Saturday, January 31, 2009

OGS Conference information is now online!

I was just going around my weekly check of things on the Internet recently, and I said to myself, " I wonder if they have put anything about Conference '09 on the OGS site?" - and by gosh, they had!

In fact, they have put the whole thing on - so you can go ahead and check the program, see who's coming, and what special events will be happening.

One of the features will be the celebrating of the 300th anniversary of the Palatines, with features by prominent Palatine researchers on the Irish Palatines who settled in Ontario.

I will be there Thursday evening, and starting Friday, I will be on the tour of the new Ontario Archives and will cut it a bit short to come back and see the Graduation Ceremony of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, as well as the Opening Ceremonies of the conference.

Kory L. Meyerink is slated to speak at the J. Richard Houston Memorial Lecture that evening, and a reception will follow.

On Saturday, it's off to an early start. At 8:00 a.m., Brian Gilchrist will start the day off by giving his talk at the Plenary Session entitled, "Pedigree and Progress: Making Connections in the Digital Age from the Printed Page".

The rest of the day I am going to hear a couple of lectures and go around the "Marketplace" and say my "Hellos!" to old friends and new acquaintances.

Saturday night, I will go to the banquet and hear Charlotte Gray speak, and on Sunday, I will be going around taking pictures and getting more news for the OGS NewsLeaf and e-NewsLeaf. There will be the closing ceremonies in the afternoon.

I plan to blog while I am there, and after the conference I hope to stay in Toronto for a couple of days and visit around to see what has appeared since I was there last summer.

If you want to see the material that has been put on the OGS website, please go to

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Online Obituary Database - U of Toronto

Charmaine Lindsay — Supervisor, Reference & Outreach of the City of Toronto Archives — has sent me a notice that the Canadian Necrology Database Index at the University of Toronto Library is now online.

The majority of records in the Canadian Necrology database index obituaries for distinguished Canadians whose death notices appeared in newspapers such as the Globe and Mail, Toronto Daily Star, Gazette, and Mail and Empire between 1934 and 1977.

There are 20,000 such records.

The second set of records in Canadian Necrology contains death information for over 4,000 early inhabitants of Toronto and the surrounding areas, between 1853 and 1920. This collection is the result of a lifetime hobby of William Henry Pearson (1831-1920).

Beginning in 1853 and until his own death in 1920, Pearson maintained a ledger where he recorded the deaths of friends, acquaintances, and prominent members of Toronto society.

The site gives a short, yet very good history of the two men who put together the two record databases - William Henry Pearson and William Stewart Wallace — and how the obituaries were used to compile the database.

The database gives the name of the person, his/her sex, the age at death, the cause of death, the occupation, and the residence.

It also will tell you which record group the person was found and the record ID.

A bibliography of sources is included, as well as a related links page.

They have included a page of "Diversions" at the end of the website in which you are asked to identify the person in the photo because they have as yet been identified.

The informaiton can be found at

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Anglo-Celtic Roots arrives

The latest issue of Anglo-Celtic Roots (ACR) arrived the other day. It is the journal of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO), and is published four times a year.

This issue contains a message from the president, a full report on Conference 2008, and Saturday Meeting Reports - which covers five talks given at the Saturday morning meetings- such as "A Tale of Two Families" by Glenn Wright, "Lieutenant John Henry Kennedy" by Caroline Herbert, and "An Emotional Moment in Genealogy" by Bill Arthurs.

The president, Mary Anne Sharpe, reports that the society is doing very well, and BIFHSGO is—unlike other genealogical organizations—actually gaining in membership ... and the reason for that is very simple - they have intriguing ideas for meetings, interesting people who give talks, and always hold an annual conference that keeps a person coming back.

It is, as the president puts it, "a vibrant society."

Included in the journal is a questionnaire entitled "2008 Volunteer Survey", in which the society is interested in hearing your views on the society. If you would like to volunteer for the many divisions of the group - monthly meetings, research projects, workshops & courses, annual conference, website, etc, plase fill out the form and send it back to the society.

