March 31, 2016

Plagiarism Accusations

 Plagiarism and copyright infringement are a serious issue for those of us publishing our work online.  

Ancestry Insider has done some fact-checking on some recent issues. Please read and form your own opinion.

Continue reading More Accusations of Plagiarism Leveled at Barry Ewell

March 30, 2016

Fascinating Story of NYC sanitation worker's $160,000 treasure

One man's trash is this NYC sanitation worker's $160,000 treasure

One man's trash is New York City sanitation worker Nelson Molina's treasure. During his 34 year career of keeping the Big Apple clean, he collected more than $160,000 worth of amazing trash finds. 

From antique guitars to action figures, check out his collection on display in an East Harlem warehouse. [Source: New York Daily News]

See the photos and read this man's incredible story at New York Sanitation Worker Collects $160K Collection From Trash

 

March 29, 2016

Legacy Family Tree Article Why Do We Do Genealogy?

Olive Tree Genealogy's latest article on Legacy Family Tree is proving very popular. If you haven't read it, you might want to take a few minutes to do so.

Genealogy Discussion QuestionA friend asked an interesting question. "Why do you do genealogy?" The answer should be simple. One would think it would be something along the lines of:

"I do genealogy because I want to know who my ancestors were."

But guess what? Like most questions in life, the answer is not that simple. There are a myriad of reasons why we delve into genealogy research. Wanting to find out who our ancestors were is just the tip of the genealogy iceberg.

Continue reading at  Why Do We Do Genealogy?

March 28, 2016

Easter Postcard Buffalo New York 1912

Recently I rescued 28 vintage orphaned postcards from antique shops. They range in date from 1900 to 1918. 27 are from United States and 1 is from Ontario Canada. 

I have scanned and added 6 of these postcards to Lost Faces and will be adding the rest of these wonderful cards over the next month. I hope descendants will see these postcards and recognize an ancestor.  

Perhaps you will find an ancestor or two!


Easter Card To Mrs. T. F. Galligan, 304 Virginia St, Buffalo New York. from Alice 1912

March 27, 2016

Easter Postcards New York Early 1900s


Recently I rescued 28 vintage orphaned postcards from antique shops. They range in date from 1900 to 1918. 27 are from United States and 1 is from Ontario Canada. 

I have scanned and added 6 of these postcards to Lost Faces and will be adding the rest of these wonderful cards over the next month. I hope descendants will see these postcards and recognize an ancestor.  

 Perhaps you will find an ancestor or two!
 


  • An Easter Postcard to Mrs. Elmer Pick/Peck, Ellicott Ave, Batavia New York, from Mr & Mrs.E. H. Van Alstine




  • An Easter Card to Mrs. Geo (George) F. Kuhn, 16 Grey St., Buffalo New York. from Niagara Falls, March 4, 1909 to Dear Friend from George

March 26, 2016

FREE ACCESS to Commonwealth Records on Ancestry

This weekend (March 25-28) Ancestry.ca is offering free access to their Commonwealth records.

Many genealogists do not realize that Ancestry offers two different freebies. 

One is FREE ACCESS (which this is) and NO credit card is required. You  have to sign up with your email address and name to view the records, but NO CREDIT CARD is needed.

The second is FREE TRIAL where a credit card IS required. At the end of the Free Trial period you cancel, and your card is not charged.

March 25, 2016

Easter Bunny's Family Tree & Bible Found!

Breaking news - a few years ago a little girl named Alice was playing in the garden of an old house in England when she fell down a large rabbit hole. 

Before climbing out she made a unique discovery. In a small wooden box under a pile of rabbit fur hats Alice spotted a yellowed letter. 

The letter was addressed to "Dear Easter" and signed "Uncle Wiggily", and it provided details of an interesting family tree!

Here's the letter Alice found:


Dear Easter,
I'm glad you asked about your family. Time is getting short for me and I think I'm the only one left who knows the stories of our family.

