30 November 2018

British Newspaper Archives additions for November

The British Newspaper Archive now has a total of 28,935,426 pages online (28,391,968 last month.)  23 papers had pages added in the past month including 8 titles new to the site. Once again Ireland gets favoured treatment including, for friends with County Wexford interest, issues of the Enniscorthy Guardian for 1889, 1891-1904, 1916, 1921.

Major additions, titles with more than 10,000 pages added during the month were.


30972 pages
1904-1912, 1988-1990, 1994-2000, 2002
Belfast Telegraph
59310 pages
1935, 1963-1972
Sunday Tribune
55746 pages
1993-2003, 2005
Heywood Advertiser
19476 pages
1856-1862, 1864, 1868-1874, 1876, 1878, 1880-1884, 1886-1888, 1890, 1892-1893, 1895-1896, 1898-1910, 1912-1920, 1974
The Bioscope
57532 pages
1909, 1911-1918, 1923
Western Mail
27504 pages
Surrey Advertiser
20892 pages
1875, 1878-1888, 1890-1894, 1896-1897, 1899-1903, 1912-1913, 1929, 1931-1933
Wexford People
41450 pages
1994-1996, 1998-2004
Liverpool Echo
28870 pages
1881-1883, 1885-1886, 1888, 1891, 1899-1905, 1961
New Ross Standard
62836 pages
1889-1910, 1915, 1988-2001
Drogheda Independent
11232 pages
Lloyd's List
17478 pages
1898-1900, 1905
Perthshire Advertiser
42234 pages
Lichfield Mercury
47110 pages
1967, 1969-1970, 1974-1979, 1981-1982, 1993-1999

29 November 2018

Are you dying to avoid winter?

A lot of people in Canada do!

According to Statistics Canada on average 13% more people die in the winter (January - March) than summer (July-September). December vies with January as the most deadly month although February is more deadly on a deaths per day basis.
This is one of the statistics publish by Stats Can today, a welcome example of the organization striving to release more timely information. Sadly the Yukon failed to provide all the information required for the compilation. Ontario government information was incomplete regarding cause of death.

FamilySearch Unhelpful

A few days ago I emailed FamilySearch asking:

The most recent update in the FamilySearch catalog is for Nov 26, 2018 and claims 36,354,828 records (for the 1911 census of England and Wales.) Strangely a copy of the catalog I captured showing an update for that census on Nov 8, 2018 showed exactly the same number of records. What was updated?
The response was:
Sorry, but we have no way of knowing what was actually updated in a collection, unless the catalog entry for the collection mentions what was updated.
So what's the point of mentioning an update? Presumably someone at FamilySearch knows what's happening but they're not communicating it, and those responding to queries don't have the ability or initiative to inquire further. An update should be a signal to search again if you tried before and didn't find an expected record.

In this case I think it may be a glitch in the catalog as today (29 November) it shows an update to the present date but with the same number of records. That's also the case for the 1911 census of Ireland and several other titles.

Populations Past – Atlas of Victorian and Edwardian Population

This website allows users to create and view maps of different demographic measures and related socio-economic indicators In England and Wales every 10 years between 1851 and 1911. These include fertility, childhood mortality, marriage, migration status, household compositions, age-structure, occupational status and population density.
Although statistical averages rarely reflect the individual family experience, no family in Norwich in 1861 had 3.96 children, exploring the profile of the area helps you put them in the context of their environment.

28 November 2018

Family Tree DNA Holiday Sale Starts

Until the end of the year FTDNA is offering their tests at discount prices.

Family Finder is $49 US
37 marker Y-DNA is $99 US
Combined FF and 37 marker $143 US

Big Y is $499 US

See the complete list here.

The North East War Memorials Project

This project compiles information from over 4,800 War Memorials in the area of the North East of England, from the River Tweed to the River Tees. That's County Durham, Northumberland and Newcastle.
Represented are the First World War — the majority, Second World War, and the conflicts in the Falklands, Korea, South Africa and even the Napoleonic Wars.

Search is free, by surname or a drop down list by community. The surname search returns the number of hits and a list of resources. Click each to view the detail. In some cases you'll need to search within a document, use CNTL-F. The hit may not be a surname.

The North East War Memorials Project is at www.newmp.org.uk

via a Facebook post by Julie Goucher.

Where are Canada's genealogy hotspots?

A total of 79 people in Canada spend $100 US per year for membership in the Association of Professional Genealogists. It's a sign they're seriously interested.
Not surprisingly given overall populations the majority, 42, live in Ontario. Toronto is the address given by 9, Ottawa by 5.
Second is British Columbia (12) with 4 in Vancouver; third Alberta (11) with 6 in Edmonton and 3 in Calgary.
On a population weighted basis three members make Saskatchewan the hotspot by province (3.49 per million), followed by Ontario (2.95), Alberta (2.57) and British Columbia (2.49).
For the major cities on a per capita basis the hotspot is Edmonton, followed by Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto.

These pale in comparison to Utah with 115 APG members, 37.07 per million. In Salt Lake City there are 44 APG members, more than in all Ontario.

HSO November Meeting

The third presentation of the 2018-19 season for the Historical Society of Ottawa, on Friday 30 November, has Melanie Morin-Pelletier, Historian, First World War for the Canadian Museum of History, speaking on Canadian Women on the Home Front and First World War Nursing Sisters.

As usual the meeting is at 172 Guigues Ave. and starts at 1pm.

27 November 2018

Giving Tuesday

Please consider a donation to your favourite charities today.

Need a suggestion?

The Ottawa Food Bank needs help.

IGRS adds Co. Londonderry / Derry Census Substitute

The following is an IGRS press release.

