Monday, January 26, 2015

Extra Children or a Bigger Mystery - Part 3

Continuing on from Extra Children or a Bigger Mystery - Part 2 I am still focusing on Marjorie.

It seems that there may be two Marjories muddled together since the Marjorie that married Herbert Waterhouse was a Nelson while the Marjorie born in 1902 found in the Manitoba index of births is an Elmhirst and a daughter of Luetta Nelson.

Since Herbert Waterhouse married Marjorie Nelson in 1917 maybe they are still in Canada and I can see if I can locate them in the 1921 census of Canada.

1921 census of Canada, Manitoba, district 31, sub-district 5, North Cypress, p. 7, dwelling 76, family 77, Herb Waterhouse household; RG 31; digital images, Ancestry.com, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 19 Jan 2015).
1921 census of Canada, Manitoba, district 31, sub-district 5, North Cypress, p. 7, dwelling 76, family 77, Herb Waterhouse household; RG 31; digital images, Ancestry.com, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 19 Jan 2015).
There is Herb and Marjorie living in the North Cypress area. Herb is 38 years of age and born in England. Marjorie is 42 years of age and born in Manitoba. Of course the ages and places need to be taken with a grain of salt. However, this finding seems to indicate that there are two Marjories confused together in the notes. One born in 1902/1903 and the other born about 1879. Maybe searching for Herb Waterhouse in the 1916 census of the Western Provinces may provide more clues.

1916 census of the Northwest Provinces, Manitoba, district 6, sub-district 2, North Cypress, p. 19, dwelling 212, Harold W M Waterhouse household; RG 31; digital images, Ancestry.com, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 19 Jan 2015); citing Library and Archives Canada microfilm T-21928.
1916 census of the Northwest Provinces, Manitoba, district 6, sub-district 2, North Cypress, p. 19, dwelling 212, Harold W M Waterhouse household; RG 31; digital images, Ancestry.com, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 19 Jan 2015); citing Library and Archives Canada microfilm T-21928.

There is Herbert A. Waterhouse and Marjorie Nelson living in the household of his brother Harold W M Waterhouse in 1916. Both are single and Marjorie is listed as being born in 1879 in Ontario and she is a nurse. Fairly good match. The province of birth is different though. Can I find a Marjorie Nelson in the 1911 census of Canada?

1911 census of Canada, Manitoba, district 20, sub-district 28, Township 10 Range 13, p. 1, dwelling 1, family 1, John Elmhurst household RG 31; digital images, Ancestry.com, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 19 Jan 2015); citing Library and Archives Canada microfilm T-20343.
1911 census of Canada, Manitoba, district 20, sub-district 28, Township 10 Range 13, p. 1, dwelling 1, family 1, John Elmhurst household RG 31; digital images, Ancestry.com, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 19 Jan 2015); citing Library and Archives Canada microfilm T-20343.

I did find a Margorie Nelson that was born about 1875 in Ontario. Great, right province but the year of birth is out by four years now.

Just a sec!

Is that a Louetta listed as the wife of John Elmhurst? Margorie Nelson is listed as a sister to John Elmhurst but why isn't her surname Elmhurst? There is also a Marjorie Elmhurst that is born in 1903 in Manitoba listed as the daughter of John Elmhurst. That would definitely clear up the mystery of the two Marjories mentioned in Part 2. That would mean that Louetta's maiden surname would be Nelson. Does that mean that Margorie/Marjorie/Margery Nelson is the sister of Louetta?

A possible breakthough!

Maybe Google might be able to shed some light on this family. It took a bit of searching but I did comes across the publication "The Carberry Plains: 75 Years of Progress" and on page 91 I found:
"A Worthy Pioneer
  One of our pioneers who deserves special mention is Mrs. H. A. Waterhouse. Marjorie Nelson, as her name was at that time, came to Pleasant Point with her parents in 1879. She attended Pleasant Point School and Lansdowne College, Portage la Prairie, before training at Brandon General Hospital to be a nurse.
  Shortly after graduating in 1905, Miss Nelson started private duty nursing in the Carberry area. Along with Dr. Waugh, she was the first to greet many of us on our arrival into the world. Nurse Nelson's devotion to her vocation expressed itself in her capable, untiring efforts for the comfort of her patients.
  After her marriage to Mr. H. A. Waterhouse in 1917, she gave up regular nursing, but was always ready to help her neighbors in time of sickness."
Then on page 95 in that same publication this was found:
"Living Pioneers
  Three individuals with whom time has dealt kindly, came as little children to Manitoba in 1879. Two of them, both living in Carberry, are Mrs. John Elmhirst, (nee Louetta Nelson) and her sister, Mrs. H. A. Waterhouse, (nee Marjorie Nelson), daughter of John Nelson, one of five who took up the first homesteads in Pleasant Point. The third is Mr. M. H. Harkness of Lac du Bonnet, son of John Harkness, another of the first homesteaders. All three have been blessed with excellent health, mentally and physically, all have contributed greatly to the life of the district, and all are keenly interested in its history."
Suddenly it was starting to become just a bit clearer. Yes Louetta and Marjorie are sisters and we even has a possible father named John.

