Monday, November 30, 2015

Source Citations Made Easy

This is an excellent article from FamilyTreeUniversity. It is actually a new course they are promoting, but taken directly from their newsletter is the following:

"Vanessa Wieland
Online Editor
Family Tree University

I had no idea how important source citations would be in my genealogy until I started working with my sister to find our family members. Trying to figure out where I found that information originally means I'm having to redo a lot of my research. But this time around, I know better and I'm making sure I cite every source properly.

Source citations can strike fear into the hearts of genealogists (as well as flashbacks to sophomore year English class), but it need not be all that difficult. Source citations are important to our research and for those who come after us. Once you learn the five elements of a source citation, they'll become something you incorporate naturally into your research and it will make your genealogy stronger.

Why Cite Sources?
As you write something for your family (a blog, a newsletter, or anything, to be honest with you) keep in mind that each time you state a fact that is not common knowledge, you will need to cite your source. Others who read your work will want to know where your information came from. How did you know Aunt Edna was married four times? Did you find it in her obit or did someone tell you? Did you see the marriage certificates? By citing a source, you are telling your readers that you've done the work and you can show them where you found that information.

In our course, Source Citations for Genealogists, you'll learn that there is nothing to fear. Instructor Shannon Combs-Bennett will teach you why source citation is important, as well as how to create citations for different records and how to develop a template to expedite future source citations. Read an excerpt from the course below!

5 Elements of a Genealogy Source Citation

While there are suggested ways you should do a source citation there is not a true wrong way or right way. It comes down to adhering to the components of a citation listed below. Once you know these, you will be comfortable enough to adjust yours as needed when you run into an out-of-the-ordinary record.

There are 5 key elements to a successful source citation. Most should be pretty simple to understand, but let’s go through them one by one.

These elements are:

• Who created the information (author, editor, transcriber, etc.)
• What is the title of the source
• When the record was created or published
• Where in the record the information is located (volume, page, etc.)
• Where is the source physically located (archive, library, etc.)

Let’s break this down a bit and further define each component.

“Who” specifically refers to the author or creator of the source. It may be a person or it could be an organization. There are two reasons you wouldn’t list a “who.”
• If it is unknown, like the writer of a historic newspaper article, which typically did not list writer’s names.
• If it is the same entity that published the item and the “who” is also the title of the work.

“What” refers to the source’s title. Underlining, italics and capitalization rules for publications apply here. If the item does not have a title, we create a description for it. The description lets others know exactly what the material is. For example “Letter written by John Doe to his wife Jane.” If you think the title doesn’t make it clear what type of a source it is, you can add descriptive words after it such as database, transcript, image, etc.

“When” refers to the date the media was published. Years are used for books. Months, quarters, or seasons are added for journals and magazines. Full dates are used for newspapers, downloads of online information, and unpublished sources if applicable. If the item is undated we can state that by using the letters ND for “no date.” However, if we can estimate a publication date, then we should try to do so. This can be done by simply showing the estimated date range or writing “likely the 1880s.”

“Where in” refers to the specific place in the source where the information is located. The place is a page number, volume number, chapter title, or etc. If the record is an unbound source, or has no page numbers, you can identify the information on the page you are citing by describing it. For instance “birth dates chronologically listed on loose page in file.”

“Where is” refers to the specific physical location of the source. Did you find it online, in a library, at an archive, or is it held privately? This can get very complicated, but remember, you want to work from small to large. Start with the collection name (the smallest where) and work your way up to the state or country (the largest where) listing all the information about the location of the source as you go.

Once you have these 5 elements, learn more about source citations and how you can incorporate them into your genealogy with Source Citations for Genealogists. Soon, they'll become second nature!"

Anyone interested in enrolling in this course


Catholic Parish Registers at National Library of Ireland

This has been available for a short while, so if you've not seen it before here ya go. You can search by parish name and also see it on a map. As with all things Irish you really need to understand the background.


Sask. Hit Hard by Loss of Long-Form Census

So thank goodness it's back! Many people, genealogists included, are really unclear of why that long-form census is so critical. Here's a very short explanation by the former chief statistician at Statistics Canada who resigned over the long-form census issue. He says Saskatchewan was the province hurt the most when that data wasn't collected.

