30 June 2017

My my, my MyHeritage blog post just in time for Canada Day

Canada is a multicultural nation. You may not know it, but chances are you have a not-too-distant relative from a previous generation who joined the parade of people from many countries: Britain, the United States, France, Ireland, Germany, Italy, China, the Ukraine, the Netherlands, Poland, India, Russia, Norway, Portugal, and many more, seeking to make Canada their new home.

Read more at https://blog.myheritage.com/2017/06/they-came-to-canada/

Congratulations to New Order of Canada Recipients

Announced at Officer of the Order of Canada is Chad Gaffield, Professor of History and University Research Chair in Digital Scholarship at the University of Ottawa.
He returned to the university in September 2014 after serving as President and CEO of the federal Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) during 2006-2014. An expert on the sociocultural history of 19th- and 20th-century Canada, Gaffield has been at the forefront of efforts to develop digital technologies that expand, deepen, and facilitate research, teaching and public engagement. His scholarship focuses in particular on Canada’s official languages in their changing socio-cultural, economic and demographic contexts since the early nineteenth century. He has also studied socio-demographic change in the Ottawa Valley as well as childhood and family history during the nineteenth-century development of mass schooling. From 2001 to 2008, Gaffield led the interdisciplinary, multi-institutional and cross-sectoral Canadian Century Research Infrastructure (CCRI) initiative, one of Canada’s largest and most innovative research projects in the social sciences and humanities. By developing digital technology to mine historical census enumerations and documentary evidence, CCRI is now enabling unprecedented temporal and spatial analyses of the forces that shaped the twentieth century. Gaffield’s new project concerns the conceptual and technological making of the Digital Age since the nineteenth century with a special emphasis on Canada. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, he received the RSC’s 2004 J.B. Tyrrell Historical Medal given for outstanding contributions to the study of Canada. In 2011, Gaffield was awarded the international Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations’ Antonio Zampolli Prize which recognizes every three years a major research contribution. In 2015, he received a Doctor of Laws honoris causa from Carleton University. Gaffield received his BA (Hons) and MA from McGill University and his PhD from the University of Toronto.

Announced as Member of the Order of Canada is William (Bill) Waiser who joined the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan in 1984 and served as department head from 1995-98. He was Yukon Historian for the Canadian Parks Service prior to his university appointment. He was named the university's Distinguished Researcher at the spring 2004 convocation and received the College of Arts and Science Teaching Excellence Award in 2003. He was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the province's highest honour, in 2006, and elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada the following year. Bill retired in 2014 from the University. His books include Park Prisoners: The Untold Story of Western Canada's National Parks and (with Blair Stonechild) Loyal till Death: Indians and the North-West Rebellion, which was a finalist for the 1997 Governor General's Literary Awards for non-fiction. His All Hell Can't Stop Us: The On-to-Ottawa Trek and Regina Riot won the 2003 Saskatchewan Book Award for non-fiction.[3] He is perhaps best known for his award-winning centennial history of the province, Saskatchewan: A New History.

British Newspaper Archive additions for June

The British Newspaper Archive now has 20,347,024 pages (19,721,463 pages last month). The 60 papers with new pages online are tabulated below with the many major additions highlighted.

Annandale Observer and Advertiser1873, 1879-1886, 1889, 1893, 1895
Ballymena Observer1951-1957
Barnet Press1879-1897
Boston Guardian1930-1936
Bradford Daily Telegraph1872, 1878, 1897-1898
Catholic Standard1933-1949, 1951-1957
Cork Examiner1900-1901, 1903-1904, 1908-1910
Cornish Times1860, 1877, 1889
Coventry Herald1940
Cricket and Football Field1910
Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette1910
Durham County Advertiser1897
East Anglian Daily Times1902
Eastern Evening News1884, 1886-1888, 1890-1896, 1898-1899, 1905-1909
Eastern Morning News1881, 1885-1886, 1888, 1890-1892
Fraserburgh Herald and Northern Counties' Advertiser1893-1949, 1951-1957
Glasgow Evening Citizen1866-1867, 1869, 1879, 1881-1890, 1892
Glasgow Evening Post1879-1881, 1883-1891
Goole Times1870, 1889
Hackney and Kingsland Gazette1880-1890, 1902-1909
Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail1900-1909, 1911-1919
Hereford Times1882
Herts Advertiser1897
Hexham Courant1877
Ilford Recorder1902, 1904
Inverness Courier1871-1884, 1886-1890
Irish Society (Dublin)1919
Isle of Wight County Press and South of England Reporter1884, 1889-1899, 1901-1910
Isle of Wight Observer1888, 1901-1922
Islington Gazette1905-1907
Kentish Mercury1871-1910
Lake's Falmouth Packet and Cornwall Advertiser1873-1910
Leeds Mercury1935-1938
Londonderry Sentinel1862-1868, 1873-1880, 1883-1884, 1887-1893, 1895-1899, 1901-1907, 1909-1910, 1912-1920, 1930-1943, 1945-1953
Mayo Constitution1872
Montrose, Arbroath and Brechin review; and Forfar and Kincardineshire advertiser.1873-1875, 1884-1957
Nelson Leader1929, 1931-1937, 1940-1949, 1951, 1953-1957
Norfolk News1871-1897, 1899-1910
Northwich Guardian1861-1871, 1873-1878, 1880-1884, 1886-1896, 1898-1899, 1901-1907, 1909-1910
Nottingham Journal1874
Oswestry Advertiser1855, 1859, 1870, 1877, 1889-1890
Oxford Times1888, 1890, 1892, 1894
Pateley Bridge & Nidderdale Herald1883-1888, 1890-1894, 1896, 1898, 1900-1904
Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser1902-1910
Roscommon Messenger1904-1920
Rothesay Chronicle1879
Sheffield Daily Telegraph1916-1917
Southern Echo1891-1895, 1909-1910
Staffordshire Chronicle1889
Sunday Mirror1914
Surrey Comet1888, 1892
The People1918
Watford Observer1872-1909
West Somerset Free Press1872, 1910
Weston Mercury1885-1896, 1899-1909
Weston-super-Mare Gazette, and General Advertiser1878-1886, 1888-1896, 1898-1900, 1903-1907
Wigan Observer and District Advertiser1855-1877, 1879-1895, 1898-1904, 1907-1910, 1912-1918
Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser1883-1893, 1909-1919
Yarmouth Mercury1880
Yorkshire Evening Press1888

Free Access to University of Toronto Press Journals on Canada Day Long Weekend

Canadian Historical Review
Canadian Journal of History
Champlain Society Digital Collection
International Journal of Canadian Studies
Journal of Canadian Studies

These are just some of the journals now open to free access over the long weekend - until 3 July.

