Showing posts with label Family Research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family Research. Show all posts

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 info@novascotiaancestors.ca 


The GANS website is at http://www.novascotiaancestors.ca 

The Onslow Cemetery is at www.onslowislandcemetery.ca 

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 http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gsr&GScid=2297634 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Preserving Ireland's Genealogy

This was just sent out from FamilySearch.org 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. 

FamilySearch.org 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: FamilySearch.org, findmypast.com, ancestry.com, 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 likeFamilySearch.org. 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 FamilySearch.org. So even if you don't think you have any Irish in you, it's now a lot easier to double check”.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

IMPORTANT: Ontario Genealogy Society Open Forum

This notice has just come into the office

The Ontario Genealogical Society invites members and non-members to join in an online discussion with President, Shirley Sturdevant. Ask questions and make comments about the changing face of OGS and volunteer opportunities with the Society.

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014

Time: 7:00 p.m.

More information will follow.

This forum is open to anyone who is interested but you may express your interest and receive a reminder and your own copy of the login information by contacting the OGS provincial office at provoffice@ogs.on.ca.

Please use the subject line “GS Open Forum.”

I will be there. Will you?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Halifax Regional Municipality Archives

One of our readers recently sent me information about the Conversion List from the old street numbering system to the new street numbering system on the Halifax Regional Archives.  

Already the reader says that he has found it very useful and have already looked at several ancestors' houses on Google Street View using the modern address.

He continues on to say that “A lot of my family research focuses on Halifax. Whether using City directories, deed indexes, or death certificates, the civic address of my research subject is often listed and can be used for many helpful purposes. Between 1958-1965 however, the City of Halifax renumbered all civic addresses from a 2-digit to a 4-digit number, so if you're interested in locating the current site of a pre-1958 ancestor's residence you were out of luck”. 

So take a look at the site and the list.  

I had fun this afternoon looking at their Virtual Exhibit which featured photographs, maps, and anniversary events that have taken place in Halifax-Dartmouth over the years.


Thanks to Neal for sending me information on this site.

The website is at 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Share a Memory Contest

Thinking that you would like to go to RootsTech 2014 but don’t know quite how to do it?

Dear Myrt, America’s “Your Friend in Genealogy”, otherwise known as Pat Richley-Erickson, has a solution.

She and her daughter are offering a Share a Memory Contest and the grand prize is a fully paid registration fee to Rootstech 2014, and two other separate prizes from Amazon.

The deadline is November 30th , so don’t delay!



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Two workshops at the Windsor Public Library



The Central Branch of the Windsor Public Library in Windsor, Ontario invite people who have an interest in family history at two workshops presented by Tom Vajdik, WPL Genealogy and Local History Librarian.

The two workshops are –

Introduction to Genealogy will take place at 7:00 pm on Monday, October 28 in WPL’s Fred Israel Auditorium (lower level of Central Branch, 850 Ouellette Avenue) This workshop will be an introduction to the methodology and cover the basics of genealogy as well as offer resources that assist in learning to trace your family history.

Genealogy on the Internet will be offered at 7:00 pm on Monday, November 18, in WPL’s Computer Lab (main floor near Dufferin Entrance at Central Branch, 850 Ouellette Avenue). This workshop will examine the many free web sites devoted to genealogy.

“At Windsor Public Library, we have noticed there’s been a resurgence in people’s desire to know their ancestors as people and learn more about their roots,” says Vajdik. “People visit us from far and wide to avail themselves of our resources. Solving puzzles and being the Sherlock Holmes of their own family stories satisfies a desire to tie their past to their present. Windsor Public Library is pleased to offer these genealogy workshops. All are welcome to attend and there is no fee to register.”

For more information and to register for either of these free workshops, please call 519-255-6770, ext. 4434 or email tvajdik@windsorpubliclibrary.com.  


Please register early for the November 18 workshop to ensure you get a seat!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Top Canadian History Teacher is from Winnipeg



Matt Henderson, a history teacher from St. John's Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg has won the 2013 Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Awards are administered by Canada’s History Society, and are awarded "to the best Canadian achievements in the field of history and heritage".

Last year, Henderson and his grade eleven history class went to the provincial archives (Archives of Manitoba Family History Research

http://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/family_history/index.html) “to help them gain a better understanding of the experience of indigenous persons in Manitoba”.

“They learned about conducting research in archives, they wrote historical fiction based on what they discovered - they even published their own Idle No More textbook called Because of a Hat - Stories of Red River”.

Congratulations Matt, and the Grade 11 history class!

Go to Winnipeg teacher wins GG Award at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/scene/winnipeg-teacher-wins-gg-award-1.2159524

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Friends of the Tecumseh Monuments


The expansion of the site of the Tecumseh Monument is southwesters Ontario has launched a Buy a Brick Program to renovate and expand the existing site.

You can read the plans for expansion at http://www.tecumsehmonument.ca/

Individuals or companies can purchase bricks for $30. Each brick can be inscribed with a message of up to 25 characters

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

1911 Census Updated

Ancestry.ca has updated the 1911 Census database.

There are now over 7-million names on the database.

This database is an every name index, and it covers the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan, and two territories - the Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories.

Go to the website at http://search.ancestry.ca/search/db.aspx?dbid=8947












Saturday, August 31, 2013

Library and Archives Canada and Canadiana.org announces partnership

Last week, I reported on the new digitization partnership between the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and Canadian.org (see blog posting of Aug 23rd  “Some land records are being digitized”), and now it has been made official.

The LAC has agreed to a “large-scale digitization partnership involving about 60 million images from numerous collections”.   

A couple of things caught my eye –

This will be a ”10-year agreement with this longstanding partner (which) covers the digitization, indexing and description of millions of personal, administrative and government documents, as well as land grants, war diaries and photographs. There will be no change for those Canadians who wish to access these collections at LAC.

The go on to further say that “Canadiana.org also will also transcribe millions of handwritten pages, and create related descriptions. Enhanced search tools facilitating access to these records will be available to Canadians free of charge at LAC, as well as at hundreds of subscribing libraries in regions across Canada. For a small monthly fee, Canadians will also be able to use the enhanced tools online to conduct advanced searches without leaving home

Notice that the press release says nothing about newspapers. And what will be the fee? And when will this take place?

It also sounds as if you want to see these records free of charge, you will have to visit them at the LAC in Ottawa.