Friday, 7 August 2020

Ancestry Updating Ontario Births and Canada School Yearbooks

As of 10 pm on Thursday, 6 August, the Ancestry card catalogue is showing these updates:

Ontario, Canada Births, 1832-1914 Birth, Marriage & Death 6,723,609
According to the Ancestry information for this title, on "03 Aug 2020: Added 239,106 new records." That includes 74,444 Ontario Births for 1914 just now available (they weren't earlier in the day) to search and browse. The original 1914 records, which were microfilmed in 2011, include the parent's names and their date and place of marriage.

Canada, Selected School Yearbooks, 1901-2010 Directories & Member Lists 2,475,234
The information on the updates is "10 Aug 2020: Added 561,284 new records from 1,941 new yearbooks."

You saw it here first! Or maybe you read it first from someone who copied!

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Ancestry Change in Ownership

I may be the last to blog about the sale of a 75% interest in genealogy company for $4.7 billion US including debt.

The company previously changed ownership in 2012 for $1.6 billion US and in 2016 in a transaction valued at $2.6 billion.

Reports mentioned has more than 3 million paying customers in about 30 countries, and earns more than $1 billion in annual revenue. 

The purchase is by Blackstone "a leading global investment business investing capital on behalf of pension funds, large institutions and individuals. Our mission is to create long-term value for our investors through the careful stewardship of their capital." Like Findmypast, and unlike MyHeritage, the new owners do not have genealogy in their DNA.

On Wednesday Blackstone Group Inc (NYSE:BX) closed up 1,5% on the day. Blackstone has committed to invest more than $2 billion in equity in Ancestry through debt financing.


Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine: August 2020

Here's information on articles in the two main sections of the latest WDYTYA? magazine.


Missing Birth Records
Genealogist and former deputy registrar Antony Marr shares his top tips, 10 resources for tracking down missing births.

VJ Day 75 Years Later
Kevin Telfer explains that in Britain VJ was a bit of an anticlimax after VE Day as the country moved from the wartime Churchill government electing a new Clement Attlee-led  Labour administration promising "food, work and Homes", full employment and a National Health Service. 

Slavery In Jamaica
Richard Atkinson reveals how it feels to discover that your relations owned slave plantations in the West Indies

The history of this hugely popular global movement from the first trial camp on Brownsea Island, Dorset in 1907.


Best Websites 
Unmissable online resources to help you get started. Heavily UK oriented.

Record Masterclass
Phil Tomaselli shares expert advice on index cards for prisoners of war held by Japan in the Second World War

Ancestors At Work
The hazards and hardships of life as a chimney sweep. Sad.

Tech Tips
Use Google Docs to extract text from scanned images. Clear instructions. You may know of other tools.

Focus On
How to find and understand 19th-century Navy records; officers from the beginning of the century, ratings from about mid-century.

When you go to the magazine, free at PressReader at many public library websites, don't overlook the news and other content including advice on searching Lancashire ancestry.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

The Experienced Genealogist

Accomplished, mature, seasoned, and many other synonyms for an experienced genealogist who knows to approach sources critically as well as optimistically.

More often than we might like to think original records contain deceit, deception, dishonesty, evasion, fabrication, falsehood, forgery, misrepresentation and other descriptions from a whole list of synonyms for lies

Repeated lies give the impression of being more trustworthy; they're not. Maybe you're an example. How do you know your date of birth is as stated on the certificate? You grow up celebrating a day as your birthday and find that date confirmed by the date on the certificate. But you wouldn't be the first to have the date adjusted to avoid payment of a late registration fine.

On Canada Day I gave a talk for MyHeritage illustrating the use of the Canadian records they have available, and from other sources that are free. I choose William Northwood, an immigrant to Ottawa from Wolverhampton for a case study.

The table shows the evidence gleaned from various records for his birth and immigration date. If you just relied on one source you might be quite confident of the date, and probably wrong.
Was he born on 9 August 1844, the 13th or some other date? There's a baptismal record in early September 1844.

Does the exact date matter, unless you care whether he's a Thursday's a Monday's child, or want to cast an astrological birth chart!

As for immigration, as far as I can determine none in the table is correct. He appears to have landed not in Quebec City as in the passenger list for the Nestorian from LAC but Portland, Maine, late on Sunday, 1 December 1867.

You can view my MyHeritage talk  at

On top of lies, there are faults, flaws and other inaccuracies — synonyms for errors. Be it in Ancestry, Findmypast, MyHeritage, FamilySearch, LAC ... on and on, Transcriptions are rife with errors  If it's an OCR transcription of a newspaper, directory or voters list expect more such errors.

The inexperienced genealogist will get upset, perhaps post a rant on social media — "Don't they know that Prince Edward County and Prince Edward Island are different places, as far apart as London is from Barcelona!" It only takes a few minutes trying to transcribe a page of a poorly written document to understand why such errors occur.

The experienced genealogist takes transcription and OCR errors in stride; they're inevitable. The obligation is on the researcher to get as close to the truth as possible using all clues from all resources and favouring those most credible — recorded as close to the date of the event as possible with a credible informant. When you've exhausted best practices you're still left with uncertainty owing to lies and errors.

Father James Nugent of Liverpool

A 2-page article in the 5 August 2020 issue of This England magazine celebrates the life and work of Father James Nugent. He is known as one of those who organized the emigration of orphan and neglected children to Canada. 

The article describes the situation he faced
"Liverpool at the time (1846) had a population of about 210.000. But 1847 saw the Irish potato famine at its height, and some 300.000 people in this single year paid the sixpence fare to flee to Liverpool. There, those that stayed - some 60 to 80.000 - found themselves living in appalling poverty, in overcrowded and insanitary courts, alleys and cellars. Epidemics of fever, cholera, and dysentery ran rampant.
Liverpool. the “black spot on the Mersey.” was perhaps the worst city in the country. The 24 Catholic priests tried to do what they could. Ten succumbed to illness and died; eight became ill but recovered. The sick calls were unending and the churches filled with unburied corpses. The number of orphans skyrocketed, and homeless children were everywhere, with some 23.000 running wild along Liverpool docks."
It's clear (to me) from the article that Nugent had the children's interests at heart and not, as some would have it, just looking to benefit from subsidies for child immigration.

The magazine is available to read, free online, through PressReader available through many public libraries.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Family Tree DNA Summer Sale

Anxious to get a DNA test for genealogy? It's a competitive business and sales come around regularly. The latest from Family Tree DNA is for the month of August.

