November 2013
Your Executive 
Virgina Braid
1st Vice-President: VACANT
2nd Vice-President: Sheila Woods
Secretary: Susan Thorpe
Treasurer Susan Wellman
Past President: VACANT
Councillor: Katharine Schulz
Councillor: Kathleen Kristjansson
Councillor: Virginia Braun
Southeast & Winnipeg Branch
Educational Activities
are open to all!
**Most Monday-night events are free to Branch members
Guests may attend any Monday-night event for a $5 fee + any additional fees**
** the Branch reserves right to charge a
small cost-recovery fee when
 handouts are numerous or there is a charge for the venue
To be a Branch member you must be an MGS member or associate member.  Your $12 Branch fee entitles you to attend
**Monday Night Genealogy events free!
The Branch occasionally offers Workshops on Weekends.  These are open to all and the cost varies, depending on the length and nature of the workshop.
Events are advertised in the Branch
E-Zine, available to all members, and posted at the MGS Resource Centre.
Watch for announcements!
Our Branch Caller will phone Branch members who do not subscribe to the E-Zine to advise or remind of upcoming events..
News and Events from the Southeast & Winnipeg Branch, MGS
Deadline for next issue is Sunday December 1.
This is your e-Zine.  Please help by submitting your short stories, news items, web sites or other items of interest to Southeast and Winnipeg Branch members by that date.  We are also looking for note takers for one or more presentations and an associate editor or trainee to help with composing and sending out the e-Zine.  Thanks.
Sheila Woods - Editor
Congratulations to Jim Oke, the new president of MGS.
Book Launch – McNally Robinson Booksellers – December 5th – Atrium – 7:00pm.

MEASURED WORDS third course
Edited by Barbara J. Becker

A 3rd anthology in the Winnipeg Bestsellers series.
Come out and meet Manitoba Writers as they:
  • Read their stories and poems
  • Share recipes and vintage photographs
  • Sign copies of their book
  • Enjoy refreshments
Susan Wellman and Oriole Veldhuis are contributors to this anthology as well.

Internet News
  • Manitoba Probate Records: Indexes to five districts, namely Eastern (Winnipeg), Western (Brandon), Southern (Morden), Central (Portage la Prairie) and Dauphin are on the Provincial Archives site at Full text of probate files for all districts including St. Boniface and Northern (Minnedosa) up to 1930 are at  There is an index for St. Boniface, but to see the index for the Northern (Minnedosa) district, you still have to read the microfilm at the Archives.  Note that the Archives use the names in parentheses while Familysearch uses the other names.  To find a file, first get the district and file number from the index.  Then select the range of file numbers and browse the images.  You can enter page numbers to fast forward or backtrack easily, but it can still be a little tedious because if you land in the middle of a file you have to proceed one page at a time to see what file you are on.
  • Check out U of M's on-line collection at  It has a lot of very good historical material - photographs, books etc. on a variety of topics involving the university and/or the province or city.  For example, you can access and view or download entire copies of the Brown and Gold Yearbooks of the U of M up to the 70's, or view, download, print or search a number of issues of the Winnipeg Tribune during the war years of 1939-1945.  In the "rare book" section, there is a complete copy of "Historical Diary of Winnipeg" published in 1923, which is searchable.  (Thanks to Katharine Schulz for this.)
  • The 1921 Canadian census is now searchable on Ancestry.  Since it's free, you can have full access from a guest account (no credit card needed).  (I already had a guest account.  If you've set one up recently, could you please let me know how, and I'll passit on in next month's e-Zine.)

November Programs
All programs start at 7:00 PM

Monday, November 18 (General) 
MGS 1976 to 2013 - Then Where?

Kathy Stokes
In 1976, Eric Jonasson appeared on the Peter Warren Radio Show in Winnipeg and announced that he wanted to form a genealogical society in Manitoba. And the rest is history, as they say. We will discuss the ups and downs of MGS over the years and the reasons why we never seem to be on a trouble free path. Yet here we are nearly 40 years later. Where are we headed over the next few years? What can we do to sustain our organization? Do we really need MGS in these days of "computer genealogy"?
Please come with your questions and comments. Be creative - remember that MGS is not alone in its current situation. What have we learned since 1976 that will help us reach our 40th anniversary in 2016?

Monday, November 25 (12 Heads)
The Family Genealogy Trivia Game

Susan Thorpe
Join us for an evening of Genealogy Trivia. We will take turns giving a short answer to the following questions:
  a) Which ancestor were you named for;
  b) the most unusual first and/or middle name;
  c) the ancestor that lived the longest;
  d) the most number of children born to one couple;
  e) the most number of marriages;
  f) the shortest and/or longest marriage;
  g) the most interesting or unusual occupation;
  h) the most interesting document you’ve found;
  i) the most surprising thing you’ve found about your ancestors
Come with the answers to as many of them as you can. 

