31 October 2014

More English Wills Online

The focus of this week's update to the Findmypast portfolio is more than 430,000 British wills and probate records from the collection acquired from Origins.net.

The Prerogative & Exchequer Courts of York Probate Index 1688-1858 contains over 263,000 wills that were proved in the ecclesiastical courts of York. The province of York had jurisdiction in the counties of Cheshire, Cumberland, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Westmorland and Yorkshire. Although over 80% of the records relate to Yorkshire, people from all over the British Isles and overseas had property in the province and had their wills proved in the Prerogative or Exchequer Court of York.

Kent Wills & Probate Indexes, 1328-1890 consists of over 63,000 transcript records from seven different ecclesiastical Church of England courts compiled from the West Kent Probate index 1750-1890, West Kent Probate Index 1440-1857, Kent Inventories 1571-1842 and Kent Will Abstracts 1328-1691.

Lichfield Consistory Court Wills, 1650-1700 contains over 28,000 records and consists of administration applications, inventories of the testators’ property, and wills covering the entire counties of Staffordshire and Derbyshire, north Shropshire and north Warwickshire.

York Medieval Probate Index, 1267-1500 is an index to over 28,000 records with 10,000 wills and related documents proved in the province of York prior to the 16th century. Compiled from original documents held by the Borthwick Institute for Archives, the York Medieval Probate Index is available online exclusively at Findmypast.

Surrey & South London Will Abstracts, 1470-1856 has 26,000 wills containing over 29,000 names taken from the will registers held at the London Metropolitan Archives.

Sussex, Chichester Consistory Court Wills Index, 1482-1800 has indexes to over 22,000 wills covering the four archdeaconries of the diocese; Horsham, Hastings, Brighton & Lewes and Chichester itself. Each record includes a transcript of the original index that can include the testator’s name, occupation/status, residence, the date the will was proved, the court it was proved in, the document type and reference.

York Medieval Probate Index, 1267-1500 is an index to over 28,000 records with 10,000 wills and related documents proved in the province of York prior to the 16th century. Compiled from original documents held by the Borthwick Institute for Archives, the York Medieval Probate Index is available online exclusively at Findmypast.

Gloucestershire Wills & Administrations, 1801-1858 is an index of 14,000 original wills for the Consistory Court of Gloucester.  The court held jurisdiction for 307 parishes and virtually covered the whole of the ancient county and some smaller Peculiar Courts with the exception of Bristol.

Over 570 pages of Cheltenham Probate Abstracts, 1660-1740, have also been added.

Findmypast isn't the only source of wills newly online this week. The Essex Record Office which has about 70,000 wills dating from the 1400s to 1858, have had digital images of about 20,000 of these wills available online through their subscription service Essex Ancestors have now uploaded a further 22,500. See information at www.essexrecordofficeblog.co.uk/where-theres-a-will-major-update-to-essex-ancestors/

FreeBMD end of October Update

The FreeBMD database was updated on Thursday 30 October 2014 and to contain 242,129,588 distinct records.
Major updates of more than 5,000 records are: for births 1940, 1943, 1958, 1962, 1964-66, 1970-74; for marriages 1952, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970-74; for deaths 1971, 1973.

Reports on Genetic Genealogy Ireland and Back to Our Past 2014

Want to find out what happened at the Genetic Genealogy Ireland Event, but don't have time to watch the videos? There's a report by Debbie Kennett here.
There's also an early report on the Back to Our Past event, of which the genetic genealogy event was part, by Claire Santry. Claire came back at the end of the event with a stop press item on a price cut for the Irish Newspaper Archive.
Both reports have genealogy news of interest even if you don't have Irish ancestry.

Kirsty Gray in Ottawa

A reminder of a "you wouldn't want to miss" event this Sunday, 2 November, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm UK Rockstar Genealogist Kirsty Gray will deliver two lectures at Woodroffe United Church, Banquet Hall, 207 Woodroffe Ave. They are:

Searching for Names: Challenges, Pitfalls and the Downright Ridiculous
Solving Problems Through Family Reconstruction.

This event is sponsored by OGS Ottawa Branch and BIFHSGO. Admission is $10 per person at the door. A break with light refreshments will be served between the two lectures.

Kirsty is flying in from Toronto that morning after participating in the OGS Toronto Branch full day workshop Industrial England. Fortunately the flying weather looks fine.

30 October 2014

Book Review: The Lost Empress

If you like murder mystery mixed with genealogy try The Lost Empress by Steve Robinson. It's a page turner.
This fourth in a series of Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mysteries is timely. It's a fictional present day genealogical investigation of the period at the start of the First World War and the sinking of the Empress of Ireland.
To enjoy it you'll need to be prepared to accept a series of murders and turn on willing suspension of disbelief when it comes to coincidences.
Suppress your skeptical genealogist genes or you may be thrown off track, abruptly interrupting page turning.
In chapter 18 there's mention of a daughter no longer alive in the English 1911 census, the only source cited. But that census does not give gender of deceased children.
In chapter 33 finding information in the 1890 US census is mentioned, but less than 1% of that census escaped destruction.
While these aren't central to the story the existence of an article in The Quebec Mercury for June 1914 online is. In fact that paper published its last issue in October 1903, see http://goo.gl/3KGe2c (in French). The confusion may be due to an error propagated in a Wikipedia article that the newspaper survived until the 1950s. The French wikipedia article has the correct information.

The Lost Empress is $5.44 Cdn for the Kindle edition. The others in the series I haven't yet read are even less expensive.

Aside from enjoying the story it's almost worth it just to see if you can spot other genealogical issues.

Several other reviews are at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22341273-the-lost-empress

Women's WW1 UK Military Records Index on Ancestry

Ancestry has added indexes to two data-sets from The (UK) National Archives

Web: UK, Women's Royal Naval Service Index, 1917-1919 with 7,444 records
Web: UK, Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Index, 1917-1920 with 7,010 records

The naval index search provides name, enrollment date, service number and rank/rating (occupation).
The army index gives name, birth date and birth place.

Both provide a link to the complete record, with images, at TNA's Discovery website at a cost of £3.30.

29 October 2014

Historical Society of Ottawa October Meeting

On Friday, 31 October, Peter Ryan, a member of the Bytown Fire Brigade and retired Ottawa fireman, will talk about the history of the Brigade and show a short video of its museum in the east end of the city.
He will also display various artifacts in the Brigade’s collection and discuss major fires of the past in the Ottawa area, and how they were battled.
As well, he’ll talk about visiting the museum and touring its displays.
The meeting starts at 1:00 pm  in the lounge of the Routhier Community Centre, 172 Guigues Street at Cumberland.

Putting a DNA Test Specter to Rest

"Even in an underserved population at high risk for adverse psychological reactions, subjects responded positively to personalized genetic results."

That's the conclusion for a study published in Genetics in Medicine which refutes one of the objections often raised to DNA testing.  A study of 82 participants, 64% African-American, from a vulnerable population with higher-than-normal risk for depression, about half unemployed with no health insurance, found 95% appreciated genetic results, and receiving these results was not associated with changes in symptoms of depression or anxiety. Furthermore, after return of genetic results, smoking cessation attempts increased.

Could it be the risk from surprises about ancestry results could be worse than those from health?

An abstract of the study is at www.nature.com/gim/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/gim2014110a.html and there's a popular summary at www.futurity.org/genetic-testing-results-790942/

Ancestry adds London, England, Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records, 1738-1930

Ancestry.co.uk may have new information for you if you had a person of interest in the workhouse in one of the following London boroughs (Poor Law Unions or Parishes): Camden (St Giles in the Fields, St Pancras), City of London, Hammersmith and Fulham (Fulhan, Hammersmith), Hillingdon (Uxbridge), Holborn (Holborn, St Giles in the Fields and St George Bloomsbury), Kensington and Chelsea (Chelsea, Kensington, St Mary Abbots), Westminster (Paddington, St Marylebone, Westminster).
There are 3,264,526 records which contain name, dates of admission and/or discharge, age (or year of birth) and other details.
The other details can be telling. I found a Richard Ordish, age 42, admitted in Westminster on 30 March 1839 as a destitute, occupation paper hanger. That's the name of my 3rd great grandfather The clincher in identifying him as my ancestor is the parish to which he belonged listed as Cambridge which is where he died the following year and where his widow and children are found in the 1841 census.

