Sunday, November 23, 2014

Places That Mattered to the Rogers / Scott family, Vancouver BC

City Hall and Carnegie Library, Vancouver, B. C. 

Coloured postcard; divided back; private collection. A "B" in a circle card; #35.

The Vancouver Heritage Foundation will soon add the Commodore Ballroom to the Foundations's list of Places That Matter to Vancouverites. While checking out the event details, I realized that 125 local places are now included.

As some will know, at heart I feel I'll always be a Vancouver, British Columbia girl. So I thought I'd like to make a list of Vancouver places that mattered to my family and to me as I was growing up.

These Vancouver places (in no particular order) sprang to mind - you will sense some personal themes.

Little Mountain -  Queen Elizabeth Park - where our Na took us to 'hike' when my brother and I were young. No fancy facilities then, and still quarry remains to be seen.

Robson Street - around Burrard. No high class shops in 'my day', but a great variety of small ones. A certain deli, I remember, but what was it called? (not Freybe's.)  For a look back in time, see this film posted at YouTube by BC History- "Robson Street in 1964 aka Robsonstrasse".

The Carnegie Library - this building still stands at Main and Hastings Streets, but when  I was little it was the BIG library for the city and a museum was upstairs. Today there's still a library there and I think it's the only one that is open year round, holiday or no.

Vancouver City Hall grounds - where I often picnicked with a friend and a sandwich. Seemed a grown up thing to do at the time.

Mountain View Cemetery - here  a good number of family members rest.  My dad used to take me when he visited. I so wish I had had a little notepad and pencil then. His dad worked at the cemetery; as a boy my dad helped him.

Jericho Beach - some summer nights and fall nights, my mum would pack up food, my dad would bring the camp stove, and we'd be off to eat our dinner by the sea. Not so much fun for Mum, I'm guessing, but I don't really remember her complaining; we were happy enough with canned pork and beans.  Sometimes we went to Second Beach too.

Vancouver Public Library, Burrard and Robson - This building opened as Vancouver's main library just in time for a birthday visit in 1957. The building is still there, but no longer is it a public facility. (And no, I'd rather not think about that.)

Stanley Park - mainly I remember we frequented the area around Lost Lagoon but my Na loved to walk and walk; sometimes we went to the 'Pitch and Putt'. And we all (except Dad) went to see live musicals at Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) too.  Check out the interactive Stanley Park history timeline here

I'd want to include Simon Fraser Elementary School  - both my brother and I went there. Sad to say, but the building we knew was demolished quite a while ago. And maybe I'd add Eric Hamber Secondary as we both went there although neither of us was graduated. And perhaps even the Normal School where I was first 'in school' as a guinea pig...

And there were a few Vancouver restaurants that could be on our list - Scott's Cafe downtown, the Artistocratic on Granville at Broadway, the Palm Dairy, close to home on Cambie Street, the Marco Polo in Chinatown (with its Chinese smorgasbord) and my childhood favourite, downtown Woodward's mezzanine cafe where Mum and I would have Friday night supper on our shopping nights. I always thought I'd write an experimental novel based on the snatches of conversation I overheard there.

Now I have to find out which places my baby brother would want to add to this Rogers - Scott family list. A certain Cambie Street corner gas station will be one, I'm pretty sure. 

Which Places that Matter belong on your own family's list?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Movember photo - Alexander Carmichael? 1856--1922 - Islay, Ontario to Newdale, Manitoba, Canada

Possibly? a phtograph of Alexander Carmichael, born 1856, Fenelon Township, Victoria County, Ontario, Canada.  Photographers [Hamilton] Fowler & [Isaac] Oliver, Lindsay, Ontario, Canada. Private collection.

One of the many moustachioed men in my family tree. 
I'm hoping a closer family member may have a copy of this photo or another of Alexander Carmichael from a similar time period.

If this is Alexander, then he was the ....

Husband of Esther Ann Currin, - Essie - married 1 January 1885 in Islay, Ontario, Canada. With Essie, he was a parent of Donald, Eliza Ann, John, Daisy, Jessie and Margaret.

Son of Margaret Gilchrist and Donald Carmichael, and brother of Janet, Ann, Mary and Margaret Carmichael and Diana Gilchrist. 

Alexander Carmichael died in 1922 at Newdale, Manitoba, Canada. 

This is a family photograph identified as Alexander and Essie Carmichael with son Donald by my grandmother, Amy Estella Scott, née Irwin. Photographer E. [Eli] Williamson, Lindsay, Ontario, Canada. Private collection.


