Sunday, 15 September 2019

52 Ancestors: Week 35 - Finding Occupational Records



Occupational records can give good insight on the working life of your ancestors. If your ancestor was in politics, the military, or in a position of power, chances are you can find detailed records on them. However, if your ancestor wasn't, you might have to be a little more creative in finding records. This post I'm going to steer you to some sources that go beyond looking at a business directory.


Family Search
What you want to do is search their catalog. By using the search word "Canada" I was able to bring up a list of their holdings both online and offline. If you go through the list, you'll notice subheadings such as Business Records and Commerce, and Occupations. Expand on these subheadings and you can get individual titles. For instance, here's some titles of books I found:
  • Polk's dental register and directory of the United States and Canada, 1925 : complete index of dentists, alphabetically arranged
  • Shipping literature of the Great Lakes : a catalog of company publications, 1852-1990, compiled by  Le Roy Barnett
  • Ogilvie in Canada : pioneer millers, 1801-195, by G.R. Stevens
  • Clock & watchmakers and allied workers in Canada, 1700 to 1900, by John E. Langdon

When you click on the title, It will give you the record information. It will also give either a link to view it online, if possible. If it is not digitized, then you can click on the link to WorldCat to see if there is a copy available at a library near you. These can be public libraries, university libraries, or other institutions across the world. For instance, I found 55 different places to find Clock & watchmakers and allied workers in Canada, 1700 to 1900


Library and Archives Canada
The LAC has records pertaining to employment in their holdings. You can access their information page here.

http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/genealogy/topics/employment/Pages/introduction.aspx


As you can see above, they have a variety of occupational records listed. Just click on the type you're interested in, and it will give you some more detail on what they have, the access restrictions, and how to access.

Alternatively, you can also use the Archives Search. Try typing in an occupation, and see what comes up. I used the search term "salesmen". and got 71 hits. Among the results were:

  • "Volume 2 / Alberta Brotherhood of Dairy Employees & Driver Salesmen, Alberta.". 
  • Nasmith, Fennell & Porter - Toronto, Ontario - Fraudulent operations of certain stock salesmen re Manufacturers Finance Corporation Ltd. 
  • Bond Salesmen's Ordinance - NWT.

Internet Archive
This site can be a goldmine of information, but it takes some work to find things. Because they have digitized items from all over the world, you will really have to play with the search terms. I used "inspector Canada" just to see what would come up. There were over 300 hits, but many of them were only loosely connected to the search term I used. It will take some targeted searching. One interesting thing I found was a publication titled Transactions of the Engineering Institute of Canada from 1919. On page 34 an obituary section starts. Some obituaries are quite detailed in the work history of the engineer.





Provincial and Local Archives
If your ancestor worked for a company that had ties to the local history of the area, check the local or provincial archive. For instance, when I looked at the Provincial Archives of Alberta's website, I used the search term "butcher". Among their holdings are several photographs of butcher shops from the 1920s and 1930s. These butcher shops are from around the province. While it may not give you specific details of your ancestor, how great would it be to have a picture of where they worked?

I looked at the Halifax Municipal Archives' website and searched using "transit". Among their holdings are the Dartmouth Ferry Commission Records. I saw among the collection staff reports and engineer log books.



Contact the Company
If the company your ancestor worked for is still in existence, why not contact the company? Even if they don't have a company archive, they might steer you toward where historical records might be kept.



Have you come across a source for looking at employment records? let us know what it is in te comments below.



Sunday, 1 September 2019

52 Ancestors: Week 34 - Finding Coroner's Reports



Week 33's theme for the 52 ancestors series of posts is "tragedy". When you have an ancestor who died in unusual circumstances, there might have been a coroner's, or chief medical examiner's, inquest. These inquests looked into these kinds of deaths. Because the coroner could interview people and look at evidence that would not qualify in a criminal court, one could find a wealth of information in them. These are the responsibility of provincial governments. As such, each province does things a little differently.

So how to find out if your ancestor's death warranted an inquest? Well the first thing you'll want to look at is historical newspapers. Because of the circumstances in which inquests were held, newspapers would almost certainly have reported on it. Even if the death itself didn't make the news, the fact that a coroner would be looking into it would ensure that it made the news. Depending on the circumstances, you might even find articles on the proceedings themselves.

