30 March 2014

Trains and Tombstones

I know that there is at least one other person who shares both of my hobbies of Genealogy and Model Railroading. So it seems an auspicisous year to have them both converge a couple of times this year. 

My previous blog describes the participation of Ottawa's genealogy community at the Ottawa Zoomer Show on 26-27 April. At the same time, in another room at the Ernst & Young Centre,
the Ottawa 2014 Train Expo show (http://ottawatrainexpo.com/ ) will be taking place. If you are paying the price of parking, why not take in both at the same time.

Likewise, the Ontario Genealogical Society's Conference 2014 is taking place in St Catharines from 1-4 May (http://www.ogs.on.ca/conference2014/index.php). Not far away at Niagara College, Grapevine Express 2014, the annual Niagara Frontier Region of the National Model Railroad Association Regional Convention, is being held (http://www.grapevineexpress.ca/).

The railroads were a big part of Canadian history and heritage. Many of our ancestors either worked for the railroad, travelled on the railroad or otherwise had dealings with the railroad.

I hope to see you at one or more of these events.

27 March 2014

Ottawa Zoomer Show 26/27 April

The Ontario Genealogical Society, British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) and the City of Ottawa Archives will share a booth at the Ottawa Zoomer Show on 26 & 27 Apr at the Ernst & Young Centre, 4899 Uplands Drive.

The groups get to share 250 free tickets to the Zoomer Show. Below is the link to get a free ticket.

DO NOT Print one if you are volunteering for the event as you get in free. And CARP members also get free admission, so you do not need a free ticket from us.

Print off the tickets for free admission to the show at:

For more information on the show: http://www.zoomershow.com/events/ottawa2014/
Scroll down to see a floor plan and a list of the other exhibitors.

Come on out and drop by our booth to chat about family history.

20 March 2014

An Invitation to Join the Ottawa Branch Council

Would you like to increase your involvement in Ottawa Branch activities? Becoming a member of the Branch Council is a fulfilling way in which to use your skills and interests to help sustain and improve services for fellow members. The camaraderie is rewarding too!

The terms of several of our current Executive Committee members end at our Annual General Meeting on 21 Jun 2014. In accordance with our Bylaws, elections must be held at that time to fill vacant positions. The Nominations Committee is now looking for members who would be willing to stand for election. If you would be interested in finding out about Branch Council roles and discussing how you could contribute your energy and talents to the future success of the Branch, see http://ogsottawa.on.ca/home/about-2/ or contact Mike More at pastchair@ogsottawa.on.ca.

Consider running for a position at our upcoming Jun elections. Your support is needed to handle the tasks of Publications Sales, Member-at Large, Mail and other key positions.

16 March 2014

Gene-O-Rama March 21-22, 2014

The 30th Gene-O-Rama takes place only a week away on March 21-22.  If you haven't already registered, there is still time!  Registration information can be found here:  http://ogsottawa.on.ca/gene-o-rama/

We are really excited for this year's event!  We have lined up some great presentations for you.  Here are just a few you can look forward to:

  • Excited to learn more about the largest collection of genealogical information on the planet at Gene-O-Rama?  Even if you have used familysearch.org before, Shirley-Ann Pyefinch will tell you about all the newest features! 
  • Get ready to identify your genes!  Anglo-Celtic Connections blogger John Reid is ready to untangle your 'Genetic Genealogy'. 
  • Local genealogy guru Glenn Wright and Ancestry.ca's Lesley Anderson will be educating us about the Military settlements in Richmond, Perth and Lanark - and since many Canadians can trace their ancestry to Eastern Ontario, there should be useful information for almost everyone! 
  • Wherethestorytakesme.ca author Jane MacNamara from Toronto will be telling us about the evolution of women's property rights in Ontario - and the records associated with land ownership contain some of the richest genealogical treasures out there. 
  • Hoping to learn more about your First World War ancestor? The work being done by volunteers at the Rideau Township History Society and the Rideau Branch of the City of Ottawa Archives should showcase sources you can use while learning more about the young men from Rideau Township who gave their lives during that global conflict. 
  • Hoping to overcome your brickwall at Gene-O-Rama?  Ken McKinlay is ready to educate you about various ways to work around them, using real-life examples!  
See you there!

09 March 2014

Latest additions to the Ottawa branch library

--from our Librarian, Grace Lewis

We’ve had 10 additions to the Library in February. Come in to 100 Tallwood Drive to have a look at these books or to check out the rest of our collection. You can access our database by going to http://ogsottawa.on.ca/library/ and typing in any keyword you want. The database searches the title, author name and description. Currently, only the more recently acquired books have descriptions but my aim is to have a description for the majority of the nearly 5000 volumes in our collection.

February’s acquisitions included:

