31 March 2011

Ancestry's submission agreement

I recently considered sending my complete GEDCOM to Ancestry, but restricting access by not agreeing to the default  "Allow others to see my tree as a public member tree"

When I unselected the option some paragraphs popped up informing of the benefits on which I'd be missing out.

Then I had a look at the Submission Agreement which you have to select for the upload to proceed.

What I read shocked me.

Despite deselection of the  public member tree option I would still be agreeing that "Ancestry may reproduce, compile, and distribute, all information about non-living individuals in your submitted GEDCOM file."

Despite later statements about private member trees it's not clear that they over-ride Ancestry's right in the clause above.

It appears that Ancestry continue to have the right to use the GEDCOM submitted even if the data is deleted by the member. perhaps because an error is found.

Thanks. but no thanks

    PRONI News

    On March 30 the new Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) opened at its 30 million pound headquarters at 2 Titanic Boulevard, Titanic Quarter in Belfast. The transfer to the new site involved movement of over 40km of documents.

    See the exterior of the new building in the YouTube video below.

    Chris Paton attended on opening day. Read his review at the Scottish GENES blog.

    PRONI is at http://www.proni.gov.uk/.

    Also, earlier in the month 53,000 new entries were added to PRONI's Name Search facility comprising eight further pre-1858 will indexes and an index to coroners’ inquests extended by ten years to 1920.

    30 March 2011

    Hampshire BMBs new at Findmypast.co.uk

    Findmypast.co.uk have added 1,447,671 new baptism, marriage and burial records from roughly 300 Hampshire parishes.

    Type of
    Number of




    The Hampshire Genealogical Society provided findmypast.co.uk with these records, in association with the Federation of Family History Societies.

    LAC to double genealogy data online within a year

    Librarian and Archivist of Canada Daniel Caron has made a commitment that "over the next year, Library and Archives Canada will double the volume of its online content, adding millions of genealogy images to its website, in partnership with Ancestry.ca."

    At an appearance before a Parliamentary committee, on February 28, Caron made the commitment as part of an opening statement and answered questions.

    It appears the new content referred to is largely that presently available on Ancestry.ca for which a three year exclusivity period with Ancestry expires in June this year.

    In the meantime, with a federal election now underway, there is an embargo on any new announcements by government. Last election that included any additions to online databases at Library and Archives Canada. Don't expect any new data on the LAC site until May at the earliest.

    In the same committee hearing, in response to questioning from MP Bill Siksay, Jean-Stéphen Piché appearing with Caron stated that "We have already undertaken the digitization of several million documents that were done by Ancestry.ca; that information is available on our website for free, and also available for a fee on the Ancestry.ca site. It's a non-exclusive arrangement."

    Committee members may not have gained a totally accurate impression. LAC does negotiate periods of online exclusivity, as a quid pro quo for digitization and indexing. Afterwards the information is available to become free on the LAC site, if web services get around to it. During the exclusivity period there is free public access to the databases on Ancestry in the LAC building at 395 Wellington, and at many public libraries through their subscriptions to the Ancestry Library service.

    29 March 2011

    Irish church photos

    Looking for a photo of an Irish church? A Flickr group called "Churches of Ireland" includes nearly 2,500 photos which you can view, but are copyright protected. Examples of this excellent photography are: Dunlewey Parish Church & The Poison Glen,
    Askeaton AbbeySt Matthew's Church, Scarva , County Down

    With billions of photos online it's hard not to find something of interest on Flickr.

    Thanks to BIFHSGO colleague Anne Sterling for pointing to this collection.
    The image shown, not from the Flickr collection, is © 2011 The Multimedia Library

    Ancestry adds UK, Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919

    Information on UK naval personnel deaths in WW1 is included in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database at www.cwgc.org, but the information in this transcription database, newly posted by Ancestry.co.uk, may add additional detail. Read about the database at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1963

    28 March 2011

    TNA Podcast: Heralds and heraldry at The National Archives

    Adrian Ailes, a Principal Records Specialist at The National Archives, Fellow of the Heraldry Society and an academician of the Academie internationale d'héraldique. The excellent talk, given at TNA on 25 November 2010, is described thus:

    The National Archives holds possibly the greatest collection of untapped source material for heralds and heraldry in this country. This lecture examines evidence stretching back over eight and a half centuries: seals, illuminated manuscripts, medieval rolls, treaties, grants of arms, state occasions, architectural drawings, military badges and even wooden chests. The result is an astonishing and colourful display of what is often unknown heraldic material.
    It's truly unfortunate the "colourful display" is not available to podcast listeners. In this case, where the material is from TNA's own collection, and there should be no copyright issue, it's most regrettable that the visuals were not linked.

    The Dead Man's Chest

    A story from the Ottawa Citizen about a genealogical study returning family heirlooms to the next of kin.

    FreeBMD March update

    The FreeBMD Database was updated on Sat 26 Mar 2011 and currently contains 199,087,156 distinct records (253,382,265 total records).

    The bulk of the newly added records are from 1946 to 1952.

    27 March 2011

    The dog ate my homework

    The following from The Times, Aug 13, 1794, page 3, column 1, should be filed under "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"

    Thanks to Jane MacNamara for the tip.

    OGS Toronto Branch Monthly meeting

    Monday, 28 March 2011

    Why not make your own web site?
    Randy Saylor
    Randy will show how easy it is to set up a free web site, share some of his own experiences and comment on elements that bring focus to good web sites.

    Mini-presentation: Elayne Lockhart "A Crime Writer in the Family Left His Own Clues"

    The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. in the Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Hall, Concourse Level, North York Centre (North York Centre Subway Station)

    26 March 2011

    Free census access on UK Census Day

    March 27 is census day in the UK. Ancestry is offering free access to their historic UK census collection for 24 hours. Further information at: http://goo.gl/DvTjh

    Digitization at LAC

    A new notice has been posted on the LAC website.

