Saturday, 28 March 2020

Saskatchewan Ancestors: Browsing Court Records on Family Search

If you have Saskatchewan ancestors, then you know that finding good sources on line can be difficult. In my own limited experience with Saskatchewan resources, I have unfortunately found that this province is far behind others in availability. Now to be fair, a lot of it has to do with privacy laws. Saskatchewan is a much younger province than say, Quebec. There isn't a whole lot that's available outside the privacy laws. With the current global pandemic, I don't see a lot of digitizing going on in the near future of those records that can be open access.

In our new "normal", a lot of genealogists are celebrating more time to research. Those browse only on line collections are getting more attention, as there is now more time for genealogy. Those of you with Saskatchewan ancestors should take a look at Family Search's collection Saskatchewan, Judicial District Court Records, 1891-1954. This collection comprises of records for the Saskatchewan Supreme Court and the King's Court Bench. If you're unfamiliar with the Canadian Court system, you might want to brush up on what the Supreme Court covers. Family Search has a wiki that gives a nice overview. You might also want to check out a blog post I wrote just over a year ago. The post, 52 Ancestors: Week 9 - The Canadian Court System and where to find records, serves as a quick reference on where to find court records for each province and territory.

The collection has over 200,000 images. The title says it covers from 1891-1954. However, I only saw up to 1935 in the subsection titles. You want to first select your Judicial District. The only one shown is Regina. Because of this and the year range in the title, I'm assuming that they plan to add to this collection in future.

Next you have an overwhelming amount of subsections. But if you break it down, then it's not as bad. I'll divide them into sections for you.

Docket Books and Indexes
These cover the years from 1916 to 1935. Full files are not available for these cases, with the exception of some for 1918, but you can still get some good information. The individual links are:

  • Docket books and indexes, 1916-1918, vol 9
  • Docket books and indexes, 1918-1920, vol 10
  • Docket books and indexes, 1920-1921, vol 11
  • Docket books and indexes, 1921-1922, vol 12
  • Docket books and indexes, 1922-1923, vol 14
  • Docket books and indexes, 1922, vol 13
  • Docket books and indexes, 1923-1925, vol 15
  • Docket books and indexes, 1925-1926, vol 16
  • Docket books and indexes, 1926-1928, vol 17
  • Docket books and indexes, 1928-1931, vol 18
  • Docket books and indexes, 1931-1935, vol 19
These books and indexes are centrally held in Regina. So just because your ancestor didn't live in Regina doesn't mean they won't be here. The first part of each book is arranged alphabetically by surname of Plaintiff. I looked to see if there was cross referencing involved, and there doesn't appear to be in the few examples I checked. The second part of the books gives a little more detail on individual cases. For instance, in Docket books and indexes, 1921-1922, vol 12, the top entry is this on image 15:

The Holland Canada Mortgage Company Ltd is the Plaintiff. Wilford J Burnette is the Defendant. Next to the entry is No 335 Folio 3. This means case 335 on page 3 of the second half of the book, after the alphabetically index. I found the entry on image 44. Because this case is not at the top of the page, I'll show what the columns mean as a separate image.

This images gives some more detail on the case. It lists the separate court dates and the reasons for each one. It appears that Wilfred, or Wilford in the index, defaulted on his mortgage. Sadly, the final result was a foreclosure. If Wilfred/Wilford was your ancestor, this would give you insight as to why he moved.

Kings Bench Files
These files cover the first 175 cases of 1918. They are broken up into these subsections:
  • King's Bench files, 1918, files 1-36
  • King's Bench files, 1918, files 37-57
  • King's Bench files, 1918, files 58-95
  • King's Bench files, 1918, files 96-112
  • King's Bench files, 1918, files 113-148
  • King's Bench files, 1918, files 149-175

So, in Docket books and indexes, 1916-1918, vol 9, I find a case. Case no 7 is William A Black of Darby, Delaware PA versus Mary Cowan of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Rather intriguing, as neither one was currently residing in Saskatchewan.