There are discounts on other tests too, including upgrades at

This Week's Online Genealogy Events

Choose from online events in the next four days. All times at ET.

🇨🇦Tuesday 04 August, 2 pm: Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from OGS Ottawa Branch and The Ottawa Public Library. Join here.

Tuesday 04 August, 10 pm: Tracing Australian and New Zealand World War One Ancestors, by Helen V. Smith. Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Register here.

Wednesday, 05 August, 11 am: Wills & Probate Records Q&A, with Steve Rigden and Ellie Overthrow-Jones.

Wednesday 05 August, 2 pm: Using DNA to Solve Adoption and Unknown Parentage Mysteries, by Michelle Leonard. Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Register here.

Thursday, 06 August, 8 am: ?,with ???. Commonwealth War Graves Commission presentation. 

Thursday, 06 August, 11 am: Wills & Probate Records Q&A, with Steve Rigden and Ellie Overthrow-Jones.

Thursday, 06 August, 6:30 pm: DNA 101, by Sara Allen. Allen County Public Library. Register here.

🇨🇦Thursday, 06 August, 7 pm: Using ScotlandsPeople for ALL your Scottish Genealogy needs, by Bruce Durie, Ontario Genealogical Society, via YouTube

Thursday, 06 August, 8 pm: Preparing a Portfolio: Applying to Become a Certified Genealogist®, by Angela Packer McGhie, Legacy Family Tree Webinars for BCG, Register here.

Friday 07 August, 11 am: Friday Live, with Jen Baldwin.

Friday 31 July - 30 September: Celtic Connections Virtual Conference. 25 pre-recorded presentations and 10 live chat sessions with Fiona Fitzsimons, Maurice Gleeson, John Grenham, Chris Paton for $99US.

Monday, 3 August 2020

MyHeritage Updates Search

An announcement from MyHeritage about improvements to the user experience with a redesigned search engine.

  • Faster performance to allow users to run more searches in less time
  • Edit the search while viewing the search results, and run it again.
  • Display more results on each page.
  • Unifying simple search and advanced search into one search form.
  • Automatically suggest typical filters in global searches and more relevant filters that will facilitate narrowing down searches within the current category or collection. 

More improvements are in store including for mobile devices.

Find out more at

YouTube: City of Westminster Parish Records on Ancestry

Having taken advantage of a rainy day to take a closer look at the Church of England Parish Records made available on Ancestry on 30 July 2020 for the City of Westminister here's a quick video overview of what's available.

FreeBMD Second July Update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Friday 31 July 2020 to contain 276,053,272 unique records (275,618,339 at previous update).

Years with major additions, greater than 5,000 records are: for births 1982, 1985-89; for marriages 1969, 1986-89; for deaths 1980, 1984-86, 1988.

Sunday, 2 August 2020

Ancestry adds Westminster, London, England, Church of England records

Over 4.4 million records are new on Ancestry from the City of Westminster Archives Centre in the heart of London.

Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1558-18122,206,507
Births and Baptisms, 1813-1919969,776
Deaths and Burials, 1812-1910194,940
Marriages and Banns, 1754-19351,062,855

Each has a linked image of the original record. For marriages from July 1837 the image is an uncertified equivalent to the GRO certificate.

Check out Researching family history at the Archives Centre for a 7-page list of Anglican Parish Registers with dates for records available in Information Sheet 1. You may want to refer to some other of the 14 information sheets from the City of Westminster Archives Centre.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Flight shaming: how to spread the campaign that made Swedes give up flying for good

Advice from Maeve Binchy on the 8th anniversary of her death
"Learn to type. Learn to drive. Have fun. Write postcards. [Letters take too long and you won’t do it, a postcard takes two minutes.) Be punctual.
Don’t worry about what other people are thinking. They are not thinking about you. Write quickly. [Taking longer doesn’t usually make it better.) Get up early. See the world. Call everybody by their first name, from doctors to presidents. Have parties. Don’t agonize. Don’t regret. Don’t fuss. Never brood. Move on. Don’t wait for permission to be happy. Don’t wait for permission to do anything. Make your own life.”
via a tweet from Eimear McGovern

New Register Transcriptions from Lancashire Online Parish Clerk
32 parish registers have new entries in a 24 July update. Records for the Church of St Peter, Liverpool added baptisms from 1852 to 1854 for a total of 255,473 and additional marriages for 1864
brought the total to 37828.

Saskatchewan Archives Annual Report
A refreshingly factual annual report for 2019-20 notes that service delivery progress included:

  • Approximately 120 microfilm reels of newspapers including the Maple Creek News, Maple Creek Ranching News, Maple Creek Signal and Achimoowin papers were digitized, consisting of 106,000 images. 
  • In addition, the digitization of paper newspapers took place with our digital overhead camera, adding 18,675 digital images to Saskatchewan Historical Newspapers Online. Other digitization projects included the photo collection, poster collection, panoramic photographs and fire insurance plans.
A post on mudlarking on the Thames from BBC Travel site Unearthed on newly discovered archaeological sites and other hidden at few people have ever seen.

Malcolm Gladwell: How I Rediscovered Faith

Survey of the great and important River of St. John, &c; and of the British settlements of New Brunswick
The US National Archives blog post RG 76: Maps and Records Pertaining to the Northeastern Boundary of the United States – An Artistic Glimpse of Past includes a link to an 1812 map that "contains a great deal of information not only about navigating the St. John’s River, but also about the settlements along the river’s banks.  In some places, individual landowners are even identified by name."

Thanks to this week's contributors: Anonymous, Brenda T., D-Hugh Reekie, Gail B., Kenneth R Marks, Mike More, Unknown.

Saturday, 1 August 2020

How to Create and Manage Digital Family Documents

An article from PC World is aimed at ensuring the preservation of copies of important documents such as birth certificates; adoption papers; marriage, divorce, domestic partnership certificates; immigration certificates and forms, passports, driver's licenses, and identification cards ... and many more. It suggests handling historic family documents like photos at a higher resolution.

News from AncestryDNA

AncestryDNA has extended the timeline to save your 6-8 cM matches to late August.


More accurate number of shared segments (beginning early August)

See the length of your longest shared segment (beginning mid August)

Find these update announcements at the top of your DNA Matches page with further details in the FAQ.


