An APPS-olutely Amazing Discovery

An APPS-olutely Amazing Discovery

I am amazed.

I just found something so crazy on the internet. This is something I never expected to find because it is something that I wasn’t even looking for!!

It’s a collection of 8 audio recordings of my Poppa (paternal grandfather), Walter Edmund Apps being interviewed in Burnaby, BC on February 22nd, 1990.

I found it quite by accident, I mean I had no idea that they even existed.

Let me explain.

I was doing some research on my Grandma, Margaret Hope Newitt Apps. I knew that she worked for some time as an Art Teacher in the Burnaby area. I had heard that she may have made a few art pieces that were displayed at one point in the Burnaby Library and/or a retirement home in the area. So I started a google search for the Burnaby Library in the 1970s – 1980s. That brought me to the Heritage Burnaby website.

In the search bar I simply typed in “APPS” and clicked enter.

At first I didn’t know what I had just discovered.

The title was “Interview with Edward Apps by Rod Fowler.”

Then I read the biography…

wait a second…

Hold up, did I just read he purchased a lot in Burnaby for $ 150.00 ?!

Where is Marty McFly when you need him?!

(Interesting sidenote – Michael J. Fox also went to school in Burnaby)

Anyhow, that definately WAS my grandfather they were interviewing !! Mostly people called him Ed or Eddie as far as I remember. (His middle name is actually Edmund, not Edward). Of course I started listening to the audio clips and to me they are pretty darn cool. As his grandaughter, I may be a little biased.

He was interviewed as part of the SFU/Burnaby Centennial Committee’s oral history series titled “Voices of Burnaby.”

I sure enjoyed hearing his voice.

Here’s a brief overview of each track.

Track 1 – is about his involvement in community organizations.

Track 2 – is about the changes in Burnaby since he arrived. Also about his service in the war and why he and Margaret moved to Canada.

Track 3 – is about his work as a Foreman Painter for the Burnaby School Board.

Track 4 – is his views about the political development in the north and south of Burnaby.

Track 5 – is about his views on Ratepayer Associations (something for me to google later on.)

Track 6 – is about the history of his home on Triumph Street and changes in the neighbourhood.

Track 7 – is about his children and Margaret’s role in lobbying to declare Burnaby a Nuclear Free Zone.

Track 8 – is about his involvement in seniors organizations.

Anyhow, if you’re at all interested in hearing about Burnaby as he remembers it or if you’re related to Eddie (and me), here is the link to the website with all of the audio clips.


I did actually find something on the same website about my Grandma… a black and white photograph of a mural that she painted in 1966 on Hastings Street. Just keep scrolling down the same page past all the audio interviews, you should see a section called “Completed Mural.”

It just goes to show you that good things can come from unexpected places! I love how even after more than a quarter of century has gone by since he passed away, I am still learning about who my Poppa was.


52 Ancestors : Week 3 – Long Line

52 Ancestors : Week 3 – Long Line

The writing prompt for Week # 3 is Long line…

Well, there is a long line of the name Ramsay in my husband’s family tree. That is probably the longest line that I have been able to trace back so far in our trees.

In carrying on the family tradition, we used the name Ramsay as a middle name for our son. At the time (almost 19 years ago) all that I knew was that it was my husband’s grandfather’s middle name. A man that he looked up to and talked about often.

Ramsay is also the Scottish Clan that his family belongs to.

So far, I have been able to track the Ramsay line all the way back to the 1200’s ! So I thought, that’s appropriate for “long line.”

My disclaimer here is that the information is only as good as the internet is reliable…lol. There is much left to confirm and discover.

