Friday, 28 July 2017

Ancestry adds UK, Royal Air Force Airmen Records, 1918-1940

This collection, taken from AIR 79 at The (UK) National Archives comprises 616,118 partially transcribed records of "Airmen serving in the Royal Air Force during the years 1918 up to, and including, 1940."
Transcribed information is typically: name, gender, age, birth date. birth place, service date, service number, mother (name), next of kin (name), relation to airman.
There are links to original images, available with a subscription to Ancestry's FOLD 3 website. These are two page service files; those I examined showed only service into the early 1920s.
Many of those included were not born in the UK. An exact search for born in Ontario, Canada gave 523 hits, although 12 of the first 20 were not!  There were sex with birth place Ottawa: Langford James Gannon (not Cannon as transcribed), Raoul Lawrence Esmonde, Maynard Stansfield (not Stausfield as transcribed) Fellowes, John Paul Laframboise, William Ernest Short, and Samuel Le Roy Switzer.

Other military sites worth checking for prior service of these men are the CEF files from Library and Archives Canada, and the Royal Flying Corps, prior to the formation of the RAF, www.airhistory.org.uk/rfc/home.html/.


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Ancestry adds London School Registers

London, England, Poor Law School District Registers, 1852-1918, 268,776 records, is lists of children admitted to and discharged from schools. Included (where available) are: admission date, discharge date, name, gender, school, address, birth date, and age. The school districts are: Brentwood,  Central London, Forest Gate, Kensington and Chelsea, South Metropolitan, and West London. 

Be sure to check the original document image which may have further information such as where the child went following discharge such as an apprenticeship. It's worth checking for home children from London.

London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1912-1918, 178,308 records, include (where available): admission date, name, parents’ names, parents’ occupation, address, birth date, age. It includes schools in the boroughs of Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, and Westminster. 

For both collections you can also browse the original registers.


BIFHSGO DNA Interest Group meets on Saturday

A quick reminder of the group meeting at 9:30 am on Saturday, 29 July at the City of Ottawa Archives (Room 115), 100 Tallwood Drive.

Bill Arthurs will speak about “The High Points of Blaine T. Bettinger’s The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy.”

Shirley Monkhouse will present on Blaine T. Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne’s companion workbook “Genetic Genealogy in Practice.”

There will be a Round Table Discussion with remaining time.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Theancestorhunt updates free Canadian newspaper list

Kenneth R Marks has added over 250 new links to historical newspapers for Canada at his the theancestorhunt site. That makes the Canadian total over 2,850.

For Ontario the direct link is http://www.theancestorhunt.com/blog/ontario-online-historical-newspapers-summary#.WXkr5ojyvIU/.


News from the Registry of Deeds Index Project

Irish ancestry? A quick link to Claire Santry's blog where she points to further guides to finding townlands in the Townland Index, and updates to the project. Posted on Tuesday at New user-guides from Registry of Deeds Index Project.

An exceptionally wet day: 190 years ago

You think Monday was wet?

John Burrows (sometime John Burrows Honey) was in a party exploring the route of the Rideau Canal in July 1827. He kept a diary, the original of which is in the Historical Society of Ottawa collection at the Ottawa City Archives, and has been transcribed in Sights and Surveys published by HSO in 1979.

The following are extracts on weather from the diary for Thursday 26 July 1827:
- Before leaving this place inspected the state of our provisions and found them a little injured by the rain, and divided the wet from the dry bread, and used the injured first.
- The 3 officers, Mr MacTaggart landed here and took shelter in Mr S. Burrit's house from the pelting pityless rain.
- Still the storms continued.
- Mr MacTaggart and party continued to explore under the rain for we could not be more wet.
- Though with wet and cold very uncomfortable, anxiety made us press on ...
- At the foot of Merrick's Rapids a thunder storm drove us under the hospitable roof of blacksmith, Mr. Kelly. 
Details of local weather so far in the past are rare in the Ottawa valley. I came across this while exploring for my talk on Ottawa Weather History to the HSO on 27 October.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Edmund A. Scott: CEF Beechwood

Edmund Altman Scott arrived in Canada with his brother John from Malvern, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, via New York on 16 June 1917. He attested the following day giving his date of birth as 20 July 1893 and occupation messenger.
He enlisted with the Canadian Engineers Div. Signallers.

The clipping shows he died by drowning on 25 July 1917 while swimming in the Ottawa River. The Signal Training Depot at Rockcliffe was under canvas during the summer, removed from Lansdowne Park.
It was a hot day with the maximum temperature recorded at the Experimental Farm of 33.9C.



Monday, 24 July 2017

Large Families

Wikipedia lists 15 women who had more than 30 children. That includes a woman said to have had 69. Questionable as some of those may be there appear to be well substantiated cases of more than 20. As children of large families tend to have large families of their own the phenomenon is significant for genealogy.

In November 2016 the UK Office for National Statistics issued a Statistical Bulletin Childbearing for Women Born in Different Years, England and Wales: 2015. It concludes that women born in 1970 who completed their childbearing by 2015 had an average 1.91 children, fewer than their mother's generation (born 1943) who had 2.24 children. A graph shows the average number of live born children reaching a peak of 3.9 in 1935, up from 2.0 in 1920 where the data starts.
The bulletin also shows that 15% of women in the 1943 cohort had four or more children; for the 1970 cohort that figure was down to 10%.

This table, from an article A Hundred and Fifty Years of Vital Statistics: Documenting Demographic Change in Ireland, by John FitzGerald shows the decline in average completed Irish family size from 6.5 in 1911 to 2.5 in 2011.
The trend to smaller Irish families is reflected in the 2011 census data showing women in their early 50s most likely had 2 children, those from their late 50s to early 70s 3 children, and 4 for older women. The percent of women with 8 children in their early 50s was only a tenth of those in their 80s.

The 1911 census for Ireland has been digitized for fertility data, available at http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/. The graph shows the number of children live-born to married women age 45 and older. Leaving aside child-free couples eight was the most likely family size. The largest family had 22 children; there were eight of 20 or more children.

As for Canada, with all caution regarding the credibility of the Huffington Post, here's their take on the Biggest Family In Canada.

What's the largest number of live-born children one woman had in your family tree. I asked that at a BIFHSGO get together on Saturday. From about 15 people the largest was 18.