It still hasn't answered the question as to how Marjorie and Louetta (Louie/Louisa/Luetta) are connected to the McKinnon-McDonald tree but at least we have a maiden surname for both of them.

To be continued

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Capital Sm@rtLibrary in Ottawa, Ontario


For those doing research in the Ottawa-Gatineau region you may be interested in the Capital Sm@rtLibrary. This site, as they so simply put it, "brings together the collections available at 12 libraries in the National Capital Region. In a single search, you can view the resources of all 12 collections."

Capital Sm@rtLibrary



The participating libraries include the following:
  • Ottawa Public Library
  • University of Ottawa
  • Carleton University
  • Canadian Housing Information Centre
  • Algonquin College Learning Resource Centre
  • Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO)
  • Cité collégiale
  • Canadian Museum of History
  • Bibliothèque municipale de Gatineau
  • Dominican College
  • Canadian War Museum
  • National Gallery of Canada
  • Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation

Some of the libraries are lending libraries while others you need to visit to look at the item you are interested in. Fortunately the table on the Sm@rtLibrary site provides those important details.

However, what makes this a great site is that the catalogues of all these libraries are searchable in one place. For example, one of my little annoyances (AKA brick wall) that I'm always on the look out for is information that will help show that Hannah, the wife of Charles Howe, of Norton, Kings County, New Brunswick is the daughter of Elijah Baxter and the granddaughter of the Loyalist Captain Simon Baxter.

Into the Sm@rtLibrary search I typed in "Simon Baxter" to see what would appear already knowing that the book "Simon Baxter (the first United Empire Loyalist to settle in New Brunswick)" by John B. M. Baxter is held by the Canadian Museum of History. What I didn't expect to find was "Auction  [microform] :  will be sold at public auction on Wednesday, 15th inst. at 12 o'clock, at the house of Mr. Simon Baxter, in the parish of Norton, K.C" which is held in the Carleton University Library. This auction may have been held in Elijah's brother's house.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Extra Children or a Bigger Mystery? - Part 2

We pick up where we left off with the man in black valiantly climbing the Cliffs of Insanity. Oops, wrong story!

In my post "Extra Children or a Bigger Mystery? - Part 1" I mentioned my confusion with how Louisa and Marjory fit into the McKinnon-McDonald tree. I continue that adventure here ...

Since I couldn't find any Louisa or Marjory Baileys in Manitoba vital statistics, newspapers, census record or anywhere else in publicly available records I needed to look at the additional clues I might have in my personal archives.

I had two pieces of paper that seemed to apply to this line (the images below have been cropped due to privacy reasons). The first one included"Aunt Marjorie Waterhouse" and "Aunt Louie Elmhust" along with what appeared to be the children of Aunt Louie. This matched the information on the hand-drawn tree where Marjory is recorded as marrying Herb Waterhouse and Louisa marries John Elmhirst.

Note 1 - Aunt Marjorie Waterhouse and Aunt Louie Elmhust
Note 1 - Aunt Marjorie Waterhouse and Aunt Louie Elmhust

The second piece of paper include additional details on Marjorie:
  • she was a nurse
  • full name is Marjorie Stratford Elmhirst
  • born in 1903
  • possibly married Waterhouse
  • child named Hilda

Note 2 - Notes on the McKinnon-McDonald line
Note 2 - Notes on the McKinnon-McDonald line
For Louie she may have married a Jack Elmhirst and her children were Hilda, Anna, and Jack.

So it was back to the Manitoba "Genealogy Searches for Unrestricted Records" to see what I could discover using the names of the possible husbands. Since I had only one spelling for Waterhouse I figured that might be a good place to start. One little problem. The only Waterhouse marriage with the husband's forename that could be a "Herb" to a wife with a forename of "Marjorie" or "Marjory" has his wife's surname listed as Nelson.

Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Manitoba, Canada, "Marriages," database on-line, Province of Manitoba Vital Statistics Database Search (http://vitalstats.gov.mb.ca/Query.php : accessed 20 Jan 2015), entry for Herbert Alan Waterhouse and Marjorie V Nelson, married 11 Aug 1917; citing registration number 1917-046011.
Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Manitoba, Canada, "Marriages," database on-line, Province of Manitoba Vital Statistics Database Search (http://vitalstats.gov.mb.ca/Query.php : accessed 20 Jan 2015), entry for Herbert Alan Waterhouse and Marjorie V Nelson, married 11 Aug 1917; citing registration number 1917-046011.


