31 October 2015

30 Ways to Die of Electrocution

From a 1931 illustrated German book Elektroschutz in 132 Bildern comes the particularly shocking way to die of which the image is a snip. Can you guess the full picture. See it here - scroll down 17 images.
It's from the website Vintage Everyday: bring back nostalgia and memories.
Check out 16 Incredible Stories You Never Knew about the RMS Titanic60 Beautiful Vintage Travel Posters around the World from between the 1920s and 1940s.
For your Halloween viewing, showing weird didn't have to wait for Photoshop Headless Portraits From the 19th Century.

Ancestry adds Boer War British Service Register

Ancestry now offers a web-link database for those who served with British forces in the Second Boer War, 1899-1902.
The example of results of a search on Ancestry shown illustrates the database includes Australian and Canadian volunteers as well as British..
Clicking View Record takes you to the The Register of the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 website at www.casus-belli.co.uk/ with pay per view access to detailed information.including a casualty roll of over 59,600 records. You will find:
2,200 individual records not in the Official Casualty Rolls
3,100 casualty events not in the Official Casualty Rolls
18,800 casualty records updated/corrected (34% of the total casualties)
19,800 names linked to a war memorial
For Canadians who served don't overlook the free databases at Library and Archives Canada South African War, 1899-1902 - Service Files, Medals and Land Applications

British Newspaper Archive Additions for October

The British Newspaper Archive now has 12,055,155 (11,756,577 last month) pages from 530 (509) titles online. Additions in October, alas nothing for Norfolk, are:

30 October 2015

Ancestry adds Perth and Kinross, Scotland, Electoral Registers, 1832-1961

2,464,817 records is nothing to sneeze at, especially for two ancient Scottish counties with barely 200,000 population combined.

Electoral registers will list an eligible voter’s name and address, with occupation, qualifications for voting, and a place where the property that qualified a voter is located for the earlier years when the franchise was restricted.

Less than 5% of the entries are pre-1900 with no Kinross-shire records before 1899. 

More than 90% are after 1920 when the counties were combined. If an address is given it's simple to confirm continuation of occupancy year after year.

As these records were extracted using OCR indexing expect errors. Spaces may be missed so a middle initial may be concatenated with the first and/or last name.

DNA Evidence: too good to be true

With DNA extraction techniques getting more sophisticated by the day questions like Is it possible to test strands from grandma's hair brush? are increasingly being asked.

The answer, which used it be only if there's a root on the strand, is increasingly more nuanced, and always with the rider - at a a price!

With greater capability comes greater probability of contamination.

This article from Nature includes this description of an experiment

"We asked pairs of people to shake hands for two minutes and then each individual handled a separate knife. In 85% of cases, the DNA of the other person was transferred to the knife and profiled. In one-fifth of the samples, the DNA analysis identified this other person as the main or only contributor of DNA to the 'weapon'

Caveat Emptor

29 October 2015

FreeBMD 2nd October Update

The FreeBMD database was updated on Wednesday 28 Oct 2015 to contain 250,135,010 distinct records, an increase of more than 560,000.
Years with major updates, more than 5,000 new entries, are for births: 1940, 1963-64, 1966, 1971, 1973-75; for marriages: 1965-66, 1968-69, 1971-75; for deaths: 1973-74, 1976.

FamilySearch adds "Ontario Births, 1869-1912." , with images

The updated free FamilySearch Ontario births database to 1912 has 2,094,890 records linked to 413,055 images. Search by first and last name, place, and year.
Note that Ancestry has an extra year, 1913.

Ancestry has All Scotland, National Probate Index (Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories), 1876-1936

This Ancestry database is an index and images to the annually published Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories filed in Scotland for the years 1876–1936. The entries in each volume are then alphabetised by surname. Information varies across different entries, but each typically includes:
testament date
full name of the deceased
death date and place
name of an executor (often a relative, but sometimes a creditor)
where and when the testament was recorded

You didn't have to die in Scotland to be recorded in this database. Using the keyword search you'll get 209 hits for Toronto, 161 for Montreal, 150 for Vancouver, 75 for Winnipeg, 40 for Calgary, and only 20 for Ottawa.

While usually only the more affluent will typically appear you will find entries with small estates.
One of the Ottawa entries is for Douglas Brymner, Dominion Archivist, who left an estate in Scotland of £75.

