Another post on YouTube of a first class presentation from the DNA Lectures at Who Do You Think You Are 2014. This one, given by media savvy Andrew Robertshaw, somewhat ironically, emphasizes that DNA (mitochondrial), when used at all, is often only supplementary evidence. The presentation with questions runs for just over one hour, with a long tail of extraneous material. See it at http://youtu.be/MPupX-d4s74
Friday, 28 February 2014
Thursday, 27 February 2014
Thanks for the tip to Gail of Genealogy à la carte.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
A friend called to say she had been contacted by Finders, a London based heir hunting company, about a recently deceased relative. That's not a situation I ever expect to find myself in, but then neither did she.
The company, which has an informative web site, were very interested to sign her up, and seemed to be in considerable hurry to do so. Their cut would be an industry standard 20% of the inheritance. She asked my advice and, naturally, I was interested so did a little Googling.
A blog post on the Your Family Tree website recounts one person's quite favourable experience with the company.
The Society of Genealogists has a useful brochure, also available online, at What Should You do if Approached by Heir Hunters?
The Finders website provide information on their staff. What struck me as odd is that not one of them have a genealogical accreditation. One is an APG and SOG member, but neither of those require passing any kind of a test. Yet many of the others have had years of experience and success in heir hunting, which means they've proved their expertise to the satisfaction of the legal system.
What's the value of the professional qualification given by AGRA in the UK, and similar organizations elsewhere, if one of the most lucrative jobs calling for genealogical skills has no need for the qualification?
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
The 2014 International Genetic Genealogy Conference is to be held August 15, 16 and 17, 2014 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The advertised speakers include many of the most knowledgeable genetic genealogists and population geneticists from around the world.
The organizer, the Institute for Genetic Genealogy, is a new independent, non-profit organization founded in 2014 with the express purposes of organizing educational conferences focused on the genetic genealogy field and funding genealogical and anthropological genetic testing and research, founded by Dr. Tim Janzen and CeCe Moore.
As Washington is much closer than Southern California and the SCGS event in June with its associated genetic genealogy event, I'm now looking at this August event as my preferred option for a US conference this year.
Further information is at http://i4gg.org/
Recordings of five live presentations given at the Family Tree DNA Theatre at last week's Who Do You Think You Are? Live event in London have been posted on YouTube by Maurice Gleeson.
Overview presentations given are:
The Basics of DNA Testing (Katherine Borges)
DNA for Beginners - the three tests (Debbie Kennett)
Autosomal DNA - a step-by-step approach to analysing your atDNA matches (Maurice Gleeson)
Regionally specific presentations available are:
Scottish DNA - Clans, Families, and Surnames (Alasdair Macdonald)
Wales, DNA & Surnames (Brian Swann)
As these were recorded at the live event with lots of background noise the audio quality leaves much to be desired.
Depending on your familiarity with accents you may have additional difficulty, I found the presentation by Alistair Macdonald combined with the background noise a real challenge.
Brian Swann's presentation, which dealt with Y-DNA and complementary Welsh documentary resources, was especially well done although marred by running into loudspeaker announcements of the end of the event toward the presentation's end.
Today marks the centenary of the death of the illustrator for those classics, John Tenniel, described as "one of Victorian England’s most published illustrators, but as a Punch cartoonist he became one of the “supreme social observers” of British society, and an integral component of a powerful journalistic force."
Read an comprehensive article on Tenniel in Wikipedia.
He died in London leaving an estate of over 10,000 pounds and is buried at London's Kensal Green cemetery, with burial records available at deceasedonline.com.
Monday, 24 February 2014
Gail Dever posts a suggestion on her Genealogy à la carte blog of a "great way for a genealogy society to encourage its experts, who may be reluctant to make a formal presentation, to share their knowledge in an informal setting."
Many societies agonize about getting volunteers. This is a way to get people involved in a relatively painless way. Once involved their foot is on a slippery slope, there's a chance the commitment of at least some will grow to the point where they will become serial volunteers.
Read Gail's post at http://goo.gl/Y0cYan
The Society of Genealogists have posted a selection of handouts from presentations at the 2014 event just ended at http://www.sog.org.uk/learn/who-do-you-think-you-are-live-2014-speakers-handouts/
Presently available are:
Gill Blanchard (Thursday 20 Feb 2014) Our Ancestors' Homes. Where they lived and what their homes were like.
Else Churchill (Thursday 20 Feb 2014) What's been done before? Finding Pedigrees Online and at the Society of Genealogists
Else Churchill (Friday 21 Feb 2014) What Next? Pre 1837 Parish Registers in the Archives, Online and at the Society of Genealogists
Janet Few (Saturday 22 Feb 2014) Putting Your Ancestors in their Place - Sources for reconstructing nineteenth century communities
Janet Few (Friday 21 Feb 2014) A-Z of Family History. An alphabetical journey through some less well known sources
Mark E Gardner (Thursday 20 Feb 2014) How FamilySearch Can Help You Locate Your Ancestors
Mark E Gardner (Thursday 20 Feb 2014) Tips for Using British Records
Michael Tobias (Thursday 20 Feb 2014) Researching Your Jewish Ancestors
The following have been added
John Hanson (Friday 21 Feb 2014) Why Pay? The Top Free Alternative Websites for Family History
John Hanson (Saturday Feb 22 2014) Why Cant I Find Them in the Civil Registration Indexes?
