"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gordon Watts Reports - Census Day - 10 May 2011

The Global Gazette - 22 April 2011
By: Gordon A. Watts

Starting on 2 May 2011, all households in Canada will receive a yellow Census package. Census Day 2011 is on 10 May. The Census includes all persons who, on that date, have their main residence in Canada, including newborn babies, room-mates and persons who are temporarily away. It also includes Canadians and their families who are working abroad for the federal and provincial governments, Canadian embassies or the Canadian Armed Forces. It contains the same eight questions from the 2006 short-form questionnaire, with two added questions on language.

About four weeks following receipt of the Census questionnaire, approximately 4.5 million households will receive the new, voluntary, National Household Survey. This survey will include virtually the same questions that were contained in the former mandatory long-form questionnaire. It will include the same 'informed consent' question for release of information 92 years in the future that appears on the Census questionnaire, although at this time there is no legislation stating it will actually be released then... read more story at Global Genealogy

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Workhouse Home Child

Dawn Heuston created this video in honour of her grandfather, William, sister Eliza and her
great uncle Harry Parker and as Dawn says all BHC's who overcame so much - it's marvellous!

You are a talent to behold Dawn...from Gail Collins

Dawn writes:

A digital story in honour of my great uncle whom I discovered while doing my family tree. I discovered he was a British Home Child that was sent by Dr Barnardo's Home to Canada in 1910. He went on to enlist in both our great wars.

If interested in booking the Memory Quilt to display in your area, please contact the designer at gcollen@sympatico.ca

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Celebrating the heritage of Jane Jacobs and the 50th anniversary of her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Backyard Bounty Urban Farming Tour - Jane's Walk - Guelph May 8, 2011

MONTREAL, April 21, 2011 /Canada NewsWire Telbec/ - On the weekend of May 7-8th, Jane's Walk, an event hosted in Montreal by the Montréal Urban Ecology Centre (MUEC), will lead free, guided walking tours in fifteen neighbourhoods on the Island of Montréal.

"The 3rd edition of Jane's Walk in Montréal will offer 25 walks with a variety of themes, allowing us to discover something new about the culture, history, or heritage of neighbourhoods that we may already be very familiar with," says Luc Rabouin, Director of the MUEC. "The walks are organized by volunteer walk leaders who are knowledgeable and passionate about their neighbourhood. Each year, we are blown away by the turnout. We're expecting more than 1,000 participants in 2011," he adds.

Walks in your neighbourhood

Jane's Walk will explore Montréal from north to south, from Villeray to Downtown, on walks in Parc-Extension, Petite-Patrie, Rosemont, the Mile-End, the Portuguese Quarter, the Plateau, and Milton-Parc. It will also travel from west to east, from Notre-Dame-de-Grâce to the Quartier des Spectacles, on walks in Westmount, Outremont, Mont-Royal Park, Côte-St-Paul, Shaughnessy Village, and the Gay Village. The complete program for Jane's Walk is available on the Internet: http://www.urbanecology.net/janeswalk

The heritage of Jane Jacobs

Jane's Walk honours the heritage of Jane Jacobs. 2011 is the 50th anniversary of The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), the book that introduced Jane Jacobs' ground-breaking ideas about how cities function, evolve, and fail. Decades later, it has become a highly influential book for generations of architects, urban planners, politicians, and activists. Jane Jacobs firmly believed in community and that local residents understand best how their neighbourhood works. Her work demonstrates how dense, mixed-use areas are key factors for the health and survival of cities.

International movement

Jane's Walk was inaugurated in Toronto in 2007 by the organization Jane's Walk and is now present in more than 30 Canadian and 70 international cities. This year, more than 500 walks and 12,000 walkers will explore neighbourhood streets around the world. For the first time, Jane's Walk will take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Wuhan, China; Berlin, Germany; Guadalajara, Mexico; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and, Ljubliana, Slovenia.

Financial partners

In Montréal, Jane's Walk is made possible by the financial support of the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux and nationwide Jane's Walks are supported by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, AVANA Capital, the Metcalf Foundation, the Toronto Community Foundation, the Department of Canadian Heritage, GE Canada, and Digital Lunch.

Check out the 2011 Jane's Walk - Guelph

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Halton County Radial Railway Photo Shoot

Note from Caroline Rose:

I am the volunteer Marketing Manager for the Halton County Radial Railway on Guelph Line in Milton. I'm doing a photo shoot for the museum on Sunday, May 29 and I need models. I was wondering if any Guelph Wellington Senior Association members will like to participate.

