Thursday, December 8, 2011

2012 Will Be a Banner Year for Canada!

There was a symbolic striking of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in Ottawa this week at the Royal Canadian Mint.

The medal will be created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. Sixty-thousand deserving Canadians will be recognized, and Canada Post will issue a number of stamps in her honour.

It got me thinking about other anniversaries which will be celebrated in Canada during 2012, and some of them are -

The Sinking of the Titanic Many of the victims are buried in Halifax. There will be a set of stamps issued by Canada Post to commemorate Canada's role in the sinking of the Titanic one hundred years ago.

The 150th Anniversary of the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada Regiment Their motto is "HONOURING THE PAST - PROTECTING THE FUTURE"

City of Victoria, 150th Anniversary Celebrating one of Canada's major cities and cultural centres.

Town of Torbay, Newfoundland and Labrador, 250th Anniversary Commemorating the landing of the English in Torbay in 1762.

Vimy Ridge 2012 95th Anniversary Commemoration There will be a list of events posted as April 9th gets closer.

Do you know of other anniversaries that will take place in 2012? If so, please post a comment, or send me a note with the details, and I will be glad to post them.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Canadian Legal History Blog

For anyone interested in Canada's legal history from a family historian point of view, The Osgood Society for Legal History is a website that you should look at

The society was founded in 1979, and now they have a blog on which they present the "News and Views" at

In the blog, they have obituaries online e.g. they have put on the obituary of John T. Saywell (1921-2011); they give a short history of the Chinese-Canadian Legal History; they write about Native History in the Court; and offer Links to Western Legal History – all interesting subjects for the family historian.

They have also published books, two of which are The Persons Case: The Origins and Legacy of the Fight for Legal Personhood, and The Law of the Land: The advent of the Torrens System in Canada.

They also have done a number of oral histories which are listed by name at Some of the people that have been interviewed are The Hon. Lincoln Alexander, The Hon. John Arnup, and The Hon. George Addy.

Although the oral histories are not online, you can contact them at for membership, or to ask a question.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Celebrate War of 1812 in Eastern Ontario

If you go to, you will come across the St. Lawrence War of 1812: Bicentennial Alliance.

There were military actions at Gananoque and Clayton, Brockville and Morristown, Prescott on the Ontario side, and at Ogdensburg on the American side. There were naval bases at Kingston in Ontario, and Sackets Harbor across the St. Lawrence in Upper New York State.

From October 1813 to February 1814, two major battles were fought at Châteauguay River in October and Crysler’s Farm in November.

There is a newsletter called "News From the Front," plus a blog which carries stories about the War of 1812 along both sides on Lake Ontario.

If you belong to a group of The St. Lawrence War of 1812 Alliance, or would like to start a group, you can have have your own page at

There are numerous forums on the site, plus a 1812 Related Events page which will tell you of the events which will take place close to home to those of us who live in the Ottawa area. They look very exciting, so make your plans to attend.

For the address for the 1812 Events, go to

They also have a Facebook Page at

For more websites, you can go to -

For Wellington in the War of 1812: Guarding the St. Lawrence

War Along the Upper St. Lawrence and the Canadian Regiment, 1812-1814

The War of 1812: St. Lawrence Google Maps

The Google Map highlights the various battles that took place around Eastern Ontario, Upper New York State, and Vermont.

Monday, December 5, 2011

New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs Week 14

Here are some of the websites and blogs that I have come across the week ending December 4, 2011

Cemetery Photo Album of St. Peter's Cemetery London, Ontario This has taken up the time of a newly-retired person, and they hope that it can be of help to others. There are photos of the tombstones in this cemetery in London, Ontario. You can contact them at

Acadian Descendants: Surviving Damnation This is a website devoted to the history of the 1755 Deportation from Acadia. The book tells the true story of the BENOIT family, descendants of Martin, to illustrate the trials and tribulations experienced by the Acadians.

War Diaries: Discover what individuals or military units during the war Library and Archives Canada has just posted a new blog at their site about war diaries.

Our Ontario Although Our Ontario was covered in my blog post of Historical Online Newspapers in Canada, they also have this demo site which has newspapers around the province which may have not been covered in the previous posts.

Maple Leaf Legacy Project As the website says, "The Maple Leaf Legacy Project is an enormous volunteer endeavour to procure a photograph of each and every Canadian War Grave from the South African War (1899-1902), World War 1 (1914-18), World War II (1939-45), Korean War (1950-52) and all United Nations Peacekeeping Missions to the present day conflict in Afghanistan."

The Udell Family The Udell family came to Canada in 1787. Trace their history through this site, and in the article in the York Ancestors Newsletter of the York Region of the OGS at

My Journey Back NEW! Jacqueline Foster writes about her family in Nova Scotia. She just celebrated her 1st blogiversary in November – Congratulations!

