30 April 2009

More movement at LAC

Late word, so far unconfirmed, is that Doug Rimmer, who has filled the post of Assistant Deputy Minister Programs and Services for Library and Archives Canada, has been reassigned to the Senior ADM post formerly occupied by the new Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Daniel J. Caron.

Brenan’s Funeral Home, Saint John, NB

Earlier this month the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick added an online database of records from Brenan’s Funeral Home from 1901 to 1959.

The amount of information available varies, and is often sparse in the early years. Below is a record from mid-period. Note the mention of a notice in the Times and Telegraph. It would be nice if all funeral homes made their records similarly available.

Date 1931.03.12
Name of deceased Arthurs, Myrtle V.
Marital status Married
Spouse Arthurs, Daniel
Residence76 Exmouth Street
Place of Death
Place of BirthSaint John, NB
Date of Birth
Mother Bassett, Agnes
Place of BirthSaint John, NB
Father Train, Lewis D.
Place of BirthSaint John, NB
InterredFernhill Cemetery
PhysicianNugent & Peat, Drs.
NoticeTimes & Telegraph
ClergyPhilpots, Rev.
CommentOrdered by husband, Daniel Arthurs
Cause of death

Ottawa Family History Fair

As a community we value the facilities provided for genealogy by the LDS year-round. Next Saturday the good folks at the Ottawa Ontario Stake Family History Centre are going the extra mile with Discovering Our Ancestors, a great opportunity to learn more and upgrade our skills.

There are three parallel sessions and a total of nine presentations, plus displays from several local organizations.

Full information for this free event is here.

The speakers, in three time slots, are: Richard Lelièvre, Barbara Berry, and Olivier Bilodeau; Lesley Anderson & Glenn Wright, Kyla Ubbink and Olivier Bilodeau (again); and Hariette Fried, John D. Reid and Diana Hall.

I'm having a hard time deciding between hearing Lesley & Glenn or Kyla, who's restoring a book for me. In the final time slot Hariette and Diana are both knowledgeable speakers either of whom I'm reluctant to miss. I'm offering an extra incentive to come hear me instead on Making the Most of Newspaper Archives, some free gifts!

That's this Saturday, 2 May 2009, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm at 1017 Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa, Ontario.

29 April 2009

Irish Family History Workshop - call for proposals

The following is posted for the Toronto Branch of OGS


Irish Family History Workshop
8 August 2009
North York Central Library Auditorium
5120 Yonge Street, Toronto

The Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch and the Canadiana Department of the North York Central Library will be co-hosting a one-day workshop on Irish family history research.

We are looking for speakers who would like to be part of the workshop. Unfortunately the lead-time is short.

You are invited to submit brief proposals for lectures on any aspect of genealogical research about the Irish in Ontario, in Ireland, or in any part of the world.

Workshop attendees will be most interested in lectures emphasizing sources and research techniques that might be useful in their own research. We are looking for both very focused, and more general presentations, at various skill levels. Each session will be one hour long, including five or ten minutes for questions. Presentations should be accompanied with visual material—we can provide a computer projector or an overhead projector. Speakers will also be expected to provide a handout of supporting material (up to four pages) which we will photocopy for all registrants.

Speakers will be paid an honorarium of $100 per lecture, plus modest expenses for travel and accommodation.

Please submit your lecture proposals by e-mail. Please keep them brief and informal, at this point. (We may ask for more details later.) Be sure to include your mailing address, phone number, and a brief bio.


For more information about the Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch, please see: www.torontofamilyhistory.org.

To submit proposals or ask a question about the event, please contact the Irish Workshop Committee at

Access "Find My Past" at LAC

Quietly LAC has made the major UK database service Find My Past available free through one of the public computers in the Canadian Genealogy Centre.

The major database of interest for Canada is UK outbound passenger lists from 1890. Although these often don't contain as much information as the corresponding Canadian inbound lists they give you a second chance to find a passenger when the Canadian list is missing or illegible. They can also act as a finding aid for the Canadian lists, this assisted by the passenger number being the same on both lists.

For those with British, especially English, ancestry access to Find My Past is also useful for the census data. Some find it a better index that that provided by Ancestry. It also has some other unique databases including for London burials and the national Burial Index. Check them all out at findmypast.com.

Scottish Research Online and other new courses from Pharos

British based Pharos Teaching and Tutoring have announced some new courses.

According to a blog post by Chris Paton "Ruth Davies will be offering a course entitled Old Handwriting for Family Historians; Barbara Baker will be teaching Organising Your Genealogy; Kirsty Gray will be offering Discover Your Devon Ancestors; and yours truly also joins the team with Scottish Research Online."

On his course Chris writes "
The Scottish Research Online course provides a detailed introduction to the key online databases used in Scottish family history research, as well as instruction on the most effective techniques to help you structure a plan for your research."

Find out about all the courses Pharos offers here.

28 April 2009

US to Canada border crossings

Last week I copied here a press release from Ancestry.ca on a new database just made available containing the names of 1.6 million people crossing from the US to Canada between 1906 and 1935.

Graphed to the left are the year by year figures. When your ancestor crossed was it as part of a large movement, or against the tide?

I wasn't surprised to see the peak in 1912, the year of the greatest ever immigration to Canada, but was by the smaller peak at the start of the Depression. Does the sharp peak in 1917 may reflect the US entry into the Great War and men rushing to Canada to join up, or to avoid the US draft?

27 April 2009

LAC's French language newspaper digitization

As regular readers know, perhaps all too well, I've been unhappy with Library and Archives Canada's approach and lack of action on newspaper digitization. Governments of several other countries are recognizing the value of newspapers as an historical resource and making good progress in putting digitized newspapers available online. Canada is not.

One of the bright spots I thought I detected was a commitment to digitization of some French language newspapers. Thanks to Pierre Gamache, Director General, Care of Collection, at LAC I recently received a list of what's being digitized. It's long, but mostly a single issue of each paper, often the first. The digitization is part of the Canadian Culture On-line program, which appears to be more focused on demonstration and exhibition than providing a substantial resource for the researcher. Pity.

Here's the list, with format: name of paper, location, issue(s):

