Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!


To all our readers, thank you for making 2008 a success for the GenealogyCanada blog and website!

We look forward to bringing you more news on the Canadian genealogy front, and hope you will continue to join us in 2009 and beyond!

Elizabeth

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

OGS announces Trillium Grant

The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) is pleased to announce a Trillium Grant as a starter fund for a project with the OGS to help Ontario to help Ontario heritage organizations digitize parts of their collections.

The funds — granted over two years — will enable OGS to hire a technician, obtain equipment, and travel to the heritage organizations to scan the material.

The project will:
  • provide a digitized version of one-of-a-kind records, increasing security
  • allow small organizations access to digitizing they otherwise could not afford
  • increase the exposure of small organizations
  • increase access to records significant to Ontario's heritage
  • allow an income stream to heritage organizations if they wish so that it can provide a Canadian not-for-profit portal as an alternative to foreign commercial portals
The OGS is working with Ristech Company Inc., a Burlington, Ontario company that specializes in scanning equipment.

OGS President, Don Hinchley, said, "I believe this grant will give many more genealogists throughout Ontario and the world access to materials without the necessity of travelling to the museum or local archive."

This project will help protect the culture and heritage of Ontario, some of which is in delicate condition and could be lost if it is not copied.

Monday, December 29, 2008

LAC Partners with the National Archives of Ireland

The Library and Archives of Canada www.collectionscanada.gc.ca is pleased to announce that the Archives of Ireland www.census.nationalarchives.ie has released the latest phase of "an online research tool for the Irish counties of Antrim, Kerry, and Down for 1911. The census records for all countries for 1911 and for 1901 will be made available online throughout 2009".

"With 70-million Irish diaspora around the world, and up to one-fifth of Canadians claiming Irish heritage, this project will connect even more people to their historical," stated Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

The LAC and the NAI collaborated on other projects including two Irish studies held in 2006 and 2008 (I attended this one*); the Irish-Canadian Documentary Heritage at the LAC, and the popular website, The Shamrock and the Maple Leaf at www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/ireland.

Making these records accessible online will give genealogists and historians around the world the chance to explore the age, occupation, religion, and marital status of individuals. It will also allow research on Irish on Irish society of the early 20th century. The National Archives of Ireland have provided vibrant historical essays on topics such as social life, government, sport, and religion, and the photographs depicting life in Ireland in 1911.

The census records can search free of charge, and it is searchable by name.

* (For more on the 2008 Irish Studies I attended, please visit these four pages):
  1. http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2008/09/irish-studies-symposium.html
  2. http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2008/10/irish-symposium-2008-at-library-and.html
  3. http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2008/11/library-and-archives-canada-launches.html
  4. http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2008/12/450-years-of-fishing.html

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Canada's First Christmas


This year will be Canada's snowiest Christmas ever, says Environment Canada's Senior Climatologist, Dave Phillips. There will be snow everywhere, even including the West Coast in Vancouver and Victoria, and on the East Coast in Halifax.

The first Christmas to be celebrated in Canada was in 1535, when French explorer, Jacques Cartier, and one hundred and ten men observed the holiday in a tiny fort at the foot of Quebec City.

So may everyone have a "Happy Holiday!", and we hope that Santa be most generous when he hands out the gifts!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Canadian Genealogy Centre Has New Look

Sylvie Tremblay, Chief Project Manager of the Canadian Genealogy Centre (CGC), informed me yesterday that a "new look" was in store for their website www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/index-e.html, and this morning when I logged on - there it was - new and improved!

I have chosen my words carefully because it is "new and improved". When the website for the CGC first appeared, its design seemed somewhat haphazard (and with the generous addition of information over the years, it became a bit unwieldy) - but now it is crisp, uncluttered, and divided into readable blocks that makes it easier for the public to follow.

On the left are the major divisions of the site, in the middle of the page are links to the "Most Requested Records", "How to Begin", "What You Can Do" and "Learning Resources" pages, and on the right of this page are links to the "What's New at the CGC" and "That's My Family" sections.

The Centre has come a long way in the five years when it first appeared, due in large part to the hard work of Sylvie and her crew. Many Canadian databases have been put on the site over the years, and it's all free!

Canada is the only county in the world to have such a site, and the Library and Archives Canada is to be commended for putting "our" (Canadian) genealogy online.

In the coming years, emphasis — in part — will be put on wikis, social networking websites like Facebook and YouTube, and other sites. This will help spread the words of the introduction which hangs over their website: "Welcome to a great place to research your family history".

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dundurn Press & OGS Make A Joint Announcement

Dundurn Press www.dundurn.com and the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) www.ogs.on.ca have formed a joint imprint to publish books on Canadian genealogy. The announcement was made through a press release dated December 22, 2008.

The imprint will be called OGS Dundurn, and will be overseen by representatives from both organizations. OGS will be responsible for finding authors, receiving manuscripts, and the initial screening. Both organizations will be responsible for marketing - the OGS with the genealogical community, and Dunburn to bookstores.

Kirk Howard, President and Publisher, Dundurn Press, said, "As a long-time member of the OGS, I have admired the many ways in which the OGS connects with the genealogical community. In working together to publish books of genealogy significance, we will build on this success and be able to reach a wider readership."

Don Hinchley, OGS President, said, "Our partnership with Dundurn Press will provide those in the genealogy community with new resource material. We hope to encourage new authors through this partnership."

Dundurn Press has published books for over 35 years, and the OGS is the largest genealogical organization in the country, with over 4,500 members in 31 Branches across Ontario.

Anyone interested in publishing with the new imprint should contact the OGS at provoffice@ogs.on.ca.

Ottawa writer, June Coxon, wrote about Dundurn Press after she interviewed them at the OGS Conference '08, held last May in London, Ontario. The story is found at http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2008/09/worldvitalrecordscom-partners-with.html.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Victoria, BC Digitizes Newspaper

The first 100,00 digitalized pages (from 1858 to 1910) of the Times Colonist (known earlier as the Daily Colonist), the newspaper which serves Victoria, British Columbia is now on the Internet at www.timescolonist.com.

The press release says that "It is sure to become one of the most important resources for historical researchers throughout the province. It has the potential to open up many new doors in historical writing, help genealogists trace their family trees and learn about their ancestors, and even the way that history in taught in our schools".

They have the following information on the site -

- Birth, marriage and death information

- References to anniversaries, business openings and school reports

- List of passengers arriving in Victoria (the federal government did not keep records until 1905)

Dave Obee, an editor at the newspaper and the one who spearheaded the project, was at a conference in Ottawa this past summer. I had the opportunity to meet him and discuss the project with him. You can go to his site at www.daveobee.com.

He is one-half of the team that wrote the book, Finding Your Canadian Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide and he will give various talks at the Ontario Genealogical Society this summer in Oakville on May www.ogs.on.ca.

This project was made possible with the help of University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia, and the Greater Victoria Public Library.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Library and Archives Canada Celebrates Human Rights Anniversary

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC)--in a joint partnership with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR)--acknowledged the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10th.

A Canadian, John Humphrey, wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 with the encouragement of Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of the U.S. President, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The CMHR has embarked on its first virtual exhibition entitled, "Everybody Has the Rights: a Canadian and The Words that Changed the World", and the LAC has been key in the launch of this inaugural exhibition.

As the press release says, "The LAC identified archival records, offered interpretive captions for each document, digitized documents for the inaugural exhibit and provided advisory services and support for copyright permission requests."

There are four area in which the LAC website can provide you with information on human rights, and they are -

1. The Chinese Head Tax - You can find original certificates and registers of Chinese immigration and links to libraries and institutions if you go to www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/northern-star/index-e.html.

2. Black History - You can go to the "Under A Northern Star" webpage and read the historical papers of former slaves, read about the events being held at the LAC during Black Heritage Month. or see the photo of Africville, the Black community that once was part of Halifax before it was torn down in the 1960s.

3. Ukrainian History - There are immigration documents such as the passenger lists and land grants which provide a picture of what life was like from 1914 to 1939. They can be viewed at
www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/framingcanada/026020-3500-e.html.

4. Aboriginal History - There are treaties records, Band and Agencies information, Government of Canada records, the database of Indian Reserves, Jesuit Records, Métis genealogy and the Project Naming web project on www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/aboriginal/index-e.html.

5. And you can go to the Canadian Genealogy Centre and view all the information there is there in a genealogical context in both official languages www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/index-e.html

Sunday, December 14, 2008

450 Years of Fishing

At the recent Irish Studies Symposium held at the Library and Archives Canada (LAC), Dr. Willeen Keough——who is the Assistant Professor of History at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC——gave a talk entitled, "Good Looks Don't Boil the Pot: Irish-Newfoundland Women as Fish (-producing) Wives on the Southern Avalon".

