Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wellington County OGS Region III Meeting - Ask the Experts

On Saturday, April 19, 2014, there will be a full-day meeting from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Harriston Community Centre, 111 George Street South, Harriston, ON, and the title of it is Ask the Experts

The morning portion will feature three different genealogical professionals who will give presentations on their area of expertise. In the afternoon, the experts will sit on a panel and answer your research questions. 

To get your questions answered, please submit them ahead of time through the branch website, or in person. 

The Experts will be  

  • Cindy Preece 

o Archives Administrator, Wilfrid Laurier University Archives & Special Collections

  •  Karen Wagner

o Archivist at the Wellington County Museum and Archives

  • Expert Panel

o A special presentation on “Preserving Your Family Heirlooms”

The cost will be $20.00 per person for pre-registration or $25 per person at the door, and there will be a $10.00 charge for lunch. 

The territory covered by Wellington Branch encompasses Guelph and Wellington County and its historical townships - Minto, Arthur, West Luther, Maryborough, Peel, Pilkington, Nichol, West Garafraxa, Eramosa, Erin, Guelph and Puslinch.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Preserving Ireland's Genealogy

This was just sent out from on St. Partick’s Day.

Website Gathers St. Patrick's Day and Other Irish Family Stories and Photos by Glen Greener

“St. Patrick died on March 17, 481, but St. Patrick's Day lives on all over the world demonstrating how prolific Irish roots have permeated cultures globally over the years. A sampling of the many areas St. Patrick's day is celebrated in includes: Argentina, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Malaysia, Montserrat, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, and the United States. is celebrating St. Patrick's day by encouraging descendants of Irish immigrants to preserve and share their Irish family memories online through photos and stories. Family historians can also freely search over 30 million historic Irish records online or begin building their Irish family trees.

Ireland provides one of the most interesting and challenging genealogies for family researchers, and there are a lot of them. Over 100 million people worldwide claim some Irish heritage. 

A loss of records by fire and problems recording Irish emigrants who boarded ships after the original departure can seem like barriers to genealogists trying to "get back across the pond." The family histories are often available in the emigrant's new country, but finding the lines back in Ireland can be difficult.

Chris Paton, a former BBC television producer, author, and a professional genealogist, says, "Ireland has probably experienced more tragedy when it comes to the preservation of resources for family historians than any other region of the British Isles. Many of the nation's primary records were lost during the civil war in 1922 and through other equally tragic means." 

There is good news, says David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch. "The government of Ireland now considers genealogy an economic resource. It is one of the main reasons for tourism. In the past five years, more resources have been made available than were in the previous 15 years."

Rencher comes by his love of Irish ancestry naturally. Both sides of his family hail from the Emerald Isle. And he's always fascinated by the traditions of celebrating St. Patrick's Day all over the world.

There are good resources online:,,, the public records office of Northern Ireland, and the national archives of Ireland. Counties are coming forward with quality publications of local histories, and the Irish government wants to help those with Irish roots to plan their search. 

Rencher says, "People need to find out specifically where their Irish ancestors hail from. County records are important. Parish records are becoming more available." 

Finding the home town and county of your ancestors is helped by surnames which are often good indicators of where in Ireland someone is from. Employment records in America can contain a birthplace in Ireland. Cemeteries in Ireland are valuable because it was not uncommon for relatives to have a tombstone erected in Ireland although the deceased was buried in another country.

The names of neighbors and friends in a possible village of origin could open up help and hospitality. "The Irish are very generous with their time when people are searching for their Irish roots. Most towns have someone who people regard as the local historian who wants to help. Local libraries are also valuable resources. In any case, people on a pilgrimage to find their family's history in Ireland are welcomed with open arms," Rencher said.

According to Rencher, the best method is to, "Start with what you know and branch out to what you don't know. What artifacts do you have in your home? A Presbyterian Church token has a mark that can tell what congregation in Ireland it's from. Other members of a family might have naturalization certificates or church records. Irish families are so large that artifacts could be with any number of cousins."

It's also important to document the ancestors you find along with any stories or pictures. With 100 million Irish descendants around the world, it's a strong possibility someone you don't know can add details to your history if they can find your photos and stories on free preservation sites DNA results can also help identify where others in your family line are located. 

