31 December 2012

Thanks to contributors for 2012

2012 saw just over 1,100 items posted on the blog. That was made possible by many of you who helped and encouraged this year by posting comments, questions, providing information, completing polls and surveys, or publicizing the blog, including;
Alec, Alex, Alison, Alona, Amy, Andrew, Ann, Anne, Annette, Anonymous, Archivus, Astrid, Audrey, Barb, Barbara, Bill, Bob, Brenda, Brian, Brooke, Bruce, Bryan, caiteile.com, Cannuk, Carol, Carolyn, Catherine, Cecil, Cece, Celia, Charles, Chris, Christina, Christine, Claire, Claudia, Crissouli, Darryl, David, Dawn, Debbie, Debra, Del, Derek, Diana, Diane, Dick, Don, Dorothy, Douglas, DWP, Ed, Elayne, Elizabeth, Ellen, Eric, Gail, Gary, Geoff, Glenn, Gordon, GordSK, Greta, Gwyneth, Harold, Harry, Heather, Helen, Hugh, Ian, infolass, J, J Brian, J Paul, James, Jane, Janet, Janice, Jean, Jeff, Jennifer, Jess, Jill, Jim, Jo, John, Kanata Barrie, Little London Observationist, Lois, Lucille, Jill, Judith, Judy, Katherine, Kathy, Kelt, Ken, Kirsty, Kyla, Leighann, Lesley, Linda, Lisa, Lucille, Luvvie, Lyn, Lynda, Lynne, Malcolm, Marcus, Marcy, Margaret, Marian, Marion, Marjorea, Mark, Mel, MelMcL, MHD, Michael, Mick, Mike, Murray, Myron, Nancy, Nathan, Old Census Scribe, OnceCanadianByHeritage, Pat, Patricia, Patrick, Patti, Paul, Pauleen, Penny, Persephone, Randy, Regina, Richard, Rick, Rod, Roger, Ross, Roy, rquacke, Ruth, Salli, Sandra, Scott, Sharon, Shauna, Shelley, Sherry, Shirley Ann, Simon, Steve, Susan, Tamara, Teribus, Terry, Thomas, Tony, Trudi, Tyrone, Unknown, Wallace, Wayne, Yolanda.

Those names include bloggers, Facebook and Google+ posters, tweeters and folks who send out information on new resources from various organizations from the family history community.

Thank you all, not forgetting the readers who make the blog worthwhile, a Happy New Year.


Year in review summaries

Genealogy bloggers aren't immune from the urge to look back as the year draws to a close.
Roberta Estes, has posted the top ten genetic genealogy happenings at http://bit.ly/VbVSbZ
Chris Paton looks back through the files of his British GENES blog, giving excellent coverage of UK and Ireland developments, Jan through April at http://bit.ly/TnzYEr, May - August at http://bit.ly/RouOIB, and Sept-Dec at http://bit.ly/WSSqVc

I'm looking forward, especially to the release of the 1921 Canadian census this year. It was taken on 1 June 1921 so should be available very soon after the anniversary date. We'll see how serious Library and Archives Canada is about online service. I'm hoping for some turn around from the performance that led to the comment made following Cecilia Muir's presentation at the ACA conference in June that "LAC has lost its soul & its way."

The Family History Show: Surrey History Centre

The most recent edition of The Family History Show, with Nick Barrett and Laura Berry is a rainy day visit to the Archive of the Year 2012 award winner, the Surrey History Centre.

The show is about equally divided between exploring the resources of the Centre and an advertorial for sponsor My Heritage.

In Laura Berry's interview with staffer Jane Lewis they point out the online index to records of the Royal Philanthropic School, Redhill (pdf). More than 1,000 of the children are noted as subsequently moving to Canada, sometimes with the name of the ship or destination given.

Scouting around the site you will see news of the Centre's cooperative project with Ancestry. There's a long list of records being photographed for publication online:

Church of England parish registers from 1538 (baptisms to 1912, marriages to 1937 and burials to 1987)
Land tax records 1780-1832
Electoral registers 1832-1945
Brookwood Hospital Woking, Registers of Admissions 1867-1906
Holloway Sanatorium, General Registers 1885-1904
Calendar of prisoners: Surrey Sessions and Assizes 1848-1902
Freeholders Lists 1696-1824
Licensed victuallers 1785-1903
Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment enlistment registers 1920-1946
Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment transfers in registers 1939-1947
Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment World War II Honours Indexes [1939]-1946
East Surrey Regiment enlistment registers 1920-1946
East Surrey Regiment transfers in registers 1924-1946
East Surrey Regiment 21st - 24th Battalions the London Regiment Nominal Rolls of Officers 1914-1919

I notice that Ancestry is now at work photographing the Electoral registers 1918-1945 which should be completed by the end of March.

