Sunday, 16 September 2018

Ancestry updates British Death Indexes

England and Wales Death Index, 2007 - 2017
Scotland and Northern Ireland Death Index, 1989 -2017
we're added at Ancestry on the 6th.

A reminder that there is no relationship requirement to obtain official copies of these certificates.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Online Canadian Historical Images

A useful overview of sources from the Unwritten Histories blog.

Thanks to Ann Burns for the tip.

LAC Preservation Centre Open House

While it's not a BIFHSGO conference pre-event Library and Archives Canada is offering tours of their Preservation Centre in Gatineau, the crown jewel of documentary preservation in Canada, on Friday 28 September from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Members of the public are invited to tour this modern-day Parthenon at 625 Boulevard du Carrefour in Gatineau. Come and admire the archival treasures stored within its walls. Stroll through its vaults, discover the works of Canadian artists, and find out what our experts are doing every day to preserve Library and Archives Canada's vast collection.

48 storage vaults
The Library and Archives Canada Preservation Centre, which opened in June 1997, was built to preserve the country's documentary heritage. Everything is designed to guarantee optimal conservation conditions. The building has 48 storage vaults, over three floors, with each vault measuring 350 m2. The vaults were built to protect the collection from every type of threat and include a sophisticated fire detection and suppression system.

The three stories of vaults are topped by preservation laboratories, which are arranged in a village-like setting. Featuring architecture inspired by the Canadian Prairies, the Preservation Centre brings Library and Archives Canada preservation experts together in an environment perfectly suited to their work.

The onr-hour self-guided tours are from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 625 Boulevard du Carrefour, Gatineau

Admission is free. Children are welcome but must be under constant parental supervision.

For security reasons, bags (backpacks, purses, diaper bags, etc.) are not allowed inside the Preservation Centre.

Library and Archives Canada in numbers
250 km of textual records
More than 30 million photographs
More than 22 million books
More than 3 million maps
More than 550,000 hours of audio and video recordings
4.5 billion megabytes of digital content
More than 425,000 Canadian works of art.

For those not attending the BIFHSGO conference there's the same opportunity on Saturday 29 September.


Friday, 14 September 2018

Irish Lives Remembered: Summer Issue

The Summer Edition of Irish Lives Remembered is available to view now. This issue, Fiona Fitzsimons and Stephen Peirce look at the Family History of John Cusack. There are lots more fantastic articles for you to enjoy, such as:
Paul McCotter on the O'Mahony surname;
Dr. Maurice Gleeson on genetic genealogy;
Ned Kelly on the Inauguration Stone of Mac Aonghusa;
Patrick Roycroft attends the Cambridge History of Ireland book launch;
Nathan Mannion on Sporting Royalty - the Casey's of Kerry;
Catherine McAuley lets us know what tales are in her attic;
Reader Ann Shelley tells the story of her Great-Great-Grandmother;
Niall Cullen from Findmypast lets us in on 6 unique FMP resources for finding your Irish Ancestors;
Writer Patricia O'Sullivan on Newmarket (Cork) and the Foundation of the Hong Kong Police Force; 
Review of the Journal of the Medal Society of Ireland's 100th issue;
Jayne Shrimpton's Photo-Detective; 
Patrick's Page with Patrick Roycroft; and
Ask Genie, our family history agony aunt.
Read the latest free edition at


Findmypast Friday 14 September

England & Wales Electoral Registers 1920-1932

Over 53 million indexed England and Wales Electoral Registers covering the 1920s and early 1930s are now available to search. Improved access to these important documents will enable you to bridge the vital gap left by the destruction of the 1931 census of England & Wales. Combined with the 1911 Census and 1939 Register, today's release means that Findmypast is now able provide you with unrivalled record coverage for early 20th century Britain, helping you to trace ancestors across a period of history that has traditionally been problematic for many researchers.

The new collection, England & Wales Electoral Registers 1920-1932, has been created by reprocessing the original documents in order to improve image quality. Findmypast has also developed a new process for picking out individual names, allowing this vast bank of records to be searched with greater accuracy than ever before, in a similar way to other indexed collections currently available on the Findmypast.

Searches now also cover all of England and Wales electoral registers,  listings of all those registered to vote in a particular area. These newly indexed records were taken from Findmypast's wider collection of British Library Electoral Registers, over 220 million of which are also available to search in PDF format.

Jersey, German Occupation Identity Cards 1940-1945

This collection has over 62,000 transcripts,  taken from originals documents housed at Jersey Archives created under instruction from the German occupying authorities, through the Registration and Identification of Persons (Jersey) Order, 1940. 

Jersey, German Occupation Prosecutions 1940-1945

Discover details of their accused crimes and sentences in this collection of more than 800 transcriptions from original court documentation. Punishment varied and was undertaken by the German military authorities. Many who were given long sentences were deported to the continent, some of these people never returned.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

FamilySearch adds England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957

During the week of 10 September FamilySearch added more than 1 million index civil probate records for England and Wales.

To view the calendar images you need to go to a Family History Centre or affiliate library, or find them on a commercial site.

You can also search free year by year at 

TheGenealogist adds 1910 Valuation Office Survey of Brent

Here is a press release from TheGenealogist announcing addition to the Lloyd George survey.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Kingston Branch OGS September Meeting

The Kingston Branch will meet on Saturday, September 15th at 9:30 a.m. at the Kingston Seniors Centre, 56 Francis St. in Kingston.  

Shirley-Ann Pyefinch from the Ottawa Family History Centre will speak on "Making the Most of FamilySearch".  Visitors always welcome.  Further info at

LAC Blog Post on the Spanish Flu Centenary

John Hay RIP

To mark the death of long time champion for genealogy and local history in Ottawa John Douglas Hay who passed age 81 on Saturday, September 8, 2018.

