Monday, March 15, 2010

Searching for my Ontario Ancestors by Rob McLean

Have you got an interesting research story that would aid other researchers in their pursuit of Canadian roots? Submit it here!

My paternal grandfather, Bill McLean, was born 17 July, 1901 to Donald (“Black Dan”) M(a)cLean & Catharine M(a)cLean. Grandpa was the youngest of seven children (Henrietta, Agnes, Hugh Daniel, Margaret, Reuben, Catherine & William Angus) in Keewatin, Jaffray Township, Kenora District, Ontario.

At the time of his retirement in 19681, Bill like every other new retiree in Canada, applied for his Canada Pension Plan benefits. He was advised that according to the Government of Canada, he didn't exist.

After much consternation & discussion, his sister Kate recalled an old story of how their parents had fought over what their son would be named. His father swore up and down that his youngest son would be named Angus, a good highland name. His mother wanted grandpa named William.

Donald finally agreed that the child would be named William, and so it was. All of his life, he was called, Will or Bill. Every document he signed bore the name William McLean.

Finally, after months of arguing with the federal government, my Uncle Bill (a federal civil servant) did some searching of his own. He went on a hunch that “Black Dan” had not registered his youngest son as William, but rather as Angus as he had originally wanted. Sure enough, the provincial records showed an Angus McLean being born to Daniel & Catherine McLean of Keewatin on 17 July, 1901.

With this proof, and the recollections of the relatives, grandpa finally got his pension. And to ensure that he was named what both of his parents wanted, he had his named officially changed to William Angus McLean.

For those interested in researching Vital Statistics in Ontario, the Government of Ontario has a great site -Ontario Vital Statistics: Registrations of Births, Marriages and Deaths. Here you will be taken through the process of looking up a Birth, Marriage or Death in the Province of Ontario. These records are not available on the web site, but may be:

  • consulted at the Archives of Ontario, 134 Ian Macdonald Blvd., Toronto,
  • borrowed through the Inter-library Loan Department of your public library,
  • borrowed from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through their Family History Centres,
  • Purchased directly from the Ontario Genealogical Society.

    To find the birth registration for my grandfather, which allowed me to have a Primary Source for his birth I went to the Ontario Vital Statistics: Registrations of Births, Marriages and Deaths web site.

    Once there, I clicked on “Finding a Birth Registration -A Pathfinder”, and then scrolled down to the date range that covered his birth year. Since he was born in 1901, I clicked on “...Between July 1869 & Dec. 1912”.

    This took me to the page that gave me the microfilm number for the index that lists his birth. In his case I find that I can:

  • either go to my local public library and request that they order in film # MS 931, Reel 13 through the Inter Library Loan Program, or
  • Order and view film # 2073810 at my local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Family History Centre.
    In my case, my local library was closer.

    When the film came in, I loaded it into the reader and scrolled through until I found his record. This gave me his birth registration number, which I then used to the order the microfilm that held a copy of his birth registration.

    I hope this helps? I am no expert at this, but I thought that sharing my personal experience may help others.

    Rob McLean
    Host – Rainy River Ontario GenWeb

    1 In 1968, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) was just two years old, and there were many disbelievers in the program. My grandfather wasn't one of them.

    Ontario Vital Statistics registrations can also be searched at these websites:

  • Ontario Vital Statistics Project (free website offering transcripts)
  • Family Search Pilot (free website offering an index)
  • (subscription-based website offering images)
    For more information about Ontario Vital Statistics, what years are available and where they can be found, please see OntarioGenWeb.
  • Saturday, March 13, 2010

    OntarioGenWeb Updates

    Glengarry County
    1) The links have been pruned so only active sites displayed
    2) Uploaded several outline reports for various Glengarry families
    3) Began reviewing and responding to queries
    4) Uploaded unique Glengarry Resources for Research, ie. Schedule of lot assignments vrs Townships 1789
    5) Uploaded collection of rare Alexandria photographs
    6) Charts uploaded of families and individuals linked to various townships with Nicknames and Altnames to help identify
    7) Future plans include uploading pictures from various Glengarry Cemeteries; Creating a page where disagreements on published genealogies can be posted; Uploading of Maps, Pictures relevant to Glengarry; Expansion of links to Glengarry Associations and Resources; Link to DNA project; and posting of relevant manuscripts and correspondence.

