Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Canadian Genealogist Dies in Scotland

Yesterday afternoon (Monday, October 27th, 2008), Don Hinchley, President of the Ontario Genealogy Society (OGS), wrote to tell a number of us that Paul McGrath, the genealogist on "Ancestors in the Attic", has died in Scotland.

He was the chair of the Toronto Branch, and had given many talks around Ontario on genealogy.

He died last Wednesday of a heart attack.

People who attended Conference '09 in London, Ontario this year heard him give a couple of seminars and the talk at the supper on "Ancestors in the Attic".

This blog send its condoldances to his family for thier personal loss, and to the genealogists of Canada, for they have lost a great family historian.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Irish Symposium 2008 at Library and Archives Canada

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is holding its second Irish Studies Symposium on November 3 & 4. The first one was held in Ottawa in 2006.

The door will be open at 8:30 for the two days, and the sessions will be held until 5:00 p.m on the first day and until 7:00 p.m. the second day. A book launch of A Story to be Told: Personal Reflections on the Irish Emigrant Experience in Canada, which is a collection of stories of about 128 Irish Emigrants to Canada, will be held the second day from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m..

There will be six sessions and one roundtable panel that will cover topics such as -

The Irish in Quebec

- Famine and Commemoration

- Politics: Shifting Attitudes and Political Impact

- The 1911 Census of Ireland

- Irish Culture: Print, Music, Food, and Film

- Irish History and Modern Media

- Directions in Irish Canadian Studies

Some of the people attending will be Irish historian and noted author on Grosse-Île, Sister Marianna O'Gallagher from Quebec, Dr. Diarmid Ferriter from Boston College, and Dr. Catherine Cox, Director for the Center for the History of Medicine in Ireland.

The cost to attend the symposium is FREE but an RSVP is required.

To attend the symposium, simply call 613.992.2618 or e-mail <webservices@lac-bac.gc.ca>. The webpage is <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/ireland/033001-1001-e.html>.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Springhill Mine Disaster - October 23, 1958

It was a terrible day in the long history of mining in Nova Scotia.

I was 11 years old when it happened. My Uncle Purly [BARCLAY] had traveled down to Jordan Falls (a small village near Shelburne) where my family and myself lived (the house was the Barclay home from the late 1880s). He had come from Halifax to do some bear hunting, and had heard about the "Springhill Bump" on the car radio.

That was the first thing he said as he entered the house - "Have you heard what has happened at Springhill?", he asked. We knew what he meant that there had probably been a mining accident, even though we lived on the opposite shore from Springhill.

We turned on the radio to the local station in Bridgewater, and listed to the coverage that night and through the next days until all had been found alive - 100 miners. Seventy-four others had been killed.

To get an idea of what the town of Springhill and the people looked like in 1958 as they went through the disaster, there is a virtual photo display at the Nova Scotia called the "Men in the Mines: A History of Mining Activity in Nova Scotia 1720-1992" <www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/meninmines>;
an account by the Canadian Press at <http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5gzJFLwRpsE618QhBzxBvzcRQhkpQ> and a website <http://web.archive.org/web/20041013211625/http://town.springhill.ns.ca/56_explotion.htm> that holds the account by Dr. Arnold Burden called "The Bump: Burial or Nightmare" - a personal account of a doctor in the town who went down in the mine to help those who were injured. Also on the same website <http://web.archive.org/web/20041013210859/town.springhill.ns.ca/Lost+Miners.htm> is a "Miners' Honour Roll" - an account of the 424 miners who have been killed in the mines of Springhill since 1881, both men and boys.

Believe it or not, there is talk of opening mines again in Springhill - but I think that is highly unlikely. Today, there is a museum where the mine used to be that you can go in, and a display which shows mining conditions in 1958 and the rescue efforts.

By the way, on the next day, my uncle did shoot a brown bear in the woods at the back of the house. I looked out and saw it but never went near it - I just thought that the whole scene was just too horrible.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Newspaper Genealogy Column

I know that there are many templates that newspaper genealogy columns take, but one of the most popular are the columns that ask for queries from the readers.

