31 December 2016

Thanks to 2016 Contributors

The late, mostly unlamented 2016 saw 925 items (1043 the previous year) posted on the blog. Thanks to all who helped and encouraged with comments, questions, provided information, completed polls and surveys, or publicized the blog.
Previously I've identified individuals by name. I continue to thank all who contributed. However, this year I'm remedying an oversight by mentioning the organizations, commercial and not-for-profit, that are major resources for blog information or provided services used for the blog.

British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
British Library
British Newspaper Archive
City of Ottawa Archives
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Deceased Online
Family Tree DNA
Global Genealogy
Guild of One Name Studies
International Society of Genetic Genealogy
Internet Archive
Library and Archives Canada
Living DNA
Ontario Genealogical Society
Ottawa Public Library
Society of Genealogists
The Genealogist
Wellcome Library

With apologies to any overlooked.

Thank you all:

Happy New Year.

British Newspaper Archives additions for December

The British Newspaper Archive now has 17,567,270 pages (16,572,215 pages last month) from 709 (701) titles online. This reflects the addition of some long runs of the Globe, Kerry Evening Post, Lloyd's List, Graphic, Sketch and Sphere. The full list of additions this month is:

Belfast News-Letter1905-1906, 1911-1913, 1922-1925, 1949-1950
Bradford Observer1876
Britannia and Eve1926, 1928-1929, 1931-1957
Carlisle Journal1870, 1877-1878, 1881
Cricket and Football Field1887, 1908
Derry Journal1916, 1929, 1937
Durham Chronicle1860-1863
Evening Star1885-1889, 1905-1909
Globe1825-1829, 1848-1851, 1863-1868, 1876-1878, 1882, 1887-1892, 1896, 1898-1902, 1904, 1910-1921
Homeward Mail from India, China and the East1857-1913
Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News1874-1970
Irish Times1890-1891, 1894, 1899-1900
Kerry Evening Post1829-1917
Lloyd's List1801-1884
Mayo Constitution1838-1848
Sheffield Daily Telegraph1858-1863, 1866-1867, 1905
Shields Daily News1899-1900
Shipley Times and Express1882-1884, 1886-1891, 1893-1895
The Graphic1914-1932
The Sketch1894-1934, 1937-1958
The Sphere1909, 1921-1929, 1931-1963
Western Mail1916

Hogmanay R&R: Danny Bhoy

Thanks to Denis Bourque from the tip.

30 December 2016

Findmypast adds more Irish Dog Licences and a bit more

Ireland Dog Licence Registers have received an additional 900,000 entries dating back to 1866 bringing the total to 7,310,994 for the 26 counties in the Republic. Information returned in the indexes is name, date and residence of the owner. Information on the dog is in the linked image file.

Smaller additions are:

A transcript for marriages in Huntingdonshire, 1754-1837, compiled by T P R Layng in 1980 gives the couples’ names, the date of the marriage, and the place of marriage.

A transcript of Roxburghshire, Kelso Dispensary Patient Registers 1777-1781 giving the date and outcome of patients’ treatment (such as cured, relieved of symptoms, or died).

There are also additions to PERSI from 5 titles, mainly of US interest.

Yuletide R&R: Rowan Atkinson Live Amazing Jesus

Deceased Online adds London's Highgate Cemetery

With 160,000 burials from 1839 to 2010* www.deceasedonline.com has just made the deadline, posting records for London's Highgate Cemetery before the end of 2016.
"A truly stunning example of 19th century cemetery architecture", "a veritable Who's Who" and, “Victorian Valhalla” are just some of the terms used to describe Highgate.

Find information about some of the notable people interred at Highgate on Emma Jolly's blog.
A notable Canadian, born Donald Smith, who became Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal is interred in a red granite vault in the Eastern Cemetery.
Other are Lt. Colonel William Nassau Kennedy who served with the Nile Voyageurs and seven other military burials with a Canada connection.

Thanks to Glenn Wright for the photo of the Strathcona vault.

Vimy minus 100 days

The countdown is on to the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, 9-12 April 1917.

The anniversary is the subject of a MOU between Library and Archives Canad and The (UK) National Archives. The institutions will  collaborate to develop social media products for the purpose of increasing knowledge of the Battle of  Vimy Ridge in both country’s history. LAC and TNA will promote Canadian and British documentary heritage,by highlighting objects in collections.

Specific projects are:

1.       A Blog, co-written by specialists and with links to images from  both institutions.

2.       A Podcast, which will consist of interviews with subject matter experts and highlight content from the TNA and LAC.

 Look for these projects on both the TNA’s and LAC’s website in March-April 2017

29 December 2016

FreeBMD December update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Monday 26 December 2016 to contain 258,828,552 (258,167,836 at the previous update) distinct records.

Years with major updates (more than 5,000 entries) are for births: 1963-4, 1966, 1976-79; for marriages: 1966, 1969, 1971, 1976-81; for deaths 1974, 1976-79.

Additional in 2016 were 1,690,802 for births, 3,397,236 for marriages, and 2,394,058 for deaths.

Yuletide R&R: Pokemon Go effect by Rowan Atkinson

28 December 2016

Join the OGS Conference 2017 Social Media Team.

An objective for OGS Conference 2017 is to help promote Canadian bloggers, social media gurus and the genealogy community.

  • There will be an area on the official OGS Conference 2017 website to share your blog postings.
  • A Social Media Team Haven at the conference will facilitate meeting, writing blog entries and posting to social media.  
  • Team members will be accredited with an official media tag, as well as get the chance to help promote one of the largest genealogy conferences in Canada.

