Toronto’s deep connection to London, England

My hometown Toronto has a deeper connection to London, England than it does to almost any other city in the world. Or at least that is what Adam Bunch claims in his blog, The Toronto Dreams Project Ephemera Blog. He writes: “Some of the most important moments in the history of our city happened in this city, nearly six thousand kilometers away.”

Colonel John Graves Simcoe, ca. 1881, Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, 1791-96. Portrait by George Theodore Berthon. Government of Ontario Art Collection, 694156.

Colonel John Graves Simcoe, ca. 1881, Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, 1791-96. Portrait by George Theodore Berthon. Government of Ontario Art Collection, 694156.

For example, did you know that the founder of Toronto, John Graves Simcoe, rented 53 Welbeck Street in Marylebone in the late 1700s? It was sort of his pied à terre when he wasn’t living at his country estate in Devon.

Or what about the Westminister Palace Hotel that once stood across the street from Westminister Abbey? In 1866, delegates from all over the Canadian colonies met at this grand hotel to work on the final details of Confederation. Mr. Bunch writes: “It was in this hotel that they drafted a bill the British parliament would eventually approve, turning Canada into a country.”

There are 13 other examples of Toronto’s connection to London, links for more information, and where to find each building on Google Maps.

Visit The Toronto Dreams Project Ephemera Blog to learn more.

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Scottish research webinar – January 27

Scottish genealogy expert Christine Woodcock is offering a free webinar, Researching Your Scottish Ancestors, on Tuesday, January 27, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Researching your Scottish ancestors is really quite rewarding. Knowing where to look is the key. This webinar will assist you in getting started and will give you some pointers on how not to waste your credits on the ScotlandsPeople website.

Reserve your webinar seat at:

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This week’s crème de la crème — January 24, 2015

Some of the bijoux I discovered this week.

Dissecting a French-Canadian Burial Record by Sandra Goodwin on Maple Stars and Stripes.

Saskatchewan Historic Newspapers Online by Elizabeth Lapointe on GenealogyCanada.

Over 160 New U.S. Free Online Newspaper Collection Links by Kenneth R. Marks on The Ancestor Hunt.

Reviewing a Random Person in My Database–How much can I learn in an hour? by Diane Gould Hall on Michigan Family Trails.

What Happens To Your Genealogy Research When You’re Gone? by Lorine McGinnis Schulze on Olive Tree Genealogy.

Asking For Help The Right Way by Barb Henry on Aunt Barb’s Papers.

Tuesday’s Tip: by Jenny Lanctot on Are My Roots Showing?

I Joined a few new Genealogy Societies by Terri O’Connell on Finding Our Ancestors.

Finding Time to Write by Lynn Palermo on The Armchair Genealogist.

The Real Reason Why Your Ancestors Didn’t Smile in Old Photographs on Crestleaf.

Oldest fortified settlement ever found in North America? Location of Fort Caroline may be in Georgia by Barry Ray, ScienceDaily.

Inmates volunteer for family history work, indexing by Megan Marsden Christensen, KSL, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Grave containing thousands of bodies found at Eastville site, BBC News, England.

Northern Irish Protestants suffered greatly during the Famine too, says historian by Casey Egan,, New York.

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Line-up of guest authors for Family History Writing Challenge expected to inspire

The Family History Writing Challenge begins February 1. Image courtesy of Lynn Palermo.

The Family History Writing Challenge begins February 1. Image courtesy of Lynn Palermo.

The Armchair Genealogist Lynn Palermo has assembled a terrific line-up of four guest authors for the 5th annual Family History Writing Challenge that will run from February 1 to 28, 2015.

Joining Ms. Palermo to inspire family history writers will be Sharon DeBartolo Carmack who will “teach us about creating tension in our family history stories;” Lisa Alzo who will share tools for writing our life story; Jennifer Holik who will offer tips about writing military stories; and Biff Barnes who will provide advice on publishing.

When you sign up for the free Family History Writing Challenge, you will receive articles from these guest authors and 24 other articles on writing family history.

Read more about the guest authors here.

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The European flavour of Quebec City

On Facebook, I have read a lot lately about genealogists planning a trip to Quebec City this year. If you are one of those travelling family historians, you may find some ideas of what to see and where to eat in an article in the Missouri-based 417 Magazine.

The magazine’s publisher and general manager, husband-and-wife team, Gary and Joan Whitaker, spent a few days in Quebec City last summer and wrote about their experience. They encourage their readers to consider spending a long weekend in our provincial capital.

The couple toured much of the city by hop-on-hop-off bus and boat and on foot. “We visited the perfectly intact Citadel, walked the fortress walls and strolled through the Plains of Abraham and the Joan of Arc Garden.”

Apart from paying our high sales taxes, the Whitakers enjoyed their trip.

“More than eight million visitors pour through its city walls in the summer, and the lofty prices reflect the supply-demand reality. Add in tips and steep sales taxes, and you quickly realize the money you saved by having a European-flavored getaway without the hassle of actually flying to Europe is gushing out of your bank account and into Canada. It’s not a cheap weekend, but it is a memorable one.”

You can read about the Whitakers’ four-day itinerary in the article, European Flavor, Closer to Home.

You can learn about some of my favourite things in Quebec City on my Pinterest board, Genealogy — Visiting Quebec City. Suggestions about what to add to the board are always appreciated.