And think how wonderful it would be to find one for an ancestor! One piece of advice I was given decades ago was to photocopy my own completed form before returning it. I've done that and now have several in a safe, private place that will probably be of interest to a descendant. They are even of interest to me as I read them once in a blue moon. haha


'Secret' Details in the USA 1940 Census

This is a good tip. 5% of individuals listed in the 1940 USA census, or approximately 2 on every page, were asked additional questions about their lives!! Given that most families have multiple members listed on a page your chances of having a relation included are pretty good. Learn how to spot if your ancestor was selected.


Good Solid Advice From Experts

This is a very neat website from Vita Brevis which is a blog of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, designed to offer the reader short essays by the Society’s expert staff on their own research as well as news of the greater genealogical community.

The articles are not necessarily just for those with NE research as there are many with good solid advice for all of us.


Ukrainians Starved to Death by Russia

This is something many people have never heard of, but it's a horrendous part of history, and relatively recent happening in 1932 - 33.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Canadian Farming - the INTERESTING big picture

So this week is Agribition in Regina Saskatchewan. A time for those who make their living off the land to gather in a BIG way. It is truly an international event with hundreds coming from countries around the world to learn new techniques, or to sell their products, or just make new contacts. Farming is a VERY BIG business these days, and certainly requires a healthy bank account. For more about Agribition

Having been raised on a Saskatchewan farm - a day or two ago haha - I found these facts most interesting and I suspect you will too. The source is "The Real DIRT on Farming" Saskatchewan Digest Edition. I picked up their magazine at a Co-op Grocery Store. But of course they also have a website

So here's the facts that I wanted to share with you.

One hundred years ago ... over half of Canada's population farmed. Today less that 2% of Canadians are farmers.

In 1931, one in three Canadians lived on a farm.
Today, it's only one in 50.

There's no such thing as a "typical" Canadian farm.

In 1900, one farmer produced enough food for 10 people.
50 cents of every dollar Canadians earned was spent on food.
Today, that same farmer can feed well over 120 people.
And we spend just over 10 cents of every dollar on food.

Less than 2% of Canadians feed the other 98 per cent as well as helping to feed people right around the world.

Farming is different in each province.
Saskatchewan has almost 37,000 farms with grain, oilseed and beef being the most popular types.

PEI has about 1,500 farms that are mostly dairy, fruits, vegetables (like potatoes) and plants.

Quebec's almost 30,000 farms lead the country in dairy and pork production.

Saskatchewan: the average age of a farmer is 54. More than 70% are men. The average farm size in Sask. is 1,668 acres which is more than DOUBLE the Canadian average. Pat's note: the original Prairie homesteader got 160 acres.

Just under half of Canada's farmers also have a job off the farm to earn additional income. More than 50% of all farmers has some form on post-secondary education.

So now you know.

There is a lot more information on the website for anyone interested. I guess we should all be interested in where our food comes from? I'm still love my little vegetable garden and still 'put up' food for the winter. Another one of those habits that die hard perhaps?


Lost Cousins Newsletter - FREE

I've blogged about this so often, but I know there are constantly new readers (Welcome!!), so for anyone with British ancestry there is a new magazine published every month ... and put online for FREE. But why not join Lost Cousins which is also FREE?

Anyway here's this months magazine


German Families CALL NAMES

Germany calling
Posted on November 28, 2015 by Judy G. Russell

Those forgotten other names

She was married 109 years ago today, in the City of Chicago, Cook, County, Illinois.

Hattie_Paul_Knop_marriageHattie Geisler — oldest sister of The Legal Genealogist‘s grandfather Hugo Ernst Geissler — was married on this date 109 years ago.

The marriage was before the Honorable Joseph Arne, Justice of the Peace of Cook County. Her groom: Paul Knop.1

There’s no doubt of the name on the marriage certificate. You can click on the image and see it larger. Hattie Geisler marrying Paul Knop.

And therein lies the tale.

Because every other record I could find for Hattie told me the same thing.

Her name was Hattie Geisler Knop.