What's available? Take the 110 books published by the Champlain Society.

Ontario and the First World War, 1914-1918: A Collection of Documents, edited by Barbara M. Wilson caught my eye.
Three volumes in four parts of Select British Documents of the Canadian War of 1812.
Telegrams of the North-West Campaign, 1885.
The Upper Ottawa Valley to 1855: A Collection of Documents.
Multiple volumes of The Works of Samuel de Champlain.

There are also seven Champlain"Witness to Yesterday" podcasts on Canadian issues from 1885 to 1957.

29 June 2017

Lady Macdonald's Diary

This crowdsourcing transcription project from Library and Archives Canada is now live.

Lady Macdonald’s diary, primarily covering the years 1867 to 1869, is a unique first-hand account by the Prime Minister's wife of the earliest days of the new Dominion of Canada, beginning just a few days after Confederation in July 1867.

There are 91 pages in the diary. As of 10:30 am on 29 June 2017 there are 5 pages complete, 7 pages incomplete, 13 pages needing review, and 4 other pages updated in the past 24 hours.

Although not as easy as the previous LAC transcription project, the Colton Report, the cursive writing of Lady Macdonald is clear.

Find out more at http://transcribe.bac-lac.gc.ca/en

LostCousins helps celebrate Canada Day

Here is a message from Peter Calver of LostCousins, a favourite genealogy resource.

"There are 4,000 LostCousins members in Canada, so I decided that this year I'd put together a page of offers to help celebrate Canada Day.

Please tell other family historians in Canada about the offers - just copy this email to them or send them the link below. Remember, every new Canadian member is not just a potential cousin of yours, they could be a cousin of mine (or of any other LostCousins member), so the more family historians who take advantage of the free subscriptions I'm offering to new members the better it is for all of us.

To find out about saving special offers click the link below so that you can read the articles (or else, highlight it, copy it, then paste it into your browser).


Please remember to update your My Details page when your email address is about to change - if I can't contact you then neither can your cousins!"

RootsMagic gets long promised update with Ancestry hints

If you use the stand-alone genealogy software RootsMagic, perhaps having moved to it when Ancestry announced they were discontinuing Family Tree Maker, you'll be pleased to learn that the promised hints from your Ancestry account are finally implemented. A free upgrade to RootsMagic 7 is required.

You can learned about the new capabilities at FAQ: WebHints & TreeShare for Ancestry and on a video linked from the RM program.

If you want to take advantage of the Ancestry hints you are REQUIRED to have a tree at Ancestry linked to the RM tree. If uploading a RM tree to Ancestry by default it will be private, but some will be concerned that having the information outside their computer increases privacy vulnerability.

In my view it's a risk worth taking given the benefit of the web hints. I recommend going further  and making a basic version of your tree, less any sensitive information, public.

Glengarry County Archives

"Too much geography and not enough history" is the perennially cited quote from Prime Minister Mackenzie King about Canada.
In the case of Ontario's Glengarry County it's almost the reverse. No mountaineer would dream of scaling the heights north of the St Lawrence River, from Cornwall to the Quebec border and north to the 417. History is there aplenty, especially for those with a name starting with M(a)c.
Charlottenburgh and Lancaster were two of the eight Royal Villages established along the St Lawrence River in the 1780s settled by United Empire Loyalists.
On this date in 1786 The McDonald, a converted troop ship, set sail from Knoydart on the west coast of Scotland with 520 passengers, including 240 under age 13. Most settled in what is now Glengarry and descendants helped build the county, province and Canada.
The Glengarry County Archives is the place for local history and genealogy. Check it out at GlengarryCountyArchives.ca.

28 June 2017

Ancestry updates Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, Electoral Registers, 1857-1962

If you have Glasgow ancestry there's the possibility that something of interest might have been added to this database, now with 30,247,020 records.

New Book: Glenalladale Settles, 1772

Toward the end of OGS Conference 2017 I was approached by Denise Harper and asked to post about this book published in 2016 by the Prince Edward Island Scottish Settlers Society.
Having no PEI ancestry, I've only been there once, it's not a settlement that came to mind despite Scottish settlement on the island being covered in some detail in a book in my collection, Lucille Campey's An Unstoppable Force.

In Glenalledale Settlers 1772 the first five chapters
Life in Gaelic Scotland
The Emigration Leader
On the Sea
Arrival in St John's Island
comprise a section of Background ending at page 36. These were Scottish Catholic's displaced from their homes in the Western Highlands and Islands.

Except for a three page bibliography the remainder of the book, to page 219, comprises biographical sketches of The Passengers. Their names are Beaton (1), Cameron (4), Campbell (2), Cummins (3), Curry (3), Fisher (1), Fitzgerald (1), Gillis (3), Henderson (4), MacCormack (3), MacCraw (1), MacDonald (75), MacDonnell (3), MacDougald (3), MacEachern (8), MacGillivray (3), MacInnis (7), MacIntosh (3), MacIntyre (9), MacIsaac (1), MacKay (2), MacKenzie (6), MacKinnon (12), MacLellan (1), MacLeod (4), MacMillan (3), MacNab (3), MacNeill (6), MacPhee (4). Don't get aggravated if  there are no Mcs and regarding the capitalization of names - they likely didn't.

There's a tribute to the MacDonalds in a poem on page 66, "If Ye Ain't a MacDonald."

This is an admirable tribute to the founders of this branch of the Scots diaspora in PEI.

Find out more, and how to order a copy here.

27 June 2017

TNA Webinar: Reading old documents: Introduction to Medieval and Tudor palaeography

Part II of this three part webinar from The UK National Archives will be streamed live on Wednesday, 28 June 2017 at 6 pm BST, that's 1 pm EDT.
The webinar series covers basic skills required to read handwriting from the past, and some tips and tricks to help you get to grips with original documents.
Find out more, and register for free at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/webinar-reading-old-documents-introduction-to-medieval-and-tudor-palaeography-tickets-32440403119?aff=ebapi

Creating Dialogue Between Archivists and Historians

This week ActiveHistory.ca, a website that connects the work of historians with the wider public and the importance of the past to current events, is hosting a theme Week: Creating Dialogue Between Archivists and Historians.

In the introductory post Krista McCracken mentions" funding of LAC, records management programs."  I hope the series doesn't degenerate into archivists telling historians why they need more resources.

The first post Missed connections: looking for everything in the archives by Danielle Robichaud explains why there's a disconnect between researcher expectations and archival practice; because archival material is rarely described to the item-level. This makes it difficult for archivists to do more than point researchers to where everything about a particular topic could be.

Robichaud describes herself as a Digital Archivist so I was disappointed that her post stopped at explaining the historical rationale for the disconnect. Beyond explaining it what is being done by digital archivists to bridge the disconnect?

