31 August 2018

British Newspaper Archive additions for August

The British Newspaper Archive now has a total of 27,429,320 pages online (26,868,088 last month.)

The 13 (12) papers with new content this month include 0 (3) new to the collection. The major additions during the month were in five Irish newspapers.

Sligo Champion

34960 pages

1942-1947, 1953-1958, 1964-1982, 1984, 1986-1987, 1997-2000

Irish Independent

60310 pages

1918-1919, 1986, 1988, 2002, 2008

Evening Herald (Dublin)

193704 pages

1892-1896, 1898, 1900, 1988-1989, 1992, 1997, 2003-2004, 2008-2009

Drogheda Argus and Leinster Journal

22626 pages

1873-1913, 1917, 1922, 1927-1936, 1947-1950

Wicklow People

91202 pages

1914, 1917-1929, 1931-1976, 1986-2001

Other major additions were:

Liverpool Echo

211480 pages


Newcastle Journal

17270 pages


FreeBMD 2nd August Update

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

Years with updates of more than 5,000 records are for births    ; for marriages     ; for deaths    .

30 August 2018

The genealogist adds to Warwickshire Parish Collection

The following is an announcement from The genealogist.

TheGenealogist has added over 1.5 million individuals to their Warwickshire Parish Record Collection and so increases the coverage of this Midland county for family researchers to find their ancestors baptisms, marriages and burials.

These records are released in association with Warwickshire County Record Office and have the benefit of high quality images to complement the transcripts, making them a valuable resource for those with ancestors from this area.

These new fully searchable records can be used to find ancestors from the parishes of: Alveston, Arley, Baddesley Ensor, Barcheston, Bulkington, Burton Dassett, Butlers Marston, Castle Bromwich, Charlecote, Cherrington, Chilvers Coton, Church Lawford, Claverdon, Clifton-Upon-Dunsmore, Coleshill, Corley, Coughton, Coventry St Michael, Coventry St John the Baptist, Coventry St Mark, Curdworth, Ettington, Exhall with Wixford (Alcester), Farnborough, Fenny Compton, Foleshill St Laurence, Great Alne, Great Packington, Grendon, Hampton Lucy, Harborough Magna, Hartshill, Haselor, Henley-in-Arden, Honington, Ladbroke, Lea Marston, Leamington Spa All Saints, Leamington Spa St John the Baptist, Mancetter, Milverton, Over Whitacre, Pillerton Hersey, Ratley, Sherbourne, Shipston-on-Stour, Shotteswell, Solihull  St Alphege, Sutton Coldfield Holy Trinity, Warwick St Mary, Warwick St Nicholas, Wasperton, Wellesbourne, and Whitchurch.

These new parish records are available as part of the Diamond Subscription at TheGenealogist

CWGC Appeal for Relatives

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is looking for relatives of:



4TH MARCH 1921



31ST MAY 1917

18TH JUNE 1919

3RD JUNE 1916


6TH MAY 1915

Honoured to be in Great Company

The October issue of the UK's Family Tree Magazine is out. So soon! 
I won't be reviewing it for a while but did have a peek at the list of 101 recommended websites. It ends with five blogs, and I'm truly honoured that Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections is one of them. The other's are from Dick Eastman, Peter Calver, Claire Santry, and Chris Paton. Quite some company. Thank you Family Tree.

If you came here via that mention please be aware the blog is on semi-hiatus while I'm in the UK and looking forward to meeting friends old and new at the Secret Lives event in Hinckley, Leicestershire starting this Friday.

29 August 2018

UK Pub History and London

If you're looking to tread in your ancestor's footprints perhaps only second to the church is the pub, or more likely pubs, in the UK community where they lived. The church may have a BMB records recording their presence on a particular day. While there is no such record of them being in a pub, unless they were the landlord, chances are they were there.

A likely source to find out more for your community is pubhistory.co.uk/.

28 August 2018

At the BIFHSGO Conference

Quoting Dick Eastman reporting on the FGS conference earlier this month.

"Diahan Southard is one of the great DNA experts, authors, and lecturers of our time. I have heard her speak several times and have always been impressed.'

Don't miss the opportunity to attend Diahan's presentations at the BIFHSGO conference.

Then there were three

An announcement from FamilySearch, the third major genealogy conference in the UK next year.

