Friday, 18 January 2019

Findmypast adds Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough and new National Burial Index Records

England Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms
Over 65,000 exclusive new records covering 36 parishes across the Diocese of Middlesbrough for the years 1742 to 1917. With every result find an image of the original transcript from the diocese archive and a transcript.

England Roman Catholic Parish Marriages
Over 19,000 exclusive new Diocese of Middlesbrough Sacramental Register entries covering marriages preformed across 28 parishes between 1796 and 1944.

England Roman Catholic Parish Burials
Over 7,000 new and exclusive records held by the Diocese of Middlesbrough covering burial sites in 22 parishes between 1774 and 1974.

England Roman Catholic Parish Congregational records
Over 47,000 records from the Diocese of Middlesbrough covering 30 parishes and spanning the years 1743 to 1920 including anniversary books, confirmation lists, congregational lists, lists of benefactors and converts, parish diaries, and more.

National Burial Index for England & Wales
Over 717,000 new records have been added to the NBI from 288 burial places in the historic counties of Co. Durham, Northumberland and Cumberland as well as 656 burials sites across Lincolnshire. Each transcript will list a combination of name, age, death year, burial place, burial date and place of worship. The Index currently contains over 11 million records and will continue to receive regular updates.

Other additions this week are:

All Saints in Isleworth, Middlesex Baptisms 1543-1876
United States General Land Office Records 1796-2013
Irish Newspapers

The Halifax Explosion

Earlier this week I stopped by the National Gallery to visit the exhibition Masterpiece in Focus: Halifax Harbour 1918 which depicts the city’s waterfront through the eyes of artists Arthur Lismer and Harold Gilman.  The explosion devastated the area on 6 December 1917 — one of those landmark events of a lifetime.

It's a relatively small exhibit, just two rooms, one for each artist.

There's a preview video.

Library and Archives Canada offers another perspective through a podcast “Francis Mackey and the Halifax Explosion” interviewing retired teacher and author Janet Maybee about her book Aftershock: The Halifax Explosion and the Persecution of Pilot Francis Mackey which attempts to clear Mackey’s name and restore honour to the Mackey family.

Note that Janet Maybee, a real champion of LAC resources, mentions the late lamented LAC cafeteria — a resource that's now sadly lacking.

Forthcoming "Genealogy" Books

A search for genealogy on Amazon lists the following as soon to be published. Information is from the publisher.

Humanimal: How Homo Sapiens Became Nature's Most Paradoxical Creature--A New Evolutionary History
by Adam Rutherford
19 March 2019
Adam Rutherford, author of A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes explores how many of the things once considered to be exclusively human are not: We are not the only species that communicates, makes tools, uses fire, or has sex for reasons other than procreation. Evolution has, however, allowed us to develop a culture far more complex than any other observed in nature. Humanimal explains how we became the creatures we are today, uniquely able to investigate ourselves. Illuminating the latest genetic research, it is a thrilling account of what unequivocally fixes us as animals--and what makes us truly extraordinary.

Great British Family Names and Their History: What's in a Name?
by John Moss
30 March 2019
For better or worse, what we are is often determined by our family; the events that occurred many years before we were born, and the choices that were made by our forebears are our inheritance - we are the inexorable product of family history. So it is with nations. The history of Great Britain has been largely defined by powerful and influential families, many of whose names have come down to us from Celtic, Danish, Saxon or Norman ancestors. Their family names fill the pages of our history books; they are indelibly written into the events which we learned about at school. Iconic family names like Wellington, Nelson, Shakespeare, Cromwell, Constable, De Montfort and Montgomery... there are innumerable others. They reflect the long chequered history of Britain, and demonstrate the assimilation of the many cultures and languages which have migrated to these islands over the centuries, and which have resulted in the emergence of our language. This book is a snapshot of several hundred such family names and delves into their beginnings and derivations, making extensive use of old sources, including translations of The Domesday Book and The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, as well as tracing many through the centuries to the present day.

The Family Tree Problem Solver: Tried-and-True Tactics for Tracing Elusive Ancestors
by Marsha Hoffman Rising
31 March 2019
The late US genealogist Marsha Hoffman Rising's newly updated bestselling book. Find answers to genealogy's toughest problems.
No information on what is added for this latest addition.

