Tag: blogging

Welcome Back to Writing Up the Ancestors

Welcome to the new look of Writing Up the Ancestors. The content is the same — 169 articles so far, dating back to 2013 – but the blog looks cleaner and more colourful, and it should be easier to navigate and search for names and places. Thank you so much to web designer Glenn Maruska for doing such a fine job.

The URL has changed to https://writinguptheancestors.ca. If you bookmarked the old address, please update it, however, if you use the old blogspot.com address, you should automatically be redirected to the new site.

There is no more public comment section (half the comments that came in were spam) but if you have a question or comment, or better yet, if you think we share an ancestor, I would love to hear from you. There is a contact form in the header section.

I have not posted frequently in about two years, only doing so when it was my turn to post on the collaborative blog Genealogy Ensemble (https://genealogyensemble.com). Writing Reinventing Themselves: A History of the Hamilton and Forrester Families took all my time and energy. The blog post announcing the book launch — https://www.writinguptheancestors.ca/2021/06/reinventing-themselves-has-been-launched.html — includes a link to a slideshow/interview with me put together by retired CBC music producer Frank Opolko, and a link to order the book.

On the topic of the Hamiltons, there is some very good news. An article about T.G. Hamilton, my grandfather who was a Winnipeg physician and psychical researcher, has finally been published online in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. The article, a labour of love and persistence, was written by Walter Meyer zu Erpen of the Survival Research Institute of Canada. See http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/hamilton_thomas_glendenning_16E.html

I am now ready to start posting more frequently to Writing Up the Ancestors. There will be an article about my great-great-great grandmother Fanny McGregor – at least I think it is my Fanny McGregor – on February 2. Then, for the next little while, the focus will be on the Mitcheson family of County Durham, England during the 18th century. After that, I’ll be exploring my Montreal ancestors again. The Montreal Star has finally been digitized and made available on Newspapers.com, so that will keep me and many other genealogists busy for a long time.


Pictured in the header, left to right: Catherine Mitcheson Bagg (1822-1914); Dr. T.G. Hamilton (1873-1935); Mary Frances (McGregor) Mitcheson (1792-1862); Samantha (Rixon) Forrester (1856-1929) with Lillian and Arthur; Stanley Bagg (1788-1853); Clara Smithers (1860-1946); Jim Hamilton (1915-1980) with Janice.

Eight Years and Still Going Strong

It has been eight years this month since I started posting articles about my ancestors on this blog. In that time, I have learned a lot, focusing primarily on my direct ancestors and a few of their colourful cousins. Now it is time to reassess and decide where to take the blog in the future.

I have been thinking of abandoning Writing Up the Ancestors altogether and just post on https://genealogyensemble.com, the collaborative blog I share with eight other genealogists/writers. Many of my articles already appear on both blogs. We are each scheduled to post on GE once every nine weeks, and that is about all I have been able to manage lately. In June, I published a history of my father’s family – Reinventing Themselves a History of the Hamilton and Forrester Families (https://store.bouquinbec.ca/reinventing-themselves-a-history-of-the-hamilton-and-forrester-families.html) — and it was impossible to create new content for the blog while also working on the book.

Blogger, the interface on which Writing Up the Ancestors appears, introduced major changes about a year ago, and I was so busy with the book that I didn’t take the time to learn how to use the new version. It was extremely frustrating to see a blog that once was so easy to handle become quite cumbersome, especially when it comes to separating paragraphs. But I will give Blogger a try for a while longer. Meanwhile, my last two posts, both about my headstrong and unflappable world travelling great-great aunt Helen (Bagg) Lewis, appear only on Genealogy Ensemble.

Truth be told, Genealogy Ensemble has a much wider readership than Writing Up the Ancestors, however, people still contact me about various people I have written about on Writing Up the Ancestors. Furthermore, my articles about the Bagg and Clark families appear in footnotes in several recent books about the history of the Montreal neighbourhood where they once lived. Hopefully, my online collection of stories won’t be going anywhere.

Robert Mitcheson, Philadelphia

Now that my father’s family is “done” (although all genealogists know the research is never finished) my attention is turning to my mother’s family, all of them Montrealers since the late 1700s or mid-1800s. Wherever my future posts appear, they will focus on my mother’s side: the Bagg, Mitcheson, Clark, MacGregor, Smithers, Smith, Workman, Mulholland and Shearman families. In the coming months the focus will be on the family of Robert Mitcheson (1779-1859), pictured here.

In the years since I first started my research, many new resources have been digitized, so I’m hoping to make new discoveries, then pull them together into another book.

Meanwhile, before getting started on all that new research, it is time to reorganize. I am putting a lot of stray notes and articles into Evernote in the hopes of being able to find them when I need them, and sorting through the piles of documents related to the Hamiltons and Forresters, giving whatever is of value to an archive and throwing out all the duplicates and references I can easily find again online.

Is this overly optimistic? Perhaps, but winter is coming and the pandemic is not going away anytime soon. I have to do something to keep busy!