Saturday, 20 October 2018

Trends in genealogy software

According to Google Trends searches for Family Tree Maker continue to exceed those for four of the other most popular PC genealogy programs. Search volume for FTM has decreased substantially over the past five years to only a quarter that at the start of the period.
Second highest search volume is for Heredis. Based in France, and also popular in Quebec, it also shows similar declines.
I suspect the decline is due to a move to the cloud and smartphones. That's even though those apps are not as capable as genealogy software.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Findmypast adds to Northumberland and Durham Burial

The largest addition to FMP this week has over 129,000 new transcript records for a total 742,734 entries in this collection for these northeastern English counties.
There's a list of over 200 parishes included, with the coverage date range at

What's DNA worth to Ancestry?

These trend lines, produced by Google Trends, show the five year evolution to the present of the number of web searches worldwide involving the term Ancestry.
The blue line is for a simple "Ancestry" search, the red for "Ancestry DNA". The values are normalized to 100 at the "Ancestry" peak.

Ancestry DNA is responsible for the growth in Ancestry since 2015. Elsewhere in the company progress is powered by fumes in the innovation tank. A decline in searches for Ancestry and Ancestry DNA since late last year is also apparent.

For the five year period the top five countries from where "Ancestry" searches were conducted were: United Kingdom (100); Australia (87); New Zealand (85); United States (74); Canada (55).

For the last 90 days they are: United Kingdom (100), New Zealand (76), Australia (71), United States (70), Ireland (62). Canada comes 6th at 54.

For the five year period for "Ancestry DNA" searches the leading countries were: United States (100), New Zealand (82), Australia (58), Canada (57), United Kingdom (48).

For the last 90 days they are: New Zealand (100), United States (95), Canada (81), United Kingdom (81), Australia (76).

Does anyone have thoughts on the prominence of New Zealand?

Documentary Heritage Communities Program 2019-2020

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) have launched the Documentary Heritage Communities Program 2019-2020 funding cycle.

For this fifth call for proposals changes will allow for greater flexibilities for projects financed through small contributions and encourage organizations to pursue projects by collaborating with other key members of the community.

The major changes include:

New maximum funding amounts for:

Small contributions: Now below $25,000 per project for up to two years; and
Large contributions: Now between $25,000 and $50,000 per project, per funding cycle for up to three years.
Additional support for organizations located in remote areas:
small contributions up to $29,999 per project;
large contributions up to $60,000 per project, per funding year;
Amendments to the list of eligible organizations to be more inclusive (specific mention of “Indigenous organizations” and “Indigenous government organizations”) and flexible (“organizations with an archival component” instead of previously “museums with an archival component”). That would include genealogical societies.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Military history recognition: "Far From Home"

Since 2007 Kent residents Diana Beaupré and Adrian Watkinson have been pursuing a personal project to visit and record each First World War CEF grave in the British Isles.

The graves and memorials for 3899 First World War Canadian Expeditionary Force soldiers may be found in 872 locations within 90 counties and 9 islands across the British Isles. Many were in remote churchyards and far-flung tiny cemeteries.

Now their work has been recognized by the award of the Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division). The MSM is awarded for achievements over a limited period of time that have brought benefit or honour to Canada. They hope to receive the award in Ottawa from the Governor General early in 2019.
Find out more about the project at which acknowledges "The Directors and Members of British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa Canada" as Gold Sponsors.

Gail Dever at OGS Kingston Branch

The Kingston Branch monthly meeting for October has Gail Dever, well-know blogger of Genealogy à la carte, speaking on "Today's Social Media for Genealogy".
The meeting is on Saturday, 20 October at 9:30 am at the Kingston Seniors Centre, 56 Francis Street in Kingston.  Visitors always welcome.

