31 August 2019

Digital memorials for all veterans in US national cemeteries

3.7 million US Veterans interred in 136 National Cemetery Administration cemeteries are memorialized in a new free website.
Search fields available are name (required), branch of service, war, location and additional information in an advanced search.
Each veteran's page includes their name, dates of birth (not given for my British-born ancestor) and death, last rank held, service branch, cemetery, address and contact information for the cemetery, section of the cemetery they are interred in and the date of their internment.
Upcoming features will include the ability to add tribute messages, photographs and more to individual profiles.

British Newspaper Archive additions for August

The British Newspaper Archive now has a total of 33,549,831 pages online (33,004,439 last month). 45 papers (43 last month) had pages added in the past month. There were 20 new titles. Dates range from 1849 to 1993.

The 16 newspapers with more than 10,000 pages added during the month are:

North British Agriculturist1849-1859, 1861-1864
Clyde Bill of Entry and Shipping List1874-1903, 1905-1914
Staffordshire Sentinel1993-1995
Alloa Journal1859-1912
Forfar Herald1884-1933
Dalkeith Advertiser1869-1959
Newcastle Daily Chronicle1870, 1872-1887, 1891-1896, 1899-1909, 1912-1914, 1916-1923
Aberdeen Press and Journal1991-1993
The Queen1905-1912
Aberdeen Evening Express1992-1993
Daily Review (Edinburgh)1863, 1879-1883
Northern Scot and Moray & Nairn Express1880-1912
Devon Valley Tribune1899-1952
Portadown News1922-1925, 1927-1956
Coatbridge Express1885-1951
Banffshire Advertiser1881-1902, 1905-1912

30 August 2019

Ancestry free access to Canadian census records for Labour Day weekend

Free access from now to 2 September 2019 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Ancestry registration required. After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using a paid membership that includes Canadian records.

Included are the data collections are:
1825 Census of Lower Canada
1842 Census of Canada East
1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia
1861 Census of Canada
1871 Census of Canada
1881 Census of Canada
1891 Census of Canada
1901 Census of Canada
1906 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta
1911 Census of Canada
1916 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta
1921 Census of Canada
Addington County, Ontario Canada 1851 Census
Athol, Picton, and Wellington, Prince Edward District, Ontario Census, 1881
Blenheim, Chatham, and Harwich, Kent County, Ontario Census, 1881
Canada, British Vessel Crew Lists, 1881
Canada, Census Mortality Schedule, 1871
Canada, Unemployment Relief for Canadian Settlers, 1932-1939
Canada, Voters Lists, 1935-1980
Canadian Civil Servants Lists, 1872-1900
Civil Service List of Canada: 1911
Clinton, Gainsborough, and Beamsville, Lincoln County, Ontario Census, 1901
Durham County, Ontario Census, 1861
Essex District, Ontario, Canada Census, 1881 (Kingsville, Colchester, Sandwich, Pelee, Gosfield)
Kent County, New Brunswick Census, 1871: Eight Subdistricts
Lennox County, Ontario Canada 1851 Census
Lisgar District, Manitoba Census, 1891: Gimli, Kildonan, Macdonald, Plessis, Rockwood, Selkirk Town
Manitoba, Canada, Census Indexes, 1832-1856 & 1870
Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada, Crew Lists, 1864-1942
Newfoundland, Canada, Census, 1921
Newfoundland, Canada, Census, 1935
Newfoundland, Canada, Census, 1945
Nova Scotia, 1770 Census
Nova Scotia, Canada, Census, Assessment and Poll Tax Records, 1770-1795, 1827, 1838
Ontario and Nova Scotia, Census, 1800-1842
Ontario, Canada Census Index, 1871 FREE
Ontario, Canada Voter Lists, 1867-1900
Raleigh Township, Kent County, Ontario Census, 1881
Wellington County, Ontario Canada 1851 Census


TheGenealogist adds Lloyd George Domesday Survey records (1910-1915) for Tower Hamlets

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Landowners and occupiers in 1910-1915 in Tower Hamlets, with over 91,500 individuals recorded, now join the previously released data books and their detailed associated maps for other parts of London. The total number is now nearly half a million individuals within this record set.

"This new release is the latest phase of TheGenealogist’s extensive 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, sourced from The National Archives, were originally compiled by the Valuation Office in a period that stretched from 1910-1915 in response to Lloyd George’s government passing the People’s Budget 1909/1910.

This new release covers records made of property ownership and occupation in Bethnal Green East, Bethnal Green North, Bethnal Green South, Bethnal Green West, Bow, Bromley, Christchurch, Limehouse, Mile End Centre, Mile End East, Mile End New Town, Mile End North, Mile End South West, Norton Folgate, Old Artillery Ground, Poplar North, Poplar South, Ratcliff, Saint Botolph without Aldgate, Saint George in the East, Shadwell, Wapping and Whitechapel."

Read Nick Thorne's article for more on finding your London ancestors in these records.

FreeBMD second August update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Thursday 29 August 2019 to contain 271,399,052 unique records (271,040,162 at previous update).

Years with major additions at this update, greater than 5,000 records, are: for births 1964, 1978, 1982, 1984-88; for marriages 1964-65, 1969, 1980, 1984-87; for deaths 1984-86.


Findmypast weekly: focus on newspaper notices from Scotland

Here are this week's additions:

Scotland, Newspaper Birth Notices
Over 121,000 new records have been added to our collection of Scottish newspaper notices of births — now 150,680 records. These new additions have been transcribed from our existing collection of Scottish newspapers.

Each record includes a transcript and an image of the original newspaper announcement. The amount of information listed varies, but most records will list a combination of your ancestor’s birth date, birthplace and parents’ names.

Scotland, Newspaper Death Reports & Obituaries
Over 500,000 additional records are now available to search — now 615,746 records. This collection of newspaper death reports and obituaries may reveal interesting or undiscovered stories surrounding your ancestors’ life and death.

Transcripts will reveal your ancestor’s death date, age at death, parents’ names and the name of their spouse. Images may reveal additional details.

Scotland, Newspaper Marriage & Anniversary Notices
A further 201,000 new records have also been added to Scotland, Newspapers Marriage and Anniversary Notices — now 248,909 records.

Also taken from our existing collection of historical newspapers, the records will include a combination of your ancestor’s marriage date, marriage place, spouse’s name and parents’ names. Images of the original notices may reveal additional details.

Lancashire Wills & Probate 1457-1858
More than 26,000 new records have recently been added to this collection — now 295,900 records. Search these records to see if your ancestor’s probate papers have survived through the centuries. This index will give you details about the type of material available, the probate year, your ancestor’s occupation and residence.

