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: Onoway, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. During July 2007 - January 2010, and September 2011 until the present I have provided part-time support for https://familysearch.org This is very rewarding. I have helped many with the free Personal Ancestral File 5 (PAF5) software. I continue to help others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I am an assistant director of 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 http://mormon.org/

Sunday, February 17, 2008

On Sat, Feb 9, 2008 I received a telephone call from a lady who asked me if I knew anything about a William Buchanan who was a blacksmith at Millet. I said, "Yes, he was my grandfather!" She told me her story of tracing her birth parents, Jack Buchanan and Margaret Haines. She found the Haines family 3 weeks after getting the adoption papers released and was given a warm welcome. Finding the Buchanans proved to be more difficult. A friend gave her a telephone list of over 230 Buchanans living in Alberta. She phoned a few and was discouraged. She decided to phone one more, and chose me. Velda was adopted by Owen Lee and his wife Emily Charlotte Rowley. She never knew the names of her birth parents until the adoption records were opened and she received them late in 2007. The adoption record identifies her parents as Jack Buchanan, aged 19, who worked at a creamery; and Margaret Haines, aged 17, of Millet, Alberta. Vel found that Margaret's parents were John and Ethel Haines. John apparently worked for a school board and Ethel kept a boardinghouse for teachers. They also had a son Bill Haines and a daughter Susan Haines who married Godfrey Holm. My uncle Jack Buchanan was the right age and worked at a creamery. (The story about "Just sign your John Henry here." came from when he was hired by a creamery.) The adoption papers give his birth place as the USA. Jack was actually born in Manitoba, but the Buchanan family moved to Millet from the USA, so his girlfriend would probably think he had been born there. So the pieces match, and in my research in the Millet area I have never found another Buchanan family. Vel is sending me a photocopy of the adoption papers and I will look for any further clues. Describing the circumstances of her adoption, Vel said: "My parents had six boys and they wanted a girl, so they adopted baby 'Hazel Haines' and named her Velda Hazel Lee. Two of mother's friends wanted girls too, so they adopted us three little girls who all came to Lethbridge from Edmonton on the train together." I have always said that my uncle John Henry (Jack) Buchanan died childless, but now I am saying that he had a baby girl who was given up for adoption because he and the baby's mother were teenagers at the time she was born.