26 June 2017

In From The Cold

Do you know of someone from the British Commonwealth who died during the two world wars or shortly thereafter due to war-related causes but whose sacrifice is not recognized?
The In From The Cold Project was formed more than ten years ago to research and identify all service men and women missed from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour database. To date 4,150 people have been added owing to the IFC project. Six were added on 17 June.
The project also provide a route to submitting corrections to the Debt of Honour database that may have crept in during digitization or at some other stage.
Don't make the mistake I made. Had I known about IFC I could have short-circuited a tortuous process I took, initially, through the Department of Veterans Affairs, to have Private John K McLean buried at Beechwood Cemetery added to the CWGC database and to the headstone he shares with Private W J Royston.

FamilySearch adds England, Scotland Ireland Records

Three new record sets became available on Friday, 23 June, on FamilySearch

Scotland Church Records and Kirk Session Records, 1658-1919 has 302,522 records from registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials originally filmed at the National Archives of Scotland, CH2 series. There are no images available.

England, Cambridgeshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1599-1860 has 52,632 records , with linked images of the originals, for parishes throughout Cambridge originally filmed at the Cambridge University Library. Find a list of parishes and years included here.

Ireland Civil Registration, 1845-1913 consists of browse images, 1864-1913 for births, 1845-1870 for marriages, and 1864-1870 for deaths. They are copies of the original documents and volumes held at the General Register Office and are referenced in the Ireland Civil Registration Indexes. See How Do I Search the Collection? at https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Ireland,_Civil_Registration_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records)

25 June 2017

Family History Microfilm Discontinuation

Below is an announcement from FamilySearch.

It was inevitable.  Microfilm is a legacy technology. But it is VERY DISAPPOINTING that during the transition FamilySearch would not substitute a digitization on demand service so that patrons are not left hanging, potentially until the end of 2020 if the project is on time, waiting for access.

On September 1, 2017, FamilySearch will discontinue its microfilm distribution services.  (The last day to order microfilm will be on August 31, 2017.)

The change is the result of significant progress made in FamilySearch’s microfilm digitization efforts and the obsolescence of microfilm technology.

• Online access to digital images of records allows FamilySearch to reach many more people, faster and more efficiently.

• FamilySearch is a global leader in historic records preservation and access, with billions of the world’s genealogical records in its collections.

• Over 1.5 million microfilms (ca. 1.5 billion images) have been digitized by FamilySearch, including the most requested collections based on microfilm loan records worldwide.

• The remaining microfilms should be digitized by the end of 2020, and all new records from its ongoing global efforts are already using digital camera equipment.

• Family history centers will continue to provide access to relevant technology, premium subscription services, and digital records, including restricted content not available at home.

Digital images of historical records can be accessed today in 3 places on FamilySearch.org under Search.

• Records include historical records indexed by name or organized with an image browse.

• Books include digital copies of books from the Family History Library and other libraries.

• Catalog includes a description of genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, etc.) in the FamilySearch collection.

When approved by priesthood leaders, centers may continue to maintain microfilm collections already on loan from FamilySearch after microfilm ordering ends. Centers have the option to return microfilm that is available online or otherwise not needed. As more images are published online, centers may reevaluate whether to retain microfilm holdings.

OGS recognition of City of Ottawa Archives

The OGS Ottawa Branch meeting on Saturday was the occasion for the presentation of an Award of Merit to the City of Ottawa Archives from the Ontario Genealogical Society. The Archives hosts the Branch library, and other local collections including those of BIFHSGO and the Ottawa Historical Society.
City Archivist Paul Henry accepted the award from OGS Conference 2017 Co-chair Heather Oakley and Branch Chair Doug Gray.

Langevin and Residential Schools

When Guy Berthiaume mentioned that architect is not a good term to use in Ottawa these days during his speech at the opening session of the OGS Conference the reference eluded me.

A week later and the title of a blog post on Active History makes it clear --  "Sir Hector-Louis Langevin, “Architect” of Residential Schools?"

In it Matthew Hayday, points out that if anyone was the architect it was Sir John A. who reserved Indian Affairs as a post he held in addition to Prime Minister. He has historical precedence having given a speech two weeks before Langevin's using very much the same words.

Should everything named after Macdonald be renamed, just as the former Langevin block?

In a comment to that blog post Jason Ellis points out that people engaged in naming debates don’t care about good history; they care about the present. We've certainly seen that in Ottawa where political (and Political) have outweighed historical considerations in naming.

Worth reading at http://activehistory.ca/2017/06/langevin/

Additions to Findmypast Scottish Records

Scotland, Post Office Directories

Over 180,000 new records have been added to the collection of Scottish Post Office Directories. The new additions cover Aberdeenshire, Ayrshire, Bute, Midlothian, Forfarshire, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Perth and Inverness-shire.

Scotland Monumental Inscriptions Index

Over 32,000 new additions covering burial grounds in Berwickshire and East Lothian have been added to the Scotland Monumental Inscriptions Index.

24 June 2017

Medway, Kent, England, Methodist BMB records

The latest Ancestry addition of British records is 35,111 Medway, Kent, England, Methodist Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1798-1932. The largest communities included are Chatham and Gillingham, with additional records from Gravesend, Sheerness, Lower Rainham. Rochester and Strood.
Baptisms are by far the predominant record type.

The records are sourced from Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre, in Chatham. The new Medway Archives Centre will open on Tuesday, 4 July 2017 at 32 Bryant Road in Strood.

New Norfolk Browse Records from Findmypast

Three new Norfolk browse titles appear this week from Findmypast:

Norfolk Marriage Bonds 1557-1915 Browse
444 volumes of marriage bonds, over 147,000 records kept by the courts of the Archdeaconry of Norfolk, the Archdeaconry of Norwich, the Dean & Chapter of Norwich and the Diocese of Norwich Consistory Court.

Norfolk Poor Law Union Records 1796-1900 Image Browse
Over 55 volumes of Poor Law records covering 20 unions: Aylsham, Blofield, Depwade, Docking, East and West Flegg, Forehoe, Guiltcross, Henstead, King's Lynn, Loddon and Clavering, Mitford and Launditch, Norwich, Smallburgh, Swaffham, Thetford, and Wayland.
There are a wide variety of record types including births & baptisms, relief lists, admission & discharge books, rate books, report books, minute books and more.

Norfolk Non-Conformist Records 1613-1901 Image Browse
More than 7,000 records, 11 registers covering various denominations including Methodist, Quaker, and Baptist in the parishes of Attleborough, Aylsham, Kenninghall, Norwich, Tasburgh, Walsingham, and Wymondham.

