Showing posts with label genealogy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label genealogy. Show all posts

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October is Canadian Islamic History Month

Islamic History Month Canada (IHMC) was launched on October 25, 2007, and October was proclaimed as the Islamic History month in Canada.

The press release says that “The Objective of IHMC is to celebrate, inform, educate and share with fellow Canadians the Muslim cultural heritage and Canadian Muslim contributions to Canada and the contributions made by the Islamic civilization throughout its history; to sciences, humanities, medicines, astronomy, and other disciplines that have contributed positively to human progress. IHMC believes that it is through education and sharing positive stories that we can build a more inclusive and gentle multicultural Canada.”

A few facts about Canadian –

- The census of 1871 reports 13 Muslims in the country

- Edmonton has the oldest mosque in North America, built in 1938

- There are 1 million Muslims in the country.

Their website is at

They also have a Facebook page at

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Top LAC job up for grabs

It appears that the government is starting to look for a person to assume the LAC top archivist and librarian job in the near future. Who will they pick, and more important, what will be the qualifications for the job?

If one looks at the requirements for the job, as people from the archivist and librarian community has done already, the news is not good for the Canadian genealogical community.

It says that it will be an “asset” and not a “requirement” for the successful person to have experience in the library and archivist field.

So, does this leave us with another person like the former LAC head Daniel Caron who was a career bureaucrat and not an archivist or librarian?

To read the story, here is a newspaper article, and a statement by The Canadian Association of Law Libraries -

Joint Statement on Qualities of a Successful Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Top librarian job up for grabs; head of Library and Archives Canada could bag a $226,500 salary

Postscript: I would like to thank two of my readers for sending me the news story and the job description.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

This is an interesting press release because it shows an alliance has been struck between MyHeritage and FamilySearch. They say it will benefit all family historians. What do you think?

TEL AVIV, Israel & SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – October 9, 2013 – MyHeritage, the popular online family history network, and announced today the signing and commencement of a strategic partnership that forges a new path for the family history industry. Under this multi-year partnership, MyHeritage will provide FamilySearch with access to its powerful technologies and FamilySearch will share billions of global historical records and family tree profiles spanning hundreds of years with MyHeritage. This will help millions of MyHeritage and FamilySearch users discover even more about their family history.

FamilySearch will provide MyHeritage with more than 2 billion records from its global historic record collections and its online Family Tree. These records will be added to SuperSearch , MyHeritage’s search engine for historical records, and will be matched with family trees on MyHeritage using its matching technologies. MyHeritage users will gain access to an unprecedented boost of historical records and family tree profiles, which are key to researching and reconstructing their family histories. This reinforces MyHeritage's position as an international market leader, with gigantic assets of family trees and records, which are the most globally diverse in the industry.

FamilySearch members will benefit from MyHeritage's unique technologies which automate family history discoveries. Smart Matching™ automatically finds connections between user-contributed family trees and Record Matching automatically locates historical records relevant to any person in the family tree. By receiving accurate matches between FamilySearch’s Family Tree profiles and historical record collections, such as birth, death, census, and immigration documents, FamilySearch members will be able to more effectively grow their family trees in size and in depth and add conclusions supported by historical records.

“For more than a hundred years, FamilySearch has been dedicated to working with the world’s archives to preserve their records for future generations” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Their massive undertaking has made family history more accessible to everyone. This partnership highlights MyHeritage’s technology leadership and our firm commitment to adding historical records on a massive global scale, accelerating our vision of helping families everywhere explore and share their legacy online. We look forward to a fruitful future working hand in hand with our friends at FamilySearch.”

“FamilySearch values collaborative partnerships that enable more people, in more places, to discover their family history” said Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch. “MyHeritage is an innovative company that has a fast growing, global online audience. We are excited to commence this partnership which enables FamilySearch to better serve the global family history community.”

Postscript: I would like to say thank you to the reader who sent me notice of this press release.