So says the 1910 U.S. census of Chicago: Hattie was recorded as Hattie Knop, age 27, born in Germany of German parents, living with Paul and their then-one-year-old son Irving.2

So says the 1930 U.S. census of Chicago: Hattie was recorded as Hattie Knop, age 48, born in Germany of German parents, living with Paul and their then-21-year-old son Irving.3

So says the 1940 U.S. census of Chicago: she was recorded there too as Hattie Knop, age 59, born in Germany of German parents, living with Paul.4 Son Irving and his new wife were living next door.5

So says each of the family death notices in the Chicago Tribune: when Paul died in 1945, his widow was identified as Hattie;6; when Irving died in 1961, his mother was identified as Hattie;7 when Hattie herself died in 1966, her own death notice identified her as Hattie E. Knop.8

So why, I kept asking myself, couldn’t I find her immigration record? Her entry into the United States?

There was just one hitch.

One thing I kept forgetting.

That minor little issue in German families — something known as call names. Something that’s simply a fact of life for anyone with German ancestry.9

The minor little issue that what someone is called isn’t necessary what that person’s name was.

Oh, Hattie is for sure what she was called. And what she called herself here in the United States.

But when she was born in the village of Bad Köstritz in what is now the German State of Thüringen and was then the tiny principality of Reuss jüngerer Linie,10 her name wasn’t Hattie.

The name she was born with, baptized with — her legal name as it was given — was Emma Hedwig.11

Not Hattie.


Which is how her immigration record really is recorded.

Call names.

For those of us with German ancestry, something not to be forgotten.

And something I was reminded of, on this anniversary of Hattie’s marriage to her beloved Paul.


Cook County, Illinois, Marriage License and Return No. 447077, Paul Knop-Hattie Geisler, 28 Nov 1906. She used the Geisler spelling instead of the Geissler spelling my grandfather preferred. ↩
1910 U.S. census, Cook County, IL, Chicago Ward 31, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 1358, p. 269(B) (stamped), dwelling 106, family 148, Hattie Knop; digital image, ( : accessed 14 Oct 2011); citing National Archive microfilm publication T624, roll 277. ↩
1930 U.S. census, Cook County, IL, Chicago 15th Precinct, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 16-2542, p. 25(A) (stamped), dwelling 217, family 284, Hattie Knop; digital image, ( : accessed 14 Oct 2011); citing National Archive microfilm publication T626, roll 439. ↩
1940 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, Chicago 16th Ward, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 103-1109, sheet 9B, household 199, Hattie Knop; digital image, ( : accessed 27 Nov 2015); citing National Archive microfilm publication T627, roll 954. ↩
Ibid., household 201. ↩
Chicago Tribune, death notice, Paul Knop, 11 Nov 1945. ↩
Chicago Tribune, death notice, Irving L. Knop, 15 June 1961. ↩
Chicago Tribune, death notice, Hattie E. Knop, 26 Sep 1966. ↩
See Anne S. Riepe, “German Naming Customs,” Riepe Roots ( : accessed 27 Nov 2015). ↩
See Wikipedia (, “Principality of Reuss-Gera,” rev. 9 Oct 2015. ↩
Kirchenbuch Bad Köstritz, Taufregister Seite 23 Nr. 52 aus 1881, Baptismal Record of Emma Hedwig Geissler (digital image of record in possession of JG Russell). ↩

Thanks to Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist for the above.


SALE on AncestryDNA

Yeah, it's great if you're in the USA ... $69.00

For Canadians the SALE price is $119.00!!! What the H_ll is *that* all about?

This is me feeling so NOT impressed! >:( :-@

At least it's a lovely day outside.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

5 FREE Genealogy Ebooks

From everyone's friend Thomas MacEntee, here is an awesome offer. He is offering five of his Ebooks, FREE!! You don't even need an ebook reader to take advantage. Remember this is for tomorrow only 27 Nov, 2015.

Happy USA Thanksgiving!!

Update: Friday 27 Nov. I've just bought all 5 books for $0.00 and they are on my Kindle waiting for me!! In case you already have an account with Kindle ( you can still click on the link where Thomas suggests, and then look to the right side of the page that opens to where it says you can go to the Canadian version ( Works like a charm!! And there are other offers if you read all the way through Thomas' offer. Happy FREE shopping!!


Any Pilgrim Descendants?

On this USA Thanksgiving Day, instead of thinking about shopping, I'm wondering if any of my readers are descendants of the Mayflower passengers?

