Friday, 23 June 2017

New Book - Celebrating Canada: Decorating with History in a Contemporary Home

My friend Peter Baker, of Peter Baker Antiques, has recently released a book that was years in the making...

Celebrating Canada: Decorating with History in a Contemporary Home

The book was written to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Canada's confederation and the 375th anniversary of Montreal. Follow Peter as he takes you on a history tour of Canada through objects and the story of their artists and of Canada. He highlights a variety of antiques for every budget, and where they can best be showcased in any modern home.

Peter was a selected expert for BBC Antiques Roadshow when they visited Toronto and Ottawa in 2001, and then as an expert appraiser of Canadiana and Folk Art for the Canadian Antiques Roadshow while it aired. 

Peters book Celebrating Canada: Decorating with History in a Contemporary Home is available in most bookstores as hardcover and as an ebook for most formats. It is available in two editions, English edition and French edition.

If you look at it at Google Books there are some excerpts available, click on the book for viewing. When you get to the blank pages, scroll down to the index to see what else is there.

High Fives - June 23, 2017

~by Tom McGregor at Legion Magazine
I would love to try out this machine!! My grandfather was at Vimy Ridge and it would be enlightening to know a little of what he experienced. You don't have to travel to Vimy Ridge to try that one, as they are installing one at the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum in London, Ontario

~by Clare Paterson at University of Glasgow Library
My first sort-of-drinking-age birthday party my Mom decided she would make us a rum punch.  My brother’s friend arrived early and the two of them were pouring and tasting. A little more rum, a little more juice, a little more rum, a little more rum… the whole bottle of rum ended up in there. Best punch ever, and no recipe!
I also took a bartending course once.  Hint.... don't drive there. 

~by Donna Moughty at Donna’s Irish Genealogy Resources 
Great explanation and tips on how to use the valuation records.
To watch Donna's lecture "Researching Your Irish Ancestors Online", even though the Jamboree is finished, you sign up here for Free then log in with the password they send you. It is available until July 10th.

~by Niall Cullen at Find My Past
What is included and how to access the records. Thursday to Monday (incl)

~by Roz Ryan-Mills at University of Glasgow Library
Follow links to database of University of Glasgow students from 1451 to 1917, you can browse or search

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Canada 150 - High Court of Justice for Ontario

During our country's 150th anniversary celebration of confederation I will write posts titled Canada 150 with a link to a publication or website I find that may help you tell the story of your Canadian ancestors.
Click on the Canada 150 label on the right or at the bottom to see all the posts.

Today I have for you...

Reports of the High Court of Justice for Ontario

Even if none of your ancestors are mentioned, some of the cases are pretty interesting. Even in 1895 fathers were absconding with their children...

There are cases against non-Canadians that were tried in Ontario courts, as in the case of Ellis Phipps, arrested in Hamilton Ontario for forgery in Philadelphia.

There is a list of cases reported at the beginning of each volume, after the list of court officials.

Relevant Links

Monday, 19 June 2017

Where did our Ancestors do their Banking?

Did you ever think of where your ancestors did their banking?

I know that my 3rd great uncles in New Deer, Aberdeenshire, Scotland did their banking at the North Scotland Banking Company.  In the Aberdeen Journal of February 19, 1879 there published a "Return of Persons of whom the Company or Partnership exists.." and it listed their name, address and occupation. So I know I have the right guys!  My Bruce ancestors lived at Knaven, New Deer.

Alexander had died intestate in 1877 and his brother Robert, as oldest brother, was named the executor of his estate, including his accounts at the bank. Their brother Joseph was a cattle dealer and also did his banking with the North Scotland Banking Company.

Look for annual reports where some banks provide a list of shareholders, and at the very least a list of officers and directors.

The Metropolitan Bank Note Reporter and Bank Register has images of American gold and silver coins and a description of the notes issued by each bank.  Near the back is a section of closed banks as well as Canadian banks with the warning "Refuse the notes of all the banks not quoted here!"

Relevant Links

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Canada 150 - The Quebec Jail Association

During our country's 150th anniversary celebration of confederation I will write posts titled Canada 150 with a link to a publication or website I find that may help you tell the story of your Canadian ancestors.
Click on the Canada 150 label on the right or at the bottom to see all the posts.

Today I have for you...

