October 31, 2013

Hallowe'en Death Chart

Judy Russell of The Legal Genealogist came up with a fascinating chart of her ancestors causes of death and ages at death. It's so perfect for Hallowe'en that I decided to create my own.

It was actually a good exercise because I realized that I didn't have all the death registrations and that I hadn't really thought about their deaths. Was there a pattern? Did my ancestors have similar, perhaps genetic, health issues? Did they die young? Live to ripe old ages?

Lots of my female ancestors lived long lives, into their 80s and 90s. That's good news for me! With no further ado, here's my Hallowe'en Death Chart. You might want to create one too.

Hallowe'en Death Chart
The upper case initials on each line are just to help me keep it straight as to whose information I was entering.


October 30, 2013

Problems With 1921 Census Indexing & How To Work Around Them

Problems With 1921 Census Indexing & How To Work Around Them
Yesterday saw me playing in the 1921 Canadian Census which is fully indexed and online at Ancestry.ca and   Ancestry.com 
 
I encountered a lot of bad transcribing which of course impacts on our ability to find our ancestors. From talking to other researchers yesterday I know many genealogists were finding errors that made it very challenging to find an ancestor. 

I'm still happy that the index is online and I'm really pleased that Ancestry has a way for researchers to add corrections. In fact I spent a lot of time yesterday adding my corrections to a lot of McGinnis and Vollick individuals in the 1921 census. 

Correcting Errors on the 1921 Census

To add your correction when you find a badly mangled ancestor's name, just look on the left side of the Ancestry page under the topic "Page Tools" . Under that topic title are  choices:
  • Save record to someone in my tree
  • Save record to my shoebox
  • View/Add Alternate Info
  • Report Issue
  • View printer-friendly

You want View/Add Alternate Info. Then just follow instructions to add your correction. 

Some Errors I Found & How to Work Around Them

Let me give you a few examples and then walk you through how to get around this problem.

My grandmother Olive McGinnis was found as Clive. Not a big deal IF I only searched on her last name. Everyone in the family had some error in their name. The census images confirm that they were mistranscribed

Edgarton Anson Vollick was found as Edward W. Vollick. His son Harry Leslie Vollick, living with him, was indexed as Mary Lester Vollick. His daughter Lottie May was mistranscribed as Satter Mary. A huge error! 

WIldcards are your friend. But sometimes they don't work to overcome such things as "Harry" becoming "Mary" 

Or Edgarton becoming Edward. You must use 3 letters with the allowed wildcard search so you would have to be very creative and use Ed*r* to pick up both Edgarton and Edward but who would think to do that? 

My grandfather's brother, Henry McGinnis, was quite a challenge. It took me over an hour of fiddling and trying different searches to find him. He was badly mistranscribed as "Mary McGinne"   So even with my standard wildcard search of Mc*g*n*s for McGinnis he was not turning up. I confess it did not occur to me to leave off that last letter of "s"! 

I have another "trick" i use which is to just search under a first name and a date of birth or a location. But searching for "Henry" and his year of birth +/- 5 AND Guelph which is where he lived, still didn't pick him up (because he was indexed as Mary!)

I changed "Guelph" to "Wellington" in case he'd moved and I didn't know. No luck of course because no matter how broad I made my search I was still using Mc*G*n*s for the last name. (Note to self: Get even more creative in wildcard searches and use something like
Mc*G*n* or even
Mc*G* when experiencing difficulty finding someone I know is there!)


I changed "Wellington" to "Ontario" since I knew for sure he lived in Ontario in 1921. But these standard changes to a broader search did not help. (Again because of the incorrect first name) 

Searching only under his last name and year of birth +/- 5 also did nothing because I used my standard Mc*G*n*s as the last name. 

I tried his wife Eunice - using wildcards - but no luck. I tried each of his children in turn. Nothing until I got to his youngest son Russell. Searching for "Rus*" with no last name and just his year of birth +/-5 was a Bingo moment. There they were - in Guelph, Wellington County as I knew they would be - but indexed as McGinne with Henry being Mary, his wife Eunice being Cunice and his children unrecognizable.... except for Russell. 