Here is a cemetery that has been used for burials by Plymouth residents since the 1620s


Black Loyalists to Nova Scotia, 1783

Anyone interested should definitely read through the background information available through the link below.

"Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the launch of a new online database, Carleton Papers―Book of Negroes, 1783.

This online database allows you to access close to 3,000 references to names of Black Loyalists. Names were taken from the Book of Negroes, a register containing details about Black Loyalists evacuated from the port of New York at the end of the American Revolution (1776–1783); their final destination was Nova Scotia.

Start searching the Carleton Papers—Book of Negroes now!"


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

FindMyPast 75% OFF

For anyone interested in a year's subscription to FindMyPast now could be the time to do it as they are offering 75% off a World Subscription until 30 Nov. 2015 - part of Black Friday. "After the initial 12 month period, your subscription will be automatically renewed at the normal price unless you un-tick the 'auto-renew' my subscription box in the My Account section of the site." It's a very easy thing to do.

Use code: "THNKSGNG15" [which apparently you DO need]. Click on the link below. Then click on "Claim your 75% Black Friday discount Activate Your Coupon". It will say the discount is no longer valid or something like that. Look to the right and find the box that says "Got a Discount Code?" and in the code box type "THNKSGNG15" and you're good to go! .


Regina Branch of SGS - I'll be there!!

So tonight, 24 Nov, is my final speaking presentation for 2015. It has been a very busy year for me. I am honoured to have been invited to speak to the Regina Branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society. This will be my second year in a row so it's becoming a tradition? haha Tonight I am going to share a presentation I've written on why we need maps, how we use them, where to find them, and how we cannot do genealogy without them. It's also their pot luck night so should be fun ... as always!!


Menus of the 1850s and 1860s

OK not really genealogy news, but interesting to read for sure! Especially if you had anyone alive in these decades ... as we all did. And the choices were VERY different than today. Not saying that's a good thing though. haha


Monday, November 23, 2015

PRONI - uh oh?

The header says "PRONI website to undergo major changes" and I've seldom seen such an announcement ever be anything positive for genealogists. sigh Time will tell. Have a gander for yourself

There is so much available on the PRONI website now ... maybe I'll spend some time in there making sure I get everything out before changes take place. If you've not been here ya go


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Learning Ancestry website

I sometimes forget how much there is to learn as our genealogy curiosity grows. I have watched my subscription to Ancestry ... grow? Well at least the cost has certainly grown. I continue to renew said subscription as the company and records also continue to grow, and I continue to find relevant information. So for those of us who've been 'at it' for eons, and for those who are new, it's always good to use all the free stuff offered such as from their Learning Centre

Read on group!!


Your Thoughts - 1901 to today

A very informed short video of how many of us are living with misinformed beliefs!! What do YOU think 1901 ancestral Canadian families looked like? Were they mostly hetro couples, led by the male? Were there many women head of households? Were there nuclear families? You may be quite surprised!!

Thanks to John REID for digging this one up. Sometimes we let our beliefs get in the way of solid research.


Time to MRCA

Now if you're thinking what the heck is MRCA, my favorite genealogist has written an excellent article that helps explain some important details regarding DNA investigations using a real example. Thanks again to Judy G. RUSSELL for explaining 'hard' stuff in such an easy to understand way. BTW, MRCA stands for 'most recent common ancestor'.


Irish Help from SWilson

This is quite an amazing website which I just stumbled on. I've checked out a few of the features and the results were consistent with what I have learned elsewhere so I'd say go ahead and use it. Who knows what I might also learn here? i didn't want to do any housework today anyway!! haha

There does also appear to be a goodly amount of RC help here which is not always easy to locate.


STOP 'Saving' Records to Your Ancestry Tree

Hmmmm this article explains a lot! Here's a short exerp

"It's easy to get started with, maintain and share (or keep private). Plus, they've made it extremely convenient to add records from Ancestry's databases. A couple of clicks and you can easily attach any number of sources, or names, to your tree (although we could tell you why that's generally a bad idea)."

The article goes on to explain that you are really NOT saving Ancestry records to people in your tree by doing this!! So I'd suggest reading the article to not find this nasty surprise one day when all those lovely records you'd 'saved' were never saved to your tree ... and they're all gone. Sheesh!

