Saturday, December 31, 2011

Most Popular Pages of 2011

The most popular blogs that I posted in 2011 (in order of popularity, according to online stats) represent a cross-section of topics, ranging from "Some Canadian Archival Resources" on December 29 to "Holiday Sale!" on December 27 to "War of 1812 Meetings", posted on December 22 -

December 29, 2011 - Some Canadian Archival Resources

December 28, 2011 - French-Canadian Societies

December 27, 2011 - African-Canadian Societies

December 27, 2011 - Holiday Sale!

December 1, 2011 - The Archive CD Books Project

 December 30, 2011 -  Some Other Ontario Genealogy Groups

 July 4, 2011 - Red River Colony

November 29, 2011 - Historical Online Newspapers in Canada

April 22, 2011 - Easter Treats from

December 23, 2011 - War of 1812 Meetings  

If your favourite page is not listed, I'd like to hear about it - please send me an email at I appreciate hearing from my readers.

Thank you for following me in 2011, and I look forward to having you follow me again in 2012!


Friday, December 30, 2011

Some Other Ontario Genealogy Groups

Besides the ever-popular Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) and the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO), you will find other groups of interest in Ontario, such as -

The Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group They have the Timberline Newsletter Index (1990-1999), Renfrew County Cemetery Transcriptions, and a project on The Canadian Wends (German/Polish) immigrants.

The Manitoulin Genealogy Club This group, located on Manitoulin Island in Northwestern Ontario, is interested in collecting family histories of Howland Township.

Lanark County Genealogical Society They are located outside of Perth in Eastern Ontario. Many people from Lanark County went to Bruce, Huron, and Grey Counties in the 1850s, and later, to Manitoba and the Dakotas.

Temiskaming Genealogy Group This group is located in Northeastern Ontario on the border with Quebec, and they have many records on the English and French fur traders.

Sioux Lookout Genealogical Society Located in Northern Ontario, they have burial records, as well as the Tax Assessment Roll for 1913.

The Muskoka Parry Sound Genealogy Group Covering the Central Ontario areas of Muskoka and Parry Sound, this group has the Cemetery Surname Database, which gives the date of death plus date of birth (where available), and other resources of the area.

Tomorrow's Post: Most Popular Pages of 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Some Canadian Archival Resources

Douglas Brymner (Dominion Archivist) July 3, 1823 - June 18, 1902

Douglas Brymner became Senior Second Class Clerk in 1872, and was responsible for the creation of a national archives in Canada. The government had voted for $4,000 to be spent in overseeing the collection of records, and in undertaking "general archival responsibilities".

Two archives that I use on a regular basis are the Nova Scotia Archives and the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick because I have relatives in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

The NS Archives astounds me every time I go to it – there is always something new. I have searched their vital records and have found births, marriages, and deaths there; I have searched through one of their virtual archives, 'Seeing Yarmouth': Celebrating 250 Years of Community Life, and have found areas there that interest me; and I have spent hours reading the Nova Scotia Historical Newspapers from Shelburne, finding my family name (Barclay) in them.

Go to to get a complete listing of their Virtual Archives.

The archives in New Brunswick holds Nova Scotia newspapers, and I found things here that I couldn't find anywhere else, especially in their Daniel F. Johnson's New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics webpage at So it is well-worth a look, as they are adding to it all the time.

If you go to the Archives of Manitoba website at looking for estate records, take a look at the Winnipeg Estate Indexes, 1870-1983 webpage at

I was lucky to find what I was looking for (for many people did go "Out West" when it was opened to find their fortune), and you just may be lucky enough to find your people listed in the estate indexes.

And, of course, I always come back to the Library and Archives Canada's (LAC) website at

One area that is worth a look on their website is the Search All search box, found in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Just put the name of the person you are looking for in the box, and you can search through four of their portals - "Library", "Archives", "Ancestors", and "Website" to see if there's a match.

You may be as surprised as I was when I discovered that a relative in the Boer War received a land grant from Canada, even though he had fought with the British in South Africa instead of with the Canadians!

So there is lots of information to find at these archives, either through the Internet, or by inter-library loan. All that one has to do is ask!

Tomorrow's Blog: Ontario Genealogical Groups

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

French-Canadian Societies

Marc-Amable Girard (1822–1892) was the second Premier of the Western Canadian province of Manitoba, and the first Franco-Manitoban to hold that post.

There are lots of French-Canadian societies in Quebec, but did you know that there are French-Canadian societies in other parts of Canada? French-Canadians—as they expanded westward across Canada—settled in villages, towns, and cities in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.


In the 2006 Canadian census, there were 488,815 French-Canadians in Ontario. They make up 4.1 per cent of the province's total population.

