Saturday, April 30, 2011

Genealogy Genies!

Genealogy Genies! They're real! They're free!

"On Saturday, June 4, 2011, the Stratford-Perth Archives will partner with the Perth County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society to host 'Genealogy Genies', a Stratford Heritage Week-End event.

Ask the volunteer experts about anything, from explaining the mysteries of finding an Ontario vital statistic record to tips about researching overseas, making the best use of on-line sources, how to access records here that you may not have thought of using, what's the best software for genealogists, and, of course, swapping stories about family history research.

This free event will take place June 4, 2011 at the Stratford branch of the Archives at 24 St. Andrew St. from 8:30 – 4:30."

Genealogy Series

Lifetime Learning Centre presents "Your Genealogy Goals", the first of a series of four programs on genealogy by John Herl, on Wednesday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to noon at 32444 Seventh Ave., Mission. BC. Cost for the 4-part series is $25/members, $30/non-members.

Also, take a minute and look at the Virtual Quilt that is on their site at

The website says that "The virtual quilt is a multimedia format using the Internet and our website to access Mission history. By clicking on a photograph within the quilt you are accessing our collection of Mission histories.

To date we have collected more than 125 Oral Histories showcasing our diversity, distinctiveness, and determination as a community".

What an inventive program for every genealogical society to try to do!

If your society has done an oral history project like this one, contact me at, and let me advertise it to the world that such a project exists.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Canada's Royal Wedding Gifts

Here is a press release from the Government of Canada concerning the country's wedding gifts to His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton.

April 28, 2011
Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to announce the Canadian wedding gifts for His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton:

“I am pleased to announce the Government of Canada will make a donation to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary in honour of the marriage of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton. The Government of Canada will offer this wedding gift on behalf of all Canadians.

“The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary was chosen by Prince William and Miss Middleton to be the Canadian beneficiary of a special charitable fund that was set up to celebrate their wedding. The donation of $50,000 by the Government of Canada will allow the organization’s volunteers to carry out their mission, which is to offer—day and night—a permanent search and rescue program to meet the needs of Canada’s marine services, as well as to prevent injuries or loss of human life at sea. Through its search and rescue and nautical safety programs, this not-for-profit organization assists the Coast Guard and the Department of National Defence.

“Canada is proud to offer a wedding gift to a family member of our Head of State, Her Majesty The Queen. This gift was chosen specifically for the occasion and represents Canadians and the pride they have in their country.

“The selection of this worthy cause is symbolic of Canada’s affection for the Royal couple. Canadians are eager to welcome the Royal couple to Canada for their first Royal Tour as newlyweds and share the best of our great land.”

The Prime Minister and Mrs. Harper have also arranged for a personal gift of outdoor equipment for use when the Royal couple experience Canada's natural splendour later this year.

From June 30 to July 8, 2011, the newlyweds will undertake a Royal Tour of Canada, their first visit outside the United Kingdom as a married couple. They will visit Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and the National Capital Region. A detailed itinerary will be released at a later date.

For more information on the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, visit

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Toronto's Genealogy Summer Camp 2011

There are only five days left to register for Genealogy "Summer Camp" in Toronto. Registration has to be sent in by May 1st.

From their website comes this news -

"The 2011 Genealogy "Summer Camp" will be number 15! More than 100 participants from England, right across Canada and many US states have attended the 14 previous Summer Camps - some more than once!

Genealogy "Summer Camp" is a unique program that brings out-of-town family historians to Toronto for an intensive week of tutorials and hands-on research, with the guidance of local experts, at the many archives and reference libraries in Toronto. We take full advantage of Toronto's great public transit system and we keep the group small to allow lots of help from our local experts.

Some tutorials will emphasize Toronto sources, but most repositories have holdings from a much broader area. Researchers with ancestors anywhere in Ontario will benefit from Summer Camp.

We've also welcomed many local participants as "day campers". It is an excellent way to get acquainted (or reacquainted) with the libraries and archives in our city. It is also a great excuse for a week of concentrated research.

This year's Summer Camp is scheduled for June 5 to 10, 2011.

