Monday, December 15, 2014

Canadian Week in Review - 15 December 2014

I have come across the following Canadian websites, social media websites, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too.

1869 - T. Eaton Co. Limited
   In 1869, Timothy Eaton opened a small dry-goods store at the corner of Yonge and Queen streets in Toronto. He offered a new twist to department store selling - satisfaction guaranteed, or money refunded. His store became the largest department store chain in Canada. In September 1999, Sears Canada announced that it would buy the outstanding common shares of the insolvent Eaton’s.'s

Social Media

Newfoundland and Canada genealogy
   This blog is to provide resources for people researching family genealogy in Newfoundland, Canada.

(Photos) Hockey Life
   Library and Archives Canada has photos on their Flickr page of the history of hockey.

(Photos) Opinicon Resort on Rideau Canal up for auction starting at $500K
   For four generations, the same family ran the Opinicon Resort on the Rideau Canal, about an hour and half south of Ottawa - and now it's for auction.

(Video) 100 years of Manitoba hockey celebrated in new exhibit
   As part of the 100th anniversary of Hockey Manitoba, the organization and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame is celebrating those moments, and more, with a new exhibit that showcases the success of Manitobans in hockey.

(Video) Confederation gets its due in Museum of History show
   In early 2012, Museum of History curator Jean-Francois Lozier got a special assignment, his very first big exhibition - Confederation.

(Facebook) New - The Halton-Peel Branch Group
   The Halton-Peel Branch of the OGS is excited to announce the move from a Page to a Group. The address of the Facebook Group is


Nova Scotia

EDITORIAL: Order of Nova Scotia honours our own
   This fall, five new names joined the pantheon of those named to the Order of Nova Scotia since the honour’s inception in 2001. Four were invested at Province House Wednesday, a fifth will be invested later.

NS: Local history buff documents Maritime Building demolition
   Philip MacKenzie already has 43 hours of video and more than 500 photos documenting the demolition of the Maritime Building, and it’s not over yet.

Much to be gained by student participation in heritage and science fairs
   Every year, schools in Nova Scotia and across Canada participate in heritage and science fairs.

Volta Labs wants the old Library
   As the Halifax Central Library finally gets set to open its doors this weekend, the fate of the former Memorial Library across the street is still being decided.

New Glasgow to celebrate 200th anniversary of birth of Canada’s first PM
   The 200th anniversary of Sir John A. Macdonald birthday (11 January 1815), and his visit to New Glasgow will be celebrated on 08 January 2015 with an reenactment of the speech he gave on the 25 August 1888.

New Brunswick

Faculty, students create digital history of New Brunswick
   “Mapping New Brunswick Memories” uses oral histories from interviews of New Brunswick residents to create five virtual tours of the city on the website,


No license personalized plates in Quebec
   The project was cancelled due to concerns among government officials that some citizens would use English words or vulgar phrases.


Do the archiving here in Hamilton
   Library and Archives Canada doesn't know which departmental records should be disposed of or archived. And there is a backlog of 98,000 boxes of material waiting to be archived, some of it dating back to 1890, but no plan for how to deal with it.

Ontario heritage has its own day
   Hunting, trapping and fishing now has its own day - National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day on the third Saturday of September.

Natalie Bull: When governments invest funds in historic places, the returns are always impressive
   Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced $5.8 billion in infrastructure funding for federally owned historic sites, museums, national parks and other tourist attractions across Canada.


Regina Beach historical society wants you to share your memories
   Submissions will be accepted until the end of this year by mail to Box 102, Regina Beach, SK S0G 4C0, or by email as a Word or PDF file to Those who would like some help writing their stories can call 306-729-4906, or write

British Columbia

Got $10M? The West End’s historic Gabriola House is for sale
   One of Vancover's oldest buildings and the last of its kind in the West End, is up for sale. The historic Gabriola House, also known as the Rogers Sugar mansion, is on the market for $10 million.

A one hundred year journey
   The 100 Year Journey Gala on Saturday, November 29, 2014 presented by the publisher of Mehfil Magazine, Rana Vig, celebrated the past, present, and future of the South Asian community.