I do not have a tree on Ancestry. Not sure I ever will, but I do know there are tons of people who do ... and I have heard stories from some who have had this happen. Forewarned is forearmed.


You are Related to Everybody ... Twice!

While this is not actually the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it is an interesting chart to look at.


The Halifax Explosion and Boston

So what do the two have to do with each other? It's why Halifax gives Boston a gorgeous FREE Christmas tree, and has every year for 45 years!! When I was in Boston it was the middle of summer, so no Christmas tree. haha

Thanks to Linda T. for sharing this story. Read about it


Friday, November 20, 2015

UEL - United Empire Loyalists

Another new database from Library Archives Canada!!

This online database allows you to access more than 54,000 references to names of Loyalists and British soldiers. Names were taken from the British Headquarters Papers, New York―also known as the Carleton Papers―which include a variety of documents about Loyalist soldiers, civilian refugees, as well as British and German soldiers who settled in Canada after the American Revolution

Hope you've done the LAC survey!! It's important. Once the big guys understand how many genealogists use LAC they will begin to listen to us and perhaps even cater to our needs.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Survey from LAC

This is an important way we can finally have a say in what goes on at Library and Archives Canada.

I usually say "No" to telephone or online surveys, but this one is different as it will affect us all as genealogists. The records held by LAC are the records of Canadians, past and present. They are our family records. Take 10 mins and show them how many genealogists there are ... what is important to us ... and that we Canadians don't all live within Ottawa!


British Home Children - NEW Entries!!

This is pretty massive. I've talked about this in my Unpuzzling Your Past Course for decades, but just today Library and Archives Canada has announced the launch of a new version of its online database

We have known about the 100,000 children sent to Canada between 1869 and 1932, but now the database has more than 245,000 entries for British children. That is a HUGE increase! And if you've never heard of it before, and don't believe that any of your family members could be in it ... please realize that 'home children' almost NEVER talked about what happened to them. The number used to be 11% of Canada's population came from 'home children'. With the numbers over doubling now, you do the math.

Take time to read through the information available before you leave the site!! Read. Read. Read.


Scottish - New Records

ScotlandsPeople has just released a new series of records, searchable online

If you've not been using this fabulous website you are in for a major treat!! Scotland Kept some of the BEST records of anywhere, and now a great many are available online at ScotlandsPeople!! Before this site was available I paid something like $35.00CA for my Dad's birth registration. On ScotlandsPeople it would cost me less than $3.00CA.

So they keep adding new records and today the Military Service Appeals Tribunal records appeared. They are records of those who sought exemption from military service, and the reasons why. Even if you don't find anyone, the examples shown make for an interesting - usually sad - peek into Scottish lives.

And don't miss all the other record types they have ... listed on the left side of the home page. There is a wealth of free information on the site - great background details.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Top 10 Blog Posts

My friend Lisa Louise Cooke is celebrating her 1000th Genealogy Gems blog post with a list of her top 10 posts. Congratulations Lisa!! Some great info here


Special 'Shout-outs' To My Students

I have decided to continue posting lots and lots of genealogy information here, and leaving it open to anyone who cares to read it, for FREE. However, I have also decided to share some 'special' information with only those who have taken classes with me beginning way back in the late 1990s. It is my way of saying "Thanks"!!

I have kept really good records, but if you have been missed please contact me so I can add you to that special group. It may only be that you need to update your email address with me. Amazingly there were only five email addresses that bounced with my first shout out that went out to ... wait for it ... 500 people! I am truly blessed with faithful students, some of whom have taken the same class with me three different times saying they learn valuable new skills, and new web links each time.

And a most welcome thing is happening since my first 'shout-out'. I am hearing back from people I may not have seen for quite some time AND they're sharing their stories with me. I love love love it! Thanks folks. Till next time ...


Irish in Chicago & Great Lakes Area!!

There is a presentation on YouTube that talks about the Irish who came to the Great Lakes area. The first speaker talks about the Irish in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York and mentions various record types available to search.