28 October 2014

For every silver lining ... a cloud

John Grenham's most recent Irish Roots column What do we lose when records are digitised? reminds us that, despite the benefits, when it comes to digitization  "Every human intervention adds another layer of error, with incremental losses to accuracy and completeness."

Evaluating the reliability of the sources you use is fundamental. It's not unique to genealogical research.

An Exhibition at LAC!

It's an ill wind ... The temporary closure of the Canada Science and Technology Museum has provided an opportunity for Library and Archives Canada to host a timely exhibit Echoes in the Ice: Finding Franklin's Ship.
LAC stopped mounting exhibitions, seemingly almost closing the facility at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. Now under the leadership of Guy Berthiaume that trend is reversed, at least for this occasion.
There a press release here.
Will the trend continue? Perhaps LAC will mount a permanent display of significant items from Canada's documentary heritage from the organization collection giving tourists a reason to visit the building.

27 October 2014

Spitalfields Nippers

In the early 1900s ... "one in five children in Spitalfields did not survive until adulthood, but our research reveals that among the poorest families, the mortality rate in the area was closer to a third." If you think Canada's Home Children had a tough life, and many of them did, think about their lives before coming to Canada.

The photographs here and here from a new book, based on the photographer's family photo collection, bring the conditions behind the statistics to life. The book Spitalfields Nippers, by Horace Warner, will be published on 1 November by Spitalfields Life at £20.

DNA 101 for Genealogists in Arnprior

Bill Arthurs, Chair of BIFHSGO's DNA Special Interest Group will be making a presentation on Wednesday October 29th at 7pm at the Arnprior Public Library.
The host is Patrick's Family History Group, named for Patrick Wohler, who was a volunteer at the Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives and also wrote the ‘Family Historian’ articles in local newspapers.
Admission is Free to PFHG Members, $5.00 for Non-Members

Genealogy Workshop: North Lanark Regional Museum

The North Lanark Regional Museum, 647 River Road, Appleton (near Carleton Place),
 is hosting a genealogy workshop from November 12-15.
On Nov. 12, 2 to 4 pm  there will be an overview of genealogy. Nov 13, & 14, 2 to 4 pm will be an opportunity for attendees will work on their own trees on Ancestry with guidance. On Nov. 15 9:30 AM to noon there is a presentation DNA Testing for Genealogy by Bob Butler & Brian Tackaberry.
More details and registration at: http://www.northlanarkregionalmuseum.com/NLRM_Genealogy_Workshop2014.html, or register by telephone at:: 613-257-8503

Cost is $15 per day – or $50 for all 4 days

26 October 2014

1,000,000 Canadian Headstones

Congratulations to Canadian Headstones which as of Saturday afternoon passed 1,000,000 gravestone photo records from across Canada.
This federally registered company, 7646712, under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, has the mission of capturing digital images and the complete transcription of headstones of our ancestors. It is supported by ad revenue and donations.
According to company director Cliff Seibel they are working on adding photos from Ottawa's Notre Dame Cemetery.

Norfolk Records added at MyHeritage

I'm always on the lookout for Norfolk records. MyHeritage just added two Norfolk collections:

England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1844-1952: With over 4.5 million indexed names, this collection contains register lists, organized by Polling District, Parish and Street, for those who had the right to vote in Norfolk. As far as I can tell, not being a subscriber, there are few records after the 1910s.

England, Norfolk Bishop’s Transcripts, 1685-1941: Bishops’ transcripts for the County of Norfolk arranged by church jurisdiction and in yearly bundles. The collection includes over 1 million baptism, marriage and burial records. You'll likely find many of these in the free Norfolk Transcription Archive.

25 October 2014

Janet Few

The Society for One-Place Studies has a new Chair, Janet Braund Few. Congratulations to BIFHSGO's first ever conference remote speaker.

National Genealogy Conference Speaker Suggestions

Some of the responses to my request for speaker suggestions for the proposed July 17-19, 2015 National Genealogy Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia came as comments to the original post where they can be found. Others came in by email.
Here is a compilation in surname alphabetical order of all the suggestions received:

Lesley Anderson

May Chan
Karolyn Smardtz Frost
Alison Hare
Sherry Irvine
Jane E MacNamara
Allan Marble
Ken McKinlay
Janice Nickerson
Dave Obee
David Pike
Terry Punch
Shirley-Ann Pyefinch
Gary Schroder
Sylvie Tremblay
Stephen A. White
Glenn Wright

London and Warwickshire Burials, Somerset Records from Findmypast

Findmypast added over 451,000 UK burial records and new Somerset resources in their regular Friday update.

Over 389,000 new records from the South London Burials Index 1545-1905, transcriptions by Monnica Stevens and John Hanson, have been added to the Greater London Burials, which now contain over one million names from 226 Anglican and non-conformist parishes. There are 266,205 records for the City of London, 300,094 for Middlesex and 453,215 for Surrey. Original register images are not available.

Witton cemetery opened in 1863 as Birmingham City Cemetery and is the largest in the city, with over 62,000 records. Transcription of the burial register are now added to the Warwickshire, Birmingham burials 1833-2010 collection with a total of 488,906 records from Handsworth Cemetery, Key Hill Cemetery, Warstone Lane Cemetery and now Witton Cemetery. Original register images are not available.

Somerset Electoral Registers 1832-1914 are new to Findmypast and consist of over 31,700 page images containing an estimated two million names. Registers available are: Bridgwater: 1894 and 1905; East Somerset: 1832-1913; Frome: 1894 and 1905; Mid Somerset: 1876 and 1884; North Somerset: 1894 and 1905; South Somerset: 1894 and 1905; Wells: 1894 and 1905; West Somerset: 1846-1905. A name search, which is not restricted to names, leads to pdf page images.

Somerset & Dorset Notes and Queries consists of thirty volumes for 1890 to 1980 with articles on Somerset history, folklore and literature including some local family trees, parish register extracts and copies of other privately held documents.

24 October 2014

Wilson's Canadian Military Guides Online

Barbara Wilson, a widely admired military archivist who passed away earlier this year has received further fitting tribute with new online availability at the Library and Archives Canada website of two of her finding aids.

Guide to Sources Relating to the Canadian Militia, 1855–1988
Guide to Sources Relating to Canadian Naval Vessels, 1909–1983.

The Canadian militia guide is divided into two parts: Infantry, Cavalry, Armored and; Artillery. For each militia unit it draws together references from the following archival fonds:
Militia and Defence (Record Group 9; RG9)
National Defence (Record Group 24; RG24)
Governor General’s Office (Record Group 7; RG7)
War Office 32 (Manuscript Group 13; MG13).

The Canadian Naval Vessels guide is an alphabetical order list, by vessel name, taken from National Defence (Record Group 24; RG24).

I'd like to be able to add that the information in the guides is linked to an online file of the document referenced. Alas.  Even the descriptions are tantalizingly brief. For example, under HMCS Ottawa one resource is Movements, 1943-1945 at RG24 vol. 6810, file S.8700-353/18. A shrewd guess would be it's about the ship's movements. But there are also "proceedings" which have information on a ship's movements.

How do you get hold of a file? See Consulting and Borrowing Material and remember that most original archival documents in the LAC collection must be consulted on-site.

Finally don't overlook Barbara Wilson's finding aid Guide to Sources Relating to Units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Ancestry in Canada

A CEO's comments in company reports are always spin. Ancestry.com CEO Tim Sullivan's comments in the company latest quarterly financial report are no exception.

