Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Clarity on Rootweb

Quite understandably the notice posted on the Rootsweb site last week,

"We will be discontinuing the Rootsweb Surname List and Genealogy Forum features on Tuesday Oct 24, 2017."

caused a lot of angst.

That notice has been removed, One of my readers contacted Rootsweb and received the following clarification.

We appreciate your concern that some information is being removed from the site. We will do all that we can to answer your questions. The Message Boards are not being removed. The " Genealogy Forum " references a web page maintained by the " Golden Gate Genealogy Forum ". It is accessible from the link below. They are moving their page.

Deaths and Great War Deaths

From time to time it's worth looking at figures like this
referenced in a post "UK drops in European child mortality rankings" by the UK Office of National Statistics. Obvious for births are the post war baby booms and baby boom echo of the early 1960s. Peaks in deaths at the end of WW1 during the influenza pandemic and associated with WW2 bombing are evident.
The deaths are those registered in England and Wales and don't attempt to account for those who died overseas. A rough calculation using British Forces deaths in WW1 from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, allowing roughly for those who died in Britain and subtracting those from Scotland and Ireland, indicates another 25% can be added for the overseas deaths of those from England and Wales.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Rockstar Genealogist(s) 2017 voting now open

Choose your favourites from a galaxy of stars from the English-speaking genealogy world. Let them know you appreciate their contributions.
Voting requires access through your Google account. That will limit the possibility of people voting more than once and mean you can change your vote by signing in again with your account. If you don't already have an account, most of us do to take advantage of the many Google apps, sign up for one for free here.
By voting you help folks organizing a speaker program to know who is popular internationally and in different regions.
Tell your genealogist friends. Ask them to vote, suggest who to vote for and multiply the power of your vote.
Note that two people are nominated who have declined to have their votes tabulated. Their names are included to indicate they have not been overlooked. Everyone who received two or more nominations is included, those who received only one are not.
What surprises will there be in this the sixth year of the survey?

VOTE HERE

Voting will close on Saturday.
Thanks to Chris Goopy for the graphic and help testing the system.



Some Progress at LAC on Newspaper Digitization

Library and Archives Canada has received funding over two years from the Salamander Foundation as a contribution to the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS).

The $25,000 grant in 2017, for a Pilot Digitization Project of Newspaper Material is described as"serving to demonstrate best practices for digitizing select collections that can be shared with memory institutions across Canada to help build a national, representative newspaper collection."  A small collection of Indigenous newspapers is being digitized.

The same funding in 2016 focused on prioritizing digitization of "'last copy' and 'at risk' material covering published heritage prior to 1917 including books, periodicals and newspapers, scientific journals and theses, audio and audio-visual recordings, high-interest archival fonds, photographs, artefacts, and fragile historical maps."

What are the products of this funding? NDHS Corporate Secretary Caitlin Horrall told me that they initially consulted experts across Canada to determine the state of newspaper digitization practice. I was surprised there was no consultation with major newspaper digitization initiatives internationally which are way ahead of Canada. Likely the Canadian expert's advice would be informed by that experience. One finding was that copyright is not as big an issue as it once was as newspapers are realizing their archives will not be a major revenue source given the up-front cost of digitization. That removes a major obstacle, but up-front cost is still a hurdle. A report on the consultation is scheduled for release next spring.

With the Salamander grant LAC is presently digitizing three Indigenous publications, likely the best known being Windspeaker. Published 12 times each year since 1983 this is a modest challenge and results should be available in the spring.

If any inroads are to be made in digitization and OCR of the many Canadian newspaper titles that remain in archival obscurity LAC will need to stop avoiding the obligation long since embraced by peer organizations internationally.

Perhaps like me you you are not aware of the Salamander Foundation which exists to promote continuity and discovery in the arts and in culture, and to recognize the forms, functions and interactions of natural systems in the environment. Approximately 20 - 25 grants per year are made "to specific initiatives or projects with clear objectives and measurable outcomes." Projects likely to benefit a broad population base either across Canada, regionally, or via the Internet are favoured with those based in Ontario given first consideration.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

CEF Service Files October Update

As of today, 15 October 2017, 502,740 (491,373 last month) of 640,000 files are now available online in the LAC Personnel Records of the First World War database. That's according to a LAC Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Service blog post. Unusually it was posted on a Sunday.
The latest box digitized is number 8555 (8363) for last name Russell (Robertson).
If my calculations are correct at last month's rate the project will be finished by October 2018.

Maybe LAC can then move on to another major digitization project. Newspapers anyone?

Rootsweb's Future?

"We will be discontinuing the Rootsweb Surname List and Genealogy Forum features on Tuesday Oct 24, 2017."

That's the announcement appearing at the top of the Rootsweb home page at http://home.rootsweb.ancestry.com/.