John was a long time member of BIFHSGO and OGS.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Quinte Branch OGS Meeting

On 15 September the Quinte Branch of Ontario Genealogical Society Doors Open 10 am-4 pm at the Quinte Genealogy Centre (Quinte West Public Library) will host a presentation at 1 pm featuring Steve Fulton, President of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) discussing "All about OGS" and its benefits to family Historians.  Held at  Quinte West Public Library, 7 Creswell Dr, Trenton. Everyone welcome, bring a friend.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Community Archives and Heritage Group

Here's another resource discovered while I was at the Secret Lives conference.

It may be the information you need to make the breakthrough you're looking for is hidden a local archive. The Community Archives and Heritage Group has a map allowing you to zoom in to find what exists in an area of interest.

There are more than 600 archives mapped, the vast majority in England.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Findmypast Friday Additions

Here the the new offerings from Findmypast on Friday 7 September.

Scotland, Edinburgh Temperance Pledges 1886-1908
These 916 temperance pledges were introduced by the United Presbyterian Church and originally called the Band of Hope Register. The index records names, birth years, addresses and includes the names and ages of numerous children who signed the pledge.
The original records are housed at the National Records of Scotland and have been transcribed by the Scottish Genealogy Society in Edinburgh. The society published the transcriptions as Edinburgh, Broughton Place United Presbyterian Church - Band of Hope Register, 1886-1908. According to the society, the objective of the Band of Hope Register 'was to teach children the importance and principles of sobriety and teetotalism'.

Scotland, Berwickshire, Ladykirk Heads of Household 1811
This early census recorded the names of 116 heads of the household in Ladykirk in 1811 as well as information pertaining to their family and other members of their household.
The index has been transcribed by the Scottish Genealogy Society. The original list came from the Kirk Session Records for Ladykirk.

Scotland, Edinburgh St Cuthbert's Census 1790
The index has been transcribed by the Scottish Genealogy Society. The original list came from the Kirk Session Records for Ladykirk.
This early Scottish census listed the names of each of the 5,385 heads of the household and within each family unit the number of parents, children, lodgers, and servants. Then each category was separated into male and female.

Scotland, Perthshire, Inhabitants of the Burgh of Perth 1766
The inhabitants list was taken by the magistrates on 19 March 1766 and the following days.
This early census recorded the names of the 2,048 heads of the household and then noted certain facts about the others in the house; such as age, occupation or religion.

Scotland, Shetland, Tingwall List of Inhabitants 1785
This early census will reveal a combination of your ancestor's age, residence and the number of other people residing in their household. 1,095 entries

MyHeritage Partners with British Retailer WHSmith to Distribute DNA Kits

The following MyHeritage press release will be of interest mainly because it may increase the chances for those of us with British ancestry to find matches.

Tel Aviv, Israel & London, United Kingdom, September 7, 2018 — MyHeritage, Europe's leading service for DNA testing and family history, announced today the launch of a retail partnership with WHSmith. This marks the first partnership of its kind for MyHeritage in the UK, and the first time that MyHeritage DNA tests will be available for purchase in retail stores in Europe.

Under the new partnership WHSmith distributes a unique product named MyHeritage Family History Discovery Kit, which bundles MyHeritage's popular at-home DNA test with 3 months of access to MyHeritage's suite of premium online genealogy services. This allows consumers to receive detailed ethnicity reports and connect with their relatives around the world through the power of DNA testing, and to utilize MyHeritage's 9-billion-strong collection of historical records and family tree tools to embark on a journey to uncover their family history.

The distribution of the kits via local retail stores caters to the surging demand for at-home DNA testing throughout Europe, and in the UK in particular. The affordable price of the MyHeritage Family History Discovery Kit available through WHSmith, £89, makes it an ideal gift for the Christmas season ahead. 

The MyHeritage DNA test is notable for its ease of use. It involves a simple 2-minute cheek swab. In addition to the DNA test, the Family History Discovery Kit comes with 3 months of access to MyHeritage's Complete plan, which includes all family tree features and historical records on MyHeritage, seamlessly integrated with the DNA test results.

"Interest in DNA testing and family history research in the UK market has skyrocketed lately," said Akiva Glasenberg, MyHeritage's Business Development Manager. "We have created a unique bundled product to satisfy this need and are pleased to offer it to UK consumers through selected WHSmith High Street stores. Customers can look forward to discovering their ethnic origins and family history and making use of MyHeritage's vast DNA database and historical record collections to make new connections with their relatives in the UK and overseas." 

The MyHeritage Family History Discovery Kits are on sale in 200 WHSmith High Street stores, as well as online via

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Input to LAC three-year plan

Below is a call for comments from Library and Archives Canada. I have already provided brief input, taking time out from vacation.

My primary concern is access. Despite having made progress in recent years LAC remains behind other peer institutions internationally in making its holdings openly and freely available. For instance, why is LAC witholding the 1926 census of the Prairie provinces which was officially released from Stats Can control several months ago?

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is currently identifying the priorities that will guide it over the next three years. LAC is therefore holding extensive consultations with its partners, stakeholders,  employees, and Canadians before its 2019–2022 three‑year plan is released in a few months.

Until September 14, LAC is asking Canadians: What do you envision as this—your—institution's priorities and activities? What trends could affect LAC's work?

It's easy to participate: visit our web page on "Share your thoughts on our three-year plan"<> and send us your ideas and suggestions.

Advance notice: Kingston and District UEL Meeting

The next meeting of Kingston & District United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada is on Saturday, September 22nd, at 1:00 p.m. at St. Paul's Anglican Church Hall, 137 Queen Street (at Montreal – entrance off Montreal).