Communities now have 20 Southeast Asian, 9 East Asian, 14 South Asian, 31 Oceanian, 2 African and 1 Central Asian & Russian community.  Read more on the blog.

Comment. Losing the small cM matches will be no handicap to most people but,  I understand, should clear out a whole lot of false matches.

Internet Genealogy: August/September 2020

Here are the contents of the issue becoming available on 10 August.

Finding Everyone and Their Mother
Joe Grandinetti embarks on a maiden (name) voyage to research female ancestors

Speakeasies & Our Ancestors’ Entertainment
Sue Lisk looks at online sources help you to understand your ancestors’ lives during Prohibition

Genealogy Podcasts
Julie Cahill Tarr shows us how to keep up with the latest news and learn from experts through podcasts

Genealogy Software Round-Up
Tony Bandy looks at an overview of the available genealogy software programs on the market

Dealing with Family Stories and Legends
George G. Morgan looks at ways to gather new clues to jumpstart your research

Genealogical Resources for the War with Mexico
David A. Norris goes on a hunt for records that are often overshadowed by other conflicts

Filae – French Genealogy Records
Diane L. Richard looks at a source for French genealogical records with an English language interface

Wanted: Black Sheep or Jailbirds
Sue Lisk highlights online resources for locating ancestors who may have spent time behind bars

From Stranger to Familiar Face
Carol L. MacKay explores identifying family photographs using online resources

Internet Genealogy looks at websites and related news that are sure to be of interest

Back Page: No-Travel Genealogy
Dave Obee looks at how some things we take for granted may no longer be possible.

Friday, 31 July 2020

5,345 Free Online Canada City Directories

The amazing Kenneth R Marks has finished a section on his website The Ancestor Hunt presenting links to free online Canada city directories. It's a collaborative effort with Miriam Robbins, who for years has made available the Online Historical Directories website.

British Newspaper Archives Additions for July

The British Newspaper Archive now has a total of  38,109,702 pages online ( 37,517,070 last month).

55 papers (24 last month) had pages added in the past month. There were 26 (12) new titles. Dates ranged from 1803 to 1982. The Dail Mirror with 199,626 pages and more being added daily is the major addition.

The list of additions of more than 10,000 pages during the month:

Daily Mirror1996261903-1913, 1919-1920, 1922-1937, 1980-1982
Cork Daily Herald415621858-1860, 1863, 1865-1867, 1872-1894
Leicester Chronicle593341915, 1924-1979
Jersey Evening Post124201899, 1901-1909
Nantwich Chronicle126701945-1958, 1976, 1978
North Wales Weekly News323241956-1980
Rochdale Times161141872-1879, 1896, 1898-1899, 1910-1912, 1914-1923
Westmeath Guardian & Longford News-Letter114481841-1860, 1862-1896
Richmond & Ripon Chronicle10361857, 1859, 1865, 1889
Hampshire Independent404301836-1852, 1858-1895, 1898-1910, 1912-1923
Clonmel Chronicle201761848-1896

Edward Cohen: Passchendaele

The Battle of Pilckem Ridge, the opening attack of the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), occurred on this date, 31 July 1917.

Edward Cohen, my great-uncle, serving with the 12th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers was mortally wounded in the advance on Bodmin Copse. He was one of 6,525 who died on that day, including 91 from his battalion according to Like 70 others of his battalion, his body was not recovered and his name is on the Menin Gate.

He was awarded a posthumous Military Cross which was donated to Queen's College, Cambridge, where he had been a student.
The Third Battle of Ypres eventually cost a quarter of a million British Empire lives.
Read more about Edward Cohen at

CWGC Beechwood Cemetery: Goldwin Otter Kemp

Goldwin Otter Kemp was born in Ottawa on 6 May 1885

Ottawa Journal, 2 August 1920

As a result of physical infirmities contracted while on active service with the Canadian expeditionary force in France, Lieutenant Goldwin Otter Kemp, youngest surviving son of Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Kemp, Westboro’, passed away yesterday afternoon (31 July 1920) in Spadina Hospital, Toronto. Since his return to Canada in the autumn of 1918, Lieutenant Kemp had suffered with an acute affliction of the heart and, during the early months of the present year, was forced to abandon his business and enter hospital for treatment.
Lieutenant Camp was very well known in the capital, where he received his early education, later graduating from the Ottawa Collegiate Institute. In pre-war days he was employed by the Bank of Ottawa and later left his position there to enter government Service in the Department of Customs. Upon the outbreak of the war, he joined the Canadian militia and assisted in the work of recruiting the 130th Battalion, with which unit he sailed to England. Following its disintegration, Lieutenant Kemp proceeded it to France and joined the 38th Battalion, serving with distinction with them until he was severely wounded during the desperate Canadian assault on the city of Cambrai, September 1918.  He was invalided to England and, after spending several months in the hospital, was evacuated to Canada in the late months of 1918.
Lieutenant Kemp upon discharge from the Army ... was placed in a responsible position under the Department of Customs in Toronto, which position he was forced to forgo when he entered Spadina Hospital early this year.
The late Lieutenant Kemp leaves to mourn his loss his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Kemp, Westboro’; his widow, formerly Miss Edna Raper, daughter of John Raper; two young daughters Mavis and Beatrice; one brother Mr. D S Kemp, principal of Cambridge Street School, Ottawa. 
The funeral will be held from Rogers and Burney’s Chapel, Laurier Avenue West at 3 this afternoon.

Interment at Beechwood Cemetery is in Section 19, S-E part. 154

Thursday, 30 July 2020

What’s New in the Canadiana Collections

A long list of new titles is showing at There are about 170 serials, most annotated as coming soon.  Three are "recently added."

Directory of the city of Kingston, and the villages of Waterloo, Portsmouth, Williamsville and Barriefield, 1855.
Montreal almanack for the year of our Lord ... ,1831, 1833, 1837, 1840, 1841, 1842.
Toronto World Jan. 1, 1913-Dec. 31, 1915.

There are no new items in the Héritage collection "due to the COVID-19 pandemic, digitization services at Library and Archives Canada are currently suspended which has paused the growth of the Héritage collection. Once digitization services resume, this table will be updated."

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

August Allsorts Web Seminar

The Guild of One-Name Studies will be opening up several presentations from its archives for two weeks, to start at 5 am on Saturday 1 August.

