31 May 2019

British Newspaper Archive additions for May

The British Newspaper Archive and sister database FindMyPast now has a total of 32,067,059 pages online (31,675,134 last month). 29 papers (99 last month) had pages added in the past month. Dates range from 1825 to 1999.

Newspapers with more than 10,000 pages added during the month:

Reading Evening Post626721980-1981, 1984-1985, 1991-1992, 1999
Sandwell Evening Mail450521986, 1988, 1990, 1994
Irish Independent241501987, 1998
Cheddar Valley Gazette195321957-1980
Ealing Leader185081993-1995, 1997
Harefield Gazette183241991-1992, 1994-1997
Course of the Exchange171161825-1894, 1896-1908
Staines & Ashford News167901993-1995, 1997
Kington Times166061915-1959
Pinner Observer162161991, 1996-1997
Football Post (Nottingham)147621950-1972, 1974-1979
Field138781859, 1878, 1882-1883, 1901
Amersham Advertiser130581986, 1993-1995, 1997
Tottenham and Edmonton Weekly Herald108061869, 1874, 1879, 1889, 1891, 1899-1912

John Alywin Danby: CWGC Beechwood

While a student at Ottawa (Lisgar) Collegiate Institute John Alywin Danby enlisted in the 25th Battery in Ottawa on 23 March 1915. He gave his birthplace as Richmond, Ontario and date of birth as 1 June 1896, actually it was the same date but three years later.

He arrived in England in August 1915 and served in France from January 1916 as a driver with the Canadian Field Artillery in the 11th Battery.
Returned to England in May 1917 and furloughed to Canada in December 1917 he worked for the regular forces as a civilian employee.

He died on Saturday, 31 May 1919 near Windsor NS rescuing a colleague who could not swim when the canoe they were in on a survey capsized in a squall. His burial at Beechwood Cemetery was on 5 June.

30 May 2019

TheGenealogist releases Islington Lloyd George Domesday Survey records

The following is a press release.

TheGenealogist announces the release of Islington Lloyd George Domesday Survey records. These cover landowners and occupiers in 1910-1915 with over 70,000 individuals recorded, joining the previously released data books and their associated maps for other parts of London.

This new release is the latest stage of TheGenealogist’s vast ongoing project to digitize over 94,500 Field Books, each having hundreds of pages, and linking them to large scale IR121 annotated OS maps which are now viewable in TheGenealogist’s powerful Map Explorer tool.

The records have been sourced from The National Archives and were compiled by the Valuation Office in a period that stretched from 1910-1915 in response to the Lloyd George government passing the People’s Budget 1909/1910.

This new release covers records made of property ownership and occupation in Barnsbury, Canonbury, Charterhouse, Clerkenwell, Finsbury, Glasshouse Yard, Highbury East, Highbury West, Lower Holloway, Myddelton, Old Street, Pentonville, Saint Mary, Saint Peter, Saint Sepulchre, Thornhill, Upper Holloway, Upper Holloway East and Upper Holloway West.

Family historians can use these records to:
Find ancestors who owned or occupied property in the Islington area of London
See the outlines of their houses on large scale maps from the time
Fade between historic and modern maps to see how the environment has changed
Check details of properties in the neighbourhood, by clicking the red pins
Locate an address from your research down to a specific house on the map
Search by name, parish and street to uncover ancestors’ property in 1910-1915

Complementing the maps on TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer are the accompanying Field Books which provide detailed information relative to the valuation of each property, including the valuation assessment number, map reference, owner, occupier, situation, description and extent.

For family historians looking for ancestors’ homes just before the First World War in the Islington area of London this record set is invaluable. 

Read TheGenealogist’s article: Lloyd George Domesday Survey maps reveal an Islington Theatre and Dr. Crippen’s house. 

YouTube: Y-DNA & Citizen Science ... and a bit of Forensic Genealogy

A talk at the Family Tree Live in April by Mark Jobling from the University of Leicester. He gives an overview of the development of Y-DNA testing & analysis, and how the major advances have become heavily influenced by Citizen Science. He also brings a fresh perspective on the current debate around forensic use of our genealogy databases for law enforcement purposes ...

The Y-DNA Haplogroup predictor NEVGEN is mentioned.

Ottawa Doors Open 2019

One of Ottawa's annual landmark events, Doors Open is happening this weekend. Take the kids or grandkids to one of the many buildings around town that welcome visitors, some only once a year.

See the list here and note that while some welcome visitors only on Saturday or Sunday many are open both days. A few require pre-registration online.

29 May 2019

OPL - LAC Development at 555 Albert Street

We are invited to share ideas and comments on Spaces and Relationships to help design the new Ottawa Public Library - Library and Archives Canada joint facility soon to be built at 555 Albert Street in downtown Ottawa.

Give your input online by completing a questionnaire to inform the architects with regard to the location and uses of major program spaces in the new landmark facility. The questionnaire will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. Before you start, you will be asked to register with the City of Ottawa’s engagement tool. It takes 30 seconds and none of your personal information will be shared. 


There are still spaces available at in-person workshops on Saturday, June 1 and Monday, June 3. Go to
https://ottawacentrallibrary.ca/spaces-and-relationships for details and registration.

For all matters regarding public engagement about this exciting City-building project of national an historic importance, please visit

https://ottawacentrallibrary.ca/get-involved and subscribe for updates.

YouTube: Making the Most of your Y-DNA Test

John Cleary gives a first level talk with a series of hints and tips to get the most out of your Y-DNA results so that you optimise your chances of making significant connections.

This lecture was presented at Family Tree Live (FTL), London, 26-27  April 2019. Please note that these FTL videos are copyrighted to the presenter and should only be used for personal study. They are not to be used for any other purpose without the presenter's express permission. Also, please note that because this is a rapidly advancing field, the content may quickly become outdated.

