Wednesday, 16 October 2019


Only in the US so far, and not in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. — AncestryHealth® announces two new services. AncestryHealth Core™, a one-time, array-based service, and AncestryHealth Plus™, a membership service using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. What's being offered?

According to the company press release:

AncestryHealth Core is a first step on the journey of understanding how family heritage and genetics can impact health and wellness. It covers a set of curated, common ‘need to know’ health conditions and includes printable family health history and lab reports people can share with their healthcare provider. The physician-ordered laboratory test included in AncestryHealth Core uses genotyping array technology to detect genetic differences and deliver personalized reports related to health conditions such as heart disease, hereditary cancers, blood-related disorders, and risks for carrier status of health conditions, such as Tay-Sachs disease. Additionally, there are wellness reports on topics such as nutrition and metabolism. AncestryHealth Core is priced at $149 and includes AncestryDNA. Existing AncestryDNA customers can upgrade to AncestryHealth Core for $49.

Starting next year AncestryHealth Plus will use next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to deliver more comprehensive screening data, providing both greater coverage of DNA differences for each condition and more risk categories such as those related to potentially developing heart disease, cancers, and disorders related to blood, the nervous system and connective tissues. For new customers, AncestryHealth Plus with NGS technology has a $199 activation fee, which includes the first six months of membership with an additional $49 membership fee every six months. Existing AncestryDNA customers can upgrade to AncestryHealth Plus for an initial payment of $49. The ongoing membership will include quarterly screening updates, more educational resources and enhanced tools for family health history and healthcare provider collaboration.

Comment: Ancestry is re-entering this field, there was an earlier iteration in July 2015. It's an active area. 23andMe, the original in DNA/Health DTC service, announced an upgrade in August. MyHeritage announced its Health + Ancestry test in May and the acquisition of SNPedia and Promethease in September.

Despite being late to the party Ancestry has demonstrated, after entering autosomal DNA testing service for genealogy late, that it can catch up and surpass the others. Ancestry is also being cautious to keep on the right side of US regulatory authorities which was a problem for 23andMe.

UPDATE:  Ancestry provided the following information on how the NGS results differ from those used in the regular "Array" test by Ancestry.

“The NGS technology will check for changes in at least 100 times as many locations in your DNA as the Array does. With Array we look at a few (10-20) specific bases within a gene to see any changes that are known to increase risk of disease. In NGS, we can look at the entire gene –  which on average includes 1000 to 2000 bases – and can see many more changes. We then determine if those changes increase risk for disease.

One analogy is, with Array, we can read a few critical letters in a sentence. With NGS, we can read every letter of the entire sentence, greatly increasing the likelihood of identifying a variation.”

Kingston Branch OGS October Meeting

The main presentation for the meeting on 19 October 2019, is “Lady Tweedsmuir – Oh the stories she could tell” with speaker Anne Levac. She will discuss the Tweedmuir history books.

An educational session, a short demonstration of a few different image scanners. will serve as aperitive starting at 9:30 am.

The meeting is at 56 Francis St, Kingston where there's lots of free parking. All welcome.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Legacy webinar on privacy online with Judy Russell

My pick from this week's Legacy Family Tree Webinars is on Wednesday at 2 pm Eastern time — Privacy: How to Protect Your Information Online. 

Protecting privacy online is a continuing concern. Family historians need to decide what personal and family history information we'd like to keep private while still sharing with cousins and other researchers. Learn more about what controls online privacy and what methods and tools are available to give us the best chance to protect our privacy choices.

Judy G. Russell is a lawyer, genealogy lecturer, educator and writer whose presentations are always well attended.

Register here (free).

Perth & District Historical Society October Meeting

Here's information from PDHS on the 17 October meeting being held at the Royal Canadian Legion, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, at 7:30 pm.

“The Life and Times of Joe Perkins”
For our October 17 meeting, the Society will welcome back local author John McKenty, with the story of Joe Perkins, of Maberly and Perth, the subject of John’s latest book.  

‘The Life & Times of Joe Perkins: 1908 – 1990’ will trace the story from Perkins’ early days, working with his father at the family’s general store in ‘downtown Maberly’, early South Sherbrooke Township, to his arrival in Perth in 1938, and his eventual death in an Ottawa hospital, in 1990.  From his earliest days to his death, Joe Perkins was a formidable figure in Maberly and eventually the Town of Perth.  Over the years, he built a business empire that both amazed and confounded his contemporaries – as part showman and part salesman.  The people of Perth could never decide if Joe Perkins was a visionary or an opportunist, and, while some swore by him, others swore at him.  In the end, no matter one’s opinion of Joe Perkins, he had a profound effect on the social and economic development of this area that he called home. 