The provisional programme is:

  •   The Royal Navy in Malta [March 2017] – Kim Baldacchino 
  •   Using TNG to Create a Website [July 2016] – Jim Benedict
  •   Genetic Genealogy [April 2019] – Debbie Kennett
  •   Life in the Asylum [May 2019] – David Scrimgeour
  •   C19th Boom and Bust – Trade Directories [May 2017] – Jackie Depelle 

The National Brewery Centre Archive

The UK National Brewery Centre in Burton on Trent is "home to an unrivalled array of historical collections that relate to brewing. This includes an extensive archive of ledgers, books, plans, photographs and film from the breweries around the UK; a library containing brewing-related books and journals and objects that include paintings, ceramics, glass, bottles, cans, beer mats and Inn-signs."

Online find many of the more popular items in the collection, such as photos of historic pubs, breweries, brewing equipment, packaging and advertising. Items are continually being added.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

The Week's Online Genealogy Events

Choose from online events in the next four days. All times at ET.

🇨🇦Tuesday 28 July, 2 pm: Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from OGS Ottawa Branch and The Ottawa Public Library. Join here.

Tuesday, 28 July, 2 pm: Fabulous Photo Discoveries™ at MyHeritage by Lisa Louise Cooke. Register here.

Wednesday, 29 July, 11 am: Ask Me Anything with Myko Clelland.

Wednesday, 29 July, 2 pm: Researching a Loyalist Soldier by Craig R. Scott, Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Register here.

Thursday, 30 July, 8 am: Passchendaele ( The Third Battle of Ypres). with Alexandra Churchill and Bethany Moore of The Great War Group and CWGC's Max Dutton.

🇨🇦Thursday, 30 July, 1 pm: Oh, Canadiana!: the offerings on the website, with Kathryn Lake Hogan. Register here.

Thursday, 30 July, 6:30 pm:  Navigating the (Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center) Catalog: Locating the Resource You Need. Register here.

Friday 31 July, 11 am: Tracing Catholic Ancestors by Brian Donovan.

Friday 31 July - 30 September: Celtic Connections Virtual Conference. 25 pre-recorded presentations and 10 live chat sessions with Fiona Fitzsimons, Maurice Gleeson, John Grenham, Chris Paton for $99US.

Monday, 27 July 2020

Advance Notice: OGS Troronto Late Summer Lecture Series: Online

Four lectures about online Ontario research

Tuesday 18 August: Ontario Records on FamilySearch — Jane E. MacNamara
Wednesday 19 August: Upper Canada Sundries: An Under-used Genealogy Goldmine— Janice Nickerson
Tuesday 25 August: The Heir & Devisee Commissions of Upper Canada— Linda Corupe
Wednesday 26 August: Enhancing your Research with Find-a-Grave—Ruth Burkholder

Find out more and register at

The Second World War, Solving the Franklin Mystery, and more

The 1 August 2020 issue of Canada's History magazine features two articles by Canadian military historian Tim Cook.

A shorter one On All Fronts reviews Canada's role in the war.

After Victory: The Second World War led to fundamental changes to Canada shows how it stimulated "the emergence of the social-security state to advances in culture, from being more intensely tied to the United States to a new willingness to engage with the world. Canada moved forward as a wealthy nation, more certain of what it meant to be Canadian."

Solving the Franklin Mystery has Ken McGoogan speculation on the cause of death of crew members.

Canada's History is one of the many magazines available to read free online through PressReader if your local public library subscribes.

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Latest Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy Magazine

The Summer 2020 issue of this free magazine is now available!

Fiona Fitzsimons – Senator Joe Biden's Irish Roots
Paul MacCotter – The Surnames of County Tipperary: A Brief Overview
Maurice Gleeson – The Future of Ancient DNA and Red Hugh O’Donnell
Niall Roycroft – How a 1954 Traffic Accident Revealed Medieval Athboy (County Meath)
Deirdre Powell – Matilda Cullen Knowles (1864–1933): A Pioneer of Irish Botany
Aisling O’Brien and Lorna Moloney – Brian Boru and the World of DNA
Nathan Mannion - Mary Mallon – Better Known as ‘Typhoid Mary’: A Lesson for Our Time?
Eamonn ‘Ned’ Kelly – The God of Wisdom and the Origins of the Legendary Hero Fionn mac Cumhaill
Maurice Gleeson – Select Academic Publications Relevant to Irish Genetic Genealogy on the ISOGG Website
Patrick Roycroft – New Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy (4th Edition; by Brian Mitchell) [Book Review]
Brigit McCone – Book Essay on Michael Davitt’s Life and Progress in Australasia
Brian Mitchell – New Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy (4th edition, 2020) [Book Excerpt]

Regular columns: 
Dear Genie (Our Genealogists help you with your research block)
Photodetective (Jayne Shrimpton analyses one of your family photos)
Patrick's Page (Patrick Roycroft deals with a client at the Irish Family History Centre)
FMP Roundup (Niall Cullen lets us know of the new Irish genealogy records that have been added to Findmypast)

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

OGS Copyright Consultant
Librarians are Genealogists' best friends, so the OGS announcement that Elise C. Cole is joining the OGS team to ensure that the Society is informed and compliant with copyright law and copyright best practices is welcome. Elise in her role with the Oakville Public Library blogged at the no longer active Librarians Helping Canadian Genealogists Climb Family Trees.

Links to 2,275 Free Online Ontario City Directories
Kenneth R Marks does it again.

Reimagining Searching in Chronicling America
A blog post that raised my blood pressure in thinking about the lost opportunities owing to Library and Archives Canada's failed leadership.

Libraries have been bringing older books to digital learners: Four publishers sue to stop it
Do you use the Internet Archive? A blog post by Brewster Kahle on the threat from commercial publishers to the availability of orphan works.

TheGenealogist adds Australian Records

Thanks to this week's contributors: Anonymous, Brenda Dunne, btyclk, Gail B., Ian Barker, Jon, K, K P,  Leslie Weir, M.Anne S., Nick Thorne, Unknown.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

CWGC Update

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is an example of an organization that's not been at rest during the pandemic.
There's a new logo and a refreshed website at the old address.

Weekly CWG Live webinars are being presented on Zoom, the latest was Emotional Responses to the Work of the CWGC presented by Public Engagement Coordinator, Megan Kelleher. There's an archive of previous presentations.

Next Thursday at 1 pm BST (8 am ET) the topic is Passchendaele ( The Third Battle of Ypres)

Rosalind Elsie Franklin Centennial

Friday, 24 July 2020

To Coventry with Findmypast

Records from three cemeteries have been added in this update to the collection of Warwickshire Burials.

