31 August 2016

Genealogy searches at the expanded Google Patents

Every patent has names associated so can be used as an unconventional  genealogical resource, especially for those undertaking one-name studies.
Now Google has announced the addition of 11 more countries to Google Patents containing over 41 million new patent publications, bringing the total to over 87 million publications from 17 patent offices around the world.
You can now search for patents from Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Belgium, Russia, the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, and Luxembourg in addition to those for the US, Europe, WIPO, Germany, Canada and China in Google Patents.

Patents with only non-English text have been machine-translated to English and indexed, so you can search patent publications using only English keywords.

Search from https://patents.google.com/ and find out more at https://support.google.com/faqs/answer/6390996/.

Irish GRO Registers coming online in September

Via Claire Santry's Irish Genealogy News blog -- on Thursday, 8 September the Irish General Register Office's historical birth, marriage and death registers are to be launched online, joining the GRO Index and a collection of church records on www.IrishGenealogy.ie.

British Newspaper Archives additions for August

The British Newspaper Archive now has 15,345,343 pages (14,971,203 last month) from 666 (660) titles online. The full list of additions this month, including long runs of The Illustrated London News and The Stage, but none from Norfolk, is:

30 August 2016

Irish Genealogical Research: free databases

A Facebook post from last January by Mary Donne just brought to my attention - for those starting out with Irish genealogy and floundering. It's a 10 step program.


Thanks to Ann Burns from bringing it to my attention.

Rockstar Genealogist Nominations

Quite a few nominations have come in so far. Those that arrive as a comment I post (unless spam). That gives the nominee and nominator some profile.

This year there are more nominations from those seeing the world from a perspective akin to this New Yorker cartoon, As written in the call, "each year nominations are received for local genealogy heroes who don't gather very many votes. Each year those without a national and usually international profile fail to make the final rankings. Frivolous nominations will be rejected at my sole discretion including those who cannot be found through a Google search using the name and the word genealogy."

Don't expect to see all those nominated on the list for voting, and yes, I undoubtedly have my own distorted perspective too!

29 August 2016

Please help with research on family history research and its impact?

Dr Tanya Evans from the Department of Modern History at Macquarie University in Australia is seeking help. She will be in Ottawa, based at Carleton University, in early to mid-October doing field work for a study of the practice and meanings of family history in Australia, Canada and England, its role in identity formation and the development of historical consciousness since the beginning of the 20th century.

Here's her call:

Calling all family historians who have spent years researching their family trees. I am interested in learning about the motivations for your family history research and the impact of your discoveries. Would you like to participate in an oral history interview about your research, answer a questionnaire about your practice of family history and perhaps participate in a focus group to discuss the impact of family history on your life? If you are interested in participating and want to find out more about the project please get in touch with Dr Tanya Evans at Macquarie University tanya.evans@mq.edu.au.

The project has been approved by the Macquarie University Human Research Ethics Committee. Only the Chief Investigator, Dr Tanya Evans will have access to the data and you may withdraw at any time without having to give a reason and without consequence.

Hear a 2012 lecture by Tanya Evans ‘Memory and Material Culture in the History of the Family in Colonial Australia’.

28 August 2016

FamilySearch adds England, Lancashire, Oldham Cemetery Registers, 1797-2004

Find records indexed and searchable for 516,231 deceased persons in this new database from FamilySearch. Links to original record images are available.
The collection contains cemetery registers from Hollinwood, Failsworth, Royton, Crompton, Chadderton, Lees, and Greenacres cemeteries in Oldham. Most registers contain, name, address, date of death, date of burial and burial location.

Chadderton Cemetery lies 2.4km west-north-west of Oldham town centre and is c 13ha in area. One of two Oldham cemeteries grade two listed as a  site of national importance, it opened in 1857. Described as a High Victorian cemetery it has a "good collection of C19 and C20 funerary monuments which reflect the development of Oldham."
There was an unusual "wrong box" event when 84 year old Caleb Walsh was placed in a coffin meant for a Mrs Jones who died on the same day at the Oldham workhouse. The mistake was discovered but not before the burial was complete. The burial is in this record set with no indication there was a disinterment, which at the time required Home Secretary permission, and no record of reburial in another cemetery which was the family preference.
Crompton Cemetery, which opened in 1891 is the resting place for 37 persons in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) database.
Failsworth Cemetery, opened 1887 contains 38 CWGC graves. There is an adjacent Jewish cemetery.
Greenacres Cemetery,  on the north-west side of the Medlock Valley.  was designed by Manchester architect N G Pennington who also designed Chadderton Cemetery. Opened in 1857, like Chadderton it is a grade two site of national importance. During WW2 is was the site of burials of German POWs buried with Nazi honours.
Hollinwood Cemetery, opened in 1889, the site of the Oldham Crematorium, is the resting place of 80 CWGC interments. The first burial was Lewis Wrench on 23rd November 1889.
Lees Cemetery, opened in 1879,The first burial was Seth Connor, a 13 year old cotton worker, on 13th January 1879.
Royton Cemetery, opened in 1879. The first burial was 4th October 1879 of 53 year old Marth(a) Fitton. It has 36 CWGC graves.

Oldham Council also has a database, without register images, for these cemeteries, and for Oldham Crematorium, at http://apps1.oldham.gov.uk/bacasweb/gensearch.aspx

The image is the entrance to Chadderton Cemetery, on Middleton Road (A669). © Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Call for Presentations: OGS Webinar Series 2017

The following is an announcement of opportunity from the Ontario Genealogical Society drawn to my attention by Mike Quackenbush, Director at Large of OGS who usually chairs the webinars. Don't be deterred if you know next to nothing about Ontario genealogy. While there is naturally an emphasis on Ontario-specific topics there is also scope for proposals from outside the province, and outside Canada, on relevant generic (and genetic!) genealogy proposals.

The Ontario Genealogical Society is now accepting proposals for the OGS Monthly Webinar Series 2017. We are looking for a wide range of one-hour webinar presentations.

We invite proposals on a wide range of topics, in particular:

Ontario-specific topics (laws, records, land, history, etc.)
Ethnic research (Scottish, Irish, English, African-Canadian, German, etc.)
Canadian military research
Loyalist research
Ontario land research
DNA/genetic genealogy
Methodology and skill-building
Technology and trends in genealogy
Interesting case studies (Ontario specific)
Organization and project/time management

Selected speakers receive an honorarium for each webinar presentation.
Speakers may submit up to three proposals for consideration. All submissions will be reviewed and only those who are selected will be contacted by October 10, 2016.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: October 2, 2016 - Noon (12:00 PM ET) If you have any questions please contact: webinar@ogs.on.ca

27 August 2016

Rockstar Genealogist nominations are open

Nominations are open closed for the 2016 edition, the 5th year, of Rockstar Genealogist. Below is a list of those pre-nominated, mainly based on previous years omitting names of those who received few votes last year. The list is open for further nominations until noon EDT Friday 2 September. Do so by posting a comment below. Voting starts on 3 September.

