31 January 2012

FreeBMD late January update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Saturday 28 January 2012 and contains 211,673,964 distinct records (268,171,475 total records).
This update has major additions to births for 1939-1940, 1943-1945, 1949, 1952, 1954-1955, 1957-1961, for marriages for 1920, 1952-1955, 1957-1960, and deaths for 1863, 1951, 1953-1955, 1957-1961.

War of 1812 items

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is using the bicentennial of the War of 1812 to promote flag-waving nationalism. That suspicion is one of the reasons some historians are debating whether the War of 1812 is worth commemorating, as summarized in a post Nasty, Brutish, Short — and Not Worth Commemorating.

Meanwhile I received notice, via Glenn Wright, of the Fort La Présentation Association’s fourth annual War of 1812 Symposium in Ogdensburg, NY April 27-28, 2012. There will be "eight authoritative speakers coming from Ottawa, Kingston, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Plattsburgh, Canton, Potsdam and Chicago to present seminars on strategy, campaigns and battles, Indian allies, archaeology, artifact conservation, medical practices, research challenges and teaching the War of 1812." There's additional information here.

Genealogy Rock Stars: USA

With 433 out of the 676 voters in the complete survey stating their residence as the USA it would be surprising if the results were very different from those overall (international). There are some differences shown in this ranking of those who received at least half the votes of the leader.

1. Elizabeth Shown Mills (258)
2. Megan Smolenyak (196)
3. Dick Eastman (176)
4. Thomas W. Jones (168)
5. Thomas MacEntee (161)
6. John Philip Colletta (143)
7. J. Mark Lowe (142)
8. Stephen P. Morse (136)
9. Cyndi Howells (129)

The results demonstrate the impact of having an international profile, mostly through web activity:

  • Megan Smolenyak has a five vote lead over Dick Eastman in the international results but a 20 vote lead when non-US votes are removed. 
  • Thomas MacEntee who enjoyed a 22 vote lead over Thomas W. Jones in the international results falls 7 votes behind for the US only result. 
  • Cyndi Howells, 6th internationally falls to 9th. 
  • J. Mark Lowe rises from 10th to 7th.
Return tomorrow to read the text of all 124 comments posted on the survey. 

Genealogy Rock Stars: UK and Ireland

These survey results must be prefaced with a caution; with only 51 responses from people who gave their residence as UK or Ireland I wouldn't characterize the results as anything but interesting. With the vote so close they don't merit ranking so below are  the raw results for the top ten with number of votes received indicated in brackets.

Else Churchill (16)
Chris Paton (16)Nick Barrett (15)
John Grenham (15)Audrey Collins (14)
Cyndi Howells (14)Dick Eastman (13)
Megan Smolenyak (13)
Jane Lyons (12)
Michael Gandy (10)

A greater percentage of men (31%) voted than in the survey overall (20%).  More people age 34 and younger (24%) voted compared to (7%) overall.

Return tomorrow to read the text of all 124 comments posted on the survey.

30 January 2012

How will your library serve you?

It must be a rare family historian who isn't interested in books and libraries. We all know that technological change is imposing tremendous stress on the businesses and institutions involved the magnitude of which clients may only have an inkling.

The December 2011 issue of IFLA Journal includes an article which takes a philosophical approach to the future of libraries and librarianship, "As for the
future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it"  by Derek Law of the University of Strathclyde. As summarized in a lead editorial in the issue

"..libraries run the risk of becoming obsolete unless they develop a new and digitally relevant philosophy based on the unique selling point that means we are not competing with Google or Microsoft. Such a philosophy would determine our approach to users, services, content and our own skill set. For many people today reading and writing are becoming optional lifestyle choices and not the normal requirement of the intelligent individual. Libraries must provide services and collections relevant to their needs rather than expect them to change to fit our preconceptions."
The article also contains some interesting links. Are you up to the challenge of defining genealogy or genealogist for the Ten Word Wiki (http://www.tenwordwiki.com/)?

 A second article in the issue "65+: Engaging underserved patrons - a success story!" appealed even though some of the issues at the Belgrade City Library are not applicable. I do wonder when I get down on my knees trying to read the title or catalogue number on the spine of a book I'm searching for on the lowest shelf of the bookcase; are the needs of seniors, with impaired eyesight and less agility that previously ever a consideration?

Read the issue as a free pdf from http://www.ifla.org/en/news/out-now-december-2011-issue-of-ifla-journal

Genealogy Rock Stars: Canada

These survey results are based on the votes of 113 people who gave their residence as Canada, not necessarily Canadians. Everyone who received at least half as many votes as the overall winner is listed, which puts 13 people on the list. The number of votes received is indicated in brackets.

1. Dick Eastman (50) ranks higher in Canada than internationally or his native US. Like many New Englanders, he has some Canadian roots. Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter is appreciated for its news and especially Dick's particular forte, technology developments relevant to genealogy. He has spoken several times in Canada. Find a very short YouTube clip of a presentation to the Alberta Family History Society here.

2. Elizabeth Shown Mills (46), number one ranked internationally, has been referred to by Dick Eastman as "one of the most respected genealogy authors, teachers, and lecturers of today." She has lectured in Canada, including in Toronto last April. Elizabeth is perhaps better known in Canada for  her books, including Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, and Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians, widely regarded as classics, and also her contributions to online mailing lists. See her website here, and a YouTube item here.

3. Lesley Anderson (41) is partnership development and content specialist for Ancestry.ca, instructor for genealogy courses, director of education for the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa, and volunteer at the Ottawa Family History Centre. Lesley has been becoming better known by taking on more speaking engagements and TV appearances across Canada in recent years. For transparency, Lesley and I were featured at two such events.

4. Megan Smolenyak (38)
5. Dave Obee (37)
6. Marion Press (35) (Comment: Great to see a LIS professional in the list)
7. Brenda Dougall Merriman (33)
7. Glenn Wright (33)
9. Chris Paton (31)
10. Colleen Fitzpatrick (30)
10. Brian Gilchrist (30)
10. Sherry Irvine (30)
13. Alison Hare (28)

Remember that 113 voters is a small sample. Three votes separate 7th and 10th rank so don't place much emphasis on the rankings. Getting out the vote makes a difference too. Lesley Anderson leapt up the rankings on Saturday when during the last hours of voting 13 ballots were cast for her exclusively.

Even the mildly astute will have recognized that the two Canadians at the end of the ballot, out of alphabetical order, were placed in nomination as a bit of fun. They each received just one vote from Canadians.

