Wednesday, 30 September 2020

British Newspaper Archive Additiona for September

 The British Newspaper Archive now has a total of 39,007,826  pages online (38,386,080 last month).

39 papers (45 last month) had pages added in the past month. There were 12 (24) new titles.

TITLEPAGESDATE RANGE
Runcorn Weekly News359101913-1933, 1936-1972, 1974-1976
Liverpool Courier and Commercial Advertiser123621889, 1892, 1909-1910
Marylebone Mercury504821872-1876, 1878, 1884, 1886, 1897-1925, 1947-1978
John Bull687921906-1945
Cork Daily Herald176781859, 1861-1862, 1869-1871, 1897-1900
Clare Freeman and Ennis Gazette102661855-1884
Evening Mail56,3581869-1872, 1874-1885, 1892-1922
Gentlewoman1178161890-1926
Fleetwood Chronicle131521845, 1922-1924, 1926-1945, 1954

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

FamilySearch Weekly Update

The following titles have indexed records added, there are no digital images.

Canada, New Brunswick, County Register of Births, 1801-1920 : 17,505
Canada, Prairie Provinces Census, 1926: 3,966
Canada Nova Scotia Church Records, 1720-2001: 11,544

England, Essex Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-1971: 3,578
England, Herefordshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1583-1898: 3,378
England, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-1988: 93,477

Webinar: Pre-1869 Ontario BMD Records

On Thursday OGS partners with the Archives of Ontario and archivist Serge Pacquet to explain how Ontario births, marriages, and deaths were registered before civil registration was introduced in 1869, and where and how to search for them. This webinar, starting at 7 pm ET will also help you find other sources for births, marriages, and deaths available at the Archives of Ontario.

Everyone is welcome. Registration is high so please sign on early.

REGISTRATION LINK: [https://ogs.on.ca/zoom-meetings/webinar-2020-october-2/](https://ogs.on.ca/zoom-meetings/webinar-2020-october-2/?fbclid=IwAR2fecdhMIVncjq3UzG5pAnz3nECRNQbiMRzDwYaCHCIuY6SZgoYn3ahiH4)

Monday, 28 September 2020

What collections did Ancestry Update this month

Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1637‑1935

Over 1.5 million new records to this collection. Notarial records may have surprising detail

England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384‑1858

Gives name, date, and place for the testator, and often family relationships, providing names of spouses and children and sometimes even parents.

Birmingham, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813‑1919

Additional indexes and images for parish across Birmingham for the years 1913-1919.

RAF Lists and Thousands of Extra War Memorials Released

A press release from TheGenealogist


TheGenealogist has released 71 new Air Force Lists with over 2 million names, as well as 385 extra War Memorials listing over 31,000 names.

Air Force Lists

The launch of this major resource gives access to 71 new Air Force Lists from 1919 to 1945 with over 2 million searchable names.

Air Force Lists are useful for family history researchers to see when an officer joined the RAF. They can also tell you what the airman’s rank was in different years and, by looking at the letters written after his name in the list, they can tell you what medals your ancestor had been awarded. These join a large run of similar Army and Navy Lists and other military records on TheGenealogist.

Use these records to:
Find ancestors who became officers in the Royal Air Force
Discover their ranks, service numbers and medals awarded
See which branch they served in and their dates of posting

War Memorials

With 3,400 new photos in this release, these new records include a number of schools and colleges including the Sevenoaks School where WW1 former pupils who served are recorded as well as casualties and medals awarded to them. Other schools and colleges included in this release are: The University College School, Hampstead; Merthyr Tydfil County School; Lord Weymouth Grammar School in Warminster, Wiltshire; Leeds, St Anne's RC School; and West Leeds High School.

War Memorials for workplaces and sporting organisations can help flesh out an ancestor’s life in revealing their occupation or recreational pursuits. Examples include the Gloucester Rugby Club; Gloucestershire County Hall staff for WW1 WW2; the Travellers Club in Pall Mall; Leeds Council employees WW1; Leeds, Kirkstall Brewery; Leeds Stock Exchange members and clerks; London; Army & Navy Stores WW1 - memorials for two of their department stores; and London, Union Discount Co.

Rolls of Service

Included in this week's release are also a number of Rolls of Service for the Boer War, WW1 and WW2, as well as some for civilian casualties in the Second World War such as Salcombe in Devon and Portsmouth.

This release brings the total number of War Memorials on TheGenealogist to over 597,000.

Use these records to:
Find ancestors who fought for their country in various conflicts
Discover workplaces or organisations that some ancestors were associated with

This release expands TheGenealogist’s extensive Military records collection and when used with connected resources, such as the RAF Operations Record Books (ORBs), Aircraft Identification book from 1939, Military Death records, War Memorials and others on TheGenealogist, it can be possible to really build an ancestors story.

To see an example of this, read TheGenealogist’s article: Paddy Finucane the Spitfire Ace
https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2020/air-force-lists-and-records-find-paddy-finucane-the-spitfire-ace-1308/

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


Sunday, 27 September 2020

Last Minute: Toronto Branch September Presentation

The first Toronto Branch OGS meeting after the summer break will take place on Monday 28 September starting at 7:30 pm.

Janice Nickerson will present Debt, Drunk & Disorderly, Vagrancy, Prostitution, Theft, Assault, Insanity: Are You Sure Your Ancestors Were Never in Jail?

We'll close out the evening with an update from the Executive Committee titled Making it Work, Your Toronto Branch during COVID. Find out about some new initiatives and plans for meeting the challenges of the pandemic head on.

Meetings are open to members and non-members alike.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Thaxted - Leaving Old England, from Station House by Kerr Fagan Harbron

Library of Comgress Railroad Maps 1828 to 1900

Unusual Climate Conditions Influenced WW1Mortality and Subsequent Spanish Flu Pandemic

Warren Buffett Says 4 Choices in Life Seperate the Does from the Dreamers

The world is designed for men – but smart energy systems don’t have to be

Thanks to this week's contributors: Ann Burns, Anonymous, BT, Carol, Judy Lynn, Mike More, Nancy Cutway, Rick Roberts, Unknown.

Saturday, 26 September 2020

OGS/Ontario Ancestors Election Results

After a protracted Annual General Meeting with teething troubles in voting the Society elected a new Board.

The new President is Heather McTavish Taylor from Milton, Ontario, who previously served as Director at Large

The new vice-President is Julia Scott from Thornbury, Ontario.

The newly-elected Directors-at-Large are:

Ben Dawson (London, ON)
Vito Giovanetti (Markham, ON)
Kathryn Lake Hogan (Windsor, ON)
Colleen Labbe (Chatham, ON)
Heather Oakley (Ottawa, ON)
Stephen Young (Provo, Utah)

FreeBMD September Update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Wednesday 23 Sep 2020 to contain  276,869,850 unique records (276,451,384  at previous update.)

Years with major additions, greater than 5,000 records are: for births 1985-89; for marriages 1969, 1986-89; for deaths 1980, 1984, 1986, 1988-90

www.freebmd.org.uk/

Friday, 25 September 2020

Findmypast Weekly Update

Swiss Emigrants to the American Colonies, 1734-1744
With newly-created indexes to 3,006 records for easy searching, this publication records the details of Swiss immigrants to the New World.

Emigrant Ministers To The Americas
1,333 records of Church of England clergy working in the American colonies.

Winthrop Fleet Passenger List, 1630
745 records for passengers on the Winthrop Fleet that took more English Puritans to America a decade after the Mayflower.

Deceased Online adds Two Exeter Cemeteries

The first of Exeter City Council's cemeteries, Exwick and Topsham, are now available to view on www.deceasedonline.com

Exwick Cemetery, 23,387 records from 1877 to 2019
Topsham Cemetery, 6,747 records from 1856 to 2019

Records coming next to Deceased Online are from Exeter's Higher Cemetery, 73,779 records from 1862 to 2019.