    LAC's New Digitization Project - By the Public, for the Public
    Library and Archives Canada needs your help! We are testing a new digitization process and creating a searchable online database of public documents. We have the equipment; we have the documents; now all we need is you! If you plan to visit 395 Wellington Street, in Ottawa, to consult and to photograph documents, please come by our new space and join the project.
    What is in it for you?
    Free use of our equipment (tripods, digital cameras)
    Free backup of your digital copies
    A dedicated space on the third floor at 395 Wellington Street
    Attribution for the images you upload
    A chance to learn more about preservation techniques, manipulating archival documents, and digitization

    Why are we doing it?
    To protect documents by reducing the number of times originals are handled
    To increase our digital content
    To make digital copies freely available and easily discovered by people
    To provide clients with immediate and personal access to Canada's rich documentary heritage

    For more information or to sign up, please contact:
    Carol-Ann McColgan
    Project Officer
    Open Content Division
    Telephone: 613-996-7393
    Worth investigating! 

    Book Review: Time Traveller's Handbook

    Time Traveller's Handbook: a guide to the past
    Althea Douglas
    Dundurn Press
    ISBN 978-1-55488-784-2 (softcover) $19.99/£12.00

    Imagine sitting down for a conversation with a veteran genealogist, one who has an MA from McGill, a CG(C) certification, extensive research experience, publications dating back to 1958 including several in the past two decades published by the Ontario Genealogical Society with interesting titles like "Help! I've inherited an attic full of history" and "Here be dragons!"

    The conversation skips across a range of topics and is peppered with stories, information about past times, and wisdom distilled by the fire of experience and cool of judgement.

    That's what you'll find in this new, nearly 350 page, volume published by the OGS and Dundurn Press. in 16 eclectic chapters plus end material.

    Chapter 5 "Money", goes into the currency our ancestors used. Perhaps like me you used tanners and half-crowns and know how many of one there are in the other. But you may be as flummoxed as I was over Halifax currency and York currency.

    Chapter 13 "Health in the Past" explains what was meant by apoplexy, dropsy and ship fever.  A timeline mentions that in 1892 a worldwide cholera pandemic killed some two million people.

    Chapter 15 has a list of early magazines.

    Chapter 16 will tell you the difference between a brig and a schooner; and what is meant by Wavy Navy.

    As pointed out in the book's introduction, this is the type of information available on the internet - somewhere - and you can waste a lot of time hunting for it. To find it in the book there's a comprehensive seven page index.

    As with any veteran you're liable to hear favourite stories repeated, in this case not within the book but items are recycled from older material in Here Be Dragons! and Here Be Dragons Too! Even the title harks back to a phrase used in the introduction to Genealogy, Geography, and Maps.

    I enjoyed delving into the Time Traveller's Handbook. It finds its target "family historians working in Canada whose ancestors originated somewhere else" and will find a place on my bookshelf.

    There will be a book launch at 8:45am next Saturday, 2 April, at Gene-O-Rama with copies available for purchase and signing at the Ottawa Branch OGS stand.

    Marta, a Publicity Assistant at Dundurn Press has interesting background on Althea in a blog posting at:  http://www.definingcanada.ca/2011/03/18/how-i-became-a-time-traveller/

    25 March 2011

    LAC reopens

    Update - 395 Wellington St., Ottawa

    Library and Archives Canada's facilities located at 395 Wellington St. in Ottawa have reopened and regular operations have resumed at this site. Any events planned for this location on March 25 and beyond will take place as originally scheduled. Library and Archives Canada apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the temporary closure on March 24.
    Posted: 25 Mar 2011 7:46:20 ET

    More on comparing family history magazines

    Thanks to fellow family history blogger Chris Paton, at Scottish GENES, we can add the one missing UK national family history magazine to the survey.

    Your Family Tree
    Chris writes that the spring issue of "Your Family Tree", which appears on North American newsstands with an outside cover title "Your Family History" has 100 pages, is 100% colour, with a cover price of £4.99 ($7.88) and 22 pages of ads. That's 7.9 cents per page, or 10 cents per pages not counting ads. There is a cover CD.

    The UK prices escalate enormously on Canadian newsstands. I saw the February issue of Your Family Tree (History) for nearly $18 at Chapters recently.

    Chris also mentions that in this case there is an online edition available by subscription £36.66 for 13 issues (normally £54.08 for print copy), or at £4.16 each. You do miss out on the cover CD. 

    In summary of the survey: Family Tree (UK) is the lowest newsstand cost (5.9 cents per page), the other three UK magazines are within 1 cent per page of 8 cents per page. North American family history magazines are all a fraction over 12 cents per page. UK magazine newsstand prices in Canada are at double or more UK prices.

    WDYTYA: Steve Buscemi

    This evening, Friday, sees a new episode of Who Do You Think You Are on NBC and CITY TV in Canada at 8pm EDT. Actor/Director Steve Buscemi, who grew up in Italian Brooklyn, known for playing bad guys, discovers a questionable character among his ancestors.

    One week to Gene-O-Rama

    Ottawa Branch
    Ontario Genealogical Society
    Presents the 28th
    1-2 April 2011
    Library and Archives Canada
    395 Wellington, Ottawa ON
    Topic: Ancestors on the Move
    Speakers: Fawne Stratford-Devai, Lesley Anderson of Ancestry.ca, Shirley Ann Pyefinch of the Ottawa Stake Family History Center, Doug Hoddinott, Gilles Magnan, Kyla Ubbink and more to be confirmed

    24 March 2011

    Problems at LAC - updated

    I received a phone call to reschedule a meeting at 395 Wellington as the building is closed.


    The following background information from a client visiting was sent to me last evening

    The extremely loud fire alarm could not be turned off in spite of the fire department giving the OK for people to go in and or stay in.  The fire alarm system forces the ventilation fans to turn off and there is no over-ride of this!  The result was that the humidity increased beyond the limits for document environment, but that didn't affect people.  When I left after two hours the technicians were still working on it.  I don't know what happened to the film showing that people were queueing up for, but unless it was a silent film I guess the showing was cancelled.  
    My own little problem was that the copier in the circulation reading room was out of paper, and access to the tray for loading more paper is locked, and, contrary to former times, the security people are not allowed to unlock it.  

