Shout-out

I went down to Glad Day book store tonight: we had a bit of a launch party to celebrate that we’ve officially started the Kickstarter campaign for the Shout Out anthology.

Our publisher, Steven Andrews, has done an amazing job on the Kickstarter planning as well as organizing the graphics, rewards, and video script. He’s hired a very good video editor: the video looks really nice. And he showed up at the launch party with some preview samples. (They even say “Special Preview” on the cover!).

The response to the Kickstarter has been amazing. As I’m writing this, we’re thisclose a third-of-the-way funded on day one.

Requiem for Google+

So Google+ is about the kick the bucket. I never loved Google+ (I remember the days of the bad press that the “real names” policy generated), but I hate hate hate Facebook, and it was the most successful competitor to Facebook. I’d actually been using it a lot more, recently, as there are a non-trivial number of art- and RPG-related communities on Google+, and I’m sad to lose those.

Chatter on one group suggests that some folks are headed to MeWe — yet another social media site that no one I know uses. But I’ve signed up to see if it turns in to anything. At least they have a mobile app.

Who?

It’s so refreshing to see a well-written Doctor Who episode. It’s been years.

Now if they have more than one well-written episode in a row it’ll be a freakin’ miracle.

The Strattons

I continue to enjoy filling in some of the gaps in F.M. Emerson Holmes’ genealogy of the Holmes family. Recently, I’ve dug a bit deeper into the Stratton family.

Margaret Holmes was the second child of Andrew and Susannah Holmes and she travelled to Canada with her husband, a man named Stratton. F.M. Emerson’s genealogy for the Stratton family is threadbare in a lot of place. He knew very little about Margaret’s husband (only that his last name was Stratton) but he did have a pretty good picture of the eldest Stratton child, Mary Ann. The other two children, Joseph and Elizabeth were pretty sparse on details.

It was pretty easy to determine that Margaret’s husband was named John Stratton; they appear in several of the Lambton County censuses, living in Oil Springs. They disappeared after the 1881 census, but a few weeks ago, I found a record of a Margaret and John Stratten (note the ‘e’) buried in the cemetery in Strathroy, Lambton County. According to the cemetery transcription website that I found this data on, they died within a few months of each other in 1883. There’s no photo of the headstone, so I’m not sure if the transcriber spelled the last name incorrectly, or if the headstone is incorrect. (It’s also possible that this headstone is a completely different family). It’s also true that the Strathroy cemetery hasn’t been fully transcribed on other cemetery transcription websites, so I haven’t been able to cross-reference.

Strathroy is a bit of a hike from Oil Springs, but not unreasonably so. It’s also worth nothing that, at the time of their deaths, their eldest daughter, Mary Ann, appears to have been living in London, Ontario, which is closer to Strathroy than to Oil Springs. That might have something to do with the decision to bury the parents in Strathroy.

Elizabeth Stratton’s details were pretty easy to track down on Ancestry. Elizabeth Stratton married Samuel Wright, and they also went off to live in London. There are, in fact, a few extra children that F.M. Emerson didn’t know about: Margaret, Andrew and Fanny. Andrew and Fanny appear to have died young. Margaret disappears; perhaps she also dies young.

For a long time, I hadn’t been able to make any headway on Joseph Stratton. F.M. Emerson’s birthdate for Joseph (circa 1844) looks like a guess to me. Mary Ann was born in 1842, so I think he guessed the the next two kids arrived every other year. I can find the family in the 1861 and 1871 censuses, and Joseph’s birthdate looks like it should be closer to 1852 or 1853.

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Good Golly, Miss Molly Maguire

I’ve made my first real progress with the Irish roots of my Holmes ancestors. It’s not much progress, mind you, but it’s not nothing.

I’m pretty much resigned to the fact that the Holmes family will be a perpetual brick wall (a term that genealogists use to describe families that one can find no further data about, thus acting as a barrier to any further knowledge about ancestors). To some extent, this isn’t shocking: pursuing Irish genealogy frequently stumbles on the problem of the destroyed records. In 1922, the Public Records Office burned in a civil war battle, and most of the censuses (and many other records) were lost. I’ve seen a number of Irish genealogy presenters talk, encouragingly, about how it’s wrong to think that all records have been destroyed. Ireland had plenty of records, still, and you shouldn’t write off the possibility that there are some records to be found. But it’s increasingly looking like the records for my Holmes ancestors have not survived.

