Sunday, 31 August 2014

Serendipity Sunday - Who's Who in Asia

In another life (about 20 odd years ago) I worked for a company that shipped goods internationally, including to Japan. I had to learn about shipping methods, costs and schedules, export paper work, and international letters of credit.

While doing research I came across this book, and it made me think of that job I loved. 

Trading with the Far East : how to sell in the Orient : policies : methods : advertising : credits : financing : documents : deliveries ...

This book was published in New York in 1920 by the Irving National Bank. It gives not only information on trading in the east, but what the markets are like in different areas.

That led me to find a couple of other  companion books, one being Who's Who in the Far East - 1906-1907 - a Directory that lists names and short bios of important Western and Eastern people in Asia, some being from Canada, United States, Australia and New Zealand. This directory was published in HongKong and made available through agents in New York and London. There is also a short commentary about New South Wales, the "Mother State of the Australias".

The other is titled European Settlements in the Far East:

China, Japan, Corea, Indo-China, Straits Settlements, Malay States, Siam, Netherlands, India, Borneo, the Philippines, etc - Published in New York in 1900, with maps and illustrations.

If you had ancestors that travelled to Asia at that time, for work or pleasure, these are names of places they may have visited.


Friday, 29 August 2014

Moving Forward

I was watching the "Who Do You Think You Are" episode about Minnie Driver and it resonated with me.  My grandfather never talked about his family either, so my father and his siblings knew very little about them. My father's sister, Betty, had 3 brothers and would have liked a sister. My grandfather was one of four boys, and his father was one of seven boys with one sister, just as his father was one of seven boys with one sister. (it is like the X chromosomes were being saved up for my generation as I have only one male cousin!!).

Knowing my grandparents (or should I say what I thought I knew of them) I did not expect to find that my grandfather was married before, at a young age, and that a few months later a daughter was born. My aunt had a half-sister!

It was obviously a shotgun wedding, and one my grandfather was not happy about. He stuck around for a year, working as a carpenter for his father, then he left, taking work as a travelling salesman and living in Montreal.  There he met my grandmother and soon filed for divorce in Detroit (See my article More than BMD). 

So moving forward I found a marriage record and then a newspaper announcement of their daughter Marion Victoria's marriage to Ross Leach in 1922. The newspaper account said they were to make their home in Guelph. 

After months of searching I didn't find them there, but I did later discover they were buried in Sault Ste Marie! Marion and her husband both died in the late 80's so my aunt was never to meet her half-sister. I contacted the library in Sault Ste Marie and a volunteer gladly found and sent me copies of the obituaries. From these I discovered that the couple had one son, and 2 grandchildren!  This was promising. Next I left messages on every bulletin board imaginable where I thought it might be seen by someone in the family or knows of them. More than a year passed and no word. Then at the end of last summer it happened.  I received a message from a young woman who is the granddaughter of Marion Victoria. My 90 year old aunt has met with her grand niece a couple of times now, and enjoys hearing stories and seeing photos of the sister she never met.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

House-Keeper's Guide and Indian Doctor

The title of this book says it all....

The house-keepers' guide and Indian doctor : containing the very best directions for making all kinds of ice creams, preserves, jellies, perfumery, and essences, fancy and plain soaps, and an excellent system on the treatment of the hair : the best method of cleaning brass, marble, mahogany furniture, cutlery, carpets, &c. &c. : also, a complete system of genuine Indian doctoring, to which is added directions for letter writing under various circumstances : the book closes with the celebrated chemical washing recipe."

Monday, 25 August 2014

Dear Diary

When I turned 12 my grandmother bought me a diary. It came with a key that did little to keep out my brothers, until my parents laid down the law! A diary is private and sacred! I didn't write in it every day, but going through my teenage years that diary was my best friend. I was always better at writing than at talking, so I told my diary my greatest fears, my happiest moments, and my deepest secrets.  (Don't anyone go looking for it, as I burned it along with all my love letters from old flames the night before I got married.) New chapter. 

In years past settlers and voyagers wrote in diaries, journal or logs to tell of their experiences, and often mentioned the names of friends, neighbours and colleagues.  So you don't necessarily have to find a diary written by YOUR ancestors, but perhaps someone they knew or travelled with. A diary can also tell you what your ancestor may have been experiencing doing the same thing.  At Internet Archive there are many diaries from senators, earls, lords, ladies and barons. Also historical diaries of soldiers of the Revolution and other wars.

