Friday, 21 September 2018

National Heritage Digitization Strategy News

The Fall update from the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) issued on 20 September included detailed results of a survey. More than half the respondents self-identified as genealogists.

Major input from genealogists came on the 19th and 24th of March. On the 19th this blog had a post Help determine priorities of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy. The 24th saw the survey included in the OGS eWeekly Update.

The NHDS update summarizes the survey results:
Despite(!) the high representation of genealogists, responses by profession show that priorities were fairly consistent.
Newspapers were by far the most highly prioritized material. Although most often cited by genealogists, newspapers appeared to be a priority regardless of profession.
Many respondents said they appreciated being asked their opinion and over half (57%) offered their email address to be contacted later, if needed.
Respondents gave many reasons for why they would prioritize the material, most often citing broad interest, unique value and preservation issues. 
NHDS expect to announce the successful recipients to a funding call in the coming weeks. It received 213 applications, requesting almost $10M in funding with $1M available. An external advisory committee evaluated the proposals. It will be interesting to see if, despite there being no genealogical representation on that committee, genealogical interests are reflected in the projects funded.

Other content in the update is a draft business plan with information on goals, activities and tasks. The plan also articulates the vision and mission to engage the Canadian library, archive and museum community and Canadian creators in sharing expertise, to facilitate the digitization, preservation and discovery of Canadian documentary heritage.

There's also a call for nominations for members of the NHDS Steering Committee and Technical Working Group with an application deadline of 4 October, 2018. Given the high participation of genealogists in the survey it would be good to have qualified representation from the community.  However, while most meetings will be by teleconference any costs incurred to attend in-person meetings with be paid for by the Steering Committee members and/or their organizations, not by NHDS. There's further information at

England and Wales Baby Names 2017

The Office of National Statistics have published an analysis of baby names chosen in 2017 in England and Wales.

348,071 newborn boys were given one of 28,222 unique names. The top three were Oliver, Harry and George.

331,035 newborn girls received one of 35,475 unique names, over 7,000 extra unique names than those given to boys. The top three girls’ names in 2017 were Olivia, Amelia and Isla.

There's considerable volatility in the popularity of names geographically and over the years.

If you'd like to explore further try:

Baby names in England and Wales
Released on 21 September 2018

Baby names: where you live could shape what you call your baby
Released on 21 September 2018

Baby names since 1904: how has yours performed?
Released on 2 September 2016

NLS has one-third digital target

The National Library of Scotland continues to lead the way in digital resources. Their large collection of digitized British maps available to all free online are well known to genealogists. There are a host of other digitized resources, some freely available, many requiring registration and restricted to those with an address in Scotland (an increasingly common model in other jurisdictions), some only accessible in their physical location.

Now the NLS aims to have a third of their holdings in digital format by 2025.

It's great when an organization, a government organization yet, sets its sights on an ambitious long-term goal.

Naturally material now being received in digital format will make a major contribution as the collection grows.

Read more about NLS Project: Digitise

Sydney Catchpole: CWGC Beechwood

Born on 6 April 1897 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Sydney Catchpole, a home child, came to Canada in 1910 with a party of from Mrs. Birt's Liverpool Sheltering Home bound for Knowlton, Quebec.

He died of pneumonia on this date 100 years ago, the first Beechwood soldier death attributable to  the 1918 flu pandemic. Sydney Catchpole is buried in Grave Reference: Sec. 29. Lot 13-14. 19 at Beechwood Cemetery.

Read Sydney's history in a previous blog post.

He was the second CEF soldier born in Great Yarmouth buried at Beechwood. By coincidence Sydney Catchpole died four years to the day after the first, Thomas Hardingham.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

OGS Ottawa Branch September Meeting

On Saturday, 22 September Ottawa Branch events are:

10:30 am — Genealogy: Back to Basics - Ottawa Public Library Resources, presented by Romaine Honey
01:30 pm — Cemetery and Monument Conservation, presented by Catherine Paterson, PhD.
03:00 pm — Computer SIG

It's all happening at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive (Room 115)

All welcome.

FamilySearch update summary

A quick catch-up on records added to FamilySearch since 7 September. It looks like you have to be at a FHC of affiliate library to see available original record images

England, Derbyshire, Church of England Parish Registers, 1537-1918; 2,233,277 entries
England, Devon Bishop's Transcripts, 1558-1887; 741,281 entries
Wales, Parish Registers, 1678-2001; 5,519 entries
England, Lancashire, Oldham Cemetery Registers, 1797-2004; 599,862 entries

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Thomas A. Cuthbert: CWGC Beechwood

Death on this date 100 years ago came to Gunner Thomas Albert Cuthbert of the Canadian Field Artillery, Service Number: 132492.
Born 9 November 1876 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, son of James S. Cuthbert and Malinda Jarrold, he married Gertrude Alice Wood in England.
The couple and their four children came to Canada in 1906. He attested in Ottawa on 23 August 1915 giving his occupation as molder, arrived in Britain in the Spring of 1915. Posted to France he was gassed, wounded in the head, had shell shock and found to be suffering from heart disease. Returned to Canada in June 1917 he was discharged from the CEF as medically unfit in November 1917. He left his wife and six children, one of whom was overseas.
Burial with military honours was in Sec. C. R.10. 77. at Beechwood Cemetery.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Ancestry updates British Death Indexes

England and Wales Death Index, 2007 - 2017
Scotland and Northern Ireland Death Index, 1989 -2017
we're added at Ancestry on the 6th.

A reminder that there is no relationship requirement to obtain official copies of these certificates.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Online Canadian Historical Images

A useful overview of sources from the Unwritten Histories blog.

Thanks to Ann Burns for the tip.

LAC Preservation Centre Open House

While it's not a BIFHSGO conference pre-event Library and Archives Canada is offering tours of their Preservation Centre in Gatineau, the crown jewel of documentary preservation in Canada, on Friday 28 September from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Members of the public are invited to tour this modern-day Parthenon at 625 Boulevard du Carrefour in Gatineau. Come and admire the archival treasures stored within its walls. Stroll through its vaults, discover the works of Canadian artists, and find out what our experts are doing every day to preserve Library and Archives Canada's vast collection.

48 storage vaults
The Library and Archives Canada Preservation Centre, which opened in June 1997, was built to preserve the country's documentary heritage. Everything is designed to guarantee optimal conservation conditions. The building has 48 storage vaults, over three floors, with each vault measuring 350 m2. The vaults were built to protect the collection from every type of threat and include a sophisticated fire detection and suppression system.

The three stories of vaults are topped by preservation laboratories, which are arranged in a village-like setting. Featuring architecture inspired by the Canadian Prairies, the Preservation Centre brings Library and Archives Canada preservation experts together in an environment perfectly suited to their work.

The onr-hour self-guided tours are from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 625 Boulevard du Carrefour, Gatineau

Admission is free. Children are welcome but must be under constant parental supervision.

For security reasons, bags (backpacks, purses, diaper bags, etc.) are not allowed inside the Preservation Centre.

Library and Archives Canada in numbers
250 km of textual records
More than 30 million photographs
More than 22 million books
More than 3 million maps
More than 550,000 hours of audio and video recordings
4.5 billion megabytes of digital content
More than 425,000 Canadian works of art.

For those not attending the BIFHSGO conference there's the same opportunity on Saturday 29 September.