If you are interested please send your name, blog name and URL, Twitter handle, and email address to: blog.conference2017@ogs.on.ca.

Thanks to Mike More, conference chair, for the information.

Yuletide R&R Classic: Four Candles

In tribute to Ronnie Corbett who died 31 March 2016

And the truth

27 December 2016

Progress on OGS Conference 2017

After three weeks OGS Conference 2017 reports:

61 OGS members registered and 8 non-members (not including speakers who get a free registration); all have opted for the full weekend package ($135 for OGS members until 31 March).
39 have signed up for excursions with 31 for LAC (which means two of three groups filled).
53 are taking a morning workshop and 55 an afternoon; none of the workshops are approaching their limits.
28 have signed up for Ancestry Day, all as part of a Conference package.
42 have signed up for Pub Night.
10 for the First Timers Gathering.
10 for The Institute’s graduation.
79 of the 225 seats booked for the banquet on Saturday (including Speakers and our Patron).

The Marketplace has twelve vendors/exhibitors, including four OGS Branches and SIGs, signed up so far: https://conference2017.ogs.ca/marketplace/whos-in-the-marketplace/

Information and conference registration is at  https://conference2017.ogs.ca/

Thanks to conference chair Mike More for the update.

Yuletide R&R: Funny Religion Bit by Rowan Atkinson!

25 December 2016

Yuletide R&R: Greetings from Bryan the Bard of BIFHSGO'

Please add suitable stanzas to this humble start.
We have to fill the Xmas dearth of topics for John’s blog!
Merry Xmas and a New Year of Discovery!
Bryan Cook
A blogger called Reid
keeps us all up to speed
as we build our ancestral trees;
he beats up on LAC,
FamilySearch, Ancestry, and
forecasts weather of past centuries!
With a Haplogroup R,
he’s a Brit right on par
except for bit Ashkenazi
and a hint of Welsh
his brickwall , which he squelched
with statistical improbability;
to heck with proof standards
he’s now working hard
to add Richard Three to his Tree;
but we all love our John
and we hope he blogs long
in avant-guard genealogy.

24 December 2016

Christmas present from Findmypast

Has Findmypast been saving it for Christmas? I don't know but bring tidings of joy to all Canadian genealogists. The Findmypast  A-Z of Records now has a heading United States & Canada. 
The nomination for the Lump of Coal award has been struck out. May Santa find lots of goodies for Findmypast this Christmas instead.

Yuletide R&R Classic: Politically Correct Christmas

This seasonably appropriate short item from the Royal Canadian Air Farce was the most popular last and the previous year.

23 December 2016

Findmypast adds Kent, Gloucester and Scottish records

There are new records in the Findmypast collection for the Kent communities of Wortham, Stansted, Wouldham, Southfleet, and Leybourne
Baptisms: New records: 14,282, Total Kent records: 581,367
Banns: New records: 1,389, Total Kent records: 27,962
Marriages: New records: 11,782, Total Kent records: 380,956
Burials: New records: 9,415, Total Kent records: 412,575

In over 20,000 records for Gloucester Apprentices 1595-1700, taken from the Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, find chosen trade, residence, the name of their father and the name of their master.

Scotland Mental Health Institutions Admissions 1857-1859 comprises over 1,000 record transcripts from the original ‘Notices of Admissions by the Superintendent of the Mental Institutions’.

Scotland Prison Registers Index 1828-1884 has over 17,000 register entries of inmates giving age, birth details, crime, and place of imprisonment.

Yuletide R&R: Two from Pam Ayres

22 December 2016

Thanks to MyHeritage

A delightful seasonal surprise was this gift of a towel from MyHeritage delivered to my door.

Thank you MyHeritage.

It was also an opportunity explore a new (to me) language in the washing instructions!

Yuletide R&R: Warning

Each year the supply of genealogy news dwindles to a trickle over the Christmas and New Year season. Rather than serve thin gruel I take a break and pre-post a few humorous items.

What's humorous for me may not be to your taste, so beware.

Let me take advantage now to wish everyone a Merry Christmas season.

Scotland baby names 2016

National Records of Scotland are out, months before other jurisdictions, with a list of the most popular first names for 2016 babies, albeit provisional.

Olivia takes the top girls spot, up from third last year, while Jack remains top boy's name.

James overtakes Oliver to take second place for boys. Olivia's top ranking pushes Emily and Sophie down one place each.

Rising stars are Harry for boy (6th place) and Charlotte for girls (10th place).

BoysChange in RankingGirlsChange in Ranking
1Jack465no change1Olivia4922
4Lewis301no change4Isla367no change
8Leo28258Ella268no change
9Charlie280-39Lucy264no change
11=Jacob265no change11Aria23914
14Mason242no change14Freya234-1

Find details for this and previous years here.

21 December 2016

Stuffed Beaver with All the Trimmings

These days we enjoy Beaver Tails. Did you know the tail of the beaver was considered a delicacy in pioneer times. Instructions for preparing, but not catching, are in a classic article from The Beaver, forerunner of Canada's History magazine. Read the article on Christmas feasting in pioneer Canada here. You might even be inspired to try a recipe.
Consider a gift subscription to Canada's History if you're still wondering what to give the Canadian genealogist.

20 December 2016

Top Ontario baby names 2015

The Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has released this list of the top baby names for 2015. The top ten names for the previous year are in parentheses. Rising stars are Charlotte and Henry.

