This week’s crème de la crème — July 30, 2016

Some of the bijoux I discovered this week.

Crème de la crème of genealogy blogsBlogs
Noting the notary and Notarial records online by Judy G. Russell on The Legal Genealogist.

The horse war: Horse transport in the First World War on The Canadian Centre for the Great War.

From Schull To New Brunswick And Beyond by Joe Buggy on Townload of Origin.

Dublin Prisoner Books by Dr. James Ryan on The In-Depth Genealogist.

Time for Mélanie Joly to show leadership and Twitter advice by John D. Reid on Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Connections.

Elephind: A Digital Newspaper Collections Search Engine by Dick Eastman on Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter.

The Genealogical Society: Revise or Demise? and What’s OCR? Turning a picture of text into text by Donna Cox Baker on The Golden Egg Genealogist.

French Acadian memorials monuments: La Force d’un peuple by Juliana L’Heureux, Portland (Maine) Press Herald.

An Acadian pilgrimage of discovery: Former Grand Pré guide travels to France by Wendy Elliott, Journal Pionner (Summerside, Prince Edward Island).

Gaspé inaugurates historic town centre redevelopment, CBC News.

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Online whaling crew database, 1809-1927

Was your ancestor a whaler sometime between 1809 and 1927? If there is a remote chance, no matter where he lived, you should take a look at a whaling museum’s new crew database of the more than 100,000 men who embarked on whaling voyages out of New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Using records of handwritten customs documents that were copied by the chaplains of the New Bedford Port Society and are now stored in the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s Research Library, volunteers entered the names and physical descriptions of men leaving the port of New Bedford on whaling voyages from 1840 to the end of whaling in 1927.

These records were then combined with earlier work completed years ago at the Free Public Library. The completed online crew list database now includes 127,531 records and spans the years 1809 to 1927.

Whaling crew list database

A. Burnham Shute. Frontispiece. Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Boston : C.H. Simonds Company, 1920.

Men from around the world
While the crew list represents only men who left the port of New Bedford on whaling voyages, it is not at all limited to men from Massachusetts or even the United States.

The list shows what Herman Melville picturesquely noted in his novel, Moby Dick, that people from all around the world passed through New Bedford. In all, there were men from 33 states and two territories in the United States represented, as well as men from more than 100 nations or islands worldwide.

A search of Canada, produced 87 results, and England and Scotland produced 264 and 126 names respectively.

But don’t restrict your searches to a country. Search counties, provinces, and cities. For example, a search of Nova Scotia produced 63 results, Quebec produced eight, Ontario produced 11, and 23 names appeared when I entered Montreal.

Try different spellings
Be creative with the spelling of names. The original records were written by customs officers who may not have been accomplished spellers and who received the information from seamen who may not have been certain of how to spell their own names. It is also possible a single sailor’s name may have been spelled different ways if he went on multiple voyages.

Vessels and maps
In addition to the database of crew members, you will also find images of vessels and maps of whaling destinations.

Visit the Whaling Crew List Database on the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s website.

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Two live genealogy conference webinars Saturday

Two lectures, to be presented at the Genealogical Council of Oregon’s Summer Genealogy Fest in Eugene, Oregon, will be broadcast to a live webinar audience on Saturday, July 30, thanks to the Council, Legacy Family Tree Webinars, and the speakers.

2:00 p.m. Eastern time
The Germanic French: Researching Alsatian and Lorrainian Families
by John Philip Colletta

This webinar explains how a significant population of German-speakers came to reside in France and explores the peculiarities of researching ancestors of Alsace, Lorraine, and Elsass-Lothringen. Mr. Colletta will discuss when, why and how people from these areas came to the United States from the late eighteenth to the late nineteenth centuries. Research challenges include: records kept in French, German and Latin; shifting national borders; peculiar surnames; and Catholic, Protestant and Jewish residents. Indispensable websites are reviewed, as well as books and manuals, and the large body of microfilmed records available from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Register here.

4:15 p.m. Eastern time
Solutions for Missing and Scarce Records
by Tom Jones

Attendees will learn strategies for overcoming research barriers caused by lost or destroyed records, poor record-keeping, or a simple lack of records. Register here.

