Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Registration opens for RootsTech 2020

Here's a press release from RootsTech.

SALT LAKE CITY (18 September 2019)—FamilySearch International has announced that registration for RootsTech 2020 Salt Lake City is now open. RootsTech is a popular 4-day annual family history and technology conference where individuals and families are inspired to discover, share, and preserve their family roots, heritage, and stories. The 2020 conference will be held February 26–29, 2020, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, visit rootstech.org/salt-lake. Discounts are available for early registrations.

In 2019, RootsTech attracted over 20,000 attendees from 38 different countries and all 50 states.

RootsTech 2020 will celebrate its 10th anniversary and the distinguished honour that it is the largest genealogy conference of its kind in the world. The conference will feature a full lineup of inspiring and well-known keynote speakers, over 300 informative sessions, including hands-on computer workshops taught by industry professionals; interactive activities and helpful exhibitors in the expo hall; and entertaining events—all designed to inspire and empower personal family discoveries.

Conference Details

The theme for RootsTech 2020 will be “The Story of YOU.” Many of the classes, keynote address, and venue décor will reflect this theme.

“At RootsTech, we believe that the stories we’re creating and preserving today are just as important as the stories of our ancestors,” said Jen Allen, event director. “Reflecting on and celebrating each of our personal journeys is an important part of family history that we are excited to explore at the 2020 conference.”

RootsTech 2020 will also introduce learning forums—new class sessions covering a variety of specialized topics including: records access and preservation, innovation and technology, and DNA. One of these forums will be offered on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

RootsTech 2020 will officially begin on Wednesday, February 26 with class sessions beginning at 8 AM MT. Wednesday’s general keynote session will begin on the main stage at 4:30 p.m. Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, will be the featured keynote speaker.

General keynote sessions on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will begin on the main stage at 11 AM MT and will lead directly into the lunch hour.

Read more about what’s new at RootsTech 2020.

Pricing

Early bird discount pricing is available for a limited time on 4-day passes at just $169 (a $130 discount on regularly priced passes). Single day RootsTech passes are also available for $99. Both one-day and full conference passes include access to the popular expo hall and keynote sessions. Early bird pricing ends October 11, 2019.

Family Discovery Day

Registration for Family Discovery Day is also now open. The event takes place on Saturday, February 26, 2020, and is designed for families and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This free 1-day event includes inspiring messages from Church leaders; engaging classes for families, youth, and young single adults; and evening entertainment to inspire and help families make family history connections. Family Discovery Day attendees will also have access to all the interactive activities and exhibitors found in the RootsTech expo hall. Event details, including speakers and class sessions, will be made available soon at RootsTech.org. The event is free, but registration is required.

Updated London, Poor Law and Board of Guardian Records

Updated on 16 September, Ancestry's London, England, Poor Law and Board of Guardian Records, 1738-1930 now contains 321,589 records.

Sourced from the London Metropolitan Archives, the collection includes a huge variety of different records such as:

Admission and discharge books of workhouses
Registers of individuals in the infirmary
Creed registers
School registers
Registers of children boarded out or sent to various other institutions
Registers of apprentices
Registers of lunatics
Registers of servants
Registers of children
Registers of relief to wives and children
Registers of inmates
Registers of indoor poor
Registers of deserted children

The background information given by Ancestry includes "Because the records haven’t yet been transcribed, it’s not possible to search for your relatives automatically." That's legacy text — at least some of the files are indexed. Others are available as images of the original document to browse.

They’ll help you identify which members of your family were considered poor, find out what help they received, and discover details of their everyday lives.

Checking a random sample I noticed a creed register with the notation "To Canada". I was unable to find the two young people mentioned in the home child database at Library and Archives Canada. Nothing's done and dusted!

RootsTech London anticipation builds: SOG extra

This date next month I'll be starting out on the trek from the plane to immigration at Heathrow airport and then on to my first sleep. That's well before the start of RootsTech London. Like many friends, I'll be combining the trip with family visits and some research.

The Society of Genealogists is taking the opportunity to help RootsTech visitors make the most of the trip with a series of free events.
Two free lectures by the society Genealogist Else Churchill:
Tuesday, 29 October, 2-3pm, I'm Stuck! Some Ideas for Solving Genealogy Problems.
Wednesday, 30 October, 2-3pm, Surname Searching & Finding Pedigrees Online and at SoG.
 and
Tours of the society library each day from Monday to Wednesday.