The FTL lectures were sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA (at www.ftdna.com) and organised by Debbie Kennett, a volunteer from ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy at www.isogg.org). ISOGG volunteers provided free DNA advice and support for members of the public at the conference.

28 May 2019

Gatineau Valley Historical Society releases new annual issue of “Up the Gatineau!”

 On the Gatineau, painting in pastel
by Alfred Worsley Holdstock, circa 1850.
The following is from the Gatineau Valley Historical Society.

Old Chelsea, QC, May 27, 2019 –The Gatineau Valley Historical Society (GVHS) officially launched volume 45 “Up the Gatineau!” on May 27th at the GVHS Annual Dinner and Awards at Camp Fortune Lodge in Chelsea.
Many of this year’s articles touch on or reflect the influence of the early Irish immigrants who homesteaded in the Gatineau Valley in the mid-19th century including a piece by the award-winning author Brian Doyle. This volume, a diverse offering of 10 articles, features 5 first-time and 3 returning contributors as well as a stunning collection of paintings and photographs of scenes of the early Gatineau Valley Landscape. See the table of contents.
The GVHS promotes publications dealing with the history of the Gatineau region and sells their publications at their monthly meetings, special events at the GVHS archives office at the Chelsea Library or by mail.
For more information please contact the Gatineau Valley Historical Society at info@gvhs.ca.

Livestreaming from SCGS Jamboree

On Friday through Sunday, 31 May to 2 June a total of 12 lectures will be live-streamed free, thanks to Ancestry.com sponsorship from The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree being held at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel.

Some presentations that seem of particular interest are:

Friday, 31 May at 5:30 PM EDT
Strategies for Finding the Locality of Your Irish Ancestors, by Donna M Moughty

Sunday, 2 June at 11:30 AM EDT
Canadiana’s Genealogical Treasures, by Dave Obee

Sunday, 2 June at 5:00 PM EDT
Border—What Border? Our Ancestors Who Called Both Canada and the USA Home, by Annette Burke Lyttle

Also of note are talks by Thomas MacEntee, D Joshua Taylor and Lisa Alzo.  Find the complete list and link to register here.

The Ancestor Hunt Updates Canadian Obituary and Obituary Index Links

87 links have been added during May to The Ancestor Hunt's Canadian obituary and obituary index collection. The total is now 270 links.

84 links are for Ontario, more than half new with this update with another 18 links classified as Canada General.

27 May 2019

Leslie Weir Announced as Next Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Here's the press release:

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, announced today the appointment of Ms. Leslie Weir as Librarian and Archivist of Canada for a four-year term, effective August 30, 2019. Ms. Weir will be the first woman to become Librarian and Archivist of Canada since the merging of these two institutions.
Ms. Weir was the university librarian at the University of Ottawa from 2003 to 2018. Prior to her tenure at the university, early in her career, she held positions at the National Library of Canada and the Statistics Canada Library.
Following the retirement of Guy Berthiaume in late June the position of Librarian and Archivist of Canada presumably will be filled on an acting basis for two months. UPDATE:  A source who should know informs his retirement is deferred so there will be no gap.
Although Leslie Weir will be the first woman to become Librarian and Archivist of Canada, prior to the joining of the National Archives and National Library Marianne Scott had been the National Librarian. She is now the long-serving President of the Friens of LAC.

Book Notice: Downsizing With Family History in Mind

Browsing recently published books on Amazon.com, see the list for classification  Reference : Last 30 days : "Family History",  I came across Downsizing With Family History in Mind independently published by Texas-based authors Devon Noel Lee and Andrew Lee.

Many genealogy friends and acquaintances have or are facing downsizing so the topic is pertinent. I've not read it so I'm in no position to comment one way or the other on the value of the content.

The author's blurb is:
Whether you have 1 hour or 1 year to downsize your possessions or those of a loved one, the task is overwhelming and fraught with error. Downsizing with Family History in Mind guides you through the process with Action Plans based on the time you have available to complete the downsizing process. You will also learn how to evaluate your possessions so you know what to keep to preserve your family's legacy and what you can give away. Learn why when you have less, you have more, through Downsizing with Family History in Mind.
Other books by these authors, individually or together are:
Family History Scrapbooking Simplified
A Recipe for Writing Family History
Power Scrapbooking
DNA Q and A: Real Questions from Real People about Genetic Genealogy
Reimagine Family History
Passing Your History On
Preserve the Perishable
There's lots more on their Family History Fanatics website/blog.

by Devon Noel Lee (Author), Andrew Lee (Author)
Paperback: 196 pages
Publisher: Independently published (May 16 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1097979733
ISBN-13: 978-1097979738
Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
Shipping Weight: 354 g

Recognition for finding "lost" Canadians: Dirk Decuypere

Since 2009, Dirk Decuypere has been working to identify the remains of soldiers in the community of Langemark- Poelkapelle, Belgium, near where he lives. His efforts have resulted in the proper identification and burial of two fallen Canadian pilots, who now have a known grave. His work included identifying the war grave of Lieut. Lindsay Drummond, a descendant of the family that gave its name to Pinhey's Point Historic Site.

The recognition was the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers awarded on the advice of a Committee appointed by the Governor General for “significant, sustained and unpaid contributions to their community in Canada or abroad” and who have “demonstrated an exemplary commitment through their dedicated volunteerism.

This is a signal honour for Mr. Decuypere. Of the 4,526 awards made since 1996 only seven have been made to non-Canadians.

The Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers bestowed on Dirk Decuypere from Ivan Lietaert on Vimeo.

News of this award came in the latest issue of the Horaceville Herald, the journal of the Pinhey's Point Foundation. Also in the issue are articles on the 2018 Dunrobin tornado, the late Bill Teron, the 200th anniversary of the Tipperary emigration, Ottawa Citizen back issues searchable, and more.

