Friday, January 31, 2014

Gwyneth Pearce, Secretary of the Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society tells us that they will be holding an all-day workshop Scotland and its People, at the North York Central Library on Saturday 12 April 2014. .

There will be 11 sessions, and they will be on Scottish history, patterns of migration, records and repositories, planning your research both here and in Scotland, and adding “flesh to the bones” of your Scottish ancestors.

The workshop will be led by two principal speakers: UK-based genealogist Sheena Tait, who specializes in Scottish research, and historian Kevin James, a faculty member in the Scottish Studies Program at the University of Guelph. Krista Barclay, Christine Woodcock, and three of our own Toronto Branch experts – Marian Press, Linda Reid and James F.S. Thomson – will also bring their knowledge and enthusiasm to the day’s program..Whether you’re a seasoned researcher or just beginning your family history journey, this is a day you won’t want to miss!

Full program details and speaker biographies can be found on the Branch website at

The early-bird registration deadline for this event is 15 March. OGS members enjoy additional discounts.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Library and Archives Canada and partnership starting to appear online

This notice came from the LAC this morning -

"The partnership between Library and Archives Canada and over the next ten years involves the digitization, indexing and description of millions of personal, administrative and government documents. It will triple the LAC's digital content on the Web, and allow Canadians to access tens of millions of additional images regardless of where they live, at no charge".

They have divided the holdings into Genealogy, Aboriginal History, Military History, and Landmark Papers.

Be forewarned before you start working with these fonds though, I have found with the ones that I have worked with, they ARE NOT INDEXED. And it has can cause headaches to me – a researcher. So has anyone used these online digitization fonds yet? How have you found them? And some of them are dark - almost too dark to read. `1q

So if you can deal with that all that, they are great research material to have online, and combined with the report s

NEWS FLASH!!Global RootsTech Conference Announces Free Online Broadcast Schedule

Paul Nauta from RootsTech Media Relations, has just sent us this notice -

SALT LAKE CITY-RootsTech, the world's largest family history and technology conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 6-8, 2014, announced today that 15 of its popular sessions will be broadcast live and complimentary over the Internet. The live broadcasts will give those unable to attend in-person worldwide a sample of this year's conference content. Interested viewers can watch the live presentations at The fourth-year conference has attracted over 10,000 registered attendees in-person, and leaders expect over 20,000 additional viewers online.

The streamed sessions include a sampling of technology and family history presentations. Following are the broadcasted sessions and speakers. All times are in mountain standard time (MST):

Thursday, February 6

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Top 10 Things I Learned About My Family from My Couch by Tammy Hepps

1 p.m. to 2 p.m., FamilySearch Family Tree: What's New and What's Next by Ron Tanner

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Intro to DNA for Genealogists by James Rader

4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Genealogy in the Cloud by Randy Hoffman

5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sharing Your Family with Multimedia by Michael LeClerc

Friday, February 7

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Storytelling Super Powers: How to Come Off as Your Family's Genealogy Hero by David Adelman

1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Tweets, Links, Pins, and Posts: Break Down Genealogical Brick Walls with Social Media by Lisa Alzo

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Getting the Most Out of by Crista Cowen

4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Finding Family and Ancestors Outside the USA with New Technologies by Daniel Horowitz

5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Do It Yourself Photo Restoration by Ancestry Insider

Saturday, February 8

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Become an iPad Power User by Lisa Louise Cooke

1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Information Overload: Managing Online Searches and Their Resultsby Josh Taylor

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., A Beginner's Guide to Going Paperless by Randy Whited

4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., How to Interview Yourself for a Personal History by Tom Taylor

5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Five Ways to Do Genealogy in Your Sleep by Deborah Gamble

About RootsTech

RootsTech is a global family history event where people of all ages learn to discover and share their family stories and connections through technology. The first annual conference was held in 2011, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Hosted by FamilySearch and sponsored by leading genealogical organizations, the conference includes hands-on demonstrations and forums to provide a highly interactive environment and accelerate learning. Content is geared to young and old, beginner to advanced levels.

To visit their website, go to

The National Gallery of Canada

There will be a summer exhibit called The Great War: The Persuasive Power of Photography, and it will begin June 27, coinciding with Canada History Week, which starts July the 1st, and will run until the 17th of November. 

This exhibit brings together a diverse and remarkable selection of photographs drawn from national and international collections in an effort to illustrate the many important roles that photography played in the First World War.

