31 May 2017

British Newspaper Archive additions for May

The British Newspaper Archive now has 19,721,463 pages (19,300,046 pages last month). The 37 papers with new pages online are tabulated below with major additions highlighted.

Annandale Observer and Advertiser1892
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald1874, 1879-1880, 1882-1884, 1886-1887, 1890-1892, 1901-1910
Barnet Press1898-1910
Belfast News-Letter1926
Biggleswade Chronicle1956-1957
Bolton Evening News1880-1882, 1884-1886, 1898
Bridgnorth Journal and South Shropshire Advertiser.1856
Cricket and Football Field1886, 1888-1889, 1892-1893
Diss Express1951-1954
Dudley Herald1876, 1879-1880
Enniskillen Chronicle and Erne Packet1871-1877
Goole Times1875, 1877, 1896
Greenock Advertiser1872, 1874-1879, 1882-1883
Hackney and Kingsland Gazette1872-1879, 1891-1901
Hampshire Telegraph1901-1910, 1912-1914
Irish News and Belfast Morning News1893
Isle of Wight Observer1889
Islington Gazette1873-1901
London Evening Standard1901-1909
Monitor, and Missionary Chronicle, of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Ireland1853-1855
Morning Post1901-1909
Northern Daily Telegraph1889, 1893, 1900, 1903-1904, 1906, 1909
Northern Whig1871, 1874-1875, 1883-1885, 1888, 1890-1896, 1900-1919, 1956-1957
Pateley Bridge & Nidderdale Herald1877, 1879-1882, 1895
Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser1873-1901
Roscommon Messenger1923-1935
Scottish Referee1888-1890, 1892
Shields Daily News1911
St. Andrews Citizen1901-1906
The Berwick Advertiser1862, 1870, 1874, 1877, 1879, 1881-1892, 1914, 1928-1930, 1956-1957
The Sportsman1875-1887, 1890-1909
Warrington Guardian1859, 1865, 1873, 1877, 1889, 1903
Weekly Irish Times1885
Weston Mercury1874-1884
Wetherby News, and Central Yorkshire Journal1858, 1862, 1889
Willesden Chronicle1877-1910
Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser1882

Exploring England and Wales Census Statistics

The bar graph shows official census totals in blue and the total entries in the corresponding Ancestry database in red. Six of the eight have more entries in the Ancestry database.

I made the compilation as I've occasionally calculated derived statistics based on the total number of entries in the Ancestry database assuming they were close to the official census totals. How well to they reflect the true population?
The number in the Ancestry collection could be larger because of duplicates, alternate transcriptions. Ancestry might have a smaller number where the original enumerator sheets have been lost and only the statistics from the census survive. Findmypast has a list of missing census returns at http://www.findmypast.com/articles/census-for-england-wales-and-scotland-missing-pieces

The differences are less than 1.5% except for 1841, 1851 and 1901 where Ancestry has 7.2%, 8.6% and 1.7% more entries than for the official census.

30 May 2017

MyHeritage Announces New and Improved Ethnicity Estimate.

An announcement is coming today from MyHeritage.

Developed by the company’s science team, MyHeritage DNA customers will be provided a percentage-based estimate of their ethnic origins covering 42 ethnic regions.

The Ethnicity Estimate will be provided to DNA clients including those who have already uploaded their DNA data to MyHeritage from other services, or who will upload it in the coming months.

MyHeritage also provides a“reveal”  animation with original music composed by MyHeritage. Each of the 42 ethnicities has a distinctive tune, based on the region’s cultural elements; all tunes seamlessly connect to each other. Neat! Check out an example here.

An important part of the development project was the testing of more than 5,000 participants handpicked by MyHeritage from its 90 million strong user base, by virtue of their family trees exemplifying consistent ancestry from the same region or ethnicity for many generations. These Founder Populations project participants received complimentary DNA tests.

According to Dr. Yaniv Erlich, Chief Science Officer at MyHeritage, the company has plans to increase accuracy, extend the Founder Populations project further, and improve the resolution for ethnicities from highly diverse origins.

Thanks to Daniel Horowitz for the tip. MyHeritage is a Gold Sponsor at OGS Conference 2017.

Crossbones Graveyard

The cemeteries of London are a topic I spoke on recently in Edmonton. One I didn't know about was Crossbones, the final resting place of thousands of mostly the poorest Londoners. Read about it at

Thanks to Jane MacNamara for the tip. Jane is a speaker at the OGS Conference next month in Ottawa.  Such is her popularity as a speaker her Friday workshop is already full. I'd recommend being early for her Saturday afternoon presentation Welcoming Newcomers: Canada’s Patriotic Societies if you want a seat.

On Cemeteries of London, you may enjoy this instrumental version of a Coldplay song by that title.

Genealogy: a process of diminishing deception

What Is Genealogy? Philosophy, Education, Motivations and Future Prospects is an article by Bruce Durie in the inaugural issue of the open access journal Genealogy. It draws on the author’s philosophy, motivations and experiences in establishing educational/training courses and qualifications in a Scottish university context.

It "raises many issues possibly worthy of further scrutiny" in the hope that future issues of Genealogy will explore some of these ... motivational studies; the choice of ancestral identity; the nature of “genealogical proof”; standards and ethics; becoming a qualified profession.

Webinars on Thursday 1 June

To start the month of June two free webinars are on offer.

Well known MyHeritage genealogist Daniel Horowitz is presenting a free webinar to introduce some of the  new features and technologies recently added to MyHeritage. He’ll also discuss best practices for MyHeritage.

It's at 9am EDT. Register for free at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1831742758010374145

Later in the day Washington state genealogist, Mary Kircher Roddy, is the presenter for the June edition of the regular OGS monthly webinar.

Newspaper research can help to further genealogy research in many ways. Existence of a name in a newspaper can pinpoint a location for an ancestor at a particular time. Mentions in the legal notices, property records or shipping notices can provide clues for additional research avenues such as court records, deeds and passenger manifests. Talk includes nearly twenty top tips for getting the most out of newspaper research.
Register for the webinar, presented at 7 pm EDT on Thursday 1 June at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3705067592368832769

William Lambkin: CEF Beechwood

Armourer Quartermaster Sergeant William Thomas Lambkin died on 30 May 1917 at the Lake Edward Sanitarium of tuberculous where he had been a patient for ten months. Born in 1889, he was son of William Leonard Lambkin, a clerk/messenger in the Senate who had served in South Africa, and husband of Mabel Guimond Lambkin. He had a brother Leonard, and sister Irene.

A ten year veteran of the Canadian Ordnance Corps he was given a military funeral with the coffin conveyed to Beechwood cemetery on a heavy gun carriage drawn by six horses.

There is no attestation paper or service file.

29 May 2017

Digitized Historical Directories for Waterloo County Going Online!

With the support of the Waterloo Regional Heritage Foundation and the Waterloo Region Branch - The Ontario Genealogical Society, and volunteers, the Kitchener Public Library recently completed the digitization of Kitchener-Waterloo city and Waterloo County directories from 1864 to 1940. They are for private research and study only.

So far seven directories are available as searchable pdfs

1864County of Waterloo Gazetteer and Directory32 MB
1867County of Waterloo Gazetteer and Directory26 MB
1878County of Waterloo Gazetteer and Directory31 MB
1884-85County of Waterloo Gazetteer and Directory48 MB
1885-86Union Publishing Farmers and Business Directory:89 MB
Counties of Brant, Halton, Norfolk, Waterloo and Wellington
1888-89Union Publishing Farmers and Business Directory:67 MB
Counties of Perth, Waterloo and Wellington
1896Union Publishing Farmers and Business Directory:68 MB
Counties of Halton, Waterloo and Wellington

Find them at http://www.kpl.org/localhistory/directories/. Additional volumes will be added as they are proofed and optimized.

Thanks to Melissa J Ellis of www.archivesearch.ca for the tip.

