Monday, December 27, 2010

Reclaim Lost Credits from ScotlandsPeople

If any of you are like me, and have allowed paid-for credits to expire, unused, you can reclaim those credits, for free!

Sign into your ScotlandsPeople account, click on Buy Credits, scroll to the Voucher box and fill in "festive". Your lost credits will now be re-activated.

You MUST do this BEFORE Jan. 5, 2011 for this to work. Your previously lost credits will now be good for 90 days!!

Merry Christmas from ScotlandsPeople, and me!! Now I'm off to spend the credits I had allowed to expire. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

International Christmas Traditions

There is a really good article at (just copy and paste this link) that shows Christmas traditions for many countries, cultures, and regions. The gift giving customs, symbols, songs, and processions may offer you clues to your ethnic roots. Have a peek?


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Norwegian 1910 census

If you have Norwegian ancestry, head over to the brand new FREE and ONLINE Arkivverket Digitalarkivet by clicking, or copying and pasting the following link You can translate (from Norwegian to English) by using the Google toolbar.

By the way (BTW), the 1875 Norway federal census is being indexed by FamilySearch. I am rewriting my previous course about how to use the FamilySearch (Mormon) records as their entire website has totally changed and now includes thousands and thousands of the original records!! Stay tuned.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

U of R Lifelong Learning Centre

I have agreed to teach Jan. 15th, 9:30am - 3:30pm and again Jan. 16th, 1:30 - 4:30pm at the University of Regina Continuing Education Centre.

Join in for two days of fun and you will learn some interesting ways of finding your ancestors.

Saturday will get you building your solid foundation. Sunday will help you understand Scottish Internet Genealogy and will end with a genealogy tour of Germany and Austria.

You need to pre-register either in person or by phoning 585-5816. Should be fun!!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Genealogy Food Recipe

Hey Guys,
I just made the perfect puffed wheat cake! After years of guessing, with the outcome usually too hard, too rubbery, or too runny, I've finally got it! I know this isn't strickly genealogy related, but you'd never convince my granddaughter of that!!

Here's my recipe along with my hint:
1/3 c. butter
1/2 c. syrup
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
8 c. puffed wheat
Melt butter. Add syrup, sugar, cocoa. Boil to hard ball stage TWO minutes only from when bubbles first break the surface! Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Add puffed wheat. Press into greased pans. My treat to ALL grandchildren!!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Winding up 2010

It's almost the beginning of Dec and there is only one final Census class left which will signal the end of 2010 classes. Where did this year go? I seem to think years go by faster these days. How about you?

2010 classes have been very successful in my opinion. Another, mostly brand new, group of genealogists are well on their way to finding families equipped with their new found knowledge and lots of new tools! Best of luck guys!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Courses Fall 2010 - WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?


Anyone still interested in registering in the Census Course, or inquiring for additional information, is welcome to email me or phone either 695-2241 or 533-3941. Otherwise you can put your name on a pre-registration list for courses offered Fall 2011 in either Regina or Indian Head.

Celebrate and preserve your own history by building your family tree. At some point in life, people feel compelled to learn more about the individuals in their family who came before them. What makes genealogical research even more interesting is seeing the impact your ancestors had on the world's history, and the impact they had on your own life. Your physical appearance, likes or dislikes, health, even your occupation may be traced back to your ancestors. At this FREE information session you will meet your instructor, hear an overview of each course offered this semester, and you should feel free to ask your questions. Classes are taught by a professional instructor/researcher with well over a decade of experience. Pat is a well known speaker who has conducted workshops locally, and as far away as Whitehorse and Scotland. She specializes in saving you time and money throughout her courses. All classes use the Internet and introduce you to the best free and trusted web sites online. A huge bonus is the quality and quantity of copious notes you are provided with following each class. This means you are able to listen, learn, and participate without attempting to take notes! The notes are yours to keep and are included in your registration fees. These notes may save you from having to purchase several books. Your emailed notes will include live links to the numerous web sites we'll be using so all you have to do is 'click' and you're there!

