Thursday, August 13, 2015

Canadian Genealogy Virtual Chat: CanGen Hodge-Podge

Image courtesy of

Join me this evening for a FREE virtual chat about Canadian Genealogy courtesy of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies.

Time: 8:00 pm ET


The purpose of the virtual chat is for the Institute students enrolled in the Canadian Research program to have an opportunity to ask questions about their courses and assignments. The virtual chats are recorded and archived for registered students to access anytime.

The LIVE virtual chat is open to the public.

Tonight's topic is CanGen Hodge-Podge. I'll be discussing a variety of Canadian genealogy topics to help you with your family history.

© Kathryn Lake Hogan, 2015.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

What Are My Three Words for 2015?

Every year for the past three years, I choose three words to guide me for the year. My three words for 2014 were Fun, Fit and Fabulous. 2014 was a lot of fun. I met fabulous people, and attended fabulous genealogical conferences and workshops. And, I'm continuing with my journey to being fit.

For 2015, my three words are FGA: Focus, Goals and Abundance.

Focus: I need to spend more time focusing on what I want to accomplish in my day, week, month and year. Looking back at 2014, I wasn't always focused. My day would zoom by, and although I felt that I was busy, I wasn't really productive. I have a planner for 2015. An actual, hard cover planner to write in. No electronic or virtual planner. I find those too easy to ignore. Plans and goals will be written down.  Follow One Course Until Successful. Less time will be spent on distractions.
Need help focusing? Here are 11 ways to keep focused.

Goals: Today I'm spending time planning goals. What do I want for 2015? Goals will be posted on my office wall, and other places where I can see them every day. By focusing on these goals, and working towards them, I'm planning to accomplish my third word: abundance.
Need help planning your goals? Check out these goal setting worksheets.*

Abundance: Look up this word in a dictionary. I think wanting abundance in your life is personal. What I mean is that it's different for everyone. Some might want financial abundance. Others may want an abundance of health. Having focus and goals will help me to achieve abundance in 2015.

So there you have it. My three words for 2015: Focus. Goals. Abundance.

* Thanks to Miriam Robbins for posting the link on her blog at AnceStories.

Copyright by Kathryn Lake Hogan, 2015.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

PRESS RELEASE: PBS Genealogy Roadshow, Season 2

As you know, my focus on this blog is Canadian genealogy. However, I do like to share other aspects of genealogy and family history that may be of interest to my readers. I was sent the following press release from PBS about the new season of Genealogy Roadshow premiering in January 2015. 


Premieres January 13 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS

Credit: Pat Garin

ArLINGTON, VA; DECEMBER 9, 2014 – From descendants of the infamous pirate Blackbeard to heroes of the Holocaust, PBS’ GENEALOGY ROADSHOW uncovers family secrets in the series’ second season, which premieres Tuesday, January 13, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. ET and airs every Tuesday through February 24 (check local listings). Part detective story, part emotional journey, GENEALOGY ROADSHOW combines history and science to uncover fascinating stories of diverse Americans in and around St. Louis, Philadelphia and New Orleans.  Each individual’s story links to a larger community (and in some cases, national) history, to become part of America’s rich cultural tapestry.

GENEALOGY ROADSHOW stars genealogists Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco  and features participants with unique claims and storylines, including a woman seeking to find out if she is descended from the infamous pirate Blackbeard; a pair of sisters exploring connections to a survivor of the legendary Donner party; a man hoping to recover essential family history that washed away in Hurricane Katrina; and a man learns that the event that drove his family to the City of Brotherly Love changed the course of history.

Over the course of the series, Berry, Taylor and Tedesco work with participants’ anecdotal clues, documents and family heirlooms to unite them with histories and people they never knew existed, as well as to reveal surprising turns and incredible histories.

