New Website: Mennonite Archival Image Database (MAID)

Seven Canadian Mennonite archives, including the Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan, are excited to announce the birth of the Mennonite Archival Image Database (MAID). This national database includes photographs of Mennonite life from across Canada and around the world. Local historians will also see many of their communities represented.

Click on the link to read a recent CBC article about the project.


Upcoming March Meeting of the Regina Branch of SGS

Don't forget to attend the monthly meeting of the Regina branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society (SGS), which will be held on TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 at the SGS Library located 110-1514 11th Avenue.

The meeting starts at 7:00 pm with the typical member sharing and updates followed by a monthly program. This month's program is titled "German Settlement in Saskatchewan" where Dave Wessel will help you explore German origins and explain why German migrations mainly occurred from eastern Europe instead of Germany.

For more information about the meeting, please contact the Regina branch at sgsregina@gmail.com. For information about the Regina branch, check out their website.

Note: The general public is invited to attend 2 monthly meetings before being asked to join the branch.


Héritage Survey - Canadiana.org


Over the past several months, Canadiana has been partnering with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) on a massive project to digitize 40,000 reels of microfilm (approx. 60 million pages) from LAC's unique and important archival collection. This project is called Héritage.

In order to make these digital collections more discoverable, we need to transcribe them. We would welcome your assistance in prioritizing which collections should be transcribed first. We would also like to connect with those of you who are willing to assist with transcription.

We would be very appreciative if you could take a few minutes to fill out our survey.
Thank you.


Note: I just finished the survey which took only 5-10 minutes to complete. There are approximately 84 projects awaiting indexing with some records holding enormous interests for genealogists. Here are a couple of record sets that I really hope will be indexed and included in Canadiana's database in the near future:

- Parish Records: parish registers, dating prior to the late 1800s, offer birth, marriage and death information. These records come from a variety of churches in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland

- Manitoba and Red River Census Returns: collection consists of records from the 1870 Manitoba census and census returns from Red River between 1831 and 1870

- Department of Indian Affairs - Land Sales Series: files relating to the sales of surrendered Aboriginal lands in Ontario, New Brunswick, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia

- War of 1812 Pension Records: consists of pension, gratuity and compensation records relating to service during the War of 1812

- Department of Indian Affairs - General Accounts, 1846-1979

So do not forget to fill out the survey and make your vote count!

--May P. Chan, Prairie History Librarian


2015 Alberta Genealogical Society Conference

You are invited to "Discover Your Roots, Share Your Stories" in what promises to be an exciting and fun-packed informative experience. Notable authors, historians and specialists will enlighten the audience with presentations on military records, technology—to Eastern European History and adoption records. Speakers from far away as California, Ontario and Utah will join regional presenters on April 18th and 19th, 2015 at Chateau Louis Hotel & Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.

For more information about the sessions or to register, check out the conference's website.


New Changes to HeritageQuest Online Database

As previously reported, HeritageQuest Online database is undergoing changes to its web interface and is now powered by Ancestry.com. The new look was unveiled yesterday. Here is a brief summary of the the new look, what new resources have been added and more importantly, how to access this database:

Similar to the previous layout, the new HQ Online has kept its 6 main search categories--Census, Books and Directories, Revolutionary War Records, Freedman's Bank Records, PERSI (Periodical Source Index) and US Serial Set.

1. Census - One notable change is that the US Census records are finally up to 1940 in this database and a user can now search for every member of the household as opposed to just the head of the household. This new feature is plus for anyone searching for female relatives and are unsure if they married.

2. Books and Directories - HQ Online use to offer only family and local histories from the US. Now this category also includes the US City Directories 1821-1989 collection from Ancestry. A huge bonus for those who had to switch back and forth between databases/websites to look up information.

3. PERSI - One of the more underused resources in genealogy in my opinion. PERSI is an online index of articles that were published in historical and genealogy-related magazines and journals. A user can search the database and use the citation to track down the article and/or journal either in the collections of the Prairie History Room, Saskatchewan Genealogical Society Library or another library via Interlibrary Loan. Some of the Saskatchewan magazines indexed in PERSI include Folklore, SGS Bulletin, and Saskatchewan History.

4. Besides the handy "Search" link, there are two links that will prove very useful to researchers: research aids and maps. The research aids, written and maintained by Ancestry, are helpful guides on a variety of research topics. The maps section is only for the US but handy when trying to locate a particular community/county or just to see how the boundaries have changed over time.

So why would anyone use HeritageQuest Online database if the resources are coming directly from Ancestry? Because unlike the Ancestry Library Edition (ALE) database which can only be used in the library, HQ Online is accessible to users at home as long as they have a valid Regina Public Library card! To access this database, you need to go to our homepage: www.reginalibrary.ca and click on the "E-Library Services" tab, then select "Genealogy" category. When you click on HeritageQuest, you will be prompted to supply your library card number and your 4-digit PIN.

If you have any questions regarding this database or you are experiencing difficulties logging in, contact us at the Prairie History Room by email: askphr@reginalibrary.ca, by phone (306)777-6011 or by Instant Message www.reginalibrary.ca/asklibrarian/index.html.


--May P. Chan, Prairie History Librarian


Categories: New Magazines

New magazines for March 2015

NGS Magazine, January-March 2015, Vol. 41, No. 1

* "Educational Opportunities in Genealogy Part 2" by Julie Cahill Tarr, pgs. 16-20.

* "Using FamilySearch to Solve Genealogical Problems: 15 Tips" by James Ison, pgs. 22-27.

* "Who Changed Our Ancestors' Names?" by Kathy Petlewski, pgs. 45-48.

Relatively Speaking, February 2015, Vol. 43, No. 1

* "Whatever Happened to Jeannie McNeilly?" by Grant Nicol, pgs. 9-13.

* "Using WWI Records to Identify Family Groups in a One-Name Study" by Marilyn M. Astle and Peter Astle, pgs. 16-19.

* "Preacher Kelly" by Gloria (Kennett) Cathcart, pgs. 20-24.

Note: These issues can be borrowed for 1 week.


Categories: New Books

Finally In...Legacy of Worship Book

The Prairie History Room has finally received its copy of:

Hryniuk, Margaret and Frank Korvemaker. Legacy of Worship: Sacred Places in Rural Saskatchewan. Regina, Saskatchewan: Coteau Books, [2014].

Summary: The writer/photographer team that brought you the award-winning Legacy of Stone has scoured the province for sacred places that illustrate the finest of Saskatchewan’s art and design. Rural religious gathering places often display the work of folk artists and craftspeople, as well as that of professional artists and architects; they are the last repository of primitive art and such crafts as weaving, metal-smithing, needlework and furniture making. This book presents sacred places that illustrate how beauty in any form inspires and nurtures the soul. They demonstrate the universal, eternal need for art and beauty, and the importance of valuing and protecting the religious heritage so important to our identity and our proud place in Canada. [The book profiles over 60 rural churches, representing 15 spiritual denominations].

Saskatchewan Connection to "X-Company" TV Show

Here is a surprising Saskatchewan connection to tonight's premiere of CBC's new spy drama, X-Company, courtesy of our colleagues at the University of Regina Archives and Special Collections:

X Company dramatizing five highly skilled young recruits trained as agents in an ultra-secret facility on the shores of Lake Ontario - Camp X. These agents parachute behind enemy lines during World War II to fight Nazism. Camp X was established by Sir William Stephenson, a Canadian who worked for the British spy service during the War and was the research subject of one of our journalist/writers William Stevenson. Some of Stevenson's papers are in the University of Regina Archives & Special Collections and contain interviews and numerous materials provided by Sir William for Stevenson's books, 'A Man Called Intrepid' and 'Intrepid's Last Case'.

Further information about the CBC show can be found at:

and William Stevenson's archival Finding Aid can be found at:

Mark Vajcner
University Archivist
University of Regina


Categories: New Magazines

New magazines for February

Folklore, Winter 2014/15

* "Incidentally, the good old days never existed" by Amy Jo Ehman, pgs. 8-12.

* "African Residents of Saskatchewan: A Long and Proud History of Enterprise and Freedom" by Ebele Mogo, pgs. 14-16.

* "Did They Become Scientists?" by Lois (Borland) Lee, p. 17.

* "Once Upon Saskatoon's First Suburb: A Brief History of Mayfair & Kelsey-Woodlawn" by Shannon McAvoy, p. 18-24.

* "1948 Saskatchewan Air Ambulance" by Lois Gibson, p. 26-27.

* "Why I Love Saskatchewan - Part 5: One-Room Schools" by Beryl Forgay, p. 28-30.

Note: issue contains the January 2015 copy of "SHFS Bulletin", the newsletter for The Sask. History & Folklore Society, Inc..

* * *

National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 102, No. 4, December 2014

* "Identifying Stephen Lockwood of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Easton, New York, Husband of Abigail Marshall" by Frederick C. Hart Jr., CG, FASG pgs. 245-251.

* "John Walton, English Immigrant, New Hampshire Native, or Phantom?" by James Walton, pgs. 253-261.

* "Genealogical Research in Iowa" by Marieta A. Grissom, pgs. 263-306.


Note: These magazine issues can be borrowed for 1 week.


RootsTech 2015 Streaming Live Lessons

For those of us who are unable to attend this year's RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City, Utah this weekend, you can still catch some of the sessions for free by streaming it online on your computer.

Here is a list of the free online sessions with dates and times (note: Salt Lake City is one hour behind us in Saskatchewan so remember to adjust your schedule accordingly or else you will miss your session!):

Thursday, February 12, 2015
8:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m. - "Thursday General Session"
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - "30 Pieces of Tech I Can't Live Without" by D. Joshua Taylor
1:30 p.m.-2:20 p.m. - "You've Mastered the Census and Basic Search, What Next?" by Karen Auman
3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. - "What's New at FamilySearch" by Devin Ashby
4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. - "Getting Started in Genetic Genealogy" by Diahan Southard

Friday, February 13, 2015
10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. - "Innovator Summit Challenge Event"
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. - "Building a Genealogy Research Toolbox" by Thomas MacEntee
2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. - "Bring Your Ancestor Back to the Future" by Anne Leishman
4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. - "The Write Stuff. Leaving a Recorded Legacy: Personal Histories, Journals, Diaries, and Letters" by Valerie Elkins

Saturday, February 14, 2015
8:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m. - "Saturday General Session"
10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. - "Finding the Living among the Dead: Using the Internet to Find Your Living Cousins" by Amy Archibald
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. - "Family History on the Go Using Phones and Tablet Apps" by Crystal Beutler
2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. - "Personal History Triage: How to Tell the Best Ten Stories of Your Life" by Alison Taylor
4:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. - "Finding Your Family on Newspapers.com" by Peter Drinkwater

To catch any of the sessions, click on this link to the RootsTech's livestreaming page.

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