Sunday, 30 September 2012

Advance notice: Kyle Bettit is coming to Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal

Several years ago professional genealogist Kyle Bettit was the theme speaker at the BIFHSGO annual conference.  Now he's returning to the area.

On Saturday, 17 November Kyle will be in Toronto as a featured speaker at an Irish Family History Workshop. Find more information at http://www.torontofamilyhistory.org/Irish%20Workshop%202012.html

On Sunday, 18 November he travels to Ottawa to give the Ryan Taylor Memorial Lecture for the Ottawa Branch of the OGS, an unusual Sunday event.  It's at Library and Archives Canada starting at 1pm. Also unusual is that unlike at the other venues there is no charge for this event.

On Wednesday 21 November he will be in Montreal to present " Beyond the Basics of Irish Genealogy Research (Seminar)" starting at 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm at the QFHS Heritage Centre and Library, 173 Cartier Avenue, Pointe-Claire. More information at http://qfhs.ca/events.php


Kyle J. Betit BS (Biology) is a professional genealogist, lecturer and author residing in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was a co-editor of the popular journal The Irish At Home and Abroad, and is co-author of A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Irish Ancestors. He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the National Writer’s Union, and the Genealogical Speakers Guild.

Planning a society landmark anniversary?



The committee report on Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations includes an annex with the title "Peter Aykroyd’s Anniversary Axiomatique"  extracted from "The Anniversary Compulsion: Canada’s Centennial Celebrations, a Model Mega Anniversary, Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1992, p. 11." Although larger in scope than anything a family history society might undertake for an anniversary there are ideas worth pondering:

1)  Reinforce the identity of  the organism: in doing this, spend lots of time
understanding all the dimensions of that identity.
2)  Provide continuity and restatement,  reminding people of the past that
shapes the present: reassure the people of the value and worth of shared
history by recognizing achievement and growth.
3)  Seek out and accentuate unifying elements: symbols, songs and all things
that are held in common, that have bonding potential.
4)  Analyze destructive forces that may be present: thoughtfully plan how to
aggressively oppose them.
5)  Focus some part of the program on the future: give people confidence and
determination to continue the voyage.

6)  Encourage personal and community involvement: like when a special
visitor is expected in the home, everyone wants to do their best and look
their best.
7)  Build monuments and memorials: these are tangible statements of
achievement and strong elements of a sense of continuity.
8)  Give gifts: not commodities that have only commercial value but gifts that
keep on giving, gifts that have expanding worth.
9)  Set up performances and public events to encourage participation: it is in
sharing with others at the same  time and place the experience of
large-scale spectacles that one feels warmth, pride and cohesion.
10) Make sure it is fun, but also allow for dignity and emotion: it is healthy to
release the spirit through noise,  through laughter, through tears and
through awe.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Rootstech 2013

I was one of 50,000 people who viewed online sessions of the 2012 Rootstech conference. In 2013 I plan on joining the likely over 4,000 registered attendees (the 2012 figures, from 46 U.S. states, six Canadian provinces and 23 additional countries) at the event.
My conference and hotel reservations are made for Salt Lake City, March 21 to 23. Registration is now available online with the early-bird rate of $149. See the information at http://www.rootstech.org/


Internet Genealogy: Oct/Nov 2012

I've resubscribed to Internet Genealogy so will be mentioning it here rather than Family Chronicle. The Oct/Nov 2012 issue, with a freshened layout and improved readability, arrived promptly. Line spacing is greater meaning 10 fewer lines in a full column. I'm not sure about the design changes, such as right justified headings. Adjusting to change takes a while.

The cover-featured article, by George Morgan, on Google Maps covers Google Street View, saving a collection on Google's My Places, and other sources for street and building images and photographs. It's interesting to look at images of houses where you or your ancestors lived. Has the area been gentrified or seen better days?
The first article, by Thomas MacEntee, 1940 Census: Deciphering Your Ancestors' Data in Context, helps interpret some of the less obvious aspects of this newly available US census.
Tony Bandy has two articles, one gengraphically specific to Columbus, Ohio, the other on the increasingly popular Flip-Pal(R) mobile scanner. While generally positive he's a bit equivocal about the use for large documents.

Researching English Ancestors in the Province of Quebec
Ottawa-area writer Elizabeth Lapointe looks at resources for researching English-speaking ancestors in Quebec noting that the Quebec Family History Society is fast becoming the place to conduct initial research because of the databases they hold or access. Elizabeth mentions a surname list, but the web address is missing. Find it at QFHS-database/DB.php.

Here's the complete table of contents:


1940 Census: Deciphering Your Ancestors' Data in Context 
Thomas MacEntee enlightens us on how the 1940 Census is different from previous undertakings to count the population

Columbus Memory Project: Jewel of the Midwest 
Tony Bandy looks at one city's online resource for preserving the past 
NetNotes
Diane L. Richard looks at websites and related news that are sure to be of interest

School Yearbooks & Newspapers David A. Norris shows us why the old alma mater... matters... to genealogists! 

Researching English Ancestors in the Province of Quebec 
Elizabeth Lapointe shows us valuable resources for researching English-speaking ancestors in the Province of Quebec
Mind Maps: Free Your Mind Lisa A. Alzo discusses how to use mind maps for genealogy research and writing

Flip-Pal® Mobile Scanner: Portable, Mobile Scanning 
Tony Bandy takes a test drive of one the most popular devices available for genealogists

Name Variant Tools 
Diane L. Richard wonders how many ways there are to spell a name

25 Sources for Locating Death Information 
Gena Philibert-Ortega offers options for trying to locate the information for an ancestor's death

Google Maps: Seeing Where They Lived 

George G. Morgan shows us how to visualize our ancestors' envitorment

Adventures with ArkivDigital 
Amanda Epperson discovers a way to research records of the Swedish Church online

JustaJoy.com: Family Heirloom Exchange 
Diane L. Richard looks into one business that reunites descendants with treasured family heirlooms

The Back Page 

Dave Obee enlightens us on the history of the Internet Archive




Beechwood Cemetery history presentation


A reminder about Glenn Wright's lecture on the early days of Beechwood Cemetery for the Friends of the Beechwood Cemetery Foundation this Sunday, September 30, 2012.

The event will take place at Beechwood, where else!  It begins at 2:00pm, and will be followed by light refreshments.

Email info@beechwoodcemetery.com for reservations.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Family Tree DNA sale

A snap sale from Family Tree DNA aimed at newcomers and upgrades by promoting the Family Finder and the Full Mitochondria Sequence (FMS). This sale started Friday, September 28, at 12:00am and ends Sunday, September 30, at 11:59PM.

New KitsCurrent PriceSALE PRICE
Family Finder$289$199
mtFullSequence$299$199
Family Finder + mtFullSequence$559$398
UpgradesCurrent PriceSALE PRICE
Family Finder$289$199
HVR1 to mtFullSequence$269$199
HVR2 to mtFullSequence$239$199
mtFullSequence$289$199

As with all promotions, orders need to be placed by the end of the sale and payment must be made by the end of the sale.

This is posted by special request of Linda Reid in Toronto (no relation) who needs more matches with identified British roots!

FMP adds Middlesex parish records


95,545 from baptisms from 1538 to1882, and 79,541 burials from 1538 to1890 from Middlesex parishes are the latest additions at FindMyPast.

