30 April 2010

Family history delight

You've probably read about, if not experienced, companies that delight their customers by providing service beyond expectations. The first company I read it about was Nordstrom's, the US clothing retailer.

I felt the same way when I went to my mailbox and found the new, May-June 2010, issue of Family Chronicle. Tucked in the package was a CD. I'm accustomed to finding CDs attached to genealogy magazines from the UK, although it's not done as much as once upon a time. I think this is a first for Family Chronicle.

Family Tree Builder is the software on the CD. It's not a product I'd heard of before. There's a four page review in the magazine by Tony Bandy, one of Moorshead magazines' frequent contributors. While the review is quite favourable there's a big overhead in changing software, one I'm not ready to embark on now. I do appreciate having the option.

See a list of the other contents of this Family Chronicle issue at www.familychronicle.com/current3.htm. Elizabeth Lapointe's article Learning From Experience based on an interview with Glenn Wright was another delight in this issue.

29 April 2010

Ancestry.com reports strong 1st quarter

Ancestry.com's 1st quarter report shows subscriber growth of 26% and total revenue increase of 21% year-over-year.

The company is anticipating revenue in the range of $275 to $280 million (increased from the previously expected range of $250 to $255 million) and ending subscribers in the range of 1,280,000 to 1,300,000 (increased from the previously expected range of 1,200,000 to 1,225,000).

In anticipation, these results were not released until after market close, the company stock closed at $9.53, up $1.53 (8.50%) for the day.

Read the 1st quarter report at http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Ancestrycom-Inc-Reports-pz-84437526.html?x=0&.v=1

Royal Marine Medal Roll 1914-1920 at Findmypast

The following is a press release from findmypast.co.uk

Leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk has today expanded its collection of British military records with the release of the Royal Marine Medal Roll 1914-1920. The record set provides a listing of all Royal Marines who received medals for their service in World War 1, including those awarded the 1914 Star, the Clasp to the 1914 Star, the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Royal Marine Medal Roll 1914-1920

Containing records of over 75,000 Officers, NCOs and other ranks, the Royal Marine Medal Roll 1914-1920 comprises both transcripts and images of the original WW1 Campaign Medal Rolls for the Royal Marines. Aside from the medals awarded, the records detail the Marine’s name, rank, service branch, service number and also a description of where or to whom the medals were issued. In addition to this, many of the transcripts contain extra service details for the Royal Marine, often highlighting those that died of wounds or were killed in action during WW1. These details are available online for the very first time.

Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at findmypast.co.uk, said: “We are delighted to be able to add the Royal Marine Medal Roll 1914-1920 to the collection of World War 1 records available at the findmypast.co.uk website. These records are a fantastic new resource, allowing family historians to uncover many more details about the lives of ancestors who fought for their country.”

John Marshall, author of the Royal Marine Medal Roll database, said: “Today sees the first of any WW1 Naval Medal Rolls to be made available online, providing a complete listing of all Royal Marine Officers and men who served in the Great War. This database is dedicated to the memory of CH/19403 Private John (Jack) Clegg RMLI, 1st Royal Marine Battalion, Royal Naval Division, who was “wounded and missing” at the Battle of the Ancre in 1916.”

Anglo-Celtic Roots gets further NGS recognition

Late word from BIFHSGO President Mary Anne Sharpe is that the BIFHSGO quarterly chronicle Anglo-Celtic Roots has been awarded first prize in the NGS Newsletter Competition in the category "Major Genelogical or Historical Society Newsletter".

This is the second year in a row that ACR has been so recognized and puts further feathers in the caps of editor Chris MacPhail and his fabulous ACR team! Chris travelled to Salt Lake City and the annual NGS conference to accept the award.

New Ancestry.com Wiki

The following is from a press release by Ancestry.com

"Ancestry.com also announced today the launch of its new Ancestry.com Wiki. This wiki will feature a living version of the company's two largest reference books, The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy and Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources. These books, which are exhaustive guides to American genealogy, will now be made available for the family history community to update, expand on and even add to, making it a go-to resource for guidance and information. The beta version of the Ancestry.com Wiki is available to the public for free at www.ancestry.com/wiki."

I wonder when we can expect to see Canadian and UK resources added.

28 April 2010

Ten new web services impact family history's future

Another fact filled report from the Mormon Times on "new and surprising ways -- even confusing ways -- to access information are changing the way people do family history." This is a report on a presentation by Alan E. Mann at a session during BYU's Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy. Read it at http://mormontimes.com/mormon_living/family_history/?id=14573

Digitizing family history treasures

The Mormon Times has an article on digitizing old family photographs, video tapes, cassette tapes, 8mm films and letters. Based on a presentation by Linda Berg Sharp and Kathleen Lyon Webb at BYU's Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy held at Salt Lake City on April 26, the article has lots of practical advice. Read it at http://mormontimes.com/mormon_living/family_history/?id=14595

SMGF surpasses 100,000 DNA samples

The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) today announced, in conjunction with the 2010 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference, that its genetic genealogy database has surpassed the landmark milestone of 100,000 DNA samples, linked with corresponding multi-generational genealogical family pedigrees. The world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of genetic and family history information, the database links the genetic samples of its participants to more than 8.6 million ancestors and living relatives.

Full press release at http://pymnts.com/sorenson-molecular-genealogy-foundations-genetic-genealogy-database-crosses-historic-milestone-with-100000-dna-samples-aided-by-multi-million-dollar-gift-from-founder-20100428005716

First look at Family Finder

The results of my autosomal DNA test with Family Tree DNA have now been posted.

In case you're not into genetic genealogy the bottom line is that I found no new close cousins, but some interesting hints at possible more distant relatives.

For those familiar with the way FTDNA results are presented, Family Finder results are posted on your myFTDNA results page in a section inserted above Y-DNA results. Under the heading Family Finder there are two subsections

* MATCHES: View your Family Finder Matches.
* CHROMOSOME BROWSER: View your Family Finder Matches and compare people at the Chromosomal level.

You can filter your MATCHES by a variety of criteria. The default is "close and immediate", which is up to 4th cousin. In my case there were none. However, there were 22 matches for "speculative" relatives, usually specified as fifth cousin or more distant. Occasionally the speculative category includes fourth cousins when particularly long matching DNA sequences are identified. For each match identified you see the person's name, a link to send an e-mail, the suggested relationship, relationship range, a figure for the amount of shared DNA given in centiMorgans, the longest single block of shared DNA also in centiMorgans, a button for you to assign the relationship, and a list of the surnames in the other person's family tree if they have supplied that information.

A centiMorgan, abbreviated cM, is a measurement of how likely an area of DNA is to recombine from one generation to the next. A single centiMorgan is considered equivalent to a 1% (1/100) chance that a segment of DNA will crossover or recombine within one generation.

Judging by a small sample of data from my test, 500 SNPs (the locations tested) is roughly equivalent to 2 cM. 500 SNP matching blocks are the smallest the company choses to report.

The maximum amount of DNA I shared was 51.50 cM with a single block of 9.19 cM.

The largest single block was 12.50 cM out of a total 31.60 cM for that person. Shortly after the results were posted I received an email from that person, a Canadian. We think we know the surname that connects us but donlt have a paper trail back far enough to establish the connection.

You can also filter by SURNAMES. I had a few variant, Reed and Ready for Reid matches.

CHROMOSOME BROWSER shows the exact chromosome blocks on which you match up to three specific people in both diagram and table form. I suspect this would be of greater interest if you have closer cousin matches than I enjoy at present.

If you're looking for more information on this Family Finder test a good next step would be reading the FAQ at www.familytreedna.com/faq/answers/17.aspx

27 April 2010

FreeBMD April update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Mon 26 Apr 2010 and currently contains 184,358,091 distinct records (235,423,862 total records).

Major additions for this update are: births - 445682 distinct records, mainly (1935-1948); marriages - 504422 (1938-1949), deaths - 522818 (1936-1943).

A glimmer of hope for the Irish genealogist

It's called Lord Viscount Morpeth’s Testimonial Roll. Dating from 1841 it's a giant paper scroll, over 400 metres in length, containing the names and addresses of an estimated 300,000 men from all over Ireland and from every level of Irish society.

Read the story of this newly discovered treasure at http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/2010/04/26/is-this-the-worlds-longest-document/

26 April 2010

Is LAC frozen in 2009?

In December 2009 LAC posted Pathfinder documents on its website. Billed as initial reports for eight research projects in development in the various sectors of the organization they were a small step in its modernization initiative.

At that time LAC announced it was "presently organizing a series of consultation sessions with key stakeholders and other interested parties."

It's now four months later and LAC have nothing to report. If "LAC is committed to open discussions and transparency", where's the beef? What's open about a request for comments where there is not at least an option to display those comments publicly?

At the same time while digitization is supposedly a key initiative for LAC precious little newly digitized content is appearing on the website.