Because of death and emigration to other countries, the population of Ireland was the same in 1900 as in 1800. Irish emigrants went all over the world for many reasons—mostly looking for new opportunity and a new life. Many had to leave when their landlords moved a tenant off the property so a new tenant could pay higher rents. Others went into military service or worked as indentured servants, working for seven years to pay off their costs of emigrating. Many moved to England, Canada, and America to work as miners and laborers. 

Some got a new start in a developing country. If you had to guess the name of a founder and first president of a newly independent nation in South America, would you guess O'Higgins? If you did, you'd be right. Bernardo O'Higgins became the Supreme Director of Chile in 1817.

On St. Patrick's Day, the saying is, "Everybody is Irish for one day," and that might be literally true. Irish is the second most common ancestry in the United States. It's the fourth largest in Canada. Mexico has 600,000 Irish descendants. And this just names a few. 

Whether you're marching in a St. Patrick's Day parade, helping turn the Chicago River green, wearing garish green socks, or just having some corned beef and cabbage at home, take the time to share your favorite Irish family photos and stories online at So even if you don't think you have any Irish in you, it's now a lot easier to double check”.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Times are A-Changing!

Sunday, March 9, the GANS Office Open from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm located at 3258 Isleville Street, Halifax, NS

The time is changing this weekend, but don't be sad! If you're tired on Sunday because you lost an hour's sleep, you can just come into the GANS office in your PJs. We don't mind!

The Office is open to everyone. Stop by to chat, do some internet research, check out our library or buy a publication or membership. Bring a friend!

Twitter: @NSAncestors

The book catalogue of the OGS is on VITA

The Book Catalogue and the Cemetery Locator of the OGS has been moved to VITA, a division of OurOntario (a site which tells the story of Ontario) at

Some feature are –

Family Histories

You can now search our Family History Collection at VITA


The entire Periodical Collection is easier to search. They have now been able to provide more info for their Branch Newsletters, i.e., location information for branch libraries and contact information.

Mystery Photos

They have had the Mystery Photos site on their OGS Old Photos flickr site for a while, and now they have moved them over to the new VITA site and have them all accessible in one place.

WWI Memorial Wall

I know that the OGS has wanted to do something like this for a number of years. If you have a WWI vet in your family and you would like to share their photo and a bit about their life, the OGS would be honoured to include your WWI vet on our Memorial Wall.

Where are your Ontario Roots?

This is brand new for OGS, an interactive feature where you can share a bit of history about your family and your Ontario roots! You will find this located on the top right hand corner of the page.

Contact if you have any questions.

Editor’s Note: Your editor has used this new service and has found it to be very good. I had a series of surnames, and place names that I wanted to check, and the search feature worked very fast and was complete. Have you tried it yet? How did you find it? Was it a good finding research tool, or could it be improved?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Kensington Market Childhood

There will be an upcoming event at the Lillian H. Smith Library at 239 College Street Toronto called A Kensington Market Childhood on March 20th, 2014 at 6:30 pm.

Leslie McGrath, Head, Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books will present a talk on the programs for children run by the Toronto Public Library from Boys and Girls House on St. George St., and Lillian Butovsky will talk about growing up above the family grocery store at 45 Bellevue Avenue, the youngest child and only daughter of Joe and Sadie Winemaker. Lillian will share memories of growing up in Kensington Market with her five older brothers in the 1940s.

Information is available at

The Toronto Public Library has an on-going series of lectures Finding Your Roots at the Library, as well as Grace: A Teacher’s Life, One Room Schools, and a Century of Change in Ontario on March 19th, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the North York Central Library, Room 1.

Join Millie Morton as she talks about her book. Hear about how it was to grow up on a farm, teach in one-room schools, and live in small rural Ontario communities

Go to the Toronto Public Library genealogy website at

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tools to help you tell the Story of Your Family

Pierre Clouthier of Progeny Genealogy will give a talk at the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. in the Akins A/V room at the Nova Scotia Archives on University Avenue, Halifax.

They say that "Pierre has been programming computers since 1965, learning FORTRAN at the University of Montreal. He has programmed for the life insurance industry, computer manufacturing and sales, electronic publishing, food, transportation, telecommunications, paper, petroleum, banking, electric utilities, provincial and municipal governments. His grandfather got him interested in genealogy in the 1970s.

