Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bourgeois Family/Histoire de Bourgeois

The website has developed a genealogical history, Histoire de Bourgeois - the genealogy and stories of Bourgeois' of Acadian descent. They are also have it on  Facebook at

Marc Bourgeois has been working on the Bourgeois Family for the past ten years, and he started researching when his mother asked him if he could look into their roots.

Marc says that “Although it took me a while to discover my Acadian roots once I discovered them, I began a multi-year project (now eight years and still going) to document as many of the Bourgeois descendants of my Acadian Ancestor as possible and to make that research available to other family historians via the web”.

He goes onto says that “The result is the “” site (bilingual) which documents over 13,000 Bourgeois’ from across north America, descendants of Jacques Jacob Bourgeois and Jeanne Trahan, married in 1643 in Port-Royal, Acadia. The site now has over 330 registered users (growing daily), and gets over a thousand hits a week”.

This is a bilingual site (F/E), and as Marc can tell, it is “the largest and most well documents (over 160,000 citations) Bourgeois family related site available on the Internet”.

So if you are related in any way to the Bourgeois Family, use the contact page at

Tomorrow's Blog - The Archive CD Books Project

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Borders and Bridges:1812 to 2012 Conference

News Flash!

The program of the 2012 OGS Conference "Borders and Bridges:1812 to 2012" to be held in Kingston, Ontario the 1st to the 3rd of June has just been posted at

Details of the registration will be posted December 1st.

Historical Online Newspapers in Canada

I was having an email conversation the other day with a friend out in BC, and she was saying what a nice newspaper collection that the University of British Columbia has accumulated.

It got me thinking about newspapers and their importance in finding out local history of a place. So I put together this list.

Here is my attempt at summarizing the sites of digitized newspapers on the Internet -

British Columbia Historical Newspapers Project - library FREE! The site contains more than 45,000 pages of 24 historical BC newspapers. The newspapers date from 1865 to 1924.

Nova Scotia Historical Newspapers Online - FREE! The Halifax at Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management, and in Sydney at the Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University has put on the Internet over 19,000 pages of digitized newspaper content from sixteen newspapers dating from 1769 to 1991. Community Newspapers - FREE! Thirty newspapers are digitized, with a special emphasis on historical newspapers from Kingston, Ontario.

Peel’s Praries Provinces (Newspapers) - FREE! Over 80 western historical newspapers have been digitized.

The Early Alberta Newspaper Collection - FREE! Our Future, Our Past: The Alberta Heritage Digitization Project is a project from the University of Calgary. The collection contains editions from 1880 to 1950.

Manitoba Newspapers - FREE!  Contains over 30 newspapers. You can search by years and months, with some newspapers going up to the present-day.

Connecting Canada: Canada’s Multicultural Newspapers Beta Website - FREE! The collection contains Croatian, Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Polish, Serbian, Ukrainian, Serbo-Croatian, Latvian, and Lithuanian newspapers.

French-Canadian Newspapers: An Essential Historical Source (1808-1919) -  FREE! These are 230 newspaper titles from French-Canadian communities across Canada.

Digital collection: Newspapers - -
FREE! These newspaper are at Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, and are published in French only.

There may have been some collections that I have missed. If you come across some other collections that have been put on the Internet and are FREE!, please let me know at

Tomorrow's Post - Histoire de Bourgeois - the genealogy and stories of Bourgeois' of Acadian descent

Monday, November 28, 2011

New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs Week 13

Here are some of the websites and blogs that I have come across the week ending November 27, 2011 -

Welcome to Bill Gladstone - NEW! Bill Gladstone is a Toronto-based journalist, author, publisher, public speaker, and noted genealogist.

Oakville Memories - Although Bob Hughes hasn’t posted for a year, the posts that are online, and the names in those posts, may help someone with their ancestry.

Looking4Ancestors -  Started by Kathryn Lake started in 2008, she blogs on a consistent basis about genealogy in general.

Murmurd's Franco-American and Québec Genealogy - An "AMERICAN in QUÉBEC"!, the blogger has been actively researching her French-Canadian roots in Canada.

The Kelowna & District Genealogical Society - Their blog has been online since 2008, and they regularly update their upcoming events, as well as changes in their resources.

Welcome to the Library and Archives Canada Blog! - NEW! A four-month trial blog has been initiated by the LAC for the staff to post articles of interest to all researchers.

Recipes and Recollections: Treats and Tales from Our Mother's Kitchen -
NEW! Arlene Stafford-Wilson is an author who grew up in Lanark County, and has produced a book about her mother and the recipes she used in the home where Arlene grew up.

The Jehan and Perrine Terriot Family Website - A bilingual site (F/E) that is the website of the Terriot Acadian Family Society.

Welcome to the Leaves of my Tree - Robin Wallace has created this most entertaining website where she list over 2500 names of ancestors.

SaskResearch - $ This website will help you to find your Saskatchewan ancestors.

Tomorrow Post: Historical Newspapers in Canada.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tweedsmuir Histories – Elgin County

Over the past number of years, Elgin County Archives has been digitizing the Tweedsmuir Histories of Elgin County.

When they first started at the Archives, there were 27 Tweedsmuir History volumes containing about 5000 pages. As they continued, the number of volumes increased to 50, covering over 7000 pages.

The people of the individual Women’s Institutes became the “unofficial archivists” of Ontario counties and districts. They constructed “scrapbooks”, and they present information about oral histories and photographs.

Looking at these books, there are “Family Trees”, “Pioneer Histories”, the history of schools, churches, businesses, and individual family histories. I don’t think that there are any such histories in the rest of Canada that can come up to this level of history written by ordinary people. It is, as their website says, “an outstanding resource on the history of rural Ontario”.

