Monday, March 31, 2014

Canadian Week in Review 31 March 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.


CelticGenealogy Website
This website traces the lives of Gillis, Beaton, MacFarlane, Nelligan, MacDonald, Harper, Apper, MacNeil, Gearin, MacMaster, Campell, Robinson, Miller, Gaffney, Hayes, and Hurley in Cape Breton.

Social Media

Celtic Genealogy Blog
Celtic Genealogy also has a blog which is up-to-date.

New Stories

Celebrating 50, 100 and 150,-100-and-150/1
A full audience enjoyed “The Hundredth Summer”, a National Film Board documentary chronicling the celebrations surrounding the centennial of the Charlottetown Conference.

Researching your ancestral roots requires digging, but it's worth it
Read about how the writer of this article found out about her Métis heritage. 

'Royal' compromise first floated last year
The article demonstrates that how one feels about history in Canada can run deep. 

Groups unite to preserve historical landmark
Mack Laing’s heritage home, Baybrook, stands on the largest forest midden in British Columbia and it is the Comox Valley’s foremost historical landmark of this region. The Comox Valley Nature and Project Watershed members are working to preserve the heritage home. 

Exposed: More photos of the 1870 Wolseley Expedition
Two more picture have been added to the Wolseley Expedition that was covered by this news summary a number of weeks ago.

Canadian History Project to Present IN HIS NAME, April 23-27
With a mandate to produce plays set in Canada prior to Confederation, The Canadian History Project is proud to present In His Name-Dollard Des Ormeaux and the Battle of Long Sault in April at the The Array Space, 155 Walnut Avenue, Toronto. 

P.E.I. Father of Confederation leaves lasting legacy
Read how Edward Whalen immigrated from Ireland to Prince Edward Island, and became a publisher, journalist, orator, politician, and one of the Fathers of Confederation.

How Canada became home to some of the world’s more visually stunning — and fun — heraldry
Read how Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario became the latest city in Canada to receive it own Coat of Arms.

Story of the Week

National Tartan Day

On October 21, 2010, the Minister of Canadian Heritage officially declared April 6 as Tartan Day. Did you know that the reason it is celebrated on April 6 because it is the anniversary of the signing of Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, the Scottish declaration of independence.

In Canada, Tartan Day originated in the late 1980s in Nova Scotia (my home province), where it was declared an official day by the provincial government. It then spread across the country, with many provinces joining in.

Each province and territory—with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador—has proclaimed April 6 as Tartan Day. Most provinces and territories in Canada have adopted an official tartan, with the exception of Nunavut, and Quebec, which has an unofficial tartan.

The celebrations usually include parades of pipe bands, Highland dancing and sports, and other community gatherings with Scottish-themed events. And it usually includes a special pipe band with Highland Dancers on Parliament Hill.

The Canadian Maple Leaf Tartan was created in 1964 by David Weiser in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of Canada's confederation in 1967. It was designed to be worn by Canadians from all backgrounds regardless of their ancestry, as a symbol of national pride.

So go out and celebrate Tartan Day, and wear the Canadian Maple Leaf Tartan!

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 7 April 2014.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Reminder: Canadian Week in Review

Check the Canadian Week in Review tomorrow morning for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada.

It has the most recent news about New/Updated Websites, Social Media, and Newspaper Articles.

It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in the country!

It has been a regular post every Monday since April 23, 2012.

Family History/Genealogy at The Canadian Jewish Heritage Network (CJHN)

If you have Jewish ancestors, have you checked the latest addition to the genealogical database at

You can search in the following databases -

· Jewish Colonization Association individual farm settler reports from Western Canada and Quebec (1906-1951) This includes a scanned form describing each individual farming family at various points in time.

· Yiddish obituaries from the Keneder Adler (1908-1932) This Montreal-based daily newspaper has been translated and indexed.

· Hebrew Sick Benefit Association of Montreal membership listings from 1897-1945. These records have been transcribed from the membership books, translated from Yiddish.

· Canadian Jewish Casualties in the Canadian Armed Forces These listings include servicemen who died while serving in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. These records often include additional details such as war stories and photographs. 

· Saint John, New Brunswick Jewish Residents, Businesses, Burials & Obituaries These records contain burial information dating back to 1873, hundreds of full text obituaries, detailed photographs of tombstones, and business and residential directory details about all the known Jewish residents of Saint John from 1863-1999.

· Jewish Immigrant Aid Services client name lists from 1922-1952 The CJHN) say that “The JIAS listings are the only records in this database which do not present all the available data online. Access to this information is restricted to the persons named in the file or, if deceased, their direct descendants. The archival records associated with these listings can contain a single index card to more than a dozen pages. Fees for copying and delivery apply; payment can be made to the CJCCC National Archives via Paypal or Canadian funds cheque”. 

White you are at the site, do not miss their extensive archival materials, digital images, and education material at 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hommage à Lac-Mégantic exhibit

There will be an exhibit called Hommage à Lac-Mégantic from March 30th to May 25th, 2014 at the  Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre, 9 Speid Street, Sherbrooke.

“Following the tragic events in the town of Lac-Mégantic last summer, the Uplands exhibition committee has decided to honour Mégantic artists by mounting an exhibit which will bring together eleven artists of this region. 

The public is cordially invited to come and meet the participants at a vernissage to take place Sunday, March 30, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.. 

In addition, two “slam” poets, Marie-Pier Landry and Kyra Shaughnessy, will be present at the vernissage to share their poems inspired by the disaster.

Throughout the course of the exhibit, there will be an opportunity to make donations, which will be given to a cultural organization of the Lac-Mégantic region, selected by the participating artists”.

