Friday, 30 September 2011

Tanguay now on Ancestry

The Quebec, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families (Tanguay Collection), 1608-1890 is a well known Canadian genealogical resource. Here's the information about this database now available with an Ancestry.ca subscription.

This large, seven-volume collection was published by the French-Canadian priest and genealogist Father Cyprien Tanguay from 1871 to 1890.
Fr. Tanguay devoted much of this life to researching archive and parochial records throughout Quebec, the Maritime Provinces, Ontario, the old French settlements in the United States, and France. Through his original research, he successfully traced the ancestors of many early French-Canadian colonists back to Normandy and other parts of France.
Entries detail family pedigrees, with baptism, marriage, and burial dates and places (as applicable) for husbands, wives, and children. Although the dictionary does contain some errors and occasional speculations, it has proven to be a fundamental reference work and one of the most comprehensive resources for French-Canadian genealogy. Volume 7 contains lists of surname variations and dit names.

Using the Records
Entries are organized alphabetically, by husband's surname. The dates in large, bold type mark the beginning of a new family record. That date is the date of the husband's first marriage. The entries may contain the following details as applicable:
husband's name
husband's baptism or christening year and place
year and place of marriage
year and place of burial
parents' names
wife's name (if there were multiple marriages, each wife will be listed in order)
wife's baptism or christening year and place
year and place of marriage
year and place of burial
parents' names
children's names (these are in italics)
baptism or christening dates and places
marriages dates and places
spouse's names
years and places of burial

Lucille Campey's future publications

Lucille Campey, an English resident writer of Canadian origin best know for her series of books on the Scots in Canada, is a frequent visitor and has spoken several times to groups in Ottawa and across Canada.

Lucille is working on a series on the English in Canada, the first was Planters, Paupers, and Pioneers: English Settlers in Atlantic Canada. The second in the series, Seeking a  Better Future: The English Pioneers of Ontario and Quebec, is scheduled for publication next August. The third and final book will cover, inter alia, English emigration to the prairies.

Lucille will be in Canada next summer and will likely speak to BIFHSGO, perhaps even at the annual conference.

For more on Lucille's books already in print see: http://www.dundurn.com/authors/lucille_h_campey

LAC executive travel

Government departments are required to post travel and hospitality expenses for the organization's most senior executives in a system called Proactive Disclosure.

For the first part of the year, up to July, four senior executives of Library and Archives Canada are reporting business travel expenses totalling $78,101.

The largest share is, $55,173 for the travel of Daniel Caron, the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. Two trips took place early in February and were the most costly. One was to Japan to be a speaker at a Canada-Japan symposium and other business meetings cost $12,735.87; four days after returning from that trip M Caron went to Spain for a meeting of the International Conference of the Round Table on Archives at a cost of $8,656.98. He reported two additional business trips to Europe in May and July.

None of the other executives have reported any international travel so far.

There is no comparison with the jet setting of Defence Minister Peter MacKay.


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Ancestry British ship journals

Two new UK databases have been added to Ancestry.co.uk that will be of particular interest to Australia royalty.

UK Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 is 28133 records, indexed images of medical journals from British ships, which include names of patients and other passengers and crew aboard.
The journals in this database were kept by ships’ medical officers, who were required to keep a record of patients, treatments, and outcomes during a voyage. This collection includes 671 volumes, each from a single ship and covering a particular time period. The majority are convict ships bound for Australia or Van Diemen’s Land.

UK Surgeon Superintendents' Journals of Convict Ships, 1858-1867 is 2352 records from journals kept by surgeons aboard convict ships sailing from England to Australia created after the Royal Navy turned the transport of convicts over to merchant shipping.
Information found in the entries varies by journal but can include details such as name, age, crime convicted of, length of sentence, point of embarkation, native country, education, death date, cause of death, sick lists, lists of ship’s stores, and day-to-day happenings aboard ship. You may also find lists of convicts, punishments, and prisoners who exhibited good conduct during the voyage. Crew members may also be included.

Fireworks in Toronto?

On November 5 I won't be in England celebrating Guy Fawkes day with fireworks. There will be fireworks, perhaps not literally, when OGS Toronto Branch stages an

ENGLISH FAMILY HISTORY WORKSHOP


I'll be travelling to Toronto to present three talks, Researching Early 20th Century British Immigrants to Canada, Find Your British Family History in Newspapers, and Some Lesser-known Websites for British Family History. They are updated versions of talks I gave in British Columbia last year.

Ottawa colleague Lesley Anderson, who was also in BC, will be presenting English Parish Records, and British Directories. 

I'm proud to on the same program with leading Toronto family historians Linda Reid presenting Solving Genealogical Problems Using English Probate Records; Paul Jones (The Genealogical Use and Abuse of English Gazetteers: Finding, assessing and using them in family history research), and Jane E. MacNamara (According to the Custom of the Manor: An Introduction to English Manorial Records). 

The venue is the North York Central Library Auditorium, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto. 


I`m looking forward to it, and to meeting some loyal Toronto area blog readers.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

LAC completes digitizing Canada Gazette back issues

Library and Archives Canada announces the completion of a multi-year project to digitize the Canada Gazette.

The Canada Gazette is the Government of Canada official publication, Issues from 1841 to 1997 are now on the LAC website.

It's a rare family historian who finds notices of government regulations riveting reading, regulations form a large part of the Gazette these days. Do a search on this archive and perhaps your, or your or an ancestor's, name may surface.  Mine did.

Will it perhaps be in connection with a sheriff sale of land, a public service appointment, a militia officer appointment, or in a bank list of creditors?

See the announcement at:  http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/whats-new/013-541-e.html

Concise OED Turns 100



Not genealogical, but you may be able to use a limited time free access to the full Oxford English Dictionary online, offered in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first printing of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary. 


For free access until October 1st go to: http://www.oed.com/ and login with:
Username: libjournalreader
Password: libjournalreader

See the announcement at:
http://blog.libraryjournal.com/eviews/2011/09/26/concise-oed-turns-100-celebrate-with-free-access-to-the-oed-online/

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Mike More seeks to further serve OGS

Word is that at last weekend's OGS Board meeting Mike More, well known as a long time OGS Ottawa Branch Chair, and presently OGS Region 8 Director, is letting his name stand for OGS Vice President.

In the normal course of events the Vice President becomes President after two years, then serves a further two years as Past President.

Mike has no personal objectives for his term that he was prepared to discuss at present. I suspect there is no lack of people who see improvements that could be made willing to make suggestions.

The Toronto City Directory 1919

Another Toronto city directory now available on the Internet Archive.

http://www.archive.org/details/torontodirec191900midiuoft

Monday, 26 September 2011

Family Tree DNA 36 hour sale


36-HOUR SALE!
START: Monday, September 26  at 12:00pm CDT
END: Tuesday, September 27 at 11:59pm CDT

For NEW customers:
Y-DNA 12 . . . $59 (was $99)
mtDNA . . . $59 (was $99)
Y-DNA 37 . . . $129 (was $149)
Family Finder . . . $199 (was $289)
mtFullSequence (FGS) . . . $229 (was $299)

Y-DNA 12 + mtDNA . . . $118 (was $179)
Family Finder + Y-DNA 12 . . . $248 (was $339)
Family Finder + mtDNA . . . $248 (was $339) 
Family Finder + Y-DNA 37 . . . $328 (was $438)
Family Finder + mtFullSequence . . . $398 (was $559)
Comprehensive Genome (Family Finder + mtFullSequence + Y-DNA67) . . . $597(was $797)

Upgrades & Add-Ons:
mtDNA add-on $59 . . . (was $89)
mtFullSequence upgrade (HVR1 to Mega) . . . $199 (was $269)
mtFullSequence upgrade (HVR2 to Mega) . . . $199 (was $239)
mtFullSequence add-on . . . $219 (was $289)
Family Finder add-on . . . $199 (was $289)
Prices will be automatically adjusted on the Family Tree DNA website -- no coupon code needed!Important: Promotional orders need to be paid for by the end of this sale. Visit http://www.familytreedna.com to order now.