30 December 2012

AFHS Chinook: table of contents

The latest issue of the Alberta Family Histories Society quarterly magazine Chinook features articles on the theme “Find YOUR Tree in the Forest”

President’s Message – Lorna Laughton
Greetings from the AGS – Les Campbell
Community Spirit Grants – Ruth Sutherland
Editor’s Observations – Wayne Shepheard
Call for Articles – Local Resources and Archives; (Way) Back in Time
Getting the Most from the FamilySearch Website – Peter Darby
What’s Out There – Linda Murray
Finding the Living: Not an easy task for genealogists – Thomas MacEntee
Computer Tricks – Jim Benedict
Delivering Genealogy Programs via Videoconferencing – Penny Allen
Library Research – Lois Sparling
Surname Connections; Federation of Family History Societies Report – Ann Williams
Budget Cuts at LAC – Laura Kirbyson
Once Upon a Time in the Graveyard – Nancy Millar
AFHS Projects – Heather Williams
Periodicals Place: The Breeze and Chinook
Calgary Public Library – Christine Hayes
AFHS Annual General Meeting – First Notice
Events – Laura Kirbyson
AFHS Membership Information and Application Form
AFHS Publications for Sale and Order Form
AFHS Objectives; Contact Information; Board of Directors and Committees

The Society next monthly meeting on Monday, Jan 7, 7-9 p.m. sees Lois Sparling
speaking on Four Reasons to Use Land Records in Your Research

Yuletide R&R - Max Bygraves

Unashamed nostalgia. Max Bygraves, an all round entertainer of my childhood who died this past August. There are a video medley and anecdote at

Also a couple of popular kid-oriented audios here and here.

Saint-John-at-Hampstead parish churchyard stories

The London Borough of Hampstead has a major conservation project for Camden's Hampstead Parish Churchyard which includes an online education resource and audio exploration of the stories of some of the people who are buried at Saint-John-at-Hampstead.

66 items are highlighted including overviews of the church and churchyard; most relate to individuals.

About two-thirds have associated recorded interviews with direct descendants and family members, as well as academics and experts. Those featured range from the famous,  painter John Constable, inventor John Harrison, to victim of a body snatching John Lloyd and rough sleeper Tom Sneddon.

"The Sound Trail is designed to add a new dimension to the written histories of this remarkable and picturesque place, whose original churchyard is the oldest surviving unspoiled churchyard in the centre of greater London. This was officially closed in 1878, but in 1812 an additional burial ground was created, now closed for burials.

Find this interesting site at http://gis.camden.gov.uk/geoserver/SoundTrail.html

via tweet posted by Ancestree Research

29 December 2012

DNA poll

Back in August OGS conducted a poll on use of DNA in genealogy. As I prepare for a Before BIFHSGO presentation on January 12 I went back to have a look and found quite a few more responses. Here are the results

Have you used DNA testing as an aid in building your family tree?
  • Yes and it was very interesting, glad I did it (49%, 70 Votes)
  • No, but I am considering it (31%, 44 Votes)
  • Yes, but nothing helpful or surprising turned up so buyer beware (8%, 11 Votes)
  • Have never even considered it, will never do it! (6%, 8 Votes)
  • Looked into it but decided it was not for me (5%, 7 Votes)
  • Awaiting my results now! (3%, 5 Votes)
Total Voters: 143

And if you're still one of those lacking a DNA test a final reminder you have until the end of the year to take advantage of the Family Tree DNA special.

Yuletide R&R - extra

This is a last minute substitution for the previously scheduled item.  You may recall this WDYTYA parody.

It's better in reality

Thanks to Gail Dever for posting this on Facebook.

28 December 2012

Deceased Online adds headstone collections for 18 Fife burial sites

Records for 18 more burial grounds, cemeteries and churchyards in Fife have been added to the Deceased Online headstone collection from Scottish Monumental Inscriptions (SMI)

The records available date back to 1753, feature 39,000 names and comprise photos of headstones together with carefully transcribed digitized inscriptions for easy reading

There are now 51 burial sites in the Fife headstone collection available to search; click here to view the full list

In total, there are now headstone collections from nearly 250 cemeteries, burial grounds and churchyards across Scotland featuring over 300,000 names

The SMI records are included in the main search indexes on the website so that names and dates can be searched for in the usual way

With the main collection of burial records, there are now nearly 1.1 million burial records in Scotland available on Deceased Online.