In 1908 Ernest Bosdin Leech of Manchester wrote in his diary:

"After lunch went to the bookbinders and gave him the names for the outsides of the family diaries. They look very well. I am glad to see them fixed so that on my death they will not be ruthlessly thrown away. But it is a costly hobby tidying up one's ancestors and it may all be wasted if the next generation takes no interest in such things".

Will you leave a journal or diary for your descendants to find?

Search "diaries" or "diary" or "journals" "life and times", and try with a surname, town or state name, or the words voyage or genealogy. Also check out local libraries and museums for diaries or journals of early settlers.

I have listed a few interesting finds below.

Relevant Links

The Diary of Silvester Treleaven of Moretonhampstead, Devon

The diary of Captain John Thomson: Orilla pioneer of 1832

On the north trail: the Treaty 8 diary of O.C. Edwards (Alberta)

Saskatchewan and the Rocky Mountains: a diary of a journey through the Hudson's Bay Company's Territories in 1859-1860

Nailer Tom's Diary, 1778-1840 (incomplete), North Kingston, Rhode Island

Diaries of court ladies of old Japan

New-Englands Memoriall - covering 1602-1668

Life in southern prisons; from the diary of Corporal Charles Smedley, of Company G, 90th regiment Penn'a volunteers, commencing a few days before the "battle of the Wilderness", in which he was taken prisoner, evening of the fifth month fifth, 1864

Early New York Diaries Originals

Alice Winifred 'Connor Professional Diaries (a few years - immigration worker in Boston)

The Diaries of three Surgeons of Patna, India 1763

Three military diaries – Grotton, Mass : Diary kept by Lieut. Dudley Bradstreet, April 1745 - Jan. 1746. Diary kept by Sergeant David Holden, Feb. 20 - Nov. 29, 1760. Diary kept by Lieut. Amos Farnsworth, April 19, 1775 - May 6, 1779

The private diaries of Empress Marie-Louise wife of Napoleon I (published 1922)

Two Unpublished Diaries, Connected with the Battle of the Boyne, 1856

Wayside Inn front door diaries (several years) - Sudbury, Mass

President Washington's Diaries, 1791-1799

New England Diaries 1602-1800: catalogue of diaries orderly books and sea journals

Journals, diaries and letters written by women on the Oregon Trail 1836-1865

Memories of a hostess: chronicle of friendships, diaries of Mrs James T Fields

Diaries of cruise with privateer from Boston, capture, ordeals in Old Mill Prison at Plymouth, England, attempted escapes, and release (handwritten)

Brisbin's stories of the plains; or, twelve years among the wild Indians : chiefly from the diaries and manuscripts of George P. Belden. Together with a biographical sketch of "Belden, the white chief..." 1881

The Holyoke Diaries, 1709-1856 (Genealogy of the Holyoke Family)

Log Books, 1895-1908, Camp Keith and Camp Ruth, Maine (Vol 1-4)

Nailer Tom's Diary, 1778-1840, Journal of Thomas B Hazard of Kingstown, RI

Diary of Anna Green Winslow: a Boston school girl of 1771

The "Lady Ramsay" Hunting diary 1884 England (filled out by unknown person)

A Journal, written by Moses Leon Hyneman (go back a couple pages for index)

Nikki Kiko Su 1915 - Japanese Diary - subject Bash Matsuo 1644-1694

American revolutionary diaries : also journals, narratives, autobiographies, reminiscences and personal memoirs catalogued and described with an index of places and events.

The Negro trail blazers of California : a compilation of records from the California archives in the Bancroft Library at the University of California, in Berkeley; and from the diaries, old papers, and conversations of old pioneers in the State of California.

Diary and account book of Samuel Ward, Jr., 1792 Dec. 24 - 1794 Sept.8. (US)

My Military Record: a Diary for a Soldier (1917) Blank

Diary of Ten Years Eventful Life of an Early Settler in Western Australia 1884

Notes and gleanings: being leaves from a diary of a voyage to and from Australia and New Zealand in 1893

The Difficulties of my Position: The Diaries of Prison Governor John Buckley (AU)

On the Anzac Trail:  Extracts from the Diary of a New Zealand Sapper - WWI 1916

Diaries of Oregon Pioneers

Paper Trail: Guide to Overland Pioneer Names and Documents -  $$ Searchable

Writing a Diary for your Desendants

Top Free Diary Apps

Free OnLine Diary

Writing Your Memoirs for Descendants: Lorine McGinnis Shulze $

More Diaries on Internet Archive...

