Who Am I? - Internet Genealogy

by Chris Blank

recently I decided to have a go at tracing my family history. Working from bits of information that my parents supplied, I tried to place the whereabouts of my ancestors as they made the trip to Canada, as so many others, in search of land and a new life.

Sometimes when we look in the mirror we cannot help but see our ancestors

      After checking the search engines, honing down a few good sites, I proceeded to find absolutely nothing relevant. Frustrating was the number of resources that I knew were out there, if only I could find them. Unfortunately, much of what I was looking for had not yet been digitized, uploaded, and catalogued for online consumption. It looked as though if I were going to find anything it would be during a trip to libraries and archives, brushing off age old documents reeking of dampness and time.

      Why was I even looking for my roots, anyhow?

      This became my question as I grew increasingly perturbed by the wondrous-waste-of-time internet. Several cups of coffee later I resolved to give up on the gray beast and instead pondered my very being. Who am I?

      My name, as it says on my driver's license, is Christopher Daniel Blank. My family originally came from Britain some time in the late 1800's. I do not know much more than that. And yet I need more. I want to know who these pioneering types were, what drove them to leaving cozy old Victorian Britain for the hostile life of farming in Canada.

      Perhaps by knowing them I hope to know myself. I was curious at what kind of temperament my great-great-grandparents were instilled with, and how this had down the line affected myself. Sometimes when we look in the mirror we cannot help but see our ancestors, our predecessors, our flesh which is the living legacy of hope for a better life.

      Many of us forget that those facial features, oddly curved knees, and other curiosities of the body are all reminders of who we really are. We are the culmination of toil and dreams long spent, and our own striving for a better future. A thousand faces look back as I stare in the mirror, wondering why we continue to push ourselves on each day, hoeing the rows of life in order to plant our own tomorrow.

here are some resources to help find your own genealogy:

Canadian Genealogy Resources
A meta-list of resources for someone searching for family records in Canada. Each province is listed with many resource sites specific to that region.

Genealogy Helplist Canada
broken down by province, this is an enormous list of people who are willing to assist with certain resources. also links to other province specific resources.

"GenForum is a conglomeration of message boards (some people call them queries, we call them forums). Anyone can post to these forums and immediately have their data shared with other researchers. From our home page, you can access our over 8200 forums devoted to specific surnames, states, countries, and general topics."

RootsWeb Genealogical Data Cooperative
"The RootsWeb project has two missions: 1.To make large volumes of data available to the online genealogical community at minimal cost 2.To provide support services to online genealogical activities such as USENET newsgroup moderation, mailing list maintenance, surname list generation, etc."

GENEALOGY Web Search Tools for surnames and genealogy links
"You may use the I Found It! search engine to locate pages on; surnames, one name studies, ship passenger lists, genealogical societies and associations, researchers, software, books, family mailing lists, online records of churches, census data, and cemeteries, and more."

A Barrel of Genealogy Links
hundreds of genealogy links, including many on Canada and First Nations.

CMCC - Online resources for Canadian heritage
"This list focuses on Internet resources pertinent to Canadian heritage in the disciplines covered by the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation: archaeology, ethnology, history (including military history and postal history), and folk culture." A good place to search for family background.

Genealogy Resources on the Internet - WWW-
page of links for genealogy resources for places all over the world

Canadian Genealogy and History
"A listing of Genealogical and Historical Web sites from East to Western Sea." Searchable.

"Your gateway to French-speaking genealogy in the Net." Available in either French or English.

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