Via Richard Gray at Deceased Online


Family Tree DNA sale reminder

All good things come to an end, and that includes the promotional prices at Family Tree DNA valid through December 31st.

New KitsCurrent Group PriceSALE PRICE
Y-DNA 37$149$119
Y-DNA 67$239$199
mtFullSequence (FMS)$299$199
SuperDNA (Y-DNA 67 and mtFullSequence)$518$398
Family Finder$289$199
Family Finder + mtDNAPlus$438$318
Family Finder + mtFullSequence$559$398
Family Finder + Y-DNA 37$438$318
Comprehensive (FF + FMS + Y-67)$797$597
UpgradesCurrent Group PriceSALE PRICE
Y-Refine 12-25 Marker$49$35
Y-Refine 12-37 Marker$99$69
Y-Refine 12-67 Marker$189$148
Y-Refine 25-37 Marker$49$35
Y-Refine 25-67 Marker$148$114
Y-Refine 37-67 Marker$99$79
Y-Refine 37-111 Marker$228$188
Y-Refine 67-111 Marker$129$109
mtFullSequence Add-on$289$199
To order this special offer, log in to your personal page and click on the Order An Upgrade button in the upper right corner. A link to the login page is provided below. ALL ORDERS MUST BE PLACED AND PAID FOR BY MONDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2012 11:59:00 PM CST TO RECEIVE THE SALE PRICES.

The Family Finder test at regular price $289 is now considerably higher than being offered by competing companies. 23andMe now offers a test with greater coverage for $99 plus shipping. AncestryDNA offers a comparable test for $199.
FTDNA is known for service and educational materials, and the size of its database for which the company's advantage for this test is not evident. Although it does not typically aim to compete on price I'd be surprised if the $289 is not substantially reduced permanently in the near future.

Yuletide R&R - My Blackberry is not working

27 December 2012

Scotland's top baby names for 2012

Jack and Sophie were the most popular baby names in 2012, National Records of Scotland has announced.   

New data shows Jack remains the top boys’ name with Lewis in second place – both for a fifth consecutive year – and Sophie is the most popular girls’ name for the eighth year in a row. 
Between them, Jack and Lewis have been the top two boys’ names for the past 14 consecutive years.  Jack has been number one (with Lewis second) in 10 of those years, and Lewis has been top (with Jack second) for the other four.
Riley is the only new entrant to the boys' top ten, rising 11 places to third. James, Logan and Daniel are fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.  Ethan, Harry, Alexander and Oliver make up the rest of the boys' top ten.
Max, Tyler, Alfie, Mason and Liam have moved into the top 20. Those falling down the ranking include Ryan, Cameron, Matthew, Aiden and Jayden. 
Emily climbed four places to second in this year’s list.  Olivia, Ava, Lucy and Isla are third, fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.  Lily has fallen from second to seventh.  Jessica, Amelia and Mia complete the girls’ top ten. Erin, Kayla, Abbie and Megan are less popular than last year. 
National Records of Scotland registered the births of around 27,700 boys and 26,400 girls in the first 11 months of 2012. The top 50 boys’ first names accounted for 44 per cent of all those registered and the top 50 girls’ first names accounted for 41 per cent of the registrations.
Parents chose almost 7,400 different first forenames for their children and nearly 4,800 of these were unique.
Big climbers in the 2012 baby name charts include:
  • Riley (up 11 places to third)
  • Max (up 15 places to 11th)
  • Tyler (up 20 places to 12th)
  • Mason (up 13 places to 18th)
  • Harris (up 20 places to 29th)
  • Amelia (up 20 places to ninth)
  • Millie (up seven places to 11th)
  • Ella (up eight places to joint 25th)
  • Poppy (up 11 places to 34th)
  • Orla (up 19 places to 36th)
The full publication is available at Babies' First Names 2012,

Yuletide R&R - Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie

LAC as lender of last resort

  • LAC have announced their intention to continue to make interlibrary loans as “lender of last resort” starting in September 2013 in order to support access to unique materials only available in LAC’s collection. There will be a gap from now to that time, one for which LAC's answers are to visit LAC in person, hire an agent, or request copies at 40 cents per page, intellectual property right permitting.

    Based on previous demand LAC expects the new system will apply primarily to monographs, as well as some newspapers and serials that are unique to LAC’s holdings.

    Likely those most seriously impacted will be in the university community. The Ottawa Public Library inform me that only 3% of their ILL requests go to LAC. Owing to proximity you'd think the OPL would be making more use of LAC than other public library systems.