  1. As the Pages Turn... (donated by Friends of Library and Archives Canada)
    This signed volume covers the history of Athens, ON previously known as Farmersville (prior to that it was known as Wiltsetown), in the Young Township. The area was surveyed in 1783 as a possible site for the settlement of United Empire Loyalists. The Table of Contents includes: The First Settlers; Farmersville History; The Story of Education in Athens; The Churches; Bethuel Loverin Visits Farmersville Industries; Athens Oldest Businesses; Athens Fires and Athenian Builders.
  2. Charlotte: The Last Suffragette
    Canada's “Woman Newsmaker of the Year” six times during the 1950s and 1960s, Charlotte Whitton made headlines regularly as mayor of Ottawa. But she was no stranger to the spotlight. Prior to becoming the first female mayor of a Canadian city, Charlotte had already made an international name for herself as a driving force in the developing field of social welfare. A determined feminist, Charlotte is famous for saying, "Whatever she does-- Oh! Doesn't every woman know it! -- She must do twice as well as any man to be thought just half as good." It was this attitude that propelled her from humble beginnings in the Ottawa Valley to become an advisor to and combatant of legislators and policy makers, at home and around the world.
  3. Ontario Catholic Directory: A Guide to Roman Catholic Churches in Southern Ontario: 2006 (donated by the Friends of Library and Archives Canada)
    This booklet was offered to help locate Roman Catholic churches in Southern Ontario.
  4. Organization for the Professional Genealogist (donated by Barrie Burns)
    The professional genealogist needs to have particularly well focused aims and well-developed techniques to deal with the logistical problems of dealing with many lines of research. This book shows you how to cope with these unique organizational challenges.
  5. The Anglican Churches of Kingston (donated by Friends of the Library and Archives Canada)
    This book is really an account of the Anglican churches in the Kingston area. It began with an effort to set in order the dates pertaining to the various churches. Some confusion existed between dates of founding, laying the corner stones and consecration. The churches mentioned include: St. George’s Cathedral; St. Mark’s Barriefield; St. James; St. Paul’s; Wolfe Island; St. John’s; All Saints; Christ Church, Cataraqui; St. Luke’s; Church of the Good Shepherd; Church of the Redeemer; St. Thomas, Reddendale; St. Peter’s, Collins Bay.
  6. The Parish Register of Kingston Upper Canada, 1785-1811 (donated by the Friends of Library and Archive Canada, 2014)
    This indexed Parish Register of Kingston kept by the Rev. John Stuart, the first missionary of the Church of England in Upper Canada, covers the years 1785 to 1811, the whole period of his rectorship. This volume contains large numbers of names of inhabitants of Upper Canada other than those whose domicile was in Kingston as he carried out his missionary work between Point au Bodet and the Onondaga reserve on the Grand River (now known as the Ottawa River), to preach and baptize, to perform marriages and bury the dead. In the marriages can be traced the beginnings of the famous “Family Compact”. Military men, naval officers, judges, magistrates, members of the Legislature, doctors, merchants, traders, farmers re all found, whether they were Loyalists or French-Canadians, immigrants from the British Isles or from the United States, or loyal Mohawk Indians. Among the loyalists appear German names in abundance with a few which seem to be of Dutch origin. The religious affiliations were probably as various as the nationalities and as the countries whence the settlers came.
  7. Goulbourn Township Papers (this microfilm was donated by Jim Stanzell)
    This microfilm, which is a copy of MS 658 Reel 163 from the Archives of Ontario, contains the earliest land files for Goulbourn Township. If a document letter mentions a specific lot and contains nothing of general interest, it has been defined as a Township Paper. The Township Papers are arranged alphabetically, by township, village or town. The internal arrangement for Townships is by concession and lot. In villages and towns the papers are arranged alphabetically by name of location. The Township Papers contain copies of Orders-in-Council, location certificate and location tickets, assignments, certificate of settlement duties, copies of receipts, some correspondence, copies of Surveyor-General's descriptions and a few Letter Patents of Crown Leases and Grants.
  8. Beechwood Cemetery Data, Old Format
    While clearing up some of the backlog, I came across this fiche and decided to keep it on our shelves for now. This fiche package was developed c.1989 from the transcription done by the Ottawa Branch, OGS.
  9. Wesleyan Methodist Baptismal Register Master Index
    This fiche package is another item that I came across while doing some clean up and added it to our database.

    In June 1843, representatives at the Annual Conference of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada resolved that a General Register (WMBR) of births and baptisms be kept at the Conference office in Toronto. Each year, every ordained minister was provided with a ruled book in which he was required to make uniform entries of births and baptisms. At the end of the year, the minister returned this book to the Conference Office and the entries were copied into the General Register. The original WMBR which includes baptisms primarily in Ontario but also in parts of Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, is located in the United Church/Victoria University Archives in Toronto, ON, Canada. The Wesleyan Methodist Baptismal Register Transcription Project grouped the records geographically into Counties and Districts. Each publication includes an Introduction, Map, Users' Guide, Bibliography of Additional Sources, List of Clergy, List of Places of Baptisms, Baptismal Records Transcription and a Nominal Index.

    Area transcriptions are available for purchase from various Branches in OGS. The area transcriptions cover the counties of: Algoma District, Brant, Bruce, Carleton, Dufferin, Dundas, Durham, Elgin, Essex, Frontenac, Glengarry, Grenville, Grey, Haldimand, Haliburton, Halton, Hastings, Huron, Kenora & Rainy River, Kent, Lambton, Lanark, Leeds, Lennox & Addington, Lincoln, Manitoulin, Middlesex, Muskoka District, Nipissing, Norfolk, Northumberland, Ontario, Oxford, Parry Sound, Peel, Perth, Peterborough, Prescott, Prince Edward, Renfrew, Russell, Simcoe, Stormont, Sudbury, Victoria, Waterloo, Welland, Wellington, Wentworth, York and Yukon. As well, transcriptions are available for parts of the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Yukon. There are also some transcriptions from the United States.

    We have the Registers for the Counties of Russell, Renfrew, Prescott, Lanark and Carleton available on our shelves under Dewey # 971.3 WMBR.
  10. Writing Family Histories and Memoirs
    This book is for people who want to give a lively view of themselves, the people in their family and the period in which they lived. It is for the genealogist who wants to add writing skills to their professional research expertise. It is also for teachers who would like to give students some purpose for writing other than to fulfill a grade assignment.