Monday, June 29, 2015

Marriage (Bond) Monday

Protestant marriages in Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec) can be more difficult to research than Catholic marriages, particularly before the introduction of civil registration in many provinces. Here's what Marriage Bonds are according to the database of these records made available by Library and Archives Canada:
Marriage bonds were prepared only for Protestant marriages by licence. The groom was required to enter into a bond with one or two people (sureties) who knew him and who were prepared to guarantee to the Crown that there was no legal impediment to the marriage. After obtaining the bond, a licence was issued and the marriage took place a few days later.

The records available for Ontario cover the period from 1803 and 1865 while Quebec records range from 1779 and 1858, though they are much fewer in number: just around 7900 for Ontario, and just over 2900 for Quebec.

Be sure to check out this database if you have potential Protestant marriages in your family tree from this area and timeframe that you haven't been able to find elsewhere.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bonne fête nationale or Happy Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day!

For those of you in Quebec enjoying today's holiday, I hope you have good weather to accompany your day!

In honour of Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (as my calendar tells me it is) I thought I'd bring to your attention Qui êtes-vous? or Who Do You Think You Are? on Radio-Canada (CBC in French.) They have completed two seasons and the third is now in production. Genealogy Rockstar 2014 Kirsty Gray from England is involved with one episode, though she's giving nothing else away about the celebrity!

Interested in past episodes? More information about each episode is available online on the SRC website.

À la prochaine!

P.S. Courtesy of a friend of mine from the library world of Northern Ontario:
"400 ans de présence française en Ontario : Prêts pour la nouvelle année!"

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Friday, June 05, 2015

Learning opportunity: Glengarry Pioneer Museum's Celtic Fair July 19th

Glengarry Pioneer Museum will present their first Celtic Fair on Sunday, July 19 from 11am to 5pm. There are admission fees (cash only) which will give you access to entertainment and multiple displays by groups like Ontario East British Home Children, Glengarry County Archives and Centre culturel Les trois p’tits point where you can learn about all things Celtic! There is even a Whiskey Tasting, so be sure to preregister so you don't miss out!

As the Museum's website explains, "This group of people traditionally included Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Breton, Manx, Cornish, and other Indo-European peoples." Whether or not you have Celts in your family tree, it's sure to be a great time! Be sure to check it out!

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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Quebec Family History Society Presents Roots 2015 June 19-21

The Quebec Family History Society will once again be presenting Roots 2015, an international conference on family history in Quebec. The conference will be held at McGill University in Montreal, and presenters will include Gary Schroder, President, Quebec Family History Society, Glenn Wright, Author and Lecturer, and Edward Zapletal, Publisher of multiple family history magazines. Be sure to register soon!

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Conference Announcement: British Isles Family History Society ofGreater Ottawa 18-20 September 2015

BIFHSGO will be holding their Family History Conference from 18-20 September 2015 at Ben Franklin Place on Centrepointe Drive in Ottawa. Their three areas of focus will be Scottish Family History, Photographs in Genealogy and Technology for Genealogists with expert genealogy lecturers like Thomas MacEntee, Maureen Taylor and Chris Paton just to name a few. All details including registration information is available on their website. Happy Learning!

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Happy 10th Blogoversary to me!

I can't believe I almost missed the 10th anniversary of my blog! My first post was 27 May 2005 and was all about OGS Seminar 2005, the predecessor of the #OGS #Conference.

Cue the birthday cake & candles!

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OGS Barrie 2015: Jane MacNamara & Ontario Indexes

I'm currently in a session with Jane MacNamara at #OGSBarrie2015 who is running through 25+ indexes to consider using if you have Ontario ancestors. She makes a very good point to be sure to go back and look at TONI from the Ontario Genealogical Society. There are additions made to it regularly, so be sure to check it out for your Ontario ancestors every six months or so! More available at her website.

