31 January 2017

New Site for Ottawa Public Library Central

Is it the nature of community decisions that nobody is likely to be entirely happy?

On Tuesday the Ottawa Public Library Board will meet to consider a proposal detailed here. It would see a Ottawa Public Library -Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility, 216,000 gross square feet (with an estimated 133,000 gross square feet allocated to OPL), built at a city-owned site at 557 Wellington Street.

Vocal downtown resident library users are unhappy as the site falls outside the conventional downtown perimeter. They complain the location is inconvenient, would mean an extra 20 minute walk or a transit fare.

Others complain about the cost. In an age when more and more is going online they argue a major library building is a wasteful and unnecessary expense.

Suburbanites, depending on location, think the money would be better spent on improving their service. From my suburban location the walk to the nearest OPL branch takes over an hour; the bus ride to the nearest branch is about 40 minutes. Why have downtowners been selfishly silent about substandard service in the suburbs?

Those using Library and Archives Canada recognize that the new facility will do nothing about delays in retrieving materials for consultation, and preclude any more satisfactory development. I've experienced this. You can find that a box you ordered in advance is the wrong one or is missing material. For those living in Ottawa it means delay. For those coming from a distance it means reordering and waiting costly days, if that's possible, or another expensive trip with the possibility of the same result. It would be much better if the storage and consultation facilities were co-located as at the National Archives in Kew (for most materials) and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, as well as at many smaller archives.

Whatever decision is made sections of the community will likely be dissatisfied.

Ancestry adds Industry Veterans

News of two new executive team members at Ancestry.com came in a post Ancestry Bolsters Product, Tech and Marketing Leadership Teams with Industry Veterans.

In line with Ancestry positioning itself as a technology company, rather than strictly genealogy, the newcomers have deep experience in product management and marketing.

Prior to the position at Ancestry "Nat" Rajesh Natarajan was chief technology officer and senior vice president of product management and engineering for Intuit's Consumer Tax Group,  responsible for the strategic direction of Intuit TurboTax technology.

There's a YouTube video of a talk he gave in December 2014 here.

With Ancestry he becomes Executive Vice President of Product and Technology.

Born in India and raised in Oshawa, Vineet Mehra arrives to Ancestry from Johnson & Johnson where he was Global President of J&J’s multi-billion dollar flagship Baby Care business.

You may be able to listen to his life story in a longer interview. If that doesn't work try this.

With Ancestry he will be Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.

30 January 2017

Radio in Canada, 1922-1956

A new exhibition at the Carleton University MacOdrum Library, located on the main floor and in the Discovery Centre, "explores representations of radio to show how manufacturers and advertisers sold the idea of listening to the wireless."
More at Seeing, selling and situating radio in Canada, 1922-1956.
The exhibit runs until April 30, 2017.

Remember the MS St Louis

The situation with the Presidential Executive Order banning entry to the US of citizens of seven majority Muslim countries is reminiscent of the situation of the MS St Louis in 1939 with a majority of Jewish passengers. It's Canada's shame that having been turned away at Cuba and the US the passengers were denied entry to Canada.

I hope those in the US who voted for this president, especially those who are Jewish, are finding cause for second thoughts about their support. That's all the more so when the contagion appears to have spreads to Sainte-Foy. My thoughts this morning are with the families of the victims.

Could LAC digitize one item per resident per year

For a small country, only a bit over 3 million population, the National Library of Wales has big plans. The new strategic plan, Safeguarding Wales’ Culture and Heritage for All: Moving the National Library Forward 2017 – 2021 calls for 15 million items to be digitized in five years. That breaks down to one item per year for each resident.

In Canada that same commitment would see 36.5 million items digitized by or on behalf of Library and Archives Canada each year. How's it going?

LAC's flagship digitization project, the service files of Canada's  640,000 men and women who served in the Great War, will see 32 million images digitized over 5 years. Another total 40 million pages of archival material on microfilm have been digitized by partner Canadiana.ca since 2005, and 3 million by Ancestry.ca. The numbers are updated from a May 2016 speech Saving the world: one record at a time by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. It's probably missing some items, like photos.

The NLW has already digitized and made searchable 1.1 million newspaper pages which is 1.1 million more than LAC.

In his May speech  Dr. Guy Berthiaume said "Business is digital, government is digital, and, to put it bluntly, Canada is a digital nation.". Will LAC's digital initiatives match those of Wales? In numbers, what is LAC's goal for digitization of Canada's heritage?

David Thompson: CEF Beechwood

David A. Thompson died of peritonitis on 30 January 1917 at Mowat Memorial Hospital in Kingston where he had been since 7 August 1916.
Born in Scotland on 28 June 1878, son of William Armstrong Thompson and Adelaide Elizabeth Baird Thompson, of Edinburgh, he came to Canada in 1904. He was a jeweler by trade.
He enlisted in Ottawa in December 1914 with the 43rd Regiment and attested on the 24 February 1915 serving in Europe as a Private with the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Infantry, service number:410060.
Over 100 soldiers followed the cortege from his home at 151 Arlington Ave to Beechwood Cemetery.
His wife, Esther M. H. Thompson, also of Scottish birth, survived to September 1946 and is also interred at Beechwood Cemetery.

29 January 2017

Early Canadian Online through OPL

A blog post earlier this year noted that the Ottawa Public Library has subscribed to Early Canadiana Online. I also noted some problems that I hoped were temporary.
It's taken a while but ECO, which those with a OPL card can access from home, now seems to be working well.
ECO claims "the most complete set of full-text historical content about Canada, including books, magazines and government documents." Of interest for genealogy it has " voter’s lists, eulogies, directories and gazettes, biographies, civil service lists, published diaries, church magazines and pamphlets, militia lists, publications from professional and trade societies, school publications, and more."
The Ottawa Branch OGS computer group trialed it on Saturday. It worked well once you find it. Unfortunately the OPL website does a good job of hiding their databases. Try searching "Early Canadiana Online" from the front page with the website radio button selected.
The computer found group response from the site was fairly quick. Often the page number(s) on which the search terms occur are listed. Sometimes not. You can also down load the whole document as a pdf and search that which will highlight the search term in the text.
Naturally, as with all OCRd documents, expect occurrences to be missed and some false hits found.

Worth a try. Some other public libraries, including Toronto, also offer ECO.

RootsTech Streaming Schedule

RootsTech is 8-11 February in Salt Lake City. If you've chosen not to go you can still enjoy a limited selection of presentations streamed online. Make your selection from the schedule at https://www.rootstech.org/live-stream-schedule/. Just remember the times are MST, add 2 hours for EST so 9am on the schedule is 11 am EST.

28 January 2017

Society of Genealogists Free Newsletter

To find out what's happening in the Society of Genealogists and the genealogical community in Britain check out their monthly newsletter?

The January issue includes news of a discount (greater for SOG members) on the Book of the Month:
Greater London Cemeteries & Crematoria by Cliff Webb.

There's news of new records online in the Society collection:

● West Norfolk Poll Book 1847
● Northumberland Poll Book 1734
● Yorkshire West Riding Poll Book 1835
● Norfolk marriage index Sections 1,2,3 & 11
● Stokenham parish register C 1578-1812
● Leeds Poll Book 1835
● Sheffield Poll Book 1840
● North East Scotland monumental inscriptions, Vol. 1
● Curious Epitaphs
● Norfolk MIs in Gough Ms.
● Abergavenny parish register
● Coedkernew parish register
● Gwernesney parish register
● Kemeys Commander parish register
Find out about all online records for members at http://sog.archiveps.co.uk/bin/recordslist.php

Genealogy community news includes listings of new resources online at the major commercial sites of British interest.