It used to be that a Google search for "miserable failure" found George Bush as the first hit. A year into the term of the present Librarian and Archivist of Canada is that a distinction for which LAC is vying?

News of family history magazines

Late news from Ed Zapletal of Toronto-based Moorshead Magazines is that the decision has been made to end publication of Discovering Family History with the March/April 2010 issue. The announcement is that while Family Chronicle and Internet Genealogy remain strong and popular publications the increase in the value of the US dollar has hit the largely US-base of subscriptions. The company announces they will incorporate DFH "beginner" content into the other two magazines.

It will be a neat juggling act not to alienate the non-beginner subscribers in the process.

This announcement falls hard on the heels of the closure of Ancestry magazine in the US and Ancestors in the UK.

A new entry in the UK market, with the May issue now on newsstands, is Your Family History www.your-familyhistory.com/. From the stable of Wharncliffe Publishing, who were the publishers of Ancestors, it is produced without The National Archives as a partner.

There could be confusion in North America. Your Family History is the cover title here of another British publication, Your Family Tree, a change required here owing to a name conflict.

25 April 2010

Genealogical Research in 2060

Dick Eastman lets his imagination run free.


How long is a generation?

At Saturday's meeting on the Ottawa DNA and genealogy interest group we had some discussion of the length of a generation. It's a topic I covered in the early days of this blog at http://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.com/2006/04/timespan-for-generation.html.

I was surprised to learn from the discussion at the meeting that
Family Tree DNA use 15-15 years, whereas a group member showed data suggesting 31-32 years. It was also suggested a shorter periods for a generation would be appropriate for earlier times and for working along the female line as women tend to be younger than their spouses.

There's an pertinent article in the now defunct Ancestry magazine at www.ancestry.com/learn/library/article.aspx?article=11152. It points out that a generation has been defined as the age of the parent on the birth of the first child.

For DNA studies you're interested in the span between ancestors along the line through which the specific DNA component was inherited. As its unlikely your inheritance will always be through the eldest child the generation span for DNA purposes will be longer than by the traditional first child definition.

For practical purposes 30 years, or 3 generations per century, are appealing numbers.

24 April 2010

Where have all the databases gone?

No matter how awkward a website if you use it often enough you get to know your way around. That's been true with the old LAC website, and perhaps you're feeling lost with the change LAC implemented earlier in the week which I blogged at http://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.com/2010/04/lacs-new-look.html.

The change has made finding some resources easier. This address link from my front page to census records.

But others seem to be less available, or at least not where you may be used to finding them. If that's the case then from the main page click "Discover more...", then “Discover the Collection” and then "Databases". you'll find an alphabetical list from Aboriginal Documentary Heritage to Ward Chipman, Muster Master's Office (1777-1785).

You may have had a similar problem with databases at Ancestry.com. I thought I had a disappearing database problem at the site, but then learned how to use the card catalog and found it again.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a convention used by all database rich genealogical, and other, websites so we don't have to use a different approach at each site.

Thanks to Lesley Anderson for the tip and Old Census Scribe for pointing out a bad link.

23 April 2010

Amazing DNA Day deal

A $499 autosomal DNA analysis from 23andMe for $99 is a really great deal! That's the complete genealogical and medical packages which gives you access to the raw data. Don't miss it. But it's a one day special, you must purchase today 23 April only. You have 12 months to use the kit. Go to www.23andme.com

Now ended.

UK party leaders' family histories

The following is a release from findmypast.co.uk


* David Cameron revealed to be the eighth cousin of Boris Johnson
* Nick Clegg's great-great-aunt the 'Russian Mata Hari'
* Gordon Brown's Victorian secret

Leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk has revealed today that Conservative leader David Cameron and Boris Johnson, the Tory Mayor of London are in fact eighth cousins. This and many more fascinating revelations have been uncovered - some for the first time - when leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk looked into the politicians' backgrounds using family history records on the findmypast website and other public records.

The Tory and Labour party leaders are commonly thought to have wildly opposing backgrounds. Genealogical research however has found that the family histories of David Cameron and Gordon Brown are not so very different after all...

David Cameron - Blue blood, 'White Mischief' and Scottish lineage

David William Donald Cameron was born in 1966 in London to Ian Cameron and Mary Mount. The well-heeled Tory leader is a fifth cousin twice removed of the Queen and a seventh cousin of Princes William and Harry, and a descendant of William IV.

David's paternal great-great-great-grandmother, Lady Agnes Hay and her parents, the Earl and Countess of Erroll can be found in the 1841 census on findmypast.co.uk. The Countess is David's royal link - Lady Elizabeth FitzClarence, the illegitimate daughter of William IV. Through Elizabeth, he is also related to Josslyn Victor Hay, 22nd Earl of Errol whose dramatic murder in Kenya in 1941 was depicted in the film White Mischief.

However, perhaps the least known element of Cameron's background is that he is also a distant cousin of Boris Johnson, the Tory Mayor of London. Both descend from King George II (1683-1760) - albeit by illegitimate lines.

The Scottish Cameron side of the family has also not been commonly explored. While Gordon Brown's ancestors were farming in Fife in the early 1800s, the Camerons were also tilling the land around Inverness. William Cameron, David's great-great-great-grandfather was recorded in the 1851 census as a farmer at Upper Muckovy, just outside Inverness. William's son Ewen then went into finance, and beginning a tradition of financiers that continued until David Cameron entered politics.

Gordon Brown - Scottish farmers, and a family secret

The current Labour leader's background is well-known and often-discussed; he descends from a line of hard-working and upwardly mobile Scottish farmers and stonemasons. The prime minister was born James Gordon Brown in 1951 in Renfrewshire, the son of a Minister in the Church of Scotland, John Brown. Before that, the Browns were farmers in Fife for three traceable generations.

There is however a little-known family secret in Gordon Brown's family's past, discovered by extensive searches through online records. One of Brown's great-grandfathers was born illegitimate in the late 1840s as a result of a relationship between a farmer's teenage daughter and a man 20 years her senior - a doctor of medicine who became a wealthy GP.

Francis Troup Manson, a great-grandfather of Gordon Brown on his maternal line, was born illegitimate to Jessie Cruickshank, a farmer's daughter of about 16 years old. It is quite probable that the affair would have caused people to gossip in their small Highland village.

Gordon's paternal grandfather was called Ebenezer Brown and his parent's, Browns great-grandparents, John and Mary Brown are recorded in the 1891 Scottish census living at Brigghills Farm House in Auchterderran, where John was a farmer.

Nick Clegg - An intriguing multi-cultural family

Nicholas William Peter Clegg is the youngest of the three leaders and was born in 1967 at Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire to a Dutch mother and a half-English, half-Russian father. He speaks five languages and has by far the most cosmopolitan background of the three, with a Russian baroness as a grandmother and a Dutch mother who was once a Japanese prisoner of war in WWII. He is also currently married to a Spanish lawyer, which may explain his pro-European political stance.

Nick Clegg's paternal grandfather Hugh Clegg married a baroness who was the granddaughter of the Russian nobleman Ignaty Zakrevsky. This nobleman had a daughter called Maria Ignatievna Zakrevskaya, born in St Petersburg in 1891, and Nick Clegg's great-great-aunt. She became a countess through her first marriage and then a baroness through her second.

She was suspected of being a double agent, spying for both the Soviet Union and British Intelligence, leading to her being called the Russian Mata Hari. She was known to be a heavy drinker, and also had affairs with the writer H.G. Wells and the Russian literary giant, Maxim Gorky. She also wrote books and film scripts, including Three Sisters directed by Laurence Olivier in 1970.

Like both Brown and Cameron, Clegg also has a more ordinary side to his family tree. In his direct paternal line, his great-grandfather was a schoolteacher and clergyman from Leeds who married a master mariner's daughter from Hull called Gertrude. John Clegg ran schools in Suffolk and Huntingdonshire.

Nick's paternal great-great-grandparents, Simeon and Mary Clegg can also be found in the 1871 census. The couple were living at 3 Grange Street in Leeds and Simeon was employed as a Butcher.

WDYTYA: Susan Sarandon

Tonight at 8PM on NBC, and CITY TV in Canada, there's a new episode of the US version of Who Do You Think You Are?

The blurb is that "Susan had grown up feeling a strange connection to her 'colorful' grandmother and had always wanted to solve the mystery of her life. With some clever sleuthing, Susan traces Anita's roots to Italy where she tracks down the actual village in Tuscany that was home to Anita's father. With the help of her son, Susan turns gumshoe and uncovers Anita's obituary, revealing the shocking missing link."

Happy St George's Day

In celebration, Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No 1. How things have changed!

22 April 2010

Your ancestral heritage

In my beginner genealogy talks I warn people in pursuing family history research they may find out things they would rather not have known.


Are you part Neanderthal?

