Thursday, 28 February 2019

Findmypast Announces Project to Digitise & Publish 1921 Census of England & Wales

The following is an announcement obtained via Findmypast

The National Archives in association with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has awarded leading British & Irish family history website Findmypast the contract to digitise and publish the 1921 Census online

In the most anticipated family history development since the online publication of the 1939 Register, Findmypast has been selected as The National Archives’ commercial partner to make the 1921 Census of England & Wales available online.

The census, which was the first to be conducted following the introduction of the Census Act of 1920, will be published online by Findmypast in January 2022.

The project will see Findmypast capture digital images and transcribe the records in a way that will enable family historians across the globe to conduct meaningful searches of these important records when they are opened for the very first time.

Taken on 19th June 1921, the census consists of more than 28,000 bound volumes of original household returns containing detailed information on close to 38 million individuals.

It provides greater detail than any previous census as, in addition to the questions asked in 1911, the 1921 returns also asked householders to reveal their place of employment, the industry they worked in and the materials they worked with as well as their employer’s name. Those aged 15 and older were required to provide information about their marital status, including if divorced, while for those under 15 the census recorded whether both parents were alive or if either or both had died.

The 1921 Census also included detailed questions on education, and was the first in which individual householders could submit separate confidential returns.

Read more at https://www.findmypast.co.uk/1921-census

Comment:  This isn't too surprising given Findmypast was the commercial partner for the 1911 census and 1939 National Registration. Expect to pay. Both of those captured the consumer surplus in the data by initially charging more for access, except in the TNA building at Kew.

With this announcement, well before the January 2022 release, its highly likely release will be on the first day that law permits public access.

Is that a model Library and Archives Canada should follow? We had to wait nearly 9 months past the  date the 1926 census was officially passed to LAC until release — and without charge.

British Newspaper Archive additions for February

The British Newspaper Archive now has a total of  30,635,252 pages online (30,090,396 last month.) 32 papers (26 last month) had pages added in the past month. There were eight new titles: Middlesex County Times, Long Eaton Advertiser, Runcorn Guardian, Buckinghamshire Examiner, East Kent Gazette, Sunday Independent (Dublin), Central Somerset Gazette, Folkestone Express and, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser.

Major additions, with more than 10,000 pages, are:

TITLEDATE RANGE
Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser1868-1894, 1901, 1903-1913, 1915-1924
Central Somerset Gazette1862-1870, 1872-1887, 1889-1899, 1901-1911, 1913-1949, 1951-1981
Sunday Independent (Dublin)1986-1990, 1992-2006
East Kent Gazette1857-1887, 1889-1894, 1912-1930, 1946-1964
Buckinghamshire Examiner1889-1895, 1897-1910, 1912-1941, 1955-1970, 1972-1978, 1980
Newcastle Journal1995
Sunday Tribune1986-1988, 1990-1992
Runcorn Guardian1875-1890, 1908-1910, 1913-1919
Sunday World (Dublin)1998-2004, 2006
Long Eaton Advertiser1882-1883, 1887-1888, 1890, 1893-1896, 1899-1901, 1903, 1930-1942, 1955-1980
Middlesex County Times1866-1868, 1871, 1883-1907, 1911-1926, 1931-1936
Lennox Herald1986-1997
The People1881-1909, 1923-1933, 1950-1976, 1980
Sunday Life1998-1999
Penny Illustrated Paper1875-1880, 1882-1888, 1890-1899

Ottawa DNA SIG, and extra

The next meeting is on Saturday 2 March starting at 9:30 am

Bob Butler will talk about:

Genealogy Tools & Tests   -   A Comparison of Alternatives

The primary focus is a comparison of Autosomal tests available from different companies.

Ethnicity results are compared for a person of British and Irish descent.     Ethnicity results are also compared for identical twins of Sicilian and Ukrainian descent, using data from the CBC Marketplace program.    "DNA Ancestry Tests: Can you trust the results?"

DNA Matches are compared in terms of the effectiveness of identifying common ancestors.

The presentation also includes a brief review of basics for beginners.

There will be a round table discussion with remaining time.

The meeting is at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood on the ground floor.

The meeting would normally end around 11:30 am. That's the time when RootsTech will stream Examining Your DNA Matches with DNA Painter to be presented by Jonny Perl. He will demonstrate how DNA Painter can be used for a variety of activities including chromosome mapping and relationship prediction for unknown DNA matches. We will attempt to connect to the streaming presentation for those who want to stay.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

OGS announces Ontario Ancestors

The following is from a 27 February 2019 OGS news release.

The Ontario Genealogical Society announces that it is re-branding itself as Ontario Ancestors, with a new logo which will be rolled out throughout the Society and its publications and on-line presence in the coming months. The goal of the re-branding is to better connect with the family history user community throughout Canada, the United States and the world. The name Ontario Ancestors provides a more immediately recognizable name to the family history community. 

While continuing to serve the Ontario genealogical community, the Society is focused upon reaching new members in the United States, where by some conservative estimates, approximately 50 million to 75 million Americans have Canadian Ancestry. The name change will also assist to reduce confusion to which the widely used OGS acronym is susceptible when the Society is marketing itself, with the Ohio Genealogical Society, the Oklahoma Genealogical Society and the Oregon Genealogical Society, and others, all using the same acronym.

The new name and logo will appear on the Society’s websites, correspondence, social media and other communications. The legal name of the society remains The Ontario Genealogical Society.

Comment


What's in a name? This change would seem to be modelled on the New England Historic Genealogical Society which brands its website as AmericanAncestors. Will that by itself be enough to attract US members?

Did you notice Ontario in the new logo?

Ancestry Offers New and Improved DNA Matches

I've not had a chance to try it so this is information directly from Ancestry.

Overview
● New & Improved DNA Matches: Now you can easily sort, group, and view your DNA matches
any way you’d like. We’re redesigning the DNA Match experience to help you make more
discoveries, faster. Now use color coding, custom labeling, and other innovative new tools to see
your AncestryDNA connections in the clearest light possible.

About the Product
● More control: With new tools and customizable groups, New & Improved DNA Matches gives
you control over how you group and view the matches that are the most meaningful to you.
● Streamlines matches: New & Improved DNA Matches allows you to quickly identify your newest
matches or your maternal/paternal matches more easily.
● New Look: A much needed redesign brings an updated look and new features to the DNA Match
experience.
● Updated Match List: This offers customers new ways to filter their matches, such as by close,
distant, not viewed, tree status, notes and messaged. If a customer has a parent(s) tested, they
can also now see a maternal and/or paternal label next to the matches that are descended from
that side of the family.
● Custom Groups: A much longed for feature request - there is also the ability to create custom
groups that can be labeled, assigned a color and applied to any matches in a customer’s Match
List.
● Easily View Additional Tests: Customers can also easily see and switch between the Match Lists
for AncestryDNA tests they administer, collaborate or have viewer rights for.