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has added a new census substitute database to its website. The Balteagh Regium Donum Petition of 1828 notes details on approximately 200 families, comprising 1,023 individuals, residing in sixteen townlands lying to the south-east of the town of Limavady, Co. Londonderry / Derry.
The petition refers to the Presbyterian congregation of Balteagh’s attempt to claim a share of the Regium Donum (or Royal Bounty) Fund, established by Charles I in 1672 for the upkeep of Presbyterian clergy in Ireland. It notes, by townland, the head of each family, spouse and children (if any). For instance, in the townland of Ballyness & Maine is the family of Joseph Perrie and his wife (though unnamed) and their six children: Bettyann, Sarah, Lavinia, Joseph, Martha and Isabella. Unfortunately, ages are not recorded, but alternative sources will likely allow ages to be established or estimated.
The index entries in the database are linked to scanned images of the original document, which forms part of the Official Papers series at the National Archives of Ireland.
The full database is a members’ only resource, but name searches can be made freely by all.
Database landing page:

Would you like to join OGS for half price?

Again this year the Ontario Genealogical Society has a program where a member can partner with a non-member wishing to join the society. Both will get an annual membership for half price.

If you're a non-member who would like to take advantage why not do yourself and them a favour.  I can probably find you a match. Just email me at john dot d dot reid at gmail dot com.

Book Review: A Swarm of Bees

Ron W. Shaw's most recent book, published by Global Heritage Press, builds on his long time interest in the Lanark Settlers.

Quoting widely from personal journals and reminiscences he tells the story of the well over 100 people whose family journey started in Scotland in a period of economic depression and follows them across the Atlantic to settlement in Upper Canada in an area largely unsuited to farming.

Not long after the revelations to Joseph Smith in nearby Palmyra, New York in 1827 the first Mormon missionaries arrived in Upper Canada. The book focuses of the Lanark families Borrowman, Brooks, Bryce, Bulloch, Caldwell, Climie, Donald, Duncan, Findley, Forsythe, Gardner, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Leckie, McIntosh, Park, and Swapp who heard the word and later followed the "call to gather in Zion."
The book recounts the long multi-year tortuous journeys, through places like Nauvoo and, for some with the Morman Battalion through California, which ended in the years after Brigham Young recognized Utah as that promised land in 1847. Their subsequent life trials, natural disaster and conflict with US authority in the new homeland is the final chapter, all presented as manifest in the individuals experiences — some stories are quite extraordinary. Was a pile driver used to crush rock used for a Morman temple really made from a cannon slung on a pulley system forged for Napoleon’s armies and abandoned following the siege of Moscow?

For the genealogist there are nearly 50 pages of family charts and a 32 page name index, compiled by Mike More to aid those with links to the main families but who are not the focus.

In addition to the personal collections of those with a family link, A Swarm of Bees: Lanark Society Settlers 1800-1900, A Journey from Scotland to  Upper Canada and Utah should be in every library with a historical collection along the route travelled, from the Ottawa Valley to Utah, and in the Morman diaspora to places like southern Alberta.

The book, available in hardcover or as a pdf download, begins shipping on 4 December. It can be ordered at http://globalgenealogy.com/countries/canada/ontario/eastern-ontario/resources/101477.htm

This review is based on a pdf copy supplied by the publisher.

26 November 2018

Further Talks and Panel Session from October 2018 Genetic Genealogy Ireland on YouTube

Below explains alternatives to 23andMe and Prometheus to explore health related aspects

Below is one of the more advanced projects

Panel Discussion

UPDATE, just added

World War One Medals

It's been my understanding that it is a breech of protocol to wear the medals of another person. So I was surprised to find on Twitter a photo taken in 1928 in Newfoundland Memorial Park on the Somme showing veterans alongside 'Mrs O'Connor of Sheffield'. She's wearing the medals of her three sons who fell in the Great War.
Today no First World War medals can be displayed on the breast of the veteran to whom they were awarded. All those who received them are passed. The medals sit in museums or in boxes in the veteran's descendant's homes — occasionally brought out to be shown.
Now that there can be no question of the wearer claiming personal honour, if those descendants were allowed to wear them, perhaps on a specially designated day, it would serve as a reminder of just how many the conflict touched.

Glenn Wright points to a debate in the pages of the Legion Magazine here.

25 November 2018

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Ireland in the 1840s
Recommended to me are two books by Asenath Nicholson,"Ireland's welcome to the stranger", covers 1844-45, just before the famine. "Annals of the famine in Ireland, in 1847, 1848, and 1849", covers the famine itself. Free from the Internet Archive they were written as diaries during the author's travels and are contemporary, the latter published in 1851.

All the parents who allowed their children to go showed tremendous courage
The 1938 Kindertransport (to the UK) saved 10,000 children but it’s hard to describe it as purely a success — food for thought for those interested in the British Home Child movement.

The surface of any old object might be bearing newly discernible biological information
Do Proteins Hold the Key to the Past? from the New Yorker.

William Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament was the first to be printed in English. This is one of only three copies surviving from the 3,000 or so printed in 1526 by Peter Schoeffer in Worms, Germany. Explore this item at https://t.co/lYjyNZaFOw https://t.co/9bnjvjTNYM

Emergency alert test on 28 November
On Wednesday, 28 November, provincial and territorial emergency management organizations will conduct their second test of Canada’s emergency alerting system. It's scheduled for 1:55 pm except 2:55 pm in Quebec.

Mags Gaulden at Merrickville and District Historical Society AGM

Seen here demonstrating a hi-tech version of ear to the ground, Mags Gaulden from Grandma's Genes will be presenting The Power of DNA, to the Merrickville and District Historical Society Annual General Meeting on 27 November. She will discuss the nuts and bolts of how DNA and genealogy can move family histories forward. The DNA of one of Merrickville’s founders may make a special appearance during the talk.
6 - 9 pm at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 245, 223 Main St W, Merrickville, ON

24 November 2018

FreeBMD November update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Friday 23 November 2018 to contain 270,673,902 distinct records (270,192, 384 at previous update).
Years with major additions, greater than 5,000 records, are: for births 1964, 1978, 1980-85; for marriages 1965, 1966, 1980, 1984, 1985; for death 1981-1983, 1985.