26 May 2019

FamilySearch British Updates

On 21 May the following additions/changes to FamilySearch were posted:

England, Hampshire Parish Registers, 1538-1980, 2,324,728 records
These are transcripts with some linked images viewable at Family History Centres and affiliate libraries. Sourced from the Hampshire Record Office.
Looking for more help on Hampshire? Try Hampshire Guided Research

Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935, 390,636 records
Sourced from The (UK) National Archives in Kew in WO 25, this collection contains regimental descriptions, succession books, commissions, appointments, descriptions, returns of services, casualties, half pay, pensions, gratuities. The content depends on the type of record but typically gives age; birthplace; type, place and date of event in addition to the name. Viewing the linked images is restricted to FHCs and affiliate libraries.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Essex and Suffolk Surnames
Transcriptions of parish registers and other historical documents, stories about families and interesting people, and hints and tips for research.

Toronto's British Colonist Newspaper
Digitized volumes from 15 February 1838 to 29 December 1846 are now online from the Toronto Public Library. These are page images, not digitally searchable. Seach British Colonist and year from www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/. via a tweet by Jane MacNamara.

Rural Diary Archive Update
It has been a couple of years since I looked at this site which was mentioned in 2016 and 2017.  The University of Guelph archive showcases over 150 Ontario diarists from 1800 to 1960. What's new is the increased number of transcribed diaries, from 16 in 2016 to over 50 today.

History Slam Podcast Episode 131: Newfoundland’s Rocky Road Towards Confederation

Making the Most of Your Autosomal DNA Test

25 May 2019

OGS 2019 Conference & Family History Show

This time next month the OGS Conference will be over.

If you didn't go you'll have missed the opportunity to "learn new stuff, see what’s available in the genealogy Marketplace, catch up with old friends and make new ones, all while pursuing the hobby we love and enjoy!"

I'll be arriving in London a day early so that I can spend some time researching in the meteorological archives at Western University. Others are extending their experience with a visit to Stratford or, again in my case, to visit with old friends.

There's still time to add the OGS Conference to your summer travel plans.

UPDATE from the OGS eWeekly, Ancestry.ca is providing a DNA kit to be given away at every workshop and lecture! That’s 47 DNA kits which will be given away! Each lecturer/workshop leader will be provided with a DNA kit and will determine a question or process for awarding the kit in their workshop or lecture.

Adding Historical Events to Your Ancestor's Life Story

FamilySearch has recently expanded the capability of adding historical events during an ancestor's life to their Time Line. Perhaps like me, you remember where you were on 11 September 2001, when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, or when you learned President Kennedy was shot and killed. Historical events in our ancestors’ lives like wars and economic depression can help us better understand who they were. Read more about it at this FamilySearch blog post.
At Ancestry, where I have an online tree, Historical Insights can optionally be included in a Life Story timeline. The events it chooses are automatically selected to be relevant to the location as well as the time.
What seems to be missing are floods, tornados, earthquakes and other natural events that can loom large in an ancestor's life. There are so many. It would add to the value of these timelines if one could add one's own historical events.

24 May 2019

Findmypast adds more Military Records

This week's additions at Findmypast are:

Prisoners of War 1715-1945
Over 876,000 additional records created by the International Committee of the Red Cross during the First World War have been added to the collection of Prisoner of War records. Between 1914 and 1918, all belligerent countries involved provided lists of prisoners to the ICRC, which created an index card for each prisoner and detainee.

The records in this collection are diverse and varied and comprise original source material provided by The National Archives, as well as transcript only records from other sources. The size and scope of these records make them a fascinating resource for genealogists and history enthusiasts alike. The records not only include military personnel but also civilians, diplomats, missionaries and merchant seamen.

Note that Canadian prisoners of the First World War are listed under Great Britain.

British Armed Forces, First World War Soldiers' Medical Records
Over 85,000 additional records have also been added to FMP's collection of First World War Soldiers' Medical Records. Including both transcripts and images of original documents, these records indicate when and where wounded, the nature of their disease or wound, the medical facility they were sent to and the dates of their treatment as well as details pertaining to their military career.

This collection comprises The National Archives' series, MH106, War Office: First World War Representative Medical Records of Servicemen. The original records were collected by the Medical Research Committee and then given over to the British Museum during the First World War although only a small percentage were retained. 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.

Canadians are included — enter Canadian under Corps.

British Armed Forces and Overseas Browse
Browse through more than 85,000 additional records from The National Archives related to births, marriages, and deaths of British civilians and members of the armed forces. The records include individuals who were working or travelling abroad or who were serving their countries overseas. The details found in each record will depend on the original source.

You can search the records by Description, which explains the subject of the records; by Place or Country; by Type, which can be 'at sea', 'consular', or 'armed forces'; and by The National Archives' Archive reference. A full list of the references and their descriptions are provided at the bottom of the search screen.

Britain, Physicians and Surgeons, 1830-1923
Thousands of pages from the Calendar of The Royal College of Surgeons in England and Members of The Royal College of Physicians. Containing over 31,000 names, these publications provide residence and years of appointment. Results are returned as a link to the appropriate page by year. You then have to click through to the searchable pdf page image.

Canada, Ontario, Oddfellows Life Insurance Applications images
Images have now been added to the index of Ontario, Oddfellows Life Insurance Applications published last week.

These two-page documents will reveal a range of additional information including marital status, membership details, medical history, the ages, state of health (if living) or cause of death of parents and siblings, the names of next of kin and physical descriptions.

International Records Update – Germany
Over 57 German million births, baptisms, marriages and burials are now available to search and explore on Findmypast. Consisting of three new indexes covering the years 1558 to 1958, these new additions will generate hints against your Findmypast family tree.

The new German collections now available on Findmypast include:

Germany Birth and Baptism Index 1558-1898
Germany Death and Burial Index 1582-1958
Germany Marriage Index 1558-1929

Recent Ottawa Public Library Genealogy Books

These new books are on order at the OPL except where indicated as in circulation.