RootsTech Ruby Masthead 2018.jpg

RootsTech Announces 2019 Plans for International Event in London 

RootsTech Exhibit Hall Floor 2018SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (28 August 2018), RootsTech is thrilled to announce the conference is expanding to international borders, beginning with the United Kingdom in 2019. RootsTech will host an event in London from 24–26 October 2019 at the ExCeL London Convention Centre. Find out more about RootsTech London 2019 at RootsTech.org/London.

"We are incredibly excited to take the learnings and excitement of RootsTech to London and to our friends in the United Kingdom and beyond," said Steve Rockwood, FamilySearch International CEO. "Interest in one's family discovery is growing throughout the world, particularly throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and this event will provide many people who are unable to attend the conference in Salt Lake City with the same excitement, resources, learnings, and motivation to discover more about their families and themselves."

The RootsTech London 2019 convention will follow a similar model that has proved successful over the past 9 years the event has existed in Salt Lake City, Utah. RootsTech London 2019 will offer more than 150 informative lectures taught by industry experts, an exciting exhibit hall where vendors from around the world will display family history technology and services, entertainment, and inspirational keynote sessions.

"This event model has proven to be a great way for people to engage in family history, regardless of age or genealogical skill level. Everyone is welcome at RootsTech," said Jen Allen, event director. "We are excited to further position RootsTech as a global community for anyone to discover their family and deepen their sense of belonging that we all yearn for."

The RootsTech London 2019 convention will not replace the annual conference in Salt Lake City but will serve as an additional RootsTech event. All sessions of the RootsTech London conference will be conducted in English. Registration for RootsTech London 2019 will open in February 2019. To learn more, and to watch for continued updates, visit RootsTech.org/London.

(Find or share this news release online from the FamilySearch Newsroom.)



About RootsTech

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

Sunday Sundries

Hold On To Your Hats, The Census is Coming,
is a blog post from Patricia Greber.
The whole way the release and delay in indexing the 1926 census has been handled by LAC needs to be explained.

History Extra: Female Tommies: (British) Women
in the FWW

Data visualization by @antilip at Finnish Meteorological Institute of temperature anomalies 1880-2017 by country. Download at https://t.co/7MVLWL0vyO https://t.co/iKiJjabwwm

Excess in intellectual property law

27 August 2018

OPL Computer Sessions

The following workshops are being offered by National Capital Freeney in partnership with Ottawa Public Library. Go to www.ncf.ca/workshops for location and registration information as it is updated.

Monday, September 10th at 6:30pm: How to shop for internet and computers 

Wednesday, September 26th at 6:30pm: Hands-on help to apply online for government subsidies: Ontario Electricity Support Program and the Canada Learning Bond

Thursday, October 11th at 6:30pm: Internet Security Basics: using public wifi and other ways to feel safe online without spending a bundle

Wednesday, October 17th at 6:30pm: Free anti-virus and anti-malware programs and how to use them effectively

Tuesday, October 23rd at 6:30pm: Identifying spam, phishing emails and websites

Monday, November 5th at 6:30pm: Saving money on long-distance calling

Wednesday, November 14th at 6:30pm: Finding free entertainment online while respecting copyright

Wednesday, November 28th at 6:30pm: Open Source options: free robust operating systems and free software that can work on your existing system

Monday, December 3rd at 6:30pm: What free really means: understanding the privacy and personal data you're trading to save money

Wednesday, December 5th at 6:30pm: Finding and using online coupons, flyers, and promo codes! 

Ancestry updates 1939 England and Wales Register

Ancestry continues to play catch-up with Findmypast which has a big lead with corrections and entries newly released as the 100 year embargo period is passed.

26 August 2018

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Library and Archives Canada Census Research Guide

Currently on summer hiatus and featuring some of theirmost popular and favourite posts from the past year.

Ancestor of all life on Earth evolved earlier than we thought, according to our new timescale
(Your ∞-times great grandparents!)

Assessing the Global Climate in July 2018
The global land and ocean temperature departure from average for July 2018 was the fourth highest for the month of July in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880. The year-to-date (January-July) global temperature was also the fourth warmest such period on record.

Jason Furman Book Recommendations

Racist jokes return – but ‘freedom of speech’ punchline falls flat

John Mitchell Cram; CWGC Beechwood

John Mitchell Cram, son of John Mitchell Cram and Jessie Baillie Cram, of Glen Devon, Dollar, Scotland, was killed in an aircraft accident on 26 August 1918.
He was buried on 28 August in the presence of his wife and brother, Lt-Col R. Cram.

