31 March 2015

Derbyshire Parish Register Transcripts, 1538-1910 now on FamilySearch

There's a long list of Derbyshire parishes represented in the 1,474,822 parish records of baptism, marriage and burial recently added at FamilySearch. These are transcriptions, no source image is available. Search from https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1911752

The original source is Church of England records at the Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock.

Parishes included are:

Aldercar, Alfreton, Alsop En Le Dale, Alvaston, Ashbourne, Ashford In The Water, Aston-on-trent, Bakewell, Barlborough, Barrow Upon Trent, Baslow, Beeley, Belper, Blackwell, Bolsover, Bonsall, Boulton, Boylestone, Bradbourne, Bradwell, Brailsford, Brampton, Brassington, Bretby, Brimington, Buxton, Calke, Calow, Carsington, Castleton, Chapel-en-le-frith, Chellaston, Chelmorton, Chesterfield, Church Broughton, Clay Cross, Clowne, Codnor, Cotmanhay, Crich, Cromford, Dalbury, Darley Abbey, Darley Dale, Denby, Denby Common, Derby, Dore, Doveridge, Dronfield, Duffield, Eckington, Edale, Edensor, Edlaston, Egginton, Elvaston, Etwall, Eyam, Fenny Bentley, Findern, Foremark, Glossop, Great Longstone, Great Wilne, Hallam Fields, Harpur Hill, Hartington, Hartshorne, Hathersage, Hayfield, Hazelwood, Heage, Heanor, Heath, Hognaston, Holbrook, Holmesfield, Hope, Horsley, Horsley Woodhouse, Hulland, Idridgehay, Ironville, Kedleston, Killamarsh, King Sterndale, Kirk Hallam, Kirk Ireton, Kirk Langley, Little Eaton, Littleover, Long Eaton, Longford, Longlane, Lullington, Mapleton, Mapperley, Marston Montgomery, Marston On Dove, Matlock, Melbourne, Mellor, Mickleover, Milford, Monyash, Morley, Morton, Mugginton, Newbold, Newhall, Newton Solney, Norbury, North Wingfield, Ockbrook, Old Brampton, Old Whittington, Overseal, Parwich, Peak Forest, Pentrich, Pilsley, Pinxton, Pleasley, Quarndon, Radbourne, Repton, Riddings, Ridgeway, Ripley, Risley, Rowsley, Sandiacre, Sawley, Scarcliffe, Scropton, Shardlow, Sheldon, Shipley, Shirebrook, Shirley, Shottle, Smalley, Smisby, Snelston, Somercotes, Somersal Herbert, South Wingfield, Spondon, Stanley, Stanton, Staveley, Stoney Middleton, Sudbury, Swanwick, Swarkestone, Tansley, Thorpe, Ticknall, Tideswell, Tissington, Town End, Turnditch, Upper Langwith, Wardlow, Wessington, West Hallam, Whaley Thorns, Whittington Moor, Whitwell, Wingerworth, Winshill, Winster, Wirksworth, Woodville, Yeaveley.

As an aside, you may be interested in knowing the Franklin family papers (of explorer Sir John Franklin fame) are at the Derbyshire Archives and mentioned on their blog.

Two-thirds of genetic genealogy testers positive over results

In January the Ontario Genealogical Society conducted a survey in connection with Society conferences. There were 329 responses. One question asked about interest and experience with DNA testing for genealogy.  The responses were:

Not interested - 21%
Interested but not yet tested - 45%
Tested but don't understand results - 8%
Tested but not satisfied with results - 4%
Tested and found results interesting - 9%
Tested and found results helpful - 2%
Tested and followed up with further test - 7%
Genetic genealogy enthusiast - 5%

Two-thirds of respondents had not taken a test. More than two of three of those are interested in doing so. There's lots of room for growth.

About one-third of those tested didn't understand or were unsatisfied with the results meaning there's room for providing further help.

The really good news is that two-thirds of those who tested were positive about the results finding them either interesting, helpful or the basis for further testing.

If you're one of the "interested but not yet taken the test" don't forget the opportunities to learn more at the OGS conference in Barrie, Ontario, May 29-31, with Dr. Maurice Gleeson.  Family Tree DNA kits will likely be sold at Barrie. Maurice and other DNA experts will also be at the Toronto Branch one-day event on June 6.

30 March 2015

Improving Library and Archives Canads

There's mostly simple common sense in the blog post "Making Library and Archives Canada Work: A Superficial Start, 2015" on Gillian's blog. One wonders what's stopping common sense prevailing? Could it perhaps be a legacy of the misguided decisions of the former Librarian and Archivist.

Thanks to Bruce Elliott for the tip.

Military Settlers: call for presentation proposals

The Kawartha Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society is hosting the second annual Kawartha Conference in Peterborough, Saturday, Oct 3 on the theme Military Settlers

Papers are sought on all aspects of the settlement of British discharged military in Ontario, in particular papers that comment on:

– the situation (economic and political) in the UK that caused military people to emigrate

– the military situation in Canada that encouraged military settlers

– the economic situation in Canada

– how the military emigration took place

– the results

– where the documentation is

It is a one-day conference with five speakers, each of one hour.

Presentation proposals with a brief outline may be sent to <kawarthaconference@ogs.on.ca> by Apr 30.

1928 England in Colour

A little diversion - in colour 1928 doesn't seem so long ago.


Genealogists' Magazine: March 2015

Before the month is over a quick look at the March issue of the Society of Genealogists magazine. As an overseas members I don't get to benefit from much that SoG has to offer, particularly as I rarely get to their major genealogical library. The magazine is one of the tangible benefits of membership. I'd probably continue to support SoG even without that because of the advocacy role.

The frontspiece message from the chairman mentions overseas members. Apparently  SoG has 1,106 such members constituting about 11% of the total from some 50 countries. Chair Buckley sees embracing the opportunities to increase global membership, by offering access to the unique collections and services, as important for the Society future. Will we see webinars?

For me the highlight of the issue was Ian H Waller's article "In a Class of Their Own: Keeping the Royal Navy Battle-Ready", about researching Royal Navy Warrant Officers.

Also of interest were:

Charlie Cooke-Parker's article Personal Medical Records of WW1 announcing the first records of an eventual 1.5 million records transcribed from TNA covering July 1915 to August 1918. These are to be online at the military genealogy website Forces War Records.
M.L Bierbrier's short article New Developments in Medieval Genealogy subtitled "To DNA or not to DNA" looking at issues following the extraction of DNA from the skeleton of what is virtually certainly Richard III.
The magazine includes 17 pages listing additions to the library and document collections.  While some people with ready access to the library must see this as highly valuable I do wonder if it's material which would better be available only online rather than in a costly publication shipped internationally.

