Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Archived webinar: Making the Most of the British Newspaper Archive

If you missed Aoife O Connor's webinar last week Making the Most of the British Newspaper Archive you can view it with online registration here.

Historical Society of Ottawa: May meeting

This Friday, 26 May, exceptionally at 1:30 pm, in addition to the HSO Annual General Meeting, Stuart Clarkson will speak about the society contribution of historical books, documents and artefacts to the City of Ottawa Archives.

For over a century, through its mandate to promote the archival preservation of Ottawa's historical material, the HSO collected and catalogued a large number of books, documents, and artefacts. These materials help us today to describe and contextualize the people and places of Ottawa's past. They also help trace the development of this area's archival initiatives -- the very work to preserve that history -- as HSO has gradually given over this work to other heritage and archival institutions. Fortunate to have received a substantial portion of HSO's collections, the City of Ottawa Archives has made great strides in continuing HSO's work to collect local historical materials and to present Ottawa's past to its citizens. The Archives will gratefully commemorate its legacy with a talk by Stuart Clarkson, spotlighting a few transferred items of interest.

Stuart Clarkson is the Community Archivist at the City of Ottawa Archives, helping Ottawa's citizens connect with private historical documents. Stuart took a Masters of Arts in Scottish history in his hometown of Guelph before proceeding to Halifax to obtain a Masters of Library and Information Science at Dalhousie and can draw upon a heterogeneous background of work in libraries, archives and museums. With his wife, great-great-granddaughter of an asthmatic keeper of the Stewarton tollgate on Bank Street, Stuart has raised three children in Ottawa since arriving in 2009.

The meeting is at the usual location, the Routhier Community Centre, 172 Guigues Street

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

OGS Conference 2018: Call for Speakers

OGS Conference 2017 in Ottawa is still a few weeks away but the call for proposals for the 2018 conference in Guelph is now out.* The deadline for proposals is 5 August 2017 so you've plenty of time to cogitate.

Here's the call

The Board of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) are delighted to announce
that the 2018 annual conference will take place on June 1 - 3. The Committee are
already hard at work behind the scenes, planning an inspiring event under the
banner, “Upper Canada to Ontario - The Birth of a Nation”.
OGS continues to boast the largest membership of any Canadian family history
organization with its conference attracting speakers and attendees from across
the globe. This year’s theme is designed to continue the thread from the 2017
conference, “Building a Nation”, and the Program Committee invite proposals
for presentations on:
(1)Migration to Ontario - Where did they arrive from, how did they get here,
why did they choose Ontario?
(2)Sources available to trace Canadians in their country of origin
(3)The importance of using maps in your research: changing Ontario districts
and counties, Canada and beyond
(4)How can new technologies assist our research back in history?
(5)Methods to document and preserve our research for future generations
Speakers will receive an honorarium alongside appropriate expenses and
complimentary Conference registration.
Please submit your proposals by email. Include your full name, mailing address,
telephone number, email address, website address (if applicable) and biographical
information, including recent speaking credits. For each proposal, please provide
a unique title and a summary of at most 250 words and identify the intended
audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and specific A/V requirements.
Multiple proposals are encouraged. DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: 5 August
To submit proposals or ask questions, please contact the Conference 2018
Program Committee at:
For more information about OGS, please visit:

* The deadline this year is much more reasonable than the one imposed for the 2017 conference where the program was fully settled by the time of the 2016 conference. Good to see the powers that be have come to their senses.

Free Live-streaming of SCGS Jamboree Sessions

The next time you're tempted to grumble about Ancestry, we all do, bear in mind that the company is underwriting The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree Live Streaming. The brings 14 hours of high-quality family history education, 9 - 11 June, to your home free of charge.
The speakers include Thomas MacEntee, Peggy Clements Lauritzen, Gena Philibert-Ortega, Drew Smith, Christine Woodcock, Lisa Alzo, and Michael John Neill.
You don't have to watch live as the presentations will be recorded aand available until 10 July.