Great British Family Names and Their History
by Moss, John
Book - 2019
Holds: 17 on 1 copy
My review

Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies
Book - 2019
Holds: 5 on 5 copies (in circulation)

Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science
by TallBear, Kimberly
Book - 2013
Holds: 2 on 4 copies (in circulation)

Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA : A Guide for Family Historians
by Holton, Graham S.
Book - 2019
Holds: 8 on 1 copy

Tracing Your Oxfordshire Ancestors
by Lisle, Nicola
Book - 2019
Holds: 1 on 1 copy
My review

Tracing Your European Ancestors
by Goucher, Julie
Book - 2020
Holds: 30 on 1 copy

23 May 2019

FamilySearch Celebrates 20 Years Online

Congratulations to FamilySearch on reaching the 20-year milestone.


FamilySearch Celebrates 20 Years Online

FamilySearch.org Homepage as it appeared in 1999 at the launch of the new internet genealogy service.Twenty years ago, global nonprofit FamilySearch launched an innovative new website, a free internet genealogy service. Two decades later, FamilySearch is a leader in the rising tide of popular ancestry-related services online. During that time, FamilySearch has expanded and evolved its free mix of online offerings, holding true to its purpose to provide economical access to the world’s genealogical records and create fun family history discoveries for everyone.
On May 24, 1999, FamilySearch.org took the online genealogy world by storm, offering free access to hundreds of millions of historical records online—a treasure for those seeking to make family history connections. For perspective, online broadcast news, e-trading, and downloadable music services were the rage at the time. Google, ranked 93rd of top websites, was still an up-and-coming service that was attempting to redefine the role of a search engine by indexing the web to make results junk free and more consumer relevant.
At FamilySearch.org, searching historical records for new discoveries continues to be a big interest for site visitors. Millions of new customers grace its portal each year, looking for new family connections. And for good reason. The site now boasts over 7 billion searchable names and over 3 billion searchable images of historical records. And it adds more than 300 million new historical records and images yearly from archives worldwide.
The website has expanded its free offerings since its grand opening two decades ago. Patrons have added 1.4 billion ancestors to the site's robust, collaborative family tree. And the tree is integrated with two powerful mobile apps. You can preserve family photos and create audio files that help tell your family’s stories. The website also features an impressive inventory of very useful help services, like how to make sense of DNA test results, and it’s all still free.
Randy Bryson, now retired, was a FamilySearch IT director when the site was launched in 1999. He fondly recalls the big day. He said that the site was so wildly successful that it constituted 10 percent of all internet traffic at the time and was a top 10 website based on the amount of data it was hosting (20 terabytes). “Traffic on the site was so extreme at the time of the launch that we had to limit user access to 30 minutes at a time,” said Bryson. “The amazing thing was that people didn’t go away. When they were timed out, they would just log right back in to finish their search.”
Today the site is nimble and quick. Bryson said he was moved by the amazing gratitude of the site’s users. “It was very overwhelming, emotional, and gratifying” to see people able to easily access records of their ancestors conveniently online from their homes.
Steve Rockwood, FamilySearch CEO, is not surprised by the continued popularity of the website. He said, “When individuals discover more about their family history or make new family connections, it changes them. They see and treat each other differently.” Rockwood said that future services under development on the website will create more of these fun discovery experiences worldwide for site visitors.
FamilySearch.org continues to enjoy impressive growth today, adding over 50,000 new subscribers weekly and hundreds of millions of new family photos, documents, stories, and historical records yearly from contributors and archives around the world.
See what has changed and make new family connections in your family tree for free at FamilySearch.org.

Ancestry Updates Norfolk Records

For the record, there are now 2,614,408 entries in Ancestry's Norfolk, England, Bishop's Transcripts, 1579-1935 collection. The records are taken from FamilySearch so if you already searched there you should find nothing new.

Ottawa Branch OGS May Meeting

The main event for Ottawa Branch this month is the presentation on Rideau Remembers, multi-year effort of volunteers led by Owen Cooke for the Rideau Archives Branch, City of Ottawa Archives, and the Rideau Township Historical Society (RTHS) to identify and document the lives of 45 soldiers and one nursing sister with ties to North Gower and Marlborough who perished in the First World War. Here's information about the Rideau Remembers publication.

The session starts at 1 pm with networking and announcements.

The morning (10:30 am) event is a genealogy drop-in. The computer interest group will meet following the afternoon presentation.

All Ottawa Branch monthly presentations are open to the public at no charge.

Saturday 25 May 2019
City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive

Note that the Scottish interest group will meet on the same day and building at 10 am.

22 May 2019

MyHeritage Opens Military Records, including 19 British Collections

For a limited time, until 28 May, MyHeritage is making available 47 million military records from "around the world." While it's mainly US records, it is promoted as commemorating US Memorial Day, there are also the following British military records in the Draft, Enlistment & Service category.

British Silver War Badge Recipients, 1914 - 1918 — 867,865 records
British Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914 - 1919 —697,905 records
British Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945 — 171,217 records
The (British) National Roll of the Great War, 1914 - 1918 — 111,825 records
British Army Prisoners of War Held in German Camps, 1939 - 1945 — 103,945 records
British Militia Attestations Index, 1886 - 1910 — 86,081 records
Boer War Casualties, 1899 - 1902 — 54,496 records
Ireland's Memorial Records, 1914 - 1918 — 49,177 records
British Royal Navy and Royal Marine Casualties, 1914 - 1919 — 43,558 records
British Empire Armies and Other Land Forces - Prisoners of War, 1939 - 1945 — 39,810 records
Waterloo Medal Recipients, 1815 — 36,855 records
De Ruvigny's Roll Of Honour 1914-1924 — 26,768 records
Distinguished Conduct Medal Citations 1914 - 1920 — 24,928 records
British Empire Naval and Air Forces - Prisoners of War, 1939 - 1945 — 19,232 records
British Militia Attestations Index, Royal Garrison Artillery, 1872 - 1915 —12,566 records
British Army Index, 1787 — 9,516 records
British Officers Taken as Prisoners of War, 1914 - 1918 — 8,319 records
British Military Officers — 2,544 records
Victoria Cross Recipients, 1854 - 2006 — 1,348 records.

