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

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Death of Lorne Buchanan - Who created "the" Buchanan Family Tree Book

My cousin Barry sent me the obituary of our cousin Lorne Buchanan.
I first heard of Lorne Buchanan in 1977. My work had required me to visit the families of correspondence students in the High Prairie area.
"So your name is Buchanan? Are you related to Gordon Buchanan who owns the sawmill in town?" "It is possible, but probably not." 
"Gordon is from Manitoba, so maybe not."
"My dad was born at Neepawa, Manitoba, so maybe I am!"

After supper I went to Gordon's house and somewhat nervously rang the doorbell. A nice lady answered the doorbell, and when I explained that my father was born at Neepawa and I was wondering if our families might be connected. She turned around and said to someone behind her "Gordon, why don't you get your Buchanan Family Tree Book?" Gordon showed me himself in the book and I showed him myself. We were officially related. Wow, what a book!

I collected the information about the book and I set out over the next few months to get a copy. 

That was not easily done. I found that the book had been created by Lorne and Doris Buchanan of Neepawa, except they didn't live there anymore and no one seemed to know where they lived now or how to get a copy of the book.

Then one day a package arrived in the mail. A distant cousin sent me her copy of the book. Bless her! I made photocopies for a few close family members and later I input all of the data into a genealogy database program.

In 1992, I visited Neepawa and I was still trying to locate Lorne and Doris. I wasn't sure they were still alive. But a cousin suggested that I telephone his mother, as she would know his address. "She is still alive?" "Yes, she is." She gave me their phone number and so my wife and I and our two youngest sons had a wonderful visit with Lorne and Doris.

In 2002 we were again in Neepawa and had a great visit with Lorne and Doris. He agreed to give us a copy of all of the letters he had received from cousins providing information for the book.I had many enjoyable hours inputting the information into my computer. 

Doris passed away in 2014, and now Lorne in 2018. Here is his obituary, (with the names of living family members removed).

From Brandon Sun Obituaries Aug 2018:
BUCHANAN: On Monday, August 13, 2018 Lawrence Campbell "Lorne" Buchanan, age 91 years, passed away at the Wawanesa Personal Care Home. Lorne, the second son of Bert and Maude Buchanan, was born August 3, 1927 in the R.M. of Lansdowne, east of Bernie, on his parents farm. In 1931, the family moved to the Scott place where they lived for three years prior to moving to Riding Mountain. He attended the Tobermore School for one year, then went to Riding Mountain School where he completed his grade 9 education. In 1943, Lorne started work at the Neepawa Airport and the following year went to Portage Airport. In 1946, he started working with Walter Matthews Plumbing and Heating in Neepawa, as a Plumber and Tinsmith, until 1951 when he went to Winnipeg to receive formal training. Lorne ran his own company for a few months and then started with Canada Post in 1951. 

He married Doris Sneesby March 7, 1953 in the Sneesby family home in Woodside. The family was complete with the arrival of five children: .... In 1980, they moved to Altona, where he retired in 1985. Together Lorne and Doris moved to Manhattan Beach in 1988 and lived in the camp house for a couple of years before renovating the Buchanan/Tyler cottage to become their retirement home. In later years he lived at the Wawanesa Valley Lodge, then Wawanesa Personal Care Home. 

When not working, Lorne enjoyed travelling to both the east and west coast and numerous times to Arizona to spend time with ... family. Always willing to help people around the camp with projects, Lorne most of all loved to have coffee and share his wisdom. His witty humour was second to none. He will be deeply missed. 

Lorne will be lovingly remembered by his children, ..., thirteen grandchildren, thirteen great grandchildren and sister-in-law .... He was predeceased by his wife Doris, his parents and brother Andy. 

The Celebration of Lorne's Life will take place at Memories Chapel, 330 18th Street North, on Saturday, August 18, 2018 (TODAY) at 2:00 p.m. A reception will follow. Donations in memory of Lorne may be made to the Manhattan Beach Retreat Centre, P.O. Box 62, Ninette, MB R0K 1R0.  Expressions of sympathy may be made at

At the website, I left this message:

Lorne and Doris edited the Buchanan Family Tree book about 1970, a colossal work that involved contacting hundreds of cousins and gathering and organizing the information. And all of this was done before we had computers. He loved to tell old family stories which was wonderful, because that was just what I hoped for. As a fellow "family historian", he has been an example and an inspiration. A giant has left us.

My sincere sympathy to the family and friends.
Third cousin, Bill Buchanan


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