November 25, 2014

Lost & Found: Looking for Kenneth Dean Ostrander or Descendants

Jane T. asked for help finding family to return a 1919 postcard and photo she recently purchased in an antique store. Here is her email

I found this photo post card in a store in Stirling, ON today. Written on the back is "Kenneth Dean Ostrander, age 4 mos, 1919 Jan. To Myrtle Hubbs from Vera" Would be great to reunite it with a family member.

Kenneth Dean Ostrander, age 4 mos, 1919 Jan. To Myrtle Hubbs from Vera"
Kenneth Dean Ostrander,
age 4 mos, 1919 Jan.
To Myrtle Hubbs from Vera
Lorine's Note:

The 1921 census (free on shows a Kenneth Ostrander age 2 in Hallowell Township, Prince Edward District, son of Harold and Vera Ostrander. He has a brother Donald 8 months old.

There are also dozens of records in the 1940s and 1950s for a Dean Kenneth Ostrander born ca 1919 flying for KLM Airlines as a 2nd Officer.

A 2012 obituary for his brother Donald Ostrander reveals that Kenneth Dean pre-deceased him.

Can any of my wonderful readers help find Kenneth Dean Ostrander's family? There are lots of nieces and nephews names in this obituary.

Please leave your findings as a comment on this blog post. Let's get this lovely postcard and photo home before Christmas!

November 24, 2014

Identifying Photographs Part 2

The following article was originally written by Lorine McGinnis Schulze and published on Olive Tree Genealogy at

It may not be reproduced in any way without my written consent.

Tintypes (circa 1855)

The Ferrotype process (tintypes) was introduced in the United States in 1855. It substituted an iron plate for glass and was even cheaper than the ambrotype. Because tintypes were placed in albums along with CDVs, they were often trimmed at the sides and corners. Tintypes were produced in various sizes
  • Full plate 6 1/2" x 8 1/2"
  • Half plate 4 1/2" x 51/2"
  • 1/4 plate 3 1/8" x 4 1/8"
  • 1/6 plate 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"
  • 1/9 plate 2" x 2 ½"
  • Gem approximately 1/2" x 1" 
Example of Gem tintype in Oval Matte ca 1860sGem tintype ca 1860s. A Gem tintype could be 3/4" to 1" wide. Carte de visite sized card mounts (2½"x4") enclosed the gem and the finished item was known as a carte de visite tintype or ferrotype
photo-tintype 1.5x2.5 Civil War Soldier9th plate ( 2 x 2.5) tintype in matte. Civil War Soldier
tintype 2.5x46th plate (2.5 x 3.5) tintype.

Next up I will talk about  Cartes de Visite and Cabinet Cards. Also see my YouTube Video Five Types of Early 19th Century Photographs 

November 23, 2014

Help Send a WW1 Soldier's Cap Badge Back to Family

Michael L. wrote to me about a cap badge he found many years ago. Here is Mike's story:

I am looking for descendants of a John Orr who served in WW1 and lived in Oshawa in 1926. I have a hat badge that I recently traced to him and would give it to a descendant of his. I found it in my mothers’ garden around 1943.It is from the Canadian Highlanders Regiment. A few years ago I was curious and looked up who had lived in the house before my parents moved in. John Orr was living there in 1926. Last year I found a site with Attestation papers. I found John Orrs’ papers and he was in the Canadian Highlanders. If you could find a relative that would be great to give it to them.

Help Send a WW1 Soldier's Cap Badge Back to Family
The cap badge reads 

A search of the online CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) database brings up Captain John Orr born 27 August 1890 in Wishaw, Scotland, enlisting on 23 September 1914. His Regimental Number is 24908
His mother Helen is given as his next-of-kin and he was single. 
I did some research and found the family in the 1881, 1891 and 1901 census for Wishaw, Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire Scotland. His father was Andrew, his mother Helen and John had many older siblings.
John Orr Attestation Paper front
I was able to put together a family grouping of:
Father: Andrew Orr born ca 1849 Liberton Lanarkshire
Mother: Helen born ca 1851 Stonehouse Lanarkshire
  • Marion b ca 1875
  • Adam b ca 1877
  • James b ca 1879
  • Elizabeth b ca 1881
  • Janet b ca 1884
  • Mary b ca 1886
  • Andrew Jr. b ca 1889
  • John b. ca 1891 
I have not done any more research to find John Orr after his enlistment in the CEF in 1914 but he might appear in the 1921 Canadian census and on a ships passenger list arriving in Canada between 1901 and 1914. 

If any of my readers want to help find descendants so the cap badge could be returned to family, please leave responses as a comment on this blog. If you have information on living descendants it will not be published online but I will pass it on to Mike L.  

What a terrific thing if we can send this cap badge to family!

November 22, 2014

Photoduplication Services To be Discontinued at FamilySearch

Photoduplication Services To be Discontinued at FamilySearch
Genealogists will be disappointed to learn that  Photoduplication Services provided by FamilySearch are being discontinued as of December 5, 2014. As of this date, existing orders will be completed, but new orders will not be accepted. 

This would be the time for someone living in the Salt Lake City area and looking to make some extra money to step in and offer to retrieve documents for a reasonable fee. I know I'd use their services. 

I realize films can be ordered in to a nearby Family History Center and that's great if you live near one or are physically able to get out to one. I am one of those who can't access one.