Find out more and book at http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/calendar-month/2019/10/

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Third annual virtual conference on Scottish Genealogy Research

PRESS RELEASE

Genealogy Tours of Scotland announces the third annual virtual conference on Scottish Genealogy Research. This is the only virtual conference dedicated to Scottish research topics.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 25TH, 2020

The ViC (virtual conference) will launch on Saturday, January 25th, 2020 at 8:30 am Eastern

The line-up of talks and speakers for the day:

Glasgow’s Role in the Slave Trade on Plantations in the West Indies presented by Stephen Mullen
Using Wills and Testaments for Scottish Genealogy Research presented by archivist Margaret Fox
Using Prison Records for Genealogy Research, presented by genealogist Emma Maxwell
Using Asylum Records for Genealogy Research, presented by genealogist Emma Maxwell
Using the Records Generated Upon Death for Genealogy Research, presented by archivist Irene O’Brien
Researching Your Scottish Ancestors in British Newspapers presented by Aoife O’Connor
Canada: Land and Opportunity presented by genealogy educator Christine Woodcock

 Registration fee is just $99.99 (cad) and allows unlimited access to the talks, handouts and marketplace until midnight (eastern) on February 1st, 2020.

 *** Virtual "Seats" are limited!*** For more information or to register: http://www.genealogyvic.com/

 For questions: genealogytoursofscotland@gmail.com

 All presentations are pre-recorded and released on a timed basis throughout the day, just like an in-person conference. The live Q&A will only happen on January 25th when the presenters will be available following their presentation to answer any questions.

Comment:  I don't research in Scotland and don't know most of the presenters. Aoife O’Connor I recall giving a good webinar on the British Newspaper Archive.  Christine Woodcock is well known in the Ontario genealogy community having spoken at a BIFHSGO conference.
The cost is $99.99, or $14 per recorded presentation. The benchmark is an annual subscription to Legacy Family Tree Webinars at $50 (US) per year with a library of nearly 1,000 presentations and new presentations added weekly.

DNA.Land is closing

Kudos to those behind DNA.Land for choosing the ethical high ground.
No ifs, ands or buts ... DNA.Land with its 163,237 genomes is closing as an academic research project. All accounts and contributed data will be permanently deleted and erased from the DNA.Land servers on September 30th, 2019.
That's in contrast to the situation with the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation database which was acquired in 2012 along with GeneTree.
The scientists behind DNA.Land announce their intention of relaunching it as a commercial initiative, DNA.Land 2.0.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Northern Ireland Tithe Applotment Books

On his British Genes blog, Chris Paton reported "some very exciting news" from the latest stakeholder meeting at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

In particular Tithe Applotment Books (Northern Ireland) from PRONI will be imminently (perhaps not my November) available online to browse as large scale PDF documents, via a 'View digital object' button on the catalogue entries.

PRONI will be adding to its site a how-to user guide to explain how to work through the collections.

Gene-O-Rama 2020 announcement

In recent years Ottawa Branch's Gene-O-Rama has featured Ontario-based keynote speakers as befits an OGS/Ontario Ancestors organization.
At Saturday's branch meeting I learned that, as it gets ready to celebrate its 50th-anniversary, Gene-O-Rama will be going beyond the borders — the keynote speaker will be Chicago-based internationally known Thomas MacEntee.
Thomas is a frequent speaker and webinar presenter. He consistently ranked in the top ten in my Rockstar Genealogist poll and was a popular speaker at the 2015 BIFHSGO conference.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

BIFHSGO History: 2002 Conference

As I wasn't able to be at Susan Davis's presentation 25 Years of Storytelling at Saturday's BIFHSGO meeting I don't know whether she mentioned what is possibly the most quirky event in BIFHSGO history which happened at the 2002 conference. Many may not remember or have been involved in the Society at the time. Here's the way it was reported in The Citizen of 22 September 2002.