Release Information
● The New & Improved DNA Matches experience will be in public beta on 2/27 and anyone with an AncestryDNA test may opt-in at www.ancestry.com/BETA. Customers will continue to find
this feature from the DNA Matches card on the logged-in-home-page and from the AncestryDNA
menu item in the site navigation. We are still adding functionality and the features may change
day-to-day as we work to provide the best version of this tool. Please come back frequently to
use the tool and leave feedback for us.

Ancestry MyTreeTags™

With MyTreeTags™ you can add labels to people in your tree to highlight personal details or clarify your research status.

You can use tag within pre-determined categories, DNA, Research, Reference and Relationship, or create your own. Relationships Tags, for example, include Adopted Into This Family, Adopted Out of This Family, Died Young, Direct Ancestor, Multiple Spouses, Never Married, No Children, Orphan. If you feel conflicted about adding someone you have doubts about you can tag them as unverified.

You tag from the Tree View page or Ancestor Page view by left clicking on the hammer and spanner (wrench) icon as shown.

You can then search to bring up a list of those with that tag.

Ancestry informs"MyTreeTags will be in public beta on 2/27 and anyone with an account (no subscription necessary) may opt-in at www.ancestry.com/BETA.

I'd like to see automatic tagging of people who meet specified criteria.

Ancestry ThruLines™

Of the new items Ancestry is offering that I've tested this is the most interesting.

Using the public or private searchable tree linked to your AncestryDNA results ThruLines™ searches for people who appear in both your tree or other Ancestry member trees that are marked as public or private searchable. ThruLines™ uses this information to illustrate how you and your DNA matches might be related through common ancestors.

ThruLines™ may also suggest potential ancestors. They will appear with a dashed outline around their names. These are people who are not in your family tree, but appear in the trees of other Ancestry members who may share a common ancestor with you.

Here's an example from my results.



Not shown, I found and was able to contact a fourth cousin. That is strong evidence for the concordance between our genetic and documentary trees along the lines to our common ancestral couple. It's strong evidence, not complete confirmation as there's still the possibility of an error along the lines — if, for example the brother of the supposed father was the child's biological parent.

Many relationships suggested did not involve a DNA match, just a match between two trees. These included trees for part of my ancestry I choose not to link to my DNA results. A enhancement would be to filter out matches not involving a DNA test.

The following is release information from Ancestry.

● ThruLines™ will be in open beta on 2/27 and any member who meets the following criteria will
receive ThruLines™ insights free for a limited time.
1) Your AncestryDNA results are linked to a public or private searchable family tree.
2) You have DNA matches who have also linked their results to a public or private indexed family tree.
3) Your linked family tree is well built out. It should be 3-4 generations deep to have the
best chance of ThruLinesTM finding new discoveries for you to explore.
Qualifying customers can access this feature from the AncestryDNA logged-in home page. This
feature will also be highlighted on our landing page at www.ancestry.com/product/new-release.
Ancestry often puts new features in Beta as we test and refine ideas and gather feedback from
our customers. Features will come out of Beta when we have enough feedback to validate their
value to our customers, including whether the feature will require a subscription.



Ancestry adds UK, WWII Alien Internees

It's British, but it isn't!  For the record, Ancestry has a new database, index cards for 137,363 WWII Alien Internees, 1939-1945.

Sourced from HO 396 at The National Archives, Kew, London, England. It includes German, Austrian and Italian nationals, including Jews, and gives name, gender, date of birth, date of internment, date of death if applicable and, date of discharge. There are also stateless persons.

You will also find cards for some previously British who had married a German or other enemy national and who were exempted from internment.

Ancestry Announcements from RootsTech pending

Ancestry has some new features to be announced at RootsTech. I've had a preview but there's an embargo on blogging about them until 11 am EST today, 27 February.  Shortly after that time I'll post on them so check back then.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

FamilySearch now has Canada, Prairie Provinces 1926 Census Indexed with Linked Images

Without fanfare (yet?) FamilySearch has posted census returns for the three Prairie Provinces: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta for 1926; all fully indexed and linked to images of the original.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/3005862

There are 2,016,404 entries, 562,234 for Manitoba, 686,192 for Saskatchewan, and 519,163 for Alberta. Also 28,710 for Ontario! I'm unsure about the rest, none in BC, although did find some where there was no residence province in the index.
A very quick test of the search found it worked well with ability to limit hits by criteria like birthplace, residence, etc.

UPDATE

LAC has now posted the census and mention it includes 2,067,393 individuals distributed across three provinces as follows:

Manitoba (639,056)
Saskatchewan, (820,738)
Alberta (607,599).

Search from http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1926/Pages/default.aspx






More FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries ... Please

During my infrequent visits to The (UK) National Archives (TNA) a valued ressource has been collocation of the London FamilySearch Centre (including volunteers who helped patrons with the many microfilms and computers in the Centre). It was never intended to be permanent and the end of the arrangement is scheduled for 23 March.

The good news is that TNA has agreed to become a FamilySearch Affiliate Library, meaning
that access to all digitised records on FamilySearch will continue on PCs located in the
reading rooms.

As Dick Eastman writes in a blog post "Advances in technology and rising expenses of doing things “the old way” apparently have caught up with FamilySearch, just like it has everywhere else."

It's surprising that given the cooperation between Library and Archives Canada and FamilySearch, including indexing of the 1926 Census of the Prairie Provinces and recently announced project on scanning Ontario's Vernon Directories, LAC is not an Affiliate Library.

Locally in Ottawa there are other sites that would be good Affiliate Library hosts like the City Archives and branches of the Ottawa Public Library. That goes double for smaller communities which have no LDS Family History Centre but do have a public library.

New and Updated British Records coming to Ancestry in March

In early March an additional 524,248 records will be added to Bexley Electoral Registers (1734 - 1965). The collection already includes 3,219,535 records.

In mid-March Norfolk Bishops Transcripts (1597 - 1935) will add 307,766 records to the 2,614,408 already available.

In late-March look for 86,000 records to be added to Absent Voter List (1918 - 1925 & 1939) adding to the 156,687 already available.

Also in late-March a new Staffordshire BMD's (Index) will be added with about two and a quarter million records.

There are also records being added for Ireland which are covered in Claire Santry's Irish Genealogy News.

RootsTech Live Feeds

This genealogical mega-event starts on Wednesday. For those of us not jumping on a plane here's a link to a previous post on the live streamed sessions with information on start times for the Eastern time zone: https://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.com/2019/01/rootstech-live-streaming-schedule.html/.

See the list from the RootsTech site in case of last minute changes. I see several I want to view, including that by Crista Cowan on Thursday, and hope they're available to view later as in previous years as I have some conflicting commitments.

In related news check out RootsTech 2019 FamilySearch Updates.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Recognition for OGS Conference Keynote Speaker

Very few get a library named in their honour and even fewer while they're still alive and active. That recognition was granted to David Allen Lambert on Saturday when the The Friends of Irish Research and the Alliance of Massachusetts Genealogists officially opened an enhanced research library located at 899 North Main St., Brockton, Massachusetts.

David Allen Lambert, who has served for many years with the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, will be keynote speaker at the Ontario Genealogical Society conference 2019.