John McKenty first came upon this story in 2000 when he met Joe Perkin’s son and daughter, while working on his first book, ‘Square Deal Garage’.  The subject next surfaced in 2016 at the Perth Regional Heritage Fair, where there was a project on the Perkins family.  With assistance and contributions through interviews, feedback and photographs from several members of the Perkins family, the McKenty book has brought to life this little-known story of one of the genuine characters in this area’s history.  

John McKenty is a retired educator, and has continued with his own learning through the books that he has authored and published:  ‘Square Deal Garage: Sixty Years of Service to the Motoring Public’; ‘Follow The Crowd: The James Boys of Perth’; ‘Canada Cycle and Motor: The CCM Story’; ‘Arden Blackburn’s Mail Route: The Early Days at Christie Lake’; ‘St. Crispin’s Legacy: Shoemaking in Perth, Ontario 1834 – 2004’.  His many books documenting our area’s local people and businesses show that history doesn’t need to be on a grand scale.  In addition to his writing, John ’s volunteering in the Perth community includes the Stewart Park Festival and the Perth Regional Heritage Fair.  In recognition of his efforts, he was awarded the Perth Medal for 2018, presented at that year’s Stewart Park Festival. 

Monday, 14 October 2019

The Financial Health of Canadian Genealogical Societies 2018

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.

For 2018 there were as many societies running surpluses as deficits.

You can search for individual society reports at

Alberta Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending 2018-12-31. Total assets of $589,925 ($612,912, $595,845, $558,845, $606,312, $540,282), and liabilities of $189,274 ($229,017, $251,116, $213,134, $257,883, $200,592). The total revenue was $221,714 ($264,331, $294,466, $208,033, $229,344, $254,380). Expenditures totaled $220,273 ($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:  2018-12-31. Total assets of $207,055 ($202,786, $209,347, $206,451, $203,542, $203,016) and liabilities of $10,096 ($6,604, $7,600, $7,810, $9,268, $10,085). Total revenue was $36,988 ($33,331, $34,030, $33,923, $27,625, $24,783). Expenditures totaled $35,385 ($31,729, $30,925, $29,555, $24,991, $22,502). The individual annual membership fee remains at $45.

British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
For the reporting period ending 2018-12-31. Total assets of $105,229 ($109,634, $98,897, $121,878, $104,683, $90,374) and liabilities of  $22,118 ($23,796, $14,120, $20,170, $32,716, $30,607). Total revenue was $69,096  ($57,978, $59,872, $71,443, $70,738, $54,675). Expenditures totaled $71,745 ($63,939, $66,583, $63,844, $55,000, $50,366). The individual annual membership fee is increased by $5 to $50.

Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador Inc
For the reporting period ending 2018-12-31 total assets were $46,094 ( $ 35,802, $25,523, $29,166, $43,130) and liabilities $13,154 ($11,088, $14,098, $16,072, $15,867).  Total revenue was $37,804 ($33,736, $34,368, $29,729, $35,226) and expenditure  $26,228 ($21,668, $36,037, $44,364, $32,525). That's a $11,576 surplus. The individual membership fee remains $42.

Manitoba Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending 2018-03-31. Total assets of  $40,262 ($43,476, $47,734, $37,118, $55,341, $50,743) and liabilities of  $4,494 ($4,806, $7,927, $7,208, $19,157, $22,458). Total revenue was $57,503 ($53,194, $41,899, $47,388, $47,727, $60,780). Expenditures totaled $55,585 ($ 51,924, $32,060, $49,679, $48,942, $59,162). The individual annual membership fee remains $50.

New Brunswick Genealogical Society
No report posted since 2017. Individual membership remains at $40.

Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia
For the reporting period ending 2018-03-31. Total assets of $239,845 ($274,044, $244,902, $281,182, $307,796, $303,274) and liabilities of $2,001 ($4,011, n/a, $1,553, $0, $0). Total revenue was $32,372 ($44,676, $ 44,448, $42,800, $45,693, $32,549). Total expenditures were $64,564 ($57,812, $46,797, $69,858, $44,703, $30,717). The Association's annual membership fee remains $39.

Ontario Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending 2018-12-31. Total assets of $1,595,600 ($1,710,405, $1,771,728, $1,730,483 $2,145,295) and liabilities of $261,319 ($226,378, $252,635, $220,434, $253,590). Total revenue was $562,466 ($698,220, $701,406, $694,265, $557,053). Total expenditures were $721,143 ($740,546, $709,792, $711,897, $626,736). The annual membership fee remains $63.

Québec Family History Society
For the reporting period ending 2018-07-31 Total assets of $26,400 ($28,217, $48,701, $50,072, $53,800, $65,742)  Liabilities totaled $4,091 ($4,464, $8,529, $7,304, $5,111, $7,899). Total revenue was $36,629, ($40,495, $42,468, $42,545, $44,095, $60,623). Expenditures totaled $47,071 ($46,972, $45,064, $49,054, $50,878, $47,420). The annual fee remains at $75.