The counties covered are - Aldborough, Dunwich, Southwold, Yarmouth, Malahide, South Dorchester, Bayham, East Elgin, and West Elgin.

You can read them at

There is also a Photo Gallery at

It was announced early in November that the Elgin County Archives received a donation of $6,000 from the Elgin County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. This donation will help complete the project, which is expected to be completed between January and May of 2012.

Tomorrow's Post - New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs Week 13

Saturday, November 26, 2011

“Past Tents” – November Newsletter

“Past Tents”, the newsletter of the Thunder Bay Branch of the OGS, recently issued their November 2011 edition.

The Branch has a very interesting and eye-catching first page of their newsletter. Four times a year they highlight an “Ancestor of the Month”, and this month they are featuring Marion Belle Elliot.

Marion was born in 1898 in Morewood (near Ottawa), the daughter of Marion Henderson and Francis Elliot. She taught school in Thunder Bay, and although she wasn’t spoken of as a genealogist, she spent her summer going around Canada visiting relatives, and leaving the lists and pictures of their relatives.

The column, "Research Article", mentions going to a community called Tum Tum in Washington State where Paul McAlister found the tombstone of Robert Elsworth McAlistor. An interesting read!

In another article entitled “Why Mobert is Called Mobert”, we find out that the name is the contraction of C. S. Montizambert, a fellow who led men in 1885 Out West to help quell the Riel Rebellion.

You can go to their website at

If you are interested in joining Ontario Genealogical Society, go to

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ottawa Speaker at NGS Conference 2012

While going around the Internet checking on blogs and conferences, I came across the NGS Conference 2012 speaker's list, and discovered one name which stood out - Ottawa's Alison Hare.

Alison is a member of both the Ottawa Branch of the OGS and BIFHSGO in Ottawa, and has given talks at both groups at their conferences on a number of subjects. This time, she will be part of a panel discussion being held on May 10th at 8:00 a.m., entitled "BCG Certification Seminar".

Other panelists include Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, and Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS.

The NGS Conference will be held next year at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio from 9-12 May. This year, the theme is "The Ohio River: Gateway to the Western Frontier".

If you are planning to go to the NGS Conference and take in the panel discussion, and you meet Alison, please say “Hello” to her from us at the GenealogyCanada blog! I am sure that she will represent Canada very well. She is a very popular speaker in Ontario, and I have had the pleasure of listening to her speak numerous times.

The Conference website is at

Thursday, November 24, 2011

"Thanksgiving" for my American Cousins

I have American cousins on both sides of my family, even though I was born and grew up in Nova Scotia.

On my paternal side (BARCLAY), I have three great-great aunts, one great-great uncle, and one aunt who went to the “Boston States”, either to find work, or they got married and then moved to the "Boston States” with their husbands.

My great-great aunts were the issue of John and Roseanne (WATT) BARCLAY of Jordan Falls, Nova Scotia –

Josephine Peterson BARCLAY (b. 1880 – d. 1935) She emigrated in c1911 to Massachusetts to work as a teacher, but quickly became married to George Wallace GELLATLY (who had emigrated from Scotland) in 1916.

He was a Baptist minister who travelled around Rhode Island, to New Hampshire, and on to Vermont, were they eventually settled in Newfane.

They had two sons – John, who died at a very young age due to a car accident, and George, who died in California.

Alma Leah BARCLAY (b.1890 - d.1935) She emigrated to Boston, and worked as a bookkeeper. She married William Eben CURRY from Nova Scotia, and he worked on the railroad. They did not have children.

Louise Beatrice BARCLAY (b. 1880 – d. 1967) Great-Aunt Louise emigrated to Boston c1910 to Massachusetts, where she went to cooking school, and worked as a servant in various homes.

She married Martin NYE, and she had two children – Alma and John.

Harold Glenburn BARCLAY (b. 1892-d.1984) He emigrated to Boston in 1910, fought for the US in the First World War, and later, worked as a motor mechanic.

My aunt was the daughter of Cecil and Laurie (TURNER) BARCLAY of Jordan Falls, Nova Scotia -

Mary Augusta BARCLAY (b.1915 - d. 1970) The last relative on my paternal side to emigrate to the “Boston States” was Aunt Mary. She emigrated c1940s, married Samuel WALL, and had two daughters – Florence and Beth. We used to visit them quite often when they lived in Upper Kennebunkport, Maine.

If you would like to read more about Canadians who migrated to the United States, a good place to start is -

The Boston States Migration Links Page It is THE site for Migration to the Boston States.

I would like to wish our American friends a "Happy Thanksgiving!"

If you want to see whimsical and interesting material on Thanksgiving, including "Were Cats and Dogs on the Mayflower?", check out this post (along with links to animated dancing and football-playing turkeys on my blog and website) -

Be sure to click on all the links - there are a few to go through!



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Ontario Name Index (TONI)

As part of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the OGS, The Ontario Name Index (TONI) has been growing steadily ever since, having posted close to 250,000 single names in the index.

They hope to eventually have tens of millions of entries in the database.

TONI includes -
  • converting and importing the existing electronic indices at both the Branch and Society level, i.e. Ontario Cemetery Ancestor Index or the Ottawa Branch Name Index;

  • digitizing and importing existing hard copy indices;

  • indexing existing electronic and hard-copy documents and importing them, including family histories, Tweedsmuir histories, items in the e-library, etc. Branch publications such as cemeteries, census, newspapers, and other transcriptions that they have done; and
  • indices to digitized documents produced for other organizations as part of the scanning project could be included, with permission of the owner.
Presently, they are putting in names in cemetery transcriptions of Northumberland and Carleton Counties of Ontario. They have already put in cemeteries of Wellington, Peterborough, and Hastings Counties.