On Friday 21 June, the longest day of 2019 in the northern hemisphere, come to the London Convention Centre when Lambert will open conference with Charity Begins in Our Ancestral Homes

He will close the conference on Sunday with What Time is it on Your Genealogical Clock?

Follow the links to find out about the David Allen Lambert Library and OGS Conference 2019.



Sunday, 24 February 2019

Want to know what it's like now where your UK ancestor lived?

For the data nerd find information often down to the level of UK communities of a few thousand,

Neighbourhood Statistics
From the Office of National Statistics, this website provides information about people, health, work, education, housing, crime and the environment in the UK. A neighbourhood summary can be produced through using a postcode search.
Crime
The police crime mapping facility can be used to find out more about crime in a neighbourhood through using the postcode search facility for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Crime maps, advice and information about neighbourhood policing are all available through this site.
Health
A health profiles produced annually by the Association of Public Health Observatories. The profile provides information about health inequalities, deprivation, obesity, smoking and other health related topics.
Labour Market
Official labour market statistics such as unemployment rates, claimant count, jobs vacancies and other claimant information for England and Wales from the Department for Work and Pensions.
Education
Secondary school league tables showing GCSE attainment between 2005 and 2010 are available by ward and district through the Department of Education. For England see https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-and-college-performance-tables-in-england-2017-to-2018.

Government Data
Provides local and national data across many subjects through a postcode search.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Who does, and doesn’t, want a DNA ancestry test
A survey of nearly 110,000 US residents find those who feel most certain of their heritage are more likely to decline a free test because they believe the results would confirm what they already know – even if their perception of their ancestry might not be accurate.

DNA in health and disease
New on the ISOGG Wiki is an article by Lasse Folkersenon on DNA's implications for our health and life. What can you expect to find out – and what advice would be good to know?

Milestones: journeying into adulthood
Trends in modern markers of adulthood – from working life to living arrangements in the UK.

The anglocentric view we have of British history is unsustainable
From BBC History Magazine, Misha Glenny explores Britain's complex formation and the roots of its current identity crisis.

Resourcewatch
Monitoring the Planet’s Pulse

Should Libraries Be the Keepers of Their Cities’ Public Data?
The Toronto Public Library is in a unique position because it may soon sit inside one of North America’s “smartest” cities. Last month, the city’s board of trade published a 17-page report titled “BiblioTech,” calling for the library to oversee data governance for all smart city projects.

Purely evidence-based policy doesn’t exist
"Prudent and smart decisions don’t require full knowledge. They require that you assess the uncertainty and figure out its potential consequences. The uncertainty doesn’t mean that you simply cross your arms, close your eyes, and do nothing while you wait for complete certainty."

WeatherCAN provides important weather data & information directly from Canada's Weather Service
The first version of the app offers the following features:

·         Current conditions, hourly-and-7-day forecasts for over 10,000 locations in Canada.
·         Push notifications for all official weather alerts for your location and saved locations.
·         Weather information for your location (following you as you travel) as well as for saved locations anywhere in Canada.
·         High-resolution radar animation on a zoomable map background.
·         A message centre providing weather facts and climate information relevant to the current weather.
·         Today and short-range forecast widgets for quick, at-a-glance weather information.
·         Accessible in English and French, and an in-app ability to switch between languages.

Download WeatherCAN from the App Store and Google Play.

OTTAWA PUBLIC LIBRARY FUNDING FROM THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT IS $20 LESS PER HOUSEHOLD THAN THE AVERAGE OF ONTARIO'S 9 LARGEST COMMUNITIES.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Was your relative at D-Day?

In partnership with LAC the Canadian Research and Mapping Association (CRMA) is digitizing over 200 maps of the First Canadian Army for Project’44.

Project’44 is an online commemoration project set to launch this summer for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. The website will combine basemaps, unit positions, and war diaries into an online experience focused on the First Canadian Army in Normandy.

In conversation with Julien Brown, CRMA - Treasurer / Research and Development, I learned that they aim to bring together resources from a variety of sources with innovative mapping technology linked to text. If you know the unit someone of interest served with you will be able to follow their experience day by day. It may be possible in the longer term to incorporate a social component with individual's pictures and other documentation. Interest has already been expressed from The Netherlands.

CMRA is aiming to raise $500K to complete Project'44 and make a start on Victory'45 to mark the 75th anniversary of the last year of the SWW.  However the process of registering as a charitable organization to allowing issuing charitable donation receipts is not yet complete.

If successful there is the possibility of extending the project to cover the advance in Italy and the Korean War.

To keep up to date on progress enter your email address in the box at the bottom of the page at https://www.project44.ca/project-44

Yorkshire in the Spotlight for Findmypast

New transcripts with linked image of the original register entry are:

Yorkshire Baptisms
Over 135,000 new additions covering 81 new parishes have been added to the collection which totals 5.5 million. Each record gives a combination of baptism date, baptism place, denomination and parent's names.

Yorkshire Banns
Over 35,000 new records covering 57 additional parishes. That makes the total more than 625,000 banns records. It gives banns date, marriage year, residence, spouse's name and spouse's residence.

Yorkshire Marriages
Over 53,000 additional records covering 68 new parishes. Find a combination of the marriage date, marriage location, birth year, residence, occupation, marital status, father's name and witness's names for both the bride and groom. Over 3 million entries in total.

Yorkshire Burials
More than 124,000 additional records covering 86 new parishes have been added to the collection. Each record gives some combination of birth year, age at death, burial date and location. There are now a total of nearly 5.3 million entries.

Also

Scotland, Antenuptial Relationship Index 1661-1780
Do you have ancestors that were members of the Church of Scotland? Search over 31,000 antenuptial records from Kirk Sessions registers to find out if there were any family members who were summoned to the ministers and elders of the church to deny or confess their sin as a child had been conceived out of wedlock

In these cases of 'antenuptial fornication', it was the mother of the child who would be summoned first, they would be sternly rebuked and persuaded to name the father of the child if he was not an obvious boyfriend. The father was then told of the accusation, summoned and would either appear or write, to deny or confess his sin. The session would summon the mother and father of the child back to subsequent meetings until the matter was resolved and the mother, or sometimes the couple, made some sort of reparation, often with the mother standing at the church door for 3 Sabbaths. When they had fully repented, and been pardoned, each was welcomed back into the church.

1939 Register update
Although Ancestry also has a version of the Register Findmypast is the best source as it's updated much more frequently to account for deaths reported and those reaching 100 years of age.
"Over 287,000 additional 'open' records have been added to the 1939 Register. Since the Register was launched, Findmypast has matched more than four million 'closed records' to multiple data sources to correctly confirm the date and location of death for individuals recorded.
The 1939 Register now contains more than 34.2 million searchable records. Each record includes the names of inhabitants at each address, their date of birth, marital status and occupation. A wealth of contextual information, including period photographs never before seen online, infographics, region-specific newspaper articles and historical and contemporary maps, are personally tailored to each record, offering a rich and unique user experience unrivalled by any other family history research tool to date."

