31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

We wish you all a Happy New Year and may all go well with you in 2012.

Just a reminder: The first general meeting of the Ottawa Branch will be on Saturday January 28th and the City of Ottawa Archives. See ogsottawa.on.ca for details.

28 December 2011

Timeline Dec 28 to 31

Dec 28
1841  Toronto saw light when 100 gas lamps were turned on for 16,000 citizens of the city. This made Toronto the 11th city in North America to have its streets lit by gas.
1857  Isabella, the first wife of John A Macdonald died in Kingston.

Dec 29
1170  Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in England.
1798  Royal assent was given to a bill validating marriages celebrated by Lutheran, Church of Scotland and Calvanist clergy. A 1793 act had given Anglican clergymen and justices of the peace the exclusive right to solemnize marriages.
1919  Sir William Osler, born at Bond Head in 1849, died in England. He has been called "the most influential physician in history."
1921  Mackenzie King became Prime Minister of Canada. He served as PM for 21 years, 5 months and 5 days.
1940  During World War II, Germany began dropping incendiary bombs on London.

Dec 30
1813  British troops and Canadian militia raided Black Rock and Buffalo in retaliation for an American attack on Niagara and Queenston.
1824  The Upper Canada legislature at Toronto was destroyed by fire.
1850  John Milne, English seismologist and geologist; inventor of the seismograph, was born.
1851  Asa Griggs Candler, American developer of Coca-Cola, was born.
1922  Vladimir Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Dec 31
1491  Jacques Cartier, French explorer, was born.
1775  The British repulsed an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold at Quebec; Montgomery was killed; Arnold was wounded.
1855  Ottawa's main thoroughfares were lit by gas lamps for the first time.
1857  Britain's Queen Victoria decided to make Ottawa the capital of Canada.
1879  Thomas Edison first publicly demonstrated his electric incandescent light in Menlo Park, N.J.
1846  President Harry S. Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.
1966  Prime Minister Lester Pearson lit the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill to launch Canada's centennial year.

26 December 2011

Timeline Dec 25 to 27

Dec 25
1066  William the Conqueror was crowned king of England.
1223  St. Francis of Assisi assembled one of the first Nativity scenes, in Greccio, Italy.
1776  George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, N.J.
1872  Toronto was hit by a great Christmas snow storm - 58.4 cm in 42 hours.
1971  Justin Pierre Trudeau became the second child born to a Prime Minister during his term of Office. Parents were Prime Minister Pierre E Trudeau and his wife Margaret.

Dec 26
1791  Charles Babbage, English mathematician and inventor, was born.
1792  The Constitutional Act, dividing the province of Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada, went into effect.
1941  Winston Churchill became the first British prime minister to address a joint meeting of the United States Congress.

Dec 27
1571  Johannes Kepler, German astronomer, was born.
1822  Louis Pasteur, French biologist and chemist; invented pasteurization process, was born in Dole, France.
1831  British naturalist Charles Darwin set out on a voyage to the Pacific Ocean aboard the HMS Beagle.
1789  The first stagecoach service in Upper Canada was inaugurated between Queenston and Fort Erie.
1947  The children's TV program "Howdy Doody" debuted on NBC.
1972  Former Prime Minister Lester Pearson died in Ottawa.

24 December 2011

War of 1812

Treaty of Ghent 24 Dec 1814

Seems strange to make a post of a peace treaty before the War has actually started. But??
Three American delegates were in St Peterburg, Russia 6 Jan 1814, attempting to persuade Emperor Alexander to mediate. 2 more American delegates were sent to Gothenburg, Sweden arriving 14 Apr 1814. Three British delegates were in Ghent 15 May 1814, one being Henry Goulbourn. Ghent was chosen as it was close to London and all decisions on the British part were to be made by the PM, Colonial Secretary and the Foreign Secretary. The treaty was finally signed on Christmas eve. One of the American delegates, Jonathan Russell, said "Perhaps never was a joint mission so disjointed and scattered". Due to the communications that existed at the time the treaty was not ratified by the Americans til Feb 1815. Still events occurred. More later,
[in 3 years] The next posts will follow the calender dates, disregarding the year, til 18 June 2012

22 December 2011

Canada 150



I attended the workshop last week for the Canada 150 project

Canada 150 is a national, not-for-profit campaign to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday in 2017 by encouraging the recording and collecting of life stories, family histories as well as community and organization histories. The idea is to collect, in digital format, millions of items:

1. 1.2 million “Memories”: short paragraphs with photos

2. 150,000 “One-Of-a-Kind”: unpublished letters, journals, diaries, films, scrapbooks, etc.

