Friday, March 8, 2013

Atwater Library Luncheon Series Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day

On Friday, March 15 at 12:30 p.m, Dr. Dana Hearne presents readings from the best of Irish poetry and fiction, accompanied by the music magic of Andriu MacGabhann (Belfast Andi) and Patrick Hutchinson.

And on Thursday, March 21 at 12:30 p.m., there will be a talk On D'Arcy MCGee with David A. Wilson Professor of History at the University of Toronto.

Prof. Wilson will give a talk on D'Arcy McGee, based on his award-winning two-volume biography, Thomas D'Arcy McGee: Passion, Reason, and Politics, 1825–1857 and Thomas D'Arcy McGee: The Extreme Moderate, 1857-1868.

He will end his presentation by playing the Lament for the Death of the Hon. D'Arcy McGee, composed by James Stephens.

These talks will be presented at the Atwater Library and Computer Centre, 1200 Atwater Ave. at Ste-Catherine (métro Atwater), Montreal. With funding for the author from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Free admission; donations invited. Everyone is welcome.

The Atwater Library website is at

Descendants of Francis Harris of Sandy Cove, Nova Scotia, United Empire Loyalist

Just received a note from Ross W. McCurdy in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, that he is putting together a companion piece to recently published Descendants of James & Anna (Rice) McDormand of Brier Island, Nova Scotia.

Francis was originally from Dutchess County, NY being baptized there 9 May 1740, s/o Joseph & Catharina (Hegeman) Harris. As may be expected, descendants are numerous and are spread over the U.S., Canada, and beyond.

He and fellow descendant, John Blythe Dobson, FASG, have been busy putting the compilation together, and they would like to hear from anyone who would have information on the Harris family.

Anyone with questions or wishing to contribute material may contact either party: Ross W. McCurdy at or

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cosy Homesteads: The Life and Lore of Traditional Irish Dwellings

The next monthly meeting will be held on Saturday March 9, 2013 at the Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa.

There will be a pre-meeting that will start at 9:00 to 9:30, and it will be a Before BIFHSGO Educational Talk on Tracing Your House History by Dr Bruce Elliott.

The Discovery Tables – Ireland will be open from 9:15 to 10:00 am, and Keith Hanton and the Irish Society of the National Capital Region will be there to answer your questions about Ireland, and the monthly meeting will take place at 10:00, and will end at 11:30.

The speaker will be Dr. Rhona Richman Kenneally, and she will talk about Cosy Homesteads: The Life and Lore of Traditional Irish Dwellings.

The aim of this presentation is to overlay the experience of the Irish “cottage” as a physical space, with the symbolic associations it has been granted over time.

Dr. Richman Kenneally talks about cozy cottages, architecture and food in an interview with Brian Glenn at

If you wish to go the website at BIFHSGO, you  may go to

Family Tree is Live on for All Users

In a blog entitled Family Tree is Live on for All Users, Tara Bergeson wrote about the new Family Tree on

She writes that “Much has been written about Family Tree, the first of several site enhancements for, and the replacement for We’re happy to report that Family Tree is now live on and is available to all users. This opens up the contribution, collaboration, editing, and sourcing tools of Family Tree to researchers—including potential family members— around the world”.

You can

Connect and collaborate with others on shared family lines

Edit and delete incorrect data, including relationships

Provide sources and links to online information that shows where you found family information

Preserve family tree information for future generations

Use Family Tree on behalf of someone else (helper)

Print pedigree charts, family group records, and other reports

Go to the site and click on Family Tree at the top of the page. They also have a training website to view tutorials, and access a user guide that you can check.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Breaking the Silence –British Home Children in Canada

On Saturday April 6th 2013 from 1pm to 4pm there will be a special meeting in which the Ontario East British Home Child Family in cooperation with British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association, otherorganizations and individuals from across Ontario will be presenting information on British Home Children at the Ottawa Public Library.

They will provide assistance in finding the stories associated with the over 120,000 children, who came to Canada between the 1860s and the1940s as indentured servants.

Ranging in age from 1-16 years, these impoverished children from all parts of the British Isles came to our country in hopes of a chance at a better life. It was with these hopes that many philanthropic organizations working in tandem with the government to bring these children to Canada and other British Colonies.

Hear how their stories have lay hidden for decades due to the stigma attached to them. Only now many Canadians are learning that their family member was a British Home Child.

Join us as we give these children a voice and place in Canadian History.

If you suspect that your ancestor was a Home Child, this is a meeting that you should attend. Many people were Home Children, although their family never knew that they were – and there are such great resources that have been put on the Internet by genealogists from Ottawa.

Check out the Home Children website at

Toronto Tax Assessment Rolls for 1853

The Toronto Branch of the OGS has produced an indexed transcription of the Toronto tax assessment rolls for 1853. The original assessment rolls for 1853 are at the City of Toronto Archives.

There are two parts of the assessment rolls -

The first part of the project is a searchable online index available on this web site

The index (more than 9,000 names of owners and occupiers) and images is available free of charge to researchers around the world.

The second part of the project is a book and CD version of the index with lots more information for researchers with interests in mid-19th century Toronto.

There are maps and descriptions of the wards and streets, vital records, religious records and cemeteries, land records, immigration, directories, published sources and historical background.

You can order the book or CD version Toronto in the 1850s: A transcription of the 1853 tax assessment rolls and guide to family history research. The ordering instruction are on

Niagara Peninsula Branch Supports Canadian Headstones Project

Steve Fulton, the Chair of the Niagara Peninsula Branch of the OGS, tells us that the Niagara Peninsula Branch is making great progress in putting gravestones onto the CanadianHeadstones website.

Currently, they are working on the Fonthill Cemetery. In the spring, they will be looking for people who enjoy taking pictures or people who can get involved from the comfort of their home, and training is available

So if you live in the Niagara Peninsula, or you have information that you would like to share with the people at the Niagara Peninsula Branch,     don’t hesitate to contact them.

The website for the Canadian Headstone Project is at

The website for the Niagara Peninsula Branch OGS is at