31 May 2018

British Newspaper Archive additions for May

The British Newspaper Archive now has 25,613,154 pages (24,974,993 pages last month).

The 64 papers (57 last month) with new pages online this month include 25 (22) new to the collection.

Papers with more than 10,000 pages added are:

Bournemouth Graphic, 1902-1920, 1931-1937
Buckingham Express, 1865-1868, 1870-1895, 1898-1912
Cheltenham Examiner, 1839-1913
Cheltenham Journal and Gloucestershire Fashionable Weekly Gazette, 1825, 1827-1868
County Advertiser & Herald for Staffordshire and Worcestershire, 1856-1907
Croydon's Weekly Standard, 1873-1911
English Lakes Visitor, 1877-1888, 1890-1892, 1894-1895, 1897-1908, 1910
Lakes Chronicle and Reporter, 1876-1895, 1898-1910
Liverpool Daily Post, 1875-1876, 1882, 1887, 1905-1906
Liverpool Mercury, 1874-1875, 1889, 1893, 1900
Luton Reporter, 1874-1924
Music Hall and Theatre Review, 1889, 1891-1895, 1897-1899, 1901, 1904-1907
Newcastle Journal, 1875, 1878, 1882, 1884-1885, 1889, 1893, 1898, 1910-1911, 1964-1979
Penrith Observer, 1860-1878, 1880-1902, 1907-1958
Stroud Journal, 1854-1889, 1893-1894
Stroud News and Gloucestershire Advertiser, 1867-1880, 1883-1910
The Referee, 1877-1911
The Tewkesbury Register, and Agricultural Gazette, 1858-1967
Worthing Gazette, 1889-1897, 1899-1958

Ancestry updates Somerset (BMB) and Wiltshire (Wills)

Ancestry post that their parish record collections for Somerset have been updated, as follows:

Somerset, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1531-18124,459,402
Somerset, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-19142,943,017
Somerset, England, Marriage Registers, Bonds and Allegations, 1754-19141,521,727
Somerset, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1914585,287

Also their collection of 102,570 Wiltshire, England, Wills and Probate, 1530-1858 is updated.

Doors Open Ottawa

2-3 June 2018 is the weekend for the annual Doors Open Ottawa event, the opportunity to get to know the city.
Over 140 unique buildings are open to visit ... all free.
Some of the most popular require reservations, a few are fully booked. There's enough of a selection for all tastes.

Yes, there's a smartphone app for that too.

30 May 2018

Two South Dublin Cemetery Registers Online

Interment registers of Deansgrange and Shanganagh Cemeteries are now at DiscoverEverAfter.com

According to a post by Claire Santry headstone photos and mapped locations are available for some, but certainly not all, of the individual graves.

Deansgrange's records date back to 1865. The cemetery, in Blackrock, covers an area of 65 acres and its records hold details of more than 140,000 people. Search its register here.

The first burial in Shanganagh (Shankill) took place in 1984 and there have been nearly 16,500 burials in the Cemetery. Search its register here.

Wondering exactly where the cemeteries are? See the map here.

Book Review: Surviving Mother Nature's Tests

We are all products of the challenges successfully faced by our ancestors. Whether they were natural, the topic of this book, man-made like war and willful neglect, or often a combination, we only exist because of the web of thousands upon thousands of forebears making up our family tree who came through the adversities they faced.

The heart of the book is two major chapters delving into specific examples of how climate and other natural phenomena have impacted society which comprise more than half of Surviving Mother Nature's Tests text. The focus is on the British Isles and especially England.

"Slowly Developing Events" are described as affecting wide areas and thousands of people, often for periods extending over many years and to which "people almost always adapt well."

"Rapidly-Developing Incidents" of storms and floods, earthquakes and epidemics are more localized in space and time, and more likely to hit the headlines.

It's a rough division by time. Was the multi-year localized Irish Potato Famine of the mid-19th century really something people adapted to? How about the global 1918-19 influenza pandemic in the same rapidly developing incident category as a local lightening strike and tornado? Nature doesn't rigidly respect these categorizations set up to aid understanding.

Wherever in the British Isles your ancestry is from you'll likely find new information about conditions in your region, county or even town. I was delighted to find my home town of Great Yarmouth included with five entries in the index.

The earlier chapters set the stage. The introduction explains the book's ambition for the family historian, that readers "gain knowledge about how such processes (natural events) significantly affected individuals and communities during the past several centuries." Although the emphasis is on climate change mention is also made of earthquakes and landslides.

There follows a chapter on "The Parameters of Climate Change"—the most technical with diagrams, graphs and even an equation covering how we know about past climate and the factors that influence it. There's good information on Ice Ages and the Milankovitch Theory and other natural phenomena that have influenced climate epochs over the millennia.

There is one problem with the chapter, the statement, referencing a study nearly 20 years old, that "high CO2 levels actually lag temperature increases, by from 400 to 1,000 years, indicating that high concentration of the gas is a consequence of temperature change not a cause." While the first part of the statement is correct based on Antarctic ice cores the conclusion is not.

Through epochs and millennia atmospheric CO2 concentrations changed in response to its natural exchange between the oceans, biosphere and atmosphere. A warm ocean can hold less CO2 so warming due to other causes means CO2 release from the oceans, with a lag, with the resulting increased greenhouse effect reinforcing the warming. Emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel carbon combustion, a third to a half of which is absorbed by the oceans, lead directly to enhanced greenhouse warming.

In a 1963 speech to the US National Academy of Sciences US President Kennedy noted that we can now “irrevocably alter our physical and biological environment on a global scale.” Sadly fifty years later we still see denial of human influence.

The book's author Wayne Shepheard, a professional geologist who serves as an online parish clerk, was previously editor for two family history society journals, and who blogs at https://discovergenealogy.blogspot.com, has done a considerable service by drawing his interests together in this book. It will open eyes and add perspective on the many ways changes in the natural environment may have affected our ancestor's lives. The thorough table of contents, references and index are hallmarks of the care with which the book was prepared.

This review is based on a copy provided by the publisher.

Surviving Mother Nature’s Tests: The Effects Climate Change and Other Natural Phenomena have had on the Lives of our Ancestors
Author: W. Shepheard
Year: 2018
Publisher: Unlock the Past
182 pages
ISBN: 9781925781465
$45.21 (paperback, outside Australia)

29 May 2018

WDYTYA and DNA testing

Each of the three episodes of the new series of the US version of Who Do You Think You Are?  running on specialty channel TLC has started with the subject's DNA test results. It's a not so subtle message from Ancestry, the sponsor, that it's a good place to start your investigation of your family history.
I agree. A surprise finding may set you off in an entirely unanticipated direction and save following false leads. And the more people test the more links will likely be found—true even if there's no family tree attached.
So far this season the DNA results are dismissed after the first couple of minutes with mention of the admixture results. Let's hope at least one episode will take it further showing how the test can reveal connections to previously unsuspected relatives and break through barriers to understanding ancestry unresolved by traditional paper-based genealogy.