The records comprise computerised burial records, maps showing the section in which the grave is located (where this has been possible), and grave details for each of the graves and their occupants. You can download PDFs of the index cards from Exeter Council's website.

Deceased Online is presently working on records from authorities in the East Midlands, London, the West Midlands, and the South East of England.

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Vote for these OGS Director candidates

The Ontario Genealogical Society AGM is happening online on Saturday at 11 am ET.

Although I have a preference I'm keeping my vote for OGS President to myself.

I don't know many of the candidates for Director. There are no doubt many good candidates I don't know. 

There are also a couple of excellent candidates I do and I won't be shy about naming them.

Heather Oakley has been a mainstay of Ottawa family history for many years -- despite her youth. She has been branch chair and secretary, contributed to The Ottawa Genealogist and co-organized the Ottawa Branch spring Gene-O-Rama event for years. Heather stepped in for the last month when Mike More had to withdraw organizing the last OGS conference in Ottawa, possibly the most successful, certainly financially of recent years.
That's the kind of on the ground dedication and capability needed on the board.

Stephen Young is running for a director position although he lives in Utah. Working for FamilySearch, an Ontarian by origin and knowledgeable about the province's genealogical resources, Stephen would bring a valuable link to a major genealogical organization and an international perspective.

Please include these excellent candidates among those you vote for.

MyHeritage Updates Theory of Family Relativity™ Results

If  you have DNA test results at MyHeritage you might want to check for something new.

An update has increased the number of theories on MyHeritage by 64%, from 20,330,031 to 33,373,070! The number of MyHeritage users who now have at least one Theory of Family Relativity™ for their DNA Matches has increased by 28%.

My personal experience, following the "View Theories" link below "MyHeritage has found theories that may explain how you and some of your DNA Matches are related" is 11 theories I'd not seen before. I'd none before. I've not had a chance to look at these in-depth but see one descended through a victim of the camp at Auschwitz in 1944.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Ethical Dilemmas, and the Psychology of Searching

A reminder about BIFHSGO's half day webinar coming this Saturday, 26 September from 9 a.m. to noon with Dr. Penny Walters.
 
If this webinar conflicts with other commitments, like the OGS AGM know that  those who pay the $20 registration fee will have access to videos of the presentations to watch at their leisure for several days following. 

These presentations are an opportunity to step back from routine concerns of how to research to look at broader issues.

Are some of the things that we are doing within our family tree research ethical? Have you asked people's permission to include them on your tree? What will you do if you discover secrets and lies, perhaps through a DNA test?  Should you tell your grandmother that her mother was six months pregnant when she got married? How do you approach people on your DNA testing site about matching and potentially collaborating?
 
Why do we research ancestors with whom we share so little DNA? Are we searching for who they were, or who we are?
 
Register from BIFHSGO.ca

War Bride Murder?

Duncan Gammon married Sarah Ann Helling in Cheshire in early 1919. They likely met while he was being treated for a gunshot wound received at Arras while serving with the CEF.

Born 20 Oct 1897 at River John, Pictou Co, Nova Scotia, Duncan returned to Nova Scotia after the war to prepared a home then crossed to collect his wife and child. They returned in September 1923.

Here's the story from the Saskatoon Star Pheonix of 22 March 1935.

One day in the Fall of 1924 Gammon, his wife and their two children left Pictou to motor to Halifax. Gammon and the children reached the provincial capital the next day but his wife was not with them. She has not born seen since.

Search for the missing woman began in the spring of 1925 when Elijah Gammon, half-brother of Duncan, notified Halifax police of her disappearance. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Helling of Cheshire, had expressed anxiety when their letters remained unanswered,

Duncan Gammon told the police his wife had become dissatisfied with life in Canada and decided to return to England. He had left Halifax on 3 September 1924, and driven her to Quebec, where she had left him and the children on the pier after receiving enough money for her passage to England.

Reports of new unmarked graves kept the sleuths running up and down the countryside, but weeks of searching brought no trace of the woman.

The authorities took the statement of Gammon's eldest child, just 4-1/2 years old. Holding a bag of candy, the little girl sat on the knee of a policeman in the magistrate's office and endeavoured to answer questions about the trip. Her answers were confusion and the crown established little more than that her mother had been on the trip.

Committed to stand trial. Duncan Gammon, then 30. appeared in the Supreme Court in November 1925 when a true bill was brought in against him by the grand jury. Hoping from day to day that the woman would turn up or that her body would be discovered the crown delayed prosecution. Nine years later the indictment still stands.

Information from an Ancestry contributed profile is that he married a second time to Mary Elizabeth Buchie in 1931. He died in Halifax in 1970.

Do you think he got away with murder?



Tuesday, 22 September 2020

This Week's Online Genealogy Events

Choose from online events in the next five days. All times are ET. Registration in advance may be required. Check so you're not disappointed.

🇨🇦 Tuesday 22 September, 1 pm: The importance of collaboration in digital humanities. Library and Archives Canada Wallot-Sylvestre Seminar Panel Discussion. Broadcast on YouTube.

🇨🇦 Tuesday 22 September, 2 pm: Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from OGS Ottawa Branch and The Ottawa Public Library. Join here.

Tuesday 22 September, 2 pm: Finding new cousins and building your family tree with DNA

Tuesday 22 September, 2:30 pm: A Dozen Ways to Jumpstart Your Research, with Ancestry's Juliana Szucs. From the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. https://acpl.libnet.info/event/4554439

Wednesday 23 September, 11 am: Your Family &The Railways, with Ellie Overthrow-Jones & guest
Dr. Mike Esbester. www.facebook.com/findmypast

Wednesday 23 September, 2 pm: Introduction to VPNs, with Thomas MacEntee.   https://familytreewebinars.com/webinar_details.php?webinar_id=1257

Thursday 24 September, 8 am: CWGC,  https://www.cwgc.org/our-work/projects/cwgc-live/ 

Thursday 24 September, 11 am: Tracing Your Immigrant Ancestor, with Jen Baldwin.  www.facebook.com/findmypast

Thursday 24 September, 6:30 pm:  Vivid-Pix Newest Updates, presented by Rick Voight, From the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. https://acpl.libnet.info/event/4502576

Friday 25 September, 11 am. Friday's Live, with Myko Clelland www.facebook.com/findmypast

🇨🇦 Saturday 19 September, 11 am. OGS Annual General Meeting (registration closes at 10 am.)

============================

🇨🇦  Looking ahead, don't forget Saturday, 26 September, half-day webinar with Dr. Penny Walters. More info and registration here.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Who to Choose for OGS President — Steve Fulton?

Q1. What are the biggest challenges (no more than 3) facing the Society in the upcoming term and how will you deal with them?

As you requested the three biggest challenges within the Society for the next couple of years, in no certain order are membership, the future, and lastly finances. There are many issues with-in the Society but these are the ones that consume most of my time.

Over the last year, our Society has faced the future as we have been forced by COVID-19 to adapt or shutdown. We as a Society have answered that call with the assistance of TSIC in the transition of switching over to a virtual existence, allowing staff to remain employed and Branches/SIGs to connect with their membership in an education and resources experience. We as a Society must move quickly to adapt to new opportunities and situations as we move forward. My counterpart would like to move into a strategic board, I do not believe we are there as of yet. We don't have enough volunteers to fill the many roles we have and not having a working board is not the right thing to do now. We will eventually get to that point, but right now we have Policy & Procedures dating back to 2007, which have been a major issue for Governance within the Society and have faced issues because of this. How are we going to develop a strategic plan for the future with no foundation? I am not saying that a Strategic Plan is not the right thing to do but let's get it into order. The Society Bylaws have been updated just recently, next the basics of the Policy & Procedures, and then continue moving forward. Let's walk before we run.

