31 October 2019

Last Minute Cancellation: Second 2019 Shannon Lecture

Due to heavy winds in Buffalo, Shannon Lecturer Cecil Foster's flight has been cancelled and thus his lecture on Friday 1 November is cancelled. A new date is to be scheduled.

RootsTech London Wrap-up

Despite there being several other interesting-looking family history events in the UK and Ireland this year I decided to make RootsTech London my choice over a year ago when it was first announced. I applied and was accepted as an Ambassador, for which I received free admission, with part of my obligation being to write this concluding summary. You probably noticed I also gave the event a lot of mention in blog posts this year, and I’m glad I did as everyone I spoke to there really enjoyed the experience.

Australian Ambassador/Blogger Jill Ball interviews one of the
many helpful LDS staff
I'd arranged a Canadian meetup at a pub attached to the hotel where I was staying on the Wednesday prior to the opening, as had the Australians. The Australian event was much more crowded — there were something like 60 of them at RootsTech. Although I didn’t get a number for Canadian attendees we had 10 at the meetup and I met others.

On Thursday morning at a breakfast hosted by Ancestry Ambassadors were told about recent developments with the company and what they’re going to be doing in the future. Naturally, DNA was mentioned, with the updated ethnicity estimates. There is a big emphasis coming on European records in 2020 as well as the 75th anniversary of World War II. Will there be any Canadian records?

The ExCeL exhibition facility, close to London City Airport on the North-side of the Thames, is a long building with an underground stop at each end. The part used for RootsTech was at the Eastern end. I got a fair bit of exercise walking back and forth from my hotel which was of the Western end. Fortunately, the weather was cooperative, not too cold and one could walk inside the first day. On Friday and Saturday the UK’s biggest gaming event, EGX London MCM Comic Con had probably over 100,000 attendees meaning access to the western end was restricted.

Daniel Horowitz conducts a draw at the MyHeritage stand
RootsTech registration was a model of efficiency. We had been sent name tags by email and asked to print them out to ease the registration process. I'd done so but then had a small issue — a Canadian excuse better than ”the dog ate my homework.” I’d brought some maple syrup over for relatives, something they've come to expect, but one of the containers leaked on my printed pass. Fortunately, it was no problem to print another and it took only a couple of minutes to collect everything I'd needed including a backpack you’ll probably see me using.

The speaker for my first session, 1 of 11 in that timeslot, was Angie Bush on DNA Tools Everyone Can Use! She emphasized that none of the tools provides proof that a particular relationship is correct or not and recommended joining the “What Are the Odds?” Facebook Group. For and most of the other presentations there’s written background at https://www.rootstech.org/london — go to Agenda, then Schedule.

The other presentations I attended on Thursday were:
Exploring ethnicity estimates, by Debbie Kennett
The Psychology of Searching - why are you looking for dead people? By Penny Walters
Remember Then: memories of 1946-1969 and how to write your own by Janet Few
On-line Church Court Records: a Neglected Genealogical Source by Colin Chapman

On Friday:
A day in the life of an Ancestry ProGenealogist with Joe Buggy, Celia Heritage, Ursula Krause, Janette Silverman
FamilySearch Records: the Most Valuable Collections for Your Family History by David Ouimette
My Ancestor Was A Liar: Ignorance, Half-truths & Wilful Deceit by David Annal
Examining your DNA matches with DNA Painter by Jonny Perl
DNA Testing Panel Discussion with John Cleary, Maurice Gleeson, Laura House, Debbie Kennett, Michelle Leonard, Donna Rutherford

Saturday Keynote speaker Donny Osmond is flanked by LDS
staff while moving between interviews
On Saturday:
Inferred matching techniques for chromosome mapping by Jonny Perl
Staying alive! The making of history video clips for preserving family memories. By Marc Jarzebowski
The Power of Siblings by Donna Rutherford
When family trees and DNA results combine: The world of Ancestry DNA communities by Crista Cowan
Behind the headline with Newspapers.com: Live podcast recording by Brad Argent and Michala Hulme

Each day there was a keynote session in a huge auditorium large enough for all attendees. For Ambassadors, there was reserved seating a few rows back from the front although everyone had a good view from multiple large screens. The best of these was the Thursday session by Dan Snow. View all the Keynotes at https://www.rootstech.org/category/2019-london-keynotes-general-sessions

Did you ever see as large a fan chart?
As if that wasn’t enough there were lots of shorter presentations in the Exhibition Hall with free admission. Often Ancestry, FindmyPast and FamilyTree Maker would have simultaneous presentations at their stands. Ancestry had as many as 14 presentations each day. There were two additional areas for Exhibition Hall presentations, ask the expert areas, an area with activities appealing to youngsters, computers with self-service and more. If I was living in London I’d find it worthwhile to travel just to visit the Exhibition Hall.

Connecting with other attendees was an education: the person who through a DNA test found her father was not her father, a New Zealander whose father was on the same ship on which my father was sunk by a Germain raider in the Pacific in 1940, chatting with Canadian Penny Allen who lives in London working as a librarian, and making a connection with a fifth cousin once removed attendee via the FamilySearch Family Tree app.

Without hesitation, I’d rate this as the most successful family history event I’ve ever attended — and I’ve been to a few. It was big enough to offer lots of choices, small enough that you weren’t overwhelmed by the crowds as I felt the one time I attended RootsTech in Salt Lake City. And there was lots of British content along with more generic presentations.

I along with many others certainly hope it won’t be the last RootsTech London.

British Newspaper Archive additions for October

The British Newspaper Archive now has a total of  34,474,211 pages online (33,933,719 last month). 31 papers (37 last month) had pages added in the past month. There were 12 (14) new titles. Dates range from 1801 to 1998.

The 17 newspapers with more than 10,000 pages added during the month are:

Aberdeen Evening Express1997-1998
Aberdeen Press and Journal1997-1998
Arbroath Guide1844-1845, 1847-1882, 1884, 1886-1925, 1927-1932, 1934-1949, 1951-1959
British Press1803-1812, 1814-1822, 1824-1826
Broughty Ferry Guide and Advertiser1906-1920, 1931-1959
Express (London)1846-1868
Huntly Express1864-1865, 1867-1868, 1870-1872, 1874-1879, 1881-1912
National Register (London)1808-1809, 1811-1823
North British Daily Mail1847-1848, 1857, 1859-1860, 1863, 1872-1874, 1876-1878, 1883, 1889, 1891-1893, 1895-1897, 1899-1900
Perthshire Constitutional & Journal1835-1839, 1843, 1850, 1859-1869, 1872-1875, 1877-1878, 1882, 1893-1916
Sandwell Evening Mail1987
Staffordshire Sentinel1986-1988, 1991-1992
Star (London)1801-1831
Statesman (London)1806, 1809-1815, 1818-1824
Strathearn Herald1863-1892, 1894, 1897-1980, 1986
Sun (London)1804, 1836, 1839, 1841-1842, 1844-1848, 1850, 1865-1867, 1869-1871
West Lothian Courier1969-1974, 1977-1980

30 October 2019

Ancestry adds Scotland, Ireland and Wales, Militia Attestation Papers, 1800-1915

NOTE: As of 19 December this database is again showing in the Ancestry Card Catalog after having been missing.

New to Ancestry on 29 October, although plagued by availability and search problems when I tried it, this collection of 129,682 records covers militia attestation from the Napoleonic era to the start of the Great War.
Drawn from collection WO 96 at The (UK) National Archives, the following information should become available:

Name of relative(s)
Relationship to serviceman
Place and date of birth
Place and date of Enlistment
Regiment and unit
Service rank
Service number

A more complete collection of WO 96 records is available in Findmypast's British Army Service Records collection of more than 8 million documents between 1760 and 1939.

