Tuesday, July 29, 2014

FamilySearch to improve its Research Wiki pages

FamilySearch.org is improving its Research Wiki pages.

They say that "There will be more space on the web page to view enriched text and images. There will also be increased editing capabilities for contributors and several other useful changes".

You can go to the Testing: Wiki Usability page at https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Testing:_Wiki_Usability to give your opinion of the proposed changes.

Meanwhile, they have added more indexed Catholic Parish Registers, Quebec 1621-1979 to their records.

This collection contains images of Catholic parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials. It also includes some confirmations and some index entries for Montréal and Trois-Rivières.

Go to the website at https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1321742

If you want to index, you can go to https://familysearch.org/indexing/get-started-indexer

Monday, July 28, 2014

Canadian Week in Review 28 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.

History Week in Canada

In 1793, Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Scottish-born explorer and fur trader, reached the Pacific Ocean at Dean Channel. He had just crossed the Rockies, and to mark this achievement, he painted on a rock the inscription - Alex Mackenzie from Canada by Land 22nd July, 1793. This was the first east to west crossing of North America, north of Mexico.

To read more about his life, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Mackenzie_(explorer)
In 1892, fire destroyed most of St. John's, Nfld.

To read more about the fire and its aftermath, go to http://www.heritage.nf.ca/law/fire_1892.html
In 1948, Newfoundlanders voted narrowly in a referendum to join Confederation. The campaign for confederation was led by journalist Joey Smallwood, who was asked to form an interim government. Newfoundland officially became Canada's tenth province on March 31, 1949.
Did you know that in 1961, the government of Canada officially opened the town of Inuvik, Northwest Territories? The town, the largest Canadian community north of the Arctic Circle, was constructed to replace the old settlement of Aklavik.

To read more about Inuvik, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inuvik

Social Media

Molly’s Canopy
Her name is Molly and she said her “passion for family history research was ignited more than 20 years ago on a vacation trip to Montreal, Quebec, when I found my paternal great, great grandfather Laurent Charbonneau’s 1832 baptismal record in an archive”.

Crème de la crème blog
Genealogy à la carte
Be sure to check out Gail Dever’s blog. She carries other news stories in her daily blog, and I cover them on a weekly basis. Together, we try to bring the latest Canadian news to you!

Newfoundland and Labrador 

No stories this week.

Nova Scotia

Genealogical society’s records at risk
Cheryl Lamerson of the South Shore Genealogical Society says the society is facing a problem – what to do with the society’s museum collection. They need a space, and they need it now!

Sod turned for new Ross Farm Museum learning centre
The new 16,000 square foot centre will house public spaces including an entrance and foyer, programming rooms, washrooms, meeting rooms, an open hearth room, a commercial kitchen, a gift shop, staff/administration space, a period costume area, a historical society office and research space and controlled storage for artifacts.

Gaining perspective: Unique history lessons at Maritime Museum’s War of 1812 exhibit
That includes Maritime causes of the war, its impact on Nova Scotia’s economy and the legacy of Black refugees.

Prince Edward Island

No stories this week.

New Brunswick

N.B.'s Central Hampstead Baptist Church sells for $1,900
A New Brunswick church built in Canada’s confederation year sold for $1,900 at auction on Saturday. The buyer plans to move it down the road, and turn it into a cottage. The church was built in 1867 and it was the Central Hampstead Baptist Church, near Gagetown.


What’s happening to Montreal’s churches? Quebec finding new ways to preserve its heritage in a secular age
The purpose of church buildings are changing!

Quebec police move to block auction of Lac-Mégantic locomotive
The locomotive MMA 5017 was scheduled to go on the auction block on August 5th in Maine, but the action has been blocked by the provincial police until the end of the judicial process.


Old tombstones located south of LaSalette
Perseverance paid off for a group of history detectives in LaSalette, Ontario. Following several failed digs last year, the group has finally located the burial ground for a collection of 19th-century headstones that were destroyed and buried in an old Catholic cemetery. 

Portrait of aboriginal leader Joseph Brant sells at auction for $7.5 million
Gilbert Stuart's work may be most valuable portrait of Canadian leader ever produced
Brant was known as Thayendanegea to his followers.


Group of Manitoba teachers to visit Juno Beach for educational tour
Four teachers will be in Vimy as part of the 10th annual Professional Development Battlefield Tour for Educators.