They are mainly concentrated in Eastern Ontario (in the cities of Ottawa, Cornwall, and towns in-between), Northeastern Ontario (in the cities of Sudbury, North Bay, and Timmins), and in Toronto, Windsor, Penetanguishene, and Welland.

There is Le Réseau du patrimoine franco-ontarien (RPFO) at This is a collection of over 30 French-Canadian societies in Ontario. Some sites are bilingual(F/E), while others are strictly in French, but they all have good information.


The majority of Franco-Manitobans (about 90%) live in the Greater Winnipeg area. There are Franco-Manitoban centres in Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, St. Claude, St. Pierre-Jolys, Ste. Anne, Ste. Rose du Lac, La Broquerie, Lorette, St. Laurent, Somerset, and St-Lazare.

The Manitoba Genealogical Society covers all linguist groups in the province.

There is also The Manitoba Historical Society at, and the Centre du patrimoine, Société historique de Saint-Boniface at in which you can access the library database (in French), and the Voyageur contracts database (in French).


French-Canadians make up about 2 per cent of the population of Saskatchewan, and live in the cities of Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, and Moose Jaw. They also live in small towns such as Gravelbourg, Albertville, Duck Lake, Ponteix, Zenon Park, and Bellegarde.

Saskatchewan Genealogical Society This society has 20 branches throughout the province, and covers the many peoples (including the French-Canadians) who settled there. Also, check La Société historique de la Saskatchewan at They have many published books such as La trace des pionniers, and offer a quarterly journal.


The French-Canadians are centered in the Bonnie Doon area of Edmonton, in the towns of Bonnyville, Plamondon, and St. Paul in the northeast, and in the settlements of St. Isidore and the Municipal District of Smoky River No. 130, including the towns of Falher, Donnelly, McLennan, and Girouxville, as well as in north-central Alberta.

La Société généalogique du Nord-Ouest is located in Edmonton, and they have been a society since 1991. They have a very inclusive research library.

Tomorrow Post: Canadian Archival Societies

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Sale!

In the spirit of providing readers of this blog with some great news about a terrific product, here is the latest news from Malcolm Moody of Archive CD Books Canada Inc. -


We have marked down ALL of our Canadian made CDs by UP TO 50%.  

Some CDs are only $7.00 each!

Sale prices are shown in the catalogue and will apply in the Shopping Cart.

(Sorry sale does not apply to Gleanings. They are ALWAYS at the minimum price.)

Don’t know how long we can keep this sale up. Shop early!"

Hurry to our Canadian Catalogue at:

Archive CD Books Canada Inc.
President:  Malcolm Moody
PO Box 11,Manotick
Ontario, Canada K4M 1A2
Tel:(613) 692-2667 or 1-888-692-2660 - Toll-free

And here is a link to a review I recently did on them at

African-Canadian Societies

Josiah Henson (June 15, 1789 – May 5, 1883). He escaped to Dresden, Ontario in 1830, and founded a settlement and labourer's school for other fugitive slaves from the United States. He became the main character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin. You can visit the Uncle Tom's Cabin website at

It is thought that the first Black person to live in Canada was Mattheu Da Costa in 1605. He had come to Acadia with Samuel de Champlain (commonly referred to as the “Father of Canada”) on the ship, Jonas, from France.

Da Costa was the interpreter for the French with the Mi’kmaq natives of Nova Scotia, having been in Canada on previous occasions.

Here are some of the websites of Blacks in Canada -

Africville: The Spirit Lives On This was a settlement of people of African descent who were former slaves, escaped slaves, and free people. In the 1960s, the community was destroyed in the theme of “urban renewal", but as the website says, “the community spirit continues to thrive today through annual gatherings and in the stories and photos of an aging generation”.

The Black Loyalist Heritage Society They are in the process of building a new centre to display the Black Heritage of Birchtown, Nova Scatia. There is also the Old School House Museum on site.

Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia They just celebrated their 28th Anniversary this year, and they have just completed the 2011 Museum Renovation.

The Ontario Black History Society A genealogy webpage,, offers leads in Black genealogy.

The Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society The Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society has a current exhibit called “The Black Mecca in the Heritage Room“.

Tomorrow's Post: French-Canadian Societies

Monday, December 26, 2011

My List of Books for the Holidays

These are five books Canadian books that I have found particularly helpful to me during the past year, and which I have used in doing my own genealogy. I would suggest that you may find them helpful, too -

British Home Children: Their Stories. Compiled by the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (ISBN 978-1-926797-47-2). A compilation of personal essays in which 36 children tell their life stories of how they came to Canada, and the life they lived here between 1869 and 1948.

The book is available from Global Genealogy at

Tracing Your Irish Roots is published by Moorshead Magazines (ISBN 978-0-9781592-6-9). A great collection of fifteen articles previously printed by the publisher since 2005.