Hopefully the termination of this service won't be too much of a negative impact on researchers but I for one will be sorry to see it go.

November 21, 2014

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Album 31 R

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. 

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.

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Album 31 R
X-Ray Room

November 20, 2014

Immigrants to Upper Canada via New York 1817-1819

I've been working on a project called Immigrants proceeding to Upper Canada via New York 1817-1819

Immigrants to Upper Canada via New York 1817-1819.  Pass for George Underhill
Pass #17236 George Underhill, Shropshire, butcher
I have extracted the names and basic information for each of the 199 people who applied for passes to leave New York and enter Upper Canada (present day Ontario)  The actual passes contain more information including age, place of origin, occupation, how many in family and sometimes detailed notes about the immigrant.

The passes begin at Image 33 with number 17228. To find an ancestor pass, just find the name in the list at Immigrants proceeding to Upper Canada via New York 1817-1819 , copy the pass number then go to and paste the pass number into the search engine that says "Search within this reel"

For example one name on the list is 

17236 George Underhill, Shropshire, butcher, wife + 4 ch

If this were your ancestor you would use the link above and enter 17266 into the search engine on that site. You can see his pass above.
[Source: Upper Canada Sundries, Reference: RG 5 A1, Volume 37, passes numbered 17228-17578, microfilm: C-4601. Civil Secretary's Correspondence - Passes signed by British Consul, New York, for Emigrants from Great Britain, 1817-1819. Microfilm available at but it is not indexed] 

November 19, 2014

Manifest Markings: What was "British Bonus Allowed" on Canadian Passenger Lists?

Understanding the Term "British Bonus Allowed"  on Canadian Passenger Lists 1890-1906
British Bonus Allowed
The British Bonus was a commission paid by the Canadian government's Immigration Branch to steamship booking agents in the United Kingdom and in European countries for each suitable immigrant who purchased a ticket to sail to Canada. The immigrants themselves did not receive the bonus, although those who settled on western homesteads did receive a separate monetary bonus upon proof of settlement.

As such, the "British Bonus" was a subtle marketing tool used by the Canadian government; it served to encourage steamship booking agents to recruit desirable settlers (farmer, domestics, etc.). The laws of the time in many European countries forbade open encouragement of immigration by any foreign country.

The British Bonus came into effect through the passage of an Order-in-Council on September 27, 1890. It provided the following provisions.

  1. To pay a limited amount, not exceeding in any case $50.00, to the class of "returned men" (not exceeding fifty) to Europe toward recouping their expenses on sufficient proof furnished of success in bringing immigrants to Canada.
  2. To pay a bonus to Steamship Agents in the United Kingdom, of $5.00 for each adult settler on land, of 18 years and over, on certificate of booking and shipping such settler to Manitoba, the Northwest Territories of British Columbia, and, on certificate of a Dominion Lands Agent, to be furnished as proof of such settler.
  3. To pay a bonus of $10.00 to each homesteader, the head of a family, and $5.00 for each member of such family at the adult age of 12 years and over, with an additional $5.00 to any such member of a family who might within six months after arrival in Canada become a homesteader on settlement on land in Manitoba, the Northwest Territories of British Columiba, proof being furnished of such settlement by the certificate of a Dominion Lands Agent.
While the arrangement above was in place, many suggestions were received by the Department recommending that the regulations be altered so that a bonus would be payable when the immigrant arrived in Canada instead of when he took up land. It was finally agreed to pay of bonus of $1.75 on adults and half that amount on children from the British Isles arriving in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This system remained in effect until April 1, 1906 with the exception that in later years it applied to immigrants to eastern as well as Western Canada. In the year 1904-05, 146,266 immigrants arrived at Canada of which the British bonus was paid on 28,835.

The stamp "British Bonus Allowed" was stamped against the name of applicable passengers on manifests. Other, similar, notations included "C.G.E.A. which was the abbreviation for the Canadian Government Employment Agent (these agents received a commission from the government for placing newly-arrived immigrants with employers who were seeking labourers or domestics; and "Continental Bonus" which was established in 1882 and were similar to the British Bonus but applied to emigrants from the European mainland.

November 18, 2014

WW2 Letter re Death of A. F. Johnson Found in Street

The letter details how Sgt Anthony Frederick Johnson, a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, went missing during an air operation in April 1943.

Signed by Wing Commander D.H. Burnside, of the No. 427 squadron, the letter tells the parents of Sgt Johnson that their son was a popular figure and fast becoming an ace wireless operator. 

The wing commander writes: “On the night of April 16, at approximately nine o’clock, Anthony and his crew took off from this aerodrome to carry out a bombing attack over enemy territory and were due to return at four o’clock in the morning. 

“Unfortunately, the aircraft never returned and we have heard nothing from it or any member of the crew since time of take-off.” [Hexham Courant News]
WW2 Letter re Death of A. F. Johnson Found in Street
Screenshot from Hexham Courant Article
The Courant has informed both the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Library and Archives Canada, about the letter. The Courant hope to hear from descendants or anyone who has details about Sgt Johnson.

Read more at Second World War letter found on village street in the Hexham Courant News

Lorine's Note: I believe this site has quite a bit of information on Sgt. Johnson but I am not a member. If any of my readers is a member it would be wonderful to know what details are found.