TONI is available to everyone. You do not need to be an OGS member to use the index.

Go to

If any of the members of the OGS would like to help enter material into TONI, contact your Branch TONI Co-ordinator or the Provincial TONI Co-ordinator, Mike More, at

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Canadian Genealogy Survey

Just received a note from Del Muise, Professor of History, Emeritus at Carleton University in Ottawa who has written to say that the Canadian Survey will be closing November 30th.

To date, they have received over 2,000 responses to the survey, so if you haven't answered the survey yet, please do so by going to

He says that “they will analysing the results of the survey as soon as we get the final results available for some work. We anticipate that that will be by the middle of December; but in the meantime we are preparing a few posts about our preliminary look at the qualitative or open ended questions that seem to us to be quite suggestive”.

They also have a blog at

Monday, November 21, 2011

New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs Week 12

Here are some of the websites and blogs that I have come across the week ending November 20, 2011.

Amy Brewitt Genealogy Research Services - This is a pay site if you wish for Amy Brewitt to research your ancestry, especially records in Ontario.

Kindred Footprints: Following in their footprints and walking where my Ancestors walked - Started in 2009, the Manley/Munnelly family from County Mayo, Ireland to Thorold, Ontario, Canada and the Vine family from Norfolk, England to Alden, Erie Co., New York.

The Huntley Pages - As the website says, it is "A genealogy of the Huntley family that emigrated to Canada from Wiltshire in the mid 1800s. Also covers the families the Huntleys married into. (Ontario)".

Jen's Genealogy Pages…searching for my family's history - Jen recently celebrated her blogiversary on November 16, 2010 on Geneabloggers. She is searching for her family history.

About Genealogy Services: New Books in the Genealogy and Family History Room - This webpage from Library and Archives Canada (LAC) lists, every month, the latest books that have been received by them.

The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada - The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada (Christian Disciples) traces its roots in part to 1810 near Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, and a Presbyterian minister - Barton Warren Stone (1772-1844).

Jim's Girl Family History Blog: A genealogy blog to bring together cousins near and far in my family tree. - A blog by Katherine of Ottawa, she gives a good description of BIFHSGO's Friday Conference in September as well as the Genealogy Theme, "Good Things Happen in Genealogy". She also discusses her battle with breast cancer in her latest post.

Joan's Genealogy Jottings - The website says that it is blog about her "journey through the DAVIES, BELLAMY, CROCKETT, and BUTCHART family histories".

Judiology ... a genealogical journal of discovery! - A recently-started blog in April 2011, she has blogs about Home Children, and since her mother was a War Bride, she has a blog about them, also. Good reading!

Le chercheur nomade - The Nomadic Researcher - (In French only). A blog started by Gilles Cayouette in 2007, the blog traces the ancestors whose surnames are Caillouet (Caillouet, Caillouette, Cayouette...).

Tomorrow Post: November 2011 issue of Families

Saturday, November 19, 2011

BRANTches Newsletter - November 2011

The talk at the September meeting of the Brant County Branch of the OGS was given by Gerry Miller on the Jewish families who used to live there from the 1900s up until the late 1920s, when most of them moved on to Toronto or to the United States.


In an article by Jean Farquaharson called, "The War of 1812-1814: People in Brant Area – The Nelles Family", she tells us about Hendrik, and his nephew, Andrew. Hendrik supported the Americans during the American Revolution, but Andrew supported the British in the War of 1812.

Jean also writes a review of Mary Coushnie-Mansour's book, A Twentieth Century "Portia": Biography of Thelma Bernice Kerr-Thomson.

Visit the Brant County Branch online at

If you are interested in joining Ontario Genealogical Society,go to

Tomorrow's Post: - SCAN (Simcoe County Ancestor News)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Our Waterloo Kin - November 2011

The November issue of Our Waterloo Kin is out, and there are various genealogical articles in their edition such as rescuing and restoring a cemetery, biographies published in a newspaper 100 years ago, and an obituary of an old settler who died in 1871.

An semi-unknown cemetery located on the west side of Waterloo, next to the Regional Shopping Centre along Ira Needles Boulevard, is cleaned up by members of the Waterloo Branch of the OGS.

See what they did to identify the cemetery, and why they've decided to make a return visit to the cemetery.

The eleven people who lived in the Waterloo area – Joseph ABRA, Peter BERG, Samuel CASSEL, A.P. DAMMEIER, Albert GIBBONS, Adam HEIPEL, Fred HOLWELL, Henry N. HUEHN, Joseph Good HURST, Solomon KOCH, and Adam MATTUSCH – have short biographies listed on pages 53 and 54 of this issue.

Obituaries of a Father and of his Daughter” highlights the passing of Ledogarius Beisang, and that of his daughter, Mary Anna (nee Beisang) Stremmer, who died in 1905 at Eagle Creek.

The iron cross and stone monuments have been restored at the St. Agatha Roman Catholic Church, and there is an article on “Reading the Documents: Ins and Outs of Paleography”.

You can visit their website at

If you are interested in joining the Ontario Genealogical Society, and the Waterloo Branch of the OGS, please go to the OGS website at

Tomorrow's Post: Brant County's Newsletter

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Huron County Branch Newsletter

The November 2011 issue of the Huron County Branch newsletter is out, and is full of genealogical news.