Chatham-Kent library week

There are many events planned for Chatham-Kent Library Week from October 20 to the 26th.

Ontario Public Library Week began in 1985 and has become the annual focus for promoting and recognizing public library service in the province. This year's theme is "libraries connect,"

One event which caught my eye, are the talks given by Jerry Hind at the different branches of the library. Jerry and the local International Order Daughters of the Empire (I.O.D.E) “have been working on an ambitious project to compile all the information they can find on Chatham-Kent’s World War I and World War II veterans. Some of this information has been found in the library materials!”

Their research has culminated in a federally sponsored website Gathering Our Heroes and it’s at

Tillbury Branch Tuesday, October 15 at 6:00 - 7:00 PM

Ridgetown Branch Tuesday, October 22 at 6:00 - 7:00 PM

Dresden Branch Tuesday, October 29 at 6:00 - 7:00 PM

Wallaceburg Branch Tuesday, November 5 at 6:00 - 7:00 PM

Blenheim Branch Wednesday, November 13 at 1:00 - 2:00 PM

One thing to note in the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) is that an article which will appear in the November issue of the journal Families. The article is called Blacks in the Great War (First World War) is written by Jerry Hind where he writes about the Blacks in Chatham-Kent.

While you are at the library site, they have a Genealogy Room where you can spend time Tracing Your Roots in Chatham-Kent.

It is at

Sunday, October 13, 2013

York Region Ancestors Fall Issue

The fall newsletter of the York Region of the OGS has two articles about the Upper Canada Sundries, New Research opportunities from the Library and Archives Canada, Aliens in the Township of Markham, and the Vaughn Memorial Project.

The first two articles involve land records in Upper Canada, and gives very good advice in finding people within the microfilm.

We are reminded that there are two places to check (FREE) and they are Janice Nickerson’s website at and Michael Stephenson’s website for sundries files.

If you have had difficulty finding aliens in the 19th century in the Township of Markham, maybe you should look at the list in this newsletter. There are fifteen names on the list for the year 1815, and they were taken from the sundries list.

The City of Vaughan Archives are putting together a Memory Project and Exhibit, and are asking people who use to live, or are living in the area to collect oral histories, and send them to the archives once finished.

The person in charge of this project is Brenda Hicock and she can be reached by

If you would like to receive this newsletter four times a year, you can join the York Region by going to the

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fall 2013 Anglo-Celtic Roots

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO)has issued the fall edition of its journal the Anglo-Celtic Roots.

There are a number of articles in this issue, and they are –

The Cowley Family Saga: From Sherwood Forest to the NHL – Part I by Christine Jackson which talks about the role that the Crowley family (they arrived in the Ottawa area from England in the 1830s) played in the development of the Ottawa Valley, and of Champlain Park, a housing development in the west end of Ottawa in the 1950s.

Found in a Monastery? by Brian D. Cook is a summary of what happened to tracing his maternal great-grandfather – Cuthbert Baker – from help by the BIFHSGO society, and genetic genealogy. .. and the records of the Benedictine Monastery in Europe.

The Cutler Genealogical Odyssey by Gillian Leitch tells of she successfully traced John Cutler from Eton, England who was employed as a clerk at the Tower of London. It is a fascinating story!

In the From the President message, Glenn Wright, says that they have imitated two projects that will result in two databases – the pre-Confederate immigrants from the British Isles (which will hold important names for researchers), and the second one will concern the First World War. So stayed tuned for developments on that front.

Betty Warburton keeps us up-to-date on the happenings at the library at the Archive of Ottawa, this month she tells us of the books on Ireland; John D. Reid talks about, and the 1921 Census in The Cream of the Crop, and Ian White writes about The Ottawa City Archives: a Treasure Chest for Genealogists.

The Anglo-Celtic Roots (ACR) is available as a member benefit of BIFHSGO when you join the organization.