    The following notice is now posted on the LAC website

    Special Announcement


    Please note that due to technical difficulties, the facilities of Library and Archives Canada located at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa will be closed until further notice. Pending further notification, all events scheduled for March 24th have been cancelled. Library and Archives Canada apologizes for any inconvenience caused by this temporary closure. For further developments on this situation, please consult this website.
    Posted: 24 Mar 2011 9:44:20 ET

    BIFHSGO: out with the old, in with the new

    BIFHSGO has a new web look. Director (Communications) Susan Davis has been leading a project, and doing much of the work herself with considerable help from Brian Glenn, to put the new Society web persona in place. Susan gave members a preview at the last monthly meeting. It's now live at www.bifhsgo.ca 

    Susan is using the analogy of moving into a new house, much of the material from the old one is being moved, but everything may not have been placed where you'll feel quite at home yet. One advantage promised for the new site is easier updating and maintenance, meaning the site should not be vulnerable to the one and only person who knows how to maintain it getting "hit by a bus." The design is by Webworx Design Group using EasyNetSites.com Webware.

    One new item that is in place is information on the 17th Annual BIFHSGO Conference, September 16-18. It still lacks some bells and whistles which should be incorporated in the coming weeks.

    The previous site served the Society well, including winning awards, thanks to the efforts of the previous webmaster Andy Coates. Prior to him the role was filled by Doug Hughes, David Walker and originally by Margaret Burwell. Each would agree they benefited from the efforts of those that came before and collaborators who provided content, just as Susan has.

    Comparing family history magazines

    Commercial family history magazines operate in a niche market. Nobody is forced to buy them.

    Unlike society periodicals, that come as a benefit of membership in an organization which provides other services you perhaps value more, the commercial magazines live and die, and several have died in the past couple of years, based on how well they meet client needs.

    Your need for a magazine primarily depends on your family history. Only your can evaluate which magazine, if any, is best for you.

    Below is a basic comparison of several newsstand magazines focusing on cost, excluding point of sale added taxes. It is most useful for magazines competing in the same market, with similar cost structures, so the North American and UK based magazines are separated.

    North American based
    Family Chronicle and Internet Genealogy http://www.familychronicle.com/ and http://internet-genealogy.com/
    These are Canada-based publications catering to an integrated Canada/US market. The April and May issues each contain 56 pages, 43% of which are in colour, for a newsstand price of $6.95. The cost is 12.3 cents per page, or if you exclude the 16 pages of ads, 17.4 cents per page.
    Family Tree Magazine (US) http://www.familytreemagazine.com/
    Caters primarily to the US market. The May 2011 issue contains 74 full colour pages and a Canadian cover price of $8.99. That's 12.1 cents per page, and excluding 14 pages of ads, 15 cents per page.

    The UK based magazines below use an ISO standard A4 page size which is 3% larger than the North American 8.5" by 11" standard.
    BBC Who Do You Think You Are? http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/

    The March 2011 issue, number 45, has 100 pages, 100% in colour, and a newsstand price of  £4.99 = $7.98. That's 8.0 cents per page; 9.3 cents per page discounting the 16 pages of ads. It has a cover CD proclaiming full products worth £22.
    Family Tree (UK) http://family-tree.co.uk/
    This magazine catering to the UK market is the longest established and likely has the largest international circulation. Based on the March 2011 issue which has 124 pages, 100% in colour, and a newsstand price of £4.60 = $7.35, cost is 5.9 cents per page, or if you exclude the 26 pages of ads, 7.5 cents per page. This issue also has a cover CD which boasts free records worth £60.
    Your Family History http://www.your-familyhistory.com/
    The March 2011 issue of this magazine, number 12, which commenced publication in 2010 has 76 pages, 100% in colour, with a newsstand price of £4.25 = $6.79. That's 8.9 cents per page10.8 cents per page excluding 13 pages of ads.

    My ideal magazine would help with my research interest in England and Wales, and cover developments which don't depend on ancestral background (software, social networks). The magazines that cater to that need are published in the UK. If found on a Canadian newsstand the price is typically doubled or even tripled. Exorbitant surcharges are made for overseas subscriptions, something that could be circumvented by offering electronic versions. UK magazine publishers are missing out on what could be an attractive market.

    23 March 2011

    HSO March Meeting

    The next meeting of the Historical Society of Ottawa features a presentation by Martha Edmond "The Paradox of Rockcliffe". The meeting, on Friday, March 25, starts at 1pm at the Routhier Community Centre, 172 Gigues Ave in Ottawa.

    Evacuees, Brinckman and Superfluity

    A project I occasionally come back to one way or another, and which often leads along curious paths, is researching child evacuees to Canada from the UK during WW2. The children who came with the government program, known by the acronym CORB, are well documented; those who came privately not so.

    A list of unaccompanied child evacuees found at LAC lists not only child's names but in some cases the Canadian host, sponsor or other affiliation. In Ottawa they are: Ashbury College; Lady Brinckman, Rockcliffe; and Mrs. M. Dimsdale, Chateau Laurier.

    I wondered who Lady Brinckman was. The Ottawa Citizen archive delivered with a 3 July 1941 article "Party in Aid of Two War Efforts"  which informed that "Mr and Mrs W M Southam will host the party with their daughters Lady Brinckman and Mrs Napoleon Brinckman. "

    Getting the item printed in the Citizen must have been no problem. Wilson Mills Southam was publisher of the Ottawa Citizen, son of William Southam, founder of the Southam chain of newspapers.

    Lady Brinckman was the former Jean Peter Southam who married Capt Sir Theodore Brinckman, Bart, on June 12, 1939. She returned to Ottawa and the parental home, along with her sister Margaret who had married a younger son, Roderick Napoleon Brinckman.

    Aside from holding parties, and sponsoring evacuees they did other charitable work as mentioned in passing in a letter to the Citizen published in June 1943 in which Margaret enquires about a verse embroidered on an old sampler found in the " Shop" where she was working.


    I asked an aged man, a man of cares,
    Wrinkled and white with hoary hairs;
    "Time is the warp of life," he said, "And tell,
    The young, the fair, the gay, to weave it well!"

    I asked the ancient, venerable dead,
    Sages who wrote, and warriors who bled;
    From the cold grave a hollow murmur flow'd,
    "Time sowed the seed we reap in this abode!"

    I asked a dying sinner, ere the stroke
    Of ruthless death life's golden bowl had broke
    I asked him "What is Time?" He replied
    I have have lost it 'Ah, the treasure" and he died.

