Family History

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A while back, I interviewed my cousin Herb, who is an honest-to-goodness dairy farmer. His answers were not exactly on the long side, so I wondered if there was enough material for a blog entry. I wondered if I should bother him with another email to get more info from him, then I decided I could combine the history of his farm with his interview.

I set about doing some research about my dad's mom's father, who was the original owner of the farm, and the original Herbert. He was the current Herb's grandfather, making the current Herb my second cousin.

My research consisted of asking my dad and his brother, the keeper of the family history, for some information about the farm and the family. Between the two of them, I got some information, some of it corroborating, and some of it conflicting. Here's what I learned.

My great-grandfather, Herbert, was born in England in May 1879. At some point, he was sent to the Marchmont Home, but it is unclear if it was because he was orphaned or because of extreme poverty. He may have lived with a minister and his family north of London for a while after that, before sailing to Canada in the spring of 1894, at the age of 14. This is where the story gets a bit fuzzy. He settled in this area, possibly working for the Hanlan family. There was a story of working so hard that he went to bed in his work clothes, and also a story about working on a paving crew and making a lot of money. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but Herbert did manage to buy a 100 acre farm in the area. He sold it in 1920, at which point he purchased the current family farm. This is the farm Herb farms now, which was farmed by his father (Lloyd) and his grandfather (Herbert) for many years.
I asked the current Herb about living on the farm.

What is your favourite part about being a farmer?
My favourite part about being a farmer is that I have a huge variety of work (not to mention a huge amount as well). I enjoy the showing, judging, field work etc.

What hobbies do you have?
The only hobby I have now is Broomball in the winter. I still play (but only once a week now and tournaments on the odd weekend).

What change do you most want to make on the farm?
I'd like to make more money!!!!!

What is your greatest wish?
To continue to be healthy.


Christine September 17, 2008 at 6:20 PM  

Great blog post, I've been wanting to do this too. As questions about my family and record them in scrapbook pages!

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