Sir Edmund de Ramsay 1255-1312 (23rd great-grandfather)

William de Ramsay 1290-1338 (22nd GGF)

Patrick Ramsay 1315-1377 (21st GGF)

Alexander Ramsay 1335-1377 (20th GGF)

Alexander Ramsay 1360-1402 (19th GGF) *killed at Homildon Hill*

Alexander Ramsay 1388-1459 (18th GGF)

Sir Alexander Ramsay II 1413-1456 (17th GGF)

Alexander Ramsay III 1438-1483 (16th GGF)

Alexander Ramsay 1465-1513 (15th GGF) *slain at Flodden*

William Thomas Ramsay 1480-1499 (14th GGF)

John Ramsay 1520- (13th GGF)

John Ramsay 1541-1618 (12th GGF)

Robert Ramsay 1594-1672 (11th GGF)

Robert Ramsay 1620-1687 (10th GGF)

James Ramsay 1648-1736 (9th GGF)

William Ramsay 1685- (8th GGF)

James Ramsay 1714-1786 (7th GGF)

James Ramsay 1740-1781 (6th GGF)

Robert Ramsay 1774- (5th GGF)

James Ramsay 1803- (4th GGF)

Robert Ramsay 1826- (3rd GGF)

Robert Ramsay 1854-1923 (2 x GGF)

Robina Ramsay * 1884-1965 (Great Grandmother)

Robert Ramsay Rodger * 1912-1990 (Grandfather)

Lorna Evelynne Rodger 1945-2018 (Mother)

My Husband – You are the son of Lorna Evelynne Rodger

Ramsay Motto – ORA ET LABORA (Pray and Work)

I still have so much more research to do… sometimes it’s fun to see just how far back you can go!! I feel what I need and want to work on is filling in all of the information. Tying it in with history is what makes family history even more exciting to me. Where were your relatives during important moments in our history? What role did they play? Where did they live and work? What were their lives like?

52 Ancestors : Week 2 – Favourite Photo

52 Ancestors : Week 2 – Favourite Photo

The writing prompt for Week # 2 is Favourite Photo.

How can I possibly pick one favourite photo?! I don’t think that I can. I have so many photos that it could take weeks to go through them all. Around the house though (and easily accessible) here are a few of my favourite ones!

This is a favourite photo because it is one I never knew that I would get to see. This is my mother’s birth mother. My maternal grandmother Adell Taylor.
Definitely one of my favourite photos of my maternal grandparents Tom and Claire Perry.

Family = Love

52 Ancestors : Week 1 – Fresh Start

52 Ancestors : Week 1 – Fresh Start

Happy New Year!

It’s time for fresh starts. The first day of the new year. This year I aim to do my best at participating in Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge for 2020. It’s essentially a new writing prompt every week for 52 weeks. I’m not going to make any promises because sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes I may have a story, sometimes just a picture. I’m not sure at this point. I just know that I want to give it a shot – so here we go!

photo from

This week’s prompt is “Fresh Start” which is appropriate for the first day of a new year and a new decade. Right?! The whole point of starting this blog a year ago was to share with my family and anyone who may be interested what I have learned and discovered in my ancestry journey. It has been so very beneficial for me to have a place to write things down (cathartic even), to tell a story and to remember fondly. So many memories. I feel like it’s a wonderful way to pay my respects to those who came before me and helped pave the way for the life I have today and the lives of my children. They are my world, they are my future and in a sense I owe that all to my parents, grandparents and so on and so on.

This week at home we have been working on renovations, also appropriate for a “fresh start.” Renovations mean moving things around and doing that forces you to realize how much stuff we actually have! I have a tall filing cabinet that needs to be moved to our home office, but it is so HEAVY so we need to empty it out! It is stuffed full of papers from years gone by, a lot of family history information! I’ve been sorting them into piles of photos, receipts, random notes, insurance papers, taxes, etc.

How do you organize your family history research? Binders? Online? A filing cabinet? I’m looking for tips!

So much paper passes through our hands, especially when you have kids at home. Or when you are researching family history. We can’t possibly keep everything. I’m learning that sometimes the best possibility for me is to scan or photograph some of the artwork or notes so that you aren’t keeping every single piece of paper. Another lesson is to label everything. You think you will never forget, but we do. Researching ancestry has helped me learn this lesson also.