The website for that National Gallery of Canada is

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

NEWS FLASH! Library and Archives Canada to Digitize 640,000 First World War Service Files

As part of the commemoration of the centennial of the First World War, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) announced in its News section that it is undertaking the digitization of 640,000 personnel service files of the First World War’s Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) members with a view to ensuring the long-term preservation of these frail paper documents.

The first quarter, beginning with the letter A through D, will be closed as of March 2014 and will be available on-line as of Summer 2014.

At the end of the project, expected in 2015, Canadians will be able to research high-quality digital copies of the 640,000 newly digitized service files from the comfort of their own home.

To read more about the project, go to

Monday, January 27, 2014

Old Family Photo Workshop

On Saturday March 22, 2014, the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia will present a Photo Workshop as part of the monthly meeting to be held from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm at the Akins A/V Room, Nova Scotia Archives, 6016 University Ave, Halifax.

The workshop will be lead by Jenny Milligan, MEd, Socio-Costumologist, and will cover -

  • Learn to date old photo
  • Place people in your family tree
  • Help identify faces from your past
  • Browse & study a collection of historic photo & costume reference books

Bring your old photos!

Cost: $25 ($20 for GANS Members)

Register by email to

You may email 1-2 photos with your registration.

Please note that only 20 places are available for this workshop.

The website of GANS is

Canadian Week in Review 27 January 2014

I have come across the following Canadian websites, social media websites, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too


The Eastern Townships of Quebec Its is almost 20 years since this site has been on the Internet. This area was a place where many Loyalists settlers, and immigrants from the British Isles settled.

Immigrants to Canada 1930-1950 This site has the surnames of immigrants online who came to Canada between 1930 and 1950, listed on the Orders in Council of the Privy Council of Canada. If you wish to receive the record, a fee will be charged.

Social Media

From Mowat and Beyond This blogger researches in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is researching the surnames such as Allary, Basham, Ellis, Galbraith, Goodson, Holt, Johnston, Kotlarchuk, Masiowski, Moxam, Munro, Pascal, Pelletier, Reader, Ritchie, Storrar, and White.
News Articles 

Rideau Canal faces $104M maintenance and repair backlog The Ottawa Citizen newspaper has calculated that Rideau Canal faces a huge amount of repairs that is not being done. This includes repairs to the canal locks, canal walls, dams, weirs, dams and so on. 

Canadian school official pushes for new history curriculum A Vancouver School Board trustee has a motion to be voted on that British Columbia change the high school curriculum to include content on the contributions and discrimination experienced by early Chinese settlers.

Exhibit brings to light Italian Canadian strife during WWII 'Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Times: Italian Canadian Experiences During World War II', is the title of a new touring exhibit by the Columbus Centre of Toronto.
Right now, it’s in North Bay where people can see about the time when Italian Canadians were put in internment camps during the 2nd World War. The exhibit will be open to the public from January 15th to April 18th of 2014, and there is a Video onsite. 

Acadian Museum marks 50th anniversary Sunday Visit the Acadian Museum and see how it evolved into what it is today – a world class museum on Prince Edward Island. This exhibit will be open until May 2014. 

Sikh museum in Canada to mark Komagata Maru centennial The Abbotsford’s Sikh Heritage Museum will host a special year long exhibit which will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident, during which 352 Punjabi immigrants on a ship from India were denied entry into Canada.

Story of the Week

City of Toronto Archives

The City of Toronto Archives has a new site, and true to its word, it is better organized than the previous site.

The first thing you see when you go to the City of Toronto Archives is the Search the Archives window, and if you press on that site, you will be taken to a search box where you can enter your search term. You can find out where it is located in the archives, and then you can locate it easily when you visit the archives in the future.

You can also see what’s available at the archives for example - city directories, assessment rolls, court proceedings, fire insurance maps, and you can go online and look at their maps, view web exhibits, and photos.

You can look at This month in Toronto’s history, and Find out the history of your house, and Canada’s First Subway.

Plus, you can supplement your research at the Archives of Ontario and the Toronto family History Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society with the City of Toronto Archives.

The site is at

Reminder: Check the Canadian Week in Review next Monday for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada. It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in country! The next post will be on 03 February 2014.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Anglo-Celtic Roots - Winter 2013

The Winter 2013 issue of Anglo-Celtic Roots continue to live up to its mandate in bringing family history to the British Isles Family History Society of Ottawa (BIFHSGO) members.

