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The Absolutely Literate blog is for people interested in writing, editing, design, history and family history.

Friday, December 3, 2010

British Columbia History 43.4

The Scottish Nightingale Still Haunts Vancouver by Janet Nicol
An unsolved crime haunts the prestigious Shaughnessy neighbourhood in Vancouver’s west side. Was there a cover-up? Pay-offs? So many unanswered questions linger today.

West Beyond the West: Digitization Symposium by Chuck Davis
December 1–2, 2008 at UBC over 120 delegates from across the province met to learn about and discuss digitization projects underway and how communities can work together.
Museum at Campbell River Digitization Project by Catherine Gilbert
The past has been brought into the future with the launching of a new and exciting interactive website dedicated to the logging history of Northern Vancouver Island.

Historical Perspective by Jacqueline Gresko
Jacqueline spoke at the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada Plaque Unveiling Ceremony Commemorating Susan Louisa Moir Allison, September 4, 2010, Princeton, BC.

Jacoby Bros. Ltd., Manufacturing Jewellers by Ronald Greene
Jacoby Bros. was a prolific producer of BC Gold souvenirs with an oddly American flavour using their old drop hammer to strike these collector pieces.

Happy Birthday, BC
In 2010 British Columbians are marking significant anniversaries of enduring institutions, communities, and events. Just a few of the many notable birthdays can be mentioned here.

Home in the Midst of Industry: 500 Block by Chantal Morin
Each year, the British Columbia Historical Federation offers two W. Kaye Lamb Scholarships for student essays relating to the history of British Columbia. Chantal Morin is the winner of the $750 prize for a student in the 1st or 2nd year university or college.

Archives & Archivists by Angela Williams; edited by Sylvia Stopforth
Angela Williams, Director, Business and Operational Services at The Royal BC Museum talks about their role as the stewards of the past and leaders of the future.

From the Book Review Editor’s Desk by K. Jane Watt

Book Reviews

Index of Vol. 39 No. 1 to 39 No.4, 2006 Compiled by Melva J. Dwyer


Postcards from Powell River

Cabinets of Curiosities by Cecil C. Coutts, author, Cancelled with Pride: A History of Chilliwack Area Post Offices 1865-1993, talks about the resolution of a mail mystery.

Check it out on the Magazine Association of BC site.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just in time for Remembrance Day

Read Local soldiers, war brides keep Maple Ridge historian busy writing and Blogging in the Bugel. An interview with Annette Fulford about her research on the Maple Ridge Cenotaph and WWI war brides. Annette’s work was recently featured in British Columbia History.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vol 43.3 heading to press

I am excited about this issue, some changes to layout, some new features, articles by friends, images from all around BC, what more could I ask for?

Maple Ridge Soldiers in the War to End all Wars by by Annette Fulford
A Short History of the Canadian Navy by Gerald W. Pash; Edited by Ron Hyde
But I’ve Got Two Homes Now” by Brenda L. Smith
The Liquor Control Board and the Moderation Act — 1921 by Ron Hyde
Vignettes of Powell River by Ronald Greene
Archives & Archivists by Lara Wilson; edited by Sylvia Stopforth
Book Reviews
Cabinets of Curiosities

Check out our page on the British Columbia Association of Magazine Publishers website.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Design a brand

Are you a designer? Then I have a contest for you.

The British Columbia Historical Federation (BCHF) is an umbrella organization with over 190 members comprising historical societies and sites, museums, archives, etc. representing approximately 24, 700 individual members with the common goal of the preservation and promotion of British Columbia' history.

The Federation is looking for a logo to be used on letterhead, the website, its publications, conferences, and so forth.

The logo contest is open to all residents of BC.

Entrants to supply:
  • artwork and explanation of what the logo reflects or represents
  • short bio of entrant
  • PDF of entry (winner should be able to provide scalable vector art)
to newsletter(at)bchistory.ca

Copyright of the winning logo becomes the property of the BCHF. A picture of winner and writeup will be used in its newsletter, journal, website and other announcements.