Rockstar genealogists are those who give "must attend" presentations at family history conferences or as webinars, who when you see a new family history article or publication by that person, makes it a must buy. If you hang on their every word on a blog, podcast or newsgroup, or follow avidly on Facebook or Twitter they are likely Rockstar candidates.

Anyone on the list who would prefer not to be ranked please let me know at johndreid at gmail dot com. Your name will appear, so voters will understand it isn't an omission, with an indication that any votes will not be tabulated. That's the case with Elizabeth Shown Mills.

Here's advice for those wanting to make additional nominations. Each year nominations are received for local genealogy heroes who don't gather very many votes. Each year those without a national and usually international profile fail to make the final rankings. Frivolous nominations will be rejected at my sole discretion including those who cannot be found through a Google search using the name and the word genealogy.

The nominees are:

Lisa Alzo (USA)
Lesley Anderson (CAN)
Jen Baldwin (USA)
Jill Ball (ANZ)
Nick Barratt (UK)
Kyle Betit (USA)
Claire Bettag (USA)
Kenyatta D. Berry (USA)
Blaine Bettinger (USA)
Warren Bittner (USA)
Ruth Blair (CAN)
Paul Blake (UK)
Katherine Borges (USA)
Joe Buggy (IRE)
Ruth Burkholder (CAN)
Peter Calver (UK)
Pauleen Cass (ANZ)
Colin Chapman (UK)
Shannon Christmas (USA)
Else Churchill (UK)
Kristin Cleage (USA)
John Philip Colletta (USA)
Audrey Collins (UK)
Shannon Combs-Bennett (USA)
Lisa Louise Cooke (USA)
Kitty Cooper (USA)
Crista Cowen (USA)
Amy Crow (USA)
Schelly Talalay Dardashti (OTH) (USA)
Jackie Depelle (UK)
Gail Dever (CAN)
Richard M Doherty (USA)
William Dollarhide (USA)
Brian Donovan (IRE)
Marie Dougan (UK)
Bruce Durie (UK)
Daniel Earl (CAN)
Dick Eastman (USA)
Valerie S. Elkins (USA)
Roberta Estes (USA)
Kerry Farmer (ANZ)
Janet Few (UK)
Colleen Fitzpatrick (USA)
Fiona Fitzsimons (IRE)
Michael Gandy (UK)
Heather Garnsey (ANZ)
Maurice Gleeson (UK) (IRE)
Chris Goopy (ANZ)
Paul Gorry (IRE)
Julie Goucher (UK)
Jan Gow (ANZ)
Kirsty Gray (UK)
Bennett Greenspan (USA)
John Grenham (IRE)
Diane Haddad (USA)
Michael Hait (USA)
Alison Hare (CAN)
Celia Heritage (UK)
Jean Wilcox Hibben (USA)
Shauna Hicks (ANZ)
Kathryn Lake Hogan (CAN)
Yvette Hoitink (OTH)
Daniel Horowitz (OTH)
Paul Howes (UK)
Cyndi Ingle (USA)
Sherry Irvine (CAN)
Tim Janzen (USA)
Hank Z. Jones (USA)
Paul Jones (CAN)
Tamura Jones (USA)
Thomas W. Jones (USA)
Debbie Kennett (UK)
Tessa Keough (USA)
Martyn Killion (ANZ)
Turi King (UK)
Taneya Koonce (USA)
Rosemary Kopittke (ANZ)
Michael D. Lacopo (USA)
Peggy Lauritzen (USA)
Michael J. Leclerc (USA)
J. Mark Lowe (USA)
Dan Lynch (USA)
Thomas MacEntee (USA)
Jane MacNamara (CAN)
Rosalind McCutcheon (IRE)
David McDonald (USA)
Ken McKinlay (CAN)
Leland Meitzler (USA)
Brenda Dougall Merriman (CAN)
Elizabeth Shown Mills (USA, not tabulated)
Paul Milner (USA)
CeCe Moore (USA)
George G. Morgan (USA)
Stephen P. Morse (USA)
Janice Nickerson (CAN)
Maria Northcote (ANZ)
Dave Obee (CAN)
Lynn Palermo (CAN)
Michelle Patient (ANZ)
Israel Pickholtz (OTH)
Gena Philibert Ortega (USA)
Chris Paton (UK)
Marian Pierre-Louis (USA)
David Pike (CAN)
Chris Pomery (UK)
Elissa Scalise Powell (USA)
Kimberly Powell (USA)
Laura Prescott (USA)
Marian Press (CAN)
Rebecca Probert (UK)
Tony Proctor (UK)
Terrence Punch (CAN)
Mike Quackenbush (CAN)
Geoff Rasmussen (USA)
Linda Reid (CAN)
David Rencher (USA)
Pat Richley-Erickson (USA)
Christine Rose (USA)
William Roulston (UK), (IRE)
Judy G. Russell (USA)
Claire Santry (IRE)
Gary Schroder (CAN)
Lorine McGinnis Schulze (CAN)
George K. Schweitzer (USA)
Craig Scott (USA)
Randy Seaver (USA)
Jayne Shrimpton (UK)
Joseph Shumway (USA)
Drew Smith (USA)
Helen V Smith (ANZ)
Marian L. Smith (USA)
Megan Smolenyak (USA)
Steven C. Smyrl (IRE)
Diahan Southard (USA)
Louise St. Denis (CAN)
Roy Stockdill (UK)
Paula Stuart-Warren (USA)
Geoff Swinfield (UK)
Loretto (Lou) Szucs (USA)
James Tanner (USA)
Jane Taubman (USA)
D. Joshua Taylor (USA)
Kerryn Taylor  (ANZ)
Maureen Taylor (USA)
Mary M. Tedesco (USA)
Alona Tester (ANZ)
James F.S. Thomson (CAN)
John Titford (UK)
Alec Tritton (UK)
Helen Tovey (UK)
Judy Webster (ANZ)
Sharn White (ANZ)
Kirsty Wilkinson(UK)
Katherine R. Willson (USA)
Curt B. Witcher (USA)
Russ Worthington (USA)
Glenn Wright (CAN)
Christine Woodcock (CAN)

26 August 2016

Digitising Welsh Published Collections

A blog post from the National Library of Wales reports that they have now completed digitizing and making searchable and viewable 1.1 million pages of their newspaper collection, dating from 1804 to 1919.

They are now moving on to digitisation of Welsh books or books published about Wales "which will create a fantastic searchable resource of Welsh and Welsh interest books for the Library’s users, making thousands of long out of print books available to the public again."