Remember, the Hommage à Lac-Mégantic exhibit will continue until May 25, 2014.

The website of the Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre is

Friday, March 28, 2014

Looking at Canada – 40th Anniversary Symposium

 The Bill Belier Memorial Symposium will take place Saturday, April 26, 2014 at Jackman Hall, Toronto. The AGO will follow the next day Sunday, April 26, 2014 by the 2nd annual Image Show at Branch 101 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Long Branch.

The speakers at the symposium will be Blake Chorley (Mammoth Tintypes), Harry Enchin (Moments in Time), Andrea Kunard (NFB additions), Cassandra Rowbotham (Connon and the panorama camera) and Robert Wilson (Baltzly and BC Landscapes).

To find out about the registration, go to

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Service Disruptions at the Archives of Manitoba

During the next few months, the Archives of Manitoba, including the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, will be replacing mechanical equipment and building components in several of the archival storage vaults at 200 Vaughan Street, Winnipeg causing service disruptions. And this disruption will continue over the next one to two years. 

The nature of this work requires the temporary relocation of records stored within the vaults during each phase of the project. This project is necessary to ensure that the environment of the vaults continues to be acceptable for the preservation of archival records.

Services which will be disrupted will be
  • times when some records are not available for consultation. 
  • delays in retrieval of records may occur. 
  • there may be noisy times due to the renovation work. 
Please note that records stored offsite will not be affected by these renovations.

Updates will be posted at the website as the project progresses and you can contact them if you have questions at

The website is

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Old Stones - from Exploration to Preservation

The Nova Scotia Genealogical Society is having a two-day cemetery conference in Truro where there will be great speakers, all meals and breaks will be included, a networking social, and poster displays. 

The conference will be held May 24 and 25, 2014 at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College Campus, Truro, NS, and there will be six lectures given by Dr. Allan Marble, Gary Wright, Bill Curry, Kevin Bartlett & Sean McKeane, Heather Lawson, and Deborah Trask.

And there will be a field trip to the historic Onslow Cemetery. 

For more information about the conference and a registration packet, contact Dawn Josey at 

The GANS website is at 

The Onslow Cemetery is at 

The Onslow Island Cemetery holds the remains of Planters (settlers from New England who came to Nova Scotia in the 1700s), and as such, it is one of the oldest cemeteries in Nova Scotia. 

Last year, the 250th founding of the cemetery was highlighted, and celebrated. Some of the burials at the cemetery are on Find a Grave at 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

LAC’s new code of conduct/ Nouveau code de conduite de BAC

Some good news this morning -

Political pressure sometimes works. In a victory for staff, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has withdrawn its controversial Code of Conduct put into effect in early 2013. The code contained severe restrictions on staff behavior, both in their public and personal lives.

The restrictions on LAC employees garnered media and public scrutiny and, in the wake of intense public pressure, LAC administrators placed the code under review. In December 2013, a revised Code was introduced.

This new code represents a significant improvement. Employees are still encouraged to report on their colleagues for any failure to comply with the code, a shameful policy that contributes to an unhealthy workplace. However, restrictions on employees’ professional development activities have been substantially reduced and references to discipline for personal opinions expressed in limited access forums have been removed.

At a time when Canadian culture institutions are being decimated, it is easy to become overwhelmed and forget to celebrate our victories, however small. The changes to the LAC code of conduct were only made because we spoke out collectively, an example of how we can make a difference. Our current government may be attempting to rewrite the past, but together we are in control of the future. 
Les pressions politiques portent parfois leurs fruits. Bibliothèque et Archives Canada (BAC) a retiré son controversé Code de conduite entré en vigueur au début de 2013, une victoire pour le personnel de l’institution. Le code imposait de sévères restrictions aux activités tant publiques que personnelles des employés. 

Les restrictions imposées aux employés de BAC avaient suscité l’intérêt des médias et du public, et donné lieu à des protestations publiques qui forçaient les administrateurs de BAC à le réexaminer. En décembre 2013, BAC adoptait une version révisée du Code.

Le nouveau code constitue une nette amélioration par rapport à la version antérieure. Les employés sont toujours invités à signaler à l’employeur les activités de leurs collègues contraires au code, une mesure honteuse qui contribue à la détérioration des relations de travail. Cependant, BAC a considérablement assoupli les règles régissant les activités de perfectionnement professionnel des employés et a éliminé toute mention de mesures disciplinaires pour l’expression d’opinions personnelles dans des forums à accès public. 

En cette période où les institutions culturelles canadiennes sont décimées, on oublie facilement, dans notre accablement, de célébrer nos victoires, aussi petites soient-elles. Si BAC a modifié son code de conduite, c’est parce que nous avons protesté collectivement. Voilà un exemple de notre capacité à faire bouger les choses. Le gouvernement actuel peut bien essayer de réécrire le passé, mais ensemble, nous forgeons l’avenir. 

Rosa E. Barker 

Professional Officer / Agente professionnelle 

Canadian Association of University Teachers / Association canadienne des professeures et professeurs d'université 

2705 promenade Queensview Drive 

Ottawa ON, K2B 8K2 

Tel / tél 613-726-5166

Fax/ télé 613-820-7244

Monday, March 24, 2014

Canadian Week in Review 24 March 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 website this week.

Social Media

Reading the Gazette’s slavery ads
Read about this article on slavery in Quebec that Gail Dever points to in her blog.

Laying down the law: Court of Appeal celebrating its 100th year (with video)
Read the history of the Court of Appeals in Alberta.

Kent County Ontario Canada Genealogy Blog
They have just started this blog. Stay tuned for further developments.

New Stories

Nazi memorabilia sale draws fire
The Saskatoon Gun Club Collector's Show had a show recently where a collector showed German medals and weapons from the First and Second World Wars.

