Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Getting Connected with your Past in Ottawa

Well known Canadian genealogist Lesley Anderson is again offering classes and workshops through the Ottawa Catholic School Board. From the guide description:

"Getting Connected with your Past!

Join these fun and interesting courses designed for those who would like to find out about their ancestors. We will be looking at what you need to get started and what resources are available both on the Internet and in the community.

Genealogy – Level 1
Come and rattle those bones in your family tree!
This is a fun 8-week course on how to get started using both online computer resources and offline community resources. We will concentrate on using Ancestry.com’s genealogical databases and other Internet websites. We will be discussing: Getting Organized, Good GenealogyWebsites, Civil Registration, Parish Records and Census Records. Two classes will be spent on
field trips.
Fall Dates 2014
8 Weeks, 7:00 pm-9:00 pm $110 + HST
Holy Trinity Wed Start Oct 1

Genealogy – Level 2
We continue on our quest to find our ancestors… This course will discuss: Review of Level 1 Resources, Passenger Lists, Online Family Trees, Military Records, Newspapers, Wills and
Other Records. We will concentrate on using the Ancestry.ca website and other Internet resources.
One class will be taken up with a field trip.
Winter Dates 2015
6 Weeks, 7:00 pm-9:00 pm $78 + HST
Holy Trinity Wed Start Jan 28

Searching Effectively on Ancestry
This workshop will provide an overview of Ancestry. Topics include: getting started, membership/logging in; customizing your home page; quick links and message boards;
shoebox; keywords; card catalog; viewing, printing and saving images; Ancestry Member Connect; what’s new and where to find help! We’ll also look at the various searches: global search, category search and websearch, as well as the different search options: exact matches, variations and wildcards. Note: participants will have access to Ancestry.ca/World Deluxe.
Fall Dates 2014
Workshop, 9:00 am-12:00 pm $25 + HST
St. Pius X Sat Oct 4
Winter Dates 2015
Workshop, 9:00 am-12:00 pm $25 + HST
St. Pius X Sat Jan 24

Starting your Online Family Tree
The workshop will cover the following: managing your online tree (privacy settings, inviting others
& viewing); profile pages; tree hints – auto searching; attaching records to someone in your tree; source citation; viewing & printing a family tree – group sheets & pedigree charts; member
connect – merging info from other family trees & contacting other members. We’ll also answer the questions what happens when I leave ancestry as a paying member? Finally we’ll have an overview of Family Tree Maker 2012 Software for computers. Note: participants will have access to
Ancestry.ca/World Deluxe.
Fall Dates 2014
Workshop, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm $25 + HST
St. Pius X Sat Oct 4
Winter Dates 2015
Workshop, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm $25 + HST
St. Pius X Sat Jan 24"

Find out more at http://continuingeducation.ottawacatholicschools.ca/content.php?doc=28,
and look for the details on page 23 of the program guide (linked from the top ribbon).

Rockstar Genealogists: Gold Medalists

Join me in congratulating those receiving the most votes by those living in the specified countries/areas, the "gold medallists," our 2014 Superstar Genealogists. None are repeats from last year.

Australia/New Zealand
Shauna Hicks

Shauna Hicks is a retired librarian/archivist living in Queensland who operates a small personal part time business specialising in local and family history research. She is a lead presenter for Unlock the Past, a series of history and genealogy events in Australia and New Zealand. Her business website is www.shaunahicks.com.au/ while she blogs at http://diaryofanaustraliangenealogist.blogspot.com/

Dick Eastman
Dick has been involved in genealogy for more than 30 years and worked in the computer industry for more than 40 years. A long-time blogger, since before the days of blogs, Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter is the world's most popular genealogy blog. It brings news with a US emphasis. Dick's particular forte, which makes his blog a must read for many internationally, is technology developments relevant to genealogy.