Anyhow, my fresh start is to finish organizing this filing cabinet – who knows what treasures I will find! I have my work cut out for me shredding some unnecessary papers and then I plan on spending more time this year recording more of what I have learned on this blog.

Stay Tuned for Week 2 : Favourite Photo

May 21 1941 – Battle of Crete

May 21 1941 – Battle of Crete

This is the only picture that I have ever seen of my Grandfather’s brother, Arthur Petrie Apps. He was born in Southwark, London on October 5th, 1915 (number 5 of 6 children) born to Henry Edmund Samuel Apps and Ethel Rosemary Lambert.

Sadly, Arthur was only 25 years old when he was killed at sea on May 21st 1941 during the Battle of Crete. I know that there are several books on the Battle of Crete, does anyone know of a movie?

Port Division : C/KX – Official No. 85523 – Royal Navy
Does anyone know what C/KX means?

He was, according to the information that I found online, a Leading Stoker aboard the HMS Juno – a British J Class Destroyer. From what I understand he would have been responsible for transporting and shovelling coal into the furnaces. The HMS Juno was part of the British Royal Navy’s fleet sent into the Mediterranean Sea during the German Invasion of Crete.

HMS Juno

“At the time of her attack and sinking Juno was commanded by Cdr. St. John Reginald Joseph Tyrwhitt and would have had a complement of 183 to 218 seamen and officers. It is figured that 116 crew lost their lives after 3 high-powered explosions split Juno in two, sinking her in around 97 seconds” (quote from Wikipedia)

There is so much I don’t know about my Great Uncle Arthur. I’d love to find out more! He was taken at such a young age. I’d like to find what he did before the war, when did he join the Navy, what other ships he serve on? He had already lost a sister when he was 13 and his father two years later, both as a result of TB. His brothers, Jack, Henry (Harry) and Walter (Eddie) all served in the war. Thankfully they all survived.

His name can be found at the Chatham Naval Memorial. One day I hope to visit the memorial and pay my respects.

Family Slides

Family Slides

I have had this particular box of family slides on my desk for some time now. I’ve been meaning to hook up my old scanner with a slide/negative adapter and go through them all.

My old scanner kinda looks like this…

Time just gets away on me, and the thought of going down to the crawl space to dig up the old scanner doesn’t appeal to me. My current printer is one of those all-in-one “thingys” and doesn’t have the same adapter available. I suppose that newer isn’t always better.

Anyhow, point being, I was googling if there is an app for that. For scanning negative or slides. Turns out, there may very well be, but what I read was even cooler in my opinion and I wanted to share this little tip with you all. What I needed was my iPad and my iPhone. Done and done.

First thing that I did was to open my Notes app and create a new note. The screen is blank and very white. Also make sure that your brightness is turned all the way up for this. You now have a “light box”.

Place your slide that you want to see on top of the iPad so that the light shines through. Use your phone to take a picture of the slide. Here’s how my turned out.

Not too shabby, eh? Now the quality and the lighting will likely depend on the quality and lighting of the picture when it was taken (mine are from the 70’s & 80’s). Also, the quality of the camera on the phone that you are using plays a part. This one (above) of my cousin Michelle is pretty good for a photo of a slide I thought!

This one of my Dad, Uncle and Grandma isn’t as good. The lighting is a bit dark, but I’m happy with it anyhow. I really love this slide for a couple of reasons. It brings back such great memories of the constant presence of music in my home growing up. I remember frequently falling asleep to the sound of my parents’ record player or them jammin’. My dad played guitar and sang occasionally, and both mom and dad could play the piano. Another wonderful part of this particular slide is my Grandma’s smile, she looks to be beaming with pride for her boys.

Anyhow, I found that this is a great way to get those slides digitized quickly and for FREE. I still will probably take them into a proper photo developing lab, but for now… this works just dandy.