Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Night for All Souls - Vancouver BC - October 25 - November 2, 2014

Don't miss the 10th annual All Souls celebrations at Vancouver's Mountain View Cemetery.  The events begin Saturday, October 25, from 6-10 pm.

The Cemetery's Celebration Hall will be open 6 to 9 pm for tea, personal memorial making and evening programming throughout the entire memorial week until Sunday, November 2.

 For more information, see:

This year I will be reflecting particularly on those of my family who served, and some who died in World War I.  A number of Canada's war dead from both World War I and II are buried at Mountain View, and many more are remembered on family headstones. 

Mountain View Cemetery - at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Canadian World War I dead, Jones section, Mountain View Cemetery, City of Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photograph, M. Diane Rogers, November 2013.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Canada and the "War Brides" at Library and Archives Canada - World Wars I and II

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has added a new page for 'War Brides'. This is a very good thing, as here LAC points to a good number of record collections with information about war time miltary related marriages, going beyond the most obvious ones.

But I, of course, feel I must quibble.

'War brides', LAC says, are defined as "foreign civilian women who married Canadian soldiers serving overseas during the First and Second World Wars." 

By? ( the Canadian military?) There is no doubt most of these women were British, so not 'foreign',  but British subjects same as most women born in Canada. (And by the way, LAC, during WW I, Irish women were also British.)

And not all were civilians either. Possibly the assistance offered to civilian women, and dependants, if applicable, was not the same as extended to military women and not reflected in most of LAC's record collections. However if yours was a military bride, don't let LAC deter you, as for example, one of the record sets listed is 'Arrival of CWAC from overseas. Arrangements on Debarkation, 1943-1945'.  CWAC stands for Canadian Women's Army Corps (WWII).

And I think there must have been at least a few brides other than overseas ones (and a few grooms). And LAC does make just a brief reference to women leaving Canada with or to join new husbands. "Library and Archives Canada also holds departure records for Canadian women who married servicemen from other Allied nations."  I would think that USA/Canada Border records or other United States records may reference 'war marriages' either in the USA or Canada involving Canadians marrying USians too.

Not all war marriages may have been treated equally, depending on the status of the bride or groom.  LAC lists '​Immigration; admission of fiancées of citizens of Chinese origin; enlargement of quota for India, 1956'.

In some cases, likely sad ones, LAC files may provide information on women and families after their arrival in Canada, for instance, in these files 'Assistance to dependents re desertion, bigamy, illegitimacy, 1940-47'. And passenger records will show some brides either leaving Canada later or visiting 'home' later on.

My own parents' marriage was a 'war marriage'. Both were British subjects and born in Canada. Both were in the Canadian military; they met and married in the United States. LAC does, I know, have records noting their marriage.   Be sure to look at the entire file for your military person, if possible. This will be easier for Canadian WW I military once the files are all digitized and on-line, but seeing a WW II file may involve a longer process. And, in some cases, when a military person did not marry, but had, or was deemed responsible for, a child, there may well be information in the military files.

Don't neglect newspapers in your search. You will find articles about marriages and arrivals - even photos - as these marriages were of wide interest. Reading Library and Archives Canada's files may give you dates of marriage or arrivals, etc. to search by, or you may be lucky and find that a relevant newspaper has been indexed or even digitized and on-line.


War Brides, Library and Archives Canada (LAC):  http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/Pages/war-brides.aspx

For more about WW I and WW II 'war brides, I recommend highly these two researcher's websites and publications:

WW I - Canadian War Brides of the First World War by Annette Fulford: http://ww1warbrides.blogspot.ca

WW II - Canadian War Brides by Melynda Jarratt: http://www.canadianwarbrides.com

Sunday, August 03, 2014

What is "The Commonwealth" - as in The Commonwealth Games or The Commonwealth Short Story Prize?

It's Day 10 of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Canada is in third place overall right now, with 31 gold, 16 silver and 33 bronze medals. Go Canada!

With all this on the news, a few people have asked me what The Commonwealth is and I said I'd post some links they could explore.

