Thursday, September 12, 2013

The BCGS Bring-A-Friend Membership Contest

I read about the Bring-A-Friend Membership Contest this morning, and think it’s a really good idea. What do you think?

The notice says that “All current BCGS members are eligible for one entry for each full membership (not associate memberships) they sign up from August 2013 to January 9, 2014.

Three Prize Baskets will be awarded at the June 2014 meeting by draw.

New memberships taken out now will run from September 2013 to December 2014 so this is a nice bonus for the new members too!”

Go to for the Contest Membership Application Form.

Call for speakers

The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has issued a Call for Speakers for a spring 2014 workshop titled Scotland and its People.

This full-day workshop for family historians, to be held on Saturday 12 April 2014, will explore the social, economic and cultural history of Scotland.

We are seeking proposals for presentations at this workshop from professional genealogists, historians, family historians, librarians and archivists.

The deadline for proposals is Monday 18 November 2013.

You can contact Gwyneth Pearce, Secretary, Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society at
publicity@toronto or contact them at

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Recent changes at the FHL, Salt Lake City

Have you heard about the recent changes made to the FHL library in Salt Lake City?

Apparently, the research consultants have been moved from behind their walls and desks, and now they will be on the floors to be more accessible to the library patrons.

In the FamilySearch blog it says that “We have moved our consultants out from behind staff doors to assist at research counters and out on the patron floor.”

At the time of writing, the change had only been made, so they are asking “for patience and understanding as we implement and refine the new patron service model.”

They say that “The Family History Library is open more hours, provides more computers, printing options, and professional help than any other genealogical library, society, or archive in the world. We remain committed to providing all of these services free of charge to patrons from all over the world.”

So, do you think that these changes will be beneficial to the patrons? If anyone is going there this fall, on your return,tell us how you found it.

TONI database tops 2,400,000

The Ontario Name Index (TONI) has just recorded its 2,401,406 name, and it keeps on growing.

When I am asked to research a name in Ontario, one of the first places I check is TONI, to see if the name is there. One aspect of TONI which I find is really helpful is that often TONI also gives the county in which the name is found.

So what does TONI do?

• TONI is an indexing program and NOT a digitization program. Unlike some of our commercial and non-commercial colleagues, we are not limiting TONI to digitized sources and indexing them

• The Ontario Name Index (TONI) is a mega-index of names with the goal of including every name found in any publication relating to Ontario

• Indexes, particularly name indexes. These are the most valuable thing a genealogical society can produce

• The index will point people to the location of the information about that name. The location may be a Branch document, a web site, a microfilm, a family history, an archive, etc

• TONI will be on the public part of the OGS website so that anyone can access it

TONI is all of these things.

Go to TONI at

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

LAC UPDATE: Access to 15 databases in one stop

Some positive news from Library and Archives Canada, in that you can now search the nominal indexes of the censuses from 1825 to 1916 online. That is a total of more than 32 million documents, and they are FREE!

I have used them, and they are very helpful. Especially, when it comes to finding people of the same names in a particular county.

In the press release, the LAC says “This massive undertaking required continuous cooperation from members of a number of LAC teams, as well as highly organized operations, over a number of months.

What is the final result?

• A clear presentation that is consistent with the Government of Canada’s Internet accessibility standards.

• The ability to perform a search using nominal or geographical criteria.

• Standardized geographic metadata that is now available in both official languages.

• The ability to choose between images in JPG or PDF formats.

• Weekly automatic updates.

And, ultimately, for you, valued users, a much simpler and easier way to trace your ancestors”!

To go to the website, click on to

Toronto school memorials database

Gwyneth Pearce, Secretary,Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, sent us this notice –

More than 32,000 names now in Toronto school memorials database

It’s that time again… when children, parents and teachers launch into a new school year!

And to mark the start of classes for 2013, the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has added more than 2,700 new names and eight more schools to its on-line database of school memorials commemorating Toronto students and staff who volunteered for active service in the two World Wars and other military conflicts.

The newest schools in the For King and Country database include Essex Street, John English, Rose Avenue, Lambton Mills, Lansdowne, Humewood Public and Runnymede Collegiate Institute.

