Monday, October 19, 2009

Helpful Tips....

Some helpful research tips were in the fall edition of the Quebec Family History Society's newsletter, Connections, which I received the other day.

The first one was Quebec Newspapers Search on page 11, where you can check for BMDs in selected newspapers.

You are required to have a membership to the Bibliotheque at Archives nationales du Quebec <>, and then you can search online.

The membership is free, but you have to register.

The membership is only open to Quebec residents at present. The newspapers to check are the Montreal Gazette, The Quebec City Chronicle Telegraph, the Sherbrooke Record and the Stanstead Journal.

The second place to check is the online catalogue with the QFHS.

They have a system whereby you can borrow three books and/or five periodicals for up to three weeks, and the copy says "all members can borrow books from the library, no matter where you live."

You may not be aware but the QFHS has been putting names into a database - so much so that there are now over 1-million records in the database as of 1 January, 2009.

If you are a member, do not forget to check this fast growing database - it's invaluable in doing Quebec research.

Pennie Redmile is doing a notary database in Quebec.

Notaries handled various contacts of the day including wills, marriage contacts, land transactions etc and the Quebec archives hold their records up to c1899.

If you have a specific name, you can asked that it be looked up for free, but if want the accompanying documents, a fee of $10.00 will be charged to cover such costs as photocopies and postage.

You can contact Pennie at <>.

You do not have be a member to take advantage of this service.

The QFHS also offers a number of search features to the members, For example, you can ask that they look up a certain surname per cementery for $5.00, and they can also do in-depth research for you for $20.00 an hour.

Of course, you can enter the name you are looking for in their Ancestral Surname List and you can always go to their library at 173 Cartier Avenue, Point Claire (Montreal) Quebec to search on your own.

Go to their website <> for more information.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Long Point Settlers

R. Robert Mutrie has made the Long Point Settlers of Norfolk County his life story.

As his website points out, "he is quite simply, 'Mr. Long Point Settler'".

Over the years, he has gathered information on over 600 Norfolk County pioneers which he has put together in a book called, The Long Point Settlers.

Now he has put a representation of his work at <> in which he gives a brief summary of each of the genealogies online.

If you want to learn more, you can place an order in the on-demand access site for the complete genealogy.

The Long Point Settlers were pioneers who settled in Norfolk County in southwestern Ontario from 1795 to around 1815.

Norfolk County is comprised of the townships of Walsingham, Charlotteville, Woodhouse, Townsend, Windham, Middleton, and Houghton.

From 1994 to 2000, he also published The Long Point Settllers Journals, of which a number of issues are still available.

He may be contacted at <>.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 Canadian Projects - Update

The people at published their latest press release yesterday, and they have three Canadian projects that are being indexed.

In British Columbia, they have completed 43%% of the Death Vital Registers, and 71% of the Marriage Registers.

A new one — Registres Paroissiaux (the Parish Registers) (1800-1900) — is just underway, only having completed 2% so far, and it will be in French.

By coincidence, I have an article coming out in the November/December issue of Discovering Family History Magazine entitled, "Discovering Your Family History Center"!

It talks about Family History Centers around the world (did you know that there are 4,500 centers in 88 countries?), and their impact on the local genealogical community.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

BIFHSGO Conference - Walkabout

I am resting up from my three-day stint of going around at the BIFHSGO Conference, which held from Sept 18th to 20th at the Library and Archives Canada.

Saturday morning, I spent time visiting the different vendors, and can report that the Quebec Family History Society has cancelled its 2010 conference.

With Formula 1 auto racing returning to Montreal in June of 2010, and the tying up of all the hotels and conference rooms by the race teams and fans, it was decided to postpone the conference until 2011.

The second part of the marketplace was in Salons A & B on the main floor. When we were there, we saw lots of people buying such genealogical things asCDs and magazines.

What caught my eye was the huge "For Free" table, right in the middle of the room. It had tourist information (maps, books, pamphlets) on it from Scotland, Ireland, England, and Wales. It was a joy to pick up everything about Scotland - my ancestral home!

We visited with Ed Zapletal from Moorshead Magazines, and he reported very good sales, as did other vendors. Here he is with co-owner, Rick Cree (left).

The next day, I took a minute to visit the Canadian Council of Archives to see how everyone was, and they told me that have a conference coming up in November called the "Archives & You".

That should be fun to attend since it is just down the road from where we live, and on the second day, we will be visiting all sorts of archives in the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau (Quebec).

