31 July 2010

FindMyPast.co.uk adds Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records 1760-1854

The following is a press release from FindMyPast. My comments are appended.


Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records 1760-1854 now available to search online

In-depth and colourful insight into the lives of ordinary ranking soldiers

Records include servicemen born in the UK and throughout the world, including India and Jamaica

Leading family history website findmypast.co.uk has added a further 180,000 records to the Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records collection currently available online. The new additions comprise the service records of men pensioned out of the British Army between 1760 and 1854. The update means the collection now totals over four million full colour images of the service records of almost 700,000 soldiers pensioned out of the British Army between 1760 and 1900. Findmypast.co.uk has been working in association with The National Archives and in partnership with FamilySearch for nearly two years to scan, transcribe and publish online these records.

Many of the soldiers listed will have served in some of Britain’s most significant wars, including the Battle of Waterloo (1815), the Crimean (1853 – 1856) and both Boer Wars (1899 – 1902). Each individual soldier’s record consists of a bundle of a minimum of four pages, full of fascinating personal details, and could even be up to 20 pages long.

The details that can be found in these records are invaluable to family and military historians, providing a rich and colourful story of our ancestors’ lives, with a level of detail that is hard to find in any other historical records. Among the information included in these documents are the soldier’s date and place of birth, name and address of next of kin, height, hair and eye colour, distinguishing features such as tattoos, rank and regiment, occupation before joining the army, medical history and countries where, and dates when, the soldier served.

The records not only relate to servicemen born in the UK, but also throughout the world, with many soldiers born in India and even the Caribbean. These records are also invaluable to Irish, Scottish and Commonwealth researchers, as many men joined the British Army from these countries throughout the centuries.

The records list only those soldiers who either completed their full service in the army or who were wounded and pensioned out of the army. The records do not include those killed in action or army deserters or officers. The connection with 'Chelsea Pensioners' is that the pensions were administered through The Royal Hospital at Chelsea. The great majority of pensioned soldiers were out-pensioners and did not reside at the Hospital itself.

Debra Chatfield of findmypast.co.uk said: “The Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records are a rich resource for family historians. For each soldier you’ll find a minimum of four pages of information, including a physical description and even details of other family members, such as their dates of baptism and marriage. These fascinating records enable you to find out so much about your soldier ancestors, including what they looked like, long before the invention of photography.”


TNA information is that WO 97 has been the second most requested series at Kew. With this release FMP is getting toward the end of the WO 97 records. Promised in August are records for another 303,000 soldiers with date range 1901 and 1913.

The search page has space for name, country, county and year of birth. There is an ability to specify the location more closely but many entries don't have that information. Regiment and year served from can also be specified as can soldier number. Although suggested FMP have opted not to index date of discharge.

In the cases I looked at none named parents or next of kin. Intended place of discharge was frequently specified. Details of service are included, often squeezed into an area too small resulting in an interpretation challenge and information written sideways. Image quality is usually good. Having the ability to manipulate the original image on your computer, and to do so without the time pressure of being at TNA, will help you get the most out of the records.

We have to be patient another year for 500,000 records, date range 1806-1915, in WO 96, War Office: Militia Attestation Papers, which have been TNA 14th most requested series. Note that neither series includes members of the Royal Marines (sea soldiers). Their attestation papers are in ADM 157.

30 July 2010

LAC rules for copying newspapers

Copied below is a response to a query I posed recently to Library and Archives Canada's Alison Bullock, Director General responsible for Services. My query resulted from the experience of a few colleagues which appeared to reflect a change in the rules.

"Library and Archives Canada's procedures concerning the copying of microfilmed newspapers have not changed. Clients can photograph microfilm displayed on a reader screen, or can make photocopies from microfilm of any newspaper, regardless of date, for personal use.

If the newspaper is more than 100 years old, users can scan pages from microfilm and download these images to a USB key or CD-ROM.

To avoid manual transcription of newspaper information, LAC recommends that clients use one of the other options available to them.

More information on photocopying and reproduction appears on the LAC website at:

and http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/copies/index-e.html."

It undoubtedly takes someone with a far superior knowledge of the law than this lowly scribe to understand the fine distinction between a photograph of the screen and a USB or CD-ROM copy. I frequently use a digital camera for making research copies in any event so to have this clarified is helpful.

UK Database Updates

On Ancestry, British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 now contains 5,280,584 records, an update from 4.8 million.

Also on Ancestry, U.K., City and County Directories, 1600s-1900s is updated from 382,967 to 404,728 records. For Norfolk in whole or part there are now 17 directories from 1822 to 1933. 13 other directories cover Suffolk from 1830 to 1925-26.

The FreeBMD Database was updated on 16 July 2010 and currently contains 187,893,359 distinct records (239,556,610 total records).

29 July 2010

ACOM (Ancestry) reports positive second quarter

The following is from Ancestry.com on it's second quarter results, released as the market closed on 29 July.

  • Ancestry.com Subscriber Growth of 32% Year-Over-Year
  • Total Revenue Up 36% Year-Over-Year
  • Raises FY 2010 Outlook

PROVO, Utah, July 29, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq:ACOM - News), the world's largest online family history resource, today reported financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2010.

"Greater than anticipated subscriber additions drove impressive performance in the quarter and boosted our revenue and EBITDA expectations for the full year," said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry.com. "It's particularly noteworthy that retention rates and customer behavior trends are remaining consistent despite the rapid subscriber growth in the first half of 2010. As we move forward, we will continue our focus on building awareness of the family history category, improving the customer experience and adding important content collections to Ancestry.com."

Ancestry.com Web Sites Highlights

  • Subscribers totaled 1,311,000 as of June 30, 2010, a 32% increase over the end of Q2 2009 and an 8% increase over the end of Q1 2010.
  • Gross Subscriber additions were 291,000 in Q2 2010, an 81% increase over Q2 2009 and a 4% increase over Q1 2010, driven by the continued success of marketing programs and the airing of Who Do You Think You Are? early in the quarter.
  • Monthly Subscriber Churn1 increased to 4.3% in Q2 2010, compared to 3.8% in Q2 2009 and 3.3% in Q1 2010, as expected, reflecting the large number of new monthly subscribers added in the first half of 2010.
  • Subscriber acquisition cost2 in Q2 2010 was $74.04, compared to $73.27 in Q2 2009 and $69.57 in Q1 2010.
  • Average Monthly Revenue per Subscriber3 in Q2 2010 was $18.02, compared to $16.42 in Q2 2009 and $16.70 in Q1 2010.

Second Quarter 2010 Financial Highlights

  • Total revenue for the second quarter of 2010 was $74.5 million, an increase of 36.4% over $54.6 million in the prior year period, driven by growth in our core Ancestry.com Web sites of 41.9%.
  • Operating income for the second quarter of 2010 was $15.8 million, compared to $8.7 million in the prior year period.
  • Adjusted EBITDA4 for the second quarter of 2010 was $25.3 million, compared to $18.4 million in the second quarter of 2009. Adjusted EBITDA margin for the second quarter of 2010 was 33.9%, compared to 33.8% in the second quarter of 2009.
  • Net income was $8.5 million, or $0.18 per fully diluted share, for the second quarter of 2010 compared to $4.7 million, or $0.12 per fully diluted share, in the second quarter of 2009.
  • Free cash flow5 totaled $14.4 million in the second quarter of 2010 compared to $6.7 million in the prior year period.
  • Balance sheet As of June 30, 2010, cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments were $134.0 million and total debt was $76.2 million.

