PEIGS Genealogy Fair – A Few Highlights, 29 April 2017

Note: Many thanks to PEIGS Secretary John Wilson for compiling these highlights from our 2017 Genealogy Fair!

The Prince Edward Island Genealogical Society held a Genealogy Fair Saturday April 29, 2017 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Charlottetown commencing at 9:30 am with registration. At 10 am, Fred Horne, President PEIGS welcomed everyone to the Fair. He expressed his thanks to the Church for enabling us to have the Fair and particularly Bob Steen from the church for helping with the arrangements.

Fred Horne then introduced our first presenter, Linda Jean Nicholson who spoke on “Vital Statistics and Blacked Out Cause of Death”. She said she has been doing genealogy for thirty plus years. She noted that the PEI provincial death records now available at the Public Archives and Records Office in PEI has the cause of death blacked out with only close family members able to see cause of death by paying a $50 fee. Death certificates are also available without cause of death for $35. She said the cause of death is an important part of individual stories. She talked about other ways of discovering the cause of death: funeral home records burial records, church records, newspapers, probate documents such as wills, administrations, inquests, etc.

Fred introduced our second presenter, Louise Morris who spoke on “When a Name is Wrong”. She used as an example the family of Thomas Rogers who was born in Cornwall, England and died at Linkletter, PEI and his wife Mary Bounty. All seven children were baptized in England. She was able to trace most of the family except for two sons: Thomas and Stephen. For a long time, she was unable to trace them until she found a clue that they were listed as Rogersons. She then found Stephen Rogerson in Minnesota and Thomas Rogerson who had married in York County, NB in 1853. She advised to be cautious in using information that is not sourced. Always document and keep research notes. Network with others about your brick walls. Keep checking, as more material becomes accessible and from time to time cycle back to your previous research for clues you may have missed.

Fred introduced the third presenter, Sarah Fisher, who spoke on “Using Social Media”.  She used as an illustration her efforts to find the birth parents of her mother, as she had been able to get the birth name of her mother. After moving to PEI in 2014, she was able to find an appropriate obituary which had the right location, the right age and a similar name. She looked at the death online and found a picture. She also made use of the Adoptee Searching Facebook page. As well there is the Nova Scotia Genealogy Facebook Page and the PEI Genealogy Facebook Page which helps to identify old photos. She also recommended @peigenealogy on Twitter.

Following the three presenters, there was time for attendees to visit the various tables on a variety of topics scattered throughout the building. The Tables by topic were:

DNA Survey and Share Space

Dating Old Photos

The Basics of Genealogy Research for Beginners

How to Publish Family History

The Cemeteries of PEI

Interpreting Historical Records

Family History Centre (Family Search) LDS

Acadian Families and Genealogies of PEI

Acadian Museum, Musee Acadien

MacNaught History Centre

UPEI Robertson Library Archives & Special Collections

Montague Museum

Farmers Bank of Rustico (Rustico Roots) 

Glenaladale Heritage Trust 

PEI Scottish Settlers Historical Society

Probate Records

PEI Public Archives and Records Office

Mi’kmaq Confederacy – finding indigenous ancestors

105th Battalion – researching your WW1 Veterans

How to use Military Records to find veterans from WW2

Alberton Museum and Genealogy Centre 

Publications available from the first 40 years of the PEIGS

How to Publish your Family History (examples of different approaches provided)

At 12:15 pm, the group took time for a lunch break. This was followed at 1 pm by the PEIGS Annual General Meeting whose minutes can be found following this report on the Genealogy Fair.

At 1:30 pm, Fred Horne introduced the final presenter, Bill Glen who talked about “Family Stories: Are They True?”  He cited four examples:

The story was that his uncle was shot down and killed in World War I while in a balloon. And observation balloons were quite common. His uncle’s name was Ernest Maxwell Glen born 1888, Yorkshire, England. The 1911 census notes him being a printer. He had inherited his father’s printer/photographer business in 1910. Ernest came to Quebec in 1913 and joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He worked in the x-ray department of a Canadian Field Hospital when he was bombed. He was buried in France.

The story was that an ancestor had been captain of the HMS Bellerophon in the Napoleonic Wars.  His name was Richard William Napoleon Goss. The 1911 census shows three generations with Napoleon in the name. Richard was born about 1793. He searched the records for the ship but there was no one with the name Goss found on the vessel. However, Richard’s father-in-law, William Mann, was listed in the muster rolls. So story was true, at least partly.

The story was that the family had lost a fortune in the linen trade as a result of the Irish Troubles.  There was no question that his great grandmother’s family was in the linen trade. The Irish Troubles included the famine from the 1840s and difficulties in the early 1900s. The building housing the vital statistics burnt in 1922. Rhoda Margaret Green(e) was born 1846 Keady, Ireland and died 1918, Otley, Yorkshire. Her brother died on route to North America. Her sister was Anne Elizabeth Ross/Grandy.  Rhoda’s father James Green’s marriage in 1843 in Ireland was noted in eleven different papers. Their house was Laragh House in County Monaghan. James died 1849 but had employed hundreds of people. He was the manager of the North Holland linen mill and the business had gone well for eight years. So story true.

The story concerns the name Crouse, Johann Jacob Crouse/Kraus who came to Lunenburg in 1753 and he was said to be a weaver. They found parts an old loom in the attic when their home was torn down in the 1940s. He had married in 1751 Maria Clare Schweitzer. His father who died in 1751 was a butcher and butchers were in the family. So we still don’t know if he was a weaver. However his mother’s brother was a weaver.

Following the presentation, the table groups resumed followed by the closing of the Genealogy Fair for 2017.

John A. C. Wilson, Secretary