31 August 2011

FamilySearch adds Michigan, Detroit Manifests of Arrivals at the Port of Detroit, 1906-1954

There are more than 850,000 images, arranged alphabetically by name, for individuals entering the United States through the Port of Detroit, 1906-1954. Includes a few records of persons entering at Port Huron, Sault St. Marie, and other Michigan ports.

Although these are not indexed if you know your alphabet you can soon hone in on a name of interest. Generally includes the following information:
Birth place
Last permanent residence
Name and address of relative or friend
Port and date of entry
Name of ship

I've been reminded that often links to individual FamilySearch databases don't work. You're best to go to https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/list and scroll down to Michigan entries.

Book notice: DNA and Social Networking

Debbie Kennett, editor, author and British genealogist of the avant-garde has produced a new book which I shall be reviewing on the blog.
DNA and Social Networking has been in the works for some while. In January Debbie wrote on her blog that the manuscript was with the publishers The History Press for publication in October, now November. That's time for a rigorous editorial process, something one might expect from the publisher of Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History and of The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers both of which I keep readily to hand at my desk.

Thanks to Debbie for sending me the table of contents for DNA and Social Networking, copied below.

Foreword by Chris Pomery 7
Preface 9
Acknowledgements 12
I The genetic genealogy revolution 15
1 The basic principles 17
2 Surnames and the paternal line 23
3 Before surnames: haplogroups and deep ancestry 52
4 The maternal line: mitochondrial DNA tests 63
5 Cousins reunited: autosomal DNA tests 80
6 Setting up and running a DNA project 99
II The social networking revolution 109
Introduction 111
7 Traditional genealogical networking methods 115
8 Genealogy social networking websites 126
9 General social networking websites 140
10 Blogs 156
11 Wikis 165
12 Multimedia 178
13 Collaborative tools 189
Appendix A DNA websites 197
Appendix B Testing companies 201
Appendix C DNA projects 204
Appendix D Surname resources 208
Glossary 209
Bibliography 214
Index 217
Debbie mentioned that it is "written very much from a British perspective with a focus on resources for Brits and the application of DNA testing for people living in the UK." In Canada we get accustomed to reading books written for audiences elsewhere, mainly the US, and it only becoming available several months after UK publication.

The Ontario Name Index

If you have genealogical interest in Ontario you should know about TONI. Find out in this article by Mike More on the OGS Ottawa Branch blog.

30 August 2011

Now online from LAC: Census of Canada, 1871

The following is a notice from Library and Archives Canada

Ottawa, August 30, 2011— The 1871 census marked the first regularly scheduled collection of national statistics, and Library and Archives Canada is now pleased to make its results available online. Researchers can access digitized images of original census returns featuring the name, age, country or province of birth, nationality, religion, and occupation of Canada's residents at the time.
The information covers the four provinces that were part of the Dominion of Canada in 1871: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.
Access to the digitized images of the 1871 census is available online in two different ways:
For more information, please contact webservices@lac-bac.gc.ca.

LAC on advisory mechanisms

Library and Archives Canada has posted an item Services Advisory Board which suggests the approach it intends taking to identify and respond to client needs. Here is the text:

At the final meeting with members of the Services Advisory Board in 2010, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) committed to developing its advisory approach during 2011. The new approach will provide LAC with an ongoing capacity to address the diverse service needs of clients
In May 2011, LAC convened a Stakeholders Forum, comprised of approximately 40 individuals representing national library, archival and historical research communities and organizations. The wide-ranging discussions led to a consensus on the concept of a Pan-Canadian Documentary Heritage Network and supporting initiatives. These initiatives include collaborative approaches to acquisition, collection management, digital preservation, metadata, and discovery tools.
The Stakeholders Forum will meet twice a year as an umbrella consultative body for LAC issues. LAC will continue its role as a convener and as an enabler through this adaptable approach to shared decision making
As well as the Stakeholders Forum, LAC's Resource Discovery Sector will establish a systematic and broad-based advisory capacity that will consult with experts in the field, encourage client feedback on Sector operations, involve organizations with similar mandates, and engage LAC clients and the public at large. Specific activities will include the following:
  • Recurrent meetings with experts, individually and in small groups, to provide advice on key strategic issues over the next year. Cecilia Muir, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Resource Discovery Sector, has met with many organizations and individuals during 2011, including the Canadian Council of Archives, the Canadian Library Association, the Association of Canadian Archivists, and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council.
  • Efforts to reach beyond LAC's traditional stakeholder communities through ongoing survey and consultation initiatives. The Resource Discovery Sector is examining Web-based options for dialogue, such as wikis and blogs, as well as in-person options, such as survey panels.
  • An online, standardized feedback mechanism to enable clients to provide ongoing feedback about LAC services at www.LACListens.ca.
  • Active collaboration with individual experts as follow-up to the Stakeholders Forum to inform the modernization of LAC's access and discovery services.
As the public-facing area for services at LAC, the Resource Discovery Sector will look for creative ways to engage all of its stakeholders and client groups in this ongoing consultation process. The Resource Discovery Sector will evaluate this process by the first quarter of 2012, and at that time will communicate a new strategy for consultation reflecting what has been learned of shared priorities, insights and opportunities.
The emphasis in the text above is mine. 

The Stakeholder Forum is a mystery. The LAC website is silent. Who are the 40 members? What is the mandate: advisory, consultative, something else? How will the public be able to follow the work and deliberations of this body? 

LAC undertakes to develop 
a "systematic and broad-based advisory capacity" for its Resource Discovery Sector. This announcement is mostly about a process by which such a mechanism, or mechanisms, will be developed. In other words, more process.

Use of Public Space at 395 Wellington Street: 2012 and beyond

The following notice dated August 19, 2011 now appears on the LAC website.
In order to align the use of public spaces at 395 Wellington Street with government-wide practices, effective January 1, 2012, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) will assume responsibility for the use of the ground floor public spaces at this location. The public spaces include the Auditorium, the Auditorium Foyer, Room A, the Main Entrance Lobby, Room 154 and Room 156. All existing bookings made by Library and Archives Canada for 2011 will be honoured.
Library and Archives Canada will continue to update this webpage as more information becomes available. For further information, please write to PWGSC at Biensimmobiliers.RealProperty@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.
Many organizations have long been using these facilities in cooperative pursuit of their own and LAC's mandate. Now that LAC is abandoning this aspect of how it does business there is naturally concern that as Public Works and Government Services Canada does not have such a cultural mandate there will be a significant impact on the user community. The present uncertainty regarding availability, and on what terms, for 2012 and beyond is not helpful to such organizations embarking on their programs for the next 12 months.

