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February 18, 2019

Family Day Celebrations

Some of my family in 2013
Today is the Family day celebration for Alberta (AB), British Columbia (BC), New Brunswick (NB), Ontario (ON), and Saskatchewan (SK). It is not celebrated in other parts of Canada.

Family Day was originally created to give people time to spend with their families but it also provides a day off between New Years Day and Good Friday as they are approximately three months apart. Unfortunately, not everyone gets Family Day off, which makes it a debatable holiday in many provinces.

It's a strange holiday in my opinion but family should be a top priority! Why else would we genealogists spend hours/days/weeks/months/years searching for ancestors if we didn't think family was important? 

This is some of my family in 2013. I had managed to gather most of them together at our home. Only six of my ten grandchildren are in this photo. My eldest son and his family are not present. But with us that day were a brother and his wife, an aunt, a step-daughter and her children, also some assorted cousins.

I'm standing in the middle wearing a scoop neck black sleeveless top, hands held in front. Funnily enough my only daughter is standing on my left, also wearing a scoop neck long sleeve black top, holding her hands in front. No one else is standing in that position - is it genetics?

We are not doing anything for Family Day this year. What are you doing this year, or if you don't get this holiday, what have you done in the past?

February 15, 2019

Captain Adriaen Crijnen Post - a New Book!

New Netherland Settlers: Captain Adriaen Crijnen Post & Claartje Moockers

Available on or

The Dutchman Adriaen Crijnen Post and his wife Claartje (Clara) Moockers are found in Recife Brazil in 1646. By the time Brazil fell to the Portuguese in 1654 Adriaen and his femily had left for the Netherlands. From there they sailed to New Netherland. 

As a representative of Baron van der Capellan, Adriaen established a thriving colony on Staten Island. The colony was burned to the ground in the Peach Tree War in 1655 and 23 colonists were killed by Indians. Adriaen, his wife, 5 children and 2 servants were among the 67 colonists taken prisoner. 

This book follows Adriaen and Clara in New Netherland and also provides information on their children and grandchildren. 

See the full list of available New Netherland settlers books

February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day- A Blast from the Past

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. I thought my readers might like to see a vintage postcard sent by a young man (James) to his sweetheart Maggie Rosch in 1910.

I love how James doesn't whisper sweet nothings or words of love to Maggie. Instead he complains about his bad cold, the roads which are also bad. Presumably they are snow covered. He ends by telling her that "the machine" is coming to her by way of another man and she will probably get it before she gets his card. He ends with "from James"! 


I hope if you receive a card or letter from your loved one, it is a little mushier than this one James wrote to Maggie.

If you like vintage postcards you can find more on Lost Faces

February 11, 2019

AncestryDNA Sale!

What a deal! Time to stock up on DNA kits for your relatives. AncestryDNA is on sale in the US for $59

The sale starts at 6pm EST on Monday, February 11, and end at 11:59pm EST on Thursday, February 14. Use this sale link for your kits


National Archives UK opens it's POW 1715-1945 collection

More than 764,000 records of servicemen, women and civilians who were taken captive during the Napoleonic Wars, Crimean War, Boer War, First World War and Second World War have been published online

The entire Prisoners Of War 1715-1945 collection now contains over 2 million records.

First page of lists of POWs captured in Boer War

From the site: "The records are incredibly diverse and not only include military personnel, but also civilians, diplomats, missionaries and merchant seamen. The nature of these documents varies owing to the enormous scope and scale of the collection. Some will consist of lists of deaths, files on escapees and detailed records of daily life, while others will reveal additional biographical details about individual inmates including physical descriptions, witness statements, medical reports and more."

February 8, 2019

Book on the Vrooman Family in New Netherland (New York)

New Netherland Settlers: The Vrooman Family: Ancestors & Descendants of the Brothers Hendrick Meesen Vrooman, Pieter Meesen Vrooman and Jacob Meesen Vrooman of New Netherland (New York)

56 pages
Available on and

The three brothers Hendrick Meesen Vrooman, Pieter Meesen and Jacob Meesen came from the Netherlands who came to New Netherland in the early part of the 17th century. Pieter arrived circa 1655, and he and Jacob settled in Albany. Hendrick settled first at Kinderhook, then Steen Raby and finally Schenectady in 1677.

This book traces the Vrooman ancestry back to the brothers' great-great grandfather Gerrit Jans Kerstantsz born in Holland circa 1457, and follows the family down 5 generations.

More books on New Netherland Settlers available here 

February 6, 2019

Juvenile Inspecton Records in Canada

Example Juvenile Inspection Card
The Juvenile Inspection Reports are another source to look for a Home Child ancestor. These records date mostly from 1920 to 1932.  however, there are a few from 1911 to 1917 and some after 1932. They are available free on Heritage.

Immigration officials created inspection report cards as they carried out regular inspections of children brought to Canada by various organizations. There is usually one page per child, showing name, age or date of birth, year of arrival, ship, sending organization, the names and addresses of employers and comments.

This series also includes inspection cards for some European children, including those brought to Canada by the Armenian Relief Association of Canada (1923-1932) and the Canadian Jewish War Orphans Committee (1920-1921).

First choose what reel you need from the list below:

​Microfilm reel number First name on reel Last name on reel
T-15420 ​ANDERSON, Newton and  ABBOTT, Auber  ​CARDNO, Leslie
​T-15421 ​CARDWELL, Andrew ​EVANS, Arthur E.
​T-15422 ​EVANS, Arthur L. HENDERSON, Ann F.
T-15423 ​HENDERSON, Charles H. LOCK, Annie
​T-15424 ​LOCK, Herbert O'BRIEN, Samuel
T-15425 ​O'BRIEN, Thomas SHAW, Victor
T-15426 ​SHAW, Walter A. WEALE, Walter
​T-15427 WEALLS, Eric ZYCZYNSKI, Leon

For the surname COOK for example, you need microfilm reel ​ T-15421. Just type that into the search box on the Heritage site and then browse the images. The records are in alphabetical order.

February 4, 2019

How to Search the New Canadian Collections on Heritage

As of January 1, 2019, all Canadiana content included in Early Canadiana Online, Héritage, and Canadiana Online became available at no charge to users.

For those uncertain how to use the site, here's a walk-through which I hope will help.

When you click on the link above you will see a search box upper right, labelled "Search" This searches all collections. I typed in an ancestor's name "Isaac Vollick" and hit the search button

A new page opened showing that there are 2 results in Upper Canada Sundries. The text further indicates "Matching pages: Image 878 | Image 1169" Each of the images is clickable. Clicking on these links will take me to the actual image for whatever record for my ancestor is there. 

This is what I see when I click on the first link (Image 878)

The small white pop up on the right explains that this contains signatures to a petition dated Hamilton, 22nd November 1828 but the petition itself is missing. I can copy the text inside the white box, then paste it into a text editor to search for the name I want (Vollick). Then I can come up with an educated guess as to how many images beyond Image 878 I might have to go in order to see the image with the actual written signature of Isaac. Or I can save all the images if I'm interested in who else signed the original petition.

I could have done the same search by choosing Genealogy collection on the main Welcome page. I'd get the same results. 

No Dates?

Some visitors to the site complained there were no dates, not even a year.  That is not correct. For example in the record cited above the date is given in the little popup window. But if that popup window isn't given, you can see that there is no date on the image. 

So all we need to do is scroll ahead (or back) until we find the date! In this case, I scrolled ahead and when I reached image 881 the date was easily spotted. See the image below