The long list of parishes covered for baptisms is:
ACTON; BRONDESBURY, CHRIST CHURCH; CHELSEA, CHRIST CHURCH; COWLEY; CRANFORD; CROUCH END, CHRIST CHURCH; EAST BEDFONT; EDMONTON AND TOTTENHAM CONGREGATIONAL CHAPEL; EDMONTON ST MICHAEL AT BOWE; EDMONTON WESLEYAN CHAPEL; FELTHAM; FRIERN BARNET; FULHAM, ST JAMES; HAMMERSMITH, ST PETER; HAMPTON; HAMPTON HILL, ST JAMES; HANWORTH; HAREFIELD; HARLESDEN, ALL SOULS; HARLINGTON; HARMONDSWORTH; HARROW, ALL SAINTS; HARROW, ST MARY; HAYES; HESTON, ST LEONARD; HIGHGATE, ST MICHAEL' HORNSEY; HOUNSLOW, ST PAUL; ICKENHAM; KENSINGTON; LITTLE STANMORE; MONKEN HADLEY; NEW BRENTFORD; NEW SOUTHGATE, ST MICHAEL; NORTHOLT; NORWOOD; SOUTH ACTON, ALL SAINTS; SOUTHALL, HOLY TRINITY

SOUTHALL, ST JOHN; STAINES; STANWELL; TEDDINGTON CHAPEL;  TEDDINGTON METHODIST CHURCH; TOTTENHAM, ST JOHN; PRESBYTERIAN; TWICKENHAM (EAST) ST STEPHEN; UXBRIDGE ST ANDREW; WEST DRAYTON; WEST TWYFORD; WHETSTONE, ST JOHN.

For burials:

ACTON; BETHNAL GREEN, ST JAMES THE GREAT; BETHNAL GREEN, ST JOHN; CLERKENWELL, ST BARNABAS; COWLEY; CRANFORD; EAST BEDFONT; EDGWARE; EDMONTON AND TOTTENHAM CONGREGATIONAL CHAPEL; FELTHAM; FINCHLEY HOLY TRINITY; FINCHLEY, WHETSTONE ST JOHN; FRIERN BARNET; FULHAM; FULHAM, ST MARY NORTH END; GREENFORD; HAMMERSMITH ST PETER; HAMPTON; HAMPTON HILL, ST JAMES; HANWORTH; HAREFIELD; HARLINGTON; HARMONDSWORTH; HARROW, ST MARY; HENDON, ST PAUL MILL HILL; HESTON; HIGHGATE; HOUNSLOW; ICKENHAM; ISLINGTON ST JOHN; ISLINGTON, HOLY TRINITY; KENSINGTON ST BARNABAS; KINGSBURY; LALEHAM; LITTLETON; MONKEN HADLEY; NEW BRENTFORD; NORTHOLT; NORTHWOOD , HOLY TRINITY; NORWOOD ST MARY THE VIRGIN; NORWOOD, ST JOHN SOUTHALL; OLD BRENTFORD, ST GEORGE; ROXETH, CHRIST CHURCH;  RUISLIP, HOLY TRINITY NORTHWOOD; SHOREDITCH, ST JAMES; SOUTH MIMMS, ST JOHN THE BAPTIST POTTERS BAR; SOUTHALL ST JOHN; ST ANDREW HUBBARD; ST BENET SHEREHOG; ST MARGARET NEW FISH STREET; ST MILDRED BREAD STREET; STAINES; STANWELL; SUNBURY; TEDDINGTON; UXBRIDGE MOOR ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST; WALHAM GREEN, ST JOHN; WEMBLEY; WEST DRAYTON; WEST TWYFORD; WHITTON, ST PHILIP AND ST JAMES; WILLESDEN



British Home Child Day in Ontario


Today, 28 September, is British Home Child Day in Ontario. Up to 70,000 of these children settled in Ontario. To increase awareness descendants of home children are invited to share their stories on the Ministry of Children and Youth Services website at http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/britishhomechildday/index.aspx.

Also view the new video at  youtu.be/AQb3RcMl778

via Susan Davis of BIFHSGO and Sarah Yoo of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Communications and Marketing Branch

While many home children had a tough time many also made a success of their lives, more so than could have been expected in the UK. The story of a very successful home child is told toward the end of this interview, starts after 5 minutes,  with Debra Chatfield of Find My Past.

Deceased Online adds Plumstead Cemetery records

Continuing adding to its collection from Greenwich, SE London, Deceased Online now has Plumstead Cemetery which dates from 1890. The 56,000 burial records comprise:

Compturerised records
Grave details indicating those buried in each grave
Scans of burial registers
Cemetery maps indicating grave locations
Some photographs of memorials and headstones
The company announcement notes that from its location on "a hillside, the cemetery has fine vistas across London. It features many interesting graves and memorials including two former Mayors of Woolwich and two recipients of the Victoria Cross; Private Thomas Flawn and Gunner Alfred Smith."

There's a photo portrait of the cemetery at The Little London Observationist , a site worth browsing. Also check out the sites linked from http://littlelondonobservationist.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/london-links-weekend-8/

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Digitization at LAC

Based on information gained from an information request by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) LAC internal estimates indicate that approximately 0.5% of LAC holdings (both textual and non-textual) have been digitized to date.

  • "Based on LAC’s estimated costs for the digitization, from January 2012, we can calculate the following:
    • Digitization of the published books, journals, and newspapers in LAC’s holdings (which in 2004, Ian Wilson indicated numbered about 19 million) would cost between $1.5 billion and $3.5 billion
    • At the current rate of spending on digitization (approx $5 million annually) it would take LAC 300-700 years to digitize its published holdings (acquired pre-2004).

NB: These are only the costs incurred for the physical process of digitizing the material. These numbers do not reflect the time, labour, and technology involved in cataloguing and preserving the material once it has been converted into a digital file format."

This is information from the CAUT September update at http://www.savelibraryarchives.ca/update-2012-09.aspx

Discovery the only way to go


Here's the latest news, as of 25 September, relating to The National Archives Discovery catalogue - long in the making.

From this week, Discovery, our new catalogue, will become the primary way to search our collections.
 
We have now added more browse functionality to Discovery, which means that users can browse our collection by hierarchy or by reference, as requested by many of our users. For a more detailed explanation of using Discovery to browse our collection, read our frequently asked questions.
We want to gather feedback on the new browse feature over the next couple of weeks before we decide when we can switch off the old Catalogue. We want to make sure it's as useful as it can be, so please try it out and let us know what you think - you can browse from any page of Discovery, including search results and descriptions. Please send your feedback to discovery@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk.

We will be switching off DocumentsOnline this weekend, along with three other features on our website that have now been replaced by Discovery: Your Archives, Equity Pleadings Database and Person Search. We've integrated the digital document delivery service provided by DocumentsOnline into Discovery, making it easier for users to search our records and download digital copies (where available), all in one place. Discovery also features an image viewer, which means that users can see a low-resolution version of a document before paying to download it.

Kent, Register of Electors, 1570-1907 at FamilySearch

There are nearly 132,000 browse images, no name indexing, in this Kent collection, mostly registers of electors. There are also: apprenticeship enrollments, freeman rolls and certificates; freeman objection book; indentures; burgess rolls; military muster rolls (Faversham), and oath rolls.

Ashford division (Southern Kent) : 1885-1900
Dartford division (North Western Kent) : 1885-1900
Deal borough : 1699 - 1851
Dover borough : 1673 - 1900
Faversham borough : 1490 - 1800
Faversham division (North Eastern Kent) : 1885 - 1900
Isle of Thanet division : 1885 - 1900
Kent (Jury Service Lists) : 1825-1907
Maidstone borough : 1692 - 1899
Medway division (Mid Kent) : 1868 - 1900
New Romney borough : 1640 - 1851
Queenborough borough : 1716 - 1860
Sandwich borough : 1718 - 1885
Sevenoaks division (West Kent) : 1832 - 1900
St. Augustine's division (East Kent) : 1832 - 1900
Tunbridge division (South Western Kent) : 1885 - 1899

This images are only viewable from a family history center or to signed-in members of supporting organizations.

