Friday, December 31, 2010

Blogs I Followed in 2010

Here are some of the blogs I follow on a daily basis, in no particular order. I thought that you would enjoy them, also -

Anglo-Celtic Connections

This is the blog of John D. Reid, and he posts on a regular basis. This may be of interest to those searching their Anglo-Celtic as well as Canadian ancestors.

Saskatchewan Genealogical Society

This blog is from the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society, and they talk about Canadian and Anglo-Celtic sources.

Alberta Family Histories Society Blog

This is the blog of the Alberta Family History Society. They post about genealogy happenings in Canada.

CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt'

This is M. Diane Rogers' blog. In addition to her own family, she blogs about news in British Columbia, and of her own experiences as a graveyard rabbit.

Olive Tree Genealogy Blog

This blog by Lorine McGinnis Schulze has a plethora of primary resources transcribed online. This is especially true of passenger lists that no one else seems to have.

Janet the Researcher

Janet Iles has a very interesting blog, and always writes about ancestors from a researcher's point of view.

Librarians Helping Canadian Genealogists Climb Family Trees

This is a blog by Elise C. Cole, and she write about genealogy from the librarian's point of view.

Brenda Dougall Merriman

A blog written by a fellow member of APG, she often writes about my home province (Nova Scotia) in her postings.

Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) Blog

The official blog of the Canada's largest genealogical society, they post all the news about the OGS.

Finally, please allow me to wish you and yours a Happy New Year, and the best for 2011!

Thank you for following MY blog (Genealogy Canada). I hope you've enjoyed it!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Anglo-Celtic Roots - Winter 2010

"The cover image combines the Coat-of-arms for the Blakes of Wiltshire/Hampshire/Somerset, England, (courtesy Elizabeth Kipp) with an image of a DNA helix (Wikipedia: National Human Genome Research Institute)"

I wasn't able to go to the December 11th meeting because of work commitments, but my dear husband dropped in for a minute and picked up the latest copy of Anglo-Celtic Roots, the award-winning quarterly publication of BIFHSGO (British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa).

In this issue are three articles, a review of their annual Fall Conference held in September, news on the Home Children Book Project by Brian Glenn, the passing of long-time BIFHSGO member (and former president) and ACR columnist ("The Printed Page") Gordon Taylor, and a report of the writer's workshop by Carol Annett, which was also held during the Conference.

As well is "The Bookworm" by Betty Warburton, listing new holdings (with some interesting titles) for the Brian O'Regan Memorial Library, the "Members' Surname Search" by Elizabeth Kipp, a membership report by Tara Grant, a message from the president, Glenn Wright, and a note from the editor.

The first article by Elizabeth Kipp, Barrie Blake, and Bill Bleak — "Revealing the Blake Family - a yDNA Project" — looks into how the surname of Blake originated. It follows through the yDNA process, and outlines the ongoing research.

If you have questions about the Blake surname, Elizabeth can be reached at

The second article, by Anglo-Celtic Connections blogger, John D. Reid — "Local Roots of Governor General David Johnston" — tries to trace the ancestry of David Johnston, Canada's newest Governor General.

Although the Library and Archives Canada does not have some of the newspapers which could have BMDs in them, he does find the newspaper at the local library, and starts to trace back the family.

If you are researching relatives in the 20th century, this is an excellent article (with detailed endnotes) to read.

The third article is a "Great Moments" article by Chris MacPhail (the editor of ACR) who writes about his great-aunt Lillian and the surprises he found in "The Importance of Being Ernest".

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Membership Month at OGS

Do you know that the OGS has a blog, and that it is open to the public?

An example of a posting is listed below -

December 8th, 2010

It's Membership Month here at the Ontario Genealogical Society. If you're a current member, you have received, or will soon receive, your OGS membership renewal form with your November issue of Families. If you're not a current member, now is the best time to join us to ensure you get a full year's worth of OGS membership benefits.

So, why join OGS?

OGS Members receive our journal, Families, and our print newsletter, NewsLeaf, and the electronic version sent by email, e-NewsLeaf.

Families is a quarterly publication that includes researched, referenced, and illustrated articles; the Game, a queries column that members may contribute to; and a book review section on books of interest to genealogists.

NewsLeaf is our newsletter which is published quarterly, as well. It includes OGS news and happenings; a section announcing forthcoming gatherings and special events; and current news from the 30 OGS Branches and SIGs.

The e-NewsLeaf has links to other websites of interest to members, as well as timely news items and announcements.

Join us to receive these publications.

To become a member, click on to the Membership page.

Since I am the editor of both publications, I can say—modestly—that they are top-notch in passing along the latest news to, and about, the OGS and its members.

