Thursday, 8 December 2016

RootsMagic to miss Ancestry sync deadline

A year ago, when Ancestry announced it was discontinuing support for Family Tree Maker as of the end of 2016 RootsMagic jumped into the gap with an offer to get people to switch. It came with a promise that Ancestry sync would be implemented in RootsMagic by the end of 2016. Several people I know purchased RM on the basis of that promise.

Now the company is out with news that deadline will not be met. No apology!

The new promise is that it will be implemented and "we aren't talking about a 6 month delay or anything like that."

In the meantime ... mind the gap.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Child Migrant Ancestors from Britain

Phil Ellis, founding chair of the Ontario Genealogical Society Special Interest Group on British Home Children, is author of Finding your Child Migrant Ancestors from Britain. Published in May this year by Heritage Publications it covers the history of child migration from Britain with details of the records available in receiving countries, and in Britain, and of the sending agencies.

The book is an update, desperately needed, of my own book Researching Canada's Home Children. The same basic structure is retained with minor reorganization and an additional chapter on Australia, New Zealand and Southern Rhodesia Research.  There's a new section on the Children's Oversea's Reception Board (CORB) which evacuated children from June to September 1940 for the duration of the war. Although not migrants many did eventually settle in the host country.

There have been many changes in the decade since the previous publication which have been incorporated in the new book. There are new websites and changes of address. Inevitably other new resources, such as those from Ireland and the newly available GRO birth indexes including mother's maiden name, have appeared since publication. While some resources are missing, such as the Canadian census which now includes 1921, Canadian voter's lists and clues from the ever increasing availability of compiled family trees online, the strength of the book remains in the coverage of home child specific resources.

Find the book at you select the shipping destination, under

Heritage Books, in the English Series
By Country/Groups: Canada: General: Books
By country/Groups: England: Books.

Art at LAC

Taking it to the Streets: Summit on the Value of Libraries, Archives and Museums in a Changing World took place at Library and Archives Canada on Monday and Tuesday. On Twitter libraries, archives and museums became the hashtag #LAM.  There were lots of good substantive presentations but three stood out in expanding LAM to GLAM, prepending Galleries to reflect the synergy with art.
Detachment honours the lives lost during the First World War and reinforces the enduring importance of collective memory on its 100th anniversary through art created from brass fasteners that once held together the military records of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Find out more and see the short video explaining the project at
Eric Chan a.k.a. eepmon, a Digital Artisan intersecting computer code and drawing spoke about his involvement with the Open Books exhibit at Library and Archives Canada;  also his involvement with a limited edition parka for Canada Goose.
Derek Kwan, who described himself as actor, creator and food eater, showed a short video, Taste of Identity, he made using resources from the Vancouver Public Library.

BIFHSGO December Meeting

The next meeting of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa on Saturday, 10 December, features the semi-annual Great Moments in Genealogy presentations.
Following the President's announcements starting at 10am four members will share their Great Moments.

Duncan Monkhouse will speak on Mary Ann Flannery — From Ireland You Say
Susan Davis reports on her finding about The Drowning of Charles Dougherty
Glenn Wright tells about the benefits of having a newspaperman in the family in Extra! Extra! Read All about It! Cousin Lyman and Power of the Press
Suzanne Eakin recounts The Tender Tale of a First World War British War Baby with Canadian Roots, Discovered Almost a Century Later.
Find out more at

Prior to the main event, at 9 am, Marnie McCall will give a Before BIFHSGO Education Talk on Copyright for Family History.

In between Global Genealogy will be on hand with a selection of their wares to purchase. As always if you find something on their website at of interest contact them and ask them to bring it for your inspection. Purchase and you'll save the shipping cost.

As usual, the location is The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

Leeds Burials

The Leeds General Cemetery was opened in 1835 as a public burial ground in Leeds, Yorkshire operating until the 1960s.
Recently placed online the Leeds General Cemetery Burial Registers Index contains over 96,000 transcribed entries from the burial registers. The index information from a search can be more detailed than one typically sees, a model for others. For example:

Name: Wright, George
Gender: Male
Occupation: Gardener
Date of death: 18/07/1878
Age at death: 73 Years
Cause of death: Gen Decay
Mother: Wright, Ann
Father: Wright, John
Occupation of parent(s): Gardener
plus burial date and plot identification.

On the associated image is the place or residence and where born as well as the name of the officiating minister.

The best place to start is which gives an overview of the collection and a link to the search page.

via a tweet from Judy Webster.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

FamilySearch adds Ireland, Valuation Office Books, 1831-1856

This database comprises an indexed compilation of "General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland, 1847-1864" and "Griffith's Valuation" made available to FamilySearch from Findmypast.

A search provides transcripts containing name, event type, event date, event year, event place, event place (original), affiliation record type, townland, county, parish and, barony.

