Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living at Onoway, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. During July 2007 - January 2010, and September 2011 - March 2014, I provided part-time support for This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I have served in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Saturday, April 02, 2016

In Search of Agnes - New Brunswick Research

One of Judy's cousins is interested in finding the ancestors of his grandmother, Agnes Teale, of Tisdale Saskatchewan. Agnes was married to Augustus "Charles" Teale, from Hessle, Yorkshire, England. I am well acquainted with the ancestors of Charles Teale, but his wife was somewhat of a mystery, so I thought it would be interesting to find out more.

This was her second marriage, and what our branch of the Teale family thought was her maiden name, was in fact her married name from her first marriage. So her maiden name was not Agnes Clayton, it was Agnes Murphy. Armed with that information from the cousin, I started looking for additional information. The cousin mentioned that her first husband was Joshua S Clayton, and they were married in New Brunswick, and had two Clayton children. After Joshua's death in Belgium in WWI, the children were raised by her in-laws.

New Brunswick Provincial Marriages 1789-1950
Name Joshua S Clayton
Event Type Marriage
Event Date 23 Feb 1909
Event Place Saint John, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Gender Male
Age 21
Birth Year (Estimated) 1888
Father's Name Joshua B Clayton
Mother's Name Eva Scribner
Spouse's Name Florence Murphy
Spouse's Gender Female
Spouse's Age 18
Spouse's Birth Year (Estimated) 1891
Spouse's Father's Name Wm Murphy
Spouse's Mother's Name Enora Ragan [Honorah sounds like Enora.]
Certificate Number 001420
Page 48

I found the church marriage record in the Drouin Collection in and also found the government marriage record. Strangely enough, her name is given as Florence Murphy in these marriage records. And multiple official records of her children give her name as Florence Agnes Murphy or Agnes Florence Murphy. Her father's name is given on Drouin and government marriage records as William Murphy. However, her mother's name is indexed differently depending whether you look in FamilySearch or

I found the record of the marriage of her parents.
Oct 1880 Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada
"William Murphy and Hanorah Regan
On the eighteenth of October eighteen hundred and eighty I married William Murphy and Hannorah [sic] Regan after dispensing with banns, both of Studholm, Kings County, in the presence of Dennis Regan [or Ryan] and Margaret Ann Graham. James Vorcker"

Now I searched the New Brunswick Vital Records for the birth of Agnes. I believe this is her birth although the given names are recorded as Mary Agnes. There is no record in the New Brunswick Archives of the birth of a Florence Murphy to a William Murphy that can match our girl. Florence may just be a nickname. In the document below, the father's name is a perfect match and the mother's surname fits too. I cannot find any other William Murphy married to a Regan in this time and place.

Index to County Birth Registers
Sex F
Date 1890-04-27
County KINGS
Code 5-1-14-87
Microfilm F13367

In the Canada Census records from 1871-1911 we can see the family of William Murphy of Studholm RC Parish, Kings County, New Brunswick. Firstly we see him with his first wife, Mary. Then with Joanna, and lastly with his third wife, Elizabeth. 

On I found a profile page for him that includes this information and lists his parents as Robert Murphy and Julia Anna Keleher of Ireland. 

But I have had very little success searching for Honora/Joanna. 

The New Brunswick Archives site has wonderful scanned images of the original documents for FREE. The search engine is very limited but it is still a great place to do research. 

Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and FamilySearch

For the past few weeks I have been in touch with one of Judy's cousins in Saskatchewan. This is another of those situations, where a few years ago I could have asked some of the older Teales, Hamiltons, and McGillivrays about friends and neighbors. But that generation is gone now, and when I could have asked them, I didn't know the right questions.


I have badly neglected this blog. I remain very involved in family history, but not so much in my personal research. Every Thursday evening Judy and I serve in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Center. We have had some evenings when nobody comes and others when there are more people than we can handle. It is fun teaching people to find their ancestors in online databases or teaching them to scan and upload old family photos! Sometimes we even get to teach them to use the microfilm readers.

Since April 2015, I serve about 25 hours per week in FamilySearch Support, where we help people experiencing problems with our website (This is the world's largest free family history website.) We provide toll-free telephone numbers from most areas of the world as well as email at and real-time text chat. I am one of about 450 people serving in North American English Support during our daytime. In our evening, the Asia- Pacific Support team looks after English language support, and they are followed by the Europe-Middle East-Africa Support team, before it becomes the turn of North America again. Our website is available in 10 major languages, but English is the most heavily used. I find it a personally rewarding service. 

If you are doing family history research, I encourage you to visit our website!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Buchanans of St John's Derg Parish, Castlederg, County Tyrone, Ireland

My Buchanan family lived in this parish during at least part of 1815-1824. It was a Church of Ireland (Anglican) parish, although the Buchanans usually identified themselves as Presbyterians.