The second speaker talks in depth about the Irish who ended up in Chicago and area. She presents lots of great background information. She also talks about records available for the railroad workers and canal workers in 19th Century Chicago area. A couple details that struck me: the fact that the pre-famine Irish arrivals worked on the canals and later on building churches. They were more skilled as Ulster masons etc so had better jobs that paid well. Post-famine Irish were more likely to be from the Republic and had few skills. They worked on the railroad which included the RR yards - a dangerous place to work and live.

The presentation takes place in Ireland, and you can listen AND watch for FREE
here Both speakers are residents of the USA so there is no language barrier.


Irish - Ask the Experts

Brian Donovan, Irish genealogy expert, answers some questions that could be helpful for all of you!! Have a read


WWI Service Files FREE - Update

I blogged a while back about the service files that Library Archives Canada are digitizing and making available to all of us, for FREE. Here's my post

I suggested that you keep checking back as they continue posting until complete sometime in 2018. In case you've forgotten [hahaha] there are lots of new ones online now. Best of luck


Friday, November 13, 2015

Where Are the Canadian Genealogists Hiding?

Over at the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog they've been having some interesting discussions regarding why American genealogists are so numerous (and well known!), whilst we Canadian genealogists are so ... hmmmm ... Canadian? Meaning we don't 'toot our own horns' and so we often remain relatively unknown other than perhaps locally. So a request was posted - send in the name(s) of whomever YOU would like to see recognized. AND my name and blog was submitted [not by me!!] haha Thank you so very much!!! It is truly and very much appreciated.

I was also on the list of 'RockStar Genealogists', but didn't make the list this year. That also takes being nominated. Recently I was taken to task by a student for not letting my readers/students/conference attendees etc. know about these contests. Point taken. So now I've done this much ............. and it was kind of hard to do.

Thanks too to the folks at the Olive Tree for her wonderful website AND for starting this conversation on her blog!!


More Online Classes - FREE

Just discovered this wonderful resource from the New England Historical Genealogical Society [NEHGS]. Lots of information for those searching New E, BUT there are also two free webinars for those with Canadian interests! The link will take you to the two most recent offerings, but you will notice that the "French Canadian Resources" happened 12 Nov. which was yesterday for those reading this live. No fears though as this has been archived and is still available along with numerous other webinars on various topics. I stopped watching the archived "New York Resources at NEHGS" just long enough to write this post! It's good! And I'm not a member, yet.

The upcoming webinar featuring Canadian resources is titled "Atlantic-Canadian Resources at NEHGS" and is scheduled for 10 Dec. 2015.

What an amazing world we live in! Now if we could just figure out how to participate in everything we'd like to. What a glorious first world problem to have!! Here's the link

I found it frustrating that I could not enlarge the screen so I could actually read what the presenter was showing. So ... I clicked on the YouTube option (bottom of the screen you're watching], and then chose the enlarge feature when on YouTube. Now it works like I want it to and I can read every single screen he's showing. Ahhhhhh love it! Hope this helps.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ottawa Valley Irish

"If your ancestors were amongst the early Irish of the Ottawa Valley, do not overlook the McCabe List. There’s a chance you might find a male ancestor on this list; and if you do find an ancestor, you will have uncovered invaluable information on his Irish origins. To discover an ancestor on the McCabe List is to find the elusive holy grail (county, parish, townland) of Irish genealogy. If you suspect your Irish ancestor was in the Ottawa Valley area by the 1820s, therefore, the McCabe List should be high on your list of must-consult sources."

Many people assume their Irish ancestors all came during the Great Famine, but many came much earlier. It never hurts to look, right? Best of luck!!


Canada's Last WWI Vet

Here is the amazing story of John Henry Foster BABCOCK who lived from 1900 - 2010, complete with documents and photos. Mr. BABCOCK was Canada's last surviving WWI veteran. He was a United Empire Loyalist. It is quite a story, and well worth reading.


The Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial

The Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial

This web site commemorates Saskatchewan’s war dead. Those men and women who perished in service to their country for the high ideals of peace and freedom. It has been created to supplement the physical War Memorial located on the grounds of the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina, SK.

You can search the database of more than 11,000 war casualties and find quite a bit of information. Here you will find casualties from WWI, WWII, WWII BCATP, WWII Ferry Command, Korea, Afghanistan, Boer War, Conflict of 1885 and peacekeeping missions around the world.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Illinois State Genealogical Society 2016: Webinars FREE

So for all those folks who read the header, and chose not to read further ... hahaha ... too bad for them! Am I being nasty today? I don't think so. We too often tune out information from areas we're not researching in only to find out that there was important stuff we missed. Such is the case today I believe.