Celia Heritage (Thursday 20 Feb 2014) Newspapers for Family History
Celia Heritage (Saturday 22 Feb 2014) Wills:Not Just a Source for Our Better Off Ancestors
Daniel Horowitz (Thursday 20 Feb 2014) How Can I Share and Preserve Memories in the the Digital Era
Roz McCutcheon (Friday 21 Feb 2014) The Poor Laws and the Irish Poor
Eileen M. Ó Dúill (Saturday 22 Feb 2014) Moving from Amateur to Professional Genealogist: Are You Ready?
Frank Pleszack (Thursday 20 Feb 2014) The Little Known Battle of Lake Narocz
Sunday, 23 February 2014
The FreeBMD Database was updated on Friday 21 Feb 2014 to contain 236,152,668 distinct records.
Major changess, more than 5,000 additions, for this update are: for births 1940, 1943, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964-66, 1968-70; for marriages 1962, 1964-68, 1970; for deaths 1967, 1969-71.
BIFHSGO's Brian O'Reagan Memorial Library located at the city of Ottawa Archives, continues to grow by purchase and, importantly, by donation. Here are some of the latest acquisitions.
Cornish mining: the techniques of metal mining in the West of England, past and present, by Bryan Earl, published by D Bradford Barton
DNA and social networking: a guide to genealogy in the 21st century, by Debbie Kennett, published by The History Press
Doomsday book: Devon (History from the Sources) Vol. 9 Part 2, edited by John Morris, Caroline Thorn et al, pub;lished by Phillimore
The Durford cartulary (Sussex Record Society/ Volume 90) edited by Janet E. Srevenson, published by the Sussex Records Society
East Sussex coroners' records 1638-1838 (Sussex Records Society/ Volume 89) edited by R. F. Hunnisett
East Sussex Parliamentary deposited plans 1799-1970: schemes for railways, canals, harbours, roads, tramways, peers and public utilities (Sussex Record Society/Volume 87)
The history of Wales, revised edition, by John Davies, published by Penguin
Marriage law for genealogists: the definitive guide ... what everyone tracing their family history needs to know about where, when, and how their English and Welsh ancestors married, by Rebecca Probert published by Takeaway
The McHenry family history comes to life: beginning with Daniel McHenry (1817 – 1885) by Barbara Sue Baker, privately published
The people of Penryn in the 17th century, by June Palmer, privately published
Poldark's Cornwall, by Winston Graham, published by Webb and Bower
Sussex cricket in the 18th century (Sussex Record Society/Volume 88), published by the Sussex Record Society
Sussex depicted: views and descriptions 1600-1800, by John H Farrant, published by the Sussex Record Society
Sussex shore to Flanders fields: Edward Heron-Allen's Journal of the Great War (Sussex Record Society/Volume 86), by Edward Heron-Allen, edited by Brian W Fitzgerald, published by the Sussex Records Society
Tin and tin mining, by R. L. Atkinson, published by Shire Publications
Truro during the Napoleonic Wars, by June Palmer, published by Allan Bell & Company
Welsh genealogy, by Bruce Durie, published by The History Press
Thanks to BIFHSGO Librarian Betty Warburton for the information
Saturday, 22 February 2014
The new Canada, Seafarers of the Atlantic Provinces, 1860-1899 database from Ancestry comprises 282,032 records. The source is Index of Surnames from the Ships and Seafarers of Atlantic Canada. CD-ROM. Maritime History Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.
This index-only collection, containing records of crew members, masters, and ship owners for vessels registered in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island is fully searchable by name, and other particulars.
The records include birth and residence, rank, voyage departure and arrival places and dates, vessel name and registration, and even wages and deaths at sea.
Records for the following ports are included:
Miramichi, New Brunswick (1828–1914)
Richibucto, New Brunswick (1880–1914)
Saint John, New Brunswick (1820–1914)
St. John’s, Newfoundland (1820–1936)
Halifax, Nova Scotia (1812–1889)
Sydney, Nova Scotia (1820–1914)
Pictou, Nova Scotia (1820–1914)
Windsor, Nova Scotia (1849–1914)
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia (1840–1914)
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (1787–1914)
Those included are not just from Atlantic Canada, a wide variety of birthplaces are given:
Canada 40,790; England 32,686; USA 19,583; Ireland 13,769; Sweden 12,906; Scotland 12,352; Germany 11,517; Norway 10,915; Finland 5,572; France 3,837; Denmark 3,621; Netherlands 3,116; Wales 2,882; Russia 1,337 - that's along with many with no birth information given.
If you're in Toronto on Monday February 24th, 2014 I highly recommend taking in the talk by award-winning journalist Carolyn Abraham "The Juggler’s Children: A Journey into Family, Legend and the Genes that Bind"
I had the opportunity to hear this talk in Ottawa last fall and would be happy to hear it again. She discuss the research – primarily in India and Jamaica – including the use of DNA, behind her family history memoir The Juggler’s Children.
