Column: History in Context

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

TitleColumn: History in Context

Snippet: When I was a kid in the 1970s, my parents and siblings piled into the family vehicle and drove away without a single thought to seatbelts. I assume the cars and trucks my father owned had them. My parents, however, didn’t grow up with seatbelts, so wearing them wasn’t a habit. Actually, when my parents were born in the 1920s, few people in the Maritimes even had vehicles.

Back in the 70s, there were fewer vehicles on the road. Traffic was slower and people knew how to drive with care. Many roads in rural areas were dirt, and there wasn’t much need for more than two lanes in the cities.

If someone was to judge my parents because they didn’t make their kids wear seatbelts, then it would be obvious that person didn’t understand the conditions and the mindset of the time. And they would be doubly horrified to learn my brothers and I travelled in the back of the pickup for long drives to visit grandparents. Don’t worry; the truck had a cap.

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.

Nineteenth-century Cape Breton: a historical geography

“This thesis is an historical geography of Cape Breton Island in the nineteenth century. It aims to provide a geographical synthesis of the Island over a hundred years, elucidating the changing relationship between the Island’s population and their environment.

“The Island is considered as a region and the scale of enquiry is at the regional level. The patterns of population, settlement, economy, and society are identified, and the processes that created them are discussed.

“Finally, the wider relevance of the Cape Breton experience is suggested. Three distinct and largely separate patterns of settlement, economy, and society coexisted in early nineteenth century Cape Breton: the old commercial staple trade of the cod fishery, semi-subsistent family-farms, and industrial coal mining.

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Private Dennis Simon Levangie

Dennis Simon Levangie was the second of three children—two sons and one daughter—born to Philip and Bridget (Gerroir) Levangie of Port Felix, Guysborough County. According to family sources, Dennis spent several years in Boston, Massachusetts prior to the First World War. The 1911 Canadian census lists Dennis as a boarder in the New Glasgow, NS household of Ellise Gerrior—possibly a relative of his mother’s—while working in a local paint shop. It is not known whether he resided in the United States prior to or after this time.

Shortly after the outbreak of war in Europe, Dennis relocated to Halifax, where he worked for three years as a stoker on a Canadian naval ship. While his military attestation papers list his address as “Hopper Barge # 2, HMCS Dockyard, Halifax”, Dennis did not formally enlist in the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve. As a result, he was amongst the many young men of his generation deemed eligible for conscription after the Canadian Parliament passed the Military Service Act in August 1917.

To read more of Private Dennis Simon Levangie’s story, go to the First World War Veterans of Guysborough County website.

Column: Enjoying Everything Scottish

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

TitleColumn: Enjoying Everything Scottish

Snippet: Ceud Mìle Fàilte (A hundred thousand welcomes)

Do you have Scottish blood in your veins? Or do you simply love Scottish things such as kilts, haggis and music? Well, you’re in luck. This year, Nova Scotia (aka New Scotland) will host the International Gathering of the Clans (IGC: http://www.cassoc.ca).

The organisation hopes, “Scots from all over the world will turn their eyes toward New Scotland for 2015”, and in turn attract visitors to enjoy the Maritimes in its cultural and historical glory.

The IGC is promoting the province’s coastal villages, sandy beaches, historical settlements (not only Scots, but Irish, Germans, English, Ulster Scots, Acadian French, Aboriginal people and others), music, living museums (Highland Village, Sherbrooke Village, Ross Farm) as well as historical forts (Fort Anne, Port Royal, Halifax Citadel, Fortress of Louisbourg).

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.

Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics Update

The annual accrual of Historical Vital Statics is now available on the Nova Scotia Genealogy website.

Time Frame for Records

Births: 1864 to 1877, 1908 to 1914 (including delayed registrations from 1830 to 1914): 300,334 records

Marriages: Bonds from 1763 to 1864; Registrations from 1864 to 1939: 235,854 records

Deaths: 1864 to 1877, 1908 to 1964; City of Halifax from 1890 to 1908: 447,916

Column: Encouraging Participation Not Extinguishing It

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

TitleColumn: Encouraging Participation Not Extinguishing It

Snippet: I’ve been part of many wonderful hobby groups in my life, including writing, gardening, goat raising and genealogy. Each group of individuals who inhabit these realms are unique. My experiences with them have been positive. Almost everyone is happy to share, happy to teach, happy to learn. There’s not a mean bone in their bodies and everyone radiates encouraging energy…for the most part.

Although some have turned genealogy into big business, it is still a hobby for the majority of people who do it. That doesn’t belittle the activity in any way or decrease its significance. In fact, I think it increases its value because it’s not work.

As a hobby, it’s meant to be entertaining, interesting, challenging and relaxing. The added bonus is the people we meet while enjoying our favourite pastimes. We make wonderful new friends, and we share our ideas, our joys and our frustrations.

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.

Update on Digitization of Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel Service Files

As of today, 162,570 of 640,000 files are available online via our 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. Please note that over the years, the content of some boxes has had to be moved and, you might find that the file you want, with a surname that is supposed to have been digitized, is now located in another box that has not yet been digitized. The latest digitized box is #3655, which corresponds to the surname “Gore”.

…to continue reading, visit Library and Archives Canada.