Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ancestry DNA helping fill in the missing pieces (Part 1)

   Well my kids got me the Ancestry DNA kit this past Christmas. Being the family genealogist and having an Ancestry membership they thought it would be a good gift. They were of course, right. Now don't ask me why it took so long; however I just filled my saliva test tube and sent it in about a week or so ago. Yesterday I received an e-mail that they had received it at there testing center and that it had been placed in the line-up to be tested. It will be between 8 and 9 weeks to see the results. As long as it took me to send in my sample; it took almost no time at all to decide to test other family members. My brother and I had already talked about both doing this test; and just haven't gotten around to it. Price being a small factor. We were waiting to see a sale on the kit. My father has always insisted that my brother can't be his biological son. My mother insist he is. So we figure we can lay all questions aside and let the DNA speak for itself. Also if you read my previous blog about my father's mother (my Grand-mother); then you know there is a similar question about my father and his siblings. So I ordered this past week a kit for my brother and one for my father and his sister. Unfortunately my Uncle died back in 1992 (as you would also know from that previous blog) and so I can't test him; Also his daughter was killed a few years later, so I can't test her either. I called my Aunt in Minnesota and she was exited by the idea and of finding out the answers after all these years. My brother is waiting for it. I'm not sure how excited or nervous he is. It has been a question hanging over him for years. I talked to my father a year or two ago about doing this and what it would mean if we find out that he is his son. I know it would hurt him inside to realize what he has missed out on. Family is very important to him. He is I think a little apprehensive about the test from that point of view. However I think he is very interested to learn about his sister and their actual parentage.
    So I have the Ancestry membership and I own all these test. they were purchased by me and I get to administer them through my account for the family. I am excited to see the matches that we may be able to make as well as the answers to the questions we have. Now we just wait for them to arrive, activate them, send them in and get the results. Check out the video if you want to know more about this test  I will keep you updated as we complete more steps. As always Remember When and share those memories with others.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day 2017 ...Remember When Grandma Dennie..

    SO since it is International Women's Day, I thought I would talk about my Grand-mother. Elva Irene Dennie was her name and she was born in Dundas, Ontario, Canada on August 27, 1923. The Daughter of William George Dennie (who I have spoken of many times in previous blogs) and Gladys Irene Forwell. She was the oldest of their children. Now my Grand-mother lived a life that was dedicated to her own enjoyment. She was married many times and it is assumed that my father and his siblings have different father's. Or at least my father and his brother have a different father then their sister. We never got to hear the truth of this from her however; because the day we as a family were going to sit down with her and finally have it out; that is get to the truth of it. She died. My birthday 1992. My uncle Vince was dying of cancer and had only a month or two left. My aunt had come in from the states to see him and for us to get together and have this conversation with her before Vince died. He wanted to go to his grave having all the past issues and questions taken care of. So even in the end she took the secrets with her. However all this being said, I know that she loved me and her children. She may not have been able to be the best mother in life; but she did love us and I know she held a special place in her heart for me. In her earlier years she was a part of history, such as it were. She joined the Military during WWII as a Leading Aircraft Woman and served for about one year. I recently ordered and received a DVD from The National Film Board of Canada entitled Wings on Her Shoulders which is a short documentary about this group of woman that served. They did jobs to free men up for the combat roles and played a vital part in the war effort.  You can view the video here  I also have a document she kept that was with her important papers when she died. It is her statement of service.  It shows her time of service and states she received the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and War Medal 1939-45. She was honorably discharged Nov. 23, 1943 in Toronto, she served in Hamilton, Ontario.  I also have photo copies of a section of the book A History of Women in the Canadian Military about the Aircraft Women of WWII.  All in all I Remember When I sat with my Grand-mother and I will always be proud to know that she served our country.

Statement of Service for Elva Irene Dennie (from the collection of John Goodwin)

Above cover and section of the book 'A History of Women in the Canadian Military' featuring the Aircraft Women of WWII.

Picture of the Volunteer Service Medal 1939-1945. While she never had these in her possession when she died, I found this on line.

    I almost forgot; she told me how she and her friends from the service use to hang out at this cafe in Hamilton called the 'Air Way' and how after someone was discharged they would all go their to say good-bye and good-luck. So I have a picture of her in front of that cafe ( I think it was scheduled to close and so she wanted a picture in front of it; if I remember correctly). Anyway I post that picture and I have a copy of the menu from when she was discharged. I guess part of the ritual of saying good-bye was that all your fellow service people would sign a copy of the menu and send you off with it. She kept hers and I found it in with her box of pictures and things after she died. I don't have it copied; but will dig it out and try to update that into this blog later.

