October 21, 2016

Propaganda Postcards 1900s Warning Men of Dangers of Women's Rights

Thanks to my friend J.D. Thomas for posting this link to these ridiculous but interesting postcards. The site explains the postcards this way:

Here’s a collection of totally ridiculous vintage postcards and posters dated from around 1900 to 1914 warning men of the dangers associated with the suffragette movement and of allowing women to think for themselves.  

View the postcards at Absurd propaganda postcards warning men about the dangers of women’s rights, early 1900s

October 19, 2016

You'd Think No WW1 Widows are still Alive, but They Are!

Almost a century after the First World War ended, 54 Canadian women are still getting veterans' benefits linked to the war. Eleven live in Ontario, 12 in British Columbia, and 11 outside Canada. 

My grandmother's brother in WW1 and his wife and daughter
I think it's fascinating to think of these women and the stories they can tell us. I hope someone - a family member or friend, has interviewed them and recorded their stories. Global News is asking anyone who knows one of these widows to contact them.

Read the rest of this story at Dozens of Canadian First World War veterans’ widows still get pensions

Interestingly enough, the U.S. is also paying pensions to widows and children of 16 people who fought in the Spanish-American War in 1898, and to widows of over 4,000 people who fought in the First World War.

October 17, 2016

October Update WW1 CEF Files Digitization

The following announcement was sent out by Library and Archives Canada:
As of today, 347,005 of 640,000 files are available online in our Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database. Please visit Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Service Files for more details on the digitization project.

Library and Archives Canada is digitizing the service files systematically, from box 1 to box 10,686, which roughly corresponds to alphabetical order. Please note that over the years, the contents of some boxes have been moved. You might find that the file you want (with a surname that should have been digitized) is now located in another box that has not yet been digitized. So far, we have digitized the following files:

    Latest box digitized: Box 5848 and Mahony.

October 16, 2016

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 33V Sports Race

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.
Needle and Thread Race. Sports 1st July

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 her permission.

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

October 15, 2016

Immigrant Ancestors Meme: Peter Bell

There is a lot of discussion about immigration in America right now. Tempers have flared, and different groups hold various strong opinions. There is also Brexit, where immigration was a large focus of the recent vote which resulted in the U.K. leaving the E.U.

I've been following this for several months and it occurs to me that those of us in Canada, America, and Australia have immigrant ancestors. Have you researched yours? Do you know who they were, why they came to your country and when? Do you know how they fared once settled in their new land? Were they welcomed? Were they shunned? Was their discrimination based on their religion or ethnic origin? These are all questions that are important, and interesting to discover. With that in mind, I'm the dedicating Saturdays (as many as needed) as the day to join me in discussing your immigrant ancestors.

You will be able to read any you are interested in by using the keyword Immigrant Ancestors. I'm going to share each week what I know of my immigrant ancestors to North America (whether that is USA or Canada)

My 3rd. great-grandfather, Peter Bell (1788 Middlewhich, Cheshire England - 1861 Arkell, Wellington Co. Ontario) left England for New York then immigrated to the brand-new settlement of Arkell Ontario in 1831.

Peter was one of the original group of Englishmen who settled this community in the wilderness of what was then Upper Canada.

His wife Betty Higginson and several of their children followed later on the Brig Joseph Charles sailing into New York then on to Upper Canada.

Peter and his wife worked hard to carve out an existence for their family. In 1855 Betty died and Peter followed 5 years later. They are buried in the Farnham Cemetery in Arkell.  

Betty's tombstone was discovered in Farnham Cemetery by Gerald and Chris Thiessen. They dug it from the ground where it lay buried. They interpreted the text on it as "In Memory of Elizabeth, wife of Peter Bell, Sep 1833" In reality the date she died was 1855.

One of Peter's daughters (Mary) married David King, the son of another Arkell pioneer, and my 2nd great-grandparents. I found their adventures so fascinating that I wrote a book "From England to Arkell" which is available at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, or CreateSpace

October 14, 2016

Review of Gigamons - a Game for Family Time

When I first opened Gigamons (from Blue Orange) I thought "Oh it's just a fancier variation of the game of Concentration" I was wrong! It is much more than that.

Yes, Gigamons is a game of memory. But it's also a game that engages our imaginations. The colours and designs are extremely well done and compelling.

My 5 year old grandson loved the Elemons - creatures who have magical powers that are only released when a pair of matching Elemons are put together. Different Elemons have different powers which give whoever holds them a special advantage throughout the whole game. 

