Monday, 27 March 2017

Irish (and others) in the American Civil War

Jane E. MacNamara wrote to draw to my attention the website Irish in the American Civil War. In particular she pointed to a post that goes beyond the Irish, Mapping Mainland Europe’s American Civil War Widows & Dependent Parents: An Online Resource. 
That post is part of a project based on those listed in the 1883 List of Pensioners on the Roll.
While I don't normally cover US or mainland Europe resources there is a bit of information of Canadian and Scottish, as well as much of US/ Irish interest on the site.
The easiest way to find it is using the search facility labelled SEARCH OVER 480 ARTICLES ON THE IRISH IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR on the right-hand-side of the main website.
Additional posts covering other areas, perhaps including the UK, Ireland and Canada, are promised.
Thanks to Jane for the tip. Jane will be speaking at the OGS conference in June -- a reminder that you have only until the end of the month to get in on early bird conference registration pricing.

Book Review: Genealogy, Psychology and Identity.

Moving beyond basic genealogy, the names, dates and places of ancestors, we get an urge to understand what made them tick. Enter psychology, the scientific study of the way the human mind works and how it influences behaviour.
Paula Nicolson, emeritus professor in the Department of Social Work at Royal Holloway College, University of London, is both knowledgeable and articulate. Her book uses branches of her and her husband's family trees to tease out how various people have been impacted by their past and their ancestor's pasts.
The book is in two parts.
Part I: Developing Contexts starts with a chapter establishing the theoretical background -- the relationship between genealogy and the construction of self-identities, developing ideas from theories of psychology and social development. There is also a short chapter dealing with genealogical research methodology.
Part II: Psychological and historical process applies the theory to the experiences of people in the family trees. We see the approach to understanding the impact of the death of a parent, sibling or relative, family discord, immigration to a different culture, change in family circumstances and more. It's fascinating material.
But, as a physical scientist I'm uncomfortable with the qualitative approach based on case studies, albeit rooted as academic discipline and in psychiatric practice. There are so many factors at play, and people react to stresses so differently, that I question how confidently one can ascribe an individual's behaviour, likely deceased and not someone you can talk to, to his or her deceased ancestor's experience. Perhaps a psychologist could tell me the deeper reason for my discomfort!
The book is certainly thought provoking. I wondered, for instance, about the influence of physical geography on behaviour. What if any is the influence of living by the ocean, in a mountainous or prairie landscape, or a cold or highly variable climate? We've all experienced the depression of a string of cloudy dreary days, and felt invigorated by bright sunshine. Do sunny ways prevail for those raised in sunny climes?
The paperback has 132 pages which includes a 7 page index, 9 pages of references and 12 blank pages. I  borrowed the book from the Ottawa Public Library where, as I write, there are 13 holds on 2 copies.

Amazon.ca listing
Publisher: Routledge (December 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1138998672
ISBN-13: 978-1138998674
Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9.1 inches
Kindle Edition
CDN$ 57.95

Sunday, 26 March 2017

The Ontario Genealogist and Family Historian

Between July 1898 and April 1901 12 issues of The Ontario Genealogist and Family Historian were published under the editorship of Edward Marion Chadwick. Issues averaged 16 pages.
The volumes contain compiled genealogies and occurrences (marriages and deaths), mainly for those in the upper ranks of Ontario society.
While it would not likely be productive to read each issue, because they are scanned as part of the Early Canadiana Online collection those with access, including Ottawa and Toronto Public Library cardholders, can search the whole collection at one time free of charge. A limited number of pages can be viewed without subscription.
A Google search for Edward Marion Chadwick gives his dates as 1840-1921. Several other genealogical publications of his are free online.
The usual caution is to be observed, such published genealogies are clues, to be accepted only after skeptical evaluation.