    Of life had left his veins: "Time!" he replied;
    "I've lost it! ah, the treasure!" and he died.

    and concludes

    I asked Old Father Time himself at last;
    But in a moment he flew swiftly past–
    His chariot was a cloud, the viewless wind
    His noiseless steeds; which left no trace behind.

    I asked a mighty angel, who shall stand
    One foot on sea, and one on solid land;
    "By Heaven," he cried, "I swear the mystery's o'er;
    "Time was," he cried, "but Ti ...

    The letter concludes that the verse breaks off leaving a dangling thread, and asks if anyone can send her the complete poem.

    These days you don't need a father in the newspaper business to find the answer.

    Googling the first line gives almost 200 hits, and attributes the verse to Marsden. Read it at http://bit.ly/iapmZC

    You may also be curious about the Superfluity Shop. It operated at 23 Nicholas St, but I leave it as "an exercise for the reader" who wants to find out more.

    22 March 2011

    The Family and Local History Handbook 13

    There's nothing like it on the side of the Atlantic, which is a pity, eh!

    While in London at Who Do You Think You Are, Live I was one of several hundred people who picked up the 13th edition of The Family and Local History Handbook. That's in advance of the official release on 30 May 2011.

    The Handbook is rather like a genealogy magazine, but a bumper one, an annual edition. At 450 pages and weighing 800 grams (1-3/4 pounds) its a sizable volume.

    The first 232 pages, 60 articles, run the gamut from straightforward information such as "General Register Office – Certificate Services", to descriptions of institutions such as "The Jews' Free School" and events such as "The Wreck of the Royal Charter", to the saga of "Henry Jenkins" who lived to see a total of nine monarchs on the English throne.

    The next three short sections are on Welsh, Scottish, and Irish research respectively, a total of 36 pages. Then there's a section of five articles on digital genealogy, set off by being printed on blue paper, followed by 12 articles on military history.

    The last major section, printed on yellow paper and comprising 90 pages is the Genealogical Services Directory. It has contact information for family history societies in the UK and overseas, libraries, record offices and archives, registrars of births deaths and marriages, probate records registries and sub registries, cemeteries and crematoria, museums, military museums, and police records and museums. The information given is usually the organization name, mailing address, website, and sometimes e-mail address.

    A full table of content is at http://www.genealogical.co.uk/flhh13.html

    The cover price is 10 pounds, plus 12 pounds for p&p outside Europe. Order at www.genealogical.co.uk

    If there's nothing new to you in this volume you're probably ready for that family history credentials examination.

    Regimental histories at the Internet Archives

    Two regimental histories have recently been added to the Canadian Libraries collection of the Internet Archives

    Historical record of the Ninth, or the East Norfolk Regiment of Foot [microform] : containing an account of the formation of the regiment in 1685, and of its subsequent services to 1847 (1848)

    Historical record of the Sixty-first Gloucestershire Regiment of Foot [microform] : containing an account of the formation of the regiment in 1758 services to 1844 (1844)

    The Ninth twice saw service in Canada. You won't likely find names of any but the most senior officers in these histories.

    Other histories for UK, Canadian and some other regiments can also be found by searching the Internet Archive texts.

    21 March 2011

    MAPCO adds Stanford’s Library Map Of London And Its Suburbs 1872

    The latest addition to MAPCO's collection of free London maps and views online, now 72 items from AD 190 to 1925, is the 1872 edition of Stanford's huge and highly detailed Library Map of London at http://london1872.com

    Compiled from 24 sheets at an original scale of 6 Inches to 1 Eng. Statute Mile;  or 1:10560, the map complements the 1864 and 1878 editions already on the site.

    You can compare these three maps using the links:

    Stanford's Library Map Of London And Its Suburbs 1864 & 1872
    Stanford's Library Map Of London And Its Suburbs 1872 & 1878
    Stanford's Library Map Of London And Its Suburbs 1864 & 1878

    Kudos for Doug Hoddinott

    It's hard to think of anyone in Ottawa who contributes more to the local family history community.

    Now Doug Hoddinott is being recognized by the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogy Society. As written up in the Ottawa Branch News:
    "Doug has provided the technical support to branch meetings, Gene-O-Rama, Seminar and other events for many years. He has been one of the organizers of the Computer Research Room at Gene-O-Rama, supplying many of the computers for the researchers. Doug has often spoken about various aspects of Family Tree Maker and is always available to discuss computer issues."
    Doug will be continuing his service at Gene-O-Rama including giving a presentation "Merging On-Line Data Into Family Tree Maker."

    BIFHSGO had previously recognized Doug's contributions in naming him to its Hall of Fame.  The citation reads:
    "for his contributions to family history through outstanding service to the Society during the past thirteen years including five years as Membership Director and Vice-President and as an active member of the Conference Planning Committee. He has assisted the Society and many of its members with his expertise in both computer hardware and software. At meetings, conferences and workshops he has provided leadership to ensure the availability of audio-visual facilities. He has made several presentations at Society meetings. His organizational skills and attention to detail has been a major factor contributing to the success of the Society."
    Doug will be a speaker at September's BIFHSGO conference on "Family Tree Maker 101: Getting the Most from the Most Popular Genealogy Software"

    Congratulations Doug, and thanks for all your contributions.

    Swinnerton Vimy casualty

    British military historian and genealogist Iain Swinnerton has an article, Soldier, bookbinder & commissary, in the March issue of the UK's Family Tree Magazine about his extended family member William Swinnerton who served in India.

    In a closing paragraph he mentions William's grandson, Aysceau Francis Robert William Swinnerton, who was killed in action in 1917 at Vimy Ridge while serving with Canadian Forces.

    We are approaching the anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge on 9 April. What was Swinnerton's part in the action?

    His Commonwealth War Graves Commission file gives very basic information, only initials, rank, regiment, and a date of death of 1 March 1917, and that he is remembered at the Vimy Memorial.

    The date of death means it was in preliminary action, before the iconic battle.

    His one page (officers) attestation paper gives a home address, that of his father, as 31 Avenue Road in Toronto, born in India, date of birth 10 October 1892, and that he was an undergraduate at the University of Toronto.

