Monday, 26 September 2016

Steamboats - Ships, Captains, Passengers and Disasters

In Eastern Canada steamboats traveled up the St Lawrence River to the Great Lakes and back carrying goods and passengers.

Schedules for steamboats could be found in the newspapers and the Almanac. Here are some of the routes.

On June 25, 1857 the steamboat "Montreal" , running between Quebec and Montreal caught fire and 264 lives were lost. Here is an accounting of this disaster through several newspaper articles.

Relevant Links

Lloyd's steamboat directory, and disaster on the western waters 1856

Maritime History of the Great Lakes - Steamboats

St Lawrence Steamboat Co Passenger Records (The Ships List)

Steamboat disasters and railroad accidents in the United States 1840

Steamboat owners - New York and Long Island Sound: memorial of sundry proprietors and managers of American steam vessels - 1840

New York's awful steamboat horror, with photos and images, 1904

Report of the St. Andrew's Society charitable committee of the receipts and disbursements of the special fund for the relief of the sufferers by the burning of the steamer "Montreal" on the 26th June 1857

Report of steamboat "Montreal" fire in the True Witness and Catholic Cronicle, 1857 (pg8)

Up and down the Thames, from London Bridge... to the sea - Victoria Steamboat Assn

The Atlantic ferry; its ships, men and working 1900

Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury, on the History and Causes of Steamboat Explosions, 1839

Oldest Anglican church in Montreal celebrates 185 years, with list of victims of the steamer Shamrock

Northern Prairie Steamboats (Manitoba Historical Society)

Fifty ears on the Mississippi 1889

Old Steamboat days on the Hudson River: tales and reminiscences 1907

History of steamboating on the Minnesota River, 1905

The Clyde passenger steamer, Scotland 1904

Related posts:

Maritime Pilots


Remarkable Shipwrecks and Naval Disasters 

Masters and Mates

Sunday, 25 September 2016


In honour of today being Police and Peace Officers’ National Memorial Day in Canada, which was declared in 1998 to be the last Sunday of September every year, I am reposting this article originally posted on 16 February 2015.

I have cousins who were and are in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and a niece who is planning to apply to the RCMP when she has finished her studies.  She has been riding all her life and hopes to be a member of the Mounted Unit, and someday be in the Musical Ride.

The Musical Ride started with the North West Mounted Police and had their first public show in 1904. It became a permanent part of the RCMP in 1961, and they perform at fairs and events all across the country. 

My husband's father, Narcisse Dollard Alphonse Nolin (Al), regimental number 12952 was hired by the RCMP on September 6, 1937. He served in Regina Saskatchewan, Rockcliffe Ontario and Montreal Quebec. Al met his beloved Leona in 1937 but regulations kept them from being married at that time. Leona followed Al to Montreal in 1939, getting a job at Woolworths (bring back memories to anyone?) and they were finally married in 1944. Al finished his term on September 5, 1947 and then became an investigator for the Fire Underwriters Investigation Bureau in Montreal.


Before 1966 all recruits received horse training. Here is Al showing off his riding skills!

If you have an ancestor who was a police officer, you may find them mentioned in the following publications and websites. I also listed Police Memorials for several countries and you can find more by searching "police honour roll". Also check city directories.

Relevant Links:

The North West Mounted Police service files at LAC

Officer Down Memorial Page (Canada): Remembering all law enforcement heroes

NWMP graves in the Yukon

The riders of the plains : Royal North West Mounted Police of Canada, 1873-1910

National RCMP graves

RCMP Honour Roll

RCMP Police Dog Trainer Honour Roll

RCMP Honour Roll and death notices - browse at Family Search

RCMP - The Quarterly Index

The Police Blue Book - USA, Canada and Principal Foreign Countries - 1940

FOIA - FBI employees - several records

The United States Secret Service in the late war: and introduction to the leading men at Washington, with the origin and organization of the Secret Service Bureau - 1890