Meanwhile at Library and Archives Canada . . .

With the WW1 CEF service file digitization project sucking up most of the oxygen for digitization at LAC I'm coming around to the view in a recent blog post by Allana Mayer that the  “amalgamation” of library and archives is code for erasure of the library activity.

Free access to Ancestry UK and Ireland records

Access to the records in the featured collections from Ancestry, including all the census records, will be free until Monday 29 August 2016 at 23:59 BST -- 18.59 EDT.

The small print - to view these records you will need to register for free with Ancestry.co.uk with your name and email address. We will then send you a username and password to access the records. After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using an Ancestry.co.uk paid membership. To see a full list of the records in the featured collections please click here.

I suspect there will be automatic access for ancestry.com and .ca subscribers.

Ancestry adds Medway, Kent, England, Poor Law Union Records, 1836-1937

These Poor Law Union Records, for Hoo, Medway and Strood, comprise 74 Poor Law Union registers. Most are admission and discharge registers for institutions such as workhouses, schools, and hospitals. There are some creed registers and birth and death records as well as registers showing days of residence by week. Records with birth dates after 1916 have been excluded for privacy reasons.
The original records are in the Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre, Chatham, Kent, England.

LAC maps and cartographic material online almost doubles

When I looked in February Library and Archives Canada had 5,559 items online classified as maps and cartographic material. Now there are 10,956 items, an impressive 12.6 percent of the 87,159 items in the collection. The bsr graph shows availability by decade.
The David Rumsey Map Collection sets the standard in the field claiming over 71,000 maps and images online, up from 66,000 in February. One useful feature of the Rumsey site that would be an asset for LAC is a list of recent additions so that they don`t necessarily fly under the radar.
For the London genealogists one of Rumsey`s recent additions is high quality maps from the Charles Booth Poverty Map Series. The resolution is of high enough quality you can read every word.;

25 August 2016

Grandma’s Genes Swab-A-Thon this Saturday

A reminder about Mags Gaulden's event, the Grandma’s Genes Swab-A-Thon, this Saturday August  27, 2016 from 2-4pm at Bowman’s Bar and Grill at 1170 Carling Ave –  across from the Royal Ottawa Hospital.
There will be an informal overview of the how’s and why’s of DNA and help with your DNA sample(s).
It’s $5.00 at the door which includes the overview, swab and the bulk mailing fees (test fees – starting at $99USD will be done separately via credit card on site).

If you're looking for a more in-depth presentation sign up for my free Ottawa Public Library session Exploring Your Family Roots Using DNA at the Nepean Centrepointe library, Saturday, 24 September, 2016 - 10:00am.

Book Review: First We Were Soldiers, the long march to Perth

This 2015 book by Perth historian Ron W. Shaw falls into two parts. The first 99 pages are devoted to the soldering part, a description of the organization and life of the British Army as it was constituted and served during the period up until the end of the War of 1812.  Not being a military historian, and having no ancestry that I know of involved in the military of the period, this was all new material to me. Except, I've just read Shaw's 2012 book Forgotten Hero: Alexander Fraser, co-authored with M.E. Irene Spence, and find much of the military material repeated word for word from the previous book. However, there is lots of other content new to me including material on the transition of the settlers to Perth and its early development. I appreciated the maps to help those of us not familiar with the relative locations of the townships.
A short section on pages 79 and 80 referring to "the year without a summer" grabbed my attention as a former meteorologist. "Global temperatures (in 1816) dropped by an average of 2 degrees, but in Perth Upper Canada, they were 10 degrees below average." There is no reference the closest being to an article in an unspecified May 1887 issue of the Toronto Mail, 70 years later.  There were no official weather observations at the time and the land only having just been surveyed what was the basis for an average?
The second part of the book provides short, typically five page biographies of some of the soldier-settlers in the Perth Military Settlement. They are: Captain Francis Tito LeLièvre (1755-1830); Captain Francis Tito LeLievre (1755 - 1830); Captain Joshua Adams (1770 to 1863); Captain William Marshall (1774 - 1864); Surgeon Alexander Thom, (1775 to 1848); Lieutenant  Thomas Consitt (1773 to 1862 ); Lieutenant Andrew William Playfair (1790 - 1868); Lieutenant Alexander Fraser (1789 - 1872); Lieutenant Benjamin DeLisle (1792 - c1860); Lieutenant Roderick Matheson (1793 - 1873); Lieutenant Christopher James Bell (1795 to 1836 ); Colour Sergeant Alexander Cameron (1787 - 1859); Colour Sergeant Jacob Hollinger (1781 to c1825); Quarter Master Sergeant Thomas Echlin Sr (1748 - 1845); Sergeant John Balderson (1784 - 1852); Sergeant James Quigley (1788 - 1827); Corporal Thomas Norris (1781 - c1865); Corporal William Tansley Bygrove (1792 - 1882); Private William Burrows (1783 - c1834); Private William Henry Horrocks (1789 - 1880); Private John Truelove (1789 - c1840); Private Benoit Darou (c1788 - 1861); Private Denis Richard Noonan (1775 - 1833); Private Thomas  Kirkham  1792 - 1881); Private Samuel Dixon (1784 - c1855); Dragoon John Greenley (1775 - 1854).
Anyone descended from or connected to these settlers will want to read these. However, the book lacks an index, especially a name index so you won't find the nuggets of information about connections to other Perth area ancestors unless you read through the text. An index helps sell the book and while making it isn't difficult it is laborious. That omission, along with Shaw's tendency to give incomplete references, or no references at all, is my main issue with this otherwise valuable book.

First We Were Soldiers, The Long March To Perth  By Ron W. Shaw is published in softcover by the author and Friesen Press of Victoria, B.C. in  6" by 9" format, 336 pages.

This review is based on a copy provided by globalgenealogy.com/.

24 August 2016

Rockstar Genealogists starting soon

Expect nominations for the 2016 edition of the Rockstar Genealogists poll to open on Saturday. Voting will start the following Saturday.
People have suggested they'd like ranking for genealogists for those resident in the various nations, or national groupings. That will be done in addition to lists for those voted by residents in a nation or national group. There will also be a list for genetic genealogists.

Middle Names

Time of 16 August has an article by Merrill Fabry Now You Know: Why Do We Have Middle Names? It goes into their history and adoption.
One of my early lessons in genealogy was about their significance. I inherited a middle name, Digby, from my father and his father. Looking through the English civil registration records for the birth of my great grandfather in the 20 year period around when I thought he might have been born, in those days on microfilm, I found many instances of Robert Reid. There was just one just one with middle name Digby. It turned out to be just as helpful for the previous generation as it was his mother's maiden name.
Did you know you can search for middle names on FreeBMD? In the First name(s) box enter * and a space before the middle name. It works up until the middle of 1910 when the indexes switch to initials instead of full middle names.

