Prince Edward Island Lineage: Tracing Your Roots to PEI
Published June 4, 2021 | Tourism PEI
Categories: History & Culture
Every year, many visitors come to Prince Edward Island in search of long-lost family connections.
Digging into Prince Edward Island maps, the archives and baptismal records, people from all over the world come to look for genealogical links and ancestors.
Take, for example, Suzanne from Cincinnati, who came to PEI to search for long-lost family members. Suzanne knew her grandfather hailed from the Island, but had left in the late 19th century and moved to the United States.
As fate would have it, she stopped at a historic site only to find an actor playing the role of a distant relative.
“I told one of the staff that I was attempting to find our roots, based on the little information we remembered from our parents,” Suzanne said. “To my surprise, I was told that my 'grandfather' was in the other room.’
Of course, the 'granfather' was an actor playing the role of Suzanne’s great-great-great grandfather born in 1852.
“Needless to say, this started our search on a high note and we learned so much about our family's background that day,” she said. “The rest of our vacation on PEI was wonderful; one that we will never forget. We visited at various locations all across PEI for 10 days and found the Island to be a delightful paradise.”
Surely not everyone visiting Prince Edward Island will have such a revelatory experience as the one that befell Suzanne. The chance, however, that a visitor could discover roots on this island that link so many missing pieces together is what keeps genealogists coming back year over year.
And for those visitors who don’t have family in PEI, you can create your own memories of visits to the island or return to the Island seeking links to your own past, as was the case with Janice from New Hampshire.
“Every summer as a child, my mother took my sister, my brother and I to PEI,” she said. “My family was not rich money-wise, but we were rich in love. The island seemed to nurture us each time we visited.”
It is a family tradition she continues to this day.
“Now, I am a parent myself. Each summer I take my son to PEI. It's a family tradition that is transcending generations. My time on PEI holds some of my favourite and most treasured childhood memories, she added.”