Her interview on TVO is below
The meeting gets underway at 7:30 pm at the North York Memorial Hall, 5110 Yonge Street, Toronto
Information at http://torontofamilyhistory.org/
Friday, 21 February 2014
Just in from Lost Cousins, news of free access to Ancestry.co.uk and Lost Cousins this weekend. See the details at http://lostcousins.com/newsletters/showspecial14news.htm
Back in October 2012 when Ancestry first made available the database Canada Voters Lists, 1935-1980 there were a bit over 88 million entries. Now the database is updated and there are ... OVER 95 MILLION. That means hundreds of thousands of additional entries for each election.
For a detailed discussion of this database refer to my previous post.
You can browse page by page or search the full text of 579 books from the 1840s to the 1930s, particularly rich from the 1860s to 1880s. Try family surnames and places. I found an Ordish, one of my family names, in a directory that included California.
Dave Mullington's latest project, a book titled “To Be Continued… A short history of the Historical Society of Ottawa” will be launched in the downstairs auditorium of the Ottawa Public Library’s Main Branch, 120 Metcalfe Street (corner Laurier Ave. West) at 2:00 PM, Saturday, February 22.
Dave, whose previous works dealing with the city’s history include “Chain of Office: Biographical Sketches of the Early Mayors of Ottawa (1847-1948)” and “Charlotte: The Last Suffragette,” will read from his latest work and discuss some of the Society’s more important moments.
Thursday, 20 February 2014
As we know, gravestones are very important for genealogy due to the rich information they contain, such as names, dates and biographical details. But there are thousands of cemeteries worldwide whose gravestones have never been documented nor has their information been made available or searchable online.In addition, time is chipping away at the gravestones and many are becoming unreadable over the years.Over the next few years, we’ll be working with our global community to preserve and document gravestones worldwide, for future generations, using the BillionGraves app. The app uses patent-pending technology to let users photograph and document gravestones, and, with the help of MyHeritage, the app will be available in 25 languages, and will support Gregorian, Hebrew and Julian dates. The app also records the GPS locations of gravestones to make them easy to find, and volunteers can easily see which areas of any cemetery remain undocumented, to maximize efficiency and avoid duplication.The records will be available free on BillionGraves' website, and MyHeritage's search engine for historical records, SuperSearch. MyHeritage's Record Matching technologies will ensure that our users will receive notifications whenever a gravestone matches their family tree.
The posters cover a variety of subjects including recruitment and enlisting, savings stamps, savings and victory bonds, women, agriculture, and munitions. They form part of the UBC Rare Books and Special Collections Pamphlet Collection.
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
There's a new kid on the block! More precisely, there's a new Canadian genealogy blog.
Welcome to the blogosphere with Genealogy à la carte Gail!
I've mentioned Gail Dever, Montreal resident, BIFHSGO webmaster, before as she has provided lots of tips for Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections.
Gail writes that "my blog is based on conversations I have with friends like you over lunch, coffee -- and via email. It is about family history news, resources, trends, issues, education, and the occasional story, all from a Montreal point de vue. While many of the posts will be about Quebec genealogy, the focus of the blog will not be limited to Quebec."
Gail's most recent post illustrates the last point. "eBay offers hundreds of old photos of Montreal" may be focused on her search for a photo of an ancestor's shop but the idea of embracing eBay as a tool to assist your family history search can be applied by us all.
You can easily subscribe to receive posts by email as I just did.
It's great to see the blossoming of family history blogs by BIFHSGO members, each with a unique perspective:
Elizabeth Kipp's English Research from Canada
Elizabeth Lapointe's Canadian Genealogy
Ken McKinlay's Family Tree Knots
Gail Dever's Genealogy à la carte
Did I miss anyone?
New this month at Welsh Newspapers Online BETA, 27 publications added, making a total of 6.8 million articles and 630,000 pages available for free. I was delighted to find details on weddings and funerals for my Carmarthen ancestors, and reporting of the kind of incident you'd never look for - the return of my greatgrandfather's silver watch which had been lost or otherwise gone astray.
Of 77 responses to the quick survey posted on February 11th regarding RootsTech in Salt Lake City in 2014 only 2 respondents had attended in person.
32 respondents, 43%, had watched a streamed presentation.
64, that's 84%, intended watching archived presentations.
33 respondents left comments. Here they are, unedited:
- The streamed presentations were great, thanks. A much better experience than attending in person in 2013.
- Would like to attend but don't leave home in the winter as travel can be too iffy! I've encountered snow in SLC in both late April and early October but in both cases it disappeared quickly. SLIG is also something I'd like to attend but not as long as it's held in the winter.
- Biggest yet, but in a bigger venue so did not feel cramped. Too many keynote speakers per session, lessens the impast of each. Less 'buzz' in the media hub that usual, possibly due to absence of Thomas McEntee, Dick Eastman and Jill Ball.
- Very grateful to watch some of these great presentations!
- The streamed presentations I watched were excellent.
- Large crowds limit interaction
- Presentations streamed live we're excellent. The zipped files of speaker notes will provide helpful information for a long time.
- I can't attend in person and I appreciate having the sessions archived for us.
