Wednesday, 30 July 2014

There's Gold in Them Thar Hills!

A friend of my husband has a small claim somewhere in BC and every summer he spends months on end searching for gold. He gets small traces once in a while, enough to keep him going, but has yet to find the mother lode.

From Wikipedia:

"A gold rush is a period of feverish migration of workers to an area that has had a dramatic discovery of gold deposits. Major gold rushes took place in the 19th century in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, and the United States, while smaller gold rushes took place elsewhere."

The first substantial gold find was that of Conrad Reed in South Carolina in 1799.
In the days of the gold rushes, writers and publishers hurried to crank out books on everything from how to get there, how to test the gold, how to survive, etc... so there is a lot of books to choose from at Internet Archive and in your local libraries. Many wrote about their experiences and included what to bring, the climate, the best routes, the prices of things, and wages.

In Australia in 1882 there was a flooding disaster at the New Australasian No.2 Deep Lead Gold Mine in Creswick and 22 men died. In 1936 there was a collapse of the Moose River Gold Mine in Nova Scotia.

There are websites that advertise gold mine claims for sale.  Interested?

Do you have ancestors that caught Gold Fever?

Relevant Links:

Gold Rushes by Country and by Year

Report on the Geology & gold Fields of Otago, NZ 1875

Klondyke & Yukon Guide - Alaska and Northwest Territory Gold Fields - 1898

Ready Reference and Hand Book of the Klondyke and Alaskan Gold Fields 1897 

Yukon Archives - Gold Rush - books, newspapers, etc

Gold Prospecting and Treasure Hunting leads for British Columbia (*sound alert - turn off on video at bottom of page)

The Rossland Homestake Gold Mining Company, Ltd - BC

Facts and statistics relating to the Edmonton Gold Mine, California 1866

Collapse of the Moose River Gold Mine - Nova Scotia April 1936

List of Employees of Acadia Coal Ltd who worked at Moose River (hit next for more)

The New Australasian No 2 Deep Lead Gold Mine - Creswick 1882

Instructions for collecting, testing, melting and assaying gold - 1848

History of the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance of 1851 - California Gold Rush

Mad Rush for Gold in the Frozen North (Dietz) 1914

Palm Sunday Avalanche - Klondike Gold Rush - April 1898

Women of the Klondyke 

Klondike Gold Miners - Alaska-Yukon-Klondike Gold Syndicate 1897

Bridgeton Evening News 1898

The National Gold Prospecting Association - photos and information 

Yukon Mining Claims Database

Irish Women of the Gold Rush (Ireland TV)

Monday, 28 July 2014

The Accidental Mine

My grandparents lived in a middle cold flat in Verdun, on one of the numbered streets that ran from the Aqueduct to the St Lawrence River. These were 3 story buildings that were all stuck together, did not have central heat, and in the beginning no hot running water. The rent was cheap. In the kitchen, against one wall, was a tall, round-ish stove that was coal burning and it heated the whole house.  Every couple of years 2 tons of coal was delivered by the alley and stored in the back shed off the kitchen. We visited often at my grandparents' house, and I always wondered how come the sooty, saggy floor full of coal didn't fall through to the unit below. It never occurred to me to wonder where the coal came from.... Grampa said it was delivered by truck.

This year, in May 2014 an explosion at the coal mine in Soma, Manisa, Turkey claimed at least 300 lives. It made me think of my grandfather's coal, and what others had to endure so my grandparents could stay warm during the cold Quebec winters. Through the years there have been many mining disasters.

The worst ever coal mine disaster is said to be the gas and coal-dust explosion in China, April 26, 1942 at the Benxihu Colliery when 1,549 workers died.

The worst single disaster in British coal mining history was at Senghenydd in the South Wales coalfield, October 1913, killing 439 miners and 1 rescuer.

The Monongah Mining disaster in West Virginia occurred on December 6, 1907, and has been described as "the worst mining disaster in American History". The explosion occurred in Fairmont Coal Company’s No. 6 and No. 8 mines, killing over 360 miners.