I have asked the Society Board more times than I can remember, "What if we woke up tomorrow with no members, would we still be viable?" I truly believe we would but without members who would guide us and we would be missing those who we serve. Membership has truly been changing over the last few years as members only have so much "Genealogy Money" and more opportunities come on-line for them to invest into. This has created a member who comes and goes every other year as they seek out new resources in their Family History research. We have to change the way we deliver our resources and membership advantage. In the last year, we have developed the ability to create Members Only at the Branch/SIG level in a secure and viewable format. With this, Branches/SIGs can now slowly release resources as they work on projects instead of waiting until the end, making the resources more valuable. Over the last two years we have seen a transition each year of over 800 members not renewing but over 800 returning or joining for resources and member advantages. I believe this will continue into the future as a majority of our members become a "Smash and Grab" type of member and we need to continue to develop opportunities and ideas to retain these members for the future.

Finally, is finances and as a Registered Charity this has some major challenges now and into the future. Doing a quick search on Google of Registered Charities in Canada, there is listed 85,000 Charities and combined with non-profit there is over 170,000 in Canada alone. This is a massive number and getting recognized within all these different charities is difficult if not impossible. Even though we are the largest Genealogical Society in Canada, we don't have the emotional attachment as many of the other charities have such as The Royal Canadian Legion or The Canadian Cancer Society. People donate based on how life is served, and to be honest, our membership fees make up a very large part of our income, however, doesn't come close to paying all the bills. We as a Society need to start to develop other ideas that will assist in the effort of paying the bills and even maybe reducing membership costs. As there are a couple of ideas on the table for this opportunity, we must continue to focus on this and develop these ideas that will bring the needed revenue to the Society. Let's be honest, the Society is going to run out of investment funds sooner than later and though we as a Board have developed an Alternative Revenue Program, this has barely touched the surface of the needed revenue. We as the next Society Board need to focus on this and making our finances stable for the immediate future prior to any other plans.

Q2. What innovations can the Society undertake to help people researching their Ontario ancestors?

Your final question talks about innovation and what can the Society undertake. With the current trend, we must continue to develop virtual opportunities for members and the genealogical community, and continue to develop members' only, on-lines webinars, and educational sessions. Along with this, we need to investigate other ways to engage members in both a virtual and in-person way as well. Preserving family records, digitizing books, and family histories are some of these objectives as we have just signed an agreement with FamilySearch. Our Society Library, which we have just resigned a 3-year agreement with the Toronto Reference Library needs to be made available for all and not be closed off with very limited access. With the opportunities we have developed, we will see this dream come to life. Along with projects like the Vernon's Directory Project, we can make these resources available to all for their research no matter where they live.

Final Thoughts

No matter the outcome of the AGM this coming Saturday, the members of the Society are truly the winners. Over the many years, those who have come up through the ranks of the Society Board, have felt an obligation to take on the role of President unprepared and really as a caretaker of the Society. The role allowed for one term for two years and this was simply not enough time to get anything started let alone finished. This time members get to choose and no matter what happens, I will continue to serve and support the Society and its Branches/SIGs and the members at the grassroots level. This role, as President is not a part-time role but a position that requires the attention of someone who is ready to take on the position fully, to make decisions and be committed to the cause no matter what. I have not made everyone happy in the decisions but the decisions have always been for the good of the Society.

I thank you for your time and encourage you to join us on the 26th of September, to guide your Society to success.


Who to Choose for OGS President?

Very exceptionally there's an election for president of the Ontario Genealogical Society, also known as Ontario Ancestors, at the Annual General Meeting being held online on Saturday. There are two candidates, Steve Fulton and Heather McTavish Taylor.

To help members decide I asked both Heather and Steve to respond to:

Q1. What are the biggest challenges (no more than 3) facing the Society in the upcoming term and how will you deal with them?

Q2. What innovations can the Society undertake to help people researching their Ontario ancestors?

As you will see there is a difference in approaches.

As their responses are quite long I'm putting them in separate blog posts that follow.

Who to Choose for OGS President — Heather McTavish Taylor?

Who to Choose for OGS President — Steve Fulton?

Comment. Heather and Steve receive my thanks for responding to give us a clearer idea of why they're running. The Society is fortunate to have two experienced candidates for this role willing to dedicate a large personal effort on Society members behalf. They deserve our thanks for standing. 

OGS/Ontario Ancestors members please show your appreciation by registering and attending the AGM. Find out how starting at the Members Corner — https://ogs.on.ca/members-area/.


Who to Choose for OGS President — Heather McTavish Taylor?

Q1. What are the biggest challenges (no more than 3) facing the Society in the upcoming term and how will you deal with them?

I was asked to outline up to three of the biggest challenges that I see the Society facing over the next two years and how I will address them.  As I reflect, I realize that we are facing one big challenge – how do we ensure that the Ontario Genealogical Society will still be in existence in five years?  What do we need to do to make sure that we are delivering a sustainable future?  This is certainly a very lofty question and it may seem that I am stirring up concern, but it is what keeps me up at night.  Over the past few years, overall membership numbers have declined, the Society’s cash reserves have been depleted due to yearly deficits, and, we continue to operate without a strategy or even operating plans to guide program selection and delivery.

I was recruited by the Elections Committee to help steer the organization into a new direction, based on the skill set that I have honed over the past 25 years in both the private sector and working on boards in the not-for-profit arena.  And then the pandemic arrived and created a new level of uncertainty of what the “new normal” will look like for member-driven organizations in the future. These are un-charted waters and a different kind of leader is required to navigate the times and map out a plan for how the post-COVID-19 Ontario Genealogical Society will survive.

So what do I plan on doing to address the “elephant in the room”?  Below are the five key strategies that I – with the support of our Board and membership - plan to undertake during the next two years:

1)     Transition to Board to become more of an oversight board.  The Council of Non-Profits states that “where there are paid staff in place, rather than steer the boat by managing day-to-day operations, board members provide foresight, oversight, and insight.”  We have a talented Executive Director and staff in place.  The day-to-day management of our business should be placed in their capable hands and they be held accountable for delivering the agreed-upon results.  The Board, led by the President will be able to focus on creating programs that deliver on our mission.  Furthermore, I want to ensure a team environment on the Board, and through our volunteers and committees, where individuals are able to participate based on skill sets and areas of interest. Projects will go on the list, objectives and timelines determined, and reports given on a regular basis until completion.

2)    Provide financial stewardship and ensure proper governance.  Working with the VP Finance and resurrecting the Finance Committee, we will conduct a thorough review of our expenses to determine how they can be trimmed without compromising our programming.  I’d also like to create a Fundraising committee that can identify significant ways in which we can increase our revenues without raising membership fees.  We also need to adopt sound ethical and legal governance and financial management policies as well as making sure that we have adequate resources in place to deliver on our mission.

3)    Create a strategic plan and cascade it down to annual plans and key deliverables.  Lead the Board and engage the Executive Director to create a road map of key initiatives for the next three to five years. This plan will be aligned with our mission and will guide our decisions on key projects that warrant our attention.  When an organization has such a plan, key projects can be monitored, their effectiveness measured and modifications can be made to ensure success.  It also allows for proper capacity planning and for those that are managing the projects to be held accountable.