The majority of Provinces today have a Coroner's Office. Alberta, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Manitoba have Offices of the Chief Medical Examiner. These provinces have modeled their death investigation systems after the US, while Coroner provinces have modeled their systems after the UK model. There are slight differences in how they do things, but the main elements are the same. Statistics Canada has been compiling a national database and has some background here. You can also see their findings investigating deaths from 2006-2008 here. It gives a general view of the types of deaths investigated. Even though it does not discuss individual cases, it is interesting reading.

In both systems, the inquests and their findings were open to the public at the time they happened. However, now the average time restriction for access by the public is 100 years. Until that time, records are held by either the Coroner's Office, or the Attorney General. If the death you are looking at it is less than 100 years ago, your first course of action should be to contact the Coroner/ Chief Medical Officer's office. They would be able to let you know whether it is open access. If it is not, then they should also be able to direct you in whether you qualify for access to restricted records, and how to request access.  What I'm going to focus on is where to access open records.

Provincial Archives of New Brunswick


Provincial Archives
The majority of Provincial Government records are deposited at Provincial Archives once they become open to the public. I did some searching on their websites, and these types of records will require an on site visit. Or, you can hire a researcher if that's not possible for you.


  • The Rooms in Newfoundland has a few records as part of their Supreme Court Fonds
  • The Public Archives and Record Office  of Prince Edward Island have them as part of the Attorney general Fonds
  • The Nova Scotia Archives has inquest records among their County Court Fonds. Not all districts have surviving records.
  • I checked the County Guides at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, but I cold not find specific mention of Coroner's Inquest records. My suggestion would be to contact the Archives directly.
  • BAnQ in Quebec holds historic coroner's inquest reports. They have several different fonds and files in their online search. Because there are BAnQ Archives across the province, you will want to pay special attention to which location the record is kept at.
  • As usual, the Archives of Ontario has a comprehensive research guide for coroner's reports. Here is their PDF guide Criminal Justice Records at the Archives of Ontario. Scroll down to the Coroner's Reports section.
  • The Archives of Manitoba hold records covering 1870-1916
  • The Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan's search capabilites are transitioning to new software. Because of that, I could not definitely say they have coroner's reports. 
  • The Provincial Archives of Alberta has coroner's inquests in several collections.
  • Coroner Reports are part of the Ministry of Attorney General fonds at the BC Archives.

Local County, Municipal and University Archives
If you can't find what you're looking for at the Provincial level, try looking at more location specific archives. For whatever reason, these smaller archives may have obtained the records. You may also find collections relating to coroners themselves. For instance:


Canada Gazette and Provincial Gazettes
In the past, I wrote a blog post about what a great resource the Canada Gazette is. Though a federal publication, I did find some interesting results looking for "coroner's inquest". Here's a page thathas a proclamation saying that a Mr. William E Brainerd has a warrant out for his arrest due to the findings in the shooting death of his mother:

Also check Provincial Government gazettes. Historical issues can be found in provincial archives.


Canadiana
A search on Canadiana using the words "coroner inquest" resulted in over 7,000 results. Look at this gem titled Authentic report of the proceedings of a coroner's inquest held upon the body of Job Broom





Some Final Tips
  • Make sure you contact the Archives before you visit. Sometimes records are stored off site, and require some notice to have them ready for you.
  • Don't limit your search to government record collections. As I showed in the examples above, information can be found in family fond collections.
  • On that note, take some time to research who the Coroner/Chief Medical Examiner was in your ancestor's place and time period. By searching their name, you might find additional record sets. 
  • Now for the downside: a lot of these records did not survive. So, just because you found mention of an inquest in the newspaper does not mean that you will have a record of the proceedings. But the information you might glean from these records make it worth the search.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

52 Ancestors: Week 33 - Finding Ancestors in the Theatre




Week 33's 52 Ancestors prompt is "Comedy". I though it would be interesting to steer people towards information for ancestors who were employed in the performing arts. Because of the nature of their work, sometimes it would be hard to find them in one spot for very long. Immediately you would think of actors and actresses when you think of theatre,. But there was a whole host of people behind the scenes. And don't forget their predecessors, the variety and vaudeville performers.


Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia
One of the first places you should look for your ancestor is the Canadian Theatre Encylopedia. This great website has an alphabetized list of mini bios. Among the list are those connected with the theatre both on and off stage. It also includes theatre companies, plays, and theatres themselves. Run by Athabasca University, it is constantly adding to their list. I saw Dan Akroyd, Mary Pickford, and The Edmonton Actors Theatre. If your ancestor isn't listed, there are instructions on how to submit their name and mini bio.


Library and Archives Canada
I did an Archives search on the LAC's website using the word "theatre". I got over 15,000 results! Most of what they have is offline, but there are over 1000 items online. Among that are over 700 photographs you can access from home. Here's one from 1937 during the Dominion Drama festival. It shows actors from the play Heaven on Earth, performed by the Medicine Hat Little Theatre.




University Archives
There are performing arts departments at many post secondary schools. Many of these would have an archives. You may get lucky and find that they may have archived not only materials from the school, but from local troupes as well. Here are a list of some Universities with theatre archive collections



Provincial and Municipal Archives
As keepers of provincial and local history, these places tend to have more eclectic collections. I did a quick search of each provincial archive and I found theatre collections in


Don't forget to check municipal archives as well, especially if your ancestor performed in a city., 



Individual Theatre Archives
If your ancestor performed in a theatre or theatre company that is still in existence today, chances are they will have their own archive. In researching for this blog post, I did find some websites for theatres and companies. Contacting them directly might lead you to where and how they preserve their history.

Peel's Prairie Provinces
As usual, this great website has a ton of images relating to performing arts in Western Canada. A quick search resulted in 1955 hits. Here's a poster advertising Lena Duthie's performance for a Burns Night in Calgary in 1909




Canadiana
Of course you can't complete the list without looking at what Canadian has to offer. A search there resulted in over 30,000 periodicals, serials and newspapersover 16,000 monographs, and over 500 government publications. Here's a picture of O.B. Sheppard. He was manager of the Princess Theatre in Toronto during the 1904-1905 theatre season.


If you know of any other sources for ancestors in the performing arts, feel free to tell me in the comments below.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

52 Ancestors: Week 31 and 32- Finding Clergy Records

Grey Nuns Convent Chapel Entrance, Montreal, Quebec



In order to get caught up on the 52 ancestors posts, I decided to combine the week 31 theme "Brother" with week 32's theme "Sister". Due to my maternal Catholic side, when I hear either brother or sister, my first thought is those who joined religious orders. So I decided to highlight some sources for finding ancestors who dedicated their life to the church or synagogue. This is just a sampling of what can be found when you start digging. I've used the general search term "clergy", but use several different terms when looking for your specific ancestor.

Secular Archives
These can be a great resource for finding more unusual sources for ancestors who were members of the clergy. Here's a few examples of what I found at some provincial/territorial archives:


  • When I used the search term "clergy" on The Rooms' website, it gave me 253 results. Among the results are biographies, church histories, and photographs.
  • The Archives of Manitoba has a collection called Winnipeg Past and Present Oral History Project. In this collection are oral histories of over 200 people. Among the list of people I found several Reverends.
  • The Nova Scotia Archives has among their collection the Charles and John Inglis fonds. Charles and his son John were both reverends. This collection contains documents relating to the lives of both men. Those with ancestors who were ministers in Nova Scotia would want to look at the registers in the collection. These registers have the names that both men ordained to the Church of England, and the parishes they served.
  • Memory BC is a portal to find record collections at various archives around the province. When I used the search term "clergy", I received 136 hits for records relating to both British Columbia and the Yukon

Religious Archives
There's nothing like getting it from the horse's mouth, so to speak. The trick is to find out which Archive would hold the information in the area you are interested in. You'll have to find out which regional diocese would hold the records of your area of research.




Other Websites

  • Project Canterbury has a page of resources relating to Anglican Church History in Canada. They have divided the resources available by province, as well as sections devoted to individuals who were involved in the Anglican Church. 
  • Peel's Prairie Provinces has several digitized texts relating mainly to the missionary work in the Canadian West. A search using "clergy" yielded 687 results.
  • Canadiana has an extensive amount of records relating to the clergy. A quick search gave over 13,000 hits among their monographs, 1393 Government Publications, and over 29,000 results under their Serials: Periodicals, Annuals and Newspapers collection.
  • A search of The Dictionary of Canadian Biography using "clergy" resulted in 891 biographies that had the word "clergy" in them.
  • A search using "clergy" on The Canadian Encyclopedia's website resulted in 208 articles relating to the clergy in Canada. 
  • The Canada Gazette would be a good place to search for documents as well. For here, you'll want to be more specific with your search terms, otherwise you will be inundated with results that will be too general for what you need. When I used "clergy" I got results such as proclamations saying that a member of the clergy cold be a witness to a document. If you decide to use your ancestor's name, make sure you put the whole name in quotation marks, such as "Charles Inglis". This will filter out pages that have a Charles ? and a ?  Inglis listed on the same page.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