Yes, two were Canadians, but much younger than I am. To me, the idea of the (originally British) Commonwealth was part of my Canadian identity. Is it still relevant? I do believe so as now The Commonwealth connects Canada with many more varied countries than our other better known economic and political relationships.

The Commonwealth since 1949 has been a voluntary association of independent countries spanning the globe, now 53 countries with over 2.2 billion citizens.

While the 'British Commonwealth' began as countries in the British Empire gained their independence, the Commmonwealth today includes countries unassociated with the British Empire or the United Kingdom, for example, the latest member countries, Rwanda and Mozambique.

The most significant Commonwealth statistic today to me is that 60% of Commonwealth people are under 30 years of age. They are the future of the world.

The Commonwealth - the official website: http://thecommonwealth.org

Commonwealth map, Atlas of Canada (jpg/pdf): http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/reference/international/commonwealth

53 independent countries - map with list http://thecommonwealth.org/member-countries

Profile Commonwealth, BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16842428

Timeline - The Commonwealth, BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/1554513.stm

Commonwealth Games Canada - Canada hosted the very first Commonwealth Games in 1930. Then the Games were known as the British Empire Games; renamed as the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954 and the British Commonwealth Games in 1970: http://www.commonwealthgames.ca/

Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the guardian organization of Commonwealth nations' military graves: http://www.cwgc.org/

WW II, British Commonwealth Air Training Plan: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/second-world-war/british-commonwealth-air-training-plan

WW II, Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada: http://www.airmuseum.ca/

Bomber Command Museum of Canada, Trenton, Alberta, particularly for those interested in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Alberta, WW II: http://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca/index.html

Commonwealth Foundation: http://www.commonwealthfoundation.com/projects

Royal Commonwealth Society - Canada http://www.rcs.ca/index.php

Commonwealth Oral History Project - 1965, Institute of Commonwealth Studies: http://commonwealth.sas.ac.uk/research/cw-oral-history-project

Just for fun - "Queen's quirky Commonwealth gifts go on display", The Telegraph, 19 March 2014:

11 minutes of highlights from the 5th British Empire and Commonwealth Games, 1954, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Filmmaker, Jack Olsen. NFB film: http://www.nfb.ca/film/british_empire_commonwealth_games/

Souvenir sweet dish, 1954 Vancouver, BC, British Empire and Commonwealth Games. Private collection.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - another survey!

It's been a while since I've had time to participate in Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at GeneaMusings, and this time it's a survey. No secret either that I don't think much of most on-line surveys, but we all like to hear what others are doing so here goes.

a)  Which genealogy software programs for your computer do you use (e.g., Family Tree Maker, Reunion, GRAMPS, etc.)?

Legacy -desktop and Families for mobile
- also Heredis - desktop only for now, and once in a long while I still print a chart from Family Tree Maker.

b)  Which online family trees have information submitted by you - in either a separate online tree (e.g., Ancestry Member Tree) or a universal (collaborative) online tree (e.g., WikiTree)?

Oh, dear, how disorganized (or indecisive) this all sounds. Someday I expect I will hit the button and upload a whole tree. (I have 2 main databases - for my parents' families and for my husband's families. Intend to merge them at some point, but seemed easier to keep them separate from the beginning.

Ancestry - a female DNA tree to go with my mitochondrial results transferred there from GeneTree (SMGF).

Ancestry - a play tree I've been building using my mobile.

TribalPages - 2 basic tree sites - up for years now and updated periodically as 'cousin bait'.
- AXNER, BROSTRÖM, ERIKSSEN, JOHANSON, LÖFHOLM, RYDBERG & ZETTERBERG, Sweden to Canada: http://swedesinbc.tribalpages.com/
- SCOTT family: Muiravonside, Dalmeny, Tushielaw, Galashiels, Grangemouth, in Scotland: http://www.tribalpages.com/tribes/mdianerogers

MyHeritage and Geni - little bitty trees

c)  For which subscription genealogy record providers (e.g., Ancestry) do you have a subscription?

At the moment -

Forgot Mocavo.com  Sorry. (I just found something very good there too.)