In this issue, there are articles by –

Eleanor Eagar’s Descendents by Carolyn Emblem, in which she tells us about her great-grand-Aunt Eleanor’s travels across three countries – England, Australia, and New Zealand, and her various marriages.

Little by Little from County Mayo to Fitzroy and Beyond  by Brenda Krauter, in which she writes about the Little family who came to the Ottawa Valley during the Great Potato Famine, and the brick wall that they presented to a genealogical researcher.

These Old Walls of Ireland – Recording of Memories by Philip Donnelly is a summarized version of the Don Whiteside Memorial Lecture at the BIFHSGO conference last fall, in which Donnelly give an overview of the projects that are preserving memories of Ireland’s past, and they are -
  •         The Gathering Ireland 2013
  •          These Old Walls – the Homes of our Great-Grandparents
  •          Ireland Reaching Out (
  •          The Hercules Project in County Waterford

The Anglo-Celtic Roots also has regular columns by members John D. Reid called The Cream of the Crop, and by Betty Warburton called The Bookworm, as well as a report on the Conference of  2013.

The BIFHSGO website is at

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Ottawa Genealogist – Winter 2013 Edition

The most recent edition of The Ottawa Genealogist has just been released, having received my copy in the mail the other day. It is the newsletter of the Ottawa Branch of the OGS.

Of the articles, George Neville submitted a list of names in his article, Petition of Inhabitants of North Gower for Magistrates in Johnstown District No. 3, in which the men of the township are asking that a magistrate be appointed. Meanwhile, Jim Stanzell provides readers with his Early Bytown Settlers Index, in which over 450 names are listed, and all surnames start with the letter ‘M’.

Gloria F. Tubman’s Question Answered, More Questions Posed outlines the questions posed by a previous article which showed the relationship between people from Bistrol Township and North Onslow Township in the Pontiac area of Quebec.

Edward Kipp has two articles in this newsletter, and they are – Cemetery Shunpiking 2011 & 2013 and Rathbun-Rathbone-Rathburn Family Reunion 2013.

In the first article, he takes us on a tour of the gravestones of his great-grandparents in New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

He provides a history of the people on the gravestones, as well as a photo of the gravestones.

And the second article, he and his wife, Elizabeth, go to Newport, Rhode Island for the latest family reunion of the Rathbun-Rathbone-Rathburn Family.

He always writes such interesting travel logs that are intertwined with family history. It keeps my interest throughout.

Plus, there’s lots of other interesting and informative stuff to read in this issue, as there is in the other issues.

This afternoon, my husband and I will be listening to the live streaming of the Branch’s regular monthly meeting – another plus for belonging to the Ontario Genealogical Society, and one of its many branches!

The website of the Ottawa Branch is

Friday, January 24, 2014 has free access until Jan 27th has FREE access to Canadian Vital Records (birth, marriage, death) until January 27 at

Nova Scotia Census, Assessment and Poll Tax Records, 1770-1795, 1827 has taken the records from Nova Scotia Archives and under agreement with the archives, have put them online. 

The Non-Census Records in the Collection Nova Scotia Poll Tax Rolls, 1791–1793.
The index includes the name and location for each person. Records in this collection are from the following counties -

· Annapolis

· Antigonish

· Colchester

· Cumberland

· Guysborough

· Halifax

· Hants

· Kings

· Lunenburg

· Pictou

· Queens

· Shelburne

Tax Records

The tax records are from the Gideon White Family Papers. Gideon White was a loyalist from Massachusetts who moved to Shelburne, Nova Scotia, after the American Revolution. He served as tax collector for a time, and tax records for the years 1786–1787 are included in the collection.

The tax records provide names and addresses of Shelburne taxpayers, occupations, and county and poor taxes owed.