Genealogy Rock Stars: Australia and New Zealand

There are several hundred thousand estimated family and local historians in Australia and maybe 2 to 3 times that number with a casual interest in the subject. That's information from Unlock the Past. The survey results are based on the votes of 63 people who gave their residence as Australia or New Zealand.

There was a tie for the person with the most votes, 30 votes each:

1. Shauna Hicks is based near Melbourne,Victoria, and runs Shauna Hicks History Enterprises, described at her website as "a small personal part time business specialising in local and family history research. Established in August 2009, it seeks to assist people in researching their own family and community histories. One of the primary projects I am involved with, as lead presenter, is Unlock the Past which is a series of history and genealogy events in Australia and New Zealand."


1. Judy WebsterGrad.Dip. Local and Applied History, is an accredited researcher with many years of experience in genealogy / family history research, especially at Queensland State Archives.
Judy Webster's Genealogy Advice website is crammed with content, especially for those researching in Queensland. It includes a name index to various sources at Queensland State Archives.
Judy is perhaps best known on the larger stage for developing the Genealogists for Families project, which makes $25 loans that enable borrowers without access to traditional banks to expand their businesses, support their families, save for the future and raise themselves out of poverty. The project received the 2011 GeneaBlog Award for Best New Community Project having gained more than 135 members in 9 countries helping over 290 individuals or groups.

3. Chris Paton (28), although based in Scotland, has gained profile recently visiting Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. That's in addition to being well known through his widely read British GENES (GEnealogy News and EventS) blog and teaching online Scottish courses through Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd.

Others who gained at least half as many votes as the winners were:
4. Heather Garnsey (22)
5. Kerry Farmer (20)
5. Martyn Killion (20)
7. Nick Barratt (19)
8. Dan Lynch (16)
8. Dick Eastman (16)
10. Michael Gandy (17)
11.Thomas MacEntee (15)

New Zealand's Jan Gow, recently awarded the Queen’s Service Medal "For services to genealogical research," attracted 10 votes, especially notable considering the ratio of population between Australia and New Zealand.

Remember that 63 is a small sample. Three votes separate 5th and 10th rank so don't place much emphasis on the rankings.

29 January 2012

Call for 2012 BIFHSGO conference presentation proposals: final reminder

The end of January is the closing date for presentation proposals for the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa 18th annual conference, this year being held 14-16 September 2012.

This year's focus is on Scotland. In addition to presentations on the theme the organizers are open to proposals for other presentations  including:

  • writing and preserving family history
  • social networking
  • technology and genetics/DNA discoveries
  • case studies that illuminate social trends and illustrate good genealogical practice
Please submit a brief outline of your proposed talk(s) to conference@bifhsgo.ca no later than 31 January 2012.

For more details visit the conference page at www.bifhsgo.ca

Rock Star Genealogists Results

Genealogists and family historians, professional or casual, 676 in number from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the UK and Ireland, Mexico, Spain and Sweden voted to select "rock star genealogists, women and men who give 'must attend' presentations at genealogy conferences and/or write 'must read' family history articles or publications." In diverse ways they go beyond genealogical competence to leadership and inspiration.

Everyone in the "international" list below is from the US, reflecting the dominance of US residents among voters. Those outside the US should not fret; separate listings of top picks by folks in Australia and New Zealand, Canada, UK and Ireland, and USA will be posted here in the coming days.

The order among the first three was close for most of the week, then switched when a spurt of voting on Friday afternoon pushed the eventual winner to a clear lead. The number of votes received is indicated.

The winner is:

Elizabeth Shown Mills (325), best known in the US, has been called "arguably the most influential genealogist of our time" and "one of the most respected genealogy authors, teachers, and lecturers of today."  She was editor of the (US) National Genealogical Society Quarterly for many years, was president and trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and has given more than 500 presentations. Her books, including Evidence Explained:  Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, and Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians, are widely regarded as classics. See her website here, and a YouTube item here.

2. Megan Smolenyak (266) describes herself as genealogist, author, speaker, and genealogical adventurer who loves to solve mysteries and dream up new ways to play with family history. Her infectious enthusiasm, willingness to help others, and penchant for discovering the unanticipated, especially with "well known" personalities, have made Megan a frequent media guest and helped to popularize family history. Megan's most recent book, “Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing,” is profiled in this promo video.

3. Dick Eastman (261) is a long-time blogger since before the days of blogs. While Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter brings news with a US emphasis, Dick's particular forte, which makes his blog a must read for many internationally, is technology developments relevant to genealogy. He is also a frequent conference speaker, including internationally. On YouTube you'll find videos of him in Canada and the UK as well as in the USA.

Others in the top ten are:

4. Thomas MacEntee (209)
5. Thomas W. Jones (187)
6. Cyndi Howells (181)
7. John Philip Colletta (172)
8. Stephen P. Morse (161)
9. Lisa Louise Cooke (151)
10. J. Mark Lowe (148)

There are many respected family historians further down the list, often with narrower geographic or specialist appeal, some likely to emerge to become top-ranked genealogy rock stars of tomorrow.

Please leave any additional thoughts in the comments.

British & Irish Genealogy

British & Irish Genealogy (BI-Gen) is added to the links list in the left hand column. It's one I check daily. Mick Southwick from northeast England covers a good range of material and has other useful information on offer. Worth a look.

On his CV web page I noticed, only because of the last name, an item "England’s First Football Captain: A Biography of Cuthbert Ottaway, 1850-1878"

28 January 2012

Midwinter R&R

For those new to the site, I just occasionally go a bit off-topic.

It's close to meteorological mid-winter. Ground Hog Day is around the corner. Here comes the sun, and the ice is slowly melting (maybe). Try this.

OGS Toronto Branch January Meeting

30 January 2012 - 7:30 p.m

Origins of Funeral Customs

Susan Smart
Have you ever wondered why it’s customary to wear black at a funeral? Or why a coffin looks the way it does? The rituals around burying the dead have very ancient roots and have developed over the centuries in different ways depending on religion and geographic area. This talk will describe the origins of some of the funeral customs found in nineteenth-century Ontario and explain how they evolved through the century. Wakes, hearses, flowers and food, clothing, coffins and tombstones will all be discussed.

Mini-presentation: Stephen Low: A Little Latin for Genealogists

The meeting is in the Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Hall, Concourse Level, North York Centre (North York Centre Subway Station)

Canada promoted at FamilySearch

AudreyCollins in Great Improvement at Familysearch and Chris Paton in FamilySearch kicks British Isles out of Europe both comment on the British Isles regaining independent status in the FamilySearch Browse by Location`menu. You no longer have to sort through a morass of data from other European nations to find the British stuff.
I notice there's also a Canada category. I don't search the Canada records to know for sure if that's a new change, but certainly at one time there was just a combined USA, Canada and Mexico category. Now there are three separate categories. Well done FamilySearch.

