The Empress of Ireland was in a collision with the Norwegian collier SS Storstad in the early hours of 29 May 1914. Of the 1,477 persons on board the ship, 1,012 died.
The Beaurepaire-Beaconsfield Historical Society will meet on Thursday April 17th at 7:30 p.m. at the Centennial Hall, 288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield (Montreal). The lecture will be in English, but there will be a bilingual question period.
The lecture will be on the RMS Empress of Ireland, and the speaker will be Derek Grout who has written a book on the ill-fated liner Empress of Ireland which sank in the Gulf of St Lawrence, in front of Pointe-au-Père, in a collision in 1914.
The hundredth anniversary of the sinking is May 29 and the book's release in Canada is scheduled for early April, in advance of the anniversary. Canada Post is supposed to be issuing two stamps to commemorate the event, and various museums across the country have scheduled special exhibitions, most notably the Canadian Museum of History (formerly Canadian Museum of Civilization) in Gatineau, across from Ottawa.
At this lecture, you will be able to buy the book RMS Empress of Ireland, Pride of the Canadian Pacific's Atlantic Fleet by Derek Grout, at the price of $35.00.
Everyone welcome. Free for members and $2 for non-member. You can become a member for just $5 per year.
The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) will be holding its monthly meeting next Saturday at the Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa.
The meeting will start at 9:00 a.m. with the Before BIFHSGO Education Talk which will be given by Ken McKinlay and he will talk about Using Evernote for Genealogy Research. He will provide an overview of the online tool and how it can help with genealogy tasks.
From 9:30 until 10:00 a.m. you will be able to browse the Discovery Tables and talk to Ken McKinlay about the online tool Evernote. (Since I am a recent covert to Evernote, I will be interested to hear what Ken thinks about this newer research tool for genealogy.)
At 10:00 a.m.. Ken Harley will give a talk in which he will build on an earlier presentation he made to BIFHSGO in December 2009 during which he established how his wife Maxine's family arrived in Manitoba as original homesteaders. The first presentation traced the Scott family roots back to UEL settlers in Prince Edward County. Ontario.
This talk will track Maxine's GGGG-grandfather's emigration from Inverurie, in Aberdeenshire Scotland through Ireland and on to the American Colonies in the early 1700s. In addition to how William Scott followed his dream, Ken tries to establish why our ancestors would emigrate to what was essentially an unsettled wilderness.
Dave Cross’s interview with Ken Harley has been added to the BIFHSGO Podcast page. Through this interview, Ken provides you with the structure of his upcoming presentation, a bit about the research he has done with the Scott family and some of the interesting stories which might yet be uncovered.
The Eastern Townships Resource Centre (ETRC) cordially invites you to attend its first photo exhibition Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre, Lennoxville.
For the first time, the ETRC is opening its archives to share the treasures of several fonds and collections with the broader public. The exhibition showcases a small selection of the thousands of remarkable photographs in the ETRC’s collection.
Kids! – Children of the Eastern Townships between 1890 -1930 is a photograph exhibition that displays the life of children in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and takes you on a journey back in time.
The ETRC is thankful for the cooperation with the Lennoxville-Ascot Historical and Museum Society (LAHMS) for giving us the opportunity to display our photographs in this beautiful building.
The exhibit will be open until June 30, 2014, and it will be held at the Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre, 9 Speid St., Lennoxville.
From an article in the Ottawa Citizen by Don Butler comes the news that the Library and Archives Canada is going to outsource its library catalogue called AMICUS to an American company – Computer Library Centre Inc. (OCLC). This also involves 1,300 other libraries across Canada.
At the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke located at 241, Dufferin Street, there is an exhibit called La Grande Vague ou la mémoire de l’eau salée which is a monument to the memory of the early Québec pioneers.
This is an installation of two meters by ten meters representing a wave which symbolizes the crossing of our ancestors from France to America. Constructed from 400 books arranged to show the names of 400 pioneer families sculpted in bas relief -- names still belonging to 3.4 million Québecers -- it is the illustration of a grand voyage integral to the history of Québec and its cultural heritage as well as to that of the individuals who were part of it.
This exhibit will be at the 241 Dufferin, Sherbrooke until May 18, 2014.
Both MyHeritage and its partner a Billion Graves is undertaking a huge project – they want to digitally preserve the world’s cemeteries.
They say that “The effort is being conducted by both companies free of charge. The hope is to "crowdsource" an effort to digitally preserve every cemetery and gravestone in the world. The companies are working together to providing the content online for everyone to see, free of charge. This project is important and beneficial for genealogists everywhere”.
