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.

Findmypast adds England, Clandestine Marriages

Findmypast now has this collection from The National Archives series RG 7.
It contains 881,896 clandestine marriage records covering the years 1667 to 1775, most conducted at or nearby London’s Fleet Prison for debtors and bankrupts by inmates who were ordained clergymen, but without banns or licence.
Each result provides a transcript and image of the original hand-written record. Records give a combination of the couple's names, marital conditions, occupations and residences, but should be treated with caution. It was not unknown for entries to be inaccurate such as post-dated.

See the description of the RG 7 collection at TNA.

LAC Signatures Series: Brian Mulroney

The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney will be the guest of Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, as part of the Signatures Series, which features interviews with people who have donated their archives to LAC.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018
12:15 pm to 1:15 pm
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario

 Places for this free event are limited, so be sure to register.

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

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

The road to peace: Canada’s Hundred Days
Quebec’s Monastère des Augustines’ archives, dating back to New France, now available to the public, from Genealogy à la carte

Current evidence allows multiple models for the peopling of the Americas

Irish Genealogy Matters Newsletter No. 2

100 Women Who Changed the World (from History Extra)

Digitisation of The Barbados Mercury Gazette (a digitization initiative with Brock University involvement)
Testing new ‘digitisation on demand’ tools

Victoria City Council votes to remove prime minister’s statue
Canadian monument to controversial Ukrainian (and Nazi henchman) national hero ignites debate

Why so many Americans continue to believe in Donald Trump

Deadline for OGS Conference Presentation Proposals

It's just a week away, the deadline for proposals to become a speaker at the 2019 version of the OGS conference. Here's the call.

The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) 2019 annual conference will be held in London, Ontario, at the London Convention Centre. The Board of the Ontario Genealogical Society is delighted to announce that the 2019 conference will take place on June 21-23.
The Committee is already hard at work behind the scenes, planning an inspiring event under the banner, "Breaking Down Genealogical Barriers". OGS continues to boast the largest membership of any Canadian family history organization, with its conference attracting speakers and attendees from across the globe. This year we would like to run a few different tracks for all skill levels.
Speakers will receive an honorarium, alongside appropriate expenses and complimentary Conference registration. Please submit your proposals by email. Include your full name, mailing address, telephone number, email address, website address (if applicable) and biographical information, including recent speaking credits.
For each proposal, please provide a unique title and a summary of at most 250 words, and identify the intended audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and specific A/V requirements. Multiple proposals are encouraged. DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: 19 August 2018.
To submit proposals or ask questions, please contact the Conference 2019 Program Committee at:
My proposals are about ready to go.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Findmypast adds Britain, Campaign, Gallantry & Long Service Medals & Awards

There are 6,220,724 entries from the British Army, Royal Marines, Royal Navy, and Merchant Navy in this Findmypast collection. It combines (mostly) index entries from:

Army Gold Medal / Military General Service Medal, 1793-1814 – Images & Transcripts
British Army Medal Index Cards, 1914-1920 – Image links & Transcript
British Royal Air Force, Gallantry Awards 1914-1919 – Transcripts only
British Royal Navy, Foreign Awards to Officers index 1914-1922 - Transcripts
Commando Gallantry Award Citations, 1939-1945 – Transcripts only
Distinguished Conduct Medal Citations, 1914-1920 – Transcripts & Images
Distinguished Conduct Medal Citations, 1939-1945 – Images & transcripts
Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1857-1908 – Transcripts only
Distinguished Conduct Medal, Medal Index Cards, 1914-1920 – Images & Transcripts
Distinguished Flying Medal, 1939-1945 – Images & transcripts
Distinguished Service Order (DSO), 1923-2010 – Images & transcripts
India Efficiency Medal Awards, 1930-1939 and India Volunteer Force Medal Awards, 1915-1939 – Transcripts only
Indian Mutiny Medal, 1857-1859 - Transcripts only
Merchant Navy Medal Index Cards, 1914-1920 - Transcripts only
Military Cross, 1914-1918 – Transcript only
Military Medal, 1914-1920 – Images & Transcripts
Royal Artillery Honours & Awards, 1886-2013 – Transcripts only
Royal Marines Medal Index Cards, 1914-1920 – Images & transcripts
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Ratings, Medal Roll, 1914-1920 – Images & transcripts
Royal Navy Officers, Medal Roll, 1914-1920 – Images & transcripts
Royal Navy Ratings, 1914 Star Medal Roll, 1914-1920 – Images & transcripts
Victoria Cross Awards, 1854-2006 – Images & Transcripts
Waterloo Medal, 1815 - Transcript only

