Saturday, August 16, 2014

Families - August 2014

The  August 2014 edition of Families, the journal of the Ontario Genealogical Society, has just been published, and there are six articles in this issue.

The first prize in the Keffer Writing Contest this year goes to H. Nancy Holder and her article entitled, Who was Hannah FOSTER?

We find out that the author is from Arkansas, and that much to her surprise, she discovered that her great-grandmother was from Ontario!

This year's winner of the 2014 Mike Brede Genealogical Essay Prize was Chelsea H. Meloche, a graduate student at the University of Waterloo, for her winning essay, Genealogy in the Digital Age: A Beginner’s Commentary.

She wrote this article as a “newbie” who got caught up in the merry-go-round of online databases, and she wondered how new researchers will do in this world of instant genealogy. 

For Mom: With Love and Memories by Marianne Perry is the story of her family’s Italian heritage. The author has made two genealogical research trips to southern Italy, and writes about her Calabrian-Sicilian ancestry, and the new lives of her immigrant ancestors in Toronto and Ottawa. 

How a Toronto Bookbindery Girl Named Lizzie Wyllie Became a National News Headline in 1892 by Richard Deuel is a genealogical  mystery about Lizzie Wyllie, whose family migrated to the Michigan area from Bowmanville, Ontario in the late 1800s, and her supposed suicide which took place in San Diego.

The Petawawa Plains Land Clearances by Robb Gore is a piece about land clearances and the forced eviction of settlers by the Canadian government for the building of a training center in preparation for the First World War. The training centre eventually became Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, as it is today.

And the issue is completed with June Coxon's Family Stories, recollections about her mother growing up in Toronto in the early 1900s.

If you wish to become a member so that you can receive Families, along other benefits, please visit 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Quebec’s Civil Registers

Ever wonder why French-Canadian baptism, marriage, and death records are usually so complete, and that they go back to the 17th century?

Well, this year marks the 475th anniversary of the signing of the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts in 1539, which stated that priests were required to register baptisms and burials. In 1579, another ordinance was signed which required that marriages be registered. 

And in 1667, the Ordinance of Saint-Germain-en-Laye introduced a practice that has proven to be very important to genealogists – that is, the practice of keeping duplicate copies of the baptisms, marriages, and deaths. One copy was kept by the priest, and the second was filed with civil authorities at the end of the year.

Furthermore, in Quebec, civil status registers have the following characteristics -

· There are three types of acts: baptism, marriage, and burial.

· The acts are drawn up by parish priests.

· They are presented chronologically, usually within a single register.

· They are subject to two separate regulations: ecclesiastical and civil. 

The Library and Archives Canada has a very good website explaining Vital Statistics: Births, Marriages and Deaths at also has the Drouin Collection online, which contains Catholic baptisms, marriages, and deaths – including some Protestant records, also. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014 Nominates GenealogyCanada!, a new American website, has nominated this blog as one of the top 200 websites/blogs! How about that?

Who are they? As mentioned in their "About Us" webpage at -
"Welcome to! We are excited to share with you a vast resource of county clerk and court record information. is home to contact information (telephone number, address, email and fax numbers and county clerk websites) for all county clerk and court record offices in each of 50 states of the United States’ 3,143 counties and county equivalents.
You might be in search of a county clerk to get information about various public records, file for a marriage license, make arrangements for a divorce, research arrests and related information, public information, judicial records, probate, criminal, court, and all other related county records. This also includes records related to birth certificates, death, weddings, county specific licenses."
Needless to say, it's a great resource worth looking at, and to top it off, have started a contest to win the “top genealogy site of the web”, and we need your vote to help us reach the top!

You can vote as many times as you wish (but only once per day) from now until September 30th.

The list of online genealogy websites and blogs is varied and interesting, and worth looking at. The link for this list, and for voting for your favourite website or blog, can be found here - (Note: The URLs are given, but they are not yet hyper-linked.)

Also, if you find a preferred blog or website missing from this list, you can send a request to add it to the list. So the list may even grow a bit - another reason to stop in for a visit!

If you like to read the Canadian Week in Review every Monday morning (such as the CWR post this past Monday - to see what’s trending in Canadian news — genealogy, history, and heritage — then just go to the contest webpage, and hit the “like” button.