"Ancestry.com is executing well on our mission to help everyone discover, preserve and share their family history," said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry.com. "We're continuing to focus on our core customers - the enthusiasts who are passionate about their family history - by adding valuable new content and features to our site, while also aggressively pursuing growth priorities designed to expand our total addressable market. These priorities include our AncestryDNA product, where we've doubled our customer base during 2014, our mobile apps, which are generating increased engagement, and our efforts to broaden category awareness, including the creation of terrific family history TV programming. Overall our business is healthy and we believe we're positioning the company to capture its long-term growth opportunities."
The report shows while subscription revenues have increased the company lost 50,000 subscribers in the year since 30 September 2013. Subscriptions stand at 2,125,000 as of the end of September. The company is losing money, less so in the latest quarter.

In Canada the picture is mixed.
The good news is the company website is receiving more visitors. The Alexa rank of Ancestry.ca jumped from 27,110 a year ago to 17,986 today.
But Sullivan's claim to be focusing on core customers is ringing hollow in Canada.
1,984 Canadian databases is an increase of 1.2% over a year ago compared to a 3.4% increase for Ancestry overall. The pace is slowing. Of the more than 375 million new records Ancestry.com added during the last quarter only 0.7% were Canadian.
This year for the first time Ancestry.ca was not an exhibitor at the Ontario Genealogical Society annual conference. Neither did they have a presence in the marketplace at the BIFHSGO conference.

Although Ancestry is the major presence in the genealogical database market in Canada neglect or complacency would provide an opportunity for other companies prepared to invest in and capitalise on the Canadian market.

23 October 2014

The Terrorist's Won't Win If We Remember

Wednesday, 22/October, was an unnerving day in Ottawa. As I went to appointments outside the downtown area the mood was sullen; flags were being half-masted as news of the death was spread by exhaustive media coverage.

There's grief and sorrow for the family of the reservist soldier Corporal Nathan Cirillo from Hamilton who succumbed to a terrorist's gunshot while on ceremonial duty at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

In responding to the events let's remember that jihadists are a tiny minority and recall the lesson of Japanese internment and similar mistakes. It could be that Corporal Cirillo's Italian ancestors, if residents of Canada during the Second World War, would have been treated as the enemy.

TNA Podcast: Give this one a miss

I'm sure had I attended September's talk Maps: their untold stories at the UK Natiuonal Archives I'd have considered it an hour well spent. The talk was based on a new book by the same title by Rose Mitchell & Andrew Janes containing 100 maps from the TNA collection. They are clearly knowledgeable on the topic.
Unfortunately the presentation doesn't translate into audio. It takes only a few minutes of listening to "It's beautifully imaginatively drawn here", "You can see that" and "I can't resist showing you" to realize it's unfair to presenters and the listeners alike to offer it as a podcast without the images.

OGS Ottawa Branch Special Event

On Saturday 25 October at 1:30 pm at the Ottawa City Archives OGS Ottawa Branch presents The Ryan Taylor/J. Brian Gilchrist Memorial Lecture.

"A Research Journey into WWI, WWII, Medals, & eBay"

Dr. Jean-Luc Pilon will describe how twists and turns in his family history research, beginning with ancestors enlisted in the  Canadian Expeditionary Force,  led to the acquisition of long-lost military medals found on eBay, the story of the local ancestor to whom they were awarded in World War Two, and a moving graveside visit. A short video about this story will also be screened.
This event is free of charge, non-members are welcome to attend.

Dr. Pilon studied Anthropology and Archaeology and obtained his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Toronto.

The meeting will be followed at 3 pm by a get-together for the Computer Special Interest Group.

22 October 2014

Canadian Exit Permits, 1942-1946

Canada needed all hands to the wheel during the Second World War. Exit permits were required if those able to work wanted to leave the county. Their names, mainly women and children, were published in Orders in Council of the Privy Council of Canada along with information about the people receiving them at their destination, often the UK.

You will find the names of those granted permits, and other names mentioned, at www.exitpermits1942-1946.com/325502161c.

Sample entries along with information on how to purchase photographs of the list that contains the information about your person of interest is at www.exitpermits1942-1946.com/.

Thanks to Glenn Wright for the tip.

Forthcoming Resources

--  Patient records and case notes, photographs, administrative documents and registers will be among 800,000 pages of UK mental health records digitised in a project funded by the Wellcome Library. The records will come from the York Retreat, St Luke’s Hospital Woodside, Crichton Royal Hospital, Gartnavel Royal Hospital and Camberwell House Asylum.

They will be added to the Wellcome Library’s own collection of archives from public and private mental health institutions, including the records of Ticehurst House Hospital in Sussex, which provide a rare insight into the running of a privately run asylum. The project will take two years and is part of an ambitious initiative by the Wellcome Library to make freely available over 50 million pages of historic medical books, archives, manuscripts and journals by 2020.

See the announcement here.

-- MyHeritage have announced a new collaboration and product integration with personal genetics company 23andMe which appears to go well beyond the marketing relationship currently existing between MyHeritage and Family Tree DNA.

"23andMe will provide its 750,000+ customers special access to MyHeritage’s family tree tools and matching technologies directly from its website. Eventually they will replace 23andMe's own family tree editor. 23andMe’s customers will enjoy automated family history discoveries by MyHeritage such as Smart Matches™ and Record Matches, bringing them significant new opportunities to grow their family trees and to enrich their family history."
This will be good news to genetic genealogists who have been far from happy with the family tree facility provided by 23andMe.

The immediate benefit to MyHeritage aren't as obvious but there's every prospect of them developing as genetic genealogy gains an even greater following.

According to the MyHeritage announcement the first phase of integration is to be completed by early 2015.

21 October 2014

Canada's Great War Album

A gala event at the Canadian War Museum last evening was the occasion for the launch of Canada's Great War Album: Our Memories of the First World War.
"Published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, Canada's Great War Album is an unprecedented and remarkable collection of Canadian photographs, memorabilia, and stories of the war. Two years ago, Canada's History Society invited Canadians to tell their family stories from the First World War. The response was overwhelming and assembled for the first time are their personal stories and photographs that together form a compelling and moving account of the war. Canada's Great War Album also includes contributions from Peter Mansbridge, Charlotte Gray, J.L. Granatstein, Christopher Moore, Jonathan Vance, and Tim Cook. In the spirit of the bestselling 100 Photos That Changed Canada, the war that changed Canada forever is reflected here in words and pictures."
Mark Reid, no known relation, the editor spoke on the book, how it was compiled and some of the stories. A surprise was to have emcee Don Newman return to the podium to tell the story of his relative who won the Victoria Cross but died shortly before Armistice Day in the influenza epidemic.
A representative from Shaw Communications showed four one-minute vignettes based on stories from the book which, with several more, will air on Canada's History channel.

Industrial England Workshop in Toronto

Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society sent a reminder of the fall workshop, "Industrial England", coming up in less than two weeks - on Saturday 1 November.
"This full-day workshop, co-sponsored with the Canadiana Department of North York Central Library, will explore the social, economic and cultural effects of the Industrial Revolutions on the lives of English people from 1750 to 1900. Author and professional genealogist Kirsty Gray will be our keynote speaker.
Spaces are still available, but we encourage you to sign up soon to ensure a spot. OGS members are eligible for a fee discount.
Full details about the program, speakers and how to register, are available on our Branch website at http://torontofamilyhistory.org/learn/workshops/industrial-england-workshop/."