Genealogy Stories of the Week

Some stories which have passed over this desk this past week -

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum Foundation is asking people to support The Legacy Project – the Museum’s first crowdfunding campaign.
   As the site says, 'The Legacy Project is a documentary being created by Canadian film students and the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Through first person accounts from Canadian Veterans—airmen and women who served in the RCAF, RAF, WAAF, and the Polish Air Force—as well as from former European civilians, the documentary will showcase the people and stories of the Second World War through the lens of aviation'.
   To find out more about the campaign, go to

Starting in January 2015, Ottawa Branch OGS will present a genealogical education session prior to the monthly program. Genealogy: Back To Basics will include a short lecture on a genealogical topic, followed by a Question and Answer session with Ottawa Branch members. If you are new to family history research or need a refresher, come out and join us.
   The first session will be Saturday 24 January 2015 at 10:30 a.m. in Room 115 of the City of Ottawa Central Archives. The presentation should last about 45 minutes and will be followed by a general Q&A session on genealogical topics until noon. Coffee and tea will be available throughout the morning.
   There is no charge for the session, and all are invited to return at 1:00 p.m. for the monthly presentation with Elizabeth Kipp and her talk on One Name Studies.
   The following is the current schedule for Genealogy B2B. For updates, check their website at

The Genealogical Society of Nova Scotia (GANS) will be offering an eight-week Genealogy 101 course beginning on February 2, 2015.
   The cost is $195 for non-members and $160 for members. For more details and to register, please go to

The members of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) were informed this week that the OGS has taken the step of issuing Families (their journal) in electronic format, starting with the February 2015 issue, although there will be an option to receive the paper version, if preferred.
   As the editor of Families, I find several advantages to the new format - in addition to resizing the text for viewing comfort, members will now be able to store and read Families online; click on live hyperlinks; and view the photographs, diagrams, and maps in full colour.

Reminder: Check the Canadian Week in Review next Monday for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada. It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in country!

The next post will be on 22 December 2014.

(These links were accessed 13 December 2014)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Canadian Week in Review - 01 December 2014

I have come across the following Canadian websites, social media websites, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too.


1837 - Rebellion in Upper Canada breaks out as Mackenzie's Rebels march on Toronto

   To read more, go to

1775 - December 5 - American Revolutionary War - Richard Montgomery begins American siege of Québec with aid of Benedict Arnold; will try to capture fortress before onset of winter. Québec, Québec.
   For more information on the Invasion of Canada (1775), go to

1890 - December 5 - Weightlifting - Québec strongman Louis Cyr lifts 534 lbs with one finger; working with the P.T. Barnum circus. USA
   For more information, go to

Social Media

(Pinterest) Nova Scotia and her ships - keepers of the Great Atlantic!

(Pinterest) Nova Scotia
   Pins about Nova Scotia hand-picked by Pinner Dianne Snider.

Genealogy Ensemble
A group of people get together in Montreal meet on a regular basis to discuss their genealogy, and now they have a blog. They say "Our ancestors came from Canada, the British Isles, France, Scandinavia, the United States, Italy, and many other countries."


Nova Scotia

'It’s beyond shocking': Historic church in Nova Scotia destroyed by massive fire
   The historic St. Mary’s Polish Parish is gone after a blaze gutted the Sydney-area place of worship on Saturday afternoon.


Denis Lebel confirms new span will keep Champlain Bridge name
   The name of the new bridge will be the same as the old bridge is called now - the Champlain Bridge.


Royal Canadian Mint's $5 coin features work of Cree artist Tim Whiskeychan
   Limited edition collector coin depicts traditional Cree goose hunt.

History to come alive in a fun, thought-provoking way during Macdonald Week
   The events of Macdonald Week—which will be held from January 6 to the 11th, and is timed to mark the first prime minister’s 200th birthday on 11 January. 11—are intended to kick off an entire year of events in Kingston, Ontario.

British Columbia

Pioneers tell tales of B.C.’s history
   Old-timers provide insight into the past, based on radio journalist Imbert Orchard's interviews—totalling 2,700 hours' worth, taped from 1959 to 1966—with some of British Columbia’s most inspiring pioneers. 

Story of the Week

There have been snippets of genealogy news this week in Canada.

The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) has now made available the index to Families, the journal of the Society, at However, a membership to the OGS is still required to view the full articles.
   Note that I am the current editor of Families.

he Manitoba Genealogical Society (MGS) is planning a possible Group Trip to Salt Lake City from May 17th to the 24th 2015.
   Send an email to if you are interested, or if you have any questions.
    Their website is

The Alberta Genealogical Society (AGS) has a new website at
   It is much cleaner than the former site, and is very professionally done. Great job!

