Tuesday, 16 January 2018

William E Browne: CEF Beechwood

According to his military file Quartermaster Sergeant William Egbert Browne, was born in August 1871 in Newport, Wales. A saddler by occupation he enlisted on 13 August 1915 joining the 32nd Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, Service No: 300023, and shipped to England. He was listed as gassed and returned to Canada in October 1917 and the Mowat Sanitarium in Kingston where he died on this date, age 47 years.
He was buried on 18 January with full military honours at Beechwood Cemetery in military lot 13, West part. 14. Plot 29. The Beechwood Cemetery register gives his birthplace as Barbadoes.
Newspaper reports of the funeral, which list his middle name as Edward, are that he had service in South Africa and the Northwest Frontier of India. Four children, Ada Minto, Herbert Archibald, Aileen Eleanor and Leslie Harold are named.

On the war service gratuity form in his service file Mrs Mary E. Browne is listed as widow at 430 Clarence St., Ottawa.  of 21, Adelaide St., Ottawa.
Her death notice in the Ottawa Journal of 5 October 1971 under surname Browne lists her as Mary Ellen Dwyer, widow of W. E. Browne with four children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Civil records for the family before his death and in the 1921 census are elusive.

Monday, 15 January 2018

CEF Service Files Update for January 2018

As of today, 15 January 2018 there are 543,142 (532,447 last month) of 640,000 files available online in the LAC Personnel Records of the First World War database. That's according to a Library and Archives Canada Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Service blog post.

The latest box digitized is 9247 (9059) and last name Staunton    (Smith).

At the last month's rate, which is not typical owing to the holiday period, the project will be finished by mid-October 2018.  The previous month estimate was July.

New from Pen & Sword Family History

A new UK release, as of 14 December 2017, is Tracing History Through Title Deeds: A Guide for Family and Local Historians.

The company blurb describes it:
Property title deeds are perhaps the most numerous sources of historical evidence but also one of the most neglected. While the information any one deed contains can often be reduced to a few lines, it can be of critical importance for family and local historians. Nat Alcock's handbook aims to help the growing army of enthusiastic researchers to use the evidence of these documents, without burying them in legal technicalities. It also reveals how fascinating and rewarding they can be once their history, language and purpose are understood. A sequence of concise, accessible chapters explains why they are so useful, where they can be found and how the evidence they provide can be extracted and applied. Family historians will find they reveal family, social and financial relationships and local historians can discover from them so much about land ownership, field and place names, the history of buildings and the expansion of towns and cities. They also bring our ancestors into view in the fullness of life, not just at birth, marriage and death, and provide more rounded pictures of the members of a family tree.

A notice in Family Tree, February 2018
Although a major source of information about field and place names, property history and the growth of towns and cities, these documents are some of the most neglected. Useful reading for beginner and experienced family and local historians, Dr Nat Alcock, of the University of Warwick, aims to put this right by demonstrating how these records can be found, analysed and interpreted. With information presented in a series of concise and easy-to-read chapters, it reveals how fascinating and rewarding title deeds can be once their history, language and purpose are understood.

The release date for the paperback in Canada, according to Amazon.ca, is 19 February. A Kindle edition is listed at CDN$ 9.99.

Perth & District Historical Society: 100th Anniversary Review of the Halifax Disaster

The following is a meeting notice from the Perth & District Historical Society.

Thursday, January 18, 2018
100th Anniversary Review of the Halifax Disaster
History’s Largest Man-made Non-Nuclear Explosion

Our society launches its New Year meetings, on January 18, 2018, with a presentation by committee member, Ellen Dean, on the devastating ‘Halifax Explosion’, of December 6, 1917, one of Canada’s worst disasters, and the world’s largest man-made non-nuclear explosion.

