Thursday, January 20, 2011

Halton Digital Newspaper Archive

L-R: Walter Lewis, Halton Hills Public Library; Bob Crawford, Halton-Peel Branch OGS; Jane Watt, Halton-Peel Branch OGS; Bernie Bradner, Halton-Peel Branch OGS; Mike Payne, Halton-Peel Branch OGS

From Mr. Bob Crawford, Chair of the Halton-Peel Branch OGS, comes this big news -

"On Wednesday, January 19, 2011, the Halton Hills Library held the official launch of their segment of the Halton Digital Newspaper Archive. This project was completed using software technologies and hosting by Our Ontario as a service of Knowledge Ontario and the financial support of the Halton-Peel Branch OGS.

A number of years ago, Halton-Peel Branch received a financial bequest from a member with the condition that it be used to provide genealogical resources for people to use in their research. After searching for the best places to use this gift, we decided to support the digitization of the newspapers from the area that is now Halton Hills. This includes newspapers like the Acton Free Press, the Georgetown Herald, the Acton Tanner, the Georgetown Independent, and many others.

The collection is on-line now at There are a few areas that need fixing but it is essentially complete from ca. 1867 to 1967. You can now search this collection of newspapers by word or browse by year or day. Often there are images of the actual page from the newspaper so you can read the full text. The OCR software fails occasionally, but is very good, so there are not many search errors."

Congratulations to Bob, the Branch, and the Halton Hills Library for both the launch and for making this tool available to researchers everywhere. Thanks, also, to Our Ontario and to Knowledge Ontario for their assistance in the fruition of this project, and to the anonymous member, whose financial bequest made it possible.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mi'kmaq Ancestry

A notice was received from the Halifax Public Library which may be of interest to people with Mi'kmaq (Micmac, formerly) ancestry.


Hi everyone,

Have a look at our new resource page on the Mi'kmaq, including images, a beginner guide to genealogy research, resources from our catalogue, digital collections, and a selection of articles from magazines and journals.

All the best,


Joanne McCarthy
Tantallon and JD Shatford Public Libraries
(902) 826-3333 (phone)
(902) 826-3328 (fax)

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Clarification of OGS Fee Increase

January 13, 2011

Erroneous Publication of an OGS Fee Increase

Just after the holidays, there was an erroneous statement published on a private blog that is causing concern. It was claimed that there is discussion within the Society of a further fee increase and that there was a notion to require OGS members to also be a member of their local branch.

On behalf of the Board and the Executive, I would like to inform our members that neither of these ideas has been discussed at this time.

As one of the Board's responsibilities, fees are discussed at least once a year. Any fee increase recommended must then be approved by the membership. The Board is not recommending a change to the fee structure for 2011. The fee will remain the same as in 2010.

As to requiring members to be a member of their local branch, this has not been recommended nor discussed.

I hope that this explanation clarifies all concerns. If there are any further questions regarding this matter, please feel free to contact me ( or the Executive Director (


Nancy Trimble,
President, Ontario Genealogical Society

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Update – The Canada Gazette (1841-1997)

On Monday, the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) commemorated the 170th anniversary of The Canada Gazette by making accessible the digitized back issues on its website dedicated to this official publication. The website is

A Nation's Chronicle: The Canada Gazette is also available at

The press release says that it is often referred to as “the official newspaper of the Government of Canada.”

It goes on to say that "It has informed Canadians of the operations of government and encouraged them to participate in the legislative process".

The database is searched by keywords (for example – keywords such as divorce, immigration and naturalization), and not by a person's name.

For example, from 1867 to 1968, the website says that "a person wishing to obtain a divorce was first required to place a notice of intent to petition the government for an Act of Divorce in the Canada Gazette and in two newspapers in the district or county where the petitioner resided. It was to appear for a six-month period".

An explanation of the Divorce Laws in Canada is given at

Here is a sample of the divorce records found in the Canada Gazette - -

NOTICE is hereby given that Dame Beatrice Evelyn Tutill, housewife, of the City and District of Montreal, in the Province of Quebec, wife of Walter Joseph Bobineky, taxi driver, of the City of Montreal and District of Montreal, in the Province of Quebec, will' apply to the Parliament of Canada, at the next or following session thereof, for a bill of divorce from her husband, the said
Walter Joseph Bobinsky, on the ground of adultery.
Dated at Montreal, in the Province of Quebec, this 9th day of July, 1947 .
Solicitor for the Applicant
Source: DA Nation's Chronicle: The Canada Gazette, Library and Archives Canada. APPLICATIONS FOR DIVORCE Part I (1947-1997), volume 81, number 30, 26 July 1947, p. 7

A website about Citizenship and Naturalization at the Library and Archives Canada is at

An example from The Canada Gazette on naturalization is -
Vmldcroecn, Clarence-certification of naturalization No.72000, seriee A, granted at Ottawa, Ontario, on July 28, 1930.

Source: A Nation's Chronicle: The Canada Gazette, Library and Archives. Canada DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE OF CANADA,THE CANADIAN Citizenship ACT Part I (1947-1997), volume 83, number 29, 16 July 1949, p. 4

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lambton Lifeline - December 2010

Lambton Lifeline is the newsletter of the Lambton Branch of the OGS, is published four times a year (March, June, Sept and Dec). The editor, Alan Campbell, can be reached at

In the issue (December 2010), the members of the Sycamore Lodge No. 151 (IOOF), instituted at Arkona on 24 November, 1874, has been transcribed by Linda Koolen.

It gives their name, their occupation, where they worked, how old they were, and when they were born. It even has a column for comments, of which there are some.

