30 June 2016

Remember Beaumont-Hamel

Take a minute on Canada Day, to recall that a century ago, 1 July 1916, Newfoundland saw the disaster that befell the Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont-Hamel.

There is a commemoration organized by The Rooms in St John's.

The Canadian War Museum has an exhibit - Traces of the First World War - Newfoundland and Labrador, with a special display of historical photos, entitled: July 1, 1916 – The Somme and Beaumont-Hamel, until July 20, 2016.

CBC has scheduled broadcast of Newfoundland at Armageddon at 8 p m on Thursday 30 June. See the associated website here.

Ancestry Canada Day free access

Not to be outdone by Findmypast, Ancestry.ca is giving free access to all their records through July 2. This may be for Canada-based users only, and as usual requires free registration.

British Newspaper Archives additions for June

The British Newspaper Archive now has 14,605,439 pages (14,436,425 last month) from 654 (632) titles online. The full list of additions this month, none from Norfolk, is:

29 June 2016

Free access at Findmypast

findmypast.co.uk is advertising

FREE military and census records
Discover your family's military heroes in free military and census records, this week only

It seems this may also now work on findmypast.com.

Keep Calm and Carry On

What with BREXIT and England losing to Iceland at football (the sport where you use your feet, not your hands) was there ever a better recent time to revisit an iconic British poster?

This History Blog post tells the story of the poster that almost never saw the light of day.

Evernote Basic adds restrictions

Evernote Basic is changing. Whereas before you could link from as many devices as you wanted now you'll be limited to two.

I have Evernote on my laptop, Android device and iPad, and possibly other older system I no longer use so I received a 30 day warning of this change.

The prices for Plus and Premium tiers are also changed for new subscriptions. If you use Evernote check out the blog post which has more detail.

If you're looking for an alternative to Evernote consider Microsoft OneNote. Lifehacker has a blog post about transferring Evernote files.

28 June 2016

Genealogy Roadshow reminder

The PBS Genealogy Roadshow continues on Tuesday 28 June at 8 p.m. EDT with the seventh (and final?) episode in the series, recorded in Los Angeles.

"A woman learns of a link to Schwabb's Pharmacy; a legendary Hollywood hot-spot; another woman seeks a connection to one of the first African-American college graduates; a man's ancestor is tied to several historic events and iconic companies; and a woman discovers a scoundrel amongst her ancestors. Also: a family tree that's captivated the "Roadshow" team for years; and insight on the Ellis Island immigration experience. From Los Angeles Union Station."

Genealogy Meetup

Christine Jackson was the photographer who took this casual photo from last Sunday's Ottawa Genealogy Meetup at Westboro Beach Cafe.

I've been asked not to identify some of the people. Who do you associate the following with: Alefounder, Ancestry, Cowley, Isle of Wight, Laxfield.

27 June 2016

Discovering archaeological heritage at Pinhey’s Point

A reminder that today, Monday, June 27, 2016, 7 pm, there's a lecture at Pinhey’s Point.

Photographs and archival sources indicate that a number of historical buildings and architectural features at Pinhey’s Point have disappeared over time. One such building is a carriage or drive shed, shown in an 1890s photo built against the barn. The results of public excavations of this building
conducted in August 2015 and May 2016 and their interpretive value are presented and discussed.

The speaker, Ian Badgley, is a noted archaeologist with the National Capital Commission and a member of the Pinhey’s Point Foundation’s board.

Arrive early to view a variety of exhibits at the museum this summer.

More at www.pinheyspoint.ca/

The Shared cM Project update

Blaine Bettinger, DNA expert and scheduled speaker for the OGS conference next year in Ottawa, has posted an update to this project examining the statistics of more than 9,500 entries.

This blog post summarizes the findings which are discussed in detail in this pdf.

Note that you may share no DNA with a third cousin, second cousin once removed and more distant relatives.

There's even a slight overlap between the amount of DNA shared by siblings and half siblings, although you'd be unlucky if results fell in the ambiguous range.

Check out the data to get an idea of the range of possible relationships a particular number of shared cM implies. 40cM could be a 1st cousin twice removed (1C2R), 2C1R, or 3C down to 5C2R. Could it be even more remote for endogamous populations?

26 June 2016

Home Child Ages

This graph shows the distribution of ages on arrival of the approximately 100,000 home children who came from Britain to Canada between 1869 and 1947. It shows a double peak, one largely prepubescent (47.8% age 13 and less), the remainder post pubescent. The median age in the 19th century and for the first 25 years of the 20th was 13 years For the next decade, following implementation of the UK Empire Settlement Act which required that immigrants be passed school leaving age, the median age was 16.

Why the dip at age 12? For each year in the periods 1870 - 80, 1889-91 and 1903-15 and 1923-30 there were fewer children age 12 than both age 11 and age 13.

Home child data sources matter. Compilations were made for different purposes. They may refer to a calendar or fiscal year.

These statistics are based on entries in the Library and Archives Canada home children database using only entries from ships passenger lists as extracted by John Sayers and cooperators in a BIFHSGO project. It includes a long tail of older people, such as chaperones, and some who were on the list with names crossed out. Data was taken for up to 2,000 entries per year for the decade (0) and mid-decade (5) years, plus a few other years thought to mark significant changes. Data for other years are estimated by linear interpolation constrained by the total number that arrived that year. Data for the Fairbridge immigrants to British Columbia, who arrived between 1935 and 1947, was added with ages extracted from the British outgoing ships passenger lists. Age data for a few other young immigrants in the late 1930s are not available.

Findmypast free access to military & census records

Findmypast is offering a one week free access, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, to 65 million world military records and over 265 million British and Irish censuses.
Find out more at www.findmypast.co.uk/battle-of-the-somme.

25 June 2016

Prairie Homestead Grant Registers from Ancestry

Ancestry has added to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada, Homestead Grant Registers, 1872-1930 in searchable and browseable formats.

