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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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Southwestern Ontario Veterans Blog

Veterans of Southwestern Ontario describes itself as "An Historical and genealogical look at the men and women who served Canada from 1830 to 1952." It has been in operation for about a year now and highlights names and residences of a variety of service personnel including Nursing Sisters. In fact, author William Bruce Hillman provides a link to the Nursing Sisters' Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario to further supplement the information provided about the nurses in the photograph he has shared. Definitely worth a look.

Thanks to the Passionate Genealogist for the heads up about this resource!

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Two posts for the price of one!

Oops. I was wondering how long it would take before I missed posting! So, to make up for it, here are two resources for today:

1. Lest We Forget Project: Cenotaph Research is 100 World War I and 100 World War II military service records digitized and available at Library and Archives Canada. The site explains it as follows:
The military service documents found on the following page were selected by Library and Archives Canada as a small sample of the 660,000 Canadian men and women who served during the First World War. They have been selected to represent both Canada's aboriginal and ethnic diversity at the beginning of the twentieth century and the range of military experience, including soldiers of the infantry, artillery, engineers, signals, and service corps, and doctors and nurses of the medical corps.
2. Since the Government of Canada has designated 2010 as the Year of the British Home Child, it might be advantageous for those looking for further information on their British Home Child ancestors to visit the British Home Children website. Their database of Home Children appears to have reached 10,370 entries to-date, and is available to registered members only. In addition, they offer a number of weblinks to a variety of other resources.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More Online Learning Available:

The Family History Library has long offered courses to those interested in pursuing their family history. However, for those of us not local to Salt Lake City, Utah, participating has been, well, a bit difficult.

They now offer their courses online in the following areas:
* England Beginning Research
* Germany Research
* Ireland Research
* Italy Research
* New Zealand Research
* Poland Research
* Principios básicos para la investigación genealógica en Hispanoamérica (México)
* Reading Handwritten Records Series
* Research Principles and Tools
* Russia Research
* U.S. Research

Each option is broken down into a number of lessons which features a video and a course outline for each. Since some of the more recent additions are very general, they make good starting points for the beginning genealogist and are a great refresher for the more experienced family historian. In addition, many Canadian families came to Canada from other places. Perhaps one of these lessons will help you locate more information on the ancestor who immigrated here?

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Preserving genealogy collections

Rick Roberts of Global Genealogy answers this practical question and many more in his article, What to do with my genealogy collection when I am gone? At the same time, he has also invited tips from his readers, so there's a vast number of suggestions no matter the situation in which you find yourself when it comes to deciding to do with your cherished research.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

New addition to the Blogroll!

There's a new blog featured on my blogroll to the left: The Passionate Genealogist by Blair Archival Research. In the spirit of full disclosure, the Passionate one is a good friend of mine, but I'll leave it to her to introduce herself and her services to you.

What I enjoy about her blog is that she doesn't confine herself to just genealogy. She shares stories, promotes libraries and their resources, and even talks about where she turns to learn more about writing.

Why am I highlighting her blog? Because she's darn good at what she does, and because she has a whole section of her blog devoted to Canadian resources! So click on over as fast as you can because try as I might, I can't keep up with all the great stuff out there!

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ontario's Small Jewish Communities: Virtual Exhibit

Not many people are aware of the rich Jewish history found in some of the smaller communities in Ontario. For example, in my hometown of Cornwall, some of our most successful businesses were built by generations of families in the same traditions as those learned in Eastern Europe.

11 communities are included in the exhibit:
Niagara Falls
North Bay
Owen Sound
St. Catharines
Thunder Bay
Each municipality includes an introduction,discussion of early community history, religious life, social life, community activities & relations and information about more recent years. Many families and individuals are named, population statistics included, and community local history explored.

To learn more about the role Jewish families played in the formation of these communities, you'll want to set aside some time to fully explore each and every exhibit in this virtual collection!

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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Cyndi's List Goes Wild on Canadian Content!

Well, maybe not wild, but Cyndi Howell has certainly been promoting her Canadian content on her site, Cyndi's List. Most recently mentioned was her set of links for family historians doing research on family from British Columbia, Canada. There are similar link groups for each province, the territories, and Canada in general.

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Friday, October 08, 2010

More Learning: Legacy Webinars

Legacy Family Tree is one of many software packages available to the family historian. Because I use it (and I gave it as a gift to my husband when he started documenting his own family tree research) I've subscribed to their newsletter, Legacy News - Tips & Tricks where I've learned that Legacy now offers free webinars. If you can't attend when they happen, they are archived and you can listen to them whenever you like. Three are planned between October 20 and November 3, and the first two are archived for your convenience. Check them out!

Sep. 15: Mapping Software for Genealogists
Oct. 6: Helping Unlock the World’s Records – An Insider’s Perspective on FamilySearch Indexing
Oct. 20: Blogging for Beginners with DearMYRTLE
Oct. 27: New Family History Technology
Nov. 3: Organize, Share, and Publish Your Digital Photos with Heritage Collector Suite

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Happy Birthday Canadian Encyclopedia!

I've discovered that the Canadian Encyclopedia is now 25 years old! Interestingly enough, this discovery came about because of SLAW, a legal blog I follow because they quite often deal with Canadian copyright law. To learn more, please visit Shaunna Mireau's original blog post by clicking here.

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Learning Opportunity: The Women in Our Past

The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and the Canadiana Department of the North York Central Library are offering a unique day of workshops on the topic of researching our female ancestors. With everything from military service to the fur trade, DNA research and Female domestics, there's sure to be a session or two that's helpful to you! The event begins at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, November 6th, so be sure to register soon!

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

October is Family History Month!

To celebrate, I've promised myself that I'll post at least once a day over the next month. Here's today's installment:

Immigrants to Canada Before 1865 is available as a searchable database from Library and Archives Canada. In other words, earlier passenger lists are becoming more readily available.


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