British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
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Saturday, October 11
The Importance of the Chaplain to the Catholic Soldiery  (Before BIFHSGO Education Talks)
9:00 am to 9:30 am
Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario
Dr. Niall Keogh will give a overview of the Chaplains of all the Irish battalions and concentrate on some of the Jesuit ones.  For many of the Catholic soldiers in the British Empire in the Great War, the most pivotal officer in their lives was the Chaplain. The British Army was slow to come to the realization of the importance of the Chaplain to the Catholic soldiery, but by 1915 their importance was obvious for all to see.  The role of the Catholic Padre was vital to the well-bein of the men in and out of the trenches.  Also Catholic priests saw themselves as priests first, the care of their men second and officers a distant third and they worked accordingly. From the perspective of the military history of families, the Chaplains are a source that can add much detail to the battalions in which our ancestors participated. 
 
About the speaker:
Dr Niall Keogh is a graduate of University College Cork.  Previously he has worked in the National Library of Ireland, in 2004-7 he taught in Moscow and St Petersburg State Universities, in 2007-10 he taught in Beijing Foreign Studies University, in 2010-12 he taught at NUI Maynooth and arrived in Ottawa in 2013. His research interests include Irish diplomatic history, Irish military history, international relations and the history of the Irish diaspora. 



Saturday, October 11
Irish Research  (Discovery Tables)
9:30 am to 10:00 am
Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario
James Lynn will host a table for Irish research and Ann Burns will be playing Sean O'Duill's presentation of Irish Marriage or Death Customs in the 19th century in Ireland at the discovery table.


Saturday, October 11
Assisted Emigration to Escape the Great Famine of Ireland  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario
Presented by Ann Burns, Three Terrible Choices were open to tenants on the Fitzwilliam Estate, during the Great Famine in Ireland: stay on your rented land and hope not to be evicted, go to the workhouse, or accept the landlord’s offer of assisted emigration to Canada. Not all Irish tenant farmers had these options. This is the story of the Coollattin Estate, which occupied 90,000 acres, 20% of County Wicklow. The Fitzwilliams were arguably the best of a bad lot and representative of only a few of the landlords across Ireland at that time. They were more benevolent than many. Almost all Irish families suffered untold losses from the famine even when they survived. Separation from family was often permanent. This presentation will include a review of the conditions faced either by staying or by leaving and a short film re-enacting the scenes in Ireland in the late 1840s when families chose whether to stay or to leave in search of a better life in Canada. 
 
About the Speaker
Ann Burns has been actively working on her family history since retiring about 10 years ago. The inclination had been there for several years before that. The final impetus to move genealogy research up the ‘todo’ list was finding the names of her three times great grandparents on the death certificate of their son Edward. With a stroke of luck following a query on a rootsweb mailing list, she located the townland where they lived and some records of the family in Coolross. Since then Ann has been to Ireland 6 times, mostly spent visiting with newly-discovered Byrne relatives and listening to a lot of family stories. The most moving story was found last year at the Canada Come Home Gathering at Coollattin. That is the story she is going to share during this talk.
 


Saturday, October 18
Scottish Genealogy Group  (Special Interests Groups)
9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Room 226, City of Ottawa Archives,100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Are you interested in your Scottish roots? In discovering who your Scottish ancestors were and how they lived? The Scottish Genealogy Group is made up of people who share these interests. At our informal meetings we share information and resources and discuss our successes and our brick walls. We all, beginners and experts alike, learn from and encourage each other.
 
Visit the links page to find information about Scottish research.



Sunday, November 2
Kirsty Gray in Ottawa  (Event)
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Woodroffe United Church, Banquet Hall, 207 Woodroffe Ave.
UK Rockstar Genealogist Kirsty Gray will deliver two lectures: Searching for Names: Challenges, Pitfalls and the Downright Ridiculous and Solving Problems Through Family Reconstruction.
 
This event is sponsored by OGS Ottawa Branch and BIFHSGO. Admission is $10 per person at the door. A break with light refreshments will be served between the two lectures. 
 
