"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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Genealogy Workshop at Aboyne Hall, Wellington County Museum and Archives

ABOYNE, Ontario April 30, 2012 - Museum News

Genealogy Workshops happen on Saturday, May 5, 2012

Presented by the Wellington County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and Wellington County Museum and Archives

Aboyne Hall, Wellington County Museum and Archives,
0536 Wellington Road 18 (Between Fergus and Elora, Ontario)

How to use Ancestry to search your family tree
Speaker: Lesley Anderson
10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Lesley Anderson has been pursuing her own family history for more than 35 years. (Yes she started as a teenager!) She shares her enthusiasm for genealogy by teaching courses through the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board's Continuing Education Department and she's been a long time volunteer with the Ottawa Stake Family History Center. For the past 4-1/2 years, Lesley has enjoyed being the Canadian representative for Ancestry.ca. Her primary responsibility is to develop strategic relationships with content providers across Canada to acquire new Canadian historical records. She has made several radio and television appearances on behalf of Ancestry.ca

The Information - The Internet - The Implications: Why "it" is not all On-line
Speaker: Brian Gilchrist
1:00 to 3:00 pm

A fourth-generation Torontonian and a ninth-generation Canadian, J. Brian Gilchrist is one of Canada's leading genealogical authorities. A graduate in History from the University of Toronto, he is a frequent guest on radio and television, as well as the founder and member of many genealogical, archival, and heritage organizations. Gilchrist has authored many publications on genealogy.

Cost: $35 for the day, light lunch included

Pre-register by calling 519.846.0916 x 5225 or toll-free 1.800.663.0750 x 5225 with payment by credit card (VISA or MASTERCARD.)

Take a Walk through History and Experience New Activities and Events at Black Creek Pioneer Village

GTA's Premier Living History Museum opens for the 2012 Season on May 1 with new activities and events that will bring the past back to life

TORONTO, April 30, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Black Creek Pioneer Village, Toronto's largest outdoor history experience, officially opens for the 2012 Season on May 1. New activities and special events at the Village will educate, entertain and inspire visitors to walk "through history" and immerse themselves in a completely interactive way of learning about Toronto's pioneering roots.

"Black Creek Pioneer Village is a living history lesson, where visitors rediscover what life was like the 19th century was like by exploring heritage buildings, surrounding gardens and farmyards and chatting to historical interpreters and trades people in authentic period dress," said Chris Bagley, General Manager, Black Creek Pioneer Village. "The new activities and events this year are reflective of a time when activities from playing games to doing chores together, helped to create stronger social bonds. It reminds us to put away our cell phones and laptops and just spend some quality time with our friends and families. Bringing the past to life and making these kinds of connections can bring more appreciation for the present and a better perspective for the future."

New activities scheduled for this year include: spending the day as a Blacksmith, Tinsmith, Printer, or Harness Maker Apprentice (pre-registration required); playing cricket with the Village Team (July 15 & 22); a masquerade ball (August 12 & 19); bread making workshop (winter 2013); special tours for kids and their families; a pioneer shopping workshop (spring and fall); participating in pioneer chores such as making candles to teasing wool (summer); visit travelling actors and take lessons in stagecraft; learn the latest dances and hear songs of the 1860s (summer) and a new craft corner in the Hands on History Centre where kids can make a pioneer craft to take home (summer).

New events for this year include: Once Upon a Time (May 19-21), three days of fairytale fun with interactive storytelling, princess lessons, games, crafts and more; Quilts at the Creek (July 28-29)Come and see the Village as you've never seen it before - covered in handmade quilts! Learn how quilts are made and participate in fun quilting activities for the whole family. Don't miss the outdoor quilter's marketplace and Photography Days (September 8- 9)Calling all photographers! Grab your camera and step back in time. Learn about capturing that perfect photo or discover photography as it was in the 1800s.

For a full listing and schedule of 2012 activities and special events, please visit www.blackcreek.ca

Friday, April 27, 2012

US Outdoor advertising from R.C. Maxwell Company Records, 1904-1990s at Duke University Library


Outdoor advertising in the United States has been going on for well over 300 years, and one can find curious and compelling examples on just about any roadway or other venue.