Police History and directory - Chicago 1917

Royal North West Mounted Police Manual - 1906

Police Roll of Honour - UK

Western Australia Police Honour Roll

Australia National Police Honour Roll

Queensland Police Honour Roll

New Zealand Memorial of Police Killed by Criminal Acts (PDF with photos)

List of Irish Police Officers killed in the line of duty

Toronto Police Honour Roll

Ontario Police Honour Roll

Canadian Peace Officer Memorial Assn - Honour Roll

Canadian Police and Peace Officers Memorial

Canadian Police Dogs killed in the line of duty

Boston Police 1901

Boston Police Records Index

These Boston Police Records also gives names of persons issued a license for various things, like Hackney Carriages, Hand Carts, etc...

The Philadelphia Police, past and present - 1887

International Police, detective, sheriff, constable and identification directory, 1921

The Trooper Police of Australia; a record of mounted police work in the commonwealth from the earliest day of settlement to the present time - 1912

List of magistrates, coroners and constables in County of York, Ontario 1880

Sketches of the Royal Irish Constabulary

Return of Police force in Baronies in County of Limerick 1851

Related Post:  Irish Constabulary Resources

Friday, 23 September 2016

Broken Links

Having a blog or website isn't just about putting it out there and forgetting about it.  I can't count the times I have visited a website and clicked on a link that went nowhere. It is frustrating when you are working on something and in the zone, and your concentration gets broken just like the link you are trying to access. It turns me off their site right away. I always try to contact the webmaster to advise of this, and hope readers will do the same for my blog.

Links become broken for several reasons... some website authors like to revamp and reorganize their site, change urls, or perhaps even remove the information altogether. I had one link in my blog where the author only changed one letter from lowercase to uppercase in the url and so it didn't work.

To prevent readers getting turned off your site use a broken link checker regularly. There are several ones on the internet, free or paid versions. Usually the paid versions have more features like regular auto-checks. Some sites have a tool you can download, free or paid. Many sites have an online tool you can use by pasting in your url then go get a coffee or tea or do your workout because if your site has a lot of links it may take time to do a thorough check.

I use this Free Broken Link Checker or this one from W3C

Do a web search for "link checker" and read the features and reviews to decide which is right for you - but please do it at least twice a year if your site has many links, as mine does.  If you have a huge website you may want to do it in sections.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Building and Loan Societies

A lot of my savings were put into mortgage GIC's.  So if you took out a mortgage from my bank, you could be using my money.  You're welcome.

A Building and Loan Society promoted home ownership through residential mortgages. The first known society was established in Birmingham, England in 1775. Since then many building and loan societies throughout the world have been established to help people build a home.

Big cities likely had more than one building society. Different countries have other names and you can search using them as keywords.

"Building Societies (as known in Great Britain) : Building and Loan Associations, Co-operative Banks and Homestead Associations (as known in the United States) : Housing Companies (as known in parts of Continental Europe) : Starr-Bowkett Societies (as known in Australia and New Zealand) : and kindred associations throughout the World"

Relevant Links

The second convention of the International Congress of Building Societies  : held at the Inside Inn, Exposition Grounds, San Francisco, California, July 30th, 1915

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Serendipity Sunday - National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day

Yesterday was National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day in Canada.  It is observed on the 3rd Saturday in September.  

I came across this publication last week...

Related Posts:

Monday, 12 September 2016

Monthly Magazines

Thee are so many types of magazines today. I used to get gift subscriptions to magazines with children stories from my aunts. I give monthly magazines to my grandchildren for Christmas according to their preferences - cooking, photography, puzzles etc. They love them and it is a gift that lasts all year long.

Among the types of magazines printed in the 1700-1900's are political/ literary. They give the news of the past month on science, arts, politics, etc.  Some have names of subscribers, and some have births and deaths of notables. These magazines became especially popular to immigrants who wanted news of their homeland.

There are also genealogical magazines, like this one...

...or Family magazines like this one from Montreal...

When my gg uncle James Mavor died, his notary sent my grandfather, a beneficiary, a clipping from a paper - Weekly Scotsman - so he must have subscribed to it. I see it is available for viewing at the National Library of Australia.

You can check for more using keywords "Monthly Magazine", "Weekly Magazine", "Annual Magazine" and "magazine genealogy". 

Relevant Links

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Serendipity Sunday - Founders and Patriots of America

This week I came across this publication....

The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America Register 1904

'''The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America''' (OFPA) is a highly restrictive, United States-based, hereditary fraternal organization whose self-declared purpose is to collect and preserve records related to the original American colonists and their descendants, and to promote camaraderie among descendants of original colonists. Its strict bloodline mandates and small size (currently less than 1,000 members), has earned it a reputation as the most exclusive lineage society in the United States."

There are more records here.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Correspondence Schools+

As another year of school begins, it reminds us that not all school work takes place in the classroom.  I have taken many courses online through the university. I know kids of friends who are home schooled, which is easy today with computers and networks.

I have heard of educators taking school outside the classroom like this one in BC.
Or.... how about this school?

Nautical School Ship "Sobraon" - regulations in the Supplement to the New South Wales Government Gazette, 7 June 1894 (at Trove).  Look for "Entrance Books" for the Vernon and the Sobraon for names of ancestors.

I remember flipping through magazines and seeing ads for Correspondence School.  I always looked through the list, wondering what I would take if I ever decided to go that route.

Did your ancestor take courses from a Correspondence School?

Relevant Links

Register of International Correspondence Schools, containing names and addresses of 107,239 students, USA & Canada,1908

Related Posts: (9)  School

Monday, 5 September 2016

Labour Day

When I was growing up Labour Day had nothing to do with work for me. It meant the last weekend at the cottage, closing it up for the harsh winter to come. The time for corn roasts and bonfires at the neighbours. The last weekend before school started.

According to wikipedia...  "Labour Day has its origins in the Labour Union Movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated 8 hours for work, 8 hours for recreation and 8 hours for rest."

Actually my first job was in a factory where I started at 7 in the morning and worked 9 hours a day, not counting the 1/2 hour for lunch and the 2 breaks of 15 minutes. It was a literal sweat shop as the machines heated to hot enough to quickly melt plastic sheets over the molds, and the only windows were way up near the high ceiling. I got paid $1 an hour or $45 a week.  It was a summer job and I never went back, but I did have an appreciation for people that worked these kinds of jobs and hours.

Canada and the United States celebrate Labour Day the first Monday in September. Other countries celebrate on May 1st and it is called Eight-Hour Day or International Worker's Day, and some on another day.

Relevant Links

Souvenir programme: Labour Day 1902, the union forever, San Francisco

The Labour Gazette, Canada

Annual Dept of Labour report 1920-1983: wage rates, salaries and hours of labour

The New South Wales Industrial Gazette, 2 volumes

Proceedings of American Federation of Labor

Louisville Industrial and Commercial Gazette

Labor Union Directory, Chicago 1939

Official directory of the Toronto Trades and Labour Council 1896

Directory of labor organizations in Massachusetts, various years

Directory of labor organizations in Montana, various years

Labour Day souvenir: Willows Park, Monday Sept 4th 1916, Victoria, BC

Labour Day souvenir: Allied Trades and Labour Association, 1898 Ottawa

Historical Labour Day 1898 souvenir: official programme Toronto

Related Posts:  Occupations and Wages

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Serendipity Sunday - Medical Service of British Army

This week I came across this study done by the University of Aberdeen in 1917...

"Roll of commissioned officers in the Medical service of the British army, who served on full pay within the period between the accession of George II and the formation of the Royal army medical corps, 20 June 1727 to 23 June 1898, with an introduction showing the historical evolution of the corps."

Related posts:  

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