Saturday, February 13

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.

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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...)

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