31 August 2013

Ottawa Branch Meeting - Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ottawa Branch Meeting

Saturday, September 14, 2013
13:00 – 15:15
Free refreshments and networking

City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Room 115

Speaker: Shirley-Ann Pyefinch

Topic: FamilySearch for Now and Into the Future

In this presentation, Shirley-Ann Pyefinch will detail the features of the FamilySearch website, explain how to use the tools and information resources available in order to be able to create and leave a legacy for future generations.

Shirley-Ann Pyefinch has served since 2005 as the Director for the Ottawa Ontario Stake Family History Centre of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has lectured at various societies, and conferences. She teaches family history classes, preservation workshops, and hosts annual family history conferences at the centre.

This meeting will be simulcast for members who can't join us in person.
To join the meeting, go to: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/ottawaogs/

If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before:
Test your connection: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm
Get a quick overview: http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect.html

OGS Heritage Societies: Fathers of Confederation

Fathers of Confederation Hertiage CertificateThis lineage society, established by the Ontario Genealogical Society, is open to anyone who can prove descent from one of these 36 officially-named Fathers of Confederation:
Sir Adams George Archibald, George Brown, Sir Alexander Campbell, Sir Frederick Carter, Sir George-Etienne Cartier, Sir Edward Barron Chandler, Sir Jean-Charles Chapais, Sir James Cockburn, George Coles, Robert B. Dickey, Charles Fisher, Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt, Col John Hamilton Gray, Sir John Hamilton Gray, Sir Thomas Heath Haviland, William Alexander Henry, Sir William Pearce Howland, John Mercer Johnson, Sir Hector-Louis Langevin, Andrew Archibald Macdonald, Sir John A. Macdonald, Jonathan McCully, William Alexander McDougall, Thomas D’Arcy McGee, Peter Mitchell, Sir Oliver Mowat, Edward Palmer, William Henry Pope, John William Ritchie, Sir Ambrose Shea, William H. Steeves, Sir Etienne-Paschal Tache, Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley, Sir Charles Tupper, Edward Whelan, and/or Robert Duncan Wilmot.
Click here for full details and an application form for the Fathers of Confederation Society.

If you require more information or assistance with your Fathers of Confederation Society application, please contact our membership coordinator at: membership@ogs.on.ca

17 August 2013

You Don’t Need to Know What You’re Looking For But You Do Need to Know What You’ve Found

Are you new to family history research? If you are doing the work to produce a family history, you will want it to be useful to your descendants and other relatives. Where do you learn the best methods?  When do you use abbreviations? How do you record a place? How do you record a married woman? What if they don’t spell their name like we do? How do you cite your sources? What other information can you find on-line? Where can you find more information on your family? Where do you find out about computer programs? How do you handle old photographs? And much much more.


Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has been bringing together people who share a common interest in genealogy for more than forty years.  Learn how to make use of the information that you find on line and in other research facilities. The Society has 3500 members. Ottawa Branch holds our own monthly meetings as well as an annual conference where speakers share their knowledge and experience on a wide variety of genealogical subjects. We produce quarterly journals with valuable tips and idea. Our reference library of useful information is housed in the City of Ottawa Central Archives.

There are also special interest groups in Ottawa Branch for Irish Research and Computers.
Ottawa Branch OGS:

16 August 2013

Colonel By Day, Ottawa, Ontario. August 5, 2013

Colonel By Day, Ottawa, Ontario. August 5, 2013

The day turned out to be a great day for this celebration. The weather cooperated with no rain. It was sunny mostly with a little breeze coming off the Ottawa River and funneling up the Rideau Canal entrance locks in Ottawa.

 Elizabeth and I along with Kyla and Mike looked after the Ottawa Branch Ontario Genealogical Society table for the day. We talked to a number of people during the day. There were a lot of people passing by but the traffic in the Exhibition tent seemed to be lighter than usual.
Three of us, Elizabeth, Edward and Kyla dressed up in costumes representing different time periods. I know that I did attract a little attention, as a number of people asked to take my photograph. Kyla had a demonstration of book binding and even made it on the CTV news that evening for about 5 to 10 seconds.