20 October 2014

Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2014 Videos

Maurice Gleeson has started uploading to YouTube videos of presentation from this past weekend at the Genetic Genealogy Ireland conference in Dublin .
So far there's a brief introduction and a nearly one hour video by Maurice - Which DNA test is best for you? If you've heard Maurice presentations before you'll recognize some of the content -- appreciate the new information -- and the humour. Recommended.
Watch for further videos coming to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHnW2NAfPIA2KUipZ_PlUlw

Suggestions for Speakers at a Canadian National Genealogy Conference

As mentioned a few days ago a National Genealogy Conference is proposed to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia on July 17-19 of 2015.
I had a phone conversation with Heidi Wilker, one of the organizers. While there are no commitments at present she mentioned Dave Obee, Terry Punch, and Garry Shutlak as possible speakers.
Who else? The speakers should be Canadians, come from across Canada and be able to give informative presentations that hold the audience's attention.
Your suggestions either as a comment or directly to me at johndreid at gmail (delete this) dot com would be appreciated.

Census: The Family Historian's Guide

There's a revised edition of Census, Peter Christian and David Annal's guide to the UK and Irish censuses. The slightly altered full title is Census: The Family Historian's Guide. It is no longer published in association with The (UK) National Archives.
Reviews of the previous edition were overwhelmingly positive. Recent criticisms that details of online access in the 2008 edition were dated should be largely addressed although, as the authors point out, changes after their text was finalized in early 2014 are inevitable.

According to the publisher's blurb the new edition has been updated to cover:
  • the many innovations on the main census websites, which have all added new census data and made changes to their facilities in the six years since the first edition;
  • the complete records of the 1911 census for England, Wales and Scotland, now available on both official and other commercial sites; and
  • all the surviving Irish census records, which have now been digitised in their entirety.
Looking for more detail? Check out the authors' article What You Will Find In This Book (pdf).

In Canada the 384 pages paperback edition, $21.74 from amazon.ca is on 1-2 month backorder while available for $9.99 on the Kindle eReader where you can preview the first and part of the second chapter.  Chapters-Indigo has the paperback for $20.19 and at $12.99 for the Kobo eReader.

Peter Christian is also author of The Genealogist's Internet. Davis Annal is author of Easy Family History: The Beginner's Guide to Starting Your Research and co-author, with Audrey Collins, of Birth, Marriage and Death Records: A Guide for Family Historians.

19 October 2014

Children Calling Home: explorations of BBC Genome

I've been playing around with the BBC Genome website which has archives of the Radio Times. If like me you grew up with BBC radio this is an opportunity for a walk down memory lane and perhaps, as I found, to correct some faulty memories.

If you didn't grow up with the BBC you may just wish to skip this post.

I looked for listings of programs which connected World War II child evacuees with their parents back in the UK. A few thousand children were evacuated to Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in 1940. Many were evacuated privately, often in parties from "public" (non-state) schools. Others came through a government program operated by the Children's Overseas Reception Board (CORB). The BBC program was "Children Calling Home" and was first broadcast on Christmas Day 1940 allowing children in Canada and the United States to greet their parents across the Atlantic. There were 54 programs altogether, not all of them involving children evacuated to Canada. The last from Canada was on Boxing Day 1943.

YouTube has a short video of the London end of the conversation from 1941 at http://youtu.be/j8G3Rj5SC7g

I searched for William Appleby who I recall being the host of a program broadcast to schools called Music and Movement. I was wrong. He hosted a program called Singing Together from 1948 to 1970. Music and Movement ran from 1934 to 1970 with various hosts..

If you're interested in home children The Weeks Good Cause on 8 September 1929 was an appeal on behalf of Middlemore Homes; on 5 February 1939 on behalf of Father Hudson's Homes; and on several occasions on behalf of Bernardo's Homes and Waifs and Strays.

Search for Toronto and you'll find during WW II there were regular broadcasts "For the Forces" in of Ice Hockey From Canada by Foster Hewitt, on a delayed basis.

Alexander Campbell: Ottawa WW1 Beechwood burial

This day a century ago, 19 October 1914, saw the death of the second Ottawa soldier to be recorded in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database as buried at Beechwood Cemtery.

The article in The Ottawa Citizen of 19 October mentions his residence as 190 Bayswater Ave. He had proceeded to Valcartier, became ill with bronchitis and returned to Ottawa. Cause of death was "cerebrial haemorrhage."

According to the CWGC site Captain Alexander Campbell, age 39, was "the son of the William James and Sarah Jane Campbell, of 510, Cooper St., Ottawa and husband of Ellen Margaret Campbell of 855 Carling Avenue, Ottawa." The latter address is that of the widow on the Circumstances of Death document.

He is buried in lot 72. North-West part. Sec. 29 at Beechwood Cemetery. There is a family gravemarker with his parents and wife which reads
Capt Alexander CAMPBELL BSc born Sept 14th 1875 died Oct 19th 1914. To the side is a maple leaf-military stone with information that he was with the Canadian Engineers CEF.

Further information on Campbell and other CEF soldiers with an Ottawa connection will appear in the December issue of Anglo-Celtic Roots.

18 October 2014

Findmypast database additions

Charles I Court Of Chancery Index, 1625-1649
An index to all 81,163 Chancery Cases heard during the reign of Charles I (1625-49).
The Court of Chancery had jurisdiction over all matters of equity, such as land ownership, trusts, the administration of the estates of lunatics and the guardianship of infants. Each record is a transcript of the original document and tends to list the name of the plaintiff, defendant, brief details of the case and The National Archives reference number.

Inheritance Disputes Index 1574-1714
Contains over 77,000 records detailing over 26,000 law suits at the English Court of Chancery typically involving several members of the same family. so are of particular value to family historians. The index covers the wills, bequests, grants of administration, descent of property, identity claims and other testamentary disputes tried in the Chancery Court in London. The information contained typically includes the name of the testator, the name of the plaintiff, the name of the defendant, the year and place of the case and The National Archives reference of the original record.

Irish Newspapers
Over a quarter of a million new newspaper articles from The Drogheda Journal/Meath & Louth Advertiser, Dublin Monitor, The Galway Vindicator & Connaught Advertiser, Limerick Reporter & Tipperary Vindicator, The Newry Examiner and Louth Reporter, Northern Whig, Pue’s Occurrences, Sligo Champion and The Waterford Chronicle.

World War One British Army Medal Index Cards
A record of the many medal entitlements earned by soldiers during the war. Some of the 4.5 million index cards in this record set contain additional notes and annotations on the medals given.Each record includes a partial transcription of the original Medal Index Card that lists a soldier’s name, service number and corps. Follow the URL included in the transcription to view online and download the original index card that is kept at The National Archives for a small fee. These records are also on Ancestry.co.uk and their world collections.

Gatineau Valley Historical Society Event

A double feature with a talk on the history of the Gatineau and Ottawa Valley forest industry and a book launch on Monday, October 20, 2014 in the Chelsea Library, 100 Old Chelsea Road, Chelsea QC

7:30 PM - Hurling Down the Pine Book Launch
To celebrate 50 years of publishing, the Society is pleased to announce the publication of the fourth edition of Hurling Down the Pine by John Hughson and Courtney Bond. First published in 1964, the third edition was released in 1987 and has been long out-of-print. This book recounts the story of the Wright, Gilmour and Hughson families, who were timber manufacturers in the Hull and Ottawa region and on the Gatineau River.
Copies will be available for sale for $25.

8:00 PM - Dr. Helen Parson - "The Forest Industry of the Ottawa and Gatineau Watersheds in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries".
Dr. Helen Parson has been invited back to expand on the short talk she gave at the Society’s annual dinner last May. Dr. Parson, formerly with the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, will be presenting an overview of the forest industry in the Ottawa and Gatineau valleys from the square timber

Info: http://www.gvhs.ca/

17 October 2014

Canada’s Great War Album

A book launch for Canada’s Great War Album will be held on
Monday, October 20, 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm at the Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, Ottawa.

5:00 pm  Reception

6:00 pm  Presentation by Canada’s History Editor-In-Chief Mark Collin Reid and veteran broadcaster Don Newman

6:30 pm  Book signing

Register at http://goo.gl/Jo3kw5

BBC Genome: the Radio Times Archive

Here's a new resource that should find its way onto best online resource lists for British genealogists.