To join as a member, go to

Friday, October 11, 2013

Canada Passenger Lists, 1881-1922

They have added new index records and digital images to the ships' passenger lists (also known as ships' manifests or seaport records of entry) at FamilySearch.

It contains records for the ports of Quebec City, 1900-1921; Halifax, 1881-1922; Saint John, 1900-1912; North Sydney, 1906-1912; Vancouver, 1905-1912; Victoria, 1905-1912; New York, 1906-1912; and Eastern US Ports, 1905-1912.

The lists for United States ports include only those names of passengers with intentions of proceeding directly to Canada

Hint: If you have a surname that you suspect was spelled differently in the immigrant records, this record at FamilySearch is a good way to catch those surnames...

Go to the website at

Thursday, October 10, 2013

FGS Announces Three-part Webinar Series on Genealogy Society Membership and Communication

Very seldom does this blog mention American genealogy societies, but I must make an exception in this case. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is giving a great Webinar series which is of particular interest to those involved in society membership and communication.

The FGS welcomes George G. Morgan, President of Aha! Seminars, Inc. and VP of Membership for FGS, as he presents a three-part webinar series on genealogy society membership and communication.

• Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 8:00-9:00 pm EDT
The Shape of the 21st Century Genealogical Society
We've come a long way as genealogical and historical societies. New technologies such as blogs, print-on-demand publishing, Facebook, Twitter, mobile phone apps, podcasts, webinars, and others have drastically changed what we can do for our societies. This session discusses how the modern society can provide a rich experience for its members and get its message out to the world. Click on the link to register for the webinar:

• Monday, November 4, 2013, 8:00-9:00 pm EST
Harness the Power of Email in Your Society
Email is a powerful tool that, within your society, can build excitement and encourage member participation. Learn the types of email communications that capture attention. Create a professional presence for your organization. Discover strategies for effectively using and managing email. Uncover ways to publicize who you are and what you offer. Attract and keep members! Click on the link to register for the webinar:

• Monday, November 18, 2013, 8:00-9:00 pm EST
How to Develop and Implement Affordable Membership Benefits
Genealogical and historical societies are struggling to attract and retain members while striving to stay solvent. It is essential to offer tangible benefits year-round. This session discusses best practices that can be put in place to provide affordable benefits to members. Click on the link to register for the webinar:

I have known George personally for the past ten years, and consider him to be one of the top genealogy teachers in North America. He is president of Aha! Seminars, Inc., and an internationally recognized genealogy expert who presents at conferences and on genealogical cruises around the world.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Solving Cemetery Problems

Saturday at 1 pm on 19 October 2013, the Quinte OGS Branch will present
Solving Cemetery Problems by Diane Clendenan & Marjorie Stuart.

These two lovely ladies have devoted their lives to cemeteries. They have co-authored a book Solving Cemetery Problems: How to deal with Vandalism, Abandoned Cemeteries, Registration and Heritage Designation.

They have also co-chaired the joint OGS and OHS Cemetery Preservation Committee, and in particular, the Cemetery Registration Project.

Together they bring a wealth of genealogical experience and expertise, relating to a variety of research areas, especially on the topic of cemeteries.

This event will be one you don't want to miss!

The Quinte OGS Branch will meet at the Quinte West City Hall Library, 7 Creswell Drive, Trenton, Ontario.

The website is at puts on Canada GenWeb Cemetery Index

Canada GenWeb has been collecting their cemetery data since 2004, and it is on

Now, has taken this data and has put the index only on

But to learn about the records, go to the Canada GenWeb site.

The web site says that “It is a volunteer project of CanadaGenWeb and currently offers a free and searchable listing of over 18,000 known Canadian cemeteries.

This volunteer built database offers a variety of information geared towards genealogists:

♦ Names, locations & histories of cemeteries

♦ Links to repositories & genealogy organizations that offer further information and/or assistance

♦ Lookup offers, transcripts, indexes, and photos compiled by volunteers.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

On Saturday, October 12, the British Iles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa, will present And a Brother Who Went to Australia? at 10:00 am by Chris MacPhail.

