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

The GANS website is at 

The Onslow Cemetery is at 

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 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lost Landscapes: Up the Gatineau! with Google Earth

Join the Gatineau Valley Historical Society as they mark Earth Day with an historical virtual tour up the Gatineau River. Society President, Marc Cockburn, will take you on multi-media voyage from Hull up to Low and beyond, using Google Earth and archival photos and maps to reconstruct how the river’s landscape looked before much of its natural and built environment was flooded in 1927.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 7:30 pm, at The Wakefield Centre, 38, ch. Valley, Wakefield, QC

The website of the society is at

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wellington County OGS Region III Meeting - Ask the Experts

On Saturday, April 19, 2014, there will be a full-day meeting from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Harriston Community Centre, 111 George Street South, Harriston, ON, and the title of it is Ask the Experts

The morning portion will feature three different genealogical professionals who will give presentations on their area of expertise. In the afternoon, the experts will sit on a panel and answer your research questions. 

To get your questions answered, please submit them ahead of time through the branch website, or in person. 

The Experts will be  

  • Cindy Preece 

o Archives Administrator, Wilfrid Laurier University Archives & Special Collections

  •  Karen Wagner

o Archivist at the Wellington County Museum and Archives

  • Expert Panel

o A special presentation on “Preserving Your Family Heirlooms”

The cost will be $20.00 per person for pre-registration or $25 per person at the door, and there will be a $10.00 charge for lunch. 

The territory covered by Wellington Branch encompasses Guelph and Wellington County and its historical townships - Minto, Arthur, West Luther, Maryborough, Peel, Pilkington, Nichol, West Garafraxa, Eramosa, Erin, Guelph and Puslinch.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Soldiers of Song

The Stirling Festival Theatre in Stirling, Ontario will present the play Soldiers of Song on Sunday April the 12th at 2 pm. 

The play will honour the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War with a special show that pays homage to one of the most distinctive musical acts in Canadian history – The Dumbells.

The Dumbells were a group of Canadians who were soldiers during the day and entertainers at night during the First World War. 

As the Library and Archives Canada site says “They were a makeshift stage of packing boxes in First World War France to become the toast of the nation for over a decade. They became arguably the most famous of the Canadian Army "concert parties," those entertainment units that were devoted to building the morale of the troops on the front lines”.

For background information on the Dumbells, go to the Library and Archives Canada site at

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Canada’s worst mine disaster

There will be an exhibit at the Provincial Archives of Alberta from now until May 31, 2014 and the exhibit is about Canada’s worst mine disaster at Hillcrest Collieries in Hillcrest, Alberta.

On June 19, 1914, 189 miners lost their lives at Hillcrest Collieries in what is still Canada's worst mine disaster. One hundred years later, the Provincial Archives of Alberta reconstructs the events at Hillcrest and their impact on this coal mining community by highlighting important archival documents preserved within its holdings.

Visit the Provincial Archives of Alberta during regular facility hours to view this commemorative centennial exhibit, and the admission is free.

The Provincial Archives of Alberta is located at 8555 Roper Road, Edmonton, Alberta. 

They have a new website and it is at 

Here is a report on the disaster in the Cranbook Herald at

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

History Matters: Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples Past and Present

Heritage Toronto is pleased to present an exploration of the latest archaeological insights into the lives of Indigenous people in Southern Ontario prior to contact with Europeans.

A panel discussion called Before Ontario: Archaeology and the Province’s First Peoples will take place on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Toronto Reference Library Atrium, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON Phone: 416-395-5577.

Join the editors and some of the contributors to Before Ontario: The Archaeology of a Province (2013) for a panel discussion. Panelists include:

· Dr. Marit Munson

· Dr. Susan Jamieson

· Dr. Anne Keenleyside (Trent)

· Dr. Ron Williamson of Archaeological Services Inc.

· Chief Kris Nahrgang of the Kawartha Nishnawbe First Nation

· Dr. Neal Ferris (Western Ontario)

· Dr. Andrew Stewart of Strata Consulting

The panel will be moderated by Shawn Micallef, a noted journalist and Toronto Public Library’s Writer-in-Residence in Fall 2013.

This panel discussion is presented in collaboration with and Heritage Toronto at

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mocavo offer free access

Cliff Shaw in his blog at Mocavo is offering all Mocavo Basic members free access to all of the premium Mocavo Gold features until Sunday at midnight. 

Over the past few months, he says, “we received so much positive feedback about our free access weekends is offering that we decided to do it again!

Back by popular demand, all Mocavo Basic members can now access all of the premium Mocavo Gold features for free until Sunday at Midnight. This means you can search our entire collection to your heart’s content, upload your tree to receive new discovery alerts, download and print any document you find, and much more”!