Doors Open Ottawa seeks volunteers


Friday, 22 February 2019

New Ontario Digital Collections

The latest issue of the OurDigitalWorld quarterly newsletter includes a list of new digital collections from VITA members

  • Weston Historical Society has digitized and uploaded 35,000 newspaper pages from fragile paper & microfilm
  • Waterloo Public Library has added 125,000 pages of the Waterloo Chronicle and related titles from microfilm and paper, plus their index records, dating back to 1868
  • Newmarket Public Library digitized the 1967 History of the Town of Newmarket, a 370-page text by Ethel Willson Trewhella
  • Timmins Public Library complemented their existing online index of the Porcupine Advance newspaper with 25,000 digitized microfilm pages
  • Oakville Public Library replaced 15,000 pages of already-digitized issues of the Oakville Beaver and Oakville North News, improving image quality over old microfiche with better-preserved paper copies
  • The Federated Women's Institutes of Ontario digitized some 90,000 Tweedsmuir histories and Women's Institute documents over the course of 2018, and continue to gather and scan more materials from all over the province
VITA is an initiative of Ontario registered not-for-profit OurDigitalWorld's, a"web-based end-to-end solution for libraries, museums, archives, heritage and historical and other groups looking to build, manage and display digital collections of images, newspapers, oral histories, 3D objects, and more."

Ireland fared well from the Great War

The essay 'Home front and everyday life' from 'Our War: Ireland and the Great War' is being made available without charge in remembrance of the author Professor David Fitzpatrick.

... if the world had remained at peace between 1914 and 1918, the Irish would surely have been poorer, less employable, and more troubled by class and sectarian conflict. To that extent, Ireland fared well from the Great War.

How does it feel to see your ancestors from more than 400 years ago?

That's the question Henry Louis Gates asked comedian Seth Meyers when shown a family tree with his 8th great-grandfather Andrew Whetham, born c1610 in Burstock, Dorset, England in the most recent episode of the PBS series Finding Your Roots. His reply:

 "this whole things gives you an appreciation for people who in the present understand that the future will want to know about the past." 
Whatever that means 😉, he continued by commenting on fixation on the present and "not thinking about what the future's gonna need, and the fact that somebody with this incredibly basic technology created a record that still lives is insane ... it's a miracle."  He was "blown away" by it.

While the episode was entertaining was he told that because of the random nature of DNA inheritance there's a 60% chance he inherited no DNA from that 8th great grandparent?  The graph is from https://gcbias.org/2013/11/11/how-does-your-number-of-genetic-ancestors-grow-back-over-time/.
Also there's perhaps a 10% chance of a false paternity in the chain that links him that far back. Taken together there a 1 in 3 chance Andrew Whetham is Meyers' genetic ancestor.


Thursday, 21 February 2019

FamilySearch Updates Cheshire Parish Registers, 1538-2000

England, Cheshire Parish Registers, 1538-2000 has 4,109,013 entries as of 20 February. It's fully name searchable with links to images of the original open to all. Sourced from the Church of England. Record Office, Chester.

Poor Law Correspondence: In Their Own Write

A three-year, £820,000, UK Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project, running from 2018 to 2021, which uses letters from paupers and other poor people, and associated manuscript material such as petitions, sworn statements and advocate letters (those written on behalf of paupers) to investigate the lives of the poor between 1834 and 1900.

It is run jointly by Paul Carter from The National Archives (TNA) at Kew and Steven King from the Department of History at the University of Leicester.

The majority of work focuses on the many thousands of volumes of poor law correspondence (MH12) held by TNA, much of which has been little used by historians.

Read more about the project at https://www2.le.ac.uk/projects/own-write and on Paul Carter's website at https://intheirownwriteblog.com/

Lives of the First World War

The Lives of the First World War website will be closed from 12.01 am on Tuesday 19 March 2019.

"We will not be able to accept any further contributions of material after this time. We encourage you to read our FAQs for further details. All Lives of the First World War URLs will be redirected temporarily to a holding page, until we launch the permanent digital memorial on iwm.org.uk in June 2019.

Stay in touch and keep informed on our Twitter and Facebook channels.

Last chance: Support Forum

To allow the Lives of the First World War team time to process your requests before the site closes, we will be closing the Support Forum on the following dates:

Requests for merges will be accepted until 5.00pm on Monday 11 March 2019
Requests for creating new stories will be accepted until 5.00pm on Friday 15 March 2019
Questions or comments in the Feedback and Discussion forum will be monitored until 5.00pm on Friday 15 March 2019
Make your contribution today

Here are five ways of adding to Lives of the First World War over the next month:

Remember a Life Story
Add facts about an individual’s life, such as family, civilian and military experiences
Scan and upload images of photographs, documents and artefacts
Share anecdotes that have been passed down through the family
Update Communities that you have started *
*Please note that Communities that have fewer than 2 stories in them after 18 March 2019, will be deleted."

OGS Ottawa Branch February Meeting

Here is the schedule for Saturday 23 February at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive (Room 115)

10:30 – 12:00: Back to Basics - Getting Started
Mike More will lead a session for those still struggling after that DNA test for Christmas or just confused about where to begin.

13:00 – 15:00: Beechwood: The Creation of Canada's National Cemetery, 1873-1930
Presented by Glenn Wright.
Beechwood is the final resting place for over 75,000 Canadians from all walks of life. Established in 1873 on a 160-acre tract of land on the outskirts of Ottawa, part of the original McPhail farm (100 acres) and the MacKay/Keefer estates, the original shareholders of The Beechwood Cemetery Company of Ottawa were prominent residents, led by Joseph M. Currier.

This presentation will focus on the early history of Beechwood which transformed the property into what the Ottawa Daily Citizen described as “God’s acre”, a cemetery of unsurpassed beauty, a park like setting with winding roadways, extensive woods and gardens. Beechwood evolved through the years to meet the needs of Ottawa’s citizens, it met the demands of the First World War and added the impressive Mausoleum in 1930.

Cemeteries and their records have long been regarded as significant resources for family history and genealogy.  Beechwood is no exception. Walking through the grounds, searching through the Interment Registers or consulting the monumental inscriptions prepared by Ottawa Branch can be rewarding in many ways. Understanding its creation and early development will, hopefully, enhance our appreciation of Beechwood as a significant place of memory, heritage and history.

Glenn Wright has diverse interests, including family history, the First World War, women in the military and Beechwood Cemetery. He has been associated with several of the historical walking tours of the cemetery, his first was in 1998. He is active in a number of heritage initiatives in Ottawa, including Ottawa Branch OGS, the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa and the Historical Society of Ottawa.

Preceded by networking and refreshments 

15:00: Computer Special Interest Group

http://ogsottawa.on.ca/

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Heritage Ottawa 2019 Phillips Memorial Lecture

Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 19:00 to 21:00

O.J. and Isobel Firestone were passionate collectors of Canadian art.  In the early 1950s, they embarked upon a collection that would grow to more than 1,600 works by noted Canadian artists, spanning the modern era from 1890 to 1985.

