Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Lumber Barons, Rascally Politicians & Canada’s Railway King: The Ottawa Valley in the Railway Age

Here is information about an interesting looking presentation from the Perth & District Historical Society for Thursday, October 15, 2015

"Lumber Barons, Rascally Politicians & Canada’s Railway King: The Ottawa Valley in the Railway Age"

For our October 15 meeting, we are pleased to present Perth native son and ex-pat, Brian Gilhuly, on the fascinating story of the Ottawa Valley railroads, including the Perth branch of the Brockville to Ottawa (B&O) line - which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2014.      

Trains!  There are those who embrace the lore of the railway and the sound of the train, and those who just endure them, particularly in more recent years.  In the last half of the 19th century, the train played an integral role in the development of this region and of this country, enabling the growth of commerce and communities, and the movement of people.  Following World War I, the internal combustion engine and private vehicles paved the way to the end of its dominance.

Brian Gilhuly’s recent e-book, and this evening's presentation, carry us down the railroad line of the interaction between lumber, steamboats and local railways, and eventually the national project.  Without a means of transporting sawn lumber to American buyers, the mills of the Ottawa Valley would have remained small, local enterprises.  With the waterfront terminals in Brockville just a short ferry trip from the US railroads, the B & O Railway opened the path to markets to the south and beyond.  Over this track, the lumber barons of the Valley exported their mill production for decades.  The Ottawa Valley was also the natural route for a railway to the Pacific, involving the valley towns and their railways in high finance and low politics.

Brian Gilhuly was born in Perth, the son of the owner of Gilhuly’s Stationery Store, at 47 Foster Street; his mother, Edith, was a nurse at GWMH.  Over a 40-year career with the federal public service, he managed heritage programs as a Director-General with the Canadian Heritage Department.  Since retiring in 2011, Brian has researched the history and social impact of Canada’s railways, and is the author of Arnprior Area Railway History in Maps.  He has lived in Arnprior since 1993.  Brian's father was also manager of Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, and his grandfather, Gordon Gilhuly, was appointed police chief in 1927.

Please join us for an evening trip back to railroad's golden era, at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, home of the Hall of Remembrance, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, at 7:30pm (Toonie donation)

Monday, 12 October 2015

Ancestry adds England, Suffragettes Arrested, 1906-1914

This is a small database, just 1,339 names of all suffrage campaigners provided amnesty on the outbreak of the First World War. Although the document is entitled ‘Amnesty of August 1914: index of women arrested 1906-1914’ it also includes the names of 109 men.  Name, date and place of arrest are given.  For those arrested more than once details of each arrest are given. Some on the list were not identified by name and are listed under U for unknown.
Of historical interest is a collection of correspondence and memos at the end of the associated browse file.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Changing with the times?

The 68 year old Canadian Library Association (CLA) is proposing change detailed in the document Toward a Federation of Library Associations in Canada: Strengthening the national voice for Canadian libraries. The current CLA legal entity would be dissolved and a new national not-for-profit entity created, tentatively named Canadian Federation of Library Associations / Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques.

While some of the consideration behind this proposal are specific to the library field there are more general social trends identified by The Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) impacting associations and various reasons why association membership has waned in past years, including:
● Members scrutinizing and evaluating every expenditure (value-consciousness);
● Rapid growth in technology, in particular, social media and the ability to access education workshops delivered via webinars;
● Time-poverty on the part of volunteers;
● The demand for instant service delivered at the members’ convenience, not the association’s;
● The demand for more choice in services and how they are delivered,
● Expectations for higher levels of quality.

How are these factors impacting your genealogical or family history society?

The CSAE website includes an article Your Conference is a Strategic Asset – Manage it Accordingly with food for thought for any society which holds conferences.

Dorset and Isle of Man Parish Registers on FamilySearch

New records have been added to two existing FamilySearch databases which include links to original record images.

Isle of Man Parish Registers, 1598-2009 with 447,486 records is updated from 424,389 records last November
England, Dorset, Parish Registers, 1538-1936 with 1,288,325 records has a massive increase from 447,092 records in January last year.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

More cuts at LAC?

Relax. It's not what you think. Would you really expect that in the middle of an election campaign, although I wouldn't put it past Harper if returned with another majority?

The news this week is more mundane. I'm informed that as of last Monday email addresses for Library and Archives Canada staff have been cut by seven characters. Instead of the clumsy first.last@lac-bac.gc.ca you can now, optionally, leave out lac-bac.

When there's more than one person with the same name the situation may be different.

Do you know how to find contact information for a Government of Canada federal employee? They're not all listed but the best resource is GEDS, the Government Electronic Directory Services.

