An Ancestor is defined as “a person, typically one more remote than a grandparent, from whom one is descended.” Each of us has our own, unique set of ancestors. As genealogists we spend most of our time in looking for our own ancestors. It is interesting sometimes to look at past families from the point of view of other people. In particular I have looked at the ancestors of my grandchildren and found some very interesting things. There is still much work to do, though, in order to give them as detailed a history as I have for myself. I am hoping they might take up the challenge one day and become family historians themselves.
Two of my grandsons have a famous great-grandfather. Quite a lot can be found about him on a Google search. Alexander Malcolm Manson was a Supreme Court Judge for the Province of British Columbia for over 25 years. Prior to that, he served in the B.C. Legislature, representing the district of Omineca in Prince George from 1916 to 1937. He served in the government as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in 1921 and, from 1922 to 1928, he was both Attorney General and Minister of Labour. He served as Grand master of the Grand Lodge (Freemasons) in the mid-1920s.
Alexander Malcolm Manson (1883-1964) (photo from family files)
In thinking about this man, I was reminded of a valuable website that I have used in the past to find records of my own grandparents: the Royal BC Museum. They have searchable indexes for “births (1854-1903), marriages (1872-1938), deaths (1872-1993), colonial marriages (1859-1872) and baptisms (1836-1888).” I found actual images of the marriage and death records for both Alexander Manson and his wife, Stella Beckwith, on their site. The museum website has all of the collections of the British Columbia Archives and is the place to go to search for information on past residents of the province.
Wayne Shepheard is a volunteer with the Online Parish Clerk program, handling four parishes in Devon, England. He has published a number of articles about various aspects of genealogy and is a past Editor of Chinook, the quarterly journal of the Alberta Family Histories Society. Wayne also provides genealogical consulting services through his business, Family History Facilitated.