The calendar is only a summary. Information on ordering copies of testaments and inventories can be found on the ScotlandsPeople website.

28 October 2015

FamilySearch has Nova Scotia Delayed Births, 1837-1904

When civil registration was in force Nova Scotia births were supposed to be registered within one year. Lacking that a special type of birth certificate was available showing not only the facts of birth for the child but also the types of evidence presented to back up the facts of birth.

FamilySearch claims there are 143,618 records for this Nova Scotia Delayed Births, 1837-1904 database. I only found 73,944 with the breakdown by decade:

1831-40: 14 records
1841-50: 128 records
1851-60: 779 records
1861-70: 2,016 records
1871-80: 6,233 records
1881-90: 18,650 records
1891-1900: 29,721 records
1901 -1910: 15,467 records

The originals are archived at the Archives of Nova Scotia in Halifax.

Norman Surnames in Ireland

Following last weeks Irish Roots column on Viking surnames John Grenham turns his attention to those related to Norman immigration.

HSO October Meeting: Ottawa Shaped by Its River

In October the Historical Society of Ottawa meeting welcomes Ottawa River Keeper Meredith Brown on the topic Ottawa Shaped by Its River.

The Ottawa River has quenched our thirst, shaped our history and continues to provide energy, connect and sustain our communities. Unfortunately, the fishery can no longer sustain us, and the chemicals we pour down our drains are turning up in our drinking water. We are forgetting how water shapes us, and how we shape it in return. Learn how pollution in the Ottawa River has influenced national water laws and why our national treasure has yet to be designated a Canadian Heritage River.

As the Ottawa Riverkeeper, Meredith Brown is a strong, independent voice for the Ottawa River, and an advocate for improved water protection in Canada. Since 2004, she has significantly raised the profile of the Ottawa River, and brought important issues such as sewage dumping and radioactive waste to the attention of the public and decision­makers. The Riverkeeper is regularly called on to comment on issues that affect the river, and to provide insightful solutions and recommendations to improve the health and future of the Ottawa River. Meredith holds biology and environmental engineering degrees from Queen's University and the University of Guelph. She also earned a Master's in Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University, with an emphasis on water management and public policy. Meredith's leadership and collaborative approach has brought excellent results, and has connected key players throughout the watershed. Meredith organized the first ever Ottawa River Summit that brought Mayors, First Nation Chiefs, and key agency players together to address the future of the Ottawa River. Meredith sits on many advisory committees around the watershed and was recently named a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
The date is 30 October at 1pm. As usual, the location is the Routhier Community Centre, 172 Gigues Ave, Ottawa. Further information on the Society and its activities is at http://hsottawa.ncf.ca. Everyone welcome.

27 October 2015

1939 Register for England and Wales coming November 2nd

It's official, the 1939 Register will be made available online for the very first time on the 2nd of November 2015, only on Findmypast. See the announcement at https://blog.findmypast.co.uk/announcing-the-release-of-the-1939-register-1424355718.html

News from OGS Toronto Branch

If you took advantage of the free online access to Monday evening's OGS Toronto Branch  meeting, made available via Google Hangouts, you heard two excellent presentations.

During Cathy McNamara's mini-presentation, Sort, Scan, Share, Solve and Scrapbook Your Old Photos I noted her use of secret Facebook pages to share scanned photos with select family and ask for information on unknown people. Even the elderly can chip in with help of a tech-savvy younger relative or friend. Those pages will not show to people not authorised.

Marian Press gave the main presentation, Putting Your Family Tree Online: What Choice Should You Make? Commenting that several sites are no longer operational since she first gave the presentation, she recommended having trees on Ancestry and FamilySearch for their likely longevity, plus GenesReunited and Lost Cousins if you have British ancestry and GeneaNet for European Ancestry. She also recommended having your own genealogy website - especially a blog from WordPress or Blogger.

What I hadn't expected to hear was news about the 2016 OGS conference from the Chair Paul Jones:
Program Chair Janice Nickerson had to take compassionate leave, without notice, on account of a major illness in her family. That has delayed finalization of the program.
The hotel venue expects to be rebranded this fall complicating plans to market the hotel aggressively.
The closure of the Canadiana collection at the North York Public Library.
News that OGS may be moving from it's offices in the midst of the key marketing period for the conference.

Branch vice-Chair Connie Culbertson added further information to help prevent the spread of unfounded rumours regarding impact of the latter two items on Toronto Branch operations.