National stamp collection has a new home at Canadian Museum of History
Some good news! The Canadian Stamp Collection will reappears as a permanent exhibition comprises all 3,000 or so postage stamps issued in Canada from 1851 to the present on March 28 at the Canadian Museum of History.

Canada Post celebrates Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry 100th Anniversary with commemorative envelope
The PPCLI was officially authorized as a regiment on the August 10, 1914. Recruiting was completed in eight days!

Explore heritage trails with go!PEI passport!PEI-passport/1
Forty trails have been identified across PEI, and you can read about each one at

Search for kin subject of film: Reunion caps story of wartime couple 
Sgt. Peter Partridge from Manitoba served in the Second World War, fell in love with an English girl, an had a son named Peter Ian. Discover how his daughter found her relatives in Manitoba, and a film has been made of her discovery. (Special thanks go to Jackie Corrigan for sending this story to CWR).

Opinion: How does a province say sorry?
Read the opinion of Dr. Henry Yu is a historian and associate professor of history and principal of St. John’s College at UBC on his views of the treatment of Asians by the BC government and of their inpending apology.

Preserving history in Clarington
More than 100 German prisoners were held at Camp 30 in the 1940s, sent to Canada to keep them an ocean away from the conflict amid fears that Great Britain might fall to the Germans.

British home kids — indentured servants?
Sandra Joyce, the author of The Street Arab — The Story of a British Home Child, and Lori Oschefski recently spoke on the British home Children at the Orillia Museum of Art and History.

French Canadian Genealogical Society Gains in Membership
A tip of the hat to our cousins to the south as The Vermont French- Canadian Genealogical Society has announced that they have reached their 1,000th member since its formation in 1996.

Mireille Silcoff: Irish by choice, or, If a Latvian Jew can claim the Emerald Isle, anyone can
Read how a Jew born in Dublin, Ireland dealt with his "Irishness." (Special thanks goes to Gail Dever, Special Correspondent to the CWR).

New Brunswick, Maine, promoting themselves as tourist destinations,-Maine,-promoting-themselves-as-tourist-destinations/1
New Brunswick is collaborating with the State of Maine to promote themselves as unique Two-Nation Vacation tourist destinations. One thing to note is the holding of the 2014 the Congrès Mondial Acadien, which will take place Aug. 8 - 24.

Story of the Week

May 9th will be a National Day of Honour

Friday May the 9th will be a National Day of Honour when the men and women who served in Afghanistan will be honoured with a parade in Ottawa, and various other events across Canada.

The last of the soldiers who served in Afghanistan - 94 Canadians returned home to their loved ones this past Tuesday March the 18th.

Since the Canadian military mission in Afghanistan began 12 years ago, 158 soldiers have lost their lives - one diplomat, one journalist and two civilian contractors were also killed. More than 40,000 Canadian armed forces members have been deployed to Afghanistan since October 2001.

May the 9th will be quite a day in Ottawa.

There will be the parade that will start at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and travel to Parliament Hill, forces members injured during the mission will pass the last Canadian flag flown in Afghanistan from Canadian Forces Base Trenton to the parade in Ottawa, and the flag will journey through six cities in six days. there will be a moment of silence to reflect upon Canada's sacrifices.

As well, the Afghanistan Memorial Vigil, which was constructed by troops in Kandahar and repatriated to Canada, will be on display on Parliament Hill during the parade.

A video timeline has been put together by the CBC 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 31 Match 2014.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lost Landscapes: Up the Gatineau! with Google Earth

Join the Gatineau Valley Historical Society as they mark Earth Day with an historical virtual tour up the Gatineau River. Society President, Marc Cockburn, will take you on multi-media voyage from Hull up to Low and beyond, using Google Earth and archival photos and maps to reconstruct how the river’s landscape looked before much of its natural and built environment was flooded in 1927.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 7:30 pm, at The Wakefield Centre, 38, ch. Valley, Wakefield, QC

The website of the society is at

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wellington County OGS Region III Meeting - Ask the Experts

On Saturday, April 19, 2014, there will be a full-day meeting from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Harriston Community Centre, 111 George Street South, Harriston, ON, and the title of it is Ask the Experts

The morning portion will feature three different genealogical professionals who will give presentations on their area of expertise. In the afternoon, the experts will sit on a panel and answer your research questions. 

To get your questions answered, please submit them ahead of time through the branch website, or in person. 

The Experts will be  

  • Cindy Preece 

o Archives Administrator, Wilfrid Laurier University Archives & Special Collections

  •  Karen Wagner

o Archivist at the Wellington County Museum and Archives

  • Expert Panel

o A special presentation on “Preserving Your Family Heirlooms”

The cost will be $20.00 per person for pre-registration or $25 per person at the door, and there will be a $10.00 charge for lunch. 

The territory covered by Wellington Branch encompasses Guelph and Wellington County and its historical townships - Minto, Arthur, West Luther, Maryborough, Peel, Pilkington, Nichol, West Garafraxa, Eramosa, Erin, Guelph and Puslinch.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Soldiers of Song

The Stirling Festival Theatre in Stirling, Ontario will present the play Soldiers of Song on Sunday April the 12th at 2 pm. 

The play will honour the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War with a special show that pays homage to one of the most distinctive musical acts in Canadian history – The Dumbells.

The Dumbells were a group of Canadians who were soldiers during the day and entertainers at night during the First World War. 

As the Library and Archives Canada site says “They were a makeshift stage of packing boxes in First World War France to become the toast of the nation for over a decade. They became arguably the most famous of the Canadian Army "concert parties," those entertainment units that were devoted to building the morale of the troops on the front lines”.

