Thursday, February 04, 2010

January Genealogy - Finds and Favourites

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CanadaGenealogy, or, Jane's Your Aunt isn't a baby anymore. She is now five years old! Her first post was 3 February, 2005. Seems like yesterday, really.

I've planned to do a few new things on the blog this year. Other bloggers. like Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings are already featuring 'best of genealogy' posts of the month or week. I do appreciate those lists, but wouldn't want to do quite the same thing.

Since I spend quite a bit of time on the 'net, sometimes, it seems, just wandering around admiring little nuggets and niches here and there, I thought I'd share some of each month's 'finds and favourites' with my readers the first week of the next month. I'm hoping some links will be helpful, or that an occasional find will make you think, or perhaps even give you a genea-laugh. After all, some of my finds might be quirky, but you just never know when stray genea-information will come in handy, do you?

So here's January 2010's list of Find and Favourites - more than a baker's dozen here, in no particular order:

1. Backupify - The ever helpful Thomas MacEntee at GeneaBloggers wrote about Backupify, a new service to back up one's on-line data at websites like Twitter and, yes, I signed up! This will be added protection for my tweets and updates, but also for my Flickr photos and this blog. So far, Backupify works with Twitter, Google Docs, Wordpress,G-Mail, Facebook, Zoho, Delicious, Flickr, Basecamp and Photobucket.

Thomas mentioned an article about Backupify at Digital Inspiration too - excellent site for news and views about all kinds of practical web tools and technology. The free Backupify offer has now been extended to February 15, 2010, so do have a look and see if this might be helpful to you.

2. Black History, Library and Archives Canada – February is Black History Month and LAC introduced a new Black History Month portal page with links to Black History information at LAC and at outside sites. Glad to see this as I'm sure this type of portal page attracts new readers and researchers. I hope this one will be expanded over the next while.

3. Lost Cousins – The biggest genealogy news in January for me was that Lost Cousins has added the 1911 Irish census to its matching system. That census information is free from The National Archives of Ireland. (By the way, Library and Archives Canada was a key partner in the Irish historical census project and digitized both the 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses.)

Do you have ancestry from the British Isles? Are you not a member of Lost Cousins? Why not? You can register for free, or for under $20 Canadian, you can be a full member with additional benefits. Go to to learn more about it and to register.

4. Who Do You Think You Are-Live 2010 – the UK's National History Show has added on-line 'What's Your Story' guides from The National Archives of the UK for those with ancestors who were in the Army, or who were criminals, divorced, Irish, Jewish or Scottish, and migrants. Attending this show sounds like a dream genealogy vacation indeed. WDYTYA -Live 2010 is February 26-28th in London, England. In case you can attend, several companies have 2/1 ticket offers, including S & N Genealogy and History Times .

5. Elevator history - I have to confess I've never thought much about elevator history, except to admire some of the older ones I've been in, for example, in the old Provincial Courthouse in Victoria, now the Maritime Museum, but here's a neat website, The History of Elevators, with links on elevator history, including the virtual Elevator Museum. You might find an elevator inventor in the family. (This website is courtesy United Elevator in case you need an elevator repaired in the greater Vancouver area of BC.)

6. Recipe Calculator from SparkRecipes - I've volunteered for a heritage cookbook project. (More about that later.) Here's a nifty calculator for the nutritional value of a recipe. Whoa! my Na used far too much butter! (But she was tiny!) I found this on-line calculator through Real Age.

7. A Book About Pub Names - the history of Britain as told through its pub signs - This is an e-book by Elaine Saunders who is on Twitter as @Book_About. I don't drink that much, but several of my relatives managed or worked in pubs and inns in England and Scotland. Elaine's blog, It's a Book About... hasn't been updated for a while, but there are some pub photographs there and she has a link to an excerpt from her book that's on-line free.

Now two Canadian genealogy/history blogs - via Loaded Web

Glengarry County - Do you have an interest in Glengarry County, Ontario and area, in Canada? Check out the Glengarry County blog which includes information about the genealogy publications of Alex W. Fraser (of Courtenay BC) and Rhoda Ross.

9. You might find a Canadian environmentalist in the family tree. (No pun intended for British Columbians, or loggers either.) The Great Green North blog by Ryan O'Connor is 'Exploring the History of the Environmental Movement in Canada' apparently starting with Pollution Probe in Toronto in 1969 and SPEC, the Society for Pollution and Environmental Control, in Coquitlam, BC, 1969. He seems interested in many groups, although the focus of his university research, he says, is Toronto.

10. The Doegen Records Web Project - Tionscadal Gréasáin Cheirníní Doegen - Stories, prayers, vocabulary, recorded in Irish dialect by Dr Wilhelm Doegen and his assistant, Karl Tempel, from 1928-31 on-line. A project of the Royal Irish Academy Library. Browse by recording titles, speaker's names, and speakers' origins (115 from Connacht, 17 from Leinster, 120 from Munster and 144 from Ulster). Many of these recordings, if not most, are under a Creative Commons License.