The Victoria Cross records includes those who served with Canadian Forces.

Honourable Women Of The Great War, 1914-1918

Findmypast added this week, The Honourable women of the Great War : and The women's (war) who's who, by P Campion, originally published in 1919, a biographical dictionary containing short biographies of 215 mostly prominent women — those receiving Royal Red Cross decorations for nursing services and others, principally workers in hospitals and institutions. It is name indexed by Findmypast, not full text searchable although there are links to the original text images.

The book was reissued in 2013 by The Naval & Military Press. See a comment here.

Our Heroes: Irish Officers Died In The Great War, 1914-1919

Findmypast has added a digitized version, indexed with 1,012 names, of the 1916 publication:

Our heroes. Containing the photographs with biographical notes of officers of Irish regiments and of Irish officers of British regiments who have fallen in action, or who have been mentioned for distinguished conduct from August, 1914, to July, 1916. Together with a brief military history of the chief events of the war in which Irish regiments were engaged. Vol. 1, Aug. 1914 - July, 1916.
An alternative source with additional information, including photos not in the Findmypast version, is

Friday, 10 August 2018

Ancestry updates Liverpool Catholic BMB Records

The following collections are showing on Ancestry as recently updated, although as yet without a current update date.

Liverpool, England, Catholic Burials, 1813-1985; 619,201 records
Liverpool, England, Catholic Marriages, 1754-1932; 316,793 records
Liverpool, England, Catholic Baptisms, 1741-1916; 1,539,470 records
Liverpool, England, Catholic Confirmations, 1813-1922; 80,889 records

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Deceased Online adds Oxford Cemetery Burial Records

The following is from Deceased Online.

There are now almost 50,000 records from Oxford's Botley, Rose Hill, and Wolvercote cemeteries, from 1894 to 2016, available on

The records comprise digital scans of all burial registers up to 2007 and computerised data from 2007 to 2016, maps showing the section in which the grave is located, and grave details for each of the graves and their occupants.

Botley Cemetery, 9,035 records from 1894 to 2016, including 739 Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorials, is located at North Hinksey Lane, Botley, Oxford, OX2 0LX
Rose Hill Cemetery, 20,837 records from 1894 to 2016, is located at Church Cowley Road, Rose Hill, Oxford, OX4 3JR
Wolvercote Cemetery, 17,193 records from 1894 to 2016 including the graves of 44 Commonwealth service personnel, is on Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 8EE.

Headington Cemetery, with 10,586 records from 1899 to 2016, will be added to Deceased Online later.

These cemeteries are in care of Oxford City Council.

The Genealogy Show: tickets now on sale

If you're going to the (UK) National Exhibition Centre for The Genealogy Show sale of tickets, at a discount rate for early purchasers, is available.
Find out about the event and book at the discount price until the end of September here.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

CEF Service File Digitization Complete.

On Wednesday 8 August 2018 Library and Archives Canada announced Database of 620,000 First World War personnel files completed to mark anniversary of Canada’s 100 Days.
This is a landmark achievement for LAC, a tribute to those who served during the Great War.
I hope there will be public recognition, and a photo, for those who worked in the team that made the digitization a reality.

