Sunday, 18 March 2018

Adding to the Irish Records at Findmypast

The most recent additions to Findmypast are:

Irish Tontines Annuitants 1766-1789, over 153,000 (15,388?) results
Annuity statements, accounts of deaths, death certificates, and marriage certificates relating to the subscribers and nominees of the English tontine of 1789; the Irish tontines of 1773, 1775, and 1777; and the life annuities of 1766 to 1779.
Although the announcement claims over 153,000 results a search with nothing entered in the form, which usually provides a more exact figure, finds just 15,388!

Ireland, American Fenian Brotherhood 1864-1897, over 125,000 records.
The 125,001 search results are based on correspondence between members of the British Foreign Office regarding the activities of the American Fenian Brotherhood during the years from 1864 to 1897. Records include newspaper cuttings, letters, telegrams, lists of prisoners, and a number of photographs.
The newspaper cuttings are particularly interesting; reports on the Fenian raids show that spinning the news is not a new phenomenon.

Other Irish resources added are:

Church of Ireland Histories & Reference Guides, over 300 records from ‘The National Churches: The Church of Ireland (1892)’ and ‘Some Worthies of the Irish Church (1900)’.
Armagh Records & Registers, over 600 pages of the ‘Historical Memoirs of the City of Armagh for a Period of 1,375 years’.
Antrim Histories & Reference Guides, over 600 records from ‘A History of the Town of Belfast from the Earlier Times to the Close of the Eighteenth Century’.

Ireland population and migration

The second most amazing thing, after the growth of the population of England shown in this graph recently posted on Twitter by Myko Clelland, is the decline in the population of Ireland that started, but didn't end with the famine of the 1840s.
Through the 18th century to the famine the population trend in Ireland was following much the same trajectory as in England.
What would have happened if the potato blight had not struck, famine had been avoided and parallel population growth continued?
In 1840 England's population was 15 million, Ireland's 9 million—60 per cent of England's.
In the year 2000 England's population was 50.3 million. 60 per cent of that is 30 million. Compare that to Ireland's actual population that year of 6.2 million.
30 million living Ireland with an area of 84,421 km² would mean an average 354 people per km²—about the same as Belgium today. The UK has 255 people per km².
Would there have been a development path to sustain a population of 30 million? Is there a hint in the censuses of 1841 and 1851 which, in addition to showing the population decline, records a widespread if small increase in the ability to read and write (see The National School system had been introduced in 1831.
Or would there have been continued major migration, as was the Irish experience before the famine and after it? Ireland may be thought of as green, but through the ages many have seen the grass to be greener on the other side of the hill.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

OGS weekly eNewsletter

Along with the regular content of OGS-interest news in today's St Patrick themed weekly eNewsletter comes a shout-out on the 12h anniversary of Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections earlier this week. Thanks OGS, and to others who also sent greetings and appreciation.
One of the other OGS eNewsletter items this week is about TONI, The Ontario Name Index, an OGS name-based index to Ontario records which continues to grownow more than 5.2 million name references. The news item highlights three new TONI sources, some of which are pending the implementation on the new OGS website.
The free OGS weekly eNewsletter is—freeexcellent value—you don't need to be an OGS member to receive it. Subscribe from the form near the bottom of the page at
Organizations with news of genealogical interest, particularly for Ontario genealogists, are invited to send it for possible (likely) inclusion by sending it to

The Irish in Upper Canada, 1819-1840

A tip of the hat to blog reader Patrick Doyle for bringing to my attention a recent University of Toronto PhD thesis, "Unsettled Settlers: Irish Catholics, Irish Catholicism, and British loyalty in Upper Canada, 1819-1840" by Laura Smith. It examines the role of Roman Catholicism in the process by which Irish Catholics integrated into Upper Canadian society in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Patrick writes that the manuscript has enabled him to gain a much better appreciation of the socio-religious context of his 19th century Irish Catholic ancestors' early lives in the Ottawa Valley.

Theses are an often overlooked resource for the family historian and the literature search required for such academic studies can also bring to light obscure sources.

The text is quite long - nearly 400 pages - so to read it be prepared to set aside a good chunk of time.

However, lacking the time you can still browse the references, and having it online means you can search words or phrases, names and places of personal interest.

St Patrick's Day 1838

George Cruikshank's illustration for the 1838 editions of the Comic Almanack shows a St Patrick's Day brawl.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Two additions to GGI Belfast 2018 on YouTube

In DNA, Clans & Monarchy, the most recent You-Tube post from Genetic Genealogy Ireland Belfast 2018, Brad Larkin explores the DNA of Irish Clans and Kings and, starting at about 28 minutes, what is known about the DNA of the Royal Houses of Britain. The focus is Y-DNA. You need to be well into the history to absorb the detail, especially where the presentation skips over and around slides.
In a single stream event it's good to have the speaker link back to previous presentations. Brad Larkin does that referring to James Irvine's presentation Y-DNA of a Scots-Irish Diaspora, the second new YouTube post.  The one-name study which is the basis is another case where the detail of the surname and variant lines is more than most need to know—the value is in learning from the techniques developed and employed should you choose to embark on the slippery slope of a one-name study.

FreeBMD March Update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Thursday 15 March 2018 to contain 266,897,565 (266,393,467 last update) distinct records. Major additions this month are, for births 1963-4, 1978-83; for marriages 1965-6, 1979-80, 1982-3; for deaths 1858, 1981-2.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

CEF Service Files Update for March 2018

As of 15 March 2018 there are 568,203 (555,443 last month) of 640,000 files available online in the LAC Personnel Records of the First World War database.
The latest box digitized is 9,700 (9,467) and last name Timson (Swindells).
At the last month's rate the last file will be online in September.

LAC posted a creative graphic for Pi Day showing how the digitization has progressed year by year.

Gene-O-Rama 2018

I final reminder that Friday, 16 March is the deadline for discount registration for Gene-O-Rama 2018. Read all about it at

$1 million to support Canadian digitization

The National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) has issued a progress report dated 14 March 2018. Read it here.
A significant announcement is that thanks to an anonymous donor NHDS will be launching a funding program in the near future. The program will distribute $1 million to cultural heritage organizations in Canada to support digitization.
Also the first set of newspapers from the Salamander Foundation funded pilot project has been digitized, almost 600 issues of Windspeaker, a weekly publication or the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta.  They are from 1986-87 to 2015.
At present the issues are available through a spreadsheet listing as searchable pdfs. Each must be searched individually. LAC is developing a search interface to provide better browsing and full-text search of the material. It also continues to digitize another 1000 issues from two other publications in the pilot project.
I wondered how good the digitization is. Here from an issue chosen at random using a search for "weather" are the first three paragraphs from the article found

horseback poker rally
postponed because of the
weather was held on May
24th. It was a wonderful
Organized by the Fishing
Lake Recreation committee,
the rally was the first of
it's kind in the part of the
All 29 riders who participated
in the ride were from
the settlement making this
a good fun community

Looks pretty good.

