July 29, 2015

Nominate Your Favourite Sites For Best Canadian Genealogy

Nominate Your Favourite Sites For Best Canadian Genealogy
Now's your chance to nominate your favourite site for Canadian genealogy.  Nominations are open until August 3rd so don't delay.

Local society and municipal sites, and sites that are primarily blogs are excluded. Any site you nominate must have substantial Canadian content. 

I'm pleased to see Olive Tree Genealogy website on the list of pre-nominated sites! Check the list and see if there are some missing that you think need to be considered.

July 28, 2015

Banished Gets a Thumbs Down From Me

Banished Gets a Thumbs Down From Me
Banished is a new 7-part series on CBC Television, premiering July 27, 2015 at 9pm. In 1788, Britain banished its unwanted citizens & convicts to Australia. Last night's episode focused on two convict lovers who are forbidden to marry, and their best friend. 

(Semi-spoiler alert ahead!)

I was looking forward to Part 1 but confess that it disappointed me. It had a very predictable storyline and characters. We had the obligatory evil convict, the hero convict who will suffer death rather than relinquish what he believes are his rights as a human being, the good-guy convict who puts on a good show of bravery but in reality is a coward. 

Then you have the oh-so-horrid soldier, the overly practical officer who sees all problems in terms of what's best for the troops (with no humanity shown), the governor of the colony who is at heart a decent man constrained by rules and laws, the overly sympathetic and empathic minister's wife and on and on it goes! 

Every major character was straight out of a beginner's handbook on writing romance novels. 

Even the costumers and sets were too polished. The convicts' clothing was not dirty or torn enough. The soldiers in the field had immaculate uniforms. Everything looked like a stage set to me. Yes Elizabeth Quinn's hair was matted and rumpled, but it looked like the way we teased our hair with rat-tail combs back in the 60s. It just didn't have the ring of authenticity. 

I was expecting more history, more of a documentary feel, and not quite so much fluff. 

Yes I will watch the next episode (reluctantly) if only because I hope the writing and story line will improve.

July 27, 2015

Banished, a New Series on CBC Television Starts Tonight!

Banished, a New Series on CBC Television Starts Tonight!
Banished is a new 7-part series on CBC Television, premiering July 27, 2015 at 9pm.

In 1788, Britain banished its unwanted citizens & convicts to Australia.

Among the first convicts to be exiled are close friends Elizabeth Quinn (MyAnna Buring), Tommy Barrett (Julian Rhind-Tutt) and James Freeman (Russell Tovey).

In this new world, relationships between convicts aren't allowed, but Elizabeth and Tommy break the rules.

When their romance is revealed to the soldiers in charge, it sets in motion a series of events that put friendships and ideals to the test, at a time, and in a place, where survival depends on having the back of those you love.

Image: Screenshot from CBC website. 

July 26, 2015

Nursing Sister WW1 Photo Album: 27V Nurses & Staff

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One. 

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain.

Nursing Sister WW1 Photo Album: 27V Nurses & Staff
Nursing Sisters & Staff

 The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page.

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos"

July 25, 2015

The Origins of Red-Haired Mummies in China

Red-Haried Mummies in China
 Archaeologists and scientists  have found the oldest and best-preserved mummies in the Tarim Basin area of China. Within a Bronze Age cemetery first discovered by Swedish archaeologists in 1934, some of the oldest mummies every found have had their DNA tested. The findings were a surprise. 

Previously the origins of the earliest settlers in this area were thought to be either  nomadic herders from the steppes of Russia and Kazakhstan, or from modern Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. But DNA results indicate the most common mtDNA haplogroup was C, suggesting origins in southern Siberia.

“Considering the presence of haplogroups H and K in the Xiaohe people and the geographical distribution of shared sequences, we conclude that the west Eurasian component observed in the Xiaohe people originated from western Europe, and maternal ancestry of the Xiaohe people might have close relationships with western Europeans,”

Continue reading at DNA Reveals These Red-Haired Chinese Mummies Come From Europe And Asia

Credits: Image is a screenshot from Forbes.com

July 24, 2015

A Relationship Calculator Helps with DNA Matches

A Relationship Calculator Helps with DNA Matches
If you are like me, whenever you get a DNA match that says the match is possibly a 3rd or 4th cousin, you can't remember or are not sure how to figure out where your common ancestor might be in your ancestry - a grandparent, a great-grandparent....??  In other words, how do you narrow the list of suspects candidates?  

I recently found this relationship chart which I love because it allows me to quickly determine that if a match is a 3rd. cousin we share 2nd great-grandparents. If the match is a 4th cousin we share 3rd great-grandparents. It's not that complicated and I wish I could remember that the common ancestor is one number less than the cousinship... but my brain won't retain that. 

On the chart I'm using, you simply look for the projected relationship, so let's say your DNA match was 5th cousin - look on the chart for 5th cousin (it is row 7, column 7). Now look UP to the top row, which in this case says "4th great-grandson or daughter". Okay that means you and your match share 4th great-grandparents. See how easy it is?

There are other charts online for understanding the term "cousin removed" and for figuring out the relationship of a person if you know their ancestry and how it connects into your family. 

July 23, 2015

FIngerprints From The Past

Sometimes ancient fingerprints are preserved in artifacts later found by  archaeologists. Some very intriguing fingerprints have been found and studied to determine age, gender and ethnicity of the last person to handle the object. Many were created thousands of years ago!

Here is a list of the 10 fingerprints discussed (with images) in the fascinating story What 10 sets of ancient fingerprints tell us about the people who made them

1.   Leonardo Da Vinci’s Middle Eastern ancestry – 525 years ago
2.   Medieval Europeans prayed mostly for themselves – 600 years ago
3.   Fashion conscious women of Roman Britain get the pale look – 1,900 years ago
4.   Division of labour in an Italian pottery workshop – 2,400 years ago
5.   Data management in Europe’s oldest city – 3,300 years ago
6.   Ancient Egyptian bakers pack bread for the trip to the afterlife – 3,300 years ago
7.   Youth employment in Stone Age Sweden – 5,000 years ago
8.   First farmers – 10,000 years ago

9.   The child who picked up a figurine – 26,000 years ago
10.   The Neanderthal weapon maker – 80,000 years ago

July 22, 2015

Who Do You Think You Are? Ginnifer Goodwin

Who Do You Think You Are? Ginnifer Goodwin
Airtime: Sunday, July 26 at 9/8c on TLC

Actress Ginnifer Goodwin knows nothing about her paternal grandfather’s family because he refused to talk about his parents. She goes on a journey to uncover the truth behind her great-grandparents’ story, and is shocked to discover turbulent lives filled with court cases, drugs and incarcerations.  

Actress Ginnifer Goodwin never knew her paternal grandfather, John Barton Goodwin, who died when she was an infant. She’s been haunted by the lack of information surrounding his family line; he never talked about his parents to her father, Tim. Understanding the generations that laid the foundation for her has grown more important to her since becoming a mother herself. The birth of her son Oliver has reignited her desire to know why her grandfather never spoke of his mother and father.    

Ginnifer starts her search for information with her dad, who recalls that his father John Barton’s parents were named Nellie and John “Al” Goodwin, and that for some unknown reason, John Barton was abandoned when he was just 11 years old.  

Photo Credit: TLC