Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Keep Calm and Carry On

What with BREXIT and England losing to Iceland at football (the sport where you use your feet, not your hands) was there ever a better recent time to revisit an iconic British poster?

This History Blog post tells the story of the poster that almost never saw the light of day.

Evernote Basic adds restrictions

Evernote Basic is changing. Whereas before you could link from as many devices as you wanted now you'll be limited to two.

I have Evernote on my laptop, Android device and iPad, and possibly other older system I no longer use so I received a 30 day warning of this change.

The prices for Plus and Premium tiers are also changed for new subscriptions. If you use Evernote check out the blog post which has more detail.

If you're looking for an alternative to Evernote consider Microsoft OneNote. Lifehacker has a blog post about transferring Evernote files.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Genealogy Roadshow reminder

The PBS Genealogy Roadshow continues on Tuesday 28 June at 8 p.m. EDT with the seventh (and final?) episode in the series, recorded in Los Angeles.

"A woman learns of a link to Schwabb's Pharmacy; a legendary Hollywood hot-spot; another woman seeks a connection to one of the first African-American college graduates; a man's ancestor is tied to several historic events and iconic companies; and a woman discovers a scoundrel amongst her ancestors. Also: a family tree that's captivated the "Roadshow" team for years; and insight on the Ellis Island immigration experience. From Los Angeles Union Station."

Genealogy Meetup

Christine Jackson was the photographer who took this casual photo from last Sunday's Ottawa Genealogy Meetup at Westboro Beach Cafe.

I've been asked not to identify some of the people. Who do you associate the following with: Alefounder, Ancestry, Cowley, Isle of Wight, Laxfield.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Discovering archaeological heritage at Pinhey’s Point

A reminder that today, Monday, June 27, 2016, 7 pm, there's a lecture at Pinhey’s Point.

Photographs and archival sources indicate that a number of historical buildings and architectural features at Pinhey’s Point have disappeared over time. One such building is a carriage or drive shed, shown in an 1890s photo built against the barn. The results of public excavations of this building
conducted in August 2015 and May 2016 and their interpretive value are presented and discussed.

The speaker, Ian Badgley, is a noted archaeologist with the National Capital Commission and a member of the Pinhey’s Point Foundation’s board.

Arrive early to view a variety of exhibits at the museum this summer.

More at

The Shared cM Project update

Blaine Bettinger, DNA expert and scheduled speaker for the OGS conference next year in Ottawa, has posted an update to this project examining the statistics of more than 9,500 entries.

This blog post summarizes the findings which are discussed in detail in this pdf.

Note that you may share no DNA with a third cousin, second cousin once removed and more distant relatives.

There's even a slight overlap between the amount of DNA shared by siblings and half siblings, although you'd be unlucky if results fell in the ambiguous range.

Check out the data to get an idea of the range of possible relationships a particular number of shared cM implies. 40cM could be a 1st cousin twice removed (1C2R), 2C1R, or 3C down to 5C2R. Could it be even more remote for endogamous populations?

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Home Child Ages

This graph shows the distribution of ages on arrival of the approximately 100,000 home children who came from Britain to Canada between 1869 and 1947. It shows a double peak, one largely prepubescent (47.8% age 13 and less), the remainder post pubescent. The median age in the 19th century and for the first 25 years of the 20th was 13 years For the next decade, following implementation of the UK Empire Settlement Act which required that immigrants be passed school leaving age, the median age was 16.

Why the dip at age 12? For each year in the periods 1870 - 80, 1889-91 and 1903-15 and 1923-30 there were fewer children age 12 than both age 11 and age 13.

Home child data sources matter. Compilations were made for different purposes. They may refer to a calendar or fiscal year.

These statistics are based on entries in the Library and Archives Canada home children database using only entries from ships passenger lists as extracted by John Sayers and cooperators in a BIFHSGO project. It includes a long tail of older people, such as chaperones, and some who were on the list with names crossed out. Data was taken for up to 2,000 entries per year for the decade (0) and mid-decade (5) years, plus a few other years thought to mark significant changes. Data for other years are estimated by linear interpolation constrained by the total number that arrived that year. Data for the Fairbridge immigrants to British Columbia, who arrived between 1935 and 1947, was added with ages extracted from the British outgoing ships passenger lists. Age data for a few other young immigrants in the late 1930s are not available.

Findmypast free access to military & census records

Findmypast is offering a one week free access, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, to 65 million world military records and over 265 million British and Irish censuses.
Find out more at

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Prairie Homestead Grant Registers from Ancestry

Ancestry has added to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada, Homestead Grant Registers, 1872-1930 in searchable and browseable formats.

Within a register, each application for a homestead was recorded as a single-line entry containing the following:

homestead number
date of application
date of grant
land description (part of section, section, township, range, meridian)
area (acreage)
application number
district number
list number

First World War Victoria Cross recipients

Go to to read stories of 175 men from 11 countries who were awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War.
This UK government site developed by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, presumably an organization anticipating significant new responsibilities after the BREXIT vote. It pays tribute to men from, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, India, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine and the United States of America.
For Canada there are 70 profiles, whereas the Canadian War Museum website lists 73.  Who is in one list and not the other?
Rowland Bourke who served with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. having lived in Canada before and after the war.
Benjamin Geary, who was awarded the VC for service in the BEF and moved to Canada after the war.
Michael O’Leary who served with the BEF, he lived in Canada before and after the war.