She is in the middle of collecting the stories of the wives of fishermen who gave their lives to the industry by salting fish on the land and in giving their husbands' support. She is studying the interaction between the wives with each other, and with their husbands.

Along with this is a website which explores the fishing industry of Newfoundland called, "The Newfoundland Salt Fisheries: a Digital Exhibit" at <www.therooms.ca/ic_sites/fisheries/index.html>.

There are "Salt-Fish Essays: Life & Work in the Newfondland Salt Fisheries", which is comprised of six essays on the salt fishery in Newfoundland, and two more new ones - "Fishing the Labrador Coast" and "Growing Up in a Cove: Slide Shows", which have pictures of women's work in fishery, and in daily life. Other sections include "Photo Galleries" (over 120 new photos have been added); "Audio and Video Library: Memories and Moving Pictures of the Salt Fisheries" (listen to the people talk about their lives in the fishery; "Salt-Fish Education"; and "Maps and Manuscipts".

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Where is Home?

The province on New Brunswick has been a place that I have travelled through on my many trips between Nova Scotia and Ontario, so it was with great interest that I turned to the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick and their website, "Where is Home? New Brunswick Communities Past and Present" archives.gnb.ca/Exhibits/Communities/Home.aspx?culture=en-CA

The study of placenames is called toponomy, and there are more than 4,600 placenames of settlements, cities, and communities throughout the province. They are described completely, including why and how they received the name - by the post office, railways, and settlers for example.

Links are provided to 4784 land grants and other maps, and there is a total of 960 photographs and 600 documents about the founding, incorporation, and development of 144 of the communities.

If you go on the site, you will also find the latitude and longitude of the settlement, the county it is in, the parish it is in, and a map giving its location.

On the "Alphabetical Listing" page is the community of placenames, a county listing, an index, and a number of definitions on keywords in their description of the place.

The "Exhibit/Home" page brings an excellent history of placenames to the researcher, and at the end, it lists the books from which this information was taken.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Transfer of Vital Statistics to PEI Archives

In May of this year, Royal Assent was given to a bill allowing amendments to the Vital Statistics Act which permitted the transfer of records after certain time restrictions have passed www.gov.pe.ca/cca/baptismal

There are time restrictions on the Vital Statistics, as follows -

Birth Records - restricted for 120 years after date of birth

Marriage Records - restricted for 75 years after the date of marriage


Death Records
- restricted for 50 years after the date of death. The cause of death remains restricted regardless of when the death occurred.

Baptismal Records - All records in the post-1886 Baptismal Records Index now have been posted.

Simply place the surname you are looking for in the search box and you will receive the Child's Full Name, the Birth Date, the Baptism Date, the Mother's Name, the Father's Name, the Birth Place, and the Baptism Place.

At the present time, baptismal records are from 1777 to 1923. There are 93,000 records.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Saskatchewan's "Valued-Added" Membership

The Saskatchewan Genealogical Society has put something new in its membership - a value-added package, beginning in 2009!

In a special page on their site, http://www.saskgenealogy.com/aboutsgs/Value_Added.htm , they will add the following to their regular membership -

Saskatchewan Residents Index (SRI) -

Burial Index - index of burial information of 50,000 individuals

Obituary Index - index of obituary information of 75,000 individuals

Cummins Maps - name and location of individuals in the 1920s

Change of Name Index - index of individuals who changed their name and are listed in the Saskatchewan Gazette from 1971 to 1950

RCMP Obituary Index - index of name as well as the source for the obituary

NW Rebellion War Claims Index - the names of those who requested compensation after the 1885 NW Rebellion.

Rural Municipalities Historical Documents Index - an index that will list documents held by municipalities - such as tax assessment rolls.

Plus, the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society and the Ontario Genealogical Society www.ogs.on.ca also have joined in offering a $5.00 discount in membership fees for 2009!http://www.saskgenealogy.com/aboutsgs/Value_Added.htm

Monday, December 1, 2008

Who are the Canadian Palatines?

The Palatines were Protestants who left the German Palatine Region in 1709 at the invitation of Queen Anne of England, and they settled in various English lands and eventually, Ireland.

In the 1830s, 185 families left Ireland and settled in Canada - mainly Ontario.

Over the years, their friends and family in Ireland started to follow them to Canada, and soon you had settlements in Ontario full of Irish Palatine names such as Barkman, Dolmage, Embury, Fizzell, Heck, Lawrence, Ruttle, Switzer, Sparling, and Teskey - to name a few.

To commemorate the 1709 migration, many Palatine descendants are planning events in North America and Ireland.

If you are interested in any of the events, please email Bob Fizzell at palatines@mac.com.

During this past year, the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) www.ogs.on.ca also worked to set up an Irish Palatine Special Interest Group (SIG-IP).

This is the first SIG for the organization, and Don Hinchley, the Society's president, said they were accepted "In a unanimous vote at our Septwmber meeting, the Board of Directors approved the application of the Irish Palatines to join the OGS as our first Special Interest Group."

The SIG-IP is open to any person who would like to explore the common heritage of the German language, the Protestant religion, and migration to Ireland. The SIG will offer a website to its members and special sessions annually at the OGS conference www.ogs.on.ca/conference/index.html.

If you are interested in this new group, please contact the SIG through SIG-IP@ogs.on.ca.

I am in the middle of writing an article on this for Everton's Genealogical Helper for publication during the Palatine's 300th Anniversary in 2009.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

PaperofRecord.com sold to Google

This fall, a Canadian company named PaperofRecord <www.paperofrecord.com> was sold to Google.

The original owner of the site, R.J. Huggins, started the business in 1999 (it as known then as Cold North Wind) and started with the Toronto Star. He scanned the whole paper from 1892 to present, so if you want to read this particular newspaper, be sure to register (it's free), and go to the page that the company digitized. PaperofRecord has also digitized other papers.

When I heard the news, I went on the site to search the papers in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and I found the papers and the name that I was looking for - but the name was a name used for a particular wool in advertisements - so it was for naught. But I searched each and every page - so make sure you do the same or else you may have missed the name.

On most pages, the name you are looking for is highlighted in yellow, so it is easy to find.

The collection is made up of over 50 Canadian newspapers and 21-million images.

This is Google's first adventure into Canadian genealogy.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Have you "Google Booked" lately?

Are you like me, "I will Google Book when I have time!"?

So, the other day when I wrote a blog about the Manitoba Genealogical Society <http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2008/11/manitoba-genealogical-society-website.html>, I took the time to explore Google Book, as it has been a while since I had done so.

I went to Google Book <www.google.ca/books> and in the Search Box I put the title of the book I wanted to read as "History of Kings County, Nova Scotia" and pressed the button, and there it was - completely scanned!

The first thing I noticed was the number (variety) of books that Google now has for genealogists and family historians to read at their leisure.

They say that they now have 7-million books in which they put the fullview - the full text of the book - every page, including Table of Contents and Indexes - online. And this list included the book that I looked at, much to my pleasant surprise.

They also have a limited preview of the books, which means that the line in which the name you want to research is highlighted, but you can get them at the library or at bookstores which are mentioned on the side of the page by Google.

Google Book started in 2004, but last fall they really put a push on to have as many books as possibly scanned and put on the Internet - and I am glad they did!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

So, please let me offer a "Happy Thanksgiving!" to our American Cousins! (I have first cousins in Maine, first cousins once removed in Texas, and first cousins three times removed in California).

Canada, in 2005, celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Society of Mayflower Descendants, and is still going strong <www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canms/canada.html>.

There are four "colonies" in the country (in Toronto, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Alberta), with the Canadian society being the first formed outside of the United States.

They published a book for their 25th anniversary detailing their history, and it has many pictures which cover the events and meeting of their four colonies.

The site, which has had over 20,000 visitors since the website first started eight years ago, has an index on Mayflower Research Articles, Mayflower Families Corrections and Additions, and Upcoming Events & Society Meetings.

There is a List of Mayflower Passengers Who Left Descendants, Society Dues & Fees, and Application Procedure & Documentation Requirements.

They have also put online Reports of our Past Guest Speakers, Mayflower Research Articles (Index), and Mayflower DNA Projects.

For a change of pace, please read this interesting article entitled, "Were Cats and Dogs on the Mayflower?", at <http://www.petplace.com/cats/were-cats-and-dogs-on-the-mayflower/page1.aspx?utm_source=catcrazynews001et&utm_medium=email&utm_content=petplace_article&utm_campaign=dailynewsletter>.

And finally, for a bit of fun, knowing that watching football is paramount in any household this weekend (we watch it, too!), visit our Canadian Thanksgiving page at <http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2008/10/happy-thanksgiving.html> and check the graphic at the bottom.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Manitoba Genealogical Society Website

The Manitoba Genealogical Society has a new website and a new url <www.mbgenealogy.com>.

