Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy 2011!

This is my all time favourite book! I don't have mine for this year I left in a different province but I will get it back. My parents gave it to me when I was a little girl!
Merry Christmas!

I love this book too! Classic!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dominion of Canada 1867

What were your ancestors on Dominion Day in 1867?
Find out by searching through archived documents like census, archives of Ontario and other resources.
Find a Map of Canada in 1867

July 1, 1867
Kingdom, Dominion or Just Plain Canada? Read: History of that day!

Imagine yourself a small child looking up at the fireworks and knowing that today is going to change the place you live forever! You can see the smiles on everyones faces and your parents are talking about how it's going to be different from know on. What would that be like?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Keep Learning...

Throughout history, boundaries and borders have been redrawn. Knowing where those lines fell during the life of your ancestors is another key to finding your story!

Go to or

Go to search (at top of screen along the panel of choices), search all records (drop down window), see more (at the bottome of the features section) and then you will have all the record collections in front of you.
Click on:
"Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers" or see more for a complete library of maps (countries, years...)at the bottom of the title "Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers"

Ancestry Map Search Link

Good Luck on your findings.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ontario Archives

I quick guide to the documents that are available to the public in your area.

Major Archives of Ontario Collections on Microfilm include:
•Vital Statistics:
•Births: 1869 to 1912
•Deaths: 1869 to 1937 (Older than 70 years : 1938 and up will be released soon.)
•Marriages: ca. 1780 to 1927 (pre-1869 records are very incomplete)
•Wills and Estate Files: c. 1790 to 1930 (dates will vary depending on the county).
•Newspapers: The Archives has microfilmed most of its newspaper holdings, including a large selection of older Ontario newspapers.
•Eaton's Mail-order Catalogues: 1884-1976
The Archives also provides access to some Library and Archives Canada microfilm including:

•Ontario Census Returns: 1842, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901
•Upper Canada Land Petitions: 1792-1867
•Ships Passenger Lists: 1865-1919

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to find a will at the archives of Ontario

Step by step instructions on how to find a Last Will and Testament
Are all Wills in the court records?

No. If the deceased's estate consisted ONLY of real estate (e.g., farmers), the original Will may have been deposited in the local Land Registry Office to transfer the land to the heirs. Some Land Registry Offices hold over 60% of all surviving Wills. Because they were never probated, these Wills are not indexed or registered in the court records. Consult Inventory 61 (Private Property Registrations) for further details.

Why should I be looking for an "Estate File" rather than a Will?

An Estate File contains the documents used by the Surrogate Court to disperse the deceased's estate, whether he/she died with (testate) or without (intestate) a Will. The contents can include: Petition for Probate (with Will) or Administration (without Will), the original Will, the executors' or administrators' oaths, and an inventory of the assets (see the glossary at the end of this Guide for further details).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Who Do You Think You Are?

I can't wait to watch on March 5, 2010.
Produced by Lisa Kudrow and her production company, Is or Isn't Entertainment, in collaboration with Wall to Wall Entertainment, "Who Do You Think You Are?" explores the roots of Kudrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Spike Lee, Susan Sarandon, Brooke Shields and Emmitt Smith. The show is an adaptation of the hit BBC series.
Read the NBC and Ancestry Press Release

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tracing Your Family History

Unfortunately I missed the episode but here is a clip from Martha The Martha Stewart Show. Click on the title of this post-entitled "Tracing Your Family History". Enjoy!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Microfilm at local LDS Family History Centres

Birth records are indexed from 1869 to 1907

Marriage records are available from 1869to 1922

Death records from 1869 to 1932.

Birth, marriage and death documentation began in 1869, which can be found at the Ontario Archives that can be borrowed through your local library.

This site can be complicated but it is fun to get the info you are looking for but could not find in any other documents through this resource.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Give Credit Where Credit is Due!

Just recently I found that someone took the pictures I posted on a family friend's Family Tree and claimed them as thier own. I WAS STUNNED! I was shocked, I was horrified!

I could not allow this to happen so I decided that some of the pic's were more private than others and asked the person to delete them from their computer and family tree. I did originally post them for the family friend and his father to enjoy them because the father actually knew the people in the pic's who have passed away since.

