Monday, August 24, 2009

Back from Stirling

What a whirlwind trip!

Friday morning, we took off to Trenton (in the rain), with stops in Smith's Falls and Perth, and got to Trenton in the afternoon after going down Route 62.

In Trenton, we stayed at the Yukon Lodge (a hotel for members of the Canadian Forces), and got everything ready for Saturday.

I went over the names of the people I wanted to meet, as well as the businesses and societies in the marketplace, plus the "talks" - just to familiarize myself again with the schedule because I hadn't done it in a while.

Saturday morning came early. We were supposes to be there at 8:30, so it was 'rush-around time' to get ready and then out in the rain - once again!

But we got on the road at the right time. It stopped raining, and we headed north to Stirling on Route 39. (That was sort of true, because we lost our way and couldn't find the map, but we eventually made it back to Route 39. It was a lovely drive just the same, although having that "lost feeling" all the way there was a bit unsettling, to say the least).

It started to clear of rain, and the countryside was beautiful. There was a slight ground fog that made the trees and the water look so pastoral - but the sun was out and it was becoming hot by the time we had reached the high school where the genealogy fair was held.

We went inside and met the people who were there, got registered, and immediately recognized acquaintances from past events, like Nancy Trimble, Vice-President of the Ontario Genealogical Society, Mr. Woodrow from the Kingston Chapter of the OGS, and Sandra and Rick Roberts from Global Genealogy).

The first speaker was Dr. David R. Elliott of Kinfolk Finders <> from southwestern Ontario. He gave an insightful talk about his work in indexing and transcribing the cemeteries of Ireland.

He started out in the Fermanagh area of Ireland, looking for the gravestones of his relatives (which he has yet to find), and has ended up going every summer to the different cemeteries in the area.

It is quite a process to especially the older stones — to take pictures of all of them, draw a map to show where each one is, and then to transcribe them (some of the stones are in terrible shape) — but it is fascinating work.

After a very nice lunch of homemade egg and salmon sandwiches (they were oh so nice!), homemade cookies, and juice (which we ate outside in the cool shade), we were ready to hear Fawne Stratford-Devai speak on leaving Ontario, and what resources are available for tracking Ontario migrants to places like Michigan, the Dakotas, and Oregon.

There were thousands upon thousands of Ontarians who went there in the 1800s and early 1900s to homestead, work on the farms and in the lumber industry, and to look for gold.

The rest of the afternoon, we spent in the Marketplace.

I had to get information from the people at the Campbellford-Seymour area for a client whose great-grandfather was a lawyer in Campbellford in the early 1900s, and my husband ran into some people who knew relatives of his, leading to a long discussion about those people.

We then said our good-byes and headed off to Campbellford on Route 8.

It was among the most beautiful farmland we have ever seen. It is truly the heartland of Ontario, with the rolling hills, acres and acres of wheat and corn, and oodles of cows and sheep happily munching away on fields of green. What a glorious sight!

We made it to Campbellford in time for supper, and stopped at Music Fest at Ferris Provincial Park to have a bite to eat and listen to the music, and then take off to take pictures around the town to send to the fellow who is looking for his g-grandfather.

We then followed the Trent River back to Trenton, along Route 30.

Once "home", we spent a relaxing evening watching a movie on TV, checking our email, and slowly getting ready for our trip back home.

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