Genealogy workshop in Parrsboro to offer a line up of experts

Published on August 6, 2013

PARRSBORO – Researchers and authors in the region will explore the successive waves of settlement in the region during a day-long workshop here this month.

The genealogy workshop on Aug. 24 at the Ottawa House Museum will also focus on effective research techniques.

The Parrsborough Shore Historical Society is hosting the workshop and have attracted numerous presenters.

A session titled ‘Mysteries and Muddles’ will look at those who have lived or traveled the Parrsboro shore, an area that was the ancestral home of the Mi’kmaq for thousands of years and French Acadians, who settled in the area in the early 1600s.

Noted authors Dr. Trudy Sable and Ruth Holmes Whitehead are among the experts recruited for the workshop. Dr. Sable, a St. Mary’s University anthropologist, was co-author with Mi’kmaw linguist Bernie Francis on The Language of this Land, Mi’kma’ki, and is currently researching Mi’kmaq place names. Holmes Whitehead, formerly staff ethnologist and assistant curator in history at the Nova Scotia Museum, authored The Old man Told Us: Excerpts from Mi’Kmaw History. Her most recent book, Black Loyalists, was released this spring.

Deborah Trask, whose book ‘Life How Short, Eternity How Long: Gravestone Carving and Carvers in Nova Scotia,’ provides over 140 illustrations relating to the Nova Scotia gravestone tradition, will speak on gravestones and the stories they tell.

Local historian Ed Gilbert has amassed a wealth of knowledge about the earliest families along the Parrsborough Shore, which he addressed in his book, ‘Early Parrsborough and its First Families.’

Other notable presenters for the workshop participants include Theresa Halfkenny and Elizabeth Cooke Sumbu from the Cumberland African Nova Scotian Association, which has an impressive array of artifacts on display at the Ottawa House for the summer. Pamela Wile, editor of The Nova Scotia Genealogist, has served on the executive of the Genealogy Association of Nova Scotia since 2007 and will be speaking about the ‘Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner’ and answer questions regarding the same.

Internet searches are often a huge puzzle for genealogists, and Lawrence Nicoll, whose research has resulted in a database of nearly 50,000 names, will address the wide array of complex Internet sources, and another session will explore computerized genealogy data programs.

The workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at a cost of $15, including lunch and refreshments. Space is limited, so early registration is recommended. Interested parties can contact, or call (902) 254-2376 or (902) 348-2504.