Thursday, September 4, 2014

Canadian Expeditionary Force Registers

The pre-August 1914 Canadian Expeditionary Force Registers are now online at Canadiana at They are an important part of the picture of the First World War because they tell us who was in the militia, when they enlisted, how much they were paid. With the personnel files of the Canadian Expeditionary Force available at the Library and Archives Canada, we can paint a fairly complete picture of the life of a Canadian soldier.

Many of these battalions were broken up on arrival in Europe and absorbed into existing reserve units before being fed piecemeal to reinforce units at the Front. 

And I have run into this many times in my research. For instance, they may have left Canada as a member of the 1st Canadian Division and ended up in the 4th Canadian Division when they were sent from England to fight in France. So read the service file very carefully. 

The Canadian Army Services Registers are -

Canadian Field Artillery

1st Canadian Division

2nd Canadian Division

3rd Canadian Division

4th Canadian Division 

So if you think that your First World War person was in the militia before the war broke out, or he put the division on his enlistment paper, check these registers to see if he is there.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Toronto Branch workshop - Industrial England

Gwyneth Pearce, Secretary of the Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society has sent us this notice -

“[The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society is pleased to announce that registration for our fall workshop, "Industrial England", is now open. 

This full-day workshop on Saturday 1 November 2014, co-sponsored with the Canadiana Department of North York Central Library, will explore the social, economic and cultural effects of the Industrial Revolutions on the lives of English people from 1750 to 1900. 

Author and professional genealogist Kirsty Gray, a founding member and Chair of the Society for One-Place Studies, and Director of English Studies with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, will be our keynote speaker for this event. Kirsty and six other expert genealogists and social historians will team up to present a day of learning and discovery that you won’t want to miss.

The early-bird registration deadline is 18 September, and there is a further discount for OGS members. 

We hope this workshop will be of interest." 

Full details about the program, speakers and how to register, are available on our Branch website at

Monday, September 1, 2014

Canadian Week in Review 01 September 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 1954, 16-year-old Marilyn Bell became the first person to swim across Lake Ontario. About 300,000 people were on hand when she came ashore in Toronto.

Bell continued her long-distance efforts, and, in 1955, became—at the time— the youngest person to swim the English Channel.

To read more, go to

Nova Scotia

Gottingen Street celebrates 250 years with special audio project
One of the most well-known streets in Halifax is about to turn 250 years old, and the birthday will be celebrated from September 9th-14th.
The webpage is

Parrsboro's Ottawa House hosts genealogy workshop
A two-day genealogy workshop called Muddles and Mysteries was held in Parrsboro last weekend.

Prince Edward Island

Creating their own success on and off P.E.I.
The family tree of Father of Confederation George Coles features generations of self-made men and women.

Fatal flights
They have unveiled honouring those who lost their lives in three tragic training flights.

Canada's premiers pose like it's 1864 in Charlottetown
Council of the Federation photo pays homage to 150th anniversary of Charlottetown Conference.


Historical Day on the Plains of Abraham
The National Battlefields Commission invites the public to its traditional “Historical Day”—this year, on the theme of War and the Plains—on Sunday, September 7th from 1 to 4:30 p.m.


Mint unveils four new Superman coins at Fan Expo 2014
The limited-edition coins, inspired by iconic comic book covers, will be available Sept. 2nd.

Canada struggled to produce official historical record of First World War
Scottish-born former artilleryman and staff officer, Archer Fortescue Duguid, was pegged to write the first official history of the First World War.

Mint unveils coin marking 150th anniversary of Charlottetown, Quebec Conferences
The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a new gold coin Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences.


Fighting for history: Uncovering the truth of residential schools
A report from the front lines of the search for “truth” in Truth and Reconciliation, and a look at the people trying to make history accessible to aboriginals and non-aboriginals alike.

Northern Manitoba featured in eighth season of Ice Road Truckers
Ice Road Truckers debuts its eighth season Wednesday night on the History Channel, and this year, its all about Manitoba’s northern ice roads, and it showcases the province.


Saskatoon berry at centre of naming spat
American group wants to market them as 'Juneberries'.


Red Ensign flag protected for future generations
The historic Canadian Red Ensign—flown as the country's national flag from the late 19th century until 1965—has returned to its former home at the #187 Foothills Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron base at the High River Regional Airport after being out of sight for five decades.

Airplane parts stolen from Alberta Aviation Museum
The Boeing 737's emergency hatch and other parts were stolen, but thieves trashed the plane, to make the crime look like vandalism.

British Columbia

Vancouver real estate titles reveal city's racist history
Now-void land title clause was used to prevent sale or rent of land to people of Asian and African descent.

Story of the Week

War Brides of the First and Second World Wars
The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has just released a press release about their holdings on the War Brides of the First and Second World Wars. 
During the First and Second World Wars, Canadian soldiers often found love overseas. They married their loved ones overseas, or sent for them once they were back in Canada, and then got married. 

As they point out, the majority of war brides were from Great Britain, with a smaller number originating from Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy and Germany.

The LAC has put together a new page, and on it, you will find the records from a variety of sources. The majority are found in the records of National Defence, Department of Employment and Immigration, Department of External Affairs, the Directorate of Repatriation, and the Canadian Wives′ Bureau, but many also come from private organizations.

Do not expect to be presented with lots of indexes because the records have not been indexed. You would have got through the microfilm yourself or hire a researcher to go through them for you.

Visit the War Brides page at which explains the printed and archival resources available at Library and Archives Canada.

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 8, 2014.

Sunday, August 31, 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.

Amherst Island Heritage House Tour

There will be an Amherst Island Heritage House tour held on September 27, 2014 on Amherst Island, off of the coast of the Greater Kingston area of Lake Ontario.

Amherst Island was settled during the Loyalist Period and has pretty much remained unchanged since, so quite unique to those interested in Loyalist history. 

To get direction, go to the Facebook page at 

To read about Amherst Island Genealogy, you can go to

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//