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Charting Religion in Your Tree

After learning about the focus by Find My Past on Catholic records while watching the live-stream at RootsTech, I started to mentally calculate who in my family I may find in these new records. One by one I was eliminating people that this new record set won’t include, but quickly felt I needed to have a tool so I could visually my ancestor’s religion.

How To Make Your Own Chart

And aha! I remembered the genealogy sensation that was caused when J. Paul Hawthorne created and shared his birthplace chart. It was a great visual tool people quickly started using to see birth locations of people in their pedigree chart. I also recalled a blog post by Miriam J. Robbins at AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors which walked us through the process of creating our own chart.

My Chart

After following her how to guide I filled out my chart in with the different religions of each ancestor in my pedigree chart.

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Now I can easily see which family line I need to focus on for these Catholic records, or for other records sets as well.

 

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Instagram & Your Genealogy Pictures

Genealogy Photo A Day

Our genealogy photographs often sit on our hard drives or in stacks of albums in our homes, Instagramming them is a great way to put them to use. The person behind this idea is Melissa Dickerson and her website is called Genealogy Girl Talks.

How to Join in the Fun

Genealogy Girl Talks gives us the month of prompts to follow and each day we add a photograph that describes the prompt. Instagram also gives you unlimited space to add details about the picture and before you upload add the hashtag #genealogyphotoaday & #genealogyphoto and your photo will be added to the growing community of genealogists that are taking part.

Surprising Outcome

One outcome for me is rediscovering what is actually in my photograph collection but possibly more exciting is that my family is too.

My kids are on Instagram and they are seeing some of these pictures of their ancestors for the first time. They are also learning about their ancestry without realizing it (like little subliminal messages). It has started conversations that I am sure we wouldn’t be having if I wasn’t taking the time to share these photographs.

February Prompts

Here are the prompts for the month of February –

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Be sure to follow me on Instagram, my handle is @famtreesrch. I can’t wait to see your pictures!

The image on top o this post is today’s prompt – trinket. I bought these two characters on my last trip to Quebec City. They represented a sailor (1840) when my ancestor would have been working as one at that time. The second figure is a Quarantine Officer from Grosse-Ile and I am sure many of my ancestors traveled through it when arriving in Canada.

 

 

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Ontario Genealogy Conference 2017 Adds Another Day of Learning

Ontario Genealogical Society’s 2017 Conference that will be held in Ottawa  June 15-18, has added an aptly named Ancestry Day to take place on June 19th.

The Conference already has a full weekend of genealogy learning starting with their excursions on Thursday (* the trip to Library and Archives Canada is already full) followed by three days of sessions. The fourth day will take place on Monday the 19th.

The Ancestry Day schedule covers

  • Getting the Most Out of Ancestry 1&2
  • DNA: Testing Everything You Need to Know
  • Adding Genetic Evidence to Your Family Tree
  • Sharing Your Story

This great line up of talks will be given by speakers Crista Cowan and Anna Swayne and they will also have Ancestry DNA kits on sale.

For those that have already registered you will have to go in and register separately for this added day. To register or find out more about Ancestry Day it is on the Conference Page under Special Events.

 

 

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How to Find Alberta Vital Records

Alberta has a bad rap for genealogical records, but it isn’t the black hole of the West as most people think. Well maybe isn’t as easy as its counterparts like Saskatchewan Vital Records or Manitoba but the records are there.

Vital records are available at the Provincial Archives (PAA) for

  • Births that are over 120 years (not adoptions
  • Stillbirths over 75 years
  • Marriage over 75 years
  • Deaths over 50 years

If you are looking for more recent records here is the link for more information on the Service Alberta web page.

Here is the process I used to get a record for a relative who was married in Edmonton in 1908.  The first thing I did was go to the Provincial Archives of Edmonton webpage and located the Genealogy tab.

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Once I selected the Genealogy tab I scrolled down to the b/m/d pdfs on the page to determine if there was a specific number I should be locating. I have to admit I did find this process a little tedious and confusing. In the end, I contacted PAA via email explaining what I was searching for, the names of the people, the date (I only knew the year) and the location.

I received an email from them stating that they had received my request and they would be in touch. A follow-up e-mail told me they had located the marriage record and asked if I would like them to mail it or come in and view it in their reading room. I replied that they should mail it, a digital copy was not given as an option.

Another email followed that included a link to pay for the record and they

accept Visa, Visa debit, MasterCard and AMEX. We are also not able to accept credit card information over the phone to make payments.

The cost for the record is minimal – $3.00 ($6.00 if outside of Canada) and photocopying fee of $.35-$.50 cents! Not bad Alberta, not bad at all.

If you have relatives in Alberta and have been putting off ordering Vital Records, I would like to encourage you to go for it. Overall the process to access the records is not difficult and as you can see full of information! Well, they call them VITAL records for a reason!

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Marriage record of William Lewis Young and Emily Mays at The Manse in Edmonton, Alberta 26 August 1908.