Boy's NamesGirl's Names
1Liam (Liam)Olivia (Olivia)
2Benjamin (Ethan)Emma (Emma)
3Noah (Noah)Charlotte (Ava)
4Lucas (Benjamin)Ava (Sophia)
5Ethan (William)Sophia (Charlotte)
6William (Jacob)Emily (Emily)
7Nathan (Lucas)Abigail (Abagail)
8Logan (Mason)Isabella (Chloe)
9Mason (Logan)Amelia/Mia (Isabella)
10Jacob (Alexander)Ella (Avery)

Look for the 2016 list for Scotland later this week.

19 December 2016

BIFHSGO conference call for presentation proposals

Many people take time at this season to plan for the year ahead.

A reminder that the British Isles Family History Society if Greater Ottawa is soliciting proposals for presentations at its 23nd Annual Family History Conference to be held in 2017 in Ottawa.

Tentative dates are September 8 - 10 and September 29 - October 1, 2017 - to be confirmed in early January.

Although the conference will focus on two themes:
• England and Wales family history
• Methodology,
proposals on any topic likely to be of interest to society members are invited. 

Proposals from members and friends from nearby communities (Ontario and Quebec) are especially welcome. Maybe you'd like to propose a panel session together with colleagues.

For more information about proposals, please read the submission details. Deadline is January 31, 2017.

Lump of Coal Award Nominations

This is the second annual call for nominations for organizations that deserve a lump of coal in their stocking this Christmas?  Here are my nominations.

1. Findmypast for shockingly continuing to list Canadian records under United States in the A-Z of Records. Apologies aren't enough to excuse inaction on a simple fix.
2. The Association of Professional Genealogists and Board for Certification of Genealogists for failure to provide standards for the use of terms for confidence in findings used by professionals. Fail.

3. Library and Archives Canada for ignoring newspaper digitization, and practically ignoring newspapers entirely by having no dedicated newspaper librarian. Canada is at or near the bottom of the list of national libraries for this aspect of operations. Continuing neglect.

4. The Ottawa Public Library: for letting the Ottawa Room flounder. For example, the Bytown pamphlet series recently published number 100, but the latest in the Ottawa Room is number 90 with a note attached that 91 and 92 are in  cataloguing. There continues to be no meaningful virtual presence. This is the second year of neglect.

5. The General Records Office (England and Wales) for continuing to gouge for birth. marriage and death records, and continuing to do so despite findings that a restrictive policy is unnecessary. Some progress this year, could do better.

6. Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections: for inability to proof-read, spell and grammar check. This for the second year with no evident improvement.

Your nominations are welcome.

18 December 2016

RootsTech Innovator Showdown 2017 Semi-Finalists

RootsTech has announced the semi-finalists for Innovator Showdown 2017:

Champollion 2.0

CSI: Crowd Sourced Indexing
Double Match Triangulator
OldNews USA

See the announcement and find out more about each one at www.rootstech.org/innovator-showdown

Happily the judges who whittled the entries down to this list were not all from the US, unlike the those for the final. 

The merriest places in Canada

The December issue of Canadian Geographic shares a map of seasonally themed place names. See the full map here.
If you're looking for a last minute gift consider a Canadian Geographic subscription.

17 December 2016

Findmypast adds Middlesex War Memorials and British Army 6th Regiment of Foot Discharges 1854-1880

A couple of smaller databases of British-Canadian interest from Findmypast this week.

Middlesex War Memorials have been indexed for the communities of Acton; Ashford; Bedfont; Brentford; Chelsea; Chiswick; Cowley; Cranford; Ealing; Feltham; Fulham; Fulwell; Greenford; Hammersmith; Hampton; Hampton Wick; Hanwell; Hanworth; Harefield; Harlington; Harmondsworth; Hayes; Heston; Hillingdon; Hounslow; Isleworth; Kensington; Knightsbridge; Laleham; Littleton; Northwood; Norwood; Notting Hill; Pinner; Shepherds Bush; Shepperton; Southall; Staines; Stanwell; Sunbury; Teddington; Twickenham; Uxbridge; Whitton.

The database is based on transcripts created by the West Middlesex Family History Society containing 21,736 names.

You may not have thought about a relative killed in one of the World Wars, most of the memorials are for those wars, so it can be surprising to find their name. You'll likely find the surname, with initials, the place where the memorial is found and the war. One of my distant relatives I found on three different memorials in Brentford.
It's a mystery to me why one of those Brentford memorials would mention Sgt Robert Spall VC, born in Ealing, Essex, attested in Winnipeg, parents living in Montreal who served with the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry, killed in action on 13 August 1918.

British Army discharges, 60th Foot 1854-1880 includes 10,966 transcript records with Name; Discharge year; Date; Service number; Rank; Regiment; Battalion; Casualty returns pension; Archive
and Archive reference. The regiment served in Canada during the Fenian raids and the Red River Expedition.

North Irish Roots: Vol 27 No 2

As a new member of the North of Ireland Family History Society, I joined in October at Back to Our Past in Dublin, I recently received my first mailed issue of the Society semi-annual journal. The format is similar to Anglo-Celtic Roots except printed on metric size paper. Being semi-annual rather than quarterly it contains not quite twice as many pages but with smaller font probably as much content. It's full colour.
With exceptions the articles are shorter than typical in ACR. I was surprised at the variety, starting with finding a mention of my home town, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, on the first line of the first article about the brig Trusty. NIFHS has many associate members from outside Ireland.Other places mentioned in the Trusty article are Archangel, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Crookhaven, Hayti, Leith, Liverpool, London,  Saint John,  Richibucto, and Valparaiso.
Another article Greyabbey Roll of Honour has a list of 68 men from that parish who served in the First World War. It includes the following with a Canada connection.
SurnameForenamesNavy or ArmyServiceRemarks
CraigJosephArmyCanadian ForceKilled in Action
GeorgeRobertArmyCanadian Force
MacdonaldJohnArmyCanadian Force
MurphyAlfredArmyCanadian Force
HillArthurArmyCanadian Force
HamiltonAlfredArmyCanadian Army Medical Corp.
TaggartSamuelArmyCanadian Army Medical Corp.
FisherWilliamArmyCanadian Force
HamiltonSamuelArmyCanadian ForceKilled in Action

The longest article, The Story of George and Eliza McClelland describes their origins in Monaghan, departure in 1864 from Britain, landing in New York and time in Fall River, Massachusetts. They went at a time when steam was supplanting sail, but they chose the latter. Conditions were a lot better than those of the coffin ships just a few years earlier.

