30 September 2019

Help future BIFHSGO conferences, have your say

Did you attend BIFHSGO Conference 2019?

Did you come away nourished in mind — and body?

What did you find that will help you in your pursuit of family history?

Here's how I imagine the conference organizers, some pictured here, should be feeling about its success.

Now, before starting planning for the 2020 conference, they'd like your feedback.

While the conference is still fresh in your mind please go to survey.bifhsgo.ca and follow the link.

Something new: Treasured.ca

One of the new exhibitors in the marketplace for the BIFHSGO conference was Treasured.ca, a new company from a group of young Markham-based entrepreneurs. It's exciting to have innovators involved in family history bringing new ideas and tools aimed at providing a bridge to the non-genealogist.

British Newspaper Archive additions for September

The British Newspaper Archive now has a total of  33,933,719 pages online (33,549,831 last month). 37 papers (45 last month) had pages added in the past month. There were 14 new titles. Dates range from 1801 to 1996.

The 12 newspapers with more than 10,000 pages added during the month are:

Sun (London)1801, 1803, 1805-1835, 1837-1838, 1840, 1849, 1851-1852, 1855
Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser1832-1833, 1835-1836, 1838-1856
North British Daily Mail1852, 1858, 1870-1871, 1875, 1882, 1888, 1898, 1901
Aberdeen Press and Journal1994-1996
Aberdeen Evening Express1994-1996
East of Fife Record1870-1917
West Lothian Courier1892-1968, 1975-1976
North British Agriculturist1849-1893
Wishaw Press1873-1938, 1956-1972, 1980
Montrose Standard1844, 1846-1959
Clyde Bill of Entry and Shipping List1901-1914
Staffordshire Sentinel1993, 1995

29 September 2019

Findmypast tree-to-tree hints

For years the strength for Findmypast has been the databases, including digitized newspapers. The company is now playing catch-up for DNA and online trees.

Here's the latest announcement.

"The next time you work on your tree, you may see a new type of hint popping up: a tree-to-tree hint. Our most helpful tree-building tool yet.
These hints are sourced from other members' trees – members with whom you share common ancestry. If they have any deceased ancestors that you haven't discovered yet, we'll alert you through this hint. If the information looks relevant, you can to add it to your tree. If not, you can dismiss it.

Tree-to-tree hinting is already helping people find parts of their ancestry they were unable to before. Best of all, it's free for a limited time, so you can see how it works. 

To start receiving these hints, just visit your tree and work on it as you usually would. This will automatically trigger the feature, and the hints will begin trickling in.
If you'd like more information on how it all works, have a look at our frequently asked questions page at https://www.findmypast.co.uk/blog/family-tree/tree-to-tree-hints/."

New TV Family History Series: A New Leaf

Many folks have commented that WDYTYA only explores "celebrities" ancestry while there are many other just, and even more interesting stories lurking in the roots of non-celebrities. Now there's "A New Leaf."
“A New Leaf” will follow people on the cusp of key life inflection points, who using family history, genealogy, and sometimes AncestryDNA® analysis will go on a journey of self-discovery and learn from the past while looking to the future. In partnership with Ancestry, host Daisy Fuentes will join families as they learn the importance of appreciating and understanding their family history and ancestors in order to make important life decisions. 
The program will air as part of NBC's "The More You Know" Saturday morning soft educational programming block.

Find out more at this Ancestry blog post and prepare to set your PVR for NBC starting on Saturday 5 October at 11:30 am, for the first in this weekly half-hour series.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

New Regimental Histories released on TheGenealogist

50 Regimental Records join TheGenealogist's growing collection of military records. The total coverage is now over 70 different British regiments. This release includes The Ancient Vellum Book of the Honourable Artillery Company 1611-1682, through to the late 1920s for The King's Royal Rifle Corps Chronicle, 1927. There are also a large number of Regimental Histories that cover the First World War.

Every person in Great Britain mapped
Based on the 2011 census - not really person, more residence, See the explanation, via the Lost Cousins newsletter.

The Genealogy Show
Sign up to stay informed on the second Genealogy Show, Friday 26th & Saturday 27th June at The National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, UK.

Check your spam folder
Did Google change the criteria for classifying an email as spam? I checked the spam folder recently and found messages that previously came through to the inbox.

Why Are Browsers Ending Flash Support and How to Access Flash Content Afterwards

How to Kill the Zombie Apps Destroying Your Phone

A startling decrease in Arctic sea ice in the last 20 years

28 September 2019

Findmypast adds WISE records

For England and Wales this week, Findmypast has made over 79,000 closed records from the 1939 Register searchable.
Findmypast matches millions of ‘closed records’ to multiple data sources to correctly confirm the date and location of death for individuals whose information was redacted. These additions are currently exclusive to Findmypast, the official home of the 1939 register.

Scotland, Forfarshire (Angus) Dundee Poor Lists 1821-1840
A collection of 2,496 poor relief records from mid-19th century Scotland. To be eligible for relief, claimants had to meet certain criteria — be destitute and disabled either through age or incapacity. They included orphans, the sick, disabled or the insane.

Scotland, Forfarshire (Angus), Dundee Militia Lists 1801
Search returns by constables and schoolmasters listing 430 men between the ages of 19 and 30 who were liable for service in the militia in accordance with the Militia Acts in Forfarshire. Each transcript will reveal a combination of name, occupation and address.

Irish Parish Register Archive, ffolliott Collection
Three new collections of Irish baptisms, marriages and burials compiled by the renowned genealogist Rosemary ffolliott. These 119,348 records mainly cover the counties of  Cork, Limerick, Dublin and Monaghan, however, there are also records from more than half the counties of Ireland. These are mostly Church of Ireland (Episcopalian), dating between the 1950s and 1990s.

International Records - Spain
Explore Spanish heritage with over 12 million transcripts of baptisms, marriages and burials spanning the years 1502 to 1950. These records provide important dates, locations, the names of family members, and will generate hints against the details stored in a Findmypast family tree.

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 August, when there were 191 directories digitized, six have been added for a total of 197.

Most are for Ontario communities with the initial letter B ... Barrie, Belleville, Brantford, etc.

Find at the complete list on Family Search Books here.

Family historian's view of Archivists

I wasn't expecting such an overwhelming result to the informal survey published here last Tuesday.

93% of those responding were satisfied or very satisfied with their recent experience interacting with an institutional archivist. And only one of the 36 who responded was unsatisfied.

I'll have to change my tune, adding archivists to librarians when talking about the genealogist's best friend.

It still leaves open how archivist's view family historians.