Webinars for this week

One of two of the blog regular readers may be interested in this week's Legacy Family Tree Webinar:

The Palatine Immigrants: Tracing and Locating 18th Century German Immigrants Online, to be presented by Luana Darby

Discover how to track your Palatine ancestors who traveled from Germany to the colonies in the 1700s, using techniques that will assist you in determining their place of origin. Use migration patterns of their family and friends to help you in your research. Learn more about online sources of original records for this area that you can research from home.
If that's outside your field of interest, consider reviewing some of the archived presentations from Rootstech, those of British and Irish interest are linked:

RootsTech General Session Sponsor 2018: MyHeritage

Source Citations: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Diana Elder

Reconstruct Your Ancestor’s World with Google: Lisa Louise Cooke

Day One: Capture Life as You Live It: Adam Daly

RootsTech General Session 2018: Brandon Stanton

Unlocking Roman Catholic Records: Brian Donovan

Choosing Details: The Secret to Compelling Stories: Laura Hedgecock

MyHeritage DNA 101: From Test to Results: Yaniv Erlich

A Gift of Life: Who's Writing Your Story?: Deborah Abbott

Google Photos: Collect, Organize, Preserve and Share: Michelle Goodrum

RootsTech General Session Sponsor 2018: findmypast

How Not to Leave Your Genealogy Behind: Amy Johnson Crow and Curt Witcher

Search All the Jurisdictions and Find More Records: Laurie Castillo

findmypast’s British and Irish Hidden Gems: Myko Clelland

Hidden Treasures in the Library of Congress: Byron Holdiman

Finding Elusive Records at FamilySearch: Robert Kehrer

Online Genealogy for Beginners and Beyond: Lisa Alzo

Finding the Right DNA Test for You: Jim Brewster

RootsTech General Session 2018: Scott Hamilton

RootsTech General Session 2018: Natalia Lafourcade

RootsTech General Session Sponsor 2018: Ancestry

Pain in the Access: More Web for Your Genealogy: Curt Witcher

RootsTech General Session 2018: Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Civil Registration Indexes of England and Wales: Audrey Collins

Online Does Not Equal Free: Copyright Issues for Genealogy: Janice Sellers

You CAN Take It With You: Mobile Genealogy: Judy Muhn

Use FaceBook and FREE Apps to Engage Family: Jamie Wade and Kelli Shipp

Advancing Your Genealogy Research with DNA: Anna Swayne

Virtual Genealogical Society: Call for Presentation Proposals

A month ago, here, I posted about the formation of the Virtual Genealogical Society.

Now they've opened a call for presentation proposals, a great opportunity for those with fresh ideas, and evergreen advice, to reach a global audience online and get paid for it.
Deadline for proposals is 31 August.

Thanks to Christine Woodcock for the tip.

28 May 2018

Ancestry updates Canadian Passenger List database

Ancestry announce that the Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 has 7,276,372 entries. As usual, no indication how much has been added or changed.

BIFHSGO Conference

A gentle remainder that registration for the BIFHSGO conference is now open, with early bird rates in effect.
Start here.

26 May 2018

New and updated Norfolk parish records from Ancestry

Ancestry is going one up on Findmypast which earlier this month by added Norfolk Archdeacon's Transcripts from 1600-1812 as searchable, not just browse-able records.  Ancestry also updated other Norfolk parish records.
Norfolk, England, Bishop and Archdeacon Transcripts of Parish Registers, 1600-19355,930,500NEW
Norfolk, England, Church of England Baptism, Marriages, and Burials, 1535-18124,939,287UPDATED
Norfolk, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-19152,010,794UPDATED
Norfolk, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-19401269762UPDATED
Norfolk, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1990447,008UPDATED

The Findmypast collection includes other types of Norfolk records as posted here.

The free Norfolk Transcription Archive and FamilySearch sites, and commercial sites MyHeritage and The Genealogist, all have some of the same parish BMB records.

Ireland (military), Lancashire (POW), Worcestershire (probate) and records added to Findmypast

The following is from the Findmypast weekly press release

Ireland, British Army Officers 1914-1918
Discover military ancestors in this index of over 1,500 records obtained through the (free) Our Heroes website. Our Heroes provides photographs and biographical notes of the officers of Irish regiments as well as Irish officers of British regiments who were killed in action or who were mentioned for distinguished conduct between August 1914 and July 1916.

Transcripts reveal a variety of details including the officer's birth year, rank, regiment, death date, age at death, burial plot, whether or not they were killed in action and a link to their portrait on the source's website. Many will also include additional notes revealing details of their service and next of kin.

South Lancashire Regiment Prisoners Of War 1914-1918
Discover South Lancashire Regiment ancestor in this index of over 2,800 prisoners of war from 1914 to 1918. This collection has been obtained through the Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.

Each result will provide you with a transcript of some or all of the following fields: last name, soldier number, rank, regiment, year, where held and any additional notes. Some records may even contain details of the soldier's "adopter" as the Regimental Care Committee for Prisoners of War of the South Lancashire Regiment encouraged individuals to sponsor prisoners. Sponsors would then take on the responsibility of paying for their adopted soldier.

Comment: The original database, free here, has 2,847 entries. There's a second database of 655 South Lancashire Prisoners of War Public Sponsors.

Worcestershire probate index 1600-1858
Over 11,000 additional records are added to the Worcestershire probate index. There are four types of records in this index: grants of administration, administrations with will annexed, limited (where the entire estate of the deceased is not covered), and wills. The Bishop's Court had jurisdiction over all the probate in the diocese, which covered part of Warwickshire as well as Worcestershire, until 1858.

More on LAC and Government of Canada Survey of Heritage Institutions: 2017 report

As a follow-on to the earlier post 16% of Canada's physical artefacts and records converted to digital I sought clarifications from Heritage Canada. Here are the abbreviated responses.

Q. In which province, or provinces are responses for LAC included?
A. Data for (all of) LAC was captured under the province of Ontario, as the address of LAC headquarters are located at 395 Wellington St, Ottawa, ON K1A 0N4.

Comment: The survey is not representative of the actual situation with the allocation to Ontario of the large component of LAC resources expended and holdings associated with facilities in Gatineau, Quebec.

Q. As libraries are not mentioned as heritage institutions do responses from LAC exclude the library component of the organization, especially regarding the statistics under Artefacts and records and Digitization of artefacts and records?
A. For LAC, the survey has captured the archival (primary) and library (secondary) functions, which means that all of the artefacts and digitization of artefacts would have been included.

Comment: The report should make clear that library (secondary) functions are included. Some libraries have archival functions as secondary but hold much the same type of material as those for which the library function is secondary. As galleries, libraries, archives and museums are increasingly working together the separation is this report is archaic.

Thanks to Ken Amaral of Heritage Canada for the clear responses to the questions.

25 May 2018

Unlock the Past Conference and Cruise

This 6 September event looks interesting, especially for those within a reasonable distance of Seattle.
Australian genealogy company Unlock the Past, on the day prior to the departure of its 14th cruise, this time to Alaska, is organizing a one-day conference with Blaine Bettinger, Maurice Gleeson, Cyndi Ingle and Wayne Shepheard.
Find out more about the conference at www.utpinseattle.com/.
Wayne's new book Surviving Mother Nature’s Tests was recently mentioned here.

TheGenealogist releases Metropolitan Police Habitual Criminal Registers

The following is a press release.

TheGenealogist has added to its Criminal Records collections with the release of the Metropolitan Police Criminal Records Office: Habitual Criminals Registers and the Habitual Drunkards Registers.

These are high quality transcripts with original colour images of the registers, as well as registers created by the Police to supervise released criminals. 
One of the most interesting features of these records are the photographic portraits taken from the Registers of Habitual Drunkards. These feature two photographs, face on and profile per individual Some records may also give distinguishing features. The Habitual Drunkards Registers were distributed to licensed premises and the secretaries of clubs to prevent the convicted person from buying alcohol.
Entries contain a description of the individual and date of discharge from prison.

Some records may also give distinguishing features of the individual.
See face on and profile Photographs of habitual drunks.

It may also give the name of the prison, length of sentence and previous convictions.

Includes registers created by the Police to supervise released criminals including spies!

All aspects of society are featured in these records on TheGenealogist.

These new records from The National Archive’s MEPO 6 are available as part of the Diamond Subscription at TheGenealogist.

