FamilySearch’s free webinar series about Scottish research begins today

FamilySearch logoFrom today to Friday, April 24, FamilySearch is offering a series of free Scottish webinars at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Monday, April 20, 3:00 p.m. — Scotland Maps & Gazetteers
Tuesday, April 21, 3:00 p.m. — Scotland Websites
Wednesday, April 22, 3:00 p.m. — Scotland Church Records
Thursday, April 23, 3:00 p.m. — Scotland Census Records
Friday, April 24, 3:00 p.m. — Scotland Civil Registration

The link to watch these webinars is on the FamilySearch website. It appears handouts will be available, likely when the webinar is made available.

In May, FamilySearch will run an intermediate-level series about Scottish research.

Thanks to Family History Library for reminding me about this series on Facebook.

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Statues of “In Flanders Field” poet Lt. Col. John McCrae to be unveiled in Ottawa and Guelph

Lt. Col. John McCrae, c1914. Photographer: William Notman and Son. Guelph Museums, Reference No. M968.354.

Lt. Col. John McCrae, c1914. Photographer: William Notman and Son. Guelph Museums, Reference No. M968.354.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae will be honoured with two statues 100 years after he wrote the poem, In Flanders Fields.

One of the larger-than-life bronzes will be installed in Ottawa on May 3, while a duplicate will be unveiled in McCrae’s hometown of Guelph, Ontario, later this summer.

Mike McKay, a Guelph businessman and a retired reservist lieutenant-colonel, was one of the driving forces behind the statue project. He helped organize a fundraising project to fund the $300,000 for the Guelph statue. A second effort raised about $460,000 for the Ottawa statue that included an unexpected $50,000 contribution from the government of Flanders, in Belgium.

McCrae wrote the first draft of his famous poem on May 3, 1915, following the second battle of Ypres and after presiding at the funeral of a friend and former student who had been killed in battle.

Read more and see a photo of the statue in the Times Colonist article.

Lt. Col. McCrae’s service file is among the almost 150,000 Library and Archives has digitized to date.

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Battle of Vimy Ridge topic of Canada’s History webinar

Canada’s History is hosting free education and community-based webinars inspired by the theme, Historic Venues, and the next one is about the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

On Wednesday, April 22, at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time, Blake Seward and Mason Black will present Road to Vimy 2017 Lest We Forget Project.

The centennial of the Great War has arrived. Over the course of the next four years Canadians will strive to remember and commemorate the soldiers that died during those tragic years. One of Canada’s momentous events during the Great War is the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The Road to Vimy 2017 Lest We Forget project is designed to have Canada’s students become the custodians of the memory of Canada’s soldiers that were killed during the Easter weekend of April 1917.

For this Canada’s History series, presenters use physical and digital venues — such as historic sites, museums, websites, and classrooms — to discuss a variety of themes, including Confederation, the First and Second World Wars, maritime history, and Canadian society.

Other upcoming webinars in the series are:

April 27 — To Know Where You’re Going, You Have to Know Where You’ve Been

May 6 — Guelph Museums commemorate “In Flanders Fields”

May 26 — Where do History and Community Meet? (about historic Edmonton)

You can register here for one or all of the above webinars.

All webinars will be recorded and uploaded to Canada’s History on YouTube following the webinar. It is worth taking a look at their collection of YouTube videos.

For each webinar you attend, you will receive one entry in a draw for a chance to win a book published by Canada’s History. The winner will be able to choose from Canada’s Great War Album, 100 Photos That Changed Canada, or 100 Days That Changed Canada. The draw will take place Friday, May 29, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time.

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Bill Paxton featured on WDYTYA? tonight

On Who Do You Think You Are? tonight, Bill Paxton researches his paternal lineage, uncovering the life of an ancestor who was a war hero in an historic battle and struggling with the morality of actions his four times great-grandfather took. The episode airs at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time on TLC.

Bill discovers that his 4x great-grandfather volunteered to fight in the US revolutionary war at age 14, and kept watch as a spy for enemies on the horizon. The document reveals that Benjamin fought with the patriots in a pivotal battle at Kings Mountain in South Carolina, and Bill heads off to the historic battle sight.

Next Sunday’s season finale episode features Melissa Etheridge who heads to Quebec to trace the history of her paternal side.

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Free webinar — Why become a certified genealogist?

Have you wondered why someone would become a certified genealogist? Here’s your chance to find out.

On Tuesday, April 21, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, the Board for Certification of Genealogists hosts a free webinar, Certified or Certifiable? Why a Genealogist Would Go Through All that Trouble, presented by Jean Wilcox Hibben.

It is no secret that becoming Board Certified is a great deal of work, and that, even after the time and expense, there is no guarantee that the applicant will attain that goal on the first (or even second) attempt. What are the benefits of becoming Board Certified? What does it mean to do genealogical work to a higher standard? How can your efforts reap rewards (personal and financial)? And other reasons for pursuing certification will be addressed. Also included: suggestions for how to prepare before “starting the clock,” along with the most common errors people make when preparing their porfolios.

Learn more and register here for the webinar.

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This week’s crème de la crème — April 18, 2015

Today marks the 75th anniversary of women in Quebec receiving the right to vote in provincial elections. While the bill was adopted on April 18, 1940, Quebec women would have to wait until the next provincial general election on August 8, 1944, to vote.


Some of the genealogy bijoux I discovered this week.

Finding/Researching Your Canadian World War 1 Soldier Ancestor- Part 2 on the Ontario Genealogical Society Blog.

Second World War Canadian Unit Diaries and Col. C. P. Stacey by John D. Reid on Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Roots.

