How to research the Alberta homestead records for free

Genealogy blogger Michael John Neill has a solution for genealogists who want to search the Alberta homestead records, but who don’t subscribe to Ancestry.ca or Ancestry World Deluxe. Judging by the number of reviews my blog post, Ancestry launches Alberta homestead collection, received, there is certainly a lot of interest in this collection.

In his blog, Genealogy Search Tip, Mr. Neill explains how to search the records for free by looking up the microfilm numbers on the Alberta Genealogical Society’s website and then finding the microfilm reel on Internet Archive.

Mr. Neill refers to the work done by the Alberta Genealogical Society when it created an all-name index to the homestead files on the 686 microfilm reels, held at the Provincial Archives of Alberta, to mark Alberta’s centenary in 2005.

To access the free records, follow the steps in Mr. Neill’s blog post, Alberta Homestead Records. Note that 496 of the 686 microfilm reels are available on Internet Archives, which is a good start.

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350th anniversary North America’s first census

This year marks the 350th anniversary of North America’s first official census, and it was taken in Canada, specifically in Quebec.

Statue of Jean Talon in front of the National Assembly, Quebec City, Quebec.

Statue of Jean Talon in front of the National Assembly, Quebec City, Quebec.

Intendant Jean Talon conducted the census largely by himself from 1665 to 1666, travelling door to door among the settlements of New France. According to his biography in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Talon visited each of the settlers, “entering their homes and discussing with them their needs and aspirations.”

The 1666 census is only 163 pages long and notes the names, ages, and occupations of the French inhabitants of Quebec City, Montreal, and Trois-Rivières.

According to Talon’s census, there were 3,215 people in New France and a third of them were unmarried. There were 2,034 men and 1,181 women. The census shows 547 people living in Quebec City, 455 in Trois-Rivières, and 625 in Montreal.

Talon did not include Native American inhabitants of the colony in the census or the religious orders, such as the Jesuits or Recollets.

The original copy of Canada’s first census is held at the Centre des archives d’outre-mer in Aix-en-Provence, France. A digital copy is available on the Library and Archives Canada website.

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Ottawa’s Gene-O-Rama

Less than a month remains to take advantage of early-bird registration for the 32nd Gene-O-Rama, hosted by the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.

The popular event will be held the evening of Friday, April 1, and all day Saturday, April 2. It will feature ten presentations, a banquet, and more than 30 vendors in the marketplace.

The Friday evening lecture by Glenn Wright, Getting to Know You: The Past and Future of Family History Research, is free.

The registration fee for the Saturday events is $37 plus optional lunch ($9) and banquet ($45) if paid by March 4. Registration at the door is $42. Gene-O-Rama will take place at the Confederation Education Centre in Ottawa.

The Gene-O-Rama brochure and registration are available here.

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This week’s crème de la crème — February 6, 2016

Some of the bijoux I discovered this week.

Megaphone02Blogs
Alberta Homestead Records Document a Citizenship by Michael John Neill on RootDig.

Québec notarial records by Sheilagh Doerfler on Vita Brevis.

Nova Scotia Cemeteries Website by Diane Tibert on Roots to the Past.

Zion Evangelical Church Members List 1915, Part 1 and Part 2 by Ian Hadden on Ian Hadden’s Family History.

What to expect in 2016: A belated preview by Claire Santry on Irish Genealogy News.

Essex Archives Online by Dick Eastman on Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter.

FindmyPast to add 10 million Irish Catholic records in March by Chris Paton on The British GENES.

Article
Cannons were fired on Île-Ste-Hélène to honour Queen Victoria by John Kalbfleisch, Montreal Gazette.

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Findmypast launches largest online collection of US marriages

Findmypast announced yesterday at RootsTech that, in partnership with FamilySearch International, it will launch the single largest online collection of U.S. marriages in history.

They plan to publish at least 100 million marriage records from 1650 to 2010. More than 60 percent of these marriages records have never been published online.

To kick start the collection, Findmypast launched the first 33 million records yesterday.

FindMyPast logoFindmypast CEO Annelies van den Belt said, “The launch of the US marriages project is central to our growth strategy in the U.S. The millions of new US records will complement Findmypast’s massive collection of British and Irish data allowing us to provide many more connections and a more comprehensive experience to family historians in the US and all over the world.”

