When you reflect back as a child, do you now see things that you did then, that show your interest in knowing extended family and/or your future interest in genealogy? -- This is the question posed by Randy Seaver
My paternal grandparents lived across the road up until we moved after I finished grade 2. After that, we were just across town - over on the other hill on the west side of town -- so we saw them regularly. Most of my first cousins and their parents lived very close to us. We did some family things together. We were often together at my grandparents at Christmas when we would go to visit them.
My maternal grandparents lived on Manitoulin Island. We visited them when I was little. That was an adventure. Using I think orange crates and boards? the back seat of the car would be converted to a bed. (no seat belts back then) We would get up early and still in our pajamas head up to Tobermory while it was still dark. We had to get to the ferry dock at least an hour before the 7 o'clock departure. Once at Tobermory, we would go to the public washrooms and get changed. My mother had a sister and a brother both living on the Island so even after my maternal grandparents died, we would visit them. We stayed at my aunt's place but we usually headed to my uncle's for a visit with his family. This would always include a visit to the barn at milking time.
There were a couple of family reunions when I was young. The Iles family reunion included a band concert. Thanks to a photograph I know there was a gathering on the Island of some of my mother's relations
I knew a few of my grand aunts and uncles. On my mother's side of the family, my grand aunt Margaret held a special place in our family. On my dad's side of the family, my grand aunt Lily was also a special person.
I enjoyed seeing my relatives but I don't recall any special interest in learning anything beyond my grandparents generation.
My real interest in genealogy began while I was working in the public library and started to catalogue the local history and genealogy collection. I joined the local genealogical society in 1989. I wish I had started earlier while my father was still alive.
So often now when I am researching I want to share what I have learned about the family with my parents. I want to ask them, "Did you know that?
© 2016Janet Iles