At my genealogical society library I regularly use Ancestry Library Edition, Genealogical Research Library, and new there - BDA Online — Biographical Database of Australia.
(Usually I do have a personal subscription to Ancestry but have let it go for a bit.)

d)  Which FREE genealogy record providers (e.g., FamilySearch) do you use regularly?

Countless, I think. Main and some favourites - since I've been working on BC and Manitoba families lately

British Columbia Archives
The British Colonist newspaper
Manitoba Vital Statistics database
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Canada - Virtual War Memorial
The Gazettes - Canada, UK

e)  How much time do you spend each week doing actual genealogy research online?  [Note:  not reading, or social networking, but actual searching in a record provider].  Estimate an average number of hours per week.

Guessing but maybe I'll keep track again for a while.
-2 hours average a day - searching and copying etc. Lately this involves a lot of work in digital newspapers for one of my projects.

f)  How much time do you spend each week doing actual genealogy research in a repository (e.g., library, archive, courthouse, etc.)?  Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

Average a year - a day a week. Again maybe I'll try to keep track. I take a couple of research trips a year and I am at one or two local libraries every week for a few hours. I also volunteer at my society library but I'm not counting that time, just my estimate of my own time spent researching family there.  

g)  How much time do you spend each week adding information to your genealogy software program (either on your computer or online)?  Estimate an average number of hours per week over, say, a one month period.

Not nearly enough! A guilt making question, for sure. This year I am way, way behind entering new data. However, I have been keeping up with my back project. I started all this before media could be attached to data entered in programmes, so I've been working on catching up there. (And I've been posting some of this info on-line. Catching up there too.)

h)  How much time do you spend each month at a genealogical society meeting, program or event (not a seminar or conference)?  Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

Monthly meeting - 4 hours; Scandinavian group meeting - 2 hours 10 months a year; Vancouver group meeting - 2 hours; Board meeting - 3 hours; one Committee meeting or other - 3 hours; events - at least one a month - time there ranges from 2 hours to seven or so. (I also volunteer for events, etc. so not including prep time.)

i)  How much time do you spend each month on genealogy education (e.g., reading books and periodicals, attending seminars, conferences, workshops, webinars, etc.)?   Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

I'm reading as often as possible - likely an hour a day for 'genealogical' journals, etc. (Also reading history articles and books.) Attend at least one webinar a month; attend all local genealogical events; usually 2-3 conferences a year and at least one out of town seminar.  During this last year, I attended a couple of conferences part-time virtually too.

 j)  How much time do you spend each week reading, writing and commenting on genealogy blogs, websites, and social media?   Estimate an average number of hours per week over, say, a one month period.

Don't really want to know! But, I am again commenting more than writing on my own blogs. So I'm going to guess 1 1/2 hour a day.   Much of my on-line reading and 'social networking' takes place on the run as I use public transit every day and take advantage of access on my phone.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Only the Best Links for Canadian #Genealogy and Family History - right here at CanadaGenealogy.

It's that time again - Family Tree Magazine has released its list of  "101 Best Genealogy Sites for 2014".  Of course, there are a lot of bones to pick there! But old and experienced as I am (and polite, I'm Canadian after all) I don't usually worry much about these lists. I do read the magazine month to month, along with a number of other publications.

Right here at CanadaGenealogy, I have my list of Essential Canadian #Genealogy Sites and Books.  These are for research into national topics, and are updated often. Follow all the links I offer and you will see the best for each province and territory too and for some very specialized topics.

Not to say I don't look at these broad lists. I am on the hunt for 'new to me' and really new #genealogy websites every day. As a #genealogy teacher, I need to be; I believe all researchers should do this regularly. Just don't forget that usually the 'on the ground' experienced researchers are the first ones you should 'follow'.

However, the list of "Best Canadian Genealogy Websites" did seem downright odd. Was this an afterthought? Suddenly someone remembered the frozen north? (I'm kidding about that frozen part. It's very hot here right now where I am.) 

Listed for Canada were only 4 websites (in this order): Canadiana, Library and Archives Canada, Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics, and Programme de Recherche en Démographie Historique (for Quebec, usually known familiarly as PRDH).  Good enough websites on their own, but all costing $. And together these hardly even touch on Canada's wide expanse of #genealogy websites and records.

