British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa

Classic Articles


The following articles have been published in a number of BIFHSGO publications, including Anglo-Celtic Roots:
 
Article Author and description
A Special Find
by Wayne Walker
By the Fall of 1976 I had basically reached the end of the available sources and had not really gone beyond Norman SULIS, my great-grandfather. One evening as I was pondering what to do I somehow get a break in researching this family: a "still small voice," or what one might call a "prompting," spoke to my mind four short simple words "Go see Uncle Ted."
British Roots from Canadian Sources
by Norman K. Crowder
An aid to those seeking out individuals who immigrated to Upper Canada from the British Isles... It is unrealistic to expect a simple, easy solution. I am not like Winston Churchill, promising blood, sweat, and tears, but I can predict a lot of frustration with the task.
Canucks in the U.S. Civil War
by Brian O'Regan
Forebears who went missing from the family tree in the first half of the 1860s may well be found in the records of the National Archives in Washington. It houses all of the original service records of Civil War soldiers. Canadians generally know it as the American Civil War. Only some know it played a significant role in Canadian history, by advancing Canada's 1867 Confederation.
Catholic and Protestant Church Records in Ireland
by Kyle J. Betit
Church records usually included registers of birth or baptism, marriage, and death or burial. They may not begin very early in Ireland, but they usually precede the Irish government’s keeping of civil registration of births, marriages and deaths.
Discovering the Scottish Presbyterian Forebears of the Scots-Irish
by Paul A. Blake
During the seventeenth century, Presbyterian Scots began to migrate to the Province of Ulster in Ireland: between 1608 and 1618, between 30 and 40 thousand, with many more following for many reasons.
Documenting Military Service in Canada and Abroad 1885–1918: A Short Guide to Sources
by Glenn Wright
An introduction to the wide variety of sources available for the Northwest Rebellion, 1885, the
South African War, 1899-1902, and the First World War, 1914-1918.
 
Early British Population Listings
by Maggie Loughram
For those with British ancestors who migrated to the New World, determining from whence your ancestor came can be very difficult. This is especially the case prior to the commencement of civil registration and the centralized recording of birth, deaths and marriages in the mid-nineteenth century, and before the first of the census returns that gave details of place of birth in 1851.
by Robert Squair
I take the opportunity of writing to inform you that we are both well at present and hope that this will find you in the same state. We have enjoyed good health since we left home. Thanks to the Lord for it. I think you have settled in your minds before this time that you are coming to America, and if you come bring all your tools with you because they are all very dear here and not so good as at home.
Genetics and Family History: Building Better Pedigrees and Saving Lives
by Kyle J. Betit
Genealogy and genetics are two disciplines which are natural partners. Modern genetics testing can advance genealogical research success. Genealogical research can also advance the success of  modern genetic disease studies and treatments.
How British Family History and Local History Societies Can Help You With Your Research
by Maggie Loughram
BALH and FFHS are essential ports of call for anyone undertaking British research: their member societies can provide you with information and local expertise. Both associations publish a large number of specialist publications for the local and family historian.
John By, Hero Without Honour
by Herb Stills
Colonel John By is honoured by The Historical Society of Ottawa as the builder of the Rideau Canal and as the founder of Ottawa. He laid out the first streets of the town which was then called Bytown...The accusation by the Board of Ordnance that Col. By had overspent his budget in the building of the Canal was caused by statements made by a young man named Burgess.
John Throgmorton Middlemore and the Children's Emigration Homes
by Patricia Roberts-Pichette
Who was John Throgmorton Middlemore who was so passionate about children? Why at the age of 28 did he establish the Children’s Emigration Home in Birmingham?
Land, Estate and Freeholders Records in Ireland
by Kyle J. Betit
Many of our Irish ancestors were tenant farmers who leased or rented their land, either directly from a landowner or indirectly from a "middleman." Only a small percentage of people in Ireland owned their land outright (technically referred to as holding land "in fee").
Loyalists & the British Connection
by Norman K. Crowder
During the American Revolution the people of the 13 American colonies fell into three categories: those in favour of independence from Britain, known as Patriots or Rebels depending on one's point of view; those who wanted to retain their ties with Britain, generally called Loyalists or Royalists or Tories; and those who would have liked to remain neutral. 
Occupations
by Jack Moody
Knowing an ancestor's occupation can be useful in several ways when preparing your family history. It can help define which individuals with a given name are related to you, as in earlier days some trades were restricted to a family...(article includes about 140 terms for trades, professions and occupations used in the past).
Preserving Your Records
by Wayne Hunt
While attempting to recover the past through genealogical research we may sometimes fail to preserve the present. This article may inspire you to trade in your shoebox of photographs for a preservation system that will reflect the value of some of your irreplaceable artifacts.
Searching Scottish Family History From Canada
by John Hay
The Scots have an appetite for family history and the existing records are good.
 
Soldiers of the Rideau Canal
by Norman K. Crowder
"I am of the opinion the whole of the non-commissioned officers and men of the 7th and 15th companies of Sappers and Miners who served on the Rideau Canal are entitled to a grant of 100 acres of land each, when their services in the Royal Corps are dispensed with; as the grant was held out to them to check desertion - which I am happy to report, it certainly did..."
 
A database of sappers and miners disbanded at the Rideau Canal in December 1831.
The Change of Calendar 1752
by Ken Collins
Many people are perplexed by date references such as January 31, 1633/34. Are you? The explanation is not too difficult; it should be known as this type of dating is often seen.
The National Archives - Military Research
by Paul A. Blake
It was not until the Restoration in 1660 that England had a standing army, previously relying on locally raised volunteers. And it was not until 1916, during the First World War, that it was necessary to introduce conscription.
The Revolution is Over, Now What?
by Norman K. Crowder
It was a very long war...It was a civil war—and a very uncivil one that divided families, neighbours and communities. Many historians consider that it was the first American civil war, some 90 years before the American Civil War of the 1860s...It was an unpopular war. On the British side, much of the public disapproved of waging war again their American compatriots, often considered Englishmen overseas.
The Scots-Irish
by James H. Lynn
The Scots-Irish or Scotch-Irish are descendants of the largely lowland, Presbyterian Scots who emigrated to the Province of Ulster in Ireland during the 17th century and whose progeny began to migrate in large numbers to America early in the 18th century.
Why Greater Ottawa?
by Brian O'Regan
It was decided that the society was to cover both side of the Ottawa River, the Province of Quebec on the north, and Ontario to the south.
Yorkshire Names in Canada
by Alan Rayburn
England's largest county is well represented in the names of Canada, especially in Southern Ontario. Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe made every effort to give English names to counties, towns, townships and rivers, in order to impress on the Loyalists that there was a continuing British presence north of the lost American colonies.