Within a register, each application for a homestead was recorded as a single-line entry containing the following:

homestead number
date of application
date of grant
land description (part of section, section, township, range, meridian)
area (acreage)
application number
district number
list number

First World War Victoria Cross recipients

Go to www.gov.uk/government/collections/archive-commemorating-overseas-ww1-victoria-cross-recipients to read stories of 175 men from 11 countries who were awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War.
This UK government site developed by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, presumably an organization anticipating significant new responsibilities after the BREXIT vote. It pays tribute to men from, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, India, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine and the United States of America.
For Canada there are 70 profiles, whereas the Canadian War Museum website lists 73.  Who is in one list and not the other?
Rowland Bourke who served with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. having lived in Canada before and after the war.
Benjamin Geary, who was awarded the VC for service in the BEF and moved to Canada after the war.
Michael O’Leary who served with the BEF, he lived in Canada before and after the war.

24 June 2016

Change of date: Ottawa genealogy meetup

It looks like some people will have a hard time being in two places at once on Saturday, or might have to hurry through what they would prefer to be a four-hour Saturday meeting to make a noon rendezvous at Wesboro Beach.

As the weather for Sunday is looking more favourable than earlier in the week the genealogy meetup will now be on Sunday, 26 June at noon.

Checkout the map at http://goo.gl/maps/01DE. The parkway is closed until 1 p.m. so use the free parking at Lanark and Kirchoffer is coming by car.

Ancestry workshop at Eganville and District Seniors Centre

Lesley Anderson, the most recent inductee into the BIFHSGO Hall of Fame, will be speaking on Ancestry and AncestryDNA this Saturday, 25 June to the Eganville & District Seniors, 30 Bell St. in Eganville, starting at 10 a.m. You do not have to be a Senior to attend. $5 registration fee.

LAC Transcription Project: The Coltman Report

On June 19, 1816 the Battle of Seven Oaks resulted in 22 deaths, and a 521 (534?) page handwritten report on the battle. LAC has produced page images and invites everyone to try transcribing at http://transcribe.bac-lac.gc.ca/en.

As of 10 a.m. on the morning of Thursday 23 June 2016, 110 pages are complete, 164 need review, 6 are incomplete and the remainder not yet started.

I tried and completed a page which had 19 lines, well spaced, quite easy to read. It only took a few minutes.

23 June 2016

Dr. Guy Berthiaume two years on

Today, 23 June 2016, marks two years since Dr. Guy Berthiaume assumed the role of Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

Last year, here, I wrote about some of the changes implemented and planned. I can't say I've followed every development. Under his leadership LAC has continued to improve its public visibility, gained respect for funding two rounds of the Documentary Heritage Communities Program, reversed a decision to no longer circulate newspaper microfilms, and taken on numerous cooperative programs including an agreement with the Ottawa Public Library with a view to developing a combined facility, and more.

In a speech earlier this month in Halifax, one I commend to anyone interested in the future of libraries, Dr. Berthiaume quoted from The New Yorker: "For leadership to exist, a leader must cross paths with a crisis." He was referring to the experience of the library community in general. He inherited a crisis at LAC. The simple fact of morale recovering since he assumed the role, and remaining generally high, speaks volumes.

A unique historic government fonds LAC refused

Every now and again I look at LAC's mandate and wonder. In case you don't have it memorized here it is:

  • to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations;
  • to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada as a free and democratic society;
  • to facilitate in Canada co-operation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge;
  • to serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.
Why, quite some time before the tenure of the present Librarian and Archivist, would several hundred volumes of correspondence, letterbooks, and journals related to Canadian history between 1828 and 1967, including almost 900 archival boxes (an estimated 1.6 million pages) containing all of a government agency records between 1840 and 1960 not be something LAC would see as its responsibility to have in its collection?

Perhaps because the records relate to a scientific endeavour, those of the weather service, officially the Meteorological Service of Canada, now part of Environment and Climate Change Canada. Perhaps LAC isn't comfortable with science? That's a shame. Science and engineering have records that are just as much part of our documentary heritage as the humanities -- music, photographs and the papers of politicians, writers and artists.

The University of Western Ontario to the rescue. Read about how that university acquired (on loan) the records and how they are being stored and used at www.historicalclimatology.com/blog/clio-and-climate-on-saving-and-researching-a-climate-history-archive. In truth they're probably more valued and being used as a basis for study at UWO than they would have been at LAC.

22 June 2016

AncestryDNA now has two million tested 

Here's the text of a blog post from AncestryDNA.

We are excited to announce that AncestryDNA has just reached the 2-million-tested milestone. This is a first for any consumer genetic testing company. It was just a little over 11 months ago that we reached the 1 million mark, so the AncestryDNA database has doubled in just short of one year. We now have 2,000,000 people genotyped (DNA tested) who are connecting to family and making discoveries of their own. 

Read more at http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2016/06/22/2-million-people-strong/

Ottawa Public Library consultation at Library and Archives Canada

A reminder about the opportunity to have your say about the proposed new new Ottawa Central Library on Wednesday 22 June from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at 395 Wellington Street.

Read the background at https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/%E2%80%8Bpublic-consultation-spaces-and-uses-new-ottawa-central-library

George Vancouver and the DCB

On this day celebrate the birthday of son of Norfolk, King's Lynn to be precise, George Vancouver. Without him Vancouver Island and the City of Vancouver would not exist . . . by that name.

Some would have us believe it was only the Scots and Irish that built Canada!

You can read about George Vancouver in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography here.

The DCB project from the University of Toronto and the Université Laval provides a reference work of Canadian biography for thousands who have contributed to the history of Canada. It's a resource a genealogist may not find useful every day, but good to know about.

21 June 2016

Genealogy Roadshow: from Providence RI

This is a reminder to myself, having missed an episode, that 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday on PBS is an appointment to watch Genealogy Roadshow. This week it's from Providence, Rhode Island with stories involving the Holocaust, WWI, Amish ties, whaling and pasta. See the 30 second preview here.
This is also an opportunity to mention that in just under a year's time, 16-18 June 2017, Roadshow host Joshua Taylor is one of the star speakers at the OGS Conference in Ottawa.