Gene-O-Rama 2015

Still jet-lagged from recent travels I decided not to attend this year's Ottawa Branch OGS Gene-O-Rama event held this past Friday evening and Saturday but did stop by for an hour to catch up in the marketplace. Heather Oakley, co-Chair for the event along with Branch Chair Doug Gray, told me that attendance was up from 2014; the marketplace was buzzing.

As I didn't attend any sessions I can't comment on the presentations, I did catch a few seconds of Lesley Anderson and Glenn Wright's well attended presentation The Circle of Life: Ontario Vital Records while visiting displays located at the back of the Cafetorium. The ongoing presentation meant I couldn't speak with Malcolm and Chris Moody from Archive CD Books Canada.

Global Genealogy had a prominent display of publications from Australian publishing company Unlock the Past for which they have the North American distribution rights. Rick and Sandra Roberts explained that by printing these in Canada they could sell for much less than if they had to import. Some of the authors in this series, Janet Few, Thomas MacEntee and Chris Paton will be speaking at the BIFHSGO conference in September. Maybe Global Genealogy will be able to negotiate a similar arrangement with British publishers, like Pen and Sword, to bring the price of their books down too.

Rick and Jennifer Cree from Moorshead Magazines showed an array of their magazines and Tracing Your Ancestors Series magazine-format publications, the most recent of those being on Italian Genealogy. Rick seemed pleased with the acceptance of Your Genealogy Today, the renamed Family Chronicle magazine. They have ideas for further Tracing Your Ancestors Series issues but nothing to announce yet.

Kyla Ubbink of Book and Paper Conservation told me the presentations she's been giving on archiving digital resources for the Ottawa Public Library have been very popular; another, Caring for Your Digital Photographs for the Ottawa City Archives, is scheduled for 2 May. She recommended Googling "digital preservation coalition" for those like me who may not appreciate what's involved - apparently there's more to it than LOCKSS - Google that too if need be.

In the same room Ken McKinlay seemed to be having a more tranquil time with the computer resources giving free access to ancestry.com and findmypast.com than on Friday when there were internet connection problems. Ken mentioned having attended a recent event at the War Museum when an episode from the soon to be aired muilti-part television and online Documentary series, The Great War Tour with Norm Christie was shown.

There were several stands from non-commercial groups.

The Ottawa Stake Family History Centre was there with news on the next Voices from the Dust event, now also billed as Ottawa's Rootstech, to be held on the afternoon of Saturday 20 June.

Heather Oakley had showed me a book published by Archives Lanark which was supported by a grant from Ottawa Branch. Published in the series Rural Schools it was on Drummond Township, 260 pages with lots of photos of pupils and teachers in the one-room schools which were the foundation of the education system until the 1960s. Others in the series are for Lanark, North Emsley, Ramsey and Packenham.  There a good chance of finding a photo of relatives who attended a school in the area -  Cliff Adams who briefly attended one of the schools told me he found six of nine cousins.

Gary Schroder mentioned that for the Quebec Family History Society forthcoming Roots 2015 conference, June 19-21 at McGill University groups will be coming in from nearly New England states.

BIFHSGO President Barbara Tose and publicity Director Mary-Lou Simac filled me in on the hugely successful Ulster day the society held while I was away. Not only did it demonstrate how popular one day events can be, something Toronto Branch of OGS have demonstrated in spades for years, but it also showed ways of coping with a capacity crowd at the Centrepointe facility.

Although I didn't get to attend any of keynoter Janice Nickerson's lectures we did chat briefly about the OGS 2016 conference being held in Toronto. Apparently they aim to put a premium on innovation in selecting presentation topics. It may be good for the environment but recycling, recycled presentations from previous OGS and other local events, are less likely to find a place on the program.

29 March 2015

Genealogy in the Sunshine 2015 Wrap-up

Genealogy was in plentiful supply at the "Genealogy in the Sunshine" event organized by Peter Calver of Lost Cousins at Rocha Brava, Algarve, Portugal - 16-20 March 2015. Several people have asked about my experience saying they would consider going if offered again.

It goes without saying that when you have well-known knowledgeable speakers of the quality of Chris Paton and Else Churchill, who have both been BIFHSGO conference speakers, and John Hanson, the content will be first rate.

It was, and not just because of them. In fact my top pick from the speakers, perhaps because her material was new to me and presented in such an appealing manner, was British legal historian Rebecca Probert, author of Marriage Law for Genealogists: The Definitive Guide...what everyone tracing their family history needs to know about where, when, who and how their English and Welsh ancestors married. She spoke on Sex, Illegitimacy and Cohabitation; Divorced, Bigamist, Bereaved - interpreting you ancestors' second marriages; and the Life and Times of an Army Wife in the Peninsula War as well as giving a morning presentation on the topic of her marriage law book.

The major presentations took place in the afternoon, the mornings being reserved for introductory or specialist topics. However, on Monday morning there was a panel on the Genealogical Proof Standard. Else Churchill started off with an overview of the GPS and the additional material the Society of Genealogists have on their website. That was pretty factual. The discussion, which involved a lot of questions and interventions from the audience, was at a fairly basic level. There remains a lot of scepticism over "reasonably exhaustive", the overly prescriptive nature of citation and just when conflicts can be said to be resolved. One opinion was that the GPS was nothing more than common sense. There was some discussion of DNA evidence allowing me to point out how it is becoming increasingly accepted by the US  profession, and required in some circumstances.
While I think the GPS can be improved upon after nearly 20 years, after all genealogy has come a long way in that time, still we should not be making the perfect the enemy of the good. I remain optimistic that one of these days, although perhaps not soon, the genealogical professionals will embrace a quantitative probabilistic approach.

The second (Tuesday) morning was dedicated to presentations by Debbie Kennett providing an introduction to genetic genealogy. It was a session I didn't attend, Debbie was a speakers at the last BIFHSGO conference. I did enjoy her more in-depth presentations on interpreting DNA results. Genetic genealogy continues rapid development and Debbie is right on top of these as well as being well tuned in to the genetic genealogy community internationally. The challenge with these presentations is providing enough basic material for the newbie and enough of what's new to satisfy the more advanced genetic genealogist.

There wasn't a dud presentation during the whole week - although I'll let others pass judgement on mine.

I wasn't the only Canadian on the program. Dr Donald Davis from BC gave an exceptional presentation comparing the 1841 English census with a small collection of the original householder schedules found in a county archive, and, together with his cousin Donna Fraser, spoke on their case study Finding Amelia.

Peter Calver also arranged a social program including an opening reception with wine, afternoon tea/coffee breaks each day, optional Safari Suppers on Tuesday and Thursday, and an optional closing dinner.

Was everything perfect? No, but it was good. The presentation rooms weren't ideal; WiFi was only occasionally, mostly not, available in my suite so I had to walk to reception for access. While that's something that could be fixed the parsimonious allocation of sunshine was not. Portugal is known as a cold (relative term) country with a hot sun. I have a sunburn that testifies to sunny days of sightseeing before the conference, and Algarve has lots of that to offer. The sun only reluctantly appeared during the conference, although did make enough of an appearance on the Friday morning to enable witnessing the partial eclipse of the sun.