To complement their growing art collection, in 1960 Dr. Firestone worked with architects Sam Gitterman and George Bemi to design a landmark modernist home for his family in Ottawa’s Rockcliffe Park.  Both the home and collection were generously donated by the Firestones to the Ontario Heritage Trust, (then the Ontario Heritge Foundation) which in 1992 transferred ownership to the City of Ottawa.

Today, the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art is permanently housed at the new Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG).  While the family home no longer stands, its original modernist staircase is installed in the OAG where it leads, poetically, to the Firestone Gallery.

Join us for an evening with Brenda Firestone as she shares stories about the history of her family’s home and significant collection of Canadian artworks.

The talk is at Ottawa Art Gallery, Alma Duncan Salon, 50 Mackenzie King Bridge, will conclude with an opportunity to visit the Firestone Gallery and converse with Ms. Firestone.

The Jackson café will be open for drinks and light refreshments.

SPEAKER:
Brenda Firestone is a lifelong supporter and advocate of the arts.  She is currently the family spokesperson for the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art.

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

The annual Phillips Memorial Lecture honours the memory of Bob and Mary Anne Phillips, co-founders of Heritage Ottawa which began in 1967 as the Heritage Committee of "A Capital for Canadians".

Claude William Hull, CWGC Beechwood

Information from the Ottawa Journal.

Lieut. Claude William Hull died 20 February 1919, age 38, at St. Luke's Hospital as a result of strain received while on active service. 
Lieut. Hull was a veteran of the Boer war, where he fought for a year and a half with a Shropshire regiment in which he had enlisted from his home in Hereford, England. 
After spending seven years on the east coast of Africa, he came to Canada, where he was employed in the Natural Resources Branch of the Department of the Interior at Ottawa.
When war was declared In 1914 he enlisted with the Canadian Field Artillery under Colonel (now General) Morrison, going over with the first contingent as a Private. 
He was awarded his commission for very dangerous observations he volunteered to do at Posleres. Of 17 men who went with him to establish a post, only four returned alive. 
At Ypres—the second battle—he was heavily gassed with the Canadians who held the line.
Lieut. Hull had no immediate relatives. He was to have been married about a month ago, but owing to his illness it could not take place. 

He was interred in Section 29, Lot 15 at Beechwood Cemetery.

His parent were Henry James Hull and Prudence Clarke. and siblings Emily Prudence, Lillian Gertrude, Alfred Henry, Percy Clarke (organist at Hereford Cathedral), Amy Gladys and Mabel Francis.

Probate was granted in England to his widowed mother.

HSO February Meeting

The presentation at the Historical Society of Ottawa meeting on Friday 22 February has Jonathan Morris, speaking on Ottawa's Britannia.

Abstract: Britannia is a unique community in Ottawa, having evolved from rural to cottage country, to recreation centre, to outer suburbia and now inner suburbia. We will be overviewing the history of those changes, touching on the many stories that give this community a sense of place. Only faded echoes remain of much of once was, but these stories remain to connect us to what once was, and explain some of what now is.

Biography: Jonathan has lived in the Ottawa area most of his life, the last 20+ of it in Britannia Village. While employed in the local tech industry, he has also been active in various community initiatives for many years, and currently acts as president of the Britannia Village Community Association. Last year, he helped re-published a history of the area, Ottawa's Britannia, that had been out of print for many years. To call him an amateur historian would be a gross exaggeration, but he enjoys the connection to place that local history can provide.


Jonathan will be supported by Mike Kaulbars who authors a history blog about Britannia at https://britanniaottawa.wordpress.com/.

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

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Photos from Heritage Day: 19 February 2019

Ottawa City Hall hosted the Annual Heritage Day event sponsored by CHOO-COPO. It's a great networking opportunity. Here are some of the organizations to which I belong which had displays.

BIFHSGO and OGS Ottawa Branch were at adjacent tables.

Glenn Clark, President of the of the Gloucester Historical Society was busy full time talking about local history and issues.









The Ottawa Public Library has an active group of genealogy specialist librarians ready to help people get started and use the library resources.




Perth & District Historical Society February Meeting

The PDHS 21 February meeting will be taking a grave approach - with an oral ‘visit’ to the Elmwood Cemetery.

The Elmwood Cemetery – A Resting Place

"Cemeteries and graveyards: “Space created by people for the act of honouring and memorializing  their forebears and recording the basic facts of the deceased”.  For many, a cemetery has an eerie 
air about it, which for some is enough to intimidate and they refuse to enter.  Others, however, are fascinated and intrigued by them and the stories of the inhabitants, finding them to 
be a rich source of research.  Our guest for this month’s meeting is the latter.

Eric Halpin, President and Chairman of The Perth Cemetery Company will take us through the gates of Elmwood Cemetery – presently, the only active cemetery in the town, dating to 1872.  Originally intended to be a Protestant burial ground, it is now available to everyone.  Eric’s talk will cover some of the residents, from notables to paupers of the Poor House to the “Dead House.”  In addition, he will explain the Cemetery’s attitude towards the clients, the atmosphere found within the grounds, and the interesting structures and unique markers.  As he explains, the history of a town is reflected in its cemetery.  Information about the cemetery and related topics will be available."

Further information at perthhs.org.

The meeting at the Royal Canadian Legion, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, (Toonie Donation), strats at 7:30 pm.

LAC Co-Lab Update

Here's an update on Co-Lab projects since last month.



PROGRESS
Legendary train robber and prison escapee Bill Miner is 50% complete (21% last month).

The Call to Duty: Canada's Nursing Sisters is 71% complete (66% last month).

NO CHANGE

Japanese-Canadians: Second World War is 64% complete.

War Diaries of the First World War: 1st Canadian Division is 41% complete.

Rosemary Gilliat (Eaton)’s Arctic diary and photographs is 33% complete.

GOING BACKWARDS!

New France and First Nations relations is 22% complete (28% last month)

COMPLETED

The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918–1919.
Correspondence between Sir Robert Borden and Sir Sam Hughes.
Letters from Wilfrid Laurier to Zoé Lafontaine/Laurier.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Digitization of Ontario Vernon Directories

The following is an extract from a news release from the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC)

Initiative Begins to Digitally Preserve Ontario’s Historical Vernon Directories 

OTTAWA, ONTARIO (18 February 2019)—The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) and The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) are working with FamilySearch International to digitize the historical Vernon directories for the Canadian province of Ontario. The initiative will begin immediately to preserve and make the directories freely searchable online for family historians, researchers, and Canadians.

Vernon directories were published yearly, by city, from the 1890's to 2014, missing only 2010, when the company’s ownership changed. They cover most of Ontario, including the province’s capital city of Toronto. The name “Vernon directories” is derived from the name of the publisher. The initiative will span the next 2 years and encompass an estimated 1,300 directories in total.