For background information on the Dumbells, go to the Library and Archives Canada site at

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Canada’s worst mine disaster

There will be an exhibit at the Provincial Archives of Alberta from now until May 31, 2014 and the exhibit is about Canada’s worst mine disaster at Hillcrest Collieries in Hillcrest, Alberta.

On June 19, 1914, 189 miners lost their lives at Hillcrest Collieries in what is still Canada's worst mine disaster. One hundred years later, the Provincial Archives of Alberta reconstructs the events at Hillcrest and their impact on this coal mining community by highlighting important archival documents preserved within its holdings.

Visit the Provincial Archives of Alberta during regular facility hours to view this commemorative centennial exhibit, and the admission is free.

The Provincial Archives of Alberta is located at 8555 Roper Road, Edmonton, Alberta. 

They have a new website and it is at 

Here is a report on the disaster in the Cranbook Herald at

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

History Matters: Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples Past and Present

Heritage Toronto is pleased to present an exploration of the latest archaeological insights into the lives of Indigenous people in Southern Ontario prior to contact with Europeans.

A panel discussion called Before Ontario: Archaeology and the Province’s First Peoples will take place on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Toronto Reference Library Atrium, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON Phone: 416-395-5577.

Join the editors and some of the contributors to Before Ontario: The Archaeology of a Province (2013) for a panel discussion. Panelists include:

· Dr. Marit Munson

· Dr. Susan Jamieson

· Dr. Anne Keenleyside (Trent)

· Dr. Ron Williamson of Archaeological Services Inc.

· Chief Kris Nahrgang of the Kawartha Nishnawbe First Nation

· Dr. Neal Ferris (Western Ontario)

· Dr. Andrew Stewart of Strata Consulting

The panel will be moderated by Shawn Micallef, a noted journalist and Toronto Public Library’s Writer-in-Residence in Fall 2013.

This panel discussion is presented in collaboration with and Heritage Toronto at

Monday, March 17, 2014

Preserving Ireland's Genealogy

This was just sent out from on St. Partick’s Day.

Website Gathers St. Patrick's Day and Other Irish Family Stories and Photos by Glen Greener

“St. Patrick died on March 17, 481, but St. Patrick's Day lives on all over the world demonstrating how prolific Irish roots have permeated cultures globally over the years. A sampling of the many areas St. Patrick's day is celebrated in includes: Argentina, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Malaysia, Montserrat, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, and the United States. is celebrating St. Patrick's day by encouraging descendants of Irish immigrants to preserve and share their Irish family memories online through photos and stories. Family historians can also freely search over 30 million historic Irish records online or begin building their Irish family trees.

Ireland provides one of the most interesting and challenging genealogies for family researchers, and there are a lot of them. Over 100 million people worldwide claim some Irish heritage. 

A loss of records by fire and problems recording Irish emigrants who boarded ships after the original departure can seem like barriers to genealogists trying to "get back across the pond." The family histories are often available in the emigrant's new country, but finding the lines back in Ireland can be difficult.

Chris Paton, a former BBC television producer, author, and a professional genealogist, says, "Ireland has probably experienced more tragedy when it comes to the preservation of resources for family historians than any other region of the British Isles. Many of the nation's primary records were lost during the civil war in 1922 and through other equally tragic means." 

There is good news, says David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch. "The government of Ireland now considers genealogy an economic resource. It is one of the main reasons for tourism. In the past five years, more resources have been made available than were in the previous 15 years."

Rencher comes by his love of Irish ancestry naturally. Both sides of his family hail from the Emerald Isle. And he's always fascinated by the traditions of celebrating St. Patrick's Day all over the world.

There are good resources online:,,, the public records office of Northern Ireland, and the national archives of Ireland. Counties are coming forward with quality publications of local histories, and the Irish government wants to help those with Irish roots to plan their search. 

Rencher says, "People need to find out specifically where their Irish ancestors hail from. County records are important. Parish records are becoming more available." 

Finding the home town and county of your ancestors is helped by surnames which are often good indicators of where in Ireland someone is from. Employment records in America can contain a birthplace in Ireland. Cemeteries in Ireland are valuable because it was not uncommon for relatives to have a tombstone erected in Ireland although the deceased was buried in another country.

The names of neighbors and friends in a possible village of origin could open up help and hospitality. "The Irish are very generous with their time when people are searching for their Irish roots. Most towns have someone who people regard as the local historian who wants to help. Local libraries are also valuable resources. In any case, people on a pilgrimage to find their family's history in Ireland are welcomed with open arms," Rencher said.

According to Rencher, the best method is to, "Start with what you know and branch out to what you don't know. What artifacts do you have in your home? A Presbyterian Church token has a mark that can tell what congregation in Ireland it's from. Other members of a family might have naturalization certificates or church records. Irish families are so large that artifacts could be with any number of cousins."

It's also important to document the ancestors you find along with any stories or pictures. With 100 million Irish descendants around the world, it's a strong possibility someone you don't know can add details to your history if they can find your photos and stories on free preservation sites DNA results can also help identify where others in your family line are located. 

Because of death and emigration to other countries, the population of Ireland was the same in 1900 as in 1800. Irish emigrants went all over the world for many reasons—mostly looking for new opportunity and a new life. Many had to leave when their landlords moved a tenant off the property so a new tenant could pay higher rents. Others went into military service or worked as indentured servants, working for seven years to pay off their costs of emigrating. Many moved to England, Canada, and America to work as miners and laborers. 

Some got a new start in a developing country. If you had to guess the name of a founder and first president of a newly independent nation in South America, would you guess O'Higgins? If you did, you'd be right. Bernardo O'Higgins became the Supreme Director of Chile in 1817.