First, the writers tried to steal some of the genealogists’ cheese slices. Then, the genealogists grabbed handfuls of the writers’ Timbits. The war is not over.
The unusual food fight is taking place this weekend at 395 Wellington St.
That is the home of the National Archives of Canada, the National Library of Canada and considerable confusion.
The 6th annual Ottawa International Writers Festival had booked meeting room space this weekend with the National Library. The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa had booked meeting room space this weekend with the National Archives.
The problem is the library and archives share the same meeting room spaces. And as every neophyte physics student knows, two bodies can not occupy the same space at the same time. The genealogists and the writers are, however, trying. But with mixed success.
The only near casualty came Friday evening when, according to witnesses, a 10-year-old girl attending the writers festival reached for a genealogical cheese slice. Someone the writers nicknamed “the catering Nazi” was reported to have almost slapped the child. But cooler heads prevailed.
A sort of uneasy truce has been called between the two groups as they both try to salvage their respective gatherings from disaster. Arrangements were made so some competing events of each group would be held in hallways and foyers as well as the official meeting rooms.
That meant that yesterday afternoon, for example, a writers festival discussion on gay marriage in the foyer of the auditorium was invaded by scores of genealogists moving into the auditorium. Most of the invading genealogists tried to be quiet as they tiptoed toward the auditorium, making detours to hit the Timbits. But some were extremely noisy.
“Holy (expletive deleted)!” Sean Wilson, the writers festival’s artistic director, exclaimed at one point when a group of elderly British descendants, with extremely healthy vocal chords, stood on the sidelines interrupting the gay marriage discussion.
Mr. Wilson stood up, grimaced and made a beeline for the British descendants. They retreated down a hallway.
Mr. Wilson used such adjectives as “disruptive,” “disheartening” and “frustrating” to explain his festival’s dilemma.
His language was stronger than that used by a panel of high-profile international writers yesterday afternoon, discussing everything from the bombing of “Palestine” to China’s persecution of Falun Gong. Egyptian writer Mohammed Salmawy criticized the bombing. Chinese writer Jiang Zilong defended the persecution on the grounds Falun Gong practitioners have become “too political.”
Some of the history society people interviewed said they were coping well with the double booking, but unanimously added, with just a hint of venom: “We booked this place a year ago.”
The writers festival booked several months ago and, Mr. Wilson said, checked three times since then with the archives to ensure the space was not double booked. Festival organizers were worried about such an eventuality because it happened to them last April, when author Rohinton Mistry was scheduled to give a reading at the National Library and the National Archives booked the same space for the same time. Mr. Mistry and hundreds of fans were forced into the foyer. Mr. Mistry was not pleased.
Actually, anyone who is a regular attendee at library-archives events knows this is a problem that has existed for several years. It’s always blamed on a computer glitch. Apparently, no one at 395 Wellington has figured out all you need to avoid confusion is a calendar and a pen. When someone calls to book, you write down the name on the calendar. End of confusion, as long as there is only one calendar.
The writers festival was given the space from the National Library for free, so organizers can’t demand a refund. All previous writers festivals were held at the National Arts Centre without this kind of glitch. The National Library was expected to become the new festival home for many years. That, Mr. Wilson says, is now in doubt.
The confusion at 395 Wellington should be over by tomorrow. The British descendants wrap up their gathering today. The writers continue until next Saturday.

Two riled BIFHSGO members wrote to the Citizen about the article.

Food-fight article ignored compromise and common sense
Re: Food fight erupts as two festivals collide, Sept. 22.
The article by Paul Gessell was an opportunity missed. In line with the Law of Parsimony — report only what is supported by the facts — the following are the facts:
1. Neither the Ottawa International Writers Festival (OIWF) nor the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO), nor the National Archives of Canada (NAC) was informed of the double-booked spaces by the National Library until two weeks before the events.
2. I was informed by a number of members who are writers and were planning to attend both events.
3. When informed, BÎFHSGO was told there was no problem except for one room (154) — we were asked by the NAC to use room 129 — a compromise that we accepted.
4. When we set up our exhibitors’ space in the auditorium foyer (as we have done for the past three years), we found out from the organizers of OIWF that it had events planned for that space and the auditorium.
5. Neil Wilson, director of the OIWF and his organizing staff, Gabrielle Blais, the NAC director-general of client services and her staff, myself and the BIFHSGO conference planning group worked out a number of practical options, supported by Ian Wilson, the national archivist.
6.     These compromises, by both OIWF and BIFHSGO. with the support of NAC staff and the
commissionaires on duty, resulted in few complaints by attendees of both events, except for a few small incidents when members of both groups were unaware of the compromise arrangements.
And what did Mr. Gessell focus on? An attention-getting headline in, if you will pardon the pun, poor taste. What an opportunity missed. Instead of the negative journalism, he could have emphasized the common sense, co-operation and compromise which both organizations practised when a difficult situation was thrust upon them. At no point was I approached for my reaction as the “other offended party.” And I was on site all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
I would also note that the Citizen, along with other media, is going to have to search for better descriptions of those over the age of 65 than “elderly British descendants” — an offensive adjective for an active, growing part of the community.
Gerry Glavin, Ottawa, Co-ordinator, BIFHSGO conference 2002