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Serendipity Sunday - What's for Dinner?

Mock pigeons, larded mutton chops, stewed sheeps' tongue.... YUM!

This is another book I found while looking for school year books - the Dinner Year Book.

It starts off ...

"Do not laugh when I tell you that one of the most serious perplexities of my every-day life is the daily recurring question, 'What shall we have for dinner?' "

I think many of us have this perplexity.  Some days just before dinner time I would go to the grocery store and stare at the meat counter, hoping to get inspiration.  I even stooped to asking other shoppers, complete strangers!... "What are you having for dinner tonight?" Well be perplexed no longer.... the Dinner Year Book is here! The author gives menus and recipes for the whole year, plus "Company" dinner menus in the back.

The next time you are stumped about what to prepare for yourself, your family or for company, open this book to the date (or thereabouts) and you will find inspiration within its pages.

Dinner Year Book  - 1878

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Next of Kin

The other day I found a notice in the Liverpool Daily Post from February 8, 1915. It was placed by John W. Knowles, solicitor of Widnes, Lancashire, looking for my great-grandmother, Martha Elizabeth Singleton (Tait) who was living in Montreal. 

I have no idea why they were looking for her as both her parents are long since dead. Perhaps one of her brothers died, I have not found death records for them yet. But.... in June of 1916 Martha is on a passenger list returning to Canada from England, which says she arrived there in 1915. So I presume they got in touch with her.

Lawyers put notices in newspapers when they were looking for heirs to estates, and I found this book from 1904 called...

"Index register to next of kin, heirs at law and cases of unclaimed money advertisements in Great Britain, the Colonies, India, America, France, Germany, Ireland, and all parts of the world."
Maybe you will find your ancestors mentioned within the pages of this book! 

Relevant link:

UK Unclaimed Estates List

Monday, 18 August 2014

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World!

My great-grand uncle Horace Melvin Porter was 26 years old, full of life and part of a big loving family, the 6th of 11 children, from Ulverton, Quebec. His parents and some of his siblings moved to the United States 1900 to 1902. Horace took his responsibilities very seriously, and was working as a Motorman for the Montreal Tramway System in 1903 when the employees went on strike against their employer, the Montreal Street Railway Co. Horace didn't know about strikes, he just wanted to do his job and attempted to take his tram out of the barn. There was a rioting crowd throwing stones and bricks, and Horace was hit in the head with a brick.

I didn't find anything in a local newspaper, but the Eau Claire Leader, Wisconsin newspaper wrote an article about the event, saying: "A motorman who attempted to take a car out of the barn was assaulted so badly that in all probability he will die."

Well, Horace did not die for another 45 years, all of which he spent in the Protestant Hospital for the Insane in Verdun, Quebec. My grandmother worked so my mother was looked after during the day by my great grandmother, Mary Jane Porter King.  Mary Jane was Horace's oldest sister, and she would take my mother with her once a week to the hospital to visit Horace.  My mother remembers being made to sit outside on a bench to wait, as she was too young to go in the hospital. Horace died in 1948, and was laid to rest beside his parents in Ulverton.

It seems from what I have read that this was a progressive hospital and they believed in giving the patients work to do to keep them occupied.  They had a farm that was worked by patients, and some patients also did crafts that were sold to get money for the hospital.  I don't know how much Horace was able to do or how aware he was.

Horace was on both the 1911 and 1921 Censuses as an inmate at the Verdun Hospital. If you are missing an ancestor, did you look in the census or registers of the local Insane Asylum?

My step-son's great-grandfather, Dr. William Herbert Wiley was the owner of Blythewood, in Greenwich, CT.

You can do a search at google or Internet Archive keywords "asylum" “insane asylum”, “mental institute”, “lunatic asylum”. Also check censuses and burial grounds of the Insane hospital or asylum.

**Update:  for Scotland search at Scottish Indexes. A search is free, but you have to pay for the record.

Relevant links

Protestant Hospital for the Insane, Verdun (History, read 1885!!)

Records for Deaths at Protestant Hospital for the Insane, $ at Drouin
(Under Quebec / Verdun / (Protestant Hospital) 1891-1941

Verdun Hospital for the Insane - Unclaimed Bodies 

The Institutional care of the insane in the United States and Canada 1916

The St-Jean de Dieu Lunatic Asylum at Longue-Pointe, Quebec 1892

Indiana Genealogy Society - database is members only $, under County Records

The Vermont Asylum for the Insane - it's annals for fifty years

The prisoners' hidden life, or, Insane Asylums unveiled: as demonstrated by the report of the Investigating Committee of the legislature of Illinois, together with Mrs Packard's coadjutor's testimony 1868

Upper Canada (Ontario) Insane Asylum Inmates database (Ontario Genealogy Website)

Blacksheep Ancestors - Insane Asylums, US - Databases for 7 states

US Veterans Hospital Insane Patients, Surnames A-M - 1930 index

US Veterans Hospital Insane Patients, Surnames M-Z - 1930 Index

West Virginia State Hospital for Colored Insane, 1930 index

List of Asylums in UK and Ireland

Inmates of the Willard Asylum for the Insane NY - 1870-1900

Queensland Public Curator Insanity Files

Australia Asylum Records

New Zealand Seacliff Lunatic Asylum

Spencer State Hospital, West Virginia

Find-a-grave for Spencer State Hospital

Report of the Visiting Physician to the Insane Asylum - Salem Oregon 1874

State Institution for the Feebleminded, New York 1920

Causes of Insanity (Protestant Hospital for the Insane)

The Colquitz Archive: An Exhibition of Documents and Images on the Provincial Mental Home, Colquitz, BC 1919-1964 (Look around the site)

How to Trace Ancestors in Lunatic Asylums (WDYTYA Magazine Tutorials) 

Bedlam Burial Ground Register, Liverpool, UK

List of Insane Persons who have received aid from the State during the past year 1845

History of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane, from 1844 to 1884

Friends' Asylum for the Insane, 1813-1913 Philadelphia

Alphabetical list of subscribers names to the Glasgow Lunatic Asylum c1858

The Ticehurst House Hospital (south of England) Papers & Records online

Records of the Glasgow Insane Asylum (Gartnavel Royal Hospital) 1811

The Retreat, York, England

St Luke's Hospital, London

The Manor House Asylum, Chiswick, London

Holloway Sanatorium for the Insane, Surrey, England

Camberwell House Asylum, London

Louisiana - New Orleans City Insane Asylum 1882-1884, 1888

Scottish Indexes $

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Serendipity Sunday - No Smoking!

Looking for yearbooks in the Internet Archives I came across this book...

The main reason it caught my eye is because I used to smoke. I love the old classic movies and in many of them the actors smoked so elegantly. Cigarette ads were on TV, in magazines and on billboards. My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all smoked. My mother had ashtrays strewn all over the house and always a fancy cigarette box and lighter set with matching ashtrays on the coffee table for visitors to help themselves.


I look at old family photographs and someone invariably has a cigarette in their hand. My maternal grandfather smoked cigars and I loved the smell even though my grandmother made him smoke them outside. He also hand rolled cigarettes. He got all excited one time when he found my baby daughter (his great granddaughter) sitting on the floor with his pack of papers, pulling them out one by one, because he said I used to do the same thing. My paternal grandfather had a cigarette making machine and he used to let us sit on his knee and help him to make his cigarettes. My uncle/godfather smoked a pipe and I can still smell the cherry tobacco he used.

Seeing this book also reminded me to check my Quit Keeper, which I hadn't done in almost a year. 

I had smoked for over 40 years. In 2008-2009 I spent a year looking after my brother while he wasted away dying of cancer. I promised myself that in the new year I would quit, no matter what.  It took me about 4-5 tries and a change in eating habits and life style, but I finally quit in June 2010. I downloaded the Quit Keeper program, that keeps track of how long since I quit, how much money I have saved and how much time I have added to my life. At first I checked it every few weeks, then months, and it was a great motivator to stay quit.

So, these are my stats when I checked today....

Quit Time:       4 years, 1 month, 3 weeks, 6 days, 13 hours, 24 minutes, 32 seconds
Days Quit:        1,517 Days
Cigarettes:       30,357
Money Saved:   $13,660.74
Life Saved:       3 months, 1 week, 6 days, 9 hours, 45 minutes  

Relevant Links:

The Smokers Year Book 1908

Quit Keeper Download

Golden Rules for Cigar-smokers 1833

Tobacco leaves; being a book of facts for smokers - 1915

Early Smoking Pipes of the North American Aborigines

Smoking: a world of curious facts, queer fancies and lively anecdotes about pipes, tobacco and cigars - 1891 

Vintage Smoker's Accessories

The Freedom to Smoke


Friday, 15 August 2014

Généalogie Québec

Yesterday Library Archive Canada blogged about Quebec being a "genealogist's paradise" due to the volume and content of the records available. Well, a big part of that "paradise" for us is the Drouin Collection, started by Joseph Drouin, farmer's son turned lawyer, who had a profound interest in genealogy.

