Saturday, February 27

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy : Week 9 - the challenge...

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog (and hosted by Geneabloggers) presents "52 Weeks To Better Genealogy", a series of weekly genealogy prompts / suggestions / exercises that (hopefully) will help anyone to become a better researcher.

The challenge for week 9:

Pick five genealogy blogs and read them every day. Meet new people and networking within the online genealogy community is a great way to expand your own research and experience. Reading the blogs of others will help you get to know others. Try to find some blogs that are out of your area of expertise. Lists of genealogy blogs can be found at and Genealogue’s Genealogy Blog Finder. If you already subscribe to many genealogy blogs, find five new ones that are “outside the box,” perhaps in history or archives. If you have a genealogy blog, write about the blogs you discover and introduce others to them.

I'll post my results later this week...

Obituary: Richard Groves, 1895

From the Ottawa Citizen, Monday 7 December 1895, p. 6:

(click to enlarge)

One of the Oldest and Best Known Men of the Ottawa District
      Richard Groves, one of the oldest and most respected residents of Carleton county, died at the residence of his son, Dr. Geo. H. Groves, of Carp, yesterday.
      Deceased, who was in his 83rd year, was born in Ireland.  He came to Canada when quite young and settled in the township of Fitzroy.  Until about eight years ago he followed agricultural pursuits with an enviable degree of success.  Then he sold his farm and took up his residence at Carp.  Three years ago his wife died, and he went to live with his son, Dr. Geo. H.  He was a staunch Conservative and a member of the Methodist Church.
      He leaves five sons, three daughters and many grand children.  His sons are Dr. Geo. H. Groves, of Carp; Dr. Wesley Groves, of Quyon; Wm. Groves, of Kinburn; Richard Groves, of Fitzroy Harbour, and John T. Groves, of Cincinnati.  Deceased's dauhgters [sic] are Mrs. James Baird, of Fitzroy; Mrs. B. Hodgins, of Huntley, and Mrs. W. Green, of Mohr's Corners.  Two grand children live in the city.  They are W. E. Groves and F. S. Groves.
      The funeral takes place to-morrow morning to Pakenham cemetery.

Monday, February 22

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy : Week 7...the results

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog (and hosted by Geneabloggers) presents "52 Weeks To Better Genealogy", a series of weekly genealogy prompts / suggestions / exercises that (hopefully) will help anyone to become a better researcher.

The challenge for week 7:

Play with Google Maps. This is a helpful tool for determining the locations of addresses in your family history. Where your ancestral homestead once stood may now be a warehouse, a parking lot or a field. Perhaps the house is still there. When you input addresses in Google Maps, don’t forget to use the Satellite View and Street View options for perspectives that put you were right there where your ancestors once stood. If you’ve used this tool before, take sometime and play with it again. Push all the buttons, click all the links and devise new ways it can help with your personal genealogy research. If you have a genealogy blog, write about your experiences with Google Maps, or suggest similar easy (and free) tools that have helped in your own research.

The Results:

I've played with Google Maps (and their neat street views) a few times before at work - and sometimes for work (assisting customer's in finding locations, directions, etc.).  This is the first time I've used Google Maps for my research, and I found a few interesting tidbits...

I first decided to google Arnprior District and Memorial Hospital (in Arnprior, McNab twp., Renfrew co., Ontario, CAN), where I was born.  I found myself in luck - with a street view of the building (and the World War I cenotaph visible in front of the building):

(click any image to enlarge)

(map of the Arnprior area on the Ottawa River with the hospital marked)

(hospital sign, dated (I think) 1945?)

(general view, with the sign to the right - it's a nice, old-fashioned building)

Next, I decided to take a wander "up north" to Cobalt (Bucke twp., Temiskaming dist., Ontario, CAN), where my mother was born and my grandparents (her mother and step-father) still reside.  After my parents divorced, this is were we lived until I started kindergarten.  Lo and behold, guess what I found:

(map of Cobalt and surrounding area)

(my grandparents' house!)

(the United Church where my grandparents were married - since she was Baptist and he was Anglican)

(Cobalt railway station, now "The Bunker", a military museum)

After we left Cobalt, I remember riding the train (the Northlander, which was a 10 hour trip) to visit them, and arriving at this station (when it was still the station) at night.  The train is still my favourite way to travel. 

I then went back to the Ottawa area to look at Kinburn (Fitzroy twp., Carleton co., Ontario, CAN), where my father was born and grew up, my parents lived while they were married, and I spent the first two years of my life.  Unfortunately, google failed me here - there was no option for a street view beyond the major roads:

(map of the Kinburn area)

(satellite image of the Kinburn area; in the top right corner (just hidden) is the Kinburn/Carp intersection...)