They can be accessed at

You can also go to the Nova Scotia Archives at and read the individual narrative about each record, and go in-depth into the tax and census records for each of the areas noted above.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Four new French-Canadian podcasts

Sandra Goodwin, an American blogger, now has four Podcasts on her website Maple Stars and Stripes at where you can listen to her talk about these subjects - 

Beginning French-Canadian Research

The Dreaded ‘Dit’ Name

French Pronunciation and Text-to-Speech Aids

More French-Canadian Name Variations

She says that they have been “created as a way to share tips and tricks that might make it easier to research your French-Canadian family here in America as well as to trace them back in Quebec. We’ll discuss ways to make it easier to move around in French-language records, especially if you’re not a native French speaker, as well as take a look at different record groups, repositories, history, geography, culture, and methodology particular to French-Canadian genealogy”.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Almonte Gazette Archive

The Ottawa Branch of the OGS will hold its regular meeting on Saturday January 25th from 1 pm – 3 pm at the Ottawa Archives, Room 115, Tallwood Drive, Ottawa and from 1:00-1:30 there will be Networking , 1:30-2:15 "Using the Almonte Gazette online database", and 2:15-3:00 "RetroReveal for Genealogists, a Digital Forensics Tool".

Matthew Moxley from the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum will give the first talk on how to use the free online database of digitized of The Almonte Gazettes, and Kyla Ubbink, who will be talking about how to use a free software called RetroReveal to uncover hidden text, see faded inks and photographs, and discover what may lie beneath.

Details are on their website at .

This meeting will be webcast for those who can’t attend in person at:

The website of the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum is at

The website for The Almonte Gazette Archive is at

This archive has been made available to the museum from the Almonte Public Library who had previously imaged the town’s newspaper. During 2012 the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum digitized these images and created an archive of searchable content that has been made available online.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Ontario Library Association Super Conference 2014

The Ontario Library Association is Canada's largest library organization and OLA's Super Conference is Canada's largest continuing education event in librarianship. 

They will be holding their Superconference called "A Universe of Possibilities" in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto January 29 – February 1, 2014.

OurDigitalWorld, which is in the forefront of putting Ontario newspapers online for example, will be at the Superconference and will present two talks on Bringing Multicultural History Online: Digitizing Ontario's Diverse Community Memory and Community Newspapers: Ways forward for providing digital access.

The website for OurDigitalWorld is

The website for the Ontario Library Association is v

Searching for First World War Ancestors

Heritage Mississauga and the Halton Peel Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society are pleased to present a full-day workshop on Saturday February 8th, 2014 at 10 am-3 pm at Historic Robinson Adamson House, 1921 Dundas St. W., Mississauga, ON. 

Professional Genealogist and Lecturer, Ruth Blair will lead the workshop, and the day will be divided into two sections –

Session 1 “In Search of Your First World War Ancestors”

Was your ancestor in the First World War? Resources to find military records will be presented whether he be from Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia or the United States. If your First World War ancestor was a woman we will also be discussing resources to find service records for women who served at home or on the front.

Session 2: “You Won’t Find it All in Your Ancestor’s First World War Military File”

We will be discussing other resources to help you find out more about your ancestor’s experience in the First World War. You won’t find it all in the military file. These resources will help you build a better picture of what your ancestor and his family went through during the First World War.

The fee is $25.00, and it covers both sessions. Fee must be prepaid to reserve seat. Coffee and Tea will be served. Please make your own arrangements for lunch. Call to reserve your seat today - 905-828-8411 ext.”0″. Space is limited so call and make your booking early.

The website of Heritage Mississauga is

The website of the Ontario Genealogical Society is

Monday, January 20, 2014

Canadian Week in Review 20 January 2014

I have come across the following Canadian websites, social media websites, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too


No new websites this week.

Social Media

Chroniques ancestrales (Ancestral Chronicles) This is a new blog  by Jean-François Dagenais, and he discusses Genealogical Tools, Quebec genealogy, and his ancestry. He is on Facebook, and YouTube also.

News Articles

Highlanders' winter journey one of most heroic feats in Manitoba's history An article about the Selkirk settlers and the first European colony in Western Canada.

Ontario farmer loses part of 200-year-old family farm to military A farmer has lost part of his farm land after CFB Trenton expropriated it for expansion of the military base. There is also video and photos.

Royal Canadian Mint's first collector coins of 2014 herald a historic year Read about the plans of Royal Canadian Mint as we enter an historic year of commemoration in 2014

Canada 150 celebrations: Your responses Read the results of a survey that the CBC asked viewers “What do you most want to see celebrated in Canada 150?”

Thanks go to Gail Dever, Canadian Week in Review’s Special Correspondent for the following news article -
The Kitchener Library The Kitchener Public Library is asking for your help getting to know local soldiers who fought overseas in the First World War.