Some Tips For Searching Badly Transcribed Records


  • Use wildcards for last name and first name
  • Omit first name and search under last name and year of birth or location
  • Search just by last name
  • Broaden your search by leaving out specific location (start with a city/town then broaden that to a township then a county then broaden even further if necessary to the province)
  • Search for someone else in the family - a child or a spouse
  • Think outside the box - for example an "S" might be mistaken for an "L" So search for "Lally" instead of "Sally" . Maybe an "H" was mistranscribed as an "M" or some other letter so try various combinations
  • Don't get stuck on being absolutely positive that Grandpa Jim lived in a specific location. Maybe for that one year he was working and living elsewhere 
  • Add your correction when you find an incorrect entry! This helps other researchers and descendant. Ooops I neglected to add that you need to check the image first as you need to be sure you are correcting the transcription and not the image. Thanks to Audrey C. for the reminder! 
What's Next?

I still haven't found my great grandmother Harriet (Hattie) McGinnis. I know she lived in Guelph. I know when she was born (1847). I've followed my own tips and still she hasn't popped up. I even tried searching under her maiden name of King in case she used that. Nada.

I tried lots of variations of her surname and even searched just under her first name but still nothing. 

So today I am going to search each of her children in turn to see if she was living with a married daughter and perhaps written incorrectly under their married surname. I'm also going to try Mattie as a first name in case the "H" was mistaken for an "M"

I'm also going to reverse her first name and surname, just in case.... Wish me luck!

October 29, 2013

Great News - 1921 Canadian Census INDEX Online!

1921 Canadian Census Index Online!
Great news! The 1921 Canadian Census is fully indexed and online at Ancestry.ca and   Ancestry.com 

I've already spent a half hour finding family and adding corrections to the indexing. For example my grandmother Olive McGinnis is mistranscribed as "Clive". My father and uncles' names are also slightly mangled.

But I'm just happy the index is here! I was invited to the big launch party in Toronto today being put on by Ancestry.ca but sadly cannot attend. It would have been fun and interesting to hear the speakers they are providing.

Enjoy searching for your Canadian ancestors in the 1921 Census on Ancestry.com and Ancestry.ca

October 28, 2013

Thinking about Ancestors Today

Thinking about Ancestors Today
I have been thinking about family and the ones who are gone. This is one of my favourite photos of my mother (on the right) and her sister. It was taken around 1918 in Guelph Ontario.

It would be great if I got it restored to get rid of the black photo holders so that will be my next step. Do you have a favourite photo of an ancestor that you keep tucked in a drawer? This one is going in my Shutterfly book about my family. I have quite a few from this time period and really need to get them organized and create copies.


October 27, 2013

UPDATE!! Found WW2 Letter from American Soldier Looking for Home


Image captured from wifr.com video
A letter from a WW2 soldier was found in the street and the finder is looking for any family member so he can return the letter.

The letter was written in December 1944 by Sgt Neal K. Moore while he was in England and it is addressed to Miss Bessie Moore of Galena Park Texas. 

So did a bit of sleuthing and found the burial of Sgt. Moore in Oakwood Cemetery, Denison, Grayson County Texas. The inscription reads:

MOORE  NEAL  K                   FEB 26,1914     JAN 12,1945
  SERGEANT, US  ARMY, WW II.  KILLED  IN  BELGIUM, BATTLE  OF  THE  BULGE
[FN1]

Also found on FindAGrave with inscription Veteran of World War II. Sergeant - United States Army. Killed in action - Battle of the Bulge. Serial No. 38043828 Note that the serial number is identical to the serial number on the return address of his envelope [FN2]

In the 1940 census for Denison Texas Neal is found as a single man living with his sister, the widow Georgia Armstrong, at 609 East Munson Street. He works in a cheese factory.

