June, 2003



Information about the Webmaster and his Research

My name is David Scott Canevit and I am the webmaster for this website. I established the website in 1999 as a means to share information that I was collecting about the Canevit family. I had no idea that this site would become a panacea for my research woes. Many people began to contact me and share information that has culminated in an enormous backlog of work. I have made contact with family members that I did not even know existed, and I have been able to share information to many others who, like I in 1995, had many questions about our heritage.

My personal research has slowed a bit in recent years due to college, but I have been fortunate to be able to continue gathering information due to the overwhelming response of other researchers. I hope to continue to build this website even larger in the coming years.

I myself was born in Columbus, Georgia in 1965 and spent most of my life in the South. I graduated from Pinellas Park Senior High School in 1983. In 1984 I enlisted in the US Army Reserves and was assigned to the 320th Military Police Company in St. Petersburg, Florida where I was a military policeman. In 1987, I enlisted in the Army on active duty and was sent to Fort Hood, Texas where I was assigned to A Company, 303rd Military Intelligence Battalion with a small attachment of MPs to perform force protection for a military intelligence sensitive building. In 1989, I was transferred to the Republic of Turkey where I was assigned to the 70th Ordinance Company and assigned to perform security on a NATO nuclear weapons storage site. In 1990, I was transferred back to Fort Hood and assigned to the 410th Military Police Company. While with the 410th, I deployed to Panama for four months. In 1995, I was transferred to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, assigned to the Schofield Barracks Military Police Company, where I was a desk sergeant for the majority of that assignment. In 1996, I was transferred to Fort Bragg, North Carolina where I was assigned to the 108th Military Police Company (Air Assault). During my time in that unit, I was deployed to Bosnia for nine months and to Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, with the 3rd Special Forces Group for two months.

I had requested to go to Ft. Bragg because I felt that as a career soldier it would be the best post in the Army to make me a better leader, plus I had wanted to jump out of airplanes. However, I never realized the opportunity to jump due to several injuries. I did begin to take college classes during this time in order to get promoted. I found out that I had a greater love for education than I had ever admitted. I decided to leave the Army and pursue studies in criminology.

In May, 2001, I graduated from Methodist College in Fayetteville, North Carolina, with a bachelor of science degree in Criminal Justice Studies and Sociology, and a minor concentration in Psychology. I recently completed the Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and will begin doctoral studies there in the fall (2003) in Urban Studies.

On August 1, 1999, I married the former Shelley Lucile Amen in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is currently a student at the Medical College of Wisconsin where she is pursuing a medical degree as well as a PhD. We have no children, but we have two cats, Sunspot and Moonbeam. We reside in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee.

I started researching my family history in 1995. Here is the story of my initial search for Canevit Genealogy. This bit of early writing used to be on the main page of this site.

   This project began in 1995 when I began asking some questions about my family lineage. As a child I had heard various stories about some of my ancestors, however the stories were often confusing and quite unorganized. I purchased a copy of Family Tree Maker which included a social security number death index, as well as family histories of some of the more common names. I immediately began to realize the difficulty of locating my ancestry. There was only one Canevit to be found, that being my Grandfather Harold Canevit, whose name was listed on the Social Security Death Index.
    I began utilizing the Internet in 1996, thanks to access granted to me by my friend Wes Lacey, who had just begun using his new computer. The Internet was a vast web of information, and I really believed I could find relatives throughout the net. I probably did find a few, yet I was not searching in a methodical manner. I was never told what the original spelling of our name was, except one time my Grandfather told me he thought the original spelling was CANIVET . Unfortunately, I began searching only for the last name CANIVET, which yielded a lot of hits, but there is a specific method one has to use when looking for past relatives.
    One day I happened on a web site, Cyndi's Genealogy Links, which included a vast amount of information including some useful starting tips. Apparently Cyndi Howells is also a believer that the Internet could be a valuable source in obtaining information on ancestry. The first thing I learned from her site was apparent: you will not find your family history simply by "punching in" the last name of your family, at least not in many instances. The next thing I learned was that I needed to work in a systematic search from known points, those being from relatives I knew of.
    I used the Internet to obtain information, but not necessarily on my ancestors. I found sites such as the Social Security Administration, and I began requesting information via the US Postal Service. Soon, I had information on my Grandfather, my Great-Grandfather, and some Canevits I knew nothing about.

