1. When did you first start working on your family history?

I became interested in genealogy while helping my husband write a book about his family for his mother’s 90th birthday. So I actually started with my husband’s genealogy before I got the bug to do my own.  

2. What was your most surprising discovery?

There were several, such as uncovering the birth of an illegitimate child who the “family bible” claimed was the child of the birth mother’s mother, that is, the child’s grandmother. Another discovery was finding an aunt to my husband’s mother. This aunt happened to live all her life in the very same village as my mother-in-law and her immediate family. To the day she died, my mother-in-law claimed the person was not her aunt even though this person’s birth certificate proved otherwise.  

3. Have you done a DNA test? Were there any surprises about countries of origins?

Yes, I have tested with AncestryDNA. No, there were no big surprises 
about countries of origin; however, my brothers tested with 23andMe 
and surprisingly their ethnicity results were quite different, both in the countries of origin and the percentages in the regional breakdown.
Since then, Ancestry has changed some algorithms and my ethnicity results
are more in line with my brothers’ results regarding the countries
of origin.

4. What is the brick wall you would most like to break down in your family history?

My biggest brick wall is searching for my maternal grandfather’s lineage. He is Norwegian and I can’t get past my great-grandparent’s 
emigration from Norway to Montreal in 1892. It doesn’t help that I 
can’t speak Norwegian!

5. What is your favourite part of researching your family history?

Finding something totally unexpected, such as a new branch to a tree,
or unearthing interesting historical tidbits directly related to my ancestors.

Speaker Spotlight: Johanne Gervais