So, then I went to the corresponding section, and I jumped back and forth through the images until I found a file folder image. This signifies the start of each case

There are almost 50 images in this case. Long story short, William Black owned land in Saskatchewan. In the land registry office there is a record of William giving Mary Cowan a mortgage on the land. William states that he never gave a mortgage to Mary, and has no idea who Mary is. Because of the mortgage entry, there is "a cloud" over the validity of his ownership. The mortgage was apparently given to Mary by L. Black, acting as attorney for William. The only L. Black he knows is his deceased mother. To muddy the waters further, he found correspondence between his mother and a Mary Cowan. Hmmmm. Despite attempts to locate her in a few provinces, no one was able to find Mary, and no one turned up at the proceedings. The Court ruled to remove the mortgage from the Land records.

For the ones that don't have an index book to refer to in this collection, you're going to need a time frame of when you think the court case occurred, and just start browsing to find what you need. Since time is something a lot of people have right now, at least it will make that physical distancing go faster.

Supreme Court Files
This last and biggest section deals with cases from 1893 to 1907. 
  • Supreme Court files, 1893-1894, files 271-330; files 1-5 (Archives file no 2755-2848)
  • Supreme Court files, 1894-1895, files 265-349; files 1-3 (Archives file no 3108-3192)
  • Supreme Court files, 1894, files 6-107 (Archives file no 2849-2949)
  • Supreme Court files, 1894, files 108-180 (Archives file no 2950-3023)
  • Supreme Court files, 1894, files 181-264 (Archives file no 3024-3107)
  • Supreme Court files, 1895-1896, files 302-348; files 1-68 (Archives file no 3481-3596)
  • Supreme Court files, 1895, files 4-97 (Archives file no 3193-3286)
  • Supreme Court files, 1895, files 98-186 (Archives file no 3287-3365)
  • Supreme Court files, 1895, files 187-301 (Archives file no 3366-3480)
  • Supreme Court files, 1896-1897, files 423-473; files 1-73 (Archives file no 3954-4080)
  • Supreme Court files, 1896, files 69-190 (Archives file no 3597-3719)
  • Supreme Court files, 1896, files 191-307 (Archives file no 3720-3836)
  • Supreme Court files, 1896, files 308-422 (Archives file no 3837-3953)
  • Supreme Court files, 1897-1898, files 249-329, 31-32; files 1-51 (Archives file no 4256-4392)
  • Supreme Court files, 1897, files 74-166 (Archives file no 4081-4173)
  • Supreme Court files, 1897, files 167-248 (Archives file no 4174-4255)
  • Supreme Court files, 1898-1899, files 1-54 (Archives file no 4585a-4640)
  • Supreme Court files, 1898, files 52-143 (Archives file no 4393-4484)
  • Supreme Court files, 1898, files 144-237, 37 (Archives file no 4485-4584)
  • Supreme Court files, 1899-1900, files 226-243; files 1-50 (Archives file no 4811-4882)
  • Supreme Court files, 1899, files 55-145 (Archives file no 4641-4730)
  • Supreme Court files, 1899, files 146-225 (Archives file no 4731-4810)
  • Supreme Court files, 1900-1901, files 237-325; files 1-19 (Archives file no 5069-5180)
  • Supreme Court files, 1900, files 51-128 (Archives file no 4883-4960)
  • Supreme Court files, 1900, files 129-236 (Archives file no 4961-5068) (file 129 after file 130)
  • Supreme Court files, 1901-1902, files 286-328, 286-287; files 1-31 (Archives file no 5447-5523)
  • Supreme Court files, 1901, files 20-109 (Archives file no 5181-5270)
  • Supreme Court files, 1901, files 110-187 (Archives file no 5271-5348)
  • Supreme Court files, 1901, files 188-285 (Archives file no 5349-5446)
  • Supreme Court files, 1902-1903, files 324-402; files 1-18 (Archives file no 5815-5919)
  • Supreme Court files, 1902, files 32-134 (Archives file no 5524-5625)
  • Supreme Court files, 1902, files 135-231 (Archives file no 5626-5722)
  • Supreme Court files, 1902, files 232-323 (Archives file no 5723-5814)
  • Supreme Court files, 1903-1904, files 513-514; files 1-104 (Archives file no 6355-6435)
  • Supreme Court files, 1903, files 19-101 (Archives file no 5920-6002)
  • Supreme Court files, 1903, files 102-185 (Archives file no 6003-6085)
  • Supreme Court files, 1903, files 186-246 (Archives file no 6086-6146)
  • Supreme Court files, 1903, files 247-308 (Archives file no 6147-6208
  • Supreme Court files, 1903, files 309-375 (Archives file no 6209-6275)
  • Supreme Court files, 1903, files 376-512 (Archives file no 6276-6354)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904-1905, files 1089-1201; files 1-6 (Archives file no 7416-7533)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 105-183 (Archives file no 6436-6514)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 184-272 (Archives file no, 6515-6601)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 273-373 (Archives file no 6602-6702)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 374-479 (Archives file no 6703-6808)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 480-557 (Archives file no 6809-6885)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 558-641 (Archives file no 6886-6969)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 642-728 (Archives file no 6970-7056A)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 728A-804 (Archives file no 7056B-7132)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 805-896 (Archives file no 7133-7224)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 897-985 (Archives file no 7225-7313)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905-1906, files 1595-1678; files 1-13 (Archives file no 