Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Western Canada Genealogy Conferences 2018

Upcoming Genealogy Conferences
in BC, Alberta, 
Saskatchewan + Manitoba 

Excited to be helping a group from Alberta on
their research trip to London, UK!!
(see Sep. 2-14, 2018)

July 27 to 29, 2018 Fri-Sun.
Hands on Genealogy
Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe
Workshops & programs for researching German ancestors in Poland and Volhynia
Calgary, Alberta

Sep. 8th, 2018 Sat.
40th Anniversary Celebration Calgary Chapter
American Historical Society of Germans from Russia
Courtyard Marriot Inn
Calgary, Alberta

Sep. 2-14, 2018 
London Trippers 2018 - this UK trip is organized by members of the AGS. I believe this group is capped to max but if you would like to enquire do get in touch.
Alberta Genealogical Society, Edmonton

Sep. 28 to 30, 2018 Fri-Sun.
Harvest Your Family Tree Genealogy Conference 2018
Kelowna & District Genealogical Society
Kelowna, B.C.  

Oct. 1-2, 2018  Mon. & Tues.
Beyond Ethnicity: Finding Family with DNA - FamilyRoots DNA Conference 2018
Location: River Park Church and Fort Calgary
Alberta Family History Society
Calgary, Alberta

Oct. 13, 2018 – Finding Your Roots Conference, Surrey, BC.

October 12-14, 2018
Celebrating 40 Years of Genealogy Research
Medicine Hat & District Genealogical Society
Guest speakers: Diahan Southard, DNA Guide & Author, Gena Philibert-Ortega, Author, researcher.
Medicine Hat, Alberta

October,  November 2018
Annual Trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City
The BCGS Researchers, formerly the Salt Lake City Trippers - visiting Salt Lake since 1975!

April 26-28th, 2019
Images Through Time
Alberta Genealogical Society Conference
Alberta Genealogical Society (AGS)
Radisson Hotel & Conference Center
Edmonton, Alberta

June 21-23rd, 2019 Fri-Sun.
Ontario Genealogical Society
London, Ontario 

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Finding Your Ancestors in Saskatchewan

The Finding Your Ancestors Series -Genealogy resources to each province in Canada

I don't profess to being an expert in each Canadian province, but I have tried to find unique resources as well as researchers who live in the local area.  Please do explore and settle in for a good read, 'cos there's a lot of detail!

Moving west, this article in the series will look at genealogy sources in central Canada, where many farming communities are located. The prairies are often referred to as fields of golden wheat and barley with beards blowing in the wind. They forgot to mention the sod-houses, the prairie fires and the ever disappearing horizon that greeted the settlers when they arrived to start new lives.

At the end of this article are four reviews of collections
that will help in Saskatchewan Genealogy.

credit: British Library / Picturing Canada Collection

Brief History

The Chipewyan, Cree, Saulteaux, Assiniboine, Atsina and Sioux are six First Nations bands who lived in Saskatchewan before the arrival of the Europeans. The early 1700s saw an influx of Europeans who traded with the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company. The province was earlier known as RupertsLand and then the Northwest Territories and finally obtained provincial status in 1905. The name Saskatchewan comes from the Saskatchewan River, named Kisiskatchewani Sipi by the Cree, which means 'the swiftly flowing river'. Regina, the capital city was once called 'Pile O Bones'.

My Saskatchewan born friend refers to her province as 'God's country' and He must have indeed found areas of beautiful oases, but although the province has many hidden treasures, from the TransCanada Highway it looks terribly flat! For those trivia enthusiasts, 10 things you might not know about Saskatchewan

For Genealogists

These free websites should be your first stopping ground for Saskatchewan genealogy.
Cangenealogy Saskatchewan is a website created by Dave Obee with links to explore Canadian genealogy. 

Library & Archives Canada - Saskatchewan is the Government of Canada's Genealogy page for Newfoundland and Labrador.
Family Search Saskatchewan is the Family Search wiki.

