Wednesday, June 28, 2017

$1.00 for 1 month FMP

There are lots of sales on right now at Find My Past, [and you'll see them on their website] but the one I chose is one dollar (actually it might be 1 British pound) for unlimited access to the World subscription to FMP (excluding the 1939 Register). It's a little tricky to get in - go ahead and create a password, then go to My Account top right corner, [or create your account there], be sure to untick the 'auto renew' box [unless you want to continue your Subscription at regular price], and ...

Shoot, I can't get back in SOOOOOOO you'll just need to look around until you find a box where you can enter your discount code of 'BIFAMILY' and you're set!!

Happy Searching Everyone - I'm off to see what's new for my GILMORE, CLYDESDALE, LITTLE families from County Down AND cannot forget those pesky Johnston MCNIECE'S from who knows where, but other McNIECEs are found in County Mayo and Sligo.

Pat I've been waiting for this deal to come up again! Yippee!! But there goes the house and yard work. LOL

Monday, June 26, 2017

FamilySearch Fazes Out Microfilm

So this has been all over the Internet for the past two days. And contrary to many posts the sky is not falling, but things will be different for sure.

Here is the real truth straight from the folks at


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Autosomal DNA - Now What?

There is only a couple more days (June 23) to watch this webinar, FREE, from Legacy

You've got your autosomal DNA test back. Now what??????

Pat [just going to watch it now]

LAC Digitization Projects

Thanks to John Reid for posting this on his blog . I have copied and pasted it here, just in case any of us need it again. Note the last paragraph where we are being asked for our input!!! Do it folks! Tell them what's important to you.

"Librarian and Archivist of Canada Guy Berthiaume was invited to speak at the opening of the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference last Friday evening. Below is a rough transcription of his remarks.
I'd particularly highlight the invitation in the penultimate paragraph.
A good part of my work is about creating connections with our clients, our stakeholders, the private sector and the general public. And I know the thrill of discovering connections is one of the reasons that genealogists and family historians are so passionate about what they do.
I recently came across an interactive website that uses digital technology to uncover fascinating networks of families in British history. Kindred Britain at Stanford provides all kinds of surprising connections. For example Winston Churchill is a direct descendant of King Henry VIII. Family ties connect Isaac Newton, Jane Austen, William Wordsworth and Florence Nightingale. The creator of the site calls it the social network of the past.

I begin with this example to illustrate that today's genealogy is not our grandfather's genealogy. The use of modern digital technology to illuminate family roots and history is producing surprising, creative and positive results.

Take our digitization work at LAC. We've worked closely with external partners to both digitize collections and to make more of them available, especially to our main client group - genealogists. As a result we've been able to digitize a lot more material than we could on our own and to make some of our biggest and most heavily used collections available to Canadians. I know that this external focus has not always been popular but in a time of limited resources I think it was the strategic choice. Mind you, working with partners is not a one size fits all solution, especially in the case of fragile and easily damaged documents.We want to digitize them while we can keep offering access to our clients. A case in point is the work on the Canadian Expeditionary Force service files you're all familiar with. I'm pleased to tell you the project is on track, at least according to John Reid. As of November 11 2018 all 640,000 soldier's files will be online. There are 340,350,355 files and they are some of our most consulted records, and for good reason. But a project of this magnitude uses a considerable amount of our resources so we have to look at other strategies to digitize additional collections.
Welcome DigiLab.

The way it used to be clients who needed digitial copies would either use our digitization on demand service for a fee or bring their own digital cameras into our reading rooms with mixed results. With DigiLab you can come into 395 Wellington and leave with digital copies of our collection for free. You come in and scan the material you need for your research. The space is easy to use and there's support to help you learn how to use the equipment. You leave with high quality scans and a spreadsheet with information on what you've scanned. But what's perhaps more exciting, LAC will them make the information you scanned available to anyone via its website. So DigiLab is crowdsourcing at its best.
This allows the public to help us with our work, meet the demand for accessible collections and harnesses knowledge about the material we have. and all we ask from you is some simple metadata so that others can search the information more easily online.

I'm happy to share three projects that have already been hosted by DigiLab.
Nichole (Unintelligible) who is completing her honours BA at the University of Toronto has an academic and personal interest in Landscapes of Injustice, a seven year project run out of the University of Victoria. Landscapes of Injustice is funded by SSHRC and its goal is to digitize historical records across the country related to the disposition and internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. As part of that project Nicole spent almost four weeks in DigiLab to digitize records that help tell the story of this sad chapter in our history. As a result over 130 related files will be placed online for everyone to consult.

Another interesting example is that of Marjelaine Sylvestre, the archivist from the Jardins de Métis in Québec. She spent a couple of days in the lab digitizing and describing 130 photographs taken by William Reefer (sp).

And there's also the work of one John Reid who digitized ten years of early Ottawa weather records from the late 1800s. As you know John holds a PhD in Atmospheric Science and he proposed this project to help support contemporary research into climate change.

So DigiLab is proof that crowdsourcing is an extremely effective way of making historical records available. But it's only one of our crowdsourcing tools.