23 August 2016

LAC Saving the World

Going to an event where public servants talk to each other about their service and policy may not be something most of us would be first in line to experience. When the title of a presentation in such a forum is "Saving the world: one record at a time" one has every right to see it as from a limited perspective, even pretentious . . . if not tongue in cheek. That is the title of a talk given by Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada at the Canada School of Public Service in Ottawa at the end of May.
The text is here, but please don't rush to check it out, we wouldn't want to crash the servers.

Here are a few points that caught my attention.

  • We may have pushed them a little too far, trying to make librarians and archivists interchangeable, without enough regard for their individual expertise.
  • We made access the number one goal of our three-year plan.
  • Working with the company, LAC technicians adapted and redesigned the BancTec scanner to work with historical records (notably WW1 service files) so they can now scan everything, from photos to onion-skin letters to medical charts, safely and directly to a preservation format.
  • Partners Canadiana.org digitized 35 million pages of archival material on microfilm; Ancestry.ca digitized and indexed 11 archival collections, representing 3 million pages online.
  • Block review, (looking at the scope of a collection and reviewing a sample of those judged low risk) has enabled LAC to open 18 million pages of Canadian Government records this way, and make them available to the public.
In general partnership and digital are the two words the presentation wanted to emphasise.

I was less impressed with there being only a single of mention of newspapers. It's a black mark on LAC's reputation that there's not a single librarian dedicated to the newspaper collection, and no digitization/OCR initiative, an area where peer organizations in other countries are taking the lead.

It's also ironic that the example chosen to illustrate block review was weather information from the 1950s, which happens to be a collection that LAC refused to take.

NWMP Articles in Western Canada Genealogical Society Publications

Earlier this year a blog post reported on a cooperative project between three of Western Canada's genealogical societies. The  Alberta Genealogical SocietyManitoba Genealogical Society and Saskatchewan Genealogical Society all intended having the Northwest Mounted Police as theme for their summer issues.

The intention is now reality. Electronic copies the three issues are available as a benefit of membership in any of the societies. The contents are:

Relatively Speaking (AGS)
Frederick Augustus Bagley (R.S.N. OS 322, NS 247): Maverick by Dale H. Bent and Penelope D.
Frederick Mortimer Gray (R.S.N. 4218): People We Meet by Gori Elder
Honest John Herron (R.S.N. 378): Policeman, Plainsman and Politician by Gord Tolton
Robert Belcher (R.S.N. OS 13, NS 3, 101): One of the ‘Originals’ by Gail Benjafield
Sergeant John Joseph Marshall (R.S.N. 1487) by John J. Marshall
Staff Sergeant Joseph Harvey Price (R.S.N. OS 202, NS 4) by Carol Anne (Price) Marshall
The Search for Ernest Kroesing by Bob Franz

Generations (MGS)
James Black Brown (R.S.N. 6244): Memoirs by Mavis Chalmers
James Black Brown: History Unfolds as Mountie Pioneers Meet by Bob Campbell
Thomas Henry Waring (R.S.N. 790) by Mary Anne Wright
William Henry Lowe (R.S.N. 3524): The W.H. Lowe Mystery by Isabel Campbell; William Henry
Lowe by Jean (Yates Lowe)

Bulletin (SGS)
David Paterson (R.S.N. 235): A Biographical Sketch by John deCourcy Fletcher
History of David (Pry) Paterson written by Frances Gaff Paterson
George Gordon (R.S.N. 2003) by Dennis Gordon
Harry Holdsworth Nash (R.S.N. OS 271, NS 399) by Richard Nash
Richard Elmes Steele (R.S.N. OS 7, NS 18): One of the Original 300 by Donna Shanks

22 August 2016

Bytown or Bust

Way back in April 2009 I blogged about Bytown or Bust, a long running website/blog by Al and Grace Lewis. It is one I only visit occasionally, I have no Ottawa Valley ancestors, but when I do am always impressed by the material available.
It's now up to 1,700 pages. If you have ancestors who settled in the Ottawa/Gatineau area in the 1800s, more particularly the early part of the century, and especially if they are of Irish origin, www.bytown.net/ must be on your resource list.

FTM: the story continues

Last December Ancestry announced it was discontinuing sales of Family Tree Maker software and would end support at the end of 2016. Many assumed FTM was dead. Other companies moved quickly, some would say in the style of ambulance chasers, to pick up clients for their competitive software.

The situation is reminiscent of a Mark Twain misquote: The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

Following massive negative reaction in February Ancestry sold FTM to Software MacKiev which has several years experience with the Mac version of FTM, and that it "will continue to have all the familiar capability."

As I wrote in February "FTM users should continue to watch and wait. There may well be yet other options for those who want to stay with desktop software, or you can always go with a cloud-hosted solution."

On Sunday I received a bulk email from Jack Minsky, President of Software MacKiev. Quoted below are a couple of paragraphs.

Still works with Ancestry.ca.
Our updated versions for Mac and Windows pick up right where Ancestry left off so you'll still get Ancestry's "shaky leaf" hints, and use TreeSync to keep your Ancestry online tree in synch with the Family Tree Maker tree on your computer. You won't need to transfer your Ancestry subscription if you have one – it will just work. And all your tree files will just open after you update, no conversion utilities required. Our free updates for FTM 2014 and Mac 3 users will be available soon, but there's also a discounted upgrade for users of older versions (see below), and full versions for new users in our Web store
Discounted upgrades from older editions.
If you know anyone who has FTM 2012 or older (or Mac 2 or older), let them know that for a limited time they can download an upgrade copy for just C$39.95 (vs. C$99.95 regular price) by clicking here. They'll get a full free–standing Canadian edition installer for one computer, so they won't need to worry if they don't still have their old edition installed or they're moving to a new computer. They'll also have a chance to purchase a backup DVD for C$20 (including shipping and handling) or can upgrade their single–computer license to a three–computer family pack for extra C$30. You may also purchase FTM at the upgrade price for someone as a gift.
Did you notice the regular price --  $99.95 Cdn. Compare that to  Family Historian 6 at $59.50 Cdn; Legacy Family Tree 8.0  Deluxe Edition for US$29.95; Roots Magic 7 at US $29.95;  and others.

If you stay with FTM, and believe the company promise, you should have a clear path forward with no transition concerns, no learning curve to navigate and a reasonably competitive upgrade price at present.

However, I'm hearing good things about Roots Magic which is still offering a $20 US special for transfers from FTM, file import without using GEDCOM which can cause loss of data and interface capabilities with Ancestry previously only available with FTM.

Comments from those with recent experience in making the transition welcome.

