02 November 2023

Links for OGS Memorials Webinar 2 November 2023

Ontario War Memorials, by Tim Laye

Canadian Military Memorials Database (now Military memorials in Canada) https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/national-inventory-canadian-memorials

Canadian Virtual War Memorial https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Library and Archives Canada: Personnel Records of the First World War

Library and Archives Canada: Service Files of the Second World War - War Dead, 1939-1947

Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry Roll of Honour

The Edmonton Journal ($)

UK Military Service and Conflict databaseat Findmypast ($)

British Armed Forces and Overseas Births and Baptisms ($)

10 August 2023

FamilySearch experimental search of handwritten wills and deeds

 A FamilySearch collection, “Wills and deed records from the United States, 1630-1975,” was recently the subject of an experimental research project. One hundred and ten million records processed by handwriting recognition technology were opened up for searching.  Several people tried it before the experiment was closed and posted about their experience and enthusiasm on Reddit,”. A YouTube post by GenealogyTechnology demonstrated using it.

If you want to know more, the RootsTech presentation Advances in Computer Assisted Indexing of Historical Records by John Alexander from FamilySearch provides a helpful backgrounder.

In Canada, we benefitted from Ancestry’s index to the 1931 census completed in 2 days. The release was delayed for quality control.

The day is coming when AI interpretation of handwritten records will be something we can apply ourselves to a collection where online images are available. What Canadian records would you want to use it for?

31 August 2022

The New Library and Archives Canada Website

Here it is, https://library-archives.canada.ca/eng/Pages/Home.aspx, in advance of the date LAC thought it would become available. The images make for eye appeal.

You can use the search box at the top or click on Collection if you’re searching for information. Shouldn’t that be Collections?

On that page under Most requested, find Census search, First World War Personnel Records, Ask us a question, and Image credits. Go down another level, under “Help with your research,” to find the page for Genealogy and Family History I was expecting to not be as far into the site considering that genealogists are the largest LAC user group.

It’s early days yet. LAC will undoubtedly make adjustments as they get feedback directly and from usage patterns.

04 June 2022

Centennial of Accidental Death of Four Home Children

On this date in 1922 four children died in a misadventure boating accident near the quarantine station at Grosse Isle. 

The Canadian Press originally reported they were between eight and twelve years old from a Polich family, with the incident described as:

"... the boys managed to scale the high fence surrounding the quarantine station and made their way down to the beach, where a rowboat was tied. The boys got into the boat and rowed about for a while, but a west wind blew up and swept the boat out into the channel, where it was at the mercy of the waves.

As soon as the guards at the quarantine station missed the boys the alarm was given, and when it wa« found that the rowboat was missing several of the guards set out in a motor launch. The search was continued for the remainder of the afternoon, and between five and six o'clock the bodies of the four children were found in the mud on the beach about a mile and a half east of the quarantine station."

The four were later identified as from a party of Roman Catholic's on the Montcalm from Liverpool on 19 May 1922 bound for St George's Home in Ottawa.

William Ellis born 25 January 1909 from St. Edward's Home, Coleshill. Birmingham Rescue. 

William Mahon born 15 December 1906 from St. Paul's Home, Coleshill. Cheltenham Guardians 

John Brier born 27 August 1907 from St. Paul's Home, Coleshill. Dewsbury Guardians 

James Holland born 22 June 1909 from St. Paul's Home, Coleshill. West Bromwich Guardians

Their burials are recorded consecutively in the Drouin Collection; they are commemorated on a memorial at Grosse Isle.

23 March 2022

How to add weather to your family history

Today, 23 March is World Meteorological Day as proclaimed by the World Meteorological Organization. While meteorology, the science of weather and the atmosphere, may not feature in your family history it could. There are 3,165 entries in Ancestry’s Canada Voters Lists, 1935-1980 collection with occupation meteo*.

More likely of interest is the weather on a special day, birthday, graduation, marriage or a memorable extreme weather event, like the 1998 Ice Storm, or one that changed the course of someone’s life.

Historical weather data for Canada may be found starting at https://climate.weather.gc.ca/historical_data/search_historic_data_e.html

For the UK check the Daily Weather Report /Daily Weather Summary (METDLA/6/1/1) back to 1860 along with other resources at the Complete Archive from the Digital Library and Archives of the British Meteorological Office.

01 February 2022

Internet Genealogy: Feb-Mar 2022

Here’s the table of contents for the forthcoming issue.

Crowdsourcing Revisited!
Diane L. Richard continues her look at this growing phenomena

Courting in Days Gone By
Sue Lisk looks at the courtship traditions of our ancestors

Jehus and Teamsters
David A. Norris looks at the drivers of stagecoaches, wagons, and horse cars

E-Book Review: Sources for Irish Family History 2021 edition
Joe Grandinetti reviews a new e-book for Irish sources!