The accommodation at Rocha Brava was perfectly satisfactory, we took advantage of a reasonably well equipped kitchen to save on meals out, international TV, and there were good electric heaters to take the chill off leaving us toasty-warm on the colder days.

I expect Peter will have more to report in his next Lost Cousins newsletter. Chris Paton has included interviews with Peter Calver and Else Churchill recorded at Genealogy in the Sunshine in a recent podcast.  Comments from anyone else at the event welcome.

OGS Conference 2016 Announcement

The OGS 2015 conference isn't yet underway but already the dates and location for OGS Conference 2016 are announced. The venue is the International Plaza Hotel, close to Toronto (otherwise known as Pearson, Mississauga or for the old timers Malton) airport at 655 Dixon Road. The dates June 3, 2016 – June 5, 2016.
It's a good conference facility, Toronto has lots of organizational talent to draw on and, even before the call for presentation proposals comes out, I'm hearing of good speakers planning to make proposals. I suggest you plan on being at there even if, like me, you don't have much in the way of Ontario ancestry.

28 March 2015

Forces War Records Magazine

The first issue of this British online magazine is out from the folks at Forces War Records  (Alexa rank 119,758), a sister site of Forces Reunited (Alexa rank 263,316) and part of Clever Digit Media Ltd.
This is an entirely new-to-me organisation with another string to its bow being British Genealogy (Alexa rank 472,465) which the company describes as a forum leading the field in its technology and membership base.
The magazine cover story is a Genealogical Boot Camp for getting started researching military ancestors. Solid straightforward advice.
The lead "historic feature" is on Britain's Secret (WW2) Army: the Auxiliary Units and the Last Line of Defence. It's a useful description of a guerrilla-type organisation which I learnt a bit about when Time Team explored Shooters Hill in South London.
A Happening Now section includes news on military records, a what's on compilation and happenings from the Great War day-by-day 100 years ago.
The magazine, with about 28 pages of content, is free so it costs nothing but your time to check it out, and you'll certainly learn about the military resources of Forces War Records.

27 March 2015

Celebrate Archives Awareness Week in Toronto

If you're in Toronto don't miss the events being organized by the Ontario Archives, starting April 7. See the details at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/about/archives_week.aspx

If you're not in Toronto it would seem you're plain out of luck, or perhaps living beyond the pale as far as that organization is concerned. Not even the opportunity to see the presentations being given online which is hardly costly or groundbreaking technology at this stage!

FamilySearch adds United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

Now available from FamilySearch, sourced from The National Archives, Kew, Surrey. come 43,542,691 images, name indexed, the records from:
WO 363 (War Office: Soldiers' Documents, First World War "Burnt Documents") surviving records of service for non commissioned officers and other ranks who served in the 1914-1918 war and did not re-enlist prior to the outbreak of war in 1939 and
WO 364 (War Office: Documents from Pension Claims, First World War) service records of non-commissioned officers and other ranks who were discharged from the Army and claimed disability pensions for war service between 1914 and 1920 and did not re-enlist prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.

FreeBMD March Update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Friday 20 March 2015 to contain 245,478,955 distinct records. That's an increase of 669,185 records since the February update. Years with major (more than 5,000) additions are: for births 1958, 1963-4, 1966. 1971, 1973-4; for marriages 1952, 1965-6, 1968, 1971-5; for deaths 1971-4.

26 March 2015

Ancestry adds Bexley, Kent, records

Sourced from the Local Studies & Archive Centre, Bexleyheath, come the following Church of England records, with image originals:

Deaths and Burials, 1813-1985, 49,848 records
Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1558-1812, 27,113 records
Births and Baptisms, 1813-1925, 67,801 records
Marriages and Banns, 1754-1935, 61,801 records

and also, from the municipal cemeteries of Bexleyheath, Erith and Sidcup:
Cemetery Registers, 1879-1985, 53,843  records

Alan Lomax Archive Online

If you know anything about folk music and folklore you know the name Alan Lomax. An American, he recorded thousands of songs and interviews with folk artists from around the world. They're now online at http://research.culturalequity.org/home-audio.jsp including material from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Gene-O-Rama: 27-28 March

A reminder that the evening of Friday March 27 & all day Saturday 28 is the almost annual Gene-O-Rama organized by the Ottawa Branch of OGS.

This year the lead speaker is Janice Nickerson; details of the program and speakers are at http://ogsottawa.on.ca/gene-o-rama/

As usual there will be a marketplace with lots of goodies to purchase, displays by representatives of local non-profit heritage societies and a computer research room.

According to the Environment Canada forecast we should avoid the snowstorm that plagued the event last year so making your way to the Confederation Education Centre, 1645 Woodroffe Ave. Ottawa should be routine.

25 March 2015

Historical Society of Ottawa Meeting: March 27

This Friday Bob Garcia is the invited speaker on ­ "The Best Laid Plans of the Royal Engineers: proposed and lost fortifications of Kingston, 1827­-1903"

The presentation will give an overview of the efforts of the Royal Engineers to provide suitable fortifications to protect Kingston, the military depot for Upper Canada, the Royal navy dockyard, and the southern entrance to the Rideau Canal in case of a war with the United States. The execution of their plans was often affected by the political situation back in Britain.

Bob is an historian with Parks Canada’s Cornwall office, with research responsibilities for Parks operated national historic sites across Ontario. He joined Parks Canada in 1991 as a member of the interpretative staff at Fort Malden National Historic Site. Bob has a bachelor’s degree in history from McGill University and a Master’s in library and information science from the University of Western Ontario. He is a past president of the Essex County Historical Society and has had a long ­time interest in Canadian military heritage.

The location is the lounge of the Routhier Community Centre, 172 Guigues Street at Cumberland in Ottawa.

Dr Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People

A blog post from the Wellcome Library reveals that these almost legendary pills were:

Originally produced and patented by Dr William Frederick Jackson, a physician in Ontario in 1866, the international success of the pills was due to the marketing skills of the Canadian politician, Senator George Taylor Fulford.
According to Ancestry William Frederick Jackson was born about 1853 in Brockville, Ontario
and died on 29 January 1935 in Leeds, Ontario. His father was William Hayes Jackson and his mother the delightfully named Polyanna Beach. His death notice in the Ottawa Journal of 30 January 1935 makes no mention of the pills. He is said to have been an associate of Alexander Graham Bell in the invention of the telephone and a graduate of McGill University where he was a fellow student of William Ostler.

A wikipedia article on George Taylor Fulford, also Brockville-born, gives further details on his involvement with Dr Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People and reports he was the first Canadian fatal automobile accident victim.

24 March 2015

Presentation to Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto

This is rather last minute but if you're in Toronto on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 8:00 pm I'm sure you'd be welcome to come to my presentation to the Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto.

In DNA Tests for Genealogy: Not Just for Men: What’s New in Genetic Genealogy, I'll start by giving an overview of DNA testing for those with no experience and then discuss the application of autosomal DNA tests for the more advanced. To keep it right up to date I've added a couple of slides from the People of the British Isles project report published last week in Nature.

The presentation will be at Temple Sinai, 210 Wilson Avenue, Toronto with doors opening at 7:30 p.m.

Terrible Terminal Two

Now back from my trip to England and Portugal and starting the process of recovering from the return journey. This was the first time I'd been through the new Terminal Two at Heathrow. If heading on a genealogy, or any other trip via Heathrow - beware.

Certainly compared to the old Terminal Three to which I've been accustomed the new one is spacious. Unfortunately the space is used in a feast or famine manner. You're forced to use the check in machines, even if you checked in online, to print a baggage tag. The machines are so user friendly they station lots of staff in the area to help you figure them out. Isn't that enough of a clue to Air Canada that they aren't part of good customer service, but maybe that's not important.

Following that you're directed through one of those back and forth cattle corridors to drop off your bags and go through a second passport check. That part of the Terminal Two experience is all too familiar to airline travelers. That's also true of the security check, another cattle-worthy experience.

The particular agony at Terminal Two is the exercise regime. According to the signs it's a 15 minute, repeat 15 minute, walk from the check in to the gate. No wonder these days travelers dress like they're going for a hike, at Terrible Terminal Two they are. There are moving walkways but the time indicated to get to the gate must include those and walking along them. Why couldn't Heathrow take the tip from Gatwick and Atlanta and install a train for such a distance - it can't be any less than between Gatwick's North and South Terminals.
That walk is also required on arrival, even worse coming as it does after a mostly sleepless overnight flight.
One day a major air terminal will rethink the process and focus it on the traveler experience, not just the cost efficiency for the airline and terminal operation. But I'm not expecting that day to come anytime soon at Heathrow.

I never thought I be sentimental about the old Terminal Three with all its faults.

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine: April 2015 issue

Given the magazine's title you expect lots of coverage of the WDYTYA? Live coming up in Birmingham, April 16-18 at the National Exhibition Centre. We get it in a eight page section dedicated to the event. Cutting through the hype, and the grumbling about the location from those whose ambit never wanders north of the M25, it appears attendees will enjoy an experience which will be pretty much a continuation of that of the previous years at London's Olympia.
Most of the exhibition area is dedicated to companies and nonprofit organizations showing what they have to offer. Ancestry is the biggest and will continue to offer open access to their website with staff experts on hand to provide help in getting the most out of the service. All the other major commercial companies will be present including Family Tree DNA which will again offer its own lecture theatre. One of their presentations I expect will have standing room only will be by Turi King, the leader of the project that identified the skeleton the in Leicester car park as Richard III. That's one I'll be sorry to miss.
There are lots of other good presentations in a programme organized by the Society of Genealogists by celebrities and genealogy celebrities including Else Churchill, Audrey Collins, Janet Few, Kirsty Gray, Celia Heritage, Debbie Kennett and Rebecca Probert. There are even a few men speaking!
This is supposed to be a review of the magazine, not the event, so lets's not overlook the other content.
The article featured on the cover is searching pre-1837, when civil registration started in England and Wales By Pam Ross. The task gets increasingly difficult as you move back in time. Parish records of baptisms, marriages (banns and licences), and burials are the most common sources, especially helpful if used to reconstruct families. Wills, military records, apprenticeships, poor law, manorial records and early newspaper are all included in this useful overview.
I was surprised to read in the editor's introduction that Chris Paton was the author of an article on DNA. Chris is a prolific author but DNA is not one of the topics I've seen him delve into previously. In fact the author is Chris Pomeroy, an established author on DNA topics. He looks ahead on where DNA testing for genealogy is going quoting extensively from Debbie Kennett. I think he jumps the gun a little on dismissing STR testing of Y-DNA which in my view still has life in it, but is right on in looking forward to the time when we'll have a readout of our full genomes, and although he doesn't say so, hopefully fully phased so we'll know which of each chromosome pair came from which parent.
Other articles worth scanning include the top five websites for researching aristocratic ancestors by Jonathan Scott and an article by regular contributor Alan Crosby on tax records.
Read the complete table of contents at www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/.

23 March 2015

Genetic Genealogy at OGS Toronto Branch

The program is now available and registration open for OGS Toronto Branch's June 6, 2015 all day event on genetic genealogy. Here's the promo from http://torontofamilyhistory.org/event/genetic-genealogy/
Are you wondering what genetic genealogy is all about? Or have you already had some DNA tests done for yourself and your relatives but don’t know what the results mean? Do you already use DNA testing effectively but would like to learn more? If any of these questions apply to you, this one-day workshop on genetic genealogy may help you to advance your knowledge of this fascinating and rapidly changing field of research.
The topic of genetic genealogy is broad so our primary focus will be on the main types of DNA testing that are used by genealogists as well as how the results from genetic testing are used in conducting or supporting genealogical research.
Speakers are, in alphabetical order:

Sue Fenn, Maurice Gleeson, Grant Karcich, Ken Parks , David Pike, John D Reid, Linda Reid,  Susan Reid, James F.S. Thomson.

I shall be presenting the talk Did DNA Prove The Skeleton Under The Leicester Car Park Was Richard III? which I gave in Portugal last week.

I anticipate the day will sell out. Don't hesitate --- ensure a seat and grab the discount for early registration.

19 March 2015

Scottish 1865 Valuation Rolls

The following is a press release from Scotland's People

We're delighted to announce that the Valuation Rolls for 1865 have just been added to theScotlandsPeople website.

The new records, which are FREE* to search, comprise 1.3 million indexed names and 76,512 digital images. The Rolls, which are searchable by both name and address, cover every owner, tenant and occupier of property in 1865, offering a fascinating window into the lives of mid-Victorian Scots. 

*Index for Valuations Rolls 1865 free to search until 19th April 2015. Images can be viewed for 2 credits per page.

The fine-scale genetic structure of the British population

A long-awaited article on the results of the People of the British Isles project was just published in the journal Nature 519, 309–314 (19 March 2015)doi:10.1038/nature14230

Received 23 November 2013 it took more than a year to be accepted. I've not had a chance to review it and will likely not get the opportunity until late next week. Surprisingly it's not open access although a good summary and extensive supplemental material are freely available.

There's also extensive media coverage including in The Guardian at http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/mar/18/genetic-study-30-percent-white-british-dna-german-ancestry?CMP=twt_gu

18 March 2015

New records from Deceased Online

All burial records for the North Dorset town of Gillingham are newly available on the website. Records date from 1861 and comprise scans of original burial registers and grave details indicating all those buried within each grave.The Gillingham records available join other Dorset areas including Blandford Forum and, from The National Archives, 2 sites in Poole and a cemetery in Weymouth.

