My name is Yolanda Beauchamp Presant. I grew up on the Canadian prairies, the grand-daughter of Irish/Scots pioneers and  French-Canadian/Metis people. I have spent the last 10 years researching my maternal line, Phillips/McDowell and Fraser in Tipperary and Dublin,  Ireland on my grandfather’s side.. On my maternal grandmother’s side, Smith and Gartshore, people who worked the iron foundries of Coatbridge, Scotland and Gartshore, a family whose name goes back to the time of Alexander I of Scotland. I have met so many wonderful people from Ireland who were helpful and generous with their knowledge.

My father’s family, Beauchamp, came from La Rochelle, France to Montreal in 1659. They eventually moved up to Pointe-aux-Trembles Quebec, to settle. My paternal grandmother’s family were part of the Red River settlement in Manitoba. Through her mother Marie Virginie Cyr, we are cousins to Louis Riel, famed Metis martyr.

Under the Post Index tab at the top of the blog you will find a list of posts which set my family into the times they lived in, covering subjects such as the Protestant Reformation ( The Beauchamp Family in France) and the Scottish Wars of Independence (The Smith Family in Scotland). There you will also find a series on Armand Du Plessis, Cardinal Richelieu entitled “A Flash of Scarlet”.  These are in no way meant to be authoritative but are the result of my own research . Should you read them I hope you enjoy them.

I believe that names and dates do not constitute a complete picture of our ancestors. The times they live in determined so much of what they did. The story of their courage and endurance fascinates me and I spend hours reading before I even type a word. I hope you enjoy the little I have been able to find out.

19 thoughts on “About

  1. hi , a bit gobsmacked to have found the photo on the header above .

    Im PRESUME this is in fact the Tilery in solohead in Co Tipperary .

    If it is …I was There yesterday . My uncle lives there and my mother grew up in that house .

    I remember visiting there in the seventies when I was a kid .

    My mother was Betty Ryan . She lived there after the mcdowells

    Late here now so off to bed

    My email is griffinlisa2002@yahoo.co.uk

    Good night

    Lisa Griffin


  2. It must have taken lots of effort to gather that info and put it together…

    Interestingly you have inspired me to finally GET DOWN and write that family history..Unfortunately in Africa most of the geneology history has been passed down orally over centuries and written records are hard to come by at least until….1900. My previous effort recording the family narrative from my late Grandfather fizzled out after I lost the tapes.

    With my grandmother now in her late 80s I shall now move fast to document the history—before it is too late. And to imagine I hadn’t even though of it in recent times????


    • Thanks for your comment! It is a lot of research and paperwork but it is very satisfying when you finally get that person nailed down. The stories are important because it makes your family more real and not just a date and name. A simple process is to start with yourself and get the birth, marriage and death dates of your immediate family. And of course look for photos and documents. I also have a gardening blog at rainandrosesbc.wordpress.com


  3. I am from Borrisnafarney parish and May be able to help you further. I suspect that your Phillips connection worked with Toler Garvey who was a land agent based in Birr or Parsonstown. He also had offices at Thornvale which is also in the townsland of Ballycormick and Borrisnafarney Parish. Ollatrim house is beside Thornvale. PM me for further information. There was a Phillips entry in the 1901 census for the array


    • Thank you for your comment Graham. I wonder if we have talked before? I have marriage and death certs for Marion who was my great-grandmother. I have used the census for her birth date. My grandmother Jane Gartshore Smith came to Canada and pioneered in Manitoba. I would be interested in anything about Marion’s early life and her particular family.


  4. I learned a lot about my family reading your blog posts. You even mention my father Ian (who was actually born in 1935) and came to Canada in 1953. Your great aunt Agnes Fraser (nee McDowell) is my great grandmother. Thank you for sharing.


  5. Hi. Absolutely thrilled to stumble on your blog recently. We are the current owners of Feldberg on Westfield Road having purchased it in 1999. Unlike your ancestor, we do not think the house is “hideous”!!! In fact, we love the house and love the road. Learning about the family that built and enjoyed it for the first 40 or so years of its life has been fascinating. I suspect the house is not too different from when the Frasers lived here, though we now have central heating and probably some extra bathrooms and fewer bedrooms! The bell system for the maids is no longer in operation either!

    If you email me, I can send you a picture of the house and of the magnificent pear tree in the back garden that must have been planted by them all those years ago and still thrives today. I hope we will hear back from you as we would love to know more about life in Feldberg in its early days.


    Anne and Conor


    • Thanks for your comment Anne and Conor! Yes there were quite a few people who lived in that house at one time. It was built by William Fraser around 1907 when his father died. This is according to the memoirs of his niece which I don’t take as absolute. I will email you. Yolanda


  6. We share a common ancestor, Robert de Brus of Scotland. Like you, I’ve spent eleven years researching my Huguenot, Scots, Irish and English ancestors’ adventures.


  7. I too am a truly Canadian girl and love Canada. My ancestors are Scottish, English, German, Irish and Mi’kmaq. My first European ancestor arrived in Nova Scotia in 1751 (German), followed by the Alexander McDonald (1783). The Irish and English blood settled first in Newfoundland in the early 1800s, then came to Nova Scotia.

    I was told I came from tough stock because my ancestors had to survive in a country barely settled.

    Your website looks fabulous. I’m going to look around some more.


    • Thanks for dropping by Diane. I have Acadian ancestors who I haven’t researched yet, one of the names was Sire (Syre and Cyr). It is likely that some moved westward to Quebec during the expulsion but I would have to check. They are in my ancestry tree. It certainly is a challenge going back that far!


  8. Yolanda,
    Our ancestors shared time and space. My family too hails from the plains on the border of Canada and North Dakota. I am Métis descendent from the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Band in North Dakota. The Great Plains served as a stage for an epoch of history that forged the direction of North America’s history; unfortunately, this history has been obscured by time. I am trying to recapture a glimmer of the fire in a book. The book has been a side project for several years now, and I have a substantial draft completed to date.

    I would like to connect with you to see if we could exchange information of value to each other.


  9. My maiden name is Daigneault. John Dugald Cameron is my 5th G. Grandfather. Would you happen to have any pictures of him and his wife Marie Lesperance. We are related 😉


    • We must be cousins of some kind ! My great grandfather was William Daigneault. My grandmother was Josephine or Adelina. Where do you live ?


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