Mind you, the list for Continental Europe was only 8 links long. I could rattle off a long list of favourites there too. E-mail me! Or check the British Columbia Genealogical Society's worldwide research links. I curate many of those. (Suggestions welcomed.)

Why did they bother with that Canadian list at all, I wonder. Maybe stirring up a few Canadians on Facebook is good for business? Now that magazine has another link!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Diane's Other Likes - June/July 2014

Here are some other things I've been reading about lately.

I see the Internet Archive blog has noted the death of Zoia Markovna (née Polisar) Horn, librarian activist, 12 July 2014. https://blog.archive.org/2014/07/15/zoia-horn-obit/  Her legacy will live on in the California Library Association's Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award.

Here are a few treat recipes from the olden days in "Cookie Anyone" from historical novelist, Lynn Coleman's 19th Century Historical Tidbits: http://historicaltidbits.blogspot.ca/2014/07/cookie-anyone.html

Many of Canada's volunteers have found themselves working to comply with CASL, Canada's new legislation regarding commercial e-mail messages. (I won't say it's anti-spam because it isn't.)
Michael Geist has a pair of very reasonable articles on this. Yes, Michael, I can't disagree with most of what you say – but while this legislation is hitting some cute little homegrown mice with sledgehammers, the most annoying spam fills up our in boxes as usual.
MichaelGeist.ca Part 1 - 9 July 2014  http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2014/07/defence-canadas-anti-spam-law-part-one-spam-still-problem-new-law-will-help ; Part 2 – 10 July 2014 http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2014/07/defence-canadas-anti-spam-law-part-two-legislation-really-consumer-protection-privacy-law-disguise/

A bit of historical BC fun from The Tyee, a selection from Adrian Raeside's 30 years of political cartoons. There's been lots of sad, annoying and downright maddening news lately, but one thing about British Columbians, we've been making fun of ourselves at least since Amor de Cosmos was our leader (1872). The cartoons are in The Best of Adrian Raeside: A Treasury of BC Cartoons (Harbour Publishing, 2014). http://thetyee.ca/Culture/2014/07/12/Thirty-Years-Adrian-Raeside/

And finally, for all those who say to me, 'don't worry, Diane, someday I'll write down these family stories of mine', Valerie Hughes's article, “I Thought I'd Have More Time!” may convince you that some things just can't wait:

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Today's the day! Where are all the Canadians in #genealogy?

Today I'm going to say here something I've been saying for a long time....

Why is Canadian genealogy so often shown as 'white' and European?  (And too often, mainly British.)

Of course, in the 'big picture', it isn't (and never was). As a British Columbian genealogist, I see plenty of evidence of people researching their family history all around the world, but some newbies might not stay around long enough to learn that on the ground anyone is welcome to join us in this heartfelt, obsessive pursuit.

There's one company - the one with the best known #genealogy name in Canada, I'd wager - which uses an English woman in ads.  And, not an English born, Canada living woman like my one gran who had the edges of her (never plummy) accent rubbed off - but a woman who lives and works in England for that company.

Now for Canada Day, there's a nice enough video again from that company apparently with 'real' Canadians (maybe Ontarians?)  - but all look white (and are only talking about male relatives).

 - "There’s nothing ordinary about being Canadian."

Darn right! Enough of being polite.

Give us something better. Something inclusive! And be quick about it!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Diane's Other Likes - May 2014 (with maybe just a litte #genealogy)

I read a good number of other blog articles each day, mostly on my phone on the train. Many don't fit into my usual #genealogy mode, so I've decided to give a short heads-up once every few weeks to other news and events I'm interested in. I'll be sharing a list of upcoming walking tours and the like soon too.