Their website is <>.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

BIFHSGO Conference - LAC Comments

Friday evenings, at the start of the BIFHSGO conference's opening ceremonies, they have someone from the LAC give a talk about what is going on at the facility (followed by the guest speaker for the Don Whiteside Memorial Lecture).

For the past two years, it has been Doug Rimmer, LAC Assistant Deputy Minister (Programs & Services). This time, he gave us a rundown of the programs which are underway at the Library and Archives Canada.

He stated that the LAC is considered the world leader in digitization. Although some may disagree with that statement (newspapers aren't being done, for example), he pointed out that many things have been, and continue to be, digitized.

Coming soon, for example, is the digitization-on-demand of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Papers <>.

You will be able to order the papers (for which a file can have up to 25 pieces of paper, such as pay slips, history of injuries, and discharge papers), have them digitized, and then they will be put into the general digitized papers file and made available to everyone.

It will take some time to do all 600,000 files - but they will be done.

He went over some of the physical changes that have been made to the LAC building. For example, you can apply online for a research pass, there is improved signage which makes the facility more user-friendly, and you can now order material online.

Furthermore, you can now take your digital camera and photograph documents directly from the microfilm, or you can download the images to a CD-ROM or USB key (also known as a jump, or thumb, drive) at no cost.

On Friday afternoon, I was up on the third floor, hoping to download pages of The Maple Leaf newspaper (1907-1941)*, and found out that I couldn't (assuming it was because of copyright issues).

So a word to the wise - always check before you go there. In this case, the pages (because they were less than one hundred years old) cost 20 cents a copy! Anything else older than that was free to download.

The Maple Leaf newspaper kept Canadian ex-patriots in California informed about the news back home in the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

* I was researching my great-aunt Annie Louisa Barclay, who married Caleb Scott Haley in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and then settled in Newark, Alameda County, California.

Monday, September 21, 2009

BIFHSGO Conference - Panel Discussion

On Sunday afternoon, at the closing of the BIFHSGO conference, a spirited panel discussion entitled, "Future Trends in Family History and Genealogical Research", was chaired by Glenn Wright.

L to R: Glenn Wright, Moderator, with panelists John D. Reid, Colleen Fitzpatrick, and Bryan D. Cook

Colleen brought up two points - you can't stop technology, and that the people who don't get with the program (newer technology) will eventually die out because this is where it is all heading.

Bryan said he see changes in four areas of genealogy -

He thinks that data will continue to go online as free and pay-per-view, that fee-based services will continue to increase and the market expand, that DNA testing will pick-up even more, and that people will go on telling the stories of their ancestors, but worries about who, or what service, will be available to safeguard the stories for the telling.

John said that he sees the next big thing on the horizon as the machine-read digitization of newspapers.

"If civil registration and census online was wonderful progress, digitized newspapers are, or will be, a revolution," he said.

You can read the full text of his remarks on his blog, <>.

He noted that none of the local newspapers have been digitized - those held by the Library and Archives Canada - but there is always hope!

There were about 150 attendees taking part, and when question time came, there were lots of questions.

The audience seemed generally affected by the discussion, and were concerned by the not being able to attract new members to the societies, and what they would do with their work of family histories after they had finished with them.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

2009 - Year of the Home Child

Did you know that 2009 is the Year of the Home Child?

I found out about it by reading the "Ottawa Branch News", which arrived in the mail recently. It was a short notice included under "Interesting Web Sites".

There is a British website <> dedicated to the Descendants of the British Home Children (BHC). They have appeared to have declared 2009 as the Year of the Home Child.

Between 1869 and 1948, over 100,000 children were sent to Canada from the UK.

They have had quite a few events (some of them are listed for Canada), but I was more interested in links they had to other organizations, of which one caught my attention because it is in Canada. They also have "Images From Our Past", which provides photos of Home Children.

Locally, there is the BIFHSGO Home Children Index at <>.

Dave and Kay Lorente—BIFHSGO Hall of Fame members—started researching Home Children in 1991, and later signed a memorandum of understanding with BIFHSGO to let them take over the researching for Home Children.

Today, when you go to the website, you will see their work in a free, searchable database.

So far, they have put on children who immigrated to Canada between 1869 and 1948, and the indexing of the Middlemore Home Children who arrived between 1873 and 1933.

Fellow Hall of Famer (2009) and blogger, John D. Reid, has written a book entitled, Researching Canada's Home Children, published in association with BIFHSGO.

These are great resources for one's Home Children research.