27 September 2019

Ancestry adds newspaper obits

The new Newspapers.com Obituary Index, 1800s-current on Ancestry consists of extracted obit facts. Details, which "were pulled from a record by a computer and may not be accurate" may include:

Name of the deceased
Gender of the deceased
Birthdate and place and/or age at death
Marriage date and place
Death and/or burial date
Residence and/or death place
Obituary date and place
Names of parents, spouse, children, and/or siblings
Original publication details
The database is an index with a link to the digitized page on Newspapers.com™. Clicking on the link will open the image on the Newspapers.com™ site, which may require an additional upgrade or subscription.

I tested with a search for last name Northwood which produced 221 hits from 1899 to 2017, 56 of which were in Canadian publications. As obits were often published on more than one day and in different newspapers the number of individuals is perhaps half the number of hits.

Montreal Cemetery Tour: 29 September 2019

Gary Schroder, President, Quebec Family History Society will be conducting a tour of Mount Royal and Notre Dames Des Neiges cemeteries on Sunday, 29 September, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

I went on a memorable tour of these two adjacent cemeteries several years ago. Gary is a highly knowledgeable tour guide. Recommended.

Tour of Montreal’s Mount Royal Cemetery and Notre Dame Des Neiges Cemetery
Explore two of the largest cemeteries in Canada with the final resting places of numerous famous persons from Maurice Richard to Anna of the King and I as well as exploring the interesting art and architecture of these beautiful garden cemeteries.

This is a free tour open to the PUBLIC but all donations to the Quebec Family History Society are welcome.
DURATION: 4 hours, bring a lunch
PLEASE NOTE! This is not a walking tour
People will be responsible for their own ride to go from one site to another
Meet at the Front Gate of Mount Royal Cemetery 1297 Chemin de La Foret, Outremont

26 September 2019

A pity if you have other commitments this weekend

From Friday 27 September until Tuesday 1 October, all History Extra premium content will be available on the site for free.

Check it out!

There's some really good content available, including by RootsTech London opening Keynote speaker Dan Snow.

Advance Notice: Genetic Genealogy Ireland

Once again there's a most interesting program of talks on genetic genealogy scheduled in connection with the annual Back to Our Past show in Dublin.
This year there are two Canadian talks. The event leads off with David Pike from Memorial University (and ISOGG), a new presentation. Later that day, Friday 18 October, Mags Gaulden from Grandma's Genes (and ISOGG) takes the podium.
The event is becoming so popular that there isn't room for regulars Maurice Gleeson, Debbie, Kennett or John Cleary who will all be presenters at RootTech London the following week.
The talks have often been streamed live on Facebook for members of GGI, there are nearly 6,000. A few days to weeks later they are added to the GGI YouTube channel.

Heritage Fair: Wakefield 29 September

The following is a press release from the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network

5 September 2019

Spotlight on regional history: community groups gather in Wakefield

A dozen historical societies and cultural organizations from across the Outaouais are set to gather in Wakefield, La Pêche on September 29th for the first-ever West Quebec Heritage Fair. The event is sponsored by the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) and hosted by Fairbairn House Heritage Centre.

Part celebration, part exhibition, the Fair will showcase the wide range of knowledge, activities, and learning opportunities that volunteer-based heritage organizations offer in the region. The gathering is expected to bring together people from across West Quebec who are curious about the history of the places where they live. 

Groups with displays onsite include the Gatineau Valley Historical Society, Pontiac Archives, the Aylmer Heritage Association and Cantley 1889, as well as the Symmes Inn Museum, the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Cultural Centre, the Réseau du Patrimoine de Gatineau et de l’Outaouais and Société Pièce sur pièce.

The program for the day features two guest presentations in English. In the morning, Lionel Whiteduck will survey the history of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation and ongoing initiatives to preserve and promote the Algonquin language among community members. In the afternoon, Michael McBane, author of a recent biography of 19th century lumber baron John Egan, will speak about Egan’s legacy helping to break down ethnic, linguistic and religious barriers in pre-Confederation Canada, notably among Irish Protestants and Catholics. 

Doors will open between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Community members are encouraged to come out and meet some of the many volunteers dedicated to preserving and sharing Outaouais’s history and culture. Visitors can learn how to get involved in heritage activities where they live, find out about upcoming exhibits, or get advice starting a research project of their own.

Admission is free of charge, and visitors can round out their trip with a guided tour of the Fairbairn House and grounds, situated at 45, Wakefield Heights Road.


SOURCE: Dwane Wilkin, QAHN
(819) 564-9595

25 September 2019

How to digitize and archive your entire family photo collection

While Reddit is not a normal source for this blog a post by Harry Honiton describing how he dealt with 26,000 photos, from present-day born-digital images back to portraits of the 1850s, is worth a look.
He describes in detail how he organized, labelled and tagged, and even scanned, one hundred photos in 10-20 minutes. Check it out at www.reddit.com/r/howto/comments/d5h6p4/how_to_digitize_and_archive_your_entire_family/

W5: When DNA tests reveal a hidden history

Is it true, as Sandi Renaldo states in this intro to a W5 episode broadcast on Sunday, that a DNA test may reveal "the most intimate details of your life, your health, your very being to corporations and complete strangers"?

24 September 2019

MyHeritage Live video recordings

Presentations from MyHeritage LIVE 2019 in Amsterdam are now available on MyHeritage Education to watch online for free!

The opening Keynote is by MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet who talks about recent MyHeritage achievements as well as upcoming features and projects.

The DNA presentations are:
What Exactly Is a Centimorgan? An Introduction to the Science of DNA Testing, by Ran Snir
Mapping Your DNA Matches on My Heritage, by Blaine T. Bettinger
Using the Theory of Family Relativity™ to Research Your DNA Matches, by Ran Snir
Panel: The Future of DNA Testing, with Roberta Estes, Blaine Bettinger,Yaniv Erlich
Formulating a DNA Testing Plan, by Blaine T. Bettinger
What are the Odds: Getting the most out of AutoClusters, Theory of Family Relativity, and DNA Matches, by Leah Larkin
Complementing Your DNA Data With Genealogy Research, by Diahan Southard
The World Wide DNA Web, by Alon Diament Carmel
MyHeritage Health, by Yaniv Erlich
Panel: DNA Testing for Health, with Yaniv Erlich, Diahan Southard, Roberta Estes

There are also presentations categorized as Family Tree, Research and Health


Here's a snippet of a conversation between archivists overheard by Else Churchill, Genealogist at the Society of Genealogists, and posted by her on twitter.

“of course you wouldn’t want every family historian doing their family history touching these documents, but if it’s for an academic project …”
 There were many comments stimulated by that tweet and a blog post Thoughts on collaboration: the start of a manifesto? by Mike Esbester on the Railway Work, Life and Death site (worth a look aside from the blog post).

Archivists are human and sometimes say things they regret. What has been your recent experience in your interactions with archivists?

DNA Painter redesigned

One of the speakers one of whose presentations I'm looking forward to attending at RootsTech London is Jonny Perl.

