Friday June 1, 2012 was going to be a very busy day.
My first appointment was with the Anglican Diocese office in downtown Kingston. This was regarding my Brown family research. The Browns were Church of England and I was hoping to find out more about William Brown my 3rd great-grandfather. I was in luck I did find his death and burial information. See the blog: The Boardmans and Browns of Winnipeg. for more information about this trip. http://boardmanbrown.wordpress.com/
After I finished up at the Diocese office I headed back to my B&B and waited impatiently for Elaine to arrive.
Years ago I was reading an online mailing list for the Upper Ottawa Valley and this person by the name of Elaine Brown was sharing information about the various churches and church registers for the area. I learned that she had compiled a book covering the deaths and burials at the cemetery in Chapeau for the St. Alphonsus Church. I emailed her and bought a copy. It was with me on this trip. We have since shared information and information on McDonalds and Burns families in the area. My great uncle John (Jack) McDonell married Sarah Burns and she was curious about there marriage. I visited their daughter on several occasions in International Falls and put Elaine in touch with her. Sadly Mary died several years ago about two months before I made my third trip to Minnesota.
Elaine’s family history website: http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/burns.htm
Elaine’s book: http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/alphonse.htm
Elaine and I were going to have lunch together and meet for the first time face-to-face. The Briar Patch was no longer offering lunch so she took me to Aunt Lucy’s. We were together from 12:30 to 4:30 pm or so. It was a rainy day in Kingston (just like home) but we didn’t care for we were busy talking and sharing and having a great time. I had so much fun I had dessert. Elaine really knows a lot about genealogy in Canada and so I am very grateful to her for sharing and caring about a stranger from that country to the south. HA! Thanks for lunch Elaine, my treat next time.
The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) Conference started at 5 pm with a barbecue and so I parted with Elaine but was feeling very happy and content.
The rain had moved the dinner inside so we were all gathering in the cafeteria of the St. Lawrence College for the OGS Conference “Borders and Bridges 2012,” Several ladies came and sat at my table and we chatted about the conference, our research and where we were from. As usual people are all surprised when they realize that I am from the other Washington located on the western side of the continent.
Registration was open so I stopped by to get my bag of goodies and a USB drive of the syllabus:
The opening ceremonies were done with pomp. They had a fully costumed town crier which I understand is an award wining town crier.
The next day the conference was in full swing starting about 8 am with the opening address. I didn’t get there till later and cruised the vendors. I was happy to see the Quebec Family History Society, Lambton County Genealogical Society and more. I was very strong and didn’t buy too many books. I had a nice chat with Coleen Fitzpatrick the author of the Forensic Genealogy. She was telling me about autosomal testing for women opening up more possibilities. I have been really considering DNA testing. I have a family member whom I would like to test but so far there is resistance. I purchased her book: DNA & Genealogy. http://www.forensicgenealogy.info/
The lectures started about 11 am. I attended several lectures about newspaper research and each lecture gave me more information about sources I had not tried. John D. Reid gave “Your Family History in Canadian and British Newspapers. He was explaining the OCR and why it was not yet to a place where it could read all the letters efficiently. He explained that some websites had better OCR technology than others. He said to take your time and try different searched. Meldon J. Wolfgang III gave “Extra! Hear All About it! Exploring Some New and Less Familiar Pathways in Newspaper Research. He had some really interesting sources to use. He is the man in the picture below. Evelyn Kolish also gave an excellent lecture: “Court Records Across the Border: How to Find Your Way Among Quebec’s Court Records.” Slowly I am gaining confidence with researching in Quebec.
Everyone was wondering where the banquet would be held. Well it was in the cafeteria and it was sort of amazing to see how they transferred it into a festive affair. We were told that over 500 people were in attendance. The banquet room was filled to capacity. Susan de Groot of the Ontario Chapter of the Association for Professional Genealogists was attending the conference. Susan and I have met several times at various conferences and she remembered me. She kindly invited me to her table. She is the owner of Windmill Genealogy Services.
Those seated at the table were John Reid of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa was present. He gave the one of the lectures on newspaper research that I mention above. Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems sat with us. She had been busy with lectures all day. Lisa had come all the way from California to attend the conference. David Obee was present. I have one of his books that he co-wrote with Sherry Irvine on Canadian Research. The conversation was lively and interesting.
Oh, yes they toasted the Queen and I found that very sweet.
The lectures started early Sunday morning, June 3, 2012 with the one I was looking forward to. It was on Quebec land records titled “Digging up Genealogy Gems: Quebec Land Records,” by Sharon Callaghan who I believe is also active in the Quebec Family History Society in La Pointe, Quebec: http://www.qfhs.ca/ Her lecture was excellent and I was pleased.
I decided to take another turn about the vendors and see what other things I could discover. It actually took me a good hour and half to review them. So it was almost time for lunch and since I had a ticket I decided to wait and get my sandwich. When they set out the sandwiches I decided to stay and eat my lunch and again had a lovely conversation with several conference goers who sat down at my table. I had my Nook Color reader with me, so I gave them an overview.
Lectures would continue and then they would have a closing address later on in the day but I had to move on. It was time to head to Cornwall and visit the Glengarry area.