New this week on Findmypast

Dignitaries, notables, Scottish FWW war dead and some East End baptisms are the British Isles records featured as new to Findmypast this week.

England & Wales Ecclesiastical Dignitaries 1800-1840
The collection consists of over 200 pages of the Index Ecclesiasticus; the alphabetical lists of all ecclesiastical dignitaries in England and Wales since the Reformation.

Within the index, you will find the name of dignitary along with his parish and date of appointment. In cases where the person served more than one parish, all parishes and appointment dates are listed.

Britain, Dictionary Of National Biography, 1885-1904
Search through more than 40 volumes of the Dictionary of National Biography from 1885 to 1904. The publication will reveal the biography including life achievements and the names of children and a spouse. You will find both British and Irish names throughout the volumes.

The work contains the names of notable figures in British history. There are a number of volumes in this collection including the very first edition, which was published in 1885. The volumes are organised by surnames. The Dictionary of National Biography only included the names of deceased individuals then supplementary volumes were published between 1885 and 1900 to add the names of people who died during that time period. In 1904, a volume or errata or corrections was published.

Scotland, Rolls Of Honour 1914-1920
Did your Scottish ancestor serve in the Great War? Search numerous rolls of honour which were created after the war. If so these rolls containing over 7,000 names and may provide you with your ancestor's rank, regiment, and residence. Among the publications are rolls of honour from Cardross parish, Banff Academy, Glasgow High School, Murrayfield parish, University of Edinburgh and more.

Rolls of honour were created by schools, universities, parishes, and places of employment to honour those who participated or gave the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War. Each honour roll has its own format and criteria for what names and how much information was included.

London, Docklands and East End Baptisms
Over 2,000 records covering the parishes of St Matthias, Poplar and St Peter, Bethnal Green have been added to the collection. Each result includes a transcript that will reveal a combination of birth date, baptism date, baptism location, parents' names and address.

The transcripts in this collection have been created by the Docklands Ancestors, who began transcribing parish registers in 2001. London's East End has been known throughout history for its crime, poverty, and deprivation, but also for reform, social movements, and legends. It is located east of the medieval walled city of London, north of the River Thames, and bordered by the River Lea. It includes the boroughs of Whitechapel, Stepney, Spitalfields, Poplar, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, and more.

23 November 2018

The Gift of Ancestry

A note from Lesley Anderson in her role with Ancestry.ca

Ancestry’s Canadian Cyber Weekend sales – including Gift Memberships!
We know many of you have been waiting a while…so we’re delighted to announce that Ancestry gift memberships are now available in Canada! 
Spread a little holiday cheer and treat that someone special to gift of family history discovery. And from Black Friday (23rd November) until Cyber Monday (26th November), you can save 40% on gift memberships: 
Canada Discovery Plus:
All Canadian records, plus global census, birth, marriage and death records. 
• 6 months: $69.99 (regular price $84.99) 
• 12 months: $104.99 (regular price $179.88) 
World Deluxe: 
Everything on Ancestry – over 20 billion records from more than 80 countries
• 6 months: $77.99 (regular price $129.99) 
• 12 months: $178.99 (regular price $299.40) 
Please note that a gift membership is a one-time, non-renewing membership; you will only be billed for the cost of the membership you select. Gift memberships are valid for new subscribers only and not for renewals for current subscriptions.
For more details and to purchase, visit: https://www.ancestry.ca/cs/gift-selection
 (T&Cs apply).

Note that a special offer from AncestryDNA was linked in a previous post.

FTDNA offers Family Finder for $US 39 for Black Friday Sale

Wow! the lowest price I've seen, more than half off, but only until the 26th. Return shipping is extra.

The competition is intense. Debbie Kennett posted a complete guide here.

TheGenealogist completes collection of Warwickshire Parish Record

The following is a press release

TheGenealogist has added over 1.5 million individuals to their Warwickshire Parish Record Collection to increase the coverage of this Midland county for researchers wanting to find their ancestors baptisms, marriages and burials. 

This is the final release of records published in association with Warwickshire County Record Office now totalling nearly 5 million individuals which have the benefit of high quality images to complement the transcripts, making them a valuable resource for those with ancestors from this area.

These new fully searchable records can be used to find ancestors from the parishes of: Aston Cantlow, Berkswell, Combrook, Coventry All Saints, Coventry St Peter, Coventry St Thomas, Dunchurch, Exhall, Fillongley, Foleshill St Paul, Grandborough, Hampton in Arden, Harbury, Haseley, Hillmorton, Ilmington, Kenilworth St Nicholas, Kineton, Kingsbury, Lapworth, Leamington Hastings, Leamington Spa St Paul, Lighthorne, Lillington, Long Compton, Long Itchington, Meriden, Middleton, Napton-on-the-Hill, Nether Whitacre, Newbold Pacey, Newbold-on-Avon, Newton Regis, Packwood, Polesworth, Preston-on-Stour, Priors Marston, Quinton, Radford Semele, Radway, Rowington, Rugby St Andrew, Ryton-upon-Dunsmore, Salford Priors, Shustoke, Snitterfield, Southam, Stockingford, Stockton, Stoke, Stoneleigh, Stretton-on-Dunsmore, Stretton-on-Fosse, Studley, Tanworth in Arden, Tredington, Tysoe, Walsgrave-on-Sowe, Warmington, Welford, Wolfhamcote, Wolford, Wolston, Wolvey and Wootton Wawen.

These new parish records are available as part of the Diamond Subscription at TheGenealogist.

