Friday, January 29, 2010

Journal Entry ~ November 2000

When filling in my tree I made sure to include first, last, and middle names, birth, marriage, death dates and places in which they occurred. For future references this allows for quick access to the researched information.

*Important Note: Use maiden name for females if known. Too many times the wife’s maiden name is lost at time of marriage and, unfortunately, it may remain unknown.

There is only one thing I wish I had done differently that would have saved time and frustration and that is to record every piece of information I found and to keep it on file either in my computer data base or my paper files. This would have avoided repeating searches for the same individuals or families, which I found was defeating.

*Note: I found that keeping a record of the information I obtained to alleviate duplicating my searches with best done through charts. I began with a simple chart my uncle had created but as my searching became more in-depth I used the charts found at

November 15, 2000
The Hudson Bay Co. era, the late 1700’s early 1800’s in particular have fascinated me for some time. I gravitate towards this period repeatedly, which made me wonder if there was something I needed to uncover.

As I learn about my ancestors I find myself asking new questions. When I searched “Philip Turnor” my eighth great-grandfather I found that he worked with Samuel Hearne. Philip Turnor was born in 1751 in Laleham, Middlesex, England and came to Canada to assist in Cartography for the Hudson Bay Company. Further in my search I found many resources including a book written by these two Hudson Bay surveyors. In the book David Thompson is mentioned along with many others who assisted or learned from the surveyors in charge. Philip Turnor was the first servant hired by the HBC to map Rupert’s Land, he met Alexander Mackenzie and established a Hudson Bay Post in Saskatchewan because he saw the potential of the fur trade there. The significance he represented in our history is documented and I sense he was an accomplished man of that time.

Getting acquainted with the local library system I noticed the collection of Canadian History documentary television series. I scanned through the movies for the 1700’s and noticed David Thomson’s name in the movies description.

To my surprise the documentary touched on the history of Philip Turnor’s and David Thompson’s association. Philip Turnor had a brilliant mathematical mind; he taught David Thompson while recovering from a broken leg, the skills that surveyors needed. David Thompson went on to become well known through his published journals in his surveying skills and findings.

In my research I found that Philip Turnor was married twice, when and where he was born, when he was married, how many children he had, and when and where he died. I find that each search no matter the out come inspires me to keep going.


  1. Well, Northern Girl, I just stumbled across your website looking for more backgound info on Philip Turnor myself....he being a direct and distant ancestor of mine as well.
    Let's trade !

  2. Sounds good! Nice to meet you!
    my email is:


    ~but I have typed it backwards due to spam.
    Looking forward to connecting with you.



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Northern Girl