Finally, the NHDS has released a draft content strategy (3 pages) to help guide potential funding projects, a discovery platform and organizational decision-making. NHDS is seeking feedback to help in determining priorities through response to a survey by April 6th, 2018.

Here are the survey questions and my recommended priority responses. It doesn't take much time.

1. What PUBLISHED MATERIAL most urgently needs digitization in your community?
RECOMMENDED highest priority Newspapers.
2. What ARCHIVAL MATERIAL most urgently needs digitization in your community?
RECOMMENDED highest priority Archival material of genealogical interest
3. What FORMATS most urgently need digitization in your community?
RECOMMENDED highest priority Textual documents followed by At-risk material, then Microfilm and microfiche.
4. Why would you prioritize this material and these formats?
Response: Of most interest to my community.

I recommend priorizing material of widest interest.

Churches of East Anglia

In the four years since last profiled this site has continued to expand.
Cambridgeshire now includes 280 churches; Essex 308; Norfolk 910 and Suffolk 704. There's also a shorter list of London City Churches.
If you have any connection to a church profiled take a look at Simon Knott's description. The Eastern Daily Press magazine comment they are "Beautifully written, but insightful and entertaining, in a similar vein to Bill Bryson."
Start at

Kingston Branch OGS March Meeting: Irish Settlement of the Ottawa Valley

Dr. Bruce Elliott will speak on "Irish Settlement of the Ottawa Valley" to the Kingston Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society on Saturday, March 17th.
His award winning book Irish Migrants in the Canadas is a standard work in the field.
The meeting starts at 9:45 a.m. sharp at the Kingston Seniors Centre, 56 Francis St.
Visitors always welcome.
Further details at

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

AncestryDNA St Patrick Offer

You can order an AncestryDNA test during the St Patrick Day sale here.
The price is $99 CAD which includes taxes but excludes shipping. The offer ends March 18, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
While this is not as good a deal as the FTDNA sale you also have to take into account that AncestryDNA has a much larger database and that you can transfer results from AncestryDNA, but not to it.

Celebrating 12 Years Blogging

There are now over 9,000 posts on this blog since it started on this date in 2006. They're fully searchable. That's often how I find information I don't quite remember!
Thanks for your continued support, especially to those who pass along tips on family history events and items of interest.

Predicting places from names in the UK

You've probably looked at distribution maps for surnames in your family tree. is freely available and for the UK there's
There's an interesting new site, part of a University College London research project, which looks at the distribution of two names together showing where a couple or friends with those two surnames might have met. It's an alpha quality product and they're asking for feedback.
I tried with two names, one strong in parts of Scotland, one mainly from the London area. The resulting map highlighted both areas -- hardly surprising. London happened to be where they met.
You can also look at the distribution of single surnames on a database which may be more current than available elsewhere.

Quinte Branch OGS March Meeting

On Saturday, 17 March at 1 pm accept an invitation to hear Cheryl Levy, PLCGS, speak on Using Census Clues to Build a Blended Family.
Census records provide many clues to further our research. Each column contains valuable information essential to identifying the household members listed on census night. Learn to uncover the details needed to confirm their identities.
The meeting is at Quinte West Public Library, 7 Creswell Drive, Trenton, ON.

Further Quinte Branch information is at

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

YouTube: Using autosomal DNA to maximum effect

Now posted, the video of a presentation at the Genetic Genealogy Ireland event in Belfast last month by Scottish genealogist Michelle Leonard.
I found this to be a particularly clear presentation. The video and audio quality on the YouTube recording are excellent. Most will not have a problems with the accent or fast pace delivery because of the accompanying slides. Recommended.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Family Finder $59US

Family Tree DNA has a St Patrick's Day sale on their autosomal, Family Finder, test. It's at $20 US discount from the regular price, so $59 US during the sale. Act quickly if you want to take advantage, the sale ends at 11:59 pm PST on Sunday 18 March.

DNA distinguishes French-Canadians from different regions of Quebec

A study published in Nature Communications includes a finding that there is regional structure evident within the French Canadian population consistent with Quebec settlement history and local ancestry.
This result is a small part of the results published in Gene-by-environment interactions in urban populations modulate risk phenotypes. It shows how pollution exposure in the area of residence overwhelms French Canadian regional ancestry in several health measures.
A result I found most surprising is "the regional effect on the gene expression is mostly associated with ambient air pollution, and less so, or not at all, with diseases, smoking, or the socio-economic factors that were measured."
The article is based on the Quebec regional cohort, CARTaGENE, of a larger Canada’s precision medicine initiative, the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP: which has a cohort comprising over 315,000 Canadians. While the motivation is medical let's hope analysis for regional ancestral DNA variability will not be overlooked and become available to genetic genealogy interests.

OPL helps in Finding Birth Families

The final scheduled presentation, on Monday next week, in the Ottawa Public Library Winter series is on how adoptees and birth families can find each other. 
Monica Byrne will discuss adoption in Ontario and the resources available through Parent Finders Ottawa.
Mags Gaulden of Grandma's Genes will illustrate the use of DNA testing for adoption research.
The session is at 7 pm on Monday, 19 March at the Cumberland Branch of the Ottawa Public Library at 1599 Tenth Line.
Registration in advance is required at

Sunday, 11 March 2018

FamilySearch adds to Oldham Cemetery Registers, 1797-2004

Another 50,000 entries supplement the collection of cemetery registers from Hollinwood, Failsworth, Royton, Crompton, Chadderton, Lees, and Greenacres cemeteries in Oldham, Lancashire originally added in August 2016.

The Wright Papers

The Gatineau Valley Historical Society has a collection of over 600 documents concerned primarily with the business affairs of Ottawa Valley pioneer Philemon Wright (1760-1839) and his son Ruggles Wright (1793-1863). They include land transfers, court documents, collections letters, ledgers, wills, family correspondence, etc. in their original, handwritten format and go back to before Wright moved to the Ottawa Valley.
The 100 pages of catalogue and 50 pages of indexes (names) transcribed in 2017 are online as searchable text. The names in the index link to the related catalogue items which has a link to the scanned document.
To view them follow the link under "New to the GVHS" at,
Thanks to Susan Courage for bringing this early resource to my attention.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Findmypast adds to Monmouthshire Electoral Registers 1832-1889

With the addition of 43,230 early entries in Wales, Monmouthshire Electoral Registers 1832-1889 the collection now contains 54,032 records.
The additions are handwritten electoral registers (1832-1839) available as images and transcripts; the later printed registers are PDFs.
The entries are for the single constituency of Monmouthshire until 1885 when it is split into North, South and West Divisions.

Findmypast has some indexes to Irish births and marriages

It's good to see transcripts of these Irish civil birth and marriage records created independently by Findmypast from those at, with links to the images of the original.
I cross-checked my Marmon interest. found 16 births (excluding those that shouldn't have been delivered in an exact search) and 4 marriages. Findmypast delivered 7 births and 1 marriage. One of the FMP births included a stab at the mother's maiden name which declined to guess at.
FMP's information is that further entries will be added, but fails to state what's already included. That's a point well made by Claire Santry in a comprehensive blog post who checks for her Santry interest.

