Monday, July 14, 2014

Canadian Week in Review 14 July 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.


New websites to help families find graves of first world war dead
Commonwealth War Graves Commission puts 300,000 original documents online for public viewing for the first time

History Week in Canada

In 1978, Alfredo Bessette of Montreal, known as Brother André, was declared venerable in a decree approved by the Pope. In Feb. 2010, he became modern-day Canada's first saint, with the formal canonization held on Oct. 17th in Rome.
To read more, go to
In 1989, CN Rail was allowed to abandon Prince Edward Island's only rail service.
To read about the history ot trains on PEI, go to
On 12 July 1920, author and historian Pierre Berton was born in Whitehorse. He died on Nov. 30, 2004. Ten years later, on 12 July 1930, actor Gordon Pinsent was born in Grand Falls, Newfoundland. 

Social Media

Former farmland now urban wetland
A video shows Hyde Park, a 123-acre wetland park in the Rosewood part of Saskatoon. that has been reclaimed from farmland that once was farmed by Orville and Hermine Hyde.
Video: SNTC's artistic history
A video shows the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company has produced an artistic retelling of the history of Saskatchewan.

No gimmicks needed to travel back in time to the first Calgary Stampede
In the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, you can take a trip back in time to the first Stampede by listening to Christine Leppard shares the history of the Calgary Stampede as its historical specialist. She is appearing in the Quirk Cabin, the 1886 home of pioneers John and Mary Quirk, located in Weadickville, Alberta.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Tunnel vision: What's with the underground discovery at Bannerman Park?
Was this a water drain or something else that has been discovered beneath Bannerman Park in St John’s?

Celebrating the wooden boat
The Trinity Historical Society and the Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador are putting together new exhibits to mark Trinity Historical Society’s 50th Anniversary. It is called Before Fiberglass: Wooden Boats of Newfoundland and Labrador, and it will include workshops.

French photographers seek N.L. WWI connections for project
Read how Eric Ecolan and Mathieu Drouet got together to visit Newfoundland to gather information about the soldier who fought in the First Woirld war in France, especially in two battles - Monchy-le-Preux and Beaumont Hamel.

Nova Scotia

Halifax, Nova Scotia: Bluenose Sidecar Tours
Tours provide a unique window on the significant episodes in the city’s life
Isn’t this a neat idea? Is there anyone else doing this?

You can now fire a cannon at Fortress Louisbourg
All visitors can learn about 18th century French artillery science and fire away
Another neat idea! For $38.80 fee, you can shot a cannon at Fortress Louisbourg this summer. 

Maxine Cochran, Nova Scotia’s first female cabinet minister, dies
She first served in 1984 after the death of her husband, Bruce. She was re-elected later that year in a general election and went on to hold a number of portfolios, including transportation, consumer affairs, and culture, recreation and fitness. 

Nova Scotia Revealed film crew visit Ship Hector
Clerisy Entertainment, a production company based out of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is in Pictou to explore the Hector Heritage Quay.

History comes to life at Iona's Highland Village
The Highland Village brings to life nearly two centuries of the Nova Scotia Gaelic story. 

Read the story about the Scottish pipes that were rescued at the Somme in 1916 in the First World War.

Prince Edward Island

Ellerslie student in the running in Young Citizens video contest
You can see who has won the Young Citizens video contest by going to website. Voting stopped July the 11th.

New Brunswick

Sackville author publishes three books on local history
Eugene Goodrich, Professor Emeritus (History), Mount Allison University, in association with the Westmorland Historical Society, has completed three works on aspects of the Tantramar region and southeastern New Brunswick. 

NB Museum gets extra $300K, and maybe a new home
Request for proposals for construction or renovation of Market Square location to be issued this month
There are changes coming to the The New Brunswick Museum – all for the better. 


A very moving story of Lac-Mégantic a year after the explosion and fire of the train explosion that hit the town on July 6th. 

The Notre-Dame-du-Vieux located in Pointe-Claire will close its doors in December, and 19 nuns will have to find other accommodation. 