- Really enjoyed the Speakers! Great content! Really nice from my sofa.
- Streamed presentations were great for those of us who could not make it. More recorded presentations would be even better.
- I just can't get as excited about RootsTech as the people on the platform did.
- Someone said www.geni.com was free--yes, free to put in your own details, but one pays through the nose to latch on to other people's information. Let's get our facts straight.
- Good quality presentations - enjoyed them very much. We had some "time-lag" problems, so not sure if these were a technical problem from the source, or our own internet service provider not having enough band-width, but all-in-all,another great experience. A minor nit,however, and that was some presentations were a bit late in starting, from their scheduled times.
- We had technical problems with 2 of the streamed ones - One had the speaker freeze part-way though. The one about doing genealogy in your sleep never even started. But we enjoyed the ones we did see.
- Would've attended but the timing was bad for me.
- I wish it weren't so far away so that I could afford to go. I do enjoy reading the blogs and I'll catch up with archived presentations.
- How about a RootsTech in Europe? EurootsTech??
- If I hear hag they (eg through Anglo-Ceeltic) then I might attend.
- I am new to this group and look foreward to learning more.
- The quality of online streaming gets better each year of RootsTech and is extremely helpful to those who do not travel. As one of the 20,000+ thousands online, I really appreciate the streamed videos as my means of attending the conference and sense of being there. A big Thank You! to all!
- I'd like to watch archived RootsTech 2014 presentations but the technology used by RootsTech doesn't work and there's no support. On trying to watch an archived video I get the message: The error you have encountered is caused by a failure to connect to vital video content services. I've looked at http://admin.brightcove.com/connect_failed.html but that hasn't helped.
- I really appreciate having the syllabus material available for download. How generous of everyone involved to provide so many sessions AND all the notes FOR FREE! What an opportunity to learn!
- So many exciting developments continue to unfold.
- keep up the good work
- Thank you for sharing through streamed and archived presentations.
- Very Informative and so grateful that we are able to watch live stream and view the archibed sessions.
- I wish there were choices on who we watch for the live streaming.
- The presentations that were streamed seemed to be the most "popular" i.e. basic ones.
- Thanks for sharing the streamed presentations. I greatly appreciate it.
- I get the impression that, like many kinds of conferences, there are at least two groups of potential attendees: the amateurs, like myself, who get as much out of watching and/or reading presentations on the web; and, the pros and bloggers who have the opportunity to 'network' in person.
- Planning to read all the blogs, then decide what to watch in full.
- Program looked vey unexciting.
- Superb! Had a great time.
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Following up on last Friday's post, the Aberdeenshire burial grounds and cemeteries newly available at Deceased Online are: Belhelvie, Essie, Forbes, Glass, Huntley, Kinnior, Kinnernie, Leslie, Midmar, Oyne, Rhynie, Ruthven, Slains, Tullynessle, Wallakirk, Ythanwells.
These are in addition to the Peterhead Cemetery, Constitution Street, and St Peter's Churchyard, West Links, Peterhead previously added.
Thanks to Susan (Aye), who points out that subscriptions are coming to the site soon, for the tip.
On the morning of Friday May 2 at OGS conference 2014 (pdf) I'll be leading participants through a workshop Autosomal DNA for Genealogy
As described in the conference brochure:
DNA testing is the latest technique for exploring your genealogy. Following a brief overview of DNA for genealogy the workshop will explore what can be learned from the Family Finder test offered by FTDNA (www.ftdna.com) or the test available from 23andMe (www.23andme.com).The 12 weeks in advance is passed but you stand a good chance of receiving results if you order your test right away. Given the embargo on health results from 23andMe I presently recommend the Family Finder test from Family Tree DNA.
To get maximum benefit from the workshop you should have your autosomal DNA test results available with interactive access during the session (wi-fi available). Allow 12 weeks from ordering the test to obtain results.
If you're uncertain about whether you could benefit, have questions, or just want to let me know you're attending, feel free to email johndreid at gmail dot com.
From Wednesday February 11, 1914
Secret Drinking Among Women – Practice Condemned by Stockport Magistrates
At Stockport Brewster Sessions, to-day, the Chief Constable (M. F. Brindley) reported that during the past year there has been 483 prosecutions for drunkenness, as against 512 in the preceding year. Drunkenness was not nearly so rife as it was twenty years ago, or even 10 years ago. Compared with other towns Stockport could not be classified as one of the most drunken towns.
It was pointed out that the police had practically no control over the clubs, of which there were 49, with a total membership of 6,570. Then there are canvassers from breweries going from door to door, and inducing women to give them orders for some consumption, as it is styled.
In the opinion of the Chief Constable, the safest remedy for reducing drunkenness would be to put a check upon the present sources for the secret supply of intoxicating liquors to females. It would keep many weak-willed women from indulging so freely in secret as was now too often the case, and consequently their homes, husbands and children would get more attention.
Thanks to Hugh Reekie for the tip.
Monday, 17 February 2014
Although the gene, or genes, responsible remain elusive to science experience tells that we genealogists have traits in common:
- we love sharing our family history stories,
- we look to save money; offer a discount and if at all interested we pounce,
- we procrastinate, as if a competition existed, the winner being the one to join in as late as possible without missing out on anything.Family history conference organisers take advantage by offering a sharing opportunities and advance registration discounts.