I hear that the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) is all settled in their new headquarters, and they held an open house this past Saturday to celebrate their new facility.
website is

The Quebec Family History Society (QFHS) is well into their 2014/15 season, with an upcoming meeting on Saturday, 13 December at 10:30 a.m. at the Briarwood Presbyterian Church Hall, 70 Beaconsfield Boulevard in Beaconsfield.
   The topic will be "Death of 6000 Irish Men, Women and Children", and the speaker will be Fergus Keyes, a Director of the Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation.

   And don't forget, they are planning a convention in 2015. So stay tuned for details.
   Their website is

The Surname Society, a new surname study group, has started international operations, and the Society has two Canadians on its board - Ottawa's own Elizabeth Kipp, their Newsletter Editor, and Linda Hauley, their Treasurer from the Toronto area.
   Their new website is at
   I know Elizabeth and Linda, both
personally and professionally, and offer them my most heartfelt congratulations on their new positions!

And that has been this week in Canadian genealogy.

Reminder: Check the Canadian Week in Review next Monday for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada. It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in country!

The next post will be on 08 December 2014.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Canadian Week in Review - 24 November 2014

 I have come across the following Canadian websites, social media websites, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too.
On 18 November 1883, the first operation of Standard Time in North America began at midnight in eastern Nova Scotia. Scottish-born Sir Sandford Fleming played a major role in introducing the concept around the world.
   To further read about Sir Sandford, go to
On 18 November 1929, an earthquake in Cape Breton sent a 15-metre tidal wave onto Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula. The wall of water killed 28 people (27 then, and one years later) and did $20 million (2004 dollars) in damage and loss.
   For more, see
   Be sure to read "Not Too Long Ago...Seniors Tell Their Stories" at the bottom of the page
Social Media
(Photos) Stone cottage built in the 1700s is a testimony to Quebec's history
   This south-facing, small stone cottage on Gouin Boulevard in Ahuntsic-Cartierville speaks volumes about the quality of ingenuity of old construction methods.

(Video) From the CBC archives: Nonsuch arrives in Winnipeg in 1973
   Nov. 19, 1973, a truck transported the replica to its permanent home: a museum gallery that was being built for the two-masted ketch. The museum would receive the Nonsuch, a replica of the 17th-century British ship that led to the creation of the Hudson's Bay Company and the opening of western Canada to commerce.

Nova Scotia

HISTORY: An old Kings County militia badge
   A rare Nova Scotia volunteer militia badge that may have been worn by farmer soldiers in Kings County over 150 years ago.

Local recipients receive culture and heritage art awards
   The ninth annual Creative Nova Scotia Awards were presented during a special ceremony at the Seaport Market in Halifax on Thursday. The event, with the theme ART is Everywhere!, was organized by the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council and Arts Nova Scotia.

Hundreds gather in Purlbrook to see off Nova Scotia tree for Boston
   Hundreds of students and community members gathered in Antigonish County Monday morning as Nova Scotia’s tree for Boston was cut down and wrapped before starting its journey across the border.
   John and Ethel Ann MacPherson of Purlbrook, N.S. are donating their 55-year-old, 13-metre white spruce to Boston this year.

War declared by telegram in 1914
    Oxford Remembers Oxford's Own – a series of 100 events planned throughout Oxford County between 2014 and 2018 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

Charlie Chaplin – A Canadian Sidebar in History
   A sidebar in history about Charlie Chaplin’s earliest North American tours with Fred Karno’s Travelling Show in Canada venturing all the way to British Columbia is an alluring time. An interesting story.

Coteau visited Sheffield Park Black History and Cultural Museum in Clarksburg
   On 13 November, Carolynn Wilson, director of the Sheffield Park Black History and Cultural Museum in Clarksburg, had the chance to show Ontario’s Minister of Culture Michael Coteau around her extensive, lovingly-put-together museum documenting African-Canadian history of her family and other early black pioneers to Canada.

Canada Science and Tech Museum looking to lend out exhibits
   The show must go on, and for the Canada Science and Technology Museum that means taking the show on the road.


City of Saskatoon wants more heritage properties
   The Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee has started building a historic buildings registry, listing all of the historically important buildings in the province.


