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.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ottawa Branch Sends "News"

The Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has just sent out the "News" this week - the August-October, 2008 newsletter.

This issue is 55 pages long, and covers such topics as The Early Carleton County Settlers (Early Medical Practitioners in Carleton County and The Lillico Family Chain Migrants to Gloucester Township, Ontario); Early Residents of Ottawa's Sandy Hill Neighbourhood; Celebrating Beechwood Women! Beechwood Cemetery 14th Annual Historical Tour; and the section titled, Old-Time Stuff covers Early Trangraphs.

They have a section called "News", which really brings you up-to-date about what's going on in the National Capital Region of Ottawa-Gatineau.

In this issue, they have set the date for the Gene-O-Rama conference for March 27 and 28, 2009 and the special focus will be on the census. The Ryan Taylor Memorial Lecture will be held November 1st, with Brian Gilchrist talking about developing a Research Strategy. On Tuesday, September 16, there will be a meeting of the OGS in which Marc St-Jacques will talk about Searching Gatineau Archives.

In the "Electronic Noteboard" is the latest of the websites on the Internet, and Heather Oakley always does an interesting article about places to check on the Internet.

It is interesting to note that Mike More, the Chair of the Ottawa Branch of the OGS, states that their attendance is down 5% per year since the late 1990s.

They, unlike the Nova Scotia Genealogy Society, aren't thinking about cutting back on the number of issues on the newsletter but are looking for a Publicity Coordinator to get the message out about their meetings, etc.

Are you interested?

Contact Mike More at <chair@ogsottawa.on.ca>.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"The Nova Scotia Genealogist" Arrived Today

The Summer 2008 issue is out, and as usual, J. Fralic-Brown and crew has put together another tremendous edition.

They have "Extracts from The Wesleyan Newspaper, 1838 - Part II", which cover deaths, "Vital Statistics On Line in the Maritimes", and two articles on "Nova Scotia Strays".

They also have an article on "The Simpson Collection, Part I - Dolores Lockhart's Wonderful Gift", which gives an account and description of the papers of James Simpson of Halifax in 1749. In the next issue will be Part II, in which more of the records will be discussed.

And the second installment of the article "'First Missionary' - Well, Not Really, But ... Part II" talks about the life of Thomas Wood, a missionary from the Church of England in Nova Scotia.

Follow Wood as he goes from Halifax to New Brunswick Annapolis Royal, and read about his exploits in the countryside in the early days of the Colony of Nova Scotia.

Part III will be in the fall issue of the Genealogist.

Their AGM was held in May, and there was an interesting fact - they reported that membership had fallen by 15% over last year.

This is quite a big dip in the numbers, and one way the president suggested that they could reduce the cost of doing business was to reduce the number of issues of the Genealogist to two from three, or making it available on the website.

I vote for making it available on the website and keeping the number of issues to three! It is a good publication, full of useful and timely information, and is worth making available to as many researchers of Nova Scotia and Maritime history and genealogy as possible.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Releases Second World War Service Files

I have been waiting patiently for the LAC to release the Second World War Service Files of the Canadian Armed War (1939-1945) Dead.

I first found out about the database in the spring of this year, and last week, Sylvie Tremblay, Chief Project Head of the Canada Genealogy Centre, said that they were finally on the website.

Of the 1,159,000 men and women who served in the war, 44,093 died.

If you go to the site at <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/war-dead/index-e.html> and put in a last name, you will get the date of birth, date on death, and the service number of the member.

If that is not enough information, you can press on the name and — in addition to the information already given — also get their rank, the unit in which they served, what force they were in (army, navy, air force), and the reference and volume numbers of the reference.

There has been some criticism of the database because you won't see the person's address on the record - so if there are two people with the same name, you will need to know the date of death of the person you are researching.

I had two uncles on my father's side (BARCLAY) who were in the war. Luckily, they made it through. My father did go to the depot in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to join, but was refused because of his knees, and so didn't go to war.

John (Johnnie) was in the Canadian Navy and sailed on the convoy ships during the war, and Perley was in the Canadian Army and fought in Sicily.

I also had two brothers on my mother's side (BLADES) who were in the war. Walter and Arthur were in the Canadian Army in Europe.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Yesterday was my birthday!

I have survived another year!

This seemed like it has been a long year, with many twists and turns, numerous genealogical conferences, much travel, and much work - I have had 24 articles published this year, and started this blog.

I renewed old friendships from all over, and made new ones. And I value each one.

It is my dream to write many more articles, and to get the blog rolling out every day, and to go to as many conferences as possible. Mighty big order - let's see if I'm up to it.

I had one big genealogy find this year, and that was of my great-great-great-uncle Andrew BARCLAY.

My cousin Charles BARCLAY and I have searched high and low for him, and he always seemed to slip through our fingers - until just by happenstance I "Googled" one of his daughters this past spring while I was waiting for a drive one day, and there it was - she had written a diary!

And one part of it was on the Town of Argyle (Archives) website. I rushed a note off to them and in no time flat I had the entire diary that had been donated to them by her family (HALEY from Alemeda County, California), and I found the story about her father and his death.

How he died of yellow fever in San Domingo after going there from Shelburne, Nova Scotia on ship to trade the town's fish for rum and sugar.