Up-coming new records on Decreased Online are:

Sandwell: all records for 8 cemeteries and 2 crematoria in the heart of the industrial West Midlands; includes West Bromwich, Smethwick, Tipton and Wednesbury
Moray: another large Scottish area with all records for 55 cemeteries and burial grounds
Nottingham: the City's collection will grow to nearly 1.5 million records with the addition of the historic General Cemetery's records
London: two more of the most famous cemeteries in the capital.....and two more major council areas later in 2015
Monumental inscriptions: this special area continues to grow.

OGS Conference great value for US Citizens

Mike More from the Ontario Genealogical Society asked me to point out an exceptional opportunity for people from the US.

"If you live south of the border and are researching your roots in Ontario (Canada West or Upper Canada), this is a great time to come to OGS Conference 2015. The weather will be great by the end of May but, more importantly, the American dollar is worth more; it's currently about $1.25 Canadian. Think of how much you will save while learning more about the hobby that we all enjoy.

OGS Conference 2015, Tracks through Time, will be held at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario from May 29 to 31, 2015. Early-bird registration continues until the end of March. Accommodation remains available at either the Georgian College Barrie Residence or the Holiday Inn Barrie Hotel & Conference Centre. More information on Conference 2015 as well as on-line registration, can be found at http://www.ogs.on.ca/co"

17 March 2015

Genealogy in the Sunshine: Tuesday

Rain overnight gave way to sunshine just in time for Debbie Kennett's beginner genetic genealogy session at 10 am. John Hanson started the afternoon with a talk on the census. He mentioned that the 1939 British National Registration will likely be available later this year; see the announcement from Findmypast at http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/2015/introducing-the-1939-register-exclusive-to-findmypast/ with information on redactions at http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/2015/redaction-and-the-1939-register/
I enjoyed talks by Debbie Kennett's on autosomal DNA and Else Churchill on Probate which has and is becoming an easier resource to exploit.

New Irish Genealogy Records 2014

You don't need to be wearing green on St Patrick's Day to read Irish Genealogy Toolkit just published a 20-page e-booklet providing brief details of all the brand-new or, in some cases, upgraded Irish Genealogy resources released in 2014. 

Arranged by type of resource ie Census, Emigration Records, Newspapers, Military Records, Books etc, the booklet is a handy aide memoire of recently-available resources useful to Irish family historians.

Nearly all entries are linked not only to the new records, but also to the relevant Irish Genealogy News blogpost where you're likely to find additional background information to help you get the most from the new resource.

It's free. Download your own (pdf 4.3Mb) copy:  See at: http://www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/new-irish-genealogy-records-2014.htm

16 March 2015

Genealogy in the Sunshine: Monday

The day got underway with a panel on the genealogical proof standard. Else Churchill started the discussion with a presentation and mentioned the additions to the original GPS adopted by the Society of Genealogists to reflect Britain's situation.
In the afternoon Donald Davis from BC spoke about a unique collection of 500 householder schedules from the 1841 census of Shropshire and comparison to enumerator's schedule.

John Hanson mentioned Archer software's listing of IGI batch numbers which replaces Hugh Wallis facility but without dated links to FamilySearch.

Chris Paton gave one of his usual entertaining and information packed presentations, this one on Scottish marriages.

Heritage Ottawa Free Public Lecture

What: Presentation Taking Care of Business: The Mausoleum Promoter and the Cemetery
Who: Dorothy Smith is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Carleton University. Among her areas of research interest is the pre-World War II mausoleum industry in Canada.
When: Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 7:00 pm
Where: Ottawa Public Library Main Branch, 120 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa
Summary: Beechwood Cemetery was established in Ottawa in 1873. Now almost one hundred and fifty years old, it is recognized for its naturalistic, pastoral and picturesque landscape. It features a number of prominent elements, among them the 1930s Gothic Revival Beechwood Community Mausoleum. While the Mausoleum stands today as an ornament in the cemetery grounds, this lecture will explore the intriguing story behind its construction as one of speculation, ambition, and ultimately loss for all involved.

15 March 2015

Genealogy in the Sunshine: Sunday

This event in Algarve, Portugal, got underway on Sunday afternoon with an opening reception. Peter Calver of the Lost Cousins newsletter summarized the week.
He asked that the Monday morning session on the genealogical proof standard, on which I'll be part of the panel, be recorded. I'm hoping he doesn't plan on keeping it as hostage material.
I also found I'll be presenting two morning sessions in addition to the Wednesday afternoon session on Richard III. One is on evacuees to Canada early in WW2, the other a general talk on English migrants to Canada.
This seems like a happy group and I'm looking forward to the week.

Ulster Day at BIFHSGO

On Saturday BIFHSGO broke the monthly meeting attendance record with 264 at the monthly meeting. 216 stayed for the day to hear the speakers from the UHF. In total they gave 5 lectures and one open Q and A session.  "Visitors" came from as far away as Kitchener and Orillia as well as members from Montreal ... all this with a threat of freezing rain and snow. Lots of happy people went home at the end of the day.

This was the first stop in a North American tour. If you have Ulster ancestry consider making a special effort to attend one of their other sessions. Information on other stops on the tour is at http://www.ancestryireland.com/latest-news/2015-north-american-lecture-tour/

14 March 2015

9th Anniversary

Join me in celebrating Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections 9th anniversary. There are now more than 6,350 posts in the archive, all searchable.

13 March 2015

Irish Lives Remembered Free Genealogy e-Magazine

The March/April edition (28th issue) of Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy e-Magazine is now live and available at www.irishlivesremembered.com  or directly at http://bit.ly/1Ca4pEP

Salisbury Wills Index, 1464-1858 added at Findmypast

The major British addition this week at Findmypast is over 90,000 records of the Wiltshire, Salisbury Wills Index, 1464-1858. It is a British Record Society (BRS) index produced as part of the Wiltshire Wills Project, a collaboration between Wiltshire and Swindon Archives and the BRS.

The original records were kept by various ecclesiastical courts including the Bishop's Consistory Court, the Archdeaconries of Wiltshire and Sarum, the Dean's and Sub-Dean's court and a variety of smaller jurisdictions covering either a single parish or group of parishes attached to various lay or clerical dignitaries. As a result, there are records for 29 different jurisdictions covering the whole of Wiltshire, parts of Dorset, Hampshire and Berkshire and the Devon parish of Uffculme.

Each record includes a transcript of the index that will usually list the individual's name, status or occupation, residence, the year the will was made, the document type and reference.

