Saturday, March 1, 2014

Goin' to the Corner Volume 2: An Update

The Elmsdale and Area Historical Society, located in the northwest corner on the province, has produced an Update to its book Goin' to the Corner Volume 2: An Update

A printed copy of the Update has been placed with the Alberton Museum; The MacNaught History Centre and Archives, Summerside; the Public Archives of PEI; and the UPEI Library. It includes a CD which has all the material in the Update on it. The Update covers errata in the book, new material that has been received by the committee over the past three years, plus material from new sources that have become available in the last three years (e.g 1921 Canadian census, 1940 US census, PEI marriage and death records, and recent obituaries). Copies can be made of the CD at those four locations.

Or if people prefer, they can email send an to and John can email a copy of the material in the Update. The Update also includes an Index to the Names in the Update plus an Index to the Names in Volume 1.

Copies of Volume 2 are still available for $40.00 from members of the Elmsdale and Area Historical Society (plus shipping) and from Bookmark in Charlottetown, the MacNaught History Centre and Archives in Summerside, Pridham's VandS in Alberton, Elmsdale Corner Gas and Convenience Store in Elmsdale and from the Alberton Museum (when it is open in the summertime).

Friday, February 28, 2014

RootsTech 2014 Wrap-up

FamilySearch has put on a wrap-up of the Roots Tech Conference 2014 on their blog at

They say that nearly 13,000 people attended this year’s conference, and there will be another 130,000 people are expected to attend local history fairs as they are held throughout the world in the months ahead.

I was interested to read that Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch, talked about “the dash,” - the line between the date of birth and the date of death on a person’s tombstone or genealogical record. 

The blog says that “He described how traditionally genealogy tends to focus on names, dates, and places in a family tree. However, the expanding interest in family history today, where the vast majority of people are drawn into their ancestors’ lives, focuses on the countless stories represented by the dash”. 

I have been working on a column for an online magazine in which I discuss the question Is Family History morphing into Life Stories? I layout the process which I think has spurred the subject forward from genealogy, to family history (social history) and finally to life stories (personal history). It is now a combination of all three disciplines – ending with the life story of an ancestor. 

I will let you know when the column is published.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Seafarers of the Atlantic Provinces, 1787 - 1936

This is an interesting index to me on a personal notes, because my ggg uncle James Barclay is in the database as well as his son Andrew from Shelburne, Nova Scotia. They owned ships - James owned a schooner called the Superb in 1842, and Andrew owned three ships – a brigantine called the Argus in 1837, a brigantine called the Ina in 1851, and a schooner called the Surprise in 1862. They were in the trading business and carried lumber and fish from Shelburne to the Caribbean, and fruit from the Caribbean back to such eastern American ports as New York, then back to Shelburne for more lumber and fish.

They were descendant from the Loyalist Andrew Barclay (1738-1823) from Scotland, Boston and New York. This was rewarding to me because I had looked for these records for years, and had not expected to find them, although I knew about the records at the Maritime History Archives in St. John’s Newfoundland. So this time brought them to me! Thank you, Ancestry for putting this index online!

Here is the announcement -

“This is a fully searchable database containing data on the vessels, captains and crews of Great Britain and Atlantic Canada, 1787-1936. This index-only collection contains records of crew members, masters, and ship owners for vessels registered in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. The collection comprises several sources from the Maritime History Archive in Newfoundland & Labrador. It is fully searchable by name, and other particulars and the records include a wealth of information including birth and residence, rank, voyage departure and arrival places and dates, vessel name and registration, and even wages and deaths at sea.

Records for the following ports are included:

· Miramichi, New Brunswick (1828–1914)

· Richibucto, New Brunswick (1880–1914)

· Saint John, New Brunswick (1820–1914)

· St. John’s, Newfoundland (1820–1936)

· Halifax, Nova Scotia (1812–1889)

· Sydney, Nova Scotia (1820–1914)

· Pictou, Nova Scotia (1820–1914)

· Windsor, Nova Scotia (1849–1914)

· Yarmouth, Nova Scotia (1840–1914)

· Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (1787–1914)

Details you may find in the records include:

· name

· age

· birth year

· birthplace

· residence place

· voyage departure date & port

· voyage arrival date & port

· date joined present ship

· discharge date

· rank

· wages

· discharge description

· vessel name, type, registration place, year constructed

The Maritime History Archive will research some of the records in its custody and provide reports and/or copies of documents on request for a fee. For more information on this collection and the Archives’ research services, visit the MHA website.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

FamilySearch has designated 2014 as “The Year of the Obituary’’

Now here is an exciting announcement that made at RootsTech 2014 -

The year 2014 has been designated as “The Year of the Obituary” for FamilySearch. We know that many family history centers have clipped obituaries from newspapers and we’d like to place these collections online on the FamilySearch website. FamilySearch will scan and digitize the collections. They will then be indexed and placed online. Digitizing obituaries will make these valuable collections easier to access and simpler to attach to FamilyTree. Information gathered from obituaries will help users to add people and data to Family Tree.

Here are some guidelines for what FamilySearch wants to collect:

· These records should be actual obituaries, not indexes.

· They must be camera-ready which means the obituaries should be attached to the same-sized cards (3×5, 4×6) or to 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper.

· If you have already indexed the collection and it is in paper format, please include that with your submission.

After the obituaries are scanned, you may request that they be returned to you or discarded.

If you have a collection you would like to submit to FamilySearch, please contact Nathan Murphy at

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Newfoundland Index of Birth, Marriage & Death Notices from Newspapers, 1810–1890 has announced a new database –

“This collection from the Maritime History Archive in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, includes an index to birth, marriage, and death notices from 42 Newfoundland newspapers. Entries from 1825 through 1890 were originally compiled in 13 volumes by Gertrude (Murray) Crosbie and then added to by the Maritime History Archive from newspapers dating back to 1810.