Ancestry updates UK, Burial and Cremation Index, 1576-2014

This collection is an index connection to data published by Deceased Online. The 9,040,108 records were scraped on 18 July 2016. Although that's almost two years ago their pace of additions has fallen dramatically since then.
For later years you'll find name, burial or cremation, death date, burial or cremation date, place and a link to the Deceased Online record ($).
The database is especially strong in London but even with all the other locations it's still a fraction of the 74 million deaths in the FreeBMD database.

OGS Conference, one week to go and counting

A shout out for the annual Ontario Genealogical Society conference being held this year in Guelph and starting on 1 June. Rain or shine the conference site at the University will be buzzing. Find out more at https://conference2018.ogs.on.ca/.

Those not attending will be able to catch two live presentations by University of Western Ontario history professor Jonathan Vance on YouTube.

Nation Builders You’ve Never Heard Of is the presentation in the opening session which starts at 7:00 p.m. EDT on Friday 1 June.
The lecture discusses the life and influence of two individuals whose contributions to the construction of the Canada that we know today were profound, but who are almost entirely unknown today. They deserve better, so we’ll meet these two nation-builders and survey their achievements.
Who was the Canadian Soldier of the First World War? is the topic for the plenary session at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Saturday, 2 June.
Jonathan Vance will describe conventional wisdom about the Canadian soldier and discuss how a return to the records of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, now available on-line, is giving us a dramatically different picture of the nation at war. In doing so, Vance will outline some of the hazards facing the researcher who uses these records - whether you’re trying to answer an obscure historical question or fill in some gaps in your family tree.
Did you know you can visit the conference marketplace AND take in the FastTrax presentations without registering. Here's the FastTrax schedule:

10:30 AM
Sher LEETOOZE: Calculating Relationships
Many charts abound about how to find out what relation you are to others in your tree. Each one was designed for a specific purpose. I will demystify these charts and will have some for handouts.
11:00 AM
LivingDNA - Katie WELKA
Katie Welka, Senior Product Manager, will stream-in live from the UK. Be sure to attend this session to learn more about this LivingDNA, their DNA tests and their plans for the futures.
11:30 AM
Ancestry - Lesley ANDERSON: AncestryDNA - 5 Things to do After You Get Your Results
You’ve taken an Ancestry DNA test. Now what? Learn what to do after you get your results.
12:00 PM
Pass It Down - Chris CUMMINGS: Stories of Our Communities
What makes your community special? Did you know that local history and stories are being rapidly lost every single day around the world? At Pass It Down, we are working to save the world's history with our award-winning community storytelling platform. Come and learn how we are working with cities around the world to crowd source and preserve local history.
12:30 PM
MyHeritage - Uri GONEN: Visualizing Your Family Tree on MyHeritage
Uri Gonen, Senior VP Product Management, MyHeritage
Discover the different ways you can display your family tree on MyHeritage through charts, directly from the person who developed them.
1:00 PM
Johanne GERVAIS: Quebec Genealogical eSociety
The Quebec Genealogical eSociety replicates the brick and mortar society experience for the Can’ts and the Won’ts. The Can’ts are those people who, because of time, distance, or other constraints can’t get to a genealogical society. The Won’ts are the device-driven people who won’t go to a society because their digital devices bring their virtual world to them. The Quebec Genealogical eSociety provides for both the Can’ts and the Won’ts in their genealogical research. Let me show you how!
1:30 PM
Lynn PALERMO: 8 Steps to Creating a Family History Book
Overwhelmed by the idea of creating a family history book. Learn 8 steps that will make the process more manageable and allow you to create a project plan that will keep you on task and ahead of your deadlines.
2:00 PM
Family Tree Maker - Mark OLSEN: What's new in Family Tree Maker 2017
Family Tree Maker Ambassador, Mark Olsen, will walk you through the newest features, tips, and upgrades in FTM 2017 as well as answer the questions - Do I need to upgrade? How do I upgrade? What's new in version 2017? Mark will also discuss ...?
2:30 PM
Kathryn HOGAN: Secrets in the Canadian Census Records
Discover the secrets within the Canadian census records that can help you learn more about your ancestor, add detail to your family history, and possibly break down brick walls.
3:00 PM
Pass It Down - Chris CUMMINGS: How to Bring Your Family Stories to life
Have you ever wanted to sit down with a loved one to record their life stories but didn't know where to begin? Come and learn from the award-winning storytelling team at Pass It Down as they share tips, lessons and technology to help collect and preserve your loved ones' legacy.
3:30 PM
MyHeritage - Kerry FARNSWORTH:Managing Your MyHeritage DNA Matches
Kerry Farnsworth, Content Project Manager, MyHeritage
Find out how to sort through your DNA matches, understand their significance and what to do next.
4:00 PM
Fraser DUNFORD: TONI - The Ontario Name Index
The Ontario Genealogical Society has compiled a massive surname database with more than 5.6 million records available. TONI directs researchers to where information about a particular name can be found. Leam how TONI can help your research your genealogy.
4:30 PM
Andria Barnstaple ANDREWS: Save Your Photos
Interested in preserving your precious family photos and memories? This presentation will demonstrate how to do so using For

9:30 AM
Pass It Down - Chris CUMMINGS: Reminiscence Therapy: Why storytelling Can Help Alzheimer's and Dementia Patients
Did you know that asking loved ones with Alzheimer's or Dementia about their past can be a form of therapy? Reminiscence Therapy (RT) involves the discussion of past activities, events and experiences with another person or group of people, usually with the aid of tangible prompts such as photographs, household and other familiar items from the past, music and archive sound recordings. Come and learn valuable tips and advice from the Pass It Down Team.
10:00 AM
Ancestry - Lesley ANDERSON: Ancestry Online Trees
Learn tips and techniques to make the most out of the Ancestry’s online family trees.
10:30 AM
Chuck WALLACE: Following our Loyalist Irish Palatine Ancestors
Mr. Chuck Wallace will share the itinerary of the "In the Footsteps of our Irish Palatine Ancestors Tour" planned for September 13-23, 2018. The tour trace the footsteps of the Irish Palatines (IP), who left Ireland in the mid 1700’s, (and previously emigrating from Germany through England to Ireland in 1709), to settle in New York City and then the Camden Valley, upper New York State, only to have their lives turned upside down once more when the American Revolution broke out in 1776. The tour will follow the men who fought for the British and who then had to tlee to Quebec when Burgoyne was defeated, followed later by their families. The tour will visit relevant battlefields, cemeteries, churches and homes of these Irish Palatine ancestors.

11:00 AM
Family Tree Maker - Mark OLSEN: What's new in Family Tree Maker 2017
Family Tree Maker Ambassador, Mark Olsen, will walk you through the newest features, tips, and upgrades in FTM 2017 as well as answer the questions - Do I need to upgrade? How do I upgrade? What's new in version 2017? Mark will also discuss the option to synchronize your FTM trees with your trees at Ancestry.com. This will be an interactive live session and you are encouraged to come with any questions you may have.
11:30 AM
MyHeritage - Esther SHUMAN: Finding Family Members Through DNA Testing
Esther Shuman, US and Canada Community Manager, MyHeritage
Witness the life-transforming stories of MyHeritage users who were reunited with their family members and find out the tools they used that you to can use to further your own family history research.
12:00 PM
Meg MACINTYRE: Megabyte Memories Photo Organizing
You know you need to organize your photos. What is holding you back? Digitize and add metadata to the digital files. Embedding names, dates and more into scans of historical photos gives meaning to photos. It’s the digital equivalent of a note written on the back of a photo. Preserve, protect and share your treasured memories.
12:30 PM
Pass It Down - Chris CUMMINGS: Want to Record Your Family Memories? Throw Those Memory Books Away
In 2017, we realized that all the baby books and memory books people buy have good intentions but no one ever finishes them. Come and learn how we reinvented the memory book to help families collect, preserve and share their memories.
1:00 PM
LivingDNA - Sarah MCFARLANE: Connecting with European Ancestors
Marketing Manager, Sarah McFarlane is with us from the UK to share various tips, techniques and tools to connect with your European Ancestors.
1:30 PM
Joe WILSON: OGS Cemetery Information Session
Do you have questions about cemeteries? Want to how OGS is preserving, promoting and making accessible cemetery information? Then this Fast Trax session is for you.
2:00 PM
MyHeritage - Maycie NIELSEN: MyHeritage's Unique Technologies
Maycie Nielsen, Project Manager, MyHeritage
An overview of the cutting edge tools and features on MyHeritage that make our platform accessible and user friendly.
2:30 PM
Fraser DUNFORD: TONI - The Ontario Name Index
The Ontario Genealogical Society has compiled a massive surname database with more than 5.6 million records available. TONI directs researchers to where information about a particular name can be found. Learn how TONI can help your research your genealogy.