New genealogy library books

Public libraries buy a lot of books, and invest effort to decide where best to spend a limited budget. Every so often I like to check out what new genealogy/ family history books have been acquired. This post checks out the Ottawa and Toronto Public Libraries.

Not all the new acquisitions are newly published. Presently some of the most recent Ottawa Public Library purchases are cemetery transcriptions from a few years ago. Others are local author publications held as part of a non-circulating collection. Neither type are mentioned here.

On order, but not yet available is The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy by Kimberly Powell. It was published this year. Don't hold your breath that you'll see it soon, there are 19 holds for the one copy on order.


Beyond the Basics: A Guide for Advanced Users of Family Tree Maker 2011, by Tana L. Pedersen published in 2010, has all four copies in use and one hold. Amazon.ca currently sells the book for $20.85. With FTM 2012 now released Pedersen already has a guide for the new version in press.

Local author Althea Douglas' Time Traveller's Handbook: A Guide to the past, was published earlier this year. I reviewed it here. It has 22 holds on the five copies in the system. 

Next up, and also reviewed previously here, is A Call to the Colours: Tracing your Canadian Military Ancestors, by Kenneth G. Cox. Three copies are in the system with two holds active.

Rounding out the top five most recent acquisitions at the OPL is Writing the Family Narrative by Lawrence P. Gouldrup.  Published in 1987 it's obviously a classic of its type. There are two holds on the one copy in the OPL system. It's available from Amazon.ca for $10.12 and there's a look inside preview at http://goo.gl/Ryzxr.

I took a quick look at the Toronto Public Library. You don't seem to be able to search by date of acquisition so here are the first five acquisitions of 2011 genealogy publications:

Genealogy online for dummies, 6th ed. by Matthew Helm. There is one hold on the 12 copies in the system.

Mastering online genealogy by , W. Daniel Quillen has no holds on nine copies.

Genealogy online, 9th ed. by Elizabeth Powell Crowe, has one hold on nine copies.

Writing family history or genealogy for pleasure and profit  by Carrie Ann Cook, is available for reference only in two copies.

The everything guide to online genealogy : use the web to trace your roots, share your history, and create a family tree, 2nd ed. by Kimberly Powell is similarly only available only for reference at two TPL locations.

Advance notice: Ryan Taylor memorial lecture

Now that Fall is officially here those of us in Ottawa should make sure to circle Saturday, 15 October for the annual Ryan Taylor Memorial Lecture. 


If you have immigrant ancestors, and who doesn't, you will enjoy the lecture, this year given by New-England based Leslie Albrecht Huber. She has Swedish, German and English (Buckinghamshire) ancestry and her talk The Journey Takers, is also the title of her recent award winning narrative nonfiction book. 

You can read more about Leslie and the context for her family history at her website: www.understandingyurancestors.com

The talk, sponsored by the Ottawa Branch of OGS, is in the auditorium of Library and Archives Canada, starts at 10am, and is free to attend.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Internet Genealogy October/November 2011 Issue

The October/ November "Software Special" issue of Internet Genealogy is out, a particularly good issue.

In his lead column editor Ed Zapletal mentions "The Woven Generations," a FamilySearch series of "powerful, personal experiences from those who have found success or inspiration through family history work", well worth a look. If you're feeling a bit jaded check it out at:  http://www.youtube.com/familysearch.

In the lead article Tony Bandy looks at how the genealogist can use web-based software. It's an overview of cloud-based utilities, of which we're blessed with several options in each area. There were several I'd never heard of as well as one, in a category Bandy calls "Online Storage," I use frequently, Dropbox.

In the following article Bandy reviews Genealogy Software, Free, paid and on the web!

Another frequent contributor, Lisa A. Alzo, suggests you Become an Interactive Genealogist! using resources such as Fold3 Memorial pages (formerly Footnote Pages), family websites, Google alerts, an array of social networks, and more. There's mention of Google+, and latter in the issue a whole article, The Promise of Google+, by Google genealogy specialist Dan Lynch.

Other article include Alan Stewart on resources for finding out about the area where British and Irish ancestors lived; Gena Philibert-Ortega writing on the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, and also on Geneabloggers; and two articles from another regular author, Diane L. Richard, including on Cyndi's List.

There's more. Look for the complete table of contents coming on Tuesday.

The Toronto City Directory 1917

The Internet Archive has added the 1917 Toronto directory to its collection.

http://www.archive.org/details/torontodirec191700midiuoft

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Atlas of Canada Archives

Natural Resources Canada have placed online over 1,000 maps.

They include all five past editions of the Atlas of Canada, 1906 to 1995, the Canadian sector of the International Map of the World, 1956 to 1987, and the first Glacier Atlas of Canada, 1969 to 1972. Topics include maps themed on: Population, culture, aboriginal peoples, economics, transportation, environment, and historical themes.

The example shown is an extract from a 1901 map of the Origin of the Population. Pink is English, green Irish, blue Scottish, yellow German and purple French.

Maps are a great way to gain context for your ancestors and the communities in which they lived. See Atlas of Canada Archives.

Toward free and searchable historical census images


An interesting short article about plans to combine automation and crowd sourcing on the 3.25 million images of the US 1940 census which is being released next April. The article describes some of the challenges in automating transcription of the census, using 1930 as a test-bed, and plans for image-based information retrieval using supercomputer processing to avoid the costly transcription process. Crowdsourcing would be used to improve the automated transcription.

Read the article at: 


Friday, 23 September 2011

Considering "The Family Tree Problem Solver"

Marsha Hoffman Rising, who died, last year, was a widely respected US genealogist. Her book "The Family Tree Problem Solver" giving "proven methods for scaling the inevitable brick wall." gets high praise from US reviewers.

I hadn't paid it much attention. Recently BIFHSGO colleague John Chatterley mentioned it, commenting that "although targeted at American researchers, many of the approaches can be used elsewhere."

The Ottawa Public Library holds several copies. One has a temporary home under my roof. It's the 2005 edition published by Family Tree Books comprising an introduction, 11 chapters and a one page index within 232 pages, 8-1/2" by 11."

If I had US ancestry I'd likely be quite enthusiastic about the book and its myriad of examples based on US records, I don't. The techniques, pitfalls and principles are broadly applicable but the examples being of no direct relevance I found quickly became tiresome.

The gist is in Rising's Reminders and adjacent end material which can be accessed without charge through the Google Books extract at http://goo.gl/mqp11




Findmypast.co.uk adds Manchester collection

"For the first time ever, findmypast.co.uk has launched a collection of records that relate to an entire city. The Manchester Collection provides an insightful snapshot into what life was like in the city of Manchester."