This person is such a distant relative that they don't even know the people in the pic's or even knew they existed until I contacted them and introduced myself as a relative.

Am I right in doing this? Maybe not, I don't know!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Journal Entry ~ November 2000

When filling in my tree I made sure to include first, last, and middle names, birth, marriage, death dates and places in which they occurred. For future references this allows for quick access to the researched information.

*Important Note: Use maiden name for females if known. Too many times the wife’s maiden name is lost at time of marriage and, unfortunately, it may remain unknown.

There is only one thing I wish I had done differently that would have saved time and frustration and that is to record every piece of information I found and to keep it on file either in my computer data base or my paper files. This would have avoided repeating searches for the same individuals or families, which I found was defeating.

*Note: I found that keeping a record of the information I obtained to alleviate duplicating my searches with best done through charts. I began with a simple chart my uncle had created but as my searching became more in-depth I used the charts found at

November 15, 2000
The Hudson Bay Co. era, the late 1700’s early 1800’s in particular have fascinated me for some time. I gravitate towards this period repeatedly, which made me wonder if there was something I needed to uncover.

As I learn about my ancestors I find myself asking new questions. When I searched “Philip Turnor” my eighth great-grandfather I found that he worked with Samuel Hearne. Philip Turnor was born in 1751 in Laleham, Middlesex, England and came to Canada to assist in Cartography for the Hudson Bay Company. Further in my search I found many resources including a book written by these two Hudson Bay surveyors. In the book David Thompson is mentioned along with many others who assisted or learned from the surveyors in charge. Philip Turnor was the first servant hired by the HBC to map Rupert’s Land, he met Alexander Mackenzie and established a Hudson Bay Post in Saskatchewan because he saw the potential of the fur trade there. The significance he represented in our history is documented and I sense he was an accomplished man of that time.

Getting acquainted with the local library system I noticed the collection of Canadian History documentary television series. I scanned through the movies for the 1700’s and noticed David Thomson’s name in the movies description.

To my surprise the documentary touched on the history of Philip Turnor’s and David Thompson’s association. Philip Turnor had a brilliant mathematical mind; he taught David Thompson while recovering from a broken leg, the skills that surveyors needed. David Thompson went on to become well known through his published journals in his surveying skills and findings.

In my research I found that Philip Turnor was married twice, when and where he was born, when he was married, how many children he had, and when and where he died. I find that each search no matter the out come inspires me to keep going.

Keep working at it!

Your genealogical experience will be motivating, educational and inspirational. You will come in contact with family lineage you didn’t even know existed, your research will be time well spent and you will enjoy yourself as you go.

There are many resources for public use I have given you but you will find many more as you go.

The information presented in my blog is for getting started or to give new resources (ie: key sites, archives) to those who have already started but have come to a stand still and need ideas to continue. Genealogy research can get very in-depth so much so that it is impossible to write about the entire subject, simply because everyone is lead down a different path which is their individualized Family Tree. You will learn a great deal as you travel through and where they have more comprehensive and complex searchable areas.

As you collect information, and watch your family tree grow you will gain a great sense of accomplishment.

Till next time I wish you good luck on your findings.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Internet Not Always Right!

Online information can be misguiding!

Just because it's on-line doesn't mean it's the right information! Always keep this in mind, take other's family trees and labels on pictures with a grain of salt.

I always check the info I get off the Internet because I have come across wrong information all over the place! I will have a document in my hand with a certain date, maiden name, cause of death, etc, and find online where someone has entered their data wrong.

Just because a relative said that Aunt Helen died on March 5, 1867 doesn't mean that is accurate information. It is always best to do the legwork and find the death and document it from that source.

Although, all documents are not 100% completely right I go with the document over someone’s memory of what Grandmother told Aunt Lucy who told cousin George who is now telling me what he thinks he knows.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cyndis List Ship Search

Home Page:

Cyndis List has a lot of information on it. She has it in alphabetical Order to make searching easy.

I recommend using this site for all genealogy searches.

The Ships List

Have you ever wondered where your great great great grandparents came from? Were they European Explorers, Arcadian’s, Aboriginal Indians? How many children came with them? Why did they leave their home country? Was it because of the potato famine?