My Grand-mother outside the 'Air Way' Cafe in Hamilton May of 1955. (Part of the collection of John Goodwin)

Monday, December 12, 2016

So updated past blogs and other work on the Family Genealogy

    So the first thing you have to know is that it has been a while. I know I don't blog consistently; however that is part of life with a family, job, home and church.  I have been working on my genealogy and organizing my records and finding new records and family members. 
    Now the most important piece of news is an update to My Great Grandfather William George Dennie. In the past due to family lore it was believed that he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in WWI at the age of 16. That his mother signed paper work saying he was born in 1899 when he had been born in 1901. Because of that lore I found a George Dennie (his father married to a Sarah Walker - living with her father  in the 1901 census and showing William as 2 months old). The Attestation papers showed his mother as Mary Dennie and I believed this was her using her Catholic Baptized name of Mary.  This fit the facts and I went with it. Now however after finding the marriage cert of William George to Gladys Forwell and other records; I have found that his mother was Maria Chappell and so went back to the records and found the correct George Dennie with Maria (his wife) and William born in 1899. SO I have expunged the records of the Walker lineage and have corrected it with the Chappell lineage. I have also corrected / noted the mistakes in the past blogs. If you check them out they have their titles updated to say ( *Updated Dec 12, 2016* ) and the incorrect info is now highlighted in yellow and a note about the correct info  is added to the blog as well as some records to one of the blogs.  I feel we all have mistakes that can creep into our work; but if we are diligent and true to the work we will update and correct these as we go. I felt it was best to leave the mistakes with the notes to preserve the growing work of my genealogy and the blog. Others may have chosen to update and correct the blogs as if the new work was the only way it had been. I decided to go this way. Right or wrong, I like the transparency of it. Besides in this case the mistake also came out of an oral piece of family lore handed down through the generations and shows that with out the records to prove them, they are still suspect. The family didn't lie, the story I am sure just evolved as is natural. My Great Great Grandmother probably didn't approve of her son joining the Military and going over to fight and maybe die in the first World War. 
     Some other things I have found since last I blogged. Williams father in Law, My Great Great Grandfather William Forwell also served in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in WWI and had apparently served previous to that with the British Navy ( he was originally from Scotland). I have his Attestation paper (The full record isn't available on line at the Canadian Archives as of yet, I keep checking).  Along with them William Forwells other son in law and brother in law to William Dennie served. His name was Frederick Howlett and I have his Attestation papers and more importantly his whole WWI record (it was available on line and I have down loaded and printed it).  I also have a picture of Fred in his uniform, home in Hamilton Dundas area. 

William Forwell's Attestation Paper for WWI Canadian Expeditionary Force

Frederick Howlett's Attestation Paper for WWI Canadian Expeditionary Force

Frederick Howlett in uniform (right) with unknown man

    Now Remembrance Day may have just passed recently however I still am honored to know that my family and extended family has served our country; and next Remembrance Day I will 'Remember When...' proudly and so can the rest of the family.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Going to Miss Family Tree Maker? How about...Legacy!

   Well I know it has been a while since I posted. I have been busy with life in general. Graduation of my youngest, moving into my first home (on my own anyway), work being busier (more responsibilities) but I have been working here and there on my Genealogy. I have been helping my aunt as she is trying to find out about her families past. Now I have purchased software for Christmas for my sister-in-law. She has been interested in working on her genealogy for some time and since I pulled her name for 'Secret Santa', it was a logical choice.

    I am logging in to voice my opinion on the choice's out there for Genealogy programs in light of the announcement of 'Family Tree Maker' coming to an end soon. I have since the beginning of my genealogy research been using 'Legacy' and have never had reason to be sorry for that choice. The basic program is free and the full version is very reasonable (right now it is on sale for Christmas, making it even more so). Take a look at this article for even more info.
     Down load the free version of Legacy and check out their web site . They also have many training videos on the software and genealogy itself. There is a large users group, and more. Ultimately you have to be happy with your choice so investigate. I know Legacy help's me and my family to 'Remember When...' all the time.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wedding Wednesday A Love Story Born in Nipissing, Ontario

   The Year is 1899 and it is Christmas Day. In Dunnet & Ratter Township of Nipissing, Ontario, Canada.  The Ouellette's; Joseph and his wife Rosanna (nee Archambault) are celebrating not only Christmas this year but the arrival of their latest child, a son. Israel Noel is welcomed into the world on this very day. I'm sure the community was there with congratulations and best wishes.  Some of those wishing the family the best would have been their neighbors, Adolphe Gervais and his wife Marguerite (nee Cousineau).  Now a year later plus 2 days the tables would be reversed. The Gervais welcome their daughter Aldea into the world on December 27, 1900.

