29 February 2012

Public library advertising

The saga of the Toronto Public Library continues. To help with the financial situation the Board now has an advertising policy and will start with ads printed on the back of due date slips.
I was surprised, and disappointed, not to see the potential of the library website recognized in the policy. Why not have the library sell books through a library affiliate program, like those of Amazon and Indigo/Chapters. Folks searching for a book at the library, and finding a long waiting list, could be offered the opportunity to purchase through the affiliate program, at no additional cost. Or they might choose to purchase through the library site.
Even more entrepreneurial, an attribute the Ottawa Public Library doesn't regard as a priority for its operation, would be to allow people to donate nearly new books purchased through the scheme back to the library for a tax receipt if there was still a backlog of people looking to borrow.

Ancestry adds London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1840-1911

Yet another nice London database from Ancestry, one that few would venture to explore without name indexing. It contains over 1.7 million records of school admission and discharges from 843 schools in the boroughs of Camden, City of London, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwick, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, and Westminster.

I quickly found my grandfather's record at Wilton Road School in Hackney which added a few extra details to my picture of him. 

While the records vary by school and some are more detailed than others because they were completed by the school they are likely reasonably reliable. The records include:Admission Date, Name, Parents’ names, Parents’ occupation, Address, Birth date, Age. This amount of detail minimizes the chance of mistakes. 

I checked a page of the Westminster Jew´s Free School and noticed a column from the 1870s asking for Christian name duly completed. Remarks like "Gone to Work" and "Required at Home" were common, less then half the children completed the 6th year of schooling.

28 February 2012

The History Press

The History Press use the byline "The UK's largest local and specialist history publisher." They were at WDYTYA Live and although I didn't browse much at their stand I recognized the company as publisher of Debbie Kennett's book DNA and Social Networking which I recently reviewed in Family Chronicle magazine. I also noticed examples of a series "Britain Now and Then" which profiles various cities and I'd noticed when I was looking at British books being published shortly.
I did pick up a flyer from the stand which gives their website as www.thehistorypress.co.uk and includes a discount code good for a 20% discount web orders until the end of March. It is HPWDY12.
The reverse of the flyer advertises Phillimore & Co. Ltd and offers "exclusive discounts" on their publications. Check it out and you'll find it links back to The History Press. Before ordering do check other sources, and Amazon, to see if you can get a better bargain, especially when postage is added.

TNA podcast: The British Red Cross and its archives

Collections assistant Sarah Cox's presentation from earlier in February gives an overview of the history of the British Red Cross, which was inaugurated on 4th August 1870, and the material in its archives. This includes correspondence from the earliest days, minutes, accounts, the official journal starting in 1914 from the 1910s, WW1 and WW2 service cards, and county records.
Listen to the presentation, shorter than most, from http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/podcasts/

27 February 2012

Interview with Chris Watts

The link below will take you to a short interview I conducted with Christopher T Watts at WDYTYA Live in London. Chris talks about the presentations he's giving at the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference. It's linked from the conference news page where you can keep up to date on event developments

The future of WDYTYA

According to my poll last Friday's Blair Underwood episode of the NBC TV program Who Do You Think You Are? was the best in the series so far, but that didn't hold true for viewership. According to the Geneabloggers blog "the total viewers for the episode were 4.99 million, with a 1.0 Rating and a 3 Share for the key 18-49 demographic. The episode ranked 3rd in its time slot and 5th for the overall evening ranking which represents a 10% decrease of viewership over last week’s Marisa Tomei episode and a 20% decrease over the premier episode with Martin Sheen."

Thomas McEntee speculates there may be weather or economic reasons, or it could be the competition is just more popular.

In the meantime in the UK reports are the the UK TV program will continue for another season and that WDYTYA Live will be back next year 22-24 February.

FreeBMD February update

The FreeBMD Database was last updated on Sunday 26 February 2012 and contains 213,060,874 distinct records.
Major additions this update, over 5,000 entries, include births in 1939-40, 1943-45, 1949, 1952, 1955, and 1957-1962; marriages in 1920, 1952-55, 1957-58, and 1960; deaths in 1873, 1951. 1953, 1955, 1957-1961.

26 February 2012

Free Family Tree Magazine App and issue

Family Tree ‏Magazine (UK) has their Apple app and Feb issue FREE all weekend -  tinyurl.com/7hawc6e

War of 1812

Brenda Dougall Merriman has an informative post "Invaders Came Speaking English" with background on the war 200 years ago between the UK, protecting its North American colonies, and the USA.