The Quebec Jail Association

The Quebec Jail Association was established to bring education to prisoners at the Quebec Jail. The association paid the teachers' salaries and did other good works through donations and subscriptions. A subscription of 5s a year was all that was needed to become a member of the association.

The report gives the conditions in the jail and states that their request to the Quebec Legislature for assistance and recognition of the gaol conditions fell on deaf ears. The association also tried to establish a House of Industry to employ prisoners on discharge.

The fifth annual report tells that in the jail during the winter they were able to "erect a loom and machinery for the manufacture of coarse hempen cloth, which is now in full operation." Voluntary employment was a successful endeavor that gave the prisoners a bit of money to support themselves until they could find work. 

Maybe the provincial government did not sit up and take notice, but other prison associations did.  
This excerpt is from the Annual Reports of the Prison Discipline Society of Boston...

Friday, 16 June 2017

High Fives - June 16, 2017

~by Louise Jack at National Library of Scotland Blog
When I was young my family went from Montreal to Calgary by train and we slept in berths. For me it was fun, like camping out.
Quite a few years ago I looked into travelling on the Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul. What can I say, I’m a romantic history buff. The travel agent had to look into it, as apparently there is not much call for that trip.  She got back to me with a brochure and a price… over $15,000 CDN.  “We’re not bringing the kids” I told her.  
Ah, no.  That is per person.  GASP!
If you think you might want to go, here is where you can book.  
At the time I looked into the trip £1 was approximately $2.50 CDN.
If it is just the sights you want without the pomp, with a Europe Interrail pass you can do the trip on a budget, like Sarah wrote about in this article.

~by Cassandra Lee at McGill Office for Science and Society
The latest in many articles and posts about DNA testing and the springboard
for my last post.

~by Lisa Louise Cooke at Genealogy Gems
I had an idea Lisa would come up with easy follow instructions, she is so good with maps! Thank you Lisa!

~by Harold Henderson at BSG Springboard News and Notes
I was able to listen to a snippet and it sure whet my appetite! I have many family members who crossed into the US. Seems like a good webinar to order or keep an eye out for a rerun.

~by Gail Dever at Genealogy à la carte
Try it!  You’ll like it!  Type a surname in the search box, you may be surprised at where in the world they show up! Even though they are French publications, there are English names in the books too.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Is DNA testing right for me?

Many companies are offering DNA testing for genealogy, and a DNA test is not cheap, over $100 and more a pop! Even when it is on sale it is a lot of money to spend for a trend.

I have never been a follower.  I weigh the pros and cons to decide what is right for me.

ADN animation

You do not need a DNA test to know who you are.  You are the sum of your upbringing and your life experiences. I know and am confident in who I am.

I also know where my heritage lies. Some of our family recipes and traditions were passed down because of our heritage. I know where I come from.

On my paternal side I have my Dad's father's line back to Ireland in the 1600s and his mother's line back to Scotland in the 1500s.

On my maternal side I have my Mom's father's line back to Aberdeenshire in 1800 and her mother's line back to Devonshire in the 1700s.

Taking a DNA test may help you to find a cousin or two (if they also tested with the same company) and hopefully they can then help you with your research.
Via my tree on Ancestry, through genealogy forums, and a couple of times via genealogy groups on Facebook, I have virtually met dozens of cousins (I'm a poet) in all my lines and we share information, records and stories. I find that with all the media attention genealogy is getting these past few years, more Gen X and Y people are looking into their family history, giving us a better chance at meeting family.

From what I have read on both sides of the DNA coin, I see no upside to my taking the DNA test.  I don't think that the information DNA testing can tell me is specific enough to be worth $100. For me it is more of a fun thing, like going to a good fortune teller. I would rather put the money towards my travel fund to go to Scotland and do more research in Aberdeen. Or subscribe to British Newspaper Archive to find more stories on my ancestors.

Many people are not as lucky as I am with their research and may not know where their deep roots are buried. All I am saying is don't take the DNA test just because everyone else is doing it. But DO take it if you have weighed all the scientific information and decide for yourself it is right for you.

I am open to any reasons you can give me of why I should test my DNA and how it will help me know more about my ancestry. I don't know everything!

What is your experience with DNA testing?

Relevant Links

How does DNA testing work, BBC Science

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Canada 150 - St Andrew Society

During our country's 150th anniversary celebration of confederation I will write posts titled Canada 150 with a link to a publication or website I find that may help you tell the story of your Canadian ancestors.
Click on the Canada 150 label on the right or at the bottom to see all the posts.

