31 July 2011

Timeline July 31 to August 2

July 31
1687  Fort Niagara was built by Gov. Jacques Rene de Brisay de Denonville at the mouth of the Niagara River.
1955  At 17, Marilyn Bell of Toronto became the youngest person to swim the English Channel.

Aug 1
1813  US troops occupying York evacuated the town after burning the barracks and woodyard as well as the store house on Gibraltar Point and looting a few house.
1882  Grand and Toy, stationers and suppliers, founded in Toronto by James Grand.

Aug 2
1909  At Camp Petawawa, J.A.D. McCurdy and F. W. Baldwin piloted the Silver Dart - a plane with a fifty horsepower, water cooled engine and wings made of bamboo, wire and fabric - in the first military demonstration of aircraft flight in Canada.
1958  The Ottawa City Hall on Green Island at the mouth of the Rideau River, was opened by Princess Margaret.

29 July 2011

Ottawa Branch Library Ready

Thanks to the efforts of a number of volunteers over the past two weeks, the Ottawa Branch library has been converted to the Dewey Decimal system and is again accessible to the public in the Reference Room of the new City of Ottawa Central Archives.

The library, as do those of the other partners (British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa, Sir Guy Carleton Branch of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada and the United Church of Canada Archives, Montreal/Ottawa Conference Ottawa Presbytery) contain resources for much more than the local area. Check out our catalogue at libcat and see for yourself if we have something that will help your research.

For those unfamiliar with the Dewey Decimal system, you can read up on it at Dewey. We use a variation for the Cutter Number, following the examples of BIFHSGO and the SGCUEL libraries. The Cutter Number will usually be the first three letters of the authors name, followed by another code when it's necessary to differentiate between multiple publications, i.e. volume, index, supplementary edition (supp) or date (i.e. 1891 for 1891 census transcription)

Since we are a genealogy library, not everything of a genealogical nature needs to be catalogued under 929. It may be more convenient for the user when an alternative number is used:

·       Inventory of resources are found under 016
·       Atlases, maps and gazetteers: 912
·       Biographies usee B, then first three letters of surname
·       Genealogical Conferences: 929.06 + acronym of society name,
·       Genealogy in general use: 929.1
·       How to research:  929.1072
·       Family history use 929.2  + first three letters of family name
·       How to use genealogical sources i.e County Record Offices: 929.3 + location code
·        Cemetery transcriptions use a unique system to ensure that they are sorted by county and township: 929.5 + Country Code + Province Code,  first three letters of township and then first three letters of cemetery name. i.e.  Springhill Cemetery in Osgoode Township would be 929.571383 OSG SPR
·       History of various locations use 9 + location code (i.e 971.384 for Ottawa, 942 for England)

Our collection starts with a small Biography and Fiction collection (yes we have a few novels of genealogical interest). The next shelf starts with 001 and continues on to the end at 999. Following that we have our collection of newsletters, pedigree charts tapes, and scrapbooks that have not been included in the new numbering system. Our large collection of Belden atlases, our microfilm and City Directories are housed on the oversize shelves of the City collection, near the microfilm room.

The City of Ottawa Archives is open to the public from 9am to 4pm Tuesday to Friday and 10am to 5pm on Saturdays between the Labour Day and Victoria Day weekends. Volunteers from the genealogical groups are available during all opening hours to assist you with your research. Drop by and check us out soon.

28 July 2011

Colonel By Day

The August holiday Monday is known as Colonel By Day in Ottawa and celebrates our history and the building of the Rideau Canal under the direction of Lt. Colonel John By. It takes place on August 1st from 11am - 4pm on the grounds of the Bytown Museum beside the Ottawa locks.

Ottawa Branch will have a table, so drop by and say hello. We can help you learn more about researching your roots in the Ottawa area (or just researching in the Ottawa area). There will also be heritage lace making, rug braiding, and musketry demonstrations, storytelling by local Ruthanne Edward, performances by the Ingleneuk Scottish Dancers, the Ottawa English Country Dance Club, and Chad Wolfe Stepdancers, music by Fiddleground and Heritage Hands Ottawa Drum Club, blacksmithing, professional face painting, tabletop exhibits from local heritage groups and museums, a Celtic Cross Commemoration Ceremony, costumed characters and historical theatre by Vintage Stock Theatre,  and free admission to the Bytown Museum! Check it out: http://www.choocopo.ca/english/cbday.html. Hope to see you there!