Your great-grandfather, Bugs, was one of three brothers (Bugs, Peter and Brer). The brothers left their home and sailed for America in the late 1800s. The ship they were on was caught up in a terrible storm and the brothers had to tie themselves to the mast. The ship sank but Bugs, Peter and Brer were lucky enough to find a plank and they climbed up on it and drifted for several days until they were rescued by the SS Lollipop.

When they got to Ellis Island, the customs officials changed the brothers' last names before allowing them to leave the ship, and so the three branches of our family began.

Bugs, Your great-grandpa, kept his Bunny name. Peter's was changed to Cottontail and all his descendants have kept that name. Brer's name was changed to Rabbit and it is from his line that our famous cousins White and Velveteen descend.

Great grandpa Bugs later met and married your great-grandmother Bunny Fufu. I don't know anything about her parents. My cousin Willy Bunny has photos and her family bible but he is stingy with the family information and refuses to share. Apparently Bunny Fufu's family bible was tossed into a fire by Indians when they attacked the settlement where she and her parents lived, but Bunny's father leapt into the flames and saved the bible. I wish Willy would not be so secretive with the information!

It gets a bit confusing, but Velveteen Rabbit, your mother, was your father Energizer's second wife and his third cousin once removed. It wasn't unusual for cousins to marry each other, but it does get confusing as we all seem to have large families.

Velveteen's father (your maternal grandfather) was Peter but I don't know too much about your mom's side of the family. I did hear there was an Angora in there somewhere way back. Some say she was a Princess and Peter rescued her from .....




Some say she was a Princess and Peter rescued her from pirates!
Of course you know your grandparents - Buster and Trix. One day you should ask your grandma Trix why she calls your grandpa Buster by his nickname "Hassenfeffer" whenever she is mad at him, it's a cute story.

I've done some research on our family but am stuck on your great-great-grandmother. That would be your Great-Grandpa Bugs' mother. Great-Grandpa Bugs' father (your great-great-grandpa) was named Cadbury but I think your great-great-grandma was left by aliens. She is my brick wall. I know Cadbury called her Flopsy and they had 54 children but even though I've searched everywhere, I can't find what her SIRname was.

I guess I should tell you about the family scandal involving your Great great grandpa Cadbury Bunny. My Aunt Babbity told me she heard the grownups whispering about this when she was little. It seems that Cadbury's father fell in love with a chicken and Cadbury was the result of that love match! This might explain Cadbury's strange behaviour....

Well Easter, I think I've given you enough details to confuse you, but I hope I've gotten you interested in learning more! I know where some of the graves are of your ancestors and will take you there one day if you want to go. It's just a hop, skip and jump away.

Give my best to all the little children when you make your rounds this year,

As ever,
Uncle Wiggily

Since that exciting discovery in 2009, Easter Bunny has found more genealogy goodies!  In 2010 Easter found a family tree chart! You can see it here

In 2011 Easter was delighted to discover a Family Bible that once belonged to his great-grandmother Bunny Fufu! He's been hunting ever since, tracking down leads on the Bunny Trail and exploring every nook and cranny he can find.

Stay tuned for more news as Easter texts us to let us know of his new and exciting genealogy adventures.

March 24, 2016

A Shiny Thing to Distract Genealogists

5-Generation Ancestor Birth Locations
Yesterday my friend J Paul Hawthorne posted an ancestor birth location chart on Facebook. The idea took off like wildfire and soon most of my genealogy friends had created theirs. Sounds silly? Sounds like a waste of time? What can I say except it was fun! 

I created mine only instead of starting with me and going up my ancestral lines, I created one starting with my father. There is no point to starting with my mom because after her all the boxes would say "England" 

The visual aspect of this chart appeals to me. At a glance I can see that 5 of my 8 second great-grandparents were immigrants.  So thanks Paul for giving me something bright and shiny to distract me from what I should have been doing. I loved creating this!