 

The myth of the War of 1812

A posting by Greg Kennedy at activehistory.ca puts the case that the government's contention that “Canada would not exist had the American invasion of 1812-15 been successful” is a fabrication for political expediency.

"American war aims, the rhetoric of the war hawks notwithstanding, did not centre on annexing the colonies of British North America. Carl Benn explains that the Americans intended to occupy Upper Canada, and perhaps Montréal, in order to force the British to give in on other more important issues, namely, American territorial expansion to the south and west, as well as freedom for American transatlantic commerce (The War of 1812, 2003). It is also clear that President James Madison deliberately fanned the flames of nationalistic fervour in an effort to win re-election (which he won.)

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Alarming reduction in LAC accessions

Is LAC planning on going out of business? With the massive budget cuts resulting in layoffs this year you wonder.

Now it appears that this year's reduction is part of a longer term trend. Here's how we know.

Last June the MP for Vancouver Quadra, Joyce Murray, requested information on Library and Archives Canada's record on annual accessions since 2000. That request was answered this month and the picture is not pretty.

Total accessions of governmental material to 2009, the last year Ian Wilson was Librarian and Archivist, averaged 667 registrations annually. Since then there has been s a drop to 394 registrations.

Even more dramatic is the picture for accessions of private material; plummeting from an average of 358 registrations annually under Wilson to just 126 since.

Of particular note are the figures for electronic information. Under Wilson these had gradually grown so that between 2005 and 2009 the average was 1231 items. Now, despite talk about shifting from hardcopy to electronic, accessions decreased to average 1060 items.

The first object stated under the Library and Archives Canada Act, which the Librarian and Archivist is charged with attaining, is to acquire and preserve the documentary heritage. Is less of such material is being produced? There's no evidence to support that idea. Is LAC relying on other organizations to do that work?  It seems like it -- but the legislation does not read that LAC should watch others "acquire and preserve." One can only conclude that LAC is failing to live up to its mandate.

Thanks to WJM for passing along the information.




Shannon Lecture: Writing Sensuous Histories

This Friday, 28 September, sees the first in this year's series of Shannon Lectures, organized and hosted by the History Department at Carleton University.  This year the theme is Making Sense: History and the Sensory Past.

“Writing Sensuous Histories”
Constance Classen

September 28, 3:00pm, 303 Paterson Hall, Carleton University

The senses are cultural, as well as physical, in nature. This is most evident with such auditory and visual modes of communication as speech and writing, music and visual arts. However, it is also true of the so-called lower senses of touch, taste and smell. How we touch, what we eat, and the uses we make of scents are shaped by, and in turn communicate, personal and social meanings.

The cultural dimension of perception is indicated by the differences that exist in the ways the senses are employed and valued across cultures. What is true across cultures is also true of history: different periods developed different ways of sensing and making sense. Even something as apparently basic as the number of the senses varies across periods and places.

To uncover the cultural history of the senses, therefore, we must not only look at what psychologists tell us about how the senses function, or at the practical uses to which they have been put, but at how they were understood and experienced. Relying heavily, as we do, on written texts, this presents difficulties for historians. How may we recover past sensations from lifeless texts? And how may we supplement texts with hands-on research?  While engaging in such an archaeology of perceptions is challenging, the end result is the creation of sensuous histories which both bring the past into full-bodied life and reveal the worlds of meaning embedded in our perceptual worlds.

Constance Classen is a writer and researcher based in Montreal. She has a Ph.D. from McGill University and has held fellowships at Harvard University, the University of Toronto, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. She is the author of numerous essays and books on the cultural history of the senses, including The Deepest Sense: A Cultural History of Touch (University of Illinois Press, 2012) The Color of Angels: Cosmology, Gender and the Aesthetic Imagination (Routledge, 1998), Worlds of Sense: Exploring the Senses in History and across Cultures (Routledge, 1993), and Aroma: The Cultural History of Smell (Routledge, 1994, co-authored with David Howes and Anthony Synnott). Classen is also the editor of The Book of Touch (Berg, 2005), one of seven books in the Sensory Formations series from Berg Publishers of Oxford, and a founding member of the interdisciplinary Centre for Sensory Studies at Concordia University, which is dedicated to promoting research on the social and aesthetic life of the senses. She is currently editing a six-volume series on the history of the senses for Bloomsbury Publishing and is the principal investigator of a research project on art, museums, and the senses.

Kent Genealogy update

Kent Genealogy, a Rootsweb hosted site with "many indexes and transcripts containing over 90,000 names and over 350 links to other useful sites" for the English county of Kent.

It's a site, like many others, where updates fly under my radar. At present Will transcripts are being added little by little. Worth a visit. There's a unified search.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Canada 150 report


The House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, having laboured for a full nine months, has produced a report (pdf) on its study of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations.  It held a total of 18 meetings, during which it heard from 54 groups and individuals and received 15 written submissions. The committee reviewed the lessons from previous comparable events.

One of the principle recommendations is that  the Government of Canada consider the creation of an independent agency or corporation to plan, organize
and implement Canada’s 150th anniversary.

The remaining recommendations are regarding the work of that agency; specifically, explore ways and means for:

- providing special assistance with the marketing of new works of artistic expression created for Canada's 150th anniversary;

- assisting with the touring of Canadian  performing arts groups during the 2017
celebrations;
- encouraging communities and donors to assist with the completion of the Trans
Canada Trail;
projects  to digitize Canada’s documentary heritage;
- using information technologies and social media to encourage participation;
- assisting in tourism marketing, with incentives to encourage all Canadians to explore their country during 2017;
- supporting the development of museum projects, travelling exhibits and other museum-related initiatives.

The report is at:
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/HOC/Committee/411/CHPC/Reports/RP5614610/411_CHPC_Rpt04_PDF/411_CHPC_Rpt04-e.pdf
-


FMP adds Clay Cross, Derbyshire, burial records


Findmypast.co.uk has added 11,576 new parish burial records for the town of Clay Cross in North East Derbyshire for the period 1800 to 1998.

Strange deaths

An offbeat item on the oddest ways people died in Victorian times is at
http://io9.com/5945484/the-oddest-ways-people-died-in-victorian-times
with more at http://thebabydied.blogspot.co.uk/.

British Home Child Day


A British Home Child Day in Ontario Symposium is being held at the South Stormont Municipal Hall on Saturday September 29 from 9 to 4 - come for the day or just a part of it - $10.00 per person, includes lunch, refreshments, speakers, displays and an opportunity to learn about this part of our Canadian history.

The municipal building is in Long Sault right beside the OPP station. They share a common parking lot. There's a Google map here.

If you are planning on coming please inform < carol dot goddard at sympatico dot ca > to assist planning catering.

via Carol Goddard and Ed Kipp

Monday, 24 September 2012

50th anniversary of The Garden of the Provinces

Fifty years ago today Prime Minister John Diefenbaker opened The Garden of the Provinces, seen here at the time looking denuded compared to the treed area it is today.
At the same time the go ahead for the construction of a $12 million building for the National Archives and National Library, just across Wellington Street, was announced.

Staying in London - advice

I'm contemplating making an extended stay in London around the Who Do You Think You Are Live event next February.  Various friends have stayed in long(er)-stay accommodations so I asked BIFHSGO colleague Brenda Turner, who stayed earlier in the year, for advice.

"I regularly find it more convenient, cheaper, and much more flexible to rent a cottage or flat than a hotel room, whenever I happen to be staying in one place for more than 5 days. I've rented flats or cottages through these companies, plus others in locations which would not be of interest to you. Even when dealing with owners directly, rather than a company, I have never once been ripped off in any way in two decades of rentals. Most often, I have found the owners very friendly and helpful, and most anxious that I enjoy my stay. In London I find it best to book as close to tube stops as possible, and especially I try to find rentals to which two tube stops on different lines are walkable, for mobility in case one line is down for maintenance, or accidents.

