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