Martin Milks Crawford: CWGC Beechwood

Private Martin Milks Crawford, born 13 June 1892 in Hull, Quebec, died 100 years ago, 18 October 1918. Son of Martin and Susan Crawford, of Cobalt West. Ont.; husband of Minnie Crawford, of 186, Gladstone Avenue, Ottawa, he served with the Canadian Forestry Corps 24th Coy.
He died of pneumonia and was interred in Lot 15. South-West. Sec. 29. 26 at Beechwood Cemetery.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

NHDS Awards announced

Here is the list of 21 National Heritage Digitization Strategy awards announced in Vancouver
  • Colony, Confederation and Country: Accessing the National Story Through the Lens of Prince Edward Island’s Historical Newspapers (Robertson Library, University of Prince Edward Island), Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island ($45,685)
  • The Robin Collection: Digitization, Access and Preservation (Musée de la Gaspésie), Gaspé, Quebec ($43,742)
  • Early Photographs of the Innu and Atikamekw Peoples (Université Laval Library), Québec, Quebec ($28,742)
  • Forging Fur-ways: the North West Company Fur Trade Collection (McGill University Library) Montréal, Quebec ($15,963)
  • Set of 146 Early Books in Indigenous Languages (1556-1900) (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec), Montréal, Quebec ($22,511)
  • Digitizing Past Issues of Bulletin d’histoire politique (Association québécoise d’histoire politique), Montréal, Quebec ($6,525)
  • Le Son des Français d’Amérique : Mixed Traces and Memories of Continents (Cinémathèque québécoise), Montréal, Quebec ($86,812)
  • Digitizing and Publishing Heritage Collections on Canadian History (Document Management and Archives Division, Université de Montréal), Montréal, Quebec ($81,141)
  • Discovering the Heritage of the Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario (1910–1990): A Living Memory! (Centre for Research on French Canadian Culture, University of Ottawa), Ottawa, Ontario ($86,805)
  • Digital John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir (Queen’s University Library), Kingston, Ontario ($65,033)
  • The MacGregor Collection (The Canadian Canoe Museum), Peterborough, Ontario ($9,925)
  • Digitizing Inuit Artistic Heritage (Inuit Art Foundation), Toronto, Ontario ($80,786)
  • Healing and Education Through Digital Access (Algoma University), Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario ($86,890)
  • First Nations and Métis Oral History Digitization Project (Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan), Regina, Saskatchewan ($8,700)
  • Indian History Film Project Digitization (First Nations University of Canada), Regina, Saskatchewan ($19,414)
  • The Idea of the North: Exploring Evidence of Resilience and Change (University of Saskatchewan), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan ($83,058)
  • Smoke Signals, Satellites and Servers: Digitizing the ANCS Television Archive (Sound Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta), Edmonton, Alberta ($36,744)
  • Chambermaids to Whistle Punks: The Labour and Lives of B.C. Women, 1890–1970 (Satellite Video Exchange Society), Vancouver, British Columbia ($16,098)
  • BC Gay and Lesbian Archives Audiovisual and Graphic Material Digitization Project (City of Vancouver Archives), Vancouver, British Columbia ($71,015)
  • What Becomes Canada: Digitizing Narratives of Exploration, Settlement, and Contact (Vancouver Island University Library), Nanaimo, British Columbia ($17,015)
  • Native Communications Society Digitization Project (Northwest Territories Archives), Yellowknife, Northwest Territories ($86,796)
The image above is a word cloud based on the text above showing an objective view of the awards.

37% of the funding is for projects performed by Quebec-based organizations, 24% by Ontario-based. 37% of the funding is directly relevant to indigenous interest. No funding is awarded to organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Nunavut, Manitoba, or Yukon.

Invented Fantasies – Using Social Media to Talk About Pseudoarchaeology

Four BIFHSGO members enjoyed the first in the 2018 series of Carleton University Shannon lectures. The second is this Friday, 19 October, an intriguing presentation by Steph Halmhofer (consultant archaeologist/bioarchaeologist with Bones, Stones, and Books)


Skeletons of giants in British Columbia. People using psychic abilities to find proof that the empire of Atlantis included Nova Scotia. A cult in Quebec proposing aliens invented life on Earth. These sound like something you would find Dana Scully and Fox Mulder investigating in The X-Files. But I’m not Dana Scully, I’m an archaeologist. So why am I talking about aliens and giants? Because pseudoarchaeology, which includes the topics I’ve mentioned above, is a real concern facing both archaeologists and non-archaeologists. These theories can be found in books, television shows, and on social media but their negative impacts reach far beyond these pages and screens.