    Recent Business Highlights
  • The Company closed the acquisition of Genline.se, the leading Swedish family history Web site. At closing, Genline had more than 17,000 paying members with access to 26 million pages of digitized Swedish church records spanning more than 400 years from the 17th to the 20th century.
  • NBC announced its renewal of Who Do You Think You Are? for a second season, which is currently expected to air in the first quarter of 2011.
  • Season 1 of Who Do You Think You Are? is currently expected to air in re-runs starting on August 13, 2010.
  • The Company added several new important content collections, including U.S. Land Ownership Atlases from 1860-1920 and the UK Waterloo Medal Roll from 1815.

Business Outlook

The Company's financial and operating expectations for the third quarter and full year 2010 are as follows:

Third Quarter 2010

  • Revenue in the range of $75.0 to $77.0 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $24.0 to $26.0 million
  • Ending subscribers of approximately 1,345,000

Full Year 2010

  • Revenue in the range of $290 to $295 million (increased from the previously expected range of $275 to $280 million)
  • Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $93 to $97 million (increased from the previously expected range of $90 to $95 million)
  • Ending subscribers in the range of 1,360,000 to 1,370,000 (increased from the previously expected range of 1,280,000 to 1,300,000)

As is often the case, ACOM closed down from the previous day close on the good news!

Clement, the Census, and the Canadian Multicultural Newspapers Digitized

Tony Clement, presently embroiled in the census issue, makes no secret of his own ancestry. Born in Manchester, England his father was of Greek Cypriot origin, his mother Canadian of Russian Ashkenazi Jewish descent.

It strikes me as paradoxial that none of that type information, save the name, often available in historic censuses and usually available now for elites like people in Who's Who, is something Clement finds so sensitive it should not be available 92 years hence for all ordinary Canadians through the short-form census.

Researching Clement's Russian side led me to Multicultural Canada, a site which exists to provide free and greater access to collections of archives and libraries in Canada which preserve the historical record of the experiences of ethnic and multi-ethnic communities. It aims to make available documentary resources seldom available beyond the walls of the institution.

The list of resources, mostly newspapers, is:

28 July 2010

History House (Essex)

If you have ancestry in the English county of Essex you will find interesting material in the History House website www.historyhouse.co.uk

Look to it for an alphabetical list of Essex towns and villages and their histories which includes transcriptions of directories;

A blog called History News.

An extensive list of feature articles, many with specific Essex content, including:

Family History Forums - your Essex ancestors.
How to break down that brick wall which is stopping you from researching your Essex family history.

Parish Registers at the Essex Record Office.
Digital images of some Parish Registers are now available on online at the Essex Record Office.

The Condition of Essex.
A glimpse into the life and times of the straw plaiters, spinners, oyster fishermen and labouring men of Victorian Essex.

The Brightlingsea Tiles.
All Saints Church, Brightlingsea, contains unique memorials to parishioners who have lost their lives at sea - 213 memorial tiles, to be exact.

Essex History Trivia
The history of Essex contains some interesting and surprising facts, here are some examples.

The Bankrupt Directory
Essex bankrupts from December 1820 to April 1843.

The Jurist
Essex bankrupts covering most of the years 1843 to 1862.

Captain Oates
From the Essex countryside to the icy wastes of Antarctica.

The Scotch Colony
Scottish farmers who by hard work and ruthless economy brought a new look to the Essex countryside.

Tinker? Tailor? Soldier? Sailor? Who lived in your house?
Researching the history of your house.

Chelmsford Prison (Springfield)
A description of Chelmsford Prison in 1842 and 1848.

Essex on the map
Using maps to discover the history of Essex and its people.

Martello Towers of the Essex shore
From defending the Essex coast to a Digital Art centre.

The perils of ballooning
Story of Joseph Simmons, a Victorian pioneering balloonist who challenged danger but ultimately crashed and died at Ulting near Maldon.

The earthquake of 1884
How Essex was hit by the strongest earthquake in England's history.

Arson in the Essex parishes
A look at a time when the farmers of Ardleigh and nearby parishes were faced with spate of arson attacks on their property.

The life and confessions of a burglar
Enter the Essex underworld: an account of an Victorian burglar and robber.

Body snatching
A gruesome story of body snatching at Little Leighs.

Dreadful railway accident at Brentwood
Fog descends on Brentwood causing a tragic accident in which nine railway workers die.

Toot Hill windmill struck by lightning
A miller’s brush with death.

Two Zeppelins on bombing missions brought down in Essex villages
How inhabitants of two sleepy villages were suddenly thrust into the front line of the First World War when Zeppelins crashed in their fields.

Agriculture of the County of Essex - 1794
Contemporary report on the state of agriculture in Essex.

Congratulations to Phil George (Keldon) who runs the site.

27 July 2010

Jenkins Sparks a Genealogist Challenge

One of the good things about Mondays, perhaps one of the only good things, is the weekly column by Phil Jenkins in the Ottawa Citizen. A local writer and musician his columns often have historical themes.

This Monday, under the title "The story of a great walking race endures" he wrote of a challenge issued in June 1873 and taken up by Robert Sparks, a land surveyor and member of the Ottawa founding family after which Sparks Street gets its name. Sparks triumphed over Fred Pace, a recent English immigrant. Read the story at

Jenkins mentions that Pace left for Alberta and he's not sure what happened to Robert Sparks. He asks "is there a genealogist in the house?"


The last name and occupation rang a bell. A few years ago I had an interest in weather related disasters. I read about two Sparks brothers, surveyors, drowned in the sinking of the Asia, 14 September 1882, near Byng Inlet, Georgian Bay. The Asia, with nearly 100 casualties, was one of the wrecks during a major storm.

I sent an answer by 8 AM. A follow-up is promised in next Monday's column.

26 July 2010

WDYTYA UK: Rupert Everett

The second episode in the current UK Who Do You Think You Are serious featured actor Rupert Everett. As outlined in the BBC's teaser/summary below the journey documented was a bit of a roller coaster ride.

It appears that Ancestry are not current WDYTYA sponsors. Searches using the databases were prominently featured but I noticed the word Ancestry, and the ancestry logo, were not shown. Obviously they didn't pay their product placement fee.

There were incidences of Everett jumping to conclusions, for example in failing to find his grandmother in a search in which he specified the exact birth-year and location. However, the lesson of treating the information you find as evidence, not fact, was made in that his initial conclusion that the father was deceased, as indicated on a marriage certificate, turned out to be incorrect when he found a later death certificate.

Here's the BBC summary:

Rupert Everett’s varied acting career has involved starring in Hollywood films as diverse as My Best Friend’s Wedding, Shrek 2 and The Importance of Being Earnest. Rupert has a rigidly conservative background, and feels that much of his own life has been a reaction against it. Following the recent death of his father six months ago, he wants to investigate the paternal side of his family.

Rupert visits his mother Sara to find out more about his father Tony’s early life. He discovers that Tony’s father Cyril worked in Nigeria for the Colonial Service. Sara has a photograph of Cyril as a two-year-old; she tells Rupert that the family believe that he was brought up by two aunts in Hammersmith. Rupert wants to find out more about Cyril’s life, and what he was doing in Nigeria.

Rupert tracks down records which chart Cyril’s career in the Service, and discovers just how important a role he held in Nigeria… But what about Cyril’s childhood? Rupert decides to search the online census records and unearths some very unexpected information. This is the start of a rollercoaster investigation into fathers and sons which Rupert describes as like an Ealing Comedy, with its twists, turns and surprise relatives popping up.

