Dianne Brydon Presentation

What are you doing at 7 pm this evening?

This is a shoutout for what looks like a well-researched presentation about an obscure settlement scheme given by BIFHSGO President Dianne Brydon — William Dickson’s Settlement Scheme: Finding Ancestors in Dumfries Township 1820s-1840s for OGS Waterloo Virtual Branch.

In 1816 William Dickson purchased over 90,000 acres in the area between Galt and Brantford, east and west of the Grand River, and he set about settling his surveyed lots with fellow countrymen from the Borders area in Scotland. Over the following decades he, and his son after him, allocated land to hundreds of immigrants who took up his offer in what he named Dumfries Township (later North and South Dumfries Township, Counties of Waterloo and Brant). Although little has been written about this settlement scheme, records abound with rich detail about each immigrant family’s experience. The full picture is difficult to piece together as the records are distributed among archives and among collections within archives. This lecture will briefly describe William Dickson’s settlement scheme; use examples to show the types of land records he kept and the information they contain; show where to find the records; offer tips for searching within the collections; showcase useful ancillary records; and highlight gems found in historical secondary sources.

This webinar is open to all.

To register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwuc-yurjkjGtBw1aowQZFJFY2vQD_uJDKR


RootsTech: Getting Close

I just started assembling the list of RootsTech online presentations I’d like to participate in starting Thursday, 29 February. It’s extensive, with conflicts in some of the time slots. Fortunately, all those being streamed will also be available on demand afterwards.

I started out looking at those tagged as intermediate/
advanced/professional and will post lists of those for each of the three days of the conference starting tomorrow.

There are many others I hope to catch, too. Check out the online schedule You can also search for presentations on a topic of your interest, like Canada, DNA or London, from Search the One-Demand Library.

You do need to register, it’s all free online.

Ottawa Resources

I’m taking advantage of a slow news period, probably in the lead-up to RootsTech, to point to some resources for Ottawa history.

An excellent resource list updated a few days ago, is available from the Historical Society of Ottawa.

Education Resource List

It focuses on HSO’s resources, but mentions those of third parties, like James Powell’s blog

Today in Ottawa’s History

It does not mention, and probably should, Andrew King’s blog

Ottawa Rewind



This Week’s Online Genealogy Events

Choose from selected free online events in the next five days. All times are ET except as noted. Assume registration in advance is required; check so you’re not disappointed. Find out about many more mainly US events at Conference Keeper at https://conferencekeeper.org

Tuesday 20 February

2 pm: Ottawa Virtual Genealogy Drop-in, from OGS Ottawa Branch.

2:30 pm: Using Permanent.org: Preserving the
Digital Legacy of Your Family, by Kaitlyn Jarnagin for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Wednesday 21 February

8 pm: Genealogy Smart Start, Things I Wish I’d Known, by Elizabeth Williams Gomoll for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Thursday 22 February

7 pm: William Dickson’s Settlement Scheme: Finding Ancestors in Dumfries Township 1820s-1840s, by Dianne Brydon for OGS Waterloo Virtual Branch

Friday 23 February

Saturday 24 February

10:30 am: Documents + DNA + Method + a little bit of Luck, Combining Tools to Find Biological Family, by Elizabeth Gomoll for Niagara County Genealogical Society (USA).

Sunday 25 February
2 pm: Getting the Most From Online Newspaper Collections in OurDigitalWorld, by Jess Postgate for OGS Halton-Peel Branch 


Empire Settlement Act Migrants

Under the provisions of the Empire Settlement Act (ESA), 1922, 130,000 immigrants came to Canada, married couples, single agricultural labourers, domestics and juveniles aged 14 – 17, were assisted. That’s according to the Canadian Council for Refugees,

That number is perhaps 11,000 greater than those recorded for whom warrants were issued, as shown in the lower curve in the figure. It peaks in 1927 and 1928 at close to 28,500.

The figure is from  ‘Leaven for the lump’: Canada and Empire settlement, 1918-1939, by John A. Schultz in Emigrants and Empire: British Settlement in the Dominions Between the Wars (Studies in Imperialism), Constantine, Stephen [Editor], Manchester University Press, Manchester and New York, 1990)

How many stayed? There was no systematic tracking. Schultz has patchy evidence.

Of the 18,790 (women) who went to Canada under the 1926 agreement, 1,517 eventually married but a similar number, 1,716, returned to the United Kingdom by choice or were deported. The others were trapped by the onset of the depression and remained on the rolls of the Women’s Branch which was responsible for their welfare. The romantic notion that young British women would find a virile Canadian mate and breed a future Empire race must have seemed a bitter farce to most.

Were they trapped, or just lost track of? Did they go the the US as so many other immigrants did?

Based on the total number of British immigrants in the graph through the whole period, I’m not convinced the program made much difference.  People likely just took advantage of incentives, loans and discounted rates for their passage. Wouldn’t you?

LAC Co-Lab Update for February

There are currently 3,875 items in Collection Search identified as Co-Lab-only contributions, an increase from 3,785 last month.

Two project amongst the Library and Archives Canada’s Co-Lab Challenges reported progress.

Treaty 9.  remains 0 % complete.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary is 47% complete, up from 44% last month.

Expo67 is 3% complete, up from 2 % last month.

Summiting Mount Logan in 1925: Fred Lambart’s personal account of the treacherous climb and descent of the highest peak in Canada remains 13% complete.

Women in the War remains 1% complete.

Arthur Lismer’s Children’s Art Classes remains 0% complete.

John Freemont Smith remains 93% complete.

Canadian National Land Settlement Association remains 98% complete.

Molly Lamb Bobak remains 95% complete.

Diary of François-Hyacinthe Séguin remains 99% complete.

George Mully: moments in Indigenous communities remains 0% complete.

Correspondence regarding First Nations veterans returning after the First World War remains 99% complete.

Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 remains 95% complete.

Legendary Train Robber and Prison Escapee Bill Miner remains 99% complete.

Japanese-Canadians: Second World War remains 3% complete.

The Call to Duty: Canada’s Nursing Sisters remains 94% compete.

Projects that remain 100% complete are no longer reported here.


Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

How to navigate Order-in-Council records, part one: real life at LAC

TNA: 300,000 farm records going online

Introduction to County Research in England
Until 23 February, free access to this Family Tree Webinars presentation by Mia Bennett. A good refresher.

Oil and gas lobbyists have deep pockets and access to politicians, but an EU ban could be in the pipeline

Thanks to this week’s contributors: Anonymous,  Brenda Turner, gail benjafield, Sunday Thompson, Teresa,  Unknown,



How many immigrants stayed?

5.1% of immigrants admitted between 1982 and 2017 emigrated within five years of landing;

This percentage rises to 17.5% 20 years after admission;

Annual probabilities of emigrating peak three to seven years after admission.

Those are the highlights of a Statistics Canada report Emigration of Immigrants: Results from the Longitudinal Immigration Database released on 2 February 2024.

The chart fills in the gaps.

This leakage of immigrants must be accounted for in estimating immigrant contribution to subsequent demographics.

The good news, not mentioned in the report, is that retention of immigrants may be higher than historically. However, the quality of historic data is questionable.

In the early 1920s an immigration branch official opined about the proposed Empire Settlement Act (ESA):

“In the past we have brought into this country immigrants by the hundred thousand only to discover at the next census that they had all vanished.”

That’s recorded in the chapter ‘Leaven for the lump’: Canada and Empire settlement, 1918-1939, by John A. Schultz in Emigrants and Empire: British Settlement in the Dominions Between the Wars (Studies in Imperialism), Constantine, Stephen [Editor], Manchester University Press, Manchester and New York, 1990).

It’s an exaggeration, but emigration of immigrants has long been a concern. Schultz includes the following

… of the 8,500 (Harvesters) sent, 6,876 had returned to the United Kingdom (in September), ending hopes that a large number would settle into permanent employment in Canada.

A much earlier Stats Can (Dominion Bureau of Statistics) publication I mentioned recently, Canadian Immigration Policy and Backgrounds,  includes data for the early 20th century. To summarize:

1901-1911:  Immigration was  1,847,651. The net
growth in the immigrant population was 887,461, so 960,190 were lost, perhaps no more than 90,000 of those to death. That’s 47% lost to emigration.

1911-1921: The text mentions, “In 1921, only 50.3 percent of the survivors of the 1911-21 immigrants were still in Canada.” That means by the end of the decade, 49.7% of immigrants were not residents, which would include war dead.

1921-1931: “From calculations based on the Censuses of 1921 and 1931, on the percentage of immigrants still living who arrived in any decade and are still in Canada, we find only about 26.3 percent, or 1 in 4 remain for a period of over 30 years, 38.8 percent for 20-30 years, around 42 percent for 10-20 years, while a little over 50 percent. remain after from one to ten years.”


The gap between 10 and 50 percent after 10 years is enough to drive a large truck through. If an immigrant arrives, gets rooted, perhaps marries a person who is rooted, chances are they’d have no motivation to emigrate. By contrast, some came to Canada with no intention of staying long term. Others came for the brighter prospects it offerred compared to the previous situation. Having moved once, if they perceive propects to be brighter yet by leaving Canada, then they would be more ready to do so. We can’t be sure.




MyHeritage adds Cheshire Bishop’s Transcripts Marriages

Find 478,468 marriage transcript records added to MyHeritage for between the years 1598 and 1900. Records typically include the names of the groom and the bride, their residence, the date and place of marriage, and the names of their fathers.

There are no linked images. As you don’t need a MyHeritage subscription the source, which is not credited, is likely FamilySearch. 

Both Ancestry and Findmypast, as well as FamilySearch, have good coverage of Cheshire parish records for the period.

Findmypast Weekly Update

FMP must be holding their fire until Rootstech. Only about 13,000 new records this week, all for the Roman Catholic parish of St Mary’s Batley, Yorkshire.

A total of 8,814 baptisms, 3,012 marriages and 1,379 burial records. There are both images and transcriptions.

There are also over 200,000 new newspaper pages, including the following with pages from the 19th-century

Bo’ness Journal and Linlithgow Advertiser, 1884, 1888
Leicester Chronicle, 1864
Market Harborough Advertiser and Midland Mail, 1869-1891, 1893-1897, 1899, 1953
Melton Mowbray Times and Vale of Belvoir Gazette, 1894-1896, 1898-1905, 1932-1942, 1974-1981, 1985-1989, 1991
Ripon Gazette, 1897-1900, 1910, 1950, 1986