27 July 2011

Timeline July 27 to 30

July 27
1866  After two failures, Cyrus W. Field succeeded in laying the first underwater telegraph cable between North America and Europe.
2003  Lance Armstrong won a record-tying fifth straight Tour de France title

July 28
1540  King Henry VIII's chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, was executed.
1914  Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. WW I began.

July 29
1813  In the morning, a US fleet appeared off York and landed unopposed. York's militia had been placed on "parole" following the first American invasion in April, and there were no regular troops in the town.
1911  The Canadian Northern Railway was completed between Montreal and Port Arthur.

July 30
1609  Samuel de Champlain helped the Hurons and Algonquins attack the Iroquois near Crown Point, New York.
1793  The building of what is now Toronto began under the direction of John Graves Simcoe.
1962  The official opening of the Trans Canada Highway occurred at the halfway point on Chippewa River, 61 km. north of Sault Ste Marie.

26 July 2011

War of 1812

Battle of Lundy's Lane 25 July 1814

The battle started late in the day and ended about midnight.  Soldiers did not know if the one next to them was a friend or foe. Those who fought in the Peninsula had never seen such carnage. Casualties [dead,wounded, deserted or missing] of the British were 878 [84 dead] and Americans 853 [174dead] British Regiments involved were; 1st, 8th, 41st,
89th, 103rd and 104th as well as a number of militia.
Ref: Wikipedia, Battle of Lundy's Lane; and
Flames Across the Border, 1813-1814, Pierre Burton

Laura Secord is buried in Drummond hill Cemetery.

Also buried there is Robert Randall on whose headstone is
written 'Died of Colonial Misrule'.  He is connected to the Ottawa area as he owned the land now known as LeBreton Flats. He will be the subject of a later post.

Pictured at right is a monument in Drummond Hill Cemetery.

24 July 2011

Timeline July 24 to 26

July 24
1759  The French garrison of Fort Niagara, under the command of Pierre Pouchot, fell to British and Indian attackers under the command of Sir William Johnson.
1788  Guy Carleton, Lord Dorchester, issued a proclamation dividing the western part of Quebec (prior to its division into Upper and Lower Canada) into four districts to be known as Mecklenburgh, Nassau, Lunenburgh and Hesse.
1819  Following gallant conduct in the War of 1812, particularly in the Battle of Lundy's Lane where he was severely wounded, Captain John LeBreton received a land grant in Bytown consisting of lot 9 in the first concession and concession A on the Ottawa River at present-day Brittania.
1846  The electric telegraph was demonstrated in Toronto.

July 25
1814  At Lundy's Lane, near Niagara Falls, the bloodiest battle of the War of 1812 was fought. During a six-hour afternoon encounter, Lieutenant-General Gordon Drummond with 2,800 men engaged an invading American army which had recently been victorious at Chippawa. Both sides claimed victory. The Americans withdrew the following day, ending their offensive in Upper Canada.
1905  James Walsh, who had served as a North-West Mounted Police superintendent in the Yukon at the height of the Klondike gold rush, died at his Brockville, home.
1937  Sir Charles Edward Saunders, the discoverer of Marquis wheat, died in Toronto.

July 26
1874  At the home of his father in Brantford, Alexander Graham Bell disclosed for the first time his concept of communication by telephone.

23 July 2011

Ottawa Branch Library

Two years ago, we decided that we needed to re-catalogue the Ottawa Branch library to make it easier for visitors use. Since both BIFHSGO and the Sir Guy Carleton libraries use the Dewey system, we decided to follow suit. With almost 5000 items in our library, it took some time but the conversion should soon be completed.

The assignment of the new numbers was the first task and that was completed last fall. The numbers were added to our catalogue at the same time. But the preparations for the move to the new building put the conversion on the back burner. We did not want to get part way through this step and have to get out of the way of the movers.

Last week a team of volunteers replaced all the labels on the books with the new Dewey number and then started to sort and reshelve the books. Compounding the issue was the need to adjust shelving height on virtually every shelf. That's not part of the conversion as the shelves needed adjustment but it does take up time.

It will probably take most of the next week to complete the process, but we expect it to be an improvement for genealogists in Ottawa. Drop by and see us sometime.

21 July 2011

Timeline July 21 to 23

July 21
1796  Having been granted a leave of absence on account of ill health, John Graves Simcoe, accompanied by his family, left York on board the Onondaga for Quebec and England. He never returned to Upper Canada.
1814  An American force of 150 soldiers and sailors attacked an undefended North-West Co. depot at Sault Ste Marie, razed the sawmill, dwellings and stables and destroyed the bateau locks.
1870  The Ottawa City Passenger Railway Co. began transportation service with horse-drawn streetcars between the capital and New Edinburgh.