Also opened up in this category is:
Canada, Soldiers of the First World War, 1914-1918 — 622,628 records.
As this database is fully accessible for free all the time from LAC the benefit of the MyHeritage access is the capability of searching those along with all the other records.

In the Pension Records and Military Documents categories the only non-US collection is
Anales De La Guerra Civil: Espana Desde 1868 - 1876 — 1,266 records.

Australia to digitized Second World War Service Files

The records of Australia’s Second World War servicemen and women will be converted into digital files as part of a new program focused on recognizing the veteran's service.
While some are already processed around 80 percent of the remaining 1,062,000 WWII service records are to be digitized through the National Archives of Australia.
Read the announcement at www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2019/04/24/honouring-australians-service

I wonder how long it will be before Canadian WW2 service files are similarly digitized?

Book Review: Tracing Your Potteries Ancestors

The latest in publisher Pen and Sword's Tracing Your Ancestors series, which now has 72 titles, covers the area of North Staffordshire known as the Potteries.
The author's focus is very much on resources for the towns of Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton. If the location is a mystery there's an area map on the third page of the introduction and two others in the body of the text.
As indicated by the sub-title the book is a guide meant to be dipped into as the need arises. Information is packed into the introduction, nine chapters and two appendices. The table of contents is comprehensive spreading over four and a half pages; there is an eight-page index.
Chapter Four, Church and Politics, for example, covers church buildings, the various denominations with emphasis on Methodism and where to find the surviving records, cemeteries, Chartism and trade unions.
Michael Sharpe's 35 years experience as a family history writer, researcher and lecturer is apparent. For instance, he suggests searching for local records using the TNA Discovery catalogue rather than the deficient one from the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archives Service.
The book nicely fills the knowledge gap for the researcher familiar with basic family history research who needs to dig more deeply into the history and resources of the Potteries.

Tracing Your Potteries Ancestors (Paperback)
A Guide for Family & Local Historians
By Michael Sharpe
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Pages: 226
ISBN: 9781526701275
Published: 3rd April 2019

Comments on the LAC 3-Year Plan

This word cloud is based on the new Library and Archives Canada 3-year plan released on 13 May.

After the introductory material, the content is organized by:
Section 1. Our organization, our clients, our employees
Section 2. Our strategic insights: considering current trends and targeting client needs
Section 3. Our strategic priorities 2019–2022
Section 4. Our success: measuring results and impact.

In his Forward Librarian and Archivist of Canada Guy Berthiaume writes:

"I take the main message to be that the relationship between our institution and its users is being radically redefined. The digital revolution has led to the rise of a culture of citizen participation: our users now see themselves more as partners than as consumers of services."


"...under the influence of models developed by Amazon, Google and Wikipedia, our users are now ready to transcribe, translate, tag and describe our documents."

Section 3 sets three strategic priorities.
  • Engaged citizens. Accessible holdings.
    Goal: We will increase access to our collection and expand opportunities for the public to enhance LAC's holdings.
  • Adaptable organization. Sustainable collection.
    Goal: We will steward responsible growth of the collection and implement safeguards to preserve it for future generations.
  • Collaborative efforts. Magnified results.
    Goal: We will seek out and support collective solutions for a more cohesive and impactful documentary heritage community at home and abroad.

Each of these lists strategies to be pursued, 13 in total, including "We will increase access to LAC collections (Government of Canada's records, published heritage, private archives and web resources) and services, both digitally and in physical locations across Canada and through increased and improved public services, exhibits, and events."

The document lists the collection contents, presumably as of 2019:
  • approximately 30 million photographic images
  • 90,000 films
  • 550,000 hours of audio and video recordings
  • 425,000 works of art
  • 20 million publications
  • 250 linear kilometres of government and private textual records
  • 3 million architectural drawings, plans and maps
How much of that is not subject to copyright or other access restrictions? Of the unrestricted remainder how much is online? We don't know, if LAC has that information it's not shared — yet. Measurable performance indicators and quarterly reporting is part of a commitment to transparency and openness in the plan.

LAC is part of the Public Service. Is downloading to clients the work "to transcribe, translate, tag and describe our documents" what public service is about? Success will be dependant on the willingness of partners and clients to do so although there are lessons from the experience at TNA with an innovative approach to digitization of handwritten material. Read How to teach a computer to read. It experimented with a gamification approach.

As Mary Poppins said  In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and - SNAP - the job's a game."

21 May 2019

Take a DNA test: Get a Country Estate

According to this Daily Telegraph story, a care worker has inherited one of Britain's finest country estates after a DNA test proved he was the illegitimate son of the previous aristocratic owner who died last year.

Thanks to Gus Walton for the tip.

Ancestry Updates Find a Grave Collections

A few days ago there were updates to Ancestry's Find a Grave indexes for:

Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Global (Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations), Mexico, Norway, Sweden, UK and Ireland, and U.S.

That's a total of nearly 180 million index entries.

British Pathé TV

British Pathé TV is a subscription video-on-demand service designed for specialist audiences such as history buffs, royal watchers, cinema aficionados and train enthusiasts. It complements the British Pathé newsreel archive which remains free-to-view. 
A subscription is £5.99/month, $10.27 Canadian. There's a free 30-day trial.

Canadian Pacific Steamships Limited Fonds - Part 2

Part 1 explored the holdings in the Canadian Pacific Ships Fonds at the National Museum of Science and Technology for my immigration to Canada. Sadly there was no passenger list surviving for my voyage.
Elsewhere in the fonds, two types of list survive.
First, the lists that were printed and distributed to passengers. Survival is spotty. Shown is a sample of the list of some of the Tourist Class passengers on the maiden voyage of the Empress of Canada in April 1961.