Which Great Alberta Suffragette Are You?
   Henrietta Muir Edwards, Roberta MacAdams, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Emily Murphy, Irene Parlby.

Simons: Financial woes halt construction of Ukrainian museum
    The Ukrainian Canadian Museum and Archives of Alberta was supposed to rejuvenate two of Jasper Avenue’s most important Edwardian buildings, kick-start the redevelopment of The Quarters, and provide a marvellous place to preserve and celebrate Alberta’s rich Ukrainian heritage.
   But now, two years after construction began, the museum, which was supposed to open this spring, is in trouble.

British Columbia

Winners Announced for BC's Best Building Contest
   The contest, by the Architecture Foundation of British Columbia marked 100 years of architecture as a profession in BC. More than 450 nominations from around the world were received and the judges have decided on the winners.

B.C. thanks veterans with 50,000 licence plates in 10 years
   The Province is celebrating a decade of commemorative licence plates honouring Canadian veterans in British Columbia. Since the program launched in 2004 on the 60th anniversary of D-Day, more than 50,000 veterans have been recognized with the licence plates.

Story of the Week

 Memorial to Holodomor Victims in Kiev, Ukraine
81st Anniversary of the Holodomor

The Holodomor, meaning "death by hunger" in Ukrainian, refers to the great man-made famine of 1932-33 that wiped out millions of Ukrainians. It was recognized by the Canadian government in 2008, when millions of people starved to death.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement commemorating the 81st anniversary of the Holodomor:
"Today is Holodomor Memorial Day, a somber occasion when people around the world remember the forced starvation of millions of Ukrainian men, women and children in 1932 and 1933 by Joseph Stalin’s tyrannical communist regime."
An estimated three to 3.5 million people died of starvation that year, and the famine was caused by agricultural embargoes and economic blockades in Soviet Ukraine that literally starved people to death.

Last year, on the 80th anniversary of the Holodomar, eighty stories were collected from the people who survived the famine, and they are shared on the Share the Story website at

The Facebook page is

Reminder: Check the Canadian Week in Review next Monday for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada. It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in country!

The next post will be on 01 December 2014.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Canadian Week in Review - 17 November 2014

I have come across the following Canadian websites, social media websites, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too.


11 November 1813 -  The Americans were defeated at Crysler’s Farm in the War of 1812.

11 November 1872 - The Intercolonial Railway was completed between Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick.

12 November 1856 – The Grand Trunk Railway was opened from Quebec City, Quebec to Toronto, Ontario.

16 November 1885 - Louis Riel was hanged after the Northwest Rebellion.

For further reading, go to

Social Media

(Photos) They served so that men could fly
   “You never hear about these women. It’s a chunk of history that’s just not there,” said local author Glad Bryce. “They were trailblazers. They showed what women could do.”


Danny Williams hopes documentary teaches people about province
   A new documentary from the National Film Board of Canada looks back on former premier Danny Williams and his political career, and will be shown on 10 screens across Newfoundland and Labrador next week.

Nova Scotia

ED COLEMAN HISTORY: A school arithmetic book from 1840 
   Documents relating to school exercise books used here in the 1840s. The books were recently donated to the museum.

Black Loyalist Heritage Society president receives honorary degree
   Elizabeth Cromwell, president and founder of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society, was presented with an honourary degree from Mount Saint Vincent University on November 2nd for her work with preserving the black history and culture of Nova Scotia.


The White Hurricane: The worst storm in Great Lakes history
   Over 250 lives lost. At least 12 ships sunk. Thirty other ships crippled. The worst natural disaster in Great Lakes history.

Ontario's WWII PoW camp casualty of neglect
   The Second World War was fought on many far-flung fronts, but one is much closer than you'd think, and that is PoW Camp 30 in Ontario.


Remembering Canada’s veterans
   Remembering Our Veterans is a limited-edition book to be published this fall. The brainchild of Beverley Anderson of MacGregor, it is a compilation of material she has collected, with the help of other members of an ad hoc group from the local area.


Saskatchewan newspapers printed during WWI now online
   When Saskatchewan soldiers went off to fight in the First World War, their stories and the reactions at home were reported in newspapers across the province. Now, everyone can read those headlines online. Newspaper were written in English, German, French, and Ukrainian.


Counting the rings on your family tree
   Clarissa Giese and Annemarie Sarango have done this every spring and fall, both on their own, and with the help of a genealogy program offered at the Multicultural Heritage Centre.

