Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Family Tree DNA Seasonal Sale

We were talking about it on the sidelines of the BIFHSGO DNA meeting on Saturday - now the annual Family Tree DNA sale is here.
Judy Russell, top Rockstar Genealogist, has all the details at www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2014/11/25/its-beginning-to-look-a-lot-like/

Auditor General Report: Documentary Heritage of the Government of Canada—Library and Archives Canada

The Auditor General has tabled his Fall Report. While chapter 3 on Mental Health Services for Veterans has received most media attention chapter 7 on the Documentary Heritage of the Government of Canada—Library and Archives Canada is not neglected.

The audit objective was to determine whether Library and Archives Canada has fulfilled its responsibilities for acquiring and preserving government documentary heritage from federal institutions, and for facilitating access of these records for current and future generations. It covered the period from 2009–10 fiscal year with audit work completed on 30 April 2014, prior to the arrival of the present Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

The AG concludes that LAC does not adequately fulfil these responsibilities. Library and Archives Canada:

- is not acquiring all the archival records it should from federal institutions
- has a backlog of 98,000 boxes of archival records
- does not have a corporate digital strategy
- did not use its trusted digital repository.
The department accepts each of the AG`s findings. The actions LAC undertakes to follow up are:
  • In the fall of 2014, Library and Archives Canada will approve a focused and accelerated plan to ensure full disposition coverage for the Government of Canada institutions by the end of the 2017–18 fiscal year. 
  • In the fall of 2014, Library and Archives Canada will establish a dedicated task force and approve a plan to eliminate the Government of Canada’s documentary heritage backlog by December 2015. (Note the plan will be approved by December 2015, not the backlog.)
  • By March 2015, Library and Archives Canada will have an approved digital strategy to firmly ground its acquisition, preservation, and access functions in the digital era. 
  • In April 2015, Library and Archives Canada will begin a comprehensive digital transformation program. 
Undoubtedly the backlog of 98,000 boxes of archival records contains gems of genealogical interest, not to mentioned of broader historical interest. It makes a farce of open government when records decades old remain inaccessible. The inability to acquire and process records means that they remain in the hands of the responsible line department. A case in point is passenger lists from the late 1930s onward.

It`s shocking to read that $15.4 million was spent on developing and implementing a trusted digital repository from 2006 to 2011, which was tested, approved, and deemed operational in July 2011, only to be shut down unused in November 2012 as the institution had `changed its approach.`
The scope of the audit was entirely about archival activities of LAC neglecting the library function. A risk is that in responding to the deficiencies identified the library function, already depleted of resources as indicated by withdrawal from the inter-library loan program (except as last resort), will be further neglected. Furthermore the AG has nothing to say about LAC`s front-line services.
Who will follow up to monitor whether LAC takes the actions it proposes by the dates indicated

More UK Directories at Ancestry

Now with 27,108,675 records UK, City and County Directories, 1766 - 1946 this is the ninth largest in the Ancestry collection. There are directories from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. Coverage is best for England.
Don`t overlook Ancestry`s British Phone Books, 1880-1984 which has ten times more records.

Interview with Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Gail Dever and Christine Jackson drew to my attention an Ottawa Citizen interview with Guy Berthiaume on the occasion of him occupying that role for six months.
Find the interview at http://ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/local-arts/helping-canadians-know-themselves; it includes a short video interview.
Thanks to Gail and Christine.

Canadian Veteran Death Cards

One of the military resources mentioned by Ken McKinlay in his talk to OGS Ottawa Branch on Saturday with which I was unfamiliar was veteran death cards.
Available online from Library and Archives Canada on an archived collection of digital microfilm, they contain about 130,000 cards going up to deaths in the early 1960s.
Included are many veterans of the Canadian Expeditionary Force who died after discharge or who died in Canada during the war; some veterans of the British Forces who died in Canada after the war; some members of the militia who died in Canada during or after the war; some navy veterans who died after the war; few veterans of the Newfoundland Forces who died after the war; few veterans of Allied Forces (e.g. Indian, French and American armies) who died in Canada after the war; a few veterans of the North West Mounted Police who had military service; a few veterans of the South African War and the North West Field Force (1885 Rebellion).
They are incomplete so it's a bit of a lottery whether you'll be able to locate the person you seek.
To find them go to www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/microform-digitization/006003-110.02-e.php?&q2=36&interval=50&sk=0 and find 99 digital microfilm files. Go to the surname range of interest and start browsing through - no indexing available. The information given is as shown on the sample page for a man who died in Elko, Nevada.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Rootstech and FGS 2015

A reminder that the 2015 edition of RootsTech, is being held February 12–14, in Salt Lake City, Utah. I had a chance to go a couple of years ago and very much enjoyed it. If you consider yourself a serious genealogist, and most especially if you research US relatives, it's worth going once.

If you like your genealogy leavened with entertainment the coming Rootstech offers "YouTube sensations Alex Boyé and One Voice Children's Choir", "performers showcasing the sights, sounds, and dancing from various world cultures"and "American Idol finalist David Archuleta and the cast of BYUtv's Studio C."

Each of the three days starts with a keynote speaker, this year featuring on Friday A.J. Jacobs, "an author, journalist, human guinea pig and cousin" and on Saturday entertainer and media personality Donny Osmond.

The speakers in the main family history sessions are not yet announced; that should be coming very soon.