About the Speaker
Kirsty Gray's first involvement in family history came at the tender age of seven years with her maternal grandfather’s tree in hand. Obsessed with her great-grandmother’s maiden name of Sillifant, Kirsty began a one-name study on the name in 1999, publishing tri-annual journals on the surname for more than ten years. Kirsty took up genealogy professionally while training to be a teacher in 2002. Running Family Wise Limited, Kirsty ‘finds people’ and has conducted research for private individuals, solicitors, academics and companies worldwide.  As an author, Kirsty has written for many international publications on various topics for beginners to more advanced levels and her first book, Tracing Your West Country Ancestors, was published in March 2013 by Pen and Sword with her second, Tracing Your Industrial Ancestors, due out in early 2015. A sought-after lecturer, her knowledge and her energetic and infectious personality wows audiences around the world. Appointed as Director of English Studies with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (University of Toronto, Canada) in 2011, Kirsty has more recently been awarded Superstar Genealogist (Gold Medallist in the Rockstar Genealogist Awards 2013) for the UK/Ireland by fellow family history professionals: Rockstar genealogists are those who give "must attend" presentations.
 
 


Saturday, November 8
A Century Ago: War Comes to Canada  (Before BIFHSGO Education Talks)
9:00 am to 9:30 am
Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario
Dr. Jonathan Vance will endeavour to take us back to the Canada of August 1914 by discussing what their country would have looked like to them and how they might have reacted to news reports as the world lurched towards war that summer. We have certain ideas when we think of the atmosphere of August 1914 – how realistic are those ideas, and are they borne out in a careful look at the evidence? What do personal accounts, newspaper reports, and images tell us about how Canadians reacted to the coming of war?
 


Saturday, November 8
Who was the Canadian Soldier and War comes to Canada - Artifacts and the History of Military Mapping  (Discovery Tables)
9:30 am to 10:00 am
Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario
Dr. Jonathan Vance will show several artifacts relating to his presentations at both our monthly meeting and the Before BIFHSGO events. As well, Harold McClemons will share with us significant items about MILITARY MAPPERS OF OTTAWA, a  unique display which I am sure you will not want to miss.  Included in the items Harold will be bringing are scale maps of Ottawa produced by the Army Survey Establishment, many materials relating to the individuals who served as Military Mappers with a focus on those who lived in Ottawa.  It is also hoped a large photo will be a available of the 1st Corps Field Survey taken on the morning of 20 Jan 1940 at the Drill Hall in Ottawa shortly before they went off to war on a Luxury Liner.  After this trip they were known as the "Yacht Club Boys" becasue of the crossing in the Luxury Liner.
 


Saturday, November 8
Who Was the Canadian Soldier?  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario
Dr Jonathan Vance will describe this conventional wisdom and discuss how a return to the records of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (the attestation papers filled out upon enlistment) is giving us a dramatically different picture of the nation at war. In doing so, Dr Vance will outline some of the hazards facing the researcher who uses these records. Since 1919, historians have given us a clear picture of Canada’s participation in the First World War – we know which provinces contributed the most men and women and had the highest casualty rates, and the relative participation from urban and rural areas. Or do we?
 
About the Speaker
Jonathan F. Vance is Distinguished University Professor and J.B. Smallman Chair in the Department of History at Western University, where he teaches Canadian and military history and social memory. A native of Waterdown, Ontario, he holds degrees from McMaster University, Queen’s University, and York University. He is the author of many books and articles, including Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War (1997), A Gallant Company: The True Story of “The Great Escape” (2003), and Building Canada: People and Projects that Shaped the Nation (2006). His most recent books are Unlikely Soldiers: How Two Canadians Fought the Secret War Against Nazi Occupation (2008), A History of Canadian Culture (2009), and Maple Leaf Empire: Canada, Britain and Two World Wars (2011).
 


Saturday, November 15
Scottish Genealogy Group  (Special Interests Groups)
9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Room 226, City of Ottawa Archives,100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Are you interested in your Scottish roots? In discovering who your Scottish ancestors were and how they lived? The Scottish Genealogy Group is made up of people who share these interests. At our informal meetings we share information and resources and discuss our successes and our brick walls. We all, beginners and experts alike, learn from and encourage each other.
 
Visit the links page to find information about Scottish research.