OGS approached Vernon to request rights to digitize the historical publications. The publisher granted permission with the condition that OGS not monetize or profit from the digitized works. The nonprofit organization FamilySearch quickly emerged as a great partner, namely due to its optical character recognition scanning technology that will make the digitized images every-word searchable. As well, OGS approached LAC for the project, since the organization holds one of the biggest collections of Vernon directories in Ontario. In addition to providing access to its collection, LAC will be hosting the digitization project.

According to Steve Fulton, UE, president of the Ontario Genealogical Society, the directories are a rich resource for researchers, because “they list the names of local residents, their spouses, addresses, and sometimes even an individual’s title or position held at work.” Fulton explained that the directories were personally helpful to him in trying to determine when his grandfather passed away. “Through the directories, I determined he died between 1956 and 1957. I was then able to turn to newspaper obituaries for the area at that time to find him.”

This project will allow OGS and LAC to offer a very complete collection of directories for Ontario and beyond. The intent is also to reach out to local libraries for any missing directories that might be found in their collections.

===================
Comment: A very welcome initiative. Directories are a go to resource and this initiative will make the LAC collection widely available while preserving the originals already suffering considerable wear and tear.

Note that directories for Ottawa and vicinity were mainly published by Might's.

Library and Archives Canada DigiLab Update

According to a tweet from LAC since 2017 researchers and the public have digitized 84,000 pages of textual records and photographs in LAC's DigiLab.

This week a partnership with the Canadian Research and Mapping Association will add 200 maps and 1,000 war diary pages from the Second World War.

More about DigiLab.

Presidents Day

In celebration of the day learn more about US Presidents. Google can help.

What were they like? Try a search using Google Incognito (to avoid the biases in your cookies). Check out "strong president" -- several are mentioned on the first page, and "weak president" -- only one, and it's not George Washington.

The British-Irish Dialect Quiz

From the New York Times, how much does your British or Irish accent tell about your origins?
I was raised in the very east of England as indicated by the mapped results of my responses to the 25 item quiz. The wider distribution in south-east England is likely a result of my parents upbringing.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/02/15/upshot/british-irish-dialect-quiz.html

FreeBMD February Update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Saturday 16 February 2019 to contain 268,878,795 unique records, 268,517,257 at previous update.
Years with major additions, greater than 5,000 records, are: for births 1964, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984-86; for marriages 1965, 1980, 1984-85; for deaths 1983-86.

www.freebmd.org.uk/

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Ancestry Angst

John Sayers pointed out to me on Friday morning at LAC that searches on Ancestry's database Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1826-1937 were yielding no hits. It's an important database for those like John researching British Home Children as so many of them settled in Ontario.

Searching at home gave the same result so I let an Ancestry contact know and received a reply early Friday evening that it that had been "escalated to our teams to fix." The problem persisted through Saturday Sunday Monday morning. Given the US President's Day holiday on Monday it may not get fixed before Tuesday at the earliest!

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

London Poor Law, Selected Removal and Settlement Records, 1698-1930 
Following a post earlier in the week Gloria Tubman emailed to inform that the update is that some of the records are now indexed. Before one had to read each record via browse. There's also been a reorganization.

OGS News
The Ontario Genealogical Society has a new Executive Director. The appointment of Megan Houston, previously Education and Outreach Manager at the Sharon Temple National Historic Site and Museum in Sharon (East Gwillimbury)m, was announced by OGS President Steve Fulton. A graduate of York University with a major in History and a B.Ed., Megan is working towards receiving her Masters in History.

OGS now hosts the Manitoulin Roots database, with over seventy thousand people, created in 2007 by Marilyn Irish and Roberta Clark. Manitoulin Roots was originally hosted on Rootsweb.

Those two items come from the latest OGS eWeekly Update. It's free to all. Subscribe at https://ogs.on.ca/

How to Clean Your Filthy, Disgusting Laptop

What Is Web Scraping? How to Collect Data From Websites
An overview of a broad topic.

Why governments are so bad at implementing public projects
"On time and on budget"?

Why do three buses always come along at once?

Buy (or Rent) Coal! The Coasean Climate Change Policy
... buy the right to delay mining the coal for say 10 years. Given the rate of improvement in solar (and other technologies), many coal plants will be uneconomic in 10 years.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Changes at the GRO

First the good news:

"GRO has been piloting a service providing PDF copies of historical birth and death records. From the 16th February 2019 PDF’s have become a permanent service."

Applications for PDF’s cost £7, must be made online and include a GRO index reference. England and Wales records which are available to order in PDF format include:

These are available for births from 1837 to 1918 and deaths from 1837 to 1957

Now the bad:

From 16th February 2019 GRO have increased the price of certificates and made changes to delivery options. Extra charges will apply if you do not order certificates online or include a GRO index reference (where available).


LAC Digitizes a Further Indigenous Newspaper

Now online, digitized copies of the Indigenous newspaper the Turtle Island News, from Ontario (2001–2013 editions). LAC obtained funding for the work from the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) through the support of the Salamander Foundation and the newspaper publishers.

This is the third Indigenous newspaper that has been digitized and made available, following the Windspeaker and Ha-Shilth-Sa last June.

The digitized editions are online as pdfs and searchable as individual issues. LAC is working on creating a database which will hopefully make the collection available as a corpus. Until then access is via direct links.

Ha-Shilth-Sa newspaper digitized issues.
Windspeaker newspaper digitized issues.
Turtle Island News newspaper digitized issues.

Let's hope LAC management judges the project successful and is encouraged to take on further newspaper digitization.

Gene-O-Rama 2019

Online registration is now open for OGS Ottawa Branch, Gene-O-Rama 2019. It will be held 5-6 April at Confederation Education Centre, 1645 Woodroffe Avenue, Ottawa (corner of Hunt Club and Woodroffe)

This year the featured speaker is Glenn Wright who will give the Friday evening Pat Horan Memorial Lecture "Sex, Lies and Archives: True Stories of Love and Deception".

As is traditional that will be preceded, at 7:45 pm, by a Library and Archives Canada Update—New and Noteworthy, to be given this year by Lisa Tremblay-Goodyer & Megan Butcher.

Speakers on Saturday are Megan Butcher, Leanna Cooper, Ron Dale, Sadie De Finney, Ken McKinlay, Mary Munk, Shirley-Ann Pyefinch, Lisa Tremblay-Goodyer, and Glenn Wright.

Find full details and a link to register online at https://ottawa.ogs.on.ca/geneorama/.


Friday, 15 February 2019

Findmypast adds Records North and South of the Border

Scotland and the USA have new records in the Findmypast collection this week.

Scotland, Edinburgh Field Officers From Almanacs 1758-1800
Transcripts of 24,772 new Almanac entries reveal rank, regiment, date of service and where stationed.

Scotland, Irregular & Cross-Border Marriage Index
13,267 records from 1624 to 1898 cover places such as Gretna Green, Coldstream, and Lamberton Toll where couples eloped to be married, or had an irregular marriage.
These could be irregular in more than one way. Searching my name I found a couple of examples of unexpected additional information: " Married at Donaghadee, Ireland. Stranraer Parish Registers entry 13 May 1776", and "Sir Reid. Member of the Supreme Council of Justice of the Ionian Islands residing in Corfu."

