Sunday, 30 November 2014

Quaker Strongrooms

A blog from the Library of the UK Society of Friends, Quaker Strongrooms has been posting items on printed and archival resources for researching World War I and its aftermath.

The most recent post provides an overview of the Library’s visual resources for World War I.

Previous posts cover:

  • a photograph album of Alan Burtt, Friends Ambulance Unit SSA19
  • periodicals
  • peace pamphlets
  • Wartime Statistics Committee
  • Friends Ambulance Unit
  • prison experiences of conscientious objectors
  • Friends Peace Committee

There's also coverage of the white feather diaries, an online Quaker storytelling project to mark the centenary of World War I, publishing the diaries of those who opposed WWI believing to refuse to kill is a cause worth dying for.

The Scottish Institute

Christine Woodcock wrote to let me know about The Scottish Institute, a small group experience, limited to 15 registrants she is organizing for October 2015. It's for Professional and Semi-Professional genealogists who may or may not conduct research for clients with Scottish ancestry.
"The week will offer speakers on several topics including the holdings of the GRO, NAS (combined as the NRS), palaeography, National Health archives, maps, newspapers, the holdings of the NLS, court records and the efforts of the Maxwells at Scottish Indexes, ancestral tourism and the Scottish Genealogy Network.

The week culminates with a joint Professional Development Day with members of the Scottish Genealogy Network. This day of workshops will be followed by social networking with our colleagues in Scotland which will provide you with the opportunity to make important connections on the ground in Scotland.

The week is well balanced with 20 hours of  learning and 20 hours of research."
More information is available at:  http://www.scottishinstitute.ca/about.html or by email to Christine here.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Replacing AMICUS

Library and Archives Canada announce the beginning of the process of negotiating with the Online Computer Library Centre (OCLC) to develop a cutting edge service to manage acquisitions, cataloguing, access, circulation and resource sharing to replace AMICUS, including the National Union Catalogue (NUC).

"Both Amicus and the NUC are of critical importance to the Canadian library system. The current technologies for these were created almost 20 years ago and no longer meet the needs or expectations of Canadians in the 21st century.

After consulting key stakeholders in the Canadian library community, LAC, in its discussions with OCLC, is seeking to provide a service that:

  • is efficient and state-of-the-art;
  • gives Canadians comprehensive access to documentary heritage;
  • values and protects Canadian culture.

A world leader in its field, OCLC boasts a membership that includes hundreds of Canadian libraries that use its services and expertise. This cooperative provides services in many languages, including French, and they are already working with the national libraries of New Zealand, Australia and the Netherlands.

Until there is a replacement service, AMICUS and the National Union Catalogue will continue to operate as usual."

Thanks to Gail Dever for bringing this LAC announcement to my attention.

Findmypast Scottish Parish Transcripts

Sourced from the Family History Library, Findmypast's weekly Friday additions include:

  • Scotland Births and Baptisms 1564-1950 containing over 9.3 million records;
  • Scotland Marriages 1561-1910 with over 4.1 million records. 

These are not comprehensive, some places are not covered and the date range varies from place to place. Lanarkshire, historically the most populous county, has 1,245,074 births and baptisms and 651,729 marriages. Ayrshire has 554,951 births and baptisms and 253,153 marriages while Caithness has 80,820 births and baptisms and 37,285 marriages

Baptisms list the full names of both parents including the mother’s maiden name


Gresham College Lecture: The Military History of the First World War: An Overview and Analysis

A lecture available here by David Stevenson given on 18 November analyses the reasons for the failure in 1914-15 of the initial war of movement and the factors underlying the trench stalemate that characterised the middle years of the conflict, before examining the return to more mobile campaigning in 1917-18.

It includes the war at sea as well as the war on land, and refers particularly to technology, tactics and logistics.

David Stevenson is Professor of International History at the London School of Economics.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Deceased Online adds Lincoln Records

Deceased Online now has records for the following Lincoln cemeteries and Lincoln Crematorium:

  • Canwick Road Cemetery (both the new and old cemeteries): records from 1856.
  • Eastgate Cemetery: records from 1856
  • Newport Cemetery: records from 1856
  • St Margaret's Cemetery: records from 1907
  • St Swithin’s, Washingborough Road: records from 1890
  • Lincoln Crematorium 1968 (68,100)
Records up to 2011 comprise:
Scans of original registers (until the 1990's when replaced by computerised records, dates vary by site)
Computerised register records (from the 1990's, dates vary by site)
Grave details indicating all those buried within each grave
Maps indicating the section of a cemetery where graves are located
The total number of individual burials in the locations above is approximately 70,000 with over 68,000 cremations records.

More information about these records is at http://deceasedonlineblog.blogspot.co.uk/.

1867 – Rebellion and Confederation

1867 – Rebellion and Confederation is a new exhibition just opened at the Canadian Museum of Civilization Canadian Museum of History.
                                           
The exhibition "takes us back to the series of historical milestones that sowed the seeds of Canadian democracy and self-government. The exhibition highlights a chain of events that had a domino effect leading to dominion. The first was in 1837, when Queen Victoria ascended the throne, and democratic and anti-colonial movements were shaking Europe and the Americas.

It tells the whole story in detail and adds valuable political, social and economic context to help us understand how this historical legacy influences us today."

The exhibition features about 200 historical artifacts including the original British North America Act from Library and Archives Canada and from other institutions in Canada, Britain and the United States.

No need to rush. It's open until January 4, 2016.

FamilySearch offers clues for Canadians

FamilySearch added two "new" Canadian databases on Wednesday: Canada, Births and Baptisms, 1661-1959 with 1,523,881 records; Canada, Marriages, 1661-1949 with 225,320.
They are described as:

"not necessarily intended to index any specific set of records. This index is not complete for any particular place or region. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections."
Treat these as providing clues to finding a more authoritative record.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Thomas MacEntee Shows the Best Things in Life are Free

Rockstar genealogist Thomas MacEntee has a US Thanksgiving gift for everyone.

You can download his latest book 500 Best Genealogy & Family History Tips - 2015 Edition for the Kindle for FREE through Monday December 1, 2014 (a $5.99 value)!

Thomas describes it as a “brain dump” of his many years of knowledge about genealogy and family history - favourite tips and tricks from over 85 presentations, 10 books and numerous articles.

Read more and how to download and read even if you don't have a Kindle here.

Thomas will be coming to Ontario in 2015. Watch for announcements.


BIFHSGO Video: A Soldier of the Great War:A Research Case Study

On Tuesday I posted about Canadian Veteran Death Cards, something I learned about at Ken McKinlay's talk to the Ottawa Branch of the OGS last Saturday.
Ken has now posted a video of that talk about two soldiers that served in the CEF on the BIFHSGO YouTube Channel and further detail on the resources mentioned on his Family Tree Knots blog at Canadian Expeditionary Force Online Research Resources


Probate Search Facility

For those of us an ocean away from the UK the announcement that as of Friday 12th December, the Probate Service for England and Wales will make available online records from 1858 to the present is good news. It will include the records of some soldiers who died on active military service between 1860 and 1982, predominantly those who died in the First World War.
"You can search, order and receive copies direct from your own computer without waiting for the Probate Registry to send them to you.
You can search and if there is a match you will be informed straightaway. You can then decide if you wish to pay £10 and order the documents.
You can pay by credit or debit card.
You will be informed by an email when the documents are available for downloading on your computer.
This is a change in the way the Probate Service deliver our copies and search service and therefore from Friday 12th December the London Probate Service will cease to provide a copy ordering function as this will now be available online. The facility will remain open for collection of orders made before the 12th December but will close permanently from Friday 19th December.
The Probate Service has over the last few weeks received feedback from users on the changes we are making and ahead of the 12th December would like to extend and invitation to a Search facility users meeting to be held on Tuesday 2nd December between 1-2 pm in the search facility."
It makes sense to take advantage of web technology to make these records more available.

BUT

It's costly. For those of us who remember spending a few pence to obtain photocopies of probate documents at Somerset House £10 is outrageous.
Also the implementation is far from ideal. There is insufficient information to search on to enable you to distinguish your Mary Smith from the others who died in the same year.
The Society of Genealogists has identified other lacunae and will be attending the 2 December meeting to represent our interests. Representation is one of the main reasons I'm a Society of Genealogist member. If you want the family historian's voice heard in UK developments like this I encourage you to join SOG. The more members the strong the voice.