This remarkable digital collection from the Duke University Libraries brings together over 10,000 images from the R.C. Maxwell Company.

Started in 1894, the company was in business until 2000, when it was sold. During its long history, the company was careful to retain thousands of 8" x 10" professional photographs of its billboards, which were located all over the East Coast.

This collection brings together images from New Jersey, along with a clutch of images from Pennsylvania and other localities.

Visitors to the site can read the collection guide and they may also wish to use the Company, Product, Date, Place, and Subject categories to browse selections of photographs.

Some of the highlights here include ads for the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City and some rather creative billboards for Pillsbury products. [KMG]

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2012. http://scout.wisc.edu/

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How Does A Building Get To It's Hundredth Birthday? A Look at Fenway Park

photo credit: Boston Public Library/Public Domain

from TreeHugger.com by Lloyd Alter - Design / Green Architecture

I am not a baseball fan, and I have never been to Fenway Park. But I do love old buildings, and believe that we have a lot to learn from them about how to design new buildings. It isn't often that buildings get birthday parties even when they last a century; when my editor said "you can take your kid there and feel like you're having the same experience your dad did when his dad took him" I agreed to take a look.

When discussing why buildings last, I often fall back on the criteria established by Steve Mouzon of the Original Green:

It's Lovable

Many baseball stadia are lovable, and that hasn't saved them from demolition. But Fenway appears to be particularly loved; a Red Sox historian is quoted:

Fenway Park "just has this mystique, this closeness," Dick Bresciani, a Red Sox vice president and team historian, told The Times' Kevin Baxter in an interview at the ballpark last year. "Everybody's close to the action with very little foul ground, so it's almost like you're involved," he said. "The excitement that's generated when you come in here and you're part of this whole environment."

It's Durable.

It was built to last, and survived through quite a few years of poor maintenance and was at significant risk. According to CBS,

"in 1999, the iconic park was nearly lost. Fenway's age was showing and the Red Sox pushed to tear it down and start over. Instead, new owners invested almost $300 million in renovations, including 274 new seats above the Green Monster." You can read all about it in an old website, Save Fenway Park, that lives on. Moreover, the trend at the time was to go post-modern retro and replicate features of old stadium design. One sportswriter wrote: “Let me get this straight. We’re bulldozing real vintage ballparks like Tiger Stadium and Fenway Park to put up fake vintage ballparks?”

It's Accessible.

Steve Mouzon writes:

Accessible Places are those where you have a choice of how to get around. If you can choose to drive, walk, bike, or take the train, then you can do what makes the most sense. If you can only drive, then you have no choice, nor do any of the other people clogging the highway ahead of you.

Fenway park is urban. You can get to it easily. It is hard to park a car there, so people don't drive. Progressive Field in Cleveland has been getting a lot of press lately for putting a wind turbine on its roof, but what's really green is being able to walk or take a streetcar or subway to the stadium.

It's Serviceable

Steve writes:

Serviceable places are those that provide the basic services of life within walking distance, so that driving is a choice, not a necessary act of survival. Serviceable places also have places for the people that serve you, like firefighters, police, and teachers, either somewhere in the neighborhood or in nearby neighborhoods so that their daily commute can be a walk or a bike ride if they choose, rather than the 50-mile drive they currently have to endure in many increasingly unaffordable places across the country.

Any building that gets to be a hundred deserves a bit of notice. Fenway Park demonstrates that you don't have to knock down a beloved building just to squeeze in a few more boxes for the 1%, but that you can fix what you've got even if the seats are tight. That you can stay downtown even if there is no parking. That new isn't always better.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Canadian Government Invests in Heritage in Aurora and York Region at Hillary House

AURORA, Ontario, April 18, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Visitors and residents of the York Region will have increased access to their local history at Hillary House, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. This was announced today by Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation and Member of Parliament (Newmarket-Aurora), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

The Aurora Historical Society owns and operates Hillary House, a 150-year-old national historic site in Aurora. Funding will allow the Society to purchase specialized equipment, including display cases and lighting for two new exhibition spaces at Hillary House. Once the work is completed, the Aurora Historical Society will be able to offer visitors improved exhibition programming while protecting the collections on display.

"Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in heritage facilities," said Minister Moore. "By supporting the Aurora Historical Society's Hillary House, our Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen our economy and support our arts, culture, and heritage."