Everything for the family historian: now based in Eastern Ontario

GlobalGenealogy.com has completed its move to Carleton Place, Ontario and is back on a regular shipping schedule.
That's the news on the company website.
Rick Roberts informs me the move went smoothly and while there are always unexpected challenges there was nothing that couldn’t be handled.

Orders that customers made during the move were processed on Monday for shipment on Tuesday. Email responses and pdf downloads will be up to date by Tuesday afternoon.  While the move was on the print shop and bindery continued production with the first delivery scheduled to be made to the Carleton Place location on Tuesday morning.

Rick and Sandra have long been great assets to major Ottawa area genealogical events. With them now living and working in the Ottawa Valley local genealogists can look forward to building the relationship further.

26 October 2015

10 Ways to Promote Your Genealogy Events

I shouldn't have been surprised to learn the the Richard the Third Society in the UK would have gladly promoted my recent BIFHSGO presentation "You be the Judge: Did DNA Prove the Skeleton Under the Leicester Car Park was Richard III? " to their members in the Ottawa area. It was a missed opportunity and caused me to reflect on whether our family history and genealogy societies give enough priority to promotion.

How important is promotion? It's an essential element of the 4Ps in the marketing mix (Price, Place, Promotion, Product). The recent third quarter report for Ancestry.com showed marketing and advertising accounting for 38% of  operating expenses. Five percent is suggested as a starting point for promotion of a services business.

For non-profits volunteer promotion effort substitutes in part for budget. There's no lack of free or low cost ways. Here are ten.

1. Trade for promotion at meetings with like-minded organizations. Last Saturday OGS Ottawa Branch promoted the next BIFHSGO meeting at their Memorial Lecture. BIFHSGO returns the compliment at their meetings.

2. Trade promotion in publications of like-minded organizations. Ottawa Branch and BIFHSGO cross-promote their annual conferences in the event literature.

3. Extend cross promotion to non-genealogical but like minded societies. Friends organizations exist for libraries, archives and museums. Historical societies are natural partners. There are also umbrella organizations. In Ottawa BIFHSGO and Ottawa Branch OGS are members of  the Council of Heritage Organizations of Ottawa (CHOO/COPO) but their events are not listed in the CHOO Heritage Happenings section.

4. Libraries, archives, museums and community centres often have locations where notices can be posted.

5. Go online. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ . . .  is there any end to the number of social networking sites?

6. Use an online events listing. In Ottawa there's the free Ottaw Start website at http://ottawastart.com/. Google your community and events to find such services.

7. Add your event to the Global Genealogy listing of Upcoming Events, Conferences & Workshops at http://globalgenealogy.com/admin/events.htm

8. Archive CD Books Canada include a listing of genealogy events in their periodic newsletter. Find contact information at http://archivecdbooks.ca/pages/contact-us

9. OGS has a location for listing society and branch events on their calendar at https://www.ogs.on.ca/calendar_of_events.php. There are many more OGS branch events than listed - it's an underused resource.

10. Bloggers are always looking for material. Send announcements for Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections to me at johndreid at gmail dot com. Gail Dever at dever199 at hotmail dot com may be contacted for Genealogy à la carte. and Elizabeth Lapointe at genealogycanada at aol dot com for the Genealogy Canada blog.

The specific resources listed have an Ottawa orientation. Check for similar resources in your area, and let me know of any other types of resources with which you've had success.

Toronto Branch OGS Meeting: 26 October - available online

In the main presentation Putting Your Family Tree Online: What Choice Should You Make? Marian Press will review available options.
"There are now many choices for how to put your family information online for others to find, well beyond what was available in the early years of the web. This talk will cover the various options available for family historians to choose from: the use of major genealogy sites like familysearch.org or Ancestry; wiki sites, such as WikiTree; blogs; or building your own web site. The simpler and free options will be emphasized. There will also be discussion of what will happen to your family information online when you die and the planning you should do for this eventuality."
Also presenting will be Cathy McNamara giving a Mini-presentation: Sort, Scan, Share, Solve and Scrapbook Your Old Photos

The meeting starts at 7:30 pm in the Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Hall
5120 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M2N 6L4.

The  meeting will be live-streaming  for those who are unable to attend in person. For instructions on how to connect to the live feed, visit the Live Meeting Stream page.