UPDATE: I've been asked how to create this. I did mine in Excel, counting the rows that Paul used to make his. Here's an image of mine with the number of rows entered so you can create your own. If the entry contains more than one cell, you have to merge the cells to create a cell of the sizes shown. Be sure to change the colour green to different colours for each country you enter. For example, all Ireland would be one colour, all New York would be a different colour. Have fun!

March 23, 2016

Creating a Family Story and Memory Book

Olive Tree Genealogy Blog: Creating a Family History Story Book
Recently Volume 2 of my McGinnis Family Story Books arrived from Shutterfly. I'm really pleased with how it turned out!

First I scanned the family photos I wanted to use in my book. After transferring the scanned photos to my computer I organized them into a directory on my laptop 

Then I uploaded them to Shutterfly. I created a different size book this time.  Usually I go with the 8x8 books because they are small, easy to pick up and glance through and I just like the look of them. But this time I went with the 8 1/2 x 11 and I'm really glad I chose that size.


Olive Tree Genealogy Blog: Creating a Family History Story Book
The 8 1/2 x 11 allowed me to insert a census image that was legible but had room around the edges for the page background. I could have added a border around those images or embellished the page with a "sticker" but I like the larger images to be simple and plain.
 

You can read how I organized my book at Creating Memory Books on Shutterfly  It's important to plan the layout of your book before starting. 

 Decide on how you want to organize the pages and photos - by person? Chronologically? You can always switch pages around once you've created pages in Shutterfly but you need a plan to begin.


Think about how many pages you want. I create mine to be between 20 and 25 pages. If it is going to be bigger, I break the book into separate volumes. As an example, my Story Books on my McGinnis family are in 5 volumes, one for each generation starting with my father. The smaller the book, the more manageable to create and the more likely your recipients will be to pick it up and skim through it. Anything larger than 25 pages is, for me, overwhelming to create and I believe would be too much for most people to want to glance through.


Olive Tree Genealogy Blog: Creating a Family History Story Book
Shutterfly allows me to create photo pages, or text pages or a combination of both. It's easy to quickly pick a layout for each page using their layout options. So if you want to place two photos and one text box on a page, for example, you choose from their options for 2 photos plus text.

Then by using the "customize" feature found on each page you can resize and rearrange the photo and text boxes. You can add more text boxes if you want. Then you can change the background by choosing from their options for whatever theme you are using.



Olive Tree Genealogy Blog: Creating a Family History Story Book
In this volume of the McGinnis family story, I added scans of newspaper clippings from a family double wedding. I am lucky enough to have the actual wedding invitation so I added that to the page along with photos of the church and of the happy couples.

In the end the book is a lovely coffee table book resembling a scrapbook. But it has enough genealogical information and documents to give family members a taste of what I have found on the family. It also allows me to share the wonderful family photos, documents and newspaper clippings in my possession.


You can also refer to my video tutorials on creating books in Shutterfly. 

Creating a Memory Book in Shutterfly (Tutorial 1)

Creating a Memory Book in Shutterfly (Tutorial 2)

Creating a Memory Book in Shutterfly (Tutorial 3)

Creating a Memory Book in Shutterfly (Tutorial 4)


I have now created 5 volumes of my McGinnis family, one volume per generation, starting with me, then my parents with all their children, then my grandparents and their children, back to my great-grandparents who came from Ireland to Ontario Canada in 1846 during the Famine Years.

March 22, 2016

The Diaries Of John E. Lewis 1880-1956


John E. Lewis was a New York resident who wrote in his diaries every day for seventy-seven years and captured life in New York during the era. 