Find pdf copies of the current and past newsletter editions at www.sog.org.uk/about/newsletter/ where you can also sign up to be on the mailing list, for free.

27 January 2017

OGS Conference 2017 Accommodation

Some folks have had problems booking accommodation for the OGS conference. Now there's good news.
Algonquin College Residence has released another block of suites on Thursday evening for our registrants after another group closed its booking. They are currently available on a first come, first served basis. If you have already booked for other nights and wish to extend your stay, call them at  613-727-7698 or 1-855-782-9722. If you have not yet booked, go to https://conference2017.ogs.ca/location/accommodation/ for details.

The Story of a Sign on a Wall

Howard Simkover was driving along Bank Street near Slater in Ottawa when his wife pointed out a sign. Perhaps you've seen it and been curious.
That was the start of a long research adventure. Who was G.A.Snider? What was he doing in Ottawa? What was his family history?
It's all told in a book and was recounted to a spellbound audience at Friday's Historical Society of Ottawa Meeting.
The sign dates from the early 1890s, preserved for decades by being sheltered by an adjacent building.
You can read the Snider story and about the research undertaken in a book in two parts, free online, made available by Mr Simkover (see below). It may be of particular interest to those researching the names of the descendants of  Frederick George Snider, Senior(1793-1877):
Elizabeth Agnes Bligh Snider (Anderson), William Sven Anderson, Ernest Francis Appelbe, Helen Hamil Snider (Appelbe), Helen Elizabeth Appelbe (Armour), Ian Armour, Kathleen Louise Snider (Bath), Evelyn Louise Church (Baker), Donald Herbert Baker, Harold Stewart Baker, Herbert Thomas Baker, Donald Henry Whitney Bath, Henry James Bath, James Bawtinhimer, Mary Snider (Bawtinhimer), Charles Vincent Bennett, Helen Florence Church (Bennett), Joyce Marie Bentley, Diana Selena Hicks (Bird), Sydney Bird, Lalia Patricia Snider (Benson), Mary Ann Leflar (Burns, Westbrook), Mary Muske (Campbell), Eugene Judson Chapin, Victoria Minnie Snider (Chapin), Cai Vagn Christensen, Mary Louise Snider (Christensen), Vagn Henrick Christensen, Helen Margaret Smith (Church), William Alvin Church, Shirley Barbara Carol Snider (Cunningham, Beckt), Emily Mary Kathleen Graydon (Eaton), Louis S. Eaton, Florence Helen Baker (Finnegan), Alice Sophia
Gage, Alma Theresa Gage, Edward Gage, Ella Alberta Gage, Madilla Gage, Moss Ingersoll Gage, Russel Olmsted Gage, Susan Snider (Gage), Annie Eileen Workman (Gould), Frederick Charles Newenham Graydon, Mary Marilla Snider (Graydon), Norah Louise Graydon, Ida Fidelia Whitney (Hicks, Snider), William Hicks, James Hunter, Gwendolyn Appelbe (Laidlaw), John Claris Laidlaw, Audrey Snider (Lawson), Margaret E. Templer (McCrimmon), Milton McCrimmon, Alice Alberta Wesbrook (McIntyre), Clarence Russel Miles, Margaret Calista Gage (Miles), William Frederick Miles, Mary Letitia Snider (Molson, Tinker), Madeleine Gordon Snider (Muske), Wilfred Cecil Muske, Ingersoll Olmstead, William Alfred Olmstead, Alice Alberta Miles (Porter), Frederick Russell Porter, Nellie Irene Klodt (Porter), Peter Porter, James Hammill Regan, James Thomas Hammill Regan, Kate Alma Gabel (Regan), Kathleen Helen Regan, Mabel Reata Harrington (Regan), Russell Templer Regan, Sarah Elizabeth Regan, William Snider Regan, Barbara Muske (Seadon), Catherine Snider (Smith, Westbrook), Ada H. McCracken (Snider), Alpheus Snider, Allan Young Snider, Arthur Milton Snider, Arthur Wesbrook Snider, Beatrice Ada Snider, Bertha Maria Wilson (Snider), Caroline Elizabeth Douglass (Snider), Carrie Snider, Catherine Desmarais (Snider), Cecil Robert Snider, Charles Royden Snider, Colin George Snider, David Snider, Doris DeGrasely (Snider), Dorothy Tyrwhitt (Snider), Edith Grasett Snider (Young), Edwin Palmerston Snider, Elizabeth Lemon (Snider), Elizabeth Zentner (Snider), Emily Snider, Emily Pemberton (Snider), Ernest Colin Snider, Esther Ann Snider, Evanda Marie Gentry (Snider), Fred Douglass Snider, Frederick G. Snider, Frederick George Snider (Senior), Frederick Samuel Snider, Frieda Louise Weiland (Snider), Geoffrey Hammill Snider, Geoffrey Tyrwhitt Snider, George Snider, George Allan Snider, George Frederick Snider, George Palmer Snider, Gordon Wilson Snider,Hedley Elliott Snider,Helen Bligh Grasett (Snider), Hubert Cecil Alpheus Snider, John William Snider, Kathleen Jean Boulter (Snider), Laurence Edwin Snider, Leigh Hammill Snider, Louisa Ellen Snider, Lucy Louise Martin (Snider), Margaret Snider, Margaret Hunter (Snider), Mary Clara Snider, Mary Elizabeth Foster (Snider), Mary Elizabeth Olivia Josephine Servos (Snider), Mary Hammill (Snider), Mary Murdy (Snider), Matilda Snider, Mercy Elizabeth Hammill (Snider), Milton Alpheus Snider, Pauline Winifred Snider, Richard Colin Snider, Robert P. Snider, Russell Oscar Snider, Ruth Olga Youngs (Snider), Sallie Agnes Sanders (Snider), Samuel Hammill Snider, Sarah Ann Snider, Susannah Gould (Snider), Thomas Allan Snider, Thomas Alpheus Snider, Thomas Beverly Snider, Thomas Robert Snider, Viola Carroline Comerford (Snider), Violet May Foster (Snider), Vivian Reginald Snider, Walter Bruce Snider, William Kern Snider, Edward Henry Stewart, Winifred
Snider (Stewart), Anna Adelia Brethour (Templer), Mabel Muriel Olmstead (Templer), Russell Alan Templer, Russell Gage Templer, William Templer, Harold Tinker (Junior), Harold Tinker (Senior), Helen Tinker, Eric Weiland, Ernest Weiland, Constance Marion Templer (Weir), Norman Louis Weir, Mary Ann Shaver (Westbrook), Mordecai Wesbrook, Annie Elizabeth Hicks (Wigle), William Henry Wigle, John Alexander Thomas Willis, Winifred Madeline Bath (Willis), Alexander Wilson, Barbara Murray Wilson, David Wilson, George Wilson, John Wilson, Lelah Hamil Snider (Wilson), William Wilson, Annie Tracy McIntyre (Workman), Thomas Oswald Workman, Constance Isobel Grace (Young, Stewart), Ethelwyn Mary Young, Helen Marjory Young, John Maitland Young, John Maitland Young, Jr., Ralph Edward Young, Ralph Grasett Young.

At the top of the download page is a button (it looks like a downward arrow with a line under it) to download the document and store it on your computer. The documents are "pdf" format and are about 45 Megs in size (each).

Advance Notice: Data Mining the Deceased: Ancestry and the Business of Family

You won't want to miss this if you have access to TV Ontario. Set your PVR, or remember to tune in to TVO next Wednesday, 1 February 2017 at 9 pm.  