(the intersection at Carp Rd. and Kinburn Side Rd., looking towards Kinburn - the closest street view I could get on Google)

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy : Week 8 (the challenge)

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog presents "52 Weeks To Better Genealogy", a series of weekly genealogy prompts / suggestions / exercises that (hopefully) will help anyone to become a better researcher.

The challenge for week 8:

Discover online map collections. Historical maps are wonderful tools for historical research. Fortunately for genealogists, many map collections are located online. Some of the more prominent collections are: the American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress, the David Rumsey Map Collection, and the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin. Take some time to browse each of these collections. You may also want to check the library web site of your local university (or one near your ancestral home) to see what maps they may have online. If you have a genealogy blog, write about any special maps you find during this activity.

I'll post my results later this week...

Research Diary (No. 2)

What happened this week?

Not much, actually.

Having been working all weekend, I haven't touch anything genealogy, nor did I complete challenge 7 of the "52 weeks to better genealogy series" (but I'm planning to do that today - and maybe even challenge 8 (historical maps) - since I'm off!).

And then there was the two cakes I had to do for work...

The only thing remotely to do with genealogy this week was a calendar I've started at google.  I'm planning to put all events in that I know dates for and (eventually) have a "This week in my family blah blah blah" thing.  (Or something like that, anyway... ;-)   Oh, and the blogs, of course (I keep adding more all the time - there's too many good ones!)

I'm still in my sorting and organizing phase, so no real actual research (besides the gems from the Ottawa Citizen) is going to be done anytime soon...

What's to be done this week?

      1.  The "52 weeks" challenges (weeks 7 and 8).

      2.  Family group sheets clean-up and organization.  I have all my source documention (births, deaths, census, etc.) somewhat neatly (there's one last pile I have to complete) organized, so it's on to the actual extraction.

      3.  Continue to search the Ottawa Citizen back issues for tidbits.

Non-genealogy, this week we're getting (from a friend at work) a dining room set (5 chairs, table, buffet and china cabinet), so I also have to do some moving and shifting...

Sunday, February 21

Obituary: Mrs. Thomas Hodgins, 1903

From the Ottawa Citizen, Thursday 12 November 1903, p. 9:

(click to enlarge)

      Carp, Nov. 6 -- Mrs. Thomas Hodgins, relict of the late Thomas Hodgins, of the 10th line, Fitzroy, died at her residence on Wednesday, Nov. 5th.  She was one of the oldest residents of the township, being in her 86th year.  Her husband, one of the pioneer and respected farmers of the township, died five years ago.  The late Mrs. Hodgins, whose maiden name was Hodgins, came to Canada in 1834, with family, and resided at Prescott until 1837 when with other members of the family she moved to Fitzroy where she afterwards met Thomas Hodgins and became his wife in 1839.  They settled on the farm where she died.  She leaves four sons, Michael, of Stittsville, Benjamin, of Huntley, Richard of Fitzroy, and William George, on the homestead and two daughters, Mrs. John Lewis, of Hintonburg, and Mrs. George Hamilton, of Fitzroy Harbor. [sic]  The funeral on Friday which was very large, proceeded to the Methodist church at Diamond where Rev. Mr. Pimlott, the pastor, preached an eloquent sermon.  Interment took place in the church yard adjoining.  Amongst the chief mourners were three sons and Dr. Wesley Groves, Quyon, P.Q., and Dr. Geo. H. Groves, Carp, nephews of the deceased.  One son, Benjamin Hodgins, who had taken care of his mother since his father died, was unable to be present owing to a most serious illness.

~~~~~  *  ~~~~~  *  ~~~~~

Friday, February 19

Obituary: Margaret A. (Story) Ritchie, 1938

From the Ottawa Citizen, Tuesday 25 January 1938, p. 2:

(click to enlarge)

      PAKENHAM, Jan. 25. -- Attended by many friends and acquaintances, the funeral of Mrs. Margaret Ritchie, resident of this district all her life, and widow of John J. Ritchie, was held on Staurday afternoon at two o'clock from the Comba funeral home, Almonte.  Rev. Mr. Turner, minister of Pakenham United church, conducted the service.  Interment was in Pakenham United church cemetery.
      Mrs. Ritchie, who was in her 80th year, died on Thursday afternoon at Almonte Memorial hospital following a short illness.  Daughter of the late Robert Story and his wife, Margaret Johnston, she was formerly Margaret Ann Story.  She came to Pakenham to live 55 years ago following her marriage to John J. Ritchie, who predeceased her five years ago.  She was a devoted member of Pakenham United church for many years.
      Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. (Dr.) E. Busby, London, Ont., and Miss Leata Ritchie, at home; on son, Ira Ritchie, at home; two brothers, E. S. Story, Fitzroy township, and Frederick W. Story, Vancouver; and one sister, Mrs. D. Anderson, Calgary.
      Acting as pallbearers at the funeral were six nephews, Morton Ritchie, Cecil Ritchie, Wilbur Ritchie, Gordon Story, Ivan Story and George Story.  A host of floral tributes and messages of sympathy testified to the esteem in which the late Mrs. Ritchie was held.

