Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Nova Scotia Genealogist - New Issue

Their newsletter just came in this past weekend in its new large format, and it looks good.

There are three articles of interest this edition and they are -
  • "The Death of William Ackhurst" by K. Lamb
  • "A Note on the Family of Robert Westcott of Warwick and North Kingston, Rhode Island and Newport and Falmouth, Nova Scotia" by B. Owen
  • "Ferdinand Traunweizer, an Itinerant Jeweller from Poland to Texas, Part I" by S. Lomas.
In their 'Sources of Research' section, they have published the database put together by Earle Ripley of Saskatoon of the "His Majesty's Nova Scotia Regiment of Fencible Infantry, Part II".

If you want to contact Earle, he can be reached at condomble@shaw.ca.

Also, there is a list of surnames found at the Dartmouth Heritage Museum on page 135 of the newsletter.

The site of the Dartmouth Heritage Museum is at www.dartmouthheritagemuseum.ns.ca, and their email is museum@bellaliant.com

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, our faithful readers!

So, here are some links for the same festive greetings in different languages or as listed by country.

Merry Christmas (in over 75 languages) - www.ethnicharvest.org/ideas/christmas.htm

Merry Christmas (by country) - www.myuniversalfacts.com/2005/12/how-to-say-merry-christmas-in.html

Happy New Year (by language) - www.myuniversalfacts.com/2005/12/how-to-say-happy-new-year-in-different.html

I have my hopes on some nice things for my genealogy research, although I was lucky enough to solve a brickwall this past year, which in turn, was a solved brickwall from the previous couple of years - my Aunt Annie Louisa Barclay, whom I had heard about, but couldn't find. Well, long story short (I will write abut this later in detail), I discovered a new branch of the family, and made contact with a few distant "cousins" along the way.

So may Santa fulfill all your genealogy wishes!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Genealogy Season is Stirring!

Every spring, the genealogy season in Canada starts to stir as the weather changes from cold and snow, to warm and sunshine. It's also a good time for the Ottawa Branch of the OGS to take advantage of the change in seasons, as it hosts its 27th Annual Gene-O-Rama on March 26 and 27 at the Library and Archives Canada.

The theme, "Researching Female Ancestors", will feature Lisa Alzo as guest speaker Friday evening, speaking on "Silent Voices: Telling the Stories of Your Female Immigrant Ancestors".

Saturday seems to be quite full of interesting topics such as "Using Library and Archives Canada Databases and Resources to Trace Females Ancestors" to "DNA Testing for Genealogy: Not Just for Men".

In the evening is the banquet, to be held at Algonquin College. The guest speaker, Glenn Wright, will give a talk on "Sex, Lies and Archives: Behind Closed Doors at the Public Archives of Canada, 1900-1950".

The lecture on Friday evening is free to the public, and the cost for Saturday's banquet is very reasonable, at $35.00 for an individual OGS member, or $40.00 for a non-member.

For more information, visit their website, or contact them at conference@ogsottawa.on.ca.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Arcalife Nets Deal

Vancouver's Arcalife, and a British company, Firebird Media Ltd., have signed a deal which will bring the two companies closer together in archiving personal history on the Internet.

Arcalife will use Firebird Media's Memorybank to offer its customers a "people's archive", including sources of local history as well as their own personal history.

Arcalife CEO Paul Taylor says, "This is significant opportunity for both organizations. Many of our operational needs are similar and our services are complimentary, so it makes perfect sense".

I met Paul in Ottawa about a month ago while I was covering a meeting for the Canada 150 Project. At that time, he was busy getting his company out of the starting blocks in Canada, and was looking forward to a bright future.

It looks like he has struck his stride with this partnership.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yukon Genealogy

Did any of your ancestors go to the Yukon to look for gold in the Klondike Gold Rush, or once lived in Dawson City? If so, then the Yukon Genealogy website is the place you should look.

They have many databases onsite, such as the Dawson City Museum "Pan for Gold" Database, for example.

This database contains records of people travelling in the Klondike, death records, and people involved in the placer mining applications.