UPDATE: I blogged too soon. Here's the team(s) posted by LAC on Twitter.

Recent Genealogy Acquisitions by the Ottawa Public Library

Tracing your Ancestors
Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk : A Guide for Family Historians
by Blanchard, Gill
Book - 2018
Holds: 6 on 3 copies

Genealogy and the Librarian
Perspectives on Research, Instruction, Outreach and Management
Book - 2018
Holds: 6 on 2 copies

Tracing History Through Title Deeds
A Guide for Family and Local Historians
by Alcock, N. W.
Book - 2017
Holds: 6 on 5 copies

Feminist Freedom Warriors
Book - 2018
Holds: 0 on 2 copies

Sourcebook for Jewish Genealogies and Family Histories
by Zubatsky, David S.
Book - 2005
In-library use only

Tracing your Georgian Ancestors 1714-1837
A Guide for Family Historians
by Wintrip, John
Book - 2018

Unofficial Guide to
How to Find your Family History on the #1 Genealogy Website
by Hendrickson, Nancy
Holds: 14 on 6 copies

Children's Homes
A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young
by Higginbotham, Peter
Book - 2017

Genealogy for Dummies
by Helm, Matthew L.
Holds: 6 on 2 copies

The Street-wise Guide to Doing your Family History
by Teviot, Mary
Book - 2018
Holds: 8 on 6 copies

Orange Order Lodges of the Outaouais

An article in French on this topic by Wes Darou was circulated to members of the Ottawa Branch OGS Irish Research Group.

It starts (in translation):
The Orange Order, a secret fraternal, Protestant, anti-Catholic and ultra-conservative association was established in 1798 in Loughgall, Ulster, Ireland. As mentioned in a previous article of this review, the Order arrived in Canada at the end of the 18th century. Due to its proximity to Ontario, the Pontiac was the first place in Quebec where the Order settled.

Today only the Shawville Lodge is active in the Outaouais. The article lists other now defunct Outaouais lodges with a bit of their history.

If you want a copy of the article try contacting Pauline Johns at irglibrary at

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Col By Day Surprise

For quite a few years on Colonel By Day the grassed area below the railing near the Bytown Museum would have been covered with a large tent housing displays from various Ottawa local historical and heritage societies. The area buzzed with activity.
This photo from Monday shows the area vacant. I wondered what happened.
Apparently the Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa that used to organize it backed out last year leaving the Bytown Museum responsible. It's disappointing CHOO, that exists to bring organizations together, abandoned this landmark event.
One of the local museums, Goulbourn, did have a display. The staff explained that it was the bicentennial of military land grants being given in that Township.
Next to them was a display for the Friends of the Rideau who kindly let Heritage Ottawa share some of their space.

UPDATE: On this Colonel By Day, a small gift to the man behind the Rideau Canal, by Randy Boswell.

Ancestry adds UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945

This collection contains 1,294,406 index about Second World War POWs.
The index usually contains name, rank, military date, regiment, service number and source description. There's also a link to an original document at Fold3 (extra cost) giving information such as: name, camp name, nationality, place and date of birth, place and date of death, father’s name, mother’s name, gender, date and place of capture, service (e.g. Army, Air, Navy, Civilian), service rank, service number.
The collections is sourced from The National Archives; Kew, London, England; WO 392 POW Lists 1943-1945; Reference Number: WO 392/11.

Monday, 6 August 2018

LivingDNA Family Networks

A friend received this information from Esmee Mortimer-Taylor, Living DNA customer service manager.

From August we will be opening up Family Networks to our first pioneering group of Beta testers.

We will then be inviting further carefully selected groups to join the testing. This means we can take our valuable customer feedback to develop and improve our service before a wider public release.

Family Networks provides the choice to securely compare your DNA with other people's DNA in LivingDNA's database and that of their trusted partners. Read more here.