    The bottom line is that the new policy may well not produce as much in the way of decreased demand to LAC as the policy would suggest.

26 December 2012

FREE Ancestry Access

Ancestry.ca is offering free access, with registration, to more than 300 million
records from Canada and around the world through December 29th.

Once you have registered Ancestry will send you a user name and password to access the records. If you haven't already, you will be prompted to register once you start trying to search and view the records. After December 29, 2012, you will only be able to view these records using an Ancestry.ca paid membership.

Find My Past in 2013

In 2013 findmypast.co.uk is promising millions more newspaper pages, a new collection of crime, courts and convicts records in partnership with The National Archives, electoral rolls 1832-1928 and India Office records in partnership with the British Library, thousands of new parish records every month.

I received FMP two discount subscription offers. The better offer, good until midnight on January 13th, is 20% off the regular subscription price. that's the discount previously routinely offered for renewals, the best you'll usually find.

The discount code is: BRANDYBUTTER. The real thing is irrestible, the discount subscription with the growing newspaper collection is not far behind if you're looking for a new subscription.

Yuletide R&R - Max Miller

By special request, a stage performance by popular British comedian Max Miller.


24 December 2012

Yuletide R&R - Hancock - The Blood Donor

"The Blood Donor" is perhaps the best known episode from the comedy series Hancock, the final BBC series featuring British comedian Tony Hancock. First transmitted on 23 June 1961.



23 December 2012

Balancing the budget on the back of community groups

It looks like the government wants to drive community organizations out of meeting at 395 Wellington in Ottawa. In addition to the increase in room rental cost at LAC, there is now a surprise additional fee to get access to wireless internet. The facility, operated by Public Works and Government Extortion Services Canada now charge $125 per meeting. If they worked in the building, not at all certain, a rocket/turbo stick would seem to be a better option.

Thanks to Mike More, OGS vice-president for the tip

Yuletide R&R: Are You Being Served? Christmas


22 December 2012

Ancestry updates Pallot's Marriage Index for England: 1780 - 1837

Now updated to include 1,697,636 entries at Ancestry.co.uk, Pallot's Index to Marriages covers all but two of the 103 parishes in the old City of London. The dates span the time from 1780 to the onset of General Registration in 1837. Also included are entries from 2,500 parishes in 38 counties outside of London-many not available in other sources. Several of the registers transcribed in Pallot's index no longer exist, having been destroyed since they were indexed.

Yuletide R&R - Two Ronnies: Four Candles


21 December 2012

Ancestry updates West Yorkshire, Non-Conformist Records, 1646-1985

Ancestry.co.uk has loaded additional search and browse files for Baptist, Congregationalist and Independent, Moravian, Methodist, Inghamite, Quaker, and Presbyterian records for Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield.

The breakout of year ranges per event type are:

Births and Baptisms: 1646-1910
Marriages and Banns: 1659-1935
Deaths and Burials: 1656-1985
Residence: 1772-1973

Essex Ancestors update complete!

From the Essex Record Office:

"Our regular users may already be familiar with our Essex Ancestors service, which allows subscribers to view digital images of Essex parish registers and wills.

These are two of the most important and useful resources for family historians. Parish registers contain baptisms, marriages and burials for each parish in Essex, while wills can give you fascinating information about your ancestor’s lives."  

Thanks to Gail Dever for another great tip.

The End of the World

In recognition of the supposed end of the world today according to the Mayan calendar, a skit from is Beyond the Fringe's (Peter Cook, Dudley Moore & co).


20 December 2012

Christmas blogging plans

As in previous years the number of visitors to the blog has dropped off, less new information is coming out on planet family history. I could struggle and likely produce only boring posts. None of us want that.

Besides we all have other things to do. So it's a good time to pause regular blogging.

Yuletide R&R, British comedy and nostalgia items that tickle my fancy, are scheduled in advance as in previous years, and some end of year articles. There may be a day or so without posts.

All being well blogging will be back to normal early in January with the promise of interesting new items.

The indexed census from LAC

Library and Archives Canada have announced on their blog that, starting with 1906, nominal indexed Canadian census returns are becoming available from them online. In total there will be 15 databases on Canadian census returns from 1825 to 1916, comprising more than 32 million records.

I'm informed that the source for the nominal indexes is a mixture of the results of agreements between Ancestry.ca, Family Search and the Manitoba Genealogical Society, revised to provide accurate references to geographical metadata such as district and sub-district numbers, names and descriptions.

