About the Genealogy...
My (abbreviated) Gen Background
Although I have been interested in genealogy for over 30 years, my serious research only began around 1998. My family roots are in Prince Edward Island (maternal) and Nova Scotia (paternal). Of course, many of the branches from both sides of the tree have spread out across North America and elsewhere, so my research is not entirely limited to those two provinces.
My heritage includes people of Scottish, Irish, Acadian, and Welsh origins. There are also United Empire Loyalists, Huguenots, and Quakers, to name but a few. Some arrived in North America in the early 1600's. Others came much later - the latest I know of being in the mid-1800's.
The majority of my research involves my maternal roots from Prince Edward Island. I have not intentionally excluded my paternal ancestry. Unfortunately, though, I have limited access to Nova Scotia records. Whenever possible, I prefer to work from original documents and/or microfilms.
Most of my work is done at the Centre d'études acadiennes, Université de Moncton. The vast majority of their holdings consist of documents concerning the Acadians and regions of Acadian settlement. However, they do possess microfilmed copies of most of the Roman Catholic parish registers for Prince Edward Island, the 1881, 1891, and 1901 census microfilms, a handful of Island newspapers, and other documents. This has allowed me to concentrate on my PEI Acadian, Irish-Catholic, and Scottish-Catholic roots.
I do attempt research into other (Protestant) Island families, as well as my Nova Scotia roots, whenever the opportunity is available. Due to the lack of local resources, most of my work must be done on-site at PEI or Nova Scotia-based archives and research centres. Opportunities to travel to these sites are few and far between. Therefore, I tend to concentrate on the PEI Catholic research.
My Research Methods and Philosophy:
I limit my research with respect to the eras and surnames involved. Although I am usually working on several families at once, and from time-to-time may temporarily take on one or two more, I am not looking at every family that makes up my ancestral background. I have selected a handful that are of interest to me and attempt to concentrate on them as much as possible. Also, I try to work from the year 1800 towards the present day. It is rare that I will extend my research more than a generation or two prior to that point. And, due to the closure of many records from general public access after 1900-1901, it is sometimes difficult to research individuals born afterwards.
The specific families that comprise my main research interests have been listed here.
Please note that I limit myself to these families and the time-frames listed above. I do not expand my research into other branches or allied lines. For instance, with respect to the Gaudets, my research consists only of the descendants of Joseph Gaudet and Marie-Blanche Bourg, and Pierre Gaudet and Henriette-Catherine Doiron. I have no information on the siblings of Joseph and Pierre and their descendants nor am I interested in obtaining any. Likewise, I have not traced the affiliated lines for Bourg or Doiron.
I believe we have to establish finite limits to our research. Then, we can concentrate our efforts on a small number of individuals within a fairly narrow geographical area. Rather than expanding our research to include more people or families, we should expand it to include more details, more personal and biographical information, on the individuals involved. In this manner we will become experts on those individuals and their immediate families and, hopefully, gain a better understanding and respect of them. If we broaden the focus too much we lose sight of the smaller details that truly help us to identify our ancestors as individuals. I have met many people in my research who collect and maintain huge genealogical databases. Regrettably, their concentration eventually switched from the individuals to the database as a whole. At that point, as far as I am concerned, they stopped being family historians and, instead, became "collectors of names." I see no purpose in maintaining a 50,000+ name database if I know nothing about any of the people named within.
What's here, what's not, and why:
As I conduct my own research, I am always discovering and utilizing sources that may be of interest to others. In some cases, few people may be aware these documents exist or they may not fully understand the types of information they contain. Or, I may simply have copied some records that I know others will find useful. Some of these files will be complete. Others might only contain partial information, indices, or finding aids. Hopefully, what is posted here will be of some interest to those visiting my site.
As you will see by examining the contents of the genealogy pages, I have attempted to make a wide variety of files and resources available. These include cemetery transcripts, census records, local histories, newspaper extracts, school records, and military records. There are also a few small family files and some research aids and tutorials. These are neither complete nor comprehensive but will hopefully be of some use to some people.