The 1902 Mount Kembla Mine disaster was the worst of Australia's history, killing 96 workers in the explosion caused by gas and coal-dust ignited by miners' torches.
The worst Canadian coal mine disaster was the explosion at the Hillcrest Mine,  Hillcrest, Alberta, June 1914. A total of 189 workers died.

One of my neighbours in Nanaimo, BC told me about her father being brought with his family on a ship from England to work in the mines, whose owners were in London. The families were greeted by those already here, who had hastily put up temporary shacks and gathered food for them, as the men were put right to work. There was an explosion at the Number One Coal Mine in Nanaimo in May 1877 that killed 150 miners, including 53 Chinese workers. Only 7 miners survived and the fires burned all day.

"Chinese workers were listed in the Government inquest as 'Chinamen, names unknown' followed by a tag number. BC employers did not have to report the deaths of Chinese employees until 1897."

Though coal mining has been around for thousands of years, it came into its own during the Industrial Revolution.  Coal was, and still is, used at many industrial plants and is mined in many different countries. 

This from Wikipedia: (Mt is Millions of tons)

"Global coal production is expected to reach 7,000 Mt/yr in 2030 (Update required, world coal production is already past 7,000 Mt/yr and by 2030 will probably be closer to 13,000 Mt/yr), with China accounting for most of this increase. Steam coal production is projected to reach around 5,200 Mt/yr; coking coal 620 Mt/yr; and brown coal 1,200 Mt/yr"
This article was inspired by the link for UK Coal Mining Accidents, posted in a group by genealogist Elaine Stockton Curran, whose ancestor was killed in the Pretoria Pit Disaster of 1910, Westhoughton, Lancashire. The explosion claimed the lives of 344 men and boys, just days before Christmas. You will find Elaine posting often and helping others at The Conservatory Facebook Group.

Pretoria Pit Memorial in Ditchfield Gardens, Westhoughton

If you had a coal mining ancestor, I have gathered a few links that may be of interest to you. The first is a list of mining accidents, and you can search for the ones I didn't list.

Relevant Links:

UK Coalmining Accidents and Deaths Database

World Mining Accidents

Turkey Coal Mine Disaster 2014

UK Coal Mining Accidents Click on reports for names of miners

Pretoria Pit Disaster, Westhoughton, Lancashire 1910

Pretoria Pit Disaster, at OPC Lancashire

Nanaimo BC - Coal Mine Explosion 1887

Nova Scotia Mine Fatalities - Database 1838-1992

NS Westray Coal Mine Disaster 1992

NS The Drummond Colliery Disaster May 1873

Number 12 Colliery, New Waterford, NS - July 1917

Explosion at Springhill Mines, Nova Scotia 1891 - Our Roots

Explosion at Springhill Mines, Nova Scotia 1891 - Internet Archive

Miracle at Springhill - 1958

Australia - Bulli Colliery Disaster 1887 (Newspaper)

Mount Kembla Disaster - 1902 Australia

Pike River Mine Disaster 2010 New Zealand

Ralph Mine Disaster - Huntly, Waikato, NZ 1914

Senghenydd, Wales Mine Disaster October 1913, Memorial

Hillcrest, Alberta 1914 Mine Disaster Memorial

Coal Miners of Sebastian County, Arkansas

The Monongah Mining Disaster (West Virginia) 1907

List of Names - Monongah Mining Explosions 1907

Wages and the cost of living in the anthracite industry of Pennsylvania1920

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Serendipity Sunday - Teachers, Students, Hogs, Squatters and an Axe Murderer

These are links to some interesting books for genealogy I found this week while doing research. Lots of names of our ancestors.  Check them out! Also a couple of websites you may find interesting about the 1800's. You never know what you are going to come across when you are looking for something else!

(These will soon be added to the appropriate files and posts.)