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors
by John Grenham
5 April 2019
The fifth edition of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors retains its familiar three-part structure, combining a detailed guide for beginners with thorough descriptions of all the useful sources and county-by-county reference lists. Additionally, all of the changes that have been brought about by modern technology – internet records and DNA testing, which make researching your family background easier than ever – are explained in this indispensable guide.

Kingston Branch OGS January Meeting

On Saturday, 19 January at 9:30 a.m. at the Kingston Seniors Centre, 56 Francis Street in Kingston.  Carol St. Clair will speak on "Tales of the Script: Reading and Understanding Old English Cursive".  Bring pen and paper and learn how to write Old English words. 

Also a brief educational session will be presented by Mimi Merrill, who will speak about the re-opening of the Family History Centre in Glenburnie.

Visitors always welcome.  Further info at

Extra.  Early Kingston city directories (1855-1923) and many other local genealogy resources are available online. The Quick Links page of the Digital Kingston website provides shortcuts to the most frequently-used sources.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Tell Multinational Publishers We Want Better eContent For Canadian Libraries

Lack of availability, high prices stand in the way of open, easy access to eBooks and eAudiobooks for Canadian readers at public libraries

The Canadian Urban Libraries Council, along with public libraries across Canada, is asking the public to help resolve these issues by demanding stronger #eContentForLibraries of major multinational publishers. Canadians can send the message on social media, tagging these publishers in their posts: Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.


Quinte Branch OGS January Meeting

The Quinte Branch of Ontario Genealogical Society invites all to its 19 January, 2019 meeting which will be the Annual Crouse Wanamaker Lecture —"Irish Famine and the Settlement of East Hungerford township of Hastings County" by Jim Kennelly.

Jim will speak about Irish emigration prior to and during the Potato Famine. In particular, he will look at the emigrants from Lord Fitzwilliam’s estate in Shillelagh, Wicklow and the large number who eventually settled in the eastern section of Hungerford, Hastings County and in the townships of Sheffield and Camden in Lennox and Addington County. Why were so many from one corner of Ireland concentrated in this area of Ontario?
Jim is a retired school administrator and is actively involved in the Hastings County Historical Society. He has a large connection to the emigrants from Fitzwilliam’s estate and an even larger connection to the thousands of descendants of these people who sought a better life. He and his wife, Sandy, live in Lonsdale, Ontario where they raised four daughters and are proud of their twelve grandchildren.

The meeting is at the Quinte West Public Library, 7 Creswell Dr, Trenton 1-3 pm. and

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Thoughts on Finding Your Roots

After watching Finding Your Roots last evening:

I'm wondering if you're as moved by seeing your ancestor's name on a voters list the first time he was able to vote following the Second Reform Act of 1867 in the UK as Michael K. Williams was in seeing his ancestor's following the US Civil War.

Did anyone tell Felicity Huffman that millions of people in the US likely share her 9th great grandfather, that she likely inherited none of her genome from him, and that as a leader in the community he was likely complicit in suppressing rights for the indigenous people.

But none of that would make for the syrupy slop PBS served up in this episode.

Talk Genealogy Podcast: Episode #35 Marriage Registers of Old England

Another episode of Malcolm Noble's Talk Genealogy Podcast covering aspects of English marriages not dealt with in previous episodes, and several that were, was published on 4 January.
Did you know that for many years marriages could only happen in the morning, and that there were three periods during the year when marriages could not occur without special dispensation? There are other curiosities mentioned.

At the end of the episode, which runs for almost 34 minutes, Malcolm mentions that he has spoken for 20 and a bit minutes. Most of those extra 10 minutes could likely be cut to make the podcast more listenable without losing the good content.

Great Scots: Canadian Fiction Writers with Links to Scotland, 1867 to Today

Ayrshire-born Canadian publishing icon Douglas Gibson will cover Canadian history, discussing storytellers in their historic background. Among the Great Scots authors are predictable names like MacLennan and MacLeod, but also some that will surprise you!

Presented by The Scottish Society of Ottawa in partnership with the Ottawa Public Library.

Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly St. Monday, January 21, 7:00 p.m.

Register here.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Western Canada Legal Land Description

How often when faced with the information that a relative received a land grant described as, say, Part: NE; Section: 20; Township: 24; Range: 3; Meridian: W2 have you felt no wiser. If you found it by a search in the Library and Archives Canada database Land Grants of Western Canada, 1870-1930 the map accompanying the search result is difficult to interpret..
Help is at hand at It converts to and from latitude and longitude and contains links to various map displays, including Google and Bing maps which you can zoom in and out to see the context. It's one to bookmark.

