Roots & Branches. W e t a s k i w i n B r a n c h A l b e r t a G e n e a l o g i c a l S o c i e t y. Vol. 14 No. 1 January PDF

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W e t a s k i w i n B r a n c h A l b e r t a G e n e a l o g i c a l S o c i e t y Roots & Branches Vol. 14 No. 1 January 2016 CONTENTS Archives
W e t a s k i w i n B r a n c h A l b e r t a G e n e a l o g i c a l S o c i e t y Roots & Branches Vol. 14 No. 1 January 2016 CONTENTS Archives Tour A. Hoyle 1 Editor s Corner - S. Aney 2 President s Report - D. Strohschein 2 New website - L. Koop Meeting recaps 3 4 Family Reunions C. Koop 5 The Forgotten? R. Sheehan / L. McKay 8 Research Assistance A. Hoyle 11 EXECUTIVE President: Diane Strohschein Vice President: Elaine Young Past President: Joan Kruger Secretary/Treasurer: Alice Hoyle ROOTS & BRANCHES is published three times per year by and for the members of Wetaskiwin Branch of AGS. It is ed to members and posted on our website. TOUR OF THE CITY OF WETASKIWIN ARCHIVES: Alice Hoyle On October 30 TH, 2015 eight members of our branch of AGS, met at the City of Wetaskiwin Archives for a tour and information session, led by Archivist Rachel Knudsen. Rachel explained the difference between an Archives and a Museum: that a Museum collects and documents items but an Archives collects and documents photos and paper items important to the history of the region where the Archives is located. We were given a list of the items that are located at the Wetaskiwin Archives. A highlight was a tour of the cold room where historic items are kept in a temperature-controlled vault. Rachel explained how the items are preserved, how they are documented and showed us some of the important items that are housed there. Rachel showed us some of the preservation projects she and the volunteers at the Archives are working on, and also explained the role of the Archives as it pertains to the special events/holidays: for example, she was working on several displays relating to Remembrance Day these displays were going to be placed at several locations in the City. The Archives welcomes new volunteers as there are several projects that need work, but she does not have the people to work on them. Following our tour, two of our Branch members have volunteered to work at the Archives! 1 COMMITTEES Library Bob Maynard Research Co-Ordinator Gary Rode Membership Lee Koop Newsletter Sharon Aney Program Claudia Malloch Cemetery Recording: Don Brosius Publicity Alice Hoyle Historian Rosella Plaquin ~~~ BRANCH MEETINGS 3 rd Tuesday of the month, 7:00 pm at LDS CHURCH Ave except July, Aug. & Dec. ~~~ WETASKWIN BRANCH: AGS GENEALOGICAL LIBRARY Located at City of Wetaskiwin Archives Street Resources available On call Branch Library co-ordinator Contact: Bob Maynard ~~ WETASKIWIN FAMILY HISTORY CENTER Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Avenue, Wetaskiwin Wednesdays: 6:30 8:00 pm Thursdays: 1:00 pm 5:00 pm EDITOR S CORNER Sharon Aney On behalf of all members, I offer condolences to President, Diane on the recent loss of her father-in-law. This issue of the newsletter almost built itself as our own members share their genealogical and family history experiences. I am pleased to note that these articles pertain to assistance given to others: the society, extended family, the forgotten and to people requesting assistance. This is what the genealogical community is all about! Thank you! to the following people who made donations to our branch in 2015: Jean Browse James Gatzemeyer Nancy Archibald Alexis Kuzmick Some of these donations followed a request for research in our area. Thank you, Alice Hoyle, for providing that service! PRESIDENT S REPORT Diane Strohschein Sometimes we think that not much is happening in our branch. Think again. The program committee, Claudia & Carole, has provided interesting, helpful, informational sessions Alice continues to answer research requests and to reach out to the community. Lee is working with Lyn Meehan creating a new website for our branch. Lee & Bob have cleared out obsolete holdings in our library. Sharon puts out three branch newsletters a year. Rosella records all branch activities in our history album. Bob has been drawing people from the Millet & Leduc area into genealogy, using the Millet library and Pipestone Flyer. These are some of the people who are taking care of business in our branch. Thank you. I am happy to say we are a going concern! 