That's what's happening now with the OGS Conference (link is to pdf conference brochure) being staged in St Catharines, 1-4 May. Early birds save $20 on registrations by the end of February.
That's also the case for OGS Ottawa Branch's GENE-O-RAMA 2014, March 21-22, being held at the Confederation Education Centre, 1645 Woodroffe Avenue, Ottawa. Save $5 by registering before 28 February.
Don`t forget the other deadline for saving, on an Ancestry.ca subscription.
Heritage Day is a nationwide celebration encouraging all Canadians to explore their local heritage, to get involved with stewardship and advocacy groups, and to visit museums, archives and places of architectural significance.
In Ottawa members of the public will mingle with heritage exhibitors and costumed characters, enjoy live music, and learn about services, public programs and special initiatives offered by Ottawa’s heritage organizations and communities on Tuesday, February 18 from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm at Jean Pigott Hall, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West.
Ottawa's genealogical groups are part of the celebrations. Come celebrate with us
Sunday, 16 February 2014
35% off an Ancestry subscription is a good deal, and the offer is available only until 11:59 p.m. (ET) February 17th, 2014.
World Deluxe Annual Membership is available at the special offer price: $191.88, billed in one payment and valid for the first 12-months of membership.
Canada Deluxe Annual Membership is special offer price: $77.61, billed in one payment and valid for the first 12-months of membership.
Subscribe by calling 1-800-958-9073 with your credit card at hand between 9am - 11pm EST
Grants of up to $2,500 each are available to support genealogically related projects within the geographical area of OGS Ottawa Branch. The total grant money available for 2014 is $5,000. Applicants must be a non - commercial entity, which includes, genealogy societies, museums, archives, libraries, schools, historical societies, and community groups. The application deadline is March 15 , 2014.
Check out the Call for Proposals and the Application Form (pdf).
Saturday, 15 February 2014
The National Archives can confirm that the fire which affected the two disused water towers external to the main building is now out. The London Fire Brigade were called out at approximately 12:30 GMT and quickly controlled and extinguished the fire. No-one was hurt or injured and there is no damage to the main building or any documents.
Clem Brohier, Acting Chief Executive and Keeper, said:
'The most important thing is that no one was hurt and no documents were damaged in this incident. I have seen for myself today how quickly the London Fire Brigade got here and how staff from The National Archives swiftly put our incident plan into action and the public responded calmly and helpfully.'
The National Archives is now closed for the weekend and will reopen to the public on Tuesday 18 February, as usual.
Access over 60,000 electronic index records of interments more than 25 years ago in Edmonton Municipal Cemeteries at http://webproxy.edmonton.ca/external/cemeteries/default.aspx
Search by name first and/or last. You can limit to one of six cemeteries, Cloverbar, Mount Pleasant, Edmonton, Beechmount, Little Mountain and South Haven. Information returned is Last Name, First Name, Burial Date, Cemetery Section and, Block and Plot where available.
This information is also accessible by search on Ancestry.ca through a web link.
Friday, 14 February 2014
The first batch of records for a huge new dataset, Aberdeenshire Council in North East Scotland, start to come online at Deceased Online on Friday. The Council manages over 200 cemeteries and burial sites in one of the largest areas in Scotland. Records will be for all burials in all lairs, in all 200+ locations.
From the new to me English site Abroad in the Yard, a fascinating historical collection, comes 67 Quotes for Genetic Genealogists - compiled by Sanda Rimmer. Here are three:
33. “In genealogy you might say that interest lies in the eye of the gene holder. The actual descendants are far more intrigued with it all than the listeners, who quickly sink into a narcoleptic coma after the second or third great-great-somebody kills a bear or beheads Charles I, invents the safety pin or strip-mines Poland, catalogues slime molds, dances flamenco, or falls in love with a sheep. Genealogy is a forced march through stories..." Ellen Meloy
46. “Even if I had convict ancestry, I wouldn’t be ashamed of it. As far as I’m concerned, the real criminals back in those days weren’t twelve year old boys nicking a loaf of bread or a pair of socks to ward off hunger and blisters. No, it was those who exploited them; keeping the battler in the gutter while they sat around in their manors, sipping tea and admiring portraits of their toffee-nosed great grandfathers.” Cameron Trost
63. “…all the dutiful grandchildren and great-grandchildren lingering over deathbeds with digital recorders, or else mechanically pursuing their ancestors through the online genealogy sites at three in the morning, so very eager to reconstitute the lives and thoughts of dead and soon-to-dead men, though they may regularly screen the phone calls of their own mothers. I am of that generation. I will do anything for my family except see them.” Zadie Smith
Thursday, 13 February 2014
On Saturday, February 15th OGS Kingston Branch will hold its Annual General Meeting followed by a presentation by Nancy Cutway on Genealogical Research at Queen's University's Libraries. The meeting is at the Central Branch, Kingston Frontenac Public Library, 130 Johnson Street, Kingston, beginning at 10 a.m.