Finding three Elemons that are identical allows you to take the matching Gigamon. Three Gigamons and you win the game.

Each player in turn reveals two Elemons on the play area (a 3x3 square of Elemons whose faces we cannot see until they are turned over). If they match, that player takes them. If they do not match, they are turned over again and everyone tries to remember where thy were.

Thankfully there is a reference card that lists each Elemon and its powers or I'd have been lost! The creativity in this game is of high calibre and the visual appeal is very good. Rules are easy to learn, and presented in a colourful fold-out brochure that is somewhat like reading a children's book.

Gigamons is for ages 6 and up, and 2 to 4 players can play together. It's a perfect game for grandparents with a couple of grandchildren, or a family of 4. I loved this game for bonding time with my grandchildren. We played, we laughed, and I talked to them about my grandmother, comparing the kinds of games she would have played and games such as Gigamons. Their great-grandmother comes alive for them as a real person, not just a name on a chart.

There is so much you can discuss education-wise:  problem solving, decision making, planning, tricks for remembering what Elemon was turned over (and where) and so on.

What could be better than combing fun, bonding time with your children or grandchildren, education and yes - genealogy!

  • 7 Gigamon Figures
  • 42 Elemon Tiles
  • 3 Rock Tokens
  • 4 Reference Cards
  • Illustrated Rules
I give this game a 9 out of 10. My 5 year old grandson rates it a "mega TEN!"  

Disclaimer: I was given a free game for review purposes. 

Old SF Project Brings 1850 San Francisco to Life

If you have ancestors who lived in San Francisco California, this map is for you. Two developers, Dan Vanderkam and Raven Keller, took old photographs from the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection and put them on an interactive map.

Zooming in on a specific location takes you back to as distant as 1850.

Continue reading 2 coders used old photographs to make a mesmerizing Google Street View map of San Francisco in the 1800s or go directly to the Old SF Project and start your tour!

October 12, 2016

DNA reveals what caused London's Great Plague

An interesting article has been written stating that DNA analysis of skeletons found in an ancient burial ground in central London has identified presence of the bacteria responsible for the Great Plague of London.

From the article:

In 1665, the Great Plague of London killed more than 75,000 people in the space of a year, almost a quarter of the city's population back then. It caused 8,000 deaths per week during its peak in September 1665.
It was believed by many scientists and archaeologists that this Plague was in fact the Bubonic Plague but no proof existed. Skeletons dating from the 17th century were found More than 3,300 skeletons were discovered in 2015 at the site known as the Bedlam burial ground, near Liverpool Street station in London, within the New Churchyard archaeological site. You can read my earlier article about this find at Digging up Bodies of Those Buried in Bedlam
When their DNA was extracted and sequenced, the proof was evident. The Great Plague was in fact the Bubonic Plague. One of the individuals i wrote about in my New Netherland series of books was devastated when the Bubonic Plague (Black Death) hit his family in 1636. See New Netherland Settlers: The Stevensen and Jacobsen Families.

Also see my article Possible Black Death Graves from 14th Century Found in London England

DNA is a marvelous tool for solving many  puzzles. If you have not yet had your DNA tested, you really should! I've had my DNA tested at several different companies and have learned a great many interesting things. You can read about my discoveries and explanations of DNA testing at http://olivetreegenealogy.blogspot.ca/search/label/DNA

I recommend this Free Shipping with DNA Kit Purchase at Ancestry.com! Use Code: FREESHIPDNA

Continue reading DNA from ancient skeletons reveals cause of London's Great Plague

October 10, 2016

Yes, it's Thanksgiving! I'm Not Confused

Do you remember your childhood Thanksgiving Days? What was the traditional Thanksgiving Day for you? What is it now? Has it changed very much?

Thanksgiving Traditions - Canadians Got the Date Right!
I don't remember anything special about Thanksgiving as a child except we got to eat Turkey with stuffing that my dad made. It was so good! There were four of us kids and only 2 drumsticks and we all wanted that prized piece of meat. 

We also got my mother's less-than-wonderful mashed potatoes. Her version was to peel and boil potatoes then mash them roughly with a fork - no butter, no milk. They were dry as a bone and I used to smother mine with ketchup just to swallow them! 
Why am I talking about Thanksgiving? Because it is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. 

I often cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal for 15 to 20 people. But this year we are having a very quiet dinner and holiday for just the two of us.

What will you be doing this Thanksgiving?