Coventry, London Road Cemetery, 1916-2007, with 125,489 entries
Coventry, St Paul's Cemetery, 1893-1994, with 15,488 entries
Walsgrave on Sowe Cemetery, 1893-1994, with 2,503 entries.

The individual entries are transcripts. Linked images are maps showing the locations of the plot within the cemetery.

Warwickshire, Coventry Pawnbroker Tickets 1915-1923
These unique mementos from the First World War era reveal what the people of Coventry pawned and the money they made. As well as giving us an insight into the area's social history, the 11,143 records can also be useful for adding colour to Coventry family's past. They include details like:

Who pawned an item
Their address
What they pawned
How much they received

Covering transactions made at Wm. Brookes at 1-2 Silver Street and 118 Gosford Street and Philips Electric Arc Welding Ltd, the tickets were transcribed and provided by the Coventry Family History Society.

You may not be familiar with the term Sent to Coventry.

Also added this week, United States, Idaho, Reconstructed 1890 Idaho Census, 102,633 records assembled from records of births, marriages, deaths, wills, land and tax records, court records, mining and water rights, naturalisations and citizenship, information from Boise city directories, Boise County money orders and Century Farms records.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Reopening Library and Archives Canada

The following is posted on the LAC website as of Thursday 23 July 2020.

We are carefully planning a gradual reopening of Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) service points across the country. The health and safety of employees and visitors is our priority. The offices located in Ottawa, Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver may open independently, following a staged approach. On this page, you will find the latest details and opening dates for each office as they become available.

Reopening stages
In the past few months, our staff has been hard at work to provide remote services to the public.

On August 12, 2020, it is expected that a limited number of staff will begin to return to the worksites. In this first stage of gradual reopening, LAC will remain closed to the public. However, we will resume copy services (online orders only) and be able to provide enhanced remote reference services, as staff will be on site and have greater access to items from the collection.

Although we do not yet have specific dates for when this will happen, we will increase our service offerings as additional staff return to the worksites. As such, we will begin to offer limited public access services by reservation only. These services will be gradually broadened, and access to the public service points and collection will be increased all the while following local and national health and safety measures. These will include limited reserved seating in our consultation, reference and genealogy rooms, expanded research capabilities, and greater services offered by our reference and information desks in our various locations.

We will continue to monitor the situation as we move toward a return to more open and accessible services to the public, including reopening of the DigiLab services and, when possible, a return of in-person public events, workshops and tours.

Current status per region
Here you will find region-specific links to the latest information on the stages of reopening and the gradual resumption of online and in-person services. In all cases, LAC will apply and reinforce local and national health and safety measures. Check back regularly and follow our social media accounts for the latest news. We are looking forward to welcoming you back soon!

Ottawa: Online Services Available – Closed to the Public
The facility located at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa is currently closed to the public. We are planning the return to the workplace of employees and implementing health and safety measures.

Read about the online services currently offered: COVID-19: Latest update for LAC’s public services and programming
Prepare for your visit by completing your User Card Registration (no opening date available for visits yet)

Halifax: Online Services Available – Closed to the Public
The service point located in the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, 1055 Marginal Road in Halifax, is currently closed to the public. We are planning the return to the workplace of employees and implementing health and safety measures.

Winnipeg: Online Services Available – Closed to the Public
The facility located at 1700 Inkster Boulevard in Winnipeg is currently closed to the public. We are planning the return to the workplace of employees and implementing health and safety measures

Vancouver: Online Services Available – Closed to the Public
The service point located on the 7th floor of the Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia Street, and at 420 – 300 West Georgia Street in Vancouver are currently closed to the public. We are planning the return to the workplace of employees and implementing health and safety measures.

Last Minute: WorldCat: Finding Genealogy Materials

From the Allen County Public Library, WorldCat: Finding Genealogy Materials.

Learn "how WorldCat can assist you in finding where genealogy materials are located, anywhere in the world. WorldCat also provides links to online materials, citations, the ability to create lists and more! This is a research tool that you did not know you needed."

Family History and Fashion

On Wednesday before leaving for the dentist I caught a few minutes of the conversation Your Ancestors and Fashion on the Findmypast Facebook channel with very knowledgeable guest expert Dr. Kate Strasdin.
She mentions several resources along the way that could be helpful in identifying the time period of clothes in a photo -- always remembering that people weren't always dressed in the most fashionable manner of the day.

Free UK Genealogy Conference — this weekend

The first Family Tree Academy: Weekend Conference, in association with FamilySearch, will be taking place online between Friday 24 to Sunday 26 July 2020.

The free web-based family history learning experience will comprise video guides, discussion panels and downloadable handouts. The team of presenters from FamilySearch is Brian McKechnie, Tim Manners, Andrew Milnes, Keith Penfold, Virginio Baptista, Jacob Hawkins, and Torsten Kux.

The presentations will be aired live online from 5pm BST (noon EST) each day, followed by a live family history panel discussion. Both the presentations and the panel discussions will be streamed via the Family Tree Facebook and YouTube pages.

To view the full programme of talks, visit the following link:

Ancestry updates UK Death Indexes

Records for 2019 are added to this Ancestry collection. An index compiled by Wilmington Millennium, West Yorkshire, it covers approximately 55% of the total deaths.
This index provides name, gender, date of birth or age at death (missing in most cases), date of death, and residence place at death.
For England and Wales, the 1989-2019 death index has 4,777,565 entries. For Scotland and Northern Ireland 650,151 events.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

String Band

When my great-grandfather John Marmon died in Carmarthen in October 1914 at 6 King Street the local paper reported there was a floral tribute from Messrs Jones' String Band. Previously, when his wife died in June 1910 there was a floral tribute from Messrs Jones, 60 King Street.

I wasn't aware John Marmon had any musical interest. There's a lot I don't know about this man who hid his origins.

The reference to a string band was interesting. What comes to mind for string band is the Incredible String Band

Not the kind of group for 1914, neither is the Google definition appropriate to the place and time "an old-time music or jazz ensemble made up mainly or solely of string instruments. String bands were popular in the 1920s and 1930s, and are among the forerunners of modern country music and bluegrass."