On St. Patrick's Day, the saying is, "Everybody is Irish for one day," and that might be literally true. Irish is the second most common ancestry in the United States. It's the fourth largest in Canada. Mexico has 600,000 Irish descendants. And this just names a few. 

Whether you're marching in a St. Patrick's Day parade, helping turn the Chicago River green, wearing garish green socks, or just having some corned beef and cabbage at home, take the time to share your favorite Irish family photos and stories online at So even if you don't think you have any Irish in you, it's now a lot easier to double check”.

Canadian Week in Review 17 March 2014

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


MacMillan Bloedel Limited fonds
The records of MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. are part of University of British Columbia Library's Rare Books and Special Collections, and now they have put it online.

Capilano Timber Company fonds
The Capilano Timber Company Collection forms part of University of British Columbia Library's Rare Books and Special Collections. These are images – photos – that were originally from a single photograph album, and depict the daily operations of the Capilano Timber Company.

Social Media

10 Top Tips for How to Bust Through Your Genealogy Brick Wall
This was posted before in RootsTech 2013 news blog, but I think it bears reposting again, because the information given by Dave Obee in this YouTube video is important to those people researching Canadian roots.

News Stories

Nova Scotia-Maine ferry to start in May
It’s good to see ferry service between Yarmouth and Portland again. In my younger years, I took the ferry many a time on our summer jaunts down to the 'Boston States’ to visit relatives.

Historic stick staying in Canada Stick believed to date back to early 1800s pulled from eBay, destined for museum
Apparently, the so-called “Moffatt Stick,” a curved hunk of maple that experts have confirmed matches the style of sticks used for games of shinny (pond hockey) in eastern North America in the early 19th century, has been sold.

Saint John to become home port for cruise to Portland in 2015
This sounds just wonderful - Blount Small Ship Adventures will offer a 10-day tour of the Bay of Fundy on a 98-passenger ship, with stops in Saint Andrews, GrandManan Island, and Campobello Island.

Irish history in Canada and Quebec is far from timid
Irish-Canadian history is about a lot more than the Great Famine and coffin ships. Jane McGaughey, a professor of Canadian-Irish studies at Concordia University, is investigating Irish participation in the 1837-38 Rebellions.

Reclaim island airport, install Canadian Air and Space Museum: Shirley Bush’s Big Idea
An interesting article - see how she plans to do this!

Newfoundland’s viking connection: Recreated villages and re-enactors heat up history
A group of Greenland Vikings emerged around AD 1000 to establish a settlement on the island of Newfoundland. 

Ed Coleman's history: The Irish started the Town of Kentville
Read the early Irish history of Kemtville, Nova Scotia. 

Alberta offers free admission to museums and heritage sites to recognize military service
The free admission will be permitted to past and present members of the Canadian Forces at five major museums, including the Royal Alberta Museum and the Royal Tyrrell Museum, and 14 historic sites and interpretive centres, such as the Ukrainian Village, the Oilsands Discovery Centre, and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.

Manitoba wants panel to rule on costly census dispute
Manitoba wants the federal government to appoint a panel to rule on whether Statistics Canada undercounted the population by 18,000 in the last census — costing the province $100 million a year in transfer payments.

A historically significant photograph turns up in Nova Scotia
Read what this photo has to say about the 1870 Red River Rebellion when a 1,200-man militia was sent to the Red River district of Manitoba.

Picturesque Lighthouse in the Pacific Northwest Designated under Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act
The Nootka lighthouse, located on the ancestral territory of the Mowachaht-Muchalaht Nation on Vancouver Island, BC, is now protected for years to come under Canada's Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act (HLPA).

Council considers historic designation for Hotel
Canmore's town council is officially considering municipal historic resource designation for the Canmore Hotel.

The lost post: Leslieville man finds letters from a WWI soldier under his Bertmount Ave. porch
Larry McLean hopes to return the stack of old mail discovered during renovations to soldier Leslie Currell’s family.

Montreal Diary: Temporary typhoid hospital helped scuttle 1910 epidemic
At the corner of Lucien L’Allier St. and Overdale Ave, Robert N. Wilkins discovered an abandoned building that was used in 1910 as a provisional facility for those who were suffering from typhoid fever. (This story was first seen on Gail Dever’s blog, Genealogy à la carte, at

Story of the Week

I have been in discussions with various people who will have books published this year on the two anniversaries we will be honouring – the centennial of the beginning of the First World War, and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War.

And now I see where the Canadian government has put a new site on the heritage department called Commemorations of the First and Second World Wars. There isn’t much on the site right now, but I am sure more will be added as we get closer to the actual days the wars began.

In the meantime, there are articles starting to appear in the newspapers about the First and Second World Wars, as there will be ceremonies which will take place all over Canada, and on the battlefields in Europe, and the staging stations for the troops as they arrived in Great Britain.

The Heritage Canada website is

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 24 Match 2014.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

FREE Access:

Enjoy free access from now until March 17th to more than 41 million historical records to find your Irish roots!

Go to

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mocavo offer free access

Cliff Shaw in his blog at Mocavo is offering all Mocavo Basic members free access to all of the premium Mocavo Gold features until Sunday at midnight. 

Over the past few months, he says, “we received so much positive feedback about our free access weekends is offering that we decided to do it again!

Back by popular demand, all Mocavo Basic members can now access all of the premium Mocavo Gold features for free until Sunday at Midnight. This means you can search our entire collection to your heart’s content, upload your tree to receive new discovery alerts, download and print any document you find, and much more”!