    Lanark County
    Lanark County is stilling going - approx 1,298 hits.
  • Pioneer Families - Families of the Derry
  • Cemeteries - all headstone pictures for Highland Line cemetery
  • Queries - Flood, McMullen/McMillan surnames
  • Pioneer Families - Purdon & Ferguson surnames

    Nipissing District
  • Vital Stats: Births, Marriages and Deaths - are on their own page now
  • Census - is on it's own page now
  • Immigration & Citizenship Resources page has been added
  • 1959 East Ferris Voters List has been added
  • New map of North Bay 1945-46 has been added
  • Many NEW Queries have been added in the last months
  • A Vernon Directory page has been added that has a partial list of some 1956 North Bay directory entries as well as a links to other Vernon Directories available free to view online
  • Newspapers of Nipissing is a new page added that will have numerous old newspapers available to view in PDF format (work in progress still)
  • Coming this week will be "The Gord Allison Collection" - which will have numerous postcards of the area from his collection.

    Russell County
    Since the last report, I updated links on the web page. The site had 188 visitors [33340]. During the calendar month of February, this GenWeb site was viewed 243 times. Five new queries were posted [1013].
  • Tuesday, March 09, 2010

    2010: Year of the British Home Child

    2010 has been designated as Year of the British Home Child in Canada.

    From 1869 to 1939 various workhouses, sheltering homes, orphanages and child care organizations in Great Britain immigrated over 100,000 orphaned, abandoned, pauper children ages 1 to 18 to Canada today known as the British Home Children. Of the over 50 sending agencies, some of the more well known names are Maria Rye, Macpherson, Fegan, Quarriers, Barnardo, Middlemore, Catholic Emigration Society, Salvation Army, Church of England Waif & Strays.

    Canada Post is issuing a stamp to commemorate the British Home Children this October.

    It is estimated that 12%, over 4 million of the Canadian population, are a descendant of a Home Child. How many would there be worldwide?

    There is a British Home Child mailing list and accompanying Descendants website for further information This site will also list Calendar Events as they become available.

    We hope you will join us in publicizing this important part of Canadian history by helping us spread the word and educating the general public.

    If there are any descendants on this list I am trying to get enough people together to make squares for a Memory Quilt so please contact me if you are interested.  The Quilt square (or photos for a square) deadline is Mar 18. We are writing our Home Children stories to be published in an Anthology Book later this summer - no deadline as yet.

    Maria Rye Home Children Database
    Gail Collins 1869-1879
    Chris Sanham 1880-1896

    [Posted with the permission of Gail Collins]

    On 24 Feb 2010 Britain's Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, offered a formal apology to home children:
    British Child Migrants Get Apology, Associated Press

    Monday, March 01, 2010

    Canadian Genealogy Events in March 2010

    Visit the CanadaGenWeb Calendar for more information about these events!
    Event to add? Add it to our CanadaGenWeb Calendar

  • March 1, 2010: Calgary, Alberta Family Histories Society, Meeting, 7-9pm
  • March 3, 2010: Edmonton, Edmonton AGS SIG: Ukrainian, Meeting
  • March 3, 2010: Medicine Hat, Medicine Hat AGS, Meeting, 7pm
  • March 4, 2010: Edmonton, Edmonton AGS SIG: England/Wales, Meeting
  • March 9, 2010: Edmonton, Edmonton AGS SIG: Ireland, Meeting
  • March 10, 2010: Fort McMurray, Fort McMurray AGS, Meeting, 7pm
  • March 11, 2010: Brooks, Brooks & District AGS, Meeting, 7:30pm
  • March 11, 2010: Camrose, Camrose AGS, Meeting, 7:30pm
  • March 16, 2010: Grande Prairie, Grande Prairie & District AGS, Meeting, 7pm
  • March 16, 2010: Wetaskiwin, Wetaskiwin AGS, Meeting, 7pm
  • March 17, 2010: Edmonton, Edmonton AGS SIG: Canadian, Meeting, 7:30pm
  • March 17, 2010: Drayton Valley, Drayton Valley AGS, Meeting, 7pm
  • March 18, 2010: Lethbridge, Lethbridge & District AGS, Meeting, 7pm
  • March 18, 2010: Peace River, Peace River AGS, Meeting, 7pm
  • March 24, 2010: Red Deer, Red Deer AGS, Meeting, 7pm
  • March 25, 2010: Edmonton, Edmonton Branch AGS, Meeting, 7:30-10pm