24 May 2018

Ancestry updates Wiltshire parish records

With this update Ancestry now make available over 9.6 million Wiltshire Church of England parish records—the original parish registers and/or Bishop's transcripts.

Each I examined was linked to a good quality copy of the original. Marriages after 1837 provide the same information as a PRO certificate.

Marriages and Banns, 1754-1916967,311
Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-18123,676,914
Deaths and Burials, 1813-1916379,758
Births and Baptisms, 1813-19161,759,381

The London Dead

Since 2014 David Bingham has been posting not quite once a week  on his blog The London Dead "stories from our cemeteries, crypts and churchyards". It's well illustrated withno lack of characters to draw on.

To catch up start with the list of all time popular posts at the top of the right hand column.

Grave Wax, Corpse Liquor and Kissing Dead Queens – the boundless curiosity of the Gentlemen of the 17th Century
John Aubrey in his prime. I have recently finished reading (with immense enjoyment I should add) Ruth Scurr’s ‘John Aubrey; My Own Life...

The Coffin Works & Warstone Lane Cemetery - a date with death in Birmingham
Is there a more entertaining way to spend a cold, dull, and wet day at the fag end of the year than in taking yourself off to Birmingham...

The Dead Keep Calling Me: 30 Years of Suicide in Brompton Cemetery 1888 -1908
If the spate of horrific deaths of gravediggers buried alive, the occasional freak fatal accident such as impalement on grave railings a...

St Patrick's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Leyton
 “A scruffy closely packed cemetery sited on the edge of the Central Line. Few trees and the lack of coherent landscaping contribute...

The posthumous life of Karl Marx, Highgate Cemetery
“On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the greatest living thinker ceased to think. He had been left alone for ...

The price of fame; Joyce and Ronald McQueen, Manor Park Cemetery and Crematorium
The night before Joyce McQueen was due to be cremated at Manor Park Cemetery her husband Ronald and the couple’s children had to decide...

Marriage is just a piece of paper - George William Lancaster and Louisa Mary Wilkinson (East Sheen Cemetery)
“ Chest tomb. Memorial to George William Lancaster (d. 1920) and Elisa (sic) Mary Lancaster (d.1922) by Sidney march (1876-1967). Portl...

"Anyone for a spot of buggery?"; Ernest Thesiger (1879-1961), Brompton Cemetery
Ernest rests with his mother and father in the family vault at Brompton Cemetery To the left of the main path, just before the catacom...

The parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water; Ernest Schwarz of the Kalahari (1873-1928), Willesden New Cemetery
“A most extraordinary story was told me by the late Professor Ernest Schwarz of the Rhodes University College. Many years ago, he said,...

Gender Equality of the Vote in Canadian Federal Elections

One hundred years ago today in Canada, 24 May 1918, An Act to Confer the Electoral Franchise upon Women S.C. 1918, c. 20 became law enshrining that "women who are British subjects, 21 years of age, and otherwise meet the qualifications entitling a man to vote, are entitled to vote in a Dominion election. In effect January 1, 1919."
It was not until 6 December 1921, resulting in a slim minority Liberal government, that the opportunity became available for a woman to cast a ballot in a General Election although they had already done so in 19 by-elections.
In the UK women were enfranchised and got to vote in the election of 14 December 1918 won by the wartime coalition government.

23 May 2018

CARN and Family Tree Live

A couple of items of special interest to those who search ancestry in England.

Do you have a CARN card? The “County Archives Research Network” (CARN)  access card scheme, which allow convenient access to 68 local archives at the moment, is under threat and scheduled to close on 30 November 2018. Read more here.

Would you like a speaking opportunity next year in England at the palace? Family Tree Live, being held at Alexandra Palace on 26 and 27 April 2019, seeking proposals for 30-minute talks. 10 minutes will be allowed for questions at the end of each talk, on subjects that will help people on the first steps of their genealogy journey, through to more advanced record sets and search skills and strategies. Find out more here.

Leicestershire Police seek relatives of their Great War (1914–1918) dead

Dominique Allen of Leicestershire Police is endeavouring to trace descendants and relatives of their officers who served and died during the Great War (1914–1918). Chief Constable Simon Cole QPM plans to hold a service to commemorate the end of the Great War by inviting family members of those who gave their lives. The venue will be at Headquarters and will be on Friday 9 November 2018. Further details will be made available nearer the time. Any information on the men listed below would be gratefully received.

So far Dominique has the following list of officers:
PC Arthur PREW – Rank Private – Number 29092 served with D Battery 160th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
PC Percy SMITH – Rank Gunner – Number 29117 served with D Battery 160th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
PC Colin BRAMMAL – Rank Sergeant – Number L/28853 served with A Battery 160th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
PC John DRIVER – Rank Gunner – Number L/29804 served with D Battery 46th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
PC Charles SMITH – Rank Corporal – Number L/29119 served with D Battery 160th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
PC W.A. BAILEY – Royal Horse Artillery
PC F. HUTSON – Royal Marine Artillery
PC E.M. MADDOCK MM – Royal Horse Artillery
PC W. WOODWARD – Royal Marine Artillery
PC Joseph WALKER – Rank Gunner – Royal Garrison Artillery.
Dominique is also looking for relatives of:
PC T. GRAINGER – Rank Lance Corporal – Leicestershire Regiment
PC L. HENSON – Rank Lance Corporal – Coldstream Guards
PC E. WAKEFIELD – Rank Private – Leicestershire Regiment
PC J. BRIGGS – Mounted Military Police
PC J. COBLEY – West Yorkshire Regiment
PC R. HAZELWOOD – Grenadier Guards
PC G.A. MANTON – Coldstream Guards
PC A.W. OSBORN – Leicestershire Regiment
PC T. PERCIVAL – Leicestershire Regiment
PC A.E. REEVES – Leicestershire Regiment.
Those with ranks are those of the County Officers and those without are City officers. If you are a relative of any of these men, Dominique would be delighted to hear from you at Dominique.Allen@leicestershire.pnn.police.uk/.

via the Guild of One-Name Studies

22 May 2018

Family Tree Magazine: June 2018

Highlights of the UK Family Tree magazine for June, omitting regular columns, with a few comments.

Beyond the official record: rediscovering lost family papers
The official records can only take you so far in your research. Michael Heafford shows how it is well worth investigating whether more personal papers from the past might have survived the passage of time.
Comment: Personal records can be those remaining within a branch of the family, those in a public archive, those in private archives, those destroyed.
Disappointing as it may be the reality is we'd all be bankrupt just in the cost of storing everything our ancestors wrote or were mentioned in. We've probably all contacted close relatives, finding the second and more distant cousins is the most likely further source unless the ancestor was in touch with someone prominent when exploring archives and collectors may be fruitful.  

