Saturday, May 21, 2011

OGS Conference 2011 – Day 1

We went down to Hamilton last Wednesday, planning to do some research before the OGS Conference started on Friday, but the “car gods” had something to say about that - we never got to do any research!

The car broke down in the express lane of the 401 in the middle of Toronto (just past the Don Valley Parkway) in evening rush hour. After getting a ride in a tow truck to the Hamilton hotel where we were staying, we spent the next two days babysitting our car while it went through hours of testing to finally realize that it was simply a sticky throttle!

So Friday evening was the first time we were able to go to Conference.

After opening remarks by Nancy Trimble, President, and The Honourable Vivienne Poy, Senator (Honourable Patron of the OGS), the excited conference-goers sat earnestly listening to The Houston Memorial Lecture as given by J. Brian Gilchrist entitled, “Looking Forward by Looking Back: the changing face of genealogy and family history”, in which he gave a lighthearted review of where the OGS has been in the last 50 years, and where it is going in the next 50.

He has been involved in genealogy since he was 10 years old, so he answered some of my questions I have had about genealogy in Ontario - for instance, when was the first genealogy book written in Ontario (in the 1860s), who wrote the first guide books, who was the first president of OGS, etc.

He made extensive use of videos in his presentation, which kept it lively and interesting to the very last word. Anyone who has heard Brian speak knows that he is a very good speaker, and he ended his talk by asking us who will carry the OGS into the next 50 years.

Brian said that technology will carry the OGS in the next 50 years. He went through all the things technology does for us now - online databases, blogs, Twitter feeds, etc - but there will be a lot more before it is over. By the time he was finished his talk, we were as enthusiastic as he was - and looking forward to the future.

You will be able to read his Houston Lecture in the August edition of Families (of which I am its editor), along with the opening remarks given by Senator Poy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Voices from the Dust

This family history event is being hosted on Friday, May 20th by the Ottawa Ontario Stake Family History Centre (located at Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa).

Always informative, it's a great chance to meet some very dedicated genealogists, and to take advantage of some valuable resources.

For details on speakers, topics, and location, please go to

See you there!

116th Haviland Family Reunion

Here is your chance to connect with the Haviland Family again!

The 116th Haviland Family Reunion will be held July 9th 2011 at Waterford North Conservation Area in Waterford Ontario. Here is your chance to connect with your family again

Saturday's events will start at 1:00 a.m. with registration, followed by a 12:00 noon pot luck buffet meal at the Pavilion. There will be afternoon activities for all ages: baseball, volleyball, genealogy sharing, renewing of acquaintances, viewing group photographs and the "Canadian Haviland Family Genealogy" books, and face painting.

Captain John Haviland, a United Empire Loyalist, having served the British as an artificer in the American Revolut, moved from Haviland's Hollow on the NY/CT state line and settled in 1803 at Townsend Township, Norfolk County, near Brantford. Descendants have held a reunion annually since 1896.

For information contact:
David Haviland
PO Box 269
Otterville, ON N0J 1R0


Email him at

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Langstaff Family History

It so happens that Jack Langstaff read the paper, "Buggery and Slander: The Trials and Tribulations of Moses Winter" by Guylaine Pétrin in the May edition of the Ontario Genealogical Society's journal, Families, and found out that he was related to one of the signees of the petition.

He has researched most of the early Langstaff's who came to Ontario, and if you would like to check them out, please go to his website at

In addition, Jack says that "As well, there may be Germans from Kreis Kolmar and Wirsitz who can find parts of the family in the extensive birth file".

If you go to the site, you will see genealogies for families such as KRIENKE, LONGHURST, and NEELY.

He can be contacted at

Monday, May 16, 2011

NIGS and OGS Partnership

At the closing ceremonies of the Ontario Genealogical Society, President Nancy Trimble—in conjunction with Louise St. Denis, Managing Director of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies—made a major announcement regarding a partnership between the two entities.

The Institute will provide Live Meeting services to the Branches, in addition to other membership benefits.

More details to follow ...

Book Reviews

The May 2011 edition of the Ontario Genealogical Society's journal, Families, has been published, and the issue contains five book reviews (on pages 32 to 34) -

Crime and Punishment in Upper Canada: A Research Guide by Janice Nickerson (ISBN 978-1-5548877-05). As the review says, the records at the Library and Archives Canada and the Archives of Ontario "were waiting for someone to come along to and put them in readable order", and that person is Janice Nickerson.

If you have anyone involved in the justice system in Upper Canada form 1701-1841 (on either side of the law), you owe it to yourself to read a review of the book, and to get a copy of it.