In fact, it has had a website since March of this year, but I didn't use it until this past week when I was looking around for a Webster relative from Kentville, Nova Scotia who married a Rev. Joseph Hogg and moved to Winnipeg in c1901.

The design is quite nice and the colours are true to Manitoba - a brown as a base and a yellow to tell us that the province is at the beginning of the prairies.

They have three branches—which are also online—and MGS Cemetery Transcripts. and they have an Online Library Catalogue which is very useful in finding secondary sources.

They have the location of 1,400 cemeteries online and they are inexpensive to order one - and I will be doing that in order to see the record of Rev. and Mrs. Hogg.

They, at present, do not have any records online, which is a shame, but there is always hope for the future. Until then, we will have to do research the old way -

But they have a page on the FaceBook.com website at <http://www.facebook.com/pages/Manitoba-Genealogical-Society-Inc/7054423205>!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Canadian Census - 2006

There has been talk the last couple days in the media about the 2006 Canadian Census not counting nearly a million people that they should have counted.

It's true! If you check Wikipedia <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_2006_Census>, you will see that the population count in 2006 was 31,612,897 and that was lower than actual count in 2006 - 32,623,490 people.

That is over a million short - someone didn't fill out their census return!

This is made even more odd by the fact that this was the first year that the form were offered online and you could fill it there. It will be interesting to see what Census Canada does with this problem!

Meanwhile, Question 53 is still up in the air and hasn't been resolved, according to genealogists. Statistics Canada agrees to release the Census information after 92 years, but it will only be information by those people who have checked the box.

The statistics show that there was a "yes" reponse by 55.50% of the population - the highest being in PEI, with 64.50%.

If you have't read the blog of Nov 16th where I talk about Ancestry.ca and FamilySearch partnering on indexing and digitizing the census from 1851 to 1916, go to the blog <http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2008/11/joint-initiative-provides-online-access.html> and take a look - it's interesting.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ukraine Remembers - The World Acknowledges!

This past weekend, Canada——along with many other countries——honoured the 75th Anniversary of Ukrainians that were killed by Stalin - the Holodomor of the 1930s.

It is estimated that 2 to 10-million Ukrainians were killed by a famine because Stalin forced collectivization of grain and other foodstuff that left people starved for food.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress launched the first National Holodomor Awareness Week from November 16th to the 23rd.

On the 22nd, they honoured the memory of the victims with a moment of silence at 9:00 a.m., and on Sunday, they held memorial services across the country in local churches.

Earlier this year, Canadian Prime Minister Harper supported a private member's bill that acknowledged the famine as a genocide.

"This is the bare minimum which we, as Ukrainians, should do not only for the millions of victims, but more importantly, for our descendants who must always remember the Holodomor," stated the Ukrainian Canadian Congress in a statement on their website.

Their website is <www.ucc.ca/holodomor/index.htm>.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

FamilySearch Looking for Volunteers!

FamilySearch International is going to make the indexes to the 1861, 1871, and 1916 census available online for free with the help of online volunteer indexers, and an agreement with Ancestry.ca.

The press release says that "Online volunteers are needed to help transcribe select information from digital images of the historical documents into easily searchable indexes."

The completed indexes will be available for free at <www.familysearch.org>.

If you want to become a volunteer, you can start right away by registering online at <familysearchindexing.org>, by downloading the free indexing software, and selecting the 1916 Canada Census project.

It will take about 30 minutes to finish one page of the census, and the volunteer has one week to finish it, if need be.

"The 1916 census was selected first because it is the most recent and smallest of the three census targeted in the first place. It included three of the western provinces (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta), and has about 1.7-million names - so it will not take long to complete," said Stephen Young, FamilySearch Project Manager.

It is interesting that they have picked three personalities known to people, that is; Arthur Gordon Kelly (Art Linkletter), Sir William Samuel Stephenson (real-life inspiration for James Bond), and Elvina Fay Wray (Fay Wray) who appeared in the 1916 census as example of people you can meet along the way to indexing the census - to make it more interesting to transcribe, I suppose.

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) owns, and is providing the digital images for, the Canada Census Project.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Publications

This fall, I have had a few articles published which you might find interesting to read -

Everton's Genealogical Helper
(Nov/Dec) - This article, "Canada Remembers the Arrival of American Loyalists in 1783", celebrates their 225th anniversary, which was commemorated throughout Canada this year.

Internet Genealogy
- The Dec/Jan edition will feature an interesting article entitled, "Chinese-Canadian Records", written after I met the librarian of the Vancouver Public Library, Janet Tomkins, at the International Federation of Librarian Association (IFLA) Conference held this August at the Library and Archives Canada.

Family Chronicle - In the Nov/Dec issue is an article called, "A Genealogy Education". It is about getting a education in genealogy, and quotes such people as George Morgan, Dear Myrtle, and Chris Paton, who recently got his Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical Studies at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

"Columns" - The latest in-house issue of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors' (ISFHWE) newsletter, "Columns", will be out in December. It will be my usual column, this time entitled, "A Basket Full of Conferences", in which I talk about the Irish Symposium in November and the British Island Family History Society Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) Conference in September of this year. Both were held at the Library and Archives Canada.

November's "NewsLeaf" - The newsletter of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS), "NewsLeaf", arrived a week or so ago and, as usual, it was a pleasure to edit!

Some of the articles are the first of two articles by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh on the "No Longer Hidden: Recording the Caribbean Presence in Canada", "Some History on the Beginnings of the Ontario Genealogical Society" by Ross W. Irwin, and "Burial Records for Jewish Cemeteries Across Ontario" by Shelley Stillman.

Plus lots of news on the OGS and meetings and special events which will take place in Ontario this winter and summer!

December 2008 "e-NewsLeaf" - I also edit the OGS' "e-NewsLeaf". Right now I am working on the December issue, which will be sent out to OGS members December 15th.

Some of the topics to be covered will be "Canadian 'PaperofRecord' Sold to Google", "Immigration to Canada", and there will be photos and a short write-up of the opening of the new office/library in Brant County.

And, of course, there is always the blog!!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Canada's Parliament Opens

Canada's Parliament opened today, and in the Honour Guard was my husband (he has gone on lots of parades this year) as part of the Air Force Guard, amidst the Army Guard, the Naval Flag Party, the Canadian Forces Band, the Artillery (as it performed a 21 gun salute) and a small but brave and hearty contingent of civilian onlookers.

(He found it a "bit chilly"—there was snow on our lawn this morning with a temperature of -10 Celsius or so—as they stood at attention waiting for Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, to inspect them. But other than that, he said the parade was a big success, topped off by a delicious lunch at the West Memorial Block.)

The Library and Archives Canada has put on the Canada Gazette - "the official newspaper of the Government of Canada" - all of the issues since 1998. However, all of the issues since 1841 will be made available soon on the same website <http://canadagazette.gc.ca/index-e.html>.

The digitization project—which began in 2007—is still underway, and by the end of this year, full access to all issues of the Canada Gazetter (1841-1998) will be available to the researcher.

I will be excited to see if Barclay WEBSTER—a first cousin 4 times removed by marraige of Edwardina Mary (Ina Mary) BARCLAY, daughter of James of Shelburne, Nova Scotia to Dr. Henry Bently WEBSTER of Kentville, Nova Scotia—who had a very succesful law practice in Kentville, Nova Scotia, and was the Conservative member of Parliament in November 1900, is mentioned.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shelburne County Newsletter has Arrived!

Another newsletter has arrived - this time by email - and it is the Shelburne County Archives & Genealogical Society Newsletter in Nova Scotia <http://nsgna.ednet.ns.ca/shelburne>.

Shelburne County is my "home" genealogical and archives society, and it produces a newsletter three times a year, and a couple of years ago they starting producing the newsletter electronically.

In this edition "From the Doan(e) Family" recounts the grand time that was held at the reunion in Barrie, Ont this summer.

They are busy with DNA testing to find out what part of the British Isles that progenitor John Doan(e) came from (not much luck there as yet), and they are looking for more members - especially from Eastern Canada.

Another article is written by Eleanor Robertson Smith about her research of William Booth of England and his tour of Nova Scotia in 1785, He kept a diary, and you can read his impressions of Shelburne in the piece called "Introduction to Captain William Booth and His Rough Memorandums."

Eleanor also writes about Gideon White, a descendent of a Mayflower passenger, John Howland, at the launch of his papers, the Gideon White Family Papers, at the Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management Office <www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/white>.

White came to Shelburne in the spring of 1784 and his letters to friends and family members, as well as his books, have been made public by the Nova Scotia Archives.

My BARCLAY ancestors are mentioned in the papers, and being in Ontario, it was so difficult to look through them until they were opened and put on the Internet earlier this year.

