Friday, June 29, 2012

A FREE Concert in Ottawa on Canada Day!

The Central Band of the Canadian Forces will perform a free outdoor Canada Day concert, July
1st, 11am - noon, on the National Arts Centre Terrace, corner of Elgin and Queen. 
In case of inclement weather, the concert will move to the main lobby of the NAC.
The National Arts Centre is honoured to be displaying the seventh Book of Remembrance in Le Salon at the NAC from 10am - 5pm.
Visitors will be able to view this unique work of art, containing the names of all Canadians who have
died in service since the end of the Second World War. 

Toronto History Branch Fall Meetings

Gwyneth Pearce has sent information about the Toronto History Branch meetings, and workshops to be held this fall.  
DATE: 22 September 2012: Saturday (9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.)
LOCATION: North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto
TITLE OF COURSE: "Ancestry Day"
BRIEF INFO: This course will provide detailed information about the most effective strategies for searching Ancestry’s growing number of databases with special emphasis on some of the newer features. Participants will also learn how to create and share their online tree.
DATE: 3 October – 21 November 2012: Wednesdays (2:00- 4:00 p.m.)
LOCATION: North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto
TITLE OF COURSE: "Basic Genealogy and Family History"
BRIEF INFO: Designed for those just beginning to research or looking to upgrade basic research skills, this course will cover terminology, types of sources, the use of on-line resources, libraries and archives, and record-keeping – to help you “think like a genealogist”.
DATE: 17 November 2012: Saturday (9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.)
LOCATION: North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto
TITLE OF WORKSHOP: "Irish Family History Workshop"
BRIEF INFO: This full-day workshop will cover a comprehensive range of topics of interest to family historians with Irish research interests. Detailed information about the program, speakers and registration to come.
For a full schedule, go to

Thursday, June 28, 2012 is FREE!

To celebrate Canada Day on July 1st, is offering FREE access to more than 40 million historical records that is available now to July the 2nd.
Free access includes -
 Canadian Passenger Lists and Ocean Arrivals - outlining the masses of people who arrived by ship -- the only form of international travel available to people at the time -- at port cities across Canada
The 1871 Census of Canada - the first Census Canada conducted as a nation, which gives a snapshot of the life of the people living at the time, including who they lived with, their ages, their jobs, the birthplaces of their parents, their neighbours and more
Vital records (i.e. birth, marriage and death records) from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia - outlining the significant moments in the people’s lives like children born, marriages and deaths.
Visit to search all of the records being made available for free this weekend.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Stewiacke Valley Museum present Genealogy Day

 If you are interested in genealogy or family history of Stewiacke Valley, Nova Scotia, you should plan to attend the Genealogy Day on July 28th.

Local family researchers will be present to talk and share their
information, and their methods of research and documenting their family

Trips to local cemeteries will be arranged for those who request them.

Please notify us in advance (if possible) which cemetery you wish to visit.

Starter kits will be available for those wanting to begin their research

The resources of the Museum, including nearly 2000 photographs, community history books,Genealogies, Obituaries, Scrapbooks, School Registers,
Diaries, house histories and much more will be available to help with your research.

Photocopies available at a nominal charge.

Genealogy Day will be held on Saturday, July 28 from 10a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Stewiacke Valley Museum, 5445 Highway 289 in Upper Stewiacke

Light refreshments available

For more information, call Judy at 671-2929

"Classic" No Longer Exists

They have finally closed the Classic, which to many of us was where we cut our teeth on doing Internet genealogy research.
I know there were many problems with the information that the Classical had, and some of it was downright incorrect – but one can say it was an admirable first attempt to put the information online.
I started my research on my ancestor Andrew Barclay on the site, and became a regular visitor, and user when I first went on the Internet in the mid-1990s.
Read his posting “Classic FamilySearch is NoMore” posted on June 25, 2012.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

OGS President Interviewed

Read Shirley Sturdevant’s interview in the 21 June edition of the Chatham Daily News at called “Connecting ancestors to the present.”

She gives her own story of how she became president after joining the OGS five years ago, and the OGS thoughts on the current Library and Archives Canada situation.

It’s worth a read - quite a good interview.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Genealogy Sessions Part of Jubilee Celebrations

                                                                          The  Alberton Historical Preservation Foundation is marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with two days of special events at the Alberton Arts and
Heritage Centre in Prince Edward Island.

