Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Ken Bird R.I.P.

Word has come of the passing of Ken Bird.The Ontario Genealogical Society has lost a dedicated member who served as OGS President, the society's first Executive Director and, most recently, Regional Director for Region IV.

King and Country 100

A milestone for Toronto Branch of OGS, now with 100 local school war memorials indexed in their King and Country database. Read about it at http://torontofamilyhistory.org/kc-update-sep2014/

Findmypast adds some Fermanagh parish records

Some Fermanagh researchers may find these parish record additions at findmypast to be of interest.

  • Baptisms comprise 3,312 records between 1796 and 1873 from 189 townlands in Devenish parish.
  • Marriages comprise 941 records between 1800 and 1875 from 195 townlands in Devenish parish.
  • Deaths comprises 1,877 records between 1801 and 1874 from 323 townlands in Devenish parish
  • Burials comprise 10,376 records dating from 1669 and 2011 in 21 cemeteries in seven parishes: Ballinamallard Church Of Ireland; Benmore Church Of Ireland; Boho Church Of Ireland; Carrick; Garrison Roman Catholic; Inishmacsaint Island; Killadeas Church Of Ireland; Lisbellaw Church Of Ireland; Monea Roman Catholic; Old Derrygonnelly; Old Magheracross Graveyard; Old Slavin RC; Rossorry Church Of Ireland; Slavin Church Of Ireland; St. Faber's Roman Catholic; St. John The Baptist R.C. (?); St. Joseph's RC, Mullaghdun; St. Michael's Church Of Ireland; St. Molaise Church Of Ireland; St. Patrick's RC, Derrygonnelly; Sydare Methodist

A message to Canadian genealogists from Library and Archives Canada

Last Friday evening, at the opening of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa annual conference, Cecilia Muir, LAC's Chief Operating Officer brought greetings from the new Librarian and Archivist: M. Guy Berthiaume.

He also asked that she share the five key priorities he has outlined for LAC. He does not see these changing in the foreseeable future, nor does he see this as a ‘vision’- a concept he feels is too grandiose.

These priorities are:
1. to acquire resources that represent Canada;
2. to improve the way we preserve both analogue and digital items;
3. to offer quality services to Canadians and to ensure access;
4. to adopt a more collaborative approach;
5. and to develop the 21st century strategies and infrastructure we need to manage our heritage.

He also asked that she share his four commitments, which he sees as the way in which LAC can fulfil our obligations as an organization and to help achieve those priorities:

1. First, LAC will be an institution dedicated to serving our clients, all our clients, including government, donors, universities, researchers, students, genealogists and the general public.

2. The second commitment is to be an institution that, drawing on the strength of all its staff, is at the leading edge of archival and library science and new technologies (such as web harvesting, digitization, digital preservation, etc.)

3. The third commitment is to be an institution proactively engaged with national and international networks in an open and inclusive way.

4. Finally, our fourth commitment is to be an institution with greater public visibility, highlighting the value of our collection and services.

Cecilia Muir added that:

  • LAC needs to connect the dots for a public which has lost track of who we are, what we do, and why we matter. 
  • There is a need to re-brand LAC as it were, promoting our place in the life of Canada and all Canadians. To tell our story in new ways. 
  • Genealogists are an important clientele for LAC, and are therefore part of that story. Your research brings a very human and personal dimension to our collections and to Canadian history.  Your work brings to life the individual stories that make up our national fabric. 
These are encouraging words which we look to be followed up by action and meaningful continuing consultation with all client communities.

FreeBMD September update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Friday 12 September  2014 to contain 241,001,812 distinct records.
Major changes this update, more than 5,000 entries, are: for births 1958. 1962, 1964-66, 1970-73; for marriages 1952, 1962, 1964-66, 1968, 1970-73; for deaths 1971-73.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Findmypast adds England and Wales National School Admission Registers and Log-books 1870-1914

Drawn from 25 archives and schools throughout England and Wales the new National School Admission Registers and Log-books 1870-1914. collection at findmypast includes 2,562,402  historical records from 1500 schools.

According to the collection documentation "This release includes records from 1500 schools from 12 counties across England and Wales – Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Devon, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Lancashire, Middlesex, Surrey, Wiltshire and Glamorganshire – and also Westminster.

Each record comprises a transcript and a colour image of the original register. The amount of information listed varies, but the records usually include a combination of the following information about your ancestor:


First name(s)
Last name
Birth year
Birth date
Event year (either the year a student was admitted in the admission register or the year an entry was written in the log-book)
School name
Name of parent(s)

The image may contain additional details, including:

Admission number
Admission date
Re-admission date
Claim to exemption from religious instruction (if any)
Father’s occupation
Previous school
Reason for leaving previous school
Date of leaving previous school
Details of any illnesses or other reasons for absence
Exam results"

There's a story in every entry. What's that behind 11 year old George Mogan found in the North London Certified Industrial Truant School? His father was in Canada and sent an allowance.