'Camp X' unearths Canadian roots of CIA
History Channel documentary "Camp X: Secret Agent School," tells the story of an unlikely training ground for Canadian, British and American Second World War spies — some of whom went on to become the founding members of the CIA.

Watch 'Speakers for the Dead' - 50-Minute Documentary on *Hidden* History of Blacks in Canada
"Speakers for the Dead," which reveals some of the *forgotten* history of Blacks in Canada - specifically, the original black settlers of Priceville, Ontario, Canada, who've been there for centuries, and whose long-time presence and contributions have been mostly ignored. 


No stories this week. 


No stories this week. 


Alberta wants to change 'Wild Rose Country' to on licence plates
Read about the reaction to eliminate “Wild Rose Country” and replace it with “” – the government’s website address.

British Columbia

Heritage home could serve as agricultural interpetive centre
The Kittson house could become an agricultural interpetive centre if everythinbg turns out right.

Story of the Week

Here is a fun thing to do – vote for your favourite Canadian city.

Canada, because of its size and diversity, has lots of favourite places, and one of my favourite places is – Quebec City.

I first went to Quebec City with my parents in the 1980s for a short one day visit, and two years later, I went back to the city on my honeymoon. We had taken a trip through Maine, up the Canada Highway (where so many French-Canadians had gone down to the United States for work at the turn of the 20th century), through the Beauce – and it was beautiful beyond words.

We have returned there many time that first visit, and it is the most captivating city I have ever seen - especially in the wintertime – it’s beautiful. There is something about being there in all of the seasons that is like no other place I have ever been to in Canada. And besides - my husband is from there!

So now that your know my pick, vote for your favourite city at

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 July 21, 2014.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Reminder: Canadian Week in Review

Check the Canadian Week in Review tomorrow morning for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada. 

It has the latest news covered in New/Updated Websites, History, Social Media, and Newspaper Articles.

It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in country!

If you missed least week's edition, it is at 

It has been a regular post every Monday morning since April 23, 2012.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Call for Presenters: OGS Conference 2015 – “Tracks Through Time”

The Ontario Genealogical Society will host the Society’s annual conference on 29-31 May 2015 at Georgian College Campus, Barrie, ON, Canada. The conference theme — Tracks through Time – originates from the 130th Anniversary of the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway across Canada.

Many family historians have their roots in the immigrant laborers who built this railway across our vast country. Other ancestors were tempted by the transportation routes and migration opportunities allowed by its completion. Still others worked for the railway company itself over the years to follow. As researchers, we track our family history through time in many ways, always attempting to ensure we are tracking the right people from the right line. The variations on Tracks through Time are endless. 

The subject of presentations should preferably fall within one of the following categories:

1.Impact of the development of the railway in Canada
2. Tracking various cultural and ethnic ancestor groups to and within Canada (e.g., Aboriginal, African American, Chinese, Scandinavian, Quaker, Polish, Jewish, etc.)
3. Tracking ancestors through various record groups (land, company, religious, civil, etc.)
4. Tracking the right people (sorting out same-name research, One-Name Studies, etc.)
5. Technological advancements in tracking our ancestors

Saturday and Sunday lectures will be one hour long, including time for questions. Friday workshops offering a more in-depth exploration should be 2.5 to 3 hours in length, including time for questions. Consideration will also be given to distance presentations – “streamed in” from a presenter’s location and/or “streamed out” to a distance audience.

Each one-page proposal should include:

Presentation Title

Abstract – no more than 200 words

Presentation Description – one or two sentences for program brochure• Full Contact Information – name, postal address, telephone number, e-mail address, and website (if applicable)

Brief Biography

Target Audience – beginner, intermediate or advanced level family historians; general or specialist audience.

If your proposal is accepted, you will be requested to provide a 2- to 4-page summary of your lecture or workshop for our Conference Syllabus. This may include a brief overview, references and web addresses mentioned, sample screen shots, etc. It will be submitted electronically no later than 1 March 2015 as a word processing file or in rich text for ease of formatting our Program Syllabus. Speakers should also bear in mind that PowerPoint presentations must be clearly readable from a minimum distance of 20 metres/65 feet and should employ fonts no smaller than 32 points.

