Sunday, 1 February 2015
Conference Chair Patti Mordasewicz and colleagues have organized an attractive program with something that's bound to please every OGS member, and many others. What are the highlights?
Following the Friday Workshops Kirsty Gray will give the opening keynote “If We Could Turn Back Time.”
Saturday starts with a plenary panel session moderated by Thomas MacEntee which will give everyone the opportunity to hear views from top conference speakers; Richard M. Doherty, Dr. Maurice Gleeson, Kirsty Gray, and Dave Obee on challenges, concerns and opportunities related to tracking our ancestors and leaving behind our own tracks to follow.
Among the presentation that day is a streamed-in talk by Dr Janet Few who will speak on Uproar and Disorder: the Bible Christians of North Devon and their impact upon nineteenth century Canada. The after-dinner speaker on Saturday evening is Dr. Maurice Gleeson, that's my tip for the "not to miss."
On Sunday Dr Janet Few, who was a hit at the 2014 BIFHSGO conference, and is #1 Rockstar Genealogist for Britain and the Commonwealth, will give a second remote presentation "Putting Your Ancestors in their Place: an introduction to one-place studies." There's plenty more, but I'll show my bias by highlighting a streamed in presentation "Doing Family History Research from Your Home" by BIFHSGO Director Ken McKinlay.
Click to see the full programs for Saturday and Sunday.
This has been a topic of debate in BIFHSGO. The society runs an annual conference each September, the next is September 18 - 20, 2015. Last year was by most measures the most successful ever. With multiple presentations in the same time slot attendees can usually find something of interest. Folks often find more than one presentation appealing meaning making a choice. It's not like a box of chocolates where you can go back and select your second, and third choice another time until you're staring at an empty box. In the unlikely event you can't find something of interest there's the marketplace where you can browse and buy or a research room where you can access commercial databases and advice for free.
Instead of an annual conference some organizations, such as the Toronto Branch of OGS, hold several one day events. That's in addition to half day events and short courses. The next day-long one is Finding Your Upper Canada Ancestors on Saturday 11 April followed by Genetic Genealogy on 6 June. For me the Upper Canada one is of zero interest; genetic genealogy may well bring me to Toronto. With these events you don't get the substantive marketplace or research room you enjoy with a conference.
There's also the middle ground. The Quebec Family History Society have held "Roots" conferences roughly every three years, the next is 19-21 June. QFHS has an active program of theme workshops throughout the year.
The effort in organizing a conference with more than 200 people is substantially greater than that required for a one day event. Most organizations run a program of monthly meetings, which in BIFHSGO's case can attract almost as many attendees as the conference, with a lot less detailed planning than is applied for the conference and this likely applies for a seminar series.
What's your preference? Please add your voice by answering this poll, or leave a more detailed response as a comment.
15 sites in the survey improved in rank during the month, 13 declined. Every site ranking better than 40,000, except findmypast.co.uk which dropped marginally, saw improved ranking. The largest percentage gainers were BIFHSGO.ca and deceasedonline.com.
The British Newspaper Archive now has 9.95 million pages available online and should reach the landmark 10 million pages very soon. There's a huge list of latest additions at http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/home/LatestAdditions.
Did I miss something significant? If so please post a comment with statistics if applicable.
Saturday, 31 January 2015
Here is an informative article comparing the number of genealogical ancestors you have at any generation with the number of genetic ancestors. The short answer is you get DNA from about 2 to the power n ancestors n generations back, up to 8 generations, then about 68 additional ancestors for each generation after that.
A section of Miscellaneous observations at the end of the article explains how it's possible for a child to share more DNA with a cousin than either of his parents have in common with that cousin. why it's much easier to not be inbred according to genetic ancestors than by genealogical ancestors.
via Tweet from Debbie Kennett
Halifax's Dalhousie Libraries’ University Archives has digitized the university yearbooks and calendars.
The yearbook collection, available as pdfs for browsing and searching, runs from 1927 to 1975. If you or a family member graduated from Dal you'll likely find them there, with a photo.
Calendars are from 1855/56 to 1950/51, also as pdfs
Also online as pdfs is the entire archive of Dalhousie Gazette, one of North America’s oldest student newspapers.
Looking for a name? It appears that while you can search across the entire corpus of each collection you need to download the issue identified and then search it using the pdf search.
There are a few other collections, view the list at http://dalspace.library.dal.ca/handle/10222/11480
Friday, 30 January 2015
Continuing to build its collection of parish register transcripts, this week Findmypast has added over 845,000 parish records from Warwickshire and over 600,000 from Essex.
Warwickshire baptism Index, 1538-1900, contains 242,700 records
Warwickshire marriage Index, 1538-1900, contains 439,940 records
Warwickshire burial index, 1538-1900, contains 163,200 records although more than 1,200 have no name or identifying information associated. A few others include a description such as A Poore Wayfaring Man, A Stranger, A Traveler Woman From Brooks. More have only a first name.
Essex baptisms index, 1538-1900, contains 247,271 records
Essex banns Index, 1754-1950, contains 25,904 records.