The records are as follows:


Apprentices comprises 609 indentures, ranging in date from 1700-1849

Baptism and birth registers 1734 - 1920 comprises:
Withington Workhouse (Chorlton Union) birth registers, 1857-1911

in addition the following transcripts include marriages and death/burials
Giles Shaw Transcripts for Oldham St Mary 1662-1826 including around 160,000 names
John Owen Transcripts for Flixton, Gorton and Newton 1571-1785 including around 30,000 names

Cemetery and death records 1750 - 1968, around 175,000 names for:
Ardwick Cemetery,1838-1950
Ardwick Cemetery Monumental Inscriptions 1845-1938, 6,249 gravestones 
Rusholme Road Cemetery, Chorlton Upon Medlock, Manchester,1821-1933
Rusholme Road Cemetery Inscriptions 1821-1933, approximately 7,000 tombstones
Cheetham Hill Wesleyan Cemetery, 1858-1968
Withington Workhouse (Chorlton Union) death registers 1857-1949
Withington Workhouse (Chorlton Union) interment registers 1898-1922

and see Giles Shaw and John Owen Transcripts under births above.

Industrial school registers 1866 - 1912
Manchester Certified Industrial School, Ardwick Green, admission registers covering June 1866-February 1912
Barnes Home, Heaton Mersey, admission registers covering January 1867-February 1908
Northenden Road School for Girls, Sale,  admission registers covering January 1867-February 1908

Marriage registers 1734 - 1808
see Giles Shaw and John Owen Transcripts under births above.

Prison registers 1847 - 1881, 247,765 records.
Belle Vue Prison, Hyde Road, West Gorton (City/Borough Gaol),
New Bailey Prison, Salford
Strangeways Prison, Southall Street (H.M. Prison Manchester)


School registers 1870 - 1916
Albert Memorial School
Armitage Street Board School
Ashton under Lyne Holy Trinity School
Birley Street School
Brookdale Park School
Bury St. John School
Chapman Street School
Cheetwood Junior and Infant School
Chester Street Board School
Christ Church School
Ducie Technical High School Boys Department
Gaythorn County Primary
German Street Sunday School
Grosvenor Street Wesleyan School
Hague Street Primary School
Heath Street School
Heaton Norris Christ Church School
Holland Street Schools
Holy Trinity School
Manchester Jews School
Nelson Street School
Oldham St. Mary School
Openshaw Technical High School
Princess Road School
Ross Place School
Southall Street School, Strangeways
South Hulme Secondary Modern School
St. Alban's Roman Catholic Secondary School
St. James Church of England School
St. Michael's Roman Catholic School
St. Oswald's Church of England Primary School
St. Paul's School
St. Philip Free National School
St. Thomas' School
Wenlock Primary School

Workhouse registers 1859 - 1911, containing 357,000 admissions, 280,000 creed registrations and 16,000 discharge registrations.
New Bridge Street Workhouse (Manchester Union)
Withington Workhouse (Chorlton Union)
Bury Union Workhouse, Lancashire








609 indentures, ranging in date from 1700-1849

Thursday, 22 September 2011

University of London Student Records 1836-1931

If you had ancestors who attended the University of London, or its affiliate institutions, predecessors of universities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Durham, Heriot-Watt, Southampton, Exeter, Newcastle, Nottingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, Bangor, Aberystwyth, Surrey, Queen's University Belfast, and University College Dublin, you may find them listed on one or more of the databases listed at: http://www.shl.lon.ac.uk/specialcollections/archives/studentrecords.shtml

The largest database is for Graduates 1836-1931 which consists of some very large pdf files in imperfect searchable format and a non-searchable format.



The entries, in alphabetical order, are very brief; for example: 
Hornby,  Lucy M. ;  B.A. * 19.


Check the collection out for files of others who did not graduate, those who served in WW1, etc. There is information on additional information that may be available offline.

Lesley Anderson in Ireland


Only a few days before the BIFHSGO conference Lesley Anderson traveled to Ireland on behalf of Ancestry.ca and CITY-TV's Breakfast Television. 

Here are the three main clips of Lesley, with lots of mention of Ancestry.ca, live from Ireland.




In addition, longer clips are  at http://blogs.bttoronto.ca/author/jennifer

The morning after her return to Ottawa Lesley was giving a pre-conference seminar for BIFHSGO on, what else, Ancestry.ca.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Major new Irish resources on Ancestry

A red letter day for Irish researchers with over 24 million records added at Ancestry.co.uk and to other World Deluxe subscriptions.



These index entries contain name, year of the event , volume and page number. For births the mother's maiden name is given after 1903, For deaths age at death is included. The full certificates can be purchased from the GROs in Ireland and North Ireland as appropriate.

This is a miscellaneous collection of extractions from "a variety of Irish birth records" extracted by volunteers. Details in the entries vary depending on the original record.

Ireland, Catholic Parish Marriages and Banns, 1742-1884  128,618
Ireland, Catholic Parish Deaths, 1756-1881 29,644 
Although the Ancestry description refers to these as indexed images I found the images elusive, just extracted information for the sample I checked. My impression is that coverage is particularly good for Meath.

Check FamilySearch.org for their version of the Irish civil registration indexes before going out of your way to find or pay for the Ancestry version. 

Chris Paton has some further observations at http://goo.gl/UMVu5





BIFHSGO marketplace interviews

Brian Glenn took advantage of last weekend's BIFHSGO conference to speak with some of the marketplace vendors. Those brief talks are with:

Rick Roberts of Global Genealogy
George Laidlaw, author
Dennis Carpenter of The BookFinder
Elizabeth Kipp talks about the Guild of One-Name Studies
Pepper Mintz talks about Creative Memories
John Smith about the Arnprior McNab/Braeside Archives
Louise St. Denis talks about the National Institute for Genealogical Studies
Robin Cushnie about the Osgoode Township Historical Society & Museum
Ellen Adamsons about the Rideau Township Historical Society
Gareth Jones of the Ottawa Welsh Society
and available on the Society website at http://goo.gl/cRKA9


J K Rowling on WDYTYA

The BBC series Who Do You Think You Are featured Harry Potter author J K Rowling earlier in the season. View it now on YouTube.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Carleton University Shannon Lectures

Another sign of fall in Ottawa is the Carleton University, Department of History, Shannon Lecture series.The lectures do not always attract those strictly interested in family history, but if your scope is broader, and a bit on the academic side, you may enjoy this year's series on Past Feeling: History and the Emotions. 


The first lecture is on Friday. Check out the schedule and abstracts at http://www2.carleton.ca/shannonlectureseries/schedule-and-abstracts/

All lectures begin at 13:00 in room 303 Paterson Hall, Carleton University. Reception to follow.  

The Carleton campus is well served by public transport including the O-train.

Deceasedonline.com adds initial batch of Eltham crematorium records


The following is a notice from deceasedonline.com

Eltham Crematorium - Greenwich, London
Crown Woods Way, Greenwich, London SE9 1AZ.The service is run by the Greenwich Bexley and Dartford Joint Committee. The crematorium opened in 1956 and is one of the busiest in the UK. Approximately 208,000 cremation register records are expected to be made available, with a mixture of register scans and computerised records. Maps showing the location of memorials are expected to be added in due course.
Scope of the data - Eltham Crematorium. Initially, around 61,500 records are available online, covering the period from 21 May 1996 to 14 February 2011. This information is available as computerised data only. No scans are available. The data typically includes name, cremation number, date of burial, date of death, age, sex, marital status, denomination, (sometime) occupation, and death registration details. Information on the disposal of ashes may also be available. Addresses will be available where the date of cremation was over 15 years ago.
NoteFor the purposes of the UK Data Protection Act, the names and addresses of funeral applicants during the last 75 years have been withheld from publication.Eltham Crematorium has also requested that the addresses of the deceased not be shown in cremation records for the last 15 years.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Thanks to BIFHSGO conference tweeters

A tip of the hat to: gilliandoctor, AudreyCollins23, GuildOneName, Prof_Neilson, Genealogy Canada, kmwebott, hankubrat, LAnderson1959, lilyfathersjoy, glenn_brian, niffirglj, jace76, GR_Pearce,  as well as BIFHSGO (Susan Davis) who all posted tweets during the BIFHSGO conference.