It is available through Moorshead Magazines at

And as part of a series, her sister publication, Tracing Your English and Scottish Ancestors also has fifteen articles in it about English and Scottish genealogy.

It is available from

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. (ISBN: 978-0-9735143-3-9)

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.

To read the rest of the review, go to

The book is available from

Glenn Wright's Canadians at War 1914-1919, A Research Guide to World War One Service Records (ISBN13: 978-1-926797-45-5). This is a very detailed book on the resources available to a researcher on the Canadians who fought in the First World War.

A military archivist at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) before his retirement a number of year ago, he has left no stone unturned in his description of the resources available to the researcher. You can read the full review in Families, the journal of the Ontario Genealogical Society (a membership in the organization is required), or from Global Genealogy's listing at

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holiday Season 2011

(Ottawa, December 25, 2011) Elizabeth Lapointe, editor of, is publishing significants posts on Canada's genealogy, history, and heritage during the holiday season, from Boxing Day, December 26, until January 2, 2012.

Lapointe says, "Since the Holidays are festive in Canada, GenealogyCanada wants to share with all of its readers special postings highlighting some of the country's best genealogical resources, and at the same time, celebrating the blog's 4th blogiversary on January 2.

The Holiday postings will feature the following topics -

Dec 26 – List of Books for the Holidays
Dec 27 – African-Canadian Societies
Dec 28 – French-Canadian Societies
Dec 29 – Canadian Archival Societies
Dec 30 – Ontario Genealogical Groups
Dec 31 – Most Popular Pages of 2011
Jan 1 – Happy New Year!
Jan 2 – Our 4th Blogiversary!

It is hoped that you will enjoy all of the Holiday postings, and if you see something you like, be sure to pass the word of the blog and tell your friends that welcomes everyone to drop by to say 'Hello!' My email is

Happy Holidays to you and yours, and all of the very best for a Happy and Prosperous New Year!"

About GenealogyCanada is a Canadian blog covering genealogy, heritage, and history. Over 600 posts have been published since January 2008.

At its sister website, one will find are numerous newsletters, columns, and other articles of interest, dating from 2002 to 2007, covering genealogy, heritage, and history, including the popular webpage, "Website Pick of the Month".

Saturday, December 24, 2011

This illustration was done for a Toronto newspaper by W. Bryce, who lived in the 1880s.

May I take this time of year to wish everyone a "Happy Holiday, and a Merry Christmas!"

I will be back on Monday with a regular posting, and it will cover my Christmas Reading List in place of my usual "New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs" post, which will be back in the new year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

War of 1812 Meetings

The War of 1812 will be a popular subject at the meetings of the OGS different Branches this winter and spring leading up to the OGS Conference in June at Kingston which features lectures on the subject.

Some of the upcoming meetings are -

On January 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm there will be a meeting at the Simcoe County Branch located at the LDS Church, 79 Ferris Lane, in Barrie, and title of the talk will be "The War of 1812: Why Canada is Not a U.S. State" by Ken Weber.

And then there will be a meeting on February 4, 2012 at 2 pm where Gwen Patterson will talk about "The Effect of the War of 1812 and of its Veterans on the Subsequent History of North Simcoe".

Contact information is available at

On Sunday 15th April 2012 there will be a meeting of the Hamilton Branch OGS at Hamilton Room, Hamilton Main Public Library, 55 York Boulevard, Hamilton.

The title of the talk is “The War of 1812 at the Head of the Lake: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Times”and the speaker will be Cheryl MacDonald

Contact information is available at

On April 28, 2012 from 9:30 to 4:00 there will be a Spring Workshop of the Brant County Branch at the Branch Library at 118 Powerline Rd, Brantford.

In the morning, the speaker will be Roger Chrysler about "Britain in War of 1812".

Afternoon the talk will be about computer sites and military record resources.

Register by April 24 and $25 includes lunch. At door $30+$5 lunch.

For more information go to the website

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gaspesian British Heritage Village

This is a 'Living Village', a museum located in the Gaspe Region at the far eastern end of Quebec.  

There will be a course starting in the new year at the village, and it is called Cooking the Traditional Way in which a team of guest cooks will show how to make a range of dishes and baked goods using “real” food.

Participants take the food home.

It will be held on January 14, 21 and 28 at the New Richmond High School. The cost is $5.00 per session, Equipment available and ingredients provided.

To see the GBHV museum, please go to

The Gaspe Peninsula You can check the online resources such as Civil Registration, Church Records, Census Records, and Cemetery Records.