Genealogy help in Ottawa

Looking for help and advice on your family history? Drop in to chat with experienced researchers from the Ontario Genealogical Society and OPL on hand at Nepean Centrepointe Public Library, 2nd floor, from 2 to 4 pm on Tuesday 7 August.

Lecture: Canada at War, 1918

On Wednesday, 8 August, Jack. L. Granatstein and Tim Cook, two of Canada’s most respected military historians, share their insights into the final months of the First World War from the perspective of Canadians fighting overseas and facing challenges on the home front.
This double feature will be followed by a moderated discussion with Granatstein and Cook, co-curators of an upcoming exhibition about the Hundred Days campaign.
Presented in conjunction with the World at War – International Speaker Series, an annual series of academic events, presented by the Canadian War Museum.
The event starts at 7:30 p.m. in the LeBreton Gallery. Tickets: $10; $7 for students, seniors and Members.
Information on this and other August events at the War Museum is here.

Colonel By Day

Sunday, 5 August 2018

LiPaD: The Linked Parliamentary Data Project

Thanks to a project from the University of Toronto you can now search the Canadian Hansard from 1901 to today. Free to search, free to view, at
You can search the full text: names. places, topics. There are 115 mentions of genealogy. Will you find a soldier family member among the thousands named who received honours and awards for gallantry?
The project received support from the SSHRC, the NSERC, the Digging into Data initiative, the Library of Parliament, Library and Archives Canada,, and Michael Mulley at

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Podcast: David Reich | Ancient DNA (31 July 2018, 90 minutes). An interview based on Reich's bestselling book Who We Are and How We Got Here.

Dads Pass On More Than Genetics in Their Sperm

Alias Grace: how Irish migration and the female criminal mind were viewed in the Victorian era

Call solved mystery of grandfather and a Canadian orphanage
Wood's Homes

Grandmotherhood across the demographic transition

State of the Climate in 2017 (International)
"In Canada, 2017 was characterized by higher than-average winter mean temperatures from the
Yukon to Atlantic Canada, followed by spring, summer, and autumn mean temperatures near or below average across the country. Precipitation measured at 28 available stations indicates wetter-than-average spring conditions across the country and drier-than average summer conditions mainly in southern British Columbia."

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Liverpool BMB Records Updated on Ancestry

Ancestry has updated the collections for Liverpool, England, Church of England:

Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1659-1812 — 453,278 records.
Baptisms, 1813-1917 — 2,329,013 records.
Confirmations, 1887-1921— 5,355 records.
Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932 — 1,451,910 records.
Burials, 1813-1975 — 462,236 records.

Irish Diaspora Histories Network

Irish interest? Check out this site billed as "An online community for scholars of Irish diaspora histories"
A new post is about the book A Land of Dreams: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the Irish in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia & Maine by Newfoundland author Patrick Mannion.

FreeBMD August Update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Friday 3 August 2018 to contain 268,902,575 distinct records (268,527,035 at the previous update on 3 July).

Years with updates of more than 5,000 records are for births 1963-64, 1978, 1980-83; for marriages 1965-66, 1980, 1982; for deaths 1981-83.

Friday, 3 August 2018

New on Findmypast for Cheshire, Cumberland, Derbyshire and Devon

The Findmypast additions this week below are publications, some of which are available without charge online at the Internet Archive as indicated.

Cheshire Registers & Records
Explore registers and records from the English county of Cheshire. This collection currently comprises five titles.
Cheshire Funeral Certificates, 1600-1678 – This title was published in 1882 and is the sixth volume published by The Record Society. This volume was edited by John Paul Rylands, fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. (Internet Archive)
Gawsworth Church and Parish – This title was published in 1924 and written by Reverend H E Polehampton, rector of the parish. The preface was written by the Lord Bishop of Chester, Henry Luke. The book includes chapters on the church's exterior and interior, churchwardens and parish clerks, and church life. Gawsworth is a village and civil parish.
History of the Parish of Eastham, 1871-1920 – This title was written for the Parish Magazine, 1874-76, by Isabel Tobin. Included are notices of the church restoration by Reverend H J Storrs. This edition was published in 1920, with the permission of the author.
Notes on the Parish of Burton in Wirral – This title was published in 1908 and authored by F C Beazley. Illustrated by Graham Johnston, the book includes seven plates and numerous coats of arms. The village of Burton is located on the Wirral Peninsula. (Internet Archive)
Parish Registers of Holy Trinity, Chester, 1532-1837 – This volume was transcribed, indexed, and edited by L M Farrall. Biographical and genealogical notes are included in the indexes on this title.