July 22
1820  Birth in Kingston of Oliver Mowat, later to be Ontario`s premier for 24 years.
1884  The boundaries of Ontario were defined by the Imperial Privy Council.
1915  Sir Sandford Fleming, engineer, railroad builder and originator of "standard time," died.

July 23
1840  The Act of Union, which united Upper and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada, was passed by the British Parliament.

18 July 2011

Timeline July 17 to 20

July 17
1812  Capt. Charles Roberts, British commander at Fort St. Joseph, descended on Michilimackinac with 46 officers and men of his 10th Royal Veterans, 180 voyageurs and almost 400 Indians. The fort was taken without resistance.
1898  The Montreal and Atlantic Railway Co. completed tracks between Ottawa and Montreal.

July 18
1853  The Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Railroad started operating between Toronto and Brantford.
1932  Canada and the United States signed an agreement to build the St. Lawrence Seaway. It was not completed until 1959.

July 19
1921  Prohibition came into effect in Ontario with Bill 26 banning the importation of liquor into the province, while the Sandy Bill disallowed the commercial movement of alcohol within the province.
1963  The Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism was appointed.

July 20
1784  One of the earliest settlers in the Hamilton area, Robert Land, whose death sentence in New York for being a British spy had been overturned by George Washington, erected a dwelling at what in now the corner of Barton and Leeming streets.
1799  The first edition of the Canada Constellation, Upper Canada's earliest independent newspaper, was published at Newark by Gideon and Silvester Tiffany.
1814  Eight settlers from Niagara and London districts, indicted for high treason during the War of 1812, were executed in the "Bloody Assize" at Burlington Heights (Hamilton). Eleven more were sentenced to exile and four were acquitted.
1965  In Ottawa, Prime Minister Lester Pearson outlined a medicare plan to provincial premiers.

15 July 2011


Honeywell, Ira 1774 - 1852
Draper [settled in 1814]
In Feb 1811 Ira Honeywell moved into a cabin which he built during the previous winter. He brought with him his wife Charlotte Andrews 1785 - 1861, who he married in Prescott on 29 Nov 1801 and their son Rice 1802 - 1885. He received the land, Nepean Twp, Con 1, Lot 26 OF (Ottawa Front) from his father Rice Honeywell 1760 - 1839, on condition that he settle it.
Ref; Ottawa Past and Present pg 25, 26
Their son Rice married Margaret Hare 1805 - 1890.
I have not been able to find a Family History on the Honeywell Family
Hare family Ref; G-169 'Tales of the Hares' Ottawa Br. Library Dewey# 929.271 H222

The Honeywell's lived in isolation for 3 years till a Draper settled nearby and only stayed for less than a year. When researching another family I found the following in 1852 Census Canada East Ottawa County, now Pontiac Co, Clarendon Twp p.1d,2a (3) a James Draper, age 77, born in US,
a carpenter and a Quaker. Would these be the same person? I know there are Draper families near Shawville

13 July 2011

Timeline July 13 to 16

July 13
1953  The Stratford Festival opened its first summer with Alex Guiness in the title of Richard III, at Stratford, Ontario.

July 14
1812  The justices of the peace in York, determined to maintain respectability in the town, forbade public bathing in Lake Ontario between sunrise and sunset.

July 15
1882  In Toronto, Major Thomas Moore founded the first corp of the Salvation Army of Canada.
1929  Invented in Toronto by Thomas Carroll, the combine harvester was given its first successful test in a farmer's field near Sarnia.
1983  The federal cabinet approved plans to test American cruise missiles in Canada, beginning in 1984.

July 16
1792  The Executive Council, meeting in Kingston, issued one proclamation dividing the colony into nineteen counties extending from Glengarry in the east to Essex in the west, and a second ordering that elections be held in these counties.
1975  Fire ravaged the old Bell Organ factory (founded 1864) in Guelph.

