National Genealogy Week in Quebec — Semaine nationale de la généalogie

Semaine nationale de la genealogieFrom November 22 to November 29, genealogy societies across Quebec will celebrate the third annual Semaine nationale de la généalogie (National Genealogy Week). This year’s theme is Voici ma famille! (Here’s my family!) More than 50 free activities have been organized by genealogy societies and the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) in 13 regions. 

Among the planned activities are workshops, guided tours, exhibits, open houses, and presentations.

For a list of activities and the 32 organizations participating, visit the Semaine nationale de la généalogie website.

According to the Fédération québécoise des societies de généalogie (FQSG – Quebec Federation of Genealogy Societies) that has spearheaded the event, there are almost 25,000 genealogists in the province.

The FQSG was created in 1984 to bring together and represent genealogy societies in Quebec. Today, 71 societies are members. The list of member societies is organized by region.

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Canada’s first crematorium built at Mount Royal Cemetery

All that is good and great about the family should not be underground.

Those were the words written by John Henry Robinson Molson in his will in 1897 when he died, leaving $10,000 to Montreal’s Mount Royal Cemetery to build a crematorium. Since there was no crematorium in the city, Molson’s body had to be sent to Boston for cremation. His remains were later placed in the Molson family vault at Mount Royal.

Molson was the grandson of brewer John Molson. In 1847, he inherited Molson Brewry from his father, Thomas.

Although a proposal was submitted to the cemetery’s trustees in the 1880s to build a crematorium, it would take Molson’s gift and a donation from Molson’s friend, Sir William MacDonald, “a well-known tobacco tycoon and philanthropist and a strong supporter of cremation,” before a crematorium was built in 1901.

Mount Royal’s crematorium is the first and oldest crematorium in the country.

To learn more about the history of the cemetery’s crematorium, read the Montreal Times article, Canada’s first and oldest crematorium.

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Wedding gown exhibit opens at McCord Museum

Curious to know what your grandmother or great-grandmother may have worn on her wedding day — or would have wanted to wear if her family could have afforded it? McCord Museum may be able to help.

Today, McCord Museum in Montreal opens a new exhibit, Love in Fine Fashion, where 30 elegant wedding dresses and accessories from the 19th and 20th centuries will be featured.

Among the gowns on display will be one worn by Emily Jane Bonar Redpath, for whom a mansion was built in the Golden Square Mile, and the wedding dress made by Russian immigrant Nina Larionoff.

The dresses, from the spectacular to the simple, date from 1816 to 2008 and are part of the 150 wedding gowns in the museum’s collection of 18,000 garments and accessories.

The exhibit runs until April 12, 2015.

More about the exhibit and photos can be seen in the Montreal Gazette article, Every dress tells a love story: McCord Museum opens show of bridal gowns.

Visit McCord Museum’s website here.

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Online family history research in US grows by 14 times in past decade

Ancestry.com reported in a news release issued yesterday that online family history research in the United States has grown by 14 times in the last ten years.

Future Foundation conducted the research for Ancestry, focusing on the growing interest in online family history research in six of the world’s largest economies: the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Sweden. A total of 6,024 10-15 minute interviews were carried out with adults in those countries.

Ancestry reported:

Over the past decade, online family history research has grown in the United States by 14 times, with two-thirds (63%) of respondents in a recent study reporting that family history has become more important than ever. They also say that this growth is motivated by a belief that knowing more about the past is a key part of understanding who we are.
(The remainder of the news release is available here.)

A November 18, 2014 Ancestry.ca news release about the same report, ‘Vertical families’ tighten generational ties, revealed Canadian stats about the dynamics of family relationships, but there was no mention about whether or not online family history research has increased in Canada. “As families become narrower, they are also becoming closer. With grandparents and even great-grandparents playing an ever-increasing role, two thirds (62 per cent) of 18-24 year olds have become interested in their family’s history as more stories are shared.”

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History Television wants to interview WWII veterans and family members

Did you or one of your ancestors serve with the the Régiment de Maisonneuve? 1st Battalion Black Watch of Canada? 1st Battalion Calgary Highlanders?

History Television logoIf so, the folks at History Television may want to interview you for a major television project and companion book.

