Tuesday, 26 January 2021

This Week's Online Genealogy Events

Choose from free online events in the next five days. All times are ET except as noted. Assume registration in advance is required. Check so you're not disappointed.

🇨🇦 Tuesday 26 January 2 pm: Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from Ottawa Branch  OGS and The Ottawa Public Library. Join here.

Tuesday 26 January 2 pm: Introducing Genetic Groups, by Ran Snir of MyHeritage for Legacy Family Tree Webinars. https://familytreewebinars.com/webinar_details.php?webinar_id=1298

Tuesday 26 January 2pm: From Newry to Norway, how my mother survived the Holocaust, by Lill Fanny Saether for Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/from-newry-to-norway-how-my-mother-survived-the-holocaust-tickets-133322610517

Tuesday 26 January 2:30 pm: Start With What You Know: Beginning Genealogy, by Allison DePrey Singleton for the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. https://acpl.libnet.info/event/4782676

Wednesday 27 January 2 pm: Genealogy Escape Room, by Thomas MacEntee for Legacy Family Tree Webinars. https://familytreewebinars.com/webinar_details.php?webinar_id=1612

Wednesday 27 January 3 pm:  Directories and Poll Books: Name-rich resources for the 18th century in the library of the Society of Genealogists and elsewhere, by Else Churchill for the Guild of One-Name Studies. https://landing-pages.one-name.org/ancestors-in-print-fb

Thursday 28 January 11 am: Coats of Arma, Clans and Tartans, with Myko Clelland for Findmypast/

Thursday 28 January 2 pm: Exploring the Archives 1910-1921, panel discussion with Catriona Crowe, Stephen Scarth, Elizabeth McEvoy and Michael Keane. Host: Tower Museum Derry-Londonderry's 'Dividing Ireland - The Origins, Impact and Legacy of Partition' programme. 

Thursday 28 January 3 pm: The Castles of West Cork, by Finola Finlay for Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_E9rPR1woS8uTiDDFGV5ETw

Friday 29 January 9 am:  Belsen and the British, by Dan Stone for The (UK) National Archives. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/belsen-and-the-british-tickets-131447516059?aff=homepage

Friday 29 January, 11 am: Fridays Live, Findmypast

Saturday 30 January, 2 am - 6 pm: Scottish Indexes Conference VIII, with Chris Paton, Emma Maxwell, Fiona Musk, Helen Tovey, and Karl Magee. 

🇨🇦 Saturday 30 January 10 am: Popping Perfect PowerPoint Presentations  (Workshop), by Duncan Monkhouse and Barbara Tose for BIFHSGO. https://bifhsgo.ca/eventListings.php?nm=127#er557

🇨🇦 Saturday 30 January 2 pm:  Irish Protestant Immigration to Upper Canada – a Case Study, by Janice Nickerson for OGS Simcoe County Branch. https://simcoe.ogs.on.ca/branch-meetings/

11 May is coming

You knew that! 

Do you know the significance?

In Canada 11 May 2021 is census day.

The census questions are posted here. Will you be selected to complete the short or long form?

If you received the long form you will have to give your county of birth, parents' counties of birth and your ethnicity. That's where it gets interesting. How do you choose? 

There's a discussion of the historical background on the ethnicity question in the article Who Am I? Reflections on Measuring Ethnic Ancestry in Canada by Jane Badets, who served as Canada’s Assistant Chief Statistician, in The Personal Past: History, Identity and the Genealogical Impulse.

Do you select the one (or more) you feel most aligned with? The options are laid out at www12.statcan.gc.ca/ancestry. 

Maybe these days you'd turn to DNA test results, perhaps having to reconcile conflicting results from different companies.

Monday, 25 January 2021

Seeing London (1929)

Worth a million words, a London Metropolitan Archives silent short film series 'Seeing London' (1929) shows the city from a bygone age

London Types (people at work) -- https://t.co/YEZGzYmPWJ 

Trooping the Colour -- https://t.co/YZmm4v3Juu 

Street Scenes -- https://t.co/Bu2FIyJGt3 

Ancestry adds Lancashire Home Guard Records

Now on Ancestry from the Lancashire Archives, 67,353 records in the title Lancashire, England, World War II Home Guard Records, 1940-1945.