Mr. Lewis began writing his diaries on January 1, 1880, as a nineteen-year old young man, and continued to write until his eyesight was too poor to continue, at age 96. [New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Blog]

Continue reading The Diaries Of John E. Lewis 1880-1956 

You may also be interested in reading old letters on Past Voices

March 21, 2016

Five Days of Family Photo Stories: Miss Mulligan's Girls

Recently Gail Dever wrote about a very cool idea on her blog. Her post is called Writing about your life — and your ancestors’ lives — in five photos She inspired me to follow suit in a blog meme called Five Days of Famiiy Stories 

Just choose 5 photos that you love from your collection of shoeboxes and albums. Feature one each day on your blog or in your personal journal. Tell the story of the photo - where was it taken, who is in it, who took it, what year was it taken, what emotion does it invoke when you look at it, etc. 

This is my last photo in this series

This is a photo of my beloved grandmother, Ruth Simpson, in Miss Mulligan's Girls, in the Ellington School in Ramsgate Kent England. It was taken circa 1902 when she was 8 years old. Grandma is the young girl in the middle of the back row.

I am lucky enough to have a few photos of Grandma in the dance group in other years. What surprises me is that she never mentioned this to me. Yet she was the story-teller.
As I a little girl I would listen, fascinated, to her stories of her childhood, of her parents and grandparents, and of leaving England for Canada at the age of 19.  

These photos came to me a few years ago from her youngest daughter, my 93 year old aunt.

March 20, 2016

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album: 74R Sister Quarters Netheravon

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One. 

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain. 




ww1 74R 1-2 PhotoSisterQuarters Netheravon

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page.

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos"

March 19, 2016

British Home Children Forgotten in Mass Graves

This is a poignant and disturbing story of 75 children whose remains lie buried, unmarked and virtually forgotten in a pair of mass graves at an Etobicoke cemetery. 

They were British home children, sent from the U.K. to Canada.

"Victorian-era kids sent to Canada to build a better life often suffered a sad fate; now a research group is trying to tell their stories." [thestar.com]

Read more and see the photos on Dozens of ‘British home children’ lie forgotten in Etobicoke cemetery


March 18, 2016

Civil War & Revolutionary Soldiers' Graves Dug Up and Spilled

Anger as remains of soldiers from Revolutionary and Civil war are dug up and their spilled throughout historic cemetery 

The historical cemetery dating back to 1758 holds graves of veterans from the Revolutionary War, Civil War and World World I 
Among those dug up was the grave of 14-month Emma Jane McElmurray who was buried in 1884 [By Daily Mail Reporter]
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2311453/Outrage-graves-belonging-U-S-soldiers-child-dug-spilled-Georgia-cemetery.html#ixzz43I2Qwulw

March 17, 2016

Wearing the Green on St. Patrick's Day!


DNA doesn't lie! Yes, I really have Irish blood! 

In honour of St Patrick's Day, when tradition has it that we all want to be Irish, I shout out THANK YOU to my Irish ancestors who came from Ireland to Canada. 



John Greenlees and his wife Elizabeth Johnston came from Fermanagh Ireland to the wilds of Upper Canada (present day Ontario) with three children - George about 5 years old, Thomas about 3 years old and my 2nd great grandmother Jane who was under 2 years old. The year was some time between Jane's birth in 1819 and the birth of their next child in Upper Canada in 1821. What a perilous journey that must have been!

Joseph McGinnis and his wife Frances (Fanny) Downey from Co. Down made the journey from famine stricken Ireland with their year old daughter Bridget (Delia) in 1846. They were both barely 20 years old.

It must have been a nightmare voyage and I am sure that like most of the Irish who left Ireland during the Famine Years, they and their loved ones suffered greatly at home. Joseph and Fanny arrived in Ontario and settled near family who had arrived much earlier. They were my 2nd great grandparents. They were very poor Catholics and the land they settled on was more swamp than anything else.

So - I have three Irish great-great grandparents (Joseph, Fanny and Jane) and two Irish Great great great grandparents (John & Elizabeth). Out of that mix I get four Irish surnames: Greenlees, Johnstone, McGinnis & Downey.

I hope this Irish blessing worked for them! "May you be in heaven a full half hour before the devil knows you're dead."

