Saturday, January 1, 2011

Congratulations, Terry Punch!

A press release dated December 3oth states that Terry Punch, a former history teacher and a genealogist from Nova Scotia, will receive a membership to the Order of Canada from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, later this year.

I first met Terry in Ottawa during a Gene-O-Rama Conference in 1993, although I had listened to his monthly appearances on the CBC Halifax station for a number of years.

He was on for the full half-hour, and would take phone calls (he still does) from all over the Atlantic Provinces.

Besides being the author of many books (he wrote the basic book on genealogy in Nova Scotia — Genealogical Research in Nova Scotia — ISBN 1-55109-235-2), he was one of the founders of the Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes, and one of the longest members of the Association of Nova Scotia Genealogists.

So to see that he will receive one of the country's highest civilian honours is well-deserved.

The Order of Canada was established in 1967, during Canada's centennial year, to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community, and service to the nation. Over the last 40 years, more than 5,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Blogs I Followed in 2010

Here are some of the blogs I follow on a daily basis, in no particular order. I thought that you would enjoy them, also -

Anglo-Celtic Connections

This is the blog of John D. Reid, and he posts on a regular basis. This may be of interest to those searching their Anglo-Celtic as well as Canadian ancestors.

Saskatchewan Genealogical Society

This blog is from the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society, and they talk about Canadian and Anglo-Celtic sources.

Alberta Family Histories Society Blog

This is the blog of the Alberta Family History Society. They post about genealogy happenings in Canada.

CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt'

This is M. Diane Rogers' blog. In addition to her own family, she blogs about news in British Columbia, and of her own experiences as a graveyard rabbit.

Olive Tree Genealogy Blog

This blog by Lorine McGinnis Schulze has a plethora of primary resources transcribed online. This is especially true of passenger lists that no one else seems to have.

Janet the Researcher

Janet Iles has a very interesting blog, and always writes about ancestors from a researcher's point of view.

Librarians Helping Canadian Genealogists Climb Family Trees

This is a blog by Elise C. Cole, and she write about genealogy from the librarian's point of view.

Brenda Dougall Merriman

A blog written by a fellow member of APG, she often writes about my home province (Nova Scotia) in her postings.

Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) Blog

The official blog of the Canada's largest genealogical society, they post all the news about the OGS.

Finally, please allow me to wish you and yours a Happy New Year, and the best for 2011!

Thank you for following MY blog (Genealogy Canada). I hope you've enjoyed it!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Anglo-Celtic Roots - Winter 2010

"The cover image combines the Coat-of-arms for the Blakes of Wiltshire/Hampshire/Somerset, England, (courtesy Elizabeth Kipp) with an image of a DNA helix (Wikipedia: National Human Genome Research Institute)"

I wasn't able to go to the December 11th meeting because of work commitments, but my dear husband dropped in for a minute and picked up the latest copy of Anglo-Celtic Roots, the award-winning quarterly publication of BIFHSGO (British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa).

In this issue are three articles, a review of their annual Fall Conference held in September, news on the Home Children Book Project by Brian Glenn, the passing of long-time BIFHSGO member (and former president) and ACR columnist ("The Printed Page") Gordon Taylor, and a report of the writer's workshop by Carol Annett, which was also held during the Conference.

As well is "The Bookworm" by Betty Warburton, listing new holdings (with some interesting titles) for the Brian O'Regan Memorial Library, the "Members' Surname Search" by Elizabeth Kipp, a membership report by Tara Grant, a message from the president, Glenn Wright, and a note from the editor.

The first article by Elizabeth Kipp, Barrie Blake, and Bill Bleak — "Revealing the Blake Family - a yDNA Project" — looks into how the surname of Blake originated. It follows through the yDNA process, and outlines the ongoing research.

If you have questions about the Blake surname, Elizabeth can be reached at

The second article, by Anglo-Celtic Connections blogger, John D. Reid — "Local Roots of Governor General David Johnston" — tries to trace the ancestry of David Johnston, Canada's newest Governor General.

Although the Library and Archives Canada does not have some of the newspapers which could have BMDs in them, he does find the newspaper at the local library, and starts to trace back the family.

If you are researching relatives in the 20th century, this is an excellent article (with detailed endnotes) to read.