Summarizing the Norfolk titles in Findmypast
Norfolk Electoral Registers 1832-19154,466,609
Norfolk Baptisms1,785,807
Norfolk Burials1,422,549
Norfolk Marriages905,752
Norfolk Bishop's Transcripts Baptisms634,077
Norfolk Banns451,484
Norfolk Bishop's Transcripts Burials412,336
Norfolk Bishop's Transcripts Marriages157,290
Mid Norfolk Monumental Inscriptions9,652
Mid Norfolk Baptisms1,257
Norfolk Marriage Bonds 1557-1915 Image Browse444
Norfolk, Bishop's Transcripts 1687-1901 Image Browse125
Norfolk Poor Law Union Records 1796-1900 Image Browse55
Norfolk Archdeacon's Transcripts 1600-1812 Image Browse51
Norfolk Non-Conformist Records 1613-1901 Image Browse11

LDS Church History Conference in Brampton

This conference will take place on 8 July 2017 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Brampton Stake Centre.
Brother Richard Turley from Utah will be the keynote speaker. Brother Turley is the former Assistant Church Historian for the whole Church. Currently, he is the Managing Director for Public Affairs for the entire Church.
An excellent speaker, he is a direct descendant of Brother Theodore Turley who joined the Church in the 1830's while living in Churchville, Peel County, Ontario.
With presentations and displays the conference will focus on the remarkable history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ontario.
More information and registration at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/lds-church-history-conference-tickets-32485663494
Thanks to Malcolm and Helen Warner for the tip while at #OGSConf2017

23 June 2017

UK Who Do You Think You Are? 2017 celebrities

How many of these names mean something to you? Who do you think they are?

Charles Dance
Craig Revel Horwood
Clare Balding
Adil Ray
Emma Willis
Lisa Hammond
Sir Ian McKellen
Noel Clarke
Fearne Cotton
Ruby Wax

See their claim to celebrity here

Paper of Record and JSTOR at LAC

For months, perhaps years, I've been pointing out to the folks in the Genealogy Room at 395 Wellington that the link on their computers to Paper of Record has not worked. For almost as long I've been told it would be fixed.
This week I received an email from Julie Roy, Manager of Reference Services, who finally made it happen. I went to the building to check it out - joy of joys - success. Thank you Julie.
Julie also mentioned that links to three other databases: JSTOR, LLMC and MUSE have also been fixed.
hile on the 3rd floorI tried JSTOR which Marian Press mentioned at the end of her presentation at #OGSConf2017. US-based JSTOR is an online database of more than 2,000 full text searchable scholarly journals and some books providing an opportunity to put ancestors in historical and local context. Some of the older journals do provide lists of names.
If you missed Marian's presentation there's a  free webinar on How to Use JSTOR at
http://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=449 which ends with an explanation of the various ways you can gain access including the limited free individual subscription at

Third anniversary: Dr Guy Berthiaume

Today, 23 June 2017 is the third anniversary of Dr Guy Berthiaume assuming the role of Librarian and Archivist of Canada.
Congratulations are due on having established partnerships, raised both the profile of LAC and the morale of the staff.
There is progress, and significantly more work to be done, in digitization and making collection materials available online for all wherever they live.

22 June 2017

Findmypast free long weekend

Just as well it wasn't last weekend and #OGSConf2017!

Findmypast offers 5 days of FREE access to over 1.1 billion of their records for British and Irish research. FMP says that includes:

  • The world’s most comprehensive collection of British and Irish parish records
  • Double the Irish family history records of our closest competitor
  • More British military service and pension records than anywhere else online.
You will need a free registration for access.

It will not include the 1939 National Registration nor newspapers.

Those of us with subscriptions benefit too from a three day extension to our membership.

Many Families, Issue No. 3

Tad and Terry Findley's annual family history magazine Many Families, number 3, features the Wickham, Durham and Rotton families.
Wickham is found mostly in the south of England. It's Tad's maiden name so unsurprisingly, and given that information is available on seven generations, is the subject of about half this issue. I challenge you to start reading "Look Where You Step" and not be drawn into the Wickham family story which takes us to British Guiana and Trinidad, with journeys back to the UK, and eventually to Canada.
Rotton and Durham are families that married into the Wickhams.

In reviewing the previous volume I posed the question "Why buy a magazine for someone else's family?" The No. 3 issue again illustrates the truth of the answer given last time.
The articles are a model of research and writing;
The thrill of discovery is shared;
The layout is superb, an inspiration;
The content is an education, more than just about the families.
If you need more information, or to order a copy, email manyfamilies (at) rogers.com

OGS Ottawa Branch June Meeting

The main event on Saturday, 24 June is a presentation "Osgoode Township Museum Resources" by Robin Cushnie.
"Robin will give an overview of the wealth of information and artefacts available at the Osgoode Township Museum. Resources include transcribed oral histories, census records, church, school, and tax records, maps, biographies and local histories. Many of these documents and publications are not available anywhere else and are not to be missed!"
Announcements and the presentation start at 1:30 pm. Socialize with drinks and cookies from 1 pm

Also on Saturday at 10 am  the Scottish Genealogy Group will meet, at 10:30 am Genealogy: Back to Basics offers "Evaluating Your Evidence" and following the main presentation the Computer Special Interest Group will meet.

21 June 2017

Intelligent Searching

When Marian Press, a retired librarian and active genealogist gave her first presentation, Are You Really Finding It All When You Search?: Mining Databases for Every Nugget of Information, at #OGSCong2017 it was my pleasure to chair the session.

Marian started out covering the basics, Boolean  search operators: AND, OR and NOT. Whichever database you search they are the foundation of intelligent searching.

In thanking Marian I summarized what I saw as the key points:

1. Read the help screen. Each database has its idiosyncrasies. Time invested in understanding them will be time you won't thrash about with unproductive searches.
2. Start by taking time to formulate a specific search, then gradually broaden it for more results. Marian acknowledged that many people advise starting broad and refining.
3. Look beyond the first page. You may not be lucky on the first page of hits.


4. Specifically for FamilySearch, log on with a free account to get additional results and capabilities.

The Summer Solstice

The City of Ottawa Archives holds three scrapbooks with ads from R J Devlin, an Ottawa clothing retailer. They were recently transferred to the archives from the Ottawa Historical Society (OHS).

Today at 12:24 AM EDT the sun attained its most northerly point, the Tropic of Cancer.

The solstice was the topic of one of many humorous advertisements in volume one of Devlin's scrapbooks which are weather related. I've been looking at them as part of preparation for my talk on Ottawa weather history to the OHS in October.

The reference to the Scott Act is explained at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_Temperance_Act

20 June 2017

Free Walking Tours of Ottawa Immigrant Neighbourhoods

Take a journey through some of Ottawa’s most interesting neighbourhoods.