L'abeille canadienne Montréal, QC 11 août 1843
L'alliance Hull, QC 2 oc 1886
L'alliance St-Jean, QC 30 mars 1893
L'ami de la religion et de la patrie Québec, QC 28 f 1849
L'ami de l'ouvrier Québec, QC 11 mars 1911
L'ami du peuple Joliette, QC 29 n 1889
L'ami du peuple Trois-Rivières, QC 21 f 1901
L'ami du peuple Chatham, ON 1 oc 1908 (V.1, n. 1)
L'ami du peuple Montréal, QC 17 n 1838
L'ami du peuple, de l'ordre, et des lois Montréal, QC 28 n 1838; 6 et 24 jl 1839, 24 ao 1839; 11 avril 1840
L'annonceur Trois-Rivières, QC 2 mars 1901
L'annonceur : commercial, industrie, agriculture, colonisation Joliette, QC 23 jl 1898 (V.1, n. 1)
L'annonceur : commercial, industrie, agriculture, colonisation Joliette, QC 23 juillet 1898 L'artisan Québec, Qc 28 mai 1844
L'artisan Québec, Qc 5 ja , 9 ja 1888
L'artisan St-Hyacinthe, QC 31 jl 1890 (V.1, n. 1)
L'association Québec, QC Prospectus, 10 mai, 5 juillet 1890
L'avant-garde Québec, QC 13 av 1898
L'avenir Québec, QC 27 mai 1893
L'avenir Saint-Boniface, MB 1 mars 1916 (V.1, n. 1)
L'avenir de Hull Hull, QC 7 av 1917 (V.1, n.1)
L'avenir de Jonquière Jonquière, QC 18 mai 1911 (V.1, n.1)
L'avenir de l'ouest Winnipeg, MB 31 ao 1905 (V.1, n.1)
L'avenir de Maisonneuve Montréal, QC 6 juin 1896 (V.1, n.1)
L'Avenir de Maisonneuve Montréal, QC 6 juin 1896
La Bataille Montréal, QC 14 d 1895
La Bataille Québec, QC 28 n 1906
La Beauce Ste-Marie, QC prospectus 19 d 1891, 31 d 1891
La Beauce : journal politique et littéraire Ste-Marie, QC Prospectus, 1er, no.1, 19,31 déc.1891 Le bourdon Saint-Hyacinthe, QC 14 jl 1866 (V.1, n.1)
Le Bourdon St-Hyacinthe, QC 14 juillet 1866
Le bourru Québec, QC 2 s 1859
Le bourru Longueil, QC 8 aoû 1885 (V.1, n.1)
Bulletin de Mardi-Gras Québec, QC 28 oc 1911 (V.1, n.1)
La campagne St-Jérôme, QC 25 ao 1885 prospectus
Le canadien Montréal, QC 13, 15, 18, 22, ao 1856
Le canadien Chatham, ON 4 juin 1906 (V.1, n.1)
Le canadien Montréal, QC 14 mai 1808 v.2, n. 26 ; 2 jl 1808 v.2, n. 33 ; 3 mars 1810 v.4, n. 14 ; 10 mars 1810 v. IV, n. 15 treated ; 14 mars 1810 v.4, n.16 (2 copies); Mr 16, 1810 Special with seal, 12 mars 1823 v.4, n. 8 pp. 58-62.
Le canadien Montréal, QC 19 f 1834; 16 mai 1834; 17 n 1834; 16 f 1835; ; 25 oc 1839; 30 oc 1839; 6 d 1841; 4 mars 1842; 23 s 1843
Le canadien indépendent Québec, QC 21 mai 1849 (V.1, n.1)
Le Canayen Québec, QC avril 1918 (V.1, n.1)
Le Canayen Québec, QC avril 1918
Le castor Québec, QC 8 mai 1845
Le citoyen Saint-Boniface, MB 23 ja 1919 (V.1, n.1)
Le clarion Montréal, QC 7 d 1889 (V.1, n.1)
Le clarion Québec, QC 30 ja 1897 (V.1, n.1)
Le collégien Saint-Hyacinthe, QC 1 oc 1875
Le colon Saint-Sauveur, QC 23 jn 1884
Combat Montréal, QC 1 f 1896 (V.1, n.1)
Concorde L'Orignal, ON 5 oc 1899 (V.1, n.1)
Concorde Ottawa, ON 25 mai 1912
Corneille du nord St-Lin, QC v.1.n.1 d 1877
Courrier Montréal, QC 10 s 1899 (V.1, n.1)
Le courrier : journal du dimanche Montréal, QC 10 sept. 1899
Courrier canadien Saint-Jérôme, QC 3 n 1892 (V.1, n.1)
Courrier canadien : journal du dimanche : politique, littéraire, artistique, mondain, sportique Montréal, QC 11 mars 1900
Courrier canadien : journal du dimanche : politique, littéraire, artistique, mondain, sportique Montréal, QC 11 mars 1900
Courrier de Fraserville Rivière-du-Loup, QC 16 n 1887 (V.1, n.1)
Courrier de Montmagny Montmagny, QC 15 oc 1881 (V.1, n.1)
Courrier de Saint-Hyacinthe Saint-Hyacinthe, QC 7 juillet 1863
Courrier de Saint-Jean Saint-Jean, QC s 1887 prospectus
Le courrier de Saint-Jean : journal politique, commercial, agricole et historique : organe des comtés de Saint-Jean, d'Iberville et de Napierville Saint-Jean, QC Prospectus, sept. 1887 Courrier de Valleyfield Valleyfield, QC 31 ja 1907 (V.1, n.1)
Courrier des Laurentides St. Lin, QC 1 oc 1887 (V.1, n.1)
Courrier du Canada Québec, Qc 27 mr 1863 ; 14 s 1864 ; 1 ao 1870 ; 8 s 1875 ; 26 jl 1876 ; 22 jl 1885 ; 5 oc 1892
Courrier du Canada Québec, QC
Cravache Lévis, QC 29 jl 1899 (V.1, n.1)
Cri de l'est Matane, QC 26 mai 1911 (V.1, n.1
Les débats Québec, QC 22 mr 1862 ; 3 d 1889
Défricheur L'Avenir, QC 27 n 1862 (V.1, n.1) ; 24 mai 22 n 1865
Défricheur de Lac Saint-Jean Roberval, QC 24 oc 1901 (V.1, n.1)
Les dépêches Montréal, QC 28 av 1907 (V.1, n.1)
Le devoir Montréal, QC 10 ja 1910
Le devoir Montréal, QC 5 avr 1913
Le drapeau libéral Montréal, QC 9 d 1893 (V.1, n.1)
Le drapeau national Ottawa, ON 28 f, 2,3,4 mars 1891
Le drapeau national Windsor, ON 10 n 1891 (V.1, n.1)
Le droit Ottawa, ON 27 mars 1913 (V.1, n.1) + prospectus (digitized)
L'Echo de Fraserville Rivière-du-Loup, QC 8 mai (prospectus) 15 mai (V.1, n.1)1884
L'Echo de la Gatineau Pointe-Gatineau, QC 6 juillet, 7 s 1889 (first and last issues)
L'Echo de Québec Québec, QC 7 ja 1905
Echo des deux-montagnes Sainte-Scholatique, QC 6 n 1890 (V.1, n.1)
L'Echo d'Ottawa Ottawa, ON 6 juin 1896 (V.1, n.1)
L'Echo du peuple Québec, QC 29 n 1880 (V.1, n.1)
L'Éclaireur Saint-Boniface, MB 24 f 1908 (V.1, n.1)
Ere nouvelle Trois-Rivières, QC 2, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30 oc; 6, 10, 13, 17, 24, 27 n; 4 d 1885 Étendard Montréal, QC 1 mai 1883 (V.1, n.1) ; 24 jn 1884 Spécial Saint-Jean Baptiste
Montréal, QC
L'Étincelle Québec, QC 4 s 1909 (V.1, n.1)
L'étudiant Québec, QC 20 n 1915
Évangéline Digby/Moncton Paraît depuis le 23 nov. 1887; ne paraît plus après le 29 juillet 1937.
Évangéline Digby, NS
L'Événement sportif Québec, QC 23 d 1911 (V.1, n.1)
Feu-follet, journal qui blage Lévis, QC 23 avril 1892 (V.1, n.1)
Le feuille d'érable Montréal, QC 1 mai 1880 perspectus
Franc parleur Québec, QC 5 oc 1913 (V.1, n.1)
Gazette d'Arthabaska Victoriaville, QC 23 n 1907 (V.1, n.1)
Gazette de Québec Québec, QC 22 s 1900 (V.1, n.1)
Gazette de Sorel Sorel, QC 1 mars 1859
Gazette des Trois-Rivières Trois-Rivières, QC 25 juin 1817 prospectus
L'Hebdomadaire Lévis, QC 16 f 1882 (V.1, n.1)
Impartial Longueuil, QC 22 ja 1885 (V.1, n.1)
Impartial Tignish, PE 22 jn 1893 (V.1, n.1)
L'impartial Laprairie, QC d 1834; [1 ja 1835]
Indépendance canadienne Trois-Rivières, QC 13 oc 1894 (V.1, n.1)
Indépendant Montréal, QC 3 jn 1890 (V.1, n.1)
Interprète Montebello, QC 20 ao 1886 (V.1, n.1)
Le Jean-Baptiste Montréal, QC 9, 11, 27 n 1840
Journal de Fraserville Rivière-du-Loup, QC 4 d 1884
Journal de Gracefield Gracefield, QC 24 oc 1904 ( ?) (V.1, n.1)
Journal de l'exposition Trois-Rivières, QC 15 ao 1896
Journal de Longueil Longueil, QC 22 ja 1892
Journal de Rimouski Rimouski, QC 10 jn ; 6 juillet 1899
Journal des campagnes: édition hebdomadaire Québec, QC ? 1882
Journal des campagnes: édition hebdomadaire Québec, QC ? 1883
Journal des étudiants Montréal, QC 12 oc 1895 (V.1, n.1)
Journal des rivières Bedford, QC 20 s 1895 (V.1, n.1)
Journal du peuple Montréal, QC 2 f 1895 (V.1, n.1)
Journal officiel de la Garde Indépendante Champlain Québec, QC 24 d 1898 perspectus Journal populaire Montréal, QC [29 mars 1894] (V.1, n.1)
Québec, QC Justice : organe officiel de l'ouvrier = workman's official organ Québec, QC 8 avril 1916 Justice : organe officiel de l'ouvrier = workman's official organ Québec, QC 8 avril 1916 (V.1, n.1)
Lac Saint-Jean Roberval, QC 14 ja 1898 (V.1, n.1)
Le Liberal Montréal, QC 17 jn -14 n 1837
Libre parole illustré Montréal, QC 22 ao 1896 (V.1, n.1)
Loup-garou Montréal, QC 6 f 1882 (V.1, n.1)
Le loup-garou : journal qui court les villes et les campagnes Montréal, QC 6, 20 févr.-26 mars 1892 ; 18 mars 1893
Luten Montréal, QC 11 f 1897 (V.1, n.1)