Progeny Genealogy was founded in 1995, to develop and distribute graphics software to genealogists in over 50 countries. Progeny has partnered with, Corel, Mindscape, The Learning Company, Individual Software, and the LDS Church. Their mission is to help you tell the story of your family".

And he will be offering a 40% discount on sales of his software CDs at the meeting.

The general public is invited to join us for this free lecture!

For more information on our lecture series visit or you can phone 902.454.0322 or email them at

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on National Flag Day

February 15, 2014

Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark National Flag of Canada Day:

“The Canadian flag is an inspiring and endearing symbol that unites Canadians from coast to coast to coast. It is equated both at home and abroad with a peaceful and progressive country of enormous natural beauty, prosperity and generosity of spirit. At no time is national pride in our flag more evident than during the Olympic Games, and it is certainly on prominent display in Sochi over so many podiums and around so many of our magnificent athletes. We could not be more proud.

“In keeping with the recent tradition of presenting a Peace Tower flag to deserving Canadians, I am deeply honoured to present this symbol of our country to Gordon Burke and Jan Phelan, parents of the late Sarah Burke, who are accompanied today by widower Rory Bushfield. Sarah was a gifted athlete, a trailblazer in freestyle skiing, and one of the principal reasons why the half pipe was introduced as an Olympic sport this year in Sochi, Russia. She was a great Canadian whose efforts have had a remarkable impact on the world of sport, and whose story has touched the nation. Her legacy will live on in the many athletes who take up the sport she so championed.

“On this day, I invite all Canadians to take a moment and reflect on our national icon and what it means to be Canadian.”

February 15 was declared National Flag of Canada Day in 1996. To celebrate this special day in Canadian history, each year the Peace Tower flag is presented to a Canadian who has exemplified the values our country holds most dear.

To read about the history of National Flag Day, go to and go to

Friday, February 14, 2014

Heritage Day in Saskatchewan

The Yorkton Branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogy Society invites you to join them at “Heritage Day” on Sunday, February 16 at the Western Development Museum in Yorkton from 2 PM – 5 PM..

The theme of Heritage Day is “Have Fun with Heritage: Historic Places Made for Play”, with the goal of seeing the historical value of places designed for play.

The press release says that "Guest speakers will talk about interesting locations in the area that have special memories for them. You can take your genealogy work one step further and record special family stories and memories as part of your family archives.

Every family has a story: make this the year to discover yours with the Yorkton Branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogy Society”. 

The website is at

The Western Development Museum where Heritage Day is being held is in the city of Yorkton. The website is

And they have a Family History File at 

All Saskatchewan-based stories of family, community, organization and business history are welcome. The Family History Album is a perfect celebration of anniversaries, birthdays and family milestones like becoming a Century Farm.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Gwyneth Pearce, Secretary of the Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society tells us that they will be holding an all-day workshop Scotland and its People, at the North York Central Library on Saturday 12 April 2014. .

There will be 11 sessions, and they will be on Scottish history, patterns of migration, records and repositories, planning your research both here and in Scotland, and adding “flesh to the bones” of your Scottish ancestors.

The workshop will be led by two principal speakers: UK-based genealogist Sheena Tait, who specializes in Scottish research, and historian Kevin James, a faculty member in the Scottish Studies Program at the University of Guelph. Krista Barclay, Christine Woodcock, and three of our own Toronto Branch experts – Marian Press, Linda Reid and James F.S. Thomson – will also bring their knowledge and enthusiasm to the day’s program..Whether you’re a seasoned researcher or just beginning your family history journey, this is a day you won’t want to miss!

Full program details and speaker biographies can be found on the Branch website at

The early-bird registration deadline for this event is 15 March. OGS members enjoy additional discounts.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Library and Archives Canada and partnership starting to appear online

This notice came from the LAC this morning -

"The partnership between Library and Archives Canada and over the next ten years involves the digitization, indexing and description of millions of personal, administrative and government documents. It will triple the LAC's digital content on the Web, and allow Canadians to access tens of millions of additional images regardless of where they live, at no charge".

They have divided the holdings into Genealogy, Aboriginal History, Military History, and Landmark Papers.