Read TheGenealogist’s article that finds the baptism of the poet Rupert Brooke and 1887 burial of one Rugby headmaster who turned the school around:

The Ancestor Hunt Updates Free Canada Online Obituary and Obituary Index database

Kenneth R Marks has found and added 53 new databases, 15 of them for Ontario, for a total of 180 distinct obituary databases across Canada on his website The Ancestor Hunt.

The additions for Ontario are:

Belleville Intelligencer Obituary Indexes
Frontenac County Obituaries (transcriptions)
Grey County GenWeb Obituaries (clippings)
Huron County Obituaries (transcriptions)
Islands Obituaries (transcriptions)
Lanark County Newspaper Extracts (obituary transcriptions)
Manitoulin Obituaries (transcriptions)
Norfolk Vital Indexes and Obituaries (transcriptions)
Peel County Obituaries (transcriptions)
Peel Region Newspaper and Obituary Index (clippings)
Port Perry Area Obituary Index
Stormont County Obituaries (transcriptions)
Woodstock Newspaper and Obituary Indexes (clippings)Uxbridge Newspapers Index

Find the list and links at 180 Obituary and Obituary Index Links from Canada.

Gloucester Historical Society: Voices of the Greenbelt

22 November 2018

Ancestry adds UK, WWI Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923


The Ancestry catalog is showing new and updated titles added this month. One of interest is an update to UK, WWI Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 which first appeared in October.

Sourced from the Western Front Association they provide "details of military and military-related personnel, who filed for a pension after World War One if injured or, if killed, details of their widow and/or other dependents or their next of kin, if they were unmarried and had no children."

Don't be mislead by the Ancestry catalog which claims 50,485 records. A search from Smith yielded 27,511 hits. Searching my name found 499 results, many for the same person but with perhaps additional information.

The detailed description mentions Naval Ledgers, Merchant Marine Cards and, PRC Ledgers "for over 1.5 million men who served in the British Army, Royal Navy, and RFC/RAF during the Great War and claimed a pension (or, if they were killed in the conflict, the relatives that claimed)."

According to the documentation:

You may be able to find the following information (where available):
Date of Birth
Date of Death
Date of Injury
Details of dependents or next of kin
Date of Marriage
Place of residence
Regimental Number
Regiment or unit
Usually it's not so complete. The index links to images of the original available by subscription from the Western Front Association.

LAC in 2017-2018

Library and Archives Canada's recently issued Departmental Results Report for 2017-2018 documents another year of achievement.

Here's what LAC considers the highlights for the $127,416,749 and 941 FTEs of resources at its disposal.

  • In 2017–18, LAC launched two new major initiatives to preserve and revitalize Indigenous languages and cultures with funds allocated under Budget 2017. The first initiative will focus on digitizing documents in the LAC collection on First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The second will offer Indigenous communities the support and expertise needed to preserve recordings of Indigenous languages.
  • To support national activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of Confederation, LAC produced #OnThisDay historical capsules that were published daily and viewed by over 10 million people. It also worked with partners to present a wide variety of events and exhibitions, enabling Canadians to discover their rich heritage and gain more self-knowledge in the process.
  • LAC launched Voilà, the new National Union Catalogue library management system. This is a milestone in implementing the new system for managing its published heritage collection.
Without in any way discounting the essential work of other aspects of LAC's operations, necessary for continuing service, the concentration in this post is the activity of Program 2.3: Access to documentary heritage which is of most immediate pertinence for the user community. It accounts for nearly $36.5 million of expenditure, an increase of more than $4 million from the previous year.

LAC is perusing Indigenous initiatives building on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report. An international award given to Project Naming which enables Indigenous peoples to engage in the identification of photographs from Library and Archives Canada is highlighted.  One does wonder why, after the project has been underway for more than a decade it has not been extended to the many other images in the collection with unidentified individuals, alone or in groups, such as those from the FWW and SWW.

Indigenous Canadians are the focus for two other activities. One was a newspaper digitization project undertaken with external funding.
"As part of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS), LAC consulted national experts to identify best practices in newspaper digitization. LAC then digitized three series of Indigenous newspapers ("Windspeaker", "Ha-Shilth-Sa" and "Turtle Island News"), a total of more than 1,600 issues. The project was made possible through funding from the Salamander Foundation."
Outreach beyond the National Capital Region is increasing. A significant initiative during the year involved establishing or renewing regional service outlets in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Halifax where approximately 3,000 clients were served, an increase of 48% over 2016–17. That's just part as LAC materials go out to exhibitions, partnerships with institutions large and small Canada-wide increase and online initiatives extend service wherever there's an internet browser.

According to a Results Achieved summary the amount of material downloaded by clients on LAC's website was 10.1 million files, just exceeding the target. That's a decrease from the previous two years. However, how seriously can these statistics be taken when the target in the previous year report was 100 million files and the actual result that year reported as more than 90 million!

Again this year there is no mention of the largest client group, family historians, and Indigenous newspaper digitization is the only mention of newspapers or directories.

In the Glebe, Death Came Knocking

An excellent example of painstaking research and writing is Dave O'Malley's In the Glebe from 1939 to 1945, DEATH CAME KNOCKING.
He found 392 service men who were included on casualty lists and for whom he found an address. The home location is pinned on a map. Another 50 are men known to have been killed but with no addresses found. There are undoubtedly others, and many more who served including those injured.
Find the article at the Virtual Wings of Canada website here.

Thanks to Bryan Cook for the tip.

Ottawa Branch OGS November Meeting

Saturday, 24 November

10:30 — Genealogy: Back to Basics - Tools for Genealogy"
Perhaps David Walker will provide inspiration for a gift for the techie-genealogist.
13:00 — Ottawa Branch Presentation: The Power of DNA:
DNA and Genealogy - Mr. Frogs Wild Ride. Mags Gaulden from Grandma's Genes will provide a review of changes and moves within the Genealogy community as it relates to working with DNA. Like Mr. Frogs Wild Ride, it has dips and turns and spins and well, it's just hard to keep up! Bring your questions!