He has just announced a redesigned home page for his DNA Painter, now live at https://dnapainter.com. Check out the new dashboard. While there's a more focused introduction for new users the "classic" shared cM tool, where you enter shared cM with a match to find the possible relationships, is still there.
It seems strange to write "classic" for a site which is relatively new.
There are also the tools for other analysis, including chromosome mapping for the 2% working at that more advanced level.

Perth & District Historical Society September Meeting

“Documenting the Old Red House in Perth”

Please join us on Thursday 26 September, (at the Perth Legion as usual), when we delve into the history of the Old Red House on Craig Street - the oldest standing structure from the Perth Military Settlement of 1816.  In 1819, the Commander-in-Chief/Governor General of Upper and Lower Canada, Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, while on tour of the developing colony, suggested that the building be painted red, hence the source of the nickname.  (The house is now white.)

The presentation by our guest, James Forrester, will focus on the relationship between architecture and family history by recounting the intersecting events in the lives of the occupants and the building’s history as an Officer’s Quarters, inn, tavern, church, school, meeting place, printing office and then dwelling.  In fact, August 2019 was the 200th anniversary of the banquet hosted in the Inn for the Duke of Richmond by the citizens of the community.

James’ power point presentation will also examine the preparatory work that has been undertaken for reconstructing this important historic building, with the involvement of Algonquin College.  In preparation for the work on the main building, Algonquin students dismantled a timber frame driveshed on the property in March, as a pilot project.  The materials are in storage until the structure can be rebuilt on the campus.

The project builds on previous heritage initiatives in the Town of Perth such as the Heritage Canada Main Street Project, the Algonquin Heritage Institute, the $10 million Algonquin Perth Campus, the 200th anniversary celebrations in 2016 and the 150th celebration of Canada in 2017.

James Forrester grew up in Westport and attended both Rideau District High School and P&DCI.  His post secondary studies included History, Film Studies and Library Information Science.  James worked as a systems administrator at OCAD University before returning to graduate school from 2014 to 2016 at Trent University.  His previous work and training in archival documentation provided a sound base for undertaking the needed research for Old Red House Project.  James and his wife, Stephanie Ford Forrester, have carried out several log and timber frame reconstructions.

Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, Home of the Hall of Remembrance
26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, (Toonie Donation).

23 September 2019

Diahan Southard is coming to Toronto

Here's an event I'd very likely be attending in Toronto, if I wasn't in England for RootsTech London.

Grow & Organize Your DNA Network is an all-day event from the Toronto Branch of OGS with speaker Diahan Southard.

The program is:

Session 1: 9:15 – 10:15 am:
DNA and Jack Sprat’s Wife (Who Couldn’t Eat Any Lean)
With the advent of autosomal DNA testing, women were catapulted into the limelight, no longer needing to rely so heavily on the men in their life to spit or swab. This lecture will focus on all things female from mtDNA, XDNA, and especially how to use the wives of your ancestors to help identify your autosomal DNA matches.

Session 2: 10:30 – 11:30 am:
Organizing Your DNA Results
Now that you have pages of matches and gobs of new information, how do you keep track of it all? We will spend time going over how to create and track correspondence, organization tools within each testing company, as well as strategies for tracking the genealogy information of your matches, including surnames, locations, and genetic relationships. You are bound to walk out of this lecture with a game plan that you can implement right away.

Session 3: 1:00 – 2:00 pm:
The YDNA Test Should Be Your Favorite
Come learn basic and intermediate principles of using YDNA verify and extend your pedigree chart, including how to make the most of your YDNA family project.

Session 4: 2:15 – 3:15 pm:
DNA Third Party Tools You Actually Need
When your list of needs for genetic genealogy analysis are not met at your DNA testing company, you may find yourself adrift in the world of Third-Party Tools. All of them are created by innovated, talented genetic genealogists trying to provide better solutions to the problem of analyzing and using your data.

Diahan Southard is an excellent speaker. There's a good chance the event will be a sell-out, so book early.

A new interactive Scots language map

After two years of sifting through old documents, poems and audio recordings, the Scots Language Centre (SLC) unveiled its first digital map of Scotland at a ceremony in Perth.

All place names are written in Scots, showing how the mother tongue has changed over the centuries.

Read the article from The Courier.  Hopefully the map at www.scotslanguage.com/scots-maps, which also gives visitors the chance to create their own road signs and share them on social media, will be back online soon. There's lots of other Scots material accessible from the home page at www.scotslanguage.com/.

22 September 2019

BIFHSGO's Full House

Look at the organizations that have agreed to provide complimentary access in the Research "Room" at the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa conference next weekend at Ben Franklin Place. All the major genealogy database companies with British content are to be available — a full house. And more. Even a couple of Quebec sites.
The "Room" is in a new location (in the hall opposite the snack bar). There will be experienced researchers to help you get started, or perhaps to struggle along with you — it's a rare person who's familiar with them all.
UPDATE: A note from conference registration reminds to come prepared with a research plan. Have pertinent family tree information handy and bring a USB/flash drive to download your discoveries―either through document download or screen capture.
Note that you will receive a voucher for 24 credits to your account on ScotlandsPeople when you pick up your registration package upon arrival at BFP.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

CWGC: Eyes On, Hands On
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is launching a new volunteer scheme in the UK - NOT (YET?) IN CANADA.
 'Eyes On Hands On' will harness the existing appetite to engage with our work and create a national network of volunteers to act as CWGC’s eyes and ears on the ground.

Starting in the South-West and East Anglia teams of volunteers will be trained to give UK staff regular updates on the condition of CWGC headstones in churchyards and burial grounds in their local area.

Theatres of Revolution: The Stuart Kings and the Architecture of Disruption
Gresham College lectures are back after the summer break. The first talk online, first of a series by Simon Thurley, is about James the First's forgotten country houses, the man and the dawn of the Stuart age.

Population projections: Canada, provinces and territories, 2018 to 2068
Statistics Canada projects Ontario and Alberta would make up more than half of Canada's projected population growth between 2018 and 2068.

Population Immiseration in America
See also Popular Posts and Series from Peter Turchin.

Is that site even up?
These online resources help you find out if a site you are trying to browse is down.

Winter Watch
Today is the last day of the year when temperature above 30C has ever been recorded in Ottawa, in 1941

Five climate change science misconceptions – debunked

21 September 2019

How DNA led Thehistoryinterpreter down the slippery slope

The blog post Online Family Trees and why I have Succumbed by one of my favourite English family historians, Janet Few, thehistoryinterpreter, starts with "I have never been a fan of online family trees."
Janet explains how taking an AncestryDNA test led to taking out an Ancestry subscription, then to adding an online tree so that more DNA matches could be identified.
Having stated that the online tree will never be her primary one Janet shows her open-mindedness by adding "maybe my opinion will change again."
Along the way, Janet laments unsourced and inaccurate trees. Perhaps that's another place where her opinion will change. An unsourced tree may be quite accurate, but from a researcher who finds arcane citations boring, or just too busy to add them.
Inaccurate tree information may just be the result of someone repeating information copied from another researcher, or sanitized information. Even well-researched information documented from a variety of sources may prove inaccurate given new DNA evidence. Is it possible that knowing the identity of the person posting the inaccurate information could be a helpful lead?
That's why I prefer to think in probabilistic terms, recognizing, in the words of Helen Leary, that “Science and the law are in agreement: there is only one way to prove kinships beyond reasonable doubt — DNA testing.”