52 Ancestors: Week 30 - Using the Drouin Collection



The prompt for week 30 of 52 Ancestors is "Easy". Contrary to how it looks on genealogy shows, researching your ancestors is not easy. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of these shows. I just wish they would let people know how much research time went into making these hour long shows. Because of this, I was having a hard time coming up with a record set that made for easy research. The closest thing I could find to easy in my own research experience is the Drouin Collection.

Those of us with Catholic ancestry, especially French Catholic, know what a treasure this collection is. Covering the years 1621-1967, this collection holds millions of baptismal, marriage and burial records. You can find records from Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, and parts of the United States. They also cover Acadia, of which present day Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island were a part of. They don't just contain records of French Canadians. They are also records for those with British, Italian, Irish, and Polish roots. Don't have Catholic ancestors? You should still look at the collection. There are non Catholic records mixed in among the collection as well. While the majority of records are in French, there are English language registers as well. This amazing record set is named after Joseph Drouin, the founder of the Drouin Genealogical Institute. Through the work of him and later his son, it now contains over 3.6 million microfilmed images of the registers kept by the clergy. They also have collections of notarial records, obituaries, and genealogies.

So where can you find this amazing collection online?

Ancestry
Of course Ancestry has some of the goodies in their databases. If you're an Ancestry subscriber, you'll want to check out what they have:

Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968 - This fully indexed collection contains images of the registers sent to the government. Since in Quebec these served as civil registration records, you will find non Catholic records as well.

Quebec Notarial Records (Drouin Collection), 1647-1942 - The notary was an important figure in Quebec. They handled wills, marriage contracts, property transactions, and inventories, just to name a few. This collection contains the repertoires and indexes of the individual notaries.

Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1757-1946 - The contain the registers of the clergy in what used to be Acadia. It also covers post deportation records from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. I know from experience that while the majority is indexed, some pages are not. If you can't find what you're looking for, make sure you also use the browse feature.

Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1802-1967 - The collection contains the registers for French Catholic parishes in Ontario. I've just recently found a French Catholic line in my tree that settled in Ontario. I've only just started using this collection, so I'm not sure how well indexed it is as of yet.

U.S., French Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1695-1954 - This collection contains French Catholic parish records from 11 US States. My new found Ontario Catholics spent a lot of time migrating between the Cornwall area of Ontario and the Fort Covington area of New York State. This is another collection I've only just started delving into, so I can't say as to how well indexed it is.

U.S. and Canada, Miscellaneous French Records (Drouin Collection), 1651-1941 This collections is a hodge podge of genealogies, jounals, letters, registers of notaries, acts, manuscripts and topographic dictionaries. I haven't delved into it as of yet, so I can't say how well indexed it is.


Genealogy Quebec
If you don't have an Ancestry subscription, you might want to look at subscribing to Genealogy Quebec. Of course, some of us have subscriptions to both. While Ancestry has a lot, this website has what Ancestry doesn't. It is the website of the Drouin Genealogical Institute, so it gives you access straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. There are 3 subscription options:

  • 24 Hour Access- Unlimited searches and the ability to view 75 images. Cost is only $5.00
  • Monthly subscription - Unlimited searches and access to 75 images per day. Cost is $13.00 per month
  • Annual Subscription - Unlimited searches and access to 1050 images per week. Cost is $100 per year
Prices are in Canadian dollars. Taxes are extra for Canadian residents. No taxes apply if you live outside of Canada. Besides the Drouin Collection itself, here's what they also offer:



1.LAFRANCE

  • All Quebec Catholic baptisms and burials 1621-1861
  • All Quebec Catholic marriages 1621-1918
  • All Quebec Protestant marriages 1760-1849. 1850-1861 will be available soon
  • A partial collection of Catholic baptisms, marriages and burials from 1862-2008
Each indexed transcription (certificate) also includes links to the original register image.


