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, October 11, 2019


My Buchanan ancestors left Ireland during the Great Irish Famine. They had travelled north to the port of Londonderry, where they booked passage on a sailing ship for Canada. But after 10 days at sea they ran into a terrible storm. Sometimes they feared that they would sink. Mercifully, that did not happen, but the ship was damaged so badly that it had to return for repairs.

On the second attempt, a “plague of immigrant fever” broke out on the ship. These illnesses were incurable with the primitive medicines of that time. When the family arrived in Canada, the official quarantine station at Grosse Isle, Quebec was already beyond capacity. So their ship was sent up the St Lawrence River to Kingston, Ontario for quarantine. There, the father, Andrew Buchanan, and the baby of William Buchanan died of the sickness. After being released from quarantine, they came west and settled in a wilderness of huge trees that neighbors called Buchananville, later named Donegal, Perth County, Ontario.

On Thanksgiving Day, let us pause to be thankful for the many blessings we enjoy and for the sacrifices of earlier generations that made it possible!


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