Ottawa DNA SIG meeting on Saturday

Exceptionally the DNA SIG meeting next Saturday 2 November is in the afternoon,  at 1PM.

Leslie Anderson, back from RootsTech London, will present Secrets & Shenanigans – how AncestryDNA helped with an unexpected mystery. 

When Leslie’s 88 year old friend's adoptive mother died in 1952, she left an envelope with her adoption papers so she thought researching her family tree would be easy. Little did Leslie know that she would spend over 2 years of research, building multiple family trees and sending out many DNA kits! Using this case study we will go through the process to show how you can use AncestryDNA with your family tree and research to break down brick walls and discover your real story.

28 October 2019

WDYTYA Magazine

Do you research London ancestors? If so check out the November issue of WDYTYA "Britain's Bestselling Family History Magazine." The  cover feature is Trace Your London Ancestors.
Starting on page 77 find a run down of resources, mainly on Ancestry and Findmypast and, for when you need to dig deeper, a two-page London directory of archives and libraries. Each has the website address, email and phone number.
As noted previously the magazine is available without charge through the magazine section of the OPL and many other North American public libraries.

RootsTech London Videos

A reminder that a few videoed sessions from RootsTech London, some of the best, are now available at:


HSO meeting on 30 October

For almost two centuries, Ottawa's Rideau Canal – an incredible engineering feat for its time – has played a crucial role in the shaping of Eastern Ontario… and the nation itself.

Join Historical Society of Ottawa members as the University of Ottawa’s Hunter McGill explores the fascinating history and legacy of this great waterway.

The meeting is on Wednesday 30 October at 1 pm in the auditorium of the Ottawa Public Library downtown. All welcome.

27 October 2019

Freemason Ancestor?

There's convenient access through Ancestry giving access to information on more than 1.7 million Freemasons from 1751-1921. These membership registers give the name, number and location of the lodge that a man joined, when he joined, how long he was a member, and in many cases, details of his age, address and profession on joining. There's more information if the man took on a leadership role.

You may also find information on Freemasons from lodges in Canada up to the 19th century.

The Museum of Freemasonry  -- Freemasonry.org.uk/ is the source. For Freemasons after 1921 request a search which costs 31 UK pounds.

The museum, which had a stand at RootsTech London, is another place to visit in London -- located between Covent Garden and Holborn underground stations.

Sunday Sundries

Notes from RootsTech London

1,600 people work for Ancestry.
The company will have a focus during 2020 on records related to the 75th anniversary of WW2.
Ancestry is working hard on records from continental Europe, many of which have been digitized by the respective national archives and which they will index.
In France the archives is opening up to online availability and indexing is underway.

FamilySearch has a centre for coordinating their European digitization in Germany.

Just as there is a market for people watching experts play video games - e-Sports, maybe there's a market for genealogists watching expert genealogists do genealogy online.

At Findmypast the focus is on digitization of the 1921 census of England and Wales, to become available in January 1922. One person involved mentioned seeing a return with a comment/complaint written on the return about the treatment of returned soldiers.

Deceased Online has been in something of a hiatus re new cemeteries while work has been ongoing on the database software. Expect a Leicester cemetery to come online imminently. A major Lancashire cemetery with relatively few markers, lots of pauper burials, will become available near the end of the year.

Speakers at RootsTech London whose presentations I hadn't attended before, and I'd like to hear again, are Jonny Perl and Dave Annal. There were several others I have heard before. None of the presentations I attended were anything but first class including Colin Chapman who revealed he has been doing family history for 70 years. Can anyone beat that?

Expect more posts with info from RootsTech London later in the week.

25 October 2019

RootsTech London -- Dan Snow

The opening theme session for RootsTech London is recommended viewing.


Colour Tithe Maps for Warwickshire added to TheGenealogist

The following is a news release:

TheGenealogist has just released additional sets of Colour Tithe Maps to join the previously available greyscale maps in their National Tithe Records collection. This release for Warwickshire is of high-resolution colour digitised maps which will provide the family historian with highly detailed maps sourced from both The National Archives as well as the Warwick County Record Office. 

Researchers searching for owners or occupiers of Warwickshire land surveyed in the 19th century for the Tithe Commutation Act 1836 now have a choice of plans linked to the fully searchable apportionment schedules. 

Subscribers to TheGenealogist's Diamond membership can select to view The National Archives' grayscale maps, The National Archives' colour map, or the Warwickshire Record Office colour maps when using the Tithe & Landowner records for this county. The Warwickshire Record Office maps are, in many cases, less faded and more vibrant in their colours having had less wear and tear than the alternatives. 

The new data includes colour tithe maps showing plots of land covering the years from 1837 to 1855 with some much later plans where there was an altered apportionment recorded. 

These tagged colour maps join the previously released apportionment record books, national greyscale maps and colour maps for Rutland, Huntingdonshire, Buckinghamshire, City of York, Middlesex, Northumberland, Surrey, Westmorland, and the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire. 

The National Tithe Records collection gives the family history researcher the ability to search by name and keyword (for example parish or county) to look for all levels of society from large estate owners to occupiers of tiny plots such as a cottage or a cowshed.
Read the article, Warwickshire Colour Tithe Records discovers the house that went to America, at:

Findmypast major addition to Norfolk Parish Registers

More than 1.4 million new Norfolk parish registers are now available to search. Published online in association with the Norfolk Record Office, these new records span more than 500 years (1464 to 1993) of Norfolk history and add more than 500 new parishes to our existing collection of Norfolk records.

Created from over 2,500 original handwritten registers, these new transcripts and images include:

Over 501,000 parish baptisms added -- 307 additional parishes to the collections
Over 522,000 parish banns and marriages -- 461 additional parishes.
Over 423,000 parish burials -- 301 additional parishes.

With these additions over 4.3 million fully indexed baptism, marriage and burial records of Norfolk history are now available to search online at Findmypast.

Note that the coverage is to 1993 and includes parishes which were in Suffolk prior to the boundary change in 1974.


Nine Scottish trade and postal directories from Dundee spread over 1783 to 1842. 

CWGC burial at Beechwood Cemetery: Ernest Samuel Povah

Ernest Samuel Povah was born 15 September 1883 in Whitchurch, Shropshire, England, the son of William Povah and Mary (nee Pace).
In the 1891 census he is with his maternal grandparents Samuel and Ann Pace. He claimed 7 years service with the 53rd Shropshire Regiment and 3 years as an Able Seaman with the Royal Navy.
Emigrating in 1910 he is found in Ottawa in the 1911 census.
He married Harriet Jean MacGregor on 16 December 1914 at McLeod Street Methodist Church, Ottawa. They had one child, Dorothy May.
On enlistment in June 1916 the 207th battalion he was shown as a hardware salesman living on Edison Ave in Westboro.
Ernest died in the Mowatt Memorial Hospital, Kingston on Saturday 25 October of tuberculosis of more than one year’s duration.
He is interred in Lot 177. South-West part. Sec. 19. 3681 at Beechwood Cemetery.

24 October 2019

Super Discount on Society of Genealogists Membership


Half off new annual membership, either Full or Associate, in the Society of Genealogists.
This extends to blog readers the offer available to RootsTech London visitors.
Go to www.sog.org.uk/membership and quote the discount code RT19.
The offer is available until 4 November and is for the first year only.

Book Notice - No Despicable Enemy, 1779

The latest release from Global Heritage Press (an imprint of GlobalGenalogy.com Inc.) is
No Despicable Enemy, 1779: The Continental Army destroys Indian Territory By Gavin K. Watt.

