BNA adds Ottawa Free Press

Issues of the Ottawa Free Press from 2 January 1904 to 30 December 1915, 2,298 in all with 30,596 pages, are just added to the British Newspaper Archive.  At present, there are gaps — 1905, 1910, 1912, and 1914.

The paper was established in 1869 and amalgamated (taken over) in 1916 by the Ottawa Journal. The British Library holdings, the source for the BNA, date from 1903.

The Ottawa Public Library has earlier issues on microfilm and there are a few digitized by Google and available on MyHeritage. The catalog entry from Library and Archives Canada returns an error.  I enquired to LAC and the automated response was that “it can take up to 4 months to respond.”

A tip of the hat to Claire Santry from Irish Genealogy News who alerted me to the BNA addition.

OGS/Ontario Ancestors Conference

Calling all procrastinators. A last-minute reminder that the event starts tomorrow at your home, Friday.

I’m looking forward to speaking on Saturday at 1 pm on “Second World War British Migrants to Canada”, moderating Sunday sessions “Understanding the Past – To Improve Our Future” by Paul Barber at 10 am, and “Natural Phenomena and Their Effects on the Lives of Our Ancestors” at 1 pm by Wayne Shepheard.

Please join me at those and other conference sessions.


The annual rate of inflation in Canada in May was 7.7%. That’s higher than known for decades.

Higher energy prices resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine must be a major factor, directly and indirectly, coupled with an increase in travel from the vacation-staved.

The international influence is evident in the stats for other countries. The Eurozone, US, and UK all have higher inflation than Canada.

Perhaps like me, you recall the late 1970s and early 1980s with inflation above 10%. I had to renew a mortgage at nearly 20%.

This chart from Trading Economics gives a century-long perspective on inflation in Canada. For 30 years and more, inflation has been controlled in Canada leading a perception of what’s normal for most of us. How did your parents and grandparents deal with the inflation spikes of the 1950s and the massive deflation of the 1930s? Was there an impact on your family history?


Historical Research Grants

Does the Federal Government fund any research of interest for family history?
Each year the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council offers grants for academic research. Last week more than $175 million to support 809 social sciences and humanities research projects across Canada was announced.

21 Partnership Grants projects with $52 million in funding.
85 Partnership Development Grants projects over three years with a total of $16 million in funding.
560 Insight Grants projects over five years with a total of $96.5 million in funding.
143 Aid to Scholarly Journals publications over three years with a total of $10.5 million in funding.

The scope is huge. Focusing on the Insight Grants, here are a few projects that may be of interest for our community as they take a historical approach. It has to be may be as it’s judging by title, all that’s given.

Applicant Lemire, Beverly J. University of Alberta
Title: Fashioning the Imperial Atlantic: Race, Gender, and Material Culture, c. 1660-1820
Funding $99,569

Applicant: Carter, Sarah A. University of Alberta
Title: Who Owns the Prairies? A History of the Land, 1871-2021
Funding: $91,688

Applicant Sheffield, Scott R. University of the Fraser Valley
Collaborator Lutz, John S. University of Victoria
Collaborator MacMath, Sheryl University of the Fraser Valley
Title: British Columbia and the Second World War
Funding $145,740

Applicant Field, Russell D. University of Manitoba
Co-applicant Adams, Carly University of Lethbridge
Co-applicant Joseph, Janelle B. University of Toronto
Co-applicant Nzindukiyimana, Ornella St. Francis Xavier University
Co-applicant O’Bonsawin, Christine CO. University of Victoria
Collaborator Orpana, Simon A. McMaster University
Collaborator Smith, Janice Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
Title: A People’s History of Sport in Canada
Funding $180,413

Applicant Sauer, Elizabeth M. Brock University
Title: Reorienting English National Consciousness: Renaissance to Late Restoration
Funding $72,217

Applicant Dolansky, Shawna Carleton University
Collaborator Malena, Sarah L. St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Title: Women of the ancient world: graphic reconstructions and digital resources
Funding $142,165