Although our society’s main objective is to examine historical events of Perth and surrounding district, the Halifax Explosion was one of the most tragic events in our country’s history.  Coming at the time of national, and often personal, distress from WWI, it was felt across the country.  On that December 6th morning, two ships collided in Halifax Harbour.  The ensuing fire on one of the ships led to a man-made explosion of a magnitude never before seen, literally obliterating a large area of Halifax and the companion community of Dartmouth.  The effect of the blast and the resultant fires created an unimaginable horror that could only be compared to a battlefield scene.  The shock wave was felt hundreds of kilometres away.

This past December 6, 2017, marking the 100th anniversary of that fateful day, Canadian news organisations effectively related the story of the disaster.  For our meeting, we will examine some of the relevant facts:  the reasons this completely preventable accident happened; the event’s human element, including racism; the aftermath and the stories of witnesses.  We will also consider the legacy of the disaster, many elements of which continue in Canada to this day.

Ellen Dean and her husband, who was a member of the Royal Canadian Navy, spent their early married life in Greater Halifax.  They moved to Ottawa in 1990, until retirement from their respective careers, and relocated to Perth 12 years ago.  In addition to her many appreciated duties with the historical society, Ellen volunteers at the Perth Museum and Visitor Information Centre.  She is also a member of both the Lanark County Quilters’ Guild and the Perth Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Please join us for this month’s presentation at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion,
home of the Hall of Remembrance, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, 7:30pm (Toonie Donation)

Our January Notices
Several interesting new articles have been added to our website, in the history section - including ‘The Perth Railroad Station’ and an ‘Early Log Driving’ video – and, also, in the ‘Mysteries’ Page.   Viewable at www.perthhs.org

Perth & District Historical Society is dedicated to studying and popularising our area’s rich history and culture, and providing a forum for discussion and celebration of our
heritage.  Our meetings are open to the public, usually on the third Thursday of each month, at 7:30 pm.  For more information, call 613-264 8362 or 264 0094 – or visit our website at www.perthhs.org .
To contact us by e-mail or to unsubscribe from our mailings, kindly address your e-mail to: perthhs@gmail.com

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Documentary Heritage Communities Program (DHCP)

A reminder that the deadline for submitting completed application packages for the Documentary Heritage Communities Program is 7 February, 2018, before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

The DHCP provides financial assistance to the Canadian documentary heritage community, including genealogical and family history societies, for activities that:

  • increase access to, and awareness of, Canada’s local documentary heritage institutions and their holdings; and
  • increase the capacity of local documentary heritage institutions to better sustain and preserve Canada’s documentary heritage.

Applications may be for small or large projects with $15,000 the boundary between them. The documentation requirements in proposals for small projects are considerably less than for the large.

I'm hoping the program will receive more projects this round that align with The National Heritage Digitization Strategy.

Boxes, Bodies, and Backhoes: Excavation and Analysis of the Forgotten Dead of Early Bytown

What's the story of the bones disturbed by excavation for Ottawa's LRT at the former Barrack Hill Cemetery?
Find out from Janet Young, Curator, Physical Anthropology at the Canadian Museum of History. She will address the January meeting of the Ottawa Historical Association.

7 pm, Tuesday 16 January 2018 at Library and Archives Canada. All welcome!!

Saturday, 13 January 2018

At what time of year are the most in births in England and Wales?

An article Do humans have mating seasons? This heat map reveals the surprising link between birthdays and seasons caught my attention.
It showed a consistent pattern across high-latitude countries in the Northern hemisphere -- the months with the greatest average number of births per day were July, August and September.
But that wasn't my recollection for England and Wales statistics, so I went back to FreeBMD.
There birth registrations peak in the second quarter, not the third for the period 1838 to 1979.
There's not necessarily a conflict, the article references 21st century data sourced from the UN.
To examine if there was a trend the FreeBMD period was divided into four, 1838 to 1849, 1850 to 1899, 1900 to
1949 and 1950 to 1979.
For none of these was the peak in the 3rd quarter. Each quarter in the first half of the year had more birth registrations than the 3rd, with one marginal exception.

