Saturday, 20 October 2018

Trends in genealogy software

According to Google Trends searches for Family Tree Maker continue to exceed those for four of the other most popular PC genealogy programs. Search volume for FTM has decreased substantially over the past five years to only a quarter that at the start of the period.
Second highest search volume is for Heredis. Based in France, and also popular in Quebec, it also shows similar declines.
I suspect the decline is due to a move to the cloud and smartphones. That's even though those apps are not as capable as genealogy software.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Findmypast adds to Northumberland and Durham Burial

The largest addition to FMP this week has over 129,000 new transcript records for a total 742,734 entries in this collection for these northeastern English counties.
There's a list of over 200 parishes included, with the coverage date range at

What's DNA worth to Ancestry?

These trend lines, produced by Google Trends, show the five year evolution to the present of the number of web searches worldwide involving the term Ancestry.
The blue line is for a simple "Ancestry" search, the red for "Ancestry DNA". The values are normalized to 100 at the "Ancestry" peak.

Ancestry DNA is responsible for the growth in Ancestry since 2015. Elsewhere in the company progress is powered by fumes in the innovation tank. A decline in searches for Ancestry and Ancestry DNA since late last year is also apparent.

For the five year period the top five countries from where "Ancestry" searches were conducted were: United Kingdom (100); Australia (87); New Zealand (85); United States (74); Canada (55).

For the last 90 days they are: United Kingdom (100), New Zealand (76), Australia (71), United States (70), Ireland (62). Canada comes 6th at 54.

For the five year period for "Ancestry DNA" searches the leading countries were: United States (100), New Zealand (82), Australia (58), Canada (57), United Kingdom (48).

For the last 90 days they are: New Zealand (100), United States (95), Canada (81), United Kingdom (81), Australia (76).

Does anyone have thoughts on the prominence of New Zealand?

Documentary Heritage Communities Program 2019-2020

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) have launched the Documentary Heritage Communities Program 2019-2020 funding cycle.

For this fifth call for proposals changes will allow for greater flexibilities for projects financed through small contributions and encourage organizations to pursue projects by collaborating with other key members of the community.

The major changes include:

New maximum funding amounts for:

Small contributions: Now below $25,000 per project for up to two years; and
Large contributions: Now between $25,000 and $50,000 per project, per funding cycle for up to three years.
Additional support for organizations located in remote areas:
small contributions up to $29,999 per project;
large contributions up to $60,000 per project, per funding year;
Amendments to the list of eligible organizations to be more inclusive (specific mention of “Indigenous organizations” and “Indigenous government organizations”) and flexible (“organizations with an archival component” instead of previously “museums with an archival component”). That would include genealogical societies.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Military history recognition: "Far From Home"

Since 2007 Kent residents Diana Beaupré and Adrian Watkinson have been pursuing a personal project to visit and record each First World War CEF grave in the British Isles.

The graves and memorials for 3899 First World War Canadian Expeditionary Force soldiers may be found in 872 locations within 90 counties and 9 islands across the British Isles. Many were in remote churchyards and far-flung tiny cemeteries.

Now their work has been recognized by the award of the Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division). The MSM is awarded for achievements over a limited period of time that have brought benefit or honour to Canada. They hope to receive the award in Ottawa from the Governor General early in 2019.
Find out more about the project at which acknowledges "The Directors and Members of British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa Canada" as Gold Sponsors.

Gail Dever at OGS Kingston Branch

The Kingston Branch monthly meeting for October has Gail Dever, well-know blogger of Genealogy à la carte, speaking on "Today's Social Media for Genealogy".
The meeting is on Saturday, 20 October at 9:30 am at the Kingston Seniors Centre, 56 Francis Street in Kingston.  Visitors always welcome.

Martin Milks Crawford: CWGC Beechwood

Private Martin Milks Crawford, born 13 June 1892 in Hull, Quebec, died 100 years ago, 18 October 1918. Son of Martin and Susan Crawford, of Cobalt West. Ont.; husband of Minnie Crawford, of 186, Gladstone Avenue, Ottawa, he served with the Canadian Forestry Corps 24th Coy.
He died of pneumonia and was interred in Lot 15. South-West. Sec. 29. 26 at Beechwood Cemetery.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

NHDS Awards announced

Here is the list of 21 National Heritage Digitization Strategy awards announced in Vancouver
  • Colony, Confederation and Country: Accessing the National Story Through the Lens of Prince Edward Island’s Historical Newspapers (Robertson Library, University of Prince Edward Island), Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island ($45,685)
  • The Robin Collection: Digitization, Access and Preservation (Musée de la Gaspésie), Gaspé, Quebec ($43,742)
  • Early Photographs of the Innu and Atikamekw Peoples (Université Laval Library), Québec, Quebec ($28,742)
  • Forging Fur-ways: the North West Company Fur Trade Collection (McGill University Library) Montréal, Quebec ($15,963)
  • Set of 146 Early Books in Indigenous Languages (1556-1900) (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec), Montréal, Quebec ($22,511)
  • Digitizing Past Issues of Bulletin d’histoire politique (Association québécoise d’histoire politique), Montréal, Quebec ($6,525)
  • Le Son des Français d’Amérique : Mixed Traces and Memories of Continents (Cinémathèque québécoise), Montréal, Quebec ($86,812)
  • Digitizing and Publishing Heritage Collections on Canadian History (Document Management and Archives Division, Université de Montréal), Montréal, Quebec ($81,141)
  • Discovering the Heritage of the Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario (1910–1990): A Living Memory! (Centre for Research on French Canadian Culture, University of Ottawa), Ottawa, Ontario ($86,805)
  • Digital John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir (Queen’s University Library), Kingston, Ontario ($65,033)
  • The MacGregor Collection (The Canadian Canoe Museum), Peterborough, Ontario ($9,925)
  • Digitizing Inuit Artistic Heritage (Inuit Art Foundation), Toronto, Ontario ($80,786)
  • Healing and Education Through Digital Access (Algoma University), Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario ($86,890)
  • First Nations and Métis Oral History Digitization Project (Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan), Regina, Saskatchewan ($8,700)
  • Indian History Film Project Digitization (First Nations University of Canada), Regina, Saskatchewan ($19,414)
  • The Idea of the North: Exploring Evidence of Resilience and Change (University of Saskatchewan), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan ($83,058)
  • Smoke Signals, Satellites and Servers: Digitizing the ANCS Television Archive (Sound Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta), Edmonton, Alberta ($36,744)
  • Chambermaids to Whistle Punks: The Labour and Lives of B.C. Women, 1890–1970 (Satellite Video Exchange Society), Vancouver, British Columbia ($16,098)
  • BC Gay and Lesbian Archives Audiovisual and Graphic Material Digitization Project (City of Vancouver Archives), Vancouver, British Columbia ($71,015)
  • What Becomes Canada: Digitizing Narratives of Exploration, Settlement, and Contact (Vancouver Island University Library), Nanaimo, British Columbia ($17,015)
  • Native Communications Society Digitization Project (Northwest Territories Archives), Yellowknife, Northwest Territories ($86,796)
The image above is a word cloud based on the text above showing an objective view of the awards.

37% of the funding is for projects performed by Quebec-based organizations, 24% by Ontario-based. 37% of the funding is directly relevant to indigenous interest. No funding is awarded to organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Nunavut, Manitoba, or Yukon.