Matin Montréal, QC 13 ja 1892 (V.1, n.1)
Messager comique Ottawa, ON 6 n 1885 (V.1, n.1)
Le messager de Sorel Sorel, QC 21 févr. 1872
Le messager de Sorel Sorel, QC À vérifier
Métis Montréal, QC 2 mai 1885 (V.1, n.1) ; 23 mai 1885 photo dernier numéro
Mineur Thetford Mines, QC 23 avril 1910 (V.1, n.1) ; 30 ja 1912
La Mitraille Québec, QC 28 oc 1907 (V.1, n.1)
Moniteur acadien Shédiac, NB 1 jl 1892
Le Moniteur de Lévis Lévis, QC 5 mai 1893 (V.1, n.1)
La nation Saint-Jérôme, QC 18 jl 1901 (V.1, n.1)
La nation Montréal, QC 13 s 1911 (V.1, n.1) et aussi dernier numéro
La nation Montréal, QC [11/13] sept.1911
Le Nôtre Montréal, QC 10 ao 1895 (V.1, n.1)
Le nôtre Montréal, QC 10 août 1895
Le Nouveau Monde. Journal Catholique Montréal, QC 12 n 1867; 12 ja, 22 s, 1868
Le Nouveau Trois-Rivières Trois-Rivières, QC 17 jl 1908 (V.1, n.1)
Nouvelle France Montréal, QC 18 avril 1896 (V.1, n.1)
Nouvelles Montréal, QC 1 s 1895 (V.1, n.1)
Nouvelles politiques Ottawa, ON 14 mai 1914 (V.1, n.1)
Nouvelliste de Saint-Boniface Saint-Boniface, QC 14 mai 1907 (V.1, n.1)
Observateur Montréal, QC 6 mai 1899 (V.1, n.1)
L'observateur : journal indépendant hebdomadaire illustré Montréal, QC 6 mai 1899 Observateur municipal Montréal, QC 21 juillet 1894 (V.1, n.1)
L'Observateur municipal Montréal, QC 21 juillet 1894
Ontario français Ottawa, ON 2 mai 1902 (V.1, n.1)
L'opinion Montréal, QC 12 oct. 1905
L'opinion Montréal, QC 12 oct. 1905
L'Opinion : politique et littérature Montréal, QC 7 - 21 octobre 1908
L'Ouest Canada Winnipeg, MB 28 f 1906 (V.1, n.1)
L'Ouest canadien Edmonton, AB hebdomadaire 3 f 1898 (V.1, n.1)
L'Ouest canadien Edmonton, AB 2 fois par semaine 7 jan 1911 (V.1, n.1)
Edmonton, AB
L'Outaouais Hull, QC 10 oc 1892
L'Outaouais Hull, QC 10 octobre 1892
L'ouvrier Montréal, QC 29 n 1883 (V.1, n.1)
L'ouvrier Québec, QC 20 oc 1888 (V.1, n.1)
L'ouvrier Montréal, QC 19 ja 1908 (V.1, n.1)
La paix Lac Megantic, QC 21 jn 1902 (V.1, n.1)
Prince Albert, SK
Patriote de l'Ouest Prince Albert, SK 22 août 1910 (V.1, n.1)
Petit journal Québec, QC 24 mai 1881 (V.1, n.1)
Le petit journal Québec, QC 24 mai 1881
Petite presse Sherbrooke, QC 15 mars 1899 (V.1, n.1)
Le Peuple Sherbrooke, QC 18 n 1890 (V.1, n.1)
Le peuple Rivière-du-Loup, QC 2 s 1897 (V.1, n.1)
Pionnier Nominingue, QC 8 juin 1906 (V.1, n.1)
Pionnier canadien Hull, QC 3 f 1904 (V.1, n.1)
Le pionnier de Sherbrooke Sherbrooke, QC 13 oc 1866
Sherbrooke, QC
Polichinelle Montréal, QC 22 ja 1858 (V.1, n.1)
Polichinelle Montréal, QC 22 janv. 1858
Le populaire Montréal, QC 7 mai 1838; 18 jn 1838
La presse Montréal, QC prospectus 15 s, 2 oc 1863
La presse Québec, QC 23 avr 1883 (V.1, n.1)
La presse régionale Repentigny, QC 4 ja 1900 (V.1, n.1)
La Presse-bulletin Montréal, QC 4 janv. 1900
La Presse-bulletin Montréal, QC 4 janv. 1900 (1re année, no 1)
Le Progrès Ottawa, ON 7 ao 1858
Le Progrès Nicolet, QC 17 août 1900 (V.1, n.1)
Le Progrès Hull, QC 7 ja 1911 (V.1, n.1)
Progrès Montréal, QC 26 n 1898 (V.1, n.1)
Le progrès de Louiseville Louiseville, QC 26 s, 3 oc 1899
Le progrès municipal Montréal, QC 29 ja 1891 (V.1, n.1)
Le Progrès municipal Montréal, QC 29 janv. 1891
Le progrès, journal du commerce Montréal, QC 27 jn 1846
Le progrès: journal dévoué aux intérêts municipaux de la ville de Hull Hull, QC 7 janv. 1911 Le progrès: journal dévoué aux intérêts municipaux de la ville de Hull Hull, QC 7 janv. 1911 Le protecteur du Saguenay Chicoutimi, QC 17 s 1896 (V.1, n.1)
Protectioniste St-Jean, QC 7, (V.1, n.1)14, 21, 28 jl, 4, 11, 18 août 1882
Le protectionniste : journal politique, littéraire, agricole et commercial St-Jean, QC 7 juil.-18 août 1882
La province Québec, QC 4 mai 1917
Provincial Québec, QC 2 d 1879 prospectus
Le Québec Québec, QC 28 oc 1899 (V.1, n.1)
Le Québécois Québec, QC 20 n 1909 (V.1, n.1)
La Quotidienne Montréal, QC 30 n (V.1, n.1), 13, 16, 19, 21, 28 d 1837 ; 31 mai, 7, 6, jn, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 20, 24, 28, 31 jl, 2, 4, 7, 9, 11,14, 17 août, 14 s 1838 ; 19, n 7, 10, 14, 24 jl, 7 août, 28 s, 5, 18, 20 oc 1838
Le ralliement Québec, QC 3 s 1910 (V.1, n.1)
Le ralliement Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce, QC 29 f 1912 (V.1, n.1)
Ralliement Clarence Creek, ON 11 n 1895 (V.1, n.1), 11 mars 1897
Le ralliement : journal ouvrier Québec, QC 3 sept. 1910
Le rappel Montréal, QC 14 s 1902 (V.1, n.1)
La réforme Québec, QC 14 jn 1882 (V.1, n.1)
Le régional Brampton, ON printemps 1900
Le répos du travailleur Montréal, QC 1 s 1890
Le reveil Hull, QC 29 d 1892 (V.1, n.1)
Le réveil : journal hebdomadaire [Hull] Hull, QC 29 déc. 1892
Une revue politique Ottawa, ON 15 avril 1896 (V.1, n.1)
Richelieu Sorel, QC 2 jl 1873 (V.1, n.1)
Semaine agricole Ottawa, ON 14 août 1900 (V.1, n.1)
Semaine canadien Montréal, QC 17 n 1854
Semaine politique Québec, QC 7 mr 1894
Sentinel de Prescott Hawkesbury, ON 17 f 1911 (V.1, n.1)
La sentinelle Québec, QC 1885
La sentinelle Nosbonsing, ON 23 juin 1894 (V.1, n.1)
La sentinelle du peuple Québec, QC 9, 26 amrs, 5 avril 1850
Le signal Montréal, QC 14 n 1896 (V.1, n.1)
Le soir Montréal, QC 2 ja 1883 (V.1, n.1)
Le soir Québec, QC 19 s 1884 ((V.1, n.1)
Le soleil Québec, QC 28 d 1896 (V.1, n.1)
Le sourire Québec, QC 3 mai 1904 (V.1, n.1)
Le spectateur Hull, QC 4 mai 1889 (V.1, n.1)
Montréal, QC
Spectateur canadien, gazette française de Montréal, journal de littérature, de politique et de commerce Montréal, QC 14 oc 1813; 1 jn 1822; 6 jl, 12 oc 1822
Le temps Ottawa, ON 3 n 1894 (V.1, n.1)
Le temps Montréal, QC 25 n 1898 ; [14] 15 sept 1899
Touriste La Malbaie, QC 3 juillet 1885 (V.1, n.1)
Le touriste : journal quotidien Murray Bay [La Malbaie] QC 3 juil. 1885
Trait d'union Montréal, QC 1 f 1887 (V.1, n.1)
Trappeur Saint-Boniface, MB 13 avril 1887 (V.1, n.1)
Travailleur Chicoutimi, QC 25 mai 1905 (V.1, n.1)
Travailleur Québec, QC 4 avril 1912 prospectus
Travailleur de Lévis Lévis, QC 19 f 1890 (V.1, n.1)
Tribune Québec, QC 6 n 1886 prospectus
Tribune Saint-Hyacinthe, QC 16 mars 1888 prospectus
L'union de Cantons de l'est Arthabaska, QC 14 d 1916 (50 ième anniversaire)
L'union libéral Québec, QC 3 mars 1888 prospectus
Union nationale Montréal, QC 7 oc 1855 ; 9 oc 1865
L'Unioniste Québec, QC 19 mai 1917 (V.1, n.1)
Vallée de la Chaudière Ste-Marie Beauce, QC 29 ja 1891 (V.1, n.1)
La vallée de la Chaudière Ste-Marie, Beauce, QC 29 janv. 1891
La vallée de l'Ottawa-Hull Hull, QC 20 oc 1884 (V.1, n.1); 21 mai 1890
Vérité Ottawa, ON 14 s 1878 (V.1, n.1)
Vérité Québec, QC 14 jl 1881 (V.1, n.1)
Québec, QC
Vidette Broadview, SK Mr 29, 1894
La vigie Québec, QC 30 jn 1906 (V.1, n.1)
La voix de l'Outaouais Hull et Bryson, QC 16 jl 1902 (V.1, n.1)
La Voix de l'Outaouais Hull et Bryson, QC 16 juil. 1902
Voix du Golfe Rimouski, QC 25 jn 1867 (V.1, n.1)
Voix du Golfe Rimouski, QC 17 ao 1869 fragments
Voix du peuple Louiseville, QC 24 mars 1890 (V.1, n.1)
Voix du peuple Longueil, QC 30 oc 1900 (V.1, n.1)
Voix du peuple Hull, QC 14 ja 1905 (V.1, n.1)
Voix du peuple Québec, QC 21 d 1907 (V.1, n.1)
La voix du peuple : [Hull] journal libéral hebdomadaire, paraissant le samedi Hull, QC 14 janv. 1905
La voix du peuple : journal des ouvriers et des familles Québec, QC 21 déc. 1907
Voix libre Québec, Qc 5 jan 1901 (V.1, n.1)
Le voleur Québec, QC 2 jn 1881 (V.1, n.1)
Vrai canadien Ottawa, ON programme nationale ; juin 1896 (V.1, n.1)
Vrai loup-garou Montréal, QC 14 mai 1892 (V.1, n.1); 2 oc 1897

