Genealogical Research Fatigue or Not


Yesterday I found myself commenting on Twitter that I sometimes cheered when I found a couple did not have any children. I wondered via my tweet whether it was genealogical research fatigue that elicited my cheers. Upon reflection I decided that I was probably cheering for having finished part of a line and it wasn’t fatigue at all.
I am “deep” into completion of my Campbell family book and can see the end of what I set as my goal for this particular task. It has been an interesting week of research with a lot of Internet “stops” since I am doing descendant research in collateral lines.

Two of the big headstone collections came in handy since what one collection has another doesn’t:
Canadian Headstones

I also accessed a digitized copy of Steel and Grass Roots 1882-1982, a history of Elkhorn, Manitoba and the district around it on the University of Manitoba digital collections website. One of my collateral Young family members married an O’Greysik and I found a family article about them in this book.

I hopped around in [world edition] checking for US border crossing manifests and for Petitions of Naturalization for those of my collateral Canadians who decided to officially become United States citizens. This research reminded me of the US Immigration officer at Detroit airport who wondered why I would be going to research my ancestors at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City because I was a Canadian. I didn’t know whether it was a leading question or whether his knowledge of the number of “Canadians” who entered the US over the years was limited.

I pulled my research file for John Fitzgerald Reid who was born in Winnipeg and immigrated to the US in 1927 with his family- destination Ontario, Oregon. He registered for the World War II US Draft 16 February 1942 but did not join the US Military. Instead he came north to Canada and joined the Royal Canadian Airforce 23 July 1942. I had requested information about him from Library and Archives Canada and was sent my first government forms with redacted information. Two lines were redacted on the certificate of his service in the RCAF. I am not sure what information would have been there. I did get his enlistment date and his “retirement” date though. On his attestation paper the month and day of his birth was redacted as was his religion. This form did provide sufficient information about his parents for me to know that I had the correct records. I tucked this information into my blog post to remind researchers that not all of the good information can be found on the Internet.
Do check out Library and Archives Canada’s Second World War Research webpage.

One of the problems with descendant research is the census records stop in 1921 for Canada as a whole and 1940 for the US. John Fitzgerald Reid dropped off the face of the world as far as being able to find him post the Second World War. Not knowing whether he stayed in Canada, perhaps to return to the place of his birth, Winnipeg, or returned to Oregon or eventually moved to California to retire makes building a research plan a bit difficult. I will “soldier” on though.

I explored City Directories, California ones on; Winnipeg ones on the University of Alberta’s Peel’s Prairie Provinces website, and checked the Moose Jaw ones for my cousin Kingsley Campbell, who had also been a teacher.

All of this rambling is just to remind researchers that there are many websites to access, check Dave Obee’s CanGenealogy website and Cindi Ingle’s Cyndi’s List to see and idea of the extent.

By the way, I am not experiencing genealogy research fatigue, instead I have had an interesting and rewarding week of research.
Alan Campbell
Ontario Ancestors [The Ontario Genealogical Society]
© 2019

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