Prize: $500 honorarium, 1 year subscription to British Columbia History, an an award certificate

Deadline: November 1, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Countess Ruby Ellen Van Rechteren

While researching the history of the Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary I have run across an interesting woman, Countess Van Rechteren.

She was born Ruby Ellen Mitchell on 28 November 1901 in Clinton, British Columbia to George Mitchell & Charlotte Mundorf.

George is listed as a plumber in the 1911 census and living with the family in Vancouver.
Ruby marries Count Adolph Frederik Lodewijk de Heeckeren von Rechteren of Rechteren-Limpurg-Almelo, commonly known as Count Van Rechteren, on 17 May 1926 in Vancouver.

According to passenger lists they are living in the Pemberton Valley in the 1920s and are in Chilliwack by the 1930s. Why is the Count living in British Columbia and not in Holland?
The Count was a farmer and involved in the Chilliwack Plowing Society. A 1938 border crossing lists him as going to the Lynden Fair, undoubtedly to see the Lynden plowing match. (Source Information: Ancestry.com. Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1956 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.) It also states that his right leg was artificial, which explains his unique bicycle that is part of the collection of the Chilliwack Museum & Archives. He passed away in Holland in 1952.

The Countess was president of the Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary from 1934-1937 and again from 1943-1944. The marriage record for the marriage to Count Van Rechteren lists her as divorced but I have not found out who was husband #1. In 1953 she marries Count Van Rechteren's brother, Count Adolph Sweder Hubertus von Rechteren of Rechteren-Limpurg. She passes away in Holland in 1973.

More research to follow on this interesting couple who were very involved in Chilliwack even though they only lived there for a short while.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

BCAMP transit shelter ad campaign

Look for the ads in the following locations around Vancouver August 16 to October 3:
  • Arbutus & Nanton (west side)
  • Cambie & W. 61st (east side)
  • E. Broadway & Glen (north side)
  • E. Broadway & Rupert (south side)
  • E. 22nd & Renfrew (south side)
  • Granville & W. 65th (west side)
  • Knight & E. 14th (west side)
  • Nanaimo & Turner (west side)
  • Victoria & E. 61st (east side)
  • Victoria & Upland (east side)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Take a look back with Heritage Days

Take a look back with Heritage Days

The Maple Ridge Museum will have displays to salute the Hammond Mill, the chamber of commerce and the 125-year-old Whonnock Post Office.

The Pitt Meadows Museum will share a tent with the Maple Ridge Museum to showcase Pitt Meadows history.

In the same tent, the Family History Group which is part of the Maple Ridge Historical Society will have information about how to research your ancestry and family tree. (The group meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Maple Ridge Library.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

BC History Call for Articles

British Columbia History publishes feature-length articles as well as documentary selections, essays, pictorial essays, memoirs, and reviews relating to the social, economic, political, intellectual, and cultural history of British Columbia. British Columbia History is published quarterly and is dedicated solely to the history of the province of British Columbia.

We also accept submissions for the following regular departments:

Miscellany – small items, research notes, advocacy.
Archives and Archivists
Book Reviews

An Editorial Advisory Committee supports the editorial process. The Advisory Committee advises on policy the tone and direction of the journal, and the publication’s role as the Federation’s flagship publication.

The British Columbia Historical Federation invites submissions from authors at any stage of their career, from BC and beyond, to explore any aspect or period of British Columbia history.

Articles published in British Columbia History will automatically be considered for the journal’s annual Anne and Philip Yandle Best Article Award.

To submit an article
• Word count 1000 to 5000
• Electronic version, with file extension (either .doc or .rtf)
• Endnotes must follow Chicago Manual of Style, do not insert notes in text
• Photocopies/scans of research material (pages from books, documents, or journals you have used)
• Illustrations provided with article submissions are welcomed, please send as separate files
• Submit copies of permissions (or assurance of permission) for the images
• A two-three sentence biographical note about the author.

Submission deadlines
• July 15 for Fall issue
• October 15 for Winter issue
• December 1 for Spring issue
• April 15 for Summer issue

To view complete submission guidelines, please visit http://bchistory.ca/publications/journal/index.html.

