September 23, 2014

WW1 Vernon Internment Camp Graves Being Restored

Pleasant Valley Cemetery in British Columbia holds the broken tombstones and neglected graves of many of those interred during World War 1. After WWI broke out, over 8,500 Canadians, many naturalized citizens, were taken to one of the 24 internment camps across Canada, including a large one in Vernon that ran from 1914-1920. Another 88,000 Canadians were forced to register and had to report on a monthly basis to officials.

WW1 Vernon Internment Camp Graves Being Restored
Vernon Internment Camp - Greater Vernon Museum & Archives
The Vernon and District Family History Society and the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund are working together to repair the forgotten graves.

The names of the internees still buried in Pleasant Valley Cemetery are:

  • Mile Hecimovich (d. 1917)
  • Ivan Jugo (d. 1917)
  • Timoti Korejczuk (d. 1919)
  • Steve Sapich (d. 1917)
  • Wasyl Shapka (d. 1918)
  • George Vukop (d. 1916)
  • Samuel Vulovich (d. 1918)
The names of the internees that were originally buried in Vernon and moved to Kitchener, Ontario (Woodland Cemetery) are:

  • Bernard Heiny (d. 1918)
  • Karl Keck (d. 1917)
  • Leo Mueller (d. 1919)
  • Wilhelm Wolter (d. 1918)
Read more  at  A dark past unearthed

September 22, 2014

Lost and Found Bible Returned to Owner after 40 Years

Lost and Found Bible Returned to Owner after 40 Years
When Betty Gibson collected debris that had been scattered by a tornado in 2006, she had no idea that the Bible inscribed “Presented to Deborah Savely by Mother and Daddy. June 1961" had been lost by Deborah in 1974.

Betty stored the Bible in her basement but found it while rummaging through the box. Determined to find the owner, she enlisted the help of other people who found Deborah after a great deal of research. The Bible was returned, much to Deborah's delight.

Read more at Lost Bible found in tornado debris after 40 years

Image Credit: "Old Bible" by Arvind Balaraman on

September 21, 2014

Welcome Home Mable! Lost but now Found

A few days ago I posted about looking for Mable Savage

Welcome Home Mable! Lost but now Found
Mable Salvadge ca 1890s
When my husband bought lovely self-portrait (not a selfie, an actual painting done ca 1890s by Mable herself) , we were told that Mable (Mabel) Savage was a teacher in Stratford Ontario. But we've never been able to find Mable. Until yesterday.

Many of my wonderful readers tried to help find Mable. Several Facebook friends also tried to find her. We didn't have much to go on, just her name, place of residence, occupation and that she was thought to have never married.

One of my Facebook friends and reader of this Olive Tree Genealogy blog spotted my post and went on a hunt. Diligent and creative searching on led him to Mable Salvage (Salvadge), an unmarried teacher in Stratford Ontario. Further research on my part led to the conclusion that this is indeed "our" Mable! 

16 year old Mable is found living with her younger siblings and her widowed mother Fannie Salvage in Stratford, Perth County Ontario in 1891. Her grandfather William Ruff, 80, is living with the family. William and his daughter Fanny were born in England and Fanny was working as a carpet weaver to support the family.

Ten years later Mable is found living in the town of Mitchell which is just outside of Stratford. Her occupation is recorded as teacher and her date of birth 9 August 1874.

Going back to 1881 provides her father's name - Robert Salvadge age 42 and sadly the deaths of her father Robert and older brother Charles in October 1882 of Typhoid Fever.

Mable and her younger sister Louisa lived together for many years at 176 Hibernia Street in Stratford and are found together as early as 1935.  By the 1957 Voter's List, Louisa was not with Mable.

I also found Mable Salvadge on a list of school teachers in Ontario as of November 1932 and she was recorded as teaching at the Avon School. 

So now we have a bit of detail to type up and tape to the back of the beautiful painting that Mable created of herself as a young woman. This is what I love about collecting - finding the stories of the individual or individuals who once owned the item, and giving them a voice after many years of silence.

Welcome home Mable!

September 20, 2014

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album p. 21

p. 21 R Hospital Ward 30. 34 beds
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 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" 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.

p. 21 V Cartoon drawing by L. Cpl T. Satch.1925

"If you like an officer, you salute him. If not you tie your boots"

September 19, 2014

Looking For Mable

Several years ago, my husband bought a portrait of a beautiful woman. According to the antique dealer who owned the store,  the painting was done by Mable (or Mabel) Savage and was her self-portrait. Mable was said to be a teacher in Stratford Ontario Canada.

For years we have searched for Mabel to no avail. We do not know if she was a Savage by birth or by marriage. We estimate her date of birth to be ca 1870-1880 and this painting done ca 1890-1900.

Do you recognize Mable?  This is not the original frame. You can see from the shadowing that the portrait was originally in an oval frame that was not with the portrait. My husband bought the portrait loose and chose the mount and frame you see below.

September 18, 2014

WW 1 Photo Album Archive page 25

Continuing on with my WW1 Photo Album archive here is the 25th page in my mother's cousin Doris Simpson's album.

WW 1 Photo Album Archive page 25
Simpson Photo Album Toronto Ontario Canada ca 1920s
There are only 2 photos on this page. In the photo on the left I am fairly confident that is my Grandmother Ruth (Simpson) Fuller Richardson Bates (the taller woman). The photo on the right is Doris herself (with the tie at her neck) and I think that is her mom Cordelia (Cook) Simpson standing beside her.

September 17, 2014

Crowdsourcing for Genealogy - What Does the Record Say?

Today I am crowdsourcing from other genealogists. An 1805 record for my ancestor John Greenlees has me stumped. There is one word I cannot figure out. My husband and I have spent hours going over it and comparing it to other words on the record page in hopes of understanding the clerk's letter formations.

Now it's time to ask for help. Here is the cropped image. My ancestor is John Greenlees from Fermangh Ireland. The word I cannot read is the top line. It is the word after Fermangh and it is in the column heading "Where Born: Parish"

Crowdsourcing for Genealogy - What Does the Record Say?
I have looked at the parishes and townlands in Fermanagh - and there are a lot! I still cannot figure out what that word says.  We think, after much deliberation, that the first letter might be "A".

To compare the letter formations, here is the complete record page. I hope someone more familiar with the places in Fermanagh or with a better eye than I have, will be able to help. You can also view  a larger image here. You can enlarge it with the magnifier when it loads. Thank you for any ideas!

September 16, 2014

Scanning Family Photos to Reveal Genetic Disorders

There's an interesting article on Newsweek called Scanning Family Photos Can Reveal Rare Genetic Disorders

Scanning Family Photos to Reveal Genetic Disorders
Software for Scanning Faces for Genetic Disorders
According to the article, research led by Dr. Nellaker and Prof. Zisserman at the University of Oxford has have developed software that can detect the risk for genetic disorders in children, such as Down and Treacher Collins syndromes, just by scanning old photographs of their family members.

30 to 40 percent of genetic disorders involve detectable abnormalities in the cranium and face. The Oxford project, called Clinical Face Phenotype Space scans family photos and cross-references them with a database built from images of people with known genetic disorders. 

The algorithms and other details are explained in the Newsweek article. It's an intriguing concept and  I'll be watching this project to see what new developments, if any, occur.