    Although listed as nationality Canadian by the CWGC the family were all born in India and part of the major immigration Canada saw prior to the Great War. They had travelled on the Royal Edward from Avonmouth to Quebec arriving on 10 May 1911 bound for Toronto.

    There is a short biography in the University of Toronto Roll of Service 1914-1918 (scroll down)

    Lieutenant, Seventy-fifth Battalion. [March 1, 1917
    Son of Robert William Swinnerton; b. Hyderabad, India; ed. Vale College, Ramsgate, and Dean Close School, Cheltenham, Eng. ; Applied Science 1912-14; 2nd Regt., Lieut.
    He volunteered for service in 1914, but owing to defective eyesight was not then accepted. For several months he was employed on the Toronto Island Guard. Early in 1916 he was appointed to the i66th, Queen's Own, Battalion, and went overseas in October. After serving at Shorncliffe as Instructor in Bayonet Fighting, he went to France in December and joined the 75th Battalion. In the attack at Vimy Ridge on March 1st, 1917, he reached his objective and was placing a machine gun in position, when he was shot by a sniper. Believed to have been buried where he fell.

    According to Nicholson, G. W. L. 1962. Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War: Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919. 1700 members of the Canadian forces, including the 75th,  attacked on the night of 28 February-1 March. "The venture was almost a complete failure." Casualties numbered 687.

    A younger brother, Aylmer Aberffraw Swinnerton, also served with the CEF and survived the war.

    20 March 2011

    TNA Podcast: Family history resources at The National Archives

    Gerry Toop, a TNA Reader Adviser, provides an introduction to the main sources for family history research available via The National Archives website. Topics covered include the online catalogue, online resources (including licence associates) and Documents Online, and the research signposts. 
    Toop emphasises not entering information in too many search boxes -- "less is more".  

    He uses the external version of the website, not the one accessed when at TNA, so you can open your browser to the site and following along with the presentation.

    Although the presentation was given on 10 June 2010 the website is much the same as it was then.

    19 March 2011

    New Ontario releases from Archive CD Books Canada

    The latest newsletter from Archive CD Books Canada announces publication of Papers & Records Vol.III (1901) Ontario Historical Society. If you have early Ontario area ancestors perhaps they will be mentioned in one of more of the component articles:

    - Early Records of St. Mark's and St. Andrew's Churches, Niagara. By Janet Carnochan
    Baptisms in Niagara, by Rev. Robert Addison [1792-1832] |
    Weddings at Niagara, [1792-1830]
    Burials, Niagara, [1792-1829]
    Register of Baptisms, commencing, Township of Grimsby [1817-1822] |
    Register of Marriages, Township of Grimsby, U. C. [Aug., 1817 to April, 1822]
    Register of Burials in the Township of Grimsby [1817-1822]
    Register of Christenings in the Presbyterian Congregation, Township of Newark, Upper Canada [1795-1814] |
    Register of Births and Baptisms, St. Andrew's Church, Niagara [1830-1833] |
    Marriages celebrated by Rev. Robert McGill [1830-1834]
    (Gleanings: Baptisms & Christenings in CAG092; Weddings & Marriages in CAG093: Burials in CAG094)
    - German-Canadian Folk-Lore. By W. J. Wintemberg. Gleaning: CAG095
    - The Settlers of March Township. By Mrs. M. H. Ahearn. Gleaning: CAG096
    - The Settlement of the County of Grenville. By Mrs. Burritt. Gleaning: CAG097
    - Recollections of Mary Warren Breckenridge, of Clarke Township. By Catherine F. Lefroy.
    - A Relic of Thayendanegea (Capt. Joseph Brant). By Mrs. M. E. Rose Holden.
    - Some Presbyterian U. E. Loyalists. By D. W. Clendennan.
    - The Migration of Voyageurs from Drummond Island to Penetanguishene in 1828. Includes a List of the Drummond Island Voyageurs. By A. C. Osborne. Gleaning: CAG098
    - Portrait of Father Marquette.
    - A Brief History of David Barker, a United Empire Loyalist. By J. S. Barker.
    - The Old " Bragh, " or Hand Mill. By Sheriff McKellar.
    - The Ethnographical Elements of Ontario. By A. F. Hunter, M. A. Gleaning: CAG099

    The reference to gleaning is to articles extracted from the volume and available seperately.

    You can order these, and see other Archive CD Books Canada offerings, at www.archivecdbooks.ca
    or wait for Malcolm and Chris to bring there collection to Gene-O-Rama in Ottawa at the start of April, the OGS Annual conference in Hamilton in May, the Quebec Family History Society Roots 2011 conference in Montreal in June and the BIFHSGO conference in Ottawa next September.

    Keep up with news from Archive CD Books Canada through the newsletter. Subscribe by sending an email to Books@ArchiveCDBooks.ca with the Subject line:   Subscribe  . On Facebook find the Archive CD Books Canada wall at: http://tinyurl.com/FaceBk-ACDB-Can

    18 March 2011

    Internet Genealogy: April-May 2011

    SOCIAL MEDIA & YOUR GENEALOGY! featured on the front cover of the new issue of Internet Genealogy highlights articles on "Genes Reunited" by Marian Press and "Five Ways to Use Social Media to Find Your Family" by Gena Philibert Ortega.

    For those who attended Marian's recent BIFHSGO presentation the article reflects the same enthusiasm for Genes Reunited for those of us with UK ancestry which she suggests we at least visit, register and try the free search facility.

    Gena Phillibert Ortega goes a bit beyond the scope of conventional social networking sites including the document sharing sites www.scribd.com and www.mediafire.com. Unfortunately the only strictly genealogical social networking site she mentions is the one she is associated with, www.genealogywise.com

    Browse the full table of contents for this issue, which has articles by Lisa Alzo and Daniel Lynch,  regulars Tony Bandy and David Norris with the second part on US Civil War resources state by state, and others at http://www.internet-genealogy.com/

    Ancestry.com stock: review and prospects

    Ancestry.com stock closed on 17 March at $30.39. From initial offering at $13.50 in November 2009 the price of climbed to a peak of $38.69 reached on 16 February. Since then ACOM has slipped.