Until 1857, the Church of England was responsible for administering wills and probate cases. These wills would have been proved in ecclesiastic courts. The records cover Amounderness, Copeland, Furness, Kendal, and Lonsdale deaneries. This collection has been created by both Findmypast, which transcribed original records from the Lancashire Record Office, and the Lancashire and Cheshire Record Society, which provided index work.

International Records Update – Netherlands
Unearth your Dutch roots with three indexes covering more than three million births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials that took place in the Netherlands between 1564 and 1945.

These transcripts were sourced from the International Genealogical Index and will generate hints against your Findmypast family tree.

Welcoming Leslie Weir as Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Today being her first official day on the job, from the Canadian genealogical community let's wish Leslie Weir every success as she takes on her new role.

Concordia University, of which she is a graduate, printed this interview marking the occasion.

29 August 2019

Free access to Canadian and US censuses

Through the Labour Day weekend, MyHeritage is offering free access to their consolidated collections of Canadian and US (federal and state) censuses.
Although FamilySearch and Library and Archives Canada routinely offer free access this is an opportunity for searching across both.

Most popular baby names in England and Wales for 2018

In 2018, 62,729 different names were given to 657,076 newborns. The just-published annual list of popular baby names in England and Wales from the UK the Office for National Statistics has few surprises.  Here are the main points from the ONS"

Oliver remained the most popular name for boys in England and Wales for the sixth year in a row, while Olivia remained the most popular name for girls for the third year in a row.
Arthur was the only new entry into the top 10 names for boys in 2018, replacing Jacob, while Sophia and Grace replaced Poppy and Lily in the top 10 names for girls.

“... there are the first signs that Oliver’s six-year reign as the number one name for boys is under threat. Arthur surged into the top 10 boys’ names for the first time since the 1920s, and Ada jumped into the girls’ top 100 for the first time in a century too, both perhaps inspired by characters in the BBC TV drama Peaky Blinders.

“On the flipside, the growth in the use of technology assistants in our homes may help to explain why the number of baby girls named Alexa has more than halved compared with 2017. Communicating with young children can be hard enough at the best of times.”

Kenneth, Roger, Keith, Terence and Barry were all in the top 20 names for boys in 1944 but none are in the top 1,000 in 2018.

Christine, Jean, Ann, Susan, Janet, Maureen, Carol, Pauline, Joan and Pamela were all in the top 20 in 1944, but none are in the top 1,000 names for girls in 2018.

John which was the top name for boys for many years is now 122nd.

Read the full ONS release here.

Go here to explore names outside the top 100 (not ONS).

Nick Stripe, Head of Life Events at the UK Office of National Statistics has penned a blog post for those, perhaps those who rejoice in one of those now out of favour names, who question the significance of the list.

Farewell Guy Berthiaume as Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

Today being his final official day on the job, from the Canadian genealogical community let's wish Guy Berthiaume well as he moves on.
His term as Librarian and Archivist of Canada has been a remarkable success and I can't imagine retirement will mean not continuing to be active.

Brief Book Review: Tracing Your Insolvent Ancestors

Prominent English genealogist Paul Blake, who will be speaking on "Sources for Tracing Pre-Mid-19th Century English Ancestors" at the 2019 British Institute, is the author of this "practical but expert guide to researching (English) insolvent debtor and bankrupt ancestors."
The material covered is complex, suitable for the professional rather than the hobbyist, especially as only revealed on page 20, the book deals almost exclusively with the various court and prison records, with considerable local variation, prior to 1875.
As a good starting point elsewhere try the free TNA online research guide Bankrupts and insolvent debtors.

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Pen and Sword Family History (June 27, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1526738651
ISBN-13: 978-1526738653
Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches

28 August 2019

Should I experiment with affiliate marketing?

In the years that I've been writing this blog I've never tried affiliate marketing. But an email I got yesterday made me reconsider.

Rick Roberts from Global Genealogy wrote that it looks unlikely that they will have a supply of Blaine Bettinger's book The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy, 2nd edition, for the BIFHSGO conference. By the time they pay the wholesale price, currency exchange, shipping, and customs clearance they can't compete with the price at amazon.ca/.

That's a pity. The book is good, or rather I know the 1st edition was good and the 2nd has excellent reviews. So how about purchasing online through an affiliate link I'd establish? Online buyers through amazon.ca would get their copies in good time to get Blaine to sign them at the conference and there would be no extra cost because of the experiment.

The downside for me is that recommendations on the blog might be viewed as less objective.

I have no illusions about getting rich. I wouldn't want to be taking business away from the marketplace, which I wouldn't if Global Genealogy has no stock. An affiliate link experiment is something I'm tempted to try for the experience. Any comments?

BIFHSGO conference too successful?

Maybe! This notice has appeared on the society website.

Registration for the Friday Seminars, the City of Ottawa Archives Tour and Sunday Only is still open. Full Conference and Saturday Only Registrations have been closed. If you would like to be put on the wait list for Full Conference Registration, please contact conferenceregistrar@bifhsgo.ca/.

Maybe the conference committee will need to find a larger venue for future conferences.

British Accents and Dialects

From the British Library, hear speakers from 70 different locations all over the UK recorded from the mid-20th century to the present day. https://www.bl.uk/british-accents-and-dialects/articles/accents-and-dialects-of-england.
You may also want to revisit the NYT British-Irish Dialect Quiz.

27 August 2019

Doris Ethel Hope RIP

In memory of Doris Ethel Hope (nee Grierson) M.A, B. Comm, F.L.M.I., retired faculty Algonquin College.
WWII Veteran, W.R.C.N.S., Bletchley Park - Naval Intelligence, an avid genealogist, historian and golfer.
After a brief illness, peacefully following a long and productive life in her 97th year on Saturday, 24 August 2019 at the Perley and Rideau Veteran's Health Centre. Devoted mother of Melodie Summers and her husband Daniel. Daughter of the late Ernest Grierson and Minnie Sparks. Widow of Bob Hope. Predeceased by long-time good friend John Downs. Also predeceased by her brothers Arthur Grierson (Wilda Manchester) and Harold Grierson (Ann Mulligan). Survived by her sister Lois MacKinnon (the late Jack). Sadly, missed by her canine pal Ceilidh. Predeceased by her most highly favourite dogs Pluto and Rowdy. She adored her son-in-law's children, Ron Summers (Natalie) and Stephanie Dionne (Glen) and all their 7 children. Cherished aunt of David Grierson (Pat), Phillip Grierson (Donna), Judith Greaves (Bill), Marilyn MacKinnon, Janine Amatori (Pat), Cheryl Conroy, Corinne Merchant (Noel), Lisa Seiga (Henry) and Leah Perry. Special cousin to Gail Wilson (Mario), Jennifer Clement and Carol Kerfoot. Doris will be greatly missed by her large extended family. Doris was the daughter of two great Canadian pioneer families, she loved learning, golfing and lived life to the fullest. Visitation will be held at the Westboro Chapel of Tubman Funeral Homes, 403 Richmond Rd (at Roosevelt), Ottawa on Tuesday, 27 August 2019 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral service will take place in the chapel on Wednesday, 28 August 2019 at 11 a.m. followed by a reception. Burial will take place at Bairds Grant Cemetery in Torbolton. Following the burial a Scottish wake will be held at her daughter's home. Flowers will gratefully be accepted. Condolences and tributes may be made at www.tubmanfuneralhomes.com/.

