Saturday, 23 September 2017

Ottawa War Bride Couple Death

The death of English war bride Jean (Tubbs) Spear and her Canadian husband of 72 years George Spear a week ago made news on the BBC and CBC as well as in the Ottawa Citizen. They died less than six hours apart.
Jean had arrived in Ottawa on 21 December 1944, one of eight (?) war brides and six children who arrived on the same train at the Union Station. The Ottawa Journal reported their arrival under the headline British Brides Arrive in Snow Storm, Get Warm Welcome.
Weather records show that storm dumped 9.4 cm of snow.

Does anyone know the story of the other war brides arriving on that train:

Margaret I. Coller
Patricia Dudman, with daughter Barbara
Joan Fee
Ethel Large, and daughter Jennifer Street
Joyce Ryan, and son Patrick
Phyllis Mahoney, and son John
and two children of Major S. G Gamble, Margaret and Jean (mother deceased).

Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire and Sussex additions at Findmypast

Gloucestershire, Bristol Baptism Index
With the addition of over 139,000 records the Gloucestershire, Bristol Baptism Index now has 551,100 records covering 116 Bristol parishes.

The earliest is from 1518, the latest 1914.

The database was created using original records held at the Bristol Archives and transcripts from FamilySearch's International Genealogical Index (IGI).

Each transcript includes a combination of baptism date, baptism place, parents' names and a reference number.

Gloucestershire, Bristol Marriage Index
More than 80,000 additional Bristol Marriage Index records are now available to search. The earliest records are four marriages in 1518 from Bitton, St Mary, the latest from 1939. This transcript collection includes both parish and non-conformist registers and now contains a total of 354,787 records.

Gloucestershire, Bristol Burial Index
An additional 96,000 records expands this index to 273,182 transcript records covering more than 70 parishes.

Records usually reveal age at death, birth year, burial year, father's name, residence and provide you with a Bristol Archives reference number.

Hertfordshire Baptisms
Over 6,000 records covering the town of Cheshunt have been added to Findmypast's collection of Hertfordshire baptisms bringing the total for the county to 831,117.

Each record includes a digitised image of the original record book and a transcript for the individual entry. That makes it easy to check for transcription errors such as baptisms 100 years before birth. It's a reminder not to entirely trust transcription records.

Sussex Monumental Inscriptions
Over 1,800 additional records covering churchyards in Chiddingly and East Dean have been added to FMP's Sussex Monumental Inscriptions collection which now totals 23,102 records from 1513 to 2007.
Each includes a transcript that lists the deceased's birth year, age at death, death year, burial location, the number of individuals buried in that plot, details of the inscription on their headstone or memorial and a reference number.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Findmypast adds Dublin Electoral Rolls

Findmypast just made available electoral rolls, over 427,000 records, with the names of those eligible to vote between 1908 and 1915 in Dublin.

Voting eligibility for local elections was restricted to men over the age of 21 and women over the age of 30 who either resided in the city or owned property there.

The original electoral registers are held by the Dublin City Library & Archives.

Act today:Sign the Petition to Update Crown Copyright

Canadians paid for it. We should have access.

Royal Commissions, Parliamentary reports, statistical publications…are the raw materials of good journalism and history in a democratic country. As it is these publications can be changed or removed without warning, especially if the content is not supportive of government policy or otherwise embarrassing.

If they’re deleted, you might still be able to find them via web harvesters like the Wayback Machine. Or they might be gone forever. It’s hit and miss.

The solution is to address Section 12 of the Copyright Act legal scholars have labelled a “legislative monstrosity” and called for its abolishment. It dates from 1911 and British legislation which has long since been superceded -- but not in Canada.

Open up the material we paid for.

Act now. Sign the petition to bring Canadian legislation in line with other democracies .

The online petition closes on September 23 so act now. Sign it at

WDYTYA UK on YouTube

Several episodes from the most recent British TV series of Who Do You Think You Are? are new on YouTube.

They are supported by advertizing.

Noel Clarke
Fearne Cotton
Charles Dance
Lisa Hammond
Ian McKellen

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Ancestry adds England, Extracted Parish and Court Records, 1399-1795

New to Ancestry is this collection of 93,495 early parish records. All entries I could find were sourced from a publication Musgrave's Obituaries Prior to 1800. They are index entries with name and death date (sometimes just year), and relate to the more well to do in society. There is no link to further information in the original publication.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

O ...Tops Baby Names in England and Wales 2016

Olivia was the most popular for girls replacing Amelia, which has been the most popular since 2011.

Oliver remains as the most popular first name for boys as it has since 2013.

The top ten names for boys were:
Oliver (6,623), Harry (5,284), George (5,263), Jack, Jacob,  Noah, Charlie, Muhammad, Thomas, Oscar. 

For girls:
Olivia (5,017), Alemia (4,777), Emily (3,551), Isla, Ava, Isabella, Lilly, Jessica, Ella, Mia.

The number of different baby names registered in England and Wales in 2016 was 28,274 for boys and 35,645 for girls.

Find the top 100 names and details of the names through history from the Office of National Statistics release at

Heritage Ignite! at OPL

In the Auditorium at OPL Main (120 Metcalfe) on Wednesday 27 September, 2017 at 6:30pm Ottawa’s local history enthusiasts will share their passion for our past!  Speakers are local history experts from: Lost Ottawa, Today in Ottawa's History, Workers' History Museum, Ottawa Free Tour, Black History Ottawa, City of Ottawa Archives and Museums, and Heritage Ottawa who will have 5 minutes each to tell you why they’re passionate about Ottawa’s history.

Register here.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Signatures: Paul Martin

A reminder of the forthcoming interview of former Prime Minister Paul Martin by Dr. Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, before a live audience. It's the next event in the Signatures Series which features prominent Canadians who have fonds in the LAC collection. The event starts at 12:15 p.m. at Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St., 2nd floor, Ottawa. 

More at