Saskatchewan Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending 2016-12-31. Total assets of $182,979 ($141,278, $114,170, $86,875, $106,334, $46,921). Liabilities totaled 118,732 ($123,279, $135,921, $127,116, $125,662, $65,054). Total revenue was $252,198 ($280,227, $237,391, $239,577, $256,667, $261,767). Expenditures were $224,265 ($244,704, $252,436, $260,490, $268,140, $262,316) Basic annual membership is increased to $70.

Société généalogique canadienne-française
For the reporting period ending 2018-12-31.Total assets of $551,682 ($391,317, $363,189, $373,417, $339,405 $347,834). Liabilities totaled $52,481 ($58,153, $63,648, $67,351, $39,685, $68,013). Total revenue was $170,123 ($171,002, $231,117, $202,946, $215,399 $248,240). Expenditures were $176,885 ($165,584, $195,137, $202,782, $201,759, $220,556.) Basic annual membership remains $50.

Victoria Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending 2018-05-31. Total assets of $34,781 ($ 38,327, NA, NA, NA, $24,786) and liabilities NA (NA, NA, NA, 0). Total revenue was $40,354 ($41,924, $34,048, $40,412, NA). Expenditures totaled $43,789 ($39,688, $44,502, $42,629, $35,790). Individual annual membership remains at $60.

Members of the British Columbia Genealogical Society, Manitoba Genealogical Society, Ontario Genealogical Society, or Saskatchewan Genealogical Society can take advantage of a $5.00 discount on a yearly membership another of those organizations.

The best online library of sources for Irish history I’ve ever seen

John Grenham wrote that in a blog post about Dermot Balson's collection of "hidden gems" extracted from The University of Southampton’s ‘Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland’ at
The links in Grenham's blog post are to Dermot’s cloud-stored copies. The 1851 Census Report on deaths in Ireland, for example, includes nearly 300 pages of weather/illness/celestial phenomena dating back to the beginnings of Irish history.
Other sections are on Workhouses and the Poor Law, research and statistics, emigration and, personal accounts.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Open Domesday

Although it's unlikely you'll find recognizable ancestors mentioned in the Domesday Book, you may well be surprised at places mentioned.
This is easy with Open Domesday. the first free online copy of Domesday Book. The site, built as a non-profit project by Anna Powell-Smith uses data created by Professor J.J.N. Palmer and a team at the University of Hull.
A modern placename search left me surprised at the relative size of places then and now.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

BIFHSGO Best Great Moments Talk
Nigel Lloyd receives congratulations from Director (Communications) Susan Davis on his Great Moments presentation A Dark Chapter in a Successful Life having been voted most popular by the membership.

Genealogy Drop-In
Take advantage of the advice and mentorship available at the OPL Nepean Centrepointe Branch on Tuesday, 15 October at 2 pm.

More than £200,000 ($325,000 Cdn) for a 3-year project in Norfolk to create community archives.
The grant, to the Norfolk Record Office from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will be used towards recruiting two community archivists to work with 30 partners across the county for three years. Norfolk has a population of 860,000 — less than that of Ottawa.

Joint effort to put two Eastern Ontario archives under one roof
From the Catholic Register, two dioceses in eastern Ontario — one Catholic and one Anglican — along with two religious orders are in talks to share one facility in Kingston for all four entities’ archival records. Might this become a model for elsewhere — maybe Ottawa?

Far from Home
A comprehensive report by Diana Beaupré and Adrian Watkinson on the recent "Final Road Trip" — following on the summary by Glenn Wright.

Canadian Military History
Published since 1992, articles in this journal which aims to "foster research, teaching, and public discussion of historical and contemporary military and strategic issues" may not be found by a Google search. Some provide good context for family history.
What songs might your First World war era ancestors in Canada have played, or heard? Songs of War: Anglo-Canadian Popular Songs on the Home Front, 1914-1918, by Sara Karn names some of the most popular. The article would be stronger if the conclusion about the change in emphasis from British to Canadian themes was supported quantitively.

Why no Nobel Prize winners on TV genealogy shows?
Why no Canadian TV genealogy show featuring members of the Order of Canada? 

Learning from Night Lights

There are three types of climate change denier, and most of us are at least one


Saturday, 12 October 2019

North Buckinghamshire Lloyd George Domesday Survey

The following is a press release from TheGenealogist.

North Buckinghamshire Lloyd George Domesday records added to TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™

TheGenealogist has just released the North Buckinghamshire maps and field books into its property ownership and occupancy record set, The Lloyd George Domesday Survey. This unique online resource allows researchers to discover where an ancestor lived in the 1910-1915 period from various London districts and now, for the first time, North Buckinghamshire.