Norma-Jean's Genealogy Blog She says, "This blog will be used to announce changes to my Benoy Family web site and to keep the family informed of my genealogical research activities.". She also has a webpage on the Benoy Family at

1894 - 1895 Town of Ingersoll Directory This directory gives the name, their occupation, and their address.

Prince of Wales Immigration list 1813 The Prince of Wales left June 28 1813 from Stromness, Orkney, Scotland, and arrived two months later at York Factory on the western shore of Hudson's Bay.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Guild of One-Name Studies

The Guild of One-Name Studies (GONS) was started in England a number of years ago, and has steadily grown to where it is today - "the researching of all occurrences of a surname, as opposed to a particular pedigree (ancestors of one person) or descendancy (descendants of one person or couple)".

This can be the surnames that are derived from a geographical area, or from an occupation, or a patronymic-type surname, such as Johnson.

On their website, they have 7850 surnames which you can check to see if your name is there, a Member's Room which you can use when you become a member, and a webpage on which the members can give the surname that interested them, the variants of the surname, origin of the surname, the frequency of the name, data (in what countries the surname appears), DNA project, and the contact details if you want to contact them.

In Ottawa, we are are very fortunate to have a good genealogist in Elizabeth Kipp, who is the Eastern Canada Regional Representative for the Guild of One-Name Studies.

She has the latest knowledge about the one-name studies, has been to England on countless occasions, and if you have ever had the opportunity to read about her research trips to Salt Lake City, and other research facilities throughout Canada, the US and the UK, like myself, you would have to agree that she has a complete understanding of an organization such as the Guild of One-Name Studies and how they can help you to understand where your surname originated.

Elizabeth's email is She also has her own website on the Blakes at as well as a blog, English Research from Canada, at

I guess I will have to rectify the omission of my two surnames in the study because they are not in the database – BARCLAY of Scotland, and BLADES of England.

The website of the Guild of One-Name Studies is

Tomorrow's Post - New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs Week 14

Saturday, December 3, 2011

BIFHSGO's Great Moments in Genealogy

On Saturday, December 10th, from 10:00 am to 11:30 a.m. at the Library and Archives Canada, BIFHSGO (British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa) will present their annual "Christmas gift" for everyone - they will have four different topics presented by four different people.

The topics will be -

"How I Found 'Uncle Effie' While Helping to Research a WWII Pilot" by Mary Anne Sharpe

She will talk about how she was contacted by a genealogy researcher who was helping a Belgian man contact the families of several RAF airmen so he could round out the stories of the men who are buried in his local cemetery in Kaggevinne, Belgium.

Mary Anne will explain how she found out about the shooting down of a young WWII pilot from Sault Ste. Marie, the involvement in the search for information about the death of a man Mary Anne had always known as "Unle Effie", and how she found that both men were her cousins!

"Professor Robinson – Where did you come from?" by Roberta Kay

Professor William Robinson was the founder of the Department of Engineering, Mining, and Textile sections of the University College of Nottingham, England. Hear how she pieced together the life of her ancestor with a variety of resources, and which methods were used to uncover William's birth place.

"Revelations in a Paper Bag and a Shoe Box" by Anne Sterling

See how the discovery of inherited family photos and newly-found ones led her to meet various third- and fourth-cousins, and then do further research of a family in Fitzroy Township, Carleton County.

"Fun Boy, Fly Boy, My Reclusive Uncle" by Ted Lawrence

Kenneth Lawrence, born in 1918, was a fun-loving gregarious youngster, a practical joker, partier, and sports enthusiast in his high school years, and an inspired and courageous pilot during WWII.

This meeting is FREE, and if you haven't gone to a meeting before, BIFHSGO members would love to see you there. They are great people, and are eager to talk genealogy to you at the drop of a hat.

For more information, go to

Friday, December 2, 2011

York Ancestors Newsletter

The November 2011 edition of the newsletter of the York Branch of the OGS, Ancestors, has been published. It continues with "The Udell Family of Markham, Pickering and Uxbridge (Part 2)" in which Walter Udell continues the story of the family through the middle- and late-1800s.

If you are interested, a website has been developed at

At September's meeting, Rich Roberts from Global Genealogy talked about the latest edition of Family Tree Maker, and at the October meeting, Wes Playter talked about the Roadhouse & the Rose Funeral Home in Newmarket.

A Special Note: The York Branch will be celebrating their 15th year celebration in June. They are asking that if you have family history or photos that you would like to have featured at the party, email

You can go to their website at The York Region covers the former York County minus the City of Toronto.

If you are interested in joining Ontario Genealogical Society and the York Branch, go to