Holiday Social and Great Moments in Genealogy
9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Light-bulb moments in their family history research by BIFHSGO members.
Mine! Mine! Mine!
Following a death, it’s a sad occurrence when family members fight over the estate. For a family historian, the legal wranglings provide a goldmine of information about family members and often the wider community. Dianne Brydon will tell us about the litigious Guild family in 1795 Tranent Scotland, who challenged their youngest brother’s inheritance, using testimony from business partners and neighbours, anonymous letters, and cooked books.
Dianne Brydon has been researching the Guild family for 4 years, whenever she can get to Scotland, where she has sneezed through many dusty bundles of legal documents to piece together their colourful story. With her father, in 2017 Dianne published their family history The Stalwart Brydons: From Scotland to Galt to Portage La Prairie. She has written two articles for BIFHSGO’s Anglo-Celtic Roots, most recently “Who’s Crazy?” The Tale of Mary Brydon and Mental Health in 19th Century Ontario, which also won Honourable Mention in BIFHSGO’s 25th Anniversary writing competition. Her talk A Genteel Woman in Need: The Story of Maud Lampman, the First Woman Appointed to Work on Parliament Hill won best BIFHSGO Feature Talk in 2020. She was BIFHSGO’s Program Director from 2019 to 2021 and currently sits on the board as a Director-at-large.
"Finding a Great-Grandfather: A Story of Mistakes and Omissions"
One of Mary-Lou’s great-grandfathers immigrated to Canada from England sometime between 1871 and 1881, the last of her ancestors to arrive in Canada. So, finding him in passenger lists and other records should have been relatively easy, right? Not so fast! Mary-Lou will describe the mistakes, omissions and oversights by various parties along the way, and the lucky event that led to her finally discovering the circumstances of his arrival in Canada.
Mary-Lou Simac has been researching her family history for about ten years. She is a retired federal public servant who worked for Canadian Heritage and Innovation, Science & Economic Development Canada. She is a graduate of Boston University’s online Genealogical Research Certificate Program, has completed several family history courses from the University of Strathclyde, and is enrolled in courses offered by the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Mary-Lou has served on both the BIFHSGO board and the conference planning committee. She is currently vice-chair of the Irish Palatine Special Interest Group of Ontario Ancestors.