The speaker will be Mr. Jay Young from the Archives of Ontario, speaking about Family Ties: Ontario Turns 150:  Stories of four family groups in Ontario at the time of Confederation

All visitors are always welcome.

Findmypast free access 7-10 Sept

Via Claire Santry's Irish Genealogy News

Note that the British, Irish, US and World Newspapers, the PERiodical Source Index and UK Electoral Registers & Companies House Directors 2002-2018 are not included in the free access collection.

Winnipeg Tribune Archive Online

The entire run of the Winnipeg Tribune, from 1890 to 1980 is now online:

Although there's a search box I couldn't get it to deliver results, perhaps because I'm trying on a (not so) smartphone while in Croatia. If you have better luck please post a comment.

BIFHSGO September Meeting

Saturday, 8 September
Ontario and Quebec's Irish Pioneers: Farmers, Labourers and Lumberjacks  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

Using wide-ranging sources, Lucille Campey will describe the communities established by the Irish in Ontario and Quebec during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She will reveal the considerable pioneering achievements of the Irish, while debunking the victim-ridden interpretations of more recent times.

The Irish were early birds. They arrived in mid Canada long before the English and became assimilated in the wider population much sooner. They had left their homeland to achieve a better standard of living and be part of a more egalitarian society and were phenomenally successful. By 1871 they were the largest immigrant group in Ontario and, in Quebec, outnumbered the combined total of Scottish and English immigrants. They founded many communities and had an immense impact on the economic development of both provinces.

The ships that brought them are also discussed and an overview is provided of the events in Ireland and Canada that shaped this immigration saga.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Populations Past

I discovered a useful online Atlas of Victorian and Edwardian Population while at the Secret Lives conference. 

Based on censuses for England and Wales from 1841 to 1911, you can see 48 elements including fertility, childhood mortality, marriage, age structure, occupational status and population density displayed on a zoomable map.

There are brief explanations of these and the other elements.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Growth in DNA Testing

Leah Larkin, the DNA Geek, posts on her blog on evidence pointing to a slow-down in the growth of DNA testing for genetic genealogy. 

Her estimate is that AncestryDNA, now claiming over 10 million tests taken, is running at least a couple of months behind the previous growth rate. There's confirmation in the number of people adding to gedmatch.

OGS September Webinar: Donna Moughty

Thursday, September 6, 2018 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Presentation: Navigating Online Sources for Irish Research
Presenter: Donna Moughty

Webinar descriptions and links to register are on the OGS website.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Humble History

One of the things I enjoy about attending a conference like Secret Lives is learning about new (to me) resources. 

Her Humble History explains it shares the work of historian and writer Dr Lesley Trotter who has a special interest in exploring hidden aspects of history, teasing out extraordinary stories from the often mundane records of the everyday lives of people in the past. Her focus is Cornwall. 
At the conference she spoke about her research into the wives left behind while their miner husband went to work overseas, or sometimes to other parts of the UK. It's documented in her new book "The Married Widows of Cornwall".

Findmypast Additions for Friday 31 August

Over 26,000 Montgomeryshire Memorial Inscriptions from 1577 to 2016. Covers places A-H in Montgomeryshire (except for Alberbury, which is in Shropshire), comprising one-quarter of the entire memorial inscription collection for the county, published by the Montgomeryshire Family History Society. The full list of burial places is as follows: Aberhafesp, Alberbury, Berriew, Bettws Cedewain, Breiddon, Buttington, Bwlch-Y-Cibau, Carno, Castle Caereinion, Cemmaes, Churchstoke, Criggion, Darowen, Dolanog, Dolfor, Forden, Garthbeibio, Guilsfield, Hirnant, and Hyssington.

More than 110,000 memorial  inscriptions for Dorset found in over 250 parishes across the county.

Over 112,000 memorial inscriptions from Folkestone Cheriton Road Cemetery.

Over 9,000 new records of burials between 1797 and 1992 at the Northowram Independent chapel in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, are added to the collection of Yorkshire Burials.

Records of London's Livery Companies Online

ROLLCO provides records of Apprentices and Freemen in the City of London Livery Companies between 1400 and 1900.

The Records of London's Livery Companies Online project is a partnership between the Centre for Metropolitan HistoryThe Bowyers' CompanyThe Clothworkers' Company,The Drapers' CompanyThe Founders' CompanyThe Girdlers' CompanyThe Goldsmiths' CompanyThe Mercers' CompanyThe Musicians' CompanyThe Salters' CompanyThe Stationers' Company and The Tallow Chandlers' Company.

The aim of ROLLCO is to provide a fully searchable database of Livery Company membership over time. Searches can be made for individuals (and in the near future statistical 'trends') within the Companies' membership, with results available for downloading and saving.

Currently the database includes information about apprenticeship bindings and freedom admissions for ten of London's Livery Companies, with the records of further Companies to follow.

ROLLCO is a not-for-profit project, and access is free to all.

Call for Speakers: The Ontario Genealogical Society's 2019 Webinar Series

The Ontario Genealogical Society is currently accepting proposals for the monthly 2019 Webinar Series.

Proposals on a wide range of topics are invited. The top subjects from the OGS
2019 Webinar Survey are:
• Technology and Tools
• Research and Methodology
• Organization and Storage of Research, Documents and Heirlooms
• Research in the Country of Origin (i.e. England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France etc.)
• Comparison of Genealogical Websites
• Immigration
• Writing and Publishing Family Research

Selected speakers need to be prepared to provide Ontario and/or Canadian specific examples in their presentations. (where applicable).
Speakers may submit up to 3 proposals for consideration. All submissions will be reviewed but only those who are chosen will be contacted.

