Showing posts with label family history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family history. Show all posts

Thursday, September 18, 2014

GANS - 5th Annual Brick Wall Busters




If you have Nova Scotian ancestors, you should be interested in this notice I received from the Genealogy Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) this morning.

On Tuesday, November 25th, there will the 5th Annual Brick Wall Busters from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Akins Room, 6016 University Avenue, Halifax, NS. 

Ginny Clark, CG(C), Dr. Allan Marble, CG(C) and Doug Cochrane CG(C) will provide information found on submitted brick wall questions. 

Please include all pertinent available information such as surname and given name, approximate dates, area of Nova Scotia, the piece of information you would like to find, sources you have already checked, and your contact information. You should present a specific question in which you require an answer or are most interested. We must receive adequate information in order to properly assist you with your query otherwise it may not be accepted. 

The query must be of a length that can be read within two minutes.

The deadline for receiving the queries is midnight October 25th, 2014

Eight queries will be selected to be addressed at our lecture on November 25, 2014: four from local members who will be attending the meeting and four from members outside of the Halifax Regional Municipality who are not able to attend the meeting. 

At the event, the local members will read their queries for the benefit of other attendees. A member of the GANS Executive will read the queries from the members from “away”. 


Kirsty Gray, UK Genealogist, will talk at two workshops in Canada




Kirsty Gray will be in Toronto on November 1st where she will give lectures on Industrial England. She will explore the Industrial Revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries transformed the world and dramatically changed the lives of our ancestors in many ways. 

This one-day workshop will be co-sponsored by Toronto Branch and the Canadiana Department of North York Central Library, and will be held in the Library’s Auditorium. 

Early-bird rates apply until today and members of the Ontario Genealogical Society enjoy a further discount on the workshop fee. 

For additional details and to register on-line go to http://torontofamilyhistory.org/learn/workshops/industrial-england-workshop/  

Then she will come to Ottawa the next day where she will appear from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and she will give two lectures at the Woodroffe United Church Banquet Hall, 207 Woodroffe Ave., Ottawa ON. 

She will talk on two subjects - 

1. Searching for Names: Challenges, Pitfalls and the Downright Ridiculous 

2. Solving Problems Through Family Reconstruction 

The lectures will be sponsored by the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO). Admission is $10 per person at the door. 

A break with light refreshments will be held between the two lectures.

Contact information is available at http://ogsottawa.on.ca/ 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Immigration Conference: Getting Here


Kawartha Branch, The Ontario Genealogical Society will have a special one-day conference on Saturday, October 4 from 9 am to 3:15 pm at the Northminster United Church, 300 Sunset Blvd, Peterborough.

The speakers and the topics will be -

  • Archivist Col. John Carew New Life, New Hope, and a New Land 

  • Alan Brunger Corsley Immigration to Canada, 1830s 

  • Elwood Jones The Cumberland Emigration 

  • Peter McConkey The Robinson Emigrations 

Cost: $35 and includes snacks and lunch. 


Italian Canadians and World War II


A special travelling exhibition organized by the Columbus Centre of Toronto/Villa Charities will visit Windsor’s Community Museum from September 19th to December 13th. 

It says in the press release that “This exhibit explores the experiences of Italian Canadians following Italy‘s entry into World War II on the side of Germany. The political consequences within Canada of Italy‘s declaration of war in June 1940 deeply affected all spheres of ordinary life for Italian Canadians. Through video, audio, and text, the travelling exhibit puts a human face to this little-known period in Canadian history”. 

The exhibit will open September 19th, with a special screening of Piazza Petawawa (Director Rino Noto), a documentary telling the story of Italian-Canadians during World War II. The event runs from 4 – 6 pm. Refreshments will be available and admission is free. 

In addition, Dr. Walter Temelini, Professor Emeritus of the Italian Studies Department of the University of Windsor will hold a lecture entitled “The Italian Canadian Experience during World War II.” This event takes place at Windsor’s Community Museum on September 27th beginning at 2:00 pm and admission is free. 

