Friday, 24 June 2011

Stage Coach from Brantford to Hamilton February 1872

"At this time there was considerable stage traffic between Brantford and Hamilton. Every morning, except Sunday, a stage left Commercial Hotel at 7:30 and arriving in Hamilton at 10:45, returning at 3 p.m., and arriving here at 7:30. Fare was 50 cents return."

~Flashbacks from the Brantford Expositor offer a wonderful insight into the social history of our ancestors. The Flashbacks are available at the Brant OGS Library. Come in and have a look. You might be amazed at what you will find.

Ever Wonder Just How You Connect to a Particular Ancestor?

First cousins, second cousins, cousins once can all feel pretty complicated. But there is a helpful chart freely available at:

Family Relationship Chart

Have a look, print the chart off and keep it close to your records so that you will have a better understanding of just how a particular ancestor connects to YOU.

The Brantford-Paris Electric Railway 1902

"By tonight the rails for the Brantford-Paris electric railway will be laid all the way from Brantford to within half a mile of Paris, and the whole work will be completed this week. After that, poles will have to be erected, and the trolley wire will have to be put in place. Cars will be running early in the Spring"

~ From the Brantford Expositor November 21 1902
Flashbacks from the Brantford Expositor are in our Brant OGS Library

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Our Strawberry Social

Our strawberry social is held every June and this year it was held on Monday June 20th. As always, Helen and Donna provided a great meal for those of us who attended. It was a bit breezy out under the shade trees but the company made the cool winds endurable.

After dinner, we were treated to fresh strawberries (just picked from a local farm), cake and the requisite whipped cream.

Following dinner, there were door prizes and try as I might, I could not get them to call my ticket number!

When the draws were complete, we were invited to head into the Library where we could do some research. Our library is such a rich resource. We have decided that starting in the fall, we will present on one section of the library at the start of every monthly meeting. It is amazing how many resources we have that are provide information for research outside of Brant. Stay tuned for the details as they are presented.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Irish Census Reports 1926-1991

 The Central Statistical Office of Ireland has published the Irish census reports from 1926 to 1991. There are a total of 12 censuses. Click on the link to check them out:

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Surname Interests

As a service to our members we would like to offer the opportunity to put your surname interests in our newsletter.  Simply fill out the form (as per the example) and return to the address below either by mail or email. Once these are returned to us, they will also be entered into our data base. Sharing this information may help you to connect to others searching the same names, and perhaps even the same families.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

September 28 Declared British Home Child Day

Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry MPP Jim Brownell’s private member bill passed it’s third reading at Queen’s Park and on June 2nd, it received Royal Assent. Bill 185 comes on the heels of Brant’s MP Phil McColeman’s  private member bill which declared 2010 the year of the British Home Child in Canada.
This is a significant recognition for the 100,000 plus young boys and girls who were uprooted from their homes and sent to Canada to labour on farms or provide domestic service. The British Home Children are an important part of Canada’s heritage and with the passing of Bill 185 their contribution to Canada as a growing country will long be honoured.
The Legislative Notes on Bill 185 read as follows:

Bill 185                                                      
An Act to proclaim British Home Child Day
Between 1869 and the late 1940s, during the child emigration movement, over 100,000 British children were sent to Canada from Great Britain.  Motivated by social and economic forces, these orphaned and abandoned children were sent by church and philanthropic organizations.  Many settled in Ontario.  These boys and girls, ranging in age from six months to 18 years, were the British home children.
The British home children were sent to Canada on the belief that the children would have a better chance to live a healthy and moral life.  The organizations that sent these children believed that Canadian families in rural Canada would welcome them as a source of farm labour and domestic help.
The resulting experience faced by many of these children was not what had been expected.  With little monitoring by the organizations involved, many of the home children faced considerable challenges and tremendous hardships in Canada.
Many of the children were lonely and sad.  Some were malnourished and others were emotionally starved.  Many of the home children worked from sunrise until sunset, and children as young as eight years old were expected to milk cows and labour in the fields.  Many siblings were separated and never saw each other again.
The story of the British home children, however, does not end with adversity and hardship.  With remarkable courage, determination, perseverance and strength, these children overcame the obstacles before them.  Most established roots in Canada and in Ontario, and many went on to lead productive lives and contribute to the economy of Ontario.
British Home Child Day is intended to recognize and honour the contributions of the British home children who established roots in Ontario.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
British Home Child Day
   1.  September 28 in each year is proclaimed as British Home Child Day.
   2.  This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Reverend Thomas Greene

Reverend Thomas Greene was a young Irish clergyman who was born in New Ross in 1809. He came to Canada as a Missionary.  Rev Greene was what was known as "Saddlebag preacher". Saddlebag preachers were so named because they rode on horseback through the forest in summer’s heat and winter’s storms, preaching in the log homes of the early settlers. As early as the 1790s, missions were established along the Grand River by “saddle bag” preachers. Church services were held in schoolhouses in many communities before churches were built. Some of the original churches in Brant County, more than a hundred years old, still stand firm as a memorial to the pioneers whose efforts brought them into being.
Rev. Greene held his first Anglican Service in Burford Public School on February 13, 1836. The following week, on February 21, 1836, Rev. Greene preached in the home of a Mr Draper. Early the following day, he preached the first "Church of England" (Anglican) service in a large room of a tavern in Port Burwell. He reported that a woman presented herself for baptism and the crowd who had gathered were until that time unaware of the sacrament of baptism, leading Rev. Greene to then provide them with a lesson. That same night, Rev. Greene returned to Vienna where he preached to a crowd of about 100 in the schoolhouse. Rev. Greene felt that the large number of Irish and English families settled along the southern end of the Grand River and along the Eastern shores of Lake Erie, was fertile soil for the Anglican faith. In today's terms, Rev. Greene would be known as a "Church Planter". He established a number of Anglican parishes in Western Ontario, retiring in 1838 in the Burlington area. He was honoured by his church for his early works and was bestowed an LLD (Doctor of Laws). He was later made a Canon. Rev. Greene died on October 7, 1878 at home. He is buried in Burlington.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Brantford Expositor August 14, 1856

We have examined a sample of wrapping paper from the Brantford Paper Mill, of Babcock, Rich & Co., and most cordially congratulate the enterprising firm in being able to turn out such a superior article.
B.R. &Co. will be ready in a few weeks to offer the merchants of Canada all kinds of wrapping paper equal in quality, and rather lower in price than what is imported.
We wish them every success.

Flashbacks such as these are available in our OGS Library

Joint Partnership Between OGS and NIGS

This from the OGS and NIGS, jointly:

For Immediate Release
(Toronto: May 27, 2011) At its recent 50th Anniversary Conference in Hamilton May 13-15, Nancy Trimble, President of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS), and Louise St Denis, Managing Director of The National Institute for Genealogical Studies, signed a mutually beneficial partnership agreement. Both organizations will remain as independent entities but will work closely with one another for the advancement of genealogical research. Reciprocal advertising arrangements are being developed. As well, free or discounted courses, and other promotions, will benefit OGS members. Free use of The Institute Live Meeting Room will be made available for Society and Branch online communication for committees, meetings, workshops, and speakers. This will allow OGS members to be a part of their Society and Branch activities regardless of where they may live.
“Education is an important component in the role we have in our Society. Partnering with The National Institute will enable us to provide valuable education without re-inventing the wheel. This will be a tremendous benefit to our members”, says Nancy Trimble.

Society members will be encouraged to, The Institute’s Social Media website. As an adjunct benefit, all those attending the Conference’s closing ceremonies received a free course from The Institute entitled “Social Media for the Wise Genealogist.”
A wide array of other items is also being discussed, and timelines for activating those will be released in the near future. In addition to Society-wide arrangements, Branches will be able to take advantage of a number of benefits with The Institute within this agreement.
Louise St Denis adds, “The Internet, and easier access to information, is changing the role of Societies in general. We look forward to working with the Ontario Genealogical Society and their members. Our combined efforts will help provide greater membership benefits to both organizations and the genealogical community-at-large.”

About The Ontario Genealogical Society
The Ontario Genealogical Society, founded in 1961, is the largest genealogical society in Canada. Its dedicated mission is to encourage, bring together and assist those interested in the pursuit of family history. The Society is represented by a membership not only within Ontario but nationally and internationally. There are more than 30 branches dedicated to research in a specific geographical area or the study of a topic of specific interest. A central research library is housed in the Gladys Allison Canadiana Room of the North York Library in Toronto.
For more information on the Society, its various Branches and Special Interest Groups, please visit their website at, call the Provincial Office at 416-489-0734, email, or join them on Facebook.

About The National Institute for Genealogical Studies
The National Institute, a leader in online genealogy education, has been offering genealogy and history courses for over eleven years. They now offer over 200 courses in genealogical studies to help enhance the researcher’s skills.
For those looking to acquire more formal educational training, The National Institute offers – in affiliation with the Continuing Education Unit of the University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto – Certificate Programs in the records of Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, and the United States, as well as a General Methodology and Librarianship Certificate.
For more information, please visit The National Institute’s site at, or call toll-free in North America at 1-800-580-0165