Scotland and Ireland to the fore

Checking out the additions to the British Newspaper Archives in the past week they are:

Northern Daily Times
108 new pages

Aberdeen Evening Express
20346 new pages

East of Fife Record
13910 new pages

North British Daily Mail
16402 new pages

Aberdeen Press and Journal
9748 new pages

Notice any trend?

Aside from the 108 pages from the Northern Daily Times, which was published in Liverpool, all the other 55 thousand plus pages are from Scottish papers.

It's not as if Scotland had catching-up to do. Scottish papers account for 13% of BNA content for 8% of the UK population. Ireland is similarly over-represented while England, with 79% of the UK population, has 68% of the newspaper coverage on the BNA.

Regionally the best represented on a population-weighted basis is Tayside, followed by Northern Ireland and Lothian. The most under-represented is East England.

20 September 2019

Findmypast adds Cumberland records, and more

New on Findmypast this week.

Cumberland Parish Records
Baptisms (76,042), marriages (37,687) and burials (61,515) for the Cumberland parishes of Dacre, Dalston, Great Orton, Holme Cultram, Kirkoswald, Lamplugh, Lanercost, Millom, Penrith, Skelton, Whicham and Wigton. These collections provided by the College of Arms, are taken from printed registers, which are linked, covering the mid-16th century to the start of civil registration in 1837.

Scotland, Forfarshire (Angus), Dundee, D C Thomson Staff War Album 1939-1945
A collection of vivid portrait images of men and women employed with DC Thompson in Dundee, who volunteered to serve during the Second World War. DC Thomson is the parent company of Findmypast. The photo album contains each employees date of enlistment, name, notable details, and most have an accompanying photograph, many in uniform. A number of those listed were captured, went missing or killed.

Ohio Directories & Almanacs
110 Ohio directories, dating from the 1700s to the 1900s, have been added to the collection of United States directories & almanacs.

International Records – Ukraine
Over 14,000 transcripts of births and baptisms spanning the years 1784 to 1879 sourced from the International Genealogical Index.

LAC Co-Lab update

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


Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 is 36% complete (29% last month).

Rosemary Gilliat (Eaton)’s Arctic diary and photographs is 40% complete (39% last month).


Legendary Train Robber and Prison Escapee Bill Miner is 98% complete

War Diaries of the First World War: 1st Canadian Division is 94% complete.

The Call to Duty: Canada's Nursing Sisters is 85% complete.

New France and First Nations Relations is 28% complete.

Japanese-Canadians: Second World War is 61% complete.

Personal Diary of the Baroness Macdonald - Lady Macdonald is 94% 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.


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.

OGS Quinte Branch September meeting

The topic for the 21 September Quinte Branch meeting is

Discovering the Humanity in the History

Jennifer DeBruin, UE uses her research and writing to journey with her ancestors in an effort to “discover the humanity in the history.”

The meeting is at 1 pm at Quinte West Public Library in Trenton

QFHS Open House

19 September 2019

ScotlandsPeople adds more Presbyterian Church Records

Find more than 3,000 baptism records for 1752–1855, new on ScotlandsPeople, covering Presbyterian congregations in Ayrshire, Fife, Dundee Renfrewshire, Aberdeenshire and Midlothian.
Read the announcement from ScotlandsPeople.

OGS is building a photo collection of Ontario churches

Sometimes the only existing connection you have to a place where an ancestor lived is a building, often a church no longer functioning as a place of worship. Visit and it's where you gravitate.
When you can't visit OGS has a project to post photos of Ontario churches. To contribute go to https://ogs.on.ca/church-locator/.
So far only nine churches labelled Ottawa are in the collection, Britannia United, Carsonby United, Christ Church Anglican at Burritt's Rapids, Holy Trinity Anglican at Metcalfe, Our Lady Of The Visitation Roman Catholic at Gloucester, Southminster United, St. Andrews Presbyterian at Kars, Trinity Anglican at Bearbrook, Trinity United at Kars.
Search for a church photo at https://ogs.on.ca/databases/ontario-church-photo-collection/.

Often an internet search of the church name will surface photos too.

Kingston Branch: September Monthly Meeting

The OGS Kingston Branch meeting on 21 September has Judy Neville speaking on “Giving British Home Children a Voice.” The presentation gives a voice to over 100,000 children who came to Canada between the 1860s and 1940s and most often never revealed what growing up was like in that era.

More info on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/KingstonBranchOGS/ or website https://kingston.ogs.on.ca/.

Kingston Branch usually meets on the 3rd Saturday of the month, from 9:30am to noon at 56 Francis St, Kingston, Ontario. Visitors are always welcome.  There is no fee to attend.

18 September 2019

RootsTech London app

The RootsTech London conference app is now available for download for Android or Apple phones.


This is the same RootsTech app used for SLC - now with London content in it. If you are already in the app and looking at content from a past SLC event, simply click 'Exit to Show List' where you will see a list of all conferences and you can select 'RootsTech London 2019'

Registration opens for RootsTech 2020

Here's a press release from RootsTech.

SALT LAKE CITY (18 September 2019)—FamilySearch International has announced that registration for RootsTech 2020 Salt Lake City is now open. RootsTech is a popular 4-day annual family history and technology conference where individuals and families are inspired to discover, share, and preserve their family roots, heritage, and stories. The 2020 conference will be held February 26–29, 2020, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, visit rootstech.org/salt-lake. Discounts are available for early registrations.

In 2019, RootsTech attracted over 20,000 attendees from 38 different countries and all 50 states.

RootsTech 2020 will celebrate its 10th anniversary and the distinguished honour that it is the largest genealogy conference of its kind in the world. The conference will feature a full lineup of inspiring and well-known keynote speakers, over 300 informative sessions, including hands-on computer workshops taught by industry professionals; interactive activities and helpful exhibitors in the expo hall; and entertaining events—all designed to inspire and empower personal family discoveries.

Conference Details

The theme for RootsTech 2020 will be “The Story of YOU.” Many of the classes, keynote address, and venue décor will reflect this theme.

“At RootsTech, we believe that the stories we’re creating and preserving today are just as important as the stories of our ancestors,” said Jen Allen, event director. “Reflecting on and celebrating each of our personal journeys is an important part of family history that we are excited to explore at the 2020 conference.”