~~~~~  *  ~~~~~  *  ~~~~~

Margaret was the daughter of Robert Story (who was the son of John Story and Margaret Latimer) and Margaret Johnston.  She was thus the niece of my gggg-grandfather, David (who was the brother of Robert and son of John).  Her husband John J. Ritchie died in 1932.

Thursday, February 18

Marriage: Anstee-Skinner, 1904

(click to enlarge)
Ontario, Canada. Registrations of Marriages, 1869-1926. MS932, Reel no. 116.
Archives of Ontario, Toronto.  (Accessed at, 16 February 2010)

Groom: David Henry Anstee
Age: 35
Residence When Married: York Tp.
Place of Birth: Hastings Co.
Bachelor, Widower, Spinster, Widow: B
Occupation or Profession: Farmer
Names of Parents: Austee, Alfred and Sneelis, Amelia

Bride: Skinner, Sarah Ellen
Age: 19
Residence When Married: York Tp.
Place of Birth: York Tp.
Bachelor, Widower, Spinster, Widow: S
Names of Parents: Skinner, Jno. and Gallop, Florence

Name of Witness: Geo. Hy. Bellamy
Residences of Witness: Todmordeu [?]
Name of Witness: Sarah Skinner
Residence of Witness: York Tp.
Date and Place of Marriage: Dec. 7, 1904, Don Mills Rd.
Religious Denomination: Ch. of Eng [Groom] / Meth [Bride]
By Whom Married: [?] Caldwell
License or Banns: L
Date of Registration: Dec. 10, 1904

~~~~~  *  ~~~~~  *  ~~~~~

David Anstee's sister Charlotte married Johnston Story, who was the son of Robert Story and Margaret Johnston.  Robert's brother David was my gggg-grandfather.   

Monday, February 15

Why I love W. D. Pigott, Or, A Snapshot of the 1851/52 Fitzroy Census

Who was William D. Pigott?

He was the man chosen to enumerate the township of Fitzroy, Carleton county, Canada West for the 1851/1852 census.  He was born circa 1795 in Dysart, [Queens co.?] Ireland and listed his occupation as "Officer [of?] Ordnance".  His wife was Eliza ?, born circa 1811 in Belcarrig, co. Wexford, Ireland.  Eight children are listed with the couple, ranging in age from 16 to 2, with birthplaces in Malta (2), Ireland (4) and Canada (2).  They also had a servant in the household, an Ellen Haridley, born circa 1811 in Tipperary, Ireland.   

Why do I love him?

Because of the gold mine he left for Fitzroy researchers.  He apparently didn't get the memo for the "less is more" approach, nor the directive that enumerators must have bad handwriting (though he does love the occasional squiggle and loop).

When it came to noting the birthplace of people, he wrote not only the country, but also (usually) the shire/county.
(click to enlarge)
Census of 1851, Canada West, District of Carleton, sub-district of Fitzroy (township),
schedule A (personal census), p. 10d, 11a (otherwise known as page 21),
LAC (accessed at Collections Canada, 14 January 2010)

For those born in Canada West (as Ontario was at that time known as), he even noted the specific place or township.  (see above example)

Sometimes, he even included further information.

(click to enlarge)
Census of 1851, Canada West, District of Carleton, sub-district of Fitzroy (township),
schedule A (personal census), p. 51d, 52a (otherwise known as page 103),
LAC (accessed at Collections Canada, 14 January 2010)

The birth locations circled in this example are the townlands of Cloughjordan and Toomyvara (spelled as Toomavarah), both located in Tipperary co., Ireland. 

Sunday, February 14

Obituary: Jane Story, 1947

From the Ottawa Citizen, Saturday August 9, 1947, p. 2:

(click to enlarge)

Miss Jane Story Dies In Kinburn
      KINBURN, Aug. 9. -- (Special) -- One of Kinburn's oldest residents, Miss. Jane Story died in the Rosamond memorial hospital in her 88th year.
      She was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. David Story, pioneers of Fitzroy township.
      Surviving is one brother George, and one sister Catherine Story of Kinburn and several nephews and nieces.  The funeral will be held on Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the home of her brother George Story to St. John's Anglican church, Antrim.  Interment will be in St. Mark's cemetery, Pakenham.  Rev. P. Caiger-Watson will officiate.