25 October 2015

Planting Trees for the CEF

On Saturday morning, 24 October, the National Capital Commission, Library and Archives Canada and a group of volunteers planted 135 trees in Vincent Massey Park to honour the Canadian Expeditionary Force of First World War.

The event was only advertised to the media. About 35 people were present including genealogists Elizabeth and Mario Lapointe from genealogycanada.blogspot.com.

This was the second CEF planting, the first was at a park in Gatineau. A further single tree will be planted outside the LAC building in Gatineau soon. One tree, a white pine, is being planed for each battalion that served.

With seasonable temperatures, under sunny skies sheltered in the trees from the wind NCC CEO Dr. Mark Kristmanson and Librarian and Archivist of Canada Dr. Guy Berthiaume spoke briefly before planing of the pine seedlings began.

In his remarks Guy Berthiaume mentioned the digitization of the Soldiers of the First World War service files would be completed in 2018. That's a faster pace than at present. Questioned he committed that, if necessary, a second shift will be added. He also mentioned that processing of the government record backlog is now at 93% and they expect to be complete by the end of the year as committed.

Kudos to the volunteers, the youngest of whom was celebrating an 18th birthday, who gave every indication of enjoying the planting experience.

Ancestry adds 115 databases from Mexico

Ancestry in Mexico? Perhaps a relative choose marriage in a resort setting, or died while on vacation, or maybe escaping the law. Ancestry's collection of Spanish language Mexican databases  have increased to 152 with the addition of 115 last Thursday, October 22.

With over 13.3 million records the largest is  Federal District, Mexico, Civil Registration Deaths, 1861-1987 including 13 unlucky John Smith's. 

Seven of the collections have over five million records. 
Jalisco, Mexico, Civil Registration Deaths, 1856-1987
Oaxaca, Mexico, Civil Registration Deaths, 1861-1987
Jalisco, Mexico, Civil Registration Births, 1857-1947
Jalisco, Mexico, Civil Registration Marriages, 1861-1961
Puebla, Mexico, Catholic Church Records, 1545-1970
Jalisco, Mexico, Catholic Church Records, 1590-1995
San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Civil Registration Deaths, 1860-1987
Michoacán, Mexico, Catholic Church Records, 1649-1909
All records are in Spanish. It appears the new civil registration records are indexed while church records are browse only. 

24 October 2015

Research advice from Alan Campbell

Alan Campbell, President of the the Ontario Genealogical Society, is accumulating a collection of good advice in a series of blog posts on the OGS website.  Especially valuable for the newbie they are a good reminder for all.

Recent posts at the site are:
Those Pesky Source Citations!
Location, Location, Location- So Important in Genealogical Research
Genealogical Researching On-site – A Rainy Day Activity
The Value in Visiting Your Ancestors Hometown
Researching Your Family History at the Archives of Ontario
The Personals- More Than You Wanted to Know
So You Think You Have a Brickwall (in three parts)
Who is She Actually? How Names Can Change in a Person’s Lifetime
Family Stories – Truth or Fiction?

The Great Canadian Genealogy Summit

Judging by the title here's an ambitious initiative.  Three Canadian genealogists, Kathryn Lake Hogan, Christine Woodcock and Mike Quackenbush, have "banded together to develop a conference structure which has a mission to promote Canadian genealogists by providing a platform to showcase their talents as well as share their knowledge and passion for genealogy with others."

Scheduled for October 21 - 23, 2016 at the Courtyard Marriott - Brampton, Ontario, Canada there's information on the event and when registration opens at http://www.cangensummit.ca/,

CWGC Undertakes Improvements at Essex Farm Cemetery

Essex Farm Cemetery, just north of Ypres, the site where Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was stationed in 1915 and likely wrote his famous poem, 'In Flanders Fields', is undergoing major renovation..

The cemetery, the final resting place of 1,200 servicemen of the First World War, is one of the most visited Commission sites in Belgium. The work being carried out includes: repairs to the turf, the installation of stepping stones and paths, repairing gates, moving notices, planting of additional hedges and flowers, managing the growth of trees.

If planning a visit check out here for information about a possible disruption to access.

