About Myself

Contact information:
Bill Buchanan
RR 3 Site 304 Box 11
Onoway, AB, T0E-1V0
Tel: 780-967-2004

Biographical Sketch

I was born at Rimbey, Alberta on 6 February 1942. My parents are George (William George) Buchanan, born at Neepawa, Manitoba in 1906 and Dorothy May Ing, born at Kirriemuir, Alberta in 1920.

In 1964-1967, I served as a missionary in France and western Switzerland for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This was a wonderful experience that I still remember fondly over 40 years later!

In 1968 I married Judy Kinney from Raymond, Alberta. In 1970 I graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Education in French. Judy and I raised a family of six children: Rob, Blaine, Laurel, Evelyn, Andrew and James. They have all grown and are on their own. For more information on our family, see the genealogical databases here on my website.

After two years of teaching in the classroom, I became a senior high school teacher at the Correspondence School Branch of Alberta Education in 1972. I taught various subjects over the years, especially French as a second language. Because of my strong interest in computers and education I became a charter member of the Alberta Teachers' Association Computer Council. I won three computers in provincial educational programming contests in 1984 - 1985. In the late 1980's I served as acting Modern Languages Department Head and then acting Assistant Principal of English/Modern Languages for two years, until this unit was merged with others to form the Humanities Unit. When a pilot project was set-up to allow students to submit their assignments by e-mail I was on the planning committee and then coordinated the e-mail project. From March 1997 until my retirement on August 31, 2001 I was Online School Coordinator with the Alberta Distance Learning Centre.

In 2002 Judy and Andrew and I took a trip to Manitoba and Ontario visiting relatives, gathering genealogy and scanning old photos. In Manitoba, we stayed with Darlene and Leonard Perrett, and Darlene helped us to find many of the cousins. In Ontario we attended an 80th birthday celebration for Muriel Buchanan Petrie, and then visited the homes of John Andrew "Andy" Buchanan and William "Earle" Buchanan, and we visited Andy's brother James and Mary Park in the Listowel Hospital.

In 2003 Judy and I traveled through the interior of British Columbia. We visited some of my cousins in the George Watson family, and gathered genealogy and photos. We also visited Sharon Chimney's family, a Buchanan cousin.

Since that time, I have done most of my research online and by email. I have re-established contact with the McGillivrays, Hamiltons, Keatings, and others. Most recently, I have been in contact with the Wallers in Australia, and Martin-Potters in Australia and New Zealand.

In 2005 I gave a presentation on Online Genealogy Research in Spruce Grove, and then at the Alberta-Bound conference in Edmonton. I also became a volunteer at the Bonnie Doon Family History Center in Edmonton. This not only gave me a chance to help and teach others, but to benefit personally by learning new things and using Ancestry.com (for free) for my own research.

In 2006 I gave presentations on Using the Censuses, and on Online Genealogy Research at GenFair, a conference of the Alberta Genealogical Society held at Norquest College, in Wetaskiwin. In 2009 I gave a presentation on "Getting Help from FamilySearch" to the Edmonton Stakes, and one to the Alberta Genealogical Society annual conference on "Putting Your Genealogy on the Internet".

In 2007-2009 I served a 30-month patron-support mission for FamilySearch.org, another very rewarding experience. This was especially interesting as I was there through the phased roll-out of the new FamilySearch, seeing it develop before my eyes. It has been a lot of fun getting to know many others involved in this huge operation.  I will miss my contact with them when it ends in a few weeks.

My website has been a "magnet" drawing email from long-lost relatives. I highly recommend having a personal website.

Personal Interests

In 1967 I was hired by Teledyne Corporation to work in their CMR Data Processing office in Calgary. There I got to work around computers and learned my first bit of computer programming in Fortran IV. In 1981 I bought my first computer and taught myself to program. Since then, it has been thrilling to see the developments in computer technology. 
I studied French in school, but it was the experience of living in France and Switzerland in 1964 - 1967 that really gave me a love of languages. I studied German for one year at university, did a little self-study course in Esperanto, and completed two years of study in Spanish.
I love to learn and to teach others.
Making Things
My wife Judy and I built our own house, doing nearly all the work ourselves.
My Buchanan ancestors came to Canada from Omagh, Tyrone, Ireland in 1847, during the worst of the potato famine. My Watson ancestors came to Ontario from the border country of Scotland about 1820. My Ing and Wright ancestors came to Alberta from London, England around the turn of the last century. I am always interested in finding more information on my ancestors and sharing it with anyone who is interested.