This is a mixed bag of records from 15 battalions. You may find a name of interest in a nominal roll, the amount of information varies. 
For the 42nd County of Lancaster (Irlam) Battalion, D Company Nominal Roll, 1940-1944 there's the regimental number, platoon, name, address, year of birth, next of kin, relationship to NOK, address of NOK, nationality, date of enrollment and duration of enrollment.
For the 41st County of Lancaster (Prestwich) Battalion, B Company Nominal Roll, 1941-1942 there's last name and initials, rank, section, sub-section, Home Guard Number, and comments.

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Winning the Internet

THE Genealogy Show is seeking speakers
Deadline is Saturday 31 January.

From Controversy to Compromise: Choosing a Flag for Canada, 1964-1965.
Glenn Wright will be speaking via Zoom to the Lanark County Genealogical Society on the afternoon of Saturday 6 February. Email to communications@lanarkgenealogy.com for the free Zoom link.

Tech Café Fundamentals: Recognizing Fake News.
An OPL online event on Monday at 4 PM. Register now at http://ow.ly/vuIy50DfxRP

Biden’s Keystone XL death sentence requires Canada’s oil sector to innovate

7 Ways to Free Up Storage Space on Google Photos

Thanks to this week's contributors: Anonymous, BT, Carolyn Lumsden, Gail B., Glenn Wright, M. Anne Sterling, S4Ottawa, Sharon, Unknown

Lanark County Resources

If there are roots or branches of your family tree in Ontario's Lanark County there's a bonanza of resources in the Lanark County Genealogical Society online library of transcribed documents at  http://lcgsresourcelibrary.com/.

Topics are: 

Family Bibles
Family Histories
Personal Letters
Marriage Certificates
Mostly Names
Mostly Photographs
1905 Old Home Week
Voters Lists & Directories

While there's no search across all these resources on the website you can use the Google Advanced Search with the website address in the site or domain box.

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Last Minute: Fraser Dunford at OGS Ottawa Branch

Genealogy of Place is the topic of Fraser Dunford's presentation today, Saturday 23 January, at 1 pm.

Findmypast Weekly Update

There are no British, Irish or Canadian records in this week's additions.

New York Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms
Over 45,000 more Catholic church registers to this exclusive collection, post-1920 for 200 parishes. The collection total is 2,267,131.

New York Roman Catholic Parish Marriages
Over 36,000 additional records. The collection total is 1,174,695

Victoria Births
Over 100,000 records to help find births in Victoria, Australia between 1918 and 1920. This title now has over 2 million births starting in 1837.

Friday, 22 January 2021

Criminal Ancestor?

There are ways to whitewash the story of a criminal ancestor, like this:

‘Remus Reid was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory . His business empire grew to include  acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the   Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the  railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital  investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889,  Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.’

There's an updated source from Ancestry, although Ancestry labels them as NEW, for the delinquent in your UK family tree. It is several years since these four titles, categorized by Ancestry under Court, Land, Wills & Financial, were updated. They are all derived from the holdings of The National Archives, Kew, apparently quite a hangout for criminals!

UK, Prison Commission Records, 1770-1951 1,089,129 records
Original data: PCOM 2 1770-1951 Home Office and Prison Commission: Prisons Records, Series 1.

"A variety of records including registers of prisoners and habitual criminals, photograph albums, minute books, visitors' books, order books, journals, assizes and quarter sessions calendars and other records relating to various prisons in England and Wales, to Gibraltar prison and to some ship prisons."

There are various register types for goals at: Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Chesterton, Derby, Durham, Fisherton Anger, Lancaster, Leicester, Lincoln, Lindsey, Liverpool, Louth, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northallerton, Norwich, Oxford, Reading, Shrewsbury, Spilsbury, Stafford, Taunton, Wakefield, Winchester, and Worcester; for prisons of Millbank, Newgate, Parkhurst, Pentonville, Portland, Portsmouth, Wandsworth, Woking, and Wormwood Scrubs; and for Westminster Penitentiary.

The first 20-year period is the one with most records. After 1900 there are fewer than 20,00 records. 

UK, Calendar of Prisoners, 1868-1929 803,980 records
Original data: HO 140: Home Office: Calendar of Prisoners. 

"These calendars, usually recording prisoners 'after-trial' are lists, for the most part printed, of prisoners tried at Assizes and Quarter Sessions."

There's a browse capability by year. The majority of the records are for the 19th century. This title is updated from 637,410 records. 

UK, Registers of Habitual Criminals and Police Gazettes, 1834-1934 258,911 records
Original data: MEPO 6: Metropolitan Police: Criminal Record Office: Habitual Criminals Registers and Miscellaneous Papers. 