29 August 2011

Genealogy and longevity

Living to age 100 isn't something most of us spend a lot of time worrying about. I don't. The editors of the Wall Street Journal have it in mind and look at the real possibility of people living way past 100, and the implications in this article.

Naturally they don't consider the implications for family history.

Would having great-great-grandparents around change our approach to exploring our roots? As oral family history became potentially more available would we exploit the potential devoting more time to it? After all it's the rare genealogist who doesn't regret they didn't find out more from an elderly relative before it was too late. Or would we procrastinate as many have before?

Would our family history societies prosper as older people continue to take an interest in their roots?  Or would they suffer as people delayed becoming interested because they had to continue on in the workforce beyond today's retirement age when many start taking exploring their roots seriously?

Perhaps before this becomes an issue we'll reach the limits of genealogy, everyone will be connected to the grand family tree, or a few trees, pushed back to the practical limit of existing records.

For a time there will remain some family history to explore as we discover more about our ancestors' lives. But that too may well dry up. There surely is a practical limit on how much of the minutiae of their lives we actually care about.

Conversation with Sherry Irvine

The latest in my series of conversations with BIFHSGO conference speakers is with Sherry Irvine, one of the foremost genealogists in Canada and well known in the US and UK.  In her presentation Sherry will discuss four aspects of advanced research:

  • Evidence orientation—have you got the right perspective?
  • Thought processes—how are your powers of analysis and reasoning?
  • Record selection—can you ask the right questions?
  • Trailblazing—can you find alternate routes when the way is blocked?

Listen to this and other conversations in the series at http://bifhsgo.ca/blog/

28 August 2011

Oxford County Library Databases & Indexes

I'm always delighted to find and publicize public libraries that go the extra mile for local family historians.

Elizabeth Lapointe, on her Genealogy Canada blog, gives a shout out to Ontario's the Oxford County Library's online resources:

Newspaper Indexes
  • Ingersoll Chronicle - birth, death and marriage index
  • Ingersoll Tribune - birth, death and marriage index

    Vital Statistics
  • Town of Ingersoll Vital Statistics: Births (1896 - 1909)
  • Town of Ingersoll Vital Statistics: Deaths (1896 - 1934)
  • Town of Ingersoll Vital Statistics: Marriages (1896 - 1924)
  • Oxford County Genealogy Records (1793 - 1858) 

    Cemetery Records
  • Ingersoll and Area Cemetery Index
  • Cemeteries in the County of Oxford includes headstone photographs!

    Census Records
  • Town of Ingersoll Historical Census
  • Township of North Oxford 1861 Census

    Land Records
  • Oxford County Land Patents (1798-1852) 

    Local History Books & Indexes
  • Index to History of North Oxford Township 1867-1967
  • Index to Ingersoll: Our Heritage by Henry W. Whitwell
  • Index to The Axe and the Wheel: a history of West Oxford Township, 1790-1974
  • Index to With Mortar and Pine: a collection of the architectural heritage in the Township of Norwich
  • Autobiography of Thomas Brush Brown, 1804-1893 : a pioneer of East Nissouri Township
  • From the Roaring 20s to Y2K by Elsie McSpadden
  • Zorra Boys at Home and Abroad or How to Succeed by William Alexander McKay
  • Pioneer Life in Zorra by William Alexander McKay
  • Musings on the Banks of Canadian Thames by James McIntyre
  • Zorra by William M. Campbell
  • Souvenir Manual of the Embro Congregational Church

    Directories, Gazetteers & Voters' Lists
  • 1852 Oxford Gazetteer by Thomas S. Shenston
  • 1857-58 Directory of Oxford
  • 1871 Gazetteer of Oxford County : Ingersoll (11 MB)
  • 1877 Town of Ingersoll Voters' List NEW
  • 1883 Town of Ingersoll Voters' List NEW
  • 1894-95 Town of Ingersoll Directory
  • 1908 Union Publishing Company's Directory of the Town of Ingersoll(12 MB)
  • 1911 Town of Ingersoll Directory NEW
  • 1927 Town of Ingersoll Telephone Directory NEW

    History of the Town of Ingersoll
  • Town of Ingersoll Historical Photo Gallery
  • Industrial Ingersoll Illustrated, February 1907
  • Industries of Canada : Ingersoll, 1887
  • Ingersoll in the Eighteen Seventies : excerpts from the Ingersoll Tribune
  • Index to Ingersoll: Our Heritage by Henry W. Whitwell
  • The Ingersolls of Hampshire in the line of John Ingersoll of Westfield, Massachusetts by Charles Stedman Ripley
  • History of the Town of Ingersoll by James Sinclair, 1924
  • 1947 Ingersoll Fall Fair Souvenir Program 

  • There even more. Go to http://www.ocl.net/genealogy/.

    Family Chronicle: Sept/Oct 2011 issue

    The new issue of Moorshead magazines flagship publication Family Chronicle is out.

    The lead article is "Eastern European Research Made Easier!", by frequent contributor Lisa A Alzo.  Notice it says easier, not easy. She proposes seven strategies to help in your search none of which are very different from those a North American would be wise to use in searching for their overseas roots. Naturally the details of the sources vary.  It's an example of why it's good practice not to ignore articles, or conference presentations that don't seem directly relevant to your interests. You may just pick up an approach, technique or strategy you can adapt to your situation.

    Regular contributor David A Norris appropriately leads off the black-and-white section of the magazine with "Tracing a Chimney Sweep in the Family" which is followed by "Utilize Patents As a Source of Information" explaining the family history information you can glean from these documents set down in black and white.

    Janice Nickerson provides what she terms a very brief overview of the history of the United Empire Loyalists and the (most useful) records they left behind.

    Many North American genealogists know Maureen Taylor for her expertise in interpreting historical photographs. Her article in this issue is an excerpt from her book Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album. It's followed by 3 1/3 pages of photos from the 1860s and 70s. I'd like to have seen rather more explanation of those.

    The most interesting article to me was "mtDNA Yields Amazing Surprise." mitochondrial DNA, passed down from mother to child, is often of not great interest to the genealogist except if you happen to have inherited a rare haplotype. That's the basis of the story recounted by Eve Sprunt.