15:00 — Computer Special Interest Group

These events are in the Ottawa City Archives Building, 100 Tallwood Drive, Nepean.

21 November 2018

Skip to the good stuff in a YouTube Video

This isn't genealogy, just a something I tried and liked.
Nick Douglas gives three tip in this blog post on Lifehacker, the second of which is particularly worth knowing.
Most YouTube videos have a computer-generated transcript, mostly pretty good, that you can view when its playing by clicking the three dots, to the right of the thumbs-up/thumbs-down buttons and selecting “Open transcript” from the drop-down menu.
Skim through the transcript, it opens to the top right on my computer, or use ctrl-F to search for keywords of interest. Click the line in the transcript to go to that point in the video. Neat.

20 November 2018

Legacy Black Friday Special

Get 50% off a one year Legacy Family Tree webinar membership. 24/7 access to 800 full-length genealogy classes PLUS all 3,500+ pages of instructors' handouts. $24.98 US

Also 50% off Legacy Family Tree 9.0 deluxe software.

Offer expires on Cyber Monday, 26 November 2018 at 11:59pm MT.

Digitized volumes on Irish Folklore

Members of the Irish diaspora may be interested in a new sample selection of digitized volumes from the Main Manuscript Collection of the Irish National Folklore Collection.
Digitized by the dúchas.ie team the collection comprises 2,400 bound volumes of material collected since 1932. The majority was collected in the Gaeltacht (primarily Irish-speaking) region during the 1930s and includes every aspect of the Irish oral tradition. Read detail about the release at www.duchas.ie/pdf/18.11.01-pr-priomhbhailiuchanEN.pdf.
Other dúchas.ie content online includes the Schools Collection from the 1930 and the Photographic Collection.

Thanks to Ann Burns for the tip.

Image © National Folklore Collection, UCD

Book Launch: Rideau Remembers

Wednesday, 21 November sees the culmination of a multi-year effort led by Owen Cooke for the Rideau Archives Branch, City of Ottawa Archives, and the Rideau Township Historical Society (RTHS).
Volunteers have attempted to identify and document the lost young generation of North Gower and Marlborough Townships from the First World War.
The book launch event starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Manotick Legion 5550 Ann St, Manotick, ON.
The RTHS has an active Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/rideautownshiphistory/

19 November 2018

Newspapers.com Black Friday Special

If you're not already a subscriber this discount on a six-month Basic subscription is worth considering. It includes the full run of the Ottawa Journal plus the Ottawa Citizen to 1897.
The premium Publishers Extra includes more recent issues of the Citizen.
Note the mistake in the ad, the Save $ prices are not consistent with the subscriptions shown.
These are US dollar prices.
The price is good to end of day Sunday 25 November.

There's huge potential in genetic genealogy

According to a study cited by ISOGG https://isogg.org/wiki/Cousin_statistics the average British person has an estimated 5 first cousins, 28 second cousins and 175 third cousins. There's a lot of variation, from no first cousins to more than 80.
Imagine you found a family tree where every couple had the same number of children who went on to have the same number of children — and it applied across the whole family tree. The table shows the number of first, second and third cousins anyone in the tree would have if that same number of children was two and three. Call them the Two Family and Three Family.

Two Family832128
Three Family18108648
The average British person in the study cited has more cousins that the Two Family and many fewer than the Three Family.
In the highly influential study known as the Shared cM Project Blaine Bettinger sought information on the amount of shared DNA found by various genetic genealogists. The number of people reporting matches in that study for first, second and third cousins is shown in the table below. Also shown is the number adjusted proportionately to the number of first cousins (8) in the Two Family. The huge deficit, which is even greater for third cousins, implies a huge potential for further discoveries if the causes can be identified and addressed.
Shared cM Project151215901791
Normalized to Two Family profile8.08.49.5

What to do about the deficit.
(1) Many people deliberately test known cousins. Further conventional research on neglected collateral lines may identify more distant cousins to be tested.
(2) A 10% deficit can be expected at the third cousin level owing to the random nature of DNA inheritance. Exploring matches for others in your tree who inherited a different random draw of a third cousin's DNA broadens the search.
(3) People test with different companies. Transfer your results to other companies where possible, and to Gedmatch. Note that MyHeritage with over 2 million tests in its database will cease free transfers at the end of this month. Take advantage. The DNA Geek explains the procedure here.
(4) You find a match but are unable to get a response. Keep trying alternative approaches. Sometimes a round about way, like asking the spouse of a cousin to persuade them to test, can be effective.
(5) You can't get a DNA match with someone who hasn't tested. Suppose there are 10 million people tested in the USA. That represents a bit over 3% of the US population. That's 97% of unrealized potential and even greater potential in other countries. More people getting tested will help; less costly tests will help; easy access to test kits will help; testing companies and others better addressing scaremongering over privacy will help. 

Heritage Ottawa Presentation: Preserving Canada's Heritage: The Foundation of Tomorrow

The federal government, proud steward of many national historic sites and other designated heritage properties, has an important role to play in the preservation of Canada’s built heritage and historic places. MP John Aldag will discuss initiatives being considered and undertaken at the federal level, including through Parliament, and their implications for our heritage.

John Aldag is the Member of Parliament for Cloverdale-Langley City.  He chairs the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. As a parliamentarian, John Aldag introduced Bill C-374, to include much-needed Indigenous representation on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Previously, John spent 31 years managing parks and historic sites with Parks Canada.

Wednesday 21 November, 7 pm
Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
120 Metcalfe Street

The lecture is free and there is no need to pre-register.