Registers and weekly newspapers with details of criminals, including habitual criminal registers, photographs and physical descriptions, Police Gazettes, Supplements 'A' and Informations (London Area).

UK, After-Trial Calendar of Prisoners,1855-1931 97,702 records

Original data: CRIM 9: Central Criminal Court - After Trial Calendars of Prisoners. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives. Perviously152,226 records!

Lists, for the most part printed, of prisoners tried at Assizes and Quarter Sessions. Includes number; name; age; trade; previous convictions; name and address of committing magistrates; date of warrant; when received into custody; offence as charged in the commitment; name of the victim; when tried; before whom tried; verdict of the jury; sentence or order of the court.

The same person is likely to be found in more than one of these titles.


GOVERNOR GENERAL of Canada. the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II, to perform the various ceremonial duties the sovereign otherwise carries out when in the country.


"The patience of a saint, the smile of a cherub, the generosity of an Indian prince, and the back of a camel"
The Marquess of Lorne

"A representative of all that is august, stable, and sedate in the government, the history, and the traditions of the country; incapable of partizanship, and lifted far above the atmosphere of faction; without adherents to reward or opponents to oust from office; docile to the suggestions of his Ministers, and yet securing to the people the certainty of being able to get rid of an Administration or Parliament the moment either had forfeited their confidence."
The Earl of Dufferin

Is there somebody bilingual from the genealogical, or broader cultural community, somebody with feet planted firmly in Canada, who you would recommend to fill this prestigious role which comes with luxurious accommodations and generous remuneration?

Sparrowhawks in London

There are strange things done in the midnight sun Bethnal Green!

Ancestry just updated their version of the 1911 census adding 926 images for Bethnal Green, North East, District 25.

At random, I looked at image 116 and spotted the name Sparrowhawk. Unusual, perhaps not so much for London's East End.

Rosina Rose is head of household, married (not widowed), age 31, married 15 years, four children and four living.

Below on the form is 53-year-old person Victoria McLachlan, identified as mother, and four Rose children 12 to 5 years of age.

Below that, in different handwriting, is a 4-month-old child, Alfred Sparrowhawk Rose who would be the fifth. GRO records show Alfred William Sparrowhawk Rose birth registered in the first quarter of 1911 with mother's maiden name Ethera. There is no surname Ethera in the whole BMD index!

While you can't believe everything on the census in this case it was accurate in as much as there were four children "born alive to the present marriage". Someone read the column heading carefully, something I didn't at first. There's a baptism for an Alfred William Sparrowhawk on Christmas Day 1910 to parents Alfred and Rosina who were not married.

The last entry on the census form, also in the same different handwriting, is Alfred Sparrowhawk a 35-year-old boarder.

What about Rose's husband? Rosina Heather married Frederick William Rose in Islington in the 3rd quarter of 1891, According to an Ancestry compiled genealogy they both survived to the 1940s.

VGS - Is This For Real?

The Victoria Genealogical Society is promoting a special offer for first time members, but someone hasn't done the arithmetic!

It's advertised as a reduced rate:

SINGLE: $30 ~ FAMILY: $45

and your membership will be valid until May 31, 2021.

That's 0.23 c per day.

The regular annual subscription for the membership year, which starts in June, is $60.

That's a rate of 0.16 c per day.

That is a special offer, not a reduced rate!

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Tweet from Jon Ossoff (@ossoff)

Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) tweeted at 10:18 p.m. on Wed., Jan. 20, 2021:
Today, as I was sworn in, I held in my jacket pocket copies of the ships' manifests recorded at Ellis Island when my Great Grandfather Israel arrived in 1911 and my Great Grandmother Annie arrived in 1913.

A century later, their great grandson was elected to the U.S. Senate. https://t.co/cjTNMMfYwP

Get the official Twitter app at https://twitter.com/download?s=13 

FamilySearch Weekly Update

Two databases for English records appeared on FamilySeatch in the past week.

An unusual pre-1841 title is England, Middlesex, Westminster, Marylebone, Census, 1821 and 1831 with 22,529 records

There's also the start of England, Devon, Plymouth, Militia Records, 1625-1831; you'll be fortunate to find an ancestor among the 806 records.

England, Herefordshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1583-1898 adds 10,257 records for a total of 1,244,548,

England, Northumberland Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-1920 added 7,348 for a total of 263,557 records.

England, Gloucestershire Non-Conformist Church Records, 1642-1996 added 5,420 records for a new total of 99,995.