26 April 2009

FreeBMD Updated

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Fri 24 Apr 2009 and currently contains 166,567,856 distinct records (214,353,985 total records). Progress is now being made into the 1930s.

Remember, if you don't find an index record for an event you think took place it may in a section not yet extracted; there are still significant gaps in the 1920s, and several earlier.

Wrapup - 10th New England Regional Genealogical Conference

I stayed for only one of the three Saturday afternoon presentations, and am glad I did. James L. Hansen, who had been the Banquet speaker, a reference librarian and genealogical specialist at the Library of the Wisconsin Historical Society since 1974, spoke on newspapers.

His was the only talk I attended which did not use any visuals. Everyone else used PowerPoint. Unlike most of the talks on newspapers I've been at he emphasized the use for vital events, especially deaths. I'll borrow a couple of his ideas for my newspaper presentation next Saturday afternoon at the Ottawa Family History Centre on Prince of Wales Drive.

No doubt things went wrong at the conference, they always do, but they`re usually much more visible to the organizers than the attendees. That was the case in Manchester, it was a most enjoyable conference.

Some lessons for conference organizers I picked up:

1. I liked the way door prizes were handled. Too often the prize session is dragged out and people end up with a prize they don`t want. In Manchester each registrant was issued with a sheet of tickets on which they wrote their name and contact information. At the stand of each exhibitor who was offering a prize was a plastic tub where you could deposit a ticket. That way you only enter for the draw for a prize you want.

2. The organizers took evaluation seriously. There was an evaluation sheet for each session including commenting on the presenter`s performance. There was also an overall conference evaluation, and the option to complete that online.

3. The only refreshment included with the registration was water, which kept the registration cost down and avoided mess. As the conference was in a hotel and adjacent conference facility, and convenient to downtown, there were lots of refreshment and meal opportunities. Extra cost options included hosted lunches and a banquet.

4. For those of us not staying at the hotel there was discount daytime parking on site.

5. Each day there were opportunities to peruse the exhibits without sessions at the same time. This was good in encouraging people to visit the marketplace. However, it started at 11am, and was followed by lunch. It meant there was only time for two morning presentations. I`d prefer an additional morning presentation and one less in the afternoon.

6. Although there were printed versions of the conference syllabus I took a CD version and used a small booklet to help select presentation to attend.