Rupert reflects on the ripple effects of broken relationships across the generations. On social mobility, both up and down; broken rules; abandonment; rebellion; convention; and secrecy.

Britain at War: 70 years later

Many of us are too young to remember, but 70 years ago the Battle of Britain was underway. The Daily Telegraph has a collection of reader's memories of the times at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/britainatwar/britainatwarreadersmemories/

It includes one that throws a less than favourable light on Canadian forces training in Oxfordshire, and suggests the incident was hushed up: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/britainatwar/britainatwarreadersmemories/3419320/Britain-at-War-Unsavoury-wartime-allied-help.html

25 July 2010

Perth, Scotland, on Ancestry

There are two databases newly available on Ancestry.

Perth, Scotland, Register of Deeds, 1566-1811 contains registers of bonds, acts, obligations, and other documents stemming from legal transactions in the Royal Burgh of Perth (Scotland) that go back more than four centuries. Transactions were often documented in case disputes arose later, and these records include items such as bonds, sales contracts, receipts, charter, protests, and dispositions. There are 22,365 records.

Perth, Scotland, Survey of Inhabitants, 1766, 1773 contains two 18th-century surveys taken in the burgh of Perth, Scotland, most likely for tax purposes. The 1766 survey provides names for heads of families only, but also lists occupation and includes data on age and gender of children, servants, lodgers, and religious affiliation. It contains 8,894 records.

Not so new, but with 184,618 records, is Perth, Scotland Newspaper Index Cards, 1809-1990 database containing a collection of index cards referencing articles and announcements found in several Perth area newspapers. The coverage is from 1809-1990 with a gap from 1890-1920. Most of the cards reference births, deaths, retrials, golden and diamond wedding anniversaries, personal achievements, or personal tragedies.

24 July 2010

Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae

New on Ancestry, this reference provides details on more than 2,000 Scottish ministers (and often their families) in synods from Aberdeen to Zetland for the years 1560–1866. The records can include information such dates and places of service, ordination, and study; names of father and other family members; marriages and children; and notable details from their lives, such as writings, achievements, or even proceedings brought against them.

The Irishman in Canada

Browsing in the Irish emigrant history section at the library of the University of Ottawa the other day I was surprised to come across "The Irishman in Canada" by Nicholas Flood Davin (1843-1901). I didn't know the book. The author has been featured in a couple of Beechwood Cemetery tours. The story is that, depressed over his declining fortunes, he committed suicide during a visit to Winnipeg (a city not often quite that depressing.) The impressive memorial at Beechwood was paid for by admirers.

I didn't have time to look at the book while at the University but thought I might find it in the Internet Archive. It's at www.archive.org/details/cihm_02593

It wasn't much help in my search for information on settlement in the western parts of Carleton County. Bruce Elliott's "Irish Migrants in the Canada's: a new approach" was much more useful for that. Davin was known as raconteur. It's a talent well demonstrated in the book.

23 July 2010

TNA Annual Report 2009-10

The UK National Archives have published Annual Report and Resource Accounts 2009-10 on their website at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/475.htm

A few items that caught my eye:

  • We welcomed over 90,000 visitors to our reading rooms, who studied more than 590,000 original documents from our collection.
  • Demand for our web services also continued, and we received over 20 million online visits during the course of the year. (Ratio of documents downloaded to documents produced
    on site at Kew 221:1).
  • In the section How we Work, putting customers first, responsible guardians, information set free, delivering what we promise, everyone working together.
  • Our commercial revenue for the year was £8.1 million, which was a 30% increase on the previous year.
  • Partnership with findmypast.com and the digitisation and online publication of the 1911
    Census. In 2009-10, there were 4.9 million downloads from this service.
  • Service records of more than two million British Army soldiers from 1914 to 1920 available online, working in partnership with ancestry.co.uk. The final tranche of content was launched in November, and there were 3.3 million downloads from the service in
    that month alone.
  • We received 2,516 Freedom of Information (FoI) requests in 2009-10, and responded to 96% of these within the regulatory timescales.
  • We ran teaching sessions for 14,371 school pupils on site at Kew and online through videoconferencing and our ‘virtual classroom’.
  • We have reduced our carbon footprint by 10% compared with 2008-09 by cutting our overall energy consumption
  • The National Archives carried out a cost savings programme designed to save around 10% of our total budget. We know that the way we worked with academics and researchers when consulting on these changes could have been improved and have since taken action to significantly improve how we engage with these key groups.
  • We met six of our eight key performance indicators in a year in which a significant cost savings programme was delivered (a detailed list is in the report).

22 July 2010

The Census Long Form Mess

The resignation of the head of Statistics Canada over political misrepresentation of advice given is a serious matter. Chief Statistician Munir Sheikh is to be congratulated for taking a principled stand.

I've not blogged about this issue lately as the controversy has been about the gathering of information for statistical purposes for short-term policy considerations -- nothing to do with genealogy.

I've previously mentioned I find the long-form census overly intrusive. With a couple of exceptions as long as the long form information is used only for statistical aggregation I don't have much objection. Statistics Canada certainly has my confidence in their ability to keep that information confidential.

It would be oh so simple for everyone to fill out the short form, and for those who receive the long form on extra pages to have the initial short form pages detached and released after 92 [or some such] years while the remainder of the long form is never released.

What we have in Canada is a case of the government acting too fast and without due consultation. By contrast, in the UK where a decision has been made not to conduct a census after 2011, there is a whole decade for the statisticians and other stakeholders to figure out alternate means for achieving the same benefits. Presumably if after say five years no better alternative can be found the census can be reinstituted. More likely the study will find a better method.

21 July 2010

Granite Mountain Records Vault Videos Online

Via YouTube, an impressive two part video on the operation and digitizing activities at the FamilySearch Granite Mountain vault.

Can your family history save your life?

An article in the Globe and Mail, also the Winnipeg Free Press, Know your pedigree: Family medical history holds key to your health, trumpets the health benefits of your doctor knowing about your ancestral health.

However, as explained in the article, many people don't know or confuse their ancestor's diseases. The article quotes Rochelle Demsky, a genetic counsellor at Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital,"If you think your grandmother had cervical cancer, but it really was ovarian (cancer), it makes a huge difference."

Another issue, not explained in the article, is whether or not you actually inherited the gene or genes responsible for the disease. You only inherit half of the DNA of each of your parents. That means you may not have inherited the DNA segment or segments that make you vulnerable. Or you may be a carrier but not have personal susceptibility.

There are cases of people who have had radical preventive surgery only to later find out through DNA testing that they had no enhanced susceptibility. There are also documented cases of people who worried about their susceptibility to a genetically-based disease only to find out through genetic testing that they did not inherit the susceptibility.

Such tests are becoming more available and accepted. A US study, the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health found that 53 percent of parents were very or somewhat interested in home genetic testing for their children. We no longer have to accept a poorly remembered family history as a surrogate for a genetic test.

The Women in our Past

The following was written by the Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society.

The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and the Canadiana Department of the North York Central Library have joined together to sponsor "The Women in our Past: Strategies and Resources for Researching Female Ancestors", an all-day workshop that will explore new and varied approaches to researching those often elusive women in our families.

