30 September 2018

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Going Viral: The Mother of all Pandemics
A British podcast series about the science, history, and even works of art inspired by the influenza pandemic of 100 years ago.

The 1970s great calculator race
A twitter stream .. faster than the computer that took men to the moon.
via One Last Thing at How We Get to Next.

Golf: the neuroscience of the perfect putt

7 Mind-Mangling Optical Illusion GIFs

Boring Speakers Drone on

British Newspaper Archive Additions for September

The British Newspaper Archive now has a total of 27,698,424 pages online (27,429,320 last month.) None were added in the past 7 days.

The 11 (13) papers with new content this month include 1 (0) new to the collection. Major additions during the month were.

Liverpool Echo
106738 pages
1955, 1957-1958, 1960, 1962-1965, 1967, 1985, 1998-1999
Evening Herald (Dublin)
30262 pages 
Irish Independent
57534 pages
1917, 2004, 2008
Scottish Referee
7334 pages
1897-1898, 1901-1903, 1905-1907, 1909-1914

Tavistock Gazette
10682 pages  new title
1860, 1862-1869, 1871-1873, 1875-1888
Sligo Champion
50538 pages
1942-1947, 1953-1958, 1964-1982, 1984, 1986-1987, 1997-2006
Volunteer Service Gazette and Military Dispatch
5052 pages
Coventry Evening Telegraph
5160 pages

29 September 2018

TONI Update

According to an item in the latest OGS eWeekly Update more than 20,500 new entries are added to TONI, The Ontario Name Index.
It includes 12,500 from the Ontario Genealogical Society’s family histories collection.  TONI now has nearly 737,000 entries from over 700 of the 3,500 family histories in the OGS collection now indexed.
The news item mentions that TONI currently has more than 5.6 million name references although the website claims 4,644,842 records.

Digitized Okanagan Genealogy and History

Sixteen local history and genealogy books researched and written by members of the Cemetery Recording Committee of the Kelowna and District Genealogical Society are now freely available online.

Six books include extensive local history and genealogies. A stand-alone Index book contains over 9000 entries and incorporates all the indices of the other 15 books. Nine are traditional transcription books.

The University of British Columbia Okanagan is hosting this collection on the Digitized Okanagan History (DOH) website. To access this collection go to:

DOH website https://doh.arcabc.ca/
Select Browse on the menu.
Find the KDGS logo and click on the logo.
Find the People and Place icon and click on the icon.
The 16 books can be opened and read on the People and Places page.
Index of Names in the Central Okanagan may be a good place to start.

Thanks to Susan D. Campbell, KDGS Cemetery Recording Committee Chair for the tip.

Note that 12 other organizations are have information available on the Digitized Okanagan History.

28 September 2018

Cofnodion plwyf o Findmypast

This week more than 921,000 new records are added to Findmypast's Welsh Parish collections.

Baptisms are added for Anglesey, Breconshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Glamorganshire,  Merionethshire, Monmouthshire. Montgomeryshire, Pembrokeshire, and Radnorshire.

Banns & Marriages added are for those counties with the addition of Caernarvonshire, but lacking Merionethshire.

Burials added are as for baptisms except lacking Monmouthshire.

Most parish records do not include accompanying images.

In addition now available at FMP are six pdf publications containing over 4,000 Welsh register entries and records:

Episcopal Registers of the Diocese of St David's, Volumes I & II
Highways & Byways in North Wales, published 1898
Notes On the History of the Anglesey Hunt
Parish Registers of Caerwent & Llanfair Discoed, published 1920
Parish Registers of Conwy, published 1900
West Wales Historical Records, various volumes published between 1913 and 1929

Missing from the Census

Data published by Statistics Canada indicates that for the 2016 Census, the net undercoverage rate (percentage of people missed less those counted more than once) was 2.4%.  The rate has been gradually improving since 2001 when the rate was 3.1%. Undercoverage is substantially larger in the three Territories.
The CBC reported on some examples of problems with the census here. No doubt the situation was worse in earlier censuses, on top of which there's loss and illegibility of those records.

National Home Child Day

Today, 28 September, marks National Home Child Day in Canada.

It's gone international.