Christine Jackson is Rollin' on the River with Captain Dan in Pembroke

On Wednesday 29 March Christine Jackson is the guest speaker at the AGM of the Ottawa Valley Historical Society.
 "The 400th anniversary in 2013 of Samuel de Champlain’s voyage up the Ottawa River prompted Christine Jackson’s research into a pioneering Canadian family with deep roots in England, who gave their name to the Champlain Park (Ottawa) street on which she has now lived for 30 years―Cowley Avenue."
In Rollin' on the River with Captain Dan: The Ottawa Valley's Pioneering Cowley Family, Christine will trace the early Ottawa Valley history of the entrepreneurial and pioneering riverboat captain, Captain Daniel Keyworth Cowley (1817–1897)—or “Captain Dan” as he was to become known.
She will recount what she has learned about the life and experiences of Capt. Cowley and his family in the Clarendon/ Bristol, Arnprior and Nepean areas. Included will be his brush with what is now thought by some to be Champlain’s lost astrolabe and the family’s role in the history and economic development of the Ottawa Valley—plus their great contribution to our national winter game! ("Cowboy" Bill Cowley 1912–1993).
A long-time family historian and active member of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa and the Historical Society of Ottawa, Christine Jackson is a retired federal public servant (Elections Canada) and former freelance editor and writer. She has previously presented and published her research on the Ottawa Valley’s pioneering Cowley Family, as well as her own family history from deep in the English County of Sussex."

The meeting starts at 7pm at the Champlain Trail Museum and Pioneer Village, 1032 Pembroke St. East, Pembroke, ON  K8A 6Z2 (Ph: 613-735-0517)  - www.champlaintrailmuseum.com  

If you're not able to get to that presentation it will be given again, somewhat modified, at OGS Conference 2017.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Ancestry updates Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1802-1967

Ten days ago I drafted a post regarding an update to this Ontario Catholic database. Ancestry announced an update to 1,604,863 records, up from 1,327,293 records when last mentioned here in January 2011.
However, the update broke the access to images. Good news, the images are back.


BCGS Canada 150 Seminar

The British Columbia Genealogical Society is "Celebrating our Canadian Ancestors" from Friday, 9 June to Sunday 11 June at various locations around Vancouver -- a movable feast!  

There are presentations by Claire Smith-Burns, Mary Read, Xenia Stanford and Susanne Sulzberger. The keynote speaker is Dave Obee.

Find out more here.

Findmypast adds Manitoba Probate Browse

The latest addition at Findmypast is Manitoba probate records 1871-1930 browse, 289 volumes and
289 volumes and 802,000 images of original estate files, application books and indexes.

These are browse files so no name indexing, just like those available from Ancestry. The source for both companies in FamilySearch which does have a (complete?) searchable name index at https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1987562?collectionNameFilter=false

Home Child Presentation in Arnprior

William Price, Arnprior town Councillor, Reeve and proprietor of the Canadian Tire Store, was a British home child. He was one of 100,000 who arrived in Canada between 1870-1940.

On Monday, 27 March Arnprior (formerly Patrick's) Family History Group is hosting Gloria Tubman presenting Researching British Home Children: An Education. Gloria will provide an overview of British Home Children, She will also provide an example on how to research a Home Child.

The meeting starts at 7 pm at Arnprior Public Library meeting room. Admission is $5.00 for non-members. For more information call 613-623-0001 or visit website www.adarchives.org/resources.

Friday, 24 March 2017

MyHeritage: Twice the Value

Until 2 April MyHeritage is offering their service at half-off to new subscribers, $125.37 US. Find out about the service, and enter a new subscription if the service appeals, from the badge at https://www.ogs.on.ca/.

OPL Event: Ken McKinlay on Managing Your Genealogy Research Projec

A shout out for an education session titled "Managing Your Genealogy Research Project" in the Auditorium of the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library (120 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa) starting at 7 p.m. Monday 27 March, 2017.
When we first start delving into our family tree research we often do it in a haphazard way. I will discuss tips and tricks to approach your genealogy research in a methodical manner. The session will touch upon using software or websites to record information, categorizing the information found, and alternate resources to fill in blanks in our research. Using real world examples, I will walk through some of the possible challenges you may encounter and ways to overcome them.
Ken is a member of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa and the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.  A genealogy researcher with over 15 years experience, Ken researches his family's history in Canada, United States of America, England, Scotland and Ireland.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

LAC to replace AMICUS

Over the next two years LAC will replace its 20-year-old library management system, called AMICUS, with a purchased service from OCLC. That's the news in this announcement from LAC.

