It’s all in the genes at Ottawa House
© Andrew Wagstaff - The Citizen-Record
Parrsborough Shore Historical Society members (from left) Harriett McCready, June Wagstaff and Sandra Dunphy are among those taking part in a new adult genealogy group in Parrsboro.
PARRSBORO – Tracing your family history has never been easier here, thanks to resources available at Ottawa House museum, and a new group available for genealogy enthusiasts. The Parrsborough Shore Historical Society Adult Genealogy Group met for the first time at the museum last month, and is already attracting considerable interest. “Everyone was really enthusiastic,” said member Harriett McCready, about their first gathering. “You could tell there was a lot of interest because there was everything in the group, from people who had practically done nothing to others with a bit more experience. We can all share and help each other.” The idea came from member Sandra Dunphy, herself a genealogy enthusiast. She thought having a local group would help increase the usage of the many resources available at the museum, which has had extensive renovations in its genealogy area. “The idea was just to get people more involved in Ottawa House,” said Dunphy. “I felt it would be a good way to do it, where it’s so nice down here now. The downstairs is really great.” She took the idea to archivist June Wagstaff, who works at the museum. She was already involved with a new youth genealogy group at the local high school, and thought having an adult group made perfect sense. “We’re trying to promote the archives as together but separate from the museum, because we have a different focus,” she said. “We’re trying to promote ideas that would fit into the type of membership we have right now.” For $15 a year, membership in the group provides access to the museum and the archives, which offers numerous resources, such as finding aids for family books, scrapbook collections and photographs, as well as vital statistics, school registers and more, as well as access to www.ancestry.ca. The group is still in its early stages and its direction is still being established, according to McCready, who said the future could see educational sessions with guest speakers. Right now, they’re just having a lot of fun. “Some of the stories that emerge as people get talking about how they found their great-grandmother, etc., have been really interesting,” she said. “I think what we want to do over the next couple of meetings is figure out exactly what we want to do, and how we’re going to do it.” The next meeting of the group is scheduled for March 5. Anyone interested in the group is encouraged to visit the Ottawa House website, Facebook page, or to contact Sandra Dunphy at 254-2506 or June Wagstaff at 348-2504.