For more information, please go to or send an email to, or leave a voicemail message at 416-733-2608."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hudson's Bay Company Biographical Material

Hudson's Bay Company formed in 1670 as a company which—at one time—covered the central and far western part of North America. Its archives is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. and some of the records (in part) are online at

Besides photos, maps, sound recordings, and textual documents, it has "biographical sheets" online of various people who use to work for the company at

The website says that "Biographical sheets outline the person's employment history and may also include the parish of origin or place of birth; positions, posts and districts in which the person served; family information, if available; and references to related documents, including photographs or drawings".

For more information, you can contact them at

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Genealogy Corner

Do you know that Statistics Canada has a "Genealogy Corner" webpage on its site at On the website is this quote: "The 2011 Census questionnaire contains a question that permits you to be part of the history of Canada. If you check yes to this permission question, your descendants will be able to do family and genealogical research on you and your family in the future".

If you go on the "Release of personal information after 92 years" webpage at, you will see where they held "citizen focus groups and "Town Hall" meetings" before they decided to take the course that they have now adopted, and have passed as law (against the wishes of the Canadian genealogical community) as the "new" standard for Census Canada.

Make sure that YOU answer YES to the question on the Census Form so that 92 years from 2011, your census information will appear on the forms that are released to Library and Archives Canada.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Brant Branch Blog

The Brant Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has a new blog at

It just recently started, and already in their second posting of the blog this month, they have put on what is available at their library! A good way to start!

I look forward to following their blog, for it looks like it could be asset to the Branch, and may encourage more people to take a look at the website to see what is available.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Treats from

Have you seen this notice from All Canadian marriages look-ups are free from today until April 30!

So busy yourself with research over the next few days to see if you have all the marriage records which are available on Here are the ones which are available, free!

Just go to
  • Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1670-1946
  • Births-deaths-marriages, Christian messenger
  • British Columbia Marriage Index: 1872 to 1924
  • Canada Parliamentary Marriage and Divorces, 1867-1919
  • Mariages de l'Enfant-Jesus de la Pointe-aux-Trembles, 1674-1975
  • Marriage Notices of Ontario 1813-1854
  • Ontario Marriage Notices [1830-1856]
  • Ontario People: 1796-1803
  • Ontario, Canada Marriage Registers by Clergy, 1896-1948
  • Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928
  • Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967
  • Ontario, Canada, County Marriage Registers, 1858-1869
  • Ontario, Canada: Civil Marriage Registrations, 1869-73
  • Ontario, Canada: Roman Catholic Marriages, 1827-1870
  • Quebec Notarial Records (Drouin Collection), 1647-1942
  • Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967
  • Repertoire des mariages de Sainte-Ccile-de-Masham, comt de Gatineau : 1853-1963
  • Repertoire des mariages du Lac-Sainte-Marie (Comt de Gatineau) : (1881-1963)
  • Repertoire des mariages, Sainte-Anne-de-la-Perade, 1684-1900
  • Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Genealogies

Anglo-Celtic Roots

The Spring issue of Anglo-Celtic Roots (a quarterly publication of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa) is here, and in it is an article by Naomi Ridout "Shearton Godfrey Bird and Amoi Chun: From Colonial Hong Kong to Pioneer Barrie, Ontario" in which she recounts the story of a British Army Officer who marries a Hun Chinese woman in 1859, and they eventually settled in Barrie. They were her great-great-grandparents.

In the second article "A Mother for Albert Edward Weir" the author Patty McGregor uses the census reports from 1861, 1871, 1881, and 1891 to try to find out who the mother was for Edward Weir. Was she successful? You will have to read the article to find the answer.

Besides giving a report of the last AGM (held last June, 2010), the issue also has a history of "The Brian O'Regan Memorial Library" written by Betty Warburton, who has been a librarian there from the beginning.

Scattered throughout this issue is reminders of the BIFHSGO Conference which will be held this year on Sept 16 to the 18th.

This year it will feature Wales and England with a focus on London and Home Countries.

You can go to for more information.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New British Home Child SIG

Over 100,000 children were sent to Canada between the 1860s and 1930s. Many Ontario genealogists have found they have a family connection with a Home Child, and many more will learn this as they continue their research.