~~~~~  *  ~~~~~  *  ~~~~~

Jane was the daughter of David Story and Jane Needham.  Her older sister, Elizabeth (Story) Grainger, was my ggg-grandmother.

Obituary: John Ritchie, 1932

From the Ottawa Citizen, Tuesday October 25, 1932, p. 2:

(click to enlarge)

Famous Riverman
John Ritchie, Dies
Was Outstanding in Valley For Half Century.  Ottawa Sister Survives.
Special to The Evening Citizen.
      ARNPRIOR. Oct. 25. -- Word was received her today of the death in Temiskaming, Que., on Monday of John J. Ritchie, aged 78, widely known and vetern Ottawa Valley riverman.  He had been ill in a Temiskaming hospital for about five weeks previous to his demise.
      The late Mr. Ritchie was one of the best known men in the river phases of Ottawa Valley lumbering operations.  In the summer of 1929 he accepted superannuation after being for 52 years in the service of the Upper Ottawa Improvement Company and the Old Union Forwarding Company.
      For 49 of those years he was boom master at the Schneaux and his efficient overseeing of the major operations there made of him an invaluable employe [sic].  On his superannuation in 1928, he could not leave the river and went to Temiskaming to live with a son, Minor Ritchie, who held the post of boom master in that northern town.
      The body will be brought to his late home in Pakenham township and the funeral will be on Thursday afternoon.
      The late Mr. Ritchie was born in Fitzroy township.  He was married to Miss. Margaret Story who survives, as do two sons and two daughters, Ira Ritchie, Pakenham; Minor S. Ritchie, Temiskaming, Que.; Miss. Leata Ritchie, Pakenham; and Mrs. Dr. Busby, London, Ont.  Surviving also are one brother and two sisters, James Ritchie, Mrs. Joseph McQuade, of Almonte, and Mrs. H. S. Dowd, of Ottawa.

~~~~~  *  ~~~~~  *  ~~~~~

John's wife Margaret A. Story (1856-1938) was the daughter of Robert Story (who was, in turn, the son of John Story and Margaret Latimer) and Margaret Johnston, and thus, Margaret was the niece of my gggg-grandfather, David Story.  Both she and John are buried in Pakenham Union Cemetery, Pakenham twp., Lanark co., Ontario, Canada.

Fitzroy Township Minutes, 10 June 1865

From the Ottawa Citizen, Friday July 21, 1865, page 2, column's 3-4:

(click to enlarge)

Corporation of the Township of Fitzroy
Minutes of Council, June 10, 1865
      The Council met pursuant to adjournment.  Present: The Reeve, and Messrs. Neil, Story, and Dean.
      The minutes of last session were read.
      Motion No. 1.  Moved by Mr. Dean, seconded by Mr. Neil, that James Blair be directed by this Council to make a culvert across the side road between Lots No. 20 and 21, at the forth concession line to take the water down the fourth concession line, and to repair the road from said side line to the School House. -- Carried.
      No. 2.  Moved by Mr. Neil, seconded by Mr. Dean, that the tender of Wm. Story, be accepted for the Collectorship of this township for the current year. -- Carried.
      No. 3.  Moved by Mr. Dean, seconded by Mr. Story, that the By-law to appoint certain officers for the current year, and to repeal part of By-law No. 156, be now read a first, second, and a third time and passed, any rule to the contrary notwithstanding. -- Carried.
      By-law No. 156 was read a first, second, and third time and passed accordingly.
      No. 4.  Moved by Mr. Dean, seconded by Mr. Story, that Thomas McCormack be directed by this Council to expend twenty days Statute labor on the Fourth concession line of this township, opposite Lots Nos. 12, 13, and 14. -- Carried.
      No. 5.  Moved by Mr. Neil, seconded by Mr. Story, that William Sullivan be directed by this Council to expend thirty days labor on the Seventh concession across lots 9 and 10, and twenty days from the Carp bridge on the side line between lots 10 and 11, in the Sixth and Seventh concessiions, and the remainder from Mr. Fraser's store, on the main road, to the end of his section. -- Carried.
      No. 6.  Moved by Mr. Dean, seconded by Mr. Story, that Peter Denis, Mrs. Brown, and Mrs. F. McCarthy, be exempt from statute labor and the payment of taxes for the current year. -- Carried.
      No. 7.  Moved by Mr. Neil, seconded by Mr. Story, that this Council do now adjourn until the 8th day of July next. -- Carried.
(Signed) James Hubbell,
W. P. Taylor,
      Township Clerk.
BY-LAW No. 159.
By-law to appoint certain officers for the Township of Fitzroy, for the year 1865, and the repeal part of B-law No. 156:
WHEREAS, it is necessary to appoint certain officers for the Township of Fitzroy, for the year 1864, and to repeal part of By-law No. 156,
      The Corporation of the Township of Fitzroy enacts as follows:
      That the following persons be and they are hereby appointed to the undermentioned offices, for the township of Fitzroy, for the current year, namely :
      Poundkeeper -- Thos. Fraser, jr.
      Collector -- Wm. Story
      Overseers of Highways -- Andrew White and Richard Wilson
      That so much of By-law No. 156, as relates to the appointment of Robert Owens as Overseers of Highways, and James Mills as Poundkeeper, is declared to be, and the same is hereby repealed.
      Given under the hand of the Reeve, and the Seal of the Corporation of the Township of Fitzroy, this 10th day of June 1865.
(Signed) James Hubbell,
Reeve (L? S.)
W. P. Taylor,
      Township Clerk.