  • March 4, 2010: Campbell River, Campbell River Genealogy Society, Meeting, 7pm
  • March 4, 2010: Penticton, South Okanagan Genealogical Society, Meeting, 7:30pm
  • March 10, 2010: Burnaby, BC Genealogical Society, Meeting, 7:30pm
  • March 13, 2010: Campbell River, Campbell River Genealogy Society, Spring Seminar

  • March 8, 2010: Winnipeg, Manitoba Genealogical Society, Meeting, 7:30pm
  • March 9, 2010: Winnipeg, Southeast & Winnipeg Branch MGS, 7:30pm
  • March 22, 2010: Winnipeg, MGS Computer SIG, Meeting, 7pm

  • March 25, 2010: St John's, Newfoundland Historical Society, Lecture, 8pm

  • March 23, 2010: Halifax, Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia (GANS), Meeting, 7:30pm

  • March 1, 2010: Toronto, Governor Simcoe UELAC, Meeting, 7:30pm
  • March 2, 2010: London, London & Middlesex Branch OGS, Meeting, 7pm
  • March 3, 2010: Goderich, Huron OGS, Meeting, 7:30pm
  • March 6, 2010: Barrie, Simcoe OGS, Meeting, 2-4pm
  • March 9, 2010: Sarnia, Lambton OGS, Meeting
  • March 9, 2010: Woodstock, Oxford OGS, Meeting, 7pm
  • March 9, 2010: Windsor, Essex OGS, Meeting, 7pm
  • March 9-30, 2010: Toronto, Toronto OGS Workshop, 7-9pm
  • March 10, 2010: Richmond Hill, York Region OGS, Meeting
  • March 13, 2010: Ottawa, (BIFHSGO) British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa, 10am
  • March 13, 2010: Kingsville, Bicentennial Branch UELAC, Meeting
  • March 13, 2010: Belleville, Bay of Quinte UELAC, Meeting, 1:30pm
  • March 14, 2010: Ottawa, Ottawa TMG Users Group, Meeting, 2-4pm
  • March 15, 2010: Sudbury, Sudbury OGS, Meeting, 7pm
  • March 16, 2010: Ottawa, Ottawa OGS, Meeting, 7:30pm
  • March 16, 2010: Delhi, Norfolk OGS, Meeting, 7:30pm
  • March 17, 2010: London, London & Western Ontario Branch UELAC, Meeting, 7:30pm
  • March 20, 2010: Kingston, Kingston OGS, Meeting, 10am
  • March 21, 2010: Hamilton, Hamilton OGS, Meeting, 2-4pm
  • March 23, 2010: Guelph, Wellington County Branch OGS, Meeting, 7pm
  • March 24, 2010: Toronto, Jewish Genealogical Society of Canada, Meeting, 8pm
  • March 24, 2010: Hamilton, Hamilton OGS WISE, Meeting, 6:30-9pm
  • March 26-27, 2010: Ottawa, Gene-O-Rama, Conference
  • March 27, 2010: Kingston, Kingston Branch UELAC, Meeting, 1:30pm
  • March 27, 2010: St Thomas, Elgin Branch OGS, Meeting, 1:30pm
  • March 28, 2010: Brampton, Halton-Peel OGS, Meeting, 2pm

  • March 20, 2010: Pointe Claire, Quebec Family History Society Workshop, Workshop, 10am-4pm

  • March 23, 2010: Moose Jaw, Moose Jaw SGS, Meeting, 7pm