The BBC Genome project involved digitising 4,469 editions of Radio Times from 1923 to 2009, 350,622 pages, 4,423,653 programme records.

BBC Genome allows users to search by programme, date or Radio Times edition, revealing a snapshot of the corporation’s schedule on any given day in its 91-year history – and a fascinating insight into changing social and cultural trends over nearly a century.

One-namers will find this a valuable resource to investigate people involved with BBC programs - presenters, performers, producers and editors and follow their broadcasting careers.

One-placers may well find mention of communities of interest, if only a church service broadcast on location.

No information is available for 11 weeks when the Radio Times was not published, between 1926 and 1983, for reasons including printing disputes, the 1926 general strike and 1947 fuel crisis.

16 October 2014

Deceased Online launches Nottingham Collection

The first phase of a collection for Nottingham area cemeteries is now posted by Deceased Online comprising:

Northern Cemetery (Bulwell), opened 1903
Southern Cemetery (Wilford Hill), opened 1919
Wilford Hill Crematorium, opened 1931
High Wood Cemetery, opened 2006
They comprise the active cemeteries in the area. Searching is free. Record detail is available by voucher or subscription. See details for this collection at http://deceasedonlineblog.blogspot.co.uk/

For a list of historical burial grounds and closed churchyards see http://goo.gl/rWkGvZ

LAC starts posting WW1 Service Files

Canadian Expeditionary Force personnel service files are becoming accessible via Library and Archive Canada's Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database. The first batch, 76,330 files are now available online. It appears to cover most surnames beginning with A and much of B.

The complete file is served as a pdf. While download isn't particularly rapid the quality of the images is good. Even the envelope, which sometimes contains the date of death, is imaged.

Regular uploads of about 5,000 files will take place every two weeks. All digitized files are searchable by name, regimental number and rank.

Search from http://goo.gl/NSkDkv

Wigan BMBs at Ancestry

Renowned for its pier, the industrial town of Wigan in the old county of Lancashire now has birth, marriage and burial records online at Ancestry. Links to images of the original entries are included.

Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1580-1812 contains 133,789 entries from the period when they were all recorded in one register.
Baptisms for the period 1813-1911 has 225,820 entries.
Marriages, 1754-1926 has 149,072 entries.
Burials, 1813-1979 has 133,177 entries.

Parishes included are: Abram, St John; Ashton, Holy Trinity; Ashton-in-Makerfield, St Thomas; Aspull, St Elizabeth; Aspull, St John Baptist; Bickershaw, St James and St Elizabeth; Billinge, St Aiden; Earlstown, St John; Golborne, St Thomas; Haigh; Haigh, St David; Hindley Green, St John; Hindley, All Saints; Hindley, St Peter; Ince, St Marys;  Lowton, St Luke; Lowton, St Mary; Newton-in-Makerfield, Emmanuel Wargrave; Newton-Le-Willows, St Peter; Pemberton; Pemberton, St John the Devine; Platt Brifge, St Nathaniel;  Wigan, All Saints; Wigan, St Andrew, Wigan, St Catherine; Wigan, St George, Wigan, St James; Wigan, St Michael and All Angels; Wigan, St Thomas.

Not every place named is in every collection; the parishes in bold are included in the early records.

OGS Quinte Branch October meeting

On 18 October, in lieu of the previously scheduled presentation, OGS Quinte Branch will offer a digital presentation
Timelines and Chronologies: Secrets of Success
by Geoff Rasmussen
Using Legacy Family Tree software, Geoff will demonstrate:
- Benefits of using a timeline in your genealogical research
- What a good timeline includes
- Methods of creating a timeline
- How to embed historical events into an ancestor's timeline
The digital presentation will be followed by discussion.
The meeting gets underway at 1 p.m at Quinte West City Hall Library in Trenton

15 October 2014

CNN Hosts Genealogy

All this week CNN is running short segments tracing some aspects of their host's family histories.

The first I watched was for Jake Tapper who has roots on his mother's side going back to a Loyalist family named Huff. For Tapper that was "the wrong side". The Huffs settled in the Quinte area. Tapper grudgingly admitted that the family was successful in Canada, and even found solace in that Huff's fought in WWII which Canada entered before the US. Had he looked further he'd have found Huff's enlisted for WW1 which Canada entered even further in advance of the US.

I also watched the segment for Anderson Cooper who recent appeared on PBS's Finding Your Roots.
He ended the segment saying:
The thing about the past is that one can't help what zip code one was born in, what country or family you're descended from. All you can do is learn the lessons of those who came before you, their stories, their mistakes, their successes. You can't choose what family you were born into. All you can really do is choose how you want to live your life.
See all the segments at cnn.com/roots 

14 October 2014

CEF Arrives in Britain

100 years ago today Canadian soldiers arrived at Plymouth destined for a period of training before going into battle in early 1915.

Advance Notice: Fall Social - UELAC

Coming on Saturday November 22, 2014, organized by the Sir Guy Carleton Branch of the United Empire Loyalists

Speaker: Bonnie Schepper, President UELAC
Topic: "History, Heroes, and Hope"
Bonnie will be taking us back to 1914 to ask the questions - How have we changed?
How have we stayed the same? The topic speaks specifically to our 100 year
anniversary and to the future of UELAC and why what we do matters.

Location: Macies Best Western Hotel, 1274 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario

Agenda: Cash Bar at 11:30; Lunch at 12:15; Banquet Room A
Meal includes: small chef salad, strawberry parfait, tea/coffee.
Entree choices:
- roast beef au jus, or
- chicken with white wine sauce or
- salmon with dill sauce.

The price is $30 per person; Send cheque to Bob Adair, 34 Briardale Crescent, Nepean ON, K2E 1C2.
Please specify your choice of entree. Phone number is 613-274-3331.

OGS Seeks Interim Executive Director

Here's an one-year opportunity for someone looking to experience management of day-to-day operations of the largest Canadian genealogical society.

Direct, supervise, coach and mentor the provincial office staff and volunteers
Foster a service centred culture within the provincial office
Communicate clearly and effectively with all staff, the Board, members, family history society/heritage society contacts and the general public
Actively seek additional funding for the Society, including grant writing
Oversee Society projects and committees as directed by the President
Manage the Society’s records appropriately

Non profit Management Certificate or equivalent
Human resources skills an asset
Experience in the operation of a non profit, charitable entity
Leadership skills that provide motivation and direction to staff and members
Ability to prioritize to meet deadlines
Entrepreneurial skills
Knowledge of and familiarity with fundraising, including grant writing
Conflict resolution skills
Valid Ontario driver’s license
Proficient with MS Office Suite, Office, Sharepoint, and Adobe Acrobat
A working knowledge of databases
Comfortable supporting a networked office
Able to lift boxes up to 13.6 kg [30 lb]
Work some evenings and weekends

Location: 40 Orchard View Blvd., Suite 102, Toronto ON

Deadline to Apply: No later than October 24, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. to president@ogs.on.ca

Further information at www.ogs.on.ca/news.php

13 October 2014

Lost London: how the Thames has changed in 150 years

From the MailOnline, a "remarkable series of pictures shows just how much life has changed in the streets of London surrounding the River Thames in the last 150 years.
A unique series of photographs taken in the 1860s, using an early type of camera, showcase life in Victorian London for those living in the thriving and bustling streets next to the river.
Landmarks Battersea Bridge, Cheyne Walk and Chelsea Physic Garden are easily spotted in the series of eight frames, set to go under the hammer at auction later this month, valued at around £500."


Also checkout the videos linked.

Thanks to Gail Roger for the tip.

Sarge Bampton R. I. P.

