31 May 2015

Genealogy Saturday

Judging by comments on social media the Ontario Genealogical Society conference in Barrie is being well appreciated by those in attendance.

I'm wondering if those who choose to participate remotely were equally happy. Before leaving for the Ottawa genetic genealogy group meeting I tuned in to the streamed panel session. Unfortunately there were major audio issues, very low volume and an electronic buzz, making the session unlistenable. Others commented on the chat they were having the same experience. I left after the introductions, no reflection on the quality of the panel. Janet Few also commented in a tweet that her presentation was truncated.

I counted 35 people at the Ottawa genetic genealogy group meeting. Almost all had taken the FTDNA Family Finder test.

Bill Arthurs gave an explanation of researching descendants of his Titus ancestor using Y-DNA of four descendants. There was much discussion and comment allowing people to understand the concept and use of the modal haplotype.

There was still time for a round table. We heard of a couple breakthroughs, one which led to identifying the father of a child born in the 1870s.

As more people become interested in the potential of DNA evidence to aid their family history research there's a continuing appetite for help to understand test results..

The Genealogist adds British Railway Worker Records

Thegenealogist.co.uk, with an Alexa rank of 119,592, trails in rank behind 2,897 for familysearch.org, 5,014 for ancestry.co.uk, and 16,498 for findmypast.co.uk. While it outranks scotlandspeople.gov.uk at 126,952 it's a site easily overlooked for British genealogy.

TheGenealogist's Nick Thorne emailed with a press release that the site now has over 62,000 British Railway Worker Records covering various years from 1905 to 1962.

"Taken from Railway Company Staff magazines these records are useful to family historians with railway employee ancestors, wanting to find important occupation related dates and add some social history to their family tree. These records include such details as staff changes, promotions, pension records, retirements and obituaries. Often additional personal information is revealed in the magazines. In some cases you can read about gifts from co-workers given when rail staff leave."

30 May 2015

FamilySearch adds Quebec, Index to Civil Copy of Church Records, 1642-1902

With over 1.3 million images those with Quebec ancestry may well find relatives in this recent addition to FamilySearch..

The collection is divided into Catholic, Catholic and Non-Catholic and Non-Catholic sections.

The Catholic section covers Ile-de-Montréal, Lapraire, Chambly, Vaudreuil-Soulanges counties. There are sub-sections of Baptisms Index, Baptisms Index (Alphabetical), Baptisms Index (Chronological), Burials Index (Alphabetical), Marriages Index (Alphabetical), Marriages Index (Females), Marriages Index (Males). Below that are name and date ranges which you need to scan to select the likely prospect. The example index card is from the Catholic marriage file organized by female name.

The Catholic and non-Catholic section covers the Judicial District of Saint-François and the non-Catholic section the three jurisdictions: Ile-de-Montréal, Lapraire, Chambly, Vaudreuil-Soulanges counties; Judicial District of Beauharnois; Judicial District of Bedford.

These records are sourced from Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales Du Québec (National Library and Archives of Quebec).

If you have access to the Drouin collection, available through Ancestry.ca, that will likely be a more efficient approach which will also provide additional information.

Findmypast record additions

Again this week some modest additions at Findmypast.

England & Wales Merchant Navy Crew Lists 1861-1913
Over 157,000 records with images have been added, now contains 570,875 records. The sources are The National Archives, National Maritime Museum, various local archives and county record offices. The additions are from Anglesey and Devon.

Kent: North Cray Baptisms and Burials, and Swanscombe Burials
Transcriptions of 966 baptisms ( 1783 to 1879) and 944 burials from North Cray (1783 to 1918), plus 1,544 burials from Swanscombe (1813 to 1867) are the latest Kent additions, courtesy of the North West Kent FHS.

Irish Newspapers
Over 1.1 million new articles  have been added to eight existing titles; The Cork Examiner, Derry Journal, Freeman’s Journal, Saunders’s News-Letter, Ulster Gazette, Waterford Chronicle, Waterford Mail and the Roscommon Journal and Western Impartial Reporter.

29 May 2015

Streaming from the OGS conference

A reminder that the following session is being streamed free from the Ontario Genealogical Society conference being held this weekend in Barrie.

Saturday, May 30th, 8:30 a.m. EDT 
Panel Discussion, Tracks through Time.
Thomas MacEntee (Moderator) with panelists Richard M. Doherty, Dr. Maurice Gleeson, Kirsty Gray and Dave Obee. Join online here.

To be following by streaming of the OGS AnnualGeneral Meeting.

For the record, strangely, registration for other live streaming appears to be closed. REPEAT: THERE IS NOW NO REGISTRATION AVAILABLE FOR THE FOLLOWING.

Saturday, May 30th 1:45 – 2:45 pm EDT
Dr. Janet Few
Uproar and Disorder: The Bible Christians of North Devon and Their Impact on 19th Century Canada

Saturday, May 30th 3:25 – 4:15 pm EDT
Debra Honor
Enrolled Pensioners Scheme in Penetanguishene & Amherstburg

Sunday, May 31st 8:00 – 9:00 am EDT
Dr. Janet Few
Putting Your Ancestors in Their Place: an introduction to one-place studies

Sunday, May 31st 10:30 – 11:30 am EDT
Austin Bovenizer
Tracking the Irish Palatines in Ireland

Sunday, May 31st 1:00 – 2:00 pm EDT
Ken McKinlay
Doing Family History Research from your House

To find out more on each presentation, registration for each presentation which would have cost $20, go to http://www.ogs.on.ca/conference/program/live-webinars/.

Comment: These days many webinars are available freely, including upcoming ones from the Southern California Genealogical Society, see here. Others, notably genetic genealogy presentations recorded by Maurice Gleeson, are available on a delayed basis. OGS again demonstrates how out of touch it is with the family history world online today by charging for these presentations.

28 May 2015

AncestryDNA in Canada

If you've been waiting for the AncestryDNA test to become available in Canada take heart from the announcement this week that it's now available to purchase in Australia and New Zealand.
Availability there and in Canada was promised "this spring" and the days on the calendar to the end of the season are rapidly declining. Perhaps they're waiting for a significant announcement opportunity, if not the OGS conference perhaps the genetic genealogy day in Toronto on June 6, or if they really want to cut it fine the Quebec Family History Society Roots 2015 conference which starts on June 19. As long was they get it out by June 21 at 12:38 P.M. EDT the promise will be kept.

In Australia the test costs $149AUS ($114 US), in the UK it's £99 ($152 US) and in the US $99. What will it cost in Canada? What would be a fair price?

Family historians identify unknown war dead

According to a (UK) Daily Telegraph story the number of identification cases sent to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, where someone believes they have worked out who is in an unidentified grave, has risen nearly ten fold in the past decade. The increase is attributed to online availability of records, interest generated by programs like WDYTYA and the anniversaries of the two world wars. Read it here.

FamilySearch updates Ontario Civil Registration files

On 27 May 2015 FamilySearch updated the following files:

Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947, now has 2,050,112 records with 947,200 images
Ontario Marriages, 1869-1927, now has 1,382,652 records with 904,988 images
Ontario Births, 1869-1912, now has 2,094,890 records with 413,055 images

You may find glitches. The search forms ask for deceased's name and I found one death record where the page returned included this notice.

British Newspaper Archive update

It's six weeks since I last posted on newspapers added to the British Newspaper Archive. Here are the major additions, more than 5 years, in the past month.

Ashton Weekly Reporter, and Stalybridge and Dukinfield Chronicle, The 1855 - 1856, 1858, 1860, 1862 - 1864, 1866 - 1871
Berwickshire Advertiser, The 1830, 1834, 1838, 1863, 1871, 1873, 1875 – 1876, 1878, 1880, 1915, 1931 – 1949, 1951 – 1955
Birmingham Daily Gazette 1863, 1866 - 1867, 1869 - 1870
Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press 1854 - 1855, 1859 - 1860, 1881 - 1882, 1884 - 1885, 1897
Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal 1849 - 1850, 1852 - 1860, 1862 - 1871
Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian 1871 - 1876
Saunders's News-Letter 1802 - 1809, 1813 - 1814, 1817 - 1826, 1830, 1832, 1835 - 1837, 1839, 1843 - 1844, 1846, 1856 - 1865, 1867
Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser 1916 - 1950
South Eastern Gazette 1830 - 1842, 1845 - 1851

Ottawa DNA Interest Group

On Saturday 30 May 2015 at 9:30 am the genetic genealogy group will meet in Room 226 at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Nepean, ON.
There will be a short presentation by Bill Arthurs based on his Titus family research where he will describe the process of identifying cousins using Y-DNA along with paper records. That will leave lots of time for a round table with an opportunity for all attendees to mention any progress, challenges or queries they may have.