There's a major addition to FMP's US records.

United States Marriages
Over 23 million additional marriage records covering 46 states. These come from FamilySearch.

and also
Arkansas First Draft Registration Card, 1940-1945 Image Browse

Deceased Online adds West Norwood Burial Records

After many months with no new content Deceased Online has added burial records for the 40 acre West Norwood cemetery in Lambeth. This is one of the 'Magnificent Seven' Victorian cemeteries, founded in 1836 and home to a great many listed monuments.

The 165,000 records available cover 1837 to 2005 and comprise microfiche scans of the original burial registers, information showing the other occupants of the grave, and maps showing the grave's approximate location in the cemetery.

A simple search can be performed without registration using first and last names a year range. Information returned from the free search is name, date of burial or cremation and place (not cemetery name). An advanced search is possible with registration and payment.

Among the notable famous people of the past buried in West Norwood cemetery are:
- Isabella Mary Beeton, author of the 1861 work Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, died in childbirth in 1865 at age of 28.
- Henry Bessemer, developer of the Bessemer process for the manufacture of steel.
- William Burges, among the greatest of the Victorian art-architects,described by contempories as eccentric, over-indulgent, and unpredictable, but his sense of humour and lively conversation won him many friends.
- John Dwight Doulton and his son Sir Henry Doulton. John Doulton, who died in 1873, was the founder of the firm that would become known as Royal Doulton.

Other Magnificent Seven cemeteries available on Deceased Online:
Kensal Green Cemetery
Highgate Cemetery
Nunhead Cemetery
Brompton Cemetery

Image courtesy of The London Dead at http://thelondondead.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-greek-necropolis-west-norwood.html

Family History Reno Project (The Easy Do-Over)

The Quinte Branch OGS February meeting will help you if you want to clean up your family history file. This is the easy way to approach it.

Normally, a Do Over involves re-entering all of your family information from scratch while this approach allows you to continue using your file for research while cleaning it up. It allows you to take advantage of everything you've learned, over the years, as well as new resources, records and tools.

Presenter Bob Dawes is a past chair of Quinte Branch, and someone whose talks I'm always happy to attend.

This presentation will take place at 1 PM, Saturday, 16 Februay, 2019 at the Quinte West Public Library, 7 Creswell Drive, Trenton, ON


Thursday, 14 February 2019

Ancestry adds Poor Law Hospital Admissions and Discharges for London

If you go to the Ancestry catalog today and sort by Date Updated the first few entries are intriguing. 

As usual there's no information about whether they're major or minor updates. Was a whole new year added to the Ontario records or where a few spelling errors corrected? Is it the same for the London records? Would it be worthwhile or a waste of time running previously unsuccessful searches?

Then there's the title London, England, Poor Law Hospital Admissions and Discharges, 1842-1918 indicated as NEW, but with zero records!

Prompted by a blog post from Claire Santry, who must have an inside source, there are in fact not zero but "nearly 300,000 records of the elderly and chronically ill – many of them Irish – receiving medical relief in infirmaries attached to workhouses."

Claire also reported the London Poor Law, Selected Removal and Settlement Records, 1698-1930 collection has 5,500 additional entries with details of settlement and removals in the Bethnal Green, Hackney, Poplar, Shoreditch, and Stepney areas of London's East End.

Ann Adams RIP

BIFHSGO member and dear friend Ann Adams died peacefully on Tuesday 12 February from a stroke and a possible heart attack following major abdominal surgery.
Born in 1935 to Charles Spall, a school master, and May Mumford, Ann was a native of Wrentham, Suffolk. Ann attended school in Lowestoft and was evacuated to Wales during the war. She came to Canada (Montreal) in 1961 where she met Cliff. Long-time residents of Ottawa they had also lived in Montreal and Hamilton. Over five years Ann was one of the main people helping Patricia Roberts-Pichette on the BIFHSGO Middlemore project.

UPDATE
Family and friends may pay their respects at Whelan Funeral Home, 515 Cooper Street (between Bay & Lyon) Ottawa, on Sunday, February 17, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 PM. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church, 1060 Baseline Road, Ottawa, at 11 AM on Monday, February 18, 2019. A reception will follow in the parish hall.

Ancestry Teaser

Stay tuned for announcements of welcome new capabilities from Ancestry and AncestryDNA at RootsTech. They will start rolling out to subscribers on the 27th.
Ancestry's Crista Cowan will be previewing these "cool new tools" in her Ancestry-sponsored streamed presentation "What You Don’t Know about Ancestry" direct from RootsTech at 1:30 p.m. MST, that's 3:30 pm EST, on Thursday 28 February.

https://www.rootstech.org/salt-lake/live-stream-schedule

Kingston Branch OGS February Meeting

The next Kingston Branch meeting taking place on Saturday 16 February, 2019 will be the Annual General Meeting, followed by Queen's University Archivist Paul Banfield speaking about Queen’s University libraries and archives.
The meeting starts at 9:30 am in the Sir John A. Macdonald Room at the Seniors Centre East, 56 Francis Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Parking is plentiful and free.

Thanks to Margaret MacDermaid for providing the information and who will be leaving the publicity role for Kingston Branch at the AGM.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Extreme Snowfall in Ottawa

As I write this, on Tuesday evening, 25-35 cm of snow are forecast before this storm blows itself out.

For perspective:

The greatest daily snowfall in any February in Ottawa, according to records from the Central Experimental Farm, was 45.7 cm on 8 February 1895. The contemporary Ottawa Journal article indicates a belief that such snow storms were routine in earlier times.

The greatest one day snowfall at the Farm was 55.9 cm on 29 January 1894. Many of us remember the 51.2 cm which fell in the storm of 16 February 2016, especially those of us who were at the Heritage Day event at Ottawa City Hall.

One of the greatest multi-day snow storms was 2 - 4 April 1885 with over one metre of snow officially recorded. According to an Ottawa Citizen report it snowed continuously for 60 hours.

More Sussex Parish Record Transcripts at FamilySearch

In August 2016 I mentioned here that FamilySearch had posted transcript records from the East and West Sussex Record Offices. There were 531,746 baptisms, 308,775 marriages, and 274,294 burials.
The collection was updated on Monday to now contain 1,994,348 records.
This is an index/transcript collection. There's a coverage list at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/England,_Sussex,_Parish_Registers_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records) and information on availability of electronic images of some of the original parish records at https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1465706.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

How Many DNA Tests Taken?

According to MIT Technology Review more than 26 million people have taken an at-home ancestry test with one of the top four companies. It includes tests sold, not necessarily taken, and will double count or more those who tested with more than one company.
The article includes sections on: what the tests do, counting users, network effect, health debate, crime and privacy.

Will the next Flagship EU Science project address the Humanities?

One of these might seem out of place on the list?

Enhancing human capabilities through AI;
Making cell and gene therapies available to the clinical community ;
Developing personalized-medicine;
Making solar energy more efficient;
Developing methods for enabling digital search of historical records in European cities.