9120-9216)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 7-109 (Archives file no 7534-7636)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 110-219 (Archives file no 7631-7745)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 220-297 (Archives file no 7746-7823)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 298-400 (Archives file no 7824-7928)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 401-501 (Archives file no 7929-8028)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 502-604 (Archives file no 8029-8131)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 605-698 (Archives file no 8132-8225)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 699-797 (Archives file no 8226-8323)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 798-904 (Archives file no 8324-8429)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 905-978 (Archives file no 8430-8503)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 979-1068 (Archives file no 8504-8593)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 1069-1158 (Archives file no 8594-8683)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 1159-1263 (Archives file no 8684-8788)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 1264-1357 (Archives file no 8789-8882)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 1358-1472 (Archives file no 8883-8997)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 1473-1594 (Archives file no 8998-9119)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906-1907, files 2214-2251, 1486, 152; files 1-44 (Archives file no 11409-11494)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 14-115 (Archives file no 9217-9318)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 116-220 (Archives file no 9319-9422) (file 152 found after file 2251)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 221-295 (Archives file no 9423-9497)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 295-379 (Archives file no 9497d-9581)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 380-468 (Archives file no 9582-9670)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 469-561 (Archives file no 9671-9762)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 562-648 (Archives file no 9763-9849)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 649-753 (Archives file no 9850-9954)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 754-864 (Archives file no 9955-10065)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 865-948 (Archives file no 10066-10149)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 949-1056 (Archives file no 10151-10256)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1057-1148 (Archives file no 10257a-10348)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1149-1236 (Archives file no 10348-10436)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1237-1338 (Archives file no 10437-10538)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1339-1454 (Archives file no 10539-10651)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1455-1567 (Archives file no 10652-10763) (file 1486 found after file 2251)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1568-1683 (Archives file no 10764-10879)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1684-1780 (Archives file no 10880-10975)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1781-1880 (Archives file no 10976a-11075)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1881-1993 (Archives file no 11076-11188)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1994-2101 (Archives file no 11189-11296)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 2102-2213 (Archives file no 11297-11408)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 45-149 (Archives file no 11495-11599)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 150-266 (Archives file no 11600-11717)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 267-367 (Archives file no 11718-11821)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 368-471 (Archives file no 11822-11925)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 472-559 (Archives file no 11926-12013)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 560-643 (Archives file no 12014-12094)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 644-752 (Archives file no 12095-12203)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 753-866 (Archives file no 12204-12317)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 867-974 (Archives file no 12318-12424)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 975-1064 (Archives file no 12425-12514)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1065-1147 (Archives file no 12515-12597)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1148-1245 (Archives file no 12598-12695)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1246-1345 (Archives file no 12696-12794)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1346-1451 (Archives file no 12795-12900)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1452-1538 (Archives file no 12901-12986) (for file 1527 see Archive file no 13329)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1539-1639 (Archives file no 12987-13088)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1640-1735 (Archives file no 13089-13184)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1736-1844 (Archives file no 13185-13293)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1845-1877, 599, 600, 1527 (Archives file no 13294-13329)
These ones are set up exactly like the King's Bench files. Each file starts with an image of a file folder, and then the subsequent images are of the folder contents.