A SIG has been formed by the Ontario Genealogical Society, and they are looking for all interested people to join and share their skills and enthusiasm to continue the growth of the group.

Right now, the goals are to

- bring together genealogy researchers who have like interests in British Home Children (BHC) to share their research experiences.
- encourage possible descendants of BHC to investigate their ancestry.
- raise awareness of the history and contribution of the BHC in Canada.
- identify resources for research on individual BHC.
- identify resources for research into the social conditions in the UK and Canada which influenced the lives of the BHC.

If you are interested in meeting others who share your interest in Home Children, or if you have ideas to shape this group further, please contact OGS Vice President Shirley Sturdevant at to find out how to get involved.

Mischief, mayhem, manslaughter & murder!

This sounds like it will be a most delightful way to spend an afternoon. The press release was sent in by Scott Gillies, Curator/Manager, of the Eva Brook Donly Museum & Archives -

"Mischief, mayhem, manslaughter & murder!

Join me on Tuesday May 24th for a presentation on crime and criminal activities in Norfolk County.

Presented as part of the monthly lecture series "Coffee With The Curator", admission is just $2 per person and includes coffee and light refreshments plus the presentation, and of course the chance to tour the Museum and see the newest display 'Memories of Mom - a tribute to Jeanette Hamilton'

"Just the Facts Ma'am"

What is this? – a special lecture on the topic of local crime in Norfolk County

Who done it? – the Museum Curator did it

When? – Tuesday May 24th at 2:00pm

Why? – so you can enjoy an afternoon outing with light refreshments, and learn about new research on old crimes

Where? – the Eva Brook Donly Museum & Archives

How Much will this cost me? – only $2/person (what a steal!)

Need more clues? Got questions?

Notorious Norfolk is presented as part of the new monthly lecture series, "Coffee with the Curator, at the Eva Brook Donly Museum & Archives generally held on the 3rd Tuesday of every month."

For more information, go to

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Ottawa Genealogist

The Spring/Summer edition of The Ottawa Genealogist came in the mail today, and it has some interesting articles in it for those who have ancestors in the Ottawa Valley area.

The "Ottawa Ladies College and the 1961 Address Book" by Ken Godfrey gives a brief history of the Ladies College that was established in 1869, and the address book which was made as a yearbook for Rose Gammons around 1904. There are places for 50 names and addresses in the book. A typical name/address is "Fern Kerr - Farraus (?) Point, Ontario. Be sure and write."

Another article is from Lynn Mathison entitled, "Letter Written 1916 by Military Bandsman: Describing Arnprior, Carleton Place, and Pakerham".

Her grandfather - Jack Cookson - described the three settlements as he travelled the countryside during WW I as a member of a military band.

Two smaller articles are also in the issue, and they are a description of "The Township Papers - Osgoode Township" by Guylaine Pétrin, and "Ontario Vital Statistics 1869" by Diane Walker Burnett in which she reprints an article found in the Toronto Globe (1869) which talks about the problem encountered in researching the BMDs.

If you wish further information, please contact the Branch at, or the editor at

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Call For Speakers


Jusr received this press release from the Toronto Branch of the OGS -

"Saturday, November 5, 2011
North York Central Library Auditorium
5120 Yonge Street, Toronto

The Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch and the Canadiana Department of the North York Central Library will be co-hosting a one-day workshop for family historians with English ancestors.

This workshop was originally planned to feature popular speakers, John D. Reid and Lesley Anderson from Ottawa. John and Lesley developed a very interesting plenary-style program for us and we were all set to announce it when it became necessary to reschedule the event. In so doing we have acquired a larger venue, making it possible to expand upon John and Lesley’s program.

You are invited to submit proposals for lectures on any aspect of English genealogical or social history research. Workshop attendees will be most interested in lectures emphasizing sources and research techniques that might prove useful in their own research.

Each session will be one hour long, including five or ten minutes for questions. Presentations should be illustrated—we can provide a computer projector or an overhead projector. Speakers will also be expected to provide a handout of supporting material (up to four pages) which we will photocopy for all registrants.

Speakers will be paid an honorarium of $100 per lecture, plus $25 to cover incidental expenses.