~~~~~  *  ~~~~~  *  ~~~~~

William Story (who would have been about 45 at this time) was the son of John Story and Margaret Latimer, and whose brother David was my gggg-grandfather.   

Googling "Statute labor" gave the following definition from The Free Dictionary : "a definite amount of labor required for the public service in making roads, bridges, etc., as in certain English colonies."

Saturday, February 13

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy : Week 7 - the challenge

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog presents "52 Weeks To Better Genealogy", a series of weekly genealogy prompts / suggestions / exercises that (hopefully) will help anyone to become a better researcher.

The challenge for week 7:

Play with Google Maps. This is a helpful tool for determining the locations of addresses in your family history. Where your ancestral homestead once stood may now be a warehouse, a parking lot or a field. Perhaps the house is still there. When you input addresses in Google Maps, don’t forget to use the Satellite View and Street View options for perspectives that put you were right there where your ancestors once stood. If you’ve used this tool before, take sometime and play with it again. Push all the buttons, click all the links and devise new ways it can help with your personal genealogy research. If you have a genealogy blog, write about your experiences with Google Maps, or suggest similar easy (and free) tools that have helped in your own research.

I'll post my results later this week...

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy: Week 6 - The Result...

A wordle of this week's post (click to enlarge)

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog presents "52 Weeks To Better Genealogy", a series of weekly genealogy prompts/suggestions/exercises that (hopefully) help you to become a better researcher.

This week's (#6) challenge dealt with the exploration of your local public library's online database(s).

Since I work for my local public library, and have used our databases (both genealogical and non) to assist others, I'm afraid I slacked on this challenge a little. ;-)  To access the databases, you simply click on Online Resources, and one of the subject headings listed on that page is Genealogy.  There are four databases under this:

Ancestry Library Edition
Description: is the number one online source for family history information, including the web's largest collection of historical records.

My Notes: Though our library subscribes to this Ancestry version, it is only available for use while actually in a library building (which sucks, but then how would Ancestry get their money's worth?!) and on a library computer. 

Oshawa Book of Remembrance
Description: Online version of the Book of Remembrance, dedicated to preserving the memory of those from the Oshawa region who served and gave their lives in WWI and WWII. 

My Notes: Each entry provides a picture of the soldier, his rank and full name, birth date and place, death date and place, parents names, where the soldier went to school, and (occasionally) hobbies.  The original book is available in a glass case at the main branch of the library, where a new page is displayed everyday.  This database can be searched (divided by branch of service - Army, Navy, etc.) or browsed.

Oshawa Newspaper and Obituary Index
Description: An index to the Oshawa newspapers preserved on microfilm at the McLaughlin Branch of OPL. 

My Notes: Includes full name (as given in the source) of the individual, type of event and date, source (newspaper name) and date.  Obituary listings include the name of the cemetery.  Search (keywords, dates) only :-(

Toronto Star - Pages of the Past
Description: The digitized full-image version of the complete contents of the Toronto Star newspaper since 1894.  See below for my (short) exploration of this database.

My Notes: Listed under the subject of History are a further two resources:

Oshawa Full-Text Archive
Description: Check out our expanded Oshawa Full-Text Archive, a collection of materials providing a glimpse into Oshawa's past. 

My Notes: Various local history books and booklets that are kept in the library's local history collection and are not allowed to leave the library.  They have been digitized and organized by general subject headings (business, directories, education, clubs, local families, etc.).  Searchable within each document only.

Oshawa Images
Description: Take a look at our newest online collection, featuring intriguing images from Oshawa’s past.