25 August 2018

New Ottawa Archives Exhibit

The City of Ottawa Archives’ has produced a new exhibit, at in the Barbara Ann Scott Gallery at City Hall, Postcards from Ottawa: Traveller Tales.

The new exhibit focuses on visitors and travellers to Ottawa and their impact to the physical, cultural, historical and intellectual landscapes of the City.

Using artifacts and videos, text and graphic panels and pictures the larger stories highlighted in exhibition cases are:

First Peoples in the Ottawa Region
European Exploration: Samuel de Champlain
Lumber Industry: Big Joe Mufferaw
Settlement: Lamira (née Dow) Billings
Captain John Franklin and the Rideau Canal
The Dawson City Nuggets and the quest for the Stanley Cup
Canada’s Diamond Jubilee and First Lieutenant. John “Thad” Johnson
Ottawa as a haven: Dutch Royal Family
Ottawa “All Shook Up”: Elvis Presley
Royal Tour of 1967: Ottawa’s swans
Marathon of Hope: Terry Fox
The Journey of Nishiyuu: A Quest for Unity
Ottawa and the age of myth: Long-Ma and Kumo
Souvenirs of Friendship: Mayor’s gifts

24 August 2018

Should DNA Data be in government archives?

Surprised to see the Archives of Ontario hosting a free public workshop on genetics and genealogy.

Could it be a prelude to government archives of DNA data beyond police databases?  What are the pros and cons?

Findmypast adds Ireland, Dublin Metropolitan Police Prisoners

Depending on your views you may find these to include the good, the bad and perhaps a few ugly.

Ireland, Dublin Metropolitan Police Prisoners Books 1905 -1907 and 1911-1918

The collection is taken from four leather-bound, double-ledger volumes. Included are volumes 1, 3, 4, and 5. Volume 2 was lost.

  • Volume 1 – arrests from 1 April 1905 to 1 January 1908
  • Volume 3 – arrests from 1 January 1911 to 30 September 1913
  • Volume 4 – arrests from 1 October 1913 to 31 December 1915
  • Volume 5 – arrests from 1 January 1916 to 30 September 1918

The entries are handwritten and include the details of daily charge sheets. Each volume contains an index of prisoners with references to the pages containing details of the charge. The volumes contain a wide range of alleged crimes—from murder to breaking glass. Additionally, the age range represented by the accused perpetrators is equally vast—from eight to eighty. Of note, a new series of offences were introduced following the passage of the Defence of the Realm Act on 8 August 1914. These new offences were often used against political activists.

Ireland, Dublin Metropolitan Police General Register 1837-1925

The records in this collection comprise recruitment and transfers within the police force from 1837 to 1925. While the register was used up until 1975, due to data protection reasons, only the entries up to 1925 have been digitised and made available.

The general register recorded both biographical and professional details of the men in the force: warrant number, name, age, height, trade or occupation, county, parish, post town, previous public service, by whom recommended, divisions attached to, service details (dates, rank, promotions), good service pay, date and cause of removal from the force, reappointment details, and general observations. From 1858 onwards, religion was added as well.

In browsing the images linked to from the transcripts in this collection, it is worth noting that, up until 1924, entries were arranged in numerical order by warrant number. Jim Herlihy's book The Dublin Metropolitan Police: A Complete Alphabetical Listing of Officers and Men, 1836-1925 provides an alphabetical listing of the general register.

Spanish Flu Pandemic Exhibit in London

Finding your Isle of Wight Roots

According to Dick Eastman almost 100,000 Cemetery Records from the Isle of Wight are now available online, at a price.

Find out more in an article in the Island Echo at: http://bit.ly/2w1641X. The new website can be found at https://www.iw-bereavementservices.co.uk.

23 August 2018


Expect a noticeable decrease in the number of posts while I'm away. Unlike previous trips I'm travelling without a laptop, only a smartphone, until mid-September. A few posts have been scheduled to keep the blog on life support; some shorter ones may be added as the opportunity arises.

If you're not already receiving it, and why not, genealogyalacarte.ca/ is a great daily blog about genealogy news, resources, and issues facing the genealogy community across Canada.

Two New Talk Genealogy Podcast Episodes

Malcolm Noble, an experienced crime writer, has posted two new episodes on his Podcast for Genealogists with too much time on their hands.

Episode #27 Homework! Bringing together the results of your research.
Episode #28 Questions for Dead Ancestors

There's a list of previous episodes here.

