A couple times now I’ve been tasked with creating a family tree for family reunions. Finally I decided to invest in some software and merge all the information I had or could find easily into one big family tree. The software I bought was Reunion 9 which is expensive and Mac-only. However I did some research and the people who cared the most about genealogy and family trees and Macs, all recommended using Reunion.
It takes some time to type everything in. I was lucky in that I’d twice typed up family trees before and I had access to another family tree that I could reference. I still need to talk to both my grandmother’s some more, but their memory isn’t what it once was and some of the oldest ancestors we know of, very few people left alive met them or even their children.
I’ve gotten most of the information I can from the Canadian and British Columbian government. Census data for Vancouver Island is available online and I consulted it and other online sources. However I can trace back to the old country three of four branches and that’s where I now need help. Today I wrote three requests, only two of which seem to have been successfully posted to the Genealogy.com GenForum. I haven’t joined Ancestry.ca let alone started paying them monthly to access all their data. Their company is American and American focused. It was started by Mormons who apparently are big on family trees.
Below are the three ancestors I’m trying to learn more about. They were born in Scotland, Ireland, and England respectively. I’m also going to have to get more information on the Dougan side of my family and my mom’s father’s side. The pretty picture was produced with Reunion 9.
I showed my nan the work I’d put into Reunion 9, she gave me another handwritten family tree of my grandfather’s (her husband’s) side of the family. She also had a book from England entitled “Northumberland Families Volume One” which has several Muschamp family trees, which include several Emerson Muschamps. None of whom seem to correspond perfectly to the facts I’d collected about my ancestor primarily from census data and “The Friendly Port”.
The Muschamp name has a lengthy history but finding a living Muschamp is something of a challenge. Some of my Canadian relatives years ago went back to England to look up distant relatives but I don’t have much information on Emerson Muschamp or Muschamps in England.
Emerson Muscahmp died in Union Bay British Columbia Canada, he emigrated in 1844. He was 38 years old in the 1901 census. He preempted land from the government on March 24, 1887. He later sold this land to the coal tycoon James Dunsmuir for $500. He acquired another 160 acre parcel further South two years later where the family farm was built.
He volunteered for the Canadian Expeditionary Forces at the start of WW1 at the age of 50. He did not fight in the trenches but served as a clerk, one of many occupations he held in peace time.
His wife’s name was Alice. Her maiden name was Curran. They had three children Mary Elizabeth, Herb, and Annie. Mary Elizabeth was my great-grandmother, she was born in Union Bay BC as were all Emerson Muschamp’s children.
Any information on Emerson Muschamp or Muschamps in general would be appreciated. There is no Muschamp surname forum. ;-)
Andrew McKay 1866-1941
I invested in Reunion 9 and have been working on my personal family tree. One of my oldest known ancestors is an Andrew McKay born in Scotland in 1866. He married Janet Black, they had four kids: Donald, Angus, Ethel, and Janet (Jenny).
Donald was born in Scotland on March 9th, 1891, he married Daisy Rice my great grandmother. Donald died in 1952.
I’m trying to find out more about my ancestors in Scotland. I have completed the family tree (mostly) once my ancestors started living in Canada, any help would be appreciated.
Robert McKay 1829-1892
I recently bought Reunion 9 and am working on my family tree. One of my oldest ancestors is a Robert McKay born in Ireland on March 1st, 1829. He married a Mary Ann whose maiden name may have been Downey. She was born on August 24, 1834 also in Ireland.
They had seven children: Andrew Tweed, Robert, Hugh D., John, James Downey, Catherine, and Alexander.
Andrew Tweed McKay was my ancestor, he was a mate on the sailing ship “Two Brothers” which transported coal between Tacoma and San Francisco. He was born on Feb. 21st 1864 in Belfast, he died January 14th, 1915 in Union Bay British Columbia. He married Ellen McCartney also born in Belfast on Sept. 14th 1869.
They had eleven kids, one of which was my great grandfather. I have a pretty complete family tree from then on as everyone was born in Canada. I don’t have much more information about my ancestors from Ireland.
It’s been family legend that on the Muschamp side we can trace our ancestry back to the time of William the Conqueror or at least the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The book that has this information is “Northumberland Families Volume One”. It isn’t 100% accurate, even the author admits he would like a few more documents and facts. What is true is that in 1212 a Robert de Muscamp (note spellings weren’t standardized back in the day, not all nobleman even had last names, de means ‘of’ in French) was listed as in the service of Henry I and held the Barony of Wooler.
In a total non-shocker to me, his male line dies out, but the Muschamp name is kept alive through his daughter’s children. Once again the main line or at least those eligible to be Baron of Wooler die out. However one of the Barons of Wooler had a child who became the Lord of Barmoor. This leads to another family tree which appears to become muddled. Lands are lost or divided, positions of importance are less frequent and less prestigious and eventually there appears to be a gap of about 100 years. One of my ancestors did sit as an Member of Parliament for Northumberland in 1294.
In the olden days there wasn’t as many first names nor many accurate records. Even the records I’ve accessed from 100 years ago seem to be lacking or incomplete, so it isn’t surprised that building a family tree going back almost a 1000 years has issues to overcome. The main source for these lengthy trees are other family trees, money owed to the crown, land deeds, and legal disputes. I found an ancestor who was bewitched complete with trial and witch who was outed and possibly burnt. I also found a lot of disputes with Scotland with my ancestors often choosing differing sides.
The key ancient ancestor that I need to research further is William Muscamp of Barmoor who died July 1479. Presumably there is a death record or a tombstone with that information as an entire family tree then descends from him and his unknown spouse. Going down the tree there are many Emerson Muschamps. However there is only one Emerson Muschamp who is of Vancouver BC. However with no birth date or even place of birth, how do you find the right Emerson, well I found his death record which seems to conflict slightly with the Vancouver Island census of 1901 and even seems to contain a mathematical error, what it does have is a birth place and an age at death. This slots in with a family tree published in “Northumberland Families Volume One”.
What does this make me, besides unemployed? Nothing as far as I can tell, titles and land passed to other families that married into the Muschamps 100s of years ago. The Scottish McKay’s still have some peerage but no ancestral lands in Scotland having lost them to the Earls of Sutherland. They did however live in the same part of what is now Northern Scotland for a very, very long time, even before the Battle of Hastings as McKays show up in even earlier battles and written histories. If I can do some more work I’ll be able to trance my ancestry back to Pictish kings or perhaps Woden. It would be good to be descended from a god.
On yet another genealogy website, this one called Geni.com are several Muschamp family trees including one going back to Robert de Muschamp who is at the top of the oldest Muschamp family tree in “Northumberland Families Volume One”. I’ve contacted or attempted to contact one of the authors and a few others who have written about the Muschamp family online, presumably since I did my previous family trees circa 2004.