The celebration starts with a genealogy seminar with George Sanborn from 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11.

Sanborn is an eminent researcher who has worked in the field of genealogy for over 51 years. He will discuss the connections of Prince Edward Islanders who went to work and live in Maine and other New England states.

From 7 to 9 p.m. the Centre will play host to well-known genealogist and CBC Radio Noon personality, Terry Punch, who will speak on Irish and Scottish ncestry and name origins. A question and answer session will follow his

Admission to both sessions is free, but seating islimited. Individuals can reserve a seat by calling the museum at 853-2275, or e-mailing the museum at

Seven experts in various fields of antiques have been confirmed for an Antique Fair, which will get underway at the centre on Thursday, July 12, starting at 10 a.m.

Areas of expertise include furniture, silver, china, jewelery, books and paintings, military, tools and musical instruments.  Interested persons are
encouraged to bring their special possessions along to be identified, evaluated and explained.

To close out the special Diamond Jubilee celebrations, a giant fireworks display will take place on the Prince County Exhibition grounds just after dusk.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

British Columbia Genealogical Society Has Updated Two Indexes

The BCGS has updated two indexes -

British Columbia Auto Permit Holders, 1904-1905

This indexing project is on-going, and is part of a project documenting early vehicle owners in British Columbia, Canada.

This information has been extracted from BC Motor Vehicle Branch records held by the British Columbia Archives.

In some cases, additional information is available from the indexer, who would be happy to hear from those with more information about the vehicle owner or their vehicles. Please contact M. Diane Rogers at
A headings are the year of the permit, the nunber of permit(s) given, the name of the owner, and his address.

Victoria, British Columbia Naturalization Index, 1859

British Columbia Naturalization documents from the British Columbia Archives are now digitized and available free at which begin with Oaths of Allegiance signed in 1859.

The BC Archives has names of individuals already on-line from the Cranbrook records and FamilySearch has digitized the official Cranbrook index book.

If you would like to search for a Cranbrook name in the Cranbrook naturalization applications 1905-1923. you can go to

Finally, if you want to get rid of your pennies, the BCGS are collecting pennies to contribute to the fund for a Coat of Arms for the Society.

Any pennies will be accepted at all general meetings. Volunteers will roll them, if need be.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Toronto Branch Letter and Resolution - The LAC

Gwyneth Pearce from the Toronto Branch of the OGS sent this announcement to me the other day, and it says -  

"I am writing on behalf of the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society to let you know about our response to the recently announced cuts to funding and staff at Library and Archives Canada.

At its annual general meeting on 28 May 2012, the Toronto Branch approved a resolution to send a letter to both the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and the Prime Minister of Canada expressing our serious concerns about the cuts.

The letter, signed by Branch Chair Diana Thomson, urges the government of Canada to consider alternatives to the planned service reductions and elimination of programs at LAC so that Canada’s precious documentary and published heritage will be preserved and remain available for future generations".

The Toronto Branch letter and resolution are both posted on our website at

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cuts at Library and Archives Will Affect Genealogists

In May of this year, the OGS put this on their blog. It reads - 

Cuts at Library and Archives Canada will Affect Genealogists
May 18th, 2012

Recently several cuts were announced by Library and Archives Canada (LAC). These cuts will affect the ability of LAC to provide a high level of service to researchers and will affect the public’s ability to access records housed at LAC. Additionally, LAC has announced cuts to programs that support archives throughout Canada, which will affect the ability of these organizations to continue to make Canada’s documentary history accessible.

What do these cuts mean?

Our access to Canada’s documentary history, as well as its continued preservation, has been put in jeopardy.

How will these cuts affect genealogical researchers?

1. LAC will be reducing their hours, restricting the public’s access to knowledgeable archivists and reference staff, and genealogical inquiries will require appointments.

2. The inter-library loan program will be cancelled as of February 2013. Previously researchers could request that documents be sent to their local library, free of charge. Examples of these documents included microfilms of passenger lists and census records, or published books held in the library collection. The cancellation of this program means that researchers must travel to Ottawa to view these records, or hire a researcher in the Ottawa area to access the records for them.

3. The number of staff employed at LAC is being reduced by approximately 20%. Not only does this mean a reduction in service to researchers, it will also affect LAC’s ability to catalogue books, describe archival collections, and digitize the collection.