The latest Genealogy In Time newsletter mentioned records newly available for County Tyrone. Among them is a set of index cards from  St John's Derg Parish, Castlederg, County Tyrone. The first three births are obviously our family, but there is an excellent chance that the others are related to our family too. When our family emigrated to Canada in 1847, they undoubtedly left relatives behind.
Derg: Parish
Name Date of Baptism Book Ref.
ROBERT 2nd April, 1815. AA 438
CHARLES 26th May, 1817. AA 524
WILLIAM 28th March, 1824. AA 736
ELIZA 25th January,1829. AA 959
WILLIAM 3rd March, 1839. AA 1352
MATTY lst June, 1841, B 8 97
ELLEN 24th September, 1843. B 187
ELIZA 7th June, 1846. B 295
REBECCA 29th April, 1849. B 350
MARGARET 30th June, 1852. B 428
MARY 28th May, 1865. B 846
BUCHANAN (2) Derg Parish
Name Date of Baptism Book Ref.
ELLEN 23rd December, 1875. B 1199
SAMUEL IRWIN lst January, 1885. B 1409

Probably related:
BUCHANAN Derg Parish
Martha 18 Feb 1866 A 501
Willaim 3 Feb 1867 A 523
Sally 31 Mar 1875 A 679
Sarah 11 Feb 1894 B 194
Marriage Date   Name & Surname  Age  Condition  Rank or Profession  Residence at time of marriage  Father’s name & Surname  Rank or Profession of Father  Witnesses:
September 21st 1869
William Patton 27 Bachelor Labourer Ballylennan John Patton Labourer Thomas Crowe
Rebecka Buchanan 22 Spinster Ballylennan William Buchanan Labourer Thomas Funston
October 12th 1869
Thomas Crowe 32 Bachelor Labourer Ballylennan John Crowe Labourer Andrew Chism
Mary Buchanan 30 Spinster Spamount William Buchanan Labourer William Funston


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Finding Alberta Homesteads and Farmsteads (made easy)

As I was reading a recent newsletter from, it referred to homesteads and had a link to the following site:

I looked up the homesteads of my grandfather Richard Ing and his brothers James and Thomas.
Then I wondered whether my other grandfather William Andrew Buchanan had ever taken out an Alberta homestead.

Sure enough!

BUCHANAN, William Andrew Section 17 Township 41 Range 5 Meridian 5 Film # 2956 in Accession # 1970.313 at Provincial Archives of Alberta File # 2210868

Where on earth is that??? The 5th Meridian is just 5 minutes drive west of me, so it would have to be somewhere in the western part of Alberta, but where?

After a few false starts I found this site.

Then I followed this helpful note to plot the location using Google Maps! 

NOTE: If you will use these numbers with a GIS tool, like Google Maps or a GPS, you must put a MINUS sign in front of the longitude result. For example, 110.0079112 should be -110.0079112 when entered into Google Maps.

The result was a somewhat remote place roughly 20 miles or 30 km north of Leslieville, Alberta. This made good sense, since my dad had attended school in the Leedale-Leslieville area. Now I knew exctly where they lived!

You might want to give it a try for some of your ancestral farms in Alberta.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Family Vacation

The week of July 26-Aug 1, 2015 was a fun-filled week, centered on our first real family vacation since the children were teens.

Sunday 26 July 2015
After church, we went home and changed into our travel clothes. Then we went to Evelyn's. We also met with Laurel and Chris, so the 3 vehicles traveled together to Leduc, where we dropped in for a visit with Mom. Our timing was awkward, as it was lunch time. But they directed us to another room where we had a nice visit. It was a special treat because of A.'s present for her, a picture she had painted of my Dad, and of excellent quality for 7-year old.
After the visit, Evelyn followed right behind us. We stopped at Olds and again in Cochrane, arriving at Radium about 7 PM. Andrew, James, and  Laurel all got there before us. We had a spaghetti supper, courtesy of James and Karin, and spent the rest of the evening visiting and planning.

Monday 27 July 2015
After a visit to the Kootenay Valley viewpoint, the family went on the Cobb Lake hike. I stayed back at the cars because I did not think I was physically capable of it. It proved to be a difficult hike for many members of the family. Judy went most of the way and then waited for the others to pick her up on the return journey. Andrew helped her on the way back. I was glad I had not gone, as Judy is a better hiker than I am.
We were planning on doing the little hike at Olive Lake, but everyone was tired and hungry so we returned to Radium.
In the afternoon we all went to the hot spring. We enjoyed the naturally hot water but also spent some time in the lukewarm "cool" pool. There, Karin did diving and swimming with two of the older (and more adventurous) grandchildren C. and D. Some of the younger children rode the slides into the water. After spending the previous day driving, I enjoyed the hot pool. Still the driving was not as hard on me as I thought it might be. I hadn't driven for more than 3 hours at a time for 2 or 3 years, and an 8 hour drive proved to be very manageable. That is a blessing, as I will also have to drive back!
Judy and I seized the opportunity to go to Edgewater, where I grew up. The house my parents rented from Harry Moore for $30/month back in 1954 is still there, and so is the house built by my parents. Both are looking very good for their age.
Later, Andrew and his children went swimming in the recreation centre included in the house rental.