WDYTYA Live: Day 2

Folks were lined up at the door to the Olympia exhibition hall at least 90 minutes before the opening. At 9:30am we moved quickly inside the building and spread around the various exhibits and presentations. I spent most of the day recording interviews with International Society of Genetic Genealogy Director Kathrine Bourges, Kirsty Grey of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, Lesley Anderson of BIFHSGO and Ancestry, Chris Paton who writes the British GENES blog, BIFHSGO member Brenda Turner who had a memorable experience earlier in the day, and Debra Chatfield from Find My Past who, to my surprise, had a story of a very successful home children in her family history. Some of these I expect to get posted on the BIFHSGO blog in the coming days and weeks.
Also thanks to Dan Lynch for the advice on Google+ hangouts. I look forward to try that out with him. He also mentioned that increasingly he is delivering talks remotely to smaller societies at much less cost than travelling. Dick Eastman had also previously mentioned preferring to speak to smaller societies.
I won't be back for day 3 so let me express thanks to the organizers and exhibitors too numerous to mention individually for a wonderful event, better this year than last with the increased number of presentations.

25 February 2012

Canadian book sales and library circulation continues to grow

For those who would close libraries or think books are going the way of the dodo ... a reality check.

GenealogyBank presentation at RootsTech

Only one newspaper presentation was given at RootsTech, by Tom Kemp from GenealogyBank.  The company service involves digitized newspapers (and books.) You can now download the Powerpoint slides used, which focus on the types of information of interest for family history you will typically find in newspapers. Unfortunately for me the service is US-centric so of little value for my research.

Go to http://blog.genealogybank.com/2012/02/rootstech-presentation-download-newspapers-for-genealogists.html and follow the download instructions.

24 February 2012

WDYTYA: Blair Underwood

Jewish Genealogy Society at WDYTYA Live

Chris Paton blogged about this society stand which happens to be one at which I sought advice on Friday I can only add my thanks to those staffing the stand for being so helpful.


WDYTYA Live Day 1

I arrived about 11:30am by which time the crowds at the entrance had all moved inside. There was not a stand (booth) that didn't seem to be enjoying good trade. The big exhibitors were, as you might expect, Find My Past and other subsidiaries of bright solid, and Ancestry, with a large contingent of societies under the umbrella of the Society of Genealogists. Each of these ran presentations as did Family Tree DNA.

There was a good contingent of genealogy bloggers including Chris Paton, Audrey Collins and Dick Eastman. I was able to record interviews with Chris Watts (coming to the OGS conference) and Debbie Kennett (author of DNA and Social Networks).
Richard Grey of deceasedonline.com mentioned the company expects to increase their online content by 50% or more in the coming year and are actively contemplating introducing a subscription as well as pay per view. service.

Free credits at British Newspaper Archive

From 10am GMT (that's 5am EST) onwards on Friday you can pick up 30 free credits by registering on the British Newspaper Archive website at http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/ 

from Grant Millar of brightsolid via Ann Burns

Your Paintings

Here's an online initiative I covered last July but is worth mentioning again as the database has almost doubled. Your Paintings makes available information on more than 100,000 paintings in public and private collections in the United Kingdom that are accessible to the public. Images available could well include places in your family history.
According to a Wellcome Library blog post the database is expanding towards its estimated target of 200,000 paintings, most recently with the addition of around 7,000 paintings including 1,291 items from the Wellcome Library; the London Borough of Camden (Royal Free Hospital, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design; the London Borough of Camden collection; and Sir John Soane's Museum) and from seven Liverpool collections forming the National Museums Liverpool.

Your Paintings is hosted by the BBC at http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/

Findmypast makes another major announcement at WDYTYA Live

The following is a notice from findmypast.co.uk
Leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk announces at the Who Do You Think You Are Live Show at London's Olympia that it has been awarded a digitisation contract by Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies. This significant new project will lead to the publication online for the very first time of between 3.5 and 4 million historic records from the Archives. The records are expected to launch later this year and will become fully searchable, only at findmypast.co.uk.
Spanning the years 1538 to 1990 (1910 for baptisms and 1928 for marriages), the records cover parish churches and bishops' transcripts from the whole of Hertfordshire, including:.       historic Hatfield, childhood home of Elizabeth I and the birthplace of the jet airliner.       the garden cities of Letchworth and Welwyn.       Ayot St Lawrence, home of writer Sir George Bernard Shaw.       Hemel Hempstead, Watford, Cheshunt and Barnet
Guy Strachan, Digitisation Manager at findmypast.co.uk, said: "The addition of these historic records from Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies to findmypast.co.uk will be keenly anticipated by family and local historians alike, and will undoubtedly reinforce the website's position as the place to go for UK parish records."
Susan Flood, County Archivist at Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, added:  "This is a fantastic step forward for us to have our parish registers available on the web for all to access easily."
The joint announcement by findmypast.co.uk and Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies was one of a number made by the rapidly expanding family history website at the 3 day Who Do You Think You Are Live Show, where it has a major presence.  There they will be showcasing the many record collections on the site, including parish records from Manchester Archives, Cheshire Archives and 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 Hertfordshire Collection becomes available can register online at findmypast.co.uk to receive a newsletter.

