Janet Watson is the daughter of Claude and Genevie (Dorcas) Swan. She married Randy Watson and together they raised a family in the Harvey, York County, New Brunswick, area.
Janet attended a one room school in Tweedside, graduated from Harvey High School, then earned an accounting diploma from Moncton Tech. Initially, she worked for accounting departments outside of Harvey but then settled permanently back in Harvey, most recently living in the house where she grew up on the Tweedside Road. She is the fourth generation of Swans to live there stating “It is rather a unique feeling to live in the same space as your fore bearers did and imagine what life was like for them.”
Janet has made a hugely significant contribution to preserving the genealogical and pictorial history of the Harvey area. She has authored and coauthored books on the Little, Rutherford, and Dorcas families and has made it her mission to collect, document and share heritage photos found in family albums from all over the Harvey area. With the emerging popularity of social media, she began sharing these photos in a group on Facebook called Old Harvey Photos which now has over 3000 members worldwide. Scanning, researching, and posting on almost a daily basis since 2015 adding up to hundreds of hours, the collection she amassed includes many hundreds of photos that are now being shared with descendants all over the world, ensuring the longevity of photographs that may have ended up hidden in drawers and at risk of being forever lost. Her scanned versions with captions are being stored in the digital archive of the Harvey Regional Heritage and Historical Association. Copyright free, they are also being added to online and offline genealogical histories and websites including websites, harveysettlers.org and harveyheritage.ca that document the history of people who came from the borderlands of Scotland and England to settle the Harvey area in the 1800s, and the general history of the Harvey area, respectively.
Janet has also provided other community services in the Harvey area. She held several positions as a member of Saint Andrews United Church, acted in a drama group providing popular local entertainment, collected donations for various charities including the Kidney Foundation, Christmas Mommies, and the Terry Fox Run, and raised funds for the Harvey Memorial Community Centre. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Art Smith Seniors Complex and did bookkeeping for the local businesses Lone Pine Animal Clinic and Harvey Pharmacy/ Blacks Grocery and Cafe, retiring in 2017.
In addition to genealogy and volunteering, Janet is passionate about basketball, playing while a student and supporting her family members at their basketball games. In deed, she is an avid Raptors fan. She also enjoys scrabble and photography, and loves gardening.
Janet has served the community in many capacities. With her genealogical and photo preservation activities, not only has she made a huge contribution to the local community, but the reach of her contributions goes well beyond the Harvey area stretching through New Brunswick, Canada, and even world-wide.
Prepared by Sheryl Bartlett, 2023