Saskatchewan Births Marriages Deaths 
Please check this article for guides on Births Marriages and Deaths in Canada, it's not as straightforward as you may think!

Aboriginal Ancestry - 36 pages of information and resources provided by Library and Archives Canada Note: this is a link to a pdf.

Doukhobor pilgrims entering Yorkton
Eastern European Genealogical Society  - provides help to those researching Czech, German, Jewish, Mennonite, Polish, Romanian, Slovakian and Ukrainian Genealogy.

Suggested List of Sources for Ukrainian Genealogy by Myron Momryk (applicable in Saskatchewan and Manitoba).

Links to Archives in Saskatchewan

Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan

Métis Nation of Saskatchewan Genealogical and Archive Centre
-this is linked to the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan GenWeb page - links to libraries and archives and internet resources. The Canadian GenWeb pages are always worth a look for unique items. Provided by volunteers.

Saskatchewan Settlement Experience   This website was published in 2005 but has a lot of very interesting and helpful articles for the genealogist about homesteading in the province. Provided by the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan.

Saskatoon and Area Rootsweb Genealogy Page 

Saskatchewan Historic Newspapers Online 

Historic Goodwin House museum - Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park - Frank Goodwin home - he came from England in 1878 to join the R.N.W.M.P.

Saskatchewan E-Resources:

Fabulous database available on Saskatoon Public Library webpage. Saskatoon Obituary Index 1946-present transcribed from the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.  Also available is a Local History Database page.

Humboldt Marriages  Oct.1905 to Dec.1921 This blog author provides a history of the transcription of these marriages.

City of North Battleford has an online gallery of photographs of the city from the 1900s. Any use of these require permission from the archivist.

In the City of Regina Archives, you can research the history of a house that your ancestor lived in using the Building Permit Registers. It's also possible to search all of the collections in the Archives at one time, includes: Architectural Drawings, AudioVisual, Photographs and Textual Files.

28,000+ Online digital collection of photographs are available on the Saskatchewan Archival Information Network. These photos of Rosetown, Prince Albert and Melfort amongst others are provided by archives and libraries around the province. Many depict provinces across Canada, for example, Alberta and Nova Scotia, as well as from Worcestershire, England, the Rhine "Sonnige Wochen am schonen Rhein" and other European countries.

Saskatchewan GenWeb

Archives Canada Virtual Exhibits  2004-2008 There is an amazing amount of information on this page, most of the links are still active. Really worthwhile for genealogy and contextual information of areas where our ancestors lived.

Print Resources

The information in these 7 pages of references for Metis Genealogical Research in Saskatchewan outlines Bibliographies, Archives and local histories - keeping in mind these are resources. Some of the items are at the Gabriel Dumont Institute Library or can be cross-referenced to your local library.

The SGS (Saskatchewan Genealogical Society) Publications page lists numerous books for sale. Women Pioneers of Saskatchewan, Book 1 and 2. Edited by Celeste Rider, Published 2009 by Saskatchewan Genealogical Society. To access the list hover your mouse over the Resources, then find SGS Marketplace. Book 2 lists names of women who came with their families from the United States, from other areas in Canada and Europe. 1903-1917 One woman was born on board the ship that brought her family to Canada.

Tracing Your Saskatchewan Ancestors: A Guide to the Records and How to Find Them by Laura Hanowski. 2000, 2003, 2006.

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Library in the Regina Armoury is a military specialist library with unique items such as: original Canadian Army General Orders before World War One; personal memoirs and unit histories.

Prairie History Room at the Regina Public Library - contact the librarians for help accessing this collection. A list of genealogy resources available at the Regina Public Library - Resources List. 

The following titles are from the Regina Public Library catalogue - so many interesting accounts of Local History. Worth finding out if your local library has a copy or can request a copy!

Dust and laughter : memories of a prairie family by Margaret Dutli. pub.2003 (Love the title!)

Horizon and beyond : genealogy history of the Michael Sr. and Theresia Klemenz family who immigrated to Canada from Austria-Hungary in 1905-6. by MaryAnn Young.

One of the family : Metis culture in nineteenth-century northwestern Saskatchewan by Brenda Macdougall  pub.2010

Our towns : Saskatchewan communities from Abbey to Zenon Park by David McLennan pub. 2008.

Raw prairie to grain elevators : the chronicles of a pioneer community, Duff, Saskatchewan by Len Sumner.   pub.1980

Women pioneers of Saskatchewan vol. 1 & 2 by Celeste Rider. pub. 2009

Saskatchewan  Genealogists' Blogs

Batoche Saskatchewan Metis -

Bibliography for Steamships  -   There are a few broken hyperlinks on this page, providing teasers but if you are a diligent researcher, there is some good material here. Note that some of the resources refer to the Saskatchewan River and can cover areas in Alberta as well.

Pat Ryan's Genealogy   Regina Sask. - although Pat's posts are very brief, there appears to be a tip practically every day of the month!

Researchers Located in Saskatchewan

MNA Research Particularly does heir research, but also provides genealogical research services. is a professional company that hires genealogists around the world. Saskatchewan page - each of these pages requires you to submit your contact details before providing more information.

Tammy Vallee located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - specializes in Fur Trade and First Nations research.

Past Presence - Linda Yip

Another recommendation is to ask the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society if they have a research service or know of researchers you can contact.

Four of my articles that relate to Saskatchewan Genealogy Research : 

Phone Books for Canadian Prairies - includes Regina and Saskatoon Directories

University of Saskatchewan Genealogies - Biographies of UofS notables. Includes a fabulous account by Ruth Horlick of her trip to England with the Overseas Education League.

The Grasslands Oral History Project - Scott Parker spent 6 months in southern Saskatchewan, highlighting the lives of residents, including farmers, ranchers and rural fire fighters.

 Top Pick:  Canadian Prairie Pioneer Questionnaires - this is an amazing genealogy resource. In the early 1950s the archives embarked on a survey of those individuals and characters who pioneered in the rural districts of Saskatchewan.  The answers reflect the period the people arrived in the community, often the late 1890s. Sometimes they provided a birthplace, parents' names, the name of the town they settled in, their address at the time of the survey as well as the address they came from. These surveys were mailed and over 3,500 replies were sent back to the Saskatoon Archives office.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Genealogy Reference - Canadian University Publishing

Looking for a good read? A source of information for your book? Oral histories or 'life histories'? A publisher for your hard work?

Have you considered looking at the many University Presses in Canada?

Following are a few intriguing titles, specifically from the Prairie Universities, which I feel relate to genealogy research. Some are personal accounts-families moving from Quebec and Norway to Alberta; general histories of the prairies; cowboy and ranching culture and a few that describe experiences in the Second World War. Although I have conceptualized some of the book descriptions from University Press website, please note that I haven't read any of these, they caught my attention and I wanted to share them with you.

Check your local library catalogue to see if these books are in their collections. (For UK readers: BL denotes a copy is at the British Library.)

Also search WorldCat and COPAC-UK 

A business history of Alberta by Henry C. Klassen.  My description: This book will be helpful to the genealogist looking for information on the general history of the growth of business in Alberta. University of Calgary Press (BL)

As I remember them : childhood in Quebec and why we came West by Jeanne-Elise Olsen.
Edited by G. Lorraine Ouellett and Ian Adam. University of Calgary Press

The Constructed Mennonite : History, Memory, and the Second World War by Hans Werner 2013  University of Manitoba Press  (BL)

Cowboys, Ranchers and the Cattle Business: Cross-Border Perspectives on Ranching History
Simon M. Evans (Editor), Sarah Carter (Editor), Bill Yeo (Editor)  University of Calgary Press