If you have a question to ask of the people at Shelburne, you can contact them them by writing to <gencentre@ns.sympatico.ca>.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Library and Archives Canada Launches Flickr

As a part of the Irish Symposium which took place at the LAC Monday and Tuesday at the beginning of this month, the LAC has put 84 images of the Irish-Canadian connection on www.flickr.com/photos/28853433@N02.

"The objective of the project is to explore new ways to improve access to Canada's documentary heritage," said Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "Library and Archives Canada is excited about the opportunities that social media sharing communities provide for Canadians to discuss and contextualize an important selection of our collective history."

Visitors to Flickr.com can comment and tag the content of the pictures, and can explore history in the context of their surroundings by navigating the album on a virtual map of the world.

I was on the exhibit twice in the past few days, and find it to be very good. It gives both the Irish and Canadian view of each other from the turn of the 19th century, and it rounds out the perception of the Irish-Canadian had of each other of that time.

LAC is planning to put videos on YouTube later in the year.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Joint Initiative Provides Online Access to Canadian Censuses

Ancestry.ca and FamilySearch International made an announcement on Nov 11th that they will partner on the digitized and indexing of the Canadian census.

The press release says that the "joint initiative will allow the organizations to improve online access to a comprehensive collection of Canadian censuses".

As apart of the agreement, FamilySearch.org will provide images and index to Ancestry.ca for censuses 1861, 1871, 1881, and 1916, and Ancestry.ca will provide images and index to FamilySearch.org for the 1851, 1891, 1901, and 1906 Census.

Notice that nowhere is the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) mentioned. The LAC originally held the census records on microfilm (being transferred to them by StatsCan), but through agreements with Ancestry.ca and FamilySearch.org, they seemed to have lost control over them in how they are used.

And it looks like the "free" search on FamilySearch.org is about to come to an end. The press release says that the images "will be free to all qualified (those people who have done transcription work for FamilySearch.org) FamilySearch members and at all FamilySearch family history centers".

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The "Ottawa Branch News" is here!

The Nov/Dec issue of the Ottawa Branch News arrived yesterday and it's a good one - at 52 pages!

The FEATURES articles include "Early Carleton County Settlers", sub-titled 'Early Medical Practitioners in Carleton County' (note that in 1847, the total number of people looked after by the doctors was 664 - the largest number to date); "Early Residents of Ottawa's Sandy Hill Neighbourhood"; and "Irish Threads - A New Look at the Tapestry of Life".

The NEWS section includes "Upcoming Events"; "OGS Conference 2009"; and a "Message from the Chair". DEPARTMENTS includes "Electronic Notebook"; "Conferences, Meetings, Workshops"; and "Historic Plaques and Monuments".

The Ottawa Branch News—along with the website <www.ogsottawa.on.ca>—is an excellent addition to your membership. It takes many volunteer hours to put together, and Ottawa has one of the better newsletters. It is published five times a year.

On the title page is a photo of the monument erected in Beechwood Cemetery, listing the 26 Canadians who were killed September 11, 2001.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ancestry.ca and the Library and Archives Canada

This is a story that's turning into a soap opera of sorts - it's becoming "the continuing story of LAC and Ancestry.ca".

In 2007, a partnership was drawn up between the LAC and Ancestry.ca, and it was announced at the 2007 Ontario Genealogical Society Seminar. I was there to hear it as well as were about 500 other people. It was as if the air had been sucked out the room - people were astounded by the news! "We didn't know that this was going on" - was the complaint of the people. It had come as a complete surprise!

Ancestry.ca said at that time that the release of the Quebec City Immigration Records was Number One on its list of things to do, and that they would make it available online at Ancestry.ca as well as the free LAC website. It is not on the LAC site - yet.

Then the Passenger Lists (Canada's Immigration Lists) from 1865 to 1935 was made public the first part of September on Ancestry.ca. That sort of caught me by surprise because I was expecting it to be released early in 2009 - but there it was - much to everyone's surprise. And it was not released at the LAC in Ottawa - but at Ancestry.ca headquarters in Toronto. It is supposed to be on the LAC site - but so far, it hasn't appeared.

And now, another press release in which Josh Hanna, a Senior VP of Ancestry International, and Ian Wilson, Chief Librarian and Archivist of Canada, are saying that Ancestry.ca will "digitize and index microfilm and original records (my italics) held by LAC and make these available to Ancestry.ca members." It goes on to say that "all of the digitized records will eventually be available free of charge to users of the LAC website". Notice that they say "digitized" records, and not "indexed" records.

Mr. Hanna says that "This is a win-win relationship for Ancestry to offer a wide range of Canadian collections to its members and in turn LAC will receive the expertise, experience and person hours that are required for imaging and indexing these records."

We all know that the LAC, being a government department, doesn't have the money to hire people (as the National Archives of Ireland has found out in its transcription of the 1901 and 1911 Irish census, and now has put it out to transcription companies to bid on it - they have said that they have chosen the company - but wouldn't say who it is at the Irish Symposium in Ottawa in November).

But I believe that this is the crux of the matter - the LAC simply does not have the money. So it has turned to Ancestry.ca to do the digitization and indexing of the microfilm and original records - and the LAC will take whatever it has agreed to put onsite. We will see what that is as time goes by.

In the meantime, were you as surprised as I when you opened the Globe and Mail newspaper yesterday morning, and read where Ancestry.ca had made a major mistake by putting a German soldier where there should have been a Canadian soldier in its Remembrance Day advertisement in the paper the previous day?

Ancestry.ca issued an apology and it said it will never happen again.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Virtual War Memorials

With news this weekend that they have found the remains of another unknown solider in Europe—and that he has been buried at a Remembrance Day Ceremony at Vimy this past weekend—brought home the fact that the wars in which they have fought will never die. It is our duty to remember them.

Canada now has 5,890 Vitual War Memorials that you can visit online on the Canada's Veteran Affairs website. Go to <www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=memorials/memcan>.

On a personal note, Mario Lapointe, my husband and a full-time reservist in the Air Force, will be in the Remembrance Day Parade tomorrow at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

I will be there, too, and afterwards we will go to a reception at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel to mingle with the veterans and with fellow sailors, soldiers, and airmen/airwomen who marched in the ceremony that morning.

There also won't be a blog on Wednesday because it will be Mario's birthday! I've got a full day and evening of activities planned for him, so I won't be home at all on that day.

If you wish, you can go to the Juno Beach Parade article that both of us wrote for that day five years ago <www.genealogycanada.com/Juno%20Beach.htm>.

So I'll see you Thursday when I will talk about the "partnership" between the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and Ancestry.ca!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Peace Tower & Books of Remembrance

On Friday evening, my husband and myself attended a Mixed Mess Dinner at the Rideau Canal Junior Ranks Mess in Ottawa, Ontario, during which we welcomed and feted Second World War and Korean Conflict (War) veterans as guests of the mess.

It gave me time to reflect on what I had done during that day (reading the First World War diary entries on the Library and Archives Canada website) as the veterans were introduced, and as they said a few words to the assembled.

It was the first mixed mess I had been to, and when they stood—and drank toasts to the Queen and the three branches of service with their dram of port—it felt as if I was back in the olden days of the armed forces.

We weren't that far from Parliament Hill that evening, and as part of the Parliament Buildings, the cornerstone for the Peace Tower was laid by His Royal Highness Edward, Prince of Wales (King Edward VIII) in 1919 as a salute to the soldiers who had died in the First World War.

The Tower contains the Books of Remembrance - all seven of them* - and a page is turned each day at 11:00 a.m. <www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/books/listing>.

The Memorial Chamber is where the books are located, and there is an observation gallery where one can see different views of the city.

*The seven books are:

- First World War
- Second World War
- Newfoundland
- The Korean War
- South African War/Nile Expedition
- The Merchant Navy
- In Service of Canada

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Library and Archives Canada Releases a New Guide

Today, the LAC has released a new research guide called "Canada At War: A Guide to Library and Archives Canada's Website Recalling the Canadian War Experience".

For the first time, this guide brings together the complete compendium of resources regarding the First World War available at the LAC ranging from Exhibitions such as Aboriginal Soldiers to Research (Digital Collections/Bibliography) which feature such online databases as Court-Martials of the First Word War, the Soldiers of the First World War, and Canadian Historical Sound Recordings of the First World War Era.

The last item that is mentioned in this itemized list of resources is the "War Diaries of the First World War", and they are very interesting. <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/veterans/025001-4000-e.html>.

They are not diaries written about the individuals in the war, but diaries of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), where they were required to keep a daily account of their "Actions in the Field" <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/archivianet/020152_e.html>.

I checked the establishment of the 1st Canadian Stationary Hospital as it mobilized in Quebec City in September, 1914, and the Cyclist Division with the Canadian Reserve Cyclist Company as they set up their operations.