British Columbia

Stanley Park's secret military history
   Stanley Park may seem like a quiet place among the trees to many Vancouverites, but the large park also has a storied military history.

What’s in a name? Time to move beyond “British”
   The discussion revolved around the question of whether it is time to consider a new name for British Columbia, and if so, what could that be?

Story of the Week
Is the long-form census form on its way back?

The long-form census form was stopped in June of 2010 , and was replaced by the National Household Survey (NHS), which is a voluntary survey, and has been the focus of much controversy since then.

The NHS was intended to be sent to about 4.5 million households. Remember when then-Industry Minister Tony Clement said that the change had been made because of privacy-related complaints, but when asked about this, he said that the decision had been made after consulting organizations and governments that worked closely with Statistics Canada.

In 2013, criticism reared its head again with the National Household Survey when the first set of results were released from the survey.

And this is when Liberal MP Ted Hsu stepped in and introduced a private member's bill, “Bill-626, An Act to amend the Statistics Act”, with the intention appointing a Chief Statistician and reinstatement of the long-form census in Canada.

So this is where it stands right at the moment.

On Saturday evening, I received an email from Mike More, former chair of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, and former vice-president of the Ontario Genealogical Society, who said that fellow Ottawa blogger, John D. Reid, on his Anglo- Celtic Connections blog, has a piece on the private member's bill, and was asking members of the genealogical community for their support.

The blog says -

“Ted Hsu, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands has a new private member's bill to bring back the mandatory long-form census. Debate on this bill began last week in Parliament. Your help is sought to build momentum leading up to the vote expected in February.

Debate on this bill began last week in Parliament. Your help is sought to build momentum leading up to the vote expected in February.

The government replaced the 2011 long-form census with a voluntary National Household Survey (NHS). Unsurprisingly, the NHS data is of poor quality and can't be compared with previous census data. Experts who rely on this data, and the continuity of these data sets, call the NHS data worthless.

Bill C-626 is a private member's bill that will reinstate the mandatory long-form census and expand the authority of the Chief Statistician.

Throughout this debate, and leading up to the eventual vote on Bill C-626, you are asked to please:

1) Write or speak to your MP to encourage them to support the bill and reinstate the mandatory long-form census

2) Write a letter or op-ed for your local paper explaining the value of the census and the need to pass Bill C-626

3) Share this information with your friends, family and colleagues

It's not too late to fight for the census! If you wish to contact MP Ted Hsu, please email”

If you would like to keep informed about the bill as it makes its way through committees, go to

Reminder: Check the Canadian Week in Review next Monday for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada. It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in country!

The next post will be on 24 November 2014.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

FamilySearch Update: Nova Scotia Probate Records (1760-1993).


The FamilySearch site has added more records to their Nova Scotia Probate Records (1760-1993). 

This site includes “records of probate proceedings from Nova Scotia. The records include estate files, inventories, wills, administrations and other records related to probate. Most of the records are dated from 1800-1940, but coverage varies by area.” 

They have the counties of Annapolis, Antigonish, Barrington District, Cape Breton, Colchester, Cumberland, Guysborough District, Hants, and Inverness. 

I just briefly looked at the records on the Barrington Distract area since I have family there (the descendants of Henry Blades), and found that the records are of faint quality, but with patience and years of reading these type of records, I was able to pick out probates of interest. 

So give it a try. Remember that they are not indexed, so you will have to skim through them until you find the desired record.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Norfolk County Branch of the OGS Moves to Inactive Status

Alan Campbell, the president of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS), wishes to let everybody know that the Norfolk Genealogical Society has transferred all of its work that it has done on local records will "remain in the community via the loan of the Branch Library collection to a local repository. " 

Campbell goes on to say that "Although this is a sad occasion, I must celebrate the numerous volunteer hours put in by Norfolk County Branch volunteers which have resulted in this permanent legacy for present and future researchers. Also, consider the number of hours Norfolk County Branch volunteers must have spent in helping local and distance researchers with their family history research. Thank you Norfolk County Branch volunteers!"

You can still visit their two websites - 

Their Charlotteville, Houghton, Middleton, Townsend, North Walsingham, South Walsinsham, and Windham Township publications are still on the website under the heading of Published Resources. 

Apparently, they will be available from the provincial office of the OGS at