Saturday, November 22
DNA Interest Group  (Special Interests Groups)
9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Room 226, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Members meet quarterly to share experiences, information and ideas about the use of DNA evidence in exploring family history. Attendees will be required to sign in and out at the reception desk on the ground floor.
 
Visit the DNA Information, DNA Database Sites, and Special Interest Groups page for more information.
 



Saturday, December 13
Kick Start #3 for PowerPoint Presentations  (Before BIFHSGO Education Talks)
9:00 am to 9:30 am
Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario
Kick Start #3 for PowerPoint Presentations
Almost all our BIFHSGO talks are illustrated with PowerPoint presentations. In this third Before BIFHSGO on this topic, Brian Glenn will review the key dos and don’ts for a good presentation and demonstrate a couple of features that will make your presentation really pop.
About the Speaker:
Brian Glenn has been a BIFHSGO member for many years serving on the Board in the Education and Research portfolios and has made numerous presentations to the membership over the years. His own genealogy voyage has taken him to England and Scotland a few times and many more numerous times via the internet. His latest brickwall, one of many, is that he can’t find his parents as young children in the 1921 Canada census.


Saturday, December 13
Great Moments in Genealogy with the Following Four Speakers  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
Library and Archives Canada Auditorium, 395 Wellington St., Ottawa, Ontario
Henry Shelverton: A Life in Hiding
Because Shelverton is a very rare name, Sandra Adams expected it would be simple to find her ancestor Henry Shelverton in London census records for the 19th century. Instead, he was nowhere to be found. In fact, he proved to be so elusive that along the way she concluded in frustration that he must be hiding from her on purpose. As it turns out, Henry Shelverton really was living in hiding, but it wasn't a family historian from the 21st century that he was hiding from.
 
About the Speaker
Sandra Adams is a retired mother of two and grandmother of five who became interested in her family history about 15 years ago. As well as spending inordinate amounts of time learning about the lives of her ancestors (wherever they may be hiding), she is a volunteer at the Ottawa Family History Centre, and is carrying out a one-name study of the Shelverton surname.
 
Look Where You Step!
Terry Findley’s father-in-law, Edward Wickham (1912-1989), passed away about 10 years before Terry caught the family-history bug. So, when Terry started his genealogical journey, he did not have his father-in-law’s memory to draw upon, only the stories that he told his daughter, Terry’s wife. Edward Wickham was born in the jungle at Morawhanna, British Guiana (now Guyana), worked in Trinidad during the Second World War, and came to Canada in 1948. Researching in Guyana was challenging to say the least. Ed Wickham had a “stovepipe” ancestral chart that led back to Britain through the Reverend Horace Edward Wickham (1824-1899) and culminated with Mister Edward Wickham (1795-1879), London surgeon, born in Maidstone, Kent. Terry reckoned that he was as far back as he would get. In 2012, during a “walk-the-ground” photo-shoot in Maidstone, Terry and his wife had a “great moment” – one they wished they could have shared with Ed.
 
About the Speaker
Terry Findley, BSc, MBA, a native of Ottawa, served in the Canadian military for over 36 years, retiring in 1998. A past BIFHSGO Director of Programs & Conference, he has written and lectured extensively on basic and advanced genealogy research, photo restoration and tracing Irish roots. In 2004, his presentation, “An Irish Fling: Delightful Discoveries,” was voted the best talk by a BIFHSGO member and his Anglo-Celtic Roots’ article bearing the same title was voted the best ACR article by a BIFHSGO member. Currently, he and his wife, Tad, are working on a true labour of love – a multi-issue magazine called “Many Families.” Each issue will highlight two or three family lines, provide genealogical tips, and feature a great family story.
 
The Business About the Guns
Find out why Brenda Turner wants to talk about GUNS. Brenda learned to shoot a 22 rifle in the basement of her parent's home in Westboro, back before it was trendy and expensive, the targets being pinned to a large tree stump which remained under the house built over it. The rifles were steadied between the metal vents of the coal-fired furnace. Brenda was about eight years old.
In digging out information about her family, many years later, Brenda discovered a copy of a document hand written years before by Beatrice Turner, a half second cousin once removed that Brenda had never heard of before, and who had died when Brenda was two. The single page described a rifle left to Beatrice's grandfather James Turner by his father, Archie Campbell Turner, who was also Brenda's 2X great grandfather.
 