To submit your proposal please follow this link:
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: October 1, 2018, at 11:59pm ET

 Those chosen speakers will receive an honorarium for their webinar presentation.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Claude Nunney awarded the Victoria Cross

Today 2 September 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the action that earned Claude Nunney the Victoria Cross. The following is from a report in the Ottawa Citizen dated 16 June 1919.

It was on September 2. when the Canadians punctured the Drocourt- Queant line, a switch of the famous Hindenburg line that Sergt C. P. (Red) Nunney. B Company. 38th Battalion, won the Victoria Cross.

B Company was following behind the smoke barrage. They were about 25 yards from a strongly entrenched enemy position, where a nest of machine guns was spitting fire. The Hun machine gunners were unable to see the moving line of Infantry then.

The usually trustworthy tanks hadn't arrived in time to snuff out the machine gunners who were causing such havoc in the advancing waves of Infantry. In a few minutes the barrage would lift and the infantry would be exposed to the withering fire of these bold machine gunners.

With his customary quick decision, his immediate consideration for his company and battalion, and absolute disregard for self, he jumped ahead of the company, hugging the fringe of the smoke curtain. and outflanked the machine gun post. He bayoneted three and shot one member of one gun-crew, and either dispatched or forced the other crew to surrender. His initiative and fearlessness enabled the battalion to proceed with a great saving of life. Half an-hour later. just as the battalion reached
their final objective, he was dangerously wounded in the neck and chest with machine-gun bullets. He was carried on a stretcher by Lieuts. Keeler and Stalker to battalion headquarters. From there he was evacuated to a casualty clearing station. Six days afterwards there passed away one of the bravest of the brave — one whose bold daring and self-abnegation was an example and inspiration to others. 

His V. C. was a posthumous award.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Your Genealogy Today Sept/Oct 2018

Here are the contents of the Sept/Oct 2018 issue. No comments owing to my travel schedule.

COVER STORY: Opening Pandora's Box 
Robbie Gorr offers six keys to unlocking hidden truths about your family

Shades of Gray
Sue Lisk suggests five ways to tackle the uncertainty that family historians are often faced within their research

Language & Genealogy
Gena Philibert-Ortega looks at GPS: Genealogical Proof Standard

Tools of All Kinds for Jacks-of-All-Trades
David A. Norris says you can learn about your ancestors' lives from the contents of their toolsheds

Circus and Vaudeville: A Family Act
Richard H. Goms Jr. researches his entertainer ancestors through a variety of sources

Helicopter Genealogy
Sue Lisk recommends five tactical maneuvers to help you achieve your research goals

The Story of Rachel
Diane L. Richard looks at manumission

Book Review: The Debatable Land
Christine Woodcock reviews Graham Robb's discovery of  Scotland's Borders region

Cathedrals, Crypts, and the Family Tree
Stephen Muff says if you are seeking a saintly line, don't overlook sacred spaces around the world

DNA & Genealogy
Diahan Southard explains XDNA and how it can help in your DNA research

The Back Page
Dave Obee recommends treading carefully when contacting matches

Book Review: Ontario and Quebec's Irish Pioneers

The latest book from Lucille Campey's study of Irish immigration to Canada, which follows her books of Scottish and English immigration, is to be released imminently. The focus, Ontario and Quebec, is bound to attract interest from the many descendants of the "good and talented people" of Irish origin who made an enormous contribution to Canada’s development, focusing on the pioneer period until roughly 1850.

The book follows the format of the previous volumes. As a prelude it covers the push and pull factors that motivated the Irish to migrate and stay. The second chapter, on early migration, starts with Irish settlement during the French colonial period through to the War of 1812.

The heart of the book, in seven chapters, looks at the situation in the various regions where Irish settlement occurred, from Quebec City and environs to southwestern Ontario. Readers with Ottawa Valley ancestry, where the Irish formed "a migration of epic proportions" will be happy to see a 21 page chapter The Ottawa Valley. Quotes from settlers or visitors letters and diaries along with contemporary illustrations bring the story to life. Geoff Campey's 16 maps orient the reader and depict Irish settlement in detail.

The following two chapters, Irish Arrivals During the Great Famine of 1847 and, Sea Crossings, have corresponding chapters in Lucille's previous book on Irish immigration to Atlantic Canada. The point is again made that while the so-called coffin ships did claim many lives, perhaps one third of passengers leaving Irish ports in 1847, the cause was spread of disease — not wilful negligence of shipowners and captains. The book details fake news about the sea crossing in an attempt to "debunk the victim-ridden interpretations of more recent times." A table documents the ships that arrived in Quebec, arrival date, captain, ship quality according to Lloyd's, the number of passengers and number of deaths.

The final chapter, The Irish in Ontario and Quebec, is an overview looking at the major role the Irish played in shaping Ontario’s future and in influencing Quebec’s economic and cultural development.

For those who want to dig further there are more than 50 pages of notes, a 31 page bibliography as well as a comprehensive index.

This book is a valuable addition to the literature on the topic for those looking to understand their own family story in the context of the broader Irish immigration to Quebec and Ontario.

This review is based on a pdf copy from the publisher. I took advantage to do a bit of digital analysis on the text looking at occurrence of the words catholic(s) and protestant(s). Of 318 mentions 202 are catholic(s), that's 63%. That ratio is lowest, 56%, in the chapters on Montreal and environs and the Ottawa Valley.

The most frequently mentioned places in Ireland are: Ulster (39), Limerick (30), Cork (28), Belfast (26), Tipperary (21), Antrim (19), Fermanagh (16), Dublin (15), Wexford (15), Wicklow (14), Kilkenny (14).

