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January 19, 2018

Genealogy Chats on Twitter

 Did you know that there are chat sessions on Genealogy being held on Twitter? I've dug around and tried to find out what they are about, when they happen and who runs them. I don't have all the answers but this is what I was able to come up with:

Genchat. #genchat is a genealogy based Twitter chat. 
@_genchat on Twitter. Join us for #genchat every other Friday! Great #genealogy conversations, lots of learning, and good times! 9pm Central.

#GenchatDNA @genchatDNA ‏ on Twitter. A monthly group for newbies wondering where to start when testing their DNA

@ancestryhour  on Twitter.  #AncestryHour Tuesdays 7.00pm GMT. See website

#genchatDE @GenchatDE 
is the host for this German version of GenChat. Held every three weeks on Thursdays. See full schedule

#iamnextgen @Nextgennetwrk 
Usually on Saturdays, Schedule not known

#roguegen See the website

Victoria BC Genealogy SIG
#vgstwittersig Victoria Genealogy
Every 2 weeks, Wednesdays same week as #genchat
@ABGenealogy  starting  soon

If I missed any or if I made any errors, drop me a line in the comment section and I'll update this blog post.

January 18, 2018

Are You Stuck Trying to Find an Ancestor's Birth Record?

Most genealogists search the obvious birth records such as Church records and Vital Stats (Birth Registrations or Certificates). These records are fairly well known but before Civil Registration began in whatever country your ancestor was from, you will have to look for other records for a birth date.

If we don't find our ancestor in one of those common birth records, we're stuck! Where to search next? The Ancestor Birth Finder can help direct you to alternate sources for birth records. All we need to do is think outside the box.

What happens when a child is born? When a woman becomes pregnant? What events take place around the birth of a child? What kind of birth record paper trail is created on the birth of an individual? The answers to these questions will lead you to other sources of birth records and hopefully end that brick-wall.

When an ancestor is born, many records leading up to and surrounding that birth might be created. Let's talk about records kept before an ancestor is born, and those created after a birth up to the individual’s death.

Ancestor Birth Record Finder: Tips on Finding a Birth Record When You've Hit a Brick Wall is available on Amazon and as an ebook or paperback

January 17, 2018

Sewage Pipe Destroys Graves in Huronia Cemetery

The group Remember Every Name claims to have found evidence that sewage pipes have disturbed 150 graves in a cemetery attached to Orillia’s Huronia Regional Centre.

The centre was originally named the Orillia Asylum for Idiots and housed developmentally delayed individuals from 1876-2009.
From 1876 to 1971 over 4,000 individuals housed in the Asylum were buried with only numbers marking their graves. The Archives of Ontario has a list of people who died in the notorious Huronia Regional Centre, but won't release it without a freedom of information (FOI) request. This is the story of one of the children buried anonymously in the cemetery under Grave Marker 1751

January 16, 2018

NEW: Ontario Canada Marriage Records 1936

It was fun to search the new Ontario Marriage Records brought online by this week. My mom and dad married in Guelph in 1936 in a double wedding with mom's sister! It was interesting to see my mother and father's marriage.

It was new to me that my dad was a hat-maker! I knew he worked for Biltmore Hats but didn't know exactly what he did there.I thought perhaps a low-level job on an assembly line.

According to the website:

This database is a collection of approximately 3.3 million marriages recorded in Ontario, Canada between 1826 and 1928, and 1933 and 1936. The indexes contained in this collection were created by two different organizations – Ancestry and the Genealogical Research Library in Brampton, Ontario. The following list is a breakdown of the records included in this database and who created the index to them.

Indexed by Ancestry (includes images of the records):

    Registrations of Marriages, 1869-1928, 1933-1935 (MS 932, Archives of Ontario)
    Division Registrar Vital Statistics Records, 1858-1918 (MS 940, Archives of Ontario) [However, there are very few marriages in this record set.]
    Marriage License Books, 1907-1910 (MS 945, Archives of Ontario)
    Delayed Registrations of Marriages, 1892-1919 (MS 948, Archives of Ontario)
    District Marriage Registers, 1801-1858 (MS 248, Archives of Ontario)
    Roman Catholic Marriage Registers, 1828-1870 (MS 248, Archives of Ontario)

Indexed by Genealogical Research Library (no images available):

    Registrations of Marriages, 1869-1919 (MS 932, Archives of Ontario)
    County Marriage Registers, 1858-1869 (microfilm, Family History Library) (the FHL microfilm is of Archives of Ontario microfilm series MS 248, reels 5-18)

Surnames A-Z: X,Y, Z

There's a new meme going around Facebook right now. Genealogists are listing their mother's maiden name, father's surname, maternal and paternal grandparents' surnames and a few more generations back.

It's a cute idea but I don't think it's wise to be providing such detail, especially your mother's maiden name, as it is often the secret question asked on sites where you require a password to log in.