If you have ancestors from Québec (or perhaps you have a branch of your family that immigrated to Quebec) and you have never subscribed to the Généalogie Québec website, you are missing out on a lot of important information. They not only hold the BMD records from the churches in Quebec, they also have some catholic records for Ontario, Acadie, and some for the United States where French people migrated to. The site is bilingual, though of course French records are in French. Add to that some Notarial records, family genealogies, Red River Manitoba Census 1831-1849, records of the Prévôté de Québec (the first courts) - to name only a few in a long list, and you have a treasure trove of information!

Besides the Drouin Collection, the Généalogie Québec website provides access to many other collections and records. One of those being Marriage and Death records 1926-1997. Another section is Obituaries - newspaper, online, death cards and tombstones.

You can look around the Généalogie Québec website to see what is there, you just cannot access the records without a subscription.  Let's talk about that for a minute....

Like most people beginning to look into their family history, I started with Ancestry.  The taller my tree grew and the more branches it acquired, the more excited I got. But there was still a lot of information missing.  Some records were unreadable, some I couldn't find at all, although I knew from censuses that a person was born a particular year. Being on a limited income I didn't want to pay for another subscription. Then it happened... I belonged to a Facebook group for Quebec genealogy, and there one day Sébastien Robert, co-owner and project manager for the Institut généalogique Drouin, offered a limited time free access to all the records at the Généalogie Québec website. To not waste time I gathered together all the Quebec ancestors for whom I was missing information and signed up for my free access.  What a gold mine! The people at the institute had re-digitized some records that were previously hard to read and transcribed the few that did not come out very well in the process. The records are all sorted by year, so I also found some ancestors that I couldn't find on Ancestry because the transcribers misspelled the names. It does not stop there and neither does the Institute. There are so many records to explore that I extended my subscription for another month.  And you know what?  I still keep it up. They are continually adding more records to the site.
Also, the Institute made access to the Obituary online collection free for all.

A subscription to Généalogie Québec starts at only $13 a month (or $100 for the year), so compared to other pay sites and for all you get access to, it is extremely reasonable.  Note:
"The site gives you access to a daily limit of images to view or download (usually 75); this daily limit varies according to your subscription. Access to the search engines within the site is unlimited and search requests are not added to your daily image count. The Obituaries section is unlimited and does not affect your daily image limit."
So if you have ancestors from or had immigrated to Quebec, I urge you to check it out.

Généalogie Québec website

Drouin Institute

Quebec Obituaries

History of the Drouin Institute (English, short) 

History of the Drouin Institute (French, long)

Monday, 11 August 2014

More than BMD

(This article talks more about the records in Québec, but the links are global.)

This past spring my daughter was proud to accept the role of godmother of her friend's child.  Since it was to be a catholic baptism, my daughter had to provide proof that she was confirmed in the catholic church, under Canon Law. A baptized person of another faith can be a "Christian witness", not a godparent. The rite of confirmation comes when the child is old enough (in the eyes of the church) to confirm for themselves the profession of faith made on their behalf at their baptism. When my children had their confirmation they picked a "godparent" different from the one they had at baptism.

When the early arrivals came to New France, they too had to provide proof of confirmation to be able to be godparents to the children of their friends.  Since many could not do this, and just to be sure, the church confirmed many soldiers, workers and others not long after landing in Quebec. There are records starting about 1659 at Ancestry and Drouin (both pay sites). At Ancestry they are under the Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 ( Q - Quebec - not stated - 1649-1662. In the Drouin Collection they can be found under Registres paroissiaux 1621-1876 - Q - Québec - Registre des confirmés 1659-1771.

My father's family attended St Stephen's Anglican Church in Montreal, and my grandmother was confirmed there in April 1919 at the age of 31.

When I was a teenager I would hear whisperings of adult gossip about a bride being left in the lurch, and one phrase I heard was "breach of contract". Before getting to the point of saying "I do" in many countries some couples sign a marriage contract. The only one I know of in my family who had a marriage contract was my Aunt Bessie. In Quebec these are drawn up by a notary, so if you know the year and name or place you may be able to find a contract for your ancestor on the BANQ site in the Notary Collection.  BANQ has made a database of marriage contracts in three regions of Quebec. (They are in French only). Click the box on right above images “Consultation de l’instrument de Recherche” for database search.

Marriage Banns were usually read in the church for three consecutive Sundays. This was to give a chance for anyone to come forward with a reason why the couple could not canonically or legally be married. If there was some reason that the wedding could not wait the three weeks, then a special dispensation may have been given and the Banns read just one week or not at all. You may find where the Church has recorded the publishing of the Banns in their registers. Researching my British ancestors at the Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerk site, I see that they list some Bann registers there.

Sometimes the marriage doesn't work out, and the couple gets divorced.  My grandfather divorced his first wife and in the early 1900s that was not an easy thing to do.  My grandfather was living in Ontario at the time, and in late 1909 he went to Detroit, Michigan to establish residency.  There in 1912 he was granted his divorce on June 29th and married my grandmother on July 31st. I found the divorce record in the Wayne County Divorce records on Ancestry. 

In Canada ...

"From 1867 to 1968, a person wishing to obtain a divorce was first required to place a notice of intent to petition the government for an Act of Divorce in the Canada Gazette and in two newspapers in the district or county where the petitioner resided. It was to appear for a 6-month period."

I found the divorce of my mother's cousin in these records. To search for your ancestors in the Canada Gazette, use keywords surname and divorce.
Can also try the city.

For the US there are "Records of the field offices for the state of ?, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands" from the 1800's which contain a myriad of letters, receipts, registers and records, some of which are marriage and divorce.  After the introduction there is a list of contents which may help in the search.

Relevant Links:

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Serendipity Sunday - The Grocer

While researching ancestors, I came across these books - Canadian Grocer.  There are different years containing articles, ads and markets for different provinces. I found issues for years 1890 to 1922.


We had a small grocer at the end of the village where I grew up, and I used to go sometimes to get a couple of things for my mother.  It seems to me everything was 25 cents? ... milk, bread, etc... I know that is just my childhood memories, I don't know how much it was, but 25 cents was a lot of money. My Mom also let me buy penny candy and I always got blackballs because you got THREE for a cent, not just 1. And each one lasted a long time.

Looking through these books you can see what your ancestors were buying and how much they might have paid for it.

Digging deeper, I found some similar for the US and for the UK.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Canada Gazette - State of War

Even though most people do not read it, the Canada Gazette is considered the Official Notice to all Canadians.  It was first published for the Province of Canada in 1841 and contained acts of Parliament. It was expanded to give notice of treaties, hearings etc, and later notice of bankruptcies and other public notices. It also gave announcement when Canada was in a state of war.
Canada Gazette - August 5, 1914 (3 pages) 

It also gave Military notices - promotions and medals, starting in the 1800's.

Use keywords "military" and your ancestor's "surname".

Or.... just search the surname and see what else your ancestors were up to!

The Canada Gazette database is online here.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Keep the Faith

When I was quite young, not yet in my teens, my friend asked me to her house to meet her aunt, visiting from Cleveland.  She was a nun. I had never thought of nuns being a part of anyone's family, nor had I ever met one. I was disappointed that she wasn't wearing a habit, she just looked like anyone else's aunt to me.

The first time a saw a religious person not at my church dressed in the trappings of his faith, was a good friend of my grandparents who was a Franciscan Friar in Montreal. My first thought was - he looked like Friar Tuck! Another time I saw a religious person outside the church, was when I was a Ranger (GGC) we had a weekend conference at a retreat. I was exploring the building and entered a room to find an old priest praying and meditating. I was a bit embarrassed to be barging in, but he was kind and invited me in to chat about what we were doing there. I was 15 and only wanted to get back to my friends to tell them what I saw.  Sigh.  If only we could go back and redo some moments that are lost to us forever.

My grandfathers family were Methodists and belonged to the Salvation Army in Montreal. My great grandmother was a Major, and my great-grandfather was in the Citadel Band, along with my grandfather and his brother. I didn't know anything about this until after my grandparents had died and I found this 1907 newspaper clipping of the band. My grandfather quit them when he came back from WWI.  I am still searching for information on them being in the Salvation Army.