As part of Welcoming Ottawa Week, June 20 to 30, 2017, the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP), Heritage Ottawa, the City of Ottawa – Cultural Development and Initiatives section, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada have joined together to host a series of guided walking tours to Chinatown, Little Italy, Lowertown West and Lowertown East.

The walks are designed to showcase the important contributions of immigrants to the social, cultural, and economic development and vitality of these neighbourhoods.

See the schedule and register online by clicking on Registration and the bottom of the walk description at: http://olip-plio.ca/heritage-walks/.

Thanks to Jean Yves Pelletier for the tip

50th anniversary of 395 Wellington

Today marks the day when Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson opened the building which then housed the separately administered National Library and National Archives of Canada at 395 Wellington Street.

The anniversary is being marked by an exhibit Building on History: Fifty Years of Preserving Memory at 395 Wellington Street in the Pellan Room at 395 Wellington Street (2nd floor) until September.

Guy Berthiaume presentation at OGS Conference 2017

Librarian and Archivist of Canada Guy Berthiaume was invited to speak at the opening of the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference last Friday evening. Below is a rough transcription of his remarks.
I'd particularly highlight the invitation in the penultimate paragraph.
A good part of my work is about creating connections with our clients, our stakeholders, the private sector and the general public. And I know the thrill of discovering connections is one of the reasons that genealogists and family historians are so passionate about what they do.
I recently came across an interactive website that uses digital technology to uncover fascinating networks of families in British history. Kindred Britain at Stanford provides all kinds of surprising connections. For example Winston Churchill is a direct descendant of King Henry VIII. Family ties connect Isaac Newton, Jane Austen, William Wordsworth and Florence Nightingale. The creator of the site calls it the social network of the past.
I begin with this example to illustrate that today's genealogy is not our grandfather's genealogy. The use of modern digital technology to illuminate family roots and history is producing surprising, creative and positive results.
Take our digitization work at LAC. We've worked closely with external partners to both digitize collections and to make more of them available, especially to our main client group - genealogists. As a result we've been able to digitize a lot more material than we could on our own and to make some of our biggest and most heavily used collections available to Canadians. I know that this external focus has not always been popular but in a time of limited resources I think it was the strategic choice. Mind you, working with partners is not a one size fits all solution, especially in the case of fragile and easily damaged documents.We want to digitize them while we can keep offering access to our clients. A case in point is the work on the Canadian Expeditionary Force service files you're all familiar with. I'm pleased to tell you the project is on track, at least according to John Reid. As of November 11 2018 all 640,000 soldier's files will be online. There are 340,350,355 files and they are some of our most consulted records, and for good reason. But a project of this magnitude uses a considerable amount of our resources so we have to look at other strategies to digitize additional collections.
Welcome DigiLab.
The way it used to be clients who needed digitial copies would either use our digitization on demand service for a fee or bring their own digital cameras into our reading rooms with mixed results. With DigiLab you can come into 395 Wellington and leave with digital copies of our collection for free. You come in and scan the material you need for your research. The space is easy to use and there's support to help you learn how to use the equipment. You leave with high quality scans and a spreadsheet with information on what you've scanned. But what's perhaps more exciting, LAC will them make the information you scanned available to anyone via its website. So DigiLab is crowdsourcing at its best.
This allows the public to help us with our work, meet the demand for accessible collections and harnesses knowledge about the material we have. and all we ask from you is some simple metadata so that others can search the information more easily online.
I'm happy to share three projects that have already been hosted by DigiLab.
Nichole Yakashiro who is completing her honours BA at the University of Toronto has an academic and personal interest in Landscapes of Injustice, a seven year project run out of the University of Victoria. Landscapes of Injustice is funded by SSHRC and its goal is to digitize historical records across the country related to the disposition and internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. As part of that project Nicole spent almost four weeks in DigiLab to digitize records that help tell the story of this sad chapter in our history. As a result over 130 related files will be placed online for everyone to consult.
Another interesting example is that of Marjelaine Sylvestre, the archivist from the Jardins de Métis in Québec. She spent a couple of days in the lab digitizing and describing 130 photographs taken by William Reford.
And there's also the work of one John Reid who digitized ten years of early Ottawa weather records from the late 1800s. As you know John holds a PhD in Atmospheric Science and he proposed this project to help support contemporary research into climate change.
So DigiLab is proof that crowdsourcing is an extremely effective way of making historical records available. But it's only one of our crowdsourcing tools.
There's another key initiative underway at LAC which I'm very excited about, and again it involves citizen archivists helping us tell the stories of history to a wider audience.
In June of last year the Manitoba Métis Federation celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Battle of
Seven Oaks, a battle which marked the emergence of the Métis nation. To support the anniversary LAC introduced software that lets people transcribe authentic historical documents. The first document to go through the process was the Coltman Report, handwritten in 1818 by William Coltman. The report provides one of the best sources on the fur trade war and is a key document in the history of the Métis Nation. the entire 521 page handwritten report was transcribed by members of the public eager to make a personal connection to history. A fully searchable pdf is now available in LAC's database, and we're about to launch a second initiative, the 91 page diary of Lady Susan Agnes Macdonald, the wife of Sir John A. I'm sure you'll agree that this diary is going to be fascinating reading - what was on her mind in that crucial time in our nation's history? How did she view the new Dominion of Canada starting in 1867 as her husband hammered out the details of the new confederation? What was her daily life like? What were her social obligations, her private experiences and her thoughts? By providing transcriptions of this material you can be a fly on the wall of history.
LAC is thrilled to open up these treasures from our collection to those who understand their importance and can add richer and enhanced information to them. Those who have valued knowledge of our collection and how it can be used. Those such as yourselves.
And here's another exciting development. As you may have heard, LAC is one of the founding members, not to say the architect - that's not a good term to use in Ottawa these days -  of the steering committee for the National Heritage Digitization Strategy. This strategy will make more content accessible to Canadians. It was developed by the major memory institutions of Canada, large public libraries, academic libraries and archives, provincial archives, national associations of archivists, librarians, historians and museums. We adopted a way to accelerate the digitization of the most important collections of Canada and to make them easily accessible to all, linking Canadians everywhere in their quest for culture and knowledge.The strategy will cover published and unpublished analogue materials of national, regional and local significance. That will include books, periodicals, newspapers, government records, posters and maps, thesis and artifacts, photographs and documentary art, film and video, audio recordings and more. I'm sure you'll agree that much of the material identified is of interest to genealogists.
You may also be interested in a small consultative project we launched to review best practices in the field of newspaper digitization. Thanks to a donation from the Salamander Foundation a pilot collection of indigenous newspapers will be digitized over the summer so we can give it a test run in the fall.
These are just some of the exciting initiatives we have on the go. And I would like to extend an open invitation to all of you to let us know what you need from us. What works in the DigiLab, what doesn't. Which of our collections do you want to see up on our site? This will be the key to our serving you well and allowing us to make the connections that define us as Canadians.