Second, from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s there are copies of official lists. Below is an image from the Empress of France voyage from Liverpool to Quebec arriving on 20 October 1955. The lists include name, age, religion (sometimes), destination and a space for notes. Fortunately, this example is not typical in one respect.

As noted in Part 1, the Museum's Library & Archives Reading Room will be closed to the public from June 2019 to February 2020.

Find out more about the collection at www.archeion.ca/canada-science-and-technology-museum-library-and-archives/ or contact reproductions@ingeniumcanada.org/.

20 May 2019

MyHeritage DNA announces Health + Ancestry test

There's a new tab on its website as International Isreal-based MyHeritage just announced the launch of a health service based on DNA results.
According to the company news release "The MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test provides health reports that show users their risk of developing or carrying genetic conditions. Reports include conditions where specific genes contribute to the risk, such as hereditary breast cancer, late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and late-onset Parkinson’s disease; conditions associated with multiple genes, such as heart disease, and type 2 diabetes; and carrier status reports on conditions that can be passed down from a couple to their children, such as Tay-Sachs disease and cystic fibrosis. In total, the test covers 11 Genetic Risk Reports, including hereditary breast cancer (BRCA) report that tests 10 pathogenic variants; 3 Polygenic Risk Reports; and 15 Carrier Status Reports."

Recognizing recent concerns on privacy, the company states "All health data is protected by state-of-the-art encryption. Health report data is secured using additional password protection and is so secure that even MyHeritage employees cannot access it. MyHeritage has never licensed or sold user data and has committed to never do so without obtaining explicit user consent. MyHeritage is the only consumer DNA company that has pledged to never sell data to insurance companies. It also applies a strict policy to prohibit the use of its DNA services by law enforcement agencies."

One part of the announcement I didn't understand is " ... all users are required to complete a personal and family health history questionnaire, to ensure that each user receives the reports appropriate for them." Why would such intrusive information be required? Surely the DNA test is sufficient, including having the ethnicity report to ensure that the health information is based on a comparable population; polygenic risk reports for heart disease, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes are only available for people who are of mainly European ancestry. Is the company planning to do its own health research?

You can order the Health + Ancestry kit for $199 (US) + shipping. Users who have already purchased a MyHeritage DNA test for ethnicity and genealogy matching can upgrade to receive health reports for $120.

Looking for Links?

I've updated the links page on my personal website.

One of the great thing about giving a talk, as I did to the folks of Kingston Branch of OGS on Saturday, is the motivation to update one's knowledge. The web is such a dynamic place — things are always changing with new sites becoming available, new material being added and web addresses changing.

My updated page has added all the links that were on the handout for that presentation, and a bunch more.

It's a personal selection, many more could have been included, you have to stop somewhere. And do you really need a link to Google? If you feel one or more of your favourites is missing please send it or them in a comment.

A word of thanks to Kingston Branch for stimulating this update and for the warm welcome I received.

Canadian Pacific Steamships Limited Fonds - Part 1

Did an ancestor, or maybe you, travel to Canada on a Canadian Pacific ship? I did, in October 1966, on the Empress of Canada so I was curious to find out what information the National Museum of Science and Technology has in 47.57 metres of textual records and other materials about Canadian Pacific Steamships Limited.
The records date from just before the creation of Canadian Pacific’s steamship services in 1883 to the late 1990s. The fonds includes records showing the management of the CPS and its precursors but also reports from individual voyages of different vessels, all arranged into five series: CPS-1) Business and Operations; CPS-2) Promotional Materials; CPS-3) Voyage Reports and Immigration Records; CPS-4) Musk Collection and CPS-5) Ledgers and Movement Books.
The Museum's Library & Archives Reading Room will be closed to the public from June 2019 to February 2020 so I rushed to consult material for my voyage.
The movement book for 1996 included the page shown. I recall boarding in Liverpool on the afternoon on the 18th and anchoring off Greenock the next day.  Passing Inishtrahull must have been at night. A few days later I was up in the late evening to see the light of Belle Isle. We cleared customs and immigration in Quebec City before the ship continued to Montreal arriving the next morning.
I found much more in the Voyage Report. Embarkation of 36 First Class and 758 Tourist Class passengers started at 13:45 and ended at 16:30 at Liverpool. Another 4 First Class and 231Tourist Class passengers joined at Greenock.
There's a lot of technical information on cargo and fuel, officers by name and crew numbers. The Chief Engineer's Report mentioned "Following a period of heavy weather ..." — nice confirmation of conditions that saw me two days in my bunk trying not to be sick, despite stabilizers that were supposed to reduce a 20-degree roll to six degrees.
Sadly there was no passenger list for my voyage nor any that year. I'm told there are quite a few gaps — you may be lucky. However, for ten passengers on my voyage who had minor accidents — Myznak, Dyke, Zehnen, Shadforth, Haber, Campbell, Deal, Shukla, Corder and Carlson — there's mention of their destination and a brief description of the incident.
Find out more about this collection at www.archeion.ca/canada-science-and-technology-museum-library-and-archives/ or contact reproductions@ingeniumcanada.org/.

19 May 2019

More on World War II Unaccompanied British Child Evacuees to Canada

Following on from this 8 May blog post, Library and Archives Canada have posted a searchable pdf with more information about most of these British evacuee children.
Find it here. While the file is searchable you won't find every instance of a word indexed, particularly the handwritten correspondence such as this letter from Charlotte Whitton.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

A Souvenir of Lost (Edwardian) Ottawa
A free ebook.

Grimsby (Ont) history preserved in newspapers now online
Grimsby Independent from 1885 to 1949 searchable thanks to Library project.

Irish Surname Maps based on 1901 and 1911 Censuses

National Library of Wales - A forty-year-old mystery solved

YouTube: How to use the new version of Google Books
A video by Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers. If you've ever been puzzled about the difference between Google Books, Hathi Trust Digital Library and Internet Archive (Text) check out this guide from the University of Victoria.

