Monday, 31 October 2016

The Police Gazette - On the Lam or in the Game?

The Police Gazette was a newspaper in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia issued by the police department giving descriptions of crimes and criminals, lists of deserters, etc. Unfortunately I didn't find all to view for free, but they have some at Ancestry and Find My Past. There are digital issues that can be viewed online free at Tasmania Government Archives. UK and Ireland gazettes can be viewed with a subscription to British Newspapers or pay-per-page at Last Chance to Read, who has over 700 issues. You can also go to the National Archives, UK or to other countries' government archives or state libraries.

Some issues of the National Police Gazette, NY published in New York since 1845 can be found online.

Then you have the Police Gazette which was a popular American men's magazine. It published articles with wonderful illustrations about American Boxing and biographies, world sporting events, sports calendars and records, crime stories, and full page Pin-up Girls!  

Perhaps you will find one of your ancestors... either on the lam or in the game!

Relevant Links

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Serendipity Sunday - Mail Order Tombstones

I was researching the sport of Fencing, using keyword "fencing" and because of "iron grave fencing" being keywords in the topic, this catalogue popped up!

Who knew you could check out fridges, sofas and tombstones from the same department store??  Even Tiffany's got in the act!

Relevant Links

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Life in the Trenches

My grandson is going on a school trip next summer to Ottawa and Quebec.  In Ottawa the first day they are going to visit the Canadian War Museum.

So I moseyed on over to the museum website to refresh my memory of what he may see there. They have many great exhibits of artifacts, and memorials.

One thing I found you can do right on their site was an interactive adventure...

Experience life in the Trenches during World War I, based on real life. You can personalize the story by entering your name. You can choose to play in English or French.

At the end of each section you make a choice and go on to see the outcome of your decision. OOPS!!!  Do-overs are allowed, unlike in real life.

I got to experience a little of how it was for my grandfather and his brother. I enjoyed the experience and I think it will appeal to older children.
You can click on unfamiliar war-time words to get the definition without disturbing the game. Even though it is on a Canadian site, I don't think it matters what country you are in.... war was war!

"So, pick up your rifle, put on your helmet and get ready for a truly unique experience!"

Relevant Links

Over the Top

Canadian War Museum

Monday, 24 October 2016

Hotel Directories

My grandparents took 2 weeks holiday every summer and drove to Old Orchard Beach in Maine where they stayed at The Butler House. They reserved the same suite every year, as it had a nice big kitchen for Grampa to cook their meals.

Typically a Hotel Directory will give the name of the town, name of hotel, name of proprietor and the cost per night to stay there. Some entries are more detailed (I assume they paid extra for the entry) and tell a little more about the area or amenities.

So, maybe your ancestor didn't own or manage a hotel, but he may have stayed at one. The newspapers once printed names of people that stayed at the local hotels, and where they were from. Usually on the same page as the names of people who are setting sail. In old Canadian papers it is under Personal Intelligence.

At Trove for Australia, search "Staying at Hotels". 
The following was in The Sun, Sydney 13 Nov 1913..

Relevant Links

Old Orchard Beach, Maine 1900

The Official hotel red book and directory of the United States and Canada, 1903

United States hotel guide and railway companion for 1867

List of hotels throughout the United States offering special rates to employees of the Department of Agriculture, 1910

Hotel & boarding house directory of Queensland, 1912, 1921, 1929

Hotels of San Francisco 1906

Hand book to temperance hotels, UK 1888

A Century of Historic Hotels, Montreal 1903

Roe's hotel guide for commercial travellers, USA 1876

American summer resort directory... A complete guide and directory of summer hotels and boarding houses 1883

Canadian Summer Resort Guide, 1907

Picturesque Catskill Mountains summer resorts; list of hotels and boarding houses 1906

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Serendipity Sunday - Landlords of the Inns

While researching my Frost ancestors of Devon, I discovered that the site for Moretonhampstead History Society had a list of Landlords of Moretonhampstead Inns. There I learned that...
On Tuesday, October 21, 1800 my 4x great grandfather, Robert Frost, took over as landlord of the Black Horse Inn in Moretonhampstead, Devon.

The Black Horse was at No 9 Cross Street, and in 1802 became the Golden Lion Inn. It is now residential.

Then I found this website with links to many pubs, inns and landlords...

Relevant Links

Publicians, Inn Keepers & Brewers in Great Britain 

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Cartoons and Caricatures - Making the World Laugh

You've seen them.  The artists in the mall or on the sidewalk that try to entice you to let them make a caricature of you.  When I was a teenager my Mom and I had caricatures done at the mall and Dad hung them on the wall in our living room.... I wonder whatever happened to them?