27 May 2015

Historical Society of Ottawa May meeting

Go to the Society website and you might think all that's on offer this Friday is the annual general meeting. Maybe the webmaster is flagging. Or, perhaps the thought is that there's excitement enough with the AGM - perhaps earth-shaking things in store for the Society we're not being told about.

There is a presentation on the agenda. Glenn Wright will be speaking on "Controversy and Compromise: Choosing a Flag for Canada, 1964-1965"
It has been fifty years since Canada adopted a distinctive flag. In this presentation, Glenn Wright will look behind the scenes at the controversy that arose out of the decision of the Liberal government to adopt a distinctive flag for Canada in the spring of 1964 and the ultimate compromise that gave us the flag we have today. He will also introduce us to the people, the personalities and political context surrounding this significant achievement.
Copies of Bryan Cook's newly published book on William Pittman Lett will be on sale.

HSO meets on Friday, May 29, at the Routhier Community Centre starting at 1:30pm, that's 30 minutes later than usual.

26 May 2015

With Mocavo "You’re not the customer. You’re the raw material"

In his latest Irish Roots column John Grenham recounts the difficulties he's had getting information deleted from Mocavo, now a part of MyHeritage.  correction findmypast.  Read it here.

My apologies to MyHeritage for the incorrect attribution and thanks to Thomas MacEntee for pointing it out.

Is genetic genealogy being over-hyped?

In "The Business of Genetic Ancestry" broadcast on 26 May 2015 BBC Radio 4's Adam Rutherford took on the conflict between science and some businesses in genetic genealogy.

The programme was based on interviews with Mark Jobling (University of Leicester), Mark Thomas (University College London), Debbie Kennett (ISOGG and UCL), Julia Bell (client), Joanna Mountain (23andMe), Eran Elhaik (Sheffield University) and John Geraint (Green Bay Media).

The target of the scientists was claims about pinpointing origins of individuals based in DNA analysis. Today we don't expect everyone in any particular location to have a common unique DNA signature and the same has been true through much of human history.

Aim was taken at DNA satnav, see this Wired article and the peer reviewed article in Nature Communications.  US client Julie Matthews revealed that her test using this technique placed her origin in the Humber estuary. See Debbie Kennett's critique here. Those of us with mixed ancestry don't need much convincing the concept is fundamentally flawed. Eran Elhaik, the developer, has subsequently distanced himself from the commercial application and refining the technique.

The most pointed criticism was of DNA Cymru and the programme Who are the Welsh broadcast last earlier this year on the Welsh language TV station S4C. Read Debbie Kennett's critique here. A particular target was the claim that 3% of the current Welsh population could be DNA-associated as "Ancient Welsh." As program producer John Geraint explained when asked about the lack of  a scientific peer reviewed basic for the claim the technique is commercially confidential. DNA Cymru spokespersons had declined to participate in the program.

It's notable that three of the people involved, Mark Thomas, Debbie Kennett and presenter Adam Rutherford are associated with University College London.

The program is available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05vy4kb.

Please don't volunteer

....... right now I can imagine leaders I know in the family history community busting a blood vessel just reading the headline.  The last thing they want is to have people discouraged from volunteering. But hear me out.

Sometimes the pleas for volunteers can go over the top - seems like they're laying a trip on you. They do have organisational roles to fill -- but don't let that make you succumb.

A poor reason for volunteering is that it's important to someone else. Life's too short to spend your free time doing things that aren't important to you. You'll probably end up regretting the decision and it may well turn into an unhappy experience for everyone.

Fortunately there are plenty of good reasons to volunteer:

- the mission and future of the organisation are important to you;
- you'll be in a position to help guide the organisation's direction;
- you'll be recognised as a leader;
- you'll enjoy the comradeship;
- you'll enjoy being of service;
- you'll establish relationships that can help you with your family history research and writing;
- you'll gain experience in something new, or enjoy contributing a skill you have mastered;
- you'll experience the joy of shared accomplishment;
- you'll have something to help keep your mind active and involved;
- you'll have something to put on your resume, if you're in the workforce, (and your obit if you're later in life!)

If you volunteer you can likely think of more.

The bottom line is to volunteer because it's important to you, not just because someone else says it is.

25 May 2015

Roots 2015 Expert Panel

A tradition at the Quebec Family History Society Roots conferences is a closing Experts Panel session with conference speakers and VIP invitees. It's a highlight of the conference and will be again on June 21.

The panelists are:

Gary Schroder
Gary has been the President of the Quebec Family History Society (Q.F.H.S.)
since 1995 and has taught family history courses at various institutions including McGill
University, Champlain College and the Pointe Claire Public Library. As well as being the editor
of various genealogical publications, he started the All Day Genealogical Seminars at the
Q.F.H.S. Heritage Centre. He has given lectures on numerous genealogical topics at locations
from Victoria in British Columbia to Trinity College in Dublin. Gary was a Member of the
Special Advisory Board of Library and Archives Canada as well as being a Research Consultant
to the British, American, and Canadian Versions of the television program “Who Do You Think
You Are“. He has been a frequent guest on Canadian radio and television promoting the
educational value of family history research. He will be giving three presentations at Roots
Saturday June 20: How To Find and Use Church Records in Quebec
Saturday June 20: How to Find Land and Probate Records in Quebec
Saturday June 20: Cemeteries in Montreal: Where They are and How to Find Their Records

Glenn Wright
Glenn is the Past President of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa. He has served on the Special Advisory Board of Library and Archives Canada as well as being a Member of the Advisory Board of Ancestry.ca. He has been a frequent speaker at genealogical and history events across Canada. Glenn has spoken on Mounted Police records, immigration, census, and vital records. One of his special interests is military resources from the War of 1812 to the Second World War. He is the author of the best genealogical guide to World War One Canadian genealogical resources, “Canadians at War 1914-1919: A Research Guide to World War One Service Records “. Glenn will be giving two presentations at Roots 2015.
Saturday June 20: Finding Your Great War Canadian Ancestors: 1914-1919
Sunday June 21: The British Army in Canada, 1758-1871: Genealogical Sources and Research Strategies

Deborah Robertson
Deborah is a Staff Member of the Point Claire Public Library. Among her many achievements she taught English as a second language to students at John Abbott College. She studied her own family history for decades and appreciate the feelings of her family being new to Montreal in the early 1900’s. These interests led her to The British Immigration and Colonization Association. Her presentation will focus on this organization and how this and similar organizations played an important role in the history of immigrants from the British Isles to Canada. This will be the topic of her Roots 2015 presentation on Saturday June 20: The British Immigration and Colonization Association of Montreal: Its People, Place, and Time

Edward Zapletal
Ed has been co-owner and publisher at Moorshead Magazine since 2008, publisher of Your Genealogy Today (formerly Family Chronicle), Internet Genealogy, and History Magazine. He has more than 30 years of experience in publishing, covering a wide variety of titles and markets. He has been researching his Czech family history for many years.
Both his paternal and maternal grandfathers worked for the Bata Shoe Company in Zlin, Czech
Republic and immigrated to Canada in 1939 when the company relocated to Batawa, Ontario near Trenton. In recent years he has travelled back to his ancestral homeland and discovered a new perspective on family history research.
He will be giving a Roots 2015 presentation. Saturday June 20: Walking in Their Footsteps, Experience Your Ancestral Village Founder of Global Genealogy

Rick Roberts
Rick along with his wife Sandra were the founders of Global Genealogy the largest genealogical booksellers and genealogical book publishers in Canada. Rick’s family history addiction began during summer vacations on his grandparents’ farm, where rainy days were spent sorting through family pictures, documents and artifacts while his grandmother told well-worn family stories. He has given a wide variety of genealogical workshops to historical and genealogical societies across Canada. He will be the Keynote Speaker on Friday June 19 at our Opening Ceremonies at the Hotel Omni Mont-Royal in the heart of downtown Montreal. Keynote Speaker: “Reflections on a Hobby That Got Out of Control“