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OGS Barrie Conference Panel: 2015 - Tracks Through Time

Tracks Through Time is the theme for our plenary session on Day 2 of #OGSBarrie2015. It's a panel with Richard M. Doherty, Kirsty Gray, Dave Obee and Dr. Maurice Gleeson and moderator Thomas MacEntee. Such expertise!

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Slums of Pointe St. Charles: Library & Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada has posted an entry on its blog about the slums of Pointe St. Charles, a neighbourhood of Montreal. Be sure to check it out!

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What Was There: Put history in its place

I learned about the site, WhatWasThere at a session at #OGSBarrie2015 today. It's very cool in that people can post older photos to the site and tie them into Google Maps so that you can see what the area looked like in the past compared to recently. It's very cool and I can see it becoming a site where I can get lost for hours!

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Want to be more organized with your genealogy research?

Thomas MacEntee is presenting a session at #OGSBarrie2015 today on "Managing the Genealogy Data Monster." The first heading on his handout is most telling: "Overwhelming Data and Genealogy - Work Smarter Not Harder." If you get a chance to check out this session elsewhere, I highly recommend it! His handout is once again available for duplication in society newsletters, so drop him an email at if you're interested!

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Google for Genealogists with Thomas MacEntee

I'm attending my first OGS conference in a really long time, and I thought it was a great opportunity to restart my blog. I'm in a session, Google for Genealogists, with blogger extraordinaire Thomas MacEntee! His handout is quite extensive, and available to be used as a newsletter article for your local genealogical society. Interested? Contact him at #OGSBarrie2015

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Sunday, April 06, 2014

Something fun: The Family Tree Rhapsody and Proof that YouTube Is For Genealogists Too!

My hubbie shared a very cute YouTube video with me called Family Tree Rhapsody. You must check it out and be sure your sound is on and turned up.

What struck me is that YouTube is also a great place for learning, even for the Family Historian! In the YouTube sidebar alone were several videos on a variety of topics, including an hour long session by Kyle J. Betit for titled "Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Back to the Homeland"  or "Researching Newspapers for Genealogy for Free" by Kenneth R. Marks, though his focus is on American newspapers. Do not despair! Library and Archives Canada is also there with their own channel and the search box at the top of the main site will let you search for videos on all different types of genealogical research.

Have fun!

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Toronto Public Library Local History and Genealogy Blog

Toronto Public Library has a great blog on local history and genealogical resources. I appreciate the depth and detail their staff includes in the posts. By the end of the entry, you know not only where to turn, but in the case of subscription databases like Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, you'll also be given tips on how to use the Advanced Search features, how to save and print.

Information is not limited to subscription resources, but you're also given details on how to do research on passenger lists and Home Children, how to get started with French Canadian & Acadian Genealogy, or learn more about historical Toronto and area landmarks. Be sure to have a look!

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ask Granny: Create a Genealogical Gift For Your Family Free on April 2 at the Oakville Public Library

On Wednesday, April 2, the Oakville Public Library will be hosting a FREE program for anyone interested in preserving their family legacy by creating a simple family tree to gift to your family.

This class will take you through the process of recording information about your family members, a gift that can be passed down to children and grandchildren who will never regret not “Asking Granny” about their ancestors.  Participants will leave the class with a folder containing a family worksheet.  This is a pencil and paper class: no computer skills necessary! This class welcomes present and future Grannies and Grandpas, and is limited to 12 participants, so don't delay!

When: Wednesday, April 2, 2:00pm-3:00pm

Where: Woodside Branch, 1274 Rebecca St., Oakville

To register for this FREE session, please visit for more details or contact Elise, Local Collections Librarian, at or call 905-815-2042 ext. 5037.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Maple Stars and Stripes:Your French-Canadian Genealogy Podcast

Sandra Goodwin is a family historian who is based in the US, and has recently created a site called Maple Stars and Stripes where she shares her podcasts containing tips and ideas on how to research your French-Canadian ancestry both within the US and into Quebec. She has already posted eight podcasts, starting with Beginning French-Canadian Research and, most recently, Jetté’s Dictionnaire. More information is available on the site where Sandra comments on or includes feedback from listeners, including other resources that may be of use. If you have French-Canadian ancestry, the site is worth a look. Or at least a listen!

