August 22, 2014

Deadly Victorian Fashions

Deadly Victorian Fashions
What we do in the name of beauty, vanity and fashion! During the Civil War women wore corsets laced so tightly they could barely breathe, and often fainted from lack of oxygen. 

Victorian times were no better, with women wearing everything from gowns made with  arsenic-based dye to create a beautiful green colour, to flammable crinolines. When fashionable women wore the wide based crinoline under their skirt or dress, they could very easily set themselves on fire not realizing how close the bottom of their skirt was to an open flame.

It wasn't just those wearing the garments who died or suffered serious side effects - those working in the hatting occupation were working with poisonous mercury and suffered from mercury poisoning. Hence the expression "mad as a hatter"
Visit Deadly Victorian fashions to see the photographs and read more about deadly fashions.

August 21, 2014

Discovery of Old Unknown Cemetery

This is an exciting find of a previously unknown and unrecorded cemetery. I am not sure who found this old burial spot in Ontario Canada but the YouTube channel is owned by NPBOGS which stands for Niagara Peninsula Branch Ontario Genealogical Society.

The explanation with the online video says

"We came across this cemetery from a tip that we received from an OGS [Ontario Genealogical Society]Member. Besides taking photos and other information we preformed [sic] Dowsing and from what can gather there are approx 8 plots. Please see video for more details."

August 20, 2014

New Ebook: Organize Your Genealogy in Evernote in 10 Easy Steps

New Ebook: Organize Your Genealogy in Evernote in 10 Easy Steps
Organize Your Genealogy in Evernote in 10 Easy Steps is now available on for only $1.25

This 22 page book  is a step by step guide to using Evernote to organize your genealogy files in 10 easy steps. 

You will learn how to create notes, how to set up notebooks, how to create stacks, the benefits of tags and how to set up a hierarchical structure for them, how to create virtual genealogy binders, how to merge Notes, easy ways to transfer your computer files into an Evernote Note, and more.

You will be able to follow each step to create your own Genealogy Notebooks full of your research (documents, photos, audio files, and more) on all your ancestors. 

Following these 10 steps your Genealogy files will be organized, easily accessible and readily available to share with others if desired.

Sneak Peek at Kelsey Grammar Episode WDYTYA Tonight!

Sneak Peek at Kelsey Grammar Episode WDYTYA Tonight!
TLC’s two time Emmy-nominated series Who Do You Think You Are? sponsored by continues, and this week actor Kelsey Grammer explores his family history tonight, August 20 at 9/8c.  

In his episode, Kelsey Grammer takes a trip into the past to explore his beloved grandmother’s family. Wanting  to understand more about the grandmother who raised him,  he sets out to learn the circumstances of her early life. He uncovers the story of a woman haunted by demons, and finds a connection to family who risked everything in one of the greatest migrations in American history.

Here’s a sneak peek of Kelsey's journey. 

In addition to this season’s new premieres, TLC has also acquired episodes from previous seasons of the series, marking their first debut on cable. Tomorrow night will feature encores of Reba McEntire’s episode at 8/9c, and Vanessa Williams’ episode at 10/9c.

Next week Minnie Driver’s episode will air as the season finale on August 27. Next week’s encore episodes will include Tim McGraw and Rita Wilson.

August 19, 2014

Great News! My Canvas Is NOT Retiring!!

Great News! My Canvas Is NOT Retiring!!
This past June, announced that they were retiring the MyCanvas website and service in September 2014. 

Today Eric Shoup of Ancestry, made this announcement:

We’ve heard from many people who love MyCanvas and hate the idea of it going away. Well, we have some good news for you: It’s not going away after all. We listened and decided not to retire MyCanvas, but instead transfer the website to Alexander’s. 

Continue reading for more details at MyCanvas Finds a New Home in Alexander’s

UPDATE 3:06 pm

I have just heard from Alexander's (the company taking over MyCanvas) and they WILL ship to Canadians! Here is part of their email to Olive Tree Genealogy just a few minutes ago:

"We're happy to let you know the service will remain available and that we will provide access to those in Canada as well as ship the books to Canadian addresses."

For those who were not aware of this, we Canadians could not use MyCanvas as Ancestry would not ship to us. This is wonderful news! 

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album P26R

Page 26 R
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. 

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 a number. Recto is the left-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the right-hand side page.  

Today's image is of three items pasted into the R side of Connie's album. The first is a poem dated June 16, 1915 and signed by Lance Sergt. K. J. McRae of the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards. The second is of two unknown individuals on horseback and the 3rd is s small newspaper clipping of the death of Sister A. Tupper. The clipping reads

Sister A. Tupper (Canadian Nursing Service) who has died She had been awarded the Royal Red Cross.

My research on Sister Tupper revealed that Nursing Sister A.A. Tupper died 9 Dec 1916 at the Canadian Convalescent Hospital in Uxbridge, and was buried in Hillingdon Cemetery in Uxbridge England. The cause of her death was pneumonia.

Sister Tupper's gravestone is marked with:

Nursing Sister Canadian Army Medical Corps No. 2 Canadian Gen. Hosp.
Awards: A R R C
Daughter of Mrs. Mary E. Trefry, of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.

Her next of kin on her death record was noted as Mrs. Mary Trefry in Bridgewater Nova Scotia, Canada and this allowed me to find her Attestation Papers. Addie Allen Tupper enlisted in the CEF (Canadian Expedtionary Force) as a Nursing Sister in September 1914. She was a widow and was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia on October 13, 1870.

On 15 November 1915 Addie sailed from England on the Metagama, landing at the port of Quebec. She is on a list of "Returning Soldiers" with aother Nursing Sister named Florence McCallum. On 14 December 1915 Addie and Florence returned to England. 