 The one group that did attract attention was the 78th Fraser Highlanders Fort Glen Garrison. This is a re-enactment group staffed by students. They had a great drum and fife band and presented mini concerts throughout the day. There were many people dressed in costume wandering around during the day. There was the annual celebration at the Irish Workers Memorial cross beside the canal.
To find out more about Colonel John By do a goggle search and look at the Wikipedia article.
Also have a look at Council of Heritage Organizations of Ottawa (CHOO)website under events. www.choocopo.ca/english/.

Goulbourn Museum’s bid brings war medals home

The Goulbourn Museum yesterday had the winning bid in the purchase of the medals belonging to Clarence Rielly, a former Richmond resident who served in both the First and Second World Wars. And Ottawa Branch was pleased to contribute to the funds raised for the purchase. You can read more about the acquisition in the Ottawa Citizen at http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Goulbourn+Museum+brings+medals+home/8795028/story.html. Congratulations.

14 August 2013

CBC Radio One - Ottawa Morning - 1921 Census

Hi everyone:
You may be interested in the following.

Elizabeth and I were invited to be interviewed on CBC Radio One - Ottawa Morning, about the 1921 Canadian Census.

The interview took place today at about 6:25 a.m.

The interview can be found at:


Go to the Featured Audio section on the right side of the page and use the sliding bar to look for 1921 Census.


It was an experience and so early in the morning!

13 August 2013

LAC Answers Questions about Release of 1921 Census

On Monday, August 12, 2013 I was pleased to be contacted by M. Fabien Lengellé, Director General, Content Access Branch of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) who was very happy to answer questions about the release of the 1921 Census of Canada raised by members of The Ontario Genealogical Society.  I shall try to summarize his information below:

Why did LAC go to an outside source and eventually select Ancestry to manage this project?
Going to an outside provider:
  • Freed up LAC staff and funds for other important digitization projects such as the upcoming First World War commemoration project and the microfilm reel project with Canadiana, including the Upper Canada Sundries now available at: http://heritage.canadiana.org.ca/
Ancestry’s proposal was far better than the others submitted as it:
  • Offered  a fully bi-lingual solution, a robust IT platform and almost no production delays;
  • Was financially neutral to both users and the public purse – free access to the documents online; no staff time, effort or project coordination; no IT staff support; and, no cash investment from LAC;
  • Provides a broad network of free distributors across Canada – municipal libraries — which are covered by Ancestry province-wide licenses.  This provides free access almost everywhere and promotes libraries, which is one of the LAC mandates.
Does Ancestry now have exclusive rights to these images?
  • LAC retains all rights to the 1921 Canada Census and, after three (3) years, will get a copy of the index produced by Ancestry;
  • LAC will then publish the index on their own website through their recently redesigned census platform;
  • Other organizations are welcome to consult the census on the Ancestry site and prepare their own private index should it better meet their needs than the one created by Ancestry.
Why have the microfilms or images not been available at Library and Archives Canada until now?
  • LAC has a microfilm copy for preservation purposes only;
  • The free online images are a much better dissemination vehicle as they require no shipping and are available worldwide instantly.
How do people browse the free images?
  • Go to: http://www.ancestry.ca/cs/ca/census; scroll down to the 1921 Census icon and click “Start browsing”;
  • Take a moment to read about the census, especially the questions asked;
  • Click “Start browsing” again;
  • On the right, choose a Province from the drop-down menu and a District.  Then scroll through the Sub-Districts below to find the description of the one you seek;
  • A screen saying “View Free Records with a Free Account” will appear the first time if you do not already have an Ancestry subscription.  This is not the same as a trial subscription;
  • Enter your name and an email address.  Ancestry requires an email address for this free account to browse free records but not financial information (e.g., credit card information);
  • If you are not comfortable providing your current email address, set up a free one first through Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo or others who provide this service and use that one with Ancestry;
  • Access through a library computer can be done anonymously.
What should be done if an error is discovered (e.g., missing pages or sections of pages or poorly digitized images)?
  • Temporarily, errors should be sent to cdoezie@ancestry.com.  Ancestry will develop a feedback tool soon and errors will then be reported through it.
M. Lengellé wishes to acknowledge the daily help LAC receives from members such as ours who report errors in their census collection.  This collaboration benefits everyone.  I wish to thank M. Lengellé for contacting me with answers to our questions and for seeking others during the day when members contacted OGS about errors and image problems.  We plan to have further conversations in the near future to continue the renewed dialogue between Library and Archives Canada and The Ontario Genealogical Society.  I look forward to this opportunity.
Thank you all for your continued vigilance on behalf of our archival documents.
If further questions arise, please contact me at president@ogs.on.ca.

