Friday, July 5, 2013

Save Our Heritage Lighthouses

                                Seal Island Lighthouse Replica

Lisa Bastien—the Constituency Assistant–Outreach of the Office of Malcolm Allen, NDP M.P. for Welland, Ontario—asked for my help yesterday in spreading the word about saving out heritage lighthouses.

The message says, in part - “In 2010 the Conservative Government identified nearly 1000 lighthouses across Canada as surplus – meaning that these lighthouses are not active or they could be replaced by a simpler structure such as pole with a light on top as a cost-saving measure.

The Department of Fisheries & Oceans gave the provinces and communities groups 2 years to send in petitions and submit business plans to save their local lighthouses. As of May 2013, only 128 plans have been received, and the future of over 800 lighthouses are unknown. There are lighthouses in every province and territory at risk."

We think that the Conservatives need to stand up and protect our Maritime Heritage and work with the provinces/territories and local community groups to ensure that these lighthouses remain as beacons of navigation and history along our coastlines rather than downloading the coast onto others.

If you would like to know if there is a surplus lighthouse in your riding, please contact our office at 905-788-2204, or at".

A PDF copy of the petition is available by writing me at (I received a copy of the original Word file, but I can't post it for download from my blog.)

Personal Note: Lighthouses are dear to me because my great-great-grandmother spearheaded the project of building the lighthouse on Seal Island off of the southwest coast of Nova Scotia. Her name was Mary Hitchens.

In later years, her descendant, Walter Hichens, from Bethel, Maine, spent many summers on Seal Island, and eventually had one lighthouse built at Barrington Passage. You can visit it today, and learn the story of Mary Hitchens.

And, I'm pleased to note, the Canadian Coast Guard named a ship after her.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Family History Conference

The LDS Family History Centre in Brampton, will hold their  4th Annual Family History Conference called One World - One Family — Discover Your Family Roots. The conference will be held on Saturday, August 24th 2013, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

The cost: $20 (includes box lunch).

It will be held at the LDS Family History Centre, 10062 Bramalea Rd, Brampton, Ontario

To see who the presenters will be and their subjects that they will talk about, go to

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The St. Lawrence River

Retrace this river’s historic path with the exhibition Moving with the River at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa from June 21, 2013 to March 23, 2014.

When one thinks of the settlements along the river from Quebec City to Montreal, to Brockville, and to Kingston, it is the “Birthplace of the first colonies and passageway to the Great Lakes and the Canadian West for millions of immigrants, the St. Lawrence River played a fundamental role in the building and settling of Canada.

 The exhibition retraces the river’s historic path with the Iroquois' thousand-year presence on the land, Franco-Aboriginal alliances, growth of a French settlement in the St. Lawrence Valley and multiethnic European immigration for which Québec served as a gateway”.

An exhibition developed by Parks Canada and presented in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

The audience is open to adults, children, family, youth, young adults, and teens.

Reminder: Check out my Canadian Week in Review every Monday morning for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada

Historica-Dominion Institute to be named Historica Canada.

A press release has been released by the Historica-Dominion Institute of Toronto, in part it says -

TORONTO, July 2, 2013 - Stephen Smith, Chairman of the Board of The Historica-Dominion Institute, announced today that effective September 3, 2013 , the organization will change its name to Historica Canada.

'The new bilingual name will clearly and concisely reflect our focus on building awareness of our history and the values of Canadian citizenship, " said Mr. Smith. "These continuing priorities have formed our mandate since our two founding organizations, The Historica Foundation of Canada and The Dominion Institute, merged in 2009, and will continue to do so."

Based in Toronto with activities across the country, the organization's programs include the making of the popular Heritage Minutes - 60-second vignettes on Canadian History; The Memory Project, which provides audio, video and live platforms for the country's war veterans to relate their experiences; Passages to Canada, which gives newcomers to Canada a similar platform; the annual Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge; and Encounters with Canada, which brings more than 1,000 high school students from across Canada into Ottawa each year for a week of learning about their country. The organization is also presently building new interactive enhancements to its widely-used Canadian Encyclopedia, with those features slated to be unveiled this fall.

The new name will not take formal effect until the fall in order to allow for legal and logistical steps to be completed. In the run-up to the change and beyond, the present phone numbers, e-mail addresses, website and overall contact points for the organization will remain the same.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

British Columbia Genealogical Society Library Week

The annual BCGS Library Week will be held this year from July 15th to 21st, 2012. The Library Open House from 2-4 pm is on Sunday, July 15th. 

Library Week is a FREE event, and refreshments will be served.

From July 16 to 21st, the Library will be open each day from 10 am to 3 pm. Volunteers will be available to assist you in searching the Library collections and there are talks scheduled each day on various topics – Scottish, Irish, English. Canadian, US and Australian research, and on using Ancestry Library Edition and our BCGS website and more.

The schedule will be -

Monday: Scottish

Tuesday: Irish

Wednesday: English

Thursday: Canadian

Friday: United States

Saturday: Europe

There will also be sessions available on using Ancestry Library, the Genealogical Research Library and the American Ancestors on-line databases, and – and this BCGS website

For more information, go to


The following record groups have been updated –

Ontario, Canada, County Marriage Registers, 1858-1869 This database is an index to approximately 3.2 million marriages recorded in Ontario, Canada between 1801 and 1928

Toronto Star Obituaries, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1999 - April 2000, February 2001This database is an index to over 2 million deaths that were registered in Ontario, Canada, between 1869 and 1938

Canadian Genealogy Index, 1600s-1900s The majority of these records are from city directories, marriage records, land records, and census records.

You should check Ancestry at least every three months to see if the records have been updated.