Advance notice: Ottawa summer genealogy meetup

The weather forecast looks promising enough that I'm scheduling the fifth annual Ottawa summer genealogy meet-up next Saturday, 25 June on the patio at the cafe at Westboro beach from noon. It's informal chat, no need to prepare unless you want to swim afterwards.

The forecast is sunny, light wind and high 25. Bring protection from the sun.

Checkout the map at http://goo.gl/maps/01DE, If you come by car consider parking at the north end of Lanark Ave at Kirchoffer Ave and taking the tunnel under the parkway.

20 June 2016

Year without a summer diary entries

This year the solstice falls on Monday 20 June at 6:34 p.m. EDT. We welcome summer, and remember this is the bicentennial of 1816, the year without a summer. I've been on the lookout for any local contemporary reports.

An article from across the St Lawrence, in the Watertown Daily Times, records the following:

In St. Lawrence County, an early settler of Hopkinton, Artemus Kent, recorded the weather of the summer of 1816 in his diary. He wasn’t surprised to find nearly 3 feet of snow in his nearby woods in March.
But April snows worried him. By May 15, he recorded three hard frosts.
On May 23, he wrote, “Many people are out of provisions of nearly every kind. Though flour begins to come from the westward, money is so scarce and the prices so high that it is impossible for poor people to buy it.”
Other diary entries:
June 6: “Snowed from early morning until 1 p.m.”
June 8: “Snowed till 9 a.m. Melancholy aspect.”
June 14: “It has frozen every night since June came in.”
July 11: “All crops are backward and promise but little.”
Aug. 4: “Vines and even corn in some places are ruined.”
Sept. 1: “People have been reduced almost to a state of starvation and now have little prospects.”
Oct. 17: “Snow fell eight inches.”

WiFi at the City of Ottawa Archives

There's good news coming for visitors to 100 Tallwood, the home of the City of Ottawa Archives. For some time wifi service has been spotty to nonexistent. Visitors and staff have been frustrated by the lack of ability to access web services, including the databases such as the Ottawa Journal online.
Having decided the present service is totally inadequate the archives are searching for a new supplier. Good move.

Visitors to Niagara Falls since 1949

How often have you signed a visitor book?  You may be tempted on a special occasion like a honeymoon. Ancestry's new database Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, Honeymoon and Visitor Registries, 1949-2011 contains a unique collection of 680,114 such records. The index is free, seeing images of the original with information such as home town requires a subscription, or free access at a public site such as your public library.

Findmypast updates

I'm wondering if there's anyone with a diverse enough assortment of ancestors that they would find ancestors in each of these four newly updated record collections from Findmypast.

Yorkshire West Riding Marriages
Over 49,000 new records from Yorkshire's West Riding complete the collection of Yorkshire Marriages which now contains over 2.4 million records spanning almost 400 years.

If you're wondering if your parish is covered for the time period of your interest there MAY BE help by consulting the handy list at http://www.findmypast.co.uk/articles/yorkshire-parish-records---parish-list. It has separate lists by parish for all Yorkshire Ridings for baptisms (the title is missing), banns, marriages and burials, but only for parishes with initial letters A to L. Let's hope this useful list is a work in progress, not one abondoned. I stand corrected by Donna's comment below.

Britain, Knights of the Realm & Commonwealth index
An update, now with details of over 35,000 individuals who were awarded an order of chivalry by a British monarch. This may be adding awards from recent honours lists, perhaps even the recent Birthday Honours Lists which may be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/birthday-honours-lists-2016

Ireland Dog Licence Registers
343,000 records are added to this collection which now comprises over 6.3 million records from 1865. You may find you know more about your ancestor's dog than your ancestor.

Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers 1828-1912
Another update, over 547,000 new records to a collection that now contains over 22.5 million records, vastly more than the population of Ireland. This early collection includes details of victims, witnesses and the accused, such as address, date in court, details of the offence, details of the verdict and the sentence.

19 June 2016

Genealogy the 2nd most popular hobby?

The statement popped up again in this CBS News item. "Family history is the second most popular hobby after gardening, and the second most visited web resource after porn." Where do they get that?

The average Canadian adult watches 30 hours of television a week, according to BBM Canada. Isn't watching TV a hobby, defined as an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure?

If family history is the second most visited web resource why does Ancestry.com only rank 449th on Alexa.com? Multiple news, weather, sports and video/music sites rank higher. YouTube and Netflix rank second and 35th.

If I'm mistaken where's the evidence?

Clarification about Vital Statistics records released by Archives of Ontario through Ancestry

The OGS has a clarification in their latest eWeekly Update regarding Ontario vital records and their release on Ancestry, something I blogged about recently. It includes the bad news that:

Due to changes in regulations, 1918 and newer birth registrations and indexes will not be transferred to the Archives of Ontario until 104 years after the year of registration. The 1918 birth registrations and indexes will be transferred to the Archives in 2023.
The free OGS eWeekly Update is available to anyone with an email address and you do not need to be an OGS member to subscribe. I recommend it if you have even the slightest Ontario interest, and even if you don't as it contains more than Ontario news. Subscribe at https://ogs.on.ca/eweekly.php

Immigration to Canada 1815 - 2015

In the course of researching in Canadian Sessional Papers for data on home children immigration I came across a table that may be of interest. It's titled Total Emigration from the United Kingdom for each of fifty-six years from 1815 to 1870 and is found as Appendix A to Sessional Paper no 64 for 1871. Plotted and shaded in blue is the data for North American Colonies. The large emigration peak in 1847 associated with the potato famine stands out.
It is not directly comparable with the data plotted in red, which is for immigration to Canada and (supposedly) includes all countries of origin. The sources from Statistics Canada are  051-0037 International migration components, Canada, provinces and territories (1946-2015) and the publication Historical Statistics of Canada(catalogue number 11-516-XIE).
The UK publication for the early period which has data for the US, Australia and New Zealand, and All Other Places as well as North American Colonies is copied below.