"The Aurora Historical Society does exceptional work in preserving and promoting our community's rich history," said Ms. Brown. "This investment from our Government will help the Aurora Historical Society continue to preserve and display local artifacts at the historic Hillary House."

"The Aurora Historical Society is grateful for the Government of Canada's support in the development of the exhibition space at Hillary House National Historic Site," said Suzanne Reiner, President of the Aurora Historical Society. "This funding will support dynamic programming and enable the rotation of the Hillary House artifact and archival collection for many years to come."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $8,750 through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing, visual, and media arts, and to museum collections and heritage displays.

Frank Stuart Miller honoured through Premiers' Gravesites Program

photo credit: juliet_a/via Flickr

GRAVENHURST, Ontario, April 17, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - On Friday, April 20, 2012 at 1 p.m. join the Ontario Heritage Trust for the unveiling of a marker commemorating the gravesite of the Honourable Frank Stuart Miller, premier of Ontario from February to June 1985.

Born in Toronto but living most of his life in Muskoka, Frank Miller was the 19th premier of Ontario. A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, he was an auto dealer and a resort operator in the Muskokas. After serving as a city councillor in Bracebridge, he was elected to the legislature in 1971 for Muskoka. During his provincial career, he held various cabinet positions, including minister of health, 1974-77; and treasurer, 1978-83. He retired from politics in November 1985 and later served as chairman of the District Municipality of Muskoka and the Algoma Central Corporation.

Location: Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre, 275 Steamship Bay Road, Gravenhurst

The Premiers' Gravesites Program honours Ontario's former premiers and their service to Ontario by marking their gravesites. This program is administered by the Ontario Heritage Trust with funding support from the Government of Ontario.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

30th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Constitution Act of 1982

Statement by the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

OTTAWA, April 17, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today marks the 30th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Constitution Act of 1982, which was formally signed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on April 17, 1982, in the presence of tens of thousands of Canadians on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

This anniversary marks an important step in the development of Canada's human rights policy. Building on Diefenbaker's Canadian Bill of Rights of 1960, the Constitution Act of 1982 enshrined certain rights and freedoms that had historically been at the heart of Canadian society into a constitutional document known as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Constitution Act of 1982 empowered our government to amend every part of Canada's constitution, for the very first time.

As we look ahead to Canada's 150th Anniversary in 2017, we encourage all Canadians to commemorate the milestones that have built our nation and made us the great country we are today.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Zellers Video Campaign Walks Down Shoppers' Memory Lane

- Facebook Fans Personal Stories Turned into Whimsical Video Re-enactments -

TORONTO, April 16, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - With more than 80 years of shopper experiences under its belt, Zellers is reliving some of the best moments in a new social media campaign entitled Zellers Memory Showcase. Liquidation for many stores is now underway, and the impending store closures have triggered an outpouring of heartfelt stories from communities across the country. From marriage proposals to celebrity encounters, Zellers has been a staple in the lives of Canadian shoppers, and has been the backdrop for many significant milestones along the way. Those moments are now finding their way to the 'big screen' in this new campaign, showing exclusively online.

Zellers Memory Showcase is executed through Facebook, and invites shoppers to submit their favourite Zellers memory for a chance to have it produced as a re-enactment. Starring just one actor - the zany 'Executive Managing Director' featured in the Zellers Festive Finale campaign - each video takes a lighthearted look at some of the funniest or most heartwarming moments Zellers has shared with its shoppers. Eight winners will be chosen, and will receive a $250 gift card in addition to seeing their memory turned into an online video. Each week a new video will be posted, and Zellers will offer an online coupon to correspond with the theme of the feature video. At the end of the campaign, fans will have an opportunity to vote on the final eight, and the fan favourite will receive an additional $500 gift card for each of HBC's Canadian retail banners: The Bay, Zellers and Home Outfitters; a $1750 grand prize total!

"We wanted to build on the momentum generated from our Festive Finale campaign and 12 Days of Giveaways," said Debbie Ford, SVP of Zellers Marketing and Fashion. "We found that many shoppers are quite nostalgic about Zellers, and this campaign lets them share their great memories and reminisce about some fun and memorable experiences at our stores. The response has been overwhelming!"