The shoot will start at 10 a.m. and finish around noon. Participants are welcome to bring a picnic lunch and stay for the rest of the day and wander around the museum and ride the streetcars if they want.

If you have members who are interested please ask them to contact me at:

Contact: Caroline Rose
Email: carolinerrose@yahoo.ca
Phone: 519-835-6766

I'd like to confirm models by May 1 if possible. Thanks!

Conservation work completed at Mather-Walls House in Kenora

KENORA, Ontario, April 18, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Ontario Heritage Trust recently completed significant conservation and repair work at Mather-Walls House. The work will help to ensure the long-term protection and preservation of this important historic site, owned by the Trust and operated by the Lake of the Woods Historical Society.

The recent conservation work and capital repairs included the replacement of all wood shingle and flat roofs, and the repair and repainting of all exterior woodwork, including siding, mouldings, windows and verandas.

"Conservation work is essential to maintaining our heritage," said Dr. Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust. "We are pleased to have completed this project at Mather-Walls House and were delighted to see a high level of interest about it in the community."

The Ontario Heritage Trust purchased Mather-Walls House in 1975 and undertook a complete restoration of the site. Under an agreement with the Trust, the Lake of the Woods Historical Society has operated Mather-Walls House since it opened in 1985. The Society holds its meetings and hosts community events on the premises, and in the summer months conducts public tours.

Commissioned by industrial entrepreneur John Mather for his son David in 1889, Mather-Walls House was designed in the Queen Anne style by Winnipeg architect George Browne. The Mather family was instrumental in the formation of the local milling industry and the growth and modernization of the town. The house was later purchased by local mill foreman John Walls in 1906. Today, the house features furnishings from the era of the Walls family, as well as an interpretive display highlighting the Mather family's significant impact on the area's development.

The Ontario Heritage Trust received financial assistance for the conservation work at Mather-Walls House from the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, announced last year.

The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario, dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage.

Quick facts:

The Ontario Heritage Trust owns 25 built heritage sites and over 160 natural heritage properties across the province.

In addition to the project at Mather-Walls House, the Ontario Heritage Trust received infrastructure stimulus funding to support conservation and repair work at the Hudson's Bay Staff House in Moose Factory, McMartin House and Inge-Va in Perth and Sheppard's Bush Residence in Aurora.

Learn more:

Mather-Walls House is open for visitors from June 20 to August 20, 2011 (9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Saturday). For hours of operation, admission fees, a special events schedule and other information, call Lake of the Woods Historical Society at 807-547-2870 during summer opening hours or leave a message.

For more information on the Ontario Heritage Trust, visit www.heritagetrust.on.ca.

Friday, April 15, 2011

American Experience: Panama Canal

Panama Film

The Panama Canal was quite an undertaking of labor and engineering, and by the time it was completed on August 15th, 1914 the project had been underway (in some form) for well over two decades.

Along the way, over 55,000 workers had been involved, 5,000 people had died during the project's duration, and over 350 million dollars had been spent.

This riveting documentary looks at the history of this project, and visitors can watch the entire program here. The extra features provided here are real treats, and they can be found on the left-hand side of the page. Here visitors will find an interactive map of the Panama Canal region, along with a timeline, and an interview with the program's producer, Amanda Pollak.

Also, the site includes articles on yellow fever, the workers, and the chief engineers of the Canal. Primary resources such as part of the canal record of 1907, suggestions for further reading, and teacher resources round out the site. [KMG]

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2011.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kate Middleton's Canadian Connection and the Real Number of 'Royal' Weddings in 2011 from Ancestry.ca

Analysis of the nation's ancestry reveals Kate and William are not the only royals to get married this year - 9,000+ royal wedding will occur in Canada this year - Ancestry.ca offers free access to Canadian marriage collections

TORONTO, April 14, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - With the royal wedding a mere two weeks away and counting, Ancestry.ca, Canada's leading family history website, is offering free access to its complete collection of Canadian marriage records. For fans of all things royal wedding related, Ancestry.ca has also uncovered a Canadian connection to the family of Catherine Elizabeth Middleton.

Historical records reveal that Miss Middleton's Grandfather, Peter Middleton, spent some of his formative years in Calgary, where he was stationed during the Second World War while training with the Royal Air Force at #37 SFTS (Service Flying Training School). He was first posted to Canada as a flying instructor and it would be more than two years before he finally saw military action, joining 605 Squadron at Manston, Kent, in August 1944.