A BIFHSGO, Historical Society of Ottawa and OGS Ottawa Branch member, Doris was the author of The Griersons of Torbolton Township, originally published in 2005 with a revised edition in 2016, Torbolton Township, Its Earliest History published in 2011 and Our "Capitol" Wrens published in 2018. Her ancestral names included Boucher, Bradley, Caldwell, Ferguson, Grierson, Hedley, Morris, Payne, Riddell, Ryder, Sheil, Sparks, Stevens, and Tetlock.

The Ottawa Genealogist: May-August 2019

Here are the contents of the latest issue of the resurrected Ottawa Branch OGS quarterly publication The Ottawa Genealogist, Volume 51, No. 2. An extract listing items new in the library of UK and Ireland interest are listed below the TOC.

2 Upcoming Events
3 Message from the Chair, by Doug Grey
3 Cover Photo
5 From the Editor, by Tyler Owens
6 The Ontario Name Index (TONI) Explained, by Mike More
7 Photo - Ontario Ancestors in the Archives
8 An Ontario Toolbox – Library Resources for Family History, by Pam Cooper
13 Feature Item - 99th Regiment of Foot Officers Resident in the Canadas in August 1818, by George A. Neville,
15 Feature Item – “F.R. Latchford on an old ‘Indian Trail’”, by George A. Neville
18 Feature Article - John Robertson of Bell’s Corners: A cautionary tale, by Bruce S. Elliott
24 The Ontario Genealogical Society is now Ontario Ancestors, by Jim Patterson
24 On the Shelves, by Heather Oakley
25 Electronic Notebook, by Mike More
28 New Titles in the Library, by Grace Lewis
29 Interesting Web Sites, by Heather Oakley
31 Gleanings from Newsletters in the Ottawa Branch Library, by Heather Oakley
36 Special Interest Groups
37 Here, There & Everywhere, by Heather Oakley

Items of UK and Ireland interest new to the library

Historical Maps of Ireland, by Michael Swift, Parkgate Books Ltd., London Great Britain, 1999
Tracing Your Ancestors in the National Archives: The Website and Beyond, 7th ed., The National Archives, Surrey England, 2006
Poor Law Union Records Part 2 the Midlands and Northern England, 2nd ed. by Jeremy Gibson and Colin Rogers, Federation of Family History Societies, 1997
The History of Scotland: its Highlands, Regiments and Clans, vol. 2, by James Browne, Francis A. Niccolls & Co., Edinburgh Scotland, 1909
A History of England, by C.E.Carrington, MA and J. Hampden Jackson, MA, The MacMillan Co. of Canada Ltd., 1937

Update on Vernon’s Directories Available for Viewing

The OGS page on this project suggests to "Check back often as more will be added regularly." So I did.

Since last posted about the project on 27 July, when there were 189 directories digitized, two have been added. While one can't be sure they are probably:

Vernon's Sault Ste. Marie and Steelton directory - 1908-1909
Vernon's city of Stratford (Ontario) directory - 1930

26 August 2019

LAC participates in H. R. Holmden plaque unveiling at Beechwood Cemetery

Five generations of descendants couldn't have chosen a more pleasant late August morning on Sunday for the unveiling of a "Great Canadian Profile" plaque in celebration of Hensley Reed Holmden (1852-1928).
He had an extended career at the National Archives as Chartologist of the Dominion during the term of Sir Arthur Doughty as National Archivist of Canada so it was appropriate that Robert McIntosh, Director-General responsible for the National Archives, was present to make remarks on behalf of LAC
"It is a pleasure to participate today in honouring an outstanding Canadian known as the Chartologist of the Dominion, Hensley Reed Holmden.
While maps and plans had been collected by the Dominion Archives since its establishment in 1872, only in 1907 was a distinct Map Division organized. Its Chief from 1907 to his retirement in 1924 was H. R. Holmden, a former journalist who had joined the Archives in 1905.
The new Division prided itself on a separate Map Room based in the newly constructed Dominion Archives Building at 330 Sussex Drive. This building, which now houses the Global Centre for Pluralism, was for many years the home of the Canadian War Museum after the Archives moved to 395 Wellington in 1967.
At its creation, the Map Division held just over 4000 plans, maps and charts. It had been enriched by a major transfer from the British War Office consisting mainly of manuscript maps and plans of military property in Canada and of maps dating from the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.
Under Holmden's energetic leadership, maps were described, a catalogue was published, and very importantly acquisitions increased rapidly. He set an ambitious objective for the Division: to build as complete a collection as possible of all maps made since approximately the year 1500 that show part or all of Canada.
By 1909, according to the Archives' Annual Report, the collection had grown to 6000 maps —  a number of maps of New France dating from 1709 were acquired that year.
The first major Catalogue of Maps, Plans and Charts in the Map Room of the Dominion Archives was published in 1912. Evidence of H.R. Holmden's work persists through the inclusion of legacy "Holmden numbers" in our descriptive records today.
Ill health forced his retirement in 1924, by which time the collection included nearly 30,000 items. H.R. Holmden is eminently worthy of the honour he is receiving today. He was a major builder of the National Map Collection, a national treasure that today numbers over 3 million items."
The Beechwood National Cemetery program unveils approximately three plaques each year divided about equally between military and non-military.

Book Review: Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet

This 2nd edition by well-known speaker, author and blogger Chris Paton, is strongly recommended as a reference for everyone researching their Irish family history online. Packed with information and web addresses a remarkable amount is covered in the 10 chapters, 187 pp, of regular text.

The Genealogical Landscape, the first chapter, is an overview of the major archives, libraries, societies and commercial vendors. Chapter two, The Vital Records covers records of birth, marriage. death and burial one might expect plus wills and, strangely, newspapers and DNA. Sadly the DNA section lacks any mention of developments encompassed by Genetic Genealogy Ireland.

The third chapter, Where They Lived, covering the census, census substitutes, land records and directories is followed by chapters on Occupations and a new chapter for this edition on The Decade of Centenaries covering the period 1912 - 1923.