Shirley L. Sturdevant, President
The Ontario Genealogical Society

10 August 2013

Library and Archives Canada and Ancestry Partnership Results in Release of 1921 Canadian Population Census

Genealogists with Canadian ancestry have been watching Library and Archives Canada (LAC) since they took custody of the 1921 Census of the Canadian population from Statistics Canada on June 1, 2013 after the required 92 years.  The Ontario Genealogical Society, along with many other organizations and individuals, sent letters to Library and Archives Canada, The Hon. Stephen Harper Prime Minister of Canada, The Hon. James Moore then Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and local Members of Parliament. We advocated for the protection of Library and Archives Canada and our Canadian archival documents and for the timely release of the census.  As President of The Ontario Genealogical Society and its 3500 members I offered to be a part of the consultation process.  Unfortunately all formal communication with parties outside of Library and Archives Canada ceased.  We were eventually told that dialogue was already in progress with a third party and that LAC was committed to making the 1921 Canada Census “rich and complex information accessible and available to all Canadians no matter where they live…”
On Thursday, August 8, 2013 LAC and Ancestry made separate announcements regarding their partnership to make this Canadian census available to the public.  At present, the census images can be browsed for free online at www.ancestry.ca and users are told to return for updates since the collection will be indexed this year. To quote LAC, “Canadians will be required to pay for the extra convenience of doing advanced searches from their home.”  Free access will be available in person at Library and Archives Canada and through hundreds of libraries across Canada subscribing to Ancestry.ca.
Although The Society is very pleased that these images are finally available to the public, we are concerned about its release through a subscription site. The lack of consultation with Canadian heritage organizations ignored their skills, experience and offers of assistance.  Details of the arrangement are still unfolding and we hope that answers to our questions will be forthcoming regarding the arrangement between Library and Archives Canada and Ancestry.  Was there no Canadian organization that could handle this? Is this deal exclusive to Ancestry?  Has LAC given away its rights to use the digitized images later on their own web page, indexed or not?  Might other organizations have access to the images and produce their own indexes as has been done successfully in the past, perhaps then making the information free to all?  For how long will there be free access to the raw images or indexed information on the Ancestry.ca site?  Is there a limit to the number of years Ancestry will have the sole rights before the census might appear elsewhere or is this material solely in their hands? What of access to the other census schedules? Why have the microfilms or images not been available at Library and Archives Canada until now?   There are many unanswered questions being asked by our members and others in the heritage community.  We look forward to more details.
The 1921 Canada Census was taken at a very critical time in Canada’s history.  For many family researchers whose ancestors immigrated to Canada after the First World War, this is the first opportunity to have some insight into their families on North American soil.  For many born in other lands, birth and marriage records may be difficult to find.  This census provides a picture of the individuals and families who resided in Canada on June 1, 1921.  Responses to the 35 questions on the population schedule alone will possibly answer many questions about the family and perhaps provide leads to other sources.
Take advantage of these images to investigate your family in 1921.  Continue to be vigilant in helping to safeguard our heritage archival documents.  Together we represent those no longer living to ensure their lives and contributions to our country are not forgotten.  Speak for them whenever you see the need.