OGS Ottawa Branch September Meeting

Tuesday, 20 September 2011: 7:00 p.m.
Location: City of Ottawa Archives 100 Tallwood Drive.
Topic: The Eyes That Shone; From Ireland to Canada
Speaker: Author Phil Donnelly will speak about his book and a program titled Heritage Tier worker which encourages and helps people write their stories.
Everyone welcome. Free refreshments. Free evening & weekend parking.

Another successful BIFHSGO conference

It's with joy, and relief (as one of the organizers) that I can report the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa 17th annual conference was another success. From pre-conference sessions on the 16th, to the closing plenary on the 18th, local Ottawa, and more than a few out of town family historians took advantage of 16 presentations given by eight speakers. That's not counting the four pre-conference opportunities, and resources in the computer room and marketplace. Everyone appreciated the facilities of Library and Archives Canada whose staff went out of their way to help.

Thanks to about 50 volunteers, including 20 on the conference committee everything went as smoothly as can be expected. The few glitches mainly passed unnoticed by most participants.

Elizabeth Kipp has a summary of the sessions she attended on Day 3 posted on her blog at http://kippeeb.blogspot.com/2011/09/bifhsgo-family-history-conference-day-3.html
At the closing session the four speakers present from outside the local area , (l-r) Linda Reid, Helen Osborn, Sherry Irvine, and Audrey Collins, were presented with copies of BIFHSGO's latest publication St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Ottawa Baptism Marriage and Death Records 1829 - 1949 for their own use or presentation to a local library or archives near their home.
Acknowledgements to Christine Jackson for the photograph.



Sunday, 18 September 2011

New FamilySearch Resources

This is shaping up to be a record month for additions to the FamilySeach website.

They are mostly US state records.

Prince Edward Island Baptism Card Index, 1721-1885 is the most recently addition to the Canadian collection.

BIFHSGO conference Day 2

It was a happy group of about 50 that gathered at a local restaurant on Saturday evening for an informal conference dinner, a mixture of longer tables and tables for four, some squeezing in another at the end.

That followed a day which went, if not quite as smoothly as clockwork as smoothly as can be expected. The one noticeable hiccup was a brief power failure when an electric circuit was overloaded. Only one presentation was interrupted and speaker Gary Schroder, consummate professional, carried on until the circuit was reset.

I enjoyed chairing the session "London's Research Secrets" in which Helen Osborn revealed some of the lesser known London libraries and archives she uses and which are good to visit for atmosphere, which you can hardly experience online, as well as resources.

Linda Reid spoke to a small but very select audience in a presentation on her unexpected find of a Mormon ancestor, a talk which deserves greater exposure.

Audrey Collins' presentations were enthusiastically received. Some presentations scheduled for the smaller lecture room, notably that on Family Tree Maker by Doug Hoddinott, were crammed with latecomers standing.

Handouts for many of the sessions are being posted in the members area of the BIFHSGO website.

Sunday is the final day. Audrey Collins will be moving on to speak in Toronto on Monday to a Toronto Branch OGS audience.



Saturday, 17 September 2011

BIFHSGO conference Day 1




The highlight of the first day of the BIFHSGO conference was Phil Jenkins' presentation of the topic "Thanks for the Memories." In song, prose and with humour Phil made the case for ancestral memory, an organic transfer of traits which incline us to follow along life paths pursued by ancestors.







While for many one or more pre-conference seminars held their attention, for some, including conference registrar Kathy Wallace, it was receiving recognition of achievement in genealogical studies, and entitlement to use the postnominal PLCGS (Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies). Here Kathy is seen being congratulated by Louise St Denis, Managing Director of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies during a graduation ceremony.




BIFHSGO director of Communications, Susan Davis, shares a bench with young but preoccupied company while grabbing the opportunity for a phone call.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Ontario civil registrations updated on Ancestry.ca

Ancestry.ca have now extended the period of record for their Ontario civil registration. The periods now available are:

Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928
Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947
Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1913

These are indexed records including images of the originals.

If my memory serves this is the second addition to Canadian records this year, the previous one being the data for Ottawa's Beechwood Cemetery.

One additional year of these records is now released to the Ontario Archives but not (yet?) available through Ancestry.

Did I happen to mention the BIFHSGO conference?

Now that Audrey Collins, Helen Osborn and Linda Reid, three of the major out-of-town speakers have arrived in Ottawa I'm feeling a good deal more confident about the success of this weekend's BIFHSGO conference.

There will be blogging and tweeting from the conference by Elizabeth Lapointe, Susan Davis, myself, probably Elizabeth Kipp and others so you can stay somewhat in touch with what's happening.

On Twitter search for BIFHSGO or the hashtag #BIFHSGO.  You might want to try www.backchannel.us with a search for BIFHSGO.

Check out the BIFHSGO blog, Elizabeth's Genealogy Canada blog, and of course Anglo-Celtic Connections.

Friday's highlight will certainly be the Don Whiteside Memorial Lecture with local author and newspaper columnist Phil Jenkins.  That lecture is free and open to all, starting at 7pm in the auditorium at Library and Archives Canada.

Toronto Second Annual One World - One Family Conference

For those in Toronto not coming to the BIFHSGO conference Saturday 17 September sees the Second Annual One World - One Family Conference.

The meeting gets underway at 9am at the Toronto Family History Centre, 24 Ferrand Drive. A long list of presentations includes several by J Brian Gilchrist and a special appearance by Dr Stanley Diamond of Montreal. See the complete program at http://goo.gl/wHrgl

Thursday, 15 September 2011

You know you've made an impact when ...

With surfing the net a major pastime you've probably had the experience of not knowing what you were looking for, you just started looking ...

Sound familiar?

Beware!


And beware!


Kingston and Quinte OGS branch meetings

For those in Eastern Ontario not coming to the BIFHSGO conference there are OGS Branch meetings being held on Saturday 17 September.

Kingston Branch hosts William E. Boulton of Lansdowne who will speak on "150 Years on the Railroad." The meeting is in the Wilson Room (second floor) of the Central Branch, Kingston Frontenac Public Library, 130 Johnson Street Kingston, beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Quinte Branch hosts Sharon White, Archivist for Hastings County, on "How to Care for Family Photographs and Papers". The meeting is at Quinte West City Hall Library, 7 Creswell Drive, Trenton, beginning at 1pm.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

It should be BIG

Scotland must be too small to hold him!

Chris Paton, who has an established Scottish GENES blog, is expanding with a companion British GENES. As Chris now writes the news section for the UK Family Tree magazine this is a natural extension of his exploration of what's new in the world of UK and Ireland(?) genealogy.

Given that "British" is an ill defined term, according to some, I wonder why Chris didn't name it British Isles GENES, then it would be already BIG.

Chris is also producing, through paper.li, an online newspaper British GENES Daily, composed of Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds. The headline as I write this, "Kate to release brand new album: "50 Words For Snow" in November", isn't exactly my idea of genealogy. If it's being produced by computer it's certainly not by IBM's Watson.

