Celebrating Canada’s Anniversaries

Editor’s Note: The following post celebrating notable Canadian anniversaries, such as the 150th anniversary of the confederation of Canada, is by Genealogical Publishing Company author Denise Larson. We’ve featured her writing here on the blog before, in such posts as Maine Genealogy Parts I and II, and Genealogy Isn’t Just Finding Dead People.

Ms. Larson’s published work related to Canada includes Companions of Champlain: Founding Families of Quebec, 1608-1635, as well Genealogy at a Glance: French-Canadian Genealogy Research. “Companions” provides readers with a concise historical overview of the founding of Quebec and French-Canadian culture and with the research tools necessary to link their family lines with those of the original 18 pioneer families who inhabited Quebec during the lifetime of the city’s founder, Samuel de Champlain.

Please enjoy the post below by Denise Larson:

Sesquicentennial, Sesquarcentennial, Quadricentennial – All Add Up to Celebrating Canada as a Nation

Next year, in 2017, Canadians all across the continent will be celebrating the sesquicentennial–150th anniversary–of the Confederation of Canada. Under Confederation, “Canada” became the official name of the federal union of the provinces of Ontario (formerly Upper Canada), Quebec (formerly Lower Canada), Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. The act provided for the union of the four provinces into the Dominion of Canada under the Crown of the United Kingdom. Provisions were made for the admission of the other provinces as well as Rupert’s Land and the Northwest Territories. The British North America Act of 1867 was passed by the Parliament of Great Britain and went into effect July 1 of that year. July 1 is known as Canada Day. Continue reading…

genealogy bug

Michael A. Ports and the Genealogy Bug

Editor’s Note: Genealogist and professional hydrologist Michael A. Ports, Ph.D., is one of the most prolific authors in the recent history of this blog’s parent company, Genealogical Publishing Company. Spanning scarcely (three) years, he has produced twenty-two separate publications for Dr. Ports has authored separate research guides in our laminated series, “Genealogy at a Glance” on the states of Maryland, Ohio, and North Carolina.

Michael did much of his initial research in Maryland, and this is reflected in nine collections of Baltimore County marriage licenses, tax assessments, and licenses. Many of Ports ancestors are from the Deep South and especially Georgia.  Working in courthouses and archives in that state enabled him to transcribe the groundbreaking ante bellum series, Georgia Free Persons of Color, which spans over a dozen counties. He has also transcribed thousands of records from Elbert and especially Jefferson counties. To date Genealogical Publishing Company has published five volumes of his Jefferson County Inferior Court Minutes, a separate book of buried Jefferson County Confederate military records, and another title on Elbert County, Georgia court minutes.

In this post below written by Dr. Michael Ports, he explains his genealogical journey from being bitten by the genealogy bug to his research for his publications.  Continue reading…

immigrants on ship, passenger list

How to find your ancestor without a passenger list

No Passenger List?

No official U.S. government passenger lists exist prior to 1820. What miscellaneous lists that have survived and been transcribed or published cover only a fraction of the immigrants who arrived in the Americas before 1820. If you do not possess a passenger list for your immigrant ancestor, are you at the end of your hunt? Not necessarily.

Let’s say that you have traced your Scottish immigrant ancestor to the city of Baltimore in 1816. You are hoping to continue your research abroad, but you don’t have a passenger list stating the name of your forebear, his/her ports and dates of embarkation and disembarkation, and so forth. What can you turn to in place of the missing list? The identity of the ship that disembarked in Baltimore close to the time your ancestor was living there. Continue reading…

census records and county boundary changes

Census Records and County Boundary Changes

Editor’s note: The following post on the importance of knowing the county in order to properly utilize census records, and how shifting boundaries can affect that search, is written by author William Dollarhide. An excellent source that can be used to visualize the county boundaries for every county in the U.S. and for each census year is the book by William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920. This book has 393 maps showing each applicable census year and all county boundary changes from 1790 to 1920. Each map shows both the old boundaries and the modern boundaries for each state and census year, so a comparison can be made. 

Census Records and County Boundary Changes

All censuses taken since 1790 are tabulated and organized by the counties within each state or territory. By federal precedence, the county is the basic unit of jurisdiction for census demographics. Alaska is the only state without counties; therefore, judicial districts are used as jurisdictions for the censuses taken there. In Louisiana, the term “parish” is used in the same way as “county” in other states. Even in the New England states–where a town may have more importance than a county as a genealogical resource–censuses are organized by county.

Interestingly, Connecticut abolished county government in 1960. All county functions were taken over by the towns or by the state, except that the county boundaries were retained expressly for the purpose of taking a census and certain other statistical studies based on a county, rather than town boundaries. Continue reading…

Jacobite, Scottish Highlands, Scots, Scotland

Jacobite Rebellion & Immigration to Colonial America

The following post, “Jacobitism & American Colonial Immigration,” is by renowned author and expert David Dobson. In the following, Mr. Dobson discusses the Jacobite movement, and the impact of its failure in immigration to Colonial America. 

Jacobite Rebellion & Immigration to Colonial America

What was Jacobitism and what relevance did it have for immigration to colonial America? Jacobitism was basically a movement committed to restoring the House of Stuart to the throne of Great Britain and Ireland. It originated when King James II of England, who was simultaneously King James VII of Scotland, abandoned his kingdoms and fled to France in 1689. His hurried departure was prompted by the arrival in England of William of Orange, later to reign with his wife as William and Mary. The dual monarchs were succeeded by Queen Anne and thereafter followed the ruling House of Hanover. Continue reading…