This book has Coats of Arms, lots of names.
The Royal kalendar: and court and city register, for England, Scotland, Ireland, and the colonies .. 1765

This book contains also transcriptions of headstones.Scotland
History of the parish of Banchory-Devenick, Aberdeenshire 1890 

Board members, teachers, salaries, etc Ontario
Schools and teachers in the Province of Ontario (many years 1911+) 

The Ecole Normale Jacques-Cartier opened in 1857 at the Château Ramezay until it moved in 1879 to the Logan Farm. Listings from 1857+, with students names and where from, profession/ retired/ dead, and where they lived.
Liste des élèves de l'École Normale Jacques-Cartier 1857-1905

This is the "Pedigree" book for Hampshire Hogs USA

From Department of Agriculture, information on farming, and when to plant what.
Holland Society of New York - Lists officers and members w/year, also some NJ and PA. Plus early records of Lutheran Church (with index to names), deceased members.
Norwich - Index to names, Index to places - in back of book. -
If your ancestors come from Newfoundland, these are for you. A couple have a directory.
People, commercial, late additions, also squatters list in 1866 - Australia

This is the records of admissions in Quebec Prisons in the 19th Century.
Personnes incarcérées dans les prisons de Québec au 19e siècle.

During the 1800's over 1 1/2 million people emigrated from France, mainly to Canada, the US, Australia, and a few to other countries.
French Passports for those leaving from Bordeaux, France 1800-1899

On the TLC TV show "Who Do You Think You Are", Season 05 Episode 01, (July 2014) Cynthia Nixon, they tell about how her ancestor killed her husband with an axe and was sent to prison in Missouri.  They also mention this book. (Written by George Thompson, one of the Prisoners.) Find the story of the hardships she endured there on page 287.

Prison life and reflections; 1851


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Raiden Goes back in Time

My daughter JulieAnne works and is always finding fun camps for her son Raiden to go to during the summer months when school is closed. He has gone to day camps at the University of Calgary, the Science Center, SAIT and the Calgary Zoo.

Why am I telling you this on a genealogy blog? Raiden had to write something at school about his ancestors, and when I told him his ancestor Guillaume Couillard came to Canada over 300 years ago he became very interested in his family history. So his mother thought he would enjoy this camp...

Last week Raiden's camp was at Heritage Park, a historic village in Calgary. He did the overnight "Home on the Range" option, Monday to Friday, and he loved it! The kids dress and live like they are in pioneer days - no electronics! They sleep in an old barn-turned-bunk house. At the camp Raiden was given to wear 2 pairs of overalls, 2 dress shirts and a cap.  The girls were given dresses, a pinafore and a bonnet. They had to wear brown or black leather shoes or boots that were lace-up. Raiden and his fellow campers, uh settlers, did chores in the morning. Raiden picked up horse poop and collected eggs, and he said the best was herding the ducks. He also worked in the gardens and learned a bit about cultivation.  

There were crafts for the kids, where they learned skills of their ancestors, like blacksmithing (Raiden made a bottle opener - see horse's head at right?),

and leather works (he made a bookmark stamped with his initials). 

At night they could wear their own clothes, and got to see parts of the park closed to the pubic. They attended campfires, and even had a barn dance for which the kids were given dance cards they had to fill out. This is from Raiden's mother...

"They also wrote/ practiced small plays which they performed for the parents on Friday afternoon, in the Canmore Opera house.  Raiden wasn't interested in that at all, until he received a letter from the ghost of Sam Livingston (first settler in Calgary) who said that he was excited to see Raiden's play.  It has long been rumored that his ghost watched performances at the old Opera House at the Park (his original house is there as well).  Raiden was very excited to receive the letter and it is now one of his most prized possessions."

Raiden had such a good time, he told his mother he wants to go back again next year! JulieAnne and I think there should be one for adults!  I always thought I should have lived in the pioneer days.

These are a couple of other heritage parks I have visited that hold summer camp for kids:

Drummondille, Québec at the Village Québécois d'Antan.

Morrisburg, Ontario - Upper Canada Village

Perhaps there is one near you!


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Time Travel with Google Earth

UPDATE:  Google Earth for Genealogy now free on Lisa's website.

Mark your calendar - Tuesday November 18, 2014 - Time Travel with Google Earth

It may seem far away, but this is a Webinar not to be missed! Given by Lisa Louise Cooke, she will take you on a journey to the past and show you how you can enhance your ancestors stories.  Discover the possibilities!!