Ottawa Branch OGS Funding for Genealogical Projects

The Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical society is offering grants of up to $2,500 each to support genealogically related projects within the geographical area under the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, which includes the amalgamated City of Ottawa, the Russell part of the United Counties of Prescott & Russell, the County of Lanark and the County of Renfrew. The total grant money available for 2018 is $5,000.

Acceptable projects will contribute to the knowledge of genealogical techniques and to the knowledge of genealogy relating to names, places, dates and family histories. This can include
creating publications, developing databases, digitization of archival material/collections, hosting training sessions and workshops, and the preservation of archival material/collections.
This grant is not meant to fund employees, or other in-house labour wages, but can be used to contract services and goods.

Only non-commercial entities may apply for this grant money including genealogy societies, museums, archives, libraries, schools, historical societies, and community groups. An eligible
applicant may submit more than one project proposal in any given year, and may apply in any year the grants are offered regardless of previous proposals or grants issued.

Successful applicants will be required to prepare and deliver a presentation related to their funded project at either a Branch Meeting or Ottawa Branch Conference. The support and
funding given by the Ottawa Branch must be acknowledged with the logo, web address, and name of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society appearing on all promotional
material and/or physical aspects related to all projects receiving funding. Successful applicants must agree in writing to these conditions.

Application Deadline: May 1, 2018

Find a grant application form at along with additional information.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Help Release the 1926 Irish Census

You can help the Irish government keep to its 2011 commitment to release the 1926 census by signing the online petition.

Find the petition and background at

RootsIreland discount

News from Claire Santry's Irish Genealogy News

RootsIreland offers 25% discount on its 12-month sub is offering a 25% discount on its annual subscription. Unusually, this offer is not only available to new subscribers. Researchers with a current subscription can also take advantage of the price reduction; the special deal subscription will begin when the current sub runs out.

The discount reduces the cost of the 12-month subscription from €225 to €169 | £198 to £148 | US$278 to US$208.

The saving will remain on offer until 11:59pm on Sunday 25 March. 

Read the rest of Claire's item here.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

TheGenealogist adds UK Outbound Passenger Lists for the 1940s

The following is a notice from TheGenealogist.

TheGenealogist has just released 1.4 million Passenger Records covering the 1940s. This expands our Outbound Passenger Lists to over 25 million and form part of our larger immigration and emigration collection on TheGenealogist. The new records feature passengers who sailed out of United Kingdom in the years between 1940 and 1949 these newly transcribed BT27 images are from The National Archives. The passenger lists released today will allow researchers to:

  • Discover potential family members travelling together using TheGenealogist's SmartSearch

  • Find ancestors sailing to Africa, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and other destinations

  • View images of the original passenger list documents

  • See the ages, last address and intended permanent residence

  • Fully indexed records allow family historians to search by name, year, country of departure, country of arrival, port of embarkation and port of destination

Researchers who had ancestors that travelled abroad from Britain in the 1940's will find these records a fascinating addition to the vast collection of records on TheGenealogist.

Read our article on the new records here:

UEL Association of Canada meeting on Saturday, March 24

Kingston & District Branch of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada will meet on Saturday, March 24 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Paul's Anglican Church hall, 137 Queen Street (at Montreal Street). Speaker Joyce Fingland will discuss "DNA: Which Test and Why?". It may surprise some to learn that 21st-century DNA testing is helping descendants of 18th-century Loyalists connect with one another.

All are welcome. Visitors are also invited to join for a Sandwich 'n Square lunch before the meeting, 11:30 for 12:00 noon seating, $4.50. Further details at



The speakers at Saturday's all day seminar on Tracing your Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors being given for BIFHSGO by the Ulster Historical Foundation are Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt. While the name Gillian is familiar Fintan was new to me. I wondered about the origin.

According to Wikipedia:

In Irish mythology Fintan mac Bóchra (modern spelling: Fionntán), known as "the Wise", was a seer who accompanied Noah's granddaughter Cessair to Ireland before the deluge. Bóchra may be his mother, or may be a poetic reference to the sea.

He was one of only three men in the expedition, along with fifty women, so he, Cessair's father Bith, and the pilot, Ladra, had sixteen wives each. Fintan's wives are named: Cessair, Lot, Luam, Mall, Mar, Froechar, Femar, Faible, Foroll, Cipir, Torrian, Tamall, Tam, Abba, Alla, Baichne, and Sille. He married Ebliu later. His only son was Illann.

His wives and children were drowned when the flood arrived but he survived in the form of a salmon, remaining a year under the waters in a cave called Fintan's Grave. He then turned into an eagle and then a hawk then back to human form. He lived for 5500 years after the Deluge, becoming an advisor to the kings of Ireland.

Another version of the story, in James P Mallory's book The Origins of the Irish, had 150 women rather than 50 and Fintan becoming the only surviving male. In what Mallory terms an "entertaining version" the entire troop of grieving widows charged after Fintan and in order to escape what could have been "an endless series of extremely tiring nights he either hid in a cave or turned himself into a salmon to survive for a thousand years and was later reconstituted as a man."

Fintan Mullan will not face the same challenge as his namesake but will need stamina of a different sort during the multi-stop UHF tour.

The image above is from the website Myths and Legends of Ireland - Irish Mythology.

Cumberland Township Historical Society reaches agreement with the Ottawa Public Library

At Wednesday evening's meeting of the Cumberland Township Historical Society it was announced by President Gérard Boyer that the OPL Cumberland Branch will take over and catalogue the Society book collection.

Also, the Society has a collection of local family trees which the library is prepared to take in their collection if the Society photocopies them into a standard format and rebinds them.

There is a further suggestion but no agreement yet that the City of Ottawa Archives might find a way to make these more widely available.

The Society is also coming close to publication of a volume on the early history of the Township.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

YouTube: Irish DNA Atlas

At the Genetic Genealogy Ireland event last month I particularly enjoyed Ed Gilbert presenting the latest update on the Irish DNA Atlas project.
Maurice Gleeson has used video from the Genealogical Society of Ireland inserting the slides which are much clearer than the original recording.
The most course division in Irish autosomal DNA found in the project divides genomes from the UK and some in Northern Ireland from the rest of Ireland and Orkney. 
If you have Irish ancestry, and when you can spare time to take it in, check it out at

Wiggins and Wiggins' Storm Anniversary

On Thursday, all being well with the industrial dispute, I'm giving a talk to a history class at Carleton University on Ottawa weather history. For some reason the topic of Wiggins and Wiggins' Storm has been selected for emphasis by Associate Professor Joanna Dean. Maybe it's taking advantage of the imminent anniversary of Wiggins' long-range prediction of a storm, 9-11 March 1883.