They have produced a short video at the MyHeritage blog
· Jewish Colonization Association individual farm settler reports from Western Canada and Quebec (1906-1951) This includes a scanned form describing each individual farming family at various points in time.
· Yiddish obituaries from the Keneder Adler (1908-1932) This Montreal-based daily newspaper has been translated and indexed.
· Hebrew Sick Benefit Association of Montreal membership listings from 1897-1945. These records have been transcribed from the membership books, translated from Yiddish.
· Canadian Jewish Casualties in the Canadian Armed Forces These listings include servicemen who died while serving in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. These records often include additional details such as war stories and photographs.
· Saint John, New Brunswick Jewish Residents, Businesses, Burials & Obituaries These records contain burial information dating back to 1873, hundreds of full text obituaries, detailed photographs of tombstones, and business and residential directory details about all the known Jewish residents of Saint John from 1863-1999.
· Jewish Immigrant Aid Services client name lists from 1922-1952 The CJHN) say that “The JIAS listings are the only records in this database which do not present all the available data online. Access to this information is restricted to the persons named in the file or, if deceased, their direct descendants. The archival records associated with these listings can contain a single index card to more than a dozen pages. Fees for copying and delivery apply; payment can be made to the CJCCC National Archives via Paypal or Canadian funds cheque”.
White you are at the site, do not miss their extensive archival materials, digital images, and education material at http://www.cjhn.ca/en
There will be an exhibit called Hommage à Lac-Mégantic from March 30th to May 25th, 2014 at the Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre, 9 Speid Street, Sherbrooke.
“Following the tragic events in the town of Lac-Mégantic last summer, the Uplands exhibition committee has decided to honour Mégantic artists by mounting an exhibit which will bring together eleven artists of this region.
The public is cordially invited to come and meet the participants at a vernissage to take place Sunday, March 30, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m..
In addition, two “slam” poets, Marie-Pier Landry and Kyra Shaughnessy, will be present at the vernissage to share their poems inspired by the disaster.
Throughout the course of the exhibit, there will be an opportunity to make donations, which will be given to a cultural organization of the Lac-Mégantic region, selected by the participating artists”.
Remember, the Hommage à Lac-Mégantic exhibit will continue until May 25, 2014.
During the next few months, the Archives of Manitoba, including the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, will be replacing mechanical equipment and building components in several of the archival storage vaults at 200 Vaughan Street, Winnipeg causing service disruptions. And this disruption will continue over the next one to two years.
The nature of this work requires the temporary relocation of records stored within the vaults during each phase of the project. This project is necessary to ensure that the environment of the vaults continues to be acceptable for the preservation of archival records.
Services which will be disrupted will be
times when some records are not available for consultation.
delays in retrieval of records may occur.
there may be noisy times due to the renovation work.
Please note that records stored offsite will not be affected by these renovations.
Updates will be posted at the website as the project progresses and you can contact them if you have questions at email@example.com
Political pressure sometimes works. In a victory for staff, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has withdrawn its controversial Code of Conduct put into effect in early 2013. The code contained severe restrictions on staff behavior, both in their public and personal lives.
The restrictions on LAC employees garnered media and public scrutiny and, in the wake of intense public pressure, LAC administrators placed the code under review. In December 2013, a revised Code was introduced.
This new code represents a significant improvement. Employees are still encouraged to report on their colleagues for any failure to comply with the code, a shameful policy that contributes to an unhealthy workplace. However, restrictions on employees’ professional development activities have been substantially reduced and references to discipline for personal opinions expressed in limited access forums have been removed.
At a time when Canadian culture institutions are being decimated, it is easy to become overwhelmed and forget to celebrate our victories, however small. The changes to the LAC code of conduct were only made because we spoke out collectively, an example of how we can make a difference. Our current government may be attempting to rewrite the past, but together we are in control of the future.
Les pressions politiques portent parfois leurs fruits. Bibliothèque et Archives Canada (BAC) a retiré son controversé Code de conduite entré en vigueur au début de 2013, une victoire pour le personnel de l’institution. Le code imposait de sévères restrictions aux activités tant publiques que personnelles des employés.
Les restrictions imposées aux employés de BAC avaient suscité l’intérêt des médias et du public, et donné lieu à des protestations publiques qui forçaient les administrateurs de BAC à le réexaminer. En décembre 2013, BAC adoptait une version révisée du Code.