RootsTech 2020 will also introduce learning forums—new class sessions covering a variety of specialized topics including: records access and preservation, innovation and technology, and DNA. One of these forums will be offered on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

RootsTech 2020 will officially begin on Wednesday, February 26 with class sessions beginning at 8 AM MT. Wednesday’s general keynote session will begin on the main stage at 4:30 p.m. Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, will be the featured keynote speaker.

General keynote sessions on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will begin on the main stage at 11 AM MT and will lead directly into the lunch hour.

Read more about what’s new at RootsTech 2020.


Early bird discount pricing is available for a limited time on 4-day passes at just $169 (a $130 discount on regularly priced passes). Single day RootsTech passes are also available for $99. Both one-day and full conference passes include access to the popular expo hall and keynote sessions. Early bird pricing ends October 11, 2019.

Family Discovery Day

Registration for Family Discovery Day is also now open. The event takes place on Saturday, February 26, 2020, and is designed for families and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This free 1-day event includes inspiring messages from Church leaders; engaging classes for families, youth, and young single adults; and evening entertainment to inspire and help families make family history connections. Family Discovery Day attendees will also have access to all the interactive activities and exhibitors found in the RootsTech expo hall. Event details, including speakers and class sessions, will be made available soon at RootsTech.org. The event is free, but registration is required.

Updated London, Poor Law and Board of Guardian Records

Updated on 16 September, Ancestry's London, England, Poor Law and Board of Guardian Records, 1738-1930 now contains 321,589 records.

Sourced from the London Metropolitan Archives, the collection includes a huge variety of different records such as:

Admission and discharge books of workhouses
Registers of individuals in the infirmary
Creed registers
School registers
Registers of children boarded out or sent to various other institutions
Registers of apprentices
Registers of lunatics
Registers of servants
Registers of children
Registers of relief to wives and children
Registers of inmates
Registers of indoor poor
Registers of deserted children

The background information given by Ancestry includes "Because the records haven’t yet been transcribed, it’s not possible to search for your relatives automatically." That's legacy text — at least some of the files are indexed. Others are available as images of the original document to browse.

They’ll help you identify which members of your family were considered poor, find out what help they received, and discover details of their everyday lives.

Checking a random sample I noticed a creed register with the notation "To Canada". I was unable to find the two young people mentioned in the home child database at Library and Archives Canada. Nothing's done and dusted!

RootsTech London anticipation builds: SOG extra

This date next month I'll be starting out on the trek from the plane to immigration at Heathrow airport and then on to my first sleep. That's well before the start of RootsTech London. Like many friends, I'll be combining the trip with family visits and some research.

The Society of Genealogists is taking the opportunity to help RootsTech visitors make the most of the trip with a series of free events.
Two free lectures by the society Genealogist Else Churchill:
Tuesday, 29 October, 2-3pm, I'm Stuck! Some Ideas for Solving Genealogy Problems.
Wednesday, 30 October, 2-3pm, Surname Searching & Finding Pedigrees Online and at SoG.
Tours of the society library each day from Monday to Wednesday.

Find out more and book at http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/calendar-month/2019/10/

17 September 2019

Third annual virtual conference on Scottish Genealogy Research


Genealogy Tours of Scotland announces the third annual virtual conference on Scottish Genealogy Research. This is the only virtual conference dedicated to Scottish research topics.


The ViC (virtual conference) will launch on Saturday, January 25th, 2020 at 8:30 am Eastern

The line-up of talks and speakers for the day:

Glasgow’s Role in the Slave Trade on Plantations in the West Indies presented by Stephen Mullen
Using Wills and Testaments for Scottish Genealogy Research presented by archivist Margaret Fox
Using Prison Records for Genealogy Research, presented by genealogist Emma Maxwell
Using Asylum Records for Genealogy Research, presented by genealogist Emma Maxwell
Using the Records Generated Upon Death for Genealogy Research, presented by archivist Irene O’Brien
Researching Your Scottish Ancestors in British Newspapers presented by Aoife O’Connor
Canada: Land and Opportunity presented by genealogy educator Christine Woodcock

 Registration fee is just $99.99 (cad) and allows unlimited access to the talks, handouts and marketplace until midnight (eastern) on February 1st, 2020.

 *** Virtual "Seats" are limited!*** For more information or to register: http://www.genealogyvic.com/

 For questions: genealogytoursofscotland@gmail.com

 All presentations are pre-recorded and released on a timed basis throughout the day, just like an in-person conference. The live Q&A will only happen on January 25th when the presenters will be available following their presentation to answer any questions.

Comment:  I don't research in Scotland and don't know most of the presenters. Aoife O’Connor I recall giving a good webinar on the British Newspaper Archive.  Christine Woodcock is well known in the Ontario genealogy community having spoken at a BIFHSGO conference.
The cost is $99.99, or $14 per recorded presentation. The benchmark is an annual subscription to Legacy Family Tree Webinars at $50 (US) per year with a library of nearly 1,000 presentations and new presentations added weekly.

DNA.Land is closing

Kudos to those behind DNA.Land for choosing the ethical high ground.
No ifs, ands or buts ... DNA.Land with its 163,237 genomes is closing as an academic research project. All accounts and contributed data will be permanently deleted and erased from the DNA.Land servers on September 30th, 2019.
That's in contrast to the situation with the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation database which was acquired in 2012 along with GeneTree.
The scientists behind DNA.Land announce their intention of relaunching it as a commercial initiative, DNA.Land 2.0.

16 September 2019

Northern Ireland Tithe Applotment Books

On his British Genes blog, Chris Paton reported "some very exciting news" from the latest stakeholder meeting at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

In particular Tithe Applotment Books (Northern Ireland) from PRONI will be imminently (perhaps not my November) available online to browse as large scale PDF documents, via a 'View digital object' button on the catalogue entries.

PRONI will be adding to its site a how-to user guide to explain how to work through the collections.

Gene-O-Rama 2020 announcement

In recent years Ottawa Branch's Gene-O-Rama has featured Ontario-based keynote speakers as befits an OGS/Ontario Ancestors organization.
At Saturday's branch meeting I learned that, as it gets ready to celebrate its 50th-anniversary, Gene-O-Rama will be going beyond the borders — the keynote speaker will be Chicago-based internationally known Thomas MacEntee.
Thomas is a frequent speaker and webinar presenter. He consistently ranked in the top ten in my Rockstar Genealogist poll and was a popular speaker at the 2015 BIFHSGO conference.

15 September 2019

BIFHSGO History: 2002 Conference

As I wasn't able to be at Susan Davis's presentation 25 Years of Storytelling at Saturday's BIFHSGO meeting I don't know whether she mentioned what is possibly the most quirky event in BIFHSGO history which happened at the 2002 conference. Many may not remember or have been involved in the Society at the time. Here's the way it was reported in The Citizen of 22 September 2002.