    By the time I got my act together, I had to deploy to Bosnia for nine months in 1997. I still got a bit of information though. While awaiting to return to the United States in Tazar, Hungary, a vendor had a stand operating who was selling information on family history. I looked through his book, and there was the name CANIVET, but alas not CANEVIT. I decided to ask what information he had, but we found that the information was only written in French. Luckily, an individual was present who could read French and translated the information. It would be useful later, and I obtained a copy of the information. Part of the history of the CANIVET family is listed at the bottom of the page.
    In 1998 I began finding an enormous amount of source documents on everyone I knew of. I obtained another Family Tree Maker program (the first one was left in Hawaii in 1995) this time for the main purpose of storing information. Slowly, an interesting story was beginning to unravel. Contact was made from a source in France as well, the first Canivet (Melanie) contacted me thinking we may be distant relatives.
    The information I have obtained in 1999 has been the most productive. At the start of the year I was in a bit of despair, because I believed I had hit a proverbial brick wall. Initially, contact with family members was not helping me through this brick wall. I had a wedding license with Tandy's father's name, yet I could not read the name of his father with certainty. The Church of Latter Day Saints opened their web site and suddenly I had new information: the name of Tandy's father, and eventually the names of his brother and sisters. After attempting to contact one Canevit who was reported to have done a lot of family history research, he sent the information to me via another Canevit (Debbie) who was looking for the same information I was. I have obtained more source documents this year than ever before. The search continues however to link our family with our distant relatives in France. Hopefully, this link will happen soon.

Rue du CanivetIn August of 1999, my wife and I went to Paris, France on the first leg of our honeymoon. While there, we found the name "CANIVET, A" listed on a wall of heroes in the Pantheon. We also found a street, Rue Du Canivet, in Paris. Some information that was supplied to me about the original spelling of our name was beginning to disturb me. Debbie Canevit thought the original spelling was CANAEVIT (and in fact there are occurrences of that spelling), yet after looking through a phone book or two in Paris, I found no such name. So, I hypothesized that CANAEVIT was a spelling that was given to Antoine by the immigration service upon entry into the United States (names were often misspelled, or Americanized during these times), or my wife suggested that Antoine may have been a learned man and may have chose to "latinize" his name. 
    I ran across some information which may explain a great deal. First, the information may explain the reasons why the spelling of our name became confused in America. Second, the reason why our family history became so scattered.
    Occasionally I peruse information that I have already obtained, always searching for more clues. I had an index from the state of Illinois which I had used to obtain Tandy's marriage license from his first marriage. According to the state index, his name was spelled CANEVIT, which actually was a misspelling of his name CANAEVIT. There was an entry before his which I did not consider important at the time I saw it. That entry was his mother, Martha, who apparently was remarried to Jonah Scalf. I had also discovered that Tandy's father, Antoine, died when Tandy was only a year old. It appears that Antoine's story may have died with him. 
    So, that is basically the story of my search thus far. It is still an ongoing process which I hope continues to be a rewarding one as well. The whole purpose of my quest is simply to answer questions many Canevits have about their heritage. We all seem to have descended from Antoine Dominique Canivet. Hopefully, with the help of the Grande Famille Canivet in France, we will bridge the gap between us and France, and shed some light on our heritage. As it stands now, I am the 6th generation descended from Antoine.

Note: 1. Picture of Rue du Canivet, courtesy of La Grande Famille Canivet, taken by Jackie Canivez. 



Here are a few pictures of me and my wife taken over the last few years

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This site was last updated Sunday June 29, 2003