Please include your approximate travel costs, economy class, to Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Remuneration will normally include reimbursement of transportation expenses, free conference registration, free accommodation, meals on the day(s) of your talk(s), free social activities, plus honorarium. Workshop fees may be negotiated.

Contact Info: Conference 2015 website:

Email address:

The deadline is 12 September 2014 

Friday, July 11, 2014

LAC: Soundex - How to find spelling variations of a surname

The Library and Archives Canada explains how to use the JOS Soundex code to find information on names that are difficult to find because of the way that they are spelled. 
They say that “Many American archival records have been indexed using this system. It’s a way to search surnames while ignoring minor differences in spelling. The code uses the first letter of the surname, followed by three numbers associated with the sound of the name. 
Letters of the alphabet are assigned a number (0 to 9). Vowels (A, E, I, O, U and Y) and the letters H and W are not considered. Also, if the same letter occurs twice in a row in the name, it is counted only once (e.g., Lloyd becomes Loyd). If there are fewer than 3 letters in the name, 0 is used for the last digit.” 
To help you identify different spellings of surnames, we suggest that you use the following Soundex indexing site: Avotaynu Consolidated Jewish Surname Index at It can also be used for non-Jewish surnames. To help you identify the Soundex code, you can use the JOS Soundex calculator found at
So, speaking of ways to make genealogy research easier for you, have you entered the Canada Day Brick Wall Contest? This is the second year that I have had the contest and it closes at 6:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday, July 15th.
You can go to the website and get the details and get the details.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Special Meeting - QFHS Society

This office received a link to an article on the Genealogy Ensemble blog by Janice Hamilton to tell us about a special meeting of members of the Quebec Family History Society (QFHS) to be held this fall.

In part, the message says “The QFHS will hold a special general meeting of its members on September 13, 2014 for approval to obtain a Certificate of Continuance, a document that grants the organization continuance as a federally incorporated not-for-profit society.

Also on the meeting agenda is a discussion of possible future changes to its constitution. Members have been invited to submit written recommendations for changes to the bylaws, which were written in 1992. The deadline for these submissions is August 13.”

The link to the full story is

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Archives of Ontario - First World War Exhibit

The Archives of Ontario (AO), in Toronto, has put on an exhibit of a First World War family where six brothers enlisted. The exhibit is called The McLean Brothers of Sunderland,Ontario Real Genealogy Stories WWI Exhibit in the Archives Reading Room on the main floor, just to the left of the reception desk.

This is the story about of six brothers of the same family who enlisted together to take part in the Canadian war efforts. In partnership with guest curator Paul Hector this exhibit uses AO genealogical records to bring a very unique First World War family story to life.

I made my yearly trek to the AO in April of this year, and spent two days there, and accomplished a lot of client research. It is a fantastic facility, with a friendly, helpful staff. And it has a manuscript holdings that you can loose yourself in – I was impressed!

At that time they were busy gathering material for the exhibit, and I am glad that they were able to put it together. So if you are in Toronto, you should plan to visit.

They also have another exhibit online that you can visit - Dear Sadie – Loves, Lives, and Remembrance from Ontario’s First World War.

In this exhibit, you can read about four different families and what happened to them during the First World War. This exhibit “highlights the impact that the war had on individual lives”. 

I plan to return next June to do more research.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ireland Canada Monument Project

Every so often, I hear from the Ireland Canada Monument Project in Vancouver, British Columbia by receiving their newsletter.

The Monument project is an historic endeavour to give recognition to those of Irish birth or descent who have given or continue to give to Canada, its provinces and the City of Vancouver.

They say that “The core work for the project is basically complete and general agreement has been reached between the Monument Society and Vancouver Parks Board on site details. Once a new site is agreed upon, the Monument Society looks forward to finalizing the site layout with Parks Board staff.”

They have a blog at and you can be placed on the newsletter distribution list by writing to