How much will disappear? As the word Forum does not appear anywhere else on that page the extent of what's being dropped is not clear to me. Mailing Lists? Message Boards?

Use of Rootsweb, as reflected in this chart of the number of messages posted on ROOTS-L, has been in terminal decline for years.

You have a week to search and perhaps rediscover any information you originally found through Rootsweb, the pioneer genealogy social network.

Rockstar Genealogists Voting Delayed

As it's taking longer to sort and set up than anticipated voting will not start until Monday (ET), all being well.

Congratulations to Jane Down

Former BIFHSGO program director Jane Down was announced as the winner of the Alan Neame Award for 2017 at the Kent FHS AGM on Saturday. It was for her article "Finding 21 Children: Simple—Not so Simple!"

Jane tells me it is the story of trying to find the siblings of her maternal grandmother's adoptive mother. She was supposedly one of 21 children. Jane investigated the family to see if any of the siblings or spouses might be related in some way to the biological family. Both families were from Kent in England.

Jane said "It was a fun piece of research .... frustrating at times .... but really interesting. It was also fun to write the article. It really made me examine all the pieces of evidence again and again."

I hope Jane can find the time between her other commitments, including as Administrative co-Chair for BIFHSGO conference 2018, to tell BIFHSGO members about this research.

Last year another Canadian, Lesley Wood, was awarded 2nd prize in the competition for her article "Tangled Web".

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Findmypast adds to London and Canterbury Archdeaconry collections

London, Docklands and East End Marriages, 1558-1859  
10,512 transcript of the original registers for  St John Wapping, St Leonard Bromley, St Mary Bow & St Mary Whitechapel have been added for a total of 102,762 records.

London Docklands and East End Baptisms
40,394 new transcript records for St John Bethnal Green, St John Wapping, St Leonard Bromley, St Luke Limehouse & St Mary Whitechapel are added to a collection which now totals 783,077 records.

Greater London Burial Index 
St James Clerkenwell with 35,438 new transcript records brings the total to 1,670,403 records. It includes Anglican and non-conformist parishes in the City of London Burials, Middlesex Memorial Inscriptions, Middlesex & City of London Burials Index and the South London Burials Index. The bulk of the records are for the last half of the 18th and first half of the 19th centuries.

For Kent, transcripts and images of the original registers for the parishes of Chilham, Stalisfield & Staple are added to:

Kent, Canterbury Archdeaconry Baptisms 
13,870 new bring the total to 937,319. The collection is strongest for the 19th century.

Kent, Canterbury Archdeaconry Banns
2,416 new records , now totaling 219,155.

Kent, Canterbury Archdeaconry Marriages  
6,201 new records for a total of 496,386 records. The collection is strongest for the 18th century.

Kent, Canterbury Archdeaconry Burials 
9,799 new records for a total of 700,205 records. The earliest is dated 1431, the most recent 1992.

Circle of Life: Exploring Ontario Vital Records AND Using Ancestry DNA

OPL invites you to enjoy a two part full morning of Ontario genealogy with experts Glenn Wright and Lesley Anderson!

First, provincial birth, marriage, and death registrations are a fundamental resource for genealogy in Ontario. This presentation will discuss the history of civil registration in Ontario and show how the forms have evolved over time to reflect changes in society.  Find out where to access the records and how to make the most of them for genealogy and family history research.

Second, with Ancestry DNA you can add a whole new dimension to your family history experience.  Uncover your ethnic mix, connect with living cousins and distant relatives - perhaps even solve a mystery or break down a brick wall!

This 2 hour free event is on Saturday 21 October, 2017 at 9:30am in the Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, Nepean Centrepointe.

Registration required.

Friday, 13 October 2017

New OGS Website

That's right. According to a notice from OGS:

The new site has a fresh modern look and feel, and it will display properly on all access devices – desktop and laptop computers, tablets and cell phones. We’ve made it easier to find information quickly, and drill down for additional details where needed. Our indexes are available for everyone to see, and we are working on building better information delivery options for members and nonmembers.
OGS members are asked to log in to the Members’ Only section of the site before the end of October.

If you have forgotten your password, just click on “Lost your password?” to reset it. Please report any problems that are encountered to OGSwebreport@ogs.on.ca so that we can get them fixed before membership renewal begins on November 1st.

The majority of our transition is complete; however, you may encounter pages which ask you to return later for more information, as we work on rolling out additional elements of the site. We thank you for your patience and tolerance as we finalize all of the features.

As you explore the new site, we anticipate that there will be glitches – things which don’t work for you, or areas where you can suggest an improvement – and we want you to let us know when that happens. Email us at OGSwebreport@ogs.on.ca, copy and paste the URL (web address) of the
page and explain the problems you have experienced or suggestions you have.