First, the writers tried to steal some of the genealogists’ cheese slices. Then, the genealogists grabbed handfuls of the writers’ Timbits. The war is not over.
The unusual food fight is taking place this weekend at 395 Wellington St.
That is the home of the National Archives of Canada, the National Library of Canada and considerable confusion.
The 6th annual Ottawa International Writers Festival had booked meeting room space this weekend with the National Library. The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa had booked meeting room space this weekend with the National Archives.
The problem is the library and archives share the same meeting room spaces. And as every neophyte physics student knows, two bodies can not occupy the same space at the same time. The genealogists and the writers are, however, trying. But with mixed success.
The only near casualty came Friday evening when, according to witnesses, a 10-year-old girl attending the writers festival reached for a genealogical cheese slice. Someone the writers nicknamed “the catering Nazi” was reported to have almost slapped the child. But cooler heads prevailed.
A sort of uneasy truce has been called between the two groups as they both try to salvage their respective gatherings from disaster. Arrangements were made so some competing events of each group would be held in hallways and foyers as well as the official meeting rooms.
That meant that yesterday afternoon, for example, a writers festival discussion on gay marriage in the foyer of the auditorium was invaded by scores of genealogists moving into the auditorium. Most of the invading genealogists tried to be quiet as they tiptoed toward the auditorium, making detours to hit the Timbits. But some were extremely noisy.
“Holy (expletive deleted)!” Sean Wilson, the writers festival’s artistic director, exclaimed at one point when a group of elderly British descendants, with extremely healthy vocal chords, stood on the sidelines interrupting the gay marriage discussion.
Mr. Wilson stood up, grimaced and made a beeline for the British descendants. They retreated down a hallway.
Mr. Wilson used such adjectives as “disruptive,” “disheartening” and “frustrating” to explain his festival’s dilemma.
His language was stronger than that used by a panel of high-profile international writers yesterday afternoon, discussing everything from the bombing of “Palestine” to China’s persecution of Falun Gong. Egyptian writer Mohammed Salmawy criticized the bombing. Chinese writer Jiang Zilong defended the persecution on the grounds Falun Gong practitioners have become “too political.”
Some of the history society people interviewed said they were coping well with the double booking, but unanimously added, with just a hint of venom: “We booked this place a year ago.”
The writers festival booked several months ago and, Mr. Wilson said, checked three times since then with the archives to ensure the space was not double booked. Festival organizers were worried about such an eventuality because it happened to them last April, when author Rohinton Mistry was scheduled to give a reading at the National Library and the National Archives booked the same space for the same time. Mr. Mistry and hundreds of fans were forced into the foyer. Mr. Mistry was not pleased.
Actually, anyone who is a regular attendee at library-archives events knows this is a problem that has existed for several years. It’s always blamed on a computer glitch. Apparently, no one at 395 Wellington has figured out all you need to avoid confusion is a calendar and a pen. When someone calls to book, you write down the name on the calendar. End of confusion, as long as there is only one calendar.
The writers festival was given the space from the National Library for free, so organizers can’t demand a refund. All previous writers festivals were held at the National Arts Centre without this kind of glitch. The National Library was expected to become the new festival home for many years. That, Mr. Wilson says, is now in doubt.
The confusion at 395 Wellington should be over by tomorrow. The British descendants wrap up their gathering today. The writers continue until next Saturday.

Two riled BIFHSGO members wrote to the Citizen about the article.

Food-fight article ignored compromise and common sense
Re: Food fight erupts as two festivals collide, Sept. 22.
The article by Paul Gessell was an opportunity missed. In line with the Law of Parsimony — report only what is supported by the facts — the following are the facts:
1. Neither the Ottawa International Writers Festival (OIWF) nor the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO), nor the National Archives of Canada (NAC) was informed of the double-booked spaces by the National Library until two weeks before the events.
2. I was informed by a number of members who are writers and were planning to attend both events.
3. When informed, BÎFHSGO was told there was no problem except for one room (154) — we were asked by the NAC to use room 129 — a compromise that we accepted.
4. When we set up our exhibitors’ space in the auditorium foyer (as we have done for the past three years), we found out from the organizers of OIWF that it had events planned for that space and the auditorium.
5. Neil Wilson, director of the OIWF and his organizing staff, Gabrielle Blais, the NAC director-general of client services and her staff, myself and the BIFHSGO conference planning group worked out a number of practical options, supported by Ian Wilson, the national archivist.
6.     These compromises, by both OIWF and BIFHSGO. with the support of NAC staff and the
commissionaires on duty, resulted in few complaints by attendees of both events, except for a few small incidents when members of both groups were unaware of the compromise arrangements.
And what did Mr. Gessell focus on? An attention-getting headline in, if you will pardon the pun, poor taste. What an opportunity missed. Instead of the negative journalism, he could have emphasized the common sense, co-operation and compromise which both organizations practised when a difficult situation was thrust upon them. At no point was I approached for my reaction as the “other offended party.” And I was on site all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
I would also note that the Citizen, along with other media, is going to have to search for better descriptions of those over the age of 65 than “elderly British descendants” — an offensive adjective for an active, growing part of the community.
Gerry Glavin, Ottawa, Co-ordinator, BIFHSGO conference 2002

Negative focus
As a member of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa, I attended our annual fall conference where we shared space with the Ottawa International Writers Association. Hundreds of writers and genealogists behaved with grace and co-operation in the difficult situation of being required to share space and relocate events at short notice, through no fault of their own. The National Archives and National Library staff did everything possible to remedy the booking error and accommodate everyone’s needs.
The writers’ association invited the genealogists to attend its events at the price designated for its own members, and our society was very happy to sign up a new member from the writers’ group. Good humour and goodwill predominated through the stress of the space sharing. That was the important news, and it was completely ignored in your reporter’s negative and mean-spirited article which focused on a greatly exaggerated and isolated incident.
Ruth Kirk, Ottawa

Google the Citizen journalist's name and you'll find that Paul Gessell "For the last three decades while based in the Ottawa area, he has focused on the collision of art and politics."

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Three Outstanding Collections Added to the Canada Memory of the World Register

Visualising newspaper data
Here's the type of initiative LAC could well learn from.

Restless Sleep With Age
Can’t sleep? Don’t worry. It’ll probably be worse when you’re older (but worrying won't help)!

Good Luck Professor Spiegelhalter
A 56-minute podcast from BBC Radio 4. In Good Luck Professor Spiegelhalter, the Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at Cambridge University looks at notions of luck in gambling, traces the origins of how we think about fate and fortune, the religious and psychological view of luck and how the emergence of theory of probability changed our view of it. "Luck is chance taken personally."