Genealogy Jargon

A mixture of serious and lighthearted, tongue in cheek, definitions in the field of genealogy may be found at http://www.tamurajones.net/GenealogyJargon.xhtml
I particularly appreciate citation critic, geneatheologist, IntelliMurder and My-Tree-itus. Lest I be accused of plagiaus note that the website linked above is by Tamura Jones who may or may not have correctly cited all the sources.

12 March 2015

Origins.net no more

The following was received from Findmypast.

This message is to inform you that over the next couple of days, Origins.net will be closing down. We want to reassure you that all of the records formerly available on Origins can now be found on Findmypast.

Despite having some unique data origins.net always struggled as a minor player. News that the consolidation of their portfolio of genealogical resources is now within findmypast is welcome.

BIFHSGO March Monthly Meeting Ulster Historical Foundation Lecture Day

March 14 is an opportunity to attend an entire day of lectures about Irish genealogical research by Gilian Hunt and Fintan Mullan.

Presented by the Ulster Historical Foundation, the morning lectures are offered for free. All four afternoon lectures are available for $10 per person. Tickets will be sold at the door as long as they last, if not already sold out.

Details about each lecture, specific times, and location are available in our Meetings section.
&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Schedule
9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

• Unique Challenges of Irish Genealogy
• Records Related to the Different Churches in Ireland

1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
• Census Substitutes for 18th and 19th Centuries
• Tracing Farming Families in the 18th and 19th Centuries
• Understanding Irish Townlands
• Solving Your Brick Walls

The meeting is an Nepean Centrepointe.

09 March 2015

Lloyd's of London at the Guildhall Library

This isn't new but is new to me.

A major collection was deposited at London's Guildhall Library by Lloyd’s of London in May 1979. It offers maritime and family historians information on ships’ details, shipping movements and shipping news and casualties from 1741 to the present day. There's very little about crew or passengers, and information on insurance or cargo is rare.

The collection includes an almost complete set of Lloyd’s Register from 1764 onward and Lloyd’s List 1741-present, with indexes to its record of vessel movements covering 1837-1975. In addition, volunteers have created a unique Index to Lloyd's List Marine News and Casualties for the period 1741-1837.

You may find some of these Lloyd's publications at a major library closer to you.

The following information at http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visiting-the-city/archives-and-city-history/guildhall-library/collections/Pages/Maritime-history.aspx may be helpful to consult:

Captain Cook bibliography (81KB)
Casualty returns reports (90KB)
Immigration records in Australia and New Zealand (100KB)
Immigration records in North America(104KB)
Lloyds List indexes (91KB)
Lloyds photocopying (61KB)
Marine sources at Guildhall Library (124KB)
Mignonette references (77KB)
Passenger and crew lists (108KB)
RMS Titanic (93KB)
Shipping loss information (106KB)
UK shipwreck computer index (61KB)
Useful addresses for maritime research(66KB)
Voyage Record Cards (333KB)
Voyage Record Cards and Port abbreviations  (382KB)

Guildhall Library actively collects supporting materials on maritime history which you can find on the library catalogue.

The Lloyd’s Captains’ Registers are currently held at the London Metropolitan Archives.

Ancestry or Find My Past are useful for digitised sources of information on seamen held at the national Maritime Museum, the National Archives and the Registry of Shipping and Seamen; but for the original records you should contact them directly.​

LAC Wallot-Sylvestre Seminar:March 11

The next presentation in the Wallot-Sylvestre series is by David Fricker, Director General of the National Archives of Australia who will speak on  “e-Government: Policy Responses from the National Archives of Australia” on Wednesday, March 11, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON.

There's more information at http://goo.gl/HQAwbm/. Seating is limited and registration is required.
Please register by email at: rsvp@bac-lac.gc.ca

08 March 2015

Fewer Posts: an opportunity

I'm on my way to the Genealogy in the Sunshine event being organized in Portugal by Peter Calver of lostcousins.com. My blogging will be limited for the next two and a half weeks. There will still be the occasional post.

If you're looking for a daily dose of family history take the opportunity to visit the sites mentioned in the left hand column of my blog.

Free Access Reminder

Today, Sunday, is the last day of free access to FindMyPast. Also LostCousins has free access until Tuesday. Don't miss out.


A new series of the popular celebrity TV show Who Do You Think You Are  returns to cable channel TLC this evening, March 8. I see 10pm as the advertised time but check your local listings.

07 March 2015

Manchester Grammar School Quincentenary

"A History of MGS in 50 Objects" aims to showcase some of the remarkable objects that belong to the Manchester Grammar School which is celebrating its 500 year history.
An "object" is being added each week. They're up to item 9 which is the Admission Register.
It's not yet online. You might try writing for a lookup, except for the years 1837-40, 1852–62 and 1879–88 which are missing.

Thanks to Hugh Reekie, a proud alumnus, for the tip.

06 March 2015

Some recent additions to articles indexed by PERSI at Findmypast

Findmypast is working to provide access to the some articles indexed in the Periodical Source Index. Here are recent British, Irish and Canadian additions

Scotland, Aberdeen Journal Notes and Queries, 1908-1914
England, Ancestor, 1902-1905
England, Collectanea Topographica Et Genealogica, 1834-1838; 1840-1841; 1843
England, Congregational Historical Society Transactions, 1901-1923
Ireland, Cork Historical and Archaelogical Society Journal, 1896
Ontario, Essex Historical Society Papers and Addresses, 1913; 1915
England, Genealogical Magazine, 1897-1904
Ontario, Mer Douce, 1921-1923
Ontario, Ontario Historical Society Papers and Records / Ontario History, 1899-1923
Ireland, Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Journal, 1904-1905
Scotland, Scottish Antiquary, 1891-1899

Findmypast adds British military women's WW1 era recor

British Army, Women's Army Auxiliary Corp, 1917-1920
"Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Service Records 1917-1920 (WO 398) is a fascinating collection of over 7,500 records with multiple images per person.

British Women's Royal Air Force Service Records, 1918-1920
Over 500 records, "transcripts of information on the original document held at The National Archives in London in the series known as ADM 318. The amount of information in each record may vary although most will include the officer’s name, enrolment date, service number, rank or roll, reference from The National Archives and a link to an image on The National Archives’ website."

Officer Files and Service Registers from the British Women's Royal Naval Service
Transcripts of nearly 7,000 service records from The National Archives in Series ADM 336. The amount of information may vary but most will list the Rating name, enrolment date, service number, rank or roll, the archive reference and a link to an image on The National Archives’ website

Findmypast adds British Civil Service Evidence of Age records

The largest record collection added to Findmypast this Friday is one long available to Society of Genealogists members.

"Containing nearly 65,000 records, the British Civil Service Evidence of Age records were collected by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to establish accurate birth records for their staff, to ensure they were of minimum age or eligible for a pension. This collection spans evidence of birth from 1752 up until the 20th century, although the great majority of births recorded took place in the 19th century. The records are declarations of births by parents or a signed testimony of an individual’s birth date in place of a birth or baptism record. They were provided by the Society of Genealogists, whose indexers have not only transcribed the civil service post-holder or candidate, but also any relatives named in the same document where a date of birth was given for them." 