March 16, 2016

Talbot Settlement Maps of Elgin County Now Online

Col. Thomas Talbot was a controversial figure in early Ontario settlement. In the early 1800s in what was then called Upper Canada, Talbot was allowed to dole out land in Elgin County. Every time he gave, at his whim, 50 acres to a settler, he received land for himself. 

He made decisions arbitrarily based on who he liked, and single-handedly managed to create a lot of discontent among early settlers. He was often accused of erasing a settler's name from a previous land allotment and assigning the land to someone else, if the original settler displeased him. In fact my own ancestor's brother suffered such a fate under Talbot's despotic rules. 

In 1819 Jacob Peer submitted a petition stating that Talbot had granted him land, and promised that he, Jacob, could extend to the land bordering his in order to build a mill. Then Talbot denied that promise, forcing Jacob to purchase the land. To make things worse, Talbot then assigned the land that Jacob owned to another settler. 

Here is an interesting excerpt from some of the letters exchanged during Peer's petition.

Letter dated 20 Dec. 1819 from York from T. Rideout to the Surveyor General's Office stating that "how far Colonel Talbot was authorized to remove a settler when once located I am unable to say." Another letter from William Powell to Sir Peregrine Maitland points out that if the petitioner Jacob Peer wins his suit, it could have other consequences and that it is doubtful that Talbot would consider himself accountable to the Board. He therefore recommends that the petition from Jacob be directed to Talbot personally and that Talbot report on it. Talbot writes a  letter dated 30 April 1819 to Wm. Myers stating that "in consequence of your not having moved on the Lot 75 west on the North Branch of Talbot Rd. in Westminster, I have located the said lot to Mary Schram" and that the lot is estimated to be worth 50 dollars which will be paid to him. FN2
 

Jacob filed many petitions and affidavits from other settlers who swore they had been present when Talbot promised the land freely to Jacob but it was all in vain. Jacob lost his case and was ruined financially, having built a grist mill and saw mill at his own expense on the land he purchased, and which was taken from him and given to another settler. All because he displeased Talbot. 

However Talbot's maps are an invaluable source for genealogists!  Thanks to the Elgin County Archives and the Archives of Ontario, Talbot's maps are now onlline. The Archives of Ontario lent the maps to Elgin County Archives so that they could be digitized and made available to the public.
 
Talbot  made note of villages, First Nations settlements and footpaths, industrial sites such as mills, and early transportation routes throughout the region. The documents also include the names and locations of landowners. FN1. This gives us names and locations of early settlers and will be extremely useful to genealogists. 


Each of the 45 documents, registered between 1802 and 1849, are available to the public at the archive's website. The complete listing of Talbot's maps is available to historians and genealogists. Elgin County Archives tells us that

"The fonds includes 45 large-format plans (registered 1802-1832; incorporating annotations dated 1810-1849) and a lease settlement register (created and maintained 1842-1846; includes retroactive entries dated 1825-1836) documenting land distribution in the Town of London and 30 townships in 6 Counties throughout southwestern Ontario in which Talbot controlled land allocation. The plans show survey grids, clergy and school reserves, town sites (including London), first nations villages, mill seats, footpaths, trails, waterways and crossings, local and regional roads. Most significantly, perhaps, the plans include personal land settlement information, with the names of grantees and dates of occupation pencilled in by Talbot on individual lots."

FN1: Source: http://www.stthomastimesjournal.com/2016/03/15/snapshot-of-talbot-settlement-life-now-online
FN2: UCLP P12/152: Petition from Jacob Peer of Flamboro West in Gore District dated 21 Dec. 1819

March 15, 2016

Update on Digitization of CEF Service Files

The following is the latest update on Library and Archives Canada (LAC) project to digitize the service files from the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in WW1.

As of today, 266,634 of 640,000 files are available online via the Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database. Please visit the Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Service Files page for more details on the digitization project.