GoGaspe Genealogy There is a list of family sites called Gaspe Families, and Gaspe Links.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Wishes

Diane Lynn Tibert, a genealogy writer from Nova Scotia, has made a number of wishes in her regular column, and some of them are -
  • I wish for you to find a wrecking ball in 2012 that knocks down a major brick wall blocking your path to unearthing a piece of information that exposes a branch of your tree that has been kept buried for years. May the opening be large enough to see into several generations.
  • I wish for you to take a trip to a place you've never gone and discover a long lost headstone you've been seeking for years. May it still stand with a flawless inscription that provides all the vital information, including the deceased's country of origin and a wee tale of why they came to Canada. I wish you clear passage to it and an insect bite-free visit.
  • I wish for you to come into possession of a stack of letters. The yellowing envelopes contain love letters between your great-grandparents when during the First World War he was a soldier serving overseas and she was living at home with her parents.
Read the rest of her Christmas wishes in the Times & Transcript newspaper at  

And submit a query to her column. It's free! Her email address is

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Parks Canada Heritage Gourmet App

A press release from Parks Canada this week invites you to develop an app for an orginal story "that links history, cuisine and technology together".

Parks Canada Heritage Gourmet goes on to say "smartphone app will allow your audience or readers to find, through a selection of more than 60 recipes, one that will please everyone who sits at their table".

Go to

Monday, December 19, 2011

New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs Week 16

Here are some of the websites and blogs that I have come across the week ending December 18, 2011.

This week is about blogs only -

Robineau Family Genealogy The website says that most of the blogger's family is from Eastern Ontario, Quebec, and France. The surnames are Sauve, Cartie, Lavimodiere, Powell, and White.

After They Left Antrim: A Peacock Family History Hugh Peacock (Ellen Waggot) and Thomas Peacock (Sarah Smith) left Ulster and immigrated to King Township, York County, Ontario in the mid-nineteenth century.

Etobicoke Cemeteries There are some cemeteries of Etobicoke, Toronto onsite here, with tombstone data online.

Forsyth Family History This blog covers the "ancestors and descendants of John Forsyth who was born in Dirleton, East Lothian, Scotland in 1835. He came to Canada about 1855 (perhaps with his brother, Charles) and appears in the 1861 Census in King Township, York County".

The Kelowna & District Genealogical Society There is some information on this blog about the society.

Loom to Lumber: Family History of Robert Gavin and Sarah Miller This blogs covers the family of "Robert Gavin and Sarah Miller and their descendants. The 1841 Scottish census records that Robert was a hand loom weaver born in Ireland. The couple and their young family emigrated from Lanarkshire after 1841, taking up land in Poland, Dalhousie Twp in Lanark County, Ontario".

Missisquoi County Canada Genealogy Research  Started in 2008, the blog is the "Roll Call of familes being researched in the Missisquoi area", which is in Quebec.

Prairie History Blog New editions of magazines are discussed. The blog is part of the Regina Public Library.

The Hillmans Of Elgin County A look at the Hillman family who immigrated from Wiltshire to Ontario, and then spread throughout North America.

Ukrainian Genealogy Group - Prince Edward Island, Canada Started in 2004, this blog interests people who have a Ukrainian ancestry.

Next Week's Blog (Dec 26th) – Canadian Genealogy Books for the Holidays

Sunday, December 18, 2011


The British Columbia Genealogical Society now has a blog!

It went online December 10 with the “BCGS TOUR – Vancouver City Archives – April 12, 2012”, and has continued with what is new in their library, and on December the 15 they celebrated the 40th anniversary of BCGS.

So keep posted on what is happening by going to their blog at .

Saturday, December 17, 2011

War of 1812 Celebration at Winterlude

This year at the annual winter festival called Winterlude in Ottawa will be held on the weekends from February 3 to 20, 2012. There will be a number of events which will celebrate the War of 1812.  
“Portraits on the Ice” presented by Library and Archives returns again this to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 featuring portraits of British officers, First Nations allies, and French-and English-speaking militia and colonists.
As part of a longstanding relationship with Veterans Affairs Canada, a majestic ice sculpture will commemorate the 20th anniversary of Canadian military service in the Balkans and to pay tribute to the brave Canadians who lost their lives during the mission.
At Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park on the Gatineau, Quebec side of things Parks Canada will re-create the way of life of our ancestors in 1812. Maison Charron will be transformed into barracks from the war of 1812;
Also, celebrating their 50th anniversary, the Canadian Coast Guard will be at Snowflake Kingdom to demonstrate a day in the life of a Coast Guard employee through exciting activities and a unique display of water safety equipment.
For more information about Winterlude and the Rideau Canal Skateway, the public can contact the NCC at 613-239-5000, 613-239-5090 (TTY), 1-800-465-1867 (toll-free) or 1-866-661-3530 (toll-free TTY), or visit the website at

Friday, December 16, 2011

Age of Sail Heritage Museum

The federal government has just announced a $130,000 contribution toward the Cumberland County project the Age of Sail Heritage Museum at Port Greville, Nova Scotia. It will allow for the completion of the Wind, Waves and Tides exhibit building.