With expert speakers from across Ontario, this event will offer participants a deeper understanding of the circumstances that governed and shaped the lives of our female ancestors – from family relationships, domestic service and the justice system to the fur trade, migration and world war.

Find out how and where to search for relevant records and learn about the latest developments in maternal-line DNA analysis.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, 6 November 2010 in the Auditorium of the North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street, at the North York Centre subway station.

Early registration rates are available until 30 September 2010. Visit www.torontofamilyhistory.org/women.html for program and registration details. To check availability, call 416-733-2608 (voice mail) or e-mail info@torontofamilyhistory.org.

20 July 2010

101 Best Free Genealogy Websites

Family Tree Magazine (the US version) have published their annual list of 101 best websites this time focusing on free sites.

Click on any of the following categories:
Go through the lists and you're bound to come away a better genealogy researcher.

WDYTYA UK: New Series

The new UK series of WDYTYA started last evening on BBC TV1 featuring long time British TV host Bruce Forsyth. We likely won't be seeing it broadcast on a Canadian or US network, even though this episode has a US connection.

Here's the summary from the BBC website.

"Bruce Forsyth receives a letter from America from a woman who claims to be related to Bruce through Bruce's great-grandfather, Joseph Forsyth Johnson. The letter suggests that Joseph Forsyth Johnson was married to two women at the same time and that he died at sea. Bruce is determined to investigate these claims and discover the truth for himself.

Bruce starts by visiting his cousin, Alan Johnson, who gives him a cache of family photographs and the diary of his great Aunt Christina, which he takes with him. Alan also gives him Joseph's business card - a vital aid for Bruce in tracking Joseph and his family's steps in the late 19th century.

Bruce follows the business card to Bond Street, London, where Joseph opened a landscape gardening shop. Knowing that Joseph worked in America at some point, Bruce tracks down the passenger lists for Joseph's journey and is in for a shock. He heads off to New York on Joseph's trail, which then takes him to the American South.

Bruce's quest to uncover his great grandfather's secret history ends back in New York where he finally discovers Joseph's fate. Joseph was a man who was both an extraordinary pioneer in his field; but also a man who bucked the social mores of the day and paid dearly for it, leaving a trail of confusion and unhappiness in his wake."

There's a Wikipedia entry for Joseph Forsyth Johnson.

Update: Chris Paton, Scottish GENES blog, who actually had an opportunity to see the program, was not impressed calling it a very average programme. read his views at http://bit.ly/dlCzOY

Further: I got to see the program (don't ask how). Bruce Forsyth displays a remarkably generous reaction to an ancestor who deserted two families.

19 July 2010

LAC completes move of rare book collection

The following is an announcement from Library and Archives Canada.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce that the Rare Book Collection has been successfully moved from 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, to the Preservation Centre in Gatineau. This decision ensures that this important collection is safe-guarded in optimum preservation conditions for the enjoyment of present and future generations of Canadians.

The move was completed ahead of schedule in two phases with minimal interruption to the public. The integrity of the collection was ensured at all times by staff members, who participated in all aspects of the move.

Items from the Rare Book Collection remain accessible to Canadians under the same consultation guidelines. Items too fragile for shipment must be consulted on-site at LAC's Preservation Centre at 625 du Carrefour Blvd., Gatineau, Quebec.

For more information on consulting and borrowing material, please visit the following web page at: www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/the-public/005-3000-e.html.

Comment: Preservation is just one of LAC's remits. What is LAC doing to improve accessibility as well as preservation? Are they to be digitized?

A Childhood Walk

Here's something you might like to try. It's borrowed from www.zefrank.com/the_walk/

Think of a walk you regularly took as a child, to a bus stop, to a friend's house, along a paper route, along a trail through the woods.

Locate the beginning of that walk in Google Street View and move along the same route. If the walk isn't covered by Street View just imagine yourself going on that walk. You might also try the Bird's Eye view on Bing Maps.

From time to time stop and look around you and try and focus on what it feels like to take that walk. If a memory of a moment comes to mind, write it down. Take a screenshot of that place.

I tried the walk from home to school and was again impressed at how narrow the roads were. Most of the shops were no longer there or boarded up.

You could try it for an ancestor too. What was their walk to school or church like? Was it really uphill both ways?

Lost Cousins Newsletter

The 16 July issue, now online at http://lostcousins.com/newsletters/jul10news.htm includes items on Cheshire tithe maps free online, the OnLine Parish Clerks project for the County of Lancashire, and much more, even a recipe for tomato jam.

Fromelles Cemetery Opened

94 years after the Battle of Fromelles, and 50 years since the opening of the last Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery, the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery is opened.

The cemetery is the grave site of 250 Australian and British soldiers who died on July 19, 1916, in what was a diversionary action during the Battle of the Somme. 94 of the bodies, all Australians, have been identified through DNA testing. See the video on the New Fromelles exhibition at Imperial War Museum from War Graves Commission.

A certain well known German Corporal, a messenger runner in the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment, was a participant during the battle.

18 July 2010

The Internet Archive

I was surprised at the recent Ottawa Branch OGS Genealogy Week to find out that several people didn`t know about the Internet Archive. I gave a quick demo and determined to do a blog posting.

Now Dick Eastman has a recent post that saves me the task - http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2010/07/free-genealogy-books-on-the-internet-archive.html. The only thing to add is that the University of Toronto has also added many digitized books, many of them Canadian.

FreeBMD July Update

The FreeBMD Database was last updated on Fri 16 Jul 2010 and currently contains 187,893,359 distinct records (239,556,610 total records). Most of the data added this update is from 1934 to 1948.

TNA Podcast: The pub and the people

Simon Fowler uses contemporary accounts to look back at the pub 'experience' over the last 70 years. What was it like to be a 'drinker' in the late 1930s, and how have things changed? The divide between modernity and tradition caused some commentators to fear for the end of the British pub: how real was the threat? This podcast was recorded live as part of the Pub History Society conference on the 20th February 2010 at The National Archives, Kew.

17 July 2010

FindMyPast Birth Indexes

The following is from a press release from findmypast.co.uk

Leading UK family history website, findmypast.co.uk has today launched an easier way to find the births of English and Welsh ancestors online. The company has reindexed over 100 million birth records, as a first instalment of a completely new version of the England and Wales Birth, Marriage and Death (BMD) records on its website. Fully indexing these records involved rescanning 170 years of records and transcribing the quarter of a billion names within them. Over 1,000 people have worked on this exciting two-year project.

  • The fully indexed births make finding ancestors much simpler as the revamped records will provide you with a number of new benefits;
  • Your search results will be in the form of a list of individual names, so you won't have to check through pages of records to find your ancestors
  • You can search the complete 1837-2006 set of birth records in one go or by one or more counties at a time
  • The images of the index pages are completely new and very high quality
  • We've added smart search features including name variants
  • There are clever search results to get around the quirks of the records, including the GRO's procedure of initialising second names, and records of children unnamed at registration (very common in the Victorian period)
  • You can now search by mother's and father's name at the same time to help find those elusive births

16 July 2010

Who Do You Think They Are?

Lesley Anderson, Lucille Campey, Bruce Elliott, Nuala Farrell-Griffin, Dave Lorente, Mark G. McGowan, Charlotte Neff, John D. Reid, Rick Roberts, William D. Roulston, Beryl Young.

What do they have in common?


15 July 2010

More on Australian Records

I've had success exploring a distant branch of my family on Ancestry’s new BMD index records. These are especially valuable as Australia does not have census records. The BMD's are worth a look for your Australian strays.