Please submit your lecture proposals by e-mail. Before you start developing your proposals we recommend that you request a copy of the outline of John and Lesley’s program so that you can avoid duplicating their presentations. Please keep your proposals brief and informal, at this point. (We may ask for more details later.) Be sure to include your mailing address, phone number, and a brief bio.


For more information about the Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch, please see: CALL FOR SPEAKERS.

To submit proposals or ask a question about the event, please contact the Education Committee, c/o Chair, Diana Thomson at".

Monday, April 18, 2011

Destination Canada

One of the best books published in 2010—and which I use as my "go to" book on immigration, citizenship, and naturalization—is Dave Obee's book, Destination Canada: A Genealogical Guide to Immigration Records.

It's made up of 15 chapters -

Chapter 1 - The immigration experience
Chapter 2 - Four centuries of immigration
Chapter 3 - A timetable of migration to Canada
Chapter 4 - The key resources
Chapter 5 - The early years
Chapter 6 - Atlantic ports 1865-1935
Chapter 7 - Pacific ports 1858-1935
Chapter 8 - Through the United States
Chapter 9 - Arrivals since 1935
Chapter 10 - Outbound records
Chapter 11 - Immigration Branch (RG76)
Chapter 12 - Naturalization and citizenship
Chapter 13 - Just passing through?
Chapter 14 - Migration museums
Chapter 15 - Additional sources

I have found the book to be inclusive of all of the records, and where they can be found. There are very helpful maps which explain where the people have come from, and where they were going. And there is a very good chapter on migration museums around the world.

For any questions that I am asked about immigration, I always include Obee's book in my searching for the answer because I want to make sure that I am aware of all of the facts surrounding immigration to Canada.

For example, a question recently arose concerning immigration to Canada from Britain in 1927 - Is a passenger list the same as Immigration Records? Where did this person land? What port did he leave from in England? How did he get from the port to Central Canada?

By reading this book, and looking at the records at the Library and Archives Canada (LAC), as well as the records at, I was able to answer these questions.

To order a book, visit Dave's website at

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The British Columbia Genealogical Society is 40 Years Old!

Happy birthday, BCGS! Congratulations to the Society, and to its President, M. Diane Rogers, and members, for this landmark anniversary. Here's to many more!

The March edition of their newsletter, The British Columbia Genealogist, is a hefty one (it's 50 pages long), with articles including "Documents Reunited With A Family - Bridges, Rauly, Slidders, Stenhouse, Stevens', "Vancouver, BC Post Office War Memorial Plaque", and "BC Roll of Honour, World War I - From The Gold Stripe".

The article, "Impressive Ceremonies Mark Unveiling of Two Langley War Memorials' - Headline from The British Columbian - Monday September 13, 1920", also gives a brief bio of 41 men whose names are on the Landley Memorial from the First World War -

Eugene Lawrence Allard, Edward Weldon Berry, William Elton Berry, Sidney Boundy, Hew McKenzie Bradshaw, T. Brand, Henry (Harry) Brawn, Carleton Hust Brown, Brian Harper Butler, John (Jack) Bertram Carvolth, G. H. Davis, Valentine Davies (Davis), Frank Wesley Glover, Marcelle Gueho, John Crowell Henderson, Donald Howell, Demster Wishart Howes, Hector John Roderick Jackson, Arthur Thomas Johnston, William Henry (Hy) Johnston, Noel Wilfred Kendall, William Lee, James McKay, Gordon Alexander McDonald, James McDonald, Alexander McIntyre, Francis Hubert Read, Frederick Orlando Roberts, David Robertson, George Edward Sellers, Robert Hazlette (Hazie) Simonds, Harry Leslie Swain, George Henry Topham, John Bertram Topping, Alfred William Trattle, Stanley Tyres, George Lewis Warners, Harold Milton White, William Arthur Wilson, Capon Victor Montague (Monty) Wix, and Jesse Wright.

Other interesting columns are "Queries", a "List of Presidents from 1971 to 2011", "Yearbooks & Annuals", "Publications List", and "New Acquisitions at the Walter Draycott Library".