Stay tuned to this blog - become a 'Subscriber' to get all updates,immediately. Subscribing if totally FREE. There are two ways to subscribe. Choose either by Email or by RSS - found directly under the Search box at the top right side of the Home page. You can also contact Pat by email at for additional information, or phone 695-2241, or cell 533-3941. Pat Ryan MCCSG

Indian Head Library Sept. 9, 2010 7pm FREE

Regina: Pasqua Rec Centre Sept. 15, 2010 7pm FREE

Pasqua Neighbourhood Recreation Centre is located at 263 Lewvan Drive - from the Lewvan, turn east onto Sherwood Drive, then south on Wascana St. and the Rec Centre is on your west/right side situated in a large free parking lot. For a good map see

NOTE: Dates and times for the last two courses to be held in Indian Head will be the same as the Regina dates and times with all classes held in Regina. In other words I have combined the two groups which makes for a better experience for all.
The Regina dates/times/locations are correct as listed below. Please be aware that some of these classes offer the opportunity to do hands-on research at various repositories in Regina and those classes will need to take place during normal morning business hours in the city, usually 9:30 - 11:30am.

UNPUZZLING YOUR PAST - Using the Internet
This is the course you should start with - whether a beginning genealogist or a seasoned researcher. You won't believe what you've been missing! Locate reliable records - many available only on the Internet - if you only knew where to find them and how to use them to their full potential. This is a fun, exciting course that helps you: build your solid foundation, avoid common errors, and prepares you for the following advanced courses. Students work with their OWN family research. No matter how much, or how little, you have - do NOT underestimate the importance of this course! Extensive Internet use. Email if you need additional information or to register if you missed Registration night. Pat Ryan MCCSG

Indian Head CEC
Sept 16 CE 9:30 - 11:30am
Sept 23 CE 9:30 - 11:30am
Sept 30 CE 9:30 - 11:30am
Oct 07 CE 9:30 - 11:30am $125.00

Sept 22 Pasqua Rec Centre 7 - 9pm
Sept 29 Pasqua Rec Centre 7 - 9pm
Oct 06 Pasqua Rec Centre 7 - 9pm
Oct 13 Pasqua Rec Centre 7 - 9pm $125.00

THE LAST BEST WEST - Using the Saskatchewan Archives
Western Canada was primarily settled by homesteaders. Most were recent immigrants, and few had any farming experience. It is therefore, very normal to include teachers, doctors, lawyers, ministers, and business owners/shop keepers within the term 'homesteaders'. A file was created about each piece of land and there is a wealth of information within each file regarding the person(s) who farmed that piece of land. We have found details such as former residences, important dates, the size and cost of buildings, livestock, family details, signatures, personal correspondence, and even birth/marriage/death and divorce papers. The fortunate students enrolled in this course will learn how to use the Internet to locate land details across Canada, and will also spend the last two classes doing hands-on research AT the SK Archives in Regina ... with your instructor there to assist you! These students will also be treated to a private tour of the Archives 'hidden' records - those precious records that are only accessed through normally locked doors/drawers/cabinets!! What kinds of records might you find there? Things like local histories, Canadian censuses, biographies, provincial newspapers, fur trade, Metis, immigration, ships passenger lists, provincial settlement, rural life, urban life, economics, government, politics, court records, maps, architectural drawings, private records, border crossing, fire insurance, police, certain indexes to births, marriages, deaths etc. etc as well as audio/video and a huge collection of historical photographs. This is an opportunity not to be missed. Extensive computer use. Class size is limited. Prior completion of Unpuzzling Your Past is strongly recommended. Email if you have additional questions or to register if you missed Registration night. Pat Ryan MCCSG

Wed, Oct. 20 Pasqua Rec Centre 7 - 9pm $125.00
Wed, Oct. 27 emailed lessons (no classroom session)
Wed, Nov. 03 Sask. Archives, 3303 Hillsdale St, Regina 9:30 - noon
Wed, Nov. 10 Sask. Archives, 3303 Hillsdale St, Regina 9:30 - noon

Scrawled upon some of Canada's historical documents are your ancestor's names, along with personal data about them.The census is the first, and possibly the most valuable, resource every genealogist should use - but there are serious pitfalls you need to be aware of!