England, Scotland, Wales
Janet Few
Dr Janet Braund Few holds the advanced diploma in family history and genealogy awarded by the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, and lectures regularly on family, social and local history. A prize-winning author and freelance researcher specialising in the southwest of England, Janet spends time living in the seventeenth century as her alter ego “Mistress Agnes,” imparting information about life in the time of the English Civil War. Janet website and blog posts are at http://thehistoryinterpreter.wordpress.com/

Steven Smyrl
Steven C. Ffeary-Smyrl has practised as a specialist in legal and probate genealogical research for over twenty years. A Fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society he was a founding member and is a past chairman of the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations. He is author or co-author of several Irish genealogical publications and contributes a regular column to the quarterly Irish genealogy magazine, Irish Roots.

Judy Russell
Judy G. Russell, a Colorado native, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism, a political science minor and a law degree. As a genealogist she is a member of numerous societies and holds credentials from the Board for Certification of Genealogists® where she is a Trustee. As well as being an author and blogger at The Legal Genealogist Judy lectures extensively with more than 20 appearances scheduled before the end of the year.

Roberta Estes
A professional scientist and business owner Roberta has been an obsessed genealogist since 1978. She founded DNAeXplain in 2004 following a successful 25 year career as President of Information Access Strategies, Inc. Roberta manages over 20 surname projects and is teamed with Family Tree DNA to offer personalised DNA analysis for customers and custom analysis for surname projects.

Over the next few days the blog will reveal top ten Rockstar Genealogists lists as follows:

Wednesday: Australia/News Zealand and Canada
Thursday: England/Scotland/Wales and Ireland
Friday: USA and DNA
Saturday: International and Commonwealth

Monday, 15 September 2014

Rockstar Genealogists: Silver and Bronze Medalists

Here, as voted by those living in the specified countries/areas, are the Rockstar Genealogist "silver and bronze medallists."
Australia/New Zealand
Silver: Judy Webster -- www.judywebster.com.au/
Bronze: Jill Ball -- http://geniaus.blogspot.com
Silver: Chris Paton -- britishgenes.blogspot.com/
Bronze: Thomas MacEntee -- http://hidefgen.com/
Silver: Kirsty Gray -- www.family-wise.co.uk
Bronze: Else Churchill - https://twitter.com/SoGGenealogist
Silver: Claire Santry -- www.irishgenealogynews.com/
Silver: Roberta Estes -- http://dna-explained.com/
Bronze: Megan Smolenyak -- www.megansmolenyak.com/
As voted by those who identified themselves as genetic genealogists
Silver: CeCe Moore -- www.yourgeneticgenealogist.com/
Bronze: Judy G. Russell -- www.legalgenealogist.com/
Congratulations to the medallists.
The "gold medallists", Superstar Genealogists, will be posted tomorrow.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

DNA Advances Genealogy

Social media were in the forefront of promoting the Rockstar Genealogist poll this year; lots of tweets, blog posts and Facebook mentions. Thank you.

I have to single out Roberta Estes who made a personal commitment on her DNAeXplained blog.

"If any of the above mentioned genetic genealogists  (CeCe Moore, Tim Janzen, Blaine Bettinger, Bennett Greenspan, Debbie Kennett, Katherine Borges and herself) are in the list of 2014 winners I’ll donate $250 to the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions Digitization Project."
Roberta explained that by taking advantage of matching programs her donation would grow to $1,000 which would preserve 2200 pages. Read the details here.

While as a Canadian digitizing US War of 1812 records isn't a particular personal priority I love the choice. DNA data (evidence) is used effectively only in conjunction with conventional genealogical evidence. Roberta's choice creates a tangible new synergy.

Data for the poll overall showed 32% of those responding identified themselves as genetic genealogists, the highest percentage in Australia/NZ, the lowest in Ireland. Better get counting out the pennies Roberta, with those numbers chances are at least one of the seven will be found in the top ten winners list. We won't wait long to find out.

Genealogy Volunteer Rockstars

Now that this year's Genealogy Rockstars voting is done, and before the results are announced, let's give a thought to and recognize the thousands who volunteer serving on Boards and interest groups, organizing and running events, producing publications, transcribing and indexing resources, and much more.

We may not hang on their every word, crowding into a room to hear them. Often they prefer to keep a low profile. Yet I'm confident every Genealogy Rockstar recognizes that without volunteers family history would be, at very most, an impoverished pursuit.