This new site is the result of design/build expertise from our business provider, Cavera, Inc., and hundreds of hours of volunteer time on the part of Steve Fulton and Charles Godwin and other members of the Technical Support and Innovation Committee, and we thank them for the sleepless nights and endless days devoted to this task.

Comment:

What's new at the site? One thing, or maybe I'd not noticed before, is that you can now contact some branches which have an Ext: shown beside their name from the Branch/Sigs dropdown. Contact that branch by phone by calling 1 855 MYROOTS and then entering the extension number. These extensions lead to a voice mail system that will capture your message and email it to the responsible volunteer.

Steve Fulton tells me that as a temporary measure the old OGS web address is auto-forwarded to ontarioancestors.org/. While that's the case you'll find a saved username and password will not auto-populate. First world problems. You can always reset the password according to the instructions above.

Asked about that new ontarioancestors address Steve replied cryptically "it may be we have some plans, that you will soon be aware of."


Gloucester Historical Society: Blood on the Rapids

Escape the rain this Sunday, 15 October for a presentation by Ottawa author Terry Currie with the story of Ottawa's early reputation as one of the continent's most violent communities.
The presentation at the Gloucester Seniors Centre, 4550 Bank Street, intersection with Leitrim Road, starts at 2 pm. Free admission and free parking.

Military Records from TheGenealogist

The following is a press release of particular interest to those with British military ancestry.

TheGenealogist is pleased to announce it has added two new record sets that will be useful for researching the First World War and Victorian soldiers.

Part one of this release is The Worldwide Army Index for 1851, 1861 and 1871 which adds another name rich resource to the already vast Military record collections at TheGenealogist with over 600,000 records
Also released at the same time is another 3,368 pages from The Illustrated War News covering 6 September 1916 to 10 April 1918 and adding to those previously made available for this First World War paper from 1914 to 1916

The Worldwide Army Index for 1851, 1861 and 1871

If you have not found your ancestor in the various British census returns, and you know that they may have been serving at the time in the British Army, then this new release from TheGenealogist may help you to find these elusive subjects.

Many thousands of men of the British Army were serving overseas in far flung parts of the British Empire over the 1800s. This index of names is compiled from the musters contained in the WO 10-11-12 Series of War Office Paylists, held at the National Archives, Kew. The 1851, 1861 and 1871 Worldwide Army Index lists all officers* and other ranks subjects serving in the first quarter of 1851 and second quarter of 1861 and 1871, together with their regimental HQ location. The index is, therefore, effectively a military surrogate for the relevant census.

Over 70,000 records have extra notes that can indicate whether a soldier was a recruit awaiting transfer to a regiment, detached from his regiment or attached to another, possibly discharged, on leave, had deserted or retired. Men identified as using aliases are also included. Many notes include a place of birth and former occupation.

Also included within the records are recruits, boy soldiers, bandsmen and civilians working in the armed forces as clerks, pension recruiters, teachers and suchlike. Colonial regiments which invariably had numbers of British subjects are also featured.

The Illustrated War News was a weekly magazine during the First World War, published by The Illustrated London News and Sketch Ltd. of London. The IWN publication contained illustrated reports related entirely to the war and comprised articles, photographs, diagrams and maps. From 1916 it was issued as a 40-page publication in portrait format, having been landscape prior to this. It claimed to have the largest number of artist-correspondents reporting on the progress of the war until it ceased publication in 1918.

To search these and many other records go to: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/advanced/military/muster-book-pay-list/ 
or read our article at: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/worldwide-army-index-1851-1861--1871-661/  

*While the 1851 and 1871 include officers, the 1861 index excludes officers as they were not mustered in all the Paylists.

Rockstar Genealogist Nominations Closing

Several people have sent in nominations for people to add to the list. Those accepted so far are in the updated original post here.

Others are under review or proponents have not yet made a convincing case from two nominators that they meet the criteria - repeated below.

Rockstar genealogists are those who give "must attend" presentations at family history conferences or as webinars, who when you see a new family history article or publication by that person, makes it a must buy. If you hang on their every word on a blog, podcast or newsgroup, or follow avidly on Facebook or Twitter they are likely Rockstar candidates. For clarity, it's about communication and influence not who's the best researcher.

Nominations can still be submitted following the procedure here. They will close at 2 pm ET on Saturday.

CanGen Summit

Greetings to all attending the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit this weekend. Special greetings to Ottawa genealogists and conference speakers Brain Laurie-Beaumont, Mags Gaulden and Patricia Roberts-Pichette.
 
Peggy Homans Chapman, Eastern Canada representative for the Guild of One Name Studies, invites you to stop by her table and perhaps win the prize now available as she wasn't able to get to the OGS Conference on Ottawa.