British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
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Saturday, September 12
Proudly She Served: Researching Canadian Nurses in the Great War  (Before BIFHSGO Education Talks)
9:00 am to 9:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa
 
Glenn Wright will examine the major sources for researching Canadian nurses in the Great War, including an overview of less well-known archival records.
 
About the Speaker
Glenn Wright is a frequent speaker at family history and genealogical events, especially on Canadian men and women who served in the Great War; he is also immediate past president of BIFHSGO.
 



Saturday, September 12
Researching Nurses in the Great War  (Discovery Tables)
9:30 am to 10:00 am
The Atrium, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa
Glenn Wright will host a Discovery table on researching nurses in the Great War.


Saturday, September 12
Ayrshire, Scotland  (Discovery Tables)
9:30 am to 10:00 am
The Atrium, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa
Gillian Leitch will host a gathering of researchers interested in Ayrshire Scotland. The exact location will be provided from the podium at Before BIFHSGO. This session will be an opportunity for members of BIFHSGO to meet other members who are interested in the same county. No materials are expected to be provided but interested members are encouraged to be able to discuss the main sources for their research in the county and hopefully learn from each other and develop connections with members with similar research interests.


Saturday, September 12
The Life and Times of Nursing Sister Laura Gamble, WWI  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
 
Fairbairn House Museum in Wakefield and Theatre Wakefield are collaborating to create content for museum displays. The same materials will be used for theatrical productions. A group of seniors was formed to research local history and with the help of professionals, scripts were written. Brooke Broadbent will explain his research into the life of Laura Gamble, a nursing sister from the First World War who came from Wakefield. He will discuss sources used and what he discovered about the Gamble family. He will examine the dramatic elements in her life that are being used for the museum displays and the theatrical production.  He will explain some of the resources that are available from the Gatineau Valley Historical Society.
 
About the Speaker
Brooke Broadbent studied and taught Canadian history. He has researched parts of his family history and with the help of the Trent Valley Archives in Peterborough Ontario he self-published a book which uses historical fiction to fill in the gaps about his ancestors who settled in the Peterborough area in the 1850s.


Friday, September 18 through Sunday, September 20
21st Annual BIFHSGO Family History Conference  (Conferences)
Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
 
Join us at this year's conference. Learn more here.
 


Saturday, September 19
Scottish Genealogy Group  (Special Interest Groups)
10:00 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, October 10
Richard III  (Discovery Tables)
9:30 am to 10:00 am
The Atrium, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa
John Reid will host a table with a few of the resources he used to prepare his presentation about the discovery of Richard III.


Saturday, October 10 through Saturday, October 10
Fair Wind and a Following Sea  (Discovery Tables)
9:30 am to 10:00 am
The Atrium, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa
“Fair Wind and a Following Sea” is a non-fiction book of short stories written by Anthony (Jo) Johansen. Born in Bristol, England, he wrote of his life in England during  World War 11 , of serving in the British Merchant Navy from 1944 on bringing food to the UK, and then, twenty years later, immigrating to Canada.  His wife,  Joyce Phillips-Johansen will be offering this book at one of our Discovery Tables.
 
 


Saturday, October 10
You be the Judge: Did DNA Prove the Skeleton under the Leicester Car Park was Richard III?  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
 
In 1485 the body of King Richard III, killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field, was buried in nearby Leicester. Over the years the exact grave location and fate of the remains were lost to history. An archaeological excavation in 2012 revealed a skeleton. This presentation reviews the forensic evidence and asks you to be the judge whether the skeleton is the king as the evidence is revealed. We look at how the University of Leicester archaeologists came to their conclusion using likelihood ratios for non-genetic and genetic data and draw out lessons for genealogists.
 
About the Speaker
Following a career as a PhD research scientist, John Reid stepped up his interest in family and local history joining the board of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO), serving as President from 2004 to 2006. His blog, Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections, has over 6,000 postings since March 2006. In addition to numerous scientific publications he is author of Researching Canada`s Home Children, editor of The Ottawa Sharpshooters, author of articles in several newsstand magazines, a regular columnist in BIFHSGO's quarterly chronicle and speaker on topics in family history.