16 December 2016

Your ancestor Edward III?

If you have English ancestry you most likely have descent from King Edward III. Also you most likely can't find the records to support it.

If you could you might have the same type of experience as actor Danny Dyer in the new series of Who Do You Think You Are?  Experience it vicariously through this WDYTYA? episode now available on YouTube.

Cambridgeshire and Devon Bishops Transcripts at FamiySearch

England, Cambridgeshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1599-1860 contains yearly summaries of baptisms, marriages, and deaths for parishes throughout Cambridge originally filmed at the Cambridge University Library. You can search the 36,260 indexed records and view tlinked images with free sign in or browse 61,909 images after signing in,

England, Devon Bishop's Transcripts, 1558-1887 has 93,511 browse images and 290.306 indexed records with similar requirements regarding signing in as for Cambridgeshire. They are sourced from the Devon Record Office, Exeter.

15 December 2016

CEF Service Files Digitization: December 2016 Update

As of 15 December 2016,  378,229 (361,236 last month) of 640,000 files are available online via the LAC Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database.

The latest digitized is from Box 6355(6052 last month) and the surname Morello (Mattineau*).

16,993 (14,231) files were digitized in the last month.

At the last month rate of digitization the project would be completed in 15.4 months, by April 2018.

North Irish Family History Conference

If you're considering a trip to Ireland next year consider timing it to coincide with the 29-25 September conference being organised by The Causeway Coast and Glens (formerly Coleraine) Family History Society.
The program is already set with keynote speaker Dr William Roulston of the Ulster Historical Foundation.
Read details at

OPL: the big reveal

Today we learn about the proposed site for a possible new main branch of the Ottawa Public Library.

One thing is certain. Not everyone will be happy, and many will have mixed emotions. There's a vocal downtown lobby that won't be happy unless it's placed almost on top of the existing site. For them anything west of Kent Street would be too far.

Local genealogists would welcome a joint facility with Library and Archives Canada. The arrangement works well in Montreal between the city and the province. But will the feds try playing the Tunney's Pasture wildcard, rejected as a new hospital site, again? That might get support from those looking to replace the Rosemount Branch but would have the downtown folks upset.

And then there's those of us in underserved areas, library deserts. A large expenditure for a main branch pushes ever further back any prospect of equitable service.

See the Citizen opinion piece at http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-big-questions-on-a-big-new-library

An unusual GRO birth registration

Did you know the General Register Office England issues certified copies of entries of birth for dates prior to 1837 and for births in Scotland? Unusually the information given includes the date and place of baptism, but not the mother's maiden name.
Here's an example for a birth in 1835 in Edinburgh.

It's a military certificate. I found the information to order it at the findmypast collection GRO Regimental Birth Indices (1761 to 1924) 
There's a story behind this certificate, which relates to a footnote in Canadian history, I'll be recounting at the Alberta Genealogical Society conference, 22-23 April 2017  in Edmonton,

14 December 2016

TreeView 2

At WDYTYA earlier in the year in Birmingham I purchased a copy of TreeView, a (then) new genealogy software program from S&N Genealogy Supplies. I didn't need another item of genealogy software but it came packaged with a three month subscription to The Genealogist which I wanted to try.
On Tuesday I an email arrived from Nick Thorne who, as well as running his own genealogy educational business, handles publicity for The Genealogist. It announced the new version of the software, TreeView 2.
Find out more on what it has to offer in the press release on Nick's Nosey Genealogist blog at www.noseygenealogist.com/blog/4599/treeview-2-is-released-by-sn-genealogy-supplies

Ottawa Branch OGS December meeting

The final Ottawa Branch meeting of 2016 is this Saturday, 17 December.

At 10:30 am Mike More will present a Genealogy: Back to Basics talk on "Getting Organized". It's a short lecture with plenty of time for questions, and answers. If you feel you are fully organized this is one you can afford to skip.

Get together at 1 pm for networking and refreshments followed by showing a specially selected Legacy Webinar: "Timelines and Chronologies - Secrets of Success" by Geoff Rasmussen.

That's followed, at about 3 pm by the Computer Special Interest Group.

All events are at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, ON room 115

13 December 2016

Recognition for Montreal genealogist Stanley Diamond

Dick Eastman is reporting on his blog that Stanley Diamond has been awarded a Meritorious Service Medal of Canada. While I've not been able to confirm it in an official announcement Stanley certainly merits recognition for his continuing contributions to Jewish genealogy.

Read Dick's post at https://blog.eogn.com/2016/12/12/stanley-diamond-has-been-awarded-the-meritorious-service-medal-of-canada/#more-16287

12 December 2016

How to find your Irish ancestors online

Despite being launched 95% into the year Family Research 2016, initially designed for students but good for anyone, is not so ephemeral that it will turn into a pumpkin as the New Year strikes.