For information on the Society, please go to, or email them at

Saturday, April 16, 2011 Updates

Leland Meitzler, a friend on mine for many years, has just put on the latest Canadian update of on his site

I took a minute to check it out, and although it had many of the records already at, I was able to find a new record for Catherine Barclay Rockwell, born 02 March, 1876 at Cornwallis, Kings, Nova Scotia. Her father's name was given as Rupert Rockwell, and her mother's name was given as Isabell Barclay, the daughter of Andrew Barclay, of Shelburne, Nova Scotia - an ancestor of mine.

The source information was given as Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C53461-1, System Origin: Nova_Scotia-ODM, and the Source Film Number:1298810.

Not long after her birth, the whole family moved out to California, where they joined Isabell's sister, Annie Louisa Haley, at Newark, Almeda County.

Friday, April 15, 2011

War of 1812 Re-enactment - Help Wanted

You can take part in the Celebrate Barrie Festival on June 4th at the 19th Century Heritage Village in Barrie, Ontario by being re-enactors, artisans, entertainers, historical displays, etc. This is a paid event.

We are once again looking for re-enactors to partake in this one day event at the waterfront in downtown Barrie, and are specifically looking for the following:

– British & American Military Units, Individuals & Encampments
– Fife and Drum Groups
– Period Demonstrators, Artisans, Entertainers and Merchants
– Native & Voyageur Units, Individuals & Encampments
– Artillery Crews and Cannons/Artillery Encampments
– Long Boat Crews and Boats with Cannons/Naval Encampments

If you have a special unique 19th century talent not listed above, we would also like to hear from you!!!

This is a paid event for all participants, and you will be compensated for attending and providing wholesome education and public orientated programming. A reminder that this event is a little different from normal re-enactments, as all participants are being compensated for attending, and during education and public hours, you are required to cater and interact with the public. First person interpretations and historical portrayals are stressed and encouraged as much as possible.

If you are available to attend the event, please submit a proposal with the following information from you or your unit/group:

1. Name, Address, Postal Code, Phone Number and E-mail address
2. A description of what you have to offer in regards to talent, demonstrations, exhibits, entertainment, encampments, etc.
3. Any promotional materials, pictures, website addresses, flyers, DVD, CD, etc. promoting yourself or your group
4. How many performances, interpretations, and presentations you would
perform, if applicable.
5. How much it would cost for participating in this one day event.
6. Please submit your proposals to David J. Brunelle (below):

The Festival Committee will be making decisions on an ongoing basis as to which proposals we will be accepting for the event.

We look forward to receiving everyone's proposals. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me, David J. Brunelle, Project Director, at

You can also go to the website at

Ghost Towns of Canada

Fred Dittmar, of Diggin' Deep Genealogy Research Service in Norman, Oklahoma, is the List Administrator for the Ghost Towns of Canada and the US mailing list at RootsWeb. You can contact him at for questions about the list.

Fred says that he started "12 Rootsweb mail lists late last year. There is one for each Province and Territory in Canada".

He explained that (as the site itself says) that 'This list is for the study and researching of town names, residents, history and locations of abandoned ghost towns, camps or posts that your ancestors lived in, passed through or you have a genealogical interest in, in the Province of British Columbia, the Province of Alberta etc."

Fred adds that "The mail lists are only as good as the people who post and talk with each other. That's my motto: Post a lot, talk a lot, have fun, be nice and help each other but don't forget I have a size 13 shoe. It works……lol Thanks again Fred".

You can reach the list at: and search "ghost towns".

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Moore Family Reunion

There will be a reunion of descendants of Samuel Moore of Massachusetts and New Jersey on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at the Norwich and District Museum, 89 Stover Street North, Norwich, Ontario.

He was born in 1630, and his great-grandson, Samuel Moore of New Jersey, was born in 1742.

People are invited from across Canada and the USA.

Mark the date on your calendar now, and plan to attend!

For more information, contact:

Donna Moore, UE,

Shelburne County Archives & Genealogical Society

Shelburne County Archives & Genealogical Society Newsletter

Shelburne County, on the southwestern coast of Nova Scotia, has had a genealogical society since 1987. And they publish a newsletter three times a year.