Invented Fantasies – Using Social Media to Talk About Pseudoarchaeology

Four BIFHSGO members enjoyed the first in the 2018 series of Carleton University Shannon lectures. The second is this Friday, 19 October, an intriguing presentation by Steph Halmhofer (consultant archaeologist/bioarchaeologist with Bones, Stones, and Books)


Skeletons of giants in British Columbia. People using psychic abilities to find proof that the empire of Atlantis included Nova Scotia. A cult in Quebec proposing aliens invented life on Earth. These sound like something you would find Dana Scully and Fox Mulder investigating in The X-Files. But I’m not Dana Scully, I’m an archaeologist. So why am I talking about aliens and giants? Because pseudoarchaeology, which includes the topics I’ve mentioned above, is a real concern facing both archaeologists and non-archaeologists. These theories can be found in books, television shows, and on social media but their negative impacts reach far beyond these pages and screens.

With rising popularity in social media and a currently combined total of around 440 million monthly users on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it’s not difficult to imagine how quickly pseudoarchaeological theories can spread online. But just as we use our knowledge and trowels, social media can also be a powerful tool in the archaeological toolkit, a toolkit I want to share through this lecture. We’ll talk about what pseudoarchaeology is, focusing largely on Canadian examples, and how you can identify it. We’ll talk about the racism of pseudoarchaeology. We’ll also talk about how various media platforms are used to spread pseudoarchaeology. And finally, we’ll talk about how archaeologists and non-archaeologists can use social media to talk about and de-bunk pseudoarchaeology.

Dunton Tower (room 2017), from 1:00-2:30 PM. Reception to follow.

Co-presented by the Department of History and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

James Wood: CWGC Beechwood

Born 7 September 1896 in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Sapper James Wood, service No:2014172, of the Divisional Signal Training Depot, Lansdowne Park, died on 17 October 1918 at Ottawa's St Luke's Hospital. He had attested in Cleveland, Ohio, on 2 August 1918.

He had been assigned to go with the Siberian Expeditionary Force.

His grave reference is Lot G.36. Sec. 29 at Beechwood Cemetery.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Building and Sharing Your Family Tree

This Thursday 18 October, 2018 at 7:00 pm the Ottawa Public Library hosts a 2 hour session Building and Sharing Your Family Tree.

There are many options for building and sharing your family tree: paper or electronic forms, family tree software, online family trees on sites like Ancestry or My Heritage, and collaborative family tree websites such as WikiTree.  Genealogist and BIFHSGO member Leanne Cooper will explore the key features, pros and cons of each, along with things to consider when making the choice.

The session is at the Greenboro Community Centre, 363 Lorry Greenberg in Meeting room A.

Register here.

OPL Genealogy Drop-in

Tuesday, 16 October, 14:00 – 16:00
Ottawa Public Library - Nepean Centrepointe, 101 Centrepointe Dr, Ottawa, ON K2G, Canada

Drop in anytime from 2-4pm to work on your family tree, share research strategies, & discover what resources are available for your research. Specialists from OPL and the Ontario Genealogical Society will be here to answer questions & help you get the most from library resources.  Bring your laptop, or tablet too! All Welcome.

Perth & District Historical Society October Meeting

The Society meeting on Thursday, 18 October is "The Richmond Military Road"

PDHS welcomes back local author and historian Larry D. Cotton.  Cotton’s presentation for this month will stray from his noteworthy series, “Whiskey and Wickedness” to talk about the Richmond Military Road, for which the area is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. 

The Richmond Military Road, built by the British Government in 1818, was a copy of the Roman model utilized to conquer and hold large parts of western Europe and England for centuries.  So, why was it built here? How adaptable was it to the wilderness of Upper Canada?  What was its impact on the Perth Military Settlement created in 1816?  Cotton also brings other points into the conversation.  The Rideau River Settlements and the construction of the Rideau Canal were integral components of the Richmond Road Project.  How were they linked together to facilitate the construction of 200 kilometers of canal through an unbroken wilderness? 

Sustaining the new military settlements of the Towns of Richmond, Franktown, Perth, Lanark Highlands and Ramsay was an important concern of this Project.  Distilleries and breweries played a major part.  The compelling mystery of the “whiskey tunnels” in the Town of Perth will be explored.  What about the problems of excessive drinking?  The “Nagging Wives Act” relegated miscreants to the public stocks in front of the Bathurst District Court House where they were punished by the passing public for their crime.  A local doctor told his patients with drinking problems that they might “spontaneously combust.”  Half pay officers were provided with “beer money” every three months as part of their pension allotment.  This led to a lot of trouble in town including half a dozen duels.  Why weren’t the laws prohibiting such affairs invoked? 

Larry Cotton has a Bachelor of Arts from Laurier University; Bachelor of Education from Queens University; Masters in Urban & Regional Planning from Queens; Diploma – Municipal Clerk-Treasurer from Georgian College.  He has been a land use planner for almost 40 years, serving as county planner for Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry; Planning Director for the Town of New Tecumseth, and also the Township of Springwater in Simcoe County; Deputy County Planner for Renfrew County.  Larry also taught part-time at Georgian College on Municipal Government; Municipal Law, and Environmental Law, and has facilitated municipal non-profit housing projects for seniors across Ontario. 

Everyone is welcome at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, home of ‘Hall of Remembrance’, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, 7:30pm (Toonie Donation).

Monday, 15 October 2018

Findmypast adds Dorset Baptism and Burial Transcripts

Findmypast now has 576,439 new Dorset baptism transcriptions entries between 1538 and 1978, covering more than 300 parishes.

The Dorset burials transcriptions collection has 438,196 entries  spanning the years 1538 to 1995 and covers more than 330 parishes across the county.

Don't overlook transcripts at the Dorset Online Parish Clerks with over 1.75 million individual records, updated as recently as 14 October 2018.

Peak Influenza Pandemic in Ottawa

October 1918 was a deadly month. Out of 365 mentions of the word influenza found in the Ottawa Journal and Citizen newspapers that year 167 were in October.

The peak number of the City's influenza pandemic deaths occurred on Tuesday 15 October 1918, 100 years ago today. A total of 62 deaths were recorded in the Ontario civil registers for Carleton County. The Notre Dame cemetery register show the remains of 30 buried, Beechwood Cemetery 16. All but six died of influenza or pneumonia; five of those six were infants.

For Ottawa a short Bytown Pamphlet #63, The plague of the Spanish Flu: the influenza epidemic of 1918 in Ottawa, by Jadranka Bacic, gives an overview of the local situation. At that time the outbreak was attributed to Canadian troops returning from Europe.

Now, according to The Horror at Home: The Canadian Military and the “Great” Influenza Pandemic of 1918 (PDF) it appears the influenza spread to Canada from the United States during the last weeks of September 1918. American military recruits on their way to support the allied offensive in Europe and delegates to a religious convention in the Eastern Townships were factors.

Notable was the number of deaths in the 20-35 age range. Typically in Ottawa there were about half as many deaths in that age range as deaths of infants less than 6 months of age, but in October 1918 there were 5.5 times as many.  A 2013 article posits that the increased mortality resulted from an early life exposure to influenza during the previous Russian flu pandemic of 1889–90.

Ottawa's mayor at the time was Harold Fisher who closed schools, theatres, reduced hours stores could be open; even closed churches. He realized the city's hospitals were inadequate. His statue outside the Ottawa Civic hospital recognizes his contribution to its construction on the then outskirts of the City, known at the time as Fisher's Folly.

Sadly the same foresight was not evident when the site of the new hospital near Dow's Lake was selected.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Genetic Genealogy YouTube Videos

A few days ago Maurice Gleeson posted a collection of videos from Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2017. In previous years these have been metered out in digestible chunks over a few weeks. This time they've all come together and it's up to you to pace yourself to avoid indigestion.

These GGI2017 videos are copyrighted to the presenter and should only be used for personal study.