Map: More Saskatoon history coming to a smartphone near you
Through mid-August and September, the Nutana and Broadway Heritage QR code self-guided walking tour will be expanding even further to include more than 30 new points of historic importance and interest.


Archeology is messy, sweaty and slow - but the rewards are worth it
Read about a couple who are spending part of their summer at Bodo, a small Alberta community about three hours from Edmonton. The place was once inhabited by the Plains Indians, who hunted bison and camped in the area in the past 5,000 years.

Canada remembers Korean War
Yesterday, Canada celebrated Korean War Veterans Day. From 1950 to 1953, 26,000 Canadians saw action in Korea, and played a great role in the success of the first United Nations intervention by halting the aggression and securing a truce that has held for the past 61 years.

Heirloom is part of Wild Rose Overseas: Albertans in the Great War, an exhibition at Calgary's Military Museums
Read how University of Calgary student, Michael Hilton started working on his Canadian Studies project, and he discovered a letter from his great-grandfather, Canadian soldier Edward Iley, written on the fabric of a German aircraft wing shot down by Iley’s battalion.

And the story continues …
WW I memorabilia connects family to its history: Calgary brothers find link to their great-grandfather through letter, photos

British Columbia

'Your history is standing straight up': Survivors' Totem Pole to be raised in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside
The Totem pole, called The Suvivors’ Totem Pole, is being carved by the only female apprentice of the Haida artist Bill Reid -- Skundaal, of the Raven Haida.

First Nation Works to Preserve Historically Important Trees
New project will identify, protect culturally modified trees
It includes trees in the Great Bear Rainforest that have been altered by First Nations people as part of their traditional use of the forest. Some of these trees date back to pre-contact time with the Europeans.

Story of the Week


Top 10 Endangered Places to See Before They Are Gone

Heritage Canada National Trust recently released its Top 10 Endangered Places list, outlining the most iconic heritage sites and structures in the country that may soon be gone.

Here are the five structures -

1. The Robertson Headframe is the tallest free-standing structure in the Northwest Territories, and has ruled over the Yellowknife landscape since 1977. 

2. The pre-1940s heritage homes on Vancouver's West Side are bring torn down at an alarming rate to make way for bigger, pricier houses. 

3. The Paramount Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta was built in 1952, but Famous Players bought and closed the building in 2003. It been the site of real estate speculation ever since. 

4. Built in 1882, Guelph's heritage-designated Petrie Building is considered a local landmark in the city's downtown. The towering four-storey structure was originally built for a local pharmacist, and features large windows and a mortar-and-pestle design in the stonework. Now it is on the demolition block. 

5. Former Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) Locomotive Repair Shops in Stratford, Ontario. Officials in Stratford, are trying to decide what to do with a 105-year-old locomotive repair shop they acquired in 2009. The 46,000 square-metre structure is considered culturally significant, but the city of Stratford does not see it that way.

To read about the rest of the structures, go to http://www.heritagecanada.org/en/issues-campaigns/top-ten-endangered 

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 August 4, 2014.

Sunday, July 27, 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 most up-to-date news items covered in New/Updated Websites, History, Social Media, and Newspaper Articles. 
It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in country!
It has been a regular post every Monday morning since April 23, 2012.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

350th anniversary of the Notre-Dame de Québec parish

The Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec
Photo credit: Gilbert Bochenek

The year 2014 marks the 350th anniversary of the Notre-Dame de Québec parish, the oldest Catholic parish in North America, north of Mexico.

Monsignor François de Laval, who arrived in Québec City in 1659 as the vicar apostolic, signed the decree for the establishment of the parish on September 15, 1664, in honour of the “Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

The church, located on the Cap-aux-Diamants promontory, was opened for worship in 1650. Over the years, it has undergone many alterations, including renovations, expansions and reconstructions.

The 350th anniversary is being celebrated in a special way with the opening of a Holy Door, a symbol of humility and a rare privilege granted by the Holy See. The Holy Door is the seventh in the world and the first in North America. It will remain open until December 28, 2014.

The history of the Holy Door is http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/documents/ns_lit_doc_14121999_porta-santa_en.html

The Holy Door is open from 8:45 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. Monday to Sunday, until September 1. From September 2 to December 27, the Holy Door is open from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Friday and to 16:45 on Saturdays and Sundays. On December 28, during a celebration, the Holy Door will be closed and sealed until the next Holy Year of the Roman Catholic Church, around 2025.