    Read the full table of contents of the issue  at www.familychronicle.com

    Other news of Family Chronicle, or more generally Moorshead Magazines, is that the companion websites are to be switched to use the EasyNet Sites service which continues to gain popularity in the family history community.

    27 August 2011

    Music from the Glen

    BIFHSGO member Barbara Tose will be interviewed on Ottawa's CKCU 93.1 FM during the show Music from the Glen around noon on Sunday 28 August, for 5-10 minutes talking about her BIFHSGO conference presentation “Master and Mariners: sounding the depths of merchant marine records” and the conference in general.

    Music from the Glen airs from 11:30am to 1pm featuring traditional music from the British Isles and beyond and is streamed live at www.ckcufm.com.

    News from findmypast.co.uk

    An e-mail from Deborah Chatfield has news of data sets recently added, all but one already reported in this blog, and a change in price structure.

    The records not previously mentioned are for the parishes of Greenwich and Rotherhithe in Kent, over 18,000 baptism, marriage and burial records from 1825-1871.

    The remainder of Deborah's message follows:


    Findmypast.co.uk has also this week lowered its prices. An annual Full subscription to the website allowing access to all the historical records on the site is now priced at £109.95, down from £129.95, while the annual Foundation subscription is now down from £91.95 to £79.95. Both include the complete 1911 census for England & Wales.

    Paul Yates, Head of findmypast.co.uk said "We're committed to making family history as affordable as possible, while still ensuring that we continue to deliver a steady stream of fascinating, new family history records to our customers every month.
    Lower prices are always appreciated, although as a loyal subscriber I now only feel half as much appreciated as with the previous 20% loyalty discount. I also noticed that the company no longer makes the commitment that the price paid by their loyal customers will be the lowest offered. Is that a change, or just on a omission?

    Findmypast.co.uk have also changed the organization and look at their website, something I intend commenting on later.

    Call for Speakers: Finding Your Great War Ancestors

    The following is announcement from the Toronto Branch of OGS regarding an event on March 31, 2012. 

    The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and the Canadiana Department of North York Central Library will be co-hosting a one-day workshop on Finding Your Great War Ancestors.

    You are invited to submit proposals for lectures on any topic relating to the workshop theme. Workshop attendees will be most interested in lectures emphasizing sources and research techniques that might prove useful in their own research. Most attendees will be interested primarily in the British or Canadian armed forces.

    Except for case studies discussed below, each session will be one hour long, including five or ten minutes for questions. Presentations should be illustrated—we can provide a computer and computer projector. Speakers will also be expected to provide a handout of supporting material (up to four pages) which we will photocopy for all registrants.

    In addition we are also seeking shorter presentations of case studies. Each case study session will be 20 minutes long. Speakers will be expected to provide a page or two of supporting material.

    Full-lecture speakers will be paid an honorarium of $100 per lecture, plus reasonable travel expenses for those coming from a distance or a flat $25 for the incidental expenses of local speakers. The honorarium will be higher for a topic selected for a plenary session. Those presenting case studies will receive $35. All speakers will receive complimentary registration for the full workshop.

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


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

    To submit proposals or to ask a question about the event, please contact the workshop coordinator, Paul Jones, at announcements@torontofamilyhistory.org.

    26 August 2011

    FamilySearch adds England, Diocese of Durham Bishops' Transcripts ca., 1700-1900

    108,288 browseable Diocese of Durham Bishops' Transcripts ca., 1700-1900 record images are now online from FamilySearch.org/.

    These are for:

    Cumberland (Alston, Alston with Garrigill, Haltwhistle)
    Durham (109 parishes)
    North Durham (Ancroft, Cornhill)
    Northumberland (96 parishes)

    Yorkshire (Ayresome, Brompton, Cotherstone, Cowesby, Deighton, Hutton Bonville, Kirby Sigston, Leake, North Otterington, Northallerton, Osmotherley, Thornton le Street, West Rounton

    As you can see from the above example, these are images from the original. It's salutary to occasionally to look at early original records and gain a renewed appreciation of their limitations.

    LAC consultation milestone

    On 26 February 2008 LAC held an open public consultation.

    In advertising the event LAC said "These sessions represent the first in a series of public consultation meetings as part of LAC's new consultation initiative focusing on the delivery of its public services. These ongoing consultations are open to all LAC users and will include both public meetings and opportunities to provide feedback through the Internet and by mail."

    It's now exactly three and a half years since that first public meeting, the only one held so far. That's breaking faith with the clients who believed LAC's word was to be trusted that things would change.

    Unfortunately it's another LAC example of Cows may come, cows may go, ..... ?

    25 August 2011

    79,842 new parish records for Gwent on findmypast.co.uk

    Gwent is basically the modern Welsh name for the historic English county of Monmouthshire. 

    The baptismal, marriage and burial records in this collection, are available through the efforts of various branches of the Gwent FHS and the Federation of Family History Societies. 

    Records available are for the parishes of Abersychan, Bedwelty, Chepstow, Goytre, Llanover, Monmouth, Mynyddislwyn, Risca, and Shirenewton.

    The records cover some events within the period 1634 to 1933.

    Liverpool Quaker and England Apprenticeship records new on Ancestry

    Two new British data sets debuted on Ancestry.

    39,049 records are from Liverpool, England, Quaker Registers, 1635-1958. Quaker records are usually considered to be carefully kept. According to Ancestry's documentation 
    Records in this database include birth, marriage, and burial records, as well as membership records and Monthly Meeting minutes. Membership records include Inward Certificates, detailing names of people joining a new Meeting and including the name of the Meeting where the person previously resided; Outward Certificates, recording people leaving one Meeting for another; and Membership Lists, which provide a snapshot of a Meeting’s membership at a particular time. 
    Monthly Meeting minutes are available through browse only, though each book does start with an alphabetical index. Most minutes are from the Hardshaw West Monthly Meeting.
    The larger collection, 523,575 records, is England, Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices' Indentures, 1710-1811.  Chris Paton found this item first and blogged on it at http://goo.gl/HJj5x

    With tongue firmly planted in cheek I'll comment that Chris appears burdened by an affliction especially virulent amongst the Scots, acquired perhaps through being nurtured on a surfeit of oats. Both Chris and Audrey Collins dwell on the exact meaning of terms describing the political and administrative geography of the British Isles. Audrey has a whole webinar on it here.

    For the non-specialist Michael Flanders said it best, encapsulated in the use in headlines "Another triumph for Britain" or "England loses again."