Arrive early
Registration for the webinars is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you will know they have reached the 1,000 limit. So, arrive early.

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Irish Genealogical Research Society wants your ancestor’s story

To mark its 80th anniversary, the Irish Genealogical Research Society, based in Kent, England, has issued a call for stories — maximum of 2,500 words — about your favourite Irish-born ancestor for an online database of biographies.

Irish Genealogical Research SocietyAll stories IGRS receives will be deposited for posterity in the 80th Anniversary Archive in the the society’s library, and they will publish a selection of them as an e-book.

You can submit more than one story.

In the submission guidelines, IGRS explains, “We are not asking you to deposit whole family trees, although you are welcome to include a short branch at the end, perhaps to place your ancestor in context. Equally, please keep any notes, references or bibliographies to a minimum and consign them to the end of your document if you want to include them. This especially applies to any transcribed material you have as evidence – try to tell the story as you see it rather than document everything you have found.”

The biographies will begin to appear online in September, when the 80th anniversary will be celebrated in London.

This request for stories looks like a good fall project for genealogical societies’ family history writing and Irish special interest groups.

Read about the submission guidelines and a sample biography here. Note the deadline is December 2016.

The IGRS was established in 1936, created at the time to gather together copies of materials compiled before the 1922 Great Fire at the Public Record Office in Dublin.

I learned about this tempting opportunity in this week’s New England Historic Genealogical Society’s e-newsletter. To subscribe to the e-newsletter, click on the link at the bottom on the society’s home page.

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Interactive map of demolished character homes in Vancouver

It’s an interactive kind of day with two blog posts about interactive maps.

One of the many concerns about the housing situation in Vancouver is the large number of heritage and older homes that are being demolished to make room for large, expensive, modern homes — in addition to the soaring prices of houses.

To show what has been lost, the Vancouver Vanishes Facebook Group has produced an interactive map, called Demolished Character Houses in Vancouver, where anyone can see the locations, images, and historical information about the character houses that have been demolished, located predominantly in the west side of Vancouver.

This interactive map is like a good new-bad news resource for genealogists. The good news is you may find a photo of one of your ancestor’s homes. The bad news is the home has been demolished.

Demolished Character Houses in Vancouver

Demolished Character Houses in Vancouver

The information for each location on the map includes the address, year built, and name and profession of the first owner(s) of the demolished house. Data on the year built and owners was pulled from city directories.

The Vancouver Vanishes Facebook Group says, “It is not a complete listing of all the character houses or demolitions in Vancouver, and it will be continuously updated monthly as new findings become available on the Vancouver Vanishes Facebook Group page.”

Heritage Vancouver shared this interactive map of Demolished Character Houses in Vancouver on Tweeter with the hashtag, VancouverVanishes. You can follow Heritage Vancouver at @HeritageVan.

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Thousands of photos on interactive map of ‘Lost London’

An interactive map of Lost London, England, created by the London Metropolitain Archives, contains more than 100,000 images and 130 short films that you can browse or search.

Using Google Maps, the photos and videos are mapped out across about 11,000 streets of London.

Called The London Picture Map, the site is free to access and it allows visitors to search by a particular street to see how it looked a couple of hundred years ago, and to print their own versions of the images.

The London Picture Map allows you to browse the collections geographically and discover images of a particular street or building. Many of the images are of buildings that no longer exist.

The London Picture Map allows you to browse the collections geographically and discover images of a particular street or building. Many of the images are of buildings that no longer exist.

Laurence Ward, from the London Metropolitan Archives, told London Live: “It basically takes you back in terms of place – it could be the place you live, work in, places that you go to – you can see what they looked like 100 or 200 years ago.

“The photographs, in particular, are really important because at the end of the 19th century, they show you all these things like massive engineering projects – like the construction of Tower Bridge.”

You can start your search here. To maximize your search, read the brief information about Using the London Picture Map under the main map.

If you don’t find what you are looking for on the map, try the Advanced Search. The Search Tips are also useful.

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LAC launches webpage about Carignan-Salières Regiment

Library and Archives Canada has created a new webpage dedicated to the Carignan-Salières Regiment. The webpage provides access to LAC’s resources related to this unit in the history of New France.