Locked up! A life of crime
Pat Chrisfield was shocked to discover a great-uncle who was in and out of gaol all his life, simply trapped in a difficult circle of poverty.

Taken a DNA test? Now what?
DNA tests are becoming evermore popular as a research tool for family historians, but the results can seem bewildering. Help is at hand to demystify DNA in our brand new series with Karen Evans.
Comment: Still puzzled by DNA results? Perhaps this advice from a former primary school teacher will help. Family tree also has a section on DNA under How-to-guides.

Spotlight on Wharfedale Family History Group
Steve Miller introduces a family history society that has been helping people find new routes to their roots, using traditional and modern methods.

Cemetery & graveyard research: expert guide
There is something intrinsically rewarding about standing on the spot where your ancestor is buried. Celia Heritage’s guide will help you track down these final resting places of your family.
Comment: This 6 page expert guide will help manage your expectations in burial records and gravestones. There are sections for Scotland and Ireland and a longer section for when you venture out to attempt to locate a headstone.

Finding Irish church records
Chris Paton provides a handy summary of sources and steps to help you locate Irish church records.
Comment:  Despite the destruction of 1922 not all is lost and more has become available online in recent years. Chris squeezes his best advice into four pages.

Preserving our past
It’s well worth family historians exploring heritage and living history groups to see the light they can shed on the daily life, work and experiences of our forebears in times gone by. Rachel Bellerby has gathered together an inspiring directory to pull out and keep.
Comment: There are about 50 groups mentioned, each with a brief on its activities and a web address. The first is the Railway and Canal Historical Society, the last the Families in British India. Society. Even OGS and the Toronto Cornish Association get a mention.

Researching the life of a ship
With hope in their hearts, many people took a chance, and emigrated across huge oceans in relatively small wooden vessels. Suzanne Hirst looks into the history of one such ship and those who sailed in her.
Comment: Research on a ship built in Quebec in 1834 is used to explore the how to do ship research and the issues when more than one ship went by the name.

Hitching a ride: exploring travel journals
Melody Amsel-Arieli turns back the pages to the past for a contemporary view of the world that was.

A treasure trove of Army records
See how the National Army Museum website can show new aspects to your soldier ancestor’s service with Julie Goucher.

The feel of fashion: 1850s to 1870s
Explore the wardrobe of your ancestors in the age of crinolines and bustles - with Jayne Shrimpton.

Explore the War Memorials Register online
Family historians can now search more than 30,000 war memorial photographs on the web. Ian Hook of the Imperial War Museum reveals how.
Comment:  Over one million names are also in the database, mostly only with initials. I found a relative on three different memorials.

Gaol time
Simon Wills learns about a fascinating project to capture a century of the stories of convicts.

Library and Archives Canada Access to Information Request Response January - March 2018

You're likely heard of Reclaim the Records, the US not-for-profit activist group of genealogists, historians, researchers, and open government advocates who identify important genealogical records sets that ought to be in the public domain but which are being wrongly restricted by government archives, libraries, and agencies.  To find out about their work listen to Drew Smith's interview with Brooke Schreier Ganz, the group Founder and President.

Is Canada's Access to Information (ATI) system being used to obtain genealogical related information from Library and Archives Canada?

In the first three months of the year responses to a total of 138 applications to Library and Archives Canada under ATI are reported.

There were 36 applications for which responses were issued in January, 51 in February and 42 in March. There was no report for April available as "All institutions subject to the Access to Information (ATI) Act are required to post summaries of completed ATI requests within thirty calendar days after the end of each month."

Based on the Request Number it would appear eight of these applications dated back to 2016 with the remainder for 2017.

Full disclosure was made for 50; partial disclosure for 53; for 11 nothing was found or the record requested does not exist; for 22 nothing was disclosed (excluded) and for 2 nothing was disclosed (exemption).

The median response had 225 pages; the most voluminous 9,755 pages—a request for "Construction and administration of Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Carp; including all materials relating to Project EASE..."

The only application I could find with an obvious genealogical connection is:

Request Number: A-2017-01212
Organization: Library and Archives Canada
Disposition: Nothing disclosed (excluded)
Year: 2018
Month: March
Number of Pages: 0
Request Summary: 1881 Canadian Census Vancouver Island
Make an informal request for: A-2017-01212 (LAC)

The application would be excluded as the 1881 census is published and the Act does not apply to "published material or material available for purchase by the public". See chapter 13 of the Access to Information Manual. Unfortunately that means that ATI won't help in gaining online access newspapers and directories held by LAC.

There are other ATI applications that may be of family history interest such as "Reports of Candidates attending Officers' Training Centre, Brockville. 1941-1944." for which full disclosure was given in 228 pages. I'm investigating this further; look for more when LAC gets back to me.

Search for ATI applications at https://open.canada.ca/en/search/ati?_ga=2.40172386.1396726045.1526693558-1587750151.1525102889/.

21 May 2018

16% of Canada's physical artefacts and records converted to digital

With the approach of International Archives Day on 9 June the following extracts from the Government of Canada Survey of Heritage Institutions: 2017 report are noteworthy.

(Canadian) heritage institutions have a combined total of over 7.7 million linear meters of textual records— (about the length of the main route of the trans-Canada Highway.) Archives house the bulk of these records (approximately 72%), followed by museums (27%).  (It's not clear whether that includes LAC's holdings of publications)

There are over 113 million items of graphic material (i.e. photographs, drawings, cartographic maps, architectural and technical drawings etc.) held in heritage institutions all over Canada. Archives house the majority (69%) followed by museums (29%).

Canada's heritage institutions preserve and protect over 1.9 million hours of film, video and sound recordings. Archives and museums hold most of these collections at 70% and 26% respectively.

Heritage institutions house over 70 million artefacts and objects, including archeological artefacts, fine art, military objects, scientific or technical objects etc. Museums are responsible for protecting over 81% of these treasures, followed by historic sites at 17%.

There are nearly 41 million natural history and scientific specimens (i.e. plant, animal, paleontological and geological specimens) conserved across the country, allowing scientists, researchers and enthusiasts to study the natural history and phenomenon of our world.

Heritage institutions have amassed over 5.6 million gigabytes of born digital records (records that originate in a digital form). They also have over 4.7 million gigabytes from the conversion of physical objects and records into a digital format. In both instances, archives hold most of those digital records, 77% and 94% respectively.

Overall, heritage institutions have converted over 16% of their physical artefacts and records into digital format. Of that, about 10% is available online to the public.

Top Selling Genealogy Books on Kindle

These are the best sellers for the Kindle in the category they classify as genealogy, excluding fiction. Note that the ranking change fairly frequently.

1. Reich, David. Who We Are and How We Got Here: The Ancient DNA Revolution and the New Science of the Human Past. Pantheon Books, 2018.

2. Rutherford, Adam. Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2007.

3. Bettinger, Blaine T. The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy. Family Tree Books, an imprint of F+W Media Inc, 2016.

4. Jacobs, A. J. It’s All Relative: Adventures up and down the World’s Family Tree, Simon & Schuster, 2017.

5. Elder, Diana and Nicole Dyer. Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist's Guide. Amazon Digital Services, 2018.

