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.
In 2010-2018 Iserved 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

Friday, March 28, 2008

I was combing through the cemetery transcriptions for Chippewa County, Michigan once more, looking for my grandmother's sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Frank Steele. They were not listed, but I noticed that one large cemetery transcription had not yet been completed. There was an email address for the main transcriber, so I sent her a message. Last night there was an answer: ______________________________________________________________________________ From: donna white To: bill buchanan Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2008 6:38 PM Subject: Frank Steele Bill, I checked death records at the Chippewa County Courthouse today on the Steele family. This is what I have found so far. Frank died June 2, 1918 of a boiler explosion at Whitefish Point. He was 47 years 3 months of age, widowed, born in Wisconsin, and was a fireman. Mary E. died June 22, 1913 of a chronic valvular disease of the heart at the hospital. She was 39 years 5 months 13 days of age, born in Ontario, as were her parents, George Watson and Agnes J. Welch. She was buried June 24th at Riverside (I assume the one in Sault Ste. Marie). The informant was Frank Steele of Shelldrake Mill. When I get a chance, I will check the Riverside Cemetery records at the City Clerk's office. I only have a small part of that cemetery transcribed so far. Also, I will try to check for obituaries, but it may take me awhile to get it done. By the way in the 1920 census index, there was a William Steele, age 26, but I couldn't find him on the page. That was for Whitefish Point, also. Donna ______________________________________________________________________________ Wow! Donna, thank you! The Steeles were Dad's aunt and uncle. Back in 1962, I interviewed Dad and his brother and sister who were still alive. They knew almost nothing about this family, not even the names of their older children. I think they had met the two little girls when they were adopted by the Watsons, another aunt and uncle. Both Steele girls died, Nellie of polio and I don't know what caused Jeannie's death. I have been looking for info on this family ever since. I found Mary E Watson as a member of the George Watson family when the 1881 census of Canada became available on FamilySearch. This was the first time I knew that her name was Mary and not "Minnie" as the family called her. Then three years ago I found her marriage to Frank Steele in which placed this event in Michigan, where the Watson children grew up. In I found her birth in Ontario. And most recently I found the family in the 1910 census with older children that the family had never mentioned. And Frank was working at a sawmill, which supported the story that he died in a mill explosion. Now you have brought the pieces together for me in a wonderful way. Minnie died first, not Frank. But Frank was killed by an explosion. You have helped me beyond my wildest hopes. You have given me actual dates and places. I can hardly wait to tell my cousins! Thank you SO much. If you can find anything more it will be a bonus. If you can't, I will be grateful for the efforts you have made and the fruits they have borne. Bill Buchanan ______________________________________________________________________________

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cousins Reunited I received an email yesterday from Cheryl, whose family is connected to mine by a marriage a few generations ago. She gave me an update on her family line and expressed the wish of being able to find her cousin Ula's daughter. As I seached through my notes (in my family database, of course), I found information provided by Elizabeth. In one of the notes, Elizabeth mentions that Ula was her mother. So I sent Cheryl an email with the info from Elizabeth, including her email address. My reply from Cheryl today said: Subject: Re: Ula's daughter Bill I just sent a mail to her. Thanks for all your help in this! As you said it is exciting after losing contact with a family after all these years and then regain contact!! WOW!!! Cheryl

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I was reminded the other day, that I have not posted any messages recently, so I will try to do better.

For the past week I have been working on my family tree on the new FamilySearch website. This is one of the websites I provide support for. It is still in an early state of development and has just a few thousand people using it. It won't be available to the general public for another year or two. By then it will be a stable, Web 2.0 genealogy site that is usable without charge. Unlike the present site, you will be able to edit the content in real-time. At least, you will be able to edit material that you contributed. But if you didn't contribute it, you can add the correct information, and choose to have it displayed. Since I was the contributor of most of the things on my family tree, I am in the process of correcting and filling in missing data.

In the process I have come across the email address of someone working on the Willerton line and someone working on the Poole line. I also discovered the parents of my ancestor Robert Nicholls, of North Cerny, Gloucester, England. It was a nice "bonus". I hope to find others as I work on the family tree.

Here is a view from nFS of part of my pedigree. Click the image to see it full-sized.