Saturday, October 17
Scottish Genealogy Group  (Special Interest Groups)
10:00 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 14
War of 1812 for Young Readers  (Discovery Tables)
9:30 am to 10:00 am
The Atrium, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa
Don Cummer, the author of a new series of books for young readers about the War of 1812 will be on hand to talk about his books and chat about this pivotal war.
 
The books tell the story of Jake Gibson and Eli McCabe, two boys who swear an oath of allegiance to each other as blood brothers. Jake is the son of a UEL; Eli’s family has recently arrived from the States. The series looks at what the War of 1812 does to their friendship.
 
Don's first book in the series, Brothers at War, was a finalist in 2014 for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and was commended as a Best Book for Kids and Teens by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.
 
Published by Scholastic Canada, these paperback books make an ideal literary stocking stuffer that will kindle an interest in Canadian history. A supply of books will be available to purchase. Watch Don get "arrested" by Joe Wilcox and the Canadian Volunteers in Niagara-on-the-Lake — https://vimeo.com/78090562.


Saturday, November 14
The George Gallie Nasmith World War I Letters-A Scavenger Hunt & a Not So Great Moment in Genealogy  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
 
About 20 years ago, Patty McGregor’s mother bought a box of approximately 275 letters at an auction sale. The letters were to and from Lieutenant Colonel (later Colonel) George Gallie Nasmith of Toronto, who went overseas in 1914 with the First Canadian Contingent as the "Water Specialist." The collection includes letters to George from his siblings, his fiancée and his friends — and from him to them. This talk discusses the adventure of reading and transcribing all the letters and identifying and researching the letter writers and the events and people mentioned. Genealogical research involved BMD and census records as well as military files, maps, historical newspapers and estate files. The final challenge was in deciding how best to share the contents of the letters. Therein lies the rub.
 
About the Speaker
Patty McGregor retired from the federal government in 2013. She has been researching her family for over 25 years. She has spoken on several occasions at BIFHSGO Great Moments events and has had articles printed in Anglo-Celtic Roots and OGS’ Families. She is the author of Don’t Forget to Write — a look at the Canadian YMCA through historical postcards, and Researching Canadian Immigration Records. She and her husband have been involved in the antiques and collectibles business for 35 years and many of you will recognize her as a vendor at various genealogy conferences where she sells used and out of print books. 


Saturday, November 21
Scottish Genealogy Group  (Special Interest Groups)
10:00 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 28
DNA Interest  (Special Interest 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 12
Great Moments in Genealogy with the Following Speakers  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
 
Join BIFHSGO members Ken McKinlay, John McConkey, Mark Lloyd, and Duncan Monkhouse as they share some of their exciting discoveries in genealogy research.
 
Esther's Lost Surname
By Ken McKinlay
Many times the maiden surname of the women on our family trees are the hardest things to discover. They are often called "my wife", "my spouse", "et ux," or just referred to by their first name on the civil and church documents. Finding Ken McKinlay’s 5th great-grandmother's maiden surname was a long-time search undertaken by several researchers over the past 30+ years. Through a bit of luck and a leaf on Ancestry, it was finally uncovered for future generations to remember.
 
About the Speaker
Ken McKinlay, a genealogy researcher with over 15 years experience, is a frequent speaker at Ottawa area events. Ken is popular for his practically-oriented talks on genealogy resources and research techniques. He blogs at Family Tree Knots.
 
 
My Sea-faring Ancestors
By John McConkey
John McConkey knows of four men on his father's side of the family tree who had naval careers and strangely enough they were all named "Henry". In this talk, he will cover highlights of the lives of the two most notable Henrys. One of them lived in Northern Ireland, the other in New York.
 
About the speaker
John McConkey was born in the UK — on the Isle of Wight. He earned his BSc. at King's College London and worked for International Computers Ltd (ICL) for 5 years. In 1971, he and his wife emigrated to Canada, ostensibly to spend two years "seeing the country" and "getting to know relatives" — but that two-year period got extended. John found computer work in Montreal, but moved the family to Ottawa in 1982 when he received an offer from Nortel. He stayed with Nortel for 17 years and then operated a small network consulting business for 10 years. Now retired, he (and his wife) spend a considerable amount of their time researching their trees. John has visited Northern Ireland twice and has had significant success finding information there. He organizes McConkey Family Reunions, transcribes for Ancestry and NIFHS and volunteers for A/V support at BIFHSGO meetings and conferences.
 