On the same day Quinte Branch will show a digital presentation by Geoff Rasmussen "Digital Images: Scanning, Editing and Preserving Your Photos." Learn how to correctly digitize your documents and photos, which resolution (dpi) to choose, which file types are the best (jpg, tif, etc.) and how to fix, repair, or enhance your digital image collections. The meeting at Quinte West City Hall Library
7 Creswell Drive, Trenton, Ontario starts at 1 p.m.
Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Tuesday, 11 February 2014
This FamilySearch collection, United Kingdom, World War I Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920, contains records of 7,000 women who joined the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) between 1917 and 1920. The records are from series WO 398 at the National Archives and contain enrollment forms, statements of service, and other documents pertaining to their service.
There are 264,610 browse images in total organized into sections alphabetically by surname. You may likely find: name, date of birth, place of birth, residence, marital status, number of children (if married), occupation, age, date of enlistment.
The actual record images are viewable only at Family History Centres or to signed-in members of supporting organizations.
Want more information about the contents? There's a FamilySearch wiki entry that includes a sample of the file for Annie Bew who served in France in catering services. A TNA Discovery search reveals a WAAC record for Annie, available online for a £3.36 fee. The search could save you a fruitless trip to the local FHC.
Historical Property Records Go Online
The Valuation Rolls of 1885 offer genealogists and ot her history researchers a fascinating picture of Victorian Scottish society, including figures ranging from William McGonagall to Dr Sophia Jex-Blake
Property records containing the names and addresses of more than 1.4 million people living in Scotland in 1885 will be released on ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk, the government’s family history website, at 9am (4am EST) on Tuesday 11 February.
Called Valuation Rolls, the new records comprise over 77,000 digital images taken from 144 volumes, and cover every type of property which was assessed as having a rateable value in 1885. As the records include details of owners, tenants and occupiers of property, they offer historians and genealogists an excellent online resource for researching Scottish society in the late Victorian age.
Visitors to the website will be able to search the 1885 Valuation Rolls by name and address, with the records listing the names of owners, tenants and occupiers of each property - in many cases occupations are also included. Since the Rolls list every type of rateable property in Scotland, these new records include people from all the social classes.
Some famous episodes in Scottish history can be traced using the Rolls. As the 1880s witnessed mass protests by crofters in the Highlands and Islands, ScotlandsPeople researchers looked at Rolls that contain the names and addresses of people who were imprisoned following the ‘Battle of the Braes’ on Skye in 1883.
Dr Sophia Jex-Blake, one of the first female medical students of Edinburgh University, was running her pioneering medical practice in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, for the benefit of women and children, and the Rolls reveal that she owned the house in Grove Street that was rented by her out-patient clinic, the Edinburgh Provident Dispensary for Women and Children.
Elsewhere in the Capital tenants were moving into Well Court in the Dean Village, a new housing development for the working class paid for by John Ritchie Findlay, proprietor of The Scotsman. Meanwhile his more famous project of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Queen Street was still under construction, and was valued at only £40.
Perhaps the only person who is listed in the Rolls as a ‘poet’ is William McGonagall, living in humble rented accommodation in Dundee, where he eked out a precarious livelihood performing his work and working as a weaver. Elsewhere in the town William Arrol, the famous engineer, was supervising the building of the replacement Tay Bridge, following the destruction of the first bridge in 1879. He had moved temporarily from Glasgow during the contract.
The 1885 Valuation Rolls will be available on the ScotlandsPeople website, at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh, and at local family history centres in Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Hawick and Inverness.
Monday, 10 February 2014
Open to all under 22 years of age at the closing date, the first competition invites you to write about any aspect of your family history.
For BIFHSGO members only, the second competition invites you to write about your family, or part of your family, with British Isles roots.
There is an entry form which must be completed and submitted with your entry. Read the writing competition flyer for further details.
I caught the latter part of two streamed presentation from RootsTech on Saturday.
Rockstar genealogist Josh Taylor presented on Information Overload: Managing Online Searches and Their Results. There's a comprehensive handout at https://rootstech.org/wp-content/uploads/sessionfiles/GS1375/GS1375_Taylor.pdf. I tuned in as he was mentioning the search engine Yippy, which he'd apparently given more attention to earlier in the presentation. I tried it at www.yippy.com. A search for my relative Thomas Fairman Ordish returned only two results whereas Google returned many more. No wonder in the remainder of his talk Josh spoke of different protocols for Google searches.
I also caught the end of the following streamed presentation, by Randy Whited, A Beginner’s Guide to Going Paperless. In the short part I saw he was comparing the free cloud storage available from different sources, including for photos. It's one I'll be wanting to view in its entirety when online. Three presentations from the conference are already available at rootstech.org and others are promised "very soon".
Sunday, 9 February 2014
Saturday, 8 February 2014
Many of the more than 10,000 people who served at the super-secret WW1I codebreaking centre at Bletchley Park went to their graves without revealing their involvement. You may be surprised, as I was, to find a relative, in my case a first cousin once removed, by searching the Roll of Honour.
Footsteps of archaic humans, dated to between ca. 1 million and 0.78 million years ago have been found on the shores of Happisburgh, Norfolk, England.