2.Marriages and Deaths 1926-1997
This Collection has most marriage and death information from all areas of Quebec. Marriages also include the ability to see the original document. This collection is not limited to Catholics. They cover all regious denominations, and civil marriages as well.


3.Obituaries
  • Internet Obituaries - 1999 to present day, covering all of Canada. Updated daily.
  • Newspaper Obituaries - 1860 to present day, covering all of Quebec
  • Death cards - 1860 to present day, covering all of Quebec. Indexed by Name and Date
  • Tombstones - 1850;s (ish) to present day, covering all of Quebec and parts of Eastern Ontario. Indexed by name and text on stone, these have photographs

4.Drouin Institute's Great Collections
This is an indexed database of several of the publications the Institute was involved with. There are 13 publications listed. In the interest of space, I'm inserting a screen shot of what the collection offers:
https://www.genealogiequebec.com/en/tools


5.NBMDS
This collection provides birth marriage and death information compiled from genealogical Socities working in partnership with the Institute. It covers parishes in Quebec, Ontario and the United States. It covers the years from 1727-2011, and does not contan links to original records. However, you can use the information obtained from this collection to narrow your search in their other collections.


6.Connolly File
A collection of Quebec baptism, marriage and burial records. There are both Catholic and Protestant records, and cover the years 1621-2018. These are compied from original sources, and I do not think they include original images.


7.Drouin Institute's Family Genealogies
A collection of 203 Family Genealogies produced by the Institute during the 20th century. They contain information in them from 1621 to their date of publication. most of these of Quebec based. Not all the books that they have produced have been digitized, and they are always looking to hear of any out there not listed.


8.Census
  • Quebec 1881
  • Quebec 1901
  • Ontario 1881
This is a transcription database. There are no images attached.


9.Notarized Documents
This indexed database contains images for noarized documents throughout Quebec from 1800-1980. You can search by name, by notary, by date and by document type.


10.Postcards
Over 250,000 postcards have been digitized and indexed. You can search by sender and recipient. They cover the years 1980-2002, and deal mostly with Quebec.


11.Acadia
There are over 96,000 family files of Acadian families in this collection. Covering 1621-1849, it includes BMD information. There are links to original records, and in some cases birth entries will include links to subsequent marraige and/or burial entries for the family. It can be searched by name, parish and date.


12.Druoin Institute's miscellaneous Collections
This is a mixed bag of several different sources. There are digital images. Here is a screenshot showing what sources are in the database
https://www.genealogiequebec.com/en/tools



13.BMD Cards
This is a collection of index cards showing baptism, marriage, and burials. The database shows you the image of the index card, but not the original documents. They cover 1621-2000, and were provided by the Quebec Family History Society. They cover Quebec, Ontario and United States.


14.City Directories
If your ancestors lived in Montreal or Quebec City, you'll want to delve into this collection. They are fully digitized, but not fully indexed. The Lovell directories for Montreal cover 1843-2000. The Marcotte directories for Quebec City and the surrounding area cover 1822-1904. However, it does not have all years.


Look at what you get for only $100 per year! Even if you don't want to commit to a year, the daily and monthly options are also extremely affordable. 


Saturday, 10 August 2019

52 Ancestors: Week 29 - Finding 20th Century Ancestors

https://www.picxclicx.com/free-stock-photos-library-book-shelves-1/




I'm a little behind on my 52 Ancestors prompts. I took a bit of a vacation going back to Ontario to visit family. Of course I also took the opportunity to some research on my Ontario lines. As a result I've fallen behind, so I'll be doing some catching up over the next few weeks.

The week 29 prompt for 52 Ancestors is "Challenge". The biggest challenge for Canadian researchers is trying to research 20th century ancestors. Because of privacy constrictions, post 1921 research can be challenging. The 1921 National Census is the most recent census available, and we won't see the 1931 until at least 2023. If you have ancestors in the Prairie provinces, then you can access the 1926 Census done for that part of Canada. The valuable BMD records are scarce. No province that I know of offers access post 1921 for births. Some marriage and death certificates are available after 1921, but it depends on the province you are searching in. So how do you find those living in the 20th century?

