Friday, 4 September 2015

Your Genealogy Today: September-October 2015 issur

For the record, here are the contents of the most recent issue of Your Genealogy Today.

Dissecting Death Notices for New Clues
George G. Morgan offers a number of strategies for extracting the maximum information from an ancestor’s death notice

Advice from the Pros
Janice Nickerson on Understanding Records Access Restrictions

Between the Headlines: 
Sensational Snippets and Scoops
Sue Lisk offers seven tips to help you locate your ancestors in the newspapers of yesteryear

Interviewing the Elderly
Brenda Ervin shares her successful tips for getting the elderly to open up and share their memories for future generations

Have You Reached a Brick Wall in Your Native American Research?
Stuart Doyle examines some strategies and resources for overcoming difficulties in Indian research

Reconstructing World War II Service Records
Jennifer Holik looks at alternate record sources when dealing with a missing Army, Air Corps or National Guard service record

Intertwined Families
Elaine Ford researches a Mississippi ancestor and a connection to slavery

DNA & Genealogy
Janine Cloud Asks: Can a DNA Test Confirm Native American Ancestry? It Depends.

The Rich Rewards of Your Roots: What I Found On My Journey Into The Past
Martin Goldsmith shares an extract from his book, Alex’s Wake: The Tragic Voyage of the St. Louis to Flee Nazi Germany – and a Grandson’s Journey of Love and Remembrance

Genealogy Tourism
Lora O'Brien Looks at Genealogy Tourism in Ireland: How to Get Started

The Back Page
We All Have a “Rachel” in Our Family Tree!

I hope you find more of interest for your family history exploration in this issue than I did for mine.

Is there Corruption in Your Genealogical Society?

Probably not, but as cooperation plays so significant a role in (mainly) volunteer organizations the finding that "human cooperative tendencies, and not merely greed, take part in shaping corruption" is worth noting.

This is the bottom line in a study The collaborative roots of corruption by Ori Weisela  and Shaul Shalvib published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

"Recent financial scandals highlight the devastating consequences of corruption. While much is known about individual immoral behavior, little is known about the collaborative roots of curruption. In a novel experimental paradigm, people could adhere to one of two competing moral norms: collaborate vs. be honest. Whereas collaborative settings may boost honesty due to increased observability, accountability, and reluctance to force others to become accomplices, we show that collaboration, particularly on equal terms, is inductive to the emergence of corruption. When partners' profits are not aligned, or when individuals complete a comparable task alone, corruption levels drop. These findings reveal a dark side of collaboration, suggesting that human cooperative tendencies, and not merely greed, take part in shaping corruption."
Via Deric's Mindblog

Typical Warning Signs:

Rumours of abuse.
Internal divisions within the organisation.
Power and decision-making are concentrated on one or few individuals.
People give different answers to the same question.
Reporting is delayed.
Financial reports are late.
Financial reports contain errors or are unclear.
Errors are explained as misunderstandings, and are corrected.
Budgets are unclear and perhaps only one person has the full overview.
Signatures are added to documents by photocopying.
The organisation does not make (or makes inadequate) annual reports.
Anonymous tips about misuse of funds or abuse of power.
It is difficult to get a clear picture of the organisational structure.
Board meetings are often cancelled.
There is insufficient sharing of roles in the handling of payments.
Key individuals are working very long hours - first in the morning and last out in the evening.
Key individuals never take holidays or days off, and thus never leave their responsibilities to others.
Individuals' private consumption seem to be above what their income would normally allow.


Thursday, 3 September 2015 holiday weekend free access

This weekend is providing free access to its collection of Canadian immigration records to help people explore the journey of their ancestors' immigration to Canada.

Free access to US records

Just in time to give access to a new collection of US State probate and will records is giving free access to records of U.S. birth, marriage and death until 7 September.

The new US probate collection is included, with records from 1668 to 2005. It's huge - more than 170 million original page images linked.  There are more than 2.8 million records for New York, more than 1 million each for Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Trailing are Alaska and Wyoming with less than 1,000 record and Nevada with just 27. Take advantage.

BIFHSGO Conference Update

A lot of work goes on by the BIFHSGO conference committee from the day the previous conference closes. The pace picks up as opening day, 18 September, nears.
Last week the conference committee had a walk about of the new venue with their staff and things appear to be in order. There's free wi-fi throughout the facility and capability to stream presentations in The Chamber to an overflow room in case it's needed.
The conference booklet with all the information you need to know is prepared and being printed.
The marketplace is fully booked.
Registration is about on a par with previous years - there's still room in the Friday seminar sessions.
Bookmarks from the OGS 2016 conference committee have arrived to be stuffed into the registrants packages, that's a quid pro quo for Toronto publicising next year's BIFHSGO conference -- maybe I misspoke, work on that is starting prior to the end of this month's conference.
Information has been distributed to those of us fortunate enough to have been chosen as session chairs.
The bottom line from conference co-Chair (Program) Jane Down, not given to over-hyping things, is a confident sounding "It will be good."

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

September Backup Nag

If you haven`t done a backup to your hard drive in the past month it's overdue. Do it now.

Alice in Shandehland; Murder in Depression Era Ottawa

The Archives Association of Ontario East Chapter is starting its fall season by sponsoring the launch of a book that took great advantage of the records found at the City of Ottawa Archives. Alice in Shandehland explores why an Ottawa Jewish jeweller who shot and killed his wife's lover was acquitted after his sensational 1932 murder trial. Find out more about the book here.

Join author Monda Halpern, Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Western Ontario, for a talk and signing, Thursday, September 17th, 6:30 - 8:30 PM, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa. Please RSVP to by September 15th.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Rockstar Genealogist 2015 Nominations Now Open

Nominations are open for the 2015 edition, the 4th year, of Rockstar Genealogist. Below is a list of those nominated based on previous years. The list is open for further nominations until noon EDT 6th September. Voting should start on the 7th.