The History of Canada's National Flag

Well in time for for the celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary comes the publication "Controversy, Compromise and Celebration: The History of Canada's National Flag."
It's the latest, number 101, in the Bytown Pamphlet Series of the Ottawa Historical Society and available from the Society. Launched last Friday on the occasion of the society AGM, the author is historian, archivist, genealogist and vexillogist Glenn Wright. It's an updating and extension of the study he did at Library and Archives Canada and still available as a pdf -- First Flags: A Report on Research Undertaken to Identify and Locate Canada's First Maple Leaf Flags.
We can be happy that some of the designs proposed fell by the wayside.

28 May 2017

Shocking DNA Results! Really?

Check out this YouTube video of someone revealing their AncestryDNA test results. I was going to ignore it until she mentioned she was born in Canada.

It's unfortunate that she didn't take the time to look at the uncertainty bars for her "shocking" 12% Iberian. She'd see the range of uncertainty includes 0%. Clearly the uncertainty is too well hidden for this client, and I suspect for many others. Is that deliberate?

WW2 British Child Evacuees to Canada

Those who didn't get to my talk at OGS Ottawa Branch on Saturday may be interested to view the National Film Board (Canada) video shown at the end of the presentation.
It's Second World War propaganda, everything wasn't as rosy in Canada as portrayed, but allowing for that tells the story from the perspective of 1940. You will likely recognize the narrator.

View it at https://www.nfb.ca/film/children_from_overseas/

27 May 2017

Ancestry adds Canada, Fenian Raids Bounty Applications, 1866-1871

This database consists of bounty applications, 40,012 in total, for militia veterans having served during the Fenian Raids of 1866 to 1871 in Canada. It includes both successful and unsuccessful applications and consists of lists of names, applications (2 sided), both allowed and disallowed, for the bounty as well as some records relating to pensions for those who were wounded, taken ill or killed while on active duty. Application details available may include:

Name of Veteran
Muster Date
Muster Place
Discharge Date
and in the images information on the applicant role in the conflict.
According to Ancestry's description the Militia were called out in both Ontario and Quebec on several occasions, often for only a few days at a time. There are 9,463 application identified as from Ontario, and 5,797 from Quebec. New Brunswick saw a raid at Campobello Island, and there are 685 applications. The Nova Scotia Militia was also called out although no raid took place there. Nevertheless the most applications, 22,736 are from that province in this Ancestry database.

Findmypast adds Surrey institutional records 1788-1939

A search finds 179,446 total records in this new Findmypast database. It's a compilation of transcriptions of records from 16 institutions held at the Surrey History Centre:

Chertsey Poor Law Union Admission and Discharge Books 1894-1910
Cobham, Reed's School Annual Reports 1818-1901
Dorking Poor Law Union Application and Report Books 1837-1847
Farnham Board Of Guardians Minute Books 1872-1910
Godstone Poor Law Union Application and Report Books 1869-1915
Guildford Infirmary Deaths 1933-1939
Guildford Workhouse Births 1866-1910
Guildford Workhouse Deaths 1887-1914
Hambledon Board Of Guardians Minute Books 1836-1910
Mayford Industrial School Admissions 1895-1907
Princess Mary Village Homes Pupils 1870-1890s
Redhill, Royal Philanthropic School Admission Registers 1788-1906
Richmond Poor Law Union Application and Report Books 1870-1911
Surrey County Gaol Deaths 1798-1878
Warlingham Military Hospital Chaplain's Department Baptisms, Confirmations and Deaths 1917-1919
Woking, St Peter's Memorial Home Patients 1885-1908

The largest database is for the Richmond Poor Law Union Application and Report Books 1870-1911, 103,396 results, followed by the Godstone Poor Law Union Application and Report Books 1869-1915, 33,670 results.
The longest period of record is for the Redhill, Royal Philanthropic School with admission registers from 1788 to 1906.  Those admitted were children of criminals or those who had been convicted of crimes themselves, 7,242 of them. The school had moved to Redhill in 1849.

26 May 2017

Canada’s Secret Archives

This is a follow up on yesterday's Free the Records post article. Canada’s Secret Archives is an article at activehistory.ca written by Dennis Molinaro, who teaches history at Trent University, and the driving force behind the parliamentary petition.

As he writes

"The archives are not just a place for historians. They are a place for all academics to do research, a place for the public and the country to learn and discover themselves – warts and all. They are reflective of what the country has been and is today. What has happened with all this hoarding is a perversion of that, and of the laws that are supposed to exist to protect citizen access to government documents and preserve the country’s history."
Canada's 150th anniversary is the perfect occasion to put the records in their proper place.

Ancestry adds two new Irish databases

Ireland, School Masters and Mistresses, 1826; 13,265 records

Indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project (WAP) contributors, for each Master or Mistress found within the report, you may be able to find:

  • Their Name
  • The County in which they taught
  • The Parish in which they taught
  • The location of the school in which they were employed

Ireland, Poor Law Union Removals From England, 1859-1860; 1,898 records

A small printed volume, indexed by the WAP, records the names of the poor persons involved, the parish from which they were removed, date of the removal warrant, number in the family being removed and the parish to which they were to be removed.

25 May 2017

Free the Records

From the CBC "Government accused of hoarding Canadian history in 'secret' archives"

If you're in a position of authority in a genealogical organization consider having them support the petition to transfer hordes of records in federal departments to Library and Archives Canada.

Also sign on your own behalf.

Ottawa Branch OGS May Meeting

Friends, Romans and Countrymen. Here's one I especially hope you'll attend.

Come to the Ottawa City Archives, 100 Tallwood, at 1pm on Saturday 27 May when I'll be speaking about "Researching Second World War British Child Evacuees to Canada"

If your children were in danger how far would you go to protect them?
That was a question faced by parents in England, Scotland and Wales in June 1940 when the opportunity came to have children in vulnerable areas evacuated overseas, away from bombling and likely invasion. What was the impact on the children, and on Canada?

If unable to attend in person you may be able to attend via webinar. Check out the details here.

Make a day of it.
The Scottish interest group will get together at 10am when Pam Cooper will speak on Scottish City resources, concentrating on Glasgow
At 10:30 am in the educational Back to Basics session Gloria Tubman will speak on "Quebec Records."
The Computer interest group will meet at about 3 pm.

24 May 2017

Archived webinar: Making the Most of the British Newspaper Archive

If you missed Aoife O Connor's webinar last week Making the Most of the British Newspaper Archive you can view it with online registration here.

Historical Society of Ottawa: May meeting

This Friday, 26 May, exceptionally at 1:30 pm, in addition to the HSO Annual General Meeting, Stuart Clarkson will speak about the society contribution of historical books, documents and artefacts to the City of Ottawa Archives.

For over a century, through its mandate to promote the archival preservation of Ottawa's historical material, the HSO collected and catalogued a large number of books, documents, and artefacts. These materials help us today to describe and contextualize the people and places of Ottawa's past. They also help trace the development of this area's archival initiatives -- the very work to preserve that history -- as HSO has gradually given over this work to other heritage and archival institutions. Fortunate to have received a substantial portion of HSO's collections, the City of Ottawa Archives has made great strides in continuing HSO's work to collect local historical materials and to present Ottawa's past to its citizens. The Archives will gratefully commemorate its legacy with a talk by Stuart Clarkson, spotlighting a few transferred items of interest.

Stuart Clarkson is the Community Archivist at the City of Ottawa Archives, helping Ottawa's citizens connect with private historical documents. Stuart took a Masters of Arts in Scottish history in his hometown of Guelph before proceeding to Halifax to obtain a Masters of Library and Information Science at Dalhousie and can draw upon a heterogeneous background of work in libraries, archives and museums. With his wife, great-great-granddaughter of an asthmatic keeper of the Stewarton tollgate on Bank Street, Stuart has raised three children in Ottawa since arriving in 2009.

The meeting is at the usual location, the Routhier Community Centre, 172 Guigues Street

23 May 2017

OGS Conference 2018: Call for Speakers

OGS Conference 2017 in Ottawa is still a few weeks away but the call for proposals for the 2018 conference in Guelph is now out.* The deadline for proposals is 5 August 2017 so you've plenty of time to cogitate.