This year the (US) Federation of Genealogical Societies will immediately precede Rootstech, 11-14 February. The program and speakers, many from the Rockstar Genealogist list, are announced here.

Relationship Chart

This chart was posted on Lifehacker, one of several versions all liable to confused the layperson! You may want to print it out and keep it handy.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Ottawa and Fire

Saturday was busy, at 9:30 AM a DNA SIG meeting with presentations by Errol Collins and Doug Hoddinott on autosomal DNA and their Newfoundland ancestry, 1 PM Ottawa Branch OGS and a presentation A Soldier of the Great War: A Research Case Study by Ken McKinlay followed by a Computer SIG meeting.
In between times I visited an exhibit on "Ottawa's blazing history" and the fires that shaped the capital at the City Archives - 100 Tallwood Drive at Woodroffe.
22 panels, two A/V presentations and exhibits of artifacts illuminate this most burning of issues. See also an early fire engine in the lobby.
The exhibit is in Gallery 112, down the hallway from the reception marked by a fire hydrant. It's on until March 21st.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Extreme Weather and Emigration: Scotland, 1770-1988

Is weather a factor driving immigration, particularly extreme weather?

Graeme Morton, from the University of Guelph Centre for Scottish Studies received an NSERC grant in 2013 with the title Extreme Weather and Patterns of Emigration: Scotland, 1770-1988.
A short YouTube video, a talk given at the University of Dundee, gives some background, on the study.

OGS Toronto Branch Great Moments

Eleven five-minute talks where members recount their family history research highlights are the feature of the November meeting of OGS Toronto Branch.
Great Moments sessions are popular events. Be there on Monday 24 November starting at 7:30 pm at the Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Hall, 5110 Yonge Street in Toronto for the final meeting of the year.

Info: http://torontofamilyhistory.org

Friday, 21 November 2014

Prison Ship (Hulk) Registers 1811-1843

Findmypast now has more than 4,000 British Prison Ship Register records in their Crime, Prison and Punishment collection. These new records come from 6 prison hulks; Discovery, Captivity, Antelope, Dromedary, Weymouth and Coromandel and list the details of over 13,300 inmates held on the ships between 1811 and 1843. Each record consists of a transcript that can list an inmate’s name, age and trade as well as details of their crime, sentence and character.

PERSI Updates at Findmypast

Findmypast introduces PERSI (the PERiodical Source Index) as "the world’s largest and most widely used subject index for U.S. genealogy and local history literature." Yet among the more than 8,000 magazines, newsletters and journals, indexed according to location, topic, surname, ethnicity and methodology you'll find extensive Canadian material.

This update adds links to issues from 18 different (unspecified) publications covering a period between 1824 and 1923.

A list of the periodicals added images to in this latest release and the years covered has now been published:
American Historical Magazine, 1896-1902
American Historical Magazine and Tennessee Historical Society Quarterly, 1903-04
Congregational Historical Society Transactions, 1901-18; 1920-23
Fairfield County Historical Society Reports and Papers, 1882; 1885-86; 1889; 1891; 1893; 1895; 1897
Genealogical Magazine, 1897-1904
Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania Publications, 1895-96; 1898; 1900; 1902-03; 1906-23
Georgia Historical Quarterly, 1917; 1919-23
Granite Monthly, 1877-78
Magazine of Western History, 1884-85; 1890
Mayflower Descendant, 1899-1922
New Hampshire Historical Society Collections, 1824; 1827; 1832; 1834; 1850; 1863; 1866; 1889
Old Northwest Genealogical Quarterly, 1898-1912
Penn-Germania, 1912-14
Quarterly Publication of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio, 1906; 1909-12; 1915-21; 1923
Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Journal, 1904-05
Spirit of ’76, 1894-1906
Transallegheny Historical Magazine, 1901-02
Virginia Historical Register, 1848-53
For a full list of the indexes that currently have images included click here

More School Records from Findmypast

Anglesey and Plymouth are the latest additions for Findmypast's collection National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914.
For Anglesey find 17,451 entries from 27 admission books of schools in: Aberffraw; Amlwch; Beaumaris; Carreg Onnen; Holyhead; Llanddona; Llandrygarn: Llandyfrydog; Llanerchymedd; Llanerchymedd; Llaneugrad; Llanfachraeth; Llangefni; Llansadwrn; Llantrisant; Menai Bridge; Newborough; Penmon and Llangoed; Penmynydd

Added to the Devon collection are 36,500 admission book records from Plymouth Grey Coat School back to 1814 and public schools starting in 1838.
There are now 2,633,859 records in this collection from 14 counties: Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Devon, Glamorganshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Lancashire, Middlesex, Surrey and Wiltshire, and also Westminster.
Updates to these records adding further counties are promised for 2015.

Ottawa Branch OGS November Meeting

This month's presentation to the Ottawa Branch is "A Soldier of the Great War: A Research Case Study" to be given by Ken McKinlay.

"With the 2014 being the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War people have become more interested in learning about those in their family and community that served and possibly fought during the Great War of 1914-1918. Ken McKinlay will be talking about the resources that are available online that can aid in your journey to learn more about those involved in World War I. Using those online resources along with Library and Archives Canada archived documents he will be looking at the records of several soldiers as examples of what may be found."

Saturday, 22 November, 13:00 – 15:00
City of Ottawa Archives (Room 115)

As usual the presentation is preceded by networking, refreshments and branch announcements.