Christmas

Merry Christmas from the GSR

1909 Christmas postcard

1909 Christmas postcard from Carrie Vollmar to Pearl Bracey of Bridgeport, ON

This lovely 1909 Christmas postcard was sent by Carrie Vollmar of Berlin, ON, to Pearl Bracey of Bridgeport, ON, on 22 December 1909. Pearl Bracey was born in Bloomingdale, ON, on 24 July 1887, to William Bracey and Louisa Snyder. She lived in Lexington and Bridgeport during her lifetime. She was a member of Trinity United Church, Kitchener and, at one time, served as the organist for Emmanuel United Church in Bridgeport. She died on 19 January 1977 in Kitchener, at the age of 89.

Carrie (Caroline Marie) Vollmar, the sender of the postcard, was born on 12 July 1884 in Berlin, ON, to Daniel and Catherine Vollmar. She married Henry O. Knechtel on 9 June 1917, at the age of 32, in Kitchener. She and Henry had one child, Esther Catherine Knechtel (married name Boyer). Caroline passed away on 25 December 1945, at the age of 61, in Kitchener.

1909 Christmas postcard - reverse side

Reverse of 1909 Christmas postcard from Carrie Vollmer to Pearl Bracey of Bridgeport, ON

The postcard features a colourized photograph of skiers enjoying a winter afternoon. It made me think of the many Christmas Days that I have spent walking, tobogganing and exploring with family and friends. From sledding with my daughter, walking with my Mom and grandmother, to a magical moonlit hike through silent fields with my uncle and cousins, Christmas Day has always been a special time to connect with family, friends and community.  I hope that everyone is able to enjoy the holidays and reconnect – with the things, people and activities that bring them joy.

From all of us in the Grace Schmidt Room, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and the Happiest of Holidays.

Cheers, Karen.

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Genealogy Fair 2018

6th KPL Genealogy Fair – Join us!

August Boehmer, Sr. family

P007001 August Boehmer, Sr. family. For more information about the photograph, click here

Join us on Saturday April 21, 2018 at the Central Library for the 6th KPL Genealogy Fair!

If you would like to participate as an exhibitor, vendor or workshop leader, please contact us at genealogyfair@kpl.org for more information and an application form. The application deadline of Sunday December 17, 2017 is fast approaching!

Do you have a DNA story or other genealogical expertise to share?  We’d love to hear from you and welcome your workshop proposals.

Mags Gaulden of Grandma’s Genes is our keynote speaker and will kickstart our day with her insights into how genetic genealogy connects us all. Mark your calendars for this exciting event! We hope that you can join us!

Cheers, Karen

Gen Fair 2018 - Poster.cdr

 

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Obituary Indexing Project, Programs

Undertakers Uncovered

Schreiter's Funeral Home, Kitchener, ON

Interior view of Schreiter’s Funeral Home in Kitchener, ON

Ever wonder about undertakers? Marion Roes does. Undertaking is in her blood – literally.  As the granddaughter of Elmira undertaker, Christian Dreisinger, Marion grew up in and around the family’s funeral business. She’s been “uncovering undertakers” and their businesses  which are “buried” in records like directories, obituaries, assessment records, and newspapers. She is “Sherlock Roes” – solving history mysteries about undertaking and the men and women who help guide us through the rituals, ceremonies and details of death.

Come join us on Wednesday 29 November 2017 at the Forest Heights Branch at 7pm for Marion’s talk on “Uncovering Waterloo County’s Undertakers”.  Marion will highlight the searches that she’s done in area archives and libraries, including the Grace Schmidt Room and Cambridge City Archives. She’ll also look at the undertakers and their different places or work/business throughout the Region.

Curious to know where was the only coffin factory in Waterloo County located?

Wonder if there were there really two different undertakers named Robert James Kerr?

Puzzled why would a barber have an undertakers’ licence for many years – and not have an undertaking business?

Dying to know? Well then, you will have to join us!

Marion’s talk, in support of the GSR’s Obituary Indexing Project, is free, but registration is required. Register online here or call InfoLink (519-743-7502) or the branch directly (519-743-0644), during library hours, and staff can sign you up.

The Forest Heights Library is located at 251 Fischer-Hallman Road, Kitchener. Parking is free.

See you there!

Cheers, Karen

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Remembrance, Soldier Information Card Project

Remember Them

P002134 William John Parker

P002134 William John Parker

On this day in 1918, the guns fell silent at the 11th hour. The “Great War to End All Wars” had ended. Despite the horror, carnage and loss of  a generation of its young, Canada would answer the call again, in 1939, in 1950 in Korea, and in many places around the world in the years following, to defend the values and beliefs that we held so dear.