The Baptismal records for St. John the Baptist Church in Verner, Ontario 1895 - 1911. Entry 16 is Israel Noel Ouellette, 25th Dec. 1899 (parents listed) in Warren, Ontario. Baptized 11th of February by Father Langlois with Adelard & Clara Chevette  as God Parents.  

The Schedule A Birth Index of the District of Nipissing from 1899. Line 3 is Ouellette Israel Noel (M - male) Dec. 25, 1899. Father Ouellette Joseph and mother, Archambault Rose.

The 1901 - 1967 Record of Baptism for the St. Thomas Parish of Warren, Ontario.  Entry 6 reads Aldea Gervais, December 27, 1900. Parents are listed and living in Warren. there is a card inserted in the page which covers the date of baptism; however Father G.A Picotte officiated.

Page 12 of the 1901 Ontario Census of Dunnet & Ratter Township,  Nipissing County. The last family on the page is headed  by Adolph Gervais (line 44) age 43 with his wife Marguerite age 35 then Daughter Dora age 14, sons Moses age 13 & Adelor age 11, then daughter Louisa age 8 and son Eugene age 6. 

Page 13 of the 1901 Ontario Census of Dunnet & Ratter Township,  Nipissing County. The Gervais family continues at the top of this next page with  daughters Lavina age 2 and Aldea 3 months. However this page held more for me when first researching on line 15 is Joseph Ouellette age 41 with wife Rosalia age 31, daughter Rose age 11, Sons Alfred age 9 and Arthur age 7 then daughter Anna age 5 and Israel  3/12. 


    Well the census taker must have mis-understood the age of the baby. He is listed in the church record as being born and baptized in 1899 and 1900. I have to believe that those records are accurate. A family with a newborn being held by the Minister and baptized over a guy at the door taking the info and transcribing it to paper.  They probably told him the baby was born Dec 25th of last year and he took it literally as the last calendar yr. Can't blame him, but a mistake never the less. Anyway the point is, here are two young people about the same age, living near by and they grow up to marry; and so we have ....

Particulars of Marriage registration number 0197477. Married on August 9th of 1922 in Warren, Ontario. 

       The marriage produced many children including my grand mother Desneige. Hence my mother Noella and then myself. I have already blogged about them before but their lives were simple but fruitful and they lived and celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1972. They even went all out and renewed their vows at the same church in Warren. Wish I was old enough to have gone and remembered it. It looks like they had fun. 

Israel & Aldea Ouellette leaving for the church to renew their vows. Back porch of their Warren home. 

Renewing their vows.

The party after. Cake on table in shape of a 5 and 0.

Back at the Ouellette home. Israel Noel with his grand daughter (and namesake) Noella and her husband William Goodwin (my parents).

This last picture is a year or two before the anniversary. It is of me with my great grand parents and their dog at their place in Warren. I was about 5 or 6 here.


       I will never forget any of my grand parents or great grand parents. Some of details may fade as I was young then; however they were special people and I will always fondly "Remember When...."


