Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Genealogy Week in Ottawa

For those who don't know, July 19th to the 24th is the first-ever Genealogy Week in Ottawa. It's sort of like a boot camp for genealogy enthusiasts.

Mike More, the Chairman of the Ottawa Branch <www.ogsottawa.on.ca> of the Ontario Genealogical Society put the programme together and enlisted the help of several city resources such as the Canadian Genealogy Centre <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/index-e.html>, the Ottawa Public Library <www.biblioottawalibrary.ca/index_e.html>, the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa Archives <www.ottawa.anglican.ca/Archives.html>, Le Centre de l'Outaouais of BAnQ <www.banq.qc.ca/portal/dt/genealogie/ressources_documentaires_salle/centre_archive/centre_outaouais.jsp>, the City of Ottawa Archives <www.ottawa.ca/residents/heritage/archives/index_en.html>, the United Church Archives <www.united-church.ca/local/archives/mo/ottawa>, the Sir Guy Carleton Branch, United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada <www.carletonuel.ca>, and the Société de généalogie de l'Outaouais .

All this week, the people are going to the diverse venues to take lectures from the various people at these places. In addition, they have an hour or two of research time on their own to delve into the records.

Group shot of Genealogy Week participants, speakers, organizers, and members of supporting organizations.

I spent some time with them Sunday evening at the welcoming ceremonies to see what they would be researching, what family names were of interest to them, and what they hoped to accomplish in the week that they have available to them.

(There will be more about Ottawa Genealogy Week in the November issue of NewsLeaf).

Meanwhile, on Monday evening, my husband and I rushed over to Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau to hear Marie Careau, Karine Maisonneuve, and Marc Saint-Jacques of La Société de généalogie de l’Outaouais <www.genealogieoutaouais.com> speak on the history of the communities of Aylmer, Hull, Gatineau, Templeton, Ange-Gardien, Buckingham, Cantley, and Chelsea in the Outaouais region of Quebec.

There were about 50 people there (the crowd was so large, the overflow sat in a room in the back, or sat outside and listened through open windows) at the meeting in the historic Maison Charron, located right inside the park, which itself is found next to the Museum of Civilization, across the river from Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

They gave a very informative talk on the history of the area, and how it was transformed from an English settlement to a French settlement in the late 1800s, including immigration patterns and politics.

One of the results was the many 'mixed marriages' between the French- and English-speaking residents during this time, and it is not unusual to hear many people with an English first name and a French family name, even today.

They also talked about the industries that were once there—lumber, mining, and manufacturing, for example-but today, a lot of the people work in government offices in Gatineau and Ottawa.