Friday, 18 August 2017

I won't tell you again . . .

. . because, whether procrastinator, or believer in doing things "just in time", today is your last chance to take advantage of the early bird registration rate for the BIFHSGO conference.
Register from Members remember to login first to get the additional member discount.

Definitely not Metric Measurement Quiz: Answers

1. An area of land of a chain by a furlong is known as ...
an acre.

2. How many farthings in a groat?
16 farthings. Four farthings in a penny, four pennies in a groat.

3. If there are 25 sheets of paper in a quire, how many are there in a ream?
500 sheets, 20 quires in a ream.

4. What was the traditional use of a silver sixpence?
A silver sixpence was kept year to year to put in the Christmas pudding. The lucky person to get it in their serving, if they didn't swallow it, got to exchange it for a regular sixpence.

5. In nautical terminology, how many watches in 24 hours?
7 watches.
First afternoon Watch: 12 noon to 4 pm.
First Dog Watch: 4 pm to 6 pm.
Second Dog Watch: 6 pm to 8 pm.
First Night Watch: 8pm to midnight.
Middle Night Watch: Midnight to 4 pm.
Morning Watch: 4 am to 8 am.
Forenoon Watch: 8 am to noon.

6. What was traditionally measured by the cran?

7. In measuring British ale or beer how many gallons in a firkin?
9 gallons in a furkin. 4 furkins in a barrel.

8. At a speed of one knot how long would it take to travel directly from the equator to the pole?
540 hours. A knot is one nautical mile per hour. A nautical mile is one minute of latitude. 60 minutes in a degree, 90 degrees between equator and pole.

9. One horsepower, the power required to lift 33,000 pounds by one foot in one minute, equals how many watts?
Approximately 746 watts

10. How many guineas are required to make an even number of pounds?
20, or 40 if you're fussy. A guinea is 21 shillings, a pound is 20 shillings. 20 guineas is 21 pounds which isn't an even number. 40 guineas is 42 pounds.

That's My Baby

At Library and Archives Canada, the Ottawa International Writers Festival, and Harper Collins will be celebrating the launch of That’s My Baby, the latest novel and third book in the trilogy based in Deseronto, Belleville and Prince Edward County by international bestselling author Frances Itani.
"At the end of Frances Itani’s Scotiabank Giller Prize—shortlisted Tell, a baby is adopted by a young Deseronto couple who are coming to terms with the end of the Great War. Eighteen years on, the baby, Hanora, now a young woman, is told about her adoption, but given no details. As a second world war looms, Hanora is determined to uncover the mysteries of her identity. This quest will take her across the ocean with her cousin, Billie, and headlong into the tumult of Europe. Amid the tensions of World War II, the music and the great dance halls of the era beckon, and a career as a journalist becomes possible, even as her great love, Tobe, enlists in the Infantry. But Hanora will not let the past lie, even though, decades later, the truth remains beyond her grasp. Billie, whose memory is fading as she slips into dementia, provides elusive clues, but it isn’t until Hanora discovers a set of diaries written by a late local artist and that she begins to piece together the central issue of her own identity, hidden from her since birth.
Itani’s vivid storytelling, infused with music and seamless historical detail, reveals how memory, no matter how imperfect, can shape the person we believe ourselves to be."
The event is on Thursday, September 14, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. in the Pellan Room, 2nd Floor, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa.

Attendance is free,  registration required. See the LAC notice at

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Last minute reminder: One World One Family Family Conference

The annual One World One Family Family History Conference, this year hosted by the Oshawa Ontario Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is this Saturday, 19 August.
Here's the program, with several familiar speakers:

9:00 - 10:00
Opening Session
This year's OWOF award presentation - Brian Winters
Keynote Speaker - Cheryl Levy - Taking Root in New Land
10:10 - 11:00
1. Glenn Wright: Canadians at War 1899-1945 Resources
2. Shirley-Ann Pyefinch: Family Search - Resources, and Tools for Your Family History
3. Greg Lucas: Mapping 1
4. Steve Wood: The Netherlands through English eyes
5. Steve Fulton: Benefits of the OGS
11:10 - 12:00
1. Bob Dawes: Scotland From Abroad
2. Lesley Anderson: Using Ancestry DNA
3. Steve Fulton:
4. Gary Foster: Cemeteries in Durham Region
5. Dianna Fulton: Bernardo Children
12:00 - 1:00 LUNCH
1:00 - 1:50
1. James Onyschuk: Ukraine Research
2. Bob Dawes: DNA Explained
3. Greg Lucas: Mapping 2
4, Lynn Yates: Irish Genealogy & where to find the pot of gold
5. Carol St Clair: The art of Victorian Handwriting
2:00 - 2:50
1. Lesley Anderson & Shirley Pyefinch: Online Family Trees
2. Cheryl Levy: Taking Root in the New Land
3. Danielle Manning: Introduction to the Archives of Ontario
4. Vic Dupree: British Genealogy post Queen Victoria 1901-present
5. Harry van Bommel: Writing your family history
3:00 - 4:00 Plenary Session
R Donald Maracle, Chief of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