The library’s web page about the First World War Soldier Card Project is at

Story of the Week

Major milestones in 2014

The government says that we are about to experience major activity this year. By receiving almost daily press releases from them as we approach some very important historical events in 2014 (First World War), we are finding more plans to commemorate other events in the years ahead to 2017 and beyond.

For instance, did you know that

The Library and Archives Canada say that they plan to publish a new collection called "100 Canadian Stories of the First World War" and digitize 640,000 First World War records. The major papers which has been already put online so far has been the Attestation Papers, so does this mean that they plan to put the rest of the service files online?

And there’s more

• the centennial of the start of the First World War on Aug. 4, 2014

• the 75th anniversary of the start of the Second World War on Sept. 10, 2014

• the centennial of the writing of In Flanders Fields in spring 2015

• the centennial of the battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel in 2016, and of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele in 2017

• the centennial of Armistice Day, the end of the First World War in 2018

• the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong (2016), Dieppe Raid (2017), Battle of the Atlantic (2018), Battle of Normandy (2019)

• the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 2020

• the 100th anniversary of the City of Kitchener is a war-related milestone of major local significance that we'll reach in 2016.

Reminder: Check the Canadian Week in Review next Monday for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada. It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in country! The next post will be on 27 January 2014.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Historical Debates of the Parliament of Canada (Hansard) now online!

This week, we received news from the Library and Archives Canada about additional parliamentary debates which have been put online -

The press release says that “This new portal contains the historical debates in both official languages from 1867 to the mid-1990s. This means you can now search and browse all published debates of both the Senate and the House of Commons from Parliament 1, Session 1, until the coverage begins on

As mentioned above, the portal was developed by the Library of Parliament, in collaboration with, a membership alliance dedicated to building Canada’s digital preservation infrastructure and providing wide-ranging access to Canadian documentary heritage. Library and Archives Canada is pleased to have provided support by producing the digital page images.

You can consult our blog Looking for the Debates of the House of Commons (Hansard) online of June 2012 at to help you find information on the House of Commons debates”.

In addition, check the

Also, special thanks Gail Dever, Special Correspondent to GenealogyCanada, for the heads-up on this news story.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

WorldWide Genealogy Blog

A new blog has joined us this month, and its WorldWide Genealogy.

And anyone can post on it!

Its founder, Julie Goucher says " It is really quite simple! Each day a blogger from across the genealogy or historical community will post to Worldwide Genealogy. The posts will be about something related to either genealogy, history or local history."

But there isn’t anyone from Canada on the blog as yet. England, Scotland, Wales, Australia and the United States has posted, but no one from Canada has put anything on.

So if you are interested, contact Julie at Worldwide Genealogy

Friday, January 17, 2014

90 schools now in Toronto war memorials database

Gwyneth Pearce. the Secretary of the Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society has sent us the following message -

"Volunteers with the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society have added about 3,000 new names since the fall of 2013 to For King and Country – the growing online Branch database of school memorials commemorating Toronto students and staff who volunteered for active service in the two World Wars and other military conflicts.

This searchable collection now contains 90 schools and more than 35,000 names, with transcriptions and photographs of school war memorials, along with historical background and links to other useful school and community websites. The newest schools in the database are Oakridge Public School and Danforth Technical School. Danforth Tech holds the distinction of being the alma mater of a staggering 2,235 volunteers—students, graduates, teachers and other staff—more than any other school in the British Commonwealth—and it maintains an impressive archive of records, housed in its War Memorial Library".

Explore For King and Country now at, and contact co-ordinator Martha Jackson at if you would like to get involved with this project.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Search Your Chinese Roots

The Toronto Family History Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has just announced that they will be holding a special lecture on Chinese Roots on Saturday, March 22, 2014, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

This special lecture will present an overview of how Chinese family history has been recorded over the centuries and what people living today need to know if they want to find information about their ancestors in China and elsewhere in the world. Please note that this lecture will bein Chinese with English explanations as needed.

The instructor will be Grace Chan, and it will be held at North York Memorial Community Hall, 5110 Yonge Street, Toronto.

For further details, visit our website at

Their Facebook page is

Chinese-Canadian Genealogy


Are you making your plans for St. Patrick’s Day yet? If you live in Toronto, Sunday March 16th is a day to circle on your calendar, because there will be a parade!


Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day (and the day before)!