A letter from Melissa Gadsgy to Alfred Zavitz talking about their wedding to take place soon, sent the Lambton Branch on a hunt to find out who these people were, and the results are quite interesting.

The Petrolia Topic (the local newsletter) provides two articles - the first one about the First World War, and the second article is about Petrolia and Area Events.

The remainder of the newsletter concerns a new website, notices, and letters to the editor.

If you wish more information, please visit their website at

Thursday, January 6, 2011

BRANTches - November 2010

BRANTches is the publication of the Brant County Ontario Genealogy Society, and its editor is Christine Woodcock.

In the latest edition (November 2010) of the newsletter, it was noted that the September meeting saw Misty DeMeo of the County of Brant Library System give a talk on the digitization project. The first part of the project involved scanning documents and photographs of all kinds, and the second part will involve personal memories and family history.

The October meeting was a 2-day affair which saw the Branch host the British Home Child Memorial Quit Display and the British Home Child Descendants Reunion. By all accounts, it was a great success.

There are many photos of the day in the newsletter, and there were display tables showing the homes were the Home Children in the put when they first came to Canada - Fegan Homes, Barnardo Homes, Miss Marie Rye, Middlemore Homes, MacPherson Homes, National Children's Homes, St. George's Homes, and Quarrier Homes.

There is also an articles on "How to Create a GEDCOM File", "New Books in Our Library", "From the Library Shelf", and "The Adventures of a Ten Dollar Bill: How I Tore Down My Brickwall" in which the editor tells how she found her great-grandfather and great-uncle.

To find out more about the Brant Branch, please visit

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Ottawa Genealogist - Nov/Dec 2010

The Ottawa Genealogist is is now published four times a year by the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society The editor is Edward Kipp, and he can be reached at The Branch recently switched to an electronic version, with the paper-bound edition now an option.

In the November/December 2010 edition is an article by Elizabeth Kipp about blogging called, "Blogging - sharing genealogy in a different way".

In the article, Elizabeth tells how and why she set up a blog to describe her research trip to Salt Lake City, and posted to it on quite a regular basis while she was there.

Her blog address is

Meanwhile, her husband and fellow genealogist, Edward Kipp, tells us about "Jones Falls and Col. By".

He gives a history of the Falls, and on page 157 and 158 are pictures of the dam at Jones Locks, and on page 160, there are sources as well as pictures of the Locks, painted in the middle 1800s.

There are two articles from The Ottawa Citizen called the "Old-Time Stuff" (the first article is called "Col. By instituted Toll Gates Here; in '28 Put Tax on the First Bridge" October 18, 1824, and the second article "Where the Soldiers Lived on Barrack Hill" published March 23, 1924).

Other articles and features include the "Electronic Notebook" by Mike More, "Gleanings from Newsletters in the Ottawa Branch library" by Heather Oakley, and "John Thorton, Charles Waterston, and William Wilson" by Robert Serre.

All-in-all, an interesting read, as usual.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Three Years and Counting!

Dear Readers,

It's hard to believe that time flies by so quickly, but here we are, three years later, having launched our blog on January 2nd, 2008!

Check out our first post at

And if you want to see what we've posted over the years, drop by our Blog Archives (see the link at the right-side of the screen) and surprise yourself at what you may find.

Thank you for visiting, and for your continued support.

Happy blogging!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sault Channels Newsletter

A newsletter of the Sault Ste. Marie Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS), Sault Channels is published quarterly, and edited by Arthur Manley

The first couple of pages are taken up by the talks given by the speakers -

In September, Rev. Mal Binks, an Anglican priest at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, talked about how his and his wife's family came to Canada in 1870.

In October, Cathy Blackburn (Region IX Director) discussed "Peeking Under Grandpa's Kilt" and about the many trips he made to Scotland researching the family name of Wilcox.

In November, John Parniak talked about Eastern Europe research - especially back to Galicia, where his Ukrainian/Polish family is from.

In the December issue, there is a rather lengthy article written by Colleen Ray on the Tweedsmuir Histories, and the history of Ansonia, and places along the north shore of Lake Huron.

They have continued with two articles taken from the Sault Daily Star, a newspaper in the community of Sault Ste. Marie. The first article is from the June 16, 1936 issue by Dan McDonald in which the author talks to many of the old settlers of the area. He continued on in another article dated July 9, 1935, talking to the some of the first settlers to the area.

The rest of the newsletter is taken up by notices, a report from the Branch Executive Workshop—which took place in September in Toronto—and news about the OGS Cruise that will leave New York City on September 10th for New England, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.

If you wish more information about the Sault Ste. Marie & District Branch, please visit their website at

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Congratulations, Terry Punch!

A press release dated December 3oth states that Terry Punch, a former history teacher and a genealogist from Nova Scotia, will receive a membership to the Order of Canada from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, later this year.

I first met Terry in Ottawa during a Gene-O-Rama Conference in 1993, although I had listened to his monthly appearances on the CBC Halifax station for a number of years.

He was on for the full half-hour, and would take phone calls (he still does) from all over the Atlantic Provinces.

Besides being the author of many books (he wrote the basic book on genealogy in Nova Scotia — Genealogical Research in Nova Scotia — ISBN 1-55109-235-2), he was one of the founders of the Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes, and one of the longest members of the Association of Nova Scotia Genealogists.

So to see that he will receive one of the country's highest civilian honours is well-deserved.

The Order of Canada was established in 1967, during Canada's centennial year, to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community, and service to the nation. Over the last 40 years, more than 5,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.