Here's the publisher's blurb:

This 440 page book opens with a summary of the incredibly complex, worldwide conflict of 1779, which had sprung from America's four-year revolt, and explains the inability of the Crown's commanders in New York City and Quebec to keep pace with their ever-expanding challenges.  General Washington seized this opportunity to punish the northern native nations, whose raiding had so dominated the previous campaign. His armies invaded their territories, razed their towns and destroyed their extensive crops and orchards.

His primary goal was to force these British allies out of the war, although an apparent secondary goal was to prepare for the postwar expansion of the United States. While Washington's campaign was a technical success, the goal of destroying native morale failed. Three more years of intense raiding followed.

Loaded with detail and backed up with detailed source citations, this book is an esential read for those who are interested in the American Revolution and the Experieinces of their United Empire Loyalist ancestors. Available in printed and digital formats.


From Normandy to the Scheldt

Everyone is invited to a talk organized by the Gloucester Historical Society by military historian Captain Steven Dieter entitled "From Normandy to the Scheldt, Remembering those from Gloucester Township who fell in duty."  
The presentation will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, 27 October 2019, at the Beechwood National Memorial Centre, located at 280 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa.  
Following the talk, there will be a guided walking tour of the National Military Cemetery.  
Admission and parking are free.

Ottawa Branch OGS October Meeting

Ancestors Intersecting History, presented by Gloria Tubman, is the feature presentation at 1:30 pm for the Branch meeting on Saturday, 26 October at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive.

Ancestors Intersecting History will demonstrate the involvement of one individual’s ancestors in various historic events from about 1690 to 1912.  The presentation offers a different approach to relating one’s family history using a timeline. 

Make a day of it with the Scottish Genealogy Group meeting at 09:30 am, the Genealogy Lunch Bunch getting together at 11:30 am for a session on the Ottawa Branch Library led by Grace Lewis.

The Computer Special Interest Group session is cancelled.

CWGC Beechwood Cemetery Burials: Albert E Himes

Born in Winchester, Ontario on 27 March 1895 he was the son of James and Mary Ann (nee MacAllister) Himes.

Alfred Edward Himes (145774) attested in January 1916, giving his occupation as laborer, and sailed for England in June. Serving with the Infantry he was gassed in October 1918 and invalided home in May 1919.

His 24 October 1919 Ontario death certificate gave toxic goitre as the cause of death with the immediate cause being syncope.

He is buried in Section 29, lot 115 at Beechwood National Cemetery.

23 October 2019

RootsTech London Canadian Meetup

Wednesday evening meetup with BIFHSGO members & Penny Allen -- Canadian expat living
 in London.

New Ancestry UK military release

The first tranche of UK, WWII Royal Artillery Tracer Cards, 1939-1948, for surnames A-P is now on Ancestry.
The collection is over 277 thousand cards giving, where available:

Date of birth
Place and Date of death
Place and date of Enlistment
Date of discharge
Regiment and unit
Service rank
Service number

RootsTech London

Expect posting to be on an irregular schedule as I enjoy the next three days at RootsTech London.

22 October 2019

Legacy Webinar Wednesday

Judy Russell is up again on Wednesday, 23 October at 2:00pm ET on "Privacy; How to Protect Your Information Online'

"Protecting privacy online is a continuing concern. Family historians need to decide what personal and family history information we'd like to keep private while still sharing with cousins and other researchers. Learn more about what controls online privacy and what methods and tools are available to give us the best chance to protect our privacy choices."

21 October 2019

Ancestry updates ethnicity estimates

The following is from an Ancestry media release.

Today, Ancestry® announced their latest update to AncestryDNA® ethnicity estimates. This update was made possible thanks to an increase in the AncestryDNA reference panel. The reference panel is now more than double its previous size with samples from more places around the world, allowing Ancestry to determine ethnic breakdowns with a higher degree of precision.  New ethnicity estimates will roll out to new and existing customers over several months, resulting in these potential developments for customers:

New Ethnicity Regions: For example, AncestryDNA went from 2 to 11 ethnicity regions in the Americas--an unprecedented industry improvement. New regions include Indigenous Eastern South America, Indigenous Cuba, and Indigenous Americas--Mexico, among others. 
More Global Regions: This advancement will enable AncestryDNA to deliver even more regions globally to enhance the experience across diverse populations including improvements and region realignment in West Africa, northwestern Europe, the Americas, Oceania, and South Asia.

Resolving a conflict: inst or ult?

In "Transcriptions and Their Sources ... An Adventure", BIFHSGO colleague Ken McKinlay posted on his experience attempting to reconcile conflicting information from various records for an 1840 death in Nova Scotia.

Sources on the death date differ by a month. Ken's description of his research is an example of how a careful genealogist seeks and examines different records.

He makes reference to a 2 inch binder "LAC Thematic Guide 1206 to Parish Registers4, Volume 1" found in the second floor Reference Room of LAC. Ken finds it valuable, but it hasn't been digitized.

I wonder if this is a document that could be digitized through LAC's DigiLab? It should be about 400 pages, quite doable in a few hours -- if LAC will cooperate.

A comment to Ken's post is that newspaper death dates at the time were often off by a few days, or more. If true, and it could be true of other records, how much effort would you be prepared to make to resolve a one-month descripency in a 160 year old death date?

Election Day

Get priorities right! Don't read today's blog posts until you voted!

20 October 2019

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

In Praise of a Nondescript Government Facility (or, The Most Canadian Title Ever)
A blog post by Alan MacEachern on Active History surprised me with the news that Matane’s Document Imaging Solutions Centre [DISC] is digitizing the Canadian Meteorological Service archive. The sentence "If you’ve used or perused the First World War attestation papers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force online, for example, you know their work." caused me to pause. The digitization of service files, completed last year, was performed in Gatineau whereas the earlier digitization of the two-page attestation papers could well have been work done in Matane.

Why It Is Time to Make Conferences Worth It
An opinion piece from The Scientist.
I love going to conferences, but the truth is that they are unreliable. In short (and in line with the title of a paper I recently published), they give us “what we want,” but not “what we need.” Overall, we have done very little to change the basic conference format for 50 years, and the findings of my research show fairly conclusively that in terms of fiscal and knowledge economies, and also in terms of the environmental impact caused by our conference travel, our current practices are unsustainable and need immediate development. 
Active History Election Posts
Some timely blog posts:
Of Energy and the Need for Electoral Reform: Déjà-vu and the 1979 and 1980 federal elections
Won Alexander Cumyow and the Fight for Democratic Rights
The Personality is Political

LAC Co-Lab update

Here's an update on Co-Lab challenges projects as of 14 October since last month.


Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 is 47% complete (36% last month).

Personal Diary of the Baroness Macdonald - Lady Macdonald is 95% complete (94% 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.

Rosemary Gilliat (Eaton)’s Arctic diary and photographs is 40% complete

New France and First Nations Relations is 28% complete.

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

Letters from Wilfrid Laurier to Zoé Lafontaine/Laurier is 98% complete (previously complete).


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 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.

19 October 2019

RIP Roy Stockdill

Sad to learn English genealogist-journalist Roy Stockdill has suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.

RootsTech London Exhibition Hall

Whether attending #RootsTechLondon for all three days, one day or just stopping in for free admission to the exhibition, there's a lot going on.

Presentations of 15 minutes each from various exhibitors in the demo theatre will be advertised closer to the event.

Some companies, like Ancestry, will have a presentation space within their stand. Findmypast has had a presentation space at previous events I've been to. Both of those, and MyHeritage, will offer one-on-one consultations at their stands.

It's worth setting aside time to cruise the hall and its more than 100 exhibitors to take advantage of the information, giveaways, draws, and discounts on products and subscriptions. For instance, the National Institute for Genealogical Studies will offer discounts.

For more see The RootsTech London 2019 Survival Guide.