Ed McGuire
Ed is the Past President of the Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and was an Army Officer
before joining IBM in Vermont. Ed began pursuing his family history in 1975 and has been working on it ever since. His main areas of interest are Vermont, Quebec, Ireland, and Germany as well as Genetic Genealogy. He will be giving two presentations at Roots 2015.
Saturday June 20: Connecting 21st Century Vermonters to their Quebec Roots
Saturday June 21: DNA Testing: Another Tool in Our Genealogical Toolbox

Luc Lepine
Luc is a military historian with a M.A. in history from the University of Montreal and a PH.D from the University of Quebec at Montreal as well as studying at Royal Military College in Kingston. He has worked as a Reference Archivist for the Archives Nationales du Quebec as
well as having worked for the Quebec Department of Education. He has taught history courses
for the Canadian Armed Forces as well as having given numerous presentations to numerous
historical and genealogical societies. He is the author of two books on the War of 1812, The
Militia Officers of Lower Canada 1812-1815 and Quebec and the War of 1812 as well as creating a database of over 10,000 militiamen who participated in the War of 1812. Luc will be giving two presentations at Roots 2015.
Sunday June 21: “The Military Origin of Dit names in Quebec“
Sunday June 21: “The War of 812 in Quebec: Genealogical Resources “

Jacques Gagne
Jacques had a distinguished career as an Executive with RCA
Victor and Columbia Records in Canada where he worked with major Quebec record artists like
Claude Dubois and also had the opportunity to get to know major World recording artists from
Leonard Bernstein to Tony Bennett, to Janis Joplin, to Andy Williams. After his retirement from the music industry he developed a passion for genealogy that has never abated which included creating compilations including Church records in Quebec, The Irish in Quebec, The Native Peoples of Quebec, The Loyalists in Quebec, The People of Gaspe, The Huguenots, and How Do
Find Your Ancestors in France? If your ancestors came to New France in the 17th or 18th
centuries then they probably came from “Old France“. Jacques will have a booth at our
Genealogical Resources Fair on Saturday and Sunday to answer your genealogical questions and
to show you how in the past few years a wealth of genealogical material has become available in

Lorraine Gosselin
Lorraine is a graduate of Concordia University with a BA Honours degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. After a distinguished business career with Bell Canada she has devoted a large amount of time to genealogical research. She has held numerous seminars for the Q.F.H.S. on a wide variety of genealogical topics as well as given genealogical lectures in French and in English to genealogical and historical societies across Quebec. She also writes CompuTree, the PC/Web column for Connections, the Q.F.H.S. journal. She will be giving a presentation on Saturday June 20: Exploring the Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales du Quebec (BAnQ) Website: A Treasure
Trove of Information.

Marilyn Gillespie
Helping people create family history photobooks is a natural progression for Marilyn who has photographed families for over 25 years as a professional photographer. In her talk, Marilyn will show you the entire process, from selecting, scanning, restoring or retouching the photos, to collecting the stories and designing the photobooks. The end result will turn your
research into a cherished family heirloom. She will be giving a presentation on Saturday June 20
“Discover How to Turn Your Photos and Research in to an Archival Photobook“

Johanne Gervais
Johanne worked over 25 years at various large companies in Montreal developing and implementing computer business systems. She became interested in genealogy while helping her husband write a book about his own family. In 2008 she left the corporate world and dedicated herself to family history travelling all over the world in search of her family’s ancestors. She specializes in tracing ancestors of French Canadian families as well as being an editor and self-publisher. She will be giving two presentations at Roots 2015:
Saturday June 20: “Self-Publishing Your Family History”
Sunday June 21: “ The French Canadian Disease “ in 1648 three sisters immigrated to New
France with a unique disease that affects one out of every 1,000 French Canadians. Find out if
you are a descendant of one of these three sisters.

Denyse Beaugrand-Champagne
Denyse is a Reference Archivist at the Montreal Branch of the Bibliotheque et Archives
Nationales du Quebec (BAnQ) and is the genealogical consultant for the Quebec version of the “Who Do You Think You Are“ television program. She was the genealogist for Adhemar the
database of Montreal Landowners and Tenants 1642-1804 for the Canadian Centre of Architecture. Also she is the award winning author of “Le Proces de Marie-Josephe Angelique“ an inquiry into a Black Slave accused of burning down parts of Montreal in 1734.
Her Presentation for Sunday June 21: Coroners Files at the BAnQ

Lesley Anderson
Lesley is has been researching her own family origins for over 40 years. Lesley has taught Computer and Genealogy classes for the Ottawa Catholic Board Continuing Education program for many years. She was the Director of Education for the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa and
has worked for Ancestry.ca for over 7 years. Lesley has given a wide variety of genealogical presentations all over the world. She will be giving two presentations at Roots 2015.
1: What's New on Ancestry-Saturday June 20
2: Searching for Your Irish Ancestors on Ancestry-Sunday June 21.

Stanley Diamond
Stanley, founder and President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal, answer questions about genealogical research in Eastern Europe as well as of course Jewish Genealogical Research. A graduate of McGill University and Harvard University, Stanley has been a speaker all over the World
on a wide variety of genealogical topics as well as being a Research Consultant on the major Genealogical programs including " Who Do You Think Are " on NBC, CBC, BBC, and ABC ( Australia ) and the " Finding Your Past " series on PBS. In 2002 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

For more on Roots2015 and the Quebec Family History Society go to www.QFHS.ca

FREE live streaming from Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.

Here are the FREE live streaming presentations, 14 hours of them, being offered from the 46th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.  Most are generic, not specifically US-oriented.

Friday, June 5
FR007: Be Prepared with a Genealogy Disaster Plan - Denise May Levenick.
FR018: Five Tips for Successful Research in a New Location - J. H."Jay" Fonkert, CG.
FR019: Genetic Genealogy and the Next Generation - Blaine T. Bettinger, PhD, JD and Paul Woodbury.
FR032: Finding and Utilizing German Church Records - Dr. Michael D. Lacopo.

Saturday, June 6
SA007: Google Tools and Procedures for Solving Family History Mysteries - Lisa Louise Cooke.
SA014: Tho' They Were Poor, They May Have Been Rich in Records - Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA.
SA021: No Easy Button: Using Immersion Genealogy to Understand Your Ancestors - Lisa A. Alzo, MFA.
SA033: Plotting, Scheming and Mapping Online - Cyndi Ingle.
SA035: Midwestern and Plains States Level Census Records - Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA.
SA047: Update: Google! Everything New that You Need to Know for Genealogy - Lisa Louise Cooke.

Sunday, June 7
SU005: Family History Adhesive: Science and Simple Tech 4 Binding Families - Janet Hovorka, MLIS.
SU015: The Hidden Web: Digging Deeper - Cyndi Ingle.
SU022: Who, What, When, Where? Using Journalism Techniques to Write Your Story - Anita Paul.
SU030: Get to Know Your Geezers - Matthew Hovorka.

To take these in you'll need to register here and then find session descriptions, speaker bios, suggested experience levels and schedule details. Remember EST is three hours later than times in the conference schedule.

In previous years I've enjoyed SCGS streamed sessions. Unfortunately travel this year means I'll miss them.

Comment. Some people organising conferences worry free streaming sessions will take away from conference registrations. SCGS, with the assistance of sponsor Ancestry.com, continues to offer these which says to me that isn't their experience in any substantial way. I suspect RootsTech would be of the same view.

24 May 2015

Don't miss out on BIFHSGO member discounts

There's lots of time left to register for September's BIFHSGO conference but some people like to get it done before taking off to their cottage. So, if you're a member remember you need to login in order to get the member’s conference rate.

There are two tutorial videos available to help. One demonstrates the login procedure and assists you in recovering your Login Name and Password. The other demonstrates the new online conference registration procedure (which allows you to register online and pay by cheque, Credit card or PayPal).

The Member’s Only Login video link is www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEDZ9DyAtJU

 The Online Registration video link is www.youtube.com/watch?v=hs4UgY4Sc2g

As a bonus when you go to the member area you'll find another saving opportunity.

Genealogy on the Cutting Edge

The following is a Primary Call for Presentations for OGS Conference 2016

The Ontario Genealogical Society’s Toronto Branch will host the Society’s annual conference on June 3-5, 2016 at Toronto's International Plaza Hotel. The Society (OGS) enjoys the largest membership of any Canadian family history organization. The conference theme, “Genealogy on the Cutting Edge”, has been selected to inspire excitement among speakers, exhibitors and attendees alike.