A Recipe for Romance
Robbie Gorr looks at the origins of our ancestors relationships

Focus: Viewing Images from Multiple Angles
Sue Lisk provides some strategies to help identify relatives in family photos

John Galt and the Huron Tract
Christine Woodcock looks at the colonization of Canada in the early 19th century

Transforming Ancestral Photographs into Digital Art
Lisa A. Alzo offers suggestions for breathing new life into old family photographs

Three Brothers, Three Surnames
Melody Amsel-Arieli looks at how some immigrants changed their names after moving to America

The Ongoing Story of Charles Wood: Australian Lawn Bowling Champion
Gabrielle Morgan investigates the free NLA Newspaper site for more information on her ancestor in Australia

Unusual, but Useful Record Sets at FamilySearch
Karen L. Newman looks to FamilySearch for some unusual but useful record sets

Internet Genealogy looks at websites and related news that are sure to be of interest

Genealogy Begins with a Question!
Experts from the Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center offer tips based on questions they receive from visitors

Back Page: What’s in a Name?
Dave Obee Says: Plenty – and Allan vs. Allen gives more reasons to be careful

This issue will be available on 9 February. Find a preview of the longer articles here.

12 January 2022

FreeBMD January Update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Wednesday 12 January 2022 to contain 283,535,186 unique entries, increased from 283,149,543 at the previous update.

Years with changes of more than 10,000 records since the last update are: for births 1987, 1990-92; for marriages 1987, 1989-91; for deaths 1988-92.

If you’re new to family history or would like a refresher from the General Register Office with an emphasis on their services, check out the 24-page pdf  Discover Your Family History.

01 December 2021

Internet Genealogy: Dec 2021 - Jan 2022

Here are the contents of the next issue, to be available on 10 December.

COVER: Who's Your Daddy: A Durham DNA Puzzle!

Michelle Dennis offers advice as well as rich resources on searching for ancestors in Durham, England.

Freedman's Savings Bank

Diane L. Richard examines these short-lived, but invaluable records for family historians.

The Winter of Their Discomfort: Coping With the Cold

Sue Lisk looks at how our ancestors coped with the cold before the dawn of the thermostat.

A Yuletide Genealogical Resource: “Dear Santa” Letters

David A. Norris looks at online newspapers and how ancestors’ letters to Santa may shine some light on their holiday wishes.

The Historical Marker Database

Jean King looks at a database project that currently holds over a half-million photos of historical markers in the US, Canada and several other countries.

Death by Waterpik, Or In Search of the Cause of Your Ancestor’s Passing

Sue Lisk looks at sources that may help in revealing the cause of death of an ancestor.

Principles of Relativity

Robbie Gorr looks at correctly identifying family relationships and connections.

Online Repository Assistant (ORA)

Diane L. Richard looks at software designed to help genealogists be more efficient, effective, and diligent with their research.

Jewish Genealogy In New York City: Discovering The Early 1900s TB Epidemic

Michael Chaplan shares his journey to learn about his grandfather’s life and death in the early 1900s.

Finding Heirs for Your Family History

Marian B. Wood looks at how to prepare a succession plan for your valuable genealogical items.


Internet Genealogy looks at websites and related news that are sure to be of interest.

Advice From the Pros:Truth or Troll? Surviving Speaker Evaluations

Lisa A. Alzo discusses how to survive feedback on conference evaluations.

Back Page: Check and Re-Check Your Matches!

Dave Obee says be vigilant about checking your own work, and the work of other genealogists.

Find out more, including access to preview the first page of longer articles and subscription information, at https://www.internet-genealogy.com/index.shtml

22 October 2021

CHA gravely concerned about the continuing limits to public access

On Wednesday The Canadian Historical Association penned a statement signed by Steven High, President, and Penny Bryden, Past President, on Reduction in service at Library and Archives Canada

They "strongly urge the leadership of Library and Archives Canada to reconsider its decision to further limit the hours of access and, instead, work to improve accessibility for all Canadians. The announced reduction threatens the core mission of this great federal institution."

Read the full text at https://cha-shc.ca/advocacy/reduction-in-service-at-library-archives-canada-2021-10-20.htm

21 September 2021

Call for Speakers: The Ontario Ancestors’ 2022 Webinar Series

Kim Barnsdale, OGS’s amazing Webinar Coordinator, drew this presentation opportunity, or rather opportunities, to my attention.

Ontario Ancestors is currently accepting proposals for our monthly 2022 Webinar Series. Our live webinars take place the first Thursday of the month at 7pm ET using the Zoom platform.

In addition, Ontario Ancestors is also looking for guest speakers who are interested in presenting for our new online quarterly mini-conference learning opportunities in 2022.That's the first I've heard of mimi-conferences. Kim says to stay tuned!

All submissions will be considered for both unless otherwise indicated on the submission.

Find further information and the form for sending proposals at https://ogs.on.ca/webinar-submissions/

The deadline for submissions is Thursday 30 September 2021 at 11:59 pm.