18 November 2013

Book Review: More Than a Mere Matter of Marching

On the occasion of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 the Niagara Peninsula Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has published a collection of stories about men and women who found themselves in some way, sometimes unwillingly, involved in the war.

The book, with more than 60 stories, on 275 pages, takes its title from a remark by Thomas Jefferson early in the war. "The acquisition of Canada this year, as far as the neighborhood of Québec, will be a mere matter of marching, and will give us experience for the attack of Halifax the next, and the final expulsion of England from the American continent."

A few of the stories are a little more than recitation of genealogy, others reflect in-depth research and insight. As Ronald J Dale writes in his Forward "Like most oral histories, there are flaws in the historical accuracy of some accounts. Minor factual errors and misunderstandings of the context of the events are evident in some of this family history but nonetheless the stories stand as fascinating testaments to the way in which the war of 1812 is perceived by the descendants ..."

The last 16 pages of the book contain a valuable index with well over 1700 names of those mentioned in the text.

Given the importance of the Niagara frontier in the war of 1812 this publication by the local OGS branch is most timely and should be welcomed by those with a connection to or interest in this important period of Canadian history.

More Than A Mere Matter of Marching may be ordered directly from the branch through the website at http://www.ogs.on.ca/niagara/.

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