It features the explorations into the business of genealogy by Julia Creet, an Associate Professor of English at York University. Here's the description from www.vtape.org/artist?ai=1738
More than half of North Americans are fascinated by genealogy and invested in their family histories. The emotional impact is profound. Some gain a sense of identity by uncovering their ancestors, their culture, and their country of origin. Others find it devastating and disorienting when they discover that their history differs from what they have always believed. But there is another side to the rise in genealogy that goes beyond human interest. It is arguably the largest historical enterprise in the world, and one of the largest data mining operations, driven by big religion, big business and big technology. Data Mining the Deceased: Ancestry and the Business of Family explores the industry behind the exponential intensity of genealogy. What are the motivations of the key players and how are their ambitions affecting the millions of North Americans who are searching for answers?
Shot in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Iceland, the documentary follows Julia Creet as she interviews representative stakeholders—amateur genealogists, industry representatives (including the founders of Ancestry.com), experts (including Harvard’s Steven Pinker and Columbia sociologist Alondra Nelson), Iceland genealogists, and officials of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (including the CEO and Marketing Director of FamilySearch, the LDS online database). Data Mining the Deceased: Ancestry and the Business of Family examines the motivations of individuals and industry with respect to the collection and use of genealogical information. Privacy and ownership concerns arise from the domestic and international flow and aggregation of vast quantities of vital information about the living and the dead. And, integral to the question of family history, Data Mining the Deceased asks: What is family? 

Thanks to Jim Lumsden for the tip.

26 January 2017

Irish Register of Deeds Index Updated

Claire Santry has news that the Register of Deeds Index Project has had its first update for 2017 and the main database now holds 224,009 index entries extracted from 25,435 memorials of deeds.

Read the complete blog post here.

Canada 150 Tulips in the UK

The Canadian High Commission in London is helping celebrate the sesquicentennial with plantings of the Canada 150  tulip – white leaves and red flames echoing the maple leaf flag.
According to this post from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission the tulips will bloom this year in the Victoria Embankment Gardens in central London and at Brookwood Cemetery.

Brookwood Military Cemetery contains the graves of 2,729 Canadian servicemen and women, mostly from the Second World War including those of 43 men who died of wounds following the Dieppe Raid in August 1942. Find them here.

OGS Ottawa Branch January Meeting

This Saturday, 28 January 2017, 1:30 pm, sees a favourite local genealogy speaker Patricia McGregor present The World War I Letters of George Gallie Nasmith (A Challenging Moment in Genealogy).

Over 20 years ago, Patty’s mother bought a box of approximately 275 letters at an auction sale. The letters were to and from Lieutenant Colonel (later Colonel) George Gallie Nasmith of Toronto, who went overseas in 1914 with the First Canadian Contingent as the ‘Water Specialist’.  The collection includes letters to George from his siblings, his fiancée and his friends – and from him to them. This talk discusses the adventure of reading and transcribing all the letters and identifying and researching the letter writers and the events and people mentioned. Genealogical research involved BMD and census records as well as military files, maps, historical newspapers and estate files. The final challenge was in deciding how best to share the contents of the letters. Therein lies the rub.
This is a repeat of a presentation given at BIFHSGO in November 2015 well worth hearing, or hearing again.

The morning Genealogy: Back to Basics session at 10:30 am is on Military Records is presented by Glenn Wright.

Following the afternoon presentation the computer interest group will meet.

It's all happening at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive  in Room 115.

25 January 2017

How to Trace a Pedigree

How did people research their family history before the days of Ancestry, Findmypast, Familysearch, or even Google? Find out in this book dated 1911.

What H. A Crofton's slim volume, just 88 pages, has is advice "to meet the requirement of the average genealogical searcher in the British Isles." Much is timeless, still preached today, then with a turn of phrase appealing to those with a sense of history.

It starts and ends with the golden rule of "verify your information." While the intervening years have elaborated on it the rule remains, especially so with the more recent temptation to chase leads down web-enabled rabbit (black?) holes.

Many resources from that time remain although locations have changed. Older readers may yet have looked at wills and indexes to civil registration at Somerset House. Some may sigh over the mention of records that existed in Dublin's "Four Courts."

Some resource have taken on new prominence since 1911. There's just one passing mention of the census!

The average genealogical searcher in 1911 was clearly not the average Britain. Thus the emphasis on wills and publications like the Gentleman's Magazine. Nevertheless the timeless advice and perspective on resources from more than a century ago is worth a few minutes browsing. Find How to Trace a Pedigree by H. A. Crofton at https://archive.org/details/howtotracepedigr00crof/.

Historical Society of Ottawa: January meeting

This Friday 27 January 2017 the HSO meeting at 1 pm will hear the presentation: 
G. A. Snyder, Photographer - A Sign of the Times on Bank Street, by Howard J. Simkover

Abstract:  In 2011, a building on Bank St. was removed from the block between Laurier and Slater. The opening up of this space revealed a sign (G.A. Snider, Photographer) painted on the side of a three storey, red-brick building at the southwest corner of Bank and Slater. Intrigued by the sign, Howard Simkover decided to investigate. In doing so, he discovered the story of the Snider family, dating back to the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists. George Albert Snider, who was born in 1856, had the sign painted on the Bank St. building in 1892. He, along with his wife Agnes and son Burnet, had moved to Ottawa from Brantford three years earlier. Taking up residence above his studio, Snider took portraits and family photographs of Ottawa residents until 1896 when he gave up the profession to begin a new career in the life insurance business. Although there are plans to build an office tower on the site of the red-brick building, the developer hopes to place the Snider sign inside the lobby, thereby helping to preserve the memory of this nineteenth century photographer.

Presenter Profile: Howard Simkover, a Montreal native, graduated from McGill University in 1971 as an electrical engineer. Over the next twenty-eight years, he worked at Bell Canada, Telecom Canada and the Stentor Resource Centre. In 1999, he became a management consultant, specializing in process improvement, governance, and policy development. He has had a lifelong interest in astronomy and has been a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada for over fifty years. He has lectured extensively in the field, including at the Montreal Planetarium and the Canada Science and Technology Museum here in Ottawa. Since the mid-1990s, he has developed an interest in genealogy and local history.

The usual location: Routhier Community Centre, 172 Guigues Street

24 January 2017

Sharon Callaghan hangs out her web shingle

If you're in the genealogy business, serious about having more than a casual involvement, or even just putting out cousin bait, a personal website is a must. I have one at johndreid.com -- sadly neglected but it does the job.

Montreal genealogist Sharon Callaghan has just installed her own site at https://sharoncallaghan.wordpress.com/. I'm glad to give it a shout out.
Go there and you'll see Sharon will be a speaker at the OGS conference in Ottawa this June. Her topic is Quebec Notary Records, something that has become more prominent recently with their appearance on Ancestry.
You can read one of Sharon's articles Genealogy Clues-Know Your Sources published in Anglo-Celtic Roots, Volume 17, Number 4, 2011.

BIFHSGO Conference: last call for presentation proposals

The deadline is now just a week away, 31 January, so a reminder that BIFHSGO seeks proposals for presentations at its 23rd Annual Family History Conference to be held in Ottawa, September 29 to October 1, 2017.

The two themes are:
• England and Wales family history
• Methodology.

Proposals on any topic likely to be of interest to BIFHSGO members are also welcome.

More information about submitting proposals is at www.bifhsgo.ca/cpage.php?pt=125/.

23 January 2017

Search Aid: Initial Letter of Surnames

With 26 letters in the alphabet halfway through is between M and N, right?

Not if you're looking at an alphabetic list by surname frequency.

In our research we often find ourselves looking for a particular name in an alphabetically ordered list where there's no index, just a block of pages or images and you have to guess how far in to go to find the name you want.