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Huguenots of New France

Huguenots were Protestants of France who were forced to flee France in the 1500s and 1600s. According to the Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland, they mainly moved to areas of the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and the United States, while a small number moved to South Africa. In his database, Michel Barbeau indexes the 321 Huguenots who fled to Canada, specifically New France (now Quebec.)

NB: While the introductory pages of the website are in both French and English, the individual entries for each person are in French only.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

French-Canadian Genealogical Research in Houghton County, Michigan

Yes, you read that right. According to research conducted by John P. DuLong, Ph.D., Michigan not only is home to a large number of French-Canadians and their descendants in the area, but Houghton is only second to Detroit in the number of French-Canadians who settled there by the turn of the century.

Be sure to check out his website which is an updated version of DuLong's original five-part article for more details about French-Canadian migration, communities, records available for research and more!

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Sunday, March 02, 2014

Quarriers Homes of Scotland

The Quarriers are a Scottish charitable organization who are dedicated to helping children and their families who are facing adversity. Their history goes back to the 1870s with their founder, William Quarrier, caring for orphaned children. If you have an ancestor or family member from an Orphan's home in Scotland, then this website will be of interest to you:
Approximately 30,000 children spent at least some of their childhood in the Orphan Homes of Scotland, a name changed in 1958 to Quarriers Homes. Each child’s entry to and departure from the Homes was recorded as was basic information about the family’s circumstances.  
Records have been kept since Quarrier opened his first Children's shelter in Glasgow, so be sure to contact their Genealogy and Records Service if you would like to learn more about the information they hold.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Taking Your Irish Ancestors Back Over the Pond at Oakville Public Library

Oakville Public Library will be hosting Ruth Blair as she shows you how to conduct research on your Irish Ancestors starting here in Canada and then back over the pond. The session is at the Central Branch of the Library and will take place Tuesday, March 11 starting at 7pm.

All the details about registering for this session are available on the Library's website.

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Irish Palatine Special Interest Group (ip-sig)

For anyone who is doing research on the Irish Palatines in Canada, the Ontario Genealogical Society does offer a Special Interest Group or SIG on the topic. You do need to be a member to be able to access the family stories, related publications, etc., but it is well worth it if you have members of your family tree in this group and you want to learn more.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

OGS Niagara Conference 2014 Website is Live!

OGS Niagara Branch will be hosting the 2014 Conference, Genealogy Without Borders. The Conference will be held at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario from May 1-4, 2014. The tentative schedule is already available, and you can now register.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Canadian Records Free at Until Jan. 27/14 at 11:59pm (ET)

Yes, you read that right! If you have Canadian family history research to do, this is the weekend to do it! Just be sure to read the fine print first at:

Happy Climbing!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Petition available online to request 1921 Census be released!

Family history is important for a variety of reasons. Please click on the link to sign the petition below and ask the Federal government to make this invaluable resource available without delay!
Please join this campaign:

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New sources of Canadian Registrations and Census are coming!

The 1921 Canadian Census is set to be released on June 1, 2013.  More details are available on the Library and Archives Blog about the countdown.  Questions from the public and the answers provided by LAC are also available.

Rick Roberts of Global Genealogy also recently published an article about the 1940 National Registration conducted in Canada in the Global Gazette.  As his opening states:
As Canada entered the second year of the Second World War it was decided that a national registration of all male and female residents of Canada that were 16 years of age and older was needed.
This information is held by Statistics Canada, and Rick's article will direct you on how to access the records from that agency.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

"Baptism record that appears to solve mystery of Samuel de Champlain's birth arrives in Canada."