Here's the call

The Board of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) are delighted to announce
that the 2018 annual conference will take place on June 1 - 3. The Committee are
already hard at work behind the scenes, planning an inspiring event under the
banner, “Upper Canada to Ontario - The Birth of a Nation”.
OGS continues to boast the largest membership of any Canadian family history
organization with its conference attracting speakers and attendees from across
the globe. This year’s theme is designed to continue the thread from the 2017
conference, “Building a Nation”, and the Program Committee invite proposals
for presentations on:
(1)Migration to Ontario - Where did they arrive from, how did they get here,
why did they choose Ontario?
(2)Sources available to trace Canadians in their country of origin
(3)The importance of using maps in your research: changing Ontario districts
and counties, Canada and beyond
(4)How can new technologies assist our research back in history?
(5)Methods to document and preserve our research for future generations
Speakers will receive an honorarium alongside appropriate expenses and
complimentary Conference registration.
Please submit your proposals by email. Include your full name, mailing address,
telephone number, email address, website address (if applicable) and biographical
information, including recent speaking credits. For each proposal, please provide
a unique title and a summary of at most 250 words and identify the intended
audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and specific A/V requirements.
Multiple proposals are encouraged. DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: 5 August
To submit proposals or ask questions, please contact the Conference 2018
Program Committee at: program.conference2018@ogs.on.ca.
For more information about OGS, please visit: http://ogs.on.ca.

* The deadline this year is much more reasonable than the one imposed for the 2017 conference where the program was fully settled by the time of the 2016 conference. Good to see the powers that be have come to their senses.

Free Live-streaming of SCGS Jamboree Sessions

The next time you're tempted to grumble about Ancestry, we all do, bear in mind that the company is underwriting The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree Live Streaming. The brings 14 hours of high-quality family history education, 9 - 11 June, to your home free of charge.
The speakers include Thomas MacEntee, Peggy Clements Lauritzen, Gena Philibert-Ortega, Drew Smith, Christine Woodcock, Lisa Alzo, and Michael John Neill.
You don't have to watch live as the presentations will be recorded aand available until 10 July.

Find our more about Jamboree and live streaming at http://genealogyjamboree.com/

22 May 2017

MyHeritage Collection Catalog

With 6,503 main collections until now targeting a specific one to search has been a challenge at MyHeritage. Now, new, under the research tab, is a Collection Catalog to MyHeritage's SuperSearch™.

The catalog lists for each collection the number of records in it and the date in which it was added or last updated, and indicates with a special icon which collections are new or recently updated. Small collections of under 500 entries are not yet incorporated.

The collections can be searched by keyword, filtered, and sorted by the number of records they contain, the date they were last updated, or by collection name.

I was unaware there are 135 collections with 34,320,311 records for Canada and 384 collections with 440,959,880 records for England including censuses to 1911.

MyHeritage expects to add more than 300 million international records within the next 2 months bringing the total to more than 8 billion.

British Newspaper Archive has strength in Scotland and Ireland

LocationPopulation (2011)PapersPages
Ireland & Nrn Ireland6,451,8631442647473
England has the most newspapers and newspaper pages in the British Newspaper Archives database; unsurprising as it has the largest population. Ireland (combined), Scotland and Wales follow. 

However, on a population weighted basis BNA coverage of England and Wales lags that of Ireland and Scotland. For every 100 people in the population there are 46 pages available for Scotland, 41 for Ireland (combined), 27 for England and 12 for Wales.

The low coverage for Wales is likely because the National Library of Wales has done such a good job digitizing their newspapers and making them available free at http://newspapers.library.wales/. Add the 1.1 million pages digitized at that site and coverage per capita is on a par with Scotland.

Which leaves England lagging. I wonder why?

21 May 2017

Momondo - The Dna Journey

Just posted on YouTube, another episode in a series on 67 people from all over the world who take a DNA test.
This episode has a surprise for Ellaha who self-identifies as a Kurd.

VIce at Breakfast

Next Wednesday The (UK) National Archives is aiming to spice up your breakfast with vice.

Fears of unrestrained vice: Venereal disease and the First World War is the topic for a webinar starting at 8:30 am EDT on Wednesday 24 May 2017.
The Venereal Disease Act of May 1917 prohibited treatment of VD by unqualified persons. During the war, the spread of disease was crippling the British armed forces, with women’s sexuality being increasingly policed at home.
Find out how VD was prevented and treated during the war - as well as society’s changing attitudes towards disease and sexual practice - using original documents from our collection.
Register from  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fears-of-unrestrained-vice-venereal-disease-and-the-first-world-war-tickets-32464245432?aff=erelexpmlt

Also check out TNA's web content on the First World War at http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/first-world-war

Employees of Canada. Dept. of Public Printing and Stationery

Canada's Civil Service List is a fabulous resources for finding public servants. Depending on the date you'll find birthdate, religion, salary and employment details. But it ceased being published just after the Great War.
If you're interested in a later period, and the person of interest was an employee of the Canada Dept. of Public Printing and Stationery, Canadiana.ca has 16 issues of an employee directory, for 1922, 1924-1932, 1935-1940 which gives name, section and address.

A reminder that next Wednesday 24 May 24, 2017 at 6:30pm at the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library there will be a presentation by Daniel Velarde, Canadiana.org Communications Officer, on Early Canadiana Online, a virtual library of full-text historical content about Canada, including books, magazines and government documents from the 16th to the early 20th century.   See https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/event/early-canadiana-online

20 May 2017

OGS Conference advance registration deadline extended

Late word is that on-line registration has been extended and now closes at midnight EDT May 21 due to problems some encountered on 19 May.

After that you will still be able to register at the conference.

Ancestry adds Wiltshire Parish Records

The baptism of perhaps the most famous son of Wiltshire, Christopher Wren, is in the new Ancestry collection of the county's parish records.
It has data and images of originals from about 300 Wiltshire parishes, from Aldbourne to Yatton Keynell, including six parishes from Winterbourne.

Wiltshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812; 266,558 records
Wiltshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1916; 965,717 records
Wiltshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1916; 1,753,821 records
Wiltshire, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1916 ; 377,867 records.

19 May 2017

Robin Hood in new Findmypast Nottinghamshire Index Records

The Robin Hood, enemy of the Sheriff of Nottingham, may be legend but there's no fable, just mystery in the namesake to be found in the Nottinghamshire records just added at Findmypast.

Look in the Nottinghamshire baptisms index 1538-1917 Transcription collection, over 580,000 records added to make that collection 1,432,639 strong, and find Robin Hood's baptism on 25 January 1863 at Sneinton to Samuel and Mary Hood.

The Nottinghamshire Banns Index 1600-1812 has no entry by that name. It only has about 800 records.

The 984,960 records of the Nottinghamshire Marriages Index 1528-1929 include no Robin Hoods. There are 10 hits for Robert, a variant of Robin, each with a repeat with slightly different information, mainly spelling differences.

Nottinghamshire Burials Index 1596-1905, with 678,819 entries also has no entries for Robin. There are seven for Robert with two duplicating the same event.

What happened to Robin? The GRO birth index gives his mother's maiden name as Blyton. Findmypast has him in the index to the register of births in 1855 and the 1861 census. He is on a tree at Ancestry but with no additional information. Did he fade into the mists of Sherwood Forest?

The Cromwell Association Online Directory of Parliamentarian Army Officers

This new resource published by British History Online contains the names of over 4,000 officers who served in the armies of Parliament during the first English civil war (1642-6), and in some cases subsequently.
There is an alphabetical directory and the ability to search the full text of all the entries.
Most entries lack genealogical information.
The project to compile the information was funded and supported by The Cromwell Association.
Search from http://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/cromwell-army-officers

For Then, For Now, For Ever

To mark the centenary of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s foundation by Royal Charter in 1917, an exhibition For Then, For Now, For Ever opens this Saturday, 20 May at the Canadian Records Building at Brookwood Military Cemetery – the largest CWGC site in the UK with more than 5,000 burials and 3,500 commemorations on the Brookwood Memorial.

The exhibition tells the story of the CWGC’s creation through to modern day, using historical objects and artefacts from the CWGC archive and collections. Many of the exhibits have never been publicly displayed before. They include an original First World War grave marker and a petition from the 1920s addressed to then CWGC President, HRH The Prince of Wales. The petition contains more than 8,000 signatures – predominantly from mothers who had lost sons in the Great War – asking the Commission to reconsider the use of a uniform marker in favour of a cross. These and other objects tell the sometimes difficult story of how one man’s vision came to forever change the way we remember the war dead.