Webinar Description:  Get ready to experience old historic maps, genealogical records, images, and videos coming together to create stunning time travel experiences in the free Google Earth program. We'll incorporate automated changing boundaries, and uncover historic maps that are built right into Google Earth. Tell time travel stories that will truly excite your non-genealogist relatives! You’ve never seen anything like this class!

You may remember that I mentioned Lisa's Google webinars back in May in my article "You Are Here... X"

Webinar hosted by Wisconsin State Genealogical Society.

Go here to register NOW, so you don't forget. If something comes up you are not obliged to attend even if you register, but keep in mind it is on a first come first serve basis, and those who log in first will be admitted. The archived webinars are for members only.

You will receive a confirmation email, and another one probably the day before the event. 

Tip:  Use an online calendar to keep track of your events.
I use gmail and google calendar.  When I receive my confirmation emails, I click on the date in the email and it adds directly on to my google calendar, which is set to send me an alert the day before the event.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Wide World of Sports

Grandson fencing - Father #5 on Champion WHHS Rugby Team - Uncle on home ice

Where my daughter lives they hold an All Sport One Day event, where the kids get to choose a couple of sports they would like to try. They have archery, kayaking, fencing, diving, just to name a few on a long list. What a great idea!
Today in Canada families can claim on their tax returns up to $500 per child for registration or membership in an eligible program of fitness. And it sure helps to have the activities offered where you live. Where I grew up there was not much to choose from.

Like many kids growing up in Quebec, for my father and his brothers Hockey was KING!  My Pop scrounged up some wood for boards and made a standard size rink on the vacant lot beside their house every winter, hosing it down at night so the ice would be perfect. There were enough neighbourhood boys to always get up a game, and they would use my grandparent's basement for the changing room.
The old Montreal Forum was built in 1924 for the Montreal Maroons Hockey Team and the whole family were avid fans.  My Dad was 11 when he got the autographs of all the 1932 Maroon team players.

Dad was on the West Hill High School football team 1933 and the senior rugby team 1938, the year they won the City Championship (from WHHS Yearbook 1938). The whole family belonged to the Grand Trunk Boating Club (mentioned on page 247 of the below-mentioned "Outing" Magazine). When they were older my Dad and his brothers also liked to fish and hunt.

My friend's ancestor was Peter Johnson the Diving Champion of England in the late 1800's. While managing baths in Leeds in 1866 he gave swimming lessons for a guinea. He was the first person to hold his breath under water for longer than 4 minutes, entered many swimming competitions, and helped train his brother JB Johnson to be the first to attempt to cross the English Channel. He showed his diving and water talents in variety shows all over Europe as did his daughters, the then famous Johnson Sisters. He and his daughters were frequently mentioned in "The New York Clipper Annual - theatrical, musical and sporting chronologies". 

Johnson Family Swimmers, 1890 ©
(with permission from owner with thanx!)

These stories were compiled through family notes, school yearbooks, hometown newspapers and sport annuals, almanacs or magazines.

Do you have a sporting champion or budding athlete among your ancestors?

Relevant links

The New York Clipper Annuals

The New York Clipper Newspaper

History of women's football (soccer)

Rugby School Register - London 1891

Origin of Hockey ? and Kingston, Ontario Team

The Ontario Hockey Association 1913

Schools and masters of Fence from the Middle Ages to the 18th Century

Australia Athletes (from 1800's +)

List of Wimbledon Champions since 1877

United States Lawn Tennis Association and the World War

Scottish History of Golf - Rules 1744

Davy Crockett's almanac of Wild Sports of the West 1836-1841

The new Sporting Almanack: a manual of instruction and amusement 1844

Prairie and Forest; a guide to the field sports of North America 1881 (hunting)