“In three great and complex American cities we find engaging stories, dark mysteries, emotional reveals and more” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming for PBS.  “In each episode, GENEALOGY ROADSHOW reaches out to help Americans who are interested in their family heritage and their community history. It proves that no matter one’s culture and background, everyone is part of the American story.”
St. Louis, Philadelphia and New Orleans were chosen as representative of America’s fascinating crossroads of culture, diversity, industry and history, as well as for their deep pools of riveting stories. GENEALOGY ROADSHOW’s hosts and experts add color and context to the investigations, ensuring every artifact and every name becomes part of solving the mystery.

Below are episode descriptions for each of GENEALOGY ROADSHOW’s six episodes:

New Orleans – Cabildo 
Premieres, January 13, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
A team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories at the famous Cabildo, home of the Louisiana State Museum. A couple whose ancestors hail from the same small Italian town explore the chance they may be related; a woman is desperate to find out who committed a gruesome murder in her ancestor’s past; a home held by one family for more than a century renders a fascinating story; and a woman discovers the difficult journey her ancestor took on the path to freedom from slavery.

St. Louis – Central Library
Premieres, January 20, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
At Saint Louis’ historic central library, a team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories from Missouri’s famous gateway city. A mystery writer discovers her mother has hidden a life-changing secret; a woman finds out if she is descended from the infamous pirate Blackbeard; a mother and daughter seek connections to a famous author; and a young man seeks connection to the Mali tribe in Africa.

Philadelphia – Franklin Institute
Premieres, January 27, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
At Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute, a team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family histories. A man learns that the event that drove his family to the City of Brotherly Love changed the course of history; a man may be a Viking descendant; another’s family could have part of one of history’s biggest scams; a young man hopes to confirm his relation to a signer of the Declaration of Independence; and two sisters learn their ancestors were part of the great Irish migration.

New Orleans – Board of Trade
Premieres, February 3, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
A team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories at the New Orleans Board of Trade. A local man seeks to recover essential history washed away in Hurricane Katrina; a woman discovers she has links to both sides of the Civil War; another unravels the mystery behind her grandfather’s adoption; and one man explores a link to the famous New Orleans Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau.

St. Louis – Union Station
Premieres, February 10, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
At St. Louis’ historic Union Station, a team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories from Missouri. A musician hopes to find connections to a famous St. Louis jazz composer; two sisters explore links to a survivor of the legendary Donner party; an Italian-American woman finds out if she is related to Italian royalty; and a schoolteacher who has all the answers for her students has very few about her own past.

Philadelphia Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Premieres, February 17, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
A team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family histories at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. One woman’s ancestor may have sparked historic labor laws; a pastor may have an outlaw in her family tree; a woman learns about slave genealogy and, with the help of DNA testing, gets the answer she has waited for; and another woman learns her ancestor may have helped others escape the Holocaust.

PBS LearningMedia, PBS’ destination for educators and students, offers a range of curriculum-targeted resources that support lessons on genealogy, immigration, and identity and delve into the personal histories of well-known icons and everyday Americans. Through discussion questions, worksheets, and videos, PBS LearningMedia helps teachers to promote inquiry in their classrooms and strengthen their student’s personal connection to history.  For more information on the latest digital resources for GENEALOGY ROADSHOW classroom instruction, please visit

GENEALOGY ROADSHOW is produced by Krasnow Productions. President and owner Stuart Krasnow is a longtime television industry veteran, having worked for all of the country’s top broadcasters in news and entertainment, as well as at numerous cable networks as a creator and executive producer. The series is also executive produced by TV veteran Carlos Ortiz, who has produced mega-hits for almost every major network on television. He brings 20 years of development and producing experience to the table and returns to PBS for his second season on the series.

About Big Mountain Productions
Big Mountain originated the GENEALOGY ROADSHOW format, and recently aired its second hit season in Ireland on RTE Television. Run by husband-and-wife team Jane Kelly and Philip McGovern — who are former BBC/RTE executive producers — Big Mountain originates and produces television shows for national broadcasters, specializing in hybrid shows that combine great content and entertainment value, including The Tenements, Life in the Big House, Craftmaster, Living the Eviction and the music-mentoring show Jam. For more information:

About Krasnow Productions
Krasnow Productions is named for its founder and president, Stuart Krasnow, a 30-year veteran television producer. Under his banner, Krasnow has developed and produced series in almost every genre of unscripted television for broadcast and cable networks, including The Weakest Link, Average Joe, Dog Eat Dog and The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. Krasnow Productions also sold and produced Searching For…, one of the first original series to be produced for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network. Additionally, Krasnow Productions has sold and produced original projects for NBC, A&E, TBS, GSN, MTV, HGTV, E! and Fremantlemedia.

