Monday, March 27, 2017

Creating a Useful Research Query: One of the biggest problems I encounter with potential clients is the way they word their requests. Some people are too vague with their query and expect the professional to tell them right away if they can help. Others seem to not know where to start with a query and in haste regurgitate all that they know in an unorganized fashion. If the client takes the time to write out a well thought out query in an organized manner a response from a professional will be more readily forthcoming; grammar and spelling included. The following is a useful to the point query: “Seeking the birth record of Mark JONES. His parents were Thomas JONES & Mary SMITH. Thomas & Mary JONES’ family found on the 1901 census in Kitley Township, Leeds County, Ontario. From this census, the family religion was Church of England, son Mark JONES was 25 years old, his birth date apparently being 4 January 1876. This family could not be located on the 1881 or 1891 census for Kitley Township, Leeds County, Ontario. However, one Thomas & Mary JONES family was found on the 1881 census for Harwich Township, Kent County Ontario, but there was no Mark JONES. Also, a tombstone found in the Kitley cemetery stated that Mark JONES, son of Thomas JONES and Mary SMITH, was born 1875 and died 16 December 1907. An Ontario Vital Birth Records Search, 1869-1881 for Mark JONES revealed nothing.” Note the spacing for ease of reading, as well as the capitalization of surnames, bolding and underlining of key points. List what you want, list what you know, list where you have searched, the results of that search and include names, dates and places. These are the main tips to help prepare a useful and effective query. Copyright 2016 Tammy Tipler-Priolo BASc, PLCGS The Ancestor Investigator 1-905-235-2575 Permission to reuse must be obtain from Tammy Tipler-Priolo

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

My Grandfather Desire Delorme

He loved this picture of himself!

My Ancestors Crabapple Tree

Grandpa Delorme’s ( Desire Delorme) Crabapple Tree is situated on my parents Lake Front homestead, overlooking One Mile Bay on Trout Lake. This is where my brother Dave, sister Tosh and I grew up. We moved here from the city when I was three, so that would make it around 1965. We were the third family to live year round out there. It was a place of adventure, forests to explore, hills to climb and trees to hide in; whether it be a tree we built a fort in or to play kick the can and hide around, this place kept our young minds dreaming up the next adventure. Once, I believe I was eight years old at the time, dad’s ( Rolph Francis Tipler) mom, Grandma Tipler (Hazel Olive Latour), had picked a bushel basket of crabapples from her crabapple tree over on Margaret Street. Thinking my mom (Isobel Desneiges Delorme) would make some preserves like apple butter or crabapple jelly with them, she gave them to her. Well before my mom had a chance to do anything with these crabapples, we kids got into them and had a big old crabapple fight! I do believe my cousins and the neighbour’s kids were all in on this crabapple fight. It was lots of fun hiding around the house and “beaning” someone as they showed their face. It was not so fun when you were hit as it stung the skin something awful. Nevertheless, as kids we recovered fast and looked for our next victim to inflict a crabapple shot at. Mom caught us in the act but by that point we had ran out of crabapple ammunition. All was forgotten, until Grandpa Delorme had come to visit us. He lived in a one-room apartment on First Avenue in North Bay and at the age of 90, he loved his independence. He would visit quite often taking us for walks and showing us different plants and trees. He would show us how to make whistles from willow trees and even spotted Hazel nut trees along the road that we had never discovered. He knew quite a bit about trees and the forest. I am sure if he had gotten lost in the woods he could have survived for days. Any way we were out following Grandpa in the yard one day and he spotted a three-foot branch growing from the ground. He knew right away what it was. We had no idea. He told us it was a crabapple shoot. Mom realized that it had sprung up from one of the crabapples we had had that fight with; one of my Grandmothers crabapples! Grandpa Delorme dug up the shoot and relocated it down at the beach overlooking One Mile Bay. When he was finished planting it he told us that we would always remember him by this tree. Grandpa was right of course. We always have fond memories looking at that tree, of him, Grandma Tipler and the Big Old Crabapple fight. Grandpa would go down ever spring to the beach in hopes of finding blossoms on that crabapple tree. In 1975, Grandpa Delorme died at the age of 93 and never saw the crabapple tree blossom. However, on the 6th May 1982 the tree finally blossomed. You see this was Grandpa’s birthday and not just any birthday, he would have been 100 years old that day! The tree still stands today, tying both sides of my family together. It blossoms ever year and has a profusion of apples on it. Funny thing is mom only ever made crabapple jelly from it once. It has with stood a fire on its branches, the lawnmower, cats, dogs and kids climbing in it, fierce weather and even my brother pulling the apples off to practice his golf swing. I like to think that many more trees have grown from that crabapple fight and probably have grown up across the lake because of my brother’s great golf swing. This tree lets us tell our children the story about its history and the history of their ancestors. Here’s hoping it will live on for generations to come!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Saskatchewan Genealogical Society Conference 2016
Just to let everyone know that the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society is having their 2016 Conference in April. Check out their website for more details at

Monday, October 19, 2015

I will be running a workshop on how to write biographies for your ancestors at the Wellington County Museum 24 October 2015 at 2pm Please sign up before Thursday so it will not be canceled.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Searching for Adoption Records In Ontario

I have been approached many times by individuals seeking information about adoption. Here is a website that can help explain the process for finding such records in Ontario.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Ancestor Investigator: Serious TherapyAuthor Tammy Tipler-Priolo BASc, PL...