842,355 English and Welsh Lunatics

Ancestry now has online registers kept by the Lunacy Commission, 1846 to 1913, of asylum patients in both public and private asylums. They record the name and sex of the patient; the name of hospital, asylum, or licensed house; and the date of admission and of discharge or death of each patient.
Annual admissions recorded in the register increase from about 6,000 at the start of the record to over 20,000 at the end.
The original data source is Commissioners in Lunacy, 1845–1913. Lunacy Patients Admission Registers, Series MH 94. The National Archives, Kew, England.

Two smaller related collections sourced from TNA also debut on Ancestry:

4,332 records: England & Wales, Criminal Lunacy Warrant and Entry Books, 1882-1898
613 records: England, Criminal Lunatic Asylum Registers, 1820-1843

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Minister Addresses Auditor General Report on LAC

On Tuesday afternoon Heritage Minister Shelly Glover appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in their deliberations on Supplementary Estimates, the first meeting of the committee since the summer break.
With the critical report by the Auditor General on Library and Archives Canada having been released in the morning NDP and Liberal committee members took the opportunity to grill the Minister who said what had happened at LAC before under Daniel Caron was unacceptable. In response to questions from Stéphane Dion the Minister said they had known LAC was in trouble for "a long while" which is why they moved to replace Caron. Asked why large budget cuts were made at LAC the Minister responded it was part of the action necessary across government to meet the economic situation. She did not explain why the ax fell so heavily on LAC when other activities in the Heritage portfolio were protected and even given increased funding.
Officials from Canadian Heritage when asked about LAC matters answered questions to the best of their understanding but made the point that while LAC is part of the Minister's Heritage portfolio, it does not report to the Department of Canadian Heritage. That's the official situation but may not be as true in practice, especially regarding budget.
Find an audio file, and eventually a transcript of the meeting, here.

Shannon Lecture: Great Epizootic of 1872-1873.

Friday November 28 sees the next lecture in this year`s Carleton University History Department Shannon Lecture series.

In early October 1872, a mysterious illness swept through the urban horse population of Toronto. The Globe first reported the phenomenon on 5 October 1872, noting that “[f]or some time past a large number of horses in the city have been affected with disease of the respiratory organs, but during the present week another disease has prevailed to an alarming extent among the horses in this district.” Horse owners and other observers were perplexed and assumed the disease to be a “catarrhal fever.” Horses throughout the city, particularly those kept at the street railway company stables, suffered from sore throats and hacking coughs which kept them from working for up to two weeks. It was, as Dr. Andrew Smith from the Ontario Veterinary College wrote, a “considerable loss and annoyance to owners of horses and to the community generally.”
The outbreak of disease among the horses of Toronto in the autumn of 1872 was the beginning of a continent-wide pandemic known as “The Great Epizootic.” Following the events in Toronto, the disease spread throughout North America, reaching as far south as Cuba. This paper will trace the origins of this disease, eventually thought to be a virulent strain of equine influenza, and its impact on urban life in North America in 1872-73 as it spread from Toronto to all of the major cities on the continent. The Great Epizootic not only illustrated the centrality of domestic animals to the functioning of nineteenth-century North American cities, but it also demonstrated that these cities generated unique ecological conditions and a networked disease pool capable of producing animal disease environments that were distinctly urban in character.
The presentation by Sean Kheraj, assistant professor in the Department of History at York University, is in the Humanities Lecture Theatre, 303 Paterson Hall, from 1:00-2:30 pm.

HSO: St James:The Oldest Cemetery of the NCR

Michel Prevost, the University of Ottawa Chief Archivist, is the speaker at the Historical Society of Ottawa meeting on Friday 28 November 2014. He will speak on St James:The Oldest Cemetery of the National Capital Region. Located in the Hull sector of Gatineau it is the resting place of many of its first residents, including the founder of Hull, Philemon Wright, Nicholas Sparks and John Scott, the first Mayor of Bytown.


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Family Tree DNA Seasonal Sale

We were talking about it on the sidelines of the BIFHSGO DNA meeting on Saturday - now the annual Family Tree DNA sale is here.
Judy Russell, top Rockstar Genealogist, has all the details at www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2014/11/25/its-beginning-to-look-a-lot-like/

Auditor General Report: Documentary Heritage of the Government of Canada—Library and Archives Canada

The Auditor General has tabled his Fall Report. While chapter 3 on Mental Health Services for Veterans has received most media attention chapter 7 on the Documentary Heritage of the Government of Canada—Library and Archives Canada is not neglected.

The audit objective was to determine whether Library and Archives Canada has fulfilled its responsibilities for acquiring and preserving government documentary heritage from federal institutions, and for facilitating access of these records for current and future generations. It covered the period from 2009–10 fiscal year with audit work completed on 30 April 2014, prior to the arrival of the present Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

The AG concludes that LAC does not adequately fulfil these responsibilities. Library and Archives Canada:

- is not acquiring all the archival records it should from federal institutions
- has a backlog of 98,000 boxes of archival records
- does not have a corporate digital strategy
- did not use its trusted digital repository.
The department accepts each of the AG`s findings. The actions LAC undertakes to follow up are:
  • In the fall of 2014, Library and Archives Canada will approve a focused and accelerated plan to ensure full disposition coverage for the Government of Canada institutions by the end of the 2017–18 fiscal year. 
  • In the fall of 2014, Library and Archives Canada will establish a dedicated task force and approve a plan to eliminate the Government of Canada’s documentary heritage backlog by December 2015. (Note the plan will be approved by December 2015, not the backlog.)
  • By March 2015, Library and Archives Canada will have an approved digital strategy to firmly ground its acquisition, preservation, and access functions in the digital era. 
  • In April 2015, Library and Archives Canada will begin a comprehensive digital transformation program. 
Comment 
Undoubtedly the backlog of 98,000 boxes of archival records contains gems of genealogical interest, not to mentioned of broader historical interest. It makes a farce of open government when records decades old remain inaccessible. The inability to acquire and process records means that they remain in the hands of the responsible line department. A case in point is passenger lists from the late 1930s onward.

It`s shocking to read that $15.4 million was spent on developing and implementing a trusted digital repository from 2006 to 2011, which was tested, approved, and deemed operational in July 2011, only to be shut down unused in November 2012 as the institution had `changed its approach.`
The scope of the audit was entirely about archival activities of LAC neglecting the library function. A risk is that in responding to the deficiencies identified the library function, already depleted of resources as indicated by withdrawal from the inter-library loan program (except as last resort), will be further neglected. Furthermore the AG has nothing to say about LAC`s front-line services.
Who will follow up to monitor whether LAC takes the actions it proposes by the dates indicated


More UK Directories at Ancestry

Now with 27,108,675 records UK, City and County Directories, 1766 - 1946 this is the ninth largest in the Ancestry collection. There are directories from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. Coverage is best for England.
Don`t overlook Ancestry`s British Phone Books, 1880-1984 which has ten times more records.

Interview with Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Gail Dever and Christine Jackson drew to my attention an Ottawa Citizen interview with Guy Berthiaume on the occasion of him occupying that role for six months.
Find the interview at http://ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/local-arts/helping-canadians-know-themselves; it includes a short video interview.
Thanks to Gail and Christine.

Canadian Veteran Death Cards

One of the military resources mentioned by Ken McKinlay in his talk to OGS Ottawa Branch on Saturday with which I was unfamiliar was veteran death cards.
Available online from Library and Archives Canada on an archived collection of digital microfilm, they contain about 130,000 cards going up to deaths in the early 1960s.
Included are many veterans of the Canadian Expeditionary Force who died after discharge or who died in Canada during the war; some veterans of the British Forces who died in Canada after the war; some members of the militia who died in Canada during or after the war; some navy veterans who died after the war; few veterans of the Newfoundland Forces who died after the war; few veterans of Allied Forces (e.g. Indian, French and American armies) who died in Canada after the war; a few veterans of the North West Mounted Police who had military service; a few veterans of the South African War and the North West Field Force (1885 Rebellion).
They are incomplete so it's a bit of a lottery whether you'll be able to locate the person you seek.
To find them go to www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/microform-digitization/006003-110.02-e.php?&q2=36&interval=50&sk=0 and find 99 digital microfilm files. Go to the surname range of interest and start browsing through - no indexing available. The information given is as shown on the sample page for a man who died in Elko, Nevada.