The only addition for Canada is 193 Nova Scotia Church Records 1720 - 2001 for a total of 139,363.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Cecil Humphrey-Smith RIP

Sorry to learn of the passing of the founder of the Institute for Heraldic and Genealogical Studies. He was perhaps best known as the author of The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

This Week's Online Genealogy Events

Choose from free online events in the next five days. All times are ET except as noted. Assume registration in advance is required. Check so you're not disappointed.

Tuesday 19 January 11 am: Searching for Irish Ancestors, with Jen Baldwin and Lisa Lisson of Findmypast.

🇨🇦 Tuesday 19 January 2 pm: Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from Ottawa Branch  OGS and The Ottawa Public Library. Join here.

Tuesday 19 January 2:30 pm: Strategic Searching on Findmypast, by Jen Baldwin for the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Centre. 

Tuesday 19 January 8 pm: Death and Burial Practices in World War I and WW II, by Rick Sayre. Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Note: This appears to be restricted to only US deaths.

Wednesday 20 January 11 am: The Story of Edith Cavell, with Ellie Overthrow-Jones, Peter Doll and Nick Miller for Findmypast

Wednesday 20 January 2 pm: Another 50 Websites Every Genealogist Should Know, by Gena Philibert-Ortega. Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Notes: Promises to "take our research around the world."

Thursday 21 January 11 am: Staff Stories: Panel Discussion, with Alex Cox, Jen Baldwin, Niall Cullen and Brian Donovan

Thursday 21 January 2 pm: 'You're Fired'? Reviewing the Trump Presidency. Presented by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library

Thursday 21 January 6:30 pm: Critical Connections: - Putting the Pieces & Strategies Together, by Curt Witcher for the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Centre.

Friday 22 January 9 am:  England's Mistress: Emma Hamilton, by Kate Williams for The (UK) National Archives.

Friday 22 January, 11 am: Fridays Live, with Myko Clelland for Findmypast

🇨🇦 Saturday 23 January 1 pm: Genealogy of Place, by Fraser Dunford for Ottawa Branch OGS

Advance Notice: Canadian War Museum Zoom Events + War Brides

On Wednesday 27 January at 1 pm The Canadian War Museum hosts a conversation with Andy Réti — Holocaust survivor, author and motorcycle enthusiast — as he recounts his incredible story of love, survival and resilience during the Second World War. More here.

On Thursday 28 January and 12 noon tune in for an event in the War Museum’s virtual Make Do and Mend workshop series that reacquaints participants with many of the household skills that were part of everyday life in wartime Canada. Each event features a wartime “skill” and one of the Museum’s experts to provide historical context.

To mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, in conjunction with an exhibition "Forever Changed – Stories From the Second World War", the Canadian War Museum has developed a souvenir catalogue. It includes the story of Trooper Gordon Fennell and mentions his British war bride Joyce Cobb.

The exhibition associated with the publication (also titled Forever Changed – Stories From the Second World War) has a richer presentation of war brides, through the story of British war bride Gwendoline Green and her Canadian husband John McDonald. It displays Gwendoline’s wedding dress and her cookbook and tells her story through text, photos and a digital game. Unfortunately, the museum is currently closed to the public, due to public health restrictions.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Your Genealogy Today: Jan/Feb 2021

This issue, which arrived in the mail on Friday, is brimming with good content. 

I particularly enjoyed Sue Lisk's article For Whom the Bell Tolls. It's such a good read, the story details her research into finding an ancestor's grave, that I didn't mind that the mystery she tackled wasn't solved.

Robbie Gorr's story A Bigamist's Paradise of multiple and serial bigamies had a focus in the Ottawa Valley — Alymer, Bristol Mines, Ottawa, Pembroke, Quyon, Stafford Township — and further afield — Kingston — and further yet.

I skimmed Joe Grandinetti's article Photographic Memories and David Norris on Patent Remedies, Herb Gardens, and Phatmacopeias. Perhaps they're ones I should go back to if I find room in an overflowing office to keep back issues as advised by Back Page columnist Dave Obee's in his (muted) rant on bad information on Facebook.

As with all magazines, you don't expect all articles to appeal to everyone so I skipped Diane L, Richard's article on Free Persons of Color.

Subscribe to Your Genealogy Today from Moorshead Magazines here.

Co-Lab Update for January

Library and Archives Canada is now reporting some major progress since last month at Co-Lab, which may well be updating for months of backlog.

Canadian National Land Settlement Association is 90% complete, 20% last month.