Or, maybe you like my post enough to retweet it, or add it to your Facebook page, as Elizabeth Shown Mills did yesterday with  my post, “LAC has updated the 1861 Census” at

So please drop in to check their website, and don't forget to vote for your favourite site, and vote often. We — the bloggers and website owners — would appreciate your encouragement!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

LAC has updated the 1861 Census

Library and Archives Canada has upgraded the 1861 Census because there were apparently a “number of missing records and misplaced images were reported by Library and Archives Canada clients and staff". 

They have corrected over 133,000 entries! 

According to their blog, there were definite issues with the Canada West and Canada East.  

“In Canada West, the records for the cities of Hamilton, Kingston, London, Ottawa and Toronto were previously reported missing but the records did exist. The five cities, although enumerated separately in 1861, were tucked away amongst their neighbouring rural districts. For example, the city of Ottawa was listed under the district of Carleton and the city of Kingston was listed under Frontenac. The five cities are now correctly identified as districts and their respective wards are identified as sub-districts. 

Additionally in Canada West, the rural districts of Renfrew and Russell were also reported as missing. The records for those two districts and their sub-districts can now be searched. In the rural district of Kent, the sub-districts of Camden and Gore, the town of Chatham, and the district of Chatham have been correctly identified. The images in the districts of Brant and Dundas are now correctly linked.

In Canada East, several image linking errors were corrected, particularly in the districts of Argenteuil, Montcalm and St-Jean”.

It is good to see that the LAC is listening to our comments, complaints and they are correcting their databases. 

To go to the 1861 census, you can go to 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Ottawa Genealogist July-September 2014 issue

The July-September 2014 issue of The Ottawa Genealogist is here, and the main article is Harry Waite Survivor of Vimy Ridge by John Patton.

Patton gives a very personal recounting of the life of Harry Waite, a veteran of the First World War originally from Hastings, halfway between Peterborough and Belleville. 

There is a write-up of Gene-O-Rama 2014 and a full page picture, plus a page of Ottawa people the Ontario Genealogical Society conference in Niagara this past spring, and Early Bytown Settlers Index for the letters ‘R’ and ‘S’, as put together by Jim Stanzell. 

The first meeting of the new season will be held on Saturday, 13th of September , at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive in Ottawa.

Patti Mordasewicz, vice-president of the Ontario Genealogical Society, will be there to talk about the resources available at the Leeds & Grenville Archives in Brockville.

If you want to see more about the Ottawa Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, you can go to their web page at

They have a Facebook page at 

They have a blog at

Monday, August 11, 2014

Canadian Week in Review 11 August 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 1930, Canadian runner Percy Williams established a then-world record of 10:03 seconds for the 100 metres. Two years earlier, Williams won the 100 and 200 metres at the Amsterdam Olympics.

In 1941, Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived aboard a British battleship in Argentia, Nfld., for a meeting with U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. The meeting resulted in the signing on August 14 of the Atlantic Charter for the “final destruction of Nazi tyranny.”

For more on the story, go to

Social Media

Scotch Rood
Janet McLeod is a Canadian blogger who want to begin an “historical journey” through the pages of Scottish history. She wants to do it with “crowd sourcing, together (so) we can get access to original documents, academic research, life stories, and oral histories that bring these stories together”.

Eighteen alumni names complete U of S commemoration from WWI (Video) 
Seven years after the war begun, the University of Saskatchewan had 75% of the faculty, staff and students who left to serve in the First World War.

Elgin County Ontario Canada and Talbot Times Genealogy Blog
On the anniversary of the 100th year of the declaration of World War One, the Hamilton Ontario Lancaster had flown to England to join up with the only other flying Lancaster on tour in Britain.

WW I-era newsboys mark Great War anniversary in downtown Toronto (Video)
Did anyone see this? A group of men dressed in turn-of-the-century newsboy costumes drew curious glances in downtown Toronto Monday as they handed out a fictitious historical newspaper to mark the 100th anniversary of Canada's entry in the First World War.

Canada’s Parliament Turns Into Massive Light and Sound Show (Video)
To go along with the story that was in last week’s Story of the Week in the Canadian Week in Review (CWR)


Touring First World War battlefields teaches students more than any history book
Seeing their own family names written among the list of the dead on a war memorial in France brought home the reality of the First World War to Newfoundland high-school students.
They have also added the Virtual Gramophone on the Postmedia site where they put on sound recordings about First World War recollections.

Nova Scotia

Racist graffiti on Cape Breton's Fort Petrie 'an insult'`: Vandals have targeted Fort Petrie three times in a week
Fort Petrie is situated along the Sydney Harbour. It was used during both world wars as an observation post to spot U-boats, complete with gun placements and searchlights, but now it has been targeted by graffiti three times during the past week.

