Thursday, 10 December 2015

BIFHSGO 12 December Meeting: Great Moments

The semi-annual Great Moments in Genealogy session will feature BIFHSGO members Ken McKinlay, John McConkey, Gillian Leitch, and Duncan Monkhouse as they share some of their exciting discoveries in genealogy research.

Esther's Lost Surname
By Ken McKinlay
Many times the maiden surname of the women on our family trees are the hardest things to discover. They are often called "my wife," "my spouse," "et ux," or just referred to by their first name on the civil and church documents. Finding Ken McKinlay’s fifth great-grandmother's maiden surname was a long-time search undertaken by several researchers over the past 30+ years. Through a bit of luck and a leaf on Ancestry, it was finally uncovered for future generations to remember.

My Sea-faring Ancestors
By John McConkey
John McConkey knows of four men on his father's side of the family tree who had naval careers and strangely enough they were all named "Henry." In this talk, he will cover highlights of the lives of the two most notable Henrys. One of them lived in Northern Ireland, the other in New York.

Bumping into WC Leitch — or How to Succeed at Research Without Trying
By Gillian Leitch
William Christopher Leitch was a contractor in Montreal in the early twentieth-century. Some basic research on him and his life has been done, the majority of the information on him has come in serendipitous ways — Gillian Leitch seems to bump into him in the oddest moment, usually when she is researching something else entirely. Without really trying that hard, a picture of WC Leitch and his company Laurin & Leitch has been built up. It has become a series of great genealogical moments.

Elizabeth Ann Foster — Where did you come from? Where did you go?
By Duncan Monkhouse
This Great Moments will explore Duncan Monkhouse’s search for Elizabeth Ann Foster, both before her marriage and after the birth of her and Henry's last child in Southampton in 1887. This story is about a desire to learn more about a mystery lady, called Elizabeth Ann Foster. She was married to Henry Charles Thorn in South Africa on April 4, 1874. The couple had three children in South Africa, one of whom was my great grandfather. The family returned to England in 1881 or 1882 where three more children were born in Southampton, Hampshire. No record could be located concerning Elizabeth before the marriage in 1874 or after the birth of her last child in Southampton in 1887. Elizabeth is missing in the 1891 census.

The Before BIFHSGO Education Talk, on the value and types of parish records when researching family histories, will be given by Gloria Tubman.

There will also be a selection of discovery tables including Global Genealogy with a supply of materials for seasonal gifts or your own collection. Don Cummer, author of a new series of novels for young readers about the War of 1812, will be on hand with a supply of books that make ideal stocking stuffers to kindle an interest in Canadian history. Jane Down will host a table on the English county of Devon.

The venue is The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario. Lots of free parking. Further information at

Note:  As of 10 December the sun starts setting later in Ottawa.

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