A new DNA study seems to contradict previous ideas that there was no interbreeding between humans and earlier species such as the Neanderthals

As reported in in Nature News a new study suggests "There is a little bit of Neanderthal leftover in almost all humans." However, there was no evidence of interbreeding in the genomes of the modern African people included in the study. The study indicates interbreeding happened about 60,000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean and, more recently, about 45,000 years ago in eastern Asia.

Read the Nature News item at www.nature.com/news/2010/100420/full/news.2010.194.html

According to the article a soon to be published sequencing of the complete Neanderthal genome will aid in testing these findings.

21 April 2010

LAC's new look

The following is from Library and Archives Canada:

"Our organization is moving forward on several fronts, including on line. The homepage of Library and Archives Canada's web site has a new look that enhances the way we present our information. These modifications will make our rich and varied collections more accessible to our users. More changes are coming in the near future, including:

  • The Power of the Communities: A resource guide to provide contact information for archives, libraries and schools across Canada will be available on May 31, 2010.
  • The Librarian and Archivist of Canada's newsletter: This new publication will report on our activities in acquisitions, collections management and resource discovery and will include a calendar of events. The e-newsletter will be available in June 2010.

We welcome your feedback. Please send any comments or suggestions regarding these changes to webservices@lac-bac.gc.ca."

Comment: I'd call for three cheers for the website improvements, but they don't warrant more than one. There is a rearrangement and more access including through the "Discover more ..." link. The entry for newspapers was previously totally obscure. Three cheers will be warranted when LAC provides some substance arising from the digitization initiative that they claim is their priority but has delivered precious little of late.

If I'm overlooking something by way of new digitized content will someone from LAC please let us know what resources LAC is devoting to digitization and what we are getting for it?

20 April 2010

Geneticist inherits a mystery

This is too good a story about DNA not (yet) solving a family mystery not to pass along.


via Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Research tip: use Ancestry more effectively

Maybe you've seen the sign. It's like one I recall in the training section at the Meteorological Service of Canada in Toronto, long closed down.

I think about it from time to time as I struggle up seemingly interminable learning curves with new software and web applications.

Ancestry web sites are no exception. Investing a bit of time in training is the answer, and Ancestry has a very recent free webinar to help. "Getting the Most Out of Your Ancestry.com Subscription" was presented live on April 8. View the archived version on demand by going to ancestry.com and finding the link under Learning Center. You'll have register and put up with some company PR but there's good content worth the time taken to view it.

This graphic borrowed from Digby Jones - no relation.

Plan ahead for the OGS conference

The following is a message from OGS Quinte Branch.

Quinte Branch will be attending OGS Conference 2010 however we have a limited number of people to help with the table in Market Place. This may result in no one attending the table at the time you visit. To assist our volunteers and to ensure we have the copy of the publication available for you to take home and avoid postage you may pre-order.

To view the publications we have available for purchase visit:

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canqbogs/publications.htm for Books & CD

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canqbogs/hastings_cemeteries.htm Hastings Cemeteries

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canqbogs/northumberland_cemeteries.htm Northumberland Cemeteries

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canqbogs/prince_edward_cemeteries.htm Prince Edward County Cemeteries

Orders should be placed before May 10, 2010 at quintebranch@ogs.on.ca Payment on delivery by cash or cheque, please. We are not equipped to accept credit or debit cards. You will receive a message confirming receipt of your e-mail which will include a copy of your order.

19 April 2010

WW1 Canadian War Graves in the UK

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission files list 3885 Great War Canadians buried or commemorated across the United Kingdom in 834 different locations.

As the centennial of the outbreak of WW1 approaches a project is underway to record all existing graves across the United Kingdom as a tribute to all those Canadian men and women who flocked to Britain to fight for the “Mother Country”.

The project is developing a profile on every individual soldier, sailor or nurse, drawing on research sources in both Britain and Canada. This includes the cause and place of death, along with the UK death certificate number. Each grave is being visited and photographed by the authors. Inscriptions on the headstones have been recorded. Last known family addresses and locations are included where available.

The project website at www.canadianukgravesww1.co.uk includes a listing of the men with surname, first name, and location of burial, often just county, within the UK. More detailed information is on CD which can be ordered through the site. At present CDs for Kent are available with Sussex scheduled for the end of the year. The other counties with a large number of burials, Hampshire and Surrey, are scheduled for the end of 2011.

Ottawa Family History Resources

A couple of days ago I was in the Centrepointe library and found the genealogy news section looking forlorn. It seems to reflect a decision on the part of local groups that this display isn't a priority, likely itself reflecting a lack of volunteers. Will there be consequences in membership? Likely.

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to a local Kiwanis group about researching family history. They treated me well and I enjoyed the evening. Most members weren 't aware of the opportunities in the Ottawa area. Hopefully I planted some seeds, one or more of which may germinate.

For the Kiwanis I stitched together the following, on one page. Yes, it omits some groups and resources, but may be helpful to those starting out who happen to stray here.

British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO): www.bifhsgo.ca
The purpose of the Society is to encourage and facilitate research and its publication by people with ancestry in the British Isles; that is, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands. Members enjoy: copies of the Society's award winning quarterly journal, Anglo-Celtic Roots; ten monthly family history meetings, (speaker, questions & answers) each of two hours duration, held on the second Saturday of the month, in the morning, at Library and Archives Canada; access to the Society's extensive Library for personal research; access to a database of family names researched within our Society; discounted registration fees for our annual conference; free query and advisory services; family history courses and seminars; and, erhaps most important, particularly for new members, is the opportunity to meet friendly people who share an interest and want to help others to learn to research and share family history.

Canadian Genealogy Centre, Library and Archives Canada: www.genealogy.gc.ca
Exists to facilitate the discovery of our roots and family histories as a basic part of our Canadian heritage, and to encourage the use of genealogy and the resources available in libraries and archives as tools for life-long learning. Professionally staffed five days a week the Canadian Genealogy Centre helps users make the most of the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) collection. They provide, for example: the opportunity to consult with a professional; tips and advice on how to conduct genealogical research using different types of records and publications in various formats; help in using research tools; help in consulting specialized genealogical databases; referrals to other special LAC collections.

Ottawa Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society: http://ogsottawa.on.ca
One of 30 Branches of the OGS, the Ottawa Branch is “responsible” for Carleton, Lanark, Renfrew, Prescott and Russell Counties in Ontario. The Branch consists of members who seek and share information about family history searching. Its mission is “To encourage, assist and bring together all those interested in the pursuit of family history.” Ottawa Branch can help to “grow” your family trees and to discover new “branches” and will warmly welcome you as a guest at one of our monthly meetings, held September to June on the third Tuesday of the month in the evening at Library and Archives Canada. Membership in the Ottawa Branch provides you with five issues of The Ottawa Genealogist annually.

Ottawa Public Library: http://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/main/interest/learn/genealogy
Offers comprehensive information and advice on starting your genealogy, using the genealogy collections; accessing genealogy services including free access to the most comprehensive database, Ancestry, at all OPL branches; and learning about local resources. You may book a free personal one hour consultation, and attend frequent presentations on various aspects of genealogy.

Ottawa Stake (LDS) Family History Center: www.ottawastakefhc.on.ca
The FHC serves the local community with a collection of approximately 1,500 microfilms, 50,000 microfiches, and 1,500 books, magazines and maps and provides access to the world’s largest collection of genealogical resources through loans from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Open Tuesday – Saturday knowledgeable volunteer staff are there to show you the ropes and how to benefit from their facilities.

18 April 2010

Researching Early 20th Century British Immigrant Ancestry

On Tuesday I'm pleased to have an opportunity to speak to a monthly meeting of the Ottawa Branch of OGS.

Refreshments are served starting at 7 pm. You don't need to be an OGS member to attend. I'd be pleased to see a few friendly BIFHSGO members at the meeting too.

20 April 2010, 7:30 p.m.

Library & Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa: Room 156

Topic: Researching Early 20th Century British Immigrant Ancestry

Speaker: John D Reid

Using case studies, and focusing on 20th century English and Welsh immigrants pre-WW I, the period of greatest emigration, this presentation shows how to use Canadian and British records together to track down that elusive ancestral family

Mug shots and photo analysis

I've been rereading Colleen Fitzpatrick's book The Dead Horse Investigation: forensic photo analysis for everyone. Coincidentally an item in the new issue of the Lost Cousins newsletter, at http://lostcousins.com/newsletters/apr10news.htm refers to top websites for dating UK photographs, taken from an article in Who Do You Think You Are? magazine. They are:

(1) Victorian & Edwardian photographs has an enormous collection of photographs that you can compare against your own

(2) PhotoLondon has a database of 9000 photographers who worked in the London area, with short biographical notes that will help you date the photographs they took.

