Saturday, August 30, 2014

Anglo-Celtic Roots Summer 2014

Tagged as a “Quarterly Journal”, the publication of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO), called Anglo-Celtic Roots, issued their summer edition, and it has three interesting articles – 

Travels With My Aunt: Adventure in Europe 1914 by Barbara Tose. I read this article over about three times because it was so gripping, and I have a soft spot when it comes to travel stories. 

It involves a group of travellers led by James L. Hughes of Montreal, who, in 1914 (just before the start of the First World War) went to England and Europe. And one of those traveller was Tose’s great-great aunt, Ellen Margaret Miller, from Lindsay, Ontario. 

An Officer and a Gentleman by Andrew Billingsley is the recounting of Thomas Alexander Rowat’s experiences in the First World War. He is the author’s great-uncle.

He belonged to the Divisional Cyclists, and they were used to carry messages bask and forth between the division headquarters and the battlefield. 

By the summer of 1917, fighting had become unbearable, and on June 26, Lieut. Rowat was killed, and he is buried in Villers-au-Bois, France. 

John Henry McVittie: Before, During and after World War I by Brian Latham is a life story of his uncle, John Henry McVittie, from St. Joseph Island, encompassing the First World War, and his life after the war. 

BIFHSGO is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and the conference will be held September 19-21, 2014 in the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. 

Their website is

Friday, August 29, 2014


The Thunder Bay Public Library in Thunder Bay, Ontario has issued the following press release -

“The Thunder Bay Public Library is spearheading a community partnership to commemorate the centennial of World War One. Members of the partnership, which includes the Library, the City of Thunder Bay Archives, City of Thunder Bay Heritage Advisory Committee, the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, the Thunder Bay Military Museum, Lakehead University History Department and the Northwestern Ontario Aviation Heritage Centre, will contribute photographs and records to a dynamic online exhibit depicting life in Thunder Bay during World War One.

The Library will host and administer the exhibit here on the website. New stories, photos and documents will be added throughout the next four years. The public will be invited to contribute their World War One stories, photos and documents at a launch planned for early November”.

It sounds as if they have taken on a large project, with many other museums, archives, libraries within the city. Each facility explains their involvement on the library webpage.

The website is at http//

Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Free Access!

Word has come from that “In honour of Labour Day, from August 28 to September 1, is offering free access to all FamilySearch API records, which includes 1 billion records from 67 countries (nearly 200,000 records and more than 2 million images from Canada), so Canadians can discover more about their family’s working history”. 

You can visit the website at

Canada's smallest library

According to Atlas Obscura, a magazine which reports on obscure things in the world, the smallest library in Canada is in Cardigan, in the province of Prince Edward Island.

It is operated by John A. MacDonald, who manages the library of 1,800 books, and offers a lifetime membership for $5.00.

And now MacDonald has sets his eyes on another title – he wants it added to the Guinness World Records, but sadly, there’s no category at the moment. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Another Branch joins the group

The Nipissing Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has joined Facebook. 

Their mission is to encourage, assist, and bring together all those interested in the pursuit of family history in the Districts of Nipissing, Parry Sound and Timiskaming. 

Their webpage is at although I understand they are going to put on a new website in the near future.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Canadian Week in Review 25 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.


Black Ribbon Day in Canada
In November 2009, the Canadian parliament passed a resolution declaring August 23rd as Black Ribbon Day, an annual day of remembrance for the victims of Communism and Nazism in Europe.

History Week in Canada

In 1541, French explorer Jacques Cartier landed near Quebec City in his third voyage to the New World.

Read about Jacques Cartier at
In 1957, Saskatchewan was the first province to complete its section of the Trans-Canada Highway.

To read more, go to
In 1890, Moncton, New Brunswick was officially incorporated as a city.

To read the history of Moncton at
In 1882, Pile O’ Bones was named Regina when the Canadian Pacific Railroad arrived there.

Read the history of Regina at,_Saskatchewan

Social Media

WWI: How Canada remembers its fallen
The CBC News Community captures how Canada remembers its WWI fallen a century later.