Applicant Duggan, Ana T. McMaster University
Co-applicant Poinar, Hendrik N. McMaster University
Collaborator Dhody, Anna The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Collaborator Hicks, Robert D. The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Title: In Crypts and Cabinets: Uniting ancient DNA and the history of medicine to re-examine the emergence of smallpox and the advent of vaccination
Funding $85,189

Applicant Gamble, Brenda J. Ontario Tech University (University of Ontario Institute of Technology)
Co-applicant Dubrowski, Adam Ontario Tech University (University of Ontario Institute of Technology)
Co-applicant Felder, Stephanie Office of the Surgeon General
Collaborator Rostek, Michael A. Defence Research and Development Canada
Title: Exploring and describing the life experiences of Canadian female Veterans during, pre and post military service
Funding $176,385

Applicant Gniadek, Melissa University of Toronto
Title: Unsettled Times: Temporalities of Settlement in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
Funding $35,819

Applicant Williams, David-Antoine St. Jerome’s University
Title: Opening the Oxford English Dictionary: A Data-Enhanced, Research-Ready Historical Dictionary
Funding $265,720

Applicant Margolis, Rachel Western University
Co-applicant Clark, Shelley McGill University
Co-applicant Wright, Laura D. University of Saskatchewan
Title: The Canadian Family Change Project
Funding $273,000

Applicant Greene, Elizabeth M. Western University
Collaborator Birley, Barbara A. The Vindolanda Trust
Collaborator Buck, Trudi J. Durham University
Collaborator Nelson, Andrew J. Western University
Collaborator Semmelhack, Elizabeth A. The Bata Shoe Museum
Collaborator Williams, Rhys E. University of Teesside
Title: Putting the Empire on its Feet: Investigating Roman provincial populations using paleoimaging of archaeological shoes
Funding $313,912

Applicant Wilson, Ciann Larose Wilfrid Laurier University
Co-applicant Flicker, Sarah E. York University
Collaborator Baldwin, Denise Ontario Native Women’s Association
Collaborator Kelsie, Teresa L. Common Good Solutions Inc.
Collaborator Paris, Tonya NSCAD University (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University)
Collaborator Webber, Kayla University of Toronto
Title: Living Memories: Community-based Storytelling of Indigenous and Black Histories and Realities in Canada
Funding $400,000

Applicant MacFadyen, Joshua D. University of Prince Edward Island
Collaborator Dillon, Lisa Y. Université de Montréal
Title: Animals and the Circular Economy: A History of Biomass Energy and Agriculture in Canada, 1870-2021
Funding $210,141

Applicant McGaughey, Jane G.V. Concordia University
Collaborator Fourie, Carina University of Washington
Collaborator Rodgers, Julie National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Title: Mothers in the Time of Cholera: Motherhood, Migration, and Pandemics in the Canadian Colonial Medical System, 1817-1867
Funding $78,290

Applicant Hilsdale, Cecily J. McGill University
Title: Treasure: Power, Loss, and Historicity in the Medieval Mediterranean and Beyond
Funding $99,245

Applicant Gaudreault, André Université de Montréal
Co-applicant Hidalgo, Santiago Université de Montréal
Co-applicant Keil, Charles A. University of Toronto
Co-applicant Paci, Viva Université du Québec à Montréal
Co-applicant Raynauld, Isabelle Université de Montréal
Collaborator Dahlquist, Marina Stockholm University
Collaborator Guido, Laurent Université Lille 3 Charles-de-Gaulle
Collaborator Kessler, Frank E. Utrecht University
Collaborator Le Forestier, Laurent Université de Lausanne
Collaborator Pozner, Valérie Centre d’études franco-russe de Moscou
Collaborator Somaini, Antonio Université Sorbonne Nouvelle—Paris 3
Title: Capturer le rythme de la vie moderne : le montage rapide comme symptôme et modèle pour les sociétés du début du XXe siècle jusqu’à aujourd’hui
Funding $343,260

