Wednesday, May 20, 2009

AGM and Genealogy Fair in Brockville

Brockville, Ontario — on the shore of the lovely St. Lawrence River — was the city where the AGM of Region VIII of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) and Genealogy Fair was held Saturday, 25 April at St. Lawrence College. It was hosted by the Leeds and Grenville Branch of the OGS <>.

The first presentation was by Kees Van Den Heuval and he gave a talk on the options available to genealogists for digitizing and restoring photographs entitled, "A Primer on Digitizing and Restoring Photographs for Genealogists".

He went into quite a bit of detail on how to restore photographs, which was of interest to us, for I have a number of photos that have to be restored. My husband and I were madly taking notes, and afterwards, members asked quite a few questions as everybody seemed quite interested in how to restore old photos.

Patti Mordasewicz, Chair of the Leeds and Grenville Branch of the OGS, thanks Kees Van Den Heuval for his presentation at the Genealogy Fair.
Credit: J.M. Lapointe, CD

After lunch, we listened to Jessica Squires from the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) give a talk on the "Indian Affairs" RG 10 Records held at the LAC, called "Aboriginal and Natural Resources Division on Aboriginal Research". The website for these records is located at <>.

She said that among other things, they have treaty paylists, band membership paylists, and enfranchisement lists at the LAC. They also have military records, census records, vital records, and social records.

She also gave a short history of the department and the reclassification of regional offices within the department, and steps to use to overcome this challenge.

She suggested that we all consult the book by Bill Russell entitled, "Records of The Federal Department Of Indian Affairs At The National Archives Of Canada".

Patti Mordasewicz, Chair of the Leeds and Grenville Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, thanks Jessica Squires after her talk to the people at the Brockville Genealogy Fair.
Credit: J.M. Lapointe, CD

The third and final presentation was by Professor Tim Abel, who presented a very lively talk on a special archeology dig he did a couple of years ago for a large Realtor who wanted to build on the outskirts of Watertown, Jefferson County, New York — right across the river from Brockville.

The city requested that a survey be done on the land first and it was known that a farm land had been there before, but very little evidence had been found about what had happened to it.

Tim was hired to go start an archaeology dig there, and found the house had caught on fire in the late 1800s and burnt down!

He was unable to find the descendants of the Earl family but he was able to take over 6,000 objects from the area. They have been classified and put in a museum in the area.

The Realtor built its store on the property - but in front of the store there is a spot where the farm house once stood. It is undeveloped, with uncut grass growing there in the summertime.

Patti Mordasewicz, Chair of the Leeds and Grenville Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, says her "thank you's" to Tim Abel for his interesting talk at the Brockville Genealogy Fair.

Credit: J.M. Lapointe, CD

We had an enjoyable trip to Brockville and found St. Lawrence College quite easily and went in to register. There were a dozen or so vendors and groups represented in the marketplace, and they seemed to be doing a brisk business.

We had a wonderful lunch of hot soup and sandwiches served in the cafeteria. And at a table just as you entered the marketplace, there were homemade squares of every description, and coffee and tea that you could have at anytime.

It was a most wonderful day, and we had a nice trip back to town in about an hour and a half. That night, we had a most terrific storm with wind and thunder that caused trees to fall and much damage to roofs on houses and barns, in Ottawa and surrounding area. It was later classified as a tornado.