On Sunday, March 16, all eyes will be smiling in downtown Toronto for the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Enjoy a family friendly celebration of Ireland and St. Patrick with colorful floats, bands, dancers and marching groups. There will be a golden touch at the green celebration with Olympic gold medalist Irish boxer Katie Taylor acting as Grand Marshal.

The procession starts at noon from St. George and Bloor, heading east before turning south along Yonge to Queen where it makes a final turn to finish at Nathan Phillips Square. TTC access and parking are available at several points along the parade route.

For more information, please visit

Monday, January 13, 2014

Canadian Week in Review 13 January 2014

I have come across the following Canadian websites, social media websites, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too


No new websites this week.

Social Media

Wanted: One Great Canadian history writer This blogger says that maybe the history of Canada needs to have a great writer to come along to write good Canadian history books. Do you agree?
News Articles

First Saskatoon council meeting of 2014 The Gardner’s Site in Victoria Park in Saskatoon is up for designation as a municipal heritage property. The city has been asked to pass a bylaw that will designate the property under The Heritage Property Act so that a plaque can be erected, The plague will honour the early settlers who passed through this site where old bison bones were sold and it was called The Old Bone Trail.

You can read about The Old Bone Trail at

Canadian Nature Museum digitizing 3 million specimens: Museum is part of an international movement to put archives online for researchers The museum is part of an international movement of natural history museums that are digitizing their archived collections of plants and animals. So far, they have collection of three million specimens and they have entered a million of them into the database.

W.P. Loggie - a chapter in Fairview’s history Craig Baird writes about his father in this lovingly presented tribute.

Historical society celebrates 60 years Read about how the Colchester Historical Society in Truro, Nova Scotia started in 1954.

Colchester Historical Society site is at

Story of the Week

Sir John A.Macdonald

There have been many histories written about Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minster in 1867, and this year was the 199th anniversary of his birthday on January 11th.

There is a new Heritage Minutes series which feature Canada’s nation-builders, Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir George-Etienne Cartier at, and two reporters from Maclean’s Magazine went to see where he was born in Scotland.

Their article is at

Canadian Heritage has a site where there is a biography, a quiz, and his burial site at Kingston, Ontario

Reminder: Check the Canadian Week in Review next Monday for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada. It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in country! The next post will be on 20 January 2014.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Announcing the New FamilySearch Indexing Website

We are starting to get press releases from FamilySearch and other organizers prior to the RootsTech Conference that will be held in Salt Lake City in February. This is the latest from FamilySearch regarding indexing.

They have a newly redesigned indexing website at, and they invite you to come and take a look. This new website integrates indexing with the rest of, making it easier for indexers to know how to get started and find the help they need.

They say that “FamilySearch indexing is the volunteer program that has already generated more than a billion freely searchable names on Changes to the indexing program over time have greatly increased the number of records that FamilySearch is able to publish. Projects that used to take years to index can now be completed in a matter of months, and as the indexing program improves, the availability of searchable records will only accelerate”.

Join at RootsTech in February to learn more about what's coming. Visit the FamilySearch indexing booth in the exhibit hall, which is free and open to the public, to get a hands-on experience with the new indexing program, or attend the session "Introducing the new FamilySearch indexing tool”.

The RootsTech: Where Families Connect website is at

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pre-1865 Immigration to Canada

Library and Archives Canada has just issued a reminder on pre-1864 immigration to Canada -

Validating your ancestor’s arrival in Canada before 1865

“So you have searched the records, and still no trace of your ancestor? If you didn’t find your ancestor’s arrival before 1865, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has other genealogical resources that can assist in confirming an ancestor’s arrival in Canada.

Where did he or she settle?

Is he or she listed in census returns? LAC’s collection of census databases, which can be searched by a person’s name, can confirm an individual’s presence as early as 1825. Perhaps a reference exists for one of the parents (recorded as the head of the family) or for a sibling.

Many early settlers submitted petitions to obtain land where they could establish their family in Upper Canada or Lower Canada. LAC’s databases provide references to land transactions that give the person’s name, the date of the application and the county or township within a province.

Life events in records

The date of arrival in Canada can be estimated by searching birth, marriage, and death records for first occurrences such as the birth of a child to confirm the presence of the family in a location. Consult our previous blog on how to search for Birth, Marriage and Death Records.