Perth & District Historical Society January Meeting

Thursday, 17 January, 2019 at 7:30pm
Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, (Toonie Donation).

"A Vision for the Perth Museum" 

Our Society's meeting for January 17, 2019 takes a different approach; we look not at history, but, instead, meet a guest who examines, displays and catalogues history, and then assists people in learning and enjoying the experience.  We take pleasure in introducing Kathryn Jamieson, the new Heritage/Tourism Manager for the Town of Perth. 

As a native of Westport, Kathryn Jamieson's new position in Perth is a return to her small-town roots in a familiar neighbourhood.  Kathryn's personal interests in arts and culture led her to Sheridan College, studying glass arts, including glass blowing.  She then incorporated an interest in history into her career as a glass artist, taking Algonquin College's Applied Museum Studies Program.  Her previous work experiences include positions at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Canadian War Museum and 10 years at the Goulbourn Museum, culminating with Curator Manager.  In addition, Kathryn has taught two components of the Museum Management module at Algonquin College.  These previous experiences will serve her well with her position in Perth, which she assumed the past summer. 

Drawing on her past studies and work, Kathryn envisages expanding the way the Perth Museum is projected to the residents of Perth and visitors.  While she is still obtaining a feel for the job here, she is learning the strengths and weaknesses of the Museum and those of the Town.  Her concept for the future includes expanding on the heritage and tourism sector strengths that have worked so well in the past for the town, and engaging the public and their views of their local museum.  Keeping finances in mind, there are some notable points to consider: strengthening the museum's visibility, preserving and developing museum assets, and developing audience engagement. 

Speaking with Kathryn, her enthusiasm for her new position is evident.  She has noted that there is much that is positive already in place, including one of the main strengths - the people she has met.  This has been reinforced by her return to the area and the enjoyment that she, her husband and their young son have with life in Perth.  And, one might also see her at local markets with her glass blowing artwork. 

Monday, 14 January 2019

The Shutdown

Although my research doesn't normally lead me into US government websites it did this past weekend, and I was faced with this webpage from the US National Archives and Records Administration.
Dick Eastman has a list of some of the services closed by the President's shutdown.

How to access British Second World War Service Files

A BIFHSGO member asked me about accessing her father's Second World War British Army service file at the meeting last Saturday. I could only answer from memory — it's something I haven't done but it turns out I wasn't far off the mark.
The files, still with the Ministry of Defence, are open on application by snail mail for anyone who died 25 or more years ago, and otherwise to next of kin. You need to know the person’s full name, date of birth and (or?) service number in order to fill out the forms, and pay a £30 application fee. It can take several months for an application to be processed.
Official information on who can and how to apply, and the forms, is at

Free Webinar: Integrating old photos into your family history research

Maureen Taylor < >, who needs no introduction, will show how to analyze photos, upload to a personal MyHeritage website, and tag the people you want to stay connected with in this free webinar sponsored by MyHeritage.
It's at 2 pm EST on Tuesday, 22 January, 2019.

Register here.

Genealogy Drop-in at OPL/Greenboro

Three sessions are scheduled at the Greenboro Public Library Drop in to work on your family tree!  A genealogy librarian will be here to answer questions and help you get the most from library resources.

Wednesday, 16 January, 2019 - 10:30am - noon
Wednesday, 20 February, 2019 - 10:30am - noon
Tuesday, 19 March, 2019 - 10:30am - noon

That's in the Computer training room, 363 Lorry Greenberg

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Digital Archive Ontario has Ottawa Frozen in Time
Ottawa features in some of the vintage images from Digital Archive Ontario, a website for finding historical photos, maps, postcards and rare books — all digitized by Toronto Public Library.

Listen Real-Time
It's like Google Analytics Real-Time, but for podcast episodes. These are the podcast episodes being listened to via Listen Notes right now.

How to Delete Your Online Accounts but Keep Your Data
Basic steps for deleting your accounts across 15 different services.

Canada’s Top Ten Weather Stories of 2018
From David Phillips and the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.

Near Real-time Airflow 
Various projections. Use the EARTH hamburger icon at bottom left to change parameters - before you leave for the airport check out the 250 hPa image to see whether your flight will be with or against the jet stream.
See the whole of 2018 here.

