Tuesday, 27 June 2017

TNA Webinar: Reading old documents: Introduction to Medieval and Tudor palaeography

Part II of this three part webinar from The UK National Archives will be streamed live on Wednesday, 28 June 2017 at 6 pm BST, that's 1 pm EDT.
The webinar series covers basic skills required to read handwriting from the past, and some tips and tricks to help you get to grips with original documents.
Find out more, and register for free at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/webinar-reading-old-documents-introduction-to-medieval-and-tudor-palaeography-tickets-32440403119?aff=ebapi

Creating Dialogue Between Archivists and Historians

This week ActiveHistory.ca, a website that connects the work of historians with the wider public and the importance of the past to current events, is hosting a theme Week: Creating Dialogue Between Archivists and Historians.

In the introductory post Krista McCracken mentions" funding of LAC, records management programs."  I hope the series doesn't degenerate into archivists telling historians why they need more resources.

The first post Missed connections: looking for everything in the archives by Danielle Robichaud explains why there's a disconnect between researcher expectations and archival practice; because archival material is rarely described to the item-level. This makes it difficult for archivists to do more than point researchers to where everything about a particular topic could be.

Robichaud describes herself as a Digital Archivist so I was disappointed that her post stopped at explaining the historical rationale for the disconnect. Beyond explaining it what is being done by digital archivists to bridge the disconnect?

Monday, 26 June 2017

In From The Cold

Do you know of someone from the British Commonwealth who died during the two world wars or shortly thereafter due to war-related causes but whose sacrifice is not recognized?
The In From The Cold Project was formed more than ten years ago to research and identify all service men and women missed from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour database. To date 4,150 people have been added owing to the IFC project. Six were added on 17 June.
The project also provide a route to submitting corrections to the Debt of Honour database that may have crept in during digitization or at some other stage.
Don't make the mistake I made. Had I known about IFC I could have short-circuited a tortuous process I took, initially, through the Department of Veterans Affairs, to have Private John K McLean buried at Beechwood Cemetery added to the CWGC database and to the headstone he shares with Private W J Royston.

FamilySearch adds England, Scotland Ireland Records

Three new record sets became available on Friday, 23 June, on FamilySearch

Scotland Church Records and Kirk Session Records, 1658-1919 has 302,522 records from registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials originally filmed at the National Archives of Scotland, CH2 series. There are no images available.

England, Cambridgeshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1599-1860 has 52,632 records , with linked images of the originals, for parishes throughout Cambridge originally filmed at the Cambridge University Library. Find a list of parishes and years included here.

Ireland Civil Registration, 1845-1913 consists of browse images, 1864-1913 for births, 1845-1870 for marriages, and 1864-1870 for deaths. They are copies of the original documents and volumes held at the General Register Office and are referenced in the Ireland Civil Registration Indexes. See How Do I Search the Collection? at https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Ireland,_Civil_Registration_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records)

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Family History Microfilm Discontinuation

Below is an announcement from FamilySearch.

It was inevitable.  Microfilm is a legacy technology. But it is VERY DISAPPOINTING that during the transition FamilySearch would not substitute a digitization on demand service so that patrons are not left hanging, potentially until the end of 2020 if the project is on time, waiting for access.

On September 1, 2017, FamilySearch will discontinue its microfilm distribution services.  (The last day to order microfilm will be on August 31, 2017.)

The change is the result of significant progress made in FamilySearch’s microfilm digitization efforts and the obsolescence of microfilm technology.

• Online access to digital images of records allows FamilySearch to reach many more people, faster and more efficiently.

• FamilySearch is a global leader in historic records preservation and access, with billions of the world’s genealogical records in its collections.

• Over 1.5 million microfilms (ca. 1.5 billion images) have been digitized by FamilySearch, including the most requested collections based on microfilm loan records worldwide.

• The remaining microfilms should be digitized by the end of 2020, and all new records from its ongoing global efforts are already using digital camera equipment.

• Family history centers will continue to provide access to relevant technology, premium subscription services, and digital records, including restricted content not available at home.

Digital images of historical records can be accessed today in 3 places on FamilySearch.org under Search.

• Records include historical records indexed by name or organized with an image browse.

• Books include digital copies of books from the Family History Library and other libraries.

• Catalog includes a description of genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, etc.) in the FamilySearch collection.

When approved by priesthood leaders, centers may continue to maintain microfilm collections already on loan from FamilySearch after microfilm ordering ends. Centers have the option to return microfilm that is available online or otherwise not needed. As more images are published online, centers may reevaluate whether to retain microfilm holdings.

OGS recognition of City of Ottawa Archives

The OGS Ottawa Branch meeting on Saturday was the occasion for the presentation of an Award of Merit to the City of Ottawa Archives from the Ontario Genealogical Society. The Archives hosts the Branch library, and other local collections including those of BIFHSGO and the Ottawa Historical Society.
City Archivist Paul Henry accepted the award from OGS Conference 2017 Co-chair Heather Oakley and Branch Chair Doug Gray.

Langevin and Residential Schools

When Guy Berthiaume mentioned that architect is not a good term to use in Ottawa these days during his speech at the opening session of the OGS Conference the reference eluded me.

A week later and the title of a blog post on Active History makes it clear --  "Sir Hector-Louis Langevin, “Architect” of Residential Schools?"

In it Matthew Hayday, points out that if anyone was the architect it was Sir John A. who reserved Indian Affairs as a post he held in addition to Prime Minister. He has historical precedence having given a speech two weeks before Langevin's using very much the same words.

Should everything named after Macdonald be renamed, just as the former Langevin block?