21 August 2016

Book Review: Forgotten Hero: Alexander Fraser

Military hero, ambitious, intelligent, capable, hard-working, trusted, politically-astute, loyal to the British crown.
Fiery tempered, sensitive as a school girl, petulant, vindictive, did not manage money well, convicted of drunk and disorderly conduct, sentenced to jail.
Did the man so described in the preface rightfully disappear from Canadian history after his death in 1872, even in his adopted home town of Perth, Ontario?
Obviously not according to the authors of this 2012 publication Forgotten Hero: Alexander Fraser.
Both authors bring a depth of local knowledge. Co-author genealogist M. E. Irene Spence was stimulated to start the investigation in finding out her family home was originally built for Fraser and named for his wife.
Lead author Ron. W. Shaw is a well known historian of Perth and area with five generation roots in the area and three other books on the topic to his credit. He is also a musician, evidenced by this song he wrote and performs on the occasion of the bicentennial celebrations of the Perth Military Settlement.
The book covers the full extent of Alexander Fraser's life. If his life in Perth was the extent of his prominence he would be not very different from many other half-pay officers who settled there. He stands out for the role he played during the nighttime raid at the Battle of Stoney Creek, considered a turning point in the War of 1812. That earned him a commission from the ranks to officer  -- without purchase, and a posting to New Brunswick where he met and married his wife from a Loyalist family. Placed on half-pay at the end of the war he took up land in the Perth Military Settlement.
The book makes the point that his actions were largely motivated by advancement for him and his family, a matter of some difficulty in Perth where he was considered not quite up to the social standards of the officer class.
Beyond the biographical material one gleans considerable information about the life and times in the early 19th century British military in Canada, and the various organisations which touched Fraser's life.
Genealogists often turn to an index on first picking up a book. Unfortunately that's lacking in Forgotten Hero.

This review is based on a copy received from globalgenealogy.com/.

20 August 2016

Victorian Spectacles

They're an everyday part of my life. You too?
Each morning I reach for my eye-glasses before anything else. I've been wearing them since my early teens, except for a brief period with contact lenses. Both my parents wore them occasionally in later life for reading.
I don't recall anyone else on the family in glasses. Chances are others did, the history goes back. Check out the Wellcome Library website for an informative blog post with some amusing images at http://blog.wellcomelibrary.org/2016/08/what-did-the-victorians-make-of-spectacles/

Ireland Police Gazettes come to Ancestry

Issues of the semi-weekly Police Gazette published in Dublin contained information on wanted criminals, crimes committed, criminals who had been apprehended, and missing persons. Although most coverage is for Ireland there are many notices for Scotland and England.
Each issues is four pages in length. The run, slightly broken, covers 1863, 1866, 1870-1, 1874 - 80, 1882-3, and 1884-93

These issues were indexed by volunteers in a Ancestry World Archives Project.

19 August 2016

Findmypast adds additional Non-Conformist Records for England & Wales

Image and transcript records for 208,610 births and baptisms, 3,108 marriages and 300,764 burial have been added to the findmypast collection for Roman Catholics, Jews, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, members of the Society of Friends and other denominations.
The original records are sourced from series RG4, RG5, and RG8 series in The (UK) National Archives which were collected following the introduction of civil registration in 1837.
Burials include those from Bunhill Fields Burial Ground in Hackney in London, the British Lying-in Hospital, Holborn, Bethnal Green Protestant Dissenters Burying Ground, Chapels Royal at St James’ Palace, Whitehall, and Windsor Castle, The New Burial Ground, Southwark, The Necropolis Burial Ground in Everton, Liverpool, The South London Burial Ground in Walworth, and Victoria Park Cemetery.
TheseTNA records are not unique to findmypast; FamilySearch has free transcriptions.

The Outrages Irish?

One of findmypast's latest releases is transcripts and images under the title Ireland, Outrage reports 1836-1840. 
Detail in the transcript can include: name, sex, birth year, event date, address, parish, county, archive, series, and piece number.  The handwritten original record describes in a short paragraph the circumstances of the event. Often the person named is the victim.

Sourced from The (UK) National Archives, series HO100, piece numbers: 231, 248, 249, 252-256, and 259-262 these 18,157 records were created by chief constables of the Royal Irish Constabulary.

Richard III: The Resolution of A 500-Year-Old Cold Case

A quick post following a day checking out videos of presentations at last weekend's Guild of One Name Studies DNA event. They are available only to Guild members but the presentation by University of Leicester researcher Turi King on Richard III is available from a presentation earlier this year at The University of British Columbia. Well worth viewing; her romp through the project is both humorous and informative.

18 August 2016

UK, Merchant Seamen Deaths, 1939 -1953 on Ancestry

61,786 record cards are in the new Ancestry UK, Merchant Seamen Deaths, 1939 -1953 database. 
Handwritten cards contain: name, address, information on next of kin, ship, rank, birth place, place, date and age at death, ship name and number and cause of death. You can search and also browse the collection which is arranged alphabetically by surname.

Bexley, Kent records on Ancestry

From the Bexley Local Studies and Archive Centre come two new databases on Ancestry.

Bexley, Kent, England, Electoral Registers, 1734-1965 has 3,219,535 records created using text recognition software, not transcribed. They comprise eight parliamentary divisions: Bexley (1945-65); Chislehurst (1935-65); Dartford (1937-39); East Kent (1868); Erith (1906-55); Erith and Crayford (1955); Kent (1734, 1754, 1790, 1802); West Kent (1835-65). Coverage is incomplete.

A much smaller collection, just 11,091 records, is Bexley, Kent, England, WWI Registration Cards, 1914-1919.  Information included is name, old address, new address, sex, age, marital condition, and occupation.

17 August 2016

Northern Lights: Sound and Light Show on Parliament Hill

A sound and light show has been a feature of summer evenings in Ottawa for 30 years. On Monday evening I joined a crowded lawn in front of the Parliament buildings to see the 2016 version to the show, "a thematic journey through Canada’s history combining bold digital technology with the architectural splendour of the Parliament Buildings."

The story is told through five thematic “books' with transitions marked by a rotation of books as the presentation moves from book to book.

Book One: Foundations of the Nation.
Book Two: Strength in Partnership.
Book Three: Discovery and Adventure.
Book Four: Valour.
Book Five: Pride and Vision.

If only LAC had found a way to link to some of the books in its collection. Maybe next year.

Acknowledging this is a historical presentation, and that parliament is supposed to be for the people, it would be good to see less emphasis on politicians and more on recent achievements, the Canadarm was in space before many in the audience were born. Moving gears may reflect railway history and the Peace Tower clock, but the show could be updated for the 150th and made more current - and digital.

The show is free and worth a visit when in Ottawa. It starts at 9:30 pm in August and 9 pm in September until the 10th, weather permitting.