I don't know if index and docket books exist somewhere else for the years pre 1916. If there are, and you know of an online resource for them, please feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Maximize Your Searching with the New France Archives

A great many of us can trace our Canadian ancestry back to when we were a part of France. The French starting coming to North America in the 1500s, and the first permanent settlements started in 1604. The eastern part of what is now called Canada was called New France. The territory came to include part of  Newfoundland, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. It also included the Great Lakes region on both sides of the present Canada/US border, and Louisiana. In 1763 New France switched to British control, and the Canada we know now began to take shape.

Back in 2004, a giant collaboration between Canada and France was undertaken to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the settlement of New France. This collaboration resulted in the New France Archives website.

There are two versions of the website, one in English and one in French, so don't fret if your French isn't that great. However, you are going to still need some sort of translating website open if your knowledge of  French is very small or non existent. Even those with intermediate French skills are probably going to want a French/English dictionary. For obvious reasons, the digitized images are in French, and there are no translated transcriptions.

This incredible "one-stop shop" website has over 1 million digitized images that form collections from

  • Archives nationales d’Outre-Mer (Aix-en-Provence)
  • Archives nationales (Paris)
  • Archives départementales de la Charente-Maritime (La Rochelle)
  • Archives départementales de la Gironde (Bordeaux)
  • Archives départementales des Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Pau)
  • Library and Archives Canada (Ottawa)
  • Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (Québec)

The documents in this collection date from the 16th century (1500's) to 1763. The website says there are a few post 1763 documents as well. There are several search options. I'll give a brief outline on each method, then explain what to do with your results. 

Basic Search
This option allows you to enter simple keywords to conduct your search. I entered fur trade and got 7 results. The result titles will be in French, but Google will translate for you automatically. I used fishing and got 0 results. But then a flash of inspiration came and I searched using the French verb pecher (to fish). I yielded 34 results. So keep this in mind when doing your searches.

Advanced Search
This section will come in handy if you're looking for a specific record, or if you are looking for a record from a specific archive

As you can see above, you can put your keyword in, then narrow the results by several options. If you have something very specific you are looking for, then the advanced search might be the better option.

Your Results
So here are some of the results from using pecher in the basic search

Now, in these results, both the document title and the Fond names are hyperlinks. If you click on the document title, then it will take you straight to the digital images. If you click on Fonds, it will take you a page listing all the documents in that fond. Each document is hyper linked to the digital image. My 8x great grandfather was Jean Bastnarache dit Le Basque. If you're not familiar with "dit names", these were a sort of nickname commonly used in New France. I use the term nickname loosely. Not only were they "Pierre Blanc the Carpenter" in general conversation, but in legal documents too. The unique thing about dit names is that they may have started just to identify which of two men was being written about, but it became a way to refer to their descendants as well. So to use my Jean Bastarache as an example, his children also became "Bastarache dit Le Basque". The grandchildren from Jean's sons also had the name "Bastarache dit Le Basque". My 7x great grandfather is his son Jean, and then my 6x great grandfather is Jean the younger's son Michael. My Bastarache dit Le Basque line daughters out at my 5x great grandmother Felicite. She married into the Saulnier family. Over the years, some lines descending from Jean ended up dropping the Bastarache part of the name and became Le Basque, then simply Basque. Now my older Jean Bastarache came from the Basque area of France, hence the nickname. The Basque fishermen fished the waters in the Maritimes for generations. So I decided to look at document 7828, which is titled in English Document relating to the treaty which allows the Basques to go fishing in the Saint-Pierre Islands. It dates to 1694. here is the 2 images of the document

The image viewer on the site is fantastic. You can easily zoom in and out, and even go full screen with it. There is no lag time with the zooming in and out. You also have the option to download it the images to your computer, and/or print them. 