An application in 1947 for a military stone for Neal's grave was submitted by Ernest Moore living in Galena Park Texas. [FN3] I have no doubt he is related, if not to Neal, to Bessie the person Neal wrote to.  

I plan to continue hunting for more details on Neal and on Bessie the woman he wrote to. My hope is that my wonderful readers will jump in and put on their genealogy sleuthing hats!

Oct. 30th : Exciting Update!!

This was posted on Olive Tree Genealogy Facebook page by Debbie DeVore: 

Thanks you guys! Thanks to folks from your group we found out about this last night. My mom is the closest living relative to Neal and Bessie and we are now in contact with the gentleman who found the letter and will be seeing it soon! My mom, Donna Moore DeVore, is 76 and this is the most exciting thing to happen for her in a long while. She had only recently posted info on Neal on her ancestry page. Too cool! 


[FN1] http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txgrayso/ceme-oakwood5.html 
[FN2] http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=moore&GSfn=neal&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=8622560&df=all&
[FN3] Ancestry.com

Flash - Another Winner of a Children's Game from Blue-Orange

Flash - Another Winner of a Children's Game from Blue-Orange
Another winner of a game that my grandchildren loved! FLASH from Blue-Orange is a game for ages 7 to adult. It's a fast paced dice game for 2 to 6 players. My grandchildren ages 6 to 11 played. The age limits given are accurate as the 6 year old (he just turned 6 last month) had some trouble. 

There are different challenges to meet. Sometimes each player tries to get 6 of a kind, sometimes it is 3 pairs or other variations of the dice tosses. Players toss their dice, quickly decide which are "keepers" and which need to be thrown again to complete the challenge, then toss again. 

The 6 year old's siblings ended up letting him stick with trying to get 6 of a kind because he had trouble understanding the concept of 3 pairs and the more difficult sets. He also had a little trouble keeping up with the fast pace of the game and making decisions as to which dice to keep and which to throw again. But he enjoyed playing!

His older siblings had no trouble at all. They loved the game although they did need a little help from me to understand the rules. But that's good because the point of these games (for me) is to bond with them and spend some fun quality time together. 

I use these games as a opportunity to talk about history and our ancestors. I say things like "Do you think our ancestors played games like this?" and then we talk about what a child might get for Christmas in the 1800s or what games Great-Grandpa or Grandma McGinnis had to play with.






This game won the following awards and I can see why:
  • Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products
  • Parents’ Choice Award
  • Tillywig Toy Award
  • The National Parenting Center Award

Disclaimer: I was given a free game to review but I was not told what to say. The opinions here in my blog post are my own.

October 26, 2013

Irish Passengers in J & J Cooke Shipping Agents Records 1847-1871

 Irish Passengers in J & J Cooke Shipping Agents Records 1847-1871
Those of us with Irish ancestors know how difficult and challenging it can be to find records. One set of records that is often overlooked is the J & J Cooke Shipping Agents Records. 

Ships passenger lists to Canada did not have to be kept before 1865 and the J J Cooke Shipping Agent records are a substitute that is often overlooked. It also includes ports of arrival in America

These Irish passenger lists from shipping records can be found in  Passenger Books of J & J Cooke, Shipping Agents. Sailings from Londonderry to Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Quebec, St. John New Brunswick & New Orleans Louisiana, 1847-1871

This database of Irish ships passenger lists include 27 ships to St. John New Brunswick, 30 to Pennsylvania, 23 to Quebec and 5 to New Orleans, Louisiana. If your Irish ancestor left Ireland for N. America between 1847 and 1871 you won't want to overlook these lists of passengers.



October 25, 2013

Find Out What Your DNA Says About You - Specials at 23andMe

Find Out What Your DNA Says About You - Specials at 23andMe I'm definitely taking advantage of this special and buying a few DNA kits for Christmas presents for family members! 

