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Ancestry.ca | Monthly Update
June 2010
HOME FAMILY TREE SEARCH COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTRE
In this month’s newsletter:
Happy Canada Day - enjoy free access
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New Site Features
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My Story - Langley, BC
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The Ancestry Team
Enjoy free access to The 1911 Canadian Census Collection
Just Launched on Ancestry.ca
NEW COLLECTION   |   Available to Canadian Deluxe and World Deluxe Members
Nova Scotia Vital Records, 1765–1955
The Nova Scotia, Canada Vitals collection includes roughly one million names in Birth, Marriage and Death records. Permanent European settlement in Nova Scotia began with the French in 1604. The area would alternate between British and French control into the next century, and war and politics would play a significant role in determining the eventual demographics of the province. Scottish settlers began arriving as early as 1621 and would become the dominant ethnic group in a province they would eventually share with the English, Irish, German, First Nations, Acadian French, African Nova Scotian, and others.
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United States Federal Census
See the more than 5 million people enumerated across these three 19th–century censuses clearer than ever thanks to new images. And conduct your new search by including a household's characteristics. Newly indexed and searchable fields include ages and genders of both free and slave residents in each household.

1820 United States Federal Census – IMPROVED
1830 United States Federal Census – IMPROVED
1840 United States Federal Census – IMPROVED
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Potenza, Basilicata, Italy,
Civil Registrations Records, 1861–1938
Our first image collection from Southern Italy contains nearly 500,000 actual document images – covering births, marriages and deaths in the province of Potenza.
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Alpes–Maritimes, France:
Births & Christenings, 1575–1906; Marriages, 1572–1906;
Deaths & Burials, 1587–1906
In the South East corner of France, bordering Italy and the Mediterranean, is Alpes-Maritimes. Created by Octavian as a Roman military district in 14 BCE, the department was reconstituted in 1860 when the county of Nice was annexed by France. The records in the collection approximately cover the years 1575-1906 with over 200,000 birth and christening records represented in the database. With government civil registration instituted in France in 1792 and both Catholic and Protestant church records being kept in the mid-1500s, the Aples-Maritimes, France Births & Christenings records are especially important for genealogical research.
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Marseilles, France, Marriages, 1810–1915
The city of Marseilles is France's oldest city and one of country's (and the Mediterranean's) most important ports. With nearly 420,000 marriage records represented in this database, original records including marriage certificates, marriage banns and both civil and ecclesiastical marriage registers can be found. Marriage records may list details about the bride and groom such as their residences, occupations, birth information, ages, parents' names, and even grandparents' names.
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London, England, Non–conformist (Church) Registers, 1694–1921
In the 16th century the Church of England (Anglican Church) was established as a reformed version of Catholicism. This data collection contains baptism, marriage, and burial registers from 1694-1921 for many Non-Conformist churches in the greater London area.
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My Story
“Within a couple of hours we knew the whole story!”
In the mid-1980s, my mother and I met a Californian woman who was a distant cousin of ours who told us a most interesting story. This story is of her British Aunt Janet, who had married an American in South Africa in 1901. Janet gave birth to children in South Africa, but they were taken to the United States by her husband's relatives and raised as theirs. When Janet travelled to the US to reclaim her children, she was told that she was an imposter and that their mother had died. She then returned to South Africa without her children.

 
My mother and I were fascinated by this story and wondered if we would ever learn what happened to Janet's children. The internet wasn't yet invented when we heard it and in the 1990s my mother passed away, the mystery unsolved.

Well, since then, the Internet has blossomed, and I've become a member of Ancestry.ca. Over the years as a member, I periodically looked up Janet's possible family. This year, I struck pay dirt! I found a tree that had Janet in it, married to the correct man, with two or three children who died at birth and two children who lived. I immediately contacted the tree's owner, asking if there was a family legend similar to the story my mother and I had heard.

Back came the reply that the tree owner had often wondered why Janet wasn't buried in the family plot in Virginia.

Within a couple of short hours I learned the whole story! Janet's sister-in-law had travelled from Virginia to South Africa in 1906 (my Ancestry.ca research shows her on a ship, bound for South Africa from New York). The sister-in-law felt that the children were not being raised safely, so took it upon herself to "rescue" them. She took them to Virginia, and raised them as her own.



I checked censuses on Ancestry.ca and found the children listed on the 1910 American census as having been born in the US (I've added a comment to correct that misinformation). They were only infants when they were taken from their mother, so when she turned up to claim them, they had no memories of her.

 
In the ship's manifests that I found on Ancestry.ca, Janet is listed on a ship travelling from Southampton to New York in 1914, originating in South Africa. So, that is the year she arrived in Virginia to claim her children, who were then aged 8 and 10.

Unfortunately, neither of Janet's children had children of their own, and their father died in the US of the Spanish Influenza in 1918 (I found him on a ship's manifest arriving back in the US in 1912), so I assume Janet's line died out with them.

My mother and the "cousin" from California would be so thrilled that I was able to track the story down!

What's left for me to discover is what happened to Janet – did she spend the rest of her life in Africa? Did she remarry there and have more children? Did she go back to England, where she was born? There's always more research to be done!

Janet Gertrude
Langley, BC

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