The find is reported in PLOS One Hominin Footprints from Early Pleistocene Deposits at Happisburgh, UK which examines the footprints exposed over the last two years as winter storms eroded the seaside cliffs. Subsequent storms have washed the prints away but they are well recorded photographically, and further erosion may well reveal new evidence.
Stone tools found at Happisburgh dating from about the same period are part of an exhibit "Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story" at London's Natural History Museum opening next week and running to September.
See BBC articles here and here
Friday, 7 February 2014
The following is an announcement from the Essex Record Office:
ERO’s online subscription service for digital images of Essex parish registers and wills, has undergone its next major update. The service now includes parish registers from the ancient parishes of Chingford, Leyton and Walthamstow, and many of the newer parishes established as this area was built up in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
These registers are held by Waltham Forest Archives at Vestry House in Walthamstow and were loaned to ERO for digitisation. In all, ERO has copied another 473 registers, producing over 67,000 images, completing coverage of the whole of historic Essex and pushing the total number of Essex parish register images to over 580,000.
You can either subscribe to use the service from home, or take advantage of the free onsite available to visitors to the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford and to its Access Points at Saffron Walden and Harlow. It will shortly be provided at Waltham Forest Archives. Opening hours vary, so please check before you visit.
Please note that marriages after 1957 are not included, and not every single register has survived or been deposited with ERO. Before you subscribe please check that the documents you need exist and have been digitised.As the ERO takes pains to point out, these are unindexed records and arranged by church which means often searching through the records of several churches, especially in larger communities. They recommend using other sources to attempt to limit the amount you have to read through and only taking out a 24 hour subscription initially.
If you’re English-Irish, come into the parlour is the heading on the most recent of John Grenham's Irish Roots columns for the Irish Times. Apparently Polish-Irish, Nigerian-Irish, Filipino-Irish are widely accepted terms in Ireland, and we all know of the Scots-Irish, but English-Irish comes out only with difficulty in Ireland.
Chinese-Canadian, Somali-Canadian, and a United Nations full of other such combinations are a commonplace in Canada. English-Canadian and French-Canada refer more to the native tongue than the national origin. Thus the French-Canadians with Irish surnames.
Being English born and bred, a long time Canadian citizen and resident, I now think of myself as Canadian when in Canada; English-Canadian or English-born Canadian when pressed about my accent; and puzzled at how things have changed when I return to England.
Is it only those of us with European origins who are so flexible in how we describe ourselves? Has that always been the case?
Thursday, 6 February 2014
This new database on Ancestry contains 616,598 indexed records, entries on the West Yorkshire Survey of Land Values required as a result of Lloyd George's 1909 People's Budget which sought to tax increases in land values.
Ancestry's information describing the records is sparse. Records include the name of both occupant and owner as well as information regarding the property. There's a more extensive description of the the similar records for Gloucestershire here.
Heads Up! The BIFHSGO meeting this month, on February 8, is early as it can be as the second Saturday.
The before BIFHSGO Education Talk at 9 am has Bob McDonald discussing Gaelic naming customs and their relation to the Gaelic language, the oldest literary language in Northern Europe and once widely spoken in Canada.
Following announcements at 10 am Barbara Tose will mark the 100th anniversary of her great-grand aunt Nellie Miller's trip and 30-page letter to her brother, a fascinating tale of events, society, and adventure in 1914. The title is Travels with My Aunt: Adventures in Europe 1914. Nellie was a nurse superintendent at Ross Memorial Hospitall in Lindsay, Ontario, who joined the J.L. Hughes party for a tour of Britain and Europe.
Listen here to Dave Cross's interview with Barbara.
BIFHSGO monthly meetings are open to members and visitors. Free admission.
The meeting takes place at Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa. There's free parking in the vicinity.
Wednesday, 5 February 2014
An announcement from origins.net about a comprehensive index to over 25,000 wills and other probate documents proved in the 54 Peculiar Courts of the Province of York between 1383 and 1857 came my way yesterday. Even better is the availability of many of those original probate documents online. See here.
Browsing the list of places included I found somewhere I'd not heard of before, Howdenshire. We think of shire meaning country, but in this case it's a wapentake, a subdivision of East Yorkshire. The Howdenshire History website is a mine of information including a page dedicated to migrants to Canada. The names mentioned include: Bletcher, Bowler, Fearn, Hairsine, Hewson, Horsley, Imeson, Lee, Newcombe, Nutbrown, Pickering, Proctor, Stephenson, Thornton
Tuesday, 4 February 2014
What do the Canadians, lumber baron J. R. Booth, department store founder Timothy Eaton, WW1 cabinet minister Sam Hughes, and hockey star Bobby Orr have in common?
Yes, they're all men, but there's more.
According to the book Ulster & Canada they're all of Ulster-Scots descent.
The book is one of more than 30 free publication from the Ulster-Scots Community Network. Other titles in the series Ulster & include China, New England, New Zealand, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.
Perhaps to make up for a lack of women in these volumes there's Herstory, profiles of eight Ulster-Scots women.
RootsTech starts on Thursday and some of us are not able to be there this year. Some presentation will be available remotely. Here, courtesy of an article in the Deseret News, is the schedule of the fifteen sessions of the RootsTech family history and technology conference to be broadcast live online at RootsTech.org. Times are converted to the North American Eastern Time Zone.