4)    Grow our Community.  By definition, a “Society” is a community; the OGS is a group of people who share a passion for genealogy.  Members choose to join for any number of reasons but they will stay because they feel part of something and included in our community.  Given the current times, we must ensure that we offer ways for members to feel as though they are part of something greater than the sum of the parts, a true community of like-minded individuals.  We are not a big subscription company, we cannot compete with what they offer.  But they cannot come close to providing what we can – a chance to be part of something important, to preserve the records and stories of our Ontario ancestors. 

5)    Re-align and rally around our Mission.  Board members are the custodians of the mission, and must ensure selection of projects that are aligned with who we are.  This includes advocating when the genealogical community could be affected, preserving materials or relationships that are of value to our membership and providing varied educational opportunities for every skill level of our membership.  This will mean making focused and sometimes hard decisions about the projects we won’t work on, that are not aligned with who we are or where we are going.

Q2. What innovations can the Society undertake to help people researching their Ontario ancestors?

I have many innovative ideas for the Society, some I have pitched before and others that are brand-new.  I am very open to constructive feedback as well as listening to and championing the great ideas of others.

1)    Create a committee to champion diversity, equity and inclusion programs.  They will be in charge of developing policies, creating alliances, planning programs all with the aim of increasing our diversity throughout the organization and enhancing our inclusivity.  I specifically want to reach out to the Ontario Black History Society, the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres and the Ontario Jewish Archives, among others.

2)    Build an online community of members.  I would like to introduce chat rooms, ‘ask an expert’ sessions, peer member exchanges, message boards, mentorship programs and a research buddies section.  Furthermore, as we look to conferences in the future, we must ensure that there is not only a virtual option for participating but also consider other online options to drive more engagement from afar.

3)      Provide new educational opportunities.  This is specific to the closure of the Land Records Offices and the move to all documents being available online at ONLand.  I am working with the Ministry to: a) develop a webinar for our members that will explain how to access the different documents, b) create a tutorial that will be accessible in their help section to walk through the system, and, c) have them place proper formatting as you hover over the inputs online.  These ideas could be expanded for other alliances.

4)     Build an on-boarding guide for new Members.  This could be for any new member (how to navigate our website for example), a new Board Member (strategic plan, key policies and procedures for example) and/or a New Branch Board member (newsletters, copywrite, liaising with the office for example).

5)    Revamping Families.  I believe in the value of Families but think the format is a bit dated.  I would like to see it revamped, with some repeating columns in each issue and some varied types of genealogically focused articles.  I would also like to explore whether the journal can be sold through bookstores and if there is the possibility of selling related advertising to boost up the revenues.

Final Thoughts

Thank you for this opportunity to share my vision.  I hope you will consider all that I have to offer when you are choosing your next President.  I look forward to working with you on this important journey to preserve our past, while building the Society’s future.

LAC Co-Lab Update for September

As of 18 September 2020, there continues to be no progress reported on LAC Co-Lab challenges.

Here is the status as it has been since the lockdown.

Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 is 71% complete
Correspondence regarding First Nations veterans returning after the First World War is 96% complete
Diary of François-Hyacinthe Séguin is 16% complete
Women Lightkeepers: heroes by the sea is 96% complete.
George Mully: moments in Indigenous communities is 2% complete.
Legendary Train Robber and Prison Escapee Bill Miner is 98% complete
New France and First Nations Relations is 78% complete
War Diaries of the First World War: 1st Canadian Division is 94% complete
Japanese-Canadians: Second World War is 61% complete
The Call to Duty: Canada's Nursing Sisters is 97% complete.

The projects that are 100% complete are no longer reported here.



Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2020 finalists
From the BBC

Canada 1919
Tim Cook and Jack Granatstein discuss in a Champlain Society podcast. This is (informed) opinion —note the comment by Peter Hart in The Last Battle "The regrettable habit of Canadian historians in ascribing every military innovation of the Great War to the Canadians, and the Canadian alone, should not distract from their success in battle."

Library of Congress New Tool to Search More than 1.5 Million Historical Newspaper Images 
And where is Library and Archives Canada?  — MIA through the neglect of the newspaper collection.

Quick Service
There are several social media posts praising the GRO for much-improved response in supplying pdf birth and death certificates for England and Wales. Response for marriage certificates is slower.

How a Toronto woman discovered she has up to 600 half-siblings

Demons of the deep state: how evangelicals and conspiracy theories combine in Trump’s America

Thanks to this week's contributors: Ann Burns, Anonymous, Bruce Murduck, BT,  Gail Dever, Janice Wilkin, Sophronia, Tess, Unknown.

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Library and Archives Canada Annual Report 2019-2020

Just released, this year the LAC Annual Report 2019-2020 comes with an introduction by new Librarian and Archivist Leslie Weir and a new style.

Highlights for the year, the 15th anniversary year, were:
  • Beginning construction on a second preservation centre in Gatineau, Quebec, the first net-zero carbon building dedicated to documentary preservation in the Americas.
  • Unveiling the design for the joint facility with Ottawa Public Library, scheduled to open in late 2024
  • The creation of the LAC Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mandate is to support us through fundraising, capacity building and enhancing our reach.
  • Strengthening relations with Indigenous communities and support for their initiatives.
  • Addressing the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report's section The Year in Numbers omits prior-year comparisons. The table below draws on annual report data from previous years to give a four-year perspective.

The years in numbers2019-20202018-20192017-20182016-2017
Pages of government records opened5 million3,580,22610,190,6318,033,794
Questions answered by reference services:22,740 (24,909)22,30223,49126,155
Images digitized3,411,6974,723,91110,201,9509,100,000
Publications collected under legal deposit87,76660,717101,889122,075
New private acquisitions164154111137
Items loaned to museums and galleries:71165362102
Tours of the LAC Preservation Centre103107106170

Questions answered by reference services is for Ottawa. The total by adding those answered from service centres in Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver is in parathesis.

Unfortunately, the number of images digitized continues to decline. Again this year there is no mention of newspapers and the only mention of genealogy, genealogists are the single largest client group, is in naming two people serving in advisory capacities. 

Findmypast Weekly Update

Genealogical Guide to Early Settlers of America
Indexes unique to Findmypast to the three published volumes in this set created by Henry Whittemore, and published in 1898. His compilation lists surnames through Pryor and is incomplete.

Volume 1: pages 1 - 176, surnames Abby – Ellmer.
Volume 2: pages 177 - 284, surnames Ellmes – Jansen or Janson
Volume 3: pages 285 - 438, surnames Jansen or Janson – Prior or Pryor

Also find it as the Internet Archive.

Passenger Ship Posters
Eye-catching adverts that enticed migrating ancestors, digitized in full colour.

Cunard Line, New York, Mediterranean, Adriatic
Direct Mail Service For The Two Americas
Esperia, Immigrant Insurance
Hamburg-America Line, List Of Sailings From Naples
Hamburg-America Line, Service From Genoa To New York and Buenos Aires
Hamburg-America Line, Service From Naples To Port Said, Penang, Singapore, Hongkong, Shanghai, Yokohama, and Kobe
Hamburg-America, New York Line
La Veloce Navigazione Italiana A Vapore, Service From Naples To The Americas
Lloyd Italiano, Offices In Genoa and Naples
Navigazione Generale Italiana (Ngi), Service From Naples To The Americas
Norddeutscher Lloyd, Bremen, High-Speed Steamers
Norddeutscher Lloyd, Bremen, Steam Service From Genoa To New York
North German Lloyd, Bremen, Mediterranean To New York Steamer Service
Socit Gnrale De Transports Maritimes (S.G.T.M.)
Trieste To New York, Austro-Americana & Fratelli Cosulich
White Star Line, Express Services To New York, Boston, and Genoa From Naples
White Star Line, Mediterranean Service, Royal & United States Mail Steam

Ships mentioned are:

Canopic, Romanic, Cretic, Republic
Carpathia, Slavonia, Pannonia, Ultonia
Cretic, Canopic, Romanic
Florida, Virginia, Indiana, Mendoza
Italia, Liguria, Sardegna, Lazio
Knig Albert, Prinzess Irene, Knigin Luise
Knigg Albert, Prinzess Irene, Knigin Luise
Pampa, Formosa
Prinz Adalbert, Moltke, Hamburg, Prinz Oskar
Prinz Adalbert, Moltke, Oceana, Hamburg
Rhenania, Hohenstaufen, Silesia, Scandia

Friday, 18 September 2020

LAC Archives Search

LAC Archives Search will be closing soon. If you have saved links to search results, note that they will no longer be available. Use Collection Search for an improved search experience.

