I thought about inviting everyone in Ontario to our home during the week-end of September 24 to 25, 2010. Then it suddenly hit me that our three and a half room apartment might be crowded even if we had a small uptake to our offer.
So, during Culture Days we are inviting virtual visits to our place - a time for all those thousands of people out there whose ancestors lived in Blyth, passed through Blyth, thought about living in Blyth, or wished they could live in Blyth to call us, write us a letter, or send us an email, asking us anything about Blyth that they always wanted to know.
Jan and I were both born and raised in Blyth, and Jan's family came to this area when it was just beginning to be settled. My parents came here in the early 1930s. Thus we have many connections with Blyth families and our memories are reasonably good. But more important than that we have resources that astound most of our visitors. We also have trouble believing the extent of our collection. Quite a few visitors have exclaimed that "you have more information about my family than I have".
It's an innocent little hobby that got completely out-of-hand. We are always months behind in our filing and indexing new information that keeps rolling in. The satisfaction we get from being able to provide family researchers with great leads, copies of documents, actual contemporary newspaper clippings, and interesting anecdotes about great uncles and grgr grandmothers, makes it all worthwhile.
We don't know whether we will get any takers in September or whether we will be swamped with calls for three solid days. At least we have this opportunity to spread the word about this collection of history that is of absolutely no interest to most Canadians, but it is of huge interest to a surprising number of very special people with Blyth connmections.