To read about the history of the Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica, go to https://notredamedequebec.org/en/feasts-of-the-350th.

There is not a charge to enter; however, all offerings would be greatly appreciated.

Library and Archives Canada says in its blog that it has “historical records on the Notre-Dame de Québec parish, including many iconographic representations of the church in different eras. The Notre-Dame Catholic parish fonds (Québec City) contains baptismal, marriage and burial records, as well as various parish censuses conducted in 1744 and between 1792 and 1815”.

A description of the fonds is available at http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=98024

A news article appeared in the July 21, 2014 edition of the Canadian Week in Review (CWR) in a Maine newspaper which said that a pilgrimage is being planned to Québec City in October of this year. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Gae­no­vium: A new kind of conference

They say in their press release that “Gae­no­vium is the genea­logy tech­no­logy con­fe­rence, by genea­logy tech­no­logists for genealogy technologists. Gaenovium is exclusively for academics, developers and visionaries at the forefront of genealogy technology. 

Leaders in genealogy technology come together to learn from each other, discuss current issues, explore the bleeding edge, share their wisdom and insight, passionately argue their viewpoints, and just have an all-around good time”. 

A lecture will be given by Louis Kessler from Winnipeg, and some of the other speakers are Timo Kracke, Tony Proctor, and Michel Brinckman. 

Gae­no­vium 2014 takes place on 7 October 2014 in Leiden, Netherlands. It will be a small and intimate event, and includes an all-attendees dinner.

MyHeritage.com and RootsTech are the official sponsors. 

They just started a Facebook page yesterday at https://www.facebook.com/Gaenovium 

They also have started a blog at http://blog.gaenovium.com/ 

Postscript: I have just sent an email them to ask that the panel discussion - Current & Future Genealogical Exchange Standards be an HOA broadcast. If you feel the same way, you can write to them on their Facebook page or you can email them. Let’s see if we can convince them to present the panelists in an Hangout on Air.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

60th annual Manitoba Threshermen's Reunion & Stampede

This year, an unique show will be held at the 60th annual Manitoba Threshermen’s Reunion & Stampede from today until the 27th of July at Austin, Manitoba.

They will be commemorating the First and Second World Wars in displays, exhibits, and musical performances in the “Manitoba’s Military Heritage”. It will commemorate the impact of the 100th Anniversary of the First World War and the 75th Anniversary of the Second World War on Manitoba farms, families and communities.

The feature attraction will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that includes many unique features such as

•Manitoba’s largest assembly of operating vintage military vehicles, including 1 of 2 operating First World War era Sherman tanks in Canada and a motorized First World War field ambulance

• Live daily presentations of Life in the Trenches for a First World War soldier at 11 am and 3:30 pm

• Displays of the current and heritage capabilities of Canada’s Armed Forces from 1 RCHA and 2 PPCLI from CFB Shilo.

• Exhibits on important Manitoba military sites, people and units stationed in Manitoba

• Daily fashion show of military uniforms and civilian dress from the war years at 4 pm

• Musical performances from the RCAF Air Command Band (Friday and Saturday) and the PPCLI Regimental Drum Line (Saturday only)

Go to their website at http://ag-museum.com/

You can go to the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mbagmuseum

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ancestry Update: South African War Land Grants, 1908-1910

Ancestry.ca has added a new historical record -

“During the South African War (or Boer War) of 1899–1902, for the first time, Canada sent troops to fight in a war overseas. About 7,300 Canadian troops and 12 nurses served in South Africa. Veterans of the war were became eligible for 320 acres of Dominion Land (or a payment of $160 in scrip) under the 1908 Volunteer Bounty Act.

This database contains applications for these bounty land grants. Applications typically include the following details:

· name

· gender

· service start date, location

· residence

· death date

· place of death

· age at death

· birth date

· birth place

· regiment

The applications are two pages long, so be sure to page forward to see the entire record.” 

One thing I did notice is that in some applicant’s forms, there are notes that you may finding helpful, and the date range of service is there also. 

The records are in the Library and Archives Canada, under the citation of Department of Veterans Affairs. Soldiers of the South African War, Land Grant Applications. Record Group 38 (vols. 117-136). Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.