About the Speaker
Brenda Turner is a retired federal government HR manager who has been researching her family history more than enthusiastically for about 15 years, and full time for the last eight. Many of the skills Brenda used in her work in interviewing, researching, investigating, writing reports and explaining decisions, has helped her enormously in her family history research. Her knowledge of the machinery of government has also helped her to locate and utilize UK based resources such as Cabinet documents at TNA, to prove, or more often debunk family oral history. Brenda's first article on Canadian genealogy was sold to a British magazine in 2002, and her enthusiasm for her family's history, and that of others, takes her to the UK annually.
 
Arthur Edwin - A Lost Brother Rediscovered
In 1985, Ian Browness’ father received a family history bundle from his nephew in Britain. Two decades later while sourcing the family tree it had contained, Ian discovered a new relative, great granduncle Arthur Edwin Brawnis, born 1861, who had gone unmentioned. After determining Arthur had not died in infancy and knowing he was orphaned at age ten, a long search began. It would lead from Kensal New Town through the streets of London to workhouses and home child programs, a reformatory hulk moored on the Thames, near death from rotten food and H. M.’s infamous Gaol in Rockhampton, Queensland, to Arthur’s final residence and burial near Brisbane. Only near the end of his own research did Ian discover that his great grandfather had also hunted for his lost brother, but sadly had never found him. The talk will discuss the use of “last resort” sources for jumping “brick walls”.
 
About the Speaker
Ian Browness is a Carleton University graduate and a retired federal public servant who has been researching family and local history “in earnest” for about ten years. He was born in Eastview and has lived in Washington DC, various Ottawa communities, Vancouver BC and Torbay NL.  He has co-authored a book on the life of James Coristine, a poor Irish immigrant who became a Montreal fur merchant, and is co-authoring a series of pamphlets for the Historical Society of Ottawa on Charles Thornton (“C. T.”) and Sir Henry Newell Bate. His working class ancestors span the British Isles and Éire.
 



Saturday, January 10, 2015
Using Dropbox for Genealogy  (Before BIFHSGO Education Talks)
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Dr, Nepean, Ontario
There are some occasions when sending genealogy files and pictures by e-mail just doesn't work. This is where a cloud-based service like Dropbox.com comes in handy. Ken will be showing you the basics of using Dropbox and how this service can be used for your genealogy and family history research.   
 
About the speaker
Ken McKinlay,a genealogy researcher with over 15 years experience, is a frequent speaker at Ottawa area events. Ken, popular for his practically-oriented talks on genealogy resources and research techniques, blogs at Family Tree Knots.


Saturday, January 10, 2015
The Queen's Photographer, the Abyssinian Prince and my Great Granduncle Charlie  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Dr, Nepean, Ontario
By Patricia Roberts-Pichette
A photograph of an Abyssinian prince and my great grand uncle Charlie taken by Queen Victoria's photographer is among the collection at the National Gallery of Canada. Patricia grew up listening to stories of her great grand uncle and his adventures in India, Malaysia, New Zealand and North Africa. As an adult she has, with other cousins, done research on his activities and actions. He was the son of a military family, both parents being offspring of soldiers. He has been a soldier, a British Consul, a British Resident, a big game hunter, a military advisor and translator. Patricia will tell the story of how he became involved with the prince, how and when the photograph was taken, its significance in the National Gallery's collection and what happened subsequently to the two subjects.
 
About the Speaker
Patricia Roberts-Pichette, a retired public servant, has since a child been interested in her family's history and the exciting stories told about its more prominent members. A member of BIFHSGO since 1993, she is a member of the Hall of Fame and coordinator of the BIFHSGO Middlemore Indexing Project. She has served on the Board, helped organize a Conference, written articles for ACR, and been a member of the Writing Group. She has given presentations on aspects of Middlemore and his Children's Emigration Homes, but apart from a Great Moment on her naval great grandfather Roberts, has not given any talks about her family although she has written about them. When she found that the National Gallery possessed a photograph of her great granduncle, a super hero of her childhood, time seemed opportune to tell part of his history, and the reason his photograph with the prince is in the Canadian national collection. 
 