Negative focus
As a member of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa, I attended our annual fall conference where we shared space with the Ottawa International Writers Association. Hundreds of writers and genealogists behaved with grace and co-operation in the difficult situation of being required to share space and relocate events at short notice, through no fault of their own. The National Archives and National Library staff did everything possible to remedy the booking error and accommodate everyone’s needs.
The writers’ association invited the genealogists to attend its events at the price designated for its own members, and our society was very happy to sign up a new member from the writers’ group. Good humour and goodwill predominated through the stress of the space sharing. That was the important news, and it was completely ignored in your reporter’s negative and mean-spirited article which focused on a greatly exaggerated and isolated incident.
Ruth Kirk, Ottawa

Google the Citizen journalist's name and you'll find that Paul Gessell "For the last three decades while based in the Ottawa area, he has focused on the collision of art and politics."

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Three Outstanding Collections Added to the Canada Memory of the World Register

Visualising newspaper data
Here's the type of initiative LAC could well learn from.

Restless Sleep With Age
Can’t sleep? Don’t worry. It’ll probably be worse when you’re older (but worrying won't help)!

Good Luck Professor Spiegelhalter
A 56-minute podcast from BBC Radio 4. In Good Luck Professor Spiegelhalter, the Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at Cambridge University looks at notions of luck in gambling, traces the origins of how we think about fate and fortune, the religious and psychological view of luck and how the emergence of theory of probability changed our view of it. "Luck is chance taken personally."

Saturday, 14 September 2019

RootsTech London full schedule

The full schedule of talks, filling in 19 slots previously gaps, is now posted at https://www.rootstech.org/schedule/.
Genetic genealogy is well catered for with one or more talk in every session including five by Debbie Kennett, four by Maurice Gleeson, three each by Michelle Leonard and Jonny Perl, and two each by John Cleary, Ugo Perego, Donna Rutherford and Diahan Southard.

TheGenealogist expands School and University Register collection

The record sets named in following press release from TheGenealogist includes those for Upper Canada College.

New School and University Registers

As children go back to school, TheGenealogist has just released a diverse batch of school and university records to join its ever-growing education collection.

Researchers can use this new data to find ancestors who attended or taught at a variety of Educational establishments between the 1830s and 1930s. Also listed are the names of those who held high office in the institutions, such as the patrons, deans, visitors, professors, masters in the case of universities and the principles and governors in the case of schools.

Use these records to add colour to a family story and glean important information from the biographical details to use in further research.

The list of records included in this release are:

St. Lawrence College Ramsgate Register, 1879 to 1911
Upper Canada College Address List 1829-1929
The Report Of The President Of Queen's College Belfast 1896-1897
The Glenalmond Register 1847-1929
Clifton College Register 1862-1912
Edinburgh Institution 1832-1932
King Williams College Register 1833-1904
The Bradfield College Register 1850-1923
The Old Denstonian Chronicle 1915
The Old Denstonian Chronicle 1916
The Old Denstonian Chronicle 1917
The Old Denstonian Chronicle 1918
The Old Denstonian Chronicle 1919
Isle of Man, King William's College Register 1833-1927
Ireland, The Campbell College Register 1894-1938
Eton College, Easter 1862
Keble College Register, 1870-1925
Rathmines School Roll, 1858-1899
Charterhouse Register 1911-1920 Vol. III
Cheltenham College Register 1841-1927
Alumni Carthusiani, 1614-1872

This expands our extensive education records collection.

Read our article:
https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2019/find-ancestors-in-education-records-1180/

These records and many more are available to subscribers of TheGenealogist.co.uk

Friday, 13 September 2019

Correction for Cream of the Crop

The latest issue of BIFHSGO's Anglo-Celtic Roots, Volume 25, Number 3, arrived in my mailbox yesterday. It's not yet online. There's incorrect information in my Cream of the Crop column. When written it was correct.
Global Genealogy will not now be selling copies of Blaine Bettinger's latest book, the second edition of The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy.
Amazon has it at $33.58, plus tax and shipping. There's a Kindle edition at $14.99.