    Also on 16 February Joshua Hanna replaced Christopher Tracy as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Ancestry.com. The following week, on 24 February, the company released it's most recent quarterly results. Earnings matched expectations. However, it was the first quarter since the stock went public that ACOM had not beaten estimates. Subscriber growth, 5% in the previous quarter, had slipped to 1.3%.

    On 8 March the company released its annual report for 2010. While the subscriber base rose substantially in 2010 so did the number of employees, advertising expenditures and the cost of obtaining a subscriber. There are also statements in the report indicating the company recognizes it is operating in an increasingly competitive market, especially with the energetic development of familysearch.org.

    Insider trading appears bearish.  The past six months have seen company insiders selling 554,000 shares in 16 transaction, as recently as 14 March by Mr Hannah, while just one insider transaction, for 5,800 shares, was a purchase.

    Analysts estimates are for a 40% drop in net earnings per share for the first quarter of 2011 over the previous quarter. First quarter results are expected to be released on 25 April. Analysts anticipate recovery in the second quarter.

    17 March 2011

    Newspaper digitization, an LAC opportunity

    Brightsolid, holding company for Findmypast.co.uk and other genealogy properties, is featured in an interview Lisa Louise Cooke of the GenealogyGems TV podcast did with Chris van der Kuyl, company CEO, at the recent RootsTech conference.

    Toward the end he mentions the newspaper digitization project the company has with the British Library, and that they are looking for opportunities in the USA.  Hopefully they won't overlook opportunities in Canada where Library and Archives Canada doesn't appear to be making noticeable progress on Canadian newspaper digitization. The LAC pathfinder on newspapers does recognize collaborative arrangements as an option for their newspaper digitization.

    See the interview below

    via Chris Paton's Scottish GENES blog

    Famine and Shipwreck, an Irish Odyssey

    CBC is breaking their fast on historical programming today, St Patrick's Day, March 17, to broadcast "Famine and Shipwreck, an Irish Odyssey" on The Hannah which was shipwrecked on its way to Canada from Ireland in 1849. Descendants of some of those saved live in the Westport, Ontario, area.

    For a preview see: www.thefamineshiphannah.com

    There is also a newspaper article, by Randy Boswell at:

    via Charles Donohue and The Ottawa Irish Research Group

    16 March 2011

    Findmypast.co.uk improves overseas, at-sea and army birth and marriage records search

    Searching Findmypast's overseas, at-sea and armed forces birth and marriage records no longer means having to read through page images that might contain the name sought. A search now looks for the full name, not just whether the name falls within the range of names on a page. You can also narrow the search by region and mother's maiden name,

    For more information and to search the records click on:

    Progress in genetic genealogy

    It's a while since I covered developments in genetic genealogy. There's lots going on, especially with analysis of autosomal DNA, the 22 chromosome pairs we all have, half from father, half from mother.

    Each chromosome we get from a parent is a mixture (recombination) of their two corresponding chromosomes. Fortunately the mixture is fairly course, large chunks come from one or other of your parent's chromosomes.

    In my own case I have my own and my mother's autosomal DNA analysis done by 23andMe. The test shows conclusively she's my mother, or I'm her son! Our relative ages restricts the possibilities!

    The remainder of my DNA came from my father, but from which side of each chromosome pair is unresolved.

    My colleague Bryan Cook has been examining a recent paper  “Phasing the Chromosomes of a Family group When One Parent is Missing” in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy , 6(1), 2010, p1-12 by Whit Astley.

    Bryan writes that phasing by Whit’s technique, using three or more fully tested siblings and at least one parent, to separate the two sets of SNP bases according to their source chromosomes, opens the door to genealogical applications such as reconstruction of the “missing parent”, identification of grandparents, which side of the family does a new match fit, perhaps further proof of non-paternal events.

    Another article in the same issue of the Journal of Genetic Genealogy, by Ann Turner, points out some distinctive features of a region of chromosome six which exhibits considerable variability, but the recombination rate is low. It holds out the possibility of using sections of these more stable chromosomes to look further back in our ancestry than would be expected if the recombination rate were uniform.

    We are fortunate to be witnessing the emergence of such DNA techniques for family history that are opening up possibilities unimagined by most of us in the genealogical community only a decade ago.

    FamilySearch adds England and Wales census for 1841

    On March 15, as a continuation of their cooperation with Findmypast.co.uk, FamilySearch have placed online searchable transcripts of this first nominal census for England and Wales.

    Results returned are: name, gender, age (ususally rounded down to nearest year ending in 0 or 5, birthplace (whether in county of residence), record type, registration district and sub-district.

    There is a link to the original image from Findmypast.co.uk on a for-fee basis.

    Ancestry updates British databases

    On March 14 Ancestry.co.uk updated three databases:

    British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920
    England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index: 1837-1915
    England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915

    15 March 2011

    Book Review: Tracing Your Family History on the Internet

    Tracing Your Family History on the Internet
    Chris Paton
    Pen & Sword Family History
    ISBN 978-1-84884-268-7 (softcover) £12.99

    This is a new, 2011 publication produced with the UK family historian in mind. The nearly 200 pages are divided into 10 chapters, plus front and end material.

    Chapter 1, Gateways and Institutions provides basic advice on research procedures and pitfalls. Those who purchase the book lured by the title, and coming from the school that believes all that's needed for researching family history is the Internet, will not get beyond page four before they read that "not everything is online, and what is not yet available ... can be equally as important as what is."  However, the resources online are the major ones and will meet many needs. The major sources in the UK are the subject of the remainder of the chapter.

    Chapter 2, Genealogical Essentials, recites sources for BMDs, church records, censuses, probate and conformation, directories, maps and gazetteers, newspapers and nobility and gentry. The different sources for England and Wales, Scotland and (Northern) Ireland are spelled out. Occupational Records are the topic of chapter 3 with half the pages dedicated to the armed forces.

    Chapter 4, at 78 pages the longest, deals with resources for England on a county by county basis. This is reference material, not a chapter you'd want to read through. I looked at the section on the county of Norfolk which in just under a page and a half contains 19 urls, all bolded for easy identification. It starts with the major county sites, moves into some locality-specific offerings and ends by mentioning specialized sites for gamekeepers, pubs and mills.

