Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ottawa Branch News is here!

The Jan/Feb 2009 newsletter arrived on my desk the other day, and as usual, it is full of news about the Branch, news about the spring and summer convention season, and some articles onfamilies within the Ottawa area.

"The Joseph Lanthier Family" is covered, as is "Early Residents of Ottawa's Sandy Hill Neighbourhood (Henry James Friel and Felix Charbonneau)", "Documentary Evidence of a Catholic Cemetery in Cumberland Village in the 1860s and 1870s", and a "Genealogy Disaster Plan: A Precaution Worth Taking".

There is information concerning the Beginners Course in Genealogy to be held March 21st and on Gene-O-Rama 2009, to be held March 28th and 29th in Ottawa.

There is the "Electronic Notebook", "Interesting Web Sites", "Gleaning from Newsletters in the Ottawa Branch Library" and "Historic Plaques and Monuments" to fill out the edition.

There is also a notice in this edition that all issues of the Ottawa Branch News from 1970 to 2008 have been digitized and will be made available on a CD early in 2009.

The address of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) is: <www.ogsottawa.on.ca>.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

LAC Launches Black History Month

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) launched Black History Month today (Sunday, February 1st), and they are calling it "The Courage to Make a Difference."

As Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada says, "I invite researchers, historians, educators, genealogists and students to delve into our vast array of material and resources to learn more about the rich heritage of Black Canadians."

This year, the LAC is paying special notice to Abraham Doras Shadd, who played a major role in the Underground Railroad, and to Rosemary Brown, the first Black woman to be elected as a member of a Provincial Legislative Assembly in Canada. The website is www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/black-history.

You can go online to to read about the Anti-Slavery Movement in Canada at
www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/anti-slavery/index-e.html. An article about this will be in the February issue of the Ontario Genealogical Society's newsletter, NewsLeaf.

The Port Roseway Associates Database at www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/port-roseway/index-e.html gives access to a listing of 1,498 Black Loyalists Refugees who settled in Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

As stated on the website at www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/northern-star/index-e.html, "Under a Northern Star presents seven unique collections held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) that document the diverse historical experience of African Canadians."

There are other resources to check, including Achievements and Contributions, Literature, Music, and Sports.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

OGS Conference information is now online!

I was just going around my weekly check of things on the Internet recently, and I said to myself, " I wonder if they have put anything about Conference '09 on the OGS site?" - and by gosh, they had!

In fact, they have put the whole thing on - so you can go ahead and check the program, see who's coming, and what special events will be happening.

One of the features will be the celebrating of the 300th anniversary of the Palatines, with features by prominent Palatine researchers on the Irish Palatines who settled in Ontario.

I will be there Thursday evening, and starting Friday, I will be on the tour of the new Ontario Archives and will cut it a bit short to come back and see the Graduation Ceremony of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, as well as the Opening Ceremonies of the conference.

Kory L. Meyerink is slated to speak at the J. Richard Houston Memorial Lecture that evening, and a reception will follow.

On Saturday, it's off to an early start. At 8:00 a.m., Brian Gilchrist will start the day off by giving his talk at the Plenary Session entitled, "Pedigree and Progress: Making Connections in the Digital Age from the Printed Page".

The rest of the day I am going to hear a couple of lectures and go around the "Marketplace" and say my "Hellos!" to old friends and new acquaintances.

Saturday night, I will go to the banquet and hear Charlotte Gray speak, and on Sunday, I will be going around taking pictures and getting more news for the OGS NewsLeaf and e-NewsLeaf. There will be the closing ceremonies in the afternoon.

I plan to blog while I am there, and after the conference I hope to stay in Toronto for a couple of days and visit around to see what has appeared since I was there last summer.

If you want to see the material that has been put on the OGS website, please go to www.ogs.on.ca/conference.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Online Obituary Database - U of Toronto

Charmaine Lindsay — Supervisor, Reference & Outreach of the City of Toronto Archives — has sent me a notice that the Canadian Necrology Database Index at the University of Toronto Library is now online.

The majority of records in the Canadian Necrology database index obituaries for distinguished Canadians whose death notices appeared in newspapers such as the Globe and Mail, Toronto Daily Star, Gazette, and Mail and Empire between 1934 and 1977.

There are 20,000 such records.

The second set of records in Canadian Necrology contains death information for over 4,000 early inhabitants of Toronto and the surrounding areas, between 1853 and 1920. This collection is the result of a lifetime hobby of William Henry Pearson (1831-1920).

Beginning in 1853 and until his own death in 1920, Pearson maintained a ledger where he recorded the deaths of friends, acquaintances, and prominent members of Toronto society.

The site gives a short, yet very good history of the two men who put together the two record databases - William Henry Pearson and William Stewart Wallace — and how the obituaries were used to compile the database.

The database gives the name of the person, his/her sex, the age at death, the cause of death, the occupation, and the residence.

It also will tell you which record group the person was found and the record ID.

A bibliography of sources is included, as well as a related links page.

They have included a page of "Diversions" at the end of the website in which you are asked to identify the person in the photo because they have as yet been identified.

The informaiton can be found at http://link.library.utoronto.ca/necrology/index.cfm

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Anglo-Celtic Roots arrives

The latest issue of Anglo-Celtic Roots (ACR) arrived the other day. It is the journal of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO), and is published four times a year.

This issue contains a message from the president, a full report on Conference 2008, and Saturday Meeting Reports - which covers five talks given at the Saturday morning meetings- such as "A Tale of Two Families" by Glenn Wright, "Lieutenant John Henry Kennedy" by Caroline Herbert, and "An Emotional Moment in Genealogy" by Bill Arthurs.

The president, Mary Anne Sharpe, reports that the society is doing very well, and BIFHSGO is—unlike other genealogical organizations—actually gaining in membership ... and the reason for that is very simple - they have intriguing ideas for meetings, interesting people who give talks, and always hold an annual conference that keeps a person coming back.

It is, as the president puts it, "a vibrant society."

Included in the journal is a questionnaire entitled "2008 Volunteer Survey", in which the society is interested in hearing your views on the society. If you would like to volunteer for the many divisions of the group - monthly meetings, research projects, workshops & courses, annual conference, website, etc, plase fill out the form and send it back to the society.

The calendar of events is covered on the back cover of the ACR - and be sure to follow the events as they are posted on their website at www.bifhsgo.ca.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is celebrating the Chinese New Year with a collaboration of the information and databases they have compiled over the past years
in an exhibit entitled "The Early Chinese Canadians, 1858-1947" at www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/chinese-canadians/index-e.html

They have divided the site into five different areas of interest to genealogists, and they are -

- The history of Canada's early Chinese immigrants - explores why and how they came to Canada.

- Photos, government documents and letters that have been collected by the LAC

- Head Tax Records - You can search the General Registers of Chinese Registers online from 1885 to 1949.

- Chinese Canadian literature and historical research

- Coming soon will be educational resources for classroom study for secondary school teachers.

By the LAC's own admission, the General Registers of Chinese Immigration is the most important part of the history because it represents the payments made by the Chinese when they came to Canada. The Chinese were the only ones who paid the head tax when they came into the country.

Over 95,000 immigrants are recorded on these rolls.

There is also personal essays on the site, as well as family histories and suggested websites.

I have written about the Chinese-Canadian immigration in an article entitled "Uncovering Chinese-Canadian Records" in the January 2009 edition of Internet Genealogy, pages 20-21.

For an interesting look at the Chinese New Year, please visit www.chinapage.com/newyear.html

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Canadian Civil Servants List (1872-1900)

Ancestry.ca has made the announcement that they have put on the fully-indexed Canadian Civil Servants List (1872-1900) "which features more than 78,000 records of those employed in departments of the Canadian Government during the country's early days of Confederation."

The press release says that this database gives the "family researcher a unique opportunity to find out how an ancestor's career might have progressed and how much they earned, as well as offer personal individual information such as birth date, age, date of first appointment, years at post, promotion to present rank, creed or religion and nationality of origin."

There are 22 government departments in the database including the Post Office Department, Department of Finance, and the Department of Public Printing and Stationary.

Karen Peterson, Marketing Director for Ancestry.ca, comments that "Collections such as the Canadian Civil Servants, which includes information on occupation, salary and career development, are vital as they enable family history enthusiasts to better understand how their ancestors lived by providing historical, factual context to their lives."

The Canadian Civil Servants Lists, 1872-1900 is available to Canada and World Deluxe members, and through a free 14-day trial at ancestry.ca.