Ian Hulley, in the September meeting, talked about himself being a gravedigger at the Blyth Cemetery, and he has been the supervisor at St. Paul's Anglican Church Churchyard in Clinton, Ontario.

The old cemetery was disused after the bodies were re-interred in the new cemetery, although there is a question as to if all the bodies were moved.

The rest of the story follows on what Ian has found.

At the October meeting, John Hazlitt, Ted Turner, and Doug Culbert gave a talk on "The Power of the Maitland" where they discussed the research they did on 78 dam sites in Huron, Perth, and Wellington Counties.

There is a book in the making, and it will be called, The Power of the Maitland: Powering Pioneer Settlement in an Ontario River Watershed.

The story, "The History of St. Augustine Parish", that was given at the Closing Mass on September 24th, 2006 has been reprinted in the newsletter, as well as the names of people who were involved in the "12th of July Parade", at Stratford, ON is 1938.

"A Splinter of Wood" is about a young English couple – Robert Carter and Charlotte Watson - who were both born in East Yorkshire, married, and came to Canada in 1854 or 1855. His dream was to own land, which he did in Clinton. A splinter of wood taken from their log house is shown in the newsletter.

"From the Newspapers" is devoted to names taken from The Clinton News-Record and from The Huron Expositor through the years.

You can go to their website at

If you are interested in joining the Ontario Genealogical Society, visit

Tomorrow's Post: Our Waterloo Kin Newsletter

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Southern Georgian Bay Official War of 1812 Bicentennial Event

David J. Brunelle, the Co-ordinator, Historical Displays/Exhibits from the Celebrate Barrie Festival 2012, has sent the following press release -
He says that "On May 31st, June 1st, 2nd and possibly the 3rd, 2012, Barrie, Ontario will host the Southern Georgian Bay Official War of 1812 Bicentennial Event, and honour the Nine Mile Portage Heritage Transport Route.
The Nine Mile Portage, an ancient native trail, once formed a land bridge between Kempenfelt Bay and the Nottawasaga River, enabling a continuous trade and transportation route from Lake Ontario through to Georgian Bay for many centuries.
During the War of 1812, the British military improved the route for the transport of supplies and personnel, as the lower lakes were occupied by the Americans following the Battle of Put-in-Bay. This land route became strategically important in keeping the captured American fort of Mackinaw supplied, and in British hands.
Following the War, the route remained active, and what was known as "the portage landing" grew into the community we know today as Barrie, Ontario.
The City of Barrie will be celebrating its founding with a huge War of 1812 Bicentennial Event including a very large War of 1812 land and naval component. This potential four-day event will include two education days on Thursday and Friday, and continue with two public days on Saturday and Sunday."
If you are interested on attending the event for all or some of the days as a paid participant, or would like more information, please submit an email to David J. Brunelle at

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Royal British Columbia Museum

The Royal British Columbia Museum is located in downtown Victoria, close to the Parliament Buildings and the Empress Hotel.

From June 1 to September 3, 2012, the museum will feature an exhibit called "Celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee".

The website says, "This special exhibition of nearly 100 portraits by royal photographer, Cecil Beaton (1904-80) depicts Elizabeth in her roles as princess, monarch and mother, and will include a number of rarely-seen photographs alongside extracts from Beaton’s personal diaries and letters"

You can see what is upcoming in the exhibit at

You can also link over to the BC Archives at and stop at the World War Two Overseas Casualties (1940-1945); Colonial Marriages (1859 to 1872); and Baptisms (1836-1888).

Postscript #1BIFHSGO held its monthly meeting on November 12, with a large capacity crowd of 195 members present to hear Glenn Wright give a brief overview of history and genealogical books available online that one can search.

Brooke Broadbent talked about "Moonrakers at Peace and War" which covered the lives of four families that emigrated from the U.K., and settled in the Peterborough, Ontario, area, and who had sent soldiers to serve in both the First and Second World Wars. It was a very interesting talk from a former history teacher, and was punctuated at the end with a graphic (and because of Remembrance Day, timely) video showing poignant archived footage from the Battle of the Somme, where one of his relatives lost his life in service.

Afterwards, Glenn announced surprising news that BIFHSGO has been given a year's reprieve by Public Works (PWGSC), allowing BIFHSGO to use their facilities at the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) until the end of 2012! Monthly meetings will continue to take place at the LAC as will the Conference in September.

The news was met with clapping and cheers from the membership, for it has been a hard-fought battle by Glenn, his executive, and BIFHSGO members.

The next conference will focus on Scotland. If you want to be considered as a presenter, you may submit a brief outline of your proposed talk(s) to no later than 31 January, 2012.

Monday, November 14, 2011

New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs Week 11

Here are some of the websites and blogs that I have come across the week ending November 13, 2011

Notes from the Hills/Hackett Tree - NEW! Read about attempts to trace a family from Eastern Canada.

Larbalestier and Carmoody Ancestors - NEW! John Larbalestier and Elizabeth Clark of Jersey, Channel Islands to Toronto, Ontario; Mary Carmoody of London, England, to Toronto, Ontario

Shaw and Milsted Genealogy - NEW! The Ancestors of William John Jefferson Shaw and Florence Milsted.

Elgin County Ontario Genealogy - Although this blog has been around since 2007, the blog that was written last year should be of interest to anyone who has Elgin County, Ontario roots.

Zichydorf Village Association - Tracing German ancestors who originated from this town, and its surrounding towns in modern Serbia to Saskatchewan.