Tuesday 28 July 2015
Everyone else went to Fairmont to go horseback riding. This was something that A. was especially yearning to do. Later, she told me all about her experiences riding a horse named Wendy.
I used the time to view the Columbia River wetlands from the “mile hill”, now known as Radium Hill. Then I proceeded to Windermere to visit the “stolen church”. The story of this church is interesting. It was built in Donald, BC. Then in 1900, when the Canadian Pacific Railway decided to move its divisional maintenance point from Donald to Golden, they offered to move the buildings to Golden for free. St Peter's Anglican church was one of the buildings loaded for moving to Golden, but it never arrived! The bell arrived, but not the church. A family from Donald had moved to Windermere, and decided to take the church with them. They stole it and it remains in Windermere today. When I visited it, I noticed that the family that stole it added a nice stained glass window to the little wood frame church.
I also visited the Columbia Valley Museum in Invermere, which my brother Lloyd had highly recommended. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I noticed that they had a flat iron exactly like the one I had been carrying around in the trunk of my car since the move from our acreage. I asked if they wanted it, and they cheerfully accepted it. So Mom's old iron is now in the museum. I am sure they would have accepted some of the other old things that I threw out in preparation for the move. Ah well...
Then I rejoined the family in Radium. After lunch we went to the amusement park in Windermere. There, we played miniature golf on an 18 hole course, and the kids did go-cart racing. The fellow looking after us was absolutely super! We paid for 8 minutes and he gave us much more time than that. When one of the kids crashed into the wall, he just brushed it off as a non-event. E. was disappointed that he had to ride with an adult, but Chris was absolutely super as his driving partner. He really knows how to make people feel good. Andrew rode with his daughter. The older grandchildren each drove a car. When these were finished their turns, Evelyn rode with her son, while her daughter and Laurel, and J. drove individual cars. Everyone thought it was a blast and I got some excellent photos.

Wednesday 29 July 2015
The big thing for the day was the rafting. I thought we were just going to be rafting from Invermere to Radium on the Columbia River ... a relaxing but boring trip. Instead we were signed up for a half-day rafting trip down the Kootenay River, an excellent trip! Judy tends to suffer anxiety in many types of transportation. I was really impressed by how she handled this trip! She was really part of the “crew”. We were bused from the Kootenay River Runners office in Radium, through Kootenay National Park to a site on the Kootenay River but south of the park boundary off Settlers Road. The road was just a wide path through the bush and the old school buses rattled and banged, but got us there. The guides set-up lunch as we waited for the rafts to come down from upstream. The rafts arrived. We had lunch together and the occupants of the rafts returned to Radium on the buses, while we suited-up for our turn on the rafts. The 15 members of our family were in raft #10 with Ian, our guide. The scenery was magnificent, and there was enough white water to make things exciting. Front and centre was our 6-year old captain E. The guide gave an interesting commentary. I have always been interested in geology, and he immediately caught my attention by pointing out that the cliffs were the remains of a glacial moraine, that at one time a vast glacier had descended this valley.
Ian made a game of learning all of our names. Some were a challenge, but he learned us all, even J. and D. In his 600 trips down this river in 12 years, he must have learned a lot of names. Originally from Prince Albert, he now makes his home in Saskatoon, when he is not working as a guide.
We came to a magnificent waterfall where Pedley Creek cascades into the river about 3:15, and Ian took photos of us.
Towards the end of the trip, there was a stretch where he said we could get out and swim. Karin seized the opportunity, as did many of the grandchildren. A. panicked and started screaming. The icy temperature and the difficulty of getting back into the raft upset her. The people in the raft behind us heard her screams and decided not to try swimming. She calmed down before we reached the take-out point about 4:30 PM.  The bus ride back was even longer. We got back to home base about 7 PM.

Thursday 30 July 2015
We packed up to return home. The house we rented was almost perfect for our needs. It could have used a third bathroom, but otherwise was excellent. I liked seeing the deer and wind turkeys that came close to the house and showed no fear. There were houses east of us that were empty shells that were never completed. Apparently during the recession of 2008 the developer went bankrupt and the workers abruptly stopped working. I hope someone can finish the houses, it seems like a shame to see them in this state.
Andrew left first, headed for Calgary to pick up Nicole and the youngest children. The rest of us left about 10 AM. Again Evelyn followed us. I had planned to take the David Thompson highway home, but decided that the Calgary route was guaranteed to provide opportunities to buy food and gasoline. We stopped in Canmore, where there was a McDonald's restaurant and paid $1.17/litre for gas that was $0.99/litre at home. But we got what we needed without any detours. At Airdrie we stopped again for a refreshment and bathroom break. From there on, we traveled straight home, arriving about 5 PM. It was a good trip.
Lloyd and Reg came for a visit about an hour after we got home and we had a good visit.