This society is very active, and has some amazing information in their newsletter which they have made available to members AND non-members! Wow!! Who does that? For instance there is detailed information on how to use Facebook for genealogy. This article is written by Thomas MacEntee ... a VERY qualified genealogist who happens to be a member of ISGS. The things you find when you're not lookin' and only readin'!! haha READ. READ. READ.

And then of course they are offering one webinar each month throughout 2016, free to everyone!! They have some great topics and super great presenters. Have a peek


Procrastination Thinking?

I know we are all supposed to "keep our eye on the prize". And stop following "something shiny". Pick one question, and desired result, and work only on that. Choose one family member and concentrate on only that person.

And for the most part these sayings all contribute to sage advice ... probably having come from those who have learned the hard way how confused, and lost, we get when we continue to wander around aimlessly ... especially online. BUT

following is a well written short article showing 'the benefits to research of procrastination'. Ignore the specifics of a certain country in the article. Just open your mind to what you can teach yourself by doing some 'procrastination thinking'. I think I just invented a new term AND I love that term!!! LOL I'm always doing this kind of thinking ... I just never had a well-defined term for it. And it sounds so much more professional than chasing 'something shiny'!! haha For instance when I first began using the Scottish CDs 1881 census eons ago, I ran searches to see how many 'GILMOUR' entries (all spellings) existed in my county of interest, and I was shocked to find over 1,500 of them! I was pretty new at research at that time, but I remember my ego being bruised as I truly believed my family of that surname were unique! hahaha

Article is at


Monday, November 9, 2015

FREE - Soldiers of WW1 Canada

Library and Archives Canada has been digitizing personnel service files from WW1, and making them available, online and free. Here's the blurp for today 9th Nov., 2015

"The digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) service files is underway and a substantial number of digitized files have been added to our website as part of the Government of Canada First World War commemoration activities. We will add new files every two weeks, as the CEF digitization initiative is a priority for us. LAC will ensure that Canadians have access to the files throughout the digitization process, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.

As of today, 205,064 of 640,000 files are available in the database."

Many of the normal pay-for-view, or subscription sites have been offering free searches from Sunday (yesterday) until Nov. 11th. They're easy to find. But LAC's website is ALWAYS Free, although not nearly as progressive due, in large part, to political influences from our last federal government. Anyway, these service files have amazing information in them. I am not normally interested in military records, but my Scottish grandfather had a nephew that followed my Granddad to Canada and ended up back in the British Isles, and France, in WW1 where he lost a leg. I remember him very well. He had a peg leg ... AND a parrot!! True story. Anyway, his service files have been digitized and I read through all 81 pages! Incredible amounts of information ... some details were more than I really wanted to know.

So while they're not even half way through the digitization process, have a look. Best of luck everyone. And Thank You to all those brave young men, women, and animals. We are FREE.


Weyburn SK Statue to Pioneer Women

One group of pioneers that has been overlooked is our female ancestors. Weyburn Saskatchewan has commissioned and erected a sculpture, and is now working on an ebook to remember and commemorate those women and their stories.

Here's an explanation of the beginnings of this idea

Contact information is in the link above. Looks like the Weyburn Public Library would be able to help. They are looking for input for their ebook. Anyone have a story to share with them? What is not clear to me is if they want stories ONLY from Weyburn area? Anyone know?


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Genealogy in the Park - photo

From my friends in Edmonton at this weekends Genealogy in the Park. Thanks guys!! I ended up babysitting my sick granddaughter, but thought of you all day. I'm sure it was spectacular!! Sorry for the poor quality photo of that handsome guy ... it's the best I could manage from Facebook, to phone photo, to blog. Where there's a will there's a way? Lol


Thursday, November 5, 2015

50 Free Genealogy Sites

So here they are, but take my advice ... if you EVER get a chance to take a class, or a lesson, for any one of these websites ... for goodness sake TAKE THE CLASS!!!!

Yes, the sites are free.

