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www.past-presence.com
Lit Happens with host Danica Lorer and guest Linda Yip, Feb 2019

Hi there, and welcome to my site. I’m obsessed by genealogy. I love connecting people’s families together. Along the way, I’ve learned little known facts about a wide variety of topics – history, law, politics, geography, religion, culture, sociology, and much more – and have collected resources along the way.

My favourite research interest is the history of the Chinese in Canada, from roughly 1880 to 1967. After that, it’s a toss up between Asian-Canadian genealogy, genealogy research in Saskatchewan (a whole new world to discover), and keeping a mass of data organized (with Evernote).

Since 2017, I’ve done research on an ever-growing list of immigrants to Canada:

  • Icelanders in Manitoba
  • French settlers with deep roots in Québec
  • French émigrés from France
  • Métis families with Hudson’s Bay connections
  • Dutch families from Rotterdam, Alkmaar and Zaandam
  • Mennonite, Métis, Irish and Scottish families in Saskatchewan
  • Force 136 and Chinese Canadians in WWII
  • Japanese Canadians and the internment period

Why did I build this site?

In March, 2017, it occured to me that a website would be the perfect place to store all the links I’d found, as a kind of online genealogical resource library for my own work. I’d hoped also to share my knowledge, but frankly didn’t expect more than a handful of visitors.

What’s available for you here?

I like free things.

There’s no end to the ways you can spend money in genealogy, so I like to collect useful, free, content-rich or unique sites, and have them in one place. As well, I like knowing why I should go to a site before I go, because research time is precious. That’s why all my links have an explanation of what you’ll find at the link.

There are two main Resource sections: one for Asian genealogy, the other for general genealogy (the latter organized geographically).

Amazing things happen when you create something really, really niche

Incredible things have happened for me as a result of this site. I have met the most amazing, generous, knowledgeable and talented people around the world. Here’s a growing list of highlights:

  • Driven by my need to know, I broke all the blogging rules to write a 6000 word, 3 part essay on the history of the Chinese Immigration Act and the Dominion Elections Act, and how it affected Chinese Canadians, and then,
    • CBC Radio invited me to come talk about it, and then
    • Professor Kwong at Indiana University invited me to talk to her classes about it.
  • Ran a free genealogy contest online, and then
    • Learned a lot about a wide range of families with SK roots,
    • did a ton of research to eventually winnow down the list to 3 candidates, then
    • chose the winner and did her family, and then
    • published the results in my first ever article “Genealogy: a Detective Story” in Prairies North Magazine, Winter 2018.
  • Leaped at the opportunity to talk about genealogy, storytelling and literature on TV’s Lit Happens with host Danica Lorer in Feb 2019
  • Was invited to join the Ancestry Board of Canadian Genealogists (Nov 2019)
  • Went to Sze Yup, China to visit my ancestral roots (Oct 2019) with the Heritage of Cantonese Migration Tour
  • Attended my first Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy course on Chinese Ancestry (Jan 2020)

Interested in some research?

Have a look at what people are saying about me here.

So thanks for visiting, and please feel free to use the comment section to ask questions. Who knows? Together, we might hold two pieces of the same puzzle.

Accessibility

Thanks to everyone who commented on this site’s format, suggesting the type could be improved for greater legibility. It took a bit of backend work, but the fonts are now much more user-friendly – darker AND larger – and easier to read.

GDPR

Do please see my privacy page at the link below, which is written as clearly as possible and lets you know what information this site collects, what is done with it, what you can do about it, and other super fun topics.