November 22, 2014

Photoduplication Services To be Discontinued at FamilySearch

Photoduplication Services To be Discontinued at FamilySearch
Genealogists will be disappointed to learn that  Photoduplication Services provided by FamilySearch are being discontinued as of December 5, 2014. As of this date, existing orders will be completed, but new orders will not be accepted. 

This would be the time for someone living in the Salt Lake City area and looking to make some extra money to step in and offer to retrieve documents for a reasonable fee. I know I'd use their services. 

I realize films can be ordered in to a nearby Family History Center and that's great if you live near one or are physically able to get out to one. I am one of those who can't access one.

Hopefully the termination of this service won't be too much of a negative impact on researchers but I for one will be sorry to see it go.

November 21, 2014

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Album 31 R

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. 

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" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Album 31 R
X-Ray Room

November 20, 2014

Immigrants to Upper Canada via New York 1817-1819

I've been working on a project called Immigrants proceeding to Upper Canada via New York 1817-1819

Immigrants to Upper Canada via New York 1817-1819.  Pass for George Underhill
Pass #17236 George Underhill, Shropshire, butcher
I have extracted the names and basic information for each of the 199 people who applied for passes to leave New York and enter Upper Canada (present day Ontario)  The actual passes contain more information including age, place of origin, occupation, how many in family and sometimes detailed notes about the immigrant.

The passes begin at Image 33 with number 17228. To find an ancestor pass, just find the name in the list at Immigrants proceeding to Upper Canada via New York 1817-1819 , copy the pass number then go to and paste the pass number into the search engine that says "Search within this reel"

For example one name on the list is 

17236 George Underhill, Shropshire, butcher, wife + 4 ch

If this were your ancestor you would use the link above and enter 17266 into the search engine on that site. You can see his pass above.
[Source: Upper Canada Sundries, Reference: RG 5 A1, Volume 37, passes numbered 17228-17578, microfilm: C-4601. Civil Secretary's Correspondence - Passes signed by British Consul, New York, for Emigrants from Great Britain, 1817-1819. Microfilm available at but it is not indexed] 

November 19, 2014

Manifest Markings: What was "British Bonus Allowed" on Canadian Passenger Lists?

Understanding the Term "British Bonus Allowed"  on Canadian Passenger Lists 1890-1906
British Bonus Allowed
The British Bonus was a commission paid by the Canadian government's Immigration Branch to steamship booking agents in the United Kingdom and in European countries for each suitable immigrant who purchased a ticket to sail to Canada. The immigrants themselves did not receive the bonus, although those who settled on western homesteads did receive a separate monetary bonus upon proof of settlement.

As such, the "British Bonus" was a subtle marketing tool used by the Canadian government; it served to encourage steamship booking agents to recruit desirable settlers (farmer, domestics, etc.). The laws of the time in many European countries forbade open encouragement of immigration by any foreign country.

The British Bonus came into effect through the passage of an Order-in-Council on September 27, 1890. It provided the following provisions.

  1. To pay a limited amount, not exceeding in any case $50.00, to the class of "returned men" (not exceeding fifty) to Europe toward recouping their expenses on sufficient proof furnished of success in bringing immigrants to Canada.
  2. To pay a bonus to Steamship Agents in the United Kingdom, of $5.00 for each adult settler on land, of 18 years and over, on certificate of booking and shipping such settler to Manitoba, the Northwest Territories of British Columbia, and, on certificate of a Dominion Lands Agent, to be furnished as proof of such settler.
  3. To pay a bonus of $10.00 to each homesteader, the head of a family, and $5.00 for each member of such family at the adult age of 12 years and over, with an additional $5.00 to any such member of a family who might within six months after arrival in Canada become a homesteader on settlement on land in Manitoba, the Northwest Territories of British Columiba, proof being furnished of such settlement by the certificate of a Dominion Lands Agent.
While the arrangement above was in place, many suggestions were received by the Department recommending that the regulations be altered so that a bonus would be payable when the immigrant arrived in Canada instead of when he took up land. It was finally agreed to pay of bonus of $1.75 on adults and half that amount on children from the British Isles arriving in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This system remained in effect until April 1, 1906 with the exception that in later years it applied to immigrants to eastern as well as Western Canada. In the year 1904-05, 146,266 immigrants arrived at Canada of which the British bonus was paid on 28,835.