23 February 2012

Posts from WDYTYA Live

I'm hoping to add posts from the Who Do You Think You Are? Live event in London on Friday and Saturday to the blog and/or to Twitter. Whether that's successful will depend on how busy I get, the availability of wifi and whether my iPhone stays charged. Please excuse any glitches.

Ancestry updates UK databases

Ancestry list some updates to their census databases for 1861, 1891 and 1911.  
For 1861 the regions involved are Wales, the Isle of Man and the Channel Island. Updates for 1891 and 1911 are for England.  
How complete is Ancestry's index? 
For England for 1891 they claim 27,096,333 records compared to a total population for England and Wales of 29,002,525.
For 1911 for England they claim 20,085,454 records, substantially down on their 1891 figure and the total population of England and Wales of 36,070,492 in 1911, While Ancestry apparently doesn't yet have England fully indexed for 1911 all counties do appear on the browse list. 

From findmypast.ie: 1.2 million Irish Petty Session Records now searchable online

The following is a notice from findmypast.ie
Today, Irish family history website findmypast.ie launched online for the first time the Petty Sessions order books (1850-1910), one of the greatest untapped resources for those tracing their Irish roots.
The original Petty Sessions records, held at the National Archives of Ireland, were scanned by Family Search and have now been transcribed and made fully searchable by findmypast.ie. They cover all types of cases, from allowing trespass of cattle to being drunk in charge of an ass and cart. These were the lowest courts in the country who dealt with the vast bulk of legal cases, both civil and criminal. This first batch of entries contains details of 1.2 million cases, with most records giving comprehensive details of the case including: name of complainant, name of defendant, names of witnesses, cause of complaint, details of the judgement, details of a fine if any, and details of a sentence passed down if any. Another 15 million cases are to follow throughout 2012.
This first batch of records is particularly useful for areas of the country for which family history records are notoriously sparse such as Connaught and Donegal.
The reasons for cases being brought before the Petty Sessions Court are incredibly varied, but unsurprisingly the most common offence was drunkenness, which accounted for over a third of all cases. The top five offences tried before the courts were:
1. Drunkenness - 33%
2. Revenue/Tax offences - 21%
3. Assault - 16%
4. Local acts of nuisance - 5%
5. Destruction of property - 4%
The nature of these cases was significantly different from those in England. Figures show that the rate of conviction for drunkenness was three times greater, four times greater for tax offences, 65% higher for assault, and twice as likely for "malicious and wilful destruction of property" than that of our nearest neighbours.1
The records are full of the minor incidents which are representative of the vast majority of cases which were brought before the Resident Magistrates. For example, we have Michael Downey of Athlone, Co. Westmeath who was charged with being "drunk while in charge of an ass and cart in a public area", Pat Curley of Cloonakilla, Co. Westmeath who was charged with causing "malicious injury to a bicycle", the five men and women all convicted of "tippling in a sheebeen" (drinking in an unlicensed premises) on Queen Street, Athlone and given fines of between £1 and £5 or the five men who were charged with disturbing the Reverend J.W. Davidson as he was "ministering a divine service" in Bundoran, Co.Donegal.
Brian Donovan, Director of findmypast.ie, comments: "These court records open up a unique window into Irish society in the 19th century. Most families interacted with the law in one way or another, being perpetrators or victims of petty crime, resolving civil disputes, to applying for a dog licence. The records are full of the trauma and tragedy of local life, as family members squabbled, shop keepers recovered debt, and the police imposed order. These records help fulfil our mission to provide more than just names and dates, to get to the stories of our ancestors' lives."

QFHS lecture: The War of 1812

Here's advance notice from the Québec Family History Society of a free public lecture the Society will host to be given by Luc Lépine, one of the leading experts in the War of 1812 and author of the book "Lower Canada's Militia Officers, 1812 - 1815." The presentation will focus on events that took place in Lower Canada (now Québec) and the Battle of Chateauguay during the War of 1812.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 10, 2012, 10:30 a.m. at the Briarwood Presbyterian Church Hall, 70 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, QC, H9W 3Z3

Luke Lépine, a reference archivist at the National Archives of Québec in Montreal, has 37 years experience as a military historian, holds an MA from University of Montreal and is preparing a Ph.D at the University of Québec in Montreal.