(3) Early Photographers has a dating calculator for postcards and cartes de visite

(4) Great War Forum would be useful if you have a photograph of your ancestor in uniform

(5) Wedding Fashion has photographs of wedding dresses from the Victorian era onwards

17 April 2010

Gravesend to Vancouver Island, 1858-9

Now available on the Internet Archive at http://www.archive.org/details/TheEmigrantSoldiersGazetteAndCapeHornChronicle. the Emigrant Soldiers Gazette and Cape Horn Chronicle was a weekly news-sheet published aboard the Thames City on a six month voyage of a detachment of Royal Engineers from Gravesend to Vancouver Island.

It contains a log of the ship position and chronicle of events aboard, but mostly articles and humourous (for the times) items to divert readers from the monotony of their close quarters.

16 April 2010

Pushing up the daisies

That's what we will all eventually do, but now science is at the scene so the terminology is changed to "chemical changes in the vegetation" recognized by "hyperspectral imaging."

An article in the New Scientist "Air detectives know where the bodies are buried" reports on a technique using "cameras mounted on a light aircraft or helicopter (which) detect variations in the intensity of light of various wavelengths reflected by vegetation on the ground."

The technique is reported to have been used by a McGill team originally called in by Parc Safari to help hunt for the remains of an elephant, which the park wanted to exhume. The article mentions the possibility of finding bodies buried 20, 30, 40 years ago.

I wonder if there's any possibility of extension of the technique to older cemeteries?

Read the strory at: www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627555.400-air-detectives-know-where-the-bodies-are-buried.html

Stanley Lynch

The photo, signed on the reverse by Stanley Lynch, is of a WW1 soldier in rehabilitation uniform. His next of kin address on his attestation paper is Montreal and it also contains information that he was at the King's Canadian Red Cross Convalescent Hospital in Bushey Park, and invalided to Canada for further treatment.

He is found on the 1901 and 1911 census with siblings.

I blogged about a similar image in June 2008, http://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.com/2008/06/do-you-know-etches.html, and was recently able to send the photo to a descendant, a great granddaughter, in Florida.

If you are or know of a descendant or relative of Lynch please let me know by leaving a comment which won't be posted if it has personal or contact information about a living person.

LAC, the poor cousin

A 15 April press release http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?m=/index&nid=525269 announces a one-time injection of $15 million to the National Museums in Ottawa. It contains the following quotes:

"Our Government believes in our national museums and their tremendous value for Canadians," said Minister Moore. "We want to ensure that Canadians and tourists alike have access to our rich, diverse, and fascinating heritage."

"Our national museums are institutions that are cherished by Canadians and that play a major economic role in our tourism sector," said Minister Baird.

Notably absent from the list of recepients of the government largess, otherwise our tax money, is Library and Archives Canada. What it is the Ministers believe about LAC that means it doesn't merit similar additional funding?

15 April 2010

Audience abuse at genealogy conferences

Major conferences of the (US) National Genealogical Society and Ontario Genealogical Society are coming up fast. In general I find the standard of presentation at genealogy conferences to be good, but there are always exceptions.

Nick Morgan on his Public Words blog provides a Top 10 List of Speakers Audience Abuse http://publicwords.typepad.com/nickmorgan/2010/04/the-top-10-list-of-speakers-audience-abuse.html.

You've likely suffered some of these which are my pet peeves:

9. The speaker who buries his head in a text, reading behind the podium, never once looking up to connect with the audience, for 10….30…..60 minutes.

8. The speaker who presents a dense slide of data to the audience, saying, “You can’t read this, but what this slide shows is…..”

5. The speaker who talks down to the audience.

3. The speaker who begins her talk saying “I have 235 slides and only 30 minutes, so I’m going to move very fast.

1. The speaker who runs 20 minutes over time.

Kudos for LAC

You may have seen news of a report from the interim Access to Information Commissioner on government compliance with the Access to Information Act. Canadian Heritage, the department with which Library and Archives Canada is associated, received a dismal "F" grade.

However, the Commissioner made a special point of singling out Library and Archives Canada which received a strong report card in 2007–2008. It noted that LAC had reduced its reliance on lengthy time extensions for consulting with National Defence and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. In view of this good performance LAC was not selected for this year’s report card process.

This is a good example of the application of "what gets measured gets done." Suppose there were a Service Commissioner to look routinely at how well organizations deliver on their mandated services. In a fixed budget environment is LAC's focus on Access to Information being achieved at the expense of other routine service?

14 April 2010

Research tip: the last shall be first

Experienced researchers know that when the obvious search doesn't give the result you seek, look for variations. Check for first and last names reversed. Use a middle name rather than the first name, especially helpful if it's unusual.

Those of us who came last in the class in spelling can excel in family history research thanks to our ability to come up with innovative ways a name might have been misspelled.

13 April 2010

Visit your ancestral places

Have you visited all the places associated with your ancestry? You can get a perspective on the community you'd see on a visit by searching the place-name at www.flickr.com. I tried many of the villages that occur in my ancestry and found several images for even the most obscure. Click on slideshow and sit back for an eclectic tour. Be imaginative in your searches and interpreting what you see.

Want a tour of Library and Archives Canada. There are many photos of the institution, especially the Preservation Centre, on Flickr.

12 April 2010

Irish Isonymy and English Diaspora

Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne is not one I'd known of until stumbling across an abstract of an article "The Origins of the Irish in Northern England: An Isonymic Analysis of Data from the 1881 Census" in the journal Migrants and Minorities. It's authored by staff of the university history department, www.northumbria.ac.uk/sd/academic/sass/about/humanities/history/

The Irish Isonymy Project examines surnames, forenames and the application of isonymy (names as cultural characteristics) to historical data with emphais on the Irish in nineteenth-century Britain. Read about it at www.northumbria.ac.uk/sd/academic/sass/about/humanities/history/projects/isonymy/?view=Standard and listen to the podcast by Dr Malcolm Smith on Talkback.

He points out that whereas Patrick was a frequent first name for famine-era Irish migrants to England it was much less frequently chosen as a name for their English-born children.

The same may be true in Canada. A quick check of the Canadian census records on Ancestry shows over 19,000 Patrick's in "Canada" in 1861, stabilizing at over 14,000 to 1901, and dropping to just over 10,000 in 1911. That's a substantial drop in an expanding population.

The English Diaspora Project www.northumbria.ac.uk/sd/academic/sass/about/humanities/history/projects/englishdiaspora/?view=Standard examines the hidden English diaspora in North America. Although this seems to be ploughing some of the same ground that Dr Murray Watson has worked on while affiliated with the history department at Carleton University, the Northumbria researchers identify key
issues of concern as:

  • English ethnic associationism: examining aspects of English clubs, societies and sociability around the Diaspora.
  • English folk traditions in the Diaspora: locating the popular culture of celebrating particular forms of Englishness.
  • English sporting traditions: examining the export around the world of sports from cricket, rugby and association football to Cumberland wrestling.
  • English literary and dramatic cultures: exploring the cultural transfer of key literary figures around the Diaspora.

Mike More to become OGS Regional Director

Mike More was acclaimed Regional Director designate at Saturday's meeting of Ontario Genealogical Society Region VIII. Officially the term starts at the OGS Annual General Meeting in May.

No one works more diligently to advance genealogy in the area than Mike, as evidenced by his having served as Chair of the Ottawa Branch of OGS for many years, his leadership in staging Gene-O-Rama, and recognition last year by the City of Ottawa. The region, and OGS, are sure to benefit further from his leadership in this new role.

11 April 2010

Full Unlimited Free Genealogy Website Access

I was surprised to learn from Lesley Anderson, BIFHSGO's Director of Education who gave a brief presentation prior to Saturday's main BIFHSGO presentation, that the Ottawa Stake Family History Centre, where she volunteers every second Friday, now offers free access at the Centre to some great genealogy databases.

19th Century British Library Newspaper Digital Archive
The Genealogist
Godfrey Memorial Library (including the London Times Digital Archives)
Heritage Quest Online
World Vital Records

Couple these with full access to the Ancestry.ca databases through Ancestry Library at all branches of the Ottawa Public Library and you have every reason to visit for an occasional search.

If not in Ottawa, and 40% of ACC readers are, you'll likely find the same access at your local Family History Centre and Public Library.

10 April 2010

Nova Scotia Roots?

Nova Scotia Tourism has a web site called Routes to Your Roots; go to www.NovaScotia.com and click on "Research You Roots".

There's a travel planning tool based on surname frequency within the province. You type in a surname and look at the distribution patterns within Nova Scotia, based on surnames found in the Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics.

Blue bubbles indicate a local archive or library where researchers can pursue their family's history. If you click on the blue bubble, a mini profile of the institution will appear. Click on "more info" and you will get a more detailed listing of the institution's holdings, directions, and contact info.

There's also an interesting section on settlement patterns with separate descriptions for Acadians, African Nova Scotians, Americans, English, Ethnic Settlement in Cape Breton (1890-1920), Foreign Protestants, Irish, Mi'kmaq, Scottish, Twentieth Century Immigration.

If you decide to follow up with a visit there's plenty of helpful tourist information on the site too.