7. There was a news sheet published each day including conference presentation changes, lists of prizewinners and the weather forecast.

25 April 2009

10th New England Regional Genealogical Conference - Saturday

I celebrated a birthday, not mine, by attending two talks by Colleen Fitzpatrick.

The first, Hand in the Snow, was a forensic investigation of the identity of a frozen arm found in a snow bank, thought to be the victim of a 1944 Alaska air-crash. It involved DNA identification, fingerprints, genealogy and a healthy helping of luck.

The second, CSI meets Roots, was an overview of squeezing the juice out of photographs, traditional database records and DNA.

Then there was an hour for the marketplace, which was a bit quieter than the first two days. LAC's Sylvie Tremblay (not her birthday) continued to be busy. I never passed her stand without seeing someone picking Sylvie's brain, usually with someone else waiting in line. It was a surprise to me that so many of the conversations I overheard at the meeting involved Canadian ancestry.

There are three sessions in the afternoon, two of which I may not stay for. I've been very impressed by the organization of the meeting and the general quality of the presentations.

24 April 2009

10th New England Regional Genealogical Conference - Friday pm

Conference sessions resumed after a dedicated hour for the marketplace and either a long lunch break, or the option of one of several hosted lunches.

Her background as a former university lecturer was evident in Donna Walcovy's relaxed approach to her topic "Symbolism on Gravestones." These included skulls, winged skulls, crossed bones used by early Puritan settlers. The sunburst symbol was said to have been popular around the War of 1812; followed by weeping willows; urns; flowers, ferns, vines and wreaths, with a broken flower indicating a child; trees and shafts of wheat; fingers pointing at a book or to heaven (or in one instance the other direction); shaking hands; ships, anchors, chains and flags, human and animal forms; and various symbols used by fraternal societies and the military.

I then ventured into a presentation by Thomas W Jones, one of the most respected Certified Genealogists in the US, on "What is the Standard of Proof in Genealogy?" He reviewed the five components of the standard and illustrated them with four examples. While the presentation was not as entertaining as the previous ones I'd attended he held the audience with the examples, despite it being a challenge to keep track of all the information presented.

Another presentation by Colleen Fitzpatrick, who was substituting for a colleague, was the final one I attended on Friday. "Lying with Wolves: the Misha Defonseca Holocaust Fraud" was the story of a woman who invented a story of wandering through Europe during WW2, and how the truth was discovered. For more of the story Google "Misha Defonseca". The maxim "There's a bit of truth in every story" was amended to add "if you can't find the truth check out the storyteller." The presentation was insightful and compellingly told.

Daniel J Caron Canada's new Librarian and Archivist

According to a release from Library and Archives Canada on behalf of departing Librarian and Archivist Ian Wilson "The Prime Minister of Canada has just announced the appointment of my successor, Daniel J. Caron.
As announced by the Prime Minister of Canada, I have been named Librarian and Archivist of Canada Emeritus. In this role I will continue my work as the President of the International Council on Archives."

Mr. Daniel J. Caron is a native of Sainte-Foy, Quebec. He has a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in Economics from Université Laval, and a Doctorate in Applied Human Sciences from Université de Montréal (public law and strategic management). Over the course of his career, Mr. Caron has gained extensive experience as a researcher, speaker, professor and manager working with large operations teams within the federal government.

Mr. Caron began his career as an economist with Québec City Hall. In 1982, he joined the federal public service, working first in Ottawa with the Bureau of Competition Policy and the National Museums of Canada, and then in New Brunswick with the Regional Office of Employment and Immigration Canada. Upon his return to Ottawa in 1987, he worked for the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and in 1995, joined the Economic Development Agency for the Regions of Quebec in Montreal. In 1999, Mr. Caron returned to Ottawa and assumed the position of Director, Innovation and Quality Services Division, for the Treasury Board Secretariat, before joining Human Resources Development Canada as Director General of Administrative Services. In April 2002, he joined the Treasury Board Secretariat's Leadership Network to serve as its Executive Director of Operations and Implementation. Since April 2003, Mr. Caron has been with Library and Archives Canada.

10th New England Regional Genealogical Conference - Friday am

Friday morning saw two sessions. Starting at 8:30 am 300 people were in a packed ballroom listening to Daniel M Lynch speaking on "Google Your Family Tree." He is author of a book by the same title that sells in Canada through Moorshead Magazines.

The talk covered the first 1-1/2 chapters of the book. He dissected the Google results page, and the result for a particular hit. His three favourite tips for searching were to examine the cached version of a page where the search terms are highlighted which makes it easier to spot the relevant segments; use the quotation format "search term" to obtain more exact results; use wildcards like "John * Reid" which will find John D Reid as well as John Reid; and use the ~ which finds synonyms, so ~genealogy finds hits with "family history", ancestry, roots and similar.

Another of his suggestions was to start with a broad search, then refine using progressive filters.

The second talk was by Megan Smolenyak on "Reverse Genealogy", techniques for moving forward in time. She gave a prioritized list of the most useful resources, census index, phone directories, online images, online newspaper archives (the most rapidly rising in utility), the SSDI (US only), online vital records, search engines, and other online sources.

I had a chat with her later, and she declined to say whether she was involved with the US version of Who Do You Think You Are?

23 April 2009

10th New England Regional Genealogical Conference - Thursday

This regional genealogy meeting got fully underway on Thursday afternoon. As a meeting in New England can conveniently draw on a population larger than that of Canada it's no surprise that more than 700 people registered. A full registration of $135 US for two and a half days makes the conference a bargain.

On Thursday afternoon there were three slots with a choice of six presentations in each slot. I chose three informative and entertaining looking presentations and wasn't dissappointed.

First I listened to Utah genealogist Barry Ewell on "How to Research and Write Personal Histories That the Family Will Want to Read." The presentation was from the heart, he spoke about researching his mother's life, with numerous hints on interviewing family and friends. His best tip was to use what he called Reversals, asking an open question, then following up twice with Oh!, "Ah!, Tell me More, Which Means, Meaning! -- designed to seek further elaboration on the subject.

Second I attended a talk by Sandra MacLean Clunies, a Certified Genealogist from Washington D.C. and former winner of a genealogy writing contest. She spoke on "Writing Family History - adding texture to text." Again the talk was full of anecdotes from her own family history.

Finally, prior to the opening of the exhibit hall, I listened to Colleen Fitzpatrick on "You Will Never Look at Your Old Photos the Same Way." The information she and her colleagues can squeeze out of a photograph is amazing, and the presentation is simply fun. You had to be there. Attendees at the BIFHSGO conference in September will have the chance to hear Colleen who will be giving several presentations.

Electronic magazine distribution followup

This is further to my recent posting suggesting OGS provide an electronic distribution option for Families and NewsLeaf, and so eliminate the need for a fee increase.

Dick Eastman has a post, referring to a post by Randy Seaver, advocating the benefits of not having the all those old magazines cluttering up your house.

Yes, you can always recycle them, but it makes more environmental sense not to print them in the first place. Keep the burden of storing them where it belongs, in a library, an electronically accessible library.

1000 for St George

Today, 23 April is St George's Day, patron Saint of England, and also the 1000th posting on this blog.

I'm heading off to a conference, about which I hope to blog if the the Internet Gods so will it. Maybe St George will intercede on my behalf. To mark the the day here is a link to a previous post on Ottawa's St George's Society.

22 April 2009

The following is a press release from Ancestry.ca


More than 1.6 million names indexed of immigrants who moved across the U.S. border to Canada

(Toronto, ON – April 22, 2009) Ancestry.ca, Canada’s leading family history website, today launched online the indexed and fully searchable Border Crossings: From U.S. to Canada, 1908-1935, which contains more than 1.6 million names from border crossing documents captured at almost 200 entry points over a 27-year period.