Nelson? Not Bailey or McKinnon? And if she was born in 1903 what is she doing getting married in 1917? That is just a bit young, although not completely unheard of.

That cause me to pause and to stop everything. This was getting more complicated with every record I turned up. So I left my database and online family tree on Ancestry and turned to my trusty Evernote to create a new note. There I started recording all that I found on those pieces of paper and the hand-drawn tree. Effectively I began with a blank slate starting with Marjorie/Marjory that married Herb Waterhouse and Louisa/Louie that married John/Jack Elmhirst. I also posed a question:

Just how are they related to the McKinnon line?


I also wrote the following down:
Collected information
From the McKinnon notes:
[marginal notes around Marjorie, Louie, Main, John: taken in Lindsay Ont]
- Marjorie Stratford Elmhirst, born 1903, married Waterhouse, child: Hilda, occupation: nurse
- Louie, married Jack Elmhirst, children Hilda, Anna, Jack

Miscellaneous Notes:
- "Aunt Marjorie Waterhouse"
- "Aunt Louie Elmhust", children Hilda & Anna Elmhurst, Jack

MacKinnon - MacDonald chart:
- Marjory m. Herb Waterhouse, child Hilda
- Louisa m. John Elmhirst, children Marjory (m. McMillan), Hilda, Anna, Jack (m. Flor Reynolds)

Manitoba Vital Statistics:
- Birth: Marjorie Stratford Elmhirst, female, born 26 Dec 1902 in R.M. of North Cypress. Mother's name: Luetta Nelson, registration number: 1906-010819
- Marriage: Herbert Alan Waterhouse married Marjorie V Nelson on 11 Aug 1917 in North Cypress, registration number 1917-046011

I was focusing on Marjorie since at least the variations of her forename and husband's surname are probably not as many as for Louisa/Louie and Elmhirst/Elmhust.

Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Manitoba, Canada, "Births," database, Province of Manitoba Vital Statistics Database Search (http://vitalstats.gov.mb.ca/Query.php : accessed 20 Jan 2015), entry for Marjorie Stratford Elmhirst, born 26 Dec 1902; citing registration number 1906-010819.
Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Manitoba, Canada, "Births," database, Province of Manitoba Vital Statistics Database Search (http://vitalstats.gov.mb.ca/Query.php : accessed 20 Jan 2015), entry for Marjorie Stratford Elmhirst, born 26 Dec 1902; citing registration number 1906-010819.


Looking at the Manitoba Vital Statistics entry for Marjorie Stratford Elmhirst we see that she was born in 1902. Close enough for memory sake to 1903. That seems to be a match. yet her mother is Luetta Nelson. Is that another spelling for Louisa/Louie? Again that married age, now 15 years, is still just a bit young. Plus it is a Nelson who married a Waterhouse and not an Elmhirst. Could whoever wrote those notes confused two Marjories?

More questions and still no clear answers.

To be continued

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Extra Children or a Bigger Mystery? - Part 1

When I first started looking into my family history, much like many of you, I received a packet of hand written notes and family tree diagrams. I thought these were the greatest things for a beginner . At that time I thought they could be treated as gospel and I wouldn't have to do anything else on that line except record the information in my genealogy software. Fortunately I quickly realized that wasn't the truth and so, more than 15 years ago, off I went on my merry journey of discovery.

Well, those notes and trees still haunt me to this day.

Recently I learned of the passing of a distant cousin (2nd cousin twice removed) yet I didn't have her listed in my database. Fortunately whoever wrote her obituary included the names of her parents, John and Margaret (Smith) Murphy. The Murphy name is a branch I was semi-familiar with so I pulled out some of those scraps of paper from my archives to use as possible clues and starting points. Off I went on the familiar path of looking for documentation through my usual sources. It was relatively easy to reconstruct the tree. I was able to find her parents' death registrations in the "BC Archives - Genealogy" collection hosted by the Royal BC Museum web site and also the "British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986" collection on FamilySearch. Working backwards in time I could connect my distant cousin back to Sarah McKinnon (born about 1857 in Canada West, died 31 Jan 1937 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) McKinnon, the daughter of Alexander McKinnon and Ann McDonald.

With the exception of the Cassie and Joe Martin branch (my own connection to this tree) I hadn't added the various branches of the family of Alexander McKinnon and Ann McDonald so I figured this would be as good as time as ever to correct this omission not knowing I would be spending many hours on a little problem.

Below is the hand-drawn tree that was drawn up in January 1990. It actually includes about four more generations for some of the lines but I've cropped those later generations for privacy reasons.