27 January 2012

Last call for genealogy rock star votes

Thanks to the more than 530 people who have already voted for a selection of people who give "must attend" presentations at genealogy conferences and/or write "must read" family history articles or publications.

There was a welcome spike of US votes on Friday afternoon following a mailing list discussion. Apparently a small minority of APG members are humour challenged; that would be humor for those who insist on being non-U.

Voting will end on Saturday so you only have a few more hours to participate. First results, the most popular overall (internationally), should be posted at midnight EST on Sunday. More detailed analysis, including by region, will be posted over the next few days.
Ready to take the survey?  Start here.

Deceasedonline.com adds West Ham Cemetery burial records

A major new cemetery is now at Deceasedonline.com from the London Borough of Newham, where most of the 2012 Olympics will be held.

West Ham Cemetery, situated in Forest Gate opened in 1857 and has continued to provide burials in 22 acres of grounds. Approximately 180,000 burial records are available. The data available comprise computerised index records, details of graves including names of all those buried in each grave, and cemetery section maps to locate graves.

Only the index records are available, and not the full burial register records, as regrettably these were irrecoverably damaged due to flooding.

Although there appear to be no especially well known people buried in the cemetery it is the resting place of two firemen killed in the 1917 Silvertown munitions factory explosion, which killed 69 and injured 390. There are also over 200 Commonwealth war graves.

FindMyPast.co.uk to publish Canterbury Cathedral records

Here is a notice received from Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager - family history at brightsolid online publishing. 
o       Project announced to increase access to over a million baptism, marriage and burial records dating back to 1538o       First time that images of the original parish records from East Kent churches will appear online 
Today leading UK family history websitefindmypast.co.uk has announced that it has been awarded a contract by Canterbury Cathedral Archives to publish online for the very first time historic records from the archive. The first phase of the Canterbury Collection project will see a browsable version of the parish registers of the historic Archdeaconry of Canterbury go online in the coming weeks atfindmypast.co.uk.
An estimated 270,000 images containing over a million entries will be published on the website, covering parish churches from a wide expanse of East Kent, including:o       the city of Canterburyo       the towns of Faversham, Wye and Elhamo       Thaneto       towns along the east Kent coast stretching from Whitstable in the north round to Hythe in the south
The launch has been timed to coincide with the temporary closure of Canterbury Cathedral Archives for refurbishment, so that family historians and local historians can continue to enjoy access to these fascinating records until the Archives reopens in autumn 2012.
From the initial online launch in February, visitors to the findmypast.co.uk website will be able to browse through the scanned pages of the parish records to search for their ancestors. At the same time,findmypast.co.uk will start to transcribe the records, with a view to creating an index and making them fully searchable on the website later this year.
Paul Nixon, Content Licensing Manager forfindmypast.co.uk, said: "We're really looking forward to seeing these invaluable records from Canterbury Cathedral Archives go live on findmypast.co.uk, strengthening the site's position as the natural home for UK parish records."
Canterbury Cathedral Archivist Cressida Williams, added:  "Working with findmypast has provided us with a wonderful opportunity to expand access to these records to a worldwide audience. This resource will be a great asset for anyone with an interest in the history of this part of Kent."
The Canterbury Collection will join an impressive array of UK parish records at findmypast.co.uk, including records from Manchester Archives, Cheshire Archives, Plymouth & West Devon Record Office and Welsh Archives, in addition to over 40 million parish records from family history societies throughout the UK in partnership with the Federation of Family History Societies.
Anyone wishing to be notified when the Canterbury Collection becomes available can register online atfindmypast.co.uk to receive a newsletter.

Ordering materials at LAC

Many people seem not to know that you can order materials, both from the archival and library collection prior to a visit to Library and Archives Canada. Order from Request For Retrieval of Documents, that's http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/the-public/005-3040-e.php. The instruction is that you must submit your request at least five working days prior to your visit so planning is needed.

I've found the system works quite well, although I'm told of people receiving the wrong box and having to wait extra days for remote retrieval

You may also need a sixth sense. Take a look at the anti-spamming code in the image to the left. What is the penultimate character in the string?  Is it a letter or a number, not always easy to determine if it's out of context? Guess wrong and your request will be rejected.

OGS Ottawa Branch January meeting

The meeting on Saturday, 28 January is especially for members as the session will deal with Branch strategic planning. Here are the details.

Location City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive

 1:00p Networking (AKA Juice and Cookies)
 1:25p Upcoming Events and Announcements
 1:30p Strategic Planning Session:  Facilitated discussion about the core activities of the Branch, new directions and how to proceed.  Members opinions required!!
Contact http://ogsottawa.on.ca

26 January 2012

Quebec City directories 1822-1920

If you have ancestors who lived in Quebec City and area you may find useful information in "Annuaires Marcotte de Québec et leurs prédécesseurs (1822-1920)" now online from BAnQ, the Quebec provincial library and archives. It's described as a mine of information for those interested in the history, genealogy and geography of Quebec City and area.

The earlier years are in English. There is no OCR but as a directory arranged alphabetically it isn't difficult to use, much as similar directories for Montreal which have been online for some while.


Tim Cook lecture tonight in Ottawa

The Ottawa Historical Association has organized a free lecture this evening at Carleton University by Tim Cook, a historian of the Great War at the Canadian War Museum, Adjunct Research Professor in the history department at Carleton, and award winning author. He will speak on original research into soldiers’ writing exploring the Canadian soldier in the Great War and his engagement with death, the dead, fatalism, the supernatural, and the uncanny.

The event starts at 7:30 PM and will be in 2017, Dunton Tower. All are welcome.

25 January 2012

English ex-pat research: request for information

According to ongoing research being carried out by Dr Murray Watson from the University of Dundee and Professor Marilyn Barber from Carleton University changes in communications technology are transforming relationships between ex-pat English immigrants and the families they left behind on the other side of the Atlantic. The two researchers carried out an extensive programme of oral history interviews between 2005 and 2008. They found that the introduction of low-cost jet travel, cheap telephone calls and the arrival of the internet has radically changed how families stayed in touch and got together - all things that earlier immigrants could not have contemplated. Since conducting the oral history interviews technology has moved forward again, with the widespread use of video conferencing like Skype and iChat along with an explosion in the use of social networking like Facebook.