YouTube: D-Day Darlings

Thanks to Bob Lamoureux for the tip.

AI Can Do What? 5 Sites for Mind-Blowing Creations by Artificial Intelligence

Plastic warms the planet twice as much as aviation – here’s how to make it climate-friendly

LAC Co-Lab Update

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


Legendary Train Robber and Prison Escapee Bill Miner is 92% complete (58% last month).

Rosemary Gilliat (Eaton)’s Arctic diary and photographs is 38% complete (35% last month).

The Call to Duty: Canada's Nursing Sisters is 77% complete (74% last month).


New France and First Nations Relations is 39% complete.

War Diaries of the First World War: 1st Canadian Division is 92% complete.

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


The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918–1919.

Correspondence between Sir Robert Borden and Sir Sam Hughes.

Letters from Wilfrid Laurier to Zoé Lafontaine/Laurier.

18 May 2019

Women in the War: The Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS)

A blog post from Library and Archives Canada highlights a long-term project to survey navel photographs in accession 1967-052 “Canada. Dept. of National Defence collection” 1939–1953.
As a first step an index to all photographs that mention servicewomen, 2,652 photographs or 1.3 percent of the total, is being produced. Future steps will be for servicewomen in the other Canadian forces.

Real War: How Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old Breathed Life into 100-Year-Old Archival Footage

If you saw the First World War movie They Shall Not Grow Old, and the "making of" which was played afterwards, you'll likely enjoy studiodaily's Definitive Story of the Mammoth Restoration Project, Which Encompassed Frame-Rate Retiming, Digital Image Restoration, Colorization, and Stereo Conversion to Startling Effect brought to life with film snippets.

via Documentary Heritage News.

Charles Thomas Jenkinson, CWGC Beechwood

Private Charles Thomas Jenkinson (regimental number 8554) was born in Cornwall, England on 28 August 1888 according to the attestation paper in August 1914. He gave his next of kin as a sister Lily.

However, the only civil registration of birth for a Charles Thomas Jenkinson in Cornwall in the timeframe is in Liskeard registration district in 3rd quarter 1892 with mother maiden name Rowe. The St. Ive parish register has a baptism on 5 October 1892, father Charles (soldier, private), mother Emma.
He emigrated in 1906 with age given as 13 with a Catholic party.

He served with the CEF in Europe and was invalided in England with neurasthenia (chronic fatigue syndrome).
On 6 February 1917, he married Violetta P. Pollock at St Peter's Church, Streatham.
He died on Sunday, 18 May 1919 at age 30 according to CWGC records with the informant in Beechwood burial records as Violet Jenkinson. Buried in Sec. C. Range 17. Grave 2.

17 May 2019

TheGenealogist adds British Merchant Navy records of Masters and Apprentices

The following is a press release:

TheGenealogist is expanding its occupational records with over 300,000 records of Masters and Apprentices included in a nautical set of apprenticeship records. 

These BT 150 records from The (UK) National Archives comprise of an index that had been compiled by the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen and its predecessor. It consists of apprentices indentured in the Merchant Navy between 1824-1910.

Family historians can use these records to:
Find ancestors who had learned the trade of a professional merchant seaman
Discover the age of an ancestor at the time that he went to sea and his year of birth
Find the name of the company and the port that he was registered as an apprentice
In some cases also learn the name of the ship that your ancestor sailed on.

Read an article by Nick Thorne which uses these records.

Findmypast adds Scotland and Ontario records, and more

Scotland, Shetland Newspaper Birth Index 1872-1990
More than 29,000 birth announcements from the Shetland Times and Shetland News.

Scotland, Occupations & Professions
An index of more than 10,000 occupational and trade records from across Scotland. Many records will also include additional details such as addresses, physical descriptions, employer names or other facts.

Based on the following sources:
Clock & Watchmakers of the Scottish Highlands & Islands
List of Students of Veterinary Colleges, recognised by Government, Who Have Passed Examinations, & Obtained The Certificate of the Highland & Agricultural Society, 1874, Edinburgh with Supplements
Photographers of Central Scotland
Photographers of Edinburgh and The Lothians
Photographers of Lanarkshire
Photographers of North Eastern Scotland
Photographers of Northern Scotland
Photographers of Western Scotland
The Edinburgh Police Register 1815-1859, P. Ruthven-Murray, Edinburgh, published 1991

Ontario - Oddfellows Life Insurance Applications (1875-1929)
More than 31,000 transcripts created by the Ontario Genealogical Society. The records are for The Independent Order of Oddfellows (IOOF), which operated a life insurance program through the Empire Insurance Company.  Expect to find the policyholders birth date, residence, policy number and date.

Between the years 1875 and 1929, about 59,000 people took out IOOF insurance. There will be additional records and images (coming soon).

Other Records for FMP this week.
United States Directories & Almanacs: Over 151,000 new records have been added for city directories covering Ohio and Washington, D.C.
British & Irish Newspaper (Archive): added 96,930 new pages.
International Records: over 9.1 million Norwegian baptisms, marriages and burials (1634 to 1927).

Another Layer for Layers of London

A post in early April described a new London mapping facility called Layers of London. Now another layer of information, Charles Booth's Poverty Map (1886-1903) has been added.

Sourced from the London School of Economics which has long made the map available online along with the accompanying police notebooks, each street is coloured to indicate the income and social class of its inhabitants.

Quinte Branch OGS May Meeting

16 May 2019

ScotlandsPeople Update

The May newsletter from ScotlandsPeople announces the addition of more than 2.8 million new indexed names and addresses for owners, tenants and occupiers of properties throughout Scotland for 1940  — 60,000 new digital images. As these were used for the collection of council tax, there was considerable motivation to get the original compilation correct. With these additions, you can now search over 120 million individual valuation roll entries from 1855 to 1940.

If you're interested in digging a bit deeper into Scottish records check out the podcasts and other posts accessible from the top ribbon menu at https://blog.nrscotland.gov.uk/category/podcast/

Want Welsh Wills?