22 August 2018

Ottawa Citizen Archive Online

On 19 June I mentioned that a few issues of the Ottawa Citizen had joined the Ottawa Journal on www.newspapers.com. There are now many more issues under four headings:

Citizen, 8,588 pages, 1915–1941
Ottawa Citizen, 5,812 pages, 1953–2018
The Ottawa Citizen, 1,064,132 pages, 1898–2017
Ottawa Daily Citizen, 46,516 pages, 1846–1897

The following came by way of a tip from Carleton University history professor Bruce Elliott.

As with the Journal one can “browse” by keyword free of charge.  One can search both the Citizen and Journal at once by browsing under Canada » Ottawa and then inserting your keywords rather than proceeding ahead to one of the papers.  This is in many respects the preferable way to do it, because the Citizen is listed under four different titles. 

There are still some gaps in the coverage from the 1970s on.  From 1986 onward the Citizen is searchable (less advertisements, death notices, and photos) on Canadian Newsstream (if one has access to that database, e.g. through a subscribing library). At least the gap between the end of the Journal in 1980 and the Newsstream version of the Citizen in 1986 has narrowed a little to c.1983-85.  Hopefully this gap will be filled as newspapers.com completes its more recent coverage of the Citizen.

There is another gap from late May 1855-September 1859 but (with the exception of one or two issues) the Citizen appears not to survive for that period.  

To view the articles without charge you can take down the references (date and page no.) and then go to the free site http://news.google.com/newspapers and try finding the articles there.  The Google News version has a number of additional gaps (for example, its coverage begins in 1853 rather than in 1846).  Or one can also look up the articles on microfilm at LAC, the main Ottawa Public Library, and other venues that have the films. 

But the simplest way to access the articles, of course, is to take out a subscription to newspapers.com.  They offer a seven-day free trial, but as with most such offers you must remember to cancel your subscription before the end of the week if you don't want to continue or they will start debiting your credit card.  The fee is US$44.95 for six months or $7.95 for one month for the basic subscription or $74.90 for six months or $19.90 per month for the larger “publisher extra” subscription which includes the Citizen issues after 1922.  (All of the Journal from 1885 to 1980 is included in the basic subscription.) 

Newspapers.com subscriptions include access to many other back runs at home and abroad, including now the Montreal Gazette from 1857-59 and 1878-2018 (again with 1923 onward in the publisher extra version).  

Comment:  This is a major addition for Ottawa researchers. It mostly fills many of the gaps in the Google newspaper collection which, for example, has nothing for August 1918, 100 years ago, and completely lacks any issues for eight months during the First World War.

Wouldn't it be a service if the Ottawa Public Library had a subscription!

National Heritage Digitization Strategy: Update

You may recall that a funding call Digitizing Canadian Collections, with a one-time $1 million available to cultural heritage organizations in Canada to support digitization, closed on 12 June 2018.

Information from the Secretariat is that over 200 applications were received, more than was anticipated. It shows the interest and need for such digitization.

Internal review is underway looking at compliance. An external review committee will meet in September. Announcement of results is expected in late September or October.

21 August 2018

FamilySearch posts Wales Court and Miscellaneous Records, 1542-1911

Browse files, currently 408,660 images of Court Records and Marriage Bonds from the National Library of Wales, have been posted by FamilySearch. They cover the years 1542 to 1911.
The records are described as "part of a set of gateway records needed to bridge from the census and civil registration era back to the earlier period when land and property records are required for pre-1841 research."
More detail on the collection is on the FamilySearch Wiki.

The record types included are:

  • Consistory Court papers (mostly Carmarthenshire 1600-1857)
  • Consistory Court papers-Bonds (Carmarthenshire 1726-1778)
  • Consistory Court papers-Citations & Monitions (Carmarthenshire 1683-1810) 
  • Consistory Court papers-General (Carmarthenshire 1675-1770)
  • Consistory Court papers-Wills & Probates (Carmarthenshire 1613-1809)
  • Court papers (mostly for Glamorgan 1688-1732)
  • Court records-Crown Books (Carmarthenshire 1614-1666, Flintshire 1564-1637) 
  • Court records-Docket Book of Fines and Recoveries (Denbighshire 1792-1806, Flintshire 1771-1830)
  • Court records-gaol files (mostly Denbighshire 1545-1708, Flintshire 1542-1730)
  • Court records-Imparlance book (Denbighshire 1710-1830, Fintshire 1798-1830)
  • Court records-minute book (Flintshire 1741-1816)
  • Court records-Prothonotary's remembrances and rules of court (Flintshire 1574-1731)
  • Court Records-rule books (Denbighshire 1733-1830)
  • Marriage bonds (widespread)
  • Memoranda of the Great Sessions (Carmarthenshire 1707-1756)

Maclean’s digitized — from 1905 to 2008 free to read for a limited time

Maclean's archives is a welcome addition to the stable of digitized Canadian magazine archives available.