The exhibition will be supported by a series of special events during its first week – with talks from CWGC staff and guest speakers on topics from horticulture to history. The exhibition will be open for six months.

18 May 2017

Voices from the Dust

A reminder about the free Family History Conference, Voices from the Dust, organized and hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Ottawa Family History Centre.
The program starts this Saturday, 20 May at 1 pm.
The presentations are:

 Online Family Trees through the Ancestry and FamilySearch Partnership,
by Lesley Anderson and Shirley-Ann Pyefinch
 Ontario: Settlers and Settlement, 1791-1867, by Glenn Wright and Lesley Anderson
 Placing Ancestors in a Historical Context, by Gloria Tubman
 Plan for Research Success, by Gloria Tubman
 Social Media and Family History, by Shirley-Ann Pyefinch
 Using Ancestry DNA and How it Can Help You With Your Family History Research,
by Lesley Anderson
 Using the FamilySearch.org Wiki, by Jean Brown

There are also session recorded from RootsTech
 You Found it Where? -finding Unusual Records, by Rory Cathcart, D. Taylor, and Rich Venezia
 Creating Google Alerts for Your Genealogy, by Katherine R. Wilson
 Family History is Anything but Boring, by Crystal Farish, and Rhonna Farrerg

The location is 1017 Prince of Wales Drive in Ottawa.
All welcome.

Kingston Branch OGS May Meeting

On 20 May, 2017 Gord Sly will give a presentation about the Frontenac County Schools Museum and Archives. The presentation is at 10 am with a social hour prior.
The meeting takes place at the Seniors Centre, 56 Francis Street, Kingston.

International Bomber Command Centre Losses Database

The International Bomber Command Centre's database has now gone live with details of 55,000 men who lost their lives in the Second World War.
The product of four years work, and continuing, it now contains 2.7 million individual pieces of information and will help you discover the story behind each loss.

Search from http://internationalbcc.co.uk/history-archive/losses-database/

via a Facebook post by Debbie Kennett.

My CKCU Genetic Genealogy Interview

On Wednesday morning I was interviewed on CKCU on genetic genealogy. Go to http://cod.ckcufm.com/programs/82/32407.html and click on Listen Now. My part starts at 1:31:40

I was pleased to be able to mention of the OGS conference, particularly the presence of four DNA testing companies and that entry to the marketplace is free even for those not registered for the conference..
When it come down to it the companies want traffic. If they get it they are more likely to return in following years.

17 May 2017

Ancestry updates two Irish databases Ireland, Courts Martial Files, 1916-1922 and Ireland, Royal Irish Constabulary Pensions, 1873-1925

Ireland, Royal Irish Constabulary Pensions, 1873-1925, with 130,318 records, comprises and index  images of pay sheets with information on monthly pension paid. The format varies. Expect to find name, rank, county, date of authority, date of commencement, pension per annum, where paid and various additional information depending on circumstance.

Ireland, Courts Martial Files, 1916-1922, with 1,913 records, comprises an index and images of documentation surrounding proceedings, sometimes extensive, under the Defence of the Realm Act.

Both datasets are from records at the (UK) National Archives.

Qunite Branch OGS May Meeting

The branch will meet on 20 May 2017.
Richard Hughes will present "Hastings County 1866", looking at life leading up to Confederation July, 1, 1867.
Also, John Carew will offer insight into the Canada 150 project of the contributed family histories. Everyone welcome, bring a friend.  Quinte West Public Library, 1-3 pm. Visit www.roostweb.ancestry.com/~canqbogs

16 May 2017

CEF Service Files Digitization:May Update

As of 15 May, 438,679 of 640,000 files (427,651 last month) are available online via the LAC Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database.

The latest digitized is from Box 7452 (7260 last month) and last name Oliver (Nelles). Library and Archives Canada is digitizing the service files systematically, from box 1 to box 10686, which roughly corresponds to alphabetical order.

11,082 (10,902) files were digitized in the last month. At that rate the project would be complete in 18.1 months, by November 2018. Federal buildings were closed for two days in Gatineau interrupting processing due to extensive flooding the last month.

Genetic Genealogy at CKCU 93.1 FM

I'm scheduled for a brief telephone interview on the Carleton University campus radio station CKCU this Wednesday, 17 May.
The segment, from 8 - 9 am, part of the Special Blend program, is at a general, DNA-for-beginners level. Regular host Mike Houston has his results from 23&me. He will be joined in the studio by guest host Carolyn Brown, a writer/editor on medical issues -- genetics and health.
I'll be joining them for perhaps 10 minutes after 8:30 on how DNA helps the family historian, and increasingly gets people interested.
If you're not within range of the over-the-air signal you can listen live or archived for a few weeks at www.ckcufm.com/

15 May 2017

OGS Conference News: pre-conference pricing ends this week

OGS conference registrations are closing in on 600. Using Ancestry Day on Monday 19 June is over 250.
Contrary to rumour  rooms are available at the Algonquin College Residence from Friday to Monday.
This week is the LAST week to register online for pre-conference pricing. After Friday, May 19th registration will be at the door only.
There will be NO meals available to purchase on demand at the site.  You can still pre-purchase meals even if you have already registered by registering again just for meals. There are a few other restaurant, fast food, a supermarket (with wine),  LCBO and Beer Store outlets close by. See the map here,

Canadian Orders Decorations and Medals

At Saturday's BIFHSGO meeting Dr Jonathan F. Vance speaking on Was Your Ancestor at Vimy?: Making Sense of the Battle on the Ground mentioned that when British General Julian Byng took command of the Canadian Corps he replaced many of the senior officers who held their positions through patronage with experienced British officers.
Vance gave special note to Brigadier-General Deputy Adjutant & QMG George Jasper Farmar (sometime Farmer) who ensured that the Corps got all their share of weapons and ammunition, and perhaps a bit more.
I went looking for information on him. Ancestry had a little, but the best source was an item in British Brigadier-Generals, Major-Generals, Lieutenant-Generals who held Senior Positions in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. (pdf).  There are 11 born in Great Britain, one in India.

For Farmar and others it gives, birth, marriage, children and death information, plus honours and a detailed military history.

The same file also lists Canadian Born General Officers in the British Army in World War One, there are 15.

I may not be popular for mentioning as a side-note that, just as the Ottawa Senators hockey team is made up of players and coaches and owner with no Ottawa roots, the iconic Canadian battle of Vimy Ridge had a commander, many of his subordinate officers and the majority of the rank and file being British-born.

The file mentioned above is just one at Canadian Orders Decorations and Medals (6th Edition), a promising resource for Canadian genealogists. The contents are:

Royal Canadian Navy Citations
Royal Canadian Air Force Honours List
Current Canadian Honours
British Orders to Canadians
Foreign Honours to Canadians
Canadian Meritorious Service Decorations Citations
Mentioned in Despatches Citations to Canadians 1993 on
General & Flag Officers 1964 to Current
General & Flag Officers WWI and WWII
12 (Vancouver) Field Ambulance History
Prime Ministers of Canada
Royalty - Canadian Military Connections

Advance Conference Notice: Canada Before Confederation

A shout out for an international conference coming up next November on Canada before Confederation: Early Exploration and Mapping.
The specialist conference, at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Halifax, Nova Scotia is 13-14 November.
Details on the program and presentations are at https://www.academia.edu/32425596/Canada_before_Confederation_-_A_Sneak_Peek_at_the_Programme

A reminder that also coming up in Halifax in the fall, 13-15 October, is the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit.

Quebec Family History Society - open house

This Wednesday, 17 May there's an open house from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the QFHS Heritage Centre, 173 Cartier Avenue, Suite 102, Pointe-Claire, Quebec.
Staff will be on hand to help you find out about the 20 Billion Family History Records for Quebec, Canada, the United States, the British Isles, and many other parts of the world that are available in the Q.F.H.S. Library.