18 June 2016

Deceased Online adds 200,000+ burial and cremation records for the Halifax area

Additions have been made to Deceased Online's cemetery data for the Calderdale Council area in West Yorkshire, England. There are now over 200,000 individual records across the seven cemeteries and a crematorium.
The latest additions are for Sowerby Bridge Cemetery (1861-1992) and, in Halifax, Stoney Royd Cemetery (1861-1995) and Park Wood Crematorium. The crematorium dates from 1956. Grave details, indicating all those buried in each grave, and section maps indicating the cemetery section where each grave is located are available for the two cemetery additions.

Perth Military Settlement Map and Searchable Database

If you have an interest in the Perth Military Settlement, or in what can be achieved by way of mapping technology by a group of volunteers motivated by a community anniversary, in this case a 200th, take a look at http://goo.gl/MUi1bF.

The website describes the project as "taking mapping to a whole new  – or old – level."

They took the Land Registry (Office) abstract indexes from as early as 1816 and the original land patent holder, added information from location tickets of civilian settlers, and mapped it. The interest for the genealogist with ancestry in the area is evident. For the historian it's instructive to see where grants were awarded in relation to one another - where the UE (United Empire Loyalists), DUE (daughters of UE) and SUE (sons of UE) or where settlers who arrived on a particular ship received grants.

Discovering archaeological heritage at Pinhey’s Point

Visit Pinhey's Point on Monday, 27 June, 2016, at 7 pm for the Foundation's first event in their “Summer Speaker Series “

The presenter is Ian Badgley, archaeologist with the National Capital Commission and a member of the Foundation’s board.

Old photographs, drawings and other archival sources indicate that a number of historical buildings and architectural features that  once occurred at Pinhey’s Point have disappeared over time.  One such building is a carriage or drive shed which, as shown in an 1890s photo, was built against the barn.  Public archaeological excavations conducted in August 2015 and Spring 2016 have revealed the remains of this building, as well as shed new light on an associated stone wall foundation. The results of the excavation and their interpretive value are presented and discussed. Come early and enjoy the PPF’s summer exhibits.

This is a free event. Light refreshments will be served

Pinhey’s Point Historic site
270 Pinhey’s Point Road
Dunrobin, Ontario

17 June 2016

Kudos MyHeritage

All to often when a company licence for a database expires it disappears without notice. So I was pleasantly surprised to see this blog post from MyHeritage - http://blog.myheritage.com/2016/06/newspaperarchive-com-collection-notice/. It shows consideration for the client I can only wish were typical.
NewspaperARCHIVE.com Collection Notice
by admin / Today, 12:38 PM
We wanted to give our users a heads up that MyHeritage's license of the newspaper content from NewspaperARCHIVE.com is about to expire next week. This means that on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, the collection will be de-published (withdrawn) from MyHeritage. In addition, pending Record Matches from this collection will be removed. Confirmed Record Matches that were saved to family trees will remain in place.
MyHeritage is currently in negotiations with NewspaperARCHIVE.com to enter into a new license in order to keep this collection on MyHeritage . . .  (read the full blog post here)
 Newspaperarchive.com isn't exactly a leading resource for UK or Canadian genealogy. MyHeritage could probably do better..

16 June 2016

Ancestry adds Gloucestershire crime and punishment 1791‑1914

Just available, from Ancestry and the Gloucestershire Archives:

Gloucestershire, England, Prison Records, 1728-1914, with more than 12 million new records, includes:

- Calendars of prisoners in County Gaol and Houses of Correction (irregular returns from    Berkeley, Cirencester, Northgate (Gloucester), Lawfords Gate (St. Philip and Jacob,          Bristol) and Winchcombe).
- Registers of prisoners for trial at Quarter Sessions and Assizes.
- Penitentiary register of prisoners.
- Debtors' registers.
- Registers of summary convictions.
- Returns of habitual criminals and albums of prisoners' photographs.
- Nominal [prisoners'] registers.
- Record of [previous] conviction books.
- Registers of prisoners
- Transportation Bonds.
Many of these contain considerable personal detail as well as descriptions of the crime and sentence.

Gloucestershire Archives has a blog post on the youngest and oldest prisoners to be photographed in Gloucester gaol in the Victorian period.

Also new on Ancestry are:

Gloucestershire, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1974
Gloucestershire, England, Land Tax Records, 1713-1833

and updates to Gloucestershire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1813

Family Tree DNA Father's Day Discounts

Until June 20th FTDNA has discount prices on test bundles that include a male-specific Y-chromosome test. You don't have to be a father!

Family Finder + Y37
Autosomal DNA and Y-chromosome test that analyzes 37-markers.
Save $50 (Reg $268)

Family Finder + Y67
Autosomal DNA and 67 marker Y-DNA test.
Save $79 (Reg $367)

Comprehensive Genome
Family Finder, plus a male specific Y-chromosome test and a Full Mitochondrial Sequence.
Save $117 (Reg $566)

Existing Y-DNA test customers check for special upgrade prices.

Ottawa Branch OGS June meeting

Brenda Krauter will present "The Strange Tale of the Baby in the Basket That Was Left On the Door Step" at 1:30 p.m. for the June Ottawa Branch meeting this Saturday, 18 June.

This is preceded at 10 a.m. by a Scottish group meeting, at 10:30 a.m by Heather Oakley speaking on the Genealogical Proof Standard, and at 1:p.m by Networking and Refreshments.

Following the Branch meeting the Computer Special Interest Group will convene.

All events are at the City of Ottawa Archives Building at 100 Tallwood.

Quinte Branch OGS June meeting

"Great Moments in Genealogy" is the topic for the 18 June 2016 meeting of Quinte Branch of Ontario Genealogical Society. For more information visit www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canqbogs/

15 June 2016

CEF Service Files Digitization by LAC: June Update

As of 15 June 2016,  297,013 (286,285 last month) of 640,000 files are available online via the LAC Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database.