DNA is Dynamite - How to Ignite your Ancestral Research (Michelle Leonard)
This will be a talk for beginners giving an overview of the basic information required to understand the three main types of DNA testing available for ancestral research.  Michelle will explain how each test works and talk you through the first steps you should take once your results arrive.  She will provide easy to follow hints and tips on how to get the most out of those results and apply them to your ancestral mysteries.  Practical real-life examples will illustrate how DNA testing can be used to connect with previously unknown cousins and confirm the accuracy of your family tree.

Y-DNA & the Ireland yDNA Project (Margaret Jordan)
Margaret is one of the Administrators of the Ireland yDNA Project which has over 6000 members with reported Irish ancestry. This presentation will discuss the evolution of the Ireland yDNA Project and the data which we are now able to extract from it. The talk will look at the major Y-DNA haplogroups found in the project and some of the smaller ones as well. This presentation will show how this Y-Geographical Project links up with relevant Y-Haplogroup Projects, other Y-Geographical Projects and Irish Surname Projects, which are all run through FamilyTreeDNA.

The Genetics of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (Hannes Schroeder)
Hannes is Assistant Professor of Archaeology at the University of Copenhagen and one of the lead investigators on the EUROTAST project which explores the genetics of the TransAtlantic Slave Trade.  Hannes will discuss the work of the project, why it was started in the first place, what we have learnt, and implications for future research. The project focused on three themes: Origins, Life Cycles, and Legacies, which led to further detail on the slave trading system, but also helped demonstrate how slavery fundamentally shaped the cultural and biological experiences of people of African descent around the world.

The Power of Mitochondrial DNA – a Swedish perspective (Peter Sjolund)
Mitochondrial DNA, the DNA of your mother’s mother’s line, is often underrated by genealogists but has proved very useful for genealogical research in Sweden and neighbouring countries. Peter is one of the founders of the highly successful Swedish Society for Genetic Genealogy and will present success stories from Scandinavian genealogy to show you how to use mtDNA effectively in your own genealogy and how to find your prehistoric relatives.

Autosomal DNA Through the Generations (Roberta Estes)
This talk will explore DNA through the ages - literally! What might you be able to do with DNA matching if you had 4 generations to work with? What could you learn? Looking at how DNA is inherited through multiple generations of the same family is the perfect way to learn about the principles of inheritance. It might also pique the interest of your children or grandchildren – what a fun project to undertake with them.

Autosomal Tips & Tools at Family Tree DNA (Roberta Estes)
Roberta is one of the most eminent genetic genealogy educators in the world. In this talk, she will cover tools to help you interpret your autosomal DNA results. Did you know that Family Tree DNA provides customers with 9 different tools for autosomal DNA matching and analysis? Did you know that you can use these in combination with each other for even more specific matches. Not only that, but within these tools there are lots of ways to utilize the various features. This talk will explore several different scenarios and different approaches to solving brick walls.

Match Making in Clare using Y-DNA & atDNA (Paddy Waldron)
Lisdoonvarna in County Clare is still famous for its annual matchmaking festival.  In previous centuries marriage in Clare and elsewhere was always an economic rather than a romantic transaction.  Paddy will talk about some of the surprising trends in arranged marriages revealed by genetic genealogy.  As co-administrator of the Clare Roots project, Paddy meets and greets members of the project when they visit Clare and introduces them, not to prospective spouses, but to long-lost cousins in Clare. Most of these meetings have provided new lessons about DNA matching which will feature in his talk.  Another type of match making that genetic genealogists engage in involves matching up (a) the oral traditions passed down through the generations, (b) the archival sources used by traditional genealogists and (c) the DNA evidence that often reconciles them, but sometimes refutes the oral tradition.  Paddy will include many examples illustrating these points, using both Y-DNA and autosomal DNA.

Autosomal DNA testing for Beginners (Donna Rutherford)
Understanding DNA results can be confusing and complex. If people can learn how to read and understand their results, they will get the maximum benefit from their investment in a DNA test. Donna’s talk will breakdown what a DNA test is, how it works, and how to interpret the results. This will be an easy to understand overview that beginners can feel comfortable attending without any previous experience with DNA. Experienced users most welcome, and hopefully they may pick up some tips and tricks too.

What do your Y-DNA Results mean? (Maurice Gleeson)
Y-DNA is extremely useful for learning more about a particular surname and where it came from. It can reconnect you with cousins on your direct male line, identify a place of ancestral origin, and even tie you in to specific genealogies in the ancient annals. In this talk, Maurice will take you through your Y-DNA results and help you understand what you are seeing. The next step will be to join the appropriate surname projects, haplogroup projects, and geographic projects. Maurice will discuss how Project Administrators analyse your results and how this can benefit your own genealogical research.

Introducing DNA for family research (Ann Marie Coghlan)
Why should we add DNA to our personal genealogy toolkit? Ann Marie explains the basics of DNA testing and how we can use genetic genealogy research in understanding not only our own personal family history but also our community history. This is an excellent talk for complete beginners who have never tested before, and a great refresher for those who already have.

Icelandic roots and identities: Genealogies, DNA, & personal names (Gisli Palsson)
Gisli is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Iceland. He will be talking about the genealogical database The Book of Icelanders and the DNA testing of the people of Iceland. Interestingly, these have helped reconstruct the genome of a runaway Caribbean slave who became an Icelandic merchant in the early 1800s. Gisli will discuss the quest of his descendants for roots and identity, a common desire for many people interested in family history. Genetic research shows that there are significant Irish signatures in the genetic makeup of modern Icelanders, thanks to Norse travels through Ireland. Gisli will compare and contrast the approach to (and interest in) genealogy in Iceland and Ireland.

Making the Most of Autosomal DNA (Debbie Kennett)
Autosomal DNA testing is a useful tool for the family historian. It can be used to confirm existing genealogical relationships and to reunite us with our long lost cousins. This talk will cover some of the basic concepts of autosomal DNA testing and look at strategies for working with your results. We will also look at some of the third-party tools and resources that are available to help you.

Prehistoric genomics at the Atlantic Edge (Dan Bradley)
It is now known from ancient genomic investigation that massive migrations were part of cultural transitions in European prehistory. It is interesting to discover if Ireland and Portugal underwent these massive migrations. This lecture explores the evidence for such migrations and discusses the implications of the results for understanding the origins of modern populations and the languages they speak.

Using Y-SNP Tests in Surname & Family Projects (John Cleary)
It is 4 years since FTDNA introduced their new Y chromosome sequencing test, the Big Y. This talk will review how this popular test has transformed surname projects in this time, and how the ‘SNP tsunami’ has upended and transformed the shape and size of the Y chromosome haplotree.  Strategies and useful utilities for making sense of the results of Big Y testing will be presented and discussed through a variety of cases where breakthroughs have been made, or new questions answered, about families, names and their origins.

Family Trees with SAPP - Automated from STRs, SNPs & Genealogies  (Dave Vance)
How can you continue building your family tree when your ancestors run out? Dave Vance explains how he is automating the process whereby STR markers, SNPs, & known genealogies can be used to build a "Mutation History Tree" within the context of a surname project. Soon every surname project administrator will be able to build such trees for the larger groups within their surname project. And for the individual genealogist, this means that for particular ancestral lines, the lineage will extend beyond your Brick Wall using DNA markers instead of named ancestors, potentially back to the origin of the surname itself.

Three days of GGI2018 presentations start in Dublin this Friday.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

We will find you: DNA search used to nab Golden State Killer can home in on about 60% of white Americans
A search could potentially allow the identification of about 60% of white Americans from a DNA sample—even if they have never provided their own DNA to an ancestry database.  By combining an anonymous DNA sample with some basic information such as someone’s rough age, researchers could narrow that person’s identity to fewer than 20 people by starting with a DNA database of 1.3 million individuals.