BUT without some knowledge you WILL miss all the 'good stuff' inside - and you'll never know what you missed. I see it with people every single day.

Anyway, best of luck


Porters & Domestics 1899 - 1949, Immigrants to Canada

A brand new database from LAC!!

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the launch of a new online database, Immigrants to Canada, Porters and Domestics, 1899–1949.

This online database allows you to access more than 8,600 references to individuals who came to Canada as porters or domestics between 1899 and 1949. Names were taken from lists contained in the Central Registry Files series of the Immigration Branch (RG76 BIA) and other files held at LAC.
Start searching porters and domestics now!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Why Can't I Be Two Places at Once? Kelowna & Maritimes

I had the most wonderful invitation!!! Come to Kelowna, Sept 23 - 25th, 2016 and do four or more presentations at their "Harvest Your Family Tree" conference which has grown into one of the largest conferences in western Canada. YIPPEEEEEE!!!! So excited!!!!!

But guess what? Look at calendar. I am already booked for that weekend! Nooooooooooo. Sigh. Not that I don't want to go where I'm booked ... it's a life long dream ... but I want to go to Kelowna too!!! Double sigh.

Sooooooo April 10th, 2016 Kelowna will also be hosting an all-day workshop with Scottish specialist, Christine Woodcock. My Dad was born in Scotland. I'm very interested in Scottish research. Maybe I could go to that seeing as I'll already be in Victoria BC. Quick. Look up travel tickets. Figures. I come home April 6th. Triple sigh.

So no matter which coast I'm on, east or west, it will always be the opposite one for the fun festivities at Kelowna. Quadruple sigh. BUT, perhaps some of you can take advantage? I'll talk more about both these events as they get a little closer. GREAT guest speakers coming!!!!!


Genealogy in the Park - November 7, 2015

I blogged about this way a couple times back in October, but now it's near enough to jump into your car and head on over to Edmonton ...

Here is an opportunity not to be missed!! Featured guest speaker is the one and only, world renown genealogist, author, and 'famous person' Dave OBEE. In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by the University of Victoria for his work as a historian, genealogist and journalist. In 2014 he was presented with the Governor General's Caring Canadian award for his work as a community volunteer. Oh and he is NEVER boring. haha Dave has four exciting topics [Genealogy by Google; Beyond the Online Basics; Decoding the Dash; and The Geography of Genealogy in Europe.

The program runs from 9:30am until 3:30pm. They still have a few spots available. Tell them Pat sent you?!! haha Information at

GREAT program and awesome opportunity organized by by my dear friend and colleague Shannon Cherkowski. Trust me, if you can go you will LOVE it!!


Kindertransport Children

"One of the truly remarkable stories that came out of World War II was the story of the Kindertransport children. Nine months prior to the start of World War II, an effort was made to rescue more than 10,000 Jewish children from an almost certain death as the Nazi government was becoming increasingly hostile to the Jewish population in Europe. Through the efforts of a handful of concerned people, children were taken from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Danzig and Poland and relocated with families throughout the British Isles."

If you'd like to read more about this little known story, and/or follow the historical records created about these children, go to

Pat [who woke to find her world outside all WHITE!]

Monday, November 2, 2015

Day of the Dead - Dia de Muertos

I have visited numerous cemeteries in numerous countries - it's just something genealogists do, right? haha Anyway there are always lots of remnants from this holiday in Spanish speaking countries. It's always interesting to see what people have brought to share with their dearly departed ones. Instead of being a sad spot, their cemeteries become a place of festivities ... at least for three days every year. Apparently it's like All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day for Christians in November. Maybe they're onto something? I've never taken part, but then November is perhaps not the best choice - at least for Canadians?

From Find A Grave: "Today is the last day of the Mexican holiday Dia de Muertos where families gather for three days to pray for, and remember, those who have died.

Traditions include buidling ofrendas (private altars), honouring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as giflts. Another tradition is the painting of faces to represent 'La Calavera Catrina'," ...

For images GREAT ideas for Halloween next year? I'm not near so talented.

Pat (BTW, we had 182 little trick or treaters this years and they arrived in the BEST costumes ever. Plus they were super polite. It was a really fun evening). Now onto poppies, and then Christmas. Saw my first two Christmas commercials this morning, 01st of November. sigh