Friday, 28 August 2015

Hidden treasurers at EThOS

Gail Dever has been writing about Canadian university theses as a resource -- My latest genealogical distraction — University theses.

What about British theses?

EThOS, the Electronic Theses Online System allows you to search over 340,000 theses records, freely download the full text of any UK thesis that has been digitised (more than 100,000), and order for downloading (may take some time) any thesis from one of the participating institutions, 131 of them.

Here are just some available online with a Canadian connection:

The promotion in Shropshire of emigration to Canada to 1914, with particular reference to the period from 1890.

Imperial nationalism : nationalism and the Empire in late nineteenth century Scotland and British Canada

Leaving the world : narratives of emigration and frontier life written by women in Upper Canada and the Old Northwest.

A history of publishing in Toronto, 1798 to 1841, with a descriptive bibliography of imprints.

A comparative study of pre- and post-famine migrants from north-west Ireland to North America.

Dutiful daughter : fashionable domestic embroidery in Canada and the British model, 1764-1911.

Rescue or bondage? : a case study of four voluntary agencies involved in child emigration to Canada 1870-1925

The Protestant-Catholic divide on Prince Edward Island, Canada : its creation, growth and resolution

A study of the factors that assisted and directed Scottish emigration to Upper Canada, 1815-1855

' Land of rape and honey' : settler colonialism in the Canadian West

Thy children own their birth : diasporic genealogies and the descendants of Canada's Home Children

The Holiness Movement in the Canadian Maritime Region, 1880-1920

Aliens en route : European transmigration through Britain, 1836-1914

mtDNA Full Sequence Sale at Family Tree DNA

I received an email about a limited time sale on full sequence mitochondrial tests at Family Tree DNA.  It's until the end of the month.
If you're already a FTDNA subscriber the discount is 25%, if not 20%. That's off the regular $199 US price.
mtDNA is inherited through the maternal line so this test is likely to be useful if you have issues to resolve regarding your maternal inheritance, or if you're "just interested."

ScotlandsPeople adds Seamen Death Records

The following is from a ScotlandsPeople press release
Complete record of the deaths of Scottish seafarers from late Victorian times until 1974 is being made available online for the first time through ScotlandsPeople.
Among the 14,000 new records available through ScotlandsPeople are monthly returns of the Deaths of Seamen,  which list Scots along with other crew members of all nationalities who were serving on British-registered vessels between 1897-1974.
The records were compiled by the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen. Only the Scots can be searched for by name.
Other Marine Returns released online are the Returns of Deaths at Sea, 1902-1905. All the Marine Returns can be searched within the statutory registers by using the "Marine Returns" option under Minor Records
Read the full press release here.

Aircrew Remembered

The objective of this British site is "to present researchers worldwide with as much valuable data as we can manage, in the most useful ways we can find. Our hope is that researchers worldwide will benefit and that this might also lead to the development of more family histories and stories which we would be pleased to add to the site."

Of most interest at are the databases:

RAF Bomber Command Operational Losses Database 73,000+ entries
Royal Australian Air Force Losses 1939 - 1945  11,000+ names
Runnymede Commemorations 20,000+ entries
The Kracker Archive 30,000 + individual Luftwaffe pilot records
Sites of Luftwaffe War Graves in England
Deutsche Kreuz im Gold Awards 6300+ entries
Paradie Archive: RCAF Personnel 1939 - 1945  45,000+ entries
Battle of Britain Roll of Honour  2918 entries
Polish Air Force Honour Roll 2200+ entries

Deceased Online adds four Lancashire cemetries

Now available at Deceased Online, nearly 35,000 digitized burial records for cemeteries managed by Wyre Council ( the area between the River Wyre and the Irish Sea including Cleveleys, Fleetwood, Garstang, Poulton-Le-Fylde and Thornton) in mid/north Lancashire. They are:

  • Fleetwood Cemetery, Beach Road, Fleetwood, opened 1841; nearly 27,000 burials
  • Poulton New Cemetery, Garstang Road, Poulton le Fylde, opened 1929; 2,552 burials
  • Poulton Old Cemetery, Moorland Road, Poulton le Fylde, opened 1895; 3,660 burials
  • Preesall Cemetery, Cemetery Lane, Preesall, opened 1856; 3,000+ burials

The records comprise burial register scan, grave details showing all occupants in each grave and
maps indicating the section in cemeteries for all graves.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Griersons of Torbolton

The Historical Society of Ottawa has issued #96 in its Bytown Pamphlet Series. In 36 pages Doris Grierson Hope recounts the Grierson family history, starting with Lieutenant John Grierson, Royal Navy (1780-1850) and his brother Commander James Grierson (1782-1856)  who settles in March and Torbolton Townships ca 1822.

There are three pages of endnotes but no index. Related surnames I noted are: Baird, Bell, Bernard, Bick, Bredin, Bridwell, Brown, Cole, DaSilva, Dickson, Dorval, Ferguson, Hedley, MacLeod, MacMillan, McLaurin, Penny, Roriston, Scarlett, Stevenson, Styles, Sullivan, and Taylor.

A reminder that anytime searching Ottawa valley history the indispensable website is

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Free access to this weekend

Access to more than 1 billion UK records from, and a first chance to try out new features such as LifeStory, Facts View and Gallery, will be free from 28 August until 11:59 p.m. GMT on 31 August 2015.
To view these records you will need to register for free with with your name and email address. You will receive a username and password to access the records. After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using an paid membership. To see a full list of the records in the featured collections please click here.

WDYTYA in Montreal

If you watched last Sunday's WDYTYA episode with Bryan Cranston you may be interested in the follow-up research Gail Dever did on local expert Janice Harvey who guided Cranston at Notre-Dame Basilica.
Harvey's thesis The Protestant Orphan Asylum and the Montreal Ladies’ Benevolent Society: A Case Study in Protestant Child Charity in Montreal, 1822-1900 has lots of good content if you're interested in that time and place. You can read it online at
It's an example of the many historical studies available online, if you know it exists and where to look.