Fenelon, Ontario, Canada marriage registration, 011338, marriage1 January 1885. and Genealogical Research Library (Brampton, Ontario, Canada). Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data:Ontario, Canada, Select Marriages. Archives of Ontario, Toronto.

Harrison, Manitoba, Canada death registration, 1922-030379, death 23 August 1922. Province of Manitoba, Canada, Vital Statistics Agency.

More information on this family available from my family files. 

For more about Lindsay, Ontario, Canada photographers, see The Ontario Photographers List - Volume 1 (1851-1900) & Volume 2 (1901-1925) by Glen C. Phillips (originally published, Sarnia, Ontario: Iron Gate Publishing Co., 1990; new edition, Milton, Ontario: Global Heritage Press,  2002, 2010.)

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Fraser Valley Family History Fair - more links and handouts.

Great day today at the first ever Fraser Valley Family History Fair in Chilliwack, BC!

A warm thank you to the organizers and to all the volunteers that made this event happen. It's always grand to meet and talk to people enthusiastic about family history.

As promised, I am posting some links and information I referred to today. If you would like an electronic version of either of my handouts, or my Internet Research Log form, please e-mail me at:  And please let me know if I've missed posting a link I promised :-)

Facebook and Genealogy 

Katherine R. Willson's "Genealogy on Facebook" list, updated October 18, 2014:

FamilySearch Genealogy Research Community pages on Facebook - examples,

Canada Genealogy Research Community
Canada First Nations Genealogy Research Community

Europe Genealogy Research Community

U. S. Northeast Genealogy Research Community
U. S. South Genealogy Research Community
U. S. Midwest Genealogy Research Community
U. S. West Genealogy Research Community

Asia, Africa & Pacific Genealogy Research Community

Some of these pages are in transition right now to regional ones. Please search on Facebook with the name of the county you are searching and "Genealogy Research Community".

See Genealogy Help on Facebook, FamilySearch wiki:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Night for All Souls - Vancouver BC - October 25 - November 2, 2014

Don't miss the 10th annual All Souls celebrations at Vancouver's Mountain View Cemetery.  The events begin Saturday, October 25, from 6-10 pm.

The Cemetery's Celebration Hall will be open 6 to 9 pm for tea, personal memorial making and evening programming throughout the entire memorial week until Sunday, November 2.

 For more information, see:

This year I will be reflecting particularly on those of my family who served, and some who died in World War I.  A number of Canada's war dead from both World War I and II are buried at Mountain View, and many more are remembered on family headstones. 

Mountain View Cemetery - at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Canadian World War I dead, Jones section, Mountain View Cemetery, City of Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photograph, M. Diane Rogers, November 2013.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Canada and the "War Brides" at Library and Archives Canada - World Wars I and II

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has added a new page for 'War Brides'. This is a very good thing, as here LAC points to a good number of record collections with information about war time miltary related marriages, going beyond the most obvious ones.

But I, of course, feel I must quibble.

'War brides', LAC says, are defined as "foreign civilian women who married Canadian soldiers serving overseas during the First and Second World Wars." 

By? ( the Canadian military?) There is no doubt most of these women were British, so not 'foreign',  but British subjects same as most women born in Canada. (And by the way, LAC, during WW I, Irish women were also British.)

And not all were civilians either. Possibly the assistance offered to civilian women, and dependants, if applicable, was not the same as extended to military women and not reflected in most of LAC's record collections. However if yours was a military bride, don't let LAC deter you, as for example, one of the record sets listed is 'Arrival of CWAC from overseas. Arrangements on Debarkation, 1943-1945'.  CWAC stands for Canadian Women's Army Corps (WWII).

And I think there must have been at least a few brides other than overseas ones (and a few grooms). And LAC does make just a brief reference to women leaving Canada with or to join new husbands. "Library and Archives Canada also holds departure records for Canadian women who married servicemen from other Allied nations."  I would think that USA/Canada Border records or other United States records may reference 'war marriages' either in the USA or Canada involving Canadians marrying USians too.

Not all war marriages may have been treated equally, depending on the status of the bride or groom.  LAC lists '​Immigration; admission of fiancées of citizens of Chinese origin; enlargement of quota for India, 1956'.

In some cases, likely sad ones, LAC files may provide information on women and families after their arrival in Canada, for instance, in these files 'Assistance to dependents re desertion, bigamy, illegitimacy, 1940-47'. And passenger records will show some brides either leaving Canada later or visiting 'home' later on.