22 February 2012

RootsTech or WDYTYA Live, London or Salt Lake City

Findmypast.co.uk puts new UK merchant seamen records online

The following is a notice from findmypast.co.uk

Leading family history website www.findmypast.co.uk has today released
online for the first time Merchant Seamen records from the 19th
century in association with The National Archives of the United
359,000 records of individuals covering the years 1835-1857 have now
been added to the website. Details contained within the records can
vary, but can include name, age, place of birth, physical description,
ship names and dates of voyages. Often this information can be given
in the form of coded entries which can easily be deciphered using
downloadable finding aids from The National Archives.
The records are taken from volumes held at The National Archives in
series BT112, BT113, BT114, BT115, BT116 and BT120 and were created by
central government to regulate the merchant shipping industry. As the
series spans two decades, some individuals may appear in multiple
series, making it possible for maritime historians or those with
ancestors in the merchant navy, to trace a seaman's service over time.
Janet Dempsey, Maritime Expert at The National Archives commented:
"These records are as significant to the social historian as they are
to the family historian.  No other group of working class men and
women had the freedom of movement and ability to see the world as
these 19th century mariners.
"This was the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen's earliest
attempts at keeping individuals records and resulted in four different
registers over twenty two years. Although more of a challenge to work
with than other family history sources, it can be very satisfying to
decipher the codes and have your investigative efforts rewarded with
sometimes surprisingly rich detail."
In 2011 findmypast.co.uk published Merchant Navy Seamen records from
1918-1941 in association with The National Archives, some of which
include photographs.
Debra Chatfield, family historian at findmypast.co.uk added: "The
Merchant Navy Seamen records will be of great interest to family
historians worldwide, as so many of us have generations of ancestors,
who made their living at sea. These records will add more detail to
our mental picture of their lives."
All the Merchant Navy Seamen records at findmypast.co.uk can be
searched for free from the Education & Work section of the website.
Transcripts and images can be viewed either with PayAsYouGo credits or
a Full Subscription.

Ancestry update Nova Scotia vital records

Ancestry list updates to the following databases:

Nova Scotia, Canada, Births, 1836-1910
Nova Scotia, Canada, Deaths, 1864-1877, 1890-1960
Nova Scotia, Canada, Marriages, 1763-1935


I'm preparing to join 17,000 other family historians at London's Kensington Olympia exhibition centre on Friday and Saturday. BIFHSGO members Lesley Anderson and Brenda Turner are also attending. Louise St Denis of the National Institute of Genealogical Studies, a frequent BIFHSGO conference exhibitor, will be an exhibitor. Watch out for blog postings and tweets using #WDYTYALIVE if I can get a wi-fi connection. I also hope to be recording some interviews for the BIFHSGO blog.

Cremation facts

indicates we will increasingly not have a marker to rely on for genealogical evidence.
  • Relatively few people are cremated in the US by international standards - the figure currently stands at 40%, though the trend is upwards and there are some big geographical variations.
  • Recent figures show Hawaii and Nevada up near 70%, but Mississippi at less than 10%. That could be a mark of socio-economic status. Statistics tend to show poorer people prefer in-ground burials
  • In Holland, some 57% of all bodies are cremated. 
  • Britain is the biggest cremator in Europe with 73%. 
  • Since the Catholic church eased its opposition to cremation, (there has been) growth in places such as Italy and Spain. 
  • A traditional burial can cost four times as much as cremation. And regarding space, one survey showed 750 burials taking up an acre of ground.

Lower Canada Census, 1831 at FamilySearch

FamilySearch have added Canada, Lower Canada Census, 1831, indexed, right behind those for 1842. There are 91,908 records linked to 7,416 images which you can also browse.

The counties/districts included are: BeauceBeauharnoisBellechasseBerthier,
BonaventureChamplainDeux MontagnesDorchesterDrummondGaspeKamouraskaL'AcadieL'AssomptionL'IsletLachenaieLaprairieLotbiniereMeganticMissisquoiMontmorencyNicoletOrleansPortneufQuebecRichelieuRimouskiRouvilleSaguenaySheffordSherbrookeSt. HyacintheSt. MauriceTerrebonneVaudreuilVercheresYamaska

While names of French origin predominate family historian of British origin shouldn't entirely overlook this source. There are, with variants, 225 Smiths, 130 Browns, 103 M(a)cDonaldses, 72 Joneses and even 43 Reids in this database.

Family Chronicle: Mar/Apr 2012 issue

The lead-off article in the Mar/Apr issues of Family Chronicle, Canada's leading "how-to guide to tracing your ancestors," is Tech Tools for Genealogists. Tony Bandy gives and overview of technological developments, both hardware and software, that can help in researching your family history with links to sources for more detail.
Michael Hait needs to only slightly exercise the full powers of a CG in his article Using Common Records to Overcome "Same Name" Problems in which he demonstrates using a series of city directories to resolve confusion between people of the same name who die between the 1880 and 1900 US censuses.
Pat Javor's article Alexander Lunan: A Case Study on researching an ancestor's accident, or attempted murder, is a good example of drawing on a wide range of documentary evidence, and a serendipitous meeting with another researcher of the same family while visiting an archive.