If you know what unit your ancestor served in during the war, these are very helpful diaries, and offer a bit of reflection into the war. I got the feeling while reading them that they understood what was at hand, and they prepared the best they could for what the four years of the war would bring to them - reward, misery, and death.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Attestation Papers of Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF)

In 1996, the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) started working on the transcription of the Attestation Papers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) of the First World War. There were 600,000 Canadians who signed up for service in the war, which lasted from 1914 to 1918.

The LAC hired students from Renfrew, Ontario over the summer of 1996 to start work by scanning and processing the images. The Gatineau Preservation Centre Team worked on the project from 1997-1998, and the LAC team worked on it from 1999 to 2000.

You can find the person in the online database at <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/index-e.html>, and by putting the name in the search feature, and it will give you the soldier's rank, reference number, the date of birth, and the digitized copy of the Attestation Paper itself, which contains even more information.

Also, one can find chaplains and nurses online in this database.

On the other hand, I see where Ancestry.ca has issued the Attestation Papers!

They say that the papers were issued to mark Remembrance Day in Canada - but if the Attestation Papers and other information are already on the Canada Genealogy Centre's website - isn't this duplication of effort?

By the way, the "other information" which is available from the CGC is the record of service, casualty form, discharge certificate, war service gratuity, hospital cards, medical history sheet, body temperature chart, last pay certificate, dental history chart, and medical examination upon leaving the service.

You can get this information by simply filing out the form contained online at <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/022-300.001-e.html>.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Vigile 1914-1918 Vigil

Last night while coming home from the hockey game between the Ottawa Senators and the Washington Capitals (which Ottawa won - yes!), we drove past the National War Memorial at the corner of Wellington and Elgin Streets, across from the famous Chateau Laurier Hotel. It was 11:41 p.m.. Although there were no people present, the names of some of the 68,000 First World War soldiers were there on the memorial itself. It was the first night of Vigile 1914-1918 Vigil <www.1914-1918.ca>.

The project is to symbolically "repatriate" the Canadian soldiers who never made it back to their homeland, and to remember them on an individual basis, rather than as a collective during Remembrance Day ceremonies. The display which will be active in the evenings until Remembrance Day on November 11th. This vigil will also be held in Halifax, Fredericton, Toronto, Regina, and Edmonton.

You can look up the names of the dead on the website. You will find their surname, their first name and/or initials, service number, their rank, their regiment, their date of death, and the date their names will be projected on the National War Memorial.

In my case, I never had anyone die in the First World War but I looked up the surname of BARCLAY and found 18 soldiers who had died from 1916 to 1920.

The project was thought up by R.H. Thomson, a Canadian actor, and lighting designer Martin Conboy.

Monday, November 3, 2008

GenealogyToday Publishes Article

GenealogyToday.com, a website that I have been writing for on a monthly basis for the past six years, continues to publish my columns on Canadian genealogy. It published my latest column, "Chinese-Canadians Immigrants Now Online", on the 10th of September at <www.genealogytoday.com/roots/xweb.mv?xc=Display&xo=rescms&xn=-1&xr=1585&xw=&t_rid=25294&xz=connect.html>.

Simply go to the "Canadian Connections" section of GenealogyToday.com to see a history of the columns that have been published by Illya D'Addezio and company.

He wrote to me over the weekend to tell me of a new website he now has now called "Live Roots".

It was launched a couple weeks ago and now contains over three million names. He says that they continue to add 5 to 10 thousand new names every week!

It is a search engine for genealogists. Illya says that "the feedback has been terrific. Live Roots also includes most of the GenealogyToday.com information, creating one place to search across thousands of databases."

He says that LiveRoots was built to provide the researcher a site that "extends beyond the typical bounds of a traditional search engine or link directory by facilitating access to offline records and publications through partnerships with amateur and professional researchers who either own copies or are geographically closer to the librarians and archives that do."

I have gone on the site to see what is available for BARCLAY, and found quite a bit of stuff - both in the non-subscription and subscription areas. So it is true to its word - the site does provide lots of information that you can't find or would take too long to find.

It says on the website that each of the results has been hand transcribed and checked to make sure they are correct - the results I have checked so far are accurate as far as I know.

You just put in the surname and you will get results in the surname area and resource area - and I found results in each area.

He asks you to email him with feedback after you have had a chance to visit LiveRoots.com. The address is <owner@gentodayllc.com>.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The first question out of Brian Gilchrist——the Reference Archivist of The Region of Peel Archives who was at the Library and Archives Canada yesterday to give the second annual Ryan Taylor Memorial Lecture——was the question, "How savvy a researcher do you think you are?"

And this was just the first of many questions he asked during his lecture, the purpose which was to spur everybody on to evaluate their research - what is the quality of your research?

Do you, as you are supposed to, always work from the known to the unknown? Do you always ask the correct question of fellow genealogists, librarians, and archivists?

Do you think about how many levels there may be to your question? Is there a difference between what you need to know and want to know? And when do you need to know it?

I was reminded of a question that I have had since I started my own genealogy in 1994. That is why my g-g-g-g-grandfather Andrew BARCLAY had listed as his occupation - a bookbinder, and not as a farmer as was his father's business?

He was not the first son, so he did not get the land owned by the Barclay's in Kinrossshire, Scotland ... so was else was he to do? But bookbinding seemed so off the wall at first glance. Why bookbinding?

Through research I found that his grandfather had been a bookbinder in Edinburgh! And that area of Scotland there had been a huge trade in printing, and bookbinding, a profession he would take with him to the United States in c1760.

But maybe the most important question Brian asked through the entire lecture was the one he finished with - "What legacy have we left behind?"

That is perhaps the most important question these days since so many Canadian genealogists over the past three or four years have died. (In our immediate area, there are three nationally-known genealogists—-Sandra Devlin, Ryan Taylor, and Paul McGrath——who have passed on since 2005). Where has their work gone? What has happened to it?

Have you made a provision in your will to give direction to your executive as what to do with your papers, photos, video, and anything else you may have discovered along the way? What will happen to your genealogical "stuff"?

These questions he raised yesterday have made me think. I plan to finish the BARCLAY genealogy over this winter, and post it to the Internet as well do a limited production run of it to give to the Shelburne County Genealogical and Archives in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. I also have photos, certificates, and other family memorabilia which I plan to give to them for safekeeping, and for other people to research.

So, have you done the same thing with the "stuff" you have collected?

Friday, October 31, 2008

New Federal Heritage Minister

The new Department of Heritage minister is James Moore from the BC riding of Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam.

He first entered Parliament in 2004 and was named Secretary of State for Officials Languages, Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics before he was announced yesterday as the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

The Heritage website is going to be closed tomorrow - presumbly to put Moore in as the minister, and to change some of the script on the website to reflect the new minister.

Josee Verner has been moved from the Heritage Department to Intergovemmental Affairs and is responsible for La Francophonie.

Greg Thompson is still the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Métis Nation Seeks Genealogist

I recently received (indirectly) an email from Karole Dumont-Beckett, Registrar of the Métis Nation of Ontario's head office in Ottawa, looking for a full-time genealogist/historian.

The link for the job description is located at <www.metisnation.org/voyageur/articles/job_postings/08oc_genealogist.pdf>.

Deadline for application for this interesting position is November 10, 2008.

There are other opportunities across Canada, so if Ottawa is out of your area, perhaps something a little closer to (your) home might be available.

In any event, this is an interesting site, and offers a lot of information for those looking for their Métis ancestry, and the latest in news and events. Check out their magazine, Métis Voyageur, at <www.metisnation.org/voyageur/in_print/home.html>.

As well, this big news item from a recent press release on their site -

"MNO, Ontario Government and Council of Ontario Universities announce University of Ottawa selected to host first Ontario Research Chair in Métis Studies (Often unknown history of Ontario Métis will start to be told)". The link is <www.metisnation.org/voyageur/articles/national/08_sep_Chair_Annouce.html>.

For more information, please contact Karole at:

Karole Dumont-Beckett
Registrar / Director of Registry
Métis Nation of Ontario
500 Old St-Patrick St. Unit D, Ottawa, ON, KIN 9G4
Ph: 613-798-1488 Ph: 800-263-4889
Fx: 613-722-4225
Email: karoled@metisnation.org
Website: www.metisnation.org

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Holocaust by Bullets

Father Patrick DesBois, author and Holocaust expert, has been in Montreal at the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre to speak during Education Week <www.mhmc.ca>.

He is the president of the Yahad-in-Unum Association, a group which has brought to light the percise conditions under which 1.5 million Jews who lived in the Ukraine were exterminated by mobile Nazi units during the Second World War.

He has a website called "Mass Shooting of Jews in Ukraine (1941-1944): The Holocaust by Bullets", and he travels the Ukraine finding people who lived there at the to hear the stories.

He has used the German and Soviet archives, gathering eyewitness reports of the execution and burial sites, and to gather material proof of the genocide. The sites are recorded, including its GPS readings, and personal items are recovered by the teams including victims glasses, children's games, and jewellery.