My own parents' marriage was a 'war marriage'. Both were British subjects and born in Canada. Both were in the Canadian military; they met and married in the United States. LAC does, I know, have records noting their marriage.   Be sure to look at the entire file for your military person, if possible. This will be easier for Canadian WW I military once the files are all digitized and on-line, but seeing a WW II file may involve a longer process. And, in some cases, when a military person did not marry, but had, or was deemed responsible for, a child, there may well be information in the military files.

Don't neglect newspapers in your search. You will find articles about marriages and arrivals - even photos - as these marriages were of wide interest. Reading Library and Archives Canada's files may give you dates of marriage or arrivals, etc. to search by, or you may be lucky and find that a relevant newspaper has been indexed or even digitized and on-line.


War Brides, Library and Archives Canada (LAC):

For more about WW I and WW II 'war brides, I recommend highly these two researcher's websites and publications:

WW I - Canadian War Brides of the First World War by Annette Fulford:

WW II - Canadian War Brides by Melynda Jarratt:

Sunday, August 03, 2014

What is "The Commonwealth" - as in The Commonwealth Games or The Commonwealth Short Story Prize?

It's Day 10 of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Canada is in third place overall right now, with 31 gold, 16 silver and 33 bronze medals. Go Canada!

With all this on the news, a few people have asked me what The Commonwealth is and I said I'd post some links they could explore.

Yes, two were Canadians, but much younger than I am. To me, the idea of the (originally British) Commonwealth was part of my Canadian identity. Is it still relevant? I do believe so as now The Commonwealth connects Canada with many more varied countries than our other better known economic and political relationships.

The Commonwealth since 1949 has been a voluntary association of independent countries spanning the globe, now 53 countries with over 2.2 billion citizens.

While the 'British Commonwealth' began as countries in the British Empire gained their independence, the Commmonwealth today includes countries unassociated with the British Empire or the United Kingdom, for example, the latest member countries, Rwanda and Mozambique.

The most significant Commonwealth statistic today to me is that 60% of Commonwealth people are under 30 years of age. They are the future of the world.

The Commonwealth - the official website:

Commonwealth map, Atlas of Canada (jpg/pdf):

53 independent countries - map with list

Profile Commonwealth, BBC News:

Timeline - The Commonwealth, BBC News:

Commonwealth Games Canada - Canada hosted the very first Commonwealth Games in 1930. Then the Games were known as the British Empire Games; renamed as the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954 and the British Commonwealth Games in 1970:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the guardian organization of Commonwealth nations' military graves:

WW II, British Commonwealth Air Training Plan:

WW II, Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada:

Bomber Command Museum of Canada, Trenton, Alberta, particularly for those interested in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Alberta, WW II:

Commonwealth Foundation:

Royal Commonwealth Society - Canada

Commonwealth Oral History Project - 1965, Institute of Commonwealth Studies:

Just for fun - "Queen's quirky Commonwealth gifts go on display", The Telegraph, 19 March 2014:

11 minutes of highlights from the 5th British Empire and Commonwealth Games, 1954, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Filmmaker, Jack Olsen. NFB film:

Souvenir sweet dish, 1954 Vancouver, BC, British Empire and Commonwealth Games. Private collection.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - another survey!

It's been a while since I've had time to participate in Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at GeneaMusings, and this time it's a survey. No secret either that I don't think much of most on-line surveys, but we all like to hear what others are doing so here goes.

a)  Which genealogy software programs for your computer do you use (e.g., Family Tree Maker, Reunion, GRAMPS, etc.)?

Legacy -desktop and Families for mobile
- also Heredis - desktop only for now, and once in a long while I still print a chart from Family Tree Maker.

b)  Which online family trees have information submitted by you - in either a separate online tree (e.g., Ancestry Member Tree) or a universal (collaborative) online tree (e.g., WikiTree)?

Oh, dear, how disorganized (or indecisive) this all sounds. Someday I expect I will hit the button and upload a whole tree. (I have 2 main databases - for my parents' families and for my husband's families. Intend to merge them at some point, but seemed easier to keep them separate from the beginning.

Ancestry - a female DNA tree to go with my mitochondrial results transferred there from GeneTree (SMGF).

Ancestry - a play tree I've been building using my mobile.

TribalPages - 2 basic tree sites - up for years now and updated periodically as 'cousin bait'.
- SCOTT family: Muiravonside, Dalmeny, Tushielaw, Galashiels, Grangemouth, in Scotland:

MyHeritage and Geni - little bitty trees

c)  For which subscription genealogy record providers (e.g., Ancestry) do you have a subscription?

At the moment -
Forgot  Sorry. (I just found something very good there too.)