The full contents of this issue are:
Tech Tools for Genealogists
Tony Bandy looks at some technologies and tools that can help give your research a boost!
Those Pesky Same Names
Michael Hait shows how to use common records to overcome "same name" problems
Freedmen's Bureau Records
Diane L. Richard shows us a great resource for post Civil War research
Alexander Lunan: A Case Study
Pat Javor tries to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of her great-great uncle
Deciphering Jewish Tombstones
Arnon Hershkovitz, Ph.D. tells you what to look for in a Jewish cemetery
Lynn Cassity looks at a handy "app" for tracking cemeteries and tombstones using your smartphone
Borton Family Letters
Jana Sloan Broglin, CG looks at how letters written by your Civil War ancestors can aid your family history research
Proving Oral History
Janis Forté researches four ancestors who worked for the US Postal Service
Borders & Bridges: 1812 to 2012
Nancy Cutway of the Ontario Genealogical Society sheds light on the upcoming 2012 Conference to be held in Kingston, Ontario
Setting Up a Genealogy Budget
Jacky Gamble looks at how to ensure you get the most bang for your genealogy buck!
Frontiers in Family History
John D. Reid reviews Debbie Kennett's DNA and Social Networking
Planning a Scottish Research Trip
Christine Woodcock offers advice on planning a research trip to Scotland
Bonnets and Hats
Maureen Taylor enlightens us on the fashionable headware of our ancestors

21 February 2012

ISOGG Newsletter

The Jan/Feb 2012 issue of the newsletter of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy is now posted at http://www.isogg.org/

It starts with an editorial by ISOGG Director Katherine Bourges on a perennial favourite topic, generation length. As she points out, for Y-DNA the only significant factor is what that has been in your paternal genetic line and that of the person to whom you're comparing DNA.

For other purposes a generation has also been defined as the time to the birth of the first child, in a large family very different from the span for a younger sibling.

The newsletter issue also contains a profile of genetic genealogy pioneer William "Bill" R. Hurst, information on DNA in Who Do You Think You Are?, the US TV program and Who Do You Think You Are? Live, a DNA success story and links to various DNA news items.

The ISOGG newsletter is a benefit for the Society 8,000 members. A link was posted in Twitter from an ISOGG account so I doubt the ISOGG police will mind the mention. ISOGG membership is FREE.

TNA blog additions

There are two new additions to the UK National Archives blog. Find Audrey Collins' first post, on the RootsTech event, from which she just returned. Also added to the blog roll is a link to the Library and Archives Canada blog. Find them at the free family history site: http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/#.T0JfhQUQYD8.twitter

Ottawa Heritage Day event

Today, Tuesday, February 21, 2012, sees the annual celebration of Ottawa Heritage Day at Ottawa City Hall,110 Laurier Avenue West. The theme for Heritage Day 2012 is "The Heritage of Power Generation." Everyone is welcome to this free event.
A ceremony will take place at 11:30 a.m. but arrive early to view the displays from various area heritage organizations, including genealogical and family history societies.

20 February 2012

Dorset parish records now on FamilySearch

Dorset parish registers containing baptisms, marriages/banns, and burials for 1538-1910 are added to FamilySearch. There are 332,615 transcription records available, with no image originals. The source given is "from the Dorset History Centre, Dorchester. FHL microfilm, 268 reels, Family History Library Salt Lake City, Utah." It would be helpful if a list of the Dorset parishes from which the information is taken were available.

Ancestry also have a large collection of Dorset parish register records, with images. See previous post here.

Investigating HMS Investigator

Friend and BIFHSGO member Barbara Tose sent me a link to a fascinating article about exploring the wreck of HMS Investigator, a British vessel that has sat on the bottom of Mercy Bay in Canada`s High Arctic for more than 160 years. Barbara is part of the team working to conserve artifacts recovered.
Read the story at Saga of the Northwest Passage, published by the Archaeological Institute of America.
It may be of special interest if you research a surname belonging to one of the British crew:  They were: Anderson, Armstrong,  Batten, Biggs, Bluff, Bonnsall, Bow, Boyle, Bradbury, Brown, Calder, Carmichael, Carroll, Court, Cresswell, Davies, Eames, Evans, Facey, Farquharson, Fawcett, Flynn, Ford, Gauen, Gibbs, Griffiths, Haswell, Hulott, Keefe, Kennedy, Kerr, King, Mackenzie, May, M'Clure, M'Donald, Mierching, Milner, Morgan, Nelson, Olley, Paine, Parfitt, Piers, Ramsay, Relfe, Ross, Sainsbury, Saunders, Steel, Stone, Stubberfield, Sugden, Taylor, Thompson, Tiffeny, Toy, Whitefield, Wilcox, Williams, Woon, Wynniatt.

19 February 2012

Royal Army Medical Corps Muniments Collection

Researching a British Army medical officer? If so you may benefit from the most popular collection at London`s Wellcome Library, that of the Royal Army Medical Corps Muniments Collection. In 454 boxes, 134 oversize boxes and folders, it's described as reports, diaries, memoirs, photographs and memorabilia given to the RAMC Museum and Library by former officers and men of the Corps. Some date back to Marlborough's campaigns of the late 17th century; there is also material relating to the continuing European and Imperial conflicts of the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Crimean War (1854-1856), the Boer War and the Balkan conflicts of the early 20th century, the two World Wars, the Korean War and other smaller conflicts.