In preparation I went back to look at an item I wrote some 15 years ago on a now defunct website that can be recovered from the Internet Archive-- if you know where to look.
Here's the section on Wiggins.

Ottawa’s Weather Prophet

wig.JPG (2026 bytes)

Ezekiel Stone Wiggins was born in the Grand Lake area of New Brunswick on December 4th, 1839, the son of Daniel Slocum Wiggins and Elizabeth Titus Stone, both of United Empire Loyalist descent. He received secondary education in Ontario, and probably remained to become a teacher in Mariposa township — it was from there he married his cousin, Susan Anna Wiggins in 1862. In 1864 he published "The Architecture of the Heavens" proposing the unusual theory that there is no light in interplanetary space, only in the atmosphere of the planets. This led him to conclude that "worlds may revolve near us, but having no atmosphere may be forever hidden from the view of the astronomer." "Universalism Unfounded" followed in 1867 advocating a literal interpretation of the Bible.

He taught in Ingersoll, Oxford County, and was first principal of the Institute for the Education of the Blind in Brantford from 1871 to 1874. Following his father’s death in 1873 he returned to New Brunswick and established his own school for boys in Saint John. He became politically active, unsuccessfully running for political office, then moved to Ottawa and a job with the Federal Finance Department.

Wiggins avocation became storm prophecy and starting in 1881 he earned an international reputation..

His most widely known prophecy, for a March 1883 storm, was a public event, if not a successful prediction.

He refined his prediction techniques, and wrote to the New York Tribune on June 3rd 1884 postulating the existence of one or more invisible moons in order to explain deficiencies in his forecasts. A rebuff from the scientific community came in an editorial in The American Meteorological Journal:

"Mr. Wiggins assumes that weather and earthquakes depend on the moon and, when the moon will not do the work required of it, he freely adds another moon or two. Evidently the method is capable of indefinite expansion; a hundred invisible moons can be added if necessary, and with these he can account for anything. The simplicity and adaptability of this method needs no further illustration. We note that an additional advantage is that it disposes of all anxious labor and worry which most scientific investigators have to go through in adjusting their theories to known principles. We proceed, with sincere regret, to deprive Mr. Wiggins of the right of priority to his method. The fact is that it has been employed by operators of his class from time immemorial. But, though he loses his priority in discovery and method, he can not be deprived of the colossal imagination nor of the heroic contempt for logic, which are displayed with unmistakable clearness in his whole letter and in his previous publications, and his graceful disregard of the usually accepted principles of science are worthy of our highest admiration."

He persisted with storm forecasts but evidently became disillusioned with his lack of success. For a while Wiggins dropped into relative obscurity. He built a home in Britannia Bay, an Ottawa suburb, and served as President of the local yacht club.

In the 1900s he regained some prominence being quoted on various subjects in the Ottawa media. Headlines included "Professor Wiggins says the Sun is Inhabited", "Second Moon in the Heavens Responsible for Cold Weather in the Opinion of Prof. Wiggins". The Toronto Star responded: "Prof. Wiggins claims to have seen two moons lately, but lots of people in Ottawa get that way every night."

Wiggins remained a public servant with the Finance Department until two years before his death in 1910.  Newspapers were factual in their obituaries, emphasizing the positive --  "one of the most unique figures to come before the public eye in Canada."

In later years articles with titles like "Weather Seer Still Not Matched" gave a rosy picture of his weather prophecies —"tornadoes and blizzards which he pinpointed … struck precisely when and where he warned!"