OCLC, a US-based international nonprofit library co-operative with offices in Quebec, will provide services to support the management of acquisitions, cataloguing, serials control, public access, circulation, loans to other institutions and to assume responsibility for the management of Canada's National Union Catalogue. OCLC already partners with the national libraries of New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain and the Netherlands.

According to LAC the total initial five-year contract cost for the system is $4.47 million, less costly for LAC over time than the current outdated one. In addition, users will have access to state-of-the-art services.

If you've used WorldCat, the OCLC public interface, you will know that most of the major collections included are for academic libraries. There are very few public library collections on WorldCat; they mostly use Toronto-based Bibliocommons to provide similar services. While this new arrangement for LAC will not improve that aspect of the present situation and provide a single window to search both academic and public libraries, this move away from the shop-worn AMICUS system is nevertheless a welcome move for LAC's public clients.

Satisfaction with Library and Archives Canada Services

In 2016 Nanos Research conducted a survey for Library and Archives Canada on customer satisfaction. An early version of the report and summary is available at http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/200/301/pwgsc-tpsgc/por-ef/library_archives_canada/2016/019-15-e/index.html. I recently received a slightly revised Powerpoint version dated 12 September 2016.

Asked "How did you most recently interact with Library and Archives Canada? " 90% responded "through the website." Asked "What subjects are of interest to you at Library and Archives Canada?" more than 72% responded "Genealogy and Family History."

Of those using the website:
  • 68.4% did so "to consult collections for personal interest use", the category that includes genealogy and family history.
  • 55% answered "Yes" when asked "When I started my visit, I knew how to get the information or service I needed." Another 13% answered "they thought so but had difficulty."
  • Asked "How much effort did your search require?" 56% responded "a little", 22% "a lot", and 19% "none at all."
  • Regarding level of satisfaction with various aspects of the website, more than 40% were very satisfied with "the relevance of the content "(highest), "the appearance of the site" and "the clarity of the language." On the negative side less than 20% were very satisfied with the "ease of providing feedback", "ease of finding a person to contact", and "frequency of new content" (lowest).
  • Asked about the importance of various factors above 70% rated "the ease of finding what you were looking for" (highest), "the ability of search mechanisms to find useful results", and "the relevance of the content" very important. Below 30% as very important were "ease of finding a person to contact", and "ease of providing feedback."
The Nanos Research conclusions were:
Overall, being able to find things easily, good search mechanisms and knowledgeable staff are key drivers of who is satisfied and who is not. 
Of just over one in five who offered additional unprompted views about the LAC experience, 41% expressed overall satisfaction and/or satisfaction with the online information. Another 33% want increased access and digitization of materials. A small share of those who offered additional information said they were wanting more government support (six percent), or commented about the confusing building/poor hours/need to make the library mandate more clear/need more staff (five percent).

What do you think?

OGS Ottawa Branch March Meeting

Genealogy Quilt is the topic for the main presentation on Saturday, 25 March.
David Walker and his wife Suzan will talk about their genealogy quilt entitled “They Came on Ships”, which features migration routes of twenty-five of their ancestors beginning in the early 1600s. The quilt, which took several hundred hours to complete, is an inventive way to showcase the migration of David’s ancestors. The quilt was displayed at the annual conference of the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada in 2016.
That meeting starts at 1 pm with a 30 minute social period.

At 10:30 an the Genealogy: Back to Basics  session is on "Church Records"

Following the main meeting the Computer Special Interest Group will meet at 3 pm.

It all happens at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive (Room 115).

Find out more about the branch and its mission to encourage, assist and bring together all those interested in the pursuit of family history, with a focus on the counties of Carleton, Lanark, Renfrew, Prescott, and Russell.