14 September 2019

RootsTech London full schedule

The full schedule of talks, filling in 19 slots previously gaps, is now posted at https://www.rootstech.org/schedule/.
Genetic genealogy is well catered for with one or more talk in every session including five by Debbie Kennett, four by Maurice Gleeson, three each by Michelle Leonard and Jonny Perl, and two each by John Cleary, Ugo Perego, Donna Rutherford and Diahan Southard.

TheGenealogist expands School and University Register collection

The record sets named in following press release from TheGenealogist includes those for Upper Canada College.

New School and University Registers

As children go back to school, TheGenealogist has just released a diverse batch of school and university records to join its ever-growing education collection.

Researchers can use this new data to find ancestors who attended or taught at a variety of Educational establishments between the 1830s and 1930s. Also listed are the names of those who held high office in the institutions, such as the patrons, deans, visitors, professors, masters in the case of universities and the principles and governors in the case of schools.

Use these records to add colour to a family story and glean important information from the biographical details to use in further research.

The list of records included in this release are:

St. Lawrence College Ramsgate Register, 1879 to 1911
Upper Canada College Address List 1829-1929
The Report Of The President Of Queen's College Belfast 1896-1897
The Glenalmond Register 1847-1929
Clifton College Register 1862-1912
Edinburgh Institution 1832-1932
King Williams College Register 1833-1904
The Bradfield College Register 1850-1923
The Old Denstonian Chronicle 1915
The Old Denstonian Chronicle 1916
The Old Denstonian Chronicle 1917
The Old Denstonian Chronicle 1918
The Old Denstonian Chronicle 1919
Isle of Man, King William's College Register 1833-1927
Ireland, The Campbell College Register 1894-1938
Eton College, Easter 1862
Keble College Register, 1870-1925
Rathmines School Roll, 1858-1899
Charterhouse Register 1911-1920 Vol. III
Cheltenham College Register 1841-1927
Alumni Carthusiani, 1614-1872

This expands our extensive education records collection.

Read our article:

These records and many more are available to subscribers of TheGenealogist.co.uk

13 September 2019

Correction for Cream of the Crop

The latest issue of BIFHSGO's Anglo-Celtic Roots, Volume 25, Number 3, arrived in my mailbox yesterday. It's not yet online. There's incorrect information in my Cream of the Crop column. When written it was correct.
Global Genealogy will not now be selling copies of Blaine Bettinger's latest book, the second edition of The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy.
Amazon has it at $33.58, plus tax and shipping. There's a Kindle edition at $14.99.

Findmypast Berkshire, Derbyshire and International Records

New this week on Findmypast

Berkshire Marriages Index
Over 63,000 additional records added for 16 parishes across the county for a total of 378,772 records. The additions consist of transcripts provided by the Berkshire Family History Society that may reveal age, marital status, residence, occupation, father’s name and spouse’s details. Some records may also include the names of witnesses and additional notes.

Berkshire marriages cover more than 156 parishes in Berkshire between 1538 and 1933.  The transcripts were created by both Findmypast and the Berkshire Family History Society using original marriage registers and bishop’s transcripts held by the Berkshire Archives. A further set of records originates from the Phillimore Marriage Registers with links to the original publish images — also available through archive.org/.

Derbyshire Deaths and Burials
Over 23,000 Derbyshire Family History Society transcripts have been added for 12 cemeteries around the county. The collection now totals 626,050 records from 1538 to 1998 and many without a burial year. As well as revealing the final resting place, these records may also reveal their age at death, birth year, death year, burial date and if they died paupers. Some records may also list next of kin.

Irish Boundary Commission Records 1924-1925
Just in time for BREXIT, these are records for The Irish Boundary Commission set up to determine the boundary between the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland. Findmypast has digitised this collection of more than 47,000 records from The National Archives which include the Commission’s minutes, papers, correspondence and report of the Irish Boundary Commission, and records of oral and written evidence submitted to it.

British In Ceylon Parish Records
From 1815 until 1948, Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, was a British colony. The 4,500 records in this collection span that period and have been collected and transcribed by the Kabristan Archives. They include the names of those who were serving in Ceylon and were married, died, or had children there. Over a thousand names of those who served in Ceylon during the First World War are also included.

International records update - Russia
Does your family tree have Russian roots? Search for your Russian ancestors in more than 325,000 baptisms, marriages and burials. These three indexes from FamilySearch will provide essential names, dates and locations.

GEDMatch Notifications

Did you receive the following message from GEDMatch?

The purpose of GEDmatch is to provide tools to our fellow genealogical researchers.

However, we also wish to remind our members of another use that we believe is especially important.

That use is to bring a sense of closure to families who have suffered deeply because a violent crime was perpetrated on them or a member of their family. Here is a story one family victim placed on YouTube.


Some people feel there may be good reasons for not making their information available for this use. We understand and make it easy for them to protect their information from being compared to criminal cases. All they have to do is make sure the police badge icon on their GEDmatch home page has a red “X” through it. If the red “X” is missing, see below.

We recommend and encourage opting-in. For those who wish to make their information available to solve violent crime cases, get perpetrators off the street and give closure to victims, this is done by ensuring that the police icon on their GEDmatch home page does not have a red “X” over it. A simple click on the icon will add or remove the “X”. This should be done for kits that are yours or for which permission has been given or for deceased persons whose information you manage.

Many of these families have suffered for decades. They need your support. We hope you will encourage others who have been genealogically DNA tested to also add their information.

We believe it is the caring thing to do.

GEDmatch Management

I admit to being torn. While I believe in the value of DNA matching for catching criminals I am not in favour of the death penalty and would not want my DNA to be the evidence that resulted in an execution.

What do you think?

12 September 2019

The Theses Canada Collection

For time-to-time, the blog looks at theses and dissertations relevant to family history. While Library and Archives Canada has a consolidated collection of Canadian theses the newest are from 2016.

Additions have been in abeyance pending implementation of a new harvesting and archiving system. The Theses Canada website has long had a notice that harvesting will resume in 2019.

This week I've been able to confirm that they hope (expect?) to begin harvesting again within the next couple of months. When new theses are available there will be a notice on the website.

In the meantime, newer theses may be found in the individual university repositories. A list of the 59 institutions, with links, is available at  http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/services/theses/Pages/obtain-thesis-dissertation.aspx  (See the bottom of the page for the Canadian university theses repositories.)

Ploughing through 50 institution listings, each with its own format and organization is, to say the least, a chore.

This Saturday: rare back-to-back BIFHSGO and OGS Ottawa monthly meetings

It's time to reconnect with friends, and learn about building out your family tree, as both major Ottawa societies hold their first monthly meeting of the new genealogical year.

The BIFHSGO meetings start on Saturday, 14 September at 9:00 am at Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

Early Immigrants, Co-Lab and Collection Search: New and Updated Tools at Library and Archives Canada 

Emily Potter, a Genealogy Consultant at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), will discuss recent improvements to the help page of the Immigrants Before 1865 database, and discuss other upcoming changes to the immigration section of LAC’s website. As well, she will offer a brief introduction to the new Collections Search and Co-Lab tools.

