Saturday, March 29, 2014

Walking a Different Path - Helen "Nellie" Howie

I had a goal of posting at least twice a month for this year and fairly quickly into the year that went out the window due to family health issues that needed taking care of, some of which is still ongoing. I've been using my genealogy research as my "stress buster". Nought like compiling data to keep the brain in focus :)

Anyhoo, what about Helen Howie? I've been researching her, on and off, for a while now. She was my great-grandma's niece and one of the number of relatives with ancestry from the Isle of Bute. She left Scotland in 1907 to work for the Campbell family in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I was trolling through some records and found a retired "Nellie" Howie in Saskatchewan in the 1960's and though I paid attention to that information I kept getting the distinct impression that it was not right.

I had come to a grinding halt and did not know what to do next so I thought I would research the family she worked for during a good chunk of her adult life. 'Tis a good thing I don't have to actually go to all the places they lived or visited, I'd be bankrupted by now! Very interesting family with some famous Manitobans in there. I was able to find the right retired "Nellie" Howie living down the street from "her" Campbells in Winnipeg, so success with that part but I am still trying to track down her death date.

Here's a wee time line for her (since I loooooove doing time lines)
Parents - Thomas Howie and Helen McKellar
married 1875 in Rothesay, Bute, Scotland
1879 - birth of Thomas Howie jr.
1880 - Helen born in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland
1891 - census - 90 Eglinton Street, Govan, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
1898 - father dies
1901 - census - 52 Bridge Street, Govan, Glasgow, Lanarkshire. Single. Shop Assistant
1906 - mother dies
1907 - departure from Glasgow, Lanarkshire to Montreal, Quebec, Canada
1910 - brother Tom departs from Glasgow for Manitoba.
1916 - census - 253 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Single. Domestic Servant in John & Alice Campbell household.
1920 - holiday to Rothesay, Bute to visit aunt Annie Kay.
1921 - census - 253 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Single. Domestic. In John & Alice Campbell residence.
1935 - Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
1940 - USA census - Colby, Kitsap, Washington, USA. Lodger in Millichamp household. Single. Alien. Residence in 1935 Winnipeg, Canada.
1958 - Dominion Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Retired.
1962 - 40 Dominion Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Retired.
1968 - 40 Dominion Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Retired.

There's gaps that still need filling and questions that still need answering but progress is still being made. As for her Campbell "family" I created a tree on and in another post I will share some resources from that.

Family History Day - Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is hosting a Family History Day at their Haywood Lane building, 364 Haywood Lane, Nashville, TN 37211 on Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 9.00 am - 3.30 pm. Bring your own lunch. The event is free to the public but you can reserve a spot at

This is actually a "mini RootsTech" with videos from the 2014 RootsTech Conference held earlier this year. We will be "hosting" 8 classes which will be presented twice.

My Tree is Full, What Next? by Carol Brennan Moss

Classes - 10.00 a.m. and 1.15 p.m.
Using Tools and Organization for Creating a Valuable Family History Blog by James Tanner
Effective Database Search Tactics by Kory Meyerink
Getting the Most Out of Ancestry by Christa Cowen
Finding Family and Ancestors Outside of the USA With New Technologies by Daniel Horowitz

Classes - 11.15 a.m. and 2.30 p.m.
FamilySearch and Beyond: New Resources for Members by Diane Loosle
Put Family in Family History: Fun Family History Activities by Jen Allen
5 Ways to Do Genealogy in Your Sleep by Deborah Gamble
Basic Online Resources for the Beginning Genealogist by Lisa Alzo

This is our first time doing a local genealogy event in this format so we are looking forward to seeing you there and giving us feedback.
I am "hosting" the hour long Using Tools and Organization for Creating a Valuable Family History Blog by James Tanner at 10.00 and 1.15. He shares a lot of excellent general information in this presentation, particularly in the second half.
So come "Connect Your Family - Past, Present, and Future" on Saturday 26th April.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Homecoming Scotland 2014

Scotland is hosting a plethora of events this year - The Commonwealth Games (23 July-3 August) and The Ryder Cup (26-28 September) being a couple of them.
Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow has started and will run through February 2nd.
Close to my home will be Bannockburn Live in June, celebrating the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. I used to walk to the site fairly regularly via one of the wee back roads.
The Forth Road Bridge is 50 years old this year and there will be a festival 4th thru 13 September. A new one is being built to accommodate the heavy traffic and should open in 2016.
The Highland Homecoming in September and October will feature the World Sheepdog Trials and the Royal National Mod.
John Muir, the founder of America's National Parks, was a Scotsman. The John Muir Festival 17-26 April will be along the new John Muir Way between Dunbar and Helensburgh.
There will also be lots of Heritage events. Pick a region that you have family in and find out what's happening. In my previous post I wrote about Aberdeenshire. Their heritage event will be at Haddo House and Country Park 8th-10th August
I am also looking at how to involve children in family research and the Education Scotland site at is excellent.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Routes to Your North East Roots

If you have ancestry in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire this web site might be useful for you
To quote their blurb "The purpose of this website is to give you an initial steer on your journey, acting as a directory to the organisations and institutions in the City of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire which hold original records or secondary sources of information that you may find useful in the quest for your ancestors."
As an example - I found an interesting case study about researching lighthouse keepers in the Stories of North East Families section which led me to the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in the resources section.

The Taylor family case study

The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses has a large collection of archives related to the work of the Northern Lighthouse Board in Scotland and the Isle of Man.
Light keeper service records
Visitor books from various lighthouses
Returns books, including meteorological, light, supplies and letter books, from various lighthouses
Personal memoirs and oral history testimony from keepers and their families.
Photographic archive including all lighthouses in Scotland and the Isle of Man

If you want to visit the museum they recommend you plan ahead. Visit for more details.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

William Robertson Lindsay - obituary 1914

1914 Obituary
WILLIAM ROBERTSON LINDSAY was born at Pitlour, Fifeshire, on 18th May 1849.
He was educated at the public school in Inverkeilor and at Arbroath High School.
In 1866 he commenced his apprenticeship in the shops of Messrs. Pearce Brothers, Lilybank Foundry, Dundee, the latter part of which he spent in the drawing office of the same firm. Subsequently he was promoted to be chief draughtsman, a position he held for 10 years.
In 1885 he joined the firm of Messrs. Hick, Hargreaves and Co., Engineers, Bolton, as their chief draughtsman, a position he vacated in 1889 to take over the situation as engineering manager for Messrs. W. B. Thompson and Co., Limited, Lilybank Engine Works and Foundry, Dundee.
In 1895 he started in business as consulting engineer in Dundee. During the latter part of his life he carried on an extensive practice, which was of a varied description, embracing steam-engines, boilers, textile mills and factories in the jute and flax trade and the machines pertaining thereto.
His death took place in Dundee on 24th September 1914, in his sixty-sixth year.
In 1884 he organized the Dundee Mechanical Society, now the Dundee Institute of Engineers, and was elected the first president.
He was elected a Member of this Institution in 1891.

Found at (a link to the 1914 Institute of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries.)

I think I struck gold with this obituary. It confirmed some information that I already have and gave me some new details to look at. I was able to use this in a class I helped teach recently about writing your family history.