Ancestors magazine - table of contents

The (UK) National Archives Ancestors magazine has ceased publication, but libaries and private collections have archives. Below find a complete list of the major articles in each issue, taken from the magazine website, who knows how long it will continue to be available. I've added the contents of the last two issues which didn't get onto their list and made a few other minor changes. You can search the list with the Ctrl-F in Windows, Command-F on Macs.

Issue 1
* Watch the birdie and say cheese - pictures at The National Archives
* House history: how to become your own house detective
* Veni, vidi, vici! - Transcribing Latin documents in 1733
* Assize Courts
* Wills before 1858
* Military genealogy on the internet

Issue 2
* What did your ancestors do in the great war?
* Following a false trail in London
* Research into a 19th century seaman
* Norfolk in 1891
* The forgotten men - The Imperial Yeomanry In The Boer War
* Get the power of the press on your side

Issue 3
* Trying to establish a connection - tracing army officers in the First World War
* Famous immigrants
* The rise and fall of Frank Rohrweger CMG
* Family heirlooms
* The Roehampton Hearth Tax project
* Yeoman ancestry: 200 years of Suffolk family history

Issue 4
* Black ancestors
* The Staincross militia
* William Murphy, Chelsea Pensioner, aged 15
* The first, the oldest, and the last - casualties of the First World War
* Maps and plans at The National Archives
* Picture perfect - protecting pictures

Issue 5
* A snapshot of 1901 - using the census
* How our ancestors lived - late Victorian and Edwardian Britain
* Behind the census - the people behind the document
* Maps and the census - looking at registration districts
* The census treasure chest - prominent personalities in the Victorian returns
* Women and 1911 census

Issue 6
* All in the genes
* Bound for Australia
* Famous twentieth century emigrants
* British Army POWs of the First World War
* Medal detective
* Making sense of a family album

Issue 7
* A smart little fellow - a case study
* Tax trails
* The National Farm Survey
* Shakespeare's family mysteries
* Local history online
* The Smuggler King of Culleroats

Issue 8
* Was your ancestor a Suffragette?
* Surname interests online
* If they had known then what we know now...
* Military maps of the Western Front
* By his own hand - suicide records
* A record of merit - Royal Navy lieutenants' passing certificates

Issue 9
* A burden on the parish
* Workhouse days
* Oars and scullers
* The smiling footballer
* The Hallases: a coal-mining family
* Mapping London's rich and poor

Issue 10
* Divorce - 1858 onwards
* Records can be wrong
* Researching Jewish burials
* Finding genealogy news online
* Tracing African slave ancestors
* Black genealogy online

Issue 11
* Grey Coats and Blue Coats - life in an eigtheenth-century charity school
* Indexes to soldiers' discharge documents, 1760-1854
* The accuracy of a parish register
* Getting to grips with The National Archives
* A letter form the Crimea
* Bridging the gap - a guide to State Papers and other nineteenth-century sources

Issue 12
* Irish Catholic records
* Life after the Army
* Cigarette cards and trade cards
* Officers and gentlemen
* Looking for a policeman?
* Irish genealogy on the internet

Issue 13
* The benefits of insurance - house history in Mile End Old Town
* British sources for South Asian ancestors
* Surgeons at sea - looking at naval journals
* A litigant in the family
* Searching for justice - Chancery records on the internet
* Family or Country - Chelsea out-pensioners in the late eighteenth-century

Issue 14
* The rise of Protestant Nonconformity
* Movers and Quakers
* Borstal Boys
* A face in the crowds - film and sound archives for the family historian
* The Great Crimean War Index
* Wesley at 300

Issue 15
* They can't get on without us - women in wartime posters
* Captain Boynton and the heiresses
* The Gypsy trail
* Indexing the Admiralty
* In-site: 1837 online
* Going Dutch - researching Dutch ancestors

Issue 16
* The workers united - trade unions uncovered
* Civil registration reform
* The American Revolution
* The founders of Sierra Leone
* Lest we forget
* The accidental archivist - conserving your own collection

Issue 17
* Quarter Sessions focus
* Keeping the peace
* Scenes from ordinary life - Quarter Session records
* Endangered lives - health and the Victorians
* Naval quota men
* Sentenced to hang

Issue 18
* Recording the Plague
* Going Down Under
* In Memoriam
* Publishing your family history online
* Before 1901: a woman's place
* Scotland's National Archives

Issue 19
* History in miniature - medals for the family historian
* Parliamentary enclosures
* Surveying the scene - the mid-nineteenth century Tithe Commission records
* Staying in touch - finding postal workers in the archives of the Royal Mail
* Policy issues - insurance records for the family and local historian
* Risk assessment - fire insurance maps and plans

Issue 20
* The secret life of the Death Duty Registers
* The name game - the value of Christian names in family research
* The name of the father - tracing the paternity of illegitimate ancestors
* All aboard - births, deaths and marriages at sea
* Eighteenth century care in the community
* A rough guide to the British Army

Issue 21
* The education revolution
* From first to last: the evolution of family names
* From cradle to grave: family life since 1550.
* Untold riches: how the North-West was run
* The City Boys: records of London apprentices
* Henry Mundy's notes from the 1840s

Issue 22
* The local alternatives
* Tom, Dick and Harry - pet names and surnames
* Mission accomplished - the education of girls in the Victorian period
* A man of a certain age - the strange story of Walter Bourke
* Yellow Pages - the value of trade and commercial directories for family history
* Becoming a Brit - the Home Office Naturalisation papers and the Citizenship Project

Issue 23
* The Manorial Documents Register
* The history of Joseph - surname studies
* A rough guide to the Britsih Army: name, rank and number
* The Red Ensign at war
* Sons of toil - agricultural labourers
* Enduring benefits - wills and probate documents

Issue 24
* Double dealing - matrimony and bigamy
* On the move: continuity and change in internal migration
* Breaking the habit: religious communities for women after the Reformation
* Ranking order: popular male names 1377-1381
* Percival Boyd online - marriage indexes at your fingertips
* The squeeze on sheep - taxing the small-scale farmer

Issue 25
* The curious case of Lieutenant Lutwidge
* The harsh face of Irish Feudalism
* Choosing family history software
* Upwardly mobile - first name fashions
* Pay as you go - death duties at The National Archives
* The long stand-easy and the call to arms - British Army reforms

Issue 26
* Lost children of the Revolution
* Secrets of the FRC
* Mapping the working class - the new survey of London life and labour
* Tracking down the part-time police
* The Destroying Angel - hunting down the real culprit of the Black Death
* Inside the viewfinder - historic photographs

Issue 27
* Hiring fairs in northern England, 1870-1930
* The health of the nation: medicine, money and patients in eighteenth-century England
* Cracking the codes: an introduction to paleography
* House history online
* The sixpenny treasures of Hendon Vestry

Issue 28
* On the square - Freemasonry
* Listing the landowners
* Reading your genetic signature - DNA tests
* Hunt your family heroes
* Exploring historical maps
* Licensed to wed - marriage banns

Issue 29
* Records At The Heart Of The Nation
* From Liquorice To Linen - Yorkshire industries
* On The Textile Trail
* Contracting Out Cruelty - the urban poor
* Grim South To Grimy North
* Taken As Read - deciphering old documents

Issue 30
* Taking up the white man's burden - the Colonial Service
* A charter for disillusion - the Chartist Land Company
* A fraud is born
* The 20th century Domesday Book
* Convicts, colonists and colliers
* Your right to know - the Freedom of Information Act

Issue 31
* Asylum for London's poor and sick
* Shakespeare's jug
* Medieval witch report
* Where there's a will
* Builder for the poor - Peabody Buildings
* Stand up for bastards!