10 July 2011

City Archives Open House

There were well over 1500 visitors to the new City of Ottawa Central Archives Open House yesterday. I was up on the third floor in the Reference Room for the day and we only saw about a third of them up there. There were a number of people from the neighbourhood who had watched the structure go up but many others were interested in doing research in the archives and even some in genealogy. We should see some of them back in the future.
I was surprised at the number who did not know that the City Archives was open to the public (9am-4pm Tuesday to Friday, 10am-5pm Saturdays from Sept to May). I tried to explain the different roles of the City Archives and LAC, as it pertained to genealogy. And I assured one lady that LAC was also open to the public.
Only two thought it was a library, replacing Centrepointe, which is not true. The building also houses the Library Technical Services but that portion is not normally open to the public.
Staff provided tours to a number of areas of the building. The Reference Room staff were busy all afternoon showing the visitors around the third floor and I know others were taking people through the vault, the conservation labs and the exhibit room. Everyone seemed to be impressed by the facilities and several told me that they would be back to work on their research
The Reference Room has been open to the public since 28 June. Parking can be tight as there are still contractors working in the building but check at the security desk if you cannot find a spot. We hope to see many more genealogical researchers in the Reference Room.

09 July 2011

Timeline July 10 to 12

July 10
1946  Canada`s first drive in theatre - The Skyway - opened in Stoney Creek near Hamilton.
1960  Roger Woodward, age seven, survived a fifty-one metre drop over Niagara Falls.

July 11
1911  In a huge forest fire near Cobalt, 200 people were killed and more than 3,000 left homeless.
1953  Solicitors and engineers employed by Franc R Joubin and Joseph H Hirshorn filed title to more than 1,400 uranium ore claims covering 5,600 acres in the Elliot Lake area.

July 12
1812  Brig-Gen William Hull, commander of the North Western Army of the United States, landed with about 2,000 men at what is now Riverside Drive East in Windsor. He then issued a proclamation stating that he came to liberate Upper Canada from British oppression.
1849  Sir William Osler, physician and author, was born at Bond Head, Simcoe County, Ontario.
1855  Edward "Ned" Hanlan, famous sculler, was born in Toronto.

07 July 2011

Timeline July 7 to 9

July 7
1871  Thirteen rafts of 1,173 cribs containing 51,173 cubic meters of timber, began running through the Chaudiere log-slide at Ottawa.

July 8
1903  An Ontario government order-in-council named Alexander Fraser, former editor of the Toronto Mail and Empire, to the new post of provincial archivist.
1917  Artist Tom Thomson drowned in Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park.

July 9
1792  John Graves Simcoe swore in members of Upper Canada's first Executive Council.
1936  The most intense heat wave on record (as of 1988) occurred in Ontario - the temperature in Toronto reached 40.6 C.
1969  The federal government's Official Languages Act became law.

05 July 2011

War of 1812

Battle of Chippawa 5 July 1814
According to 'Red Coats and Grey Jackets'; by Donald E Graves: "On the banks of the Niagara River, a few miles south of the great falls, a battle took place on 5 July 1814. For more than three hours on a hot summer afternoon, four thousand American, British, and Canadian Soldiers, as well as Native warriors from many nations, fought in the fields and woods surrounding Canadian Samuel Street's prosperous farm-- when the fighting had ended, more than seven hundred lay dead or wounded."

This battle is of interest to settlers of Goulbourn Twp as members of the 100th Regt of foot participated. The museum at Stanley's Corners, just south of Stittsville houses artifacts and memorabilia of that regiment. Also there are lists of the soldier/settlers as well as the attestation records of soldiers in that regiment.

Also at Chippawa were the following units:
Royal Artillery and RA Drivers
19th Light Dragoons
1st Foot (Royal Scots)
8th Foot (Kings Regt)
100th Foot
2nd Regt, Lincoln Militia

The reference details everything one would need to know to get a vivid picture of the battle.

04 July 2011

Timeline July 3 to 6

July 3
1797  Formation of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
1814  Fort Erie was captured by an American force.
1838  Francis Hincks founded the Toronto Examiner.

July 4
1893  A tug-of-war team from Zorra, Ontario were proclaimed world champions at the Chicago World Fair.

July 5
1814  The Battle of Chippawa was fought on the north bank of the Chippawa River near Niagara Falls. General Phineas Riall led some 2,000 British regulars and Canadian militia against an invading army of 4,000 Americans under Generals Jacob Brown and Winfield Scott, and was badly beaten.
1958  The Stephen Leacock Memorial Home was opened at Orillia.

July 6
1907  The Kirkfield Lift Locks, near Peterborough was officially opened.