Enough is Enough
This review article finds no clear evidence of a beneficial effect of supplements on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, or cancer.
NOTE: I'm not a medical doctor. Consult your own physician.
β-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful. Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases. Although available evidence does not rule out small benefits or harms or large benefits or harms in a small subgroup of the population, we believe that the case is closed— supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Remove image background for free is a free service to remove the background from any photo to isolate at least one person in the image. It works 100% automatically.
Unlike other background removal utilities you don't have to manually select the background/foreground layers to separate them - just select your image and instantly download the result image with the background removed. The output image is limited to 500 × 500 pixels.

I find it works pretty well

I Vow to Thee ...

On this date 101 years ago in Washington DC outgoing British ambassador to the United States of America,, Sir Cecil Arthur Spring Rice, penned familiar words, his last poem

I vow to thee, my country—all earthly things above—
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love, 
The love that asks no question : the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best : 
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

And there’s another country, I've heard of long ago— 
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know—
We may not count her armies : we may not see her King—
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering— 
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are Peace.

Spring Rice came to Ottawa, before a planned return to the UK, staying at Rideau Hall where he died of heart failure on 14 February. He is buried at Beechwood Cemetery.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Kent is featured in Findmypast additions

New this week in Findmypast:

Kent Baptisms: over 23,000 new records covering Anglican and Wesleyan baptisms in Dover, Gravesend, Higham, Nettlestead and Maidstone have been added to our collection of Kent parish baptisms spanning the years 1736-1917 .

Kent Marriages: over 22,000 new records covering 9 Anglican parishes in Aylesford, Boxley, Higham and Nettlestead have been added to the collection and are now available to search.

Kent Burials: over 203,000 additional records covering the former Grange Road Cemetery in Gillingham, now a public open space, Fort Pitt Military Cemetery and the cemetery in Robin Hood Lane, Chatham have been added to the collection.

1939 Register update: over 53,000 additional 'open' records have been added to the 1939 Register.
The 1939 Register now contains more than 34 million searchable records.

Devon Social & Institutional Records: over 76,000 new records added to the FMP collection of Devon Social & Institutional Records gathered by the Devon Family History Society from a wide range of local records covering daily life in the 18th and 19th centuries. There are 132 separate sources mainly covering working life, but also containing a fascinating collection of criminal and poor law records, early local censuses, town lists, photographs and even admission registers for a homes for "Friendless and Fallen Girls".

TheGenealogist adds further Worcestershire and Headstones Records

The following is a press release:

More than 144,700 Worcestershire Baptism records added to TheGenealogist and a further 20,000 individuals on Headstones.

TheGenealogist is releasing the records of 144,793 individuals added to their Worcestershire Baptisms (in Partnership with Malvern FHS) and an additional 20,000 individuals on headstones from the UKIndexer project where volunteers help their fellow genealogists by indexing and/or photographing the monumental inscriptions in churchyards and cemeteries.
● Discover dates of ancestors’ baptisms
● Glean names of parents of those baptised in Worcestershire
● Headstones give dates and name details of those buried and sometimes familiar relationships
● Memorials can reveal information not recorded elsewhere for ancestors

Headstones being released this week includes the transcriptions and the images for those at St Giles, Imber on Salisbury Plain, useful for those with ancestors buried there as it is only open a few days a year. St Giles'; Church is in the deserted village of Imber, Wiltshire and was built in the late 13th or early 14th century. The village falls within the British Army's training grounds on Salisbury Plain and is deserted as a result of the entire civilian population being evicted in 1943 to provide an exercise area for American troops preparing for the invasion of Europe during the Second World War. Once the war came to an end the villagers would have liked to return but were not allowed. The church today is without its pews and its font was moved to Brixton Deverill while the pulpit has been sent to

Winterbourne Stoke. St Giles’ seating, bell and two effigies are now housed at Edington Priory. The Church of St Giles is open for visitors and services on specified days of the year when the Ministry of

Defence allows access. St Giles is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a Grade I listed building, and is now a redundant church in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.
These fully searchable records released this week are available now to Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist.Read their article: TheGenealogist adds to its Headstone collection to reveal some fascinating celebrities.

