What do you do on Sunday?

Aside from reading my popular Sunday Sundries column?

This Sunday, 19 September, is the first day of the BIFHSGO virtual conference with three presentations scheduled following the 12:30 welcome and introductory remarks. I’ve previously attended talks by all three and can recommend them all.

13:00 – 14:30 The Registry of Deeds, Dublin: Recording Irish Women Down the Generations (All levels) with Roz McCutcheon

Many researchers working on Irish records will be aware of the terrible losses caused by the destruction of the Public Records Office in Dublin in 1922. However, the Registry of Deeds was housed elsewhere and remained intact. In this talk, Roz will show you how to look for an ancestor in the registry and what sort of information can be gleaned. This is a huge, relatively untapped source, containing millions of names but very poorly indexed. The deeds, covering the whole of Ireland, were registered from 1708 onwards, and included all classes of people: from carpenters, servants and bricklayers to lords and ladies. The repository is full of references to family relationships, property handed down via the female line, marriage settlements, and even women who set up businesses and coped on their own. Roz will give examples of the many references to women and also describe the free Registry of Deeds Index that is slowly growing online, thanks to a small group of volunteers.

15:00 – 16:30 Targeting your Irish Ancestors with DNA (Intermediate) with Maurice Gleeson

This intermediate-level talk will cover how to select a particular Irish line for investigation and characterize that line’s brick wall as best one can (using naming convention and baptism records to identify possible parents and siblings, respectively). Maurice will then explore testing known cousins that triangulate on the brick wall and how a cluster of shared matches can be identified. As accessing family trees for each member of the cluster can be a challenge, he will offer various hints and tips for achieving this. He will also explain how to generate an autosomal DNA matrix, which helps you estimate the relationships between the cluster members, highlight close connections, and isolate specific ancestral lines down which the DNA has been passed. Ultimately, this exercise generates clues and leads that point you to a common surname, location or ancestor that you can focus on when studying the documentary records.

17:00 – 18:30 Finding Herstory in the Archives: Researching Female Ancestors (Intermediate) with Gena Philibert-Ortega

We are certainly lucky to live in a time where so many records of genealogical value can be found online. But not everything is online; nor will it ever be. In this presentation Gena will explore what items useful for researching female ancestors you can expect to find in an archive and what archives you should be researching in Canada and the UK.

It’s not too late to register if you’ve been unable to commit until now.



Thomas MacEntee moves with the times

His recent post on genealogybargains.com calls it semi-retirement. That’s one way of describing it. Perhaps more like a change in approach, and a welcome one. As Thomas describes it.

Well, the genealogy industry can’t get rid of me yet. I will still be offering reasonably-priced, actionable, genealogy education but in a new format.

I believe that the current 50-minute lecture / 10 minute Q&A period for most webinars is stale and ineffective. I will be developing online courses with the following content:

Short videos
Live group sessions
“Flipped” classes where an assignment is due BEFORE the live group session.

I agree.

Many of us have benefitted from Thomas’s presentations — there’s one tip I picked up from him I use every day.  He’s not afraid to be different, one look shows that, so let’s look forward to his initiatives and more bite-sized approach to genealogy education.


Anglo-Celtic Roots: Fall 2021

The major article in the issue is Nineteenth-Century Migration: Salomon’s Story. Christine Jackson tells the story of her relative, a Dutch Jewish migrant to London and wheeler-dealer. Was moving from Amsterdam to the Tenterground of Spitalfield’s a move to better prospects? That’s what happened, although there’s a lot more to the story.

Heather Ashe tells her experiences of The Perils of Online Pedigrees, something we all experience.

Sheila Dohoo Faure continues the We Shall Remember Them series with information on three soldiers, from the German, French and Serbian armies who were treated and died at the Canadian No 1 Casualty Clearing Station.

Pam Cooper writes a book review of Scottish Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond by David Dobson; there’s a report on highlights of the 2021 BIFHSGO AGM and, an abbreviated Cream of the Crop column.

Christine Jackson filled in as editor so, together with her long article, she provided exceptional service to BIFHSGO for this issue.

LAC Deflection

“localized structural deflection” “no injuries” “removing the affected portion” “conducted in a controlled manner to ensure the continued safety of all staff, as well as the structural integrity of the project” de-construction.

Those terms, used in a notice posted on the LAC website, copied below, suggest this is more than a minor issue. Kudos to LAC for being open about it.

Project Update – September 13, 2021

PCL Construction can confirm that a localized structural deflection has occurred at the Library and Archives Canada construction site in Gatineau. There have been no injuries and the site has remained secure since the issue was discovered on September 9.

In response to the incident, PCL Construction is removing the affected portion of the exterior envelope to further investigate and determine the following steps. This removal is being conducted in a controlled manner to ensure the continued safety of all staff, as well as the structural integrity of the project. This de-construction will take place over the next few days and will involve the use of heavy machinery on site. This work is being done with the approval of Quebec’s Commission on Workplace Standards, Fairness, Health and Safety (CNESST).

Our investigation into the issue is ongoing, and the site will continue to be closed to all but essential staff.

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 14 Sept, 2 pm: Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from Ottawa Branch of OGS and The Ottawa Public Library.

Tuesday 14 Sept, 2 pm: Recent updates to MyHeritage’s historical record search engine, by Mike Mansfield for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Tuesday 14 Sept, 2:30 pm: Genealogical Research in Colonial New England, by John Beatty for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Tuesday 14 Sept, 7 pm:  50 Years With Harrow Early Immigrant Research Society (HEIRS.) Essex Branch OGS.

Tuesday 14 Sept, 7 pm: Tweedsmuir Digitization Project, by Mara Benjamin for Lambton Branch OGS.

Wednesday 15 Sept, 2 pm: Were they Orphans at all? DNA and the Orphan Train: Finding Kathryn’s Famil, by Nancy Gavin Koester for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Wednesday 15 Sept, 7 pm: Rockin’ on the Rideau: Ottawa’s Golden Age of Rock & Roll, by Jim Hurcomb for the Historical Society of Ottawa.

Thursday 16 Sept, 6:30 pm: Making Your Family Legacy PermanentMoving, by Thomas Visco for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Friday 17 Sept, 8 am:  Webtember presentations from Legacy Family Tree Webinars. See the full program at https://familytreewebinars.com/webinar_details.php?webinar_id=1785

Friday 17 Sept, 2 pm: A Toboggan Ride Through Canadian Records, eh! by Lianne Kruger for Legacy Family Tree Webinars. https://familytreewebinars.com/webinar/a-toboggan-ride-through-canadian-records-eh/

Friday 17 Sept, 7 pm: Ontario Land Records – Where are they Online? by Ken McKinlay for Niagara Branch OGS.

Saturday 18 Sept, 10 am, Records of Migration and Settlement at the Archives of Ontario by Jane MacNamara for Kingston Branch OGS. 

Saturday 18 Sept, 1 pm.  Exploring Our Evolving Canadian Story, by Jennifer DeBruin for Quinte Branch OGS.


19 – 26 September 2021: BIFHSGO Conference. Irish Lines and Female Finds: Exploring Irish records, female ancestors and genetic genealogy. www.bifhsgo2021.ca/.


Interesting Additions to Canadiana Héritage

On Monday Canadiana.ca added these files that could be of relevance for your family history.

Directorate of Movements : Marine files 1946 C-5648
Includes ships arriving in January and February 1946, mostly in Halifax, likely mainly war brides and repatriated Canadian service personnel.

Preliminary voters’ lists : Ontario, 1984 1984 T-22030
Preliminary voters’ lists : Ontario, 1985 1984 T-22048
Includes for By-Elections in Stormont Dundas, Sudbury, Thunder Bay/Atikokan

War Diaries of the First World War 1915-1919 T-1931
War Diaries of the First World War 1916-1919 T-1941
War Diaries of the First World War 1915-1919 T-7179
War Diaries of the First World War 1915-1918 T-7180
War Diaries of the First World War 1917-1918 T-10862
War Diaries of the First World War 1917-1918 T-10864
War Diaries of the First World War 1915-1918 T-10866

Western Land Grants 1912 C-6333

MyHeritage adds Newspaper Name Index for Canada and US

This collection of 982,821,881 records is a structured name index extracted from existing free-text U.S. and Canadian newspaper collections on MyHeritage.

Records typically include a person’s name, a snippet of text mentioning them in the newspaper, the newspaper publication title, date, and place of publication. Some records will also include additional searchable information such as the name of a spouse and the place of residence.

Limitations are that the collection is based on OCR technology and coverage of the newspaper collection which varies greatly.

Military Monday: Canadian War Brides to New Zealand and Australia

Canadian War Brides destined for New Zealand

According to one source, 3,750 Canadian women married airmen from outside Canada — Australia, New Zealand as well as the UK and elsewhere, while with the WW2 British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Canada.

Based on the total number of airmen who graduated from the Plan, and their national air force affiliations, a rough estimate of the number of Canadian brides is 2,700 to RAF personnel, 600 to RAAF and 450 to RNZAF. There must be large error bars on those estimates, especially for RAAF and RNZAF, as there were many RAF personnel who stayed in Canada for extended periods as part of the training establishments.

For New Zealand, “about 3700 women from 37 countries, including Canada, Italy and Palestine followed their husbands and fiances to New Zealand.” that’s according to

Searching New Zealand’s Papers Past  yielded several mentions.

30 June 1943 — over 70 NZ airmen have married Canadians
12 July 1944 — first group of Canadian war brides arrives in NZ
19 Nov 1945 — Canadian war brides arrive in New Zealand

No totals were found for Australia. The NLA Trove database yielded:

28 April 1944 — 2 Canadian war brides reached Australia
28 June 1944 — large party of war brides” arrived in Sydney
26 June 1945 — Thirty-nine Canadian war brides and 12 children of Australian airmen will arrive in Sydney shortly.
7 August 1945: 39 Canadian brides and 12 children arrived in Sydney about a month ago. Hitherto only about 20 Canadian war brides had arrived in Australia. An estimated 200 are still in Canada.
15 August 1945: 39 brides from every province of Canada and 12 children arrive in Sydney
August 1945 — It is estimated that 200 brides still in Canada await passage to Australia,.”
24 Sept 1945: 10 Toronto girls (wives) travelling to San Francisco where they will be part of a party of 142 brides and 25 babies travelling on the S S Matonia.
3 October 1945: 80 Canadian brides of Australia airmen arrive in Vancouver to proceed via San Francisco.
4 October 1945 —  One hundred and ninety-four Canadian wives of Australian airmen have arrived here on their way to Australia. Thirty husbands accompanied the group, 90 more met their wives here. Several of the group are widows. One bride is taking her mother to Australia. Thirty have babies.
Group will sail on Friday.
7 March 1946 — approximately 120 Canadian wives, fiancees, widows and children of Australian servicemen will sail by the Monterey from San Francisco on March 15. The women come from all provinces, but the majority are from the prairies.
24 May 1946 — Ship Monteray arrive Sydney with 18 Canadian wives and fiancees

Canadian newspapers have numerous reports of marriages to Australians and New Zealander’s as well as British airmen.

Hackney History

At the most recent BIFHSGO London SIG we discovered several of us have connections to Hackney. This YouTube video, by long-time resident Sean Gubbins, gives an overview of Hackney’s geography and history. It includes information on and links to local organizations, also on his Walk Hackney website, that may be useful in exploring further.

Sean Gubbins leads walks and, during the lockdown, produced a series of 20 self-guided tours around areas of the borough. Each has 3-4 lines on each of 10-20 locations along the route, They’re free on his website at walkhackney.co.uk.


Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Kingston & District Branch of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada
Interested in Canadian history and Black history? On Saturday, 25 September 2021 at 2:00 PM EDT on Zoom, award-winning author Jean Rae Baxter speaks on  “WHEREAS it is Unjust” – Upper Canada’s Role in the Fight to End Slavery.  Pre-registration (free) is requested at  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUldOuprj0vH9CK-CqPToos9pDbQ25LwOH2

Ancestry has updated New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 Immigration & Emigration, now with 95,195,319 records.

FRIDAY FOSSICKING is a weekly review of the world of family history from an Australian viewpoint. Check it out at https://thatmomentintime-crissouli.blogspot.com/2021/09/friday-fossicking-3rd-sept-2021.html

What Is a Good Credit Score? (+ Why You Need One)

Thanks to this week’s contributors. Ann Burns, Christine Jackson, Mary Pomfret, Nancy Cutway, Nancy Frey

Consultation at Library and Archives Canada

Did you know LAC has four advisory bodies?

Or perhaps more accurately, did you know LAC had four advisory bodies?

You probably wouldn’t know unless you scrolled down to the bottom of the website at https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/ and click on Our Mandate.

Acquisitions Advisory Committee has information up to Date modified: 13 November 2019.
Services Consultation Committee last reported on 24 January 2020.
Stakeholders’ Forum has information up to 13 November 2019.
Youth Advisory Council has a membership to 21 April 2021. It supposedly meets once a month, on a Thursday evening, for 1.5 to 2 hours. Unlike the other seemingly moribund groups there is no indication of what might have been discussed at prior meetings.

There are other consultations. There have been many consultation sessions specifically on the new OPL/LAC building.

The LAC website also has a section Public Consultations at  www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/aboutus/consultations/Pages/default.aspx/. It doesn’t mention the new building consultations. It does list one open consultation Enriching LAC’s library collections which was opened on 15 November 2018.   The last update is 26 September 2019. Is that consultation still open?

Contrast that with a tweet yesterday from Chris Paton:

Absolutely buzzing after latest stakeholder meeting with @PRONI_DFC this morning! Will write up shortly, but some potentially very exciting developments happening soon! PRONI should get archive of the year for how it has been working to provide access over the last 18 months.

There’s no evident consultation occurring at Library and Archives Canada. No exciting developments. How is LAC now receiving input on its activities, aside from occasional pop-ups on the website? With little interest expressed by the Parliamentary Committee that’s supposed to oversee its activities, how is LAC accountable?