The term "string band" appears in Carmarthen newspapers from 1859 with Messrs Jones' string band found from 1890. A report in 1891 included the somewhat ambiguous  "Messrs. Jones's string band were present in force, and played several selections between the different scenes. Praise is unneeded as the quality of the music discoursed by Messrs Jones's string band is too well known in Carmarthen and district."

In the following years there is frequent mention of Messrs. Jones's string band performing at community events. Based on the names of musical pieces mentioned the band is likely what we'd today call an ensemble - quartet, sextet or octet. Over time they expanded with piccolo and piano mentioned, no doubt others. The pieces played become more ambitious.

As far as I can determine the connection between my great-grandfather and the Jones family was their nearby businesses on King and later Queen Streets in Carmarthen.

Ottawa Genealogy Double-header

As posted here by Ottawa Branch OGS

"It does not look like we will be able to hold meetings in the City of Ottawa Archives until at least January 2021. " 
The Annual Meeting of Ottawa Branch which was postponed and is still tentatively scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday 12 September 2020 along with a Zoom presentation Picking Low Hanging Fruit from Your Family Tree by Bob Dawes.

That is the same day, in the morning the BIFHSGO AGM is scheduled along with a presentation There's No Business Like Show Business: Using DNA and Traditional Docs to Find Maternal Grandfather, by Brian Laurie-Beaumont.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

The Week's Online Genealogy Events

Choose from online events in the next four days. All times at ET.

Tuesday 21 July, 2 pm: Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from OGS Ottawa Branch and The Ottawa Public Library. Join here.

Tuesday, 21 July, 8 pm: Elusive Immigrant: The Search for Dora Lühr
by Warren Bittner, CG. Legacy Family Tree Webinars, Register here.

Wednesday, 22 July,11 am: Your Ancestors and Fashion, with Ellie Overthrow-Jones (FMP) and Dr Kate Strasdin

Wednesday, 22 July, 2 pm: 50 More Websites Every Genealogist Should Know
by Gena Philibert-Ortega. Legacy Family Tree Webinars, Register here.

Wednesday, 22 July, 10 pm: Portrait Detective: Streetscapes and Number Plates, with Cassie Mercer, from Ancestry Australia,

Thursday, 23 July, 6:30 pm: WorldCat: Finding Genealogy Materials, from the Allen County Public Library.

Friday 17 June, 11 am: Findmypast Friday's Live with Alex Cox,

The Carmarthenshire Historian, and Newfoundland

Why this map of Newfoundland?

Published from 1961 to 1985 The Carmarthenshire Historian was "an attempt to stimulate interest in Local History; to encourage you to take a greater and deeper interest in the life of your village, your community and your county; to inspire you to find out what motives, fears and desires actuated our predecessors.
Issues were digitized by Chris Jones and are now available through The Internet Archive. He identified the following highlights, in no particular order:

Miss Nightingale Grieves to Say... - An extraordinary letter from an extraordinary woman.
Marching with Thomas Skeel - Follow the adventures of a Laugharne soldier.
The Footprints of a Master Craftsman - An independent soul.
Corporal Davies Goes to War - The Crimea: a foot soldier's perspective.
Alcwyn Caryni Evans 1828-1902 - Teacher, Historian, Landlord.
Madam Bevan - Pioneer of education in South Wales.
Loitering in Guildhall Square, Carmarthen - Do you recognise this?
A Saint and His Progeny - A fascinating portrayal of a prominent Methodist minister.
The Borough of Llanelly - An account of Llanelli, and the growth of its local government.
History of the Mynydd Mawr - Natural beauty, Anthracite, Rebecca.
Pentwyn Academy - A place to think.
An Arcadian In Parliament - William Williams, M.P.
Glo Garreg: Memories of the Anthracite Coalfield - From pit to Cabinet, memories of an MP.

There's also an outline index at Click the link and wait for the Internet Archive version and click again; sadly none of the image links are preserved although they are in the pdfs.

The map of Newfoundland is in the article Life in Seventeenth Century Carmarthenshire relates to a 1617 attempt to establish a Welsh colony on the island.

Sadly I didn't find anything about Messrs Jones String Band; that's another blog post!

Sunday, 19 July 2020

There's hope for Service from Library and Archives Canada

Although Library and Archives Canada continues to keep us,  its clients, in the dark about progress to reopening, the last notice posted on the website was dated 28 May, there is a hint.

I understand LAC management has been in touch with the Union(s) representing employees and some will return to their work locations on Wednesday 12 August.

It is highly unlikely that will be the date at which buildings will be opened to client visits and in-person service offered. We can look forward to the restart of service at a distance.

It's unfortunate that LAC has not been more open with its clients about its plans.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Lessons from the Reopening of Libraries and Archives in Europe
Some comments about digitization on request.

Librarians Turned Google Forms into the Unlikely Platform for Virtual Escape Rooms 
Is there scope for gamification in attracting youngsters to family history?

Notable and Recent Additions to the Waterloo Digital Library
COVID-19 and the closure of the University of Waterloo campus hasn't stopped the library making additions online. Included are some interesting early maps.

Ontario Land Registry Office Update
OGS posted news about plans to discontinue the land registration counter services at all Land Registry Offices effective 9 October 2020. It appears OGS has acted promptly — good, it should have been aware earlier.

Old British Lighthouses
The Historical Light Aids to Navigation dataset is an Excel spreadsheet that “shows the development of historical lighthouses, lightships, harbour lights and beacons in England and Wales for several benchmark years between 1514-1911. via Jeremy Singer-Vine at Data is Plural

Thanks to this week's contributors: Anonymous, Bob, Bob H., Dorothy Kew, Glenn Wright, Gloria, Jane, jon, Judy Lynn, K, LGLowrey, NigelBeale, Teresa, Terry, Unknown.

Saturday, 18 July 2020

Ontario, Toronto Cemetery Records, 1989-1995

Earlier in the week, I mentioned an anomaly in new records posted to FamilySearch. Now the collection titled Ontario, Toronto Cemetery Records, 1989-1995 has 74,773 records as of 17 July described as

Cemetery records from the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This collection contains interment registers and cremation registers from 1989-1995.

Of 171 Reid burials, only 83 were in Ontario. 48 were in California and 37 in Nova Scotia.
None of those Ontario burials were in Toronto's Mount Pleasant Cemetery!

Findmypast Weekly Additions: Surrey BMBs

Over a million new records from Findmypast, most with transcripts linked to images of the original record.