3. 150,000 “Published” books, films, songs, websites, multimedia, etc.


There is an excellent summary of the meeting on John Reid’s blog at http://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.com/2011/12/canada150-update.html and I doubt if I could improve on that.

Formal launch of the project is planned for 1 Jul 2012 with a presentation to the Governor-General on Parliament Hill on 1 Jul 2017. For more information, visit their website at www.canada150.ca

21 December 2011

Timeline Dec 21 to 24

Dec 21
1620  Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower went ashore for the first time at present-day Plymouth, Mass.
1898  Scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discovered the radioactive element radium.
1913  The first crossword puzzle was published, in the New York World.
1942  Butter rationing began in Canada as a wartime measure.
1951  The Canadian Department of National Health and Welfare instituted old age security payments.

Dec 22
1858  Opera composer Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca, Italy.
1952  Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent announced the government's intention to construct a National Library in Ottawa.
1990  Lech Walesa took the oath of office as Poland's first popularly elected president.

Dec 23
1648  Robert Barclay, English born American Quaker leader, was born.
1805  Joseph Smith, American founder of the Mormon Church, was born.
1823  The poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement C. Moore was first published, in the Troy (N.Y.) Sentinel.
1963  The federal government approved, in principle, the establishment of a national centre for the performing arts in Ottawa.
1983  Jeanne Sauve was named Canada's first female Governor General.

Dec 24
1524  Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama, who had found the sea route around Africa to India, died in India.
1783  All Loyalist corps were disbanded and their officers put on half pay.
1814  A treaty to end the War of 1812 was signed by British and American negotiators at Ghent in Belgium, with the status quo remaining basically unchanged.
1906  Canadian physicist Reginald A. Fessenden became the first person to broadcast a music program over radio, from Brant Rock, Mass.

19 December 2011

War of 1812

Fort Niagara 19 Dec 1813

Ref; Burton's 'Flames Across the Border 1813-1814' pg 257-268
Starts with a conversation between personnel of the 100 Reg't. Col John Murray asking Capt Thomas Dawson of the Grenadier Co. "What description of men have you got" Sgt Andrew Spearman will lead the charge. The secret attack on the American Fort has been a week in the planning, ever since McClure's hasty departure from Ft. George. Forlorn Hope will consist of
562 men, [350] from the 100th and remainder from Royal Scotts and 41st Reg'ts.
The details of the attack continue to page 262.

Black Rock and Buffalo 30 Dec 1813
Burton explains the details of attack on Buffalo and continues to page 268

With the burning of Buffalo the campaign of 1813 ends. It is again too cold to fight.

18 December 2011

Timeline Dec 18 to 20

Dec 18
1856  Sir J J Thompson, English physicist, was born.
1888 Robert Moses, the American public servant who supervised the construction of many New York landmarks, including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Shea Stadium , was born.
1939  The First Canadian Division reached Aldershot, England, after sailing from Halifax on December 10.
1958  The world's first communications satellite was launched by the United States aboard an Atlas rocket.

Dec 19
1732  Benjamin Franklin began publishing "Poor Richard's Almanac."
1777  Gen. George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, PA., to camp for the winter.
1813  A force under Col. John Murray captured Fort Niagara above Youngstown, New York.
1837  William Lyon Mackenzie proclaimed from Navy Island in the Niagara River, that 300 acres of Canadian land and 100 dollars in silver would be paid to volunteers joining the patriot forces.
1843  Charles Dickens' Yuletide tale, "A Christmas Carol," was first published in England.
1984  Britain and China signed an accord returning Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997.

Dec 20
1803  The Louisiana Purchase was completed as the territory was formally transferred from France to the United States during ceremonies in New Orleans.
1854  The first train of the Bytown and Prescott Railway arrived in Bytown.
1859  The first sod was turned for the parliament buildings in Ottawa.
1879  Thomas Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, N.J.
1901  Robert Van de Graaff, American physicist and inventor, was born.
1919  A federal government order-in-council announced the takeover of the bankrupt Grand Trunk and Canadian Northern Railways, which, with two other lines, would become the Canadian National Railways.