In the Winter 2011 issue, they bring us up-to-date on the latest news of the Society, and on page 2 there is a lengthy article about the "Missing Link: The Ancestry of John Spinney" by Brian Smith.

It is interesting to see how Brian took a few clues from the "History of Barrington Township" about Spinney's ancestry, and by using classic research in land petitions, and research at the New England History and Genealogical Society, Smith was able to go back three generations.

There is also a transcription by Ann and M. Edward Butt of the notes by Walter E. Abbott in "Surveying the Canadian United States Border as found in Stories and Reminisces of Walter E. Abbot" as how he talked about the boundary as it affected the fishing industry.

There are a couple of projects of the Society that may interest the readers of this blog, and they are -

The Society will soon issue a publication on the doctors and dentists of Shelburne from 1783 to 1965, and

The "Women of Shelburne County",which is an oral history project. It will be released on a DVD, and will be released early in the summer.

To look at the website, please visit them at or contact them at

Disclaimer: I am from Shelburne, and am a descendant on my paternal side of Andrew Barclay, a Port Roseway Associated Loyalist, one of the founders of the town in 1783.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

OGS Conference Early Bird Price Extension

There is only three days left for the Early Bird Registration. I plan to be in Hamilton from the 13th to the 15th of May so I will see you there!

The Provincial Office of the OGS sent me this notice -

"Due to the delays in opening registration back in January, we are extending the Early Bird conference registration prices until the end of Friday April 15, 2011.

Members can still register for the full weekend conference (Friday night, Saturday and Sunday) for the Early Bird price of $140.00 ($160.00 for non-members).

Take full advantage of the extra two weeks of low prices and register for Conference now".

To see the details of the Conference, go to

Stratford Heritage Week-End Event

Here is something that I received from the Perth County Genealogical Society which may interest you!

"The Stratford-Perth Archives will partner with the Perth County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society to host "Ask the Genealogy Genies" as part of the Stratford Heritage Week-End event.

Location: Stratford-Perth Archives, 24 St. Andrew St., Stratford ON

Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.

Free entry for all.

For further information, contact Betty Jo Belton at 519-271-0531, extension 259 or
Lynn Matthison at

Some of the other events happening on the weekend include:

* Antique Show
* Heritage Tours – Walking or in Horse-Drawn Carriages
* 10th Annual Railway Heritage Show
* Doors of Perth County Display at the Stratford-Perth Museum
* Ploughmen's Lunches from St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
* "Doors Open" at the Fryfogel Inn
* vintage films of Perth County at the Visitors' Centre in Shakespeare
.... and many other exciting opportunities to celebrate our local history!

As we near the date, check out the Stratford Tourism Alliance website:, click on "What's ON", then the Event Calendar for June".

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Finding Ontario Ancestors Workshop

The following press release was just received from the people at the Toronto Branch of the OGS -

"Finding Ontario Ancestors Workshop
6 August 2011
North York Central Library Auditorium
5120 Yonge Street, Toronto

The Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch and the Canadiana Department of the North York Central Library will be co-hosting a one-day workshop on sources for Ontario family and local history research.

We are looking for speakers who would like to be part of the workshop.

The theme "Finding Ontario Ancestors" is broad, but presentations should emphasize sources. Your presentation could focus on a single type of record or source, a record group, or demonstrate how several sources can be used together.

You are invited to submit proposals for lectures on any aspect of Ontario genealogical or local history research that fits the above criteria.

We need lectures at all levels of expertise. Each session will be one hour long, including five or ten minutes for questions. Presentations should be illustrated—we can provide a computer projector or an overhead projector. Speakers will also be expected to provide a handout of supporting material (up to four pages) which we will photocopy for all registrants.

Speakers will be paid an honorarium of $100 per lecture, plus modest expenses for travel and accommodation.

Please submit your lecture proposals by e-mail. Please keep them brief and informal, at this point. (We may ask for more details later.) Be sure to include your mailing address, phone number, and a brief bio.


To submit proposals or ask a question about the event, please contact Jane MacNamara at"

Guess the Relative

Tom Pullen, Assistant Producer - Development of the Dragonfly Film and Television Productions Ltd, in London (England), recently sent me the following press release -

"Do you think your family tree might have British roots?