2 UPDATE ON WETASKIWIN BRANCH NEW WEBSITE DESIGN Leroy (Lee) Koop The new address will be On Saturday, November 28, I attended the AGS Board Meeting in Edmonton. During lunch break, Lyn Meehan, the web designer, showed me her mock-up of our new website. Since our group is relatively small, as are our resources, she estimates that our new website will only be 7-10 pages (whatever that means in web language). She basically had taken what was on our original site and installed that information in the new site. The site seemed more flowing and not as boxed as our old site. I showed her on my laptop some of the things I had been doing since I agreed to tackle the position of liaison between our group and Lyn. She gave me some useful tips on what to do. She said to avoid putting information on a website that could change without my control. As examples, no hours of operation controlled by others and no internet links that could disappear overnight. Those kinds of things the webmaster needs to always check on an ongoing basis to make sure everything is still correct. In preparing information to be included in our new website, my biggest challenge was our library and what to do with the resources we have. Bob Maynard & I spent a whole day at the library culling all material that we thought was of little use or way out of date. I tried to run several CD's on my laptop running Windows 10, and found that I needed DOS or an earlier version of Windows. I believe DOS went the way of the dinosaur back in the days of the XP computer operating system. We salvaged 4 CD's to do with Alberta cemeteries. All newsletters and how to do genealogy booklets dated by more than 10 years were recycled. Our own newsletter is on our website back to November 2009, so why have hardcopies in the library? Basically, what was left were the library books and material of definite value for doing research. It was decided to revamp the library holdings list so it would be more manageable and easier to use on the website. Six categories were created: Wetaskiwin, City and County; Alberta, Other Counties; Canada, Other Provinces; USA & International; Maps; and, Guides. This required looking at each item on the shelves, comparing it to the original holdings list, and determining what category it should be in. Transferring the original holdings list to an excel spreadsheet allowed for an easier task. Currently the books are on the shelves in Dewey decimal numerical order. Later, perhaps the books could be rearranged by categories. I have tried to update our Members' Surname Research List, with limited success. I believe it beneficial for others to know where our members' expertise lies. Supplying your great grandparents' names, countries of birth and applicable years gives readers of the website an indication of where possible help lies. Lyn Meehan wanted a section on successful research stories from our members. I decided to search our own newsletters on our website. Believe it or not, there were 20 such stories. Most were done by Alice Hoyle, but Jean Browse, Claudia Malloch, Don Brosius, Sharon Aney and Myrick Rosser also contributed. Well done! I have also digitized the name indexes for all 3 of the Siding 16 books to be used on our website. Rachel Knudsen from the city archives said it was ok for me to do so under the Fair Dealing clause of Section 29 of the Canadian Copyright Act. 3 I have contacted personnel at the Wetaskiwin Public Library, Wetaskiwin City Archives, Wetaskiwin and District Heritage Museum, Canadian Legion and Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame for verification of what was on our old website. I have retooled the information gathered together by Sharon Aney and Elaine Young back in Searching for possible photos to be used on the new website is next! Possibly the new site will be up around the end of February I will keep you advised. OCTOBER: 2015 PROGRAM: THE WRITE STUFF: DIFFERENT METHODS OF RECORDING YOUR FAMILY HISTORY Dan DeWolf presented a video from the above session from the Roots Tech conference (2015) in Salt Lake City. Valerie Elkins stressed that The Life You Save May Be Your Own. Her presentation gave us several options to record our own history: writing in journals, diaries, etc., creating a blog, writing and keeping letters, creating digital history & storing it in the cloud, writing chapter books, etc. She continually stressed that we should have a backup of all our recorded memories, whether they were hand written or in digital form. A very interesting presentation! Dan DeWolf also told us that we could view all the Roots Tech 2015 presentations by doing an online search for RootsTech 2015 Archives. NOVEMBER HOW ARE YOU PRESERVING AND SHARING YOUR FAMILY HISTORY? Several branch members brought items to show us, highlighting the various ways in which they are preserving and sharing the history of their families. BRANCH PROJECT: Sharon Aney The School Memories book that our branch members undertook in 2015 is now complete. Congratulations to all of you who participated! Eleven member/authors have their education experiences recorded as part of Canada s history. For some it is the first chapter of your personal history I hope that you will be encouraged to write more, for your own satisfaction as well as to preserve the story for your children that you wished that your parents had written for you. I found it quite interesting that although we all were writing about experiences in roughly the same time frame, we came from six provinces of Canada and from England, so everyone had a different take on what they wanted to share. One copy is in our own genealogy library, and one will be deposited with AGS. The authors have received a.pdf