Peter also visited Canada when he was 17-years-old, arriving with a group of fellow students for a "School Empire Tour Party" in August 1939. Peter is found on a passenger list arriving in Quebec from Liverpool on August 11, 1939 on the SS Andania. Coincidentally, it was Peter Middleton's death in November 2010 that delayed the announcement of Miss Middleton and Prince William's engagement.

Royal Weddings Galore...

If this isn't enough to get Canadians excited about the royal wedding, recent Ancestry.ca data suggests that this year in Canada, more than nine thousand 'royal' weddings will take place, in which either the bride or groom (or both) can claim ties to some form of royalty in their family tree. These findings from the family history website were gathered by comparing current marriage rates for Canada with the proportion of the population that can claim royal ancestry (10 per cent).

Canadians looking to see if they have ancestral ties to royalty can visit www.ancestry.ca/royal to check out the complete collection of royal family history records. The Royal Collection details half a million people born into or descended from royalty, the peerage, nobility and the landed gentry and highlights royal and noble family trees, coats of arms and family crests, lineage, titles and more.

To help Canadians discover their royal links, Ancestry.ca has compiled a list of tips for discovering the royal blood in one's family history.

...Explore surnames: cross-reference surnames in your family tree with those found in The Royal Collections on Ancestry.ca. Look for names like Windsor, Stuart, Plantagenet.

...Seek out wealth: look for evidence of wealthy ancestors through domestic staff listings on census records, property and businesses documented in wills and probate records and ancestors who were extensive travellers listed in immigration records travelling in First Class.

...Look for titles: titles like "Sir" "Count" "Duke" etc mean your ancestors had some connection to royalty, familial or otherwise. If any of your ancestors had titles, explore the age and origins of those titles.

...Look for places: for surnames in your family tree that are also the name of a place - for example a town or parish - do further research to establish any connection between that ancestor and significant ownership in that location.

...Find the Normans: investigate whether any of the surnames in your family tree has Norman origins and if so, research that particular branch of the family as far back as you can as many early Normans had direct royal connections.

Lesley Anderson, Ancestry.ca family historian, comments:

"I would encourage every Canadian to begin researching their family tree if they haven't done so already. With the Royal Wedding coming up, it's a great time to try to discover if you have a royal tie and there may be many Canadians out there now who have connections with the royal family without even knowing it."

Free Access to Canadian marriage Records

To celebrate the royal wedding, Ancestry.ca is offering free access to the complete collection of Canadian marriage records, from April 20 until May 1.

These collections, available at www.ancestry.ca/marriage, contain more than 8 million records and more than 4 million original images from marriages across Canada, dating as far back as 1621.

Marriage records contain information about both spouses and help Canadians discover not only the details around a major milestone in the lives of their ancestors, but can also provide information on the newlyweds' parents; allowing family history fanatics to take their research back another generation.

To discover their royal connections, Canadians can visit Ancestry.ca for a 14-day free trial.

About Ancestry.ca

Canada's leading family history website, Ancestry.ca has 128 million Canadian records in such collections as the complete Historical Canadian Censuses from 1851 to 1916, Ontario and British Columbia vital records from as early as 1813, Quebec Vital Records (The Drouin Collection), Canadian Passenger Lists and U.S. / Canada Border Crossings.

Ancestry.ca was launched in January 2006 and belongs to the global network of Ancestry websites (wholly owned by Ancestry.com Operations Inc.), which contains six billion records. To date more than 20 million family trees have been created and 2 billion names and 50 million photographs and stories uploaded. (Figures current as of 5 March 2011)

New UK TV Show Looking for Canadians With British Roots

By Tom Pullen, Dragonfly Film and Television Productions Ltd, London, UK

Do you think your family tree might have British roots?

Would you like to travel to Britain to discover your living relatives?

A British TV company is making an exciting new TV show featuring British families and their long lost Canadian relatives.

Dragonfly TV is currently looking for Canadian families who would like to travel to Great Britain to discover long lost relatives they never knew existed. They'll get to experience British life and stay in a magnificent Countryside home and meet new members of their family along the way.

We're currently making an exciting new TV series called Guess the Relative (working title). It's a fun and entertaining show all about family history and our distant living relatives.

In it, people from around the world with get the chance to travel to Britain to discover living British relatives, who they never even knew existed.

We're currently looking for people from Canada who think they may have an ancestor from the United Kingdom. Their ancestor might be several generations back and come from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland - but if they have any link to the UK whatsoever, we want to hear about it!

Interested persons can visit www.guesstherelative.tv to find out more and apply to take part.