Issue 32
* Trying to close the door - 19th century immigrants
* Medals out of Africa
* A sharp tale - the Sheffield cutlery trade
* Small change for traders - 17th century trade tokens
* For the sake of the poor - the history of almshouses
* Saving souls with shoes and summer holidays - Manchester's mission hall

Issue 33
* Born and buried abroad - records at Guildhall Library
* Taking French leave - immigration across the Channel
* Wheels of Fortune - a history of stagecoaches
* Crossing with the Conqueror
* Bloody Belgians! - wartime immigrants
* Life in the quality poorhouse

Issue 34
* Read all about it - the British Library's newspaper collection
* Going up in smoke - origins of the hearth tax
* Records of Life and Death - Scotland's civil registration system
* Scotland by numbers
* The reluctant recruits - military conscription tribunals in World War One
* Defeated by indecision - the overthrowing of James II

Issue 35
* Stars of Rememberance - campaign medals of the First and Second World Wars
* The answer to your prayers - religious ancestors
* Turn your tree into a tale - writing up your family history
* Harnessing horsepower
* In word and deed - title deeds
* Of this parish

Issue 36
* How to dig out your Ulster roots
* For the love of the children - the history of Great Ormond Street Hospital
* For your namesake - a Victorian cult of celebrity
* Taking the Silk - the history of a luxury fabric
* Ragged reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic

Issue 37
* A burning issue - fire insurance records
* Bound for Britain
* Bombed by the enemy - First World War civilian attacks
* No destitute child ever refused - Dr Barnardo commemorated
* Spice of life - a voyage to the Spice Islands
* Sunk at sea - a wartime U-boat attack

Issue 38
* Little depraved felons - sailing to a new life
* Off the shelf - the Society of Genealogists
* Trafalgar: men who won the victory
* A life in letters - Nelson remembered
* Pressed into service
* For service at sea - on board the Victory

Issue 39
* Back to the classroom - pupil records
* Keepers of the Old Faith
* The reluctant conspirator - Guy Fawkes
* Drawing a line - the world of cartographers
* Steering a safe course - navigation records at The National Archives
* Under suspicion - MI5 records in family history

Issue 40
* Surgeons at sea - on board journals
* From slavery to showbusiness
* Fighting for the vote
* Inscribed in remembrance - memorial heritage
* The curious world of MI5
* Libraries online

Issue 41
* Strike the right note - the brass band in history
* Women who meant business
* To discourage the others - execution in the trenches
* Dungeons of despair - Newgate prison
* Without due care
* The sailors' shining beacon - pilotage records

Issue 42
* Knitting a life together
* Memories and mementos - researching at home
* Hunting the hero
* A call to arms - the art of heraldry
* A weaver at Waterloo
* Beaten by the Boers

Issue 43
* English roses of Picardy - VAD heroines
* Finding lost relations
* Stand and deliver - the truth about highwaymen
* Our payment is but trifling - BMD registrars uncovered
* A grave matter - London burial records
* Making ancestral connections - Genes Reunited

Issue 44
* To honour the brave - the importance of the Military General Service Medal
* They also served - a database of 15th century inhabitants of Colchester
* Chants for the memory - family history in Africa
* Crime and punishment - the Victorian underworld
* Last battle of the Bonnie Prince
* Making a final bequest - the value of wills

Issue 45
* Transported out of the way - a convict trail across the Atlantic
* Rebels who died for their cause - Bonnie Prince Charles's supporters
* The Great Non-Escape - POWs in Italy
* Tax on hearth and home
* By Royal Appointment - upstairs and downstairs accounts
* Tale of a tenement

Issue 46
* Acts of charity
* Taking the toll - protesting against road tolls
* Shalom and welcome back
* Voices of dissent - Nonconformist records
* VC for valour and courage
* Sincerely yours - analysing handwriting

Issue 47
* Confusion at sea - the Battle of Jutland
* A fight on the feminist front
* Pip, Squeak and Wilfred - investigating medals
* Aristocrats v artisans - the rise of the professional footballer
* The Cornish Diaspora - mining and miners
* Memory faultlines - talking to relatives

Issue 48
* Trace your Irish ancestors
* Turned out of house and home - Irish evictees
* Witness to the past - Court of Chancery documents
* Lines of defence - military maps
* Accidents will happen - industrial perils
* Taking civil liberties on the Home Front

Issue 49
* Paying for St Pauls - is your ancestor on the list of donors?
* Imprisoned in hell - POWs in Japan
* Penny-pinching parishes - the Victorian poor law
* Throwing a punch - a history of prizefighting
* Trouble in the Tropics - life in 17th century Jamaica
* Brothers in arms - one family's sacrifice

Issue 50
* Celebrities in search of family roots - Who Do You Think You Are?
* Strangers on our shores - tracing past migrants to Britain
* On the Transatlantic freedom trail
* As God was their judge - the Bawdy Courts
* Brushed by fame
* In word and deed - England's earliest property registers

Issue 51
* Floating hells - prison hulks
* Operation Musketeer - the Suez Crisis remembered
* Criminals and conspirators - a Bow Street Runner in the family
* Mysteries unravelled - the Livery companies of the City of London
* Poles who fled to Britain
* Who, where, and when - the National Register of Archives

Issue 52
* Tracing the Devil's Own - researching British Army officers in the Napoleonic Wars
* Guardians of the shore - a history of coastguards
* Monument to a map maker
* Lock them up! - the state supervision on enemy aliens in the Second World War
* A family fit to be freemen
* It could be your ancestor - lotteries in history

Issue 53
* Fill the empty Empire - sending children to the colonies
* We want work - the Leicester Pilgrims
* Regimental records
* Corsets and cravats
* A plane tale
* A beautiful and ineffectual angel - Percy Bysshe Shelley
* The Rise of Celebrity

Issue 54
* Smile for the camera - dating old family photographs
* Masters of the poor - workhouse staff investigated
* A peculiar marriage - St Katherine by the Tower in London
* Last rites - the College of Arms funeral processions
* The break-up of China city - Chinese seamen in Liverpool
* Gone for a soldier

Issue 55
* A sticky business - the sugar industry
* Masters and mates
* The mad English women - the tale of two nurses in the First World War
* "For you, the war is over" - British POWs in the Second World War
* Reluctant hero

Issue 56
* Imperial icon - Rorke's Drift remembered
* Hospital ships' deadly cargo
* Lessons for beginners in Latin
* Herring women
* Shell shocked
* Life's a trial and then you die

Issue 57
* Records of the Raj
* A bloody business - the Indian Mutiny
* On the cards - tracing connections to India
* Battle stars
* Certified of unsound mind
* Sympathy for smugglers

Issue 58
* Nurses on the Veldt
* Chips off the old block - Welsh slate workers
* Retail revolution - the birth of supermarkets
* Keepers of the registers - parish clerks commemorated
* Feeding the fleet
* Under the spotlight - tracing theatrical ancestors

Issue 59
* Begging for mercy - petitions and pardons at The National Archives
* Murder and mayhem - a 1909 London robbery that went wrong
* Fuel for concern - mining children
* Sacrifice on the Somme
* Rooms of their own - Victorian women's clubs
* Hooked into history - a history of lacemaking

Issue 60
* Lives after death - obituaries in research
* Death of a county constable - the perils of policing
* Profile of a pauper
* Caught in the Civil war
* Passchendaele
* Czech connection - 20th century Czechoslovakian immigration

Issue 61
* That dreadful country - the Walcheren Expedition
* Top thirty tips for tracing your family history
* The emperor's unwelcome guests - civilians interned by the Japanese
* Poet's last lines - British graves abroad
* Searching for soldiers - using records at The National Archives
* Don't become spellbound - inconsistencies of spelling in the records
* Welcome to the world of work - using business records
* Between the pages - private libraries uncovered
* Mad, bad and in Bedlam
* Traced to a Tudor statesman
* Finding ancestors with Ancestry
* Introduction to sin
* Remembering Passchendaele

Issue 62
* Who Do You Think Is Back?
* Back to your roots - an introduction to genealogy
* Snared with lies - a poacher's tale
* How to hunt your man - avoiding the errors in records
* Remedy for researchers - a library of medical history
* Privileged imprisonment
* Entertaining England - Georgian assembly rooms
* Victoria's part-time soldiers
* Fired by the past - the pottery industry
* Internet news
* The nation's memory online - The National Archives's website
* No busman's holiday - bus drivers and conductors in the capital
* What's it worth now?

Issue 63
* Acting as family historian - an interview with Miriam Margolyes
* From gravestones to Griffith - Irish ancestors
* Heritage in headstones
* Paternity cases - problems facing the family historians of the future
* Classroom compass - Royal Navy schools
* Join the club - local family history societies
* Dickens and debt
* Chapel-going ancestors
* Canadian connections
* A very public house - a recollection
* Irish surnames hold genealogical clues

Issue 64
* Good will hunting - investigating the job of probate researcher
* Our forebears from the North
* Missing links - tracking down elusive ancestors
* A grave undertaking - funeral directors
* Sent to a watery grave - the 200th anniversary of the HMS Anson shipwreck
* Riding into history - a regal ancestor
* Serving their sentence - prisoners and warders
* Page turners - joining a local library
* The biggest bang - the Halifax Disaster in Nova Scotia
* Bits and picts - decoding computer jargon
* Find your past with Findmypast
* Freaks and felines - visiting a 19th century menagerie
* Think local - the British Association for Local History

Issue 65
* Food for thought - 18th century cookbooks
* The brave new world of genetic genealogy
* Number crunching - the perils of going too far back in genealogy
* Death by bottle - the dangers of bottle feeding
* Gaps and silences - tracing a black sheep in the family
* Bravery rewarded - at the Guildhall Library
* Scottish web roots
* Crude Riches - Scotland's 19th century shale oil boom
* Land of the mountain and the flood - sasine registers
* The shopkeepers secret - a remarkable Scottish document
* Wiltshire at war
* Murder of a martyr - Thomas A Becket
* Surname stress