The press release says that "The completed facility, which will resemble a ship’s hull, will provide room for additional exhibit displays, storage of artifacts and genealogy research, as well as more space for workshops and community meetings".

The museum first opened in 1994, and it highlights the history of Parrsboro Shore communities along the Minas Channel of the Bay of Fundy with an emphasis on the area's shipbuilding and lumbering heritage.

It hosts a museum in an 1854 church, local blacksmith shop from the Wagstaff and Hatfield shipyard, as well as the Port Greville Lighthouse circa 1908, and a boathouse. Local genealogy and research material are also available.

The website is

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Toronto Branch of OGS – Winter Program

Toronto Branch of the OGS has now announced its winter 2012 lineup of family history courses. The Branch will be presenting four courses in February and March 2012, with a view to providing practical information for researchers with a variety of interests and a range of experience:

Family History Writing
This course is designed for individuals who want to make progress with organizing and writing up their research for personal or public use. Instructor: Gayle Dzis

Sharing Networks for Genealogists
This new half-day workshop will offer new ideas and approaches to help researchers share genealogical data on-line safely and effectively. Instructor: Marian Press

Creating a Family History Blog – for Genealogists
This new course will be taught in a computer lab. It will provide all the information necessary to find and read blogs, but will concentrate on how to build one’s own blog to share family research. Instructor: Marian Press

Exploring the Baldwin Room’s Manuscript Collection
This advanced course will explore the important Canadian manuscript collection housed in the Baldwin Room at the Toronto Reference Library, with hands-on examination of several manuscript fonds. Instructor: Jane E. MacNamara

For program details, course dates, speaker biographies and information on how to register for Toronto Branch courses, visit

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jewish Heritage Month

On November 30th, 2011, M.P.P. Mike Colle, the member from Eglinton-Lawrence, introduced a Private Members’ Bill (Bill 17) in the Ontario Legislature. If it is passed, it will proclaim the month of May as Jewish Heritage Month in Ontario.

As the website says "Jewish Heritage Month is an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about the inspirational role that Jewish Canadians have played, and continue to play, in communities across Ontario".

“This bill would create an opportunity for Ontarians of all backgrounds to share and celebrate the long and vibrant history of the Jewish community in Ontario.” says M.P.P. Colle.

The Jewish Heritage Month Act, 2011 is co-sponsored by MPP Peter Shurman (Thornhill) and MPP Cheri DiNovo (Parkdale-High Park). The bill will come up for debate early in 2012.

If you would like to support Bill 17, please contact your local Member of the Provincial Parliament, or contact Mike Colle, M.P.P. Eglinton-Lawrence, Whitney Block, 99 Wellesley Street West, Room 6521,  
Tel: 416-314-6467. His email is

For further information contact: Dustin Cohen, Office of MPP Mike Colle Tel: 416-314-6467. His email ia

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gene-O-Rama 2012 Cancelled

Word has reached me that the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will not host the 2012 Gene-O-Rama this year. The reason – they will be helping Region VIII to host the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference this year at Kingston, Ontario.

But they will be holding the AGM, and Genealogy Day on Saturday, April 21, 2012 at City of Ottawa Central Archives at 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario.

It starts at 9:30-10:00 when you arrive, and speakers include Robert Serré, Rick Roberts and one of the staff from the City Archives. The City Archives will be open 10 am to 5 pm for research as well.

Marketplace will feature Global Genealogy as well as the member organizations of Region VIII, and some of the local heritage organizations.

Cost is $25, and it including lunch.

Check the details at

Monday, December 12, 2011

New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs Week 15

Here are some of the websites and blogs that I have come across the week ending December 12, 2011

Leger Genealogy/Généalogie des Léger (French/English) It includes an index of the names of the Leger family, and the index of where they were/are located.

Acadian and Maritimes Obituaries "The Acadian Genealogy Corner" As the website says, "This site is dedicated to collect, share and preserve obituaries from Maritime newspapers and others that contain Acadian obituaries".

OntarioGenealogist The author of AlmostDunnGenealogy, she is updatimng the wiki of Halton County, Ontario,_Ontario, and she is a volunteer with the Automated Geneaolgy website at

Ottawa Valley Irish: A family history weblog and genealogy database Irish and French Canadian families in the Ottawa Valley area, including the Morans of Huntley township; the Laheys and Killeens of March township; the McGlades of Perth; the McCarthys of Kitley township; and the Derouins of Otter Lake.