Everyone is welcome to this free event.
Information at 514-695-1502 or www.qfhs.ca

14 May 2017

The Journal of Genetic Genealogy is back

After too long a hiatus the Journal of Genetic Genealogy, an open source publication of The International Society of Genetic Genealogy has returned.
With Leah Larkin, as the new editor and a new advisory board consisting of Blaine T. Bettinger, Turi King, Doug McDonald, Steve C. Perkins, David A. Pike and, Ann Turner, the journal will be again a welcome resource for the serious genetic genealogist.
The major articles in this issue are:
Y-DNA Testing of a Paper Trail - The Fox Surname Project, By:  Joseph M. Fox III and David E. Fox
Evidence of early gene flow between Ashkenazi Jews and non-Jewish. By:  Doron Yacobi and Felice L. Bedford.

FreeBMD May update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Fri day 12 May 2017 to contain 261,459,855 distinct records (260,984,786  last update).
Years with major updates (more than 5,000 entries) are: for births: 1964, 1966, 1976-80; for marriages: 1966, 1969, 1977,1979-83; for deaths 1978-80.

The graph shows the number of unique birth entries in the FreeBMD database. In later years it reflects the incompleteness of the database. The peak following the First World War is greater than the Baby Boom peak following the Second.

13 May 2017

Findmypast adds records for the City of York

York has prestige, seat of the Archbishop of York, giving it's name to the largest county, far outweighing its population which is 83rd largest in England. So this eight set collection of City of York records only totals a bit over 290,000 entries, considerably smaller than Findmypast's weekly average.

City Of York Apprentices and Freemen 1272-1930
73,337 records spanning 658 years record those who were freemen of the City or trained as an apprentice.
Each record includes both a fully searchable transcript and a scanned image of the original handwritten document with birth date, baptism place occupation, residence, employer, father's name and more.

City Of York Calendars of Prisoners 1739-1851
24,628 records, fully searchable transcript and a scanned image of the original handwritten document, for prisoners held at York castle. Find everything from petty crimes to murders.  Transcripts give date of arrest, where & when they were tried, their age and address. Images will often provide additional details of the offence, sentencing and details of victims.

City Of York Hearth & Window Tax 1665-1778
16,765 tax records documenting living conditions and wealth through how many hearths and windows the dwelling.

City Of York Militia & Muster Rolls 1509-1829
16,619 entries for those who served in the York militia. Records the date of the event, the location of the property and the name and occupation of the owner. Images will often include additional details pertaining to the indenture, or land transaction, such as names of buyers and sellers and specific details of the property.

City of York Deeds Registers 1718-1866
26,084 deeds document property in York.  Each records gives date of the event, the location of the property and the name and occupation of the owner. Images will often include additional details pertaining to the indenture, or land transaction, such as names of buyers and sellers and specific details of the property.

Britain, Directories & Almanacs
Over 19,000 images and 48 new trade directories and county guides to almanacs and general directories are added for the City of York to the collection of Directories & Almanacs.
They can include topographical accounts of towns, social statistics and comprehensive guides of local areas as well as full listings of gentry, business owners, trades people, civil servants, church leaders, school teachers and much more.

England & Wales, Electoral Registers 1832-1932
Over 39,000 records covering the City of York are added to our collection of England & Wales, Electoral Registers 1832-1932. Each entry will include an image of the original register and a transcript of name, place at which registered, the district and the year registered. Images provide additional information address and the type of property owned or rented. Remember that the right to vote was very restricted in the early part of the period and didn't extend to women until after the First World War.

National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914
Over 34,000 York School records, fully searchable scanned colour images of the original handwritten admission registers and log-books, have been added to the National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914 collection.
Log-books include attendance records, reasons for absence, visitors to the school and the daily activities of school life. Admission registers provide many including birth date, admission year and the school attended. You may also find parents' names, father's occupation, exam results and any illnesses that led to absence from school.

LivingDNA updated my family ancestry estimates

LivingDNA calls it family ancestry, others ethnicity, admixture,  biogeographical ancestry analysis, etc.

Today my numbers changed from those I received in February.

My initial overview was 82.4% Europe, 7.7% Near East and 3.8% Asia (East). That left 6.1% undetermined. Now it's 98.8% Europe and 1.2% Asia (South).

The detailed assignments within the British Isles are shown in the diagram for February and May 2017. The percentages are expressed to the nearest whole number.

There are changes as large as six per cent.
My proportion assigned to South Wales Border is doubled to become the largest component. There's a substantial increase for Northwest England.
The largest decreases are for South Central England, Ireland and Devon.
For Northwest Scotland it was four per cent before, zero now.

It's worth remembering there are several reasons why admixture results may not agree with your genealogical research. Your genealogical record probably doesn't go back to the founder population on all lines, which LivingDNA suggests is about 10 generations ago. Also you only inherit half your parents DNA. Successive generations fade out so you only have DNA from about half of your 10th generation ancestors. Then there's NPEs.

So put an uncertainty of at least five per cent on any value, including zero, just due to changes in the reference database.

The type of change I saw happened without announcement. You might want to check your results from time to time.

12 May 2017

British Newspaper Archive Free Webinar

On 18 May at 11 am EDT a free Webinar: Making the Most of the BNA is being offered, BNA's first ever webinar.
The presenter is Aoife O’Connor, a PhD Candidate at the University of Sheffield, a a regular speaker on a wide range of topics including industrial history, the history of childhood, juvenile crime and the impact of digitisation.
Promised content is expert search tips and tricks, special features of the website, and how to break down brick walls in your research.
The webinar will be recorded and available later on the BNA website. Sign up for the webinar live here.

WikiTree LiveCasts from Grandma's Genes

Here are a couple of LiveCasts via YouTube.Mags Gaulden from Grandma's Genes is offering in the coming days.

May 13, 2017 at 3pm EDT
If you have taken a DNA test for genealogy and you have matches, and you have added your limbs to WikiTree you may be able to mark some of your ancestors as "Confirmed with DNA" . We'll tell you how to work with WikiTree to follow the paper trail and the genetic trail to DNA confirmation.

May 20, 2017 at 3pm EDT
Putting WikiTree to work for your genetic Genealogy and for your DNA related Projects. Whether tracking migration and haplogroup distribution, a One Name Study or any other creative genetic, idea, we will show you how to make WikiTree's massive database work for your genetic genealogy.

Mags tells me she has presented LiveCasts every Saturday for about 5 months for WikiTree. She also does QuickCasts from time to time to answer questions. They are live as well and if someone follows Grandma's Genes YouTube Channel they will get a notification that these are on the go. https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC0BbBW6BzW6AmaT_WPSyutg

Mags is a member of the OGS Conference 2017 social media team and plans to do a LiveCast from the Conference.

11 May 2017

Mother's Day DNA Sales

Given the slightest opportunity companies involved in genetic genealogy will offer discounts. Mother's Day is just such an opportunity.

MyHeritage is offering their autosomal test for $69 US until 15 May.

FamilyTreeDNA is offering their Family Finder test for same price.

23andMe has a $50 Cdn discount on their test for both ancestry and health, that's $199 Cdn.

LivingDNA are offering $10 Cdn off, now $189 Cdn although it's not linked to Mother's Day which is earlier in the UK.

There is no advertised special for Mother's Day from AncestryDNA (yet) but bound to be something soon including at the OGS Conference 2017.

Improving Library and Archives Canada Website

I have occasionally been surveyed as a client of Library and Archives Canada. In recent years I've remarked on the exceptional turnaround in the organization reflected in staff morale, initiative and active outreach.

But so far LAC has not asked for my views on their website.

Admittedly, there's nothing in the Constitution that requires LAC seek or take my advice.
Neither is there anything that prohibits me from giving it -- all I want -- if I feel so moved.
And I do.

Like most of us, when I go to the LAC website I do so for a purpose. I'm looking for specific information.

But as I write LAC uses just about all the website real estate above the fold to inform:

  • Library and Archives Canada releases its latest podcast episode, “Beyond Vimy: The Rise of Air Power, Part 2”
  • Literary Censorship in Quebec: Books under Pressure Exhibition, May 8 to 12, 2017
  • Running on Empty: Canada and the Indochinese Refugees, 1975–1980
  • DigiLab: A space to digitize your favourite Library and Archives collections!
  • What's new in the collection: the spring 2017 edition is out!
  • Signatures Series: Interview with Raymond Chrétien
  • Subscribe to our mailing list for events and activities
That's not information I was looking for. 
I feel like I'm being force-fed the things that LAC wants me to know. Their priorities, not mine.