According to a Canada’s History, “Author David O’Keefe and History Television will be interviewing surviving Second World War veterans and family members from the 1st Battalion Black Watch (RHR) of Canada, 1st Battalion Calgary Highlanders and the Le Regiment De Maisonneuve (and any other associated corps units) who served in North West Europe in 1944-45.”

See Canada’s History for information on how to contact David O’Keefe.

Canada’s History is one of only two national charities devoted to the field of public history and the only one with a national membership base.

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Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia to hold open house at new premises

The Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) will hold an open house Saturday, November 29, at 2:00 p.m., to welcome everyone to see their new library and office space in Dartmouth.

Several months ago, GANS resided in a former store in Halifax’s North End. Then, July 1, they received a notice of termination of their lease from the landlord, giving them three months to locate to new premises. They assembled a search team and listed their criteria. Within a couple of months, they found larger office space in the Quaker Landing Building in Dartmouth that exceeded their criteria.

The new location has a dedicated library area, a research room, and a large meeting room where GANS can hold monthly lectures and workshops. The office is located in a modern, secure, climate controlled office building that is well maintained. This means that the library and collections will be protected for use by members and the general public.

After an intensive search, GANS found new office space in the Quaker Landing Building, 33 Ochterloney Street, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Photo courtesy of the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia.

After an intensive search, GANS found new office space in the Quaker Landing Building, 33 Ochterloney Street, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Photo courtesy of the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia.

The GANS website is available here.

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Research guide explains how to use Drouin Institute’s Quebec Records website

Drouin Institute logoThe Drouin Genealogical Institute has put together a 22-page research guide that explains how to use the three major databases on its Quebec Records website to find ancestors. If you have not yet subscribed to the website, but are curious to know what it contains, the guide will provide some insight. It walks you through the steps of a search and provides screen shots of the search results.

Quebec Records contains three major databases to help trace Quebec ancestry:

The LAFRANCE collection includes Catholic marriages in Quebec from 1623 to 1913. A link to the original document is provided with every record. A single search for a family name will provide spelling variations.

The Men and Women series in the Kardex provides marriages up to 1940, and this database includes many non-Catholic marriages as well. In it, you will find 72,000 different family names.

The 1926-1997 Marriage Index of Catholic and non-Catholic marraiges includes a link to the original record. (An example of a marriage return is reproduced on page 21.)

What is perhaps most unusual about this research guide is that you are encouraged to send them an email if you still have problems “establishing your ancestry on Quebec Records.” The email address is provided at the end of the guide.

English research guideFrench research guideQuebec Records website.

Reminder: More than 1.4 million obituaries from 1999 are available on Quebec Records and can be accessed for free from more than 2,000 Canadian sources.

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LAC updates WWI service files digitization project

Library and Archives Canada has digitized an additional 2,584 Canadian Expeditionary Force service files for the First World War. This is the first update since October 16 when LAC first announced it had digitized 76,300 of the 640,000 files.

When searching for digitized service files, remember to check Yes next to Digitized File. That will narrow down your search.

Start your search in the Service Files of the First World War, 1914-1918 – CEF.

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New Brunswick Archives uploads more birth records

The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick has added to its website 5,411 birth records for the year 1918 for a total of almost 300,000 birth records from 1810 to 1918.

Access the online provincial database of Vital Statistics of Government Records (births, marriages, and deaths) here.

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Free webinar about technical tools for genealogy research

Do you have a brick wall or two you need to chip away? The Utah Genealogical Society’s free webinar on Thursday, November 20, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time (7:00 p.m. Mountain time) may help.

Peg Ivanyo will present Using Technology to See Things More Clearly.

Having difficulty figuring out exactly where you are in your research? Have you read through the records multiple times and still can’t see past the brick wall? Consider a more visual approach. There are many technical tools available to us today that can help us analyze problems, develop research plans, understand geographical and social context, and more. This presentation will review simple ways to utilize spreadsheets, mind-maps, geographical maps, census track overlays, timelines, historical photos, and interactive online products to help us see our research more clearly, and perhaps even break through a brick wall or two.

Click here for more information and to register.

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