More information at

Ancestry adds further Nova Scotia BMD Updates

Following up on yesterday's post, Ancestry has now extended their coverage of Nova Scotia BMDs forward in time

Nova Scotia, Canada, Births, 1840-1915, 330,053 records
Nova Scotia, Canada, Marriages, 1763-1940, 503,931 records
Nova Scotia, Canada, Deaths, 1864-1877, 1890-1965, 466,982

An additional year for all three sets is available at Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics.

Appreciate Ottawa: Lowertown

As part of its program of Heritage Walking Tours, at 2 pm on Sunday 20 August Heritage Ottawa is conducting a tour of Lowertown East. The guide is Nancy Miller Chenier, a long-time resident of the area.
Meet at 501 Old St Patrick Street (LaSalle Academy).  $5 fee for non Heritage Ottawa members, $10 for others. All welcome.

Definitely not Metric Measurement Quiz

A challenge!

1. An area of land of a chain by a furlong is known as ...
2. How many farthings in a groat?
3. If there are 25 sheets of paper in a quire, how many are there in a ream?
4. What was the traditional use of a silver sixpence?
5. In nautical terminology, how many watches in 24 hours?
6. What was traditionally measured by the cran?
7. In measuring British ale or beer how many gallons in a firkin?
8. At a speed of one knot how long would it take to travel directly from the equator to the pole?
9. One horsepower, the power required to lift 33,000 pounds by one foot in one minute, equals how many watts?
10. How many guineas are required to make an even number of pounds?

Answers tomorrow.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Updates to Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics on Ancestry

Ancestry updated these records, likely corrections, on Monday: 

Nova Scotia, Canada, Births, 1836-1910,
Nova Scotia, Canada, Marriages, 1763-1935,
Nova Scotia, Canada, Deaths, 1864-1877, 1890-1960.

Search indexes for a few extra years at Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics: births to 1916, marriages to 1941, deaths to 1966. 

Pinhey's Point Foundation 2017 Archeology Dig

The following is an announcement from the Pinhey's Point Foundation

Fri/Sat/Sun  August 18-19-20, 2017  9am-5pm

With the City of Ottawa as our partner, the Pinhey's Point Foundation presents our 3rd annual dig as part of Archeology Month in Ottawa. Join us in a family-friendly event, and get your hands dirty when you participate!  Our archeologist will provide the tools and guide you in this weekend adventure.  Help uncover forgotten buildings and landscape features.  What else might you find?  Everyone is welcome!

Admission is free

Pinhey’s Point Historic site
270 Pinhey’s Point Road
Dunrobin, Ontario

Thanks to Bruce Elliott for the tip.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

CEF August Update from Library and Archives Canada

As of today, 15 August 2017,  476,752 (461,575 last month) of 640,000 Personnel Records of the First World War files are available online in the LAC database.

Latest box digitized is 8101 (7834 last month) and last name Rasmess (Pilkey). At the past month's rate of progress the project will be complete in August 2018.

Note that the LAC blog is commemorating the Canadian Corps and the Battle of Hill 70 with an overview post ,and posts for each of the Victoria Crosses awarded during the battle. From 15–25 August 2,230 of the Canadian Corps were fatalities in that battle. LAC notes that it is overshadowed in popular memory by the Battle of Vimy Ridge. At the time it was also overshadowed by the 5,090 British losses at the Battle of Langemarck from 16–18 August 1917.

The Chesterville Record

Chesterville, south of Ottawa in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry county is served by The Chesterville Record, a weekly newspaper published by Etcetera Publications Inc. out of offices shared with the Eastern Ontario Agri-News on King St. in Chesterville.

According to Brian Gilchrist's 1987 Inventory of Ontario Newspapers it was first published in 1894. According to McKim's Canadian Newspaper Directory of 1919 each issue was 8 pages in five column format.

As best as can be determined from the library catalog Library and Archives Canada has a full run on microfilm. Their separate microfilm list suggests holdings are more limited.
The Ontario Archives lists a few hardcopy holdings and microfilm for 26 Oct 1984 to 1931.
The newspaper office informed a complete microfilm copy is held by the Chesterville and District Historical Society. Society President Jillian Metcalfe confirmed the Society has the microfilm from 1898-1978.