Happy Victoria Day, Everyone!

I find myself with some down time today and an important discovery to share with those of you who enjoy learning more about Canada's history.

The title of today's post is taken from an article in the Ottawa Citizen on Saturday, May 18 about an amazing find by of the baptismal certificate of Samuel de Champlain, explorer and founder of Quebec City.  It confirms that he was Protestant by birth, Huguenot to be specific, and you can see the document and others about Champlain at the Museum of Civilization starting May 29.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween & Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness

Today marks the celebration of Halloween or All Hallows' Eve. We're hoping to have a few trick or treaters come along tonight, otherwise we'll be taking a lot of candy into work tomorrow to prevent us both from eating the leftovers!

In the meanwhile, I'm doing a genealogical happy dance today. Courtesy of the huge indexing project that FamilySearch has been undertaking for some time now, I believe it has lead me to the the marriage licence for my Great Great Grandparents. The index entries lead me to looking at Cyndi's List for the marriage information for that particular area in Florida, and I found a digital collection where the licence resides. Hooray!

Because I'm at such a distance from the place in the US where my Great Great Grandmother died and is buried, I'm turning instead to a great website called Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness. The idea is that volunteers will, once a month, perform select genealogical research within their area. The details are available here, and you must read the guidelines before making your request.

But, Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness are not limited to the US alone! Volunteers are also available internationally, including Canada! Volunteers are always welcome, so if you're interested in performing some of these acts, please click this link to learn more.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

OneSource Comprehensive Directory Index

Ancestor Roots Information has a great collection of links for all countries, but I just wanted to highlight those for Canada. From Vital Statistics by province/territory, to First Nations resources from Simon Fraser University through to the Canadian Families Project at the University of Victoria, there are a wealth of resources waiting for more in-depth study.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Canadian War Brides of the First World War

So, every so often, I head off to a site like Link Popularity to see who is linking up to my blog. It's not easy keeping track of such things! I sometimes find out about big sites via other means, like Cyndi's List or Toronto Public Library's Virtual Reference Library. I'm just as happy when I see other sites link to mine, like Granny's Genealogy. It's an honour to be considered a resource for so many!

But I happened to run across another resource in doing that bit of hunting. I don't see how our two blogs linked up, but I'm always grateful for happy accidents that allow me to share another great site with all of you!

Canadian War Brides of the First World War
is a blog run by Annette Fulford, author of several blogs. While it's not a database, she describes the experiences of these women who came to Canada as the brides of men of our Expeditionary Forces. She includes an amazing number of books on the topic, and links to other websites on this and related topics.

Just a reminder: if your local library doesn't own any of the recommended books, be sure to enquire about obtaining it through InterLibrary Loan!

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Criminal and Court Records: Canadian Genealogy Centre

Any black sheep in the family? Well, if you do, you'll want to check the information about Criminal Records available at the Canadian Genealogy Centre of Library and Archives Canada. These matters, including jail time, can be municipal/provincial depending on the crime. What's available, in what formats, and where are all discussed in detail, including what restrictions may exist depending on privacy laws.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yup, two once more!

It's late in the month, and I obviously need to catch up on my sleep. So, these are gonna be short, but helpful, I hope!

1. Saskatchewan Cemeteries Project is an effort to transcribe and/or photograph/index the 3300 cemeteries and burial sites in the province. As of October 2, they've reached 848.

2. Dick Eastman writes about an illness unique to French Canadians, Mednik syndrome. You can read more about it by visiting his original post here.

Good night!

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Monday, October 25, 2010

In honour of the municipal elections...

I thought I'd theme today's post in honour of the municipal elections coming to an end in Ontario tonight. May your elected officials be ones with whom you can live for the next few years! And, if you can't, may moving be painless! ;-D

A fabulous resource for the genealogist when they're available are voters lists. Federal lists are available through the Canadian Genealogy Centre starting in 1935 until 1980. If you're interested in provincial or other voters lists, they provide a number of ways to research those resources including databases or published sources.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Three entries today!