List of churchyards and burial grounds in this release
Bedfordshire: Lidlington Graveyard, Lidlington; St Andrew, Ampthill; St Lawrence, Wymington Buckinghamshire: St Leonard, Chesham Bois Devon: St Clement, Powderham; All Saints, Kenton Dorset: St Andrew, Fontmell Magna; St Aldhelms, Upton; Church of the Ascension, Woodlands; St Wolfrida, Horton; Sherborne Abbey, Sherborne; St Mary Magdalene, Fifehead Magdalen; St Nicholas, Edmondsham; St Gregory, Marnhull; All Saints, Chalbury; St Laurence, Farnham; St Peter, Pimperne; Holy Trinity, Stourpaine; St Mary, Iwerne Minster; All Saints, Kington Magna Essex: North Road Burial Ground, Westcliff-on-Sea Gloucestershire: St Barnabas, Snowshill; St Peter, Daylesford; Hailes Parish Church, Hailes; St Mary, Driffield; Hampshire: All Saints, Minstead Herefordshire: St Peter and St Paul, Weobley Lincolnshire: St Paul, Morton, Gainsborough London: St Pauls Burial Ground now West Hackney Recreation Ground, Hackney North Yorkshire: St John and All Saints, Easingwold; St John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Easingwold; Christ Church Cemetery, Marton cum Grafton Northamptonshire: St Mary’s Rushden, Rushden; Rushden Cemetery, Rushden; All Saints, Earls Barton; Earls Barton Baptist Church, Earls Barton Oxfordshire: St Mary, Swinbrook Shropshire: St Catherine, Eyton on the Weald Moors; St Cuthbert’s Donington, Albrighton, Wolverhampton; St Bartholomew, Tong Somerset: St John the Baptist, Biddisham; St Nicholas, Brockley; Sawbridgeworth Cemetery, Sawbridgeworth; St Lawrence, Rode; St Lawrence, Cucklington; St Nicholas, Henstridge Suffolk: St Mary, Grundisburgh Wiltshire: St Editha, Baverstock; St Martin, Barford St Martin; St Margaret of Antioch, Corsley; Christ Church, Warminster; Holy Trinity, Bradford on Avon; Baptist Burial Ground, Crockerton; St Leonard, Sutton Veny; St Peter Ad Vincula, Tollard Royal; St Aldhelm, Bishopstrow; Holy Trinity, Dilton Marsh; Christ Church, Bradford on Avon; St Giles, Imber; St John, Warminster; St John the Baptist, Bishopstone Worcestershire: St Eadburgha, Broadway Yorkshire: New Connexion, Shepley, Huddersfield; St Pauls, Shepley, Huddersfield; St Thomas, Thurstonland; St Lucius, Farnley Tyas; Christ Church, New Mill, Holmfirth.

List of Worcestershire Parishes
Beoley, Birtsmorton, Clent, Cradley Nr Ledbury, Ripple, Severn Stoke, St. Peter The Great, Tenbury Wells, Upper Arley, Upton On Severn, Upton Upon Severn, White Ladies Aston, Whittington, Wolverley, Worcester All Saints, Worcester St Albans, Worcester St Clement, Worcester St Clements, Worcester St Helen, Worcester St John Of Bedwardine, Worcester St Martin, Worcester St Michael, Worcester St Nicholas, Worcester St Swithun, Worcester St. Helen, Wribbenhall, Wyre Piddle

Maintaining an Organized Computer

If you've ever had problems finding things on your computer you may find this explanation of an organization system helpful.

Cyndi Ingle, of Cyndi's List fame, gave this presentation on Wednesday evening. It's available free for the next few days.  There's nothing extra to buy, unless you want to use a lot of cloud storage.

Recommended. The sound occasionally drops which perhaps explains why it runs a bit longer than normal.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

FamilySearch adds Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935

This addition is from the (UK) National Archives in Kew, WO 25, which is a collection of documents of various kinds, including regimental descriptions, succession books, commissions, appointments, descriptions, returns of services, casualties, half pays, pensions, and gratuities.

Most are for the first half of the 19th century.

The indexed information is limited: typically name, event type, event place and sometimes age. More detailed information is in the image of the original record which is only available at FamilySearch authorized locations.

There's a long list of these WO 25 records here. Some are for the Royal Canadian Rifles from 1841 to 1870.

Also from WO 25, Ancestry has Canada, British Regimental Registers of Service, 1756-1900.

National Gallery and LAC Partnership

In a CBC interview, as he finishes a decade as head of The National Gallery of Canada, Marc Mayer gave a shout out to partnerships as a way of doing business, and makes specific mention of Library and Archives Canada.
Another point he made was about the need to attract visitors to the Gallery by presenting exhibitions by artists with name recognition. Is there a parallel strategy for LAC?

