Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stratford Heritage Week-End Event

Here is something that I received from the Perth County Genealogical Society which may interest you!

"The Stratford-Perth Archives will partner with the Perth County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society to host "Ask the Genealogy Genies" as part of the Stratford Heritage Week-End event.

Location: Stratford-Perth Archives, 24 St. Andrew St., Stratford ON

Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.

Free entry for all.

For further information, contact Betty Jo Belton at 519-271-0531, extension 259 or
Lynn Matthison at

Some of the other events happening on the weekend include:

* Antique Show
* Heritage Tours – Walking or in Horse-Drawn Carriages
* 10th Annual Railway Heritage Show
* Doors of Perth County Display at the Stratford-Perth Museum
* Ploughmen's Lunches from St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
* "Doors Open" at the Fryfogel Inn
* vintage films of Perth County at the Visitors' Centre in Shakespeare
.... and many other exciting opportunities to celebrate our local history!

As we near the date, check out the Stratford Tourism Alliance website:, click on "What's ON", then the Event Calendar for June".

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Finding Ontario Ancestors Workshop

The following press release was just received from the people at the Toronto Branch of the OGS -

"Finding Ontario Ancestors Workshop
6 August 2011
North York Central Library Auditorium
5120 Yonge Street, Toronto

The Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch and the Canadiana Department of the North York Central Library will be co-hosting a one-day workshop on sources for Ontario family and local history research.

We are looking for speakers who would like to be part of the workshop.

The theme "Finding Ontario Ancestors" is broad, but presentations should emphasize sources. Your presentation could focus on a single type of record or source, a record group, or demonstrate how several sources can be used together.

You are invited to submit proposals for lectures on any aspect of Ontario genealogical or local history research that fits the above criteria.

We need lectures at all levels of expertise. Each session will be one hour long, including five or ten minutes for questions. Presentations should be illustrated—we can provide a computer projector or an overhead projector. Speakers will also be expected to provide a handout of supporting material (up to four pages) which we will photocopy for all registrants.

Speakers will be paid an honorarium of $100 per lecture, plus modest expenses for travel and accommodation.

Please submit your lecture proposals by e-mail. Please keep them brief and informal, at this point. (We may ask for more details later.) Be sure to include your mailing address, phone number, and a brief bio.


To submit proposals or ask a question about the event, please contact Jane MacNamara at"

Guess the Relative

Tom Pullen, Assistant Producer - Development of the Dragonfly Film and Television Productions Ltd, in London (England), recently sent me the following press release -

"Do you think your family tree might have British roots?

Would you like to travel to Britain to discover your living relatives?

Dragonfly TV in London, England, is making an exciting new game show, called Guess the Relative, featuring families, ancestors and long-lost relatives.

We're searching for people from all over the world, who think they may have British ancestry, who would like to take part.

Whether your Great Great Grandfather was born in England or your Great Aunt lived in Scotland... If you think you, or anyone you know, may have any British ancestry, we want to hear from you!

Pullen says that 'We're currently looking for people from Canada who think they may have a distant ancestor from the UK. Their ancestor might be several generations back and come from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland - but if they have any link to the UK whatsoever, we want to hear about it!"

Visit now to find out more and apply to take part!"

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Archives of Ontario Would Like to Hear From You

From The Archives of Ontario -

"This is just a friendly reminder, if you have not already taken this survey, your opinions are important to us.

In our continuing effort to help you access and understand the collections and services of the Archives of Ontario with efficiency, fairness and courtesy, we have commissioned Ipsos Reid, a Market Research company to gather your feedback in a customer survey.

Before you start your survey, here are a few things you need to know:

1. Your responses are completely confidential. None of your answers will be associated with you personally.

2. Please ensure that you have thought carefully about your responses as once you start to progress through the survey you will be unable to return to previous responses and alter any answers.

3. To access the survey, please click on the link below or copy the entire URL into the address bar of your internet browser.

Start now before it's too late. It will only take 10 – 15 minutes to complete.
Questions? If you have any questions about this survey, please feel free to email Ipsos at and we will be happy to help.

As a token of our appreciation for your time, upon completion of the survey you will be entered into a draw for one of five framed reproductions from the Archives' collection. Personal information will be collected at the end of the survey to enter you in the draw.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!"

A Presentation For Irish Family Historians

The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society is pleased to announce a special evening for Irish family historians.

Noted genealogist Christ Paton, author of the new publication Tracing Your Family History on the Internet, will present a two-part lecture on the topic of "Irish Resources Online" on Thursday 16 June, commencing at 7:30 p.m.

If you would like to attend this event, please assist us with our planning and ensure the best rate by registering in advance. Send an e-mail to the Branch Education Committee at with the subject line "Irish lecture". Please note in your e-mail whether you are an OGS member and eligible for a fee reduction. Pre-registration will be accepted until 13 June. Registration at the door will be possible starting at 7:15 p.m. only if space permits.

Fees for this event may be paid in advance at a Toronto Branch meeting – otherwise, payment should be made at the door.

COST: Pre-registered OGS members $10 Pre-registered non-members $15
At the door OGS members $15 At the door non-members $20

For full speaker and program details and to check for registration updates, visit the Toronto Branch website at

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Canada in the American Civil War

Although Canada (British North America) was considered neutral in the American Civil War (1860-1865), with between 30,000 to 50,000 Canadians fighting for the Union (Northern), and the Confederates (Southern) side of the conflict.

They were signed-on by the recruiters, and according to a book by John Herd Thompson and Stephen J. Randall called Canada and the United States, Canada refused to return 15,000 American deserters, and draft dodgers.

Four of the sites which may interest you are - This site is very comprehensive. It gives the complete history of the Canadians in the American Civil War, has letters written by the soldiers back to their homes, and the history of The Underground Railway, the way taken by the slaves to come to Canada. Gives a brief history of Canadians in the American Civil War. This site is maintaied by Brian Massey, the great-grandson of William Massey who enlisted in the war Tennessee, although he was from the provience of Ontario. has updated it's holdings, and is offering a 14-day free access to the database.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A New Chinese Canadian Website

A new website has been launched which is dedicated to the oral histories of Chinese Canadian women during the exclusion period (1921-1967)*.

Launched March 31st, the website explores the impact of discriminatory immigration legislation with 33 new interviews conducted across Canada. You can see the interviews by going to

As the website says, "The MHSO started work on a two-year project, "Chinese Canadian Women 1923-1967: Inspiration-Innovation-Ingenuity". This project will bring together a variety of sources, including new oral history interviews that will be conducted across the country. It will culminate in an online portal that will make exhibitions, digital resources, learning materials and interactive activities available to the public. Online users will also be invited to contribute to this commemoration of the experiences of Chinese Canadian women".

Also online is the launch of "The Ties that Bind Online Exhibit" which was put on in Toronto, August 28, 2010.

There are more interviews with Chinese Canadians online. It tells how they made a contribution to Canadian history by helping to build the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Twelve descendants of the Chinese railroad workers are now sharing their family stories. You can see these stories on "The Ties That Bind: Building the CPR, Building a Place in Canada" online at

The project is sponsored by the Foundation to Commemorate the Chinese Railroad Workers in Canada, in partnership with the Multicultural History Society of Ontario, with funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada under the Community Historical Recognition Program.

* For information on this period in Canadian history, you can go to to read about the Exclusion Period.