Marriage Mystery

One mystery that I have had for years is when and where were my Grandparents married. The wedding date of Gordon Elliott Rutledge and Gladys Marion Compton married seems to be lost to time.

I have a photo of what looks like my Grandmother in a wedding dress, I have a photo of my Grandparents celebrating a wedding anniversary. I have been told that she died shortly before her 40th wedding anniversary in 1963.

My Dad has said they were married in Toronto and a cousin said they found a paper that said they were married in November 1921. That would fit because I was also told she was not old enough to get married and had to have her parents permission — in 1921 she would have been 18 years old.

So, armed with that information, I ordered the 1921 Toronto Archives Marriage records — nothing.

Looking at the information, to have been almost at her 40th wedding Anniversary, she would have had to have been married in 1923 — she would have still been under age because she would have been just over 20 in Nov of 1923. BUT my Aunt, Verna Marion Rutledge was born in November 1923.

Well, it looks like I will have to head back to the library here in BC and order the Toronto Archives and I think as it is only $0.50 for each microfilm reel I think I will order 1919, 1920, 1922 & 1923 to the list.

Hopefully soon, I will update with their wedding date.

Oh, the excitement . . . .

Yesterday, while on a coffee break at the end of a boring work day I was cruising around ancestry just looking.

And I found a photo of my GG-Uncle Walter Frederick Dicks who died in WWI.

I am just waiting for permission to use the photo before I post it. But you can read about him at

Walter Frederick Dicks

I have to double check but I think now I have about 5 photos of the Dicks family members. But sadly I haven’t yet been about to find any pictures of my Great-Great or Great Grandmothers – did women not get their pictures taken back then?

But one day, I hope to find a picture, someone will one day post one or see my requests for one. Fingers crossed.

Vandals at Cemeteries . . .

are about the lowest of people. While most people have the respect that cemeteries deserve, there are others that think it is the perfect place to party, drink, take their “johns” to and it is fun to destroy the monuments there.

Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver, BC is one that has had a lot of problems with vandals lately, and yesterday, I was talking with one of the workers and the thing he told me make me more pissed at the people living around the cemetery than the vandals. There was problems there about 8 weeks ago and no one called the police; then again 2 weeks, more problems. And again no one called the police. And one person who looks right over the section that was trashed is a block watch captain. She said she thought someone else would call. Stupid people!!

I think what hurts my heart the most is when people destroy the memorials but take parts with them.

In 2009, I took a photo of this memorial of a little girl —

and now thanks to some lowlifes, she looks like this:

And according to the cemetery worker I was talking to, they not only broke off the head and hands, they took them as well as they have never been found.

I know that you are suppose to forgive people but I really hope that whoever did that is haunted by this little girl.

But the headstone is dirty

Ok, so you have made the decision that you want to photograph headstones and you head to the cemetery but the headstones you are looking for have moss, grass clippings and birdie droppings on it. Is the person that requested them going to want to see that?

What do you do? How do you clean it? Do I throw out the dead flowers? Old toys?

You should only use a soft bristle brush and water only!!!

Brush off the leaves; spray with water to remove any droppings; move but don’t get rid of anything on the headstone. Take a clear as possible photo as you can.

You have to remember that if you are not a professional, you should not try to clean it with anything other than water. You don’t own these stones.

I have taken photos of distant family and the headstones look terrible, but I don’t own them or a close enough relative to have them cleaned.

This is an example of one that is faded and not very clear, but a photo of how it looks is better than nothing at all.

Herbert Charles Beach

I have let cemeteries know if a headstone has been broken or is sinking or in one case, someone had written rather rude comments on it.

If a headstone has fallen over — never try to upright it yourself. If you don’t do it properly then you risk hurting yourself, causing damage to the stone or if you don’t set it upright correctly, someone else can get hurt.

So the main thing is to remember is a soft rush and water only!!!

Enjoy the walk, the hunt for headstones and do no harm!!

I am a Tadophile!!!!

sounds like something really kinky, doesn’t it? But it’s not. The true definition is:

One who practices taphophilia. Someone who is interested in funerals, gravestone art, epitaphs, cemeteries. Known to play a part in Goth subculture, although interest in one does not mean interest in both.

And we can be called gravers as well.

I have always loved cemeteries – the art, the peacefulness and the variety of monuments. But it wasn’t til I found a site called that I learned that there was a way of not only fulfilling my love of cemeteries and help people find the final resting place of their loved ones. And I could get the help to find my family as well.

And graving can have its excitement as well.

Yesterday, while my brother-in-law was teaching my daughter how to park, my sister and I went to Whonnock Cemetery in Maple Ridge, BC. Now this is a very old cemetery at the end of a road surrounded by a forest and it next to an old Native Burial Grounds.

We were there for about 90 minutes or so before we had to leave. We are standing by the car when we see this silver car racing up the road. We wondered were they could be going because about 20 feet behind us it is a dead-end with a locked gate that leads to the Burial Ground.

We quickly got in the car, locked the doors. My sister is looking behind in the rear view mirror and she says they pulled in right behind us and went directly into the cemetery. We left.

We figure that someone (probably the weird hippy house across the street) called up the Local Reserve and they sent 2 people to make sure we weren’t trying to get into the Burial Grounds or were damaging the cemetery in any way.

