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Frontiersman, Early Settlers & Manitoba Golf A few hours & an unbelievable Canadian Lineage

Julie Wingate from our Marketing Department in Toronto has a great family story to share.

Recently, she spent a few hours looking for relatives on Ancestry.ca. She knew her Grandparent’s names and their Parent’s names (Julie’s Great Grandparents) and within minutes she found census records. On the Canadian census records she found details about a second marriage for her Great Grandfather, dates and occupations and much more.

To make a long story short, Julie found out that she’s related to Alexander Hunter Murray of the Mackenzie River district. Murray established an outpost at Fort Yukon, in Russian Alaska. Murray was also an artist and he kept a daily journal of his activities (which has been published by the Public Archives of Canada) along with his sketches of the area and its people. Julie is also related to Chief Trader W. J. (Big Bear) McLean, of 1885 Rebellion fame and a number of other frontiersmen and frontier ladies.

Julie had no previous knowledge about genealogy, her family - past her Great Grandparents - and hadn’t heard stories of the wild, wild, west in her history and now she has detailed diaries, photographs and documents. Yet it took a few minutes and one document to get the information needed to start finding her family history.

If you’re from Manitoba and you like to golf, you can thank another one of Julie’s ancestors for being known as the person who brought golf to Manitoba. Samuel Bedson even has a street in Winnipeg named after him, Bedson Street.

After she had tried a new search for the new person’s names she saw a shaky leaf icon above Murray’s name. Clicking on the shaky leaf she found it contained hints of other unknown relatives researching her family and of other records that may be for Murray. The other family trees she found showed her family back to the 1600s as early settlers in New York.

In a few short hours Julie certainly discovered her story and her story helped shape Canada and who she is today. She’s currently researching more about her family – next thing you know she’ll be related to a Prime Minister!

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