Launched March 16th, the first four winning videos have already been produced and appear on Zellers' Facebook page. However, the search is still on for the final four; shoppers can visit www.facebook.com/#!/ZellersCanada to view the latest videos online and enter to win.

About Hudson's Bay Company

Hudson's Bay Company, founded in 1670, is North America's longest continually operating company. The company comprises The Bay, a major department store, Zellers, a mass merchandise format, Home Outfitters, a kitchen, bed and bath specialty store, and value-priced Fields stores. With more than 600 retail outlets and approximately 50,000 associates in Canada, Hudson's Bay Company banners provide Canadians with stylish, quality merchandise at great value and with a dedicated focus on exceeding customer expectations.

The Hudson's Bay Company's US banner operations include Lord & Taylor, an upscale specialty retailer with 46 stores across nine states. Two new stores are planned for Spring 2012. The company also operates 3 outlet stores, Lordandtaylor.com, and two Lord & Taylor Home stores

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Canadian Government Invests in Quebec's Heritage in the Laurentian Region

SAINT-EUSTACHE, Quebec, April 13, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada, citizens of the Laurentian region will celebrate two major anniversaries in 2012—the 250th anniversary of the Moulin Légaré (historic site and monument) and the 175th anniversary of the Rebellion of 1837, during which the Saint-Eustache Church played an important role. This was announced today by the Honourable Claude Carignan, Senator and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

Funding will support a broad variety of activities that are taking place from February 11 to December 16, 2012. Close to 450 artists, craftspeople, and performers will be part of the celebrations, in addition to 250 volunteers. Approximately 60,000 visitors are expected.

"Our Government is proud to honour the history and heritage of our communities," said Minister Moore. "These organizations represent some of the very best that Quebec has to offer. We believe that investing in culture is essential for our economy and for the strength of communities across Canada."

"I am proud that the Government of Canada is supporting the Corporation du moulin Légaré, because in addition to encouraging citizens to participate in activities for these major anniversaries that celebrate the region's history and heritage and contribute to its economic development, it revives a sense of belonging among residents to this magnificent area of Quebec," said Senator Carignan.

"Thanks to Government of Canada funding, the 2012 festivities will highlight two important dates in the history of Saint-Eustache. These major historic events mark a significant turning point for our city in recognizing, promoting, and celebrating our history and our heritage," said Ernest Labelle, President of the Corporation du moulin Légaré. "Carrying out the programming, in close cooperation with cultural and heritage organizations will help us develop new connections and partnerships and strengthen existing ones."

"The Moulin Légaré is a living witness of our past and a constant source of pride for residents of Saint-Eustache. Its presence contributes to Saint-Eustache's distinctive and unique character. This year will highlight the Moulin's 250th anniversary, and we are delighted about the Government of Canada's support for our ongoing efforts to protect and promote this jewel of our cultural heritage, for the benefit of present and future generations," said Pierre Charron, Mayor of Saint-Eustache.

The Corporation du moulin Légaré plays a leading role within the heritage centre of Vieux-Saint-Eustache. The organization is recognized for its professionalism in conservation initiatives, for showcasing the mill, and for educating the public about history and heritage.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $109,380 through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program provides Canadians with more opportunities to take part in activities that present local arts and culture and celebrate local history and heritage.

Canadian Government Invests in Pemberton and District Museum and Archives Society

PEMBERTON, British Columbia, April 13, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - The historical and cultural heritage of the Pemberton region will be preserved and showcased for years to come, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. Mark Strahl, Member of Parliament (Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon), made this announcement today on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

This funding will enable the Pemberton and District Museum and Archives Society to equip a new 2,500 square-foot archives building with flooring, wiring, lighting, insulation, and plumbing. Additional storage, display and public access space will also be created as a result of these upgrades. Once complete, the facility will house the Society's collection of regional artifacts and archival materials.

"Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in the sustainability of local cultural institutions," said Minister Moore. "By supporting these kinds of projects, we are delivering on our commitment to strengthen Canada's economy and support arts, culture, and heritage."

"This museum is a living account of the rich history and life in the Pemberton Valley," said Mr. Strahl. "We appreciate the professional work of the team from the Pemberton and District Museum and Archives Society. This large-scale project will make the museum's exhibitions and activities more accessible to the public."

