Monday, January 12, 2015

Canadian Week in Review - 12 January 2015

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.


In 1955, the opening of the Canadian Parliament was broadcast on television for the first time.
   To read about Canada’s form of government, go to

On 1805, the first issue of the Quebec Mercury was published.
    It is interesting to note that “The Quebec Mercury was to become a key political tool for the Tories, vigorously denouncing the initiatives of the Canadian Party”.
Social Media

Alex Inspired
   As is true with so many genealogies, you can trace ancestor’s from Canada to Minnesota, New York, California, and Ireland.

Curating Kin
   Follow Chriss as she traces her family from Ireland to Niagara Falls, Ontario.

A Parcel of Ribbons
   This blog concerns Joseph Scott, brother of John Scott, an émigré who first went from Ireland to the New World in the 1720s, then went to Canada, where he built himself a delightful manor house at Fort Sackville, Bedford, Nova Scotia on land that had belonged to his brother, George.

(Video) Louis Gossett Jr. ‘amazed’ by Canadian story in Book of Negroes
   An interview with Louis Gossett Jr. and his role on the Book of Negroes, partly filmed in Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

(Photos) Halifax bookbinders recreate The Book of Negroes
   Joe Landry and Katherine Victoria Taylor spent weeks creating the prop for the miniseries.



Newfoundland students part of Antarctic expedition
   On Friday the students and staff from the M/V Ushuaia landed by Zodiac at Danco Island, Neko Harbour, and Goudier Island along the Antarctic Peninsula.

Nova Scotia

It’s 2015, and a scalping law is still on the books
    Britain’s colonial government issued three proclamations offering bounties on human beings. Two of those were formally repealed in 1752. The third, ordered in 1756 by Governor William Lawrence, remains. And nobody is sure that the law can be repealed.

From the shores of Nova Scotia, Israel’s first soldiers
   During the summer of 1917, Windsor, Nova Scotia was home to some of Israel’s founding fathers, and there were hundreds of Jewish boys from New York, Montreal, Russia, and Palestine who were the first to put on a uniform of the Israeli Defence Force.

The Book of Negroes, shot in Nova Scotia, debuts on TV

   The majority of the film, The Book of Negroes, was shot in Shelburne, my hometown. It will air on CBC Television on Wednesdays until February 11th.

Book of Negroes tops ratings for its time slot
   1.7 million viewers tune in to  this adaption of Lawrence Hill's book.

Prince Edward Island

Charlottetown restoration reveals building’s heritage
   Read how Chris Tweel renovated an 1880s brick building in the heart of Charlottetown, P.E.I.


Sir John A. Macdonald turns 200
   Randy Boswell writes an excellent article on the supposed “birthdate” of Sir John A. Macdonald of Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photos) In a war-soaked world, Mennonites struggled for a peaceful response
   In the fall of 1917, as the carnage of the First World War seemed endless, a young Mennonite woman in Guelph wrote to her bishop for advice.

Historical protection of Windsor, Ont., street curbs halts driveway construction
   In Windsor, Ontario, the presence of 130-year-old stone curbs is considered a matter of cultural heritage, and is being protected by the city.

George Daszkowski: Passionate protector of the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame's archives
   George Daszkowski, who recently passed away, believed in the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, particularly the archives. Although he was a walking encyclopedia of racing knowledge, he believed strongly in the storing, filing, and indexing/cross-referencing of photographs and documents in order to create and maintain a historical record of the sport.


Delving into family history
   For those who are curious to gain insight to their family history but don't know much about historical research, the High River Library is offering a beginner’s genealogy course in January and February.

Ukrainian Christmas festivities celebrate a rich heritage
   Ukrainian Catholics and Orthodox Christians around the world follow the Julian calendar, and celebrate Christmas on January 7th.

Fort Calgary uncovers mummified rat, 1890s newspaper during Hunt House restoration
   Fort Calgary workers are uncovering a wide range of rare artifacts as they continue to restore the Hunt House in Inglewood.
   A mummified rat, a child's toy, and a 125-year-old newspaper are some of the items that have been discovered in the building, and buried beneath the structure.

British Columbia

Province commissions book commemorating history of Chinese Canadians
   The province of B.C. has set aside $100,000 for a book that celebrates the achievements of eminent Chinese Canadians.

B.C. whaling – an uncomfortable history
   An Op-Ed piece by on the whaling industry by Kate Humble from British Columbia.

Events to salute Alberni maritime history
   The Port Alberni Maritime Heritage Society is kicking off its winter season with the first of three presentations.
Stories of the Week

Do you realize that one in four Canadians cannot identify Sir John A. Macdonald as the first prime minister of Canada?
This sad news is the result of a recent Ipsos Reid poll commissioned by Historica Canada.
Not shocking enough? Well, according to the poll, 28% of Canadians polled didn’t even know the year of Confederation!
For readers not familiar with the year Canada became a country—including the aforementioned 28% who missed this question—the answer is 1867.
How about this? Forty-four per cent of respondents didn’t know that Canada will turn 150 years old in 2017. This is also disturbing, for it means that either this group didn’t know the year of Confederation (essential to do the calculation), or they did know it, and in doing the math, failed basic addition (or subtraction, depending on one’s methodology in performing calculated date functions).
Either way, it shows that of the 44% who got the wrong answer, 100% of this group failed rudimentary Canadian history, and/or rudimentary math.
Oh, my!
I could go on and on...
Maybe we need more Heritage Minutes! (An excellent series of vignettes – well-worth a look).
The full results of the poll is found here -
Canadian Recipients of the Victoria Cross Honoured through the "Toll of War," a project that tells the stories of the valour and sacrifice of Canadians in the World Wars.
The press release says that the “Funding for a unique visual and educational program that will inform Canadians about the wartime actions and sacrifices of Canadian soldiers during the World Wars was announced today by the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Member of Parliament (Fredericton), on behalf of the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.”
The Victoria Cross was created by Queen Victoria in 1856, and was awarded to Canadians in all conflicts up to the end of the Second World War. The last Victoria Cross to be awarded to a Canadian was in 1945. There have been 98 Canadian recipients (Canadian-born, serving in the Canadian Army, or having a close link to Canada).
A new Canadian honour, the Canadian Victoria Cross—which retains the same design and the same awarding criteria as the British Victoria Cross—was unveiled by the Governor General on May 16, 2008. It joined a suite of Canadian Military Valour Decorations that include the Star of Military Valour and the Medal of Military Valour.
News has reached us that Tim Cook, adjunct research professor in the Department of History at Carleton University in Ottawa, has been named to the Order of Canada
You will know this name because of Cook’s work at the Canadian War Museum and for his contributions to promoting Canada’s military history as an author, researcher, and curator.
He is the author of eight books, including Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War, 1917-1918, a winner of the Charles Taylor prize for literary non-fiction. His latest book, The Necessary War, was published this year, and is the first of two volumes on Canadians in the Second World War. The second volume, Fight to the Finish, will be published next fall.
The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community, and service to the nation. Since then, more than 6,000 Canadians from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.
Have you been following the Early Ontario Teachers & Pupil List 1838-1916 on the Olive Tree Blog at
Although I don’t have any ancestors in Ontario at that time, this list can be important to those people who do.
You might also want to get a copy of Education and Ontario Family History by Marian Press through the Ontario Genealogical Society’s online store at
And that was the week in Canadian genealogy, history, and heritage news!
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 19 January 2015.