Brad Argent of Ancestry Australia, interviewed on Perth radio station 6PR about the records, mentioned that immigration records for Western Australia will be added to those for Queensland, NSW and Victoria by the end of the year.

Also don't miss the National Archives of Australia collection of WW1 service records. Access from www.naa.gov.au/. I found a relative with a 17 page file in the collection, free online.

Happy St Swithan's Day.

14 July 2010

Ontario Vital Records

In early 2011 The Archives of Ontario will be putting the scheduled 2009 and 2010 vital statistics releases online. These include the 1913 and 1914 births, 1928 and 1929 marriages, and 1938 and 1939 deaths. There will be no cost for the online access.

Ancestry lists Ontario marriages, deaths and deaths as its three most popular Canadian databases. They are followed by the censuses of 1911, 1901, 1891 and 1871. The Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1956 comes next, followed by the 1881 and 1861 censuses.

13 July 2010

Canadian Fire Insurance Maps Online from LAC

It's hard to do justice to the Goad Fire Insurance Maps now online from LAC. The extract is part of one of 103 segments of Goad's January 1888 map, revised to January 1901, showing the intersection of Wellington and Bay and the breweries that occupied the site on which the Library and Archives Canada building at 395 Wellington now stands. Access this whole Ottawa set from http://bit.ly/bFoLBx

Access the whole collection by searching "fire insurance plan", with the name of the community of interest if desired, at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/lac-bac/search/arch.

(via University of Toronto Map and Data Library blog at http://maplib.blogspot.com/2010/07/canadian-fire-insurance-plans-and.html). Also a tip of the hat to Hugh Reekie who first introduced me to Goad's maps - http://www3.bell.net/max-com/Goad.html

Ancestry adds Australian BMD Indexes

This is a huge new collection of Australia BMD Indexes. Birth indexes run to 1922, marriage indexes to 1949 and death indexes to 1985.

According to Ancestry's help information the year civil registration took effect varied by colony or territory as follows:

    Tasmania — 1838
    Western Australia — 1841
    South Australia — 1842
    Victoria — 1853
    New South Wales — 1856
    Queensland — 1856 (before 1856, see NSW)
    Northern Territory — 1870 (1856–1863, see NSW; 1863–1870 see SA)

This database includes indexes that may go back even further, based on records collected from churches, for the following colonies:

    New South Wales — 1788
    Tasmania — 1803
    Queensland — 1829
    Victoria — 1836
Ancestry has not yet added information on the number of records in these indexes. For surname Smith, usually a bit over 1% of the records, there are more than 81,000 births, 116,000 marriage partners, and 97,000 deaths indexed.

Ancestry now include these records in the Card Catalog, 4,478,912 births; 4,891,890 marriages; 5,618,797 deaths.

12 July 2010

TNA Podcast: Disclosure, documentary release and candour in government

Jonathan Sumption OBE QC, author of a landmark three volume work on The Hundred Years War, in a 4 June 2010 lecture to the Friends of The National Archives, considers the issue of government secrecy throughout English history. It's an eloquent presentation. There's little of direct interest for the genealogist, except perhaps as the considerations are also applicable to census release and confidentiality .

11 July 2010

2011 Census in England

The 2011 UK census form can now be viewed online.

The form consists of 14 household questions and up to 42 questions for each individual in the household conditional on age, employment status and the like. Information on religion, ethnicity, occupation and work-related activity are asked, a contrast to the proposed Canadian short census form.

View the complete form (English version) at www.ons.gov.uk/census/2011-census/2011-census-questionnaire-content/2011-census-questionnaire-for-england.pdf

A Daily Telegraph article reports that the UK government is proposing to eliminate the census after 2011. It quotes Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, as calling the census "an expensive and inaccurate way of measuring the number of people in Britain."

Much as I, along with all genealogists, benefit from census data I don't believe that just because something as been done for 200 years means it has to continue for another 200.

Then there's always the question of the intrusiveness of the questions, as illustrated (thanks to Scottish GENES).

10 July 2010

For Openly Accessible English and Welsh BMD Registers

From Guy Etchells (via Scottish GENES):

A review, chaired by Paul Dacre of the 30 year rule, recommended that it be reduced to 15 years in its report January 2009.

In his submission to the review Anthony Camp, M.B.E. suggested that all historic records of Birth, Marriage and Death be made open to the Public.

It is high time these records were openly accessible there is absolutely no good reason for them to remain regulated and only accessible by purchasing certified copies.

The records used to be open to public inspection. From the start of civil registration the public could carry out searches in the registers of Birth, Marriage and Death. In 1898 the then Registrar General took it upon himself to close the records held at the GRO even though there was no change in the law to allow for such unilateral action.

Similarly in 1974 many local Registrars closed the registers they held to public searches even though a public search of the registers was written in to the various applicable Acts of Parliament.

I therefore suggest that the coalition government release all historic registers of Birth, Marriage and Death to allow private enterprise to digitise and make those records available online.

Such a move would create employment in the private sector, reduce costs and pressure on the General Register Office. This would allow staff to concentrate on their core activities and increase productivity.

In addition the sale of digitised copies of historic Birth, Marriage and Death certificates would create useful revenue in these times of need.

Express your support via to the Your Freedom website at http://tinyurl.com/33lptya.

09 July 2010

23andMe Ancestry Finder

There's an interesting new experimental facility for 23andMe clients which aims to help you discover what countries your ancestors might have lived in.

The facility uses responses to 23andMe's "Where are you from?" ancestry survey which asks you the country of birth for each of your grand-parents. In my case all four grandparents were from the UK.

For any significant segment of DNA on which you match another person's DNA, and who has also taken the survey, it lets you know their grand-parents country of birth.

In my case there are no matches for about 9/10ths of my DNA, only 1/10th has a country of origin assigned. In descending order these: Russia (3.3%), Poland, Ukraine, Germany, UK, Romania, Hungary, France, Austria, Netherlands.

My guess is that the prevalence of countries from continental Europe is a reflection of the origins of one of my great-grandparents in Amsterdam, and a biased sample in the 23andMe database including disproportionate numbers of Ashkenazi Jews. I can imagine that my DNA cousins from Russia or Poland will be equally surprised to find they have UK ancestry because of their match to me.

Two other blog posts relating experience with Ancestry Finder are at http://bit.ly/9DxQaB and http://bit.ly/bj2aVH

Ancestry Finder is a work in progress which should improve as the database gets larger and is expanded to include more distant ancestors than grandparents.

Festival Memories

It's festival season. Do you have happy festival memories? Did your parents? Perhaps it's where they met. Now there's an archives for the Mariposa Folk Festival at York University, and online at http://archives.library.yorku.ca/exhibits/show/mariposa with material from 1961 to 1981.

According to a news article Mariposa goes digital personal records kept by festival founder Ruth Jones McVeigh of Orillia, which were originally donated to Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa are now at York U. Kudos to LAC for allowing this type of material to be repatriated to a local location.

FTDNA special offer for upgrades

A limited time opportunity to order upgrades to 37 or 67 markers for your Family Tree DNA Y test at reduced prices.