Find our more about Jamboree and live streaming at

Monday, 22 May 2017

MyHeritage Collection Catalog

With 6,503 main collections until now targeting a specific one to search has been a challenge at MyHeritage. Now, new, under the research tab, is a Collection Catalog to MyHeritage's SuperSearch™.

The catalog lists for each collection the number of records in it and the date in which it was added or last updated, and indicates with a special icon which collections are new or recently updated. Small collections of under 500 entries are not yet incorporated.

The collections can be searched by keyword, filtered, and sorted by the number of records they contain, the date they were last updated, or by collection name.

I was unaware there are 135 collections with 34,320,311 records for Canada and 384 collections with 440,959,880 records for England including censuses to 1911.

MyHeritage expects to add more than 300 million international records within the next 2 months bringing the total to more than 8 billion.

British Newspaper Archive has strength in Scotland and Ireland

LocationPopulation (2011)PapersPages
Ireland & Nrn Ireland6,451,8631442647473
England has the most newspapers and newspaper pages in the British Newspaper Archives database; unsurprising as it has the largest population. Ireland (combined), Scotland and Wales follow. 

However, on a population weighted basis BNA coverage of England and Wales lags that of Ireland and Scotland. For every 100 people in the population there are 46 pages available for Scotland, 41 for Ireland (combined), 27 for England and 12 for Wales.

The low coverage for Wales is likely because the National Library of Wales has done such a good job digitizing their newspapers and making them available free at Add the 1.1 million pages digitized at that site and coverage per capita is on a par with Scotland.

Which leaves England lagging. I wonder why?

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Momondo - The Dna Journey

Just posted on YouTube, another episode in a series on 67 people from all over the world who take a DNA test.
This episode has a surprise for Ellaha who self-identifies as a Kurd.

VIce at Breakfast

Next Wednesday The (UK) National Archives is aiming to spice up your breakfast with vice.

Fears of unrestrained vice: Venereal disease and the First World War is the topic for a webinar starting at 8:30 am EDT on Wednesday 24 May 2017.
The Venereal Disease Act of May 1917 prohibited treatment of VD by unqualified persons. During the war, the spread of disease was crippling the British armed forces, with women’s sexuality being increasingly policed at home.
Find out how VD was prevented and treated during the war - as well as society’s changing attitudes towards disease and sexual practice - using original documents from our collection.
Register from

Also check out TNA's web content on the First World War at

Employees of Canada. Dept. of Public Printing and Stationery

Canada's Civil Service List is a fabulous resources for finding public servants. Depending on the date you'll find birthdate, religion, salary and employment details. But it ceased being published just after the Great War.
If you're interested in a later period, and the person of interest was an employee of the Canada Dept. of Public Printing and Stationery, has 16 issues of an employee directory, for 1922, 1924-1932, 1935-1940 which gives name, section and address.

A reminder that next Wednesday 24 May 24, 2017 at 6:30pm at the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library there will be a presentation by Daniel Velarde, Communications Officer, on Early Canadiana Online, a virtual library of full-text historical content about Canada, including books, magazines and government documents from the 16th to the early 20th century.   See

Saturday, 20 May 2017

OGS Conference advance registration deadline extended

Late word is that on-line registration has been extended and now closes at midnight EDT May 21 due to problems some encountered on 19 May.

After that you will still be able to register at the conference.

Ancestry adds Wiltshire Parish Records

The baptism of perhaps the most famous son of Wiltshire, Christopher Wren, is in the new Ancestry collection of the county's parish records.
It has data and images of originals from about 300 Wiltshire parishes, from Aldbourne to Yatton Keynell, including six parishes from Winterbourne.

Wiltshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812; 266,558 records
Wiltshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1916; 965,717 records
Wiltshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1916; 1,753,821 records
Wiltshire, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1916 ; 377,867 records.