Canada Germany Migration A very interesting webpage, beginning with the first wave of 1750 to 1752.

An American Adventure - Gray Family Family history of John Edward Gray and family, 1908 from England to Victoria.

Cornelius John Soule: Architect/Photographer The site says that "This site is mainly about Cornelius .. his life, projects, travels and family".

Sessional Papers/Parliamentary Papers:Canadian Pacific Railway From Government of Canada Sessional Papers 48 Victoria 1885 (25), p.11 which shows the employee's monthly pay, term of service, and the cause of removal.

Local History and Genealogy This is a blog which is posted on a regular basis to by the staff of Toronto Public Library staff. The latest blog is on James Esson, Photographer – 1853 -1933.

The MIERAU Family Home Page The author says that their ancestry goes back to "My ancestry ties back to a Peter Mierau, born 1810. Some of his siblings moved to Nebraska. Some of those Nebraska descendants eventually landed up in Langham, Saskatchewan".

Next Monday: I will give my Book Picks for 2011!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Simcoe County Ancestor Newsletter

The November issue of SCAN, the newsletter of the Simcoe County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, writes about celebrating, in 2012, the 175th anniversary of the founding of the community of Bond Head, Simcoe County.

Bond Head was originally named Wragg Corners, but in 1837 it was renamed to its present name after Sir Frances BOND HEAD.

The article, "Half-Way Stopping Place: A pioneer Ontario Community", gives a very good history lesson about Bond Head, and the article ends with "Bond Head Presbyterian Church – Communion Roll", which gives the names on the communicants, their residence, their profession or occupation, how and when they were admitted, and how and when they removed from the roll.

There are 202 names on these pages of Presbyterians who were living in West Gwillimbury in 1822.

In the previous meeting in September, Melissa Ellis gave a talk about the "Web Sites to further your Family History Project" in which she used Margaret Rudy (ROUTCLIFFE) EDMUND as a case study.

You can go to their website at

If you are interested in joining Ontario Genealogical Society, and the Simcoe County Branch, go to

Tomorrow's Post: New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs Week 15

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Query on Silence

Here is a query sent us about an ancestor named "Silence" -

"Hi there:

A few years ago there was a show called Ancestors in the Attic. One of the first shows had a segment on "Silence".

Silence was a gr. gr. gr. grandmother of mine. I just happened to catch the programme and did not think of taping it.

I have been in touch with the History Channel, with no luck.

I am asking if anyone out there has a copy of this programme, I would appreciate a copy.  I have forgotten so much of the information on the programme and would like to have it for my family memoir.

Anyone out there who has information on how to obtain a copy, please get in touch.

Happy holidays, & a Very Merry Christmas"

If you can help Pamela, please email her at

Friday, December 9, 2011

Canadian Genealogist Will Be on The Radio!

Canadian genealogist Lynn Palermo of The Armchair Genealogist will be on GeneaBloggers Radio tonight at 9:00 pm EST as she and other guests talk with host Thomas MacEntee about Genealogy Gift Guide.

It says that in the new year, she will be hosting The Family History Writing Challenge in February, a series of new blog posts about turning a Family History blog into a book, and ebook offerings in 2012.

So read her always informative blog at, and listen to her this evening at

Launch of a New Flickr Image Set: Hong Kong, 1941–1945

The press release was received from the Library and Archives Canada this week - 

"To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong, a new Flickr image set was added, which focuses on the Canadian prisoners of war liberated from a prison camp at the end of the war.

Past Flickr image sets include Canadian participation and activities during the First World War, Irish immigration to Canada and immigration and quarantine facilities at Grosse Île. These collections highlight different periods of Canadian history and delineate the stages Canada has faced to become the modern nation it is today.

We invite you to explore other image sets on Flickr, and encourage you to comment, tag, and share content".

Thursday, December 8, 2011

2012 Will Be a Banner Year for Canada!

There was a symbolic striking of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in Ottawa this week at the Royal Canadian Mint.

The medal will be created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. Sixty-thousand deserving Canadians will be recognized, and Canada Post will issue a number of stamps in her honour.

It got me thinking about other anniversaries which will be celebrated in Canada during 2012, and some of them are -

The Sinking of the Titanic Many of the victims are buried in Halifax. There will be a set of stamps issued by Canada Post to commemorate Canada's role in the sinking of the Titanic one hundred years ago.

The 150th Anniversary of the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada Regiment Their motto is "HONOURING THE PAST - PROTECTING THE FUTURE"

City of Victoria, 150th Anniversary Celebrating one of Canada's major cities and cultural centres.

Town of Torbay, Newfoundland and Labrador, 250th Anniversary Commemorating the landing of the English in Torbay in 1762.