Doctors, Preachers, Pioneers, Statesmen, and Folk - A blog which has information on over 50 surnames in Canada.

Fur Trade Family History - Nancy Marguerite Anderson, author of the book, "The Pathfinder: A.C. Anderson's Journeys in the West," which will be published in October 2011 by Heritage House Publishers.

Growing Up in an Italian Family - The blogger describes herself as a "First Generation Canadian - Full Blooded Italian".

Remember When Genealogy - NEW! A new blog just started this month tracing the Goodwin and Lafleur families of the Windsor-Detroit area.

The Road Backward - NEW! This blog, started in October, traces back the blogger's family in part to her father’s father's family of Russian Jews who fled to the U.S. and Canada after the Bolshevik Revolution.

Tomorrow's Post: The Royal British Columbia Museum: Past, present and future, plus some exciting news about BIFHSGO.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Obituary Files

As of October, 2011 the following obituary card index information, and notices from 1876-2007 have been updated, and are online at

1876–1971 - Deaths of Royal Canadian Mounted Police killed while on duty, taken from S.W. Horrell's, The Pictorial History of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

1919–1997 - Scarlet and Gold (Royal Canadian Mounted Police Veterans' Association) publication including an historical honour roll of officers killed while on duty, and more current obituaries. Honour roll contains deaths prior to 1919.

1933–2007 - Digital images of an obituary card index for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and digital images of the obituary sections of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police publications the index refers to.

1976–1994 - Pony Express: Staff Relations Branch Newsletter

Related Websites

There are four websites that hold related information, and they are -

Saskatchewan Genealogical Society  - This society has a copy of the obituaries on file and an explanation about how the file index was created. The website is

Library and Archives Canada describes this collection and other places where more information about Royal Canadian Mounted Police may be found. The website is

North West Mounted Police (NWMP) - Personnel Records, 1873-1904. The collection is found at

RCMP Graves. -

Tomorrow's Post: New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs, Week 11

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Researching Canadian WWI Records

On Saturday the 19th of November at 1:00 p.m. at Quinte West City Hall Library, 7 Creswell Drive in Trenton, Ontario, the Quinte Branch of the OGS will host their monthly meeting & AGM.

Rick Roberts from Global Genealogy will talk on "Researching Canadian WWI Records Using Online and Traditional Resources".

Discover which Canadian military records are available to help you reveal the roles that individual enlisted Canadians played in World War One, where those records are, how to access them, plus tips and hints for interpreting Canadian military documents. To be discussed are those who served at home and/or overseas, those who applied for service and were rejected, those who returned from war, and those who didn't. A case study, compiled by using Internet-based and physical records, will illustrate effective strategies, research processes, and results.

For more information, visit their website at

Tomorrow's Post: Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Obituary Files

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Portraits of Honour National Tour

The Portraits of Honour National Tour, in a mural, honours 157 Canadian soldiers, sailors, and aircrew who have lost their lives in Afghanistan.

It started touring Canada on May 26th, and is slated to go right across the county from coast to coast to coast. If you want to read their Tour Diary, and see their photo gallery, go to

The bus will be in Ottawa today and tomorrow at the following places and times -

Friday, November 11th it will be on Parliament Hill, and will be open for public viewing from 9:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m..

On Saturday, November 12th, it will be at the National War Museum at 1 Vimy Drive. The public viewing will be from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m..

Go to for more information.

Postscript #1 - Under the title of "Remembrance Day: Lest we forget" — a day set aside to honour sacrifice — there are a number of articles available online on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's website at

As well, CBC will pay tribute to Canada's fallen soldiers today through live video, audio, and online streaming of the ceremony from the War Memorial in Ottawa, starting at 10:00 a.m. EST this morning. Go to for details.

Postscript #2 - There will be free admission to the Canadian War Museum and the Canadian Museum of Civilization on Friday, November 11.

Today at exactly 11 a.m., sunlight will shine through a single window to frame the headstone of Canada’s Unknown Soldier.

A limited number of free tickets will be available at 9 a.m. at the Information Desk. No reservations permitted.

This event will also be webcast live from Memorial Hall on November 11, starting at 10:45 a.m. on the Museum’s website, and broadcast within the Museum.

For more information on the programs available today, and for a link to the live webcast, go to

Tomorrow's Post: Researching Canadian WWI Records with Rick Roberts of Global Genealogy at the Quinte Branch (OGS) AGM.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wreaths Across Canada

Adorned graves at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in St. John’s, Newfoundland. (Photo submitted by Wreaths Across Canada)

I received an article written by Canadian Forces Captain, Lisa Evong, entitled, "A wreath for every Canadian veteran", about a new initiative between the Canadian Forces and Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa to be called Wreaths Across Canada.

