Comments on the “Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve”

By Jim Onyschuk

Someone once said that if you want to forget something, put it in a list. While a language word list is an initial language tool, applying this tool in other ways can aid memorization enormously. The trick is to convert this list into word or cue cards.

Research indicates that between 30 and 100 words can be learnt in one self-study hour using word cards. However, remembering those words the next day, week or year is a different story.

In 1885, Hermann Ebbinghaus gave a list of nonsense 3 letter words to various people to see how long they would remember them? Graphing his results, he Continue reading

Canada 1921 Census Finally On-Line–Sort Of?

Canada – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has finally announced the release of the Canada 1921 census. It turns out, however, by their own admission that LAC lacks the capability and resources to host the census images on their own website. Instead, LAC signed a contract with Ancestry that allows exclusive right to host the images. The images will be available for free, but only to Canadian residents and only on the website.

Ancestry is currently indexing the images and a name index is expected to be available within 2 to 3 months. Anyone wanting to search the Canada 1921 census by name will require an Ancestry subscription. Continue reading

Researching This Side of the Pond—Part One

The Toronto Ukrainian Genealogy Group(TUGG), will kick off the next series of sessions with “Researching This Side of the Pond—Part One.

There are a growing number of records available in Ukraine and Poland for researching your ancestry. Many of these records are also available “this side of the pond.” While travelling overseas and searching the archives and libraries is preferable, you will still need to know what is available both here and in those archives. You can also conduct a tremendous amount of research without having to travel outside the country.

This session will cover; basic search strategies, obtaining primary and secondary information, where to locate this information from libraries and on the internet, using computer programs, how to open an LDS Account and techniques for effectively searching microfilm records.

When:Tuesday September 10, 2013

: From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Where: St. Vladimir Institute
620 Spadina Ave.
Toronto Contact: (905) 841-6707

Brief History of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church

The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
Українська Греко-Католицька Церква

Ukraine has a long Christian tradition, dating from the 10th century. Today there are more than 22,000 religious communities in Ukraine from approximately 80 different Christian denominations, as well as other religions. But the atheist policy of the Soviets has left its mark: many Ukrainians today are unchurched because of the great spiritual void which the Bolshevik regime left in Eastern Europe.

The Conversion of Ukraine and Tensions Between East and West

In 988 Prince Volodymyr the Great established Christianity in its Byzantine-Slavic rite as the national religion of his country, Kyivan-Rus. This happened before the Great Church Schism of 1054 divided Christian East from West. The Kyivan Church inherited the traditions of the Byzantine East and was part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Yet this Church also remained in full communion with the Latin West and its patriarch, the Pope of Rome. Continue reading

Persistence Finally Pays Off

The Mystery of Mary Boyachuk’s Birth Records: Persistence Finally Pays Off
By Jim Onyschuk

The birth date of Mary Dutka (nee Boyachuk) has been a source of some confusion. Starting with the Certificate of Birth for Helena Dutka, my mother, her mother’s maiden name is listed as Maria Bujachok and her Birth Place is listed as Storo Siolo, Austria, Galicia.

Mary was supposedly born on January 14, 1898. Later, that same year her father Yendruch/Andrew Bujaczek and mother Paraska came to Canada, sailing from Hamburg, May 21, 1898 and arriving at Halifax on June 3, 1898. He was 28 at Continue reading

Petition to Release the 1921 Canadian Census NOW

Petition to Release the 1921 Canadian Census NOW

1921-censusI have written several times about all the recent problems with the 1921 Canadian census. The time period for keeping it hidden has expired and the Canadian citizens expected those records to be released to the public before now. (You can see my earlier articles by starting at  The records reportedly have already been released Statistics Canada to Library and Archives Canada (LAC) for scanning and releasing to the public. However, there is no announced plan as to when the records will become available to the public, if ever.

To protest this action, Bill Robinson has created an online petition addressed to Continue reading

Analyzing Using Discrepancy Charts

By Jim Onyschuk

Dealing with discrepancies and inconsistencies are a matter of course when doing genealogical research. Discrepancy Charts are logs which record the existence of contradictory information about the same individual. They are a useful way of keeping track of particular problems that need to be solved. A Discrepancy Chart helps you organize conflicting dates or places for a specific event in a person’s life.

Genealogical data will fall into the following categories:

  • Totally consistent, where every document provides the same date and place for each event, and there is no conflict between sources
  • There is some conflict, but the data is consistent enough that different researchers can reach the same conclusion
  • Completely inconsistent and inconclusive Continue reading

Transfering Your Data from PAF and Other Programs to a New Program

A newsletter reader obviously read the recent article of Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Is Discontinued at and was worried about transferring her data to a new program. She wrote:

Do any of the new programs allow me to transfer my data direct from PAF or do I have to type all the data I already have to a new program?

I thought I would answer here in the newsletter in case anyone else has the same question.

In short, you do not have to re-type all your data on the keyboard. All of today’s Continue reading

Breaking News – 1921 Census of Canada

Breaking News – 1921 Census of Canada Elizabeth Lapointe posted the following in her Genealogy Canada blog: “A reliable source from the LAC has just phoned me to ask that I inform my readers, genealogists, and others interested in their Canadian families, that the 1921 Canadian Census has already been digitized, and has been ready for release since last Wednesday, 12 June, but it is being held back by the federal government before it is released. “So if you want the census released NOW, it has been suggested that you write the Heritage Minister, The Honourable James Moore, and ask that the 1921 Canadian Census be released now.” Details, including contact information for Heritage Minister Moore, may be found in Elizabeth’s blog at

The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2013 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at


Describing an Ancestral Village Using Gazetteers–Part 1

By Jim Onyschuk

I had never heard the term “Gazetteer” until I started my genealogical pursuits. I read that if you wanted to find the records of your ancestor’s village, you needed to consult a gazetteer. For example, suppose the village you were searching was called Biala. You would soon discover that there were a lot of Bialas in Ukraine.

According to the “Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia,” there are seven Bialas listed. Your task would now be to determine which Biala was that of your ancestry. To pinpoint your Biala, you would need to know some towns that were nearby, to locate the correct Biala. You ask your surviving Ukrainian aunt if she remembers some Continue reading