18 November 2018

The Ontario Name Index Update

Mike More posted on Facebook that The Ontario Name Index (TONI) at https://ogs.on.ca/databases/toni/ has been re-connected to the Ontario portion of Canadian Headstones and will search CH for your names. TONI is now at 5.8 million names in Ontario with new additions regularly.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Artistic works inspired by the Great Famine struggle to do it justice, but they keep the memory alive
How do you represent in film an experience as keen and painful as hunger? Director Lance Daly’s recently released film Black ‘47 – a revenge epic set during the 1840s Irish famine – is the latest attempt to depict the devastating catastrophe which left more than a million dead in Ireland in one of the worst episodes of human suffering in the 19th century. The famine’s legacy is profound: today Ireland remains the only European country with a smaller population than in the 1800s.

Digital library search preferences amongst historians and genealogists: British History Online user survey
From 2016, "The results of this survey show that genealogists are primarily interested in names of people and names of places related to their search. They do not seem to be interested in reading material, or even what the source of the material is, as long as it contains the details they are after. Searching free content only was more important to genealogists than it was to academics and casual users."
"All groups have clear preferences for searching by name and by place, and they are generally in favour of searching by the date of the subject matter. They strongly support fuzzy searching and proximity searching. Whenever possible, they prefer to conduct simple keyword searches, but they prefer advanced searching to browsing – again implying they are after snippets rather than a traditional reading experience. Being able to limit the search to predefined subsets of the collection, including by content type or by bibliographic series was popular. By contrast, they do not like to have to rely on external search engines or library catalogues, and would rather interact directly with the navigation features of the digital library."

The Catholic Church, Kin Networks and Institutional Development (pdf)
The Catholic Church’s medieval marriage policies dissolved extended kin networks and thereby fostered inclusive institutions. Longer Church exposure predicts lower cousin marriage rates; in turn, lower cousin marriage rates predict higher civicness and more inclusive institutions today.

Who are Canada’s ‘most historically significant’ women?
What does it mean to be ‘historically significant’?

Fifty Years Hence
By Winston Churchill, originally published in Strand Magazine, December 1931

And finally, congratulations to Ottawa City Archivist Paul Henry, appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board of the Canadian Council of Archives for a one year term.

Beyond the Imitation Game: Codebreaking and the Race for the Computer

All are welcome for an Ottawa Historical Association presentation at the Old Town Hall (61 Main Street) in Old Ottawa East on Thursday, November 22 at 7:30 p.m. for:

"Beyond the Imitation Game: Codebreaking and the Race for the Computer"

A public lecture by David O'Keefe

David O’Keefe is a history professor at Marianopolis College, as well as the producer and host of history programming for History TV and other networks. He hosts the popular series War Junk and is the historian/co-creator of Dieppe Uncovered (2012) and other documentaries. His best-selling book, One Day in August (2013), re-examines Dieppe as an intelligence mission.

David’s research interest is wartime intelligence and code-breaking. His talk for the Ottawa Historical Association on November 22 will examine the history of Enigma and the code-breaking race.

17 November 2018

Co-Lab CEF First World War Diaries Challenge: would OCR help?

60 images comprising the 1st Canadian Division – General Staff war diary for the month of November 1918 are now available for transcription through Library and Archives Canada Co-Lab at https://co-lab.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/Challenges/Details/1014.

As you can see from the example image these are typed records so reading them is not much of an an issue. Transcription means they will become machine searchable.

Transcription is 6% completed but mostly for the pages with least text.

I wondered how well OCR would do on this text so tried it applying the text grab from the TechSmith product Snagit to part of the image. Here's what I got.

Training «ras oontlcued by all Units«
Th« G *0 «C • held a Con fere no« of Brigade Commanders at Dlrlalonal Headquarters at 1000 hours and in the Afternoon attended a Coofertooe of Dlrlalonal Commanders at Oorpa Headquarters. Information vrae received from Corps Headquarters that the Ca da disc Corps would beooma part of the Seoond Army to participate lo the General Advance of the Allied Analeo to the RHIIB. whlo^ advanoe would oomaenoe on or about Borember 17th« lo view of the position of the Division 1a the Hear Areas, it was therefore neoessary that the Division move forward at oooe In order to arrive In the Concentration Area West of M0I3 by the 17th Inst. Orders were accordingly Issued for the move to oomaaoe on the morning of the 13th Inst by route maroh and to oontlnue on the two days following*
Weather - Fine and warm«


If LAC provided it:
Would a rough machine transcription be helpful if made available without any corrections
pollcode.com free polls

With the machine transcription as a guide would you be more likely to help with this Co-Lab challenge?
pollcode.com free polls

Book Review: Barefoot on the Cobbles

Today, 17 November, is the official release date of Janet Few's book Barefoot on the Cobbles: a Devon tragedy, based on a real tragedy that lay hidden for nearly a hundred years.
Janet is a well known family and local historian, a rockstar genealogist who has spoken widely internationally including at BIFHSGO. She sent me a pdf copy for review.
I rarely read fiction, and that goes for watching fiction on TV and internet streaming services. There's too much real world for one life. So my review of the book is not informed by knowledge of the genre.
The story paints a picture of family life, the joy of birth, poverty, keeping up appearances, seeking independence, courtship and marriage, death in the family. It climaxes with death of a child, accusation of manslaughter and the subsequent court case at the end of the First World War.
I was drawn in by the portrait of the life and times a century ago on the North Devon coast. Janet understands the way of life and mutual suspicions of the small communities. Janet also drew heavily on newspaper records; a reporter covering the trial is a minor character.
The book will interest the family historian with roots in the area and more so those who enjoy historical fiction. Buy the book and find resources at thehistoryinterpreter.wordpress.com/.