3 Reasons to Have Personal Genealogy Software and How to Choose
One person's view

Statistics Canada promises
It's an agency known for issuing quality data — but issued well after it's of much public interest.  According to the Globe and Mail article Statistics Canada promises more detailed portrait of Canadians with fewer surveys there's a vision of the first quarter [data] on March 31st. Having just finished reading Everybody Lies, Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are, by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz that doesn't seem that far fetched even for a government agency.

Inundated by plastic waste: companies named

RCI calls out the top brands for garbage in Canada, in order

1. Nestle (pure life bottled water)
2. Tim Horton’s (fast food chain)
3. MacDonald’s (fast food)
4. Starbucks (coffee)
5. Coca Cola.

Measuring the varied sentiments of good and bad words

Charles Henry Stearns: CWGC Beechwood

From the Ottawa Journal, 15 October 1918, page 14

Sergeant Charles Henry Stearns, bandmaster of the Second Depot Battalion, died in a local hospital Monday (14 October) after an illness (pneumonia) of ten days.
He was born in Ottawa nearly 30 years ago, and was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Franklin Stearns, of 174 lsabella Street.
(He attested on 15 October 1917)
Sergt. Stearns had always taken a keen interest in music, and had been with the G. G. F. G. and 43rd D. C. O. R. bands.  He will be remembered as one of the organizers of the Ottawa Concert Orchestra, a splendid musical body, and because of hie experience In musical matters was authorized to raise a band for the depot here. His efforts were most successful and although the number of his men was limited, his band won warm praise at the Central Canada exhibition and in other engagements. It was known as the 77th Battalion Band of the Second Depot Battalion.
Previous to hls enlistment he was with Mr. Louis Fournier, Ottawa representative of Gagnon Bros. He was a popular young man of sterling qualities, and his death caused the keenest regret both In business and musical circles.

His body lies in grave reference: Lot 71. Sec. 37 at Beechwood Cemetery.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Findmypast adds England & Wales, Electoral Registers 1920-1932

This is a collection of 107,815,803 persons eligible to vote.

The collection currently holds records for 1920-1932 with many missing after 1926 and very few for 1932. There are many duplicate entries.

In addition to first and last name you can optionally search or filter by year, constituency, polling district or place, additional keywords, county and country. The filter for constituency includes counties alphabetically to Nottinghamshire.

Information in the original register images includes a code for voting qualification, most commonly:

HO – Qualification through husband's occupation
O – Occupational qualification
R – Residence qualification

New from Pen and Sword: Criminal Children

New this month of genealogical interest from Pen and Sword, Criminal Children, by Barry Godfrey and Emma Watkins, shows changing ideas about the way children should behave – and how they should be corrected when they misbehaved – between 1820 and 1920.

"They describe a time in which ‘juvenile delinquency’ was ‘invented’, when the problem of youth crime and youth gangs developed, and society began to think about how to stop criminal children from developing into criminal adults. Through a selection of short biographies of child criminals, they give readers a direct view of the experience of children who spent time in prisons, reformatory schools, industrial schools and borstals, and those who were transported to Australia.

They also include a section showing how researchers can carry out their own research on child offenders, the records they will need and how to use them, so the book is a rare combination of academic guide and how-to-do-it manual. It offers readers cutting-edge scholarship by experts in the field and explains how they can explore the subject and find out about the lives of offending children."

Friday, 12 October 2018

Victoria Cross Archive

BIFHSGO member and chair of OGS Quinte Branch, Terry Buttler, emailed to let me know about the Victoria Cross Archive, The Facts Behind the Men, Behind the Medals. 

Compiled by UK historian Tom Johnson it contains 1,356 books, “some very small and others very large.”

Terry tells me the only location where this collection exists in the world is in Canada at the Marilyn Adams Genealogical Research Centre and the Seventh Town Historical Society in Ameliasburgh, Prince Edward County.

It's one of the places highlighted in 10 Places to Get a Taste of County History by the Prince Edward County tourist folks, that that doesn't include the not to be missed wineries!

Thanks for the tip Terry. I always appreciate receiving information on this type of little known collection.

Journal of One-Name Studies: Oct-Dec 2018

The Guild of One-Name Studies originated and is still significantly focused in the UK, witness the events organized and metric format of the journal.
Yet many of the 2,899 members live elsewhere, witness the first three main articles in the most recent Journal issue.
Pamela Lydford, from Australia, recounts the life of Sir Harold Thomas Lydford (1898 - 1979) from her small(ish)  Lydford/Lidford one name study.
Albertan Wayne Shepheard writes on Surname Origins - Why? When? When Then?. He explains why he believes climate change, in particular during the last millennium had a substantial impact on surnames coming into common use.
David Pike, from Newfoundland, documents his experience in Promoting the Pike One-Name Study with Google Ads. Google wasn't entirely straightforward in promoting the free offer of advertising on AdWords he received yet the lessons from the experience, especially the impressions and clicks, helped elucidate the distribution and interest in the name.  David found that care is needed in selecting keywords and phrases to avoid fishing in the wrong pond (pike). AdWords might be worth considering in promoting a genealogical society in a more modern way than notices in newspapers, flyers and posters on notice boards.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

How do you feel about the use of your DNA for non-genealogical purposes?

Maurice Gleeson has posted a survey to the Genetic Genealogy Ireland group. The survey was introduced by:

The Golden State Killer case revealed how DNA & Genealogy Combined can potentially be used to identify serial rapists and serial killers. US Law Enforcement Agencies used DNA & genealogical data supplied by genealogists (publicly available on Gedmatch) to generate an investigational lead to a possible suspect. They then used routine police procedures to acquire a “discarded DNA sample” from the suspect in question and established that his DNA matched DNA found at the crime scenes. The suspect was subsequently arrested, further confirmatory forensic DNA testing was done (and chain of custody established), and he currently awaits trial.
Perhaps you'd like to add your input, even if you're not Irish. Maurice is OK with this. There is a question where you could self-identify as Canadian.

The survey would have been even more valuable if it also had questions related to some of the possible downsides of DNA testing. For example:

1. Are you concerned about the possibility that you or a relative might suffer discrimination in obtaining insurance or a job based on DNA test results?
2. Does the possibility of discovering suppressed aspects of your family history, such as non-paternity, adoption or half-siblings, worry you?
3. Are you concerned that an authoritarian regime might use results of a DNA test as a basis for discrimination?

BIFHSGO October Meeting

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Establishing Mitochondrial DNA Signatures of Early Immigrant Mothers: Successes and Cautions  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

Do you know that group projects are establishing the ancestral mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) signatures of early North American immigrants? Learn from Annette Cormier O'Connor about their methods, successes, and limitations, using the immigrants to New France as exemplars.

Most Canadians’ family trees trace back to an immigrant mother who passed on her mtDNA; you use it each time you need energy to move or think, because mitochondria are our energy factories. To trace the source of your mtDNA in a matriline, start with your mother, her mother, and so on, back to an immigrant mother.

Family Tree DNA’s projects bring together descendants whose entire mtDNA code (signature) is tested and expert leaders who verify matrilines to group signatures under each immigrant’s name. An immigrant’s signature is confirmed when two of her documented descendants have: 1) matching mtDNA; and 2) matrilines converging on two different daughters. Confirmed signatures provide biological proof of documented matrilines and help those with record gaps to find their immigrant mother.

About the speaker

Annette Cormier O’Connor, MScN (Nursing, U Toronto), PhD (Medical Science, U Toronto) is a retired professor and passionate genealogist.

