters were handwritten or on an old beat up typewriter. I spent thousands of dollars taking pictures, making copies of them and postage.
My family/friends would send me photos, I would make a copy, and then I would send them back their original copy in the mail.
Boy the times have changed with cell phones. I would have saved so much money now on phone bills and on the pictures wow.
was also mentioned in the newspaper in Ontario as a genealogist. They asked if they could do an article on me. It was pretty cool.
I ended up organizing 2 family reunions a few years apart and flying back to Ontario.
They were both such a wonderful experience which I hold dearly in my heart and remembering to this day as so many people have now passed away.
Luckily we have the second reunion recorded on video tape VHS yes. Of all the beautiful people & relatives that came that day over 200 attended.
Many had never met each other before, some had not seen one another in over 40 years. There were lots of laughter, tears, and happy smiling faces. It was all worth it.
Some people thought it was strange that I would have a family reunion with my adopted family. I didn't think it was strange because they are my family. They were the only family I had really known and I had grown up with them since I was 13 months old
You Never Know Where Your Story Begins
The picture you see to the left I may have been 14 years old and I was typing letters. Of course I am eating a fabulous apple tart from the downstairs bakery we loved.
I have books, letters, stories, videos, documents, birth certificates, death certificates, & marriage records. I have homestead records, newspaper clipping, thousands and thousands of pictures literally of people from the time they are born until they have passed away.
I also have a cassette tape from my old answering machine from the late 80's and 90's of people leaving voice messages on the answering machine. Most have passed away now but it is so special to have their voices and funny messages they left me. I have the best memories of family.
This is just a few pages of my journey. It does not tell you the many countless hours I wouldn't know how many of writing letters, typing letters (now we have computers - again something not around when I originally started).
The hundreds of hours literally of making phone calls all over Canada and sometimes the States & doing research.
you did not even know about.
Maybe a document you want to find, or a person you went to school with and always wondered about, where are they? Are they still alive, maybe you want to contact someone? You don't know how, I am here to help you.
I would like to help others find out about their family history. If you are struggling to find information, give me a call or email. I have experience researching for documents, birth, marriage and death records, military records, hospital records, church & school, finding photographs. Finding persons and interviewing them, finding other ancestors or tracking down the information you are needing. Lets get started on your journey shall we?
I would like everyone to have closure and peace of mind. I do not have all the answers, nor will I ever have. But I have enough to be able to accept the choices and decisions that were made for me at 13 months of age by my parents and know that it must have not been an easy decision that they had to make about their 4 children.