Monday, July 6, 2015

Canadian Week in Review 06 July 2015

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

This Week in Canadian History

In 1784, Britain split the colony of Nova Scotia into three separate colonies: New Brunswick, Cape Breton Island, and present-day peninsular Nova Scotia. The capital city was Sydney.

In 1820, the colony of Cape Breton Island was once again merged with Nova Scotia.
To read more information, go to

In 1833, Capt. John Ross and 19 of his crew were rescued from Baffin Island. After their ship became ice-bound, they survived by living with Inuit for three years.

He led three Arctic expeditions, the last one in 1850, when he set out to find Sir John Franklin. Upon returning, he settled in Scotland, and died in London in 1856.
For further information, go to

Social Media

(Photos) History of Digby’s old public clock – new town clock to be dedicated this Saturday
Digby’s new town clock will be the first one on Water Street since 1963, when the old post office was torn down.


Nova Scotia

Why no Loyalist Day for Nova Scotia?
The Loyalists' arrival in Nova Scotia after the American Revolution doubled the province’s population, and today 20 percent or more of Nova Scotians could have an ancestor who was a United Empire Loyalist.

Local lighthouse competing for top prize
The Port Bickerton Lighthouse is battling it out with other lighthouses in Nova Scotia in Heritage Canada’s “This Lighthouse Matters” crowd-funding competition, which began June 17.
Parks Canada has just named 74 lighthouses at

Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf remembered over Bedford Days
Thousands of people will celebrate Bedford Days over the weekend, and many will do so in DeWolf Park, the waterfront hub for the Halifax community.
   Few may know the man who gave the park its name: Bedford resident and naval hero, Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf.

Prince Edward Island

Battle of Waterloo P.E.I. veteran celebrated
A ceremony Thursday commemorated a veteran of the Battle of Waterloo, whose grave was recently discovered in a small community in eastern P.E.I.

Feasts, workshops from Macphail's new kitchen
A newly-renovated kitchen at P.E.I.'s Sir Andrew MacPhail Homestead is allowing the historic property to expand its programming.

New Brunswick

Birch bark canoe from 1800s fails to excite museum community
The canoe is around 195 years old, and it has been stored upside down in Richard Paul's garage. It is wrapped carefully in plastic to keep its fragile web of ribs and birch bark intact.


Don Murray Museum collection goes to auction
In a two-day auction to be held July 4 and 5, Don Murray will disburse his extensive collection of antiques, collectibles, and artifacts from his private on-site museum.


Historic church gateway to Alberta’s past
A solitary church stands near a natural ford by the Bow River along Highway 1A between Cochrane and Morley.
   In its 140th year, the George McDougall Memorial United Church is a monument to what once was, and a reflection to what has developed since.

Grain elevators as art in Spruce Grove
Last weekend was a busy one for the Spruce Grove Agricultural Society as they played host to the Alberta Grain Elevator Society (AGES) and its membership from across the province

The Stories This Week

Read the whole census, please!
One thing that beginning genealogists don’t do is read enough. And they would say, “I read everything. I have never had so much to read in all my life – history, immigration, profile ...”.

But I ask, “When you try to find your ancestor in the 1851/52 census, for example, do you read every page of the census? There may be facts lying there in the weeds, so to speak, which you may not discover on the first reading of the census report of that particular area that the ancestor is from.”

For example, the census of this particular effort was taken by an English-speaking enumerator. When it came to surnames, he wrote down what he heard. And since many of the people were French – the surnames are somewhat “tortured”, so to speak.

Second, there are a number of pages to this particular census.

If you can’t find your ancestor, maybe they were in jail, for instance. On this particular census, two people were in jail, and the enumerator wrote them on the last pages of the census – albeit removed a number of pages from where I was looking at my ancestor.

Also, on the first pages of the census, the enumerator wrote a small description of the village in which he gave a picture of the place as it was in 1851/1852.

So the moral of the story is to watch what you read. Make sure you read all of the census, and don't disregard the "small stuff:".

And that was the Canadian genealogy, history, and heritage news in Canada this past week!

 Canada Day Contest

This year, for the annual Canada Day Contest sponsored by the Canadian Week in Review, the skill-testing question is -

This year, Canadians celebrate the birthday of Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. The question is - When was his birthday, and where was he born? Hint: Like a true immigrant, he wasn't born in Canada!

One winner will be drawn from the correct entries.

The lucky contestant will get a free consultation with me in which they will be told of some of the places they can look to hopefully discover the year in which their Canadian ancestor immigrated to Canada, or some other detail.

The contest will close at the end of Canada History Week at midnight on Wednesday, 07 July 2015.

Place "Canada Day Contest" in the subject of the email to

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

If you missed last week’s edition, it is at

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