Rockstar genealogists are those who give "must attend" presentations at family history conferences or as webinars. Who, when you see a new family history article or publication by that person, makes it a must buy. Who you hang on their every word on a blog, podcast or newsgroup, or follow avidly on Facebook or Twitter?

Anyone on the list who would prefer not to be ranked please let me know at johndreid at gmail dot com. Your name will appear, so voters will understand it isn't an omission, with an indication that any votes will not be tabulated.

Here's advice for those wanting to make additional nominations. Each year nominations are received for local genealogy heroes who don't gather very many votes. Feel free to nominate them, just be aware that only those with an international or national profile are likely to make the final rankings. Frivolous nominations will be rejected at my sole discretion. It's a good idea to ensure you nomination can be found through a Google search using the name and the word genealogy. 

Lisa Alzo
Lesley Anderson
Jen Baldwin
Jill Ball
Nick Barratt
Kyle Betit
Claire Bettag
Blaine Bettinger
Warren Bittner
Paul Blake
Katherine Borges
Diane Boumenot
Jana Sloan Broglin
Ruth Burkholder
Peter Calver
Paul Carter
Pauleen Cass
Colin Chapman
Shannon Christmas
Else Churchill
Kristin Cleage
John Philip Colletta
Audrey Collins
Lisa Louise Cooke
Kitty Cooper
Crista Cowen
Schelly Talalay Dardashti
Jackie Depelle
Gail Dever
Richard M Doherty
Brian Donovan
Marie Dougan
Bruce Durie
Dick Eastman
Roberta Estes
Kerry Farmer
Janet Few
Colleen Fitzpatrick
Fiona Fitzsimons
Michael Gandy
Heather Garnsey
Maurice Gleeson
Chris Goopy
Julie Goucher
Jan Gow
Kirsty Gray
Bennett Greenspan
John Grenham
Diane Haddad
Michael Hait
John Hanson
Alison Hare
Celia Heritage
Jean Wilcox Hibben
Shauna Hicks
Kathryn Lake Hogan
Yvette Hoitink
Daniel Horowitz
Cyndi Ingle
Sherry Irvine
Tim Janzen
Hank Z. Jones
Paul Jones
Tamura Jones
Thomas W. Jones
Debbie Kennett
Tessa Keough
Turi King
Taneya Koonce
Rosemary Kopittke
Peggy Lauritzen
Michael J. Leclerc
J. Mark Lowe
Dan Lynch
Thomas MacEntee
Jane MacNamara
Ken McKinlay
Leland Meitzler
Brenda Dougall Merriman
Elizabeth Shown Mills
Paul Milner
CeCe Moore
Susan Moore
George G. Morgan
Stephen P. Morse
Janice Nickerson
Dianne Seale Nolin
Maria Northcote
Dave Obee
Denise Olson
Gena Philibert Ortega
Chris Paton
Marian Pierre-Louis
Chris Pomery
Elissa Scalise Powell
Kimberly Powell
Laura Prescott
Marian Press
Rebecca Probert
Tony Proctor
Terrence Punch
Geoff Rasmussen
Linda Reid
David Rencher
Pat Richley-Erickson
Christine Rose
William Roulston
Judy G. Russell
Claire Santry
Lynne Sanders-Braithwaite
Gary Schroder
Lorine McGinnis Schulze
Craig Scott
Randy Seaver
Jayne Shrimpton
Joseph Shumway
Drew Smith
Helen V Smith
Megan Smolenyak
Steven C. Smyrl
Louise St. Denis
Roy Stockdill
Paula Stuart-Warren
Geoff Swinfield
Loretto Szucs
James Tanner
Jane Taubman
D. Joshua Taylor
Kerryn Taylor
Maureen Taylor
Alona Tester
James F.S. Thomson
John Titford
Alec Tritton
Helen Tovey
Judy Webster
Sharn White
Kirsty Wilkinson
Curt B. Witcher
Russ Worthington
Glenn Wright
Christine Woodcock

Benchmarks Update for August

There were 14 gainers, 15 losers in Alexa rank of key genealogy websites this past month. The colour coding indicates in green those that have gained in rank, becoming more popular; in red are those that have declined. Changes of more than 10% in Alexa rank are bolded.

        31-Aug        30-Jul
myHeritage.com4,2404,317,91216,224          53,878          55,802

cyndislist.com65,02565,671          57,569          55,126
qfhs.ca2,855,9592,808,384        575,595        416,724
ngsgenealogy.org359,631 314,065

The top rankings of all websites on Alexa are unchanged:,,,,,,,,

Monday, 31 August 2015

FamilySearch adds Wales, Glamorgan(shire), Parish Registers, 1538-1912

You can now search a collection of 753,759 records for Wales, Glamorgan(shire), Parish Registers, 1538-1912 at The records are partial transcriptions sourced from Findmypast with links to see original record images ($).

Free Beer at 100 Tallwood?

Gallery 112: October 1, 2015 to March 19, 2016
Taverns & Troublemakers
The City of Ottawa Archives invites visitors to drink in the history of Ottawa’s taverns and explore their battle with the Temperance Movement, the troublemakers who had a different plan for society.

Please join us for the opening reception: Thursday, October 1,  2015 from 6:30 - 8:30pm. RSVP:

British Newspaper Archive Additions for August

Here are the newspapers with thousands of pages of articles added to the British Newspaper Archive this month. For those of us lamenting the poor coverage of Est Anglia it includes a good run of the Framlingham Weekly News. If not at present they should all be soon accessible through a Findmypast subscription.