18 October 2019

Findmypast weekly update features Scotland and Westmoreland

Scotland, Will and Testament Index 1481-1807

More than 164,000 records from the commissariat courts of Scotland between 1481 and 1807. Each record includes a transcript of the original will and testament that will reveal the date of the will and where it was made.

Scotland Monumental Inscriptions

Over 112,000 new records covering 9 burial sites across Dumfriesshire are now available to search. These additions consist of transcripts of original inscriptions taken from monuments in Cummertrees Churchyard, Dalton Graveyards, Kirkconnel Churchyard, Kirkpatrick Fleming, Langholm Old Graveyard, Lochmaben Old Churchyard, Staplegordon Graveyard, Staplegordon Graveyard, Wauchope Graveyard and Westerkirk Churchyard.

Westmorland Parish Records

Three new parish record collections from historic English County of Westmoreland, transcripts and images of the original parish register, including:

·        Westmorland Baptisms – over 39,000 records with details such as baptism date, parents' names and residence.

·        Westmorland Marriages – Over 22,000 records listing details such as marriage date, spouse's name, father's name and place of marriage.

·        Westmorland Burials – Over 9,000 records showing final resting place, age at death, burial date and residence.

Each record includes both a  provided by the College of Arms, the official heraldic authority for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and much of the Commonwealth.

Ottawa Antiquarian Book Fair

The Ottawa Antiquarian Book Fair is going into its thirty-ninth edition Sunday, 20 October, 2019. The Fair is an annual popular event of the Ottawa cultural scene with exhibits of rare and interesting books, prints, maps and ephemera.

The Fair is a great opportunity to see and purchase an array of material in one location, Tudor Hall, 3750 North Bowesville Rd. (near Hunt Club and Riverside Drive). Fair hours are 10:30-5:00 and there is plenty of free parking.

17 October 2019

FamilySearch updates Wales, Bedfordshire, Devon, Middlesex and Warwickshire titles

The following titles were updated by FamilySearch on 14 and 15 October.

Wales, Marriage Bonds, 1650-1900 — 142,563 total records
England, Bedfordshire Parish Registers, 1538-1983 — 376,993 total records
England, Devon Bishop's Transcripts, 1558-1887 — 774,439 total records
England, Middlesex, Westminster, Parish Registers, 1538-1912 — 19,890 total records
England, Warwickshire, Parish Registers, 1535-1963 — 2,900,841 total records

As usual, there is no indication as to how many records were added.

What Your DNA Can’t Tell You

The sub-head in this article from The Scientist is:

Companies are selling reports about a wide range of physical, cognitive, and behavioral traits to consumers based on their genomic data, but such tests have a number of limitations.

It quotes Yaniv Erlich

Right now, [these reports are] more just for entertainment and to understand the limitations. I think the main benefit is engaging people with genetic research.

Quinte Branch OGS October Meeting

Shades of Allegiance: The History of the Gerow Family, presented by Jane Simpson is the topic for the next Quinte branch meeting at 1 PM on Saturday, 19 October 2019 at the Quinte West Public Library, 7 Creswell Drive, Trenton, ON

The Gerow Family from France fled from religious persecution as Huguenots to New York City
at the dawn of the 18th century. The family flourished until seeds of discord infected the
populace. Three sons of the family were forced to choose their allegiance to the English or
seductive new republicanism. For one of the sons, this choice includes throwing his lot in with a
small colony of disaffected Americans to answer the call for settlers to the British Loyal

Members of the Alyea, Bogart, Bonter, Cole, Lent, Huff, Parliament, Peck, Roblin,
Van Cott, Way, Wannamaker and Westerfeld families, in addition to the Gerow family, may wish
to attend as their ancestors experienced the same fate during the Revolution.

The Wiggins family could also be added to that list.

16 October 2019

LivingDNA update


Only in the US so far, and not in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. — AncestryHealth® announces two new services. AncestryHealth Core™, a one-time, array-based service, and AncestryHealth Plus™, a membership service using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. What's being offered?

According to the company press release:

AncestryHealth Core is a first step on the journey of understanding how family heritage and genetics can impact health and wellness. It covers a set of curated, common ‘need to know’ health conditions and includes printable family health history and lab reports people can share with their healthcare provider. The physician-ordered laboratory test included in AncestryHealth Core uses genotyping array technology to detect genetic differences and deliver personalized reports related to health conditions such as heart disease, hereditary cancers, blood-related disorders, and risks for carrier status of health conditions, such as Tay-Sachs disease. Additionally, there are wellness reports on topics such as nutrition and metabolism. AncestryHealth Core is priced at $149 and includes AncestryDNA. Existing AncestryDNA customers can upgrade to AncestryHealth Core for $49.

Starting next year AncestryHealth Plus will use next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to deliver more comprehensive screening data, providing both greater coverage of DNA differences for each condition and more risk categories such as those related to potentially developing heart disease, cancers, and disorders related to blood, the nervous system and connective tissues. For new customers, AncestryHealth Plus with NGS technology has a $199 activation fee, which includes the first six months of membership with an additional $49 membership fee every six months. Existing AncestryDNA customers can upgrade to AncestryHealth Plus for an initial payment of $49. The ongoing membership will include quarterly screening updates, more educational resources and enhanced tools for family health history and healthcare provider collaboration.

Comment: Ancestry is re-entering this field, there was an earlier iteration in July 2015. It's an active area. 23andMe, the original in DNA/Health DTC service, announced an upgrade in August. MyHeritage announced its Health + Ancestry test in May and the acquisition of SNPedia and Promethease in September.

Despite being late to the party Ancestry has demonstrated, after entering autosomal DNA testing service for genealogy late, that it can catch up and surpass the others. Ancestry is also being cautious to keep on the right side of US regulatory authorities which was a problem for 23andMe.

UPDATE:  Ancestry provided the following information on how the NGS results differ from those used in the regular "Array" test by Ancestry.

“The NGS technology will check for changes in at least 100 times as many locations in your DNA as the Array does. With Array we look at a few (10-20) specific bases within a gene to see any changes that are known to increase risk of disease. In NGS, we can look at the entire gene –  which on average includes 1000 to 2000 bases – and can see many more changes. We then determine if those changes increase risk for disease.

One analogy is, with Array, we can read a few critical letters in a sentence. With NGS, we can read every letter of the entire sentence, greatly increasing the likelihood of identifying a variation.”

Kingston Branch OGS October Meeting

The main presentation for the meeting on 19 October 2019, is “Lady Tweedsmuir – Oh the stories she could tell” with speaker Anne Levac. She will discuss the Tweedmuir history books.

An educational session, a short demonstration of a few different image scanners. will serve as aperitive starting at 9:30 am.

The meeting is at 56 Francis St, Kingston where there's lots of free parking. All welcome.

15 October 2019

Legacy webinar on privacy online with Judy Russell

My pick from this week's Legacy Family Tree Webinars is on Wednesday at 2 pm Eastern time — Privacy: How to Protect Your Information Online. 

Protecting privacy online is a continuing concern. Family historians need to decide what personal and family history information we'd like to keep private while still sharing with cousins and other researchers. Learn more about what controls online privacy and what methods and tools are available to give us the best chance to protect our privacy choices.

Judy G. Russell is a lawyer, genealogy lecturer, educator and writer whose presentations are always well attended.

Register here (free).

Perth & District Historical Society October Meeting

Here's information from PDHS on the 17 October meeting being held at the Royal Canadian Legion, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, at 7:30 pm.

“The Life and Times of Joe Perkins”
For our October 17 meeting, the Society will welcome back local author John McKenty, with the story of Joe Perkins, of Maberly and Perth, the subject of John’s latest book.  

