Sunday, 20 May 2018

New Season of Who Do You Think You Are? USA Starts Monday

Two episodes in the new series of WDYTYA (USA) are scheduled on Monday on TLC Canada

9:00 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Jon Cryer
Jon Cryer travels from America to Scotland as he uncovers the dramatic tale of an ancestor. This relative survived a catastrophic battle, endured horrific conditions as a prisoner of war and was forced to come to America as an indentured servant.

10:02 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Laverne Cox
Actress and activist Laverne Cox learns about the inspiring life of her African American ancestor, who challenged societal norms and bravely pushed the boundaries just years after Emancipation.

Others scheduled for the new season are: Hilary Duff, Jean Smart, Megan Mullally, and Molly Shannon.

If you're into binge watching episodes are scheduled from previous seasons.

3:00 AM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Aisha Tyler
Aisha Tyler's journey reveals an ancestor who, as a politician, struggled to keep his illegitimate son a secret. Against all odds, her 2x great-grandfather exemplifies bravery and determination during one of America's most tumultuous eras of racism.

4:00 AM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Katey Sagal
Katey Sagal has an emotional and insightful meeting with her mother's friend and fellow USO performer. Katey also finds a surprising link to the Amish and uncovers the harrowing story of her relative's daring escape from attackers.

4:00 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Jennifer Grey
Jennifer Grey discovers much more about the grandfather she thought she knew as she uncovers how he survived adversity to become a beacon of his community, and discovers a great-grandmother whose devastating tragedy stopped her from making it to America.

5:00 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Liv Tyler
Actress Liv Tyler unravels the mystery of her father Steven Tyler's maternal family line, uncovering ancestors who took part in famous American battles. She also learns shocking truths that change the way she will see herself, and her family, forever.

6:00 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel hunts for the truth behind family lore surrounding the death of an ancestor. She also makes two shocking discoveries that shake everything she knows about her heritage to the core.

7:00 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Smokey Robinson
Motown legend and icon Smokey Robinson tracks down a grandfather tangled in a swirl of controversy. He connects to a relative's familiar struggle with oppression while coming face-to-face with the gruesome history he knew was inevitable.

8:00 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? John Stamos
Actor John Stamos explores his Greek heritage for the first time and discovers an explosive feud that shattered his grandfather's childhood. He also meets a relative he never knew and hears firsthand about his family's enduring strength.

And the new ones are repeated too

11:04 PM EDT
Who Do You Think You Are? Jon Cryer

12:04 AM
Who Do You Think You Are? Laverne Cox

Canadian Veterans Death Cards: First World War

Did you know that Canadian veterans who survived the First World War and died up to the early 1960s may have information about them recorded at death in a collection of approximately 130,000 cards available online from Library and Archives Canada? I mentioned them in June 2012 but the information is worth resurfacing.

Each death card includes some or all of the following details:

Regimental service number
Unit, Battalion or Regiment
Date and place of death
Cause of death
Place of burial
Name and address of next-of-kin

Arranged alphabetically and available as images in batches of approximately 1,300 cards the name on the first card is the title of that batch. Find further information and a link to start the search at

Panel Discussion on DNA Results

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Missed the Royal Wedding?

Don't worry. There'll be another along soon.

FreeBMD has index entries for 2,215 weddings where one of the parties had surname Royal. That's every year since 1837.

There were another 705 where the first name was Royal.

In another 20,927 weddings there was a surname Prince, and in another 796 that was the first name.

You might want to explore King and Queen!

GDPR kills and

Family Tree DNA confirms information that has circulated for some weeks.

"On May 24th, 2018, our free, public genetic-genealogy databases, and, will no longer be accessible as a result of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) going into effect on May 25th."

Read the notice.

Friday, 18 May 2018 Victoria Day Weekend Open Access is opening up its UK for free access, with registration, from May 18 to May 21, 2018 at 11:59 pm ET. That's nearly 2,000 record sets and publications, and including at least some from Ireland.

Findmypast adds recent British death index records

UK deaths 2007-2016 from Findmypast includes 2,511,604 transcripts of those who died in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, and Jersey. Just under two million records are for the years 2007 to 2013, the rest for the years 2014 to 2016.
You can search by first and last name, with check boxes for variants, birth year, death year, and location.
Initial search results, presented in tabular form that can be sorted, are: first name, last name, birth year, death year, place, county and country.
Fields available for the individual results are: first name(s), last name, title (e.g. Mr), sex, age, birth year, birth date, death year, death date, place and other geographic information.

Would anyone know why the database has the large bulge in deaths peaking in 2009?