Thank you.

19 June 2017

LivingDNA now has admixture confidence levels

Until today LivingDNA have provided admixture results for a standard level of confidence from global, regional and sub-regional geographic divisions. Now added are complete and cautious confidence levels. Here, to illustrate the changes you might expect to see between confidence levels, is a quick look at my results focusing on Europe.
Global level
At all confidence levels I have  European 98.5% and  unassigned 1.4%. At the complete level the  1.4% is specified as South Asia.
Regional level 
My cautious and standard confidence level European results are divided into Great Britain and Ireland 84.2%, Northwestern Europe-related ancestry 8.7%, and Europe (unassigned) 5.6%.
My complete level result retains Great Britain and Ireland 84.2%, with Europe (North and West) as 8.7%, add Europe (South) 4.3%, Europe (East) 1.4%.
Sub-regional level
My cautious confidence level results for Great Britain aggregate sub-regions to South Wales Border-related ancestry 42.9%, Lincolnshire-related ancestry 13.9%, Ireland-related ancestry 12.9% and Devon-related ancestry  7.6% and Great Britain and Ireland (unassigned) 6.8%.
The standard and (complete) confidence level results for Great Britain are almost identical:
South Wales Border 20.8% (20.8%)
Northwest England 10.6% (10.6%)
South Central England 9.9% (9.9%)
South Yorkshire 7.9% (7.9%)
Ireland 7.4% (7.4%)
Northwest Scotland 5.5% (5.5%)
Devon 5.3% (5.3%)
Southeast England 0% (4%)
Lincolnshire 3.3% (3.3%)
Central England 2.6% (2.6%)
Cornwall 2.3% (2.3%)
South Wales 1.6% (1.6%)

Note that LivingDNA recently added the ability to download your complete data which you can upload to Gedmatch.

#OGSConf2017: the end, a beginning

Over 300 people are registered for Using Ancestry Day on Monday, a separate event at the same Algonquin College location from the OGS conference. However, #OGSConf2017 proper wrapped up on Sunday afternoon. I heard many good comments.

Information was given at the closing ceremony about next year's OGS conference.

Location will be Guelph at the university.
Dates are 1-3 June.
The theme is “Upper Canada to Ontario - The Birth of a Nation”.
Sadly the marketplace will be in a different building from where the presentations will take place.
Conference co-chairs announced are Dianna Fulton and Kirsty Gray.
Program chair is Ruth Blair.
Headline speakers are Amy Johnson Crow and Jonathan Vance.
LivingDNA announced intention to repeat as Platinum sponsor.

Find the call for presentation proposals with details on the themes here.

18 June 2017

Forever at #OGSConf2017

If you're looking for a service to collect, curate and celebrate your family history chat to Andria Barnstaple Andrews at #OGSConf2017. Just inside the doorway in Salon A she is running a display as an ambassador for Forever which promotes itself as the "complete memory-keeping solution".

TheGenealogist new release of Yorkshire records

The City of York and Ainsty Colour Tithe Maps, plus another significant batch of Yorkshire directories are the latest English release by TheGenealogist.

According to the press release the fully searchable records released online will allow researchers to:

  • Find plots of land owned or occupied by ancestors in early Victorian York and Ainsty on colour maps
  • See where your forebears lived, farmed or perhaps occupied a small cottage or a massive estate.
  • Discover addresses of ancestors before, between and after the years covered by the census in the Trade, Residential and Telephone Directories. (1735-1937)
  • Uncover details of the neighbourhood and understand communication links to other towns where your stray ancestor may have moved to.

17 June 2017

#OGSConf2017 Opening

Many attendees who had taken advantage of morning and afternoon concurrent workshop sessions, and exploring the marketplace, were present for the Friday evening opening events and presentations streamed live. They were hosted by acting conference chair Heather Oakley and OGS President Patti Mordasewicz.
Following acknowledgements of the sponsors there were brief welcoming remarks by Society Honorary Patron Peter Milliken.
Special guest was Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, who started his presentation with a lively video about LAC. He emphasized that today's genealogy is not yesterday's thanks to technology and partnerships. I hope to post a full text of his talk in the coming days.
Award of merit presentations were made to the City of Ottawa Archives, Sandra and Rick Roberts, and Louise St Denis.
The keynote speaker, introduced past president Allen Campbell, was Dave Obee, west coast genealogist and Editor-in-Chief of the Victoria Times Colonist. He discussed and illustrated with examples from his own ancestry the importance of WHY our ancestors came to Canada, not just when and how. I'll hope to write more about that presentation later.
The evening ended with a reception.
Follow the conference on twitter and other social media through #OGSConf2017

YouTube: What is SNP testing and how can it enhance a Y DNA surname or genealogy project?

The latest video from the genealogy sessions at WDYTYA? Live is aimed at those early in their Y-DNA journey. Presenter John Cleary gives a lucid presentation that will get you a bit further along, helping decide whether a SNP test is right for you at this stage.

Findmypast adds further England and Wales Crime records

It's a mystery. Of the 5,762,300 records in the England & Wales, Crime, Prisons & Punishment, 1770-1935 database which are the 68,000 new ones? FMP could and should do a better job of informing exactly what is added to save paying clients doing needless searches.

16 June 2017

#OGSConf2017 LAC Tour

Patricia Greber and Lynn Palermo, participants in the tour of Library and Archives Canada on Thursday, pose for the iconic photo on the Secret Bench of Knowledge at the entrance to Library and Archives Canada..

I heard nothing but good things about the tours conducted by Sara Chatfield and Nichole Watier and the advice provided by genealogy consultation staff. At one time I counted 25 of the 45 people on the tour in the Genealogy Room. The only complaint was about the abundance of material, One person commented they would return for the BIFHSGO conference and to delve further into the LAC resources of interest.

News uf interest from LAC is that a project to crowdsource transcription of Lady Macdonald's diaries will open within then next month.

15 June 2017

CEF June Update from Library and Archives Canada

As of today, 450,355 (438,679 last month) of 640,000 Personnel Records of the First World War files are available online in the LAC database.

Latest box digitized is 7646 (7452 last month) and last name Patterson (Oliver). At the present rate the project will be complete in October 2018.

Bargains: Archive CD Books Canada changes tack

A change in business strategy by Archive CD Books Canada is an opportunity for those visiting the marketplace at #OGSConf2017.

With CD and DVD drives going the way of the floppy disc on new computers the writing was on the wall. NO more CDs.