Newspaper Coverage

New York Times: Saturday, February 10 1883
Of course WIGGINS’S storm was a failure. Every sensible person knew that it was impossible that WIGGINS could foresee weeks in advance what sort of weather we should have on a given day. Nevertheless, there were thousands of people who, prior to yesterday, has a lurking faith in WIGGINS, and thought that perhaps he might be a true prophet. What WIGGINS really did was to take the chances that in a particularly stormy month there would be a storm on a given day. A timid prophet would have hedged, and instead of prophesying a storm on the 9th of February, would have prophesied a storm between the 7th and the 12th of the month. Such a prophet would very likely have hit the truth, but he would have received little credit for it, since nobody expects five consecutive days of pleasant weather in February. WIGGINS, on the other hand, selected the 9th of February, and no other day, as the date of his particular storm, knowing that if there should be a storm on that day his reputation would be made and no argument could shake the public faith in him. Had his prediction been fulfilled, probably half the people in this country would have believed in the terrible storm which he has also predicted for some day in March, and the approach of that day would have caused a real panic. WIGGINS knew that VENNOR had fallen into disrepute by making too cautious prophecies, and he resolved to stake everything on the success of a single prediction. Fortunately for the public peace of mind, he has failed, and henceforth he may prophesy ten hours a day without getting anybody to pay attention to him or to buy the almanac which bears his name.
The most curious feature of the WIGGINS incident – to speak after the manner of Frenchmen – is the unquestioning faith which the public has placed in the existence of WIGGINS. Even those who have doubted his prophecies have never doubted his existence. That there is some one who wrote the original WIGGINS prophecy of storms in March and February is undoubtedly true, for nothing – except, perhaps, a political speech in defense of protection – writes itself. But to believe that this unknown and utterly obscure writer of a newspaper paragraph is a great Canadian astronomer named WIGGINS, with a real telescope and a practical familiarity with transits of Venus, is impossible to any thinking man.
In the first place, "Wiggins" is clearly impossible. Even DICKENS could not make people believe in the existence of "Stiggins," and though the man would have been thought probable had he been called by almost any other name, he has always been regarded as a wild caricature simply because of his improbable name. There may be a "Higgins" who is an astronomer, and it is barely possible that there is a "Biggins" engaged say, in the livery-stable business, or possibly in the tinware trade. But when we are called upon to believe in a "Wiggins," too great a demand is made upon our credulity. No child crushed under the name of Wiggins could possibly reach maturity. Such a name would crush all ambition and interest in life out of a boy, and if by a chance a boy Wiggins ever did arrive at a man’s estate he would lose no time in formally changing his name and adopting a new one less offensive to decency and more worthy of belief.
Granting, for the sake of argument, that a Wiggins is possible, how can any one permit himself to believe in the existence of an astronomer Wiggins? An astronomer is a man who is sent at the cost of the nation on scientific picnics in connection with the transits of Venus, and who employs his time between successive transits in discovering new asteroids. No Wiggins ever went on an astronomical picnic. The astronomers engaged in such recreation are naturally careful in the selection of their associates. It is necessary that the public should believe that astronomy and not "junketing" is the ruling passion of observers of transits, and hence astronomers always wear names which give them an air of respectability. The presence of a Wiggins in a transit expedition would throw suspicion on the whole affair People would instantly say that the person calling himself Wiggins was clearly passing under an assumed name, and that instead of being a learned astronomer, he was, in all probability, a faro-dealer or a cornet-player hired by the real astronomers to aid in making their hours of relaxation pleasant. No person called Wiggins ever took part in a transit picnic, and hence we are very nearly justified in concluding that there is no astronomer of that name.
Moreover, the records of science may be challenged in vain to produce a single asteroid discovered by WIGGINS. The names of the discoverers of asteroids can be found in almost any almanac, but the name of WIGGINS is not among them, This pretended astronomer with the impossible name has never observed a transit of Venus, never discovered an asteroid, never quarrelled with another astronomer over the discovery of a new comet, and, in short, never given any signs of astronomical existence. The conclusion that there is no such astronomer as WIGGINS is inevitable, and it is a conclusion that every one ought to have arrived at long ago.
The impudence of the alleged WIGGINS is so great as to almost atone for his existence. The newspaper paragraph writer who conceived the idea of calling himself WIGGINS, of pretending to be an astronomer, and of prophesying a terrible storm for a fixed date has every qualification for making a brilliant success either as a plumber, a book agent, or a Congressman employed by Mr. ROACH to build up American shipping by forbidding Americans to own ships.
New York Times: Thursday, Feb 22, 1883
Scared by a Weather ProphetGLOUCESTER, M, Feb 21.—Wiggins’s prediction of a terrible storm from March 9 to 12 has deterred a number of Captains and crews (returned Georges Banks men) from making the next trip, which would bring them on the Banks at the time of the storm. The women are urging the men to stay at home, and it is feared that the idleness will become general among the Georges men, and the best time in the season for a good catch will be lost.
New York Times: Wednesday May 2, 1883
STONE WIGGINS, the Canadian seer, astrologist, and weather prophet, rises superior to fate. He would have us believe that he is really a WIGGINS, and actuary, and not a mere abstraction. He has written a letter, dated at OTTAWA, April 27, 1883, and sent out in proof-slips to the newspapers of the United States. This document is signed "E. STONE WIGGINS," as if this were the name of a real person. It has repeatedly been proved, to the complete satisfaction of scientific persons of various nationalities, and of various degrees of dullness, that there never was a WIGGINS. And even admitting, for the sake of illustration, that a man bearing that remarkable name did actually exist in science, it was demonstrated tot he satisfaction of the majority of the human race that if there was a WIGGINS, and he did really write prophecies which bore his name, he should have been called ANANIAS and not E. STONE. Nevertheless, here comes this preposterous person, claiming to be E. STONE WIGGINS, and pretending that his lying prophecies were fulfilled. We sometimes hear of a variety of assurance known as "brazen check." This is an example of adamant.
The special occasion for the appearance of the letter from the alleged WIGGINS is a proposition to make the usual annual appropriation for the Canadian Meteorological Bureau. Meteorological bureaus, WIGGINS incidentally remarks, are a failure, because they are "utterly unable to predict a single hour in advance the approach of a great and dangerous storm." This is a heavy indictment of meteorological bureaus. Without stopping to inquire as to its truth, we must see that the only safety of a world lying in meteorological darkness and ignorance is WIGGINS. Of what avail is it that the meteorological bureaus watch the course of storms, and note the variations of the wind gauge and the barometer? WIGGINS says that all of these are rubbish. One must study the stars and observe the planetary forces, if he would know what weather to expect from day to day. Our costly apparatus, the telegraphic lines that convey observations from point to point with the rapidity of lightning, and all the paraphernalia which scientific men have invented to grasp the subtle influences pervading the earth and its atmosphere, must be discarded. What we really need is a multiplication of WIGGINSES. In place of Signal Service observers, we should have a WIGGINS at each available station. The, and not until then, we shall be able to forecast the weather.
But the sublimity of assurance is reached when WIGGINS calmly proceeds to characterize his predicted cataclysm of March 9,10 and 11 as an accomplished fact. Canadian frigidity can be no cooler than this. The Wiggins prophecy is not yet two moons old. Even the tender children have not forgotten the direful catastrophes which the Canadian seer declared would fall upon this devoted sphere. There was to be a double procession of storms travelling across this continent from the Pacific to the Atlantic; tidal waves in the Indian Ocean and the bay of Bengal; tornadoes, hurricanes, and things generally going to everlasting smash. There was the usual harmless March gale. A vessel was wrecked, as vessels are wrecked every day in the year, and an old lady on the Bay of Chaleurs lost a whole week’s washing by the blow. And now, when, several greater and unheralded (by WIGGINS) storms have come and gone, WIGGINS lifts up his voice as blithely as if he not been threatened with death by the angry sea-farers whom he deceived. He chatters about the earth’s centre of gravity, the moon’s conjunction with the sun, and the attractive powers of heavenly bodies. WIGGINS lags superfluous. If there ever was a Wiggins, he is dead and buried fathoms deep. It is a gross impertinence that he should revisit the pale glimpses of the moon which he has slandered, His bones are marrowless; there is no speculation in his almanac ...
© 1999-2001, John D. Reid

Berton Hurlbert: CWGC Beechwood

On 7 March 1918 Flying Officer Cadet Berton Earl Hurlbert was killed in a flying accident at Benbrook Field while training at Camp Talinfero, Fort Worth, Texas.
The body was returned to Ottawa for burial with military honours from the family home at 141 Fourth Avenue on 14 March to Beechwood Cemetery.
He was born 19 March 1893 in Augusta Township, Grnville County, Ontario, the oldest son and second child of farmer Berton A. Hurlbert and Gussic Birks Hurlbert.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Harvest Your Family Tree Conference, Kelowna, 28-30 September 2018

Mary Read from the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society wrote to let me know that registration is now open for their Conference 2018.
They have a constellation of big name speakers: Blaine Bettinger,  Cyndi Ingle, Helen V. Smith, Dave Obee, Ottawa's own Lesley Anderson, and more.
It's a great time of year to visit British Columbia and the Okanagan with the average maximum temperature 18 C, minimum of 3 C, and fewer than 1 in 3 days with precipitation. Your experience may vary!

Find out all about the conference at

Game of Genes

The second video posted to YouTube from the Genetic Genealogy Ireland sessions in Belfast last month is Donna Rutherford's talk which was the final one of the conference. She creatively used Game of Thrones as a departure point for a variety of DNA-related topics which would not otherwise warrant a place in the event.

The visual quality as well as the content is good; the audio is a bit muddy.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Early Logging in Cumberland Township

Cumberland Township Historical Society will meet for a presentation on Wednesday, 7 March.

We know of the existence of three sawmills at the beginning of Cumberland Township’s history. We will review their existence, purpose and location and then jump to the 1861 census to identify the large scale logging that was going on then. 
The presentation is by Gérard Boyer and Thomas McNeely. 
7:00 p.m., Cumberland Branch of the the Ottawa Public Library.

Parking Charges at TNA

If you park at the UK National Archives be aware that under the innocuous heading "Changes to car parking at The National Archives’ site in Kew" TNA announces they are instituting charges for parking from 3 April 2018.
Why couldn't they be more straightforward and make the headline "Charges for car parking at The National Archives’ site in Kew instituted"?
Most of us don't go to TNA often enough to get worked up about it, but why a tiered charging scheme?
Up to two hours £2.50
Up to four hours £4.50
Over four hours £7.00
If I had a vote I'd opt for, say, a £1.00 per hour basis.