Almost all the entries are for eastern Newfoundland since the newspapers are primarily from St. John's, Newfoundland. The Newspaper notices collection can corroborate what you already know, or adds new names and/or details. It is an easy source to use to search for a family name or an individual. The database can also include disasters such as fire, outbreaks of disease and death by suspicious circumstances as well as trace the careers for members of the clergy, coroners, justices of the peace, surveyors and other government officials. People had to pay for an entry in the BMD column, so they may not include those individuals of lesser means”.

There are more than 40,000 records in the collection, which can include:

· name

· newspaper title and date

· age

· gender

· residence

· event type, place, and date

· place of burial for some deaths

· church

· cause of death

· spouse’s name and residence

· parents’ names

· comments

The website is at

Monday, February 24, 2014

Canadian Week in Review 24 February 2014

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


No new website this week.

Social Media

Genealogy à la carte Gail Dever recently launched her blog, Genealogy à la carte that was inspired by conversations she had with her genealogy friends over lunch and coffee. The blog is about family history news, resources, trends, issues, and education from a Montreal point of view. While the focus of the blog will often be about Quebec genealogy, it will also include posts about elsewhere in Canada and from around the world. Congratulations, Gail!

News Articles

Why we need to rethink Black History Month Read why this writer is feeling overwhelmed by all the publicity that Black History Month has received this year.

Pride in our nation's history: O Canada! Tour stops in Pembroke, Cobden O Canada! Tour is a bilingual play that is in the midst of a 60-school tour across different regions of Ontario.

New book details Canadian Rangers history The book is entitled: The Canadian Rangers -- A Living History and was launched in last Friday in Yellowknife.

Epilogue: History through quilting The University of New Brunswick ‘s Memorial Hall is hosting The Secret Codes exhibition. It is a display of colourful hand-woven quilts.

Steveston MLA backs bid for world heritage Status A local MLA has added his voice to that of city council in a local bid to get Steveston Village added to the United Nations World Heritage list.

P.E.I. Heritage Awards handed out during ceremony at Eptek Centre
Read about who had won awards at P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation’s annual Heritage Awards last week.

Living history
The internment and relocation of Canadians of Japanese descent during the Second World War is the subject of a play The Tashme Project: The Living Archives at the Great Canadian Theatre Company during the theatre's Undercurrents 2014 season.

Author’s first book looks to the past Read about how Stacey Carefoot wrote the story of Four Sisters, who were born in Victoria’s Chinatown in the early 1900s. The sisters were among the first Chinese children born as Canadian citizens.

Story of the Week

Canada Olympic Park (COP) (formerly known as Paskapoo Ski Hill) is located in Calgary, Alberta.

Canada comes up GOLD!

Yesterday, Canada won its 10th gold medal of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. It has been a good Olympic Games for Canada, and especially for our women’s and men’s hockey teams.

We won 10 gold, 10 silver, and five bronze from Sochi. Canada’s 25 medals total was fourth overall, behind Norway (26), the United States (28), and Russia (33).

The CBC has the latest on the men’s hockey win at

The women’s hockey team is covered in The Toronto Star Canada’s golden generation in women’s hockey pulls it off one more time

Reminder: Check the Canadian Week in Review next 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 02 Match 2014.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

MyHeritage and a BillionGraves Announcement

MyHeritage and a BillionGraves have a new imitative to announce  -

Dear friends

I'm delighted to share with you that MyHeritage has teamed up with BillionGraves to launch a global initiative to digitally preserve the world's cemeteries.

As we know, gravestones are very important for genealogy due to the rich information they contain, such as names, dates and biographical details. But there are thousands of cemeteries worldwide whose gravestones have never been documented nor has their information been made available or searchable online.

In addition, time is chipping away at the gravestones and many are becoming unreadable over the years.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be working with our global community to preserve and document gravestones worldwide, for future generations, using the BillionGraves app. The app uses patent-pending technology to let users photograph and document gravestones, and, with the help of MyHeritage, the app will be available in 25 languages, and will support Gregorian, Hebrew and Julian dates. The app also records the GPS locations of gravestones to make them easy to find, and volunteers can easily see which areas of any cemetery remain undocumented, to maximize efficiency and avoid duplication.

The records will be available free on BillionGraves' website, and MyHeritage's search engine for historical records, SuperSearch. MyHeritage's Record Matching technologies will ensure that our users will receive notifications whenever a gravestone matches their family tree.

Best regards

Daniel Horowitz
Chief Genealogist and Translation Manager

At the same time they issued a news release in which they said –

“We’re thrilled to embark on this global initiative with BillionGraves", said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Gravestones are among the most valuable information sources for family history research, and although there are many thousands of cemeteries worldwide, most of them have never been documented, and their information is not available online. Time is chipping away at the gravestones and many are becoming unreadable over the years, so it’s up to our generation to preserve them.”

“We’re delighted to work with MyHeritage on digitizing the world’s cemeteries”, said Hudson Gunn, President of BillionGraves. “At BillionGraves we are working to provide a comprehensive family history database for records and images from the world’s cemeteries—but it’s not something we can do alone.With MyHeritage’s support in mobilizing its massive user community and working with us to launch in 25 languages, we’ll be able to provide incredible value for millions of families and preserve this valuable data for generations to come.”

Over the coming weeks, MyHeritage users will receive documentation about the project and will be able to download the application via a special website designed for this project.

MyHeritage is available at