    Chapters, 5, 6 and 7 do the same for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively.  Scotland, with 30 pages dedicated to it is generously treated.  Chris has his own entry, Researching Scottish Family History, in a crowded market for Scottish family history books.

    Short chapters on Crown Dependencies (The Channel Islands and Isle of Man), Empire and Migration, and Social Networks come next, with a bibliography and index rounding out the volume.

    I'm a bit wary of books that deal with Internet resources. They tend to go out of date quickly as websites change and new resources come online. That's exacerbated by publication lag. You are also faced with typing in contorted web addresses and the attendant risk of error. 

    Chris, whose genealogy blog I value and visit regularly, deals with these concerns early. For two of the 19 Norfolk sites shortened form of address are used for the more complicated urls.  He suggests using the  Wayback machine to recover sites that may have disappeared. For the one Norfolk site that responded with an error message, it may have been a temporary problem, the Wayback machine recovered part of the site. 

    In going through the Norfolk sites I found a couple that were new to me. They didn't add to my own family history. There were also some missing local sites but more of interest for history and heritage rather than family history.

    This is a book I'd prefer to have available online to avoid having to type urls. As an experienced family historian familiar with much of the content I'll keep the book to hand for a while as a reference but aren't sure it will replace my usual googling for sources. Newcomers to family history, likely attracted by the title, will find good value in this handy reference.

    The Amazon.ca site has the book available for sale pre-release in Canada (May 2011) for $17.72.

    In the UK Pen & Sword have the book available for £10.39 from (http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/?product_id=2974)

    Family history in Forever Young

    The March issue of the Ottawa edition of Forever Young is out, and available online at

    It includes an article by Brooke Broadbent, an Ottawa writer and BIFHSGO member, the first in a montlhy series on family history in which he will offer practical advice in researching and writing about your ancestors. 

    In the same issue is the latest in a long running series, Capital Lives, by Valerie Knowles, this on Arthur Doughty, poet, historian, archivist and man of letters.

    Doughty was also mentioned prominently last year in Glenn Wright's presentation "Sex, Lies and Archives" which I understand may be presented again at an event next year. It's not to be missed. Stay tuned for further information.

    14 March 2011

    Celebrating today

    Celebrating five years of the Anglo-Celtic-Connections blog.

    There are 2,865 posts in the blog archive.  Want to find out if a topic has been covered? However you get the blog, from the site, via RSS or email, the easiest way to find past materials is to do a Google site search.

    1) Go to Google Advanced Search at http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en
    2) As appropriate enter your search term in the boxes beside "all these words", "this exact wording or phrase" and/or "one or more of these words"
    3) Beside "Search within a site or domain" enter    http://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.com/
    4) Click Advanced Search at the bottom right.

    Each time you read a blog item that's one step closer to the 350,000 total page views milestone the blog should reach by the end of the month.

    Thank you for reading Anglo-Celtic-Connections

    BIFHSGO Conference Speaker: Audrey Collins

    One of two overseas speakers at next September's BIFHSGO conference, announced by President Glenn Wright last Saturday, is Audrey Collins.

    In this YouTube clip Audrey is interviewed by blogger Chris Paton at the WDYTYA Live conference last month.

    At the conference Audrey will be giving three presentations:Tracing Your English Ancestors in The National Archives; The Fleet Registers: clandestine marriages in London 1667-1754 and; The London Gazette, not just the brave and the bankrupt.

    Ottawa Branch OGS March Meeting

    Tuesday, 15 March 2011, 7:00 p.m.

    Library & Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa: Room 156
    Topic: Taking the Mystery Out of Your History

    Speaker: Penny-J Samek, Professional Genealogist.
    The Fairbrother Story; Fact or Fiction, Penny will tell us about her research journey to discover her family tree.

    13 March 2011

    Social networking and genealogy

    For the third successive month BIFHSGO had a record turnout for its monthly meeting, this time for Marian Press presenting on Social Networking and Genealogy. 

    Marian put emphasis on the general social network sites Flickr and Facebook. She was less enthusiastic about Twitter complaining that often it is used to routinely announce every genealogy blog posting. This does get tiresome, especially when several people retweet the same item.

    Social network aspects of the broader genealogy sites Ancestry, Footnote and Genes Reunited were also stressed. She was less enthusiastic about the genealogy specific social network sites, although noting that some of them link to the general sites like Facebook.
    A non-copyright infringing version of the slides used are on Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/skottowe/bifhsgo

    Family Tree DNA in Toronto

    The Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto are hosting Family Tree DNA founder Bennett Greenspan presenting "What We Can Learn from DNA Testing to Help our Genealogy Research" on 23 March 2011.
    There's more information at http://www.jgstoronto.ca/content/view/372/86/

    12 March 2011

    TNA Podcast: Sources for tracing agricultural labourers

    A comprehensive presentation given last July at TNA by Mark Pearsall, Principal Records Specialist - Family History

    He makes the case that agricultural labourers, known variously prior to the 1841 census as husbandman, farm servant, farm labourer or by their specific role such as carter, are far from boring and that you can trace them and/or find out about their lives.

    This talk emphasizes the records of the old and new Poor Law, and other types such as those of farms and manors. These may be available in The National Archives, parish and county records, and manor, estate and farm sources. Knowing where to look is often an issue, one where improved catalogues are helping the researcher.


    11 March 2011

    Handouts from WDYTYA Live

    The Society of Genealogists have posted handouts from more than 30 presentation given at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live event at London's Olympia, 25-27 February.