Harm's way : disasters in Western Canada / edited by Anthony Rasporich and Max Foran.
 by Max Foran  University of Calgary Press (BL)

In the Unlikeliest of Places : How Nachman Libeskind Survived the Nazis, Gulags, and Soviet Communism by Annette Libeskind Berkovits Wilfred Laurier Press  (BL)

Invisible Immigrants : the English in Canada since 1945. by Marilyn Barber and Murray Watson. 2015. University of Manitoba Press  (BL)

The Life Writings of Mary Baker McQuesten : Victorian Matriarch. edited by Mary J. Anderson  Wilfred Laurier Press

Looking for country : a Norwegian immigrant's Alberta Memoir by Ellenor Ranghild Merriken. (Editor) Janice Dickin University of Calgary Press

Love and War in London : a Woman’s Diary 1939-1942. By Olivia Cockett, edited by Robert W. Malcolmson  Wilfred Laurier Press  (BL)

On the frontier : letters from the Canadian West in the 1880s by William Wallace. Edited by Ken Coates and Bill Morrison University of Regina Press  (BL)

Promoters, Planters, and Pioneers: The Course and Context of Belgian Settlement in Western Canada by Cornelius J. Jaenen University of Calgary Press  (BL)

Settling Saskatchewan by Alan B. Anderson University of Regina Press  (BL)

Steerage, Cattle Cars, and Red River Carts: Traveling to the Canadian Western Prairies to Homestead, 1876–1914 By Sandra Rollings-Magnusson  University of Regina Press  (BL)

Travels and Identities : Elizabeth and Adam Shortt in Europe, 1911 edited by Peter E. Paul Dembski  Wilfred Laurier Press

Twice Persecuted : Surviving in Nazi Germany and Communist East Germany by Carolyn Gammon and Christiane Hemker  Wilfred Laurier Press  (BL)

The Unwritten Diary of Israel Unger rev. ed. by Carolyn Gammon and Israel Unger  Wilfred Laurier Press


University of Calgary Press
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T2N 1N4

University of Manitoba Press
301 St. John’s College
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
R3T 2M5

University of Regina Press
University of Regina
3737 Wascana Parkway
246 - 2 Research Drive
Regina, SK S4S 0A2

Happy Searching!

Friday, 25 May 2018

Phone Books for Canadian Prairies Genealogy

Are you having a hard time finding your ancestor in Canada's prairie provinces?

Henderson's Directories are considered the proverbial phone books for genealogists. The copies for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are provided online by Peel's Prairie Provinces (hosted by the University of Alberta). They are a good starting point, especially for pre-WWI and post-WWI research. Coverage is also into the 1970s. Henderson's Directories are similar to Kelly's Directories in England.

Below are the issues that have been digitized for the prairie provinces, but the links at the end of this article point to other resources.

On the main page entering a search will provide
 results across all of the databases in that province.
!TIP! Small rural towns may be covered in the larger city directories.
For example, Brandon Directories may hold a directory for Souris.

Do read the description provided by Peel's Prairie Provinces, as though the title may state a full coverage of 30 years, once you scroll down the page you will see the digital copies vary between those years. For example, they provide this information on the page for Lethbridge:

Henderson Directories. Henderson's Lethbridge city directory. Calgary: 
Henderson Directories Alberta, 1910-1953. (Calgary is the place of publication.)

You can see from the extractions (below), that there are some gaps in the digital issues for Lethbridge, ie: not every year is covered. This is most likely because the collection they were given to digitize had gaps. So definitely search in other places (local libraries) for missing physical issues. Not everything is online and or digitized!

Edmonton   1908-17, 1919, 1920-53; 
Calgary   1910-1940, 1943, 1945, 1948-53; 
Lethbridge   1914, 1917, 1919, 1920/21, 1923, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1932, 1934, 1936, 1940, 1944, 1946, 1948, 1951, 1952, 1953;
Medicine Hat and Redcliff   1913-1960;  and rural locations 1911, 1914, 1924, 1928-29.
Alberta's Gazeteer & Directory : 1911, 1914, 1924, 1928/29

Manitoba :
Winnipeg and incorporated towns of Manitoba; 1920-1956

Brandon 1906, 1907, 1909, 1911, 1913, 1914, 1917, 1919, 1921, 1923, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1933, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1941, 1943, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950-55

Manitoba and Northwest Territories 1884, 1894, 1897, 1905.

Keep in mind that the print copies of these directories will be held at the local level and may be found in public libraries in large cities as well as small towns. Universities often hold copies on microfilm as their students use them regularly for their research.

Also please note that the title may vary from time to time and the publisher names may change as well. For example, in the Saskatoon directories, there were no less than 5 name changes between 1908 and 1960.
1908-1909 Henderson's city of Saskatoon directory for ...
1910-1919 Henderson's Saskatoon city directory
1920-1925 Henderson's Saskatoon directory
1926-1957 Henderson's Greater Saskatoon directory
1958-1960 Henderson's Saskatoon directory

Saskatchewan : 
Regina : In 2016 I reported that the Regina Directories Digitization Project was underway. Thanks to the loan of the originals from Regina Public Library it is now largely complete.    

Years covered: 1908-1979
Henderson's city of Regina directory for 1908. One year only. Winnipeg is the place of publication.

Henderson's Regina city directory for 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916-17, 1917.  There do not appear to be links to digitized issues for 1918 or 1919.

Henderson's Regina directory for 1920 - this link lands on the digital copy for 1920, on this page please scroll down for the links to:  1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933

Henderson's Greater Regina directory for 1934 - this link lands on the digital copy for 1934, on this page please scroll down for the links to:  1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957

Henderson's Regina directory for 1958 - this link lands on the digital copy for 1958, on this page please scroll down for the links to:  1959, 1960

Henderson's Regina (Saskatchewan) city directory for 1961 -  this link lands on the digital copy for 1961, on this page please scroll down for the links to:  1962, 1963, 1964, 1965
There is a note on the page for 1961 - "Issues for 1963-1979 lack vol. numbering." 
(Would be helpful to have a further explanation as there doesn't seem
 to be digitized copies for 1963-1979.)

Henderson's city of Saskatoon directory 1908-1909
Henderson's Saskatoon directory 1920-1925
Henderson's Saskatoon directory 1958-1960
The links for each issue are further down the page. Note the different names. Content may vary.

These Saskatoon issues  :  [1980-1991], 1993, 1994, 1995-1996, 1997, 1998-2000  appear without links. Perhaps they are still being digitized. I would recommend getting in touch with the public libraries in the cities to see if they have these issues in print.  

discovery of Snelsby and Sneesbys in Winnipeg 
Other Resources: 

Canada Online Historical Directories

Canadian Directories Collection - Library & Archives Canada

Henderson's Directories - contains lists of names and addresses and places of work for residents of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba

Enjoy your voyage of discovery!

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Signature Quilts - a Canadian Family History record

 Especially cool!  Imagine seeing your ancestor's name along with many of
their friends and neighbours on a bed throw or quilt. 

My daughter's first quilting attempt
This intriguing story about a PEI Signature Quilt discovered in Reading, Wiltshire, UK appeared in my social media feed. Even though I don't have any ancestors in PEI that I know of, I was given a very special quilt that my grandmother made, so I just had to investigate this genealogical story.

Mark Golden, of Reading, U.K., reported (CBC article) that his mom bought the PEI quilt in the 1960s from a charity shop. ​ Some of the names on the quilt: Lois MacINNIS St. Lawrence, P.E.I.; Robert MacINNIS St. Lawrence, P.E.I.; Sandra MacINNIS St. Lawrence, P.E.I.; Loretta VAIL, Ch'town, P.E.I.; Bill RIX, Ch'town, (Charlottetown) P.E.I.

Linda Berko, the curator of collections and conservator at the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation explained the purpose of signature quilts. Names were embroidered into squares, later sewn into a quilt and were auctioned off to raise money for a special cause, often a church event.

There were lots of results on the internet when I used these terms: Autograph Quilts; Signature Quilts; Friendship Quilts. When doing this kind of research, remember to concentrate your research on women as they most likely organized and stitched these events!

This post provides links to other sites about signature quilts, Canadian, U.S. and United Kingdom.

Freetown United Church - P.E.I. - displayed a signature quilt on one Sunday in November 2017. It is owned by the DEWAR family and was created in 1928 to raise funds for a mission group within the church.

Uxbridge Historical Centre - Ontario -this leads to an events page

Mary Grahams Redwork Signature Quilt - Ontario - Mary Grahams was a Nursing Sister who served in the First World War. The Elmvale Womens Institute sent her this quilt.

Elgin County Museum Signature Quilts Ontario - quilts from all time periods, various areas in Elgin County :  Dutton Methodist Church Quilt, 1890 ; Minnie Williams Quilt, 1917; St. Thomas Central United Church Quilt, 1919; St. Thomas First United Church Quilt, 1925-30; Frome United Church Quilt, 1969.

Rural Women Studies Friendship Quilt - the Braemar Women’s Institute Autograph Quilt and the Wolverton Red Cross Quilt - Ontario 
Women's Institute Quilt - Ontario - Women's Institute of Niagara created in support of the First World War. It was completed in 1917 and raised $150 for the Red Cross. From the website: "Cotton squares measuring 8 by 8 inches were sold for $16, and a maximum of 16 people signed their names on each one. Members of the Women’s Institute then sewed over the signatures in red thread. There are 80 squares on the quilt with 69 signatures.

University of Alberta Home Economics department are creating a Signature Quilt to celebrate 100 years 1918-2018. Sign your square and donate before May 10, 2018 in order to make it ready for the event in September 2018.

Edmonton & District Historical Society - Threads of Life - the 1917 Waskatenau Signature Quilt - only an announcement about a meeting in 2015 - but would be nice to hear the story! 

United States
America's Quilting History   - a page about quilting with a history of Friendship Quilting

Flexner Family Names on a Signature Quilt - Iowa - a genealogical story

Master Builder of Quilted Trees - a quilter and a genealogist - perfect combination!

Quilt Index

Welsh Heritage Project  -  a quilt with hundreds of names! (society: Welsh pioneers on the prairies of the U.S.)

Josephine's Journal - Friendship Quilt - literally hundreds more names! Josephine's Journal has an interesting story which you will find on the main page. It is a newspaper column from the Overton County News in Livingston, Tennessee. What is even more amazing is that each article is reproduced on these pages without credit to the author and without dates! However, a fabulous snapshot into the stories of people who live in this community.

United Kingdom
York Press article about the York Museum signature quilts - "Exhibition highlights include the 1718 Silk Patchwork Coverlet which is the oldest signed and dated patchwork in Britain."

Quilt Museum, York - made in 2013 ; made as a fundraiser for the Quilt Museum, during their exhibition 'It's all in the Making'. A current piece of family history!

A Pinterest Quilting page
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

The Hidden Half of the Family: A Sourcebook for Women's Genealogy by Christina K. Schaefer. pub. 1999 Genealogical Pub. Co. - a resource for researching Women's Genealogy

Remember Me: Women and Their Friendship Quilts - a book written by Linda Otto Lipsett.

My grandmother made a special quilt, now very fragile, with hand stitched squares made from pieces of clothing worn by members of the family. Unfortunately I don't know if this was made specifically as a memento or as a bed cover but it's still a family treasure.

Is there a signature quilt in your family?

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Finding Your Ancestors in Newfoundland and Labrador

The Finding Your Ancestors Series - Genealogy resources to each province in Canada

Long before I became infatuated with genealogy, our family made the trek from B.C. to Newfoundland, where we visited numerous sites including Cabot Tower in the capital, St. John's. It is a beautiful part of the country with very rocky shores and gorgeous stands of trees. Standing in that very famous cove, one could imagine the early settlers arriving and tenaciously carving out their future.

I don't profess to being an expert in each Canadian province, but I have tried to find researchers who live in the local area or write articles about Newfoundland and Labrador. Please do explore and settle in for a good read, 'cos there's a lot of detail!

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland is a beautiful piece of Canada.  Fondly called 'The Rock', it's geographic makeup is predominately rock and more rock with trees.  Also, Labrador is a separate land mass to Newfoundland, but the two are recognized as 'one' province.
© credit: DHurt
Distance between St. John's and Toronto by air 1311 miles, 2109 km.
3087 km. by car - may also include a ferry ride 😊

Brief History
Originally a self-governing dominion, Newfoundland was incorporated as a province of Canada in March 1949. St. John's is the capital city, not to be confused with St. John in the province of New Brunswick. A comprehensive history of Newfoundland.  Many families emigrated from Poole, Dorset to Newfoundland in the 1700s and 1800s and it all has to do with cod. Please see the end of this page for the links to the articles I wrote about my visit to Poole, U.K.

Abandoned Battle Island Newfoundland - Abandoned Battle Island Newfoundland. Preserved as a National Historic Site. Declined with cod fishery & a fire in the 1930s.  History of Battle Harbour

For Genealogists
These free websites should be your first stopping ground for Newfoundland and Labrador genealogy. 
Cangenealogy Newfoundland is a website created by Dave Obee with genealogy links to explore.
Library & Archives Canada - Newfoundland is the Government of Canada's Genealogy page for Newfoundland and Labrador.  
Family Search Newfoundland and Labrador is the Family Search wiki. 
Olive Tree Genealogy Newfoundland page (TIP: Ctrl and + keys for larger text.)  

Next stop - the Libraries in Newfoundland and Labrador  ;  Links to Genealogy on the Memorial University Library page. 

Bay St. George Genealogy Society St. George's Bay, Baie St-George on the west coast of Newfoundland, one of the largest bays in Newfoundland

Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and the active Families & Surnames Forum 

Newfoundland Public Library Genealogy Guide and Awesome! Newfoundland Public Library Postcard collection of scenes around Newfoundland, 19th and early 20th century. They are arranged thematically or an index is available onsite in the library. Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association - search for libraries in the province.

Maritime History Archive, in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Memorial University in St. John's. This archive holds many unique records, especially maritime related: Crew Lists for UK registered ships; the term 'fisheries' found 793 records in their Photo Collection; Resettlement Photo Collection.  Finding Your Canadian Story article : Newfoundland and Labrador Ancestors: The Maritime History Archive Part 1

Newfoundland Grand Banks - Genealogical and historical data for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.    This is Finding Your Canadian Story's article Newfoundland Ancestors: Newfoundland's Grand Banks

Newfoundland and Labrador in the Great War  - provided by the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador and Memorial University

The Rooms : Archives, Art and Museum - there is a genealogy section on their website under Collections and Research. The collections cover Sport, Died in Service, Still Images, Government Archives, Manuscripts, Cartographic, Architectural Archives and Museum Notes.  

Newfoundland and Labrador E-Resources:

A database of surnames from Newfoundland Newspapers - described on the Maritime History Archive website: 'The surnames in these pages are taken from the Births, Deaths and Marriages in Newfoundland Newspapers, 1810 - 1890 CD which contains more than 40,000 entries for births, deaths and marriages transcribed from 43 Newfoundland newspapers published between 1810 and 1890.'

Newfoundland War Brides created by Jackie Sheppard Alcock - truly a labour of love! Over 600 war brides are listed on these pages.

Old Gander Genealogical Project - Robert Pelley, originally from Gander, Newfoundland, now lives in Quebec, invites former residents to get in touch to share stories.

David Pike Family History -  PIKE family from: Bonavista Bay, Trinity Bay, Conception Bay as well as Somerset and Devon, UK. I have to say I haven't seen a website built purely for family history purposes and so chock full of stuff in a long time! Very basic design and reminds me of early websites built purely on html. Really could be registered as a GOONS effort! It is updated regularly. Well done David!

Stone Pics - the aim of this group is to photograph and index page every cemetery, headstone, and monument in Newfoundland. Last updated 2012

Stone Pics Czech Republic - the main Stone Pics group are also keen to photograph and index cemeteries in the Czech Republic. Last updated 2014

A connection between Poole, Dorset and Newfoundland. 

Print Resources (to get you started)
Library & Archives Canada Catalogue

- Family names of the island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary
- Officers and men of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment 1795-1802 & Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry, 1803-1816 by Rodney T. Lee
- A long way from Tipperary : a Halley family history, 1600-2000 by Irene Collins
- Finding your ancestors in Newfoundland & Labrador by Bill Crant (Heritage Productions)

Newfoundland and Labrador Genealogists' Blogs

Search for Newfoundland family names on Rootsweb

Noel or Newell family connections in the UK.  - Check the Links page for research about Newfoundland as well as DNA research in Newfoundland.

This blog is particularly about: Buttery, Kettle, Lomond, Nebucett and Scott family names

Heather Matthews Island Genealogy - located in Paradise, Newfoundland  Facebook Island Genealogy

Researchers Located in Newfoundland and Labrador

My research on various pages did not result in specific people researching in Newfoundland or offering only research in Newfoundland or based in Newfoundland. I would suggest checking out the Nfld-Labrador mailing list on Rootsweb and / or contacting the Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador as a starting point. 

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Six Chinese Men who survived Titanic

Lloyd's registers are online

photo taken by PAllen
There's a great story circulating in genealogy circles which will be highlighted in a documentary later this year. Arthur Jones is a British filmmaker and was intrigued by the story of eight Chinese passengers on the R.M.S. Titanic. In 2012 he began pursuing the history of how these men happened to be on this vessel, how they survived and what happened to them after they arrived in New York.

A little known fact is that of the eight Chinese men who were passengers (or seamen depending on the account) on the Titanic, six survived. Their names were Lee Bing, Fang Lang, Chang Chip, Ah Lam, Chung Foo and Ling Hee. Sadly two men from their group who died are believed to be Lee Ling and Len Lam.

The story of trying to find these men proved difficult, and as genealogists know, names were wrongly transcribed on passenger lists and were often written down as they were heard. As well, when these men arrived in New York they were deported within 24 hours because of the 'Chinese Exclusion Act' and virtually disappeared.

Mr. Jones says in the documentary that the Titanic is the beginning of the story and at one point in the video clip a lady mentions the 'Paper Sons' and that "people carried to their grave the secret of their true identity". Now that makes the genealogy research just a little bit more challenging! The video clip about the documentary is viewable on either of the following articles.

There is more information about the story on the Next Shark website -


Mr. Jones also launched a very simple website-  Who Are The Six -to reach out to the social media community to help track down the descendants of The Six.

There is an account on Encyclopedia Titanica which provides a transcript from the inquiry where some of the survivors recount finding Chinese men, or mistaken as Filipinos. 

Join their Facebook group -   and Megan Smolenyak made a comment on Twitter: "I need to see the genealogy done for this."

Please also see: Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC

I hope there will be details in how they traced the families as that would be fascinating, what a fabulous piece of work and effort to connect these men's names to the history of the Titanic story.

Unfortunately for me, the film will probably be televised in the U.S.
Let me know what you think of it!

A postscript: My article about Canadians on the Titanic

UKCdnGenealogy Index Page