I am just glad I had not gone there myself.

Research – some things not to do and some to do

Ok, first off – one of my major pet peeves is the commercials for a certain Genealogy website that tells you to “Just click on the flashing leaf” and get started –BUT it doesn’t say make sure that the person we are giving a hint for is the right person for your family tree. I have gotten good hints, but I have also gotten hints that were so far off (a person that never left Sweden supposedly died in Ohio??)


The best way to start is start with family. Talk to the elder members of the family; talk to cousins; get birthdates; death dates; where they were born & where they died. Was someone in the War?

Once you have all the little tidbits, pick one branch of your tree and work on it.

You can get information from newspapers, Death Indexes, cemeteries and searching on the web.

One of the most important things to do is to make sure you write down or bookmark or somehow record the source of your information. Because as sure as anything, at some point someone is going to question your results and you want to be able to back up your information.

An example of such, is my GG-Grandmother, Caroline Margery Beach.

I had the paper from my Grandfather, that said she was the daughter of John Beach, one of the founders of Beachburg, Ontario. I contact someone who had a very large Beach Family Tree on the web, but didn’t list her. When I told him about my information, his comment back to me was “Anyone can say they are part of the family, but without documents (birth, marriage or death records) I don’t believe it.”

Well, I wanted to prove it and I did. I got a copy of her marriage records which states who her parents are and where she was born (Beachburg, Ontario). I also got a copy of her death record that names her parents, where and when she was born. When I sent copies of these to him, he believed me then.

So, the best things to do:

  • Talk to family
  • Write everything down – with sources
  • Remember, just because someone says one thing, it might not be right
  • Check and double check your work
  • But most of all, have fun with your research.
  • And nothing is better then when your research brings you in touch with family that you knew nothing about. Through my research I have found family in all parts of Canada, England, France, Sweden, Finland, Australia and the USA.

    My little family tree is world wide and a joy to find.

    Ok, change of Post

    I was going to post about research, but this is just too good. It is sort of a Genealogy/findagrave post.

    As some people know, I love walking in Cemeteries as much as I love genealogy. I belong to a site called

    It is a grave registration site where you can list the final loction of family, friends, pets, etc. You do not build your family tree there. You don’t need to know the person to list them.

    A few years ago, I noticed that a half-cousin 2x removed was listed in his burial location in England. He had sadly died in WWII. I had posted a picture of him and had him linked to his parents.

    So, on Friday, on my message board with my name on findagrave, I got the following:

    Hi Susan,

    I believe you may be able to help me. I am looking for any next of kin to Samuel Walter Slingsby or Viola Slingsby.

    My name is Brian Hall, I work with the City of Toronto and we would like to name a new residential lane to honour Samuel Walter Slingsby of the Royal Canadian Engineers, who was killed in action during WWII on February 7, 1943. According to the Toronto Telegram, he lived on Connaught Avenue, Newtonbrook, (North York district of Toronto) leaving behind his wife Mrs. Viola Slingsby. I just noticed on this website he had 6 children.

    I saw your name and your connection to Samuel Walter Slingsby or Viola Slingsby. Is there anyone in your family that could e-mail us permission to name this new residential “Slingsby Lane”. I can give you more details if I receive a response.

    I also tried to e-mail Brittany Sim through another website, but not sure if she will receive the message.

    Thank you.

    Brian Hall
    City of Toronto
    Survey and Utility Mapping

    So, I emailed his Great-Niece, who emailed his Great-Granddaughter in England, who got in touch with his daughter. And so it looks like sometime in the Fall, Slingsby Lane will happen in Toronto. The really cool thing, it all arrived on the daughter’s 84th birthday. Her father died when she was very little.

    So, thanks to findagrave and genealogy, a street will be named after a man who made to ultimate sacrifice.

    Sapper Samuel Walter Slingsby

    I love a good family story.

    The Genealogy Bug

    I can’t really remember when I really got the genealogy bug but I have always wondered about the past.

    I am a 2nd Generation Canadian on my Maternal side with my Grandfather being from Sweden and my Grandma from Finland (but she was a Swede-Fin which I will talk about later.)

    I am 2nd/3rd/4th Generation on my Paternal side. My Grandmother came to Canada from England. My Grandfather was born in Canada but his parents were 1st Generation Canadians from Northern Ireland and England.

    So, was I more Swedish-Finnish or English-Irish? The only way that I would truly learn was to learn about them and their mannerisms; their likes and dislikes; did I look anyone or a combination?
    I had a 3 pages document from my Dad that his Dad had about the Family Tree and where people came from. It is from there I learned about the Great Great Grandfather was a Member of the Ottawa Police Department; that there were Family Members that fought in the Wars and died and much more.

    I started with a free family tree program but while I had lots on my Father’s side, I had little or almost nothing on my Mother’s side. I asked about them, my Mother knew nothing.

    And as people that know me, when I want to find out something, I will find it. So, my search for the history of my Swedish & Finnish side began.

    And that opened a floodgate of family, history and was the major beginning of my Genealogy.

    Next post – – how research can help you find family . . .

    Welcome to my new


    Here I will be writing stories or post about the things I love – mainly genealogy & cemeteries. Along with stories about the various headstones that I take and that have a special story behind it.

    Watch for the story of how I got the Genealogy Bug