Post-war Dutch Immigrants

Canada and U.S., Dutch Emigrants, 1946-1963 with 19,083 records will be an Ancestry database of interest for those with a Dutch connection. These are derived from the Archives at Calvin College in Heritage Hall, Christian Reformed Church of North America, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Of these 12,050 came to Canada and 7,645 to Ontario.
The records are transcripts. You may find: name, birth date, place of origin, arrival year, destination, sponsor year, religion, relation to head, family size.

That Camera Icon at FamilySearch

The FamilySearch catalog at is the way to find out of a particular collection is available. Here's the list for the censuses of England and Wales.

They're all available, from 1841 to 1911. FamilySearch just updated the 1901 collection as highlighted by the asterisk against the date under Last Updated.

The other icon shown is the camera, in two styles with, or in the case of 1871 without, a black frame background. Do you know the difference?
The answer is at the FamilySearch Blog in a post from May this year.
"When an image of the original record is on, you see a small camera icon. When the image is on a different website, there is a small web page box behind the camera."
Who knew?

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Alison Hare re-elected BCG Trustee

Local Ottawa genealogist Alison Hare, CG, is returning for a further three-year term as trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. The term starts in October.

via Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.

John Speed's early 17th century maps online

If you like old maps take a look at the Cambridge Digital Library online edition of one of five known sets of proof maps prepared for John Speed's Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, which was published in 1611/12.

All 66 maps are now viewable in the Cambridge Digital Library

Images are available for download for non-commercial purposes (licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-NC 3.0))/

These are just a small part of the collection at the Cambridge Digital Library freely available online including documents by Newton, Darwin and files of the Board of Longitude.

Image credit: extract of Ely from Speed's Huntingdonshire Atlas.2.61.1

Rockstar Genealogist 2015 is coming

On September 1st nominations will open for the 2015 edition of Rockstar Genealogist. This is the 4th year. As previously I'll publish a list of those nominated based in previous years. Nominations will be open until 6th September and voting should start on the 7th.

In case you've forgotten, Rockstar genealogists are those who give "must attend" presentations at family history conferences or as webinars. Who, when you see a new family history article or publication by that person, makes it a must buy. Who you hang on their every word on a blog, podcast or newsgroup, or follow avidly on Facebook or Twitter?

Monday, 24 August 2015

More US Newspaper Archives to go online

The following is an Ancestry press release. I'm shedding a tear over the situation in Canada while I type this.

Ancestry Collaborates with Gannett to Digitally Archive More Than 80 U.S. Newspapers

Cincinnati Enquirer the First Gannett Archive Launched with Over 4 Million Pages Online

August 24, 2015 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

PROVO, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ancestry, the leader in family history and consumer genetics, today announced its collaboration with Gannett Co., Inc., the largest local-to-national media company, to digitize more than 80 daily newspapers across the nation., an Ancestry business unit, and Gannett will provide a historical newspaper viewing experience complete with full text search, clipping and sharing features. Together, they expect to deliver more than 100 million full-page images of historical newspapers in a simple, easy-to-use online archive.

"We're thrilled to partner with Gannett to deliver newspapers from the past directly to subscribers' devices, allowing them to step back in time and experience the news as it was happening on that day, from new babies and marriages to war updates and other major news events," stated Brent Carter, senior director of business development at

Through this collaboration, more than four million searchable pages of The Cincinnati Enquirer were made available online. and Gannett will begin the rollout phase of all public archives of more than 80 daily newspapers, including Detroit Free PressThe Arizona RepublicThe Indianapolis StarThe Tennessean and many others to follow. Each archive will ultimately include every available page from the first date of publication up to issues from 30 days ago.

Each new archive will be accessible through an "Archives" link in the newspaper's primary online navigation, mobile Web site and native mobile app. Archives will be updated on a regular basis with content from the previous month. Gannett digital subscribers will have access to the most recent two years of content included in full-access subscriptions. Complete archives will be available to everyone with an affordable monthly or annual subscription.

"This collaboration is a significant value add for our subscribers. We share a commitment to providing individuals with information about the people and events that shaped their history and are excited that this joint effort will unlock new ways for people to discover and share that information," stated Maribel Perez Wadsworth, chief strategy officer at Gannett.

Ancestry Updated Record Collections

Playing catch up, Ancestry have filled gaps in:

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966. There are now 12,772,219 indexed records with calendar images.

UK, Foreign and Overseas Registers of British Subjects, 1628-1969, a diverse collection of birth, baptism, marriage, death, and burial records, now updated to 164,268 records with images.

UK, American Loyalist Claims, 1776-1835, includes books of evidence and memorials given by witnesses, accounts of losses (which can provide detail about places and possessions), evidence of claims, correspondence, indentures, and other documents collected over the course of these examinations. 30,752 records.

Manchester, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1930 (Cathedral), includes images with 425,377 records.

Cited: Who Killed Canadian History?

Are you interested in the context of your family history?

Using the title of Jack Granatstein's 1998 book, an episode aired last March from Cited, a weekly radio documentary program from the University of British Columbia, looks at "From the Hertiage Minutes/Drake mashup, to Harper's grand historical narrative; we debate Canadian history and how it ought to be taught."

The section that drew may attention was the Historical Thinking Project and its 6 key elements being adopted in history education: establish historical significance, use primary source evidence, identify continuity and change, analyze cause and consequence, take historical perspectives, and understand the ethical dimension of historical interpretations.

Check it out as a podcast at

You may also be interested in The Other Climate Change Consensus, the final podcast in the past season, at