Whether your Great Great Grandfather was born in England or your Great Aunt lived in Scotland... If you think you, or anyone you know, may have any British ancestry, we want to hear from you!

About Dragonfly Film and Television Productions Ltd

Dragonfly Film and Television Productions of London, UK, produce award winning TV documentaries that are shown throughout the world. Web site

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Attic Treasures Sale

Spend the morning treasure hunting for unique crafts, antiques, collectibles and treasures.

Saturday, April 16, 2011
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Evergreen Seniors Community Centre
683 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario

Shop at the Attic Treasures Sale.

Free admission, free parking, and lots of selections.

Sale located in the auditorium.

Canada's History Society and the Canadian Museums Association Celebrate Our Nation's Storied People & Events

photo from Library and Archives Canada

- Three New National History Awards Announced -

LONDON, Ontario, April 13, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Canada is defined by the diversity of languages, cultures and histories within our communities. Every community across this country has a unique story to share about its proud heritage, whether it's the birthplace of Louis Riel in the historic French community of St. Boniface, Manitoba; the oral histories of Chinese Canadians during the exclusion period; or the ghostly tales of Huggabone's Hill in London, Ontario that are still recounted more than 150 years later.

In order to recognize innovative efforts to present history in our community, and to enrich our national history with more of Canada's storied people and events, Canada's History Society in partnership with the Canadian Museums Association is launching three new history awards today.

The first award, "History Alive!", will be presented annually by the Canadian Museums Association for programs and presentations developed by museums and art galleries across the country. Details for this new award will be announced at the Canadian Museums Association's annual conference in London, Ontario.

"We are pleased to participate in the Canada's History Awards program. Our cultural institutions play a vital role in preserving, presenting, and commemorating our history. This new award will bring well-deserved recognition for the many ways our dedicated professionals give relevance and meaning to the past in our communities today," noted John McAvity, Executive Director of the Canadian Museums Association. "Teachers, historians, and popular writers and producers of history will also benefit from having an annual opportunity to learn more about our activities, and explore more ways of working with us to strengthen public history programming."

Two other community history awards that celebrate programming developed by volunteer-led heritage, community and cultural organizations at the grassroots level have also been created by Canada's History Society.

Deborah Morrison, President and CEO of Canada's History Society, says,
"Canada's national history can only resonate with Canadians when they are able to see themselves in our stories, stories that are brought vividly to life within the social and geographic communities in which they live every day."

Morrison adds,
"So much of Canada's national story is discovered and remembered through initiatives that take place beyond the classroom. Canada's History Awards can now celebrate the full range of ways our history is brought to life for Canadians. This is a win-win for Canadian history."

Museums and Art Galleries interested in nominating one of their initiatives for the History Alive! Award will be able to submit their application online at CanadasHistory.ca/MuseumandCommunityHistoryAwards or Museums.ca, by email, or by regular mail. Watch these websites for details shortly.

Submissions to the Community History Awards can be made online at CanadasHistory.ca/MuseumandCommunityHistoryAwards or by regular mail to: Canada's History, Main Floor, Bryce Hall, 515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2E9. For complete information on eligibility, criteria and nomination forms, please visit CanadasHistory.ca/Awards.

About Canada's History Society

Canada's History Society is a national charitable organization founded by the Hudson's Bay Company to promote greater popular interest in Canadian history. The organization publishes Canada's History magazine and Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids. Canada's History Society also produces Canada's History Awards featuring the Governor General's Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History and The Pierre Berton Award for achievement in popular media.

About the Canadian Museums Association

The Canadian Museums Association is the national organization for the advancement of the Canadian museum sector. Canada's 2,500 museums and related institutions preserve our collective memory, shape our identity and promote tolerance and understanding. Each year, more than 59 million visitors attend Canadian museums and a further 60 million visit Canada's historic sites and national parks. These institutions employ over 24,000 staff and are supported by more than 55,000 volunteers and 300,000 friends. They host 7.5 million visits from school children annually.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Remember Me: Displaced Children of the Holocaust

from the United States Holocaust Museum (USHM) http://rememberme.ushmm.org/

The United States Holocaust Museum (USHM) has worked on a number of important projects, and this might be one of their most moving. Working with the archives of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), they have digitized approximately 1100 photographs of children who were displaced or orphaned as a result of the persecution carried out by the Nazis and their collaborators.

The intent of this project is "to identify these children, piece together information about their wartime and postwar experiences, and facilitate renewed connections among these young survivors, their families, and other individuals who were involved in their care during and after the war."