16 November 2018

Additional British Army Records at Findmypast

British Armed Forces, First World War Soldiers' Medical Records
Over 224,000 new records added to the FMP collection of National Archive's First World War Soldiers' Medical Records. Including both images of transcripts, these records will enable you to discover when and where wounded, the nature of the wounds, where they were treated, how long they were held for treatment and details pertaining to their service history.
This collection comprises The National Archives' series, MH106, War Office: First World War Representative Medical Records of Servicemen. Only a sample of the medical records was retained. These records are a representative selection of the full collection of medical records created during the war. Due to data protection, FMP has only published records where the admission year is dated back 100 years. For this reason, more records will be released in the coming years. The records include admissions and discharge records from hospitals, field ambulances, and casualty clearing stations. You will also find records from Queen Alexandra's Military Hospital before the First World War, dating from 1910. The hospitals and medical facilities in the records are: 2nd General Hospital;
4th Stationary Hospital; 14th Field Ambulance; 18th General Hospital; 19th General Hospital; 28th General Hospital; 31st Ambulance Train; 51st Field Ambulance; 66th Field Ambulance; 139th Field Ambulance; 149th Field Ambulance; Catterick Military Hospital; County of Middlesex War Hospital at Napsbury; Craiglockhart Hospital; HM Hospital Ship Assaye; No 3 Casualty Clearing Station; No 11 Casualty Clearing Station; No 31 Casualty Clearing Station; No 34 Casualty Clearing Station; No 34 Combined Clearing Hospital; No 39 Casualty Clearing Station; No 39 Casualty Clearing Hospital; No 82 Casualty Clearing Station; Queen Alexandra's Military Hospital at Millbank

King's Royal Rifle Corps Chronicle 1900-1920
More than 2,400 pages offering fascinating glimpses glimpses into a proud regiment and its evolution from the Boer war to the end of the First World War. These books provide, in many cases, the only record of men who served with the King's Royal Corps, certainly up until 1914. This is the most complete collection of King's Royal Rifle Corps Chronicles published online.
The King's Royal Rifle Corps Chronicle was first published by the regiment in 1901 and this release by Findmypast covers the years 1901 to 1920 with gaps, at present, for 1915 and 1919. The King's Royal Rifle Corps fielded four regular battalions and a regimental depot headquartered at Winchester and the chronicles record, in often minute detail, where these battalions were stationed and what they were doing in those stations. All serving officers are named, as well as colour sergeants and often other senior NCOs and some riflemen.

Rifle Brigade Chronicle 1890-1920
First published by the regiment in 1890 the Chronicle on FMP contains over 4,800 pages and covers a complete run from 1890 to 1920. These volumes will be of particular interest to anyone who has a general fascination for the late Victorian and Edwardian regular army and the evolution, and destruction, of a regiment during the First World War. These books provide, in many cases, the only record of men who served with the Rifle Brigade, certainly up until 1914.
The volumes are often profusely illustrated with the men appearing in these photos usually named. The volume for 1893, in particular, includes a number of plates of named officers, warrant officers and NCOs from the 1st, 2nd and 4th Battalions as well as articles on such diverse topics as notes from the Crimea, the Mashonaland frontier delimitation, marching in India, and sport in Western Tibet. Sport played a big part of regimental life and inter-company and inter-regimental sports are often detailed at great length.

British Armed Forces, Board Of Trade Rolls Of Honour 1914-1918
On the 19 December 1923, Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, a former President of the Board of Trade unveiled a Roll of Honour which was initiated by the staff after the war. The Roll was inscribed with the details of more than 2,600 employees who lost their lives during the Great War.
Each record is a transcript of the original. The amount of information listed varies, but the records will usually list a combination of birth year, birth place, death date, manner of death, place of enlistment, service number, regiment/corps, rank, decorations, civil rank, home department, family details, residence and more.

Friends of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa Archives AGM

All are welcome on Sunday, 18 November, 2 pm in the Great Hall of Christ Church Cathedral,  414 Sparks Street, Ottawa, for the Friends AGM and a presentation by Brian Eagle who is President of Ottawa's Northern Art Glass.
With over 38 years experience in the stained glass business Brian, and his team, specialize in the restoration and preservation of heritage glass. Some prestigious projects were for Notre Dame Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral, the Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Parliament Hill; Center Block, East Block and West Block, St. Alphonse Church, Chapeau, heritage buildings and homes and literally hundreds of churches in Eastern Ontario and West Quebec.

Kingston Branch OGS November Meeting

The Kingston Branch will meet on Saturday, 17 November at 9:30 a.m. at the Kingston Seniors Centre, 56 Francis Street in Kingston.  Nancy Cutway will present "In Remembrance: Vimy and Other European Memorials".  Visitors always welcome.  Further details at www.kingston.ogs.on.ca

15 November 2018

Postmedia newspapers digitized by Ancestry

Good news. The following Postmedia Canadian newspapers are now digitized and searchable from Ancestry subsidiary newspapers.com/.
Publisher Extra PapersBasic Years*Publisher Extra Years*
100 Mile House Free Press (100 Mile House, British Columbia, Canada)1968-2009
The Caledonia Courier (Fort St. James, British Columbia, Canada)1990-2008
Calgary Herald (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)1888-19221923-2018
The Citizen (Duncan, British Columbia, Canada)1985-1996
The Eagle Valley News (Sicamous, British Columbia, Canada)1979-2007
Edmonton Journal (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)1903-19221923-2018
The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)1857-19221923-2018
Harbour City Star (Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada)1996-2009
Houston Today (Houston, British Columbia, Canada)1969-2007
The Journal (Ashcroft, British Columbia, Canada)1983-1988
Lake District News (Burns Lake, British Columbia, Canada)1975-2010
The Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada)1907-19221923-2018
The Morning Star (Vernon, British Columbia, Canada)1988-2008
Nanaimo Daily News (Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada)1874-19221923-2009
North Thompson Star/Journal (Barriere, British Columbia, Canada)2000-2004
North Thompson Times (Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada)1999-2004
Omineca Express (Vanderhoof, British Columbia, Canada)1990-2008
The Ottawa Citizen (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)1898-19221923-2018
Prince George Free Press (Prince George, British Columbia, Canada)1995-2002
Quesnel Cariboo Observer (Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada)1985-2009
Richmond Review (Richmond, British Columbia, Canada)1932-2008
Salmon Arm Observer (Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada)1976-2007
Shuswap Market News (Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada)2004-2007
The Sun (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)2018
The Sunday News (New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada)1989-1990
Surrey Leader (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada)1929-2006
The Times (Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada)1973-1996
The Tribune (Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada)1983-2006
The Vancouver Sun (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)1898-19221923-2018
The Windsor Star (Windsor, Ontario, Canada)2018

Papers up to 1922 are accessible with a Basic newspapers.com subscription — regular annual subscription $79.95 US /year with half price for Fold3 or Ancestry.com subscribers.