Pony Racing Association Calendar 1890 USA

National Steeplechase Association Members 1895 New York

Sport and Pleasure in the valley of Ottawa 1898

Constitution and Rules of Lacrosse of the Canadian Lacrosse Assoc 1897

The Official National Collegiate Athletic Association Lacrosse Guide - USA

Constitution by-laws and rules of the Montreal Amateur Athletic Assoc 1881

Montreal Amateur Athletic Association fonds 

Montreal Snow Shoe Club : its history and record 1840-1882

Règlements et Consitution de Club de Raquettes "Le Huron", Quebec 1885

The Aurora Show-shoe Club, Quebec 1885

Oritani Snow-Shoe Club Souvenir, N 1888

The Sporting Almanac 1839 -  London

Spaldings Official Foot Ball Guide 1909

Spaldings Official Rugby Foot Ball Guide 1914

Spaldings Official Soccer Foot Ball Guide 1907

Spaldings Base Ball Guide 1891

Outing: an Illustrated monthly magazine of Sport, Travel and Recreation Vol 18 - 1891

Outing - other volumes

Canadian Canoe Association - 1909

Fourth Annual Scottish Games, River Park, Winnipeg, 1909

Souvenir to Commemorate the Athletic victory of William J Sherring, Hamilton Ontario, honorary Citizen of Marathon, in the great International Marathon Road Race, Athens Greee, 1906

Baily's Magazine of Sports and Pastimes

Spalding's Official Athletic Almanac

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Serendipity Sunday - The Year Book

While looking for information on a friend's ancestor, I found this book. 
The title says it all...

"The Year Book of Daily Recreation and Information; concerning remarkable men and manners, times and seasons, solemnities and merry-makings, antiquities and novelties, on the plan of the Everyday Book and Table Book, OR Everlasting Calendar of Popular Amusements, Sports, Pastimes, Ceremonies, Customs and Events, incident to each of the three hundred sixty-five days in Past and Present Times; forming a Complete History of the Year; and a Perpetual Key to the Almanac".  -by William Hone - Published in London, 1838


You can find it here.
There are other years here.


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Summer in Québec

Summer visitors driving around the province of Quebec, exploring the cities and country sides, will find something is off. New buildings are going up, but the site is like a ghost town.  What happened?  Did they run out of money to finish?  Not only that, roads were being redone but all work has stopped. Heavy equipment is sitting idle on the sides of the streets. Why aren't they finishing the work? Well.... you have come during another annual phenomenon that occurs in Quebec. 

Tomorrow is the official start of Summer Construction Holiday!

For the last 2 weeks of July (Sunday to Saturday), Québec construction workers lay down their tools, lock up their heavy equipment, and go on vacation. This is the result of the collective agreement of the construction industry made official in 1970 and took effect for the first time in the summer of 1971.  With others also taking their holidays at this time it is estimated that 1/4 of Quebec's work force is on vacation.

There have been some exceptions made for "essential" work, like the repairs being made to the Mercier, Champlain and Jacques Cartier Bridges in Montreal. That work will continue and the workers will take their vacation at another time.

Add visitors to the province in the mix, and that is a lot of people travelling the roads. Officials ask that you be vigilant, as there has historically been a rise in fatal accidents on the roads at this time.

You may want to check road conditions and closures, and border crossing wait times before heading out.

The construction industry also has a mandatory 2 week winter vacation encompassing Christmas and New Years.

Relevant Links:

Canada Border Services Agency - wait times

Transports Québec - road conditions and closures
Related Post:

Friday, 18 July 2014

Volunteer - Genealogist or not!

I was sitting at the table, drinking my morning coffee and reading the days articles of my favourite bloggers, catching up on what's new, when one of them caught my attention. Elizabeth at Genealogy Canada wrote about Family Search Indexing Project needing volunteers. I had seen something about this before, on other blogs and of course every time I go to Family Search, but Elizabeth asks "Are you ready?"

I guess I am ready.

I always wanted to volunteer to do something, but a commitment of one day a week at least was needed, and with my family life I could not commit to a day every week all year. Now.... Finally! I found something I can do when I have time! Really on my own schedule!

You don't have to be doing genealogy to be a volunteer. Nor do you have to be a computer whiz. "No special skills required". All you need is a spare half hour. Open the program, choose a batch, and start entering. Once you have proven yourself as an indexer, you can become an arbitrator.