Le nouveau code constitue une nette amélioration par rapport à la version antérieure. Les employés sont toujours invités à signaler à l’employeur les activités de leurs collègues contraires au code, une mesure honteuse qui contribue à la détérioration des relations de travail. Cependant, BAC a considérablement assoupli les règles régissant les activités de perfectionnement professionnel des employés et a éliminé toute mention de mesures disciplinaires pour l’expression d’opinions personnelles dans des forums à accès public.
En cette période où les institutions culturelles canadiennes sont décimées, on oublie facilement, dans notre accablement, de célébrer nos victoires, aussi petites soient-elles. Si BAC a modifié son code de conduite, c’est parce que nous avons protesté collectivement. Voilà un exemple de notre capacité à faire bouger les choses. Le gouvernement actuel peut bien essayer de réécrire le passé, mais ensemble, nous forgeons l’avenir.
Rosa E. Barker
Professional Officer / Agente professionnelle
Canadian Association of University Teachers / Association canadienne des professeures et professeurs d'université
Join the Gatineau Valley Historical Society as they mark Earth Day with an historical virtual tour up the Gatineau River. Society President, Marc Cockburn, will take you on multi-media voyage from Hull up to Low and beyond, using Google Earth and archival photos and maps to reconstruct how the river’s landscape looked before much of its natural and built environment was flooded in 1927.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 7:30 pm, at The Wakefield Centre, 38, ch. Valley, Wakefield, QC
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
o Archives Administrator, Wilfrid Laurier University Archives & Special Collections
o Archivist at the Wellington County Museum and Archives
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.
The Stirling Festival Theatre in Stirling, Ontario will present the play Soldiers of Song on Sunday April the 12th at 2 pm.
The play will honour the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War with a special show that pays homage to one of the most distinctive musical acts in Canadian history – The Dumbells.
The Dumbells were a group of Canadians who were soldiers during the day and entertainers at night during the First World War.
As the Library and Archives Canada site says “They were a makeshift stage of packing boxes in First World War France to become the toast of the nation for over a decade. They became arguably the most famous of the Canadian Army "concert parties," those entertainment units that were devoted to building the morale of the troops on the front lines”.
There will be an exhibit at the Provincial Archives of Alberta from now until May 31, 2014 and the exhibit is about Canada’s worst mine disaster at Hillcrest Collieries in Hillcrest, Alberta.
On June 19, 1914, 189 miners lost their lives at Hillcrest Collieries in what is still Canada's worst mine disaster. One hundred years later, the Provincial Archives of Alberta reconstructs the events at Hillcrest and their impact on this coal mining community by highlighting important archival documents preserved within its holdings.
Visit the Provincial Archives of Alberta during regular facility hours to view this commemorative centennial exhibit, and the admission is free.
The Provincial Archives of Alberta is located at 8555 Roper Road, Edmonton, Alberta.
Heritage Toronto is pleased to present an exploration of the latest archaeological insights into the lives of Indigenous people in Southern Ontario prior to contact with Europeans.
A panel discussion called Before Ontario: Archaeology and the Province’s First Peoples will take place on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Toronto Reference Library Atrium, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON Phone: 416-395-5577.
Join the editors and some of the contributors to Before Ontario: The Archaeology of a Province (2013) for a panel discussion. Panelists include:
· Dr. Marit Munson
· Dr. Susan Jamieson
· Dr. Anne Keenleyside (Trent)
· Dr. Ron Williamson of Archaeological Services Inc.
· Chief Kris Nahrgang of the Kawartha Nishnawbe First Nation
· Dr. Neal Ferris (Western Ontario)
· Dr. Andrew Stewart of Strata Consulting
The panel will be moderated by Shawn Micallef, a noted journalist and Toronto Public Library’s Writer-in-Residence in Fall 2013.
This was just sent out from FamilySearch.org 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.
FamilySearch.org 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: FamilySearch.org, findmypast.com, ancestry.com, 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 likeFamilySearch.org. 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 FamilySearch.org. So even if you don't think you have any Irish in you, it's now a lot easier to double check”.
Cliff Shaw in his blog at Mocavo is offering all Mocavo Basic members free access to all of the premium Mocavo Gold features until Sunday at midnight.
Over the past few months, he says, “we received so much positive feedback about our free access weekends is offering that we decided to do it again!
Back by popular demand, all Mocavo Basic members can now access all of the premium Mocavo Gold features for free until Sunday at Midnight. This means you can search our entire collection to your heart’s content, upload your tree to receive new discovery alerts, download and print any document you find, and much more”!