There's a Wikipedia history of Maclean's here.

Like all media it has been subject to censorship, if only self censorship. I checked for mention of influenza at the time of the 1918 pandemic. The peak was in October 1918 but there's no mention in Maclean's at the time. An article Fighting The “Flu” in February the following year, is subtitled "How the “Spanish Influenza, Which Was Really German, Was Combated" shows how the pages were used for propaganda.

20 August 2018

Ancestry blog post on London City Directories

Coincidence or not, following Findmypast's release of additional British city directories Ancestry posted on their blog about their collection of London directories.
The gem of the collection is the London Post Office Directory from 1801 to 1943 with never more than three consecutive years missing in the sequence. The years ending in 0 and 5 are OCRd, the remainder are images for browsing.

Findmypast adds Scotland, Lanarkshire Death & Burial Index 1642-1855

There are 64,144 entries in this database from the following burial places: Avondale, Blantyre, Bothwell, Cadder, Cambuslang, Cambusnethan, Carluke, Carmichael, Carmunnock, Carnwath, Carstairs, Covington & Thankerton, Crawfordjohn, Culter, Dalserf, Dalziel, Douglas, East Kilbride, Glassford, Govan, Hamilton, Lesmahagow, Libberton & Quothquan, New Monkland, Pettinain, Rutherglen, Shotts, Stonehouse, Symington, Wandell & Lamington, Winston & Roberton.

Information provided may include: first name(s), last name, birth year, death year,  death date, burial year, burial date, burial place, county, country, notes, mortcloth price.

I checked the 565 Reid entries. 161 had only the last name; there were 9 where the forename was Mrs. or widow. Judging by the helpful notes many of the 161 would appear to be children.

The information is sourced from transcript publications of the Lanarkshire Family History Society.

19 August 2018

Book Review: Tracing Your Ancestors: Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk & Suffolk

This guide for family historians is a re-titled and thoroughly revised edition of the 2009 Pen and Sword published book Tracing Your East Anglian Ancestors. Author Gill Blanchard has long experience in the area's genealogy having  previously worked at the Norfolk Record Office.

A first chapter, East Anglian Archives, looks at the resources the genealogist will need when researching in the region.

The following chapters, starting with a general introduction to the history and geography of the region, treats the information and resources the family historian needs in understanding the life of their ancestor. It does so by topic: work, trade and commerce, conflicts that have shaped the region, crime, the poor, migration and education. A chapter on local government describes some of the records generated through the administration of local affairs. Other chapters cover railways and the effect of urbanization on housing. A final longer chapter on religion covers the various creeds and denominations found in the region. Many of these chapters cover the topic by county and all end with sections "finding out more" and "bringing it to life."

Mention of valuable resources, sometimes quite local that would be known only to someone with in-depth knowledge of the region are scattered through the book. They are brought together in a Resource Directory at the end that includes contact details for the archives, websites and places of interest mentioned.

I'd not hesitate to recommend this book to someone starting to search their East Anglian family history, and even the experienced researcher will find it a useful reference.

Pages: 229
ISBN: 9781473859999
Published: 16th April 2018

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

FamilySearch’s Strategy to Help Preserve the World’s Archives

A Genome-Wide Analysis of Liberal and Conservative Political Attitudes (speculative).
The results point toward NMDA and glutamate related receptors (on chromosome 4) as being worthy of further examination.

'Millennia of human activity': heatwave reveals lost UK archaeological sites

As of 17 August wildfires in British Columbia have burnt 577,333 hectares, an increase from 436,903 hectares over the previous day. Comparison with this table shows that this year is second only to last in hectares burnt since 2007, and the season isn't near over. There's a graphic showing wildfire trends in California here.

How to protect your brain from 'fake news'

What is nothing? Martin Rees Q&A

18 August 2018

Findmypast adds to Britain, Directories & Almanacs

There are now more than 255 almanacs and directories in this Findmypast collection of trade directories, county guides, almanacs and general directories. This addition of over 329,000 records brings the total to 574,469.