In a comment to that blog post Jason Ellis points out that people engaged in naming debates don’t care about good history; they care about the present. We've certainly seen that in Ottawa where political (and Political) have outweighed historical considerations in naming.

Worth reading at http://activehistory.ca/2017/06/langevin/

Additions to Findmypast Scottish Records

Scotland, Post Office Directories

Over 180,000 new records have been added to the collection of Scottish Post Office Directories. The new additions cover Aberdeenshire, Ayrshire, Bute, Midlothian, Forfarshire, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Perth and Inverness-shire.

Scotland Monumental Inscriptions Index

Over 32,000 new additions covering burial grounds in Berwickshire and East Lothian have been added to the Scotland Monumental Inscriptions Index.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Medway, Kent, England, Methodist BMB records

The latest Ancestry addition of British records is 35,111 Medway, Kent, England, Methodist Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1798-1932. The largest communities included are Chatham and Gillingham, with additional records from Gravesend, Sheerness, Lower Rainham. Rochester and Strood.
Baptisms are by far the predominant record type.

The records are sourced from Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre, in Chatham. The new Medway Archives Centre will open on Tuesday, 4 July 2017 at 32 Bryant Road in Strood.

New Norfolk Browse Records from Findmypast

Three new Norfolk browse titles appear this week from Findmypast:

Norfolk Marriage Bonds 1557-1915 Browse
444 volumes of marriage bonds, over 147,000 records kept by the courts of the Archdeaconry of Norfolk, the Archdeaconry of Norwich, the Dean & Chapter of Norwich and the Diocese of Norwich Consistory Court.

Norfolk Poor Law Union Records 1796-1900 Image Browse
Over 55 volumes of Poor Law records covering 20 unions: Aylsham, Blofield, Depwade, Docking, East and West Flegg, Forehoe, Guiltcross, Henstead, King's Lynn, Loddon and Clavering, Mitford and Launditch, Norwich, Smallburgh, Swaffham, Thetford, and Wayland.
There are a wide variety of record types including births & baptisms, relief lists, admission & discharge books, rate books, report books, minute books and more.

Norfolk Non-Conformist Records 1613-1901 Image Browse
More than 7,000 records, 11 registers covering various denominations including Methodist, Quaker, and Baptist in the parishes of Attleborough, Aylsham, Kenninghall, Norwich, Tasburgh, Walsingham, and Wymondham.

Summarizing the Norfolk titles in Findmypast
Norfolk Electoral Registers 1832-19154,466,609
Norfolk Baptisms1,785,807
Norfolk Burials1,422,549
Norfolk Marriages905,752
Norfolk Bishop's Transcripts Baptisms634,077
Norfolk Banns451,484
Norfolk Bishop's Transcripts Burials412,336
Norfolk Bishop's Transcripts Marriages157,290
Mid Norfolk Monumental Inscriptions9,652
Mid Norfolk Baptisms1,257
Norfolk Marriage Bonds 1557-1915 Image Browse444
Norfolk, Bishop's Transcripts 1687-1901 Image Browse125
Norfolk Poor Law Union Records 1796-1900 Image Browse55
Norfolk Archdeacon's Transcripts 1600-1812 Image Browse51
Norfolk Non-Conformist Records 1613-1901 Image Browse11

LDS Church History Conference in Brampton

This conference will take place on 8 July 2017 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Brampton Stake Centre.
Brother Richard Turley from Utah will be the keynote speaker. Brother Turley is the former Assistant Church Historian for the whole Church. Currently, he is the Managing Director for Public Affairs for the entire Church.
An excellent speaker, he is a direct descendant of Brother Theodore Turley who joined the Church in the 1830's while living in Churchville, Peel County, Ontario.
With presentations and displays the conference will focus on the remarkable history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ontario.
More information and registration at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/lds-church-history-conference-tickets-32485663494
Thanks to Malcolm and Helen Warner for the tip while at #OGSConf2017

Friday, 23 June 2017

UK Who Do You Think You Are? 2017 celebrities

How many of these names mean something to you? Who do you think they are?

Charles Dance
Craig Revel Horwood
Clare Balding
Adil Ray
Emma Willis
Lisa Hammond
Sir Ian McKellen
Noel Clarke
Fearne Cotton
Ruby Wax

See their claim to celebrity here

Paper of Record and JSTOR at LAC

For months, perhaps years, I've been pointing out to the folks in the Genealogy Room at 395 Wellington that the link on their computers to Paper of Record has not worked. For almost as long I've been told it would be fixed.
This week I received an email from Julie Roy, Manager of Reference Services, who finally made it happen. I went to the building to check it out - joy of joys - success. Thank you Julie.
Julie also mentioned that links to three other databases: JSTOR, LLMC and MUSE have also been fixed.
hile on the 3rd floorI tried JSTOR which Marian Press mentioned at the end of her presentation at #OGSConf2017. US-based JSTOR is an online database of more than 2,000 full text searchable scholarly journals and some books providing an opportunity to put ancestors in historical and local context. Some of the older journals do provide lists of names.
If you missed Marian's presentation there's a  free webinar on How to Use JSTOR at
http://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=449 which ends with an explanation of the various ways you can gain access including the limited free individual subscription at

Third anniversary: Dr Guy Berthiaume

Today, 23 June 2017 is the third anniversary of Dr Guy Berthiaume assuming the role of Librarian and Archivist of Canada.
Congratulations are due on having established partnerships, raised both the profile of LAC and the morale of the staff.
There is progress, and significantly more work to be done, in digitization and making collection materials available online for all wherever they live.