Published sources and the genealogical community

Family histories, historical atlases and other published works can be searched in AMICUS, LAC’s online catalogue. It is also possible that your ancestor lived in a location that published a city directory.

Many genealogical societies have resources specific to where your ancestor settled. Finding aids that describe a location are valuable tools when searching for ancestors”.

Go to the Library and Archives Canada site at

In the end, it all boils down to local records at local archives, local libraries, local museums, local genealogical societies.

Just as a coincidence, I have a column on this very subject in next month’s free magazine In Depth Genealogist at .

It will appear in the February issue.

Spring workshops to be held at local library

Oakville Public Library in Oakville, Ontario will hold workshops in the coming month, starting with a workshop today. It starts at 10:00 am.

The title of the workshop will be Genealogy Resources and the talk will be given by Heather Martyn who will introduce you to Ancestry Library Edition and other library resources that will help you get started. This will be a “hands on” presentation.

It will be free, but you must register.
The second workshop will be held on February the 18th from 7:00 to 8:20 pm and the workshop will Capture Your Family Story: Book Making With Blurb

You’ll discover how easy it is to create and self-publish a book of photos and stories that your family will treasure. We’ll share examples of published books, and demonstrate how to design your own. If you can imagine it, you can make it with Blurb.

The cost will be $7.00 per class, and you must register.

The third workshop will be Movie Night! And it will be held on February 25, 2014 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, and the cost will be $5.00.

The movie will be Seeking Salvation: A History of the Black Church in Canada in which this documentary will profile slavery in Canada from the 1600s to the Underground Railroad in the 1800s.

Written by Oakville native Lawrence Hill, this documentary has been screened at film festivals around the world, and won numerous awards.

The last workshop will be Taking Your Irish Ancestors Back Over the Pond by Ruth Blaie who will shows you the best ways to begin researching your Irish family history in Canada and show you how to use the information to help you go back over the pond to Ireland.

It will start on March 11th, at 7:00 pm, and will cost will be $7.00 per class.

You can go to the Oakville Public Library at

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Family History Writing Challenge

Have you ever thought about writing a family history book?

If you have, but have been waiting to have some instruction to follow, you should go to Lynn Palmero of The Armchair Genealogist, because she can help you put your family history book together.

Lynn tells us that “Learning to write your family history stories is a fantastic vehicle for compiling your years of research into a shareable format to leave as a legacy for future generations.

The Family History Writing Challenge is a 28-day focus. As a registered member, you'll receive daily emails with inspiration, motivation and education all centred around writing your family history stories. You'll have access to our writer's resources, a collection of article archives to help get you started. We have industry professionals joining us and lending their expertise and you can join us in the writer's forum where you can learn from others struggling with the same issues as well as sharing their successes along the way".

Later this week, she will be delivering some exciting news about The Companion Guide to the Family History Writing Challenge, a workbook dedicated to getting you ready to write. Watch your inbox for that information coming your way in a few days.

To get more information, go to

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Windmill Point lighthouse, a site of a bloody battle in Upper Canada (Prescott, Ontario), has been named as a heritage lighthouse under Canada's Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act (HLPA).

In 1838, it was the place where a four-day battle in 1838 between British troops and local militia defeated an invasion force of 300 American "Hunters" and Canadian rebels. It brought an end to the Rebellion of 1837-1838.

Windmill Point Lighthouse was first built as a windmill before it was used as a lighthouse in 1874.

Battle of the Windmill National Historic Site

BIFHSGO meeting on January 11th

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) will meet on Saturday January 11th 2014 at the Library and Archives Canada.

9:00 a.m. — During the Before BIFHSGO Education Talk, learn from Ken McKinley about how to protect and save information stored on your computer.

10:00 a.m. — In Bibles and Bugs: My Welsh Ancestors In and Out of Africa, Gail Roger will talk about how an uncle's posthumously published autobiography about his missionary days in Africa helped and hindered her search for her Welsh ancestors. Gail will talk about her great-great-uncle and her maternal grandfather and some of the circumstances about their life in two very different parts of Africa

Come early to browse our Discovery Tables and meet with family history experts. Open to members and visitors. Free admission. Free parking is available in the lots east of the building only on Saturday and Sunday. Do not use the lot west of the building

Also, BIFHSGO has called for speakers for their 20th Annual Conference to be held in Ottawa, September 19 - 21, 2014.

