Tuesday, 3 March 2015

LAC Survey

If you've been to the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) website lately you will have been asked to take a survey, after you've finished your business. It's part of a usability study of to gather information about how visitors use the website. This study includes a question about digital content available on the LAC website.

The study can also be accessed at: http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/lacbac01/lac/ until March 6th. LAC note the identity of respondents is strictly confidential.

Irish Records added at Findmypast

The latest additions to Findmypast's Irish newspaper collection include updates to 36 existing titles and 5 brand new titles from all over Ireland
– Belfast Protestant Journal, 16,211 articles from 1844 to 1850
– Current Prices of Grain at Dublin Corn Exchange, 272 articles from 1860 to 1861
– Newry Herald and Down, Armagh and Louth Journal, 44,204 articles from 1858 to 1862
– Tipperary Vindicator and Weekly Vindicator, 88,194 articles from 1844 to 1868

Also in this update, over 9,000 new records have been added to the Ireland National Roll of Honour 1914-1921. It now containing over 24,000 records. The Ireland National Roll of Honour 1914-1921 is a collection of transcripts created from all known available references and collections for Irish casualties published before 1922. They include Soldiers Died in the Great War, Ireland’s Memorial Records, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, newspaper items, articles and books. The material has also been cross referenced with the 1901 and 1911 Census to provide a more precise list of Irish casualties than was previously available to family historians.

My forthcoming presentations

Here is a list of speaking commitments I have so far for 2015

March 16-20:  I will be at the Genealogy in the Sunshine event in Algarve, Portugal. The presentation Did DNA Prove the Skeleton Under the Leicester Car Park was Richard III? is scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday 18 March. Two other presentations Researching Second World War British Child Evacuees to Canada and Finding English Emigrants to Canada and Their Descendants are to be scheduled. I'll also be participating in a panel on genealogical proof.

March 25: DNA Testing for Genealogy: Not Just for Men at Temple Sinai, 210 Wilson Avenue, Toronto, 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.)

June 6: Did DNA Prove the Skeleton Under the Leicester Car Park was Richard III? OGS Toronto Branch one-day workshop on Genetic Genealogy and its uses in family history research. North York Central Library Auditorium, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto

June 13: Tragedy at Sea: How My Family History Nearly Ended Before It Began, part of BIFHSGO Great Moments in Genealogy  at The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean, Ontario, session starts at 10 am.

October 10: Did DNA Prove the Skeleton under the Leicester Car Park was Richard III? (BIFHSGO Monthly Meeting) 10:00 am to 11:30 am, The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean, Ontario

March Backup Nag

If, like me, you overlooked to backup your hard drive at the beginning of the month it's not too late..
Just do it.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Major Photographic Acquisition by Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada announce the acquisition of a major addition to the Malak Karsh fonds on the occasion of the centenary of his birth. This provides tangible proof that LAC will not restrict itself to collecting only materials from government sources or through legal deposition.

The acquisition includes approximately 200,000 photographic transparencies and negatives, ca. 1968-2001, as well as 13 exhibition prints and textual records.
Malak's portrayal of Canada's geographical and cultural diversity has been very influential in shaping how Canadians view their own country and its visual identity.
Malak's images have been used on at least 11 Canadian stamps, and his iconic photograph of the log drive below Parliament Hill appeared on the $1 note (1974-1989).

Read the press release at http://goo.gl/3hgWxb

Local BMD Updates in February

The following are February's Local BMD additions to the UKBMD records for the counties of Cheshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Wiltshire, Yorkshire


3,465 for Hazel Grove, registers at Stockport (1960-1969) 
1,007 for Stockport, registers at Stockport (1967-1968)
500 for Altrincham, registers at Trafford (1959-1960)
1,004 for Urmston, registers at Trafford (1957-1957)

505 for Bidston, St Oswald, registers at Wirral (1947-1958)
501 for Tranmere, St Catherine, registers at Wirral (1946-1953)
506 for Tranmere, St Paul, registers at Wirral (1949-1958)
506 for Bebington, St Andrew, registers at Wirral (1948-1959)
251 for Bromborough, St Barnabas, registers at Wirral (1947-1954)
251 for Higher Bebington, Christ Church, registers at Wirral (1947-1954)
260 for Hoylake, St Hildeburgh, registers at Wirral (1950-1976)
254 for Port Sunlight, Christ Church, registers at Wirral (1951-1958)