The latest box digitized is Box 5003 (4810) and the surname Karpuk (Jellyman). The database now includes all the available files for the surname Jones.

10,726 files digitized in the last month.

At the last month rate of digitization the project would be completed in 32 (32) months, by January 1919.

Second round of Documentary Heritage Communities Program awards announced

Library and Archives Canada announced the successful organizations and projects on Tuesday 14 June,

"The DHCP was created in 2015 to provide financial assistance for activities that augment the visibility of and access to materials held by Canada’s local documentary heritage institutions. It also aims to increase the capacity of local institutions to sustainably preserve, promote and showcase the country’s documentary heritage. The DHCP provides contributions to eligible applicants across Canada for a variety of projects that will also allow citizens to access and engage with their nation’s history like never before."

The first round of awards announced last December, blog post here, saw $1.5 million in funding going to 65 projects. The second round awards the same amount but focused on fewer projects, 40 in total.

The first round made nine awards greater than $40,000. This time twice as many receive that amount or more with three receiving nearly $100,000.

McCord Museum for project "75,000 Pages of History" receives $99,892
Multicultural History Society of Ontario for project "Increasing Access to Irreplaceable Records of Our Histories of Migration and Ethnicity" receives $99,573
Canadian Council Archives for project "ARCHIVESCANADA Digital Preservation Service (ACDPS)" receives $99,776.

The full list of awards is at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/services/documentary-heritage-communities-program/Pages/funding-history-2016-2017.aspx.

Voices from the Dust

Saturday, 18 June is the date for the annual Voices from the Dust family history conference organized by the Ottawa Stake Family History Centre of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Attendance is free at 1017 Prince of Wales Drive starting at 1 pm. More information at www.ottawastakefhc.on.ca.

TheGenealogist completes Norfolk Parish Records

With the addition of 5.95 million records TheGenealogist has successfully completed a project to release over 9.8 million fully searchable records for the registers of baptisms, marriages, marriage banns and burials for Norfolk with images of the original registers. There are also more than 276,000 records relating to the boundary areas of Suffolk.

Released in partnership with The Norfolk Record Office, these registers of baptisms, marriages, burials and banns of marriage cover the majority of parishes in the Diocese of Norwich, some reaching back as far as the early 1500s. Also covered are the parishes in the deanery of Fincham and Feltwell that were part of the Diocese of Ely in south-west Norfolk.

Horatio Nelson is among the famous people of Norfolk in these records; I'm not found!

Findmypast also has a good collection of Norfolk parish records with images of originals.

14 June 2016

What Irish genealogical records are online?

John Grenham uses his weekly Irish genealogy column, now on his website at johngrenham.com, to highlight a new version of  the “What Irish genealogical records are online?” page he had on his previous Irish Times site.

With so many new resources available online it's a site all Irish genealogists will want to bookmark.

Go to https://www.johngrenham.com/browse/retrieve_text.php?text_contentid=488#general. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. (Even though you may want it for some of the pay sites.)

Perth historical mapping project

Here is a notice from the Perth & District Historical Society announcing a particularly interesting meeting for those with an interest in maps.

Our June 16, 2016 meeting will feature a demonstration of the Historical Mapping Project, presented by Barrie Crampton, in the Algonquin College Library, Perth Campus, at 7 Craig Street.
The Historical Mapping Project is a legacy venture commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Perth Military Settlement.  It is available as an online database showing the individual plots assigned to the original soldiers and settlers in the area, and is able to track ownership from the original settlers through their descendants or subsequent families who assumed residency on these lots.  The project’s team members will demonstrate the resources used by them in their work.  
Barrie Crampton – project leader, will introduce the Project Team, from the beginning research of old records to the compilation of documents and the development of data systems.  He will acknowledge the role played by other team members, such as Marie White of Lanark County Tourism.  
Ann MacPhail – Algonquin College Library technician, responsible for the research of the historical land records in the archives, transcribing the microfilmed records from over 8000 hand written family names and 3800 lots for entering into the computer database.  
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology – a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage, and present all types of geographical and records data for presentation on a land based map.  
Jeff Dean and Shawn Warner – CGIS Perth used resurrected historical maps and employed GIS to provide the historical map locations and relevant historical data about the early military and settlers.  
Ron Shaw – well-known local author will show how the project can be utilized in historical research.  Also, one of the team’s summer students will report on the usage of military and ships records as compiled by Shaw that were integrated with the geospatial map information.  
The evening will include demonstrations of research outcomes based on the attributes of GIS based mapping.  Note: the Algonquin College Library is equipped with a number of computers that will be made available for those in attendance who may wish to access the online historical maps or request mentoring assistance from team members.  
Please join us for the demonstration and online access opportunity.  

13 June 2016

BIFHSGO adds Scowcroft Diaries - a new Lancashire resource

Thanks are due to Arthur W. Critchley, who transcribed and compiled amalgamated indexes from several diaries owned by his Lancashire Scowcroft relatives and him, and Bryan Cook who worked to make these available free online through BIFHSGO.

The diaries, and associated material, cover east-central Lancashire, England from 1772 to 1910, mainly the 19th century. More than 1,000 surnames are mentioned. There is free access from http://www.bifhsgo.ca/cpage.php?pt=319

You can never be sure what you'll find in a diary. As a former meteorologist I was interested in these remarks:

Dec 7 1909 Said to be the coldest day in Belfast for 62 years.
Jun 16 1910 Had a faint attack caused by burning papers. Was a very hot day.
Apr 27 1861 Fall of snow this morning. Fine afternoon but the hills still
Mar 28 1881 Another fall of snow during last night. The hills Edgeworth, Holcombe, etc.,
have not been clear of snow for 12 weeks.
Feb 11 1900 Started (sic) to be the heaviest fall of snow for 15 years
Dec 27 1906 The heaviest fall of snow for some years. Snowed on Dec 28, 29 and 30
1906. Very deep.