It would be inappropriate, as well as impracticable, to list and vote on Genealogy Volunteer Rockstars. Hopefully you recognize them locally, it's important to do so. If you'd like to send a comment listing your local Genealogy Volunteer Rockstars I'll be pleased to add it on below this post.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Withdrawl from Rockstar Genealogist poll

I've received the following email from Elizabeth Shown Mills

John, with much respect for the excellence you are encouraging among those who research, write, and teach, I have a request to make: Having come in first both prior years, I should be disqualified—just as recipients of APG’s Smallwood Award are not nominated again in future years. Please drop my name.
Even though a large number of votes are cast for Elizabeth I'll respect the request and not tabulate votes for Elizabeth for Rockstar Genealogist rankings for 2014.

The Ottawa Citizen, Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1879-1885.

This new Ottawa Branch publication by Dolly Allen and Joan McKay includes all birth, marriage and death notices published in The Ottawa Citizen from 1879 through 1885. It bridges the gap between previously published birth, marriage and death collections for Ottawa newspapers. As the capital of the new Dominion of Canada grew quite rapidly in the years following Confederation, this publication contains a wealth of vital data, particularly for most prominent politicians, both local and
national. As usual at the time, the death notices provide interesting reading on their own. Ottawa Branch Publication No. 14-02. ISBN: 0-7779-5014-2 is available online through the Ontario Genealogical Society e-store  http://www.ogs.on.ca/ogsnewcart/ or by mail order through the Ottawa Branch catalog at http://ogsottawa.on.ca/publication-price-list/.

Thanks to John Patton for the tip.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Over Half a Million Additions to Findmypast

Findmypast has announced they will add  thousands of new, and often exclusive, records every week on Friday.

This week's total is just over half a million new records including:

Dorset Marriages 1538-1902 - over 191,726  records added to the existing collection from around 339 churches, chapels and Quaker Meetings within the county.
London Poor Law Records, 1581-1899 - 22,344 Poor Law records from 66 London parishes
Northamptonshire Hearth Tax, 1674 - 22,491 records that form a complete index to the lists for 1673–1674.
Archbishop of York Marriage Licenses 1613-1839 - 305,032 records containing the details of people who made applications for marriage licences

More Lancashire Cemetery Records at Deceased Online.com

Information on 350,000 burials and cremations now added to Deceasedonline.com is courtesy of Richard Gray.

"Blackburn with Darwen burial and cremation records available on family history website
One of the North West's first councils to digitize records for global access
All burial and cremation records for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council have been digitized and added to the specialist family history website www.deceasedonline.com.
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council (BDBC) is a large area in the county of Lancashire, a little to the north of Greater Manchester and sandwiched between the City of Preston and Borough of Burnley. With a rich cultural and social history, the area is strongly associated with the industrial revolution throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and particularly textiles and was nicknamed 'Cotton Town'.
The digitized records on Deceased Online are for all three cemeteries and crematorium managed by BDBC : Blackburn Cemetery (aka Whalley New Road); Darwen Cemetery; Pleasington Cemetery; and Pleasington Crematorium. In total, there are records for nearly 350,000 burials and cremations representing over 1 million data items which comprise
Digital scans of all burial and cremation registers
Details of each grave indicating all those buried in each grave
Maps indicating the section within each cemetery where each grave is located
All records from the first burial in each site
The earliest records date from 1859 and the latest are from 2003.
Users of the Deceased Online website can search the database for free and if and when they find the searched-for subject, they can then choose to pay a modest fee for records which can be downloaded and saved. This means that global researchers are able to access the records 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
Previously, searches for these records would have had to have been done manually in old, large registers and Council staff undertaking this work would charge rates depending on the level of work required. The availability of the online digitized records means that Council staff will no longer need to do this and the rates paid by researchers via the website are less than those previously charged.
In addition, under statutory legislation, burial and cremation records need to be managed and preserved by all local authorities so their digitization and online availability mean that the Council has protected the records for future access and for staff administration.
The North West and Blackburn and Darwen areas have a rich history and are very popular with family historians and genealogists with many countries worldwide.
Deceased Online has digitized records for other nearby authorities including Bolton, Cheshire West and Chester and Trafford and other major local councils will also be adding their records to the website in the near future."