Here are the companies I have used in the UK:

Vacation Rental By Owner: http://www.vrbo.com/

 Home Away: http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/

Country Cottages: http://www.english-country-cottages.co.uk/

Cottages4You: http://www.cottages4you.co.uk/

Apartments Apart: http://www.apartmentsapart.com/london_hotels/index.htm 
Holiday Lettings: http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/

The new company I heard about from a chum just a few days ago is called Saco. This chum and family rented a flat just by the Vauxhall Bridge, and were astonished to realize that they had a balcony overlooking the Thames during the Jubilee Flotilla, which they had not planned for at all! They were very pleased with the services they had as well. http://www.sacoapartments.com/
Glenn Wright mentioned http://sabbaticalhomes.com/

Please share any experience you have had with these or other similar services in the comments.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

BIFHSGO conference handouts


Handouts listed below from the BIFHSGO conference are now available to all BIFHSGO members, not just those who registered for the conference, in the members only section of the web site.

For non-members -- I have only one suggestion to offer.

Chris Paton
An Introduction to Researching Scottish Family History
Scottish Civil Records, Censuses & Marriages
Scottish House and Land History
The Godly Commonwealth
The Mount Stewart Murder

Patricia Whatley
Scottish Archival and Lesser Known Resources Online
The Archives of the Scottish Poor Law: a Resource for Family History Research

Susan Davis
Digital Descendants: Where to Find Them and How to Connect

Shirley-Ann Pyefinch
What’s New at FamilySearch.org?

Ed Zapletal
Writing for Publication: Pitching Your Family History Story to Editors

Tony Bandy
Tablets, Netbooks, e-Readers and Apps for Genealogy
Dropbox, Evernote and Online Digital Notes - Integrating Digital Resources
Online Books: Are These Really Good Resources?

Jane Buck
McDNA: Genetic Applications to the Scottish Clans
New Avenues in Genetic Genealogy
DNA Testing for Genealogy

Canadian genealogy survey and "Canadians and their Past"

At the BIFHSGO monthly meeting on Saturday Leighann Neilson from the Carleton University Sprott School of Business presented some initial results from the Canadian Genealogy Survey conducted in the Fall of 2011.

First, for context, Leighann used results from a telephone survey of more than 3,000 people on "Canadians and their Past", soon to be published in book form by the University of Toronto Press

In that survey the family past figured in responses to many questions; 74 percent  keep heirlooms to give to the next generation; 57 percent had visited places from the family’s past in the preceding year; 56 percent are producing a scrapbook, diary, cookbook, family history or home movies dealing with the past.

One in five survey respondents claimed to have done research on a family tree - based on population that's perhaps 5 million Canadian over age 18 who had done family history research in the past year.


15 percent had visited an archival collection, physical or on-line, for family history.

People were generally more interested in the history of their family as opposed to national, regional, or ethnic history.

Find those figures and more in a 2009 paper in the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association here (pdf).

Switching to results from the 2011 Canadian Genealogy Survey, which was conducted online, there were 2,700 valid responses, 2,000 were from Canadians, the remainder from 27 other countries. Analysis has been delayed owing to the overwhelming number of responses, about 2,500 more than expected!

The results were compared with those of the Ron Lambert survey of Ontario Genealogical Society members from 1995. It did not appear to me that the results were markedly different: respondents were still a little over 60% female, median age over 60, just over 50% with a university degree; a median of 15 years interest in family history.  One difference was that the Lambert survey was of OGS members whereas only a little over one-third of those responding to this survey were members of a genealogical or family history society, and non-members were slightly older than members. Stay young -- join a family history society!

The survey found only 2% were interested in heritage societies (despite the survey being given publicity by UEL groups), and only 0.3% were looking for the rich and famous in their ancestry. That caught my attention as OGS is developing a Fathers of Confederation Society for genealogists who can prove they are descended from one of Canada’s Fathers of Confederation.

A lot more figures were thrown at us which I'll try and sort through in the next few days. Perhaps before then Leighann will find time to post some of the results on the project blog at http://genealogyincanada.blogspot.ca/




700,000

Sometime on Friday evening this blog passed 700,000 page views.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

London Metropolitan Archives records updated on Ancestry


The large digitized collection of birth and baptismal, confirmation, marriage and banns, and death and burial records from the London Metropolitan Archives available through ancestry.co.uk has been updated. Available now are:

Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980 - 2,616,941 records
Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906  -  6,240,709 records
Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 - 7,549,376 records
Confirmations, 1850-1921 -  24,827 records.

This collection was last updated in November 2011 so if you're expecting to find someone, and haven't searched since then, try it again.

Records for Charleton cemetery, Greenwich, now on deceasedonline.com

A note from Richard Gray of deceasedonline.com informs that Charlton Cemetery in Greenwich has now been added to their rapidly growing stable of cemetery records from the London area and beyond.

Being in Greenwich located near the Royal Observatory, the site of the Woolwich Arsenal, the Old Royal Naval College, the National Maritime Museum and the Dreadnought's Seamen's Hospital his note characterize Charlton as a "maritime and military memorial treasure trove". He mentions two admirals who served with Nelson; governors of Burma, Malta and Gibraltar; and servicemen who fought in numerous (some obscure) military campaigns including the celebrated Major General Orde Wingate.

When I think of Greenwich I think first of the Greenwich time signal, the pips used to signal the exact time on BBC radio, and second the Greenwich Observatory which marks the zeroth meridian and near which there is a statue of James Wolfe, hero of the British victory at Québec in September 1759.

I wondered if Wolfe was buried at Charlton but a quick Google told me he's interred at nearby St Alfege Church which also contains the remains of composer Thomas Tallis (d. 1585) and English-born explorer of Canada Henry Kelsey (d. 1724).

I confess Henry Kelsey is not someone I recall knowing about previously, confession of ignorance is good for the soul. There's a quick study piece on Kelsey at Wikipedia noting a passing reference in Stan Rogers song Northwest Passage.

Friday, 21 September 2012

BIFHSGO interview with Ubbink Book & Paper Conservation

During the BIFHSGO conference Brian Glenn spoke with Kyla Ubbink of Ubbink Book & Paper Conservation about her services and the does and don'ts of conserving your personal documentary heritage.

Listen here.

Chris Paton on the BIFHSGO conference

Chris Paton, prolific blogger at British GENES and theme speaker at last weekend's BIFHSGO conference, posts his impressions of the conference and the events surrounding it. Always interesting to see our world as others see it.

http://britishgenes.blogspot.ca/2012/09/bifhsgos-2012-conference-report.html?m=1

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Internet use poll

Saturday's BIFHSGO meeting will hear results of a Carleton University survey of genealogists. The poll was conducted online, so those who don't use the Internet would be excluded. How significant an omission do you think that is? Please answer the poll.




Online Poll @ FluidSurveys.com...

Survey Software by FluidSurveys.com


Documentary producers lend their voice to Save the Library and Archives Canada

Irish newspaper images new at Ancestry


It's good to see Ancestry getting more into providing newspapers, the latest being a collection of 30 for Ireland, 1763-1890. The collection is a bit hit and miss, with missing years, months and days. It's also a browse collection, no digital searching unfortunately.

