Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ottawa Genealogical Society Blog

The Ottawa Genealogy Society has a new blog at

Published since June 10th, I learned about it last evening while attending the AGM of Ottawa Genealogy Society at Library and Archives Canada.

I went to their site this morning, and found out that Mike More (the former chair of the Ottawa Genealogy Society, and the Region VIII Director), Edward Kipp (the editor of the Ottawa Genealogist, the Branch’s newsletter), Jim Stanzell (the Publications Officer), and Tom White (the Program Officer) all contribute to the blog on a regular basis.

For instant, while talking to Jim last night, I learned that he is putting on information on the War of 1812. Right now, he has the first of many postings on War of 1812, and this one will interest those who have ancestors in the 100th Regiment of Foot who settled in the Goulbourn Township, Carleton County near Ottawa.

I wish everybody concerned success in this blog. It is always good to see new genealogy blogs come on the scene with important information.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2011 Emancipation Day Bus Tour – “The Freedom Trial Celebration”

The Ontario Black History Society is pleased to invite you to join them on the following bus tour -

Date: Saturday, July 23rd

Departure Location: Yorkdale Mall by the Cineplex Entrance

Departure Time: 8:00AM

Return Time: 9:00PM

Cost: $ 65.00- Members, $75.00- Non-Members ($40 Deposit required upon reservation)
RSVP by June 22nd, 2011 to 416)-867-9420 or E-mail:

Sites to be visited include

St. Catharines Museum at the Welland Canals Centre
The St. Catharines Museum's award-winning exhibit, Follow the North Star, explores the black experience along the Underground Railroad and recounts the rich legacy of Niagara's African Canadians.

Anthony Burns Gravesite
The provincial historic plaque at this site honours the memory of Reverend Anthony Burns, the last person tried under the Fugitive Slave Act in Massachusetts. A verdict, which returned him to slavery, incited street riots. Boston abolition­ists bought his freedom and educated him before he settled in St. Catharines and successfully ministered at Zion Baptist Church.

St. Catharines British Methodist Episcopal Church (Salem Chapel)
Its proximity to the border, access to rail lines, and employment opportunities, established St. Catharines as a large refugee centre. In 1855 their first small log church was replaced with this larger, more finished building. Its open hall plan includes a three-sided balcony, providing seating capacity for the large number of people who regularly attended, often including the famous Harriet Tubman and the newly arrived refugees whom she had led to freedom.

R. Nathaniel Dett British Methodist Episcopal Church
Constructed in 1836, this building was originally in the area of present-day Niagara Falls, then known as Fallsview. The church was designated a national historic site in 2001. The Chapel continues to be the spiritual and cultural center of the black community. It was named in honour of native-born, world-renowned musician and composer of sacred music, Robert Nathaniel Dett, who, from 1898 to 1903, was the church organist".

The Black History Society
10 Adelaide Street East Suite 402
Toronto, Ontario, M5C 1J3
Telephone:  (416) 867-9420 Fax: (416) 867-8691
Website: www.blackhistorysociety

World Acadian Congress Family Reunions

Organizers of the L'Acadie du Monde (International World Acadian Congress, to be held in August 2014) are looking for people who can organize family reunions. They hope to bring Acadian families from all over the world to celebrate the cultural traditions by attending the Congress in August.

The theme for the 2014 Congress is "Lands and Forests", which will be held in Maine's St. John Valley, in southeast Quebec, and in northwest New Brunswick.

They are hoping for 100 family reunions, and for over 50,000 people to attend the two-week-long Congress.

Acadians are the descendants of colonial French families who were exiled from their homes in 1755 by the British government in what was called Le Grand Derangement, or The Great Displacement.

Applications for families interested in hosting a family reunion are available online at the website for the fifth World Acadian Congress at

Monday, June 20, 2011

Finding Ontario Ancestors

Just received this press release from the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogy Society (OGS) -

“The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and the Canadiana Department of the North York Central Library are co-sponsoring "Finding Ontario Ancestors", a one-day summer workshop exploring the richness of Ontario records. Find out how to get the most from familiar records or discover a new source to expand your understanding of your Ontario ancestors. You’ll enjoy this relaxed, information-packed day with speakers who revel in the intricacies and richness of records – and love to share their knowledge. The workshop will be held in the Auditorium of the North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto, at the North York Centre subway station. Early registration rates are available until 15 July 2011. Discounts are available for OGS members. For program, cost and registration details, visit To check availability, call 416-733-2608 (voice mail) or e-mail”.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

War of 1812 Database

New on the Ontario Genealogy Society (OGS) site at they have a Records Page, and today, they have added a "collection of War of 1812 Militia Documents".