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Fundraiser for McGill University’s Canadian-Scottish Studies

The St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal will hold Whiskey Fête 2015, a whisky-tasting event, on February 20, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., to raise funds for the establishment of the Canadian-Scottish Studies at McGill University in Montreal.

The event flyer invites us to “Join Iain McCallum of Morrison Bowmore for an evening of unique and rare Single Malt Scotches, 18 years and older, and other fine Scottish comestibles.”

This whisky-tasting event will be held at the University Club of Montreal at 2047 Mansfield Street. Tickets are $295. (A donation receipt of $130 will be issued.) Highland dress or business attire.

A Chair in Canadian-Scottish Studies at McGill will ensure that the role of the Scots in Montreal, Quebec, and Canada, from 1650 to date, will be a focus on academic work for generations to come. The Chair will help give Canadian-Scottish studies a new prominence and provide a valuable avenue through which the St. Andrew’s Society and the McEuen Scholarship Foundation can pursue their missions and objectives.

More information is available on the event website:

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Cimetières du Québec adds more cemeteries online

Cimetieres du Quebec_home pageAlthough the folks at the Cimetières du Québec took a bit of a break for the holidays, they have been busy ever since, uploading photos of cemeteries and entries.

Cimetière Saint-Eustache, Saint-Eustache, Deux-Montagnes County. Catholic. Francophone. Former Quebec premier Paul Sauvé and the remains of Jean-Olivier Chénier, a Patriote who died during the 1837 Rebellion, are buried here. The church was built in the 1780s.

Cimetière Saint-Georges, Longueuil, Chambly County. Catholic. Francophone.

Cimetière de Les Eboulements, Les Eboulements, Charlevoix County. Catholic Francophone. A few new additions.

Cimetière Saint-Sauveur, Val d’Or, Abitibi County. Catholic. Francophone. More than 4,000 photos and more than 9,000 names. Completed.
Note: In this cemetery listing is a link to many more cemeteries in the Témiscamingue-Abitibi region. When you find a cemetery name that interests you, click on it. To see or search for names, click on Cliquez ici in the green box.

Grace Anglican Cemetery (section 2), Moorecrest, Mascouche, L’Assomption County. Anglican. Anglophone. A large number of Anglophone families arrived in this region in 1825, and the cemetery provides evidence of their strong presence in the community: Alexander, Brereton, Ewan, Hamilton, Henderson, Hodgson, McKay, Moody, Patterson, Reilly, Robinson, and Walker. The Alexanders, Breretons, Robinsons, and Reillys came from Kings County, Ireland.

Cimetière de Repentigny, Repentigny, L’Assomption County. Catholic. Francophone. Corrections and additions.

Cimetière Saint-Dominique, Newport (Chandler), Gaspé County. Catholic. Francophone.

Cimetière St-Léopold, Hervey Jonction, Lac-aux-Sables, Portneuf County. Catholic. Francophone.

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Genealogy Do-Over webinar

Have you heard about Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over that began January 1? I must admit I haven’t joined in, but I am tempted.

Mr. MacEntee suggests we all make a fresh start with our genealogy research that we started years when we just collected names and dates, without proving facts and citing sources.

Mr. MacEntee provides us with a 13-week schedule. Every week, there is a new set of topics. Through a series of articles on his blog, GeneaBloggers, he encourages us to take inventory of what we have, gather tools to research, set research goals, and start tracking research.

Thousands have jumped on the Genealogy Do-Over bandwagon and more than 2,500 have joined the Genealogy Do-Over Facebook group where people ask questions and discuss their progress.

Curious to know more? Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 21, Legacy Family Tree provides a free webinar with Thomas MacEntee, My Genealogy Do-Over – A Year of Learning from Research Mistakes. You can watch a four-minute pre-webinar interview and register here. to watch the webinar live. The webinar will likely be available for free for about a week.

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The Great Hunger in Ireland

Throughout the week, from January 18 to 24, The Wild Geese blog is focusing on The Great Hunger in Ireland with a series of brief articles. On Monday, two articles were posted, The Great Hunger in Dublin and The Great Hunger: Famine or Genocide?

The blog post, The Great Hunger in Dublin, written by Professor Christine Kinealy of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, also takes a look at the workhouse system that was introduced to Ireland in 1838. Dr. Kinealy wrote, “An estimated 25 per cent of people who entered the Dublin workhouses in 1847 (remembered as Black ’47) died within two weeks of doing so.”

The Wild Geese explores, promotes, preserves, and celebrates the epic heritage of the Irish around the world — through compelling content, evolving technologies, a dynamic community, and collaborative marketing connections.

Visit The Wild Geese blog to read more.

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Free genealogy webinar on Irish Family History Day

Apparently, this Friday is Irish Family History Day. To mark the event, Findmypast is offering a free webinar about Irish genealogical research.

On Friday, January 23, at noon Eastern time, family historian Brian Donovan will provide his expertise on Irish records. I have heard he is an excellent speaker.

Here is the promo for the webinar:

“Irish research used to be near impossible. Now thanks to Findmypast’s 80 million records, the largest online collection anywhere, it is possible to unlock the secrets of your family’s past. Brian Donovan, who has been at the forefront of digitising Irish family history records for over 15 years, will help bring your past to life, and be on hand to answer any questions you may have.”

Register here for the webinar.

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