To ensure this research is bang up to date Murray would welcome hearing from English-born immigrants who use these new technologies to communicate with their friends and family, along with any comments they might have. If you can help Murray please email him at m.y.watson@dundee.ac.uk

Clarification on LAC service changes

Yesterday's posting, and the 62 responses to the poll question "Ending duty archivist service at the reference desk on the second floor at Library and Archives Canada will mean.." got some attention.  55 people felt it would mean  "a significant net service deterioration."

I received feedback from LAC clarifying the changes being implemented. 

From February 13, 2012 – end of March, 2012
• Basic orientation services will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday;
• Access to LAC experts will be available through a new reference by appointment service, provided between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Appointments will take place onsite or at a distance, using videoconferencing or telephone, depending on the preference of the client; and,
• As a transition, during this period walk-in reference services with LAC experts will be maintained from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday.

From April 2, 2012
• Basic orientation and genealogy services will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday;
• Access to experts, including for genealogy inquiries, will be through reference by appointment only, provided between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday; and,
• All reference services will be offered by appointment only.

This information came from Fabien Lengellé, recently named as Director General
Services at LAC replacing Alison Bullock.

Basic orientation services appears to refer to the help of a clerk, not a professional archivist or librarian. 

I was also informed that genealogical services will not be moving from its present location on the 3rd floor as had been contemplated. Also there will be no reduction in space allocated for public access although a multi-year process to upgrade the sprinkler system in the building will mean temporary closures in some areas.

What do you think?  I'm told LAC do monitor these and, unlike the feedback you provide directly to LAC, it's open for all to read. Would you favour a feedback process to LAC which allowed for open interactive two way communication, perhaps a Facebook group. Please leave a comment.

24 January 2012

Genealogy rock star voting update

As of 10pm EST 348 people had voted in the survey. There was an initial burst of votes from Australia and New Zealand at the poll opening which was in the wee hours for much of North America. Then regular readers for Canada cast their ballot, followed by folks in the US as word spread.

So far Australia/NZ and Canada have a larger share of responses than their proportion of the population total for the four regions. The UK/Ireland and US are under-represented.
79% of respondents are women, 18% men, and 3% were undecided declined to specify.

The modal age of respondents is 55-64. As an aside, a 60 year old can expect to live another 22 years (in the US) so can look forward to many more years of genealogical activity.

Looking at the voting for individuals, the overall lead has changed several times with three votes separating first and third as I write this. If you haven't participated your vote could make the difference. The analysis will include national breakdowns so your vote could be the deciding one within your region.

Voting ends on Saturday. I hope to post the headline results on Sunday. More detailed analysis, including for national breakdowns, will follow. Also watch for a compilation of the comments, many of which name additional genealogists of note,  subject to deletion of any objectionable or obscene material.

Ancestry UK 1911 censuses updates

Ancestry announce they have updated their databases of the 1911 censuses for the Isle of Man (52121 records), Channel Islands (97273 records), and Wales (2365374 records).

LAC service change

On Monday I received information from a usually reliable source that as of this week the rotating duty archivists will be on the reference desk for only 3 hours a day (11-2) and that as of April 1 they will be withdrawn entirely.
You'd think this change would make it harder for people to access the documentary heritage materials they need.  Not according to LAC's myth number 2 in a document copied below and on the LAC website, which rebuts the "myth" by pointing to more information online, improved finding aids, and online ordering.

As LAC has not seen fit to conduct any consultation with the user community on this change, let's help LAC out by doing a quick poll! this poll is now closed.

Myth Busters

  1. Because of modernization, there are fewer and fewer librarians and archivists working at LAC.
  2. Staffing levels for librarians and archivists at LAC have remained stable over the last several years. In fact, LAC is the biggest single employer of professional librarians and archivists in Canada. This means that any decisions made at LAC are informed by a high level of professional expertise.
    In addition, many of LAC’s senior executives and directors hold Master’s Degrees or PhDs in archival science, library sciences, or history.
  3. The changes being made at LAC make it harder for people to access the documentary heritage materials they need.
  4. Canadians are getting their information differently these days—less in person, and more online. As a result, LAC must change the way it provides certain services: putting more information online and cutting back on services that may not be used as much anymore. Ultimately, this will make it easier for more people to get more information.
    Researchers will also find it easier to locate information, through digitized finding aids, and improved services which allow them to register, order materials and prepare for an onsite visit in advance. Digitizing complete groupings also makes certain records more accessible, and protects fragile originals from frequent handling.
  5. LAC is trying to get rid of Canadian heritage items it has preserved for decades.
  6. LAC is not selling or destroying any heritage items. Rather, it is creating partnerships with trusted organizations such as other Canadian libraries and archives so that certain heritage items may be appraised collectively and, in some cases, transferred to where they will get the greatest use and visibility.
  7. LAC no longer provides comprehensive, one-stop shopping for library and archival documents and services.
  8. This kind of “total” library and archives has never existed in Canada, and with the digital age the idea is more impossible than ever. LAC is and has always been part of a large and dynamic network of libraries and archives, which is collectively responsible for the documentary heritage of Canada.
  9. Modernization is just a fancy way to say “cost cutting.”
  10. Like all departments of the Government of Canada, LAC is being called upon to do more with less. And like all federal departments, LAC is participating in the Deficit Reduction Action Plan (DRAP). However, modernization is not related to the DRAP and, in fact, was already in the works in 2009, well before the plan was announced. At the same time, modernization may mean that LAC spends less in some areas and more in others, depending on the evolving needs of Canadians.
  11. LAC is attempting to limit its mandate to purely legal responsibilities.
  12. LAC has two core programs: it manages the Legal Deposit of everything published in Canada and it stores government records. However, its enabling legislation mandates it to go further than these core programs, to also acquire and preserve what is valuable to Canadian society. Its mandate then has not changed, but the manner in which it is carried out will likely change as a result of modernization and the evolution of society and technology. More will be done in co-operation with Canada’s 800 plus archives and more than 2,000 libraries, as well as other organizations interested in the preservation of our heritage. This includes acquiring heritage items and preserving our digital record.
  13. Modernization is happening in a vacuum, without any consultation.
  14. Over the past three years, LAC has launched more consultations than ever in its recent history. These include national stakeholder consultations conducted by Daniel J. Caron, Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada, as well as numerous stakeholder and academic forums. LAC also commissioned two external reports on the relationship between LAC and archives, libraries, and historical researchers.
    LAC is also setting up a framework to allow broader and more regular consultations to take place with clients, stakeholders, and the public at large.
  15. Everything before modernization is out of date.
  16. Because modernization responds to the digital age, the assumption is that modernization is only about digital. True, modernization will involve adapting to the times (which are increasingly digital), but “digital first” doesn’t mean “digital only.” And digitization of an item does not necessarily mean destroying the original. LAC is already a world leader in the field of analogue preservation: the new state-of-the-art nitrate film preservation facility is a good example. But the digital world gives LAC the opportunity to move beyond the limits of analogue, providing more open access and reaching a similar level of excellence in the digital realm.
    Canada’s efforts in the area of digital modernization are similar to those being carried out by libraries and archives throughout the world. For example, national documentary heritage institutions in Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands, to mention just a few, are engaged in a similar process.
  17. LAC is becoming no more than a giant warehouse for government records.
  18. LAC is tasked with being the memory of the Government of Canada, but it can no longer ingest the huge volume of material being produced, much of which has limited business value. As a result, LAC worked with the Treasury Board Secretariat and other federal departments to introduce the Directive on Recordkeeping, which makes it easier for individual departments to manage their information resources and records and to turn over to LAC only that which has enduring value.