The papers and years available are:

Cork Mercantile Chronicle: 1802-1818
Northern Star: 1892-1897
Notes from Ireland: 1886-1890
The Belfast Mercury: 1783-1786
The Belfast Evening Post: 1786-1787
The Cork General Advertiser: 1777
The Dublin Builder: 1859-1866
The Dublin Evening Mail: 1855
The Dublin Penny Journal: 1832-1836
The Freeman's Journal: 1763-1882
The Hiberian Chronicle: 1769-1802
The Irish Builder: 1867-1890
The Irish Felon: 1848
The Irish People: 1863-1867
The Irish Times: 1864-1889
The Irishman: 1819-1825
The Leinster Journal 1800-1828
The Londonderry Journal: 1785
The Meath People: 1857-1863
The Morning News: 1882-1887
The Nation: 1850-1852
The Nationalist: 1886-1890
The Northern Star: 1792-1793
The Roscommon Constitutionalist: 1889-1890
The Tralee Chronicle: 1870, 1875
The United Irishman: 1848
The Waterford Chronicle: 1777
The Waterford Herald: 1792-1793
The Waterford Mirror: 1801-1827

Thom's Official Directory of Ireland

A recent addition to Ancestry is Thom's Official Directory of Ireland for 1904. It's a substantive book - more than 2,200 pages. Ancestry describes it as including:

A Dublin street directory; names, addresses, and occupations for residents of other towns and districts in the country as well; and a wide variety of happenings, institutions, businesses, and departments for Ireland and the UK, including the following:
  • county fairs and markets in Ireland
  • Parliamentary directory
  • civil service and law directory for Great Britain
  • navy, army, and militia directory
  • colonial directory
  • universities, colleges, schools
  • churches and ecclesiastical directory
  • county and borough directories
  • postal directory
  • peerage
There is a detailed table of contents, which can help, but Ancestry didn't apparently judge the quality of the typeface adequate to meet their OCR standards. You browse it as you would a book.

Thom's Irish Almanac and Official Directory, the original title, was first published in 1844. The company is still in the directory business, www.thoms.ie

There are various sources for older editions.

Google Books has the 1857 edition with 1,116 pages, indexed and free here.

A Dublin Street Directory from Thom's Irish Almanac and Official Directory for the Year 1862, free here.
FindMyPast has indexed versions of the 1884 and 1910 editions at its various commercial sites, including here.
Eneclann and Archive CD Books have various editions between 1868 and 1910, available for purchase through Archives CD Books Canada
The editions for 1894 and 1914 are available from World Vital Records, pay, here.

A few transcriptions for parts of Ireland for some years can be found through your favourite search engine.

You may also be fortunate enough to be close to a library with original volumes.

BIFHSGO interview with Ottawa Stake Family History Centre

In conversation with Brian Glenn at the recent BIFHSGO conference, Richard Hodgson discusses the facilities of the Ottawa Stake Family History Center.

Listen here

BIFHSGO September meeting

Saturday, September 22, 2012

9:00-9:30 Before BIFHSGO Educational Talk
Google Earth for Genealogy by Ann Burns

9:30-10:00  Browse the Discovery Tables and Computer
10:00-11:30 Monthly Meeting Speaker

Why Study Genealogists? Initial Results from the Canadian Genealogy Survey by Dr. Leighann C. Neilson

Listen to the pre-meeting interview by Brooke Broadbent.

During the summer and early fall of 2011, over 2,700 family historians completed the Canadian Genealogy Survey online, including many BIFHSGO members. This survey was the first to attempt to capture data about family historians across the nation, and promises to expand our knowledge of the ways that genealogical work is being advanced by new information technologies and increase our understanding of the reasons for undertaking family history research as well as the impact that such research has on issues of personal and community identity. Dr. Neilson will share some of the initial results from the analysis of the survey data and invite feedback from the audience.

The meeting place is, as usual, Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Book launch: Don't Forget to Write

Today will see the official launch of Patricia McGregor's new book "Don't Forget to Write: a look at the Canadian YMCA through historical postcards". Patricia was kind enough to tell me about the book and how it came to be in an interview at the BIFHSGO annual conference last weekend. Listen here.

A first genealogy infomercial

I have to admire Family Tree DNA for being the first that I know of in the genealogy business to use an infomercial.

Like most of the genre it's fast-moving, positive and colourful. There are simple repetitive messages sandwiched between examples of the benefits of using Family Tree DNA's product.

An infomercial wouldn't be true to type if it didn't include client testimonials. You hear an explanation of the thrill it was to confirm Native American ancestry.

But wait, there's more.

You hear of an adoptee's struggle to identify his birth father, which he did through a DNA test despite the official record being inaccurate.

Genetic genealogy nerds will recognize some of the most prolific people in the field. Those who attended the DNA sessions at the BIFHSGO conference will recognize Jane Buck.

The infomercial runs for 29 minutes on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_WwNfdPESk


BIFHSGO interview with Gatineau Valley Historical Society

In conversation with Brian Glenn at the recent BIFHSGO conference Harold Reid of the Gatineau Valley Historical Society talks about the activities of the 300 member Society. Recent re-publication of an 88 page book Gatineau River Heritage Paddle: A Guide covering the area from Wakefield to the Chelsea Dam is highlighted. There's more on the Society at www.gvhs.ca 

Listen here.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

BIFHSGO interviews with QFHS leaders

Gail Dever, co-webmaster of the Quebec Family History Society, and Gary Schroder, long-time Society president, were among several prominent members of the Society who attended the BIFHSGO conference last weekend.


I interviewed Gail on social networking for genealogy, her enthusiasm for Facebook is apparent. Listen here.

Brian Glenn interviewed Gary, a media veteran, focusing on the completion of the Quebec online land registration database. It's in two parts. Listen here (1) and here (2).

BIFHSGO interview with Lanark County Historical Society

During the BIFHSGO 18th annual conference Brian Glenn, the Society Director of Research and Projects, recorded conversations with several of the marketplace exhibitors.

Michael Jaques of the Lanark County Historical Society told of the geography of the county, the Society and some of its publications. A recent book is on Colonel Christopher Myers who participated in the War of 1812, was captured, and also arranged aid for the newly settled communities during the winter of The Year Without a Summer (1816) when the crops failed.

Listen here.

OGS Ottawa Branch September Meeting

The Ottawa Branch OGS meeting is on Saturday, 22 September 2012. It will be held at the Diefenbunker, Canada`s Cold War Museum, at 3911 Carp Road. A pre-meeting starts at 1:00 PM with tour starting at 2PM.

The Diefenbunker is a four-level subterranean facility at Carp affording protection against a blast equivalent to 5 million tons of TNT exploding about a mile away. The structure was described as “a monolithic heavily reinforced high strength concrete box,”154 feet on each side, resting on a 5 ½ foot bed of gravel and surrounded by 5 feet of gravel. The walls are 4 feet thick; the floors 2 feet. In total 32,000 tons of concrete and 5,000 tons of reinforcing steel were used.

The bunker became operational in 1961 providing a protected working environment for 535 people for up to 30 days. The Governor General, cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and very limited staff would have found a place in the bunker.

The facility, decommissioned in December 1994, was eventually acquired by a charitable corporation, and operates as the Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum and, a National Historic Site (www.diefenbunker.ca/).

Go to http://ogsottawa.on.ca/category/events/branchmeetings/ for more information on this event.







Meeting starts at 1:00 p.m. for coffee & announcements.
Tour commences at 2:00 p.m. (1 hour tour)
Please note that there are quite a few stairs. We can make use of the elevator.
We also have a couple of wheelchairs on hand
The Branch is covering the cost of the tour. So no charge for this tour!

Monday, 17 September 2012

CBC runs edited Don Cherry WDYTYA

CBC, having dropped its American game shows, and needing to fill out the schedule with no hockey available, is running a refreshed version of the Who Do You Think You Are series that originally ran in 2007.

At 8:30pm on Monday the episode with Don Cherry was shown in an edited form. Although it's hard to recall details from five years ago unmistakable was the addition of a voice over by Jeff Douglas.  Douglas, who is now one of the regular hosts of CBC radio As It Happens, was at the time the series originally ran hosting Ancestors in the Attic on History Television.