Monday, 24 November 2014

Rootstech and FGS 2015

A reminder that the 2015 edition of RootsTech, is being held February 12–14, in Salt Lake City, Utah. I had a chance to go a couple of years ago and very much enjoyed it. If you consider yourself a serious genealogist, and most especially if you research US relatives, it's worth going once.

If you like your genealogy leavened with entertainment the coming Rootstech offers "YouTube sensations Alex Boyé and One Voice Children's Choir", "performers showcasing the sights, sounds, and dancing from various world cultures"and "American Idol finalist David Archuleta and the cast of BYUtv's Studio C."

Each of the three days starts with a keynote speaker, this year featuring on Friday A.J. Jacobs, "an author, journalist, human guinea pig and cousin" and on Saturday entertainer and media personality Donny Osmond.

The speakers in the main family history sessions are not yet announced; that should be coming very soon.

This year the (US) Federation of Genealogical Societies will immediately precede Rootstech, 11-14 February. The program and speakers, many from the Rockstar Genealogist list, are announced here.

Relationship Chart

This chart was posted on Lifehacker, one of several versions all liable to confused the layperson! You may want to print it out and keep it handy.


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Ottawa and Fire

Saturday was busy, at 9:30 AM a DNA SIG meeting with presentations by Errol Collins and Doug Hoddinott on autosomal DNA and their Newfoundland ancestry, 1 PM Ottawa Branch OGS and a presentation A Soldier of the Great War: A Research Case Study by Ken McKinlay followed by a Computer SIG meeting.
In between times I visited an exhibit on "Ottawa's blazing history" and the fires that shaped the capital at the City Archives - 100 Tallwood Drive at Woodroffe.
22 panels, two A/V presentations and exhibits of artifacts illuminate this most burning of issues. See also an early fire engine in the lobby.
The exhibit is in Gallery 112, down the hallway from the reception marked by a fire hydrant. It's on until March 21st.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Extreme Weather and Emigration: Scotland, 1770-1988

Is weather a factor driving immigration, particularly extreme weather?

Graeme Morton, from the University of Guelph Centre for Scottish Studies received an NSERC grant in 2013 with the title Extreme Weather and Patterns of Emigration: Scotland, 1770-1988.
A short YouTube video, a talk given at the University of Dundee, gives some background, on the study.

OGS Toronto Branch Great Moments

Eleven five-minute talks where members recount their family history research highlights are the feature of the November meeting of OGS Toronto Branch.
Great Moments sessions are popular events. Be there on Monday 24 November starting at 7:30 pm at the Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Hall, 5110 Yonge Street in Toronto for the final meeting of the year.

Info: http://torontofamilyhistory.org

Friday, 21 November 2014

Prison Ship (Hulk) Registers 1811-1843

Findmypast now has more than 4,000 British Prison Ship Register records in their Crime, Prison and Punishment collection. These new records come from 6 prison hulks; Discovery, Captivity, Antelope, Dromedary, Weymouth and Coromandel and list the details of over 13,300 inmates held on the ships between 1811 and 1843. Each record consists of a transcript that can list an inmate’s name, age and trade as well as details of their crime, sentence and character.

PERSI Updates at Findmypast

Findmypast introduces PERSI (the PERiodical Source Index) as "the world’s largest and most widely used subject index for U.S. genealogy and local history literature." Yet among the more than 8,000 magazines, newsletters and journals, indexed according to location, topic, surname, ethnicity and methodology you'll find extensive Canadian material.

This update adds links to issues from 18 different (unspecified) publications covering a period between 1824 and 1923.

UPDATE
A list of the periodicals added images to in this latest release and the years covered has now been published:
American Historical Magazine, 1896-1902
American Historical Magazine and Tennessee Historical Society Quarterly, 1903-04
Congregational Historical Society Transactions, 1901-18; 1920-23
Fairfield County Historical Society Reports and Papers, 1882; 1885-86; 1889; 1891; 1893; 1895; 1897
Genealogical Magazine, 1897-1904
Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania Publications, 1895-96; 1898; 1900; 1902-03; 1906-23
Georgia Historical Quarterly, 1917; 1919-23
Granite Monthly, 1877-78
Magazine of Western History, 1884-85; 1890
Mayflower Descendant, 1899-1922
New Hampshire Historical Society Collections, 1824; 1827; 1832; 1834; 1850; 1863; 1866; 1889
Old Northwest Genealogical Quarterly, 1898-1912
Penn-Germania, 1912-14
Quarterly Publication of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio, 1906; 1909-12; 1915-21; 1923
Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Journal, 1904-05
Spirit of ’76, 1894-1906
Transallegheny Historical Magazine, 1901-02
Virginia Historical Register, 1848-53
For a full list of the indexes that currently have images included click here

More School Records from Findmypast

Anglesey and Plymouth are the latest additions for Findmypast's collection National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914.
For Anglesey find 17,451 entries from 27 admission books of schools in: Aberffraw; Amlwch; Beaumaris; Carreg Onnen; Holyhead; Llanddona; Llandrygarn: Llandyfrydog; Llanerchymedd; Llanerchymedd; Llaneugrad; Llanfachraeth; Llangefni; Llansadwrn; Llantrisant; Menai Bridge; Newborough; Penmon and Llangoed; Penmynydd

Added to the Devon collection are 36,500 admission book records from Plymouth Grey Coat School back to 1814 and public schools starting in 1838.
There are now 2,633,859 records in this collection from 14 counties: Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Devon, Glamorganshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Lancashire, Middlesex, Surrey and Wiltshire, and also Westminster.
Updates to these records adding further counties are promised for 2015.

Ottawa Branch OGS November Meeting

This month's presentation to the Ottawa Branch is "A Soldier of the Great War: A Research Case Study" to be given by Ken McKinlay.

"With the 2014 being the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War people have become more interested in learning about those in their family and community that served and possibly fought during the Great War of 1914-1918. Ken McKinlay will be talking about the resources that are available online that can aid in your journey to learn more about those involved in World War I. Using those online resources along with Library and Archives Canada archived documents he will be looking at the records of several soldiers as examples of what may be found."

Saturday, 22 November, 13:00 – 15:00
City of Ottawa Archives (Room 115)

As usual the presentation is preceded by networking, refreshments and branch announcements.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Absent Sibling Question

Will you believe this? It's counter-intuitive.

In the 1911 census for England and Wales there's information on how long a marriage has lasted, how many children there have been and how many are still alive. That's in addition to information on names, ages, relationships, etc.

Suppose you have a family where the couple has been married for 25 years, they had two child who are both still alive and one of them, a girl age 21, is living at home.

Is the other child more likely to be male or female?

What do you think?



If a couple have two children the possibilities, in birth order, are:

Girl-Girl
Girl-Boy
Boy-Girl
Boy-Boy

Assume that each possibility is equally likely even though boy births occur slightly more frequently than girl births.

In this case knowing one of them is a girl we can eliminate the Boy-Boy possibility. That leaves three options two of which pair a girl with a boy and one with a girl.

It's twice as likely the other sibling not at home with the parents is a boy rather than a girl.

If you knew the girl at home was the elder, or the younger, there would be an equal chance the absent child would be male of female.

Surprised?

BIFHSGO DNA Interest Group

A reminder that the DNA Special Interests Group meets this Saturday November 22, 9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Room 226, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Members meet quarterly to share experiences, information and ideas about the use of DNA evidence in exploring family history. Attendees will be required to sign in and out at the reception desk on the ground floor.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

LAC Puts Further CEF Service Files Online

On Tuesday Library and Archives Canada announced that 78,914 of 640,000 files are available online via the Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database. In mid-October there were 76,330 files online.
This has been a slow month, just 2,584 files added, half the anticipated rate. If continued that would see the digitization complete in 217 months, or 18 years.