The deadline is January 31, 2014, and the Conference will focus on three main topics -

• English family history;

• Immigration from the British Isles, including Home Children; and

• Genetic genealogy.

The interview with Gail Roger is at

The website is at

Monday, January 6, 2014

Canadian Week in Review 06 January 2014

I have come across the following Canadian websites, social media websites, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too

WebsitesNo new websites this week.

Social Media
No new site this week.

News Articles
Artist brings area history to mural at Galt At the Galt Museum in Lethbridge, Alberta, Alex Pavlenko, a local artist, has installed a series of murals in a classroom onsite dedicated to education.

The Land Conservancy to accept deal to sell heritage Vancouver Island farm The Land Conservation of British Columbia may be selling the Keating Farm, located about 60 kilometres north of Victoria near Duncan, because the Land Conservation is running out of money, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.

What you didn’t know about Canada’s Parliament Hill A writer for the Ottawa Citizen write about parliament Hill, and tells us some things we may not know about it.

Story of the Week

John Matheson, 'Father' Of Canadian Flag dies at age 96

February 15th is the National Flag of Canada Day in Canada. Next year it will celebrate its 50th anniversary, but this year, the day will be different, because the man who lead the committee which was responsible for choosing the winning design, has died.

Beside fighting and being wounded in Italy during the Second World War, Matheson also served as an MP and judge and helped found the Order of Canada.

Social Media has played its part in reporting the death because you have a chance to see the 149 designs that were submitted for the new flag by ordinary Canadians on this news site. Plus, there are videos.

The website is

If you want to read more about the flag, you can go to

If you want to read about the National Flag of Canada Day, you can go to

Reminder: Check the Canadian Week in Review next Monday for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada. It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in country! The next post will be on 13 January 2014.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Coburg Public Library closed until further notice

Brian Gilchrist, Reference Archivist at the Peel County Museum and Archives in Brampton (Ontario), has informed us that the main branch of the Coburg Public Library has suffered major water damage due to a broken pipe, and will be closed until further notice.

He says that there has been significant damage to books, videos, DVDs and so forth, but there is no damage to the Local History Collection and Archives. Which is good news!

They do have the Coburg Newspaper Index and Archival Image Database at their webpage.

The webpage is at

Their Facebook page is at

Saturday, January 4, 2014

OGS Open Forum

The Ontario Genealogical Society invites members and non-members to join in an online discussion with President, Shirley Sturdevant. Ask questions and make comments about the changing face of OGS and volunteer opportunities with the Society.

The date that the forum will be held will be Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

This forum is open to anyone who is interested but you may express your interest and receive a reminder and your own copy of the login information by contacting the OGS provincial office at

Please use the subject line “OGS Open Forum.”

The website of the OGS is

Friday, January 3, 2014

Saskatchewan Provincial Records (1879-1987)

The website has put more Homestead Records on their website at

Eventually, they intend to including all of the homesteads records, voter lists, pioneer questionnaires, biographies, military and municipal records, teacher registries, township registers, and Henderson Directories.

Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society's website has a new look -

Check out their cemetery index, comprised of a database containing the names and locations of over 3,486 cemetery and burial sites in Saskatchewan.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

GenealogyCanada is 6 years old today!

Yes, it’s been six years since this blog was started. And each year just keeps getting better, thanks to you!

This past year, this blog was recognized as being among the best in the business by being accorded the following accolades –

Ø Named as one of Internet Genealogy Magazine’s 25 Top Genealogy Blogs

Ø Named as one of the 40 Best Genealogy Blogs in 2013 by FamilyTree Magazine

Ø Named as one of the Top 90 Genealogy Blogs from Free People

And there are plans to continue on with this success, so please stay tuned.

Last year, of course, was the Year of the 1921 Census.

It was the singular most popular subject on my blog, by the amount of traffic and comments by you, faithful readers. When the indexed version was finally released by in November, it was met with much enthusiasm by the public!

I also held a contest on Canada Day where readers were given the chance to get some help with their brick walls. There were four winners.

So, here’s hoping for another good year, full of more news from across Canada.

All the best,


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

May all of your genealogical dream come true in 2014!

I know that I have a number of conferences to attend, some research projects that need my attention, and a summer full of museums, libraries and archives to visit in 2014.

It will be noteworthy year in Ottawa because it will be the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

So what do you plan to do in 2014?