Surrey Baptisms: over 558,000 records from 126 Surrey parishes added to this collection. Dates are typically 1846 to 1912 with some dating into the 16th century.

Surrey Marriages:  over 438,000 additional marriage records from 182 Surrey parishes typically dating from 1659 to 1933.

Surrey Burials: over 330,000 records added from 121 parishes typically from 1633 to 1957.

Check the Surrey Parish List for details of the individual parishes with time frames covered. There's a nice map of parishes at

These records are from holdings of the Surrey History Centre . Transcripts were made by the West Surrey Family History Society, meaning probably by people familiar with the local area.  It would be a courtesy if FMP gave credit to both with links to their websites in the blog post announcing these additions.

LAC Co-Lab Update for July

As of 17 July, there has been no progress reported on Co-Lab challenges since last month.

Friday, 17 July 2020

Back to our Past Virtual conference

If you have Irish ancestry, and maybe even if not, find out about this online event available at a really good price.

COVID Collecting at the City of Ottawa Archives

Acting Ottawa City Archivist John Lund was interviewed on Thursday by Alan Neal on its collection of documentary materials related to the pandemic. He makes points about the type of material, the challenge of collecting online materials and need to coordinate with partner institutions.

Listen at

Canada Death Penalty Index

Maybe you recall something on this blog from 2009. I didn't.  But I was referred to it by Google when looking for information on the death penalty in Canada. That's thanks to a comment by DPW a 319-page document PERSONS SENTENCED TO DEATH  IN CANADA, 1867-1976:  An Inventory of Case Files in the Fonds of the Department of Justice, National Archives of Canada, 1994. Find it at

Here's an example of an entry, this for the last woman to be hanged in Canada.

BLAKE, Emily Hilda
Crime: Murder
Trial: 1899
Brandon, Man.
Judge: Killam
Result: O. in C. of 1899/12/26, PC 2695
Hanging: 1899/12/27; Brandon, Man.
Reference: RG 13, file 316A (missing).

Digitized newspapers now make it much easier to find information on such cases.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Favourite London Libraries and Archives.

It's not Hogwarts. It's the Rotherhithe Picture Research Library, the kind of place I love to go to research. According to their website  it was established in 1975 as a reference collection, freely available to anyone wishing to do picture research for any reason whatsoever. It's a non-profit-making educational trust.

It's in a list of favourite libraries and archives posted on the London Historians' Blog. Of the 26 places on the list I've researched at 10 and visited a few others. How about you?

Westboro Beach Genealogy Meetup - NOT

Around this time of year for the past few years, there's been an informal genealogy meetup at the Westboro Beach Cafe, usually at noon on a Sunday. Folks look forward to it.

Although the cafe is now open with plenty of distancing when I was there early on Wednesday afternoon, and the most recent Stage 3 declaration for Ottawa takes effect on Friday, this year I'm not promoting a meeting.

Most meetup attendees are in a more vulnerable age bracket. The beach attracts a crowd less likely to adhere to social distancing, and there's the inability to eat and drink while wearing a mask.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

The Personal Past: History, Identity and the Genealogical Impulse

Just published online, the latest Canadian Issues, a biannual publication of the Association for Canadian Studies which takes a broad look at genealogy. It's free online here.

In his introduction, Randy Boswell describes the collection of essays as "a rich diversity of perspectives on how the personal past can add detail and texture to the broader canvas of Canadian history."


Randy Boswell

Randy Boswell

Tanya Evans

Natalie Ward

John D. Reid

Leighann C. Neilson

Jane Badets

Jack Jedwab

Jean Teillet

Robert Vineberg

Sara MacNaull et Nora Spinks

Nicole Watier

Margaret Ann Wilkinson

Tracy Arial

FamilySearch Record Update

For the week of 13 July FamilySearch reports the following Canadian and English indexed records have been added to existing collections where there are no associated digital images. The exception is the first, for Toronto's Mount Pleasant Cemetery, which is a new collection and, strangely, in the original news release is given the title Ascension!

CollectionIndexed Records
Canada, Ontario, Toronto Mount Pleasant Cemetery Records, 1989-19953,703
Canada, New Brunswick, County Register of Births, 1801-192011,859
Canada, Nova Scotia Deaths, 1864-1877581
England, Cumbria Parish Registers, 1538-199023,236
England, Herefordshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1583-18982,539
England, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-198854,458
England, Yorkshire Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1613-1887347

Update from Jane MacNamara
The weirdly named FamilySearch records that I read about in your post this morning have some very serious issues—including large numbers of records from other locations all together. I have let FamilySearch know, and I suspect that they will pull them down temporarily.

I’ve also told them that I’ll mention it to you so you can warn your readers.

In the meantime, they can search up to 1935, and browse images up to 1988 here:

Irish Surname Maps

Complementing the maps made available by John Grenham, Barry Griffin has made available maps based on the 1901 and 1911 censuses of Ireland for those with occupation farmer and for different religious affiliations.

If your name of interest isn't included there's an address to write with a request.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

News of The Opening: How to do it. Why not at LAC, AO and others?

Here's the first paragraphs from the informative July Newsletter from the National Library of Scotland

"We hope to welcome you back soon

We are planning to open our reading rooms on a pre-booked basis at our George IV Bridge and Causewayside buildings from Tuesday 11 August. This is in line with the Scottish Government’s route map for reopening services following the COVID-19 lockdown.

We anticipate that we will open the Library at Kelvin Hall, Glasgow on Tuesday 15 September.

As your safety is our main concern, we will be offering a limited service in the first phase of our reopening. Equally, if the situation changes beyond our control, we will of course delay reopening in line with the latest government advice."

Simple, informative.

Why not the same type of information from Library and Archives Canada? On its website, the latest information is from 28 May. Has nothing happened in 45 days?

Why not the same type of information from the Archives of Ontario? On its website the undated information is "Following the guidance of public health and government authorities on the evolving COVID-19 situation, the Archives of Ontario in-person services will be closed until further notice."

Why not the same type of information from the City of Ottawa Archives? The best it can manage is a link to a general city COVID-19 site which has no reference to the Archives. The City of Toronto Archives website is equally uninformative.

The same goes for the museums in the Ottawa  Museum Network with the sole exception of the Diefenbunker.

While nobody wants the facilities we use to open without safety as an overriding concern, for staff and clients, the lack of information makes it appear those organizations are satisfied to not move to institute the type of measures we see at commercial and other facilities so that as much of the full range of services as possible can be provided.