Annette's passion for genealogy was ignited 10 years ago, during Lesley Anderson’s “Rattle Them Bones” course and subsequent courses at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. During a 2013 quest to find the immigrant mother who passed on her mtDNA to her, she completed an NIGS course in genetic genealogy and joined several FTDNA immigrant projects, whose lead experts generously shared their knowledge. She was so moved by this experience that she that she now volunteers with Cornwall’s Genealogy Centre members to learn how to use mtDNA testing to confirm their documented matrilines or to bridge record gaps to find their immigrant mother.

Using Local Family History Societies in Your Genealogical Research  (Before BIFHSGO Education Talk)
9:00 am to 9:30 am

Marianne Rasmus will share tips on why and how to use local family history societies in your family history research. She will share some of the resources available and concrete examples of how this often-over-looked tool can be used to flesh out ancestor’s stories and break down brick walls.

About the speaker

Born and raised in Vancouver, Marianne Rasmus spent most of her life in BC, experiencing life on Vancouver Island, in BC’s north and in the Fraser Valley. But when the opportunity for a mid-life adventure came, Marianne and her husband, Bill, took the plunge and moved to Ottawa in 2013.

After reluctantly taking Canadian History as a “filler” course in college, Marianne discovered an interest and passion for history she never expected. That interest took on new meaning, and some might say became an obsession, when she began her family history journey in 2008 and started unearthing long-forgotten stories in both her and her husband’s family trees. Marianne and Bill have been married for almost 35 years and have two sons and two granddaughters.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Findmypast discount offer

I'm a long-time Findmypast subscriber and use it frequently, especially these days for the digitized British newspaper access.

Sadly FMP has discontinued discount subscription offers in conjunction with membership in genealogical and family history societies.

Now, for a limited time, we can all get 15% off a 12-month Findmypast Pro subscription.

The offer is good for new subscribers and existing subscribers who auto-renew and is open until 23.59 BST, 16th October 2018. It may not work if you don't have auto-renew checked.

For the small print see

Note that after the initial 12-month period, your subscription will be automatically renewed at the normal price unless you un-tick the ‘auto-renew my subscription’ box in the My Account section of the site.

Ancient Art and Modern Crime: How Stolen Antiquities End Up In Our Most Respected Museums

The first in the 2018 series of Carleton University Shannon lectures is this Friday, 12 October, a presentation by Dr. Donna Yates (Lecturer in Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow).


In 2011 a visitor walked into the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and stole a 2500-year-old relief of a guard’s head valued at over $1.2 mil. In July of 2018, the New York Supreme court ordered that the sculpture, which had been seized by the District Attorney of New York from a London-based antiquities dealer, be returned to Iran. How the artefact was stolen from the famous archaeological site of Persepolis and ended up in Canada, and what happened after the piece was stolen again give us a glimpse of the dark underbelly of the art world. This is where high culture meets smuggling, desire, greed, and white-collar crime.

Many of our most respected museums house stolen antiquities. High-end auction houses and antiquities dealers sell loot on a daily basis. Upstanding and elite citizens freely engage in this criminal market. But unlike with most illegal commodities, trafficked antiquities can be openly bought and sold, and are often put on public display. How is this possible? Using the Persepolis relief as a case study, this lecture will discuss how research from criminology can be used to understand white collar crime in the art world.

MacOdrum Library (room 252), from 2:30-4:00 PM. Reception to follow.

Family Tree Magazine - November Issue

Here are some of the articles featured in this Great War Centennial issue.

The Great War cast a long shadow over the lives of our ancestors and their families. Keith Gregson reports his own research findings on the immediate post-war years for some of those from north-east England those who served.

The IWM Director-General Diane Lees shares her views on the nation's remembrance

Keith Oseman explains the iconography of these 1.35 million First World War artefacts, given to grieving families to honour their lost sons and daughters. The article recounts the story of a nurse Margaret Hassé, and her brother Edwin who served with the CEF. Another brother Frank survived the war and became a Mountie.

Chris Paton reflects on the wealth of new resources now available for family historians and opportunities to help commemorate the lives of WW I ancestors

Could a death at sea solve your World War I brick wall? Simon Wills looks at the official and non-official sites that might help, although not all civilian deaths at sea were recorded.

Amanda Randall tells that charitable giving including goods or ‘in kind' donations during the Great War may have reached at least £150 million, which today is equivalent to approximately £1 billion each year of the war.  18,000 new charities established in the UK during the war not only aided the war effort but changed attitudes to fundraising and charity.

Jayne Shrimpton looks at the fashions of the day in a war-torn world and how women’s changing roles influenced their wardrobe

Julie Goucher focuses on a website for researchers tracing Italian ancestors who fought in WW1

Find out 'how the Navy won the war' with Simon Wills and Jim Ring


There was also a box item on my blog project posting short biographies of the Great War servicemen buried at Beechwood Cemetery on the occasion of the centennial of death. It referred to two of them originally from my home town in England and the online CEF service file images freely available on Library and Archives Canada’s website under the First World War link at

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Changes at Google

You perhaps saw the announcement that the social network Google+ will be discontinued.

Finding 1: There are significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ product that meets consumers’ expectations.
Action 1: We are shutting down Google+ for consumers.

Google+ never made much of an impact and the company is known for being prepared to kill off unsuccessful products.

What you may not have seen is the other announcements in the release that improve security.

Finding 2: People want fine-grained controls over the data they share with apps.
Action 2: We are launching more granular Google Account permissions that will show in individual dialog boxes.

Finding 3: When users grant apps access to their Gmail, they do so with certain use cases in mind. 
Action 3: We are limiting the types of use cases that are permitted.

Finding 4: When users grant SMS, Contacts and Phone permissions to Android apps, they do so with certain use cases in mind. 
Action 4: We are limiting apps’ ability to receive Call Log and SMS permissions on Android devices, and are no longer making contact interaction data available via the Android Contacts API.

British Newspaper Archive Issues

The BNA tweeted out "Cajoling and coaxing of servers is ongoing and new titles are arriving on the site.  We have some syncing to do.."
Those technical issues perhaps explain why posting of new material on the site has been spasmodic recently with gaps of days between new material appearing.
What it doesn't explain is why preference is being given to Scottish and Irish materials. Overall on a per capita basis Ireland accounts for 76% more pages than England, Scotland 21% more. For the period of the First World War Ireland has 30% more, Scotland 26% pages per capita.

Monday, 8 October 2018

WTF Opportunities

Weddings, Thanksgiving and Funerals, occasions when families get together, are opportunities to gather and distribute family history knowledge.

In the latest OGS eWeekly Update Patti Mordasewicz has a timely suggestion: "ask each person “What is your favourite part of Thanksgiving?”  Then ask one of your teenage family members to turn on their cell phone and record the responses!  Save the digital file and share it with everyone who has the technology to view it – but, for those who don’t, create a transcription or synopsis that can be read by future generations."

What about distributing? Next week it's my unfortunate duty to be giving a(n) eulogy at my young brother's funeral, I’d hoped I'd never have to do so.

A family historian with a captive audience should come with a warning label, family history isn’t everyone’s cup of tea — but on this occasion they’ll have to suffer just a little.

My brother although born in England chose to spend much of his life in Portugal. So it's intriguing that our family roots find their way back there — our earliest known ancestor, on our mother’s side, if you believe a credible looking family tree, was Abraham Zacuto, born in 1452, mathematician, rabbi and historian who served as Portuguese Royal Astronomer in the 15th century.

Perhaps that might lodge in the minds of his children, and I'll go easy on the intervening generations hoping some might express interest at the reception afterwards.