4. LAC’s collection mandate is changing. Previously LAC’s role was to preserve Canada’s cultural and historical heritage, but now the focus has shifted to preserving the documents of the federal government. This means that private business records and the documentary history of ordinary Canadians are no longer being actively collected. Already several important pieces of Canada’s Aboriginal and military history have been acquired by private collectors both inside and outside of Canada.

5. Small and medium-sized archives throughout the country have been dependent upon funding administered through LAC. The elimination of this funding puts their ability to preserve their collections at risk. This funding, in the past, has allowed these institutions to properly describe archival records, digitize collections, create archival exhibitions, and hire new archival professionals.

If these changes concern you:

Write a letter to: your MP, the Minister of Canadian Heritage & Official Languages, the Prime Minister, and/or your local newspaper. Outline how these cuts will affect your ability to research and access Canada’s documentary history.
Members of Parliament:

Have you written your letter today?


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Live Streaming at SCGS

Did anyone else try to go to the Streaming Video, called Live Streaming, from the Southern California Genealogical Society this past weekend?
Well, I was successful in watching five lectures. But I had problems with the others - I just couldn’t log on for some reason, and I joined others who had the same problem as I according to the message page.
You had to register for each session separately, and that seemed to be the root of the problem.  Having  to  register for each one. Hopefully, they will get it fixed by next year.
However, the five I did hear were –
Steve Luxenberg – His talk was about a family secret (his mother had a secret that no one knew about – a sister), and the method he used to find out about her. Quite thought provoking!
Kerry Bartels – He is an archivist at the Pacific National Archives on the West Coast, and took us through his own journey of privately archiving his own personal family papers that were found in the family home in the mid-west.  The family was originally from Switzerland.
Warren Bittner – This lecture was really interesting on establishing relationships within a family. He took the case of his grand-mother , and tried through census records, city directories, obituaries etc to find her family in New York City. He showed how to work with complex evidence to find the family when they didn’t appear on the census at first glance.  
D. Joshua Taylor – I try never to miss him – he is that good! He talked about using Compiled Genealogies, and how you can use them to work on your own genealogy.
Examples of Compiled Genealogies are journal articles, local history books, Family Associations.
Kerry Bartels – I heard him again. And this time he talked about military records.
I was bemused by the parallels of the National Archives in Washington and our own LAC – the lack of indexes by name of digitised records. This is exactly what we don’t like about the LAC as they put on more, and more of the records without providing a name index. Example, the War of 1812 record!
Unfortunately, the Live Streaming won’t be repeated for Free, but will only be available at the site on the member’s page. Too bad – because it was good what I saw of it!
But they do put on Webinars on a bi-weekly basis. I have listened to them, and the topics are very good.
And there was a 27 page Syllabus (which was available as PDF), and it is full of information for people who have ancestors in the States. The information on William Bittner’s talk was really helpful.
But in spite of everything, I would like to thank Pat Hinkle, the 1st Vice-President  of the SCGS, for all the work she does in making the Jamboree a worthwhile event.
The next one is on June 20th, and it will feature Rick Crume, and his topic will be “Genealogy Hacking: Tricks to Crack Genealogy Web Sites”.
Go to to register for the Webinar.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

May 2012 Families

Being the editor, I am really proud of this issue, because it is all about Sharing Your Family History!

The first article is Four Women and Four Legacies by Dr. Joseph Wearing.

The paper tells the history of the four Thompson women who were from Ireland, and who eventally lived in London, and Petrolia, Ontario.

Dr. Wearing shows us how to research and use wills, and property transcripts to trace female ancestry of our family. A thoughtful, exciting read!

Guylaine Petrin comes back with another paper entitled Who Was Jane Ross Kingston?, and she takes us to court and burial records in Upper Canada to prove who she really was - or wasn't.

As I noted in my editoral "Once again, she shows that using court records can bring much of family history to life, and goes a lomg way in proving the existance of a person".

Another paper in this issue is Of Buttermilk and Banjos: A Glimpse into the History of Blacks in Norfolk County in which the former archivist of the Eva Brook Donly Museum and Archives,  Scott Gilles, takes us to daily like as it was lived by Black Canadians in the mid-1800s.