    24 August 2011

    More on the UK Family Tree e-magazine

    It's been a few days since I posted on the newly available electronic versions of the UK's best selling genealogy magazine Family Tree. I've now had an opportunity to give it a good trial.

    Back issues are available to May 2010. I've been reading the September issue using the app on my iPhone which also works on the iPod touch and the iPad. I can't comment on the iPad experience nor the Android version.

    Installing the app is no different from any other. It costs $2.99 which includes one issue.

    Starting the app brings up a screen where you can connect to an issue already purchased, buy an issue or a subscription. Six and twelve issue subscriptions are available.

    Opening an issue takes you to a full page image of the front cover, then if you are returning to the issue you are taken to the page most recently open. You navigate through pages by sliding a finger across the screen. In portrait orientation touching the bottom of the screen opens a quick view panel, with page numbers prominently shown so you can quickly move to a desired page.

    You can read headlines on the iPhone page image, then double tap to zoom in a factor two. That's still not large enough to read comfortably so you then need to do an expanding pinch. You move about the page by dragging the image with your finger.

    You can bookmark a page to return to later.

    I was surprised that there is no separate electronic index for this edition so you can go directly to an article, nor is there any ability to search the text.  The product is page images of excellent quality even for the most magnified image.

    Online you get to read new issues six weeks before they appear on Canadian newsstands, and it costs much less. What you don't get is the cover CD and the need to dispose of the magazine and CD when no longer needed.

    I will be subscribing.


    23 August 2011

    Book Review: Tracing Your East End Ancestors

    Tracing Your East End Ancestors: a guide for family historians, by Jane Cox, 2011. Published by Pen and Sword Books Limited, 47 Church Street, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S70 2AS.
    ISBN 9781848841604. Paperback, 256pp, illustrations, index. £12.99

    Consult this guide if you're struggling researching ancestors who lived in Aldgate, Artillery Liberty, Bethnal Green, Bishopsgate, Blackwall, Bow, Bromley, East Smithfield, Limehouse, Mile End, Mile End New Town, Milwall, Norton Foldgate, Old Ford, Portsoken, Poplar, Ratcliff, St Katherine's, Spitalfield's Stepney, The Isle of Dogs, Tower Liberty, Wapping or Whitechapel, all now within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

    The book comprises an introduction and list of abbreviations, nine chapters, the last three very short, eight appendices, and a comprehensive 19 page index.

    Chapter 1, a summary history of Tower Hamlets, considers the area's evolution from pasture, forest and marsh, a home to farmers, fishermen and suburban gentry, to a center for maritime and related activities, a magnet for migrants to, by 1850, "a seething boil of poverty and overcrowding on the side of the richest city in the world," to today's redevelopment.

    Chapter 2, Research, is an outline of the archives, websites, together with advice on researching your family history, much of which is more generally applicable than just to the East End.

    Chapter 3, The Prime Sources, deals with civil registration, the census, and parish records for baptisms, marriages and burials, mainly in the established church. there are sections on marriage indexes, irregular marriages, and marriage licenses.

    Chapter 4, Other Major Sources, starts with a good discussion on probate, moves on to more locally oriented records: cemeteries, schools, directories, voters lists, hospitals, newspapers and magazines and a variety of tax records, and ending with mention of manorial records mainly of interest for the earliest period.

    Chapter 5, Records of Groups, covers nonconformists, immigrants  such as Irish Catholics, Huguenots, Jews and others. An extended section on paupers and orphans (Poor Law) includes brief mention of home children.  Criminals are briefly mentioned.

    Chapter 6, Occupational Groups, includes  dockers, seamen, waterman and lightermen, soldiers, the policeman, shipbuilders, match girls, clergy, prostitutes and railway workers.

    Chapter 7 and 8, are brief treatments of The Second World War – the Blitz and The Street/House They Lived In.

    Chapter 9, less than a page in length, is on maps. A website at www.mernick.co.uk/elhs/mapgallert.htm described as "a wonderful online source" no longer leads to such wonders, but is worth recovering from the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. Eight maps in the book helpfully show various aspects of organization and settlement.

    The appendices are a trove of detailed information on the local records that exist and where to find them.

    Jane Cox, whose East End ancestry can be traced back many generations, was formerly with the Public Record Office and for more than 20 years since has been an author and private genealogical researcher specializing in Tower Hamlets. Her long experience with these records, and familiarity with the area shines through. While there is mention of her own ancestry in the area it illustrates rather than detracts from this comprehensive presentation.

    Some technical issues which should have been rectified by the publisher do detract from the book. The first map is entirely out of focus; another showing London Poor Law boundaries would have been better presented in a whole page format to allow adequate discrimination of the East End jurisdictions.

    While I only tried a few of the web addresses several were incorrect owing to misspelling or bad punctuation. It was usually possible to find the site with some searching.  

    Tracing Your East End Ancestors is listed at $18.99 on Amazon.ca although not presently available. It is in stock at GlobalGenealogy.com and there will be copies available at the BIFHSGO conference.

    This review is based on a copy received from the publisher.

    22 August 2011

    Tom Devine interview in The Scotsman

    In 2002 BIFHSGO's Don Whiteside Memorial Lecture was given by Scottish academic Tom Devine on the topic "On the Make: Scots in the British Empire in the Eighteenth Century."

    The 20 August Scotsman published an interview with Devine by David Robinson on the occasion of Devine's latest book To The Ends of the Earth, about the 2.3 million Scots who left their homeland between 1825 and 1938. It also marks Devine relinquishing the Sir William Fraser Professorship of Scottish History and Paleography at Edinburgh University.

    Robinson is an admirer characterizing Devine as "the man who has done more than any to transform the way this country thinks about its past."

    Read this interesting article at http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/features/Interview-Tom-Devine-historian-.6821743.jp?articlepage=1

    via a  Google+ post by Kirsty F Wilkinson

    Advance notice: British Home Child Day

    The first British Home Child Day is to be celebrated at various locations across Ontario, including at Upper Canada Village, on September 28, 2011.

    British Home Child Day recognizes and honours the contribution to Ontario and Canada of the more than 100,000 children between infancy and 19 years of age brought to Canada by various charitable institutions in hopes of securing a better life for these underprivileged boys and girls.

    Further information at:

    21 August 2011


    The Spring issue of the Canadiana.org newsletter announced an initiative to involve individuals.