Be forewarned before you start working with these fonds though, I have found with the ones that I have worked with, they ARE NOT INDEXED. And it has can cause headaches to me – a researcher. So has anyone used these online digitization fonds yet? How have you found them? And some of them are dark - almost too dark to read. `1q

So if you can deal with that all that, they are great research material to have online, and combined with the report s

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

NEWS FLASH! Library and Archives Canada to Digitize 640,000 First World War Service Files

As part of the commemoration of the centennial of the First World War, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) announced in its News section that it is undertaking the digitization of 640,000 personnel service files of the First World War’s Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) members with a view to ensuring the long-term preservation of these frail paper documents.

The first quarter, beginning with the letter A through D, will be closed as of March 2014 and will be available on-line as of Summer 2014.

At the end of the project, expected in 2015, Canadians will be able to research high-quality digital copies of the 640,000 newly digitized service files from the comfort of their own home.

To read more about the project, go to

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Ottawa Genealogist – Winter 2013 Edition

The most recent edition of The Ottawa Genealogist has just been released, having received my copy in the mail the other day. It is the newsletter of the Ottawa Branch of the OGS.

Of the articles, George Neville submitted a list of names in his article, Petition of Inhabitants of North Gower for Magistrates in Johnstown District No. 3, in which the men of the township are asking that a magistrate be appointed. Meanwhile, Jim Stanzell provides readers with his Early Bytown Settlers Index, in which over 450 names are listed, and all surnames start with the letter ‘M’.

Gloria F. Tubman’s Question Answered, More Questions Posed outlines the questions posed by a previous article which showed the relationship between people from Bistrol Township and North Onslow Township in the Pontiac area of Quebec.

Edward Kipp has two articles in this newsletter, and they are – Cemetery Shunpiking 2011 & 2013 and Rathbun-Rathbone-Rathburn Family Reunion 2013.

In the first article, he takes us on a tour of the gravestones of his great-grandparents in New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

He provides a history of the people on the gravestones, as well as a photo of the gravestones.

And the second article, he and his wife, Elizabeth, go to Newport, Rhode Island for the latest family reunion of the Rathbun-Rathbone-Rathburn Family.

He always writes such interesting travel logs that are intertwined with family history. It keeps my interest throughout.

Plus, there’s lots of other interesting and informative stuff to read in this issue, as there is in the other issues.

This afternoon, my husband and I will be listening to the live streaming of the Branch’s regular monthly meeting – another plus for belonging to the Ontario Genealogical Society, and one of its many branches!

The website of the Ottawa Branch is

Friday, January 24, 2014

Nova Scotia Census, Assessment and Poll Tax Records, 1770-1795, 1827 has taken the records from Nova Scotia Archives and under agreement with the archives, have put them online. 

The Non-Census Records in the Collection Nova Scotia Poll Tax Rolls, 1791–1793.
The index includes the name and location for each person. Records in this collection are from the following counties -

· Annapolis

· Antigonish

· Colchester

· Cumberland

· Guysborough

· Halifax

· Hants

· Kings

· Lunenburg

· Pictou

· Queens

· Shelburne

Tax Records

The tax records are from the Gideon White Family Papers. Gideon White was a loyalist from Massachusetts who moved to Shelburne, Nova Scotia, after the American Revolution. He served as tax collector for a time, and tax records for the years 1786–1787 are included in the collection.

The tax records provide names and addresses of Shelburne taxpayers, occupations, and county and poor taxes owed.

They can be accessed at

You can also go to the Nova Scotia Archives at and read the individual narrative about each record, and go in-depth into the tax and census records for each of the areas noted above.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Four new French-Canadian podcasts

Sandra Goodwin, an American blogger, now has four Podcasts on her website Maple Stars and Stripes at where you can listen to her talk about these subjects - 

Beginning French-Canadian Research

The Dreaded ‘Dit’ Name

French Pronunciation and Text-to-Speech Aids

More French-Canadian Name Variations

She says that they have been “created as a way to share tips and tricks that might make it easier to research your French-Canadian family here in America as well as to trace them back in Quebec. We’ll discuss ways to make it easier to move around in French-language records, especially if you’re not a native French speaker, as well as take a look at different record groups, repositories, history, geography, culture, and methodology particular to French-Canadian genealogy”.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Search Your Chinese Roots

The Toronto Family History Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has just announced that they will be holding a special lecture on Chinese Roots on Saturday, March 22, 2014, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

This special lecture will present an overview of how Chinese family history has been recorded over the centuries and what people living today need to know if they want to find information about their ancestors in China and elsewhere in the world. Please note that this lecture will bein Chinese with English explanations as needed.

