Friday, 17 August 2018

TheGenealogist adds to Court and Crimianal Records collection

Following is from a press release from TheGenealogist.

TheGenealogist is adding to its Court and Criminal Records collection with the release of over 160,000 records of prisoners at the bar and their victims from the CRIM 9 records held by The National Archives. These documents were created by the Central Criminal Court and document the After Trial Calendar of Prisoners.  

Central Criminal Court; The Old Bailey

After Trial Calendars give family history researchers details of ancestors who were up before the Old Bailey, revealing the names of prisoners that had appeared before the court, the committing magistrates, offences the prisoner had been indicted for, the date of their trial and who they were tried before. The records give the verdict of the jury, previous convictions and the sentence or order of the court. Other information in these records are the names of the victim and the level of education or ‘Degree of Instruction’ as well as false names that the criminals may have used to try and hide their tracks from the authorities.

Use the After Trial Calendar of Prisoners records to
Find ancestors accused of crimes ranging from stealing a matchbox to murder
Discover people standing trial as forgers, baby farmers, German spies and more
Uncover some of the aliases adopted by criminal ancestors
See the occupation or trade of the offender
Research records covering the period 1855-1915

Comment:  The free Old Bailey Online website provides the Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913 in a fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published. Some of the CRIM 9 records are also at Findmypast.

Find it in a Library?

Most serious genealogists will have the catalogues of some libraries bookmarked. That will certainly include the local public library and likely local university libraries.

If you research a particular area away from where you live you may find publications of interest in that community's public library. Although there are lists of libraries I find it easier to just search online for the town name and the word library. Thanks to the magic of search that will usually find it even if the library catalogue is held at the county or other administrative level.

On a broader scale OCLC WorldCat connects you to the collections and services of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. The Ottawa Public Library is listed as an OCLC library, but I'm told any information WorldCat has on their holdings is not up to date. WorldCat list the McGill University Library as third most often selected as a favorite by WorldCat users, and first in Canada.

OCLC now hosts Canada's National Union Catalogue - Voilà. While the old database AMICUS remains the primary source for Library and Archives Canada’s cataloguing records that's only for a few more weeks — until October 2018.

In the UK Copac exposes rare and unique research material by bringing together the catalogues of over 100 major UK and two Irish libraries. In a single search you can discover the holdings of the UK’s national libraries (the British Library and National Libraries of Scotland and Wales), many University libraries, and specialist research libraries.

For the genealogist there are specialist libraries, perhaps the library of a genealogical society in which you're a member. For the UK don't overlook SoGCat from the Society of Genealogists.

Digitized books are available from several virtual library sources through the catalog search on the Internet Archive, Google Books and Family History Books from the LDS.

Do you have any other library catalog(ue) sources I've overlooked?

Thursday, 16 August 2018

BIFHSGO Conference 2018

If you're an economy-minded last-minute type of person ... your time has come.

The deadline for a discount on early registration for the BIFHSGO conference is 23:59 EDT on Friday 17 August. It will cost you an extra $30 if you decide to register after that date.

Start registration here.

BIFHSGO members remember to sign in to your account to receive the additional member discount.

Family Tree Magazine - September Issue

Here are some of the articles featured in the new look September issue.

Tracing workhouse lives 
Gill Blanchard, author of Tracing your Ancestors, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk : A Guide for Family Historians, draws of many examples from Norfolk and Suffolk in discussing the documentation to be found for those who fell under the workhouse system.

Making a "Home Sweet Home"
Jayne Shrimpton summarizes the textile creations to be found in the home made by generations of female forebears.

Discover Court Records
Chris Paton writes a "beginners guide to advanced records." Covering both ecclesiastical and civil courts for Britain and Ireland. Scotland receives particular attention.

Interpreting Ethnicity
Using tests from Family Tree DNA and Living DNA Geoff Wicks explores his ethnicity results. Having traced all sides of his family history back between 200 and 250 years in England he compares the geographical distribution from Living DNA with the distribution of his grandparents surnames. Considering that the DNA he carries goes back hundreds of years, encompassing many more than just four grandparents surnames, discrepancies are to be expected.

Hush Hush, Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink
The story of Adèle Emm's search for information on her father's work as a member of the Home Office Intelligence Unit in World War II. Some small progress was made through the county record office.

Masterclass on Restoring Old Photos
Mike Bedford offers basic guidance using the PC app

As always, there's much more in the issue than covered here. Find out about subscribing to Family Tree.

Rideau Lakes Cemetery Genealogy Day

Google maps found the address for these cemeteries but in most cases the cemetery wasn't clear from the satellite or street view images.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

CEF Service Files Digitization Update for August 2018

They did it. As of 8 August LAC announce the completion of the digitization of all Canadian military personnel records from the Great War.