BIFHSGO Award Winners

At last Saturday's Annual General Meeting a new inductee into the BIFHSGO Hall of Fame was announced.

Christine Jackson

Since joining BIFHSGO in 2001, Christine has served tirelessly with skill and enthusiasm.

She has served as Publicity Director (2003-2007); as author, proof-reader and co-editor of Anglo-Celtic Roots; and as a member of the Conference Committee. Christine is a popular and informative speaker at BIFHSGO, local history societies and international meetings and has received both the BIFHSGO Best Talk of the Year and Best Article of the Year Awards. Christine suggested and single-handedly ran the 20th BIFHSGO

Anniversary Writing Competition in 2014 and helped organize the 25th BIFHSGO Anniversary Writing Competition. BIFHSGO members have all benefited from her vast knowledge and generous nature.

Congratulations also to the other award winners announced:

Best Anglo-Celtic Roots Article: Carol Annett

Best Feature Talk: Dianne Brydon

Best Education Talk: Ken McKinley and Glenn Wright

Best Great Moment Talk: Marianne Rasmus

BIFHSGO is fortunate to have such talented members. 

The Parchment Rustler: Maps and the Family Historian

I suggest reading the latest post on The Parchment Rustler blog which is Walking in their Footsteps: Maps and the Family Historian.

The article holds that maps strengthen the foundations of your family history research and help you navigate tricky decisions. It gives top tips to remember when you’re mapping, and mentions key resources you won’t want to miss. It's a 20-minute read, and more when you explore the sources and tools mentioned.

And there's a promise of more on digital mapping tools in a future post.

While at the site take a look at previous blog posts.

Lost in Genealogy: Seven Steps to Battling Bias

Summer Lovin’: Marriage Trends Over the Generations

Asking the Right Question: Part 3 (includes links to the first two parts)

Palaeography: A Digital Toolkit

This impressive blog is by Sophie Kay is a professional UK researcher working in genealogy and genetics. Her background is in mathematics and interdisciplinary cancer research and she holds a doctorate in Systems Biology from the University of Oxford, where she also taught mathematics, statistics and computational bioscience from 2008 to 2014. Currently studying towards the Higher Certificate in Genealogy with the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies Sophie is a regular reviewer for Who Do You Think You Are? magazine.

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine: September 2020

I'm way behind in posting about the September issue. As usual the content is mostly not time-sensitive. Here's a quick look at the lead items.

FEATURES

Census Sites Compared
Chris Paton has a look at the different websites that provide census information. Although he finds mixed results, all have strengths, he favours Findmypast and TheGenealogist.

DNA And The Declaration Of Arbroath
How a project at Strathcylde University has discovered Y-DNA markers that link back to medieval nobility

Surviving The Blitz
James Hoare reveals how the country withstood the Luftwaffe’s devastating bombing raids, 80 years on

RESEARCH ADVICE

Best Websites 
Find a wealth of information on publicans and brewers. Includes a link to lostpubs.co.uk — with a pub where I recall having a drink with my grandfather and another where I worked for two summers - now reopened.

Record Masterclass
Service records for military nurses who served during the First World War are now freely available online

Ancestors At Work
Angela Youngman discovers the stories of the hardy Scottish ‘fisher girls' who followed the herring fleets. Another nostalgia item for me.

Tech Tips
Use the maps on the National Library of Scotland's site

Focus On
Make the most of online records of prisons and courts.

The usual reminder that WDYTYA? magazine, along with much more, is available free and remotely through Press Reader for Ottawa Public Library members.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Do You Have a Peace Medal?

At BIFHSGO's Wednesday evening Zoom social society treasurer Marianne Rasmus showed a medal found in her family heirloom collection. She described the design and using a magnifying glass was able to read the description. Marianne asked if we could identify it further.

Super-sluth Ken McKinlay got on the case and within a couple of minutes had found articles in BC newspapers via newspapers.com. Here's one from the Vancouver Sun of 5 November 1919.





















Judging by newspaper coverage presentation of Peace Medals to school children was strong in British Columbia. 

Birks Jewellers also marketed a Peace Medal, cost 25c each, across the country. 

The Pope issued one and there's mention in Australia.

Do you have a Peace medal in your heirloom collection?



FamilySearch Weekly Updates

Here's a complete list of the Canadian and British titles updated this week at FamilySearch.

CountryTitleDate RangeRecords
CanadaNova Scotia Church Records1720-200153,976
CanadaNew Brunswick, County Register of Births1801-1920245,978
EnglandMiddlesex Parish Registers1539-19881,179,923
EnglandEssex Non-Conformist Church Records1613-197148,833
EnglandHerefordshire Bishop's Transcripts1801-19201,105,723
EnglandCumbria Parish Registers1538-19901,387,242
EnglandShropshire Parish Registers1538-1918940,438
England and WalesPrerogative Court of Canterbury Wills1640-166028,868
EnglandHuntingdonshire Parish Registers 300,983
EnglandDevon Bishop's Transcripts1558-1887797,908

Access CWGC records through MyHeritage

There are over 4 million records from the Commonwealth War Grave Commission 1914-1921, 1939-1947 now linked from MyHeritage. 

Your search will now find those records directly, including 110,390 who died serving with Canadian forces in both wars, and identify other candidate records from the MyHeritage collection with possible relatives identified. 

Researching your Military Ancestor on Ancestry and Beyond

This Sunday, 20 September, starting at 1 pm a small group will gather in the Sacred Space at Ottawa's Beechwood National Historic Site and the National Cemetery of Canada for live presentations. 

With physical distancing the event at Beechwood is full — you can attend virtually via https://www.beechwoodottawa.ca/en/foundation/events/researching-your-military-ancestor-full

You will learn how to access service files and consult various digitized resources such as war diaries and burial records to determine the context of an individual's service.

Here's the agenda, timing is subject to change:

1:00 pm: Ancestry and Online Trees, presented by Lesley Anderson.
1:30 pm: Pre -Confederation Records, presented by Lesley Anderson.

2:00 pm Break

2:10 pm: World War 1, presented by Glenn Wright

2: 55 pm Questions & Break = 15 minutes

3:10: World War 2, presented by Glenn Wright

3: 55: Questions

The event is sponsored by Ancestry.ca and Beechwood Cemetery.

 

Passenger Pigeon Manifesto

A call to public galleries, libraries, archives, and museums to liberate our cultural heritage. Illustrated with the cautionary tales of extinct species and our lack of access to what remains of them.

Today we are so far ahead in forgetting our past that we came very close to repeating it. Providing free, universal access to culture and knowledge is one of the steps we must take to prevent this.

The Ask

1.) Cultural institutions should reflect on and rethink their roles in relation to access. While the current policy landscape, lack of infrastructure and the serious budget cuts do not support openness, cultural institutions cannot lose sight of their essential role in building bridges to culture. Preservation must mean ensuring our cultural heritage is always easily accessible to anyone. Without free, public access, these items will only be objects to be forgotten and rediscovered again and again, known only by exclusive communities.