Findmypast focus on death

New British records this week on Findmypast are:

Norfolk Monumental Inscriptions 1600-1900's Image Browse
Over 14,000 records from 260 parishes across Norfolk. Indexed by parish, not by personal name.

Lancashire, Oldham Cemetery Registers 1797-2004 Image Browse
Over 45,000 records from Chadderton, Crompton, Failsworth, Greenacres, Hollinwood, Lees and Royton in the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham.

Wiltshire Burials Index 1538-1990  
613,108 new records for a total of 2,089,750 from Anglican parishes across the county.

Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions 1485-2014  
3,688 new records for a total of 49,503 covering burial sites in Twickenham and Uxbridge.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Warwickshire Parish Records

I received an announcement that TheGenealogist has added 366,260 individuals to their Parish Records for Warwickshire bringing the total to 934,495.
This release of baptism, marriage and burial records, in association with Warwickshire County Record Office, includes transcripts and images reaching back to the mid 16th century.

Subscription sites Ancestry and Findmypast both have more extensive Warwickshire parish record collections, while the free FamilySearch site has 1,405,385 records in its Warwickshire, Parish Registers, 1535-1984 collection.

Family Tree DNA Y-111 results

In the Family Tree DNA pre-Christmas sale I upgraded my Y-DNA SNP test from 67 to 111 markers. The results arrived on Thursday.

As I'd expected the extra information didn't change things much. The two matches I had at 67 markers with 111 marker results were still there and in the same order as previously.The best match at 67 markers, 4 mismatches, became 6 mismatches at 111 markers.

The TiP Report showed we were likely more distantly related than in the 67 marker estimate.

GenerationsPercentage (Y67)Percentage (Y111)

I was also interested to see how these results compared to those estimated byYFull from my BigY results. Of the 44 markers 41 were identical. DYS716 and DYS462, were no-calls by YFull, and DYS710 differed -- 33 vs 33.2.

MyHeritage improves DNA service

Until Thursday I was lukewarm about the MyHeritage genetic genealogy service. That changed when tweets started coming in:

MyHeritage has changed their algorithms for DNA matches so you may want to check out your matches. Also they've added a (woot, woot) Chromosome browser. #HoundontheHunt #DNA

DNA Discoveries @DNADiscoveries
Ohhhh... @MyHeritage seems to have found me a "few" more matches... 
More joy from @MyHeritage - a chromosome browser :)

And this on my Facebook feed:

Blaine T. Bettinger‎ to Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques
Be sure to check your MyHeritage matches today! As first announced by Irene Morgan early this morning, MyHeritage has significantly changed (and it appears improved!) their matching algorithm. A quick review of my matches suggests that this is a MAJOR improvement. Kudos to MyHeritage!

[EDIT] - Via Lloyd Pfeilitzer DeVere Hunt and Marco Graf (thanks!) - A Chromosome browser with downloadable segment data is now available in the match page!

MyHeritage now shows I have 3,900 matches. One identified as 3rd to 5th cousin with 25.8‎ cM shared in 2 segments, one 18.2 cM. Looking at the tree I found our common ancestral couple  - we're 3rd cousins. The sister of the matching person,was already in my tree.

The range of shared autosomal DNA for 3rd cousins is 0 - 217 cM with an average of 74 cM. Although 25.8 cM is less than half the average we weren't in the 10 per cent of 3rd cousins sharing no autosomal DNA.

Clicking on Review DNA Match gives shared ancestral surnames, shared DNA matches (in common with), a pedigree chart display, ethnicity for you and your match, and a chromosome browser showing shared DNA segments.

That match has only about half the shared DNA of my best match. Don't dismiss matches lower down the list without investigating the surnames in common. Chances are the Smiths and Kellys won't be identifiable relatives so try your less common surnames.

Do you have data at MyHeritageDNA? Did you check since the change? If you did please share your experience.