He will appear tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m at the Barney Danson Theatre in the Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, to tell the story.

The website is <www.warmuseum.ca>, and the phone number is 819.776.8600.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Brian Gilchrist to Speak in Ottawa

Saturday, November 1st will be a red-letter day in Ottawa as Brian Gilchirst comes to speak at the second Ryan Taylor Memorial Lecture at the LAC.

The lecture will be entitled "Developing a Research Strategy", and he will talk about "being stuck", and how to become unstuck, and move your research on again.

The session will present a number of options based on a review of your own notes, and leaning how to ask questions of people who can help, be it from networking with other genealogists, or with archivists and librarians, or on-line resources.

As the pre-publicity says, "There is a whole world of untouched resource material out there, and Mr. Gilchrist will help you learn how to access it".

He is the Archivist at the Peel Archives near Toronto, and has been given lectures ever since I first attended the OGS' Gene-O-Rama in Ottawa in 1993.

The Ryan Taylor Memorial Lecture was started last year in Ottawa as a response to the 2006 death of Ryan, who had been a keynote genealogist in Canada and the United States.

The lecture will take place at the Library and Archives Canada Auditorium at 395 Wellington Street on Saturday, November 1st at 10:00 a.m., and is free.

See you there!

A Canadian Genealogist Dies in Scotland

Yesterday afternoon (Monday, October 27th, 2008), Don Hinchley, President of the Ontario Genealogy Society (OGS), wrote to tell a number of us that Paul McGrath, the genealogist on "Ancestors in the Attic", has died in Scotland.

He was the chair of the Toronto Branch, and had given many talks around Ontario on genealogy.

He died last Wednesday of a heart attack.

People who attended Conference '09 in London, Ontario this year heard him give a couple of seminars and the talk at the supper on "Ancestors in the Attic".

This blog send its condoldances to his family for thier personal loss, and to the genealogists of Canada, for they have lost a great family historian.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Irish Symposium 2008 at Library and Archives Canada

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is holding its second Irish Studies Symposium on November 3 & 4. The first one was held in Ottawa in 2006.

The door will be open at 8:30 for the two days, and the sessions will be held until 5:00 p.m on the first day and until 7:00 p.m. the second day. A book launch of A Story to be Told: Personal Reflections on the Irish Emigrant Experience in Canada, which is a collection of stories of about 128 Irish Emigrants to Canada, will be held the second day from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m..

There will be six sessions and one roundtable panel that will cover topics such as -

The Irish in Quebec

- Famine and Commemoration

- Politics: Shifting Attitudes and Political Impact

- The 1911 Census of Ireland

- Irish Culture: Print, Music, Food, and Film

- Irish History and Modern Media

- Directions in Irish Canadian Studies

Some of the people attending will be Irish historian and noted author on Grosse-Île, Sister Marianna O'Gallagher from Quebec, Dr. Diarmid Ferriter from Boston College, and Dr. Catherine Cox, Director for the Center for the History of Medicine in Ireland.

The cost to attend the symposium is FREE but an RSVP is required.

To attend the symposium, simply call 613.992.2618 or e-mail <webservices@lac-bac.gc.ca>. The webpage is <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/ireland/033001-1001-e.html>.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Springhill Mine Disaster - October 23, 1958

It was a terrible day in the long history of mining in Nova Scotia.

I was 11 years old when it happened. My Uncle Purly [BARCLAY] had traveled down to Jordan Falls (a small village near Shelburne) where my family and myself lived (the house was the Barclay home from the late 1880s). He had come from Halifax to do some bear hunting, and had heard about the "Springhill Bump" on the car radio.

That was the first thing he said as he entered the house - "Have you heard what has happened at Springhill?", he asked. We knew what he meant that there had probably been a mining accident, even though we lived on the opposite shore from Springhill.

We turned on the radio to the local station in Bridgewater, and listed to the coverage that night and through the next days until all had been found alive - 100 miners. Seventy-four others had been killed.

To get an idea of what the town of Springhill and the people looked like in 1958 as they went through the disaster, there is a virtual photo display at the Nova Scotia called the "Men in the Mines: A History of Mining Activity in Nova Scotia 1720-1992" <www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/meninmines>;
an account by the Canadian Press at <http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5gzJFLwRpsE618QhBzxBvzcRQhkpQ> and a website <http://web.archive.org/web/20041013211625/http://town.springhill.ns.ca/56_explotion.htm> that holds the account by Dr. Arnold Burden called "The Bump: Burial or Nightmare" - a personal account of a doctor in the town who went down in the mine to help those who were injured. Also on the same website <http://web.archive.org/web/20041013210859/town.springhill.ns.ca/Lost+Miners.htm> is a "Miners' Honour Roll" - an account of the 424 miners who have been killed in the mines of Springhill since 1881, both men and boys.

Believe it or not, there is talk of opening mines again in Springhill - but I think that is highly unlikely. Today, there is a museum where the mine used to be that you can go in, and a display which shows mining conditions in 1958 and the rescue efforts.

By the way, on the next day, my uncle did shoot a brown bear in the woods at the back of the house. I looked out and saw it but never went near it - I just thought that the whole scene was just too horrible.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Newspaper Genealogy Column

I know that there are many templates that newspaper genealogy columns take, but one of the most popular are the columns that ask for queries from the readers.

And that is what Diana Lynn Tibet is doing with her newspaper column in several Atlantic newspapers.

But she would like you to send in more queries. She has a query published every week in the newspaper -- free of charge-- but she needs more to be published.

These are the newspapers that she published in -

Newfoundland - The Western Star, Corner Brook

Nova Scotia - Lunenburg Progress Enterprise & the Bridgewater Bulletin (includes South Shore counties such as Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne)

Nova Scotia - The Bedford Magazine and the Halifax Southender (includes Halifax, Dartmouth, and Bedford)

Nova Scotia - The Amherst Citizen - Cumberland, Colchester, and Pictou Counties

Nova Scotia - The Guysborough Journal - Guysborough County

Queries can be about 35 words plus contact information, which includeS name, snail-mail address, and e-mail address.

Please send it to <tibert@ns.sympatico.ca>. Her site is at <www.thefamilyattic.info/Roots.html>.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The People's History Project

The Royal British Columbia Museum <www.freespiritbc.ca/peopleshistory> wants your story!

They are looking for your story (either you were born or you have lived in British Columbia), or the stories that have taken place in BC.

You can submit more than one story, but each story must be 1300 words and each story can contain up to five pictures- each one with a short caption. Each story can include one audio file up to five minutes in length, and a video file also five minutes in length.

The stories can be submitted under a number heading including "On the Job", "Fun & Games", "The Neighbourhood", "Home", and "School".

The story which is submitted will be taken from 2-6 weeks to be posted. You can record your story over the phone, if you wish.

They will be accepting the stories up until January, 2009.

You can share your own story either by contacting the Royal BC Museum on their website or by phoning 250.381.4305.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Saskatchewan Genealogical Society

The Saskatchewan Genealogical Society <www.saskgenealogy.com> was founded in 1969, and today it is a society with 20 branches throughout the province.

It has done yeoman's work in providing genealogical information on Saskatchewan residents such as the Saskatchewan Residence Index, the Saskatchewan Homestead Index, and the Cemeteries Index.

The organization will be 40 years old in 2009, and as part of its anniversary, it plans to publish a book called the Women Pioneers of Saskatchewan.

But they need more people to submit write-ups of up to 2,000 words and two pictures on each of the women who will be included in the book. If you have Saskatchewan females, and have sent anything in to them - won't you consider sending in their life story, and have it published in a book? The deadline is January 2009.

The president of the society was in London this past spring at the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) Conference this spring to get an idea of how Ontario did its conference. She was very pleased with what she found, with the way it was organized, and in fact has invited some of the people who gave lectures in London to give talks in Saskatchewan.

The 2009 Conference will be held from April 23rd to April 26th, and this year they have invited Ian Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada; Louise St. Denis, Managing Director of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies; and Dick Eastman of Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter fame.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Issue of The British Columbia "Genealogist"

It difficult to believe but fall is here already, and so is the "Genealogist". It arrived the other day from the British Columbia Genealogy Society <www.bcgs.ca>.

At 148 pages, it is a hefty publication with all sorts of topics covered - some of them being the Diary of Rev. Edward White (1822-1872); Cemeteries of Hope, BC; and the biography of Robert Grenville/Granville McKamey (1836-1896).

Intersersped with these articles are one such as British Columbia Mining Accidents (1878-1889 & 1896-1942); Daniel Stanley Masset; Queen Charlotte Islands, 1911; and the Vancouver Business Woman (1929, 1930).

There are BC's 150th Birthday Crossword; the Most Improved Contest; Book Reviews; BC Genealogical Events; and Activities and Queries.

