My Search

This is my original Search page.  I have left it as it was simply to indicate how little information is needed to start a geneaolgy search.

I was born in ..Welland.. (located in the)..Niagara Region..of Ontario, midway between Lakes Erie and Ontario, on the..Welland Canal.. and have lived all of my life in Canada, except for a few years absence courtesy of the Royal Canadian Navy. Now in my retirement I am trying to learn more about my surname SPOWART. My father James Ross, his brother George King and sister Agnes, children of Thomas Ross SPOWART, Bo'ness, Scotland ,came to Welland in the late 1920's or early 1930's (another brother Alex immigrated to Pennsylvania, USA). There are now about fourteen decendants (SPOWART's) of these two men in the Welland area and the number is growing. All I knew about the SPOWART's were these relatives and the fact that my grandparents lived in Bo'ness, Scotland. After ten years in the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force travelling across Canada and other parts of the world, with the exception of the above mentioned rtelatives, I had never met a SPOWART nor even seen the name. I just assumed it was an uncommon name and thought little about it.

A simple search of available web telephone directories revealed some facts that were surprising to me.  I found 16 SPOWART's in Canada, 51 in the USA, 10 in New Zealand and 103 in Australia. I cannot access listing in Scotland, but I have learned there are many, many SPOWARTS in the Firth of Forth area.

Then one day while surfing the web, I came across Stav's Holiday Home (Note: A web site I believe is now defunct) .  This is the homepage of a young man attending university in Edinburgh.  I contacted him and learned that in 1965 (after my father's death), when my mother had visited Bo'ness, she met with his grandfather and great grandfather.  I was more than surprised to learn that Gregor's great great grandfather and my grandfather were brothers...so...his great great great grandfather is my great grandfather.

Gregor's grandfather believed the name SPOWART came from a Bavarian sailor named SPOVART (various spellings are discussed on the next page.."New Information") who was shipwrecked off the Scottish coast, went up the River Forth and settled in Crossford in Fife. Now, I don't know when this happened, but it would seem to have been a long time ago, judging by the number of SPOWARTS I have found.  I have received other information regarding the SPOWART origin which is also covered on the "New Information" page. There are several theories about the origin.    .  

And so the search began. Surfing the web I found a DAVID SPOWART listed in the California Voters Register of 1872 who was 30 years of age and came from Ireland. I also found a THOMAS SPOWART who married MARY ARTHURE in WLN Carriden in 1738.

Then this page went up and the info slowly came in.  I have located two more distant relatives and possibly a fourth judging by the common given names and and dates of birth.  What is also interesting is the mail I get from people who were born outside of Scotland and have also wondered about the origin of the name SPOWART.

To just research my family, it would be a simple thing to send a cheque to a Genealogy Researcher in Scotland (I may get around to that) but I would like to meet other SPOWARTS from around the world and learn of their ties to this Bavarian seaman (if this is how the name did indeed arrive in Scotland). Trying to contact so many people individually would be a daunting task, and so the WWW seems to be the answer. Maybe they could come to me!! It was said in the movie ,"Field Of Dreams", "build it and they will come". I think that is a wise choice, because it certainly would be cheaper than long distance telephone calls or flying around the world.