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Making a Plan for 2017

I first started researching my family tree in the basement of my home which was located in a very remote place in Northern Alberta. I was a stay-at-home mom with two young children and was a tad lonely. I found I could research in small quick moments during the day and sometimes in the evening once the kids were tucked in. I was looking for some way to channel my love of family history and took a class offered by the local genealogy society, and I haven’t been able to stop since. I have to say it was very slap-dash and as I have learned not the most efficient way to approach this hobby.

What I didn’t know when I started researching my family tree –

  • how this hobby would branch out and become a full-time interest that would change the scope of family holidays, my free time, and my budget!
  • how important it is sourcing my information is! 
  • how much I wish would have focused more on writing in my English classes…
  • how much information would come on-line
  • that paper-less was an option
  • how much genealogy travel I would want to do

Now that I have gathered a fair bit of material, my goal with my research is to share it. And I don’t mean make my family tree public, what I am envisioning is a family history book with photographs, anecdotal stories, and some social history for context when I really don’t know all that much about an ancestor. With this in mind, I am setting my goal for 2017 to produce a family history book. How will I make this goal my focus for the year?

  • when selecting courses/webinars I will make choices with my goal in mind
  • the same can be said when selecting what sessions I will attend at conferences
  • join Facebook groups with writing as the focus
  • set specific writing goals – to sit down to work on my project three times a weekscreen-shot-2016-12-30-at-12-34-45-pm

This doesn’t mean I will stop researching but the thought of having a finished product to show the next time my family gathers is a vision that I cannot get out of my head!

Setting a goal with my genealogy research was not on my radar when I first started. Now I can see how it will help me to stay the course and have a focused plan for the year.

Have you set your 2017 genealogy goals? I would love to hear what you have planned.

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Following the Prompt

I have decided to participate in the #52stories project that Family Search is promoting. They have created prompts encouraging people to write about themselves and their experiences.

Initially, I felt that I didn’t have a lot to write about, I didn’t grow up saddling a horse to get to school or have personal stories about war or take part in a world event, but I was happily surprised after writing today on the first prompt. I realized do have my own stories to tell, they may not be huge events in the world but they are my stories and may be interesting to someone in the future. The prompt I started with was “What is your earliest memory of feeling proud of yourself -at school, in sports, in art or music, in a club or scouting?”

I went to my Evernote and created a Notebook and called it #52Stories,  each entry will be a note within that notebook. I also downloaded the prompts as a pdf file and added them to the same Notebook. Once I started writing I realized I would like to highlight some of my memories by adding photos.

Here is one of the entries I made for the first prompt – My earliest memory of feeling pride was in grade 1, I was attending McCaig school in Rosemere, Quebec. There was a draw for a radio, I am not sure how we entered the draw if we received tickets for good behavior or had to sell something. No matter, I was thrilled that my name was chosen which meant I was the recipient of the Sesame Street Ernie bubble bath radio. I remember loving the duckie he was holding and hurrying home after school to share my good fortune with my parents. Everyone was quite happy for me and Ernie had a place of honour in my bedroom. I can recall spending quite a bit of time playing with the dial trying to connect to a station. I am not sure what happened to the radio after we moved but it seems there are a lot of things that did not make the move to Alberta.

A quick search in google images and I was able to find my Ernie radio! I added the photograph to my entry as otherwise, nobody would know how awesome Ernie looks relaxing in the bubbles playing with his duckie!51ip6gmr2il-_sx300_

I realize this post is more personal but hopefully, it will encourage my readers to take the time to write about their lives. I for one would love to know some of the stories about the day to day lives of my ancestors!

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Canadian Orders-In-Council & Genealogy

Yesterday I spent some time searching on-line at the Library and Archives Canada’s website focusing on the Orders in Council. The records cover the years 1867-1924, and are further explained on the site as:

A federal Order-in-Council is a legal instrument made by the Governor in Council pursuant to a statutory authority or, less frequently, the royal prerogative. All orders in council are made on the recommendation of the responsible Minister of the Crown and take legal effect only when signed by the Governor General.

My first thought was to search for the regiment that my 3 x great-grandfather William Jordan was a member of, “B” Battery of the Royal Canadian Artillery. There were 170 results  for this search which helped me to follow the movements of the regiment while he was serving with them.

I then decided I would do a search for the Jordan surname. This brought up 54 results which were easy to look through to see if any pertained to my Jordan family. One record was a great surprise, William Jordan’s retirement was recorded in 1905 with an order-in-council approving his pension a year later.

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The digital copy of the record is available for viewing on the website and shows William’s pension was signed by Wilfred Laurier the seventh Prime Minister of Canada. Laurier approved the application for William’s pension after his thirty-three years serving as a soldier.

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screen shot of the record on the order-in-council from the Library and Archives website.

William came out of retirement two years later and served with the 8th Royal Rifles until 1914. With the onset of WWI, William then went to Little River and worked as a shell inspector, he was sixty-two years old. William’s full career spanned forty-six years, a notable length of time.

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William Jordan, 1930.

I encourage researchers to have a look at the Orders-In-Council on the LAC website and be creative with your searches. I suggest not only searching your ancestor’s name but also try a location or a subject like a military regiment, you never know what you will discover.