    In response to numerous requests by the general public, Canadiana.org has announced a new individual membership fee of $100. The fee has been reduced from $400 per individual and will enable much greater participation by the public in Canadiana.org activities. Also, subscribers are eligible to receive a $50 tax receipt.
    Members benefit by obtaining a subscription to the entire text corpus of Early Canadiana Online(ECO), a database containing over three million pages of material published from the time of the first European settlers to the first two decades of the 20th Century. The subscription also allows members to download PDF copies of the documents.
    In addition, joining Canadiana.org lets people play a more active role in the organization. Members become part of a vibrant community of memory institutions, government departments, galleries, local history societies, genealogical societies and like-minded individuals committed to digitizing, preserving, and providing access to Canada’s documentary heritage online.

    There are two main links from the home pageEarly Canadiana Online and the Canadiana Discovery Portal which remains in beta.

    The Early Canadiana Online (ECO) collection is available to subscribers with limited open access to non-subscribers. Highlights are Early Canadian Periodicals to 1920 and Early Official Publications as documented at http://www.canadiana.ca/en/eco

    The Canadiana Discovery Portal lets you search the digital collections of libraries, archives and museums from across Canada from http://beta.canadiana.ca/. Access is free.

    The organization's Board of Directors consists primarily of university representatives and government managers from so called memory institutions. One wonders how the organization will be responsive to the interests of individual researchers from the family and local history community. It's not apparent from the information on the web site just how individual subscribers will be able "to play a more active role" in guiding the organization development.

    20 August 2011

    FamilySearch adds Essex Church of England PRs and BTs

    537,583 records for the Church of England in Essex, both Parish Registers and Bishops’ Transcripts, are now on FamilySearch here.

    There are a couple of issues that need improvement. 

    While the description informs that "the collection includes indexes and images of parish registers containing christening, marriage and burial entries," none of the records I checked included images of the original.

    Also I could find no way to select just one event, say a marriage, if the whole collection is specified. While you can search for the marriage of John Smith in Barking, Essex, you can't do so for a John Smith marriage in all of Essex. 

    TNA podcast: Time travel: a journey through the timetables of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway 1860-1901

    Dr Tony Wakeford, a historical geographer, Open University lecturer and magazine editor for the Friends of The National Archives speaks on the influences of train transportation on social development. With the rapidity of train travel came the imperative of time and other standardizations necessary for operation of a geographically large-scale enterprise. It facilitated the development of commuting and trade.

    Focus is on the line along the Sussex coast where public timetables developed from informational, to promotional to encourage holiday and recreational travel, and on service timetables for the use of employees which included information on goods trains as well as passenger trains.

    19 August 2011

    148,000 new burial records to search on findmypast.co.uk

    I had to scratch a post remarking on the one month hiatus in FindMyPast posting any new records.  Just added are:

    20,315 records covering 1819-1838. for St Mary parish in Lambeth provided by the East Surrey Family History Society.

    128,001 records covering 1802-1846 from the East Kent Burial Index.

    FMP has announced a reorganization of their records which promises some improvements, although there's no indication they are addressing one of my biggest beefs, the inability to search by community in datasets like the East Kent Burial Index.

    New and updated London records on Ancestry

    Church of England confirmation records don't tend to survive in the numbers that baptism, marriage and burial records. The new London, England, Church of England Confirmation collection has only 22,457. The format varies. Name, residence and age are common. Often you'll see date of first communion, and occasionally dates for baptism and even death.

    London, England, Poor Law Records, 1834-1940 is an update, now with nearly 2.4 million records. They are not yet transcribed, it’s not possible to search for your relatives automatically. You need to browse to look for people of interest borough by borough, or by workhouse.

    Examples of the types of records found in this collection include:

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

    18 August 2011

    FreeCEN updates

    Given that transcriptions are never perfect it's always good to have a second, and sometimes third opinion. That goes for the census, and the capability is especially welcome when it's free.

    Friend and BIFHSGO member Christine Jackson sent me a note that Sussex volunteers are now over half way through putting the 1871 Census for Sussex on line, with 1891 and 1861 already completed. The database can be searched (for free, of course) at http://www.freecen.org.uk/cgi/search.pl.

    There's a listing of what's available on FreeCEN at http://www.freecen.org.uk/statistics.html

    Advance Notice: OGS Niagara Peninsula Branch hosts J Brian Gilchrist

    If you're anywhere in the vicinity of St. Catharines on Saturday, Oct. 29th, 2011 there's an opportunity to hear J Brian Gilchrist, leading Ontario genealogist, in three sessions:

    • Looking for Records in all the Wrong Places: accessing early Ontario records, 1790-1860.
    • Who Gets What When? how to distribute your research (assisted by Steve Fulton)
    • Problem Solving Panel

    Further information at 905 934 1537 or email niagara@ogs.on.ca

    17 August 2011

    UK Family Tree magazine online

    The leading UK family history magazine, Family Tree, has joined the second decade of the twenty-first century by making issues available electronically.

    Family Tree now comes in a pdf version, readable on a PC or Mac; for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad (iOS 3.1.3 or later); and in an Android version. See the options at http://goo.gl/V6HwR

    The electronic versions should be both more timely and more economical.

    In Canada you rarely see Family Tree on the newsstands until near the end of the month on the cover. The electronic version should be available around the time the issue appears on the newsstands in the UK, often a couple of weeks before the start of the month. The September issue is now available online.

    As for cost, at Chapters in Ottawa Family Tree sells for $13.90 plus tax, total nearly $16. Online at the single issue price is $5.99, attractive even though you don't get the cover disc that comes with the print version.

    At $49.99 for a 12 issue subscription vs £69.90 for airmail delivery, half price, it also looks like a great deal.

    I downloaded the September issue to my iPhone and my first impressions are positive. Naturally it's a different experience than with the print version. I hope to write more after taking the time to try it more comprehensively.

    recent survey of 250 book buyers from the US, UK and Germany concluded their expectation is that an e-book should cost around 65% to 70% of the print price. Compare that to 50% of the print price for a Family Tree subscription.

    You can also subscribe electronically to Family Chronicle, History Magazine and Internet Genealogy from Moorshead Magazines, and to History Scotland.

    FamilySearch adds England, Warwickshire Parish Registers, 1538-1900

    Transcriptions of 797,352 Warwickshire parish registers, 1538-1900, from a variety of parishes were added on August 16th.

    No original record images are available although there are plans to make them available in the future.

    16 August 2011

    Is Google+ The Next Big Thing for family history?

    The presenters on Monday's Legacy webinar on Google+ are certainly converts.