This is a clearance of current non-Canadian CD stock so Malcolm and Chris Moody may not have everything in their a huge catalogue on the company's website at https://archivecdbooks.ca/ available at the OGS conference.

Give us back our 11 days

It's popularly believed that there was rioting in the streets when the calendar was changed  in England in 1752.

That's a myth.

It's one of the myths exploded and curiosities revealed in an article Confusion and Myth in the Gregorian Calendar Reform by Peter Maggs published in the June issue of the Genealogists' Magazine, the journal of the (UK) Society of Genealogists.

Did you know:

Queen Elizabeth I was in favour of calendar reform in 1582, despite having been excommunicated by Pope Gregory, but the Archbishop of Canterbury opposed the change.

In Sweden a change was made in 1700 when February 29 was omitted. That put Swedish calendar out of phase with both the Julian and Gregorian calendar. In 1812 the country reverted to the Julian calendar only adopting the Gregorian in 1753.

In England before the change in 1752, 31 December 1750 was followed by 1 January 1750, but 24 March 1750 was followed by 25 March 1751.

The tax year in England starts on 6 April, switched from 25 March with the change in calendar so that those who paid quarterly rent were not shortchanged 11 days.

There's much more in this interesting article.

The Genealogists' Magazine is a benefit of membership in the Society of Genealogists.

Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2017

Last October I attended Genetic Genealogy Ireland in Dublin. I'm glad I did. Maurice Gleeson went all out to line up good speakers.
The speakers just announced for Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2017, 20-22 October, are equally as good. If you're planning an Ireland research trip consider timing it to take in GGI 2017.
Read all about it at http://ggi2013.blogspot.ca/2017/06/speakers-announced-for-ggi2017-dublin.html

14 June 2017

Who Do We Think We Are at Library and Archives Canada

What does it really mean to be a Canadian? If you have the opportunity, either in association with #OGSConf2017, or any other time until the end of February, take in the exhibit at 395 Wellington in Ottawa which addresses the question.
The exhibition contains a number of seldom-seen materials including a leather-bound book Les Voyages du Sieur de Champlain and the map attached to it, published in 1613. Also the only surviving journal of Catharine Parr Traill. There's much more.
The exhibition is one of several places LAC treasures will be on display for Canada 150. In Ottawa/Gatineau they include the Canadian Museum of History (Museum of Civilization) and the Library of Parliament.

More relevant than ever: archives, Google, and the paradox of healthy disruption

This title was given to a speech delivered by Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Guy Berthiaume, to the Association of Canadian Archivists on 9 June.
I expect he will be an invited guest at the opening of the OGS Conference on Friday evening, but unfortunately may only speak briefly. Dave Obee is the evening's theme speaker.
If you'd like to know more about his views of Library and Archives Canada, and where it fits into the broader heritage and  cultural community, his speaking notes from 9 June were made available to me by his office. Read them here//

#OGSOttawa2017 Parking

If you've visited a college or university these days you know they must make almost as much income from parking fees and fines as from any other source. Algonquin College is no exception, and in their case it likely provides paid practical experience for students in their Police and Public Safety program.

If you'd like to make a handsome contribution to the college budget feel free to park anywhere during the OGS conference. It would surely be appreciated.

If you'd rather stay solvent pay attention to the advice provided at https://conference2017.ogs.ca/location/parking/.

The bottom line for Saturday and Sunday, and other days after 5pm, is you can park free in Lot 8 and the western section of Lot 9. For information about other times and circumstances go to the link above.

13 June 2017

YouTube: Autosomal DNA demystified by Debbie Kennett

The third talk from WDYTYA? Live genetic genealogy sessions earlier this year in Birmingham is now posted.

In Autosomal DNA demystified Debbie Kennett starts out with an overview of DNA testing, nothing much new unless you're a newbie.

Where it gets really interesting, especially to those looking to identify the father of an illegitimate, child, is the story starting at minute 27. It points out the benefit of testing more than one sibling. Highly Recommended.

A reminder that these DNA talks were sponsored by Family Tree DNA

FreeBMD June update

The FreeBMD database was  updated on Monday 12 June 2017 to contain 261,901,465 distinct records (261,459,855 previous update).
Years with major updates (more than 5,000 entries) are: for births: 1963-64, 1976-80; for marriages: 1966, 1977, 1979-83; for deaths 1978-81.

Here are the annual death registration statistics. 1837 has only a half year of data. The FreeBMD dataset is reasonably complete except for 1976, 1978 and later.
The influenza pandemic year 1918 holds the record for deaths. The exception to the trend of an increasing number of deaths with time, reflecting population increase, is the late 19th century to the early 1920s due to improved sanitation and health care.

Perth & District Historical Society Meeting: 15 June

On 15 June PDHS will welcome back municipal planner and historian Glenn Tunnock to present a review of past occurrences that led to Truth and Reconciliation, with insights into local opportunities for addressing them.

"Truth and Reconciliation is on the minds of many Canadians these days as they reach out to grasp a better understanding of the interaction between the settler population and government with the Indigenous peoples of the land we now share.  Glenn Tunnock, an amateur historian, will trace the historical events since colonial times that have set the context for today’s movement to reconcile the difficult relationship Canadians have with the First Nations of this country.  His talk to the Historical Society will bring insights into the initiatives of the federal government and other organisations in moving towards a healing process.  Even more importantly, Glenn will outline some opportunities we have locally to foster a stronger sense of social justice."

The meeting will be at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, home of the Hall of Remembrance, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, at 7:30pm (Toonie donation).

Follow my #OGSConf2017 Tweets

Expect a lot of social media activity from a team chosen by OGS for Conference 2017. They are Ruth Blair, Elise Craighen, Lisa-Dawn Crawley, Gail Dever, Mags Gaulden, Kirsty Gray, Patricia Greber, Andrea Harding, Kale Hobbes, Christine Landry Matamoros, and your's truly.
The hashtag for the conference is #OGSConf2017. Use it to follow what's going down. Use it yourself in posting about the conference. You don't have to be an official team member.
Need reminders when events are about to start and about other conference information? I've scheduled a series of tweets that will act as reminders about the program. Check the hashtag #OGSConf2017 or, even better follow me on Twitter @JohnDReid.

12 June 2017

LivingDNA activates data download

One of the questions on my list for LivingDNA at OGS Conference 2017 was when raw data downloads would be made available. Now I don't have to ask, the facility is available, after a fashion.

Clicking "Download Raw Data" brings up a page headed:

Please be aware that this is our first version of raw results available for download. The contents of download file is subject to change as further validation of Living DNA Orion chip takes place.

The text that follows ends with a consent statement that you have to agree to. It immediately follows the warning
By choosing to download your data you agree to indemnify (which broadly means to reimburse) Living DNA and its related companies and their directors and employees for any losses, damages or costs they incur as a result of any claims being made against them which relate to you downloading your data and the use by you of your data, or as a result of you having shared your data with any third party.