Find the TNA announcement at


Perhaps you've noticed I was quiet on the blog about RootsTech going on last week.

I went to RootsTech a few years ago and found it a fascinating experience. There were excellent talks, networking opportunities, a huge marketplace, American razzmatazz and hordes of folks at all levels of expertise. If you can't find something that appeals you're brain dead.

Trouble was it was just too much. I was only getting a small part of what was on offer, and it was so crowded on a couple of occasions I couldn't find a seat in the talk I'd chosen.

I'd rather attend a smaller more specialized event, like the Genetic Genealogy Ireland talks at Back to Our Past, Belfast, I recently returned from.

Then there's T****. When he was elected I decided to be selective about travel to the US. I'm not going to cut off my nose to spite my face but will need a compelling reason to travel there. I'd be more inclined to visit states that didn't vote for him, like New York, Colorado and California.

Airfare, accommodation, food and registration adds up. I'm not inclined to spend say $1,000 which goes to bolster the economy of T****'s America, especially states like Utah that voted for him.

Now the threat of starting a trade war doesn't help.

There are recording of some RootsTech sessions, including some that were not part of the live feed, available for replay through

I've not looked at any. If you have are there any you recommend?

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Gene-O-Rama 2018

13-14  April, Friday evening and Saturday, are the dates for the 2018, and 33rd edition of Gene-O-Rama.
It's not apparent unless you look at the mail-in form but there is a deadline of Friday 16 March for early-bird registration.
Those of us attending the BIFHSGO meeting that Saturday morning can register for a half-day at $20 at the early-bird rate, $23 thereafter.
Find information and links for the brochure and mail in form at

Which DNA Company?

At Saturday's Ottawa DNA special interest group we asked for a show of hands by those who had autosomal DNA test results as to where they could be found. That meant they'd either tested there or transferred results.

There are surprises.
Despite having the largest number of clients globally Ancestry does not top the list. Many group participants had experience going back several years, before Ancestry entered the market. FTDNA has frequently been represented at local conferences. And AncestryDNA does not accept uploads from other companies unlike most others.
LivingDNA being on a par with 23andMe likely reflects their presence at the OGS Conference in Ottawa last year whereas 23andMe has never had a presence at a family history conference in Ottawa (or Canada?).
MyHeritage, which was at the 2017 OGS conference, trails. That will likely change as the improved capabilities of the company analysis become apparent.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Bethnal Green Disaster

On this date, 3 March, in 1943, 173 Londoners, most of them women and children, were crushed and asphyxiated in the single deadliest British civilian Second World War disaster.

A middle-aged woman and a child descending into an air-raid  shelter fell over, three steps up from the base and others in the orderly flow of people down the blacked-out staircase from the street fell around her, tangled in an immovable mass which grew, as they struggled, to nearly 300 people. Read more at Wikipedia.


Friday, 2 March 2018

Important additions to MyHeritage

I hadn't expected to see the 1939 National Register for England and Wales  become available elsewhere than at Findmypast for several years, but MyHeritage has it - even if a transcription without images of the original. It's not quite a census, but does include exact birth dates.
Also released is a collection of 2 million Canadian obituaries post 1997, and a U.S. Yearbooks Name Index, 1890-1979 collection.

Here's the company press release.

March 02, 2018 04:10 PM Eastern Standard Time
TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MyHeritage, the leading global destination for family history and DNA testing, announced today the addition of three important historical records collections that provide value for family history enthusiasts worldwide.

MyHeritage releases new collections with 325 million historical records

1939 Register of England & Wales
Prepared on the eve of World War II, with 33 million searchable records, the 1939 Register is the most complete census-like collection for the population of England and Wales between 1911 and 1951. This is because the 1921 census of England and Wales is time-protected by privacy laws and will be available online only in 2022, the entire 1931 Census was destroyed by a fire, and no census was conducted in 1941. For each household member, the 1939 Register records name, gender, address, birth date, marital status, place of residence, and occupation. This collection is an extremely important resource for family historians and people with ancestors in England and Wales. The 1939 Register collection is not exclusive, but other than MyHeritage, it is currently available on only one other website. The initial collection on MyHeritage includes an index, without images.

Of the 42 million records of individuals in this collection, 8.2 million records remain closed due to privacy protection requirements, and about 700,000 additional records appear without full names. Records are closed for those individuals who were born less than 100 years ago unless matched to a registered death record. These closed records will be made public and added to this online collection on a yearly basis going forward.

U.S. Yearbooks Name Index, 1890-1979

In December 2017, MyHeritage published an extensive collection of U.S. yearbooks with 36,207,173 pages in 253,429 yearbooks. This collection was a free-text collection allowing users to search by name or keyword. Not stopping there, MyHeritage engineers have been working for the past year to develop an unprecedented automated name index from this collection. The fruit of this work is now released as a separate collection named the U.S. Yearbooks Name Index, 1890–1979. The new collection is one of the largest collections of digitized U.S. yearbooks in existence, containing 289 million structured records. In the new collection, the names of the students and faculty members have been automatically extracted using name extraction technology. The personal photos in the yearbooks have been automatically detected and extracted using picture detection technology, and in many cases the names and the photos have been associated with each other using a third proprietary technology developed by MyHeritage. Finally, technology has been developed to automatically differentiate between students and faculty members, to determine the graduation class of each student and to calculate birth years.

All occurrences of the same name in each yearbook were consolidated into one record with references to the pages where the person is mentioned. The end result is a one-of-a-kind structured U.S. yearbook collection in which names can be searched accurately (with synonyms and translations, which is often not possible in free-text collections), as well as matched automatically to the family trees on MyHeritage using the company’s Record Matching technology. This makes U.S. yearbooks one of the most valuable genealogical resources for family historians today, and this treasure trove of information is available in this unique and highly accessible form only on MyHeritage. The records list the person’s name, school’s name and location, and likely residence based on the location of the school. Where possible, a personal photo is provided. For each person, full access to all applicable yearbook pages is provided. Additional work is being carried out to complete the association of names with photos, and this will be released as an update to this collection in the future.

Canadian Obituaries

A collection of 2 million records documenting obituaries and memorials from the 10 Canadian provinces, spanning mostly 1997-2017. It includes the name of the deceased, the date of death, the publication source including locality information, and the text of the obituary or memorial — in English or French depending on the source. When available, a photograph of the deceased is also included.


“The depth and diversity of these hundreds of millions of historical records is a blessing for people searching for information about their families,” said Russ Wilding, Chief Content Officer of MyHeritage. “Aside from the release of the collections themselves, we have invested much effort and demonstrated technological innovation to make it as simple as possible to glean useful genealogical information from these historical records.”

