Archive for the ‘General Posts’ Category

Using Forms for Canadian Genealogical Research Now Available on CD

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Susan Smart’s and Clifford Collier’s resource book Using Forms for Canadian Genealogical Research is full of useful forms to help keep you organized. These forms were developed specifically for research in Canada.

This book is now available on CD. All forms from the original book are printable to make using this resource even easier.Find it in our eStore: http://www.ogs.on.ca/ogsnewcart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=1966

How to Research Your Family History: Part 3

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

We now come to the two most difficult issues that genealogists must grapple with: Proof and Citing your sources.

Proof
Prove everything before going back another generation. Otherwise you may discover that you have spent much time developing a magnificent family tree of great value to someone else. The rule of thumb is that you should have three independent sources before accepting anything as fact, although you will quickly learn to judge the reliability of sources. This is because

  • A family story is rather unreliable
  • A family tree found on the internet is quite unreliable
  • Great aunt Minnie’s recollections of her childhood may be unreliable
  • A date of birth given on a tombstone may not be reliable
  • The age of an adult given on a census may be reliable, but be skeptical

Consistent age from several censuses is reliable. The date of a christening found in a church register is usually reliable but a date of birth in the same record may not be. A civil registration certificate is quite reliable and on its own can be regarded as proof.

What happens if you don’t find the evidence you are looking for?

First, remember the rule – Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Ministers sometimes forgot to put the entry in the record book. The person recording the information may have mis-heard the name and written down something else, a problem that often occurred when there was an unfamiliar accent. Becoming very creative about spelling may help you find the document you’re looking for.

Citing
For every fact you find – and accept – you should note the source so that someone else can go there to check your data. And of course you will want to return to that source too. You will be surprised how often you will want to re-check something a year or so later.

This rule particularly applies to information gathered from the Internet. Remember:
The Internet is a wide sea, but very shallow.

Unfortunately genealogies supplied on the internet rarely cite sources, so most of the information supplied on the Internet is only a starting point for your own research. The information is an interesting idea, worth slightly less than family legends, but requires you to verify the facts before it becomes valuable data.

Nothing is true until you have proven it true and cited your sources so that others can check your facts.

How to Research Your Family History: Part 2

Saturday, September 6th, 2014
Keeping Records

Once you start the process of researching your family history, it will quickly become evident that you are going to end up with a lot of information about a lot of people. At this point, you might be thinking that you should find and install genealogical software so that you can start building your tree as well as organize and store all of your data. As tempting as this idea might seem, hold off – for now.

Initially, keep it old school. Rely on good, basic record keeping principles to organize your records – and stick to pencil and paper as you start filling out your tree. (Please refer to an earlier post, Controlling the Chaos, for tips on how to organize your records) There are many excellent genealogy programs and you need to pick the one that fits your specific needs and style. Give yourself enough time to actually determine what these will be – otherwise whatever software you chose may end up frustrating you.

Keep paper records until you have data on about a hundred people; then start looking at the software. Do some research by asking other genealogists what they use – feedback based on hands on experience is invaluable. Also, check sites like Genealogy Software Review - here is their best of for 2014. And don’t forget, if you are on a Mac- it’s best to use software developed for a Mac – here is the Genealogy Software Review for Mac 2014.

There are two basic documents that you need to record two basic types of information.

  1. You need to know who the ancestors of a particular person are. You record this on chart called a Family Tree. Start with yourself, then work back to your parents – your four grandparents, your eight great grandparents, and so on.
  2. The second document is a Family Record – for information about a set of parents and all their children. At a minimum you should create a Family Record for each couple in your Family Tree.

These two forms are the only essential ones, although there are many other useful forms, charts and diagrams. A good source of forms with a Canadian orientation is the book Using Forms for Genealogical Research by Susan Smart (OGS 2005). It contains 42 forms which you can photocopy for your own use.

Visit the OGS eStore for other useful Genealogy Guides.

WWI and OGS Member in the News

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

A recent Toronto Star article details a recent discovery made regarding the bodies and belongings of 16 lost Canadian soldiers of the Great War. The whereabouts of 14 of those sets of remains are still unknown today, but through the work of Genealogist and OGS member Janet Roy, two of them have at last been accounted for.