"Our new facility will create a permanent home for many of our pioneer artifacts, as well as safe, permanent storage for our archival documents and pictures," said George Henry, President of the Pemberton and District Museum and Archives Society. "This investment will bring to conclusion a project started eight years ago. We are extremely grateful for this financial assistance and the support of the Government of Canada."

The Pemberton and District Museum and Archives Society operates the Pemberton Museum, the only pioneer museum and archives in the Sea to Sky corridor. It collects, preserves and displays artifacts which illustrate themes connected with the human history of Pemberton and its surrounding district. The Society also supports research and archival reproductions on a yearround basis. This year marks the museum's 30th anniversary.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $66,375 through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentations or exhibitions. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing arts, visual arts, media arts, museum collections, and heritage displays.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Upcoming Presentations on the Life of Thomson Beattie: A Titanic Tragedy

FERGUS, Ontario APRIL 10, 2012 – Marking the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking, the Wellington County Library, Fergus Branch and Wellington County Museum and Archives present the life of Fergus native Thomson Beattie, to be held on Thursday, April 12, 6:30 pm at the Fergus Branch and Saturday, April 14, 2:00 pm at the Museum and Archives.

Thomson Beattie had it all – family wealth, a successful business and the opportunity to travel at a time when few could afford a holiday. So fortunate was Thomson that he was able to sail home from a European vacation on that “great new unsinkable boat.”

By dawn on April 15, 1912, Thomson had died of exposure after a night in a lifeboat, one of 1500 victims to drown after the Titanic struck an iceberg. From this moment, his life story has been part of the Titanic’s voyage into history.

Please join us this April and explore Thomson Beattie’s Scottish roots, his life in Winnipeg and the events leading up to the Titanic sinking. Admission is free.

Light refreshments are provided. Pre-registration is required:

Thursday, April 12 at 6:30pm (Fergus Branch) Saturday, April 14 at 2:00pm (Wellington County Museum and Archives)

The Fergus Branch is located on 190 St Andrew St West in Fergus. The Wellington County Museum and Archives is located on Wellington Road #18 between Fergus and Elora.

Wellington County Museum & Archives
0536 Wellington County Road 18
Fergus, ON N1M 2W3
T 519.846.0916 X5221
TOLL FREE: 1.800.663.0750 X5221

Wellington County Library, Fergus Branch
190 St Andrew St West
Fergus, ON N1M 1N5
T 519.843.1180

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ancestry.ca marks 100th anniversary of the sinking of RMS Titanic with chilling collection of historical records

TORONTO, April 9, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - April 14 and 15, 2012 mark the 100th anniversary of one of history's most famous peacetime maritime disasters - the sinking of RMS Titanic during her maiden voyage. This month Ancestry.ca, Canada's leading family history website, commemorates this historic moment with a full suite of historical resources for Canadians interested in learning about the disaster - particularly the people involved and Canada's often forgotten connections to the tragedy.

There were more than 120 people aboard the Titanic with ties to Canada; whether born or residing in Canada, or travelling here from elsewhere. Ancestry.ca's Titanic resources, compiled in part with the Nova Scotia Archives, offer a variety of historical information about the people associated with the ship and its fate, all the way from its construction to the coroner's inquest.

"Many people think of the romance and tragedy behind Titanic's epic story but with these easily searchable records now on Ancestry.ca we can get a better understanding of the everyday lives of those directly involved and most affected," said Roger Dunbar, Managing Director, Ancestry.ca.

About the historical records

The collections being announced today provide a rare and sobering glimpse into the lives and deaths of the crew and passengers. The RMS Titanic Graves collection contains details about Fairview Cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the final resting place for 121Titanic victims and the largest collection of Titanic graves in the world, as well as images of many of the headstones.

The RMS Titanic Coroner Inquest collection contains 329 vivid and deeply moving files from the Halifax Coroner and the RMS Titanic List of Bodies Recovered contains 330 records of bodies recovered from the sea by ships from Nova Scotia and the disposition of the bodies at the time of recovery.

