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About The Newfoundland Patten Family
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A Grand Bank of names 6/4/03
 By JEAN EDWARDS STACEY, The Telegram
  
 Anne Patten Oliver laughingly admits to being obsessed by her search for her family  origins. In the past 13 years she has collected the names of 6,000 people, two-thirds  of them deceased, but all of them related to her in some way or another.  A resident of Florida who always knew she had Newfoundland roots, her paternal  grandfather was a Patten from Grand Bank who married a Rice from Twillingate She  paid her first visit to her ancestors homeland on May 20, her 49th birthday.

Oliver has documented her extensive family tree, and as she leafs through bound pages  filled with names and dates, she says her relatives are very alive to her.

I am obsessed by my family tree, she says. And, my first question to anyone I meet  in Florida is always how long have you been here?? And then we get into where the  family came from?

During her visit to this province, Oliver visited Grand Bank and St. John's, got to  meet a number of relatives, and did a lot of archival research.

On her Web site (http://members.tripod.com/newfie_girl) she says she is researching  the following family names: Patten, Bendle, Buffett, Coffin, Foote, Forsey, Hickman,  Hollett, Nicholle/Nicolle, Rice, Tibbo/Thibeau, Walsh/Welsh and Wareham, in the  communities of Grand Bank, Fortune, Robert's Arm, Friday's Bay and Haystack.

Her search has stretched across Newfoundland, Jersey, the Channel Islands, England and  Wales.

Oliver's interest in her family tree was sparked after her father had a stroke in  1990.

Following the stroke that left him paralysed on one side, her then 75-year-old dad,  Gilbert Earl Patten, had trouble remembering everyday things, but could recall far  back in his past.

I wanted to get something that dad could talk about because he was pretty down and  out, Oliver says as she recounts how the first thing she did was get out boxes of  photographs her father had saved and, with his help, identify the people and places  depicted.

That went so well, she decided to do further digging into the family tree in order to  entertain her father and have something else to talk about.

Oliver and her family moved to Florida from Toronto in 1964 when she was 10. Her dad  was one of 9 children who were raised in Toronto, so she began by talking to her  numerous family members there and getting as many names of other relatives as she  could.

It didn't take her long to collect 250 names of people related to her. 

When she logged onto the Internet and began checking out sites such as Newfoundland  Grand Banks of Genealogy, and e-mailing interested people, her list of names grew even  more.

By the time her dad passed away in 1996, she had collected 1,000 names. 

Daddy was amazed, she says, adding she now has approximately 6,000 names. 

Over the years, Oliver has increased her knowledge of Newfoundland through reading  books by authors such as Grand Bank native Robert Parsons, whose forte is stories of  local shipwrecks.

Her interest in genealogy is restricted to her Newfoundland roots. 

Traced back centuries 

Oliver has traced her paternal roots back to the 1600s, when people by the name of  Nicholle came to Grand Bank from the Channel Islands and married into the Forsey  family.

Their daughter, Susan Nicholle married John Patten of Grand Bank. The couple had eight  children, the last one being Phillip Nicholle Patten, who married Matilda Walsh.  Oliver notes in her family it was customary for sons to use their mother's maiden name  as their middle name.

Philip and Matilda Patten had a son they named Simeon Rose Patten. He married Annie  Blanche Rice, who was born in Twillingate. One of their children was Gilbert Earl  Patten, Oliver's father.

In about 1910, Simeon and Annie moved to Cape Breton, taking Annie's parents, George  and Henrietta (Coffin) Rice, with them. The Pattens and the Rices later moved to  Toronto.

Inherited defect 

It was through research on her family tree that Oliver learned about a genetic birth  defect called AVM or arterial vascular malformation, a growth on the brain that can  cause migraine headaches and even aneurysms. Her father's mother died of an aneurysm  at age 50.

The strangest thing about all this (the birth defect) is that it has been traced back  to my great-grandmother's Bendle family in Haystack, Placentia Bay. It seems to only  affect the female side of the family, she said.

In 1992, Oliver had a nine-hour operation to remove a peach-sized AVM which had caused  her problems for years.

At home in Florida, Oliver is a wife, mother and grandmother. She worked for 20 years  as a draftswoman, retired, then went back to work as an engineering sales co- ordinator, a job she's done for the past year.

jes@thetelegram.com

Jack and I retired to North Carolina Mountains in 2005 and actually have a garden and  12 hens for eggs only.  Genealogy is still my main interest, but have had to put if  off for a while.  The time has come to get back into it.  If you have any info I have  missed, Please, Please contact me so we can get it in here.  My Verizon web site needs  alot of updating, but there are lots of pictures there and info.  Once my son finds  the time, we will get that updated, so right now, I am starting this one.

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Getting Around
There are several ways to browse the family tree. The Tree View graphically shows the relationship of selected person to their kin. The Family View shows the person you have selected in the center, with his/her photo on the left and notes on the right. Above are the father and mother and below are the children. The Ancestor Chart shows the person you have selected in the left, with the photograph above and children below. On the right are the parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. The Descendant Chart shows the person you have selected in the left, with the photograph and parents below. On the right are the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Do you know who your second cousins are? Try the Kinship Relationships Tool. Your site can generate various Reports for each name in your family tree. You can select a name from the list on the top-right menu bar.

In addition to the charts and reports you have Photo Albums, the Events list and the Relationships tool. Family photographs are organized in the Photo Index. Each Album's photographs are accompanied by a caption. To enlarge a photograph just click on it. Keep up with the family birthdays and anniversaries in the Events list. Birthdays and Anniversaries of living persons are listed by month. Want to know how you are related to anybody ? Check out the Relationships tool.

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