Molly Lamb Bobak is 77% complete, 22% complete last month

Women Lightkeepers: heroes by the sea is 100% complete, 99% complete last month.

Diary of François-Hyacinthe Séguin is 92% complete, 56% complete last month.

George Mully: moments in Indigenous communities, remains 2% complete.

Correspondence regarding First Nations veterans returning after the First World War is 99% complete, 100% complete last month.

Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 is 84% complete, 77% complete last month.

Legendary Train Robber and Prison Escapee Bill Miner remains 99% complete.

War Diaries of the First World War: 1st Canadian Division is now 100% complete.

Japanese-Canadians: Second World War, remains 61% complete.

The Call to Duty: Canada's Nursing Sisters remains 93% complete.

Rosemary Gilliat (Eaton)’s Arctic diary and photographs is now 100% complete. 

New France and First Nations Relations, remains 78% complete.

Projects that remain 100% complete are no longer reported here.

Sunday, 17 January 2021

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

For Scotland Only: New online – Country Life magazine (1897–2005)
Owing to licensing requirements you need a postal address in Scotland to register for and access this resource. Maybe you have a relative there. The magazine covers "country estates and all aspects of rural living, giving fascinating contemporary details of country houses, lifestyles and leisure pursuits, as well as an insight into the ideas and culture of the time.  ... It’s also full of amazing photographs, adverts and biographical information. It’s a useful resource for local historians and genealogists as well as a fascinating browse for all those who'd like to dip into the past."
This is from the free monthly email newsletter from the National Library of Scotland. Register at 
https://www.nls.uk/news/email-newsletter/ which has news on upcoming online events, new map resources and more.

Scotland Civil Registration Update
In case you missed the regular January annual civil registration update, ScotlandsPeople now has available records for 136,546 births for 1920, 48,728 marriages for 1945, and 64,943 deaths for 1970.

Scottish Indexes Conference VIII - 30 January 2021 
A great deal. https://www.scottishindexes.com/

Rounding off items on Scotland, this —The Scotsman — that in a Tik Tok version kicked off a viral Sea Shanty meme.

An Apothecary at Bethlem
From the London Historians' Blog.

FHF REALLY USEFUL Family History Show: Saturday 10 April 2021
20+ speakers for £7.50 (early bird price before 31 January) is a good deal. Find out more, and about other resources from the Family History Federation, at 

Climate Change
Depending on which analysis you consult 2020 either tied for warmest or was the second warmest year on record
According to the British Met Office, despite a transition into La Niña conditions in late 2020, which typically suppress global temperatures 2020 ranked second warmest in a series dating back to 1850.

OPL: Tech Café
Tomorrow, Monday 18 January at 4 pm is the first in the new Tech Café series, on Accessing Government Services Online . The second, a week later, is Recognizing Fake News.

DYK Windows 10 Can Magnify and Read Aloud?
Just type magnify where it says "Type here to search."

Thanks to this week's contributors: Anonymous, Brenda Turner, Christine Jackson, Kathy, KAYTHEGARDENER, Mary, Unknown

Migration Museum

The (UK) Migration Museum explores how the movement of people to and from Britain across the ages has made "us" who we are – as individuals and as a nation. The present location is Lewisham Shopping Centre.

Somewhat like EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin it's more an experience than a traditional museum with artifacts. 

With COVID both are closed at present. 

On the Migration Museum website is Departures, a podcast series exploring 400 years of emigration from Britain. The episodes are:

1: The Swarming of the English
Mass emigration from England first took off in the 17th century with the colonisation of America and the Caribbean. The number of people leaving the shores of England was huge and unprecedented.

2: Maidens’ Voyage
Women are largely hidden from the history of early English emigration. But if you look hard enough you can sometimes catch glimpses of their stories in the archives. For example, in the early 17th century shiploads of young women were despatched to America by the Virginia Company of London.  It was hoped they would marry the English planters in Jamestown and help grow the new colony.

3: The Company Men in India
ince the 1960s, large numbers of people have come to Britain from the Indian subcontinent. But for the preceding 350 years almost all migration was in the other direction. From the beginning of the 17th century when the first ships of the English East India Company set sail from London, India was seen as a place of fabulous wealth where huge fortunes could be made. As the Company’s trading posts around India flourished and the Company gained ever more political control, competition for Company jobs became intense. Tens of thousands of men from Britain ventured out to live an expat life in a country that was completely different to anything they had previously known. Most never returned.