copy. Any further distribution will be decided upon at the upcoming branch meeting. On the grave of Ezekial Aikle In East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia: Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102. Only the good die young 4 THE FUN OF FAMILY REUNIONS Carole M. Koop The present format of our family reunion has evolved since the first one in A large family of ten sons and two daughters enjoyed each other s company but seldom got together in the years following their mother's death in These siblings all were married, had good jobs, and families of their own but were spread across the country. In this article these twelve siblings and their spouses are referred to as the 1st Generation. Their children are the 2nd Generation and that's where I fit in. My second youngest uncle spearheaded the first reunion along with a couple of my cousins. My oldest uncle and his wife visited Norway and Sweden; the homeland of his father and mother respectively. They gathered much genealogical information. A reunion was the perfect place to share their neatly typed research and charts. The distance to be travelled and the numbers coming dictated that a weekend event was not enough. Thus, a one-week seven-day reunion was launched. The first venue for the first reunion was at a lakeside resort which had enough cabins, a large lodge and recreation areas. When this resort converted to timeshare units, a new similar venue was found and the last seven reunions have been held at BB Resort. So far, gathering for one week every four years has remained popular. Why? It's fun, the food is good and plentiful, there are activities for every age group, and it's all very well organized. Families within the whole family get to spend quality time with each other. The reunion committee cannot dictate where people stay but at least one cabin for each of the twelve families is allotted. There is a campground for tenting and RV's nearby. There are a couple motels near as well. The committee does no bookings for those but provides contact information. BB Resort is reserved for us well in advance and no non-family are allowed during our week in July. We do our own housekeeping, changing towels etc. as needed. The reunion treasurer collects a sum of money per person for food six months in advance. This also gives an approximate head count. The menu and the meat selection for the evening meals are predetermined. Meat and condiments are purchased. Meals are prepared on site; meat is cooked on barbeques or on a large rented grill. The grill is also perfect for bacon, eggs, hashed browns, and pancakes. A cousin designates himself as chef! Breakfast and the evening meal are communal. Everybody's on their own at lunchtime sometimes enjoying leftovers doled out after the evening meal the previous day. An early riser gets the coffee-making duties. Attendees are asked to contribute their favourite spreads for toast. A daily sign-up sheet is posted asking for 6-8 salads of portions each. We're instructed via the newsletter to Bring your own large Tupperware bowl and salad recipe. These salads provide enough vegetables to satisfy everyone and the vegetarians are happy. The cabins circle a central courtyard where the cooking is done. Picnic tables scattered throughout can easily be rearranged as needed. The attendees who are able bring lawn chairs. The 1st Generation used to set aside one evening to go beyond the venue and dine out so that they could visit, reminisce, and eat in quiet and comfort. As their numbers sadly dwindled and these seniors required assistance with mobility this outing was discontinued. This generation needs extra comfort. To be able to speak, hear, and see each other easily a cosy cluster of comfy chairs is placed in the courtyard; strategically placed so that anyone passing by can easily share time with our elders. Also, the elders can experience the activity going on around them. Routinely, a catered buffet dinner midweek within walking distance at a nearby hotel is arranged for the whole family 5 (approx. 100). The money for this dressup dinner is collected a couple days in advance and each participant is issued a ticket. This occasion provides the perfect environment for making special announcements. We also reflect on those who have passed on since the last reunion. An updated album (Book of Memorial) with write-ups and portrait pictures is on display. With the help of printed sheets, we sing a couple songs and then before the meal we repeat the unique Norwegian/Swedish table grace the twelve siblings knew in childhood. The week seems over loaded with optional activities. The huge bulletin board needs to be checked often throughout the day. It is filled with sign-up sheets: a Cribbage tournament, Horseshoes, and Beanbag Toss. Individuals can recruit a team and go off for a round of golf. Arrangements can be made with a local ranch for a trail ride and/or a horse-pulled wagon ride. BB Resort is near a good beach and if weather permits a beach volleyball game may rapidly get organized. The younger ones with