These records make use of TheGenealogist’s powerful new Map Explorer™ to access the maps and residential data, giving those who want to discover where their ancestors lived in the period before the First World War some powerful new features to use. The Lloyd George Domesday Survey records are sourced from The National Archives and are being digitised by TheGenealogist so that it is possible to precisely locate where an ancestor lived on a large scale, hand-annotated maps. These plans include plots for the exact properties and are married to various georeferenced historic map overlays and modern base maps on the Map Explorer™ which allows the researcher to thoroughly investigate the area in which an ancestor lived.

Buckingham, North Buckinghamshire Valuation Office Maps

This release includes the following places: Addington, Akeley, Ashendon and Dorton, Aston Abbotts and Wingrave, Aston Clinton, Aston Sandford, Astwoo, Aylesbury, Barton Hartshorn, Beachampton, Biddlesden, Bierton, Bletchley, Boarstall, Bow Brickhill, Bradwell, Broughton, Buckingham, Calverton, Castlethorpe, Charndon, Chearsley and Long Crendon, Cheddington, Chicheley, Clifton Reynes, Cold Brayfield, Creslow and Whitchurch, Cublington, Cuddington, Dinton, Stone and Hartwell, Drayton Beauchamp, Drayton Parslow and Mursley, Dunton and Hoggeston, East Claydon, Edgcott and Marsh Gibbon, Edlesborough, Emberton, Fenny Stratford, Fleet Marston and Quarrendon, Foscott, Gayhurst, Grandborough, Hogshaw and North Marston, Great and Little Brickhill, Great Horwood, Great Linford, Grendon Underwood, Haddenham, Halton and Wendover, Hanslope, Hardwick and Weedon, Haversham, Hillesden, Ickford, Ivinghoe, Kingsey, Kingswood and Ludgershall, Lillingstone, Linslade and Soulbury, Loughton, Luffield Abbey and Stowe, Marsworth and Pitstone, Mentmore, Milton Keynes, Nash, Newport Pagnell, Newton Longville, Olney, Oving and Pitchcott, Padbury, Quainton, Radclive, Ravenstone, Shalstone, Shenley Brook End, Simpson, Steeple Claydon, Stewkley, Stoke Hammond, Stoke Mandeville, Studley, Swanbourne and Winslow, Thornborough, Tingewick, Turweston, Upper and Lower Winchendon, Waddesdon, Walton, Water Eaton, Wavendon, Weston Turville, Wing, Wolverton, Woolstone and Woughton, Wotton Underwood.

TheGenealogist’s Lloyd George Domesday records link individual properties to extremely detailed maps used in 1910-1915
Fully searchable by name, county, parish and street
The maps will zoom down to show the individual properties as they were in the 1910s
The transparency slider reveals a modern street map underlay
Change the base map displayed to more clearly understand what the area looks like today

Canadians and the Chinese Labour Corps in the First World War

Local author Dan Black has just-published Harry Livingstone’s Forgotten Men: Canadians and the Chinese Labour Corps in the First World War (Toronto, ON: Lorimer Publishing, 2019).

Using government records and privately held diaries and memoirs, Black removes the veil of secrecy from an extraordinary wartime undertaking to move tens of thousands of men from China across Canada in 1917-1918 and back again at the conclusion of the war.

In 1917, the British government enrolled approximately 95,000 Chinese men to labour behind the Front in France and Belgium by building and repairing roads and railways, moving supplies and undertaking whatever labour was needed in support of the fighting troops. To expedite the transfer of what was known as the Chinese Labour Corps (CLC) to the Western Front, some 84,000 members of the CLC were brought to Canada by ship and most of them were transported by the Canadian Pacific Railway across Canada from Vancouver to east coast ports en route to France and Belgium. This massive movement was done in the strictest secrecy and is one of the less known events of the Great War.

The trains raced across Canada, only stopping for fuel and water. With the pressure mounting to move and accommodate the men on their journey east, a temporary holding camp was established at Petawawa, northwest of Ottawa. Not all of the men stopped there, but many did.

On September 22, 1917, one of the labourers, twenty-five-year-old Chou Ming Shan (39038), died of malaria while on one of the trains as it crossed through Ontario. At Petawawa, his body was carried off the train and interred in an unknown location on the Base. He was just one of about fifty CLC men who died in Canada.

On Thursday, October 3, the Canadian Agency of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission unveiled a memorial to Chou Ming Shan in a small abandoned cemetery located on the firing range at Garrison Petawawa.