Would you like to travel to Britain to discover your living relatives?

Dragonfly TV in London, England, is making an exciting new game show, called Guess the Relative, featuring families, ancestors and long-lost relatives.

We're searching for people from all over the world, who think they may have British ancestry, who would like to take part.

Whether your Great Great Grandfather was born in England or your Great Aunt lived in Scotland... If you think you, or anyone you know, may have any British ancestry, we want to hear from you!

Pullen says that 'We're currently looking for people from Canada who think they may have a distant ancestor from the UK. Their ancestor might be several generations back and come from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland - but if they have any link to the UK whatsoever, we want to hear about it!"

Visit now to find out more and apply to take part!"

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Archives of Ontario Would Like to Hear From You

From The Archives of Ontario -

"This is just a friendly reminder, if you have not already taken this survey, your opinions are important to us.

In our continuing effort to help you access and understand the collections and services of the Archives of Ontario with efficiency, fairness and courtesy, we have commissioned Ipsos Reid, a Market Research company to gather your feedback in a customer survey.

Before you start your survey, here are a few things you need to know:

1. Your responses are completely confidential. None of your answers will be associated with you personally.

2. Please ensure that you have thought carefully about your responses as once you start to progress through the survey you will be unable to return to previous responses and alter any answers.

3. To access the survey, please click on the link below or copy the entire URL into the address bar of your internet browser.

Start now before it's too late. It will only take 10 – 15 minutes to complete.
Questions? If you have any questions about this survey, please feel free to email Ipsos at and we will be happy to help.

As a token of our appreciation for your time, upon completion of the survey you will be entered into a draw for one of five framed reproductions from the Archives' collection. Personal information will be collected at the end of the survey to enter you in the draw.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!"

A Presentation For Irish Family Historians

The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society is pleased to announce a special evening for Irish family historians.

Noted genealogist Christ Paton, author of the new publication Tracing Your Family History on the Internet, will present a two-part lecture on the topic of "Irish Resources Online" on Thursday 16 June, commencing at 7:30 p.m.

If you would like to attend this event, please assist us with our planning and ensure the best rate by registering in advance. Send an e-mail to the Branch Education Committee at with the subject line "Irish lecture". Please note in your e-mail whether you are an OGS member and eligible for a fee reduction. Pre-registration will be accepted until 13 June. Registration at the door will be possible starting at 7:15 p.m. only if space permits.

Fees for this event may be paid in advance at a Toronto Branch meeting – otherwise, payment should be made at the door.

COST: Pre-registered OGS members $10 Pre-registered non-members $15
At the door OGS members $15 At the door non-members $20

For full speaker and program details and to check for registration updates, visit the Toronto Branch website at

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Canada in the American Civil War

Although Canada (British North America) was considered neutral in the American Civil War (1860-1865), with between 30,000 to 50,000 Canadians fighting for the Union (Northern), and the Confederates (Southern) side of the conflict.

They were signed-on by the recruiters, and according to a book by John Herd Thompson and Stephen J. Randall called Canada and the United States, Canada refused to return 15,000 American deserters, and draft dodgers.

Four of the sites which may interest you are - This site is very comprehensive. It gives the complete history of the Canadians in the American Civil War, has letters written by the soldiers back to their homes, and the history of The Underground Railway, the way taken by the slaves to come to Canada. Gives a brief history of Canadians in the American Civil War. This site is maintaied by Brian Massey, the great-grandson of William Massey who enlisted in the war Tennessee, although he was from the provience of Ontario. has updated it's holdings, and is offering a 14-day free access to the database.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A New Chinese Canadian Website

A new website has been launched which is dedicated to the oral histories of Chinese Canadian women during the exclusion period (1921-1967)*.

Launched March 31st, the website explores the impact of discriminatory immigration legislation with 33 new interviews conducted across Canada. You can see the interviews by going to

As the website says, "The MHSO started work on a two-year project, "Chinese Canadian Women 1923-1967: Inspiration-Innovation-Ingenuity". This project will bring together a variety of sources, including new oral history interviews that will be conducted across the country. It will culminate in an online portal that will make exhibitions, digital resources, learning materials and interactive activities available to the public. Online users will also be invited to contribute to this commemoration of the experiences of Chinese Canadian women".

