On a hunch, I pushed open the garden gate and went around the back. I saw a silhouette under a canopy. The man said “Who are you?” in French. “Je suis votre petit-fils”, (“I’m your grandson”), I answered.
There was a long pause.
“J’savais qu’tu r’viendrais un jour” (“I knew you’d come back one day”).
Raoul invited me to sit down. We talked for hours over gin & tonics. He had done a lot of traveling. He had visited South America and had seen all the places I’d been: La Paz, Macchu Picchu, Lima, the dreary mining town of Oruro. He was fascinating to talk to, and I enjoyed many more visits where he met his little great-grandson.
Raoul was also an avid genealogist. He had done extensive research, and had identified over 300 direct ancestors. He gave me the 400-page manuscript, which I eventually built up to 3,500 ancestors. I would embarrass my family as I hauled out the book and enthusiastically showed every visitor my progress. He learned photography early, in the 1920’s at the Canadian Pacific Railway. He left us with trunkloads of 8×10 glossy black & white photographs, a treasure trove of all our ancestors’ families.
Raoul lit in me the flame of family history, which was ironic since he had opposed my parents’ marriage, and forbid them to have children.
Raoul’s son René had decided to marry his sweetheart, my mother Bernice. Raoul was a domineering man who controlled René’s life, and did not approve. Raoul owned a hotel which he ran with the help of his two sons. The hotel had a stable and horses for the entertainment of the guests. Every spring they drove a herd of horses from their winter quarters to the hotel corral. On this occasion, Raoul and René were alone for the rustic three-day trek. In protest, René kept stoically silent during the entire three days, and never said a word to his sole companion as they cooked over the campfire and shared a tent. Raoul finally relented.
Raoul’s legacy is preserved by the grandson he never thought he wanted.
Progeny Genealogy is the leading developer of family tree software that works directly with most popular genealogy database programs. Founded in 1995, Progeny’s mission is to help you tell the story of your family.
The company is currently focused on marketing three family tree software products that allow users to create various types of genealogy charts:
Charting Companion creates what is considered the more standard genealogy charts and reports, but it creates more and better charts, and allows more formatting and color control than is available from genealogy database programs. Genelines timeline software and Map My Family Tree are unique in their presentation of family tree data – providing visual storytelling and powerful research tools not available in most genealogy programs.
In addition to these family tree software programs, Progeny produces several family history research CDs and two software research utilities to assist the genealogy enthusiast. The family research CDs also contain a proprietary search and charting interface called the Progeny Family Explorer, which allows users to create most of the same family tree charts as the Charting Companion product.
Progeny Genealogy Inc. was split off from Progeny Software, founded by PGI CEO Pierre Clouthier and Robert P. “Bob” Thomas in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1995. Since its beginning, Progeny has established a reputation for quality and integrity, and enjoys amicable relationships with both large and small players in the genealogy marketplace. Progeny’s software has been bundled with or incorporated into products published by such high-profile companies as Ancestry.com, Corel, Mindscape, The Learning Company, as well as the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Progeny’s products are distributed internationally by a network of genealogy dealers in the US, Canada and overseas.
Corporate Head Office for Progeny Genealogy is located in New Minas, Nova Scotia, Canada.
For more information about partnering opportunities, please email Pierre Clouthier.