Monday, December 14, 2015

Canadian Week in Review 14 December 2015

I have come across the following Canadian genealogy, history and heritage websites, social media, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too.

This Week in Canadian History

In 1752, a government pamphlet in Halifax became the first book published in Canada.

The first known press was established in Halifax by Bartholomew Green, Jr, of Boston in 1751; his partner, John Bushell, launched the first Canadian newspaper, the Halifax Gazette, in 1752. 

Following the outbreak of the American Revolution, in 1775, a large number of United Empire Loyalists printers arrived from New England, and by the mid-1780s there were presses in Saint John, New Brunswick, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and in Shelburme, and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

To read the biography of John Bushell, go to

In 1921, "Buzz" Beurling was born. The Canadian flying ace shot down 28 enemy planes in four months during the Second World War. 

Beurling was recognized as "Canada's most famous hero of Second World War", as "The Falcon of Malta" and the "Knight of Malta".

He died in a 1948 plane crash in Italy.

To read about Beurling, go to

Social Media

(Video) Granville Street's history in under five minutes

If you click on this video, you're not in for a dreary history lesson. Instead, you'll get Granville Street's storied history in under five minutes in entertaining style.

(Video and photos) Rutherford the Time-Travelling Moose shares Edmonton history

Rutherford the Time-Travelling Moose tells the story of Robin, a young Edmontonian, who meets the rather remarkable Rutherford while on a trip to grandma's house. The two quickly hit it off and head out on an adventure through time.

(Blog) Turkeys

Mary Sutherland has written a blog about how her ancestors - great grandparents, Donald and Alice Sutherland - enjoyed eating turkeys at Christmas. 

Upcoming Canadian Events



International Genealogy Conference UNLOCKING THE PAST 2016 will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the The Beach Club Resort, Parksville, British Columbia of the Qualicum Beach Family History Society in British Columbia.

The featured speakers will be Colleen Fitzpatrick and Chris Paton, and registration is now open at It includes an early bird price. 

The website is located at

Genealogy on the Cutting Edge 2016

The Ontario Genealogical Society will be holding its annual conference from June 3rd to 5th at the Toronto’s International Plaza Hotel, Toronto.

Registration will open soon, and you can keep up-to-date with the latest news by following their website at, or their Facebook page at

Our Canada – Your Family: Building a Nation 2017

The Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will host the 2017 annual conference, and they have a call out for presentations.

The conference will be held in Ottawa on June 16-18, 2017 at Algonquin College. The theme of the conference is Our Canada – Your Family: Building a Nation. As 2017 will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of Canada, Ottawa Branch OGS will host the annual OGS conference and give the Conference a national flair, bringing together genealogists and family historians from all over Canada. We are looking for speakers and talks of interest to genealogists from all provinces. 


To submit proposals or ask questions, please contact the Conference 2017 Program Committee at: For more information about OGS or Ottawa Branch respectively, please visit: or

Great Canadian Summit

The summit will be held in Brampton, Ontario from October 21 to the 23, 2016 at the 
Courtyard Marriott. 

It will be three days of genealogy by speakers such as HRISTINE WOODCOCK | Director, Genealogy Tours of Scotland, RUTH BLAIR, PLCGS | Professional Genealogist, KATHRYN LAKE HOGAN, UE, PLCGS | Professional Genealogist at Looking 4 Ancestors, and MIKE QUACKENBUSH | Professional Genealogist - Research Coach, to name a few. 

Newspaper Articles


The Rooms recruit students to train like WW I soldiers

The Rooms in St. John's is challenging students across the province to train like soldiers in the First World War.

The First World War Physical Training Challenge was designed as a way for Kindergarten to Grade 9 students to connect with history.

Prince Edward Island 

Art, architecture and religion flowed through Rev. Robert Tuck’s bloodline.

The Anglican priest was a historian who wrote several books, and a preservationist who worked tirelessly to conserve Prince Edward Island’s churches and other buildings. 

Nova Scotia

Cornwallis statue should be removed from Halifax park, Stephen McNeil says

Premier Stephen McNeil says he is ready to ask Halifax city hall to consider having a statue of city founder Edward Cornwallis removed from a downtown park.

ED COLEMAN HISTORY: When the railway arrived in Kings County

One of the earliest historical books written about Nova Scotia railways was penned by William W. Clarke, a Kentville railway man who, for 50 years, worked on the trains.

Holy Cross Cemetery in Halifax damaged by headstone vandalism

The group that maintains a south-end Halifax cemetery wants to educate — not punish — the vandals who damaged some historical headstones last Monday night.

Cemetery volunteers say around 50 to 70 headstones damaged. 


Heritage panel nixes historic Stittsville barn relocation

A developer's bid to move a Stittsville heritage barn suffered a setback Thursday, despite Richcraft Homes' argument that the structure risks being lost amid a box-store redevelopment. 

History: Dec.08, 1941- Infamy, and the Battle of Hong Kong

What is lesser known is that almost simultaneous to the attack on Pearl Harbour, the Japanese army had begun an attack on the British colony of Hong Kong, again with no prior issuing of a declaration of war.

REMEMBERING OUR YESTERDAYS: Looking to see if grandpa was a bigamist using the Ontario Archives to find out 

Although my client’s late father had always been told he had been born in Montreal, we ultimately found his birth record in Toronto. 

Crumbling heritage school may be replaced with four-storey apartment building

The decades-long saga of a derelict Lowertown school may be coming to a close.

But some people in the neighbourhood aren’t happy with the proposed solution, even if city heritage planners argue that a new four-storey apartment building across from the old St. Brigid’s church will “re-animate this corner for the first time since the school was closed decades ago.


History Matters: Abdication in Saskatchewan

Edward’s announcement came as a surprise. Canadian newspapers had provided little coverage of the king’s deepening romance with the twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson through the summer and fall of 1936. The public was consequently unprepared for the December abdication crisis.

His departure as king also marked the end of a close relationship with Canada.

Canadian Stories this Week

Trees are disappearing

So, we all learned last week that Ancestry won't be the same after January next year. They won't be supporting Family Tree Maker any more after January 2016, and you won't be able to buy copies after December of this year.

It caused quite a stir in Ancestry's customers.

But if we sit back, and are smart and think about it, we should have the latest tree on our software in the cloud before it is ever loaded onto a tree on the computer! That way, we can keep in a safe place, for this very reason. 

Then, all we will have to do is switch to a new programe. And from what has crossed my desk during this past week, there is lots of companies available. 

So, the lesson to be learned from this, is to have your family tree saved on your computer, in the cloud, in case this happens again. 


The second bit of news this week was that FamilySearch has put out an advert saying that we should take a “few minutes this holiday season to index so families worldwide can experience the thrill of discovery all year long! You’ll serve others while turning fascinating historical documents into freely searchable treasures online". 

To get more information on indexing, see at

And that was the week in Canadian news!