6. Bojs, Karin. My European Family. Bloomsbury Sigma, 2017.

7. Bettinger, Blaine T. and Debbie Parker Wayne. Genetic Genealogy in Practice. National Genealogical Society, 2016.

8. Hendrickson, Nancy. Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com.  Family Tree Books, 2014.

9. Mills,  Elizabeth Shown.  Evidence Explained. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2017

10. Jones, Thomas W. Mastering Genealogical Proof. National Genealogical Society, 2013.

20 May 2018

New Season of Who Do You Think You Are? USA Starts Monday

Two episodes in the new series of WDYTYA (USA) are scheduled on Monday on TLC Canada

9:00 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Jon Cryer
Jon Cryer travels from America to Scotland as he uncovers the dramatic tale of an ancestor. This relative survived a catastrophic battle, endured horrific conditions as a prisoner of war and was forced to come to America as an indentured servant.

10:02 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Laverne Cox
Actress and activist Laverne Cox learns about the inspiring life of her African American ancestor, who challenged societal norms and bravely pushed the boundaries just years after Emancipation.

Others scheduled for the new season are: Hilary Duff, Jean Smart, Megan Mullally, and Molly Shannon.

If you're into binge watching episodes are scheduled from previous seasons.

3:00 AM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Aisha Tyler
Aisha Tyler's journey reveals an ancestor who, as a politician, struggled to keep his illegitimate son a secret. Against all odds, her 2x great-grandfather exemplifies bravery and determination during one of America's most tumultuous eras of racism.

4:00 AM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Katey Sagal
Katey Sagal has an emotional and insightful meeting with her mother's friend and fellow USO performer. Katey also finds a surprising link to the Amish and uncovers the harrowing story of her relative's daring escape from attackers.

4:00 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Jennifer Grey
Jennifer Grey discovers much more about the grandfather she thought she knew as she uncovers how he survived adversity to become a beacon of his community, and discovers a great-grandmother whose devastating tragedy stopped her from making it to America.

5:00 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Liv Tyler
Actress Liv Tyler unravels the mystery of her father Steven Tyler's maternal family line, uncovering ancestors who took part in famous American battles. She also learns shocking truths that change the way she will see herself, and her family, forever.

6:00 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel hunts for the truth behind family lore surrounding the death of an ancestor. She also makes two shocking discoveries that shake everything she knows about her heritage to the core.

7:00 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Smokey Robinson
Motown legend and icon Smokey Robinson tracks down a grandfather tangled in a swirl of controversy. He connects to a relative's familiar struggle with oppression while coming face-to-face with the gruesome history he knew was inevitable.

8:00 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? John Stamos
Actor John Stamos explores his Greek heritage for the first time and discovers an explosive feud that shattered his grandfather's childhood. He also meets a relative he never knew and hears firsthand about his family's enduring strength.

And the new ones are repeated too

11:04 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Jon Cryer

12:04 AM
Who Do You Think You Are? Laverne Cox

Canadian Veterans Death Cards: First World War

Did you know that Canadian veterans who survived the First World War and died up to the early 1960s may have information about them recorded at death in a collection of approximately 130,000 cards available online from Library and Archives Canada? I mentioned them in June 2012 but the information is worth resurfacing.

Each death card includes some or all of the following details:

Regimental service number
Unit, Battalion or Regiment
Date and place of death
Cause of death
Place of burial
Name and address of next-of-kin

Arranged alphabetically and available as images in batches of approximately 1,300 cards the name on the first card is the title of that batch. Find further information and a link to start the search at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/mass-digitized-archives/veterans-death-cards-ww1/Pages/veterans-death-cards.aspx

Panel Discussion on DNA Results

19 May 2018

Missed the Royal Wedding?

Don't worry. There'll be another along soon.

FreeBMD has index entries for 2,215 weddings where one of the parties had surname Royal. That's every year since 1837.

There were another 705 where the first name was Royal.

In another 20,927 weddings there was a surname Prince, and in another 796 that was the first name.

You might want to explore King and Queen!

GDPR kills ysearch.org and mitosearch.org

Family Tree DNA confirms information that has circulated for some weeks.

"On May 24th, 2018, our free, public genetic-genealogy databases, ysearch.org and mitosearch.org, will no longer be accessible as a result of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) going into effect on May 25th."

Read the notice.

18 May 2018

Ancestry.ca Victoria Day Weekend Open Access

Ancestry.ca is opening up its UK for free access, with registration, from May 18 to May 21, 2018 at 11:59 pm ET. That's nearly 2,000 record sets and publications, and including at least some from Ireland.

Findmypast adds recent British death index records

UK deaths 2007-2016 from Findmypast includes 2,511,604 transcripts of those who died in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, and Jersey. Just under two million records are for the years 2007 to 2013, the rest for the years 2014 to 2016.
You can search by first and last name, with check boxes for variants, birth year, death year, and location.
Initial search results, presented in tabular form that can be sorted, are: first name, last name, birth year, death year, place, county and country.
Fields available for the individual results are: first name(s), last name, title (e.g. Mr), sex, age, birth year, birth date, death year, death date, place and other geographic information.

Would anyone know why the database has the large bulge in deaths peaking in 2009?

Statistics that can be obtained will be of interest to one-names and those who study surnames. For example:
3,591 people named Reid died during the period.
2,172 were in Scotland
1,120 in England
258 in Northern Ireland
30 in Wales
11 in Jersey
None in the Isle of Man

Bad Archaeology

Shawn Graham, Carleton University associate professor of history, is organizing this year's Shannon Lecture Series. The theme: Bad Archaeology - the use and abuse of archaeological knowledge and ways of knowing.
No details yet but lots of potential! From badarcheology.com: bad data, out-of-place artifacts, conspiracy theories, old maps, lost civilizations, extraterrestrials, controversies, other dimensions, religious delusions, frauds and hoaxes, in the service of politics (a good one for Ottawa), dubious methodologies.
Information on the Shannons, including the now public information on the donor, are at https://carleton.ca/history/shannon-lectures-history/

Kingston Branch OGS May Meeting

The Kingston Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will meet on Saturday, May 19th at 9:45 a.m. at the Kingston Seniors Centre, 56 Francis St.  James Brownell, president of The Lost Villages Historical Society, will speak on "Through the Lands of the Lost Villages".  Visitors always welcome.  Further info at www.kingston.ogs.on.ca

Thanks to Margaret MacDermaid, Branch Publicity Co-ordinator for the information.

17 May 2018

FamilySearch updates England, Devon Bishop's Transcripts, 1558-1887

When last mentioned back in December there were 379,189 Devon records in this database. Now, as of 16 May, there are 736,890 records with links to 93,511 images sourced from the Devon Record Office in Exeter (Devon Heritage Centre). There's a coverage table by parish.

Again, a reminder that Devon has Online Parish Clerks, unpaid volunteers willing to help others with their genealogical research. They collect, collate and transcribe records for various parishes within their respective areas. Find information at http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/DEV/OPCproject

No Ottawa Branch OGS Meeting in May ... other opportunities

Owing to the conflict with the Victoria Day long weekend there is no May meeting of OGS Ottawa Branch.

If you're suffering withdraw there are several other family history opportunities coming up.

On Thursday 24 May at 6:30pm Kyla Ubbink of Ubbink Book and Paper Conservation will present Photograph Detective: Identifying and Dating Historic Photographs at the Sunnyside Branch of the Ottawa Public Library. Register here.

Ottawa Branch is cooperating with the OPL at a Saturday Special Local History & Genealogy Drop-In event at Nepean Centrepointe, 101 Centrepointe, Room 1B on Saturday 2 June, 10 am to 12 noon. If you think you might go register here to ensure it doesn't get cancelled.

Also with the OPL, on Wednesday 6 June, 2018 at 6:30pm, Shirley-Ann Pyefinch, Director of the LDS Ottawa Family History Centre, will speak on Digging Up Your Roots with FamilySearch at the Carlingwood Branch of the OPL, 281 Woodroffe. Register here.

