Sunday, July 10, 2011

Good morning, again

I have returned, after a few weeks when I was so busy I hardly knew which way to turn.
The publisher's editor and I have now chosen all the photographs and maps, and placed them in the book.
Next came the captions.
For a few weeks I had lists of captions to write, one for each photograph or map in the book.
When I thought I had finished, the publisher's editor then email me with her edits, asking me to check that each caption said what we intended it to say.
For the next few days I got up every morning to a long list of things I had to do, and worked on it before I went to work.
When I came home at night I had another list of things to do.

When this was finished the next chore was ordering scans of all the important archival photos we have chosen to put in the book.
These photos are important because they show the landscape before modern day highways altered it beyond recognition.
In the meantime, the book is being "created" in Vancouver.
Spiral bound copies of the book, with low-resolution copies of the illustrations, are being sent out to other historians or writers for cover quotes.

On top of all this work that we (the publisher's editor and I) rushed through, I had a visit from an Anderson-Seton descendant I had often talked to, but never met.
He found time to come to Victoria for a few days, and we visited the 1867 map in the British Columbia archives, and tried to find the Anderson graves in Ross Bay cemetery.
James Robert Anderson is buried there with his wife, Maisie.
So, too, is Alexander, son of Alexander Caulfield Anderson.
Although we knew the Block Number of the grave-site, we couldn't find it!
In spite of the fact I have easily found the grave-site before, we needed the map on this occasion.

After that we followed the trail to his ancestor's house in Victoria, and pictures that he had in his collection of photos confirmed that this house was his g.grandfather's house.
Walter Birnie Anderson, a carpenter amongst other things, apparently built this house and lived in it for many years.
Picture James Robert Anderson and Walter Birnie Anderson -- both sons of Alexander Caulfield Anderson -- sitting in front of the fireplace in this old house in the early 1900's, and sharing stories of past memories.
These two men planned to write a book of "Indian stories," according to papers in James' manuscript collection.
They never did, and the book never materialized though James collected many Indian stories.

The next morning we were joined by another descendant of Alexander Caulfield Anderson, at Alexander Caulfield Anderson's grave-site at South Saanich cemetery.
We were joined by another fur trade descendant who is related to the Anderson family three ways -- two of her ancestors married Birnie girls, and she is also descended from Anderson's brother's father-in-law, Roderick McKenzie, who is not the cousin of Alexander Mackenzie.
We met at the gates of the cemetery, and together we viewed the large, beautiful, stone cross that stands on Alexander Caulfield Anderson's grave.
We also found Walter Birnie Anderson's grave, and heard stories about his daughter, Mary Seton, who died of cancer and is buried there.
My aunt is buried beside Mary Seton Anderson.
Born a few years before she was, Claire was brought home to die, my mother said, but Claire was three years old before she actually did.
We discovered that the South Saanich cemetery, which is threatened with closure, is celebrating its 150th anniversary in June, 2012.
They are searching for descendants of those buried there, to join in the celebrations.
So those of you who read this blog and are descendants of people connected with the South Saanich cemetery at St. Stephens' churchyard, take heed and contact the office to join the celebrations.

After lunch we all went to my sister's house to celebrate the occasion, and drank a little wine that had Alexander Caulfield Anderson's name on the label.
The wine is produced by the Okanagan wintery, Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery, and is called Council's Punch Bowl Sauvignon Blanc.
The label reads "This lake was discovered by Alexander Caulfield Anderson of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1846 while searching for a route to the interior from the coast."
We looked at the Anderson Family Bible which I own, and took pictures.
Then Scott took out his Walter Birnie Anderson collection, and showed me an image of Alexander Caulfield Anderson I have never before seen.
He showed me the box that his g.grandfather Walter Birnie Anderson had constructed, and I looked at it and found it very familiar.
My sister has owned an almost identical box for many years, and I showed it to him.
When my sister came home she told us she got it from our deceased Anderson aunt, and she gave it to the descendant of the man who had almost certainly carved it.

It was an interesting and inspiring few days, and now I have to get back to work.
Until I am forced to take time off to create the index, I have time to spare.
I have made promises I have to keep, and will now begin to fulfill them.

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