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Over the last few years, I have been working on my family tree. Much of my research has been done using family documents as well as contributions of many who have shared their own research. I have also been using many of the census returns on file at the National Archives in Ottawa as well as the resources of the Family History Centre at the local LDS Church.
I have made a considerable amount of information available online. Two Ahnentafel reports, one for myself and one for Beth, can be found at my Family Free Maker page. Name indexes of ancestors for myself and Beth are also available here (updated April 2007).
The Roberts family is centred in England where most still reside. The Roberts family in Canada, or at least my line, did not arrive in Canada until my grandfather and his sister emigrated from England in 1924 and 1926 respectively. They were sponsored by the Salvation Army due to the financial woes of the family. They would be considered "Home Children". My aunt went to Vancouver to live with family there (returning to England before World War II) and my grandfather settled in Brockville. Other families that stayed mainly in England include the Cronin, Wates (see below), Leaver, Harris and Robbins families.
The one branch which needs attention is the McLennan line. It is proving difficult to trace as it appears the family moved frequently. I have been able to locate my great-great-grandfather, Roderick M. McLennan, in Matilda Township, Ontario but that is as far as I have gone. His children and grandchildren have been successful entrepreneurs in Cornwall, Ottawa and Brockville. Finding his ancestors has proven to be a challenge.
Many branches of my family are of Irish decent from the Wexford and Cavan counties. Most came to Canada in the early 1800s shortly after the 1798 Rebellions and settled finally in the Kitley area of Leeds County. These include the Barrington, Connor, Steacy and Dowsley families. Other Irish families that also came to Canada but did not settle in Kitley are the Stephenson and Mills families. They took land closer to Morrisburg and many of these families worked on the ships that plied the St. Lawrence River.
Many of my ancestors are of Loyalist descent having come to Canada during or shortly after the American Revolution. One family, the Crowders, is documented in the book William Crowder - Loyalist (1984), written by Norman and Ruth Crowder of Nepean, Ontario. Norm has also supplied and confirmed some additional information not mentioned in the book. The Crowder line is not my only direct link to the Loyalists. Others include the Miltimore, Cryderman, Hart and Dingman families.
From about 1869 to the late 1930s and even as late as the mid-1950s, over 100,000 children were sent to Canada from Great Britain during the child emigration movement. I have found that three of my family members came to Canada as part of the emigration plan. As I note above, both my paternal grandfather and his sister came to Canada in the 1920s. He aboard the S.S. Regina in 1924 and her on the S.S. Metagama in 1926. I have also discovered that one of my maternal great-grandmothers came to Canada from the Rosen Hallas Training Home for Girls of Manchester in 1896 aboard the S.S. Angloman. She first came to the Marchmont Distribution Home in Belleville, then was a domestic in Brockville by 1901. More information can on Home Children can be found at the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa web sites.
The Wates family information is taken from an unpublished book, The Wates Family Saga, written in 1974 by Margaret R. Pitt of Middlesex, England. This work includes over 1300 names. My 'cousin', Brian Wates and myself have gone through the painful process of scanning, editing and updating the Saga. We now have an electronic version available for the family. Both The Revised Wates Family Saga and the Wates Family Newsletter written by Brian are available on my Wates Family Page and at Brian's Webpage. We are also hoping that people will take the time to send updates to Brian or myself to include in future editions.
4th Edition of The Wates Family Saga is now available - email for details
There is said to be a link to Sir John A. Macdonald (first Prime Minister of Canada). This is as yet proven or disproved. It is my understanding that it is through the McLennan side. The most likely link is through one of the female lines - either via a sister of his first wife - but I have yet to determine how. This could be simply family 'lore' as is the case with many families but I do tend to think there is some connection for a variety of reason.
Finally, I have only recently started to research Beth's family. I have not gotten very far as yet. Many lived (and some still live) in Newbury, Middlesex Co., Ontario and in Bothwell, Kent Co., Ontario. The surnames I am researching in this region include Blain, Beaul (most early generations appear to use Bull), Kelley, Kelly, Mullins, Hallman, Pengilly, Colley, Cowell, Rankin and Babcock.
I have also discovered that one branch settled in Escott and Yonge Townships of Leeds County as Loyalists. This family includes the names Cain, Armstrong, Wood, Adams, Griffin and Montague. The Adams branch, which includes distant cousins and former presidents John Adams and son John Quincy Adams, has been traced back by other to the late 1200s and includes a person named Stephen Hopkins, Beth's 11th-great-grandfather, a Pilgrim and passenger on the Mayflower. More information can be found for this branch at the website Caintown - Its Beginning. It would also appear that through this same line Beth is connected to both former President George Bush and President George W. Bush (9th cousin twice removed and 10th cousin once removed respectively - ever so closely!).
The following people have all added significantly to my work:
My Family: Norm Crowder, Trish Crowder Robertson, Gordon Dowsley, Carl Stephenson, Lynne Cooke, Parker Barrington, Dana Barrington, Frederick Hunter, Newton Steacy, Gordon Earl, Graeme Miltimore, Graham Roberts, Fred Hart, Jack Jowett, Vince Jowett, Judy Rebbeck Watten, Robert Orr, Brian Wates, Margaret Pitt, Maren Miles, Emerson Smart, Anita Carty, Kathleen MacLennan, Bob McLennan
Beth's Family: Peter & Sharon Blain, Marion Blain, Martha Hart, Elaine Magnan, Norma Smith, Duane Pickering, Mary Ann Morin, Joanne Bechard, Linda Corupe, Karen Windover, Jack Hewitt, Janet Nelson, Kathleen Cain, website of Margey Callen (Caintown - Its Beginning)
Sharing of Information
In that I consider sharing a two-way street and given that I would be no where without the help of others, I have attempted to share as much as possible with others who may have a similar interest.
In sharing information, I endeavour to protect as much information as possible about living individuals and ensure only those facts in the public domain are included on my pages.
The general rule of thumb is that the basic facts about a person's life, including things like name, birth date and place, marriage date and place, and death date and place do not receive copyright protection, no matter their source. This also extends to simple pedigree charts, including GEDCOM files. The copyright comes when additional creative effort is included such as a narrative.
Anyone with copyright issues or questions should look at Cyndi's List Pages about copyright. They are very informative and deal with most questions around what is and is not public domain.