Canadian Library additions to WorldCat

A press release from OCLC.org announces that "Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) has contributed 2.4 million records to WorldCat, the world's most comprehensive network of data about library collections. The contribution, which includes 800,000 new records, will make BAnQ's valuable collections more visible and accessible to researchers around the world."

Library and Archives Canada has been in negotiation with OCLC for more than a year for a similar arrangement. A presentation by Guy Berthiaume at the end of May mentioned replacement of AMICUS with the services offered by OCLC as a project underway. I'm told the negotiations are in the late stages, in legal review. It will take another year after an agreement is reached to incorporate the information from AMICUS.

16 August 2016

Highights of TNA's Annual Report 2015-16

The Annual Report and Accounts for The National Archives 2015-16 is online (pdf). In his introductory comments Jeff James, Chief Executive and Keeper, notes that "this year’s report marks the first year of Archives Inspire, our ambitious four-year strategy, and highlights our achievements in meeting the needs of each of our major audiences, and our single biggest challenge – digital."

Highlights of the year from a remote public user perspective:

TNA's website saw 15,568,684 visits during the year, with over a third of visits to the site from overseas users.
The release of the 1939 Register was a complex challenge for TNA as it sought to digitise 1.2 million
pages, containing 41 million individual entries for people living in England and Wales in September 1939, redacted in relation to people born less than 100 years ago.
Over 30,000 telephone and 37,000 written enquiries were handled, and 615,000 documents delivered, mainly directly to the public.
71 complaints were recorded. down from 94 last year. In the same time period, 156 compliments were received. The Independent Complaints Reviewer recorded one case where a person was sent off on a path "likely to be unhelpful and add to their frustration and dissatisfaction."

15 August 2016

CEF Service Files Digitization by LAC: August Update

As of 15 August 2016,  320,638 (307,588 last month) of 640,000 files are available online via the LAC Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database. That's now past the half-way mark.

The latest box digitized is Box 5410 (5218 last month) and the surname Laroque (Knaggs).

13,050 (10,575) files were digitized in the last month.

At the last month rate of digitization the project would be completed in 24.5 (31) months, by September 2018.

Myths of Family Past

I'm reading John R. Gillis book A World of Their Own Making, Myth, Ritual, and the Quest for Family Values published in 1996. It gives European and North American historical perspective relating to the popular, politically charged American term, "family values."

Gilles is a Rutgers University Professor Emeritus of History. The first chapter, Myths of Family Past, has some interesting facts, or perhaps factoids as I've not tried to verify them, which I'll share.

  • Prior to the 19th century very few families were conscious of their own origins. Until very recently their family stories were about hard times and their memories of childhood often bitter.

  • From at least the 14th century onward the marriage age of men averaged about 26 years and women generally married at 23.

  • Rates of lifetime celibacy never fell below 10 percent and sometimes went as high as 20 percent.

  • Before the 20th century infant mortality ranged for 15 to 30 percent and half or more died before age 20.

  • From the 14th to 19th centuries women had a average 4 to 6 children.

  • 17 percent of children were fatherless by age 10, and 27 percent by age 15.

  • One-half to two-thirds of women had lost their father by their marriage in their mid-twenties.

14 August 2016

How many cousins?

Children per family Degree of cousin

This table is based on a blog post I stumbled on that gives a formula for the number of cousins of different degrees.

(n-1) 2d n

where n is the average number of children in a family and d is the degree of cousin.
That blog post uses the formula to give a general ballpark for the number of cousins using "your nation’s average number of children per family statistic." The number used for Canada is 1.58 children/family, for the UK 1.91 and for the USA 2.06 and is based on total fertility rate (TFR) statistics at www.nationmaster.com/graph/peo_tot_fer_rat-people-total-fertility-rate. TFR is "The average number of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of their child-bearing years and bore children according to a given fertility rate at each age."

How good a ballpark estimate of the number of cousins is it?

The TFRs used are for 2013, typical family sizes are now much smaller that for earlier generations. Larger family sizes in earlier generation should mean more cousins.
Estimates of the TFR for back to the late 1800s are found in Fertility in Canada: Retrospective and Perspective by Anatole Romanluc in Canadian Studies in Population. Vol .18(2), 1991, pp.56-77.

The TFR for 1850, about 7, gives 230,500 fourth cousins, compared to about 60 using the 2013 TFR. Is that the same ballpark?
It's not as wide of the mark as the numbers suggest given that many of those born in the 1800s would have died before having their own children.

13 August 2016

AncestryDNA sale in Canada

AncestryDNA is on sale, $99Cdn.  Price includes taxes, shipping, and handling. Offer ends 22 August, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Go to http://home.ancestry.ca/

FamilSearch adds England, Sussex, Parish Registers, 1538-1910

West Sussex UK location mapTranscript records from the East and West Sussex Record Offices are now online from FamilySearch. Included are 531,746 baptisms, 308,775 marriages, and 274,294 burials.Check out the coverage by parish in the tables. at https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/England,_Sussex,_Parish_Registers_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records).

12 August 2016

Genealogy Books Most in Demand

Here, as of 11 August 2016, are the genealogy books most in the demand at the Ottawa Public Library based on holds per copy in the system.
Some are books that have not yet arrived at the OPL, an example being Drew Smith's book at the top of the list.

Thomas MacEntee is the only author with two books in the list.

The top seven are how to books without reference to a particular location.

TitleAuthorHolds per copy
Organize Your Genealogy, Strategies and Solutions for Every ResearcherSmith, Drew29
500 Best Genealogy & Family History TipsMacEntee, Thomas18.5
How to Use Evernote for GenealogyScott, Kerry16
Family History Trippin', A Guide to Planning A Genealogy Research TripMacEntee, Thomas14
Unofficial Guide to FamilySearch.org, How to Find your Family History on the World's Largest Free Genealogy WebsiteMcCullough, Dana12
The Family History Web Directory, The Genealogical Websites You Can't Do WithoutScott, Jonathan11
Exploring Big Historical Data, The Historian's MacroscopeGraham, Shawn10.5
Til Death Us Do Part, Causes of Death 1300-1948Few, Janet8.5
Irish Family History Resources OnlinePaton, Chris6
The Troubleshooter's Guide to Do-it-yourself GenealogyQuillen, W. Daniel5.75
Trace your German Roots Online, A Complete Guide to German Genealogy WebsitesBeidler, James M.5.5
Derry-Londonderry, Gateway to A New World : the Story of Emigration From the Foyle by Sail and SteamMitchell, Brian5
Local History Reference Collections for Public LibrariesMarquis, Kathy5
The Family Tree Polish, Czech & Slovak Genealogy GuideAlzo, Lisa A5

11 August 2016

Findmypast adds to Staffordshire Parish Records

Records from the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service, totalling over 200,000, are significant additions this week to the findmypast Staffordshire collection

Added are over 113,000 baptism records, now over 1,931,000 records in the collection for the years 1538 and 1900

Over 4,500 records have been added to the collection of Staffordshire banns, now over 296,583 records for the years 1653 and 1900.

