Canadians "Out West"
by E.B. Lapointe
From November, 1849 to May, 1850, a ship
called the Mary Jane made its way (via Cape Horn) from Yarmouth, Nova
Scotia to San Francisco, California, filled with building materials for
houses and sheds, and carrying nineteen young men caught up in the
excitement over the California Gold Rush.
On the ship was Ebenezer HALEY,
the father of Caleb Scott HALEY, who married my great-great aunt, Annie
Louisa BARCLAY from Nova Scotia, and settled in Alameda County,
Although the HALEY family never panned any
gold in the state, they set up a farm and dairy operation in the county
and became known as one of the pioneer families of the state.
Among the better Internet resources on California include a listing of California Historical and Genealogical Societies at <http://hs.obitlinkspage.com/ca.htm> and the California USGenWeb Project Page at <http://www.cagenweb.com>. Both websites have listings of resources, societies, databases, and land grants of California.
Another great website to visit is that of
Jim Faulkinbury’s Great Register of California in which are listed
Foreign-Born Voters of 1872. Mr. Faulkinbury can also access (a small
fee is charged) the full naturalization database record and locate
information on your ancestor in California. The foreign born voters are
listed at <http://feefhs.org/fbvca/fbv-63.html>.
Both RootsWeb.com <http://www.RootsWeb.com>, a free website with WorldConnect (an excellent finding tool for the person being researched), and Ancestry.com <http://www.Ancestry.com>
(a fee based website, although one can try it free first), are a very
good way to research the U.S. National Census, which has been indexed
from 1790 to 1930. Familysearch.org <http://www.FamilySearch.org> also has the International Genealogical Index (IGI) of people listed in their database.
It was the lumber, fur trading, and mining
in the near states of Michigan and Minnesota that drew Canadians in
large numbers in the middle 1700s to the 1800s. Lumberjacks from both
Ontario and Quebec went to these states to “work in the woods”, and in
doing so, helped lay the foundation for statehood.
In Michigan is a statue of Antoine
Lamothe-Cadillac in Hart Square in downtown Detroit, commemorating his
passage there in 1701. Michiganders are reminded of the influence of
French-Canadians in their state. The French Canadian Heritage Society
of Michigan has different branches throughout the state. Their website
can be found at <http://fchsm.habitant.org/index.htm
In Minnesota, the
French/Canadian/Métis SIG (Special Interest Group) holds four
workshops a year and has a listed of surnames being researched on the
Minnesota Genealogical Society website at <http://mngs.org
The National Archives and Record
Administration facility in Chicago, Illinois, which covers the Great
Lakes Region states of Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois <http://www.archives.gov/facilities/il/chicago.html
> and the facility at San Francisco, which covers the Pacific Region at <http://www.archives.gov/facilities/ca/san_francisco.html
both contain records of immigration from Canada and naturalization,
censuses up to 1930, and a general leaflet on their holdings which can
be downloaded and read by freely-available Adobe Acrobat software.
Because Canada and the United were born of the same geographical
area, and have shared a border for many years, the two countries have
been very close in the exchange of their peoples. American and Canadian
cousins have been united by blood and ancestry and a history that is
not easy to undo.
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Maritimers in the "Boston States"
Canadians in the New England States
"A former newspaper reporter in Canada's capital, Ottawa, I
became interested in writing about genealogy when researching my own
ancestor, Andrew Barclay, an American Loyalist from Boston, Massachusetts,
early in 1990. Quickly, my interest spread beyond my own family, and by 1994,
I was editing a genealogy newsletter and by 1997, I was editing the Sourcing
Canada series of books. Since then, I have gone on to write "My Ancestor Was
French Canadian" and a series of booklets on Canadian genealogy. I love to
travel the Canadian and American countryside looking for interesting people
and places to photograph and to write about." - E.B. Lapointe