23 October 2015

Ancestry 3rd Quarter Financial Results

On October 21 Ancestry.com reported 3rd quarter results with total revenues for the quarter $171.5 million compared to $154.7 million in the third quarter of 2014, an increase of 12%.  AncestryDNA is mentioned as driving the growth of revenues along with the core Ancestry websites.
Overall the company reported a net loss for the third quarter of 2015 of $0.6 million compared to a net loss of $1.2 million in the third quarter of 2014.
With approximately 2,243,000 subscribers for all Ancestry websites in total as of September 30, 2015 subscriber growth is 6% compared to September 30, 2014.
The Company reported adding more than 400 million new records in the third quarter of 2015 to its collection of more than 16 billion records. Highlighted were
- the launch of the U.S. Probate and Wills collection, comprising 170 million records and more than 100 million Americans.
- Newspapers.com, an Ancestry business unit, announcing a collaboration with Gannett to digitally archive more than 80 U.S. newspapers.
- U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007
- U.K. City, Town and Village Photos, 1857-2005
- U.K. Apprentices Indentured in Merchant Navy, 1824-1910
- Germany collections totalling 60 million new records.

Some notable facts from the 3rd quarter results:

- Marketing and advertising account for 38% of  operating expenses
- Subscriptions accounted for 86% of revenue increasing 12.6% from the previous 3rd quarter
- Product and other revenues (AncestryDNA?) accounted from the remaining 14% of revenue while increasing 52% from the previous 3rd quarter.
- Cost of subscription revenues in the 3rd quarter was 17% of subscription revenue.
- Cost of product and other revenues in the 3rd quarter was 64% of product and other revenue.

Subscriptions are Ancestry's cash cow while AncestryDNA (?) is the area of most rapid growth. If these growth rates were sustained the revenue from product and other revenue would exceed that from subscriptions by 2022.

British Newspaper Archive now with 12 million pages

A landmark is recognised as the British Newspaper Archive passes 12 million pages digitized from 526 titles.

This is a huge resource for British genealogists. Kudos to the British Library for their foresight in initiating the project, as well as conserving the newspapers over decades and centuries, and to their operational partner Findmypast.

Best coverage is for London-based newspapers, as would be expected.

Weighted by population the five English counties with top coverage are: Bristol, followed by Gloucestershire, Devon, East Riding of Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear. The five least well served on a population weighted basis, less than one tenth that of the top, are: Essex, Norfolk, Dorset, Surrey and with the poorest coverage, Hertfordshire.

Wales is less well covered, understandably given the 1.1 million page free digitized newspaper resource provided by the National Library of Wales.

Scotland, headquarters of the company is the best served of the counties per capita. Population data are not available on the same basis as the newspaper county categories although Angus with nearly eight times the coverage per capita of any English county appears best served. Midlothian, Aberdeenshire and Stirlingshire are not far behind.

For Northern Ireland Antrim, Fermanagh and Londonderry and for the Republic Waterford, Dublin, Tipperary and Wexford have best per capita coverage equivalent to the best English counties.

22 October 2015

1939 National Register for England and Wales expected in November

According to this article from the BBC individual returns in England and Wales from the digitized register are expected to be released next month.

There is a 30 year gap in censuses for England and Wales between that of 1921, due to be released in 2022, and that of 1951 to be released in 2052. The 1941 census was never taken due to the war while the previous 1931 census was destroyed by a fire in 1942. The 29 September 1938 National Registration is a much anticipated gap filler.

Those younger than 100 today will have entries relating to them redacted for the 1939 Register release unless it's proved that they have died. How complete will that screening be? I expect my mother who died in England in 2012 will appear. Will I see my father who was likely at sea? Living in England for much of the war he should have been recorded, perhaps late registered, but he died overseas. He would have attained 100 in mid-November this year.

The Next Generation Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine of the Internet Archive is an essential resource if you're looking to find old versions of web pages.  For ogs.on.ca the archives go back to 1998, for bifhsgo,ca to 2001 (a partial capture), for qfhs.ca to 2006, and for torontofamilyhistory.com to 2011.
Things are about to get better.
"The Wayback Machine, a service used by millions to access 19 years of the Web’s history, is about get an update.  When completed in 2017, the next generation Wayback Machine will have more and better webpages that are easier to find. The Internet Archive, with generous support from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF), is re-building the Wayback Machine which currently offers access to 439+ billion Web captures including Web pages, video and images."
Read the details of the planned improvements at  https://blog.archive.org/2015/10/21/grant-to-develop-the-next-generation-wayback-machine/. The one that caught my attention is:
"Finding websites based on keywords. While indexing all of the pages in the Wayback Machine is beyond what we can do, we will index homepages of websites so that patrons won’t have to enter specific URLs to dive into the Wayback Machine."