Visitors to the site can browse the photos by name or just by viewing the gallery as they see fit. The site also includes a 1945 BBC radio broadcast seeking relatives of displaced children and a section with updates on the project's progress. [KMG]

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2011.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Message in a Bottle: 100-Year-Old Whisky Reveals Its Secrets

GLASGOW, Scotland, April 4, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Whyte & Mackay has successfully recreated the century-old whisky buried under the Antarctic ice by famous explorer Ernest Shackleton.

The company's master blender Richard Paterson spent a painstaking eight weeks marrying and blending a range of malts to get an exact replica of the 100-year-old Mackinlay's liquid.

And according to one independent expert, he has got the copy exactly right.

Renowned whisky writer Dave Broom is the only other person in the world to taste both the original whisky and Whyte & Mackay's new liquid.

He said:

"The Shackleton whisky is not what I expected at all, and not what anyone would have expected. It's so light, so fresh, so delicate and still in one piece - it's a gorgeous whisky.

"It proves that even way back then so much care, attention and thought went into whisky-making.

"I think the replication is absolutely bang on. Richard has done a great job as it's a very tricky whisky to replicate, because you have this delicacy, subtlety and the smoke just coming through.

"The sweetness, fragrance and spice, and the subtle smoke, are all there in the replica. I'm blown away."

The Shackleton replica will cost GBP100, with 5% from every sale being donated back to the Antarctic Heritage Trust, the New Zealand charity responsible for finding and uncovering the original whisky. If all 50,000 bottles sell out the Trust will receive GBP250,000.

Trust chief executive Nigel Watson said:
"From start to finish it's taken almost four years to safely extract the whisky crate from site and then Antarctica, thaw it in museum conditions, secure permits and complete scientific analysis in Scotland . I am delighted that Whyte & Mackay recognise the hard work and value of the Trust's conservation mission in Antarctica by making this very generous and welcome donation."

Richard Paterson said that matching the whisky really tested his blending skills, but it was a true labour of love.

"It was a real privilege getting to handle, nose and taste such a rare and beautiful bottle of whisky. The quality, purity and taste of this 100-year-old spirit was amazing. The biggest surprise was the light flavour and the clear, almost vibrant colour of the liquid. I hope I have done our forefathers and Ernest Shackleton proud with the replica.

"I would like to thank the Trust in particular for their patience, their expertise and their hard work. They fully deserve the substantial funds this special bottle will generate."

The whole replication process has been documented exclusively for National Geographic Channel for a documentary due to air at the end of this year.

Three bottles of the original Shackleton whisky were flown by private plane from New Zealand to Whyte & Mackay's Glasgow base by the company owner Dr Vijay Mallya.

There were three cases of whisky and two cases of brandy found on the Antarctic in 2007. One case was removed from the ice and was painstakingly thawed out under laboratory conditions to preserve the bottles and spirit in the best possible way.

That one case was found to have only 11 bottles instead of the usual 12, leading to much speculation about what happened to the missing bottle

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"The Missing Link in Presbyterian Guelph: The United Presbyterian Church, 1846-1883"

Guelph Historical Society Annual Business Meeting

Date: Tuesday April 5, 2011

Time: Meeting starts at 7 pm... 7:00–7:25 pm GHS Annual Business Meeting (all members welcome), to be followed by lecture beginning at 7:30.

Venue: Metcalf Hall, adjoining Knox Presbyterian Church, Quebec and Baker streets. Access to Metcalf Hall is from Chapel Lane behind the church.

Topic: "The Missing Link in Presbyterian Guelph: The United Presbyterian Church, 1846-1883"

Guest speaker: Donna Speers

Now long forgotten, the United Presbyterian Church once stood at the corner of Dublin and Cambridge Streets, more or less opposite Central School. This church was founded by disaffected members of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, the congregation was led by Rev. Torrance.

Donna Speers will share her research on the congregation that worshipped at the church before it was closed, demolished and became one of Guelph's lost buildings.

Friday, April 1, 2011

National Genealogical Society Announces a New Video: Jan Alpert's “Getting Started”

from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
Monday, March 21, 2011

The National Genealogical Society has a new video available to you at no charge. This one features past NGS president Janet A. Alpert on "Getting Started." Jan reflects on her experience of how genealogists begin their journey and progress through multiple levels of interest and research activity.

Researchers who are just starting the journey and could use a road map or those who are well on the way will appreciate hearing Jan's thoughts.

You can watch the video at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/, the National Genealogical Society Channel at YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/NGSGenealogy, and on other online sites.