Start at www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/2016-family-history/welcome which will lead you to an introduction and seven modules tailored to Irish family history:
You can also download the entire course as a pdf at  https://www.irishgenealogy.ie/images/content/family2016/pdf/2016FamilyHistory_Workbook.pdf

via a post at www.johngrenham.com/blog/2016/12/12/new-free-irish-genealogy-education-site/

Help in writing family history

Judging the line-up of most popular "genealogy" books for sale on amazon.ca a lot of people are interested in writing up their family history and memories. Many are based on asking questions for you to respond to in your own words, the literary equivalent of the colouring book. None are newly published; memories are timeless. All are rated as better than four stars out of five.

Memories for My Grandchild: A Keepsake To Remember (Grandparent's Memory Book) Hardcover-spiral – Mar 15 2010
by Suzanne Zenkel (Author)
Don't you wish your grandmother had written down her life story? This journal enables you to write down yours!
• Guided questions and prompts will help you tell your grandchildren (and great-grandchildren to come) all about your childhood and teen years; your education, love, and marriage; work, community, religion, military service; parenthood and family life; and, of course, grandparenthood!
CDN$ 17.95

There's More You Should Know: A Journal of My Life Hardcover – Mar 4 2014
by Jennifer Basye Sander (Author)
Whether their children have asked them to recapture treasured moments, stories, and traditions, or simply to record valuable family information, many seniors are now sitting down to write about their lives. But how does one get started on such a daunting project?

That’s where writing coach Jennifer Basye Sander steps in. In Before I Go, There’s More You Should Know, she has developed one hundred questions to prompt fledgling memoirists and family historians on their way.
CDN$ 17.95

The Story of a Lifetime: A Keepsake of Personal Memoirs Hardcover – Sep 1 2000
by Pamela Pavuk  (Author), Stephen Pavuk (Author)
Uniquely personal gift book that expresses to the recipient the elegant sentiment: "Your life is important to me. I value where you've been, what you've done and who you are. Please tell me more." Enables the recipient to write his or her life story and perspective with ease by answering almost 500 thought-provoking questions right in the book. Passes along a legacy of wisdom and knowledge gained from experience. Preserves special memories and instills appreciation for family history. Enhances personal growth and strengthens bonds with loved ones. Deepens understanding and communication in the present. Creates a priceless heirloom for future generations.
CDN$ 58.13

Grandmother Remembers 30th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – Mar 19 2013
by Judith Levy  (Author)
Grandmother Remembers is the original, bestselling keepsake book for grandmothers to record important memories, family traditions, favorite recipes, and special stories to pass along to their grandchildren. With more than 1.6 million copies sold, the book continues to appeal to new generations of grandmothers. This special 30th anniversary edition includes specially designed wrapping paper and a notecard with envelope for convenient gift giving.

CDN$ 20.21

Family Tree Memory Keeper: Your Workbook for Family History, Stories and Genealogy Paperback – Oct 9 2013
by Allison Dolan  (Author), Diane Haddad (Author)
From the editors of Family Tree Magazine, this workbook makes it easy to record and organize your family history.
Family Tree Memory Keeper helps you keep track of basic genealogy information and special family memories, including traditions, heirloom histories, family records, newsworthy moments, family migrations and immigrations, old recipes, important dates, and much more. This book features:
Dozens of fill-in pages to record all your essential family information.
Convenient paperback format for writing and photocopying pages.
Space for mounting photographs.
Maps to mark your family's migration routes.
Tips for researching your family history.
A comprehensive list of additional resources.

Use Family Tree Memory Keeper to log your genealogy research. Bring it to family get-togethers to gather and share information. Create an invaluable record of your ancestry for future generations.
CDN$ 20.21

The Book of Myself: A Do-it-Yourself Autobiography in 201 Questions Hardcover – Jan 9 2007
by David Marshall  (Author), Carl Marshall (Author)
A keepsake fill-in book contains more than two hundred prompts divided into three life phases--Early, Middle, and Later Years--and separates each phase into five subject categories--Family, Friends, Education, Work/Responsibilities, and The World.
CDN$ 18.06

YouTube: Orders in Council: Meet the Sisters Behind One of Canada's Greatest Family History Resources

It's refreshing to see Ancestry promoting an independent database on the company YouTube channel.

Joanna Crandell and Elinor "Lin" Sullivan are founders of the Orders in Council Database (OCD). The database contains photographs and indexes of names of over Canadian 1,000 Orders in Council to make accessible the information about 57,000 non-British immigrants approved to come to Canada between 1930 and 1960.

There's more. While it isn't Anglo-Celtic the sisters are Ottawa-based. Check out the short video.

11 December 2016

CTRL your computer

From Reader's Digest, a collection of keyboard shortcuts.

CTRL + SHIFT + T : Open the most recently closed tab
CTRL + back arrow: Go back one page in your browsing history
CTRL + D = bookmark a page
CTRL + L: Move the cursor to the URL bar
CTRL + K: Move the cursor to the search box
CTRL + 1: Switch to the first tab
CTRL + Plus sign: Zoom in
CTRL + Minus sign: Zoom out
CTRL+ Enter = .com
CTRL + W: Close current tab
In Facebook: J and K for effortless scrolling down and up
Space bar: Automatically scroll down a page while browsing

What genealogists want from digital libraries and archives

Digital library search preferences amongst historians and genealogists: British History Online user survey by Adam Crymble provides understanding of the different needs and expectations of academic historians and genealogical users of digital libraries and archives.

The results are from a survey of British History Online, a digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain and Ireland, with a principal focus on the period between 1300 and 1800.