 
Politics in the Family
By Mark Lloyd
Shortly before Mark Lloyd's ninth birthday, his family moved to a neighbourhood in Montreal where the streets were named after politicians from the early part of the 20th century. One of the streets had the name, Lloyd, in it and, as a curious youngster, he asked if it was a relative. His parents just laughed it off at the time, but it looks like that nine year wasn't too far off.
 
About the Speaker
Mark Lloyd is a public servant with the Department of National Defence whose interest in genealogy stretches back about 25 years. Mark is a 13 year member of BIFHSGO who served on the membership committee for 10 years.
 
 
Elizabeth Ann Foster — Where did you come from? Where did you go?
By Duncan Monkhouse
This Great Moments will explore Duncan Monkhouse’s search for Elizabeth Ann Foster, both before her marriage and after the birth of her and Henry's last child in Southampton in 1887. This story is about a desire to learn more about a mystery lady, called Elizabeth Ann Foster. She was married to Henry Charles Thorn in South Africa on April 4, 1874. The couple had three children in South Africa, one of whom was my great grandfather. The family returned to England in 1881 or 1882 where three more children were born in Southampton, Hampshire. No record could be located concerning Elizabeth before the marriage in 1874 or after the birth of her last child in Southampton in 1887. Elizabeth is missing in the 1891 census. 
 
About the Speaker
Duncan Monkhouse works as an Investigator, Electronic Evidence Officer, for the Canadian Federal Government and in his spare time investigates his family’s history. Duncan’s interest in the family history was peaked in 2008 when his wife started researching her family. Fortunately, Duncan’s mother had worked on researching the family genealogy and had completed a large portion of the tree. By expanding the branches sideways and with the coming online of vast genealogical databases, Duncan was able to break down many brickwalls discovering new relatives and interesting lives.
 



Saturday, January 9, 2016
The Cross Family - Thank You Railways  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
 
When David Cross first started researching his Cross family ancestors, he had little more than a well-worn birth certificate for his great grandfather. His grandfather had been dead since 1940 and family members who would have known him were either very young or would not talk much about him. David will talk about his research journey and how the railways helped his family survive, if not prosper for over 100 years.
 
About the Speaker
David Cross is the Director of Research for BIFHSGO. A retired banker, David has had a keen interest in family genealogy and history since he was a child. As a result, he has received any number of bequests of family papers and photographs over the years which even after three years of retirement he is still working on. His research has taken him on a number of trips around Ontario and Quebec for family research as well as following his Reid family back to Pictou, Nova Scotia and his Cross family to Lancashire.
 



Saturday, February 13, 2016
A Scandal in Battersea  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The fact that any of us are here today is a miracle. Take the sad case of Gail Roger’s great-grandfather, Alexander Roger— the sole child of his parents to have offspring — who, by the time he was 41, had lost every one of his five siblings, for reasons ranging from tuberculosis, to drowning in the South Pacific, to laudanum, to cirrhosis of the liver. This tale will meander from Carse of Gowrie in Scotland to Battersea Park south of the Thames, with a couple of nods to Sherlock Holmes and a very, very indirect connection to Jack the Ripper. Oh yes, and there was a scandal. In Battersea.
 
About the Speaker
This is the fourth of Gail Roger’s presentations for BIFHSGO which, she likes to pretend, are for the edification and entertainment of her fellow family historians. The real, self-serving reason is that each presentation gives her own research a needed kick in the butt. Although not a Sherlock Holmes fan per se, Gail often falls into reveries of the WWSD (What Would Sherlock Do?) variety. 
 



Saturday, March 12, 2016
Research Trips to Northern Ireland  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
 
John McConkey has made two trips to the Belfast area to do genealogical research — in 2004 and 2006. Armed with notes on family history given to him by his grandfather in the 60s — some of which turned out to be quite inaccurate — he and his sister attempted to identify members of their great-great grandfather's family. They spent long hours examining records available at the various research locations in Belfast and talked with local family historians. However, it was a last-minute visit to a cemetery that produced the most exciting find.
 