If other organizations are opening up on a new (and hopefully temporarily modified) basis, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Ingenium museums, the British Library and the UK National Archives why no up to date information from our archival organizations?


The following was posted by the City of Ottawa Archives this morning

COVID-19 Update
The highest priority of the City of Ottawa Archives is the safety and well-being of our visitors, volunteers, and our staff. Consistent with Ottawa Public Health guidance related to the spread of COVID-19, we are closed until September 7. As the City begins a phased reopening, more details will be provided as services resume.

The Week's Online Genealogy Events

Choose from online events in the next four days. All times at ET.

Tuesday 14 July, 2 pm: Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from OGS Ottawa Branch and The Ottawa Public Library. Join here.

Tuesday, 14 July, 2 pm: Connecting the Dots – Introduction to Auto Clusters at MyHeritageDNA by Paul Woodbury. Legacy Family Tree Webinars, Register here.

Wednesday, 15 July, 11 am: The British in India, by Paul Nixon.

Wednesday, 15 July, 2 pm: On the Record Trail of My LDS Immigrant Ancestor by Sunny Morton:  Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Register here.

Wednesday 15 July, 7:30 pm: Treasures and The Truth: Vlogging to Record Family
by Lianne Kruger (BIFHSGO). Find out more and register at

Thursday 16 July, 10 pm: Royalty in Family History and Society by Michelle Patient and Fiona Brooker, via Ancestry from Australia on Facebook.

Friday 10 June, 11 am: Friday's Live, with Ellie (FMP)

Advance Notice

The first Family Tree Academy: Weekend Conference, in association with FamilySearch, will be taking place right here 24 to 26 July 2020. The free web-based live family history learning experience will comprise of video guides, discussion panels, and downloadable handouts.

Keep updated on Conference news… sign up to receive free email alerts.

Questions for Discussion

Sharing is a valuable aspect of researching our family history. We can learn a lot from other's experiences. These days groups getting together online provides an opportunity to get to know people we might not otherwise speak to. After the introductions, the conversation can often benefit from a stimulus. Here are some topics that might help.

What remarkable thing did someone in your family tree do?

What well-known person is there in your FAN club?

What's the story of a person in your family tree who died in a disaster?

What's the story of someone in your family tree who died in a war?

Tell us about the most long-lived person in your family tree.

On what day of the week were you (a parent or grandparent) born?  What was the phase of the moon? What was the weather like that day? How prosperous was the economy? What was the community like? If you don't know how would you find out?

What was happening in the world on the day you (a parent or grandparent) were born? If you don't know how would you find out?

What role did weather play in your family history?

What are the major news events that happened during your life that you remember where you were when you heard about them? What were those events for your parents and grandparents?

Tell us about a pleasant surprise you had researching your family history?

How did you handle it when you found out about a less than honourable event in an ancestor's life?

Ancestry vs Findmypast vs MyHeritage, which and why?

How has genetic genealogy helped your family history investigations?

Is genealogy software passé?

Citations, who really cares?

Is genealogy a vain attempt at immortality?

If you have other suggestions please leave a comment.

Monday, 13 July 2020

Wednesday BIFHSGO Event: Treasures and The Truth: Vlogging to Record Family

Everyone is welcome. on Wednesday, 15 July at 7:30 pm for a Zoom event. Advance registration required.

Treasures and The Truth: Vlogging to Record Family
with Lianne Kruger

Do you have family treasures that have been handed down through the generations and you have them now? Do you like them? Do your children like them? Do you have room for them? Do you want them out of the house as soon as possible but you can't just throw them away because there are too many memories. Do you want to record history of houses or areas the family has lived? Have you written a family history and realized that no one wants to read it? This session will discuss ways to record these items and history so that future generations will know their family history in a way the next generation will enjoy, through pictures and video.

About the Speaker
Lianne Kruger began genealogy as a youth on family trips to relatives and graveyards; continued as a teenager at the Family Hsitory Library in front of a microfilm reader with a list of names to look for; and as a young mother researching her paternal line back to the first European landowner of Canada. She volunteers with Alberta Genealogical Society, advisory board and mitoYDNA.

Find out more and register at

Quinte Branch OGS adds new records to Finding Aid free online

Quinte Branch celebrates its 40th anniversary as a branch of Ontario Ancestors, by updating its free online Finding Aid with over 166,000 new records. The total is now over 1,516,000 thanks to the incorporation of a number of major historical works and genealogical transcripts — and the efforts of volunteer indexers.

The database covering the whole Quinte Region including Hastings, Prince Edward and part of Northumberland counties.

Search the names index here.

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Disappointing Update from the Archives of Ontario

The OGS eWeekly for 11 July included news from the Archives of Ontario by Jay Young, Outreach Officer.

Regarding reopening of the physical facility:

Although a re-opening date is not set, we have been working proactively on a plan for returning to the AO. For instance, renovations are underway at our public facility to ensure the safety of staff and visitors.
The lack of even a tentative date for reopening is disappointing. How is working proactively different from just working? Why is reopening an archive building, where an appointment system could be put in place to limited crowding, any more difficult than opening a hairdresser, dentist or store?

Regarding digitization:
Since most staff do not have access to original records, digitization of our collections is not currently possible.
Why could staff that could safely have access not be involved in digitization?

AO has a poor record in digitizing legacy records except for "exhibition" type images. When will AO realize it must change the way it does business — understanding that mass digitization will relieve problems with safe access at the physical facility leading to a more equitable service across the province and beyond? It will also save emissions of climate change inducing greenhouse gasses from transportation as people must presently travel to the site at York University to access materials.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Red Tape in the Archives
A LAC blog post by Leah Sander.

How to clean up Google Chrome when it’s slow

The Harper's Letter on Justice and Open Debate
We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences.

More progress needed on COVID-19
Ontario reports about 10 new cases per day per million population. A seven day average of one new case per million per day is the level at which the outbreak could be considered under control according to this UK expert report. That was the situation in Ontario in the second week of March.

OPL Tech Cafe: Tech Café : Connecting With Friends and Coworkers Using Your iPhone or iPad
Monday 13 July, 2020 at 10:00am


British Podcast Awards Nominations

And the Winner is

Thanks to this week's contributors: Anonymous, Bob Dawes, Derrick Johnstone, Glenn W., Karen Prytula, Sophronia, Teresa, Tony Buttler, Unknown, Wayne Shepheard