The not so good news is that for later years an additional Publishers Extra subscription is required for $59.95 US /year or $11.95 US /month.

Other Canadian newspapers available with the Basic subscription are: The Brandon Sun (
1961–1977), The Chilliwack Progress (1891–2007), The (Regina) Leader (1883–1907), The Lethbridge Herald (1905–1964), Manitoba Free Press (1874–1931), Manitoba Morning Free Press (1893–1914), Ottawa Daily Citizen (1846–1897), The Ottawa Journal (1885–1980), Vancouver Daily World (1888–1924), (Calgary) Weekly Herald (1883–1901), The Winnipeg Tribune (1890–1949).

The Publishers Extra collection also includes the British newspapers The Guardian and The Observer from 1900 with prior years included in the Basic subscription.

How do you feel about your DNA being used by the police? - the results of a survey

On 11 October I posted How do you feel about the use of your DNA for non-genealogical purposes? publicizing a survey being conducted by Maurice Gleeson. That post was viewed 311 times.

The results of Maurice's survey were posted on his blog here on Wednesday. They are fairly consistent with those of a previous survey he references. 85% of people were "reasonably comfortable" with the use of their DNA results by law enforcement agencies (for catching serial rapists and killers).

In my October post I commented that the survey would have been even more valuable if it also had questions related to some of the possible downsides of DNA testing. For example:

1. Are you concerned about the possibility that you or a relative might suffer discrimination in obtaining insurance or a job based on DNA test results?
2. Does the possibility of discovering suppressed aspects of your family history, such as non-paternity, adoption or half-siblings, worry you?
3. Are you concerned that an authoritarian regime might use results of a DNA test as a basis for discrimination?

I note these same issues were also mentioned in comments posted with the survey results.

Quinte Branch OGS November Meeting

The 17 November, 2018 meeting of the Quinte Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will start off with the 2018 AGM including the election of officers and the appointment of volunteers to Branch Council Committees.  Followed by "Great Moments in the search for family history."  Bring your best stories.

The meeting is at the Quinte West Public Library, 7 Creswell Dr, Trenton, ON commencing at 1 pm.  Everyone welcome, bring a friend. Visit  www.quinte.ogs.on.ca and www.facebook.com/QuinteBranch.OGS

14 November 2018

Not too old for Take Your Kids to Work Day

Via a tweet from Robyn Bresnahan.

LAC moves to centralize & preserve digital documentary history

Library and Archives CanadaA press release announces developments on how Library and Archives Canada will promote greater accessibility of documentary heritage records. It refers specifically to collections that include Government of Canada records, censuses, personnel records of the Canadian Armed Forces, genealogy and family history, immigration records, published works, and theses from Canadian universities since 1965, as well as its extensive audio visual collection.
Two companies are involved. Ottawa-based TeraMach will support LAC in the design, installation and maintenance of the overall solution. Boston-based Preservica technology will be used to protect and future-proof LAC’s unique digital records ensuring they can be easily found and remain accessible for future generations.
For many years LAC has recognized the need for a trusted digital repository for it's unique records. It's been unclear how that was to be achieved. The press release states that LAC's previous in-house built solutions were nearing end of life.
Terms of the fifteen year agreement were not disclosed.
It appears the agreement just announced has been in place for over month. Let's hope service will improve over the slow response and outage experienced in recent days.

Easter Births in England and Wales

Once more unto the Office of National Statistics Excel spreadsheet (xls) with day by day number of births from 1995 to 2016 dear friends!
Following on the previous posts, here and here, this post and bar graph is for the average number of births for every day around Easter Sunday for every fourth year (leap years) in England and Wales
Easter Sunday shows no difference in the number of births compared to the previous and following Sundays. However, Good Friday and Easter Monday, both of which are official holidays, show fewer births than the corresponding days previous and following.

13 November 2018

FTDNA (US) Thanksgiving Sale

Family Tree DNA has discounts up to 40% in its current sale, applicable until 22 November.
Other discounts available are for upgrades (find those when you order from your account) and bundles.
The Big Y test is reduced $150 to $499.
All prices are in US dollars.

Day of Birth in England and Wales

For this post it's back to the Office of National Statistics Excel spreadsheet (xls) with day by day number of births from 1995 to 2016. I wrote about that on 27 September in Most and Least Likely Birthdates in England and Wales which showed a big drop in births around Christmas and Boxing Day.

Based on a sample of every fourth year from 1996 to 2016 the graph shows the fraction of births for each day of the week. Friday or Thursday have most births, it varies from year to year, Sunday then Saturday have least.
Although the number of births has increased over the years the distribution has remained much the same.
Just as obstetricians and midwives prefer not to work at Christmas so they like their weekends free. Induced labour and C-sections (approaching a third of births are now C-sections) mean medical professional and mothers often have some control in choosing the day of birth.
If you believe in the old rhyme there are more Thursday's children who have "far to go", and Friday's children who are "loving and giving" that Saturday's who "work hard for a living" or Sunday's who are "bonny and blithe, and good and gay." I don't believe it, witness the current US President who was born on a Friday.