Also online is the launch of "The Ties that Bind Online Exhibit" which was put on in Toronto, August 28, 2010.

There are more interviews with Chinese Canadians online. It tells how they made a contribution to Canadian history by helping to build the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Twelve descendants of the Chinese railroad workers are now sharing their family stories. You can see these stories on "The Ties That Bind: Building the CPR, Building a Place in Canada" online at

The project is sponsored by the Foundation to Commemorate the Chinese Railroad Workers in Canada, in partnership with the Multicultural History Society of Ontario, with funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada under the Community Historical Recognition Program.

* For information on this period in Canadian history, you can go to to read about the Exclusion Period.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dutch Heritage Month

May is Dutch Heritage Month in Ontario.

Last month, Ontario's PC MPP, Elizabeth Witmer, introduced a private member's bill into the Ontario Legislature which would designate May as Dutch Heritage Month in Ontario.

Bill 166, Dutch Heritage Month Act, was unanimously given both second and third reading March 24th.

More than 500,000 citizens of Ontario are of Dutch extraction, and about a million people in Canada are of Dutch ancestry.

"This bill recognizes the many contributions of the Dutch community to the province of Ontario," said Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP. "As a Dutch Ontarian, I am especially proud to see the strong relationship between the Netherlands and Canada recognized by the Ontario Legislature."

May is a historically significant month. Canadian soldiers were instrumental in the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945. As a result, the Netherlands celebrates its liberation and independence along with the heroic actions of the Canadian forces with a national holiday on May 5, known as Liberation Day.

Ottawa has its annual Tulip Festival celebration in May. This year's theme is "Kaleidoscope – a celebration of spring awakening through colour, culture and community". You can go to to see the list of events.

For more information on the Dutch in Canada, you can go to the LAC's website, and research the "Immigration Branch", "Central Registry Files (RG 76)", the "Other Series of Records, the "Research in Other Institutions", "Research in Published Sources", and the "Research Online" pages.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tartan Day

Here is my clan's dress tartan, that being the Barclay Clan.
(yellow and black with white overcheck)

Back on October 22, 2010, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, announced that the Government of Canada made the official announcement that the country would recognize April 6 as Tartan Day.

"A tartan represents a clan, a family, and a community, and is an enduring symbol of Scotland that is cherished by Canadians of Scottish ancestry," said Minister Moore. "Many Canadian provinces and other countries already celebrate Tartan Day. As well, through Tartan Day, Canadians will have an opportunity to learn more about the various cultures that comprise Canadian society."

Tartan Day originated in the late 1980s in Nova Scotia, where it was declared an official day by the provincial government. It then spread across the country, with many provinces joining in. This marks the first time the Day has been recognized by the federal government.

"By officially recognizing this Day, we encourage Canadians all across the country to celebrate the contributions that over four million Canadians of Scottish heritage continue to make to the foundation of our country," said Senator John Wallace, who recently introduced a bill in the Senate in support of nationally declaring Tartan Day.

In Canada, Tartan Day is celebrated on April 6, the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence. Tartan Day celebrations typically include parades of pipe bands, Highland dancing and sports, and other Scottish-themed events.

For an online copy of the Declaration, please visit

As well, check out the Tartans of Canada website for the official and non-official tartans of Canada, the provinces, and the territories

From Scotland On Line, check out the thousands of tartans for your own clan or related septs at The site shows samples of the tartan, and offers a history of it. Truly, an awesome resource.

And for a history of the tartan, check out Wikipedia -

Here is Clan Barclay's hunting tartan
(blue and green with red overcheck

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Genealogy One-to-One Consultation

Are you looking to solve a curious family mystery? Need guidance and advice on where to go next?

Book a free 30 minute one-to-one appointment with Local History and Genealogy Librarian, Joanne McCarthy, at the Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library on Saturday, April 16 at 10:00 a.m. Registration is required.

You will learn how to research and organize your family tree; discover important local and online genealogy records; and learn how to search for your ancestors using

You can reach the Library online at, follow them on Twitter and on Facebook, and you can call them at 902.490.5813.