There will apparently be a facility for users to suggest corrections.

Free credits on Find My Past UK

The following is information from Montreal genealogist, and faithful reader of the blog, Gail Dever:

The UK version of Findmypast is offering 50 free credits, provided you use the promo code, SNOWFLAKE, before January 2. The credits are good for 90 days. No credit card information is required. They only request first and last name, email address, password, country and level of experience.

I signed up to determine if there is a difference between the UK version and the US version as far as the types of records they each offer. So far, the only difference I have seen is in the layout. Nevertheless, I continue to compare, hoping to find records that are new to me.

Now, if someone could offer a similar deal for the Irish version, I would be very happy.

Here is the link to the offer:


Thanks to Gail for the tip, a nice Christmas present from Find My Past.

19 December 2012

Interlibrary loan and LAC

I had the opportunity to speak with a manager from Library and Archives Canada, who wished to remain anonymous, about the organization's role in Interlibrary loan (ILL). It's a talk I'd been hoping to have for some while?

He noted that, as reported in La Presse, and in this post from Library Boy, LAC will now only be making loans as a lender of last resort, when no other available copy can be located in Canada after a diligent search.

LAC will continue to operate and maintain the Amicus database which will facilitate libraries across Canada locating available copies.

Materials available on microfilm, and for which intellectual property rights make it possible, will be available digitally from LAC at 40 cents per page.

LAC is aiming to digitize its public domain materials over the next three years, such as newspapers more than 90 years old. No digitization arrangements are in yet place to do so, nor are they anticipated to be in place for several months. As we know at LAC, nothing good happens quickly if at all.

These changes at LAC were explained as necessary because of the organization budget cut and in light of a continuing drop in demand for ILL service. Last year there were 34,000 requests for material loans. The trend continued this year and the drop would have been several thousand more if the program had continued.

Recent requests comprise roughly one third books and monographs, one third microfilms, and one third other such as theses and government publications. A substantial part was requests from inside the federal government. Many of the ILL requests could not be met for various reasons, perhaps only a preservation copy available or too fragile.


Apparently LAC has made no evaluation of the impact of these changes on Canadian libraries and their more than 25,000 ILL clients! Will LAC decide it can ignore a similar number of clients who visit 395 Wellington and close public access entirely?

2011 comparative census population statistics

I'd been wondering what happened to the 2011 census results for Scotland. Data for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and for Canada, were released months ago. I normally think of Scotland's GRO as being prompt in delivering results, especially the annual statistics on baby names which should be out for 2012 any time, months ahead of the rest of the UK.

Well, Scotland released the first part of their census data a few days ago so now that we have the figures, and as the flow of genealogy news has slowed down for Christmas, here are the populations in perspective.

The UK had a 2011 population of 63.2 million, Canada 33.5 million, Ireland 4.6 million.

For the sub-component jurisdictions

1. England: 53.0 million (39 est)
2. Ontario: 12.9 million (40.4)
3. Quebec: 7.9 million (41.9)
4. Scotland: 5.3 million (41)
5. British Columbia: 4.4 million (41.9)
6. Alberta: 3.6 million (36.5)
7. Wales: 3.1 million (41)
8. Northern Ireland: 1.8 million (37)
9. Manitoba: 1.2 million (38.4)
10. Saskatchewan: 1.0 million (38.2)

18 December 2012

Further Scottish Monumental Inscriptions from Deceased Online

Thirty more burial grounds, cemeteries and churchyards have been added to the Deceased Online headstone collection from Scottish Monumental Inscriptions (SMI)

"Records available comprise photos of headstones together with the carefully transcribed digitised inscriptions for easy reading

The new records are for the Angus Council and Dundee City Council areas in North East Scotland with records dating back to 1754

In total, there are now SMI headstone collections from over 230 cemeteries, burial grounds and churchyards across Scotland."

Archives good news

There's so much gloomy news about archives and libraries these days that it's a positive pleasure to learn something good. This is repeating a comment posted by Michael T R B Turnbull, thank you, to one of my previous blog items about the Scottish Catholic Archives.

There seems to be a widespread misconception that Columba House at 16 Drummond Place, the home of the Scottish Catholic Archives since 1958, is closed for the foreseeable future.
In fact, the opposite is true. Columba House, with its incredible storehouse of documents, is very much open for business, but, due to staffing shortages, offering a reduced service for the time being.
Researchers should have no problem accessing the collection, making an appointment by emailing archivists@scottishcatholicarchives.org.uk or telephoning 0131 556 3661.
I was there last week. The service was professional, the reading room cosy, the wireless connection excellent and the documents, as ever, fascinating. The presence of other researchers from many parts of Scotland and overseas, added to the positive experience.

Ireland, Landed Estate Court Files, 1850-1885 at FamilySearch

Just appearing on FamilySearch, index entries to 107,598 images of "Ireland, Landed Estate Court Files, 1850-1885". The index contains name, event type, year and county. For example, there are several records for Hannah, John, Robert and George Robert Storey in Fermanagh. Images are only available when using the site at a family history center or to "signed-in members of supporting organizations."

Update: Chris Paton has additional information on his British GENES blog at http://bit.ly/TuqFkJ.

17 December 2012

Ancestry sale on hold

From Bloomberg.com:

Ancestry.com Inc. (ACOM) officials can’t proceed with the $1.6 billion sale of the family-history website to Permira Advisers LLP until it discloses more information about the deal before a Dec. 27 shareholder vote, a judge ruled.
Read the full item at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-17/ancestry-com-sale-to-permira-barrred-from-proceeding-1-.html

TCD Library’s Digital Collections

John Grenham's latest Irish Roots column throws the spotlight on Trinity College Dublin Library’s Digital Collections (digitalcollections.tcd.ie). There would appear to be 4,703 works in the collection.

I didn't find navigation obvious. Grenham clearly got further with it than I did to laud "the extraordinary range of its contents" and find "from the point of view of genealogy, the most directly useful items are the eighteen manuscript volumes of Trinity’s own admission and matriculation registers from 1607 to 1907."

Google Zeitgeist 2012: A Year In Search

Just because I like it!

Newfoundland, Catholic Church Records, 1793-1945 at FamilySearch

Just added, baptisms, marriages and deaths from some Newfoundland Catholic parishes. Browse through 6,071 images.

Coverage, years vary by parish.

Bulls Bay: Saints Peter and Paul
Ferryland: Holy Trinity
Flatrock: Holy Trinity
Freshwater: Holy Rosary
Placentia: Sacred Heart
Portugal Cove: Holy Rosary
Salmonier: Saint Joseph's
St Bernard's: Sacred Heart
St John's: Basilica of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Patrick's
Torbay: Holy Trinity


16 December 2012

A sad tale: Library and Archives Canada

Last Sunday saw a one-day conference at the War Museum in Ottawa on the commemoration of the First War. Aside from a variety of speakers several organizations were present to publicize what they are planning for 2014-2018. One institution in this country, the one that holds virtually all of the official records of the war, Library and Archives Canada, was conspicuous by its absence. It's not exactly a long way for LAC to travel to the War Museum. The Archives of Ontario managed to make the trip from Toronto and had a booth.

A recent post by LAC stated that there are four exhibits by the organization on display in different parts of the country, yet they're unable to get to a one-day event in their backyard dealing with the Great War for which they hold such great records!

This is yet another LAC instance of all talk with little real delivery. I'm informed that Librarian and Archivist Daniel Caron believes that recent media coverage of the organization he heads is inaccurate. He wants to re-establish the integrity and professionalism of the organization. There is no question regarding integrity and professionalism of the staff, only that of some top management. Caron is the head of the organization. He must face up to the reality of the situation, not just the perception, and his very personal responsibility for the decline of LAC services.

I'm told that Caron is encouraging staff to: Inform. Consult. Participate.
One need look no further than the Great War conference to see how seriously "Participate" is being taken.
"Consult" appears to be directed within the organization. At this time when jobs are being cut how many staff are going to be prepared to speak out and deviate from the party line? The exceptions appear to be an annual meeting with archival and library organizations and set piece appearances by senior staff at conferences such as the Canadian Library Association. There is no consultation with users struggling to make the system work for them, and with the thousands of now former remote clients who will no longer have access to the collection through interlibrary loan.
"Inform" is the best of this lot. We learn on a weekly basis of a couple of dozen images from the collection placed on Flickr to mark timely special occasions, semi-annual podcasts, which to give credit are well done, and the touring exhibits. Weight that against being informed that interlibrary loan is cut, no more funding for the National Archives Development Program although LAC wants to rely more on smaller partner organizations for delivery.

Just released are results of a survey of 400 members of the Canadian Library Association. It found overwhelmingly agreement, 98% of respondents, that cuts will impact both local and national library services. Areas most likely to be affected were identified, and include: access to material/information, research, interlibrary loans, Community Access Program, preservation, staffing cuts, digital issues. CLA, which had previously been criticized for not taking a strong enough stand, is preparing follow up actions based on these survey results.