Finding A Family Hero – An Obscure Canadian Database You Might Not Have Used But Should by Ian Hadden on Ian Hadden’s Family History.

Digitized Directory of Schools by Elizabeth Lapointe on Genealogy Canada.

The Irish At Home And Abroad Journal by Joe Buggy on Townland of Origin.

Huguenot Genealogy – Finding Protestants in Notarial Records by Anne Morddel on The French Genealogy Blog.

Hidden gems in newspapers – I hit the jackpost on this website by Diane Gould Hall on Michigan Family Trails.

Colby College: Jack Kerouac and Franco-American Migration by Juliana L’Heureux on The Franco-American Blog.

Back Issues of the Quarterly Publication of the State Historical Society of Iowa Available Online FREE by Julie Cahill Tarr on Julie’s Genealogy & History Hub.

The Storytellers by Ellen Thompson-Jenning on Hound on the Hunt.

Volunteer Appreciation Week: 10 Ways to Show You Care by Amy Johnson Crow on FGS Voice Blog.

Shhh! A Secret list of Reasons to Attend Your Local Genealogy Conference by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on Nutfield Genealogy.

Five dangers of only doing genealogy online by Helen Osborn on The Pharos Blog.

BCG Case Study: Movement! by Jill Morelli on Genealogy Certification: My Personal Journey.

GÉNÉALOGIE: Ramasseurs de noms vs généalogistes by Jacques Blaquière, L’Étincelle, Windsor, Quebec.

Remember Canada’s victory and its cost at Vimy: Editorial, Toronto Star.

WWI letters: Toronto soldier James Wells Ross and the gas attacks at Ypres by Katie Daubs, Toronto Star.

Old Durham Road cemetery to get pavilion by Rob Gowan, Sun Times, Owen Sound, Ontario.

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SlideShare helps cure my genealogy conference envy… a wee bit

I am suffering from conference envy. Two excellent conferences are taking place this week, and I am staying at home.

Genealogists have descended upon Birmingham, England to attend the annual Who Do You Think You Are Live conference and in the United States, the New England Regional Genealogical Conference is taking place in Providence, Rhode Island.

Since I am not attending these conferences in person and there is no live streaming, I am living vicariously through Facebook posts and tweets from genealogy friends.

Yesterday, One-Place Study Register tweeted that slides from Dick Eastman’s presentation at WDYTYA Live, “Cloudy with a Chance of Genealogy,” are available. The slides have been posted on SlideShare.

Slides from Dick Eastman's presentation and those of many other presenters are available on SlideShare.

Slides from Dick Eastman’s presentation and those of many other presenters are available on SlideShare.

While looking at Mr. Eastman’s slides, I noticed several other genealogy presentations. To find even more, I entered genealogy in the search box and found a large number of slide presentations, recent and not-so-recent, prepared by some pretty well-known speakers. To find specific speakers, I entered their first and last name in the search box.

Looking at slides is not at all the same as attending a presentation in person, but it makes me feel a wee bit better. And, I can sip chilled Chardonnay while flipping through the slides.

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Hungarian Canadian author to launch young readers’ book about the Holocaust

Hungarian Canadian author Kathy Clark will launch her book about the Holocaust for young readers, The Choice, at the Beaverbrook branch of the Ottawa Public Library (2500 Campeau Drive, Kanata), on Saturday, April 18, at 11:30 a.m.

The Choice by Kathy Clark, Second Story Press, Toronto, 2015. A Holocaust remembrance book for young readers.

The Choice by Kathy Clark, Second Story Press, Toronto, 2015. A Holocaust remembrance book for young readers.

Publisher Second Story Press describes the book as “a story of consequences, friendship, and a young man’s search for identity.”

The Hungarian Free Press reports, “〈Ms. Clark’s〉 new book, The Choice, explores the Holocaust through the eyes of 13 year old Hendrik, who lives in Budapest during the War, but whose family has concealed their Jewish identity, pretending instead to be Catholics, so as to avoid persecution. Hendrik, however, ends up revealing that his real name is Jakob and that his family is Jewish, thus putting himself and his parents at risk. Ms. Clark’s book explores Auschwitz through Hendrik’s eyes.”

This is a story every child should hear.

To read more about the author and her first book, The Guardian Angel, read the Hungarian Free Press article, Hungarian Canadian author launches children’s book on Holocaust.

Thanks to Kathryn Lake Hogan for posting the article on Facebook.

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Free access to Ancestry’s immigration collection

Thanks to a post on the UpFront with NGS blog, I learned is offering free access to its immigration collection from today until April 20.

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LAC uploads more than 14,000 WWI service files online

Canadian War Poster Collection, ref. #WP1.R40.F7, McGill University, Montreal.

Canadian War Poster Collection, ref. #WP1.R40.F7, McGill University, Montreal.

It’s the middle of the month, and Library and Archives Canada announced it has uploaded another 14,342 digitized WWI service files. Now, 143,613 of 640,000 files are available online via LAC’s Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database.

In the announcement, LAC said: “Library and Archives Canada is digitizing the service files systematically, from box 1 to box 10686, which roughly corresponds to alphabetical order. Please note that over the years, the content of some boxes has had to be moved and, you might find that the file you want, with a surname that is supposed to have been digitized, is now located in another box that has not yet been digitized. The latest digitized box is #2057, which corresponds to the surname “Cussons”. Please check the database regularly for new additions and if you still have questions after checking the database, you may contact us directly at 1-866-578-7777 for more assistance.”

You can learn more about the digitization project by visiting the Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Service Files page for more details on the digitization project.

You can begin your search here. Click on Search: Database in the left margin.

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