    For serial entrepreneur Paul Allen it was the numbers so far that impressed. Google+, still only in limited release, reached 10,000,000 subscribers in 16 days, a mark that took Facebook 852 days and Twitter 780 days.  Not that Facebook is threatened. He showed that 97% of Facebook users are happy with the experience.

    Dan Lynch, author of Google Your Family Tree gave a quick tour of Google+ and it's capabilities, one I'll have to go back an view again to really absorb the material.

    For Mark Olson, from familylink.com, it was the personal interactions he experienced with Hangouts - a group video discussion/sharing facility.

    You need a Google account to sign up for Google+ which you can do as my guest at

    What's the benefit for family history?  Google+ is a tool that can be used in many ways, and as the presenters emphasized the capabilities will only increase. One fact that makes me wonder about the potential for family history is that while somewhat more women than men are genealogists, to date more than 85% of Google+ users are male. All the presenters involved in this webinar were male.

    I have to go back and listen again to the recorded webinar (scroll down).

    15 August 2011

    TNA podcast: Galaxy Zoo and old weather: exploring the potential of citizen science

    This is quite an unusual topic for a TNA podcast. It certainly appeals to me as a former research meteorologist, but beyond that illustrates how techniques developed in one discipline, astronomy, can find application in another, climate research, drawing on data in the Royal Navy ships logs archived at TNA.  
    But beyond that there are lessons for how to properly engage citizen volunteers in an Internet based crowdsourcing project. I particularly appreciate the comment that volunteers are not just cheap labour; to treat them as such is unethical. It also misses out on the real contributions that volunteers can make.
    Here, paraphrased, are three principles mentioned in the talk: 
    1. We treat our community volunteers as collaborators not users; original ideas come from the community and all their efforts are credited;
    2. Community volunteers should be contributing their efforts towards projects that will advance the state of knowledge;
    3. We shouldn't waste people's time asking people to do things that could equally well be done by a computer.

    Here's the summary from the TNA website. 

    A team at Oxford University has launched a range of 'citizen science' projects, all aimed at delivering real research through the efforts of a large community of public volunteers. 'Old Weather' is the first non-astronomical project for the team and asks members of the public to transcribe Royal Navy ships logs from the First World War - to date more than 2 million entities have been transcribed. 

    The team has previously enjoyed great success with 'Galaxy Zoo'. By asking hundreds of thousands of members of the public to classify galaxies by their shape, Galaxy Zoo produced a fantastically rich dataset of more than 100 million galaxy classifications that has resulted in more than 25 peer-reviewed publications.
    In this talk, Dr Arfon Smith discusses the potential of citizen science and 'crowdsourcing' for large digital collections.  

    This is not only one of the most unusual but also one of the most interesting TNA podcasts I've heard. Listen at http://goo.gl/4I0sj

    The Yorkshire Immigration

    A website worth surfing for those with an interest in Nova Scotia is Blue Peter, a personal site by a "libertarian lawyer from Nova Scotia" Peter Landry.

    I came across it in searching for information on the immigration of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's immigrant ancestor Christopher Harper, said to have sailed from Hull (Yorkshire) in the Albion on 14 March 1774 to Halifax (Nova Scotia).

    Find the section of Blue Peter on the Yorkshire Settlement at http://www.blupete.com/Hist/NovaScotiaBk2/Part1/Ch05.htm

    14 August 2011

    FreeBMD August update

    The FreeBMD Database was last updated on Sat 13 Aug 2011 and currently contains 204,780,914 distinct records (260,049,921 total records).

    Major additions for births are 1939-1958, for marriages 1949-1957, and for deaths 1946 and 1951-1959.

    As always there are numerous corrections and additions in the earlier years, including over 21,000 marriages from 1920 in this update.

    13 August 2011

    Ancestry updates West Yorkshire BMBs

    Ancestry dished up BMB records for Bradford, Halifax, Huddesfield, Leeds, Wakefield and surrounding communities in June.

     If you didn't find the your West Yorkshire ancestors in the first serving there's a now more on the plate which may prove more satisfying.

    West Yorkshire, England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906
    West Yorkshire, England, Marriages and Banns, 1813-1921
    West Yorkshire, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1985
    West Yorkshire, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1512-1812

    Comments, tweets and posts to Facebook or Google+ welcome

    Julian Bickersteth Memorial Medal

    A post by the (UK) Society of Genealogists announces that:
    In commemoration of its 100th Anniversary the Society of Genealogists has been awarded the Julian Bickersteth Memorial Medal by the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies. The award is made to persons or organisations who have made notable and exemplary contributions to genealogy and family history studies in the judgement of and at the discretion of the Institute’s Trustees.
    Scroll down in the announcement and you'll find a list of individuals, and a few organizations, previously awarded the Medal. Most are British. There are several other Europeans.

    I only recognized three North American names, including one Society - The Genealogical Society of Utah recognized for "remarkable contributions to
    our studies, converting our own British Vital Records Index into something
    nearer a reality and co-operating actively and generously with the family
    history movement world wide."

    Dr Arlene Eakle was recognized as "a pioneering teacher of family history studies in the United States of America who has done much to raise professional
    standards in genealogy world wide."

    Canadian, Robert Douglas Watt OStJ., MA, FHSC, FHS was the first Chief Herald of Canada. He is a BIFHSGO member.

    12 August 2011

    Online index to the Cambrian newspaper

    Swansea Library Service provides a free index to articles in The Cambrian, the first English-language newspaper to be published in Wales, running from 1804 - 1930.

    The computerised index can be searched for any word; see the instructions and other information at http://www.swansea.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=5673

    A search for Canada returned 161 hits including some for immigrant letters and a number about William E Logan, a Scotsman who did considerable work on the geology of Wales before founding the Geological Survey of Canada. He returned to Wales on retirement, one of the index entries records his death. The highest mountain in Canada is named for him.

    There are 13 references to Ottawa, mainly to a ship of that name; 15 to Toronto and 64 to Montreal.

    These are indexes. Full articles are not available online. 

    Thanks to Hugh Reekie for mentioning this facility to me.

    Comments, tweets and posts to Facebook or Google+ welcome

    The British Home Child Canada Memorial Quilt

    On display at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte, Ontario, until the end of August, the 2010 Year of the British Home Child Canada Memorial Quilt is made up of 56 photo squares and measures 90 x 100 inches. An accompanying Memorial Quilt Book tells the story for each square.

    At 7pm on Thursday, August 25th the museum is holding an event when two home child descendants will give personal accounts.