The following four chapters, on the four Provinces of Ireland, Ulster, Munster, Connacht and Leinster are strengths because of the specialist websites mentioned. Here is one excerpt
Ros Davies' County Down site at http://freepages.rootsweb.com/-rosdavies/genealogy, Raymond's County Down site at www.raymondscountydownwebsite.com, and the Irish Genealogy Project at www.igp-web.com/IGPArchives/ire/down/index.htm all offer many transcribed and free to access research resources. Peter Meaney's site at http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~meaneypj/genealogy has a section on Down also, containing various gems such as a name index to petty session court reports drawn from the Belfast Newsletter. A list of High Sheriffs for the county from 1714 to 1857 is at http://homepage.tinet.ie/~jbhall/index.html.
Published as a (6 "x 9")  trade paperback it is less than half the weight of John Grenham's Tracing Your Irish Ancestors 5th edition published in the same format.

My one suggestion for a third edition would be to include some maps. Although no challenge to find a map online it would be helpful, especially for newcomers to Irish research, to have a map of the island of Ireland upfront showing the provinces and main towns and more detailed maps in each of the Province chapters.

The Pen and Sword UK website lists Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet at £11.99. Amazon.ca lists the publication date for Canada as 19 November 2019.

25 August 2019

YouTube: Endogamy Explained

At Saturday's Ottawa DNA group meeting, after an explanation of what endogamy is, the custom of marrying only within the limits of a local community, clan, or tribe, a survey found that more than half those in attendance had an endogamous line in their ancestry. As it wasn't well understood I mentioned a new YouTube video which explains how to overcome endogamy and locate the significant matches.

Jewish is mentioned in the title but endogamy is relevant more broadly.

The presenter Jarrett Ross, the GeneaVlogger, has a YouTube channel with lots of other videos free to view.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

The Bones of Old London
Rumination upon the capital’s osteological history.

MyHeritage Adds French Record Collection: Nord Civil Marriage Records, 1792–1937

Does Birth Order Affect Personality?
"... firstborns tended to be more conscientious, extraverted and willing to lead. Contrary to expectations, they were also more tolerant and emotionally stable than adolescents with older siblings. Yet the differences were very small ..."

Change and Continuity in Maps of Norwich
A blog post from the Norfolk Record Office features the Yarmouth Hutch map  (NRO, Y/C 37/1depicting the Norfolk/Suffolk coastline ca 1000 AD with South at the top of the map and North at the bottom.

5 Fastest and Free File-Sharing Apps to Transfer Large Files Online
From Make Use Of — I'll have to reconsider WeTransfer which has been my choice recently.

Starbucks Monetary Policy
Your balance in a company cash card, points balances, Canadian Tire money and the like are effectively an interest-free loan.

The Inspection Paradox is Everywhere
Buses are supposed to arrive at constant intervals, but in practice, some intervals are longer than others. If you arrive at random you're more likely to do so in a long interval between buses because it’s longer.

How to become a great impostor
A long read; the story and methods of Ferdinand Waldo Demara, a charming rogue who tricked his way to notoriety.

Bird migration animation

Look at all the undocumented migrants from Central and South America — need a taller wall?

24 August 2019

Deadline for OGS Conference 2020 presentation proposals is 29 August

23andMe upgrade offer

If you previously tested with 23andMe perhaps you received this email:

As an early adopter of 23andMe, you were genotyped on a previous version of our chip and don’t have access to all our newly released reports and features. You can now upgrade to the most recent version of our chip - V5 - to receive the latest Health + Ancestry Service experience.

Buy a Chip Upgrade for C$150 (the regular price is $199US for new testers)  and receive:

The latest Health Service reports*
Type 2 Diabetes (Powered by 23andMe Research), Familial Hypercholesterolemia and more.

The latest Ancestry enhancements
Get refinements to Ancestry Composition, including newly added populations and Ancestry Detail Reports.

A better sharing experience
Easily compare your reports with friends and family members who were recently genotyped.

At the same time, an email arrived from a friend who also received the offer with a one-word comment


Did you notice the asterisk above? It indicates the following fine print; emphasis added.

*The 23andMe PGS test health predisposition reports include both reports that meet US FDA requirements for genetic health risks and the 23andMe Type 2 Diabetes health predisposition report which is based on 23andMe research and has not been reviewed by the FDA. The test uses qualitative genotyping to detect select clinically relevant variants in the genomic DNA of adults from saliva for the purpose of reporting and interpreting genetic health risks. It is not intended to diagnose any disease. Your ethnicity may affect the relevance of each report and how your genetic health risk results are interpreted. Each genetic health risk report describes if a person has variants associated with a higher risk of developing a disease, but does not describe a person’s overall risk of developing the disease. The test is not intended to tell you anything about your current state of health, or to be used to make medical decisions, including whether or not you should take a medication, how much of a medication you should take, or determine any treatment. For important information and limitations regarding each genetic health risk report, visit 23andme.com/test-info/.

If you want to dig deeper into the upgrade there's more information and a sample report at www.23andme.com/dna-health-ancestry/.

I'll not comment on the value of the medical part of the test except to suggest considering the option of having Promethease analyze your data.

The Ancestry part of the service provides "where your DNA is from out of 1000+ regions worldwide - and more.
35+ reports including:
Ancestry Composition Ancestry Detail Reports Maternal & Paternal Haplogroups Neanderthal Ancestry."

A sample Ancestry Composition report doesn't appear to be greatly different from previous, the 1000+ regions worldwide are more than previously provided.

However, in looking again at my previous test I see they are now highlighting many more regions there too. Seven of ten sub-regions mentioned within the UK are ones where I have paper-trail ancestry, but there are also some missing. None of the ten given for Ireland correspond to my suspected possible ancestry.

There is no information to tell whether the maternal and paternal haplogroup or Neanderthal ancestry resulta are changed. Neither is there information to indicate any change in the Relative Finder capability.

The description of this upgrade fails to convince me it's worth the money.

23 August 2019

Society of Genealogists plans to relocate

The following is posted on the Society of Genealogists website.

After two years of careful analysis and discussions, the Trustees of the Society of Genealogists have concluded that we have finally outgrown our premises in Clerkenwell and are seeking to relocate.

Charterhouse Buildings is our fifth home since the Society was founded in 1911. But after 35 years, the current library no longer provides adequate space and facilities for our needs and requires significant investment for major repairs, maintenance and IT.

Moving to more suitable premises will enable the Society to reinvest in our core services of providing the best genealogical library and collections in the UK, to continue and expand upon our education programme and to create a more convivial space for our members and users.

No decisions have yet been made about when we will move or where we will go. Rest assured no decision will be made until we have consulted widely and sought advice and input from our stakeholders. The process will no doubt take some time and it is unlikely to be less than a three to five-year period.

We hope that our members and friends will join us in this period of transformation and look forward to better times ahead.

For any further comment or questions please direct enquiries to June Perrin, Chief Executive Officer, Society of Genealogists, ceo@sog.org.uk

Findmypast adds records from Scotland & the Isle of Man

Scotland, Court & Criminal Database
Were your Scots relatives in trouble with the law or a victim of a crime? Search from them in this database of more than 28,000 Crown Office Precognitions and High Court Trial Papers between 1801 and 1917. The collection also includes The Fife Kalendar of Convicts, and index to many of the Courts in Fife from 1708 to 1909, as well as the High Court Records.