Ancestry now has them, 99,955 of them from 1513 to the start of civil probate in 1858.

Just for fun, the table below is ordered by the number of entries in this database. The initial number is the rank in a table of present-day Welsh surname popularity. The highlighted names occur substantially more frequently in the wills list than that for all surname popularity. Are these the names highlighted those you associate with those more likely to leave a will?

(1) Jones - 7,017
(5) Thomas - 5,673
(2) Williams - 4,213
(3) Davies - 2,886
(7) Lewis - 2,765
(9) Morgan - 2,689
(4) Evans -  2,162
(14) Rees - 1,924
(22) Lloyd - 1,747
(8) Hughes - 1,639
(6) Roberts - 1,622
(16) Owen - 1,376
(17) Price - 1,281
(11) Edwards - 1,089
(10) Griffiths - 594
(15) Jenkins - 592

The wills database is from the National Library of Wales holdings for the following ecclesiastical jurisdictions:

Diocese of Bangor: Anglesey, most of Caernarfonshire, most of Merioneth, parts of Denbighshire and Montgomeryshire Original wills 1576-1858 (majority dated 1635-1648, 1660-1858) Copy wills 1790, 1851-1858

Archdeaconry of Brecon: Breconshire, most of Radnorshire, and some parishes in Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire and Herefordshire Original wills 1557-1857 (mainly 1609-1653, 1660-1857) Copy wills 1543-1858 (mainly 1570-1589, 1694-1858)

Diocese of Chester: four parishes in Flintshire and Holt in Denbighshire. Original wills 1521-1858 (mainly 1557-1650, 1660-1858)

Peculiar of Hawarden: parish of Hawarden Original wills 1554-1858 (mainly 1554-1641, 1660-1858)

Diocese of Llandaff: Monmouthshire and Glamorgan (except for Gower) Original 1568-1857 Copy wills 1695-1844

Diocese of St Asaph: most of Denbighshire, Flintshire and Montgomeryshire, and parts of Merioneth, Caernarfonshire and Shropshire Original 1557-1858 (mainly 1583-1649, 1660-1857) Copy wills 1548-1709 (mainly 1565-1648, 1660-1669, 1684-1709)

Diocese of St David’s: Pembrokeshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire and part of Glamorgan (Gower) Original 1556-1858 (mainly 1564-1653, 1660-1858) Copy wills 1703-1858 (mainly 1703-1731, 1814-1858).

Far From Home - Go Fund Me

Background on the Far From Home project was previously posted.

Now a GoFundMe appeal is underway to help finalize the project:

1) Produce 102 county volumes in hard copy,  which will enable us to formulate an outreach programme to relevant organisations, institutions, schools and academic establishments.

2) Contribute towards the exceptional costs of our final road trip later this year to the north of England, Scotland and hopefully including two of the Western Isles.

3) Support the digitisation effort of a substantial body of our work including to make that available online, for free.

The GoFundMe page is at www.gofundme.com/Far-From-Home-Canadians-Who-Died-in-UK-During-WW1

Meet me at the Kingston Branch OGS May Meeting

This Saturday 18 May 2019 I'll be in Kingston speaking to the local Ontario Genealogical Society branch on Researching Early 20th-century British immigrants to Canada. We'll look at the scope of immigration, sources for the UK and Ireland, and two case studies.

The 9:30am educational session will be on pedigree charts and indexes, given by Branch Chair Joyce Fingland.

Visitors are welcome.


15 May 2019

Family Tree Maker 2019

I had to smile reading an email that came in from Family Tree Maker promoting a three-day pre-order sale on the new edition FTM 2019.

"Not only on sale but at the best price for this upgrade you'll ever see. Just C$39.95 for the next three days  (50% off the regular upgrade price of C$84.95). And as if that weren't good enough, you'll also get a full year of TreeVault cloud services for FREE. Click here to learn more.
Number 2 on a list of 10 reasons to upgrade, TreeVault Cloud Services, includes Historical Weather™ which "puts colour in your family story with more than a billion historical weather records. Dates will never be boring again." The example:

I wonder how well it performs. Will we get "Twas a dark and stormy night."

In response to a query on what countries are covered for what time periods FTM only replied that further information would be forthcoming when the product is officially announced.

Extended Embargo Period for Ontario Birth Records

It's not that new, the regulation changed in 2016, but I just noticed it on the Archives of Ontario website.

Due to changes in regulations, 1918 and newer birth registrations and indexes will be retained by the Office of the Registrar General for 104 years after the year of registration. The 1918 birth registrations and indexes will be transferred to the Archives of Ontario in 2023.


Given AO will have one less thing to do might we expect another initiative? Suggestions?

14 May 2019

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec to open access

BAnQ announced at a meeting in Montreal on Monday that it will allow the free and unrestricted use of more than 100,000 public-domain heritage items that have been digitized and made available on its BAnQ numérique Web portal, the institution's digital platform. Read the press release and you'll find nothing has changed at present.

"The selected method to locate and identify relevant items will be finalized shortly. The implementation of the Creative Commons licences and the RightsStatements.org standardized statements in BAnQ numérique will provide users with proper awareness of the permitted use of all digitized materials. Starting in the fall of 2019, a significant corpus will be declared free of rights on the institution's digital platform and the identification part of the project will be carried out in the upcoming year."
Note there are already resources available — it's not easy to identify them. Here's an example, an issue from the complete run of the Canadian Illustrated News.

Free from Diahan Southard

One of my favourite DNA speakers, Diahan Southard is offering two new free resources.
The Your DNA Guide Blog with plain-English tips and stories to inspire your DNA journey. It helps you to keep up with articles like this new series on understanding ethnicity results.
You can also sign up for the new Your DNA Guide newsletter. Also free, the newsletter summarizes popular blog posts and gives alerts for upcoming genealogy events, news items, and fun facts to expand your knowledge of genetic genealogy.