Statistics that can be obtained will be of interest to one-names and those who study surnames. For example:
3,591 people named Reid died during the period.
2,172 were in Scotland
1,120 in England
258 in Northern Ireland
30 in Wales
11 in Jersey
None in the Isle of Man

Bad Archaeology

Shawn Graham, Carleton University associate professor of history, is organizing this year's Shannon Lecture Series. The theme: Bad Archaeology - the use and abuse of archaeological knowledge and ways of knowing.
No details yet but lots of potential! From bad data, out-of-place artifacts, conspiracy theories, old maps, lost civilizations, extraterrestrials, controversies, other dimensions, religious delusions, frauds and hoaxes, in the service of politics (a good one for Ottawa), dubious methodologies.
Information on the Shannons, including the now public information on the donor, are at

Kingston Branch OGS May Meeting

The Kingston Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will meet on Saturday, May 19th at 9:45 a.m. at the Kingston Seniors Centre, 56 Francis St.  James Brownell, president of The Lost Villages Historical Society, will speak on "Through the Lands of the Lost Villages".  Visitors always welcome.  Further info at

Thanks to Margaret MacDermaid, Branch Publicity Co-ordinator for the information.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

FamilySearch updates England, Devon Bishop's Transcripts, 1558-1887

When last mentioned back in December there were 379,189 Devon records in this database. Now, as of 16 May, there are 736,890 records with links to 93,511 images sourced from the Devon Record Office in Exeter (Devon Heritage Centre). There's a coverage table by parish.

Again, a reminder that Devon has Online Parish Clerks, unpaid volunteers willing to help others with their genealogical research. They collect, collate and transcribe records for various parishes within their respective areas. Find information at

No Ottawa Branch OGS Meeting in May ... other opportunities

Owing to the conflict with the Victoria Day long weekend there is no May meeting of OGS Ottawa Branch.

If you're suffering withdraw there are several other family history opportunities coming up.

On Thursday 24 May at 6:30pm Kyla Ubbink of Ubbink Book and Paper Conservation will present Photograph Detective: Identifying and Dating Historic Photographs at the Sunnyside Branch of the Ottawa Public Library. Register here.

Ottawa Branch is cooperating with the OPL at a Saturday Special Local History & Genealogy Drop-In event at Nepean Centrepointe, 101 Centrepointe, Room 1B on Saturday 2 June, 10 am to 12 noon. If you think you might go register here to ensure it doesn't get cancelled.

Also with the OPL, on Wednesday 6 June, 2018 at 6:30pm, Shirley-Ann Pyefinch, Director of the LDS Ottawa Family History Centre, will speak on Digging Up Your Roots with FamilySearch at the Carlingwood Branch of the OPL, 281 Woodroffe. Register here.

Shirley-Ann informs me the annual Voices from the Dust event at the Ottawa Family History Centre will be on 16 June from 1pm to 5pm. That's a week after the BIFHSGO AGM and Great Moments in Genealogy meeting.

Quinte Branch OGS May Meeting

The Quinte Branch meeting on May 19, 2018 features a digital presentation:

"Introduction to GEDmatch" by Blaine Bettinger

The DNA website GEDmatch can be intimidating, so this lecture will start at the beginning and look at some of its basic but very important tools that genealogists can utilize in their research. We will look at the ethnicity tools, the One-to-Many tool, the One-to-One tool, and the X One-to-One tool.  

Held at  Quinte West Public Library, 7 Creswell Dr, Trenton 1-3 pm, everyone is welcome.

Visit and

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

OGS/NEHGS Collaboration

The press release below highlights a new collaboration agreement between the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) and the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS).

An early benefit for members is that each society will offer the members of the other a $10 discount on new memberships. 

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)  and the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS)  Announce Collaboration 
May 15, 2018—Boston, Massachusetts— The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) have announced an historic marketing collaboration between the two organizations.  As a result of an agreement made between the two societies, NEHGS—the oldest and largest genealogical organization in the United States— and OGS—the largest in Canada—will offer memberships, products, and services at attractive discount prices to members of the collaborating organization.  Original publications of the two family history institutions—as well as research projects, online courses, webinars, and professional consultations—will also be made available at special pricing to members. 
The crossover of genealogical interests between Canada and the United States is a result of years of shared immigration history between the two countries. While moving from one country to the other raises many hurdles today, it was not always so. Cross-border migration was easy and common place in the 1800s, whether by road, railroad, or by way of the frequent lake crossings made by passenger steamers across the Great Lakes. It was common to move from Ontario to the United States, and vice-versa. During the 1870s and 1880s, an estimated 825,000 “British-Americans” left for the United States. The reasons for this migration were multiple, including opportunities for land or employment, family reunification, escaping problems with the authorities, or for many other reasons. 
The Statistical Review of Immigration, 1820-1910 and Distribution of Immigrants, 1850-1910 published by the United States Immigration Commission in 1911 shows that 1,179,807 persons reported their birthplace as Canada in that time period. By some conservative estimates, these individuals could have 50 million living descendants in the United States today. 
Similarly, migration from New England and other states into Quebec and Ontario was prevalent. The 1901 Canadian federal census shows that some 100,000 reported their birthplace as the United States. Those individuals could easily have more than 3.2 million living descendants today.
This historic collaboration between NEHGS and OGS took effect on May 1, 2018. 

Eric C. G. Steele: CWGC Beechwood

Corporal Eric Charles Gore Steele, age 25, son of Evelyn and Helen Steele, died on this date in an automobile accident.  He was smothered under water when the car in which he was a passenger left the road near Gananoque.
Corporal Steele, a bookkeeper by profession and sometime on the staff of the Ottawa Evening Journal, had enlisted with the Canadian Army Service Corps on 18 August 1916. 
He was buried on 20 May in Lot 31. North-East. Sec. 28 at Beechwood Cemetery.