The Carignan-Salières Regiment arrived in New France in 1665, 57 years after Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec City in 1608.

From the new webpage, you can also listen to an audio recording of an interview with New France expert Jean-François Lozier, curator of French North American history at the Canadian Museum of History, about the Carignan-Salières Regiment.

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Gaps in census a disservice to future generations of Canadians

An opinion piece in the Toronto Star with the headline, Gaps in census mean Canadians are being left out of history, has grabbed the interest of many, especially genealogists, on social media.

Written by Ian E. Wilson, former Librarian and Archivist of Canada, and Bill Waiser, distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Saskatchewan, the article is about the opt-in question in the 2016 Canadian census.

You may recall the final question Canadians were asked in the census was whether we consented to having our information available 92 years from now. Before 2006, this was not an option. All nominal census information has been made and will be publicly available after a minimum 92-year waiting period.

Messrs Wilson and Waiser raise concern about the default answer to the opt-in question if ignored or if people opted out.

Here’s part of what they wrote:

“In 2006, only 56 per cent of the respondents said Yes (to the 92-year question).

“Those who said No, on the other hand, may have been concerned about financial information, chose not to consult with the three-month-old baby or simply did not understand the question.

“If left blank, the default was No.

“Great-grandchildren and their great-grandchildren of the 22nd and 23rd centuries, trying to understand their heritage, will not find their ancestors. Two of every five Canadians will effectively fade from memory.”

The entire article can be read here. On a positive note, the response rate to the 2016 census was high. You can read more about that in this blog post.

I am not sure we can do anything about the opt-in question on the 2016 census, but we have five years to make sure it doesn’t appear on the 2021 census.

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Highland games double-header this weekend near Ontario-Quebec border

This coming weekend is known as the M&M (Maxville and Montreal) weekend among the Highland Games competitors. Sounds like great fun!

Maxville, Ontario will be the site of the largest massed pipe bands in North America this Friday and Saturday, July 29 and 30. Fifty-seven bands from six Canadian provinces and eight American states will converge on the eastern Ontario town for the Glengarry Highland Games.

The first Glengarry Highland Games were created in 1948 by a small group of local businessmen who wanted to ensure that the Scottish traditions would not be lost by the younger generations — and they’ve been doing a good job ever since.

Maxville is a short hour east of Ottawa just off Highway 417, thirty minutes north of the Canada/US border crossing at Cornwall, and a little over an hour northwest of Montreal. Learn about the Glengarry Highland Games here.

Then, on Sunday, July 31, the Montreal Highland Games takes place at Parc Arthur-Therrien in Montreal’s borough of Verdun.

The Montreal Highland Games is always held on the Sunday following the Glengarry Games, which makes it a double header for pipe bands, athletes, highland dancers and spectators. Over the past 38 years, these games has become one of the premier events on the North American highland games circuit. Learn about the Montreal Highland Games here.

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Canadian immigration to Maine, 1850 to 1940

Did some of your Canadian ancestors settle in Maine? To acquire an idea of where they may have settled or how many settled in a particular area, James Myall has produced an interactive map that shows Canadian migration patterns from 1850 to 1940.

The interactive map shows the number of Canadian-born residents of Maine towns, cities and plantations at the time of each census, from 1850 to 1940.

The interactive map shows the number of Canadian-born residents of Maine towns, cities and plantations at the time of each census, from 1850 to 1940.

Mr. Myall’s goal was to show where Maine’s Franco-Americans live, using census records to find the numbers of Canadian-born Mainers.

In his column, Parlez-Vous American?, in the Bangor Daily News, Mr. Myall explained why it was “all-but impossible” for him to separate English and French-speaking Canadians to create his interactive map. “While the Census Bureau instructed enumerators to start making this distinction from 1900 onwards, those taking the census appear to have done so with varying degrees of zeal. Many individuals are still simply recorded as ‘Canadians.'”

Mr. Myall is the coordinator of the Franco-American Collection at the University of Southern Maine. In 2015, he co-authored The Franco-Americans of Lewiston-Auburn, a general history of that population from 1850 to the present.

Take a look at the interactive map and article here.

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