Book: She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity

I've just finished reading, or rather listening to the audiobook version of this recent book by science writer Carl Zimmer.
It's long, 672 pages in hardback, 20 1/2 hours in the audiobook version which I listened to at 1.5 times speed. That's too much to review, and not everything spoke to me. There were passages where I drifted off while listening. Some historical context I found ponderous. Some was familiar material — as you go back through the generations you have genealogical ancestors who likely contributed nothing to your genetics. Some took me into medical matters, totally unfamiliar frontier territory such as gene-drives.
Chapter 13, Chimera, particularly held my attention as it dealt with people, and other beings that have DNA from more than the two parental sources we generally think of. You may have DNA predominately from one source in your heart and less so in your brain. Twins can exchange DNA in the womb. My mother, whose twin brother died at birth, may well have carried some of his DNA throughout her life meaning that I may have some of his too. Y-DNA has been found in a mother's brains from her son, apparently the placenta allows flow both ways. There's some possible truth in "Insanity is heredity, you get it from your children."
Elsewhere the book ranges from the history of eugenics, gut microbes, to environment and social inequality and, the conservatism of the legal system when faced with new science findings.
One issue with the audiobook was not having access to the glossary, notes, bibliography and index which are nearly 100 pages in the printed book — and wouldn't have made for good audio content.
Overall I'm glad I listened, but sad that only a small part will stick. I might have grasped more if Zimmer had been more careful to target his audience.

Hardcover: 672 pages
Publisher: Dutton; 1st Edition edition (May 29, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781101984598
ISBN-13: 978-1101984598

William Mahlon Davis: CWGC Beechwood

Information on Lieutenant Colonel William Mahlon Davis who died on 8 October 1918 is in this Wikipedia article.

He is buried at Beechwood Cemetery in grave reference: 159. South-West part. Sec. 19.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

How our addiction to stories keeps us from understanding history

Internet Archive/Wayback Machine Has Now “Rescued” More Than 9 Million Broken Links on Wikipedia

Coral-like cities to show road networks
Notice how these British cities tend to spread north rather than south. Why?

Rockstar Genealogist in hiatus

Several people have asked. Owing to various circumstances I will not be conducting the Rockstar Genealogist survey this year.

Experience from previous years is that although the topmost position may shift those in the upper ranks tend to stay there from year to year.

Here are the results from 2017 for Australia and New ZealandCanada, UK and Ireland and USA.

Leopold James Smallwood: CWGC Beechwood

Leopold James Smallwood is interred at Sec. 29. Lot 108NE and 109NW at Beechwood cemetery. According to the 1901 census of Canada he was born on 20 October 1882 in Hampshire, England arriving in Canada with his parents in 1884.

From Victoria Daily Times Colonist, 9 October 1918

Sergeant Major Leopold James Smallwood died on Monday night (7 October) at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, the immediate cause of death being pneumonia following a sharp attack of la grippe.
Sergeant Major Smallwood was 35 years of age and had been a member of the Canadian Ordnance Corps for the past nine years, having been in charge of the small arms section of the Esquimau depot for some time. He was an Englishman, and learned his trade of gunsmith in the Old Country prior to coming to Canada. In 1904 he joined the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, serving five years with that famous corps.
He then went to Ottawa and entered the Ordnance Department, being later transferred to Winnipeg and other western centres prior to arriving in Victoria a short time before the out-break of war.
His services wore considered indispensable by the authorities, and as a consequence he was not allowed to go overseas, being in charge of the practical work of repairing and keeping in condition the whole of the small arms and machine guns in the military district.
At the time of his death Sergeant Major Smallwood was residing at ???2 Joffre Street, where his wife and two children are now living. He was very popular with his companions in the Ordnance Department, and the officers feel that he will be hard to replace. The remains are at present at the chapel of the B. C. Funeral Company. Arrangements as to the funeral will be announced later, it being expected that the body will be forwarded to Ottawa for interment.

I found no attestation paper. His parents, Samuel Lewis and Jane Smallwood, outlived him and are also buried at Beechwood cemetery.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

New Brunswick Provincial Archives project to give genealogists, others fast access to 'goldmine'

From the CBC, 650 Anglican registers from Fredericton diocese dating back to the 1790s being digitized in project of the Anglican Diocese of Fredericton, the New Brunswick Genealogical Society and Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.

Findmypast adds to Kent records

Well over half a million new records have been added to FMP's collections of Kent Parish records.

Kent baptisms add 464,0000 new transcript records for a total of 726,016; banns add more than 29,000 records to total 39,360; marriages over 5,000 more to total 727,289 and; burials add more than 16,000 for a total of 635,554 records.

Sourced from the Kent Family History Society coverage is 1538 to 1988 for the parishes of Burham, Canterbury, Deal, Dover, Gravesend, Halling, Hawkhurst, Higham, Kilndown, Lydd, Maidstone, New Romney, Tudeley with Capel and Walmer.

Kent, Canterbury Archdeaconry Registers are augmented with over 35,000 additional records with both a transcript and an image of the original document: over 3,000 baptisms, over 400 banns, over 3,000 marriages, and over 17,000 burials. Coverage for the parishes of Hythe, Paddlesworth, Sandgate and Westgate on Sea and span the years 1813 to 2001.

Was someone in your family history unfortunate enough to be in Kent Poor Law Union records. The collection includes more than 111,000 Admission and Discharge Registers, Court of the Guardians records, births, baptisms, deaths, burials, relief lists and more sourced from the Kent History and Library Centre. Each result will include a transcript of the original source material.

In addition FMP is making available seven Kent historical publications;

  • Roffensian Register (King's School, Rochester), 3rd ed, pub 1920 (1835-1920)
  • Register of St Lawrence College, Ramsgate, 2nd ed, pub 1925 (1879-1924)
  • Parish Registers of Chislet (1538-1707)
  • Kent Records: Parish Registers & Records in the Diocese of Rochester, pub 1912
  • Dwelly's Parish Records, vol 3, pub 1914 - Memorial Inscriptions for Herne, Hoath & Reculver
  • Parish Registers of Rochester Cathedral, pub 1892 (1657-1837)
  • Testamenta Cantiana (Extracts from Kent Wills), 2 vols, pub 1906-07 (1400-1560)

The Past Becomes the Future: Strengthening Communities Through Documentary Heritage

On Monday 6 November Library and Archives Canada hosts an open invitation seminar about the Documentary Heritage Communities Program (DHCP). Speakers will include:

- recipients of small and large contributions of funds from the DHCP program, who will discuss the development and implementation of their projects, including what obstacles they encountered and what best practices they would like to share;
- subject matter advisors from Library and Archives Canada, who will discuss what they look for in project applications; and
- representatives from select Government of Canada organizations, who will present their funding programs.

The venue is 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario, in the Alfred Pellan Room, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Further information and registration at

Friday, 5 October 2018

TheGenealogist launches more school registers

Newly released registers on TheGenealogist are:

The Register of Tonbridge School, Kent, 1826-1910;
Repton School Register Supplement to 1922 edition 1933;
Allhallows School Register and Record 1908-1932;
A History Of Wigton School 1815-1915;
Alumni Felstedienses, Boys Entered at Felsted School, 1897-1903;
Leeds Grammar School Registers 1820-1910;
The Sherborne Register, Third Edition, 1550-1937;
The Roll of St Edwards School 1863-1939;
The Lancing Register 1932; Sussex, The Lancing Register, 1848-1900;
Chigwell Register 1653-1907;
Bury, Directory of the Technical School, Acting Teachers'
Classes and School of Art, 1909-1910;
Tonbridge School Register 1847-1926;
Epsom Girls Grammar School, Auckland 1928;
New Zealand, School List Christ's College Grammar School 1850-1921;
The Edinburgh Academy Register 1824 - 1914;
Summer Fields Register 1864-1929;
Lancaster Royal Grammar School;
Schola Novocastrensis Newcastle Royal Free School 1545-1699;
Cambridge, Leys School, Handbook and Directory 1920;
Bromsgrove School Register 1553-1905;
Cambridge, The Leys School Directory 1912;
Register of Oakham School 1875-1929;
Merchiston Castle School Register 1833-1903;
The Whitworth Book; Scholars And Teachers Of AckworthSchool 1879-1900;
A Biographical Register of Peterhouse Men Part I 1284-1574;
Album Aberhonddu 1755-1880,
Brecon Memorial Book (In Welsh); Bootham School Register, 1935
Charterhouse Register, 1872-1900

Ottawa Genealogy Roots: follow on

Those who viewed the post How deep are your Ottawa Genealogical Roots a couple of days ago may be interested to see this photo  of early Chairs of Ottawa Branch OGS retrieved from the Ottawa Branch News of July 1988.

