Thursday, April 06, 2017

History Project


I have spent most of my days this past week, after yoga, working on my book that traces the history of our house and a few houses both north and south. Working through the tax assessments this week I moved into the 1940s and discovered an obituary for one young man who lived in one of the houses I am studying. Sadly, he died while serving in World War II. 

I am using ancestry.ca as a source to help discover more information about the individuals who lived in the neighbourhood. While looking up one family I discovered a link to an ancestor member who lived in Florida, I contacted her for more information. She was a cousin to one of the families that lived in the neighbourhood and she put me in contact with the son of one of someone who lived in one of the houses. He called and we had a short conversation in which he remembered, fifty years later, how the tragedy of Ronald's death and the death of his youngest brother Ernest a few years later left a mark not only on the family but also the neighbourhood. 

It is a reminder how the war affected communities far away from the battlefields of Europe. While the documents I am using help paint a picture of the social lives of who lived in the neighbourhood, the real stories lie buried in the hearts of everyone who lived there. These are the stories that are difficult if not impossible to tease out of the historical sources and that I hope will emerge in the book I am writing. 

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