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Argyle Township Court House & Archives

I might seem very surprising, that during all my years of researching my family tree, that I have never been to physical place of research. All my research so far has been done online, due to the fact that all my ancestors originated in Friesland, a province in the Netherlands. I have spent hundreds of hours in their online Archives – AlleFriezen finding as much information about my family as I could, even getting to see original birth, marriage and death entries in the archives. So, this was a first – a field trip into vault full of original papers and books. We were on a long weekend trip in the Yarmouth area of Nova Scotia, Canada when we came upon the Argyle Township Court House & Archives, which is located right next to the oldest courthouse in Canada.

The Argyle Township Court House & Gaol is Canada’s oldest standing courthouse, built in the village of Tusket, Nova Scotia in 1805. It operated as a working courthouse and jail from 1805 until 1944. The building served as the Municipal Offices for the Municipality of Argyle from 1945 until 1976

The Methodist Church, constructed in 1877, is now the home of the Argyle Township Archives, located right next to the court house.
The Argyle Township Court House Archives (ATCHA) has become a major centre for genealogical research. The archive has built a substantial collection of genealogical resource material to service the growing demand by the public. Our holdings include all available census records for all counties in Nova Scotia, as well as Nova Scotia Birth Records (1864-1877), Death Records (1864-1877) and Marriage Records (1864-circa 1910) for the entire province, and much more.
ATCHA has the largest collection of microfilm in this part of Nova Scotia. There is usually a qualified genealogist on hand to assist researchers.
Even though it was almost closing time, the staff went out of their way to show us around. When asked if we wanted to go and have a look in the vault, there was no moment’s hesitation on our part.
It was thrilling to see the actual books, registries and boxes full of documents all housed in this climate controlled vault, to preserve the past for the future.
My only regret was, that I did not have a name to research at that moment.

               Argyle Township Archives

Social Media and My Family Tree

This is a picture that was taken at my grandparent’ 45th wedding anniversary in 1976. My grandparents had 11 children, 55 grandchildren and by last count 148 great-grandchildren. When this picture was taken, we lived in Germany and a few years later moved with our family to Canada. It was a large celebration. That was probably the last time I have seen many of my aunts, uncles and cousins. They have spread across the globe, from the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, USA, China, …….
Through the presence of Facebook I have connected with many of them, and a special group was created with all the cousins. It is great! People share stories of their parents; aunts and uncles, that are still alive have appeared on social media to be part of the group. Pictures are shared, pictures of my father I had never seen before.
Now there is a planned reunion in June. I am excited to travel back to Friesland (Netherlands) and reconnect with family.

My Van Der Zwaag great-grandparents

Graftombe NL

As a family history and genealogy enthusiast, I have limited resources. Most my family and my husbands family immigrated to Canada in the 1970’s and made a new home in Canada. Thanks to great online resources I am able to research my large family tree, and even find pictures sometimes. If I were to visit Holland, I would like to visit some of the cemeteries, but I am afraid a 2 week vacation would not be enough time, and would probably be spent with the living.
Years ago I found Graftombe, an online resource for cemeteries in the Netherlands. It has lots of information, as well you can request images of gravestones, and they will send them via e-mail, for free – it is in Dutch, did not find an English button.
Yesterday I added these requests in “my basket” and this morning I received these images (gravemarkers of my grandparents, and the gravemarker of my great-great-grandmother Antje van der Woud )

Graftombe NL

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