Ottawa Branch Library

The new City of Ottawa Central Archives opened last week and all visitors were impressed by the state-of-the-art facilities. As their website says: "The City of Ottawa Archives has two main types of records in its collection: Civic Government Records and Community Records. Civic government records encompass records of the new City of Ottawa, as well as the twelve former municipalities; the Ottawa Public Library; Police, Fire, and Emergency Services; and OC Transpo. Some of the holdings include: original by-laws, original minutes of Council and Committees of Council, assessment rolls, historical maps, historical photographs of major civic events, historical plans of major structures, and more.Community records further enhance our understanding of the history and evolution of Ottawa. Some examples from our collections include the Billings, Lett and Ogilvy family papers, as well as records from the United Church of Canada, the Royal Ottawa Sanatorium (now the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre), the Historical Society of Ottawa, and the Central Canada Exhibition Association."

The Archives also houses the libraries of it's Partners: Ottawa Branch OGS, the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa, Sir Guy Carleton Branch UEL, the C. Robert Craig Memorial Library and the United Church of Canada Archives (Montreal/Ottawa Conference, Ottawa Presbytery).

The Ottawa Branch library has a growing collection of over 4,000 items: including books, articles, audio tapes, films, maps, scrapbooks, family bible entries, lodge records, member’s pedigree charts,  genealogical periodicals, a name index, microfiche, and other genealogical holdings. Check out the catalogue at http://ogsottawa.on.ca/library/index.php and you may be amazed at what is there.

Are you researching Mayflower ancestors? The catalogue shows six Mayflower references, including the Mayflower Index and Susan Roser's Mayflower Marriages. In addition to the collection of Sir Guy Carleton, Ottawa Branch holds 40 publications on Loyalists. There are five on the Billings family and another five on Norfolk UK. There are 21 books about Saskatchewan but only one on the Yukon. Michigan rates 42 publications but nothing on California. A search on Genealogy results in 130 hits while Family History garners 160.

The publications of Ottawa Branch can be found on the shelves, including our collection of  over 700 cemetery transcriptions. There are almost 700 family histories, many produced by amateur genealogists and donated to the library. Not quite sure what to do next? The library has over 400 reference books, most of recent vintage, including guides to researching in the UK, France, Germany, most provinces and a selection of US states.

There is a volunteer from Ottawa Branch at the Archives every day to help you get started with your research and to use the equipment. Now that it's open again, why not drop in for a visit and see what awaits you. Or call ahead for an appointment: 613-580-2857. The Archives is located at 100 Tallwood Drive, not far from Algonquin College.

02 July 2011

Ontario Timeline June 26 to July 2

June 26
1832  At Prescott, 46 cases of cholera and 16 deaths from the same disease were reported.
1959  Queen Elizabeth formally opened the St. Lawrence Seaway.
1961  Upper Canada Village opened near Morrisburg.

June 27
1860  The Queen's Plate, the oldest continuously run turf event in North America, began at Carlton Track in Toronto.

June 28
1838  Queen Victoria's coronation was celebrated throughout Upper Canada
1925  A reception was held at Ottawa for Field Marshall Earl Haig, British commander-in-chief during WW I.

June 29
1817  The Presbyterian clergyman William Bell, the first resident minister for the Rideau Settlement, held his first service at Adamson's Inn, Perth.
1853  Ernest Alexander Cruickshank, the first chairman of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, was born in Bertie Township.
1871  The BNA Act was amended to give Parliament the right to establish new provinces and boundaries.

June 30
1798  Ojibwa Indians traded St. Joseph Island to the crown in exchange for goods.
1851  Robert Baldwin, the champion of responsible government, retired from public life.
1948  Mackenzie King made his last speech as prime minister in the House of Commons.

July 1
1858  Bishop John Strachan laid the foundation stone of Toronto's St. Stephen-in-the Fields Church.
1884  The Methodist Church formally amalgamated with the Primitive Methodist Church of Canada, the Bible Christian Church of Canada and the Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada to form the largest Protestant body in the country.
1927  Diamond Jubilee ceremonies to mark Confederation were conducted throughout Ontario. The House of Commons carillon was opened by Governor General Willingdon as the first event in the celebration.

1867  The British North America Act proclaimed that The Provinces of Canada (Ontario and Quebec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were formed into one Dominion under the name of Canada. Dominion Day celebrated the BNA Act until 1982 when the name was changed on Oct. 27, 1982 to Canada Day to commemorate the patriation of Canada's Constitution.

July 2
1671  Jacques Marquette, probably the most renowned of all Jesuit missionary explorers, took his final vows at Sault Ste Marie.