In keeping with this theme, we invite proposals for presentations on: (1) the latest developments in archives, libraries, museums and societies in the heritage sector, (2) recently discovered or released genealogical records, (3) newly developed genealogical databases, transcriptions or indexes, (4) innovative theoretical or methodological approaches to genealogical or historical research, including case histories, (5) cutting-edge technology and its application for family historians, whether in information management, mobile computing, genetic testing and analysis, or other emerging fields.

Most sessions will be one hour long. However, we are open to proposals for shorter "what's new" presentations, longer seminars, or multi-part lectures. Topics for interactive, hands-on workshops are also welcome (typically half-day sessions). Speakers will receive an honorarium, plus appropriate expenses and complimentary Conference registration. In early 2016 speakers will submit content for our multi-media digital “Bonus Materials” package – including, but not restricted to, traditional syllabus text files.

Please submit your proposals by e-mail. Include your full name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, website address (if applicable) and biographical information, including recent speaking credits. For each proposal, please provide a unique title and a summary of at most 250 words, and identify the intended audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and A/V requirements. Multiple proposals are encouraged.


To submit proposals or ask questions, please contact the Conference 2016 Program Committee at: conference2016@ogs.on.ca.

A supplementary call for presentations on late-breaking cutting-edge developments will be issued closer to the event. Anyone considering this option is encouraged to provide a heads-up of what may be in the works. For more information about OGS and Toronto Branch respectively, please visit: www.ogs.on.ca and www.torontofamilyhistory.org.

Gwyneth Pearce
Secretary – Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society
Now on Facebook and Twitter @TOFamilyHistory

Internet Genealogy: June/July 2015

Here are the contents of the new Internet Genealogy issue with the articles I found of particular value bolded.

Col. Joseph B. Dorr’s Vases
Constance R. Cherba researches the life of Civil War Colonel J.B. Dorr, and locates a missing heirloom through some persistent online searching

ONLINE ESSENTIALS: Four Webhosting Basics for Family Researchers!
Tony Bandy offers some advice to get started on building your family history website

Bagging a Live One
Mary Kircher Roddy suggests connecting with cousins you never knew you had to increase your chances of research success

Genealogy Apps for Your iPhone or Android
George G. Morgan explores the world of apps for genealogy available for iOS and Android devices

The Confederacy’s “Treasury Girls”
David A. Norris looks at how records of women who worked as treasury clerks during the Civil War are easy to find

Online Safety: Protecting Your Data
Carol Richey looks at seven defensive steps you can take now to protect your valuable data

Online Resources for Finding World War II Ancestors
Jennifer Holik offers tips and strategies for starting the research on your World War II military ancestor

How Do You Put Out a Genealogical Wildfire?
Robbie Gorr emphasizes the need for family historians everywhere to be vigilant about citing their sources

Diane L. Richards looks at websites and related news that are sure to be of interest.
(Comment: Sure to be of interest except if you don't have US ancestry!)

The Internet Archive Picture Collection 
David A. Norris examines a great source for historic pictures you can use to supplement your research

Family Tree Builder: Now for Mac!
Tony Bandy looks at the Mac release of MyHeritage’s popular Family Tree Builder

The Back Page 
Tell Your Story… Change the World!
(Comment: I can't resist posting a link to a TED talk on which this article is based. www.ted.com/talks/dave_isay_everyone_around_you_has_a_story_the_world_needs_to_hear . Be aware of the comments on the smartphone app mentioned before downloading it.)

Advance notice: Voices from the Dust – Ottawa’s Rootstech

A date for your diary, Saturday, June 20th, 2015, 1:00pm to 5pm

That's when the Ottawa Stake Family History Centre offers its annual Voices from the Dust – Ottawa’s Rootstech Family History Conference.

Speakers and Workshops this year are:

Sarah Chatfield – Researching Your Family History at Library and Archives Canada
Romaine Honey – Genealogy Resources and Services at the Ottawa Public Library
Gloria Tubman – Parish Records a Resource for Family Historians
Magdalene Carson – Your Family History in Book Form as an Enduring Heirloom
Ken McKinlay – Doing Family Tree Research in Your Pajamas
Kyla Ubbink – Keeping the Past: Storing and Preserving Family Archives and Memorabilia
Brenda Bowman – Learn FamilySearh Indexing
Shirley-Ann Pyefinch – FamilySearch.org A Place for You and Me!
There will also be selected recordings from this year’s Rootstech conference.

23 May 2015

Ancestry adds Lancashire, England, Quarter Session Records and Petitions, 1648-1908

There are 1,218,050 records in this new database on Ancestry described as:

"document(ing) Quarter Session judges’ decisions in matters that include settlement inquiries, highway rates, criminal trials, registers of settlement, orders of removal, bastardy examinations, apprenticeships, licensing, contracts, lists of justices, payments for services rendered to the county, and other documents related to the business of the running of the county."
Although some documents cover multiple pages most I found were entries of a single or just a few lines. Checking my favourite name, Northwood, there were two entries, both at Salford; "an inquisition taken at Collyhurst the 25th day of September (1819) on view of the body of Mary Northwood who was casually killed by a coach" and a single line accounting of costs associated with an inquest on Benjamin Northwood on the 20th of May 1868.

The records are sourced from the Lancashire Record Office.


Out of curiosity I opened up T-1847, the first digital microfilm in Canadiana.ca's collection of war diaries from WW2, and got a surprise. Classified as CONFIDENTIAL, BURN BEFORE READING, it's "Intelligence Summary 199 (Christmas Edition), based on information received until the bar closed. SPECIAL NOTICE. This summary is to be taken as completely unreliable, and the resemblance of any facts stated therein to the truth is purely coincidental. The summary expresses the views of no one -- not even the writers."
 Read the full item at  http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_t1847/9?r=0&s=3

Canadiana.ca's WW2 and later war diaries from LAC are on digital microfilms T-1847 to 1882, T-6669, T-6675 to 6679, T-6681 to 6689, T-6693, T-6695 to 6696, T-7071 to 7114, T-7599, T-7612 to 7620, T-10017, T-10564, T-11053, T-11342, T-12160, T-12403 to 12406, T-12649 to 12650. T-12657 to 12659, T-12661 to 12662, T-12689, T-12695 to 12697, T-12714 to 71715, T-12722, T-12724 to 12731 ,T-12764, T-15887 to 15888, T-15902 to 15907, T-15911 to 15913, T-16363, T-17822 to 17824, T-18345 to 18351, T-18380 to 18381, T-18389 to 18390, T-18625 to 18627, T-18810, T-21318 to 21321.
The microfilm numbers by themselves don't help much. Searching on the microfilm number at LAC, starting from http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/lac-bac/search/arch, brings up a list of contents, some are linked in the list above.
A better approach is to search for the unit of interest at the same url. Enter, for example, 103rd Coast Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery and the result tells you there are records from 1941 to 1945 at T-15888 and T-15887.

22 May 2015

Findmypast record additions

Here are this weeks modest additions at Findmypast

City of London, Haberdashers, Apprentices and Freemen 1526-1933
Lucky you if you have a relative among the 136,545 apprentices who trained with the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers in the City of London and their masters. Information is name, role – Freeman or master, year, birth year, address, occupation, Freeman’s name, Freeman’s address,
admitted by – either patrimony, completion of service or redemption, parent’s name, parent’s address, parent’s occupation, master’s name, London Metropolitan Archives reference.There's a transcript and image of the original entry. Most entries are from the 17th and 18th centuries.

City of London, Ironmongers, Apprentices and Freemen 1511-1923 
The 17,822 entries in this City Of London Ironmongers, Apprentices and Freemen 1511-1923 records contain the details of members of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers. Information is much as for the Haberdashers above.

Surrey, Southwark, St George the Martyr Mortuary Register 1880-1891
Find 1,948 records in the St George the Martyr Southwark Mortuary Register 1880-1891compiled using information taken from the mortuary register for the parish of St George’s, Southwark.

British Royal Navy, Foreign Awards to Officers Index 1914-1922
Containing 3,031 records, the Royal Navy Foreign Awards to Officers Index 1914-1922 contains the details of awards presented to officers of the Royal Navy by foreign governments. These records might have name, official number (pertains to R.N.R. Skippers, Civil Staff of the Admiralty, and Naval Other Ranks), rank (at the time the award was received), unit or regiment, service branch, foreign award, notes, British awards (listed in standard abbreviated format), death date and cause of death.