2.) Physical preservation is not enough. Digital preservation of copies and metadata is essential but due to the erosion of storage, files can get damaged easily. To ensure the longevity of digital items, the existence of the highest possible number of copies is required: this can be achieved by sharing through free access.

3.) Beyond preservation and providing access, institutions need to communicate the existence and content of their collections, our cultural heritage. Even with unlimited access, not knowing about the existence and context of historical materials is almost the same as if they didn’t exist. Approachability and good communication is crucial in reaching people who otherwise have less access to knowledge.

4.) Publicly funded institutions must not be transformed by the market logic of neoliberalism. The role of archives, museums and other cultural institutions, is more and more challenged by capitalism. They need to redefine themselves in ways that allow cultural commodities to be archived, described and shared in the frameworks of open access and open science. The remedy to budget-cuts and marketisation requires wide-scale, public dialogue and collaboration. Involving people from outside of academia has great potential: NGOs, volunteers, open-source enthusiasts, online and offline communities and passionate individuals are a vast resource and should be encouraged to participate. Akin to citizen scientists, there can be citizen archivists.

5.) Liberate and upload all digitised photographs and artworks that are in the public domain or whose copyrights are owned by public institutions. Remove all restrictions on access, quality and reuse while applying cultural and ethical considerations (“open by default, closed by exception”). Prioritize adapting principles and values recommended by the OpenGLAM initiative in the upcoming ‘Declaration on Open Access for Cultural Heritage’.

6.) All collections should be searchable and accessible in an international, digital photo repository. Instead of spending on developing various new platforms for each institution, the ideal candidate for an independent, central image base that provides the widest possible reach is Wikimedia Commons. Using Commons would provide an immediate opportunity to release cultural heritage while still allowing the long-term development of digital archives for institutional purposes. Operated by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, Commons is a community managed, open and free multilanguage platform. It provides access to millions of people by sharing images under open licences. Wikipedias of all languages are using Commons to illustrate their articles, and the photos appear on news sites, blogs, and research articles all over the world. Wikimedia is open to collaboration with GLAMs and many institutions are already active on the site including the Digital Public Library of America and the Cultureel Erfgoed. By using Commons, institutions will also benefit: the platform runs on a free and flexible software where photos can be described and categorised using structured data. Utilising the participation of a large and diverse community in catalogising, tagging, publicising and even researching can save time and cut costs. At the same time, institutions will still retain the physical copies and will be able to use the digital photos on their own platforms as well. The images on Commons will also cite their original holding institutions, granting further visibility to their collections and efforts.

Among the signatories are Jessica M. DeWitt – Network in Canadian History & Environment (NiCHE) and Stevan Harnad – Université du Québec à Montréal, Animal Sentience.

http://ppmanifesto.hcommons.org/

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Digitized Mayflower Descendant Records

If I knew my British ancestor was part of a pioneering history 400 years ago I'd celebrate the event. That's what FamilySearch and partners are doing for the estimated 35 million descendants today of the 26 Mayflower couples from Britain who landed in September 1620 and survived the first winter. 

Tens of thousands of Mayflower Society member applications (over one million images) and documented descendant family trees of the Mayflower passengers are now freely accessible online. 

The database currently covers about half of those Mayflower couples with surviving posterity (the remainder should be added by year-end).

Find out more at the FamilySearch announcement.

Search the Mayflower descendants’ family trees at FamilySearch.org/Mayflower 

Advance Notice: Campbell River Genealogy Society Stay-at-Home Seminars

One of the benefits of the pandemic is the opportunities it opens up to learn from regional experts without the need to travel.

$25 for 4 presentations during two half-day sessions is good value if the topics appeal and the speakers are good. For the topics, you be the judge. There's no question about the speakers.

Eunice Robinson is an experienced genealogist from Greater Vancouver, a long-time member and past president of BCGS. See her interviewed at https://globalnews.ca/video/4117033/ask-an-expert-dna-and-genealogy

Marie Palmer I don't know — from a new generation of genealogists and very well qualified. Read about Marie on her website at https://familyhistoryjourneys.com/ where you'll also find a couple of her recent videos.



Ancestry Library Edition Free Access Extended

Word from the Ottawa Public Library is that free online access to Ancestry Library Edition through your library membership will continue through the end of the year. I'd imagine this applies to all Canadian libraries that have offered the service online this year.

In case you don't know, Ancestry Library is a collection of thousands of individual genealogy databases from many different institutions. It includes American, Canadian and U.K. sources as well as some for Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Canadian coverage includes major sources such as the censuses and much more.

No word as to whether the continued access is a forecast of growth of the second wave of the pandemic!

Stay safe.

LAC continues limited reopening of service

Here's the latest word from LAC.

Halifax: Open to the public (reduced hours)

Winnipeg: Open to the public by reservation only

Vanco​uver: Research room open by reservation only

Ottawa: Copy services available (online orders only) – Closed to the public

Follow changes in service as they are announced at www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/services-public/Pages/reopening.aspx

Comment: With all Ottawa's National Museums, the City of Ottawa Archives and most local library branches open, albeit on a limited basis, LAC Ottawa is looking like a laggard. Why is the situation at 395 Wellington so much more difficult than at peer organizations, including internationally?

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

This Week's Online Genealogy Events

Choose from online events in the next five days. All times are ET. Registration in advance may be required. Check so you're not disappointed.

Tuesday 15 September, 9 am: Top Level TNA Tips: Using the Discovery Catalogue, The (UK) National Archives. Start here.

Tuesday 15 September, 11 am: Findmypast House History Panel, with Melanie Backe-Hansen, Deborah Sugg Ryan and hosts Ellie Overthrow-Jones and Alex Cox. www.facebook.com/findmypast

🇨🇦 Tuesday 15 September, 2 pm: Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from OGS Ottawa Branch and The Ottawa Public Library. Join here.

Tuesday 15 September, 2:30 pm: Using Mortality Schedules in Your Research - Genealogy, Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. Register here.

🇨🇦 Tuesday 15 September, 9 pm: Toronto Branch OGS Genetic Genealogy SIG

Wednesday 16 September, 11 am: Crossing the Pond, presented by Jen Baldwin of Findmypast. www.facebook.com/findmypast

Thursday 17 September, 8 am: CWGC,  https://www.cwgc.org/our-work/projects/cwgc-live/ 

Thursday 17 September, 6:30pm: Fireside Chat - Genealogy. Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. Register here.

🇨🇦 Thursday 17 September, 7 pm: The British Home Children Project on Wikitree. Mags Gaulden at Looking 4 Ancestors. :

Friday 18 September, 11 am. Friday's Live, with Alex Cox. www.facebook.com/findmypast

🇨🇦 Saturday 19 September, 10 am. Discovering the Humanity in History, presented by Jennifer DeBruin, OGS Kingston Branch. Information and register in advance at https://kingston.ogs.on.ca/

🇨🇦 Saturday 19 September, 1 pm. “Finding Your Family History with OurDigitalWorld Online Newspapers, presented by Jess Posgate. https://quinte.ogs.on.ca/2020/09/12/september-19-quinte-branch-virtual-meeting/

Are you descended from Sheffield's famous knife makers?

 

Photo from the Ken Hawley Collection Trust
A search is underway to find the descendants of the many families behind the firms that made knives in the steel city of Sheffield.

The project hopes to find 5,000 people from the city whose family names are on the cutlery database.

via a BBC post

Back to Our Past Ireland

 

The first Back to Our Past Virtual has added three talks on Genetic Genealogy by Gerard Corcoran, Founder ISOGG Ireland.