14 December 2011

Timeline Dec 14 to 17

Dec 14
1503  Nostradamus, French astrologer and physician, was born.
1546  Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer, was born.
1799  George Washington, the first president of the United States, died at his Mount Vernon, Va., home at age 67.
1851  George Brown was elected to the Upper Canada legislature for the first time.
1861  Prince Albert, husband of Britain's Queen Victoria, died in London, England.
1911  Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole.
1956  John Diefenbaker was elected by the national convention as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.
1964  The Liberal government of Lester Pearson introduced closure to end the flag debate.

Dec 15
AD37  Nero, Roman Emperor, was born.
1832  Gustave Eiffel, French civil engineer and designer of the Eiffel Tower, was born.
1899  Harold Abrahams, English athlete and Olympic gold medalist, was born.
1944  Bandleader Glenn Miller was killed when his U.S. Army plane disappeared over the English Channel.
1956  Movie producer Walt Disney died at age 65.

Dec 16
1653  Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
1770  Ludwig van Beethoven, German composer and pianist, was born.
1773  The Boston Tea Party took place as American colonists boarded a British ship and dumped more than 300 chests of tea overboard to protest tea taxes.
1775  Jane Austen, English novelist, was born.
1917  Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke was born in Minehead, England.
1944  The Battle of the Bulge during World War II began as German forces launched a surprise counterattack against Allied forces in Belgium.

Dec 17
1797  Joseph Henry, American scientist, was born.
1874  Mackenzie King, Canada`s tenth prime minister, was born in Berlin (Kitchener).
1894  Arthur Fiedler, the American conductor who conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra, was born.
1903  Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful man-powered airplane flight, near Kitty Hawk, N.C.
1939  The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan was signed in Ottawa by Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. At the height of operations it maintained thirty-two schools in Ontario alone.
1992  US President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in separate ceremonies.

11 December 2011

Timeline Dec 11 to 13

Dec 11
1936  Britain's King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson.
1941  Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; the U.S. responded in kind.
1944  A severe storm paralyzed southern Ontario for days.
1972  Man landed on the moon for the last time during the Apollo 17 mission.

Dec 12
1812  John Sandfield Macdonald was born in St. Raphael, Glengarry County. He later became the first premier of Ontario after Confederation.
1894  Prime Minister Sir John S.D. Thompson died at Windsor Castle, England.
1915  Frank Sinatra, American singer and actor, was born in Hoboken, N.J.
1951  The St. Lawrence Seaway Authority was established.

Dec 13
1577  Sir Francis Drake of England set out with five ships on a nearly three-year journey that would take him around the world.
1804  Joseph Howe, Canadian statesman and publisher, was born.
1837  With the collapse of the rebellion, William Lyon Mackenzie occupied Navy Island above Niagara Falls on the night of Dec. 13-14 and proclaimed a provisional government.
1871  Emily Carr, Canadian painter and writer, was born.
1929  Actor Christopher Plummer was born in Toronto.

10 December 2011

War of 1812

Burning of Newark [Now Niagara-on-the-Lake] 10 December 1813


Ref; Burton's 'Flames across the Border, 1813-1814' pages 251 thru 257.
Above gives a very detailed description of events of the day. 'It was snowing with a bitter east wind blowing off the lake and before darkness falls there will be few walls standing in this doomed village' The American commander, George McLure, is defending his decision to burn the town and brandishes a letter from Armstrong written the previous October
"Understanding that the defense of the post commited to your charge may render it proper to destroy the town of Newark, you are hereby directed to apprise its inhabitants of this circumstance, and invite them to remove themselves and their effects to some place of greater safety"
McLure is virtually on his own with only a few soldiers with him. Now, torches and lanterns lit, directing his men to various corners of the town to fire houses and public buildings, Willcocks ride besides him, settling old scores and cursing anyone who protests as a Tory.
Col. Murray of the 100th Reg't and William Merritt enter the town. Ninety-eight homes, barns and stables have been destroyed. Four hundred poeple are homeless.
In the hearts of the homeless and soldiers there is one common emotion: a desire for retalation. "The senseless burning of Newark will send an echo down the corridors of history, for it is this act, much more than the accidental firing of the legislature at York, that provokes a succesion of incendiary raids that will not end until the city of Washington itself is in flames"

