I reside in Montreal, where I was born and grew up. I’d been away for some years in Nova Scotia and Ontario, but my heart was always with Montreal. Following early retirement from the Canadian Forces, I completed a BA in sociology, with a minor in anthropology. Always interested in learning, I continued to take courses and during one I discovered a new passion – writing. I’m now the author of the historic nonfiction, Paths of Opportunity, about an Irish experience during 1800s Montreal.
I’ve also completed an as yet unpublished historic fiction and am working on another historic nonfiction. As well, articles of mine have appeared in a writers’ association newsletter, a community newspaper, and journals and newsletters of genealogical societies.
Early knowledge of my Irish origins led to a decades-long interest in genealogy. My research has uncovered some German and English roots, too, and many French, which account for my first ancestors to North America during early 1600s New France. I’m a member of several genealogy societies and am on an advisory board for Ancestry.ca.
As an avid researcher and history enthusiast, I routinely research at the Montreal archives centre of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) for my writing and genealogy endeavours. I’ve also taken classes at the School of Canadian Irish Studies of Montreal’s Concordia University to learn more about my Irish heritage.
I always enjoy helping others, whether assisting in their pursuit of writing goals or their research of Quebec ancestors of various origins. I felt that reaching out to wider groups, though, would help more people. As a result, I have been a guest speaker to university writing classes and have lectured on Quebec records at genealogy seminars and conferences, specializing in Quebec notary records and Quebec land records. I am also a long-time volunteer at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.