CEF service files are available, from AABEL, NEILS to ZUBIK, NICHOLAS W and everyone in between, each containing, on average, 49 images, for a total of over 32,000,000 images or almost 617 terabytes of scanned information.

LAC is claiming "more than 620,000 files" with the precise number 622,290. That's up from 608,399 on 15 July.

You may have wondered why the number is less than the 630,000 previously mentioned as the total. Library and Archives Canada combined the documents of members who had enlisted multiple times and had more than one file.

We wait to learn what major new digitization project will be next.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Unlock the Past in Seattle, with Blaine Bettinger and Maurice Gleeson

On Thursday 6 September from 12.30 pm to 8.00 pm ET Australian company Unlock the Past will be livestreaming presentations from a conference in Seattle.
For $65 US get access to 10 presentations, five of which you can view live, the others available on replay until the end of the month.

The schedule is:


12.30 pm – Using Y-DNA and mtDNA to explore your ancestry – B. Bettinger
2.00 pm – Using Autosomal DNA for 18th and 19th century mysteries – B. Bettinger
3.00 pm– Challenges with Irish genetic genealogy – M. Gleeson
5.30 pm – Using third-party tools to analyze your Autosomal DNA – B. Bettinger
7.00 pm – Phasing and mapping your DNA – B. Bettinger

STREAM 2  – Irish genealogy and more

12.30 am – Tracing your immigrant ancestor to Ireland – a strategic approach – M. Gleeson
2.00 pm – Genealogy and the Little Ice Age – W. Shepheard
3.00 pm– The hidden web: digging deeper – C. Ingle
5.30 pm – Navigating Irish birth, marriage & death records – M. Gleeson
7.00 pm – Newspapers, gravestones & probate: rich sources for Irish genealogy – M. Gleeson

Find out more at

Expanded Ellis Island Immigrant Records 1820-1957 Online

A press release from FamilySearch in Salt Lake City, Utah, dated 14 August 2018, asks what do over a 100 million Americans have in common?

FamilySearch's answer "Their ancestors immigrated through Ellis Island or one of the New York Harbour immigration stations that preceded it" is true, but so did many who were destined to live in Canada.

"FamilySearch and The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. announced today the entire collection of Ellis Island New York Passenger Arrival Lists from 1820 to 1957 are now available online on both websites giving the opportunity to the descendants of over 100 million arrivals to discover their ancestors quicker and free of charge.

Originally preserved on microfilm, 9.3 million images of historical New York passenger records spanning 130 years were digitized and indexed in a massive effort by 165,590 online FamilySearch volunteers. The result is a free searchable online database containing 63.7 million names, including immigrants, crew, and other passengers traveling to and from the United States through the nation’s largest port of entry."

Read the full press release and find search links here

Canada's Nursing Sisters - a Co-Lab Challenge

Here's an update on the Co-Lab challenge I wrote about on 20 July.
At that time letters, diaries and photographs of four Canadian nursing sisters who served during the Great War were available. Two others, Laura Gamble and Alice Isaacson,  have been added so the status as on 3 August is:

NurseImagesPercent Complete
Dorothy Cotton14919
Sophie Hoerner12824
Laura Gamble1501
Alice Isaacson11882
Ruby Peterkin7730
Anne E Ross20100

Find out more here.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Findmypast adds Airmen Died in the Great War, 1914-1919

Sourced from the Naval & Military Press, this is an index of death records covering the Australian Flying Corps, Miscellaneous Airmen Casualties, Pre-War Casualties, Royal Air Force, Royal Flying Corps, Royal Naval Air Service, United States Air Service Casualties Attached to the Royal Fighting Corps/Royal Air Force, US Navy Casualties, and Women's Royal Air Force.

Information available may include:

  • First name(s)
  • Last name
  • Birth year
  • Death year
  • Death date
  • Age at death
  • Cause of death
  • Burial place
  • Soldier number
  • Rank
  • Unit or regiment
  • Service branch
  • Grade, branch, or position
  • Aircraft type and serial number
  • Theatre of operations
  • Honours and awards
  • Previous service
  • Place or origin of residence
  • Additional information
  • Additional names / notes
Check the Commonwealth War Graves Commission which may have slightly different information for British and Commonwealth airmen.

Ottawa City’s Annual Reports and Council Minutes.

Romaine Honey emailed to let us know about a new OPL blog post Was your ancestor arrested, rescued, or paid by the City? It's about the City Annual Reports going back to 1892; and Council Minutes from 1875.
They’re full of statistics that tell you about life and conditions in Ottawa; and there are a surprising number of individuals mentioned, for various reasons.  Anyone who claimed damages, had a fire or property expropriation, got a City pension, etc. is named with relevant details in these publications, so they can be useful for genealogy as well as local history.
I didn't know the OPL has these in its collection in the Ottawa Room at the Main Library at 120 Metcalfe. The Ottawa City Archives also has a collection which I recently used.

More recent reports, from 2010 are online at