07 December 2011

Timeline Dec 7 to 10

Dec 7
1598  Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Italian sculptor, was born.
1837  Government forces blew up Montgomery's Tavern, William Lyon Mackenzie's base of operations. He fled to the US.
1863  R. W. Sears, American merchant and founder of Sears, Roebuck retail company, was born.
1941  Japanese warplanes attacked the home base of the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, drawing the United States into World War II.
1941  Canada declared war on Japan following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, Hong Kong and other Pacific bases.
1972  America's last moon mission was launched as Apollo 17 blasted off from Cape Canaveral.

Dec 8
1765  Eli Whitney, American inventor of the cotton gin, was born.
1838  Col Nils Szoltevcky Von Shoultz was hanged at Kingston for his part in the attack on Prescott. Ten other "Hunters" were hanged later. The defence lawyer for these men was John A Macdonald.
1869  Timothy Eaton opened the door of his dry goods shop on Yonge St. in Toronto.
1941  The United States entered World War II as the US Congress declared war against Japan one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
1980  Rock musician John Lennon was shot to death outside his New York City apartment building by Mark David Chapman.

Dec 9
1608  John Milton, English poet and scholar,  was born in London.
1854  The poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, was published in England.
1858  Robert Baldwin, champion of responsible government and joint premier of Canada from 1848 to 1851, died near Toronto.
1934  Judi Dench, actress, was born.
1965  A power failure at Niagara Falls caused a blackout in a large part of Ontario and the US northeast.
2004  Canada's Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was constitutional.

Dec 10
1520  Martin Luther publicly burned the papal edict demanding that he recant or face excommunication.
1813  American forces burned Niagara and Queenston before retreating to the US.
1820  Robert Randall, an Ottawa valley entrepreneur, lost his "empire" to creditors.
1851  Melvil Dewey, American librarian famous for creating the Dewey Decimal Classification system, was born.  Died Dec. 26, 1931.
1949  Royal assent was given to the Trans-Canada Highway Act.

04 December 2011

Timeline Dec 4 to 6

Dec 4
1585  John Cotton, American Puritan leader, was born. Died Dec. 23, 1652.
1835  Sir Richard Cartwright, finance minister for Canada from 1873-8 and minister of trade and commerce from 1896-1911, was born at Kingston.
1837  Lt-Col Robert Moodie, a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812, was fatally shot trying to warn Lt-Gov Sir Francis Bond that armed rebels were advancing on Toronto.
1838  A force of American and Canadian supporters of William Lyon Mackenzie crossed from Detroit to Windsor capturing the town and burning militia barracks before being routed by Canadian militia under Col John Prince.

Dec 5
1782  Martin Van Buren, the eighth U.S. president 1837-41, was born in Kinderhook, N.Y. [He is my 3rd cousin 6 times removed!]
1837  William Lyon Mackenzie lead a force down Yonge St (Toronto) to Gallow's Hill, where they encountered government troops. Fighting lasted only a few minutes with the rebels retreating to Montgomery's Tavern.
1904  Desmond Burke, the youngest ever marksman to win the King's Prize at Bisley, England in 1924, was born on Ottawa.
1925  The Ottawa Senators won the Grey Cup for the first time when they defeated the Winnipeg Tigers 42-1.

Dec 6
1678  Father Louis Hennepin, sailing from Dominique La Motte de Luciere up the Niagara River, was the first European to record seeing Niagara Falls.
1896  Ira Gershwin, American lyricist of Broadway musicals and films, was born.

Gene-O-Rama 2012 Cancelled

For those of you who were not already aware, Ottawa Branch OGS will not be holding it's annual Gene-O-Rama in 2012 as we will be co-hosting OGS Conference 2012 in Kingston on 1-3 June 2012.  We do not have the volunteers to handle both events. Conference information can be found here.

Ottawa Branch will also be hosting the 2012 Region VIII Genealogy Day on 21 Apr 2012 at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa. Speakers will include Rick Roberts of Global Genealogy, Robert SerrĂ© of the Gloucester Historical Society and a representative from the City of Ottawa Archives. See here for more details .