Harold H. Fawcett: CWGC Beechwood

Harold Henry Fawcett, born in Ottawa 20 May 1895, died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal on 5 October of pneumonia following influenza during the 1918 pandemic. He was the son of Harry Henry and Lily Fawcett.
At enlistment with the 257th Battalion on 7 February 1917 his occupation was electrician. He served as a sapper with the 7th Canadian Railway Troops, Service No:1102486. Serving in England he spent considerable time in hospital under treatment for various conditions. He claimed to have jumped into the River Thames from Waterloo bridge.
There is a 100 page service file. His body was interred on 8 October in grave Plot 29. Lot 15. 4. at Beechwood Cemetery.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

County Boundaries on Google Maps

From, current county lines on Google Maps anywhere in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Switzerland.

The Financial Health of Canadian Genealogical Societies 2017

Each year organizations federally registered as charities in Canada for tax purposes are required to file returns with the Canada Revenue Agency. Part, including financial information, is available on the Revenue Canada website. You can search for individual society reports at

This post is much later than in previous years as I wanted it to be more complete, but some reports are still not available. For 5 of the 12 societies the latest reporting date available is calendar year end 2017. For 4 societies it is during 2017, and ... for 3 societies the end of calendar year 2016.

Of those reporting during 2017 there were 5 societies with annual surpluses. Four had annual deficits.

Below is a summary of the individual reports with comparative figures for previous years in parentheses where available.

Alberta Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending 2016-12-31. Total assets of $612,912, ($595,845, $558,845, $606,312, $540,282), and liabilities of $229,017 ($251,116, $213,134, $257,883, $200,592). The total revenue was $264,331 ($294,466, $208,033, $229,344, $254,380). Expenditures totaled $225,165 ($295,448, $210,752, $250,276, $218,231). The individual annual membership fee remains at $50 for digital journal subscription, $60 for paper.

British Columbia Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending:  2017-12-31. Total assets of $202,786 ($209,347, $206,451, $203,542, $203,016) and liabilities of $6,604 ($7,600, $7,810, $9,268, $10,085). Total revenue was $33,331 ($34,030, $33,923, $27,625, $24,783). Expenditures totaled $31,729 ($30,925, $29,555, $24,991, $22,502). That's a $1,602 surplus. The individual annual membership fee remains at $45.

British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa 
For the reporting period ending 2017-12-31. Total assets of $109,634, ($98,897, $121,878, $104,683, $90,374) and liabilities of $23,796 ($14,120, $20,170, $32,716, $30,607). Total revenue was $57,978 ($59,872, $71,443, $70,738, $54,675). Expenditures totaled  $63,939 ($66,583, $63,844, $55,000, $50,366). That's a $5,961 deficit — 6.9% of net assets. The individual annual membership fee remains $45.

Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador Inc
For the reporting period ending 2017-12-31 Total assets were $ 35,802 ($25,523, $29,166, $43,130) and liabilities $11,088 ($14,098, $16,072, $15,867).  Total revenue was $33,736 ($34,368, $29,729, $35,226) and expenditure $21,668 ($36,037, $44,364, $32,525). That's a $12,068 surplus. The individual membership fee remains $42.

Manitoba Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending 2017-03-31 Total assets of  $43,476 ($47,734, $37,118, $55,341, $50,743) and liabilities of  $4,806  ($7,927, $7,208, $19,157, $22,458). Total revenue was $53,194 ($41,899, $47,388, $47,727, $60,780). Expenditures totaled $ 51,924 ($32,060, $49,679, $48,942, $59,162). That's a $1,318 surplus. The individual annual membership fee remains $50.

New Brunswick Genealogical Society 
For the reporting period ending 2016-12-31. Total assets of $186,437 ($ 180,604, $177,857, $182,016, $194,048) and liabilities of $16,428 ($14,045, $13,844, $13,224, $21,542). Total revenue was $35,424 ($ 40,102  $37,517, $33,846, $37,121). Expenditures totaled  $33,639 ($46,629, $43,588 $39,396, $36,974). The individual annual membership fee is $40.

Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia
For the reporting period ending 2017-03-31.  Total assets of $244,902 ($281,182, $307,796, $303,274) and liabilities of n/a, ($1,553, $0, $0). Total revenue was $ 44,448 ($42,800, $45,693, $32,549). Total expenditures were $46,797 ($69,858, $44,703, $30,717). That's a $3,997 deficit . The Association's annual membership fee remains $39.

Ontario Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending 2017-12-31. Total assets of $1,710,405 ($1,771,728, $1,730,483 $2,145,295) and liabilities of $226,378 ($252,635, $220,434, $253,590), Total revenue was $698,220 ($701,406, $694,265, $557,053). Total expenditures were $740,546 ($709,792, $711,897, $626,736) That's a $41,326 deficit — 2.7% of net assets. The annual membership fee remains $63.

Québec Family History Society
For the reporting period ending 2017-07-31 Total assets of $28,217 ($48,701, $50,072, $53,800, $65,742)  Liabilities totaled $4,464 ($8,529, $7,304, $5,111, $7,899). Total revenue was $40,495 ($42,468, $42,545, $44,095, $60,623). Expenditures totaled $46,972 ($45,064, $49,054, $50,878, $47,420). That's a $6,477 deficit — 27.2% of net assets. The annual fee remains at $75.

Saskatchewan Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending 2016-12-31. Total assets of $141,278 ($114,170, $86,875, $106,334, $46,921). Liabilities totaled  $123,279  ($135,921, $127,116, $125,662, $65,054). Total revenue was $ 280,227 ($237,391, $239,577, $256,667, $261,767). Expenditures were $244,704 ($252,436, $260,490, $268,140, $262,316) Basic annual membership remains $50.

Société généalogique canadienne-française
For the reporting period ending 2017-12-31.Total assets of $391,317 ($363,189, $373,417, $339,405  $347,834). Liabilities totaled $58,153 ($63,648, $67,351, $39,685, $68,013). Total revenue was $171,002 ($231,117, $202,946, $215,399  $248,240). Expenditures were $165,584 ($195,137, $202,782, $201,759, $220,556.) That's a $5,586 surplus. Basic annual membership remains $50.

Victoria Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending 2017-05-31. Total assets of $ 38,327 (NA, NA, NA, $24,786) and liabilities NA (NA, NA, NA, 0). Total revenue was $41,924 ($34,048, $40,412, NA). Expenditures totaled $39,688 ($44,502, $42,629, $35,790). That's a $2,236 surplus. Individual annual membership is increased to $60.

BIFHSGO DNA Group Meeting

The Ottawa DNA Group will meet at 9:30 am this Saturday 6 October at the City of Ottawa Archives (Room 115), 100 Tallwood Drive, Nepean, ON, Canada.

Jason Porteous will give an overview of genetic genealogy testing highlighting the differences between the most common DNA tests and the focus of each test. The spotlight will be on autosomal testing as it provides evidence for all lines of a person's ancestry. Jason will conclude by talking about some of the tools that can be of use at the testing and third party sites.

