Tag Archives: research

Busy Day for Genealogy!

Busy day for genealogy. The latest class began today in Brimfield, MA. This si the second series I’ve conducted at the Hitchcock Free Academy. Small group but we will still cover all of the material. As a matter of fact, we might even be able to get a little farther as there are fewer lines to research for the participants.

Next…and I should have been aware of this one… I had offered to make a presentation to the Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society “this spring”. I should have realized that February was the month that we discussed but I hadn’t put it in my calendar. So, as I was getting ready for Hitchcock on Wednesday (and Yellow House on Thursday AND all the classwork for Boston U) I received an e-mail from WMGS containing their newsletter. The newsletter announced that I would be making a presentation! So, I raced from the class in Brimfield around 5:00 to get to Agawam for a 6:00 meeting. Made it!

Take a look at Old Bones Genealogy and Family Research for what’s going on….but I suppose it would be a good thing for me to make sure it’s up to date!

More “Clem” news on the Grand Trunk Pacific—January 4, 1913

From “Lest We Forget”, here’s my grandfather’s entry in his diary from Tuesday, January 4, 1913:

The weather is about the same 20 [degrees] below. We did not go out to work today because we had run out of coal and Steve and I had to look around for wood. Cullerne went to Carval and told us to get some wood. We asked he sec. man where we could get some and he told us he had some already cut. We went over and got it and told Cullerne that we had a hard time getting the wood.

First, telling his boss he had a hard time getting the wood strikes me as my grandfather’s wry sense of humor. Instead of being tasked with chopping down trees with Steve, they just had to walk a little and pick it up from a pile of wood ready to burn!

Second, I have to tell you that I couldn’t find the HDMI cable to hook up Karen’s laptop to the flat screen. I was a little cranked about that. I finally tracked it down. Someone (me) had wrapped it up and put it in my carrying case to take with me to the next class at the Hitchcock Free Academy in Brimfield, MA. More on that later…I’ll only have 4 or 5 students this go-around… No problem with that, I like small “cozy” classes! But when I read that my grandfather couldn’t work because they didn’t have any coal, it was too cold to work and their boss told them to go out and “get some wood”…kinda put things into perspective for me!

At least I haven’t lost the remote in the past few days…

This old wagon at the Carvel General Store in Carvel may have been around when Clem was up there 100 years ago!

This old wagon may have been around at the Carvel General Store when Clem was up there 100 years ago!

Here’s a link to the Carvel General Store: http://www.carvelgeneralstore.ca/about-us.html

a cold morning in Alberta! February 3, 1913 “Lest We Forget”

Today I start transcribing again. The past few weeks had already been transcribed so posting was as simple as a copy/paste with a few comments. Here are the comments from the January 3rd entry, one hundred years ago!

Monday, February 3, 1913
We got up at 6 30 and the weather was much colder than Sunday. After breakfast and I got ready to go to Lemon on the rail change notes. We left at 9 30 and got to Lemon at 12 oclock sharp and had dinner. We did not start back till about 2 oclock because we did not want to get to early we would make the walks longer. We thought 22 miles iwas enough for one day. We got back about 4 00

Well, there you go! Walk 22 miles round trip for dinner??? In January??? In the CANADIAN WILDERNESS!!! And we worry about getting a parking spot right outside the entrance to the mall so we can wander around in a temperature controlled environment! I’ll be honest, I’ll take the mall over a walk in the woods to a place called “Lemon”….

Dangerous Spam E-Mail!

WARNING! I just got an e-mail allegedly from PayPal. It stated that they had successfully changed my address. The “new” address was somewhere in California. Has nothing to do with me. There was a ZIP file attached which I DID NOT OPEN! I’m sure there a virus or a trojan buried in there somewhere. On closer inspection of the originating e-mail, it came from “help -at- notify.paylap.com” [I replaced the @ with at to prevent an e-mail address popping up] which could easily be mistaken for a legitimate e-mail from “help -at- notify.paypal.com” Can you spot the difference? I couldn’t delete this one fast enough!!!

Here’s a screen shot of the body of the e-mail

SPAM e-mail with ZIP file attached

SPAM e-mail with ZIP file attached

Grand Trunk Pacific Railway January 30 and 31, 1913

Missed yesterday….Sorry! Getting behind in a few areas and I need to get caught up. Here are yesterday’s and today’s diary entries from my grandfather, Clem Dickson, as he worked the construction crews building the short lived Grand Trunk Pacific Railway:

Thursday, January 30, 1913

Today is the same as yesterday with a little more snow and a little warmer. We were to go east today but the snow did not let up and Cullerne feeling blue because we had to stay in. He made us work. Steve was copying notes all day. I (hunge?) two axes all day at it

Friday, January 31, 1913

Snow all day so that we could not go out to work. Cullerne was raising cane all day because he could not work.
About 4.30 Cullerne got word not to run in spine (?) and to move to Junkin on saturday that was ok for us.