Sad to record that Sarge (Elburn C.) Bampton died on Friday in Cleveland Que. Sarge along with his wife Pauline were original members of Home Children Canada, founded in Renfrew by Dave and Kay Lorente in 1991, and co-chairs of Home Children Canada's Quebec Branch.
Both of Sarge's parents, Joseph Albert Bampton and Mary Jane Windle were Home Children sent to the Knowlton Distributing Home. His father, Joseph Bampton, arrived in Canada in 1900 at age 12 and worked on a farm. His mother, Mary Windle, arrived in 1908 at 13 and was a servant to the King family in Waterville, Que., who treated her like a daughter sending her to Stanstead College.
Sarge and Pauline have been instrumental in linking countless people with their ancestors. Their home child archives are deposited with the Eastern Township Resource Centre at Bishop's University in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Archives of Ontario WW1 Talks

To commemorate the centenary of WWI, the Archives of Ontario is hosting a series of engaging talks designed to connect Ontario residents with archival records related to the war – documents that tell the stories of ordinary Ontarians at this pivotal moment in the province’s history. Scholars, family historians and history buffs alike will find these talks stimulating, enlightening and a valuable aid for further exploration of the Archives’ extensive resources related to the First World War.
Delivered concurrently with the Archives newest onsite exhibit, Dear Sadie: Love, Lives, and Remembrance from Ontario’s First World War, this speakers series will be held on Thursday evenings from 6.30 p.m. to 7.45 p.m. in the George Spragge Classroom. Admission is free and a tour will be given of the new exhibit.
The first talk, on Thursday November 13, is by Jane MacNamara. More information and reservations at www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/about/speaker_series.aspx

12 October 2014

Findmypast database additions

Friday saw the posting of several new English resources at Findmypast

London, Archdeaconry Court of London Wills Index, 1700-1807 contains 4,687 surviving wills from the Archdeaconry Court of London. The collection contains the details you need to obtain the original documents from the London Metropolitan Archives. A search produces a transcript of the original index with the person’s name, the year the will was proven in which court, and sometimes the person’s residential or death place, their marital status, occupation and country.

Sussex, Eastbourne Monumental Inscriptions 1610-2008 includes 19,184 records of inscriptions, mostly from Ocklynge cemetery. There are also entries from St Andrew in Jevington and Willingdon Cemetery.

Surrey and City of London Livery Company Association Oath Rolls, 1695/6  contains the signatures of 32,965 tradesmen who signed an oath of loyalty to William of Orange after a series of assassination plots.

London Apprenticeship Abstracts 1442-1850 comprises 486,370 names, including 165,000 apprentices, as well as their masters and parents.

"These records contain vast quantities of valuable genealogical and biographical information on members, over seventy per cent of whom came from outside London.

Each record contains a transcript of the original abstract, which may include the apprentice’s first and last name, year, trade (and additional details), their father’s occupation, birth county and birth country.

The ‘details’ section can provide information such as the apprentice’s father parish, whether their father is deceased, whether the apprentice was discharged, and the duties they were assigned."

London Consistory Court Depositions Index, 1700-1713 has 3,104 depositions from the London Consistory Court. "These include matrimonial matters such as divorce, separation, breach of promise, estate and probate conflicts, defamation, and “criminous conversation”. They include people from all walks of life, from servants, and nurses to sword cutters and gentlemen. The records all contain transcripts of the original indexes. The level of detail in each varies, but most include the name, gender, age, birthplace and year, occupation of the individual (or, in the case of many women, their spouse), the year the deposition or witness statement was given, the person’s marital status, the length of their marriage, additional notes, and an archival reference."

Surrey Peculiars Probate Index 1660-1751 documents 1,900 wills proved in the Peculiars court in Surrey for the parishes of Barnes, Burstow, Charlwood, Cheam, Croydon, East Horsley, Merstham, Mortlake, Church Newington, Putney, Roehampton, Walworth St Peter and Wimbledon. Most include the year, the name of the testator, their occupation, and a residence.


Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians. Those south of the border will have to wait.
Coming from a county where the holiday isn't celebrated I have no childhood memories of the celebration. Harvest Festival celebrated on the Sunday nearest the full Moon closest to the autumn equinox, was an event when the church was decorated with the bounty of the land.

11 October 2014

Ancestry adds Liverpool, England, Crew Lists 1861-1919

More than a million records from crew lists, 1,064,441 to be precise, indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors are now available on Ancestry. These are taken from Crew lists. 387 CRE and Crew lists (fishing boats). 387 FIS at the Liverpool Record Office.

You're able to view an image of the crew list, often including a signature as well as name, age or birth year, birthplace, nationality, residence, service on other ships, rate, date and details of engagement and discharge, reports of character and ability, and other assorted notes. You may find a separate section for apprentices.

A Potential Canadian Genealogy Conference

A National Genealogy Conference is proposed to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia on July 17-19 of 2015. Information is that so far the promoters have received encouraging responses from three provincial genealogical organizations.

A draft conference agenda, subject to adjustments, is:

Day 1 - Friday, July 17/15
Pre-conference symposium                      
9:00am-12:00pm  [Meeting of representatives from provincial genealogical associations with each other and perhaps a representative from the Library & Archives Canada]
Registration                                         1:00 - 4:00pm
Opening Keynote                                 4:00 - 5:30pm
Ceilidh-style Reception at Pier 21       6:00 - 9:00pm

Day 2 - Saturday, July 18/15
Breakfast on own                                 8:00 - 9:00am
Keynote presentation                           9:00 - 10:00am
Refreshment break                               10:00-10:45am
Workshops                                           10:45 - 12:00pm
        Beginner                How to begin researching your family history
        Intermediate           I'm Stuck....How do I go further into my family history?
        Advanced               Panel of Authors of Genealogy - 3 panelists
Lunch                                                   12:00 - 1:00pm
Hands-on Workshop conducted by representatives from the Canadian Museum of Immigration
                                                             1:00 - 4:30pm
Refreshment break                               2:30 - 3:30pm
Free time to prepare for banquet          4:30 - 6:00pm
Banquet & Entertainment             6:00 - 9:00pm
(location tbd) - quick bus tour of Halifax, stop at Titanic grave site, ending up at an off-site location for dinner

Day 3 - Sunday, July 19/15
Breakfast on own                                8:00 - 9:00am
Keynote presentation                          9:00 - 10:00am
Refreshment Break                             10:00 - 11:00am
Keynote presentation                          11:00 - 12:00pm
Lunch                                                  12:00 - 1:00pm
Workshops                                          1:00 - 2:30pm
  Recording Your Family History
  1.  Through photography
  2.  Digital filing
  3.  How to cite sources
 Refreshment break                              2:30 - 3:00pm
Workshops                                           3:00 - 4:30pm
  Recording Your Family History
  1.  Through photography
  2.  Digital filing
  3.  How to cite sources
Closing Keynote                                  4:30 - 5:00pm

Some potential speakers are Dave Obee from BC, Terry Punch, and Garry Shutlak, both from Nova Scotia. Suggestions for other potential keynote speakers are welcome..

The promoters, Heidi Wilker and Cathy Wassermann, experienced event planners, are aiming to have the conference website and registration open no later than the end of November.

The Ottawa Genealogist: Oct-Dec 2014

OGS Ottawa Branch members should have received the latest branch quarterly, The Ottawa Genealogist. In addition to the regular news and columns the feature content is:

- A World War Trifecta in which John Patton recounts experiences on a family trip to Vimy Ridge, the Normandy Landing beaches, and the site of the Dieppe Raid.

- The 1/4th Hampshires In Mesopotamia by Mike More. Lacking any military records for his grandfather, Private AJ Knowles, Mike digs into the The Hampshires war to gain an understanding of the experience.

- Early Bytown Settlers Index by Jim Stanzell is the final installment of a personal indexing project of a variety of Ottawa area sources covering the surname letters T to Z (actually Y).

- OLD-TIME STUFF. Three articles originally published in the Ottawa Citizen between 1930 and 1932 and selected by Helen Small.