During their last free offer, I found a marriage notice of my g-g-aunt Aunt Louisa Barclay (daughter of Andrew Barclay from Shelburne, Nova Scotia) to Caleb Haley of California (formerly of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia) in a New York newspaper. I had been looking for a notice of her marriage for years, because I had been lead to believe they were married in Yarmouth, even though I had known she had taken frequent trip to New York. There is a lesson here -
Here are the speakers who will appear at the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa Conference this fall in Ottawa -
OTTAWA, 8 March 2014 — The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) has announced the speakers for the annual conference, to be held 19-21 September, at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.
For its 20th anniversary year, the society will celebrate with an ambitious program which will help family historians delve into their British Isles roots.
The society expects to welcome more than 250 attendees at the event, which has three special themes:
English family history;
Immigration from the British Isles, including Home Children; and
“Our nation’s capital is also its family history capital. Every year we have welcomed folks from far and near, researching their ancestors in collections at Library and Archives Canada and learning about resources for discovering their British and Irish roots at our conference ” said BIFHSGO President Glenn Wright.
This year’s conference speakers will include:
Dr. Lucille Campey — emigration historian, author of numerous books on British Isles emigration to Canada who will launch her latest book Ignored but not forgotten - Canada's English Immigrants at the conference.
Gail Dever — BIFHSGO webmaster, social media expert and blogger at Genealogy à la carte
John Dickenson — a former professor at Liverpool University who now researches Canada’s Home Children, especially their involvement in the First World War.
Dr. Janet Few — freelance researcher and prize-winning author specializing in the south-west of England who will give a streamed-in presentation on North Devon immigrants to Canada.
Paul Jones — retired publisher, “Roots” columnist for Canada’s History magazine who speaks frequently on offbeat topics at family history events.
Debbie Kennett — an avid genetic genealogist, author of DNA and Social Networking (2011) and The Surnames Handbook (2012). Debbie is Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London.
Paul Milner — an internationally recognized speaker specializing in British Isles research, author of Discover English Parish Records and Genealogy at a Glance: English Research.
Gary Schroder — long-time President of the Quebec Family History Society and a frequent guest on Quebec radio and television promoting family history research.
In addition, speakers at pre-conference seminars on September 19 will include, from Library and Archives Canada, Paul Marsden and Sylvie Tremblay.
BIFHSGO looks forward to welcoming you at its 20th anniversary conference. Reserve 19-21 September in your agenda now and look for more details coming soon on the society website at www.bifhsgo.ca.
There will be a freeday-long conference on The Art of Biography in Toronto this March. This conference is going to be an excellent opportunity to hear four prominent authors and historians discuss their approach to writing biography, with a focus on Canadian history. It is being presented by the Dictionary of Canadian Biography and Department of History, University of Toronto.
The speakers will be -
CECILIA MORGAN - An (Almost) Accidental Biographer: Finding Lives in the Archives
SUZANNE MORTON - The Exploration of a ‘Hidden Life’ Performing ‘Unhistoric Acts’: Jane B. Wisdom and the Development of Social Work in Canada
JOHN ENGLISH - Writing the Biography of Pierre Elliott Trudeau
CHARLIE FORAN - Richler Was Funny, Why Can’t You Be? On Writing the Biography of Mordecai Richler
The conference is taking place at the Jackman Humanities Building (corner of Bloor and St. George) in Toronto on Saturday March 22, 2014.
If you would like further information about this event or would like to confirm your attendance, please contact Michael Wilcox at 416-946-8593 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit our site - www.GenealogyCanada.com
There is lots of Canadian genealogy news to browse through, so please drop in for a spell.
There are also Canadian heritage and history news items, and the "Website of the Month" - always a surprise treat.
Thank you for dropping by - we appreciate your visits!!
Elizabeth Lapointe Research Services
Need a Canadian researcher?
Looking for someone who came to the United States from Canada, or went to Canada from the U.S., the U.K., or Europe?
I specialize in cross-border migration, and offer many options in finding your family.
Booklet #1 - The War of 1812: Canada and the United States
The booklet, “The War of 1812: Canada and the United States”, gives a synopsis of the causes of the War, and details the battles that took place (who, where, and when), and which included British forces, Blacks, and Aboriginal warriors who fought on both sides of the conflict.
Booklet #2 – Migration: Canada and the United States
These headings offer good examples of those who came to Canada, or of Canadians who left for the U.S, and why. The booklet gives a synopsis of what records to look for, the books written on the subject, where to find online resources, and a bonus list of some famous Canadians who migrated to the U.S.