During their last free offer, I found a marriage notice of my g-g-aunt Aunt Louisa Barclay (daughter of Andrew Barclay from Shelburne, Nova Scotia) to Caleb Haley of California (formerly of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia) in a New York newspaper. I had been looking for a notice of her marriage for years, because I had been lead to believe they were married in Yarmouth, even though I had known she had taken frequent trip to New York. There is a lesson here - 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

OGS Conference 2014

Steve Fulton U.E., on behalf of the OGS Conference 2014 Committee, has sent out an invite and a reminder that the conference is almost most here! 

The Conference is between May 1 to 4th at Brock University in St Catharines, and here are some of the activities - 

  • Hank Jones Jr - Banquet Speaker - Coming from California

  • Chris Paton - Houston Lecture Speaker - Coming from Scotland

  • Saturday Morning Plenary - International Panel on Social Media

  • Thursday Board Meeting & Greet at Donnelly's Pub in Thorold

They are also providing an opportunity for those who can't come for whatever reason. They will be streaming 7 speakers onto the Internet so you can view them in your home. 

Three Speakers will be streamed in from their locations (England, Salt Lake City & British Columbia). 

Other amazing Speakers and opportunities to meet other genealogists!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

FamilySearch Online Training is NOW a Click Away

Kudos to FamilySearch because now you can now get training through the use of  their online manuals. 

Some of the manuals which are available are - 

The Family Tree Reference Manual 

The FamilySearch Learning Center (on this site is the 2014 RootsTech live streaming talks) plus other videos – and they are all FREE)

The Training Link

The Family Tree Quick Start Guide

Friday, March 7, 2014

Family History Library: Orders for Microfilm and Fiche Will Be Restricted During April, 2014

FamilySearch posted this notice on their blog Mar 6th –

“The Granite Mountain Vault will be shifting a large amount of films into their newly renovated space. This entails moving half a million rolls of film, and numerous cabinets of fiche and digital media. Since it will be risky to pull items during this time, the Family History Library will not be able to order microfiche or any microfilms above 1,881, 705. Film and fiche with numbers less than 1,881,704 and lower can still be ordered.

This move is scheduled for early April of 2014 and will last about two weeks. Another update will be posted as soon as we have more information.

We are sorry for the inconvenience”.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Times are A-Changing!

Sunday, March 9, the GANS Office Open from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm located at 3258 Isleville Street, Halifax, NS

The time is changing this weekend, but don't be sad! If you're tired on Sunday because you lost an hour's sleep, you can just come into the GANS office in your PJs. We don't mind!

The Office is open to everyone. Stop by to chat, do some internet research, check out our library or buy a publication or membership. Bring a friend!

Twitter: @NSAncestors

The book catalogue of the OGS is on VITA

The Book Catalogue and the Cemetery Locator of the OGS has been moved to VITA, a division of OurOntario (a site which tells the story of Ontario) at

Some feature are –

Family Histories

You can now search our Family History Collection at VITA


The entire Periodical Collection is easier to search. They have now been able to provide more info for their Branch Newsletters, i.e., location information for branch libraries and contact information.

Mystery Photos

They have had the Mystery Photos site on their OGS Old Photos flickr site for a while, and now they have moved them over to the new VITA site and have them all accessible in one place.

WWI Memorial Wall

I know that the OGS has wanted to do something like this for a number of years. If you have a WWI vet in your family and you would like to share their photo and a bit about their life, the OGS would be honoured to include your WWI vet on our Memorial Wall.

Where are your Ontario Roots?

This is brand new for OGS, an interactive feature where you can share a bit of history about your family and your Ontario roots! You will find this located on the top right hand corner of the page.

Contact if you have any questions.

Editor’s Note: Your editor has used this new service and has found it to be very good. I had a series of surnames, and place names that I wanted to check, and the search feature worked very fast and was complete. Have you tried it yet? How did you find it? Was it a good finding research tool, or could it be improved?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Was your ancestors buried in Ottawa between 1828 and 1845?

I first became aware of this story at the end of last year, while doing the Canadian Week in Review, my weekly online newspaper summary.

As it turned out, the construction crew with the Light Rail Tunnel who has been digging beneath Queen Street in downtown Ottawa, came upon burials in the area.

Subsequently, it was determined that they were the remains in the Barrack’s Hill Cemetery, and that they would have to be removed and reburied elsewhere.

So Ontario's Registry of Cemeteries is looking for descendants of persons buried in the Barrack’s Hill Cemetery which existed near Elgin & Queen Streets in Ottawa between 1828 and 1845.

Descendants will have a say in where the remains are placed if they contact the Registrar by March 21, 2014.

You can contact the registry by going to

For a history of the Barrack’s Hill Cemetery, you can go to the

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Kensington Market Childhood

There will be an upcoming event at the Lillian H. Smith Library at 239 College Street Toronto called A Kensington Market Childhood on March 20th, 2014 at 6:30 pm.