Other popular collections at the Wellcome Library are in this blog posting.

Five new Google search tricks from Genealogy in Time magazine

The recent change in Google's privacy policy may change the results you get with a regular Google search depending on how many of their services you use. Genealogy in Time magazine has a useful article pointing to approaches to using Google that can circumvent that bias, useful for person searches, Google Encrypted Search. The article also points to some other helpful resources: DuckDuckGo, 2lingual Google Search, Googawho and, maps comparator.

Find the article "Five New Google Search Tricks" under "What's New" at http://www.genealogyintime.com/

18 February 2012

What cuts are in LAC's future?

We're getting accustomed to service reductions at Library and Archives Canada. Cuts in acquisitions, longer waits for delivery of ordered materials and reduction in consultation service are already implemented or announced.

Where will the ax of sweeping budget cuts expected as part of the next budget fall? The Ottawa Citizen is reporting that information about the cuts is being managed centrally with instructions that they not be included in the forthcoming Reports on Plans and Priorities. According to Treasury Board President Tony Clement this may be a matter of timing as the decisions about cuts will not have been made, but documents will be able to be updated electronically - not much help if parliamentary deliberations are informed by stale information.

One estimate of the cuts, judged most likely, is published in The Cuts Behind the Curtain: How federal cutbacks will slash services  and increase unemployment David Macdonald, an analyst for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. It suggests LAC will lose 123 FTEs and $16.3 million, that's on top of cuts already scheduled.

Lower Canada 1842 census, indexed at FamilySearch

Just available, 46,467 indexed records linked to images for the 1842 Lower Canada (Quebec) census. This is a head of household census with occupation stated and minimal information about the number, age range and gender of family members,

The BBC looks at fashion in two ways

Those interested in fashions in clothing, that excludes me, might enjoy a BBC Magazine look at fashion in Britain from the 18th to 20th centuries. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16870841

Fashion in housing is covered in this video based on a new exhibition - A Place to call Home: Where we live and why from the Royal Institute of British Architects. It may be related to a three part TV series on changes in the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen now running on the BBC - not available in North America.

Livestreaming talks from WDYTYA Live

Chris Paton; British GENES blog carries news of lectures being livestreamed by Ancestry from the WDYTYA Live event at Olympia. Note the times are GMT so you need to adjust to your timezone, five hours earlier in the case of EST.

17 February 2012

1891 Scottish census transcription now at findmypast.co.uk

Transcriptions of the 1891 census for Scotland are now available at findmypast.co.uk. These 4,016,000 records complement the 1841-1881 Scottish census transcriptions already available.

FMP will "soon" publish the 1901 Scottish census.

Toronto of OId

Just available on the Internet Archive is Toronto of Old by Henry Scadding. Published in 1878, and nearly 600 pages, it would be a very knowledgeable Torontonian who couldn't learn something from it.
Hogg's Hollow is known to anyone who has travelled Yonge Street, just south of the 401. Use this book to discover how it got its name, or for that matter how Yonge Street got its name.
The Internet Archive texts holds several other books on the history of the city.

ACOM plunges on 4th quarter 2011 results

Traders in Ancestry.com stock, symbol ACOM, were less that favourably impressed following the company 4th quarter results released after the market closed on Wednesday. This was counter to the market overall, the NASDAQ gaining 1.5%.

Having closed at $28.52 on Wednesday ACOM dropped to $22.31 in the late morning, a 22% drop, still above the 52 week low of $20.67 last December. Afternoon trading saw a recovery to close at $23.83 and after hours up to $24.00.

The drop was a reaction the fourth quarter showing the number of subscribers up only slightly from the third quarter of 2011; monthly churn at 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2011, a marginal improvement over 3.9% in the fourth quarter of 2010 and; subscriber acquisition cost increasing to $107.88, compared to $96.87 in the fourth quarter of 2010.

How much do you pay for your subscription? Ancestry gives average monthly revenue per subscriber as $18.38, compared to $17.78 in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Investor's Business Daily reported Ancestry CEO Tim Sullivan as saying the company is lowering its expectations for subscriber growth in the first two quarters this year because of weaker ratings for "Who Do You Think You Are?"

The first two episodes of the third season drew about 17% fewer viewers than the program did last year, Sullivan said.

16 February 2012

Ancestry offers free access to Canadian vital records

Until Monday, February 20, 2012, 11:59 p.m. (ET) Ancestry.ca is opening up it's collection of Canadian vital records.

The fine print says that to view these records you will need to register for free with Ancestry.ca with your name and email address. Once you have registered we will then 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 February 20, 2012 you will only be able to view these records using an Ancestry.ca paid membership.