The article says -
Almost a quarter of a million Canadian veterans are buried in cemeteries across Canada including those at rest at the National Military Cemetery at Beechwood. Many Canadians are unaware of this fact, and so the honour that is owed to them is lost. Wreaths Across Canada (W.A.C.) Incorporated is an organization determined to correct this omission starting on December 4.
“All too often when the image of deceased Canadian war veterans comes to mind we think of those buried overseas at places like Vimy, Normandy, Ortona, or Hong Kong,” says Chief of the Defence Staff, General Walter Natynczyk. “But, thousands of veterans, many of whom fought in and survived those same battles, are buried in military burial sites throughout our nation. Wreaths Across Canada is giving Canadians of every age an opportunity to play a personal and significant role in the ceremony to honour our fallen.”
Beginning Sunday, December 4 at 1:30 p.m., W.A.C. will activate its mission by placing almost 3000 balsam wreaths on the headstones of every veteran buried in the National Military Cemetery. The public is invited to participate in this most personal act of remembrance. It is anticipated that this will become an annual tradition in Ottawa and it is hoped that this ceremony of commemoration spreads to every military cemetery throughout Canada.
“Keep in mind three easy words - Remember, Honour, Teach – that is the mission statement of Wreaths Across Canada,” says General (Ret) Rick Hillier, W.A.C.’s Honourary Chairman. “We will remember those members of the Canadian Forces who lie in military cemeteries across Canada; we will honour those who have served Canada as members of our military forces; and we will strive to teach Canadian youth the value of freedom.”
No longer will it only be government and military leaders placing wreaths on memorials. W.A.C. invites you, your friends, and your family to participate in this ceremony. Families are encouraged to bring their children to the ceremony and schools are encouraged to participate. Serving members of the Canadian Forces are invited to attend in uniform and veterans attending are encouraged to wear their medals. The hope is that participants will depart with a new sense of gratitude and understanding of the sacrifice that was made.
W.A.C. is a registered charitable organization composed of a small group of volunteers who are mainly veterans. Local school boards are enthusiastic about this program and there is also a growing interest from other organizations and associations.
Fundraising for W.A.C. is now in full swing. Funds have been received from Veteran’s Affairs Canada, The McCain Foundation, the True Patriot Love Foundation, the Harrison McCain Foundation and individual donations from the general public. If you would like to make a donation to W.A.C, or volunteer to lay a wreath on December 4, please visit the website at, call 613-435-4294 or simply just arrive at the National Military Cemetery at 1 p.m. and you will be given a wreath to lay when the ceremony starts at 1:30 p.m.  
Postscript #1 - Glenn Wright, the former military archivist at the Library and Archives Canada, has informed me that the website, "WWI Canadian War Graves in the United Kingdom", has been put together by D. Beaupré and Adrian Watkinson. They are compiling a list and information about 3,885 soldiers who are buried in 834 locations across the United Kingdom.

The website is

Postscript #2 - has FREE access for Canadian Military Records on its website at until November 13th, 2011.

Tomorrow's Post: The Portraits of Honour National Tour, plus live streaming of the CBC's (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - Canada's public broadcaster) of the Remembrance Day Service, live from the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Canadian Soldier Sikhs: A Little Story in a Big War

A film is being made by Canada's David R. Gray about ten Sikh men who enlisted in the Canadian Army in the First World War. As the website says, the film "follows the men through the enlistment process, training, and transport to France by troopship. It features the struggles these Sikh soldiers faced and the battles they fought, including those during which two of the men were killed".

The producers of the film are looking for assistance from people who travel to India, and may be able to contact the relatives and descendants of the ten Canadian Sikh soldiers. And they are looking for photos of any of these Canadian Sikh soldiers.

You contact the producers at The website is

Postscript # 1 I have just been informed by Sandeep Singh Brar of the website at which honours "Private Buckam Singh: Discovering a Canadian Hero" - the first Sikh to enlist in the First World War with an Ontario battalion. 

The website says that "Buckam Singh came to B.C. from Punjab in 1907 at age 14 and eventually moved to Toronto in 1912/1913. He enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the spring of 1915. He's one of the earliest known Sikhs living in Ontario at the time as well as one of only 9 Sikhs that we know of that served with Canadian troops in WWI".

Postscript # 2 According to a story in the Ottawa Citizen, there are a number of tunnels in France that have etchings in them. They are a reminder of the Canadian veterans who stayed in the tunnels in the wintertime while waiting to fight the Germans in the First World War.

There will be a travelling art exhibit of the etchings that will cross Canada in 2014, the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the war.

Tomorrow's Post: Wreath Laying in Ottawa

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Canada at War: A Guide to LAC's Websites

Private G.R. MacDonald of The Toronto Scottish Regiment (M.G.) giving first aid to an injured French boy, Brionne, France, 25 August 1944.

"Military and Peacekeeping" is one of the many topics found under the umbrella title of "Canada at War: A Guide to Library and Archives Canada's Websites Recalling the Canadian War Experience", found online at

This webpage will lead you to the many resources available on their website, particularly those who lost their lives in the First World War. Veterans' Week 2011 marks the 93rd anniversary of the armistice ending the First World War.

Sunday evening, we watched TVO's excellent documentary, "The Last Day of World War One", hosted by Michael Palin.

Although it was a British program about the last day of the war and the fighting that continued on that day even though the Armistice had actually been signed, many references were made to Canadians, including Strathroy, Ontario's own, General Sir Arthur Currie.

TVO is commemorating Remembrance Day with a month of special programming

Tomorrow's Post: Canadian Soldier Sikhs: A Little Story in a Big War 

Monday, November 7, 2011

New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs Week 10

Here are some of the websites and blogs that I have come across the week ending November 6, 2011 -

The War Graves Photographic Project Started in England, it now covers Canadian graves, with over 30 volunteers taking photos of cemeteries under the guidance of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Canadian Veterans Affairs. You can research by surname and first name, and they have a photo gallery onsite, and News & Information. If you have a question about a Canadian grave, please email Vernon Mastman at

The War of 1812 Website A well-rounded site that was started to commemorate the War of 1812 by listing the latest articles on the War of 1812, book reviews, videos, prints, maps, uniforms, and games.

The Birthplace of John McCrae and a National Historic Site Read about the site and the events that are being held at the John McCrae House, the author of In Flanders Fields.