How about an OGS Scottish SIG?

You've probably noticed information posted here about an Ottawa Scottish genealogy group that meets monthly. Now there's interest in starting something on a provincial level through the Ontario Genealogical Society. That comes from Christine Woodcock, also a BIFHSGO member, who is looking to make contact with others interested forming a special interest group.

You can reach Christine at (genealogytoursofscotland@gmail.com). There is also a Genealogy Tours of Scotland website, not for the proposed SIG, for her genealogy tour enterprise. Also check out her blog, Scottish Genealogy Tips Tricks & Tidbits.

Which browser?

Genealogy in Time magazine reveals statistics on the browser used for their last 35,000 page views. Internet Explorer accounted for 39%; Firefox 30%; Chrome 18% and Safari 10%.

Visits to this blog over the past month were Internet Explorer 44%; Firefox 29%; Chrome 12% and Safari 10%. 
A Google search for most popular browser shows Internet Explorer generally reported as number one, but losing market share. Chrome, the browser I use, is gaining.
I switched from Internet Explorer to Firefox several years ago when they had security problems, then switched to Chrome which works better with the suite of other Google products I rely on, including for this blog. However, if having the Genealogy in Time toolbar is important to you then you're out of luck with Chrome.

23 January 2012

Additional London Docklands baptismal records at FindMyPast

10,035 baptismal records for St Dunstan, Stepney (1668-1679) and 6,661 for Christchurch, Spitalfields (1843-1875) brings the total amount of London docklands baptisms on FMP to 535,210. These are transcriptions; no original images are available

Vote now for your favourite rock star genealogists

VOTE: Our survey to determine rock star genealogists, women and men who give "must attend" presentations at genealogy conferences and/or write "must read" family history articles or publications is now open.
There's more than one rock star so vote for as many as you want. it's your opportunity to express your appreciation for the genealogists who wow you with their presentations and/or writing. Consider both style and content.

Thanks to everyone who made nominations.

There are 74 genealogists and family historians nominated, marginally more men than women, and two others believed to be male.
The survey asks basic questions on country of residence, gender and age range which you may respond to with "prefer not to answer."
Please feel free to use Twitter, Google+, Facebook, blogs, emails, telephone, posters tacked to telephone poles, smoke signals, carrier pigeons and other publicity to encouraging voting which is planned to close late on Saturday 28 January.
Ready to take the survey?  Start here.

Ottawa Irish Genealogy Research Group

The group will meet in Room 156 at Library and Archives Canada on Tuesday, 24 January from 7:30 to 10:00pm.

23andMe Ambassadors Group appointed

23andMe, the personal genetic testing company with around 100,000 tests completed, announces the membership of their newly created Ancestry Ambassadors group.

CeCe Moore (TangledVine)
Andrea Badger (AndreaBadger)
Ann Turner MD (Ann DNACousins)
Larry Vick (Larry Vick)
Shannon Christmas (AncientPlanter)
Tim Janzen MD (Tim Janzen).
It would be hard to think of a group that has more credibility with the genetic genealogy community. I hope they're used wisely and are able to convince the company that genetic genealogy is a business line worthy of increased priority.

22 January 2012

TNA podcast: How a chisel, a mule, a shipping container and a cloud contribute to family history

I've blogged enthusiastically about Sharon Hintze's TNA podcasts before. As Director of the (LDS) London Family History Centre she has knowledge and wisdom to share.
This talk has as title either "The development of family history record keeping" or considerably more interestingly "How a chisel, a mule, a shipping container and a cloud contribute to family history." It's a repeat of one given to the Society of Genealogists centennial conference last year.
It's billed as "a thought-provoking journey through thousands of years of development of family history record keeping and record preservation. Not all technology over the millennia has changed and, surprisingly, the future is not entirely digital."
I found myself slow to warm to the presentation. I'm glad I persisted. I enjoyed it more the second time through, something that's easy to do with a podcast.
Toward the end the talk addresses some key issues. To paraphrase slightly "With so much digital now, why do people come at all to a physical archives. No matter how much is online people are still going to want to visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake or the National Archives in Kew. It's partly social; it's partly they want help -- they found the record but they don't know what it means, or can't read it. Bricks and mortar in this digital word remain relevant."
"You're going to spend less time searching, that's already happened. We now quickly can find a whole lot of stuff which we have a hard time organizing, because it's so easy to find."
"We will have a much more complete picture of family and family roots than ever before. The sense of personal identity will be deeper and the family bonding stronger."
Find the podcast at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/podcasts/how-a-chisel.htm

More on meeting space at 395 Wellington

OpenFile Ottawa runs an article, LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES SPACE CRUNCH CONNECTED TO HILL RENOS, giving details of the plans for escalating charges to community groups such as BIFHSGO using meeting space at 395 Wellington, formerly managed by LAC.

LAC blog: The Gatineau Preservation Centre

The most recent posting on the LAC blog is A Behind-the-Scenes Look at LAC: The Gatineau Preservation Centre. The GPC is possibly the jewel in the LAC crown, likely why it was once visited by President Bush (the younger). They give occasional tours, well worth taking if you have the opportunity.

According to the posting 70 preservation experts work in the GPC in individual laboratories constructed in a village-like setting. I hope future LAC blog postings can gives us more insight into the work of these laboratories. That builds support for an organization, and the work of the backroom experts actually walking the walk of preservation, much more credible than senior managers talking the talk.