Who responded to the survey? 737 (51%) classified themselves as genealogists; 354 (25%) as academics or students; and 348 (24%) were in a catch-all, casual user, category. Academics reported more frequent use of the site than genealogists.

Genealogical users were typically older than the academics. The majority were between 55 and 74, but the largest group was older than 65, and there was a large group older than 75 years. Very few users were under 45. The split between male and female respondents was equal, unlike amongst academics.

63% of genealogist users responding were from the UK and Ireland, 18% from North America and 13% from Oceania.

Simple keyword searching was the most popular approach to using the site's resources with genealogists having slightly more use than academics. Advanced keyword searching was also popular but slightly more so for academics than genealogists. This could be because genealogists were found to focus most on name and place searches.

A majority of users liked to have access to fuzzy and proximity searches, more so the academics.

The study concludes that "genealogists are primarily interested in names of people and names of places related to their search. They do not seem to be interested in reading material, or even what the source of the material is, as long as it contains the details they are after. Searching free content only was more important to genealogists than it was to academics and casual users."  That could well be because academics have access to the paid content through an institutional subscription.

If you decide to read the full article don't be put off by the momentary lapse to 23rd grade Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level academic obfuscation,:
It would be easy to be deterred reading the sentence above in the recent article Digital library search preferences amongst historians and genealogists: British History Online user survey.The project is also an important part of the technical revisionist reactions in the form of discrete re-curated datasets that eschew searchable databases entirely and instead focus on a mutable interpretation of a set of records as the new unit of dissemination.
Digital library search preferences amongst historians and genealogists: British History Online user survey is by Adam Crymble of the University of Hertfordshire and published in Volume 10 Number 4 of Digital Humanities Quarterly.

10 December 2016

New and updated English county records

Findmypast has added Worcestershire Probate Index 1660-1858 with 51,375 entries. The transcripts may include:First name(s), Last name, Sex, Year, Date, Occupation, Place, County, Countr, Document type, Jurisdiction, Archive, Notes. Original records are at the Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service in Worcester.

Also from findmypast, a new collection of 49,300 Buckinghamshire Marriages from 26 parishes. These are transcripts, typically from the start of record to 1812. The transcripts cover First name(s),
Last name, Role, Year, Marriage date, Spouse's first name(s), Spouse's last name, Parish, County, Country,

Ancestry lists an update to the collection Cornwall, England, Parish Registers, 1538-2010, now with339,301 records. When I checked it there was no search capability, only browse. FamilySearch, the source for Ancestry, have a searchable collection, with images, at https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1769414?collectionNameFilter=false

Clarington Digital Newspaper Collection

Three newspapers from the Clarington area are now digitized and searchable with about 150,000 pages freely available.
Merchant And General Advertiser (Bowmanville, ON) is available from 1871 - 1876.
Orono Weekly Times is available from 1937 to 2012
Canadian Statesman was published Bowmanville and is available from 1868 to 2006.

Try this combined search

The Clarington Digital Newspaper Collection is a collaborative project between the Clarington Public Library and the Clarington Museums and Archives.
Why is it that Clarington, with a population of 85,000 can do this while much larger communities, ten times the size, lag?

09 December 2016

Commonwealth War Graves Commission seeks relatives

Do you have an ancestor named Barr, Brown, Campbell, Cowan, Sapwell or Wyse? 
If so please check out this document
If you are a relative to one of those casualties and can provide documentation, please contact UKNA Technical Team.

Ontario Seniors Community Grant Program

Attention leaders of not-for-profit genealogy and family history and heritage organizations in Ontario.

The Ontario Seniors Community Grant Program is "designed to give seniors more opportunities to participate in their communities by providing funding to not-for-profit community groups for projects that encourage greater social inclusion, volunteerism and community engagement for seniors."

The Brant County Branch - Ontario Genealogical Society received $2,950 in 2015.

No other genealogy group has received funding in the three years of the program. Funding for heritage projects has been granted.

Why not genealogy in 2017?

The deadline for applications is 3 March 2017.

Grants range from $1,000 to $8,000 for a program total of $2 million.

Read more at www.seniors.gov.on.ca/en/srsorgs/scgp.php

BIFHSGO Conference 2017 call for presentation proposals

The 23nd Annual Family History Conference of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa will likely be either 8-10 September or 29 September - 1 October, 2017. Date TBD in early January,
The conference themes are:
• England and Wales family history
• Methodology, e.g., evidence analysis, genealogical proof standard, FAN (friends, associates and neighbours), and appraising the credibility of documents.

Proposals are solicited for presentations and workshops on these themes, and also on other topics likely to be of interest to society members.
For more information read please the submission details.
Deadline for presentation proposals is 31 January, 2017.

08 December 2016

RootsMagic to miss Ancestry sync deadline

A year ago, when Ancestry announced it was discontinuing support for Family Tree Maker as of the end of 2016 RootsMagic jumped into the gap with an offer to get people to switch. It came with a promise that Ancestry sync would be implemented in RootsMagic by the end of 2016. Several people I know purchased RM on the basis of that promise.

Now the company is out with news that deadline will not be met. No apology!

The new promise is that it will be implemented and "we aren't talking about a 6 month delay or anything like that."

In the meantime ... mind the gap.

07 December 2016

Child Migrant Ancestors from Britain

Phil Ellis, founding chair of the Ontario Genealogical Society Special Interest Group on British Home Children, is author of Finding your Child Migrant Ancestors from Britain. Published in May this year by Heritage Publications it covers the history of child migration from Britain with details of the records available in receiving countries, and in Britain, and of the sending agencies.