Other databases include the Yukon Residents Database (1894-1958); Pioneer Cemetery (1900-1965); Grey Mountain Cemetery (1960-1976); Yukon News Obituary Index (1966-2000); Deaths and Burials of the Yukon River Basin (1887-2007); Francophone Yukoners; Sourdough Air Display, 1971-2006; and Yukon Barristers Roll.

To gain access to all of these databases, go to www.yukongenealogy.com/content/ykgen_db.htm.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nepean Neighbourhoods

The City of Nepean — before it was annexed in 2001 by the City of Ottawa — was once made up of 57 neighbourhoods such as Fallowfield, Pinecrest, and the Skead's Mills section of Westboro.

The Nepean Museum in Ottawa is doing something special next year - they are putting on a display of the former city's neighbourhoods, and they need your help.

If you have any stories or photographs of these neighbourhoods, you are asked to send them to Emily Bracewell, Collections Manager at the Nepean Museum at collections@nepeanmuseum.ca, or to contact her by phone at 613.723.7936.

She says on the website that they are looking for "pictures and stories of significant events, people, buildings, or landmarks in your neighbourhood".

The following are the neigbourhoods, and the date listed beside each one is the year up to which they need information:

Arlington Woods - 2000
Barrhaven/Jockvale/Fraservale/Knollsbrook - 2000
Bayshore - 2000
Bayswater - 1907
Bell's Corners/Lynwood Village/Arbeatha Park - 2000
Borden Farm - 2000
Briargreen - 2000
Bridlewood - 1978
Britannia - 1950
Bytown - 1850
Carlington - 1950
Cedarhill Estates - 2000
Centrepointe - 2000
Cityview - 2000
Country Place - 2000
Craig Henry - 2000
Crystal Beach - 2000
Davidson Heights - 2000
Fallowfield - 2000
Fisher Glen - 2000
Fisher Heights - 2000
Graham Park - 2000
Grenfell Glen - 2000
Hampton Park - 1950
Heart's Desire - 2000
Hintonburg - 1907
Leslie Park -2000
Longfields -2000
Manordale -2000
McKellar Townsite - 1950
Meadowlands - 2000
Mechanicsville - 1907
Merivale District - 2000
Mount Sherwood/Orangeville - 1889
Orchard Estates - 2000
Ottawa East (Archville) - 1907
Ottawa South - 1907
Ottawa West - 1950
Parkwood Hills -2000
Pinecrest - 1950
Pineglen - 2000
Qualicum - 2000
Rideau Glen -2 000
Rideauville - 1907
Rochesterville - 1889
Rocky Point - 2000
Ryan Farm - 2000
Shirley's Bay - 2000
Skyline - 2000
Stewarton - 1889
Tanglewood - 2000
The Glebe - 1889
The Veteran's Housing Project - 1947
Trend Village - 2000
Twin Elm - 2000
Westboro (Skead's Mills) - 1950
Westcliffe Estates - 2000

You have until the end of February to get your information to the museum, which is located online at www.nepeanmuseum.ca.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Atlantic-Canadian Irish on Facebook

Word comes from Michael Brophy's Irish Genealogy Blog that David Allen Lambert, the "Online Genealogist" and staff member of NEHGS in Boston, has started a Facebook page devoted to the Irish called the "Atlantic-Canadian Irish Genealogical Interest Group".

David and the group will discuss the topic of the "two boat" Irish people — the Irish who came to Canada first and then went to the United States, or first to the United States and then to Canada — before and after the Great Famine.

The link is http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=198333073033&ref=ts

David can be reached at dalresearch@comcast.net

FYI, I just recently interviewed David for Moorshead Magazines as one in a series of genealogists of note. The interview will appear in a future issue.

e-NewsLeaf - Dec 2009

The December issue of e-NewsLeaf (the e-newsletter of the OGS) was published the other day, and it contains -

- A report on the AGM and Fall Workshop of the Brant County Branch. Mary Gladwin, the Oxford County Archivist, talked on "Identifying Photographs".

- A story about the London-Middlesex Branch. Author Cheryl MacDonald talked about a book she has written on women murderers.

- An update on the upcoming OGS Conference in Toronto http://torontofamilyhistory.org/2010.