There's another key initiative underway at LAC which I'm very excited about, and again it involves citizen archivists helping us tell the stories of history to a wider audience.
In June of last year the Manitoba Métis Federation celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Battle of
Seven Oaks, a battle which marked the emergence of the Métis nation. To support the anniversary LAC introduced software that lets people transcribe authentic historical documents. The first document to go through the process was the Coltman Report, handwritten in 1818 by William Coltman. The report provides one of the best sources on the fur trade war and is a key document in the history of the Métis Nation. the entire 521 page handwritten report was transcribed by members of the public eager to make a personal connection to history. A fully searchable pdf is now available in LAC's database, and we're about to launch a second initiative, the 91 page diary of Lady Susan Agnes Macdonald, the wife of Sir John A. I'm sure you'll agree that this diary is going to be fascinating reading - what was on her mind in that crucial time in our nation's history? How did she view the new Government of Canada starting in 1867 as her husband hammered out the details of the new confederation? What was her daily life like? What were her social obligations, her private experiences and her thoughts? By providing transcriptions of this material you can be a fly on the wall of history.

LAC is thrilled to open up these treasures from our collection to those who understand their importance and can add richer and enhanced information to them. Those who have valued knowledge of our collection and how it can be used. Those such as yourselves.

And here's another exciting development. As you may have heard, LAC is one of the founding members, not to say the architect - that's not a good term to use in Ottawa these days - of the steering committee for the National Heritage Digitization Strategy. This strategy will make more content accessible to Canadians. It was developed by the major memory institutions of Canada, large public libraries, academic libraries and archives, provincial archives, national associations of archivists, librarians, historians and museums. We adopted a way to accelerate the digitization of the most important collections of Canada and to make them easily accessible to all, linking Canadians everywhere in their quest for culture and knowledge.The strategy will cover published and unpublished analogue materials of national, regional and local significance. That will include books, periodicals, newspapers, government records, posters and maps, thesis and artifacts, photographs and documentary art, film and video, audio recordings and more. I'm sure you'll agree that much of the material identified is of interest to genealogists.

You may also be interested in a small consultative project we launched to review best practices in the field of newspaper digitization. Thanks to a donation from the Salamander Foundation a pilot collection of indigenous newspapers will be digitized over the summer so we can give it a test run in the fall.

These are just some of the exciting initiatives we have on the go. And I would like to extend an open invitation to all of you to let us know what you need from us. What works in the DigiLab, what doesn't. Which of our collections do you want to see up on our site? This will be the key to our serving you well and allowing us to make the connections that define us as Canadians.


Your Name in German Script

This website has a script generator - type in your surname and see what it would look like

I have a number of Deutsch ancestors, [SIEGERT, DOST, LAHL, SCAARSCHMIDT] and I would not have recognized any of them in the various script writing! Sheesh!!

Thanks to John Reid for sharing this.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Been Sick - Last Minute Offers

Sorry guys, but I've been very ill for the past 10 days and so, and have fallen far behind sharing genealogy goodies with you all. Started innocently as a cold which tried hard to turn into pneumonia so I'm still struggling, on antibiotics now, and beginning to feel alive again.

Anyway, today is the final day for discounted DNA kits from various places


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sask. History & Folklore Society Conference

June 17th at the Artesian in Regina

Mr. Bill Waiser is Keynote speaker - and I can't go!! Shoot!!


NY State Death Index, 1880-1956, Online FREE

Thanks to the amazing work of the group Reclaim the Records, images of the New York State death index are now online. FREE!!

I can't wait to get into these!! Good luck everyone.


The Secret Chimney Map Rediscovered

Read the story - a Scottish man discovers a 17th century map stuffed up a chimney presumably to help prevent drafts.

Watch the process of unpacking and restoring the chimney map


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Pat's Genealogy Classes Fall 2017

There will be lots more information posted about these courses a bit later, but this is just for those 'keeners' who don't want to chance missing out. Many of you know I keep my class registration numbers really low so I have time to work with each person, rather than it being 'lectures' or presentations.

This is the course you should start with as it gets you going in the right direction. It also gives you about 100 pages of notes, hints, tips, best practices, and links to the best websites.
Sept 19, 26, October 3, 10 7 - 9pm MacKenzie School, Regina SK $200.00

This course will deal with lots of record types held at the Saskatchewan Provincial Archives in Regina Sask. But we will be really concentrating on learning about the land that was offered FREE in western Canada and the records created. FREE land was the reason thousands upon thousands of our ancestors migrated from all over the world to Canada. There are amazing records available for us!! These sessions [plus one classroom] will take place AT the archives in Regina where you will be doing hands-on research for your own family ... with Pat there working with you. It's a great course.
Oct. 17 7 - 9pm MacKenzie School, Regina SK [classroom session]
Oct. 18 each person will receive extensive lessons & notes by email
Oct. 24 9am to noon 3303 Hillsdale, Regina SK
Oct. 31 9:30am to noon 3303 Hillsdale, Regina SK $200.00
If you are interested in this course you need to pre-register with Pat asap as she only offers this every second year and it always fills FAST. Email her


Poland IS Different

This site is more history than genealogy, but when do those two NOT go together?