Today, we stop at 11am to remember them – to vicariously live in the moment when the gunfire stopped, to feel the sharp and deep pain of loss, to reflect on the sacrifice of generations of men and women who forfeited their youth, health and happiness, and in many instances, their lives, to defend values that we hold dear; and to thank them for their service – in conflicts and peacekeeping in years past, present and future.

Remember them, not only today, but always.

Visit our Waterloo County Soldier Portrait Collection here.

Visit our World War I Soldier Information Collection here.

Regards, Karen

 

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KPL Genealogy Fair 2018

Drum Roll Please! Announcing KPL’s 6th Annual Genealogy Fair Keynote Speaker

magsgaulden - web

Mags Gaulden, 2018 Keynote Speaker, KPL 6th Annual Genealogy Fair

I am very happy to announce that Mags Gaulden of Grandma’s Genes (www.grandmasgenes.com) will be our keynote speaker at KPL’s 6th Annual Genealogy Fair!   Mags is a professional genealogist and co-founder of Grandma’s Genes, based in Ottawa. She specializes in genetic genealogy, working with people who want to further their family knowledge using DNA – the newest frontier in genealogy research and family tree building. Having grown up surrounded by family historians, Mags was primed to become a genealogist. Following her graduation from Columbia College,  she began to work her own genealogy as a “hobby”.  Her “hobby” eventually led her to a leader role with WikiTree where she currently leads the DNA Project as well as, The Canadian History, Ontario and British Columbia, United Empire Loyalist, British Home Children, US Southern Colonies  and First Peoples of the World projects. She is the group administrator for the WikiTree and Global Family Reunion DNA and The McElmoyle Family Tree DNA Projects.

Remember to mark your calendars for the KPL Genealogy Fair being held on Saturday 21 April 2018 at the Central Library, 85 Queen Street North, Kitchener!

Applications for speakers, exhibitors and vendors will be going out next week. If you would like to receive an application, please email us at genealogyfair@kpl.org and we’ll get one to you!

Hope to see you there!

Cheers, Karen

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Genealogy Fair 2018

Save the Date for the KPL Genealogy Fair!

diary-684750_1920

Can I have a drum roll, please?…

Calling all genealogy enthusiasts!

Please save Saturday 21 April 2018 for the KPL Genealogy Fair!

We are happy to announce that the KPL Genealogy Fair will be held at the Central Library on Saturday 21 April 2018. Join us for a day of genealogy learning, sharing and networking! We have a great keynote speaker coming (stay tuned for more news!) and are organizing amazing workshops and recruiting interesting exhibitors for your genealogy research and interests.

If you or your genealogy group would like to be a part of this fantastic day, drop me a line at genealogyfair@kpl.org and we’ll get you on our mailing list.

Cheers, Karen

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Obituary Indexing Project, Programs

Remembering Mary Johnston

Waterloo County Hall of Fame Induction for Kathryn Lamb, May 2001

Left to right: Susan Hoffman, Kathryn Lamb and Mary Johnston, at Kathryn’s May 2001 Waterloo County Hall of Fame Induction

On Sunday, I heard from my Waterloo Historical Society colleagues that Mary Johnston had passed away on Friday July 7th.  Mary was a legendary character – sharp witted, talented, professional and caring. She was an acclaimed educator and principal, who had a public school named after her in Waterloo, a past Waterloo Historical Society president and a familiar face at WHS and other heritage events. But most importantly to me, she was a friend.

While I had not known her for a long time, she was that kind and gentle soul that made you feel at ease. Being very much taller than me, Mary was someone I looked up to literally and figuratively. In the past couple of years, she would drop in or all to say hello or to ask a question about a historical fact or event. I will miss her kind words of encouragement and upbeat personality. She could put a smile on anyone.

My first memory of Mary was meeting her at Heritage Showcase many years ago and then being told that she wanted to take a picture. Mary traveled with her trusty film camera, well into the day and age of digital technology. At each heritage event, Mary requested a photo of everyone and set about grouping us together. She would take her photos and a month or two later, an envelope would arrive with a couple of images of yourself at a recent event. Mary made history herself and captured it for the rest of us. Those photos are even now more special to me now that she is gone.

Remembering and honouring the life of friends and family is something that writer, Valerie Hill, does with elegance and honesty. Valerie writes the popular Lifetimes column in the Waterloo Region Record. I admit to being a habitual obituary reader and the appearance of Valerie`s column, for me and many others, is a must read. Lifetimes allows me to learn about the real person – not just the facts of death, family and employment that one finds in an obituary.

Valerie will be speaking about the Fine Art of the Obituary at the Central Library on Monday July 17, 2017 at 7pm. We are pleased to have her as our first speaker associated with our Grace Schmidt Room Obituary Indexing Project.  Please join us to learn about the unique challenges in writing about life and death, memory and loved ones. You can register for the event here or call 519-743-7502, during Library hours, to reserve your seat for the talk.

Cheers, Karen

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