The museum is located at 254 Pitt Street, Windsor, Ontario.The website is at http://www.citywindsor.ca/residents/culture/windsors-community-museum/Pages/Windsors-Community-Museum.aspx

More microfilm put online

Canadiana.org has put on more microfilm online at the Héritage website.

I have picked out some of the microfilm that you may find interesting, Please be advised that none of these records have been indexed, although some of them may have internal indexes.

Canadian Army Courts Martial documents 

Census of the township of Augusta
Census of the City of Montreal, 1831
Census returns 1842: Canada West
Central registry files created by the Northwest Territories and Yukon Branch

Department of Militia and Defence: Yukon Garrison, nominal rolls and paylists
Department of Militia and Defence: 1903 Army Central Registry, subject files
Department of Militia and Defence: Contracts Branch letterbooks, 1895-1912
Department of Militia and Defence: Correspondence of the Deputy Minister’s office
Department of Militia and Defence: Register of correspondence of the Deputy Minister’s office, 1867-1903
Department of Militia and Defence: Special Forces nominal rolls and paylists
Department of Militia and Defence: Yukon Mortar Machine Gun Batteries

Department of Railways and Canals: Records related to Welland Canal
Department of Railways and Canals: Records related to the St. Lawrence Canals
Department of the Interior: Dominion Lands Branch: North-West Territories, Metis scrip applications
Department of the Interior: Dominion Lands Branch: North-West Territories, Index to Metis scrip applications

Parish archives for Richelieu County
Parish archives for Saint-Pierre de Sorel: baptisms, marriages and burials
Perth [Ontario] Military Settlement fonds
Peter Hunter collection and papers
Peter Robinson Collection
Port of Saint-Servan Archives 

The Héritage Portal is at http://heritage.canadiana.ca/ 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tour of Nova Scotia Archives and Its Holdings


On Wednesday, September 24, 2014 the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia is inviting everyone to a Tour of Nova Scotia Archives and Its Holdings from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The Nova Scotia Archives, Akins Room (wheelchair accessible) is located at 6016 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia

The guest speaker will be Garry Shutlak, Senior Archivist, Public Archives of Nova Scotia

Garry will talk about the website and the genealogical resources found there followed by a tour of the 3rd Floor holdings.

Open to the general public. All are welcome.


Ancestry.ca - Campbell River, British Columbia newspaper database



Ancestry.ca has put on another database and this one concerns the index of birth, marriage, and death information from three newspapers serving the Campbell River, British Columbia, area in central Vancouver Island, and they are -

Campbell River Courier, 1947–1974

Comox Argus, 1917–1945

Campbell River Upper Islander, 1964–1990


Details vary depending on the paper and type of event, but you may find the following:

· name

· birth date and place

· christening date and place

· father’s name

· mother’s name

· spouse’s name

· marriage date and place

· death date and place

· age at death

· burial date and place

Information for this index was extracted by members of the Campbell River Genealogy Society.

The website is at http://search.ancestry.ca/search/db.aspx?dbid=2492

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Ancestry.ca

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR)


In order to give my research clients the most-up-to-date information, using modern methodology—and in addition to my working towards a Certificate in Professional Development from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (NIGS)——I have just enrolled in Michael Hait’s course in Writing a Logical Proof Argument, a course from the new Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR).

As I wrote to the people behind VIGR, “I am really excited to be a part of the first class! This is groundbreaking in the realm of genealogical institutes, and I am so glad that it has come to pass”. 

The link to the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR) website is  http://vigrgenealogy.com/news/ 


My research website is at www.elrs.biz.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre - Ontario Jewish Archives-


Back in 1973, the Ontario Jewish Archives, known as the Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre, started to acquire, preserve and today, it is making available documentary sources related to Ontario's Jewish community. 

Now, the Government of Canada has announced that it will be providing $195,100 through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund to support a renovation project undertaken by the Ontario Jewish Archives Foundation. With this funding the Foundation will retrofit the vault and redesign and furnish the public access space and document processing area in the Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre. 

The Ontario Jewish Archives is the largest professionally maintained repository of Jewish archival material in Canada.

You can search their archives where they have over 5,000 cubic feet of textual records, photos, newspapers, films, and oral histories. 