British GENES is one to watch. All the best Chris.http://www.britishgenes.blogspot.com/

British accountant obituaries/biographical profiles/photographs

Go to The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for a free online "unique database providing a who was who in accountancy for 1874-1965 indexing over 5000 published obituaries/biographical profiles and 2000 photographs of accountants"

Last updated in August the database also provides tools to help researchers who are trying to trace the history of accountancy firms.

"Users can browse the obituaries index by the name of the accountant or by the name of the accountancy firm. Each entry lists the accountant's full name, their qualifications and full details of the issue the obituary was published in. The name of the accountancy firm is included in the database to enable researchers to trace the history of firms through their staff and partners. A separate index is provided to photographs.

A selection of the life stories waiting to be uncovered can be found in the short article Achievements, tragedies and disasters.


"Start your search for your accountant ancestor at http://goo.gl/QLgEQ





Today, Wednesday 14 September, York Region of OGS hosts Rick Roberts of globalgenealogy.com speaking on "Using Family Tree Maker Software to Record and Share Your Family History."

The meeting is at Richmond Hill Public Library, 1 Atkinson Street, Richmond Hill, starting at 7:15pm.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

GenealogyInTime Toolbar

GenealogyInTime magazine has launched a handy and free genealogy toolbar giving direct access to a free genealogy search engine, listing new genealogy records, providing a blog feed to 100+ popular genealogy bloggers, links to genealogy resources and Google gmail, and a meter with website statistics.


Amongst the over 100 popular genealogy blogger feeds are Eastman’s Online Genealogy NewsletterDear MyrtleGeneabloggersFootnote MavenThe Genealogy GuysScottish Genes and Anglo-Celtic Connections.

I can see this being very useful to me. However, I was initially reluctant to install the toolbar.

First, at present the toolbar works with Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers. They account for two-thirds of the visitors to my site, but I switched to the Google Chrome browser, about 10% of visitors here, some months ago. I had to reactivate Firefox to try the toolbar.

Second, toolbars take up screen space although a couple of clicks will hide it and regain the space.

Third, installing the toolbar means Alexa can track the sites you visit.  The terms of use state:
THE TOOLBAR COLLECTS AND STORES INFORMATION FOR ALEXA ABOUT THE WEB PAGES YOU VIEW. IN SOME CASES, INFORMATION COLLECTED BY THE TOOLBAR MAY BE PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE, BUT PRIVACY IS IMPORTANT AT ALEXA, AND WE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ANALYZE WEB USAGE DATA TO DETERMINE THE IDENTITY OF ANY TOOLBAR USER. 
You can opt out of that data collection, although that could change. The terms of use, which you have to agree to before installing the toolbar, provide:
Alexa may change any of the terms and conditions contained in this Agreement, including the Alexa Privacy Policy and other policies and guidelines governing the Toolbar, at any time in its sole discretion. NOTICE OF MATERIAL CHANGES TO THIS AGREEMENT WILL BE POSTED HERE WHEN THEY BECOME EFFECTIVE. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWING THE NOTICE AND ANY APPLICABLE CHANGES. 
I'll be returning to my Firefox browser more often to use the GenealogyInTime toolbar.


Download the toolbar at:

Naming the new Ottawa City Central Archives and Library facility

A list of all the compliant names submitted for the recently opened facility is now available in a document for the most recent meeting of the Ottawa Public Library Board.

http://biblioottawalibrary.ca/sites/biblioottawalibrary.ca/files/Board_Docs/110912/110912_14.pdf

In only one case did 9-1-1/Security & Emergency Management scrutiny find the name acceptable for use for a street, park or facility with no records returned in a search for duplicate or similar sounding names.

Monday, 12 September 2011

FreeBMD September update

The FreeBMD Database was last updated on Saturday 10 September 2011 and currently contains 205,939,729 distinct records (261,403,593 total records).


This update includes substantial additions to births from 1939 to 1959, to marriages for 1930 and from 1952 to 1959, and to deaths for 1946 and 1951 to 1959.

Rules we live by


How well do you really know your ancestor? Readers of my article "Her Majesty's Hospitality" in the most recent Anglo-Celtic Roots know that I filled out the picture of one of my ancestors, previously a collection of vital records, when I found he transgressed.

Did your ancestor live by the rules? What rules?  Perhaps The Golden Rule or the ten commandments? If all you know of your ancestor is the vital record facts maybe you can claim to know their genealogy, but not their family history. Do you find your research into that person satisfactory?

How many of the items on this list of Life's Instructions did he or she live by?
  1. Have a firm handshake.
  2. Look people in the eye.
  3. Sing in the shower.
  4. Own a great stereo system.
  5. If in a fight, hit first and hit hard.
  6. Keep secrets.
  7. Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen everyday.
  8. Always accept an outstretched hand.
  9. Be brave. Even if you're not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
  10. Whistle.

    and 41 more at 
    http://www.amazingposts.com/2007/07/lifes-instructions.html



Sunday, 11 September 2011

67,000 Aberdeen and Edinburgh records added at deceasedonline.com

Deceasedonline.com has been very quiet over the summer. The notice below marks, if not their resurrection, then their reinvigoration with news of some new records.

  • Over 22,000 burial records dating back to 1824 are from three Aberdeen City cemeteries; Nigg, Trinity and St Nicholas Kirkyard. The records are in the form of scans of burial registers, dues registers and burial indexes (full details are in the database coverage section on the website).
  • Register scans for a further 45,000 cremations from Warriston Crematorium in Edinburgh are also now available, covering the period 1991 to 2009. This brings the total number of records on Deceased Online for Warriston Crematorium to nearly 225,000, covering the period 1937 to 2009.
The best news for me and my search for some of my London ancestors was at end of the notice; information that data from a sixth London Council, with hundreds of thousands of records, are currently in preparation for London and other areas across the whole of the UK.

BIFHSGO conference interviews

At Saturday's BIFHSGO monthly meeting Brian Glenn, Director of Research and Projects, recorded short interviews with three conference committee members, Brian Watson, Kathy Wallace and someone named John D Reid. They were posted on the Society website within a few hours. You can listen from here and learn the latest on the conference which starts next Friday, 16 September 2011.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Glenn Wright speaking in Brockville

The Leeds and Grenville Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will start its fall season with a meeting in the Brockville Tabernacle (Old Shrine Hall) on the 2nd Conc. East of the North Augusta Road on Monday September 12th at 7:30 P.M.   
BIFHSGO President Glenn Wright's topic will be Ship's Lists from England to Canada.
Refreshments will be served and the general public is welcome to attend.

The Ontario Heritage Directory Online,

The following is a notice from the Ontario Historical Society:

The Ontario Historical Society (OHS) is excited to announce a new online service: The Ontario Heritage Directory Online, a free database resource that will connect Ontario’s heritage community, tourists and researchers at www.ontariohistoricalsociety.ca.
The Ontario Heritage Directory Online features a database of over 1,600 heritage organizations, heritage sites, museums, archives, First Nations Councils and Municipal Heritage Committees in Ontario. The Society encourages you to explore your local heritage sites to learn more!
In preparation for the bicentennial of the War of 1812-14, any organizations, historic sites and museums celebrating bicentennial-related events, exhibits or publications will be highlighted with a War of 1812 icon.
The online Ontario Heritage Directory features an updating tool that allows organizations to keep their contact information current. Users of the directory can select the “Keep this record up to date” feature and submit any change of address, email address, etc.
The Society would like to acknowledge the support and contribution of The Ontario Heritage Connection Society (OHC) and its Board of Directors. The OHC was established in 2002 with a mandate to serve as a network for the exchange of information about Ontario’s culture, history,built heritage, archaeology and natural environment.  It launched its website, featuring a Heritage Connections database soon after. The OHC excelled in fulfilling its mandate and in March 2011, signed a mutual agreement transferring the assets of the OHC to The Ontario Historical Society.
The Ontario Historical Society would also like to acknowledge the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture through the Museum and Technology Fund.

