Did you know that Canadian Thanksgiving is widely recognized as the first celebration of its kind in North America?
Its history dates to 1578, when Englishman Martin Frobisher set out in search of the Northwest Passage, along the northern coast of North America.
On his third voyage to the bay area of Baffin Island (now the Canadian territory of Nunavut), the 15 ships were filled with men and materials to begin a small settlement.
Frobisher's journey was harrowing as the fleet traveled in bad weather and harsh storms. They lost a ship and most of the building materials. Making it through the storm and reuniting with the rest of the fleet, they gave thanks for a miraculous deliverance from the dangers.
At this time last year, a Canadian couple celebrated the birth of their 100th grandchild.
Grandparents Viktor and Aneta Urich have so many grandchildren that they find it difficult to remember all their names. Half of them have Canadian names, half have Russian names.
The couple has 16 children. The 100th grandchild was born to their eldest son Heinrich and his wife, Tatjana. Heinrich and Tatjana have nine children, the eldest is 12.
Is there someone in your family tree with a large number of grandchildren? What's the largest number of grandchildren you've found in your family history research?
Let us know in the poll below.
MyHeritage will be at both RootsTech (February 2-4, Salt Lake City) and at Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE! (February, London UK). Stay tuned for more information about both events.
Of course, all of us interested in family history are looking forward to the new season of the US version of Who Do You Think You Are?, with the celebrity lineup just announced.
Included are the US Securities Exchange Commission’s definition of a family member (who would have thought the SEC was interested in family history?), the 2011 list of the 100 most popular boys’ and girls’ names, a Canadian “living” village, changes to the Social Security Death Index and more.
Defining the family
For those who think that governments are not interested in genealogy, note that the US Securities Exchange Commission has now defined family members, in connection with a new rule requiring hedge funds to register with the SEC if they manage other people’s money.
Read the definition here:
Today’s edition includes map resources (including Google Earth), genealogy classes covering diverse topics, information on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a Maryland newspaper digitization project, easing adoptees’ efforts to obtain their original birth certificates, and the start date for the new US season of "Who Do You Think You Are?".
ON THE MAP
The New England Historical and Genealogical Society provided more major map collection resources:
- The Boston Atlas
- The Harvard Map Collection
- The Yale Map Collection
- Historic USGS maps of New England and New York on the University of New Hampshire Library website
- New York Public Library Digital Gallery maps
- David Rumsey Map Collection
- Library of Congress Map Collections
- Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas
- Historic Atlas of Canada Online Learning Project
- Historic Cities
GOOGLE EARTH CAN HELP YOU
This week’s edition includes an archaeological find, more on a new book, NARA’s citizen archivist dashboard, Canada’s Veterans’ Week, a Canadian newspaper digitization project, new FamilySearch records and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s new website.
Follow the links for each item to find more information and read the complete articles.
-- In the US, Veterans Day was observed on November 11, and there is a MyHeritage Blog post devoted to this important day.
-- In Canada, Veterans’ Week was observed November 5-11. For full coverage of this remembrance week, see the Genealogy Canada blog, authored by Elizabeth LaPointe. She has done a masterful job of spotlighting organizations, institutions and websites connected to veterans in a series of posts. If you have Canadian family that served, her resources may assist you to find information.
Nearly 1,400 individuals responded to a study of genealogists and family historians as a sociology professor undertook a survey of the membership of the Ontario (Canada) Genealogy Society.
Although Professor Ronald D. Lambert - of the University of Waterloo - undertook this study in 1994, its results, I believe, are just as relevant today as they were then.
In addition to questions on age, sex, national origins, marital status, employment, income, religious affiliation and other details, he asked two questions about researchers’ reasons for doing genealogy and what value they found in that pursuit.
One question sought to rank 25 reasons we pursue genealogy. Respondents marked the statements as important, fairly important or personally irrelevant.
The three reasons considered most important by respondents:
Happy Birthday to the Statue of Liberty, who doesn't look a day over 125! And, in the same general location, Ellis Island has opened the Peopling of America Center.
A major map library has moved into state-of-the-art quarters and the largest collection of Hispanic American newspapers is now online.
In celebration of Halloween or Dia de los Muertos - take your pick - the Genealogy Canada blog will post an updated list of websites and blogs for Canadian obituaries tomorrow. If you are searching family north of the border, your elusive ancestors may be among records on those websites.
This edition offers news on how genealogy societies plan to provide programming for long-distance members, nominations for the National Genealogical Society Hall of Fame, a book on today's obsession with genealogy, an Irish DNA project and new online database, as well as a new conference focusing on story telling, blogging and family history.
Technology includes podcasts and webinars, much in use these days and offering benefits for researchers around the world.
One Canadian society - the Ontario Genealogy Society's Niagara Peninsula branch - will now reach far-away members by streaming guest speakers on the Internet.
There are many resources available on almost any family history topic. If you are frustrated at not being able to find what you want, or need help understanding what you have found, that may be a signal to join your local genealogical society.
Newcomers are welcome at all societies, where experts are interested in helping you. Remember that all of us were newcomers at some point regardless of our current skill level. We have all been in the same place as you, and we were assisted by experts who answered those "silly questions" we were hesitant to ask.