Monday, 23 January 2012

Dead people that piss me off.

We've spent several months now trying to trace our family roots in Scotland.


My father passed away a couple of years ago now and while he was alive he forbade us from searching for his family, he didn't really believe in all this genealogy crap, even though my mother had traced her line extensively. She even earned her UE status, which is short for United Empire Loyalist - a direct descendant of Tory Loyalists forced from their homes at the start of the American Revolution.

In doing that research we found that some of our ancestors endured hardships that today none of us could imagine. They had everything they owned confiscated, and with only the clothes on their backs they walked to Upper Canada from Schoharie County, New York. It was called the year of starvation, and some of my ancestors died en route. They ended up in Fort George just north of Niagara Falls claiming refugee status. The British Government eventually granted land to the loyalists. Some of my ancestors joined the British Forces, some the Indian Department, and still others joined Butler's Rangers - an infamous 'commando' unit, known for harassing the American rebels in the Finger Lakes area, with the help of Native Canadians. Later, some ancestors moved inward and settled on the north shore of Hamilton, where Inco Steel is now. During the war of 1812, some fought against the Americans.

Obviously, there's more, our personal histories are fascinating for many reasons and each one is special to each family. I could go on about the McCombs and Depew lines of our family, but their not the ones pissing me off.

It's the Wilson line.

Dad left Scotland in 1951 for Canada and left his family behind. My feelings about that are irrelevant, but it happened. He left his family and forbade us from looking for them, but once dad passed our curiosity got the better of us. We know a lot about them - their names, address growing up, marriages, deaths, and more, but there's a huge roadblock in the way of going any farther. In Canada, many organizations have devoted their volunteer time to transcribing genealogical information and making it available online. Here, we have found census records, cemetery transcriptions, court records, military records and more. All online, all free. We've even found websites that are devoted to posting the actual pictures of tombstones from around the country.

Scotland doesn't like doing this. They want money. There are very few resources for amateur genealogists in the British Isles, so finding anything over there is almost impossible unless you're willing to pay up, which I'm not. We have spent some money on some records, but it's not enough.

My ultimate goal is to find my living relatives in Kilmarnock Scotland. I have cousins, aunts, uncles and more there, and I'd love to find them. It doesn't even matter to me if they want nothing to do with us, but putting the pieces together is important to my family. So the dead people have pissed me off. They have taken their secrets with them and to date we have no way to unlock them.

So if anyone has any ideas or clues as to where we could look, please let me know. I would just like to know where my roots are.


1 comment:

  1. Just give a few people a call. I found 96 Wilsons in
    Kilmarnock. Skype and google phone are cheap!{+Kilmarnock+-+AYRSHIRE}&OriginalLocation=Kilm*&Range=xloc&Page=1



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