Additions to Canadiana.ca's Heritage project

Thanks to the work of LAC and Canadiana.ca's Heritage Project 13 new MIKAN series listed here are now available comprising 60 microfilm reels between them. They are identified by Canadiana as of genealogical interest. With the exception of the Society of Friends item, which is a finding aid, the only guide to the content is the title. If you know of any detail on the content please post a comment. The fonds are:

184991 Adjutant General's Office, United Canada : Registers of officers http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_184991
105765 Audit Office : AO 12. Claims, American Loyalists - Series I http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_105765
159399 Department of Indian Affairs : Program Reference Centre and Treaties and Historical Research Centre http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_159399
159159 Department of Indian Affairs : Saddle Lake Agency http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_159159
134034 Department of the Interior, Dominion Lands Branch : Métis and original White settlers affidavits http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_134034
156370 Department of the Interior : Registers and indexes relating to Métis and Original White Settlers land records, 1877-1927 http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_156370
100321 France. Archives de la Marine. Fonds de la Marine : Série C1, Officiers militaires http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_100321
161406 General registers of Chinese immigration http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_161406
161342 North Sydney ships' manifests http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_161342
135159 Office of the Chief Electoral Officer : Notices of grants of poll http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_135159a
106019 Society of Friends fonds : finding aid no. 20 http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_106019
205322 State submissions to the Executive Council [Province of Canada], 1841-1867: indexes and registers http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_205322

Thanks to Daniel Velarde of Canadiana.ca for the information.

William Pittman Lett book

Friend and colleague Bryan Cook sent me the following, in his words, "blatant sales pitch" for his book"William Pittman Lett: Ottawa’s First City Clerk and Bard, 1819-1892" just published.

"William Pittman Lett is recognized by few in this 21st Century. In Ottawa, he may be remembered by some as the City’s first and longest-serving Clerk for thirty-six years (1855 -1891). Yet, he was the City’s Manager in a time when the Clerk held the power of the pen and wielded extraordinary influence behind the scenes to shape Canada’s Capital. He witnessed and recorded the turbulent evolution of Canada throughout most of the 19th century.
Illustrated extensively with 19th century photography, his biography written and published by Bryan D. Cook introduces a complex and charismatic character, maturing from a militiaman, radical journalist and theatre pioneer to a highly respected public personality, sportsman, patriot and proud chronicler of his city’s history. He fought in prose, poetry and oratory for the Methodist Church, for Temperance, for the ‘British Connexion’ threatened by Fenians and Annexationists, and for the Flag, Monarchy and Empire against the vogue of Republicanism and the ambitions of German emperors and Russian czars.
His marriage to his beloved Maria Hinton brought joy and tragedy, on which he reflected in verse. The poetry column of the newspaper was his popular soapbox; 118 poems from his extensive lifetime production are also presented in Bryan's book, authentic to the original script and now framed in their historical contexts.
As the Poet Blogger of Confederation, William Pittman Lett has been deservedly resurrected from archival oblivion.
This 412 page book, based on extensive historical and archival research with 93 illustrations and photographs, is available for $25 Can. plus postage from Bryan at bryan.cook@rogers.com. Free delivery can be arranged in the Ottawa region."

21 May 2015

The Story of Renfrew

Archive CD Books Canada's most recent newsletter announces a new release "The Story of Renfrew from the coming of the First Settlers about 1820, Vol. 1."

Here are some extracts from the description:

"The focus of this 1919 publication on the Ottawa Valley town of Renfrew is on the period up until 1900.

The book takes many of its stories from "locals" who were either original settlers or were the offspring of their families.

The book opens with a picture gallery of people whose names are forever joined with Renfrew, either because of their pioneering activities or because of their contributions to its growth and success.

Some of the other content:

—Patriotic Funds of the Crimean War
—The method of licensing taverns
—Choosing the municipal motto
—The early Church socials
—Council converts Mechanics' Institute into Free Public Library
—Renfrew's First Lock-up
— Appeal for telegraph communication
—John Burns appointed Treasurer
—Hand fire-engine purchased
—Proposition for planting of shade trees
—B. J. McDermott as policeman
—Bylaw prohibiting cows from running at large all year
—First Deputy-Reeve chosen
—The Voters at Renfrew's First Municipal Election
—The County Council
This is an intimate and engaging look at the development of Renfrew as a Settlement, a Town, a Township, and now, as a County."

Read all about it and other recent offerings, and browse the full catalogue, at http://archivecdbooks.ca/.

Don't miss upcoming titles, subscribe to the Archives CD Books Canada newsletter by entering SUBSCRIBE as the subject in an email to Malcolm@archivecdbooks.ca

BIFHSGO adds Home Children Deaths database

New at BIFHSGO, a database of 2284 home children based on the RG76 General Correspondence files at Library and Archives Canada, newspaper obituaries and death notices, Barnardo’s Ups and Downs magazine, and information supplied by descendants of Home Children who gave the information knowing that a database was being developed.
Read more and search this database at http://www.bifhsgo.ca/cstm_homeChildrenDeaths.php. BIFHSGO has other home child information at http://www.bifhsgo.ca/cpage.php?pt=4.

20 May 2015

WDYTYA Magazine: June 2015

Editor Sarah Williams marks the 100th issue of the WDYTYA Magazine with a list of the 100 best free online resources for family historians.You can likely guess many, they're organized under the headings: general websites, health, Ireland, Yorkshire, United States, maps, British Empire, military, death and probate, crime and poverty, London, archives, message boards and forums, civil registration, early records. parish registers, occupations, specialist area sites and, digital books.
Publishing such a list is always sticking your neck out. I was surprised to see curiousfox.com (Alexa rank 422,229) but not lostcousins.com (rank 231,973). There's no mention of social media, including the several good British blogs, and no mention of DNA.
Each issue contains articles of research advice. This month find: Best Websites; Napoleonic Wars; Focus on Newspapers; Focus on Justices of the Peace and Petty Sessions and; My Ancestor was a Printer.
The bonus content giving access to resources online has a focus on Sussex: Hove and the Great War; parish registers of Hove and Preston; Sussex maps; parish registers of Cocking and; Sussex archives.

FamilySearch adds England, London Electoral Registers, 1847-1913

These  electoral registers, from originals at the London Metropolitan Archives, are lists of names and addresses of registered voters.
These registers are a great way to follow movement of voters and coming of age of males in the family, voting for women started after the First World War so this won't help find them directly.
The collection is incomplete. To avoid wasting time I suggest checking the browse at https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https://familysearch.org/recapi/sord/collection/2228170/waypoints which lists the communities covered. Then click on the community of interest, if you know it! For instance, for Tottenham only the years 1869 to 1877 are available.
If you have access to Ancestry check out the database London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965. Coverage is also patchy, much is for later times, after the First World War.

19 May 2015

Preserving and Digitizing Family Photographs

Now available, a four page handout by Kyla Ubbink of Ubbink Book and Paper Conservation entitled
Notes from Preserving and Digitizing Family Photographs at http://ogsottawa.on.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/PreserveDigitizePhotosNotes.pdf which accompanied her presentation to OGS Ottawa Branch on April 25. It's brim full with good advice.

Update.  Some folks report problems with the link above. It works for me. If you're strugging try going to http://ogsottawa.on.ca/ and scrolling down to Handout from May Branch Meeting

Ottawa Public Library 50+ short story contest

Looking for additional motivation to write an episode from your family history?

The Ottawa Public Library invites adults 50 years or older, who have a Library card, to enter their short story contest. Submissions must be original and unpublished works of 2000 words or less in English or French and the work of a single author. Further details at http://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/50plus.

Deadline is June 2, 2015

18 May 2015

Find Toronto ancestors, and more, free in May at the Toronto Star Online Archives

Gail Dever at Genealogy à la carte reports the Toronto Star Archives are free until 31 May. Check it out at http://genealogyalacarte.ca/?p=9327.

How many Family Finder matches?