Friday 31 July 2015
The topsoil/final grade on James' house was completed today. It is ready for sod. Yea!
I mostly relaxed and read two novels

Saturday 1 August 2015
Evelyn called about 7:30 AM saying that my friend Henry had called trying to reach me. He would be unable to serve his shift with me because his house was flooded. I assumed it was caused by the rainstorm we had during the night, but later found out that the water line to the refrigerator had broken during the night, spraying water into the house. Besides the damage to the kitchen and living room it ran into the basement where it destroyed the drywall ceiling and flooded the carpets and soaked anything on the floor. Ouch!!!
We left for the Ing Reunion. This may be the last reunion. It was well attended. Even Ted Chapin was there with his son Dwayne and grandsons. I find it hard to attend the reunions because Judy and I have other responsibilities on Saturdays, and I need to arrange for other people to cover for us. But I enjoy visiting with the extended family and catching up on the latest changes.
My great niece T. drew me as a partner for the horseshoe competition. That was unfortunate for her. She was pretty good, but we were up against Al Sargent and Diane Matthews, and we lost in the first round. The shoes I tossed never went where I wanted them to go! Any gophers in the vicinity were in mortal danger!
I taped a genealogy chart to the wall and received some updates.
About 3:30 people started leaving, and we left then for home.
At home I updated my genealogy database with information from the reunion, and relaxed before going to bed.

So we had a memorable family vacation and it was affordable. We found Radium to be a great place for a family vacation. It also helped that Laurel and Karin did most of the pre-planning and organization!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day, Grandpa Ing!

Recently my brother Lloyd brought me a special gift. It was an old mantle clock that was purchased new by my grandfather, Richard Samuel Ing. I asked my mother, now aged 95, how old the clock was. She said "I don't know for sure, but they had it before I was born." "I remember that I would have been about 5 years old when the original glass got broken."  Lloyd told how Grandpa Ing would remove the clockwork mechanism and soak it in coal oil to clean it and lubricate it. I don't think I would risk it.

My mother's parents were both born in London, England. When they retired they sold their farm and moved into Breton, where we got to see them every Saturday. We would meet our relatives there, and it was always fun. They had a big tin box of buttons that the younger children could string together, or make buildings out of dominoes. We could also play checkers or board games. Grandma and Grandpa always had time for us. Both had a good sense of humor, and I remember lots of smiles and laughs at their house. Grandpa liked to play harmless practical jokes. He would say "Oh, look at that pretty bird sitting on the tree outside the window". When you turned to look, he would say "Oh, it just flew away!" When you turned back, your dessert had disappeared. He would always return it with a big smile. On one occasion, I remember him passing food to me and saying, "Would you like some peas?" "Yes, Grandpa." He put three peas on my plate and then pretended he was going to pass the bowl to someone else. But he would pause, with a grin and a twinkle in his eye, to ask me if I wanted some more.

They loved each other deeply and enjoyed life very much. The ticking of this clock counted the seconds, hours and years of their lives. I can hear it ticking now behind me as I write these words. Thank you, Grandpa Ing. Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Genealogy is not all about ancestors!

It is also about descendants. Judy and I are very proud of our children and our grandchildren. My oldest grand daughter married a wonderful young man on Saturday.

Tananda and Nathan looked wonderful! They are good people and should be happy together forever.

The sun started to shine and it warmed up a bit for photos. Later, we rode to the North Stake Center for the family dinner. This was a beautiful roast beef dinner, complete with horse radish, which I really enjoy! We sat with Andrew's family, then with Blaine's family. 

Rachel sat at Blaine and Nina's table too, doing an incredibly good job of blowing bubbles using the party favors. I did my best blowing bubbles too, but she was in a much higher league.

Even the teens and pre-teens had fun chumming with their cousins. My mother aged 95 was there, and saw her new great granddaughter Felicity for the first time. They were the oldest and youngest of my immediate family. 

At the reception, Judy and I were among the people asked to come up to the microphone, and Judy told the story of Charlotte Eley's brooch. Since my ancestor Samuel Wright gave it to his bride Charlette Eley in 1880, Tananda is the 6th generation of brides in our family to wear the brooch. I couldn't top that story, so I said nothing ... not typical of me at all. I especially loved the family history connection that the brooch makes.

In every way it was a beautiful wedding! Best wishes kids!