Monday, January 19, 2015

Canadian Week in Review - 19 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 1891, famed Montreal heart surgeon, Dr. Wilder Penfield, was born in Spokane, Washington, USA.
   Read about him and his work at

In 1924, the Canadian Red Ensign was given official recognition as Canada’s official flag until the Maple Leaf was adopted in 1965.
   Read a chapter from the book, The Canadian Ensigns, at

Social Media

Gnarly Roots
   Mariana Pickering is transcribing from a 1927 diary that her 2x grandmother had written while living in Arlington, Massachusetts, outside Boston. She had been born in Nova Scotia.



Database will recognize Mi’kmaq ancestry of soldiers who served in the First World War
   Maura Hanrahan, award-winning author, is putting together an online database of all the Mi’kmaq soldiers who served in the First World War.

Nova Scotia

MacNeil clan shocked as DNA checks force rewrite of history
   Modern-day MacNeils have revealed their roots actually lie with the Vikings,and not the Irish.

Don Reid has been known as the ‘keeper of the cliffs.’
   Reid’s large collection of fossils helped make Joggins, Nova Scotia, a World Heritage Site, but Reid also boasts a collection of more than 2,000 antique bottles.

MORE ABOUT THIS LATER: The thread of a family
   Read about the Pratt family of Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and their influence on the cultural life in Canada.


History students at Montreal university on strike
   A history program at L'Université du Québec à Montréal is in limbo because the students went on strike, demanding full authority to determine the curriculum and pick their professors.


Feds spend $50K on Canadian flag birthday celebration

The federal government has allotted $50,000 for celebrations for the upcoming 50th birthday of the iconic Maple Leaf flag

Canadian MP offers excellent primer on the Canadian Flag, and its history
   For more on Canada's national flag, and to download a bilingual PDF poster on the history of the flag, visit Member of Parliament (for Ottawa-Vanier) Mauril Bélanger's webpage at

Museum gets the royal treatment
   Deanne Crothers recently had the opportunity to speak as the MLA of St. James to the designation that Queen Elizabeth II has given the Aviation Museum of Western Canada. The museum will now be known as the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada, an honour that is not given lightly.


Turning the Tide closing, owner fears demolition of historic Saskatoon buildings
   Turning the Tide has been located in a small, old house at 525 11th Street East, just off of Broadway Avenue, for the last 11 years. The shop, which sells books about social justice and environmental sustainability, was given until January 31 to vacate, store owner Peter Garden said.


Alberta community loses piece of history in fire
   One of three old Alberta Wheat Pool grain elevators in the town of Sexsmith was destroyed by a blaze Tuesday evening. No one was hurt. Residents said the building wasn’t in use.

British Columbia

Historic church part of downtown’s heritage
   Ven. Ron Corcoran, co-rector of the Church of Our Lord, wonders why the church was not mentioned in an article about downtown Victoria, British Columbia.

Stories of the Week

There are free apps at now at the AppGallery.

There are 50 apps to find those that meet their specific need, platform, operating system, and price. For example, if a patron is looking for a highly-rated app that will help them find specific records in their family tree, the app gallery will allow them to filter and find several relevant partner apps to choose from.

Dennis Brimhall, FamilySearch CEO, says “We’ve had partners for many years, and now we want to make it easier for our patrons to know about them and to find the apps they need”.

So spend a few minutes and look around the site. It is very pleasantly arranged, and I found it easy to use.

The AppGallery is at

Tim Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of, has recently published his “state of the Union” address to users, about what has been accomplished in 2014, and what new databases are coming in 2015.

But as I read the letter to the users ― he says that we can “Look for exciting additions like 170 million searchable images of probate records and wills that might reveal your ancestor’s dying wishes, all vital records from Virginia since 1900, substantial releases from Germany, and a milestone collection of almost 80 million Mexico Civil Birth, Marriage and Death records spanning from 1860 to modern day”, ― I don’t see any mention of new collections for Canadians. offered 26 new collections and four updated collections during 2014, but we are left wondering what will be added to the list this year.

To read the letter, go to

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!

If you missed last week's post on 12 January 2015, visit

The next post will be published 26 January 2015.