Genealogy on YouTube

I’m suggesting just one YouTube item this week. It’s English with a home child Canadian connection.

There’s an accent challenge. To understand more of the audio turn on the captions, which struggle to capture the words properly.

Bridging Generations and Cultures: The Challenge Facing Genealogical Societies

Membership in many genealogical societies is declining, and volunteers are becoming increasingly difficult to find. Our societies face a dual challenge: retaining older members while appealing to an increasingly diverse population.

The Greying Membership

  1. Natural Attrition: Our older members face health issues, reduced mobility, and, inevitably, mortality.
  2. Fixed Incomes: Some retired members may struggle with membership and other costs of pursuing the hobby as living expenses rise.
  3. Technology Gap: Some older members find it challenging to adapt to the march of technology, like DNA and AI.
  4. Research Plateaus: Long-time members may feel they’ve achieved their goals and exhausted their research possibilities.

Changing Demographics

  1. Increasing Diversity: Canada’s communities are becoming more multi-ethnic, with many new residents having little connection to the traditional focus areas of established genealogical societies.
  2. Different Historical Narratives: Immigrants from various parts of the world may not see their histories reflected in our societies’ resources or programs.
  3. Language Barriers: Non-native speakers might find participation challenging if societies operate primarily in English or French.
  4. Varied Genealogical Traditions: Different cultures have diverse approaches to family history, which may not align with Western genealogical methods.

The Youth Factor

  1. Lack of Interest: Younger generations typically show less immediate interest in family history.
  2. Different Engagement Styles: Younger people prefer digital, on-demand resources and shorter items (TLDR) over traditional formats.
  3. Time Constraints: Younger adults, juggling careers and young families, have limited time for hobbies. Many societies have recruited from those at or nearing retirement.
  4. Alternative Platforms: Social media and online communities provide alternative spaces for genealogical discussions.

Bridging the Gaps

To address these challenges, societies need to evolve:

  • Diversify Focus: Expand resources and programs to cover a broader range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
  • Digital Adaptation: Embrace technology for virtual meetings, online resources, and social media engagement.
  • Intergenerational Programs: Create mentoring opportunities between older and younger members.
  • Cultural Education: Offer workshops on various cultural approaches to family history.
  • Flexible Membership: Provide options that accommodate different levels of engagement and financial situations.
  • Community Partnerships: Collaborate with cultural organizations and schools to raise awareness and interest.
  • Relevant Programming: Develop events that connect family history to current social and cultural issues.

Can societies become more inclusive and dynamic, continuing to serve existing members while welcoming new voices, approaches and perspectives?

Would you hire someone who wouldn’t use all the resources available?

The (US) Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) has issued an Interpretation Regarding the Use of AI. It reads, in part

“No material in an initial application may have been reviewed, critiqued, or proofread by another individual.” These restrictions apply to the use of AI, with these exceptions:

    • Applicants may use AI-powered search tools such as search engines, genealogy-company hints, and online trees.
    • Applicants may use spelling and grammar checking tools.
    • Applicants may translate documents—except the BCG-supplied document—with the help of translation tools.”

Posting on Facebook, Blaine Bettinger comments:

Although there are some issues, I think it is a good start. I don’t expect this policy to last long given how professional genealogists are already integrating AI into their workflow, but it is a very good interim policy.

Blaine missed his calling as a diplomat!

I’d call it a tiny step. It demonstrates how conservative BCG is, avoiding the fact that AI is already changing how we do many things. Professional genealogy is no exception. The test is the quality of the final product of the individual being assessed— the tools used are irrelevant.


A Home Child Story

The following article is from The Diss Express, and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, Friday, November 2, 1894. Page 4.

SHOCKING CRUELTY CHILDREN -—At the Police-court (Great Yarmouth, Norfolk) on Wednesday, SarahTayior, wife of Samuel Taylor, smacksman, was summoned at the instance of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, for exposing her five children, ranging from 14 years down to 3½.

Mr. C. J. Wiltshire, who prosecuted, stated that the defendant’s husband was a smacksman and she regularly had his wages. During the past two years, she had, however, given way to drink, sometimes going out for the whole day and leaving her children, who were ill-clad, dirty, and not fed. The youngest child had been left tied in a chair in the passage. A neighbour had taken the children in when they were out and only wearing shirts and had fed and clothed them. Her husband brought home boots and other things for the children, but they had been sold for drink for defendant.

In June 1893, two of the children were found sitting on some timber beside the river at half past three in the morning. In July last two of the boys were seen on Regent Road at 11:45 at night in the pouring rain. Both were then wet through, and the children were taken to the shelter.

In August, Inspector Frost called at defendant’s house, and there saw a child lying on two chairs very seriously ill. Three other young children were lying asleep on the floor. Defendant was out. Mr. and Mrs Frost remained in the house seeing after the children until quarter to twelve o’clock when defendant returned drunk and had a bottle of beer with her. When remonstrated with she said, “It’s a good job.” The child was found to be suffering from consumption of the bowels and in great agony. It was afterwards removed to the Workhouse, where it died. The body was weighed after death, and it did not scale quite 10½ lbs, whereas the ordinary weight of children at that age was about 30 1bs. Between the death and the burial, the defendant went to an insurance office and attempted to draw £2 5s, the amount due under an insurance policy, but the superintendent, hearing of these proceedings, withheld the amount.

Defendant was committed to ‘three months’ hard labour.

Samuel Taylor died at sea in 1894, Sarah died of a heart attack in 1898. Two sons came to Canada in 1901 as home children. One died with the CEF in France, the other lived to 1961. A descendant, a genealogist, told me the family would “get down on their knees” to thank Dr. Barnardo for the opportunity of a new life in Canada. New and Updated Papers

Here are the papers that are newly available or have had updates in the past month.

United Kingdom

New and Updated Newspapers

Western Telegraph (Haverfordwest, Dyfed, Wales)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 26,225

The Westmorland Gazette (Kendal, Cumbria, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 25,640

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard (North Wiltshire ed.) (Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 1,701

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard (Cotswold ed.) (Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 21,496

Thurrock Gazette (Grays, Essex, England)
Years: 2016–2019
Pages: 12,343

Stroud News and Journal (Stroud, Gloucestershire, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 18,978

Stourbridge News (Stourbridge, West Midlands, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 23,628

St. Helens Star (Saint Helens, Merseyside, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 22,998

County Gazette (Taunton, Somerset, England)
Years: 2015–2019
Pages: 23,626

Somerset County Gazette (Taunton, Somerset, England)
Years: 2015–2015
Pages: 3,502

Rhyl, Prestatyn and Abergele Journal (Rhyl and Prestatyn ed.) (Prestatyn, Clwyd, Wales)
Years: 2017–2019
Pages: 7,328

Oswestry and Border Counties Advertizer (Oswestry, Shropshire, England)
Years: 2017–2019
Pages: 9,015

Ledbury Reporter (Ledbury, Herefordshire, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 2,335

Keighley News (Keighley, West Yorkshire, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 16,957

Wharfedale and Aireborough Observer (Otley, West Yorkshire, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 1,408

Ilkley Gazette (Ilkley, West Yorkshire, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 17,150

Malvern Gazette (Malvern, Worcestershire, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 21,980

Hereford Times (Hereford, Herefordshire, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 40,724

South Wales Guardian (Ammanford, Dyfed, Wales)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 10,671

Cotswold Journal (Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 2,379

Evesham Journal (Evesham, Worcestershire, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 26,371

Craven Herald and Pioneer (Skipton, North Yorkshire, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 18,235

Droitwich Spa Advertiser (Droitwich, Worcestershire, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 1,722

Bromsgrove Advertiser (Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 25,563

Berrow’s Worcester Journal (Worcester, Worcestershire, England)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 19,284

Barry and District News (Barry, South Glamorgan, Wales)
Years: 2014–2019
Pages: 9,401

Updated Newspapers

Daily Record (Scotland)
Years: 1895–1999
Pages: 1,040,547

The Isle of Wight County Press and South of England Reporter (England)
Years: 1884–1955
Pages: 34,261

The Guardian (England)
Years: 1821–2024
Pages: 1,161,238


New and Updated Newspapers

The Scarborough Mirror (Scarborough, Ontario, Canada)
Years: 1980–1980
Pages: 1,249

The Weston-Downsview Mirror (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Years: 1998–1999
Pages: 664

The North York Mirror (Willowdale, Ontario, Canada)
Years: 1984–1999
Pages: 3,430

The Mirror (Scarborough ed.) (Scarborough, Ontario, Canada)
Years: 1972–1972
Pages: 340

The Mirror (Downsview Weston ed.) (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Years: 1971–1972
Pages: 908

The Mirror/Enterprise (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Years: 1971–1971
Pages: 460

The Mirror (Don Mills ed.) (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Years: 1971–1978
Pages: 14,391

Guelph Mercury (Guelph, Ontario, Canada)
Years: 2001–2016
Pages: 284,641

The Guelph Evening Mercury (Guelph, Ontario, Canada)
Years: 1916–1916
Pages: 903

Updated Newspapers

The Province (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
Years: 1894–2024
Pages: 2,370,310

The Toronto Star (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Years: 1900–2024
Pages: 3,885,837

The Windsor Star (Windsor, Ontario, Canada)
Years: 1893–2024
Pages: 1,608,853

National Post (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Years: 1907–2024
Pages: 860,744

The Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada)
Years: 1883–2024
Pages: 1,368,752

The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Years: 1857–2024
Pages: 2,184,730

Edmonton Journal (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
Years: 1903–2024
Pages: 2,096,869

Calgary Herald (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
Years: 1888–2024
Pages: 2,541,016

The Hamilton Spectator (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)
Years: 1852–2024
Pages: 2,245,956

Waterloo Region Record (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)
Years: 1893–2024
Pages: 1,363,927

WDYTYA Magazine: August 2024

As usual, this issue is packed full of helpful information and resources.

Best Free Websites is a surefire winner for the lead article in a genealogy magazine!
Jonathan Scott’s article for WDYTYA covers sites like FamilySearch and the CWGC, which are known to most genealogists. He also reveals “the online hidden gems that can help you grow your family tree for free.” 

Most sites are British. A few are international and throw in a sprinkling from Australia, Ireland, Israel and the US. Canada doesn’t rate!

The other lead articles are about visiting Dublin and the Olympics. Did you know there’s a website with event results and medalists from every Olympic Games since 1896?

I always look for something relevant to my home town. This time, it’s from the Norfolk Record Office blog snapshots-from-the-archives
with entries on “fascinating documents in its archives, from the medieval Great Yarmouth Borough court rolls to the diary of an elderly local woman during the Second World War, as well as useful advice on family history research and ‘Behind the Scenes’ posts revealing how the record office is run.”


OGS Appoints Christine Woodcock as President

The Board of Directors of The Ontario Genealogical Society is pleased to announce that Christine Woodcock has been appointed as its President, effective from July 9, 2024 through June 2026.

The announcement mentions three areas she wants to persue for helping the Society mover forward,:

  1. Membership Review – to explore ways to simplify and new ideas to grow our membership
  2. Fundraising – to generate new ideas to raise funds
  3. OGS Structure – to explore ways to simplify the structure while still offering benefits to members.

    I extent best wishes to Christine for success as she takes up the appointment.

This Week’s Online Genealogy Events

Choose from selected free online events in the next five days. All times are ET except as noted. Assume registration in advance is required; check so you’re not disappointed. Find out about many more, mainly US events at Conference Keeper

Tuesday, 16 July

2:30 pm: Documenting The Many Lives You’ve Lived with Artifacts, by Heather Nickerson for the Genealogy Center at Allen County Public Library.

8 pm: Oral Genealogy in Asia-Pacific: The Essence of Personal Identity and Tribal Connections, by David Ouimette for BCG and Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Wednesday, 17 July

2 pm: Finding Your Ancestors at the National SAR Genealogical Research Library, by Cheri Daniels for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Thursday, 18 July

7 pm: Beyond the Page: Oral Histories in Genealogical Research, by Geneva Gillis for OGS Haldimand-Norfolk Branch.

Friday, 19 July

2 pm: Putting Them in Their Place: Understanding Localities for Your Mexican & Colonial Spanish Ancestors, by Colleen Robledo Greene for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Saturday, 20 July


Ancestry Opens Immigration and Travel Records

Ancestry offers FREE access to all Immigration and Travel records until 22 July. That’s unlimited searches of over one billion records.

Collections included are:

Canada, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1865‑1935
Canada, Border Crossings from U.S. to Canada, 1908-1935
New York, U.S, Arriving Passenger & Crew Lists, 1820-1957
UK. &Ireland, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960
U.S, Passenger and Crew Lists for U.S. Bound Vessels Arriving in Canada, 1912-1939 & 1953-1962
Canada, Seafarers of the Atlantic Provinces, 1789-1935
Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1826‑1940
England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538‑1975

Ancestry ProTools for DNA

DNA expert Donna Rutherford posted on YouTube about her experience with Ancestry ProTools for DNA. She gives an overall evaluation and a case study from her own family tree.

The main benefit is finding out by how much your DNA matches match each other. You also get information on matches smaller than 20 cm, but Donna cautions about the likelihood of false matching.

She also mentions that MyHeritage DNA already provides those capabilities as part of the regular membership, although their DNA database is much smaller than Ancestry’s

To subscribe to ProTools, you need an Ancestry subscription and an AncestryDNA test to benefit from the DNA tools. As ProTools is a monthly subscription, about $10 US, if interested, you might want to try it for a month.

Explore Barnsley Non-Conformist Ancestry

In collaboration with Barnsley Archives & Local Studies, Ancestry now offers access to 112,414 records for Non-Conformist Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials in the area from 1788 to 1999.

This collection includes member lists and records from 23 Barnsley Methodist, Congregational, and Baptist chapels. It includes outlying communities such as Ardsley, Cudworth, Darfield, Hoyland, Staincross, and Wombwell. Indexes link to the original record images. 

Barnsley, the fourth largest settlement in South Yorkshire, is situated midway between Sheffield and Leeds. Formerly a leading producer of linen in England and a central location in the Yorkshire coalfield, it now has a diversified light industry.