Addie's mother Mary died in 1931 at the age of 93. Her obituary reads, in part:

Her immediate relatives are four daughters, Mrs. Wade of England, wife of the late F.B. Wade, M.P., who was well-known here; Mrs. Alfred Wade; Mrs. Frances Starr; and Mrs. H.M. Patillo, who were at her bedside when the death angel came. Her husband, Captain Rufus Perry Trefry, predeceased her in 1909, as did a daughter, Nursing Sister Tupper, who sailed with the First Expeditionary Force for service in France in 1914. She was the second to enlist for service from Bridgewater and died of pneumonia in England, in 1918 [sic], following close on her decoration at Buckingham Palace. She is buried at Uxbridge, England.

Mary's obituary provides more details on the family:

Mrs. Trefry, whose maiden name was Mary Ellen Raymond, was born at Yarmouth and was the daughter of the late Mary Patten and Benjamin Raymond.

1898 Marriage Record William Tupper & Addie Allen
Although Addie gave her date of birth as 1870 in reality she was 10 years older. I suspect she lied when she enlisted as she probably knew that the military was unlikely to accept a woman in her 50s. She is found on census records with Rufus and Mary Trefry but she is recorded as Addie C. Allen on some. It seems that her father was not Captain Rufus Trefry but a man named George Allen. Addie's marriage to William S. Tupper in 1898 in Nova Scotia names George as her father. At her marriage she reveals her true age of 38, giving her an estimated year of birth of 1860. She was 54 years old when she enlisted -what a courageous woman! 

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" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

August 18, 2014

August 18 1920 American Women Won the Right to Vote

Almost 100 years ago, the 19th amendment was passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920. The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,  provided:  

"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

Canadian women won the right to vote in 1918 although women in Manitoba could vote in their Provincial Elections in 1916. Quebec women fared the worst with women not being granted Provincial voting rights until 1940!

On 24 May 1918, all female Canadian citizens aged 21 and over became eligible to vote in federal elections, regardless of whether they had yet attained the provincial franchise. However, the Elections Canada website specifies what conditions were attached to such eligibility:  

"age 21 or older, not alien-born and meet property requirements in provinces where they exist." 

Have you ever wondered if your grandmother or great-grandmother was involved in the Suffragette Movement? I hope mine were. I am quite sure they supported it but did they go out and protest in the streets? I don't know.

We fought hard to gain this right but I wonder how many of us use it. Do you vote? I know I sometimes miss although I do try to make it to every election voting day. I don't want to let my grandmothers down by not exercising that right.

August 17, 2014

Sharing Memories Week 33: Let's Visit Grandma!

Sharing Memories Week 33: Let's Visit Grandma!
Here is a Challenge for all genealogy bloggers. I want you to keep a weekly journal called Sharing Memories. Some of you may recall that in 2010, 2011 and 2012 I provided weekly prompts to help with writing up memories of ancestors and ourselves. 

If you missed this weekly series called Sharing Memories you might want to have a look and see if any of the prompts appeal to you. Many readers asked me to continue with the prompts this year so that is what I am going to do.

This week's prompt is Let's Visit Grandma!

Was visiting Grandma a favorite time for you? Did you get to see her very often? Which grandmother was it? What did you like best about the visit and was there anything you didn't like?

We went to Guelph Ontario about once a month to visit my Grandma McGinnis. I loved going although I hated the actual car ride as I got carsick every time. But I loved getting to see my cousins much more than Grandma. Grandma rarely spoke to us children. She wasn't unkind, she just didn't  talk to us except to say hello and ask how school was. 

We'd make the rounds to dad's brothers Joe and Roy. His other brother Clare lived with Grandma so that was two visits in one. I didn't like Grandma's house on Water Street - it smelled and the only bathroom was in the basement. Her basement scared me. It had a dirt floor and a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling. The bathroom was very small and the sink was stained and yellow. There wasn't a shower, and in fact I can't recall if there was even a bathtub! I've never quite gotten over my fear of basements and I make my husband go with me when I go to ours. it doesn't have a dirt floor but it still makes me anxious.

The one cool thing was that Grandma lived just a few houses down the street from John McCrae's house (author of In Flanders Fields). She lived there from the early 1900s so it is quite possible she knew him.

I never thought of this as a child but as an adult I have to wonder why we never visited my mother's mother. She lived in Guelph too but I don't remember us taking time to drop in on her. 



August 16, 2014

WW 1 Photo Album Archive page 17

Continuing on with my WW1 Photo Album archive here is the 17th page in my mother's cousin Doris Simpson's album.

WW 1 Photo Album Archive page 17
 Auntie Cordie is 2nd from the right. Doris is partially hidden in a dark dress, 4th from the right.

Auntie Cordie (Cook) Simpson with daughter Doris ca 1920

Cousin Doris Simpson with dog ca 1920

August 15, 2014

Refugees of Irish Famine to Get a Proper Burial

Refugees of Irish Famine to Get a Proper Burial
When the Irish Famine hit in the late 1840s, thousands upon thousands of starving immigrants made their way to N. America in what became known as Coffin Ships. Many died during the sea voyage and many more died once they reached the port of arrival. 

My Irish McGinnis ancestors arrived in Upper Canada (present day Ontario) in 1847 with a one year old child. I cannot begin to imagine what they endured to come to this new land. 

In New York so many Irish immigrants died while in quarantine that the city ran out of spaces to bury the bodies. Because of the lack of space, thousands of bodies were stacked anonymously, three and four deep, in trenches dug behind the hospital.

Now, more than 150 years later, the remains of 83 men, women and children, recovered from the quarantine’s hastily dug ditches, will be re-interred and given a proper burial.

Read the rest of the story at Refugees of Irish Famine to Get a Proper Burial