As usual, when I heard the news, I looked for my ancestors’ marriages. The results were a bit hit and miss for me. The marriages I uncovered were those that took place in the late 19th and early 20th century, and I had already found them elsewhere. There are, however, many more records to publish online.

Note to file, Findmypast: It sure would be nice to see the spouse’s last name in the list of results.

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RootsTech live streaming schedule and handouts for Saturday

The following presentations at RootsTech in Salt Lake City, on Saturday, February 6, will be streamed live on the home page of RootsTech.org. The times listed below are in Eastern time.

10:30 a.m. — RootsTech General Session: Michael Leavitt

1:00 p.m. —  Photos — Emerging Technologies in Photography: Jens Nielsen

3:30 p.m. — Become a Master Searcher on Ancestry: Anne Mitchell

5:00 p.m. — Homespun and Calico: Researching our Foremothers: Peggy Lauritzen
Handout

6:30 p.m. — Using the Genealogical Proof Standard for Success: James Ison
Handout

The schedule and handouts for Friday, February 5, are availabe here. The syllabi for many of the presentations can be found here.

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Webinar tonight about less well-known sources for British family history

The Ontario Genealogical Society’s (OGS) webinar, A to Z of Family History: an alphabetical journey through some less well known sources for British Family History, presented by Dr. Janet Few, takes place tonight, Thursday, February 4, at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Delve into an alphabetical potpourri of less well known sources and websites that help to provide genealogical information or historical context for the lives of our ancestors.

Last September, I attended one of Dr. Few’s presentations at the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa’s conference, and I enjoyed it. She packed a lot of good information into one hour.

OGS webinars are free and open to the public, subject to registration limitations. Live attendance at each webinar is limited to 100 registrants. The recorded versions are archived for society members.

Register here.

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RootsTech live streaming schedule and handouts for Friday

The following presentations at RootsTech in Salt Lake City, on Friday, February 5, will be streamed live on the home page of RootsTech.org. The times listed below are in Eastern time.

To help you out, I have attached the handouts available in the syllabus.

10:30 a.m. — RootsTech General Session: Josh and Naomi Davis and David Isay

12:30 p.m. — Innovator Showdown

3:30 p.m. — Proven Methodology for Using Google for Genealogy: Lisa Louise Cooke
Handout

5:00 p.m. — Finding Elusive Records on FamilySearch.org: Robert Kehrer

6:30 p.m. — My Ancestors are from Britain– What do I do next?: Myko Clelland
Handout.

The remaing live streaming schedule for Friday, and Saturday is available here and the syllabi for many of the presentations can be found here.

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FamilySearch updates British Columbia marriage registrations

FamilySearch has added marriage registrations for the year 1938 to its online collection, British Columbia Marriage Registrations, 1859-1932; 1937-1938.

BC Archives also offers free access to its online database of marriage registrations, from 1872 to 1938.

When looking for those hard-to-find ancestors, it is a nice genealogy luxury when the records are available in two different places: Family Search British Columbia Marriage Registrations, 1859-1932; 1937-1938 and BC Archives Marriages 1872-1938.

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Watch these RootsTech presentations from home Thursday — with handouts

The following presentations at RootsTech in Salt Lake City, Thursday, February 4, will be streamed live on the home page of RootsTech.org. The times listed are in Eastern time.

To help you out, I have attached the handouts from the syllabus.

10:30 a.m.  (90 minutes) — RootsTech General Session: Stephen T. Rockwood, Paula Madison and Bruce Feiler

1:00 p.m. (60 minutes) — Seven Unique Technologies for Genealogy Discoveries Mike Mansfield

3:30 p.m. (60 minutes) — Best Websites and Apps for Local Amy Crow
Handout available

5:00 p.m. (60 minutes) — What’s New in Family Tree for 2016 Ron Tanner
Handout available

6:30 p.m. (60 minutes) — Virtual Family Reunions Joseph Richardson
Handout available

The full live streaming schedule for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday is available here and the syllabi for many of the presentations can be found here.

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