Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Conference 2017 Resources for BIFHSGO Members

BIFHSGO members, even those who did not register for the conference, now have access to conference materials.

The audio and slides for Glenn Wright's Whiteside Lecture Another Bloody Englishman! Britannia in Red Serge, 1873-1920 are available. Handouts for the presentations below are also online, and audio and slide should be coming soon.

PresentationSpeaker
Beyond All Reasonable DoubtCelia Heritage
Buried Treasures: What's in the English Parish Chest?Paul Milner
Working with SourcesGillian Leitch
Researching in English and Welsh ArchivesCelia Heritage
Occupational, Guild and Freedman RecordsPaul Milner
Genealogy and the Age of ShakespeareJames F.S. Thomson
British Military: Finding Your Pre-WWI SoldierPaul Milner
Using Death Records in Family HistoryCelia Heritage
Tips and Tools for Navigating the English Probate SystemPaul Milner
Historical NewspapersJames F.S. Thomson
I've Lost My Ancestor Before 1837: How Can I Find Him?Celia Heritage

Kingston Branch OGS October Meeting

The Kingston Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will meet on Saturday, October 21st at 10 a.m. at the Kingston Seniors Centre, 56 Francis St., Kingston.  Ron Mann will speak on "Some Hints and Guidelines for Beginning and Veteran Genealogists."
Visitors always welcome.  Further details at www.ogs.on.ca/kingston

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Clarity on Rootweb

Quite understandably the notice posted on the Rootsweb site last week,

"We will be discontinuing the Rootsweb Surname List and Genealogy Forum features on Tuesday Oct 24, 2017."

caused a lot of angst.

That notice has been removed, One of my readers contacted Rootsweb and received the following clarification.

We appreciate your concern that some information is being removed from the site. We will do all that we can to answer your questions. The Message Boards are not being removed. The " Genealogy Forum " references a web page maintained by the " Golden Gate Genealogy Forum ". It is accessible from the link below. They are moving their page.

Deaths and Great War Deaths

From time to time it's worth looking at figures like this
referenced in a post "UK drops in European child mortality rankings" by the UK Office of National Statistics. Obvious for births are the post war baby booms and baby boom echo of the early 1960s. Peaks in deaths at the end of WW1 during the influenza pandemic and associated with WW2 bombing are evident.
The deaths are those registered in England and Wales and don't attempt to account for those who died overseas. A rough calculation using British Forces deaths in WW1 from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, allowing roughly for those who died in Britain and subtracting those from Scotland and Ireland, indicates another 25% can be added for the overseas deaths of those from England and Wales.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Rockstar Genealogist(s) 2017 voting now open

Choose your favourites from a galaxy of stars from the English-speaking genealogy world. Let them know you appreciate their contributions.
Voting requires access through your Google account. That will limit the possibility of people voting more than once and mean you can change your vote by signing in again with your account. If you don't already have an account, most of us do to take advantage of the many Google apps, sign up for one for free here.
By voting you help folks organizing a speaker program to know who is popular internationally and in different regions.
Tell your genealogist friends. Ask them to vote, suggest who to vote for and multiply the power of your vote.
Note that two people are nominated who have declined to have their votes tabulated. Their names are included to indicate they have not been overlooked. Everyone who received two or more nominations is included, those who received only one are not.
What surprises will there be in this the sixth year of the survey?

VOTE HERE

Voting will close on Saturday.
Thanks to Chris Goopy for the graphic and help testing the system.



Some Progress at LAC on Newspaper Digitization

Library and Archives Canada has received funding over two years from the Salamander Foundation as a contribution to the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS).

The $25,000 grant in 2017, for a Pilot Digitization Project of Newspaper Material is described as"serving to demonstrate best practices for digitizing select collections that can be shared with memory institutions across Canada to help build a national, representative newspaper collection."  A small collection of Indigenous newspapers is being digitized.

The same funding in 2016 focused on prioritizing digitization of "'last copy' and 'at risk' material covering published heritage prior to 1917 including books, periodicals and newspapers, scientific journals and theses, audio and audio-visual recordings, high-interest archival fonds, photographs, artefacts, and fragile historical maps."

What are the products of this funding? NDHS Corporate Secretary Caitlin Horrall told me that they initially consulted experts across Canada to determine the state of newspaper digitization practice. I was surprised there was no consultation with major newspaper digitization initiatives internationally which are way ahead of Canada. Likely the Canadian expert's advice would be informed by that experience. One finding was that copyright is not as big an issue as it once was as newspapers are realizing their archives will not be a major revenue source given the up-front cost of digitization. That removes a major obstacle, but up-front cost is still a hurdle. A report on the consultation is scheduled for release next spring.

With the Salamander grant LAC is presently digitizing three Indigenous publications, likely the best known being Windspeaker. Published 12 times each year since 1983 this is a modest challenge and results should be available in the spring.