51,996 new marriage records expands the collection to over 981,000 records for the years 1754 and 1900.

Staffordshire burials records increase by 62,000 records to
now contain over 1,238,000 records covering the years 1538 and 1959.

Ancestry updates England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995

The period 1973-1995 has been added to Ancestry's coverage of probate calendars for England and Wales.
In this later period these calendars become shorter and less informative. The person granted administration is not named and instead of giving the value of the estate you find statements like "not exceeding £40,000", and later £125,000.
Don't forget that findmypast also have these calendars up to 1959 with the bonus that the whole entry is searchable, so to whom administration was granted, and even locations, are searchable.
Looking for free access? Try the Probate Service site at https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/#wills which fills in the gap in Ancestry coverage and has even later index records.

Ervin Russell Streeter: Ottawa CEF Beechwood Burial

Interred in Beechwood Cemetery in Sec. A. Range 3. Grave 47 are the remains of Pvt Ervin Russell Streeter of the 238th Battalion, Canadian Infantry who died 100 years ago today, 11 August 1916.
His Beechwood burial record gives his first name as Irving, his age as 38, birthplace England, and cause of death cerebral haemorrhage.
According to the CWGC database he had service number 1037134. His attestation paper at LAC, where his first name is also given as Irving, has him born in Michigan, USA, in July 1871.
He enlisted in Vancouver on 22 July 1916 and was married to Katherine of 2022 Granville Street, Vancouver, with occupation saw filer.
According to a BC certificate the marriage was on 25 July 1916 to Catherine Seggie stating he was age 45, a widower, and born in Flushing, Michigan.
He may have had more than one previous marriage, the first was to Edith Van Valkenberg on 16 September 1888 in Brant, Genesee, Michigan.
According to the Ottawa Journal of 15 August 1916 he was buried with full military honours and relatives in attendance.

10 August 2016

Ancestry's plans for genetic testing

An article AncestryDNA sees huge growth in demand for genetic testing from MedCityNews had a line that caught my eye.

Formerly known as a family history company, Borrman (a spokesman) said the company is rebranding itself as an “identity company.”
There's also mention of the steps the company is taking toward the field of direct-to-consumer genetic services for health.

Deceased Online summer sale

For a limited time, until 29 August 2016, Deceased Online is offering registered users two for one on pay-per-view vouchers used to access records and data on www.deceasedonline.com

Under the 'buy one get one free' offer, all voucher purchases, which start from only £5.00, will be doubled in value. For every voucher purchased, the same value will be added to your account in the form of a bonus

When purchasing vouchers simply click on 'add a promotion code' and enter the special code AUG16DBLV in the box provided.

09 August 2016

Coming soon: GB1900.org

Building on the success of a project at cymru1900wales.org where online volunteers have transcribed the names of places and features from historic Ordnance Survey maps for Wales, the new GB1900 website will extend the initiative to the whole of Great Britain.
There's nothing at GB1900.org as yet. Find out more at about the project at www.llgc.org.uk/blog/?m=201607

National Library of Wales adds shipping records, 1856 - 1914

Crew lists, 1856-1914, for vessels registered at the port of Aberystwyth have been transcribed by volunteers at the National Library of Wales and made available via GitHub.
A blog post from the NLW includes a couple of videos showing the voyages, not too many to Canada, two degrees of separation graphs which are pretty but I don't understand, a heat map of births places of crew members and dates of first joining.
The crew lists contain the full names of the crew including apprentices, age and place of birth, previous vessel, dates of joining and leaving, in what capacity employed, together with a list of voyages with dates, and occasionally details of cargoes carried.
There is no obvious way to search the complete set of files to find a particular name. The files are identified by series, 1 to 544 which appear to be in alphabetical order by vessel name.

08 August 2016

Ancestry Tourism

As I start making bookings for a genealogy trip to Ireland in October I was interested to read an article in the New York Times, A Personal Sort of Time Travel: Ancestry Tourism by Amy Zipkin.

Almost in passing the article includes the information that "In 2012, Global Industry Analysts, a market research company in San Jose, Calif., estimated the global market for genealogical products and services at $2.3 billion in 2014, rising to $4.3 billion by 2018."  That's less that a dollar per person on a global basis -- you do more than your fair share!

A quick Google search found that the golf equipment market is worth $8.7 billion annually globally. That's a strike against the idea that genealogy is the second most popular hobby.

Thanks to Patricia Barlosky, formerly of the OPL, for bringing the NYT item to my attention.

Sunday's Meetup and Albert I of Belgium

Eight people enjoyed snacks and conversation at Westboro Beach Cafe on Sunday.
Quite a bit of the conversation was on DNA, including a mention of the mystery of the death of King Albert I of Belgium in 1934.
The Washington Post gave it the headline Mysterious 1934 death of Belgium’s King Albert I may be solved thanks to some bloody leaves. The Daily Mail's version was Mystery of a King's death finally solved: DNA tests on blood-stained tree leaves show climbing accident DID kill King Albert I of Belgium in 1934.
Considering the uncertain provenance of the leaves from which a blood sample matching the King's was taken I'm inclined to take the more nuanced "may" rather than the "finally solved."

07 August 2016

UK & Ireland Nursing Records new on Ancestry

With 1,600,732 records the UK & Ireland, Nursing Registers, 1898-1968, on Ancestryis a good bet to find a nurse relative.
The records are sourced from the Royal College of Nursing which has its own online guides.
Information given includes name (including maiden name), registration date and number and place. Expect to find entries for the same person for several years.

There are over 8,000 entries associated with Canada.

Other nursing records added are:

UK & Ireland, Queen's Nursing Institute Roll of Nurses, 1891-1931, 10,874 records
Scotland, Nursing Applications, 1921-1945, 12,900 records

FreeBMD August Update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Friday 5 August 2016 to contain 255,908,463 (255,380,047) distinct records.
Years with major updates (more than 5,000 entries) are for births:1963-64, 1966, 1974, 1976-78; for marriages: 1965-66, 1969, 1971, 1976-79; for deaths 1841, 1975-75, 1977-79.

06 August 2016

United States, Canadian Border Crossings

Do you have ancestors that crossed over from Canada into the United States via St Albans, Vermont, between 1895 and 1954?

In fact Findmypast's new collection United States, Canadian Border Crossings comprises entries from Canada into the United States through many border crossing pointts

People did not come from across Canada to cross to St. Albans, but the way the records are catalogued it's easy to see how the confusion could arise, although hard to see how it would for anyone with experience with the records.