Check out back issues on the UBC Library BC History Digital Collections.

Monday, June 21, 2010

BC History - Issue 43:2

My first issue as editor of British Columbia History has been published.
This issue includes Alistair Fraser’s article that chronicles the unusual path taken to create the provincial flag of BC as it marks its 50th anniversary; Frances Welwood raises questions about the death of newspaperman Lukin Johnston. We enjoyed the transportation theme in our last issue so much that this issue includes Louise Avery’s account of the Kitimat Power Project of the 1950s and Marie Elliott’s history of the Nyan Wheti-Duzcho trail system. Read the story of the Quathiaski Cove cannery by Ronald Greene on page 29. R.G. Moyles provides an interesting insight into the Salvation Army’s mountaineers. Finally, a little of the BCHF’s own history with Jacqueline Gresko’s summary of the digitization project, From Mimeograph to Multiple Pathways.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Test your Comma IQ

I admit I am a bit of a grammar geek but I still like to have fun. I laughed my way through Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. The other day I was looking for online grammar practice tools and came across the Test your Comma IQ game.

Try it out - it is fun!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

84 Years of BC History Digitized

The University of British Columbia and BC Historical Federation have partnered to digitize the BC Historical Association Annual Reports 1923, 1924, 1929, the BC Historical Quarterly 1937--1958, and BC Historical News/BC History 1968—2007. The University Library and BCHF are sharing a unique historical record with communities across the province.
Check it out from the link on the BCHF page or on the UBC Archives site.

UBC Archives is interested in digitizing other collections so contact them if you have a collection of interest.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Transportation Issue of BC History is Available

This issue is all about the history of transportation in British Columbia. Stories about ships, aeroplanes, 1940 beginning of Greyhound Bus Lines in Nelson, freight wagons, stage coaches.

Edited by transportation expert Barrie Sanford - check it out:


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

War Brides from WW1

One of my fellow genealogy pals and well known World War One war bride researcher is speaking for the Maple Ridge Historical Society, April 22, 2010 7:30 p.m. in St. Andrew’s Heritage Hall – 22279 116th Avenue.

Check out news item by Sheila Nickols.

Come and hear her speak and learn about this lesser known part of history. Most people know about the war brides from WW2 but not as much is known about those from the First World War.

Also, check out Annette's blog on the topic.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Beauty of Neat

I am a big fan of Hellen Buttigieg, award-winning Certified Professional Organizer®, Life Coach and Gemini-Nominated HGTV host. She promotes that neatness and order give one a sense of control over their life.

I apply these same principles to design.

  • Neatness = the beauty of clean, uncluttered design with enough white space to give the reader or user room to breath.
  • Order = with web design, book layout or a user interface, readers/users should be able to logically navigate their way to the information they want.
Hellen brings order and calmness to chaos and I love that. I am also excited that I am a winner of a Post-it® Brand gift basket from reading her blog. Thank you.

Check out her website and blog: www.weorganizeu.com.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Preserving the art of tilling the soil

I just completed the design and layout of my great-uncle, David Reid's book Fields of Seams and Dreams: Plowing in the Valley.

He is getting interviews in the paper as he is selling them at the upcoming plowing match in Chilliwack, BC.

Dave Reid author of new book “Fields of Seams and Dreams,” which chronicles the first 85 years of the Chilliwack Plowing Match.

He looks so happy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Women's History Fair - April 10

Women's History Fair
April 10, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Vancouver Public Library Promenade,
Central Library, 350 West Georgia St.

Admission is free.

The Women's History Network of British Columbia presents over 20 displays from museums, archives, historical societies, cultural groups, schools and others on BC women’s history. Co-sponsored by the VPL Special Collections, Herstory Cafe and the Vancouver Courier.