I got the impression the show had been streamlined to accommodate more ads and still stay within the 30 minute time-slot. Allowing for the ads that's only a third the length of WDYTYA elsewhere. It's nevertheless still a welcome addition to the schedule.

Perth Historical Society meeting


On Wednesday, September 19, Clark Theobald, of Perth, will present on his recently published book investigating the truth behind the controversial Daniel Daverne - Storekeeper, Postmaster and then Acting Superintendent of the Perth Military Settlement, 1815 to 1819.  

The presentation is at 7:30 pm at the Perth Museum, at 11 Gore Street E. in Perth. (“Toonie Fee”). For further information call David Taylor (613-264 0094) or Ellen Dean (613-264 8362)

BIFHSGO conference in retrospect

The annual conference of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa goes from strength to strength. With it being Scotland's turn to be the theme, and as I have yet to find my Scottish roots, I spent most of the time in the alternate session where one was offered. 
Things got off to a good start for me with a pre-conference 3-hour workshop on Tablets, Netbooks, e-Readers and Apps for Genealogy given by Tony Bandy. I'd known Tony for his articles in Internet Genealogy and was delighted to find he is an expert trainer, with a library background, sensitive to the needs of people with various learning styles. His PowerPoint slides were exemplary in their simplicity.  Bringing a collection of devices to the workshop gave the opportunity to try the various equipment. While Tony was keen on the Google Nexus he acknowledged that other equipment strong points might weigh more heavily for one's own application.
Tony also gave conference talks on Dropbox, Evernote and Online Digital Notes, a conference highlight for me, and one on Online Books: are these really good resources, I only caught the tail end but did get the handouts.  Plenty to follow up on after the conference in the handouts.

Vic Suthren's talk on the War of 1812 as the opening Don Whiteside Memorial Lecture kept people's attention for his clear recounting of the events of 1812-1814.

I'd interviewed him but not heard Chris Paton speak before, and only managed to catch one and a bit of his four talks. Chris comes with a formidable reputation as a speaker and lived up to every inch of it. No wonder he ranked so high in the Genealogy Rock Star survey earlier in the year.

Jane Buck came from Houston, her airline giving the organizers concern as a scheduled flight was cancelled so she arrived barely an hour before her first genetic genealogy talk. Jane's were both entertaining presentations with excellent slides.

On Sunday morning I had the opportunity to chair two sessions. Lucille Campey always provides content rich presentations - for this session based on her new book on English immigration to Quebec and Ontario which I'd reviewed here.

The second presentation was by Ed Zapletal, editor and publisher of Moorshead Magazines. He and colleague Rick Cree have been regulars at the conference marketplace, as well as all major North American genealogical conferences, but this was his first presentation. Writing for Publication: Pitching Your Family History Story to Editors was a topic Ed could speak to with years of authority. It showed and was appreciated by those attending. Initial nervousness soon passed and by the end he seemed to enjoy the experience and even be contemplating other talks he might give.

I also had time to conduct a few interviews with marketplace exhibitors, as did BIFHSGO Director of Research and Projects Brian Glenn. I'll link to those as they become available.

I found the conference enjoyable from start to finish. Kudos to conference co-chairs Brian Watson and Ken McKinlay; thanks to the volunteers and speakers. I look forward to next year's 19th annual conference.


Sunday, 16 September 2012

Computer hard drive backup

We all know the importance of backing up our computer hard drives; they don't last forever. At yesterday's BIFHSGO conference talk on Dropbox, Evernote and Online Digital Notes by Tony Bandy, to a room at capacity,  I asked what system he uses for backing up his computer files. Tony is a self-confessed computer geek so should know. He practices double protection.

Tony has a 2TB external hard drive which makes automatic incremental backups on site. There are several brands, some available for less than $200.

He also uses the online service SugarSync which provides up to 5GB of free storage.  I haven't tried SugarSync.

More items for the to-do list which could save you a lot of heartache.

New online genealogical resource from Gale (Cengage Learning)



The following is a press release directed at libraries from Gale (Cengage Learning):

Gale, part of Cengage Learning and a leading publisher of research and reference resources for libraries, schools and businesses, today announced the launch of Gale Genealogy Connect, a new online tool for genealogical research. Focusing on the “how to” of genealogical research along with unique source materials, Gale Genealogy Connect serves as a complement to popular fact, date and people-based genealogy resources already on the market.

Sourced from the publications of Genealogical.com, parent company for Genealogical Publishing Company and Clearfield Company, Gale Genealogy Connect features over 550 reference works at release (formerly only available by print or CD-ROM) on a standalone ebook platform, with a goal of growing the collection to nearly 1,500 works. The content covers a wide range of topics such as genealogy research basics, genealogy methods and sources, colonial genealogy, immigration, royal and Native American ancestry. Gale Genealogy Connect serves both novice and advanced researchers – beginners will learn proper research methods and how to define and organize goals, while powerful search features help advanced researchers make connections among data to uncover a meaningful story behind their family tree.

“With Gale Genealogy Connect we are opening up a treasure chest of resources for current and future genealogists as this is the first time much of this information is available in an online, searchable database,” said Gerald Sawchuk, publisher for public library solutions at Gale. “Instead of spending countless hours scouring a book for mention of a family name, users can quickly search across multiple information sources, making the research experience much more efficient and exciting.”

 Additional features of Gale Genealogy Connect include -

  • an engaging user interface with translation into 38 languages,
  • unlimited and simultaneous 24/7 access,
  • seamless cross-searching across all Gale Genealogy Connect collections,
  • ability to print, save, email or share articles, and
  • multi-page PDF viewing recreating the book experience.
  • Content is divided into six convenient bundles, giving libraries a variety of purchase and subscription options to meet their needs.


The 181 volume immigration collection includes: four volumes of Terrance Punch's "Erin's Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada"; Johnson's Irish Emigration to New England through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, 1841 to 1849; and two volumes of Smith's Nova Scotia Immigrants to 1867.

If you'd like to have this collection available through your public library send them a request.

Heritage Ottawa meeting


Topic: CATHEDRAL HILL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT, OTTAWA
Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Time: 7 pm
Location: Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa
                429 Queen Street,

 Built in 1872-73 in the Gothic Revival style, Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa is designated a “property of architectural and historical value or interest” under the Ontario Heritage Act.  This year, the Cathedral has embarked on a development initiative to intensify Cathedral land use which will see modern condominiums and an office tower erected around the historic Cathedral building and the adjacent Roper House.  Join us for a panel discussion on this new urban project with the Very Rev’d Shane Parker, Dean of Ottawa and Rector of Christ Church Cathedral, Sally Coutts, City of Ottawa Heritage Planner and Jonathan Westeinde, Managing Partner, Windmill Development Group.

This presentation will be in English.

Info: 613-260-7113 or info@heritageottawa.org

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Advance notice: Beechwood Cemetery Lecture


Glenn Wright, BIFHSGO President and local Ottawa historian, tells me he's been tramping through some of the remoter parts of Beechwood Cemetery, exploring some of its early infrastructure, all in preparation for a historical lecture he will be giving for the Friends of the Beechwood Cemetery Foundation on Sunday, September 30, 2012.


The event will take place at Beechwood, the National Cemetery of Canada, 280 Beechwood Ave. The talk will begin at 2:00pm, and will be followed by light refreshments.

Space is limited, so please register by calling 613-741-9530 or emailing info@beechwoodcemetery.com.



Your, and your ancestor's, face in five genes


While we cannot yet(?) recreate a person from a readout of their DNA, genetic information can give insights into some of their physical characteristics. Eye colour and whether ear wax is wet of dry are a couple of the traits revealed by tests through 23andMe.