CFS Alert Canadian Forces Station Alert in Nunavut is the most-northerly, permanently-inhabited settlement in the world of the Canadian military! The site gives a history of the place and the personnel, explanations of some of the equipment used, and contains some really good photographs of the station.

The Canadian International Military Tattoo New! The tattoo will take place in Hamilton to mark the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812, as well as the 150th Anniversary of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.

Canadian Forces casualties in Afghanistan A breakdown of the Canadian casualties in Afghanistan is given as well as a history of where these casualties occurred, and continue to occur.

Avroland Dedicated to the people and projects of AVRO Canada and Orenda Engines Limited. The Toronto Aerospace Museum has completed their full-size replica Arrow, which is onsite, as well as the people who helped design and build the Avro Arrow.

Canadian Heroes (Military Heroes) A blog which answers the question of "Who is a Hero?" Read about the Canadian heroes of yesterday and today. It also has Ginny McIlmoyle singing the song, "The Highway of Heroes", the stretch of Hwy 401 that goes from CFB Trenton to Toronto.  The song was written to honour the people who came back to Canada after they were killed in Afghanistan.

The Heroes Remember This website contains video interviews of Canadian Veterans of the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, the Chinese-Canadian veterans, along with some very interesting anecdotes on their experiences.

Remembrance Day in Canada: Remembering Canadians Who Fought and Died in War  Lots of interesting links on this site, especially on the First World War.

Tomorrow's Post: Discover the Collection: Military and Peacekeeping

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Royal Canadian Navy Ledger Sheets Database (1910-1941)

Canadian Corvettes, on antisubmarine duty while escorting a WW II convoy. National Archives of Canada / PA-115350

Library and Archives Canada has just announced the launch of a new online database, "Royal Canadian Navy Ledger Sheets (1910-1941)".

The LAC says that "Through this online database, researchers can access more than 16,700 references to individuals who served in the Royal Canadian Navy and the Naval Reserve between 1910 and 1918. It also includes some records for those who enlisted between 1919 and 1941".

The database is available at the following address:

For more information, please contact

I had one uncle in the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War, and his name was John (Johnnie) Turner Barclay (b. 1916 – d. 1975) from Jordan Falls, Shelburne County, Nova Scotia. He was my father's brother, and his home base was CFB Halifax.

He often talked about the stormy weather that they had as they crossed the Northern Atlantic to fight off of the coast of England in the Battle of the Atlantic. He was in the engine room, and he said that there were cramped conditions in which they lived and worked during those long days at sea.

The navy lost 24 ships and 1,797 sailors in the war.

Admiralty House Museum, Halifax, NS I have been at the museum in Halifax, and it is a beautiful place. The website says, "The museum has a library of over 50,000 volumes, archives, and a permanent collection displaying historical artifacts including model ships, weapons, photos, medals and much more".

Tomorrow's Post: New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs, Week 10

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Canada's Veterans' Week

Veterans' Week 2010

Canadian Veterans' Week will remember those Canadians who are, and have been, members of the Canadian Armed Forces. Veterans Affairs Canada,, is asking us to "Make remembrance more than something you feel. Make it something you do".

This Veterans’ Week, take the remembrance challenge - "There are many ways to show that you remember and honour our Veterans". For instance -
  • Pin a poppy above your heart.
  • Attend the local Remembrance Day ceremony.
  • Talk to a friend or relative who has just returned home from Afghanistan or who served in other areas of conflict.
  • Listen to Veterans talk about their experiences.
  • Create a mashup and share it on the Veterans Affairs Canada YouTube Channel.
  • Visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Facebook fan page, write on our wall, and share how you remember.
  • Follow Veterans Affairs Canada on Twitter and tweet about how you remember.

  • Change your Facebook profile picture to a poppy.

  • Blog, tweet or update your Facebook status about the importance of remembrance.
You can share your experiences with people who have put their experiences online in a video at the Remembrance Feed at 

You can share the experiences of the students at Westgrove School from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to the experience of Jason Peters from College of New Caledonia, Prince George, B.C., to the experience of Cindi Hachey from Maugerville, New Brunswick.

Visit the Events page at for more information on  the events nearest you.

As the website says, "Together, it is our duty to pass on the legacy and keep the memories of our Canadian Veterans alive."

Tomorrow's Post: Royal Canadian Navy Ledger Sheets (1910-1941)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Blogger Showcases Canada’s Veterans' Week (November 5-11)

(Ottawa, Canada - November 3, 2011) In accepting the remembrance challenge of this year’s Veterans’ Week, “Make remembrance more than something you feel. Make it something you do”, Canadian blogger, Elizabeth Lapointe, will have a whole week of Canadian military-related posts on her blog,

Lapointe says, “Coming from a military family, and married into one, Veterans’ Week means something special to me. It is in this spirit that I will post on related Canadian military websites and blogs, culminating with a special Remembrance Day post on November 11th.”

Some examples of the posts planned during Veterans’ Week include a post on Veterans’ Week itself, listing the different events planned across Canada; a post covering the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the National Military Cemetery at Ottawa’s Beechwood Cemetery in December; and on November 11th (Remembrance Day), there will be a post on The Portraits of Honour National Tour, which has been going across Canada since May, and which will stop in Ottawa on November 11th and 12th.

Also included will be a special “Canadian Military” websites and blogs list that will be posted on Monday, November 7th as a special edition of the “New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs” series, which is published every Monday.

“I have gone through the military websites and blogs, and have picked the ones which have special meaning and remembrance for this week. Join me as I take the journey to the best websites and blogs honouring Veterans’ Week - November 5th to the 11th," says Lapointe.

