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Hope to see you there!
The machinery of the federal government runs on more than just politicians. There are thousands of people in various government departments who don't make speeches and don't lobby for votes. I'm talking about people such as clerks, surveyors, light house keepers, toll agents, and inspectors. If your ancestor was a cog in the machine of the government, you'll want to hop over to Canadiana and check out the civil service lists available on there. There are various years available. The majority that I found fell between 1882 and 1918. I did however find one from 1871.
I love Canadiana. It has such a huge amount of digitized material. The amount of material does make searching a little difficult though. Putting civil service list of Canada resulted in over 16,000 results. And that's after limiting the results to English ones! Obviously, there aren't 16,000 civil service lists, as they only came out once a year. At the end of this post I've tried to wade through and provide the links to as many years as I could to help you out.
To give you an idea of just how many departments make up the federal government, here is the index of departments for the year 1910
These lists have some surprising information in them. Through the various issues, I found information such as
Do you have someone in your tree that was heavily involved with the Methodist Church in Newfoundland? Then you'll be pleased to know that Canadiana has recently digitized Minutes of the 2nd to 6th Annual Newfoundland Conferences of the Methodist Church. They cover the years 1875 to 1879.
Now I know this doesn't sound like a very exciting resource if you're not a religious scholar. But there is good information to be found in this collection. For instance, did you lose track of what happened to Charles Pickles? Well according to the 1875 Conference, he left to become part of the Missionary Committee in London.
If you're looking for names, the first half of the conference minutes is where you want to look. They were very thorough in listing who had become full fledged ministers, and who was working their way through the levels. Here in 1876 is the list of those who have been "admitted into full connexion", and those still hoping to attain it.
Deaths were also recorded. Here is one recorded in the minutes of the 1877 Conference. It gives so much information to follow up on in just one short paragraph!
If you're interested in the works and general details of the Methodist Church in Newfoundland, then the second section of the Minute Books will be of interest. In here is general information on the size of circuits, and the number of marriages and baptisms performed in each. Here's the total for the St. John's and Carbonear Districts in 1877.
There are also reports of Committees throughout the second half. Even in these you will find names scattered among the reports. Here in the disbursements of the Contingency Fund in 1879, Bros. Parkins and Bryant were given money for their "afflictions"
Here is a list of Examiners from the Sabbath School for the coming year of 1880
As a last example, here's a list of people who subscribed or donated to the Bona Vista Circuit in 1878.
While you're at it, also check out the Annual report of the Auxiliary Missionary Society of the Newfoundland Conference. These also have to do with the Methodist Church. There are 5 issues:
When one thinks of the people who settled New Brunswick, there are three main groups that come to mind: The Acadians, The Loyalists, and the New England Planters. But there's a good chance that within your New Brunswick ancestors are another group that tend to be forgotten about: The Irish. Even my own maternal tree, which is 98 percent Acadian, has the odd Irish name in there.
Saint John Almshouse Records
This section provides images of admission registers from two collections
Irish Immigrants in the New Brunswick Census of 1851 and 1861
This last section has extracted those of Irish birth from the 1851 and 1861 Census. If you search by name, you will get extracted information from both Census. If you click on other indexes, you also have the ability to search either Census by
We tend to look at marriages, occupations, and other details of our ancestors' adult lives. The years between birth and marriage don't always get the attention they deserve. School yearbooks and handbooks are a fun resource for family history research. They give an insight into a part of your ancestor's life that is often glossed over.
If you're ancestor attended the University of British Columbia from the 1920's and later, then check out the collection of UBC Handbooks digitized on the UBC Library website. These were published once a year, usually in December, and given to students. The UBC Library has various years from 1921 to 2019.
It is quite user friendly to use. Just scroll to the year you want (left click and hold to move the time line across. Underneath is a calendar and just click on the blue box showing the issue date.