The database has 160,895 entries, each result linked to both a transcript and an image of the original document with accused’s name, birth year, birthplace, address, occupation, the nature of their offence, the date and location of their trail as well as the sentence they received. Some records will also include trial notes, verdict comments, and previous convictions and additional comments (added by the licensor as opposed to being factual information included or taken from the records).

Crown Office Precognitions are factual statements that have been given by witnesses to both the prosecution and defence before the case goes to trial. Precognitions differ from a witness statement, a witness statement is an account of what the witness has said or seen whereas a precognition is an account of the witness’s evidence.

The High Court is the highest court in Scotland, it has jurisdiction over the most serious crimes such as murder, rape, treason, heresy, counterfeiting and crimes of a sexual nature. A single judge hears cases with a jury of 15 people.

Church of Scotland Ministers 1560-1949
Explore PDF images of the “The Succession of Ministers on the Church of Scotland from the Reformation”. There are 4,734 entries. Compiled by Hew Scott, D.D., The work was revised and continued up to 1949 under the Superintendence of a Committee appointed by the General Assembly.

As quoted in the book, “the design of the present work is to present a comprehensive account of the Succession of Ministers of the Church of Scotland since the period of the Reformation. An attempt is made to give some additional interest by furnishing incidental notices of their lives, writings and families, which may prove useful to the Biographer, the Genealogist, and the Historian.”

Isle of Man Roll Of Honour WW1
The Isle Of Man Roll Of Honour recorded the names of more than 1,900 men who died during the First World War or died as a result of wounds, injury or disease contracted on active service. These transcripts will reveal rank, regiment, parish and biography.

Originally published in 1934 by the War Pensions Committee, the publication was funded entirely by Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby. In 1936, the War Pensions Committee donated copies to each parish church throughout the island. The foreword, provided by Lord Stanley, reads ‘It is well that the deeds of those who died in the Great War should find a permanent memorial in such a list. Whilst this generation lives their names will not be forgotten, but other generations will arise to whom they will not be personally known. This Roll will serve to keep their memory green and future Manxmen and Manxwomen, when reading it, will realize that in our great struggle the Isle of Man played a noble part’.

International Records – Lichtenstein
Search through thousands of records from the Liechtenstein birth and baptism index taken from the International Genealogical Index. Each transcript will reveal a combination of birth year, baptism date, baptism place and parents’ names.

Chartologist of the Dominion

On Sunday, 25 August at 11 am Beechwood Cemetery will unveil a new Great Canadian Plaque to honour the Chartologist of the Dominion, Hensley Reed Holmden (1852-1928). The event comprises a short ceremony at the gravesite which is in section A, a few speeches and a reception in the main building.

"Born in Plymouth, England, coming to Canada in 1881, he worked as a journalist for a number of newspapers earning a reputation as one of the best reporters in the Capital.
In 1900 he became President of the Press Gallery. Changing career at age 52 he became Chartist of the Dominion Archives. In 1912 he published the Catalogue of Maps, Plans and Charts in the Map Room of the Dominion Archives which classified and indexed some 4,106 items. His tireless search for maps and charts led to the outline of the Arctic and defined Provincial boundaries for all Canadians to see."

For more on see A Brief History of the National Map Collection at the Public Archives of Canada (pdf)

According to an entry in Wikitree he married Janet Murray (1853-1917), and they had 17 children in 18 years (between 1879 and 1897).

22 August 2019

BIFHSGO DNA Group: Saturday 25 August

The meeting this Saturday starting at 9:30 am at the City Archives, 100 Tallwood, will pick up on the discussion of the themes of 8 August event “DNA and Online Resources.”

There will be a round table discussion with remaining time.

Members and guests will be required to sign in and out at the reception desk on the ground floor.

Remaining Meeting dates for 2019:
5 October 2019
2 November 2019 1 PM (time changed at the request of the Archives)

Weather for RootsTech London

Will you be joining us at RootsTech London, 24 - 26 October? Thinking about what clothes to pack for the climate?
It's far too early to know for sure.
The climatological maximum in London for the time of year is 11C (52F), minimum 5C (41F) and one day in three has rain.
Those are averages over 30 years.
Last year for those dates the highest maximum temperature was 17C on 24 October, the lowest minimum 5C on 25 October and two of the three days had rain.
For me coming from Ottawa that suggests a jacket, a light sweater, and a small umbrella.
Floridians should plan on bringing full winter gear!

Maberly News: Fair on Saturday 24 August

Archives Lanark, and the Lanark County Genealogical Society will be occupying booths at the Maberly Fair, in Maberly, Lanark County Saturday, 24 August, at the Fairgrounds near Highway 7.

Archives Lanark is writing a book on one-room schools in Bathurst Township and South Sherbrooke Township so if you have pictures or stories to share please drop by the booth.

The Lanark County Genealogical Society will be on hand to help you with your research on your Lanark County ancestors.

This is an old-time fair, with games for the kids, lots of animals to see, and horse shows. Parking is on-site. There is a small admission fee to the Fairgrounds and no ATM on site.

21 August 2019

BIG NEWS: NGS and FGS to merge

The following is a news release issued simultaneously today. 21 August 2019 by FGS and NGS.
In a historic move, the boards of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced today their intent to merge. The two organizations, both non-profit leaders in the dynamic genealogy industry, will form one consolidated group that will continue to operate as the National Genealogical Society. Both boards approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) earlier this week and jointly announced the news at the Opening Session of the FGS Family History Conference in Washington, D.C. this morning. 
Leaders of both organizations believe this merger will serve the genealogy community by improving the support of both individual members and societies in the pursuit of genealogical excellence. 
The organizational structure of NGS will be modified to increase functions that support genealogical societies and family organizations. Digitization projects of genealogical importance such as the War of 1812 pensions will continue. The two organizations will continue to operate independently while all details of the merger are completed, no later than October 1, 2020. 
Faye Stallings, President of FGS, said: “We are excited about this opportunity to combine with a premier organization that has been in operation since 1903. This will allow for improved and expanded services to help support societies.” Ben Spratling, President of the NGS, commented, “We look forward to continuing the strong legacy of FGS as a ‘gathering point’ for family historians and societies all across the nation.”
The merged entity will operate under the name National Genealogical Society which is the stronger component.
To be resolved is the path forward for organizations outside the US which have memberships in FGS.
Canada has no national genealogical organization but there is a precedent in other fields for Canadian branches of another nation's organization eventually becoming strong enough to form an independent national organization.
The UK might also consider the benefits of a similar amalgamation for the Society of Genealogists, Family History Federation (formerly Federation of Family History Societies) and perhaps some smaller organizations.