City Directories
These are an often overlooked and useful resource. Through City Directories, I was able to find the names of my great grandparents. The only information I had to go by was the name of my paternal grandmother Madelynn Douglas, and two of her siblings, Marshall and Irene. By looking at Toronto city directories I was able to find them with their parents, James Henry Douglas and Mary Douglas. It gave me a jumping off point to take them back to the 1921 Census, and then back to Glasgow, Scotland. I wrote a blog post about City Directories when I first found them, which you can read here. The post gives links to find directories across the country.


Voter's Lists
Another great way to find those 20th century ancestors. With Voter's Lists, you can find eligible adults of legal voting age. If you have an Ancestry subscription, you're in luck because they have the federal voting lists from 1935- 1980. I used the Voter's Lists to take my Douglas great grandparents back to 1935. Using them and the help of a Douglas cousin who saw my post on city directories, I was able to find them in the 1921 Census. As a follow up to the City Directories post, I wrote a post on Voter's Lists, which you can access here.


Tax Assessment Records
While I was in Toronto, I stopped by the City of Toronto Archives. My great grandfather James Douglas ran the incinerator on Roselawn Avenue until he retired in the 1950's. I was hoping to find a picture, as the house my great grandparents lived in was very close to it. While looking at their record sets, I saw they had tax assessment records in their collection. Before I ran out of research time, I was able to find my Douglas great grandparents in the records for 1925, 1926, 1927, and 1928. At the time they were living on Spadina Road.

You are probably not going to be able to access these kinds of records online. It will require doing things "old school". Cities will more than likely have dedicated archives. If your ancestor lived in a more rural community, then look to see if there are County or Township archives. Also look at the Provincial and Territorial Archives, especially for areas of Canada that have smaller populations. If you can't visit in person, then try emailing or calling the Archive in question. My experience with the staff at the City of Toronto Archives was a very pleasant one. They were very helpful. Keep in mind though that the services at these types of Archives will most likely not be free if you're researching from a distance. However, in my experience I have found most Archives to be reasonable with their fee structure.


The 1940 National Registration File
Between 1940 and 1946, every person over the age of 16 had to be registered as part of the National Resources Mobilization Act and the War Measures Act. The only exclusions to the compulsory registration were members of the armed forces, members of the clergy, and those institutionalized. Because of the circumstances and nature of the registration it is not held to the same privacy laws that Census records are held to. The rules for access are:

  • The person must be deceased for at least 20 years
  • Proof death is required, unless the birth date of the person is more than 110 years ago. A death certificate is preferable, but a published obituary is also accepted.
There is a $45 fee for any successful search. Taxes are extra. To find out what information is included in the questionnaire, you can look at Library and Archives Canada's blog post. To order a search from Statistics Canada, click here.


Newspapers
I could write a whole blog post about newspaper research. Most people forget to look beyond the Birth, Marriage and Death announcements in them. There's so much more to be found. As an example, I have found over the years in my research activities:
  • An article describing the increase of house sales in the past 6 months. Among the buyers listed was my mother-in-law's grandfather. It also stated the purchase price of the house he bought.
  • A friend's great great uncle was a prolific bootlegger. His activities and subsequent arrest made the news.
  • I received a picture of an unknown couple. By finding an ad for the photographer, I was able to narrow down the location and time period of the picture, and figure out which family line these people belonged to
  • A personal ad of a husband looking for his wife, who appears to have left him
  • A person that I had lost track of showed up in a local gossip column. They had moved from the area, and the column noted that they had come back for a visit to their parents.
A future post will delve more into newspaper sources. Here's a few starting points to looking for newspapers:

This is just a sampling of 20th century records that can be found in fill in the gap. If you have other suggestions, feel free to comment below.



Sunday, 14 July 2019

52 Ancestors: Week 28 - Acadian Research





This week's 52 Ancestors prompt is "Reunion". If you have Acadian Ancestry, then you probably know that this year is the Congres Mondial Acadien (CMA). Held every four years, it is a huge celebration for those with Acadian roots. Each one is hosted by a different region of the original Acadian settlers. This year's celebration runs from August 10 to 24, and the host communities are spread across Prince Edward Island and southeastern New Brunswick. I'm a little disappointed not to be able to go, as my maternal side settled in Shippegan and Memramcook. Along with other special events, there are family reunions scheduled across the host areas. These reunions are held for any descendants of a particular Acadian surname. So far the list of reunions scheduled are:


  • Arsenault
  • Babin
  • Babineau(x)-Granger
  • Barrieau/Barriault
  • Belliveu/Beliveau
  • Boudreau/Boudrot/Boudreault/Boudreaux/Budrow
  • Bourgeois/Bourjeois/Bushway/Bushwa/Blaise/Burgess
  • Breau/Breault/Breaud/Breaux/Bau/Braux/Breault/Braud/Bro/Brod/Brot/Brough/Brow/Browe
  • Broussard
  • Caisse/Caissey/Quessy/Roger
  • Chevarie/Chavarie/Cheverie/Chevary/Etcheverie/D'Etcheverie
  • Cormier
  • Cyr
  • Daigle/D'Aigre/Desgre/Deagle
  • Damour/D'Amour/D'Amours
  • Duguay/Dugue/Dugay/Dougay
  • Forest/Foret/Forrest
  • Gaudet
  • Gauvin/Gauvain/Govan/Govang/Gavin/Govin
  • Girouard/Giroir/Gerrior and the Acadians of Tor Bay
  • Goguen/Bristol dit Williams
  • Granger
  • Guedry/Guidry/Gaidry/Geddry/Jeddry/Labine/Labean/Petipas/Pettipas/Pitts
  • Hache/Hachey/Hachez/Hashi/Hashie/Ache/Achee/Gallant/Galland/Gallan/Galan
  • Hebert
  • Landry/Londere/Landre/Laundry/Londre/Londry
  • LeBlanc
  • Leger/Legere/Trahan
  • Mallet/Mallais/Malley
  • Maillet
  • Martin
  • Melanson
  • Morin
  • Richard
  • Robichaud/Robicheau/Robichaux/Robicheaux/Robichon/Robichung/Robshaw/Robertshaw/Robinson
  • Roy
  • Thibodeau/Thibodeaux/Thibaudault/Thibault/Thibaut/Thibeault

If your tree is like mine, you would have a hard time deciding which ones to go to! I have most of these surnames in my tree.

There's still time to plan your trip. You can visit the CMA's website to get all the details. Even if going isn't in the cards for you, it doesn't mean you can't spend some time researching your Acadian ancestors instead. So I decided to list some great websites to further your Acadian research.

Nova Scotia Archives
This is a great resource if your researching your earliest Acadian ancestors. New Brunswick used to be part of Nova Scotia, so a lot of the Acadian research you want will be part of the Nova Scotia Archives. While not everything they have is online, they have some great online collections. I wrote a blog post back in 2017 on their online Acadian collections. You can see my post here. mt particular favourite in the digitization and indexing of The Registers of St. Jean-Baptiste, Annapolis Royal, 1702-1755 in the collection called An Acadian Parish Remembered.


Acadian & French-Canadian Ancestral Home
This website is run by Lucie LeBlanc Consentino. Lucie is a well respected Acadian speaker and researcher, and her website has fully sourced information on Acadians both pre and post deportation. She has compiled information on:
  • Cemeteries
  • DNA
  • Census records
  • History
  • First Nations and Metis
  • Deportation Records
  • Book Lists
  • Newspapers
  • The Jesuits
  • Research Aids
  • Births, Marriages, and Deaths
If you descend from the LeBlanc family, Lucie has also compiled information on them as well. 


Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History
Run by Tim Hebert, this is another amazing website to help further your research. Tim gives detailed information on the history and life of Acadians and Cajuns. Among his gems are:
  • Census transcriptions
  • Links and microfilm numbers at provincial archives for church records
  • Information on obtaining notarial records
  • Genealogies
  • How-to's
  • Links to other websites
This website does not appear to have been updated in quite awhile, so some information is out of date. However, it is a fantastic starting point for your research.


Les Amis de Grand-Pre
This society promotes Acadian culture and history in the Grand-Pre area. On their website you can access information such as articles, maps and transcriptions of records from the region. In particular, you should look at their transcriptions of the only 3 surviving registers of St-Charles-des-Mines. There are both English and French versions, so don't worry if your French isn't very good. To help you out, here are the links to the PDFs of the English versions:
You'll also want to look at the birthsmarriages, and deaths for St-Joseph-de-la-Rivière-aux-Canards. There is some dispute as to whether the people here were part of the St-Charles-des-Mines parish, or were a parish of their own. These entries are a compilation of other sources.


These are just a few sites to help your research. Check out my tab of Acadian Research Links for more sites. If you have any to add, feel free to provide links in the comment section.