BIFHSGO 20th Anniversary Conference Photos

It's been a busy weekend with official attendance of 268 at the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa conference, this year featuring English family history research, Immigration from Great Britain, including Home Children and Genetic Genealogy.

Two of the Friday pre-conference seminar sessions included one with Paul Milner, left, on British military records to 1919, another with Sylvie Tremblay and Paul Marsden from Library and Archives Canada speaking on new and lesser known LAC resources.

In conjunction with the LAC pre-conference seminar there was a tour of the facility at 395 Wellington Street. Here conference co-chair Gloria Tubman is explaining some of the items in display from the collection of interest for the Canadian genealogist with British ancestry.

Debbie Kennett, Britain and the Commonwealth's premier Rockstar genetic genealogist gave several presentations and was busy throughout the conference with one-on-one consultations.

Friday evening's Don Whiteside Memorial Lecture featured Jennine Hurl-Eamon from Trent University speaking on "The Girl I Left Behind" -- the 18th century British soldier in love, here seen (left) speaking with BIFHSGO president Barbara Tose.

The DNA panel session with local speakers (l-r) Bob Mallett, Dave Cross, Bill Arthurs and Arthur Owen attracted a keenly interested audience.

The conference was an opportunity for intense discussion on British Home Children by (l-r) Gloria Tubman, John Dickenson and Marjorie Kohli.

There are many more photos by BIFHSGO photographer Dena Palamedes on the Society Facebook page.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Rockstar Genealogists Comments

Many comments to the poll sang the praises of those they voted for, and more generally:

"A great list. Aren't we lucky to have so many wonderful experts to learn from!!"
Some were not complimentary:
"Some of these have got to be a joke!"
Despite have opened nominations for five days with good publicity on various social media many people took the trouble to write comments included names of other people - 76 in all:

Deborah Abbott
Cameron Allen
Emily D. Aulicino
Stewart Baldwin
Bernice Bennett
Lloyd Bockstruck
David Bowie
Marwood Braund
John Anderson Brayton
Melinde Byrne
Joe Buggy
Angie Bush
Bruce Buzbee
Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
Sarah Cato
Shannon Christmas
Alex Daw
Laura DeGrazia
John Blythe Dobson
Elyse Doerflinger
John Donaldson
Bruce Elliott
Guy Etchells
Sr Mary de Lourdes Fahy
Aiden Feerick
R. Yves Gagne
Henry L Gates
Paul Gorry
Caitlin Gow
Karen Mauer Green
Alan Greenspan
Boyd Grey
Linley Hooper
Daniel Hubbard
Kathy Johnston
Margaret Jordan
Shamele Jordon
Michael Lacopo
David Allen Lambert
Jenny Lanctot
Elizabeth LaPointe
Lisa Lee
Denise Levenick
Barbara Vines Little
Leslie Mahler
Kenneth Marks
David McDonald
Julie Miller
Nicola Morris
Sean Murphy
Shelly Murphy
Michael John Neill
Kenneth Nordtvedt
Eileen M. ÓDúill
Ugo Perego
Paul C. Reed
Barbara Renick
Cynthia Richardson
Douglas Richardson
Miriam Robbins
Gary Boyd Roberts
Melinde Lutz Sanborn
Pam Sayre
Rick Sayre
Kerry Scott
Ginger Smith
Helen Smith
Diahan Southard
Paul Stone
Bryan Sykes
Nat Taylor
Neil D. Thompson
Angela Walton-Raji
Debbie Parker Wayne
Stephen White
Jane E. Wilcox

Some thought the whole thing a waste of time.
"... this Rock Star poll is rather silly and borderline unprofessional."
When the dust settles I'll ask for comments to see if the community wants to continue this poll into a fourth year, if so whether continuing with an open nomination process which could mean 250 or more names to look through is still the way to go, and whether there's scope for further geographic or other segmentation.

The first Ottawa WW1 death

Thomas Hardingham, the first WW1 Ottawa soldier buried at Beechwood cemetery, died exactly 100 years ago today.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry gives his name as Thomas William Hardingham which is also the name in his entry in the burial record at Beechwood Cemetery, cause of death is gunshot wound.
His civil death certificate gives the additional information that his age was 27 and that he lived for 6 hours following the wound.
There is a report in the Ottawa Citizen for 22 September of Pt Thomas Hardengham receiving a wound on the Rockcliffe range. The Ottawa Journal for the following day records his death with the name Thomas Hardingham.
I was unable to locate an attestation paper for him!
He appears in the 1911 Canadian census in Quebec with immigration in 1908. There are two records of voyages to Canada, the original in 1908 and a return after a visit in 1912. He appears in the 1901 and 1891 census with his family including father Charles and mother Jane,
There is an entry in the civil registration birth index for Thomas William Hardingham in the March quarter of 1888 in (Great) Yarmouth, Norfolk.
He is included as T W Hardingham on the war memorial at Great Yarmouth, the tenth person associated with that town to die in the war.
There are two Beechwood gravemarkers in section 29, plot 122; a standard CWGC stone and the original which reads:
In sacred memory of Thomas William most dearly loved and only son of Charles and Whippertie HARDINGHAM of Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, killed in machine gun practice Sept 21,1914 aged 26 yrs “One of the best”

