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Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site
Update 48


UPDATE 48- THE TWEEDSMUIR HISTORIES AND THE BALLINAFAD SETTLERS

Today we shall all be historians researching the past of our own ancestors. All know about ancestry.ca

and other research engines which permit you to trace your family lineage. Less known are the community sites which permit us to learn about the day to day life of the pioneers and their struggles and joys. One such site has been created by the Wellington County Museum (W.C.M.) concerning the Tweedsmuir histories. You go directly to their homepage by linking to http://www.wcm.on.ca/tweedsmuir/index.php. I take the liberty of quoting their introduction to wet your appetite. Do not miss this opportunity feeling overwhelmed by the technical challenge. You will see that it is well done, easy to follow and very rewarding.

What Is The Wellington County Virtual History Book Project?

The Wellington County Tweedsmuir history books are an informative resource for local history that has in the past been overlooked by researchers, historians and genealogists. Access to this important research tool has been limited to viewing the original books or microfilm of the books in an archive or library setting. The Wellington County Virtual History Book Project is one of many projects undertaken to celebrate the County of Wellington’s 150th Anniversary in 2004. The virtual history book is the digitization of the Tweedsmuir History collection compiled by the County’s Women’s Institutes. The project is unique because it represents the first time in Ontario that a group of Tweedsmuir Histories have been digitized, indexed and made available through the Internet. The Wellington County Virtual History Book project involves scanning and indexing the original books to make them available online as well as the creation of an educational component for elementary school children. Students using this website are now able to research a wide range of topics relating to the history of Wellington County. Subjects in these books include but are not limited to; agriculture, community events, culture, the rural economy, labour, politics, religion, rural history, sports and women’s history.

REF: WELLINGTON COUNTY MUSEUM HOMEPAGE

I found this as I research the history of the Bon Accord Settlement from which grew the towns of Fergus, Elora, Alma and Salem. These are my maternal ancestors; the Elmslies. The museum is a treasure chest and the staff welcoming and helpful. Staff and local volunteers have done an incredible job to conserve, scan and index these unique, original and precious documents which are the Tweedsmuir histories.

Back to our interest, the Balinafad pioneers. You have now travelled to the site. http://www.wcm.on.ca/tweedsmuir/index.php Click on the SEARCH icon in the left upper corner than choose the township of Erin / Ballinafad. Enter any pioneer name you wish or click on BROWSE VOLUMES to read the whole document. Go to this link to read the list of the Women’s Institute who compiled the history. http://www.wcm.on.ca/tweedsmuir/results_name.php?township=o45&name_last=shortill&name_first=dave If you have roots in one of the townships listed, you can discover long lost secrets of your own families. Or simply learn about the real pioneer life by those who lived it.

Hats off to the staff and volunteers of the Wellington County Museum. To the women of the Women’s Institute (http://www.fwio.on.ca/) of Ballinafad, our great aunts and grandmothers, we thank you for your tenacity and forethought. Many of you have participated in our oral history project and your story will once again be told, half a century later.

S.McKay- NHCHS, ORAL HISTORY PROJECT. OCTOBER, 2010.


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