If you've taken the Family Tree DNA Family Finder test take a look at your Matches result. How many do you have? There are ten matches per page so look at the number of pages and multiply by 10.
The article "Why Autosomal DNA Test Results Are Significantly Different for Ashkenazi Jews" by Paull et al. reports their study sample of 40 Jews had an average 2,777 matches, inter-faith participants with one Jewish parent had an average 1,701 matches and non-Jewish participants averaged 672 matches.
The paper explains this as the result of endogamy, groups where members usually marry with the group. The larger number of matches correlates with an excess number of chromosome segments between 3 and 8 cM for Jews compared to the non-Jewish study group and more matches at the fourth cousin and more distant relationship level.
I have about 1,350 Family Finder matches, just about fitting the pattern as I have one Jewish grandparent.
The article identifies other endogamous groups, "Amish, Armenians, the Basque, Hindus (within their castes). Mennonites, Jehovah's Witnesses and various sub-populations of the Jewish diaspora." I was surprised to find Jehovah's Witness, a relatively recent sect in the list. Not mentioned are populations of relatively isolated islands which would include Icelanders, maybe Newfoundlanders and perhaps Irish with deep roots.
Do your results fit the pattern?

Ontario Preachers, Pastors and Priests

Men of the “Cloth”-Tracking Records for Preachers, Pastors and Priests is the latest OGS blog post. Written by Alan Campbell. I think, the author isn't identified except for having a great great grandfather James Atkey, it discusses sources for finding Wesleyan Methodist and Congregationalist ministers. Read it here.

17 May 2015

Paul Milner takes An In-Depth Look at the 'Big Four' Records of English Research

Popular speaker from last September's BIFHSGO conference Paul Milner emailed me about four webinar classes he is teaching for the Virtual Institute of Genealogy.

An In-Depth Look at the 'Big Four' Records of English Research will be presented on two successive Saturdays.
On 30 May 2015 at 11:00am “English Civil Registrations: Tips for use and problem solving” will be followed at 1:00pm by “Making Sense of the English Census”. All times are EDT.
On 6 June 2015 the 11:00am presentation is “English Parish Registers: How to Access, Use and Interpret” followed at 1:00pm by “Tips and Tools for Navigating the English Probate System”.

The cost is $US69.99. All paid registrants will receive all syllabus material and a complimentary copy of the course recordings.

Perhaps like me you're not familiar with The Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research which offers courses on a variety of genealogical subjects using a virtual platform. Started last September by professional genealogists Catherine W. Desmarais, CG, Michael Hait, CG, and Melanie D. Holtz, CG it is based in North Carolina.
Archived courses are available including one by Maureen Taylor who will be a speaker at the September 2015 BIFHSGO conference. In addition to Paul's four future courses, all on US topics, are scheduled.

Murray Watson on Antisyzygy

The following is a guest post by Murray Watson who together with Marilyn Barber, were the presenters at the May BIFHSGO meeting.

Two authors separated by the Atlantic Ocean

 By Murray Watson

It is common practice for editors to encourage, if not insist, that their authors use clear, plain English and simple-to-understand terminology - sorry words. Well, I am going to eschew editorial advice and use the word “antisyzygy”. Before you rush for your dictionaries antisyzygy means union of opposites; its Greek derivation being anti against, syzgia, union, coupling ( - sy with, together, zygon, a yoke). Antisyzygy is the perfect word to describe the relationship I had with my co-author with whom I shared the research for and writing of our new book, Invisible Immigrants: The English in Canada since 1945.
Marilyn Barber is a respected Canadian historian based at Carleton University. In comparison I am a humble honorary research fellow at the University of Dundee who took to academia late in life at the age of 50. We are both blessed with the maturity and wisdom of those past a certain age. Unlike Marilyn, I like to think I have experience of the real world, having followed a career in international marketing and not being immersed in academia since my school days. This difference produced a creative tension that I hope emerges from our shared writing of our book.
            Tensions and creativity also surfaced arising from differences in our respective nationalities. Our contrasting origins undoubtedly enhanced our appreciation both of matters Canadian and of things English - one might argue this dual perspective had the making of a perfect partnership for a book about English immigrants in Canada. A common area of frequently amusing debate was discovering the huge difference between Canadian English and UK English language and idioms. For example, the handy Scottish word ‘outwith’ was barred from the book. It was considered to be outwith the ken of Canadian readers. Spam, a popular (sic) processed meat eaten in England during the postwar austerity years, required a footnote to distinguish it from unsolicited emails. When referring to English accents we used the term “cut glass”; our Canadian copy editor, an experienced wordsmith, did not know this was a colloquial English expression for “Received Pronunciation” or RP. There were numerous other examples and we now wonder if our next joint project should be a Canadian/English dictionary.
            Another difference was in our gender and our sensitivity to gender issues. We are still debating how gender may have affected our relationship with our interviewees and the stories they chose to tell us. In my more curmudgeonly moments, not made known to Marilyn until now, I sometimes felt that her references to gender risked approaching feminist pedagogy. I was determined that as there were two genders our narrative and analysis should be equally balanced. With hindsight I recognise that was Marilyn’s objective too. One of our more amusing debates occurred when Marilyn scored through my use of the word “girl” and replaced it with the word “woman” on the grounds of political correctness. There was a dilemma, however, regarding present versus past usage; a middle aged English female interviewee had used the world “girl” to describe herself as young twenty something on board ship en route to her new life in Canada. An additional dilemma, which highlighted the cultural differences between England and Canada, also existed. The said female interviewee being of a certain age and class, not only saw herself as girl, but would have been offended by being referred to as a woman. She would have considered herself to be a lady. I can’t remember the compromise we reached; you will have to read the book yourself to find out.
            Much to our surprise, being separated by the Atlantic Ocean created few problems. Indeed, having one of us based in the old wor(l)d and one in the new was a bonus, especially as we were writing the first book about postwar English immigration to Canada. Email and Skype proved to be a very effective means for having arguments about structure, debating content, contemplating theoretical interpretations, right down to checking the correct use of single and double inverted commas - known in Canada as quotation marks.
            In our book we make a number of comparisons with the findings of Jim Hammerton and Al Thomson’s book, Ten pound Poms: Australia’s invisible migrants. Jim and Al were separated by the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans and when they wrote their book Skype had not been invented. By the way our copy editor asked us to define the word “Pom.” We did not take his advice considering a definition would insult our readers’ intelligence. You, in all likelihood, will probably have already known the meaning of antisyzygy. Invisible Immigrants: The English in Canada since 1945, by Marilyn Barber and Murray Watson is published by University of Manitoba Press.

FreeBMD May update

The FreeBMD database was updated on Thursday 14 May 2015 to contain 246,665,112 distinct records.
Major updates, more than 5,000 records, this month are: for births 1940, 1943, 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973-75; for marriages 1952, 1965-66, 1968, 1971-75; for deaths 1971-75, 1976.

16 May 2015

LAC May update to the Soldiers of the First World War database

As of May 15, 2015 there are 155,110 of 640,000 files are available online at the Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database.

A month ago, on April 15, 143,613 files were available so 11,497 files were digitized during the month, an average of 383 files per day. At that rate the digitization would be complete in another 1,266 days.

Not found the file you're looking for?

Library and Archives Canada is digitizing the service files systematically, from box 1 to box 10686, which roughly corresponds to alphabetical order. Please note that over the years, the content of some boxes has had to be moved and, you might find that the file you want, with a surname that is supposed to have been digitized, is now located in another box that has not yet been digitized. The latest digitized box is #3518, which corresponds to the surname “Gilbert”. Please check the database regularly for new additions and if you still have questions after checking the database, you may contact us directly at 1-866-578-7777 for more assistance.

Ancestors in Canada's parliamentary proceedings?

Your ancestor likely wasn't an MP or senator but you may still find a mention of interest in parliamentary proceedings if their company did business with the government, they obtained a divorce that required legislation, or for many other reasons.

The Library of Parliament, in collaboration with Canadiana.org, now offers free online access to the historical Journals of the Parliament of Canada through the Canadian Parliamentary Historical Resources portal.

The Journals of the Senate and of the House of Commons of Canada are available in both official languages alongside the Debates. They cover the period from Parliament 1, Session 1 until coverage on parl.gc.ca begins, filling a gap in the digital availability of Canada’s parliamentary history. The content of the portal can be searched by chamber, parliament, session, volume and keyword. The integrated search feature also allows for searches in both titles simultaneously or separately, as well as other options to restrict or expand the search.

Journals for the Senate of Canada are available from the parliamentary website as of February 27, 1996. Journals for the House of Commons are available from the parliamentary website as of January 17, 1994. To access those publications is at parl.gc.ca under Parliamentary Business.