Niagara Peninsula has a new website!



The Niagara Peninsula of the Ontario Genealogical Society has a new website, and it is exciting because of the new features that are on the site. 

In addition to having a new website (which is very neat and well organized), they are also starting to put video of their meetings and cemetery tours under the heading of Media! 

Last evening, I watched a video of their last meeting, and I was impressed with the quality and media presence of the presenters. I was left with the thought that everyone should do this. It’s a great way to tell everybody about your Branch or Chapter for free!  

So why isn’t this an initiative from the head office? Maybe it is, and we are just finding out about it, but I don’t think so. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New home for GANS


I received a notice from the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) (of which I am a member), that they have found a new place for their office in the Halifax – Dartmouth area of Nova Scotia.

They had received a notice of termination of their lease from their landlord dated July 1, 2014, and they only had three months to find a new office space.
As the notice says, “An earlier formed Premises Committee chaired by Vice President, Bob Davison and including Executive members Nathaniel Smith, Pam Wile, Jan Fralic-Brown, Holly Gunn and our Executive Director, Dawn Josey, was tasked with finding GANS a new home.

After an aggressive search, the Committee was successful in locating an office that meets GANS current and future needs.

The search committee established a set of criteria for the new location:

1. Room and structural integrity for expansion of research collection.

2. Quiet area for research.

3. Meeting and office administration space.

4. Separate room for processing and storing donations, acquisitions and our inventory.

5. Accessible space.

6. Lecture/large meeting room to seat 50 people.

7. Quiet building, suitable parking and street level visibility in high traffic/high profile area with potential for highly visible signage.

The Committee visited over a dozen locations throughout HRM. The office located in the Quaker Landing building at 33 Ochterloney Street, Dartmouth was the space that best met the above criteria. This 1731 square foot office will have a dedicated library area, a research room and a large meeting room where GANS can hold monthly lectures and workshops. library and collections will be protected for use by our members and the general public”.

So the new office is right downtown, just up from the ferry from Halifax, and is in the perfect place.

They plan to have an Open House once everything is unpacked, and you can
contact them through the Executive Director, Dawn Josey info@novascotiaancestors.ca.

The website is http://www.novascotiaancestors.ca/

The Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/NovaScotiaAncestors

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Edmonton City as Museum Project



The Edmonton City as Museum Project will tell the ‘stories of the people, places, and things’ that make up the city of Edmonton. 

So far, the site has explored the North Saskatchewan River, told the story of the Edmonton’s Pioneer Photographers, and they will host a special exhibit on Freedom this month. 

They would like you to recommend songs that will create a sense of freedom for the visitors to the exhibit. 

The songs will be compiled into the Freedom Playlist and will be shared in the exhibit and on line. 

The last day to submit is September 27, 2014 and the exhibit will take place on September 28th from 1 – 4 pm at the Prince of Wales Armoury. 

And they want your stories! So if you have a story to contribute, you can email them at 


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Family history courses at the Surrey Library System


The Cloverdale Library (a branch of the Surrey Library System) is having a FREE introduction session called An Introduction to Family History on Sept 13 from 10:30 to noon.

This free session will show participants what's available, where to find it, and how to document your search. Learn some of the tips and tricks that are unique to genealogy research.

There will be workshop in five lessons called Start Searching Your Family History. 

It will be a series of five, three-hour classes, developed by writer and researcher Brenda Smith.

It starts Mondays from Sept. 22 to Nov. 17 (5:30 to 8:30 p.m.), the cost is $100, and participants must commit to all five sessions.

Learn How to Navigate Ancestry and Heritage Quest is a single session scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 27 (10:30 a.m. to noon). Ancestry Library Edition and Heritage Quest are free to use for anyone visiting the Cloverdale Library. Find out how these tools work, and how to interpret what you find.

The Cloverdale Library is at 5642 176A Street, Surrey, British Columbia. It is home to one of the largest Canadian family history collections in the country, with extensive resources, programs and expertise.

Register for these programs at 604-4598-7327 or email familyhistory@surrey.ca.

