Showing posts with label BIFHSGO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BIFHSGO. Show all posts

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Anglo-Celtic Roots - Winter 2011

The first article in the Winter 2011 edition of Anglo-Celtic Roots, the newsletter of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO), belongs to Sharon Callaghan.

While reading through "Genealogy Clues – Know Your Sources", I discovered that it is the first time I have seen Quebec records explained in this way. (This is important to me. Although my husband has had his genealogy done as far as BMDs are concerned, the article goes way beyond that, with additional records).

She divides records into four distinct categories – Most Common Searches, which includes directories, censuses, and BMDs; Less Common Searches, which includes obituaries, coroner's reports, and wills; Uncommon Searches, which includes groups, institutions, and photographers; and Most Uncommon Searches, which includes newspapers, and notaries.

I will be taking this copy of Anglo-Celtic Roots with me when I go to Quebec City later this year to do more research on my husband's genealogy.

Other articles include "What Happened to the Hodge Home Children?" by Bryan D. Cook; "'Hugh' Wouldn't Thought It?" by Christine Jackson; "The Cream of the Crop" by John D. Reid; and "The Bookworm" by Betty Warburton.

As usual, another great issue!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

The past year of 2011 was great as far as Canadian Genealogy was concerned!

For the Ontario Genealogy Society (OGS), it was their 50th Anniversary (which was celebrated in Hamilton), the OGS and the National Institute for Genealogical Studies started a partnership, and TONI (The Ontario Names Index) was started.

It was also the year of the 17th Conference of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ontario (BIFHSGO), and the beginning of covering the Conference using Social Media tools (I was one of their Official Bloggers, which included John D. Reid of Anglo-Celtic Connections blog fame, and Susan Davis, BIFHSGO's Director of Communications, and presenter of her excellent and informative lecture, “A Social Media Primer for Family Historians”).

My blog was very successful this year: I published 326 posts, and I made many new friends over the year through the blog. It was the first year that I tried a series of blog postings for Remembrance Week, and it was extremely well-received.

Another year has past as Editor of Families, the journal of the Ontario Genealogical Society, and I had a year of exceptional papers submitted and published. And it doesn't look like it will slow down ...

So I wish everyone a Very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year, and may all of those Genealogy Wishes (and you know what they are) do come true for you!


Monday's Post: 4th Blogiverary

Monday, December 26, 2011

My List of Books for the Holidays

These are five books Canadian books that I have found particularly helpful to me during the past year, and which I have used in doing my own genealogy. I would suggest that you may find them helpful, too -

British Home Children: Their Stories. Compiled by the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (ISBN 978-1-926797-47-2). A compilation of personal essays in which 36 children tell their life stories of how they came to Canada, and the life they lived here between 1869 and 1948.

The book is available from Global Genealogy at

Tracing Your Irish Roots is published by Moorshead Magazines (ISBN 978-0-9781592-6-9). A great collection of fifteen articles previously printed by the publisher since 2005.

It is available through Moorshead Magazines at

And as part of a series, her sister publication, Tracing Your English and Scottish Ancestors also has fifteen articles in it about English and Scottish genealogy.

It is available from

One of the best books published in 2010—and which I use as my "go to" book on immigration, citizenship, and naturalization—is Dave Obee's book, Destination Canada: A Genealogical Guide to Immigration Records. (ISBN: 978-0-9735143-3-9)

For any questions that I am asked about immigration, I always include Obee's book in my searching for the answer because I want to make sure that I am aware of all of the facts surrounding immigration to Canada.

To read the rest of the review, go to

The book is available from

Glenn Wright's Canadians at War 1914-1919, A Research Guide to World War One Service Records (ISBN13: 978-1-926797-45-5). This is a very detailed book on the resources available to a researcher on the Canadians who fought in the First World War.

A military archivist at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) before his retirement a number of year ago, he has left no stone unturned in his description of the resources available to the researcher. You can read the full review in Families, the journal of the Ontario Genealogical Society (a membership in the organization is required), or from Global Genealogy's listing at

Saturday, December 3, 2011

BIFHSGO's Great Moments in Genealogy

On Saturday, December 10th, from 10:00 am to 11:30 a.m. at the Library and Archives Canada, BIFHSGO (British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa) will present their annual "Christmas gift" for everyone - they will have four different topics presented by four different people.

The topics will be -

"How I Found 'Uncle Effie' While Helping to Research a WWII Pilot" by Mary Anne Sharpe

She will talk about how she was contacted by a genealogy researcher who was helping a Belgian man contact the families of several RAF airmen so he could round out the stories of the men who are buried in his local cemetery in Kaggevinne, Belgium.

Mary Anne will explain how she found out about the shooting down of a young WWII pilot from Sault Ste. Marie, the involvement in the search for information about the death of a man Mary Anne had always known as "Unle Effie", and how she found that both men were her cousins!

"Professor Robinson – Where did you come from?" by Roberta Kay

Professor William Robinson was the founder of the Department of Engineering, Mining, and Textile sections of the University College of Nottingham, England. Hear how she pieced together the life of her ancestor with a variety of resources, and which methods were used to uncover William's birth place.

"Revelations in a Paper Bag and a Shoe Box" by Anne Sterling

See how the discovery of inherited family photos and newly-found ones led her to meet various third- and fourth-cousins, and then do further research of a family in Fitzroy Township, Carleton County.

"Fun Boy, Fly Boy, My Reclusive Uncle" by Ted Lawrence

Kenneth Lawrence, born in 1918, was a fun-loving gregarious youngster, a practical joker, partier, and sports enthusiast in his high school years, and an inspired and courageous pilot during WWII.

This meeting is FREE, and if you haven't gone to a meeting before, BIFHSGO members would love to see you there. They are great people, and are eager to talk genealogy to you at the drop of a hat.

For more information, go to

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BIFHSGO 2011 Conference – Day 3

The last day was clear and sunny, and the crowd was eager to start. The first session was with Susan Davis, “A Social Media Primer for Family Historians”.

Susan, who is BIFHSGO's Director of Communications, had the sold-out crowd in the palm of her hand as she explained Social Media.

She frequently polled the people to see how many were already on Twitter, Facebook, had a blog, etc. It was evident not many of the people have taken advantage of the new social media but they were there to learn – which is exactly what the talk was about!

The second session I went to was “Solving Genealogical Problems Using English Probate Records” by Linda Reid.

She used her own ancestors to illustrate some of the problems she encountered when looking at the probate records. Through researching wills, she was able to discover new relationships in the family, and therefore was able to solve genealogical problems.

The third session was “Master and Mates: Sounding the Depths of Merchant Marine Records” by Barbara Tose. She told us how she traced the genealogy of her great-grand grandfather, William Tose, by using the records of the British Merchant Marine.

The fourth session was given by Sherry Irvine, “Resting Peacefully in Essex – While I Was Becoming a Better Genealogist”, and was the closing talk of the Conference.

She talked about advanced research skills (evidence orientation, thought processes, record selection, and trailblazing) as they related to research in Essex County (England),and how she was able to solve a number of problems.

The conference presented a good mixture of primers and advanced sessions. One can hope that the organizers continue to present sessions like this next year. They had something for everyone. Also, one hopes that they have the ever-growing popular Friday sessions next year also.

Listening to the pre-conference interviews by John D. Reid and Brian Glenn before going to the conference really helped me. I wish everyone would have done this before going to the Conference. I found the Conference easier to understand, and it increased its value to me.

Be sure to check out the Facebook, and Twitter pages at!/BIFHSGO. Both of them give you an excellent account of what it was like to attend the Conference.

There are new Podcasts on their site by Brian Glenn at of the Marketplace. Rick Roberts of Global Genealogy at, Elizabeth Kipp of the Guild of One-Name Studies at, and Robin Cushnie of the Osgoode Township Historical Society and Museum at are some of the people who were in the Marketplace. Their interviews are interesting, so be sure to listen to it!

And finally, the people at BIFHSGO are in the process of posting conference handouts at the “Members Only” site. There are also details about the 10% discount for BIFHSGO members on all courses offered by Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Limited to the “Members Only” area of their site.

The next BIFHSGO Conference will be held (tentatively) from Sept 14-16, 2012.

Their website is at

Saturday, September 17, 2011

BIFHSGO Fall Newsletter

While the Conference is going strong, I took a few minutes earlier this week to write down some notes from the Fall 2011 edition of Anglo-Celtic Roots, BIFHSGO's newsletter.

It should be noted that Jean Kitchen is the new Editor of the newsletter, having taken over from Chris MacPhail.

One of the articles, Her Majesty's Hospitality, by John D. Reid, is about the everyday life in the Coldbath Fields Prison where his great-grandfather spent a four-month sentence for embezzling 30 pounds from his employer – the London and County Bank Branch on Oxford Street in London.

John went to the London Metropolitan Archives, looked through the files, and discovered what life was like for his great-grandfather while at the prison.

Michael De St. Croix and Bryan D. Cooke have written a 6-page article on Florence O'Bayle's Irish-Anglo-Canadian Lineage (Michael's grandmother) to try and produce the correct genealogy of her life in England before she came to Canada, - and once here, her marriage to W. T. Tully, a railway executive.

You are taken through the process, and follow as they go through the marriage records, the baptism records, the confirmation records, and the Oath of Identity for the Old Age Pension in Canada.

Elizabeth Kipp returns again to bring us up-to-date with the yDNA results of the Blake family. The yDNA test now shows that there were two Theophilus BLAKEs, and the family is descendant from the Blake who emigrated from the British Isles in 1745, was located at Chester County, Pennsylvania, and by 1764 was living in Bath County, Virginia, and not from the other Theophilus Blake, who lived in New Hampshire.

The fourth article by Bill Arthur tells the story of how the Arthur and Hamilton families crossed in Ireland, back in the 14th Century, and how he awaits more surprises as a newly-discovered researcher enters the picture.

You can read the story in his article Homeward Bound from Bannockburn: Another Great Moment.

The website for BIFHSGO is

Friday, September 9, 2011

Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC)

As we approach the 75th Anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War in 2013, there are a number of events coming up in the future that you may want to attend, or read about on the Internet.

One of them is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC).

Mr. Douglas Townend, an avid collector of memorabilia related to the Corps, will be displaying his extensive collection at the LeBreton Gallery, Canadian War Museum on Saturday, September 17, 2011 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Their Canadian War Museum is at

This event will be the same day as the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa Conference which is being held just up the hill from the War Museum at the Library and Archives Canada, so I will be unable to attend.

For a history of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps, these places have their history online -

The Canadian Encyclopedia

The Juno Beach Centre

Canadian Women's Army Corps's_Army_Corps

Saturday, July 23, 2011

British Home Children Talk

The first Fall meeting of the Ottawa Media Club will be Monday, September 19, 2011. at 6 pm at the Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa.

There will be a talk on the British Home Children called Great Expectations – The Middlemore Experience.

Between 1873-1932, more than 5,000 Birmingham children were settled in Ontario and the Maritimes, by John T. Middlemore of Birmingham. This startling event will be explained, following exhaustive research for her book, by author Dr. Patricia Roberts-Pichette and research assistant Caroline Herbert.

Dr. Patricia Roberts-Pichette and Caroline Herbert are both members of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa, and the organization has the Home Children database on the website">

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Anglo-Celtic Roots Summer 2011

The Summer 2011 edition of Anglo-Celtic Roots has just been issued, and it contains the 2010 Reports which were given at the AGM in June meeting as well as papers written by various members.

For instance, An Introduction to Researching Your Roots in Northern Ireland by William Roulston talks about such records as Census Records, Church Records, Irish Family History Foundation, and gives a very good examples of Administrative Divisions – Barony, County, Parish, Poor Law Union, Province, and Township.

The second article is He Wore His Buttons Well by Barbara Tose in which she relates the true story of the SS Antinoe, a freighter which was carrying wheat from New York to Ireland when she ran into a storm in the Atlantic off of the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The story in interesting because her great-uncle Harry Tose was the captain of the ship.

The last paper in this issue is Harry Gray's Pub by Brenda Turner in which she talks about finding out the story behind a pub that her uncle Harry used to own in London during the Second World War. She describes the help she got from the Guildhall, and the experiences her uncle witnessed during the war.

One item I found interesting to read was Stars of the 2011 BIFHSGO Conference by John D. Reid in which he talks about some of the people who will be presenting at the Conference this fall in Stars of the 2011 BIFGSGO Conference. People like Audrey Collins, Sherry Irvine, Helen Osborn, Linda Reid, and Gary Schroder have their bios in this issue of the journal.

You may contact BIFHSGO by going to

Monday, September 21, 2009

BIFHSGO Conference - Panel Discussion

On Sunday afternoon, at the closing of the BIFHSGO conference, a spirited panel discussion entitled, "Future Trends in Family History and Genealogical Research", was chaired by Glenn Wright.

L to R: Glenn Wright, Moderator, with panelists John D. Reid, Colleen Fitzpatrick, and Bryan D. Cook

Colleen brought up two points - you can't stop technology, and that the people who don't get with the program (newer technology) will eventually die out because this is where it is all heading.

Bryan said he see changes in four areas of genealogy -

He thinks that data will continue to go online as free and pay-per-view, that fee-based services will continue to increase and the market expand, that DNA testing will pick-up even more, and that people will go on telling the stories of their ancestors, but worries about who, or what service, will be available to safeguard the stories for the telling.

John said that he sees the next big thing on the horizon as the machine-read digitization of newspapers.

"If civil registration and census online was wonderful progress, digitized newspapers are, or will be, a revolution," he said.

You can read the full text of his remarks on his blog, <>.

He noted that none of the local newspapers have been digitized - those held by the Library and Archives Canada - but there is always hope!

There were about 150 attendees taking part, and when question time came, there were lots of questions.

The audience seemed generally affected by the discussion, and were concerned by the not being able to attract new members to the societies, and what they would do with their work of family histories after they had finished with them.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

2009 - Year of the Home Child

Did you know that 2009 is the Year of the Home Child?

I found out about it by reading the "Ottawa Branch News", which arrived in the mail recently. It was a short notice included under "Interesting Web Sites".

There is a British website <> dedicated to the Descendants of the British Home Children (BHC). They have appeared to have declared 2009 as the Year of the Home Child.

Between 1869 and 1948, over 100,000 children were sent to Canada from the UK.

They have had quite a few events (some of them are listed for Canada), but I was more interested in links they had to other organizations, of which one caught my attention because it is in Canada. They also have "Images From Our Past", which provides photos of Home Children.

Locally, there is the BIFHSGO Home Children Index at <>.

Dave and Kay Lorente—BIFHSGO Hall of Fame members—started researching Home Children in 1991, and later signed a memorandum of understanding with BIFHSGO to let them take over the researching for Home Children.

Today, when you go to the website, you will see their work in a free, searchable database.

So far, they have put on children who immigrated to Canada between 1869 and 1948, and the indexing of the Middlemore Home Children who arrived between 1873 and 1933.

Fellow Hall of Famer (2009) and blogger, John D. Reid, has written a book entitled, Researching Canada's Home Children, published in association with BIFHSGO.

These are great resources for one's Home Children research.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

BIFHSGO - Session on Writing

At this year's BIFHSGO conference—starting tomorrow on Friday, September 18th—there is going to be "The Next Steps in Genealogy" course, at which BIFHSGO will give a session on "How do I Start Writing?".

They will follow this up with an all-day session on Saturday, November 28th in Room 156 at the Library and Archives Canada Building, 365 Wellington Street, Ottawa.

They will discuss what to write about, turning records into an interesting narrative with an historical context, and working with diaries and letters.

It will cost $10.00 for BIFHSGO members, and $15.00 for non-members.

If you are interested, visit <> or contact Margaret Burwell at <>.

There will also be another "The Next First Steps in Genealogy" course on Saturday, March 20th, 2010, again at the LAC.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


This fall, I have had a few articles published which you might find interesting to read -

Everton's Genealogical Helper
(Nov/Dec) - This article, "Canada Remembers the Arrival of American Loyalists in 1783", celebrates their 225th anniversary, which was commemorated throughout Canada this year.

Internet Genealogy
- The Dec/Jan edition will feature an interesting article entitled, "Chinese-Canadian Records", written after I met the librarian of the Vancouver Public Library, Janet Tomkins, at the International Federation of Librarian Association (IFLA) Conference held this August at the Library and Archives Canada.

Family Chronicle - In the Nov/Dec issue is an article called, "A Genealogy Education". It is about getting a education in genealogy, and quotes such people as George Morgan, Dear Myrtle, and Chris Paton, who recently got his Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical Studies at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

"Columns" - The latest in-house issue of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors' (ISFHWE) newsletter, "Columns", will be out in December. It will be my usual column, this time entitled, "A Basket Full of Conferences", in which I talk about the Irish Symposium in November and the British Island Family History Society Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) Conference in September of this year. Both were held at the Library and Archives Canada.

November's "NewsLeaf" - The newsletter of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS), "NewsLeaf", arrived a week or so ago and, as usual, it was a pleasure to edit!

Some of the articles are the first of two articles by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh on the "No Longer Hidden: Recording the Caribbean Presence in Canada", "Some History on the Beginnings of the Ontario Genealogical Society" by Ross W. Irwin, and "Burial Records for Jewish Cemeteries Across Ontario" by Shelley Stillman.

Plus lots of news on the OGS and meetings and special events which will take place in Ontario this winter and summer!

December 2008 "e-NewsLeaf" - I also edit the OGS' "e-NewsLeaf". Right now I am working on the December issue, which will be sent out to OGS members December 15th.

Some of the topics to be covered will be "Canadian 'PaperofRecord' Sold to Google", "Immigration to Canada", and there will be photos and a short write-up of the opening of the new office/library in Brant County.

And, of course, there is always the blog!!!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Quebec Family History Society "Connections" Arrive

The Quebec Family History Society has issued its Autumn 2008 issue of "Connections" today, and it is very interesting, as usual.

In this issue, they have articles on David THOMPSON and his last years in Quebec; the history of John METAGE, a Huguenot settler in Quebec; and the Artists Rifle Association and its 100th anniversary.

There is also the second report on "The Land Register of Quebec" written by Sharon Callaghan, and she points out that it pays to search the land register to see if your ancestor is there because you might think they did own land and it turns out they did - so check the records.

There is also "Seminar and Excursions"; "Seminars"; "Library Acquitions"; and many short articles and pieces of research.

At the September conference of BIFHSGO in Ottawa, I met up again with Derek Hopkins—Vice President of the organization, and whom I have known since 1996—and he gave me a demonstration of the society's new database where he and Bob Dunn are adding birth, marriage, and death records in Quebec.

This is definitely a database you should check if your have ancestors that have come from Quebec. You must be a member of the society for you to check the database, but at $60.00 a year, it is a price well worth the investment.

The website is <> and the address is: P.O. Box 1026, Pte. Claire, Quebec H9S 4H9.

Monday, September 22, 2008

BIFHSGO Conference is a success!

The conference was held this past weekend of September 19-21 in Ottawa, and was a success - the best I have felt about a conference in many a year!

This year's conference was the society's 14th annual one, and was entitled "Celebrate Your Anglo-Celtic Roots", which meant there was a special emphasis on England.

The keynote speaker was Sherry Irvine, a genealogist and one of the founders of Pharos Teaching and Tutoring from Victoria, British Columbia <> who gave an outstanding Don Whiteside Memorial Lecture Friday evening when she talked about "Genealogy With Wings: Reflections of a Family Historian in an Age of Techno-enthusiasm."

Her speech truly did set the stage for the rest of the weekend because it advanced the setting of genealogy on the Internet to "Genealogy 2.0".

She explained that genealogists who are willing to go that one step further and get on the train going towards "techno-enthusiasm" by becoming involved with such Web 2.0 technologies as collaborative family history sites, blogs, wikis, and Facebook and other social networking websites, will find their genealogy expanding and taking on new meaning for those involved in it.

You and your cousins can go on the Internet and build your family tree together, bringing a new dimension to genealogy that I will look into because my cousins are all across Canada and in the United States, and this will bring us closer together! (I will look into putting the genealogy of Andrew BARCLAY, the progenitor of the United Empire Loyalist BARCLAYs of Boston, New York City, and Shelburne, Nova Scotia on such a site.)

And it just continued through the next two days as it encompassed Marian Press in her talks about "Genealogy 2.0: What Do I Need To Know" and "The Past, Present and Future of Librarians for Family Histories", and Alison Hare and her talk about how to properly document your genealogy work called "Citations for Genealogists."

The rest of the time I spent in the Marketplace where I said my "Hellos" to everyone, including Ed Zapletal, the editor at Mooreshead Magazines Ltd. (Internet Genealogy, Family Chronicle); Derek Hopkins and John Reid of the Quebec Family History Society, who gave me a demonstration of the new Quebec database that the society owns, and which is only available only to members <>; and Mike More from the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society <> spent a hour or so on Friday afternoon talking about Canadian genealogy in general.

Doug Rimmer, Assistant Deputy Minister - Program and Services Sector, also gave a brief summary of the accomplishments of the Canadian Genealogy Centre of the LAC over the past year.

He touched on the hours that the LAC is open and how they were increased when they were reduced last fall, and this was because of the "public reaction", and he also discussed a few of the databases which have been put on last year - the North West Mounted Police; Black Loyalists; Chinese Immigration; the 1881 Census; and the Second World War - Killed in Action.

Congratulations should be given to all of the team who worked on this year's conference, especially the Program Co-Chair, John Reid, who put together a wonderful conference by bringing the speakers to us from Victoria, B.C., Toronto, and England, and Wills Burwell, who as Past President and Co-Chair (Administration) of the conference, helped to make everyone feel welcome. Their cadre of volunteers are also to be congratulated for their dedication and hard work in the face of the onslaught of the many harried and hurried genealogists who took over the LAC this past weekend!

Mark your calendar for next year's conference from September 18th to the 20th. Their website is <>, and John Reid at his blog, Anglo-Celtic Connections, also has some comments on the conference.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Conference - BIFHSGO

I plan to attend the 14th annual conference of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa <> September 19th to 21st at the Library and Archives Canada - it will be a weekend of meeting old friends and of learning new information about to research my family tree.

The first event which I will attend will be on Friday morning, and is an Intermediate Course in Genealogy sponsored jointly by the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society <> and BISFHGO.

That evening, I will attend the Don Whiteside Memorial Lecture and listen to guest speaker, Sherry Irvine, and her talk about "Genealogy with Wings: Reflections of a Family Historian in an Age of Techo-enthusian".

This talk is open to the public (free of charge), is usually very good, and is an excellent entry way into genealogy for the new researcher.

On Saturday, I will visit the marketplace to see what is new and will listen to lectures given by Jeffrey Murray, "Terra Nostra: The Stories Behind Canada's Maps 1550-1950"; Marian Press, "Genealogy 2.0: What Do I Need to Know", and on Sunday, I will listen to Alison Hare, "Citations for Genealogical Sources". There will be a panel discussion on genealogy.

I will report back on the conference next week - just to let you know how it went.