Friday, April 11, 2008

April 12th 2008 HCGS Meeting

At out meeting place - The Manoa Gardens Community Center, on April 12th, we had a jam-packed meeting of the Honolulu County Genealogical Society. It was an interesting and varied meeting. Stan Jones presented an excellent program on Genealogy Conferences on Land, Sea and Air. He discussed the major international conferences including the National Genealogy Society (NGS) conference is Kansas City, MO in May, and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference in Philadelphia this September. A list of various State, County and foreign conferences were also listed. Then came the Genealogy Cruises which this year including Legacy, Roots Magic, Royal Caribbean, Wholly Genes, and Irish Genealogy Seminar & Cruise. More information on these can be found online. In the last segment he described ways to get the most out of a genealogical conference, such as how to chose a particular lecture and how to get the most out of the "trade show" portion. He even discussed gleaning genealogical information from fellow passengers or flight attendants and networking on the way to the conference! Thanks to Stan for a very nice presentation. After refreshments we watched the video by Megan Smolenyak & Dick Eastman entitled "Genealogy Cruising" which is online at

Kathy Defoster presented a Celebration of the Life of Dottie Leilani Behling Hemaloto, who died 20 Oct 2007. Dorothy was a much loved super star of Polynesian genealogy who had been a member of HCGS and living in Hawaii for eight years, before returning to Salt Lake City in 2004 to resume her mission in the Medieval Unit at the Salt Lake City Genealogical Library. A photo of Dottie and the friends in attendance who knew her many years ago is pictured here.

Alan Toft gave a mini-biography on his illusive 2nd Cousin, Thomas Toft. Alan described how he came to discover Thomas, a native of England. Thomas immigrated to Canada and lived near Calgary before he died in 1961. Unbeknown to Alan, who also immigrated to Canada from England, they both lived near Calgary for many years. Alan is just discovering the amazing story of this cousin and his wife whose paths he crossed, but never met. See the story below.

At the end of the meeting, pizza was delivered for all those who chose to eat lunch of it, and chat more with fellow genealogists. The 2008 calendar is shaping up, so be sure to attend as many meetings as possible. Next month Alan Toft will be the main speaker, this time about English Research and the story of the Plough Boy Pub. Martha Reamy will present a mini-biography of her grandmother. Refreshments will be provided by Harriet and Louise.

THOMAS BURGESS TOFT - Mini-Biography by Alan Toft
Thomas Burgess Toft was born 3 Jun 1906 at 13 Taylor Street, Walton Inferior (now Lower Walton), Cheshire England. He was the son of Henry Toft (born Walton Inferior, Cheshire 1868) and Sarah Ann Hatton (born Broadheath, Altrincham, Cheshire 1876). He was the 6th of 12 siblings born between 1898 and 1916. In the photo, taken in 1907 outside his birthplace, young Thomas is in his mother’s arms.

He emigrated to Canada, from Liverpool on the White Star liner ‘Celtic’, and landed at Pier 21 at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 17 Mar 1928. By 1931 he was a bartender/waiter in Calgary, Alberta and worked at the Queens Hotel, Carlton Hotel, and King Edward Hotel until 1948 when he had a brief spell working at the CN Railway Yards. By this time he had married a lady named Ivy whose maiden name may have been Ederer. We don’t know their marriage date nor whether they had children.

Thomas was admitted to the Alberta Hospital, Ponoka, Alberta, which is, or was, a home for people with mental problems, on 12 Jan 1949 under the Warrant of the Attorney General. He was separated from his wife and he died there 1 Mar 1961 at age 54 and was buried 7 Mar 1961 at Forest Home Cemetery, Ponoka, Alberta. His burial record shows that his wife, Ivy, who had been working at the Mount Royal Hotel in Banff, Alberta, left an in-care-of address of ‘E.N. Ederer, 293 View Royal Ave., Victoria BC.’ We don’t know, at this time, when Ivy Toft passed away or if she remarried.

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