The European Commission has selected six research projects in these field to compete to become one of its next billion-euro ‘flagship’ science initiatives.

Inclusion of the digital search of historical records project, known as The Time Machine, was a surprise.

A news item from Nature quoted Frédéric Kaplan, a computer scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, and one of the principal investigators on the project, which has already worked on Venice’s historical records as saying “As a project in cultural heritage, we were an outsider — it is a great victory to get this far.”

Find out more about the Time Machine Project, with a linked video, here.

George M Macaulay, CWGC Beechwood

Born of 2 June 1885 at Pushlinch, Ontario, George McVicar Macaulay (Service Number 1096174) was the son of Scottish-born Presbyterian clergyman Evan Macaulay and his wife Margaret (Munro).

By 1901 the family was in Ottawa. His father died in 1907. He is likely the Geo Macaulay, age 24 in the Chicago Ward 7 in 1910 as a Linotype operator.

Enlisting in Toronto in February 1917 he was assigned to the 255th Battalion giving his occupation as printer and his wife and son's address in Ottawa, Illinois.

He served with the 3rd Battalion of the Canadian Infantry in France but suffered a variety of medical ailments.

Shortly after returning from Europe he died of influenza, in Halifax, Nova Scotia  on 12 February 1919. He is interred in Sec. 29. Lot 144. North-East of Beechwood Cemetery.


Monday, 11 February 2019

MyHeritage LIVE

The second MyHeritage user conference, MyHeritage LIVE 2019, is just announced to take place on 6-8 September, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
While the speakers are not yet announced you can be sure there will be a host of internationally renowned genealogy and DNA experts.
The venue is the historic Amsterdm Hilton  located south of central Amsterdam, near the museum district. There's a special rate for guests who choose to stay at the hotel.

More information at https://blog.myheritage.com/2019/02/announcing-myheritage-live-2019/

Gloucester Remembers Its War Veterans

The Gloucester Historical Society has a Virtual War Memorial, updated last month, listing about 1,850 veterans of Canada's wars associated with the former City of Gloucester, now part of Ottawa. It includes those who served as well as those who died, and covers the Northwest Rebellion, the South Africa, the two World Wars and Korea.
Information tabulated is: Surname, First Name, Rank, Position, Residence, Service, War, Burial Location, Death, and Reference.


They Shall Not Grow Old

If you're looking for a diversion from cold and snow head out to the cinema to see this film playing in Ottawa for another few days. Using First World War film from the IWM processed to take out the jerky motion introduced with hand-cranked cameras, colourized and accompanied by narration extracted from BBC interviews with veterans of the war it gives unique insight.



I saw it last week, having not been able to get in earlier, and recommend it. I also recommend staying after the movie for Peter Jackson's 30 minute explanation of the techniques developed and used to bring the events alive.

In Ottawa it's playing at the Scotiabank Ottawa Cineplex (Silver City) to Wednesday and Landmark Kanata to Thursday.

Norman McLeod Grainger Weir, CWGC Beechwood

Captain Weir, an accountant with the Canadian Army Dental Corps, died on this date a century ago, 11 February 1919 of pulmonary tuberculous.

Born on 9 July 1878, the son of James and Agnes Weir, of Uddingston, Scotland he initially earned a living as an auctioneer in Glasgow. He was divorced from Edith Radford with whom he had a son James in 1908. Ancestry has a compiled genealogy including newspaper clippings regarding the divorce proceedings.

He came to Canada in June 1910, worked in Toronto and Northern Ontario before enlisting in Ottawa in November 1916. In May 1918 he married Florence Augusta Sproule.


Sunday, 10 February 2019

Suffolk War Memorial Roll of Honour, 1914-1918

Full colour digital copies of the pages in this volume recording the names of those from the English County of Suffolk who lost their lives in the Great War, with the exception of the Borough of Ipswich, can now be accessed for free. Available from www.suffolkarchives.co.uk/times/war-and-conflict/suffolk-county-war-memorial-roll-of-honour/ you'll also find the same information in pdfs organised by surname and by parish.
In most cases there's more information in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database, but not always. I found a case where the parish was given which was missing from the CWGC information.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Talk of the Town: How Places Got Their Names
An episode of BBC Radio 4 Word of Mouth series on the origins of UK town and village names. Links to a big back catalogue of all Word of Mouth episodes at  www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qtnz/episodes/downloads

The Great War at Sea 1914 - 1918
This summary, in a little over 3600 words, is a mainly British perspective by John Slaughter. It includes sections: Outbreak of War; Naval Battles; Dardanelles; U-boat campaign; Jutland; Death of Kitchener; Unrestricted Submarine Warfare; Zeebrugge; and End of War.

How lucky was the genetic investigation in the Golden State Killer case?

Average Earth From Space 2018


How to recover quickly if you get locked out of Google.

Crème de la Crème 
Every week Gail Dever lists "the bijoux I discovered this week" on her Genealogy à la carte blog. Not to be missed.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

TheGenealogist releases Second World War Casualty Lists

The following is a news release from TheGenealogist.

TheGenealogist is adding to its Military Records collection with the release of more than 1 million entries for people recorded in the Second World War Casualty Lists. Sourced from collection WO 417 held at The National Archives, these documents contain records from the war years of 1939 to 1945 and list casualties sustained by the British Army during the Second World War. There are volumes for Officers and Nurses, with separate volumes for Other Ranks. The Casualty Lists were compiled from daily lists that had been prepared by the War Office Casualty Section and cover the various expeditionary forces deployed in different locations across Europe, Africa and Asia as well as for personnel at home.

British Army Second World War casualties include wounded and POWs

WW2 Casualty Records will give family history researchers details of ancestors’ names and regiment as well as ranks and service numbers for those recorded. The World War 2 casualty lists contained more detail than their WW1 counterparts and often list the date of the casualty (as well as the list date), plus other information such as the unit a soldier had been serving in at the time. 

Included in these lists are those who had been unaccounted for by the military, been dangerously ill or injured, captured as a Prisoner of War or died. The records include troops who had been serving in a number of places across the world, but also cover personnel who had lost their lives, were injured at home or were serving at an overseas station outside the theatres of war. Updates and corrections appear in the records as new information was received by the War Office. 

These records allow a researcher to use TheGenealogist’s unique SmartSearch by simply clicking the magnifying glass at the bottom of the transcript. This will automatically search for any other records relating to that person. For example, if they were a Prisoner of War this will return other records from TheGenealogist’s military collection, including PoW records that reveal what camp that soldier had been recorded in.

If a person had died, you also get a smart link to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) which brings up details of their war grave, with further information. 

Use the WWII casualty list records to:
Find ancestors who were Missing, Wounded, Killed in Action or Prisoners of War
Discover army personnel seriously ill or accidentally killed serving at home or overseas
Check an ancestor’s rank and service number
Find the theatre of war in which your ancestor was serving when they became a casualty

Read our article:  WWII Casualty Lists finds two motor racing aces executed by the Nazis
https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2019/wwii-casualty-lists-finds-two-motor-racing-aces-executed-by-the-nazis-1059/