a partner and a beach towel like the water balloon toss game. At a recent reunion a Swedish stick throwing game called KUBB was introduced. Ultimate (Frisbee golf) is also new. The resort town has lawn bowling greens and a tournament there is always well attended with each of us paying our own entrance fee. An afternoon is set aside for the softball games; one for the youth and one for the not-so young. The majority show up to play and/or cheer. For those too young to participate, face painting gives them pleasure. The evenings, and well into the night for some, are spent around a campfire. The management of BB Resort allow us a bonfire on the premises. A farmer in the family provides the large metal antique tractor wheel for the fire pit as well as a load of firewood. All this needs to be cleaned up before we leave at the end. Over the years, trophies have been donated in honour of a loved one. On the last full day together right after breakfast we have Awards . Winners of the abovementioned sports or tournaments will get their names engraved on a trophy and get to pick a prize from a table full of donated items. If anyone is near the date of a special anniversary or milestone birthday, singing and a cake with candles is shared. In case anyone has any spare time, filling out the Family Quiz Booklet is fun. The purpose is to encourage us to remember family history and histrionics! Also, it's to encourage new attendees to ask questions, to get to know one another, and have fun! Recording the family members' births, marriages, and deaths was started right about the time of the first reunion. Keeping the computer-generated lists current is fairly easy now with everyone connected by . All direct-line descendants of my grandparents are listed using a designated letter/number system. Booklets containing the B,M,D's of each of the twelve families are updated and distributed at each reunion. However, it is anticipated that at the 2016 reunion the information will be shared by uploading information onto individually owned USB memory sticks. We also record ourselves with photos. The formal family dinner is preceded by a group photo with everyone gathering punctually at 4 PM. A friend of a cousin who is a professional photographer does the group shot, then one of the 1st Generation, then one of the 2nd Generation. These are for sale later in the summer. 6 The memorabilia for sale at the reunions has varied over the years. Sometimes there's a raffle for items made and donated by family e.g.: original oil painting, blue jean car blanket/quilt, crocheted afghan. The souvenirs imprinted with our family logo are on sale for about an hour each day just before supper. Pens, notepads, tote bags, beer steins, insulated H2O bottles, coffee mugs, baseball caps, T-shirts, can wraps, and frisbees are some of the most notable. I was told, The idea isn't to make money, but to break even. During the predinner relaxation time a cousin with balloon art talent makes creations for the young and young at heart. Young children also gather right after breakfast daily for craft time. Mothers of the youngest ones join me under the craft canopy and help as needed. Then the 6-9 year olds have a turn to make something then finally the year olds. Occasionally, a teenager will beg to make something. Thus, the children have their own handmade souvenir (craft) to take home. The younger half of the children participate blindfolded in smashing a homemade candy-filled piñata on the last evening with the after dinner crowd watching and cheering. The name badges which everyone is encouraged to wear are turned in at the end. Each of the twelve families has its own colour of ribbon pinned into the badge. Posted on the bulletin board is the Ribbon Colour Legend . The Lost n Found bin is checked, tearful good-byes and genuine hugs are dispatched and off we go home. It's a lot of work for some to make a reunion of this size and duration work. Delegating jobs as the need arises works well with family. I'm the craft lady and I say my job is a labour of love and many hands make light work . In closing, the newsletters from the committee keep everyone informed well in advance of dates and requirements then follow up with a post reunion meeting and photo sales. We're a great bunch! See you next time! REMEMBERING THE BRITISH MONARCHS, FROM 1066 TO THE PRESENT Thanks, Bob Maynard Willie, Willie, Harry, Stee, Harry, Dick, John, Harry three One to three Neds, Richard two, Harrys four, five, six, then who? Edwards four, five, Dick the Bad, Harrys (twain), Ned six (the lad) Mary, Bessie, James you ken. Then Charlie, Charlie, James again Will and Mary, Anna Gloria, Georges four, Will four, Victoria. Edward Seven next, and then came George the Fifth in Ned the eighth soon abdicated. Then George Six was coronated. After which Elizabeth..And that s all folks, until her death. It doesn t matter what story we re telling... we re telling the story of family. Author: Erica Lorraine Scheidt 7 THE FORGOTTEN???? Proudly and diligently
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