The website for Family History at the Surrey Library System is at http://www.surreylibraries.ca/programs-services/4815.aspx

Friday, September 5, 2014

Essex Branch has a new website

The Essex Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has a new exciting website on WordPress.

They have tagged themselves as Volunteer Genealogists: Networking & Collaborating. Advocates for Archives and Cemeteries.

They have the usual divisions of Publications, Events, Resources, and the ever-important Member’s Only page.

Plus, they highlight news of interest to people who have ancestors in the Essex area.

The Branch will celebrate it’s 35th anniversary by holding an Open House on Monday, September 8, 2014 from 6 pm – 8 pm at the Windsor Public Library, 850 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor.

If you are new to family history, or a seasoned researcher, they hope you will join them to discuss family history research, tour their library collection, hear about the branch history and their plans for the future, meet other members of the branch, other branches, and other Essex County family history-driven organizations, and, of course, enjoy some cake and good company!

So their site is at http://www.ogs.on.ca/essex/

If you wish to belong to Essex Branch, go to the Ontario Genealogical Society at http://www.ogs.on.ca/membership.php.

They are still offering a Partial Year Membership ($35.70 - available June 1 to October 31)

It is an introductory offer for brand new members that allows you to join right away rather than waiting for the next calendar year (this category is also available to those who have not been an OGS member for the past two years and would like to come back).

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Anglo-Celtic Roots Summer 2014


Tagged as a “Quarterly Journal”, the publication of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO), called Anglo-Celtic Roots, issued their summer edition, and it has three interesting articles – 

Travels With My Aunt: Adventure in Europe 1914 by Barbara Tose. I read this article over about three times because it was so gripping, and I have a soft spot when it comes to travel stories. 

It involves a group of travellers led by James L. Hughes of Montreal, who, in 1914 (just before the start of the First World War) went to England and Europe. And one of those traveller was Tose’s great-great aunt, Ellen Margaret Miller, from Lindsay, Ontario. 

An Officer and a Gentleman by Andrew Billingsley is the recounting of Thomas Alexander Rowat’s experiences in the First World War. He is the author’s great-uncle.

He belonged to the Divisional Cyclists, and they were used to carry messages bask and forth between the division headquarters and the battlefield. 

By the summer of 1917, fighting had become unbearable, and on June 26, Lieut. Rowat was killed, and he is buried in Villers-au-Bois, France. 

John Henry McVittie: Before, During and after World War I by Brian Latham is a life story of his uncle, John Henry McVittie, from St. Joseph Island, encompassing the First World War, and his life after the war. 

BIFHSGO is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and the conference will be held September 19-21, 2014 in the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. 

Their website is http://www.bifhsgo.ca.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ontario Genealogical Society Branch Facebook Pages

The Ontario Genealogical Society is made up of 33 branches and SIGs, and besides their web pages, many of them also have their own Facebook pages so that they can keep in touch with members and non-members alike.

The Facebook pages are -

Bruce & Grey Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society Facebook 

Elgin County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society Facebook

Essex County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society Facebook 

Halton-Peel Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/HaltonPeelBranchOGS?fref=ts 

Hamilton Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/groups/523462191101234/?fref=ts 

Huron County Branch, Genealogical Society Facebook 

Kent Branch Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society Facebook

Niagara Peninsula Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society Facebook 

Ottawa Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society Facebook 

Perth County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society Facebook 
https://www.facebook.com/PerthCountyBranchOGS?fref=ts

Quinte Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/QuinteBranch.OGS?fref=ts

Sudbury Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society Facebook 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/sudburyogs/?fref=ts

Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society Facebook 

Wellington County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society Facebook 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Quebec’s Civil Registers


Ever wonder why French-Canadian baptism, marriage, and death records are usually so complete, and that they go back to the 17th century?

Well, this year marks the 475th anniversary of the signing of the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts in 1539, which stated that priests were required to register baptisms and burials. In 1579, another ordinance was signed which required that marriages be registered. 

And in 1667, the Ordinance of Saint-Germain-en-Laye introduced a practice that has proven to be very important to genealogists – that is, the practice of keeping duplicate copies of the baptisms, marriages, and deaths. One copy was kept by the priest, and the second was filed with civil authorities at the end of the year.