Now you can get free apps that make a caricature of your photo... I made this one using the free MomentCam app for android.

Gearing up to head south to AZ

Some of the earliest caricatures were drawn by Leonardo da Vinci c.1475. The first known North American caricatures were drawn in 1759 during the battle for Quebec by George Townshend.

It has forever been popular to see political cartoons in newspapers and magazines. Artists have been having a field day these past months! Who were cartoonists making caricatures of in the 19th and early 20th centuries?

Relevant Links

Cartoons and caricatures, or Making the world laugh, USA 1910

Henri Julie Album - French Canadian artist and cartoonist, 1916

Best of H T Webster: a memorial collection, USA 1953

Drawings of John Leach, UK 1817-1864

Ernesto Garcia Cabral: a Mexican cartoonist, 1923

Cartoons by Bradley, cartoonist of the Chicago Daily News, 1917

Beshkov and Altmaier: fragments of a friendship, 1934-1955

Hans Schliessmann - Album, Austrian 1890

Album Caran d'Ache, Paris 1889

Album Caran d'Ache, deuxième, 1890

Edmund Harburger Album, German 1882

The Schröder art memento, South Africa's only artist, 1894

Caricatures by H W G Hayter, 1902

Fifty caricatures by Max Beerbohm, 1913

American caricatures pertaining to the Civil War, 1919

Caricatures of the stage, 1898

Caricatures by Tom Tit, London 1913

Cartoons and caricatures of Seattle citizens, 1906

Men about town, a book of 58 caricatures, USA 1924


Monday, 17 October 2016

My Interview for Geneabloggers

A while back I was honoured to be invited by Wendy Mathias to interview for Geneabloggers "May I Introduce to You.." series.

The questions sure made me think, remember how I came to take this path and why I am researching and writing the blog. I love doing what I do!

The interview was posted today if you'd like to check it out...

Thank you for your kind words Wendy, and thank you readers for following me down my path!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

The Drouin Genealogical Institute adds new records

The Drouin Genealogical Institute, author of the Généalogie Québec and PRDH websites, has issued the first of its bimonthly newsletters, announcing the addition of over 20,000 records to the LaFrance Collection for 1850-1861.

If you have Canadian ancestors (not only French), Généalogie Québec is the place to find them. If you are in another country and have relatives of your ancestors that immigrated to Canada at any time, you may find them here as the marriage and death records go from 1926 to 1997. Subscriptions to Généalogie Québec are very reasonable and payable through PayPal, making it easy to subscribe from any country.

Most people go straight to the Drouin Collection where the BMD civil records are, though that is not all that you will discover in this collection. Under the heading Divers (not like scuba divers, but French for Miscellaneous) you will find various documents including soldiers names who fought in the Battle of Ste Foy, Provost and justice records, register of notaries of Detroit, and it is here that I found the Genealogies of the families of Ile-d'Orleans. My husband's Nolin ancestor lived there from when he came from France and their genealogy is included.

You will see further down the menu are headings for Recensements (Census since 1666) and for the Registres Paroissiaux  (the parish copies of the records).

The next category is Great Collections. This collection is searchable by your ancestors family name.  I typed in Nolin and results were links to 48 pages where this name was mentioned in books and records.

Next is Obituaries, Death Cards and Tombstones.  Here I found images of the tombstones of my great grandparents in the village of Waterville, and the death cards of many of the Guimont family. The up-to-date obituaries are free for anyone to search at Obituary. Genealogie Quebec.

The marriage & death, 2 BMD indexes, Notarized records and censuses are searchable.

The heading LaFrance contains a BMD index by individual, couple or parish. You can choose birth, marriage or death, or leave that field open. I went to individual, typed in Nolin, Jacques and it gave me 237 instances where a Jacques Nolin was mentioned (subject, parent, godfather etc). Click on the date to go to that fiche and each includes a link to the actual record. 

For one family I couldn't find two of their children after about age 15.  I went to the LaFrance collection, typed in the fathers name, and here were noted the marriages of these 2 children. This helps when you are searching in Ancestry and the transcriber misspells the names. It is also a way to discover if you have found all the children in a family. Now with a date and place it will be easier to find the record on Ancestry. 
This is what the Lafrance record will look like...

On the home page (you can click on English at the top right) scroll down to the bottom and you can download the User Guide, which explains the records you will find here and how to use them. 

Relevant Links

Généalogie Québec


Obituary. Genealogie Quebec.


Related Post:  Quebec Adoption records at The Drouin Genealogical Institute

Monday, 10 October 2016

QR Codes and how you can use them for Genealogy

I downloaded a QR code reader app on my mobile phone. Mostly because I was curious what the code meant. A QR code is the little square code you may see on some items. It is used to hold more information about that product.

For those of you who don't know about QR codes....
Here is the QR code on my box of Crunchmaster crackers.  Scan the QR code for additional recipes and serving sugestions.

I opened the QR code reader on my phone and held it over the box. There is a square guide in the scanner you are supposed to hold over the QR code, but putting it any where near the code activated the scan...

You can see in the 3rd photo it gives you a URL to click on.  I clicked OK and this is the result...

It took me to the company web page where I can get recipes, find a store near me that sells the product, and download a coupon for $1 off my next purchase.

Then I saw that you can create QR codes for free online.
Ah ha!
That got me thinking of some interesting ways to use this technology! Here are some of my ideas, but I'm sure you can think of more.

I am using The QR Code Generator on my computer. There are many free ones, you can do a search and try them out. You can type text or if you have a web page you can point to the URL.  I also tried the code generator at VisuaLead. You can put your code on an image, and you get 3 free ones that you can save and download.

Kids love using technology and I made this QR to put on a card to my grandson. I created it using VisuaLead with a photo of my grandfather... (since it is free, when it opens there is a short ad that disappears for about 3 seconds)

Use your phone QR code reader app on the above code on your pc or laptop - just point it at your screen. You should get text to my grandson Maksim, telling him which of his ancestors he is most like. If you don't have the QR reader you can read it here.

If you make your own Christmas cards, you can add a QR code on the inside that holds your yearly newsletter, either as text or a web page URL. Way to save on paper!!!

When my mother died last spring I saw that at the funeral home you could order memorial cards.  You can make your own modern version of the memorial card with card stock, a photo, and generate a QR code telling about the deceased persons life. Here I took the old memorial card for Pierre Maximilien Guimond and added a QR code.


The more text you have the more small dots in the code. You should be able to read the QR code in center, on the card may be too small here. If you don't have a QR reader the text is here.

Most of you may have seen the Ancestor Cards you can make and use to play games. Kids will be glad to play when they can use a mobile device to get the information from a QR code. The ancestor cards can have a photo of the ancestor and minimal information, the rest being in the code.

You can put QR codes on business or calling cards. When we travelled with the boat or the RV we had personal cards with a photo of the boat or RV and our name and email address to give to people we met on our travels.  Recently Lorine McGinnis Shulze wrote one of her articles on Legacy News suggesting to make a calling card to hand out at genealogy conferences. It would be fun to add a QR code. This one points to the URL of my blog.

You can even put the code on a t-shirt (or practically any item) to announce the upcoming birth of a baby!

What innovative ways of using QR codes for Genealogy can you come up with?

Relevant Links

The QR Code Generator

VisuaLead - Visual QR Code Generator

Letter to Maksim

Memorial Card text

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Report from the College of Arms

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so Thankful for my wonderful family - my aunt who patiently answers all my questions, my children, siblings and cousins who encourage me in my genealogical endeavors and help out from time to time, and my new-found cousins that help to fill in the blanks and prove that in research two (or three or four) heads are better than one!

This Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I am giving a gift to all my relatives of this information on our Seale Coat of Arms. At the same time it serves to tell my readers what they can expect if they want go this route.

I had contacted the College of Arms in London a couple of years ago but didn't go ahead with any followup.  This year, after receiving an image of our family Coat of Arms from a cousin I decided to contact them again to see if I can get any information.

You may remember from my post on heraldry titled Disclaimed Gentlemen that the Heralds also do genealogies to be sure a person is entitled to the Coat of Arms. For meanings of terms see the Dictionary of Coats of Arms Vol 1 & 2 referred to in that post (check index in beginning of Vol 1) ...

I paid the sum of $200 CDN for them to do a thorough search (easy through PayPal). My contact was Mr Clive Cheesman, the Richmond Herald for the College of Arms in London. It may take a while depending on how busy the Herald is, and you may have to give him a nudge.

I charged him with finding out if we are entitled to the coat of arms, and if they have any genealogy for the Seale family connecting our Pedigree of Seales done in the 1900's.