The third article is a "Great Moments" article by Chris MacPhail (the editor of ACR) who writes about his great-aunt Lillian and the surprises he found in "The Importance of Being Ernest".

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Membership Month at OGS

Do you know that the OGS has a blog, and that it is open to the public?

An example of a posting is listed below -

December 8th, 2010

It's Membership Month here at the Ontario Genealogical Society. If you're a current member, you have received, or will soon receive, your OGS membership renewal form with your November issue of Families. If you're not a current member, now is the best time to join us to ensure you get a full year's worth of OGS membership benefits.

So, why join OGS?

OGS Members receive our journal, Families, and our print newsletter, NewsLeaf, and the electronic version sent by email, e-NewsLeaf.

Families is a quarterly publication that includes researched, referenced, and illustrated articles; the Game, a queries column that members may contribute to; and a book review section on books of interest to genealogists.

NewsLeaf is our newsletter which is published quarterly, as well. It includes OGS news and happenings; a section announcing forthcoming gatherings and special events; and current news from the 30 OGS Branches and SIGs.

The e-NewsLeaf has links to other websites of interest to members, as well as timely news items and announcements.

Join us to receive these publications.

To become a member, click on to the Membership page.

Since I am the editor of both publications, I can say—modestly—that they are top-notch in passing along the latest news to, and about, the OGS and its members.

In the February issue of both NewsLeaf and Families will be articles on how to discover Jamaican and Trinidadian roots from Canada, an article on the Library and Archives Canada, and one on an Irish family from the Ottawa Valley in Ontario.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Canadian Families Database

Family events such as baptisms, marriages, and burials are key elements of genealogy and family history research.

From early times to the present, these events have been recorded in church records. Library and Archives Canada holds a small collection of church records, some of which are indexed by name.

To provide better access to those indexes, the information they contain has been entered in a database that will expand slowly over the next few years.

The records are in the Canadian Families database

Although I am pretty certain that I do not have any direct descendants in Ontario on either side of my family (BARCLAY, BLADES), I just put the names in on the off-chance that there may have been something there.

And while no one directly related was discovered, at least I found out how it works.

However, the Barclay name yielded one entry on the database in Leeds County. There was nothing for Blades.

Name: Barclay family
Parish: Leeds County, Ontario
Fonds: Miller, W.J. (Bill) Collection
Volume: 2
Page: 67 - 68
Microfilm: H-1668
Reference: MG 25 G370

It should be noted that, at present, the Canadian Families database covers the St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Williamstown, Ontario; the Miller, W.J. (Bill) Collection; and the Kipling Collection: Card Index. Future databases will be added.

LAC has another database called That's My Family at

It contains the Marriage Records Index for Canada, of which there are more than 3 million records for the Quebec population between 1621 and 2004.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Wishes

Merry Christmas to you and yours, our loyal readers!

Thank you for dropping by. We hope you take the time to explore all we have to offer. Use our search engine to go through over 200 blog postings to date.

Start now, and you might just be finished in time to read our new posting on Boxing Day!

All the best,


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

LAC Launches 1916 Census of the Prairie Provinces

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to make the 1916 Census of the Prairie Provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta) available online at

In order to track the high rates of population growth in Western Canada during the early years of the 20th Century, the Canadian government called for a special census of the Prairie provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta). The first census was conducted in 1906, followed by another in 1916.

Access to the digitized images of the 1916 census is available online in two different ways:

* Through a database that is searchable by Province, District Name, District Number, and Sub-district Number. The database is available at:

Please note that this is NOT a nominally-indexed database - it is not searchable by family name.

* Through the research tool "microform digitization," you can browse the microfilm reels page by page. The tool is available at:

One webpage which the LAC staff has published is "Column Headings and Interpretation", which gives an explanation of each of the fields of the census plus "Common Abbreviations".

On a personal note, I do have Webster ancestors (by marriage) who went out to Manitoba in 1904, and I can trace them up to the present day, due to the census and material that is at the LAC.

So while you are at the LAC website, be sure to put your ancestor's name in the search engine, and the results will be shown in the Archives, the Library, the Ancestor Database, and on the Websites at the LAC.