For more information about this event, contact: www.whnbc.ca or www.herstorycafe.ca
Co-sponsored by WHN and VPL.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Announcement: New Editor for British Columbia History

The BC Historical Federation Council and the Publications Committee are pleased to announce Andrea Lister as the new editor of British Columbia History. she brings to the job a B.A. in History from the University of B.C. (1994) complemented by a Certificate in Technical Communications (2003) from Simon Fraser University. Andrea worked for many years as the Communications Manager for a national software and services firm before returning to the world of history. She has just completed the layout and design for the book Seams and Dreams: A History of Plowing in the Fraser Valley by David B. Reid to be published in March 2010.

Andrea has worked on publications, on web sites, in museums, and in retail. She is already involved assisting Barrie Sanford, the guest editor, in preparation of the special transportation issue, vol. 43:1 March 2010 issue.

If you would like to contact Andrea Lister about British Columbia History you can reach her at bcheditor(at)bchistory.ca

website: www.bchistory.ca

Jacqueline Gresko
B.C. Historical Federation
Publications Chair

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Let Maple Ridge council know you want a new Museum

The municipality is engaged in a process to create a new Master Plan for the Parks & Leisure Services department which will set the course for the next 10 years. This is an opportunity for us to let Council and senior staff know that we hold the creation of a modern museum & archives facility as a priority for this district.

There are public meetings at 7 pm tonight and Thursday night.

Tuesday, February 9 - Whonnock Elementary, 27471 - 112 Avenue Thursday,
February 11 - Maple Ridge City Hall Council Chambers, 11995 Haney Place

The more museum supporters who attend those meetings, the stronger our message will be on getting the new museum facility into the top rank of priorities for Parks & Leisure services.

If you are unable to attend, please have a look at the draft master plan.

particularly pages 94 to 102 and send your comments and recommendations to the council.

Thank you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pirates or Pilots?

as published in the January 2010 MRHS Family History Newsletter

My grandma always claimed that her ancestors, the DeWolfs, were French pirates. My research thus far has traced them back to the Netherlands but not to France. However, As I have tracked the DeWolf family and their in-laws I started to come across the following occupations: ship owner, ship broker and ship chandler.

My second great-grand father, John ROUNSEFELL was a ship chandler. A ship chandler is a retail dealer in special supplies or equipment for ships, who may also be responsible for the berthing and docking of the vessel before it arrives into port and is usually considered the liaison officer for the vessel's needs and demands in a foreign port. Apparently, they were also called ship pilots – hmm, maybe my grandma heard pirate instead of pilot?

To continue my research into the ship owning side of my family, much to my excitement, I received the Ships and Seafarers of Atlantic Canada CD for Christmas. This CD is a fully searchable CD containing data on the vessels, captains and crews of Great Britain and Atlantic Canada, 1787-1936 produced by the Maritime History Archive at the Memorial University of Newfoundland.

You can check the list of surnames included on the CD before ordering it from their website. I checked it and found ROUNSEFELL, DEWOLF, DE WOLFE and MAHON.

The part of the CD that I have explored thus far is the owner database. The first database is compiled from the Certificates of Registry for 10 major ports of Atlantic Canada. It contains information on the vessels registered at each port and on their owners. John ROUNSEFELL co-owned two schooners, two barques, and three brigantines from a period of 1865 to 1874. Most of the vessels were lost at sea. Some time before 1871 he leaves Nova Scotia and moves to Liverpool, Lancashire, England. The interesting thing is that he co-owns many of these ships with his brother-in laws and cousins of his wife, Margaret, nee DeWolf. The database is full of DeWolfs who were ship owners so I have only just cracked the surface of this part of my family’s history.

I also did a search on the Google news Advanced News Archive Search and found some Marine Intelligence notices from the New York Times that mention the arrival of the Schooner Grand Pre., one of John Rounsefell’s vessels.

New York Times – October 26, 1867

Next stop – the book store. As part of the Atlantic Canada Shipping Project that produced the CD, they have also produced a book Maritime Capital: The Shipping Industry in Atlantic Canada, 1820-1914 by Eric W. Sager and Gerald E. Panting. Perhaps this book will answer some of my questions as to why they moved to England, with some of the same business partner-relations and why they moved back to Canada.

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