We'd like to have hubs' mom and dad tested and I'd like to convince my 102 year old Uncle on my mother's side to do a little spitting! 

In any case I plan on buying 4 kits for Christmas. The more family members I can get to test, the more accurate results are and the more i can find out about our family heritage.

Here's the link to get your DNA kits at 23andMe.com


October 24, 2013

October 23, 2013

Blended Families, Blended Names - Good or Bad Idea?

Blended Families, Blended Names - Good or Bad Idea?
Blended Families, Blended Names is the most disturbing trend I've heard of recently. According to the article online, some married couples are inventing a new surname for themselves and by extension their children. The new surname is a combination of the husband and wife's surnames.

This isn't a case of hyphenated surnames. Two of my own grandchildren have a hyphenated name from their mom and dad as their moniker. But that makes it easier for genealogists! Having an ancestor named Smith-McConnell gives an instant surname to the wife and as we all know, often it is the women who are the most challenging to find.

No, this is a case of taking husband and wife named Smith and McConnell and creating a new name such as McSmith. The new name is used by the couple and by their children.

The article cites examples of real couples, for example the husband and wife team of Fitzpatrick and Sawatzky. They now carry the new surname of Fitzky

All I could think when I read this was how difficult they are making life for their descendants who might be interested in genealogy. But I also confess I had a little bit of sadness thinking how that name change dishonoured their ancestors.

In my own genealogical research it was only through sheer luck that I stumbled on the fact  that my Vollick ancestor who I could not find prior to 1786 was in fact born a Van Valkenburg. Sometime during or after the American Revolution his surname became Vollick. His sons used both Vollick and Follick. I would not deliberately wish that challenge on anyone!

What do you think of this trend?

October 22, 2013

7 Days Until 1921?

7 Days Until 1921
Has everyone been noticing the countdown that's been on Ancestry.comand Ancestry.ca for a few weeks now? 

Every day this ticker counts down. 

Since 1921 Canadian census has been online and available for browsing but is not yet indexed I think I know what it means - what about you?

October 21, 2013

Ancestor Look-A-Like - What's Your Story

I have always told my husband he looks a lot like his great-grandfather. He doesn't see the resemblance but to me it's striking - especially in the mouth. What do you think?



















Do you have an ancestor you think you or another family member looks like?

Hubs has a photo of a young girl in his family and it's a bit creepy because she looks just like me!

What's your ancestor look-a-like story?

October 20, 2013

DNA Results Leave us Gob-Smacked!

DNA Results Leave us Gob-Smacked!
That's a British expression. It means dumbfounded, surprised as heck... you get the idea. I've been digging into hubs' DNA matches and results very closely and found a match that is one heck of a surprise.

To preface my story, this match (let's call him John) is listed as 64% .64% Sharing and with 47 cM. [FN1] That's a pretty close match, I estimate within 3 or 4 generations.

The matches that I've been able to confirm as matching me or my brother, are with a shared ancestor going back to 4th or 6th great grandparent - and they only have 20-25 cM matching. So finding this new match to hubs and such a close match was exciting.

The puzzler was that none of the match's surnames or ancestral tree are the same as my husband's. And we can both go back quite far with sources to prove the genealogy. So what gives? After scratching my head for a bit I had an "aha" moment.

I suddenly realized that one of the match's surnames was the same as the name bandied about as a bit of family lore from hubs' grandmother. Grandmother always claimed that her husband was the son of the hired man and not the son of the man he thought was his father, his mother's husband. We dismissed this as petty gossip on her part.

But now, having seen the lineage and done my own investigation, we have a compelling case that supports her claim. I don't want to use names yet so I'm going to make up names for each individual.

The Cast:

Sally, hubs' great grandmother
Sally's son Alex, hub's grandfather
Sally's husband William
Sally's brother Jim
Sally's hired man Mr. Smith
Hub's close match, John
John's grandfather Calvin Smith
John's great-grandfather Ralph Smith

Facts:

Great grandmother Sally came from England in 1913 to live with her brother Jim. Jim lived next door to Calvin Smith. (the grandfather of our match )

Great Sally was said to have had hub's grandpa (Alex) by the hired man (Mr. Smith) who was not her husband.