The instructor will be Grace Chan, and it will be held at North York Memorial Community Hall, 5110 Yonge Street, Toronto.

For further details, visit our website at

Their Facebook page is

Chinese-Canadian Genealogy


Are you making your plans for St. Patrick’s Day yet? If you live in Toronto, Sunday March 16th is a day to circle on your calendar, because there will be a parade!


Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day (and the day before)!

On Sunday, March 16, all eyes will be smiling in downtown Toronto for the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Enjoy a family friendly celebration of Ireland and St. Patrick with colorful floats, bands, dancers and marching groups. There will be a golden touch at the green celebration with Olympic gold medalist Irish boxer Katie Taylor acting as Grand Marshal.

The procession starts at noon from St. George and Bloor, heading east before turning south along Yonge to Queen where it makes a final turn to finish at Nathan Phillips Square. TTC access and parking are available at several points along the parade route.

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Family History Writing Challenge

Have you ever thought about writing a family history book?

If you have, but have been waiting to have some instruction to follow, you should go to Lynn Palmero of The Armchair Genealogist, because she can help you put your family history book together.

Lynn tells us that “Learning to write your family history stories is a fantastic vehicle for compiling your years of research into a shareable format to leave as a legacy for future generations.

The Family History Writing Challenge is a 28-day focus. As a registered member, you'll receive daily emails with inspiration, motivation and education all centred around writing your family history stories. You'll have access to our writer's resources, a collection of article archives to help get you started. We have industry professionals joining us and lending their expertise and you can join us in the writer's forum where you can learn from others struggling with the same issues as well as sharing their successes along the way".

Later this week, she will be delivering some exciting news about The Companion Guide to the Family History Writing Challenge, a workbook dedicated to getting you ready to write. Watch your inbox for that information coming your way in a few days.

To get more information, go to

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

BIFHSGO meeting on January 11th

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) will meet on Saturday January 11th 2014 at the Library and Archives Canada.

9:00 a.m. — During the Before BIFHSGO Education Talk, learn from Ken McKinley about how to protect and save information stored on your computer.

10:00 a.m. — In Bibles and Bugs: My Welsh Ancestors In and Out of Africa, Gail Roger will talk about how an uncle's posthumously published autobiography about his missionary days in Africa helped and hindered her search for her Welsh ancestors. Gail will talk about her great-great-uncle and her maternal grandfather and some of the circumstances about their life in two very different parts of Africa

Come early to browse our Discovery Tables and meet with family history experts. Open to members and visitors. Free admission. Free parking is available in the lots east of the building only on Saturday and Sunday. Do not use the lot west of the building

Also, BIFHSGO has called for speakers for their 20th Annual Conference to be held in Ottawa, September 19 - 21, 2014.

The deadline is January 31, 2014, and the Conference will focus on three main topics -

• English family history;

• Immigration from the British Isles, including Home Children; and

• Genetic genealogy.

The interview with Gail Roger is at

The website is at

Friday, December 27, 2013

UPDATE: FEE ACCESS is giving you FREE ACCESS to more than 100 million records from Canada and around the world. Limited time only - ends December 29th.

The Canadian records are -

1921 Census of Canada

Canada, British Army and Canadian Militia Muster Rolls and Pay Lists, 1795-1850

Canada, British Regimental Registers of Service, 1756-1900

Canada, City and Area Directories, 1819-1906

Canada, Registers of Prisoners of War, 1803-1815

Saskatchewan, Canada, Residents Index (SRI), 1800-2012

Go to

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Boxing Day

Borrowed from Britain, and adopted in Canada as a Christmas holiday, Boxing Day is the day after Christmas Day.

 In Britain, it was customary for employers to give their employees "Christmas boxes" of money or presents as thanks for good service throughout the year.