CAA does family history in Scotland

"Genealogy travel is a trend on the rise as people look to the past to understand their present."
CAA Magazine, Fall 2019 issue explores this through the eyes of Adam McCulloch who recounts his exploration of his Scottish ancestry. His supposed ancestor, Sir Godfrey McCulloch was executed in Edinburgh on 26 March 1697. From the Scotlands People Centre the trail leads him to Dumfries and Galloway, and on to Glasgow. Along the way, he retraces the ancestral journey and meets a McCulloch family historian.
According to the article, 50 million people worldwide claim Scottish heritage; the resident population is 5.5 million.
More than 3.5 million international visitors came to Scotland last year, 620 thousand from North America. The Scottish National Tourist Office is quoted as estimating that 34% of the Canadian visitors came to explore their ancestry.

Six FREE Webinars on 6 September 2019

The US Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) will host six free webinars live from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 6 September 2019.

11 a.m Eastern time. Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG®, CGL℠, “Reasonably Exhaustive Research: The First Criteria for Genealogical Proof.”

12:15 p.m. Eastern time. Martha Garrett, PhD, CG®, “Finding Immigrants Who ‘Disappeared’: A Research Approach Based on Recognizing and Challenging Assumptions.”

1:30 p.m. Eastern time. Judy G. Russell, JD, CG®, CGL℠, “Share and Share Alike: The Rules of Genealogical Privacy.”

3:30 p.m. Eastern time. Karen Stanbary, CG®, “Details of New and Modified DNA-Related Standards.”

4:45 p.m. Eastern time. Melinda Henningfield, CG®, “How to Write a Case Study that Meets the New Standards for DNA: As Codified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.”

6:00 p.m. Eastern time. Rick Sayre, CG®, CGL℠, “Reconstructing an Entrepreneurial Woman’s Life: From Family Intrigue to Water Rents.”

Find out more and register at https://familytreewebinars.com/BCG19.

20 August 2019

Visiting Dead Relatives on Google Street View

A fortnight ago I was checking out an address on Google Street View. There was an image of the friend I was to visit just leaving his house. It was pixilated but he was still recognizable.

In an OK Whatever blog post Jessie Schiewe recount instances where images of a recently deceased relative had been captured.

RootsTech London — an international event

Count em! The presenters at RootsTech London, 24-26 October 2019 come from 16 countries.

It's organized by FamilySearch —  so the largest number (27) comes from the USA.

The same number are from the UK, 20 from England, 5 from Scotland and 2 from Wales. There are 20 from the European Union (after BREXIT), 5 each from France and Germany.

Outside the UK the British Commonwealth has three each from Australia and Canada, a Commonwealth total of 33.
CountryNumber of Speakers
United States27

Legacy Family Tree Webinars this week

Tuesday 20 August (8 pm ET)
Ten Tools for Genealogical Writing by Harold Henderson
Genealogists love to research, but writing it up – not so much. First, we need to read good writing (any kind). Then, practice writing in two separate compartments: write as it comes, and return later to fix or edit. Don’t worry about beginnings or endings; they will emerge over time. Seek out helpful critics, never wait until the last minute, and be ready to learn from editors.

Wednesday 21 August (2 pm ET)
Bullet Journaling for Genealogy by Shellee Morehead
There are so many wonderful technological tools for getting more out of your genealogical research time, but how do you choose which ones are going to work best for you? Are you struggling with making time for your research, staying on track for your projects, or just want to unplug and plan? If any of these situations sound like you, perhaps putting pen to paper might be the way to go. The bullet journal method is an excellent, analog way to organize your research plan, and stay on track towards your research goals.

Friday 23 August (2 pm ET)
Introduction to Forensic Genealogy by Kelvin L. Meyers
An overview of forensic genealogy and the role of the genealogist in these types of cases. We will discuss some of the major types of cases in which a forensic genealogist may be involved, such as guardianship, oil and gas, unidentified and unclaimed persons, and probate. The role of the forensic genealogist as an expert witness will also be discussed.

19 August 2019

North Lanarkshire, Scotland, Poor Law Applications and Registers, 1849-1917

Ancestry is working to add records for North Lanarkshire drawing on original data from the North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre, Motherwell.
This collection of applications and general registers, added on 15 August, is 230,468 records from institutions in Bothwell, Cambasnethan, Dalziel, New Monkland and Shotts.
The index gives name, birth date, admission date, admission place, and relatives. In the linked images find:

  • Name of applicant, including the maiden name of women
  • Age and/or birth date
  • Birthplace, including the county of birth (compulsory from 1865)
  • Religion (from 1865)
  • Dependants, including children’s names, ages, places of birth
  • Marital history
  • Names of applicant’s parents and parents-in-law, confirming where born and if still alive
  • Previous addresses

Ancestry updates England & Wales, Civil Divorce Records

There are now 81,843 records of civil divorces between 1858 and 1918 in England & Wales on Ancestry.
From 1858 divorce no longer required a private Act of Parliament — divorces were handled by a Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes.
You will find the following details:

  • name
  • gender
  • spouse
  • spouse’s gender
  • type of record
  • petition year
  • date and place of marriage
  • names and birth details of children
  • copy of marriage certificate.

What I did not find in a case I looked at is whether the divorce was granted.

LAC Co-Lab update

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

Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 is 29% complete (18% last month)
Legendary Train Robber and Prison Escapee Bill Miner is 98% complete (97% last month).
Personal Diary of the Baroness Macdonald - Lady Macdonald is 94% complete.

War Diaries of the First World War: 1st Canadian Division is 94% complete (94% last month).
The Call to Duty: Canada's Nursing Sisters is 85% complete.
New France and First Nations Relations is 28% complete (was 33% last month and 39% the previous!).
Rosemary Gilliat (Eaton)’s Arctic diary and photographs is 39% complete.
Japanese-Canadians: Second World War is 61% complete.
Letters from Wilfrid Laurier to Zoé Lafontaine/Laurier is 98% complete (was 100% last month).

The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918–1919.
Correspondence between Sir Robert Borden and Sir Sam Hughes.

One of the indicators for the LAC Three-year plan 2019-2022, released earlier this month, is the number of records enhanced by user contributions in the Co-Lab crowdsourcing tool. The indicator is to be released quarterly as is the indicator number of images digitized via DigiLab.

18 August 2019

Eric Moore RIP

Long-time BIFHSGO and Ottawa Branch OGS member Eric Moore passed on Saturday 3 August at age 90.

Until recently a regular attendee at BIFHSGO meetings he had been active in the community having served as President of the Friends of the (Central Experimental) Farm (1997-2004) and on the Board of the Council of Heritage Organizations of Ottawa.

A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday 7 September at 11am at St. Basil's RC Church on Maitland and the Queensway.