This is the coat of arms:

This is the report the herald sent back:

Your picture shows a rather faded coat of arms, making the colours slightly hard to decipher, but in other respects the design is clear. The shield shows a horizontal stripe (or fess) between three wolf’s heads with ragged lower edges representing that they have been torn off or erased rather than cleanly cut off or couped. The field of the shield appears to be gold or Or, and the wolf heads are probably black or sable, but the colour of the fess is uncertain. Above the shield is a crest consisting of another wolf’s head emerging from a coronet; here it seems clear enough that the head is white or argent and the coronet gold or Or. Below the shield is the motto AMOR PATRIAE OMNIA VINCIT (‘Patriotism conquers all’); but mottoes are rarely useful diagnostic tools in the identification of coats of arms and were hardly ever recorded here before the late eighteenth century. The coat of arms is ascribed in the picture to the name SEALE.

A search in our records has revealed that this coat of arms was granted on 9 July 1599 by William Camden (Clarenceux King of Arms) to Robert Seale, clerk of the cheque (essentially adjutant of the Yeomen of the Guard) in the reign of Elizabeth I. We have several entries relating to the grant, but the fullest by far is a full text entry with the reference ICB101 / 68. The text of the grant states that..
Robert Seale was lineally descended from “the auncient famylie of Seale in the Countie of Northumberland” and that “he for manye yeares hath faithfully served his Prince [i.e. the Queen] in place of especiall truste in the Garde and defence of her Majesties person, and for his circumspection, carefull diligence providence and assured fidelitie in that Service is now advanced by her Majestie to be the Clarke of the Cheque of her Garde”.

The grant purports to confirm or ‘exemplify’ to Robert Seale the shield long used by his Northumberland ancestors and to grant him a new crest to go with the shield. However the sketch of the arms in the margin is accompanied by the annotation “This Armes and Creast was never borne by any before this gifte 1599”. It is not at all uncommon for grants of arms in this period to pretend to be confirming old coats of arms when in fact they were creating new ones; to do so was flattering to the recipient, suggesting that he was descended from ancestors with a coat of arms, and it also had some procedural or administrative advantages. Even without the annotation I would not advise spending much time looking for evidence of an earlier Northumberland family called Seale using these arms; the annotation (which is apparently contemporary with the rest of the document) makes it highly likely that it would be a forlorn search.

The shield granted in the grant of 1599 can be described as Or a fess azure between three wolf’s heads erased sable with a crescent gules in chief for difference, in other words the shield that appears in your picture, with a blue fess; the only difference is a small red crescent added to indicate that Robert Seale (or his father, grandfather or some earlier male-line ancestor) was a second son. This ‘mark of difference’ is not part of the substantive design of the granted coat of arms. It also appears on the crest, which is described as Issuant from a coronet Or a wolf’s head couped argent his mouth and jaws ‘sanguinolent’. The last word is the one used in the grant text; its meaning is obvious, though I have not observed it in heraldry before.

Other references to entries in our records relating to the 1599 grant of arms are Camden 1/20, Camden 2/25 and Miscellaneous Grants 7/387. In the last of these three entries the grantee is referred to as ‘Thomas or Robert Seale’; this uncertainty over his Christian name ties in with the fact that in Burke’s General Armory (1884 – a standard unofficial dictionary of authorized and unauthorized coats of arms alphabetically listed by surname) the relevant entry refers to the grantee as Thomas. But all the other evidence points to him being called Robert.

No further information survives in our records regarding Robert Seale, clerk of the cheque, or his family. However it is clear that other Seale families subsequently came to use the coat of arms granted to him. This is typical; when one family with a given surname starts using a coat of arms, some others of the same name inevitably adopt either the same arms or similar ones, even where there is no relationship. This is as old as heraldry itself, though unauthorized. Accordingly it seems that a Jersey family called Seale (treated in Payne’s Armorial of Jersey, pp. 330-3) used very similar arms to those granted in 1599: shield Azure a fess between three wolf’s heads sable and crest A wolf’s head erased sable. In other words, a white shield with a black fess, but three black wolf heads as in the grant; and a black erased wolf head, without the coronet, in the crest. According to Payne one branch of the Jersey family went to Devon, and when in 1838 a member of this branch (John Henry Seale, of Mount Boone) was made a baronet and granted arms the family’s unofficial usage of the 1599 arms was mentioned in his grant (reference here: Grants 43/119):
“… his family has been seated for some generations in the said County of Devon and has hitherto used the Arms exemplified in 1599 to Robert Seale then Clerk of the Cheque but being unable at this time from the absence of family evidence to establish by strict proof his descent from the said Robert Seale …”

John Henry Seale of Mount Boone was duly granted different, though similar, arms.

Payne dismisses any suggestion that the Jersey family was descended from Robert Seale the clerk of the cheque; but he does approve the notion that the Northumberland family might have been an offshoot of a Devon branch of the Jersey family – in other words, that the link was the other way round. In reality this too is exceedingly unlikely and the similarity of the coat of arms is likely to reflect the simple fact that one Seale family observed the other using arms with a fess between three wolf heads and started doing the same.

The upshot of all this is that the right to the coat of arms in your picture depends is limited to those descended from Robert Seale, clerk of the cheque and recipient of the 1599 grant of arms. Other families called Seale have used the arms – such as the Jersey one and the Devon family who may have been a branch of the Jersey Seales – but without authority or right.

I could find no evidence in our records, I am afraid, that the Irish Seales you refer to (Richard of Oldtown and John of Clonard) were related to or descended from the grantee of 1599. Possibly they were, but it does not emerge from our records. I have checked our photographic copies of the records of Ulster King of Arms, whose jurisdiction was the whole of Ireland, and not found any grant or confirmation of arms to anyone of the name of Seale, or any pedigree of a family of that name.

So, we are still seeking a link between our Richard Seale that was born in Ireland in 1689 and presumably his father that fought in the Battle of the Boyne, and the Robert Seale that was granted the coat of arms by the Herald Office in 1599. 

The search is on....

Friday, 7 October 2016

Scotlands Places now Free

We all know now that ScotlandsPeople website has had an overhaul and it is now free to view the indexes. We get so busy looking for our ancestor under People we forget to look for them under Places.  All resources on ScotlandsPlaces are now available free of charge.

Besides looking for maps and images for parishes and counties where our ancestors lived, you will also find these records:  historic tax rolls, burgh registers and official reports. Some records for some places are beyond repair so will not be available.
You can browse through all the titles, or go to Places A-Z on the menu bar and see what records are available for your area of research.

Looking for my Bruce ancestors in Fyvie I find 650 records including maps, broadsides and images (which I can filter), two tax rolls and a medical report.

Gail Dever at Genealogy à la carte says we are going to need this long weekend while we celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving and search the new Notorial Records at Ancestry.

Well you may need more than just one long weekend to look into all these records now available to you for free!

Relevant Link

Scotland Places

Quebec adoption records

The Drouin Institute website offers 2415 FREE Quebec adoption records from 1911 to 1998 in two volumes.  Unlike other records that you are used to, you don't do an online database search or download a pdf.  These records are on two executable files that you download to your computer.

Update note:  Does not work with MAC - must have windows.

You click to download the zip files then extract them on your computer into a folder. This took a little over 2 minutes with my cable internet connection. In all the files extracted look for the Adoption_V1.exe for volume 1 or Adoption_Tome2.exe for volume 2 and click to open it. You can drag or right click to send this icon to your desktop if you wish.

Once you have them opened on your computer the interface for Tome 2 will look like this:

For Tome 1 the tools are down the left side.  The find icon is the magnifying glass under Browse. Fill in the fields you want and press enter.

The fields are...

The adoptee: surname and name, date of birth, sex, place of birth
Biological parents: surname and name of father, surname and name of mother
Baptism: date and place of baptism
Adoption Info: date, place of the court, judgement number, date of judgement
Adoptive parents: surname and name of father, surname and name of mother
Godfather: surname and name
Godmother: surname and name
Other Information: space to make notes.

You can browse through the records or do a search for a specific surname. Click on the Find icon on the tool bar, it will clear the fields. You can search by just a surname or any other criteria you know. Then click Perform Find.  If there are many results you can use the next tool to sort them. 

I didn't browse through all of the over-a-thousand records, but they do not seem to have the names of the biological parents.  A copy of the birth or adoption record will appear on the right.

Relevant Link

Monday, 3 October 2016

Railway Directories and Wages

Many of my ancestors worked in some capacity for the railroad.... steamfitter, engineer, car builder, yardman, general labourer. In searching for information, I came across these directories and publications.

Some have information about the railroad with a list of officials...

You may also find biographies, some with portraits...

Relevant Links

The railway purchasing agent's directory, containing directions where to purchase every article used in constructing and operating railways, also a list of railways, with name and address of officials in charge of purchasing departments, 1900

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Serendipity Sunday - The Shoe and Leather Journal

I have an ancestor that was a shoemaker and while researching I came across this publication....

The Shoe & Leather Journal was published in Toronto and Montreal twice monthly. It had articles about just concerning the shoe industry as well as ads from across Canada. There are tips on selling and repairing shoes. Each journal also has a section on personal news and some portraits of "shoemen". 

I found a couple of other leather product publications.  If your ancestor was a shoe or boot maker in the early 1900's you may find him mentioned in these pages. 

At Hathitrust check the links on the left side of the page also. 

Relevant Links

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