Saturday, 31 December 2011

Start Your Family Tree Week December 26 - January 1

Today's helpful hint on Find My Past   for starting your family tree includes a link to Scotland's People for learning more about old occupations. From there, the list is alphabetized. Click on the letter of the alphabet and it will lead you to a list of the old occupations starting with that letter. Each occupation comes with a description of the job.

Check out jobs such as aqua-vitae maker, litster or wowman.

Happy Searching!

Monday, 26 December 2011

12 Days of Christmas

The 12 Days of Christmas run from December 26th until January 6th. The song The Twelve Days of Christmas is a cumulative song with each verse building upon the previous one. There is thought that the hidden meaning of the song was a way to teach children about Christianity. The repetition in the song is an wonderful way for children to learn and commit to memory. Here are the Christian meanings behind each verse:

  1. A Partridge in a Pear Tree - The partridge symbolizes Jesus as the head of the church
  2. Two Turtle Doves - The two testaments of the bible - the Old Testament and the New
  3. Three French Hens - The Three Wise Men (Gaspar, Balthasar, Melchior)
  4. Four Calling Birds - The Four Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
  5. Five Gold Rings - The first five books of the Old Testament - or the Torah
  6. Six Geese a Laying - Six Days of Creation
  7. Seven Swans a Swimming - The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership and Mercy)
  8. Eight Maids a Milking - The Eight Beatitudes
  9. Nine Ladies Dancing - The Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control)
  10. Ten Lords a Leaping - The Ten Commandments
  11. Eleven Pipers Piping - The Eleven Faithful Apostles (Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Matthew, Bartholomew, Thomas, Thaddeus, Simon, Judas Iscariot)
  12. Twelve Drummers Drumming - The Twelve Points of the Apostle's Creed

If you were in fact to receive the gifts in a cumulative fashion, over the 12 days of Christmas, you would receive 364 gifts.

Partridges: 1 × 12 = 12
Doves: 2 × 11 = 22
Hens 3 × 10 = 30
Calling birds: 4 × 9 = 36
Golden rings: 5 × 8 = 40
Geese: 6 × 7 = 42
Swans: 7 × 6 = 42
Maids: 8 × 5 = 40
Ladies: 9 × 4 = 36
Lords: 10 × 3 = 30
Pipers: 11 × 2 = 22
Drummers: 12 × 1 = 12
Total = 364

And in 2011 the cost of all 364 gifts would be $24,263.18

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Corrections Canada

I just found an interesting website from Corrections Canada with quite a bit of history and photographs. There is a page that lists all of the executions in Canada, as well as a page that lists all of the peace officers (Corrections Officers) who died on the job. If you click on their photo, you will be taken to the story about their death. The most recent one is Lieutenant Alex Finkle from the Brantford Jail, who died in 2000 as a result of injury on the job.

A fascinating site for anyone who had corrections or peace officer ancestors.

New Digitized Records Online from Library and Archives Canada

Newly Digitised at Library and Archives Canada and available on their website are:

Commonwealth War Graves Registers First World War

Circumstances of Death Registers First World War

To this point, these records are not digitised. You need to visit the help pages on each of these sites to learn of a search strategy. At the bottom of the help page, you will be able to narrow down your search to the alphabetised list for your ancestors surname.

Happy Searching!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Google as a Social Medium - Gmail

Much has been written lately on the many uses of GOOGLE. Most genealogists are familiar with the power and simplicity of using GOOGLE as a search engine. Many also know about setting up alerts, and using GOOGLE Reader. But you may not be aware that GOOGLE is also a great Social Medium.

GOOGLE goes beyond just typing in “Facebook” or “Twitter” into the search
engine and hitting “enter”. GOOGLE is also a platform for socializing with other genealogists and even the world at large. In this article, we are going to take a step by step look at Gmail.

Gmail is a web-based e-mail program, similar to Hotmail or Yahoo e-mail. Being web-based makes it accessible from anywhere in the world. It also means larger storage space for those large Gedcom or photo attachments. There are no restrictions on the number of Gmail accounts you own. They are a great way to keep your genealogy e-mail separate from your family e-mails.

Let’s get started: First, you need to have a GOOGLE account.

Setting up is fairly standard: Name, account name, password, security question. Your location and birthdate are optional. You do not need to fill in these fields

Next, enter the Word Verification (to make sure you are a live person and not a computer programmed to spam), read the “terms of service” and click “I accept. Create my account”
Now you are ready to compose an e-mail.

From your Gmail home page, you will see a list on the left side of the computer screen. Near the top is the option to "Compose Mail" Click on this box.

Now you can enter the recipients names, the subject and type out your e-mail message. Note, if you are sending to a group of people who don't know each other, ALWAYS use the Bcc option (blind carbon copy -each recipient will see their own e-mail address only and no one else's in the mailing list. If someone hits "reply all" they will only be replying to the sender, not all of the recipients. Also, if you are forwarding, then only the recipients e-mail and yours will get forwarded. This reduces the amount of spam mail. It is always good etiquette when forwarding an e-mail, that you delete ANY e-mail addresses that are in the forwarded message. This too reduces spam and junk mail.

You can use your gmail account to receive messages from your other e-mail accounts like Sympatico, Telus, Rogers, Yahoo and Hotmail as well. Here's how:

In the top right hand corner there is a picture of what  looks like a cog. It is your settings button. Click on that and it will take you to a page that looks like this:

At the top, you will see an option for "accounts and import" From here you can import contacts from your other e-mail accounts, making it so you don't have to re-type your entire address book. As well, you can "Check mail using POP3". Follow the directions and you will then start receiving your messages sent to your other e-mail addresses in your new gmail account.

Happy connecting!

Return of the Number of Tavern Licenses in Brant

An interesting find on the UofW genealogy pages, authored by Marj Kholi, is the Return of the Number of Tavern Licenses issued in each county, city, township or incorporated village. Brant has listings for the town of Brantford, the town of Paris, the townships of Brantford, Burford, South Dumfries, Onondaga and Oakland. The tavern owner is listed as well as the fee for the license ($10 for towns and $5 for townships).

Here's the link:

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Top 50 in 50 Award Winners

For the 50th anniversary of the OGS, a special contest was undertaken to find the top 50 volunteers who had gone "above and beyond" in their dedication and commitment to genealogy. Our Brant branch was fortunate enough to have three of the recipients.

Last night, at our annual turkey supper, Regional Chairman for Region 4, Ken Bird, was on hand to make the presentations to these very special women. Certificates were also received from our MPP, Dave Levac and our MP, Phil McColeman.

(retiring) Region IV Chairman, Ken Bird
The first recipient was Helen Doctor.

Prior to the opening of our new library – Helen arranged for a sub-office in her home when the thirty-four stairs at our downtown library became too difficult for volunteers and the general public to negotiate, and provided the use of her personal office and facilities for our general and executive meetings, as well as serving lunch after the meetings, so that we would no longer have to endure substandard accommodations elsewhere. She provided the use of her club- house for the monthly year-round meetings of the British Isles Study Group and the Family History Group.

Fundraiser Extraordinaire – Helen has continued to provide the use of her community hall for the two popular fundraising workshops held every year, and also cooks and serves the delicious hot lunch served at these workshops. Every year she holds a fundraising turkey dinner, and a barbecue and strawberry social. She arranges for a branch sales table at the Smokey Hollow Estates spring and fall bazaars, and at their annual yard sale. Helen has been a volunteer for over ten years and was our treasurer for quite a few years, raising a substantial amount of money through her ingenuity and boundless energy.

Our New Library - When the branch required new accommodations and was unable to afford them, Helen built us a lovely new library, including a full basement and handicapped access, at her Smokey Hollow Estates property. She also looked after purchasing furnishings for the library and office and supervised and helped with the move. She continues to help us in many ways with her expertise and with the use of her office facilities. The library opened on November 23, 2008 and is manned by volunteers five days a week. Helen’s collection of native history and genealogy is on the shelves, available to everyone.

Tweedsmuir Historian – Helen is the historian for the Hamilton Area Women’s Institutes. She is our resident expert on the history of the Women’s Institute and the history contained in the Tweedsmuir books. Helen has spent years locating old Tweedsmuirs, borrowing them and making two photocopies of each page, and then putting them in archival binders. She has also indexed some of them, a monumental task. A copy is then given back to the person providing the book, along with the book, and the other copy is put on our shelves. This way, future handling of the original books can be avoided. These books are invaluable historical resources.

British Home Child Descendants’ Reunion and Memorial Quilt Display - On October 23 and 24, 2010, the Brant Branch held a reunion for the descendants of British Home Children and also displayed a home child memorial photo quilt. Over 400 people attended during that weekend. Brant MP Phil McColeman, who brought forth a motion in parliament to recognize 2010 as the Year of the British Home Child, was in attendance along with Brant MPP Dave Levac, Brant County Mayor Ron Eddy, and Shirley Sturdevant, from O.G.S. Helen provided the use of two large rooms in her community hall for this event, as well as meals all weekend for visitors. The branch received certificates of honour and appreciation from the government representatives. 