As we come to the end of a sad year for a once proud organization it has to be said that not all the blame for the LAC's situation can be laid on the organization management. Heritage Minister James Moore clearly doesn't care and acts as if he has no responsibility for this organization which part of his ministerial portfolio. As another Caron, the NDP Heritage critic put it, Moore is "washing his hands" of the situation and referring all questions to public servants. It's not good enough.

Longing for an old fashioned English Christmas?

Is this your idea of an old fashioned Christmas?

"a gregarious and largely adult affair, held amidst the laden tables of baronial halls, and imbued with the concept of a time of license and the suspension of the normal rules of society."
According to the December newsletter (pdf) of the The English Diaspora Project that was the nature of the pre-Victorian Christmas, as depicted by Dickens in ‘Mr Fessiwig’s Ball’ in A Christmas Carol.

From the same project comes this short video on St George's Societies - Ottawa and Toronto even get a mention.

15 December 2012

Deceasedonline.com adds Bolton's Westhoughton cemetery records

The following is a notice from deceasedonline.com

Burial records for the 6th of Bolton Council's 7 cemeteries are now available.

Westhoughton Cemetery dates back to 1858 and includes many interesting burials and memorials

Its most famous feature is the memorial to the Pretoria Pit (Hulton) disaster of December 1910

This was Britain's 3rd worst ever mining disaster when an underground explosion claimed the lives of 344 miners, most local to the area, leaving many families devastated

The data for Westhoughton comprises:

Details of all graves indicating those buried in each grave

Scans of all burial registers

Cemetery maps indicating grave locations

For full details of Westhoughton and all of the Bolton cemeteries click here

Records for Horwich Cemetery will be available very soon and Bolton's Overdale Crematorium records will follow shortly.


TNA podcast: Tracing Huguenot Ancestry

The history and records of the Protestants who fled to England, and in more limited number to Ireland and Scotland, from France and the Low Countries between the 16th and 18th centuries. This clear and well organized presentation, recorded in late November, is by TNA podcast regular Dr Kathleen Chater who has Huguenot ancestry.


LAC 1906 census index release date

Library and Archives Canada tweets release of 1906 census nominal index for the Prairie Provinces will be on January 8th. 1916 census to follow at undetermined date.

Don't want to wait? Go to http://automatedgenealogy.com/census06/ or to www.familysearch.org for a full transcript.

14 December 2012

WDYTYA competitions

If you're attending Who Do You Think You Are? Live at London's Olympia, 22-24 February, still thinking about it, or even if you're not planning on attending this year, here's an opportunity to grab a prize.

Likely a subscription to the Radio Times isn't of interest if you're outside the UK, you don't have to enter for that, but they'll be lots of interest in the online course offerred jointly by The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) and Pharos Teaching & Tutoring.

Enter for one or more of the prizes at: http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/competitions

I notice WDYTYA? Live is featuring an expanded Military Pavilion this year as interest grows toward the 100 year anniversary of The Great War in 2014.

The future of the monarchy in Canada

From activehistory.ca, a thoughtful article on a sometimes sensitive topic. As a dual citizen whatever Canada decided about the monarchy I'd have a monarch as long as Britain, or maybe in view of the Scottish referendum I should say England, does.
In any event Canada would likely opt to remain part of the British Commonwealth and, as did South Africa which has it's own head of state, so maintaining a link with the British monarchy.

13 December 2012

OGS Ottawa Branch December meeting

Many OGS Branches forgo a December meeting, not so Ottawa Branch which meets on Saturday, 15 December for a presentation "Perils and Petticoats: Exceptional Women of the War of 1812"

Few women’s stories appear in Canadian history books as their contributions to the War of 1812 are overlooked. Canada’s bicentennial commemoration is the perfect time to tell about six real women whose husbands marched off to war to defend the British colonies. These women’s stories are about bravery, devotion and perseverance.
The presentation is by historical researcher, and Board Member of the Goulbourn Museum, Kurt Johnson.
The meeting runs from 13:00 – 15:00 at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Room 115, and may be simulcast for members

Shipping DNA kits

If you've seen the $99 autosomal DNA test offer from 23andMe, reduced from $299, you've likely given it more than passing consideration. However, delve a bit further and you're probably in for a none too pleasant surprise. While their standard shipping fee is $9.95 in the US the company charges exorbitant shipping fees internationally. For Canada shipping is $59.95. If you think that's bad be thankful you're not in Albania, Azerbajan, Belarus or Croatia where shipping now costs more than the test.