Vimy Ridge 2012 95th Anniversary Commemoration There will be a list of events posted as April 9th gets closer.

Do you know of other anniversaries that will take place in 2012? If so, please post a comment, or send me a note with the details, and I will be glad to post them.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Canadian Legal History Blog

For anyone interested in Canada's legal history from a family historian point of view, The Osgood Society for Legal History is a website that you should look at

The society was founded in 1979, and now they have a blog on which they present the "News and Views" at

In the blog, they have obituaries online e.g. they have put on the obituary of John T. Saywell (1921-2011); they give a short history of the Chinese-Canadian Legal History; they write about Native History in the Court; and offer Links to Western Legal History – all interesting subjects for the family historian.

They have also published books, two of which are The Persons Case: The Origins and Legacy of the Fight for Legal Personhood, and The Law of the Land: The advent of the Torrens System in Canada.

They also have done a number of oral histories which are listed by name at Some of the people that have been interviewed are The Hon. Lincoln Alexander, The Hon. John Arnup, and The Hon. George Addy.

Although the oral histories are not online, you can contact them at for membership, or to ask a question.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Celebrate War of 1812 in Eastern Ontario

If you go to, you will come across the St. Lawrence War of 1812: Bicentennial Alliance.

There were military actions at Gananoque and Clayton, Brockville and Morristown, Prescott on the Ontario side, and at Ogdensburg on the American side. There were naval bases at Kingston in Ontario, and Sackets Harbor across the St. Lawrence in Upper New York State.

From October 1813 to February 1814, two major battles were fought at Châteauguay River in October and Crysler’s Farm in November.

There is a newsletter called "News From the Front," plus a blog which carries stories about the War of 1812 along both sides on Lake Ontario.

If you belong to a group of The St. Lawrence War of 1812 Alliance, or would like to start a group, you can have have your own page at

There are numerous forums on the site, plus a 1812 Related Events page which will tell you of the events which will take place close to home to those of us who live in the Ottawa area. They look very exciting, so make your plans to attend.

For the address for the 1812 Events, go to

They also have a Facebook Page at

For more websites, you can go to -

For Wellington in the War of 1812: Guarding the St. Lawrence

War Along the Upper St. Lawrence and the Canadian Regiment, 1812-1814

The War of 1812: St. Lawrence Google Maps

The Google Map highlights the various battles that took place around Eastern Ontario, Upper New York State, and Vermont.

Monday, December 5, 2011

New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs Week 14

Here are some of the websites and blogs that I have come across the week ending December 4, 2011

Cemetery Photo Album of St. Peter's Cemetery London, Ontario This has taken up the time of a newly-retired person, and they hope that it can be of help to others. There are photos of the tombstones in this cemetery in London, Ontario. You can contact them at

Acadian Descendants: Surviving Damnation This is a website devoted to the history of the 1755 Deportation from Acadia. The book tells the true story of the BENOIT family, descendants of Martin, to illustrate the trials and tribulations experienced by the Acadians.

War Diaries: Discover what individuals or military units during the war Library and Archives Canada has just posted a new blog at their site about war diaries.

Our Ontario Although Our Ontario was covered in my blog post of Historical Online Newspapers in Canada, they also have this demo site which has newspapers around the province which may have not been covered in the previous posts.

Maple Leaf Legacy Project As the website says, "The Maple Leaf Legacy Project is an enormous volunteer endeavour to procure a photograph of each and every Canadian War Grave from the South African War (1899-1902), World War 1 (1914-18), World War II (1939-45), Korean War (1950-52) and all United Nations Peacekeeping Missions to the present day conflict in Afghanistan."

The Udell Family The Udell family came to Canada in 1787. Trace their history through this site, and in the article in the York Ancestors Newsletter of the York Region of the OGS at

My Journey Back NEW! Jacqueline Foster writes about her family in Nova Scotia. She just celebrated her 1st blogiversary in November – Congratulations!

Norma-Jean's Genealogy Blog She says, "This blog will be used to announce changes to my Benoy Family web site and to keep the family informed of my genealogical research activities.". She also has a webpage on the Benoy Family at

1894 - 1895 Town of Ingersoll Directory This directory gives the name, their occupation, and their address.

Prince of Wales Immigration list 1813 The Prince of Wales left June 28 1813 from Stromness, Orkney, Scotland, and arrived two months later at York Factory on the western shore of Hudson's Bay.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Guild of One-Name Studies

The Guild of One-Name Studies (GONS) was started in England a number of years ago, and has steadily grown to where it is today - "the researching of all occurrences of a surname, as opposed to a particular pedigree (ancestors of one person) or descendancy (descendants of one person or couple)".

This can be the surnames that are derived from a geographical area, or from an occupation, or a patronymic-type surname, such as Johnson.

