Saturday, September 20, 2014

Missisquoi County Canada Genealogy Research Volunteer group announces 10,000 record transcription milestone


This is a notice I receive this afternoon from Nancy Cunningham, concerning her group the Missisquoi County Canada Genealogy Research Volunteer Group. They are doing great work!

‘We at the Missisquoi Rootsweb group ( * Missiquoi was an historical county located in Quebec / Lower Canada / Eastern Townships along the US border) have been for the last 10 years quietly transcribing and publishing records much needed for research in our area. The Missisquoi historic county area, although located in Quebec was heavily Protestant & English speaking with many immigrants from Great Britain and US. ( Vermont) .

This week we reached the 10,000 image milestone on our transcription project of Quebec, Non-Catholic Parish Registers, 1763-1967 from Family Search.org . The 10k mark is for the number of images transcribed, the number of actual individual parish records of births, marriages and burials is closer to 15,000.

We make them all freely available and searchable on our blogs.

We haven’t limited our projects to Family Search digital records- we have also transcribed Library and Archives Canada microfilm Notary records, Google newspapers, Internet Archive eBooks of local directories and posted images and burials to Find-A-Grave.

We use an innovated volunteer sign-up sheet system through Sign up genius, this enables volunteers to work together on projects even though they actually live all over the world.

We believe strongly in paying it forward in genealogy and think this is a little way we can give back for all the help we’ve been given by others in the past.

If anyone has folks that once lived in our area, we’d love for them to search our records and maybe get involved with our group on Rootsweb.

Don’t forget how great Rootsweb ( mailing lists and message boards) is and it’s FREE – check the groups in your areas of research- they may be doing great stuff too!'

Blog http://missisquoigenealogy.blogspot.com/

Rootsweb group http://lists.rootsweb.ancestry.com/index/intl/CAN/CAN-QC-MISSISQUOI.html

If you want to write to Nancy Cunningham, coordinator, her email address is missisquoigenealogy@gmail.com

LAC Podcast - Sign Me Up: CEF Files, 1914-1918


The Library and Archives Canada has issued a another podcast, and this one concerns the First World War Service Papers in Sign Me Up: CEF Files, 1914-1918. These papers are being digitized and are being put online.

I listened to the podcasts, and although nothing new was mentioned in the podcasts, I feel that there will be questions that will still be asked about the papers. The researcher will have to study the various papers in detail in order to reconstruct the life of the soldier. For example, if the soldier was in the Canadian militia before signing the Attestation Paper, what militia unit was it, where were they located, what was his service, or if he served in different regiments while overseas (which many did), why was this so? Who did he serve with, his time of service, in what battles was he involved, and so forth.

I had the occasion to download a complete service record a couple of weeks ago, and depending on the length of the records, it can be a rather long process from start to finish. Some of the records were difficult to read because of the use of abbreviations, and the faded ink, but some of the papers were very clear.

I think the best thing to do before one starts to read the service papers is to read the book, Canadians at War 1914-1919: A Research Guide to World War One Service Records, by retired Library and Archives Canada archivist, Glenn Wright.

This book, although it was written in 2010, is still THE book to read when researching CEF papers. If you read and study this book, you will have a good understanding of the records that you are viewing.

The book is for sale through Global Genealogy at http://globalgenealogy.com/countries/canada/military/resources/101160.htm

Don't forget to scroll down this page and see the book review I wrote for Families, the journal of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) http://www.ogs.on.ca, of which I am its editor.

Although the review was published four years ago, my opinion of his book has not wavered, and, in fact, the more I use it for research, the more invaluable I find it as a resource.

A table of contents of the book is available as a PDF file here - http://globalgenealogy.com/countries/canada/military/resources/images/101160-contents.pdf

For more on this blog, go to http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-list-of-books-for-holidays.html

To listen to the podcast, go to http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/news/podcasts/Pages/cef-files-1914-1918.aspx

Friday, September 19, 2014

FamilySearch.org: Campaign Aims to Gather Your Fondest Grandma Stories


This press release from FamilySearch sounds like a great idea - they will be gathering grandma stories from September 20 to 30th, 2014. They already have over 160 stories!

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—If you could share ONE story about your grandma, what would it be? That’s the question nonprofit FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) is nudging people worldwide to respond to as part of its worldwide #meetmygrandma social media campaign, September 20-30. FamilySearch announced the campaign today, seeking 10,000 stories in 10 days to kick off the global initiative where descendants are invited to share and preserve online or through a mobile app the fond memories or stories about their grandmothers’ charms or idiosyncrasies.

“Heart-warming experiences with a beloved grandmother are at the heart of many fond memories from our formative years, or even adulthood,” said Brad Lowder, International Marketing Director for #MeetMyGrandma campaign. “All you have to do is ask a person to share a special memory about their grandmother, and they immediately wax sentimental as they recount a heartfelt story or wise saying they cherish from a grandmother. We want to encourage people to capture for future generations those stories that make their grandmothers so special.”

FamilySearch.org offers a free international service for families to share their family histories, memories, photos, and historic documents online and preserve them for future generations. If you are fortunate to have a grandma still living, the free FamilySearch Memories mobile app (IOS only for now) allows individuals to audio record their grandmother and save those recordings online. And there are 20 fun questions to ask your grandma to help write and preserve her personal history in her own words online.

“The #meetmygrandma campaign encourages families to have fun as each member of the family shares their personal perspectives of what makes their grandmothers so special to them,” added Lowder. Their stories, and those contributed by other family members and relatives, are saved to a dynamic online profile dedicated specifically to their grandma, along with any photos and digital artifacts submitted.

The launch of the initiative runs from September 20–30, but the campaign will run indefinitely. 

Ontario’s oldest genealogy fair this Saturday


Eva Brook Donly Museum hosts the 38th annual Norfolklore family history fair this Saturday in Simcoe, Ontario. 

An afternoon lecture at 1 p.m. will discuss the ins and outs of researching United Empire Loyalist ancestors and will be hosted by the Grand River branch of the United Empire Loyalist Association.

For the more experienced family history hunters, there’s a chance to book a 10-minute personal consultation with archives co-ordinator Robin Dickson. 

A historical walking tour through downtown Simcoe will also be offered. The tour is at 1 p.m. and is an additional $10.00. 

The Norfolklore fair runs Saturday, Sept. 20 from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m at the Eva Brook Donly Museum, located at 109 Norfolk St. S. in Simcoe.

General admission is $10 ($5 for historical society members) and includes access to lectures, genealogist consultation, exhibitors’ hall and a book sale.  

For more information or to book a consultation, visit www.norfolklore.com 

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.