Each search result also provides a link to the associated image available when at a Family History Centre, to "signed-in members of supporting organizations" or to Findmypast subscribers through the Griffith’s Valuation landing page.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Canadian Stained Glass

Something a bit different precipitated by a conversation on the periphery of a meeting at Library and Archives Canada.

The Institute for Stained Glass in Canada at presents more than 6000 photos, mostly from Western Canada, documenting 160 years of glass in Canadian public buildings. An enormous range of styles and techniques reveal Canada's most widespread public art.

More RootsTech Innovator Showdown Contestants

Louis Kessler, one of the entrants in the Rootstech Innovator Showdown, and a Canadian, contacted me to correct a link and let me know about additional contestants.
Find his list at

Thanks and best of luck to Louis.

Rootstech Innovator Showcase Promos

As described on the Rootstech webpage (slightly edited)

The Innovator Showdown was created to help innovators capitalize on the technological shift in the industry and provide the opportunity for innovators to use their talents and bright ideas to help propel them forward in new and exciting ways.
 Part of the entry requirement is to produce a short video explaining the innovation. Here are some of them. If I missed any please let me know and I add, or feature in a separate blog post.


Little Family Tree

Double Match Triangulator

The Family Nexus

Old News USA

O Ancestor Where Art Thou





CSI: Crowd Sourced Indexing



Bravo OGS

The Ontario Genealogical Society is making determined efforts to get out of the rut that has seen declining membership and collapsing branches in recent years.

On top of the half price membership for a new member and a member partner which ends at the end of the month there is a new initiative with Findmypast.

Here's how vice-President Steve Fulton described it in an email.

Every member of The Ontario Genealogical Society in 2017 will receive a Starter Package subscription to Findmypast.  The value of this benefit is $34.95 US$, and it is free for all 2017 OGS members. 

The Findmypast Starter Package allows access to over 3.6 million records, including:

Canadian and US social histories
Canadian census (pending release)
Ontario Birth Index, 1860-1920 (pending release)
UK/Ireland Census Records
Findmypast Family Tree
Irish Parish Catholic Registers
Exclusive land records and Irish Prison Registers
Exclusive Court records and Petty Sessions Order Books
The complete U.S. Census, 1790–1940
Birth, marriage, and death records from across the U.S.
(excluding premium marriage dataset)
US immigration and travel records, including U.S. Passenger Lists, 1820s–1950s
US Newspapers

If you're tempted to join, or rejoin as I did earlier, go to

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Joshua Taylor on How Genealogists Research

Joshua Taylor, President of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, professional genealogist, and theme speaker at the OGS Conference 2017, is interviewed in an episode of an educational series “Doing History: How Historians Work.”
Presented in an interview format with host Liz Covart it covers what would be good to know when starting out researching your family history and, as always, acts as a refresher for the more experienced.

  • New-York Genealogical and Biographical Society
  • Overview of professional genealogy
  • Where genealogists start their research projects
  • How far back you can expect to trace your family tree
  • Differences in access to records between the United States and European countries
  • The role questions play in genealogical research
  • Genealogists’ research process
  • Where genealogists look for information
  • Digital resources for genealogical research
  • Types of historical sources genealogists use
  • How genealogists research people who left little-to-no written record
  • How genealogists use the work of other genealogists
  • How to know if the family tree constructed by another genealogist is accurate
  • The role of DNA in genealogical research
  • Objectivity in genealogical research
  • The final products of genealogical research
  • Strategies for becoming “unstuck” in your genealogical research
  • The role historical context plays in genealogical research
  • Researching in U.S. census records
  • Tips and tricks for conducting genealogical research
  • Local genealogical societies

Although Josh and Liz do come at the topic from a US, and New York orientation the advice is more generally applicable.
Skip past the first five minutes of the episode to the interview which lasts about 40 minutes.
Toward the end of the episode it's revealed that the next series of Genealogy Roadshow has not (yet) been commissioned.

Crème de la crème: nourishing, not fattening

Every week Gail Dever, compiles a roundup of the best new genealogy and related items she's come across.
Every week I'm impressed by some of the things included. Gail is well tuned in to social media, as those who've heard her speak at BIFHSGO or OGS meetings already know, meaning that while there's some overlap with this blog Gail's scope is broader.
Check out her latest Crème de la crème post here where you can subscribe to ensure you don't miss any of Gail's posts.

Change for The Canadian Gravemarker Gallery

News arrived on Saturday that the Webmaster of The Canadian Gravemarker Gallery, Murray Pletsch, has decided to retire.

Thanks to Murray for the many years of volunteer service and all the best for the future.

Over the coming months photos from The Canadian Gravemarker Gallery website will be incorporated into CanadaGenWeb at
their website. It will take some while to re-index the 1,600 cemeteries from The Canadian Gravemarker Gallery.