The calendar of events is covered on the back cover of the ACR - and be sure to follow the events as they are posted on their website at

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is celebrating the Chinese New Year with a collaboration of the information and databases they have compiled over the past years
in an exhibit entitled "The Early Chinese Canadians, 1858-1947" at

They have divided the site into five different areas of interest to genealogists, and they are -

- The history of Canada's early Chinese immigrants - explores why and how they came to Canada.

- Photos, government documents and letters that have been collected by the LAC

- Head Tax Records - You can search the General Registers of Chinese Registers online from 1885 to 1949.

- Chinese Canadian literature and historical research

- Coming soon will be educational resources for classroom study for secondary school teachers.

By the LAC's own admission, the General Registers of Chinese Immigration is the most important part of the history because it represents the payments made by the Chinese when they came to Canada. The Chinese were the only ones who paid the head tax when they came into the country.

Over 95,000 immigrants are recorded on these rolls.

There is also personal essays on the site, as well as family histories and suggested websites.

I have written about the Chinese-Canadian immigration in an article entitled "Uncovering Chinese-Canadian Records" in the January 2009 edition of Internet Genealogy, pages 20-21.

For an interesting look at the Chinese New Year, please visit

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Canadian Civil Servants List (1872-1900) has made the announcement that they have put on the fully-indexed Canadian Civil Servants List (1872-1900) "which features more than 78,000 records of those employed in departments of the Canadian Government during the country's early days of Confederation."

The press release says that this database gives the "family researcher a unique opportunity to find out how an ancestor's career might have progressed and how much they earned, as well as offer personal individual information such as birth date, age, date of first appointment, years at post, promotion to present rank, creed or religion and nationality of origin."

There are 22 government departments in the database including the Post Office Department, Department of Finance, and the Department of Public Printing and Stationary.

Karen Peterson, Marketing Director for, comments that "Collections such as the Canadian Civil Servants, which includes information on occupation, salary and career development, are vital as they enable family history enthusiasts to better understand how their ancestors lived by providing historical, factual context to their lives."

The Canadian Civil Servants Lists, 1872-1900 is available to Canada and World Deluxe members, and through a free 14-day trial at

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"The British Columbia Genealogist"

The Christmas edition of The British Columbia Genealogist is last one in which "BC 150 Years: The Best Place on Earth" is celebrated.

As usual, it is a good mix of articles, photos, BC Genealogical Events & Activities, and Queries.

Some of the articles include "A Roll of Honor, American Can Co. Ltd, Vancouver, BC"; "Greek Soldiers Off to War, 1912-1913, BC - Cokkins, Dapoulos"; "Canadians World War I War Medals", and "In Quarantine: Life and Death on Grosse Ile, 1832-1937", and the ever- popular "Salt Lake City Research Trips, 2008".

I see where Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak will give an all-day seminar on the 7th of March at the Surrey Arts Centre. She will give four seminars ("Trace Your Roots with DNA" and "Cases That Made My Brain Hurt:, to name two of them). For more, go to

Even though I don't have a relative native to the province, I like to read the Genealogist because it has lots of information in it which interests me.

And which, hopefully, will interest you.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Aboriginal Records Requested

Researcher and writer Janice Nickerson needs help gathering illustrative examples for a soon-to-be published guide to Aboriginal genealogical research in Central and Eastern Canada.

She will pay $25 per document to anyone who can send me a copy of a civil registration, will or estate record, newspaper Item, school record, land and property record, notarial record from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador, in which an Aboriginal person is featured, preferably explicitly identified as such.

She also needs non-church documents from Quebec, and newspaper items, school records, or land and property records for Ontario.

She only needs one of each type of document for each province.

The deadline is January 25th.

Please contact Janice directly for details at, or call 416.920.2206.

She can also be contacted by mail at:

Janice Nickerson
Upper Canada Genealogy
Suite 2807, 33 Isabella Street
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2P7