- A short article on the Strays Project on the OGS website at www.ogs.on.ca, of which I received a reply advising of a stray named Cecil Shortt from Margaret Gordon. The information can be found at http://publish.uwo.ca/~bgordon/JamesShortPC.html.

On a personal note, I had written a short piece about my search for HALEY relatives (originally from Nova Scotia) who had gone to California as my editorial for the newsletter.

Well, talk about providence! Almost immediately after e-NewsLeaf was posted, I received a note from Joyce M., a cousin in Kingston (Ontario) that I didn't realize that I had, explaining the family connection as well as the news that some of "our" relatives are buried in Springfield Cemetery, Oxford County, Ontario.

Also, her son lives in San Francisco, and the next time she visits, she will look up the "homestead" in the Centreville-Newark area, located nearby.

This all goes to show you how powerful the Internet can be in connecting people together!

If you've been this lucky with your searches, drop me a note at genealogycanada@aol.com and tell me your story - I'd love to hear it.

The next e-NewsLeaf will be out at the beginning of next month.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Halifax Explosion

Although I have no ancestors who died in the Halifax Explosion (December 6, 1917), I have heard enough people talk about it over the years to know what a horrible time it was for the city.

I lived in the North End at one time, and I used to go for walks in Fort Needham Park in which the bells are located (from a church that was destroyed in the explosion), and in doing so, passed the famous Hydrostone houses that were just down the street from me - http://wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hydrostone.

Born a Haligonian, I was made very much aware of what had happened in Halifax on that fateful day in 92 years ago.

If you would like to visit Halifax through the Internet, go to www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/explosion/explosion.asp. There, you will find the list of those who died, a film about the explosion, personal narratives, and other interesting items all related to the explosion.

One more point of note is that the City of Boston in Massachusetts receives a Christmas tree from the citizens of Nova Scotia for all the help they provided in the aftermath of that catastrophe. Please visit www.gov.ns.ca/natr/extension/Christmastrees/bostontree.htm and
for more on this special relationship.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Petworth Emigration Project

Brenda Dougall Merriman, my friend and fellow genealogy blogger at brendadougallmerriman.blogspot.com, has sent the latest news on the Petworth Emigrants.

Be sure to drop by her blog because she has good and interesting reports on there - from cemeteries, to burial practices in India, to camels in Egypt.

Well-worth the read, even if your don't have ancestors in those areas.


Colonel George Wyndham, the son of the third Earl of Egremont, was instrumental in the large Petworth Emigration of 1832-1837 to Canada from southeast England.

Wyndham also sponsored emigrations from his estates in Ireland, but only the first was conducted under similar care and conditions as those of his father.

Now, historian Wendy Cameron has uncovered a list of that first group sent from Ireland in 1839 on the ship Waterloo. The list includes names, ages, family members, and their locations in January 1840. The names of most towns and townships are in the old Newcastle District of Upper Canada, but some went on to the United States.

For more information, please visit our Petworth Emigrations website at www.petworthemigrations.com.

We also have a group presence on Facebook called "Petworth Emigrants" at www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=49248715727

Brenda Dougall Merriman, CG

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Overland Immigration Records

Before 1908, people were free to move back and forth over the border with the United States.

Beginning in 1908, entry ports were set up along the border in established towns and villages, and records were beginning to be kept. Please remember that there are no records for people whose parents were either born in Canada or had previously resided in Canada - they were considered to be "returning Canadians".

The entry form used was called Form 30 (as opposed to Form 30A, which were Ocean Arrivals), and it was used from 1919 to 1924 for each person crossing the border.

There is one reel of microfilm for people who were rejected entry into Canada: Reel T-15345.

Form 30 was discontinued in 1935, and the large passenger form was reinstated.

Usually the following information was filled out in them -

- Port and Date of Entry

- Name

- Age

- Occupation

- Birthplace

- Race

- Citizenship

- Religion

- Last Permanent Address

- Destination

The records can be browsed online at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/microform-digitization/006003-110.02-e.php?&q2=1&interval=30&sk=0&&PHPSESSID=ul87it31netclt1vokqiu1i4p5

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ocean Arrivals

Some of you may remember when Ancestry.ca became a partner with the Library and Archives Canada back in 2007, and at the time, they said they would tackle the Canadian Passenger Lists first.