10 October 2014

40% off Ancestry.ca World Deluxe

UPDATE 3pm Friday: Check you're satisfied with the price before you finalize the transaction. Repeating. Check you're satisfied with the price before you finalize the transaction.

Word from the Ancestry publicity folks is that over the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend, Ancestry.ca is offering 40% off Canada World Deluxe Memberships. That's about as big a discount as you see advertised.

Looking for a better deal? A 50% reduction is available to members of the Royal Canadian Legion. BTW, anyone can join the Legion online for an annual fee of $49.99 and receive a variety of other benefits too.

Who Do You Think CNN Hosts Are?

From October 12 to 20 CNN will run a series Roots: Our Journey Home exploring the ancestry of their hosts. See a preview here and read details at Gail Dever's Genealogy à la carte blog here.


Supermodel and actress Twiggy, born Lesley Hornby, was the subject for this week's Who Do You Think You Are?, the 100th BBC episode overall. At last someone whose name I recognised!

Tracing back through her maternal grandmother uncovered a story of poverty, a deadbeat dad, the workhouse and, in the previous generation, non-violent crime. Her great-great-grandmother, Grace Gillies, served time for larceny, then mended her ways to become a landlady. Unusually she died in a rush into a shop holding a sale in 1897  -- all well documented in newspapers.

Twiggy took the revelations more or less in her stride with an understanding attitude to her ancestor's weaknesses and appreciation of the strength needed to pull through and make the best of things.

This must have been a relatively inexpensive episode to research, all familiar English records and newspaper articles easy to find with increasing digitisation. There was no travel outside London beyond Kent.

This final episode in the current BBC series, the 10th season, continues to inform and entertain.

UPDATE:  The Deceased Online Blog has found records for burials of Twiggy's ancestors in the company collection.

Gresham College Lecture: Exploring Ephemera: The Illumination of History

Ephemera are transient documents of everyday life. In this recent lecture John Scott, chair of the Culture, Heritage & Libraries Committee for the City of London Corporation, draws on examples from the Victorian era.
Price lists, commercial correspondence including letterhead, invoices, bills of lading, menus, playbills and tickets of various kinds all have a story to tell about the development of Britain in this period.
Scott mentions the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera at The University of Oxford Bodleian Library as a good source. Although there is a good catalogue at http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/johnson and a few examples of images online a much larger subset of the collection is available to institutional subscribers only through ProQuest.

09 October 2014

Find CEF and related records at Ancestry.ca

Ancestry.ca wrote reminding that they have thousands of historical records to help track down the stories of Canadians who went to Europe during WWI and faced the unknown. Included was this 
not untypical story of Herbert Thompson Walker.
"Every soldier has a story to tell. One such story is that of Herbert (Bert) Thompson Walker, whose life was flipped upside down when he left his homeland of England to immigrate to Canada with his family at the tender age of seven. At the time, Bert could not have known that his fate would be to return to England under the cloud of the Great War, only to find his true love as a result.
Born February 17, 1898, Bert was the second of eight children born to William Clifton Walker and Mary Jane Cheetham, in Lancashire, England. The family immigrated to Saskatoon in 1905.
Despite – or perhaps because of – the upheaval in his life as a young boy, Bert signed his attestation papers in December 1915, aged just 16, joining the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. Shortly after, on February 17, 1915 (his 17th birthday) he enlisted with the 65th Saskatoon Light Infantry.
Although Bert was not amongst the very first CEF soldiers to arrive, he saw a lot of action on the battle fields in Somme region of France and was badly injured in battle. He was removed from the frontline and hospitalized in the UK. There, as fate would have it, he met a young British girl named Ethel Silvester. The two were married in 1918 in Lancashire and after the war ended, Bert and Ethel returned to Saskatoon, where they had three daughters."
He was employed as a postal worker, can be found in Ancestry's 1921 census and voter's lists collections in Saskatoon, Bert passed away from pneumonia in Victoria BC at age 93 only a year after completing his memoirs."

BIFHSGO Monthly Meeting

The next meeting of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa takes place on 11 October at Library and Archives Canada.
At 9 a.m. The Importance of the Chaplain to the Catholic Soldiery
Dr. Niall Keogh will give a overview of the Chaplains of all the Irish battalions and concentrate on some of the Jesuit ones.
At 10 a.m Assisted Emigration to Escape the Great Famine of Ireland
Ann Burns will talk about the Three Terrible Choices open to tenants on the Fitzwilliam Estate, during the Great Famine in Ireland.
Find additional information at www.bifhsgo.ca/eventListings.php?nm=127

08 October 2014

DNA Testing for Finding Your Roots

Finding Your Roots genetic genealogy consultant, and Rockstar genetic genealogist, CeCe Moore gives a explanation of the process used, in conjunction with research using traditional genealogical records, in establishing the ancestry of three guests appearing in last week's program.

In case you missed the program it's available on YouTube at http://youtu.be/vgoWTe-b9vM.

Pa's British Son-in-Law

The Ottawa Journal for November 1913 contains this comic strip playing to stereotypes of the British immigrant.

Under various tiles "------ son-in-law" the comic strip ran for many years according to the Stripper's Guide.
"Starting in the American gilded age it had become fashionable for social climbing debutantes to marry titled beaus from Europe. In real life, and in the funnies that mirrored it, many of these dukes, earls and other assorted peers turned out to be penniless lazy neer-do-wells. Many of the titles were real, but the gents often failed to live up to their impressive names. The phenomenon became a favorite target for humorists.."

07 October 2014

MyHeritage Library Edition™

The following is from a press release received from MyHeritage
TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah & IPSWICH, Mass – October 7, 2014: MyHeritage, the popular family history network, today announced a significant expansion into the institutional education market, with the launch of a dedicated, high-performance family history service for institutions and the signing of a strategic partnership with EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) to distribute it exclusively. 
As the leading provider of online research content for libraries and other institutions, EBSCO’s partnership with MyHeritage reaffirms its commitment to providing first-class content to libraries at affordable prices. 
EBSCO Senior Vice President of Product Management Michael Laddin, said: "MyHeritage brings to the table an unparalleled offering of a vast, content-rich database and innovative, easy-to-use technologies. With a proven track-record of supporting customers across the globe, we are very excited about this partnership and the value it will bring to libraries and other educational centers worldwide." 
The new, state-of-the-art MyHeritage Library Edition™ empowers people to discover more about their family history and the lives led by their ancestors. It's the first product servicing libraries that offers a one-stop-shop of global content, powerful technologies and remote access.  
The MyHeritage Library Edition™ provides access to a vast collection of U.S. and international documents online, with images of original documents to enhance research and encourage critical thinking. 
Key highlights include: 
Vast Global Content
Educational institutions that deploy the MyHeritage Library Edition™ will be able to offer their patrons access to billions of historical documents, millions of historical photos and other resources in thousands of databases that span the past 5 centuries. Available in 40 languages, the MyHeritage Library Edition™ is the industry’s most multilingual family history search engine, breaking down geographical and language barriers in research. The data repository, one of the largest and most internationally diverse of its kind, includes birth, death and marriage records from 48 countries, the complete US and UK censuses, immigration, military and tombstone records and more than 1.5 billion family tree profiles. The database grows at an average pace of more than 5 million records each day. 
Powerful Technology
The MyHeritage Library Edition™ builds upon MyHeritage’s deep investment in innovation. Its search engine’s automatic handling of translations, synonyms and spelling variations of millions of names in multiple languages is unparalleled. Its unique Record Detective™ technology takes research one step further by recommending additional records for each record discovered. This enhances research and helps users discover a lot more in less time. 
Remote Access
Library members can use the MyHeritage Library Edition™ either at their local library or in the comfort of their own home using remote access.
"The new institutional edition of MyHeritage and our partnership with EBSCO advance our mission to transform family history into an enjoyable, accessible and highly affordable activity for millions of families around the world", said MyHeritage Founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet. "Curiosity is one of the greatest human qualities.  Our product enables users of all ages and means to satisfy their curiosity and enjoy the thrill or discovering their family history at the click of a button".

