When I began to plot the locations of the birth-places and burial grounds of Dutch ancestors, they quickly began to present themselves as largely being grouped around one province.

The towns and villages in Utrecht province were home to several generations of my father’s family, thus far dating back to the 18th century. They form a cluster of mostly small farming communities that surround the city of Utrecht.

Tull en ‘t Waal was where my father’s family lived before immigrating to Canada in the 1950s as part of a larger movement of Dutch citizens. It is part of the municipality of Houten, which also includes ancestral homestead Schalkwijk.

Other ancestral communities include:




The Cannons were from Prince Edward Island. This is where I started. I knew my grandfather’s father was named Milton. I also knew that my grandfather’s mother was named Agnes Claire Croken, and that she was the reason that branch of the family was Catholic.

artemas-herbert---albert-leslie-cannonPictured here are two of Milton’s older brothers who served overseas in World War I: Albert Leslie Cannon (right) and Artemas Herbert Cannon (left). Herb made it home. Leslie died at age 23 of bronchopneumonia at the Camiers-Dannes Military Hospital in France

Leslie’s obituary read: “Mr. Albert C. Cannon, Charlottetown, has received word that his son, Pte. Albert Leslie Cannon is officially reported died of bronco pneumonia, 18th General Hospital, Dannes, Comiers, Nov. 27th.

Pte. Cannon went over with the 105th and has two brothers also serving in France. Miss Pearl Cannon of Summerside is a sister.”

The patriarch noted above, Albert Cannon, is where I found a new-to-me family mystery starting with Albert’s baptismal record. Continue reading “Cannon”


My grandmother is from Millidgeville, a small neighbourhood on the north edge of Saint John, New Brunswick that took its name from a prominent shipbuilder. She grew up in the 1930s and ’40s at a time when fewer than 100 families lived in the community year round.
4023028539_e1a2665d9b_oHer father was George Miles “Ted” Barr (1905-1973). He worked for T.S. Simms Ltd. in Saint John, New Brunswick for over 55 years. Starting at age 13 as a handyman, he eventually became a plant superintendent and finally an engineer with the company. Barr had a number of inventions to his name, including three patented machines.

George Barr was the son of William Alfred Barr (abt. 1884-1933) and Elizabeth “Bessie” Myrtle Neal (1885-1950).
Continue reading “Barr”


At the beginning of the year I started a family history project. While I had some vague notions of being Irish on my mother’s side and that my dad’s family was from the Netherlands, I had never actually done the work.

I’m now five months in to some preliminary research and am having a lot of fun amid some frustrations. There are a million and one roadblocks still in the way, but therein lies the thrill in sleuthing.

A very basic description of my family lines:

Paternal: both parents are from the Netherlands (they immigrated to Canada from Tull en ‘t Waal, near Houten, in the 1950s). Their families mostly lived in small communities around Utrecht province.
Maternal: my grandfather is from Prince Edward Island and descends from 18 and 19th century Irish and English immigrants. My grandmother is from New Brunswick and descends from 18 and 19th century Northern Irish and English immigrants.

While this is my first foray in genealogical research, I did take a 23andMe test about 6 years ago and, this week, my AncestryDNA results came back. Here’s a quick look at the results of these two tests: Continue reading “Genes”