Friday, 21 November 2014

Prison Ship (Hulk) Registers 1811-1843

Findmypast now has more than 4,000 British Prison Ship Register records in their Crime, Prison and Punishment collection. These new records come from 6 prison hulks; Discovery, Captivity, Antelope, Dromedary, Weymouth and Coromandel and list the details of over 13,300 inmates held on the ships between 1811 and 1843. Each record consists of a transcript that can list an inmate’s name, age and trade as well as details of their crime, sentence and character.

PERSI Updates at Findmypast

Findmypast introduces PERSI (the PERiodical Source Index) as "the world’s largest and most widely used subject index for U.S. genealogy and local history literature." Yet among the more than 8,000 magazines, newsletters and journals, indexed according to location, topic, surname, ethnicity and methodology you'll find extensive Canadian material.

This update adds links to issues from 18 different (unspecified) publications covering a period between 1824 and 1923.

A list of the periodicals added images to in this latest release and the years covered has now been published:
American Historical Magazine, 1896-1902
American Historical Magazine and Tennessee Historical Society Quarterly, 1903-04
Congregational Historical Society Transactions, 1901-18; 1920-23
Fairfield County Historical Society Reports and Papers, 1882; 1885-86; 1889; 1891; 1893; 1895; 1897
Genealogical Magazine, 1897-1904
Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania Publications, 1895-96; 1898; 1900; 1902-03; 1906-23
Georgia Historical Quarterly, 1917; 1919-23
Granite Monthly, 1877-78
Magazine of Western History, 1884-85; 1890
Mayflower Descendant, 1899-1922
New Hampshire Historical Society Collections, 1824; 1827; 1832; 1834; 1850; 1863; 1866; 1889
Old Northwest Genealogical Quarterly, 1898-1912
Penn-Germania, 1912-14
Quarterly Publication of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio, 1906; 1909-12; 1915-21; 1923
Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Journal, 1904-05
Spirit of ’76, 1894-1906
Transallegheny Historical Magazine, 1901-02
Virginia Historical Register, 1848-53
For a full list of the indexes that currently have images included click here

More School Records from Findmypast

Anglesey and Plymouth are the latest additions for Findmypast's collection National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914.
For Anglesey find 17,451 entries from 27 admission books of schools in: Aberffraw; Amlwch; Beaumaris; Carreg Onnen; Holyhead; Llanddona; Llandrygarn: Llandyfrydog; Llanerchymedd; Llanerchymedd; Llaneugrad; Llanfachraeth; Llangefni; Llansadwrn; Llantrisant; Menai Bridge; Newborough; Penmon and Llangoed; Penmynydd

Added to the Devon collection are 36,500 admission book records from Plymouth Grey Coat School back to 1814 and public schools starting in 1838.
There are now 2,633,859 records in this collection from 14 counties: Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Devon, Glamorganshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Lancashire, Middlesex, Surrey and Wiltshire, and also Westminster.
Updates to these records adding further counties are promised for 2015.

Ottawa Branch OGS November Meeting

This month's presentation to the Ottawa Branch is "A Soldier of the Great War: A Research Case Study" to be given by Ken McKinlay.

"With the 2014 being the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War people have become more interested in learning about those in their family and community that served and possibly fought during the Great War of 1914-1918. Ken McKinlay will be talking about the resources that are available online that can aid in your journey to learn more about those involved in World War I. Using those online resources along with Library and Archives Canada archived documents he will be looking at the records of several soldiers as examples of what may be found."

Saturday, 22 November, 13:00 – 15:00
City of Ottawa Archives (Room 115)

As usual the presentation is preceded by networking, refreshments and branch announcements.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Absent Sibling Question

Will you believe this? It's counter-intuitive.

In the 1911 census for England and Wales there's information on how long a marriage has lasted, how many children there have been and how many are still alive. That's in addition to information on names, ages, relationships, etc.

Suppose you have a family where the couple has been married for 25 years, they had two child who are both still alive and one of them, a girl age 21, is living at home.