Compare, for example, the website for The (UK) National Archives.

Up front there are links to catalogue, help files and access to digitized collections.  There are also other quick ways above the fold into the collection.
It's a site offering the help and information I came to find.
LAC's site makes finding those non-intuitive, a challenge even for the frequent user.

The organization website is its window to the world, why not make it world class?

BIFHSGO May Meeting

Jonathan F. Vance, Distinguished University Professor and J.B. Smallman Chair in the Department of History at Western University, returns to BIFHSGO giving two presentations this Saturday, 13 May.

At 9:00 a.m. he will give the Before BIFHSGO Education Talk — They Didn't Write Names on These!: Decoding the Postcard. Using images from his own own collection of 30,000 postcards, he will go through a few of the 'trade secrets' for getting information out of often anonymous photos.

At 10:00 a.m., following announcements, the presentation is Was Your Ancestor at Vimy?: Making Sense of the Battle on the Ground. Prof Vance will talk about Vimy Ridge and what the genealogist can do to locate an ancestor on that hill in April 1917. The digitization of records has been a great help, but there are still many mysteries to be solved in military records. As Canada's most famous battle, Vimy Ridge has been the subject of more history books than just about any other battle. But that one battle was made up of tens of thousands of individual stories.

BIFHSGO monthly meetings, open to all with free admission and parking, are held at The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa.

10 May 2017

Ancestry updates Church of England parish records for Liverpool

The following records, name indexed with images of the originals linked and browse files, are now updated on Ancestry.

Liverpool, England, Church of England Confirmations, 1887-1921, 5,355 records - gives date, name. age and address.

Liverpool, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1970, 422,965 records - gives name, date of burial, age, abode and by whom service performed.

Liverpool, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1813-1921, 1,141,858 records - with the linked image giving all the information you would get by buying a certificate from the GRO.

Liverpool, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1659-1812, 295,581 records.

Liverpool, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1906, 1,913,014 records, with date, Christian name(s), parents names, abode, occupation and by whom the ceremony was performed.

Original records are from the Liverpool Record Office.

BIFHSGO: Best talk by a member

At the BIFHSGO May meeting next Saturday you will have the opportunity to vote for best talk by a member over the past year. The choices are:

  • Mostly at Sea: Captain Harry Grattidge, by Gail Roger
  • From Famine to Prosperity to the Longue Pointe Asylum: the Varied Life of John Patrick Cuddy, by Gillian Leitch
  • The Queen’s Coachman — Our Only Claim to Fame, by Christine Jackson 
  • Lanes, Trains & Parliament Hill, by Marianne Rasmus
  • First in, Last out: But What Came between 1914 and 1919?, by Irene Ip
  • Did Lucy and Isaac Actually Marry? And the Importance of Dying in the Right Sequence, by Brian Laurie-Beaumont
It can be a challenge to think back as far as last October, read the abstracts of the talks here.
Members can also view videos of the Roger, Leitch, Jackson and Ip presentations in the members only section at bifhsgo.ca.

Members who can't get to the meeting can cast their ballot using a form in the Members Only section of the society website and email it to the secretary.

I know which talk I'll be voting for.

09 May 2017

Service disruptions at LAC for a second day

Floods in the National Capital Region will disrupt service from Library and Archives Canada for a second day on Tuesday, 9 May 2017.
Points of service at 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa will be open but service delays or a lack of some specialized service may occur.
Library and Archives Canada locations in Quebec will remain closed along with all other federal buildings.
Access to online databases appeared unaffected on Monday.

While water levels are expected to fall slowly on Tuesday, depending on location, I wouldn't be surprised if some service disruptions continued for another day.

BIFHSGO Conference 2017

Online registration for BIFHSGO Conference 2017 opened earlier this month.  Yet another strong program, the conference will be held from 29 September to 1 October, 2017.  Full details are on the website www.bifhsgo.ca.

There's plenty of time to register although some Friday pre-conference half-day sessions have limited registration so it is best to register early if you want one of those.The price you will pay increases in August when early registration ends.

BIFHSGO members logon before registering to get the discounted member rate.

Best Local Free Irish Archival Databases

"God bless you, Section 80 of the Local Government Act, 2001" is John Grenham's verdict on the results of this Irish government initiative for the proper management, custody, care and conservation of local records and local archives.

He points to:

Galway Archives with some wonderful online collections, including 1775 tenants’ lists from the Headford area;
Mayo Library's superb collection of estate maps online, including details of tenants from 1811 in Balla, Kilcolman and Mayo parishes;
Tipperary Studies extraordinary set of 130 Tipperary rate books from the 1840s and early 1850s, predating Griffith and created in parallel with his Valuation.

See the complete list on John Grenham's blog at https://www.johngrenham.com/blog/2017/05/08/a-network-of-new-irish-record-holding-institutions/.

08 May 2017

May 9 lecture notice: What We Leave Behind War Memory, Vimy Ridge, and the British Commonwealth

The Ottawa Historical Association in collaboration with Library and
Archives Canada presents a lecture:

What We Leave Behind War Memory, Vimy Ridge, and the British Commonwealth

Robert Engen, Assistant Professor, Royal Military College of Canada
and Andrew Horrall, Senior Archivist, Library and Archives Canada

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. | 395 Wellington Street, 2nd Floor

Ottawa, Ontario | Library and Archives Canada

Please register at Lac-bac.gc.ca/events
or ottawahistoricalassoc@gmail.com

This lecture is free and all are welcome

"Robert Engen is an assistant professor of history at the Royal
Military College of Canada. He received his PhD from Queen's
University in 2014 and is the author of two books: "Canadians Under
Fire: Infantry Effectiveness in the Second World War," and "Strangers
in Arms: Combat Motivation in the Canadian Army."

"Andrew Horrall is a senior archivist at Library and Archives Canada,
where he works with private military collections. He holds a doctorate
in History from the University of Cambridge. He has written three
books, and has served as the NATO Archivist at NATO headquarters in
Brussels, and as an adjunct professor of History at Carleton

OPL Event: Early Canadiana Online

Early Canadiana Online is a virtual library of full-text historical content about Canada, including books, magazines, family and local histories, voters’ lists, Parliamentary papers, and other official publications from the 16th to the early 20th century. It's available free to all Ottawa Public Library cardholders at home via the web as well as at OPL branches.

Daniel Velarde, Canadiana.org Communications Officer, is coming to the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library showing how to use and get the most from this multi-faceted resource. The 90 minute session on Wednesday 24 May, 2017 starts at 6:30pm.

Daniel is also speaking at the OGS Conference on Sunday 18 June in the early afternoon but you may have difficulty choosing, the other presentations in that timeslot are: Irene Robillard on The WI Tweedsmuir Community Histories: A Social History of Rural Ontario Ontario; Sharon Callaghan on Quebec Notary Records—Primary Resource for Ancestors’ Documents and; D. Joshua Taylor on US/Canadian Immigration Pathways, 1800s–1900s.

Register for Daniel's OPL presentation at https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/event/early-canadiana-online

07 May 2017

Expect service interruptions at Library and Archives Canada

On Sunday afternoon Guy Berthiaume's account tweeted out "LAC staff: stay tuned, info to come about the flood situation in Gatineau" and later "Only staff living on the Ontario side and working at 395 (Wellington) have to report for work." All federal buildings in Gatineau are closed for the day.

Owing to the flood situation don't be surprised if you encounter service interruptions. As I write this on Sunday evening the online service from LAC is working as usual.

Speaking to a long time resident at Westboro Beach he said he hadn't seen the water in the Ottawa River so high in 50 years. It was lapping close to the wall of the cafe where we hold genealogy meetups.