The release of this collection is of great significance to many Canadians whose ancestors immigrated to Canada through the U.S. in the early 20th century. Border crossing records are the official and only immigration records for those individuals who crossed from the U.S.

Along with the Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935, which were launched in September 2008 and contain more than 7.2 million names, the Border Crossings: from U.S. to Canada, 1908-1935 represent the most comprehensive collection of Canadian immigration records ever assembled online.

Now for the first time Canadians will be able to search for relatives online by first and/or last name, date and port of arrival, date and place of birth, gender and also by keyword.

Movement between the U.S. and Canadian borders wasn’t always as a sophisticated as it is today, with security teams closely monitoring border movement and new immigrants formally declaring their entry to Canada with numerous documents.

Prior to 1908, the Canadian government didn’t keep track of who entered Canada from the U.S. and people could move freely between the borders undetected. However, as movement between the neighboring countries increased, the Canadian government formed the Border Inspection Service and began recording the names of people entering Canada to live permanently.

A variety of factors would have lured people living in the U.S. to Canada; the promise of a better life, potential job opportunities, available land and reuniting with relatives. The period between 1901 and 1911 saw the Canadian population increase by 35 per cent, with immigration being a key growth factor.

Karen Peterson, Marketing Director, Ancestry.ca, comments: “Detailed records were kept of those immigrating to Canada by ship from around the world, but movement from across the large open borders it shared with the U.S. was largely ignored until 1908.These records could provide the missing link for family history researchers looking to find when and where their ancestors came and settled in Canada via the U.S.”

It is important to note, that the Border Inspection Agency did not capture all movement of people across the U.S. and Canadian borders. Some crossed when the ports were closed or where no port existed.

Additionally, many families were not registered because one or both parents had been born in Canada or previously resided here, and they were considered Returning Canadians rather than immigrants.

The records include the passage of people at close to 200 entry points in 13 Canadian provinces and U.S. states, including:

· Alberta

· British Columbia

· Manitoba

· Ontario

· New Brunswick

· Nova Scotia

· Quebec

· Saskatchewan

· Yukon

· Maine, USA

· Massachusetts, USA

· New York, USA

· Vermont, USA

The Border Crossings: from U.S. to Canada, 1908-1935 collection is available through a 14-day Free Trial at Ancestry.ca.

Progress on digitizing the Canada Gazette?

First LAC promised it for 2008, then early 2009, now we read "By the end of 2009, visitors to this site will be able to access all issues of the Canada Gazette, from its beginning in 1841 until 1998."

Why should we believe this statement anymore than the previous ones?

LAC would have a lot more credibility if there were intermediate posts of new material so we could see progress.

21 April 2009

The final Recordkeeping

It's not about an imminent day of reckoning and judgement, but an announcement that the April issue of TNA's quarterly publication Recordkeeping for archivists, records managers, and all involved and interested in archives and records will be the last.

There's lots of good material included in this final issue.

I enjoyed browsing the self-assessment of how various local authority archives assess themselves.

Living the poor life, by Paul Carter and Natalie Whistance, describes TNA's project, working with local archivists, local studies librarians and around 200 family, local and other historians will see over 100 large volumes of poor law union correspondence from 22 areas across England and Wales catalogued, made key word searchable and their collective 126,000 pages digitised and made available for free to download via The National Archives’ website. This is the project described in the presentation I was fortunate to hear while a Kew recently.

There's much more. You can download the issue here.

The editor's welcome explains why this is the final issue, and what will replace it. Food for thought for all trying to balance the books and with a hefty publishing expense.

"However, we are finding that considerably more people are choosing to download the online version rather than receive the paper magazine, making it a very costly way to distribute news. At the same time, the Society of Archivists’ magazine, ARC, has seen a vibrant redesign and offers a similar platform for many of the news stories we have carried in Recordkeeping in the past. In response to this and after much consideration, we have decided to replace the magazine with an online newsletter. This will allow us to meet the demand for online news, but also, in these challenging economic times, it will be a more cost effective way of reaching those interested in archives and records. Although we are aware many people will be saddened by the closure of Recordkeeping we hope that the online newsletter will fill much of the gap and ensure that people do not feel they are missing out on any vital news relating to The National Archives."

20 April 2009

OGS Ottawa Branch monthly meeting

April 21, 2009 7:30 PM, at Library and Archives Canada

Diane Burnett
Topic: Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Library
Diane Burnett, Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group Librarian & past Chair, has worked diligently to acquire genealogical records for Renfrew County, Ontario and Pontiact County, Quebec. She will tell us what records you can access. Diane is also the OGS Region VIII secretary.

19 April 2009

British Naturalisation podcast

The latest podcast in TNA's series to be posted is "Naturalisation and alien registration"
Using records at The National Archives, this talk examines the various Alien Acts that affected the status of foreigners resident in the UK from the 19th century, and the reasons why so many chose to become naturalised British citizens.

After listening to it I did a search for the naturalisation documentation of one of my Dutch immigrant ancestors and found it, or at least an index entry. Getting the actual documentation requires ordering an estimate online. Apparently the documentation includes a report on a police investigation.

Genealogy research opportunity in Ottawa

19-24 Jul 2009

With a little help, the right resources and dedication of your time, you can make great strides in your family history research. I saw that happening a few years ago in Ottawa at Library and Archives Canada; a group shared professional expert guidance, and the joys of making breakthroughs in their family history.

If the resources you need are in the Ottawa area, and you like the idea of sharing the experience, then consider registering for Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society's and la Société de généalogie de l'Outaouais' offering Semaine de généalogie/Genealogy Week. It's modeled after the Toronto Branch OGS' successful Genealogy Summer Camp. This program brings out-of-town genealogists to Ottawa and Gatineau for a week of tutorials and hands-on research at the many archives and repositories in the area. The group is kept small to allow lots of help from local members.

Don't hesitate too long. The deadline for applications is 30 April. There's more information here.

18 April 2009

OGS seeks Library Technician

The following contract job opportunity posting is from OGS.

April 18, 2009

The Ontario Genealogical Society is seeking a new full-time employee.

  • The Library Technician will be responsible for placing material on the Society's website and for managing our library, which is in the process of being digitized.
  • He/she may occasionally operate scanning equipment such as book scanners, sheet feed scanners, photographic copy stands, and microform scanners, and occasionally use digitizing programs such as Adobe Acrobat and Abbyy Finereader.
  • Training would be provided on this equipment. The job is centred in the Society's Toronto office but may require occasional travel to other parts of Ontario.
  • The Society has volunteer librarians and library technicians available for advice and discussions.
  • The Library Technician must be able to give advice to non-technical people. He/she will be responsible for technical advice to all parts of the Society.
  • This is a one year contract position with possibility of extension.
Reports to:
  • Executive Director
Essential Functions:
  • The job requires the ability to manage a small, specialist library. Comfort with a computer (Windows based) is essential.
  • Familiarity with databases and how data is made available on a website is essential.
  • A driver's license (G Class or better) is required.
  • Familiarity with genealogy and with archival documents would be pluses.
  • This position requires the ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • High proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing English required. Ability in other languages would be a plus.
  • The ability to train and communicate with non-technical people is essential.
  • An ability to keep up to date in this and related fields and an ability to pass this new knowledge on to others is essential.
  • A community college diploma or university degree is required.
  • Two years' experience in a related field is preferred.

Physical Demands:

  • The Library Technician must be able to stand for prolonged periods of time (up to four hours) and safely lift a 35-pound box.
Salary: $30 000 to $35 000

Closing Date: 2009 Apr 24

Please submit a resume to:
e-mail: ed@ogs.on.ca
fax: 416-489-9803

We appreciate all applications but only those selected for interviews will be contacted. Please, no phone calls.