Historic Canadian mail-order catalogues

Looking for an illustration for a family history, or wondering what that 1920s sewing machine might have cost? Check out the mail-order catalogues, from the 1880s to 1970s, in a collection online from the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Eaton's Fall and Winter 1887-88
John Eaton Catalogue No. 2, 189-?
Eaton's Spring and Summer 1896
Eaton's Fall and Winter 1897-98
Simpson's Spring and Summer 1899
Carsley Spring and Summer 1902
Carsley Fall and Winter 1902
Simpson's White Goods, January 1906
Simpson's Christmas 1906
Eaton's Spring and Summer 1908
Goodwin's Fall and Winter 1911-12
Eaton's Fall and Winter 1915-16
Eaton's Spring and Summer 1916
Christie Grant Midsummer Sale 1918
Eaton's Fall and Winter 1918-19
P. T. Legaré, 1920
Eaton's Spring and Summer 1926
Eaton - Mi-été 1928
Army and Navy Fall and Winter 1932-33
Eaton - Printemps et été 1934
Eaton's Fall and Winter 1935-36
Eaton's Spring and Summer 1936
Nerlich 1938-39
Eaton - Automne et hiver 1939-1940
Nerlich Fall and Holiday 1939-1940
Simpson's Spring and Summer 1945
Eaton - Printemps et été 1945
Dupuis Frères - Automne et hiver 1945-1946
Simpson's Fall and Winter 1945-46
Dupuis Frères - Été 1948
Eaton's Fall and Winter 1948-49
Eaton - Automne et hiver 1950-1951
Simpson's Spring and Summer 1952
Eaton's Christmas Book 1956
Army and Navy Fall and Winter 1958-59
Dupuis Frères - Printemps et été 1962
Eaton's Spring and Summer 1965
Eaton - Automne et hiver 1967
Eaton - Novembre 1968
Eaton - Vente d'été 1971
Eaton's Spring and Summer 1975
Eaton - Noël 1975

Children's hospital anniversary

Tuesday was the 160th anniversary of the opening of the Hospital for Sick Children at Great Ormond Street, London.
A blog post from the Wellcome Library marks the occasion and reminds us of the Historic Hospital Admission Registers Project.

HHARP includes details of admissions to three other children's hospitals (Evelina Hospital; the Alexandra Hospital for Children with Hip Disease and and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow) arose from work to create a database of late 19th century and early 20th century admissions to Great Ormond Street.  As well as the rich details provided by these medical records, HHARP also includes histories on all the hospitals it includes records from, a handy glossay of medical terms and contextualising detail on the growth of children's hospitals in the nineteenth century.

Heritage Ottawa lecture: 16 February

The 7th Annual Bob and Marry Anne Phillips Memorial Lecture Full Circle: conservation and 'adaptive use' in restoring the Jeanne D'Arc Institute on Sussex Drive will take place in the Ottawa Public Library Auditorium, 120 Metcalfe St., corner of Laurier Ave. W today, Thursday, February 16, 7pm

Designer/developer Ian Johns and author Sarah Jennings recount their adventures in bringing new life to five historic Sussex Drive buildings through a private, subsidy-free development agreement with the National Capital Commission. This first leasehold project of its kind in Canada’s capital has taken buildings dating from Bytown’s earliest days and the more recent Jeanne d’Arc Institute, between Clarence and York Streets, to form a commercial/residential development that provides a lively and thriving full city block on Ottawa’s “Mile of History”

15 February 2012

Mapping deprivation in England

Take statistics on income, employment, health and disability, education skills and training, barriers to housing and other services, crime and living environment. Combine together with skilled and innovative mapping. The result is Geodemographics of Housing in Great Britain England: new visualisation in the style of Charles Booth's map.The darker red indicates the most deprived, the dark green the least. The data is nominally for 2010.

While details, and there is considerable detail as you zoom in, won't be applicable for your ancestors in 1910 or 1810 general trends are likely persistent, as will be apparent to those familiar with London from this close-up.
via mappinglondon.co.uk.

Genetic genealogy interest poll

Online Poll @ FluidSurveys.com...

Survey Software by FluidSurveys.com

Top ten British family history books

In  preparation for a trip to the UK, and the WDYTYA Live event, I checked amazon.co.uk to find out the UK's best selling family history books.

As usual there's lots of competition for the beginner market, many of which I don't know. One I keep conveniently to hand, Ancestral Trails by Mark Herber, is 4th ranked. as a 2005 publication it could do with a refresh.