Jul 1828 Great flood.
Aug 13 1886 Severe rain, hail and thunderstorm washed the Smithy floor up at
Bradshaw Chapel. 
Oct 14 1881 Extraordinary storm, wind and rain blew several trees down about here.
Did much damage throughout the country. A man and horse killed at Bury by a building
being blown down. (Note: a devastating storm is covered in Historic Storms of the North Sea, British Isles and Northwest Europe by Hubert Lamb).
Jan 24 1884 Very strong wind blew a chimney down at Elton, near Bury. Killed three

FreeBMD June update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Thursday 9 June 2016 to contain 254,833,607 (254,285,771 last month) distinct records.
Years with major updates, more than 5,000 new entries, are for births: 1963 - 64, 1966, 1976 - 78; for marriages: 1965 - 66, 1968-69, 1971, 1976 - 79; for deaths: 1974 - 79.

12 June 2016

BIFHSGO Awards 2016

Saturday's British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa Annual General Meeting saw two new inductees into the Society Hall of Fame by President |Barbara Tose.

Lesley Anderson was recognized for her contributions to the society, and beyond, in genealogy education and facilitating a wide range of Canadian records becoming available online.

Brian Glenn was recognized for contributions to BIFHSGO as a Board member active in research and projects, in making presentations and in developing the society online facilities.

Christine Jackson received the award for best article in Anglo-Celtic Roots for My Ancestors Were All Ag Labs - Or Were They? as selected by an elite panel from the publication.

John D Reid received recognition for the monthly meeting presentation Did DNA Prove the Skeleton Under the Leicester Car park was Richard III? as voted by the membership at large.

Genealogy date and calendar calculators

Ancestor Search is a US oriented genealogy website which includes under tools a collection of date and calendar utilities, and more. Be aware you may have to deal with the perverse order dates are expressed in the US.

Age Calculator 

Birthdate Calculator 

Day of Week Calculator 

Easter Holiday Finder 

Perpetual Calendar 

Julian to Gregorian Calendar Chart 

11 June 2016

Findmypast adds to English parish records collextion

What's Findmypast added this week?

A new collection of parish registers from Birmingham together with updates for Surrey Marriages, Warwickshire burials and Wiltshire baptisms.

The records for Birmingham, St Martin In The Bull Ring are Parish Registers for 1554-1929. They are browse files through the original parish registers, arranged chronologically. Good luck and patience needed to find a person of interest.

The Surrey Marriage Index has 271,207 records added bringing the total to over 755,000 records from 178 parishes. These are transcript records, often incomplete.

Warwickshire burials are now more than one million transcript records with the current addition of 175,000 new records. It includes records from three Birmingham cemeteries, Key Hill, Warstone Lane and, Handsworth.

Wiltshire baptisms 1538-1866, have 109,000+ new records added for a total of over 770,000 in this transcript collection from 259 parishes.

Anglo-Celtic Roots: Summer 2016

BIFHSGO members should have received their copy of the latest Anglo-Celtic Roots in the past few days. Outside Ottawa the mail may take longer.
The feature articles are:
What's in a name? on the history of the Boucher/Bourchier (rhymes with Voucher) family is by Heather Boucher Ashe and Richard Flynn-Bourchier who are cousins established by DNA testing.
Tracing the origins of the Somers Family by Jane Down tells the story of building up a family tree starting from five old photographs.
We Shall Remember Them: Private George William Burrows (1891 - 1916) is the first of a series of biographies of First World War soldiers treated in the No. 1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station.
The issue also has the regular columns, including the last of Betty Warburton's long-running series The Bookworm. I join ACR editor Jean Kitchen in expressing appreciation to Betty for her many years as columnist as well as society librarian.

10 June 2016

New on Ancestry

Two volumes of the Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Jewry, 1897-1909 and 1909-1914, each with over 8,000 entries lead off this report on a spate of new records on Ancestry. Compiled from the pages of the The Canadian Jewish Times, the records include familial and social relationships, communal activities as well as religious ceremonial events like birth and death dates, Bar Mitzvah celebrations, engagements and marriages.

If like me your British ancestry has a Dutch flavour you'll appreciate a massive addition of Dutch language records to Ancestry.
Netherlands, Marriage Index, 1570-1938, 1,226,543 records.
Netherlands, Burial Index, 1546-1821 846,033 records
Netherlands, Dutch East India Company Crew Index, 1633-1795, 837,467 records
Netherlands, Newspaper Announcements Index, 1795-1945, 5,057,039 records
Netherlands, Civil Marriage Index, 1795-1950, 22,932,495 records
Netherlands, Baptism Index, 1569-1879, 6,849,947 records
Netherlands, Population Registers Index, 1850 - present, 4,606,064 records.

09 June 2016

Maps at Carlingwood

According to a tip from BIFHSGO President Barbara Tose there's a pop-up vendor at Ottawa's Carlingwood mall, Guenter Dreeke from Exeter, ON, selling historic maps. He's there through Saturday in a booth in the western aisle at Carlingwood near the Rexall Drug store and Bell World.

Quoting from Barbara's note.

He has a wide selection of matted maps from all around the world, including a fine selection of England, Scotland and Ireland. He has (had?) all the shire maps for Scotland at the moment and a coloured map of Ireland from the 1860s. Prices vary depending on the size and rarity of the item (the 1860 Irish map was $125; maps of English counties ran between $25 and $35 for the most part). He also has quite a selection of Ontario county maps from various periods, some coloured, some not. His collection includes maps from other countries as well including Europe, the Americas, and Asia. There are also prints from County atlases and other "works of art" on paper. The ones I looked at were all in pretty good shape and nicely matted, ready for framing. I can't guarantee the paper they are on isn't terribly acidic as I don't know if they have been treated. For the period we are talking about, paper is notorious for being of poor quality and acidic. Still maybe that's the charm of historic maps.

Thanks to Barbara for the tip.