For each file (except the tutorials), I have attempted to list the original sources I used by name/title. In some cases, I have also given the microfilm or archival accession numbers so that visitors to the applicable research instutions can ask for them by name. I will not source individual pieces of data on this site. Instead, I will provide bibliographic information so other researchers may examine and confirm these sources for themselves. I will provide specific source references on demand.
You will not find large family files or databases on my site. I may present a file containing a small branch of one of my main surname interests. I may have a small file on an affiliated family. Or, I may post a file that was developed from research I conducted on someone else's behalf, likely for a family that is not even connected to my personal research. But, there will not be any large, comprehensive, files documenting my major surname interests for visitors to print or download.
This may seem rather arrogant, so I will explain my reasons for doing so. First, I find that many people simply print or download large files for their own purposes and do not bother to contact the author or site-owner. I prefer a mutually beneficial, two-way, exchange of data and ideas. If you are interested in one of these families, it is likely because you are also researching the same line or a branch thereof. If we work together, share what we can, and discuss the problems, discrepancies, and inconsistencies we have encountered, we will both be better off for it. Second, I am tired of seeing my information posted to other websites, especially commercial sites like Ancestry, under someone else's name and without my permission. I put a lot of time and effort (and, in some cases, money) into my research. I take great pride in my work. I don't mind sharing what I have, and greatly enjoy assisting others. However, I am extremely frustrated with those few individuals who believe they have free-rein over my files and data and, once obtained, can do with it as they please. In my opinion, this demonstrates nothing more than a total lack of courtesy and respect on their part. It has not been a common occurrence but it has happened enough to make me a little "gun shy" when it comes to posting large files to the internet.
That being said, I am still willing to share. If you have questions about any of my files, or need data on any of the families I am researching, please Contact me. I will do my best to provide you with the information or assistance you require.
Please note that some of my files are incomplete. Others, especially the family files, should be considered as "works-in-progress." Along with the general site Disclaimer, most of the documents contain individual disclaimers. These are usually located at the top of each file. Please read the disclaimers and introductory text before examining each file, and especially before contacting me about the files or the data they contain.
My Site vs. GenWeb Sites
It is not my intention to compete with or duplicate the efforts and resources of the many county and provincial GenWeb sites, or similar sites maintained by historical and genealogical societies. I have no specific mandate except to post some of my own files as I see fit. If you are a visitor to my site and have files or data that you would like posted to the net, I will direct you to the relevant GenWeb site so your information can be posted there, not here. I have neither the time nor space to provide a forum for others to post their information. If you are the coordinator of a GenWeb, Archive, or Historical or Genealogical Society website and would like to link to information contained within my site, or would like me to provide a link to your site, please let me know. In either case I would be more than happy to accomodate you. All I ask is that you first seek written permission from me as outlined in my Copyright notice.
Commercial Sites vs. Local Genealogical/Historical Societies:
Visitors will note that I do not provide links to, or even mention of, many of the commercial genealogy websites that are available. Indeed, I will not even offer links to their free services. But, I will gladly advertise local genealogical and historical societies as well as promote their publications and other offerings. I will do the same for provincial, state, and federal archives who may also sell various publications or copies of documents from their holdings. While I will not discount the convenience and benefits that subscription-based sites offer some researchers, I strongly believe that we should support local efforts instead.
Local groups consist of people dedicated to the preservation, compilation and dissemination of local genealogical, historical, and cultural materiel. Many of the volunteers involved in these organizations have a direct interest in their activities, usually through personal connections to the local families and area. Their efforts are derived from an honest and sincere desire to preserve and promote local history rather than a need to increase bottom lines and pad profit margins.
Before subscribing to a commercial website, contact the local genealogical or historical society in the relevant area(s). They may already have compiled and made available the information you seek, perhaps even for free. If you have strong connections to a particular area, become a member of the local organization. Even if you can't attend meetings, you can still benefit from the resources available through newsletters, periodicals and other publications, and membership lists. And, you know the money from your membership dollars and purchases will be returned to the organization to assist with future preservation or research projects. Better still, become a volunteer and play a direct role in the society's activities.