So for May 2014

First and foremost, the Vancouver Postcard Club's annual Paper and Collectables Show and Sale is this Sunday, May 25 at the Hastings Community Centre in Vancouver. See more info on the Club's website: http://vancouverpostcardclub.ca/?p=747

And one more for this weekend - The Maple Ridge Museum will be at the Bandstand in Memorial Peace Park tomorrow for the year's first outing of "History Goes to Market!  Celebrating the museum's 40th anniversary along with the Haney Farmer's Market's 10th anniversary. Rain or shine! 9 am to 2 pm: http://www.haneyfarmersmarket.org/

And these -

A Cake Bakes in Brooklyn. Some will be astonished that I follow a 'baking' blog, but really, there's lots of history there. And I always learn something. This article is about Matrimony Cake, almost what we call "Matrimonial Bars' but it does look different. Love the instruction to "Cook till mushy". So romantic, eh!  http://www.acakebakesinbrooklyn.com/2014/05/say-i-do-to-matrimony-cake.html

Price Tags, Gordon Price's blog - thought provoking articles, mainly to do with Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where I live. Lots of views on local transit and transportation, for instance - makes me excitable! but here's a good news, feel good, making a difference example about a new community garden area in Vancouver.
Transformation: A Garden in Mount Pleasant written by Scot Bathgate: http://pricetags.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/transformation-a-garden-in-mount-pleasant

Roedde House. Visit this charming home in downtown Vancouver for Tea and a Tour and/or attend one of the Sunday concerts or a Jazz evening: http://www.roeddehouse.org/en/activities/cultural-activities/cultural-activities-xba

Vancouver Heritage Foundation's Heritage Home Tour is on June 1, 2014, Visit 11 remarkable homes. Get your tickets now: http://www.vancouverheritagefoundation.org/

And you knew I'd sneak in some genealogy, right?

Nancy H Vest at Keeping Grandma Alive…and all the others, too has reviewed a new mystery, Hiding the Past: A Genealogical Crime Mystery by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. She liked it, and I'm sure I will too. It's almost on my reader now. (Apparently I needed to update Kindle. Another to-do for today. DONE!)

Memorial Day USA - Kenneth Scott Bates - 52 Ancestors

As this is US Memorial Day weekend, it's certainly a good time to research your USA military members and families for free. I'm thinking particularly of one of my US veteran cousins today, Kenneth Scott Bates (1919-1998), son of Edward Kimball Bates and Harriott(e) Alice Louise Scott. Kenneth was very interested in his family history and shared information and documents when he visited us in Vancouver, BC.

There are several offers for free access to selected military records.

To May 26 Ancestry: http://www.ancestry.com/cs/us/memorialday2014

And all May - Fold3: http://go.fold3.com/wwii/ The newest records at Fold3 are for US Medal of Honor recipients. For more about this collection, see this Fold3 blog article: http://blog.fold3.com/medal-of-honor-recipients

To May 26 My Heritage: http://pages.myheritage.com/memorialday

My Heritage is my current favourite of the BIG commercial websites. I made a somewhat surprising discovery there last night, in fact. So far, My Heritage seems to have a wide range of types and dates of US military records, millions they say, from the War Between the States through to World War II -  too long a list to post.

Don't forget that FamilySearch also has US military records.  I often find that it's helpful to go back and forth. If I can't find someone in one website's indexes, I may find it in another and the information included may be a bit different  - or there may be associated articles to explain certain aspects of the records, as there are at FamilySearch.

BATES, SCOTT family get together, in Montpelier, Vermont, at the Bates home, c. 1920. Kenneth Bates is the young one in the back row here.

Shown are - Front: Janet Muriel Scott, my mum, from Newdale, Manitoba, Canada; Edward Wallace Bates, my cousin.
Second row: Jeannette Bates, my cousin; May Janet (Wood) Scott from Nottawa, Ontario, Canada, born in Bean Hill, Connecticut, USA, my great grandmother; Amy Estella (Irwin) Scott from Newdale, my grandmother; Annie Pollock Scott, my great aunt, also from Nottawa.
Back: Hariott(e) Alice Louise, Hattie, (Scott) Bates, my great aunt, born in Nottawa, Ontario, Canada; and Edward Kimball Bates, Hattie's husband, with their younger son, Kenneth Scott Bates.

Postcard, Made in Canada, black & white, unmailed. I believe the photographer was my grandfather, James Walter Scott from Newdale, born in Nottawa. Individuals were identified by my grandmother, Amy Estella Scott, in the 1960s.