We also find that Sally's husband William was living next door to Ralph Smith and two sons in 1911. They were all farmers.

Ralph Smith and his sons were all farmers and farm hands. This fits with the story of Great Grandma Sally messing around with the hired man.

Given the presumed close relationship indicated by the DNA samples, we have a theory that either Man B (our match's grandpa) or one of his nephews (we have a good candidate) was the father of hubs' Grandpa.

Next Steps

Now the question is how do we tactfully suggest this to our  match (or do we even bring it up??) and how do we gather more evidence.

We plan on asking hubs' mother to have her DNA tested through 23andMe.com so we can see if she also matches hubs' match John, and if so, by how much.

We will also ask hubs' father to take a DNA test so we can see if he matches the same person as hubs'. One of them should match, the other should not. If it is hubs' mother who matches, that would fit the correct lineage. (maternal not paternal)

Hubs is going to join some surname groups for the lineage he thought was his. If he is not related he won't match anyone in those groups. 

Caveats

The new match's ancestors were all running around in the same very small community as hubs' ancestors. So there is a chance that the common ancestor is a secret that a wife or mother took to the grave. We would have to test more family members to try to narrow down the shared ancestor.

We'd like to get one of hubs' uncles to submit a DNA test if possible.

Meantime I'm doing some sleuthing to try to eliminate any possibility that there is a different shared surname and thus ancestor. But it certainly looks like hubs has a new cousin and many new family surnames to research! Mind you this is only in the theory stage, there is no definite proof of what the relationship is to our new-found match.

Footnotes:

FN1: cM  is  unit of genetic distance on a chromosome. Closer relationships have longer cMs because recombination has not occurred as often.

October 19, 2013

AncestryDNA™ Now a More Comprehensive DNA Test for Exploring Ethnic Origins

The following Press Release was received by Olive Tree Genealogy on October 17th but I held off announcing this great news until today. Earlier the website servers crashed due to high traffic as everyone rushed to see their new DNA results. 

Now the site is up and running and you can explore your new ethnic results! If you haven't tested yet with Ancestry DNA you might want to take advantage of their free shipping offer on DNA Kits. Just use this link and the coupon code FREESHIPDNA

Update to AncestryDNA gives a deeper level of insight with expanded information for twenty-six regions

(PROVO, Utah) – October 17, 2013 – Ancestry.com DNA, LLC announced today an update to its popular DNA test. Armed with one of the most comprehensive collections of location based DNA samples from around the world and the latest DNA testing technology, AncestryDNA now maps a test taker’s ethnic origins to 26 global regions, including expanded regions for people of European and West African descent.

“We are rapidly advancing DNA testing for family history,” said Dr. Ken Chahine, Senior Vice President and General Manager of AncestryDNA. “The greatest benefit of this test is that it provides an easy way to help explore one’s ancestral background and discover your family’s past in amazing detail never before available.”
Whether you’re just getting started researching your family history or you are an advanced genealogist tracking down a specific portion of a family tree where records are going cold, the new update to AncestryDNA can help people explore their ancestry beyond historical records.

The new update to AncestryDNA includes:


·        Increased number of ethnic regions to 26 from across the globe.
·        More detailed African ethnicity – a total of 10 African regions, including 6 different countries/regions within Western Africa including Benin/Togo, Cameroon/Congo, Ivory/Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.
·        More detailed European ethnicity, including Ireland, Great Britain, the Iberian Peninsula and Italy/Greece.
·        A complete user interface redesign with improved visualization tools, regional educational materials and a detailed description of the science behind the results.
·        Improved science, including extensive testing, validation and an increase in the number of reference populations.
·        A database of more than 200,000 customers.