The official publication date is 8 September and Lucille will be at the BIFHSGO monthly meeting that day to launch the book and make the main presentation.

Ontario and Quebec's Irish Pioneers: farmers, labourers and lumberjacks, by Lucille Campey
Published by Dundurn, September 2018
$35 (6 x 9 in paperback or pdf digital download)
$16.99 (epub)
416 pp
ISBN 978-1-45974-084-6

Friday, 31 August 2018

British Newspaper Archive additions for August

The British Newspaper Archive now has a total of 27,429,320 pages online (26,868,088 last month.)

The 13 (12) papers with new content this month include 0 (3) new to the collection. The major additions during the month were in five Irish newspapers.

Sligo Champion

34960 pages

1942-1947, 1953-1958, 1964-1982, 1984, 1986-1987, 1997-2000

Irish Independent

60310 pages

1918-1919, 1986, 1988, 2002, 2008

Evening Herald (Dublin)

193704 pages

1892-1896, 1898, 1900, 1988-1989, 1992, 1997, 2003-2004, 2008-2009

Drogheda Argus and Leinster Journal

22626 pages

1873-1913, 1917, 1922, 1927-1936, 1947-1950

Wicklow People

91202 pages

1914, 1917-1929, 1931-1976, 1986-2001

Other major additions were:

Liverpool Echo

211480 pages


Newcastle Journal

17270 pages


FreeBMD 2nd August Update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on xxxday, xx August 2018 to contain distinct records (268,902,575 at the previous update on 3 July).

Years with updates of more than 5,000 records are for births    ; for marriages     ; for deaths    .

Thursday, 30 August 2018

The genealogist adds to Warwickshire Parish Collection

The following is an announcement from The genealogist.

TheGenealogist has added over 1.5 million individuals to their Warwickshire Parish Record Collection and so increases the coverage of this Midland county for family researchers to find their ancestors baptisms, marriages and burials.

These records are released in association with Warwickshire County Record Office and have the benefit of high quality images to complement the transcripts, making them a valuable resource for those with ancestors from this area.

These new fully searchable records can be used to find ancestors from the parishes of: Alveston, Arley, Baddesley Ensor, Barcheston, Bulkington, Burton Dassett, Butlers Marston, Castle Bromwich, Charlecote, Cherrington, Chilvers Coton, Church Lawford, Claverdon, Clifton-Upon-Dunsmore, Coleshill, Corley, Coughton, Coventry St Michael, Coventry St John the Baptist, Coventry St Mark, Curdworth, Ettington, Exhall with Wixford (Alcester), Farnborough, Fenny Compton, Foleshill St Laurence, Great Alne, Great Packington, Grendon, Hampton Lucy, Harborough Magna, Hartshill, Haselor, Henley-in-Arden, Honington, Ladbroke, Lea Marston, Leamington Spa All Saints, Leamington Spa St John the Baptist, Mancetter, Milverton, Over Whitacre, Pillerton Hersey, Ratley, Sherbourne, Shipston-on-Stour, Shotteswell, Solihull  St Alphege, Sutton Coldfield Holy Trinity, Warwick St Mary, Warwick St Nicholas, Wasperton, Wellesbourne, and Whitchurch.

These new parish records are available as part of the Diamond Subscription at TheGenealogist

CWGC Appeal for Relatives

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is looking for relatives of:



4TH MARCH 1921



31ST MAY 1917

18TH JUNE 1919

3RD JUNE 1916


6TH MAY 1915

Honoured to be in Great Company

The October issue of the UK's Family Tree Magazine is out. So soon! 
I won't be reviewing it for a while but did have a peek at the list of 101 recommended websites. It ends with five blogs, and I'm truly honoured that Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections is one of them. The other's are from Dick Eastman, Peter Calver, Claire Santry, and Chris Paton. Quite some company. Thank you Family Tree.

If you came here via that mention please be aware the blog is on semi-hiatus while I'm in the UK and looking forward to meeting friends old and new at the Secret Lives event in Hinckley, Leicestershire starting this Friday.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

UK Pub History and London

If you're looking to tread in your ancestor's footprints perhaps only second to the church is the pub, or more likely pubs, in the UK community where they lived. The church may have a BMB records recording their presence on a particular day. While there is no such record of them being in a pub, unless they were the landlord, chances are they were there.

A likely source to find out more for your community is

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

At the BIFHSGO Conference

Quoting Dick Eastman reporting on the FGS conference earlier this month.

"Diahan Southard is one of the great DNA experts, authors, and lecturers of our time. I have heard her speak several times and have always been impressed.'

Don't miss the opportunity to attend Diahan's presentations at the BIFHSGO conference.

Then there were three

An announcement from FamilySearch, the third major genealogy conference in the UK next year.

RootsTech Ruby Masthead 2018.jpg

RootsTech Announces 2019 Plans for International Event in London 

RootsTech Exhibit Hall Floor 2018SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (28 August 2018), RootsTech is thrilled to announce the conference is expanding to international borders, beginning with the United Kingdom in 2019. RootsTech will host an event in London from 24–26 October 2019 at the ExCeL London Convention Centre. Find out more about RootsTech London 2019 at

"We are incredibly excited to take the learnings and excitement of RootsTech to London and to our friends in the United Kingdom and beyond," said Steve Rockwood, FamilySearch International CEO. "Interest in one's family discovery is growing throughout the world, particularly throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and this event will provide many people who are unable to attend the conference in Salt Lake City with the same excitement, resources, learnings, and motivation to discover more about their families and themselves."

The RootsTech London 2019 convention will follow a similar model that has proved successful over the past 9 years the event has existed in Salt Lake City, Utah. RootsTech London 2019 will offer more than 150 informative lectures taught by industry experts, an exciting exhibit hall where vendors from around the world will display family history technology and services, entertainment, and inspirational keynote sessions.