Friday, February 15, 2013

Family Friends Friday... Let's try this Prompt out

  Well I was just checking over my past blogs and fixing some spelling and grammatical errors I noticed and came across the blog I did Wednesday, June 13, 2012. It was titled "Workday Wednesday - John Bertram & Sons of Dundas, Ontario".  In that blog I spoke of how my great, great  grand father George Dennie and his son (my great grand father) William George Dennie worked there and how they met and came to be friends with a fellow worker George Fraser and his wife Rose. George and Rose became fast friends with William and Gladys (nee Forwell) (Williams wife & my great grand mother). When William and Gladys had their first child Elva Irene Dennie (my grand mother); it was George & Rose that became the God Parents of course.
    Now I suggested on the Facebook page for Genebloggers that we add this "Family Friend Friday" to the "Daily Blogging Prompts" and they excepted it.  George Fraser is the reason it came to mind for me. See I know we all have an Uncle George or Aunt Rose in our families. That couple that was our parents best friends; that they did everything with. Hung out with on weekends, stood in their wedding, went on trips with, served in the war with, and as with mine; were the God Parents of "little Billie". It's these things that make them part of the family, so why shouldn't we include them somewhere somehow in our genealogy?
    More importantly than just the fact that they are like family (as far as blogging and researching our families goes); they are important sources of information. As I pointed out in that previous blog - "He (George Fraser) was able to tell me personally about my great great grandfather and great grandfather, both of whom I never had the honor of meeting myself. Both were honest, hardworking men for whom family came first. I would have liked to have known them, but since I couldn't, I will say that getting to know them both through Uncle George was a great experience. not only did I see them through his eyes; but reflecting back on it, I realize that I got to know them by the friend they picked to have as a member of our extended family. Uncle George Fraser was a great man and since I couldn't know my relatives personally; I'm sure glad I knew Uncle George because of them."


A picture of George Fraser with my kids can been seen in the previous blog mentioned. 

Above Left to right:

Elva Dennie (my grand mother), Elva's God mother Rose Fraser, Noella Lafleur (my mother) holding Branden (my brother) with me John Goodwin in front of her.

(Summer of 1976 in London at the home of George & Rose Fraser)

Above:  George & Mable Whitebread 

(Rose Fraser's parents) (1920?)

Above: At the "Hard Rock Cafe" downtown 

Detroit, Michigan (March 18, 2011)

I (John F.W. Goodwin) am seated right with my son Liam P.F. Goodwin seated next to me. Across from us is my good friend George Daniels. George is Liam's God Father.  Yes he could tell my son some stories about me. 

  I can think of many other family friends, such as my parents friends the Ouellette's when I was young. Later my father had friends Howard and Barb. I have many friends such as Liana who I went to high school with and is the God Mother of my oldest daughter Victoria. Speaking of which Victoria's God Father is another good friend of mine who I have known since grade 6, Robert. I could go on and on but the point is they all have known us and can give us and our descendants a picture of our families (that can be a verbal picture, but may be physical copies of pictures) which we may not have. So lets talk to these people and as they "Remember When....", they can help us to record when. I will definitely blog of some others now that my prompt has been excepted as a Genebloggers Daily Blogging Prompt.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday's Child - Remember When (Week 3) - Your 1rst BFF

    So I was thinking about week 3 and what it should be... I looked at the first two weeks and the home I  lived in. I got to "Remember When..." I use to play with Marcelo  Marcelo was the son of a couple that lived next door to us (and my grand parents - since we lived over them). His family was Italian and we were the same age. Once we moved to our first home (my parents owned on their own), I still played with Marcelo whenever we visited my grand parents or I was babysat by them. We played Cowboys & Indians, Cops and Robbers and with our toy cars & trucks. Marcelo's mother was a very kind lady and very protective of her son. We would sometime's go to his house and visit with her. I say visit because we didn't play in their home. It was always neat, clean and organized. She would let us come in for cookies and milk at the kitchen table or for some other goody. I was allowed in to wait for him if he was getting ready or had to finish cleaning his room to go out. I remember that in the living room under a side table next to the couch was an old Fisher Price Ferris Wheel toy.  It was a decoration at that point. She would allow me to pull it out to see how it worked a few times but it had to go back to it's "Spot". Marcelo was at my 6th Birthday in the dinning room of my grandparents home. I got my first 2 wheeler bike.

July 4, 1972 - My (John Goodwin) 6th Birthday with my Dad (William F. Goodwin) helping to cut the cake. I looked all day through old photo's and couldn't find the one with Marcelo in it. This is the closest I could find - he is sitting to my right (that is his hand).

July 4, 1972 - Outside our house on the side walk with my  birthday gift a new bike.  My dad (William F. Goodwin) and his step father; my grand father (Vic Boismier).

    As I got older and the visits grew further apart, so did our relationship. By the time we were around 8 years old his family was getting ready to move back to Italy. We said goodbye and that was the last I saw of him. I often wonder how he is doing, what did he grow up to do, did he get married, have kids, come back to Canada? Does he ever think back and "Remember When...." he lived on Highland Ave. in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and hung out with his friend John?