In the February issue of both NewsLeaf and Families will be articles on how to discover Jamaican and Trinidadian roots from Canada, an article on the Library and Archives Canada, and one on an Irish family from the Ottawa Valley in Ontario.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Canadian Families Database

Family events such as baptisms, marriages, and burials are key elements of genealogy and family history research.

From early times to the present, these events have been recorded in church records. Library and Archives Canada holds a small collection of church records, some of which are indexed by name.

To provide better access to those indexes, the information they contain has been entered in a database that will expand slowly over the next few years.

The records are in the Canadian Families database

Although I am pretty certain that I do not have any direct descendants in Ontario on either side of my family (BARCLAY, BLADES), I just put the names in on the off-chance that there may have been something there.

And while no one directly related was discovered, at least I found out how it works.

However, the Barclay name yielded one entry on the database in Leeds County. There was nothing for Blades.

Name: Barclay family
Parish: Leeds County, Ontario
Fonds: Miller, W.J. (Bill) Collection
Volume: 2
Page: 67 - 68
Microfilm: H-1668
Reference: MG 25 G370

It should be noted that, at present, the Canadian Families database covers the St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Williamstown, Ontario; the Miller, W.J. (Bill) Collection; and the Kipling Collection: Card Index. Future databases will be added.

LAC has another database called That's My Family at

It contains the Marriage Records Index for Canada, of which there are more than 3 million records for the Quebec population between 1621 and 2004.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Wishes

Merry Christmas to you and yours, our loyal readers!

Thank you for dropping by. We hope you take the time to explore all we have to offer. Use our search engine to go through over 200 blog postings to date.

Start now, and you might just be finished in time to read our new posting on Boxing Day!

All the best,


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

LAC Launches 1916 Census of the Prairie Provinces

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to make the 1916 Census of the Prairie Provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta) available online at

In order to track the high rates of population growth in Western Canada during the early years of the 20th Century, the Canadian government called for a special census of the Prairie provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta). The first census was conducted in 1906, followed by another in 1916.

Access to the digitized images of the 1916 census is available online in two different ways:

* Through a database that is searchable by Province, District Name, District Number, and Sub-district Number. The database is available at:

Please note that this is NOT a nominally-indexed database - it is not searchable by family name.

* Through the research tool "microform digitization," you can browse the microfilm reels page by page. The tool is available at:

One webpage which the LAC staff has published is "Column Headings and Interpretation", which gives an explanation of each of the fields of the census plus "Common Abbreviations".

On a personal note, I do have Webster ancestors (by marriage) who went out to Manitoba in 1904, and I can trace them up to the present day, due to the census and material that is at the LAC.

So while you are at the LAC website, be sure to put your ancestor's name in the search engine, and the results will be shown in the Archives, the Library, the Ancestor Database, and on the Websites at the LAC.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bill C-568 - Gordon Watts Latest Census Report

As genealogists know, Canada has had a long battle with the government over the country's census - it's collection and release.

The latest battle has been over the dropping of the long term census, but Gordon A. Watts, in his latest newsletter issue, reports that it is coming to an end.

To see his report, go to

Bill C-568 has been in the Senate, and Watts says "Debate on Second Reading of Bill C-568, that would restore the mandatory long-form Census and would remove imprisonment as a punishment for failure to complete the Census, took place on 5 November and 3 December 2010. The vote on a motion to pass second reading and to refer the Bill to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology took place on 8 December 2010. The motion was passed on a division of 147 to 136.

Following consideration by the Committee, the Bill will be reported back to the House of Commons, with or without recommendation. It may then be debated in Third Reading, and if passed there, would be referred to the Senate for consideration.

While this Bill may very well receive Third Reading in the House of Commons, I think it unlikely that it will pass through the Senate. There are currently 152 sitting Conservative members of the Senate. If all of these Senators voted against the Bill, and all non-Conservative Senators (151 in total) voted in favour of it, it would fail by one vote.

Bill C-583, dealing with the method of appointment of the Chief Statistician and some of the responsibilities of that position, received First Reading in the House of Commons on 30 September 2010. As of this writing, it has not yet been placed in the order of precedence, and so debate on Second Reading has not yet begun."

And Wells tells us that there is to be a second court action being taken on long-form Census.

He says that "Media reports indicate that a coalition of aboriginal organizations and chiefs from Atlantic Canada were in Halifax Federal Court Monday 13 December to argue that the removal of the mandatory long-form Census questionnaire violates their Charter rights. Lawyers for the Native Council of Nova Scotia, the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council, the Native Council of Prince Edward Island, the Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council, and three Atlantic chiefs claim that the changes to questions about ethnicity and ancestry will make it difficult for the government to discharge its constitutional duties to aboriginal peoples.