My Notes: Includes a variety of images, ranging from portraits, street scenes, groups, and buildings.  Attached to each image is as much detail as known, copyright, history (if known), and holder.  Database also includes a rotating list of "Mystery" pictures.  Search (basic and advanced) only.

~~~~~  *  ~~~~~  *  ~~~~~

While the local resources are not (currently) of much use to me, I did go to the Pages of the Past database and do a couple brief searches. 

One of the sons of the Story clan - Frederick William - married an Wilhelmina Alexandra Robinson, daughter of Alexander Hamilton Robinson and Martha Jane MacFarlane, of Etobicoke, York co., Ontario, Canada.  Frederick and Wilhelmina, along with her mother, Martha, migrated to B.C.  I have an obituary for Martha (I also have Wilhelmina's) from a Vancouver paper, and while she died in B.C., she was buried with her husband and parental family in Etobicoke.  I decided to look up Martha's 1930 obituary in the Toronto Star, assuming, with the burial occuring in Etobicoke, there would have been a cross posting.  She died on Monday, February 10, 1930.  I found her in Friday, February 14th, page 33:

(click to enlarge)

Unfortunately, I was unable to locate a Toronto obituary (I have the Vancouver one) for her daughter, Wilhelmina Alexandra (Robinson) Story, who died on the last day of the year, December 31, 1951.  Nor was I able to find any mention of the death of Wilhelmina's husband, Frederick, on January 2, 1961 - though I did not expect to find anything for him, since he was not originally from the area.  However, when I tried a blanket search for just MacFarlane/McFarlane, beginning in 1894 (when the digitized version begins), I got a "No Results" screen (which is weird, since in Martha's obit, above, her father Alexande MacFarlane, is listed...)

Wednesday, February 10

Obituary: Robert E. Bishop

(click image to enlarge)

From the Ottawa Citizen, Monday February 16, 1959, p. 30:

Robert E. Bishop
KINBURN (Special) - A former Kinburn resident, Robert E. Bishop, died in a Drumheler, Alta. hospital recently.  He was 81.  He was the son of the late Edward Bishop and his wife the late Catherine Barber.  The farm known as the Bishop Farm, near Kinburn, is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. William Neil.  Interment was at Drumheller, Alta.

Catherine (Barber) Bishop was sister to my ggg-grandfather, Richard Barber...

Obituary: Catherine (Cameron) Stevenson

(click image to enlarge)

From the Ottawa Citizen, Monday March 14, 1927, p. 5:

(Special to The Citizen.)
SAND POINT, March 14 - There passed away on Wednesday a life-long resident of McNab in the person of Catherine Cameron, widow of the late George Stevenson.  The late Mrs. Stevenson was born on July 7th, 1849, the eldest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Cameron of White Lake.  She was married on December 31st, 1868, to George Stevenson, who pre-deceased her in February, 1923.  Their entire married life was spent on their farm three miles from Sand Point, known as Stevenson's Corners.  About six years ago they sold their farm, and lived a retired life.  In 1918 they celebrated the 50th anniversary of their marriage.  The late Mrs. Stevenson was the eldest daughter of a family of three girls and six boys, of whom four are living.  Duncan Cameron, of Providence Bay, Manitoulin Islands; Agnes Cameron, of McNab; Rev. John Cameron, of Massachusetts, and N. M. Cameron, of Cargill, Ont.  To the late Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson were born three children, Mrs. James Storie, of McNab; Miss. Katie Stevenson, Arnprior, and Mr. John C. Stevenson, of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The funeral on Thursday afternoon was largely attended.  The funeral service at the home and grave were conducted by the Rev. E. P. H. King, of the Baptist church, Arnprior.

Obituary: Marjorie Evelyn (Ellis) Evans

(click image to enlarge)

From the Ottawa Citizen, Tuesday February 7, 1984, p. 27:

EVANS, Marjorie Evelyn
In hospital on Monday, February 6, 1984, Marjorie Evelyn Ellis; dearly beloved wife of Clifford Bates Evans.  Dearest mother of Elayne (Mrs. Ralph Carlson).  Dear sister of the late Frank Ellis, Clifford Ellis (Oakville) and Kenneth Ellis and loving nieces and nephews.  Friends may call at Hulse and Playfair, Central Chapel, 315 McLeod Street, 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, February 8.  Funeral in the Chapel on Thursday, February 9, time to be announced.  Cremation Pinecrest Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers donations to the charity of your choice would be appreciated.

Monday, February 8

Obituary: Maude (Raycroft) Saunders

(click image to enlarge)

From the Ottawa Citizen, July 12, 1976, p. 22:

Suddenly at her residence, 2129 Knightsbridge on Saturday, July 10, 1976, Maude Raycroft, age 74 years; beloved wife of Lemuel Saunders and dear sister of Mrs. Christina Evans of Pakenham; Mrs. Orville Peever (Elizabeth) Arnprior and Mrs. Theresa Manary, Braeside.  Also survived by several nieces and nephews.  Resting the Tubman Funeral Home, 403 Richmond Rd. at Roosevelt.  Service in the Chapel Tuesday 2.30 p.m.  Interment Pinecrest Cemetery.

Maude's sister Christina was married to Richard Evans, who was an older brother of my great-grandmother, Lavina (Evans) Cameron.

Saturday, February 6

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy: Week 6 - the challenge...

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog presents "52 Weeks To Better Genealogy", a series of weekly genealogy prompts/suggestions/exercises that (hopefully) help you to become a better researcher.

Having recently (re)joined the blogging community, I've only just discovered this wonderful series.  So, despite beginning a few weeks late, here is the exercise for week 6:

Online databases at your public library. Search your library’s web site and see if your card grants you access to online databases. Libraries (even small ones) often have wonderful online tools including genealogy databases, historical newspapers and more! Take some time and play with these little perks that come with a library card. You just may get some help in your own genealogy research and gain some free research tools to boot. If you don’t know how to access online library databases or you’re not sure if your branch has them, ask a librarian for guidance. If you have a blog, discuss which databases (if any) to which your library subscribes.

I'll post my results sometime (!) this week...

Friday, February 5

Michael Barber's Death Notice

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From the Ottawa Citizen, Friday April 29, 1955, p. 42: 

BARBER, Michel James - At Kinburn, Ontario, on Friday, April 29, 1955.  Michel James Barber, beloved husband of Linda Grainger, in his 83rd year.  Resting at his home, Kinburn, Ontario.  Funeral service Sunday, May 1, 1955, at 2 p.m. to St. John's Anglican Church, Antrim.  Interment St. Mark's Cemetery, Pakenham, Ontario.

I've previously posted his obituary.  I have yet to locate his wife's obituary...

Organization 101: Binders (Part 1)

Having dabbled in all three main methods of genealogical organization, I have finally settled on my final course of action: binders.  File folders proved too flimsy and I failed to keep any genealogy computer programme I tried (PAF, Family Tree Maker, Broker's Keeper...) updated (plus, we're now on our fourth computer since the ancestor hunt began - and I've lost whatever information I've had on each...).

Thus, the Binder Method.

That's the easy part.  Now the trick is to decide how to internally organize the material: family binders divided by surname, by location, or by random (or specific) number; binders per material type vs. "coffee-table" binder; colour-coding woes; and so on.

Below are a few online articles discussing various methods.  Stay tuned for part 2...

Internet Resources:

"Clear your clutter" (part 1) and (part 2) podcasts from GenealogyonDemand and the accompanying handout (Oct/Nov 2006)

"Organizing Your Paper Files Using Binders (Notebooks)" from

"In a Pile or a File: A Guide to Organizing Genealogical Research" by Rita F. Bartholomew (2001) [note: includes a few archival no-nos - metal clips, eek! - but the booklet is excellent otherwise]

"Organize your paper files" (in combination with a computer program)

Elyse90505's Channel on YouTube - includes videos for: "How I organize my genealogy", "How To Create A Research Binder", "How to Organize Your Genealogy Part 1", and "How to Organize Your Genealogy Part 2", as well as the blog entry "Organizing the Paper Mountain, Part 2", all by Elyse Doerflinger

"Binders, Notebooks or Folders? Organizing Your Genealogy Files" by Kimberly Powell (

"A Guide to Organizing Paper Genealogy Files" here and here (this one w/pictures!) by Wayne Hinton, Hinton Genealogy Research (1997)

"Guide to Organizing Your Genealogy Files" by Shannon Wakeland (eHow)

"How to Organize Genealogy with Binders: Notebook Sections for Family Surnames, Documents, Locations" by Jennifer Jensen (, 2009)

"Digging Out From the Paper Pile" from

"Organizing Your Research" by Diana Smith (

"Another Sort of A to Z: Your Genealogy Filing System" by Donna Przecha (

"Organizing Your Home Records" by Lisa Noirot (Summit County chapter, Ohio Genealogical Society, 2001)

DearMyrtle's checklists of organization: January 2009, February 2009, March 2009, April 2009, May 2009, June 2009 [note: while these cover much more than just binders, they're a great series of articles!]

"Get It Together" series of organizational articles by Elizabeth Kelley Kirstens (, 1999-2000)

"How do I keep all this stuff straight?" George G. Morgan ("Along those lines",, 1998) [note: this is one of the first articles I ever accessed - and subsequently printed off...]

"Organization is the Key!" series of lessons from