About the Speaker
John McConkey was born in the UK — on the Isle of Wight. He earned his BSc. at King's College London and worked for International Computers Ltd (ICL) for 5 years. In 1971, he and his wife emigrated to Canada, ostensibly to spend 2 years "seeing the country" and "getting to know relatives" — but that 2 year period got extended! John found computer work in Montreal, but moved the family to Ottawa in 1982 when he received an offer from Nortel. He stayed with Nortel for 17 years and then operated a small network consulting business for 10 years. Now retired, he (and his wife) spend a considerable amount of their time researching their trees. John has visited Northern Ireland twice and has had significant success finding information there. He organizes McConkey Family Reunions, transcribes for Ancestry and NIFHS and volunteers for A/V support at BIFHSGO meetings and conferences.
 



Saturday, April 9, 2016
Fourteen Generations to "The Tempest"  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
 
David Butler’s mother’s family tree turned up interesting highlights. She had done some work which combined with David’s cousin, Ken Shipman’s, and David’s daughter, Dr. Carolyn Butler Palmer’s, intensive research, allowed David to strike gold. This presentation will cover three aspects of this family history. First, the Shipmans came to Canada as UELs. Daniel Shipman founded Shipman Mills, now Almonte. His direct ancestor was Edward Shipman, an orphan arriving in 1635 in Saybrook, Connecticut. Within a few years, he became an historical personality.  Second, David’s great-grandmother, Elizabeth Gates, was a descendent of Sir Thomas Gates sent by the Jamestown Company to save its tiny colony. En route, a hurricane wrecked them on Bermuda. There they built two boats and arrived to save Jamestown the following year. This event is the basis of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”.  Third, from David’s grandfather’s wife, Lucia Ellis, he follow the family name Fuller leading to Dr. Samuel Fuller a signatory to the “Mayflower Compact” in November1620.
 
About the Speaker
David Graham Butler was born in Vanier and took Civil Engineering at McGill University, graduating as a Civil Engineer. David worked with Bell Canada designing and building microwave towers and buildings all over Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. He also worked in the arctic and the Arabian Desert, going from -35ºF to +50ºC. David presented a paper on the design and implementation of 911 now in use in many cities. He also did market research and traveled to more than 60 countries. In the past, David has worked on the BIFHSGO Conference Committee.
 



Saturday, May 14, 2016
No Irish Country Doctor  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
 
Roy Thomas’ Great Uncle Michael Laffan was NO IRISH COUNTRY DOCTOR. Unlike his father, a well-known Cashel doctor, Roy Thomas’ great-uncle, after residency, spent his medical career from 1902 to 1926 in the Royal Navy. Consulting the Navy List, Roy discovered that Surgeon, eventually Surgeon Captain Laffan served far beyond the Irish Seas in the China, Australian and South African stations as well as the “Med” and waters closer to home. He sailed on warships that ranged from “gunboats” to “battleships” during a period of transformation for Britain’s navy before, during and after the Great War. Pictures gleaned from Wikipedia of the ships on which Surgeon Laffan served not only hint at the size of his “charge” as well as the total of on-board medical staff, but also the changes that the Navy was undergoing. In addition, the 1911 Census return for “HMS Bramble” provided Roy with a Eureka moment.
 
About the Speaker
Roy Thomas is a retired armoured officer with United Nations service in Cyprus, the Golan Heights, Jerusalem, Afghanistan, Macedonia, Sarajevo and Haiti. He was hi-jacked in South Lebanon and taken hostage in Bosnia. He is a recipient of the Canadian Meritorious Service Cross, an UNPROFOR Force Commander’s Commendation, an UNMIH Force Commander’s Commendation, and a US Army Commendation Medal. Roy is a graduate of the Pakistan Army Command and Staff College, Quetta, Baluchistan, and the UK Tank Technology course in Bovington, Dorset. He also holds an MA in War Studies from Royal Military College. Roy served three years as secretary for the BIFHSGO board and five years as secretary for the BIFHSGO Conference Planning Committee. His present occupation is “Grandfather” of seven, luckily all in this city.