Canada has one of the oldest and longest surviving censuses, taken every ten years for the past 160 years. You may find answers to questions asked regarding names, ages, places and years of birth, occupations, religion, and year of immigration for each person residing in each household! Plus serious clues to migrations, births, marriages, deaths, parents, siblings, extended family relationships. As an added bonus the last two classes will take place AT the Prairie History Room (PHR) in downtown branch of the Regina Public Library where students will enjoy a serious introduction to the vast holdings of this world renowned collection of genealogical records covering so much more than our Prairie Provinces. Students will also have free and ongoing access, at the Regina Public Library, to the website run by with Pat providing them with introductory instructions to 'get them going' in this wonderful, huge web site. Extensive computer use. Class size is limited.

The Canadian census was only taken by legal land description rather than by surname so it is strongly recommended you have completed Unpuzzling Your Past as well as The Last Best West. We will be using free and complete online sources for the censuses and therefore your first two weeks of lessons come complete via email. The last two lessons will be held at the PHR in Regina.

Email if you have additional questions or to register if you missed Registration night. Pat Ryan MCCSG.

Wed, Nov. 10 emailed lessons (no classroom session) $125.00
Wed, Nov. 17 emailed lessons (no classroom session)
Wed, Nov. 24 9:30 - 11:30am PRH
Wed, Dec. 01 9:30 - 11:30am PHR

Genealogy's Often - Misspelled Words

Genealogy - No, it is not spelled “geneology” nor is it spelled in the manner I often see: “geneaology.” This becomes really important as you use the Internet, which may not recognize what you are searching for.

Cemetery - The letter "a" does not appear anywhere in the word "cemetery." You can remember the spelling by an old saying, "We go to the cemetery with E's." (ease)

Ancestor - This simple word is often spelled “ancester,” “ansester,” or “ansestor.”

Ancestry - This word is often misspelled “ancestory.” I often see errors when someone is referring to the online web site.

History - More than once I have seen someone refer to their "family histroy" or "family histry."

Descent - Perhaps not as common, but I have seen this spelled as "decent," which sounds almost the same.

Progenitor - This is a tough one!

Gazetteer - CRITICAL that you spell this one perfectly! There is probably a gazetteer for your ancestral locations online, but you'll need to spell it correctly. What is a gazetteer? It's a geographical dictionary and you CANNOT do genealogy without it!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Upcoming Classes Fall 2010

Watch this site as I will be posting my Fall 2010 classes soon!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to helping the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand.

He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript. So, the new monk goes to the head Abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up! In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.

The head monk,says,'We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.'

He goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscripts are held as archives in a locked vault that hasn't been opened for hundreds of years.

Hours go by and nobody sees the old Abbot.

So, the young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing.
'We missed the R ! We missed the R ! We missed the R !'
His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is sobbing uncontrollably. The young monk asks the old abbot, 'What's wrong, father?'

With A choking voice, the old abbot replies, 'The word was...


Friday, June 11, 2010


Starting 30 minutes before EACH World Cup game England plays, we will have FREE research time for 3 hours. WOW!! The first game is Sat, June 12th at 12:30pm. I know I'll be there even though it might have stopped raining by then! Don't care ... this is an awesome opportunity!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Pages

If you look to the right sidebar on this page, notice there are additional page(s) to view. The first one is titled "Ground Breaking Genealogy NEWS". This is where I will add great new genealogy tips/sites etc. and who knows how this page will evolve!!

Happy Searching Everyone!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spirit Day Indian Head May 1, 2010

Hello to everyone I met today at Spirit Day in Indian Head. While it continued to snow and drizzle outside, the rink was buzzing with hundreds of people. Thanks to all who introduced themselves to me!! Hope to see you in classes this fall.

You can watch (click on the Follow link) this blog to see the courses I will be offering in IH; as well as at the University of Regina Seniors Education, and at night classes through the City of Regina Community Associations. I'll also begin putting up interesting genealogy notes from around the world.

I have also accepted an invitation to speak at the IH Library Sept. 9th. Come out and hear about the courses I'll be offering this fall ... meet me, and ask your questions!

Kind Regards,

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hi Guys! Tuesday, April 27th, I had the great pleasure of addressing the Moose Jaw branch of SGS who were celebrating their 40th anniversary!! Isn't that amazing? There was a really good turn-out of members, including some of the original three members from 40 years ago. Sheesh!!