"Keeping Track of Cousins" by Christine Sievers (, 2000)

"Organizing Family History Records" by Marina Garrison (

"Organizing Your Papers" - a series of 4 articles from "Legacy News" (2006)

"Develop an Organizational Plan: One That Will Grow as Your Research Grows" by Phyllis Matthews Ziller (

Thursday, February 4

Grainger/Cavanagh Anniversary

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I'm related to both the husband and the wife in the above article (transcription below), pulled from the Ottawa Citizen archives digitalized by Google News...

From the Ottawa Citizen of March 26, 1959, p. 28:

55 Years Spent On Farm, Couple Mark Anniversay
KINBURN (Special) - A couple who have spent all their married lives on their farm on the fourth line of Fitzroy, celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary at an "at home."  Some 100 guests signed the guest book for the happy couple, Mr. and Mrs. George Cavanagh.  They were the recipients of many gifts and messages.  A 55-year scroll was received from Erskine Johnston, MLA, and a gift from the school section.  Mrs. Cavanagh is the former Annie Grainger, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Grainger, and Mr. Cavanagh is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Cavanagh, all of Fitzroy township and Kinburn community.  The couple were married in St. Mark's Anglican rectory at Pakenham by Rev. W. Warren.  Their attendants were the groom's sister, Mrs. Emery Dean, and the late Mr. Dean.  They have two sons, Merville and Elmer of Kinburn; and three daughters, Mrs. Robert (Effie) Holmes of Kingston, Mrs. William (Verna) Scripnek of Kingston, and Mrs. Grant (Lola) Smith of Peterborough.  They also have 16 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Wednesday, February 3

Blogger reader = Google = Ottawa Citizen = genealogical happy dance!!

While browsing my blogger reading list (I'm not a fan of the Google Reader), I happened to come across the most recent entry (February 2nd) from the "Librarians Helping Canadian Genealogists Climb Family Trees" blog: "Google makes Historical Ottawa Citizen available online"  Wow!

The short entry barely gives anything away, merely excerpting a small clip from a (current) Ottawa Citizen article by Kelly Egan and stating digitalized copies begin (roughly) in 1890.

Deciding to give it a go (though my ancestors lived throughout the western reaches of the Ottawa valley, they rarely strayed (in official records, anyway) towards the city itself), I clicked on the Google link.  Typing in a few keywords ("barber" and "pakenham") and entering "Ottawa Citizen" in the source box, I hit the enter key.  Little did I expect one of the first entries to jump right off the page...

From the Ottawa Citizen, May 2, 1955, p. 4:

Michael Barber
KINBURN (Special) - Funeral service for Michael James Barber, a resident of Kinburn all his life, was held in St. John's Anglican Church, Antrim, Sunday afternoon.  Mr. Barber died at his home Friday after an illness of several weeks.  He was 82.  Rev. P. Caiger Watson conducted the service.  Burial was in St. Mark's Anglican Cemetery.  Mr. Barber leaves his wife, the former Linda Grainger; three daughters, Mrs. Beattie Timmins, of Pakenham, Mrs. Amy Cameron of Arnprior, and Miss. Pearl Barber of Ottawa; and a son, Norman, at home.

(click image to enlarge)

(Did I do my genealogy happy dance?  You bet your bottom I did - and startled the dog and the cat in the process! ;-)

This is my great-grandfather!!! 

This (the Ottawa Citizen), is a resource I wouldn't have thought to check.  Arnprior (where my grandmother lived and is closer than Ottawa), had it's own newspaper (Arnprior Chronicle) which I have earmarked for further study (I've previously went over a few surviving issues that the Archives of Ontario had).  I can't wait to explore further...

Tuesday, February 2

To join or not to join...

Now that I'm returning to my search, I've been thinking about my "community" options. 

I was previously a member of the Lanark County Genealogical Society, one of the few genealogy societies in Ontario that is not affliated with the OGS - and thus does not have their high membership (plus branch membership!) fees.

I'm planning (I'm just waiting to print the membership form) to join the LCGS.  By joining, members receive the newsletter, "Lanark Log", 8 times per year and the opportunately to submit research interests (either in the newsletter or on the website).  For $15.00 annually, I'm hardly going to quibble about the price! 

I'm even (gasp!) thinking about joining the OGS (certainly I want to attend the 2010 conference in Toronto this May) - but that may wait for a little while longer.  With an initial membership fee of almost $70.00, plus (multiple) branch fees amounting to $12.00-$15.00 a pop, it's (unfortunately) slightly too rich for my blood.

And then there are the historical societies (which, as a lifelong history student, I'm loath to pass by)...