    Mary Thurston of Perth, Ontario, is an accomplished author who wrote “Into the Hills,” the daughter of Isabella Hilson, a home child who is featured on the Memorial Quilt. Bob Stacey of Carleton Place, Ontario will talk about memories of his home child father.

    The museum is located at 3 Rosamond Street, Almonte. Its hours of operation are 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays. Further information at http://mvtm.ca/museum/?page_id=534

    Comments, tweets and posts to Facebook or Google+ welcome

    The Glorious Twelfth

    The Glorious Twelfth refers to 12 August, the start of the traditional shooting season for red grouse in the UK.

    No wild animals will be harmed if you bag a registration for the BIFHSGO conference today, the final day for discount registration. Go to http://www.bifhsgo.ca/cpage.php?pt=22

    Comments, tweets and posts to Facebook or Google+ welcome

    11 August 2011

    BIFHSGO on Facebook, can Google+ be far behind?

    See the latest social media initiative for BIFHSGO at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/British-Isles-Family-History-of-Greater-Ottawa/149788348437126 .

    Susan Davis, BIFHSGO's Director of Communications, has been busy getting the Society into the mainstream of social media.

    Having put in place a new Society website, at the old address www.bifhsgo.ca, Susan then moved on to Twitter and has been posting news and information snippets at http://twitter.com/#!/BIFHSGO

    Those initiatives will also be useful when Susan makes her presentation A Social Media Primer for Family Historians at the BIFHSGO conference on 18 September.

    Will Susan get into Google+ in time for the conference? If you'd like to try G+ go to https://plus.google.com/_/notifications/ngemlink?path=%2F%3Fgpinv%3DONMuJe8CelU%3AWXxYqwFBBK4

    Genealogy webinars

    Legacy Family Tree is offering three free webinars in August. There's one on newspapers, another on African American genealogy, but the exciting one for me is on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 2:00 PM Eastern 

    Google+ the Next Big Thing. Learn about Circles, Hangouts, Streams, Sparks and more G+ goodies with Paul Allen, the Founder of FamilyLink.com and Ancestry.com; Dan Lynch author of the award-winning book "Google Your Family Tree"; and  Mark Olsen the Marketing Manager for FamilyLink.com
    Register at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/997142808

    RootsMagic has three new webinars scheduled for August. Research Tools in RootsMagic; Getting Help Using RootsMagic; and Running RootsMagic on Your Mac. Each Rootsmagic session is limited to 1000 people.  To sign up or to view past recorded classes, visit: http://www.rootsmagic.com/webinars

    So far there are no webinars announced from the other one of the top three genealogy software programs, Family Tree Maker. It may be they are too busy putting the final touches on FTM 2012.

    Comments, tweets and posts to Facebook or Google+ welcome

    Ottawa Branch OGS migration

    Ottawa Branch of OGS announce that you will no longer have to drive downtown for the Tuesday monthly meetings. The Branch is taking advantage of the facilities of new City of Ottawa Central Archives at 100 Tallwood Drive, starting with the September 20th meeting.

    The only exception scheduled is for October 15th which is a Saturday morning lecture to be held in the auditorium at Library and Archives Canada.

    Comments, tweets and posts to Facebook or Google+ welcome

    10 August 2011

    The Devil's Dictionary

    Via blogger Mick Southwick and his British and Irish genealogy blog, a pre-prepared item on The Devil's Dictionary, which has sarcasm enough for us all and is available as a pdf download. http://bi-gen.blogspot.com/2011/08/devils-dictionary.html

    The nice words he has to say about this blog has, or course, absolutely nothing to do with me mentioning this item.

    WDYTYA news

    The continuing hit series Who Do You Think You Are? starts a new season on the BBC tonight with British soap EastEnders star June Brown as featured personality. The Genealogist has her profile here.

    BBC WDYTYA magazine has episode information from previous shows, some containing short segments that were never broadcast.

    News of the renewal of the Australian version of WDYTYA came over Twitter a couple of days ago. Announcement of the extension of the US series came some weeks ago.

    Meanwhile the CBC appears to have no plans to restart the Canadian series. As the only broadcaster to have failed with the series, likely as they reduced episodes to a half hour, CBC TV management deservedly wear egg all over their faces.

    Scottish WW1 Pensions Appeal Tribunals

    A nice find, post-WW1 pension appeal records held by National Records of Scotland, is documented in a guest post by Tunji Leeson on the Scottish GENES (GEnealogy News and EventS) blog.

    09 August 2011

    BIFHSGO conference savings reminder

    It's that time of year again. Time to save $10 by registering for the BIFHSGO conference on or before Friday the 12th of August.

    Members receive an additional $30 discount on registration, a discount you can receive even if not presently a member by taking out a half year membership for $20. Talk about no-brainer!

    To register by mail use this registration form.

    There's more information, and a link for online registration, at http://www.bifhsgo.ca/cpage.php?pt=22

    Genealogical Standards of Evidence selling well

    While I doubt Margaret Atwood is fearing the competition, according to a celebratory note posted on Facebook Brenda Dougall Merriman's book "Genealogical Standards of Evidence" published by Dundurn Press in the OGS Genealogist's Reference Series, continues to be a bestseller on the publisher's backlist.

    Lesley Anderson offers workshops for Trent Valley Archives

    This Wednesday, 10 August, colleague Lesley Anderson is giving two workshops on Ancestry.ca for the Trent Valley Archives at a Trent Univesity computer lab.

    The morning workshop will look at searching effectively in Ancestry, and the afternoon workshop will focus on building your own online family tree. 

    There's more detail at http://www.trentvalleyarchives.com/events/ancestry-ca-workshops

    Workshops are $50 each and run from 9am-12pm, and 1pm-4pm.

    08 August 2011

    Family Tree Maker 2012 public beta

    Ancestry has now provided a link to its new Family Tree Maker 2012 beta - it can be directly downloaded free from http://link.ancestry.com/u.d?oYGgjyBAM5yok_8JFYk=10.
    It's a 436 MB download and the installation process is long so you have to be patient. The download took about 15 minutes with my connection, I also had to download a Microsoft utility and then install so better not count on starting to work with it for 45 minutes.

    The program has worked for me without problems so far. However, as my previous version was FTM 2010 I don't know exactly what's new with this version, and what was already in place for the 2011 version. Actually, that's not quite true as Doug Hoddinott speaks about the 2011 version in the latest BIFHSGO blog conversation.