From July 8th through July 19th FTDNA Y-DNA upgrade prices are reduced as follows

Y12-25 regular $49 now $35 (29% reduction)
Y12-37 regular $99 now $69 (30% reduction)
Y12-67 regular $189 now $149 (21% reuction)
Y25-37 regular $49 now $35 (29% reduction)
Y25-67 regular $148 now $109 (26% reduction)
Y37-67 regular $99 now $79 (20% reduction)

To order this special offer, log in to your personal page and click on the special offers link in the left hand navigation bar. ALL ORDERS MUST BE PLACED AND PAID FOR BY MIDNIGHT JULY 19th TO RECEIVE THE SALE PRICE.

08 July 2010

23andMe Special

The following is a press release from 23andMe (via Hao-Odnla)

23andMe, Inc., the industry leader in personal genetics, today announced it is offering a Multiple Kit discount through December 31st. Customers who purchase three or more kits in a single order will save $200 on the first three kits and $70 for every additional kit.

By offering this discount, 23andMe hopes to encourage families, in particular, to explore the unique features of the 23andMe Personal Genome Service™ that are of special interest to people who are related. These features allow family members to learn how genetically similar they are and how genes were passed down from grandparents to grandchildren. Some of the special features that are of particular interest to relatives include:

Genome View - a visual comparison of two individuals' chromosomes. Siblings can see where they're 100% or 50% similar. Distant cousins can see where their genomes overlap.

Grandtree - a pedigree view showing how genes pass through the generations by comparing data from grandparents to grandchildren.

Global Similarity - a mapping feature that places individuals in a global context. Over a thousand reference populations provide ancestral perspective and a plot to compare how family members cluster together.

"Family members who enroll in our Personal Genome Service get a richer experience," said Linda Avey, co-founder of 23andMe. "We've designed tools that enable fascinating comparisons for our customers who join 23andMe along with their relatives."

The 23andMe™ service also enables its customers to:

Discover how their genes associate with over 95 diseases and traits.

Actively participate in an innovative research approach by answering 23andWe surveys.

Join discussion groups around areas of interest, including health and ancestry.

Joining the 23andMe Community

To learn more and embark on your own personal genetics journey, please visit: www.23andme.com.

23andMe is now available to consumers in the following locations: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vatican City State.

Is Longevity Genetic?

A study published last week in the journal Science showing 150 genetic variants associated with extreme longevity received a lot of attention in the popular press.

I was skeptical about the findings, they looked too good. Now further investigation is surfacing the problems.

Newsweek has an article exploring some of the technical problems relating to the DNA chip used, manufactured by Illumina, the same company that manufactures the chip used by 23andMe, and condeming lax editorial review on the journal's part ... www.newsweekinteractive.net/2010/07/07/the-little-flaw-in-the-longevity-gene-study-that-could-be-a-big-problem.html?from=rss.

23andMe also posted on the company Spittoon blog Uncertainty Surrounds Longevity GWAS http://spittoon.23andme.com/2010/07/07/snpwatch-uncertainty-surrounds-longevity-gwas/.
The posting sumarizes a study the company conducted using its own customer base to see if they could replicate Science paper results and conclude that "based on our data, performance of this (the Science article) model is not significantly better than random."

Genetics is making amazing contributions to health and genealogy studies. Without DNA evidence genealogical studies may be nothing but documentary mythology, but neither should DNA evidence ever be taken uncritically.

07 July 2010

British Film Institute YouTube Channel

In celebration of the World Cup have a look at the short vintage films from the British Film Institute available at www.youtube.com/BFIfilms#p/p. The football films, including a snippet of an early 1900s Manchester United game, are found under On the Pitch near the bottom on the right hand side.

There's footage of a variety of other sports including notable cricketer A. N. Hornby who toured in Canada and whose son, John emigrated to Canada and died while over-wintering in the Arctic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hornby

A collection under Land, Sea and Air that includes early 20th century street scenes and a 1895 snippet of fishing boats leaving the harbour less than a mile from the house where I first lived, although my sojourn was a bit later!

Thanks to Bryan Cook for the suggestion.

06 July 2010

Is your genome geo-tagged?

James Wilson of the University of Edinburgh, co-author of a short report "Genes predict village of origin in rural Europe" in European Journal of Human Genetics is quoted by the New Scientist saying "It might be possible to take mixed urban individuals and work out which parts of their genome came from which rural places."

The EJHG article looked at the genomes of people whose four grandparents originated from the same rural villages in either Croatia, Italy or Scotland. In the case of the Italian and Scottish villages, while geographically close there were physical barriers to communication, mountains and ocean.

At present the only such geo-tagging I know of is a coarse (Europe (blue)/Asia (yellow)/Africa (green) ) classification of client results by 23andMe. There were indication from presentation at the SCGS Jamboree had more detailed resolution classification is coming. It will need a lot more people taking tests before resolution gets down to the village level.

05 July 2010

New sources of information cannot be ignored

I returned from listening to Dave Brubeck on Saturday evening at the Ottawa Jazz Festival, a little bit of most enjoyable nostalgia, and turned on the TV catching the end of a crime detective program. It was stereotypical. Bright young (female) Assistant District Attorney fights to clear young (male) arson suspect already convicted in the minds of older (male) District Attorney and grizzled older (male) Fire Marshall. Based on the advice of knowledgeable but renegade (male) fire expert she clears the accused based on new information, not the dogma.

Could, or does, the same thing happen in the genealogical profession? How can you be sure that the professional genealogists you hire is up to date with developments? Do they know about developments in DNA? Do they keep up-to-date on the newly available databases online? To what extent can you rely on the person being certified by some accrediting agency meaning that they're up-to-date. They can hardly be tested on everything! Caveat emptor.

One new piece of information just coming online, letters relating to pre-Confederation British Columbia, is the subject of an editorial in the Victoria Times Colonist, which inspired this blog post, by well-known West Coast genealogist Dave Obee. www.timescolonist.com/travel/Douglas+letters+open+door+history/3234500/story.html. He writes:

"Gazing through the mists of time gets easier every year, thanks to the Internet. More and more original material is being placed online in readily accessible form, which means more people can get lost in history. And the efforts save wear and tear on the original documents.

As more material is released, our view of our history -- and ourselves, for that matter -- is bound to change. Easier access to original documents means that some research will need to be done again, because new sources of information cannot be ignored."

04 July 2010

TNA Podcast: Identity and identity theft

In the latest podcast, a talk was given at TNA on 17 February, Steve Hindle of the University of Warwick considers 17th century parish migration including begging licences, vagrant's passports, settlement certificates, and the parish badge. He looks at how authorities throughout British history used different technologies to try to stop forgery and control migration. www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/podcasts/identity-andidentity-theft.htm

You won't find much of genealogical interest in this presentation. Nevertheless, the content is worth listening to, perhaps if you're missing presentations at your local FHS during the summer break, or wondering about how the problems of those times compare to those of today

03 July 2010


Chris Paton's renamed blog Scottish GENES (http://scottishancestry.blogspot.com/) mentions Genhound (www.genhound.co.uk), a website new to me with a long list of eclectic sources. Chris lists the Scottish resources. Below are the English ones, a long list with the county highlighted for the first entry in each.

Genhound will be
grist for the mill for "Some lesser-known websites for British family history", my second scheduled presentation for the Comox Valley Family History Research Group (CVFHRG) Seminar on Saturday, 25 September 2010 ( http://www.cvfamilyhistory.org/Seminar2010.htm). I'm delighted to be sharing the presentation honours with colleague Leslie Anderson from Ancestry.ca. It should be a good and lively time.