‘The Life & Times of Joe Perkins: 1908 – 1990’ will trace the story from Perkins’ early days, working with his father at the family’s general store in ‘downtown Maberly’, early South Sherbrooke Township, to his arrival in Perth in 1938, and his eventual death in an Ottawa hospital, in 1990.  From his earliest days to his death, Joe Perkins was a formidable figure in Maberly and eventually the Town of Perth.  Over the years, he built a business empire that both amazed and confounded his contemporaries – as part showman and part salesman.  The people of Perth could never decide if Joe Perkins was a visionary or an opportunist, and, while some swore by him, others swore at him.  In the end, no matter one’s opinion of Joe Perkins, he had a profound effect on the social and economic development of this area that he called home. 

John McKenty first came upon this story in 2000 when he met Joe Perkin’s son and daughter, while working on his first book, ‘Square Deal Garage’.  The subject next surfaced in 2016 at the Perth Regional Heritage Fair, where there was a project on the Perkins family.  With assistance and contributions through interviews, feedback and photographs from several members of the Perkins family, the McKenty book has brought to life this little-known story of one of the genuine characters in this area’s history.  

John McKenty is a retired educator, and has continued with his own learning through the books that he has authored and published:  ‘Square Deal Garage: Sixty Years of Service to the Motoring Public’; ‘Follow The Crowd: The James Boys of Perth’; ‘Canada Cycle and Motor: The CCM Story’; ‘Arden Blackburn’s Mail Route: The Early Days at Christie Lake’; ‘St. Crispin’s Legacy: Shoemaking in Perth, Ontario 1834 – 2004’.  His many books documenting our area’s local people and businesses show that history doesn’t need to be on a grand scale.  In addition to his writing, John ’s volunteering in the Perth community includes the Stewart Park Festival and the Perth Regional Heritage Fair.  In recognition of his efforts, he was awarded the Perth Medal for 2018, presented at that year’s Stewart Park Festival. 

14 October 2019

The Financial Health of Canadian Genealogical Societies 2018

Each year organizations federally registered as charities in Canada for tax purposes are required to file returns with the Canada Revenue Agency. Part, including financial information, is available on the Revenue Canada website.

For 2018 there were as many societies running surpluses as deficits.

You can search for individual society reports at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/lstngs/menu-eng.html.

Alberta Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending 2018-12-31. Total assets of $589,925 ($612,912, $595,845, $558,845, $606,312, $540,282), and liabilities of $189,274 ($229,017, $251,116, $213,134, $257,883, $200,592). The total revenue was $221,714 ($264,331, $294,466, $208,033, $229,344, $254,380). Expenditures totaled $220,273 ($225,165, $295,448, $210,752, $250,276, $218,231). The individual annual membership fee remains at $50 for digital journal subscription, $60 for paper.

British Columbia Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending:  2018-12-31. Total assets of $207,055 ($202,786, $209,347, $206,451, $203,542, $203,016) and liabilities of $10,096 ($6,604, $7,600, $7,810, $9,268, $10,085). Total revenue was $36,988 ($33,331, $34,030, $33,923, $27,625, $24,783). Expenditures totaled $35,385 ($31,729, $30,925, $29,555, $24,991, $22,502). The individual annual membership fee remains at $45.

British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
For the reporting period ending 2018-12-31. Total assets of $105,229 ($109,634, $98,897, $121,878, $104,683, $90,374) and liabilities of  $22,118 ($23,796, $14,120, $20,170, $32,716, $30,607). Total revenue was $69,096  ($57,978, $59,872, $71,443, $70,738, $54,675). Expenditures totaled $71,745 ($63,939, $66,583, $63,844, $55,000, $50,366). The individual annual membership fee is increased by $5 to $50.

Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador Inc
For the reporting period ending 2018-12-31 total assets were $46,094 ( $ 35,802, $25,523, $29,166, $43,130) and liabilities $13,154 ($11,088, $14,098, $16,072, $15,867).  Total revenue was $37,804 ($33,736, $34,368, $29,729, $35,226) and expenditure  $26,228 ($21,668, $36,037, $44,364, $32,525). That's a $11,576 surplus. The individual membership fee remains $42.

Manitoba Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending 2018-03-31. Total assets of  $40,262 ($43,476, $47,734, $37,118, $55,341, $50,743) and liabilities of  $4,494 ($4,806, $7,927, $7,208, $19,157, $22,458). Total revenue was $57,503 ($53,194, $41,899, $47,388, $47,727, $60,780). Expenditures totaled $55,585 ($ 51,924, $32,060, $49,679, $48,942, $59,162). The individual annual membership fee remains $50.

New Brunswick Genealogical Society
No report posted since 2017. Individual membership remains at $40.

Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia
For the reporting period ending 2018-03-31. Total assets of $239,845 ($274,044, $244,902, $281,182, $307,796, $303,274) and liabilities of $2,001 ($4,011, n/a, $1,553, $0, $0). Total revenue was $32,372 ($44,676, $ 44,448, $42,800, $45,693, $32,549). Total expenditures were $64,564 ($57,812, $46,797, $69,858, $44,703, $30,717). The Association's annual membership fee remains $39.

Ontario Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending 2018-12-31. Total assets of $1,595,600 ($1,710,405, $1,771,728, $1,730,483 $2,145,295) and liabilities of $261,319 ($226,378, $252,635, $220,434, $253,590). Total revenue was $562,466 ($698,220, $701,406, $694,265, $557,053). Total expenditures were $721,143 ($740,546, $709,792, $711,897, $626,736). The annual membership fee remains $63.

Québec Family History Society
For the reporting period ending 2018-07-31 Total assets of $26,400 ($28,217, $48,701, $50,072, $53,800, $65,742)  Liabilities totaled $4,091 ($4,464, $8,529, $7,304, $5,111, $7,899). Total revenue was $36,629, ($40,495, $42,468, $42,545, $44,095, $60,623). Expenditures totaled $47,071 ($46,972, $45,064, $49,054, $50,878, $47,420). The annual fee remains at $75.

Saskatchewan Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending 2016-12-31. Total assets of $182,979 ($141,278, $114,170, $86,875, $106,334, $46,921). Liabilities totaled 118,732 ($123,279, $135,921, $127,116, $125,662, $65,054). Total revenue was $252,198 ($280,227, $237,391, $239,577, $256,667, $261,767). Expenditures were $224,265 ($244,704, $252,436, $260,490, $268,140, $262,316) Basic annual membership is increased to $70.

Société généalogique canadienne-française
For the reporting period ending 2018-12-31.Total assets of $551,682 ($391,317, $363,189, $373,417, $339,405 $347,834). Liabilities totaled $52,481 ($58,153, $63,648, $67,351, $39,685, $68,013). Total revenue was $170,123 ($171,002, $231,117, $202,946, $215,399 $248,240). Expenditures were $176,885 ($165,584, $195,137, $202,782, $201,759, $220,556.) Basic annual membership remains $50.

Victoria Genealogical Society
For the reporting period ending 2018-05-31. Total assets of $34,781 ($ 38,327, NA, NA, NA, $24,786) and liabilities NA (NA, NA, NA, 0). Total revenue was $40,354 ($41,924, $34,048, $40,412, NA). Expenditures totaled $43,789 ($39,688, $44,502, $42,629, $35,790). Individual annual membership remains at $60.

Members of the British Columbia Genealogical Society, Manitoba Genealogical Society, Ontario Genealogical Society, or Saskatchewan Genealogical Society can take advantage of a $5.00 discount on a yearly membership another of those organizations.

The best online library of sources for Irish history I’ve ever seen

John Grenham wrote that in a blog post about Dermot Balson's collection of "hidden gems" extracted from The University of Southampton’s ‘Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland’ at www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/.
The links in Grenham's blog post are to Dermot’s cloud-stored copies. The 1851 Census Report on deaths in Ireland, for example, includes nearly 300 pages of weather/illness/celestial phenomena dating back to the beginnings of Irish history.
Other sections are on Workhouses and the Poor Law, research and statistics, emigration and, personal accounts.

