15 March 2012

BMDs from Early Ottawa Newspapers

The following is a note received from John Patton for Ottawa Branch of OGS.

The following death notice appeared on page 2 of  the Ottawa Times on April 7, 1868, just a few hours after the “Father of Confederation” was murdered at the front door of his rooming-house on Ottawa’s Sparks Street.
McGEE, Thomas D’Arcy
On Apr. 7 at the door to his lodgings on Sparks St., Thomas D’Arcy McGEE was shot by assassin. 2nd son of James McGEE and Dorcas MORGAN of Co. Wexford, Ireland. Born in Carlingford, Co. Louth on 13 Apr. 1825, named D’Arcy for his godfather Thomas D’ARCY. Funeral from late residence Sparks st. to the Cathedral, then railway station.
This is just one of the fascinating birth, marriage and death notices that can be found in the new DVD publication of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society: BMDs from Early Ottawa Newspapers (Pub. No. 11-01).
These notices carried in The Ottawa Tribune, The Daily Union, and The Daily News/Ottawa Times between 1854 and 1877 cover a quarter-century of probably the most momentous period in the history of the City of Ottawa. On 1 January 1855, the lumbering village of Bytown was formally incorporated as the City of Ottawa. Just two years later, in 1857, the new city was officially declared to be the capital of the United Province of Canada and a mere decade afterwards, on 1 July 1867, became the capital of the new Dominion of Canada.
Within these notices, one can find names or surnames of many of the most influential men, and a few women, of their time, both locally and nationally.  There are surnames such as Wright, Billings, Sparks, McKay, Besserer, Skead, Sherwood and Bell which recall Bytown’s boisterous heyday as the lumbering capital of Canada.  As well, in addition to McGee, there are names such as Macdonald and Langevin which resonate with the emerging history of the new dominion.  There are notable individual items such as the birth of a son to Canada’s first Prime Minister, John A. Macdonald. The deaths of prominent British and American figures, such as Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria, were often listed in these notices rather than or in addition to news items.
The cost is $18 including tax and shipping. You can obtain a copy by submitting an order form, available at http://ogsottawa.on.ca/publications/orderform.php
or through the OGS e-store at http://www.ogs.on.ca/ogscart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=2.
Comment: We're told the provincial BMD records are not very complete in the early years. Are there any statistics? It would be interesting to see how many of the events of (a sample of) those on this DVD are in the provincial vital records.

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