Thursday, Feb. 6:
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., “Top 10 Things I Learned About My Family from My Couch,” by Tammy Hepps;
3 p.m. to 4 p.m., “FamilySearch Family Tree: What’s New and What’s Next,” by Ron Tanner;
4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., “Intro to DNA for Genealogists,” by James Rader;
6 p.m. to 7 p.m., “Genealogy in the Cloud,” by Randy Hoffman; and
7 p.m. to 8 p.m., “Sharing Your Family with Multimedia,” by Michael LeClerc.
Friday, Feb. 7:
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., “Storytelling Super Powers: How to Come Off as Your Family’s Genealogy Hero,” by David Adelman;
3 p.m.to 4 p.m., “Tweets, Links, Pins, and Posts: Break Down Genealogical Brick Walls with Social Media,” by Lisa Alzo;
4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., “Getting the Most Out of Ancestry.com,” by Crista Cowen;
6 to 7 p.m., “Finding Family and Ancestors Outside the USA with New Technologies” by Daniel Horowitz
7 p.m. to 8 p.m., “Do It Yourself Photo Restoration,” by Ancestry Insider.
Saturday, Feb. 8:
12:30 p.m to 13:30 p.m., “Become an iPad Power User,” by Lisa Louise Cooke;
3 p.m. to 4 p.m., “Information Overload: Managing Online Searches and Their Results,” by Josh Taylor;
4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., “A Beginner’s Guide to Going Paperless,” by Randy Whited;
6 p.m. to 7 p.m., “How to Interview Yourself for a Personal History,” by Tom Taylor;
7 p.m. to 8 p.m., “Five Ways to Do Genealogy in Your Sleep,” by Deborah Gamble.
Unless I missed something it appears that the opening keynote presentations each day will not be streamed as they were last year but may be available later. To see what we're missing check out this article or see the complete schedule at https://rootstech.org/schedule-info/
Monday, 3 February 2014
Geni is popular placing fifth among genealogy websites according to the GenealogyInTime top 100 list. It claims over 100 million profiles, unchanged from three years ago.
The NYT article highlights the fun of finding links to famous ancestors using Geni. It turns out the article author's wife’s great-uncle’s wife’s first cousin once removed’s husband’s uncle’s wife’s son’s wife’s first cousin once removed’s husband’s brother’s wife’s nephew is former New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Isn't that impressive!
Where I part company with the article is the latter part of the sentence "Traditional genealogists demand rigorous proof of every relationship, but the new, less cautious genealogists argue that we have to work with probabilities."
Working with probabilities does not mean being less cautious. If anything it reflects a considered approach, being more cautious in our claims and acknowledging that in even the most rigourously researched relationship there's a chance of error. That's entirely different from the entertainment approach, throwing caution to the wind, compiling a mega-tree rag bag of careful research, fanciful opinion and unenlightened adoption of other's work where you conclusion is only as strong as the weakest link..
Thanks to Eric Dodman for the tip. The image is a snippet from a larger illustration in the NYT article by Jim Stoten.
Sunday, 2 February 2014
Chris Paton posted on his blog a report on the first event of a tour he's on. in company with Thomas McEntee, in Australia. If you're tired of cold and snow you might want to soak up the warmth vicariously by following reports on his British GENES blog.
Chris, top Rockstar genealogist as voted by Canadians, will be a speaker at the OGS conference this year. May 1-4 in St Catharines. Information and registration now available at www.ogs.on.ca/conference2014/index.php
Since March 2009 I've been singing the praises of MAPCO for their reproductions of old maps, especially of London. Now the site is gone. Gail Roger drew my attention to a tweet, dated January 27th, from Mapco’s account:
MAPCO is a victim of its own success. Too much traffic & too much server load has forced the closure of the site. Future is uncertain.
Some of the MAPCO content can be recovered through the Internet Archive although it seems to be a bit hit and miss. For instance, find the Kelly's Post Office Directory Map Of London 1857 at https://web.archive.org/web/20101119172317/http://archivemaps.com/mapco/kelly1857/kelly.htm
In the 40 pages, including cover pages, of the February 2014 issue of the Ontario Genealogical Society's quarterly journal, Families, 12 items are classified as articles, about three-quarters of the issue.
The longest article, six pages, is Researching Your Manitoulin Ancestors by Shelley J. Pearen. Those who live on islands and similar geographically seperate communities, are fortunate that they more than pull their weight when it comes to local pride in the community and its heritage. This article provides research guidance needed by someone who finds their genealogical journey leading onto the island.
Zeb Crouteau: "The Trapper from Pouce Coupé" (1877-1933) by Lynne Duigou is the story of a trapper in British Columbia and the arduous journey to recover his body.
Jack of Two Hearts by Sandra Lewis recounts the story of Jack Ledsham, an immigrant from Cheshire in 1913 and his dedication to the Jehovah's Witnesses as well as his family.
There is a variety of shorter articles, OGS news and notices. The regular Name Game column has three entries; one book is reviewed and there is half a page of commercial advertisements in addition to three pages of OGS ads.