Today I have for you...

The St. Andrew Society

St Andrew's Society Montreal 1886

It seems like the old adage "Birds of a feather flock together" was meant for immigrant societies, which were established to help others from their homeland. 

The St. Andrew's Society was one such group made up of immigrants from Scotland and their descendants. The objectives of the society in the early days were:  

"The Society is instituted for the purpose of affording relief and advice to natives of Scotland and their descendants who may stand in need thereof, and with the view of promoting union among all classes of Scotchmen and those of Scotch origin in Canada"

In big cities and surrounding areas notices ads were placed in the newspaper to recruit Scotchmen to join the society. You may also find minutes of meetings in newspapers.

The reports of meetings and books of the history of societies have lists of members. This is a list of the original members of the first Canadian St Andrew Society in St John, NB..

It gives an insight when you find little notes on a page like this one from Toronto..

The big yearly event in Montreal was the St Andrews Ball.

Read about who attended the ball in 1923 and what the ladies were wearing...

Look for reports of St Andrew's Societies in local libraries and archives. The societies themselves may likely have an archive of reports and lists of members. 

Relevant Links

Monday, 12 June 2017

Churchwarden's Accounts

The Churchwarden was a volunteer position and he had many duties in the church. There is an account of the role of a Churchwarden here. Being a man of importance he usually had a special pew in the church.

He had to keep track of all the inventory and property owned by the church, make sure taxes were paid and rents collected. The churchwarden kept an account book which hold names of some parishioners and amounts paid to people for goods or services.

Some older ones have been transcribed and the introductions have bits of interesting information ...

The churchwarden wrote in his accounts all monies paid out and received. This passage is from the churchwarden of St Martin's in Leicester, 1552

Fourth item down reads: Received of Mr Manbe ye 3rd day of May at ye burial of his son for 4 bells, 20 pence.

In these old records s = shillings and d = pence. The roman numerals are using a j as a number one. The sum of 20 pence in 1552 would have been valued at about £16.7 today.

In the French Catholic church he is called a Marguillier, and you may find the names of some of them in books of the history of the parish.

Relevant Links

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Canada 150 - The Church Society

During our country's 150th anniversary celebration of confederation I will write posts titled Canada 150 with a link to a publication or website I find that may help you tell the story of your Canadian ancestors.
Click on the Canada 150 label on the right or at the bottom to see all the posts.

Today I have for you...

The Church Society

You will find names on list of board members, on the list of subscriptions and donations, in the treasurer's report, under each town or county, etc.

Check what towns are in the Diocese, which is wide-spread.  The Diocese of Montreal encompasses towns south to the US border, west past Vaudreuil, and east around Granby and St Hyacinthe. 

Look in your local library or archives for other Diocese reports. 

Relevant Links

Friday, 9 June 2017

High Fives - June 9, 2017

Genealogy Beyond the Internet
~by Emma Maxwell at The Scottish Genealogy Blog
What a deal!

~by Jodi Bash? at Family History Daily
It is a little annoying navigating between the ads and it is not quick to find the link to the actual database website (right under the list of tags), but it seems a worthwhile project which is why it still gets a high five from me. They don't seem to respond to comments.

~by Pauleen Cass at Family History Across the Seas
Pauleen discusses the trials and tribulations of researching in Ireland.

~by Dara at Black Raven Genealogy
Dara is hoping to find answers in a new resource.

~by Cassie Mercer at Inside History Magazine
I’ve never heard of such a thing!  I love the church-y look of it and I would go to Sydney just to see that. 

The Ill-fated Trench Raiders
~by Frank Gogos for Legion Magazine
Story of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment during the Battle of the Somme, 1916

Hush Hush Heroes (Part 2)
~by Sharon Adams at Legion Magazine
Canadian Spies of WWII. You can read Part 1 here.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Canada 150 - Auditors and Treasurers Reports

During our country's 150th anniversary celebration of confederation I will write posts titled Canada 150 with a link to a publication or website I find that may help you tell the story of your Canadian ancestors.
Click on the Canada 150 label on the right or at the bottom to see all the posts.

Today I have for you...

Auditors and Treasurers Reports

The reports from the City of Victoria, BC hold city accounts, which roads are paved, which sidewalks are repaired or added, and other city works.  It also has reports of the Fire Department, listing names of firemen, lists of equipment, location of hydrants, etc... and dates and places of fires.