Before plunging in, you can read what indexing entails and take a test drive here. Once you download the software, register, watch the short how-to video - you are ready. Check the languages you are comfortable understanding and reading. Open the program and choose a batch of records (each rated easy, intermediate or advanced) from a list (I chose birth records from another country because it was marked priority, there were 15 records in this batch). See the instructions for that batch, read the record, enter the names and dates in the required fields, tab, enter, tab, enter... next! Family Search beta tested a mobile app and that is something to look forward to down the road.

You will see in Elizabeth's blog that Family Search is holding a World Wide Indexing Event on July 21st, with a goal of 50,000 indexers and arbitrators to submit at least one batch in a set 24 hour period. You can submit more batches it you like, but one batch is all that is needed to be counted in the record.

I downloaded the program, read all instructions, downloaded, entered and submitted my first batch, and now, when July 21st rolls around... I am ready!!

Are you ready?

Monday, 14 July 2014

Farmer's Directories

Many of my ancestors were agricultural labourers, farm servants, or farm owners.

My 2nd great-grandfather, Alexander Mavor, a young man of 23 at the time of the 1851 census of Scotland was working with his brother Francis in Methlick, less than 10 miles from his home in Ellon, Aberdeenshire. He was an agriculture labourer on the farm of Jonathan Whitehead. So I wanted to know what kind of farm it was and what kind of work he did.  I did a search for the name Jonathan Whitehead, clicked books from the drop-down menu, and up came Volume 11 of the "Coates's Herd Book" for the UK. It is a collection of books of pedigrees of short-horned cattle and their breeders, with a list of subscribers in the back. Just as we do for our human family, they trace their cattle's family tree back to the 1600's.
Also, in the 1865 edition of the book "Field and Fern" (Scottish flocks and herds), it mentions that "... he [Mr. Hay of Shethin] and Mr. Whitehead of Methlick had once a great shorthorn-bull trade, but the latter retired in '56". Aha, so it was a cattle farm, breeding Shorthorn Aberdeen Angus.

In reply to my pedigree and social register articles, a reader recently said there should be a register for agriculture labourers.  Well, they may well be in the regular town directories or post office directories of where they live.  But if your ancestor was a farmer .... labourer, servant, or owner - I did find a few links of interest, including some Farmers Registers and Breeders Registers.  

Also check Livestock Brand Books in your area of research.
This is the brand registered to my great-grand-uncle in Daysland, Alberta

Relevant Links

A century of Agriculture in Aberdeenshire (member names pgs 85-90)

Lovell's Farmer's Register of the garden of the Eastern Townships 1909

Farmer's Directories - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan

Reports of tenant farmers' delegates on the Dominon of Canada

Coates's Herd Books - UK

Field and Fern (Scotland) 1865

Farmer's Register - US (a few editions)

The Wool Grower and Stock Register (USA 1852)

The Country Gentleman's Magazine (UK)

Westmorland agriculture, 1800-1900 (UK)

Supremacy of Aberdeen-Angus Cattle

Officers, students andgraduates of the Kansas State Agricultural College (several years) 

Prizes: l'exposition de Montréal et carnaval des fermiers de l'Est :cinquième exposition provinciale, septembre 11-19, 1896

The Union Publishing Co's (of Ingersoll) farmers' and business directory for the counties of Halton, Waterloo and Wellington, Ont – 1906

Union Publishing Co's farmers and business directory for the counties of Bruce, Grey and Simcoe - Ontario

Morrey's Farmers and Business Directory, County of Haldimand, Ont; Containing the Following Valuable Information: The Name, with the Post Office Address, Lot and Concession, of each Farmer; also whether a Freeholder or a Tenant – 1884

Members of the Highland and Agricultural Society (w/members UK, AU, NZ,CA)

Farmer's Cabinet and Herd Book, PA

Farm and Fireside, OH

Herd Book of the National Pig Breeders, UK 1914

The Canada Herd Book, 1867

International Directory of Stock Breeders 1928-1929

The only complete directory of the poultry, pigeon & pet stock breeders in the United States of America 1891

Search Alberta Livestock Brands

Alberta cattle and horse brands 1907-1913

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Serendipity Sunday - Proper Burial

While looking up parish registers, I happened upon a 34 page booklet published 1811 in Bath, Lancashire, England titled ...