Here's a table you may find useful showing the cumulative percent of the way through to go to find the start of an initial surname letter.

It varies depending on nationality. Wales loves Jones and Jenkins, Scotland has a lot of names beginning with Mc. Those distributions are calculated from a table at the Surname Studies website. Ottawa figures are based on the 2009 phone book.

For example, if you're looking for Smith in a Scottish database the table shows that the S surnames start 78% of the way into the database.

Cum %Cum %Cum %Cum %Cum %

Often you don't have the whole range to work with. Wouldn't it be nice if there was an app where you could enter page numbers and surname from the beginning and end of the range and get an estimate of the page for a particular surname  Hey RootsTech, that would be an innovation.

FreeBMD January update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Friday 20 Jan 2017 to contain 259,312,541 (258,828,552 at the previous update) distinct records.

Years with major updates (more than 5,000 entries) are for births: 1964, 1966, 1976-79; for marriages: 1966, 1971, 1977-81; for deaths 1974, 1977-79.

22 January 2017

The Genealogist’s Best Friend

For those just getting into family history it’s easy to be overwhelmed.

Google “genealogy” and find well over 100 million hits. Where to start? One good place is your local library. Larger libraries often have one or more genealogy specialists. Your's may offer a free one-hour one-on-one consultation to help you start off on the right foot and focus your research. The resources available will depend on your ancestry. The librarians will be able to direct you to the most promising sources once they understand your particular needs.

If you’re moving beyond the beginner stage but still learning—a happy place to be—you may seek advice from someone you met through Facebook or another social network, a fellow member of your local family history society, or a volunteer at a nearby family history centre. Keep an eye out for educational opportunities being offered as webinars as well as in-person talks offered by a local society or your public library. These delve more deeply into all kinds of specialized topics such as genetic genealogy, military records or Jewish ancestry.

As you explore your family history in depth, beyond names and dates to your ancestor’s life and times, you’ll find libraries and librarians coming to the fore again.

Database resources are given ever more profile by libraries. Through library access to a collection of British newspapers online I have found a great-grandfather, a Church of England minister, being fined for keeping a dog without a licence. Another relative was convicted for purloining money from the bank where he worked, a third fined for selling fake patent medicine. A distant relative exhibited a contraption, the Tempest Prognosticator, at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London to forecast the weather based on jumping leeches. Look hard enough, if you dare, and you’re bound to find interesting stories in your ancestry!

The National Library of Australia’s magnificent Trove collection of digitized newspapers became the source for finding out about my father’s return from being a German prisoner of war in the Pacific in 1941. The Chronicling America digitized newspaper collection, made available through the Library of Congress, provided insight on the life of my relative who left England to join the US Army, serving in Texas.

Sadly Canada is lacking such a national collection online.

You’ll also want to consult maps. Many libraries have local collections. Online you can turn to national collections such as the National Library of Scotland website offering free high-resolution zoomable images of over 160,000 maps of Scotland, England and Wales. For locations further afield, consult the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.

In word association tests library and book go together. Books, an essential resource for understanding historical context, remain the major component of today’s broad range of library services. Think about appropriate subject terms for a search in your local public library catalogue; probably online, as are those for major specialist, university and national libraries, often through WorldCat which brings together many of those catalogues. If that search finds a publication of interest not in the local library collection the librarian doesn't just throw up her hands. Interlibrary loan offered by most libraries will most often obtain it for you. That sets the librarian apart from the archivist, valuable in their own way, as they don't just focus on the resources in their own in-house collection.

While there may be a charge for an interlibrary loan many out of copyright digitized publications have free access through services such as the Internet Archive and Google Books. Your librarian can tell you about them. Not to be overlooked are specialist libraries, such as the Wellcome Library, one of the world's major resources for the study of medical history.

Libraries and librarians are about connecting people to the information they need and educating them about finding that information. That’s why they’re known as the genealogist’s best friends. Are you taking advantage of the free in-person and virtual services librarians and libraries have to offer?

21 January 2017

Database updates this week

There are three updated Ancestry databases of possible interest to Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections readers this week:

Somerset, England, Gaol Registers, 1807-1879  --- 101,284 records
U.S., Border Crossings from Canada to U.S., 1825-1960 --- 5,393,724 records
Dorset, England, Bastardy Records, 1725-1853 --- 4,928 records.

FamilySearch now lists two collections that are partially searchable:

UK, Scotland—Church of Scotland Synods, Presbyteries, and Kirk Sessions, 1658—1919
UK, Manchester—Central Library Parish Registers (Marriages), 1754–1936, Part 2

Ancestry adds Jersey parish records

Records from Jersey, the largest Channel Island, are the latest addition to Ancestry with 986,000 records and over 68,000 images including birth and burial records as far back as 1541:

Jersey, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1541-1812
Jersey, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915
Jersey, Church of England Marriages, 1754-1940
Jersey, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1940

Jersey punched above its weight in terms of migration to Canada, especially Newfoundland and the Maritimes.

20 January 2017

Findmypast adds Leicestershire and Rutland Parish Records

Findmypast's highlight this week is these nearly 3.5 million new records to search and browse provided from the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland.

Leicestershire Parish Records: baptism, banns, marriage & burial records covering 50 parishes  back to the 16th century, over 1.8 million records;
Leicestershire Parish Records Browse: over 3,000 volumes;
Leicestershire Marriage Licences: 22,000 records between 1604 and 1891;
Leicestershire Marriage Licences Browse: over 75 volumes 1604-1891;
Leicestershire Wills and Probate Records: over 173,000 records, 1490-1941;
Leicestershire Wills and Probate Records Browse: over 971 volumes, 1490-1941;
Leicestershire Electoral Registers Browse: 3,862 volumes with thousands of names, 1836-1974;
Rutland Parish Records: baptisms, banns, marriage and burials from England's smallest county;
Rutland Parish Records Browse; over 460 volumes.

This is the first major record collection for England released this year, all records you won't find online with original images linked elsewhere.

Scottish Tapestry Exhibit at Main Branch, OPL

The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry project brings together stories from more than 33 communities, documenting their Scottish connections and stories in more than 300 embroidered panels.

If you can't get to the Scottish Genealogy Group meeting on Saturday, and even if you can, there's another opportunity to
see and learn about the determination, courage and achievement of global Scottish migration through the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry Exhibit at the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library.

 On Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 2 pm Jenny Bruce will give a presentation in the OPL Auditorium, Lower Level followed at 3:00 pm by a tour, beginning in the Foyer of the Main Floor. That's at the OPL Main Branch, 120 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa.

You do need to register in advance for free admission. All are welcome and light refreshments will be served after the presentation.

If you can`t make it on Sunday for the presentation, you can still see the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry exhibit at the Main Branch, Ottawa Public Library until January 25th, 2017 during regular library hours.

Thanks to Heather (MacLeod) Theoret of the Scottish Society of Ottawa for the tip.

Kingston Branch OGS January Meeting

Saturday 21 January, 2017 is the date for the next monthly meeting of the Kingston Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. At the usual location, the Seniors Centre, 56 Francis Street, Kingston; the topic is Who Knew? Part 2: Members Report Interesting Discoveries, and the meeting begins at 10 am.

19 January 2017

Ottawa Scottish Genealogy Special Interest Group Saturday Meeting

The group meets this Saturday, 21 January 2017, with an especially strong program.

At 10 am Sam Allison, who immigrated to Canada from Scotland in 1968 and lives in Brossard, Quebec, will speak on Tracking Highland Scots' Military Migration to Canada, 1759-1812.