FREE Sites Parish Records for British Isles

So some of you may have used this site before, but honestly it's a new one to me - which is GREAT, but I have no experience to share with you ... but FREE is always a good thing, right? What a great name DustyDocs.


Irish Removals From England,

From Ancestry - "Our latest Irish collection, Ireland, Poor Law Union Removals From England, 1859-1860, gives us a window in to what life was like as an Irish pauper living in the UK in the late 1850’s. Irish paupers were often looked upon negatively, as an unwanted expense on the local communities in which they resided across England, Scotland and Wales."

RIP Google? 13 Alternate Search Engines

Wouldn't that be awful? RIP Google? It's not about to happen, BUT I'm certainly interested in seeing what some other search engines can dig up for me that perhaps Google can't. Worth a try, right?

And if anyone has a success story to share, I would LOVE to hear it please!!!!


WHY Don't Archivists Digitize Everything?

Now isn't THAT a wonderful question??!! Such an easy life we'd have, right? Life is always easier when we have a good working knowledge of the reasons behind our questions. Read on


Kelowna BC Sept 16, 2017 - Join Me?

How about a lovely drive through the gorgeous Rocky Mountains to that beautiful city of Kelowna BC, and join my friend Dave Obee and me in a full day of genealogy!! Would love to see you there.


AFHS FamilyRoots 2017

My friends Shannon, Dave, John & Lesley will be presenting at Calgary, Saturday September 23rd


Proof, No Pudding

As always, John Grenham is dead right. It doesn't matter your nationality or religion, his article provides some excellent points for each of us.


FREE Genealogy Course Online

You can all read, and I'm busy, so there ya go. haha


Expert Tips for

Thanks to my good friend Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems website, there is an excellent article written by Sunny at

Don't forget to have a look around Lisa's site


Maps, Maps & More Maps

This past weekend I talked about the importance of maps [even though I was not doing a presentation on maps] and I offered numerous links in my hand-out, but I may have not mentioned this biggie at Perry-Castaneda Library


Look How They Treated ME in Letbridge!

So I wonder how many were thinking something awful happened to me?? hahaha FAKE NEWS???? hahaha

I was honoured to have spoken to a large and enthusiastic group of genealogists in Lethbridge this past weekend. I don't know where 'everyone' was from, but I do know there were folks from Medicine Hat to the east, Montana USA to the south, British Columbia to the west, and Edmonton to the north! WHAT a great experience, I think for all of us.

I had agreed to present SIX presentations, of an hour each, on Saturday. We started at 8am, and finished up at 5pm. It was a long day, but lots of fun, AND my voice held up thanks to a great mic system. There was a great snack at morning coffee break, a fabulous lunch at noon, and probably something else throughout the afternoon but I was kept busy so not sure. haha

Now here's the amazing part!!!! 50% of those attending were NEW folks - not yet members of any genealogical society. I heard a number of new memberships were purchased so that is awesome news. Those are smart people as the Lethbridge branch is a very knowledgeable, helpful group of individuals who meet often at their well stocked library. Then they have smaller groups that are dedicated to specific topics, and helping each other in various subjects such as the group that meet Mondays to work on their Legacy genealogy software programs. It's so much more fun to have others to work with, and learn from. If I were closer I would definately be joining in. LUCKY LUCKY people who have the opportunity to join this very fun, progressive group!!

So after Saturday, I spoke to the members only for two hours Sunday morning - and there were some new members there too! Plus a few that couldn't make it Saturday so that was another great morning.

I'd like to extend a special Thank You to that young lady Eleanor McMurchy who did a magnificent job of organizing 'everything', including me!! She and I began talking about this event last September 18th, 2016. I replied to her invitation to speak in Lethbridge Alberta, as I was driving past Lethbridge Newfoundland at that exact moment! I kid you not - look it up. Lethbridge NL is on the Cabot Trail on the road to Bonavista NL. Co-incidence? Lol

I would also like to say a big Thank You to John, President of Lethbridge branch who was always available whenever I needed anything! And to Doug, from the branch, for saving my bacon when I ran into technology problems right before the last session on Saturday. Whew!! THAT was a scary 10 minutes for me!

And I could never say enough big THANK YOU's to Gary & Kathy Stauffer for being my hosts - getting me from and to the airport; giving me tours of your beautiful city; feeding me the most delicious totally gourmet meals; and for Kathy's always (too? haha) cheerful "Good Morning Pat, time to get up" because I forgot my alarm. Amazing hosts and I will never forget them and their hospitality. Thank you both.

There were many others who fussed over me, and I want them to know how much I appreciated them as well. And to Anne B. who emailed Saturday to share some amazing news with me. She explained about Agnes - and I won't say any more 'cause I don't want to spoil surprises for the next Who's Your Momma? group. BUT suffice it to say I now know the answer to my Agnes question! So Thanks to you too Anne!! We can all learn from each other if we're willing.

Cheers to all my new friends and as always Happy Searching!!