"A respectful examination of the judgment delivered Dec. 11, 1809, by the Right Hon. Sir J. Nicholl ... against the Rev. John Wight Wickes, for refusing to bury an infant child, which had been baptized by a dissenting minister : in a letter to Sir John Nicholl" ~ by the Rev Charles Daubeny, Archdeacon of Sarum

It reminded me of an incident I came across in my family research. My great grandfather  had a brother John Mavor, who ventured west in 1901 to get cheap land being sold by the CPR.  Once settled he went back to his hometown in Compton,QC to marry his sweetheart, Marcia Ruth Carbee. That is how I came to look into the Carbee family.

Marcia's brother Edwin had a son Albert born 1901. Albert died in 1906 of the Black Measles, a very rare and deadly disease. Because of this he was refused burial at the cemetery and so was buried north of the homestead in a secluded grave. It was believed the germ would never die, so the grave was never to be opened.

Related Stories:

Infant baptized by dissenting minister refused burial 1809

Ex-Priest's baby denied burial in Catholic grave - Fla 1966

Negro Baby refused burial in cemetery of Nova Scotia - 1968

Neighbours help family so baby can have proper burial - 1920


Monday, 7 July 2014

The Social Register

 Hôtel Ritz Paris 1898

My Great Uncle Harry developed Parkinson's Disease in his late 40's and it got so bad he could not work. His wife, my Great Aunt Bessie, had a job at the Ritz-Carleton Hotel in Montreal, where she worked her way up to Head Housekeeper. Montreal's was the first location to bear the name Ritz-Carleton. Some of the Ritz hotels, like the one in Boston, checked people out in the Social Register or Who's Who before permitting them to stay there.

The Blue Book or Social Register was on the desk of every socialite back in the day. There are different publication names, but all hold the names of only the prominent families.
The Social Registers sometimes give names of all family members, what days they are "receiving", and if the person is really "important" it gives a little biography.  Some have lists of marriages and deaths for the preceding year in the back of the books, as well as the names of the different elite clubs and societies of that city.

The Chicago Social and Club register is the first publication to recognize Chicago women and their achievements. It gives quite a bit of information about them, where they were born, the date of their marriage, what clubs they belong to etc...

For those in the UK you want the Peerage books, in 9 volumes, printed in 1812. The first edition was published about 1709.

The Canadian Who's Who is still being published, containing biographies of prominent Canadians, selected on merit alone. 

Relevant Links:

Dau's Society Blue Book for Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec

The Society Blue Book, Toronto 1902

The Society Blue Book, Toronto and Hamilton 1910

The Grand Rapides Society Blue Book

The Albany and Troy Society Blue Book 1917

The Indianapolis Blue Book

Social Register, Chicago 1908 (+others)

Chicago Social and Club Register

Social Register, Boston Vol 1 - 1901 (+others)

Social Register, New York Vol 1 - 1917

Social Register Locater 1916 

Social Register of Saint Joseph, Missouri 1903

Social Register of San Francisco 1919

San Francisco Blue Book and Club Directory 1927 (+others)

The North Shore blue book andsocial register, Vol 19 (1915) - Containing lists of the summer residents of the principal resorts along the North Shore from Nahant to Rockport

Other Social Registers listed at Hathi Trust website, including New Orleans

Who's Who in America Vol 2: 1901-1902

Collins's Peerage of England; Vol 1 (of 9) Printed 1812

Collins's Peerage of England - others listed

Lain & Healy's Elite Directory of Brooklyn. 1877

Royal Blue Book and Court Guide - London 1911

Boyle's fashionable court & country guide, and town visitingdirectory: London 1903

The List ; a visiting and shopping directory of New York City for the Season of 1886

Thom's Irish Who's Who 1923

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