Library and Archives Canada is digitizing the service files systematically, from box 1 to box 10686, which roughly corresponds to alphabetical order.

Latest box digitized: Box 4442 and Holland.

March 14, 2016

Eerie Civil War Photographs on SmithsonianMag.com

Thanks to my friend J.D. Thomas of Accessible Archives, I was directed to this amazing archive of photographs on  Smithsonianmag.com

 
Quoting from the website "Reed Bontecou's groundbreaking photography used a new medium to bring attention to the wounds of war'


Please read more at These Eerie Civil War Photos Changed How the U.S. Saw Veterans

Image credit: Screenshot of thumbnails on Smithsonianmag.com


March 13, 2016

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album: 68 V Col. Findlay, Col. Cameron

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One. 

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain. 


ww1 68V 2-2 Col. Findlay Col. Cameron

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page.

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos"

March 12, 2016

Join our New Group: We Are Genealogy Bloggers

If you have a blog, or are thinking of starting a blog, We Are Genealogy Bloggers is for you. 

The focus of this new group I started recently is to share our blogging experiences, to discuss issues of importance to bloggers, and to help each other with blogging platforms such as blogger, wordpress, weebly and others.

If you earn money from your blog you can share tips for how you do it. If you want to earn money from your blog you can ask questions about how to do that. Here you will find help on how to grow your reader base.



If you want to talk about plagiarism or copyright issues, We Are Genealogy Bloggers is the place to do it, to get advice and to share our knowledge of how to educate and combat this serious issue.

The topic is BLOGGING - specifically GENEALOGY BLOGGING and all that entails. In this group you can talk about your blogs, your interests, your thoughts on genealogy, DNA, history, archaeology, etc.

Your blogs can have ads. Your blogs can sell your own product. You can share links to articles you've written that you think group members might enjoy or find useful. If a website is of value to the members, feel free to link to it whether it's a free or fee website.

Join us at
We Are Genealogy Bloggers!

March 11, 2016

Update on Controversy re Canada's FIRST FEMALE PILOT & Shame on Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame!

Yesterday the 2015/2016 chair of  Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame left a comment on my blog post called

"Why is Canada's First Female Pilot being ignored by Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame?"

I have responded with my own comment but I am going to add to it here:

Tom, While I appreciate your taking the time to read my post and leave your thoughts, I take exception to the implication that our nomination didn't follow the "nomination guidelines."

Your statement "The decision in any year in the future might be different, depending upon the quality of the nominations submitted." is insulting

The implication you made is that our nomination was not a "quality" nomination. We are genealogists who are experienced in accuracy of facts, resolution of ambiguities in facts, relevancy of details, organization of facts found and presentation of those facts. I believe our 2005 nomination of Eileen Vollick was a quality submission and to suggest otherwise is simply a diversionary tactic on the part of CAHF.

I assure you we read, and followed, the guidelines very carefully.

Second - IF that WERE true that we messed up our submission, then why did the email from Canada Aviation Hall of Fame (CAHF) state that our nomination would be RECONSIDERED the next year.

One would hope that if we didn't meet the guidelines the committee would have explained that we needed to re-read them and re-submit Eileen's name.

Here is the email we received from the committee:

"The names for the 2006 inductees have been published on our website (www.cahf.ca) under the "What's New!" heading. My apologises [sic] for not being successful this year with Eileen Vollick's nomination, but it will be reconsidered for next year."

So again, it has been 10 years, and still no honouring of the FIRST FEMALE PILOT in Canada. One has to wonder what hidden agenda is being followed by CAHF.

As my previous articles indicate, Eileen has been honoured repeatedly as a significant female contributor to aviation:

* There is a historical plaque in honour of Eileen Vollick at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at Hamilton Airport.

* In 1978 Eileen was inducted into the International Forest of Friendship in the Memory Lane section of the park. The International Forest of Friendship is a park that honours individuals who have made significant contributions to aviation.