I was surprised to see in the posting "did you know that there are other LAC facilities throughout Canada? Some buildings are for staff offices, while others are dedicated to the management and preservation of LAC holdings." Unsubstantiated rumour has it that one way LAC will be responding to imminent budget cuts is by closing its regional locations and providing service outside the NCR through third party agencies and online records. We'll see.

21 January 2012

Last call for genealogy rock star nominations


Quite a number of good nominations came in from the second call so here's your final chance. Remember, this is people who give "must attend" presentations at genealogy conferences and/or write "must read" family history articles or publications.

The list of nominees, updated to 8:00pm EST,  is:

Anthony Adolph, Lisa Alzo, Lesley Anderson, Nick Barratt, Carol Baxter, Claire Bettag, Warren Bittner, Larry Brennan, Jana Sloan Broglin, Fíona de Buitléir, Pauline Cass, Else Churchill, John Philip Colletta, Audrey Collins, Lisa Louise Cooke, Dick Eastman, Kerry Farmer, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Angela Gallagher, Michael Gandy, Heather Garnsey, Brian Gilchrist, Jan Gow, John Grenham, Michael Hait, Barbara Hall. Alison Hare, Mark D. Herber, Jean Wilcox Hibben, Shauna Hicks, Cyndi Howells, Sherry Irvine, Thomas W. Jones, Martyn Killion, J. Mark Lowe, Dan Lynch, Jane Lyons, Thomas MacEntee, Janet Maher, Leland Meitzler, Brenda Dougall Merriman, Elizabeth Shown Mills, Brian Mitchell, George G. Morgan, Stephen P. Morse, Janice Nickerson, Bob Norton, Dave Obee, Beryl O'Gorman, Gena Philibert Ortega, Chris Paton, Marian Pierre-Louis, Marion Press, Pat Richley-Erickson, Christine Rose, James G. Ryan, Eric Shaw, Gary Schroder, Craig Scott, Randy Seaver, Sharon Sergeant, Drew Smith, Helen Smith, Megan Smolenyak, Louise St. Denis, Paula Stuart-Warren, Loretto Szucs, D. Joshua Taylor, James F.S. Thomson, Christopher Watts, Judy Webster, Kurt B. Witcher, Glenn Wright, Susie Zada.

A word on the voting which will start on the 22nd. You will be asked to state your country of residence, either Australia and New Zealand, Canada, UK, or USA, which together cover 94% of visitors to the blog. You will also be able to specify other. When you vote you will be able to select as many of the nominees as you want -- there's more than one rock star.

Finally, you won't find my name on the list. I was nominated but disqualified myself, That way there should be no whiff of conflict in the way I manage the voting.

British army logistics corps journals online

If your ancestor served in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (1914-1964), the Royal Army Service Corps (1905 - 1964), the Royal Pioneer Corps (1943-1964), or the Army Catering Corps (1947-1964) you may want to check out their on-line journals
at www.rlcarchive.org.
You can browse page by page or do a search by word or phrase. Viewing the image of the original is on a pay-per-view basis.
A simple search yields a clickable list of hits which show the search term in brief context. According to a post on Rootsweb's GENBRIT list the journals provide details of operations, exercises, unit news and Corps sport and details of individual's’ promotions, postings, marriages and obituaries as well as casualty lists, seniority lists and medal awards.

Arctic Canada caught on 1919 silent film

Look to the BBC to first tell the story.

"The Return of the Far Fur Country is a documentary about the fate of a silent feature film called The Romance of the Far Fur Country filmed by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1920 and the efforts to bring the footage held in the British Film Institute archives back to Canada. The film is about the repatriation of these images to the Aboriginal communities across northern Canada; the original settings and subjects of this lost film."

One might also reflect of the Canadian national memory institutions not mentioned in the acknowledgement: "This project would not be possible without the cooperation of Hudson's Bay Company Archives, the British Film Institute / National Film and Television Archives in London, England and funders such as the Manitoba Arts Council."

20 January 2012

LAC can't find Toronto

Proactive disclosure of information has been instituted so that Canadians are better able to hold Parliament, their Government, and public sector officials to account. It's easy to access proactive disclosure information on government websites, at the bottom of the left column.

Reports for 2011 show Daniel Caron claimed expenses for 24 trips in 2011. It's certainly a good thing that our senior public servants get out of the National Capital Region to interact face-to-face with Canadians across the country, and peers internationally, to find out about other's views and developments. Public servants should come back with perspective on how their organization stacks up, with ideas for improvements and cooperation.
Seven of the trips were international in scope, including one to an international event in BC. Of the others twelve were to Quebec, two to New Brunswick, and one each to Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. Several places were not on the travel map. No local business in three of Canada's four largest communities. No business in BC, aside from the international conference, Manitoba, any of the three Territories, Ontario, PEI or Newfoundland and Labrador.
Perhaps M. Caron is using other means to obtain a balanced view of developments and views of clients and partners across Canada. As far as can be discerned from the listings, none of this travel provided an opportunity to interact with genealogists and family historians, still LAC's largest single user group.

Scottish Highland MIs at Deceased Online

After a long period when nothing has changed at deceasedonline.com there is now a notice added about a relatively small addition.

Scottish Highland Cemeteries Monumental Inscriptions comprises approximately 4,500 headstone images, with searchable inscription transcripts containing 12,500 names. The fifteen cemeteries date back as far as 1600, with data described as:

Abernethy Old Churchyard, Nethybridge, Inverness-shire, Scotland. PH25
1,398 records, dating from 1774, are available as inscriptions and headstone images.

Ardearg Cemetery, Ratagan, Invershiel, Kintail, Ross-shire, Scotland IV40
141 records, dating from 1847, are available as inscriptions and headstone images.

Balmacara New Cemetery, Balmacara, Loch Alsh, Ross-shire, Scotland. IV40
356 records, dating from 1919, are available as inscriptions and headstone images.

Banchor, Newtonmore and Ballidbeg Churchyards, Inverness-shire, Scotland. PH20
1,138 records, dating from 1823, are available as inscriptions and headstone images.

Cille Choirill Churchyard, Lagan, Fort William, Scotland PH31
871 records, dating from 1746, are available as inscriptions and headstone images.

Clachan Duich Burial Ground (Kilduich), Invershiel, Ross-shire, Scotland. IV40
892 records, dating from 1600, are available as inscriptions and headstone images.

Glenelg Cemetery, Glenelg, Inverness-shire, Highland, Scotland. IV40
191 records, dating from 11850, are available as inscriptions and headstone images.