Tories: Fighting for the King in America's First Civil War by Thomas B. Allen (ISBN 9780061241802). An excellent review of the book is given by Brenda Dougall Merriman. She aptly describes the author's intent to show how the Tories fought for America's right to stay British - and lost in the War of Independence.

British Home Children: Their Stories. Compiled by the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (ISBN 978-1-926797-47-2). A compilation of personal essays in which 36 children tell their life stories of how they came to Canada, and the life they lived here between 1869 and 1948.

Journey To The Past - The Lost Villages of Mississauga by Heritage Mississauga Foundation (ISBN 978-0-9867579-0-8) tells the story of Mississauga through its Lost Villages of the Heartland, and across the Northern, Eastern, and Western Frontiers.

Tracing Your Irish Roots is published by Moorshead Magazine (ISBN 978-0-9781592-6-9). A great collection of fifteen articles printed by the publisher since 2005, each article is reviewed in the book review.

Families is considered as a part of the member's benefit of membership in the OGS. You can join the OGS by going to their webpage Or, if you are in Hamilton, do drop by and see us in the Marketplace at the Hamilton Convention Centre on Friday through Sunday (May 13th-15th).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Families - May 2011 - Part I

The May 2011 issue of Families, the journal of the Ontario Genealogical Society, marks 50 years of publication this year.

The illustration on the cover of the journal is the first publication that was printed back in August 1962.

Three of the seven papers that have just been published in this issue are as follows -

"Jury Duty - A Opportunity for Genealogists" by Janice Nickerson - The lead paper in this publication, it shows the role that juries played in the justice system in Upper Canada from 1701 to 1841.

"Recording Your Own Life Story in a Family Photo Book" by Joyce Fingland - She tells us how she has taken old photos, edited and/or fixed them up, and then used them to illustrate a book she has written on family history called Our Family. It's also an excellent guide on photo restoration.

"Staff Magazines" by Gwen Patterson - This column is about two staff magazines published by the Bank of Montreal and the Workman's Compensation Board that were celebrating their anniversaries.

Tomorrow's blog posting will cover the remaining papers in this issue.

Families is considered as a part of the member's benefits of OGS. You can join the OGS by going to the webpage, or if you are in Hamilton - drop by and see us in the Marketplace at the Hamilton Convention Centre on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday (May 13th to 15th).

Families - May 2011 - Part II

The May 2011 edition of the Ontario Genealogical Society's journal, Families, has been published. This list shows the other four papers of the seven papers published -

"Buggery or Slander: The Trials and Tribulations of Moses Winter" by Guylaine Pétrin - She talks about the court case that she discovered while doing research at the Library and Archives Canada, having found a number of petitions concerning Moses Winters from Etobicoke Township, York County (Ontario) in the 1830s.

"Overcoming Obstacles in Family Lore and More" by E. Gail Benjafield - She discusses one of the most useful tips in breaking through brick walls: checking the sources of "family lore".

"Uncle Bert's Book - A Royal Connection?" by Al Richards - He looks at his family history through an uncle's notebook to see if there is any validation to the notion that there may be British Royal Blood in his lineage.

"Genealogy Services at the Library and Archives Canada" by Nicole Waiter - An employee of Library and Archives Canada, she write about the services that the LAC offers free of charge to the public.

Families is considered as a part of the member's benefit of the OGS. You can join the OGS by going to the webpage If you are in Hamilton, please drop by and see us in the Marketplace at the Hamilton Convention Centre on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday (May 13th to 15th).

NewsLeaf - Part II

The May issue of NewsLeaf (Vol 41 No 2) also covers what has happened in the way of news in the Ontario Genealogical Society during the past four months, as found in Branch newsletters.

In New Briefs are some articles from the following Branches -

Brant - "New Web Source for War of 1812";
Norfolk County - "Port Dover's Fishing Fleet";
Halton-Peel - "The Diary Notes of Robert Gray of Burlington, Ontario";
Leeds & Grenville - "Burial Grounds in Leeds & Grenville";
Sault & District - "Story of William Henry Latham";
Hamilton - "Old Branch Newsletters";
Quinte - "Crouse-Wannamaker Lecture";
Lambton - "Vacation Turns to Research Trip";
Niagara - "Funeral Cards";
Kent - "An 'All Irish Issue";
Kingston - "Genealogy Presentations at Kingston"

The lead story in this issue covers the appointment of the new Executive Director of the OGS, Sarah Newitt. Read about what she hopes to accomplish in the next few years with the OGS. The issue also said 'Good-bye' to Fraser Dunford, now Executive Director Emeritus of the OGS.

