My travels into the past began as a young girl when I was impressed by my maternal grandmother’s seemingly “total recall” of her life. My family was living in North Vancouver, next door to her and my grandfather, Harry Welch, in the late 1940s.

She was Elizabeth Jeanette Blaney and we would sit in her little kitchen on Coleman Road, at the top of Grouse Mountain, with a cup of tea while she told tales of her relationship with her beloved father in England, raising her family in Montreal and Toronto and stories of my mother’s childhood.  I loved her family stories and admired her skill in telling them. I later learned that she inherited her story telling ability from her father, Harry.

Gran was very proud of her ancestors particularly her great uncle, Walter Langley (1852-1922), who was a well known watercolour painter and her grandfather, Edwin Blaney (1834-1885), who made a saddle for Queen Victoria. 

I was in my early twenties when I began to pursue the genealogy of our family.  There have been many stoppages in my research as life got in the way but I am now retired and resuming my research including the proving of the family lore. To me, family history research seems a giant jigsaw puzzle that pulls you into needing to find all the missing pieces. It is always exciting when I uncover something that is new to me.

From the age of twelve I corresponded regularly with my grandmother but was only able to visit occasionally as my family had returned to Toronto and so we were 3000 miles apart. I regret not having had more conversations with her about her family history. I have her personal papers and some family artifacts that have further piqued my interest. My mother is now almost ninety-five years of age with a failing memory so it seems urgent to capture her stories as well and preserve our family stories for my children and their children. 

I am hoping to use this blog to share my research, tell these stories and make connection with extended family.

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