Sam Allison was the 2016 recipient of the Gordon Atkinson Memorial Prize in Highland Military History, awarded annually by the Quebec Thistle Council.  His most recent book is Driv'n By Fortune.

At 11 am Jenny Bruce (good Scottish surname) will speak on Scottish Diaspora Tapestry, The Why, Who and How and its global journey.

The meeting is in Rooms 226 and 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

Toronto Weather History

This item is being posted on 19 January which is meteorological mid-winter in Ottawa, a couple of days later in Toronto. On average it gets warmer now. But there can be surprises.
It's always encouraging when someone finds one of these blog posts helpful so I was pleased when the editor of the OGS Weekly eNews saw fit to reproduce the post of Daily Temperatures from the St. Lawrence River Valley in last weekend's edition. That source gives historic daily temperatures for Quebec City - Montreal and adjacent areas. As you move further away it will be less valid. I wouldn't want to trust it for Toronto daily temperatures.

Toronto has the first official daily weather records in Ontario, starting in March 1840. They were taken at a site near Varsity Stadium at 299 Bloor St W. Before official records there's the diary of Rev. Charles Dade, head of mathematics at Upper Canada College, then not far from Fort York. He took readings usually two or three times a day from January 1831 to April 1841. There is a gap from October 1838 to June 1839 when Dade returned to England, he was a native of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, for the winter. Images of the diary up to that gap are online at http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c9164/631?r=0&s=3. The meteorological part of the journal, which gives daily wind direction and a bried description of conditions as well as temperatures, starts with 1 January 1831, image 392, and ends with image 634 for June 1837. Unfortunately it stops short of the rebellion of December 1837.

R. B. Crowe's Reconstruction of Toronto Temperatures 1778-1840 Using Various United States and Other Data (pdf) using Dade's and other records appends a tabulation of monthly mean temperature estimates to 1989. The coldest year in that record is 1875, with February being particularly bitter. It was so cold from the 4th to the 19th that the Toronto Observatory issued a special memorandum, reprinted in the Globe, commenting it was twice as long a period of bitter cold as previously recorded, and colder. That year is one of the coldest in not only the St Lawrence record but as far afield as Boston and Chicago.

18 January 2017

Forensic Genealogy Institute

An email arrived from Melissa J. Ellis of www.archivesearch.ca/ who is a director of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy asking that I give a shout out for the Council's 3-day Forensic Institute. It is being held 7-9 March 2017 in San Antonio, Texas.
There will be a particularly warm welcome for Canadian forensic genealogists attending the Institute.
Find out more at http://www.forensicgenealogists.org/institute/.

London Genealogy Databases Online

In preparation for the Alberta Genealogical Society conference in April I've taken a look at what databases are offered online for London by Ancestry, Deceased Online, FamilySearch, Findmypast, MyHeritage. It's easy to overlook existing resources as new ones come along.
The table below is a consolidated list, organized by number of records. Not included are more comprehensive databases, such as the censuses, that cover a larger area, some cemetery database from the National Archives where number of records is not available and, newspapers. I'm aware of some additional mostly smaller databases, please add specifics as a comment.

London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965Ancestry179,071,664
England, London Electoral Registers, 1847-1913FamilySearch17,760,894
London, England, Land Tax Records, 1692-1932Ancestry12,772,584
London, England, Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records, 1659-1930Ancestry10,198,397
London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812Ancestry8,844,994
London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921Ancestry7,549,807
London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906Ancestry6,240,093
London, England, Poor Law and Board of Guardian Records, 1430-1930Ancestry3,864,371
London, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980Ancestry2,616,957
London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1840-1911Ancestry1,711,929
London Lives, Culture & Society 1680-1817Findmypast1,653,799
Greater London Burial IndexFindmypast1,634,962
Web: London, England, Proceedings of the Old Bailey and Ordinary's Accounts Index, 1674-1913Ancestry1,246,537
London, England, Clandestine Marriage and Baptism Registers, 1667-1754Ancestry894,892
Middlesex, London, Old Bailey Court Records 1674-1913Findmypast786,726
London and Surrey, England, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1597-1921Ancestry750,614
London, Docklands and East End Baptisms, 1558-1933Findmypast668,310
Southwark CemeteriesDeceased Online600,000
Boyd's Inhabitants Of London & Family Units 1200-1946Findmypast583,158
London Apprenticeship Abstracts, 1442-1850Findmypast486,370
Camden CemeteriesDeceased Online470,400
London, England, Selected Poor Law Removal and Settlement Records, 1698-1930Ancestry469,314
London, England, Freedom of the City Admission Papers, 1681-1930Ancestry463,958
Manor Park CemeteryDeceased Online430,000
Islington CemeteriesDeceased Online425,700
Lewisham CemeteriesDeceased Online385,000
Greenwich CemeteriesDeceased Online371,000
London, England, Overseer Returns, 1863-1894Ancestry294,833
Kensal Green CemeteryDeceased Online257,500
London, England, Stock Exchange Membership Applications, 1802-1924Ancestry256,986
London, Bethlem Hospital Patient Admission Registers and Casebooks 1683-1932Findmypast247,517
Boyd's London BurialsFindmypast242,635
Eltham CrematoriumDeceased Online210,000
Brompton CemeteryDeceased Online205,000
London, England, Selected Rate Books, 1684-1907Ancestry186,366
Newham CemeteriesDeceased Online180,000
Highgate CemeteryDeceased Online166,000
London, England, Marriage Notices from The Times, 1982-2004Ancestry160,046
City Of London, Haberdashers, Apprentices and Freemen 1526-1933Findmypast136,468
London, England, Wills and Probate, 1507-1858Ancestry135,186
London, England, Extracted Church of England Parish RecordsAncestry133,630
London, England, Non-conformist Registers, 1694-1921Ancestry120,699
Spa Fields CemeteryDeceased Online114,000
London, England, Births and Christening Notices from The Times, 1983-2003Ancestry107,315
Merton CemeteriesDeceased Online100,000
London, Docklands and East End Marriages, 1558-1859Findmypast92,250
Havering CemeteriesDeceased Online75,000
Bunhill CemeteryDeceased Online71,100
London Probate IndexFindmypast62,820
Harrow CemeteriesDeceased Online58,700
London, England, Land Tax Valuations, 1910Ancestry44,374
Brent CemeteriesDeceased Online40,000
Surrey and City Of London Livery Company Association Oath Rolls, 1695/96Findmypast32,965
London, England, King's Bench and Fleet Prison Discharge Books and Prisoner Lists, 1734-1862Ancestry32,198
Surrey & South London Will Abstracts, 1470-1856Findmypast29,508
London, England, Marshalsea Prison Commitment and Discharge Books, 1811-1842Ancestry28,849
London, England, Crisp's Marriage Licence Index, 1713-1892Ancestry27,932
Sutton CemeteriesDeceased Online27,500
London, England, Church of England Confirmation Records, 1850-1921Ancestry26,329
London, Westminster Marylebone Census 1821 & 1831Findmypast22,522
London Poor Law Records, 1581-1899Findmypast22,344
London, Dulwich College Register 1619-1926Findmypast18,313
City Of London, Ironmongers, Apprentices and Freemen 1511-1923Findmypast17,822
London Churches, Christening and Baptismal RecordsAncestry15,596
London, England, TS Exmouth Training Ship Records, 1876-1918Ancestry12,107
London County Council Record Of War Service 1914-1918Findmypast10,145
London School RegistersAncestry8,347
London, Watermen, List Of Free Watermen, 1827Findmypast5,448
London Churches, Burials and Deaths RecordsAncestry5,289
London Volunteer SoldiersFindmypast5,271
City Of London, Gunmakers' Company Freedoms and Admissions, 1656-1936Findmypast5,187
London, Archdeaconry Court Of London Wills Index, 1700-1807Findmypast4,687
London, Court Of Husting Will Abstracts, 1258-1688Findmypast3,853
London Consistory Court Depositions Index, 1700-1713Findmypast3,104
London, England, Selected Church of England Parish Registers, 1558-1875Ancestry2,967
London, England, Gamekeepers' Licences, 1727-1839Ancestry2,578
London, Watermen, Admiralty Muster Of The Port Of London, 1628Findmypast2,393
London, Watermen's Petition For The King Charles I, 1648Findmypast2,026
London & Middlesex Will Abstracts, 1700-1704Findmypast1,982
London and Country Directory, 1811Ancestry1,655
London, Watermen, Birth Register Of Contracted Men, 1865-1921Findmypast1,494
London, England, Marriage Licences, 1521-1869Ancestry859
London Marriage Licences 1521 - 1869MyHeritage853
London Post Office Directory, 1829Ancestry730
London, Watermen In Royal Navy, 1803-1809Findmypast629
London, England: St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, Church of England Baptisms, 1628-1690Ancestry525
The London Diocese Book 1890Ancestry522
London Stock Exchange Memorial Roll 1914-1918Findmypast510
A calendar of the marriage licence allegations in the Registry of the Bishop of London : 1597 to 1700Ancestry481
British Army, Lloyds Of London Memorial Roll 1914-1919Findmypast432
University College School, London, Register 1831-1891Ancestry331
The Publications of the Harleian Society, the Parish Registers of St Mary Aldermary, LondonAncestry296
The Dutch Church Registers, Austin Friars London 1571-1874.Ancestry276
Cripplegate Ward, London Aldermen, 1276-1900Ancestry270
Child Apprentices in America from Christ's Hospital, London, 1617-1778Ancestry162
The Religious Census of LondonAncestry135