Thematic List
This section allows you to explore the fonds themselves. In English they are:

  • General Control of Finances Fond 
  • State Secretariat for the Navy and the Colonies fonds
  • Marine
  • Colonies
  • Settlement Fortifications Deposit Fond
  • Colonies' public papers deposit fond
  • Bayonne Admiralty Fond
  • Admiralty Fund of Brouage en Saintonge
  • Admiralty of Guyenne Fond
  • Admiralty of La Rochelle Fond
  • Quebec Sovereign Council fonds
  • Stewards' Fonds
  • Grands Voyers Fond
  • Fonds of the notaries  Rivière and Pierre and François Soullard (La Rochelle)
  •  Antoine Bagard Notary Fond (La Rochelle)
  • Fond of the notary  François Desbarres (La Rochelle)
  • Fond of notaries  Pierre and Léonard Guillemot (La Rochelle)
  • Fond of notary  Jacques Bréard (Rochefort)
  • Fond of notaries  of Saint-Jean de Luz
  •  Chartier de Lotbinière family fonds
  •  Beauharnois family fonds
  •  Ramezay family fonds
  • Duhamel du Monceau, Duhamel de Denainvillers, Fougeroux de Bondaroy and Fougeroux de Secval fonds
  • Engraved and handwritten cards
  • Plans, drawings and graphic documents of all kinds
  • Collection known as "Historical Monuments"
  • Collection of documents from the reserve of the Minutier central des notaires de Paris
  • Collection known as the iron cupboard and the museum
                                              You first click on a fond title. This will take you to a new page giving you the following general information
                                              • Database Item Number
                                              • Title
                                              • Date Range
                                              • Language
                                              • Reference Number
                                              • Scope and Content
                                              • Physical Description (how many containers, linear length of the collection)
                                              • Access and Use Restrictions
                                              • Repository the Collection is Held at
                                              Below that is the individual sub sections. For example, the fond Minutes from notaries René Rivière, Pierre Soullard and François Soullard contain the following sub sections

                                              Clicking on one of these will then allow you to "drill down" through subsequent subsections, until you find a particular document to look at. Then it will take you to the image viewer.

                                              Exhibition: New France, New Horizons
                                              This section takes you to Library and Canada's vitual exhibition of New France. It covers many topics:
                                              • Departure: The circumstances upon leaving
                                              • Navigation: The crossing
                                              • Discovery: The exploration of new territories
                                              • Encounter: Contact with Aboriginal peoples
                                              • Settlement: The seigneurial system
                                              • Foundation: The establishment of towns and forts
                                              • Daily Life: Everyday life in the colony
                                              • Administration: The institutions
                                              • Trade: The economy
                                              • Worship: The role of the Church
                                              • Warfare: Armed conflict
                                              • Survival: The changeover of European control, the deportation of the Acadians, and the English conquest
                                              Each section gives some historical overview, as well as images and downloadable documents.

                                              We can thank the Direction des Archives de France, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec and the Canadian Embassy in Paris for this great website.

                                              Tuesday, 17 March 2020

                                              Prince Edward Island Ancestors: PEI Church Records on Family Search

                                              Unlike other provinces, Prince Edward Island resources are not plentiful online. If you have PEI ancestors, you might want to check out Family Search's browse only collection Prince Edward Island Church Records, 1777-1985. According to the Family Search wiki, there are several denominations in the collection:

                                              • Anglican Church of Canada
                                              • Catholic
                                              • Church of Christ
                                              • Church of England in Canada
                                              • Church of Scotland
                                              • Free Church
                                              • Methodist
                                              • Presbyterian
                                              • United Church of Canada

                                              If you're searching for ancestors' life events pre 1906, church records might be the only record of these. Now, the Public Archives and Record Office in PEI has a great online resource called the PARO Collections Database. This resource is a collection of birth, marriage and death records from 1777 to 1968. It is searchable by keyword and fairly easy to use. A lot of the results are transcriptions though. The Family Search collection includes some records up to 1985, and there are digitized images attached.

                                              As with most browse only collections through Family Search, they have made searching easier by narrowing first by County:

                                              Next you pick your City/Town. Next, you can narrow by Denomination/Parish. Lastly, you narrow one more time by Record Type and Year Range. I chose Prince for County, Summerside for City/Town, and lastly Church of Christ for the Parish. I got some interesting subheadings here:

                                              As you can see, this collection has more than just BMDs. The Accounts section gives the expenditures for the Parish. Though it is for the most part just accounting, there are a few occasions where names are mentioned.