The commemoration ceremony was attended by about a dozen persons, including Dominique Boulais of  the CWGC, Brigadier Nick Orr (British High Commission), Col. Louis Lapointe, Commander 4th Canadian Division Support group at Garrison Petawawa and author Dan Black of Merrickville, Ontario, who helped bring Chou Ming Shan’s death and burial to the attention of the CWGC.

Thanks to Glenn Wright who attended the ceremony and penned this item.

Friday, 11 October 2019 Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, until 14 Oct 2019 at 11:59 p.m. ET, is opening their immigration collection for free at home access (with registration). The records included are:

19-Century Emigration of 'Old Lutherans' from Eastern Germany to Australia, Canada, and the United States
American (Loyalist) Migrations, 1765-1799
Border Crossings: From U.S. to Canada, 1908-1935
British Columbia, Canada, Border Entries and Passenger Lists, 1894-1905
Canada, British Vessel Crew Lists, 1881
Canada, Canadian National Railway Immigrant Records, 1937-1961
Canada, Immigration and Settlement Correspondence and Lists, 1817-1896
Canada, Ocean Arrivals (Form 30A), 1919-1924
Canada, Seafarers of the Atlantic Provinces, 1789-1935
Canada, St. Lawrence Steamboat Company Passenger Lists, 1819-1838
Canadian Immigrant Records, Part One
Canadian Immigrant Records, Part Two
Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935
Early Ontario Settlers
Irish Canadian Emigration Records, 1823-1849
Irish Emigrants in North America, Part Four and Part Five
Irish Emigrants in North America,1670-1830, Part Six
Irish Emigrants in North America,1775-1825
New Brunswick, Canada, Passenger Lists: 1834
Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada, Crew Lists, 1864-1942
Nova Scotia Immigrants to 1867, Vol. I
Nova Scotia Immigrants to 1867, Vol. II
Nova Scotia, Canada, Book of Negroes, 1783
Ship Passengers Arriving in Canada (Letter A): 1919-1924
The Original Scots Colonists of Early America, 1612-1783
The Original Scots Colonists of Early America. Supplement 1607-1707
Tourouvre et les Juchereau : un chapitre de l'émigration percheronne au Canada
U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s
U.S., Border Crossings from Canada to U.S., 1895-1960
U.S., Passenger and Crew Lists for U.S.-Bound Vessels Arriving in Canada, 1912-1939 and 1953-1962
U.S., Records of Aliens Pre-Examined in Canada, 1904-1954
Vancouver, British Columbia, Manifests of Chinese Arrivals, 1906-1912, 1929-1941
Be sure to save anything of interest you find, as usual after the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using a paid membership, or at a free access site like public library branches.

Findmypast weekly additions

England & Wales Government Probate Death Index 1960-2019
The major addition this week — 14 million England & Wales index records of the government probate index on Findmypast.  Find a probate record from 1960 to 2019 containing more than 14 million records.  The index gives a person’s death date, probate date, residence, next of kin and more. 
Findmypast lists this collection under Civil Deaths and Burials, not Wills and Probate!
This is essentially the same record as at the free PRO Find a Will service at An advantage is you do not need to do a separate search pre and post 1996, but you still need to use the PRO site to order a copy of the will. 

Greater London Burial Index
This index is a collection of the Middlesex Burials & Memorial Inscriptions, South London Burials Index 1545-1905, City of London Burials 1754-1855 and Middlesex Burials 1538-1992. Over 45,000 new records covering 10 parishes across the region have been added to the index and are now available to search. The records in this collection, back to 1399, give the date and location of burial as well as, in some cases, occupation, address, denomination and age at death.

Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions
A further 3,400 transcript records from the parishes of Harefield St Mary the Virgin and Sunbury St Mary which spans the years 1485 to 2014. Many of the transcripts include a document link to learn more about the church and graveyard with a brief history and image of the church, as well as burial plot maps.

Dorset Memorial Inscriptions
Over 13,000 additional records from 35 burial sites across Dorset are now available to search. The total collection is now over 126,000 records in this collection, covering over 250 Dorset parishes. 
Each record contains a transcript of an original inscription taken from gravestones, tombs, monuments and even stained glass windows. The information contained in each record may vary considerably depending on a number of factors such as weathering or the type of memorial. The records are sourced from the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society and the Dorset Family History Society.

