Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy 1st Blogiversay to Me

I can't believe that I've been blogging for a whole year.  It has been been an interesting experience and I learned a lot.  I've written 70 posts and had 1643 previews.  But of those 1643 previews, who actually read my blog, how many were interested in genealogy, or how many found a common ancestor?  Those are the numbers I'm interested in.  The best part of blogging is the hope that someone with a common ancestor will find my blog.  But even better would be for them to send me a message or add a comment.  I've actually had that happen this year.  A cousin in England found a common Smith ancestor and added a comment.  We had a great exchange of emails and information.  What was really interesting is that she lived in the same area that our ancestors had lived in.  She even sent me photos of a couple of churches our ancestor went to.  Exciting stuff.  So I will keep blogging.   If you read this and find a common ancestor - add a comment or send an email.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Workday Wednesday - Water Witch

I've come across a very interesting occupation of of my great grandfather, Donald Francis Belknap.  It seems that he had the very useful talent of being able to find water.  It's been called water witching, water divining, water drowsing,and just well digging. Relatives have told me that he was known for this unique talent.  So I wasn't that surprised to see his name show up numerous times in "Western Globe" from 1918 to 1938, and "The Farm & Ranch Review" in 1956 on the Peel's Prairie Provinces website.    

Most of the items I have found are D.F. Belknap advertising his services.  In all the ads, he guarantees to locate water or there is no charge.  He must have been quite successful at finding water, as there are numerous articles with mentions of whom he located water for and of his water finding abilities.

The most interesting article is "Water Diving" the the "Western Globe", April 11, 1935, page 1, Item AR00107.  In a reprint from a column in the "Bulletin" from Cowper, my great grandfather is interviewed about the mysteries of his water locating abilities.  The article states D.F. Belknap has located hundreds of wells in Alberta and British Columbia with his divining rod.   The divining rods are cut from hazel or willow, about three to four feet past the fork of the lower branch.  D. F. Belknap explains that the pull on the rod will over come the strength of an ordinary man.  It must have been quite the sight to see him in action.  In the article my great grandfather  says that his father had the same gift.  Now I wonder if this gift has been passed down. Who know, maybe I have a hidden talent. 

To read the articles go to Peel's Prairie Provinces website. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Ansel T. Baker

Ansel T. Baker
Ansel T. Baker is buried in the Berwick Cemetery.  He was born at Tremont, Aylesford, Nova Scotia about 1826 and died July 1889 at age 63.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Jonathan & Melinda Sanford

Jonathan Sanford, Melinda Woodworth & their children
Another tombstone from Berwick Cemetery. The top of this gravestone is lying on the ground.  Jonathan Sanford would be a distance cousin of Robert.  The gravestone in inscribed:
1792 - 1883.
1796 - 1865.
1860 - 1862.
1862 - 1873.

As I look at this gravestone, I was baffled by the dates of birth of the children.  Melinda would be in her 60 if she had these children.  Is this an error or is there some other explanation?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day - Lest We Forget

A day to remember those who have served and continue to serve our country.  

My uncle Pat and his cousins Vic Yancey, Jack Kaliel, and George Kaliel in their uniforms from WWII.  Thank you and so many others for your service to our country. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Isaac Morton and his wives

Isaac, Rachel, and Eliza Morton

Another gravestone from Berwick Cemetery.  This one is Isaac W. Morton and his wives Rachael A. and Eliza M.