Issue 66
* Do you come here often? - visitors to The National Archives
* The Historical Backbone of the Nation - State Papers
* Parish magazines
* On shore and abandoned - the Greenwich Hospital
* Inefficient and inebriated - investigating Irish workhouses
* Miners and market towns
* Relationships on canvas
* Prisoners of the Seagull - the British Merchant Navy under attack
* Conjugal complications - breach of promise cases
* Secrets about the old country
* Welcome to the world of Wi-fi
* The virtual reference library - genuki
* A suburban childhood
* Thorny issues - a forgotten letter of the alphabet

Issue 67
* Safer overseas - child evacuation
* Inside the Society of Genealogists
* 'Glad were they to rest on Australia's shore'
* Name misnomers
* In search of silly names
* In darkest London
* Cap'n ahoy - Lloyd's Captains Registers
* Hugging Brown Bess - British soldiers in the American War of Independence
* Who served with Wolfe?
* Teaching the teachers - teacher training
* Preserving the Pepperpot - a Cumbrian monument
* CD reviews
* Web 2.0
* I was a prisoner
* On the tracks - railway ancestors

Issue 68
* Farewell to Myddleton Street
* Treading the travelling boards
* Setting down roots - family history for beginners
* The Baker of Repton
* City of Vice - the profession of thief taker revealed
* What happened to Ernie?
* Cavalry of the clouds - the formation of the RAF
* Destination downunder
* From Brixham to Grimsby - moving in search of work
* The wisdom of crowds
* Online passions for the past
* A rural reminiscence
* Injured and reconstructed

Issue 69
* Insightful inscriptions
* Beavering away in the Borders - Scotland's new Heritage Hub
* From Canada to the Coal Mines
* It was him! - an early lottery winner
* Destitute and deserted
* Adventures overseas - emigration records
* Places of delight - Georgian pleasure gardens
* Great balls of clay - the Devon ball clay industry
* Reading the rolls - electoral rolls
* Saturday night soldiers - the 100th anniversary of the Territorial Force
* Get reunited with your genes - Genes Reunited
* My old nurse Atterbury
* Skin Deep - medieval manuscripts

Issue 70
* Genealogy in the genes - DNA tests
* Heritage Tests - revelation or rip-off?
* A tragic reminder - the Victoria Hall disaster in Sunderland
* Affairs of the heart - divorce records online
* The 'Great Visitation' of cholera
* West Country connections
* Striking back at the Empire - an Edwardian strike at the music halls
* Up in smoke - fire insurance records
* Doing her bit - the women's land army
* Making ends meet
* The novelty of networking - a new computing phenomenon
* Location, Location, Location - ancestors' origins online
* Memoirs of a smuggler
* Ten years on - the Family and Community Historical Research Society

Issue 71
* Dan Snow - TV's history heart-throb
* A class of its own - studying genealogy
* How to be a better researcher
* In charge of inmates - the staff at Northallerton House of Correction
* View from the pulpit - a clergyman's diary
* Gallantry disgraced - a VC winner's story
* Changing fortunes - 17th and 18th century records
* 'I went down a boy and came up as a man' - the Bevin Boys
* Greater than the parts - from the FRC to The National Archives
* Tragedy and tailors
* Weaving across the waters - 19th century lace makers
* A Middle Eastern adventure
* Pride comes before a fall
* Interpreting squiggles - paleography
* Somewhere in France, May 1940
* The Tale of a Tub (and other things) - family mementos

Issue 72
* Kew transformed
* The new Kew - a guided tour around The National Archives
* The busiest man in family history - an interview with Dr Nick Barratt
* The 1900 Olympics
* A fine set of friends - Quaker records
* Teeside Archives
* Misery in the mills
* Scotland's Coronach in Stone
* Thou shalt not - marriage laws
* Who killed the Magpie? - a major project disbanded
* A post-war pilgrimage
* One-place wonders
* Walks with my father
* Back to London

Issue 73
* News from the colonies
* They holidayed abroad
* Heroes with grimy faces - firemen in the Second World War
* Reading between the lines - Railway company magazines
* From the depths of depravity - ragged schools
* A faithful servant - the life of Tita Falcieri
* The enumerator strikes back
* Kingston and the Congo - an Irish explorer remembered
* Minors on the march - army families in the 19th century
* Using the Access to Archives website
* Searching out the relatives - Family Relatives
* Holiday memories
* Where there's a quill there's a way

Issue 74
* Licences at large - a new database of female prisoners at The National Archives
* Document of the month - First flight was a mistake!
* Clothing paupers and pursers - the slop-seller's trade
* A song at the Front - entertainment in the trenches
* Archives on the waterfront - the Merseyside Maritime Museum Archive
* City of beasts - mayhem in Georgian and Regency London
* Last resting places
* "I Gotta 'Orse!"
* Family Search and the 1881 census
* Shout it out - blogs and podcasts deciphered
* Your Archives - the wiki of The National Archives
* From wills to war medals - the Documents Online service
* The man's point of view
* Parchment and pounce

Issue 75
* Reunited by family history
* Certificates -BMD records
* Errors set in stone - memorial inscriptions
* To protect and serve - the history of policing
* House history - black and white houses
* Document of the month - Save your bacon, save our scraps
* Passport registers
* Jack Tar at leisure - looking at the journals of seamen during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
* A boatswain in Nelson’s Navy
* Suffer the little ones - infanticide in history
* Robert Smail’s Printing Works
* Using the web for family history
* Pages of Testimony - the Holocaust remembered
* A Derbyshire childhood
* Beyond the grave

Issue 76
* The origins of parish registers
* Going back before 1837
* Riddles and revelations
* Researching railway relatives
* The Camden Town Murder
* Surveyors in the family - the records of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Library
* The bonny brave boat rowers - the sport stars of the 19th century
* Voices of the Armistice - podcasts from The National Archives
* Their name liveth for ever more - a local war memorial
* House history - Identifying the Stuarts
* Growing up in Derbyshire
* Open the box! - family mementos

Issue 77
* The Nation's Memory - inside The National Archives
* Join Your Friends - Friends of The National Archives
* A Very Wellcome Grant
* Death Need Not Be Taxing
* If You Want To Get Ahead - the hat trade
* Ship Building On The Tyne
* Built For Show
* Minding Their Bellies - Georgian dining
* An Inhospitable Rock - A Remarkable Place, Newfoundland
* For The Criminally Insane - Broadmoor records
* The Empire Christmas Pudding
* A Regency Pantomime
* Waistcoat Duffy - tracing an infamous ancestor

Issue 78
* Benefit from a will
* Documenting Darwin
* “Through adversity to the stars” - the RAF Museum at Hendon
* How do I prove this ancestor is mine?
* Married in secret - Fleet Registers
* House History - Regency splendour
* From the battlefields to the Borders - French POWs in Scotland
* Prisoners in paradise - convicts in Bermuda
* Exposing the defaulters - shopkeepers and debtors at The National Archives
* Prettying up pictures - retouching old photographs
* From the Archives to a field in France - trench maps
* Cymru am Byth: Wales Forever
* Family Tree Maker 2009 Platinum
* Lost in the Baltic - a Polish shipwreck

Issue 79
* Using the 1911 Census
* FAQs
* Website walkthrough
* How it was done - the scanning and transcribing of the census
* Sorting out the census - how it was taken
* Past and present - censuses through the years
* Supplements to the census
* Portrait of a nation - demographics in 1911
* Hesitate no longer - 1911 fashion
* The year in sport
* No votes for women, no information from women
* People like us - the working classes in 1911
* Truth, beauty and design - Edwardian house history
* Internet news
* Census computing - censuses online
* Vivat Rex - the coronation of George V
* Timeline

Issue 80
* Notable Names
* Elizabeth in Danger – a letter from Princess Elizabeth in 1554
* “Doe be joobus, tek a lickle gawp!” – Black Country archives online
* Marking their Cards – calling cards in history
* Extra Special Books – 1911 Census news
* Making Sense of the Census – an overview of censuses
* Making Waves – The Royal Marines Museum in Portsmouth
* Fairfolk – Inside the National Fairground Archive
* How to Read a Document – Palaeography tips
* Treasure Locked Away – the Parish Chest
* The Real Little Dorrit – 19th century debtors’ prisons
* The Age of Revival – Victorian house history
* Britons could be Slaves – White slavery in North Africa
* “Merrily I go to Hell” – a Wren’s wartime experience

Issue 81
* Homecoming in the West – the Homecoming Scotland 2009 celebrations
* Military Records Before 1913
* Hampshire Record Office
* Let your Fingers do the Walking – Trade Directories
* Blissfully Wed? Perhaps Not
* The Fairy of the Phone – The BT Archives
* Document of the Month - “Someone Has Taken Little Teddy’s Life”
* Manorial Documents
* From Cotton Spinning to Coffins – the Wonderful World of Patent Specifications
* Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Beyond – 20th century house history
* The Aftermath – Rebuilding London after the Great Fire of 1666
* Reading the Papers – Online Newspapers
* Society Success – Family History Societies
* Uniting the Wanderers – the JewishGen website
* Coronation Celebrations – the Column

Issue 82
* An Irish Charm – Belfast’s Linen Hall Library
* Tracing your Irish ancestors
* All is not lost – the Northern Ireland Wills Index
* A valuable alternative – Irish Valuation Office records
* The Hearth Tax
* The children who weren’t there
* Open Wide – Dentists
* By command of Her Majesty – Parliamentary Papers
* To pray is to work. To work is to pray
* High Tables and Low Orders
* A Brief History of Women’s Hats
* “Whose name will be immortal…” – Nelson’s memorials
* Document of the Month - The industry of all nations
* To research a life, begin at the end – DeceasedOnline
* Websites on US and Canadian emigration
* What a coincidence!

