Saturday, March 10, 2012

Canadians Who Fought in the Boer War

Forces War Records (a British website) has just added an additional 250,000 searchable military records.

Boer War records have been added to the Forces War Records database, and these records contain data about members of the British and Commonwealth Forces who were issued campaign or gallantry medals during the second Anglo Boer War 1899-1902.

The war ended with the Treaty of Vereeniging, signed on 31 May 1902.

The website is at

Canada sent 7,368 soldiers and 12 Nursing Sisters to the Boer War.

The personnel records include medal registers, land grant applications, and correspondence relating to those who served.

One interesting thing I found was that L. Beverly Webster from Kentville, Nova Scotia (a distant relative of mine), served with the British Army, and he is recorded in the Forces War Records as having died in England.

But a legal reprensentative made an application for land grantis on his behalf, but he didn't live long enough to enjoy the benefit of being awarded the grant of land. His body was sent back to Nova Scotia, and he is buried in Kentville.

The website at the Library and Archives Canada is

Friday, March 9, 2012

Simon Fowler is Coming to Canada!

Gwyneth Pearce, of the Toronto Family History Branch, sent this reminder to me to send out to everyone about a workshop to be held on March 31st called "Finding Your Great War Ancestors"in Toronto.

She says that "This day-long workshop is jointly presented with the Canadiana Department of North York Central Library, and will take place on Saturday 31 March 2012 at the North York Memorial Community Hall, with convenient access from the North York Centre subway station.

Participants can choose one of three concurrent lecture streams - British Research, Canadian Research and "Case Studies and Curios" - or mix and match the topics that interest them the most. It will be an opportunity to learn from some of the world's leading Great War experts, including Simon Fowler, one of Britain's top family history teachers, writers and researchers.

Full program, speaker and registration details are available on the Toronto Branch website at

The early registration deadline has now passed but OGS members are still eligible for reduced rates - a full day of learning for just $55.

And then on Monday, Simon Fowler will be speaking in Ottawa at the Auditorium at the Library and Archives Canada at an event sponsored by the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.

He will present "An Evening with Simon Fowler" from 7 until 9:30 in which he will give two FREE lectures on "Researching your Military Ancestors Online", and "British Emigration Records".

Simon Fowler is one of Britain’s most experienced family history teachers, writers and researchers. He specializes in military family history, with a particular focus on the First World War, and is the author of numerous well-regarded research guides and articles. Simon worked on and off for The National Archives/Public Record Office at Kew for over thirty years and edited their family history magazine Ancestors. He also teaches online military history courses for Pharos Tutors.

The BIFHSGO site is at

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dave Obee Gives Two Talks

His first talk, entitled “Destination Canada”, will be given on Saturday, March 24th from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. at the West Vancouver Memorial Library.

More than seven million people arrived in Canada from Europe, the United States, and Asia between 1815 and 1930.

This talk discusses the wide variety of sources that deal with immigration to Canada, including ship passenger lists (available from 1865 through 1935), border-crossing records, and naturalization and citizenship documents.

The second talk, “Writing Your Family History”, will be held from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. in the Welsh Hall, and touch upon the reason for writing a family history, and how a well-written story will make other family members more interested in the research that you are doing. He will also discuss ideas that will help you get over writer's block.

For more information, visit the West Vancouver Memorial Library at, or write

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The DeHavilland Mosquito

This talk, to be held tonight on military aircraft, will be of interest for those people who are interested in World War II history. The North York Central Library published this press release yesterday, and it says -

'The North York Central Library's Canadiana Department is proud to host aviation historian and aero-engines expert Keith Hyde for a talk on the DeHavilland Mosquito aircraft, built locally at DeHavilland's Plant #1 at Downsview. Prior to Keith Hyde's talk on the Mosquito at 7 p.m., aviation history resources available at the Toronto Public Library will be discussed by Canadiana Department staff.

Join us at the North York Central Library Auditorium at 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto, on Wednesday March 7, 2012, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

DeHavilland Aircraft of Canada's Plant #1 was established at Downsview in October 1928 after moving from its first site at Mount Dennis. DeHavilland built Gipsy Moth aircraft totalling 1384 between 1939 and 1945 as well as building 375 Avro Ansons which were assembled from parts sent over from England. Both of these aircraft were used to train aircrews for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan that was established December 17, 1939.