RootsTech London News

Only a few days now until I leave for England — visiting with extended family and taking in RootsTech at ExCel London.
RootsTech is billing it as "The Family History Party You Don't Want to Miss." For sure there's a lot going on including a tantalizing choice of presentations.
As usual with RootsTech quite a few of those will be live-streamed around the world — four on each of the three days. With London being five hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone you'll need to be up early to catch those starting in London at 9 am. Even if I wasn't there with my maple leaf flag I'd be getting online on the first day, Thursday 24 October, for Dan Snow's keynote presentation.
There's a great schedule of free live-streamed presentations, including all the keynotes, which will also be available to view a few days after the event.
If you want more, without travelling, there's a Premium Virtual Pass available for £49, about $80 Cdn, giving access to 20 specially selected additions presentations to watch over the next 9 months. Scroll down from here to see the list of talks that will be exclusively available. Compare it to the cost of registration for an event with such an array of star speakers, all without travel and accommodation expenses.
Finally, if you happen to be in London during the event there will be free access to the Exhibition Hall. With more than 100 exhibitors there's bound to be something of interest.
BTW, if you'll be near the ExCel site on Wednesday evening prior to the opening contact me about a Canadian meetup — email john dot d dot reid at gmail dot com.

Voici Voilà

"Library Search" at the Library and Archives Canada website has two resourcesAurora is LAC's own catalogue of its published holdings, including books, newspapers, magazines, maps, music and works in accessible formats.

Voilà is Canada's National Union Catalogue, a single point of access to the collections of libraries across Canada and includes books, magazines, maps, music, and more, including works in special format (e.g., braille, large print, talking books, captioned videos, etc.), for persons who are print- or hearing-impaired. Voilà is hosted by OCLC, an international nonprofit library cooperative.

Voilà is growing. A December 2018 search for genealogy found 142,388 results; today it's 201,835.

It's also growing in libraries that are members. Although LAC did not have the information Daniel Boivin from OCLC sent a list of 528 member organizations. They are all the significant academic libraries, alphabetically from Algonquin College to York University, public sector organizations and 74 public libraries including 24 in Ontario.

The member list is too long for the blog.  You can find out if a given library is one of the 528 at

How can you use Voilà?

It does not replace your public library catalogue. A search for an Ottawa local history book in Voilà found it listed as being at the OPL. A popular general genealogy book was in Voilà but not listed as being in the OPL collection, even though it is. OPL informs the process of adding items to Voilà "has been very complicated ... with several barriers along the way beyond our control." They hope to have further progress by the end of this month.

Voilà will find repositories that hold the item, not all of them, so you can perhaps visit or request an inter-library loan through your own library knowing there is one available (although it may not be available for loan).


... so true, the catalogue helps you find amazing library treasures.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Genetic non-discrimination bill challenged

I thought this was settled in Canada, but apparently not.

That's according to the iPolitics item — Genetic non-discrimination bill passed by Parliament, but challenged by government at top court.

"Thursday the Supreme Court of Canada is hearing a historical and probably unparalleled challenge, one where the government is part of a constitutional reference that targets a bill passed almost unanimously by Parliament.

The bill in contention is the 2017 Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, legislation that originated in the Senate and was passed by both the Senate and the House of Commons.

The entire Liberal cabinet voted against the bill, while most MPs and senators voted for it."

The concern is whether it's a properly within federal jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court hearing starts at 9:30 am Ottawa time and will be streamed live —

Ancestry updates Surrey parish records online

The following titles, with indexed records linked to images of the originals, were updated on 8 October 2019 on Ancestry. There's also a browse capability.

Surrey, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 — 1,864,596 records
Surrey, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1917 — 2,262,611 records
Surrey, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1937 — 1,108,226 records
Surrey, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1987 — 519,990 records

Original records are at the Surrey History Centre in Woking.

Air Transport Auxiliary website

A few years ago, visiting a retirement home in Hampshire I had a conversation with a woman who told me she flew Spitfires during the war. She seemed pleased I knew that women had served ferrying planes of all types.

Maidenhead (Berkshire) Heritage Centre, Air Transport Auxiliary Museum has a free online resource with more than 130 logbooks, hundreds of photos and other documents about the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA).

Of particular interest is the database of ATA Personnel with over 7,000 entries. Four Canadian Pilot First Officers are included: James Evelyn Brian Duigan, James Francis Howitt, Elizabeth 'Betty' Ann Lussier, and Violet Beatrice Milstead.

BIFHSGO October Meeting

On Saturday. 12 October 2019 the programme for the BIFHSGO meeting is:

At 9 AM: Hidden lives revealed: mental health and the children looked after by the Waifs and Strays Society, presented by Dr Wendy Sims-Schouten.

An overview of practices and conditions of children cared for by the Waifs and Strays Society in the UK from its inception in 1881 till 1920, as well as providing examples of children who were sent to Canada during this time. Wendy will specifically focus on correspondence, interventions and practices with a focus on mental health and wellbeing, and support this with examples from the relevant case files. Wendy will also give tips and advice on how to access the records.