The full program of talks, available for 10 Euros, $15.65 Cdn, from Wednesday for one month is:

Introduction message by Tourism Ireland
CEO Niall Gibbons

Discovering Irish Pets and Their Families in the National Archives of Ireland Collections on Ancestry.com
Dr. Jennifer Doyle and Valerie B. Prince.

Tracing your Irish ancestors in Australian records
By Debra Carter, Ancestry

Basic Principles for Family History; Combining DNA & Traditional Research Methods
Eamon Healy, Ancestry

The evolution of Generic Genealogy in Ireland
Gerard Corcoran, Founder ISOGG Ireland

Using Genetic Genealogy to understand Celtic Migrations
Gerard Corcoran, Founder ISOGG Ireland

Towards a Genetic Genealogy driven Irish Reference Genome
Gerard Corcoran, Founder ISOGG Ireland

Exploring Belfast’s Shipyard Heritage with Dan Gordon
Dan Gordon, a well-loved actor, director and playwright explores his family heritage at Titanic Belfast.

Using the National Archives to research your ancestors
Tom Quinlan, National Archives

How young people can become Family History Detectives
EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

How Emigration Changed Ireland The EPIC Museum
Presented by Dr Maurice J Casey, DFAT – talk explores how emigration, particularly in the 19th and 20th centuries, shaped Irish history

Discovering the Forgotten Soldier in Your Family History
Thomas Murphy, IGRS

The history of GAA Football – Part One
Presented by best-selling author and broadcaster Eoghan Corry

The history of the GAA – Part Two
Presented by best-selling author and broadcaster Eoghan Corry

The history of Hurling – Part Three
Presented by best-selling author and broadcaster Eoghan Corry

Finding Irish Ancestors in Glasgow City Archives
Dr. Irene O’Brien, Glasgow City Archives

Church records in Scottish archives
Dr. Irene O’Brien, Glasgow City Archives

Poor Law Records in Glasgow City Archives
Dr. Irene O’Brien, Glasgow City Archives

Tracing Irish emigrants to Australia
Rhona Gleeson, Ancestry.com

Sources for researching a convict ancestor
Tom Quinlan, National Archives

Using IrishGenealogy.ie for Irish family research
Brian Donnelly, National Archives

Researching Irish Emigrants to the United States
Pamela Holland, TILDA, The Irish American Genealogical Research Association

Preservation and storage of family history documents
Christine Deakin, Irish Genealogy Solutions

Introducing the Accredited Genealogists Ireland, its work and its members
Anne Marie Smith (AGI)

Researching in the 1901 and 1911 Census of Ireland
Nicola Morris (AGI)

Searching for ancestors in Irish Civil Records
Sandy O’Byrne (AGI)

How to find what you’re looking for in Roman Catholic records in Ireland
Joan Sharkey (AGI)

Territorial Divisions in Ireland
Helen Kelly (AGI)

Being Prepared for Researching in Irish Records
Paul Gorry, Accredited Genealogists  Ireland (AGI)

The Importance of Griffiths Valuation in Family Research
Michael Walsh, Accredited Genealogists  Ireland (AGI)

Researching the Irish Diaspora
Lorna Moloney, Merriman Research

The Story of Skelig Michael
Lorna Moloney, Merriman Research

A  personal appraisal of William Butler Yeats
Presented by Sir Bob Geldof

Being a lifetime James Joyce groupie
By Roger Cummiskey

How to trace your Northern Ireland ancestors
Brian Mitchell, Derry  Genealogy Services

The origins of Irish family names
Lorna Moloney, Merriman Research

Video footage from World famous Riverdance


Monday, 14 September 2020

War Brides of the First World War

A shout out to a blog, more like a webpage, from BC genealogist Annette Fulford with information on the much-overlooked migration of war brides to Canada following the First World War. 

Another Look at Ancestry's Revised Ethnicity Estimates

There have been lots of comments about the revised ethnicity estimates from AncestryDNA tests. 


Going along with the update is an Ethnicity Estimate 2020 White Paper, revised from the previous version which describes the technique as a "fast, sophisticated, and accurate method for estimating genetic ethnicity "

Like many people, my estimate increased my share of Scottish ethnicity from 35% for Ireland & Scotland previously to 19% for Scotland and 23% for Ireland, 42% in total (the uncertainty in these estimates includes 0% for both.) Many others are reporting increased Scottish ethnicity and Ancestry rushed out a blog post Why Your Latest Results Could Include More Scotland In Your Ethnicity Estimates.

That blog includes a bar chart showing that "average typical results for someone from England, they might look something like this" showing England and Northwest Europe 67%, Scotland 18%, Germanic Europe 7%, Norway 3%, Sweden 2%, Ireland 2%, Wales 1%.

My 29% for England and Northwest Europe is less than half the average typical. My Scottish is about average. My Ireland is 10 times the average, I'll have to make sure I have a supply of green for St Patrick's Day. My Norway average. 

What isn't included in the average typical result is European Jewish. Could that be Germanic Europe? If so with a Jewish grandfather I'd expect 25% which is over 3 times the average. It may be that adding the information on where you're from and comparing your percentages to the "average typical" is a useful perspective on these ethnicity results.


The ancestry blog post gives bar charts with similar percentages for people from Scotland, Northeast England and West Midlands.

Also in the 2020 White Paper Ancestry gives a table of reference panel regions and the number of samples, the top 20 with most samples are reproduced here. I wonder why Scotland has so many more samples than England and Ireland.

RankRegionSamples
1Indigenous Puerto Rico4791
2Indigenous Cuba3420
3Indigenous Eastern South America2873
4Indigenous Haiti & Dominican Republic2858
5Indigenous Americas —Colombia & Venezuela2500
6Indigenous Americas —North2284
7Germanic Europe2095
8France1754
9Scotland1411
10England & Northwestern Europe1326
11Indigenous Americas —Central1232
12Eastern Europe & Russia1084
13Southern Italy971
14The Balkans824
15Sweden740
16Ireland732
17Indigenous Americas —Mexico720
18Portugal713
19Norway642
20Spain637

I was surprised to see the regions where most Ancestry clients would be likely to have ancestry so far down the list, and that increasing their number is not a priority — 

"We have also begun a new diversity initiative to gather DNA samples from underrepresented regions around the world in order to expand the number of regions we can report back to customers."

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Fresh Coronavirus Jokes (YouTube)

7 lessons Canada should use from WW2 to fight the climate emergency

The Multiplicative Power of Masks: An Explorable Essay on How Masks Can End COVID-19

Longevity app calculates your life expectancy – but will it make us healthier?

Why sleep is so important for losing weight

Ancestry blog about ethnicity/admixture results and Scotland 
I'll have more to say about this.

Thanks to this week's contributors: Anonymous, K, Unknown.

Wallot-Sylvestre Seminars

 Library and Archives Canada is restarting this seminar series on 22 September at 1 pm with a panel discussion on The importance of collaboration in digital humanities.

Leslie Weir, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, will moderate with leaders working at the intersection of digital humanities and library and archival sciences. Each panellist has a background in digital scholarship and public outreach and they will discuss their experiences with collaboration and community engagement in the digital sphere.

The event will be broadcast live on YouTube in English with simultaneous French translation

Panellists are:

Dr. J. Matthew Huculak (he/him) is Digital Scholarship Librarian at the University of Victoria Libraries and serves as the Chair of the Digital Information Fluency Committee

Sarah Simpkin is the Head, Research Support (Arts and Special Collections) at the University of Ottawa Library and an occasional Information Studies and Digital Humanities instructor.

Constance Crompton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Ottawa and Canada Research Chair in Digital Humanities, with a focus on linked data.

Kim Martin is Assistant Professor in History at the University of Guelph. She is the Associate Director of Guelph's Humanities Interdisciplinary Collaboration Lab (THINC Lab) and cofounder of The Maker Bus consulting.

