Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, 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. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site 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

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Winter Driving This has nothing much to do with genealogy, but it has been on my mind. Last Wednesday, I did my shift at the Bonnie Doon FHC, went to the Riverbend FHC, and then with my wife to the Edmonton Temple. We started to drive home in the blizzard. As we left the city, Judy suggested that we spend the night with one of our children in Spruce Grove instead of driving home. Over the next few minutes we passed several vehicles in the ditch, including a black SUV lying on its side. We were welcomed at our daughter's house and spent the night there. Last night one of my sons phoned and mentioned that he knew the lady who had died in that accident. She wasn't wearing a seat belt, which I find surprising and very sad. Too many people seem to be unable or unwilling to learn a few basic principles that will keep them safe. Buying a 4x4 is no substitute for learning how to drive on snow and ice. One night in November our doorbell rang and a young man about 20 years old asked to use our telephone and for my help to get his car out of a snowbank. I discovered that he believed that spinning his wheels as fast as possible would help him to free his car. Obviously, the opposite is true. Traction was reduced to a minimum as he created a wall of ice around his tires, and his car dug itself deeper and deeper into the snow. With my shovels, and the help of his friends, we were able to get his car moving. He drove ahead about 3 feet in the snow and then deliberately stopped! I could scarely believe it! I told him, "If we can get your car moving again, you will keep driving until you are safely back on the road. You will NOT stop for any reason!" We were successful in freeing the car again, and he drove it onto the road. My thought was "This kid should not be allowed out of city limits if there is snow on the ground. He is a menace to himself and others." Genealogy Yesterday, a distant cousin emailed me the (1930 vintage) signature of a cousin of ours, Mary Buchanan Newlean. I was immediately able to identfy Mary, but discovered that I didn't have her husband's given names. I decided to look for her in the US censuses at the FHC today. I was successful in finding Mary in the 1910 census as a child in per parents home, in the 1920 living with her mother, and the 1930 living with her husband John E Newlean in San Francisco, San Francisco, California, and with her younger sister Florence. Success!


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