Friday, August 14, 2009

Productivity - Did our ancestors worry about it?

I have been reading a series of posts over at Carole's Canvas about productivity and how she is planning to think about what she has accomplished during the day and to decide on three things she wants to do the next day. She is planning on blogging on them, not necessarily every day but regularly to help with productivity.

She mentions thinking about this before you go to sleep. Wise plan! As I was waking up this morning, I was thinking about productivity. (Yes I should have thought about it before I went to bed.) I have a number of projects on the go right now. I have several historical society projects and some client work that I must focus on.

One very important one is my soldiers' project. I thought I'd done more on it. Yikes! The deadline of September 14 is only a month away. I thought I'd done all the research as I have two binders of information. I only had written about three or four soldiers and these needed polishing and citation clean up. I had put it aside and had not done much work on it during the past year.

Last night, when I started to write about another one, I realized that I didn't have enough information about Alexander Gunn, son of John Gunn and Joanna McKay. His sister (Mrs. L. Penner) is listed as next of kin on his attestation papers. What happened to his parents? Did he have any other relatives that mourned his death when he was killed?

I do not have an obituary for him. All I have is a photograph from the newspaper, with a few details saying that he was missing in action and that he had worked for the local fire department before enlisting . It was too late by this time to head to the library to do further research in the newspapers.

I did find his parents marriage registration and his mother's death registration and possibly a second marriage for his father on Alexander is living with his aunts Mary and Betsy McKay according to the 1901 census in Sydenham Township and in 1891 at the age of 7, he is listed in the household of William and Isabella Cullen. Alexander is listed as the nephew of William. Mary McKay and Betsey McKay, also in the same household, are listed as sisters-in-law to William.

For Canadian soldiers who died in the First World War, two websites are very helpful for this type of project. - CWGC (Canadian War Graves Commission) and Veterans Affairs site - Canada Remembers- Canadian Virtual War Memorial. It is wise to visit both sides to compare information. On the CWGC site, he is listed as Andrew McKay Gunn with the 44th Bn (Battalion). On the Canadian Virtual War Memorial, he is listed as being with the 25th Bn (Battalion).

Alexander McKay is remembered on the Vimy Ridge Memorial. He is also remembered on two plaques at Knox United Owen Sound.

To get things done, I will set a goal for each day. I will watch what new projects I take on during the next few weeks. I will still make time for myself to enjoy each day.

Did our ancestors worry about productivity? Did they set goals?

© 2009 Janet Iles

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