Monday, 27 April 2015

Get 40% off memberships

40% discount is about as good as it gets for Ancestry memberships.

Take advantage of the offer:

Canada Deluxe Annual Membership at the special offer price: $71.88,
World Deluxe Annual membership special offer price: $179.88.

Customers will be billed the annual price in one up-front payment. Offer available until 11:59 p.m. ET on April 30 2015. Go to

Thanks for the tip to Susan Gingras Calcagni.

Your Genealogy Today: May/June 2015

For some people old family photographs are a focus of their family history interest. They produce multiple copies sending them to new found cousins as a way to draw their interest. A photo sent along with a Christmas card helps cement the relationship. This issue of Your Genealogy Today helps you understand, preserve and make good use of your heritage images.

Here's the complete table of contents for the 54 page May/June issue.

DNA & Genealogy. Column by Diahan Southard

Strangers in the Attic: The Era of CDVs and CCs

George Matheson looks at the once-popular Cartes de Visite and Cabinet Cards of a bygone era

Genealogy Tourism, Column by Ed Zapletal

Organizing and Caring for Old Family Photographs
Jacky Gamble offers six hints for giving those old family photographs a longer life

Family Time
David A. Norris explores watches and clocks as family history and heirlooms

Doubled! Baptismal Registrations of 19th Century Austrian Military Offspring
Smiljka Kitanovic explains why some births in 19 century Austria-Hungary were recorded twice leaving a bonus for family historians

Finding Caroline Tanner Bailey —Through Bits and Pieces

Robin Bailey discovers how several small clues from photos, books and other sources led to a successful search for her great-grandmother

Writing Your Family History in Five Steps
Barbara Krasner offers tips on how to record your family history in written form for future generations

Finding My Zitko Ancestors
Wynne Crombie shares her heart-warming experience of her first visit to an ancestral village on the island of Vis

Sacrifice for Victory: Rationing during World War II
Carol Richey looks at how your home front ancestors were affected by the measures taken to support the war effort

Advice from the Pros. Column by Lisa Alzo.

The Back Page. Column by Dave Obee

Archives Double Feature: 30 April 2015

If you're not completing your tax return just in time then reward yourself for having done so with a double feature presentation at the Ottawa City Archives.

Dr. Guy Berthiaume Librarian and Archivist of Canada will speak on Something old, something new: Access at the heart of LAC’s mandate

More than at any other period in history, records and archives play a vital role in our information-hungry society. The significance of archives for governance and democracy, the role of archives within the digital environment, the momentum of open government, and public expectations for access to the collective memory have all put archives at the forefront of the way our world works. Something old has become something new, and nowhere is this more evident than at Library and Archives Canada. Dr Guy Berthiaume, the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, leads a fascinating presentation on the new place of archives, an update on the work of digitizing the First World War records, a discussion on the status of the Canadian Archival Working Group, and a review of collaborative projects and public programming currently underway at LAC.
Two steps back, Two steps forward: Access and the Role of a Municipal Archives in a regional context will be presented by City Archivist Paul Henry and Archivist, John Lund
Reflections on directions for local and regional government archives, and on changing research trends and the demands they place on archives. Recent examples are the work that has been ongoing to repatriate records of regional significance through cooperative efforts with Library and Archives Canada and the recent launch of the Ottawa Museums and Archives Collection 
On Thursday 30 April 2015 6pm – 8pm, with check-in beginning at 5:45 at 100 Tallwood Drive Room 115.

This is a Friends of the City of Ottawa Archives event co/sponsored by the City of Ottawa Archives and Archives Association of Ontario Eastern Chapter (AAOEe), for further information please contact City of Ottawa Archives at 613-580-2857 or

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Melissa Etheridge on WDYTYA

The last episode of Who Do You Think You Are? for the current US season, featuring Melissa Etheridge, is one of particular Canadian interests as it explores her Quebec connection.

The episode airs Sunday, April 26 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time on TLC. Let's hope it's repeated or becomes available on YouTube for those who miss it.

Research Gaspe Ancestors at the Quebec Family History Society Library

I had the opportunity for a quick tour of the Quebec Family History Society Heritage Centre and Library, to give it its official title, which occupies part of a fairly nondescript building at 173 Cartier Avenue in Pointe-Claire. The main entrance is marked by this logo.
The library has recently been given a spring cleaning when outdated resources were deacquisitioned. There are a lots of resources, electronic, microform and hardcopy.

The unique holdings are what attracted my attention. If you have research interests in the Gaspe the collections in the Dr David McDougall and and Robert A Guignon collections are ones you should know about. For Quebec City there's the Miss Norma Lee collection.
It's perhaps not unique but there's also a significant collection of cemetery transcripts.

While visiting I also learned that Normand Charbonneau, Curator and Executive Director, Archives, at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec will be leaving soon to join Library and Archives Canada.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

New Zealand Sheep,Teachers and the Dead

Ancestry have added two New Zealand databases.

For the 30,301 records in their New Zealand, Sheep Returns, Owners and Officers, 1879-1889
database Ancestry writes "You can use these records to ride herd on your sheep-owning New Zealand ancestors.They list name, residence, date, and number of sheep." Does one ride herd on a flock of sheep?

New Zealand, Teacher and Civil Service Examinations and Licenses, 1880-1920 has 205,044 records where you will "Find both teachers and students in these exams for would-be teachers and civil servants in New Zealand."

FamilySearch have updated their New Zealand, Probate Records, 1843-1998 database which now counts 245,362 records. There are images of the original document except for probates issued during the past 50 years.

