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From branch to branch: Smith's Cove father and son unravel family tree

David Irvine of Smith's Cove published a book about his family tree, with his son Geoffrey DePoint Irvine.
David Irvine of Smith's Cove published a book about his family tree, with his son Geoffrey DePoint Irvine. - Amanda Doucette

SMITH’S COVE, NS- David Irvine has always had a passion for family history.

Growing up with two brothers and a sister, he didn’t think he had a large family tree.

One thing he did have, was a collection of family portraits and letters his ancestors wrote while in the war.

“My father and grandfather were pack rats to say the least. They might have been thinking of the future, maybe not, but I feel I’m lucky to have these memories,” he said.

That’s what sparked his interest to begin researching his family tree.

In 2009, he began his research by signing up for websites that helped trace his ancestors and family history.

 “It gave me a lot of helpful information.”

Irvine began writing down what he learned, matching each piece of information together, piece by piece.

Now, nine years later, Irvine has published a book with everything he’s learned.

'The Irvines and Their Kin in Nova Scotia…and Beyond, 1817-2017' was released last year and has since sold 60 copies.
'The Irvines and Their Kin in Nova Scotia…and Beyond, 1817-2017' was released last year and has since sold 60 copies.

“I certainly didn’t think I was going to write a book. I thought maybe I would put it all together in a binder, but not a book.”

After spending countless nights working away in his basement office, he’s proud of the accomplishment he’s completed, he said.

“After I started, it just all came together.”

Along with the help of his son, Geoffrey DePoint Irvine, the father-son pair created the book, The Irvines and Their Kin in Nova Scotia…and Beyond, 1817-2017.

“I think it’s a great memory to pass on to future generations, so they can understand where they came from and why they are the way they are.”

Geoffrey wrote a section in the book about the history of war in the Irvine family.

The first Irvine family moved to Nova Scotia in 1817, meaning 2017 marked 200 years since Irvine’s ancestors voyaged from Scotland to Canada.

 The book goes into detail about his family connections to many places, including Digby, Annapolis, Marshalltown and Granville Ferry.

“It certainly puts in perspective how our family developed and where we all came from.”

Irvine’s middle name is Marshall. From research, he’s discovered one of his ancestors was the one who named Marshalltown, he said.

“It seems my ancestors had a strong sense of community, and that certainly affected my life. I’ve tried to stay involved in the community since we arrived here.”

Irvine worked closely with other family members and friends to finish the book.

A distant cousin of Irvine moved from Manitoba to Bear River East. They met by chance and he turned out to have some previous experience in publishing. He helped David with the publishing process, adding more of a sentimental aspect to the family connection this book offers.

Irvine has sold close to 60 copies so far. His book is available on Amazon.ca:

https://www.amazon.ca/Irvines-Their-Nova-Scotia-Beyond/dp/1548303887

David Irvine and son Geoffrey DePoint Irvine, published a book about their family history.
David Irvine and son Geoffrey DePoint Irvine, published a book about their family history.

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