Amy Tector has worked at Library and Archives Canada in many capacities over her 19-year tenure. She is currently the Acting Director, Access to Information, Privacy and Litigation Response.


 

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Did You Check Your Updated Ethnicity from Ancestry?

Here's a comparison of my old and new Ancestry ethnicity results.

 
OLD RESULTS
England, Wales & Northwestern Europe - 41%
The Midlands, England
East Midlands & the Potteries
The Potteries
Ireland & Scotland - 35%
European Jewish - 20%
Norway - 4%

The results were calculated in August 2019.

NEW RESULTS
England & Northwestern Europe - 29%
The Midlands, England
East Midlands & the Potteries
The Potteries
European Jewish - 23%
Jews in Western & Central Europe
         Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and                        Luxembourg
Ireland - 23%
Scotland - 19%
Norway - 3%
Wales - 3%

Notice these results are indicated to be "Updated July 2020"

Looking at the range of uncertainty only England & Northwestern Europe and European Jewish have ranges that don't include 0%.

The maps show areas of France, Spain and Italy are no longer included in my results.

Findmypast Weekly Update

Massachusetts, Mayflower Passengers 1620

On the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower FMP  offers a database of interest to the estimated almost 35 million descendants. Shows the five pages of the Mayflower Compact with additional information in the transcript — more information than in the latest issue of Your Genealogy Today but without the historical background.

Global Immigrant Guides

A collection of titles from around the world — almost half relate to Canada. Some are sales pitches glossing over certain aspects.

A Guide To New Brunswick, British North America, &C.
A Historical and Statistical Account Of New-Brunswick, B.N.A. : With Advice To Emigrants
A History Of Emigration From The United Kingdom To North America, 1763-1912
A Practical Guide For Emigrants To North America
A Statement Of The Satisfactory Results Which Have Attended Emigration To Upper Canada
Adventures In Canada, Being Two Months On The Tobique, New Brunswick. An Emigrant's Journal
An Historical and Descriptive Account Of British America
Bacon's Guide To America and The Colonies
British America
Chinese Coolie Emigration To Countries Within The British Empire
Chisholm's Stanger's Illustrated Guide To The City Of Montreal
Colonists' Handbooks: Canada
Correspondence With Her Majesty's Government On Emigration
Counsel For Emigrants
Dutch Emigration To North America 1624-1860
Emigration : Directions Where To Go, and How To Get There
Emigration. Practical Advice To Emigrants
Estes' Standard Guide To The Thousand Islands
Facts Against Emigration To Canada
Guide To The United States For The Jewish Immigrant
Hints To Emigrants In A Series Of Letters From Upper Canada
History Of The Emigrant Boers In South Africa
Information For Intending Emigrants : Published By The Government Of Canada
Information Published By His Majesty's Commissioners For Emigration : Respecting The British Colonies In North America
Inquiries Of An Emigrant
Letter On Irish Immigrants : Addressed To The Right Reverend Bishop Hughes
Letters From Abroad With Hints To Emigrants Proceeding To The New Dominion Of Canada
Letters On Emigration From The British Isles, and The Settlement Of The Waste Lands In The Province Of Canada
Letters On Irish Immigrants and Irishmen Generally
Macdougall's Guide To Manitoba and The North-West
Narrative Of A Voyage
Narrative Of A Voyage To, and Travels In Upper Canada
New Brunswick; With Notes For Emigrants.
Notes On A Journey In America From The Coast Of Virginia To The Territory Of Illinois
Shall I Try Australia\?
The American Traveller and Emigrant's Guide
The Australian Emigrant's Manual; or, A Guide To The Gold Colonies Of New South Wales and Port Phillip.
The British Colonist In North America : A Guide For Intending Emigrants
The British Emigrants Hand Book and Guide To The New United States Of America
The Canadian Emigrant Housekeeper's Guide
The Canadian Emigrant. Being A Complete Guide To The Various Provinces Of Canada
The Emigrant Soldiers' Gazette
The Emigrant's Best Instructor Respecting The United States Of America
The Emigrant's Guide or Canada As It Is
The Emigrant's Guide To New South Wales
The Emigrant's Medical Guide
The Emigrant's Note Book and Guide With Recollections Of Upper and Lower Canada During The Late War
The Emigrant'Ts Guide To The United States Of America
The Emigrator's Guide To The British Settlements and United States Of America
The Farmers and Emigrants Complete Guide
The Gentleman Emigrant
The Immigrants' Guide and Settler's Handbook
The Picturesque Tourist: A Guide Through The State Of New York
The Planters Of The Commonwealth
The Tourist or Pocket Manual For Travellers
Things As They Are or America In 1819
Travels Through Lower Canada
Travels Through The United States Of North America, The Country Of The Iroquois, and Upper Canada
Western Emigrations
Where To Emigrate and Why

Friday, 11 September 2020

Last Minute Reminder: Ottawa Genealogy Doubleheader

On Saturday morning at 10 am, following the members-only AGM, BIFHSGO will stream There's No Business Like Show Business: Using DNA and Traditional Docs to Find Maternal Grandfather presented by Brian Laurie-Beaumont

Information and registration required at https://bifhsgo.ca/

In the afternoon OGS Ottawa Branch will stream Picking Low Hanging Fruit from Your Family Tree presented by Bob Dawes. More information here.

More Free Ontario High School and College Yearbooks Online

 

Kenneth R. Marks of The Ancestor Hunt just updated his list "Canadian Free Online Yearbooks."

Links to Ontario High School and College Yearbooks here now total 77 schools (28 added) in 31 places 

There are now 18 entries for Toronto, 8 for Windsor, 7 for Ottawa and 5 for Hamilton.


For all of Canada, there are now entries for each province, a total of 364 entries here.

Your Genealogy Today: Sept/Oct 2020

I've now received the delayed issue, certainly worth waiting for from front to back.

Colonial American Genealogy: A Quick Outline
David A. Norris, who usually writes about unusual family history related resources, offers a primer on researching Colonial Ancestors. There are many Canadians who had ancestors who lived in what is now the US during the colonial period and many more where a branch of their UK family went there centuries ago. It's possible you could find them as a DNA match although not likely if they emigrated early. 

Emigration from the Upper Harz Valley
Corinna Meiss examines the emigration of mining families to the USA in the mid-19th century

Irish Genealogy Research: Pre-1864
Joe Grandinetti, another magazine regular contributor, offers tips and guidance on how to research your Irish ancestors who emigrated prior to 1864. Am I the only one who didn't know about the census search for extracts from the now destroyed 1841/51 Irish census used to verify claims for an old-age pension after 1908?

More Than Words: Toward Better Listening
Sue Lisk offers 7 tips for promoting effective listening and 5 things that interfere with effective listening and communication during family history interviews

The Plight of the Pilgrims
Christine Woodcock's article tells the story of the Mayflower passengers, why and how they went to America, and includes a passenger list — some of the names will be familiar if you recall WDYTYA episodes, celebrities and US Presidents that linked back to the Mayflower.

What I'm Looking For
"T. S. Davis explains his motivation for researching his family history, even if it only matters to him" — and the important thing is that it does matter to him.

Gain All of the Clues from a Will
Ed Storey offers tips on how to get the most out of a will, for genealogy purposes

Mystery of the Magic Lantern
George Matheson's finding of a magic lantern in the attic of a Toronto family home, a forgotten family heirloom, together with original slides.

Genealogy et the Law
Judy G. Russell explains the language used in legal documents

Think Local, Start Digging!
Dave Obee makes a virtue of necessity dictated by the times by linking to more distant relatives who live nearby.