Oldest Known Footage of London

This compilation courtesy of Yestervid

Toronto Branch OGS Meeting: 27 April

In the main presentation Bonnie Bell will speak on Out of the Shadows: Imaging the women of my family.

This presentation is one’s women personal project to inspire members of her family to become interested in the history of their female ancestors.   Using photographs, personal documents, and family stories and memorabilia, from England, Scotland, and Canada, along with my own vision, I set out to capture, in brief 2-3 page summaries, the essential character of each of the women who define me.  This talk will combine a look at these “snapshots” with a consideration of the roles that selection, bias/colouring, family stories and memory play in the ways in which we present our family histories to our relatives and the larger world.
Also presenting will be Elayne Lockhart giving a Mini-presentation: How DNA broke through my Irish brick wall and took me back 3 generations – in England!

The meeting starts at 7:30 pm in the Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Hall
5120 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M2N 6L4. This presentation is not being streamed.

Friday, 24 April 2015

DNA Day Special from Family Tree DNA

For DNA Day 2015 Family Tree DNA is offering $100 off the Big Y test.

If you don't know about that test there's a very timely YouTube video of a talk given by John Cleary - It's not just 'deep ancestry' - how NGS & Y-STR testing can further your research - at a recent WDYTYA? Live DNA talk sponsored by FTDNA.

Big Y is presently only for the enthusiast. As even with the discount the price is $475 US few will order lightly. Be sure to be familiar with the information provided by FTDNA at,  To get the discount use coupon code DNADayBigY. The coupon is valid from 12:00 AM 4/25/2015 through 11:59 PM 4/30/2015.

The rest of us may want to tune in a program segment on DNA in the CBS Sunday Morning program this Sunday.

Family Tree DNA is promising "many exciting deals beginning summer 2015."

FamilySearch adds Nova Scotia Deaths 1890-1957

These death records are sourced from the Nova Scotia Archives and available in two parts. Nova Scotia Deaths, 1890-1955 has records for Halifax to 1908 with the rest of the province included thereafter, a total of 336,983 records. Nova Scotia Deaths, 1956-1957 has 11,869 records. The records are indexed with links to images of the original archived document.

Genetic Genealogy YouTube videos from WDYTYA start appearing

Thanks to Maurice Gleeson who has started posting videos of the presentations at last week's WDYTYA? Live in the Family Tree DNA theatre.

The first posted was Debbie Kennett's I've got my autosomal DNA results but what do I do next? Despite a warning about background noise in the event venue it was quite acceptable in this recording as well as being informative. We may not be as lucky in some of the others.

Noise must have been more of the problem with two of Maurice Gleeson's talks Which DNA test is best for you? and Autosomal DNA: how to use it in practice as he went to the trouble to re-record them.

Although I'm fairly familiar with the various company offerings by way of autosomal tests I found the two talks by Debbie and Maurice contained updated information. It would be good if Maurice could pace the autosomal presentation to spend more time on using the third party tools DNAgedcom, DNAAdoption, and Genome Mate. Genetic genealogy fishing trips will be more successful the more fish their are to catch which means consolidated databases. If people know about and become familiar with the third party tools they are more likely to transfer results from the various company proprietary databases.

Look for further posting to the YouTube Channel at

Halton-Peel Branch OGS Meeting: 26 April

Linda Reid presents "Using Autosomal DNA Tests to Confirm (or Deny) Relationships and Ancestors". The meeting starts at 2 pm on Sunday, April 26th, at the Oakville Public Library, 120 Navy Street, Oakville, Ontario. Information at

Thursday, 23 April 2015

CBC on Online Genealogy

Lesley Anderson and Louise St Denis are quoted in this timely article.

Library and Archives Canada Main Estimates 2015-16

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage had a hearing regarding the Main Estimates on Monday in which the Heritage Minister was the main witness. After a 10 minute opening statement Minister Shelly Glover answered questions from committee members. The hearing lasted less than one hour and ended with approval of the Estimates as proposed.
During the opening statement and questions there was a single mention of Library and Archives Canada, and that related to the disposition of the archives of Radio Canada.
As a taxpayer I'm unimpressed; the committee spent less than an hour discussing the whole Department of Canadian Heritage and its portfolio agencies, then let the package go through on the nod. If parliamentarians spent more time in their offices in Ottawa and took less time away in recess there would be more time for scrutiny of programs that cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

FamilySearch adds Newfoundland Census Index

Back in January FamilySearch added images from the 1935 and 1945 censuses of Newfoundland to their online collection, but without name indexes. Now that has been added.

The Newfoundland censuses are more comprehensive than those we're accustomed to in Canada and the UK. In 1935 there are headings for name and residence, description of home, personal description, place of birth, immigration, nationality, religion, education, occupation and industry, and total annual earnings.  In 1945 these are asked and in addition some information for 1935 is also included.

OGS Ottawa Branch April Meeting

This Saturday, 25 April, the topic for the 1 pm meeting of the branch is "Don't Fade Away: digitization and preservation of family photographs" presented by Kyla Ubbink.

Digitization is a great way to facilitate creative use and sharing of photographs and documents, but with so many options out there for scanners, cameras and software it is hard to know what will suit your needs. In this workshop aimed at beginners Kyla Ubbink will discuss the different kinds of equipment and software available as well as the techniques required for carrying out digitization, organizing the resulting images, and some of the creative projects you can undertake to make the most out of your memories.
It will be followed by a meeting of the Computer Special Interest Group.

The morning Back to Basics session, at 10:30 am is on Genetic Genealogy, to be given by Richard McGregor.

All events are at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive (Room 115)

More information is at