During their last free offer, I found a marriage notice of my g-g-aunt Aunt Louisa Barclay (daughter of Andrew Barclay from Shelburne, Nova Scotia) to Caleb Haley of California (formerly of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia) in a New York newspaper. I had been looking for a notice of her marriage for years, because I had been lead to believe they were married in Yarmouth, even though I had known she had taken frequent trip to New York. There is a lesson here - 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

OGS Conference 2014

Steve Fulton U.E., on behalf of the OGS Conference 2014 Committee, has sent out an invite and a reminder that the conference is almost most here! 

The Conference is between May 1 to 4th at Brock University in St Catharines, and here are some of the activities - 

  • Hank Jones Jr - Banquet Speaker - Coming from California

  • Chris Paton - Houston Lecture Speaker - Coming from Scotland

  • Saturday Morning Plenary - International Panel on Social Media

  • Thursday Board Meeting & Greet at Donnelly's Pub in Thorold

They are also providing an opportunity for those who can't come for whatever reason. They will be streaming 7 speakers onto the Internet so you can view them in your home. 

Three Speakers will be streamed in from their locations (England, Salt Lake City & British Columbia). 

Other amazing Speakers and opportunities to meet other genealogists!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Gatineau Valley Historical Society

The Gatineau Valley Historical Society will host An Evening with Brian Doyle that will be held at the Larrimac Golf & Tennis Club, 1148 rte. 105, Chelsea Quebec on Monday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. 

Brian will talk about and read from his 2013 e-book Confessions of a Depression Baby, a series of 24 essays he wrote for the Ottawa Citizen about growing up in the 1930s. 

A former Glebe Collegiate teacher in Ottawa, Brian is best known for his grainy young-adult novels about growing up in Ottawa and along the Gatineau River, and as a consummate storyteller, his 24 essays are no less engaging than the vivid scenes he painted for readers in such books as Angel Square, Up to Low and Easy Avenue.

The website is at

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

FamilySearch Online Training is NOW a Click Away

Kudos to FamilySearch because now you can now get training through the use of  their online manuals. 

Some of the manuals which are available are - 

The Family Tree Reference Manual 

The FamilySearch Learning Center (on this site is the 2014 RootsTech live streaming talks) plus other videos – and they are all FREE)

The Training Link

The Family Tree Quick Start Guide

Monday, March 10, 2014

Canadian Week in Review - 10 March 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.


Timber Trade History
This site tells the Timber Trade History in Canada in the 1800s, and the effect that world events had on the industry.

Social Media

No blogs this week.

New Stories 

Canadian War Museum
The exhibition is called Witness – Canadian Art of the First World War and will be ob at the Canadian War Museum from April 10, 2014 to September 21, 2014 at the Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae Gallery.

It examines how Canadians captured their First World War experiences in art, both at home and overseas, whether as official war artists or as soldiers in the field.

Anne Murray's Nova Scotia hometown of Springhill applying to dissolve status
There is news that the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia is applying to the government to have the town dissolved of its town status. The reason: economics!. 

Roderick Benns: Our prime ministers are worth honouring
The plan for 22 life-sized statues of Canada’s prime ministers, once intended for central parkland in Kitchener, Ontario, has been quashed because 79% of the survey’s 2,441 respondents rejected the plan!

Shilling discovery could rewrite Canadian history
An amateur treasure hunter has discovered a 16th century shilling buried in clay on the shores of Vancouver Island, and he may have found something that may overturn the theory that says that a British explorer (Sir Francis Drake) had made the voyage here two centuries before it was discovered by Spanish sailors. 

Words take on different meanings to describe Quebec’s history
Apparently, young francophones and anglophones see Quebec’s history differently — they even use different words to recount that history.

Heritage policy getting an overhaul
Saskatoon city council has been asked to look at a proposal to create a public database listing all heritage properties in the city, but also a comprehensive resource for people interested in heritage. 

Restoring tradition
Learn of the history of the Pelley House in Boyd’s Cove, Newfoundland, as it receives a Heritage Plaque from the province. 

Medalta receives grant money to preserve kilns
Read how the flood which hit Alberta in 2013 almost destroyed an historic kiln in the torn of Medicine Hat.

After the deluge, High River’s museum thaws out Alberta’s history
And in High River, learn how the archivist is undertaking a groundbreaking project to reanimate part of Alberta’s history that was nearly wiped out by last summer’s floods.

MP Greg Kerr speaks about Cape Forchu Light in House of Commons
The lighthouse at Cape Forchu at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, is on this year’s cover of the 2014 Nova Scotia Doers and Dreamers Travel Guide.

Story of the Week

The Ukrainian Uprising 

In 2011, there were an estimated 1,209,085 persons of full or partial Ukrainian origin residing in Canada. It is the 9th largest group living in Canada. It is the third-largest Ukrainian population behind the Ukraine itself, and Russia.

The first wave of settlement was from 1891 to 1914. The first wave of Ukrainian immigration came to Canada in 1892. Ivan Pylypow helped found the Edna Star Settlement, east of Edmonton, the first and largest Ukrainian block settlement.

The second wave was in 1923 to 1939. The majority of immigrants who came became workers in the growing industrial centers of Montreal and southern Ontario, and the forests of Northern Ontario.

And the third wave from 1945 to 1952, when most of the immigrants were political refugees and displaced persons who tended to move to cities in southern Ontario and Quebec.

With the political unrest in the Ukraine over the past couple of weeks, there had been newspaper reports showing that the Ukraine people in Canada still remember their homeland.

Rich Ukrainian history in Saskatchewan: Province's ties to Ukraine date back to late 1800s
The earliest Ukrainian settlements in Saskatchewan date back to 1896. By the 1930s, Western Canada had over 200,000 Ukrainians.

