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Article posted: January 1, 1999
Three New Resources & Some Good Advice
By: Ryan Taylor, Biography and Archived Articles
Here's potpourri, three new resources and some good advice.
The Ontario Genealogical Society has published a guide to Native Canadian resources at the National Archives. It is a listing of what the National Archives has with informed descriptions of the records.
Finding information about Native Canadian ancestry can be difficult. There are not many useful reference tools to help the beginner in this area. At the same time, in the past some families thought that having a native ancestor was not something to be proud of, and so did not pass on much information.
We can be glad that those days are past, and no matter what our ethnic background, we are proud of what our families are. However, if you start with little, you may have difficulty finding more.
Bill Russell, the author, is an archivist and begins by explaining how the Department of Indian Affairs operated. This way, researchers know what kind of records were kept. Russell then explains how to go about finding what you need.
I think this is a good place for researchers to start looking for their native ancestors. Bill Russell's Indian Affairs Records at the National Archives of Canada from Global Genealogy & History Shoppe. Click here for more information.
If your ancestors were among the early Scottish settlers of Manitoba, you might like to see The Selkirk Settlers of Red River and their Descendants, 1812-1997, published by the Lord Selkirk Association of Rupert's Land in Winnipeg.
This consists simply of drop-line genealogies done by members of the association, but since it starts with those early settlers, you might find it interesting to have a look.
The bad news is that the book is not for sale to anyone but members of the association and libraries. If you are interested, start with the big genealogical libraries to locate it.
Some good news for New Brunswick researchers is that Cleadie Barnett has recently developed her website to include a great deal of information about the St. John River valley and the counties along the Bay of Fundy. Barnett began published genealogical newsletters in 1979 and one of her sites, called We Lived, contains reprints of all her previous publications. A new site, We Lived The Next Generation, includes new material. No matter where your ancestors lived in New Brunswick, have a look, because she is wide-ranging.
I have had a look at these and they are very attractive and crammed with information. They are good examples of some of the interesting work being done by people on the Internet, all as a public service. Barnett's sites can be seen at http://members.tripod.com/~Cleadie_B/index.htm.
George Taylor (no relation, alas) sends a personal e-mail newsletter to members of Waterloo Wellington branch Ontario Genealogical Society. Among his recent observations is this one, which I had never considered.
COMING IN MARCH 1999
One of the reason for doing genealogy is to see how our ancestors lived. The most dramatic experience was emigrating across the ocean, but how much do we know about what it was like? It would be terrific to hear an actual emigrant describe the trip.
Across the Waters: Ontario Immigrants' Experiences, 1820-1850
by Frances Hoffman and Ryan Taylor gathers together selections from firsthand accounts so that today's readers can discover what it meant to be a pioneer in Ontario. From the day they decided to strike off across the Atlantic to the first harvest in their own clearing, the settlers will tell you about the seasickness, the quarantine station, the mosquitoes--the fish you could scoop out of streams with your bare hands, the pride of owning your own land and the joys of helping one another build a house.
Hoffman's and Taylor's previous book, Much to be Done, gave diarists from the Victorian era the chance to tell us about their lives. Their new book offers the same opportunity to those diarists' parents and grandparents.
Across the Waters: Ontario Immigrants' Experiences, 1820-1850 will be published in March 1999 ( originally planned for May '99) by Global Heritage Press in softcover and hard cover (library binding) versions. Reserve your copy today!.
Books By Ryan Taylor
Across The Waters, Ontario Immigrants Experiences 1820 - 1850 - by Frances Hoffman & Ryan Taylor, 1999. Riveting first-hand accounts of the immigration and settlement experience, taken from the diaries and letters of 150 immigrants.
Routes To Roots, The Best of Ryan Taylor's columns from the Kitchener Waterloo Record, by Ryan Taylor 1997
More Family History Research Resources