Ancestry updates British Phone Books, 1880-1984

This database now contains 1780 phone books, 278 million entries, providing near full county coverage for England and substantial records for Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

Alphabetical listings typically contain:
Surname of person (usually the head of household) or name of business
Exchange (up to 1968)
Telephone Number
Note that you must enter a country through the drop-down menu, but if you try to enter a county as well the country selection disappears and the search fails. Instead enter the county in the location box.


Nearly 50 people braved a soggy Ottawa Saturday morning to attend the BIFHSGO DNA Group at the City Archives.

Bill Arthurs spoke on recent progress on his Titus one name study finding German and Dutch lines have a common origin.

Arthur Owen explained the intricacies of visual phasing and recommended the explanation available through the ISOGG Wiki.

I spoke on the Living DNA test. There are five reasons why admixture test results and ancestry from traditional genealogy differ. Results from 30 tests showed that in all cases where the percent from a sub-region was over 30% that confirmed the paper genealogy. In the 30 tests there was more Cornwall DNA than would be expected based on population density and less Lancashire DNA. A larger sample is needed.

A donated AncestryDNA kit was raffled with the proceeds going to sponsor a DNA talk at the OGS conference. Thanks to those who purchased raffle tickets and to Susan Courage and Bill Arthurs who organise the program for the group.

06 May 2017

Findmypast adds Devon Parish Records, and more

Two separate collections of Devon parish registers are now available on Findmypast for browsing.
From the Devon Archive and Local Studies come more than 459,000 records in over 4,500 handwritten volumes of  parish baptisms, marriages, and burials. Included are 24 Exeter and 8 Torquay parishes.
An additional 33,000 baptism, marriage and burial records in 900 original volumes come from the Plymouth & West Devon Record Office. The collection includes 20 Plymouth and 10 Devonport parishes.

Also these UK additions this week from Findmypast:
- for the City Of London, Ironmongers, Apprentices and Freemen 1511-1923, 4,698 new records bringing the total to 17,822;
- additions to the Yorkshire Memorial Inscriptions collection, now with over 100,000 indexes to memorial inscriptions from 1500's until 2014 from over 150 parishes.

From elsewhere
- over 6.7 million US marriages from 18 states;
- 4,698 new articles in the Queensland School Pupil Index, now totaling 1,698,381 titles from 1,022 schools between 1864 and 2003;

05 May 2017

Say Cheese

The latest book by Eastern Ontario author Ron W. Shaw takes him away from the early 19th century Perth settlers which were the subject of his most recent books.

I've not read Cheese Stakes, Lanark County's Mammoth Cheese and its Place in Cheesemaking History. The promo explains that it explores the nineteenth century story of the Lanark County Mammoth Cheese in the context of its place in a long tradition of oversized cheeses, and examines the remarkable, never to be repeated, achievement it represented in the annals of the cheesemakers' art. On April 25, 1893, the largest cheddar cheese ever manufactured anywhere in the world arrived on the grounds of the World's Columbian Exhibition at Jackson Park, Chicago, Illinois. Pressed seven months earlier in a Canadian Pacific Railway Company freight shed at Perth, Ontario, as it travelled to Chicago its massive 22,000 pounds weight snapped the railway car truss rods four times, its casing attracted a mass of graffiti and, as it was dragged into its exhibit space, the 'Canadian Mite' crashed through the floor of the Dairy Pavilion. Purchased by Britain's most prominent cheesemongers, it was transported to England and paraded through the streets of London, cut with a garden spade, and eaten by English consumers. Cheese Stakes is an essential read for those with an interest in the agricultural roots of Ontario; cheesemaking history, and in the individuals who were among the cast of characters who played a role in the great adventure of the Lanark County Mammoth Cheese.

Published by Global Heritage Press, the book may be ordered online at http://globalgenealogy.com/countries/canada/ontario/eastern-ontario/resources/101476.htm

Irish Genealogy Guide – How to Trace Your Ancestors in Ireland

Just published by Cincinnati-based Family Tree Books, Claire Santry writes that while her primary audience is Irish-Americans its strategic approach to pinpointing a townland of origin can be applied by any Irish family historian, no matter where he or she lives.

Here's the table of contents:

Part 1: Linking Your Family Tree to Ireland

Chapter 1: Discovering Your Irish Heritage
Chapter 2: Jump-Starting Your Irish Research
Chapter 3: Identifying Your Immigrant Ancestor

Part 2: Getting to Know the Old Country

Chapter 4: Understanding Irish History
Chapter 5: Understanding Irish Geography
Chapter 6: Deciphering Irish Names and Surnames
Chapter 7: Civil Registrations
Chapter 8: Church Records
Chapter 9: Census Records
Chapter 10: Land and Property Records
Chapter 11: Printed Sources
Chapter 12: Probate, Law & Order, Military, and Occupation Records

Part 3: Using Advanced Sources and Strategies

Chapter 13: Putting It All Together: Case Studies
Chapter 14: What to Do When You Get Stuck

Appendix A: Latin in Irish Catholic Parish Registers
Appendix B: Irish Genealogy Research Societies
Appendix C: Irish Graveyard Research
Appendix D: Archives, Libraries, and Other Repositories in Ireland
Appendix E: County and Heritage Genealogy Centers
Appendix F: Publications and Websites

04 May 2017

Ottawa DNA Group May Meeting

On Saturday come to the Ottawa City Archives, 100 Tallwood, for a meeting of the BIFHSGO sponsored DNA Group.
The topics this meeting is DNA Great Moments and Technical Updates

Bill Arthurs — “How YDNA test results have recently revolutionized the Titus One Name Study and opened up new great questions.”

Arthur Owen — "Visual Phasing for Grandparents using Cross-over Events."
Arthur will briefly discuss the theory behind the methodology, show the required steps to reconstruct a chromosome, how to use existing 2nd cousin matches to assign segments to the four grandparents, and discuss some of the problems you may encounter.  

John D. Reid — "Living DNA."
British company Living DNA offers a combined SNP test of mitochondrial (Motherline), Y-chromosome (Fatherline) and autosomal (Family Ancestry) DNA for $199. A selling point is 21 sub-regional resolution of autosomal genetic ancestry within the UK and Ireland in recent times (originally 4-5 generations, now 10 generations). How well does the service live up to the promise?

There will be a draw for an AncestryDNA test. Proceeds will support sponsorship of a DNA session at the June OGS conference. Tickets are a toonie each, three for $5.

03 May 2017

WDYTYA? Live is no more

Sorry to see this announcement from Immediate Media.
Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE will close its doors after a ten-year run.
Immediate Media, the organisers of the annual event, reached the difficult decision earlier this week due to financial reasons.
The UK’s largest family history show celebrated its tenth anniversary in April this year, when over 13,000 family historians and more than 100 specialist exhibitors attended the three-day event at the Birmingham NEC.
The first WDYTYA? LIVE was launched by Brand Events in May 2007 at the Olympia in London. It incorporated The Society of Genealogists Family History Show and genealogist Nick Barratt acted as a consultant. Immediate Media then took over in 2011.
Marie Davies, director of WDYTYA? LIVE, explained that the event was “running at a considerable loss” at the time of the takeover.
“We have done our best over the years to bring it into profit,” she said. “Unfortunately, the show has continued to make a loss for Immediate Media and we have had to bring it to a close.”
WDYTYA? LIVE has showcased talks from a wide array of speakers and celebrities over the years, alongside hundreds of specialist exhibitors from the world of family history.
Crucially, it has also enabled thousands of amateur researchers to break down their brick walls through one-on-one sessions with some of the UK’s leading genealogists.
Davies added: “We are currently undergoing a period of consultation with our events staff and I would like to thank them for all their hard work in making WDYTYA? LIVE a show to be proud of.
“I would also like to thank all the businesses, archives and societies who have supported us in this venture over the years.
“I’m sure all the family historians who have visited over the past ten years will agree that it was a very special event and we are sorry to see it go.”
Sue Moncur, UK country manager of Ancestry, a regular exhibitor and former sponsor of WDYTYA? LIVE, said the company was sad to hear of the event's closure.
"Ancestry is proud to have been involved with the show since the beginning," she added. "During that time we have enjoyed the opportunity to meet and talk with everyone from long-term genealogists to those simply curious about who they are and where they come from.
"It is the end of an era, but the legacy of the show is that interest in family history in the UK has never been stronger and I am sure it will continue to thrive into the future."
At the same time The Society of Genealogists announced it will be looking to see if it can once again run its own Family History Show for the benefit of family historians.