Applicant Maldague, Xavier Université Laval
Co-applicant Angenot, Valérie Université du Québec à Montréal
Co-applicant Bank, Carl-Georg University of Toronto
Collaborator Doro, Kennedy O. University of Toledo
Collaborator Elkarmoty, Mohamed Cairo University
Collaborator Helal, Hany Cairo University
Collaborator Ìbarra Castanedo, Clemente Université Laval
Collaborator Klein, Matt Visiooimage inc.
Collaborator Yamamoto, Kei Hill International
Title: Antique Egyptian Pyramids: Multi-Modal Research
Funding $388,932

Applicant Lemisko, Lynn E. University of Saskatchewan
Co-applicant Clausen, Kurt W. Nipissing University
Co-applicant Helyar, Frances M. Lakehead University
Co-applicant Raptis, Helen University of Victoria
Title: “Approaching Normal”: A Comparative Historical Study of Canadian Teacher Education Programs (1925 to 1975), Offering Insights for Today
Funding $304,487

Applicant Klaassen, Frank F. University of Saskatchewan
Co-applicant Wright, Sharon D.H. St. Thomas More College
Title: Female Magic Practitioners 1350-1550
Funding $212,809


Ambitious Plans for Society of Genealogists — reaching out

Moving from its crampled quarters in Clerkemwell has opened up thinking for The Society of Genealogists (SOG).

This article from History First starts with news that handwritten family trees containing names of a million and a quarter people from the medieval period onwards will be shared online.

The real news is found later. The idea is to make the new SOG headquarters not only a hub for family historians, but also the wider history community. 

“The new building is really going to be a destination for people,” said SOG CEO Wyporska, adding that new facilities might include a café and exhibition space and there would be a busy programme of on-site courses and events. “It’s putting the society back into society. I’m really looking forward to making this a really lively venue, as well as somewhere where you might be just sitting, having a cup of tea in between your research and overhear a conversation and your mind starts to work. And then you have a three-hour long chat.”

Historic family trees with 1.25m names to go online

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) free Zoom Presentations

Live via Zoom, a series of free presentations by GRIP in association with various sponsoring organizations. Pre-Registration is required through the sponsoring organizations’ links below. KEEP THE CONFIRMATION EMAIL that the sign-up generates. This will be the ONLY reminder and contains the link to join the meeting at the appropriate hour. You will need to register for each meeting separately.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022: Sponsored by Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society. Presenter Debbie Abbott, Ph.D. “Through the Eyes of a Genealogist: Paul Newman”

Wednesday, June 22, 2022: Sponsored by Bucks County (PA) Genealogical Society. Presenter CeCe Moore. “Serendipitous Story of John Doe and an Adoptee: Searching for Identity”

Thursday, June 23, 2022: Sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society. Presenter Michael Lacopo. “Methods for Identifying the German Origins of American Immigrants” 

Monday, July 11, 2022: Sponsored by North Hills Genealogists. Presenter Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG®“It’s All About Respect: Clinical Tips to Manage Uncomfortable Conversations about Surprising DNA Test Results

Tuesday, July 12, 2022: Sponsored by Western New York Genealogical Society. Presenter Annette Burke Lyttle. “Reconstructing the Lives of Our Farming Ancestors”

Wednesday, July 13, 2022: Sponsored by FamilySearch. David Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS, An Update on What’s New at FamilySearch and the 1950 Census Indexing Project” 

Thursday, July 14, 2022: Sponsored by Orange County, California, Genealogical Society. Presenter Rich Venezia. “Alien Registrations in America”

Presentation details are at

This Week’s Online Genealogy Events

Choose from free online events in the next five days. All times are ET except as noted. Those in red are Canadian, bolded if local to Ottawa or recommended. Assume registration in advance is required; check so you’re not disappointed.

Tuesday 21 June. 2 pm: Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from Ottawa Branch of OGS and The Ottawa Public Library.

Tuesday 21 June, 2:30 pm: Finding the Unknown Parents of Your 19th Century Ancestors, by Sara Allen for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Tuesday, 21 June. 8 pm: Negative Evidence: Making Something Out of Nothing, by Denise E. Cross for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Wednesday 22 June, 2 pm: Irish Emigration to North America: Before, during and after Famine, by Paul Milner for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Thursday 23 June, 6:30 pm: Who are All These People?
How you CAN figure out identities of people in your photos, by Tina LaFreniere for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Friday 24 June – Sunday 26 June: OGS/Ontario Ancestors Conference.

National Institute For Genealogical Studies Graduates

Saturday afternoon saw an online ceremony recognizing the 163 graduates of the National Institute of Genealogical Studies since just before the pandemic.

Congratulations to the following Canadians whose achievement was celebrated — perhaps you know one of more of them.

Charles (Chuck) L Buckley – Canmore, Alberta
Annette Dunford – Dour-Dummer, Ontario
Judith Fayter – Ridgetown, Ontario
Kendra Gaede – Winnipeg, Manitoba
David W Gray – Toronto, Ontario
Beatrice Hale – Oshawa, Ontario
Karen Henkelman – Calgary, Alberta
Dianne Kayess – Georgetown, Ontario
Lyn Kendell – Holland Landing, Ontario
Carol MacKay – Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Suzanne Mainprize – Frankford, Ontario
Evelyn Page – Grimsby, Ontario
Dahlia Petgrave – Ancaster, Ontario
Kathryn Potter – Ancaster, Ontario
Kathleen Rae – Edmonton, Alberta
Ronald J Raymer – Toronto, Ontario
Linda Ryall – Fall River, Nova Scotia
Carolyn Trickey-Bapty – Hamilton, Ontario
Carol Walsh – Cochrane, Alberta.

Congratulations and best wishes also to Angela Breidenbach who takes over leadership of the Institute and to founder Louise St Denis on her retirement.

Military Monday: Irish Military Archives

If someone of interest for your family history served in the Defence Forces in Ireland from 1922 onwards, or received a medal or pension for service during the Easter Rising or War of Independence, there may to be reference to them within The Irish Military Archives genealogy section.

New features in the popular online-only Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection include a fatalities map, which notes 1,077 individuals who died in the period 28 June to 31 December 1924; a Fatalities timeline; admin files; selected operations from Brigade Activity Reports & an online exhibition called Stories of the Dependents.

via blog post at Irish Genealogy News.

Co-Lab Updates for June

Of Library and Archives Canada’s Co-Lab Challenges progress is reported on two.

Summiting Mount Logan in 1925: Fred Lambart’s personal account of the treacherous climb and descent of the highest peak in Canada is 7% complete, up from 5% last month.

Travel posters in the Marc Choko collection is 65% complete, 52% last month.

Women in the War remains 0% complete.

First World War Posters, with 140 images, remains 99% complete.

Arthur Lismer’s Children’s Art Classes remains 0% complete.

John Freemont Smith remains 93% complete.

Canadian National Land Settlement Association remains 98% complete.

Molly Lamb Bobak with 226 images remains 91% complete.

Diary of François-Hyacinthe Séguin remains 99% complete.

George Mully: moments in Indigenous communities remains 0% complete.

Correspondence regarding First Nations veterans returning after the First World War remains 99% complete.

Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 remains 96% complete.

Legendary Train Robber and Prison Escapee Bill Miner remains 99% complete.

Japanese-Canadians: Second World War remains 0% complete.

The Call to Duty: Canada’s Nursing Sisters remains 92% complete.

Projects that remain 100% complete are no longer reported here.

Other unidentified Co-Lab activities not part of the Challenges may have happened.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Dave Obee Presentations
Today (Sunday) at 2 pm from Halton Peel Branch OGS, find out about Tracing Forward to Find Distant CousinsRegister here. There are also opportunities to learn about Changing Places, Changing Borders: Overcoming geographic challenges in Eastern Europe next Saturday, and  A Fresh Light on Old Newspapers next Sunday at Dave’s OGS Conference presentations.

Until 20 June find discounts on various of the company tests.

Saying NO to Facebook (Meta)
On Friday ResearchBuzz, one of my go-to sites, posted a Facebook Update. It included that Facebook failed again to detect hate speech in approving ads that used dehumanizing hate speech to call for the murder of people belonging to each of Ethiopia’s three main ethnic groups. Facebook prohibits gun sales on its service, but buyers and sellers can violate the rule 10 times before they are kicked off the social network. And, the majority of people encountering crypto scams on social media do so on Meta properties, including WhatsApp.

Not in Canada, Eh!
Another example of the sorry state of Canada’s declassification regime — Studying Canada’s Cold War? Go East, young scholar … and maybe skip Ottawa. That’s hot on the heels of Canada, a Country Without a History?

It’s part of a pattern. As family historians we know that post-1935 passenger arrival lists, and WW2 service files, and the 1940 national registration are all unavailable, or only available after jumping through bureaucratic hoops and tolerating long delays. Even then there can be exhorbant costs.

While LAC is focusing on its new palace at 555 Albert the access part of its mandate takes a back seat.

What’s New?
A blog post this week from UBC includes an explanation of how to use an advanced search query to compile a list of new items added this year. At LAC’s collection search you can also specify a year in the advanced search. Entering 2022 finds 11,401 items, 40 of which are archival. One of those is “Ministerial correspondence of the Office of the President [textual record]“, not so informative as it fails to mention the organization! Would that be President of Canada Post, the Museums Corporation? Turns out it’s CIDA. Why not give the organization name rather than just reference RG74? Could it be they want to preserve some of the mystique of the discipline — nothing new about that!

On a lighter note!

Thanks to this week’s contributors.  Anonymous,  Brenda Turner, Gail, Glenn Wright, Teresa, Unknown.

RootsTech 2023

Like many events having seen the advantages of moving online, but also regretting the lack of the social aspect of an in-person conference, RootsTech 2023 will comprise a hybrid online and in-person event. Here’s the announcement.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—RootsTech, the world’s largest family history gathering is back in 2023 with an in-person event in Salt Lake City to complement its massive online conference. Mark your calendars for March 2–4, 2023, to join millions of virtual and in-person attendees for inspiring keynote addresses, instructive classes, innovative technologies, and most of all, the ability to connect people to their family—past, present, and future.

FamilySearch is thrilled to continue the legacy of hosting RootsTech in the effort of uniting families. The 2023 event marks the 13th year of this global gathering. In 2022, over 3 million people participated online. Since the beginning, innovation has been a guiding principle for RootsTech. Each year, the event organizers adapt the content to appeal to people worldwide and to stay current. The 2023 event will be no different.

“We feel compelled to keep learning and evolving,” said Jen Allen, RootsTech event director. “We are constantly seeking new ideas to help expand reach outside the industry and create engaging and educational experiences for RootsTech attendees.”

The 2023 event will welcome speakers from all over the world covering a host of genealogy-related subjects. There are many announcements yet to come about RootsTech 2023, but Allen said the virtual experience will remain free and open to everyone all over the world. The in-person event will have a cost (to be determined) associated with registration and will feature exclusive classes with enhanced features like live Q&As or in-depth workshops and case studies. In addition, the in-person event will have unique connection experiences and of course, the energetic expo hall, which is a favorite of past RootsTech attendees.

Allen said that participants will enjoy invaluable experiences discovering family connections, regardless if they attend virtually or in-person. “We are excited to continue to serve the millions of people who attend virtually each year and look forward to welcoming those who will attend in-person in Salt Lake City.”

For more information or to sign up for updates, visit