Sunday, 2 June 2019

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Maple Leaves: Discovering Canada through the Published Record
Using WorldCat, the world’s largest and most comprehensive aggregation of data describing global library holdings traces the boundaries of the Canadian presence in the published record: i.e., materials published in Canada, by Canadians, or about Canada.

How to Find Old Pictures of Ontario Online
From the Toronto Public Library.

About the 359 Canadian soldiers killed at Juno Beach
The following is an extract from an Ancestry.ca press release.
Analysis of the Canada, WWII Service Files of War Dead, 1939 – 1947 collection on Ancestry.ca
reveals that the average age of Canadians who died on D-Day was just 23 years old. The youngest
soldier to have fallen was 19 years old, while the oldest was 48.
The records also reveal that most of the fallen soldiers (71%) were single, and came from all over the
country, with the highest proportion from Ontario (33%), followed by Saskatchewan (16%) and
Manitoba (14%).
In addition, roughly one in ten (9%) of the Canadian troops that died on D-Day were emigrants to
Canada, from countries including Ireland, Scotland, Argentina, India, The Netherlands and
Switzerland. The records themselves reveal – in rich detail – the lives of the brave men that sacrificed
their lives, such as:
• Richard Reginald Irvine, born in Dublin, Ireland, was a Flying Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He emigrated to Canada to work at Iroquois Casino and Hotel in London, ON, before moving to Kirkland Lake, where he worked as a radio announcer for CJKL Kirkland Lake. Before he left for the war, Irvine was the commercial manager of the radio station CJLS in Yarmouth, NS. Among his hobbies he listed “collecting unique newspaper cartoons,” and he also enjoyed bowling, hunting, cycling and swimming, all “moderately.” He died at age 32 on D-Day during air operations.
• Cpl. John William Wilton Parr, born in Darjeeling, India before emigrating to Victoria, BC, where he worked as a service station manager before enlisting in the Canadian army. On September 5, 1943 Parr was appointed Corporal, but was sadly killed in action against the enemy aged 32 on D-Day.
• Sgt. Peter Jacob Martinus Modderman, positioned as a parachutist in the 1st Canadian
Paratroop Battalion. Modderman was born in Rotterdam, South Holland and emigrated to
Beazer, Alberta, to work as a rancher before the war. Modderman was granted permission to marry while in the army and married Sarah Beth Olsen on May 27, 1943. He died just over a year later in action aged 31 on D-Day.
• Albert Wilson Kennedy, who held the position of Rifleman and was killed in action aged just 20 on D-Day. Kennedy was born in Greenock, Scotland, and emigrated to Mimico, ON. Before enlisting in the war, he was a truck driver.
To gauge the understanding of modern Canadians’ understanding of the conflict, Ancestry also commissioned a survey that reveals people’s knowledge of the soldiers who enlisted and fought in WWII, with the findings suggesting that Canadians’ perceptions of WWII vary from the reality.
The findings revealed that 64% of Canadians polled believed the average age of those that served
and died on D-Day would, in fact, be younger than 23 – with 9% believing it to be as young as 12-17.
Additionally, almost two-thirds (64%) can’t imagine themselves enlisting in the army at the age of 23,
compared to over a quarter (26% cent) who can.

Genographic Project Ending
While new tests are not being sold National Geographic currently plans to maintain the site, through which customers may access their results, until the end of 2020. For ideas on transferring your results see Roberta Estes blog post. Thanks to Susan Courage for the tip.

Why Ethnic Majorities Lash Out
Demographic change, global interconnectedness and even the rise of democracy can make majorities feel as if their dominance is endangered.

The Climate Crisis
When people see a problem as too big, they might stop believing that anything can be done to solve it.

Why giant human-sized beavers died out 10,000 years ago
Giant beavers the size of black bears once roamed the lakes and wetlands of North America. Fortunately for cottage-goers, these mega-rodents died out at the end of the last ice age.

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