Saturday, February 14, 2015
Finding Census Records in Ancestry  (Before BIFHSGO Education Talks)
9:00 am to 9:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Dr, Nepean, Ontario
Dave Cross will show us tips and tools for finding census records.  His presentation will focus on Ancestry but will also include Find My Past.  To help Dave prepare the presentation, if anyone has a person they cannot locate in the census records please send the family information to Dave in advance of the Before BIFHSGO meeting. He will try to find them, perhaps to include as an example in the presentation.  Information should include the date being sought after, and information on the individuals family.  Please send to Dave at (my BIFHSGO email address).
 
About the speaker:
Dave Cross has been collecting family information probably for close to 40 years and but only became engaged in actively researching his family history after early computer programs provided tools to organize and present the information.  Because of his interest various branches of the family continue to leave him with their records resulting in an accumulation of material which he is still working through two years after retirement.  Retired, living in Kemptville, Dave is the Director of Research for BIFHSGO and can trace his descent from many UEL families as well as parts of England and Scotland.
 


Saturday, February 14, 2015
Ed's Story  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Dr, Nepean, Ontario
By Brenda Turner
Brenda Turner's husband, Ed Cooke, was born in Lancashire, England, in 1936 as Edwin Bancroft. His parents divorced early during the war, and he arrived in Canada in March of 1947 with his mother, Ida, who had fallen in love with a Canadian bomber pilot based in Yorkshire. Ed lost all contact with his birth father, William Victor James Bancroft, and all of his father's family, as a result of that emigration. In 1997, after his mother's death and his own retirement, Ed began in earnest to search for information about his father and his father's family in Lancashire. What a wild ride that turned out to be ......... ! And it resulted in Brenda's own fascination with family history. She blames Ed for that! Find out why!
 
About the Speaker
Brenda Turner is a retired federal government HR manager who has been researching her family history more than enthusiastically for about 15 years, and full time for the last eight. Many of the skills Brenda used in her work in interviewing, researching, investigating, writing reports and explaining decisions, has helped her enormously in her family history research. Her knowledge of the machinery of government has also helped her to locate and utilize UK based resources such as Cabinet documents at TNA, to prove, or more often debunk family oral history. Brenda's first article on Canadian genealogy was sold to a British magazine in 2002, and her enthusiasm for her family's history, and that of others, takes her to the UK annually.
 
 



Saturday, May 9, 2015
Invisible but Audible: Postwar English Immigrants in Canada  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Dr, Nepean, Ontario
Marilyn Barber and Murray Watson will talk about the findings in their new book about English-born immigrants who settled in Canada in the thirty years after the end of World War II. Surprisingly the English as an immigrant group has largely failed to attract the attention of scholars. The talk will explore some of the book's themes which include an exploration of why people chose to emigrate and why come to Canada, an examination of the complex process of settling in, creating a home, coping with family separation, finding work and building a career. How too did these new migrants reconstruct their sense of personal and national identities in a Canada that was shedding its notions of British heritage to become the multicultural Canada of today?
 
About the Speakers
Marilyn Barber lives in Ottawa and is an adjunct research professor in the department of history at Carleton University. She recently retired from a position as associate professor in the department but continues to supervise graduate students and teach some courses in the fields of Canadian history, women’s and gender history. Her research interests focus on immigration to Canada from the late nineteenth century. She is researching and writing about female domestic servants who migrated to Canada from Britain and continental Europe, and about an Anglican organization, The Fellowship of the Maple Leaf, that sent British teachers, doctors and nurses, and women church workers to the Canadian prairies and the northern Peace River district in the interwar period. Barber’s ancestors emigrated to Canada from England in the 1830s. 
 
Murray Watson is an honorary research fellow at the University of Dundee where he gained his PhD in 2003 for his work The Invisible Diaspora: The English in Scotland 1945 to 2000. This was revised and published by Edinburgh University Press in the same year under the title Being English in Scotland. Watson currently lives in his native Scotland but makes annual trips to Canada to work on research into English migration to Canada as well as fulfilling temporary teaching assignments at Carleton University. Prior to gaining his PhD Watson owned and ran a successful advertising agency advising multinational IT companies. Watson is happily married with three children and three grand children. His mother became a landed immigrant in her 70th year settling in British Columbia.