I.O.D.E. War Memorial in front of Memorial Park Library, ca 1920s
Postcards from the Past, PC 1478
Next Monday is Remembrance Day. It is the time of the year when we pay homage to those men and women who served our country. A great way to honour our military ancestors is to tell their story. I’ve pulled together a few sources to help you access information about Canada’s military.
I was recently made aware of couple of new databases that include information about our military ancestors. Last night the Jewish Historical Society of Southern Alberta launched its new database, Southern Alberta Jewish Veterans of World War I & II. The database aims to include those Jewish veterans of the two World Wars who spent a part of their lives in Southern Alberta.
The second database is of veterans of a much earlier war. The War of 1812 Veteran Graveside Project will provide a database of biographical information on thousands of veterans of the War of 1812. There is currently no national recognition for these veterans and many Canadians are unaware of the importance of this war to the founding of our country. The research for this database is done by historians, students and other interested parties. If you have an ancestor for whom you would like a graveside marker you can apply through the site.
There is a wealth of information for researching your military ancestor in Canada. AncestryLE (accessible at your Calgary Public Library branch) has a great selection of Canadian military records including selected records of soldiers who died in WWII, militia lists, lists of prisoners held by the Royal Navy in Canada at the beginning of the 19th century, and Canadian War Graves Registers, just to name a few.
Four Soldiers in Uniform in Calgary, ca 1915
Postcards from the Past, PC 1590
There is also very good access to military records through the Canadian Genealogy Centre. Records there date back to the French Regime and include links to war diaries and loyalist information. There are also service records from WWI and for those killed in action in World War II, as well as records from the rebellions and the Boer War.
Included in this treasure trove of military records is information about the Black Loyalists. This provides a great segue to our One Book One Calgary launch this Friday, November 8 where we will kick off the event with author Lawrence Hill and The Book of Negroes. Among the information provided under “Loyalists” in the military records at Library and Archives Canada is a link to the actual Book of Negroes which gave the novel its title. This list contains the names and information about many Black Loyalists and is a great resource for anyone researching their ancestors or anyone who is interested in the hidden history of the Black pioneers. Keep an eye on our website or check our program guide to find out about the great programs we have lined up to celebrate One Book One Calgary.
15th Light Horse Band
Postcards from the Past, PC 1264