Emily Potter has been a Genealogy Consultant at Library and Archives Canada for over four years and enjoys helping clients uncover family mysteries. Emily’s genealogy includes Scottish, Romanian, Acadian and Indigenous ancestry. She holds a bachelor of arts in Art history and History from Mount Allison University, as well as an Advanced Diploma in Museum Studies from Algonquin College.

At 9:30 am - BREAK - reconnect.

At 10:00 am
25 Years of Storytelling 

When Wayne Walker hit a brick wall, it was a voice in his head that led him to a special find. “Go see Uncle Ted,” said the voice. He listened and flew to Halifax. From there, he and his father drove three hours to the old family home to see Uncle Ted. “Go look in the writing desk,” said the voice. Uncle Ted had cleaned it out. “Look in the box,” said the voice. Wayne found the box, but it was empty. “Lift the tray,” said the voice. There he found a piece of paper that had been tucked away since 1884.

During her talk, Susan Davis will reveal what Wayne found written on the paper. She will also share some other memorable stories written by our members over the past 25 years; stories that can be found in our the Anglo-Celtic Roots (ACR) archive.

Susan Davis is BIFHSO’s communications director, when she is not digging through the ACR archives. Her day job is leading a team of web and social media advisors for Environment and Climate Change Canada. Some day she might even get around to submitting stories to the ACR about her Irish, Scottish and British ancestors.

At 11:30 am
End of BIFHSGO meeting. Make way toward the Ottawa City Archives building at 100 Tallwood for Ottawa Branch OGS events.

Genealogy Lunch Bunch
Heather Oakley will talk about some of the FREE ways to upgrade your knowledge about genealogy and the various aspects of research. If you are new to family history research or need a refresher, come out and join us! Sessions are free and open to all.
You are invited to bring a “brown bag” lunch to eat while we hold a presentation or a Research Workshop. Coffee and tea will be available throughout the sessions.

At 1:00 pm
Normal monthly presentation social time, with cookies.

At 1:30 pm
Quebec Notarial Records-An Underused Resource
Gloria Tubman & Brian Glenn will discuss what the notarial records are, some examples of different records one can find - land sales, will, inventories (estate), donations, bankruptcy; how one can use these records in genealogical and family history research & how to access these records using BANQ.
All Ottawa Branch monthly presentations are open to the public at no charge. Regrettably, due to ongoing technical difficulties broadcasting the Ottawa Branch presentations, webcasting has been discontinued.

At 3:00 pm
Computer Special Interest Group

11 September 2019

RootsTech London: advice for getting around

I was planning how to get from Heathrow airport to the site of RootsTech London (without breaking the bank).

One of the resources mentioned in Your Road Map to London: Tools to Get Around, Citymapper and Google maps would both seem to do the trick.

Next on the planning schedule is getting an Oyster Card.

LAC goes quiet

With the start of the federal election campaign on today (Wednesday) expect to see little if any news coming from Library and Archives Canada until after election day on 21 October 2019.

During the election LAC along with all federal departments and agencies is under a news embargo, with a few exceptions. Regular operations, such as weather reports and forecasts and information on ongoing programs and services continue.

Expect a flood of news after the election.

10 September 2019

New MyHeritage videos

Go to YouTube and search for My Heritage. There are lots of videos, some from the company and others telling of their experience with the company DNA test.

The latest "The Missing Piece" tells the story siblings, both abandoned as children in Korea, discovering who they are, where they come from and the emotional bond they established. They connected through a MyHeritage DNA test.

According to the video there where 200,000 such children migrated from Korea, twice as many as the number of British Home Children, but with parallel experience only century or decades later.

At its recent conference in Amsterdam, MyHeritage announced an educational initiative. I found three short instructional videos already posted.

How to Get Started with Your DNA Matches
How to Change the Name of Your Family Site and Family Tree
How to Use Record Matches

Before and after DNA test study

"The UBC Genetic Connections study is looking for individuals who are considering purchasing or have already purchased but not yet seen the results of a genetic test kit.
The study involves completing two anonymous surveys, one before and one after receiving your genetic test results.
Our aim is to capture the numerous social and individual factors that go into the decision to pursue at-home genetic testing as well as the impact of receiving genetic test results."

Find out more.

DNA test experience comments

18 of the 61 responses to the survey left comments which are sometimes more instructive that the survey question responses (results here).

DNA test strongly suggests a previously unknown NPE in my ancestry.

I was surprised to find out that my great-grandmother was Jewish, hence the endogamy which confuses my results on MyHeritage and FamilyTreeDNA but not as much on Ancestry. DNA testing has been fun and challenging but I have been very disappointed in the response rate from DNA matches. I could flog a dead horse and say that I wish that Ancestry would provide a chromosome browser but their other tools and huge database have been very helpful.

Ancestry's "Shared Matches" are useless on my endogamous branch (only chromosomal triangulation will help there, sadly), but are very helpful for my non-endogamous lines. While the MyHeritage experience has been overall very worthwhile, I'm finding too many false positives, the latest one with a 20 -cM "matching" segment. And there's no mistake, it is definitely a false natch, and that shakes my confidence in their matching algorithm.

Not much new discovered, but it's interesting.

DNA testing coupled with "records" has proven to be very useful; Y-DNA testing not so much with FTDNA - appears to have "daughter-out".

Ancestry's power comes from the sheer size of its database and its matching algorithm. Downsides: the numbers of DNA matches only interested in their ethnic roots and our inability through Ancestry to analyse these matches by chromosome.

Moderate knowledge, greatly assisted by a more expert wife.

My level of satisfaction is based on the number of relatives I have that have tested at each site.

Have had some good luck with finding relatives. My 2x times great grandmother came to Canada with her sister Jane and her brothers. 

Thanks to DNA I now know the names of her brothers.
It was very interesting with a few small surprises, but ties in perfectly with my research.

My results and experiences were as I expected.

French Canadians - lots of endogamy.

It's all been good in general, ancestry has the most accurate model for my autosomal admixture (at least with 8 generations).

I would have liked Ancestry to offer more tools to investigate DNA matches although gedmatch somewhat fills the need.

DNA analysis works well with uncommon surnames but very poorly with very common ones such as Davies, Jones, James.

I've had the most fun with Gedmatch's research tools, being able to compare my gene segments with people who tested with many different testing companies.

I was required to delete or add estimated dates for all my ancestors before Thruline would work, was quite onerous. I also cannot understand why "unlinked" are listed as potential cousins. Finally probably like other users, private and very small tree numbers add to the difficulty of finding a potential cousin.

Gobsmacked. Discovered I was adopted - and I have been researching for years!