Tall Tell-tales

Tall parents often have tall children. Nothing new about that.

Now an article preview in Nature Genetics identifies 697 genetic variants that together explain one-fifth of the heritability for adult height. Results suggest a genetic architecture for human height that is characterized by a very large but finite number (thousands) of causal genetic variants that might explain up to 80% of what determines height.

Defining the role of common variation in the genomic and biological architecture of adult human height

Post-War Edinburgh and London Maps from NLS

The National Library of Scotland now has detailed online maps covering post-War Edinburgh and London (1940s-1960s).

"We have recently made freely available our earliest editions of Ordnance Survey National Grid maps at 1:1,250 scale covering Edinburgh and London. As these maps are the earliest Ordnance Survey maps to show house numbers comprehensively, they are particularly useful for genealogical research.
These were Ordnance Survey’s most detailed maps in the 20th century, and they show nearly all permanent features of over 1 square metre in size. They show excellent detail of commercial and residential buildings, railway stations, docks, factories and parks, as well as house names and numbers.
The maps can be viewed as a georeferenced overlay and as a dual-map / side-by-side viewer, allowing direct comparison with modern Google or Bing maps.
This mapping layer will expand geographically over the next year as we continue to scan more OS National Grid post-War mapping."

06 October 2014

Computational Genealogy Using WikiTree Data

Data for 6.67 million people in over 160 countries (mainly the US, UK, Germany, Canada, New Zealand and Holland) have been used to examine name trends, birth and fertility, marriages and lifespan in an article Quantitative Analysis of Genealogy Using Digitised Family Trees (pdf) by Michael Fire, Thomas Chesney & Yuval Elovici.

Some of the general trends found are:

  • The trend of naming a son after its father rises then falls through the 16th century, and throughout history there have been fewer girls named for their mother than boys named for their father. About 24% of twins’s names start with the same letter. The most frequent twin names between 1800 and 1900 are Mary and Martha, and John and James.
  • Of 963,416 births, 10,246 were twins (0.0106%). Twin gender ratios were almost even.: male-male – 32.7%; female-female 33.9%; and male-female 33.3%.
  • In any given time period males marry later than females, and the age increases over time. The raw data collaborates that during the medieval period it was not unknown for girls aged 12 and boys aged 14 to marry although this was not usual.
  • If an individual’s spouse lives longer, then that individual lives longer too. Twins also tend to have the same lifespan.

The authors state that computational genealogy, using machine learning tools, graph analysis and related techniques to the analysis of high volume ancestry data, opens up many possibilities for understanding social trends.

There are also obvious benefits in exploiting large data-sets for genealogists interested in the use of Bayesian techniques to refine genealogical proof.

Updates to BC Civil Registration Archive

FamilySearch list updates to their BC civil registration collection:

British Columbia Marriage Registrations, 1859-1932; 124,593 records
British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986 ; 898,889 records

While it's always useful to have another source there's a more extensive online collection at the BC Archives comprising: births (1854-1903), marriages (1872-1938), deaths (1872-1993), colonial marriages (1859-1872) and baptisms (1836-1888).

Researching St Ives?

The St Ives, Cornwall, Family History and Genealogy Group provide a personal genealogical service for you if your family came from St Ives and the surrounding area. The first half hour is free and thereafter the charge is a reasonable £5.00 per hour.

They have ready access to traditional records, like census and BMBs for local parishes often available in other ways.

Unique sources include:

Barnoon Cemetery Monumental Inscriptions, cemetery plans and photographs

Monumental Inscriptions for St Ives and District

Files on hundreds of local families and individuals. These have been provided by families in the town and people researching their ancestors who lived in St Ives.

Trade Directories for St Ives for 1783, 1709-99, 1823, 1830, 1856, 1873, 1878, 1883, 1889, 1893, 1902, 1906, 1910, 1914, 1919, 1923, 1926, 1930, 1935, 1939.

Information in full is on the St Ives Archives website which includes the invitation:

"If you have ancestors who emigrated from the St Ives area to any part of the world, our team will help you find out more about them.

We would also like your assistance to add to our migration files to learn where St Ives families moved to from the 1840s onwards."

05 October 2014

Internet Genealogy: Oct/Nov 2014

The lead article in this issue Finding Your Dutch Ancestors Online is by Yvette Hoitink, recently nominated as a Rockstar Genealogist. It describes ten Dutch websites. Every week Yvette produces Dutch Genealogy News, an essential free resource to which you can subscribe by email from http://www.dutchgenealogy.nl/.
Next up is regular contributor Tony Bandy with a Fall 2014 Roundup of Apps for Your Mobile Research. He mentions more than 20 resources, some of more general interest than others. They are both genealogy-specifc and more general apps that can be applied for family history. For those wanting to keep up with developments in the latter Tony recommends Lifehacker, The Next Web and Mashable.

It would be surprising if you didn't find something new and of interest in this Internet Genealogy issue. The contents are:

Find Your Dutch Ancestors Online
Yvette Hoitink shares websites and tips to help you find your ancestors from the Netherlands

Apps for Genealogy
Tony Bandy looks at the latest crop of Apps to help you manage and collect your family history data on those mobile devices

PERSI's New Home
Carol Richey updates us on the PERiodical Source Index, available on findmypast.com

"Chasing Pancho Villa"
David A. Norris examines genealogical records of the 1916 Mexican border campaign

Tattoo You: Social Security Number Tattoos
Gena Philibert Ortega examines the practice of using tattoos to record Social Security numbers during the 1930s and 1940s

One Man Bands — Playing Another Genealogical Tune
Karen Evans examines some useful websites in the UK that can help you add depth to your ancestor’s life

Deciphering Old Script
Carol Richey looks at resources for helping genealogists to overcome the numerous challenges faced when examining old documents

Diane L. Richard looks at a handy tool that makes transcribing audio or video recordings a breeze!
(This is one I intend trying)

In Search of an Australian Ancestor
Gabrielle Morgan scours the pages of Australian newspapers to uncover the story of her grandmother’s brother, The Reverend Thomas Moore Campbell

Websites Worth Surfing
David A. Norris looks at some interesting websites that might be of interest to family history researchers

A Closer Look: Heredis 2014 for Windows
Tony Bandy looks at the latest Windows-based release from an established genealogy software

How Careful Are You with Your Information?
Dave Obee offers some insight into the security issues that arise from our social media activities

Get rid of annoying toolbars

Whether they're genealogy specific or more general, toolbars hog screen real estate, slow your computer and invade your privacy by tracking your activity.
You have to be alert to avoid them. When loading or updating software make sure you uncheck the small box, checked by default, that gives permission. It's often hidden in small print.
If you long to get rid of one or more pesky toolbars there's a helpful guide at 4 Annoying Browser Toolbars & How To Get Rid Of Them and/or Get Rid Of Those Annoying Browser Toolbars With Toolbar Cleaner, both from makeuseof.com.

04 October 2014

Archiving and Using Canadian Web Content

Ian Milligan, assistant professor of Canadian and digital history at the University of Waterloo, discusses online availability of historical web data with host of CBC Radio's The Current Anna Maria Tremonti.

Milligan laments the deliberate destruction of web content by online businesses, pointing to Yahoo as a particularly egregious example. If he were more aware of genetic genealogy he might equally have mentioned Ancestry's recent destruction of DNA data.

He believes LAC should play a bigger role in web archiving.

 "In my dream we would move towards what France and Britain have done which is the legal deposit of websites"
He also sees a need for historians (and genealogists) to become more comfortable with using computer techniques, to stop being afraid of math and science.

The whole interview, with introductory material, runs just under 10 minutes. Recommended.