Essex marriage Index, 1538-1900, contains 136,952 records
Essex burial Index 1538-1900 contains 192,135 records and has fewer anonymous entries than Warwickshire, but still with its share of entries lacking a name but with a description such as A Nurse Child, A Poor Man, A Soldier.
This week Findmypast has also released records of Kindertransport, the British scheme to rescue Jewish children from Nazi occupied regions, over 425,000 births, marriages and deaths from Tasmania, Australia and, the Ohio Obituary Index, 1814-2013, referencing over 2.7 million obituaries that were printed in Ohio newspapers.
Library and Archives Canada announces on their blog availability as pdfs of 152 new directories for the Ontario cities of Hamilton (1853-1900), Kingston (1865-1906) and London (1856-1901) and for the counties of Southwestern Ontario (1864-1900). They are available at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/directories-collection/Pages/directories-collection-available-editions.aspx
They form part of a new version of the online database Canadian Directories.
A YouTube video of the events of 30 January 1965 is at http://youtu.be/87Xkr8z3lEo
Thursday, 29 January 2015
Exodus: Movement of the People was a conference organized in September 2013 by the Halstead Trust. A legacy is a series of short articles on various aspects of immigration, emigration, migration, stories of immigrants made good and on the present Relics of Empire.
You may be interested in the articles on Palatine Migration into England, Short Sea Migration to the UK, Diaspora in the East End, The Silk Weavers of Spitalfields, Migration to the UK in Pre-history,
Some of those with a Canadian connection are: Newfoundland "the other Ireland", Empire Settlement Schemes After WW1, The Great Migration of Canada, Assisted Emigration from Ireland, Barnado's Emigrant Children, The Female Middle Class Emigration Society, Irish Diaspora and the Typhus Epidemic of 1847, Fur Traders in Canada, the Hudson's Bay Company, Britain's Child Migrants, The Petworth Project, Emigration to Upper Canada in the 1930s. The Absurd and the Brave, From Yorkshire to Nova Scotia: reflections on a Migration ,,, and more
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
I've previously mentioned Bill C-626, An Act to Amend the Statistics Act, which would reinstate the mandatory long-form census. That Bill is on the order paper for debate in the House of Commons at second reading on Thursday, January 29.
I read that there is broad support for reinstatement from social science researchers across the country, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and the Canadian Medical Association.
Nation-wide on Wednesday January 28 a social media campaign is launching aiming to get this issue trending to bring mainstream media attention to the government's cancellation of the long-form census. If you support the aim of the Bill it would be helpful if you'd like or retweet any posts you see, or even better act on some of the suggestions at https://politicsofevidence.wordpress.com/reinstate-the-long-form-census/.
When I read that "the texts of the first printed editions of Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Milton as well as lesser-known titles from the early modern era can now be freely read by anyone with an Internet connection" I was doubtful about the genealogical relevance. Now available through the University of Michigan Library are the texts of more than 25,000 manually transcribed documents from the first 200 years of the printed book (1473-1700).
It got a bit more interesting when I read the collection includes "thousands of less famous texts which offer unexplored avenues for discovery. Gardening manuals, cookery books, ballads, auction catalogues, dance instructions, and religious tracts detail the commonplace of the early modern period; books about witchcraft and sword fighting document its more exotic facets."
Still not convinced I did some searches and came across this item from 1698:
A BLACK LIST Of the NAMES, or Reputed NAMES, of Seven Hundred Fifty Two Lewd and Scandalous Persons, who, by the Endeavours of a SOCIETY set up for the promoting a Reformation of Manners in the City of London, and Suburbs thereof, have been Legally Prosecuted and Convicted, as Keepers of Houses of Bawdry and Disorder, or as Whores, Night-Walkers, &c. And who have thereupon been Sentenced by the Magistrates as the Law directs, and have accordingly been Punished (many of them divers times) either by Carting, Whiping, Fining, Imprisonment, or Suppressing their Licenses. All which (besides the Prosecution of many Notorious Cursers, Swearers, Sabbath-breakers, and Drunkards, not here incerted) hath been effected by the Society aforesaid.There is no genealogical information, just the name and the behaviour which earned them a perpetual remembrance in the book.
If your ancestry is more noble you may be interested in this from 1675-6:
The baronage of England, or, An historical account of the lives and most memorable actions of our English nobility in the Saxons time to the Norman conquest, and from thence, of those who had their rise before the end of King Henry the Third's reign deduced from publick records, antient historians, and other authorities.Read more about the collection at http://www.lib.umich.edu/news/25000-early-english-books-open-public and search from http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebogroup/
The 2015 edition of the periodic Quebec Family History Society Roots conference will be held in Montreal from June 19 to 21, 2015.
The keynote speaker on Friday evening is Rick Roberts from Global Genealogy who will speak on
Genealogy: Reflections on a Hobby That Got Out of Control
And, not forgetting Gary Schroder, President, Quebec Family History Society who has done much of the work to organize the conference.
For further information and to register go to http://www.qfhs.ca/cpage.php?pt=174