LAC Town Hall Meeting

This year Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is developing a new three-year plan to orient its priorities and activities between 2016 and 2019. As a first step in this process, the department is consulting key clients on the services that it offers.

Surveys consistently show there are more genealogist clients of LAC than any other group.

LAC is inviting participation in a Town Hall to be held on June 1, 2015 between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at 395 Wellington Street. LAC is particularly interested in hearing from clients that currently use, or plan to use its services onsite, on the website or by telephone.

Space is limited to a maximum of 100 persons, and will be allotted on a first come first serve basis.
Confirm your interest in participating no later than May 22, 2015 by email: rsvp@bac-lac.gc.ca.

15 May 2015

Findmypast adds Dublin Workhouse and Poor Law and Nottinghamshire records

Dublin Workhouse Admission & Discharge Registers, 1840-1919 contains 1,533,207 entries for the North and South Dublin Unions. Basic information in the transcript is first name(s), last name, sex, status, occupation, religion, age, birth year, residence, admission year, workhouse and reference material. Images of the original entry may give additional information including exact dates of admission, name of spouse and number of children.

Dublin Poor Law Unions Board of Guardians minute books includes information from Balrothery 1839-1920; North Dublin 1844-1914; Rathdown 1839-1916; South Dublin 1844-1918. Documents the administration of life in the workhouses including in turbulent times. Board members and staff are more likely to be mentioned by name along with some inmate cases that came before the Board.

Nottinghamshire Baptisms and Burials have been updated with over 19,000 additional transcript records. Findmypast has added over 5,000 baptism records to increase the collection to 852,730 and over 14,000 burials making that collection 254,920 in total.

Also added are articles from the The British Library newspaper collection and BMDs from Australia's Northern Territory.

WDYTYA? Live DNA lectures on YouTube

Maurice Gleeson continues to add recordings and rerecordings of presentations in the Family Tree DNA area at the recent WDYTYA? Live event.

Available free at YouTube, the most recent additions are:

DNA for Beginners: the three tests by Debbie Kennett
The Genetic Legacy of British India - the FIBIS DNA Project by Geraldine Charles & Valmay Young
How to convince relatives and strangers to test and why by Emily Aulicino
Using DNA to solve adoption cases by Maurice Gleeson
Ancestry testing using DNA: the pros and cons by Mark Thomas
Autosomal DNA Success by Emily Aulicino

Of those previously mentioned the most popular, with over 1,000 views, are:

It's not just 'deep ancestry' - how NGS & Y-STR testing can further your research by John Cleary
I've got my autosomal DNA results but what do I do next? by Debbie Kennett

HMS Erebus Revealed

This weekend only the Canadian Museum of History will host a micro-exhibit of artifacts recently recovered during the Parks Canada expedition in the High Arctic to research the famed Sir John Franklin shipwreck HMS Erebus. Parks Canada staff will be onsite to answer your questions.

That's May 14–18, 2015 in the W.E. Taylor Salon, Canadian Museum of History.

14 May 2015

Ancestry adds to West Yorkshire collection

Three new databases for West Yorkshire, sourced from the West Yorkshire Archive Service, have been added to the Ancestry collection.

West Yorkshire, England, Select Apprenticeship Records, 1627-1894 has 6,982 records which may include details about the apprentice, his or her family, and master. The series has many gaps.

West Yorkshire, England, Alehouse Licences, 1771-1962 has 76,239 records with information that may include "the name of the person who held the licence, the name and location of the public house, dates the licence was issued and renewed, and whether the licence was transferred. There are also registers of licence infraction and beerhouse licences."

West Yorkshire, England, Occupation Records, 1793-1930 has 46,225 records for boatmen, carpet manufacturers and cotton manufacturers. "Records include personnel cards, indexes, registers, and certificates. Information found on each document varies, but you might find details such as name, residence, age, birth date, occupation, date of employment, employer, and marital status. Certificates of fitness for employment can include parents’ names."

Ancestry adds Canada, Passenger and Crew Manifests, 1912-1939 and 1953-1962

UPDATE:  This database has now been renamed U.S., Passenger and Crew Lists for U.S.-Bound Vessels Arriving in Canada, 1912-1939 and 1953-1962.

Who knew the US National Archives and Records Administration had passenger lists and crew manifests for vessels and aircraft arriving in various Canadian ports?

While far from exhaustive, just 93,258 records, this collection includes arrivals at Montreal,
Saint John, Halifax, Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto and Quebec Ports.

It includes 23,480 people of "American" nationality, 15,795 Canadians, 14,322 people described as British not including 230 English, 16 Scottish, 5 Welsh and 34 UK. There are 176 Irish, 2,651 Australians, and 1,012 New Zealanders.

Over 77,000 records of these records now available from Ancestry are for the post-WW2 period and include images of the original records written by the traveller.

Will genealogy societies always just be there? Not necessarily

The future of Family History (Genealogical) Societies always attracts attention. A few days ago I posted an item referring to blogger Susan Petersen's article, here, which attracted comment to me in person.
Now David Pike, President of the Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, has his perspective, with particular reference to that society's situation, posted by Global Genealogy. Read it here.

FHSNL have until recently had a part-time staffer and rent space, neither of which applies to BIFHSGO which has never had paid staff and gave up renting permanent space many years ago. David's item is nevertheless a worthwhile read for those involved with FHS's as they are trying an innovative approach.

Incidentally, David is a speaker at the OGS Toronto Branch genetic genealogy event on 6 June. I'd say his is a presentation you don't want to miss, except I'm speaking at the same time!

13 May 2015

Ancestry.ca Victoria Day Survey

According to a survey conducted for Ancestry.ca 36% of Canadians don’t know what is celebrated on the May long weekend.

To put a positive spin on it, 64% do know and a majority of those feel it’s important to continue to celebrate Victoria Day, a number which has increased significantly since 2012.

Other findings are that almost 30 per cent of Canadians would hope to discover royalty in their own family tree and 15 per cent claim to have already found them.

Irish Lives Remembered: May/June 2015 Issue

The free Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy e-Magazine is now available with items on:

  • Composer and singer/songwriter ‘Sting’ visits Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan to find out more about his 3rd great grandmother, Mary Murphy from Inniskeen.
  • Fiona Fitzsimons from Eneclann writes about talk show host Graham Norton’s Wicklow ancestry.
  • Tracing your County WICKLOW Ancestors
  • The Irish in MINNESOTA

as well as general news.

Something old, something new, access at the heart of LACs mandate

Now posted here are speaking notes for Dr. Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada used for his talk to the Friends of the City of Ottawa Archives on 30 April, 2015. I previously summarized the talk at http://goo.gl/YAhhDj.

12 May 2015

What was in the News on Your Birthday?

Today has personal significance - LXX. Here are images of page 1 from the Ottawa Journal and page 2 from the Times of London for 12 May 1945.

11 May 2015

Dublin City Archive Online

John Grenham's latest Irish Roots column points to a collection of Dublin records from the  Dublin City Library and Archive. It includes graveyards, commemorative plaques, freemen and a "giant collection of 20th-century electoral records, have now been brought together and made searchable online from a single starting point, databases.dublincity.ie."

Genealogy at the Ottawa Zoomer Show

This past weekend members of the Ottawa Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa and staff of the City of Ottawa Archives cooperated in a display at the Ottawa Zoomer Show at the Shaw Centre. The show helps fill educational objectives as well as being a showcase.

Mike More, who led the Ottawa Branch team, is seen unfurling the Union Flag as the display was being set up.

Mary-Lou Simac (left) who led the BIFHSGO team, is shown with Society President Barbara Tose.

Here are just some of the volunteers. Team members had conversations with and gave advice to more than 400 Zoomer Show visitors. Numbers were down from last year, especially on Sunday which was Mother`s Day. On the positive side very few of the visitors were already Society members meaning it was new people who were in the typical genealogist demographic who were reached.

10 May 2015

Find A Grave Indexes updated on Ancestry

Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, Uk and Ireland, US, and the mysteriously named "Global, Find A Grave Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations" were all updated in Ancestry on the 7th of |May.

09 May 2015

FamilySearch adds Newfoundland, Vital Statistics, 1753-1893

Based on 14,649 images from the Vital Statistics Division. Provincial Archives, St. John's come indexed images of church record transcripts of baptisms, marriages, and some burials from many churches in the province. There are 164,533 births (baptisms), 61,986 for marriages and 118 burials.