We’ve also added our first independent school – St. Michael’s College School – a Catholic middle and high school with a rich history dating back to 1852. The database now contains more than 32,000 names and 88 schools, with transcriptions and photographs of school war memorials, historical background and links to other useful school and community websites.

Explore this growing collection now at

To find out more about the For King and Country project, and how you can help, contact co-ordinator Martha Jackson at

And if you happen to be one of the many heading back to school this month, take a moment to remember the past generations of students and staff who went to war.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Canadian Week in Review 09 September 2013

I have come across the following Canadian websites, blogs, Facebook, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too


Biggar Branch, Saskatoon Genealogical Society The website says that the “Society members have recorded and indexed cemeteries in the R.M.'s of Biggar and Glenside, and the cemeteries at Landis, Cando and Lett (Rosemount). The Biggar Branch has published a list of births, deaths and marriages from The Independent Biggar, SK for the period 1913 to 1950 and they are available for purchase. Other indexing projects have included: obituaries from The Independent -1984 to 2006, undertaker records, census records, Canadian National Railway seniority lists and early school registers”. Note: These indexes are not online.

Barnardo’s Homes The website saysBarnardo’s ran hundreds of children’s homes across the UK from Thomas Barnardo’s day until the 1970’s. We don’t run orphanages and children’s homes anymore. However, this is a complete directory of all the homes and what has happened to them”. Note: I have used this list while doing research, and have found it to be a good list to locate Barnardo’s homes in the UK.


Genealogy Home Children in Canada This is a new site, provides an excellent list of Home Children websites in Canada.

Gone Researching: Genealogy experiences, thoughts, ... and we'll see where we go with this This new blogger is following family line in Ontario, among others.

Facebook, Videos, You Tube

Photos: New Brunswick’s Internment Camp B70 is a photo archives of Internment Camp B70, located in  Ripples, N.B. It housed more than 700 Jews in the early months of the Second World War.

Newspapers Articles of the Week

Ottawa is a work in progress Ottawa’s Carleton University professor Andrew Cohen write about the choice of Ottawa as the capital of Canada, and how so many people disagreed with Queen Victoria’s choice in 1857. The Maine Sunday Telegram suggests a trip to Quebec should be on every Mainer's must-do list.

Blackberry tea honours group's wartime heritage Read about how the British Columbia Women's Institute helped the Second World War effort by canning fruit and vegetables and sending them to Britain.

British Home Children enhanced Canada’s mosaic about how a British Home Child stayed in the grandparents home of writer Bill Hamilton, and how he was able to trace her voyage back to Liverpool, England.

Doors Open in Ontario this fall See the lineup of  the Doors Open in Ontario this fall.
Story of the Week

Some land records have been digitized

(Based on a bi-weekly column I write for the Vankleek Hill’s The Review. Parts of the column appeared on August 28, 2013) is a Canadian company in Ottawa which is preserving Canada's published history and some of these non-indexed records will be – free! Over the next ten years, it will work with 40 institutions, such as libraries, the Library and Archives Canada, and archives, to “identify, catalogue, digitize and store documentary heritage—books, newspapers, periodicals, images and nationally-significant archival materials—in specialized research databases”.
The part of which interests me is the Heritage Project at
The Heritage Project is going to take some of Canada’s most popular archival collections, such as 60-million pages of FREE primary-source microfilm images from the 1600s to the mid-1900s.
I have read the list and I am impressed! What would have taken me years to find these documents in the different institution across the country, will be appearing online right in my own computer.One of the first projects that they have done is the Heir and Devisee Commission of the Upper Canada (Ontario) Land Records. 
Records can include (although not always) affidavits, bonds, location certificates, powers of attorney, orders-in-council, copies of wills, mortgages, deeds of sale, and testimonial letters.

The digitized copies of the microfilm reels onsite appear in the same order as on the microfilm reels themselves. Remember, unfortunately, there is NO index by name.
Alternatively, the records are arranged by district, then by type of document, then in chronological, alphabetical, or numerical order.
The list of microfilm rolls are on, just click on the reel you want to view, and it is there for you to research.

Reminder: Check out Canadian Week in Review every Monday for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada. It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in country! The next post will be on 16 September, 2013