New Brunswick

2014 World Acadian Congress is being held in New Brunswick, Quebec and Maine
Acadian congress celebrates history across 3 borders.
You can see the celebrations at


The Franklin Expedition is still our coldest case
The story of the missing Arctic explorers is as much about politics as about archaeology
They are still searching – 170 years later. Marc-André Bernier and six other Parks Canada underwater archaeologists will search the cold waters of Victoria Strait in Canada’s High Arctic for the lost Franklin Expedition.

Canada’s involvement in WWI began with a telegram from Great Britain
Read how Canada really got involved in the First World War.

Internment camps a dark chapter in Canadian history
In 1914, more than 8,000 immigrants from Austria-Hungary, Germany, and the other Central Powers were rounded up and locked away in internment camps in Canada. They were imprisoned for being “enemy aliens”.

Make August Canada's Black History Month
On the 01 August 1834,Black people across the British world, and that included Canada, were set free from centuries of enslavement.

4RCR has a proud London history
The building, known as Wolseley Hall, is a Canadian National Historic Site. It was erected 1886-1888 as the first-purpose built infantry training school in Canada, designed to house and train recruits for Canada’s first permanent military force.


Valour Road Victoria Crosses united in Winnipeg for 1st time
All three soldiers lived on the same block of Pine Street in Winnipeg's West End. In 1925, the street was renamed Valour Road in their honour.


Saskatoon lawyer recalls Great War Tour
Anne Wallace travelled to France, Belgium to see WWI battlefields.


Homesteading exhibit comes to Nose Creek Museum
The Nose Creek Valley Museum is hosting the Homesteading Alberta art exhibit from July 30 to Aug. 25, 2014.

New Heritage Marker Unveiled In Big Valley
On Friday, August 1, 2014 a heritage marker was placed St. Edmund’s Anglican Church at Big Valley.

Museum Open House
Canada's important military moments remembered

Anyone wanting to know which battle and war were the most formative for Canada found no shortage of competing interpretations from re-enactors and serving soldiers participating in the annual Canadian Military Heritage Museum open house.

Story of the Week

Are there really Top 10 Genealogical Websites in Canada? 

Family Tree Magazine recently published their "Best Canadian Genealogy Websites" by David A. Fryxell. 

The four sites were -


It noted that is a pay site, and only mentioned the division which is getting all the press lately —Héritage — in passing. Héritage is where all the good genealogical stuff is. That is where the Library and Archives Canada has chosen to park its microfilm, and the site bears watching. 

It is true that researchers will be charged a yearly fee to see the index in the future, but the microfilm, as it now, will always be free. 

But they do say in the last paragraph that “A new Héritage project, including 60 million pages of microfilm images, is free, with a premium plan in the works’’. 

If you press on Library and Archives Canada, it will take you to the old URL of the site, instead of the new address. By the way, I also pointed this out in the new Loyalists post that put on Friday Apparently, it has now been fixed. Guess I have to do the same here. 

The LAC has much more than was listed. It didn’t even mention the military service records that are going to be put on.

Yes, the Nova Scotia Archives has vital records, but this only one part of the site. It also has land records, early newspapers, census, assessment rolls. No where does it mention that this is a part of the Nova Scotia Archives, and people will think that this is all there is.

This is the last site of the four Canadian websites listed, and although it does summaries it, I think they fail to mention that the years from 1621 to about 1700 is the foundation for French-Canadians. Most French-Canadian can trace their family back to this time.

So there you have it. What do you think? I think that Family Tree Magazine missed the mark on this one. 

In an attempt to create our own list, a number of Canadian bloggers have put on lists, such as - 

Ken McKinlay, in his Family Tree Knots blog at, published his list last Sunday entitled, My Top 10 other Genealogy Web Sites for 2014.

On August 8 2014, Lorine McGinnis Schulze,  in her blog, The Olive Tree Genealogy at, has put her Top Ten Canadian Websites.


Diane Rogers, on her blog, CanadaGenealogy, writes her views entitled, Only the Best Links for Canadian #Genealogy and Family History - right here at CanadaGenealogy.

So there you have the reaction from some Canadian genealogists. Somewhere there has been a disconnect between us and the people at Family Tree Magazine

Hopefully, it will be fixed for next year, and we can look forward to reading about our best websites … and more than four, please!

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 18, 2014.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Reminder: Canadian Week in Review published tomorrow morning

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.