The map illustration is from Wikimedia Commons at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1771_Zannoni_Map_of_the_British_Isles_(_England,_Scotland_,_Ireland_)_-_Geographicus_-_BritishIsles-janvier-1771.jpg

Behold . . . OGS 2016

So much went on at the Ontario Genealogical Society conference last weekend I'll be drawing on it, and the syllabus, for inspiration for some while.
Several people have posted their overview, for example, this from Gail Dever.
One session I particularly enjoyed was the panel on the future of genetic genealogy on Sunday afternoon with CeCe Moore, Maurice Gleeson, Judy Russell and David Pike, chaired by Elizabeth Kaegi. Lara Diamond has a good summary on her Lara's Jewnealogy blog at http://larasgenealogy.blogspot.ca/2016/06/ogs-conference-sunday.html.
I was rather surprised there was no mention of epigenetics, something CeCe did touch on in her conference-closing plenary presentation, nor on the use of the fineSTRUCTURE analysis technique as used for the People of the British Isles project.
The panel session was sponsored by Behold, a project of Manitoba genealogist Louis Kessler. He has a few comments on the conference on his blog at http://www.beholdgenealogy.com/blog/. Behold is a genealogy program for Windows that that was new to me. It "allows you to view and use all your genealogy data at once. You organize it how you want. You include what you want."
It's text oriented so if you're looking to produce pretty charts Behold isn't the program. If you're looking for a way to work intensively with your data it could be. You can download a free 45 day trial, or buy it with a 60 day money-back guarantee, here.

BIFHSGO June meeting

The happenings this Saturday 11 June for the BIFHSGO meeting at Ben Franklin Place in Ottawa are:

9:00 a.m.
Annual General Meeting

10:00 a.m.
Great Moments in Genealogy

Stories Behind Glass Plate Photographs of The Great War
In August 2014, Brian Glenn assisted the Archivist of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa and created a photographic record of the memorials, stained glass windows and other liturgical elements of All Saints Sandy Hill as it was being closed as an Anglican place of worship. One of the items they came across was a small wooden box holding 60 glass plate photographs taken during the First World War, each about 3”x4”. Brian set about making a digitized copy of the glass plate images for the Archives and in doing so became interested in the stories behind some of the photographs in the box – most of which were taken in April and May 1917 during and after the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

Preachers and Politicians
Growing up in Prince Edward Island, Leanne Cooper knew about her Prowse ancestors, who had been prominent Island politicians. But when she started researching her great-grandparents, she discovered that her great-grandmother Minnie (Kirkland) Prowse had just as many interesting people and stories on her side of the family.

Who's Your Great-Great Granddaddy?
When Ian McKelvie’s father, Nelson McKelvie, passed away in 2007 he left Ian stacks of genealogical paperwork and a mystery he thought would never be solved. His Grandfather, John McKelvie was born illegitimate at Girvan, Ayrshire in ?? John's Mother, Elizabeth, returned home with her newborn baby to live with her parents. To add to the mystery even more, the 1881 Census indicated she was now blind. By combining traditional research with DNA results Ian believes he knows who his Great-Great Grandfather is.

Blame It on My Husband
Janet Dowdall will speak on how she came to research her husband's family history.  Janet’s husband knew very little about his family history and much of what he was told wasn't accurate so Janet had an interesting time.  She will be focusing on the resources she used to flesh out his family tree and how she came to discover his War of 1812 ancestor. Janet has also had a couple of new developments that give more information on this ancestor.

Discovery Tables are: Ottawa Stake Family History Centre and Global Genealogy.

The meetings are free and open to all. See www.bifhsgo.ca for more details.

08 June 2016

FamilySearch adds United Kingdom, World War I Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920

This collection from series WO 398 at TNA will be of interest to those with ancestors who served with the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) / Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC) between 1917 and 1920. FamilySearch states there are 18,567 records in the collection, there are often several documents per person. Free access to the index is available to all, but viewing images has special requirements.

Read more detail on these records at http://goo.gl/s1QIAG

Ancestry adds Web: UK, Chinese Maritime Customs Service Index, 1854-1950

Here's one I didn't see coming, thousands of records of British staff in the Chinese Maritime Customs!

Ancestry has extracted at index with name, date of first appointment, date withdrew and port on withdrawal. Clicking on view record adds a transcript with position on first appointment, position on withdraw, mode of withdrawal and a link to the originating University of Bristol Chinese Maritime Customs Project website at http://www.bristol.ac.uk/history/customs/resources/servicelists/databases.html.

07 June 2016

The night of the Big Wind

Knowing of my interest in weather, and extreme weather, Brenda Turner drew my attention to an article in Ireland XO News on one of the worst storms ever to hit Ireland, 6–7 January 1839. There was immense damage and considerable loss of life in Ireland, Scotland and north-west England"

"every part of Ireland - every field, every town, every village in Ireland have felt its dire effects, from Galway to Dublin — from the Giant's Causeway to Valencia."
It's around the time my Irish ancestor John Marmon might have left Ireland.

As a former meteorologist I looked for a weather map and found three in an article Barometric pressure during the Irish storm of 6–7 January 1839 at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1256/wea.53.05/pdf which mentioned this storm had the third-lowest barometric pressure recorded in the British Isles.

06 June 2016

Archives of Ontario releases Vital Statistics records through Ancestry.ca

A press release from the Archives of Ontario
The Archives of Ontario is pleased to announce a partnership with Ancestry.ca to provide online access to Ontario's Vital Statistics records.
Ancestry.ca will digitize and index original Vital Statistics records as they are transferred from the Registrar General's office to the Archives of Ontario and provide online access to these records on their website Ancestry.ca. All of these digitized records will be made available on the Ancestry.ca website for free in the Archives of Ontario Reading Room as well as in all public libraries across Ontario.
As of June 4, marriages from 1933 and 1934, and deaths from 1943 are available on Ancestry.ca website. Also, deaths from 1944 will be released later this year.
Please note that the 1869-1911 births, 1869-1927 marriages and 1869-1937 deaths continue to be available on the Family Search website at https://familysearch.org.