Is the other child more likely to be male or female?

What do you think?

If a couple have two children the possibilities, in birth order, are:


Assume that each possibility is equally likely even though boy births occur slightly more frequently than girl births.

In this case knowing one of them is a girl we can eliminate the Boy-Boy possibility. That leaves three options two of which pair a girl with a boy and one with a girl.

It's twice as likely the other sibling not at home with the parents is a boy rather than a girl.

If you knew the girl at home was the elder, or the younger, there would be an equal chance the absent child would be male of female.


BIFHSGO DNA Interest Group

A reminder that the DNA Special Interests Group meets this Saturday November 22, 9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Room 226, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Members meet quarterly to share experiences, information and ideas about the use of DNA evidence in exploring family history. Attendees will be required to sign in and out at the reception desk on the ground floor.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

LAC Puts Further CEF Service Files Online

On Tuesday Library and Archives Canada announced that 78,914 of 640,000 files are available online via the Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database. In mid-October there were 76,330 files online.
This has been a slow month, just 2,584 files added, half the anticipated rate. If continued that would see the digitization complete in 217 months, or 18 years.

Genealogy on YouTube : PRONI

In the little over a week that BIFHSGO has had its own channel on YouTube the first video, Lucille Campey's talk "Ignored But Not Forgotten: Canada's English Immigrants" has more than 100 views. I wondered how that compared so checked out some other genealogy-related channels.
The Public Record Office for Northern Ireland has been active for more than three years and remains so with 14 videos published on YouTube in the past month. One of those, Irish Language & Culture - PRONI - Ulster Protestant Gaelic Tradition has more views than the Campey video.
The most popular are in the Exploring Local History Lecture Series by PRONI and Open University Ireland (OUI) which date from three years ago, especially the introduction to the series with more than 1,850 views.
While on YouTube and Ireland, a reminder that videos from last month's Genetic Genealogy Ireland conference are available through their channel and receiving many views:

Maurice Gleeson - Which DNA test is best for you? (597 views)
Brad Larkin - DNA vs the Irish Annals (619 views)
Cathy Swift - Emerging dynasties in a maritime world: hunting for Brian Boru’s genetic legacy (452 views)
Daniel Crouch - Genetic analysis of the People of the British Isles project (500 views)
Tyrone Bowes - Pinpointing your Irish Origin & beyond (409 views)

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Low Cost Genealogy Books for the Kindle

Looking for some good inexpensive reading for your Ereader? You can (maybe) up your genealogy game with these low-cost titles, every one less than $10, four of them FREE, and all rated 3.7 stars or better.

Rank Title Author Pgs Cost
1 Organize Your Genealogy in Evernote Lorine McGinnis Schulze 22 $1.20
2 Genealogy Offline Claudia C Breland 147 $8.66
3 The Mayflower and Her Log Azel Ames 141 Free
4 101 of the Best Free Websites for Genealogy Nancy Hendrickson 56 $2.64
5 Pioneers of the Old South … Mary Johnson, Allen Jo.. 122 Free
6 Introduction to Family History Student Man.. The Church of Jesus Ch.. 264 $1.76
7 The Fathers of New England Charles McLean Andrews .. 220 Free
8 The Purposeful Family Historian Tara Cajacob 87 $8.82
9 The Man Who Never Was Hylton Smith 258 Free
10 Genealogy Standards Board for Certification of Gen.. 74 $6.80
The top rated book is by Lorine McGinnis Schulze, well known for her Olive Tree Genealogy website. In only 22 pages she explains her system for organizing your genealogy information on Evernote.
Most of these books are US-oriented. Second ranked Genealogy Offline is an example. Third ranked is a the first of four free books, a digitized version of The Mayflower and Her Log; July 15, 1620-May 6, 1621 originally published in 1901.
Introduction to Family History Student Manual is strictly for the LDS member looking to learn the doctrines and principles to perform the work of redeeming the dead.
The Purposeful Family Historian is one I hesitated to include. There's just a single rating and it's the most costly per page, even more than Genealogy Standards:Fiftieth Anniversary Edition from the Board for Certification of Genealogists now at a 55% saving from the original price.