Condolences to his wife Louise and family.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Q/A on Heritage Minutes

Using City Directories in Your Genealogical Research
A blog post by Alan Campbell, Ambassador, Ontario Ancestors [The Ontario Genealogical Society]

About Find A Grave
The Wild West for chronicling the dead?

Historical Directories of England & Wales
The University of Leicester Historical Directories collection provides access to scanned images and full-text of 689 trade and local directories for England and Wales from the 1760s to the 1910s.
The same content is now available in Ancestry UK, City and County Directories, 1766 - 1946 and the University recommends this means of access to genealogists with an Ancestry subscription or access via their local library.

Why Use a Chromosome Browser
Diahan Southard emphasizes that 98% of the time you do not need a chromosome browser to do successful genetic genealogy work and that triangulating segments on more distant matches, like third and fourth cousins, can be problematic.

400 years of slavery
In August of 1619, a ship appeared near Point Comfort, a port in the British colony of Virginia. It carried more than 20 enslaved Africans, who were sold to the colonists.

Why we can’t just blame rising inequality for the growth of populism around the world
Check out Ireland, and Canada.

17 August 2019

Library and Archives Canada, by Guy Berthiaume

Published in Alexandria: The Journal of National and International Library and Information Issues, on the eve of his retirement Guy Berthiaume lays out his vision for the next ten years at LAC.

In conclusion, he writes:

The widening of national libraries’ base of clients and the willingness of those clients to act as partners are creating a posture that corresponds exactly to what Canadian theorist Marshall McLuhan predicted more than 50 years ago when he wrote: ‘There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew’. I believe these are the phenomena that are going to inform the foreseeable future of Library and Archives Canada.
As a former weather forecaster, I'm cautious about predictions. Looking back 10 years how well would one, even someone with the expertizes and experience of Guy Berthiaume, have done at predicting today's situation? What will be the impacts of artificial intelligence, automated transcription of handwritten documents, developments in concerns about privacy and undoubtedly many unknown unknowns?

British Columbia Sessional Papers collection online

One hundred and six years of British Columbia’s governmental papers are now available to anyone with a wifi connection and a device.
The British Columbia Sessional Papers, an annual collection of selected papers tabled in the Legislative Council of British Columbia and the Legislative Assembly is now publicly accessible through UBC Library’s Open Collections.
The greatest likelihood of finding a resident is in the voter's lists, search at https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/bcsessional for "entitled to vote" and the district.
This is an initiative under the British Columbia History Digitization Program.

16 August 2019

Findmypast adds Queen's Birthday Honours, Colonial America, Peterloo records

Britain, Knights Of The Realm & Commonwealth Index 
Records dating back to pre-15000 are now updated with over 14,000 additional records reflecting additions from the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Maryland, Index To Colonial Probate Records, 1634-1777
Transcripts and original record images of more than 107,000 probate records prior to the first Maryland State Constitution.
Maryland, Wills and Probate Records 
Based on the General Index of Wills of St. Mary’s County, Maryland, 1633 to 1900, compiled by Margaret Roberts Hodges from original indices, the collection of records were published by the Carter Braxton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Manchester, Peterloo Witnesses and Casualties, 1819 
Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre on 16 August 1819 at St Peter’s Field, Manchester, this new collection containing more than 1000 names. The records showing whether a person was injured and how; such as, “right elbow and head cut severely” also includes witness statements like, “saw constables hitting [John] Lees with truncheons and a broken flagpole. The records were created from the www.peterloomassacre.org database by Peter Castree.

Ancestry corporate news

Under the headline "Ancestry.com Owners Aim to Extract $900 Million Payout With Loan" Bloomberg report that "An investor group led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and private equity firm Silver Lake Management LLC is looking to pull out more than $900 million from the company through a special dividend mostly funded by new borrowings. They are also seeking approval for another one-time distribution before year-end."

Read the full story at https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ancestry-com-owners-aim-extract-160436335.html

Tip on the hat to Susan Courage for the link.

WDYTYA Magazine September 2019

There are three feature articles in the September WDYTYA magazine, likely available free online in Canada through your public library Press Reader subscription.

WW2 Army Ancestors: a seven-page guide to records revealing the heroes in your family tree. It covers service records, war diaries, medals, the Home Guard and Prisoners of War. My experience in obtaining service records
Canadian Catch: Why English fishermen crossed the Atlantic and made their fortune catching cod in Newfoundland. History but precious little in the way of genealogical resources.
The Magic Of Music: How music hall smashed the class barrier to offer truly mass-market entertainment.
And much more.

Genome Mate Pro Workshop

Jason Porteous, Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, explain how to use Genome Mate Pro and other advanced tools such as Borland Genetics which allow you to partially/fully phase your DNA test results.  More information.
At Nepean Centrepointe Library, 2 pm on Saturday 17 August.

15 August 2019

Ancestry adds North Lanarkshire Electoral Registers

This new collection is of registers listing names and residences of people in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, who were eligible to vote in elections between 1847 and 1969. The 714,769 entries are for:

Airdrie: Annotated List of Parliamentary Electors: 1856-1857; List of Females Entitled to Vote, Fourth Ward: 1886-1887; List of Parliamentary Electors: 1851; List of Voters: 1847; Parliamentary Register, Wards I-V: 1900-1901; Register of Voters: 1905-1906, 1910-1911; Voters´ Roll, First Ward: 1880-1881.
Coatbridge: Register of Electors: 1919-1920, 1920-1921, 1925,1925-1926,1929-1930, 1930-1931, 1931-1932, 1935-1936, 1945-1946.
Coatbridge and Airdrie: Register of Electors: 1955-1956, 1960-1961, 1964-1965.
Motherwell: Register of Electors: 1935-1936.
Motherwell and Wishaw: Register of Electors: 1939-1940, 1945-1946, 1950-1951, 1968-1969.

Just a few more hours, that's all the time you've got

The early bird BIFHSGO conference registration discount ends at 11:59 pm on Friday, 16 August.

Nuff said?

Not quite.

As Kathy Wallace wrote in an email to BIFHSGO members:

"We have an exciting Marketplace this year with some new vendors selling unique items, especially for genealogists. DNA kits will be on sale from Ancestry, Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage.

Visit our Research Room where you can access – FOR FREE – subscription websites such as Ancestry, British Newspaper Archives, Findmypast, Genealogy Québec: Drouin Institute, Genes Reunited, MyHeritage and TheGenealogist."

Epsom Cemetery Burials 1871 to 1950, and Canadian connection

Volunteers of the Epsom & Ewell Local and Family History Centre have transcribed the burial register of the Ashley Road Cemetery, Epsom, Surrey, close to Epsom Racecourse and the Surrey Hills AONB.