Quinte Branch OGS: Crouse Wanamaker Lecture

"Taking Root in a New Land" is the topic for the annual Crouse Wanamaker Lecture to be delivered by Cheryl Levy PLCGS on Saturday 21 January 2017 at the Quinte West Public Library, 7 Creswell Drive, Trenton from 1-3pm.
"Immigration and migration must be explored as you build your ancestors' stories. Where did they come from? Why did they move? What was your immigrant ancestor's country of origin?  We will explore early immigration movements, including specific groups and settlement plans, for those who chose to make Canada their new home."
Everyone welcome, bring a friend. For more information visit www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canqbogs/

17 January 2017

South Kildare history online

If you have Irish ancestry, even if not from South Kildare, you're liable to find something of interest, sometimes shocking, in this resource.
Since September 1992 Frank Taaffe has been delving into topics of interest from the history of South Kildare, south and west of Dublin, and especially the community of Athy. The columns published in the local paper, the Kildare Nationalist. under the title Eye on the Past are collected together at http://athyeyeonthepast.blogspot.ie/. Twenty-five years of columns have covered a huge range of topics.
With so many columns a search engine is a good facility to have. Find it at the top left of the web page. Try names (lots of mentions of people), places, events. What was life like in the workhouse? Where did migrants go and what was the journey like?
Thanks to BIFHSGO member Ann Burns, who is starting an extended research visit to the area, for the tip.

Perth and District Historical Society Meetings

The next meeting of the P&DHS is January 19, 2017  at the Perth Legion.
200th Anniversary Committee provides an audio-visual review of the Town's anniversary celebration in 2016.

For your diary, subsequent meetings scheduled, all at the same Perth Legion location, are:
February 16, 2017
Loree Tannett, presents "What Our Forebears Wore in the 19th Century
March 16, 2017
Janet Coward et al, with "Songs from Our Past"
April 20, 2017 
Glen Tunnock presents ‘Sir John A’s Indian Act, and Its Consequences’
May 18, 2017 
Anne Raina, author, ‘The Evolution of Health Care in the 20th Century (especially for treatment of TB)’
June 15, 2017
(Tentative) ‘The Women’s Institute and Its Influence in Our Area’

16 January 2017

CEF Service Files Digitization: January 2017 Update

As of 16 January 2017, 387,710 (378,229 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 6526 (6355 last month) and the surname Murray (Morello).

9,481 (16,993) files were digitized in the last month, a reduced pace over the holiday period.

Library and Archives Canada is digitizing the service files systematically, from box 1 to box 10686, which roughly corresponds to alphabetical order.

Ottawa Historical Association January Meeting

You are invited to Library and Archives Canada (395 Wellington)
on Tuesday 17 January at 7 PM for:

“A Shiny New Penny: An Historical Overview of the National Currency
Collection and the Bank of Canada Museum”

Paul Berry
Chief Curator
National Currency Collection
Bank of Canada Museum

In 2013, the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada was officially
renamed the Bank of Canada Museum.  Work immediately began at
designing a new facility, not just to showcase the National Currency
Collection and tell the story of money in Canada but one that welcomes
visitors to experience Canada’s central bank and learn how individuals
influence the Canadian economy. This Summer 2017, the drawing board
becomes reality and the new Bank of Canada Museum will open its doors
to 10,000 square feet of interactives, exhibits and fun. This talk
will delve into the National Currency Collection, illustrate some of
its holdings, explain developments leading to the museum of today and
tease the audience with a few visuals of what to expect at Ottawa’s
newest cultural venue.

Paul Berry manages the Collection Services Unit of the Museum which is
responsible for the research, development and maintenance of the
National Currency Collection. An avid numismatist since age six, Paul
is past president of the Canadian Paper Money Society and the Canadian
Numismatic Research Society. His personal fields of interest include
the money of colonial era Canada, Edo period Japan and early 20th
century American sculpture. Paul holds a Combined Honours BA (1980) in
History and Art History from the University of Western Ontario.

Ye Olde Genealogy Faire

That's the branding of the Alberta Genealogical Society conference 2017. I've agreed to give four talks on British family history, mostly ones I've not given in some time. Updating and tailoring to the audience in Edmonton has been a gift. Not only have I found out things about Alberta history but it has been an opportunity to look at updated British resources. I found the burial places of three ancestors in London and a newspaper notice on the second marriage of my great grandmother. It's a lesson I (we) continually have to relearn, commit to a presentation to provide motivation.

I'm also looking forward on 22-23 April to hearing from the other speakers, notably Saturday banquet speaker Diahan Southard who gave a memorable and moving presentation last October in Dublin at Genetic Genealogy Ireland.

The program is now posted so take a look at everything on offer and join us if you can.

15 January 2017

Twenty-one today

Congratulations to uber genealogy blogger Dick Eastman celebrating 21 years of Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter today, 15 January 2017.

Ed Broadbent at LAC

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) invites you to an hour of lively conversation with former New Democratic Party leader, the Honourable Ed Broadbent.
Mr. Broadbent will be the guest of Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, as part of the Signatures Series, which features original interviews with individuals who have donated their archives to LAC.
Reserve your spot now for this event, to be held on Tuesday, February 7, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., at LAC, 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. Places for this free event are limited, so please register here.
Documents from the Ed Broadbent fonds will be on display during the event.

Irish Genealogy News Catch-up

I doubt anybody keeps a closer eye on developments in Irish genealogy resources than Claire Santry. There's not a major development she doesn't cover on her Irish Genealogy News blog. On Thursday Claire posted a digest of some backlog items, most smaller developments, most new to me. Read the post at Irish Genealogy News: The Catch-up Dozen.