2,542 for Altrincham, registers at Trafford (1950-1954)
1,505 for Urmston, registers at Trafford (1958-1960)


4,655 for West Lancashire (Ormskirk) RD comprising: Ormskirk (1948-1964)

27,169 for Manchester RD comprising: Manchester Register Office or Registrar Attended (1990-2011)


513 for London Road (City General Hospital), registers at Stoke-On-Trent (1928-1942)
5,618 for Longton, registers at Stoke-On-Trent (1899-1951)
345 for Burton-on-Trent, registers at Newcastle-Under-Lyme (1983-1983)
13,501 for Cannock (old Penkridge Rural District), registers at Newcastle-Under-Lyme (1893-1905)

24 for Essington, St John, registers at Newcastle-Under-Lyme (2011-2014)
16 for Hednesford, Cannock, Salvation Army, Anglesey St, registers at Newcastle-Under-Lyme (1982-2008)
11 for Raunsley (Hednesford), St Michael, registers at Newcastle-Under-Lyme (1991-2002)


4,999 for Tisbury, registers at History Centre (1837-1892)


605 for Arkengarthdale, St Mary, registers at Harrogate (1837-1992)
43 for St James, Scarborough, registers at Harrogate (1991-2008)
268 for St Stephen, Snainton, registers at Harrogate (1869-1990)
43 for St Leonard, Speeton, registers at Harrogate (1864-1970)
71 for St John, Staintondale, registers at Harrogate (1930-2001)
375 for All Saints, Wykeham, registers at Harrogate (1837-1987)
584 for Holy Trinity, Scarborough, registers at Harrogate (1882-1989)

4,968 for Barnburgh, registers at Doncaster (1837-1878) 

Americans in the CEF

In February Active History posted at article by Chris Dickon  "An American Legion in the CEF? Crossing Borders during “Canada’s” First World War."
Just as more than 60,000 Canadians fought in the American Civil War, 35,612 American citizens by birth, and many more US residents of Canadian or British birth, enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Benchmarks Update for February

15 sites in the survey improved in rank during the month, 12 declined. E
As for the previous month every site ranking better than 40,000, except findmypast.co.uk which dropped 6%, saw improved ranking. In terms of percentage the largest rank gainer was sog.org.uk and largest loser bifhsgo.ca.

Alexa Rank.

Website          28-Feb           31-Jan
familysearch.org 3,237 3,445
ancestry.com 668 698
ancestry.co.uk 4,978 5,079
ancestry.ca 17,808 18,586
myHeritage.com 5,132 5,649
findmypast.co.uk 18,566 17,594
findmypast.com           64,309           64,259
canadiana.ca 358,344 376,722
familytreedna.com 20,253 21,345
23andMe.com 8,696 10,022
genealogyintime.com 60,884 59,159
mocavo.com 38,961 41,444
eogn.com 56,969 55,761
lostcousins.com 189,964 160,251
britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk 77,869 80,168
newspapers.com 16,415 17,767
cyndislist.com 42,327 40,848
freebmd.org.uk           61,318           64,967
canadianheadstones.com 429,177 402,008
deceasedonline.com 555,257 674,668
bifhsgo.ca 3,692,134 2,980,096
qfhs.ca 6,337,916 5,469,547
ogs.on.ca         386,445         412,460
ngsgenealogy.org 312,791 367,827
americanancestors.org 134,296 128,051
scgsgenealogy.com 1,274,648 1,213,653
sog.org.uk 555,009 729,188
anglo-celtic-connections 340,733 302,127

Saturday, 28 February 2015

OGS Toronto Branch Call for Speakers - Irish Genealogy

Do you have a story or other presentation of Irish interest? Toronto Branch of OGS is planning a one-day workshop on 19 September 2015 on Irish genealogy and family history with a specific focus on Ulster.
Historian Dr. William Roulston and genealogist Chris Paton have agreed to lead this workshop as keynote presenters, and we are now seeking other speakers with Irish expertise who would like to be part of the team.
The Branch invites proposals for presentations at either a beginner or more advanced level aimed at family historians researching ancestors in the nine counties in the historic province of Ulster. You’ll find the detailed call for presentations at http://torontofamilyhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Call-for-Speakers-Irish-Genealogy-Workshop-Sept-2015.pdf.
The deadline to submit a proposal for this workshop is Saturday, 18 April 2015.