Gwen Patterson in her column Where Are Those Records? writes about George Gordon, the earliest merchant- in Penetanguishene, and Brooke Skelton in her paper The English Settlement Examination Record for William Bennett of Chedzoy, Somerset in which a chance reading of a certain document in an archives solved a huge genealogical problem.

The next issue of Families will be released the first week in August, and it will feature the First Prize winner in the Keffer Essay Contest - Virginia Reid with the paper How an Old Handkerchief Helped Me, the First Prize of the Dr. Don Brearley Student Essay Award which is William Vollmer with his paper A Mastery Like No Other, and a real exciting paper The Family of Jacob Phillips and Sarah "Sally" Kaaka of Etobicoke: An Overview by Dave Phillips.

The site of the Ontario Genealogical Society is

Friday, June 8, 2012

Events in Canadian Genealogy

A few meetings have come across the desk lately, and they are -

The Kitchener Ontario Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints will be holding a one day seminar One World - One Family on August 25, 2012 from 9 am to 4pm, 1250 Strasburg Road, Kitchener Ontario. 

The guest speakers include J. Brian Gilchrist, Darryl Bonk, Paul F. Smart, Noel Elliot – check out the website for more speakers and the excellent workshops.

$15.00 for early registration by 30th June 2012, and from July 1, 2012, the registration will be $20.00. Lunch cost is included with registration.

       The website is at

Quebec Family History Society

Members and non-members are invited to attend the all-day seminar, A Genealogical Day in Ireland, on Saturday, June 9. President Gary Schroder and member Lorraine Gosselin will explain how to find Irish ancestors in Quebec and in Ireland. They will discuss the major genealogical resources that are available in Ireland and on the Internet.

$30.00 fee for members and non-members. Bring your lunch or you may purchase one at the bakery next door. Reservations required: 514-695-1502.

Go to the website


BIFHSGO is holding their AGM tomorrow morning at 9:00 along with their Great Moments in Genealogy featuring the following four talks -

Finding Uncle Percy’s Naval Service Record by Betty Warburton

My Journey to the Middle of Nowhere by Judy Thamas

Scottish and English Architects of the Chateau Laurier and Union Station by David Jeanes

Not so Hidden Treasures at the BIFHSGO Library and Ottawa City Archives by Ann Burns.

The meeting will be held at Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa.

Genealogy Workshop 

The June meeting of the Quinte OGS Branch will be a workshop covering how to use Quinte Branch Library and Online Resources such as the Names Index Database finding aid and Cemsearch.

They will explain the library catalog reference codes and how to interpret them to gain additional information. Some members have asked for a review of genealogy software so they will demonstrate some popular programs too. The members and guests are asked to bring to bring along their research problems which we will try to answer.

The meeting will be held at
1 pm at 7 Creswell Drive, Trenton.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Keffer Writing Contest

Every year, the Ontario Genealogical Society sponsors a writing contest called the Keffer Writing Contest – and this year – it was something special. We had 14 entrants!

From the 14 essays – four were chosen as winners, and they are -

First Place goes to Virginia Reid, and her essay "How an Old Handkerchief Helped Me"

Second Place goes to Debra Butler Honor UE, and her essay "The Stain Glass Mystery"

Third Place goes to Anne Rahamut, and her essay "Mrs. Teepell's Tale"


Fourth Place goes to David Harper, and his essay "Tracing 19th Century Homesteading"

If you want to see the rules for entry, go to

If you aren't a member, they have a special offer where you can join for $35.00 for a six month period, and be eligible to submit an essay. Plus, there is lots of records on the OGS Members Site.

There will be one essay published per issue of Families, starting with the August 2012 issue.

The deadline for the 2013 contest is November 1, 2012.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Some Notes From the OGS Conference

As you know, I didn't attend the OGS Conference in Kingston this year, but there has been some news that has come from the conference -

Shirley Sturdevant has been chosen OGS President for the 2012 -2012. Shirley is from Chatham, and she has worked with the Kent Branch, held the position of Region 1 Director for three years, and served in the role of Society Vice-President for the past two years.

Mike More has assumed the position of the new Vice-President for the OGS. Mike has served with the Ottawa Branch since 1992 in a variety of positions including Chair for several years and has also held the position of Region 8 Director for the past two years.

Congratulations to both!