2015 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree

If you're considering a visit California this year June 5 - 7, 2015 and would like to add in a major genealogy event the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank, Burbank, CA. is it.

Among the Who's Who of genealogy speakers are:
Lisa A. Alzo, Ron Arons, Blaine T. Bettinger, Lisa Louise Cooke, Jean Wilcox Hibben, Janet Hovorka, Cyndi Ingle, Tim Janzen, Thomas W. Jones, Denise Levenick, Thomas MacEntee, Rhonda R. McClure, George G. Morgan, Stephen Morse, Geoffrey D. Rasmussen, Judy G. Russell, Craig Roberts Scott, Drew Smith, and Paula Stuart Warren.

Thursday 4 June is set aside for Genetic Genealogy: DNA Day Plus! with speakers including Angie Bush, Blaine T. Bettinger, Kitty Munson Cooper, Tim Janzen, CeCe Moore, Judy G. Russell and Diahan Southard.

Read all about it at http://genealogyjamboree.com/. There's an early bird rate until 30 April.

05 March 2015

The Value of Scientific Genealogy

Exactly a century ago, on 5 March 1915, the journal Science published an article by Chas B. Davenport The Value of Scientific Genealogy. Davenport was Director of the renowned Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, earned a Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University where he later became professor of zoology.
Davenport was a leading advocate for eugenics, "the study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, especially by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics)."
The article argued the merits of eugenics and suggested that in addition to "the usual statements about birth and marriage and also biographical and social data, records should be kept of  ... physical and mental data including build, proportions, pigmentation, quality of sense organs and other important physical traits, also the mental equipment, tastes for particular occupations, temperament and social reactions ... liability to disease, of grave illnesses and of surgical operations ... and precise cause or causes of death."
Repulsive as such racial and class based ideas are today we always have to remember not to judge the past by today's standards. Many of us have been uncomfortable when faced with evidence of our ancestors beliefs and actions.
Davenport recommended compilation of a detailed analysis of the personality based on work of Francis Galton using forms in Record of Family Faculties (pdf). He claimed to have distributed about 20,000 such forms to individuals and to hold a collection of such completed forms in a confidential repository at his office at Cold Spring Harbour. Do any such completed forms exist? If so they would be an interesting source for the family historian.

04 March 2015

Findmypast FREE this weekend

Findmypast.com is opening its record sets this weekend.

Existing members will have subscriptions automatically extended by three days at no additional cost. 

"Our Free Weekend will include help guides and useful family history hints and tips from our resident experts. If you have any brick walls that need to be broken down, or any questions you’d like to put to our experts, be sure to tune in! 

British Newspaper Archive Updates

There are more than 100 titles in the list of recently added issues, within 30 days, at the British Newspaper Archive.

Those with ten or more years added are|:

Arbroath Herald and Advertiser for the Montrose Burghs 1941 - 1955
Berwickshire News and General Advertiser 1905 - 1951, 1953, 1955
Brighton Gazette 1825 - 1834, 1836 - 1855
Cambridge Chronicle and Journal 1832 - 1835, 1837 - 1844, 1846 - 1847, 1849 - 1858, 1860, 1864 - 1866, 1868 - 1870, 1872
Carlisle Patriot 1822 - 1846, 1848 - 1852, 1854, 1856 - 1870
Clerkenwell News 1856 - 1866, 1868
Coventry Standard 1841, 1843, 1851 - 1852, 1854, 1859, 1861 - 1862, 1864 - 1867
Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser 1778 - 1779, 1781 - 1783, 1786, 1788, 1811, 1837, 1843, 1850 - 1853, 1857 - 1865, 1870 - 1871
Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald 1904 - 1906, 1912, 1914, 1917, 1920, 1923 - 1924, 1928, 1930, 1932 - 1933, 1935 - 1937
Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser 1887 - 1888, 1890 - 1892, 1894, 1899 - 1918
Dublin Evening Post 1781 - 1785, 1787, 1792, 1794 - 1797, 1804 - 1810, 1813 - 1817, 1827 - 1828, 1830 - 1832, 1834 - 1851, 1853, 1856 - 1858
Gloucestershire Chronicle 1842, 1845, 1848, 1888, 1890 - 1892, 1894 - 1895, 1897 - 1910, 1912 - 1926, 1928
Gloucestershire Echo 1884, 1901 - 1910, 1914 - 1915, 1924 - 1927
Greenock Advertiser 1839, 1844 - 1845, 1847, 1849 - 1852, 1859, 1865, 1870
Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette 1857 - 1866
Hawick News and Border Chronicle 1910, 1912 - 1913, 1926 - 1929, 1943 - 1944, 1950 - 1951
Holborn Journal 1858 - 1863, 1866 - 1867, 1870 - 1871
Oxford University and City Herald 1831 - 1844, 1855
Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier 1828 - 1829, 1834, 1836 - 1838, 1859 - 1865, 1869 - 1870
Teesdale Mercury 1855, 1857 - 1862, 1864 - 1869
Tipperary Vindicator 1844 - 1849, 1860 - 1863, 1867 - 1868
Whitby Gazette 1884 - 1886, 1889 - 1892, 1895, 1897 - 1900, 1902 - 1904, 1912, 1917 - 1918

The East Suffolk Mercury and Lowestoft Weekly News may only have been added for one year, 1859, but it gives hope the far east of England, up to that point totally ignored, may one day get a fair its share of attention.

More burials from Leicester's Grey Friars church

In July of 2013 the team from the University of Leicester that had excavated and retrieved the remains of Richard III returned to the Grey Friars site to excavate more of the church and, if possible, lift a stone sarcophagus found in the presbytery. This video documents the exploration.

03 March 2015

LAC Survey

If you've been to the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) website lately you will have been asked to take a survey, after you've finished your business. It's part of a usability study of to gather information about how visitors use the website. This study includes a question about digital content available on the LAC website.

The study can also be accessed at: http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/lacbac01/lac/ until March 6th. LAC note the identity of respondents is strictly confidential.

Irish Records added at Findmypast

The latest additions to Findmypast's Irish newspaper collection include updates to 36 existing titles and 5 brand new titles from all over Ireland
– Belfast Protestant Journal, 16,211 articles from 1844 to 1850
– Current Prices of Grain at Dublin Corn Exchange, 272 articles from 1860 to 1861
– Newry Herald and Down, Armagh and Louth Journal, 44,204 articles from 1858 to 1862
– Tipperary Vindicator and Weekly Vindicator, 88,194 articles from 1844 to 1868

Also in this update, over 9,000 new records have been added to the Ireland National Roll of Honour 1914-1921. It now containing over 24,000 records. The Ireland National Roll of Honour 1914-1921 is a collection of transcripts created from all known available references and collections for Irish casualties published before 1922. They include Soldiers Died in the Great War, Ireland’s Memorial Records, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, newspaper items, articles and books. The material has also been cross referenced with the 1901 and 1911 Census to provide a more precise list of Irish casualties than was previously available to family historians.