Comment:  I'm disappointed, but not surprised. I've found there wasn't enough new to warrant a trip to the show each year. The DNA sessions organised recently by Maurice Gleeson and Debbie Kennett were the main attraction for me.
Undoubtedly the Society of Genealogists will look at other show models, besides the Genealogy Show they organised prior to WDTYTA? Live, including the successful BTOP Ireland event where genealogy is a substantial but not the major component of an event attracting other like-minded interests.

Ancestry updates England & Scotland, Select Cemetery Registers, 1800-2016

Now updated to 1,851,245 items, the collection has entries, in some cases with links to images of the original register, for:

West Sussex (Arun Region), England
Arundel Cemetery, Bognor Regis Cemetery, Chalcraft Lane Cemetery, Findon Cemetery, Littlehampton Cemetery

Hampshire (Winchester), England
Magdalen Hill Cemetery

Oxfordshire, England
Headington Cemetery, Rosehill Cemetery, Wolvercote Cemetery, Botley Cemetery

Norfolk, England
Yarmouth Old Cemetery, Yarmouth New Cemetery, Great Yarmouth Crematorium, Caister Borough Cemetery, Magdelan Cemetery, Gorleston Old Cemetery, Caister Village Cemetery

London, England
Abney Park Cemetery, Greenford Park Cemetery, Acton Cemetery, Ealing & Old Brentford Cemetery, Havelock Norwood Cemetery, Hortus Cemetery, South Ealing Cemetery, Queens Road Cemetery, Chingford Mount Cemetery

Manchester, England
Manchester General Cemetery, Philips Park Cemetery, Gorton Cemetery, Blackley Cemetery, Southern Cemetery

Kent, England
Brenzett Cemetery, Cheriton Road Cemetery, Hawkinge Cemetery, Lydd Cemetery, New Romney Cemetery, Spring Lane/Horn Street Cemetery

Dumfries-shire, Scotland
Annan Cemetery, Applegarth Cemetery, Auchencairn Cemetery, Caerlaverock Cemetery, Canonbie Cemetery, Carruthers Cemetery, Closeburn Cemetery, Cummertrees Cemetery, Dalton Cemetery, Dornock Cemetery, Dumfries High Cemetery, Dunscore Cemetery, Durisdeer Cemetery, Eskdalemuir Cemetery, Ewes Cemetery, Gamerigg Cemetery, Glencairn Cemetery, Gretna Cemetery, Gretna Green New Graveyard, Half Morton Cemetery, Holywood Cemetery, Hutton and Corrie Cemeteries, Irongray Cemetery, Johnstone Old Church, Johnstone Bridge Cemetery, Keir Cemetery, Kirkbean Cemetery, Kirkmahoe Cemetery, Kirkpatrick Fleming New Cemetery, Kirkpatrick Fleming Old Cemetery, Kirkpatrick Juxta Cemetery, Langholm Cemetery, Lochmaben Cemetery, Middlebie Cemetery, Moffat Cemetery, Morton Cemetery, Mouswald Cemetery, New Abbey Cemetery, Nithsdale District Council Cemetery, Penpont Cemetery, Rigg Cemetery, Ruthwell Cemetery, Sanquhar Cemetery, St Andrews Cemetery, St Blanes Cemetery, St Conals Cemetery, St Michaels Cemetery, St Mungo Cemetery, Staplegordon Cemetery, Terregles Cemetery, Tinwald Cemetery, Torthorwald Cemetery, Troqueer Cemetery, Tundergarth New Churchyard, Tynron Cemetery, Tyron Cemetery, Wamphray Cemetery, Wanlockhead Cemetery, Wauchope Cemetery, Westerkirk Cemetery

Kincardineshire, Scotland
Anwoth Cemetery, Balmaclellan Cemetery, Balmaghie Cemetery, Buittle Cemetery, Carsphairn Cemetery, Colvend Cemetery, Kirkpatrick Durham Cemetery, Machermore Cemetery, Parton Cemetery, Southwick Cemetery, Tongland Cemetery, Twynholm Cemetery

Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland
Bargrennan Churchyard, Borgue Cemetery, Castle Douglas Cemetery, Crossmichael Cemetery, Dalbeattie Cemetery, Dalry Cemetery, Girthon Cemetery, Kells Cemetery, Kirkcudbright Cemetery, Kirkgunzeon Cemetery, Kirkmabreck Cemetery, Lochrutton Cemetery, Rerrick Cemetery, Urr Cemetery

Wigtownshire, Scotland
Cairnryan Cemetery, Glasserton Cemetery, Glebe Cemetery, Glenluce Cemetery, Glenjorrie Cemetery, Inch Cemetery, Kirkcolm Cemetery, Kirkcowan Cemetery, Kirkinnery Cemetery, Kirkmaiden Cemetery, Leswalt Cemetery, Leswalt New Cemetery, Leswalt Old Cemetery, Mochrum Cemetery, New Luce Cemetery, Newton Cemetery, Old Luce Cemetery, Portpatrick Cemetery, Sheuchan Cemetery, Sorbie Cemetery, Stoneykirk Cemetery, Stranraer Cemetery, Whithorn Cemetery, Wigtown Cemetery, Wigtown Park Cemetery, Wigtown Top Cemetery.

Additional Who Do You Think You Are? Live Speakers’ Handouts

A couple more handouts have been added since last mentioned. Here's the complete list to date from the Society of Genealogists website.

Peter Bailey  (Saturday 8 April) Baptism, Marriage and Burial Records in British India - Not Available in the "India Office" Records
Paul Carter (Saturday 8 April 2017) Six Tips for Publishing Your Research on the Web
Else Churchill (Thursday 6 April 2017 & Saturday 8 April 2017) The Society of Genealogists On and Off Line
Else Churchill (Thursday 6 April 2017) Country Bumpkins.Tracing Rural Ancestors
Else Churchill (Friday 7 April 2017) I'm Stuck. Some Ideas for Solving Genealogical Problems
Else Churchill (Saturday 8 April 2017) Tracing Women Ancestors
Peter Christian (Thursday 6 April 2017) Parish Registers Online. Here is a link to Peter's website where you will find a PDF of his slides
Gill Draper (Saturday 8 April 2017) Going Back In Time. Free Resources for Finding People 13th-19th Centuries
Brian Donavan (Saturday 8 April 2017) The Digital Revolution in Irish Genealogy
Mary Evans (Saturday 8 April 2017) Don't Believe Everything You Read  - or Hear!
Janet Few (Thursday 6  April 2017) Engaging Young Children in Family History
Janet Few (Friday 7 April 2017) The Ones That Got Away.Tracing Elusive Ancestors
Celia Heritage (Friday 7 April 2017) Surnames and Family History
Doreen Hopwood (Thursday 6 April 2017) Where Did They Come From and Why?
Dr Jane Howells (Thursday 6 April 2017) Townies. Ancestors in Small Market Towns
Tahitia McCabe (Friday 7 April 2017) Top Tips for Citing Your Sources:Create Quality Family Trees
Sue Mitchell (Thursday 6 April 2017) In Pursuit of Lots! Using Forenames to Build the Family Tree
Sue Mitchell (Saturday 7 April 20170 Do As I Say Not As I Did. Confessions of an Imperfect Genealogist
Robert Parker (Friday 7 April 2017) A Quick Guide to Getting Started
Robert Parker (Top Tips for racing Tour Ancestors 1939-1845
Michelle Patient (Thursday 6 April 2017) Creating a Family History Website
Erc Probert (Thursday 6 April 2017) Land Tax Assessments in a Nutshell
Mike Sharpe (Saturday 8 April 2017) True Brummies. Birmingham Research Before 1837
Erin Tilley (Friday 7 April 2017) How to get Your Kids Interested in Genealogy
Sylvia Valentine (Saturday 8 April 2017) Delving into Workhouse Records
Graham Walter (Friday 7 April 2017 & Saturday 8 April 2017) Five Killer Ap;s for Family Historians