Thursday, 22 July 2010

Don't Know Where to Start

I just got back from a week with my sister in New Brunswick. We were researching our roots and meeting cousins we'd never met before. Our maternal grandparents' respective families were from the southern part of the same county in New Brunswick at the border of Nova Scotia where their ancestors settled in the late 1700s.

First let me say that flying on Porter Airlines out of Toronto Billy Bishop (Island) Airport has made flying a joy again since air travel was ruined by the bastards terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. The Porter shuttle bus from the Royal York is free and runs every 15 min. It takes you to the foot of Bathurst St. where you walk onto a ferry that takes you 400ft. to the Porter Terminal in about 5 minutes. There are ramps everywhere so it is quite easy to manoeuver one's wheeled luggage. Once at the terminal and checked in, all passengers enjoy the executive class lounge with refrigerators full of complimentary soft drinks, juices, booze and water, trays of complimentary snacks, a room full of Mac computers for passenger use, free wifi, leather armchairs with lamps beside each for reading (and outlets for charging iPods, laptops, etc.). Once on the comfortable turboprop planes which are surprisingly quiet, once again, complimentary snacks and drinks (both alcohomolic and non-) are available. There are comfortable leather seats on the plane and lots of leg room.

(Yes, that's Sekku yarn on my lap. I'm working on another Dianna Shawl. Like my nifty, new yellow purse? I bought it at the news stand in the airport. And the silver and green bag is Valerie's lobster packed in frozen vegetables.)

I've been trying to work my way through Elizabeth Gilbert's best-seller "Eat Pray Love" with a deadline of the opening August 13 of the movie starring Julia Roberts. I got a giggle out of this title on the book stand in the Moncton airport.
People 'down East' are very crafty. This is a painting by a local artist that was in on display in the airport.
It has that 'paint by number' feel but really is an exquisite piece which effectively captures a Maritime moment.

One of my favourite things we did was have breakfast this morning with my mother's first cousin and my namesake, Geraldine at her home in Moncton.

 She is a very gracious lady, like all the Geraldine's in our family (ahem), and told us lots of stories about life on the family farm and about family members.

We were very fortunate on Monday to go to the site of the farm which was in the family and worked for over 120 continuous years. The last farmer being Uncle Willie (my grandmother's brother and cousin Geraldine's father) who took it over at age 15 upon the death of his father and farmed it for over 60 years. We got to tour the farm house which is now owned by Acadia University, Irving Oil and Ducks Unlimited and has been restored to its former grandeur (and maybe even better) at great expense. It is being used as a research lab and dormitory facilities for a major salt marsh restoration project.

If you are at Fort Beauséjour and look due south, the closest house you'll see is the ancestral home on Brown's Road. It can also be seen looking NNW from the Nova Scotia welcome centre on the Trans Canada Highway near Amherst, NS.

Another highlight for me was going into the Deanne Fitzpatrick Rug Hooking Studio in Amherst, NS. The lovely yarn was a little too chunky for my knitting needs but I liked so many of the rugs that are hanging on the walls.

Sooooo pretty!

And while visiting a newly-found cousin, Marilyn in Port Elgin, I discovered that she, too, likes to hook rugs.

Marilyn said this rug took about a year to complete. I think it was well worth the effort. It measures about 20" by 30".

I love it!

But coolest of all was getting to meet relatives we'd never met before. And for my sister and me, it all started with these folks, our maternal grandparents, Geraldine and George Anderson and their only child, our mother, Muriel.
Photo ca. 1919

Those are just a few of the highlights of our very busy week. More to come...

Did I mention I ♥ Porter Airlines?


  1. What a great trip and so wonderful that you know of your family history too Geri. Can't wait to see more. Did you manage to check out Heidi Wulfraat's studio...London Wul?

  2. That was some trip! Loved the photos. I've been doing a bit of research on my family history too, but have hit an impasse. I'll have to head over to Italy to keep digging. Too bad Porter doesn't fly there! haha.