Sunday, 25 September 2016

BIFHSGO Conference Videos Online

Now available, to members only, are videos of 11 presentations from the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa conference 2016. By alphabetical order of presenter they are:

Kyle Betit
Advances in Irish Research Over the Last Five Years
Irish Land Records
Irish Sources You May Never Have Considered
Using Canadian and US Records for Your Irish Research

Leanne Cooper
Adventures in Genetic Genealogy: Who Were Charlotte Richardsons Parents?

Maurice Gleeson
A Sense of Place; A Sense of Self
Connecting with Cousins Through Autosomal DNA
DNA and Genealogy: Everything You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask
Researching Your Irish Family History from the Comfort of Your Home

Niall Keogh
Easter 1916, a Family Affair

Rick Moody
Adventures in Genetic Genealogy: Moody DNA – Irish Glenns?

Handouts or copies of slides for some conference presentations are at the same members only location.

Thanks are due to John McConkey for organizing capturing and editing of the videos.

Glenn Wright speaks to Ukrainian Genealogy Group September Meeting

"The Ruryk Family in Canada: Research Challenge, Research Success” is the topic for BIFHSGO past president Glenn Wright's presentation to the Ukrainian Genealogy Group of the National Capital Region on Tuesday 27 September.
This presentation will describe both the challenge and success that he has had in researching his Ukrainian ancestors. He feared that his inability to speak or read Ukrainian would be an insurmountable obstacle, but using traditional genealogical resources, he has been able to document, in considerable detail, the story of his Ruryk family who emigrated from Galicia to rural Alberta prior to the Great War. Glenn will demonstrate his successful use of archival and published resources in his search for his Ukrainian roots..
This meeting will takes place at 7:30 pm at the St John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Hall, 952 Green Valley Drive, Ottawa. All welcome.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

World Wars and naming patterns

Rockstar Genealogist, #1 in England. Scotland and Wales, Kirsty Gray has picked up on a Skype conversation we had a few days ago to look at some unusual first names, something she has an amusing lecture on.
Read her blog post at

Toronto Branch OGS September Meeting

Cutting edge Toronto genealogist Paul Jones is the speaker for the Monday 26 September branch meeting main presentation  I’m not a Jones, but what am I?
The story of researching two successive generations of patrilineal illegitimacy to identify the hitherto unknown fathers and my “true” surname. This account involves a 25-year research odyssey and uses family oral history (and misinformation), all the usual and some not-so-usual documents, the patient advice of the late Ryan Taylor, a remarkable but puzzling Y-DNA test, and the power of autosomal DNA testing and segment matching.
The meeting starts at 7:30 pm at Eglinton St George's United Church, 35 Lytton Blvd, Toronto. Unfortunately it will not be live steamed.

There is also a mini-presentation by Ann Brown & Beth Adams: Indomitable Granny Brown/Auntie Belle

Check out the Toronto Branch website for other activities this fall.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Findmypast adds Cheshire Vital Records Browse 1500-1991

Over 584,000 records of baptisms, marriages, and burials are in this browse collection for the English county of Cheshire churches and chapels. It's not just Church of England. Records available include: Baptist, Congregational, Methodist New Connexion, Primitive Methodist, Roman Catholic, Society Of Friends, Unitarian, United Methodist, United Methodist Free Church, United Reformed, Wesleyan Methodist, and Zion Primitive Methodist; that's not quite A to Z for 511 separate places of worship.

Picking one at random, there are four registers for Chorley (Alderley Edge), St Philip.
Baptisms, 1853-1900,  134 images
Baptisms, 1853-1924, 146 images
Combined Register, 1866-1892, 104 images
Marriages, 1866-1914, 255 images

News from Ottawa City Archives

Grace Lewis is leading what she anticipates will be a two year project to amalgamate the BIFHSGO and Ottawa Branch OGS libraries. Culling collections of newsletters from other organizations so that only the most recent five years are retained has already reduced shelf space needed. A volunteer has offered to take change of the Scottish collection amalgamation and, later, the same will be undertaken for other parts of the collection. Three volunteers start next week working on amalgamating the catalogs.

While the City Archives is not a library all archives hold publications. An example of why is the most recent addition to the archives collection, Marion Dewar: A Life of Action by Deborah Gorham of the Department of History at Carleton University was launched on Wednesday at the Ottawa's Writer's Festival at a standing room only event at Ottawa City Hall. The City Archives was a major resource for the research behind this biography of a highly respected former mayor.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

LAC Wallot-Sylvestre lecture: 18 October

Hervé Lemoine, Head Curator, Heritage of France is next in a parade of prestigious speakers at 395 Wellington in the Wallot-Sylvestre lecture series. His topic is: Archives, Privacy, and Digital: A Dangerous Combination?

The LAC press release is:

In the digital age, could archives—recognized by UNESCO as a fundamental resource and function in our democracy—pose a danger to citizens’ privacy?

It’s a complex situation. The digital transformation of society now makes it possible to disseminate and access an historically unprecedented volume of information. At the same time, citizens are calling for their personal data to be protected, sometimes even demanding that they be expunged from the public domain.