Helen is a very generous and special person, an outstanding volunteer.

The second recipient was Donna Kemp

Donna Kemp is a founding member of the Brant County Branch and has been a volunteer from the branch’s inception.

From 1994 to the present time Donna has either been chairperson, co-chairperson, vice chairperson or interim chairperson of the branch.  Along with these duties, more than once she has filled in as newsletter editor when the position has been vacant.     

She has been a library volunteer since the beginning, and was in charge of the office at our former library, directing and assisting with the production and printing of our publications, and all other issues concerning the branch. 

Donna has carried on with the duties of library and office manager on a full time basis in our lovely new library at Smokey Hollow Estates. The library is open twenty-seven hours a week and she is on duty the entire time. She is also on call in order to accommodate library visitors outside of our regular hours, and she has always spent a considerable amount of time working at home on branch-related business.      

In recognition of her dedicated service and outstanding contribution to Brant Branch, Donna has been awarded a Life Membership. Her common sense approach to tasks and problems, along with her expertise and generosity of spirit make Donna an invaluable asset and an invaluable volunteer.  

Our third recipient was Marilyn Cross.

Marilyn joined Brant County O.G.S. in 1987 and she helped librarian Alice Pope with the library books at the meetings, before there was a branch library.

About 1990, Marilyn worked as Alice’s library assistant in setting up the branch library. When the library was situated in downtown Brantford she took regular turns on library duty, and since the library has been moved to its present location she has been helping in the library almost every day.
In 1988 Marilyn worked with Angela Files transcribing and typing all of the Brant County cemeteries, which was an ongoing project, until they were updated and completed a few years ago.

Marilyn started the British Study Group, which meets every month year round, to assist others with their British research, and to purchase British genealogical books for the library. She has chaired it ever since. Her plan to start a U.S.-Canada Study Group was taken over by another member.  She also substitutes as chair of the monthly Family History Group if Audrey Elcomb is unavailable. Since 1988 Marilyn has attended executive meetings, and for about ten years she has been co-chairperson.

In 1996 the branch began a Special Projects group to work in the library, cutting, pasting, indexing, photocopying and adding information into the computer, in order to make that information more readily available. Many publications had to be computerized, resulting in a large searchable database that makes finding family material much easier. Marilyn has been co-chairperson of this group since its inception.

Marilyn is an industrious, diligent, helpful and dependable volunteer, a real asset to the branch.

Congratulations Ladies!!

Special thanks to Janice Harris for her dedication in nominating these three women, allowing them to receive the recognition they so richly deserve.


Thursday, 1 December 2011

Penitentiary Term To Youth - 1932

For Five Burglaries in Haldimand and Brant

Admitting five burglaries, three in Haldimand County and two in Brant, and wanted in Simcoe for charges pending over Norfolk county, Clifford Green, 19-year-old Indian, was sentenced to three years in penitentiary on one charge and was sentenced for the same term on the other four all to run con-currently.
The lad was arrested in Hamilton, Tuesday, by Corporal Trolove of the R.C.M.P. in company with other officers and brought back to face Magistrate J.R. Blake today. With Green was Provincial Officer Hayes, of Dunnville, who was going to take the youth back to Haldimand county jail.
Crown Attorney Charlton acted under a 1932 amendment to the Criminal Code to have all the charges tried here although three were in the jurisdiction of the Haldimand county officials. The youth himself was agreeable and permission was received from Haldimand hence all five cases were heard here. It is thought likely that the Norfolk county officials will proceed with their charges against the young burglar who seems to have some sort of a record for minor thefts.
Green was sentenced to two and a half years in the reformatory at Guelph in 1929 and was out on parole at the time he restarted his depradations. (sic)
Magistrate J.R. Blake, after Crown Attorney Wm. Charlton had moved for sentence, stated that he did not think it would be any good sending the youth back to the reformatory. The court thought the matter over a while before imposing three years in the Kingston penitentiary.
The charges read in court and pleaded guilty to are: Around November 18 did break in and enter the dwelling of Ward Curley in Haldimand county, taking a guitar, banjo and clothes; on or about November 28, break in and enter the home of Joel H. Hellems, Burford, taking clothes; on or about December 1, break in and enter the home of Sam Maracle, Tuscarora Township, taking a gramophone, records and clothes; on or about December 4 entering the dwelling of John Nigh, Haldimand county and stealing the sum of $103; on our about December 3 breaking in and entering the home of C.J. McKeen, Haldimand, stealing the sum of $26.

~ From the Brantford Expositor, December 9, 1932.

note: I love how swift justice was meted out in days of yore.