Included are Whitaker’s, Thom’s, Boyle’s, Kelly’s, and Pigot’s directories from Anguline Research Archives, Gould Genealogy, Yorkshire Ancestors, Eneclann, Devon Family History Society, and Explore York Libraries and Archives.

Most are county directories, sometimes for two or three counties. Earlier directories only include prominent people, tradesmen, people who held office, and business owners while the later ones are more comprehensive. The results are delivered as a link to a pdf with the hit NOT highlighted.

A few of the directories are national in scope including four 20th century volumes of Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed & Official Classes and two volumes of the Newspaper Press Directory.

When searching directories don't overlook the large free collection Historical Directories of England & Wales from the University of Leicester. That collection is available though Ancestry which has a better search interface.

Findmypast adds England, Clandestine Marriages

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

See the description of the RG 7 collection at TNA.

LAC Signatures Series: Brian Mulroney

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

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

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

17 August 2018

TheGenealogist adds to Court and Crimianal Records collection

Following is from a press release from TheGenealogist.

TheGenealogist is adding to its Court and Criminal Records collection with the release of over 160,000 records of prisoners at the bar and their victims from the CRIM 9 records held by The National Archives. These documents were created by the Central Criminal Court and document the After Trial Calendar of Prisoners.  

Central Criminal Court; The Old Bailey

After Trial Calendars give family history researchers details of ancestors who were up before the Old Bailey, revealing the names of prisoners that had appeared before the court, the committing magistrates, offences the prisoner had been indicted for, the date of their trial and who they were tried before. The records give the verdict of the jury, previous convictions and the sentence or order of the court. Other information in these records are the names of the victim and the level of education or ‘Degree of Instruction’ as well as false names that the criminals may have used to try and hide their tracks from the authorities.

Use the After Trial Calendar of Prisoners records to
Find ancestors accused of crimes ranging from stealing a matchbox to murder
Discover people standing trial as forgers, baby farmers, German spies and more
Uncover some of the aliases adopted by criminal ancestors
See the occupation or trade of the offender
Research records covering the period 1855-1915

Comment:  The free Old Bailey Online website provides the Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913 in a fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published. Some of the CRIM 9 records are also at Findmypast.

Find it in a Library?

Most serious genealogists will have the catalogues of some libraries bookmarked. That will certainly include the local public library and likely local university libraries.

If you research a particular area away from where you live you may find publications of interest in that community's public library. Although there are lists of libraries I find it easier to just search online for the town name and the word library. Thanks to the magic of search that will usually find it even if the library catalogue is held at the county or other administrative level.

On a broader scale OCLC WorldCat connects you to the collections and services of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. The Ottawa Public Library is listed as an OCLC library, but I'm told any information WorldCat has on their holdings is not up to date. WorldCat list the McGill University Library as third most often selected as a favorite by WorldCat users, and first in Canada.

OCLC now hosts Canada's National Union Catalogue - Voilà. While the old database AMICUS remains the primary source for Library and Archives Canada’s cataloguing records that's only for a few more weeks — until October 2018.

In the UK Copac exposes rare and unique research material by bringing together the catalogues of over 100 major UK and two Irish libraries. In a single search you can discover the holdings of the UK’s national libraries (the British Library and National Libraries of Scotland and Wales), many University libraries, and specialist research libraries.

For the genealogist there are specialist libraries, perhaps the library of a genealogical society in which you're a member. For the UK don't overlook SoGCat from the Society of Genealogists.

Digitized books are available from several virtual library sources through the catalog search on the Internet Archive, Google Books and Family History Books from the LDS.

Do you have any other library catalog(ue) sources I've overlooked?

16 August 2018

BIFHSGO Conference 2018

If you're an economy-minded last-minute type of person ... your time has come.

The deadline for a discount on early registration for the BIFHSGO conference is 23:59 EDT on Friday 17 August. It will cost you an extra $30 if you decide to register after that date.

Start registration here.

BIFHSGO members remember to sign in to your account to receive the additional member discount.

Family Tree Magazine - September Issue

Here are some of the articles featured in the new look September issue.

Tracing workhouse lives 
Gill Blanchard, author of Tracing your Ancestors, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk : A Guide for Family Historians, draws of many examples from Norfolk and Suffolk in discussing the documentation to be found for those who fell under the workhouse system.