Furthermore, in Quebec, civil status registers have the following characteristics -

· There are three types of acts: baptism, marriage, and burial.

· The acts are drawn up by parish priests.

· They are presented chronologically, usually within a single register.

· They are subject to two separate regulations: ecclesiastical and civil. 

The Library and Archives Canada has a very good website explaining Vital Statistics: Births, Marriages and Deaths at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/vital-statistics-births-marriages-deaths/Pages/births-marriages-deaths.aspx 

Ancestry.ca also has the Drouin Collection online, which contains Catholic baptisms, marriages, and deaths – including some Protestant records, also. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

LAC has updated the 1861 Census

Library and Archives Canada has upgraded the 1861 Census because there were apparently a “number of missing records and misplaced images were reported by Library and Archives Canada clients and staff". 

They have corrected over 133,000 entries! 

According to their blog, there were definite issues with the Canada West and Canada East.  

“In Canada West, the records for the cities of Hamilton, Kingston, London, Ottawa and Toronto were previously reported missing but the records did exist. The five cities, although enumerated separately in 1861, were tucked away amongst their neighbouring rural districts. For example, the city of Ottawa was listed under the district of Carleton and the city of Kingston was listed under Frontenac. The five cities are now correctly identified as districts and their respective wards are identified as sub-districts. 

Additionally in Canada West, the rural districts of Renfrew and Russell were also reported as missing. The records for those two districts and their sub-districts can now be searched. In the rural district of Kent, the sub-districts of Camden and Gore, the town of Chatham, and the district of Chatham have been correctly identified. The images in the districts of Brant and Dundas are now correctly linked.

In Canada East, several image linking errors were corrected, particularly in the districts of Argenteuil, Montcalm and St-Jean”.

It is good to see that the LAC is listening to our comments, complaints and they are correcting their databases. 

To go to the 1861 census, you can go to 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Ottawa Genealogist July-September 2014 issue



The July-September 2014 issue of The Ottawa Genealogist is here, and the main article is Harry Waite Survivor of Vimy Ridge by John Patton.

Patton gives a very personal recounting of the life of Harry Waite, a veteran of the First World War originally from Hastings, halfway between Peterborough and Belleville. 

There is a write-up of Gene-O-Rama 2014 and a full page picture, plus a page of Ottawa people the Ontario Genealogical Society conference in Niagara this past spring, and Early Bytown Settlers Index for the letters ‘R’ and ‘S’, as put together by Jim Stanzell. 

The first meeting of the new season will be held on Saturday, 13th of September , at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive in Ottawa.

Patti Mordasewicz, vice-president of the Ontario Genealogical Society, will be there to talk about the resources available at the Leeds & Grenville Archives in Brockville.

If you want to see more about the Ottawa Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, you can go to their web page at http://ogsottawa.on.ca/

They have a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/237267743111732/?fref=ts 

They have a blog at http://ogsottawa.blogspot.com/

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Nova Scotia Paving Programme


Starting in 1934 and completed in 1938, the Nova Scotia Department of Highways undertook a major highway reconstruction project known as the Paving Programme. And I know this for a fact, that my father and his brothers* worked on this project as it made its way through the Shelburne-Jordan Falls, Shelburne County area, on the southwestern shore of Nova Scotia. 

When I took a look at the photos at the Nova Scotia Archives site, I even recognized some of the areas that they worked on, and where the paving plant was located in Jordan Falls. 

As you leaf through the scrapbook, do you also recognize the places today? Nothing has changed too much. The highways are wider than they used to be, and there are more houses. From what I understood, it was messy, hot work during that that summer of 1938, but they were happy to get the work. 

Now, nearly eighty years later, those albums have been digitized and are displayed here for Internet visitors to explore. There are 350 black-and-white images to be seen. 

The website is at http://novascotia.ca/archives/virtual/highways/


*My father was Harold Arthur Barclay, and his brothers were Perley and John Barclay of Jordan Falls, Shelburne County, Nova Scotia.