Findmypast cites the source for this collections as:

Soundex Index to Canadian Border Entries through the St. Albans, Vermont, District,1895-1924, M1461

Soundex Index to Entries into the St. Albans, Vermont, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports,1924-1952, M1463

Manifests of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, VT, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports,1895-1954, M1464

Manifest of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, Vermont, District through Canadian Pacific Ports, 1929-1949, M1465

They are part of Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1891--1957, Record Group 85.  None of the other port of entry listed there are on the Canadian border.

You may find people in this Findmypast collection, which claims 6,078,005 records, missed in the same collection at Ancestry claiming 5,255,044 records.

Atlantic Canada's Irish Immigrants: a fish and timber story

Today, 6 August 2016, is the official release date in Canada for Lucille Campey's most recent book, the first in her Irish series. It follows her series of books on Scottish and English immigration to Canada all of which focus on the period prior to Canadian Confederation. As the Irish made up the largest component of immigrants to the British colonies bordering the the Atlantic during the first half of the 19th century the topic should have substantial appeal.

The heart of the book is chapters on each of what are now the Atlantic Provinces, and one on emigration during the 1840s famine. There was major Irish immigration before the famine including, indirectly, Loyalists of Irish origin. Drawing on the immigrants own words the book looks at their experiences, origins in Ireland, the voyage, where they settled and how the lived afterwards. Being no expert in the topic I was surprised at the variation of their circumstances in the different areas which are documented in detail. Be selective, it's not material to read quickly. Don't assume the stories you hear about the situation in New Brunswick applied a few miles across the Northumberland Strait in Prince Edward Island. Experts in the field are likely well aware of that already.

The image of the "coffin ships" is one that haunts Canadian history. The chapter Sea Crossings makes the case that they were not the leaky hulks sometimes imagined. Evidence from Lloyd's is they were stout seaworthy vessels, typically adequately if not generously provisioned and usually well captained. Crowding and lack of ventilation provided an awful environment for the spread of diseases like typhus and smallpox picked up before embarkation.

As with her other books Lucille has included extensive reference material including 100 pages of listings of voyages that brought the immigrants from Ireland mostly for the first half of the 19th century, a mine of information for the family historian.

Ottawa born and bred, a long-time resident of England, Lucille has made a routine of coming to Ottawa to launch her books, which she will be doing with Atlantic Canada's Irish Immigrants on Sunday 11 September at the BIFHSGO conference.

05 August 2016

More Yorkshire records at Findmypast

The baptisms, banns, marriages and burials added to the record collections for Yorkshire are mainly for Catholic parishes. The exception is for baptisms in the Church of England in Rotherham.

Catholic records are for Doncaster, St Peter in Chains, Knaresborough, St Mary, Rotherham, St Bede, Sheffield, St Marie Cathedral, Sheffield, St Vincent and Staveley and St Joseph.

With these additions there are now 4,443,252 baptisms, 562,488 banns,  2,483,696 marriages and 3,998,948 burials in the Findmypast Yorkshire collection.

Ottawa Genealogy Meetup

Weather permitting, and the forecast looks promising, I'll head out to the Westboro Beach Cafe on Sunday around noon. Everyone welcome.

Canadian DNA admixture

Suppose you took everyone in Canada, combined their DNA and did a test for the geographic admixture. Here's what it would look like. The major geographic regions are used by 23andMe which I'll be using in my BIFHSGO conference panel presentation.

The statistics are simulated based responses of single ethnic origin on the Statistics Canada 2011 National Household Survey (the poor cousin to the census imposed by the Harper government). The donut hole in the middle, not to scale, represents the approximately one-third of responses which don't fit the categories - largely "Canadian".

Sub-dividing the 2.5 million who self-identified at a finer scale than British Isles, they are about 40% English, 29% Scottish, 28% Irish and 3% Welsh.

For the Ontario Upper Ottawa Valley, the area Statistics Canada calls Pembroke, Irish ancestry accounts for 44%, English 39%, Scottish 16% and Welsh 1%.

Unfortunately neither 23andMe, nor the other companies, sub-divide their admixture results to that fine a degree. Maybe someday we'll see that scale of result, as found in the People of the British Isles project.

04 August 2016

Rail Map Online

Past and present British and Irish railways are shown in great deatil on a map at www.railmaponline.com/UKIEMap.php. It's built on Google Maps. Zoom in and you'll find obscure defunct rail lines in every corner. Click on Legend to get the names. Can you find the Lydd Military Railway, Porton Light Railway, Hagdate Chromate Railway and the Preasurewood Hills Miniature Railway.

British Newspaper Archive passes 15 million pages

Alongside DNA digitized newspapers are the best resource to come to the fore for genealogy since the year 2000. Just over 15 million pages is the number advertised as available at the British Newspaper Archive. That's since the project start in 2011.

On 30 August 2013 this blog reported "More than two years after the start just under 7 million pages are digitized. The project has not been progressing at a rate that would achieve 40 million pages digitized in 10 years as originally targeted."

That's still the case.

The subsequent 3 years have seen a further 8 million pages digitized. At that rate by the end of 2021 another 5.4 years, the ten year mark, there would be about 30 million pages digitized, well short of the 40 million page goal.

To date there are 1.42 million issues digitized for England; 0.31 million for Scotland; 0.11 for Northern Ireland and 0.05 million for Wales (the National Library of Wales has its own newspaper digitization project.) On a per capita basis Scotland is being treated very favourably.

For England it has been a source of some frustration that my home county of Norfolk has received so little attention by the project, that has been my impression anyway. But misery loves company. West Sussex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Dorset, Essex and Cheshire all have fewer issues digitized than Norfolk on a per capita basis.

Which counties in England have the best per capita coverage? Bristol, with 21 times better coverage than West Sussex, followed by Gloucestershire, Devon, East Riding of Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, Derbyshire and, Suffolk,

BIFHSGO DNA Group Meeting

The next Ottawa DNA Special Interest Group meeting in Room 115 at 100 Tallwood Drive on Saturday. 6 August, commencing at 9:30 am. Bill Arthurs will be presenting an explanation of the basics of the two types of DNA markers: what they are, how they are produced, where they are found, and what one does with them once they are revealed.

That will be followed by an around the room with updates on the research being carried out by various members. Bring you questions.

All welcome, beginners, experts and those in-between.

03 August 2016

Family Tree DNA Sale

News just arrived, via CeCe Moore, of a summer sale from Family Tree DNA.

Retail Pricing
Sale Price

Family Finder

Y37 + Family Finder

Y67 + Family Finder

Comprehensive Genome (FF+Y67+FMS)

FMS + Family Finder