Crew Lists from Findmypast.co.uk

Findmypast.co.uk now have crew lists for 1881 (70,475 individuals & 1,981 vessels) and 1891 70,747 individuals & 1,524 vessels).
The lists are indexes to original documents, not online, which hold the employment details of individuals.
These are part of a set of crew lists 1861-1913 containing indexes to around 33,500 lists of crew members on board vessels and around 413,500 records of individual crewmen. 

Crew members include a wide variety of professions, such as deckhands, engine staff, stewards, nurses and maids.
A typical entry will include name, year and place of birth, and profession (capacity) with information on the ship and period covered by the crew list.
Original crew-list documents are held by various repositories across the UK and in Canada:

70 per cent are at the Maritime History Archive (MHA), in Newfoundland
10 per cent are at The National Archives, Kew
10 per cent are at the National Maritime Museum (NMM), Greenwich
10 per cent are at local record offices or archives.
Search the crew lists

Friday, 9 September 2011

RIP Elizabeth Stevens Stuart, Ottawa's senior genealogist,

I was saddened to read a notice of the passing on Wednesday of Elizabeth Stevens Stuart at age 105.

Elizabeth was BIFHSGO's oldest member and a long-time driving force in the family and local history community in Osgoode Township, now part of the City of Ottawa. Her legacy lives on in the resources at the Osgoode Township Historical Society and Museum where the meeting room is named in her honour.

Here is a newspaper article published to recognize her 104th birthday.

Service further deteriorates: wait times double or triple at Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada quietly posted the following notice under What's New on September 8th.

Changes to Lending Services at 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa
The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Lending Services Unit is making changes to its retrieval schedule for published heritage material located at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa.
As of September 19, 2011, the Lending Services Unit will reduce the number of retrieval runs for published material from eight runs per day to four. Accordingly, it will be necessary for on-site clients to wait an estimated two to three hours before receiving the published heritage material that they request.
Comment: The previous service standard was one hour retrieval. Taking 2-3 hours to retrieve material in the same building signals management's disinterest in providing good onsite service.

Former staff are dumbfounded at the deterioration in service being implemented under present LAC management. Reduced service standards like this are a particular burden on those from outside the National Capital Region, especially graduate students, with limited time and resources to do intensive research at 395 Wellington.

LAC clients should also be aware that available staff expertise is being eroded to the point that only three generalists are left to consult on the whole range of government records when the front line consultants knowledge is not adequate.

Friends of LAC annual book sale

Once again it turns out that the BIFHSGO annual conference and the Friends of Library and Archives Canada annual book sale are occurring on exactly the same days, 16 to 18 September 2011. Pity. There's so much that goes on in Ottawa it's inevitable there will be conflicts, but this one isn't so bad.

People who regularly haunt the book sale know that the real bargains go fast. You have to be there at the opening to take advantage of the pick of the crop. Doing so would mean missing one of two preconference sessions offered by BIFHSGO, "I Can't Find Them Anywhere!: effective searching, sharing and collaborating with Ancestry" by Leslie Anderson, or "Storing and Preserving Family  Achives and Artefacts: arresting the deterioration of your family treasures" by Kyla Ubbink.

So you can still take advantage of the book sale and be at LAC in time for one of the afternoon preconference sessions and the whole of the rest of the conference.

The Friends of the LAC book sale is held in the Centre Court at the St. Laurent Shopping opening on Friday, September 16 at 09:30am.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Eastman Effect amplified

Last year I wrote about a big spike in visitors to the website after Dick Eastman mentioned this blog in EOGN. I termed it The Eastman Effect.

It happened again after Dick mentioned my post on website rankings. The Eastman Effect this time was even stronger. Monday saw five times the average number of visits, Tuesday 30 times, Wednesday four times.

I don`t chase hits here. If I did it wouldn't have just the Ottawa / Anglo-Celtic focus, would feature a lot of ads, and I`d be spending time on SEO (search engine optimization) rather than finding resources.

An occasional spike of visitors is welcome. Thank you for the mention Dick.

BIFHSGO September meeting

The first monthly meeting of the British Isles family History Society of Greater Ottawa, 2011-2012 season, is on Saturday 10 September at Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St., starting at 10am.


The topic is:

Fancy Railway Stations in Westmorland
By Anne Rimmer and Tom Rimmer

Tom Rimmer's great-grandfather was absent from his Lancashire home as shown in the 1871 Census of Rainford, Lancashire. When Tom eventually found his great-grandfather, he was building railway stations in the Lake District. Tom's granddaughter, Anne Rimmer, will present the talk.

About the Speakers
Anne Rimmer is Tom Rimmer’s Granddaughter. Anne was educated at Merivale High School and graduated from Oxford University in England and is now employed as a Policy Analyst at Industry Canada. One of her theses concerned Home Children emigration from the British Isles from the British Government point of view. As a teenager Anne made presentations to BIFHSGO.

Tom Rimmer was born in Bootle and grew up in Great Crosby, a suburb of Liverpool not withstanding that Crosby was mentioned in the Domesday book and Liverpool was not. He obtained his education at Waterloo with Seaforth Grammar school. In January 1948, at the age of 17, he enlisted in the Royal Navy as a trainee radio/radar mechanic and was discharged in 1960 for medical reasons. From then on he was employed as a computer hardware engineer until 1967 when he and his family immigrated to Canada. Tom worked for Computing Devices of Canada (now General Dynamics) until his retirement in 1995. He began researching his family history in 1989 and has located his ancestors to the 17th Century. He is a past Treasurer of BIFHSGO.

Members pick up your copy of the latest Anglo-Celtic Roots. Come early and browse our Discovery Tables on England, Ireland & Scotland. Meet with family history experts. Free parking in the lot west of the building.

Hertfordshire Wills Index: 1415-1857 on Origins.net

Now free to search on the National Wills Index via on Origins.net, is the Hertfordshire Wills Index: 1415-1857 on the National Wills index, with details of over 27,630 individuals.
"This index seeks to embrace in one alphabetical sequence all the wills (both original and registered copies), inventories, administration bonds, accounts and other related documents which survive among the records of the Archdeaconries of Huntingdon (Hitchin Division) and St Albans now held at Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies. 
Coverage may be summarised as follows:
Archdeaconry of Huntingdon (Hitchin Division):
Original wills (together with some inventories), 1557-1857 (Ref, HW); will registers, 1557-1843 (Ref, HR); inventories, 1568-1789 (Ref, AHH22 includes some administration bonds); administration bonds and accounts, 1609-1857 (Ref, AHH23).
Archdeaconry of St Albans:
Original wills, including administration bonds and inventories filed with them, 1518-1857 (Ref, AW); will registers, also including grants of administration, 1415-1857 (Ref, AR); inventories, 1518-1764 (Ref, A25); no original probate accounts are known to have survived for this archdeaconry 
Copies of the originals can be ordered online for £10GBP. These are supplied digitally by Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies and delivered via a PDF to your email address."

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Ancestry update British records

Ancestry.co.uk announce updating two of their British record sets.

UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960, mostly post 1890, now claims 16.3 million records. Based on series BT26 from the National Archives these are for ships arriving from ports outside of Europe and the Mediterranean.

