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19 March 2010

Annual Report 2010: French Canadian Special Interest Group

Lorna Jones provided a copy of Annual Report 2010 for the French Canadian Special Interest Group that includes a comprehensive history of their meetings and members. The SIG formed five years ago and held its first meeting on Wednesday, May 25, 2005. Subsequent meetings were held on Wednesdays 5-6 times per year until 2008 when meeting days were changed to Saturday to accommodate members who worked during the week.

Bill O'Neil, Mary Beth Frederick, Lorna Jones and Jane Lindsey

By January 2006, the group consisted of ten members: Carol Backhus, Anne Cyr, the Freemans, Lorna Jones, Wayne Knauf, Jane Lindsey, David Lowndes, Bill O'Neil, Al Riel and Lynn Theuriet. Since that time some of the original ten have moved away but new members include: Mary Beth Frederick, Tom Gesner, Gary Reopelle, Barry Goyette, Craig Siulinski, Christine Morton, Gary Darnsteadt, John Lee and Gibran Rath.

The group now has a total of sixteen members who come when they can to the three scheduled meetings each year. They try to meet in the morning on second Saturdays so they can stay for the membership meeting in the afternoon at 1:00 p.m.

French-Canadian SIG Coordinator Lorna E. Jones

Lorna reports:

The meetings usually are unstructured – someone comes with a 'brick wall' question and we all dive in and work on it. We frequently have 'show and tell' where we share new websites, or a book someone has found, or some new French translation list.  It's all very low-key, but entertaining, and the folks who attend are great.

Do you have ancestors who may have moved to the mid-west in the early 1800s? Or perhaps some who were born in Canada, but the exact location is unknown? The American-Canadian border was easily crossed; many others came up the Mississippi via New Orleans to settle before the railways were built.

The French-Canadian Special Interest Group meets to discuss research problems. It is a small group so there is plenty of opportunity for each issue to be debated thoroughly. Help for French translation is available, as well as lots of ideas about where to search, both on the web and in books.
Email Lorna Jones if you would like to receive notice of upcoming meetings.

The next meeting of the French-Canadian Special Interest Group is at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 10, 2010.

Photographs courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey.