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Archive for the ‘research’ Category

Reading about the War of 1812

September 25th, 2011

With the bicentennial celebrations months away, people may be wondering what they should know about the War of 1812.

Most of us learnt about the War of 1812 back in Grade 7 history lessons, and we probably only recall the names of Laura Secord, Isaac Brock and Tecumseh. We may have little understanding of the contributions of thousands of people who fought for King and Canada on the battlefields of this continental war.

At the Goulbourn Museum, we tell about the 100th Prince Regent’s County of Dublin Regiment of Foot, which served with distinction in the War of 1812. And in 1818, the Irish lads came to Richmond to settle the town and surrounding farms, becoming our pioneer settlers.

My former Ottawa Citizen colleague, Kate Heartfield, asked friends to submit a favourite book about the War of 1812. Mine is Dianne Graves’ book, In the Midst of Alarms: The untold story of women and the War of 1812 (see book cover above).

If you want to broaden your knowledge of the War of 1812, read Kate Heartfield’s blog here where she lists numerous books — most are available through the Ottawa Public Library.

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Going Fishing for Our History

August 22nd, 2011



Historical research is like fishing in the Jock River. You cast and cast a line into murky waters. For Goulbourn Museum’s new travelling exhibit, I did research on the 1805 maiden voyage of the 100th Regiment of Foot. I went to the good fishing places as the late A. Barry Roberts, author of the outstanding history book, For King and Canada, at the Library Archives of Canada to make digital copies of British Colonial Office letters about the military disaster when three of the regiment’s five troopships were wrecked at sea.

Back home, a computer keyboard was my fishing pole — type in 100th regiment 1805 shipwreck, and see the fishtails swirling around. One website lead to another as I got luckier in snagging narratives about the tall ship Nais, also known as Aeneas, off Newfoundland and the brig Two Friends, off Cape Breton Island. More sources are available for the Nais or Aeneas, since the 340 deaths of 347 aboard rates international prominence on the United Kingdom’s major disasters list since 1707 (see Aeneas in third group of 300-499 fatalities here ).

Consequently, historians and journalists have been reporting on this maritime tragedy for 200 years, including Terence Grocott in his 2002 collection, Shipwrecks of the Revolutionary & Napoleonic Eras (see above cover and page). Goulbourn Museum bought the book after seeing it as a primary source for the Wikipedia item.

Kurt Johnson, Munster

Mail to: Kurt@goulbournmuseum.ca

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Exciting finds

August 9th, 2011




Our Goulbourn Museum director gave the key to a treasure chest when Donna Keays-Hockey e-mailed the reference http://www2.swgc.mun.ca/nfld_history/CO194/CO194-45.htm for my research on the 1805 maiden voyage of the 100th County of Dublin Regiment of Foot. Microfilm B-681, stored at the Library and Archives Canada, is a collection of six letters from British military officers reporting on the maritime disasters that befell our Goulbourn regiment. In this August 30, 1806, letter (above), Lieut.-Col. J.W. Gordon seeks financial compensation for “these [two] poor fishermen for the humanity and generosity” in rescuing and sheltering five soldiers and two seamen from the Nais troopship which sank off Newfoundland. The death toll was 340 of the 347 on board.
A. Barry Roberts wrote an excellent account of the “terrible catastrophe” in his well-researched book, For King and Canada. And what a tragic story it is: death and destruction on stormy seas; the absolute horror of men, women and children swept into the icy waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and heroes saving many victims of the shipwrecks.
In doing research for our new museum exhibit on this voyage http://www.emcstittsvillerichmond.ca/20110630/lifestyle/New+museum+exhibit+captures+settlers%27+maiden+voyage+to+Canada, it was exciting to find new information in modern books like Shipwrecks of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Eras, in old publications like Cape Breton’s Magazine, or an 1812 edition of Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea. These narratives help us present our history with the personal words of flesh-and-blood people, the pathos of tragedy, and the cold facts of knowledge.
Kurt Johnson, Munster

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Carleton County Copy Books – from guest blogger Jim Stanzell

August 8th, 2011

View Belden’s Atlas on McGill University’s website.
Carleton County Copy Books were started in March 1824 with the appointment of George T. Burke, late Colonel with 99th Regiment of Foot, previously the 100th Reg’t and Superintendent of Richmond Military Settlement, as Deputy Registrar for Carleton County. These books, 1 thru 5, continued until Feb 1847 when a book for each Township was started. Transactions contained are; Bargain and Sale, Mortgages and Discharge of Mortgage, Wills, Quit Claims and a few others. There is little genealogical data contained in these instruments but a person’s place of residence, his occupation and his wife’s given name is mentioned in a B&S in later memorials. The Township, Lot and Concession or Town Lot is always mentioned.

All five copy books have been indexed in two stages. Books 1 thru 4 were done first and surname and given names by memorial are given. Book 5 was done next detailing buyer, seller and witnesses as well as Township, Lot and Concession for each memorial. Then Copy book 1 was done in similar format to book 5.

These ledger type books are located in Ottawa City Archives, 100 Tallwood, corner of Woodroffe, third floor, reading room.

Jim Stanzell   

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