* Through Canada Post’s Picture Postage program, the East Canada Section of the Ninety-Nines created a stamp in Eileen’s honour. First Day covers were issued in Wiarton, Ontario on August 2, 2008.

*The Wiarton Keppel International Airport named the Eileen Vollick Terminal building, on August 2, 2008, the 100th anniversary of Eileen’s birth.

* The First Canadian Chapter posthumously awarded Eileen the Amelia Earhart Medallion in 1975

* The Toronto Aerospace Museum in Downsview features Eileen's accomplishments.

It is long past time for Eileen to be recognized for her accomplishment of being the FIRST FEMALE LICENSED PILOT IN CANADA.

Let's face facts - Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame has deliberately overlooked an important figure in Canadian history - an important FEMALE who broke long-held barriers and empowered women to strive for things long thought outside their ability to achieve. Shame on you.

March 10, 2016

Why is Canada's First Female Pilot being ignored by Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame?


Because March is Women's History Month I wanted to share with my readers the story of strong and courageous women in my life. You will be able to follow along as you wish by choosing the label "Women of Courage" in the right side bar. I encourage my readers to join me in honoring women of courage in your own families.
 
I want to tell you about my third cousin twice removed, Eileen Vollick (1908-1968) who became the first Canadian woman to obtain a pilot's licence in March 1928. Eileen was related to me in two ways, and was also my 7th cousin twice removed.

"Canada’s first licenced woman pilot was born in Wiarton, Ontario. By the age of 19, she was a textile analyst at the Hamilton Cotton Company and had also won a local beauty contest. She was a spirited girl who had parachuted into Burlington Bay before taking flying lessons. It was 1927. Charles Lindbergh had just flown the Atlantic and Amelia Earhart was beginning to capture the public’s imagination. The diminutive Beach Boulevard resident had already set her sights much higher than anyone could have imagined!

She enrolled in the Flying School owned by Jack V. Elliot at Ghents Crossing on Burlington Bay. The only reservation that her instructor, Len Trip had, was that she was only 5' 1"s and had to use pillows to see out of the cockpit of the ski-equipped Curtiss JN-4 Bi-plane (affectionately known as a "Jenny")

The Comptroller of Civil Aviation issued Eileen a private pilot’s licence #77 on March 13, 1928, the first woman in Canada to qualify as a pilot.

After passing her flight test, she flew in the U.S. and Canada, often demonstrating aerobatic flying which she enjoyed immensely. Shortly afterwards she became Mrs James Hopkin, moved to New York State and raised a family, where she lived until her death in 1968."
A historical plaque in honour of Eileen Vollick, our first licenced woman pilot was unveiled by three members of Eileen’s family, including her husband Mr. James Hopkin. The plaque can be seen at the entrance to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at Hamilton Airport.

The First Canadian Chapter had previously (posthumously) awarded Eileen with an Amelia Earhart Medallion in 1975 at the occasion of their 25th Anniversary and East Canada Section Fall Meeting.

Eileen is also featured in the 99s East Canada Collection Display at the Toronto Aerospace Museum in Downsview.

In 2005, a several of us who are related to Eileen campaigned to have her admitted to Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame. We were joined in our efforts by thte Canadian 99s and Wiarton Musuem. Although we presented all our research with supporting documentation our nomination of Eileen was denied as:


"The names for the 2006 inductees have been published on our website (www.cahf.ca) under the "What's New!" heading. My apologises [sic] for not being successful this year with Eileen Vollick's nomination, but it will be reconsidered for next year."

Ten years later, Eileen's name is still not found. Why is this amazing Canadian female being ignored by Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame?