NewsLeaf is considered as a part of the member's benefit of OGS.

You can join the OGS by going to the webpage Or, if you are in Hamilton, please drop by and see us in the Marketplace at the Hamilton Convention Centre on either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday (May 13th to 15th).

We would love to have you stop by and say "Hello!"

NewsLeaf - Part I

In May of every year, NewsLeaf (the quarterly newsletter of the Ontario Genealogical Society) doubles in size to accommodate reports from each of the Branches, as well as the news that has happened over the past four months.

The Reports in this issue are the Annual General Meeting Reports about the meeting that was held last year at the Conference, plus the Treasurer Report, along with reports from Region I and the Branches of Essex, and Lambton; Region II plus Reports from Elgin, Oxford; Region from Bruce & Grey, Huron, Perth, Waterloo, and Wellington Branches; Report from Region IV plus reports from Brant, Haldimand, Hamilton, Niagara, and Norfolk Branch; Reports from Huron-Peel, Simcoe, Toronto, and York Region Branch; Region VIII Branch Reports plus reports from Durham, Kawartha, Quinte Branch; Region VIII Region Branch and Reports from Kingston, Ottawa, Leeds & Grenville Branch; Region IX Branch Report plus Reports from Nipissing, and Sudbury Branch; and the Irish Palatine Branch.

If you would like to read the yearly reports on each of the Regions to see what special projects they are involved in, or what they have planned for the upcoming year, you must be a member of OGS to receive a copy of NewsLeaf. Or, if you are in Hamilton, drop by and see us in the Marketplace at the Hamilton Convention Centre on Friday, Saturday or Sunday (May 13th to 15th).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

We Are Off!

We are on the road today as we travel from Ottawa to Hamilton to the Ontario Genealogical Society's 50th Anniversary Conference.

I have all of my papers in order (because I have a number of meetings to attend), and I have planned to go to areas close to Hamilton where I will do some client research on Thursday and Friday.

In the meantime, I have completed a number of blog posts which will uploaded to the blog once a day, and I will see you when I get back next Tuesday!

Thanks for dropping by!


Monday, May 9, 2011

V-E Day in Europe

Sunday, May 8th, was the 66th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day).

Over 1,159,000 men and women served in the Canadian Armed Forces during the Second World War (1939-1945), and 44,093 lost their lives.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that "Leading up to that historic day, hundreds of thousands of Canadians left behind their families, friends and hometowns for the battlefields of Europe to defend the fundamental values that all Canadians cherish dearly - freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Hundreds of thousands of other Canadians laboured tirelessly on the home front to produce the war material needed by our soldiers in uniform as well as by our allies".

There are some records online for the Second world War, and they are located at - - There are members of the Canadian Armed Forces who died in service between 1939 and 1947, including those killed in action, those who subsequently died of injuries related to service, and those who died as a result of accident or illness while in service.

All other records are held by the Library and Archives Canada, and are not available for online access due to privacy laws. - For a history of Canada in the Second World War, this is an excellent website covering The Battle of the Atlantic, The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, The Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Dieppe, to name just a few of the battles. - You can search the Remembrance Book online, and the people are listed in the year in which they died. - The Museum of War in Ottawa is a great place to go to when you are in Ottawa. They have extensive displays for you to check, and a exhaustive number of Second World War vehicles that can mean a great deal to your family history if your ancestor was in the Second World War.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Korean War Anniversary

Photo Credit: Mario Lapointe CD

May the 3rd was the 58th Anniversary of the battle for Hill 187 during the Korean War by Canadians who fought in the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment.

In marking the Anniversary, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says that "The Korean War, like all wars, was marked by both losses and triumphs. One most notable achievement, particularly for Canadians, was the Battle of Kapyong on Hill 677. April 24th, 2011 marked the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong, a battle in which the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry defended the front line against enemy forces that greatly outnumbered the Canadians. The Battle of Kapyong in April 1951 earned the brave Canadians a United States Presidential Citation for their undeniable valour".

A total of 26,791 Canadians served in the Korean War.

Some of the websites which talk about the Korean War are - This site provides a good, basic account of the war, and the Canadians action in it. The site goes into detail about the Canadian action in the Korean War by the Korea Veterans Association of Canada Inc. It has the awards and medals won by Canadians, and the Wall of Remembrance in Brampton, Ontario. The website breaks down the war into the battles.

To look at the Remembrance Book of those who died in the war, go to

Friday, May 6, 2011

The World Memory Project

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has teamed with to put the "millions of historical documents containing details about survivors and victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution during World War II" on the website at The World Memory Project at

Together, the two organizations have created the World Memory Project to allow the public to help make the records from the Museum searchable by name online for free—so more families of survivors and victims can discover what happened to their loved ones during one of the darkest chapters in human history.

Anyone, anywhere, can contribute to this effort; even just one record and a few minutes at a time can make a world of difference to someone.

Getting started is as simple as downloading a free software program and then typing details from a record image into a database that will then become searchable online.

By being part of the World Memory Project, you'll be helping to create the largest online resource of information about individual victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution. You'll also be restoring the identities of people the Nazis tried to erase from history, and making sure future generations never forget.

Get started today. The power of truth is in your hands".

The website says that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has gathered more than 170 million pages on 17 million individuals, which include names, dates, locations, conditions, and physical descriptions of victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution.

The database will be available in the late summer or early fall of 2011 at

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

2011 Canadian Census

Shirley L. Sturdevant, Vice-President of the Ontario Genealogical Society, has just issued this statement concerning the 2011 Canadian Census -

"If you have not already completed your electronic census, please consider doing the following:

1. Print each page before you go to the next set of questions and store it with your family documents

2. Check 'yes' to the last question which will give permission to release your information in 92 years for the next set of family historians who might be looking for you. (If you say 'no', or leave it blank, your information will not be released.)

If you feel comfortable doing so, please forward this message to family and friends.


Shirley can be reached at

British Home Child SIG – Organization Meeting

This is the latest news to come from the Ontario Genealogical Society -

"For those who are able to attend the upcoming Ontario Genealogical Society's Conference 2011 in Hamilton next week, there will be a meeting to discuss the organization of the British Home Child SIG. The objectives of this meeting are to solicit input into the formation of this group, establish an executive and to determine how many people intend to join. I have included a short presentation on finding my British Home Child ancestors.


Subject: British Home Child Special Interest Group – Organization Meeting
Date: Friday May 13, 2011
Time: 3:00 – 4:00 P.M.
Location: OGS Conference 2011, Hamilton Convention Centre, located in downtown Hamilton, Ontario (See

Room: Albion 'A'
Sign in sheet to be sent around room.


1. Introductions (5 min.) – Shirley Sturdevant (Vice President, OGS) 2. Status of the SIG (10 min.) – (current number of potential members / executive positions etc.) – Shirley Sturdevant 3. Presentation (15 min.) – "In Search of My British Home Child Ancestors" – Phil Ellis 4. Open discussion (15 min.) 5. How/when to join – Shirley Sturdevant


If you are unable to attend the meeting and plan to join this special interest group, please send an email to Shirley Sturdevant, OGS Vice-president at prior to the conference.

Hope to see you there".

Phil Ellis

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

FamilySearch Historical Collections Update

There have been two Canadian collections updated by the FamilySearch Historical Collection in April, and they are -

Ontario Census 1861

The 1861 Ontario Census has been updated, and there are 1,709,804 records now online.

It includes the population census as well as the agricultural censuses at the end of each county or township.

The website says that the information is "Arranged by census district (generally by county). Within each county, arrangement is usually alphabetical by name of township. Cities, towns and villages are often enumerated separately from the townships in which they are located".

It can be found at

Quebec Notarial Records, 1800-1900

The second collection is the Quebec Notarial Records which contains images of notarial records arranged by locality, then notary, then time period.

They can be seen at

Monday, May 2, 2011

Toronto OGS Courses

Here are a couple of courses that the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogy Society will put on for May -

Course # 1

"DATE: 3 May - 24 May 2011: 4 sessions, Tuesdays (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
COURSE: Toronto Branch OGS
LOCATION: North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto (Room 2)
TITLE OF COURSE: "Palaeography for Family Historians"
BRIEF INFO: This course will help students decipher historical documents and gather information from them. Students are invited to bring in their own records for study".

Course # 2

"DATE: 30 May 2011 (7:30 p.m.)
MEETING: Toronto Branch OGS
LOCATION: Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Community Hall, 5110 Yonge Street, Toronto
TITLE OF TALK: "Using Technology in Your Family History"
NAME OF SPEAKER: Carol Nichols
BRIEF INFO: A look at how computers and the internet can help you gather genealogical facts, photos and background information to fill in your stories, lead you in new directions, store and organize your genealogy, and link your family members to their history. Additional short presentation by Evelyn Kidd: "What you find when you aren't even looking". $5 charge for non-members of OGS".