Genealogy on YouTube : PRONI

In the little over a week that BIFHSGO has had its own channel on YouTube the first video, Lucille Campey's talk "Ignored But Not Forgotten: Canada's English Immigrants" has more than 100 views. I wondered how that compared so checked out some other genealogy-related channels.
The Public Record Office for Northern Ireland has been active for more than three years and remains so with 14 videos published on YouTube in the past month. One of those, Irish Language & Culture - PRONI - Ulster Protestant Gaelic Tradition has more views than the Campey video.
The most popular are in the Exploring Local History Lecture Series by PRONI and Open University Ireland (OUI) which date from three years ago, especially the introduction to the series with more than 1,850 views.
While on YouTube and Ireland, a reminder that videos from last month's Genetic Genealogy Ireland conference are available through their channel and receiving many views:

Maurice Gleeson - Which DNA test is best for you? (597 views)
Brad Larkin - DNA vs the Irish Annals (619 views)
Cathy Swift - Emerging dynasties in a maritime world: hunting for Brian Boru’s genetic legacy (452 views)
Daniel Crouch - Genetic analysis of the People of the British Isles project (500 views)
Tyrone Bowes - Pinpointing your Irish Origin & beyond (409 views)

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Low Cost Genealogy Books for the Kindle

Looking for some good inexpensive reading for your Ereader? You can (maybe) up your genealogy game with these low-cost titles, every one less than $10, four of them FREE, and all rated 3.7 stars or better.

Rank Title Author Pgs Cost
1 Organize Your Genealogy in Evernote Lorine McGinnis Schulze 22 $1.20
2 Genealogy Offline Claudia C Breland 147 $8.66
3 The Mayflower and Her Log Azel Ames 141 Free
4 101 of the Best Free Websites for Genealogy Nancy Hendrickson 56 $2.64
5 Pioneers of the Old South … Mary Johnson, Allen Jo.. 122 Free
6 Introduction to Family History Student Man.. The Church of Jesus Ch.. 264 $1.76
7 The Fathers of New England Charles McLean Andrews .. 220 Free
8 The Purposeful Family Historian Tara Cajacob 87 $8.82
9 The Man Who Never Was Hylton Smith 258 Free
10 Genealogy Standards Board for Certification of Gen.. 74 $6.80
The top rated book is by Lorine McGinnis Schulze, well known for her Olive Tree Genealogy website. In only 22 pages she explains her system for organizing your genealogy information on Evernote.
Most of these books are US-oriented. Second ranked Genealogy Offline is an example. Third ranked is a the first of four free books, a digitized version of The Mayflower and Her Log; July 15, 1620-May 6, 1621 originally published in 1901.
Introduction to Family History Student Manual is strictly for the LDS member looking to learn the doctrines and principles to perform the work of redeeming the dead.
The Purposeful Family Historian is one I hesitated to include. There's just a single rating and it's the most costly per page, even more than Genealogy Standards:Fiftieth Anniversary Edition from the Board for Certification of Genealogists now at a 55% saving from the original price.


Perth Historical Society November Meeting

On Thursday, November 20, 2014 author Denise Chong presents the story of Perth's Harry (Fong) Johnston in 'Lives of the Family: Stories of Fate and Circumstance'

In this latest of her books, Lives of the Family: Stories of Fate and Circumstance, Ms. Chong's intention was to explore the immigrant experience, living with memories, often mired in loneliness and longing for the familiar, but committed to making the transition to a new land.  Ms Chong wanted a small-town Canada setting in the early and mid-20th century.  She chose to focus on the towns in and around Ottawa, and on those people who were among a town’s few or only Chinese family.  One of the three families selected for her book was the Johnstons of Perth.

In the late 1890s, Harry Fong (the church changed his surname to Johnston) was first a laundryman, then opened Harry’s Café, now The Stone Cellar, in Perth.  Harry’s life came to a tragic end when a driverless parked car rolled and pinned him against a building by the bridge.  However, Harry had bought property, and, in time, his widow, Mabel, would become a successful businesswoman.  By the time of her death in 1965, she was a millionaire.

At our November 20 meeting, Ms. Chong will speak about what brought the Chinese to the small towns, rather than settling in the larger cities amongst others with a common culture.  Her talk will be illustrated with photographs, and she will read excerpts from her book.  She will also introduce Mabel’s niece, Linda Hum, whose father, Jasper, was a long-time cook at Harry’s Café.

Denise Chong was born in Vancouver and grew up in northern B.C., in Prince George.  She began her working life as an economist for the Federal Government, eventually becoming senior economic advisor to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.  When he left office, she began to write.  She is best known for her family memoir, The Concubine’s Children, a Globe and Mail best-seller for 93 weeks, and now a Penguin Canada “Modern Classic.”  Lives of the Family is her fourth book.  In 2013, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.  Ms. Chong’s books will be available at the event and/or through The Book Nook.

The meeting at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, 26 Beckwith Street E., home of the Hall of Remembrance, is at 7:30pm is co-sponsored by the Perth & District Historical Society and The Ottawa International Writers’ Festival, Perth Chapter.

Heritage Ottawa Free Public Lecture

On Thursday, November 20, 2014, at 7:00pm Heritage Ottawa offers a lecture The East Block: An Exemplary Example of High Victorian Gothic by Jacqueline Hucker is a local architectural historian, and worked for Parks Canada and in the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office.

The location is the Ottawa Public Library Auditorium, 120 Metcalfe Street (corner of Laurier Avenue W)

The East Block was designed in 1859 as one of the first Gothic Revival office buildings and it was an early example of the style’s first phase of development. The talk will focus upon how the East Block’s High Victorian Gothic style was influenced by the challenges of new urbanism. It illustrates the debates that surrounded the style’s development, including the influence of Ruskin and Scott, and contemporary scientific discoveries.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Lincoln/Welland County Families

An initiative of the Niagara Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, Lincoln/Welland County Families is building a picture of the families in the old Lincoln/Welland Counties and helping others connect to their past.

There are nearly 90,000 individuals and more than 31,000 families in this collection of gedcoms with more than 10,000 unique surnames.

The resource is free whether or not you're a member of OGS Niagara Peninsula Branch. You will need to register, and have it approved, to access the database.

Thanks to Steve Fulton for the tip.

London's 1914 Wonderground Underground Map

A charming article, and even better video, from the BBC casting back to London in 1914 preoccupied with the overcrowding on the Tube. Humour goes a long way in London.
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-25551751
I missed this the first time around but found via this post on the geographer-at-large blog which boasts the quote:
“Geography, sir, is ruinous in its effects on the lower classes. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are comparatively safe, but geography invariably leads to revolution.” (1879 testimony before a Select Committee of the House of Commons, London, England, regarding expenditures of the London School Board)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Global Genealogy and Gould Genealogy Cooperation

Gould Genealogy based in Adelaide, Australia is that country's premier genealogy company. They organise cruises, sell a variety of genealogy books, software and supplies and publish genealogy books, all under the watchful eye of Alan Phillips.
To make those publications available in North America an arrangement has been made between Gould and Canada's Global Genealogy. Rick Roberts of Global told me this will mean Gould-published books will now be available at perhaps a 15% savings over the price of ordering direct from Australia.
Global Genealogy now have a selection of Gould-published books available, including the following by Canada's top Rockstar Genealogist Chris Paton:

Discover Scottish Church Records
Discover Scottish Land Records
Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records
Irish Family History Resources Online
British and Irish Newspapers 

CELEBRATE: BIFHSGO 20th Anniversary

Twenty years ago today. on the 16th of November 1994, Industry Canada issued Letters Patent for the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.

While the society has remained true to its mandate "to encourage and facilitate family history research, and its dissemination, by people with ancestry in the British Isles" how it's done that has changed.

Then, in the first issue of Anglo-Celtic Roots, potential authors were asked to submit typewritten, double-spaced copy on standard 8.5 by 11 inches paper to the society post box address.
Today we're requested to submit in electronic format using MSWord-compatible software via email.

Then the first issue of ACR contained none of the terms internet, www or http.
Today every major article published has web references.