Findmypast Berkshire, Derbyshire and International Records

New this week on Findmypast

Berkshire Marriages Index
Over 63,000 additional records added for 16 parishes across the county for a total of 378,772 records. The additions consist of transcripts provided by the Berkshire Family History Society that may reveal age, marital status, residence, occupation, father’s name and spouse’s details. Some records may also include the names of witnesses and additional notes.

Berkshire marriages cover more than 156 parishes in Berkshire between 1538 and 1933.  The transcripts were created by both Findmypast and the Berkshire Family History Society using original marriage registers and bishop’s transcripts held by the Berkshire Archives. A further set of records originates from the Phillimore Marriage Registers with links to the original publish images — also available through archive.org/.

Derbyshire Deaths and Burials
Over 23,000 Derbyshire Family History Society transcripts have been added for 12 cemeteries around the county. The collection now totals 626,050 records from 1538 to 1998 and many without a burial year. As well as revealing the final resting place, these records may also reveal their age at death, birth year, death year, burial date and if they died paupers. Some records may also list next of kin.

Irish Boundary Commission Records 1924-1925
Just in time for BREXIT, these are records for The Irish Boundary Commission set up to determine the boundary between the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland. Findmypast has digitised this collection of more than 47,000 records from The National Archives which include the Commission’s minutes, papers, correspondence and report of the Irish Boundary Commission, and records of oral and written evidence submitted to it.

British In Ceylon Parish Records
From 1815 until 1948, Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, was a British colony. The 4,500 records in this collection span that period and have been collected and transcribed by the Kabristan Archives. They include the names of those who were serving in Ceylon and were married, died, or had children there. Over a thousand names of those who served in Ceylon during the First World War are also included.

International records update - Russia
Does your family tree have Russian roots? Search for your Russian ancestors in more than 325,000 baptisms, marriages and burials. These three indexes from FamilySearch will provide essential names, dates and locations.

GEDMatch Notifications

Did you receive the following message from GEDMatch?

The purpose of GEDmatch is to provide tools to our fellow genealogical researchers.

However, we also wish to remind our members of another use that we believe is especially important.

That use is to bring a sense of closure to families who have suffered deeply because a violent crime was perpetrated on them or a member of their family. Here is a story one family victim placed on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlbfAYVtnq8&feature=youtu.be

Some people feel there may be good reasons for not making their information available for this use. We understand and make it easy for them to protect their information from being compared to criminal cases. All they have to do is make sure the police badge icon on their GEDmatch home page has a red “X” through it. If the red “X” is missing, see below.

We recommend and encourage opting-in. For those who wish to make their information available to solve violent crime cases, get perpetrators off the street and give closure to victims, this is done by ensuring that the police icon on their GEDmatch home page does not have a red “X” over it. A simple click on the icon will add or remove the “X”. This should be done for kits that are yours or for which permission has been given or for deceased persons whose information you manage.

Many of these families have suffered for decades. They need your support. We hope you will encourage others who have been genealogically DNA tested to also add their information.

We believe it is the caring thing to do.

GEDmatch Management

I admit to being torn. While I believe in the value of DNA matching for catching criminals I am not in favour of the death penalty and would not want my DNA to be the evidence that resulted in an execution.

What do you think?

Thursday, 12 September 2019

The Theses Canada Collection

For time-to-time, the blog looks at theses and dissertations relevant to family history. While Library and Archives Canada has a consolidated collection of Canadian theses the newest are from 2016.

Additions have been in abeyance pending implementation of a new harvesting and archiving system. The Theses Canada website has long had a notice that harvesting will resume in 2019.

This week I've been able to confirm that they hope (expect?) to begin harvesting again within the next couple of months. When new theses are available there will be a notice on the website.

In the meantime, newer theses may be found in the individual university repositories. A list of the 59 institutions, with links, is available at  http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/services/theses/Pages/obtain-thesis-dissertation.aspx  (See the bottom of the page for the Canadian university theses repositories.)

Ploughing through 50 institution listings, each with its own format and organization is, to say the least, a chore.

This Saturday: rare back-to-back BIFHSGO and OGS Ottawa monthly meetings

It's time to reconnect with friends, and learn about building out your family tree, as both major Ottawa societies hold their first monthly meeting of the new genealogical year.