Chris MacPhail’s maternal grandfather was a Home Child who immigrated to Canada from Scotland with an elder brother in the 1880s. A family anecdote suggested that there may have been another brother who went to Australia. Chris will describe his efforts to verify the story, and the new challenges raised by some of the things learned.

You can listen to an interview with Chris at

Arrive early and take in Before BIFHSGO from 9:00 - 9:30 am to listen to Exploring the Find My Past Website by Judy Thamas, and from 9:30 - 10:00 am there are the Discovery Tables and Lesley Anderson will be there to help you Get Help with


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hands-On Claesses in Early Ontario Land Records

Gwyneth Pearc, the Secretary of the Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, has sent us this announcement -

“Hands-On Early Ontario Land Records” is a three-session course to be taught by author, educator and long-time OGS member Jane MacNamara. Designed for both family and local historians, this course will provide an introduction to the land granting process and the main types of Crown Lands records. Participants will learn how to use the various finding aids and collections at the Archives of Ontario (including those on microfilm from Library and Archives Canada) to document a person’s acquisition of (or attempt to acquire) land in Upper Canada, and will work in small groups following case histories through the records.

The course fee is $90 ($78 for OGS members), and the schedule is Thursdays November 28, December 5 and 12, 2013, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

The place that this will be held is the Archives of Ontario, 134 Ian MacDonald Blvd., York University, Toronto

Visit their Branch website at for course and registration details.

Postscript: To those who want to see Jane, she will be at the Ottawa Genealogical Society on March 22, 2014 at which she will appear as Guest Speaker.

For more information, go to

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Preserve the Fegan Home in Toronto

The OGS has been told that the City of Toronto is interested in the site of the former Fegan Boys Distributing Home at 295 George Street in Toronto. The structure was damaged by fire in 2012.

They say that “Many of the boys passing through these walls left their mark by way of inscribing their names and the dates of their stays on the bricks. These names are still visible.

OGS, along with the broader genealogical and heritage community, requests that the City of Toronto seriously consider the historic significance of this treasure and find a way to preserve it and the information it holds”.

Some additional sites for information are -

J. W. C. Fegan A short, concise history of James William Condell Fegan, an Englisman who was the founder of orphanages for boys.

Young Immigrants to Canada If you had an relative in the Fegan Home in Toronto, you are given the name of a person in England who can search the English history of your relative for you.

BRITISH HOME CHILD The OGS has a SIG dedicated to the British Home Child.

UPDATE: Nova Scotia 1921 Census

Dwayne Meisner has been hosting the 1921 census transcription on his site. I think that Halifax and Annapolis Counties are now complete, and he is looking for more volunteers to do the other counties in the province.

He says that “As a lot of you may be aware, I and others have been working on transcribing the 1921 census for Nova Scotia, and I have been uploading the finished transcriptions to my site .

However, it a HUGE project, and so we are looking for more volunteers. I don't expect anyone to do a whole county; even just one sub-district would be a great

If you are interested, please visit his site for more information.

Is there anyone out there who can help Dwayne finish the 1921 Nova Scotia census?

Friday, October 4, 2013

UPDATE: Register of One-Place Studies is Now Live!

Further to my notice last week that there was a new website online with the Register of One-Place Studies, they are now announcing the following update -

“The new free Register of One-Place Studies went LIVE earlier this week and we’re off to a flying start. So far we h studies from 3 continents covering 7 countries, 33 counties/states and 235 places. From Angmering in Sussex to the Isle of Mull in Argyll, from Drumnaconagher in County Down to Meldreth in Cambridgeshire and from Acton in Massachusetts to Wando Vale in Victoria, to name but a few, we’re helping to put study owners’ efforts on the map!