1908 late April snow event in England

Having just returned from England I'm missing daffodils, tulips in full bloom and trees taking on a mantle of green. Over Easter the advance of the vegetation was helped by some rainy days. It was a a trip through time to come back several weeks in the vegetation season to Ottawa. But we have the spring flowers and greening of the grass to look forward to.

If your ancestors were around in England in spring 1908 they would have experienced a significant snowfall from April 23 to 26. Nine inches of snow across East Anglia halted horse racing at Newmarket. Oxford received over a foot. In usually balmy East Surrey the snow drifted up to three feet deep. The wonderful collection of photos at overtonpictures.com includes one of this snow event in this Hampshire village.

This event was also a stimulus to creativity, according to the book "The Wrong Kind of Snow." It records that while returning by car to Newcastle from watching the FA Cup Final in London, during which journey Gladstone Adams was forced to stop frequently to clear his windscreen/windshield, he got the idea for the wiper blade.

17 April 2009

Avoiding the OGS membership fee increase

In a previous posting I suggested delivery of electronic versions of NewsLeaf and Families in pdf form could substantially reduce costs and likely obviate the need for an OGS fee increase.

This is an option as in recent years OGS has made considerable efforts to install a web server and software appropriate for administering the Society, assisted by a grant from the Trillium Foundation. During the past year experience has been gained in Internet distribution of some issues of the Society newsletter, NewsLeaf.

One advantage of adopting such technology is opening up options for improving service and operational efficiency. For the savings to be achieved it requires a willingness on the part of Society management to exploit the technology, AND on the part of the membership to accept a change in the way service is delivered.

The May 2008 issue of NewsLeaf provides information on 2007 expenditures which can be used to assess possible cost savings.

Families $20,380
Newsleaf $14,726
Postage $14,255

It appears that postage for other purposes, e.g. membership renewals, was recognized elsewhere in the statements.

If the first $1,000 of production for each publication ($250 per print run) are fixed costs, and there's a print run of 4,000, variable cost per member per year would be $11.84.

There would also be some relatively minor offsetting costs for electronic formatting and distribution, but the net saving would surely be a minimum of $10 per member. If the print run was actually only 3,500, the potential savings per member rise to $12-13.

How important is it to you to receive these publications in hardcopy? Or would you prefer to receive the same information over the Internet and save $10 - 12 annually? Would it be acceptable to increase fees only for members who do not want to accept the service change?

16 April 2009

Dealing with Genealogy Society deficits

A notice has been distributed informing Ontario Genealogical Society members that a motion will be introduced at the next AGM proposing that fees be increased from $45 to $60 beginning with the 2010 membership year. The notice points out that "due to inflation during the past eleven years, our fee should be $57.00 just to match the $45.00 of 1998."

In the UK the Society of Genealogists is also dealing with a deficit situation, largely the result of the general economic situation. Instead of raising fees they are reducing service -- closing the library on Fridays, in addition to the regular Monday closure. There has a been a spirited discussion on this, and other thoughts on the Society finances, including the idea of distributing the Society magazine electronically in pdf, on the SOG mailing list.

As the OGS notice points out, economically this is not the best time to increase fees. Even at the current level of fees I understand the Society is experiencing a decline in membership, something that is sure to accelerate if fees are increased.

What options for cost reduction, including service reductions, did OGS consider? Would OGS be prepared to offer a discount for members who opted to receive Families and all issues of Newsleaf electronically?

15 April 2009

OGS Conference 2010 - Call for Speakers - Selective Deadline Extension

The following is from Paul Jones of the Toronto Branch of OGS

Further to the recent call for presentations for the Ontario Genealogical Society's Conference 2010, prospective speakers may wish to know that the deadline has been extended to 1 June 2009 for proposals for Italian and Dutch lecture streams only. This extension is to allow for more complete outreach to these communities. The deadline remains unchanged (1 May 2009) for submission of all other topics.

Those needing more details about Conference 2010 should visit http://www.ogs.on.ca/conference2010/.

Ian Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Retiring

LAC has posted a notice that Ian Wilson will be retiring effective April 24th 2009. I'd heard he would be retiring this year, but hadn't expected it so soon, or so suddenly.

Ian leaves an important legacy. He provided strong leadership for the amalgamation of the National Archives and National Library, has been an eloquent proponent for archives and libraries and a steadfast proponent for opening up records, notably in the fight to release the post-1901 censuses.

13 April 2009

1911 census for England complete online

The 1911 census information website reports that the last three counties have now been added. They're working on Wales.

11 April 2009

They will all starve together

During last Tuesday's visit to TNA at Kew I took the opportunity to attend one in a regular series of presentations, many of which I've blogged when they become available as podcasts.

Admission is by free ticket, but the room with seating set out for 66 was only a bit over half full, with room for a few extra chairs, so turning up at the last minute didn't seem to be an issue. That may not be the case for the best known speakers.

The topic was "They will all starve together .. pauper records for England and Wales 1834 - 1900." The speakers were Paul Carter and Natalie Whistance.

The first part of the presentation was an explanation of the Poor Law system, with emphasis on the reformed Poor Law after 1834. The system was set up with a national Poor Law Commission and Commissioners at Somerset House in London. They attempted to impose uniformity on the locally run Poor Law Unions. This involved a good deal of correspondence between the commissioners on the one hand and the local Board of Guardians and workhouse management on the other. The London end of this correspondence is archived at TNA in the series MH12, Poor Law Union Correspondence, in 16,741 volumes, an estimated 4,352,660,000 words. Local Board of Guardians records, where they survive, are usually found in county record offices.

The presentation's second part went into more detail on the MH12 records. Although every person ever involved with the Poor Law isn't named quite a few are. The difficulty has been that the records are not indexed in depth, but this is changing. TNA is making available online images of the records for local groups to index. The project is a cooperative one with TNA providing training, as well as the images, so that local indexers can benefit from other's experience.

The first Union to be completed is that for Southwell. Several examples were shown including a July 1871 letter regarding a Mrs Amy Freeman seeking authority to send her and her children Mary Ann, Rebecca, Samuel, Emma, William, Adeline and Lydia to Canada where they have family and friends.

The presentation was informative and there were many questions. Some in the audience were hearing challenged and Natalie had to speak close to the microphone which caused some distortion. Paul had a powerful voice and didn't need the microphone, but I wonder how this will play out as a podcast. In the feedback form I put in a suggestion for using over the ear microphone technology and making the visuals available online as well as the audio podcast.

09 April 2009

Genealogy heaven

A visit to The (UK) National Archives last Tuesday, my first in two years, was a pleasure. Not only did I find the information I sought but the atmosphere made the occasion.

This started when I entered through the barrier into the FREE parking lot. You take a ticket to open the barrier and validate it inside the building just before leaving to exit the lot.

You know you're entering a building of significance as the entrance is suitably impressive. The information desk, staffed by two people and a security person with, as elsewhere in the building, security in the background. The atmosphere is one of welcoming visitors and facilitating their experience rather than regulating it.

The entrance also has a desk to sign up for FREE one hour access to the indexed 1911 census, available on 66 dedicated computers. When there is excess capacity you can book additional time.

There is a small cyber-cafe available in the entrance too. You walk past this, the bookstore, a small museum and adequate restaurant to the lockers and toilets. The main research room is up a flight of stairs. What was a series of rooms on my previous visits is now opened up into a large research room. Most of the space that was taken up with microfilm machines is now occupied by computers. They are modern so that response is usually fast, and there are lots of them.