The BIFHSGO meetings start on Saturday, 14 September at 9:00 am at Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

Early Immigrants, Co-Lab and Collection Search: New and Updated Tools at Library and Archives Canada 

Emily Potter, a Genealogy Consultant at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), will discuss recent improvements to the help page of the Immigrants Before 1865 database, and discuss other upcoming changes to the immigration section of LAC’s website. As well, she will offer a brief introduction to the new Collections Search and Co-Lab tools.

Emily Potter has been a Genealogy Consultant at Library and Archives Canada for over four years and enjoys helping clients uncover family mysteries. Emily’s genealogy includes Scottish, Romanian, Acadian and Indigenous ancestry. She holds a bachelor of arts in Art history and History from Mount Allison University, as well as an Advanced Diploma in Museum Studies from Algonquin College.

At 9:30 am - BREAK - reconnect.

At 10:00 am
25 Years of Storytelling 

When Wayne Walker hit a brick wall, it was a voice in his head that led him to a special find. “Go see Uncle Ted,” said the voice. He listened and flew to Halifax. From there, he and his father drove three hours to the old family home to see Uncle Ted. “Go look in the writing desk,” said the voice. Uncle Ted had cleaned it out. “Look in the box,” said the voice. Wayne found the box, but it was empty. “Lift the tray,” said the voice. There he found a piece of paper that had been tucked away since 1884.

During her talk, Susan Davis will reveal what Wayne found written on the paper. She will also share some other memorable stories written by our members over the past 25 years; stories that can be found in our the Anglo-Celtic Roots (ACR) archive.

Susan Davis is BIFHSO’s communications director, when she is not digging through the ACR archives. Her day job is leading a team of web and social media advisors for Environment and Climate Change Canada. Some day she might even get around to submitting stories to the ACR about her Irish, Scottish and British ancestors.

At 11:30 am
End of BIFHSGO meeting. Make way toward the Ottawa City Archives building at 100 Tallwood for Ottawa Branch OGS events.

Genealogy Lunch Bunch
Heather Oakley will talk about some of the FREE ways to upgrade your knowledge about genealogy and the various aspects of research. If you are new to family history research or need a refresher, come out and join us! Sessions are free and open to all.
You are invited to bring a “brown bag” lunch to eat while we hold a presentation or a Research Workshop. Coffee and tea will be available throughout the sessions.

At 1:00 pm
Normal monthly presentation social time, with cookies.

At 1:30 pm
Quebec Notarial Records-An Underused Resource
Gloria Tubman & Brian Glenn will discuss what the notarial records are, some examples of different records one can find - land sales, will, inventories (estate), donations, bankruptcy; how one can use these records in genealogical and family history research & how to access these records using BANQ.
All Ottawa Branch monthly presentations are open to the public at no charge. Regrettably, due to ongoing technical difficulties broadcasting the Ottawa Branch presentations, webcasting has been discontinued.

At 3:00 pm
Computer Special Interest Group


Wednesday, 11 September 2019

RootsTech London: advice for getting around

I was planning how to get from Heathrow airport to the site of RootsTech London (without breaking the bank).

One of the resources mentioned in Your Road Map to London: Tools to Get Around, Citymapper and Google maps would both seem to do the trick.

Next on the planning schedule is getting an Oyster Card.

LAC goes quiet

With the start of the federal election campaign on today (Wednesday) expect to see little if any news coming from Library and Archives Canada until after election day on 21 October 2019.

During the election LAC along with all federal departments and agencies is under a news embargo, with a few exceptions. Regular operations, such as weather reports and forecasts and information on ongoing programs and services continue.

Expect a flood of news after the election.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

New MyHeritage videos

Go to YouTube and search for My Heritage. There are lots of videos, some from the company and others telling of their experience with the company DNA test.

The latest "The Missing Piece" tells the story siblings, both abandoned as children in Korea, discovering who they are, where they come from and the emotional bond they established. They connected through a MyHeritage DNA test.

According to the video there where 200,000 such children migrated from Korea, twice as many as the number of British Home Children, but with parallel experience only century or decades later.



At its recent conference in Amsterdam, MyHeritage announced an educational initiative. I found three short instructional videos already posted.

How to Get Started with Your DNA Matches
How to Change the Name of Your Family Site and Family Tree
How to Use Record Matches

Before and after DNA test study

"The UBC Genetic Connections study is looking for individuals who are considering purchasing or have already purchased but not yet seen the results of a genetic test kit.
The study involves completing two anonymous surveys, one before and one after receiving your genetic test results.
Our aim is to capture the numerous social and individual factors that go into the decision to pursue at-home genetic testing as well as the impact of receiving genetic test results."