Hand-drawn Family Tree for Alistair MacKinnon and a MacDonald (created Jan 1990)

There are some important little details you need to realize about this tree. The first is that nicknames were commonly used. So someone like Cassie is actually Catherine and Nain is Charlotte. It took me some time to realize that Phoeme is really Euphemia. This can cause all sorts of confusion since many documents from government agencies won't have the nicknames listed. Fortunately sometimes you will find those nicknames in the census records. Also, most of the surnames are accurate but Pryov seems to actually be "Ryan" based on my research. Yet the most important piece of information to keep in mind is that this tree was created based on recollections of one or more people and there will be errors and omissions. And those errors and omissions will be the cause of hours of research.

Using publicly available records and various indexes I slowly and carefully rebuilt the tree until I came to Louisa and Marjory. According to what I was finding they just didn't fit anywhere under  Maggie (AKA Margaret Hannah McKinnon) who married a Bailey (Joseph Alexander Bailey). Along with finding Margaret Hannah McKinnon in the Canadian decennial censuses from 1881 to 1921 and also the 1906 and 1916 censuses of the Western Provinces of Canada I had a copy of Margaret Hannah McKinnon's obituary. Her surviving children were listed and each of them I found in the census records along with Margaret and Joseph. All the kids were accounted for. I was even able to fill in some of the blanks with descendants of those children.

Since the family lived in Manitoba I made use of the "Genealogy Searches for Unrestricted Records" site to search the publicly available birth indexes for any Baileys. The nice thing about the Manitoba birth registration indexes is that the mother's maiden name is included. Since Ancestry also has that same database in their "Web: Manitoba, Birth Index, 1866-1912" collection I was able to use the advanced search features to look for any child with a mother of Margaret McKinnon (and various of that name). I also made use of the "US & World newspapers" collection on Findmypast. That collection includes the Winnipeg newspapers so I was able to find marriage and death notices that contained additional details on the family. It seems that I already had all the recorded ones.

Now I was just a bit baffled and confused. It was time to get serious in my search ...

To be continued

Friday, January 16, 2015

Where Do I Find Ontario Birth Registration Records?

Periodically in some of the genealogy related Facebook groups I see questions about locating civil birth registrations for Ontario, Canada. The Archives of Ontario is the primary repository of the records that are publicly available and you can review their microfilms either by visiting them in Toronto or ordering the films via your library using the InterLibrary Loan system.

Yet what years are actually available? First of all civil birth registrations in Ontario didn't start until July 1, 1869 [see Statutes of the Province of Ontario 1868-1869 (1869), CAP. 30, p. 133]. Even then it took years and even decades before all areas of the province were in compliance with the law. If you are looking for birth registrations before that date then you may want to look at the church records for baptisms. Sometimes, although not all the time, the birth date is recorded as part of the baptism.

The Archives of Ontario "Tracing Your Family History: The Records" page provides the details of what birth, marriage, and death civil registrations are available. They have also made available a pathfinder called "Archives of Ontario Pathfinder to Birth Registrations" that can point you in the right direction to find the birth registration records.

As of today (January 16, 2015) the birth registrations from between July 1869 and December 1916 are available for public consultation. The 1917 indexes and registration are currently not available as they are undergoing digitization. According to the Archives of Ontario web site those microfilms should be available some time around February 20, 2015. For the birth registrations from 1918 to the present you need to contact the Office of the Registrar General of Ontario or submit a request via ServiceOntario. There are restrictions as to who can access those registrations still held by the Office of the Registrar General of Ontario.

There are also a number of other sources for helping you find the civil birth registrations in Ontario:

If you live in Ontario often your local Latter Day Saints Family History Centre, genealogical society, public library, or archive will have the microfilms of the indexes and registrations for that area already on hand.

Finally, although they are not civil registrations don't forget about checking parish records and newspapers in the areas where your ancestors lived. For those born into the Roman Catholic faith the "Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967" collection on Ancestry may be of some help. Just note that not all of the parishes or time periods have been included in that collection. Same goes for the "Ontario, Births and Baptisms, 1779-1899" collection on FamilySearch.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Reminder: Call for Presentations for the BIFHSGO Conference 2015

The deadline for submitting your proposals for presentations to given at the 21st Annual Family History Conference of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) that is being held September 18-20, 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada is rapidly approaching with a deadline of January 31, 2015.

The three themes for the conference will be Scotland, Photographs in Genealogy, and Technology (including hardware, software, apps, websites, databases, social media, DNA analysis tools etc.). Proposals on these three themes for lectures at the conference on the Saturday and Sunday are sought as well as for workshops or seminars on the Friday.

Details on writing the proposals can be found at www.bifhsgo.ca under the Conference 2015 heading. Make sure you send your proposals to conference@bifhsgo.ca before January 31, 2015!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

To all my friends, family, and especially to you, my gentle readers, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.