Leslie McGrath, Head, Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books will present a talk on the programs for children run by the Toronto Public Library from Boys and Girls House on St. George St., and Lillian Butovsky will talk about growing up above the family grocery store at 45 Bellevue Avenue, the youngest child and only daughter of Joe and Sadie Winemaker. Lillian will share memories of growing up in Kensington Market with her five older brothers in the 1940s.

Information is available at

The Toronto Public Library has an on-going series of lectures Finding Your Roots at the Library, as well as Grace: A Teacher’s Life, One Room Schools, and a Century of Change in Ontario on March 19th, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the North York Central Library, Room 1.

Join Millie Morton as she talks about her book. Hear about how it was to grow up on a farm, teach in one-room schools, and live in small rural Ontario communities

Go to the Toronto Public Library genealogy website at

Friday, February 28, 2014

RootsTech 2014 Wrap-up

FamilySearch has put on a wrap-up of the Roots Tech Conference 2014 on their blog at

They say that nearly 13,000 people attended this year’s conference, and there will be another 130,000 people are expected to attend local history fairs as they are held throughout the world in the months ahead.

I was interested to read that Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch, talked about “the dash,” - the line between the date of birth and the date of death on a person’s tombstone or genealogical record. 

The blog says that “He described how traditionally genealogy tends to focus on names, dates, and places in a family tree. However, the expanding interest in family history today, where the vast majority of people are drawn into their ancestors’ lives, focuses on the countless stories represented by the dash”. 

I have been working on a column for an online magazine in which I discuss the question Is Family History morphing into Life Stories? I layout the process which I think has spurred the subject forward from genealogy, to family history (social history) and finally to life stories (personal history). It is now a combination of all three disciplines – ending with the life story of an ancestor. 

I will let you know when the column is published.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Seafarers of the Atlantic Provinces, 1787 - 1936

This is an interesting index to me on a personal notes, because my ggg uncle James Barclay is in the database as well as his son Andrew from Shelburne, Nova Scotia. They owned ships - James owned a schooner called the Superb in 1842, and Andrew owned three ships – a brigantine called the Argus in 1837, a brigantine called the Ina in 1851, and a schooner called the Surprise in 1862. They were in the trading business and carried lumber and fish from Shelburne to the Caribbean, and fruit from the Caribbean back to such eastern American ports as New York, then back to Shelburne for more lumber and fish.

They were descendant from the Loyalist Andrew Barclay (1738-1823) from Scotland, Boston and New York. This was rewarding to me because I had looked for these records for years, and had not expected to find them, although I knew about the records at the Maritime History Archives in St. John’s Newfoundland. So this time brought them to me! Thank you, Ancestry for putting this index online!

Here is the announcement -

“This is a fully searchable database containing data on the vessels, captains and crews of Great Britain and Atlantic Canada, 1787-1936. This index-only collection contains records of crew members, masters, and ship owners for vessels registered in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. The collection comprises several sources from the Maritime History Archive in Newfoundland & Labrador. It is fully searchable by name, and other particulars and the records include a wealth of information including birth and residence, rank, voyage departure and arrival places and dates, vessel name and registration, and even wages and deaths at sea.

Records for the following ports are included:

· Miramichi, New Brunswick (1828–1914)

· Richibucto, New Brunswick (1880–1914)

· Saint John, New Brunswick (1820–1914)

· St. John’s, Newfoundland (1820–1936)

· Halifax, Nova Scotia (1812–1889)

· Sydney, Nova Scotia (1820–1914)

· Pictou, Nova Scotia (1820–1914)

· Windsor, Nova Scotia (1849–1914)

· Yarmouth, Nova Scotia (1840–1914)

· Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (1787–1914)

Details you may find in the records include:

· name

· age

· birth year

· birthplace

· residence place

· voyage departure date & port

· voyage arrival date & port

· date joined present ship

· discharge date

· rank

· wages

· discharge description

· vessel name, type, registration place, year constructed

The Maritime History Archive will research some of the records in its custody and provide reports and/or copies of documents on request for a fee. For more information on this collection and the Archives’ research services, visit the MHA website.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

FamilySearch has designated 2014 as “The Year of the Obituary’’

Now here is an exciting announcement that made at RootsTech 2014 -

The year 2014 has been designated as “The Year of the Obituary” for FamilySearch. We know that many family history centers have clipped obituaries from newspapers and we’d like to place these collections online on the FamilySearch website. FamilySearch will scan and digitize the collections. They will then be indexed and placed online. Digitizing obituaries will make these valuable collections easier to access and simpler to attach to FamilyTree. Information gathered from obituaries will help users to add people and data to Family Tree.