Yes, I've been shirking my blogging duties this weekend. So, I owe you three, and here they are!

1. Research more than once:

Family History researchers can tell you how research has changed over the years. From having to visit repositories in-person or sending a letter to make a request to digital collections easily searchable over the web, it's always worth repeating your research once every few years to see what's new. Here's one of my own examples to illustrate:

I was always told that my great-grandfather Clarence married my great-grandmother Nettie, then married her sister after Nettie died in the US as a result of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. Because I didn't know where the wedding took place, I had a really hard time tracking down the marriage registration. Then, I tried a Google search about a year ago and found transcriptions of Waterloo County online from 1908, including the marriage I'd been missing for years. Even better was the registration number, so I can go and look at the microfilm of the original registration. I never knew that they had been married on Christmas!
But what surprised me more was the actual marriage registration in 1925 of Clarence to Mary, his sister-in-law! Now I have two registrations to look at.

2. Oakville Memories

This is a blog is the work of Bob Hughes, formerly of Oakville, Ontario and now living in Victoria, British Columbia. It contains "living memories" and is definitely a fantastic resource, especially for those with family in the Oakville area in order to better understand the life and times of this Town.

3. United Church of Canada Archives are ONLINE

Need I say more? Just click here to head on over!

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dick Eastman at Alberta Family Histories Society Family Roots Seminar

In the process of posting to my own blog every day, I've also been trying to catch up with all the blogs and newsletters to which I subscribe. One interesting entry I came across was Dick Eastman's newletter entry about his recent presentations at the Alberta Family Histories Society Family Roots Seminar. He gave several talks, about which you can read more about here. What I didn't know about was the Society itself and, more importantly, their blog. You should see all the links they make to resources of interest to the family historian with research interests in Alberta, Saskwatchewan, etc. For example, they link to the Calgary Public Library's Genealogy and Local History blog. What a wealth of information!

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ancestors in the Attic Episodes available online!

The Canadian genealogy series, Ancestors in the Attic, can viewed online by clicking here and then selecting Ancestors from the list. There are only a few episodes available from season 1, but the majority of the episodes from seasons 2-4 are available to view. A lot less commercials make for some interesting learning!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Do you know the Family Search Wiki?

Wikis are a great way to for a lot of people to share information with a lot of people. If you're able to watch videos online , then Common Craft has a great one called Wikis in Plain English. Think Wikipedia as the biggest example of this type of website.

Well, the great folks at FamilySearch have put this type of resource to good use and offer a Research Wiki, described as "Free family history research advice for the community, by the community." Research Wiki which I've linked to takes you to the main page where you can search all of the 42,000+ articles. Or, you can click here and head off to the Canada information.

Have fun!

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Monday, October 18, 2010


Have you visited lately? If not, you have 33 Canadian databases spread from sea to shining sea that just might reveal something about your family tree.

The Passionate Genealogist recently gave me a gift of one of her duplicate magazines so I could brush up on some personal family history research I've been neglecting recently. The one article that really stuck with me was written by a gentleman who recently finished writing and has now published his family tree. In it, he reminds all researchers, "New sources of information become available over time." (Swan, John. "The story of my family history." Family Tree. August 2010: 24-27) Why am I pointing this out? Well, because I did a search for an ancestor's ancestor and I found some invaluable information about my great-great grandmother's family! Wish me luck that I might be able to fill in some "branches" that are otherwise pretty bare!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Canadian Naturalization Database: 1915-1951

I recently received notification from Library and Archives Canada that they've released a new version of the Canadian Naturalization Database, 1915-1951. What's new? Digitized images of the appearance of these names in the Canada Gazette. So, if you have family who came to Canada between 1915 and 1951 who aren't British citizens, time to do a search either by name (1915-1932) or by date (1932-1951)!

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