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Urban Walkabout Map for London Researchers

If you're visiting the Society of Genealogists or London Metropolitan Archives and looking for somewhere to eat, more upscale than grabbing a sandwich at Prêt à Manger, take a look the Urban Walkabout Map of Clerkenwell and Farringdon.
When visiting the LMA it's a short walk to Exmouth Market with choices for all tastes. I've not been so fortunate finding a place to my liking near the SOG. Perhaps someone familiar with that area would be kind enough to post some suggestions.

Commonwealth Rockstar Genealogists

Join me in congratulating the top Rockstar Genealogists as voted by residents of Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales.

1. Janet Few
1. Chris Paton
3. Dick Eastman
4. Kirsty Gray
5. Thomas MacEntee
6. Lisa Louise Cooke
7. Judy G. Russell
8. Else Churchill
9. Debbie Kennett
10. Celia Heritage

Seven of the ten are women.
97% of people nominated received votes.
70% of respondents identified themselves as women.
45% of voters were from the England and Wales, 31% from Canada, 21% from Australia and New Zealand, and 3% from Scotland.
Five of the top ten are from England, four from the US and one from Scotland.

International Rockstar Genealogists

Join me in congratulating the top Rockstar Genealogists as voted by all.

1. Judy G. Russell
2. Roberta Estes
3. Megan Smolenyak
4. CeCe Moore
5. Dick Eastman
6. Thomas MacEntee

7. D. Joshua Taylor
8. Lisa Louise Cooke
9. Thomas W. Jones
10. Bennett Greenspan

Here are some statistics:

Five of the ten are women.
100% of people nominated received votes.
75% of respondents identified themselves as women.
66% of voters were from the US
All in the top ten are from the USA
The top non-US vote getter was Debbie Kennett.

Those above the break received at least half the number of votes as the top vote-getter.

Friday, 19 September 2014

OGS Qunite Branch Meeting

Saturday September 20, 2014    1 p.m - 3:30 p.m.    
Topic: Discovering the Lennox & Addington Archives
Presentation by Shelley Respondek
Lennox & Addington County Archivist

Local repositories are vital for researchers, providing many collections not accessible elsewhere. Knowing what is available is important as we create our research plans.

Quinte West City Hall Library
7 Creswell Drive, Trenton, Ontario

Branch information at www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canqbogs/

Ancestry from Toes: a feat of imagination

When you read words like "Some say that ..." and "****s often claim that ... " you know you're in a fantasy realm. Those two phrases are used in a recent My Heritage English blog post "Discovering Ancestry: Through our toes?"

A diagram with the title "BASED ON THIS WHAT ARE YOUR ROOTS" shows configurations with toes of various lengths named Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Germanic and Celtic."
I'd like to think My Heritage is treating this as "a bit of fun."

It does make you wonder though when the article includes the sentence "In Imre Somogyi's book, "The Language of the Feet," he writes how ancestry can be determined just by the shape of our feet."

I was unable to find any other reference to that book. The closest I could find by Imre Somogyi is "Livros Linguagem dos Pés do Seu Bebê."

His most widely available book is "Reading Toes," There's even a copy in the Ottawa Public Library.
As you'd expect for a work of this type it's full of anecdotes; not a hint of any peer reviewed scientific basis for the claims.

As someone said in reviewing another book,  "It is not a book to be lightly tossed aside. It should be thrown with great force."

DNA Rockstar Genealogists

Join me in congratulating the top Rockstar Genealogists as voted by those identifying themselves as genetic genealogists.

1. Roberta Estes
2. CeCe Moore
3. Judy G. Russell
4. Megan Smolenyak
5. Bennett Greenspan
6. Blaine Bettinger
7. Dick Eastman

8. Tim Janzen
9. D. Joshua Taylor
10. Stephen P. Morse

Here are some statistics:

Four of the ten are women.
98% of people nominated received votes.
71% of respondents identified themselves as women.
All are from the USA
The top non-US vote-getter was Debbie Kennett who didn't quite make the top ten

Those above the break received at least half the number of votes as the top vote-getter.

USA Rockstar Genealogists

Join me in congratulating the top Rockstar Genealogists as voted by those from the USA.

1. Judy G. Russell
2. Roberta Estes
3. Megan Smolenyak
4. CeCe Moore
5. Dick Eastman

6. Thomas W. Jones
7. D. Joshua Taylor
8. Thomas MacEntee
9. John Philip Colletta
10. Bennett Greenspan

Here are some statistics:

All are from the area
Four of the ten are women.
88% of people nominated received votes.
79% of respondents identified themselves as women.

Those above the break received at least half the number of votes as the top vote-getter.