I always love speaking in Moose Jaw as I was a resident there for 14 years ... waaaay back in the 1960s/70s ... and the residents are just as gracious and charming as they have always been. My Mother also resided there for a time in the 1920s, and my paternal Scottish grandparents enjoyed their retirement years in the 1940s/50s on the east side of town. They are still in Moose Jaw, resting at Rosedale, so I took time to share a few words with them in the peaceful cemetery on the far west of town.

The city is growing and continues to improve itself. I stayed overnight with some 'old' friends, Charlie & Elaine Campbell, so you can imagine how the 'chins' wagged' well into the darkness as we've had few visits over the past 29 years. Wednesday we loaded ourselves into the car and went for a drive, checking out the new construction of homes/condos and the amazing Sportsplex. WOW!! We also did a drive-by of some of the locations I lived in on Hochelaga St., Albert St., 6th Ave, and Ross Ave, as well as Sun Valley resort at Buffalo Pound. YES - I loved to move around in those days!! I am doing my best to leave lots and lots of records for my descendants to follow.

Even though my presentation didn't go as planned - we couldn't get my laptop to talk to their projector - I have been a professional presenter long enough to have planned for 'interruptions' such as this and everyone received maps and paper copies of my presentation so we worked through the mystery together!! LOTS and LOTS of laughs were shared as this group of very knowledgeable genealogists worked to help solve the mystery. Even the lovely reporter from the Times Herald newspaper was intrigued enough to stay for the entire 1 1/2 hours after she had interviewed me before we began. She is from England, and so was able to add some very interesting comments during the presentation. We just never know from whom we can learn, or the circumstances that will present new opportunities once we slow down, listen, read, and learn!!

The evening wound up with Beverly and Marge noting some upcoming events that will be of great interest to Sask. genealogists! Mark your calendars for Sat. June 5th, and join in for the FHC one day seminar. Check out their website at I'll be speaking about land records which will deal with REAL examples of Saskatchewan homestead files. In true fashion, I'll be showing you how things can go terribly wrong , and how there is so much more to learn when using land records.

Thanks again to the MJ branch for including me in their celebrations, and a big Happy Anniversary and congratulations to everyone involved. Oh yes, one last note - on my drive home Wed. April 28th, a semi on the Ring Road in Regina threw up a rock and I now need a new windshield! Wonder if a descendant will ever locate *that* record? Who knows!

Happy Searching Everyone!!

A Lovely email sent to me from the President of the MJ branch Marge Cleave
Hi Pat,

Thanks so much for speaking at our 40th anniversary celebration, we couldn’t have gotten a better person to be our guest speaker. You did an excellent job and the feedback I got from everyone confirms that! Your presentation was a really good way of getting your point across to double check everything and really go through what you are reading line by line. It made me want to get right home and start rereading all of the information I have collected on my families over the years. (I have my fingers crossed that I find something I missed before!!)

I forwarded your blog onto our members so they can all read the very kind words you had written about the evening you spent with us. There are only a few of us who don’t have computers, but I have printed it off and will share it with the others at our next meeting.

The Times Herald reporter did a huge write up for the newspaper! Again, thanks to you and the interview you did with her and the presentation, I think you have her hooked on genealogy!! I think she thoroughly enjoyed herself.

I do wish you still lived closer to Moose Jaw, I know our group would love to have you come speak to us more often and do more workshops with us. I am looking forward to hearing you speak at the FHC in Regina on June 5th, I think there is going to be a car load or two going from Moose Jaw.

Until then,


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Upcoming Events

I am sooooooooooo slow at this blogging stuff! And don't even ask about my Facebook site. I just don't see the point of posting my everyday life - it's pretty boring guys!

What IS new and exciting is all the great opportunities genealogists have this spring, summer and autumn!! So for most of the upcoming events be sure to read my next post, but I'll now add a couple new ones that are just soooooooooo incredible I want you to know so you don't miss out!

1. Thanks so much to Pipestone Branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society for organizing a seminar April 10th, titled Family History & the Internet! I was the presenter and it was GREAT fun!! There were people attending from town of course, plus numerous locations outside of Moosomin - within the province ads far away as Regina & Yorkton - as well as from Manitoba! What a great way to spend the day as the blinkin winds howled outside!!