The person who has worked hard, and many hours transcribing the Records from the Library and Archives Canada is Genealogist Fred Blair.

The first two sets of Records are from the York Militia, and they are -

2nd Regiment of York Militia – Payroll at

2nd Regiment of York Militia and 5th Regiment of Lincoln Militia - Flank Companies and Others at

He offered them to the OGS with the understanding that they would be available to ALL researchers – free of charge!

I went and took a look at them myself, and Fred did an impressive job. Besides transcribing the records, he also put his own notes in with the Records, and you should read them to see if they apply to the ancestor you may be looking for in your family history.

This is just the beginning of the Records he will be allowing the OGS to place on their site, so stayed tuned as Canada goes into the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812 in 2012.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Version of the Lower Canada Land Petitions (1626-1865) Database

I have just received this notice from Library and Archives Canada -

Ottawa, June 8, 2011 - Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the release of a new version of the online database Lower Canada Land Petitions (1626-1865). This version includes digitized images of the actual petitions for all individuals listed in the database. Corrections to entries, including suggestions received from users, have also been integrated into this updated version. Many staff members contributed to the success of this project, and their efforts are much appreciated.

The database is available at:

For more information, please contact

I tested the database myself by putting in David Barclay. I found two names that matched David Barclay, and the years (1783-1804) seemed to be right.

He was the son of a United Empire Loyalist (Andrew Barclay) who settled in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, but one of his sons didn't stay, and I am alwats looking for him to show up somewhere. I have no idea where he went, so I am always searching databases worldwide to see where he went.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

OGS Conference 2011 – Day 3

Although lectures did not start until 9:00 o’clock on Sunday, I had an early day, starting with the First Annual Families and NewsLeaf Breakfast at 7 o’clock.

We were all set to take a picture of the group to share with you, but the conversation got so interesting, and with Dick Doherty dropping by, we plumb forgot about it.

Joyce Fingland, the new editor of NewsLeaf and e-NewsLeaf was there, as was Judy Mills, one of the associate editors of Families, along with Kathy Baker, one of the proofreaders, and a couple of other guests, including Sarah Newitt, OGS Executive Director, and Fraser Dunford, the Executive Director Emeritus.

Then I went to the marketplace to say my hellos to people I promised to stop and talk to, and it included Ed and Rick's wives (Lynne and Jennifer, respectively) at the Moorshead Magazine table (Ed and Rick were still making their way back from NGS in Charleston, South Carolina), the OGS table, and the Dundurn Press table, where I heard of the exciting year they have planned for books. I also met with Louise St. Denis of The National Institute for Genealogical Studies, having just arrived from the NGS Conference 10 minutes before I saw her.

I also had my own aha! moment at the Conference. Talking to the nice folks at the Brant Branch table, I discovered some information on John Millership Merriman, who had come over to Canada in the 1920s, and ended up writing for the local newspapers. It was the latest discovery in a line of aha! moments stemming from a "Hi! Do you have anything on John from Canada?" letter I received a couple of years ago :-) (more on this in a later post) ...

So after I had my own “Meet and Greet” session, it was time to go to the closing plenary session to hear Dave Obee talk about social networking in his talk, “Blogs, Posts, Tweets and Apps”.

It made a good closing talk because it followed Brian Gilchrist's Houston Lecture talk Friday evening in that he explored all of the technology (which he says were invented for genealogists - why else would it have been invented?).

If you want to read some of the talks given at the Conference, you will be able to do so in the August issue of Families.

If you want to read Families, but are not an OGS member, you can now join for half a year, staring in June - in addition to regular membership benefits, you will be able to receive the August and November editions of NewsLeaf and Families, and four issues of e-NewsLeaf.

You can apply for membership at

Next year’s Conference 2012 will be held in Kingston. The theme will be Borders and Bridges, and the War of 1812 will be explored.