Then monthly meetings were held at a facility associated with the Ottawa Family History Centre and attracted an attendance of a few dozen.
Today monthly meetings are held at Library and Archives Canada (about to change) rarely attracting fewer than 150 and sometimes more than 200 attendees.

Then out of nine society directors one was a woman.
Today out of eleven directors eight are women including the president.

Then the society was just finding its feet.
Today it is an important part of and partner for Ottawa's heritage community, Canada's genealogical community and contributing world wide through social media, most recently through a major lecture on its YouTube Channel.

What hasn't changed is that its all been possible thanks to volunteers contributing their skills and enjoying the friendship that comes with it.

BIFHSGO has come a long way.




Saturday, 15 November 2014

Making History Online

Now available as a video, transcript and PowerPoint slides is the Royal Historical Society/Gresham College Annual Colin Matthew Memorial Lecture.

Presented last Wednesday by Professors Tim Hitchcock and Robert Shoemaker, this lecture:

"assesses how recent innovations in making historical resources available online, and in the crowdsourcing and co-creation of research materials, have effectively reconfigured the relationship between the academy and the public. We can all be historians now.
Despite limitations, an online dialogue between academic history and the public is not only inevitable, but also desirable."
Speaking to historians they conclude:
"Our belief is that we are in a fantastic age of new and popular historical engagement, and while it is not being led by academic historians (nor should it be); we need to be actively involved - and make sure that we add our tuppence to the pot. Academics should do our bit to ensure that academic history is remade more open, more democratically accessible, and ever more able to do the business of allowing society to question itself, to question its values in light of its past, its politics and its inherited principles. Despite the ‘disruptions’ as long as we keep in mind these underlying purposes of history writing we can’t go far wrong."

Bring Back the Mandatory Long-form Census.

Ted Hsu, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands has a new private member's bill to bring back the mandatory long-form census. Debate on this bill began last week in Parliament. Your help is sought to build momentum leading up to the vote expected in February.

"The government replaced the 2011 long-form census with a voluntary National Household Survey (NHS). Unsurprisingly, the NHS data is of poor quality and can't be compared with previous census data. Experts who rely on this data, and the continuity of these data sets, call the NHS data worthless.

Bill C-626 is a private member's bill that will reinstate the mandatory long-form census and expand the authority of the Chief Statistician.

Throughout this debate, and leading up to the eventual vote on Bill C-626, you are asked to please:

1) Write or speak to your MP to encourage them to support the bill and reinstate the mandatory long-form census

2) Write a letter or op-ed for your local paper explaining the value of the census and the need to pass Bill C-626

3) Share this information with your friends, family and colleagues

It's not too late to fight for the census! If you wish to contact MP Ted Hsu, please email ted.hsu@parl.gc.ca."

Comment:  In my view some of the questions on the long-form census were unnecessarily intrusive, but politics is rough justice. You can't get everything you want and in view of the loss of information necessary for public policy and desirable for historical purposes when the long-form census was dropped I support this initiative for restoration. I emailed my MP and encouraging you to lobby your's.

Thanks to Barbara Tose for the tip.

News of Canada's National Genealogy Conference

July 17-19, 2015 is confirmed as the date of this significant event at historic Pier 21, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Conference topics and activities will include:

 DNA testing in Genealogy
 History of immigration into Nova Scotia
 Recording family history through photography, digital filing and citing sources
 Best practices for beginner & intermediate genealogists
 Tour of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
 Visit to the Titanic Graveyard


West Coast genealogist Dave Obee is confirmed as the keynote speaker.

I hear Sylvie Tremblay from Library and Archives Canada and David Pike, genetic genealogy expert and president of the FHS of Newfoundland and Labrador, will also be speakers.

Further conference information and registration will be coming soon

Questions? Contact Heidi Wilker at heidi.wilker@visiontravel.ca or call 905-457-2092

Friday, 14 November 2014

McGill University Illuminated Book of Remembrance Online

Montreal's McGill University Library and Archives just launched the digital version of the university's illuminated Book of Remembrance in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of World War I  at www.archives.mcgill.ca/public/exhibits/mcgillremembers/commemoration.htm.

Devon records added at Findmypast

The focus of this week's update to the Findmypast portfolio is Devon.

The Devon Wills Index 1163-1999 contains over 250,000 records proved by 30 courts. Many probate records for the county of Devon and the Diocese of Exeter were lost in 1942, when the Probate Registry was destroyed in the bombing during the Exeter Blitz of WWII. The index reveals where copies, transcripts, abstracts or extracts of original testamentary documents may be found and if they have survived. Each record includes a transcript of the original record that will list the testator’s names, the year of probate, place and any additional notes as well as court details, document form, source and reference code.

Devon Parish Baptisms 1444-1915 is augmented with over 705,000 new records and now containing over 2.2 million records, This collection comprises transcripts and colour images of baptisms, scanned from original registers held at the record offices in Devon.  Also in Find my past are parish records from the Plymouth and West Devon area

Devon Parish Banns 1538-1915. Over 164,000 new records have been added so the Devon Parish Banns now totals over 367,000 records. Colour images scanned from the originals are included.

Devon Parish Marriages 1446-2001  has over 308,585 records added; this collection now totals over 1.8 million marriage records.

Devon Parish Burials 1320- 1926 includes transcripts and images from the Devon burial registers for most of the Anglican parishes and contain over a million records.

Genealogy in "The Future Now: Canada’s Libraries, Archives, and Public Memory"

A glance at this Wordle based on the executive summary of the newly published Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel Report "The Future Now: Canada’s Libraries, Archives, and Public Memory" makes it appear as if there's little in it for genealogy and family history. Even a first scan through shows that's not so.

Searching for the term "family history" yields five hits, "genealog" 12 hits. This extract is the most comprehensive.