Find out more.

DNA test experience comments

18 of the 61 responses to the survey left comments which are sometimes more instructive that the survey question responses (results here).

DNA test strongly suggests a previously unknown NPE in my ancestry.

I was surprised to find out that my great-grandmother was Jewish, hence the endogamy which confuses my results on MyHeritage and FamilyTreeDNA but not as much on Ancestry. DNA testing has been fun and challenging but I have been very disappointed in the response rate from DNA matches. I could flog a dead horse and say that I wish that Ancestry would provide a chromosome browser but their other tools and huge database have been very helpful.

Ancestry's "Shared Matches" are useless on my endogamous branch (only chromosomal triangulation will help there, sadly), but are very helpful for my non-endogamous lines. While the MyHeritage experience has been overall very worthwhile, I'm finding too many false positives, the latest one with a 20 -cM "matching" segment. And there's no mistake, it is definitely a false natch, and that shakes my confidence in their matching algorithm.

Not much new discovered, but it's interesting.

DNA testing coupled with "records" has proven to be very useful; Y-DNA testing not so much with FTDNA - appears to have "daughter-out".

Ancestry's power comes from the sheer size of its database and its matching algorithm. Downsides: the numbers of DNA matches only interested in their ethnic roots and our inability through Ancestry to analyse these matches by chromosome.

Moderate knowledge, greatly assisted by a more expert wife.

My level of satisfaction is based on the number of relatives I have that have tested at each site.

Have had some good luck with finding relatives. My 2x times great grandmother came to Canada with her sister Jane and her brothers. 

Thanks to DNA I now know the names of her brothers.
It was very interesting with a few small surprises, but ties in perfectly with my research.

My results and experiences were as I expected.

French Canadians - lots of endogamy.

It's all been good in general, ancestry has the most accurate model for my autosomal admixture (at least with 8 generations).

I would have liked Ancestry to offer more tools to investigate DNA matches although gedmatch somewhat fills the need.

DNA analysis works well with uncommon surnames but very poorly with very common ones such as Davies, Jones, James.

I've had the most fun with Gedmatch's research tools, being able to compare my gene segments with people who tested with many different testing companies.

I was required to delete or add estimated dates for all my ancestors before Thruline would work, was quite onerous. I also cannot understand why "unlinked" are listed as potential cousins. Finally probably like other users, private and very small tree numbers add to the difficulty of finding a potential cousin.

Gobsmacked. Discovered I was adopted - and I have been researching for years!

Monday, 9 September 2019

Exploring HMS Terror

Parks Canada last month released, and I missed until now, film taken inside of the wreck of the HMS Terror from the Franklin Expedition.
A remotely-operated vehicle explored the interior of the ship, recording high-definition video of the cabins and the astonishingly well-preserved artifacts still in place. Note the mention of the possible preservation of documents.

RootsTech London Promo Video

DNA test experience survey results

The survey was completed by 61 people.

Responding on places your great-grandparents and following generations lived?


This is as expected, heavily weighted toward Canada and UK/Ireland — the survey was not publicized beyond the blog.

35% reported endogamy or pedigree collapse in their ancestry, 50% none, and the remainder responded maybe/don't know.

Those responding had experience with 181 tests from the five companies. AncestryDNA's latest ads now claim 20 million members so it's not surprising that 89% mentioned testing with AncestryDNA. Others in order were Family Tree DNA at 80%, then MyHeritage DNA 51%, Living DNA at 43% and 23andMe at 35%.

Overall 77% reported being somewhat satisfied or very satisfied (combined) with the test.

AncestryDNA led the pack with 94% combined satisfaction, followed by Family Tree DNA (81%), 23andMe (81%), MyHeritageDNA (77%) and, trailing, Living DNA (31%).

Comment
AncestryDNA leads in terms of both the number of times mentioned and combined satisfaction.
23andMe had the fewest test-takers those that did were fairly satisfied. They might also be happy that unlike the other companies, except LivingDNA, they also got a read in their mitochondrial and Y-DNA (if male) in the same test.
Living DNA has likely suffered in not having a database in which to find individual matches.  The company now has a Family Networks feature which predicts relationships between clients "with groundbreaking detail" but for me, there are no matches.