There will be a round table discussion with remaining time.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

How deep are your Ottawa genealogical roots?

How many of these chairs of Ottawa Branch OGS do you remember?

Wilfred Kearns*; 1970-72
Gordon Phillips*; 1972-73
Kenneth Collins*; 1973-75
Fern Small*; 1975-77
George Neville; 1977-79
Bruce Elliott; 1979-81
Fern Small*; 1981-82
John Carruthers; 1982-84
Patrick Horan*; 1984-87
Don Whiteside*; 1987-88
Alan Rayburn; 1988-90
Brian O'Regan*; 1990-92
John (Jack) Moody*; 1992-93
Don Park; 1992-95
Michael (Mike) More; 1995-97
Norah Cousins-La Rocque*; 1997-98
Heather Oakley; 1998-99
Norine Wolfe; 2000-02
Heather Oakley; 2002-2002
Mike More; 2003-11
Heather Oakley and Mike More; 2012
Norah Cousins-La Rocque*; 2013
Doug Gray; 2014 -

* indicates known deceased

How many of the first members recorded in Vol 1, No 1 of the Ottawa Branch News for April 1970 do you remember?

Wilf Kearns
Winnifred Rosewarne
Margaret Moffatt
J. I. Conners
Mrs. K. Danby
Grant Kalbfleisch
Gord Phillips
Bob Switzer,
Mrs. G. S. Oyen
Robb Watt
Ron Curtis
Mrs J. H. Cathcart
Gord Crouse
J. de Quimper
Margaret Dufresne
Betty Gordon
Mrs L.G. Hathoway
Alan Knowles
Maude McClelland
Louise Stearns
Elizabeth Stuart
Mr and Mrs Albert Boorno (?)
Hartley Hawkins
Lloyd Kealey
Patricia Wetzel
Doug Campbell
Anita and John Coderre
Bob Stone
Patricia and Margaret Craig
Lloyd Dunham
Pat Evans
Florence Bilton
Doris Honeywell
Mrs Paul Smith
Kathy Mowat
Mrs F. E. Cochran
Mrs V. J. Wilgress
Mr and Mrs Stuart White
Jack Dere
Doug Hughes
Strome Galloway
Mrs Rene Sevigny
Mrs Harold Kirk
Doreen Arkbuckle
John Appleby.

New location for Quebec Family History Society

On Tuesday the Quebec Family History Society opened at its new location, historic "Simon Fraser House" located at 153 Sainte Anne Street, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec.
President Gary Schroder informs that the building is open and ready to receive researchers although there will be work, such as painting, underway for another couple of months.
For those coming from Ontario the new location provides easy access as it's at the extreme west of the Island of Montreal.
There's information on Simon Fraser House (not THE Simon Fraser) here.
Find out more about the QFHS and opening hours here.

Ancestry end-of-month updates

Toward the end of month Ancestry often updates some of its collections. Here they are for September.

TitleYearsTotal Records
UK, Historical Photographs and Prints1704-198923,310
Surrey, England, Electoral Registers1832-196236,618,574
England & Scotland, Select Cemetery Registers1800-20161,987,145
UK, Mechanical Engineer Records1847-1938100,664

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

October Backup Nag

Those of us in Ottawa received an abrupt reminder on Friday 21 September of the vulnerability of our lives to natural disasters. A tornado outbreak will do that.

Ken McKinlay, who knows a thing or two about computer security, uses the event to advise on computer backup with a post on his Family Tree Knots blog. Worth reading and acting on.

Genealogy in Ottawa

A reminder that if you attended the BIFHSGO conference to please complete the evaluation survey.

October is Library Month.

The Ottawa Public Library has a genealogy drop-in session today, 2 October, 2-4 pm at Centrepointe Library.

This is advance notice of the OPL session Building and Sharing Your Family Tree on 18 October, 7 - 8:30 pm at Greenboro Library. More at

OGS October Webinar: Lynn Palermo

Thursday, October 4, 2018 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Presentation: Writing a Family History: Turning Research into Shareable Stories
Presenter: Lynn Palermo

Every life is a story…if you only knew how to tell it. In this webinar, Lynn Palermo shows you how to pull from your research to craft an engaging and captivating story your family will want to read. For the overwhelmed family historian, Lynn shares tools on how to get organised and helps you identify a starting point for your first story. 

What Attendees Can Expect to Learn:   
· Tools to organize before your write
· Creating an efficient workflow
· How to identify the story you want to write
· Finding the key ingredients of a story in your research
· How to structure your family history to read like a novel
· How to make writing a part of your daily

Register at the OGS website.

Note:  Lynn was a speaker at the recent BIFHSGO conference. An example of Lynn's family histories was held up by closing plenary speaker Diahan Southald as a model family history publication.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Meet the Quirky Genes

Personification is used to introduce the genes behind celiac disease (HLA-DQA1 and HLA-DQB1), muscle composition (ACTN3) and movement during sleep (BTBD9) in a quirky series of ads from 23andMe. They're now running on TV.
Read the Ad of the Day post and view the short videos from AdWeek here.

Geoffrey Howard Scott: CWGC Beechwood

Born 29 May 1898 in Ottawa, Geoffrey Howard Scott was the eldest child of George Inglis Scott and his wife Elizabeth Margaret Ross.

A 20 year old student when he enlisted on 4 June 1918, a cadet sapper with the Canadian Engineers, Service No:2013321, he died at the Engineers Training Deport, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec on 1 October 1918 of pneumonia during the influenza pandemic.

He was buried on 3 October at Beechwood Cemetery in Section. 21. Lot 26NW.

Internet Genealogy: October/November 2018

Here are the contents of the new issue.

Digital Public Library of America 
Diane L. Richard looks at the redesigned website and the great value it can bring to your research. Although primarily a resource for US researchers Canadians and others can be surprised at the diverse material from outside the USA incorporated.

Review: Four Helpful Tools for Family History Writers 
Lisa A. Alzo reviews four online tools you will want to add to your family history writer’s toolkit

Using an Evernote Digital Bullet Journal 
Lisa A. Alzo offers tips for going paperless with a popular productivity system

Naval Muster Rolls
David A. Norris looks at new record collections that make it easier to research your Naval ancestors. Includes brief mention of the Royal Navy; nothing for Canada.

Trading In an Old Name: Occupations of Yesteryear 
Sue Lisk reveals websites to help you sort out what your ancestors did for a living

Julie’s Story 
Gabrielle Morgan reunites a family after 60 years using the power of newspaper research. Mother and daughter reunited thanks for the digitized newspapers online from the National Library of Australia Trove site. How many similar stories cannot be told because LAC decided not to take a similar initiative?

More Than Their Two Cents 
Sue Lisk looks at five tips to help you find the prices from the past.

Book Review 
Lisa A. Alzo reviews James M. Beidler's The Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide. I also reviewed this book, available at the Ottawa Public Library, here.

Diane L. Richard looks at websites and related news that are sure to be of interest

Do You Have Ancestors Who Were Indentured Servants? 
Diane L. Richard highlights databases containing information to assist in your research. Includes databases for servants origins in the UK, and the Library and Archives Canada Home Children site.

Review: Genealogy as Art: A First Look at Geniarts! 
Tony Bandy reviews a unique solution to creating remarkable artwork from your family data. Tony's focus is on getting data into the website. See for examples of the products.

Living DNA and Findmypast: Double Helix of Laboratory and Lineage
Joe Grandinetti looks at the double helix of laboratory and lineage. Basically a PR piece.

Back Page 
Dave Obee says persistence is the key when contacting DNA matches