About GenealogyCanada

The blog,, has been covering Canadian genealogy, heritage, and history since the first of over 500 posts was published in January, 2008.

At the website, there are over 30 monthly newsletters covering news on Canadian genealogy, heritage, and history, including the famous “Website of the Month”.

Tomorrow's Post: What is Canadian Veterans' Week?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Save Library and Archives Canada!

Over the past years, we have gradually seen the decline of service at the Library and Archives Canada.

Now it has come to light that the government is thinking of closing some parts of the LAC that the public now uses, and turn the space into office space for government employees.

This also involves what has been considered as "public space" on the main floor, including the auditorium, and meeting rooms. The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) meets for their monthly meetings, and conference; the Ottawa Genealogical Society (OGS) use to hold (until very recently) their monthly meetings and conferences there, and various SIGs also hold their meetings every month.

Now, a new group The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has a website called "Save the Library and Archives Canada" at

They held a press conference yesterday where they laid out their concerns about the LAC, and they have set up a web page where you can read the open letter they wrote to the Daniel Caron, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. You can also leave your email address in order to be brought up-to-date with the latest news from CAUT.

John D. Reid on his blog Anglo-Celtic Connections has been keeping us informed about the LAC. Read about what he has to say today about the LAC, and the government proposed cutbacks.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Talk to be given on Home Children

A press release has just been received from Touchstones Nelson -

"Are you a descendant of a British child immigrant? Is there a “home child” in your family background? How would you know? Join historian and author Art Joyce Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at Touchstones Nelson, Shawn Lamb Archives, 502 Vernon St., Nelson, BC for his presentation "Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest: Honouring Canada’s Child Immigrants".

These girls from the Barnardo's homes in England were among the 100,000 British poor children who were emigrated to Canada between 1869-1939. The families of the children often had no choice in their emigration and they were forced to work on farms or as household servants until legal age for little or no money. This group is arriving at St. John, New Brunswick in the 1920s. Photo courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.

Between 1869 and 1939, 100,000 children were emigrated from Britain to Canada as a means of providing indentured labourers for newly developing farms or – in the case of girls – domestic servants for households. Tens of thousands more children were sent to Australia and New Zealand. Siblings were often separated and in most cases never saw one another or their parents again.

Joyce discovered that he was the grandson of just such a “home child” five years ago while doing genealogical research into his Joyce ancestors. Since then he has expanded his interest to include research on the history of Canada’s child immigrants, and in particular, the impact of this on families in the Columbia Basin.

He plans to compile a book based on both his family’s experience and the experiences of other Basin families who have “home children” in their background.

Joyce is the author of two books of West Kootenay history, "A Perfect Childhood and Hanging Fire & Heavy Horses", on the heritage homes and public transit of the historic city of Nelson, BC. A passage from A Perfect Childhood is quoted in the Knowledge Network’s BC Moments series and he was a popular heritage columnist for the Nelson Daily News from 1996-2000. For the past seven years he has worked as reporter and arts and culture editor for the Valley Voice newspaper in the Slocan Valley. Joyce is also the author of two recent books of poetry".

The website is at

A special "Canadian Military" websites and blogs will be listed here on Monday November 7th!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Toronto Branch of OGS Branch Meetings

Gwyneth Pearce of the Toronto Branch sent these meetings/workshops to me yesterday -

DATE: 28 November 2011 (7:30 pm)
MEETING: Toronto Branch OGS
LOCATION: Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Community Hall, 5110 Yonge Street, Toronto
TITLE OF TALK: "Great Moments in Genealogy"
BRIEF INFO: In a series of short presentations, several Toronto Branch members will share with us “great moments” in their genealogical research. $5 charge for non-members of OGS.

DATE: 30 January 2012 (7:30 p.m.)
MEETING: Toronto Branch OGS
LOCATION: Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Community Hall, 5110 Yonge Street, Toronto
TITLE OF TALK: “Origins of Funeral Customs”
BRIEF INFO: This talk will describe the origins of some of the funeral customs found in 19th-century Ontario and explain how they evolved through the century. Wakes, hearses, flowers and food, clothing, coffins and tombstones will all be discussed. Additional short presentation by Stephen Low: “A Little Latin for Genealogists”. $5 charge for non-members of OGS.

DATE: 27 February 2012 (7:30 p.m.)
MEETING: Toronto Branch OGS
LOCATION: Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Community Hall, 5110 Yonge Street, Toronto
BRIEF INFO: This presentation will demonstrate the use of Microsoft OneNote, a computer program for free-form information gathering and multi-user collaboration. Additional short presentation by Greg Marlatt: “The Flight of William Lyon Mackenzie”. $5 charge for non-members of OGS.

Branch workshops/other events:

DATE: 5 November 2011
WORKSHOP: Toronto Branch OGS
LOCATION: Auditorium, North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto
TITLE: "English Family History Workshop"
NAMES OF SPEAKERS: John D. Reid, Lesley Anderson, Paul Jones, Jane E. MacNamara, Linda Reid
BRIEF INFO: A one-day workshop with a roster of knowledgeable and enthusiastic speakers devoted to discovering English ancestors. Early registration deadline is 14 October 2011 – special rates apply for members of OGS.

DATE: 31 March 2012
WORKSHOP: Toronto Branch OGS
LOCATION: Auditorium, North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto
TITLE: “Finding Your Great War Ancestors”
BRIEF INFO: A one-day workshop for family historians seeking to find out more about their Great War ancestors. Program and registration details to come.

For more information, please contact, or go to their website at

A special "Canadian Military" websites and blogs will be listed here on Monday November 7th!