Be sure to check the Images of Army Life; World War I - Baxter; Plumper Bay Petition, 1890; and Meet the Pioneers - Grenelle and Goupill.

And all of this celebrating "BC 150 Years - The Best Place on Earth".

Even though I do not now have any relatives living in BC right now (my aunt and uncle — Fred and Annie LEE — used to live in Golden and Kamloops), I found the journal to be a good read.

I especially liked the book reviews (they are always good) and this time they review three - The Family History Toolkit by Michael Hait; You Can Write Your Family History by Sharon DeBartolo; and In Search of Your German Roots by Angus Baxter.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

This weekend, Canada celebrates Thanksgiving!

A holiday in which we give thanks for the year we have had, and in traditional terms - for the harvest of the field.

It is always on the second Monday of the month of October - having been decided in 1931. Before that, it had been observed on the same day as Armistice Day - both being on November 11th.

This weekend has been nice, sunny and warm. A lot different from that Thanksgiving in 1993 when it snowed and snowed, followed by the coldest winter that had been seen in these parts in years. I remember it well because it was the first year in our new house, and to see the grounds covered in snow was more like Christmas than Thanksgiving.

It has always been a family holiday with turkey, dressing, and all of those roots vegetables - potatoes, carrots, turnips, and a pumpkin or apple pie.

The dinner was usually eaten on Sunday or Monday (it was always on Sunday in my house), and the drive on Monday to my maternal grandparents (Blades) house, and to see my maternal aunts and uncles and cousins who all lived in the town of Barrington Passage, Nova Scotia.

Today, I am staying home to proof an article I have coming out on Chinese-Canadian Immigration in the early 1880s to 1900s, and then tomorrow I will go for a drive to the beautiful Gatineau Hills - which are so colourful this time of year.

So whichever way you celebrate your Thanksgiving weekend, may it be a pleasant one!

And to our American cousins, we wish you the same, just a bit earlier. Enjoy the playoffs!


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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Voter's List at LAC

I can remember when I was but a youngster of voting age in the early '70s living on Olivet Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia, stopping on my way to work to read the Voter's List (a separate list was posted for each of the elections - municipal, provincial, and federal) stapled on the local telephone pole outside of the apartment.

I had to stop and check the list to see if I was there, and that they had spelled everyting correctly, and I was always there - and, yes, the information about me was true!

You will find information on the Voter's List held be the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) under <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/022-911.006-e.html>.

You will find that the LAC holds the Federal General Elections Lists for the years 1935, 1940, 1945, 1949, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1968, 1972, 1974, 1979 and 1980 - only they are only available by microfilm.

You may want to check the Provincial and Territoral Archives who hold Voter's List for provincial elections, and there are many municipal archives who also hold voter's lists.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Canadian Census of Industrial Establishments - 1871

After 25 years of studying and working with the 1871 Canada Census, Elizabeth and Gerald Bloomfield of Guelph, Ontario have released the Canadian Census of Industrial Establishments.

They have digitized the industrial census from the 1871 Census of Canada - the only detailed industrial census returns to survive so completely from the nineteenth century. More than 45, 000 industrial establishments are put into databases on the website <http://www.canind71.uoguelph.ca>.

The website provides information for the four provinces - New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario - covered in the 1871 Canadian Census.

I have checked the website and thre are the divisions which cover the businesses themselves, the people who were involved with the business, power (whether it be water, etc.), and the places where the businesses were located.

I discovered that a number of business in Shelburne and Kentville, Nova Scotia where my ancestors are from are mentioned, and I doubt that I would have ever taken the time to look them up on my own - now they are indexed by the Bloomfields!

There are barrel makers and shipbuilding companies that one would expect to find in a seaside town like Shelburne and businesses like agriculture in Kentville, a farming town in 1871. What this census does is that it presents a picture of the town that can help you place your relatives within the industrial mieu of the time.

And it can also provide material for the study of the technology, business and work organization of industrial activity, and the history of families, businesses and communities in 19th century Canada.

Well worth the visit, since it is the first time it has been done on such a large scale, and it does give a snapshot of industrial development in Canada in 1871.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Island Register

I first came across "The Island Register" when I originally started to research the United Empire Loyalists, and had found a number going from Nova Scotia over to Prince Edward Island to settle in 1783 onward.

It is an email newsletter sent out every Friday by Dave Hunter from Prince Edward Island, and he started it in 2001 when he found that so many people could trace their ancestry back to the island.

About a couple of years ago he added the "Death Notices From Local Newspapers and Other Source" ending for the week, and he gives the link to them onsite.

He also gives the weather for the week just ending, and the "News on the Island Register" which is always an interesting read, and letters from his readers.

I was particularly interested in the article on "Michael Ambrose McInnis and 'The Maple Leaf'" because I have relatives in California, and I am sure that they are in the publication. Now all I have to do is find the "Maple Leaf" which has just become easier because the article was written by his granddaughter - so there is my first lead in a long and anxious trail looking for 'The Maple Leaf'.

He also has the "Phone Report" in his newsletter and a weekly report on the phone museum on his property and "Laptops for Kids" where he pick up laptops on the Island for less than fortunate children. He has fixed and given away 20 laptops so far.

If you want to sign up for this particular newsletter, the address is <dhunter@islandregister.com>.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Quebec Family History Society "Connections" Arrive

The Quebec Family History Society has issued its Autumn 2008 issue of "Connections" today, and it is very interesting, as usual.

In this issue, they have articles on David THOMPSON and his last years in Quebec; the history of John METAGE, a Huguenot settler in Quebec; and the Artists Rifle Association and its 100th anniversary.

There is also the second report on "The Land Register of Quebec" written by Sharon Callaghan, and she points out that it pays to search the land register to see if your ancestor is there because you might think they did own land and it turns out they did - so check the records.

There is also "Seminar and Excursions"; "Seminars"; "Library Acquitions"; and many short articles and pieces of research.

At the September conference of BIFHSGO in Ottawa, I met up again with Derek Hopkins—Vice President of the organization, and whom I have known since 1996—and he gave me a demonstration of the society's new database where he and Bob Dunn are adding birth, marriage, and death records in Quebec.

This is definitely a database you should check if your have ancestors that have come from Quebec. You must be a member of the society for you to check the database, but at $60.00 a year, it is a price well worth the investment.

The website is <www.qfhs.ca> and the address is: P.O. Box 1026, Pte. Claire, Quebec H9S 4H9.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Website

Every American blog you see today has news from Illya d'Addezio <www.GenealogyToday.com> saying that he will have a new webpage on the free Live Roots website which will be launched October 10th. The site will list the various genealogy databases and publishers' catalogs.

But we already have a free website which highlights some Canadian sites, and it is the Canadian Genealogy Projects Registry!

It was started in the late 1990s and is a part of the Alberta Family Histories Society <www.afhs.ab.ca/registry/index.html>.

There is births, marriages and deaths already online from church records, civil records, newspaper announcements, bibliographies, and directories - to name but a few resources from all over the country.

Immigration, passenger lists, land-related records, and lineages are some other records that are included.

I have used the registry in looking for my Webster ancestry in Kentville, Nova Scotia (and I found their deaths in newspaper listings) and one branch of the family that went to Winnipeg, Manitoba, and I also found them there.

Also check the Brian W. Hutchinson Scholarship while you are there!

It is a scholarship open to all genealogists to Canadians and is worth $500.00 annually to the person to use for book(s) and the cost of tuition in a recognized educational or accrediation/certification program.

The deadline to submit is 31 December, 2008.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

OGS has established SIG Irish Palatine Group

The Ontario Genealogical Society <www.ogs.on.ca> has established its first Special Interest Group (SIG) - the Irish Palatine Interest Group. It will be organized and have the same status as a branch but will not be tied to a specific geographical region. Because it is considered as a branch, the number of branches increases to 31 from 30, and you can get to it by going on the "Branches" section at the top of the first page of the OGS website.

The Palatines were Protestants who left the German Palatinate in 1709 (their 300th anniversary will be next year) at the invitation of Queen Anne of England. They settled in various British colonies, and 185 families settled in Ireland.

Beginning in the 1830s, many of the Irish Palatine moved to Canada, especially Ontario. Those people with surnames such as Heck, Embury, Dolmage, Switzer, Sparling, Fizzel, Teskey, Lawrence, Barkman, and Ruckle.

As the SIG-IP (Special Interest Group - Irish Palatine) is open to any person who sees value in exploring the common heritage of German language, Protestant religion, migration to Ireland, and many ties of marriage to other Irish Palatine families.

As a SIG-IP group within the OGS, the group will develop regular communications with its members - including a website*. It will offer opportunities for sessions at the annual OGS conference and will produce occasional publications to inform its members of Irish Palatine history and genealogy.

