Tuesday, 12 December 2017

BIFHSGO Conference 2018: call for presentation proposals

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa is soliciting proposals for presentations at its 24th annual conference to be held in Ottawa, Ontario in September 2018
(dates to be announced in January).

Main conference sessions take place on Saturday and Sunday, with workshops or seminars on Friday.

This conference will focus on two main themes, plus other areas of interest:

• Scottish family history
• Genetic genealogy

• Family history-related topics, such as military, immigration, technology, photographs.

BIFHSGO seeks proposals on these topics for lectures on Saturday and Sunday, as well as for workshops or seminars Friday.

A lecture is expected to be about 60 minutes in length, followed by a 10 to 15-minute question period. A workshop or seminar should last three hours.

Please send proposals to conference@bifhsgo.ca before January 31, 2018.

Each proposal must be submitted using the conference proposal form that includes:

  • Your full name, postal address, telephone number, and email address;
  • Format of the proposed presentation:
    - a lecture (or several lectures) during the conference on Saturday and Sunday. 
    - a seminar or hands-on workshop on Friday.
  • Presentation title (nine-word maximum);
  • An abstract of up to 200 words describing the presentation;
  • A 50-word description of your presentation for the conference brochure;
  • A 100-150 word biography;
  • Whether your presentation would be aimed at genealogists working at the beginner,
     intermediate, or advanced (specialist) level;
  • Your audiovisual requirements.

Comment: Over the years BIFHSGO has presented top genealogists at its conferences. This year will be no exception. In past years, when I've been on the program committee, proposals from members and others locally have been especially welcome.


FamilySearch adds Devon and Hampshire Bishop's Transcripts

England, Devon Bishop's Transcripts, 1558-1887; 379,189 records from 524 parishes. See the coverage table.

England, Hampshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1680-1892; 849,707 records. There is no coverage table for this collection. A list of all parishes in Hampshire is at www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Hampshire_Parishes.

These are further collections where you can see the transcribed record freely, but need to be a LDS Church member, or go to a Family History Centre or an accredited library to see the image of the original.

A reminder that both Devon and Hampshire have OPCs. What's that you ask? An Online Parish Clerk, an unpaid volunteer willing to help others with their genealogical research. They collect, collate and transcribe records for various parishes within their respective areas. Find a list at www.ukbmd.org.uk/online_parish_clerk.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Ancestry's UK, Electoral Registers, 2003-2010

Tracing relatives down to (almost) the present day is less of a challenge if you have a phone book or electoral register. So Ancestry's database, new and updated, with 65,219,361 records from UK electoral registers is welcome. One-namers and those seeking DNA matches will find it particularly valuable.
You can search by names, approximate birth year, location and keyword, which could include street name. When searching by location I suggest choosing from the drop-down list as you type as the search seems sensitive to the format.
There are no images, likely the original is digital. To find all the electors in a household search for a known person then use the address to find the others.

The BIFHSGO Match the Picture Challenge

A fun part of the BIFHSGO meeting on Saturday, before the Great Moments presentations, was the challenge of matching each of eight director's photographs to that of an ancestor or blood relative.
About 160 people were at the meeting and something like half participated. Nobody got all 8 right, nor 7, 6, 5, nor 4. Three people got three correct. If they were just guessing how many would be expected to guess three correctly?

Using the binomial distribution the bar chart shows with random guessing you'd expect on average one out of the 80 participants to get three correct. On average there's only a 10% chance of anyone of the 80 guessing four or more correctly.

Perhaps three people with three correct answers rather than the one expected shows skill. Or perhaps this is an example of a 5 per cent chance of there being three correct guesses among 80 people. The audience reaction suggested to me that one of the matches was easier to discern than the others.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Farewell Bytown or Bust

On Sunday, 10 December Al Lewis posted the following message on his Facebook group.

"Good morning, all: After 52 years of working, I have decided it is time to retire. I will not be doing any further historical or genealogical research but will still be monitoring this Facebook group. In general, I need a rest and a change from working and need to spend some time pursuing other, less time-consuming interests. This group expanded rapidly and I did not anticipate how many posts and e-mails it would generate - between my website at www.bytown.net and this present facebook group, there is simply too much work. The web site will still be available for researchers of history and genealogy in the Ottawa, Canada area, but it will not be updated any longer. It has been a pleasure to work with you all and I will still be around but will not be posting new material here.  ... Allan Lewis, Ottawa, Canada."