Read the Star’s article here

 

Brickwalls: Seeking Information on John Heard of Angus, Ontario and Reginald Lorenzo Heard

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Brickwall #1 -

John Heard/Hurd b abt 1921 England (parents listed on marriage certificate Thomas & Sarah Heard) with possible middle name of Freeman. Have never found arrival date or origins of birth in England. Heard is too common a name. Marr #1 Sarah Jane Thompson 18 Oct 1875 parsonage Barrie = 15 children. Marr #2 Rebecca Harvey born USA 2 Mar 1847 Whitby Ontario = 6 children. John Heard died 30 Dec 1895 Angus Ontario, will probated 1898 and on son William’s death 1933 it says father born Plymouth, mother born Ogdensburg New York (have traced this family) but can find no proof of John Heard & Plymouth. Anyone know which way to go on this one?

Brickwall #2 -

Heard, Reginald Lorenzo born 5 Nov 1913 Essa Twp. Registered 8 Jan 1914 (my copy dated 28 Apr 1982) no
parents named but genealogy of the family – his parents were Wilfred Charles Heard and Ida May Alexander
of Simcoe County. Reginald married Edith Elizabeth M. M. Barker (7 Sept 1912-28 Apr 1975) on 2 Jan 1937 in
Oshawa, Ontario = 3 children lived, twins died at birth. Reginald had no siblings.

Have a card re: War Service Badge GS 1070441 for Heard, Reginald Lorenzo with rank & serial numbers
issued June 26, 1985. For years city directories listed him as soldier, and for some he lived with his
mother Ida May Heard in Oshawa.

Family information from late daughters – Reg married Elizabeth Mae DeAmbroise using name Reginald
Larribee Hurd 9 Oct 1943 & had 3 children.

From copy of marriage certificate Reg then married Jean Murray Stover as Reginald John Heard 8 Aug 1964
in village of Sombra County Lambton by license as a divorcee. Here is the questioning part – statement says his
parents were Wesley Duncan Heard and Mary Alice Lander both born Texas as was he ? (He had an uncle named Duncan Wesley).

Reg died 11 March 1983 Edmonton Alberta not long after his daughters found him. So who was this man really?
I could find no connections on Ancestry & Family Search to this American family. Any suggestions?

If you think you can help Marie-Jeanne, she may be reached directly at: mjheardATsympatico.ca

Upcoming Heritage Event: Celebrating the Battle of Bannockburn

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Battle of Bannockburn poster image

Join the St. Andrew’s Society of Toronto on Saturday, June 21, 2014, as they celebrate the 700th Anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.

The Battle of Bannockburn: ”Scotland Then and Now” Symposium    

Date: 21 June 2014

Time: 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Location: St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto

Speakers:

  • Prof. Graeme Morton –   “The National Story Since Bannockburn.”
  • Brigadier General Julian Chapman –   “The Mechanics of War in 1314.”
  • Dr. Mairi Cowan – ” ‘The Saints of the Scottish Country Will Fight Today’.”
  • Prof. Andrew McDonald – “Bannockburn, Barbour’s ‘Bruce,’ and the  Reign of Robert I.”
  • Prof. Barbara Murison – “Bannockburn: a talisman for Scottish independence?”
  • Tickets: $20.00 In advance

Click here to download the full size poster

Buy your tickets here

Bannockburn Celtic Concert

Date: 21 June 2014

Times: Doors: 7:00 p.m., concert starts at 8:00 p.m.

Location: El Mocambo, 464 Spadina Ave., Toronto

Performers:

  • POOR ANGUS
  • BLAZING FIDDLES
  • CALEDON COUNTY & FRIENDS
  • TORONTO FIRE PIPES & DRUMS
  • MACDONNELL HIGHLAND DANCERS

Tickets: $25.00 In advance

Click here to download the full sized poster

Buy your tickets here

For more information about these, and other St. Andrew’s Society events, please visit their website at: http://www.standrews-society.ca/

Mystery Photo for the Week of February 10, 2014

Monday, February 10th, 2014

For Mystery photo # 20 we have a young lad and his best friend (looks to be a pug). If anyone recognizes our young gentleman, or the dog, let us know.

Mystery Photo for Feb 10, 2014

Donor, Judith Harris

OGS Oldphotos flickr page