Dec 31 2019

Welcome to 2020

The AFHS Board wishes Good Cheer and a Happy New Year to all of our members.  Despite the dreadful 2019 and the depressing economic news each week, your Society continues to serve the needs of the genealogy society and to stay healthy.

Please come in to the library and chat with our tireless volunteers.  You may have a lot in common and can share some research tips.  The several SIGs are back for another year, with all sorts of topics to discuss.  Don’t forget the monthly general society meeting to catch up with other members and to enjoy the great talks.

We have a terrific conference coming up in the fall, so visit the website information on FamilyRoots 2020 for more details.

Good luck with your personal research and we shall see you at our gatherings.

Jim Benedict


“Genealogy: a hay stack full of needles.  It’s the threads I need.”


Dec 06 2019

Retrieving Irish 1922 records destroyed in fire

An attempt to recreate Ireland’s archives destroyed in a fire in June 1922 has been successful to a “greater extent than ever previously imagined,” the historian behind the project has said.

Two days into the Civil War, a massive explosion destroyed the Public Records Office attached to Dublin’s Four Courts and with it hundreds of years of documented history.

The census records for the whole of the 19th century going back to the first in 1821 were incinerated. Chancery records, detailing British rule in Ireland going back to the 14th century and grants of land by the crown, were also destroyed along with thousands of wills and title deeds.

The records of various chief secretaries to Ireland and centuries of Church of Ireland parish registers vanished in the fire.

The list of documents which were stored in the office’s record treasury departments are contained in a single manuscript which is 300 pages long and dates back seven centuries.

Beyond 2022 director Dr Peter Crooks said the scale of copies and duplicates identified in other archives already is “astounding”.  “We are committed to producing 50 million words of searchable material by 2022 and that is possible with the artificial intelligence we are using,” he said.

Also read: Retrieving of Irish archive lost in 1922 fire.

Nov 29 2019

TV Show Hoping To Help Find Canada’s Lost War Stories

The following came to the AFHS by email last week.  If you want more information, please contact Ciara directly.

From Ciara McGinnity

… As I mentioned, I am reaching out because the production company I work for, Lark Productions, is currently developing an historical documentary similar to WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, but for the descendants of soldiers, who fought for Canada, as part of The World Wars. The concept is that each episode will follow two stories of descendants on a journey to uncover their lost family war stories – using museums, archives and the help of historians around the globe.

Perhaps your society has been approached by someone who wants to retrace their ancestor’s steps in WWI / WWII, but not had the time or means to investigate, or someone who has recently discovered some information that could uncover their family’s role in Canada’s wartime, but don’t know where to start? Or someone who has tried all of this but hit a brick wall? Maybe we could help answer their questions.

It would be great if you could give us a shout out at your next meeting or in your newsletter, or both! Or if you know of anyone personally or any other organizations that may be interested, please feel free to forward along my email or pass along my details (below). We want to represent a cross-section of Canada’s war stories and would love to include some Albertan pieces of history.

Please let me know if I can send along any more information at this point. We are in the early stages of developing the program and I am eager to start speaking with people ASAP who would like to know more or share their story with me, on a confidential research call.

I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully some fellow Albertans!

Ciara McGinnity | Researcher
Lark Productions

601-211 East Georgia St.
Vancouver, BC  V6A 1Z6
604-646-4100 EXT. 108

Nov 19 2019

GenFair 2020

Alberta Genealogical Society will be holding GenFair 2020 on April 25, 2020 at Wetaskiwin, Alberta. For information visit the GenFair website.

Oct 21 2019

DNA: Integrated Tools

AFHS received the following announcement from Family History Fanatics:

DNA: Integrated Tools is designed for the intermediate genetic genealogist (or the beginner that wants to push themselves some more). The workshop will cover various aspects of clustering matches and how to use this information with other tools to identify the relationship of unknown matches. This online eWorkshop will be held the evenings of Dec 5th, Dec 12th, and Dec 19th. Participants will learn how to integrate tools from various DNA websites to further their genealogy research.  Six hours of interactive instruction for the early bird price is $24.99 through November 18th and $29.99 thereafter. More details and registration can be found at: //