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 17 Match 2014.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa September 2014 Conference

Here are the speakers who will appear at the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa Conference this fall in Ottawa -

OTTAWA, 8 March 2014 — The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) has announced the speakers for the annual conference, to be held 19-21 September, at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.

For its 20th anniversary year, the society will celebrate with an ambitious program which will help family historians delve into their British Isles roots.

The society expects to welcome more than 250 attendees at the event, which has three special themes:
  •  English family history; 
  •  Immigration from the British Isles, including Home Children; and 
  •  Genetic genealogy. 
“Our nation’s capital is also its family history capital. Every year we have welcomed folks from far and near, researching their ancestors in collections at Library and Archives Canada and learning about resources for discovering their British and Irish roots at our conference ” said BIFHSGO President Glenn Wright.

This year’s conference speakers will include:

Dr. Lucille Campey — emigration historian, author of numerous books on British Isles emigration to Canada who will launch her latest book Ignored but not forgotten - Canada's English Immigrants at the conference.

Gail Dever — BIFHSGO webmaster, social media expert and blogger at Genealogy à la carte

John Dickenson — a former professor at Liverpool University who now researches Canada’s Home Children, especially their involvement in the First World War.

Dr. Janet Few — freelance researcher and prize-winning author specializing in the south-west of England who will give a streamed-in presentation on North Devon immigrants to Canada.

Paul Jones — retired publisher, “Roots” columnist for Canada’s History magazine who speaks frequently on offbeat topics at family history events.

Debbie Kennett — an avid genetic genealogist, author of DNA and Social Networking (2011) and The Surnames Handbook (2012). Debbie is Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London.

Paul Milner — an internationally recognized speaker specializing in British Isles research, author of Discover English Parish Records and Genealogy at a Glance: English Research.

Gary Schroder — long-time President of the Quebec Family History Society and a frequent guest on Quebec radio and television promoting family history research.

In addition, speakers at pre-conference seminars on September 19 will include, from Library and Archives Canada, Paul Marsden and Sylvie Tremblay.

BIFHSGO looks forward to welcoming you at its 20th anniversary conference. Reserve 19-21 September in your agenda now and look for more details coming soon on the society website at

BIFHSGO Contacts: John D. Reid, Conference Program Chair, or Mary-Lou Simac, Publicity Director,

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Free Conference: The Art of Biography

There will be a freeday-long conference on The Art of Biography in Toronto this March. This conference is going to be an excellent opportunity to hear four prominent authors and historians discuss their approach to writing biography, with a focus on Canadian history. It is being presented by the Dictionary of Canadian Biography and Department of History, University of Toronto.

The speakers will be -

CECILIA MORGAN - An (Almost) Accidental Biographer: Finding Lives in the Archives

SUZANNE MORTON - The Exploration of a ‘Hidden Life’ Performing ‘Unhistoric Acts’: Jane B. Wisdom and the Development of Social Work in Canada

JOHN ENGLISH - Writing the Biography of Pierre Elliott Trudeau

CHARLIE FORAN - Richler Was Funny, Why Can’t You Be? On Writing the Biography of Mordecai Richler

The conference is taking place at the Jackman Humanities Building (corner of Bloor and St. George) in Toronto on Saturday March 22, 2014.

If you would like further information about this event or would like to confirm your attendance, please contact Michael Wilcox at 416-946-8593 or by email at:

The website is at

Note: If anyone is going to this conference, I would be interested to hear how it went.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Family History Library: Orders for Microfilm and Fiche Will Be Restricted During April, 2014

FamilySearch posted this notice on their blog Mar 6th –

“The Granite Mountain Vault will be shifting a large amount of films into their newly renovated space. This entails moving half a million rolls of film, and numerous cabinets of fiche and digital media. Since it will be risky to pull items during this time, the Family History Library will not be able to order microfiche or any microfilms above 1,881, 705. Film and fiche with numbers less than 1,881,704 and lower can still be ordered.

This move is scheduled for early April of 2014 and will last about two weeks. Another update will be posted as soon as we have more information.

We are sorry for the inconvenience”.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Times are A-Changing!

Sunday, March 9, the GANS Office Open from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm located at 3258 Isleville Street, Halifax, NS

The time is changing this weekend, but don't be sad! If you're tired on Sunday because you lost an hour's sleep, you can just come into the GANS office in your PJs. We don't mind!

The Office is open to everyone. Stop by to chat, do some internet research, check out our library or buy a publication or membership. Bring a friend!

Twitter: @NSAncestors

The book catalogue of the OGS is on VITA

The Book Catalogue and the Cemetery Locator of the OGS has been moved to VITA, a division of OurOntario (a site which tells the story of Ontario) at

Some feature are –

Family Histories

You can now search our Family History Collection at VITA


The entire Periodical Collection is easier to search. They have now been able to provide more info for their Branch Newsletters, i.e., location information for branch libraries and contact information.

Mystery Photos

They have had the Mystery Photos site on their OGS Old Photos flickr site for a while, and now they have moved them over to the new VITA site and have them all accessible in one place.

WWI Memorial Wall

I know that the OGS has wanted to do something like this for a number of years. If you have a WWI vet in your family and you would like to share their photo and a bit about their life, the OGS would be honoured to include your WWI vet on our Memorial Wall.

Where are your Ontario Roots?

This is brand new for OGS, an interactive feature where you can share a bit of history about your family and your Ontario roots! You will find this located on the top right hand corner of the page.

Contact if you have any questions.

Editor’s Note: Your editor has used this new service and has found it to be very good. I had a series of surnames, and place names that I wanted to check, and the search feature worked very fast and was complete. Have you tried it yet? How did you find it? Was it a good finding research tool, or could it be improved?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Was your ancestors buried in Ottawa between 1828 and 1845?