13 October 2019

Open Domesday

Although it's unlikely you'll find recognizable ancestors mentioned in the Domesday Book, you may well be surprised at places mentioned.
This is easy with Open Domesday. the first free online copy of Domesday Book. The site, built as a non-profit project by Anna Powell-Smith uses data created by Professor J.J.N. Palmer and a team at the University of Hull.
A modern placename search left me surprised at the relative size of places then and now.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

BIFHSGO Best Great Moments Talk
Nigel Lloyd receives congratulations from Director (Communications) Susan Davis on his Great Moments presentation A Dark Chapter in a Successful Life having been voted most popular by the membership.

Genealogy Drop-In
Take advantage of the advice and mentorship available at the OPL Nepean Centrepointe Branch on Tuesday, 15 October at 2 pm.

More than £200,000 ($325,000 Cdn) for a 3-year project in Norfolk to create community archives.
The grant, to the Norfolk Record Office from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will be used towards recruiting two community archivists to work with 30 partners across the county for three years. Norfolk has a population of 860,000 — less than that of Ottawa.

Joint effort to put two Eastern Ontario archives under one roof
From the Catholic Register, two dioceses in eastern Ontario — one Catholic and one Anglican — along with two religious orders are in talks to share one facility in Kingston for all four entities’ archival records. Might this become a model for elsewhere — maybe Ottawa?

Far from Home
A comprehensive report by Diana Beaupré and Adrian Watkinson on the recent "Final Road Trip" — following on the summary by Glenn Wright.

Canadian Military History
Published since 1992, articles in this journal which aims to "foster research, teaching, and public discussion of historical and contemporary military and strategic issues" may not be found by a Google search. Some provide good context for family history.
What songs might your First World war era ancestors in Canada have played, or heard? Songs of War: Anglo-Canadian Popular Songs on the Home Front, 1914-1918, by Sara Karn names some of the most popular. The article would be stronger if the conclusion about the change in emphasis from British to Canadian themes was supported quantitively.

Why no Nobel Prize winners on TV genealogy shows?
Why no Canadian TV genealogy show featuring members of the Order of Canada? 

Learning from Night Lights

There are three types of climate change denier, and most of us are at least one


12 October 2019

North Buckinghamshire Lloyd George Domesday Survey

The following is a press release from TheGenealogist.

North Buckinghamshire Lloyd George Domesday records added to TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™

TheGenealogist has just released the North Buckinghamshire maps and field books into its property ownership and occupancy record set, The Lloyd George Domesday Survey. This unique online resource allows researchers to discover where an ancestor lived in the 1910-1915 period from various London districts and now, for the first time, North Buckinghamshire.

These records make use of TheGenealogist’s powerful new Map Explorer™ to access the maps and residential data, giving those who want to discover where their ancestors lived in the period before the First World War some powerful new features to use. The Lloyd George Domesday Survey records are sourced from The National Archives and are being digitised by TheGenealogist so that it is possible to precisely locate where an ancestor lived on a large scale, hand-annotated maps. These plans include plots for the exact properties and are married to various georeferenced historic map overlays and modern base maps on the Map Explorer™ which allows the researcher to thoroughly investigate the area in which an ancestor lived.

Buckingham, North Buckinghamshire Valuation Office Maps

This release includes the following places: Addington, Akeley, Ashendon and Dorton, Aston Abbotts and Wingrave, Aston Clinton, Aston Sandford, Astwoo, Aylesbury, Barton Hartshorn, Beachampton, Biddlesden, Bierton, Bletchley, Boarstall, Bow Brickhill, Bradwell, Broughton, Buckingham, Calverton, Castlethorpe, Charndon, Chearsley and Long Crendon, Cheddington, Chicheley, Clifton Reynes, Cold Brayfield, Creslow and Whitchurch, Cublington, Cuddington, Dinton, Stone and Hartwell, Drayton Beauchamp, Drayton Parslow and Mursley, Dunton and Hoggeston, East Claydon, Edgcott and Marsh Gibbon, Edlesborough, Emberton, Fenny Stratford, Fleet Marston and Quarrendon, Foscott, Gayhurst, Grandborough, Hogshaw and North Marston, Great and Little Brickhill, Great Horwood, Great Linford, Grendon Underwood, Haddenham, Halton and Wendover, Hanslope, Hardwick and Weedon, Haversham, Hillesden, Ickford, Ivinghoe, Kingsey, Kingswood and Ludgershall, Lillingstone, Linslade and Soulbury, Loughton, Luffield Abbey and Stowe, Marsworth and Pitstone, Mentmore, Milton Keynes, Nash, Newport Pagnell, Newton Longville, Olney, Oving and Pitchcott, Padbury, Quainton, Radclive, Ravenstone, Shalstone, Shenley Brook End, Simpson, Steeple Claydon, Stewkley, Stoke Hammond, Stoke Mandeville, Studley, Swanbourne and Winslow, Thornborough, Tingewick, Turweston, Upper and Lower Winchendon, Waddesdon, Walton, Water Eaton, Wavendon, Weston Turville, Wing, Wolverton, Woolstone and Woughton, Wotton Underwood.

TheGenealogist’s Lloyd George Domesday records link individual properties to extremely detailed maps used in 1910-1915
Fully searchable by name, county, parish and street
The maps will zoom down to show the individual properties as they were in the 1910s
The transparency slider reveals a modern street map underlay
Change the base map displayed to more clearly understand what the area looks like today

Canadians and the Chinese Labour Corps in the First World War

Local author Dan Black has just-published Harry Livingstone’s Forgotten Men: Canadians and the Chinese Labour Corps in the First World War (Toronto, ON: Lorimer Publishing, 2019).

Using government records and privately held diaries and memoirs, Black removes the veil of secrecy from an extraordinary wartime undertaking to move tens of thousands of men from China across Canada in 1917-1918 and back again at the conclusion of the war.

In 1917, the British government enrolled approximately 95,000 Chinese men to labour behind the Front in France and Belgium by building and repairing roads and railways, moving supplies and undertaking whatever labour was needed in support of the fighting troops. To expedite the transfer of what was known as the Chinese Labour Corps (CLC) to the Western Front, some 84,000 members of the CLC were brought to Canada by ship and most of them were transported by the Canadian Pacific Railway across Canada from Vancouver to east coast ports en route to France and Belgium. This massive movement was done in the strictest secrecy and is one of the less known events of the Great War.

The trains raced across Canada, only stopping for fuel and water. With the pressure mounting to move and accommodate the men on their journey east, a temporary holding camp was established at Petawawa, northwest of Ottawa. Not all of the men stopped there, but many did.

On September 22, 1917, one of the labourers, twenty-five-year-old Chou Ming Shan (39038), died of malaria while on one of the trains as it crossed through Ontario. At Petawawa, his body was carried off the train and interred in an unknown location on the Base. He was just one of about fifty CLC men who died in Canada.

On Thursday, October 3, the Canadian Agency of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission unveiled a memorial to Chou Ming Shan in a small abandoned cemetery located on the firing range at Garrison Petawawa.

The commemoration ceremony was attended by about a dozen persons, including Dominique Boulais of  the CWGC, Brigadier Nick Orr (British High Commission), Col. Louis Lapointe, Commander 4th Canadian Division Support group at Garrison Petawawa and author Dan Black of Merrickville, Ontario, who helped bring Chou Ming Shan’s death and burial to the attention of the CWGC.

Thanks to Glenn Wright who attended the ceremony and penned this item.