On their website, they have 7850 surnames which you can check to see if your name is there, a Member's Room which you can use when you become a member, and a webpage on which the members can give the surname that interested them, the variants of the surname, origin of the surname, the frequency of the name, data (in what countries the surname appears), DNA project, and the contact details if you want to contact them.

In Ottawa, we are are very fortunate to have a good genealogist in Elizabeth Kipp, who is the Eastern Canada Regional Representative for the Guild of One-Name Studies.

She has the latest knowledge about the one-name studies, has been to England on countless occasions, and if you have ever had the opportunity to read about her research trips to Salt Lake City, and other research facilities throughout Canada, the US and the UK, like myself, you would have to agree that she has a complete understanding of an organization such as the Guild of One-Name Studies and how they can help you to understand where your surname originated.

Elizabeth's email is She also has her own website on the Blakes at as well as a blog, English Research from Canada, at

I guess I will have to rectify the omission of my two surnames in the study because they are not in the database – BARCLAY of Scotland, and BLADES of England.

The website of the Guild of One-Name Studies is

Tomorrow's Post - New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs Week 14

Saturday, December 3, 2011

BIFHSGO's Great Moments in Genealogy

On Saturday, December 10th, from 10:00 am to 11:30 a.m. at the Library and Archives Canada, BIFHSGO (British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa) will present their annual "Christmas gift" for everyone - they will have four different topics presented by four different people.

The topics will be -

"How I Found 'Uncle Effie' While Helping to Research a WWII Pilot" by Mary Anne Sharpe

She will talk about how she was contacted by a genealogy researcher who was helping a Belgian man contact the families of several RAF airmen so he could round out the stories of the men who are buried in his local cemetery in Kaggevinne, Belgium.

Mary Anne will explain how she found out about the shooting down of a young WWII pilot from Sault Ste. Marie, the involvement in the search for information about the death of a man Mary Anne had always known as "Unle Effie", and how she found that both men were her cousins!

"Professor Robinson – Where did you come from?" by Roberta Kay

Professor William Robinson was the founder of the Department of Engineering, Mining, and Textile sections of the University College of Nottingham, England. Hear how she pieced together the life of her ancestor with a variety of resources, and which methods were used to uncover William's birth place.

"Revelations in a Paper Bag and a Shoe Box" by Anne Sterling

See how the discovery of inherited family photos and newly-found ones led her to meet various third- and fourth-cousins, and then do further research of a family in Fitzroy Township, Carleton County.

"Fun Boy, Fly Boy, My Reclusive Uncle" by Ted Lawrence

Kenneth Lawrence, born in 1918, was a fun-loving gregarious youngster, a practical joker, partier, and sports enthusiast in his high school years, and an inspired and courageous pilot during WWII.

This meeting is FREE, and if you haven't gone to a meeting before, BIFHSGO members would love to see you there. They are great people, and are eager to talk genealogy to you at the drop of a hat.

For more information, go to

Friday, December 2, 2011

York Ancestors Newsletter

The November 2011 edition of the newsletter of the York Branch of the OGS, Ancestors, has been published. It continues with "The Udell Family of Markham, Pickering and Uxbridge (Part 2)" in which Walter Udell continues the story of the family through the middle- and late-1800s.

If you are interested, a website has been developed at

At September's meeting, Rich Roberts from Global Genealogy talked about the latest edition of Family Tree Maker, and at the October meeting, Wes Playter talked about the Roadhouse & the Rose Funeral Home in Newmarket.

A Special Note: The York Branch will be celebrating their 15th year celebration in June. They are asking that if you have family history or photos that you would like to have featured at the party, email

You can go to their website at The York Region covers the former York County minus the City of Toronto.

If you are interested in joining Ontario Genealogical Society and the York Branch, go to

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Archive CD Books Project

I have just received "The Archive CD Books Project" newsletter that Malcolm Moody, and his wife, Chris, send out each month. I look forward to seeing where they have been, what books they have scanned lately, and what events they will attend in the future. Their website is

They have oodles of CDs for sales. They are not only very nice people, but are quite knowledgeable about Canadian and United Kingdom genealogy.

The project began in the United Kingdom in 2000, and Malcolm started the Canadian branch in 2003. They have been open for business since March 2004.

The newsletter is FREE (with lots of news), and you can subscribe at They also have a Facebook page, where you can view pictures of the Kitchener Public Library’s First (Annual) Genealogy Fair -

Disclaimer: This is a business site, and while I have never received payment nor special consideration for this blog, I should mention that I have known Malcolm and Chris for a number of years, having attended the same conferences together, and as a customer.

Tomorrow's Post - The York Branch "Ancestors" newsletter