Cumberland Registers & Records
Explore registers and records from the English county of Cumberland. This collection currently comprises one title: Monumental Inscriptions in the Graveyards of Brigham & Bridekirk, 1666-1876.
Published in 1878, the title consists of 111 pages. The preface notes that 'the whole of these inscriptions were copied with great care, and the same care has been extended to the printing of them; it is therefore hoped that no errors of an important character will appear in any portion of the work'. Brigham is a village dating back to Neolithic times, and Bridekirk is a parish and township. (Internet Archive)

Derbyshire Registers & Records
This collection currently comprises one title: The Brave Men of Eyam, 1665-1666 – Or A Tale of the Great Plague Year, by Edward N Hoare, rector of Acrise, consists of 265 pages. Eyam is a civil parish and village in the Derbyshire Dales district. The village is particularly known for the 1665 outbreak of bubonic plague and the villagers' response to it: isolating themselves to prevent further spreading of the plague. The preface of this title attempts to explain the extent to which this work is factual and fictional. It is stated that the statistics regarding deaths, dates, and some leading incidents are historical, and 'the object of the book is to tell, in a popular form, the tale of a "mighty woe"'.

Devon Registers & Records
Explore registers and records from the English county of Devon. This collection currently comprises
Parish Registers of Hemyock, 1635-1837 was published in 1923. Included in this title are 282 pages of baptisms, marriages, and burials, as well as bishop's transcripts from 1602, 1606, 1609-11, 1617, 1625, 1626, 1633, and 1636. Additionally, a list of the parish's rectors and chaplain priests is included. Hemyock is a civil parish and village. The production of wool was the village's main source of wealth from the 1500s to the 1800s. It is said that the Cadbury family originated in Hemyock.

Ancestry adds birth indexes for New York State

The New York State, Birth Index, 1881-1942 new on Ancestry will be of particular interest if your ancestors or relatives found a home in areas adjacent to Ontario and Western Quebec.

The indexes may include:
Birth Date
Birth Place
State Certificate Number.

If name, date and place of birth is insufficient the certificate number can be used to purchase a copy of the original certificate from the New York Department of Health website.

Not included are birth registrations for the five (5) boroughs of New York City (Manhattan, Kings, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island).

Toronto History Lecture

The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society is pleased to announce that the eighth annual Toronto History Lecture will take place at the City of Toronto Archives, 255 Spadina Road, on the evening of Wednesday 8 August.

In his presentation, Battle of the Humber: Canadian Cyclists and Basic Training in Toronto, 1914-1916, author and professor Ted Glenn will share the little known story of Canadian Cyclists and how they prepared for their unique role in the Great War. Drawing on personal diaries, memoirs, newspaper accounts, and a fabulous collection of photographs, Professor Glenn will speak about the Cyclists' early training in and around Toronto.

The 2018 Toronto History Lecture is dedicated to the memory of Bill Britnell, an early member of the Ontario Genealogical Society and Toronto Branch, and, in recent years, the resident volunteer genealogist with the St. James' Cemetery.

This event is free to attend but space is limited (UPDATE: Now fully booked).Visit the Branch website for details and to reserve your spot.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Obituary Daily Times

This resource news from BIFHSGO friend Ken McKinlay could be music to your ears!

