It's that time of year again when I look back over the past 12 months and wonder where they went. Roots to the Past is now four years old. In that time, more than 200 columns and 1,000 queries have been published in newspapers around Atlantic Canada. Many genealogists who submitted queries to the Researcher's File have written to tell me about their success. It is great to hear about all the new discoveries. Of course, not every query is successful, but they do provide one more avenue to help find information and solve family mysteries.
The website contains past queries from the Researcher's File, a selection of columns, genealogy links for each of the four Atlantic provinces, sources for Atlantic Canada Census returns, an index for genealogy-related books and several other items.
Queries for the Researcher's File can be submitted anytime. And they're free! A well-written query can make the difference between a reader wondering if they can help and a reader making contact.
Short queries with specific information that ask one question are the best. For example, ask, "Who were John Smith's parents?" or "Where did Mary MacDonald go after her husband died in 1876?"
Add information that will help identify the person such as date and place of birth, and names of parents, spouses and siblings. Use the date format 'month (spelt out) - day - year' to eliminate confusion.
Queries can be up to 35 words in length plus the contact information. This includes a mailing address and an email address (when possible.) When sending queries through snail mail, include a self-addressed-stamped envelope if a reply is desired. Otherwise, the query will be published without notification of when it will appear.
When submitting queries through email, use the subject line "Researcher's File" or "Roots to the Past." Type the queries in the body of the email message. Do not send attachments.
Roots to the Past is published in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Queries concerning family research in either of these provinces are accepted.
For added exposure, queries are posted to The Family Attic website. Anyone researching genealogy on the Internet can happen upon your query and possibly make a connection.
Submit queries by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or by snail mail: Diana Lynn Tibert, RR#1 Milford, Hants County, NS, B0N 1Y0. Please, state in which province you would like to have the query published.
Sometimes, it is thought that a person born in one province has moved to another. If the search area is increased, a better chance is had in finding the person and information about them.
If you have a question regarding genealogy that has not yet been covered by a column, please, submit it. I'll do my best to answer each one.
Thank you to everyone who reads Roots to the Past, sends comments and tips and submits queries. Keep them coming. Letters from readers sometimes inspire entire columns and send me in directions I haven't yet explored.
Who were Aldana Patterson's siblings, parents and grandparents?
Aldana was born Oct. 22, 1869 at River Hebert. She married John Hourihan on Aug. 8, 1894 at Sussex, N.B.
Diana Lynn Tibert is a freelance writer living in Milford, Nova Scotia