There's an interesting alternative, other shipping service providers, and they may also be useful for more than DNA. Options are suggested by The International Society of Genetic Genealogy on a new web page "Shipping DNA Kits".

The situation is particularly bizarre in Ottawa as the spit collection system used by 23andMe is the product of an Ottawa company, DNA Genotech.

12 December 2012

SCGS webinar bonanza

The following announcement is about some interesting looking not-to-be-missed webinars by well-known US genealogy speakers, from December 19 to December 2013, 25 in total. Many are not specifically US-oriented.

The Southern California Genealogical Society announces that registration is now open for the popular Jamboree Extension Webinar Series for 2013. The webinar series provides web-based family history and genealogy educational sessions for genealogists around the world.

Jamboree Extension Series webinars are conducted the first Saturday and third Wednesday of each month. Saturday sessions will be held at 10am Pacific time /1pm Eastern time. Wednesday sessions will be scheduled at 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.

Upcoming sessions are listed below. Click on the link to register for any session you want to attend. For more information on each of these sessions, check out the SCGS website.

Wednesday, December 19 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.
Schelly Talalay Dardashti

Jewish Genealogy 101


Saturday, January 5 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time

Lisa A. Alzo

Family History Writing Made Easier: Cloud-based Tools Every Genealogist Can Use


Wednesday, January 16 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.

Linda Geiger Woodward, CG, CGL

Documentation: Never Having to Ask, 'Where Did That Come From?'


Saturday, February 2 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time.

Eric Basir

Digital Organization for Documents and Photos


Wednesday, February 20 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.

Michael John Neill

No Will? No Problem


Saturday, March 2 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time

Lisa Louise Cooke

Time Travel with Google Earth


Wednesday, March 20 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.

Michael Brophy

Erin in the USA: Irish Research on This Side of the Atlantic

Saturday, April 6 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time

Denise Levenick

Break Down Brick Walls with Home Sources


Wednesday, - April 17 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.

Janet Hovorka

Trip the Tree Fantastic: Intriguing Family History Trips for the Whole Family


Saturday, May 4 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time

Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG
Homespun and Calico - Researching our Foremothers


Wednesday, May 15 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.
Debbie Mieszala, CG

Options in Post-Adoption Research


Saturday, June 1 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time

Jane Neff Rollins

Is There a Baby Catcher in your Bloodline?


Saturday, June 1 - 2pm Pacific time / 5pm Eastern time

Leo Myers and Paula Hinkel

Sneak Peek at Jamboree


Wednesday, June 19 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.

Valerie Brown Elkins, CG

Interest in Pinterest: Pinning Your Family History


Saturday, July 6 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time

Tonia Kendrick

Transform Your Note-Taking and Remember Everything with Evernote


Wednesday, July 17 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.

Nancy Lauer

Path to Organizational Bliss


Saturday, August 3 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time

Jay Fonkert, CG

Official, but Wrong: Testing the Validity of Genealogical Information in Official Records


Wednesday, August 21 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.

Mary Roddy

Mark Golden: A Case Study in World War II Research


Saturday, September 7 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time

George G. Morgan

Sidestep Genealogy


Wednesday, - September 18 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.

Beth Foulk

Imported to America - Colonists for Sale


Saturday, October 5 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time

Taneya Koonce

Genealogy News at Your Fingertips: From RSS Feeds to Digital Magazine Platforms


Wednesday, October 16 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.

Drew Smith

Effective Online Queries


Saturday, November 2 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time

Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, CG

Getting Family History Information through the Back Door


Wednesday, November 20 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.

Leland K. Meitzler

Mobile Capturing of Your Ancestor's Documents and Pictures


Saturday, December 7 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time

Gena Philibert Ortega

Women in WWII


Please share this notice with your fellow genealogical society members, librarians, cousins and others that share your interest in genealogy.

The initial (live) webcast is offered free of charge and open to the public. "We offer these webinars as part of our educational mission," said SCGS president Alice Fairhurst, "but are always grateful for contributions to offset our costs." Donations can be made through PayPal, online through the SCGS website or by check made out to SCGS and mailed to the address below.

As a benefit of membership, SCGS members can review archived sessions at any time by accessing the SCGS members-only section of this website.

To join a webinar, most participants attend via computer with audio speakers or a headset. Those with a fast Internet connection (either broadband or DSL) will have the most satisfactory experience. It is possible to phone in to listen to the presentation. Long-distance charges may apply.

For more information contact:

Paula Hinkel ( phinkel@pacbell.net )

Vice President

Southern California Genealogical Society

417 Irving Drive

Burbank, CA 91504