Grantown Cemetery, Grantown-on-Spey , Morayshire, Highland, Scotland. PH26
2,101 records, dating from 1857, are available as inscriptions and headstone images.

Kilcuimen Churchyard, Fort Augustus, Ross-shire, Scotland. PH32
814 records, dating from 1722, are available as inscriptions and headstone images.

Kilmonivaig and Gairlochy Churchyard, Nr Spean Bridge, Ross-shire, Scotland. PH34
1,239 records, dating from 1801, are available as inscriptions and headstone images.

Kingussie Churchyard and Burial Grounds, Kingussie, Inverness-shire, Scotland. PH21
1,442 records, dating from 1746, are available as inscriptions and headstone images.

Kirton and Lochalsh Cemetery, Kyle, Highland, Scotland. IV40
1,343 records, dating from 1802, are available as inscriptions and headstone images.

Plockton Churchyard, Plockton, Inverness-shire, Scotland. IV41
174 records, dating from 1834, are available as inscriptions and headstone images.

Rothiemurchus St John's Churchyard, Aviemore, Inverness-shire, Scotland. PH22
152 records, dating from 1888, are available as inscriptions and headstone images.

Tenandy Old Churchyard, Killiecrankie, Perthshire, Scotland. PH16
140 records, dating from 1888, are available as inscriptions and headstone images.

Ottawa Scottish Genealogy Group

A reminder for Ottawa Scottish Genealogy Group members that there is a meeting at the new City of Ottawa Archives located at 100 Tallwood Drive on Saturday, January 21st at 10:00 AM in Room 226.

19 January 2012

Genealogy rock star nominations update

Here's the list of nominations with the additions to date.

Anthony Adolph, Lisa Alzo, Lesley Anderson, Nick Barratt, Claire Bettag, Warren Bittner, Jana Sloan Broglin, Else Churchill, Audrey Collins, Lisa Louise Cooke, Dick Eastman, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Michael Gandy, John Grenham, Michael Hiatt, Alison Hare, Mark D. Herber, Jean Wilcox Hibben, Sherry Irvine, Thomas W. Jones, Thomas MacEntee, Leland Meitzler, Brenda Dougall Merriman, Elizabeth Shown Mills, Brian Mitchell, George G. Morgan, Stephen P. Morse, Janice Nickerson, Dave Obee, Gena Philibert Ortega, Chris Paton, Marion Press, Pat Richley-Erickson, Christine Rose, James G. Ryan, Craig Scott, Randy Seaver, Sharon Sergeant, Drew Smith, Megan Smolenyak, Loretto Szucs, Kurt B. Witcher, Glenn Wright.

You have until January 22nd to make additional nomination; just put them in a comment. There are some I'm surprised I haven't received!

Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923

Familysearch.org placed 126,534 image originals of unindexed Ontario, Roman Catholic Church parish baptismal, confirmation, marriage and burial records for 1760-1923 online on January 18. These are for the counties of: AlgomaBrantCardwellCarletonCarleton, LanarkCochraneDufferinDundasDurhamElginEssexFrontenacGrenvilleHaldimandHastingsHuronKenoraKentLambtonLanarkLeedsLennox and AddingtonLincolnManitoulinMiddlesexMuskokaNipissingNorfolkNorthumberlandOntarioOxfordParry SoundPeelPerthPeterboroughPrescottPrescott and RussellRainy RiverRenfrewRussellSimcoeSudburyThunder BayTimiskamingVictoriaWellandYork.

Quinte Branch OGS: Annual Crouse-Wanamaker Lecture & AGM

Guest speaker for this annual event is Lesley Anderson who will present her perennially popular "I Can't Find Them Anywhere" Searching Effectively on Ancestry next Saturday 21 January 2012.

The talk will cover:
  • Overview of Ancestry.ca
  • Membership/Logging in, Customizing your Home page, Quick Links, Shoebox, Accessing other sites, What’s New
  • Getting Started
  • Global Search, Category Search and Websearch
  • Search options
  • Exact Matches, Variations and Wildcards
  • Keywords
  • Browsing by Location
  • Card Catalog
  • Viewing, Printing and Saving Images
  • Ancestry Member Connect
  • Where to find help!

The meeting, at Quinte West City Hall Library, 7 Creswell Drive, Trenton, Ontario, starts at 1pm.

17 January 2012

No blog posts on Wednesday

Several of the blogs I follow and websites we all use, including Wikipedia, are going dark on Wednesday 18 January, to protest proposed US legislation that could cause enormous harm to the Internet and freedom of speech. Listen to this BBC interview for a brief explanation of the concern. Another site genealogist use, or should at least know about, the Internet Archive, will be dark for 12 hours, to 6pm.
Canada, while not falling directly under US legislation would certainly be affected, especially given the present Canadian government's inclination to follow along sheep-like where the US government leads. I'm joining this show of concern by not posting on Wednesday.

The worst of genealogy in 2011

Tamura Jones, a Netherlands-based genealogist with a technology interest, and a prolific tweeter, posted on his GeneAwards for 2011 which I missed on December 31. The best award winners are interesting, but I had to smile at the choices for worst.

I hadn't heard of Funium Family Village, named as worst genealogy product of 2011. Tamura descibes it as "tedious and boring." He gives dishonourable mentions to Family Tree Maker 2012 "remarkably slow, memory-hungry and crash-prone" and
The Master Genealogist 8 referring to the report engine in which the previous version  had "major shortcomings should be fixed for free."

Read the best and the worst at http://www.tamurajones.net/GeneAwards2011.xhtml

New book notice: Sandringham Days: The Domestic Life of the Royal Family in Norfolk, 1862-1952.

Of possible interest to anyone with royal or even royal servant connections, Sandringham Days: The Domestic Life of the Royal Family in Norfolk, 1862-1952, is advertised as:

"Drawing on letters, diaries and contemporary reports, author John Matson presents a fresh angle on the private lives of a very public family: Queen Victoria’s first visit, the glittering parties of the Edwardian era and the reigns of King George V and two of his sons."
Official publication date is in February. John Matson previously published "Dear Osborne: Queen Victoria's family life in the Isle of Wight"

TNA podcast: Histpop – the online historical populations report website

This is another presentation from TNA's one day conference on the census at Kew on Saturday 1 October 2011.

The presentation is about Histpop, part of the History Data Service at the University of Essex, which provides online access to the complete British population reports for Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1937. That's not the individual level census data but "ancillary documents from The National Archives, critical essays and transcriptions of important legislation which provide an aid to understanding the context, content and creation of the collection".