14 January 2017

Library and Archives Canada’s free digital facility—the DigiLab

Are there resources of genealogical or other value at Library and Archives Canada languishing in obscurity?
Are there LAC archived materials you or your society would like to be available online but you can't get to Ottawa to spend the time needed to consult the originals?
Have you tried photographing LAC materials with a digital camera but found the quality unsatisfactory?

The newly-established DigiLab at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa, to be available from April, is a hands-on facility for users to digitize and contextualize LAC collections of value to their study, work and communities. LAC is inviting academics, individuals, genealogists and community-based groups to make proposals for digitizing LAC collections.  To be clear, LAC will provide the facility and space, including online storage for general public access, the proponent will be responsible for the work of digitization.

You can read more about this initiative, including the criteria and proposal form at www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/services-public/Pages/digilab.aspx/.

On learning about the initiative I had questions to which Melanie Brown, LAC Manager, Digitization Partnerships and Initiatives, kindly responded.

Q. What facilities will there be for bulk scanning from microfilm, such as newspapers?
A. This will not be part of the DigiLab but will be accommodated by new machines in the existing microfilm room.

Q. What large format scanners will there be suitable for digitizing original bound newspapers the pages of which are fragile?
A. There will be such large format scanner capability in the DigiLab. Original newspapers, and all materials, have to be vetted for copyright clearance and to ensure they will withstand the stress of transport and handling for digitization.

Q. What OCR capabilities will there be for printed materials or for creating searchable PDFs?
A. No OCR capability of planned at this time. It could become available at a later stage.

Q. What facilities will there be for flattening original documents that have been folded for storage?
A. The requirement will be accessed as part of the project approval process. Training will be provided as necessary as part of the general training required to use the DigiLab and its equipment.

Q. Will projects funded through the Documentary Heritage Communities Program be eligible to use DigiLab?
A. Yes, recognizing that the facility can only be used for LAC materials.

Q. For those not able to get to LAC to perform the digitization themselves are there other options?
A. LAC already has a program whereby clients can pay for LAC to perform scanning. It could also be that organization may want to hire a local person to perform the digitization but there is nothing, similar to the current list of consultants, yet available.

Findmypast adds Yorkshire and Derbyshire Methodist records and Middlesex MIs

By Findmypast standards this week's additions are quite modest, perhaps as they prepare for "a new landmark collection of UK parish records is soon to be released . . .  a whole new county added to our collection in the coming weeks." Peter Calver suggests the county will be Leicestershire (and Rutland).
The additions this week, provided by agreement with the Sheffield & District Family History Society, are:
Yorkshire & Derbyshire Methodist Baptisms, 42,033 transcripts from 1795 to 1997.
Yorkshire & Derbyshire Methodist Marriages, 22,430 transcripts from 1817 to 1970.

There are also 12,005 new records in the Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions 1485-2014 collection for St Nicholas Church, Chiswick. That brings the total for these MIs provided by West Middlesex Family History Society to 43,157 records.

Image of St Nicholas Church, Chiswick from Wikimedia Commons.

13 January 2017

Patricia Roberts-Pichette addresses The Media Club of Ottawa

Saturday, January 21, 2017
11.30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
The Media Club of Ottawa presents:

Guest Speaker:
Patricia Roberts-Pichette, Ph.D

Patricia Roberts-Pichette was born in New Zealand where she received her early education before completing her graduate studies in the United States on a Fulbright Scholarship. She then taught for 10 years at the University of New Brunswick, following which she served 25 years in the Canadian federal and international public services.

A Writing and Publication Journey
The book Great Canadian Expectations: The Middlemore Experience is the result of fifteen years of research by the author. Unlimited access to all extant Middlemore files up to 1936, to contemporary reports, and the personal communications and meetings with  Middlemore family members and descendants of Middlemore home children have given Dr. Roberts-Pichette a unique perspective on the work of the Middlemore agency and its homes.

Billings Room, Ottawa City Hall
110 Laurier Ave. West, Ottawa, ON

11.30 p.m. to 1.30 p.m.

Journalism students with ID free
Media Club members and CAJ members  $15
Non-members $25

Light meal provided


Admission without meal: members $7, others $10

coffee and tea available for all

RSVP 613 521-4855 before January 19

Genealogical interest materials online through DHCP Round 1

Here is a list of selected resources that have become available online as a result of round one of the Library and Archives Canada Documentary Heritage Communities Program. This is in addition to those reported in two previous blog posts here and here.

Bulkley Valley Museum - search engine and interface to a collection of 5,300 documentary heritage records and 4,000 digital historic photographs.

CARL: The Student Voice - access to 35,157 pages of digitized and searchable student newspapers (29.68GB) from the University of Alberta, University of New Brunswick, York University and Dalhousie University through a website hosted by Canadiana.ca.

Saving Rideau Lakes Heritage - newspapers the Athens Reporter and County of Leeds Advertiser ( Jan 12, 1892 - Dec 25, 1895),  Farmersville Reporter and County of Leeds Advertiser (May 22, 1884 - Dec 28, 1891), Northern Leeds Lantern (1977-1992 ).

Regional Online Database for the Eastern Townships - 464 items in the Eastern Townships Archives Portal.

WI Historical Documents - 135 GB of digitized material including Home and County newsletters, original constitution, 3 published history books, 11 Tweedsmuir histories and more/

Société historique de Saint-Boniface - 390 items of graphical material digitized relating to the area history.

Mississippi Valley Textile Museum - digitized Almonte Gazette, added 1990- 2007 to previous 1861-1989 available.

Oshawa Newspaper Digitization - digitization of local newspapers. Placed issues on http://communitydigitalarchives.com/newspapers.html which also has long digited runs of at least 10,000 pages of the Hunstville Forester (1895 - 2015), Bracebridge Gazette (1903-1955), Bracebridge Herald-Gazette (1955-1986), Muskoka Herald (1888-1955).

Thunder Bay Museum - online catalogues of holdings of the library and archives are found separately under the collections tab. Worth exploring for local genealogical interest, for instance, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company fonds includes a time book of employees (May 1908-September 1920), showing names, jobs, hours, worked, what jobs were done, hours worked and rates of pay. There are 120 pages of names of employees with no more than 15 per page, unfortunately not online.

Many DHCP initiatives did not have placing information of genealogical interest online as an objective but were still successful in terms of program objectives.

12 January 2017

Findmypast free access

From January 12 -15 Findmypast is opening up its birth, marriage death and census records to free access. To try it out start at www.findmypast.co.uk/start-your-journey/.

New and updated London, England databases from Ancestry

Three new and one updated database for London, England are now on Ancestry.The originals are from the London Metropolitan Archives.

London, England, Stock Exchange Membership Applications, 1802-1924 256,986 records
Those involved with the stock exchange had to register each year. The image originals include the residence address, office address, role as broker, dealer (jobber) or clerks, telephone number, name of banker, business partners and company as well as signature. Because registration was annual you can follow changes of address, role, etc.

London, England, TS Exmouth Training Ship Records, 1876-1918 12,107 records
Boys in care of The Metropolitan Asylums Board could receive vocational training on the Exmouth moored the Exmouth off Grays in Essex.
For each boy that joined the ship, the record books log the following on a single page:
Age (and sometimes “supposed age”)
Date of admission and discharge
The parish or Poor Law Union from which they originated
What the boy did on discharge
Vital statistics of the boys (height, weight and chest circumference) are given on entry and discharge as well as information on the training received and particulars on discharge. Most joined the Royal Navy, the Army or the Merchant Marine in which case the name of the ship or regiment is given

London, England, Gamekeepers' Licences, 1727-1839 2,578 records
Information on those licensed to kill game on behalf of the Lord of the Manor for the area north of the River Thames, bordering the old City of London, excluding the City of London but including the City of Westminster.
Information in the register is typically name of the manor, name of the load and lady (sometimes with elaboration), name and location of the gamekeeper and  date of appointment and when ended. Handwritten and very legible.