Following a 30 minute break

At 10 AM: Quakers in the Family: My Dickinson Ancestors of England and Jamaica, presented by Sandra Adams

A pivotal moment in Sandra Adams’ family history research came when she discovered that one branch of her family tree joined the Quaker movement in England at the time of its inception. As the fervent evangelical Quaker faith of the 1650’s evolved into a quieter but uncompromising Quaker faith over the next 100 years, three generations of Sandra’s Dickinson family were shaped by Quakerism. Because Quaker records are so informative, and because one of Sandra’s Dickinson ancestors had a brother who kept every piece of paper that ever crossed his desk, Sandra has been able to compile the stories of these Dickinson ancestors in more detail than any other of her ancestral lines. She will illustrate her talk with images of some of the family documents from the “Dickinson Collection” – a treasure trove held by the Somerset Archives. 

Further information on the meeting which is in The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario is here.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Ancestry updates England & Scotland, Select Cemetery Registers, 1800-2016

This collection, updated on 3 October, now contains 1,983,849 total entries from the following burial registers:

West Sussex (Arun Region), England (35,688 entries)
Arundel Cemetery, Bognor Regis Cemetery, Chalcraft Lane Cemetery, Findon Cemetery, Littlehampton Cemetery

Hampshire (Winchester), England (37,366 entries)
Magdalen Hill Cemetery

Oxfordshire, England (55,849 entries)
Headington Cemetery, Rosehill Cemetery, Wolvercote Cemetery, Botley Cemetery

War memorial in Gorleston Cemetery,
Norfolk, England (157,424 entries)
Yarmouth Old Cemetery, Yarmouth New Cemetery, Great Yarmouth Crematorium, Caister Borough Cemetery, Magdelan Cemetery, Gorleston Old Cemetery, Caister Village Cemetery

London, England (493,655 entries)
Abney Park Cemetery, Greenford Park Cemetery, Acton Cemetery, Ealing & Old Brentford Cemetery, Havelock Norwood Cemetery, Hortus Cemetery, South Ealing Cemetery, Queens Road Cemetery, Chingford Mount Cemetery

Manchester, England (744,458 entries)
Manchester General Cemetery, Philips Park Cemetery, Gorton Cemetery, Blackley Cemetery, Southern Cemetery

Kent, England (49,858 entries)
Brenzett Cemetery, Cheriton Road Cemetery, Hawkinge Cemetery, Lydd Cemetery, New Romney Cemetery, Spring Lane/Horn Street Cemetery

Staffordshire, England (103,950 entries)
Attwood Cemetery, Audley Cemetery, Bradwell Crematorium, Cheserton Cemetery and Hallows Farm Cemetery, Keele Cemetery, Knutton Cemetery, Madeley Cemetery, Newcastle Cemetery, Silverdale Cemetery

Dumfries-shire, Scotland (180,440 entries)
Annan Cemetery, Applegarth Cemetery, Auchencairn Cemetery, Caerlaverock Cemetery, Canonbie Cemetery, Carruthers Cemetery, Closeburn Cemetery, Cummertrees Cemetery, Dalton Cemetery, Dornock Cemetery, Dumfries High Cemetery, Dunscore Cemetery, Durisdeer Cemetery, Eskdalemuir Cemetery, Ewes Cemetery, Gamerigg Cemetery, Glencairn Cemetery, Gretna Cemetery, Gretna Green New Graveyard, Half Morton Cemetery, Holywood Cemetery, Hutton and Corrie Cemeteries, Irongray Cemetery, Johnstone Old Church, Johnstone Bridge Cemetery, Keir Cemetery, Kirkbean Cemetery, Kirkmahoe Cemetery, Kirkpatrick Fleming New Cemetery, Kirkpatrick Fleming Old Cemetery, Kirkpatrick Juxta Cemetery, Langholm Cemetery, Lochmaben Cemetery, Middlebie Cemetery, Moffat Cemetery, Morton Cemetery, Mouswald Cemetery, New Abbey Cemetery, Nithsdale District Council Cemetery, Penpont Cemetery, Rigg Cemetery, Ruthwell Cemetery, Sanquhar Cemetery, St Andrews Cemetery, St Blanes Cemetery, St Conals Cemetery, St Michaels Cemetery, St Mungo Cemetery, Staplegordon Cemetery, Terregles Cemetery, Tinwald Cemetery, Torthorwald Cemetery, Troqueer Cemetery, Tundergarth New Churchyard, Tynron Cemetery, Tyron Cemetery, Wamphray Cemetery, Wanlockhead Cemetery, Wauchope Cemetery, Westerkirk Cemetery

Kincardineshire, Scotland (5,022 entries)
Anwoth Cemetery, Balmaclellan Cemetery, Balmaghie Cemetery, Buittle Cemetery, Carsphairn Cemetery, Colvend Cemetery, Kirkpatrick Durham Cemetery, Machermore Cemetery, Parton Cemetery, Southwick Cemetery, Tongland Cemetery, Twynholm Cemetery

Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland (17,540 entries)
Bargrennan Churchyard, Borgue Cemetery, Castle Douglas Cemetery, Crossmichael Cemetery, Dalbeattie Cemetery, Dalry Cemetery, Girthon Cemetery, Kells Cemetery, Kirkcudbright Cemetery, Kirkgunzeon Cemetery, Kirkmabreck Cemetery, Lochrutton Cemetery, Rerrick Cemetery, Urr Cemetery

Wigtownshire, Scotland (61,250 entries)
Cairnryan Cemetery, Glasserton Cemetery, Glebe Cemetery, Glenluce Cemetery, Glenjorrie Cemetery, Inch Cemetery, Kirkcolm Cemetery, Kirkcowan Cemetery, Kirkinnery Cemetery, Kirkmaiden Cemetery, Leswalt Cemetery, Leswalt New Cemetery, Leswalt Old Cemetery, Mochrum Cemetery, New Luce Cemetery, Newton Cemetery, Old Luce Cemetery, Portpatrick Cemetery, Sheuchan Cemetery, Sorbie Cemetery, Stoneykirk Cemetery, Stranraer Cemetery, Whithorn Cemetery, Wigtown Cemetery, Wigtown Park Cemetery, Wigtown Top Cemetery.

Information given is interment number, name of the deceased, residence, age, place of death, date of burial, location of the grave, and the name of the person who conducted the burial service.

The entries for Norfolk are for the Great Yarmouth area including an index and image of the original record for the cremation of my father.

QFHS: Quebec Roots

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

The 14 best websites for DNA family history research

From Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, October 2019, a UK perspective.

City of Ottawa Archives Update

A short report on the City of Ottawa Archives activities was given at Sunday's AGM of the Friends of the City of Ottawa Archives. It was presented by John Lund on behalf of City Archivist Paul Henry.
Archivists continue to work on the backlog including cataloguing at the file rather than the box level.
The last major photo digitization project was 3,000 images of Centretown and Lowertown in support of heritage studies.
City Hall saw continuing development of the Postcards from Ottawa exhibit, in its second year, and the Archives took over responsibility for the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame. Work on other smaller exhibits continued.
Online access to the Ottawa Journal, available from through an agreement with the Archives, exceeds 1 million views per year and growing.
Archives staff remain ready to advise local organizations wishing to maintain their own archives.
The City Archives acquires about 5% of all City records.
The Archives has a staff of 16 including two vacant technician positions that are being filled.
Asked about funding for the coming year John indicated he expected the Archives funding to keep pace with that for the City at large.
Published family histories with a local component could find a place in the OGS Library housed at the Archives building. Only manuscripts would find a place in the Archives.
The Archives is interested in material that shows how individuals contributed to the City. In these days, when offspring may not have the interest or space to accept your documentary (not artifactual) heritage, the Archives may be a suitable repository.

Registration of Marriages in England and Wales

The October - December 2019 issue of the Journal of One-Name Studies includes an article by Peter Copsey on New Rules for Marriage Registration in England and Wales.

Although the impact on genealogists is minimal, Peter points out that present marriage registers will be closed. The Diocesan record offices, normally the County Record Offices (CROs) in England and Wales, will be (should be?) receiving all those marriage registers in use today (which can go back many years). They should be available in due course for examination by the public visiting the CROs.

As the registrar offices will register marriages is in a similar way to births and deaths, it is hoped that the GRO will be issuing earlier annual (perhaps quarterly) indexes of marriages. Marriage is presently running nearly two years behind births and deaths. Marriages for 2017 and births/deaths for the second quarter of 2019 are the latest indexes to be issued.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Finding Your Roots

The featured personalities in the new season of the PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., will include Jeffrey Wright, Sigourney Weaver, Melissa McCarthy, Sterling K. Brown, Jordan Peele, Nancy Pelosi, Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell, Queen Latifah, Jon Batiste, Diane von Furstenberg, Zac Posen, Jeff Goldblum,Terry Gross, Eric Stonestreet.

Set your PVR, or tune in at 8 pm on Tuesday, 8 October at 8:00 pm for the first episode which features actresses Isabella Rossellini, Anjelica Huston and Mia Farrow.

More here.

HSO presentation on 10 of Canada's Prime Ministers

This Wednesday, 9 October at 7 p.m., the Ottawa Historical Society launches its new Evening Speaker Series.
HSO member François Bregha, Sandy Hill resident & historian, shares a series of often-amusing and little-known anecdotes to shed light on ten of Canada's Prime Ministers and their remarkable time as residents in Ottawa's Sandy Hill.
All welcome at the auditorium of the downtown Ottawa Public Library.