There is no indication that any legacy issues have been digitized.

This is the second of an occasional series examining availability of newspapers of Eastern Ontario. Further information and updates welcome.

BIFHSGO Conference Speaker Paul Milner

The days are trickling down to a precious few for you to get in on the discount registration for the BIFHSGO conference.
British born Paul Milner was a hit last time he spoke at the conference, that was in 2014, the last time England was a theme. Attendees remarked on Paul's easy interaction with the audience. So with England one of the themes this year he is a natural to be back.
Paul's presentations this year are:

Buried Treasures: The Parish Chest
Paul will discuss all the Church of England records created when the church operates in its civil capacity, taking care of the local people, and explain how to access these records. These are the sources needed to solve many dead ends in English research, solving problems of population movement, illegitimacy, and occupation. They include settlement and removal records, overseer’s accounts, bastardy records, apprenticeship records, and such miscellaneous sources as vestry minutes, churchwarden accounts and militia registers.

Occupational, Guild and Freedmen Records
Paul will examine sources for identifying your ancestors’ occupations: trade directories, apprenticeship and guild records, and freedmen registers. He will also look specifically at sources for information about the occupations or trades and will conclude with some resources to help put your ancestors into context.

Finding Your Pre-WW I Soldier
Different records are created for officers and enlisted men in the British Army. Paul will use case studies to trace the involvement of officers and enlisted men in different military theatres around the world, during different periods, including the War of 1812. Putting the soldier into a British and global perspective, he will explain the structure and development of the British Army and also show what original records and supporting materials are available online, at The National Archives in London and at other repositories.

The English Probate System
This talk will deal with how the probate system operated in England and Wales (pre- and post-1858) and how you can identify in which court an ancestor's estate may have been probated. Covering both pre-1858 and post-1858 records, Paul will discuss some new online indexes and document imaging systems and also explain what probate documents may be available on film or as originals and how to access them.

and the closing plenary

My God, Nobody Told Me
This talk will motivate and encourage you to reflect upon what messages your ancestors left behind and, just as importantly, to get you thinking about what you are leaving behind for your descendants. Will your descendants be saying, “My God, nobody told me!”?

Read about Paul at his web page and about other presentations and events at the BIFHSGO conference here. Then follow the links for registration. Save by registering by 18 August.

Monday, 14 August 2017

MyHeritage opens census records for 1 week

MyHeritage is making all their major census collections from the U.S., U.K. and Ireland, Canada, and Nordic countries free for everybody, for one week!

Starting today, August 14, until August 20, no data subscription will be required to access these documents, searching is free. That’s 94 collections, containing over 1 billion census records available to users of MyHeritage as well as people who have never used MyHeritage before.

The earliest census records available date as far back as 1657, and the latest ones extending until 1940.

More information can be found on the MyHeritage blog post at:

This information is summarized from an email sent by Daniel Horowitz.

Writing a Successful Documentary Heritage Communities Program Proposal

It's shocking. One of the lessons I learned as a PhD student is that major effort goes into writing persuasive project proposals. That's something most of those submitting proposals for Documentary Heritage Communities Program funding have yet to learn.
Library and Archives Canada announced the successful proposals in the third round of the DHCP in June. $1.5 million was allocated to 48 projects, 18 in Quebec, 17 in Western Canada, 8 in Ontario, and 5 in Atlantic Canada. Those included 12 projects continued from previous rounds and 36 newly funded projects.
No information was made available about unfunded projects. Through an access to information request I was able to review copies of all third round proposals, funded and unfunded. Much information, including all personal and location information for those unfunded was redacted; it was not possible to evaluate the intrinsic merit of the proposals.
132 new proposals requesting a total of $5.8 million were submitted. 36 were funded (23 in English, 13 in French), 98 remained unfunded (67 in English, 27 in French). The success rate was one in four for the English language proposals, one in three for those in French.
The median amount requested across all new projects was $21.8K, for those funded it was $19.6K, for the unfunded $25K.
The most significant difference between funded and unfunded projects was the amount of detail provided as reflected by the number of pages in the proposal file. Each project proposal file I received included at least two pages not part of the original submission, but the number of pages is nevertheless indicative.
Funded project files averaged 16.5 pages, unfunded 5.7 pages. French language proposals were longer than the English, by 3 pages in the case of the funded projects. The longest unfunded project proposal was 15 pages, the shortest funded proposal 10 pages.
Proposals that provide substantial detail indicate a well thought-out project to the evaluators. Bare minimum proposals waste the time and effort for both proponent and evaluator.