"This event model has proven to be a great way for people to engage in family history, regardless of age or genealogical skill level. Everyone is welcome at RootsTech," said Jen Allen, event director. "We are excited to further position RootsTech as a global community for anyone to discover their family and deepen their sense of belonging that we all yearn for."

The RootsTech London 2019 convention will not replace the annual conference in Salt Lake City but will serve as an additional RootsTech event. All sessions of the RootsTech London conference will be conducted in English. Registration for RootsTech London 2019 will open in February 2019. To learn more, and to watch for continued updates, visit

(Find or share this news release online from the FamilySearch Newsroom.)



About RootsTech

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

Sunday Sundries

Hold On To Your Hats, The Census is Coming,
is a blog post from Patricia Greber.
The whole way the release and delay in indexing the 1926 census has been handled by LAC needs to be explained.

History Extra: Female Tommies: (British) Women
in the FWW

Data visualization by @antilip at Finnish Meteorological Institute of temperature anomalies 1880-2017 by country. Download at

Excess in intellectual property law

Monday, 27 August 2018

OPL Computer Sessions

The following workshops are being offered by National Capital Freeney in partnership with Ottawa Public Library. Go to for location and registration information as it is updated.

Monday, September 10th at 6:30pm: How to shop for internet and computers 

Wednesday, September 26th at 6:30pm: Hands-on help to apply online for government subsidies: Ontario Electricity Support Program and the Canada Learning Bond

Thursday, October 11th at 6:30pm: Internet Security Basics: using public wifi and other ways to feel safe online without spending a bundle

Wednesday, October 17th at 6:30pm: Free anti-virus and anti-malware programs and how to use them effectively

Tuesday, October 23rd at 6:30pm: Identifying spam, phishing emails and websites

Monday, November 5th at 6:30pm: Saving money on long-distance calling

Wednesday, November 14th at 6:30pm: Finding free entertainment online while respecting copyright

Wednesday, November 28th at 6:30pm: Open Source options: free robust operating systems and free software that can work on your existing system

Monday, December 3rd at 6:30pm: What free really means: understanding the privacy and personal data you're trading to save money

Wednesday, December 5th at 6:30pm: Finding and using online coupons, flyers, and promo codes! 

Ancestry updates 1939 England and Wales Register

Ancestry continues to play catch-up with Findmypast which has a big lead with corrections and entries newly released as the 100 year embargo period is passed.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Library and Archives Canada Census Research Guide
Currently on summer hiatus and featuring some of theirmost popular and favourite posts from the past year.

Ancestor of all life on Earth evolved earlier than we thought, according to our new timescale
(Your ∞-times great grandparents!)

Assessing the Global Climate in July 2018
The global land and ocean temperature departure from average for July 2018 was the fourth highest for the month of July in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880. The year-to-date (January-July) global temperature was also the fourth warmest such period on record.

Jason Furman Book Recommendations

Racist jokes return – but ‘freedom of speech’ punchline falls flat

John Mitchell Cram; CWGC Beechwood

John Mitchell Cram, son of John Mitchell Cram and Jessie Baillie Cram, of Glen Devon, Dollar, Scotland, was killed in an aircraft accident on 26 August 1918.
He was buried on 28 August in the presence of his wife and brother, Lt-Col R. Cram.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

New Ottawa Archives Exhibit

The City of Ottawa Archives’ has produced a new exhibit, at in the Barbara Ann Scott Gallery at City Hall, Postcards from Ottawa: Traveller Tales.

The new exhibit focuses on visitors and travellers to Ottawa and their impact to the physical, cultural, historical and intellectual landscapes of the City.

Using artifacts and videos, text and graphic panels and pictures the larger stories highlighted in exhibition cases are:

First Peoples in the Ottawa Region
European Exploration: Samuel de Champlain
Lumber Industry: Big Joe Mufferaw
Settlement: Lamira (née Dow) Billings
Captain John Franklin and the Rideau Canal
The Dawson City Nuggets and the quest for the Stanley Cup
Canada’s Diamond Jubilee and First Lieutenant. John “Thad” Johnson
Ottawa as a haven: Dutch Royal Family
Ottawa “All Shook Up”: Elvis Presley
Royal Tour of 1967: Ottawa’s swans
Marathon of Hope: Terry Fox
The Journey of Nishiyuu: A Quest for Unity
Ottawa and the age of myth: Long-Ma and Kumo
Souvenirs of Friendship: Mayor’s gifts

Friday, 24 August 2018

Should DNA Data be in government archives?

Surprised to see the Archives of Ontario hosting a free public workshop on genetics and genealogy.

Could it be a prelude to government archives of DNA data beyond police databases?  What are the pros and cons?

Findmypast adds Ireland, Dublin Metropolitan Police Prisoners

Depending on your views you may find these to include the good, the bad and perhaps a few ugly.

Ireland, Dublin Metropolitan Police Prisoners Books 1905 -1907 and 1911-1918

The collection is taken from four leather-bound, double-ledger volumes. Included are volumes 1, 3, 4, and 5. Volume 2 was lost.

  • Volume 1 – arrests from 1 April 1905 to 1 January 1908
  • Volume 3 – arrests from 1 January 1911 to 30 September 1913
  • Volume 4 – arrests from 1 October 1913 to 31 December 1915
  • Volume 5 – arrests from 1 January 1916 to 30 September 1918

The entries are handwritten and include the details of daily charge sheets. Each volume contains an index of prisoners with references to the pages containing details of the charge. The volumes contain a wide range of alleged crimes—from murder to breaking glass. Additionally, the age range represented by the accused perpetrators is equally vast—from eight to eighty. Of note, a new series of offences were introduced following the passage of the Defence of the Realm Act on 8 August 1914. These new offences were often used against political activists.

