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

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In the comments, Yolanda posted a reply to my query.

Thanks! This is a Buchanan family that is a perfect 67-marker Y-DNA match to my family. So far we have not found the connection, but it looks like two of my cousins will be visiting County Tyrone this year, one in the summer and one in the fall.

The Andrew that Yolanda refers to is the uncle of the man who did the Y-DNA test. Andrew's father was John, and the Samuel Buchanan who lived nearby was his brother.

I believe their father is William, who is the only Buchanan listed in Kirlish in Griffith's valuation.
Griffiths Valuation of Ireland
Buchanan William           Kirlish       Longfield West           Tyrone

I will definitely share Yolanda's suggestions with my cousins.

I am open to further suggestions too!

Yolanda's Irish research blog can be found at

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Request for Research Help

I sent the following message to a genealogy contact in Ireland:
A cousin of mine is planning a third and final genealogy trip to Ireland this summer.

She has asked me for suggestions.

Firstly, what we know:

The family of Andrew and Jane Buchanan (last name probably McNeilands or Young) left Ireland in 1847 during the height of the great famine. At this time they were living in Binnawooda townland, near Drumquin. The children we know of were:
Robert, christened on 20 Apr 1815, Derg Parish Church, Castlederg, Tyrone, Ireland
Charles, christened on 26 May 1817, Derg Parish Church, Castlederg, Tyrone, Ireland
(Charles was already married to Ann Porter in Mar 1843 at Killeter Presbyterian Church, Termonamongan Parish, Tyrone, Ireland)
James, born about 1823, probaby Learmore townland, Tyrone, Ireland
William, christened 28 Mar 1824, Derg Parish Church, Castlederg, Tyrone, Ireland
(William was already married to Ann Thompson 24 Mar 1846, Lower Longfield Parish, Tyrone, Ireland)
Andrew, born Abt 1826, probaby Learmore townland, Tyrone, Ireland
John, born 10 Aug 1829 according to the 1901 Canada Census (he is inconsistent)
Samuel, born 28 Mar 1832 according to the 1901 Canada Census (he is inconsistent too)
Jane, born 27 Feb 1836, Omagh, Tyrone, Ireland according to her gravestone.

The ship ran into a severe storm and had to return for repairs. On the second attempt they arrived in Canada and were quarantined at Kingston, Ontario, where Andrew and his son William's baby daughter died of "immigrant fever", which was probably typhus. After the quarantine, the men found work harvesting, before they found an area to settle.

The family's history from that point is fairly well documented, as they settled in virgin wilderness that later became part of Elma township and Perth county, Ontario.

On her previous trip my cousin found a Buchanan who was willing to do a YDNA study that happened to be a perfect 67-point match for her brother's YDNA, an amazing accomplishment! Unfortunately, he doesn't know his ancestors any further back than we do. Some stories in this newly-discovered connection vaguely point to unidentified relatives in County Donegal, which would not be unreasonable geographically. But we have nothing tangible (names, dates, places).

Are there records or resources that you are aware of that might help us? We would love to find the marriage of Andrew and Jane or their ancestry. I realize that research in Ireland is a challenge, and we are probably very fortunate to have found these christenings and marriages. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
Bill Buchanan

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Serving in World-wide Support

I have chosen to take phone calls from 8 AM to 5 PM on Mondays and Fridays. On a typical shift I get 15-20 phone calls, so maybe two per hour on the average. I love serving on the phones because it is usually possible to resolve the patron's problem in an hour or less and I like to able to actually talk to the other person. 

Monday, March 5 was a good day. It started off with a thank you in a Reply from a patron. Later, I was transferring a caller to FHC Support and the other support missionary thanked me for helping her the previous week.

And I had a funny experience. I was helping a computer-challenged patron. After about an hour on the phone I had managed to get her to the right website, create a desktop shortcut, recover her fogotten user name, and reset the password. At this point I guided her to use the desktop shortcut to get back to the website she wanted to use, and asked her to sign in. Then we hit a snag. "I am using the user name, exactly like it gave me! Why won't it let me sign in?" I asked her whether she was also typing in the password, exactly as it is written on her paper. "You mean, I have to put the password in TOO?" I nearly choked trying hard not to laugh!!!  When she put in the user name and password she was able to sign in. Success!!! 

We don't serve for the thanks we receive from our patrons but it does make the service sweet.

Tomorrow night I will be teaching a lesson at the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Center. My topic will be "And to think that I saw it … on" i.e. an overview of our main research website.