Upcoming  Presentations
Southeast & Winnipeg Branch
Educational Programming Schedule
November 2013 – June 2014  @  7:00 PM

Unless otherwise stated, all Branch Programs are held at the MGS Resource Centre, Unit E-1045 St. James Street
Meeting Type
November 11
Remembrance Day
November 18
MGS – Our Past and Our Future
Kathy Stokes
November 25
12 Heads
The Family Genealogy Trivia Game
Susan Thorpe
December 9
Christmas Sharing – “Something Made by My Family”
All Members Attending
January 13
“A Good Goodbye” – Funeral Planning Questions you Need to Answer
Kevin Sweryd,
Bardal Funeral Home
January 20
12 Heads
Faith in Your Family Tree
Kelly Southworth
January 27
February 10
12 Heads
Our Family’s Sports and Hobbies
Laurie Orchard
February 17
Louis Riel Day
February 24
Cops and Robbers - Which was in your family?
John Burchill & Jack Templeman; Winnipeg Police Museum and Historical Society
March 10
French Canadian Research
Jayne Paradis
March 17
12 Heads
The Luck of the Irish
Susan Thorpe
March 24
Linguistic Fingerprints:  Who was Elise Vane?
Barbara Becker
March 31
April 14
"A Pictorial Visit to Manitoba Churches and Their Graveyards."
Ed Ledohowski
April 21
12 Heads
Six Degrees of Separation
Judy Labossière
April 28
Tour at 7 PM
Legion House Museum (Military History Society of Manitoba)
Royal Canadian Legion Norwood / St. Boniface Branch #43;
134 Marion Street. 2nd Floor
* Not wheelchair accessible.
May 12
Hatfields vs. McCoys – Our Winnipeg Connection
Mel Stocking
May 19
Victoria Day
May 26
Search and Reunions for Adoptions
Jennifer Squirrell
Adoption Options Manitoba
June 9
Metis Culture & Heritage Resource Centre – Genealogy
Randy Ranville
*Monday-night program may be changed without notice.

*Monday-night events will be cancelled whenever Winnipeg School Division #1 closes due to weather—
listen to your radio or TV!

Watch the E-Zine for detailed descriptions, programming changes, and other educational opportunities.  Or, check postings at MGS Resource Centre.

Don’t subscribe to the E-Zine?  Ask Sheila Woods how!


Past Programs
Note Takers Wanted 
We have had several requests to include notes from presentations in the E-Zine. Several members cannot make it to meetings on Monday nights while others don't travel at night any more and would like more information on the presentations.  While I attend most programs, I'm not always diligent in taking notes, and I do miss some presentations. If you take notes and are willing to share them with fellow members, it would be greatly appreciated. Please let me know  if you are willing to take notes for one or more presentations.
Monday October 28 (Computer SIG)
"Seeking the Best Results Using - Jim Oke

To a packed house, Jim gave a live demonstration of the many things you can do with the new FamilySearch. By using the links in the middle of the page, he showed us how to search records and family trees and get a lot of research help.
On the Search page you can enter an ancestor's name and other relevant information to search the collection of records. If you click on a batch number, you will get all the records in that batch (e.g. all baptisms at one church in a time period). There will probably be a lot, but you can search the surname within that batch to find siblings. You can copy the film number into a catalog search to get more information about the film and possibly order it.
You have to be logged on to order films and also to see family trees. You are encouraged to submit your family tree but it isn't required. There is a facility for submitting changes to family trees.
The "Getting Started" page links to the Research Wiki which has over 75,000 articles to help you with your research.

Saturday October 19 (Mini Seminar)
New Directions - Robin Shimpa and Louis Kessler

About 50 participants spent their Saturday at Silver Heights United Church attending the New Directions seminar, mingling, viewing display tables, enjoying a turkey dinner and listening to two speakers.
Robin's talk involved a lively exchange between the speaker and the audience. She started by covering immigration to the US from overseas, the immigration stations at Castle Garden (1830-1891) and Ellis Island (starting in 1890), and the establishement of border controls from Canada about 1895. She moved on to the history of the development of the west, illustrated by maps. Minnesota became a state in 1858. At that time, settlement was mainly in the southeast and along the rivers, and her map showed a settlement at Fort Garry as well. The Homestead Act of 1862 was signed during the Civil War (1861-1865). The South resisted because it would encourage blacks to seek land. After a depression and the bankruptcy of several railroads around 1872, James Hill was able to establish a viable railroad which speeded up development of the West. North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana became states in 1889. The 1890 census was destroyed by a fire and the water used to put it out. At that time no extra copies were kept at the state level. A number of Americans obtained homesteads in Canada and later sold them at a profit, returning to the US. Some Canadians obtained land in the US as well. One major difference between Canada and the US is that in the US, all immigrants had to become naturalized, while in Canada, those from the UK were exempt. In looking for your ancestors, knowing the history can suggest what records to look for. It also helps to know what factors may have driven them to emigrate. Apart from  vital, census and immigration records, you can consult local and township histories, county and state histories and family histories or biographies. She surveyed the audience on their families' migration between Canada and the US.
(Robin Shimpa giving her talk - photo by Gord McBean)
In the afternoon Louis gave us a lot to think about as he gave us ideas and more ideas for our genealogical society. He started with his own journey, from genealogy at the West Kildonan library and computer programming in the 1970's through giving genealogy talks in his daughter's school, his involvement with the Jewish Heritage Centre and the Cemetery Photo Project and developing his own "Behold" genealogy software.
He pointed out our strengths: our resource centre, our indexes and databases, our Generations journal. To maintain and build membership he stressed the importance of getting young people involved in genealogy. We also need to get the word out and fund raise. Some ideas for raising our profile are our web site, genealogy classes, special events and displaying our logo. Heritage grants may be available for projects, but not day-to-day operations. They may require selling Bingo cards at the casino. Joint projects with other organisations (historical societies, ethnic or religious groups, communities) can work well. He cited an example of a project between the Jewish and Chinese communities in Winnipeg to honour a Chinese diplomat in Vienna who took thousands of Jews to China to escape the Holocaust. Funds can also come from memberships, donations, publications, special events, raffles, etc. It's also good to get together from time to time to examine our strengths, generate more ideas and take a role in their implementation.
(Louis Kessler giving his talk - photo by Susan Wellman)
Southeast & Winnipeg Branch
Manitoba Genealogical Society