At the age of 13, I discovered I had an insatiable urge to know the full names, birth dates and places of my family. So, one summer afternoon while visiting my paternal aunt, I sat her down for a little inquisition. She complied with my requests for genealogical data. That Christmas I compiled a family tree wall chart and a family tree book. While both only went back as far as my grandparents, they were well received by the family. This led me to asking more questions -- aren't they sorry for encouraging me! :-)
Over the next few years I quietly gathered everything I could get my hands on. These treasures included a booklet put together by a distant cousin on an ancestor (one unknown to me at the time), several obituaries, and a family bible.
By the time I was 16 I knew this was what I wanted to do, so when it came time to discuss career options at school I made an appointment with a career counselor to see what courses I would need to become a "real" genealogist. The experience in that small office makes me laugh now, but at that time I was not impressed. I was bluntly told there was no such thing, and when I protested the counselor summoned a nearby teacher to prove his point. However the teacher replied, "Oh Mr. __'s wife is a genealogist!"
Less than a week later Mr. __’s wife took me "under her wing" and taught me the fundamentals of genealogical research. My deepest gratitude goes to her, her husband and that teacher! Without them I would not be where I am today.
Since then I have been able to document enough of my family tree to qualify for membership in The General Society of Mayflower Descendants, The United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada, and the Daughters of the American Revolution.
I also volunteer as co-ordinator of the CanadaGenWeb and OntarioGenWeb Projects, co-founder of the OntarioGenWeb Census Project & CanadaGenWeb's Cemetery Project, and I maintain the websites for London Branch UELAC and The Petworth Emigration Project.
In my spare time I also maintain several other web pages, write family histories, run a family association, and try to keep up with my mail (electronic and "snail")