Thursday, 27 July 2017

Ancestry adds London School Registers

London, England, Poor Law School District Registers, 1852-1918, 268,776 records, is lists of children admitted to and discharged from schools. Included (where available) are: admission date, discharge date, name, gender, school, address, birth date, and age. The school districts are: Brentwood,  Central London, Forest Gate, Kensington and Chelsea, South Metropolitan, and West London. 

Be sure to check the original document image which may have further information such as where the child went following discharge such as an apprenticeship. It's worth checking for home children from London.

London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1912-1918, 178,308 records, include (where available): admission date, name, parents’ names, parents’ occupation, address, birth date, age. It includes schools in the boroughs of Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, and Westminster. 

For both collections you can also browse the original registers.


BIFHSGO DNA Interest Group meets on Saturday

A quick reminder of the group meeting at 9:30 am on Saturday, 29 July at the City of Ottawa Archives (Room 115), 100 Tallwood Drive.

Bill Arthurs will speak about “The High Points of Blaine T. Bettinger’s The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy.”

Shirley Monkhouse will present on Blaine T. Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne’s companion workbook “Genetic Genealogy in Practice.”

There will be a Round Table Discussion with remaining time.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Theancestorhunt updates free Canadian newspaper list

Kenneth R Marks has added over 250 new links to historical newspapers for Canada at his the theancestorhunt site. That makes the Canadian total over 2,850.

For Ontario the direct link is http://www.theancestorhunt.com/blog/ontario-online-historical-newspapers-summary#.WXkr5ojyvIU/.


News from the Registry of Deeds Index Project

Irish ancestry? A quick link to Claire Santry's blog where she points to further guides to finding townlands in the Townland Index, and updates to the project. Posted on Tuesday at New user-guides from Registry of Deeds Index Project.

An exceptionally wet day: 190 years ago

You think Monday was wet?

John Burrows (sometime John Burrows Honey) was in a party exploring the route of the Rideau Canal in July 1827. He kept a diary, the original of which is in the Historical Society of Ottawa collection at the Ottawa City Archives, and has been transcribed in Sights and Surveys published by HSO in 1979.

The following are extracts on weather from the diary for Thursday 26 July 1827:
- Before leaving this place inspected the state of our provisions and found them a little injured by the rain, and divided the wet from the dry bread, and used the injured first.
- The 3 officers, Mr MacTaggart landed here and took shelter in Mr S. Burrit's house from the pelting pityless rain.
- Still the storms continued.
- Mr MacTaggart and party continued to explore under the rain for we could not be more wet.
- Though with wet and cold very uncomfortable, anxiety made us press on ...
- At the foot of Merrick's Rapids a thunder storm drove us under the hospitable roof of blacksmith, Mr. Kelly. 
Details of local weather so far in the past are rare in the Ottawa valley. I came across this while exploring for my talk on Ottawa Weather History to the HSO on 27 October.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Edmund A. Scott: CEF Beechwood

Edmund Altman Scott arrived in Canada with his brother John from Malvern, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, via New York on 16 June 1917. He attested the following day giving his date of birth as 20 July 1893 and occupation messenger.
He enlisted with the Canadian Engineers Div. Signallers.

The clipping shows he died by drowning on 25 July 1917 while swimming in the Ottawa River. The Signal Training Depot at Rockcliffe was under canvas during the summer, removed from Lansdowne Park.
It was a hot day with the maximum temperature recorded at the Experimental Farm of 33.9C.



Monday, 24 July 2017

Large Families

Wikipedia lists 15 women who had more than 30 children. That includes a woman said to have had 69. Questionable as some of those may be there appear to be well substantiated cases of more than 20. As children of large families tend to have large families of their own the phenomenon is significant for genealogy.

In November 2016 the UK Office for National Statistics issued a Statistical Bulletin Childbearing for Women Born in Different Years, England and Wales: 2015. It concludes that women born in 1970 who completed their childbearing by 2015 had an average 1.91 children, fewer than their mother's generation (born 1943) who had 2.24 children. A graph shows the average number of live born children reaching a peak of 3.9 in 1935, up from 2.0 in 1920 where the data starts.
The bulletin also shows that 15% of women in the 1943 cohort had four or more children; for the 1970 cohort that figure was down to 10%.

This table, from an article A Hundred and Fifty Years of Vital Statistics: Documenting Demographic Change in Ireland, by John FitzGerald shows the decline in average completed Irish family size from 6.5 in 1911 to 2.5 in 2011.
The trend to smaller Irish families is reflected in the 2011 census data showing women in their early 50s most likely had 2 children, those from their late 50s to early 70s 3 children, and 4 for older women. The percent of women with 8 children in their early 50s was only a tenth of those in their 80s.

The 1911 census for Ireland has been digitized for fertility data, available at http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/. The graph shows the number of children live-born to married women age 45 and older. Leaving aside child-free couples eight was the most likely family size. The largest family had 22 children; there were eight of 20 or more children.

As for Canada, with all caution regarding the credibility of the Huffington Post, here's their take on the Biggest Family In Canada.

What's the largest number of live-born children one woman had in your family tree. I asked that at a BIFHSGO get together on Saturday. From about 15 people the largest was 18.




Sunday, 23 July 2017

Ancestry Annual Update to Ontario Marriages and Deaths

Marriage records for 1935 are now added to the Ancestry Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1785-1935 collection.
New Records: 162,411; Total Records: 8,551,124
New Images: 54,608, Total Images: 1,460,555

Death records for 1945 are now added to the Ancestry Ontario, Canada, Deaths and Deaths Overseas, 1869-1947 collection
New Records: 139,526, Total Records: 3,100,785
New Images: 40,818, Total Images: 1,009,142

The Mystery of Bytown Mayor John Scott

The Ottawa Citizen and Metronews recently published about a portrait of John Scott, first mayor of Bytown, in the Historical Society of Ottawa collection.
http://www.metronews.ca/news/ottawa/2017/07/17/ottawa-archive-finds-portrait-of-citys-first-mayor.html/.

The previously unidentified portrait, see the article for a photo, was determined to be Scott by the City Archives, which now holds the HSO collection, as it's copied in a montage of early mayors.

There are two other images said to be Scott. The first here, his portrait as representative for Bytown (Ottawa) to the Legislature taken from Wikipedia, is similar but without facial hair extending below the ears.

In the second, included in an August 2016 Bytown Pamphlet, No 99, and attributed to The Historical Society of the Gatineau (GVHS), is a photograph supposedly taken a year of two before he died in 1857. I see similarities and differences but would guess he's older than the 33 calculated from his supposed birth year of 1824.

Interestingly his New York death registration gives his age as 45.

There are other reasons to think he might have been older. As pointed out in the Bytown Pamphlet, with the supposed birth year of 1824 he would have been 13 when he entered law school and 17 or 18 when he was sworn in as an attorney.

What do you think? Is the man in the second image the same as in the first and is he likely in his early 30s?