Ireland, Dublin Metropolitan Police General Register 1837-1925

The records in this collection comprise recruitment and transfers within the police force from 1837 to 1925. While the register was used up until 1975, due to data protection reasons, only the entries up to 1925 have been digitised and made available.

The general register recorded both biographical and professional details of the men in the force: warrant number, name, age, height, trade or occupation, county, parish, post town, previous public service, by whom recommended, divisions attached to, service details (dates, rank, promotions), good service pay, date and cause of removal from the force, reappointment details, and general observations. From 1858 onwards, religion was added as well.

In browsing the images linked to from the transcripts in this collection, it is worth noting that, up until 1924, entries were arranged in numerical order by warrant number. Jim Herlihy's book The Dublin Metropolitan Police: A Complete Alphabetical Listing of Officers and Men, 1836-1925 provides an alphabetical listing of the general register.

Spanish Flu Pandemic Exhibit in London

Finding your Isle of Wight Roots

According to Dick Eastman almost 100,000 Cemetery Records from the Isle of Wight are now available online, at a price.

Find out more in an article in the Island Echo at: The new website can be found at

Thursday, 23 August 2018


Expect a noticeable decrease in the number of posts while I'm away. Unlike previous trips I'm travelling without a laptop, only a smartphone, until mid-September. A few posts have been scheduled to keep the blog on life support; some shorter ones may be added as the opportunity arises.

If you're not already receiving it, and why not, is a great daily blog about genealogy news, resources, and issues facing the genealogy community across Canada.

Two New Talk Genealogy Podcast Episodes

Malcolm Noble, an experienced crime writer, has posted two new episodes on his Podcast for Genealogists with too much time on their hands.

Episode #27 Homework! Bringing together the results of your research.
Episode #28 Questions for Dead Ancestors

There's a list of previous episodes here.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Ottawa Citizen Archive Online

On 19 June I mentioned that a few issues of the Ottawa Citizen had joined the Ottawa Journal on There are now many more issues under four headings:

Citizen, 8,588 pages, 1915–1941
Ottawa Citizen, 5,812 pages, 1953–2018
The Ottawa Citizen, 1,064,132 pages, 1898–2017
Ottawa Daily Citizen, 46,516 pages, 1846–1897

The following came by way of a tip from Carleton University history professor Bruce Elliott.

As with the Journal one can “browse” by keyword free of charge.  One can search both the Citizen and Journal at once by browsing under Canada » Ottawa and then inserting your keywords rather than proceeding ahead to one of the papers.  This is in many respects the preferable way to do it, because the Citizen is listed under four different titles. 

There are still some gaps in the coverage from the 1970s on.  From 1986 onward the Citizen is searchable (less advertisements, death notices, and photos) on Canadian Newsstream (if one has access to that database, e.g. through a subscribing library). At least the gap between the end of the Journal in 1980 and the Newsstream version of the Citizen in 1986 has narrowed a little to c.1983-85.  Hopefully this gap will be filled as completes its more recent coverage of the Citizen.

There is another gap from late May 1855-September 1859 but (with the exception of one or two issues) the Citizen appears not to survive for that period.  

To view the articles without charge you can take down the references (date and page no.) and then go to the free site and try finding the articles there.  The Google News version has a number of additional gaps (for example, its coverage begins in 1853 rather than in 1846).  Or one can also look up the articles on microfilm at LAC, the main Ottawa Public Library, and other venues that have the films. 

But the simplest way to access the articles, of course, is to take out a subscription to  They offer a seven-day free trial, but as with most such offers you must remember to cancel your subscription before the end of the week if you don't want to continue or they will start debiting your credit card.  The fee is US$44.95 for six months or $7.95 for one month for the basic subscription or $74.90 for six months or $19.90 per month for the larger “publisher extra” subscription which includes the Citizen issues after 1922.  (All of the Journal from 1885 to 1980 is included in the basic subscription.) subscriptions include access to many other back runs at home and abroad, including now the Montreal Gazette from 1857-59 and 1878-2018 (again with 1923 onward in the publisher extra version).  

Comment:  This is a major addition for Ottawa researchers. It mostly fills many of the gaps in the Google newspaper collection which, for example, has nothing for August 1918, 100 years ago, and completely lacks any issues for eight months during the First World War.

Wouldn't it be a service if the Ottawa Public Library had a subscription!

National Heritage Digitization Strategy: Update

You may recall that a funding call Digitizing Canadian Collections, with a one-time $1 million available to cultural heritage organizations in Canada to support digitization, closed on 12 June 2018.

Information from the Secretariat is that over 200 applications were received, more than was anticipated. It shows the interest and need for such digitization.

Internal review is underway looking at compliance. An external review committee will meet in September. Announcement of results is expected in late September or October.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

FamilySearch posts Wales Court and Miscellaneous Records, 1542-1911

Browse files, currently 408,660 images of Court Records and Marriage Bonds from the National Library of Wales, have been posted by FamilySearch. They cover the years 1542 to 1911.
The records are described as "part of a set of gateway records needed to bridge from the census and civil registration era back to the earlier period when land and property records are required for pre-1841 research."
More detail on the collection is on the FamilySearch Wiki.