11. The Marriage in Ireland 1660-1925 Project at the Queen's University, Belfast, aims to publish a major study on Ireland, north and south, focused on families below the wealthy landowning classes. This will be of interest to those researching family in Ireland. More about this later, I hope. Via the newsletter of The Women's History Network of the UK. Professor Maria Luddy who is Co-Director of this project has already written much on women in Ireland. Follow her link on the Marriage Project page to see her titles, and also links to The Directory of Sources for the History of Women in Ireland and Women in 20th-Century Ireland: Sources from the Department of the Taoiseach, 1922-1966, both of which are on-line.

12. Ulster Heritage DNA Project - there's information on the Ulster Heritage Magazine's blog about the Ulster (in Ireland) DNA projects, (Y and MtDNA) managed by Barry R. McCain of Oxford, Mississippi and Jim McKane of Wiarton, Ontario, Canada.

13. Canadian Gravemarker Gallery - this is a now a perennial favourite of mine. I still have some real concerns about the future of many personal genealogy websites, but I certainly admire Canadian Gravemarker Gallery founder, Murray Pletsch of North Bay, Ontario. With volunteers, he now has over 500 cemeteries listed with thousands of photographs on-line free, and has had thousands of visitors since the site opened ten years ago, originally as the Northeastern Ontario Gravemarker Gallery. There's a free newsletter you can sign up for and links to free e-mail cemetery lists.

14. Scanfest! The best genealogy event on-line in January was 'the return of Scanfest'! A big thank you to Miriam Robbins Midkiff of AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors who organizes this. At Scanfest this time, I scanned a group of postcards that my great uncle sent home while he was working in Africa. As we scan, we chat and share tips and ideas. If you'd like to see what we're up to, go to the ScanFest link to see a replay.

15. Vintage Toronto - Here's another blog find this month; it's all about vintage Toronto postcards and their stories. I have only a few Toronto postcards myself, but I would certainly like to learn more about them.

16. WANTED! U.S. Criminal Records Sources & Research Methodology by Ron Arons - A Twitter link to a favourable review of this book on Leland Meitzler's Genealogy Blog caught my eye, and yes, I want it. Wouldn't I love to find a criminal or two in the family - more records! It's a bit more expensive to ship to Canada, but contact the author if you're interested. Free on his website are photo galleries for Sing Sing Prison and some of its Jewish inmates and an inmate database. Both Leland Meitzler and Ron Arons are on Twitter, as @Lmeitzler and @RonArons, respectively.

17. Arcalife - new at Arcalife in January - Dr. Nick Barratt is now guest blogging on the Arcalife blog. Arcalife, a British Columbia, Canada company, has a website meant for sharing and storing your family and individual histories. There are tiered memberships from free to lifetime. The lifetime option allows members regular access to the website's family history features and its innovative tools, like the Life Cube and also upgraded storage, and will enable members to pass on their digital estate.

And, that's it till next month!


Miriam said...

Thanks for mentioning Scanfest, Diane. You and your readers can join me for the next event on Sunday, February 28th, from 11 AM to 2 PM, PST at AnceStories. See you there!

M. Diane Rogers said...

Great, Miriam. I've marked off February 28th on my calendar. Looking forward to attending Scanfest with you then. Thanks!

Kathryn Doyle said...

Nice line-up, Diana. And congratulations on turning five! (Very cute pix.)

Steve Danko said...

Congratulations on turning five, Diane! Since I'll be turning four soon, does that mean you're my big sister?


M. Diane Rogers said...

Oh, my, another baby brother! Well, in genealogy, the more family the better, right?

Elaine Saunders - Complete Text said...

Many thanks for mentioning A Book About Pub Names above. I'm taking a year out to do a history masters degree, hence the lack of updates on the blog, but my interest in pub names remains very active (and slightly more academic now!)

Although I don't have much information on landlords or individual pubs, I'm happy to help out any of your followers who might have a pub-related research interest. There's also a great list on Rootsweb on this topic.

I've just discovered a list of law-breaking landlords in London in the early 1800s if anyone thinks they might have one of these.

Drop me a line via my blog or website and I'll see what I can do.


Elaine Saunders
Author – A Book About Pub Names
It’s A Book About….blog
Complete Text

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

This is a great new feature! You have a great eye for quality and/or quirky sites and I'll definitely be following this series!
Evelyn in Montreal

M. Diane Rogers said...

Thanks, Elaine, for this great offer. Your academic work must be interesting! Hope to see more from you soon.

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

I passed the recipe calculator on to my wife and daughters. THANKS!

Keep these ancestor stories coming!

Bill ;-)
Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

Alex W Fraser, Rhoda Ross said...

Thank you for listing my Glengarry County Book Blog on your site. More of our titles can be found at Alex W Fraser Books
Take care and God bless
Alex W Fraser, Courtenay, BC