It has taken quite a while to set up the group because I first reported on this group in the July 2008 edition of the NewsLeaf (Vol 38, No 3 p. 52).

The OGS is interested in forming other SIGs and seeks suggestions. They hold the library of the now-defunct Huguenot Society of Canada, and they would like to form a Huguenot SIG. The Huguenots were French Protestants who were expelled from France.

For information on this or to suggest other SIGs, email the office at <provoffice@ogs.on.ca>.

* They currently have a website "Irish Palantines" which celebrates their 300th Anniversary at <http://web.mac.com/bobfizzell/iWeb/Bob%27sHome/IrishPalatinesHome.html>. But they will have a new website which will reflect their statue as the new SIG-IP.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Irish Studies Symposium

The Library and Archives Canada will host the second Irish Studies Symposium at the LAC, 395 Wellington Street, on November 3 and 4th. The general public is invited - free of charge.

The first symposium was held in September 23, 2006 and, since then, much activity has taken place between the LAC and the National Archives of Ireland e.g. certain counties have been put on to date from the Irish Census of 1901 and 1911. It has been put on the Internet with the LAC's help.

There will be six sessions and one round-table panel, and they will cover

- The Irish in Quebec

- Famine and Commemoration

- Politics: Shifting Attitudes and Political Impact

- The 1911 Census of Ireland

- Irish Culture: Print, Music, Food, and Film

- Irish Culture and Modern Media

- Directions in Irish Canadian Studies (Round-Table)

There is also an exhibit called "The Dubliners: Photographs from the National Library of Ireland" which is, as the website says "a unique photographic record of life in Dublin at the turn of the last century."

The exhibit is on until Jan 5, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily, and is in Exhibition Room C. It is free.

For questions about the upcoming symposium, please contact <webservices@lac-bac.gc.ca>.

Monday, September 22, 2008

BIFHSGO Conference is a success!

The conference was held this past weekend of September 19-21 in Ottawa, and was a success - the best I have felt about a conference in many a year!

This year's conference was the society's 14th annual one, and was entitled "Celebrate Your Anglo-Celtic Roots", which meant there was a special emphasis on England.

The keynote speaker was Sherry Irvine, a genealogist and one of the founders of Pharos Teaching and Tutoring from Victoria, British Columbia <www.pharostutors.com> who gave an outstanding Don Whiteside Memorial Lecture Friday evening when she talked about "Genealogy With Wings: Reflections of a Family Historian in an Age of Techno-enthusiasm."

Her speech truly did set the stage for the rest of the weekend because it advanced the setting of genealogy on the Internet to "Genealogy 2.0".

She explained that genealogists who are willing to go that one step further and get on the train going towards "techno-enthusiasm" by becoming involved with such Web 2.0 technologies as collaborative family history sites, blogs, wikis, and Facebook and other social networking websites, will find their genealogy expanding and taking on new meaning for those involved in it.

You and your cousins can go on the Internet and build your family tree together, bringing a new dimension to genealogy that I will look into because my cousins are all across Canada and in the United States, and this will bring us closer together! (I will look into putting the genealogy of Andrew BARCLAY, the progenitor of the United Empire Loyalist BARCLAYs of Boston, New York City, and Shelburne, Nova Scotia on such a site.)

And it just continued through the next two days as it encompassed Marian Press in her talks about "Genealogy 2.0: What Do I Need To Know" and "The Past, Present and Future of Librarians for Family Histories", and Alison Hare and her talk about how to properly document your genealogy work called "Citations for Genealogists."

The rest of the time I spent in the Marketplace where I said my "Hellos" to everyone, including Ed Zapletal, the editor at Mooreshead Magazines Ltd. (Internet Genealogy, Family Chronicle); Derek Hopkins and John Reid of the Quebec Family History Society, who gave me a demonstration of the new Quebec database that the society owns, and which is only available only to members <www.qfhs.ca>; and Mike More from the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society <www.ogsottawa.on.ca> spent a hour or so on Friday afternoon talking about Canadian genealogy in general.

Doug Rimmer, Assistant Deputy Minister - Program and Services Sector, also gave a brief summary of the accomplishments of the Canadian Genealogy Centre of the LAC over the past year.

He touched on the hours that the LAC is open and how they were increased when they were reduced last fall, and this was because of the "public reaction", and he also discussed a few of the databases which have been put on last year - the North West Mounted Police; Black Loyalists; Chinese Immigration; the 1881 Census; and the Second World War - Killed in Action.

Congratulations should be given to all of the team who worked on this year's conference, especially the Program Co-Chair, John Reid, who put together a wonderful conference by bringing the speakers to us from Victoria, B.C., Toronto, and England, and Wills Burwell, who as Past President and Co-Chair (Administration) of the conference, helped to make everyone feel welcome. Their cadre of volunteers are also to be congratulated for their dedication and hard work in the face of the onslaught of the many harried and hurried genealogists who took over the LAC this past weekend!

Mark your calendar for next year's conference from September 18th to the 20th. Their website is <www.bifhsgo.ca>, and John Reid at his blog, Anglo-Celtic Connections, also has some comments on the conference.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ancestry.ca Launches Online the "Canadian Passenger Lists 1865-1935"

At 10 o'clock this morning (on Tuesday, September 16, 2008), Josh Hanna — Ancestry.com's Senior Vice-President — announced in Toronto that it has put the Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 online at <http://landing.ancestry.ca/intl/canada/passenger/lists.aspx> in both French and English (simply click the language link at the top of the page).

I have been on the site (even though all of my ancestors came to Canada pre-1865) to see what it is all about, and there is 1,441 BARCLAYs who came to Canada and 178 BLADES. (To those who don't know - my father's line is through the surname of BARCLAY, and my mother's name was BLADES - both of them descendent from United Empire Loyalists who came to Canada in 1783 and 1784, respectivly, from the United States.)

The passenger lists covers the provinces and cities of Quebec (Quebec Ports, May 1865-June 1908, June 1919-July 1921, April 1925-November 1935); Montreal (April 1925-November 1935); Halifax, Nova Scotia (1881-October 1922, 1925-1935); North Sydney, Nova Scotia (November 1906, August 1908-August 1922, 1925-1935); Saint John, New Brunswick ( 1900-September 1922, 1925-1935); Vancouver, British Columbia (1905-September 1922, 1925-1935); Victoria, British Columbia and Pacific Ports (April 1905-September 1922, 1925-1935) and some eastern U.S. Ports (July 1905-1919, 1925-1928) and New York City, which covers 1906 to 1921.

When you put the name into the search engine you may get their estimated year of birth, their birth country (although many of the immigrants did not mention their country of birth), date of arrival, name of the vessel, and port of departure. You can then view the image from which the information was taken.

It appears that the partnership that was forged between Ancestry.com and the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) in May, 2007 was not adhered to in this instance because nowhere is the LAC mentioned in the Ancestry.com press release.*

But it may be worth checking the LAC site <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/immigrants> because they have some of the passenger lists onsite, too. They also have the Moving Here, Staying Here. The Canadian Immigrant Experience online, and it's worth looking at it because it can give you the background behind immigration.

This past August, Sylvie Tremblay, Chief Project Manager of the Canada Genealogy Centre, said that the LAC has embarked on a three to five year project where they hope to develop a family history site where you will go to get the "story behind the headlines". They will make the connections for you between the databases, and the history in family history, and they are looking towards wikis to do this - so watch for that.

In the meantime, you can look up your ancestor on Ancestry.ca, and decide if you want to spend the money to do a deeper search. Remember, you can also get a 14-day trial at <www.ancestry.ca>.

*The LAC is mentioned in the CNW News Release. It refers to the LAC in that the LAC holds the official records on microfilm.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Conference - BIFHSGO

I plan to attend the 14th annual conference of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa <www.bifhsgo.ca> September 19th to 21st at the Library and Archives Canada - it will be a weekend of meeting old friends and of learning new information about to research my family tree.

The first event which I will attend will be on Friday morning, and is an Intermediate Course in Genealogy sponsored jointly by the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society <www.ogsottawa.on.ca> and BISFHGO.

That evening, I will attend the Don Whiteside Memorial Lecture and listen to guest speaker, Sherry Irvine, and her talk about "Genealogy with Wings: Reflections of a Family Historian in an Age of Techo-enthusian".

This talk is open to the public (free of charge), is usually very good, and is an excellent entry way into genealogy for the new researcher.

On Saturday, I will visit the marketplace to see what is new and will listen to lectures given by Jeffrey Murray, "Terra Nostra: The Stories Behind Canada's Maps 1550-1950"; Marian Press, "Genealogy 2.0: What Do I Need to Know", and on Sunday, I will listen to Alison Hare, "Citations for Genealogical Sources". There will be a panel discussion on genealogy.

I will report back on the conference next week - just to let you know how it went.