Chester (Cheshire) Archdeaconry Marriage Licences, various 17th century
Chesh & Lancs Record Soc Members 1910
Pigot Derbyshire Directory 1835
Glover Derby Directory 1842
Dartmouth (Devon) Royal Naval College Staff 1928
Sherborne (Dorset) School Staff 1550-1937
Sketchley Bristol (Glos) Directory 1775
Pigot Gloucestershire Directory 1822
Hampshire Who's Who 1935
St Albans (Herts) Borough Officers 1307-1889
Bishops Stortford Vicars and Parish Officers 1332-1881
Bishops Stortford Monumental Inscriptions 1411-1882
History of Watford 1545-1883
St Albans Corporation Minutes PtC 1585-1686
St. Albans Grammar School Accounts 1587-1635
Hertfordshire Taverns 1636
Bishops Stortford Church Accounts PtA 1640-1785
Bishops Stortford Inhabitants 1642
St. Albans Grammar School Accounts PtB 1646-1685
St Albans Corporation Minutes PtB 1687-1834
Herts dissenters and papists rolls 1689-1812
Hertfordshire signatories - loyalty to King William IV 1696
Herts Sessions Records Vol2A 1699-1790
Herts Session Records 7A 1700-1718
Herts drover & badger licences 1700-1710
Herts JPs 1700-1752
Herts Sacrament Certif. 1702-1706
Misc. Herts Rolls - Oaths of Allegiance1702-1732
Herts Gamekeepers 1711-1752
Herts Session Records 7B 1719-1752
Herts Oaths of Allegiance 1723
Hertfordshire Rebellion Association 1745
Herts Session Records Vol 8A 1752-1774
Herts Session Records Vol 8 Misc Appendices 1752-1799
Herts Register Gamekeepers 1752-1798
St Albans Sessions Records Pt A 1758-1800
Herts Sacrament Certificates 1761-1795
Herts Session Records Vol8B 1775-1799
Herts Game Licences 1784-99
Herts Sessions Records Vol2B 1790-1814
Barnet Association 1792
Universal Hertfordshire Directory 1793-8
Hertfordshire JPs 1799-1833
Hertfordshire Game Licences 1799-1805
Hertfordshire Sessions Vol 9 PtA 1799-1816
Hertfordshire Gamekeepers 1799-1805
Hertfordshire Misc. Docs. Relating to Roads 1799-1830
St Albans Sessions Records, Pt B 1800-1840
Hertfordshire Dissenters & Papists 1800-1831
Hertfordshire Non-Conformist Chapels and Meeting Houses 1805-1832
Holden Hertfordshire Directory 1811
Hertfordshire Petty Sessions Convictions 1812-1818
Herts Sessions Records Vol2C 1815-1850
Hertfordshire Vagrants1816-1820
Herfordshire Sessions Records Vol 9B 1817-1826
Hertfordshire Sacrament Certificates 1825-1828
Herfordshire Sessions Records Vol 9C 1826-1833
St Albans Corporation Minutes PtA 1835-1889
Pigot Hertfordshire Directory 1839
Williams Watford Directory 1883-4
Pigot Huntingdonshire Directory 1830
Kent (West) Poll Book 1837
Preston (Lancs) Mayors 1327-1898
Lancashire Worthies 1399-1821
Whittington Parish Register part B 1538-1692
Aughton Parish Churchwardens 1552-1893
Liverpool Officers 1568-1789
Preston Hearth Tax 1663
Whittington Parish Register part A 1691-1764
Everton levies 1692-1724
Preston Court Leet Extracts 1700-1813
Lancashire Catholic Estates Register 1715
Everton copyholders 1715
Lancashire Wills PtB 1748-1792
Manchester Court Leet PtE 1756-1786
Heaton Norris Baptisms 1769-1845
Heaton Norris Burials 1769-1845
Lancashire Manufacturers and Whitsters 17721
Raffald Manchester and Salford Directory 1772
Manchester Court Leet PtD 1787-1805
Lewis Manchester & Salford Directory, 1788
Lewis Lancashire Traders & Magistrates 1788
Universal Lancashire Directory 1793-8
Lancashire Wills 1793-1812
Bancks Manchester & Salford Directory 1800
Manchester Court Leet PtC 1806-1820
Holden Lancashire Directory 1811
Rogerson Bolton Directory 1818
Manchester Court Leet PtB 1820-1832
Pigot & Dean Bolton directory 1821
Baines Lancashire Directory 1824
Baines Liverpool Directory 1824
Baines Manchester & Salford Directory 1825
Baines Lancashire Gentry & Traders 1825
Baines Lancashire Directory 1825
Pigot Lancashire Directory 1828
Everton inhabitants 1830
Manchester Court Leet PtA 1832-1846
Pigot Bolton directory 1836
Slater Bolton directory 1843
Rossall School Staff 1844-1938
Whellan Bolton directory 1853
Bennett's Lancashire North Business Directory 1909
Manchester Grammar School Roll of Honour 1914-1917
Lancashire Biographies 1917
Lincoln Mayors & Sheriffs 1864-1925
Lincolnshire Ads 1923-1927
Kelly Lincolnshire Directory 1926
Pigot Lincolnshire Directory 1830
London Marylebone Marriages 1809-1813
Pigot Middlesex Directory 1839
Harrow Hearth Tax 1675
Harrow & Environs Taxpayers 1642
London & Middx Taverns 1636
Edmonton Survey 1650
Barnet Association 1792
Middx Session Records Vol3 1615-1616
Middlesex Judges, Justices & Jurors, 1615-1616
Middx Session Records Vol3C 1603-1616
Norfolk Who's Who 1935
Chase Norwich Directory 1783
Pigot Northamptonshire Directory 1830
Nottingham Officers 1625 - 1701
Nottingham Burgesses PtB 1760-1800
White Nottinghamshire Directory 1832
Nottinghamshire Marriages Vol19 1558-1837
White Nottinghamshire directory 1832
Nottingham Borough Records Vol4A 1547-1625
Nottingham Burgesses 1702-60
Nottingham Borough Records Vol6A 1702-1734
Nottingham Borough Records Vol6B 1734-1760
Nottingham Borough Mayors, Aldermen, Councillors etc 1702-1760
Pigot Rutland Directory 1835
Middleton Scriven (Shropshire) Parish Register 1728-1811
Great Ness Parish Register Part D 1788-1837
High Ercall Parish Register Part 1 1585-1651
Great Ness Parish Register Part A 1598-1640
Great Ness Parish Register Part B 1651-1699
Great Ness Parish Register Part C 1700-1787
Deuxhill & Glazeley Parish Register 1654-1812
West Bromwich (Staffordshire) Notes and Extracts 1400-1882
West Bromwich Prominent Families 1086-1881
West Bromwich Churchwardens' Books 1678-1872
West Bromwich Churchwardens 1678-1771
Lapley Parish Register PtB 1668-1756
Lapley Parish Register PtA 1538-1668
Wednesfield Parish Register 1751-1837
Birmingham Gazette 29 October 1931
Surrey Advertisements 1880
Church's Sutton Directory 1880
Sussex Who's Who 1935
Lewes Town Book, Vol.3B 1872-1900
Sussex Deeds 1419-1865
Lewes Town Book, Vol3A 1837-1872
Lewes Town Book, Vol2B 1800-1837
Chichester Minute Book 1783-1826
Lewes Town Book, Vol2A 1702-1800
Warwickshire Monumental Brasses 1401-1748
Warwickshire's Eminent Men 1554-1781
Birmingham Blue Coat School Benefactors 1722-1859
Showell's Birmingham Obituaries, 1740-1885
Birmingham Directory 1777
Birmingham officials 1805-1817
Holden Warwickshire Directory 1811
Wrightson Birmingham Directory 1818
Pigot's Warwickshire Directory 1835
Pigot's Birmingham Directory 1835
Warwickshire Gentry & Officers 1840-1850
Rugby School Masters and Trustees 1851-1891
Birmingham Deaf & Dumb Institution Report 1860
Birmingham Blue Coat School Report 1860
Kelly Warwickshire Directory 1863
White Warwickshire Directory 1874
Warwickshire Gentry, Clergy & Officers 1874
Warwickshire Directory 1874
Warwickshire Adverts 1880-1889
Kelly Warwickshire Directory 1884
Warwickshire Magistrates 1884
Warwickshire WWI War Graves 1914-1920
Warwickshire & Birmingham Trade Directory 1939
Bennett's Westmoreland Business Directory 1909
Marlborough (Wiltshire) College Staff 1843-1933
Kirk Ella (Yorkshire) Parish Register PtD 1558-1695
Leeds Grammar School Register Pt1 1566-1815
Pickhill-cum-Roxby Marriages, Part 1 1567-1705
Pickhill-cum-Roxby baptisms Pt1 1571-1688
Pickhill-cum-Roxby Burials 1576-1606
Collingham Parish Register PtA 1579-1695
Eston Parish Register 1A 1590-1637
York, St Mary Castlegate Parish Register PtE 1604-1650
Pickhill-cum-Roxby burials, Part 2 1607-1670
Hickleton Parish Register 1626-1812
Leeds Grammar School Masters and Teachers 1626-1896
Eston Parish Register 1B 1638-1720
Heslington Parish Register, PtA 1639-1759
Blacktoft register extract 1639
Eston Ministers 1645-1919
York, St Mary Castlegate Parish Register PtD 1650-1705
Settrington Parish Register Vol2&3 1653-1757
Brantingham Parish Register PtB 1653-1720
Scorborough Parish Register 1653-1800
Leeds Hearth Tax 1663
Pickhill-cum-Roxby Burials, Part 3 1671-1750
Yorkshire North Riding Oaths Allegiance 1689-1702
Pickhill-cum-Roxby baptisms, Part 2 1689-1794
Rothwell Parish Register PtA 1690-1716
Kirk Ella Parish Register PtC 1695-1721
Blacktoft Parish Register 1700-1812
Yorkshire North Riding Oaths Allegiance 1702-1714
York, St Mary Castlegate Parish Register PtC 1705-1774
Pickhill-cum-Roxby Marriages, Part 2 1707-1812
Huggate Register PtA 1708-1812
Yorkshire North Riding Oaths Allegiance 1715-1716
Brantingham Parish Register PtA 1717-1812
Sheffield Parish Register Vol6A 1720-1736
Sheffield Parish Register Vol6B 1720-1736
Eston Parish Register 1C 1721-1788
Collingham Parish Register PtB 1721-1837
Kirk Ella Parish Register PtB 1722-1782
Bolton-by-Bolland Parish Register PtB 1725-1773
Yorkshire North Riding Indentures PtA 1740-1754
Yorkshire North Riding Sessions Orders 1750-1753
Pickhill-cum-Roxby, Burials Part 4 1751-1812
Bolton-by-Bolland Parish Register PtA 1754-1812
Settrington Parish Register, Vol4 1754-1812
Heslington Parish Register, PtB 1759-1837
Yorkshire North Riding Oaths of Abjuration 1766-1791
Yorkshire North Riding Sessions Minutes 1769-1778
York, St Mary Castlegate Parish Register PtB 1773-1812
Kirk Ella Parish Register PtA 1775-1842
Yorkshire North Riding Catholic Oaths Allegiance 1778-1808
Eston Parish Register 2 1788-1812
Yorkshire Dissenting Protestant Preachers, North Riding 1791-181813
Pickhill-cum-Roxby Baptisms, Part 3 1795-1812
Leeds Directory 1798
Pickhill-cum-Roxby Terriers 1799-1853
Holden Yorkshire Directory 1811
York, St Mary Castlegate Parish Register PtA 1813-1837
Leeds Grammar School Admissions, Part A 1820-1859
Baines Yorkshire Directory 1822
Baines Yorkshire Directory 1823
Hull Poll Book 1830
Pigot Yorkshire Directory 1834
Yorkshire West Riding Poll Book 1835
Hull Poll Book 1835
Yorkshire Bankers and Yeomanry Corps 1845
Walker Halifax & Surrounds Directory 1845
Leeds Grammar School Admissions, Pt B 1860-1900

