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.


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.

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:


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.


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.