And then this summer in August, a query I put on the Internet six years ago bore fruit because I was sent a picture of who else? Andrew Barclay!

So the research is complete, and I am happy! Now I will see if I can get the book completed (on Andrew BARCLAY, Loyalist), and published.

See my posting on him in this blog, under "Let Cousins Find You" at <http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2008/08/let-cousins-find-you.html>.

So I have had a wonderful year as far as the business of genealogy is concerned.

I try to remember that it's not the idea that we are given another day to live, but it is what do we do with that day that counts.

May you have your own Happpy Birthday!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

WorldVitalRecords.com Partners with Canada's Dundurn Press

WorldVitalRecords has just announced that they have partnered with Dundurn Press and will start to post over 400 genealogical and historical books online.

This was an unexpected announcement, as the press had been in existence since 1972, but WorldVitalRecords says that it will bring more publicity to the press and people will know more about it.

Some of the titles that will be put online will be 100 Canadian Heroines, Strangers at our Gates: Canadian Immigration Policy, 1540-2006, and Maps for Family and Local History.

Just by coincidence, June Coxon, also a writer from Ottawa like myself, attended the Conference '08 of the Ontario Genealogical Society in London, and while there, she interviewed some people in the marketplace, and one of the interviews was with Barry Penhale of Dundurn Press.

Barry was with Heritage Books before, and since 2007, has been with Dundurn Press.

A New Role For Natural Heritage Books and Barry Penhale
June Coxon

You couldn't miss seeing Barry Penhale if you visited the marketplace during this year's OGS conference, in London, Ontario. His was the first table in the first aisle as you entered the room.

But the large banner sign behind him read 'Dundurn Press' and most people likely associate him or at least his name with Natural Heritage Books, a company specializing in publishing books about Canadian heritage, natural history, and biography. Penhale and his wife, Jane Gibson, established that company in 1983. But since January 2007, it has been a member of the Dundurn Press Group, and Penhale now calls himself publisher emeritus. Obviously, that does not mean he has left the publishing world completely. He's been in the business for some 40 years and is not likely to leave it behind any time soon.

As for his company's new association with Dundurn Press, some people might be leery about the decision to join forces with another publishing company, but not Penhale. "The president of Dundurn, Kirk Howard, has a great appreciation for history," said Penhale. "In fact, he's been a genealogist for years. Also, Dundurn started primarily as a small publisher of Canadian history, military history, politics, current affairs, and biography," he noted. "So becoming part of the Dundurn Group was a good fit for us, especially since I've been assured that my company's signature name will continue to be used in conjunction with that of Dundurn's."

Natural Heritage has published over 200 books, of which approximately 100 are still in print. But Dundurn has more funding and therefore more books (Since it started 1972, Dundurn Press and its associated imprints have published over 1,450 books, of which 650 are still in print They publish about 75 to 80 new titles a year ). "The move we made last year will enable our book selection to strengthen and expand," Penhale said. Both Natural Heritage Books and Dundurn are located in Toronto.

Some of the most popular and successful books published by Natural Heritage Books include the series of eight written by Ottawa-born Dr. Lucille Campey about Scottish immigration to Canada. For those unfamiliar with her books, the one she published in 2005, The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada, 1784-1855: Glengarry and Beyond, is 397 pages full of tantalizing information for genealogists like charts, maps, and passenger lists. This book also contains descriptive information about the progress of Scottish settlement in Upper Canada, with details about the 550 ships that made over 900 crossings and carried almost 100,000 emigrant Scots to Canada.

"Dr. Campey's last book, An Unstoppable Force, was on sale at the BIFHSGO conference in Ottawa this year and every one was sold," Pehale pointed out. But he also told me that Dr. Campey has written her last book about Scottish immigration to Canada. Deciding to turn her research and writing to a different part of the British Isles, Campey has signed a contract to write three more books for Natural Heritage Books. But they will be about people who immigrated from England to Canada. Like her last two books, these will bear the joint imprint of Dundurn and Natural Heritage. Her first book in this next series is scheduled for publication in 2010.

Barry Penhale and his books are a familiar site at conferences and fairs. He has been displaying and selling his books at conferences like the one in London for many years. "From a vendor's point of view, it's always a great experience because of the many interesting people I meet as well as the new contacts and connections made at such fairs," he concluded.


Natural Heritage Books,The Dundurn Group, P.O. Box 95, Station O, Toronto, Ontario M4A 2M8, Canada.
E-mail: <natherbooks@bellnet.ca>
Phone: 416-694-7907 or 1-800-725-9982.
Fax: 416-690-0819

Monday, September 1, 2008

Canada has baseball genealogy, too!!!

Today, I was out to the final baseball game of the season for the Ottawa Rapidz of the Can-Am League. Unfortunately, the team lost their last game of the 2008 season, but there were over 5,000 people present, who thought it was just about the best game they had seen all season.

So, to celebrate all people who like baseball, I direct you to an article I wrote this summer for "Canadian Connections" on the GenealogyToday.com website called "Play Ball", and published in May, 2008. The link is <www.genealogytoday.com/roots/xweb.mv?xc=Display&xo=rescms&xn=-1&xr=1536&xw=&t_rid=25294&xz=connect.html>.

For those interested in stats, their win/loss record is 31-62, not bad for their first year. They replaced the Ottawa Lynx, a Triple-A team.