Additionally the collections RMS Titanic, Outward Passenger List, 1912, RMS Titanic, Deaths at Sea, 1912 and RMS Titanic, Crew Records, 1912 all include valuable information about the crew and passengers. Canadians can discover incredibly rich details through the information included, such as the ages of the passengers, their last residences, intended places of travel upon arrival in New York and even details about their occupations.

Records about the crew include correspondence, crew lists, duties/position, date and hour of embarkation, wages and much more.


Built in Belfast, Northern Ireland for the White Star Line at the Harland and Wolff shipyard, Titanic was heralded as the fastest ship in the world at the time of its launch.

On April 10, 1912, Titanic sailed for her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, bound for New York City, with more than 2,200 souls aboard.

Shortly before midnight on April 14, Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic, roughly 643 km south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, and sank within hours.

Survivors and victims

More than 1,500 people - more than two-thirds of those aboard - died in the disaster. Of the total passengers and crew aboard the Titanic, 68 per cent were lost. The majority of survivors were from the first (62% survival) and second (41% survival) classes. The survivor rate decreases for third class passengers (25% survival) and crew (23% survival).

Recovery mission

Four Canadian vessels were involved in the search for bodies after the sinking, dispatched by the White Star Line: the Mackay-Bennett, the Minia, the Montmagny and the Algerine. These Canadian ships recovered almost all of the victims that were eventually found at sea.

The recovered bodies were brought to Halifax, a convenient location close to the sinking that provided victims' relatives with the opportunity to arrive by rail or ship to identify and claim bodies.

In September 1985, the wreckage of the Titanic was discovered 603 km southeast of St. John's Newfoundland.

"I think over time many Canadians have lost sight of the role their country played in this historic event. Despite its tragic nature it's a story that deserves to be told and shared and one we should be proud of as Canadians," said Dunbar.

Those interested in learning more about the Titanic and its crew and passengers can visit Ancestry.ca for a free 14 day trial (terms and conditions apply).

About Ancestry.ca

Canada's leading family history website, Ancestry.ca hosts 129 million Canadian records, including 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.com Inc is the world's largest online family history resource, with more than 1.7 million paying subscribers. More than eight billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 33 million family trees containing approximately four billion profiles.

In addition to its flagship site www.ancestry.ca/Titanic , Ancestry.com Inc offers several localised web sites, including Ancestry.ca which was launched in January 2006, designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The 1940 Census records of Judy Garland, Shirley Temple, Walt Disney, Jane Fonda and other celebrities can now all be viewed online

Marilyn Monroe, age 13; Judy Garland, 17; Shirley Temple, 11; and Baby Tom Brokaw Located in 1940 Census by findmypast.com

"We've also unearthed the census records of Walt Disney, Joan Crawford, Jane Fonda, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Norris".

SANTA MONICA, California, April 4, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Norma Jean Baker was age 13 and yet to win adult fame as Marilyn Monroe when she was recorded in the 1940 U.S. Census as living with her mother and stepfather in an apartment on Nebraska Avenue, Los Angeles.

"Norma's mother, Grace is listed with her then husband, Ervin Goddard, and Norma is recorded as their 'ward' ", says Josh Taylor, genealogist for family history website findmypast.com, which has unearthed the 1940 Census records of the teenage "Monroe" and other celebrities, following their long-awaited release Monday by the National Archives.

The 1940 Census records of Monroe (Baker), Judy Garland, Shirley Temple, Walt Disney, Tom Brokaw, Jane Fonda, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Norris and other celebrities can now all be viewed online at findmypast.com.

Judy Garland, 17, and still fresh from The Wizard of Oz a year earlier, is recorded as living with her mother, Ethel and sister, Sue, and earning over $5,000 a year. Judy's mother, Ethel provided the family's information, which lists both Judy and Sue as actresses in the motion picture industry.

Shirley Temple was 11 when she was recorded in the 1940 Census as living her parents and siblings. "She is clearly the big earner in the family", says Taylor.

The census finds Tom Brokaw - the future TV journalist and author who coined the phrase, "The Greatest Generation" - as a new-born baby and "permanent guest" with his parents at his grandfather's hotel in Bristol, South Dakota. His father operated a bulldozer for a construction company.

Walt Disney's record lists him as the owner of a motion picture company, while Joan Crawford's notes her recent divorce. Jack Warner of Warner Brothers is found living with his new wife (after his own scandalous recent divorce).