March 9, 2016

A ShoutOut on GenealogyInTime

Olive Tree Genealogy is honoured and pleased to be listed on Genealogy in Time's list for 2016 of  Genealogy Websites Worth Knowing

The blurb informs genealogists that my site Olive Tree Genealogy provides FREE genealogy records. If you have not visited me, please have a look  

From GenealogyInTime website:

Genealogy Websites Worth Knowing

Finally, we would like to talk about some genealogy websites worth knowing. These are websites that just missed the cut for the Top 100 List. Some of these websites have been on the list in past years; others seem to always be just beyond the cut-off year after year. We have a soft spot for many of these websites because most have been around for years faithfully serving the genealogy community.

Thank you for the shout out!

March 8, 2016

How Will You Mark International Women's Day?

Today, March 8, is International Women's Day A website devoted to the theme, says this:
How will you mark the day? Celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.
We have come a long way. But we have further to go and it would be wonderful to include all women of the world on that journey. 

For younger women who have not experienced some of the worse times, let me share two brief stories with you.

Story Number One: 

When I was a teenager in Grade 12, we had Career Day. That was held annually and on that day everyone in Grade 12 chose where they wanted to visit in relationship to their career choice. I wanted to be a Psychologist so I asked my Guidance Counsellor to find me somewhere that suited my goal. His response was that since I was a girl and would not benefit from a University course since I would obviously drop out to marry and have children, I needed to choose from Nurse, Secretary or Teacher and he would arrange a visit at a school, an office or a hospital. 

As a preface, I'll share with you that I was always a high-achiever, excelled in the Maths, and had been placed in what was then called the "A" classes for my entire High School career. Basically that meant I was decently smart, motivated and a hard worker. But I was told I could not have the career I wanted because I was a girl and my goal should be to marry and reproduce. 

Because I'm stubborn, I fought against being slotted into that mold and took my request higher up. It took a great deal of petitions and arguments, as well as my mother's active support, to finally obtain grudging permission to visit a Mental Health facility near where I lived. By the way my mother was the epitome of a strong woman! One thing she always told me was that I should never be dependent on a man to support me, that I needed a career to be able to support myself. My father was adamant that I would be the first one in the family to go to University.

Story Number Two:

When I was married in 1969, I worked while my husband attended University. I applied for a credit card and was refused. The company explained that only a man could have a credit card, and if I wanted one I had to have my husband apply in his name. I pointed out to the company that I was the sole wage-earner in the household and that my husband would therefore not be paying the bills so I wanted the card in my name. They refused and I never did get that card.

So my plea to younger women of today is please do not let go of the rights and privileges that my generation and others before me, fought for! Get out and vote! Don't overlook the amazing Suffragettes and what they went through to get the right for women to vote. Don't take the privileges and rights you have for granted. Fight for more and make sure you fight to keep the ones you have. 

Be a strong woman in all aspects of your life - family, work... whatever you touch on your life journey. 

March 7, 2016

Create a Fun Ancestor Score Card

Thanks to Tangled Roots and Trees for this fun idea on measuring your genealogy research. First you create an Ancestors Score Card like mine below. I opted to do an 8 Generation Chart but you could list as many or as few as you wish.

 Then you start counting your ancestors in your tree. Fill out the numbers then calculate the percentage. For those who aren't sure how to calculate that, write your numbers as a fraction with the numerator (top number) from the Known column and the denominator (bottom number) from the possible column. Divide numerator by denominator and multiply by 100.

My chart becomes this when I count my known ancestors in each generation:

It's obvious that I have 100% in Generations 1 to 5. For Generation 6, I divide 31 by 32 and multiply by 100 for 96.875% I'll round that off to 97%. Here is my final score card


I don't collect names. It's not about how many ancestors I can find, but I like to see how I'm doing.  I research, find my ancestors one by one, and then I look for their stories. When I'm done I create what I call Family Memory Books consisting of those stories and facts for each person. 





March 6, 2016

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album: 71R Sister Cameron Smith

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One. 

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain.




ww1 71R Sister Cameron Smith in charge of Convalescent Home for Sisters 13 Cheyne Place - Chelsea London

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page.

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos"