Publication:

The Amherst News - 2020-03-25

Data:

Peggy Feltmate’s new genealogy website

CUMBERLAND COUNTY

Diane Tibert Diane Lynn McGyver Tibert, author of Scattered Stones, is a freelance writer based in Central Nova Scotia. Visit her Roots to the Past blog (https://rootstothepast.wordpress.com) to learn more about her genealogy writing.

I “met” Peggy Feltmate more than 20 years ago on the now-defunct RootsWeb Mailing List. Her ancestors had settled in the same county as my father’s had: Guysborough. Her relatives were farther down the shore, but we had lots to share with links to databases, websites and new sources for information. That’s the way genealogy works. While ancestors may not live in the same location, some things are still the same, such as finding a database for Canadian veterans or digitized old newspapers. Recently, I stumbled upon a new website created by Peggy, one in which she shares her passion for art, music, travel and genealogy. The website bears her name (https://peggyfeltmate.com) and the large Genealogy and Social History button on the homepage directs visitors to that section. According to the About page, Peggy grew up in Muskoka. Her mother’s family, originally from England, settled in Northern Ontario in the early 1900s. Fred “The Bear Killer,” her father’s 3x great-grandfather, settled in the village of Whitehead on the Eastern Shore after the American Revolution in 1818. The Genealogy and Social History section is broken into two groups: articles and books. Currently, there are four articles: Father Jimmy, Billy Tom and the Antigonish Movement that tells the tale of spreading informal education to adults in surrounding communities; Overcoming Brick Walls, which gives examples on how to do this; Records of the Town of Wilmot (parts 1 and 2) that are two installments of records from the Quarter Sessions for Wilmot (Canso) 1828-1890. People from other communities are also found in the records, including Harbour Masters Charles Brodie and John Ehler of Crow Harbour and Michl Corcoran, George Carr and John Grant of Fox Island. The Books section gives an overview of six books, five of which Peggy has researched and written. They include ones focused on William Frederick Feltmate, Sydney Jasper Grover (includes appendix of Fenian Raid Volunteer Bounty Act applications for Sidney and Thomas Grover) and Thomas W. Duncan, whose parents originally settled in Shelburne County. “White Head (sic) Harbour” contains 217 pages of history on the village from 1600 to the 1980s. It is fully indexed with names, places, subjects and ships. Peggy states, “White Head’s exceptionally large and deep harbour has been the site of smuggling, British naval offensives, gales, ghosts, buried treasure, shipwrecks, and a top-secret World War II base.” The one book not written by Peggy was penned by her aunt Marion. She wrote “Our Year on Three-Top in the 1970s” which details her life with her family, who kept Three-Top Lighthouse in Whitehead Harbour, when she was 12 years old. All these books contain many images to help tell the story. The posts to Peggy’s blog are broken into the several topics. To date, there are two posts in the Genealogy section: Beyond the Internet, in which she shares stories of meeting important contacts who provided information not found online, and Early Female Doctors, in which she shares the history of the first female doctors in Canada: Dr. Minerva Reid, Dr. Hannah Reid and Dr. Jennie Smillie. Peggy’s website is brand new. In human years, it’s a newborn. I expect it to grow in the coming years and provide genealogists with a rich source of information.

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