UK, Aliens Entry Books, 1794-1921 comprises over 103,000 records of correspondence and other documents relating to aliens and naturalisations from TNA Series HO5. These are unindexed page images arranged chronologically. Some are feint faint and difficult to read.




Canadianheadstones.com

Jim McKane, President of CanadianHeadstones.com, a Canadian non-profit organization, sent me a note about their site which has over 142,500 266,000 headstone photo records from across Ontario free to search and view.
I took a look and it's well done. Ottawa area cemeteries are well represented with over 4,700 entries from Beechwood cemetery, more than 1,000 from Notre Dame and 750 from Pinecrest.

Also, mentioned here before, is another good source for Canadian, mainly Ontario, headstone photos, the Canadian Gravemarker Gallery.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

OGS Niagara meeting: with Marian Press

The Niagara Peninsula Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will host Marian Press on Thursday, September 8, who will present "Googling for Genealogy: How to Take Advantage of all Google Has to Offer."


I never miss Marian's talks when the opportunity arises, and always enjoy them.


The meeting, at the Thorold Public Library, starts at 7pm.

Railways too quiet!

I'd love to be able to recommend the latest podcast from TNA, Railways and the mobilisation for war in 1914. According to the TNA website it looks at how the railways of Britain and Europe prepared for war in 1914 and how central the railways were to troop mobilisation. Bruno Derrick, the presenter, is a long-term TNA employee with a particular interest in railway genealogy.


Unfortunately the presentation is only just audible, while the introduction and ending are fine. I found it too tiresome to continue listening. 


If interested give it a try at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/podcasts/railways-mobilisation-for-war-1914.htm

UPDATE:  I received an email from TNA that the volume is now fixed, which seems to be the case.

Monday, 5 September 2011

New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs

It's a challenge to keep up with new family history websites, one that Elizabeth Lapointe has now undertaken.
Monday saw the first issue of a weekly posting on her Genealogy Canada blog pointing out new Canadian genealogy sites. For the week ending September 4th Elizabeth has found 10 sites, a mixture of personal and organizational.
I monitor Elizabeth's site and will be sure to pass along anything with a special anglo-celtic connection.
If you don't want to miss any of these new sites, or other items Elizabeth posts, you can subscribe to her blog by entering your email in the FOLLOW BY EMAIL box on the right hand side of her blog at http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Wellcome Library

Less than two weeks now until the start of the 17th annual BIFHSGO conference, something which is never far from the front of my mind these days and came to the fore again when I saw an item passed along by Else Churchill from the Society of Genealogists about a new resource from the Wellcome Library.

The trigger for me was the talk "London's Research Secrets: far from the madding crowd." Helen Osborn will be giving at the conference.

The Wellcome Library, situated very close to the British Library, "provides insight and information to anyone seeking to understand medicine and its role in society, past and present." Family historians are one of the fastest-growing user categories.

They are in the middle of a "transformation strategy to create a groundbreaking digital library, allowing online open access to our collections." The vitality in the organization shows on their website, which even includes a QR code, and on their blog which is frequently updated.

Else's notice was about casebooks from Camberwell House Asylum - set up in the mid-nineteenth century and accepted patients – many of them “paupers” referred by the relevant Poor Law authorities.

Two casebooks, for patients admitted between 1847 and 1853 are held by the welcome library. An index of patients’ names in these two volumes has now been added to the catalogue records to make them available through online search interface.

Read about the Camberwell House Asylum on The Wellcome Library blog.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Genealogy site rankings

Here are the global rankings for a selection of genealogy-related websites, using Alexa.com, as of 3 September 2011.
How have things changed? In parenthesis find the rankings I posted six weeks and three months ago.

Ancestry.com remains top ranked, slipping overall rank ever so slightly. Myheritage.com remains the top genealogy social networking site.
In the past six weeks 22 rankings have increased, 24 declined.
BIFHSGO.ca jumped over 2 million places in the rankings, no doubt related to the forthcoming conference.
One site is no longer included as it dropped below 20,000,000 in the rankings.
To compensate I've added in one of my regular visits, Chris Paton's Scottish GENES blog, scottishancestry.blogspot.com/.

ancestry.com 1,103, (1,076), (984)
myheritage.com 3,524, (4,573), (3,886)
geni.com 7,768 (7,068), (8,086)
familysearch.org 8,497, (9,138), (9,120)
genealogy.com 12,295, (12,691), (12,190)
archives.gov 17,366 (17,053), (18,209)
ancestry.co.uk  15,944, (17,199), (17,243)
nationalarchives.gov.uk 21,600, (21,801), (18,550)
23andme.com  41,077, (38,146), (41,700)
genesreunited.co.uk 50,347, (51,699), (46,279)
ancestry.ca 54,036, (51,631), (42,325)
familytreedna.com  57,972, (67,246), (80,397)
findmypast.co.uk  68,220, (69,394), (81,411)
cyndislist.com 116,532, (101,523), (86,990)
eogn.com 135,238, (123,589), (150,226)
jiapu.com 129,664, (176,217), (168,666)
genuki.org.uk 177,305, (194,673), (193,436)
freebmd.org.uk 178,177, (204,998), (212,655)
familytreemaker.com 216,098, (198,889), (161,170)
worldvitalrecords.com 205,946, (250,031), (175,547)
familytreemagazine.com 296,260, (309,746), (201,288)
cwgc.org 304,733, (307,860), (527,236)
legacyfamilytree.com 325,569, (334,563), (273,131)
automatedgenealogy.com 471,773, (452,499), (296,376)
rootsmagic.com 528,067, (469,630), (372,173)
ngsgenealogy.org 292,785, (507,702), (770,719)
americanancestors.org 568,638, (413,274), (276,418)
genealogyintime.com 615,133, (839,046), (784,440)
geneabloggers.com 671,941, (635,502), (438,407)
genealogywise.com 702,073 (895,754), (525,834)
whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com 1,023,413, (993,634), (994,049)
sog.org.uk 1,050,849, (965,288), (708,746)
globalgenealogy.com 1,101,224, (1,019,853), (830,338)
ffhs.org.uk 1,201,950, (1,210,668), (1,267,779)
anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.com 1,407,276, (1,624,999), (2,418,382)
scottishancestry.blogspot.com 1,414,288, (-), (-)
ogs.on.ca 1,487,132, (1,440,397), (1,289,655)
genealogicalstudies.com 1,555,150, (1,328,035), (1,093,695)
rootsuk.com  2,030,679, (2,724,618), (1,340,610)
bcgcertification.org 2.329.800, (1,874,498), (1,601,646)
family-tree.co.uk  2,407,513, (1,684,518) (1,836,425)
lostcousins.com 2,427,784, (1,815,516), (2,677,921)
deceasedonline.com 2,452,985, (1,902,137), (1,648,569)
bifhsgo.ca 2,541,927 (4,938,796), (7,145,992)
familychronicle.com  2,763,979, (2,224,075), (1,881,611)
arcalife.com 2,803,254, (2,343,474), (2,356,437)
bcgs.ca 3,361,982 (3,459,358), (3,313,414)
internet-genealogy.com  10,981,334, (10,510,651), (3,234,636)
qfhs.ca 12,118,104, (9,884,139), (6,654,860)

Further Alberta Homestead files at the Internet Archive

I've received feedback from readers interested in Alberta homestead records mentioned in previous posts.

Images of eight new reels, 70.313/2830 to 2837, have just been posted at the Internet Archive.