The report for the city of Winnipeg for the year 1883 have list of fines paid to the clerk of the Police Court

Following are some reports that I have found. Check your local library and archives.

Relevant Links

Monday, 5 June 2017

Bell Ringers, Change Ringers, Carillonneurs

The bell ringers, or change ringers, rang the bells of a church by pulling on ropes.  The bells were rung for special occasions and church services, as well as for rites like burials if you had the money to pay for the ringer.  In the 1500s church accounts, 3 bells for a burial would have cost 8 pence, and 5 bells would have cost 5 shillings and 4 pence. The value of 5s 4d for the year 2005 was about £82.

Ringing the bells at St Paul's Cathedral on New Years Eve

Different sizes and weights would have their own tone. Churches could have more or less 4-10 bells and the ringers would develop their own peals or use known peals. You can read about change-ringing here. You can see how a peal is constructed and listen to a Plain Bob Minor peal in right column, and another toward the bottom of the page.

A carillon is an instrument of bells, played by pedals or a special keyboard. It is more likely to be found in a cathedral or a city tower.

According to the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America ... "A carillon is a musical instrument consisting of a series of at least 23 tuned bells, played from a keyboard that allows expressiveness through variation in touch, and on which the player, or carillonneur, can play a broad range of music."

If you search "church bells" at HathiTrust you will get many results for the United Kingdom and the United States, including the Early Bells of Paul Revere. The church ones will tell you the different types and weights of bells they have, the inscriptions on the bells, and the bell founders.

Also check for an association of change ringers/bell ringers in your city, state or country. Meetings and members were often mentioned in the newspapers.

Relevant Links

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Canada 150 - Le Prix Courant

During our country's 150th anniversary celebration of confederation I will write posts titled Canada 150 with a link to a publication or website I find that may help you tell the story of your Canadian ancestors.
Click on the Canada 150 label on the right or at the bottom to see all the posts.

Today I have for you...

Le Prix Courant

Le Prix Courant was a French weekly publication put out by the Retail Merchants Publishing Co. of Montreal. There are market trends as well as price lists of foods and goods, including sundries, coal, furs, skins and leathers...

There is also a section to do with businesses - new, closed, deaths, having difficulties, went up in flames, etc..

What is unexpected and two bonuses for genealogists, are the section of Registered Sales of properties in Montreal, with names and amounts paid...

... and what has this got to do with the price of tea in China? Some issues have city registers and outcomes of court cases...

There are several issues in one binder, so check them all. After some nosing around, I still have no clue why they are touted as "Le Quincaillier" (hardware dealer in English). This is the only mention I found of it in this book.

In August 2014 I wrote a post about The Canadian Grocer, a similar publication in English with prices and business news, but it didn't have these juicy extras.

Friday, 2 June 2017

High Fives - June 2, 2017

~by Gail Dever at Genealogy à la carte
Gail takes us through her search at archives for the bounty claims of her ancestors that served during the Fenian Raids. My ancestors that served all died before 1912. Some units served in Hemmingford - there the house my Dad renovated and I bought from him was the house of Loyalist Colonel John Scriver built around 1812. I walked where they walked!
John Scriver House c1888, Hemmingford Archives

~by Joe Buggy at Townland of Origin
Did any of you check old newspaper articles to see if their Irish ancestors were mentioned as belonging to a Repeal Association?  They stated where in Ireland they were from. 

~by Legion, Canada’s Military History Magazine
I have seen "Passchendaele", and I remember watching  "Captains of the Clouds" with my Grampa... he loved James Cagney! I was really disappointed when the network discontinued "Bomb Girls".
How many of these have you seen?

So You Think You Want to be a Nobleman?
~by Camille Hadley Jones at Edwardian Promenade
I didn’t realize there was so much to the process!  The Lady’s Realm of which she speaks was an illustrated monthly magazine published in London, 1896 – 1914/15

~by Katie Fox at The National Archives Blog (UK)
So whodunit? Very CSI-worthy!

What is a recipe? a recipes virtual conversation
~by Kiaraking at University of Glasgow Library Blog
After reading this blog post follow the link to the Recipe Project, where you will find moe on what are edible and inedible recipes (some of which I wrote about in Tricks of the Trade)