Obituary Daily Times index is back online at after being away for way too long due to the security issues on Rootweb. Now you can find out what publication the obituary is in that is referenced by the "Obituary Daily Times Index, 1995-2012" collection on Ancestry. For whatever reason, that Ancestry index omitted the key detail of where the obituary may be found.

Thanks for the tip Ken.

Family Tree DNA Summer Sale

Until the end of August, Family Tree DNA is discounting its tests by 20% and more.

The FamilyFinder test is $59 US (about $77 Cdn)

The Big Y SNP test is reduced by $150 US to $499 US.

Go to for more information and to order.

TheGenealogist adds North London 1910 Lloyd George Domesday Records

Anyone with North London interest in the early 20th century will want to look at the new addition to
TheGenealogist's Lloyd George Domesday Survey. Coverage is the area around Barnet, Edgware, Finchley, Friern Barnet, Hendon and Totteridge.

TheGenealogist’s new release links individual properties to extremely detailed ordnance survey maps used in 1910
Shows the original Field book often giving a detailed description of the property
Locate an address found in a census or street directory down to a specific house on the map
Fully searchable by name, parish and street.
The detailed hand annotated maps will zoom down to show the individual properties as they existed in 1910.

Like the previous release covering the City of London and Paddington it is sourced from The (UK) National Archives and digitised by TheGenealogist. Coming soon are other London Boroughs and the county of Buckinghamshire.

Find out more at: .

August Backup Nag

If you didn't do so yesterday it's time for the start of the month backup.

While backup in the cloud is a good idea restoring can be a pain. Consider keeping an occasional copy offsite, at a friend's or bank, to protect against a disaster at home.

Book: The Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide

This 2018 publication by James Beidler, who has a background in journalism and nearly twenty years experience as a genealogy columnist, is subtitled "how to find your ancestors in archived newspapers".
The content is organized into three parts plus three appendices.

Part One: Learning the Basics
In five chapters, 66 pages, it covers first the history of newspapers, from the colonial period through the golden age of newspapers prior to competition from electronic media, and thereafter. The second chapter discuss the type of content found and the two subsequent chapters focus in on content for births, marriages and especially deaths. The final chapter covers the various formats in which newspaper content may be found, from the original hard-copy in newspaper morgues, to microfilm, to digitzed and OCRd content, clippings, photo collections, published extracts and indexes. While the original newspaper may not survive, or be inaccessible, important information may be preserved. (BTW: FamilySearch updated its United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014 collection on 1 August.)

Part Two: Accessing Digitized Newspapers
Who doesn't like free? That's the topic for the first of the five chapters, 68 pages, of part two. The US is fortunate in having a variety of such free initiatives such as the huge government Chronicling America, the large if imperfect Google News Archive, and the individual Old Fulton New York Postcards project. There are also aggregators. and GenealogyBank warrant their own chapters, followed by information on other subscription sites, including those only available through academic subscriptions, and other ways to access newspapers.

Part Three: Diving Deeper into Newspapers
Ethnic and international newspapers are covered in the first two chapters of the four in this 46 page section. Beidler covers African-American papers as well as those of his German origin. Canada rates less than a page, not counting a one-page story from Stephen C. Young; Britain and Ireland a little over a page (British Newspaper Archive and Findmypast), while Australia's Trove gets a mention and half-page illustration. Contents of the Preserving, Collecting and Citing Newspapers chapter are self explanatory while the final chapter Putting It All Together gives case studies.

If you like to follow a roadmap the flow chart in Appendix A will appeal. The 34 page second appendix lists resources state by state. The book ends with an appendix on creating a newspaper chronology, index and miscellaneous back material.

While the methodology content in the book has broad application the focus on the United States of America means it can be recommended for readers with that interest.

The Ottawa Public Library has 5 copies in its collection, the Toronto Public Library 2 copies. Both have a short waiting list.