They have done that over the past two years, and the last bit of the puzzle—the Ocean Arrivals (1919-1924)—have now been added to the database.

The Ocean Arrivals is Form 30A, which took the place of those huge passenger lists that we were in various states of "hard-to-use" microfilm at the LAC. And now, they are all online at http://landing.ancestry.ca/intl/canada/passenger/lists.aspx.

So I took a look at the Ocean Arrivals.

First of all, they are individual passenger lists rather than ships' manifests, as the passenger lists were before 1919.

Since they were individual passenger manifests, they are in a semi-alphabteical order, and the following information is included on the form -

- the name of the ship

- the name of port of departure. The most popular ports of departure were Liverpool, England; London, England; Glasgow, Scotland; Antwerp, Belgium; and Southampton, England.

- arrival date in Canada

- the name of port of arrival in Canada. The five most popular ports were Quebec City, Quebec; Saint John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Vancouver, British COlumbia; and Victoria, British Columbia

- the name of the passenger

- his or her age at the time of arrival

- gender

- name of the birthplace

- marital status

- present occupation

- intended occupation

- race

- citizenship

- religion

- object of going to Canada

- whether intend to live permanently in Canada

- destination

- name of the nearest relative in the country from which they came

- passport information

These original records are from the Library and Archives Canada, where the microfilm is kept.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Conference 2010 - Everything is Going Green!

Not to be left out in the cold—technologically-speaking—Toronto Branch has just added something new to their blog: the syllabus of the 2010 Conference. And it is going green!

Instead of rushing around and not having time to pick what I want to attend in advance, I will now be able to choose at home what lecture I want to hear, and I will be able to print out just those ones. Nifty!

But if you don’t have the time (it’s always a question of time, isn’t it?), you can arrange to buy the printed variety at $15.00 a copy when you get to the conference itself.

I am interested to see how this works because it will be the first year for the Internet-based syllabus.

The syllabus can be viewed online at http://torontofamilyhistory.org/2010/conference-2010-syllabus

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Saskatchewan Cemeteries

The Saskatchewan Minister of Justice has appointed Al Dwyer, the former Registrar of Cemeteries, to look into the matter of there are any cemeteries not being recorded, or left abandoned.

In a recent interview, Linda Dunsmore-Porter, President of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society, said that “We were approached by the Minister of Justice, Consumer Protection Branch, Registrar of Cemeteries, and were asked if a program could be developed, would SGS be willing to take on the administration of it. We agreed”.

In 1975, the SGS started to record the cemeteries in the province and, so far, has located 3,428 cemeteries and burial grounds, and have recorded 2,439 of them.

Linda says that they have already spent about two hours with Dwyer when he made his first stop.

“Al’s first stop was SGS, where we spent approximately two hours discussing the issue, how SGS could help, and various ideas about the process”.

Dwyer says that groups, individuals, and organizations interested in the working group can leave their contact information for him at 1.877.880.5550.

You can check out the SGS cemetery website at <www.saskgenealogy.com/general/Cemetery_Webpage.htm>.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

FamilySearch.org Releases Indexing Update

FamilySearch.org has been actively indexing Canadian records for a number of years. They have currently completed two projects, and have recently started another three projects.

The ones they have just completed are the British Columbia Deaths (1872-1986) and Marriages (1859-1932).

The new ones that they have just taken on is the Deaths (1872-1986) Part 2 of British Columbia, and the Indexing of the Trust Cemeteries (1826-1935) of Toronto.

There was a piece about the Toronto Trust Cemeteries in the November 2009 issue of the OGS' newsletter, NewsLeaf, on page 70 under "News Briefs" in which the project was described, and the cemeteries named which are included in the project. It is 1% complete.

Another project which they have recently started is Registres Paroissaux of Montreal (1800-1900) which is 8% complete. It is in French.

You can help by volunteering to help at FamilySearchIndexing.org and the completed projects and digital image collections can be searched for free at Pilot.FamilySearch.org.