After 2 days of technical meltdown….January 25 and 26, 1913

First, the furnace, then the trip to New York, then the water heater leaked all over the floor, so, new water heater, then, it wasn’t the water heater, it was a condensation drain that led outside that should have gone to the laundry drain but went through the sill plate (who knew???) and froze which caused another water leak, then Microsoft Office 2007 crashed, then the upgrade to Office 2010 wouldn’t install properly, then a Microsoft tech fouled up EVERYTHING, then I didn’t get the promised call back from Microsoft on Friday, then I’ve been on the phone ALL DAY TODAY with a level 2 tech who claims that what he’s set up should finish processing later tonight and he’ll call tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, I’ve had to catch up on 3 modules of my on line course at BU…..So, I missed yesterday’s post! Here is Friday and Saturday!!!

Saturday January 25, 1913:

Saturday, January 25, 1913
Cullerne and Steve went in to Edmonton to a meeting of the real estate. I stayed in the car all day. In the morning I hung an axe for the first time and was told it was alright. In the afternoon I copyed (sic) a few notes. In the evening the station agrey (?) and I went up town and got a hair cut. Got back about 9.30

Sunday January 26, 1913:

Steve, Cullerne and Harry got back from town about 1.30 AM. I was in bed. we all stayed in the car all morning. Harry worked on a plan .In the afternoon Steve went hunting and I went for a walk in the bush. Bart came over to the car with Cullerne and Harry

Clem Dickson Album (10)

Everybody wore a hat! I believe the man in the center (or rather “centre”) on the boat is my grandfather, Clem Dickson.

“Lest We Forget” January 20, 1913

Although in this entry, Clem did not put a “$” sign on the “windfall”, he did underscore the “30” which is how he usually wrote dollar amounts. The underscore won’t copy over to this post, but trust me….it’s there! And I can easily see how he meant to say he had $5.30 left for the week. Some “wind fall”!

First snow for some weeks Snowed all morning we did not work. In afternoon Steve and I went out and made station sur. And I went up to the store and bought over shoes and 2 pair socks. And cashed my cheque and still got some left. Wind fall about 530

This post gets us up to date in “Lest We Forget”

Wooops! Missed the 17th because of the mix-up in the pages where Clem wrote his daily entry on the wrong page and…. Oh, never mind, it’s too hard to explian here…

Here’s the entry for the 17th:

Cullerne bill the outfit out and there was no trains west, so we stayed in car all day. On that account it was about 30° below this morning no wind bid Ellen goodbye but did no go. Steve and I played 2 games of Pool on the last two bits we had. Broke now till pay day that won’t be long till the 20th

And now we’re up to date…


Tomorrow is January 16, 2013. Not a particularly auspicious day, but it will be the first time I’ve been back in school in over 40 years! Well, saying that I’ll be “in school” is a stretch because in the 21st century you can be “in school” and in the living room at home at the same time. So, we’ve broken at least one of the basic tenets of physics: an object can now be in 2 places at the same time! And I’m here to say it works.

I’m not intimidated about taking a class even if it is Boston University, but I’m a little intimidated about the fact that it wasn’t cheap and I feel highly motivated to be successful…no pressure!!! Making a time commitment; doing the reading; writing the assignments; passing…and all in a mere 16 weeks. Wish me luck!

The class will be a very intensive course in genealogical research. In it, I hope to expand my knowledge of where to go to get the data I need and what to do with it once I’ve found it! It’s not good enough to just find something at somebody’s web site and transcribe the information. It’s all about documentation, sources and proof. There are certainly many challenges, many of which I’m likely not even aware of.

I’m always aware that I don’t know what I don’t know, and that’s what makes this new adventure so interesting. Since I obviously don’t know what I haven’t learned yet, the prospect of improving my skills in multiple areas is a pretty exciting prospect. Although I’m arguably a bit of an expert in my “other career”, genealogy can be a daunting field to undertake. Just reading blogs from other expert researchers over the past year or so shows that just having a subscription to a couple of genealogy web sites barely scratches the surface.

I’ll continue to post about the course….if I have the time!

Please visit Old Bones Genealogy and Family Research

“Lest We Forget” January 16, 1913…Clem gets the days mixed up!

This is the diary "Lest We Forget", a small 4X5 book in its 100th year!

This is the diary “Lest We Forget”, a small 4X5 book in its 100th year!

Here’s today’s entry:
We did a little better today. Weather was a little warmer about 10⁰ below. Steve and I walked to Carval (?) left Stony Plain at 1 oclock and got back at 3.25 PM. 17 miles. Cullerne went to Edmonton in the afternoon. I wrote to Jim Fisher.

[Note: At this point in the diary, Clem started filling in Saturdays’ log on Friday’s page. So he crossed out “Friday” and “17” and wrote in “Saturday” and “18”. Then he did the same for Saturday and Sunday, making “Saturday” “Sunday, January 19” and “Sunday” “Friday, January 17”. In the interest of accuracy and to maintain the way the diary was written, I have followed the exact transcription as it appears.]