02 July 2010

Canada Census Concerns

Gordon Watts in an article "Federal Government Destroys Value of Future Census", at http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette/gazgw/gazgw-0122.htm, expresses concern about the short form being adopted for the 2011 Canadian census, and the fact that there was no prior consultation with the historical or genealogical community.

In the 2011 short form you will be required to supply:

  • Telephone number
  • Address
For each resident
  • Family name, Given Name
  • Sex
  • Exact date of birth, and age
  • Marital Status
  • Whether living common law
  • Relationship to first person in household
  • Language first learned (English, French, other)

Complaints about the census are hardly new and have usually been about it being too intrusive. Some early UK objections are recounted in "Why did some Victorians object to the census?" at http://quezi.com/11321 . Neither have complaints been restricted to the UK.
Many native groups rejected participation in the census in 1986, and reportedly had done so on previous occasions, http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=dL8yAAAAIBAJ&sjid=lO8FAAAAIBAJ&pg=1208,4449277&dq=census&hl=en.
In a 1983 column Don McGillvray opined on overly intrusive questions http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=6aMyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=-u4FAAAAIBAJ&dq=census&pg=5836%2C3481262
In 1961 there was concern in Quebec about the ethnic origin question, see http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=XPsxAAAAIBAJ&sjid=3-QFAAAAIBAJ&pg=7282,867180&dq=census&hl=en.
We also have the Jedi census phenomenon, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jedi_census_phenomenon which brings the census into disrepute.

You're likely to be comfortable giving someone your name and address, and less comfortable telling them your salary or your religion, whether Jedi or not. The less intrusive the census the more likely people are to agree to the data being released, and in 2011 Canadians will have the option to decide whether they want their census responses to be released after 92 years.

Those protesting the government's decision should consider the likelihood that our descendants may well have more, not less information available as a result of adopting the short form.

01 July 2010

Canada, Militia and Defence Forces Lists, 1832, 1863-1939

Ancestry.ca has released a searchable compilation of the publications:

  • Canada. Department of Militia and Defence. The Militia List. Ottawa: Queen’s Printer, 1863–1929. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
  • Canada. Department of National Defence. Defence Forces List, Canada (naval, military, and air forces). Ottawa: King’s Printer, 1930–1939. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
  • Liste de la milice du Bas-Canada pour 1832. Quebec: Fréchette, 1832. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
"The publications included in this data collection make up a fairly comprehensive list of Canadian military officers for almost 80 years. The books are primarily printed lists of Canadian officers—no enlisted men are included—and note details such as name, rank, unit, dates and places of service, and dates of promotion, transfer, and possibly retirement. Some may also include a date of birth and other personal details, and some have indexes in the back. The lists are an excellent resource for following a military ancestor’s career and are also useful for tracing the careers of British officers in Canada or a Canadian officer serving in England."