"Tom Brokaw and Chuck Norris are just two of the 21 million Americans counted in the 1940 Census and alive today", says Taylor.

Indeed, Carlos Ray ("Chuck") Norris is among the youngest of them all, since the future actor and tough guy was just three weeks old at the time and living in poverty in a rented home costing $6 per month in the town of Ryan, Oklahoma.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Doors Open Ontario 2012 commemorates War of 1812

Guelph's Church of Our Lady Immaculate
photo credit: fadedgenes/via Flickr

TORONTO, April 3, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - The 2012 Doors Open Ontario season kicks off in Guelph on April 28. Fifty-seven events across the province comprise this year's program. From April until October, heritage buildings, cultural sites and other interesting venues will be open - free of charge - for public viewing.

The theme for Doors Open 2012, "Defending a nation," commemorates the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the locations, events and persons connected to the defence of our province and country. Doors Open participants will uncover the stories of early inhabitants who faced invasion during the War of 1812 and learn about other heroic war efforts from the past 200 years. A diverse range of defence-related sites will be open to visitors, such as battlefields, military fortifications, armouries, armament manufacturing facilities, legion halls, commemorative monuments and peace gardens.

Five new communities have joined Doors Open this year. Georgian Bay, Quinte West, Algonquin Highlands, Halton Hills and Lambton County are hosting events to tell the stories of their local heritage.

The new Doors Open Ontario website, www.doorsopenontario.on.ca, allows visitors to pinpoint specific site locations and to plan their event itinerary. The site's interactive calendars, "my favourites" folder and social media tools allow visitors to enhance their Doors Open experience.

Doors Open Ontario is the province's most exciting heritage tourism program. Since its launch in 2002, it has grown from 17 events to a record 57, representing hundreds of communities and thousands of individual heritage sites. When the 2012 events conclude in October, the program will have generated more than 4.5 million visits to 5,000 sites across the province. Out-of-town visitors will have spent an estimated $23 million in Ontario's communities.

Trails Open Ontario, part of the Doors Open program, encourages visitors to explore Ontario's 88,000 kilometres of walking, hiking and cycling trails. Participating trails can be discovered in the Doors Open Guide and on the Doors Open website. Call 1-800-ONTARIO (1-800-668-2746) for a free copy of the guide.

Doors Open Ontario 2012 sponsors include: the Globe and Mail, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund and the participating communities.
The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage for present and future generations.

Below is the Doors Open Ontario 2012 calendar of events. Visit www.doorsopenontario.on.ca for more information about each community

Doors Open Ontario 2012 Calendar of Events


Guelph April 28

Whitby May 5
Hamilton May 5-6
Richmond Hill May 12
Brockville-Thousand Islands May 26-27
Kincardine May 26-27
Toronto May 26-27

Stratford June 2
Whitchurch-Stouffville June 2
Huronia June 2-3
Ottawa June 2-3
Owen Sound June 2-3
Smiths Falls June 3
Clarington June 9
Burlington June 9-10
Niagara (Ontario and New York) June 15-17
Georgian Bay New! June 16
Fergus and Elora June 23
Kingston June 23
Muskoka June 23-24

Aurora July 14
Orillia-Mariposa July 28

Timmins August 11
Georgina August 25

Mississippi Mills-Carleton Place September 8
Thunder Bay September 8
Cornwall-Seaway Valley September 8-9
Kawartha Lakes September 9
Haldimand County September 15
King Township September 15
Quinte West New! September 15
Waterloo Region September 15
Algonquin Highlands New! September 15-16
South Bruce Peninsula September 15-16
Brant September 22
Markham September 22
East Elgin September 22
Oshawa September 22
Oxford September 22
Walkerton and Area September 22
Grimsby September 22
Kenora September 28-29
Ajax September 29
Mississauga September 29
Oakville September 29
Parry Sound September 29
Port Stanley-Sparta September 29
Chatham-Kent September 29-30
Gananoque September 29-30
Halton Hills New! September 29-30
Lambton County New! September 29-30
London September 29-30
Middlesex September 29-30
St. Thomas September 29-30
Vaughan September 29-30
Windsor September 29-30

Huron County October 13-14