When two English sisters asked for help in tracing their family tree, Summerlanders responded with information, anecdotes, hand-drawn maps and more.
In March, Linda Berman and Judith Knox contacted the Summerland Review, asking for help in tracing their family story.
Their grandfather, William J. Beattie left Scotland and settled in Summerland where he had an orchard and raised cattle.
“Unfortunately, we do not have a specific birth and death dates, which makes our search so much more difficult,” the sisters said in their letter.
“We knew our grandfather married and had a daughter, Aunty Kitty. Sadly, his first wife died and grandfather employed a nanny from England to look after Aunty Kitty. They then married and had our father, David Johnstone Beattie.”
Several in the community, including Dorothy Inglis, said Aunt Kitty was Kitty Denike. Inglis was a friend of Denike’s.
Denike was named Summerland’s Good Citizen of the Year in 1976. At that time, she was recognized for her kindness to friends and neighbours and her involvement with the Royal Purple and the Faith Rebekah Lodge.
“Kindness is a way of life for Kitty, not an occurrence,” her letter of nomination read.
Inglis said the sisters have located other previously unknown relatives since they started their search.
The great nephews of William Beattie’s third wife, Florence Weedy Grainger Beattie, are also hoping to discover more about her. William and Florence Beattie were married in 1946 and lived in Summerland for a number of years. Inglis hopes some in the community may remember them.
Berman and Knox will be in Summerland in mid-June and would like to meet with those in the community who have information on their family.
A drop-in tea is being planned for them.
“We are speechless and so looking forward to meeting you, seeing Summerland and hearing all about our Canadian roots,” the sisters said in a letter.