Search from https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1793777

08 May 2015

More BC Archive Newspapers Online

Newspaper archives from Kamloops and Merritt B.C. are going online free. Most are for more recent times:

Kamloops Daily News: 1991 - 2015
Kamloops This Week: 2003 - 2014
Merritt Herald: 1907 - 1918, 2003 - 2014
Merritt News: 2003 - 2014

The content is searchable with delivered as snippets in context. You can click to see the full page.

Here's an example of the First World War era report, from the May 14 1915 issue of the Merritt Herald under the title "Casualty Lists Give Many Merritt Names" showing the quality of the OCR.

"During the past week many nam es fam iliar to us all in this city and valley have appeared in the casualty lists, but, we are pleased to state, so far only one “killed in action.”Wm. Ross, a well known local man was injured a t the front. He was serving in the 5th battalion. He enlisted here with the first contingent and he has seen service in the South African war.
M. McCauley, another of our ‘boys’ was reported wounded. His name appeared in the lists last Saturday. He is well known here having worked a t the local mines for some time. His home is in eastern Canada.
N. F. Lindsay, a form er employee of the Bank of Montreal was reported as wounded. He enlisted with the first contingent and was in the lift battalion. His home is Vancouver, B. C.
Jam ^s Nelson, b etter known as ‘Jim m ie” reported wounded in the ?asulaties of the 5 th battalion. He was one of M erritt’s most popular voung men. He went to the front with the first of the Canadian forces. His parents reside a t Ladysmith, B.C.
A brother of Mr. Ruddick’s of the Bank of Morftreal staff, who hails frem New W estm inster was wounded n the fighting a t the front. Another M erritt man on the causalities, this time it is our old friend Peter Kelly, well known here, having worked for the Inland Coal & Coke ''c.. for some time. He was in action with tYie 5th battalion at the time of bis injury and is at his home in Scotand
recuperating. Pete was one of the first to leave M erritt, and he iff a real scarred vetwan having gone all through the South African campaign.
Leonard Collison, a form er employee of the Bank of Montrea. here was last night reported in the casulity lists. He is another of the Merritt boys who volunteered for the ’ront as soon os recruiting commenced here. He left with the first coningent and was in the 5th battalion vlieji wounded. He is, according to reports, recuperating in England."

Findmypast additions this week

Britain, Country Apprentices 1710-1808, contain over 1 million records, transcripts created by the Society of Genealogists from the original registers held by The National Archives. They contain the name of the apprentice and until the year 1752 the names of the apprentices’ parents are given (usually the father, though sometimes the mother, if the father was dead), but after that year very rarely. They also included the place the apprentice came from, his father’s trade, the name of the master to whom he was indentured, the master’s trade, the place where the master lived, and the value of the premium paid to the master for taking on the apprentice. About 350,000 indentures are included, from all over Great Britain (about 20% are Scottish).

BillionGraves Cemetery Index records have been added for England (408,802), Scotland (55,935), Wales (48,642), Ireland (over 4,000), Australia (877,234) and New Zealand (88,300).

07 May 2015

Redesigned Mobile App from MyHeritage

To follow up on the posting about genealogical societies and the increasing use of smartphones and other mobile devices, I got an email from Daniel Horowitz that MyHeritage has redesigned their mobile app. Their app is popular:

"So far more than 4 million people have downloaded the MyHeritage app, and its usage is growing worldwide. Within the last 3 months, the MyHeritage app for Android has ranked in the top 100 apps in its category on Google Play in 40 countries. In addition it is currently ranked in the top 5 apps in its category in Denmark and Norway in both Apple’s App Store and Google Play."
You can read the official press release here.

Ancestry adds UK, Popular Edition Maps, 1919-1926

This Popular Edition, in colour at one inch to the mile, captures Britain after the First World War and about to change with suburban encroachment into the countryside and the expansion of the road network.

This is the version of the Ordnance Survey publish by Cassini. It has a good search interface and ability to browse, but be prepared for some frustration. As I found for the town of Carmarthen, the search takes you to a map with the town in the corner and no ability to scroll to an adjacent map.

Understanding Libraries and Their Future

Librarians are genealogist's best friends, and it's a time of great change in the library world. Thinkin about that change is reflected for the UK situation in a podcast Libraries: the inside story – books podcast from The Guardian.

In the first 15 minutes is devoted to going behind the scenes of what happens when a book is ordered at the British Library. We're naturally curious to peek behind the curtains of systems that seem to work automagically. At the British Library you can get a book which may not have been read for decades in a matter of minutes. It would be desirable for Library and Archives Canada to aspire to that performance; in the meantime maybe they could devote a podcast to revealing the system behind their services.

The next major section of the podcast focuses on the Manchester library system. The part that caught my attention came at about 41 minutes when the staff member interviewed was asked about what's in the future.  The answer was to cite new co-location of a library with a leisure centre meaning it could remain open 90 hours a week with a shared reception desk with the leisure team.

"The vision is to put these centres in places where people are all over the city.We made a decision many years ago never to have another stand alone library and also to look at where our libraries are geographically located, we want the libraries to be in the heart of the district centre, ideally we want our libraries to have glazed frontage so people can see people engaging in activity and enjoying the library space and we want our libraries as far as possible to be co-located so we can have that cross-fertilization of audiences and attract people who would not normally go into a library."
The final section of the podcasr, starting at 42:30 minutes is a panel discussion. One comment that caught my attention in the context of the proposal for a new Ottawa Central Library relates to the new Birmingham Library;
"That building cost 180 something million pounds to build, and it costs 10 million pounds a year to run, that's a lot of money to come out of a local authority budget. It's a giantist approach, I don't think it works. It's a complete white elephant. What libraries ought to be is much closer to ordinary people where they are. We need smaller libraries, you can transport books so easily these days, you can transport then electronically as well as physically.You don't need to have very large libraries with very large stocks. What you need is somewhere where people want to use it and its pleasant to use."

BIFHSGO May Meeting

On Saturday, May 9 the feature presentation is for which one I've been waiting as several BIFHSGO members were interviewed for the research reported.

Invisible but Audible: Postwar English Immigrants in Canada is based on a new book just published by the University of Manitoba Press documenting research into a long-neglected group.
Marilyn Barber and Murray Watson will talk about the findings in their new book about English-born immigrants who settled in Canada in the 30 years after the end of World War II. Surprisingly the English as an immigrant group has largely failed to attract the attention of scholars. The talk will explore some of the book's themes which include an exploration of why people chose to emigrate and why come to Canada, an examination of the complex process of settling in, creating a home, coping with family separation, finding work and building a career. How too did these new migrants reconstruct their sense of personal and national identities in a Canada that was shedding its notions of British heritage to become the multicultural Canada of today?
In the opening act presentation Member Access to the BIFHSGO website Brian Glenn and Kathy Wallace will demonstrate a variety of functions of the BIFHSGO website, including logging on to the Members Only section; changing your password; reviewing your personal contact information; renewing your membership online (if available); and registering for the annual conference online.Afterward, during the break, Brian will be available in the foyer to assist anyone with Members Only Login issues or questions about the online registration system.

Presentations get underway at 9am with the feature presentation session starting at 10am in The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean, Ontario

06 May 2015

Is Your FHS Website Mobile Friendly?

Google, which processes 100 billion search requests each month, just announced that more searches are now being made on mobile devices than on personal computers in the U.S. and many other parts of the world. How mobile-friendly is your society website?
A quick survey of the major genealogy and family history society websites across Canada showed only three that were formatted for mobile: British Columbia, Alberta and Prince Edward Island. The others, while usable, had multi-column formatting meaning characters too small to easily read and menus too small for stubby fingers.
Canadian societies are not alone. While I didn't try them all none of the major societies I tested in the US and UK, with the notable exception of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, had mobile-friendly websites.

New at Pinhey's Point

A pleasant way to enjoy the banks of the Ottawa River is a trip to the Pinhey's Point Historical Site in Dunrobin -- out of town but still within the bounds of Ottawa.
This summer there are again activities being organized by the Pinhey's Point Foundation to enrich the experience. Two exhibits  will be opening on May 10 ,The Origins and Significance of Domestic Gothic Architecture in Ottawa and Songs of the Allies: Sheet Music From the Great War.

A Face for Every Name at Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives

The poster for Saturday afternoon's event at the Arnprior Public Library says it all.