The book is an update, desperately needed, of my own book Researching Canada's Home Children. The same basic structure is retained with minor reorganization and an additional chapter on Australia, New Zealand and Southern Rhodesia Research.  There's a new section on the Children's Oversea's Reception Board (CORB) which evacuated children from June to September 1940 for the duration of the war. Although not migrants many did eventually settle in the host country.

There have been many changes in the decade since the previous publication which have been incorporated in the new book. There are new websites and changes of address. Inevitably other new resources, such as those from Ireland and the newly available GRO birth indexes including mother's maiden name, have appeared since publication. While some resources are missing, such as the Canadian census which now includes 1921, Canadian voter's lists and clues from the ever increasing availability of compiled family trees online, the strength of the book remains in the coverage of home child specific resources.

Find the book at http://genealogystore.com/after you select the shipping destination, under

Heritage Books, in the English Series
By Country/Groups: Canada: General: Books
By country/Groups: England: Books.

Art at LAC

Taking it to the Streets: Summit on the Value of Libraries, Archives and Museums in a Changing World took place at Library and Archives Canada on Monday and Tuesday. On Twitter libraries, archives and museums became the hashtag #LAM.  There were lots of good substantive presentations but three stood out in expanding LAM to GLAM, prepending Galleries to reflect the synergy with art.
Detachment honours the lives lost during the First World War and reinforces the enduring importance of collective memory on its 100th anniversary through art created from brass fasteners that once held together the military records of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Find out more and see the short video explaining the project at https://librarianship.ca/news/detachment/.
Eric Chan a.k.a. eepmon, a Digital Artisan intersecting computer code and drawing spoke about his involvement with the Open Books exhibit at Library and Archives Canada;  also his involvement with a limited edition parka for Canada Goose.
Derek Kwan, who described himself as actor, creator and food eater, showed a short video, Taste of Identity, he made using resources from the Vancouver Public Library.

BIFHSGO December Meeting

The next meeting of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa on Saturday, 10 December, features the semi-annual Great Moments in Genealogy presentations.
Following the President's announcements starting at 10am four members will share their Great Moments.

Duncan Monkhouse will speak on Mary Ann Flannery — From Ireland You Say
Susan Davis reports on her finding about The Drowning of Charles Dougherty
Glenn Wright tells about the benefits of having a newspaperman in the family in Extra! Extra! Read All about It! Cousin Lyman and Power of the Press
Suzanne Eakin recounts The Tender Tale of a First World War British War Baby with Canadian Roots, Discovered Almost a Century Later.
Find out more at www.bifhsgo.ca/eventListings.php?nm=127

Prior to the main event, at 9 am, Marnie McCall will give a Before BIFHSGO Education Talk on Copyright for Family History.

In between Global Genealogy will be on hand with a selection of their wares to purchase. As always if you find something on their website at globalgenealogy.com of interest contact them and ask them to bring it for your inspection. Purchase and you'll save the shipping cost.

As usual, the location is The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

Leeds Burials

The Leeds General Cemetery was opened in 1835 as a public burial ground in Leeds, Yorkshire operating until the 1960s.
Recently placed online the Leeds General Cemetery Burial Registers Index contains over 96,000 transcribed entries from the burial registers. The index information from a search can be more detailed than one typically sees, a model for others. For example:

Name: Wright, George
Gender: Male
Occupation: Gardener
Date of death: 18/07/1878
Age at death: 73 Years
Cause of death: Gen Decay
Mother: Wright, Ann
Father: Wright, John
Occupation of parent(s): Gardener
plus burial date and plot identification.

On the associated image is the place or residence and where born as well as the name of the officiating minister.

The best place to start is https://blog.library.leeds.ac.uk/blog/special-collections/post/484 which gives an overview of the collection and a link to the search page.

via a tweet from Judy Webster.

06 December 2016

FamilySearch adds Ireland, Valuation Office Books, 1831-1856

This database comprises an indexed compilation of "General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland, 1847-1864" and "Griffith's Valuation" made available to FamilySearch from Findmypast.

A search provides transcripts containing name, event type, event date, event year, event place, event place (original), affiliation record type, townland, county, parish and, barony.

Each search result also provides a link to the associated image available when at a Family History Centre, to "signed-in members of supporting organizations" or to Findmypast subscribers through the Griffith’s Valuation landing page.

05 December 2016

Canadian Stained Glass

Something a bit different precipitated by a conversation on the periphery of a meeting at Library and Archives Canada.

The Institute for Stained Glass in Canada at http://glassincanada.org presents more than 6000 photos, mostly from Western Canada, documenting 160 years of glass in Canadian public buildings. An enormous range of styles and techniques reveal Canada's most widespread public art.

More RootsTech Innovator Showdown Contestants

Louis Kessler, one of the entrants in the Rootstech Innovator Showdown, and a Canadian, contacted me to correct a link and let me know about additional contestants.
Find his list at www.beholdgenealogy.com/blog/?p=1831

Thanks and best of luck to Louis.

Rootstech Innovator Showcase Promos

As described on the Rootstech webpage (slightly edited)

The Innovator Showdown was created to help innovators capitalize on the technological shift in the industry and provide the opportunity for innovators to use their talents and bright ideas to help propel them forward in new and exciting ways.
 Part of the entry requirement is to produce a short video explaining the innovation. Here are some of them. If I missed any please let me know and I add, or feature in a separate blog post.


Little Family Tree

Double Match Triangulator

The Family Nexus

Old News USA

O Ancestor Where Art Thou





CSI: Crowd Sourced Indexing



Bravo OGS

The Ontario Genealogical Society is making determined efforts to get out of the rut that has seen declining membership and collapsing branches in recent years.