OGS conference 2016, and 2017

An excellent line-up of Canadians and star speakers from the UK and US, along with enthusiastic organisers, meant everyone at the OGS conference 2016 just ended in Toronto seemed to enjoy the experience.
Aside from memories there's lots to catch up on in the syllabus for the presentations that overlapped others.
And for people in Ottawa there's work to be done in preparing for the 2017 conference. One person I asked about OGS 2017 at the end of the closing ceremonies said they were looking forward to going and visiting Library and Archives Canada.
The image shows the speakers already engaged for next year's event.

05 June 2016

Ontario Rural Diary Archive

There's a new archive transcription project from the University of Guelph I learned of at a Marian Press presentation at the OGS conference. You can read and search through 16 nineteenth-century diaries previously transcribed by others and one transcribed by project volunteers. You can help transcribe from over 100 other handwritten diaries with images online or coming online to make these valuable sources accessible to all.

Start at https://ruraldiaries.lib.uoguelph.ca/

The Year Without a Summer

Wherever your ancestors were 200 years ago, in the UK, Ireland, Western Europe, Eastern North America or further afield they were dealing with an exceptional climate anomaly. In April the previous year Mount Tambora has exploded, the largest volcanic eruption in at least 1,300 years, spreading a veil of dust high in the atmosphere. Effects of another major volcanic eruption in 1809, location unknown but identified from sulphur deposits in ice cores, had barely subsided.

Spectacular sunsets in paintings from the period, such as Chichester Canal by J.M.W. Turner, record one of the more benign impacts.
Particles lofted into the stratosphere caused cold and wet weather, famine and disease in Ireland, now overlooked because of the Potato Famine three decades later. Scotland experienced a high frequency of days with gale-force winds. In England July was miserable, the coldest in a record going back to 1659 and the fourth wettest in 250 years. Yields of many crops were disappointing. Famine conditions prevailed in Western Europe. History records that Mary Shelley conceived the novel Frankenstein while trying to sleep through a frigid early morning of 16th June 1816 in a villa on the shore of Lake Geneva.
At the time Ottawa had only a handful of settlers; it was decades until there were any official weather records. Snow was reported during the first half of June at Kingston, Montreal, Quebec City and places in New England. Crops were destroyed or set back. Not knowing of the volcanic eruption the newspapers had much discussion on the possible cause by sunspot anomaly now known as the Dalton Minimum.
For more on the situation in Canada see the article in Canada’s History magazine at www.canadashistory.ca/Magazine/Online-Extension/Articles/1816-The-Year-Without-Summer/.

04 June 2016

Findmypast additions

New at Findmypast this week is a collection of over 13,000 Devon, Plymouth prison records 1821-1919 digitised in partnership with the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office. Each record has a transcript and an image of the original document. According to the Findmypast announcement these are " from a variety of sources including prisoner registers, calendars of prisoners and registers of prison officers. For those with convict ancestors, the records will reveal where they were sentenced and for how long. Many of the records will also include physical descriptions of prisoners and provide their offence and sentence. For those with prison officer ancestors, the records will reveal the names of prisons in which they served and their salary and rank."

Also new is a browse collection of British Royal Navy & Royal Marines service and pension records from 1704 to 1919. These are from TNA series:

ADM 6 / 223-320 – Registers of candidates for admission to Greenwich Hospital and registers of applications to Greenwich Hospital for admission, out-pensions or other relief, 1737-1859

ADM 22 / 254-443 – Pay books of naval out-pensions at Greenwich Hospital, 1814-1846

ADM 73 / 1-69 and 95-131 – Admiralty: Royal Greenwich Hospital: Pensioners and School Admission Papers, Out Pensions Pay Books and Miscellaneous Registers, 1704-1869, including general registers of pensioners and their families.

WO 4 / 887-891 – Greenwich Hospital pensions, 1846-1854

WO 22 / 208 – Mercantile Marine: Miscellaneous returns for England, Scotland, Wales and Jersey

WO 23 / 24 – Register of Greenwich Hospital pensions, 1868-1870

Additional databases are Ireland Surnames & Family Histories and records of more than 871,000 individuals who died in Queensland, Australia, between 1829 and 1964.

Valerie Knowles to launch 4th edition of

The Friends of Library and Archives Canada are hosting a book launch for the 4th edition of Strangers at Our Gates at Library and Archives Canada on Thursday, 16 June, 2016. at 5:30 pm.
The new edition brings the content up to date - 2015.
Immigrants and immigration have always been central to Canadians’ perception of themselves as a country and a society. In this crisply written history, Valerie Knowles describes the different kinds of immigrants who have settled in Canada, and the immigration policies that have helped define the character of Canadian immigrants over the centuries. Key policymakers and shapers of public opinion figure prominently in this colourful story, as does the role played by racism.
This new and revised edition features a chapter on the Conservative government’s handling of immigration between 2006 and 2014. Special attention is paid to the role played by the activist minister Jason Kenney and his attempts to develop a faster, more flexible immigration regime. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the Interim Federal Health Program are also discussed. The book’s final chapter, “Issues in the Twenty-First Century,” introduces new material relating to multiculturalism and outlines arguments supporting population growth, increased immigration, and decreased immigration.
To attend the launch please email valerieknowles at bell dot net

03 June 2016

Explore Resources Online for Your English Family History

A big thank you to the folks who came to by workshop on Friday morning. Some technological issues meant it wasn't as much of a hand-on experience as I'd hoped, but also meant we got to see a wider range of resources than I'd anticipated.

Modern Irish History from RTÉ

Ireland's national broadcaster RTÉ has an archive characterized by The Irish Times as "a treasure trove of faces, voices and memories."
Go to the archives website at http://www.rte.ie/archives/to see modern historical footage, largely from the 1960s onward, of happenings of significance for your Irish ancestors descendants who stayed.