OGS Conference 2019 - registration now open

The website for the 21-23 June, 2019 OGS Conference in London, Ontario, is live and registration is now working. 

For information, to book tours, workshops, lectures and more..... .

Some events sell out rapidly so book early — unless you like being disappointed!

BIFHSGO January Meeting

Saturday, 12 January, 2019

A Brief History of BIFHSGO: celebrating 25 years  (Before BIFHSGO Education Talk)
9:00 am to 9:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

The Cowkeeper’s Wish: Transforming Family History into a Great Story
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

Gathering names and dates of ancestors is an addictive, exhausting task, and while it’s satisfying to put the facts in order and fill in a tree’s branches, what’s more fascinating is exploring who these people were as individuals and how they fit into the times and places they occupied. Anyone who’s snooped in their own tree knows that even the most ordinary family contains great stories. Kristen den Hartog and Tracy Kasaboski discuss how to create a rich and wonderful story from a family archive, drawing on official documents as well as personal treasures like photographs, letters, and passed-down memories, and weaving them with events of the times. The sisters’ latest book, The Cowkeeper’s Wish, spans nearly a century, and is set in both England and Canada. They’ll talk about finding the thread of their story and putting several generations in context.

About the speakers

Kristen den Hartog and Tracy Kasaboski are sisters and co-authors of two family memoirs. The Occupied Garden: A Family History of War-Torn Holland was published to rave reviews in 2008 by McClelland & Stewart, and chronicles the lives of their father’s family in the Netherlands in WW II. Their most recent collaboration, The Cowkeeper’s Wish: A Genealogical Journey, delves into their maternal British roots, beginning in the 1840s, when their 3-times great-grandfather walked from Wales to London with his cows, in search of a better life. A working-class chronicle stitched into history, the tale follows the family line for nearly a century, through poverty, war, and love, and ends with the authors’ grandparents in London, Ontario, in the 1930s. The sisters blog about eclectic offshoots from their genealogical journey at

Open to the public

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

The Middlemore Index

BIFHSGO has it's first success of 2019 — a very much updated version of the Middlemore Index. It's thanks to a project championed over many years for BIFHSGO by Patricia Roberts-Pichette, with help from many others in the Society.

The Index contains the names of the approximately 5,000 children brought for settlement in Canada between 1873 and 1932 by John T. Middlemore and his agency―known as the Children’s (Middlemore) Emigration Homes. There's much more than the names — it draws together references from up to ten documents for each child.

A good place to start in is with the Guide to the Middlemore Index and Sources for complete details. If like most of us you prefer to dive right in go here. You'll find an alphabetical menu organized by surname initial. Clicking on the file of interest brings up a mass of information; you'll then turn to the guide to help understand WDH you're seeing.

BIFHSGO has declared copyright for the Index and it may not be downloaded or printed.

Getting the best Ancestry deal

I received an email with this Ancestry 50% discount offer. It's likely not an open offer so please don't rush to take advantage. I've publicized those before only to be told it was directed specifically at me (and others who fit certain criteria). I suspect Ancestry somehow got the impression I am not already a subscriber.

So how do you get a good offer?
1. If you don't have an Ancestry account you can subscribe online at for a 27% discount. 2. If you call 1-800-958-9073 you can likely get a better offer, perhaps as much as the 50% discount.

3. Once you have a subscription immediately cancel automatic renewal. You don't want to be automatically renewed at full price.

If you're already a subscriber

4. Before your subscription expires you'll likely receive a renewal notice. Unless it offers a substantial discount ignore it. Once the subscription expires use the time to take a break and within a few days you'll likely receive an offer for renewal at a discount. A 30% discount is typical.
5. If you don't get an offer be patient. It will come. You may also get a better renewal offer if you attend an event where Ancestry is in the marketplace.

From a business perspective the marginal cost to Ancestry of serving an additional subscriber is minuscule. It costs Ancestry almost $100 to attract a new subscriber; much less to attract you to resubscribe and as a previous subscriber they know you're interested.

Here's a tip for those who've taken an AncestryDNA test but are not subscribers. When you get the email with your results scroll down and you should find a 50% discount offer.

Do you have other advice or experience? If so please share.

Thanks to those who commented about problems with cancelling automatic renewal. I'm going on the basis of the information at