Saturday, September 17, 2011

BIFHSGO Fall Newsletter

While the Conference is going strong, I took a few minutes earlier this week to write down some notes from the Fall 2011 edition of Anglo-Celtic Roots, BIFHSGO's newsletter.

It should be noted that Jean Kitchen is the new Editor of the newsletter, having taken over from Chris MacPhail.

One of the articles, Her Majesty's Hospitality, by John D. Reid, is about the everyday life in the Coldbath Fields Prison where his great-grandfather spent a four-month sentence for embezzling 30 pounds from his employer – the London and County Bank Branch on Oxford Street in London.

John went to the London Metropolitan Archives, looked through the files, and discovered what life was like for his great-grandfather while at the prison.

Michael De St. Croix and Bryan D. Cooke have written a 6-page article on Florence O'Bayle's Irish-Anglo-Canadian Lineage (Michael's grandmother) to try and produce the correct genealogy of her life in England before she came to Canada, - and once here, her marriage to W. T. Tully, a railway executive.

You are taken through the process, and follow as they go through the marriage records, the baptism records, the confirmation records, and the Oath of Identity for the Old Age Pension in Canada.

Elizabeth Kipp returns again to bring us up-to-date with the yDNA results of the Blake family. The yDNA test now shows that there were two Theophilus BLAKEs, and the family is descendant from the Blake who emigrated from the British Isles in 1745, was located at Chester County, Pennsylvania, and by 1764 was living in Bath County, Virginia, and not from the other Theophilus Blake, who lived in New Hampshire.

The fourth article by Bill Arthur tells the story of how the Arthur and Hamilton families crossed in Ireland, back in the 14th Century, and how he awaits more surprises as a newly-discovered researcher enters the picture.

You can read the story in his article Homeward Bound from Bannockburn: Another Great Moment.

The website for BIFHSGO is

Friday, September 16, 2011

York Region Ancestors

I received the fall issue of the newsletter this week, and it is packed full of news and articles.

On the front page is an article by Susan Smart, "1906 – A Quaker Centennial Anniversary", in which the Friends hold a meeting which itself is covered in The Canada Quaker History Journal.

The second article is "The Udell Family of Markham, Pickering and Uxbridge (Part 1)" by Walter Udell. It traces the family from 1801 to about 1826, with an accounting of the children of John and Margaret (Brown) Udell.

The May 2011 Meeting – Question of the Month lists the question, “What are some of your favourite genealogical repositories in York Region?” and some of the answers were the Georgina Pioneer Village, the Kleinburg Library, and Vaughan Township Archives.

The York Region Branch website is at

Thursday, September 15, 2011

General Membership Meeting

The Sudbury District Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will have it's General Membership Meeting on MONDAY, September 19, 2011 at 7:00 PM at the Parkside Older Adults Center,YMCA 140 Durham St. South.

It will be an evening of "SHOW & SHARE" and you are encouraged to bring your genealogical gems, summer surprises, and vacation victories!

Tell us WHO you were looking for, WHY they were important to you, WHAT you found,and WHERE you found it!


Bring A Friend

Free Parking Under YMCA (After 6:00 P.M.)

Their website is at

The Friends of the Fort Frances Museum

The Friends of the Fort Frances Museum, ontario is hosting a meet-and-greet from 2-6 p.m. on Wednesday September 21st at the museum.

The group is looking for more members to get involved with The Friends of the Fort Frances Museum, form an executive, establish bylaws, and undertake the process of becoming a registered charity.

So everyone is encouraged to drop by and see what the “Friends” are all about, as well as bring along their questions or suggestions.

Everyone is welcome, with coffee, tea, and goodies to be served.

The website, and the email is

Under the heading of WHAT WE DO…, it says that the “The Fort Frances Museum contains a vast collection of photographs and artifacts related to the history of Fort Frances and the Rainy River District. These artifacts and specimens depict the past and the development of the area in terms of natural resources, first nations, exploration, settlement and people, industry and cultural achievement”.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Family in a Mural

In the village of DeGrau in Port au Port Peninsula in Newfoundland, there is a mural which shows two people in a brightly painted dory in the harbour in their home town.

To read the story, and to see the mural that Kassandra Simon painted, read the article on

Getting Ready for the BIFHSGO Conference Sept 16th to 18th

Remember those days when all you had to do to get ready for a conference was register and read over the pamphlet to see who was giving talks? Those days are GONE!

Now you have to do pre-conference homework!

I don't mind doing homework, and this is what I done -

Over the past few days, I listening to their podcasts at where Brian Glenn interviewed John Reid (a fellow blogger at, and this year's Program Co-Chair of the 2011 Fall Conference Committee; Brian Watson, the Co-Chair for Administration for the 2011 Conference Committee; Kathy Wallace, the Registrar for the 2011 Fall Conference; and Lesley Anderson, Director of Education all talking about the Conference 2011.

I have read about the BIFHSGO Fall Conference Speakers at and listened to 10 interviews with the speakers at I have kept up-to-date with John D. Reid's BIFHSGO Blog at

There will be 21 exhibitors this year, and they are at, and I plan to visit each one so that I can bring you news about new holding, new books, and new courses etc.

I read their "Getting the most out of the conference" at to make sure I covered everthing, and I think I'm ready for the Conference Friday morning!

BTW, I have been invited to blog, and tweet at hashtag #BIFHSGO about the Confernce – so stayed tuned!

If you are in the Ottawa area this weekend, please drop in to the Conference. Many people have worked a huge amount of hours to make it the best conference ever, and they would like to see a large crowd there to take in this event.

To see what is available at the Conference, go to

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Descendants of Roger Billings, Milton, Massachusetts to Ottawa, Canada

Mike More, a Director of the Ontario Genealogical Society was asked by the City of Ottawa Archives to research the Billings family from Milton, Massachusetts to Ottawa, Canada in the 1800s.

Mike says "The City of Ottawa Archives holds the Billings Family fonds containing over 7 metres from 1796 to 1988. MG2 contains the notes of Charles Murray Billings who considered himself the family genealogist about a hundred years ago".

He tells us that Braddish BILLINGS, a son of Dr Elkanah BILLINGS was one of the first settlers in what is now Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Braddish's house was left to the city by one of his descendants and has become the Billings Estate Museum. There is considerable interest in the genealogy of the BILLINGS family by visitors to the City Archives, and this is an attempt to compile a reference chart of the family.

There are over 800 people in the Surname Index. The Master Index shows the date of birth and death of some of the people listed in the Surname Index, and a Legend which tells you who have been excluded because they are still living, or because research is still ongoing.

If you have any information, please contact Mike at The website is located at