Here are some guidelines for what FamilySearch wants to collect:

· These records should be actual obituaries, not indexes.

· They must be camera-ready which means the obituaries should be attached to the same-sized cards (3×5, 4×6) or to 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper.

· If you have already indexed the collection and it is in paper format, please include that with your submission.

After the obituaries are scanned, you may request that they be returned to you or discarded.

If you have a collection you would like to submit to FamilySearch, please contact Nathan Murphy at

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Newfoundland Index of Birth, Marriage & Death Notices from Newspapers, 1810–1890 has announced a new database –

“This collection from the Maritime History Archive in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, includes an index to birth, marriage, and death notices from 42 Newfoundland newspapers. Entries from 1825 through 1890 were originally compiled in 13 volumes by Gertrude (Murray) Crosbie and then added to by the Maritime History Archive from newspapers dating back to 1810.

Almost all the entries are for eastern Newfoundland since the newspapers are primarily from St. John's, Newfoundland. The Newspaper notices collection can corroborate what you already know, or adds new names and/or details. It is an easy source to use to search for a family name or an individual. The database can also include disasters such as fire, outbreaks of disease and death by suspicious circumstances as well as trace the careers for members of the clergy, coroners, justices of the peace, surveyors and other government officials. People had to pay for an entry in the BMD column, so they may not include those individuals of lesser means”.

There are more than 40,000 records in the collection, which can include:

· name

· newspaper title and date

· age

· gender

· residence

· event type, place, and date

· place of burial for some deaths

· church

· cause of death

· spouse’s name and residence

· parents’ names

· comments

The website is at

Sunday, February 23, 2014

MyHeritage and a BillionGraves Announcement

MyHeritage and a BillionGraves have a new imitative to announce  -

Dear friends

I'm delighted to share with you that MyHeritage has teamed up with BillionGraves to launch a global initiative to digitally preserve the world's cemeteries.

As we know, gravestones are very important for genealogy due to the rich information they contain, such as names, dates and biographical details. But there are thousands of cemeteries worldwide whose gravestones have never been documented nor has their information been made available or searchable online.

In addition, time is chipping away at the gravestones and many are becoming unreadable over the years.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be working with our global community to preserve and document gravestones worldwide, for future generations, using the BillionGraves app. The app uses patent-pending technology to let users photograph and document gravestones, and, with the help of MyHeritage, the app will be available in 25 languages, and will support Gregorian, Hebrew and Julian dates. The app also records the GPS locations of gravestones to make them easy to find, and volunteers can easily see which areas of any cemetery remain undocumented, to maximize efficiency and avoid duplication.

The records will be available free on BillionGraves' website, and MyHeritage's search engine for historical records, SuperSearch. MyHeritage's Record Matching technologies will ensure that our users will receive notifications whenever a gravestone matches their family tree.

Best regards

Daniel Horowitz
Chief Genealogist and Translation Manager

At the same time they issued a news release in which they said –

“We’re thrilled to embark on this global initiative with BillionGraves", said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Gravestones are among the most valuable information sources for family history research, and although there are many thousands of cemeteries worldwide, most of them have never been documented, and their information is not available online. Time is chipping away at the gravestones and many are becoming unreadable over the years, so it’s up to our generation to preserve them.”

“We’re delighted to work with MyHeritage on digitizing the world’s cemeteries”, said Hudson Gunn, President of BillionGraves. “At BillionGraves we are working to provide a comprehensive family history database for records and images from the world’s cemeteries—but it’s not something we can do alone.With MyHeritage’s support in mobilizing its massive user community and working with us to launch in 25 languages, we’ll be able to provide incredible value for millions of families and preserve this valuable data for generations to come.”

Over the coming weeks, MyHeritage users will receive documentation about the project and will be able to download the application via a special website designed for this project.

MyHeritage is available at

Friday, February 21, 2014


 The Beaurepaire-Beaconsfield Historical Society meets for lectures each 3rd Thursday of the month. Everyone welcome. Free for members and $2 for non-member. Become a member for just $5 per year.

For 2014, our theme is The United Empire Loyalists

There will be a lecture entitled The United Empire Loyalists: an overview and it will be presented by Robert Wilkins.

A general overview of the United Empire Loyalists, what made them who they were, their diversity(religious, linguistic and racial), and their heritage in Canada today, with a couple of specific examples, just to illustrate what they lived through and experienced during the Revolutionary War and afterwards when getting re-established in what remained of British North America (now Canada).

Lecture in English, bilingual question period.

WHEN: Thursday, March 20, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Centennial Hall, 288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4 

Information: 514-695-2502 or

They have a very interesting website which tells the history of the BEAUREPAIRE-BEACONSFIELD area of Quebec. There are many on-going projects, exhibits, and histories of  people who use to live in the area.