Now that the download capability is in place what can you do with the data? Look at it, obviously. Bu  gedmatch, MyHeritage,  Family Tree DNA and Promethease (for health) don't accept uploads from the Living DNA test.

#OGSConf2017 Canadian War Museum visit

If you're part of the official conference tour group to the Canadian War Museum on Thursday you're in for a good time. The museum is most interesting. Check out what's happening at http://www.warmuseum.ca/ .

One frequently overlooked facility is the Military History Research Centre.  Two extensive national collections of primary and secondary research material document Canada’s military history from the colonial period to the present.

If there's something in particular you want to consult as with any visit to a similar facility it's a good idea to check they have what you want available so it can be waiting for you. Unfortunately at present the online catalogue of holdings is not available. I suggest calling the toll free number 1-800-555-5621 instead.

The CWM has a cafeteria with a patio. It could be pleasant as the forecast is high 21C, but with 40 percent chance of a shower. You may possibly find the used bookstore of the Friends organization open, it's on the right as you approach the Research Centre.

Sussex Bibliography

Do you have Sussex ancestry? Although the county only accounted for 1.9 percent of England's population in 1801 many of my genealogy friends have Sussex roots.

The Sussex Record Society commissions and publishes research by individuals who are experts in their field.  Over the last 100 years the Society has published over 90 volumes of detailed historical research into the county from 1066 to World War I. This research has also led to the creation of databases, records, images and texts covering many aspects of historical Sussex which are presented as Online Records. Many look to be of interest to the family historian.

There is a new bibliography available that "catalogues and indexes publications about Sussex from over 6,500 authors who have written over 9,000 books, pamphlets and digital media and over 13,500 articles in listed journals or available online". Use it to dig deeper into the county's history. Find the bibliography, the work of Peter MacLeod and a small team, at http://www.sussexrecordsociety.org/dbs/biblio/ .

Thanks to Christine Jackson for the tip.

Anglo-Celtic Roots: Summer 2017

When I was preparing my regular Cream of the Crop column for the summer issue editor Jean Kitchen told me there would be room for only 1,000 words. With four substantive articles in the issue we're seeing the one side of the editor's feast or famine.

Lead off article is Battle of the Booksellers by Terry Findley, winner of the award for best article in the last volume of ACR. It's the story of Terry's wife's three time great grandfather's involvement in the struggle over copyright in the UK 240 years ago.
I'll have another post on Terry and Tad's Many Families magazine project soon.
Part two of First In, Last Out: But What Came in Between? by Irene Ip, former editor of ACR, concludes the story of her father in the First World War. A reminder that BIFHSGO members can go to the Members Only section of the society website to hear the whole story in her own words in a recording from last fall.
A presentation in April this year inspired a society member to write an article in time to be published in this issue. Impressive! The Story of the Aquitania tells about the storied ship which appeared in Gail Roger's presentation on Capt Harry Grattidge, that's on the society website for members too. The Aquitania also brought author Lynn Willoughby to Canada as daughter of a war bride. Who in your family tree was among the 1.2 million passengers carried by the Aquitania during its 450 voyage lifetime?
Finally, We Shall Remember Them, about Lieutenant George Frederick Jervaulx Jarvis, is the most recent in Sheila Faure's series on First World War soldiers who died at No.1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station.

11 June 2017

Change at #OGSConf2017

Stephen C. Young, Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer with FamilySearch International has had to cancel his appearance at the conference owing to a family emergency.

Shirley-Ann Pyefinch, Director of the Ottawa Stake Family History Centre and frequent speaker, will instead be presenting the scheduled Friday afternoon workshop W05 – Finding Your Family in Ontario Historical and Records Ontario and the Sunday morning presentation F3 – Resources and Records to Build and Link Your Family in Canada and the World.

BIFHSGO Awards 2017

 At Saturday's Annual General Meeting of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa three awards were presented.

Glenn Wright received the award for the best "Before BIFHSGO" educational talk, as voted by members, for his presentation in March "Canadians on Vimy Ridge, 1917: A Short Guide to Resources and Research."

The award for best monthly meeting presentation went to Christine Jackson for her February presentation "The Queen’s Coachman — Our Only Claim to Fame."

Terry Findley accepted the award for the article in the Winter 2016 issue of Anglo-Celtic Roots "The Cutler with a Social Conscience."

The election of Gail Dever to the BIFHSGO Hall of Fame was announced. Gail, a resident of the Montreal area,  will receive the award when able to attend.

10 June 2017

Genetic Geographies: The Trouble with Ancestry

Searching for genealogy books on Amazon sorted by popularity up popped as #1 this academic book, published by the University of Minnesota Press, Genetic Geographies: The Trouble with Ancestry by Catherine Nash.

Nash is Professor of Human Geography at Queen Mary College, University of London. She describes herself as "a feminist cultural geographer with research interests in geographies of identity, relatedness and belonging. I am particularly interested in bringing together a cultural geographical perspective and a focus on kinship which includes attention to genealogical knowledges and imaginations and practices of making relations."

A stimulus for the book was the People of the British Isles Project, and also the Geno 2.0 test of National Geographic.

The start of the Acknowledgements at the front of the book reads "At the heart of this book is a critique of the idea that those to whom we are closest in terms of ancestry naturally matter most. It is an argument about the dangers of figuring genetic similarity through shared ancestry as the basis for senses of affinity, care, and commonality. In the pages that follow, I explore how that idea runs through what is widely taken to be either a simply fascinating or, more particularly, progressive exploration of ancestry, origins, and relatedness through the scientific study of geographical patterns of human genetic variation and their use in genetic genealogy."

In brief the book "pursues their (genetics) troubling implications for our perception of sexual and national, as well as racial, difference."

I've not read the book. I couldn't find any reviews online. Analysis of a section found it is written at well above college level. According to WorldCat there are copies at some Canadian university libraries, including the University of Ottawa, where it will likely be found on the shelves.

Findmypast adds 1881 and 1891 Canada Censuses

When you subscribe to one of the major genealogy websites you expect to have access to standard datasets like censuses. You look for the subscription services to provide an integrated search across a range of those databases.
Findmypast is playing catch up, having virtually ignored Canada for a long while. This week their addition is the 1881 and 1891 censuses.
Not sure which Canadian censuses are available at which site? Is there free access? This table should help.

CensusAncestry Findmypast MyHeritage FamilySearch LAC
Subs Subs Subs Free Free
1842 (Canada East)YesYesYesYesYes
1842 (Canada West)YesNoNoYesYes
1906 (Prairies)YesNoNoYesYes
1916 (Prairies)YesNoNoYesYes