Friday, 22 May 2015

Findmypast record additions

Here are this weeks modest additions at Findmypast

City of London, Haberdashers, Apprentices and Freemen 1526-1933
Lucky you if you have a relative among the 136,545 apprentices who trained with the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers in the City of London and their masters. Information is name, role – Freeman or master, year, birth year, address, occupation, Freeman’s name, Freeman’s address,
admitted by – either patrimony, completion of service or redemption, parent’s name, parent’s address, parent’s occupation, master’s name, London Metropolitan Archives reference.There's a transcript and image of the original entry. Most entries are from the 17th and 18th centuries.

City of London, Ironmongers, Apprentices and Freemen 1511-1923 
The 17,822 entries in this City Of London Ironmongers, Apprentices and Freemen 1511-1923 records contain the details of members of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers. Information is much as for the Haberdashers above.

Surrey, Southwark, St George the Martyr Mortuary Register 1880-1891
Find 1,948 records in the St George the Martyr Southwark Mortuary Register 1880-1891compiled using information taken from the mortuary register for the parish of St George’s, Southwark.

British Royal Navy, Foreign Awards to Officers Index 1914-1922
Containing 3,031 records, the Royal Navy Foreign Awards to Officers Index 1914-1922 contains the details of awards presented to officers of the Royal Navy by foreign governments. These records might have name, official number (pertains to R.N.R. Skippers, Civil Staff of the Admiralty, and Naval Other Ranks), rank (at the time the award was received), unit or regiment, service branch, foreign award, notes, British awards (listed in standard abbreviated format), death date and cause of death.

Additions to's Heritage project

Thanks to the work of LAC and's Heritage Project 13 new MIKAN series listed here are now available comprising 60 microfilm reels between them. They are identified by Canadiana as of genealogical interest. With the exception of the Society of Friends item, which is a finding aid, the only guide to the content is the title. If you know of any detail on the content please post a comment. The fonds are:

184991 Adjutant General's Office, United Canada : Registers of officers
105765 Audit Office : AO 12. Claims, American Loyalists - Series I
159399 Department of Indian Affairs : Program Reference Centre and Treaties and Historical Research Centre
159159 Department of Indian Affairs : Saddle Lake Agency
134034 Department of the Interior, Dominion Lands Branch : Métis and original White settlers affidavits
156370 Department of the Interior : Registers and indexes relating to Métis and Original White Settlers land records, 1877-1927
100321 France. Archives de la Marine. Fonds de la Marine : Série C1, Officiers militaires
161406 General registers of Chinese immigration
161342 North Sydney ships' manifests
135159 Office of the Chief Electoral Officer : Notices of grants of poll
106019 Society of Friends fonds : finding aid no. 20
205322 State submissions to the Executive Council [Province of Canada], 1841-1867: indexes and registers

Thanks to Daniel Velarde of for the information.

William Pittman Lett book

Friend and colleague Bryan Cook sent me the following, in his words, "blatant sales pitch" for his book"William Pittman Lett: Ottawa’s First City Clerk and Bard, 1819-1892" just published.

"William Pittman Lett is recognized by few in this 21st Century. In Ottawa, he may be remembered by some as the City’s first and longest-serving Clerk for thirty-six years (1855 -1891). Yet, he was the City’s Manager in a time when the Clerk held the power of the pen and wielded extraordinary influence behind the scenes to shape Canada’s Capital. He witnessed and recorded the turbulent evolution of Canada throughout most of the 19th century.
Illustrated extensively with 19th century photography, his biography written and published by Bryan D. Cook introduces a complex and charismatic character, maturing from a militiaman, radical journalist and theatre pioneer to a highly respected public personality, sportsman, patriot and proud chronicler of his city’s history. He fought in prose, poetry and oratory for the Methodist Church, for Temperance, for the ‘British Connexion’ threatened by Fenians and Annexationists, and for the Flag, Monarchy and Empire against the vogue of Republicanism and the ambitions of German emperors and Russian czars.
His marriage to his beloved Maria Hinton brought joy and tragedy, on which he reflected in verse. The poetry column of the newspaper was his popular soapbox; 118 poems from his extensive lifetime production are also presented in Bryan's book, authentic to the original script and now framed in their historical contexts.
As the Poet Blogger of Confederation, William Pittman Lett has been deservedly resurrected from archival oblivion.
This 412 page book, based on extensive historical and archival research with 93 illustrations and photographs, is available for $25 Can. plus postage from Bryan at Free delivery can be arranged in the Ottawa region."

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Story of Renfrew

Archive CD Books Canada's most recent newsletter announces a new release "The Story of Renfrew from the coming of the First Settlers about 1820, Vol. 1."

Here are some extracts from the description:

"The focus of this 1919 publication on the Ottawa Valley town of Renfrew is on the period up until 1900.

The book takes many of its stories from "locals" who were either original settlers or were the offspring of their families.

The book opens with a picture gallery of people whose names are forever joined with Renfrew, either because of their pioneering activities or because of their contributions to its growth and success.