The Ottawa Genealogist: Oct-Dec 2015

The front page highlighted items in the new issue of The Ottawa Genealogist are:

  • Researching families of Rideau Canal workers in the Ottawa, Canada area.  Using resources available at the OBOGS Library
  • The Little Dutch Boy in the War “Extra Brothers and Sisters”
  • Finding Theses on the Library and Archives Canada Website
  • Noah Force (Cir 1768 - Bef 1851) – one of my 3 x Great-grandfathers 
While you can always learn something from any article, as I have no Ottawa roots I appreciate most the items of wider application, and good stories well told.

In the latter category is the Little Dutch Boy article by Kyla Ubbink which starts
What story will it be tonight? I wondered as I snuggled under my blankets, waiting for Dad to pop into my room and tuck me in. 
I won't give the story away. Kyla says there are more to look forward to.

In the former category is the one page article Finding Theses on the Library and Archives Canada Website by Dorothy Meyerhof. Access the Theses Canada Portal and do a basic or advanced search, including a full text search option. This portal is one that's been in active development at LAC this year so if you tried it before and were disappointed it might be worth trying it again. Remember you may find yourself deep into highly technical material with reference to a name searched being in a bibliography or list of references.

Regular columns Electronic Notebook, Interesting Web Sites and Gleanings from Newsletters in the Ottawa Branch Library are always worth browsing.

Ottawa Branch's search for volunteers continues with a need to fill to the Secretary, Newsletter Editor, and Webmaster roles as well as help with Gene-O-Rama, the Library and TONI Indexing. If you can help contact ottawachair@ogs.on.ca.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Findmypast adds Electoral Register Collection for England

England and Wales Electoral Registers 1832-1932 with over 5.4 million images and approximately 220 million names, the largest single collection released on Findmypast to date, is the gem of this week's additions. These annual registers, sourced from the British Library, also include brief details of property ownership, filling gaps between the censuses.

Here's a summary of number of results, first and last years for selected counties.
Cornwall: 57,899; 1832 - 1931
Cambridgeshire: 56,068; 1873 - 1931.
Cumberland: 49,273; 1842 - 1931
London: 237,904;  1850 - 1932
Middlesex: 306,251; 1857 - 1932
Norfolk: 221,758; 1852 - 1931
Rutland: 10,309; 1842 - 1931
Staffordshire: 79,926; 1851 - 1915
Suffolk: 88,239; 1839 - 1915

Despite the title I found no coverage for Welsh counties.

Coverage is best between 1885 and the First World War when enumeration was suspended.
Searching is on records that have been digitally scanned and then converted to machine-encoded text using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This process is not perfect. Check out the search tips at http://goo.gl/Gqspux

Ancestry has a similar collection coverage for London, the Midlands, West Yorkshire, Surrey and Dorset.

Also added to Findmypast this week:
Ireland, electoral registers 1885-1886. Covers Armagh, Fermanagh, Down, Limerick, Mayo, Meath, Tyrone, Roscommon, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow.
Scotland, Linlithgowshire (West Lothian), electoral registers 1864-1931 - over 23,000 records
Britain, Absent Voters Lists 1918-1921 - over 26,000 records

LAC Top Ten Topics

From March 2 - 6  2015 Library and Archives Canada conducted an online web usability study. There was feedback from 705 respondents. Clients responses produced the following ranking by subject area.

1. Genealogy (e.g. penitentiary lists, family histories)
2. First World War (e.g. maps, trench newspapers, photographs)
3. Photographs (e.g.  cities, people, events)
4. Finding aids (e.g. government, private)
5. Canadian people (e.g. Aboriginal heritage, authors)
6. Canadian events (e.g. Rideau canal, Expo 67)
7. Transportation (e.g. aircraft registration documentation, train photographs)
8. Canadian government (e.g. Cabinet documents, Orders in Council)
9. Rare books (e.g. comic books, Lowy collection of Judaica and hebraica)
10. Prime Minister Papers.

Item 1 received four times as many votes as item 10.

Hopefully the Genealogy category goes beyond the examples to include directories and newspapers.

The list should not serve to marginalize other essential activities at LAC. Sometimes questions like this lead to impossible choices. Which is more important air or water? Lack of either will kill you, it depends on whether you'd prefer to die a quick painful death or a slow painful death.

Thanks to LAC for a timely response to my information request.

Brockley Cemetery records now on Deceased Online

Records for Brockley cemetery back to 1858 as well as those for the conjoined Ladywell cemetery are now at Deceased Online. They promote it as "one of South London's cemetery jewels" with a wide range of fascinating records.
As usual the search is free, including a free advanced search where you can specify the exact cemetery. The free list of matches returned includes the exact date of burial.