The slides used are available as a PowerPoint show download. It's just as well the presenter, Richard Deswarte, followed the slides closely as the volume changes due to his moving back and forth from the microphone makes this a challenging presentation to follow.

Start at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/podcasts/histpop.htm

Who influences LAC?

There are no organizations currently lobbying on "genealogy" with the Government of Canada, that's according to a search on the word at the register of the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada.

Until about a year ago Jacques J.M. Shore of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP had, since 2004, been registered to lobby LAC for Ancestry.ca on "assistance regarding the company's effort to broaden its genealogy information base regarding Canadian ancestry and assist in program development to enhance Canadian genealogical information available to the public." and to "develop working relationship for information sharing and potential collaboration agreement." Interestingly the Ancestry address given is in Provo, Utah, not the company Toronto office.

Ten organizations with current registrations mention Library and Archives Canada. Five, the University of Saskatchewan, Xerox Canada Ltd, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, The Toronto-Dominion Bank, and McAfee Canada Inc., name LAC as just one among a comprehensive list of potential lobbying targets.

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind is registered for multiple departments and agencies as "seeking government funding through HRSDC to significantly improve service to CNIB library clients."

The Canadian Publishers' Council mentions lobbying on "Legal Deposit of Publications regulation respecting deposit of electronic works at Library and Archives Canada to ensure that implementation will be phased and that there will be ongoing consultation with the publishing sector in this regard", although curiously LAC is not specified as an organization to be lobbied.

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries mentions LAC as being a member, one of three members "that do not participate in or finance advocacy discussion or activity and that do not participate in Association board-level governance."

The Canadian Association of University Teachers includes LAC as one of a large number of departments and agencies lobbied, but specifically mentions as a subject for lobbying "the restructuring of Library and Archives Canada (LAC), the redefinition of its mandate, and financial cutbacks that undermine LAC’s ability to acquire, preserve and make publicly available Canada’s full documentary heritage."

Amazon.ca is registered to lobby LAC and six others on "Bill C-27: The Electronic Commerce Protection Act with respect to legislative amendments concerning implied consent and private right of action." and "Canadian Heritage and Culture and Investment Canada Act; to provide background information to company's activities in Canada; Canadian Heritage and Network Neutrality."

Perils of closer scrutiny

I'm reminded of a TV program I saw many years ago showing a French scientist dining with, I think, the King, pulling the bread apart and picking out various insect body parts. He assured the King there were many fewer in his bread than normally found.

That crossed my mind as I was further exploring the London, England, Electoral Registers, 1835-1965 database placed online by Ancestry last week. My initial explorations were helpful in filling in gaps in my family history -- the bread tasted good.

Audrey Collins in an intriguingly titled posting Who was Stanmore Groat? found problems. My experience was in searching for mention of my Northwood ancestors. Unfortunately Northwood is also a place name. I found numerous examples of the surname Northwood with unusual first names like Ruislip, Own, Pinner, Parsonage, Farm As, Farm As Occupier Green-Lane Farm, Rickmansworth, These were all in the Ruislip parliamentary district.

View the original records and you`ll find the person`s name is in a column not transcribed. It appears the transcription was done by machine with overly loose quality control. One wonders whether Ancestry even checks the names it comes up with through such machine interpretation against a name dictionary which would surely catch that type of error.

Just because you don`t find your person in this database when you expect to find them doesn`t mean they aren`t there.

16 January 2012

Quebec Family History Society new website

If you think the Quebec Family History Society website has been looking a bit past its best before date you wouldn't be the only one, including the Society board.

Now it's out with the old and in with a brand spanking new site. It's another from EasyNetSites; BIFHSGO is among many others users. I see the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia will shortly become another customer.

Who are the genealogy rock stars?

Who gives "must attend" presentations at genealogy conferences?  Who is it, when you see a new family history article or publication by that person, makes it a must buy? Those are the genealogy rock stars. Who are they? Please leave your nomination as a comment, which you can do anonymously. You can even nominate yourself!

To save being overwhelmed by nominations I've primed the pump with a selection of genealogists, mainly British, Canadian and US . I've surely left off some worthy candidates, don't hesitate to nominate them wherever they live.

Nominations will be open until 22 January. Then we'll have a round of voting. Separate lists will be compiled by country where the voter lives to take national preferences into account.

Here's the nomination list so far:

Anthony Adolph, Lesley Anderson, Nick Barratt, Else Churchill, Audrey Collins, Lisa Louise Cooke, Dick Eastman, Colleen Fitzpatrick, John Grenham, Alison Hare, Mark D. Herber, Sherry Irvine, Thomas W. Jones, Thomas MacEntee, Brenda Dougall Merriman, Elizabeth Shown Mills, George G. Morgan, Dave Obee, Chris Paton, Randy Seaver, Drew Smith, Megan Smolenyak, Kurt B. Witcher, Glenn Wright.

15 January 2012

OGS technical webinars

Ontario Genealogical Society members will have received an email with notice of four technical webinars to be delivered between 24 January and 7 March. They deal with the use of technology to support branch operations, not family history and are designed to appeal to branch executive member interests although all OGS members are invited.
They will be delivered through Microsoft Office Live Meeting which is made available to OGS through its agreement with The National Institute for Genealogical Studies.
The Society hopes to offer other free or low-cost webinars as a benefit to OGS members during the 2012 year, possibly making some available to non-members for a fee.

East Anglian Film Archive

On Saturday, having decided not to venture into what I sincerely hope will be the coldest day of the year, I spent a couple of hours with the East Anglian Film Archive and some of its 200 hours of material accessible for free. The coast of Norfolk and Suffolk gets a good representation. 

I was interested to see a short of the Funeral Of The Crew Of The Zeppelins Shot Down in 1916, and compare the treatment with the video of how the remains of Taliban fighters were treated recently. 
via Chris Paton's British GENES blog

14 January 2012

Ancestry updates British Columbia civil registration databases

Ancestry.ca's recent update to British Columbia civil registration indexes has added 1900-1903 to births, over 11,000 records; 1925-1935 to marriages, about 100,000 records; and 1980-1990 to deaths, about 192,000 records.

Remember that familysearch.org also has BC civil registration records which usually have more information than the Ancestry index, especially by giving parents names.

For births both indexes go up to 1903. The Ancestry the index for marriages has three years beyond that on FS and four additional years for deaths.

The BC Archives also have a website with one additional year for marriages (1936) and deaths (1991).