Shirley L. Sturdevant, President
The Ontario Genealogical Society

08 August 2013

Census of Canada 1921 Now Available to Researchers

Census of Canada 1921 Now Available to Researchers 

Library and Archives Canada announcement
August 8, 2013

Canadians can now browse the 1921 Census of the Canadian population, free of charge on Ancestry.ca.
Researchers can explore the 197,529 pages of information through an index of districts and sub-districts. Ancestry.ca will also take the extra step of indexing 8.8 million names, addresses and other information for a searchable database, and developing advanced search tools to go along with it. Canadians will be required to pay for the extra convenience of doing advanced searches from their home. They will do this at their own cost, and will be offered a choice of free or paid access.
  • Free access will be possible in person at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and through hundreds of subscribing libraries across Canada.
  • Free access to raw census records will be available online.
  • Paid access will only be necessary if someone wants the extra convenience of doing advanced searches from home.
Individuals can make the most of their visit in Library and Archives Canada’s reading room in Ottawa by preparing in advance and consulting Preparing for a Visit or viewing the Orientation Services for Clients at 395 Wellington video or reading the blog post, The Top Five Things You Need to Know Before You Visit.
Canadians can access censuses taken before 1921 on Library and Archives Canada’s Census webpage.

03 August 2013

How's Your Summer?

Sorry that things have been quiet here for a while but this has been a busy summer for The Ontario Genealogical Society and Ottawa Branch. I wish that I could claim that I had been away researching my family or busy working on my tree but it has been “official business” for the most part. Since the OGS Conference at the beginning of June, I’ve attended twenty meetings, most on line but a couple in person. So what’s going on?
            Probably the biggest item on the agenda is the OGS Governance Review. If you are an OGS member, you already know of the report of the Governance Review Committee and its recommendations to change how The Society is organized at the Provincial Level. The report itself is in the OGS Members Only portion of the website and your Branch Chair should be able to update you on progress. There have been calls for volunteers recently to help out with some of the Task Forces needed to move this along, with more to come. It is hoped that we will have proposed Bylaw changes out to the membership later this year for a vote to implement the new format at the Annual General Meeting in 2014. We can use your help to make this happen.
            Speaking of that, Conference 2014 in St Catharines will be a month earlier than normal, 1-4 May 2014 at Brock University. See: http://www.ogs.on.ca/conference2014/index.php for additional details as they become available.
            One of my meetings this summer was the initial get-together for OGS Conference 2017 which will be held here in Ottawa as part of the 150th birthday celebrations. We have the basis of a Committee but still need some key players, such as a Treasurer, Publicity and Social Media, as well as assistance with other teams like Program and Facilities. If you would like to be involved with us, contact me at Conference2017@ogs.on.ca .
            One of the other Calls for volunteers has been to form a new Conference Advisory Committee to advise host branches as they plan our annual Conference. The committee will share experience and expertise regarding past conferences and will work to develop continuity between conferences.  Anyone interesting in serving on the Conference Advisory Committee is requested to contact p@ogs.on.ca. For the complete Call for Members, please visit the OGS Committees Page: http://www.ogs.on.ca/home/structure4.php#adhoc .
            At Ottawa Branch, we managed to fill most of the Board positions at the AGM in June. Jim Stanzell is still recovering, so mail orders are a bit slow with John Patton and me trying to fill Jim’s shoes over the summer. Progress continues on indexing the Branch Library collection of family histories, scrapbooks and other key holdings. We have added a number of publications to the OGS e-Store, including our entire set of Carp Review notices as well as BMDs from Early Ottawa Newspapers CD-ROM, a number of the local cemeteries and census. Check out the availability at http://www.ogs.on.ca/ogscart/index.php.
            We recently added our first item to the OGS Pay-Per-View site. This is the four page Bancroft Times of 7 December 1894 from our scrapbook collection. All the names are indexed in TONI (http://www.ogs.on.ca/integrated/toni_database1.php) and the individual pages can be viewed at the City of Ottawa Archives or the mages purchased on-line for 50 cents apiece. For those of you not familiar with TONI (The Ontario Name Index), it as an ongoing project to index all genealogical and historical publications related to Ontario. The index is free to all and points to the source which may be a document in the OGS e-Store or PPV site or may be an item available free. Ottawa Branch has currently indexed 200 publications, including 81 family histories or scrapbooks.
            Things continue to move ahead over the summer as we strive to make life better for genealogists researching in Ontario. 'Many hands make light work'  If you’d like to be part of the team, contact me at vp@ogs.on.ca