March 31, 2015

Another Orphan School Photo from 1919

While sorting and organizing my thousands of old photos, I came across another photo in my mother's cousin Doris Simpson's papers.  Doris was my grandmother's brother's only child and when she died in 1998 at the age of 89, all her photographs and photo albums came to me. Even though I do not know any of the people in most of her photos, I can't bear to throw them out without sharing them here. 
This is Lambton Park School, Toronto, 1919 at 50 Bernice Crescent, Toronto Ontario. Doris made a chart with her best recollection of the students' names. 

Back row: ?, Mr. Sproulx - principal, ?, Max Gilbert (wearing toque), rest unknown

4th row: Harrold Quarrington, ?, Florence Tipper, Alice Adams, Marion Mortimer, itola Quarrington, Ethel Chown, Frank Ellins?

3rd row: ?, Trudy Turner, Doris Simpson, Hazel Turner (with bow), Barb Douglas, Gladys Marrett, Kelly Taylor

2nd row: Diasy Chown, Janet Jamieson, Muriel Bell, ?, Dorothy Douglas, Lillian Marrett, Marjorie Summerfield, pauline Kerr

front row: Cliff Gilbert, ?, Norm Kirkwood, Robert Gilbert (holding sign), ?, ?, Billy Lee? , Jim Jemmett

If you have an ancestor in this photo and would like to own it, I will gladly send it to you free of charge. Just leave a comment on this blog post with a way to contact you.

March 30, 2015

A 1922 Orphan School Photo - Do You See an Ancestor Here?

While sorting and organizing my thousands of old photos, I came across this photo in my mother's cousin Doris Simpson's papers.  Doris was my grandmother's brother's only child and when she died in 1998 at the age of 89, all her photographs and photo albums came to me. Even though I do not know any of the people in most of her photos, I can't bear to throw them out without sharing them here. 

Perhaps a descendant of one of the children in this school photo taken in Toronto Ontario Canada in 1922 will recognize an ancestor! Doris labelled the back with names which I have typed out below:

George Syme School, 844 Windermere Ave., Entrance Class of 1922. Teacher Miss Margaret Evans

Back row: George Sidney, Frank Arnott, Sydney Waterman, Sydney Hasted, Percy Marshall, Edwin Downes, Alfred Tempest, John Arnott, Leslie Horton

Middle row: Blanche Syme, Verna Williams, Mary Russell, Doris Simpson, Clarence Syme, Reginald Dounes, David Lyons

Front row: Maird Bannerman, Florence Martin, Leah Dempster, Hazel Turner, Anne Foulds, Grace Kirk, Grace Coe, Blanche Grey

If your  ancestor is in this photo and you would like the original, just email me at olivetreegenealogyATgmailDOTcom and I'll be happy to mail it to you at no cost. 

March 29, 2015

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 14V - The Ward

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One. 

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain.

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 14V - The Ward

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page.

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

March 28, 2015

My Fearless Female Blog Post featured on FamilySearch

I'm excited to announce that the blog post I wrote about Eileen Vollick was chosen by FamilySearch as their lead story about Fearless Females. 

Eileen was the first woman in Canada to qualify and receive her pilot's licence in 1928.

Read all the FamilySearch stories at Find Stories of Women Relatives with Inspiration from Fearless Females.  

 My previous stories about Eileen are

Carnival of Genealogy: Famous Canadian Ancestor Eileen Vollick, first licenced female pilot in Canada

Women's History Month: A Pioneer Female Pilot



March 27, 2015

Almost Time for Who Do You Think You Are? on Sunday

Sean Hayes’ estranged father has a troubled past, so Sean goes on a journey to discover the root of the problem on Who Do You Think You Are?, airing this Sunday, March 29 at 10/9c on TLC.

Sean’s journey takes him to Chicago where he uncovers the sad details of his grandfather’s early death on skid row. Sean then follows his ancestral trail to Ireland, where court documents reveal the chaos in the Hayes family runs generations deep. Through Sean’s search, he is able to deepen his understanding of his father and appreciate that he’s broken a turbulent family pattern on his own.

Who Do You Think You Are? is sponsored by

Image credit: TLC

March 26, 2015

Heritage Designation for Black Cemetery

The Smith Cemetery on Banwell Road, which dates back to 1850, was designated a historical site in September by the Town of Tecumseh, Ontario. It will receive a provincial designation in a ceremony planned for the summer and will be renamed the Historic Banwell Road Black Cemetery.

One of those buried is James Ross. Ross was murdered at the age of 80 in July 1899. On 06 February 1900 his killer 30 year old Levi Stewart was hung for the crime in Sandwich, Ontario (currently part of Windsor). 

There are only 5 surviving headstones in the cemetery but more than 100 black Canadians are believed to be buried there.17 known burials can be viewed on Find-A-Grave

Continue reading at the CBC article Black cemetery in Tecumseh receiving heritage designation  

Caveat: the date of death given in the article on CBC for James Ross is incorrect. His death certificate clearly shows the year of death to be 1899.

March 25, 2015

Using Evernote for Genealogy

I thought this was an interesting blog post about using Evernote "12 Surprising Ways to Use Evernote You Might Not Have Considered" 

While it is not genealogy-specific the author has some intriguing ideas that might be useful to researchers. 

Of course if you are just getting started with Evernote, or considering using it, you might want to grab a copy of the e-book I wrote called "Organize Your Genealogy in Evernote in 10 Easy Steps" 

The book costs less than a cup of coffee and is easy to follow with lots of screenshots.

Organize Your Genealogy in Evernote in 10 Easy Steps available as an Ebook on Amazon

March 24, 2015

Organizational Project Part 5: The Domino Effect in an Organization Project

In January I began my plan to sort, organize and digitize my family photos.  I ended up ordering archival boxes and sleeves from a company called GetSmartProducts

My Alcove for Binding Books
I've previously shared how I am organizing, sorting and purging these photos and if you missed those earlier posts, you can view them by clicking on the lable "Organization Project" at the bottom of this post or in the right side bar.

If you're also organizing I am willing to bet you have run into what I call "The Domino Effect". That's when you realize that in order to sort items "A" you have to make room somewhere in your house to store them, and that means rearranging/organizing a closet in Room "B". But the closet is full so you have to make room for those items (after you sort and purge of course!) somewhere else - perhaps in cupboard or closet "C" but closet "C" is also full.... and on and on it goes.

That happened to us yesterday. My husband needed more room for a project he is working on so I agreed to give up a small room in the basement that we use for binding my coil-bound books and doing lookups on microfiche. 

That meant the unbound books and the equipment (binding machine, laminator etc) had to be stored elsewhere and it had to be somewhere easily accessible. Okay my office in our loft would do nicely....IF I made some room on the big table for the equipment, and room in the closet for the unbound books.

Making room on the table meant sorting, organizing, purging and filing 3 large cardboard boxes of miscellaneous papers - business papers, personal papers, genealogy papers - it was all a big mess of unsorted "stuff". 

Because I really didn't want to start on that task, I made a decision that was unusual for me. I would be ruthless. Any old scraps of paper that I scribbled on with vague references or notes, would be tossed in the garbage. Any old research would be likewise dumped in the trash. I would only keep documents (business, personal and genealogy) that absolutely needed to be kept. That's not easy for me. I have good intentions - one day I will read through all the notes I made in 2002 and see what, if anything, needs to go into my files. But I realize that now, at this stage of my life, it is unlikely I will ever get to that. So --- decision made, no turning back and I began sorting. 

After 3 hours I had a garbage bag full of papers that my husband will dump into our burning barrel and destroy. The bag weighs over 25 pounds. I tossed old fan-fold genealogy (and you know how old that must have been). I found, and discarded, an old leather wallet that had sentimental value. I even found unopened mail from 2012!

And so the project continues. My husband has removed all his "junk" from my office credenza (yes he kind of took over my lovely office in our loft) which provides room for all the unbound books and the ones he is busy binding today.

The large table is ready for the bookbinding equipment. As difficult (and scary) as it was for me to throw out all those papers, it feels really good to have done so!

My hoarding tendencies have to be overcome at times. I hate throwing out paper because maybe, just maybe, I will need it one day.... but after yesterday I feel I'm on the right track and can't wait to get at my 3 drawer lateral filing cabinet that is crammed full of genealogy papers!