Making a "Home Sweet Home"
Jayne Shrimpton summarizes the textile creations to be found in the home made by generations of female forebears.

Discover Court Records
Chris Paton writes a "beginners guide to advanced records." Covering both ecclesiastical and civil courts for Britain and Ireland. Scotland receives particular attention.

Interpreting Ethnicity
Using tests from Family Tree DNA and Living DNA Geoff Wicks explores his ethnicity results. Having traced all sides of his family history back between 200 and 250 years in England he compares the geographical distribution from Living DNA with the distribution of his grandparents surnames. Considering that the DNA he carries goes back hundreds of years, encompassing many more than just four grandparents surnames, discrepancies are to be expected.

Hush Hush, Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink
The story of Adèle Emm's search for information on her father's work as a member of the Home Office Intelligence Unit in World War II. Some small progress was made through the county record office.

Masterclass on Restoring Old Photos
Mike Bedford offers basic guidance using the PC app Paint.net.

As always, there's much more in the issue than covered here. Find out about subscribing to Family Tree.

Rideau Lakes Cemetery Genealogy Day

Google maps found the address for these cemeteries but in most cases the cemetery wasn't clear from the satellite or street view images.

15 August 2018

CEF Service Files Digitization Update for August 2018

They did it. As of 8 August LAC announce the completion of the digitization of all Canadian military personnel records from the Great War.

CEF service files are available, from AABEL, NEILS to ZUBIK, NICHOLAS W and everyone in between, each containing, on average, 49 images, for a total of over 32,000,000 images or almost 617 terabytes of scanned information.

LAC is claiming "more than 620,000 files" with the precise number 622,290. That's up from 608,399 on 15 July.

You may have wondered why the number is less than the 630,000 previously mentioned as the total. Library and Archives Canada combined the documents of members who had enlisted multiple times and had more than one file.

We wait to learn what major new digitization project will be next.

14 August 2018

Unlock the Past in Seattle, with Blaine Bettinger and Maurice Gleeson

On Thursday 6 September from 12.30 pm to 8.00 pm ET Australian company Unlock the Past will be livestreaming presentations from a conference in Seattle.
For $65 US get access to 10 presentations, five of which you can view live, the others available on replay until the end of the month.

The schedule is:


12.30 pm – Using Y-DNA and mtDNA to explore your ancestry – B. Bettinger
2.00 pm – Using Autosomal DNA for 18th and 19th century mysteries – B. Bettinger
3.00 pm– Challenges with Irish genetic genealogy – M. Gleeson
5.30 pm – Using third-party tools to analyze your Autosomal DNA – B. Bettinger
7.00 pm – Phasing and mapping your DNA – B. Bettinger

STREAM 2  – Irish genealogy and more

12.30 am – Tracing your immigrant ancestor to Ireland – a strategic approach – M. Gleeson
2.00 pm – Genealogy and the Little Ice Age – W. Shepheard
3.00 pm– The hidden web: digging deeper – C. Ingle
5.30 pm – Navigating Irish birth, marriage & death records – M. Gleeson
7.00 pm – Newspapers, gravestones & probate: rich sources for Irish genealogy – M. Gleeson

Find out more at www.utpinseattle.com/

Expanded Ellis Island Immigrant Records 1820-1957 Online

A press release from FamilySearch in Salt Lake City, Utah, dated 14 August 2018, asks what do over a 100 million Americans have in common?

FamilySearch's answer "Their ancestors immigrated through Ellis Island or one of the New York Harbour immigration stations that preceded it" is true, but so did many who were destined to live in Canada.

"FamilySearch and The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. announced today the entire collection of Ellis Island New York Passenger Arrival Lists from 1820 to 1957 are now available online on both websites giving the opportunity to the descendants of over 100 million arrivals to discover their ancestors quicker and free of charge.

Originally preserved on microfilm, 9.3 million images of historical New York passenger records spanning 130 years were digitized and indexed in a massive effort by 165,590 online FamilySearch volunteers. The result is a free searchable online database containing 63.7 million names, including immigrants, crew, and other passengers traveling to and from the United States through the nation’s largest port of entry."

Read the full press release and find search links here

Canada's Nursing Sisters - a Co-Lab Challenge

Here's an update on the Co-Lab challenge I wrote about on 20 July.
At that time letters, diaries and photographs of four Canadian nursing sisters who served during the Great War were available. Two others, Laura Gamble and Alice Isaacson,  have been added so the status as on 3 August is:

NurseImagesPercent Complete
Dorothy Cotton14919
Sophie Hoerner12824
Laura Gamble1501
Alice Isaacson11882
Ruby Peterkin7730
Anne E Ross20100

Find out more here.

