QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2008-09 > 1221102093
Subject: [Q-R] Ancestors in the Attic
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 04:01:33 +0100
This was in today's Sudbury Star (Sudbury, Ontario, Canada). I have been
watching this program for the last few years and I've picked up a lot of good
genealogy tricks & tips from it. The first year, they posted recaps of each
program on their website siting good websites for researching. It was good
also for people who don't get the History channel.
However, last year they didn't do that so I keep a pad and pen handy when the
program is on. I hope they go back to the recaps on their website this year.
In Northern Ontario I get this program on the History Channel - A & E.
Sudbury teenager chases history in England --
Posted By ANGELA SCAPPATURA, THE SUDBURY STAR
Updated 5 days ago
>From the time he was 12, Robbie McCauley and his grandfather spent countless
hours sifting through census records and visiting Ontario cemeteries in an
attempt to solve a family mystery.
Now, the culmination of their efforts will be profiled on the television
program, "Ancestors in the Attic."
McCauley's grandfather, Raymond Green, passed away last year before they
could uncover the history of two lost relatives, but McCauley, now 18, was
determined to continue the search.
Shortly after Green's death, McCauley sent a letter to the producers of a
History Channel program that featured genealogy quests, asking for their
The letter was so compelling, McCauley said, the producers had trouble
believing a 17-year-old wrote it.
"I don't even remember what it said," he recalls with a smile.
After a lengthy selection process, he was chosen from 5,000 submissions and
the ensuing adventure took him to the poverty-stricken streets of east end
"It was quite the experience," he said of his travels. "I went alone and it
let me grow up a little bit."
His mother, Veronica McCauley, said it was difficult to let her son go, but
she knew it was an important journey he had to take.
"I was more nervous than he was," she said.
McCauley's great-great-grandmother, Ada Girling, was brought to Canada from
an orphanage in Britain in 1900.
At the time, she was 12, and considered a Home Child -- taken from orphanages
in Britain and sent to live in countries such as Canada and Australia. Some
were placed with families, but others were victimized and used as inexpensive
McCauley said records show his great-great-grandmother was sold to several
different farms for $1.65. She was deaf in one ear because of the constant
beatings she endured.
Through her life, Girling would recall vague memories of the family left
behind in England.
She knew of four siblings -- two brothers and two sisters -- who were brought
to the orphanage. In the end, she could only find out what happened to her
The lives of Girling's brothers remained a mystery -- until McCauley and his
grandfather began searching.
"She died not knowing where they were," he said. "And I felt bad because I
couldn't find out."
McCauley travelled to England with the television crew and visited the
"It was very emotional, you could feel it in the atmosphere," he said. "It
was sad seeing the things she went through."
While he said the "questions were answered" by the end of his journey, he
could not give away the ending.
While he has just begun his first year in the mining engineering program at
Laurentian University, McCauley admitted his true passion is history.
With that in mind, he already has plans to trace more of his family tree.
The episode of Ancestors in the Attic, entitled "Lost brothers," is scheduled
to air on The History Channel on Saturday at 8 p. m.