Divided into 26 alphabetical files by surname with no entries for X and most listed under U being Unknown - newborn infants, the transcription contents are Last Name, First Name(s), Description, Age at Death, Place of Death, Date of Burial, Grave No., and Register No. / Comment.
Start at www.epsomandewellhistoryexplorer.org.uk/EpsomCemeteryBurialsA.html and click on the surname initial of interest.

The cemetery contains 232 Commonwealth War Graves Commission graves or memorials, including for 62 men who served with Canadian forces during the First World War.

Having found this cemetery transcription, via a Facebook post by Paul Featherstone of the Guild of One-Name Studies, I went poking around the Epsom and Ewell History Explorer website. there's a collection of History Centre Newsletters with interesting items, many related to queries received. There's also a search function which gave 241 hits for "Canada" and 21 for "Ottawa." Beware — Rabbit Hole Ahead.

14 August 2019

Gravestone Photographic Resource

Gravestonephotos.com is an individual initiative, mainly English resource, with over 1,120,000 names from English grave monuments and 1,573,000 worldwide. To date, in 2019 70,000 names have been added.

Coverage includes three counties with more than 100,000 names each — Yorkshire, Suffolk, and Norfolk.

St James' Church burial ground, Coundon, Durham, was added on 13 August 2019 with 708 graves and 1,600 person records.

Derek C Hopkins RIP

Brossard, Québec resident and friend Derek Hopkins passed on Tuesday night at the Charles Lemoyne hospital while waiting for surgery for a heart condition.

An engineer by background, a retired employee of Pratt & Whitney, his technology skills were expressed in his genealogical interest in databases and DNA. His greatest contribution to family history was likely as leader of the SCAN2 syndicate that transcribed a major portion of entries in FreeBMD. Derek was the co-author of a number of indexes to church and cemetery records for Québec, and author of an index to Abney Park Cemetery in Hackney, London, England.

Derek was a board member of the Québec Anglophone Heritage Network, a past Vice-President of the Québec Family History Society (QFHS), a member of the Society of Genealogists (SOG) of London, England, and the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO).

Born in England on 12 November 1934, he was educated at Loughborough College of Technology (University).

13 August 2019

RootsTech London Keynote Speakers

Now I can post it; great news for those of us going to RootsTech London.

Dan Snow (@thehistoryguy) will be the keynote speaker for RootsTech London on Thursday, 24 October. 

Dan Snow's genealogy: he is the youngest son of Peter Snow, BBC television journalist, and Canadian Ann MacMillan, managing editor emeritus of CBC's London Bureau; thus he holds dual British-Canadian citizenship. Through his mother, he is the nephew of Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan and also a great-great-grandson of British Prime Minister David Lloyd George.

He is a frequent presenter of history TV shows in the UK. Check YouTube for some of his presentations.

For Friday's Keynote well known British genealogist Nick Barrett, Director of Senate House Library at the University of London, best known in the UK as a genealogical consultant for series 1 to 4 of the BBC show Who Do You Think You Are? as well as his books.  He is teamed up with Stephen Rockwood CEO of FamilySearch International.

As previously announced, on Saturday the Keynote will be given by Donny Osmond.

Maybe one of them will invite a woman on stage as a guest. It would be a pity if with 70% of genealogists being women none of the theme sessions included a woman.

RootsTech London adds speakers

Fourteen additional names have appeared on the list of speakers for RootsTech London. Most, not all, are associated with Ancestry. Two are from Canada.
Lesley Anderson (C)
Brad Argent
Pooran Bridgelal (C)
Joe Buggy
Peter Drinkwater
Eamon Healy
Celia Heritage
Michala Hulme
Ursula Krause
Simon Pearce
Gregg Richardson
Janette Silverman
Ruth Tennen
Darris Williams

The complete gallery of speakers, the good, the bad and the ugly, is at www.rootstech.org/london/speakers

Construction begins on Library and Archives Canada’s new preservation facility

Left to Right: Albert Iwasaki, Representative of Plenary Properties Gatineau;
 Scott Hamilton, Director General Real Property, Library and Archives Canada;
Steven MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and Member of Parliament for Gatineau;
Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada;
Anick Ouellette, Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer, Library and Archives Canada

For the record, on Monday 12 August, Library and Archives Canada began construction on its new 12,900-square metre preservation facility in Gatineau.

Read the press release.

12 August 2019

Tracing ancestors who lived or worked in China

Desk Hong Lists in safe at
Shanghai Library,
Zikawei Rare Books Library
 (Xujiahui), April 2015
An online research tool launched by the University of Bristol is helping researchers track down information about men and women of many different nationalities, professions and ages, who lived and worked in China between the 1850s and 1940s.

The free database contains 60,000+ records drawn from:
British Supreme Court for China, Intestate memo books register
British Supreme Court for China, Probate records, Index
Cemeteries database
China Navigation Company Staff
Chinese Maritime Customs Service
Civilian internees of the Japanese
Customs Service Outdoor Staff Register, Shanghai 1870s-1880s
Shanghai International Settlement, Death Registers, 1873-1877
Shanghai Municipal Policemen
Shanghai’s refugees, 1944

via the Cambridge Family History Society July Newsletter.

Ancestry updates Find a Grave content

Last Thursday, 8 August 2019 Ancestry updated their Find a Grave holdings:

UK and Ireland6,343,674
Australia and New Zealand5,151,146

You can also search directly at Find a Grave which claims to cover over 180 million memorials, many more than Ancestry's Find a Grave collection, in 494,048 cemeteries and 241 different countries.

11 August 2019

Trends in sex ratios at birth

The chart for England and Wales since the start of civil registration shows marked multi-year trends in sex ratio at birth (SRB) expressed as live male births per 1,000 female births. Ignoring the short-term year-to-year variation, from a 5% male excess at the start of the period there's a decline to 3.5% excess, an increase to 6%, then a drop to steadying off in recent years at about where it started.
According to the article Gender Ratio, there is no difference in the number of males and females conceived. "For births to be consistently male-biased, there must be gender differences in the probability of miscarriage through pregnancy."

"..there is a higher probability that an embryo with chromosomal abnormalities is male – in the first week of pregnancy, excess male mortality, therefore, means pregnancy is female-biased;
in the next 10-15 weeks of pregnancy female mortality is higher, which increases the ratio in favour of males;
male and female mortality is approximately equal around week 20;
between weeks 28-35 of pregnancy, there is higher male mortality.

Overall, a male-biased sex ratio at birth is the result."

A 2003 article Secular trends in sex ratios at birth in North America and Europe over the second half of the 20th century concluded that "we still cannot put forward any reasonable explanation for the observed trends, which may well be attributable to several factors and not just one."

One data point that stands out is for 1919 where the SRB was 1060, or 6% male excess. It has been speculated that it might be related to the end of the Great War. However, the peak in births was in 1920. Perhaps it's related to the 1918 influenza pandemic which resulted in more challenging conditions for the development of the female fetus.