13 August 2018

Findmypast adds Airmen Died in the Great War, 1914-1919

Sourced from the Naval & Military Press, this is an index of death records covering the Australian Flying Corps, Miscellaneous Airmen Casualties, Pre-War Casualties, Royal Air Force, Royal Flying Corps, Royal Naval Air Service, United States Air Service Casualties Attached to the Royal Fighting Corps/Royal Air Force, US Navy Casualties, and Women's Royal Air Force.

Information available may include:

  • First name(s)
  • Last name
  • Birth year
  • Death year
  • Death date
  • Age at death
  • Cause of death
  • Burial place
  • Soldier number
  • Rank
  • Unit or regiment
  • Service branch
  • Grade, branch, or position
  • Aircraft type and serial number
  • Theatre of operations
  • Honours and awards
  • Previous service
  • Place or origin of residence
  • Additional information
  • Additional names / notes
Check the Commonwealth War Graves Commission which may have slightly different information for British and Commonwealth airmen.

Ottawa City’s Annual Reports and Council Minutes.

Romaine Honey emailed to let us know about a new OPL blog post Was your ancestor arrested, rescued, or paid by the City? It's about the City Annual Reports going back to 1892; and Council Minutes from 1875.
They’re full of statistics that tell you about life and conditions in Ottawa; and there are a surprising number of individuals mentioned, for various reasons.  Anyone who claimed damages, had a fire or property expropriation, got a City pension, etc. is named with relevant details in these publications, so they can be useful for genealogy as well as local history.
I didn't know the OPL has these in its collection in the Ottawa Room at the Main Library at 120 Metcalfe. The Ottawa City Archives also has a collection which I recently used.

More recent reports, from 2010 are online at https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/accountability-and-transparency/annual-report

12 August 2018

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

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

Current evidence allows multiple models for the peopling of the Americas

Irish Genealogy Matters Newsletter No. 2

100 Women Who Changed the World (from History Extra)

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

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

Why so many Americans continue to believe in Donald Trump

Deadline for OGS Conference Presentation Proposals

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

The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) 2019 annual conference will be held in London, Ontario, at the London Convention Centre. The Board of the Ontario Genealogical Society is delighted to announce that the 2019 conference will take place on June 21-23.
The Committee is already hard at work behind the scenes, planning an inspiring event under the banner, "Breaking Down Genealogical Barriers". OGS continues to boast the largest membership of any Canadian family history organization, with its conference attracting speakers and attendees from across the globe. This year we would like to run a few different tracks for all skill levels.
Speakers will receive an honorarium, alongside appropriate expenses and complimentary Conference registration. Please submit your proposals by email. Include your full name, mailing address, telephone number, email address, website address (if applicable) and biographical information, including recent speaking credits.
For each proposal, please provide a unique title and a summary of at most 250 words, and identify the intended audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and specific A/V requirements. Multiple proposals are encouraged. DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: 19 August 2018.
To submit proposals or ask questions, please contact the Conference 2019 Program Committee at: program.conference2019@ogs.on.ca
My proposals are about ready to go.

11 August 2018

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

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

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

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

Honourable Women Of The Great War, 1914-1918

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

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

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

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

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

10 August 2018

Ancestry updates Liverpool Catholic BMB Records

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

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

09 August 2018

Deceased Online adds Oxford Cemetery Burial Records

The following is from Deceased Online.

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

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

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

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

These cemeteries are in care of Oxford City Council.

The Genealogy Show: tickets now on sale

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

08 August 2018

CEF Service File Digitization Complete.

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

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

Recent Genealogy Acquisitions by the Ottawa Public Library

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Orange Order Lodges of the Outaouais

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

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

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

If you want a copy of the article try contacting Pauline Johns at irglibrary at gmail.com/.

07 August 2018

Col By Day Surprise

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

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

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

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

06 August 2018

LivingDNA Family Networks

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

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

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

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

Genealogy help in Ottawa

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

Lecture: Canada at War, 1918

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

Colonel By Day

05 August 2018

LiPaD: The Linked Parliamentary Data Project

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

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

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

Dads Pass On More Than Genetics in Their Sperm

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

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

Grandmotherhood across the demographic transition

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