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.

My Photo
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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My Grandfather, Richard Samuel Ing, came to Canada at age 14 in 1896. His travel was sponsored by Dr Stephenson's organization.
ING , Richard S Age: 14 Sex: M Year of arrival: 1896 Microfilm reel: C-4517
Ship: SS Vancouver Port of departure: Liverpool
Departure Date: 5 Mar 1896 Port of arrival: Halifax
Arrival Date: 14 Mar 1896 Party: Not Given Destination: Hamilton, Ont
Comments: Dr Stephenson
My Grandmother, Louisa Ellen Wright was engaged to marry a merchant sailor who worked on the SS Montezuma, but he drowned when the boat capsized one night when returning to the ship. It was suggested that she write to Richard Ing, who had left the neighborhood as a boy and who was farming in western Canada. They corresponded, and she accepted his proposal to come to Canada and marry him. (Today's generation think this sort of long-distance romance started with the Internet!) So at age 28, after having lived all of her life in London, she set off by herself to travel half way around the world to marry a man she didn't really know and live on a primitive homestead on the Canadian prairies. This lady was no shrinking violet! She and her husband raised a family of 6. She died at the age of 101.

Congratulations Grandma and Grandpa!

I have spent some enjoyable time looking up records on the Washington State branch of the Buchanan family. The one of most interest to me is my grandmother. (I don't belong to Andrew and Mary Jane's branch of the family, but my grandparents were living in Tacoma when she died.) From the Washington State Death Records on Record Search This is a beta site for viewing data that will eventually be moved to the main website. It requires a free registration. [My Grandma!] Name : Elizabeth Buchanan Death date : 07 Jun 1923 Death place : Tacoma, Pierce, Washington Gender : Female Age at death : 42 years Estimated birth year : 1881 Marital status : Married Spouse name : Wm. A. Buchanan Father name : Geo. Watson Father Mother name : Jane Welch Film number : 2022220 Digital GS number : 4221451 Image number : 2330 Reference number : 554 Collection : Washington Death Certificates, 1907-1960

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bartlett's Shelldrake Sawmill in 1917

Last night I had a pleasant surprise in my email. Donna White, a volunteer in Michigan, found the actual newspaper account of my great uncle's death in a mill explosion, and she transcribed it for me. It is hard to find a nicer, more generous group of people than genealogists.

Anyway, I have the writeup on Frank Steele's death, which I retyped due to the darkness and blurring of the copy. Also, I went to the City Clerk's office yesterday, and found listings for both Frank and Mary at Riverside. I had done the transcription on the particular area, they are buried in and did not find stones for either of them. When I get back to the cemetery, I will ask the man in charge to point out which graves should be theirs. Perhaps there was a flat stone which has sunk. They are in the Protestant side of the cemetery in Block A1. Frank is listed as 2-9 and Mary as 13-10. I didn't ask which was the lot number and which was the grave number, but will find that out later. By the way their burial records stated that Mary died in childbirth, but no child was listed with her.



Explosion at Bartlett Lumber
Co., Shelldrake, Sunday.
Third Man, Seriously Injured,
Will Live; Bodies at Soo.

Frank Steele and Adam Schedeunk were killed and Percy Scott seriously injured at 7:30 o’clock Sunday morning when the battery of boilers at the Bartlett Lumber Co. at Shelldrake exploded and demolished the machine shops and dynamo room. Steele was killed instantly, but Schedunk was caught between two hot grates and his body almost burned in two without death relieving his pains for five hours. Scott is expected to survive his injuries.

What caused the explosion is not known. The two men, who are now dead, were acting as firemen for the machine shop boilers. The mill was shut down, but fires are continuously kept under the boilers. Scott was sleeping in the dynamo room, which adjoins the boiler room. It is evident that Steele and Schedeunk were working directly in front of the boilers when they let go. Steele was hit with some flying piece of iron or timber, and it is thought that he was not aware that an accident had occurred. His companion was not so fortunate, being pinned between the grates of the boiler and never losing consciousness until death came hours later. He was burned terribly. Scott’s injuries were due to being thrown high into the air by the force of the explosion. He was not burned.

The word of the accident reached the Soo at 6:45 Sunday evening when a telegram reached Capt. F. J. Allen of the Nippissing. The captain, immediately took the Nippissing to Shelldrake, where he got the bodies and brought them to the Soo. They arrived here at 12:30 this noon and were taken to the Vanderhook undertaking establishment to prepare for burial.

Steele, who was between 45 and 50 years old, was a widower and leaves six children surviving. Two of the children are grown sons, but the other four are young-two being boys and two girls and all living at the home in Shelldrake. Schedunk was a Russian Pole and has a wife in the old country.

The main mills of the Bartlett Lumber company will not be affected by the explosion directly and will continue operation. The two boilers, which blew up were large ones but were not connected with the main mill, which was not damaged.

The funeral of the two men will be held Tuesday afternoon at the Vanderhook chapel. Burial will follow in a local cemetery.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

On Friday, Judy and I met my newly-found first cousin, Velda, who had come to Edmonton with two friends. We met in the Tim Horton's restaurant across the street from the CityTV station, where her friend Kim was video-taping a program. We retired to a more quiet spot in the mall, next to an art gallery. There we had confortable chairs and a big table to spread out our photos and papers. I had printed a bunch of old family photos and some pedigree charts and family group sheets, which I gave to her. She wanted help identifying people in some photos I had emailed to her. We took a few photos during our visit. The visit lasted about 1-1/2 hours, and it was wonderful. She is very young for her 79 years, and was eager to know more out her father and the Buchanan and Watson relatives. She has spoken to my brother Ed on the telephone, and they will be visiting this coming week.

After speaking to her on the telephone several times, it was really nice to meet her in person.