My forthcoming presentations

Here is a list of speaking commitments I have so far for 2015

March 16-20:  I will be at the Genealogy in the Sunshine event in Algarve, Portugal. The presentation Did DNA Prove the Skeleton Under the Leicester Car Park was Richard III? is scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday 18 March. Two other presentations Researching Second World War British Child Evacuees to Canada and Finding English Emigrants to Canada and Their Descendants are to be scheduled. I'll also be participating in a panel on genealogical proof.

March 25: DNA Testing for Genealogy: Not Just for Men at Temple Sinai, 210 Wilson Avenue, Toronto, 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.)

June 6: Did DNA Prove the Skeleton Under the Leicester Car Park was Richard III? OGS Toronto Branch one-day workshop on Genetic Genealogy and its uses in family history research. North York Central Library Auditorium, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto

June 13: Tragedy at Sea: How My Family History Nearly Ended Before It Began, part of BIFHSGO Great Moments in Genealogy  at The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean, Ontario, session starts at 10 am.

October 10: Did DNA Prove the Skeleton under the Leicester Car Park was Richard III? (BIFHSGO Monthly Meeting) 10:00 am to 11:30 am, The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean, Ontario

March Backup Nag

If, like me, you overlooked to backup your hard drive at the beginning of the month it's not too late..
Just do it.

02 March 2015

Major Photographic Acquisition by Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada announce the acquisition of a major addition to the Malak Karsh fonds on the occasion of the centenary of his birth. This provides tangible proof that LAC will not restrict itself to collecting only materials from government sources or through legal deposition.

The acquisition includes approximately 200,000 photographic transparencies and negatives, ca. 1968-2001, as well as 13 exhibition prints and textual records.
Malak's portrayal of Canada's geographical and cultural diversity has been very influential in shaping how Canadians view their own country and its visual identity.
Malak's images have been used on at least 11 Canadian stamps, and his iconic photograph of the log drive below Parliament Hill appeared on the $1 note (1974-1989).

Read the press release at http://goo.gl/3hgWxb

Local BMD Updates in February

The following are February's Local BMD additions to the UKBMD records for the counties of Cheshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Wiltshire, Yorkshire


3,465 for Hazel Grove, registers at Stockport (1960-1969) 
1,007 for Stockport, registers at Stockport (1967-1968)
500 for Altrincham, registers at Trafford (1959-1960)
1,004 for Urmston, registers at Trafford (1957-1957)

505 for Bidston, St Oswald, registers at Wirral (1947-1958)
501 for Tranmere, St Catherine, registers at Wirral (1946-1953)
506 for Tranmere, St Paul, registers at Wirral (1949-1958)
506 for Bebington, St Andrew, registers at Wirral (1948-1959)
251 for Bromborough, St Barnabas, registers at Wirral (1947-1954)
251 for Higher Bebington, Christ Church, registers at Wirral (1947-1954)
260 for Hoylake, St Hildeburgh, registers at Wirral (1950-1976)
254 for Port Sunlight, Christ Church, registers at Wirral (1951-1958)

2,542 for Altrincham, registers at Trafford (1950-1954)
1,505 for Urmston, registers at Trafford (1958-1960)


4,655 for West Lancashire (Ormskirk) RD comprising: Ormskirk (1948-1964)

27,169 for Manchester RD comprising: Manchester Register Office or Registrar Attended (1990-2011)


513 for London Road (City General Hospital), registers at Stoke-On-Trent (1928-1942)
5,618 for Longton, registers at Stoke-On-Trent (1899-1951)
345 for Burton-on-Trent, registers at Newcastle-Under-Lyme (1983-1983)
13,501 for Cannock (old Penkridge Rural District), registers at Newcastle-Under-Lyme (1893-1905)

24 for Essington, St John, registers at Newcastle-Under-Lyme (2011-2014)
16 for Hednesford, Cannock, Salvation Army, Anglesey St, registers at Newcastle-Under-Lyme (1982-2008)
11 for Raunsley (Hednesford), St Michael, registers at Newcastle-Under-Lyme (1991-2002)


4,999 for Tisbury, registers at History Centre (1837-1892)


605 for Arkengarthdale, St Mary, registers at Harrogate (1837-1992)
43 for St James, Scarborough, registers at Harrogate (1991-2008)
268 for St Stephen, Snainton, registers at Harrogate (1869-1990)
43 for St Leonard, Speeton, registers at Harrogate (1864-1970)
71 for St John, Staintondale, registers at Harrogate (1930-2001)
375 for All Saints, Wykeham, registers at Harrogate (1837-1987)
584 for Holy Trinity, Scarborough, registers at Harrogate (1882-1989)

4,968 for Barnburgh, registers at Doncaster (1837-1878) 

Americans in the CEF

In February Active History posted at article by Chris Dickon  "An American Legion in the CEF? Crossing Borders during “Canada’s” First World War."
Just as more than 60,000 Canadians fought in the American Civil War, 35,612 American citizens by birth, and many more US residents of Canadian or British birth, enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

01 March 2015

Benchmarks Update for February

15 sites in the survey improved in rank during the month, 12 declined. E
As for the previous month every site ranking better than 40,000, except findmypast.co.uk which dropped 6%, saw improved ranking. In terms of percentage the largest rank gainer was sog.org.uk and largest loser bifhsgo.ca.

Alexa Rank.

Website          28-Feb           31-Jan
familysearch.org 3,237 3,445
ancestry.com 668 698
ancestry.co.uk 4,978 5,079
ancestry.ca 17,808 18,586
myHeritage.com 5,132 5,649
findmypast.co.uk 18,566 17,594
findmypast.com           64,309           64,259
canadiana.ca 358,344 376,722
familytreedna.com 20,253 21,345
23andMe.com 8,696 10,022
genealogyintime.com 60,884 59,159
mocavo.com 38,961 41,444
eogn.com 56,969 55,761
lostcousins.com 189,964 160,251
britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk 77,869 80,168
newspapers.com 16,415 17,767
cyndislist.com 42,327 40,848
freebmd.org.uk           61,318           64,967
canadianheadstones.com 429,177 402,008
deceasedonline.com 555,257 674,668
bifhsgo.ca 3,692,134 2,980,096
qfhs.ca 6,337,916 5,469,547
ogs.on.ca         386,445         412,460
ngsgenealogy.org 312,791 367,827
americanancestors.org 134,296 128,051
scgsgenealogy.com 1,274,648 1,213,653
sog.org.uk 555,009 729,188
anglo-celtic-connections 340,733 302,127