If any inroads are to be made in digitization and OCR of the many Canadian newspaper titles that remain in archival obscurity LAC will need to stop avoiding the obligation long since embraced by peer organizations internationally.

Perhaps like me you you are not aware of the Salamander Foundation which exists to promote continuity and discovery in the arts and in culture, and to recognize the forms, functions and interactions of natural systems in the environment. Approximately 20 - 25 grants per year are made "to specific initiatives or projects with clear objectives and measurable outcomes." Projects likely to benefit a broad population base either across Canada, regionally, or via the Internet are favoured with those based in Ontario given first consideration.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

CEF Service Files October Update

As of today, 15 October 2017, 502,740 (491,373 last month) of 640,000 files are now available online in the LAC Personnel Records of the First World War database. That's according to a LAC Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Service blog post. Unusually it was posted on a Sunday.
The latest box digitized is number 8555 (8363) for last name Russell (Robertson).
If my calculations are correct at last month's rate the project will be finished by October 2018.

Maybe LAC can then move on to another major digitization project. Newspapers anyone?

Rootsweb's Future?

"We will be discontinuing the Rootsweb Surname List and Genealogy Forum features on Tuesday Oct 24, 2017."

That's the announcement appearing at the top of the Rootsweb home page at http://home.rootsweb.ancestry.com/.

How much will disappear? As the word Forum does not appear anywhere else on that page the extent of what's being dropped is not clear to me. Mailing Lists? Message Boards?

Use of Rootsweb, as reflected in this chart of the number of messages posted on ROOTS-L, has been in terminal decline for years.

You have a week to search and perhaps rediscover any information you originally found through Rootsweb, the pioneer genealogy social network.

Rockstar Genealogists Voting Delayed

As it's taking longer to sort and set up than anticipated voting will not start until Monday (ET), all being well.

Congratulations to Jane Down

Former BIFHSGO program director Jane Down was announced as the winner of the Alan Neame Award for 2017 at the Kent FHS AGM on Saturday. It was for her article "Finding 21 Children: Simple—Not so Simple!"

Jane tells me it is the story of trying to find the siblings of her maternal grandmother's adoptive mother. She was supposedly one of 21 children. Jane investigated the family to see if any of the siblings or spouses might be related in some way to the biological family. Both families were from Kent in England.

Jane said "It was a fun piece of research .... frustrating at times .... but really interesting. It was also fun to write the article. It really made me examine all the pieces of evidence again and again."

I hope Jane can find the time between her other commitments, including as Administrative co-Chair for BIFHSGO conference 2018, to tell BIFHSGO members about this research.

Last year another Canadian, Lesley Wood, was awarded 2nd prize in the competition for her article "Tangled Web".

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Findmypast adds to London and Canterbury Archdeaconry collections

London, Docklands and East End Marriages, 1558-1859  
10,512 transcript of the original registers for  St John Wapping, St Leonard Bromley, St Mary Bow & St Mary Whitechapel have been added for a total of 102,762 records.

London Docklands and East End Baptisms
40,394 new transcript records for St John Bethnal Green, St John Wapping, St Leonard Bromley, St Luke Limehouse & St Mary Whitechapel are added to a collection which now totals 783,077 records.

Greater London Burial Index 
St James Clerkenwell with 35,438 new transcript records brings the total to 1,670,403 records. It includes Anglican and non-conformist parishes in the City of London Burials, Middlesex Memorial Inscriptions, Middlesex & City of London Burials Index and the South London Burials Index. The bulk of the records are for the last half of the 18th and first half of the 19th centuries.

For Kent, transcripts and images of the original registers for the parishes of Chilham, Stalisfield & Staple are added to:

Kent, Canterbury Archdeaconry Baptisms 
13,870 new bring the total to 937,319. The collection is strongest for the 19th century.

Kent, Canterbury Archdeaconry Banns
2,416 new records , now totaling 219,155.

Kent, Canterbury Archdeaconry Marriages  
6,201 new records for a total of 496,386 records. The collection is strongest for the 18th century.

Kent, Canterbury Archdeaconry Burials 
9,799 new records for a total of 700,205 records. The earliest is dated 1431, the most recent 1992.

Circle of Life: Exploring Ontario Vital Records AND Using Ancestry DNA

OPL invites you to enjoy a two part full morning of Ontario genealogy with experts Glenn Wright and Lesley Anderson!

First, provincial birth, marriage, and death registrations are a fundamental resource for genealogy in Ontario. This presentation will discuss the history of civil registration in Ontario and show how the forms have evolved over time to reflect changes in society.  Find out where to access the records and how to make the most of them for genealogy and family history research.

Second, with Ancestry DNA you can add a whole new dimension to your family history experience.  Uncover your ethnic mix, connect with living cousins and distant relatives - perhaps even solve a mystery or break down a brick wall!

This 2 hour free event is on Saturday 21 October, 2017 at 9:30am in the Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, Nepean Centrepointe.

Registration required.