Thursday November 20, 2014

Website provides new perspective

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If you are using the long days of summer to catch up on your genealogy research, you will want to check out a site from the Government of Canada.  Log on to and you will find many interesting and helpful links.  For searching French Canadian roots, there are sites such as “Fichier Origine”, which is  “…part of a franco-québécois research project on the family origins of French emigrants and foreigners established in Quebec, from the beginning up to 1865”  as well as the National Library and Archives or Quebec, “Composed of civil status registers from 1635 to 1900 (baptisms, marriages, burials), notarial records from the mid-17th century to the 1920s and surveyors’ records, mostly from the 19th century.”

Click on the “Canadian Genealogy and History Links” tab, and you will find information organized by a variety of themes, including a comprehensive list of links for military information, which makes fascinating and education reading.  Find out about actual Canadian WWI pilots who earned the title of “Ace” (click on “Aces of Canada”), or more about WWI, including the home front and women’s roles in WWI (click on “An Archival Look at WW1”).    Click on “Books of Remembrance” for names of those who Canadians who died during or after wars.

Gain an insider’s perspective on all aspects of war by clicking on “Canadian Letters and Images” which contain collections of letters and images from men and women who served in the armed forces.  Their letters are fascinating reading; take, for example, excerpts of this letter from George Adkins, a young soldier who emigrated to Canada from England before the war, and enlisted in March, 1915. This letter was dated December 18, 1915, from France.

“My Dear Louise; We are moving from here right away so I am finishing up my last green envelope. You see these green envelopes are given out to us very gingerly so we naturally prize them. They are the only ones that are not censored by our own officers. but they may be censored at the Base. Oh say wasn’t that an awful blot on the last one I sent to you. I was addressing the envelope with a fountain pen I borrowed from another fellow. It must have looked awful when you got it & I was ashamed of it, but had no alternative owing to the shortage of these same envelopes. we don’t know just where we are going but I don’t think it will be very far from here.

We lost one of our boys out of this tent last night, he was shot through the leg. There were three of us working together on a machine gun emplacement. The bullets started coming over thick & fast till at last one hit Smithy Angus in the leg. We carried him out to the nearest dressing station but the doctor said it was not a dangerous wound, and he would not be away long. I hope he won’t as we miss him. He has been with us all the time since we started out & in this life which is as one might say just for the present, one values a real friend. …I often dream of home but the worst part of it is that one wakes up to the stern fact that it is only a dream. .. Well I will ring off now as there isn’t much to tell so good-bye dearie, with love from George”.

The Yorkton Branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogy Society has members at all stages of genealogy research, and always welcomes new members.  The first meeting of the new season will be on Tuesday, September 10 at 7:00 PM at the Western Development Museum.  For more information call Dave at 783-1093 or Glenn at 782-7969.  Every family has a story: discover yours with the Yorkton Genealogy Society!

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