Findmypast adds British Union Records

There are 257 unindexed volumes on the new Britain, Trade Union Membership Registers collection at Findmypast.

They include records for the Amalgamated Society Of Carpenters & Joiners, Amalgamated Society Of Carpenters, Cabinetmakers & Joiners, Amalgamated Society Of Lithographic Artists, Designers, Engravers & Process Workers, Amalgamated Society Of Lithographic Printers, Amalgamated Society Of Paper Makers, Amalgamated Society Of Railway Servants, Amalgamated Society Of Watermen, Lightermen & Bargemen, Amalgamated Society Of Woodworkers, Association Of Correctors Of The Press, General Union Of Carpenters & Joiners, Incorporated Association Of Assistant Masters In Secondary School, Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, Liverpool Victoria Employees' Union, London Society Of Compositors, National Association Of Local Government Officers, National Society Of Operative Printers & Assistants, National Union Of Printing & Paper Workers, National Union Of Railwaymen, National Union Of Teachers, Northern Association Of Publishers' Educational Representatives, Operative Bricklayers' Society, Printing Machine Managers' Trade Society, Typographical Association, Union Of Engravers To Calico Printers & Paper Stainers, United Society Of Boilermakers & Iron ShipbuildersWorkers' Union

Records can be found as early as the 1870 and as late as the 1940s. The bulk are for the years of and around the First World War. Some I scanned were recorded those who served with the military during the war with special mention of those who died or received special recognition.

A separate indexed database of 55,482 results is Britain, Trade Union Members, Service & Casualties 1914-1918 which contains the details of members from 18 different unions. The records are a collection of union documents from the war years and do not solely feature individuals who participated in the First World War. The records include daily trade union news and business and frequently acknowledge members who have left for war or joined the services.  Many include pages of the union’s Roll of Honour and some include photographs of the members or feature short profiles about specific members.  The most extraordinary of the records is the Workers’ Union Record, which regularly features full pages of photographs of service men.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Missing Sub-Districts in the Canadian Censuses

Ken McKinlay has added a useful post on his Family Tree Knots blog suggesting that "Before you go insane looking for (Canadian census) records that may not exist become familiar with what records have survived."
You do that on the Library and Archives Canada website, you won't find it on Ancestry or FamilySearch, starting at the About pages for each census. Check out Ken's blog post for full instructions.

OGS Ottawa Branch February Meeting

On Saturday February 28, 1pm – 3pm, the presentation at the Ottawa City Archives is The First World War Beyond the Western Front, to be given by Mike More.

The First World War was truly a global war with a great deal of fighting outside of France. British Empire soldiers were involved in all theatres, along with many other nations. Mike More will provide a summary of the various fighting fronts.

This meeting will be simulcast for members who can't join in person.

The meeting is preceded by a morning beginner session that sees Heather Oakley speaking on "Are you a trust me genealogist." That starts at 10:30 am.

The Computer SIG will convene immediately following the afternoon meeting.

Two Nottingham Cemeteries added at Deceased Online

You won't find the historic Robin Hood, the closest is Robert, one of  43 Hood records of burials in historic Nottingham cemeteries' records now available on Deceased Online. There are also 38 Tucks, none indicated to be Friars!
Two new additions are Rock (aka Church) Cemetery, opened 1856, and Basford Cemetery, opened 1870. That makes a total of approximately 430,000 records available online at Deceased Online for five cemeteries and the crematorium managed by Nottingham City Council.

The records now available comprise:

digital scans of original burial and grave registers
details of all grave occupants In each cemetery
maps indicating the section in each cemetery for all graves
Records for one more historic Nottingham City cemetery are pending.

Nottinghamshire history interest? Then you may enjoy the community history website www.ournottinghamshire.org.uk