"The following sketch of MaryAnn outlines both the resourcefulness and the frustrations of a determined family historian.
MaryAnn, in her forties, is a family historian and album maker. She
uses libraries and archives to find records created by public and
private institutions that contain information on family members,
their education, occupations, places, churches - anything that helps
in reconstructing their lives, memories, and stories. For years, she
spent every lunch hour and every Saturday with these sources. She
also worked in consultation with other people in genealogical interest
groups where together they developed expertise about records. In
her research, many copies of public records became recontextualized
as her private records, then again made public by adding them to
her website and Facebook page. Her family histories are also about
reconnecting with local pasts, and reconstructing national, ethnic, and
religious identities. Technology has changed her work, while shifting
her expertise to knowing about electronic databases, and social media.
The Internet especially “helps to find or push you in another direction
to make you think about what to look for” (Tucker 158).
MaryAnn has been a genealogy activist too: in 2002 she joined the
members of the Alberta Family Histories Societies in their legal action
against the federal government to release all post-1901 censuses.
They finally won in 2005 when the 1911 census went online at Library
and Archives Canada’s website. She has mixed feelings about the
1921 census, which is only available from Ancestry.ca (based in
Utah). As a “registered guest” she has access to the census, using
the impressive search functionality of Ancestry.ca, leading her to the
reproduction of the census and to the right page. Having noticed that
the Source Information acknowledges that the original data are held
by LAC, MaryAnn worries about this seeming commercialization of
the Canadian people’s records. The images of the census are available
for free, but only to Canadian residents and only on the Ancestry.
ca website. In 2013 LAC has also signed a 10-year agreement with
Canadiana.org (not a commercial venture, an initiative of the Canadian
Association of Research Libraries) for the digitization, indexing, and
description of millions of personal, administrative, and government
documents, as well as land grants, war diaries, and photographs.
There will be no charge for those Canadians who wish to access these
collections at LAC or in one of subscribing libraries in regions across
Canada. But to conduct advanced searches without leaving home, one
has to pay a monthly fee. That fee will come on top of what MaryAnn
is already paying to Ancestry.ca. To get access to other records (and
more services) via Ancestry.ca she had to take out a “Canada Deluxe
membership” for $119 per annum. Access to all Ancestry.com records
from the UK, Ireland, the US and more would entail taking out a World
Deluxe membership at $200 per annum. Of course, these costs are
substantially less than MaryAnn would incur travelling across Canada
in order to access the materials of interest.
All the digital and digitized data are very cool, yet Ancestry’s website,
like the LAC website, yields only basic genealogical information, the
spine of a family history. But MaryAnn is interested in the whole body
of historical information that constitutes her family history. Some
of this is offered by resources such as CanadaGenWeb.org. Each of
its regional GenWebs links to digital copies of local histories, book
indexes, maps, photos, digitized newspapers, and other records. Since
MaryAnn’s family members moved around Canada, she has to search
several of the regional websites, each slightly different. Moreover,
none of these help MaryAnn in her research discovering some of the
artefacts that played a role in her family’s lives, like dresses, samplers,
farmer’s tools, kitchenware, and other museum objects. Yes, she
searched the Artefacts Canada database, but that does not cover the
objects, school records, and other memorabilia kept in Elnora AB (pop.
320) by the local museum or the veteran’s photos exhibited at the
Royal Canadian Legion branch."
The report deals extensively with Library and Archives Canada, not quite to the extent suggested by Chris Cobb's article in the 13 November Ottawa Citizen. It has specific recommendations for the Librarian and Archivist of Canada:
1. develop by July 1, 2015 or earlier, a five-year strategic plan, in consultation
with all relevant stakeholders, to provide a clear path to meeting the
goals articulated in Section 7 of the Library and Archives Act. Inter alia
this plan must define the scope of the “documentary heritage” that LAC
would commit to acquire and preserve, and would establish measurable
benchmarks for LAC to “support the development of the library and
archival communities.” Such a plan would also include plans for periodic
evaluation of progress toward meeting these goals.
2. participate actively on the boards/councils of those associations in
which LAC has membership – e.g. CARL, CULC, ACA/CCA/AAQ, etc.
In addition, he should develop a schedule of initial engagement with all
provincial and territorial associations/councils.
3. use whatever organizational means possible, including expert outside
consultants on systemic human resource policies, to deal with the
morale issues within LAC.
4. establish a special task force of key members within the library and
archival communities, as well as key stakeholder communities such as
the Canadian Historical Association (CHA), to assess, over a two-year
period, the progress made in harmonizing cultures in LAC. At the end of
the two years the task force will submit a report, with recommendations,
to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages relating to
the continuation of a merged institution.
5. participate actively in and reassert Canada’s presence, with full support
of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, in the international
community of libraries and archives.
6. engage the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, as
well as officials in Canadian Heritage, Treasury Board of Canada, and
other federal agencies as required to review and revise if necessary the
enabling policies and protocols that inhibit the fulfillment of the LACmandate as expressed in the Library and Archives Act (2004), and whichseems to prevent LAC from performing at a level in keeping with the expectations of Canadians and the best practices of similarly situated national libraries and archives.
LAC was quick with a response:
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) welcomes with interest the report The Future Now: Canada's Libraries, Archives, and Public Memory, published today by the Royal Society of Canada. LAC intends to study the report in detail with its partners, the associations that represent the library and information community. Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Guy Berthiaume, makes the point that this new publication will fuel discussions on the future of documentary institutions, at a time when they are facing challenges due to the pressure from the growth of digital technologies.
He also noted that since he assumed his functions on June 23, 2014, Library and Archives Canada has made four commitments that are in line with the recommendations from the report chapter that addresses LAC:
1.       to be an institution dedicated to serving its clients, all its clients: government institutions, donors, universities, researchers, archivists, librarians, students, genealogists and the general public;
2.       to be an institution that, drawing on the strength of all of its staff, is at the leading edge of archival and library science and new technologies;
3.       to be an institution proactively engaged with national and international networks in an open and inclusive way;
4.       to be an institution with greater public visibility, highlighting the value of its collection and services.
These commitments were shared with LAC partners during a series of meetings held with Mr. Berthiaume in recent months, and they were very well received.
Library and Archives Canada plays a vital role in acquiring, preserving, and making our country's documentary heritage accessible, including by serving as the permanent memory of the Government of Canada.
http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/news/Pages/2014/royal-society-canada-report.aspx
After having time to digest the complete report I may have more to add.

You can download the report as a pdf from https://rsc-src.ca/sites/default/files/pdf/L%26A_Report_EN_FINAL_Web.pdf


Thursday, 13 November 2014

BIFHSGO Scottish Genealogy Group

Saturday, November 15
Scottish Genealogy Group  (Special Interests Groups)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Room 226, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Are you interested in your Scottish roots? In discovering who your Scottish ancestors were and how they lived? The Scottish Genealogy Group is made up of people who share these interests. At our informal meetings we share information and resources and discuss our successes and our brick walls. We all, beginners and experts alike, learn from and encourage each other.

Alberta Court Records for Family History - Maybe!

"Alberta’s court records reveal family history, mischief, murder and even the mundane, but only if you know where to look."
Law & Original Order: Discovering Alberta's Court Records is a new online exhibit - created by the Provincial Archives of Alberta that highlights their holdings of records created by Alberta's court system.

The exhibit aims to be "a practical research tool that provides access to the often-complicated world of (Civil, Criminal, Divorce, Probate and other) court records as well as an opportunity to learn about fascinating civil and criminal cases heard by the courts over the years."

Unfortunately with the exception of a few interesting cases all the records are in hard copy. Not even indexes, where they exist, are online. You need to know jurisdiction and court within the province and then find the case file number using indexes (where they exist). None of that is presently online - pity! And, you may have to go to the original courthouse to get a docket or case file number.

To localize the search you'd be well advised to start a searching in some of the other sources mentioned, for digitized newspapers,try Peel's Prairie Provinces and for local histories, try Our Roots.

While researching this I found that Peel's Prairie Provinces have recently added the St Albert Gazette (1949-53, 1964-79) to their digitized collection.

OGS Quinte Branch November Meeting

Quinte Branch of Ontario Genealogical Society will feature Great Moments in Genealogy, including 7 Golden rules of Genealogy and Basic Techniques. Bring your questions to this open forum.
Date: Saturday 15 November, 2014
Time - 1 pm - 3 pm
Place - Quinte West Public Library, 7 Creswell Drive, Trenton, ON  K8V 6X5

For more information visit www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canqbogs/

Thanks to Debb Walker for the tip.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Facebook for Canadian Genealogy

A not-to-be-missed initiative by Gail Dever who writes the Genealogy à la carte blog, and is also BIFHSGO webmaster.

Facebook for Canadian Genealogy is:
"a list of groups and pages that can help genealogists researching their ancestors who lived in Canada. In addition to listing genealogical societies, I have included historical societies, national and provincial archives, museums, United Empire Loyalist groups, and special interests."
 Find out more at http://genealogyalacarte.ca/?p=6200

Step Up To The Vimy Challenge

Were you inspired by the Tower of London poppy installation? So was I.
Will the Government of Canada call on our arts community to find our own creative ways to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, above and beyond parades, stone and metal monuments and wreath laying.

Call for Presentation Proposals for the BIFHSGO Conference 2015

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) is seeking proposals for presentations at its 21st annual conference, September 18-20, 2015 to be held in Ottawa at Library and Archives Canada.
The three themes for the conference will be Scotland, Photographs in Genealogy, and Technology (including hardware, software, apps, websites, databases, social media, DNA analysis tools etc.). Proposals on these three themes for lectures at the conference on the Saturday and Sunday are sought as well as for workshops or seminars on the Friday.
Talks on other topics which would be of interest to attendees are also welcome.
Details on writing the proposals can be found at www.bifhsgo.ca under the Conference 2015 heading. Please send your proposals to conference@bifhsgo.ca  before January 31, 2015.

Shannon Lecture: Saving a “Prehistoric Horse”

The second in this year's Shannon Lecture series on Beastly Histories from the History Department at Carleton University is by Nigel Rothfels, one of the leading historians in the field, widely respected for his work on cultural politics of zoos, Savages and Beasts: The Birth of the Modern Zoo (2002).  His lecture will examine the “restoration” of the "Przewalski Horse,” looking at the growing interest in rewilding, the re-introduction of extinct species to the landscape.