OGS Ottawa Branch Ryan Taylor/ Brian Gilchrist Memorial Lecture

"Some Early Ottawa Gravestone Makers" is the title of the 2015 Ryan Taylor/ Brian Gilchrist Memorial Lecture to be given by Prof. Bruce Elliott on Saturday, 24 October, 13:00 – 15:00
"Gravestones are an important source of genealogical information but they also have their own history. Initially craft products that reflected locally available materials, traditional skills, and local, regional, or cultural stylistic and symbolic traditions, gravestones increasingly became modern, standardized and mass produced industrial products through the course of the 19th century. Canada became part of a North American consumer marketplace in which materials, designs, and eventually monuments themselves originated outside the locality, produced at a few centralized quarry sites and wholesaled to local monument makers who added the inscriptions and became more retailers than craftsmen. This presentation looks at the work of some of Ottawa's early gravestone makers in the context of this transition from craft to industry."
The presentation is at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Nepean,

The meeting will be followed by a meeting of the Computer Special Interest Group

21 October 2015

LAC Podcast: Mirrors with Memory

In its latest podcast LAC takes us behind the scenes in the preparation of an exhibition, including 15 rare daguerreotypes, at the National Gallery of Canada.

"Since 2013, as part of an ongoing partnership between Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and the National Gallery, items from LAC’s collection are being exhibited on the walls of the National Gallery. In this episode, we speak to LAC curator Jennifer Roger, and head conservator of photographic materials Tania Passafiume about the work that went into the latest collaboration, which features 15 rare daguerreotypes dating back to the very beginnings of photography."

Link to the podcast, or read a transcript, at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/news/podcasts/Pages/mirrors-memory.aspx

Shannon Lecture: From Dreams to Realities: Performing History in the Assassin’s Creed® video game series

Something different in the Carleton University Shannon Lecture series!

Maxime Durand from Ubisoft in Montreal will discuss his work on the video game Assassin’s Creed.

"The past is a puzzle for which we lack most of the pieces and don’t have the cover art. Yet, the teams working on Assassin’s Creed (a historical fiction action-adventure open world stealth video game series) have mastered a unique method to interpret it through breathtaking digital environments. From assumed inaccuracies to unnoticeable historical details, the procedure is complex but rewarding with tens of millions of fans. This lecture will discuss the methods applied at Ubisoft and how we address the issues of recreating the past in a world leading digital gaming environment.
1:30 PM, Friday, October 23, 2015, Multi-Media Lab, Discovery Centre, MacOdrum Library

20 October 2015

CEF Service Files Digitization: October update

As of 15 October, 203,393 of 640,000 files are available in the database. the latest box digitized is #2873, name: Eliot.
6,924 files have been digitized since the September update. At that rate it will take an additional 63 months to finish the project which will be complete in early 2021.

Irish Viking Surnames

John Grenham's latest Irish Roots column explains why there are Viking inspired surnames in Ireland even though surnames post-date the Viking expansion.

Welcome to new possibilities

With the election of a Liberal government we have the possibility of them living up to their promise of change. I wouldn't put it more strongly than that!
A comment posted to my election day post lamented that federal candidates were unaware of federal archives funding issues. It asks "where would I best locate the LAC lack of funding information to share with them?"
The Main Estimates tabled in Parliament last February show total budgetary funding for Library and Archives Canada falling from $95,864,788 in 2014/15 to $93,011,489 in 2015/16. That's a 3% reduction. See my blog post.
In my view a plea that LAC is underfunded is unlikely to get much response. More likely to be favourably received is funding for a new initiative, which I suspect would have digital somewhere in the title. See the advocacy pages of the Association of Canadian Archivists for ideas on the future.

18 October 2015

Ancestry updates Ottawa Journal BMD Notices, 1885-1980

Thanks to the work of Ancestry World Archives Project contributors the Ancestry.ca database Ontario, Canada, The Ottawa Journal (Birth, Marriage and Death Notices), 1885-1980 Birth, Marriage & Death has been updated to a count of 956,792 records. The indexing is not only for the principal person but includes others mentioned in the notice.

