About me and Genealogy

Genealogical Activities

2016 - Me after speaking about "BICA" for the Quebec Family History Society as part of their Lecture Series at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Beaconsfield. Thanks to Rodney Heather for the pic.

For over 30 years, I have been doing genealogical research to expand and document the Waddell and Tompkins family histories, to help others with their family trees and for the last 10 years, to build this website.

As the de facto family archivist, the large collection of family photos and memorabilia I inherited needed to be scanned, compiled, and organized.  Over the years, I have learned better practices which has prepared me to help others with their materials.  

Oral History

My brother, Peter, recorded an oral history of my grandmother on her 90th birthday which included stories about her life after arriving in Montreal as a girl.  My project was to transcribe, organize and flesh out this wonderful gift.  In the process, my awareness grew of the disappearance of many of the places that she spoke of.  Also, the names of many places have changed from English to French.  It became important to me to record and pay tribute to the contributions that people like my grandparents and their children made to the city of Montreal before they are forgotten forever. 

Since then, I have conducted and transcribed a number of interviews with family members and others.

Celebrating the 90th birthday of my grandmother, Nell Waddell (nee Shill) in 1989 at Beaconsfield United Church. Only my mother and I are still living.

Immigrants from England and Scotland

My work with family stories and genealogy eventually led to the creation of this website www.british-immigrants-in-montreal.com.  The site is built on the foundation of the experiences of immigrants from the UK in the Montreal area – including my paternal grandparents who arrived in the early part of the 20th century from England and Scotland. 

United Empire Loyalists and New Brunswick Research

The maternal side of my family, from New Brunswick, descends from United Empire Loyalists whose roots go back to the early days of New England as well as more recent arrivals from Scotland, England and Ireland, giving me the opportunity to research in one of my favourite places:  New Brunswick.

The Quebec Family History Society

Since returning to the Montreal area in 2000, I have been involved with the Quebec Family History Society.  The QFHS provides access to resources, seminars and knowledgeable researchers, furthering my learning not only of Quebec research but Canada and the UK as well.  Association with the Society eventually led to me becoming the QFHS Book Store manager in 2008.  In 2013 I first served on the QFHS Executive Board as Corporate and Recording Secretary and am now Vice President.   The education and support of active genealogists has also offered the occasion to present seminars at the QFHS,  including: "The British Immigration and Colonization Association” (BICA) at Roots 2015 and two talks at Roots 2018 on “Using Quebec Directories” and “Notarial Records in Quebec”.  

Most recently, I have become the QFHS Webmaster and presented "Notarial Records in Quebec" on Zoom for the Society's virtual conference: "Roots 2020".

Professional Genealogy Services

After many years of researching my own family and others whenever possible, I am now available to offer my genealogy services professionally.


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