Perth Historical Society November Meeting

On Thursday, November 20, 2014 author Denise Chong presents the story of Perth's Harry (Fong) Johnston in 'Lives of the Family: Stories of Fate and Circumstance'

In this latest of her books, Lives of the Family: Stories of Fate and Circumstance, Ms. Chong's intention was to explore the immigrant experience, living with memories, often mired in loneliness and longing for the familiar, but committed to making the transition to a new land.  Ms Chong wanted a small-town Canada setting in the early and mid-20th century.  She chose to focus on the towns in and around Ottawa, and on those people who were among a town’s few or only Chinese family.  One of the three families selected for her book was the Johnstons of Perth.

In the late 1890s, Harry Fong (the church changed his surname to Johnston) was first a laundryman, then opened Harry’s Café, now The Stone Cellar, in Perth.  Harry’s life came to a tragic end when a driverless parked car rolled and pinned him against a building by the bridge.  However, Harry had bought property, and, in time, his widow, Mabel, would become a successful businesswoman.  By the time of her death in 1965, she was a millionaire.

At our November 20 meeting, Ms. Chong will speak about what brought the Chinese to the small towns, rather than settling in the larger cities amongst others with a common culture.  Her talk will be illustrated with photographs, and she will read excerpts from her book.  She will also introduce Mabel’s niece, Linda Hum, whose father, Jasper, was a long-time cook at Harry’s Café.

Denise Chong was born in Vancouver and grew up in northern B.C., in Prince George.  She began her working life as an economist for the Federal Government, eventually becoming senior economic advisor to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.  When he left office, she began to write.  She is best known for her family memoir, The Concubine’s Children, a Globe and Mail best-seller for 93 weeks, and now a Penguin Canada “Modern Classic.”  Lives of the Family is her fourth book.  In 2013, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.  Ms. Chong’s books will be available at the event and/or through The Book Nook.

The meeting at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, 26 Beckwith Street E., home of the Hall of Remembrance, is at 7:30pm is co-sponsored by the Perth & District Historical Society and The Ottawa International Writers’ Festival, Perth Chapter.

Heritage Ottawa Free Public Lecture

On Thursday, November 20, 2014, at 7:00pm Heritage Ottawa offers a lecture The East Block: An Exemplary Example of High Victorian Gothic by Jacqueline Hucker is a local architectural historian, and worked for Parks Canada and in the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office.

The location is the Ottawa Public Library Auditorium, 120 Metcalfe Street (corner of Laurier Avenue W)

The East Block was designed in 1859 as one of the first Gothic Revival office buildings and it was an early example of the style’s first phase of development. The talk will focus upon how the East Block’s High Victorian Gothic style was influenced by the challenges of new urbanism. It illustrates the debates that surrounded the style’s development, including the influence of Ruskin and Scott, and contemporary scientific discoveries.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Lincoln/Welland County Families

An initiative of the Niagara Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, Lincoln/Welland County Families is building a picture of the families in the old Lincoln/Welland Counties and helping others connect to their past.

There are nearly 90,000 individuals and more than 31,000 families in this collection of gedcoms with more than 10,000 unique surnames.

The resource is free whether or not you're a member of OGS Niagara Peninsula Branch. You will need to register, and have it approved, to access the database.

Thanks to Steve Fulton for the tip.

London's 1914 Wonderground Underground Map

A charming article, and even better video, from the BBC casting back to London in 1914 preoccupied with the overcrowding on the Tube. Humour goes a long way in London.
I missed this the first time around but found via this post on the geographer-at-large blog which boasts the quote:
“Geography, sir, is ruinous in its effects on the lower classes. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are comparatively safe, but geography invariably leads to revolution.” (1879 testimony before a Select Committee of the House of Commons, London, England, regarding expenditures of the London School Board)