At my genealogical society library I regularly use Ancestry Library Edition, Genealogical Research Library, and new there - BDA Online — Biographical Database of Australia.
(Usually I do have a personal subscription to Ancestry but have let it go for a bit.)

d)  Which FREE genealogy record providers (e.g., FamilySearch) do you use regularly?

Countless, I think. Main and some favourites - since I've been working on BC and Manitoba families lately
British Columbia Archives
The British Colonist newspaper
Manitoba Vital Statistics database
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Canada - Virtual War Memorial
The Gazettes - Canada, UK

e)  How much time do you spend each week doing actual genealogy research online?  [Note:  not reading, or social networking, but actual searching in a record provider].  Estimate an average number of hours per week.

Guessing but maybe I'll keep track again for a while.
-2 hours average a day - searching and copying etc. Lately this involves a lot of work in digital newspapers for one of my projects.

f)  How much time do you spend each week doing actual genealogy research in a repository (e.g., library, archive, courthouse, etc.)?  Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

Average a year - a day a week. Again maybe I'll try to keep track. I take a couple of research trips a year and I am at one or two local libraries every week for a few hours. I also volunteer at my society library but I'm not counting that time, just my estimate of my own time spent researching family there.  

g)  How much time do you spend each week adding information to your genealogy software program (either on your computer or online)?  Estimate an average number of hours per week over, say, a one month period.

Not nearly enough! A guilt making question, for sure. This year I am way, way behind entering new data. However, I have been keeping up with my back project. I started all this before media could be attached to data entered in programmes, so I've been working on catching up there. (And I've been posting some of this info on-line. Catching up there too.)

h)  How much time do you spend each month at a genealogical society meeting, program or event (not a seminar or conference)?  Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

Monthly meeting - 4 hours; Scandinavian group meeting - 2 hours 10 months a year; Vancouver group meeting - 2 hours; Board meeting - 3 hours; one Committee meeting or other - 3 hours; events - at least one a month - time there ranges from 2 hours to seven or so. (I also volunteer for events, etc. so not including prep time.)

i)  How much time do you spend each month on genealogy education (e.g., reading books and periodicals, attending seminars, conferences, workshops, webinars, etc.)?   Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

I'm reading as often as possible - likely an hour a day for 'genealogical' journals, etc. (Also reading history articles and books.) Attend at least one webinar a month; attend all local genealogical events; usually 2-3 conferences a year and at least one out of town seminar.  During this last year, I attended a couple of conferences part-time virtually too.

 j)  How much time do you spend each week reading, writing and commenting on genealogy blogs, websites, and social media?   Estimate an average number of hours per week over, say, a one month period.

Don't really want to know! But, I am again commenting more than writing on my own blogs. So I'm going to guess 1 1/2 hour a day.   Much of my on-line reading and 'social networking' takes place on the run as I use public transit every day and take advantage of access on my phone.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Only the Best Links for Canadian #Genealogy and Family History - right here at CanadaGenealogy.

It's that time again - Family Tree Magazine has released its list of  "101 Best Genealogy Sites for 2014".  Of course, there are a lot of bones to pick there! But old and experienced as I am (and polite, I'm Canadian after all) I don't usually worry much about these lists. I do read the magazine month to month, along with a number of other publications.

Right here at CanadaGenealogy, I have my list of Essential Canadian #Genealogy Sites and Books.  These are for research into national topics, and are updated often. Follow all the links I offer and you will see the best for each province and territory too and for some very specialized topics.

Not to say I don't look at these broad lists. I am on the hunt for 'new to me' and really new #genealogy websites every day. As a #genealogy teacher, I need to be; I believe all researchers should do this regularly. Just don't forget that usually the 'on the ground' experienced researchers are the first ones you should 'follow'.

However, the list of "Best Canadian Genealogy Websites" did seem downright odd. Was this an afterthought? Suddenly someone remembered the frozen north? (I'm kidding about that frozen part. It's very hot here right now where I am.) 

Listed for Canada were only 4 websites (in this order): Canadiana, Library and Archives Canada, Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics, and Programme de Recherche en Démographie Historique (for Quebec, usually known familiarly as PRDH).  Good enough websites on their own, but all costing $. And together these hardly even touch on Canada's wide expanse of #genealogy websites and records.

Mind you, the list for Continental Europe was only 8 links long. I could rattle off a long list of favourites there too. E-mail me! Or check the British Columbia Genealogical Society's worldwide research links. I curate many of those. (Suggestions welcomed.)

Why did they bother with that Canadian list at all, I wonder. Maybe stirring up a few Canadians on Facebook is good for business? Now that magazine has another link!