Authors:Beidler, James M. (James Michael), 1960-
Title:The Family tree historical newspapers guide 
how to find your ancestors in archived newspapers 
Publisher:Cincinnati, Ohio : Family Tree Books, [2018]
Edition:First edition.
Characteristics:239 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Military records from the London Gazette

Fold3, the Ancestry property with mainly military records, is advertising the addition of several British collections.

British WWII Commando Gallantry Awards.
British WWII Distinguished Conduct Medal Citations.
WWII Distinguished Flying Medals for British Soldiers.
British Companions of the DSO Awards, 1923-2010.
British Recipients of the Military Cross.

Before paying money to Fold3 be aware that you'll likely get the same information for free by searching the London Gazette.

Korean War addition to Canadian Headstones

On Sunday walking to see the 10 am changing of the guard ceremony on Parliament Hill I noticed a small plaque near the corner of Lisgar and Elgin by City Hall. We have just marked the 65th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the active fighting in the Korean War so it was a timely find as it contains more than 20 names of those from the National Capital Region who gave their lives their between 1950 and 1953.
The plaque only gives initials, I've added forenames found at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

R. V. ARNOTT  (Robert Victor)
D. W. BANTON (Douglas Wakelin)
T. H. COLBOURNE (Thomas Henry)
A. R. COLLINS (Arthur Roy)
S. F. COWAN (Stuart Franklin)
L. A. EMERSON (Lorne Ashley)
B. P.  J. FAIRFIELD (Bernard Paul Joseph)
A. L. GRAY (Alexander Louis)
C. A. HAYES (Curtis Archie)
U. J. LÉVESQUE (Urbain Joseph)
H. T. MACDONELL (Herbert Thomas)
J. P. MAISONNEUVE (Jean-Pierre)
D. P. MAURER (Derrick Peter)
K. D. O’BRIEN (Kenneth Dominic)
T. E. PERRY (Thomas Edward)
J. H. B. POIRIER (Joseph Herni Bernard)
W.L. PRESLEY (Wycliffe Lesley)
A. A. RÉGIMBALD (André Adélard)
B. G. D. RICE (Bernard George David)
J. E. H. SANSCARTIER (Joseph Emile Hector)
D. M. WELLINGTON (Daniel Melvin)

The image sent to Cliff Seibel who was quick off the mark in adding it to Canadian Headstones within a day.

Internet Genealogy, August/September 2018

Here's the line-up in the latest issue of Internet Genealogy from Moorshead Magazines.
Inside Jokes: perusing cartoons of the past
Sue Lisk rarely disappoints. This article of her's is no exception—for those with US interest. It points to five sources for cartoons that likely made US ancestors chuckle, or ponder. Today the context may be obscure, the past is a foreign country, especially for those of us where the topics are of a foreign country.

Flesh on the Bones: the value of newspapers in adding detail to a family tree
Robbie Gorr illustrates their use to find surprising details, sometimes in places you'd never have searched without digitized issues.

Home Delivery from

Fighting for Freedom: service records for African-American Soldiers in the Civil War

Introducing the Virtual Genealogical Society Association
Christine Woodcock writes on this initiative in which she is heavily involved, and which I covered along with three other online initiatives here. The name is now changed from Society to Association.

Weather Report: online sources for unusual weather events of the past
Sue Lisk lives up to the promise of the title with little known sources for unusual weather. If it wasn't one in which your ancestor was involved you're out of luck.

Patterns, Plans and Your Ancestors' Projects

Germans from Russia Heritage Collection

Net Notes
Four net sources, three for the US plus British and Irish Furniture Makers online which I covered last October here.

The Quebec Genealogical eSociety
Another one I covered in the same blog post as the VGS VGA

When Did They Start Saying That...?
A source for when words came into use in print, from Old English to the blockchain era.

Create Personalized Content with Padlet
Another virtual bulletin board app, free

Upcoming Genealogical Society Events

Back Page: Local Societies are the Lifeblood of What We Do
An appreciation of the work that goes into organizing an event for a local genealogical society.