This is the second group to take the government to court over the government's decision to do away with the mandatory long-form Census. The first was a Francophone organization in Quebec that argued the long-form Census was the only reliable source of information about minority French-speaking communities. A Federal Court judge ruled against that argument.

The federal government has stated that they will be introducing legislation to remove the imprisonment penalties for failing to complete the Census from the Statistics Act, but to date I have seen no indications of any such legislation being presented to the House of Commons."

So, there is the latest news on the census.

Hopefully, some comprise can be found which would satisfy everyone, but I think that time has passed, and we will get whatever the government decides.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 Digitizes Records from the Lest We Forget Workshops

Today, released a press release saying that they have taken the records from the Lest We Forget Workshops of the Library and Archives website, and have put them online.

This program was run through the Library and Archives for a number of years through their Education Centre, but it was closed this year (March 30, 2010), because of lack of funds.

In part, the press release says, "The collections, Selected Service Records of Soldiers, 1914-1918 and Selected Service Records of War Dead, 1939-1945, are fully-searchable by the soldier's name, birth and death date, and keyword, and provide unprecedented information about soldiers' lives during their time serving in the military."

Individual soldiers' records in the collections contain up to three dozen forms detailing their enlistment, training, medical and dental history, hospitalization, discipline, pay, and discharge or notification of death, painting a rich picture of their lives and often tragic experiences.

Selected Service Records of Soldiers, 1914-1918 contains a sampling of approximately 100 individuals who served in the First World War. Amongst these documents is personal correspondence from the few surviving complete service files which have been recently released by LAC.

Selected Service Records of War Dead, 1939-1945 includes the enlistment records, medical and dental charts, evaluation reports, medal and promotion entitlements, letters (personal, military and recommendations), wills, and inventory of personal effects of approximately 100 soldiers from the Second World War Service Files.

These new records add to what is already the largest online collection of Canadian military records found anywhere in the world, one that includes the Soldiers of the First World War, a collection of attestation papers for nearly 600,000 Canadian soldiers who fought in the 'War to End All Wars'. genealogist Lesley Anderson comments: "There are so many Canadians with ancestors who fought in the two world wars - many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice - and so it is important that new generations continue to learn about their stories through workshops such as Lest We Forget".

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ontario Chapter, APG Presents Elizabeth Shown Mills

On Saturday April 2nd, 2011, I will be in Toronto to see one of the eminent genealogists of our time - Elizabeth Shown Mills!

The Ontario Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Canadiana Department, North York Central Library (Toronto Public Library) are pleased to present this opportunity to hear one of the foremost genealogical educators of our day. We promise a full day of stimulation for your personal or professional genealogical pursuits.

Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FAGS, FNGS, FUGA, has been a leader in genealogical education for a quarter of a century, pushing the cutting edge of research methodology, standards, and quality, serving as president of both the Board for Certification of Genealogists and the American Society of Genealogists, as well as an officer or trustee of other major organizations. During her 16 years as editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Elizabeth made the journal into the leading forum for the teaching of research methods and principles. For even longer, her Advanced Methodology Track at the Samford University Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research has been a rite of passage for serious family historians.

Among Elizabeth's countless publications are the award-winning Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian and Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians. They are considered "absolute essentials" for both personal and professional genealogists. Her latest book, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, earned Library Journal's Best Reference 2007 designation. She has also created a number of convenient QuickSheets as research aids.

The schedule has been posted at

Saturday, April 2, 2011
Advanced Genealogical Skills: A Seminar with Elizabeth Shown Mills

8:30 Doors open
9:00 Welcome
9:15 Genealogical Problem Solving: Professional Techniques for Everyday Success
11:00 Sources & Citations Simplified: From Memorabilia to Digital Data to DNA
12:15 Lunch break
1:30 Finding Females: Wives, Mothers, Daughters, Sisters & Paramours!
3:15 Dissecting Your Research Problem and Planning a Solution
4:30 Concluding Question & Answer Session

Auditorium, North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto

Refreshments will be available; lunch is not included.

Lunch: Brown bag it, North York Centre food court, or restaurants on Yonge Street.

For accommodation, Novotel North York is part of the North York Centre (416-733-2929,

Books of interest will be available for purchase on the day of the event. See the registration site for titles and pre-ordering, when registration begins. Our speaker will be available during the afternoon break for book signing.