To meet that challenge, archivists need to come up with regulatory and ethical solutions to reassure citizens, while upholding the right of access to information in the interests of historical research and future generations.

Hervé Lemoine will address this issue in a lecture in Ottawa, on October 18. The presentation is part of the Wallot-Sylvestre lecture series organized by Library and Archives Canada. These lectures promote the exchange of ideas in fields such as library science, information science, archival science, and history.

Hervé Lemoine, Head Curator, Heritage of France, assumed the duties of Director, Archives of France, within the Ministry of Culture and Communication, in 2010. He is a Commander of Arts and Letters and a Knight of the French Legion of Honour.

Free public event
"Archives, Privacy and Digital"

Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 1:30 pm. to 3:30 p.m.
395 Wellington Street, Ottawa

To register, please email:

Ottawa Branch OGS September Meeting

This Saturday at 1:30 pm Branch Chair Doug Gray is the featured speaker on "Research on a soldier who died in the Battle of the Somme"
"September 2016 is 100 years since the death of Charles Alexander Gray, a Private in 28th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, who died in the Battle of the Somme, WWI.  Charles Alexander Gray is a Grand Uncle to Doug Gray.  Doug will present the research he has done on his Grand Uncle, talk about the military documents he has found and his visit to the war grave of Charles Alexander Gray and to Vimy Ridge in Northern France."
 The venue is the Ottawa City Archives at 100 Tallwood.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Find Faithful Ancestors at TheGenealogist

New at is a collection of records pertaining to adherents to various religions. From TheGenealogist press release these are:

● The Year Book of The Church of England in the Dominion of Canada
1926 & 1935 ​­ These year books contain the details of the members of
clergy in Canada.
● New Zealand Methodist Union Index 1913​ ­ Listing details of Methodist
Ministers and their placements in New Zealand up to 1912.
● Catholic Directory 1867 & 1877​ ­  Directories of Catholic Clergy with
addresses for England, Scotland and Wales.
● Biographical Dictionary of English Catholics 1534 to 1885​ ­ This work by
Joseph Gillow gives biographies of prominent Catholics which often include
details of their family, education and achievements.
● Shropshire Roman Catholic Registers 1763 - ­1837
● The Roman Catholics in the County of York 1604
● Various Catholic Record Society volumes​ ­ These include a variety of
interesting records including various Catholic Church registers, memoirs and
letters of prominent Catholics and Recusant Rolls.
● Jewish Year Books 1896 - ­99, 1901­ - 8, 1910­ - 11, 1918­ - 21, 1925, and
1928­ - 39​ ­ These year books list the details of prominent people within each
synagogue, obituaries, Jewish officers in the Army, Navy and Auxiliary
Forces, Ministers, MPs, Peers, and even Jewish 'Celebrities' of the time.
● Jewish Synagogue Seatholders in London for 1920, 1922, 1925, 1927,
1929, 1931, 1933, 1937
● The Clergyman's Almanack 1821 & 1822​ ­ These Almanacks list
archbishops, bishops, dignitaries, MPs and Peers.
● Register of Missionaries 1796 - ­1923​ ­ A register of the missionaries and
deputations of the London Society of Missionaries. This book includes many
details about each missionary, as well as listing their wives (including their
maiden name).
● Durham Diocesan Calendar 1931

These records compliment an already wide range of religious occupational records
such as Cox's Clergy Lists and Crockford's Clerical Directories, Jewish Seatholders,
Catholic Registers, and Directories already on TheGenealogist.

Thanls to Nick Thorne for the information.

LAC and the Results of the Coltman Project

Recently LAC experimented with a crowdsource transcription project using 534 page images of The Coltman Report, 1818–Inquiry into the Offences Committed at the Battle of Seven Oaks. 
Those who tried transcription found it fairly easy, the project was completed quickly. What was LAC's experience with the project, what lessons were learned? Will there be further transcription projects?

I spoke to Melanie Brown, the manager responsible for this and some other digitization initiatives at LAC.  She commented that the Coltman project was completed in three weeks, much more quickly than anticipated, especially given it was during the summer. As transcribers were anonymous she wanted me to pass along thanks to those who helped, including those who heard about the project through this blog.

Two people at LAC are in the final stages of verifying the transcriptions and a top priority now, following an evaluation meeting, will be to get the project transcription online and searchable without delay.

Other fonds are being considered from crowdsource transcription, one early item being the 100 page diary of Susan Agnes, second wife of Prime Minister John A. Macdonald. Would that be a good choice?

LAC hope to use the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Confederation to similarly crowdsource transcribe other archival material for prominent Canadians.

Transcription initiatives at NARA and of the Royal BC Museum provided models that LAC learned from in initiating the Coltman project. If you're anxious to participate in further Canadian transcription immediately you may be interested in the Royal BC Museum current projects.
Reverend Robert J. Roberts Journals and DiariesInquests and Inquiries relating to Chinese CanadiansJournals and DiariesFirst World War Letters, Diaries and Scrapbooks
Look for an announcement this November of a major new LAC digitization initiative.