There's information on how to search these records at a post last April.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Width-to-height ratio of the face for family history investigations


The widely respected Dienekes' Anthropology Blog carried an article recently "Broad-faced behavioral correlates / the rise of the new physiognomics?" which caught my attention.

Two new papers look at correlations between broad faces and behavior. One indicates that broad-faced CEOs lead better performing companies; the other that wider faces might predict unethical behavior in men. Apparently width-to-height ratio of the face had been previously found to be positively linked to aggressiveness and untrustworthiness. Dienekes didn't comment on those attributes in CEOs.
I confess to being pretty skeptical about the value of this type of correlation. However, the article did remind me of a presentation I attended quite a few years ago where the speaker was trying to decide if two photographs, taken many years apart, were of the same person. As I recall the spacing of the eyes was used to show to the speaker satisfaction that they were the same person. I wasn't convinced.

I thought I'd look at the width to height ratio of the face, as defined in this diagram, on the same person at different times to see how much it varied. It turns out the measurement is sensitive to the position of the face relative to the camera. It must be centered vertically and horizontally.

In the diagram above the low-ratio face is 1.8, the high ratio 2.1, not a lot of difference. The article (pdf) from which it comes shows the ratio varying between 1.5 and 2.1.

I managed to find seven suitable photos of myself from identification cards and passports. One was 30 years old the rest within the past 12 years. All but one gave the same width-to-height ratio to one decimal place. The one exception, not the earliest photo, was not quite fully face on.



Findmypast.co.uk adds 1 million Merchant Navy Seamen Records


The following is a press release from Findmypast.co.uk. My comments follow.

AYE AYE CAPTAIN - MERCHANT NAVY ARCHIVES REVEAL PHOTOS OF UK’S FORGOTTEN ‘FOURTH SERVICE’
  • Churchill’s ‘fourth service’ who helped to make Britain ‘Great’
  • Fascinating photos of British merchant mariners from 100 years ago
  • A ‘floating United Nations’, women and men, young boys, ‘donkeymen’ and manicurists, as well as personal descriptions such as tattoos
  • 54% of the UK population have no idea who or what the Merchant Navy is
  • Merchant Navy Day is on Saturday 3rd September 2011
One million 20th century Merchant Navy Seamen records are going online for the first time ever, as Britain approaches Merchant Navy Day on Saturday 3rd September. But when asked what the Merchant Navy was, 54% of the British population couldn’t answer correctly, even though almost 90% have heard of them. This is a sad fact considering the Merchant Navy was integral to putting Britain on the trade and industry world map and were named by Churchill as Britain’s ‘fourth service’. The revelation comes as findmypast.co.uk, a leading UK family history website, publishes these fascinating records online in partnership with The National Archives.
Snapshot of a mariner
Today’s launch sees records of crew members of UK merchant ships from 1918 to 1941 made available online, including rarely seen photos of the mariners. This is the first time that many relatives will be able to see what their seafaring ancestor looked like and also learn more about the people who made up Churchill’s ‘fourth service’.

The records provide fascinating details about each individual mariner. The most complete records have extremely detailed descriptions, including hair and eye colour, height, and distinguishing marks such as tattoos. In one case, Ordinary Seaman Henry Duncan Abbot from Dundee was listed as having a Chinese death head tattoo with the inscription “Death is Glory” on his right forearm – perhaps not so ordinary after all.

The shocking gap in Britain’s general knowledge is highest amongst the younger generation – just 26% of those aged under 35 know what the Merchant Navy is, compared to a wiser 64% of over 55s. Many will therefore be surprised to learn that the Merchant Navy consists of all seagoing UK vessels with commercial interests and their crews.

So it may be a shock to many that at various points in the last millennium, Britain had the largest merchant fleet in the world. The workforce on these vessels was a casual, ‘jobbing workforce’ so in any one year as many as 1.5 million people could be employed in the Merchant Navy, meaning many people are likely to find ancestors in these records. In the popular BBC programme Who Do You Think You Are?, David Suchet and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen both discovered ancestors who had been in the Merchant Navy.

Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at findmypast.co.uk, comments“This is the first time the UK Merchant Navy Seamen records, with their fascinating images of the mariners, have been made available online. Many people aren’t sure what the Merchant Navy is, even though a large proportion of the UK population will have Merchant Navy seamen in their ancestry. Hopefully these records will help fill the gaps and people will enjoy learning about what life was like for the brave, seafaring merchants who helped the island nation of Britain prosper.”

A floating United Nations
The Merchant Navy Seamen records reveal the diverse crews that manned vessels ranging from cargo liners to passenger ferries to luxury cruise ships, working in a variety of professions and industries through some of the most vital moments in British history.

The term ‘floating United Nations’ has often been linked to the Merchant Navy and these records go further to support this idea. As high as 70% of ships’ crews were made up of international seamen from countries such as the West Indies, Scandinavia and Japan. These records hold details, and in many cases photographs, of these multi-national mariners.
Ship shape and women’s fashion
The Merchant Navy has been in existence for a significant period of British history, owing much of its growth to British imperial expansionOne of the most notable observations from the records is that women were prevalent on the ships. One example is Doris Abbey from Liverpool, a 5’4” Manicurist with hazel eyes, brown hair and a medium complexion – perhaps she joined the Merchant Navy to make sure the mariners’ nails were kept ship shape!

Janet Dempsey, Marine and Maritime Record Specialist at The National Archives comments: The Merchant Navy Seamen records cover a very significant era in nautical history commencing at the very peak of the popularity of ocean travel, in the time of the great ocean liners, when overseas tourism meant taking to the seas. The years that followed saw the end of this period of prosperity, and the start of the Great Depression. For mariners this was a time when work on board was hard to get, and many men were forced to take other work between voyages to make ends meet.  These newly digitised records make a fascinating social record as well as a valuable family history resource.”

Young hands on deck
At this time, many young mariners were operational at sea and a number of them can be found in the records. One young seaman, Allison Robinson Saville, was a 14 year old boy who was born in Hull in 1904. As Cabin Boy, the lowest ranking male employee, his role would have been to wait on the officers and passengers of the ship, and run errands for the ship’s Captain.

Remembering
Though these records do not cover the war time period, the Merchant Navy supported the Royal Navy during times of conflict, including WW1 and WW2. During these wars the Merchant Navy suffered heavy losses from German U-boat attacks. Official recognition of the sacrifices made by merchant seamen throughout history has taken place every 3rd September, with the Annual Merchant Navy Parade and Reunion taking place in Trinity Gardens, Tower Bridge on the closest Sunday, this year Sunday 4thSeptember.

The Merchant Navy Seamen records are the only set of their kind available online and have been published in association with The National Archives. The records show that the seamen who made up the Merchant Navy not only came from the UK, but fromevery continent, with large numbers from across English-speaking world (notably the Maritime provinces of Canada), from the West Indies and Sierra Leone, and from Scandinavia, Somaliland, China and Japan. There are even some seamen from landlocked Switzerland.

You can search these records from today at www.findmypast.co.uk/search/merchant-navy-seamen

COMMENTS

Beneath the search box is a very helpful summary of this record set. It would be wise to read these before starting a search as these are index cards and the pay per view cost is significant.

I checked a couple of relatives.

For Charles Drummond the card included name, date and place of birth, nationality and father's nationality, and rank (he was a Master). There were also various identifying numbers. On the reverse there was a photograph.

Although my father was in the merchant marine during the period he could not be immediately found. In cases such as his the search result is insufficient to identify whether a hit is the right person. Those using credits could find themselves embarking on an expensive and potentially fruitless search.