If they came from Europe or another country then they could be listed on a Ship's List.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Two Cents...

I think that the many people who throw their “weight” (power, education, job title, knowledge) around are the ones who need a wake up call. They are not thinking ahead to the future when making decisions; they are simply solving a problem now. There are some many things wrong with this process that I couldn’t even begin to tell you the ramifications we are going to have to deal with in the future.

These big wigs need to learn from our history books, it's all right there laid out in front of you to educate yourself with but for some reason “they” think they know what they are doing. Leading their country into a complete and utter mess. Then they walk away when they see what they’ve done only to leave someone else to clean up.

The education system is completely out of control with grade 13 dropped, all grade curriculum’s had been bumped back two years and it is only leading our children down paths of failure, which leads to giving up and a future society that has adults who are ill-equipped. These young generations have to think older than their years to keep up with what the teachers expect from them. That in turn is producing children who feel like they have little or no control by the time they reach high school which forces them to act out, disrespect peers and educators more then the generations before them.

The only solution I see to our problems is to learn from our History. Revert back to the way our ancestors lived. Life should be simple and happy. I don’t see how we can accomplish that unless we retrace our ancestor’s steps. Maybe that is what we need to do so that the world can be a better place to live and raise our children. I see nothing but disaster in our futures if something isn’t done now.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Birth, Marriage and Death Records

What to Search: Topics - Canadian Genealogy Centre - Library and Archives Canada

Millitary Records - Library and Archives Canada

What to Search: Topics - Canadian Genealogy Centre - Library and Archives Canada

Canadian Immigration Records

Canadian Immigration Records

Leg Work

Legwork is very satisfying but it takes time, energy and money!

I love doing the can only do so much on-line without spending a fortune to pay someone else to do it or paying for the use of an online data base.

A lot of people think that you can get what you need online but the truth of the matter is there is so much more out there that you will be truly amazed!

It is inspiring to go out and search in cemeteries, churches, LDS or any other resource and find something you didn't know that will lead you to an amazing story or lead you down a different path.


Once a basic Pedigree Chart is filled in with what information is known contacting relatives may help in filling in gaps or adding the one bit of information that will help you find what your looking for. Showing them the pedigree chart will assist them in visualizing and may tweak memories; you may be surprised at what they know. In my personal experience, these visits are conducive to recall. It can be so much fun yet overwhelming and emotional, it is best to limit each visit too less than an hour. Remember to ask specific questions and record any anecdotes, stories, songs, sayings or other items that are mentioned. Relatives may remember key pieces of information like where the individuals were married, settled or the cemetery where individual or whole families are buried that will move you in the right direction or send you on a different path.

LDS - Ladder Day Saints

Once you have filled in your family tree, searched online,
You can find information on microfilm at local LDS Family History Centres.
Birth records are indexed from 1869 to 1907, marriage records are available from 1869to 1922 and death records from 1869 to 1932. Birth, marriage and death documentation began in 1869, which can be found at the Ontario Archives, which can be borrowed through your local library.

Vital Records

Birth, marriage and death documentation began in 1869 can be found at the Ontario Archives

Birth records are indexed from 1869 to 1907, marriage records are available from 1869 to 1922 and death records from 1869 to 1932.
These are available on microfilm through your local The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

1881 census

The 1881 census is fully indexed at Family Search This is a great resource to see if others have already completed the research on a particular person or family.

Ancestry exploration on the Internet

Ontario Genealogical Society Provincial Index: The census is organized by surnames and year. The Ontario census for 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 Ontario Census can be found on the web at
There is a lot of information at this link. While reading through the census you will get a good idea of what to look for, specific abbreviation meanings and names of specific areas.

Keeping Track of information

Other interesting places history was recorded are family Bibles, cemeteries, obituaries, land records and churches have baptismal certificates.

Keeping a record of where the information came from, when you obtained that information, who gave you that inforamtion and any other information found will alleviate duplicating your searches with this chart:

Thursday, January 7, 2010


The first duty of an historian is to be on guard against his own sympathies.
~James Anthony Froude

Other things may change us, but we end with family.
~Anthony Brandt

The family is one of nature's masterpieces.
~George Santayna

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Heritage: A journey to find family stories

In the beginning as I was learning about my ancestors I realize there are so many stories to discover. I had a huge break through recently that has come as such a surprise. Unbeknownst to our family our great grandmother on my father’s mother’s side was a British Home Child. You can read it about it on my blog at this link:
OR click on the title of this post and you will go straight to it.