So I'm revising the meme to suit me and I hope others will follow suit, either here as a comment on Olive Tree Genealogy blog, or on their own blog.

Over the coming weeks I'll be listing my surnames starting with "A" and going through the alphabet until I reach "Z".

I'll preface this with a caveat - most surnames are more common than you might think, so sharing a surname doesn't mean we're related. To be completely useful any surname list should have a geographic location and a time period. But this is just a fun little exercise and if you spot a name of interest, just let me know and we'll compare dates and locations.

X, Y, Z SURNAMES: Zwahlen

Join me - maybe we connect! Find previous surnames on Surnames A-Z

January 15, 2018

Richter Family in Virginia Ephemera from San Juan

Annette P. has generously donated several ephemera items from the Richter Family in Virginia to Olive Tree Genealogy for publication.This postcard is to "Mom" - Leora Richter in Virginia from Toby and Libbet in San Juan

January 13, 2018

Kind Words From Interment.Net

Back in August 2016, Steve Johnson of was kind enough to publish a brief blurb about my genealogy mystery book "Death Finds a Way"

I'm late (very late!) in talking about his column but please take a look at New Genealogy Mystery Novel Debuts: "Death Finds a Way"

January 12, 2018

Names of Those Convicted of High Treason During War of 1812

During the War of 1812,  most of the inhabitants of Upper Canada (present day Ontario) fought on the British side in defence of the colony. Some did their best to stay neutral but some preferred the American side and openly joined the invaders in the fighting.

Convicted of High Treason During War of 1812
Civil Secretary's Correspondence, Upper Canada Sundries
May-August 1815, No. 5, A1, Vol. 23
In November and December of 1813 the Canadian militia surprised a group of invaders near Chatham, Ontario. Among the prisoners were 15 residents of Upper Canada. They were sent to York to be tried in the court. Court proceedings began in Ancaster on 23 May 1814. Nineteen men were officially charged with High Treason. In June, the following men were found guity of treason:

Jacob Overholtzer, Aaron Stevens, Garrett Neill, John Johnston, Samuel and Stephen Hartwell, Dayton Lindsey, George Peacock Jr., Isaiah Brink, Benjamin Simmons, Adam Crysler, Isaac Petit, Cornelius Howey, John Dunham, and Noah Payne Hopkinsy. Dayton Lindsey.

Noah Payne Hopkins, John Dunham, Aaron Stevens, Benjamin Simmons, George Peacock Jr., Isaiah Brink and Adam Crysler were executed by hanging on 20 July 1814 at Burlington Heights.

Letter 28 July 1815 Informing Officials of the Deaths
Garrett Neill, Isaac Pettit and Jacob Overholtzer were sent to Kingston Gaol where they remained under sentence of death or transportation for the crime of High Treason. 

Their deaths in prison were reported in 1815 as Garrett Neil on March 6, 1815, Jacob Overholtzer on March 14, 1815 and Isaac Pettit on April 16, 1815 

We learn more details of these men in Vol. XII - Ontario Historical Society, (1923) THE ANCASTER "BLOODY ASSIZE" OF 1814. BY THE HONOURABLE WILLIAM RENWICK RIDDELL, LL.D., F.R.S.C., ETC. Justice of the Supreme Court of Ontario, 1923

Friday, June 17, Issac Petit (Pettit) was placed in the dock before the
Chief Justice. It was made to appear from the evidence that Petit had taken some part with the marauders, but he had refused to accompany them and had been branded as a coward; the case, however, was clear, and he was justly found guilty.

Petitions had already begun to pour in. Jacob Overholzer was described as "an unfortunate but honest old man" by many loyal inhabitants of the Township of Bertie as early as June 11. The Executive Council conferred with the Judges and the Attorney General, and after anxious consideration and careful weighing of all the facts, it was determined that seven might be saved from death; these seven, the Hartwells, Cornelius Howey, Issac Pitt[sic - Petit], Jacob Overholzer, Garret Neill and John Johnson were
respited till July 28, to enable proper enquiry to be made and proper terms fixed for commutation. 

The Chief Justice refusd to advise whom to execute but he recommeded that as the convicted men were all from the Niagara and London Districts, one at least from each District should be executed; at the same time he pointed out that the President had no power to pardon for Treason

In the latter part of the winter there broke out in Kingston Gaol, the dreaded Jail-fever which, under that name, or that of ship-fever, spotted-fever, etc., was the scourge of crowded gaols, ships and other confined places. It was a virulent type of typhus fever, then and for long  after believed to be "generated out of filth and overcrowding, bad diet and close, foul air", but now known to be due to the activity of the busy "cootie", as malaria to the mosquito, and the plague to the rat-flea.

Some of the unhappy prisoners were seized with the disease, and three died of it, Garrett Neill, March 6, Jacob Overholzer, March 14, and Isaac Petit, March 16, 1815.