“Five years ago, a genealogical DNA test would predict the rough proportions of a person’s ancestry from Europe, Asia, or Africa – but most people could determine that without the aid of a DNA test,” said Dr. Catherine Ball, Vice President of Genomics and Bioinformatics for AncestryDNA. “Today, the AncestryDNA science team has examined more than 700,000 DNA markers to create a genetic portrait for groups of people around the world. By comparing someone’s DNA to this core reference set, we can calculate an ethnicity estimate based on 26 global populations.”

Updates to AncestryDNA Further Advances Family History Exploration

Last year, with the initial launch of AncestryDNA, a test taker was able to receive results that mapped back to 22 different ethnic regions. Today’s announcement marks an expanded range of genetic ethnicity and geographic origins that is currently not available in other consumer DNA tests on the market.

·        The journey of many African American’s ancestors can be difficult to research using historical records alone, as most lose the paper trail around the 1870s or before. But now thanks to expanded capabilities that detail African ethnicity into 10 regions, including 6 different countries/regions within Western Africa, AncestryDNA will help people of African descent better understand where their ancestors came from and the cultures of those places, in a way never before possible.

·        Previously identified as one ethnicity group, the British Isles is now broken down to expanded regions, divided into Great Britain and Ireland. This development provides additional insight to the approximately 21% of Americans who claim Irish or English heritage.

·        Southern Europe is also now separated into two groups including, the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) and Italy/Greece, providing more detail for those with Mediterranean heritage where historical records are less likely to be available.
In May 2012, Ancestry.com launched AncestryDNA, a service that analyzes a person’s genome at more than 700,000 marker locations. It is available at Ancestry.com for $99, plus shipping and handling. The price includes a DNA testing kit, genetic lab processing, online results delivered in a private and secure account, as well as continual ethnicity and cousin matching updates. Additional information on AncestryDNA can be found at Ancestry.com.

October 18, 2013

DC Thomson Family History and FamilySearch.org to make billions of records available for people to search

DC Thomson Family History and FamilySearch.org to make billions of records available for people to search
LONDON, England and SALT LAKE CITY, Utah--Annelies van den Belt, the new CEO of DC Thomson Family History, the British-based leader in online family history and owner of findmypast and Genes Reunited, has announced a major new partnership with US-based FamilySearch.org that will give family history enthusiasts access to billions of records online and new technology to collaboratively research their family roots. 



DC Thomson Family History, formerly known as brightsolid online publishing, is collaborating with FamilySearch, which has the largest collections of genealogical and historical records in the world, to deliver a wide range of projects including digital preservation, records search, technological development and the means to allow family historians to share their discoveries. 



More than 13 million records from FamilySearch.org launched today on findmypast.com, including major collections of births, marriages and deaths covering America, Australia, and Ireland. Around 600 additional collections, containing millions of records, will follow. 

The two organisations have a long history of working together on historical projects, including indexing 132 million records of the 1940 US census and two hundred years of British Army Service Records (Chelsea Pensioners) in a joint digitisation project with The National Archives. 



Van den Belt said: “This is fantastic news for our customers all over the world. As a leader in online family history we will be able to offer access to a much wider variety of records dating back hundreds of years and the first batch are ready to search on findmypast. The convenience of searching many treasures from FamilySearch.org along with our own extensive collections will provide rich new insights for our customers. 

“This partnership with FamilySearch will accelerate the momentum of our next phase of global growth into new non-English-speaking markets and give more people more access to more records to uncover their family history. This really cements our position as a market leader.” 



“We are excited to work with DC Thompson Family History on a vision we both share,” said Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch. “Expanding online access to historical records through this type of collaboration can help millions more people discover and share their family’s history.” 



DC Thomson Family History is the British-based leader in online family history, which operates major online sites including findmypast, Genes Reunited and the British Newspaper Archive. It launched in America last year with its findmypast brand.



DC Thomson Family History has a strong record of partnerships with non-profit and public sector organisations such as the British Library and The National Archives among many other major archives and organisations around the world.