11 October 2019

Ancestry.ca Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, until 14 Oct 2019 at 11:59 p.m. ET, Ancestry.ca is opening their immigration collection for free at home access (with registration). The records included are:

19-Century Emigration of 'Old Lutherans' from Eastern Germany to Australia, Canada, and the United States
American (Loyalist) Migrations, 1765-1799
Border Crossings: From U.S. to Canada, 1908-1935
British Columbia, Canada, Border Entries and Passenger Lists, 1894-1905
Canada, British Vessel Crew Lists, 1881
Canada, Canadian National Railway Immigrant Records, 1937-1961
Canada, Immigration and Settlement Correspondence and Lists, 1817-1896
Canada, Ocean Arrivals (Form 30A), 1919-1924
Canada, Seafarers of the Atlantic Provinces, 1789-1935
Canada, St. Lawrence Steamboat Company Passenger Lists, 1819-1838
Canadian Immigrant Records, Part One
Canadian Immigrant Records, Part Two
Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935
Early Ontario Settlers
Irish Canadian Emigration Records, 1823-1849
Irish Emigrants in North America, Part Four and Part Five
Irish Emigrants in North America,1670-1830, Part Six
Irish Emigrants in North America,1775-1825
New Brunswick, Canada, Passenger Lists: 1834
Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada, Crew Lists, 1864-1942
Nova Scotia Immigrants to 1867, Vol. I
Nova Scotia Immigrants to 1867, Vol. II
Nova Scotia, Canada, Book of Negroes, 1783
Ship Passengers Arriving in Canada (Letter A): 1919-1924
The Original Scots Colonists of Early America, 1612-1783
The Original Scots Colonists of Early America. Supplement 1607-1707
Tourouvre et les Juchereau : un chapitre de l'émigration percheronne au Canada
U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s
U.S., Border Crossings from Canada to U.S., 1895-1960
U.S., Passenger and Crew Lists for U.S.-Bound Vessels Arriving in Canada, 1912-1939 and 1953-1962
U.S., Records of Aliens Pre-Examined in Canada, 1904-1954
Vancouver, British Columbia, Manifests of Chinese Arrivals, 1906-1912, 1929-1941
Be sure to save anything of interest you find, as usual after the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using a paid Ancestry.ca membership, or at a free access site like public library branches.

Findmypast weekly additions

England & Wales Government Probate Death Index 1960-2019
The major addition this week — 14 million England & Wales index records of the government probate index on Findmypast.  Find a probate record from 1960 to 2019 containing more than 14 million records.  The index gives a person’s death date, probate date, residence, next of kin and more. 
Findmypast lists this collection under Civil Deaths and Burials, not Wills and Probate!
This is essentially the same record as at the free PRO Find a Will service at https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/#wills. An advantage is you do not need to do a separate search pre and post 1996, but you still need to use the PRO site to order a copy of the will. 

Greater London Burial Index
This index is a collection of the Middlesex Burials & Memorial Inscriptions, South London Burials Index 1545-1905, City of London Burials 1754-1855 and Middlesex Burials 1538-1992. Over 45,000 new records covering 10 parishes across the region have been added to the index and are now available to search. The records in this collection, back to 1399, give the date and location of burial as well as, in some cases, occupation, address, denomination and age at death.

Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions
A further 3,400 transcript records from the parishes of Harefield St Mary the Virgin and Sunbury St Mary which spans the years 1485 to 2014. Many of the transcripts include a document link to learn more about the church and graveyard with a brief history and image of the church, as well as burial plot maps.

Dorset Memorial Inscriptions
Over 13,000 additional records from 35 burial sites across Dorset are now available to search. The total collection is now over 126,000 records in this collection, covering over 250 Dorset parishes. 
Each record contains a transcript of an original inscription taken from gravestones, tombs, monuments and even stained glass windows. The information contained in each record may vary considerably depending on a number of factors such as weathering or the type of memorial. The records are sourced from the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society and the Dorset Family History Society.

RootsTech London News

Only a few days now until I leave for England — visiting with extended family and taking in RootsTech at ExCel London.
RootsTech is billing it as "The Family History Party You Don't Want to Miss." For sure there's a lot going on including a tantalizing choice of presentations.
As usual with RootsTech quite a few of those will be live-streamed around the world — four on each of the three days. With London being five hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone you'll need to be up early to catch those starting in London at 9 am. Even if I wasn't there with my maple leaf flag I'd be getting online on the first day, Thursday 24 October, for Dan Snow's keynote presentation.
There's a great schedule of free live-streamed presentations, including all the keynotes, which will also be available to view a few days after the event.
If you want more, without travelling, there's a Premium Virtual Pass available for £49, about $80 Cdn, giving access to 20 specially selected additions presentations to watch over the next 9 months. Scroll down from here to see the list of talks that will be exclusively available. Compare it to the cost of registration for an event with such an array of star speakers, all without travel and accommodation expenses.
Finally, if you happen to be in London during the event there will be free access to the Exhibition Hall. With more than 100 exhibitors there's bound to be something of interest.
BTW, if you'll be near the ExCel site on Wednesday evening prior to the opening contact me about a Canadian meetup — email john dot d dot reid at gmail dot com.

Voici Voilà

"Library Search" at the Library and Archives Canada website has two resourcesAurora is LAC's own catalogue of its published holdings, including books, newspapers, magazines, maps, music and works in accessible formats.

Voilà is Canada's National Union Catalogue, a single point of access to the collections of libraries across Canada and includes books, magazines, maps, music, and more, including works in special format (e.g., braille, large print, talking books, captioned videos, etc.), for persons who are print- or hearing-impaired. Voilà is hosted by OCLC, an international nonprofit library cooperative.

Voilà is growing. A December 2018 search for genealogy found 142,388 results; today it's 201,835.

It's also growing in libraries that are members. Although LAC did not have the information Daniel Boivin from OCLC sent a list of 528 member organizations. They are all the significant academic libraries, alphabetically from Algonquin College to York University, public sector organizations and 74 public libraries including 24 in Ontario.

The member list is too long for the blog.  You can find out if a given library is one of the 528 at https://www.oclc.org/en/contacts/libraries.html.

How can you use Voilà?

It does not replace your public library catalogue. A search for an Ottawa local history book in Voilà found it listed as being at the OPL. A popular general genealogy book was in Voilà but not listed as being in the OPL collection, even though it is. OPL informs the process of adding items to Voilà "has been very complicated ... with several barriers along the way beyond our control." They hope to have further progress by the end of this month.

Voilà will find repositories that hold the item, not all of them, so you can perhaps visit or request an inter-library loan through your own library knowing there is one available (although it may not be available for loan).

Source: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EGW_NwIXkAAlrSD?

... so true, the catalogue helps you find amazing library treasures.

10 October 2019

Genetic non-discrimination bill challenged

I thought this was settled in Canada, but apparently not.

That's according to the iPolitics item — Genetic non-discrimination bill passed by Parliament, but challenged by government at top court.

"Thursday the Supreme Court of Canada is hearing a historical and probably unparalleled challenge, one where the government is part of a constitutional reference that targets a bill passed almost unanimously by Parliament.

The bill in contention is the 2017 Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, legislation that originated in the Senate and was passed by both the Senate and the House of Commons.

The entire Liberal cabinet voted against the bill, while most MPs and senators voted for it."

The concern is whether it's a properly within federal jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court hearing starts at 9:30 am Ottawa time and will be streamed live — https://www.scc-csc.ca/home-accueil/index-eng.aspx

Ancestry updates Surrey parish records online

The following titles, with indexed records linked to images of the originals, were updated on 8 October 2019 on Ancestry. There's also a browse capability.

Surrey, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 — 1,864,596 records
Surrey, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1917 — 2,262,611 records
Surrey, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1937 — 1,108,226 records
Surrey, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1987 — 519,990 records

Original records are at the Surrey History Centre in Woking.