That's this Friday, 14 November in the Humanities Lecture Theatre, 303 Paterson Hall, from 1:00-2:30 pm.
Details at www.carleton.ca/history/news/shannon-lecture/shannon-lectures-history-2014/beastly-histories-november-14/

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Brighton History

History Notes by M Bance is a column that runs in The Post, a community magazine serving the residents of Westdene, Tongdean, Withdean and Patcham on the outskirts of Brighton. A compilation of past articles is online at www.thepostmagazine.co.uk/ArticlesAboutBrighton.php. They are. with articles with a Canadian connection linked:

AN ACT OF REMEMBRANCE
A CALL TO ARMS: TAKING A DIFFERENT VIEW
BACK TO SCHOOL: A SHORT HISTORY OF SCHOOL UNIFORM
BRIGHTON: THE SUMMER OF 1914
BATHING BEAUTIES
THE LONDON TO BRIGHTON BIKE RIDE
THE BATTLE OF LEWES 750
THE COUNTESS OF HUNTINGDON AND HER CONNEXION
BRIGHTON HIPPODROME
A SHORT HISTORY OF PERFUME
JOURNEYS - HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY
A CENTURY OF PARTY FROCKS & EVENING WEAR FASHION HISTORY AT CHRISTMAS BY JAYNE SHRIMPTON
THE NIGHT OF THE FIRES
FROM GENTEEL WATERING PLACE TO DAY TRIPPERS' PARADISE
THE FRIENDS’ MEETING HOUSE
INNOCENT FUN UNDER CANVAS
BRIGHTON ON THE LEVEL
BRIGHTON: A TOWN ON TRIAL THE GREAT CONSPIRACY CASE
A HISTORY OF PRESTON PARK
WALKING IN THE ZOO
MEDICAL FAILINGS, EXCORIATING REPORTS AND COVER-UPS VICTORIAN STYLE
BRIGHTON’S MOST FAMOUS AMBASSADOR, SPORTSMAN AND PHILANTHROPIST: SIR HARRY PRESTON
AUSTERITY IN BACKYARD BRIGHTON IN THE THIRTIES
DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! THE HAZARDOUS WORLD OF THE VICTORIAN PARLOUR GAME
THE CHANGING FACE OF COMMEMORATION
THE WITCHES OF BRIGHTON AND SUSSEX
FUN IN THE WATER AQUATIC ENTERTAINERS
CHARLOTTE, THE FORGOTTEN PRINCESS
THE BRITISH SWIMMING CHAMPION & A VERY ANNOYED CHANCELLOR OF THE THIRD REICH!
ENTHRONED IN THE HEARTS OF THEIR PEOPLE
FISH AND SHIPS
REVOLUTIONARY TALES
BRIGHTON’S GREAT DANCE CRAZE
THE ‘HIDDEN’ HOSPITAL IN BUCKINGHAM ROAD
“SOOT -OH, SWEEP”
A DICKENS OF A CHRISTMAS!
SÉANCES, SCIENCE & SPIRITUALISM: A VICTORIAN DIVERSION
A LITTLE PIECE OF HOLLYWOOD
BRIGHTON AND HOVE CELEBRATE THE CORONATION OF KING EDWARD VII
THE OLDEST OPERATING AQUARIUM IN THE WORLD
I DO LIKE TO BE BESIDE THE SEASIDE…
THE GENTLEMAN’S GAME
MEMORIES PRESTON MANOR
DRESS FOR EXCESS
A DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE PAST AND THE PRESENT WITH MRS MURIEL ELMS
THE ROYAL ESCAPE
THE POPULAR FIGURE OF THE 18TH CENTURY GENTLEMAN SMUGGLER
A REGENCY CHRISTMAS AT THE ROYAL PAVILION
BRIGHTON AS NATIONAL FOSTER MOTHER
NO ORDINARY GHOST STORY: NO ORDINARY HOUSE
ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE MASSES
OLD FRIENDS
THE MOST NOTORIOUS MAN-WOMEN STORY OF THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY
THE WAGNERS
ORIENTAL PALACE OCCUPIED BY KING-EMPEROR’ S ORIENTAL TROOPS
STONES AT ST PETERS.
GANGLAND BRIGHTON
THE SEVEN AGES OF BRIGHTON GENERAL
PANTOMIME & BRIGHTON’S THEATRICAL HERITAGE

Thanks to Christine Jackson for the tip.

Remembrance Day 2014



Monday, 10 November 2014

The Surname Society

I received a press release for The Surname Society which will certainly be of interest. It is incorporated into a blog post by Elizabeth Kipp giving additional background information. Read what Elizabeth has to say at http://kippeeb.blogspot.ca/2014/11/the-surname-society.html

Lucille Campey Inaugurates BIFHSGO YouTube Channel

The lead-off plenary presentation at September's BIFHSGO 20th anniversary conference, Ignored But Not Forgotten: Canada's English Immigrants given by Lucille Campey is the first item on the new society YouTube Channel. Based on her book with the same title Lucille gives a comprehensive overview of English immigration and answers audience questions.
Thanks to Nick and Noah from Communique Direct Studios for the video production.
Although this is the first video on BIFHSGO's channel it isn't the first time for BIFHSGO on YouTube. Remember this from Chris Paton's plenary talk at the 2012 BIFHSGO conference?

Remembrance Day

The Ontario East British Home Child Family will be laying a wreath at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, on Remembrance Day. The ribbon will read BRITISH HOME CHILDREN & THEIR DESCENDANTS. Joan O'Malley, daughter of a British Home Child will lay the wreath.

Joan has another claim to fame - http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/joans-flag-flies-high-as-canadas-national-symbol-with-video

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Library and Archives Canada: At the Crossroads

My heart skipped a beat as I read toward the end of this article by National Librarian and Archivist Guy Berthiaume. Published in the August issue of the Canadian Library Association's bimonthly Feliciter he writes:

"I would like to see some of our most compelling documents on display in the centre of Ottawa, at 395 Wellington Street." 
"Thousands of people turned out to view the Canadian constitution when it was displayed in Ottawa a few years ago, in all its rain-spattered authenticity. LAC can encourage this relationship, restore a sense of discovery, and contribute to national pride and shared heritage. In short, help Canadians know themselves."
Displaying key documents from the national collection is something I've been advocating LAC should be doing for some while. It should be quality, not quantity. LAC does not need an expensive program to continually mount new themed exhibits. Leave that for the museums.

Saskatchewan Historic Newspapers Online

The first stage of an ambitious project to digitize newspapers from across Saskatchewan from 1878 through to the mid 1960s is now online. Available at the moment are newspapers published during the first part of the Great War period, most for 1914 and 1915.

You can browse page images, they are ordered alphabetically by month and date. You can also search by keywords within the newspaper name and within article headlines, as well as by the community associated with the newspaper. They hope to add a search functions to include the full text of the newspapers (which is reliant on the Optical Character Recognition), as well as to implement a controlled vocabulary of subject headings in the indefinite future.

Newspapers and years available are: Alameda Dispatch - 1914, 1915; Carlyle Herald - 1914; Cupar Herald - 1914, 1915; Elrose Review - 1915; Svoboda ( Jersey City, NJ) - 1914; Lloydminster Times and District News - 1914; Lloydminster Review - 1914; (Melfort) Journal - 1915; Melfort Moon - 1914, 1915;  Milestone Mail - 1914, 1915;  (Moosomin) World-Spectator - 1914, 1915; St. Peter's Bote (Munster) - 1914, 1915; Nokomis Times - 1915; Rosetown Eagle - 1914, 1915;  (Saskatoon) Saturday Press - 1914, 1915; (Saskatoon) Whip - 1915; Strassburg Mountaineer - 1914, 1915; Viscount Sun - 1914, 1915; Wadena Herald - 1914, 1915; Wakaw Recorder - 1914, 1915; Watson Witness - 1914, 1915; (Whitewood) Herald - 1914, 1915; Wilkie Press - 1914, 1915; Wolseley News - 1914, 1915; Yorkton Enterprise - 1914, 1915.

The goal to have the rest of the Great War online by November 2015 and then continue on to the remaining years in bite-sized, thematic sections (i.e. the settlement of the province, The Great
Depression, WWII, etc.).  When completed, the collection will amount toover 10 million pages of newsprint.

