Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lieut. James Kay (1888-1917) - Part 4

1. Lieut. James Kay
2. Lieut. James Kay (1888-1917) - Update
3. Lieut. James Kay (1888-1917) - Part 3

On July 22, 1915 James enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was sent to England where he was later posted with the 5th Canadian Siege Battery – Canadian Garrison Artillery. While he was in England, he sent a postcard home to his mother, dated January 16, 1916. It reads:

“Haven’t heard from you for a long time – what’s up? Still in England. Expecting to move any time. Weather gorgeous. Have hired cycle. Don’t mind staying here. Jim”

I’m not sure when James’ unit was finally shipped out, but having found the War Diaries of WWI at Library and Archives Canada, the 5th Canadian Siege Battery were in Poiziers (France?) in October 1916. By July 1917 they were in Angres. These diaries give a day to day account of everything that occurred. Although these are very interesting to read, my goal was to see if there was an account of when James died. Since I knew he died on July 28, 1917, I quickly scanned the diaries until I found that day. I found the page that I was looking for and this is what was written:

“28-7-17: The Battery Position was shelled today with H.E. Lieut. J. Kay was seriously wounded and died on way to Dressing Station. 346828 Cpl. H. Sheldon was also wounded.”

Lieut. James Kay was commissioned from the ranks and laid to rest at Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery in Souchez, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France. He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. A Memorial Plaque and letter from Buckingham Palace were sent to his mother, Elizabeth, after his death.

Online memorials have been set up for those who died during WWI and James’s memorials can be found here, here and here.

“All Gave Some
And Some Gave All”

Rest In Peace Uncle James.

Lieut. James Kay (1888-1917) - Part 3

1. Lieut. James Kay

James Kay was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on January 22, 1888 to Adam Bishop Kay and Elizabeth Muirhead Sinclair. Already knowing that he was living in Montreal in July 1915 (the date he enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force), I was curious as to when the Kay’s had arrived in Canada. In searching the 1911 Canada Census, I came up empty.

I then decided to see when they were last in Scotland and found them on the 1901 Scotland Census. According to this census, they were living at 37 Queensferry Street in Edinburgh. Adam Bishop Kay (listed as Head of the family) was a Joiner and Cabinetmaker. James was 13 years old and his brother Adam Sinclair (my step-grandfather) was 5 years old. Going back a little further to the 1891 Scotland Census, I found Elizabeth, aged 27, living with her mother, Helen Sinclair, and a sister, Catherine Sinclair, living at No. 14 Melville Place, Edinburgh. Elizabeth was married at the time (she is listed as Elizabeth Kay), but Adam Bishop is not listed as living with them. James was 3 years old and a daughter, Helen aged 2 months, is also listed. Adam Sinclair was not born until 1896. If Adam Bishop was serving in the Military in 1891, he obviously made it back home safe and sound since he still had one son to father! (and as mentioned, he is listed on the 1901 Census.

I then decided to check the Canadian Passenger lists from 1865-1935. I found an Elizabeth M. Kay, age 44 (widowed) and Adam S. Kay, aged 16 arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia on the Numidian on December 14, 1911, via Glasgow, Scotland (they obviously arrived after the 1911 census was taken). James was not with them at this time. There is also no mention of a daughter Helen . (I have not found any records of a daughter Helen, except for the 1891 Census and the 1923 income tax receipt – was she perhaps living with another family member?).

On continuing my search of the Canadian Passenger Lists, I found James Kay arriving on the Carmania, leaving Liverpool, England and arriving in New York City on November 24, 1913. He was listed as a returning Canadian with a final destination of Montreal. It shows that he originally arrived in Canada in 1908 and had lived here for 5 years. I haven’t found the passenger list for this arrival yet.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It’s Data Back Up Day

I work in the Quotations Dept. of a large manufacturing company. Every day I work on large multi-million dollar quotations that take weeks to prepare. The last thing I want is to lose my data. Every night our servers are backed up, once a week my computer backs up to the one beside me, that backs up to the one beside it, etc. and once a month I’m very vigilant about backing up my data directory onto flash drives or CDs. I’m not so vigilant at home – or at least I didn’t use to be.

As previously mentioned, I belong to the Order of the Eastern Star (Masonic affiliated) and I am my local chapter’s secretary. I also put together their jurisdictional newsletter. Between correspondence, mailing lists, chapter by-laws, etc., the newsletter, I have a fair amount of data on my computer. About four years ago, I had a Trojan Horse sneak in the back door that shutdown my computer. Of course, I didn’t have anything backed up! I lost everything! Most of the data lost wasn’t that important, but having to retype from scratch the by-laws and redoing the newsletter just broke my heart.

Lesson learned - I now back up at least once a month if not twice. I was going to do it this coming weekend, but with the threat of the Conficker Worm that was supposed to strike today, I did my back up last night, both at home and at work. I certainly don’t want to retype those by-laws again and I certainly don’t want to lose all the work I have done on the family history.

Have you done your back up yet?

Blogs and Sourcing

I have been reading with interest the discussions about the validity of blogs in genealogy research and whether or not to post sources.

Being new to genealogy and blogging, I enjoy reading the various blogs to aid me in the “how-to” aspect of my research. I have learned many things with regards to where to search for information, ideas on how to break down brick walls and reading about other’s frustrations and happy moments in their research, all the while nodding my head. I do not, however, use these blogs as sources in my own research (I have a family booklet that my cousin put together and I don’t even use that as a positive source as he didn’t include any sources).

I started my blog, for my benefit to keep myself organized and motivated and to share with those who are interested, my findings and my trials & tribulations in my research.

Should anyone who might be researching the same surnames be interested in my sources, they are more then welcome to contact me and I am more than happy to share. However, I will not be listing my sources on my posts. If this, in turn, causes others to stop following my blog – so be it (although I certainly hope that doesn’t happen!).

My two “unsourced” cents.

Tombstone Tuesday - Robert Allan Farrell

Ever Remembered, Ever Loved
Allan Farrell
1927 - 1962
In God's Keeping
Allan Farrell was my father who passed away when he was 35 yrs. old. from complications due to Diabetes. He was buried on my parents 9th wedding anniversary. I took this picture about 20 years ago when I visited his grave for the first time.

Anyone else in the distant family would have a hard time finding this tombstone because his full name is not one it! His full name was Robert Allan but he always went by Allan. For some reason either my mother or my grandparents didn't think to put his full name on the tombstone! The below picture is a closer look of the stone before it was placed on his grave.