My husband's aunt was a nun with the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.  I took a shot at emailing the order with what information I had (parents names and birth date) and received a reply that my request was being sent to the archivist.  The sister at the archives sent me a very nice email with all the information and dates they had on Sister Thérèse Joséphine. With that info I made this Memory Card for her.

There are many publications from churches, local and global, that may contain the names of your ancestors.  They not only name the religious leaders, but some give lists of the church members, donations made for building perhaps, ministers that died the previous year, etc... I have listed some of these publications below. 

To look for mention of your ancestor, go to Internet Archive and search "year book church", "centenary Church", "[state] church", "[religion] church [town]" - get creative!

Relevant Links:

Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in the Northwest: 1859-1909

The Grey Nuns in the Far North - 1867-1917

The English Franciscan Nuns 1619-1821 : Friars Minor of same Province 1618-1761

Catholic Record Society - Nuns of London 1914

Roman Catholic Religious Sisters and Nuns by Order


Toland's History of the Druids

Canadian Methodist Ministers

Bygone church life in Scotland

Ecclesiastical Chronicle for Scotland, with catalogue of Scottish Bishops

The English Church and it's Bishops 1700-1800 Vol 1

The English Church and it's Bishops 1700-1800 Vol 2

A Roll of Honour: Irish prelates and priests of the Last Century - 1905

The Irish Priests in the Penal Times (1660-1760) 

Irish Catholic Directory 1900

Love Letters of a Priest (abt 1912) Australia

Bahai Revelation 1913

Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, in the Chinese literary language 1902

Records of Romsey abbey: the Benedictine house of nuns, (A.D. 907-1558)– 1906

Presbyterian Year Book and Almanac - Dominion of Canada and Newfoundland 1875

The Methodist Year Book - USA (several years)

Methodist Church - Clergy: A gallery of distinguished men.

Church Year Book, history and Directory of Stoney Creek (1776), Shiloh (1913), Burlington Second (1913) Presbyterian Churches, May 1933 (NC)

Year Book Trinity Church 1922, Woodbridge, NJ

Year Book St Andrew's Church, Ann Arbor, MI 1891

Year Book to the Salvation Army, Detroit, MI 1971-1972

The Church of Scotland Year Book 1885

The Official Year Book of the Church of England (a few years)

Year Book of the First Mennonite Church of Berne, Indiana (several years)

Directory and Year Book: Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church, NC 1929

Year Book, Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, Methodist Episcopal Church (1888+)

The old non-parochial registers of Dudley : comprising those of the Society of Friends, the Old Meeting House, the Independents, the Wesleyan Methodists, the Baptists, and the Methodist new connexion. 1899

An alphabetical arrangement of all the Wesleyan Methodist ministers and preachers on trail in connexion with the British and Irish Conferences; also, a list of the presidents of the Conference from 1791to 1892; and an alphabetical list of the ministers who have died in the work

St. George's Parish Church, St. Catharines, ON - jubilee celebration 1892

The Story of St. Paul's parish, Toronto - 1922

Saint John Methodism and history of Centenary Methodist Church St. John, NB 1890 

The American Church Almanac and Year Book 1911

The Lutheran almanac for the year of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ 1870

The Canadian Catholic directory and ecclesiastical register 1904

Ireland - Catholic Directory, almanac and registry for 1853

Catholic Order of Foresters - Montreal Souvenir Book 1892

Protestant Episcopal almanac and church directory - US 1875

Year Book and Membership, First Presbyterian Church Plymouth,PA 1907

West Grove Monthly Meeting (Wayne Co., Ind) Membership 1843

Liste chronologique des évêques et des prêtres, tant séculiers que réguliers, employés au service de l'Église du Canada depuis l'établissement de ce pays; et aussi la liste des évêques des autres possessions britanniques de l'Amérique du Nord. - 1834 /
(Chronological List of bishops and priests, both secular and regular, employed in the service of the Church in Canada since the establishment of that country; and also the list of bishops of the other British possessions in North America. - 1834)

Genesis of Churches in the United States, Newfoundland, and Canada - 1907

Canadian Congregational Church 1910-11 - names of contributors and also graduates of the congregational college.

List of Deacons Ordained in the Protestant Episcopal Church 1785-1857

The 23rd Annual Report of the Newfoundland Church Society 1864

1st report of the Wesleyan Home Mission and Contingent Fund, South Australia 1867

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