As I researched my family lineage I found myself learning new ways and places to search. I found myself feeling extremely accomplished as my family tree grew. Making connections linking famous nineteenth century Canadian explores with my distant or not so distant relatives was fascinating.

With this journey I have motivated, educated and inspired family and friends to grow their family tree with success. That is exactly what I hope I can do for you as well. Follow along and join in on the growth of your heritage.

Cemetery Search: Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid

The Ontario Cemetery search is helpful if you know the persons full name. The area where they died will narrow the search down too.

Click on title to go directly to the site.

Roots Web

Roots Web gives you the opportunity to register to this list, which will get you connected with others who are searching the same surnames. Message boards, forums and other web links are available for people who like the social aspect.
Making connections with individuals and families makes it all extremely worthwhile.

I have been in contact with first, second and third cousins I didn't even know existed. They had information I didn't and visa versa so, we swapped and bother were very happy to find out more history of the family or individual in our tree. Actually, the jack pot is when you connect with someone who has a picture of an ancestor that you have never seen before!

Monday, January 4, 2010

British Home Children - You could be a descendent!

Canada: Land of opportunity! But to children it was a scary feeling of the unknown.

To thousands of children the unknown was what was intriguing and what made them think they would have a good new life in Canada. Yet the unknown is what was scary and unsettling for the thousands that were orphaned or had parents alive but were not in their care.

There are many questions in everyone's family tree and there is always that one person or that one family that you can't stop thinking about. The answer has to be out there. It's probably quite simple but the documents that I have to go through seem so overwhelming. My questions were about one family of four sisters who in the story the family told were sent to Canada by their grandfather. I had to know why they were sent to Canada. Why would someone send a 16, 12, 7, 4, and 3 year old to Canada by themselves in 1885? What happened to lead up to this horrific situation?

So I started with the 1901 Canadian census, I found my great grandmother there. Then I went back farther to the 1891 Canadian census. No luck! Well, I guess I could look in the England census so, I had the 1881 England census and I was off on a different route to see what I could find. I couldn’t find what I needed so I hired two expert researcher in England to find marriage and death certificates of my ancestors parents. A short while later I stood holding them in my hands with great appreciation. I knew my searching was not finished yet. My ancestor's story was actually coming together with many turns and devastating events that I learned about her life along the way. I knew I couldn’t let it be just yet.

I looked the certificates and the other info that the researchers found for hours trying to find an answer in the documents with no avail. In researching my ancestors I shared my knowledge and findings with my family. It was one day that my mother suggested to me that maybe my great grandmother may have been a home child that gave me a lead on this individual I had so many questions unanswered. Checking into a whole new topic for me didn’t take long.

One day I settled down at my computer and typed in “Home Children” which resulted in a government search engine. (
Typing in my great grandmothers name, pressed enter and there it was in front of me. I just sat there reading her name over and over, it had taken so long to get here but it was so simple at the same time! Along with her details was a list of the other passengers on the ship she came to Canada with. To my surprise her sisters were also named followed with their age and the information. My findings only answered a few of my questions.

With every step I took in this journey I would come up with another question or many other questions. To make along story short, I ended up contacting Barnado's in England and have the reports of my great grandmother when she first left England until she married my great grandfather.

The British Home Children incident was one that left many children vulnerable but Canada was supportive in placing thousands of children around the country. Many children were put in bad situations but others were treated like family or cared for in a loving manner.

There were many homes that the children went to live until they were placed in families’ home to work for a period of time or adopted by families.

Important Note: If you click on the title it will take you to a site (Library and Archives Canada)where you can search the name of an individual to see if they were a Home Child.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone!I hope this year is a prosperous year for genealogy progress.
My resolution this year is to finish one surname family tree book. I have followed many of my ancestor’s lives from as far back as I can find to individuals deaths. I have already begun composing these families into book form but if I only focus on one family I will get more done and with more efficiency.