Start at http://sabnewspapers.usask.ca/

Saturday, 8 November 2014

LAC Departmental Performance Report 2013–2014

What did Library and Archives Canada achieve last fiscal year? That's what we expect to learn in reading an annual report.

Some of the highlights:

  • LAC acquired 76 private archival holdings, nearly 150,000 publications, and more than 1,100 websites. In addition, 1,583 government transfers were recorded.
  • Began processing the service files of members enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the First World War, to be completed by the end of 2015–2016.
  • 50,000 descriptions added to the Portrait Portal.
  • LAC and its partners digitized over 17 million pages of the collection, that is, more than were digitized in the previous six years combined.
  • In 2013–2014, staff responded to an average of over 8,000 requests each month. 
  • LAC signed two major collaborative agreements with Ancestry.ca and Canadiana.org.

The document admits that LAC is only partly achieving the objective of acquiring the infrastructure and the new skills it needs to manage documentary heritage in the 21st century.

Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs]) employed were 885 in 2013-14 which is 25 more than planned.

Expenditures for LAC in 2013-14 was $100.8 million, down from $118.9 million the previous year.

Further spending cuts are planned, down to $96 million in the current fiscal year and $93 million in 2015-16.

You can read the full report at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/about-us/departmental-performance-reports/departmental-performance-report-2013-2014/Pages/dpr-toc-mess-sec1.aspx

Comment
LAC was preoccupied in the first part of the year removing a disastrous National Librarian and Archivist and under interim leadership for the remainder of the year. Unsurprising then that their is an unremarkable report with a focus on maintaining work on long-term mission.
The word modernization so associated with the ancien regime is nowhere to be found. "Whole of Society Approach" only appears twice, which is two times too often for the bad taste the phrase leaves in the mouth.


Jewish Heritage in England

This week the Toronto Family History Centre weekly bulletin has information of particular interest to those of us with British Jewish ancestry.

1. The National Anglo-Jewish Heritage Trail Website aims to raise awareness of the history of Jews in England. There are 22 trails currently online, each has pictures and a description of places of importance for Jews. Start at www.jtrails.org.uk/

2. Many of genealogist Harold Pollins' articles on the history of Jews in Oxfordshire originally published in the Oxford Menorah are available on online:

1993: An Unknown Soldier: Harry Mitchell Davidson, A World War I Jewish Soldier from Oxford and his Family1996: It's a Small World2002: The Lynn Family of Oxford2003: Isaac or Levi or Lewis or Percy Levi Solomon of Oxford2003: Habonim in Oxford in WWII (updated 2012)
2004: The Jufra Club in the Second World War2005: M.E. Slapoffski of Oxford2005: Rabbi Jacob Weinberg leaves Oxford2006: Two Unknown Welsh Synagogues, and an Oxford Connection2009: Slapoffskis in Oxford2010: Thame and its Jews2011: The Last Minister of Oxford2012: The Freedsons in Oxford2013: Phillip Cohen of Oxford 1791-18772013: Solomon Moses Mitchel. A transient in Oxford2014: Ministers in Oxford2014: Oxford Jewish Casualties in First World War - Three Mysteries


Friday, 7 November 2014

Deceased Online adds Pembrokeshire Records

Records for 11 cemeteries and burial grounds scattered around Pembrokeshire and crematorium in Narberth (Arberth) are the latest additions at deceasedonline.com. The sites, managed by Pembrokeshire Council, are:

Parc Gwyn Crematorium; records from 1968
Llanion Cemetery, Pembroke Dock; records from 1869
City Road Cemetery, Haverfordwest; records from 1926
Llanwnda Cemetery, Goodwick, Fishguard; records from 1906
St Michaels Cemetery, Pembroke; records from 1895
Monkton Cemetery, Pembroke; records from 1895
Freystrop Cemetery (near Haverfordwest); records from 1938
St Ishmaels Cemetery (near Dale); records from 1957
Llangwm Cemetery; records from 1938
Nolton Cemetery, Nolton Haven; records from 1954
Llanfair Nan-ty-gof Cemetery, Trecwn; records from 1966
Rosemarket Cemetery; records from 2004

There are approximately 50,000 individual cremation and 36,000 burial records comprising the following range of data available:

Digital scans of cremation registers, 1968-1999
Computerised records for all remaining sites and post 1999 for the crematorium
Grave details indicating all those buried within each grave
Maps indicating the section of a cemetery or burial ground where graves are located

Ancestry adds York and Caernarfonshire Records

A couple of smallish UK record collects are added to Ancestry

10,396 early records of York, Yorkshire, England, St. Michael le Belfrey Parish Register 1565-1653 from a transcription of two volumes of the original registers published in 1899. Aside from BMBs there are a few additional records in the original including mention of the parents of Guy Fawkes (Faux).

Caernarfonshire, Wales, Lleyn and Eifionydd Church Registers and Gravestone Inscriptions, 1600-1902 has 2,756 records from the 1903 publication Gleanings from God's Acre: Within the Hundred of Lleyn and Commot of Eifionydd . It includes information from the communities of Aberdaron, Aber-erch, Boduan, Bottwnog, Cryncroes, Carnguwch, Ceidio, Dyneio, Edeyrn, Llanbedrog, Llandegwning, Llandudwen, Llanengan, Llanfaelrhys, Llanfeyllteyrn, Llanfihangel-Bachellaeth, Llangian, Llangwandl, Llaiestyn, Llannor, Nefyn, Penllech, Penrhos, Pistyll, Rhiw, Tudweiliog, Baddgelert, Criccieth, Dolbenmaen, Llanarmon, Llanfihangel-y-Pennant, Llangybi, Llanystumdwy, Penmorfa, and Ynyscynhaiarn.
...


BIFHSGO November Meeting

I'm anticipating a big BIFHSGO turnout on Saturday to hear Dr Jonathan Vance who holds the J.B. Smallman Research Chair in the Department of History at Western University. Appropriate for the time of year, and the centennial, his current research focuses on the First World War, Canadian culture, and prisoners of war.

The schedule is:
9:00 a.m. Before BIFHSGO — A Century Ago: War Comes to Canada, a presentation by Dr. Jonathan Vance.
9:30 a.m. Discovery Tables — Canada in WWI, Artifacts, and Military Mapping, hosted by Dr. Jonathan Vance and Clem McClemens.
10:00 a.m.
Who Was the Canadian Soldier? — Dr. Jonathan Vance will describe conventional wisdom about the Canadian soldier and discuss how a return to the Canadian Expeditionary Force attestation papers gives us a dramatically different picture of the nation at war. In doing so, Dr Vance will outline some of the hazards facing the researcher who uses these records.

I've not met him but am informed he's "Not only brilliant, he is also genuine and an absolute pleasure to speak to!"

FamilySearch adds Isle of Man Parish Registers, 1598-2009

There are 424,389 records in this indexed collection of baptisms, marriages, and burials from the Isle of Man, sourced from the Manx National Heritage’s iMuseum. The information is transcribed - no images and appears to overlap in part information previously available on FamilySearch.
There's much more Isle of Man information at  www.imuseum.im including newspapers and a WW1 collection.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Is an intergenerational self associated with personal strength?

If you took the survey yesterday, and even if you didn't, here's the article I mentioned. From The New Republic. It's The Mormon Church Is Building a Family Tree of the Entire Human Race: They already have 32 times the amount of information contained in the Library of Congress.

The survey yesterday is the one referred to about half-way through the article. It's aimed at children and found the higher children scored on the test the higher they also scored on measures of self-esteem and self-control.

In a day or so I'll provide a summary of the survey.

Thanks to Del Muise for the tip.


Findmypast Free Weekend

Free World unlimited access to Findmypast this weekend.

Between midday on Friday, November 7th and midday on Monday, November 10th (GMT), absolutely everyone will have access to all Findmypast's historical records, including:

Millions of birth, marriage and death records
Census, land and substitute records from the US, UK, Ireland and Australia
Millions of newspaper pages from all over the world
Travel and migration records
Military records from all over the world, including World War 1 records.
You will need to register for an account, but that is all.

As a subscriber this doesn't mean a lot to me. A considerate touch is that the company is extending all existing subscription periods by three days -- sometimes response can be much slower than normal during such free for alls.