The three new collections are accessible through SuperSearch™, MyHeritage’s search engine for historical records, which now contains 8.8 billion historical records. Searching the collections is free. A subscription is required to view the records.

Major Upgrade to MyHeritage Chromosome Browser

The following announcement is from MyHeritage.

The initial version of the MyHeritage Chromosome Browser, released in January 2018, was a one-to-one chromosome browser. It displays DNA segments shared by you with one DNA Match.
The new One-to-Many Chromosome Browser, with its support for indicating triangulated segments, is an exciting addition to MyHeritage’s growing arsenal of useful tools for genetic genealogy. The tool is completely free.

Also new is the ability to export the list of DNA Matches, along with several other export capabilities.
Please see the full press release here:

Forthcoming Family History Books

The following are listed on as being published in the next two months.

The Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide: How to Find Your Ancestors in Archived Newspapers
by James M Beidler
Published 20 Mar 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 38474.0 KB
Print Length: 240 pages
Publisher: Family Tree Books
For US newspapers, already available in North America.

Street-Wise Guide to Doing Your Family History
by Teviot, (Lady) Mary
Published 29 Mar 2018
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Edward Everett Root Publishers Co. Ltd

Publishers Summary: This unusual book stands out in a crowded field. a It provides practical, expert, insider-knowledge. It includes a full guide to current websites. It offers many tips, short-cuts and helps to access the evidence you need. And to understandings of what this means. It is rooted in the many years of day-to-day enquiries in family history by the noted international expert Lady Teviot. It will be invaluable to the beginner and of great value to the more knowledgeable. It will help you rapidly to become street-wise' in what will be a complex but fascinating personal endeavour.

Review by Christopher Whittick, East Sussex County Archivist: "Lady Teviot has distilled over half a century's experience of family history research into this detailed yet highly approachable guide. Her style engages the reader from the outset, and succeeds in conveying a wealth of information through combining clearly-presented fact with details of her own genealogical journey, which has taken her from a beginner to a researcher with an international reputation. Every aspect of family history is covered, with hints and short cuts which will smooth the beginner's path in what can be a treacherous field. And don't think this book is just for the inexperienced – I have been working with records for over 40 years and as well as enjoying some new family history anecdotes, learnt much about the record sources which some of us take for granted. You may not be a Street-wise genealogist when you embark on this book, but you certainly will be when you finish it."

Tracing Your Georgian Ancestors 1714-1837: A Guide for Family Historians (Tracing Your Ancestors)
by John Wintrip
Published 30 Mar 2018
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
Publishers Summary: The Georgian period - 1714 to 1837 - was a key stage in our modern history so some understanding of it is essential for family historians who want to push their research back into the eighteenth century and beyond, and John Wintrip's handbook is an invaluable introduction to it. In a sequence of concise, insightful chapters he focuses on those aspects of the period that are particularly relevant to genealogical research and he presents a detailed guide to the variety of sources that readers can consult as they pursue their research. While fewer sources are available than for more recent history, obstacles in the way of further research can often be overcome through knowledge of a wide range of sources and a greater understanding the historical context, together with the use of sound research techniques. So the author provides not only a historical overview of relevant topics but he also describes the records of the period in detail. This expert guide to researching the Georgians will open up the field for experienced researchers and for newcomers alike.

Tracing Your Ancestors: Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk: A Guide For Family Historians
by Gill Blanchard
Published 30 Apr 2018
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Pen & Sword Family History
Publishers Summary: Gill Blanchard's practical and informative handbook will help you to trace your ancestors in the traditional counties of East Anglia Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex and it will give you an insight into their lives. As well as guiding the researcher to historical records held in all the relevant archives, she explores the wealth of other resources that add the 'flesh to the bones' of our ancestors' lives. She describes how fascinating information can be discovered about the places they lived in and the important historical events they lived through, and she traces the life stories of notable people from all backgrounds who shaped the regions development over the centuries. Her account highlights the diversity of this part of England but also focuses on its common features and strong sense of identity. It introduces a wide array of research resources that will be revealing for readers who want to find out about their ancestors who lived here.

Answering a Query: "Your Genealogy Today: March/April 2018"

My copy of the new Your Genealogy Today appeared in my mailbox today and having just read it I'm taking the opportunity to respond to the comment posted by Sophronia to the previous post.

As this appears to be a primarily US publication, although they have offices in Ajax, ON, I am wondering if someone who subscribes can tell me if it has enough Canadian and Worldwide (UK) content to be worth the price of a subscription.
Your Genealogy Today is from Canada-based and owned Moorshead Magazines. The staff is Canadian.
It is circulated widely in the US and major content is written by US authors. Ten of the 12 authors in this issue are US based, one in Canada, one Wales.
Of the two longest articles, US-authored, one is entirely on Irish research, the other includes sources for immigrant origin information which could be useful beyond North Carolina--the article's subject.
Some of the other content is generic, not country specific, such as articles on gazetteers, a humorous article on not buying books, and advice on finding information in legal notices in newspapers.
In any magazine it's rare that every article appeals as you read the table of contents. I might buy a magazine if I find an article or two appealing, then with it in hand go on to find interesting content in other articles where I didn't expect it.
Only you can judge whether the content is worth the price for you.  Give it a try. Pick up a copy at a newsstand, or perhaps your local public library has a subscription.

Monthly backup nag

A gentle reminder.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Ottawa DNA Group Meeting

This Saturday, 3 March, the BIFHSGO sponsored DNA group will be meeting at 9:30 am at the Ottawa City Archives, 100 Tallwood. All welcome.
I've been asked to give an update on the Back to Our Past (BTOP) conference in Belfast in February. The sessions were live streamed through the Genetic Genealogy Ireland Facebook group where an archive is available.
Better quality videos of presentations online are being uploaded to YouTube by Maurice Gleeson. The first, Debbie Kennett speaking on the DNA analysis of Titanic victims buried in Nova Scotia, is now online.

Also on the meeting schedule, in response to a member request, is watching a video on How to Create a Mirror Tree and discussion the pros and cons of this approach.
There will be a round table discussion with remaining time.

Findmypast adds address search to UK census records

Findmypast's UK census records address search is now available across all British censuses from 1841 to 1911.
To search for an address rather than a person, select 'Address' from the 'Person/Address' toggle switch at the top of the specific census search screen. Find out more here.
It appears a similar address search can be conducted on Ancestry, certainly for 1881 and 1911, perhaps others.

Your Genealogy Today: March/April 2018

Here are the contents of the issue from the company website. No comments as yet as my copy is delayed.