    They vary in length. The largest files, comprised mostly of PowerPoint slides, are:

    In and Out of the Record Office - An overview of what information can be found in church registers before 1837 by Alec Tritton (4 meg)
    Stuck in London? Resources at the Library of the Society of Genealogists and elsewhere - Founded in 1911 as the Society of Genealogists of London the SOG library holds some unique and remarkable resources for anyone researching London Families by Else Churchill (4 meg). There are also some additional notes provided by Else to accompany this presentation.
    Finding Nonconformist Records Online - This talk will look at websites that contain nonconformist records by Alec Tritton (4 meg)
    How Do I Research Before 1837? Sources at the Society of Genealogists and elsewhere - For some getting back before the census years can be a challenge by Else Churchill. (4 meg)
    Beyond the Census and BMDs: fleshing out the skeleton - The first records most family historians search are censuses and birth, marriage & death records by Ian Galbraith. (5 meg)
    Lesser Known Sources for Family History - An illustrated exploration with examples and case studies of the unusual sources for research into the lives of ancestors by Eric Probert. (4 meg)
    Records of Deaths and Burials - All good genealogists learn to kill off their ancestors. Records of death and burial can be tricky to find but often provide the vital clues by Alec Tritton (5 meg)
    The National Wills Index - Wills are probably the most important source of information to the family historian after census records and bmds - and typically provide far more interesting information than either by Ian Galbraith. (5 meg)
    Family History in the Thames Valley - This lecture will advise you of the many available resources both online and at local archives by Chad Hanna and Gillian Stevens. (4 meg)
    Caribbean Genealogy - The unique Caribbean Family Dynamic and how it can affect/impede research by Sarah Tomlin. (5 meg).

    Don't overlook the others which may be just a single page, but contain lists of useful websites.

    Find the complete set at http://www.sog.org.uk/events/2011show-handouts.shtml

    TNA podcast: In the High Court of Justice

    From a presentation at TNA last September, Chris Watts examines the records of the Chancery Division of the High Court (the post-1875 successor of the Chancery Court). This talk shows what is available and how to find your way around the documents, illustrated by a long-running case in which a five generation family tree can be developed from the documents and information on a bigamous and an illegal marriage is revealed.


    10 March 2011

    New York State, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1917-1973

    Ancestry have added this database and while I wouldn't normally look at US records for the blog I did run the name of a friend and found him arriving at Buffalo. Even more unusual, and something not indicted in the information file as being included in this source, he arrived by air, the origin being Prestwick, Scotland. He was living in the Niagara Falls area so Buffalo would be a convenient terminal.Yet another example of the benefit of grabbing for serendipity and running your searches on unlikely looking databases.


    BIFHSGO March Meeting: Social Networking and Genealogy

    Marian Press, a Toronto-based librarian and genealogist whose new book Education and Ontario Family History was reviewed here recently, is the guest speaker at BIFHSGO March meeting, Saturday 12 March at 10 am.

    Marian will speak on modern social networking sites. Are they more useful than their predecessors in uniting family historians? Are they worth trying? Which types of sites are most likely to be around in the long term?

    Come early. BIFHSGO members can pick up the Spring Anglo-Celtic Roots, hot off the press. You don`t need to be a member to come to the presentation, browse and ask questions at the Discovery Tables; meet family history experts;  enjoy some coffee, tea and cookies.

    The program for the annual BIFHSGO conference, September 16-18 at Library and Archives Canada, will be announced atthe meeting.

    Visit www.bifhsgo.ca for more details.

    09 March 2011

    Wrexham Cemetery Burial Records Online

    View Wrexham Cemetery in a larger map
    Online searching is available for burial records of Wrexham Cemetery, 140 Ruabon Road, Wrexham, in North Wales. Coverage is from 1876 (when the cemetery opened) to 1989.

    The returned details include:

    • Burial number – a chronological reference number issued for each burial since the cemetery opened in 1876
    • Surname of the deceased
    • First names of the deceased
    • Age of the deceased at death
    • Place of death
    • Date of burial
    • Number of the grave plot in which the deceased was interred*
    • Burial section in which grave is located**
    • Year of burial

    08 March 2011

    Ancestry App for iPad

    The following is a press release from Ancestry.ca.

    (Toronto, ON – March 8, 2011) - Ancestry.ca, Canada’s leading online family history website[i], today announced the availability of Ancestry - its new FREE app for iPads and iPhones[ii].

    Built specifically to deliver a compelling tablet experience, the new Ancestry app brings to life on iPad’s large screen multi-generational family trees complete with images of original family records and photos, making iPad a powerful tool for users to display and share their trees with family and friends in an interactive, highly visual way.

    A dynamic, intuitive user interface and integration with Ancestry.ca makes it simple for users to record memories, edit vital information, document life events and organize photos, and also for use in conducting field research, collection and documentation. 

    A scaled down version of the app for the iPhone, which includes features for navigating a family tree and viewing records already attached to a tree, is also available for free download in the iTunes App Store.

    Introducing Ancestry.ca to this compelling platform takes the website one step closer to its mission of helping everyone discover, preserve and share their family history.

    Roger Dunbar, Managing Director for Ancestry.ca, comments: “The new Ancestry apps make exploring and sharing your family history research even easier. Those with the app on either the iPad or iPhone can record information to add to their family tree 'on the go', as well as share their family tree, old photos and records with friends and family wherever they are.”   

    “We are committed to leveraging the latest technology to make what we offer on Ancestry is easily accessible and enjoyable to use for family history novices and experts alike, whether at their desks or in the field.”

    The Ancestry app for iPad and iPhone is now available for free at the iTunes App Store.

    Ancestry updates Irish collections

    Irish researchers have updated versions of Griffith’s Valuation, 1848-1864 and the Tithe Applotment Books, 1823-1837 now available on Ancestry. There is no information on just what is added - give it a try for your ancestral Irish interests.

    Ireland, Ordnance Survey, 1824 - 1846

    Ancestry have added these detailed maps at an original scale of six inches to one mile.

    According to Ancestry they

    "offer an unparalleled look at 19th-century Ireland around the time of the Great Famine.
    The English Parliament ordered Major Thomas Colby to Ireland in 1824 to undertake a survey of the country. His teams of surveyors would produce detailed maps on a six-inch = one-mile scale that would be used to determine land valuations for tax purposes. The maps were finally published in 1846. They cover almost the entire country and include details of the smallest civil division of the time: the townland.
    This collection can be used in conjunction with several other databases on Ancestry.com, such as Ireland, Index to Griffith’s Valuation, 1848-1864. Researchers who find ancestors in other Irish databases can often locate where they lived on the ordnance survey maps.
    Map sheets 108-125 are missing from the collection. These sheets cover approximately 10 percent of County Galway, mainly in the south of the county."
    The scale of the maps is such that you need a good grasp of the wider geography to use the maps effectively. It is a collection that warrants a more detailed description of the use in combination with other Irish resources than presently provided.