Danny Gillis

From: Danny Gillis

Hi Robert,

I have just ordered your book Nana through Amazon. I’ll be very interested to read it.

I have always had an interest in genealogy and just today came across quite an extensive Family tree of the Gillises descending from Iain MacPheadair Gillis, a pioneer who settled In Cape Breton in 1801. I don’t know who compiled the family tree but thought that you might since you have an interest and your book is referenced in the endnotes.

Like you I also decided to write a book for a loved one, my father, Danny Gillis, after he died in 1998. I just made thirty copies, enough for close family. You were more ambitious! Good for you.

I am from Antigonish Nova Scotia and was born near Port Hood Cape Breton. My mom and dad (Danny Gillis) were both from that area, not far from where the first Gillis (Iain MacPheadair Gillis) who came from Scotland settled down. So you and I are related – fourth or fifth cousins at best I suppose but related nonetheless. You may know of my father. He was quite well-known in the Port Hood area and moved back there from Antigonish when he retired. I am less well-known, ha ha.

I’ll let you know how my visit with Duncan goes. I’m looking forward to meeting him.

Take care and thanks again for the very timely information!

Danny Gillis
Antigonish, Nova Scotia


Hi Robert,

Well, I was able to visit Duncan at his apartment in St. Lambert. I had about an hour and a half and a couple of drinks with him. He gets a round pretty good (shuffles fast) and was really focused on what I was there for. His memory is shaky on some things but really sharp on others. I told him thanks from you. The family tree he’s created is quite a gem. The one he has on his home computer is really interactive. You can click on names and notes on those names will appear when you click. There was even a note for me, one that I was surprised any one knew about. I have no idea where he got that note and neither does he J. Duncan plans to send me a CD of the family tree which I hope will also allow me to make notes and add to it. He also gave me the name for a guy in Ottawa, Allan Gillis, who is a genealogy expert. I may get a chance to visit him this summer when I go to Ontario.

All in all a nice visit and a great series of coincidences that led to it! Thanks for your part in it.

Happy Fenway Day, by the way, I see the 100th anniversary game is tonight. I booked tickets on line yesterday for a Sox-Indians game on May 12th when I go to pick up my son. His exams end that day so it will be a nice way to celebrate.

Take care,