Thanks to John D. Reid at for passing along the news that the Ontario BMD will be released in a couple months – and they will be online - digitized and indexed for the first time on the Archives of Ontario website!

They will add an extra year for births (the year 1915 will be added), marriages (the year 1930 will be added), and deaths (the year 1940 will be added).

John says it will be a couple of months before they appear at

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs Week 27 Art Lockhart from Summerside told me not to forget to mention PEIAncestors, and the great resources that they have in their online collections, oral histories, cemeteries, and newspapers. Personal note - it seems that not only is Mr. Lockhart a prolific headstone photographer, he was also my husband's mechanic when he was posted there (and a very good one at that, so I'm told). For more on his important new work, go to

Genealogies of Valcartier, Quebec (also includes Ste-Catherine, Riviere aux Pins, and Stoneham) Patricia Balkcom wrote me last week to tell me about her page. I went and took a look, and she has census, church, cemetery, and civil records for the area. There are also biographies and information on several thousand people from this area. It is a very nice site, and personally, I look forward to doing some research for my in-laws (Jobin and Bédard), who came from that area, including Shannon and Tewkesbury!

Ingersoll Tribune Online Database This is a searchable index of all the birth, death, and marriage notices found in the Ingersoll Tribune newspaper of Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada, from 1897–1970.

St. Paul's Cemetery: Wisbeach, Warwick Twp., Lambton Co., Ontario, Canada There is a surname index to transcriptions, and a list of church histories online.

Carmichael Family Online This is a really interesting site, where the oldest Carmichael settlers are shown for each of the Canadian provinces. - Canada, Births and Baptisms, 1661-1959
This index contains 1,529,089 records. Due to Canada's privacy laws, some of the recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. - Canada Deaths and Burials, 1664-1955
This index contains 101,189 records. Due to Canada's privacy laws, some of the recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. - Canada, Marriages, 1661-1949
This index contains 268,014 records. Due to Canada's privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed.

From Montbéliard to a New World
The history of about 420 French-speaking Protestants who were brought to Nova Scotia by a Dutch shipping agent named John Dick

Friday, June 1, 2012

Library and Archives Canada RIP?

Over the past few months, some disquieting news about the future of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has drifted through the genealogy community in Ottawa, and now - worldwide.

Last weekend, I wrote an article about federal government cutbacks at the LAC for Columns, the newsletter for ISFHWE (International Society of Family History Writers and Editors), of which I am the International/At-Large Director.

In the article, I mentioned that the LAC is promoting the digitization of the microfilm that the LAC holds. This is a laudable idea, making the records available for everyone online so that you won't have to go to the LAC in Ottawa. But on the other hand – it is not indexed!

So you will have to spend hours in front of your computer (instead of a microfilm reader) trying to find the person you are looking for. And they are cutting back on the number of people digitizing the microfilm – so what now?

To read the latest posts on the LAC, here are some blogs and websites that you can check -

On to Ottawa Trek, in photos Blogger John D. Reid has been keeping his eye on the LAC ever since he started his Anglo-Celtic Connections blog, He, as well as his readers, have seen the LAC go through its many revisions over the years until it has come to this – a mock funeral held on its doorsteps on May 28, 2012.

Archivists Protest in Ottawa Over Federal Cuts The CBC has a write-up of the mock funeral held in Ottawa

Ottawa Citizen Photos and Video Another story on the mock funeral held in Ottawa.

May Was Asian Heritage Month in Canada

The month of May recognized the long and rich history of Asian Canadians, and the incredible contribution to the history of Canada.

In December 2001, the Senate adopted a motion proposed by Senator Vivienne Poy (the former patron of the Ontario Genealogical Society) to officially designate May as Asian Heritage Month in Canada

In May 2002, the Government of Canada signed an official declaration to designate May as Asian Heritage Month.

If you wish to learn more about Asian Heritage Month in Canada, here are some of the websites -

Ottawa Asian Heritage Month Society Website They have an events page, profiles, and news.
Edmonton Asian Heritage Month They have an events page, and they give a short history Asian Heritage Month in Edmonton.

Calgary Asian Heritage Month They have an events calendar, and a photo gallery.

Winnipeg Asian Heritage Month They have an events page,
and Asian-Canadian history on the website.

Asian Heritage Society of New Brunswick They have a photo and video gallery onsite, and an events page.