    I tried it out on Prime Minister Stephen Harper's ancestry of which I previously had just two greatgrandparents identified. After an hour I had them all, or perhaps it would be better to claim candidates for them all. I didn't go back to check the sources. 
    Based just on this trial I know I'll be getting a copy when the final version is released..

    Do you know it, or do you think you know it?

    Have you written down your memories, or recorded those of your ancestors? A recent study published in the Public Library of Science indicates we should treat that information with caution.

    What People Believe about How Memory Works: A Representative Survey of the U.S. Population, by Daniel J. Simons and Christopher F. Chabris shows that popular belief about memory often conflicts with expert opinion. While we may believe in the veracity of information we recall the study shows our belief may not be well founded.

    According to the study 78% of us believe that unexpected objects generally grab attention, 63% believe memory works like a video camera, and 55% of that memory can be enhanced through hypnosis. 48% believe that memory is permanent.

    Most important for family history, 37% believe the testimony of a single confident eyewitness should be enough to convict a criminal defendant (to be taken as the truth). The article points out that "When people are wrongly convicted of crimes and later exonerated by DNA testing, the primary evidence often came in the form of a confident, but faulty, eyewitness identification."

    Our recollections, and those recorded by our fondly remembered ancestors, are not fact, they're evidence.

    07 August 2011

    Free credits at ScotlandsPeople

    From @NZgenealogy on Twittervia Chris Paton and the Scottish GENES (GEnealogy News and EventS) blog, comes news that Ancestral Scotland (www.ancestralscotland.com) is offering 30 free ScotlandsPeople credits, worth £7, to overseas residents in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. The credits can be used at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk to view Scottish vital and census records (about 4 digitised records and two LDS 1881 census transcriptions views - wills and Arms not included).

    The promotion is available at www.ancestralscotland.com/scotlandspeople/?dm_i=2GT%2CGVKV%2C25ATF4%2C1DLFP%2C1

    Book review: Tracing Your London Ancestors

    Tracing Your London Ancestors: a guide for family historians, by Jonathan Oates, 2011. Published by Pen and Sword Books Limited, 47 Church Street, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S70 2AS.
    ISBN 9781848841307. Paperback, 183pp, illustrations, index. £12.99

    The population of Metropolitan London grew from near one million at the beginning of the 19th century to seven million at the beginning of the 20th. London is now the focus of a sprawling area of some 14 million. If you have English ancestry branches of your family tree are likely to have strayed to, if not become rooted in, London. Researching your London ancestry is a topic unto itself, which is highlighted this year as a theme for the BIFHSGO conference.

    Dr Jonathan Oates, Archivist and Local History Librarian for the London Borough of Ealing, already has several books on aspects of the history of London to his credit. Several relate to criminal activities. This is the first aimed at the family historian.

    Twelve short chapters form the bulk of the work, starting with an overview of the population and administrative history of London. The explanation would have been helped by a map showing the arrangement of London’s boroughs.
    In chapter two, Lists of Londoners, Oates mentions sources more widely applicable,  the census, directories, voters lists and those less familiar sources such as Protestation Rolls.
    Criminal London, chapter three, given surprising prominence, likely because it’s one of Oates’ particular interests, explains the courts, police, newspaper and prison records that exist where you may find your criminal, and also your victim and witness ancestors.
    Chapter four, ecclesiastical London, describing the records of the Church of England, nonconformists and Catholics, Jews and other religions.
    Chapter five, taxing Londoners, is a short overview of the taxes, to which residents have been subject including – hearth tax, tithes, ship tax, window tax, game duty, poll tax, land tax, income tax, and death duties.
    Chapter six, educating London, looks at school, university, and other educational records including those of private schools and the apprenticeship system.
    Chapter seven, social and cultural London, explores Londoners at leisure, in ill health, poverty and the orphaned. As ever, those administering and delivering the service are more likely to be found than those receiving them.
    Chapter eight, on business and working London, guides you through the variety of often less explored business records.
    Chapter nine, on medieval London, deals with the time before the census, civil registration, and  most parish records which is typically over the horizon for most genealogists whose illiterate and impoverished peasant ancestors escaped the written record. This chapter may help you in finding any more prosperous antecedents.
    Chapter 10, London under attack, is the London slant on military records.
    Chapter 11, London's Incomers, explores resources for immigrants to London, "that cesspool into which all the idlers and loungers of the Empire are irresistibly drained" quoting Sherlock Holmes' Dr. Watson.
    Chapter 12, House History, explores sources for those looking to go beyond the history of individuals and the family into the places they inhabited and knew.

    The bibliography includes useful lists of London-wide institutions, county record offices and London Authority archives with postal, e-mail and website addresses and the area covered.

    Inevitably in a book of 183 pages, even though of a slightly larger 23.2 x 15.6 cm format than other books in the series in my library, some things don’t get detailed coverage. I found the treatment of cemeteries and burial records rather sketchy. Given the huge number of newspapers now being digitized a more comprehensive treatment would have been warranted.

    Oates personal interest shows in the especially generous treatment of criminal London. Tracing Your London Ancestors is a convenient and very readable guide through the maze of London area records.

    Although the book has no more typographical errors than normal one did strike me as particularly amusing. Oates makes frequent reference to Jack the Ripper, the elusive East End serial murderer of 1888. In one instance this becomes Jack the Stripper – who was presumably not so elusive.

    Tracing Your London Ancestors is listed at $17.36 on Amazon.ca although it is not presently available. Nor will you find it at Global Genealogy.

    This review is based on a copy received from the publisher.

    06 August 2011

    Family Tree DNA attracts competitor's clients

    Family Tree DNA has acquired a dominant position in the genetic genealogy market, at least as regardsY-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA. Many people choose to test with Family Tree DNA because of the large database of clients they have to compare their own results with, and potentially find genetic links.

    Now Family Tree DNA has announced that, for a price, it will accept into its database DNA results from competitor companies Ancestry, Genetree, and SMGF, all of which use Sorenson Genomics to conduct their analysis. the company is also offering to upgrade those competitor results to include the missing markers to bring them into line with FTDNA's standard tests.

    This looks like a win-win. FTDNA will attract away competitors customers and those customers will get access to the large FTDNA database at an attractive price.
    It's also a way for the company to regain some of the momentum it appears to have lost in the developing field of autosomal DNA analysis in competition with 23andme.

    For details on the offer scroll down to the THIRD PARTY section at http://www.familytreedna.com/products.aspx