(Video) The First World War: Excerpts from the diary of Woodman Leonard
The Ottawa Sun continues with excerpts from Leonard’s diary.

Project will see an ice boat replica as part of exhibit marking 100th anniversary of Transportation Association of Canada.

(Video) Prince Edward Island Potato Board launches video series
The PEI Potato Board is sharing the History of the P.E.I. Potato Industry with the Next Generation centrepiece of five-video series.

(Photos) Historic Thunder Bay buildings rendered in Lego
Kieran Marcus and his Lego creations inspire an exhibit at the Thunder Bay museum
The Thunder Bay museum's "City Beautiful" exhibit highlights amazing local architecture. But the inspiration for the exhibit is equally amazing, and they are made of Lego.


What People Are Asking | What is the history of the transatlantic cable?
The man behind the laying of the transatlantic cable - Cyrus Field - is discussed.

Nova Scotia

Remembering a sad part of Canadian history
A commemorative plaque was laid at Cumberland County Museum on Friday as the first of 100 locations across Canada where the internment of Ukrainian and other enemy aliens during World War One happened a century ago.

Chapel Island thrilled to host 8,000 visitors to Mi’kmaq Summer Games
The Mi’kmaq Summer Games takes place each summer on Chapel Island in the southwest corner of the Bras D’Or Lake in Cape Breton.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island, Canada: where the seeds of a nation were sown
Read a short history of PEI as the birthplace of Canada.


Aborists work to keep Canada’s oldest sugar maple’s legacy alive
Read about how Canada’s oldest sugar maple, called the Comfort Maple, is believed to be more than 500 years old!

Nikola Yerich of Niagara Falls, and thousands of others who came from certain European countries, ended up in Canada’s first internment camps during the time of the First World War.

Interim councillor calling for 'O Canada' change
A Toronto councilperson has put forward motion to make 'O Canada' gender neutral passes.

HISTORY: 'Alien enemies' sent to internment camps
Read about the fascinating history about interment camps in northwestern Ontario.

The perilous history of Canada’s Ross rifle
Read about the history of the Ross Rifle, that notorious firearm that was used by Canadian troops at the start of the First World War.

Canadian War Museum welcomes your donated artifacts, but can’t take everything
You should call the museum first to see if they can accept your donation first before you sent the article to the museum in Ottawa.

Local historian reveals region’s stories, myths and secrets
Joanna Rickert-Hall, a local cultural and social historian, has been successful in having the Conestoga College in Kitchener to have a course on local history. It is called History of Waterloo Region 1 & 2.


Alberta's African Americans and the cowboy maverick honoured in John Ware Reimagined
There is a new play about John Ware, the former American slave who helped establish ranching in Alberta, and whose own skills at steer wrestling made it a popular event at the Calgary Stampede.

Park actor to retell Alberta history
A Sherwood Park-born actor will be starring in a play that showcases the life of the first black cowboy in Alberta.

British Columbia

Queen’s Park Stadium has significant heritage value
In a letter to the editor, a reader of the Royal City Record says that he thinks that Queen’s Park Stadium should receive Heritage Status.

BC ghost town for sale Bradian can be yours for $995,000
This town is for sale!
It is located next to where the gold rush took more than four million ounces of gold and 1.2 million ounces of silver from the Bralorne mine before it closed in 1971.

Story of the Week

Greek Canadian History Project

The Greek Canadian History Project (GCHP) is an archival initiative that seeks to preserve the knowledge, memory, and experiences of Canada’s Greek immigrants and their descendants.

They recently held an exhibit at Toronto City Hall called Memory and Migration: A History of Greek Immigrants in Toronto, 1864-2014.

They have a Facebook page at

The Greek Canadian History Project is still seeking collections. If you have any questions or would like more information on how you can contribute materials to the archive project, please do not hesitate to contact them Sakis Gekas at or Christopher Grafos at 

They are looking collections of papers, diaries, photographs, books, pamphlets, audio, video, and other materials that will be valuable for research of the Greek-Canadian past.

The archives are at York University at

To read more about Greek immigration to Canada, go to

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 September 1, 2014.

Sunday, August 24, 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.