Air Transport Auxiliary website

A few years ago, visiting a retirement home in Hampshire I had a conversation with a woman who told me she flew Spitfires during the war. She seemed pleased I knew that women had served ferrying planes of all types.

Maidenhead (Berkshire) Heritage Centre, Air Transport Auxiliary Museum has a free online resource with more than 130 logbooks, hundreds of photos and other documents about the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA).

Of particular interest is the database of ATA Personnel with over 7,000 entries. Four Canadian Pilot First Officers are included: James Evelyn Brian Duigan, James Francis Howitt, Elizabeth 'Betty' Ann Lussier, and Violet Beatrice Milstead.

BIFHSGO October Meeting

On Saturday. 12 October 2019 the programme for the BIFHSGO meeting is:

At 9 AM: Hidden lives revealed: mental health and the children looked after by the Waifs and Strays Society, presented by Dr Wendy Sims-Schouten.

An overview of practices and conditions of children cared for by the Waifs and Strays Society in the UK from its inception in 1881 till 1920, as well as providing examples of children who were sent to Canada during this time. Wendy will specifically focus on correspondence, interventions and practices with a focus on mental health and wellbeing, and support this with examples from the relevant case files. Wendy will also give tips and advice on how to access the records.

Following a 30 minute break

At 10 AM: Quakers in the Family: My Dickinson Ancestors of England and Jamaica, presented by Sandra Adams

A pivotal moment in Sandra Adams’ family history research came when she discovered that one branch of her family tree joined the Quaker movement in England at the time of its inception. As the fervent evangelical Quaker faith of the 1650’s evolved into a quieter but uncompromising Quaker faith over the next 100 years, three generations of Sandra’s Dickinson family were shaped by Quakerism. Because Quaker records are so informative, and because one of Sandra’s Dickinson ancestors had a brother who kept every piece of paper that ever crossed his desk, Sandra has been able to compile the stories of these Dickinson ancestors in more detail than any other of her ancestral lines. She will illustrate her talk with images of some of the family documents from the “Dickinson Collection” – a treasure trove held by the Somerset Archives. 

Further information on the meeting which is in The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario is here.

09 October 2019

Ancestry updates England & Scotland, Select Cemetery Registers, 1800-2016

This collection, updated on 3 October, now contains 1,983,849 total entries from the following burial registers:

West Sussex (Arun Region), England (35,688 entries)
Arundel Cemetery, Bognor Regis Cemetery, Chalcraft Lane Cemetery, Findon Cemetery, Littlehampton Cemetery

Hampshire (Winchester), England (37,366 entries)
Magdalen Hill Cemetery

Oxfordshire, England (55,849 entries)
Headington Cemetery, Rosehill Cemetery, Wolvercote Cemetery, Botley Cemetery

War memorial in Gorleston Cemetery,
Norfolk, England (157,424 entries)
Yarmouth Old Cemetery, Yarmouth New Cemetery, Great Yarmouth Crematorium, Caister Borough Cemetery, Magdelan Cemetery, Gorleston Old Cemetery, Caister Village Cemetery

London, England (493,655 entries)
Abney Park Cemetery, Greenford Park Cemetery, Acton Cemetery, Ealing & Old Brentford Cemetery, Havelock Norwood Cemetery, Hortus Cemetery, South Ealing Cemetery, Queens Road Cemetery, Chingford Mount Cemetery

Manchester, England (744,458 entries)
Manchester General Cemetery, Philips Park Cemetery, Gorton Cemetery, Blackley Cemetery, Southern Cemetery

Kent, England (49,858 entries)
Brenzett Cemetery, Cheriton Road Cemetery, Hawkinge Cemetery, Lydd Cemetery, New Romney Cemetery, Spring Lane/Horn Street Cemetery

Staffordshire, England (103,950 entries)
Attwood Cemetery, Audley Cemetery, Bradwell Crematorium, Cheserton Cemetery and Hallows Farm Cemetery, Keele Cemetery, Knutton Cemetery, Madeley Cemetery, Newcastle Cemetery, Silverdale Cemetery

Dumfries-shire, Scotland (180,440 entries)
Annan Cemetery, Applegarth Cemetery, Auchencairn Cemetery, Caerlaverock Cemetery, Canonbie Cemetery, Carruthers Cemetery, Closeburn Cemetery, Cummertrees Cemetery, Dalton Cemetery, Dornock Cemetery, Dumfries High Cemetery, Dunscore Cemetery, Durisdeer Cemetery, Eskdalemuir Cemetery, Ewes Cemetery, Gamerigg Cemetery, Glencairn Cemetery, Gretna Cemetery, Gretna Green New Graveyard, Half Morton Cemetery, Holywood Cemetery, Hutton and Corrie Cemeteries, Irongray Cemetery, Johnstone Old Church, Johnstone Bridge Cemetery, Keir Cemetery, Kirkbean Cemetery, Kirkmahoe Cemetery, Kirkpatrick Fleming New Cemetery, Kirkpatrick Fleming Old Cemetery, Kirkpatrick Juxta Cemetery, Langholm Cemetery, Lochmaben Cemetery, Middlebie Cemetery, Moffat Cemetery, Morton Cemetery, Mouswald Cemetery, New Abbey Cemetery, Nithsdale District Council Cemetery, Penpont Cemetery, Rigg Cemetery, Ruthwell Cemetery, Sanquhar Cemetery, St Andrews Cemetery, St Blanes Cemetery, St Conals Cemetery, St Michaels Cemetery, St Mungo Cemetery, Staplegordon Cemetery, Terregles Cemetery, Tinwald Cemetery, Torthorwald Cemetery, Troqueer Cemetery, Tundergarth New Churchyard, Tynron Cemetery, Tyron Cemetery, Wamphray Cemetery, Wanlockhead Cemetery, Wauchope Cemetery, Westerkirk Cemetery

Kincardineshire, Scotland (5,022 entries)
Anwoth Cemetery, Balmaclellan Cemetery, Balmaghie Cemetery, Buittle Cemetery, Carsphairn Cemetery, Colvend Cemetery, Kirkpatrick Durham Cemetery, Machermore Cemetery, Parton Cemetery, Southwick Cemetery, Tongland Cemetery, Twynholm Cemetery

Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland (17,540 entries)
Bargrennan Churchyard, Borgue Cemetery, Castle Douglas Cemetery, Crossmichael Cemetery, Dalbeattie Cemetery, Dalry Cemetery, Girthon Cemetery, Kells Cemetery, Kirkcudbright Cemetery, Kirkgunzeon Cemetery, Kirkmabreck Cemetery, Lochrutton Cemetery, Rerrick Cemetery, Urr Cemetery

Wigtownshire, Scotland (61,250 entries)
Cairnryan Cemetery, Glasserton Cemetery, Glebe Cemetery, Glenluce Cemetery, Glenjorrie Cemetery, Inch Cemetery, Kirkcolm Cemetery, Kirkcowan Cemetery, Kirkinnery Cemetery, Kirkmaiden Cemetery, Leswalt Cemetery, Leswalt New Cemetery, Leswalt Old Cemetery, Mochrum Cemetery, New Luce Cemetery, Newton Cemetery, Old Luce Cemetery, Portpatrick Cemetery, Sheuchan Cemetery, Sorbie Cemetery, Stoneykirk Cemetery, Stranraer Cemetery, Whithorn Cemetery, Wigtown Cemetery, Wigtown Park Cemetery, Wigtown Top Cemetery.

Information given is interment number, name of the deceased, residence, age, place of death, date of burial, location of the grave, and the name of the person who conducted the burial service.

The entries for Norfolk are for the Great Yarmouth area including an index and image of the original record for the cremation of my father.