Credits: "Handshaking Business People" by adamr on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

October 17, 2013

Operation Reunite - Returning Military Medals to Soldiers

Operation Reunite - Returning Military Medals to Soldiers
Operation Reunite is a very impressive effort on the part of the Illinois State Treasurer. To quote from their website:


The Unclaimed Property Division of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office presently has in its care nearly 200 items belonging to past and present servicemen and women. These items include military medals, artifacts, ribbons, and awards spanning more than a century of American conflict. One military medal even dates back to the Spanish American War circa 1898. Other priceless items include service records, dog tags and commendations from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
It is the goal of the Illinois State Treasurer's Office to reunite these very important military medals and awards with the men and women who earned them through their great sacrifice and service. 

Please take a look at the list of names who either were given the medals or who have a connection to the original medal owner. Perhaps you will spot an ancestor or relative!

Before leaving, please take a moment to view Olive Tree Genealogy's Soldiers Dog Tag Cases. Some are still unresolved meaning we have not yet found a descendant to send the found dog tag home.

October 16, 2013

DNA Specials! Great Chance to Test Your DNA

My readers know how excited I am about DNA testing for genealogy (and other reasons). So far I've had results for my own DNA tests from  Family Tree DNA, 23andMe.com and the now defunct DNA-me.

I loved that 23andMe told me how much Neanderthal DNA I had! 

I've also submitted a DNA kit to Ancestry.com for testing and my results should be in any day now. Testing with more than one company is important as each company runs a different algorithm to test your sample. So combining all the results gives you a much better and more detailed look at your DNA.

So I'm excited to tell you that Ancestry is currently offering Free Shipping with Coupon Code: FREESHIPDNA on all DNA kit orders. Just use the link below to order your DNA Kit today!

Free Shipping with DNA Kit Purchase at Ancestry.com! Use Code: FREESHIPDNA



Caveat: Ancestry does not ship DNA kits to Canada.  I happened to be visiting a friend in New York and had mine shipped there.

October 15, 2013

Big News! MyHeritage and FamilySearch Partnership Announcement

Big News! MyHeritage and FamilySearch Partnership Announcement
TEL AVIV, Israel & SALT LAKE CITY, Utah--()--

MyHeritage, the popular online family history network, and FamilySearch.org announced today the signing and commencement of a strategic partnership that forges a new path for the family history industry.

Under this multi-year partnership, MyHeritage will provide FamilySearch with access to its powerful technologies and FamilySearch will share billions of global historical records and family tree profiles spanning hundreds of years with MyHeritage. This will help millions of MyHeritage and FamilySearch users discover even more about their family history.
“For more than a hundred years, FamilySearch has been dedicated to working with the world’s archives to preserve their records for future generations”
FamilySearch will provide MyHeritage with more than 2 billion records from its global historic record collections and its online Family Tree. These records will be added to SuperSearch, MyHeritage’s search engine for historical records, and will be matched with family trees on MyHeritage using its matching technologies.

MyHeritage users will gain access to an unprecedented boost of historical records and family tree profiles, which are key to researching and reconstructing their family histories. This reinforces MyHeritage's position as an international market leader, with gigantic assets of family trees and records, which are the most globally diverse in the industry.

FamilySearch members will benefit from MyHeritage's unique technologies which automate family history discoveries. Smart Matching™ automatically finds connections between user-contributed family trees and Record Matching automatically locates historical records relevant to any person in the family tree. By receiving accurate matches between FamilySearch’s Family Tree profiles and historical record collections, such as birth, death, census, and immigration documents, FamilySearch members will be able to more effectively grow their family trees in size and in depth and add conclusions supported by historical records.

“For more than a hundred years, FamilySearch has been dedicated to working with the world’s archives to preserve their records for future generations” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Their massive undertaking has made family history more accessible to everyone. This partnership highlights MyHeritage’s technology leadership and our firm commitment to adding historical records on a massive global scale, accelerating our vision of helping families everywhere explore and share their legacy online. We look forward to a fruitful future working hand in hand with our friends at FamilySearch.”