2. G.R.O.W. Your Family Tree Family History Conference happens June 5th, 2010 sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons) at 550 Sangster Blvd in Regina. This will be THE place to be!! Have a peek at the great speakers and topics EXTREMELY WELL DONE, and a full day of presentations plus lunch will cost $15.00!! See you there?

3. October 15, 16, 17, 2010 - Central Butte Branch will present a weekend RETREAT for genealogists!! To be held at the Mainstay Inn, Palliser Park, on Lake Diefenbaker, near Riverhurst. The entire program is not quite ready, but I'll be there, as will others. Stay tuned guys!! AND harvest should be done eh?

4. I will be speaking at Moose Jaw branch of SGS, Tuesday April 27th. This is a celebration of their 40th Anniversary!! Check it out

5. I will be organizing my Fall course offerings soon, on-line, in Regina and Indian Head soon. I *might* be convinced to travel to other locations ... so if interested, contact me And keep checking at this blog site as I will be adding the course offerings here.

That's it for now. Happy Searching All!!

Kindest Regards,

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I am very happy to say that April 2010 will be one very busy month!! It starts off with Easter which will see me celebrating with my family the 50th wedding anniversary of my only brother at Craik Sask. Quite an achievement!!

April 10th I will be in Moosomin Sask to present a one day seminar for the Pipestone Genealogical Branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society. This will be so much fun, and I am really looking forward to introducing a whole new group of people to this wonderful world of genealogy!! I am also looking forward to renewing old acquaintances and friends, some I've not seen since I was key note speaker in (I think) 2006 when Pipestone hosted the provincial conference. This session will also be good refresher for those who are perhaps at that proverbial 'brick wall' that we all hit!!

April 23, 24, 25th I will be speaking at Edmonton branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society's provincial conference. It is always a GREAT time in Edmonton - I know because I've spoken there before.

April 27th, the Moose Jaw branch of the SGS will be celebrating their 40th anniversary! I am very honoured to have been chosen to give a presentation to their group on this auspicious occassion. I love Moose Jaw as it is one of my former homes.

That's it for now. I hadn't planned on doing any new classes until Fall 2010, but I am excited about April. By September, I'll be back in the classroom. Hope to see you all at one of the locations I teach.

Watch this spot for news and upcoming course offerings.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

NIGS; personal speaking engagements

Hello!! Happy New Year 2010.

I've been really slow keeping up this blogging effort, and that slowness will likely continue as I'm spending my time writing new courses, and preparing for 5 weeks in Mexico! I've also just agreed to teach for the National Institute of Genealogical Studies which is affiliated with the University of Toronto I have decided my course offerings with NIGS will not be geared towards attaining the professional' designation - which requires a specif amount of time and passing of exams.

From day 1 of my 'instructing' career, I have always focused on helping those whose primary objective was in tracing their own family history ... trying to figure out where they came from and what ancestral 'footprints' were left which now create their own footprints. In other words - people who seek to discover why they do the things they do, feel the way they do, see life the way they do, look the way they do, have the occupations they do, have the desires they do and on and on!

So for starters with NIGS, my courses can be found under the Courses hearing: Correspondence Courses: Research: Canadian Internet Part 1, 2, 3 ... plus Salt Lake City: the Largest Genealogical Library in the World Part 1, 2 . All five of my courses are geared toward Intermediate students but are suitable for serious beginners and certainly helpful for advanced students. These NIGS courses will now ONLY be available through NIGS.

In the meantime, as I previously mentioned, I continue to write new courses which I will offer to students from outside of NIGS. These courses will be ready later in 2010, and will be Internet based. I will continue teaching other offerings through the University of Saskatchewan, Regina, Seniors Education Centre; through the City of Regina Community Associations; and through my home town of Indian Head Sask. Watch for the announcements of which courses I decide on!

Additionally in 2010 I have been chosen, and happily accepted a most gracious invitation to speak to the Moose Jaw branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society at their 40th anniversary on April 27th! I have also happily accepted an invite to speak to the Central Butte genealogical society branch at their Family History Fall Retreat at the Main Stay Inn, Paliser Park, Riverhurst in October 2010. More to follow later. Lots of exciting things to look forward to!!

You can enroll, request info, or request speaking engagements by emailing me direct at for all courses except the U of R courses. I am now also accepting limited client research. More later!