I’ve certainly had no luck with any of the searches I’ve tried in various online databases. But I decided to hire a professional genealogist to see if anything could be discovered. Several days ago, I received their report. And while they have also failed to find any definitive records, they did uncover some clues that might tell us a thing or two. But it’s in the realm of speculation, rather than “clear record.”
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Don’t Do That To Me

Oh, my Draomi-loving heart.

Thought for the Day

Legion is probably too enamored of its weirdness to tell as rich and emotionally complicated of a story as it wants to.

“How Legion’s season 2 finale exposed the emptiness at the show’s core”, Vox

Election Thing

I opened my door to accept some food delivery and discovered that a PC flyer was hanging from my doorknob. I have no idea when the PCs came by, and I don’t remember hearing any knocks at the door. But it wasn’t there the last time I opened the door, but it’s there now.

I’m not going to vote for the PCs, for three reasons:

  1. First, and most obviously, because Doug Ford is human garbage monster, and will bring shame on the province;
  2. second, the PC platform (if such a thing can be said to exist) is pretty far from my own political bent, especially when we have candidates talking about debating whether or not the Holocaust happened or rolling back abortion rights; and
  3. thirdly, the PC candidate has no chance of winning my riding — one that’s been NDP or Liberal for 20 years (although strictly speaking, my riding is only a few years old, it was spun out of Trinity-Spadina with a bit of Toronto Centre thrown in).

Currently, my riding’s MPP is Liberal Han Dong who displaced our long-standing NDP MPP Rosario Marchese in the last election. I don’t feel like I’ve really seen much community engagement from Mr. Dong, so that’s a bit disappointing. This year, the NDP is running a white guy named Chris Glover, who I don’t know and haven’t met. He’s not my ideal candidate, both because I wish the NDP had found a person of colour to run in the riding, and because I feel like all of his experience is outside of our riding. But otherwise, his bona fides seem solid.

I am a bit critical of Han Dong, although my criticisms would probably be the same with any Liberal backbencher. He’s part of the majority party, and I therefore expect him to represent our riding in important provincial issues. For me, the most important work I wanted him to be vocal about is pressuring Bombardier about meeting its delivery commitments to the TTC. The Liberals were happy to hand Bombardier tons of bail-out money, and Wynne kept going on about how important Bombardier was to the Ontario economy. But as my MPP, I expected Han Dong to agitate for Toronto and Spadina-Fort York and ensure that we’re getting our streetcars in a timely fashion. I’ve seen no work on this front.

I also have other, more general criticisms of the Liberals. Part of me wants to like Kathleen Wynne, as she’s our first openly lesbian Premier. Liberal policies are generally too right-wing for me, so I wasn’t likely to vote for her party, but I thought that the representation mattered. I also agree that a lot of the hatred toward Wynne was nasty in a way that reeked of sexism and homophobia. I think that this especially comes through in criticism of the Ontario sex education changes. Most of that criticism just seems to be a form of “how dare you tell the children that gay people exist!” and I… well… I just have no sympathy for that point of view.
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Two Viola Duet

Are these two Violas the same Viola?

There’s a distant bunch of Bantam relatives who went off to live in Kansas. It starts with the family of John Sylvester Bantam, who moved from the Bantam homestead in Port Rowan, Ontario to Norton County, Kansas. John has a son Gilbert (“Gilley”) and Gilley has a son, Harold John Bantam, born 21 Apr 1907. According to Don’s notes, Harold married a woman named Viola. Don doesn’t know Viola’s maiden name.

(I’ve just reviewed his notes, now, and noticed something that I had recorded incorrectly: I had Harold listed as the father of Viola’s two children, Jerome and Carolyn, but Don is clear that the two children were from an earlier marriage).

So I went spelunking on Ancestry to find out more information about Viola. The suggested hints that I’ve found aren’t entirely clear on the topic, but there are two dominant stories. The first is that, according to some sources, Viola’s name is Viola C. Lamb. The primary sources for this are some other folks’ Ancestry records, and a reference to a headstone-recording website. That website is telling me that Viola’s name was Lamb (but that doesn’t appear to be data on the actual headstone). I’m guessing that the other Ancestry users picked up that name from that website. Many of these websites are transcribed and maintained by genealogy societies, and they may bring other sources to bear to flesh out the data, but it’s not clear where the name “Lamb” originates. Her headstone says that she was born on 16 Sep, 1910. Her headstone is shared with Harold, so this is clearly “my” Viola.
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Killable Bodies in SFF

Bad things happened! Some details: