Although she shares my husband's family name, Ball, I don't think Karen is related to him. Our Ball ancestors come from different ends of the "Old Country".
I recently met Karen, a Canadian librarian, online through Google+ where I have found some new and fascinating genealogy contacts. I am most grateful that she submitted a profile for the GeniMates blog.
Date: 7 January 2012
Name: Karen Ball
Hometown: Kitchener-Waterloo, ON
Are you a Hobbyist or Professional Genealogist? Hobbyist
What, if any, formal or informal studies have you undertaken that are relevant to genealogical research?
I hold a Master of Library and Information Science degree, which included courses in archives management. I have also taken post-graduate courses in archives administration and genealogy. In addition, I am a librarian-archivist at the Kitchener Public Library, specializing local history and genealogy.
How long have you been chasing ancestors?
How did you get hooked on genealogy?
I loved the stories that my Nana told me about our family. The thrill of finding evidence of an ancestor made their stories real. Like many, I waited too long to ask all my questions before Nana and my father passed. For me, genealogy connects me to the past and extends my current 'family' to newly found relations. Being an archivist, I love learning about history and community and seeing how those forces and factors influenced our ancestors decisions, actions and lives.
What is your day job? Librarian-archivist
What are your areas of Expertise in Genealogy?
I am skilled in researching local (Waterloo County/Region) ancestors using a variety of records - census, vital statistics, newspapers, genealogies and databases. I love the thrill of the hunt...
Please outline your involvement in Genealogy Societies and Groups:
I am a member and archivist of the local historical society and have conducted numerous workshops for the Library on genealogy topics. I am a member of both the Devon Family History Society and Glamorgan Family History Society.
What are the lands of your ancestors?
North/South Molton, Devon, England; Penarth and Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales and Vancouver and lower mainland, British Columbia
What Family Names are you Researching?
Ball, Balment, Bawden, Down, Edwards, Huxtable, Hynds, Rodgers, Thomas
Who is your favourite ancestor? Why?
My great-grandfather, Thomas Huxtable Ball - He was the only sibling of six who left Wales to eventually settle in Canada. I admire his spirit of adventure. He sailed to Montreal and then undertook a journey, by rail, of almost equal distance, across Canada to settle in British Columbia. Thomas was a plumber by trade, who, along with my great-grandmother, Annie Amelia Turner, built a new life in Vancouver for their family. My Dad remembered him as a very quiet, polite and hard working man. I love his understated character and wonderful achievements.
What ancestral city or town would you like to visit? Why?
I`d love to visit Penarth, Wales as this is the place where Thomas` siblings lived and have stayed to this day. Plassey Street keeps coming up as an address that I need to check out. I would also like to do some more research there and to meet family members that I have recently discovered.
What is your favourite resource for genealogy?
I find that I keep going back to the GENUKI website for top quality information on the resources relevant to the counties and parishes that I am researching.
Do you keep your genealogy files on paper? Yes
Do you keep your genealogy files on a computer? Yes
What genealogy software do you use to record your family tree? Legacy
Do you have your tree posted on the internet? No
What Social Networking Sites do you use for genealogy?
Facebook, GenealogyWise, LinkedIn, Google+
Do you have a blog? Yes
What are your blogs' URLs? http://ballbureau.blogspot.com/
What are your Other Hobbies, Activities, Interests?
Reading, needlepoint, ringette and powerskating
What is your favourite leisure time activity apart from genealogy?
Spending time with my family
What is your favourite (non genealogy) book?
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
What is your personal philosophy in a few words ?
Live, love and laugh as if each day is your last.