“FamilySearch values collaborative partnerships that enable more people, in more places, to discover their family history” said Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch. “MyHeritage is an innovative company that has a fast growing, global online audience. We are excited to commence this partnership which enables FamilySearch to better serve the global family history community.”

October 14, 2013

Free Access Toronto Star Archives Newspaper Collection

Free Access Toronto Star Archives Newspaper Collection Toronto Star Archives, formerly Pages of the Past, has free access to their Newspaper database until October 15th.  


The newspapers you can search are:

Toronto Star (text-only, January 1985 to present)
Toronto Star Page Archive (page images, January 1894 to December 2011)
The Record (text-only, October 1990 to present)
Hamilton Spectator (text-only, October 1991 to present)
Guelph Mercury (text-only, September 1999 to present)

October 13, 2013

Thanksgiving and Family

Thanksgiving and Family
This weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. We are having our Thanksgiving supper today and will be joined by my son, daughter-in-law and four of my 10 grandchildren. Also joining us are two friends.

Most of my planned meal is prepared and just waiting to be heated slowly in crockpots and microwaves: two turkeys, stuffing, candied yams, mashed potato casserole, Butternut Squash soup, green bean-mushroom-onion mix, Caesar salad, Kak's cukes, and for dessert Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing.


Thanksgiving in Canada isn't celebrated for the same reasons as in America. No pilgrims here! But we celebrate a bountiful harvest and good times with family and friends. 

What are you doing for Thanskgiving? What are your family traditions?

October 12, 2013

Shared Endorsements on Google - Opt Out if You Don't Want Your Name/Photo Used

Google has started something called Shared Endorsements and unless you change your Google account settings your photo and name can be used beside online ads.

Shared Endorsements is used to help your friends find things you have liked. So for example if you read a news story or watch a YouTube video and you click "Like", Google has the right to put your photo and name from your Google account in an ad related to that item.

It's easy to opt out if you don't like this idea - just log in to your Google account and go to  Shared Endorsements then untick the radio box labelled "Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads"

These new Terms of Service are also in effect on Google + and apply to Google's use of your Page's name, photo and actions. To opt out of having your name and photo used, you must log in to your Google + Page account first.

Note that you can access this setting from your Page's Dashboard. If you turn the setting off, you may not be able to use certain features until you re-enable it.


October 11, 2013

YouWho - New Genealogy Website Sounds Intriguing!

YouWho.com sounds intriguing! It's a new Genealogy startup website co-founded by two former Ancestry.com executives. The premise is that YouWho gathers old photographs, both from outright purchases and from visitor uploads to the site. 

Through facial recognition software and visitors' tagging of individuals in the photos, YouWho will find descendants. Their slogan is "YouWho will show you who you are"

YouWho plans to allow visitors to upload documents, photographs and other memorabilia to the site. It can be public or private and according to a YouWho video, users can also sell copies.

That sounds great, I mean we'd all love to be tracked down and told there's a photo or letter online of one of our ancestors but that's a tall order! We'll just have to wait and see.  Olive Tree Genealogy will keep you posted when there is anything new to report. I just registered online for my home page on the site. I'm certainly intrigued even though their welcome popup was a little "cute" for my taste! 

Meantime why not visit my Lost Faces website where I have published almost 3000 photographs from the mid 1800s. Some are identified, some are not but you may find an ancestor or two there.

There are also letters on my site Past Voices so pop over there too and see if you can find an ancestor's letter in the collection.

October 10, 2013

Do You Want to be on Genealogy Roadshow? Here's How!

Do You Want to be on Genealogy Roadshow? Here's How!
 If you've ever wanted to be on the new PBS series Genealogy Roadshow, now's your chance! The producers are calling for submissions for the 2014 season.

Here is the link to the online submission form.