1. Who Do You Think You Are? Encyclopedia of Genealogy: The definitive reference guide to tracing your family history by Nick Barratt (1 Sep 2008) £16.50

2.Track Down Your Ancestors: How to Research Your Family History Using Archives and the Internet by Estelle Catlett (26 Jun 2008) £4.29

3. Writing Up Your Family History: A Do-it-yourself Guide (Genealogy) by John Titford (20 Nov 2003) £6.29

4. Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History by Mark D. Herber (1 Jun 2005) £15.50

5. Family History for the Older and Wiser: Find Your Roots with Online Tools (The Third Age Trust (U3A)/Older & Wiser) by Susan Fifer (19 Feb 2010) £8.83

6. The Family and Local History Handbook: v. 13 by Robert Blatchford and Elizabeth Blatchford (30 May 2011) £8.79

7. Tracing Your Family History on the Internet by Chris Paton (24 Mar 2011) £8.83

8. Writing Your Family History: A Practical Guide by Deborah Cass (30 Jul 2004) £7.57

9. Essential Maps for Family Historians (Family History) by Charles Masters (15 Oct 2009) £8.83

10. Your Family Tree On-line: How to Trace Your Ancestry from Your Own Computer by Graeme Davis (31 Jul 2009) £8.99

Not on the list, but another that I keep to hand, is DNA and Social Networking by Debbie Kennett.

14 February 2012

Blog mysteries

Last Friday Brooke Broadbent, BIFHSGO podcaster, quizzed me on why I blog and other mysteries related to genealogy blogging. It runs a tad over 10 minutes. Connect from http://bifhsgo.ca/cpage.php?pt=59

More societies do webinars

Scarcely a day goes by when you can't find a genealogy webinar or similar online event. Some are open and free, perhaps the best know being those offered by Legacy Family Tree, they have Ten Brick Wall Tips for Beginners being given by Marian Pierre-Louis on Wednesday. Go to http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/webinars.asp for more information.
Some are run by societies just for their members. The Ontario Genealogical Society have taken advantage of a generous offer from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies to provide a webinar facility. Now the cooperative arrangement is being extended to the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia and the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society. Does your society want to try webinars? Maybe the National Institute could help.

"Finding Your Great War Ancestors" workshop

A reminder that the early registration deadline is 22 February for "Finding Your Great War Ancestors", a day-long workshop devoted to the "war to end war", jointly presented by the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and the Canadiana Department of North York Central Library.
It's being held on Saturday 31 March 2012 at the North York Memorial Community Hall, North York Centre. Speakers include Simon Fowler, one of Britain's top family history teachers, writers and researchers, Canadian War Museum historian and author Tim Cook, author of "Canadians at War 1914-1919" Glenn Wright, and popular local genealogist James F.S. Thomson.

More information and registration is via the Toronto Branch website.

13 February 2012

OGS conference 2012 and 2013

There is now a call for proposed presentations for the 2013 Ontario Genealogical Society conference to be held at Oshawa with the theme Pulling up Stakes – Putting Down Roots. The deadline for proposals is 31 July, 2012. More information via EOGN.

A reminder that registration is now open for the 2012 edition of the OGS conference, this year being held in Kingston. The speakers are:
Phil Ainsworth, Lesley Anderson, Ruth Burkholder, Sharon Callaghan, Lisa Louise Cooke, Jane L. Down, David Hemming, Evelyn Kolish, Jane E. MacNamara, Fran Murphy, Serge Paquet, Guylaine Petrin, John D. Reid, Rick Roberts,  Lois Sparling,
Chris Watts, Joseph Wearing, Meldon J. Wolfgang III, F.G.B.S., Glenn Wright, Stephen Young.
There's more information at http://www.ogs.on.ca/conference2012/

Initiative for Equitable Library Access

The cultural/heritage communities are not the only ones concerned with the actions of Library and Archives Canada.

A letter dated February 8 to Daniel Caron is posted on behalf of the Coalition of Organizations of Blind, Deaf-blind, and Partially-Sighted Rights Holders of Canada asking for an accounting of $3,000,000.00 allocated to to LAC develop a blueprint for making public library services more accessible to Canadians with print disabilities. The letter states that there were no results and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind is now having to repeat the work.

Nova Scotia church records at FamilySearch

Parish registers of baptisms, marriages, deaths and other records for some Catholic and Church of England in Canada parishes from Nova Scotia 1720-2001 were added to FamilySearch earlier in the month.

There are 16,188 browseable images for:

Granville Centre , Church of England in Canada All Saints

Cape Breton
Sydney , Church of England in Canada St George

Chester , Church of England in Canada St Stephen

Londonderry , Catholic St Thomas More
Truro , Church of England in Canada St Paul

Colchester and Cumberland
Brule, Fox Harbour, Londonderry, Oxford, Pugwash, Streets Ridge, Tatamagouche and Wallace , Catholic St Thomas More

Amherst, Catholic St Charles Borromeo
Digby, Church of England in Canada Trinity Church
Joggins, Catholic St Thomas Aquinas
Parrsboro, Catholic St Brigid
Springhill, Catholic St John and Catholic St John the Baptist\

Digby, Church of England in Canada Trinity Church


Cornwallis Square, Church of England in Canada St John

Bridgewater, Catholic St Joseph
Dalhousie, Catholic St Joseph

Caledonia, Catholic St Joseph
Liverpool, Catholic St Gregory
Liverpool, West Caledonia, Catholic St Gregory and St Jerome