So what can you find? These handbooks covered all aspects of life at the campus. Here's a bylaw from 1927 about the university sweaters
Here's the members of the Student's Council in 1932
Here's some of the track and field record holders for the University as of the 1945 issue
Here's a list of some of the many clubs and societies in 1954. Some have a contact person listed
Publications like these rely on ad revenue from nearby businesses. Here's a page of ads from 1966
Unlike yearbooks, these handbooks don't have a lot of pictures, but there are a few. Here's some of the Student Council members from 1951
If you can't find your ancestor's name among the handbooks, don't be disappointed. These handbooks are still a great resource. They will give you a window into everyday academic life of your ancestor. Remember, family history research is more than just collecting names and dates.
Those of us with Nova Scotian ancestry are very excited that the Nova Scotia Archives recently redesigned their Civil Registration section on their website. We're ecstatic that downloads of records are now FREE. Now, downloads were quite reasonably priced before, but I know for myself that I only ordered records for my direct line. Collateral lines I only viewed the records, which were always free to view. But the old version's zoom function was clunky and the records could still be hard to see. I decided for this post to check the site out and see what I could find.
My first thought when going to the redesigned page is how clean and modern the site looks. The design also now aligns with the rest of the website in appearance.
The History of Civil Registration in Nova Scotia.
Though registration began in 1763 for marriages, mandatory registration for BMDs didn't happen until 1864. However, between 1877 and 1908, registration requirements lapsed for births and deaths. Because of this, there are a lot of gaps. Unfortunately for me, my great grandmother Edna Johnson's birth falls into this time period, and there is no record of her birth with NS Vital Statistics.
Don't lose hope though. Delayed registrations of births happened for many years after 1908. These delayed registrations can be a gold mine, because of the supporting documentation provided. Here's a good example among my collateral line of the surprises you can find. Edna's oldest son Burrell BOUTILIER was born in 1912. He falls outside the gap in birth records, but later in life he appears to have ran into problems as to his legal name. When I searched for his birth records, I found this
But then I also got these supporting documents
Not only do I have a copy of his baptism, but a legal affidavit signed by my great grandmother! I'm especially excited by it because the affidavit was signed less than a year before I was born.
As of this post, the NS Archives holds the records for births pre 1921, marriages pre 1946, and deaths pre 1971.
If you're wanting to search just by a last name, just enter it into the search field. This method of searching will result in a huge amount of results. For a more targeted search, click on the More Search Options
On your results screen, you can filter the results by births, marriages, or deaths.
My great grandmother Edna had a little sister listed in the 1911 Canadian Census transcribed as Lana. She was gone from the 1921 Census. I found this record when I was first starting out in genealogy research, so didn't know enough to question the transcription. I was also not as interested in collateral lines. Almost 15 years later, I'm much more proficient at reading handwriting. I've also learned the importance of looking at siblings. I looked at the record again. Analyzing the handwriting made me realize that her name wasn't Lana, it was Iona. I decided to see what happened to her. According to the Census she was born in 1910. So I did a search of an Iona Johnson in Halifax County. Only one result popped up, for a Nina Iona Johnson. When I clicked on the birth record, this is what popped up on the screen.
Now the big image you can zoom in and out of. It's the little one you want to click on though. This will open the image in a new window. Here you can also zoom in and out. Here is also where you can download the image to your computer by right clicking and using Save image as...
So I found her birth. But what about a marriage or death? I tried using Nina Johnson/ Johnston/ Johnstone and no results. I was stumped. I put it to rest and started looking at other collaterals. My great grandmother Edna had a child die quite young with her first husband Everard Boutilier named Wesley Boutilier. I decided to find Wesley's death registration. I found it, and lo and behold right next to it was Nina Iona's death registration. For some reason she was registered under Boutilier.
I really like the new and improved site. Once you get the hang of the changes in navigating it, the site is actually very user friendly. The fact that records are now free to download is a boon to those of us with large families having large families. I am hoping that the NS Archives will eventually add the following features: