Monday, June 29, 2009

Hattie Perry Passes Away

I received word that Hattie Perry died this weekend.

Who was Hattie Perry?

Well, Hattie was a writer in Barrington on the southwestern shore of Nova Scotia.

She wrote about her adopted town, and it happened to be the place where my maternal family lived (the Blades-Hichens family), and they included such notables as Mary Hichens, a savior of many people who shipwrecked on Seal Island ("Mary Hichens and her Namesake"), and Annie Elizabeth Hichens ("Mrs. Mary and Others: Women of Barrington") both originally from England who married into the Hitchens family from Barrington.

Phil Verge—who had done Hattie's website for her—has agreed to keep the site up for an extra few days, and you can go to <> to see what she has written.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Canada Day (July 1) is a Free Day!

Be sure to catch's Free Day on July 1st - Canada Day.

Actually, it's free until July 3rd.

The only catch is that the immigration records are the only records which are free - but check them out anyway.

They cover Immigration Records from 1865 to 1935.

This is the press release I received -
"Happy Canada Day Elizabeth!

Canada Day is not only a great day to spend with family - it's the perfect time to get together and learn more about how your family came to be Canadian.

For the first time ever, is making available The Canadian Passenger Lists Collection, 1865 to 1935, FREE* until July 3rd, 2009.

Don't miss this great opportunity to discover your Canadian story in The Canadian Passenger Lists today."
Happy Hunting!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pier 21 - Now a National Museum

Yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Pier 21 will become Canada's second national museum outside of Ottawa (the first one will be the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba).

Pier 21 is located on the waterfront in Halifax <>.

From 1928 until 1971, Pier 21 saw 1.5-million immigrants pass through its doors - 50,000 War Brides and 22,000 of their children of the Second World War, and more than 100,000 refugees. Of these, a large number were British Home Children.

And Pier 21 is ten years old this year!

What better way to celebrate than to be named a national museum.

Congratulations, Pier 21!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors

"Tracing Your Irish Ancestors"

I just received a notice from Margaret Gervais of BIFHSGO that John Grenham from Dublin will be in the city on August 9th to present an afternoon of talks on Irish ancestry.

Here is the press release I received -


The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa — with the cooperation of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, the Irish Society of the National Capital Region, and the Monterey Inn Resort & Conference Center — presents:


When: Sunday, 9th August 2009 – 1:30 p.m.

Where: The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive in Nepean (Ottawa)

Free Parking on site.

Admission: $10/person at the door.

"Tracing Your Irish Ancestry" with John Grenham, M.A.

Professional Genealogist, Fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, and well-known author from Dublin, Ireland

Visit: and

Chasing Shadows: Irish Genealogy Online

Few large sets of Irish genealogical records are available online; however, there are many highly valuable local or partial record-sets, which can be difficult to track down. The presentation starts with an outline of the main Irish records and where any on-line transcripts can be found.

Whatever you’re having yourself: Irish Census Substitutes

Brief summary of better-known substitutes, but focuses on more useful and lesser-known records, including: Loan Funds, Charleton Marriage Fund, agricultural surveys, official petitions and electoral records. Since the range is infinite, a complete account is impossible; the aim is to sketch the main areas in which these records are being uncovered, to show how they can be used, and to bring hope to those who have run out of the standard Irish sources.

For more information or queries, contact BIFHSGO at:

Email: / Website: / Tel. 613-234-2520
Postal address: BIFHSGO, PO Box 38026, Ottawa ON K2C 3Y7


I'll be there and hope to see you there, too!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

QFHS Newsletter - Summer 2009

The summer issue is here!

The 2009 Spring/Sumer issue of the Quebec Family History Society's newsletter, Connections, is here, and once again it is full of articles plus notes on upcoming events.

"Of Stones Sheds and Firemen" is another article by Robert N. Wilkins, and this time he writes about the St. Urbain Street Fire of 1877.

"A Basic Guide to Using Quebec Protestant Church Archives" is written by Jody Robinson, the archivist at the Eastern Townships Research Centre, a private research centre in Southeastern Quebec.

I look forward to "Lower Canada in the 1790s and Early 1800s" in every issue because I find that I learn so much every time I read it.

Did you know that the city of Lévis was known as New Liverpool from 1759 to 1850?

In "The Legend of William Doleman" by James Barclay, the article tells of an amateur golfer from Scotland who was the first person to play his game on the Plains of Abraham.

I had a couple of lunches with Gary Schroder, the President of the QFHS while he was attending the OGS Conference '09. At the time, he said that they haven't set a date for their conference in June of next year - but I see by their site they now have the dates - the 11th to the 13th of June, 2010.

Roots Heritage 2010 will be held in downtown Montreal, with all lectures in English.

The list of speakers, topics, events, and registration will be on the QFHS webpage at <>.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Canada Has Three of the 101 Best Genealogy Sites in 2009

How about that!

Family Tree Magazine <> has just put out its 2009 list — the 10th year of doing so — and Canada has three websites on the top "101 Best Web Sites 2009".

The first one I must mention is the Canadian Genealogy Centre website <>.

It came in second on the list for the "10 Best Virtual Library Sites" and it got a special nod for its census work and the other databases it has published online.

And this is the second time the site has been chosen - the first time was in 2003 when the CGC first opened.

A tip of the hat goes to Sylvie Tremblay, Chief, Project Manager, and her crew for doing such hard work. She is always thinking of new ways to present the information they have - and they do have a lot. We all want those databases to come faster, don't we?

Credit: Mario Lapointe, CD

Here is a picture taken of Sylvie two years ago at the OGS Conference in Ottawa. She was there with (now just recently-retired) Librarian and Archivist Canada, Ian Wilson (left), along with Don Harris (right) and Tim Sullivan of The Generations Network (far right) to announce a partnership between the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and

The second on the "10 Best Sites for Vital Statistics" list is the Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics website <>.

If you have ancestors in Nova Scotia, be sure to check this index because it will give you all sorts of information, and will tell you where you can send for the certificates.

With my family being one of the founding ones for Nova Scotia, I have used it on a number of occasions, and it has not failed me yet.

And the third one is in the "10 Best Sites for International Searches" and it is the Programme de Recherche en Demographie Historique website, and it came 8th in the list <>.

It has 750,000 entries from 1621 to 1850, and although you have to pay for a full search, you can search the index for free.

So, there are the winning websites for this year.

Congratulations to all!

Let's wait and see who will be on next year's list!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 Publishes Canadian Census Records

Today - June 10th - marks the day that the 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 and 1916 Canadian censuses are published online at <>.

It includes more than 32 million names, of which 50% of Canadians will find their ancestors in these historical records.

I just did a cursory check on my ancestors to see if they were all there - and they were! It appears that it is quite well done and it contains 1.3-million images. The images matched the names, and the information was correctly transcribed for my ancestors.

Lesley Anderson and Glenn Wright are going to put on a Webinar next Thursday, June 18th at 8:30 p.m..

If you have the chance, you should register for it now. If it is anything like the talk that they gave last month at the FHC in Ottawa, you are in for an educational and interesting talk on the census.

Read my review of the talk they gave on the blog that I posted at <>.

P.S. I just received notice from Daniel Rencher, the Chief Genealogical Officer of FamilySearch, that they have put online the 1851, 1861 and 1871 census in addition to the 1881 census already online at <>.