Thank you Al for the tremendous contribution you have made to the local historical and genealogical community. Your contributions will be missed. Thank you also for ensuring the website will continue to be available.

Shane Wilson adds more useful Irish tools and content

Claire Santry's Irish Genealogy News points to updates at Shane Wilson's website at swilson.info. Recent additions are census and BMD browse tools and a scanned booklet of Telephone Subscribers of Ireland 1900-1901.
Check out Claire's blog post.

Genealogists’ Magazine: December 2017

The December issue of Genealogists’ Magazine from the Society of Genealogists, dropped in my mailbox earlier this week.
As usual, after reading the Chairman's message I turned first to the list of books newly acquired by the SOG library, a couple are also the subject of book reviews in the issue.
Family First: tracing relationships in the past, by Symes, Ruth A.
The secret world of the Victorian lodging house, by O’Neill, Joseph.
I noticed one of the articles by Malcolm Noble, a crime writer mentioned earlier this year. In Why was Hannah Bowyer guilty? he writes "By studying one murder case in detail, this essay will demonstrate the strength and depth of the value of genealogy. Secondly, it will suggest a new line of enquiry which the Victorian sleuths might have followed in this case. Thirdly, it will show how laying the genealogy across the facts of a case can provide an insight to the social and criminal culture of a community."

I also read Anthony Camp's article George Gair (or Sutherland) a case showing why why Burke's genealogies should not be relied upon.

The other articles I've yet to delve into are:
Scandal, slander and seduction: Judy Kimber
John Wood, Master of the Peregrine: Michael M. Wood
The Burt Family of St Kitts and Nevis: Chris Birch
The Bailey Brothers: Benefactors of Bells: Adrial Walton

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Fine-scale Irish Genetic Genealogy

Two articles on Irish genetic genealogy in one day!

The first, heralded by news release from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, marks the publication of The Irish DNA Atlas: Revealing Fine-Scale Population Structure and History within Ireland. This is the peer reviewed article of material previously presented by lead author Edmund Gilbert in genetic genealogy sessions at Back to Our Past (Dublin) and Who Do you Think You Are? Live (Birmingham).

Based on data collected from 194 Irish individuals with four generations of ancestry linked to specific regions in Ireland, and complementary data from the UK and continental Europe,
"We show that the Irish population can be divided in 10 distinct geographically stratified genetic clusters; seven of ‘Gaelic’ Irish ancestry (surprisingly faithful to the historical boundaries of Irish Provinces and kingdoms), and three of shared Irish-British ancestry. In addition we observe a major genetic barrier to the north of Ireland in Ulster. Using a reference of 6,760 European individuals and two ancient Irish genomes, we demonstrate high levels of North-West French-like and West Norwegian-like ancestry within Ireland. We show that that our ‘Gaelic’ Irish clusters present homogenous levels of ancient Irish ancestries. We additionally detect admixture events that provide evidence of Norse-Viking gene flow into Ireland, and reflect the Ulster Plantations."
The second article comes as a yet unreviewed preprint Insular Celtic population structure and genomic footprints of migration. 991 Irish individuals DNA was available from a health database, they were not selected to limit geographic origins which was available for 544 of the samples in the form of donor home address. 23 discrete genetic clusters were found which segregate with geographical provenance.

The studies differ in where they place Orkney results, the first with the Irish group, the second with the British. Also the second study shows South Munster separating much sooner from the Irish group than the first study.

These results provide more geographic granularity in Ireland than presently available from the commercial DNA test companies. LivingDNA has an Ireland group and one bridging Ulster and Scotland. Their own Ireland project is ongoing. AncestryDNA recognize three broad clusters, Ulster, Connacht, and Munster sub-divided into 16 genetic communities the definition of which depends on more than DNA. FamilyTreeDNA has a single group for the UK and Ireland. MyHeritage has a single Irish, Scottish, and Welsh group.