About PBS
PBS, with its more than 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 109 million people through television and over 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website,, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Legacy QuickGuide™: Researching Child Migrants and British Home Children

Library and Archives Canada: British immigrant children from Dr. Barnardo's Homes at landing stage, Saint John, N.B.

My newest Legacy QuickGuide™has been released: Researching Child Migrants and British Home Children.

Do you have an ancestor or relative who didn't speak much about their childhood? Didn't know who their parents were? Or, where they came from? It's possible your ancestor or relative was a Child Migrant or British Home Child.

British Home Children were children sent mainly to Canada by organizations in England, Ireland and Scotland. Many of these children were orphaned, however there were quite a few who had been placed in homes by parents or grandparents facing bleak economic conditions. Once in the care of these homes, many parents and families never saw these children again.
Child Migrants were children sent to Australia and New Zealand to work in farm or industrial schools. Just like the British Home Children, most Child Migrants never saw their families in the UK again.

The Legacy QuickGuide™ Researching Child Migrants and British Home Children offers the researcher a timeline of important dates, practical research strategies, and links to databases and websites to help with finding more about your British Home Child or Child Migrant.

Copyright by Kathryn Lake Hogan, 2014.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

When Things Work Out Just Right

Every once in a while things work out just right, people are in the right place at the right time, schedules align, and amazing things happen. Call it what you want: karma, the universe. Just such an event happened this past week-end, and it was huge! For those of us involved, we like to think it was a God-thing. 

First things first though. You need a bit of background to appreciate what happened.

On December 20, 1858, eleven slaves in Missouri were rescued by the abolitionist, John Brown, his friend, John Henry Kagi, and a raiding party. Two of those slaves, Samuel Harper and Jane Hamilton were my husband's third great-grandparents. It was believed that Jane was pregnant at the time, and along the way, she gave birth to a child who was named Captain John Brown. For over two months, the fugitive slaves, and their rescuers made their way through Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. One of the places the party stopped along the way was the Mayhew Cabin in Nebraska City. This was the home of Allen and Barbara Mayhew. Barbara was John Henry Kagi's sister. The party continued travelling through Iowa, onto Illinois and Michigan. Finally, on March 12, 1859, Sam and Jane Harper boarded a ferry in Detroit, Michigan, crossed the Detroit River and landed at freedom in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Fast-forward to Spring 2014 when I received an email from a woman named Cathy. She is the vice president of the Mayhew Cabin and John Brown's Cave in Nebraska City. Cathy has been researching the slaves who had escaped with the assistance of Brown and Kagi. Furthermore, she has been looking for their descendants. Imagine how excited we were to make contact!
But wait.
It gets even better.

Another connection was made this past week-end, thanks in part to Cathy. A second great-grandson of Allen and Barbara Mayhew happened to be in Toronto on business. He contacted a third-great grandson of Samuel and Jane Harper who happens to live in Ontario. A meeting was arranged. One hundred and fifty-five years after that fateful escape on the Underground Railroad, Darryl Hogan and Brad Mayhew met each other in person at the North American Black Historical Museum in Amherstburg, Ontario.

Darryl Hogan and Brad Mayhew, Amherstburg, Ontario, 2014.
Photo by Kathryn Hogan. © 2014. All rights reserved.

Darryl Hogan, Brad Mayhew and Kathryn Hogan, Amherstburg, Ontario, 2014.
Photo by Kathryn Hogan. © 2014. All rights reserved.

Sometimes things work out just right. And, when they do, it's amazing!

Copyright by Kathryn Lake Hogan, 2014.