London, England, Freedom of the City Admission Papers, 1681-1930   463,958 records
This is an update database first included in November 2011.
From Ancestry's description:
"Freedom admission papers can record many biographical details about the individual to whom Freemen status is awarded making this collection of particular interest to genealogists. Many of the documents in this collection are "indentures" or sealed agreements for things like apprenticeship agreements.
- Information in this database:
- Surname
- Date of indenture
- Parent or guardian’s name
- County of residence
- Master’s name"

BIFHSGO January Meeting

The main event at 10 am this Saturday,14  January 14, is a presentation Lanes, Trains & Parliament Hill by Marianne Rasmus.

In the late 19th century, the Lane family was among the first to settle the community of Mission, BC which is located 80 km east of Vancouver on the north bank of the Fraser River. The Lanes loved to tell stories of these early times and had a great deal of pride in passing them down from one generation to the next. The family story that cemented Marianne Rasmus’s passion for family history research in the context of Canadian history is encapsulated in the story of Arthur Wellington Lane, who packed up his wife and three young children, left the familiarity of south-western Ontario, and headed west on the newly constructed CPR looking for new adventures and opportunities. It’s a story of perseverance and courage that has left a lasting legacy, and even includes a surprising discovery on Parliament Hill.

The 9 am Education Talk will be Genealogy at Your Ottawa Public Library  presented by Romaine Honey who will discuss the print and online resources available for researching family history in Canada and the British Isles.

It's all happening at The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Saturday, January 14, 2017.

These are free events. All welcome. Free parking.

11 January 2017

American Ancestors adds browse files for Boston Catholic parishes

Some Irish Catholics emigrated to Boston, and then they or their descendants moved on to improve their prospects in Canada. If you're searching them new record images now available to browse may be of interest.
American Ancestors, the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society has produced a video explaining how best to search these Catholic Archdiocese of Boston  records.

via a post on Claire Santry's Irish Genealogy News

DHCP Round 1 Achievements: Genealogical Societies Projects

This post will look at achievements focusing on the awards in the first round of the Library and Archives Canada Documentary Heritage Communities Program that went to genealogical organizations.

To recap the program, the objectives were:
Increase access to, and awareness of Canada's local documentary institutions and their holdings, specifically:
- Conversion and digitization for access purposes;
- The development (research, design and production) of virtual and physical exhibitions, including travelling exhibits;
- Collection, cataloguing and access based management; and
- Commemorative projects.

Increase the capacity of local documentary heritage institutions to better sustain and preserve Canada's documentary heritage, specifically:
- Conversion and digitization for preservation purposes;
- Conservation and preservation treatment;
- Increased digital preservation capacity (excluding digital infrastructure related to day-to-day activities);
- Training and workshops that improve competencies and build capacity; and
- Development of standards, performance and other measurement activities.

Awards were announced on 14 December 2015 with 65 proposals funded. Proponents only had until 31 March 2016 to complete the work. Final reports were due shortly thereafter.

Two awards went to genealogical organizations: 

  • The British Columbia Genealogical Society  (BCGS) received $4,609 for a pedigree chart project. 
The award was announced on the society website and Facebook page. BCGS reported on 29 April 2016 having achieved its goal to allow digital access to the pedigree chart collection and thus to preserve the originals. "These are now available to members and the public at our library. Already we have seen new interest in the collection and have received new charts to add.  The collection will be featured in an annual free library week in July and will be available on our website along with its indexes."

All funds granted were reported as spent with 79% categorized as "other costs." A total of 13,500 items were digitized - 34 cents per item.

The availability of the pedigree collection on computers in the society library, with acknowledgement of DHCP funding, was posted on the society Facebook page on 2 July 2016 so confirming availability of the annual free library week. There does not appear to be availability, together with indexes, on the society website.
The Saskatchewan Genealogical Society Inc. (SGS) received $8,943 for Preserving Your Roots Through Digital Storytelling.
The award was for training and workshops that improve competencies and build capacity. The final reported dated 21 April 2016 stated that five two-day workshops across the province had been conducted (with two additional cancelled). With a maximum capacity of six per workshop only one place was unfilled. There is a waiting list for more workshops. The activity attracted media interest and publicity for a society conference.
The expenses for the project were $5,033 leaving an amount $3,909 unspent.  The grant expended per workshop participant was $174.
There did not appear to be any acknowledgement of the grant on the SGS website, on the Facebook page or in the 2015 annual report of the society. The amount was included in the 2015 financial statement,

A following post will profile online resources of genealogical interest from other grant recipients.

10 January 2017

AncestryDNA hits 3 million

Ancestry hits another DNA milestone with the pace of sales accelerated over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period.
Ancestry sold 1.4 million kits in the fourth quarter, 390,000 more kits than were sold in all of 2015.
Read the company press release here and an article linked from Forbes here. There also a celebratory video linked from here.
That page suggests 15 million close cousin matches have been found. That's an average 5 per client.

Ancestry signals move toward health

Today, 10 January 2017, Tim Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of Ancestry.com, will participate in the 35th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. Many have anticipated Ancestry will make a stronger move into the lucrative health market, it already has a beta site https://health.ancestry.com/.
The conference brings investors and company executives together so watch for possible news on Ancestry moving further into health from the conference later today.

RootsTech pass give away from Louis Kessler

Winnipeg genealogist and semi-finalist in RootsTech Innovator Summit 2017 Louis Kessler has a free RootsTech pass to give away. RootsTech, a genealogical festival, is now less than a month away. If that's something you'd like to experience, and can get to Salt Lake City and find accommodation, find out how to get a chance to win the four-day pass, worth $299 USD, at www.beholdgenealogy.com/blog/?p=1903.
Let's wish Louis the best of luck with his entry in the Innovator Summit. He's up against some stiff competition.

18th and 19th Century daily temperatures from the St. Lawrence River valley

The meteorologist in me was blown away to discover estimates of daily temperatures back to 1800, and in some cases earlier, for an area encompassing Montreal, Quebec City and (nearly) Ottawa. The genealogist in me was excited at the prospect of those with ancestry in the area being able to add at least some weather context to events significant in their family history.

To illustrate, what was the temperature for the Battle of Chateauguay on 26 October 1813?
You can download a huge text file with daily maximum and minimum temperature estimates from 1742 to 2010. There are only scattered estimates for the early part of the period, and for the start of the 19th century there's often only a minimum or maximum temperature, not both. The rows in the file have four fields, year, day of year (1-365, or 366 for leap years), minimum temperature estimate, maximum temperature estimate.
I used the table at www.atmos.anl.gov/ANLMET/OrdinalDay.txt to determine that 26 October 1813 was the 299th day of the year.
The file with the temperature estimates, compiled by McGill University researcher Victoria Slonosky, from official instrumental records and private weather diaries shows a minimum temperature of 6.2C, maximum 13.5C. The overnight temperature six days before had been below -4C, a killing frost, so the Battle of Chateauguay occurred during an Indian Summer.
For the Battle of Crysler's Farm on 11 November 1813, the 315th day, the file shows a minimum temperature of 0.9C and a maximum of 6.4C. The next day a cold front must have gone through with a minimum temperature of -5.4C and a maximum of 3.1C.
That cold may have made the US Army commanders reflect on the retreat of Napoleon's forces from Russia a year earlier. They retreated to Plattsburgh.

For the latter part of the 19th and 20th century there are better sources for weather information at http://climate.weather.gc.ca/historical_data/search_historic_data_e.html