The record types included are:

  • Consistory Court papers (mostly Carmarthenshire 1600-1857)
  • Consistory Court papers-Bonds (Carmarthenshire 1726-1778)
  • Consistory Court papers-Citations & Monitions (Carmarthenshire 1683-1810) 
  • Consistory Court papers-General (Carmarthenshire 1675-1770)
  • Consistory Court papers-Wills & Probates (Carmarthenshire 1613-1809)
  • Court papers (mostly for Glamorgan 1688-1732)
  • Court records-Crown Books (Carmarthenshire 1614-1666, Flintshire 1564-1637) 
  • Court records-Docket Book of Fines and Recoveries (Denbighshire 1792-1806, Flintshire 1771-1830)
  • Court records-gaol files (mostly Denbighshire 1545-1708, Flintshire 1542-1730)
  • Court records-Imparlance book (Denbighshire 1710-1830, Fintshire 1798-1830)
  • Court records-minute book (Flintshire 1741-1816)
  • Court records-Prothonotary's remembrances and rules of court (Flintshire 1574-1731)
  • Court Records-rule books (Denbighshire 1733-1830)
  • Marriage bonds (widespread)
  • Memoranda of the Great Sessions (Carmarthenshire 1707-1756)

Maclean’s digitized — from 1905 to 2008 free to read for a limited time

Maclean's archives is a welcome addition to the stable of digitized Canadian magazine archives available.

There's a Wikipedia history of Maclean's here.

Like all media it has been subject to censorship, if only self censorship. I checked for mention of influenza at the time of the 1918 pandemic. The peak was in October 1918 but there's no mention in Maclean's at the time. An article Fighting The “Flu” in February the following year, is subtitled "How the “Spanish Influenza, Which Was Really German, Was Combated" shows how the pages were used for propaganda.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Ancestry blog post on London City Directories

Coincidence or not, following Findmypast's release of additional British city directories Ancestry posted on their blog about their collection of London directories.
The gem of the collection is the London Post Office Directory from 1801 to 1943 with never more than three consecutive years missing in the sequence. The years ending in 0 and 5 are OCRd, the remainder are images for browsing.

Findmypast adds Scotland, Lanarkshire Death & Burial Index 1642-1855

There are 64,144 entries in this database from the following burial places: Avondale, Blantyre, Bothwell, Cadder, Cambuslang, Cambusnethan, Carluke, Carmichael, Carmunnock, Carnwath, Carstairs, Covington & Thankerton, Crawfordjohn, Culter, Dalserf, Dalziel, Douglas, East Kilbride, Glassford, Govan, Hamilton, Lesmahagow, Libberton & Quothquan, New Monkland, Pettinain, Rutherglen, Shotts, Stonehouse, Symington, Wandell & Lamington, Winston & Roberton.

Information provided may include: first name(s), last name, birth year, death year,  death date, burial year, burial date, burial place, county, country, notes, mortcloth price.

I checked the 565 Reid entries. 161 had only the last name; there were 9 where the forename was Mrs. or widow. Judging by the helpful notes many of the 161 would appear to be children.

The information is sourced from transcript publications of the Lanarkshire Family History Society.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Book Review: Tracing Your Ancestors: Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk & Suffolk

This guide for family historians is a re-titled and thoroughly revised edition of the 2009 Pen and Sword published book Tracing Your East Anglian Ancestors. Author Gill Blanchard has long experience in the area's genealogy having  previously worked at the Norfolk Record Office.

A first chapter, East Anglian Archives, looks at the resources the genealogist will need when researching in the region.

The following chapters, starting with a general introduction to the history and geography of the region, treats the information and resources the family historian needs in understanding the life of their ancestor. It does so by topic: work, trade and commerce, conflicts that have shaped the region, crime, the poor, migration and education. A chapter on local government describes some of the records generated through the administration of local affairs. Other chapters cover railways and the effect of urbanization on housing. A final longer chapter on religion covers the various creeds and denominations found in the region. Many of these chapters cover the topic by county and all end with sections "finding out more" and "bringing it to life."

Mention of valuable resources, sometimes quite local that would be known only to someone with in-depth knowledge of the region are scattered through the book. They are brought together in a Resource Directory at the end that includes contact details for the archives, websites and places of interest mentioned.

I'd not hesitate to recommend this book to someone starting to search their East Anglian family history, and even the experienced researcher will find it a useful reference.

Pages: 229
ISBN: 9781473859999
Published: 16th April 2018

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

FamilySearch’s Strategy to Help Preserve the World’s Archives

A Genome-Wide Analysis of Liberal and Conservative Political Attitudes (speculative).
The results point toward NMDA and glutamate related receptors (on chromosome 4) as being worthy of further examination.

'Millennia of human activity': heatwave reveals lost UK archaeological sites

As of 17 August wildfires in British Columbia have burnt 577,333 hectares, an increase from 436,903 hectares over the previous day. Comparison with this table shows that this year is second only to last in hectares burnt since 2007, and the season isn't near over. There's a graphic showing wildfire trends in California here.

How to protect your brain from 'fake news'

What is nothing? Martin Rees Q&A

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Findmypast adds to Britain, Directories & Almanacs

There are now more than 255 almanacs and directories in this Findmypast collection of trade directories, county guides, almanacs and general directories. This addition of over 329,000 records brings the total to 574,469.

Included are Whitaker’s, Thom’s, Boyle’s, Kelly’s, and Pigot’s directories from Anguline Research Archives, Gould Genealogy, Yorkshire Ancestors, Eneclann, Devon Family History Society, and Explore York Libraries and Archives.

Most are county directories, sometimes for two or three counties. Earlier directories only include prominent people, tradesmen, people who held office, and business owners while the later ones are more comprehensive. The results are delivered as a link to a pdf with the hit NOT highlighted.

A few of the directories are national in scope including four 20th century volumes of Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed & Official Classes and two volumes of the Newspaper Press Directory.

When searching directories don't overlook the large free collection Historical Directories of England & Wales from the University of Leicester. That collection is available though Ancestry which has a better search interface.