I first became aware of this story at the end of last year, while doing the Canadian Week in Review, my weekly online newspaper summary.

As it turned out, the construction crew with the Light Rail Tunnel who has been digging beneath Queen Street in downtown Ottawa, came upon burials in the area.

Subsequently, it was determined that they were the remains in the Barrack’s Hill Cemetery, and that they would have to be removed and reburied elsewhere.

So Ontario's Registry of Cemeteries is looking for descendants of persons buried in the Barrack’s Hill Cemetery which existed near Elgin & Queen Streets in Ottawa between 1828 and 1845.

Descendants will have a say in where the remains are placed if they contact the Registrar by March 21, 2014.

You can contact the registry by going to

For a history of the Barrack’s Hill Cemetery, you can go to the

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Kensington Market Childhood

There will be an upcoming event at the Lillian H. Smith Library at 239 College Street Toronto called A Kensington Market Childhood on March 20th, 2014 at 6:30 pm.

Leslie McGrath, Head, Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books will present a talk on the programs for children run by the Toronto Public Library from Boys and Girls House on St. George St., and Lillian Butovsky will talk about growing up above the family grocery store at 45 Bellevue Avenue, the youngest child and only daughter of Joe and Sadie Winemaker. Lillian will share memories of growing up in Kensington Market with her five older brothers in the 1940s.

Information is available at

The Toronto Public Library has an on-going series of lectures Finding Your Roots at the Library, as well as Grace: A Teacher’s Life, One Room Schools, and a Century of Change in Ontario on March 19th, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the North York Central Library, Room 1.

Join Millie Morton as she talks about her book. Hear about how it was to grow up on a farm, teach in one-room schools, and live in small rural Ontario communities

Go to the Toronto Public Library genealogy website at

Monday, March 3, 2014

Canadian Week in Review - 03 March 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

Black History Month is Not a Feel-Good Mass Therapy Session
Dr. Lisa Tomlinson, in the Huffington Post blog, offers her view on Black History Month.

Top five Team Canada wins in hockey history
Here are the top five Team Canada hockey victories in history (with accompanying videos).

New Montcalm videoconferencing activity - Quebec High School students virtually visit the Plains of Abraham
Here is a new way to learn history. The National Battlefields Commission has produced new video called Montcalm, an interactive way to learn about the history of the siege of Québec and the battles of the Plains of Abraham.

So Many Ancestors!
Beth Gatlin studies her ancestors including a Canadian ancestor, Ann Walker, whom she thinks was born in Ontario, Canada.

South Coast Family Research
This blogger is studying the surname Hiscock in Canada, as well as in other countries such as England and Wales.

News Stories

Groups worry Saskatoon historic site threatened by cell tower
The Friends of the Forestry Farm House and the Saskatoon Heritage Society are teaming up to try and protect what they consider to be a valuable piece of prairie history, but SaskTel already has approval for the tower.

History and memory lives in the archives at the Stony Plain Multicultural Heritage Centre
John Althouse, from the Alberta Genealogical Society, says taking a course may be the best way to get started — and incidentally, he’s teaching a few of them in March at the Multicultural Heritage Centre in Stony Plain.

Vaughan African Canadian Association pays tribute to accomplishments of community
Members of the Vaughan African Canadian Association marked Black History Month with a brunch at the GTA Faith Alliance office in Richmond Hill last Saturday.

The story of Canada in Oshawa: Historical prints on display at Robert McLaughlin Gallery
The prints, which date from the late 18th to the late 19th centuries, are being publicly exhibited for the first time. There is a video on the news site called Capturing Canada.

Never pause blankly over history
Red Deer historian, Michael Dawe, is the subject of an article that talks about Alberta history.

Young Newport woman nets provincial African Heritage Month award
A West Hants resident is one of six recipients of a provincial award recognizing young Nova Scotians of African descent who are making positive contributions to their communities.

Inclusive society best way to honour pioneers
There is an opinion piece in The Chronicle Herald which says that the best way to honour the pioneers of our community is to include them in our history – something which is not always done.

Column: For one dollar, a history of Nova Scotia,-a-history-of-Nova-Scotia%0D%0A/1
Learn how a family discovered how the book Atlantic Hearth: Early Homes and Families of Nova Scotia was available for a dollar on the Internet.

Conservation of Painted House earns AGNS a heritage award
The Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia has recognized the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia for its conservation of Maud Lewis’ painted house.

Redpath Mansion is history — will be demolished
After a 10-day reprieve, Quebec Culture Minister Maka Kotto issued a decision late Friday declaring the mansion, built in 1886 for the Redpath family, “does not present a national heritage interest” and can be torn down.

City riddle of WWI soldier's ID found in Sefton Park
Thomas Evans from Liverpool, England found a WW1 Canadian dog tag in 1991 as he was planting daffodil bulbs for the Field of Hope in Sefton Park, England. And he is wondering how to get in touch with the descendants so that he can return the tags. This story was first seen on Gail Dever’s blog, Genealogy à la carte at

Story of the Week

March 8th is International Women’s Day in Canada , and this year, the theme of the day is Strong Women. Strong Canada. Canadian Women – Creating Jobs One Business at a time.

Some facts about women and business in Canada are –

According to the BMO Financial Group, women-owned businesses currently employ over 1.5 million Canadians. The same study indicated that 71% of Canadian women would like to start their own business

Each year, March 8 and the week of March 8 provide an opportunity to take stock of our progress towards gender equality of women in Canada. We honour the contributions women have made and are making — both in Canada and around the world.

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 10 Match 2014.