With rising popularity in social media and a currently combined total of around 440 million monthly users on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it’s not difficult to imagine how quickly pseudoarchaeological theories can spread online. But just as we use our knowledge and trowels, social media can also be a powerful tool in the archaeological toolkit, a toolkit I want to share through this lecture. We’ll talk about what pseudoarchaeology is, focusing largely on Canadian examples, and how you can identify it. We’ll talk about the racism of pseudoarchaeology. We’ll also talk about how various media platforms are used to spread pseudoarchaeology. And finally, we’ll talk about how archaeologists and non-archaeologists can use social media to talk about and de-bunk pseudoarchaeology.

Dunton Tower (room 2017), from 1:00-2:30 PM. Reception to follow.

Co-presented by the Department of History and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

James Wood: CWGC Beechwood

Born 7 September 1896 in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Sapper James Wood, service No:2014172, of the Divisional Signal Training Depot, Lansdowne Park, died on 17 October 1918 at Ottawa's St Luke's Hospital. He had attested in Cleveland, Ohio, on 2 August 1918.

He had been assigned to go with the Siberian Expeditionary Force.

His grave reference is Lot G.36. Sec. 29 at Beechwood Cemetery.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Building and Sharing Your Family Tree

This Thursday 18 October, 2018 at 7:00 pm the Ottawa Public Library hosts a 2 hour session Building and Sharing Your Family Tree.

There are many options for building and sharing your family tree: paper or electronic forms, family tree software, online family trees on sites like Ancestry or My Heritage, and collaborative family tree websites such as WikiTree.  Genealogist and BIFHSGO member Leanne Cooper will explore the key features, pros and cons of each, along with things to consider when making the choice.

The session is at the Greenboro Community Centre, 363 Lorry Greenberg in Meeting room A.

Register here.

OPL Genealogy Drop-in

Tuesday, 16 October, 14:00 – 16:00
Ottawa Public Library - Nepean Centrepointe, 101 Centrepointe Dr, Ottawa, ON K2G, Canada

Drop in anytime from 2-4pm to work on your family tree, share research strategies, & discover what resources are available for your research. Specialists from OPL and the Ontario Genealogical Society will be here to answer questions & help you get the most from library resources.  Bring your laptop, or tablet too! All Welcome.

Perth & District Historical Society October Meeting

The Society meeting on Thursday, 18 October is "The Richmond Military Road"

PDHS welcomes back local author and historian Larry D. Cotton.  Cotton’s presentation for this month will stray from his noteworthy series, “Whiskey and Wickedness” to talk about the Richmond Military Road, for which the area is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. 

The Richmond Military Road, built by the British Government in 1818, was a copy of the Roman model utilized to conquer and hold large parts of western Europe and England for centuries.  So, why was it built here? How adaptable was it to the wilderness of Upper Canada?  What was its impact on the Perth Military Settlement created in 1816?  Cotton also brings other points into the conversation.  The Rideau River Settlements and the construction of the Rideau Canal were integral components of the Richmond Road Project.  How were they linked together to facilitate the construction of 200 kilometers of canal through an unbroken wilderness? 

Sustaining the new military settlements of the Towns of Richmond, Franktown, Perth, Lanark Highlands and Ramsay was an important concern of this Project.  Distilleries and breweries played a major part.  The compelling mystery of the “whiskey tunnels” in the Town of Perth will be explored.  What about the problems of excessive drinking?  The “Nagging Wives Act” relegated miscreants to the public stocks in front of the Bathurst District Court House where they were punished by the passing public for their crime.  A local doctor told his patients with drinking problems that they might “spontaneously combust.”  Half pay officers were provided with “beer money” every three months as part of their pension allotment.  This led to a lot of trouble in town including half a dozen duels.  Why weren’t the laws prohibiting such affairs invoked? 

Larry Cotton has a Bachelor of Arts from Laurier University; Bachelor of Education from Queens University; Masters in Urban & Regional Planning from Queens; Diploma – Municipal Clerk-Treasurer from Georgian College.  He has been a land use planner for almost 40 years, serving as county planner for Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry; Planning Director for the Town of New Tecumseth, and also the Township of Springwater in Simcoe County; Deputy County Planner for Renfrew County.  Larry also taught part-time at Georgian College on Municipal Government; Municipal Law, and Environmental Law, and has facilitated municipal non-profit housing projects for seniors across Ontario. 

Everyone is welcome at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, home of ‘Hall of Remembrance’, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, 7:30pm (Toonie Donation).