Issue 83
* The island under the falls
* Calling all Scots
* A Great Northern Light
* Death and Taxes
* Caring from Afar
* Seeking Suffolk Sources
* A Fortune Awaits
* I Died In Hell
* Guardians of the Parish
* Lives of beer and skittles
* Social networking for the Dead
* The fatal shore
* Tales of Local Trees
* Picture for Profits
* Building the bigger picture

Issue 84
* Go Local
* The World’s Favourite Archive
* Registering an objection – A View from Kew
* Tudor Treasure
* Sailing the High Seas – crew lists
* Earliest census
* Painting with your Forebears - artists
* Never too Late to Learn
* The Devil’s Porridge
* Google Booking
* The first draft of family history
* Scan and See
* Who’s Been Living in my House – the Column

Issue 85
* All present and correct (1911 Census and soldiers)
* Learning from the past – school records
* Online maps
* A clue for Mr Whicher
* Barging into family history
* Puss in Pinstripes
* A classy game
* A passage to India
* How we were served
* Grandad’s Army
* Irish Indeed
* Shooting your ancestor
* Aphas and Betas
* You the expert

Issue 86
* The Long Arm of the War
* Meet the Ancestors
* Never at Sea – the story of the Wrens
* Tracing your Second World War Ancestors
* Recording war graves and memorials
* Timber – the work of the Women’s Timber Corps
* View from Kew – Knocking down brick walls
* The Overseer – the dispenser of the Poor Law
* The Patriot Game
* Document of the month
* Signposts to research
* Census Value for Money
* Family Historian 4 - Review
* Hit by the proverbial

Issue 87
* Kew – Professional Research
* Why can’t I find them? - Problem Solving
* Irish Landed Estate records
* Meet the Ancestors
* View from Kew
* Barnardo’s – The Archives
* Case studies
* Document of the Month
* The Road to Tyburn
* Tolstoy Governess
* New Zealand Records Online
* Digital Records
* How they Livedn
* Technofile - Finding the Forces on the web

Issue 88
* Document of the month
* Bawdy courts and more
* Before the Bishop
* Who do you think your ancestors were?
* Human nature in all its forms
* Meet the Ancestors
* Wolverhampton Archives
* Sport of Kings – horseracing records
* Street Life – Georgian London
* Newcastle Fire
* Farmhouse Kitchen
* Local is Best
* Technofile – parish registers
* How they Lived
* Changes at The National Archives

Issue 89
* Document of the month
* View from Kew
* Irish Records
* Technofile
* Ancestors in Business
* Bringing the Western Front Home
* Meet the Ancestors
* Making Search Simple
* An Offshore Education
* Hand in Glove
* Off the Record
* Ancestors at the end of the world
* Trouble on the Tracks
* Biographical Detail
* A Sea of Books
* Online Marketplace
* The Evils of Tea

Issue 90
* Captain Cook's executors
* Exeter Theatre Royal Fire
* Freemasons Archives
* Samplers
* Exeter Wills Revived
* Document of the month
* How they lived
* Interactive Maps
* Researching the Church of Ireland
* The Wicked Wizard of Leeds
* The Medieval Soldier Database
* Meet the Ancestors
* Salt workers
* View from Kew
* Technofile - Off the Boat and into the Archives

Issue 91
* View from Kew
* Document of the month - Horse-Drawn Coaches and Pub Breaks
* Www.wonderful – The National Archives new-look website
* Gravestone Photographic Resource Project
* How they lived - All that glitters...
* My Who Do You Think You Are? moment
* Reading Naval Badges
* By Royal Command
* Footprints from the Camps
* A survey of beliefs
* My ancestor and the log-log slide rule
* Twelve hundred years of family sagas
* Walking the war
* A wife – for a pint and a dog
* Eighteenth century notes on a small island
* Squiggly handwriting and Penny Blacks
* Meet the Ancestors

Issue 92
* Document of the month - Drunk and Disorderly
* View from the Past
* Technofile
* How they Lived
* Off the Record
* Umbrella makers and turtle soup
* Born, married and recorded in London
* London migration: "I'd heard it was such a grand place"
* Ancestors Interview: Roller-skating through Victorian London
* Capital and Labour
* Held to ransom
* Luxury - for a penny
* "The celebrated Justice Spinnage"
* Easy End royalty
* The People of the Abyss
* Mapping the Metropolis

Issue 93
* Hull history centre
* Cash for Corpses
* Value for money
* Kings of the Road
* The Scarlet Riders
* The Strongbox of Empire
* Document of the Month - The Case of the Missing Ear Lobes
* Hanged Girl
* Treasures of the Capital

Issue 94
* Birth, Marriage... and Divorce
* Jacks of all Trades
* Following the Money
* To Russia, with Genealogy
* Document of the Month - The Pocket Flying Machine
* On the Borders of History
* Meet the Ancestors
* Seduced by Miss Lister
* National Treasures
* The Long Drop
* Ships of the Senior Service
* Hotbeds of Crime and Moral Depravity
* Vaccination Records

09 April 2010

Vimy Ridge Day

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) announces the addition of 200 digitized military personnel records to its Lest We Forget website. The records represent 100 men and women who served our country in the First World War, and 100 in the Second World War.

Find the files at Digitized Military Files

In their announcement LAC acknowledges Ancestry.ca who made this work possible.

Am I the only one who finds it a shame that the Government of Canada cannot itself fund such digitization without relying on support from a US-based company?

Ancestry adds Perthshire School Registers of Admission and Withdrawals

Another product of the Ancestry World Archives Project, this collection consists of the registers of admission, progress, and withdrawal of students that were admitted and then withdrawn from school covering the years 1869-1902. As a volunteer project there is a free index.

"The records include the date of admission to the school, the name, date of birth of the child, name and address of parent or guardian, last school attended, date and reason for leaving. It was the responsibility of the Head Teacher to keep these records and update them on a weekly basis. However, not all records are complete and they sometimes omitted to fill in all the columns, especially the reason for leaving. Most of these registers cover schools that have since closed."

08 April 2010

For the librarian and archivist

Several items came in overnight, via Resource Shelf, worth noting by those responsible for Library and Archives services.

1. A list of social media resources, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr Photostream and Twitter being used by the National Science Foundation to maintain contact with their client base www.resourceshelf.com/2010/04/08/the-very-social-national-science-foundation/

2. A note that David Ferriero, Archivist of the U.S. who is also a librarian, has a new blog titled, AOTUS: Collector in Chief which is described as “The Archivist’s Take on Transparency, Collaboration, and Participation at the National Archives.” One of the things mentioned is the "need to develop a comprehensive social media strategy for the agency, which will include internal and external communication efforts using new media tools."

3. An article "Digital Information Seekers: New Report Analyzes and Synthesizes 12 Separate Studies" Among the central findings are the following:

  • Disciplinary differences do exist in researcher behaviours, both professional researchers and students.
  • E-journals are increasingly very important to the process of research at all levels.
  • The evidence provided by the results of the studies supports the centrality of Google and other search engines.
  • Google is often used to locate and access e-journal content.
  • At the same time, the entire Discovery-to-Delivery process needs to be supported by information systems, including increased access to resources.
  • Journal backfiles are particularly problematic in terms of access

The realities of the online environment observed above led several studies to some common conclusions about changing user behaviours:

  • Regardless of age or experience, academic discipline, or context of the information need, speed and convenience are important to users.
  • Researchers particularly appreciate desktop access to scholarly content.
  • Users also appreciate the convenience of electronic access over the physical library.
  • Users are beginning to desire enhanced functionality in library systems.
  • They also desire enhanced content to assist them in evaluating resources.
  • They seem generally confident in their own ability to use information discovery tools.
  • However, it seems that information literacy has not necessarily improved.
  • High-quality metadata is thus becoming even more important for the discovery process.

In addition, some common findings regarding content and resources arise:

  • More digital content of all kinds and formats is almost uniformly seen as better.
  • People still tend to think of libraries as collections of books.
  • Despite this, researchers also value human resources in their information-seeking.
Read the summary, including a link to the full report, at www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/reports/2010/digitalinformationseekers.aspx