                                              What's interesting is the Members sections. These are comprehensive lists of members of the Parish. The members are listed alphabetically by surname. They tell how the person became part of the parish, but also how they left. The most common reasons for leaving are death, but I found a few that left for other reasons. For instance, Ida Arnold entered into the Parish in 1913, but in 1924 returned to her Roman Catholic church.


                                              Herbert Best moved to Calgary

                                              As well, I found several who moved to the USA. If you have someone in your tree who seems to have disappeared off the face of the Earth, these registers can give you the answer to what happened to them.

                                              If you have an ancestor that was active in the church, you'll also want to check out the church minutes. These handwritten entries contain information about church committees, and the daily activities of the church. I saw several names mentioned.

                                              Images can be downloaded right to your computer as a jpeg, or printed off. Because the download is the whole page image, I would suggest downloading first. Then you can crop as needed before printing if you don't want the whole page.

                                              This is a great collection that makes me wish I had PEI ancestors to research.

                                              Tuesday, 10 March 2020

                                              Newfoundland Ancestors: Church records on Family Search

                                              Church records in Canada can be hard to find on line, with the exception of Quebec and New Brunswick. If you have Newfoundland ancestors, then you'll want to check out Family Search's browse only collection Newfoundland Church Records, 1793-1945. The collection is a combination of both Catholic and Church of England records. It is not a complete collection, but there are over 6000 images in the record set. The are entries of baptisms, marriages, and burials. The entries can have the following information:

                                              • Name of child
                                              • Names of parents
                                              • Date of birth
                                              • Place of birth
                                              • Date of baptism
                                              • Place where baptized

                                              • Date of marriage
                                              • Names of the bride and groom
                                              • Notes if the bride or groom were single or widowed
                                              • Names of witnesses.
                                              • The bride’s and groom’s ages, residences, occupations, names of parents, and birthplaces
                                              • Names of previous marriage partners
                                              • A note whether a parent or other party gave permission for the marriage

                                              • Name of the deceased
                                              • Date and place of death and burial
                                              • Age, place of residence, and cause of death.
                                              • Names of survivors
                                              • Date and place of birth of deceased

                                              As you can see above, you can narrow down the browsing by selecting one of 10 locations:
                                              • Bay Bulls
                                              • Ferryland
                                              • Flatrock
                                              • Freshwater
                                              • Placentia
                                              • Portugal Cove
                                              • Salmonier
                                              • St. Bernard's
                                              • St. John's
                                              • Torbay
                                              Next you pick the parish. Once you pick your parish, you can then select by type of entry and year range. Then it will take you to the digitized microfilm. The nice thing about Family Search's image viewer is that you can zoom in out out, download, or print right in the application. By clicking on the tools tab, you can rotate the image, adjust the brightness and contrast, or invert the image if the quality isn't the best. From what I can see, the scans are good quality. The handwriting in some cases is quite easy to read. Here's an example from Portugal Cove

                                              Unfortunately, they aren't all this nice. Here's one from Torbay

                                              One thing you will have to take note of is the use of Latin among the records. You should have no trouble converting them to English though, as the English versions are generally derived from the Latin. Family Search does have a very informative wiki called Latin Genealogical Word List. Along with giving examples of common words and phrases, they also provide links for further study.

                                              Now, the description by Family Search says that Church of England entries are in the database. I did not do an in depth search for any non Catholic records, but all parishes listed are Catholic ones. In the early years of other areas of Canada, you will find that many non Catholics used the services of a priest to perform BMDs. There simply wasn't another nearby alternative. I imagine non Catholics in Newfoundland would have had the same problems. I have looked on other sites related to Newfoundland genealogy, and they do say that some of the early Church of England records in the province just haven't survived. Some though, have fallen into the safekeeping of some of the Catholic parishes. So if you have Church of England ancestors, it is still worth a look into these Catholic parishes.