On top of the half price membership for a new member and a member partner which ends at the end of the month there is a new initiative with Findmypast.

Here's how vice-President Steve Fulton described it in an email.

Every member of The Ontario Genealogical Society in 2017 will receive a Starter Package subscription to Findmypast.  The value of this benefit is $34.95 US$, and it is free for all 2017 OGS members. 

The Findmypast Starter Package allows access to over 3.6 million records, including:

Canadian and US social histories
Canadian census (pending release)
Ontario Birth Index, 1860-1920 (pending release)
UK/Ireland Census Records
Findmypast Family Tree
Irish Parish Catholic Registers
Exclusive land records and Irish Prison Registers
Exclusive Court records and Petty Sessions Order Books
The complete U.S. Census, 1790–1940
Birth, marriage, and death records from across the U.S.
(excluding premium marriage dataset)
US immigration and travel records, including U.S. Passenger Lists, 1820s–1950s
US Newspapers

If you're tempted to join, or rejoin as I did earlier, go to www.ogs.on.ca/.

04 December 2016

Joshua Taylor on How Genealogists Research

Joshua Taylor, President of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, professional genealogist, and theme speaker at the OGS Conference 2017, is interviewed in an episode of an educational series “Doing History: How Historians Work.”
Presented in an interview format with host Liz Covart it covers what would be good to know when starting out researching your family history and, as always, acts as a refresher for the more experienced.

  • New-York Genealogical and Biographical Society
  • Overview of professional genealogy
  • Where genealogists start their research projects
  • How far back you can expect to trace your family tree
  • Differences in access to records between the United States and European countries
  • The role questions play in genealogical research
  • Genealogists’ research process
  • Where genealogists look for information
  • Digital resources for genealogical research
  • Types of historical sources genealogists use
  • How genealogists research people who left little-to-no written record
  • How genealogists use the work of other genealogists
  • How to know if the family tree constructed by another genealogist is accurate
  • The role of DNA in genealogical research
  • Objectivity in genealogical research
  • The final products of genealogical research
  • Strategies for becoming “unstuck” in your genealogical research
  • The role historical context plays in genealogical research
  • Researching in U.S. census records
  • Tips and tricks for conducting genealogical research
  • Local genealogical societies

Although Josh and Liz do come at the topic from a US, and New York orientation the advice is more generally applicable.
Skip past the first five minutes of the episode to the interview which lasts about 40 minutes.
Toward the end of the episode it's revealed that the next series of Genealogy Roadshow has not (yet) been commissioned.


Crème de la crème: nourishing, not fattening

Every week Gail Dever, compiles a roundup of the best new genealogy and related items she's come across.
Every week I'm impressed by some of the things included. Gail is well tuned in to social media, as those who've heard her speak at BIFHSGO or OGS meetings already know, meaning that while there's some overlap with this blog Gail's scope is broader.
Check out her latest Crème de la crème post here where you can subscribe to ensure you don't miss any of Gail's posts.

Change for The Canadian Gravemarker Gallery

News arrived on Saturday that the Webmaster of The Canadian Gravemarker Gallery, Murray Pletsch, has decided to retire.

Thanks to Murray for the many years of volunteer service and all the best for the future.

Over the coming months photos from The Canadian Gravemarker Gallery website will be incorporated into CanadaGenWeb at http://rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cancemet/
their website. It will take some while to re-index the 1,600 cemeteries from The Canadian Gravemarker Gallery.

02 December 2016

Irish Soldiers' Records

The 16 soldiers listed below were members of five units of the British Army which were disbanded following the establishment of the independent Irish Free State in 1922. They each had a Canadian connection; born, address of next of kin, or address on discharge.

JohnHillsoldier06/03/1919MaymyoEnlistment Scans linked to deed
Cyril JosephLeesoldier28/07/1919CorkEnlistment Scans linked to deed
ThomasShearersoldier27/01/1903GalwayEnlistment Scans linked to deed
PatrickDolansoldier12/08/1915DublinEnlistment Scans linked to deed
ErnestDaysoldier10/03/1910Stratford E.Enlistment Scans linked to deed
JohnCodysoldier29/04/1915WexfordEnlistment Scans linked to deed
William SamuelCollinssoldier25/10/1919Whitehall S.W.Enlistment Scans linked to deed
John Basil TrelawneyButtonsoldier21/06/1921PlymouthEnlistment Scans linked to deed
AlbertMulhollandsoldier04/04/1919Rugeley CampEnlistment Scans linked to deed
FrankO'Sullivansoldier03/10/1921CorkEnlistment Scans linked to deed
JohnMuldoonsoldier15/12/1919DublinEnlistment Scans linked to deed
FrancisO'Flynnsoldier05/02/1920CorkEnlistment Scans linked to deed
John Joseph PatrickCashinsoldier02/11/1910KilkennyEnlistment Scans linked to deed
JamesRodgersoldier11/03/1919MaymyoEnlistment Scans linked to deed
HenryHarrisonsoldier26/07/1909DublinEnlistment Scans linked to deed
Alfred GeorgeWatlingsoldier14/07/1920LondonEnlistment
The units disbanded were the Connaught Rangers, the Leinster Regiment, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Regiment and the Royal Munster Fusiliers.

Listed with links to images of original records, this information is from a database of 11,981 recordsfrom the National Army Museum at www.nam.ac.uk/soldiers-records/persons.

Some of these list address or discharge with the notation "Comm. Of Emigration". I'm curious about that organization. Any information to share?