TODAY: Ottawa Antiquarian Book Fair

Sunday - October 18th, 2015
10:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
"The Thirty-fifth Ottawa Antiquarian Book Fair has become an exciting event for book lovers from across Canada. A display and sale, recognized as one of the finest book fairs in the country, features rare, unusual and collectible books on the arts and architecture early printed books modern first editions voyages, travel and exploration science and medicine illustrated children’s books military history historical documents and ephemera (and much more) The fair will include over 40,000 items, dating from the 15th century to the present day, displayed by 40 dealers from across Canada and the United States."
TUDOR HALL 3750 North Bowesville Rd. (near Hunt Club & Riverside Drive)

Free Parking

17 October 2015

Election Advice for the Progressive Genealogist

This is not about family history, it's about the history Canadians will collectively be making on Monday.
If like me you're fed up with rampant abuses of power I urge you to vote, and vote wisely to strengthen and preserve our Canadian democracy and values.
Restore a Canada where there is no second class citizenship for those with dual nationality or a right to dual nationality. A Canada where evidence-based legislation gets timely and thorough deliberation in the Commons and the Senate by unmuzzled members exercising their own best judgement. Where we restore the legacy of peacemaking. Where we are not afraid to enquire into social issues like missing and murdered indigenous women. And where we do our part to limit emissions of greenhouse gases.

Don't sell your birthright for a mess of potage - the largest boutique tax credits.

Vote strategically if necessary. The reasons you vote are yours. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If polls show a clear winner in your area vote your choice. Some of Canada's most progressive governments have been minorities. I'd be most happy with a minority government that reaches across party lines - not that I have great expectations of any party keeping all their promises while avoiding corruption and scandal.

Gresham College Lecture: Mass Burials from St Mary Spital, London

Last Monday saw a particularly interesting lecture from London's Gresham College exploring burials at St Mary Spital in East London. Development has permitted investigation which uncovered a large number of emergency mass burial pits from the mid-13th century.

In looking for the reason for those mass burials they explored contemporary documentary evidence and found:
1258 “the north wind prevailed for several months, and when April, May, and great part of June were over, scarcely a small rare flower or shooting germ appeared, whence the hope of harvest was uncertain”
This is a hint of a volcanic event, just as the 1816 Year Without a Summer resulted from the 1815 eruption of the Tambora volcano.

Evidence is the mid-13th century event was due to eruption of the Samalas volcano in Indonesia with twice the emissions of Tambora.

Access the video, transcript and PowerPoint slides.

16 October 2015

TODAY: Presentation "New Ireland: Migration, History and Changing Identities"

The Embassy of Ireland, together with the Irish Society and in partnership with Concordia’s School of Canadian Irish Studies, is hosting Dr. Jim MacPherson, University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), on “New Ireland: Migration, History and Changing Identities.”

Dr. MacPherson is a social and cultural historian and his research focuses in particular on Irish and Scottish migration, diaspora and the British Empire.  He arrived at UHI's Centre for History in November 2011, following academic posts at University College Dublin, the University of Bristol, Leeds Trinity and All Saints College and the University of Sunderland.

The presentation is at the Residence of the Ambassador, 291 Park Road, Rockcliffe Park, Ottawa on
Friday 16 October at 7pm.

Findmypast Friday update

New this week at Findmypast.
  • Staffordshire, Dioceses Of Lichfield & Coventry Marriage Allegations and Bonds, 1636-1893 contains 372,291 transcripts with images of the original documents.  According to Findmypast transcripts include: First name(s), Last name, Age, Birth year, Occupation, Status, Marriage year, Marriage date, Marriage place, Residence parish, Residence county, Spouse’s first name(s), Spouse’s last name, Spouse’s age, Spouse’s birth year, Spouse’s status, Spouse’s residence parish, Spouse’s residence, county
  • Additions to the National Burial Index for the Durham parishes of Auckland St Andrew and Auckland St Helen. These 18,087 transcripts First name(s), Last name, Birth year, Death year, Age, Burial year, Burial day, Burial month, Place, Church description, Church denomination. 
  • Over 23,000 additional transcriptions of baptisms and burials from North West Kent, England covering seven parishes. Information in the transcript may include: First name(s), Last name, Birth year, Baptism (Burial) year, Baptism (Burial) date, Parish, Place. In addition find for baptisms Father's first name(s), Mother's first name(s) , Mother's last name, Residence.
  • Ongoing additions to the historic British newspaper collection.