                                              Thursday, 5 March 2020

                                              Alberta Ancestors: Early Alberta Newspapers Online

                                              One of the downsides of Canadian research is the lack of a central repository for newspapers. If you have ancestors in Alberta in the early 1900's, you'll want to look at the University of Calgary's collection of early Alberta newspapers.

                                              The website has a total collection of over 600 microfilms of various newspapers around the province:

                                              • the calgary herald (57)
                                              • the calgary daily herald (55)
                                              • the morning albertan (51)
                                              • edmonton bulletin (45)
                                              • the nanton news (22)
                                              • the camrose canadian (19)
                                              • the olds gazette (18)
                                              • the gazette (17)
                                              • the morning bulletin (17)
                                              • crag and canyon (15)
                                              • the olds gazette and mountain view news (14)
                                              • lethbridge herald (13)
                                              • medicine hat news (13)
                                              • the strathmore and bow valley standard (8)
                                              • the albertan (6)
                                              • the high river times (6)
                                              • the lethbridge daily herald (6)
                                              • lethbridge news (5)
                                              • red deer advocate (5)
                                              • strathmore standard (5)
                                              • the daily herald (5)
                                              • the macleod gazette (5)
                                              • the plaindealer (5)
                                              • edmonton daily bulletin (4)
                                              • lethbridge daily herald (4)
                                              • plaindealer (4)
                                              • northern tribune (3)
                                              • strathcona plaindealer (3)
                                              • the delburne progress (3)
                                              • the sylvan lake news (3)
                                              • vegreville observer (3)
                                              • claresholm review (2)
                                              • edmonton journal (2)
                                              • innisfail free lance (2)
                                              • lloydminster times (2)
                                              • stavely standard (2)
                                              • the sedgewick sentinel (2)
                                              • claresholm local press (1)
                                              • herald tribune (1)
                                              • medicine hat times (1)
                                              • medicine hat weekly news (1)
                                              • rocky mountain house paper (1)
                                              • strathcona plaindealer special school edition (1)
                                              • sylvan lake news (1)
                                              • the bawlf banner (1)
                                              • the bawlf sun (1)
                                              • the claresholm local press (1)
                                              • the guide (1)
                                              • the pincher creek echo (1)
                                              • the stavely advertiser (1)
                                              • the sylvan lake world (1)

                                              The years run the gamut from about 1908 to the early 1920s. However, I also found a couple of sets that had dates from the 1990s as well. Each microfilm holds multiple issues.

                                              There is an option to sort the issues by:

                                              • Title Ascending
                                              • Title Descending
                                              • Date Ascending
                                              • Date Descending
                                              • Description Ascending
                                              • Description Descending

                                              It doesn't work perfectly, but it more or less sorts the way you want it to. On the left side bar, you can also filter by newspaper and/or date. To access a particular microfilm, just click on the one you want. I chose the Calgary Herald 1915-07-02 - 1915-08-28.


                                              To be able to zoom in and out, just click on the little red box with the arrows in the right corner of the image. You'll then be able to zoom in and out. As well, you can make it a full screen image, rotate left, or rotate right.

                                              Use the search bar to the right of the image to search for surnames or key words. But take some time to browse the issues as well, because you never know what you might find.The search engine may not always pick up your search words. 

                                              So what kind of information can you find? Most beginners in newspaper research only look at the Births, Marriages and Deaths section. But you can find a lot more if you look at the other pages as well. For example, here's an interesting article about a boy who lied about his age to enter WWI in 1915 in Calgary Herald.

                                              Here's another one, detailing a court case. It is from The Albertan in 1902:

                                              And here's one from The Edmonton Bulletin in 1925. Some farmers were fined for making moonshine:

                                              To go to the next image on the microfilm, you can click on the image in the right sidebar. You can alternately use the red bars on the right and left to go back and forth through the images. If you are in the zoom screen, there are right and left arrows at the top of the screen to go back and forth. They are a little hard to see, but just take your cursor and hover on the top right corner, and they will become highlighted.

                                              Unfortunately, I could see no way to download images. You could however take a screen shot and save it as a JPEG or PNG image to your computer. There are several screen shot programs out there if you don't have one. 

                                              For your source citation, scroll to the bottom of the page to Object Description to get the information you need.