Findmypast weekly update

British Army, Imperial War Museum Bond Of Sacrifice 1914-1918, has 18,105 results, many with links to images such as this of Captain Edward Kenelm Digby DSO MC of the Coldstream Guards.
Commissioned Officers predominate with 7,176 Lieutenants and 2nd Lieutenants, 3,328 Captains and 1,346 Majors. There are 819 NCOs and about 2,800 Privates, Sappers, Gunners and similar.
Although the database title is British Army 1,029 served with Canadian forces, 1,492 the Australian.

The largest single addition this week is over 49,000 new probate index cards to the Kent Wills & Probate Indexes 1328-1890. The contents consists of records from seven different ecclesiastical Church of England courts across the county and was compiled from the West Kent Probate index 1750-1890, West Kent Probate Index 1440-1857, Kent Inventories 1571-1842 and Kent Will Abstracts 1328-1691.

Other additions for Kent are over 13,000 baptism records and over 10,000 burial records for the parishes of Meopham, Luddesdown, Cobham, Nurstead and Ifield. There also more than 3,000 new marriage records and 400 new banns records.


TheGenealogist adds Outbound Passenger Lists for the 1930s

The following is a press release from TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist has just released over 2.7 million BT27 records for the 1930s. These Outbound Passenger Lists are part of an expanding immigration and emigration record set on TheGenealogist that feature the historical records of passengers who sailed out of United Kingdom ports in the years between 1930 and 1939. With the release of this decade of records, the already strong Immigration, Emigration, Naturalisation and passenger list resources on TheGenealogist have been expanded again. 

The fully searchable BT27 records from The National Archives released today will allow researchers to:

      Discover potential family members travelling together using TheGenealogist’s SmartSearch. This unique system is able to recognise family members together on the same voyage. In this situation it will display a family icon which allows you to view the entire family with one click.
      Find people travelling to America, Canada, India, New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere in the Passenger lists of people departing by sea from the United Kingdom.
      View images of the original passenger list documents that had been kept by the Board of Trade's Commercial and Statistical Department and its successors.
      Discover the ages, last address and where the passenger intended to make their permanent residence.
      These fully indexed records allow family historians to search by name, year, country of departure, country of arrival, port of embarkation and port of destination.


Those with ancestors who sailed from Britain in the 1930’s will welcome this fascinating new release from TheGenealogist, which adds to their current Emigration records, now totalling over 19 million and dating back to 1896. 

Comment: 
Findmypast has Passenger Lists Leaving UK 1890-1960 with 24,113,155 records.
Ancestry has UK, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960 with 23,768,544 records.
MyHeritage has a collection British & Irish Passenger Lists 1890 with abstracts of all passenger lists for sailings in 1890 from British & Irish ports with US and Canadian destinations, 193,995 records.
FamilySearch has no corresponding collection.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Ancestry adds Huntingdonshire, England, Extracted Church of England Parish Records, 1559-1836

Huntingdonshire, England, Extracted Church of England Parish Records, 1559-1836 is a small collection by Ancestry standards, just 10,118 records.
It appears to only contain marriage records, typically transcripts of name, gender, marriage date, marriage place and spouse name. There is no image of the original; these may be available through FamilySearch.

Registration for OGS conference 2018 now open

You can read all about and register for the next Ontario Genealogical Society conference, 1-2 June 2018, in Guelph here. There are a variety of affordable accommodation options. It's always wise to book early to secure your preference.

Are Perceptions Reality?

The Ipsos' Perils of Perception 2017 Survey looks at the gap between people's perception and the reality in 38 countries, and examines why people around the world are so wrong about basic facts about their population.
In general we’re often unduly pessimistic.
Our brains process negative information differently - it sticks with us and affects how we see realities. A few high profile examples bias our perception of the true situation.
The survey indicates 55% of people perceive people's health as good or very good, but actually 74% say their health is good or very good, a gap of 19% worse. In Canada the gap in the survey is 28% worse in perception than reality.
This negative bias is likely the basis of the opinions of the well meaning folks who perceive, on the basis of a few horrific cases, that many home children were ill treated. The perception, if repeated often enough, becomes the reality for many.