Shirley-Ann informs me the annual Voices from the Dust event at the Ottawa Family History Centre will be on 16 June from 1pm to 5pm. That's a week after the BIFHSGO AGM and Great Moments in Genealogy meeting.

Quinte Branch OGS May Meeting

The Quinte Branch meeting on May 19, 2018 features a digital presentation:

"Introduction to GEDmatch" by Blaine Bettinger

The DNA website GEDmatch can be intimidating, so this lecture will start at the beginning and look at some of its basic but very important tools that genealogists can utilize in their research. We will look at the ethnicity tools, the One-to-Many tool, the One-to-One tool, and the X One-to-One tool.  

Held at  Quinte West Public Library, 7 Creswell Dr, Trenton 1-3 pm, everyone is welcome.

Visit www.quinte.ogs.on.ca and  facebook.com/QuinteBranch.OGS

16 May 2018

OGS/NEHGS Collaboration

The press release below highlights a new collaboration agreement between the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) and the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS).

An early benefit for members is that each society will offer the members of the other a $10 discount on new memberships. 

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)  and the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS)  Announce Collaboration 
May 15, 2018—Boston, Massachusetts— The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) have announced an historic marketing collaboration between the two organizations.  As a result of an agreement made between the two societies, NEHGS—the oldest and largest genealogical organization in the United States— and OGS—the largest in Canada—will offer memberships, products, and services at attractive discount prices to members of the collaborating organization.  Original publications of the two family history institutions—as well as research projects, online courses, webinars, and professional consultations—will also be made available at special pricing to members. 
The crossover of genealogical interests between Canada and the United States is a result of years of shared immigration history between the two countries. While moving from one country to the other raises many hurdles today, it was not always so. Cross-border migration was easy and common place in the 1800s, whether by road, railroad, or by way of the frequent lake crossings made by passenger steamers across the Great Lakes. It was common to move from Ontario to the United States, and vice-versa. During the 1870s and 1880s, an estimated 825,000 “British-Americans” left for the United States. The reasons for this migration were multiple, including opportunities for land or employment, family reunification, escaping problems with the authorities, or for many other reasons. 
The Statistical Review of Immigration, 1820-1910 and Distribution of Immigrants, 1850-1910 published by the United States Immigration Commission in 1911 shows that 1,179,807 persons reported their birthplace as Canada in that time period. By some conservative estimates, these individuals could have 50 million living descendants in the United States today. 
Similarly, migration from New England and other states into Quebec and Ontario was prevalent. The 1901 Canadian federal census shows that some 100,000 reported their birthplace as the United States. Those individuals could easily have more than 3.2 million living descendants today.
This historic collaboration between NEHGS and OGS took effect on May 1, 2018. 

Eric C. G. Steele: CWGC Beechwood

Corporal Eric Charles Gore Steele, age 25, son of Evelyn and Helen Steele, died on this date in an automobile accident.  He was smothered under water when the car in which he was a passenger left the road near Gananoque.
Corporal Steele, a bookkeeper by profession and sometime on the staff of the Ottawa Evening Journal, had enlisted with the Canadian Army Service Corps on 18 August 1916. 
He was buried on 20 May in Lot 31. North-East. Sec. 28 at Beechwood Cemetery.

15 May 2018

CEF Service Files Digitization Update for May 2018

As of 15 May 2018 there are 592,203 (581,553 last month) of about 640,000 files available online in the LAC Personnel Records of the First World War database.

The latest box available is 10,117 (9,926) and last name Waterous   (Venables).

At the last month's rate the last file would be online by the end of September.

Read the LAC blog post at https://thediscoverblog.com/2018/05/15/digitization-of-the-canadian-expeditionary-force-personnel-service-files-update-of-may-2018/

Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950

FamilySearch show the transcription database Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950 with 9,413,910 records was "recently added or updated." — on 15 May.
Information is that "only a few localities are included and the time period varies by locality." I wasn't lucky with the searches I conducted for Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Mugshot Mayhem

The non-profit Vancouver Police Historical Society which operates the Vancouver Police Museum and Archives was awarded $14,478 in the most recent round of the Documentary Heritage Communities Program. Seven projects in British Columbia received funding.

The project, entitled Mugshot Mayhem, will digitize two volumes of police mugshot books from 1900 to 1918. That's about 1,600 individuals. Each photo is accompanied by a description which may include name, address, description of the person including identifying marks, description and date of the event and any past convictions.

Library and Archives Canada DHCP funding is expected to be augmented by support through the Department of Canadian Heritage's Young Canada Works program offering summer jobs and internships in museums and related organizations for Canada’s youth.
All work for Mugshot Mayhem will be done in-house.
Thanks to Rosslyn Shipp, Museum Director, for the information.

Perth & District Historical Society May Meeting

The Perth & District Historical Society meeting on Thursday 17 May, 2018 is "For Crying Out Loud": Perth's Town Crier - the Tradition and History, presented by Brent McLaren.

“For Crying Out Loud” will present the history of the Town Crier and some of the stories that are part of Perth’s local history.  Brent will pose questions such as: ‘Where the first references to Criers are found?'; ‘What were the many functions of the bell ringer, if indeed they were using a bell, in their communities?’; ‘Was this a solo or a position with several Criers and specified duties?’.  From ceremonial to simply functional, the Town Crier has added to the rich tapestry of towns and villages throughout the world.  Perth’s current Crier, Brent McLaren, continues the “Loud and Proud” traditions that have been part of our story since the settlement was formed.

In the early days of the Town of Perth, it is likely that a local Crier performed a useful service to the community, but, whatever form it took, the custom apparently ceased without any mention of a Crier during the 1900s.  However, in 2005, the Town revived the tradition, in keeping with its heritage image, and, following a competition, Brent was appointed by the Town Council.  Since then, Brent, accompanied by his wife and consort, Shelley McLaren, regularly carries out his Town Crier duties at special and community events that take place in Perth throughout the year.  He is also known to assist Father Christmas during the Yuletide season.

Brent is a long-time resident of Perth.  Following his retirement from teaching at PDCI, he has been involved in a wide variety of community activities, in addition to his Town Crier duties.  Brent presently chairs the Town of Perth’s Heritage Management Committee, and was Chair of the Perth 200 Anniversary Committee.  He is a Member of the Men of the Tay Men’s Chorus; participates in community musical and dramatic theatre; a Member of the Ontario Guild of Town Criers; a Member of the Perth Citizens' Band; and assists local students with their participation in the local Heritage Fair."

The presentation is at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, home of the Hall of Remembrance, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, 7:30pm (Toonie Donation)

14 May 2018

Mining Durham's Hidden Depths'

Find 225,164 names in an index to the Durham Miners' Association trade union records. A major project from 2009 to 2010 at the Durham County Record Office, produced by over 100 volunteers, Mining Durham's Hidden Depths' is a still growing collection.

With records from over 300 collieries, the earliest I could find were from 1875, the latest 1973.

You can search Durham's Hidden Depths by keyword, or select from options to search by name/age/occupation/colliery/lodge/other location/date/event/document reference. There is also a link on the search page to browse by name.
If you find a name in the database you can purchase a copy of the original document. However, many of the records indexed are simple lists of workers' names, often with initials rather than full names. The original document may not contain much more information than the index. Other records give a surprising amount of detail about individual miners, their injuries and their dependents. The union records include accident compensation records. 

via a tweet from Jackie Depelle.