The studies range from small hamlets and specific districts within a town through to whole regions including multiple towns. Some studies are now dormant but have amassed a wealth of information over the years which continues to benefit researchers. We even have one very active study with no residents living in the study area - they were all forced to leave their homes in 1943 and were not allowed to return. What is clear is the hours of selfless dedication and commitment study owners have spent building up their studies over many years.

The Register’s purpose is to provide a listing of one-place studies currently being undertaken across the UK, and internationally, which is:
• open to all
• free to access
• free to add to
• comprehensive
If you have a one-place study and haven’t yet added it to the Register, don’t delay any more!”

The web site may be found at:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Kensington Market Through the Lens of the Ontario Jewish Archives

Dara Solomon, Director of the Ontario Jewish Archives, will present the stories found in the collections of the Ontario Jewish Archives about the families, merchants, and community members who made this neighbourhood home during the 1920s-1940s.

She will also discuss how the OJA has shaped these narratives through their 40-year old walking tour of the neighbourhood and their soon-to-be-launched mobile interactive mapping feature on the new OJA website.

The meeting will take place on October 30th at the Lillian H. Smith Branch, Toronto Public Library, 239 College Street, Toronto.

To visit the Kensington Market site, go to

To visit the Ontario Jewish Archives, go to

The Ontario Jewish Archives is celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Kitchener Public Library Genealogy Fair

On November 2, 2013, there will be the 3rd Genealogy Fair at the Kitchener Public Library in Kitchener, Ontario.

It starts at 9:30 AM, and the fair will be for beginners and experts alike. There will be workshops, speak with experts and more than 25 exhibits and vendors.

Some of the speakers are –

Genealogy in a Community Cookbook
with Carolyn Blackstock, Historian & Blogger

Genealogy and the Law in Canada
with Professor Margaret Ann Wilkinson, University of Western Ontario

Introduction to Genetic Genealogy
with Sue Fenn, Family History Alive

Finding Your Ancestors in Germany
with Noel Elliot, The Genealogical Research Library

There are many more speakers, and if you want more information , go to

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

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

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 LLC acquires Find a Grave

On the last day of September, made the following announcement -

PROVO, Utah, Sept. 30, 2013 -- LLC announced today it has acquired Find A Grave, Inc., the leading online cemetery database.

With over 100 million memorials and 75 million photos, Find A Grave has amassed an unparalleled collection of burial information. Over the past 18 years, it has grown to become an invaluable resource for genealogists, history buffs and cemetery preservationists. Find A Grave will become a wholly owned subsidiary of, and will continue to be managed by its founder, Jim Tipton.

"Find A Grave is an amazing phenomenon supported by a passionate and engaged community of volunteers around the world," said Tim Sullivan, CEO of "We at are so excited...honored take on the responsibility of supporting this community. We will maintain Find A Grave as a free website, will retain its existing policies and mode of operation, and look forward to working with Jim Tipton and the entire Find A Grave team to accelerate the development of tools designed to make it even easier for the Find A Grave community to fulfill its original mission to capture every tombstone on Earth." plans to bolster the resources dedicated to Find A Grave to launch a new mobile app, improve customer support, introduce an enhanced edit system for submitting updates to memorials, foreign-language support, and other site improvements.

" has been a long-time supporter of Find A Grave. They have been linking and driving traffic to the site for several years," said Jim Tipton, founder of Find A Grave. "Burial information is a wonderful source for people researching their family history and I look forward to working with to help continue our growth and accelerate the pace of improvements."

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

MacDonald family history

Here is some news from Ron Zinck, who posts to the NSRoots mailing list quite often -

“I spent part of my Friday the Archives of Ontario working my way through
the collection of Rev. Ewen MacDonald. He worked for decades on Scottish
history and the McDonald family history. I have a number of scans that may
be of interest to researchers and I suspect I will have allot more after
every visit. This batch includes letters and a few charts that discusses
Antigonish, Cape Breton, and different septs in Scotland.

I hope that some of the MacDonald researchers will be able to help decipher, interpret and place these scans in context."

I uploaded them onto Google drive at this link