The authors of a recent paper in PLOS Genetics point out that there can be little doubt theat there is a genetic component to facial morphology as monozygotic (from a single egg) twins look more alike than dizygotic twins or other siblings, and siblings in turn look more alike than unrelated individuals.

The paper "A Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies Five Loci Influencing Facial Morphology in Europeans," correlates DNA data and data obtained from three-dimensional head magnetic resonance images (MRIs) and two-dimensional portrait images for almost ten thousand individuals of European descent. Five candidate genes—PRDM16, PAX3, TP63, C5orf50, and COL17A1—were found to be significant for the morphology of the human face.

An author comments "Perhaps at some time it will be possible to draw a phantom portrait of a person solely from his or her DNA left behind." That could be extended to be from a DNA profile reconstructed from those of multiple descendants.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Deceased Online posts Greenwich Cemetery records

Over half the records (approximately 50,000 burials) for the magnificently situated Greenwich Cemetery will be included on deceasedonline.com; from Friday, 14th Sept and the rest will follow within two weeks or so.

There's more about the cemetery in this blog post and news that Deceased Online will be adding the Council's other three cemeteries at Charlton, Plumstead, and Woolwich later this year. All 210,000 records for Eltham Crematorium are already available at the site.

Ancestry Miscellaneous Warwickshire parish records collection updated


If you know the parish or parishes of a ancestor in Warwickshire this updated collection of miscellaneous parish records from ancestry.co,uk for the 18th–20th centuries may be or interest. They are browse images  - no name index.
The records include:
account books
vestry books
marriage licences
letters
rate books
orders of removal
churchwarden’s books
rents
constable records
papist estates
parish addresses
deeds
logs
minutes
orders.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

A flagship institution of Canadian culture unrecognizable

Earlier this month Distinguished University of Alberta History Professor Ian MacLaren added his voice to the chorus calling on the government to reconsider its tragic and incomprehensible plans for LIbrary and Archives Canada in a letter to the Prime Minister.

"My distress issues out of your government’s gradual, imperilling withdrawal of funding needed for the efficient operation of Library and Archives Canada. The resultant restructuring has been so drastic as to render this flagship institution of Canadian culture almost unrecognizable.
Staff have been cut. Service hours have been reduced. The purchase of materials has been brutally curtailed. Loan policies have been cancelled outright. Scholars from other countries coming to Ottawa to conduct research have had their inquiries go unanswered and their trips to Ottawa end in complete failure to access any records because of the dearth of staff available either to reply to correspondence or to fill standard requests to see records. The organization is in utter disarray. The dismal consensus is that, in a space of a half-dozen years, the library has so deteriorated as to be failing to fulfill its legislated mandate."will will will will 
Read the letter in full at http://bibliocracy-now.tumblr.com/


What you're missing

Not coming to the BIFHSGO conference? Here's what you're missing, courtesy of Wordle.



Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Ancestry adds Great Britain, Masters and Mates Certificates, 1850-1927


There are 280,097 entries in this new database from Ancestry.co.uk containing master and mate certificates issued to merchant seamen by the British Board of Trade.

"The certificates and other documents included in this database were issued to merchant seamen who qualified as masters or mates aboard merchant ships. Records include certificates of competency, certificates of service, examination applications, and other documents. Forms vary, but they may include the following details:
name
certificate number
birth date
birthplace
issue port
issue date
address
examination date
history of service (dates, vessels, occupations, years in service)"
The description warns that "Some of the information is included on the back of the certificates, and some documents in a seaman’s folder have not been indexed, so when you find a record, use the arrows to browse surrounding documents to make sure you see all the records available. You may want to browse through an entire roll since the original folders were sometimes filed in random order."

I searched for a couple of people I knew to be active during the period. One was not found. There were 38 entries for the other lots of multiple entries - on 16 people. While it's good to have image originals some of those entries were of a certificate with scant information. Others gave date and place of birth, a physical description, etc.

BIFHSGO conference speaker interviews

Having trouble deciding which of the two tracks you'll choose at the weekend's BIFHSGO conference? Try listening speaker interviews I had the pleasure of conducting. Click on the speaker's name to start the interview:

Chris Paton (6 min)
Ed Zapletal(11 min)
Tony Bandy (12 min)
Shirley Ann Pyefinch (13 min)
Patricia Whatley (13 min)
Jane Buck (9 min)
Susan Davis (8.5 min)
Lucille Campey (9.5 min)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Something new in family history?

Has any genealogical or family history society tried this before?

On September 13 2012 at 7 pm OGS Niagara Branch, which is gaining a reputation for technological innovation, will be hosting not just a webinar, that's so 2010, but a remote tour of the Buffalo Public Library "LIVE" from Buffalo.

This meeting will be streamed from Buffalo online to Thorold and to branch members worldwide. The Buffalo Library has an extensive collection of genealogical material and online databases which you can only access in their library.

http://www.ogs.on.ca/niagara/

FreeBMD September update

The FreeBMD Database was last updated on Sunday 9 September 2012 to contain 220,463,424 distinct records.
Major additions, more than 5,000 items are, for births: 1939-40, 1942-45, 1955-56, 1958-62; for marriages: 1952-53, 1955, 1960-65; for deaths: 1953, 1956, 1961, 1963-65.

Monday, 10 September 2012

The financial health of Canadian genealogical societies

Each year organizations federally registered as charities in Canada for tax purposes are required to file T3010 returns with the Canada Revenue Agency. Part of the return, including financial information, is available on the Revenue Canada website.

Below is a summary of some bottom line information from the returns filed for 2011, with a comparison to 2010 in parenthesis. These are taken mainly from Schedule 6 but in some cases where that is not available from Section D. Go to http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/lstngs/menu-eng.html and search for "genealogical" or "family history" to see the complete returns.

Summary

Nine societies have 2011 results reported as of 9 September 2012. Data for the New Brunswick Genealogical Society also reported last year were not available. Four had net assets exceeding $100,000. By far the largest was OGS with net assets of nearly $2M. 

All societies reporting had a surplus of revenues over expenditures except for Saskatchewan with a deficit less than $1,000. The Alberta Genealogical Society had the largest surplus.

The Quebec Family History Society had the highest annual membership fee ($65), the Genealogical Society of Nova Scotia the lowest ($30).

The Alberta Genealogical Society
Total assets of $536,466 ($148,681), and liabilities of $200,592 ($24,352). The total revenue was $254,380 ($141,098) of which the major component was revenue received from the provincial government of $140,322 ($76,817). Expenditures totaled $218,231 ($142,518), the total expenditure on management and administration being $124,320 ($65,590). The membership fee was $50.

British Columbia Genealogical Society
Total assets of $203,016 ($199,265) and liabilities of $10,085 ($8,6130). Total revenue was $24,783 ($38,565). That substantial reduction appears to be accounted for by a decrease in sales and in membership. Expenditures totaled $22,502 ($30,964). While the surplus for the year declined net assets continue to climb. The individual annual membership fee was $45.00

British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa Total assets for BIFHSGO were $81,491 ($76,722) and liabilities of $30,562 ($28,490). Total revenue was $51,232 ($51,090) of which $18,455 ($17,855) was from memberships. Expenditures totaled $44,638 ($38,964) with $9,595 ($4,764) spent on management and administration. The membership fee was $35 and is increased to $40 for 2013.

Manitoba Genealogical Society
Total assets of $50,743 ($45,448) and liabilities of $22,458 ($15,083). Total revenue was $60,780 ($57,240). Expenditures totaled $59,162 ($58,222) of which management and administration accounted for $4,442 ($5,002).

New Brunswick Genealogical Society
2011 return not posted as of 9 September 2012. The annual membership fee was $35.

Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2012, GANS had total assets of $303,274 ($303,274) and no reported liabilities. Total revenue was $32,549 ($23,058 ). Total expenditures were $30,717 ($30,317). The Association's annual membership fee remains at $30.00.

Ontario Genealogical Society
Total assets of $ 2,324,973 ($2,574,939) of which $1,480,530 ($1,682,525) was held as cash bank accounts and short-term investments. Liabilities totaled ($246,412) $391,261. Total revenue was $ 621,393 ($641,731) including $297,991 ($320,678) from memberships. Expenditures totaled $617,151 ($628,220) of which $136,994 ($97,800) was spent on management and administration. The 2012 annual membership fee was $60 plus any fee for branch membership, typically $15.

Québec Family History Society
Total assets of $ 65,742 ($54,811) of which $49,056 ($48,993) was held as cash bank accounts and short-term investments. Liabilities totaled $ 7,899 ($10,514). Total revenue was $ 60,623 ($49,625) the largest component of which, $34,440 ($34,893) was for memberships. Expenditures totaled $47,420 ($50,679) including $28,886 ($22,571) for occupancy costs. There were no costs for management and administration. The annual fee was $65.

Saskatchewan Genealogical Society
Total assets of $ 46,921 ($100,126). Liabilities totaled $ 65,054 ($117,710). Total revenue of $261,767 ( $229,058) included $146,050 ( $135,000) from provincial government sources. Expenditures of $262,316 ($245,275) included $170,572 ($172,835) for management and administration. A regular family membership was $40.00, $50.00 with access to Society databases online.

Victoria Genealogical Society
Total assets of $24,786 ($197,975) and no liabilities ($57,349). Total revenue was N/A ($32,836). Expenditures totaled $35,790 ($32,490). Individual annual membership was $50.

New British Columbia civil registration records at FamilySearch


Family Search have updated their collection of British Columbia BMDs. Birth Registrations are now 1854-1903, 11,809 entries. Marriage Registrations are 1859-1932, 124,593 entries. Death Registrations are 1872-1986 with 898,889 entries.



Sunday, 9 September 2012

Music From the Glen

A regular Sunday appointment for me is Music From the Glen which airs starting at 11:30am for 90 minutes on CKCU radio in Ottawa. The program plays traditional music from the British Isles and beyond. 
This week host Gordon Peeling gave a shout out to the BIFHSGO conference toward the end of the program and played a request of mine. Thank you Gordon.
You can listen to the program for 30 days using the CKCU on Demand facility via http://www.musicfromtheglen.ca/

Ancestry adds Dorset, England, Tithe Apportion and Maps, 1835-1850

Lost in the bonanza of documents posted last Thursday by Ancestry, most with a few hundred records, was Dorset, England, Tithe Apportion and Maps, 1835-1850 with 178,292 records.
Search them, they are indexed, for the names of Dorset land owners and occupiers, as well as a brief description of the land. They’re particularly valuable because they can show you exactly where an ancestor lived.

Ancestry resources for Cambridge and Oxford universities


The bonanza addition by Ancestry last Thursday included three items for Oxford university, indicated in bold below. The additions are annotated with the number of records, which in the case non-searchable publications means the number of pages.

Here's a collection of resources of genealogical interest for both Cambridge and Oxford universities in Ancestry collection.

Cambridge University Alumni, 1261-1900, 151,053 records
Register of Admissions to King's College Cambridge 1850-1900, 284 pages
Blue book of Cambridge for 1895, 260 pages

Oxford University Alumni, 1500-1886, 122,726 records
Oxford Men and Their Colleges, 1880-1892, 2 Volumes, 990 pages

Memorials of Oxford, Ingram (3 vols), 953 pages
A Register of the Alumni of Keble College Oxford from 1870 to 1925, 576 pages
Oxford - Brasenose College Register 1509-1909, 364 pages

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Heritage Ottawa September walking tours

Heritage Ottawa is offering three walking tours in September:

Village of Cumberland * (new tour)
September 9, 2:00 pm - MEET: Maple Hall, 2552 Old Montreal Road, Cumberland
$10.00 ($5.00 for Heritage Ottawa members)
Cumberland Village traces its beginnings back to the earliest days of settlement in the Ottawa Valley.  Explore how transportation changed village life from when river traffic was king until the coming of the automobile.  Heritage Ottawa is pleased to partner with the Cumberland Township Historical Society and Cumberland Heritage Village Museum for a heritage tour of the Village of Cumberland.   Extend your tour to view the historic buildings relocated from throughout the Township to the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum site. Tour participants will receive reduced admission to the Museum. Light refreshments will be available for purchase.
GUIDES: Dorothy-Jane Smith and Jean François Beaulieu are local historians and Cumberland Township Historical Society executive members
Info: 613-230-8841 or www.heritageottawa.org
NOTE:  Cumberland Township Historical Society members are eligible for the Heritage Ottawa members’ tour rate of $5.00

Clemow Avenue Driveway: Ottawa's Forgotten Architectural Gem (new tour)
September 16, 2:00 pm - MEET: Patterson Creek Pavilion near Linden Terrace and Queen Elizabeth Driveway
$10.00 ($5.00 for Heritage Ottawa members)
A little over a century ago, the Ottawa Improvement Commission set out to beautify Ottawa to make it look more like a capital city.  In keeping with the ideals of Frederick Law Olmstead, whose model for architectural and landscape design worked wonders in Washington D.C., the OIC built landscaped scenic driveways along the Rideau Canal and other prominent Ottawa roads.  An overlooked feature of the system is Clemow Avenue, first conceived in 1903. The Clemow Avenue Driveway, which included a section of Monkland Avenue, extended west from the Queen Elizabeth Driveway near the canal to Bronson Avenue and Dow’s Lake.  Intended as a ceremonial route, it was set up as a wide boulevard, with rows of trees and large houses set well back from the street.
GUIDE:  Andrew Elliott, writer, archivist and architectural historian, is working on a community history research project for Clemow Avenue and nearby streets.                              

Info: 613-230-8841 or www.heritageottawa.org

Lowertown East
September 23, 2:00 pm – MEET: École Secondaire de La Salle, Old St. Patrick and Beausoleil, (#1 bus route)
$10.00 ($5.00 for Heritage Ottawa members)
Lowertown East, bounded by Rideau, King Edward, St. Patrick and the Rideau River, has been home to many important religious, residential and civic buildings. Despite a controversial 1970’s urban redevelopment, it is a walkable neighbourhood with a strong multicultural history, five designated heritage buildings, works by important Ottawa architects and a former city cemetery.

GUIDE: David Jeanes, urban activist and long-time resident of Ottawa.

Info: 613-230-8841 or www.heritageottawa.org


FMP adds St Mary's Rotherhithe and St Paul's Rotherhithe records


A small collection of transcriptions from the Surrey parishes of  St Mary's Rotherhithe and St Paul's Rotherhithe consisting of 5,284 baptisms between 1850 and 1900, and 490 marriages between 1870 and 1885.

Rotherhithe is now part of the London Borough of Southwark.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Quinte Branch OGS adds over 100,000 names to local index


Those with a family history research interest in the Belleville - Trenton - Prince Edward County area of Ontario may finding new information by searching the OGS Quinte Branch index with over 1.1 million entries. Last month an additional 105,000 entries were added from local histories, directories and genealogies.

"This growing database includes names from the hundreds of genealogies, family histories, pedigree charts, cemetery transcriptions, local newspaper indexes and many of the published works in the Quinte Genealogy Centre research library such as business and residential directories, local histories, parish register transcripts, surrogate court wills and funeral cards." 

Go to  www.snaphosting.ca/quinteogs/ for further help and to search.