St. Peter's Cathedral Archives, Charlottetown, DHCP Grant

St Peter’s Cathedral in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island received funding from the Documentary Heritage Communities Program of Library and Archives Canada in 2016 to produce a strategic plan (pdf) for its archival operations, covering a 3- to 5-year time horizon.
As announced on Thursday the Cathedral Archives was awarded $99,558 DHCP funding to implement the plan for "Processing and Providing Access to 150 Years of Archives"
Digitization is part of the plan, a small part.  Priorities for digitization will be identified based on strategic needs, such as the Cathedral anniversary in 2019, and procedures developed, implemented and incorporated for ongoing digitization activities as a continuing archival task.
Congratulations to the Archives for the deliberate approach which undoubtedly helped in gaining the DHCP funding.

13 May 2018

Ancestry adds new Cheshire and updates Somerset ... and more

Cheshire, England, Extracted Church of England Parish Records, 1564-1837 is newly added to Ancestry. "Created from various publications of parish records" its likely you will already have found records of interest through other sources such as FamilySearch.

Somerset, England, Marriage Registers, Bonds and Allegations, 1754-1914 has been updated to contain 1,521,727 records.

Also updated this month are various national Find A Grave indexes, web databases Saskatchewan, Death Index, 1889-1916Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915Northern Ireland, Will Calendar Index, 1858-1965, and the Canadian Headstone Index, 1840-2017.

YouTube: Maurice Gleeson: DNA & Irish Genealogy - where to now?

There's a recent presentation by Maurice Gleeson on YouTube. Part refresher, part update to discuss items in the news like Gedmatch and the Golden State Killer.

The talk was to an Irish audience so there's an Irish slant but much of the content is broadly  applicable. Be sure to listen to the Q/A period at the end.

Book Notice: Surviving Mother Nature’s Tests

Calgary-based family historian Wayne Shepheard sent me a note last month about his new book Surviving Mother Nature’s Tests.
As a former atmospheric scientist, now family historian of British origin it's one I'd like to read. The pressure of other commitments has not made that possible and likely won't for a while. So before too much more time passes here is the notice about the book.

It relates many examples of situations observed in nature – primarily from the British Isles, but applicable everywhere – to the lives of families who experienced or endured them during the past several centuries. Descriptions of many types of natural phenomena are presented along with numerous references to publications in which readers may find much more information as to their origin and impact on people.

The table of contents is:


The Parameters of Climate Change
 - Determining Whether Climate has Changed
 - Controls on Climate
 - Pre-Holocene Warm and Cold Periods

Epochal Changes: The Holocene
 - Warm and Cold Periods of the Holocene
 - The Rise and Fall of Civilizations
 - Summary

The Last Millennium
 - Medieval Warm Period
 - Little Ice Age
 - Changed Farming Methods
 - Enclosure
 - Land Abandonment
 - The Age of Enlightenment
 - The Industrial Revolution
 - Modern Warm Period
 - Summary

Slow-Developing Events
Rivers and Estuaries
 - River Bolin, Cheshire
 - River Trent, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire
 - Humber Estuary, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire
Shoreline Processes
 - Culbin Foreland and Findhorn Estuary, Morayshire, Nairnshire
 - Firvie, Aberdeenshire
 - Holderness, East Yorkshire
 - The Broads, Norfolk, Suffolk
 - Dunwich, Suffolk
 - Romney Marsh, Dungeness Foreland, Kent, Sussex
 - Hallsands, Devon
 - Kenfig, Bridgend
 - Morfa Harlech, Gwynedd
 - 1540 Drought in Europe
 - 1887-1910 The Long Drought
 - 1315-1317 Great Famine
 - 1623 Uplands Famine
 - 1740-1741 Irish Famine 'Year of the Slaughter'
 - 1845-1852 Irish Potato Famine
Volcanic Eruptions
 - 1258 Indonesia
 - 1783 Laki
 - 1815 Tambora
 - 1883 Krakatau

Rapidly-Developing Events
Major Storms
 - 1287 South England Storms: Kent, Norfolk and Sussex
 - 1638 Lightning Strike: Widecombe, Devon
 - 1694 Culbin Sands Disaster: Morayshire and Nairnshire
 - 1703 The Great Storm: Southern England
 - 1824 The Great Gale: Cornwall to Sussex
 - 1839 Night of the Big Wind
 - 1848 Moray Firth
 - 1881 Eyemouth Disaster
 - 1607 Bristol, Channel Flood
 - 1771 Tyne, Tees, Wear and Eden Rivers Flood
 - 1852 Oxford (Duke of Wellington) Flood
 - 1866 Pennine Flood
 - 1920 Louth Flood
 - 1953 North Sea Flood
Earthquakes and Landslides
 - 1771 Solway Moss Irruption
 - 1839 Bindon, Dorset
 - 1884 Colchester Earthquake
Diseases and Epidemics
 - 1347-1351 Black Death
 - 1665-1666 Great Plague
 - 1831-1866 Cholera Epidemics
 - 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Genealogical Information
 - Information from Parish Registers
 - Other Information Available in Historical Records
 - Summary

Summary and Conclusions


It's a paperback of 182 pages. Publication is by Australian company Unlock the Past.  For international purchases the publishers have established a price of AUS$59.95 which includes shipping charges which is about Cdn $58.00 today.
A pdf version sells for $29.95 AUS. I could find no Canadian retailer.

12 May 2018

Findmypast adds Norfolk Browse Records

Five browse record sets from the Norfolk Record Office are newly added to Findmypast.

The largest is Norfolk Parish Chest Records 1300-1990 with 227,419 records from 67 different types of event record. Many event categories are unique such as an 1831 census book for the Norwich parish of St John de Sepulchre. Others, such churchwardens accounts, are found for the majority of parishes a few of which are in northeast Suffolk.

Norfolk Archdeacon's Transcripts 1600-1812 Image Browse, with over 78,000 records, is also available free on FamilySearch (their count is 76,589 images).

Norfolk Land Tax Assessments 1665-1837 Browse, over 60,000 records for 99 parishes for land, poll and window tax.

Norfolk Borough Records 1317-1981 Browse includes 44 different types of record covering apprentices, freeman, courts, churches, petitions, sessions, poor rates and more. They are from Colgate, Eaton, King's Lynn, Norwich and nine jurisdictions within Great Yarmouth. Comprises over 58,000 records.

Norfolk Parish Registers Browse comprises over 17,000 records (9,623 volumes), some back to 1538, for 553 parishes including a few in northeast Suffolk. Some are individual registers for baptisms, banns, marriages and burials, others (before 1747) combined.

I suggest checking the Norfolk Transcription Archive, FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage and The Genealogist which all have some of the same parish BMB records if more accessible for you.

QFHS - Roots 2018

Looking for a genealogy break next weekend? Quebec ancestry? A final reminder about the Quebec Family History Society conference, Roots 2018, being held Friday 18 May through Sunday 20 May at McGill University.
The speakers are: Steven L. Cameron; Luc Lepine; Christopher Lyons; Kelley O’Rourke; Laurie Pratt; Tom Quinlan; Mario Robert; Gary Schroder; Gloria Tubman; and Deborah Waddell Robertson.
Refreshingly these are mostly not the "usual suspects."

Find out more here.

11 May 2018

FreeBMD May Update

The FreeBMD database was updated on Friday 11 May 2018 to contain 267,753,711 distinct records (267,316,381 at last update).
Major additions, more than 5,000 entries, this month are: for births 1963-4, 1978, 1980-3; for marriages 1965-6, 1980, 1982-3; for deaths 1981-2.

Halifax, Nova Scotia City Directories Online

The Nova Scotia Archives has made available free online pdf digitized copies of McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directories from 1900 - 1901 to 1926 - 1927. They extend the time-frame of those available from Library and Archives Canada—1869 - 1870 to 1899 - 1900.
There's convenient access to both sets, and information on other copies available at the NSA, at https://novascotia.ca/archives/directories/list.asp/.