And that is what Diana Lynn Tibet is doing with her newspaper column in several Atlantic newspapers.

But she would like you to send in more queries. She has a query published every week in the newspaper -- free of charge-- but she needs more to be published.

These are the newspapers that she published in -

Newfoundland - The Western Star, Corner Brook

Nova Scotia - Lunenburg Progress Enterprise & the Bridgewater Bulletin (includes South Shore counties such as Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne)

Nova Scotia - The Bedford Magazine and the Halifax Southender (includes Halifax, Dartmouth, and Bedford)

Nova Scotia - The Amherst Citizen - Cumberland, Colchester, and Pictou Counties

Nova Scotia - The Guysborough Journal - Guysborough County

Queries can be about 35 words plus contact information, which includeS name, snail-mail address, and e-mail address.

Please send it to <tibert@ns.sympatico.ca>. Her site is at <www.thefamilyattic.info/Roots.html>.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The People's History Project

The Royal British Columbia Museum <www.freespiritbc.ca/peopleshistory> wants your story!

They are looking for your story (either you were born or you have lived in British Columbia), or the stories that have taken place in BC.

You can submit more than one story, but each story must be 1300 words and each story can contain up to five pictures- each one with a short caption. Each story can include one audio file up to five minutes in length, and a video file also five minutes in length.

The stories can be submitted under a number heading including "On the Job", "Fun & Games", "The Neighbourhood", "Home", and "School".

The story which is submitted will be taken from 2-6 weeks to be posted. You can record your story over the phone, if you wish.

They will be accepting the stories up until January, 2009.

You can share your own story either by contacting the Royal BC Museum on their website or by phoning 250.381.4305.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Saskatchewan Genealogical Society

The Saskatchewan Genealogical Society <www.saskgenealogy.com> was founded in 1969, and today it is a society with 20 branches throughout the province.

It has done yeoman's work in providing genealogical information on Saskatchewan residents such as the Saskatchewan Residence Index, the Saskatchewan Homestead Index, and the Cemeteries Index.

The organization will be 40 years old in 2009, and as part of its anniversary, it plans to publish a book called the Women Pioneers of Saskatchewan.

But they need more people to submit write-ups of up to 2,000 words and two pictures on each of the women who will be included in the book. If you have Saskatchewan females, and have sent anything in to them - won't you consider sending in their life story, and have it published in a book? The deadline is January 2009.

The president of the society was in London this past spring at the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) Conference this spring to get an idea of how Ontario did its conference. She was very pleased with what she found, with the way it was organized, and in fact has invited some of the people who gave lectures in London to give talks in Saskatchewan.

The 2009 Conference will be held from April 23rd to April 26th, and this year they have invited Ian Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada; Louise St. Denis, Managing Director of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies; and Dick Eastman of Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter fame.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Issue of The British Columbia "Genealogist"

It difficult to believe but fall is here already, and so is the "Genealogist". It arrived the other day from the British Columbia Genealogy Society <www.bcgs.ca>.

At 148 pages, it is a hefty publication with all sorts of topics covered - some of them being the Diary of Rev. Edward White (1822-1872); Cemeteries of Hope, BC; and the biography of Robert Grenville/Granville McKamey (1836-1896).

Intersersped with these articles are one such as British Columbia Mining Accidents (1878-1889 & 1896-1942); Daniel Stanley Masset; Queen Charlotte Islands, 1911; and the Vancouver Business Woman (1929, 1930).

There are BC's 150th Birthday Crossword; the Most Improved Contest; Book Reviews; BC Genealogical Events; and Activities and Queries.

Be sure to check the Images of Army Life; World War I - Baxter; Plumper Bay Petition, 1890; and Meet the Pioneers - Grenelle and Goupill.

And all of this celebrating "BC 150 Years - The Best Place on Earth".

Even though I do not now have any relatives living in BC right now (my aunt and uncle — Fred and Annie LEE — used to live in Golden and Kamloops), I found the journal to be a good read.

I especially liked the book reviews (they are always good) and this time they review three - The Family History Toolkit by Michael Hait; You Can Write Your Family History by Sharon DeBartolo; and In Search of Your German Roots by Angus Baxter.