Some of the other content:

—Patriotic Funds of the Crimean War
—The method of licensing taverns
—Choosing the municipal motto
—The early Church socials
—Council converts Mechanics' Institute into Free Public Library
—Renfrew's First Lock-up
— Appeal for telegraph communication
—John Burns appointed Treasurer
—Hand fire-engine purchased
—Proposition for planting of shade trees
—B. J. McDermott as policeman
—Bylaw prohibiting cows from running at large all year
—First Deputy-Reeve chosen
—The Voters at Renfrew's First Municipal Election
—The County Council
This is an intimate and engaging look at the development of Renfrew as a Settlement, a Town, a Township, and now, as a County."

Read all about it and other recent offerings, and browse the full catalogue, at

Don't miss upcoming titles, subscribe to the Archives CD Books Canada newsletter by entering SUBSCRIBE as the subject in an email to

BIFHSGO adds Home Children Deaths database

New at BIFHSGO, a database of 2284 home children based on the RG76 General Correspondence files at Library and Archives Canada, newspaper obituaries and death notices, Barnardo’s Ups and Downs magazine, and information supplied by descendants of Home Children who gave the information knowing that a database was being developed.
Read more and search this database at BIFHSGO has other home child information at

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

WDYTYA Magazine: June 2015

Editor Sarah Williams marks the 100th issue of the WDYTYA Magazine with a list of the 100 best free online resources for family historians.You can likely guess many, they're organized under the headings: general websites, health, Ireland, Yorkshire, United States, maps, British Empire, military, death and probate, crime and poverty, London, archives, message boards and forums, civil registration, early records. parish registers, occupations, specialist area sites and, digital books.
Publishing such a list is always sticking your neck out. I was surprised to see (Alexa rank 422,229) but not (rank 231,973). There's no mention of social media, including the several good British blogs, and no mention of DNA.
Each issue contains articles of research advice. This month find: Best Websites; Napoleonic Wars; Focus on Newspapers; Focus on Justices of the Peace and Petty Sessions and; My Ancestor was a Printer.
The bonus content giving access to resources online has a focus on Sussex: Hove and the Great War; parish registers of Hove and Preston; Sussex maps; parish registers of Cocking and; Sussex archives.

FamilySearch adds England, London Electoral Registers, 1847-1913

These  electoral registers, from originals at the London Metropolitan Archives, are lists of names and addresses of registered voters.
These registers are a great way to follow movement of voters and coming of age of males in the family, voting for women started after the First World War so this won't help find them directly.
The collection is incomplete. To avoid wasting time I suggest checking the browse at which lists the communities covered. Then click on the community of interest, if you know it! For instance, for Tottenham only the years 1869 to 1877 are available.
If you have access to Ancestry check out the database London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965. Coverage is also patchy, much is for later times, after the First World War.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Preserving and Digitizing Family Photographs

Now available, a four page handout by Kyla Ubbink of Ubbink Book and Paper Conservation entitled
Notes from Preserving and Digitizing Family Photographs at which accompanied her presentation to OGS Ottawa Branch on April 25. It's brim full with good advice.

Update.  Some folks report problems with the link above. It works for me. If you're strugging try going to and scrolling down to Handout from May Branch Meeting

Ottawa Public Library 50+ short story contest

Looking for additional motivation to write an episode from your family history?

The Ottawa Public Library invites adults 50 years or older, who have a Library card, to enter their short story contest. Submissions must be original and unpublished works of 2000 words or less in English or French and the work of a single author. Further details at

Deadline is June 2, 2015

Monday, 18 May 2015

Find Toronto ancestors, and more, free in May at the Toronto Star Online Archives

Gail Dever at Genealogy à la carte reports the Toronto Star Archives are free until 31 May. Check it out at

How many Family Finder matches?

If you've taken the Family Tree DNA Family Finder test take a look at your Matches result. How many do you have? There are ten matches per page so look at the number of pages and multiply by 10.
The article "Why Autosomal DNA Test Results Are Significantly Different for Ashkenazi Jews" by Paull et al. reports their study sample of 40 Jews had an average 2,777 matches, inter-faith participants with one Jewish parent had an average 1,701 matches and non-Jewish participants averaged 672 matches.
The paper explains this as the result of endogamy, groups where members usually marry with the group. The larger number of matches correlates with an excess number of chromosome segments between 3 and 8 cM for Jews compared to the non-Jewish study group and more matches at the fourth cousin and more distant relationship level.
I have about 1,350 Family Finder matches, just about fitting the pattern as I have one Jewish grandparent.
The article identifies other endogamous groups, "Amish, Armenians, the Basque, Hindus (within their castes). Mennonites, Jehovah's Witnesses and various sub-populations of the Jewish diaspora." I was surprised to find Jehovah's Witness, a relatively recent sect in the list. Not mentioned are populations of relatively isolated islands which would include Icelanders, maybe Newfoundlanders and perhaps Irish with deep roots.
Do your results fit the pattern?

Ontario Preachers, Pastors and Priests

Men of the “Cloth”-Tracking Records for Preachers, Pastors and Priests is the latest OGS blog post. Written by Alan Campbell. I think, the author isn't identified except for having a great great grandfather James Atkey, it discusses sources for finding Wesleyan Methodist and Congregationalist ministers. Read it here.