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Derek Jamison Pullen

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Derek Jamison Pullen on Twitter
Derek Jamison Pullen on Twitter




Caledon, Ontario, Canada – north of Toronto

Tell us a bit about your genealogy/family history journey

I grew up in Brantford, Ontario and wondered why my Grandfather was not listed on the Brantford War memorial, as it is one of the largest in Canada. Never having asked my family about our history, I had assumed you were remembered where you lived. Quickly I discovered that’s not how military memorials work, which got me documenting military memorials across Canada.

I started genealogy back when Ancestry software, not the web site, first appeared. I quickly discovered I needed some family details as my two lines arrived in Canada in the 1920s – 1930s, so most was overseas. I also discovered you could not find almost any genealogical records online after 1900, which initially stopped me in my tracks. I found out my maternal Grandfather was from a small village in Northern Ireland, just south of Belfast. As I knew nothing more, I did a hail mary, and wrote a letter to the local newspaper, asking them to ask the community if anyone knew anything about the Jamisons that once lived there. From that letter, over a decade I found that Jamison line and his 11 other siblings.

When I started working on my wife’s family (Canadian, Northern Italy) I discovered that her mother’s family came to Canada in 1822, but her father was part of the post WWII resettlement plans and arrived in the late 1950s, after growing up in Italy. 

So my research now covers, early Canadian history, Italian, Slovenian, English and Irish, with some work on Belgian and the Netherlands for the outlaws. 

I’m in the computer industry and realized a while ago, I have spent more money on Ancestry than any other software in a 45 year career. Like many, I started with trying to just grow the tree, but now I am going back through everything I have done over 2 decades and re-building and confirming and expanding what I have.

Favorite food or beverage

It would be much quicker to list what I don’t like, hence my shape.

Surnames of interest

Jamison, Pullen, Kristan, Hickey, Rossney, Wallace, Inglis, Rennie, Read, Crampton

If you could meet one person from your family tree that died before you were born, who would it be and why?

My maternal grandfather, Samuel Millar Jamison.

He passed away when I was 17 and when I had absolutely no interest in history. I now know his military background in WWI, and I would like to hear his experiences during the war and how life was in turn of the century Ireland, and when Ulster became Northern Ireland. But especially why he had 4 brothers living within an hours drive of us and why we never met them.

Genealogy pet peeve

Having to re-learn to read handwritten script.

Favorite place where you’ve traveled


From a genealogy/family history research perspective, what would you have done differently?

Spent more time asking questions of the family when we all were younger.

What are you currently working on and what’s next?

I am trying to work on 1 person at a time and go as far as I can, and in as much detail as possible.
There are finally enough city directories online, that you can trace some people back year by year, where they lived and where they worked. 

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