Downsview Plant #1 took part in another significant war effort, building 1134 DeHavilland Mosquito aircraft. Known as the "Wooden Wonder", it was the world's fastest aircraft in World War II from 1939 to 1944 and also the world's first multirole aircraft, which in different variants carried out interception, bombing, reconnaissance and pathfinding missions for larger bomber formations. Planes built at Downsview flew to Goose Bay, Labrador for refuelling and then over to England to front line RCAF and RAF squadrons.

The Canadiana Department holds a reference collection of Canadian genealogy, Ontario local history, North York history, and materials related to Canada. The Department also houses collections from these genealogical societies such as Ontario Genealogical Society,  Jewish Genealogical Society (Toronto Branch), Canadian Society of Mayflower Descendants, York Pioneer and Historical Society, and Société franco-ontarienne d'histoire et de généalogie"

Contact the North York Central Library at 416-395-5623.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

English Historical Society of West Nipissing

A meeting took place at the Sturgeon River House Museum in Sturgeon Falls on February 25th, where twenty people came together to form the English Historical Society of West Nipissing.

They formed the group because they were concerned that local English history was quickly disappearing, and that something should be done so that historical documents and photos can be given a home where people can come, research, and learn about their English background.

An interim board will meet during the next several months to discuss writing a constitution, raising funds, discussing incorporation, and holding an election for officers of the new society.

TheWest Nipissing area has two Francophone historical societies, and the municipality has recently appointed the Advisory Heritage Committee.

For more information regarding the English Historical Society, please contact Jean Johnson at 705- 594-2513 or Wayne LeBelle at 705-758-9669.

Monday, March 5, 2012

New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs Week 20

Here are some of the websites and blogs that I have come across the week ending March 4, 2012.

Many Branches, One Tree This blog covers the family names of Amaro, Baron, Bennett, Fay, Gaffney, Hoppin, Huesca, Kangas, Makepeace, McGinnis, Perroyin, Quinn, Riney, Sannella, Schiavon, and Tully, in Ontario.

The Gray and Haley Family There are 7,990 names listed on this website, and it all started as a genealogicak project when the webmater started to research his parents from Nova Scotia, and how they met.

Canada Genealogy Queries Have you checked out this site lately? They have now have 1,9286 Canadian queries posted.

The Clark(e) Family Homepage James Clarke, born circa 1810, came to North America with the British army. Married to Bridget Duffy (b. 1830), James Clarke settled on Howe Island, an island south of Kingston, Ontario.

Stimers Genealogy Descendants of Jacob Stimers and Catherine Light. Jacob and Catherine came to live in Thurlow Township, Hastings County, Ontario in 1800 from Dutchess County, New York State.

Ontario Churches in Ontario History of some Anglican churches in Ontario.

Twigged: The Blog Included is a WWI album, and the history of the Bray family of St. Teath, Cornwall, England, who emigrated to Ontario, Canada.

Aboriginal Peoples: Guide to the Records of the Government of Canada (Revised Version) Originally released in 1996, the revised online guide includes updated instructions on how to locate records from the Department of Indian Affairs (RG 10 / R216) and the Department of the Interior (RG 15 / R190) in Archives Search. The guide also explains how to search by finding aid number in Archives Search.

Cyndi's List She celebrated her 16th birthday yesterday! It's hard to believe that when I first read this new "List", she would still be going strong years later. Congratulations, Cyndi!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Family History Event in Muskoka

Mark Saturday, March 24th on your calendar for a workshop on discovering your family tree.

This event will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located upstairs in the Masonic Building at 4 Miller Street in Parry Sound, Ontario.
Come and learn “how-to” information, available resources, and how to find help.

This event is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with assistance from the Bracebridge Family History Centre, the Muskoka Parry Sound Genealogy Group, the Parry Sound Public Library, and Seguin Public Libraries.

Everyone is welcome.
For more information, please call 705-346-0366, or visit