The change of layout puzzled me for a bit. A staff member approached and asked if I needed help. She provided a ticket for the afternoon lecture and directed me to where I wanted to go. When I had trouble getting started on the computer a distinctively dressed person, with a name tag, all staff wore a name tag, was there to help. In 90 minutes, 60 with the 1911 census, 30 with Documents Online, I'd found more new information than I'd dreamed. Rather than making printouts I took digital camera images of the screen -- quite adequate for research purposes.

There was a wide selection of "How to .." guides, mostly just a single page with step by step instructions aimed at solving a particular problem rather than explaining a larger area of records. Examples are: "How to decide whether a seaman is a commissioned officer, warrant officer or rating", "How to find a Death Duty Register 1858-1903" and "How to find a Metropolitan Police Officer's record, 1830-1933 (MEPO 4)."

A large collection of historic publications, like military and street directories, were in the open area. Apparently the security cameras and other unobtrusive security were considered adequate protection so no reader pass was required to access any of the areas I visited that day. I noticed an area where reader passes were being issued for people who needed to access original documents.

Not everything was perfect. I couldn't get my laptop connected to the wi-fi system, and was told at the information desk it was OK to take pictures only to be told later my a security person that shots with other people in were not allowed, information that came a bit late.

These were small matters, ones I might have resolved with more time. I did drop a note in one of the prominently displayed suggestion boxes. A poster with the photos, names and responsibilities of TNA's senior managers displayed discretely in the entrance hall suggested another avenue for comment.

After attending a FREE afternoon lecture, which I'll blog later, I left feeling very positive about the experience, and it didn't cost a thing. But on leaving I did stop at the bookstore for the purchase of $100 worth of books.

08 April 2009

National Institute for Genealogical Studies

Louise St Denis of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies was an exhibitor and speaker at Gene-o-rama at the end of March. The stand was displaying two new books by Penelope Christensen, Researching English Church Court Records, and Researching English Civil and Criminal Court Records.

To celebrate their 10th anniversary, the Institute, in partnership with the University of Toronto, Faculty of Information Studies, Professional Learning Centre, is providing each registrant of OGS Conference 2009 with a Gift Certificate for a free online course in their Certificate in Genealogical Studies program (1-800-580-0165 or www.genealogicalstudies.com/).

07 April 2009

Toronto "Summer Camp"

For many years I've been hearing BIFHSGO Librarian Betty Warburton mention the "Summer Camp" run by OGS Toronto Branch. She's been back many times so it must have quite something going for it. This year the sites visited include the new Ontario Archives at York University, an opportunity to become familiar with the new facility.

Here's the announcement from Toronto Branch.

14th Genealogy "Summer Camp"
Toronto, 7-12 June 2009

Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch

Co-ordinator: Jane MacNamara

Now in its 14th year, Genealogy Summer Camp is an innovative week-long program that brings both out-of-town and local researchers with Ontario roots to the wonderful cluster of archives and libraries in Toronto. Each day, participants will travel as a group to a different repository, including the Archives of Ontario in its new location at York University, where they will receive tutorials on available records and spend time doing hands-on research under the guidance of local experts. The fee for 2009 is $200. This covers approximately 7 hours of tours and tutorials, 25 hours of instructor-guided personal research, and all worksheets and handouts. Both out-of-town researchers and local “day campers” are welcome.

For complete details, including lists of venues, resources and tutorials, accommodation information and an application form, please visit www.torontofamilyhistory.org/summer.html,
call 416-733-2608 (voice mail),
e-mail info@torontofamilyhistory.org.

Applications should be submitted by May 1, although earlier contact is appreciated.

06 April 2009

Gravestone Photographs

The site at www.gravestonephotos.com mentioned in the article Top 50 British Sites for British and Irish Research in Discovering Family History magazine was news to me. It has free transcriptions of monumental inscriptions in 22 English counties, especially strong for Norfolk and Suffolk. The small Norfolk churchyard where my grandfather is buried, it was in Suffolk at the time but they move the county boundary in 1974, is included. Unfortunately he and my step-grandmother were missed.

A very few graveyards in Scotland, Ireland and Wales are included, and in the US, Canada (Nova Scotta (sic)), Australia and Cyprus.

05 April 2009

Global Genealogy at Gene-O-Rama

Some of the new publications Global Genealogy have produced were on display at Gene-O-Rama. Rick Roberts explained that since closing his company physical store in Campbellville he has had more time to work on adding to their catalogue of productions from Global Heritage Press.

The Picturesque St Lawrence River, History of Brant County, Jubilee History of Thorold Township and Town, 1897-8, and Lunenburgh or the Old Eastern District (Eastern Ontario). These are all reproductions of historic publications, the latter two so new I couldn't yet find them on the website.

Global continues to carry a wide range of other products, including genealogy software. I understand they'd sold out of copies of Family Tree Maker 2009 only 10 minutes after the conclusion of Doug Hoddinott's FTM seminar.

04 April 2009

LAC's plans and priorities for genealogy

The beginning of April marks the start of a new fiscal year for The Government of Canada. Library and Archives Canada's 2009–2010 Report on Plans and Priorities, Part III of the Estimates, was tabled last week explaining the programs that will be delivered and forming the basis on which Parliament grants departmental funding.

What does it have to say about LAC programs of genealogical relevance? Here are all three extracts from the document that mention genealogy.

1. Reference requests: Clients can make requests for information or to locate records in Reference Services (which includes the Canadian Genealogy Centre) by various channels including telephone, post, email, the LAC website and in-person.

2. LAC will increase the relevance and accessibility of LAC collection and expertise to
Canadians outside the National Capital Region (NCR)
Some 2009-10 actions:
Expand current digitization initiatives and post more items from the LAC collection online;
Develop targeted strategies aimed at groups such as genealogists, multicultural communities and teachers.

3. LAC is developing a corporate research plan to align our research initiatives with corporate priorities; among these activities we will undertake further research with clients in 2009-10. Through a Services Strategy to be completed in 2009-10, we expect to address opportunities linked to the four most common reasons that people seek out items in our collection: genealogical research, academic and educational research, research to establish rights/benefits or to support litigation (veterans' benefits, land claims), and to produce media or cultural industry products (books, films). In 2009-10 LAC will continue to value the advice provided by a volunteer Services Advisory Board representing clients and partners (www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/the-public/pcsab/index-e.html).

The document is light on specifics. For each of the three program activities: Managing the disposition of the Government of Canada records of continuing value; Managing the documentary heritage of interest to Canada; and Making the documentary heritage known and accessible for use; there is a general statement of expected results and specific performance indicators, but no indicator targets.

For "Making the documentary heritage known and accessible for use" the indicators, by client segmant, are: (1) Number of programs, exhibitions, events, digital collections, and web products developed and launched. (2) Number of clients who intend to act on their LAC experience (e.g. read more, learn more, visit again, support LAC). (3) Percentage of clients who agree that access has improved. Not only are there no targets, there's no baseline data shown against which to measure progress!

Elsewhere in the document there are two specifics of interest for genealogists:

(1) The document repeats the promise that "LAC will launch a strategic digitization plan that aims to create up to 30 million digital images of items in our collection between 2009-10 and 2013-14. This will enable us to put those images online for Canadians and users around the world with documentation that will make locating images easier."

30 million images is less than one per Canadian. How does it compare with comparable institutions internationally?

(2) Of concern, as it does not reference records of genealogical value, is the statement that "Canadians (will) have easier access to government records of business or archival value, including in support of their access to information and privacy requests. Disposal of records of no business or archival value eliminates related storage costs. There are records, perhaps old pension records, which although likely of little archival value are genealogically interesting. Will they be lost under the policy?

At some point LAC will be called to answer questions from members of a parliamntary committee examining there Estimates. What questions would you suggest?