The stamp "British Bonus Allowed" was stamped against the name of applicable passengers on manifests. Other, similar, notations included "C.G.E.A. which was the abbreviation for the Canadian Government Employment Agent (these agents received a commission from the government for placing newly-arrived immigrants with employers who were seeking labourers or domestics; and "Continental Bonus" which was established in 1882 and were similar to the British Bonus but applied to emigrants from the European mainland.

November 18, 2014

WW2 Letter re Death of A. F. Johnson Found in Street

The letter details how Sgt Anthony Frederick Johnson, a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, went missing during an air operation in April 1943.

Signed by Wing Commander D.H. Burnside, of the No. 427 squadron, the letter tells the parents of Sgt Johnson that their son was a popular figure and fast becoming an ace wireless operator. 

The wing commander writes: “On the night of April 16, at approximately nine o’clock, Anthony and his crew took off from this aerodrome to carry out a bombing attack over enemy territory and were due to return at four o’clock in the morning. 

“Unfortunately, the aircraft never returned and we have heard nothing from it or any member of the crew since time of take-off.” [Hexham Courant News]
WW2 Letter re Death of A. F. Johnson Found in Street
Screenshot from Hexham Courant Article
The Courant has informed both the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Library and Archives Canada, about the letter. The Courant hope to hear from descendants or anyone who has details about Sgt Johnson.

Read more at Second World War letter found on village street in the Hexham Courant News

Lorine's Note: I believe this site has quite a bit of information on Sgt. Johnson but I am not a member. If any of my readers is a member it would be wonderful to know what details are found. 

November 17, 2014

Identifying Early Photographs

The following article was originally written by Lorine McGinnis Schulze and published on Olive Tree Genealogy at

It may not be reproduced in any way without my written consent.

Daguerreotypes (ca 1839)

Photography arrived in the United States in 1839 thanks to Samuel F. B. Morse, an American artist and inventor. Morse visited Daguerre in Paris in March 1839 and observed a demonstration of the daguerreotype process. He returned to the United States to spread the news, and by the end of 1839 some larger cities on the East Coast had very successful portrait studios.
daguerreotype 6th plate 1854 Franklin Amos Pratt 6th plate Daguerreotype taken ca 1854

Ambrotypes (circa 1854)

The ambrotype was a glass negative backed with black material, which enabled it to appear as a positive image. Patented in 1854, the ambrotype was made, packaged, and sold in portrait studios as the daguerreotype had been, but at a lower cost. The ambrotype produced a single image on glass.
9th plate Ambrotype ca 1858 9th plate Ambrotype ca 1858
1861 Ambrotype 6th plate Ambrotype 1861
Next up I will talk about Tintypes, Cartes de Visite and Cabinet Cards. Also see my YouTube Video Five Types of Early 19th Century Photographs 

November 16, 2014

Oldest DNA Ever Found

Oldest DNA Ever Found
A femur found by chance on the banks of a west Siberian river in 2008 is that of a man who died around 45,000 years ago. Subjected to DNA testing, the genome contains traces from Neanderthals who just recently were found to have interbred with humans before disappearing. In fact Neanderthal DNA is found in all modern humans except Africans. Up to 4% of our DNA can be Neanderthal. 

I've had mine tested and it is over 3%. The bone found had tiny amounts of Neanderthal DNA but it was in relatively long strips, whereas Neanderthal DNA in modern human genome has been cut up and dispersed in tiny sections as a result of generations of reproduction.

This find is allowing scientists to work out a "calendar" of when Homo Sapiens headed into South Asia. The team calculates it was no more than 60,000 years ago.

More information can be found at Oldest DNA ever found sheds light on humans' global trek

November 15, 2014

57 Graves Found Under Church Parking Lot

Recently 57 century old graves were found when a church parking lot was dug up in Toronto Ontario Canada. The church was originally built in the Village of Weston in the 1850s. The coffins and grave markers date as far back as 1866. The church is St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church and so far no burial records have surfaced. 

An old photo, which you can see at  Dozens of old graves found under Toronto church parking lot appears to show a cemetery beside the church. 

That cemetery has not been visible for many years and the suspicion is that the parking lot was built over top of the graves.