COVER STORY: Hints from Houdini 
Sue Lisk reveals five recommendations for fine-tuning your family history research techniques

Grave Understanding
Elizabeth Jones offers tips to assist you in your cemetery research at home and afar

Return to Your Sources
Joe Grandinetti revisits his Irish roots, but reminds us of the importance of reconnecting to our sources

Language & Genealogy
Gena Philibert-Ortega looks at the Gazetteer

Electricity and Family History
David A. Norris looks at some fresh angles to generate new power for your genealogical research

Do You Have Tar Heels in Your Family Tree?
Diane L. Richard looks at history and record idiosyncrasies you want to know about – Part 1

Family History With All the Trimmings
Sue Lisk suggests that following up on strange details you come across in your research may yield some tantalizing clues

Researching the Scots-Irish of 18th Century Virginia
David Joyce uses traditional research methods and DNA testing to prove his Scots-Irish ancestry

Genealogy & the Law
Judy G. Russell says: “Read the fine print in legal notices”

Genealogy Research: Then and Now
John Christopher Fine looks at how the passion of family history research can be passed down through the generations

The Back Page
Dave Obee suggests solving your genealogical puzzles is a never-ending pursuit

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

RootsTech Discounts

MyHeritage is selling DNA kits at RootsTech for $49 US,  and subscriptions with a 50% discount!

I suspect there's some fierce competition!

Interesting that while local LDS events are strictly non-commercial RootsTech is unabashedly so.


A Red Letter Day for Genealogy at LAC and OPL

Celebrate. The budget document tabled on 27 February contains a paragraph:

A New Partnership Between Library and Archives
Canada and the Ottawa Public Library
The Government also proposes to provide $73.3 million over six years, on a cash basis, starting in 2018–19, with $4.0 million per year ongoing, to support the construction and ongoing operations of a new joint facility that will house Library and Archives Canada and the Ottawa Public Library. This represents the Government’s share of the project, with the balance expected to be provided by the City of Ottawa. This new building will be an iconic community hub, a single door to the national library and archives, and a
world-class public library in Canada's capital city which will increase citizen participation in the community and improve access to Canada's history, culture and collective knowledge. It is expected that the new building will be completed by 2023.

The document contains a funding profile for the capital initiative starting in FY 2018/19 at $4 million, increasing to $12 million in 19/20, and about $18 million for the next three years for a total of $71 million.

There's a bit more detail included in this item from the Ottawa Citizen. When the proposal was originally presented genealogy was to be the major LAC component.

British Newspaper Archive additions for February

The British Newspaper Archive now has  24,209,059 pages (23,733,593 pages last month).
The single largest addition was 235,040 pages of the Daily Mirror for 1947-1979.
A surprising number of additions this month, 89, were for a single year. 40 for the year 1911, 27 for 1958 and 16 for 1874.
The 108 (31 last month) papers with new pages online this month, including these 9 new to the collection
Armagh Standard; Bromyard News; Congleton & Macclesfield Mercury, and Cheshire General Advertiser; Chepstow Mercury, Volunteers' Gazette, Monmouthshire & South Wales Advertiser; Evesham Journal; Loughborough Echo; North Star and Farmers' Chronicle; The Social Review (Dublin, Ireland).

Family Tree March 2018

Here, with publisher's permission, is a full listing of the contents of the March issue of Family Tree magazine (UK):

Family history news
Latest news with Karen Clare, including the unveiling of a moving memorial to those caught up in the worst civilian disaster of WW2, evidence of tea-drinking trailblazers from 1644, and HMS Belfast turns 80.
Dear Tom
Get your monthly fix of genealogical gems and funnies with Tom Wood.
Discover how to create a website (& the rewards in store for you)
Join professional website developer Paul Carter to learn how to create your own family history pages online - and the benefits you can reap by doing so.
How to organise a family history day
Find out how to plan a successful family history event with this handy guide from David Gynes of Dorset Family History Society, which is celebrating its 30th year.
(Comment: 2 pages in point form. Are there best practices here your society could adopt?)
The rise & demise of the Stuart family 1603-1714
Be inspired to trace your ancestral lines back to the 17th century with Steve Roberts’s fascinating account of the history and family tree of the Stuart monarchs of England, Scotland and Wales.
Top tools for Irish family history research 
Helen Tovey rounds up 10 useful resources to help you research your roots back to the Emerald Isle and a heritage to be proud of.
Create a Dig for Victory garden
Grab your garden spade before joining Kath Garner as she looks back to the time when growing your own veg was part of the British war effort.
The lunch-hour genealogist
Squeeze just 60 minutes of family history into your daily routine and you’ll soon see your tree start to blossom. Get cracking with Rachel Bellerby's suggested projects and genealogical crossword fun.
Scottish inheritance part 2:
Who could inherit a house?
Chris Paton takes an in-depth look at the records documenting inheritance of a house and land in Scotland.
Spotlight on The Channel Islands Family History Society
If you have ancestors in the Channel Islands, and particularly Jersey, you can find information and invaluable advice through The Channel Islands Family History Society. Mary Billot explains.
Become an online super sleuth!
Discover the best ways to mine the major family history websites to find your folk with our exclusive guide. Rachel Bellerby asked experts from the genealogy giants to give their top search tips.
(Comment: Ideas from Ancestry, FamilySearch, FreeBMD/FreeREG/FreeCEN, Findmypast and, TheGenealogist.)
Finding clues in your family photo albums
Jayne Shrimpton reveals the ancestor-hunting clues tucked away in our old family picture collections.
Giving a voice to mothers of the Great War 
When researching WW1 ancestors it’s often the men we know most about. But what about the mothers left behind? As we celebrate Mother's Day, Jacqueline Wadsworth reveals ways to hear their hidden voices.
(Comment: a reminder that as resources were targetted at the war effort women caring for children while their husbands were away, and attempting to keep up appearances, had an especially challenging time.)
Techy tips for family historians
Make the most of digital devices, websites, apps and gadgets, with genealogical web guru Paul Carter.
Family Tree Subscriber Club
Don't miss this issue’s exclusive competitions and discounts for subscribers to Family Tree.
Safe deposit
This issue in her monthly website spotlight, Julie Goucher delves into the resources in the Royal Bank of Scotland Heritage Hub.
(Comment: RBS has the archives for several banks which it acquired. Illustrated with a photo of a half-farthing coin I never knew existed.)
Documenting your sources
Just starting out on your family history? Don’t let your enthusiasm hamper your future efforts. Simon Wills explains how to keep your exciting findings on track.
Family Tree Academy
Improve your family history research skills with our Family Tree Academy, which has case studies to research, old documents to decipher and answers to last issue’s challenges. Tutor David Annal takes you through your genealogical paces.
Enjoy some of the latest genealogical reads with Karen Clare.
Your Q&As: advice
Get top family history help with Mary Evans, David Frost, Jayne Shrimpton and guest experts.
Latest exploits from our tree-tracing diarist Gill Shaw.
Diary Dates
Find family history exhibitions, courses and events for your calendar this March.
Your entertaining and informative letters and Keith Gregson’s Snippets of War, plus crossword answers.
Coming next in Family Tree
Your adverts 
Thoughts on...
Diane Lindsay has the results of her Ancestry DNA test, but what will it mean for her research?
(Comment: The only item in the magazine dealing with DNA!)
Family Tree paper editions are sold from: and the  digital edition from: These are not affiliate links.