The Ancestor Investigator: Serious TherapyAuthor Tammy Tipler-Priolo BASc, PL...: Serious Therapy Author Tammy Tipler-Priolo BASc, PLCGS © 22 June 2015 Many of us do it naturally without thinking about it. We have a nat...
Serious Therapy Author Tammy Tipler-Priolo BASc, PLCGS © 22 June 2015 Many of us do it naturally without thinking about it. We have a natural interest in where we come from. Relatives would call us the family historians, the keepers of the past. "No need to do my family history, Aunt Mary has already done it". However it may not be as simple as that. I have been busy taking Horticultural Therapy courses through the Toronto Botanical Gardens as well as taking the Garden Design Courses from George Brown College. It has taken me years to realize what my high school guidance counselor had discovered on the career aptitude test that I wrote. Apparently I liked the arts and the outdoors; I also knew I liked sciences and history. The problem with that was I had no real direction as to what career path I should take. I truly wanted to be an artist but how could I fit that into a sustainable lifestyle. Sustainable being the optimal word. If that aptitude test had been more detailed it would have shown me that the creativity I possess from a long line of ancestors need not be delegated to one discipline, which I am now learning in my 50s. While researching my family history I always felt a sense of complete well being physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. All these components of my life strengthened the more I delved into my past. I suffer from Fibromyalgia which can cause all sorts of physical, mental and emotional challenges and becoming involved in genealogy was one of the best therapies I could have ever embraced. When I first started looking for my ancestors, I did not think of it as a therapy but rather a curiosity itching to be scratched and boy did I scratch that itch all the way to becoming a professional genealogist. One thing I suffered through was sciatica down my left leg. I could not function for over half a year. What helped me through the pain was the deep concentration I put into searching for my ancestors online; the Internet was a genealogy gift for me at that time. Physically I was able to stretch my leg out while on the computer and mentally I was able to forget the pain as I searched through census records, birth, marriage and death registrations as well as church records and other family history records I could locate at the click of the keyboard. Anxiety and depression are other fall outs from Fibromyalgia that I intermittently suffer from and I find that researching for myself or others helps me battle these mentally debilitating challenges in my life. I am sharing these intimate details of myself with my readers because I want you to understand that there is a serious therapeutic importance in doing genealogy. I always knew that doing one's own research put you in closer contact with your ancestors. After spending a full year searching for my great grandfather's baptismal record, and finding out that he had been baptized twice in the Catholic Church, once as a baby by his Catholic mother and once before he married my Catholic great grandmother, as he was raised by his father who was Presbyterian, I certainly feel much closer to this mysterious and mischievous chap. Ah, but that is another story for another time. The point is that as I worked my way through my ancestors personal and not so personal records I began to understand myself, my parents and my grandparents better and for that matter my siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. As I began my professional work in the field of genealogy; really starting as a non-member volunteer with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the mid 1990s, I started to see the benefits of genealogy as a therapeutic tool for others. This included individuals looking for their aboriginal ancestors who thought they were only looking for proof so they could have membership with First Nations or Metis; many wanting hunting and fishing rights. I mention this because some genealogists would get frustrated with these individuals thinking they had the wrong intentions when it came to searching for one's ancestors. I looked at it and still look at it differently. I believe it does not matter the motivation for searching out one's ancestors as long as one is not doing so to harm someone else. Could the ancestors be trying to reach out and be found by their descendants, one cannot be sure, however if one is not motivated to do family history research for the sake of doing it, then some other kind of motivation could be just what is needed to grab the attention of those who may need to do their genealogy the most and not realize it; I am talking about the need for genealogy therapy here. As more and more clients came to me for consultations, I realized that what most wanted was to be listened to and heard. Yes they wanted to gain information from me on how to trace their line, but more importantly they needed to share their stories, be it about adoption, losses, separation or frustrations, they were all trying to learn more about themselves through their past. I can honestly say that of all the clients I have had home consultations with, all have left satisfied, uplifted and ready to face the challenges of continuing the quest for their past knowing that they may find unexpected events or nothing at all. It was the process that seemed to help them the most. It was not until I began my Horticultural Therapy journey this past year that I realized the significance of genealogy as a therapy for others in a more serious fashion. I began doing some investigative research online for scientific research that indicated the benefits of doing genealogy. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there had been many different types of research on the benefits of tracing the past. Some studies referred to this type of genealogical therapy, as I like to call it, as narrative therapy, lineage therapy, reflective therapy, life review, life story work or reminiscence. A wide range of studies concentrated on different benefits including cognitive benefits, emotional benefits, spiritual benefits and physical benefits. Some studies find that psychotherapists are advising patients to rebuild family histories to help reconnect dislocated family and to develop cultural identity. Further, Dr. Murray Bowen from the 1950/60s suggested that in order for family therapist to better help their clients that they should understand their own family dynamics. Life Review studies have shown that some difficulties within a family and marriage may come from original families; we carry into a relationship what we have learned from our past relationships. Life Review has helped individuals recognize and take into account family conflicts from the past, while reminiscing re-enforces concentrating on positive memories in a group setting. Life Review and reminiscing has helped residents in nursing homes improve behaviour, elevate mood, increase self-esteem as well as decreasing depressive symptoms, the feelings of hopelessness and increasing life satisfaction better then when a comparable group concentrated on current event interventions. On the spiritual side of things, some studies have shown that some individuals have strengthened their connections of faith their ancestors followed. I have seen these types of improvements myself when working with clients of even younger ages. To say that genealogy is just a hobby is an understatement. Over the 20 plus years I have conducted genealogy for myself, others, in consultations, workshops and lectures I have seen the overwhelming benefits of it as a therapy for everyone that ventures down their historical family path. I continue to work in this field because of all those benefits mentioned not only for myself, but my family, friends and others that surround me. To understand where you are headed, you must understand where you have been and that includes your ancestors. Some serious therapy indeed. Tammy Tipler-Priolo BASc, PLCGS The Ancestor Investigator