Cost: $45 public admission; $20 OCAPG members.
Space is limited.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Launch of LAC "Medals, Honours and Awards" Database

Victory Medal, First World War, Courtesy: LACVictory Medal, First World War
Courtesy: LAC

Ottawa, December 9, 2010 — Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new online database, "Medals, Honours and Awards".

Through this online database, researchers can access more than 113,000 references to medal registers, citation cards, and records of various military awards. In addition to archival references, this research tool includes digitized images of some medal registers.

The database is available at:

I checked the database and found a Barclay Webster, s/o Henry Bentley Webster and Ina Mary Barclay (my gggg aunt) who joined the 2nd Canadian Queen's Regiment.

I did not know that he was in the militia, and that he had received the Canada General Service Medal as noted below -

Name: WEBSTER, Barclay
Rank: Private
Regiment: 2nd Queen's Regiment Nova Scotia Militia
Medal/Honour/Award: Canada General Service Medal
Event/Time Period: Fenian Raid (1866)
Volume: 8
Page: 113
Reference / Acession Number: RG 9 IIA5
Microfilm: C-1862

There is a very brief account of him and his life on Wikipedia, as follows -

Barclay Webster - from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Barclay Webster (September 16, 1849 – ) was a lawyer, judge and political figure in Nova Scotia, Canada. He represented King's County in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1890 to 1894 as a Liberal-Conservative member.

He was born in Kentville, Nova Scotia, the son of Henry Bentley Webster, a lawyer, and Mary Ina Barclay. Webster was educated at Acadia College, Dalhousie University and Harvard University. He was called to the Nova Scotia bar in 1872 and set up practice in Kentville. He married Ethel, the daughter of Leverett de Veber Chipman, in 1877. In 1890, Webster was named King's Counsel.

His son, L. Beverley Webster, died in London after fighting in the Boer War.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New Issue of OGS Families - Cont'd

To continue the overview that I started the other day of the papers in the Ontario Genealogical Society's journal, Families, there are four more papers in the November issue, and they are -

"Where Are The Records?" is an ongoing column by Gwen Patterson in which she takes often overlooked resources at the archives or library and sets them in context so that Ontario researchers can use them.

In this issue, she has a piece on "The Papers of Andrew F. Hunter (1863-1940), Simcoe County Historian" and there are newspaper clippings from The Family Herald and Weekly Star. These clippings concern Lost Persons and Deaths from 1936 to 1938.

"Unfolding Old Documents", by Dr. Fraser Dunford, the Executive Director of the Ontario Genealogical Society, goes through the work involved in taking old papers to ready them for scanning. There are photos, and the step-by-step process is described for those people who are faced with the same problem.

'The Edgars in Glengarry Country and Abroad", by James Somerville Edgar, tells the story of the searching for Charles Edgar of Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland.

"Documenting Ontario War Dead, 1918-1950", by military archivist Glenn Wright. Since November is Remembrance Month in Canada, Glenn has written a new book called Canadians at War 1914-1919: A Research Guide to World War One Service Records, which details the records in Canada.

This paper goes through the Circumstances of Death Registers (which are not online) in the Library and Archives Canada, and he tells us, in detail, how to use these records.

In the February issue, the lead article will be "How to Research Your Jamaican Ancestry from Canada", by Dorothy Kew, in honor of Heritage Day in Ontario.

It's one in a variety of other similar excellent articles written by enlightened and exciting authors.

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Issue of OGS Families

As the new editor of the Ontario Genealogical Society's journal, Families, I have had the pleasure of my first issue being recently released.

In this November 2010 issue, I covered the fact that 2010 was declared as the Year of the Home Child, and I published the following articles -

"Young Immigrants to Canada: The Children's Friend Society" by Marjorie Kohli. This article gives a history of The Children's Friend Society, and lists two pages of names of children who came to Canada from Britain in the middle 18th-Century. A typical entry reads, "Smith, Jesse on Active, house servant to Rev. Thomas B. Fuller of Toronto".

"The British Child Emigration Scheme to Canada (1870-1957)" by Perry Snow. Read about the legacy left by his father, Fred G. Snow, as he made his way to Canada as a Home Child. This article appears as a reprint courtesy of Chinook, the quarterly journal of the Alberta Family Histories Society.

'The Diary of Reverend William Bowman Tucker, 1859-1934" is an except from a diary of a Home Child, one who later went on to found the Montreal City Mission. Glenn Adams, his grandson, gave me his kind permission to reprint a small portion of the diary.

"Discovering the Story of Father" by John Fielding is a heart-warming story of a boy, Leslie Fielding, and how he made a life for himself after he came to Canada.

In the next posting, I will continue with Part II, telling you about more articles in this issue of Families, plus a special article in the OGS NewsLeaf.