In the UK the Balsall Heath Local History Society at Balsall Heath Children’s Centre, 10 Malvern Street, will host a free workshop covering how to access the vast Middlemore Archives in Birmingham Library and other research materials: Passenger Lists; Census Data; Birth/Marriage/Death certificates; War Records; Newspaper Articles and useful websites.

 Patricia Roberts-Pichette, author of “Great Canadian Expectations – The Middlemore Experience” will be joining the meeting as guest skyper.

Back in Canada, in partnership with the Niagara Historical Society and the Niagara Museum, the British Home Child Group International will host an event to unveil a historical plaque erected in Rye Heritage Park in Niagara-on-the-Lake to remember Maria Rye, the first person to bring children to Canada as part of the child migrant scheme and to remember all the children who passed through its doors.

Several organizations have chosen to organize events for the weekend including at the Lost Villages Museum. Please contribute any further information as a comment.

27 September 2018

'MyRecords' lock-out for lapsed FindMyPast customers

If you're an ex-subscriber to Findmypast you should be aware of a change in policy being implemented on Sunday 30 September which will lock you out of records you had saved while a subscriber.

See this blog post by Claire Santry.

Ready for the BIFHSGO Conference?

It's a blessing the BIFHSGO conference starting on Friday with pre-conference workshops and the evening Whiteside Lecture was not scheduled for a week earlier. Those workshops would have just finished when a tornado outbreak hit Ottawa and the building at Centrepointe where the conference is held was thrown out of power for the whole weekend.
Do conference organizers plan for such an eventuality? No, but some lose sleep imagining everything that could go wrong.
The current weather forecast indicates no danger of a tornado — maybe a shower or two. Conference co-chairs Jane Down and Duncan Monkhouse can relax on that account.
I look forward to seeing you there. Walk in registration is possible.

Most and Least Likely Birthdates in England and Wales

The Office of National Statistics posted an Excel spreadsheet (xls) with day by day number of births from 1995 to 2016.
Posted on the occasion of the greatest number, 26 September, it shows it's not a fluke — it's in the middle of a period of more than average births.
No surprise when you think of it that the least number of births is on 29 February. On an average basis 26 December sees the fewest births and again is in a period of fewer births.

26 September 2018

1926 Census: some light shed

Apparently indexing on the 1926 Census of the Prairie Provinces is 86% complete and reviewing 78% done as of 25 September.

Gloria Tubman contacted me with this information following the previous blog post.

I asked Gloria how she knew. She told me she was doing a search on familysearch.org for an Alberta person and received a pop-up inviting her to index the 1926 census. Apparently the indexing wasn't difficult, the online form was user friendly and she completed the 50 lines of a page in about 45 minutes. The handwriting on the two pages she indexed, one for Winnipeg, the other for Edmonton, was mostly very legible.

1926 Census: still in the dark

Asked on Tuesday LAC staff continued being very closed mouth about progress on the indexing and availability of the 1926 census of the Prairie Provinces.

Although other sources have revealed that the census is being indexed by volunteers from FamilySearch there has been no statement to that effect from LAC. Asked specifically LAC staff in a position to know did not deny that is the case. Perhaps LAC Communications is dictating keeping a tight reign on information -- the tail wagging the dog.

As I wrote previously "Digital microfilm could have been quickly produced and made available online as soon as the transfer date arrived. Why was this not done allowing public release as soon as possible and various indexing initiatives, including crowdsourcing, to occur?" Some of the best indexing of some previous Canadian censuses was produced by online crowdsource indexing projects of automatedgenealogy.

HSO September Meeting

The first presentation of the 2018-19 season for the Historical Society of Ottawa on Friday 28 September has Dr Janet Young from the Canadian Museum of History speaking on Bytown's First Public Cemetery and the exploration of the remains found during construction near Parliament Hill.

As usual the meeting is at 172 Guigues Ave. and starts at 1 pm.

25 September 2018

Heritage Ignite!

On Wednesday 26 September, starting at 6:30 pm, the Main Branch of the OPL hosts Heritage Ignite!

Local history experts will have just 5 minutes each to ignite your interest in Ottawa's past.  Hear about the Great Sunday Streetcar Debate; an unusual governor general; the real story of D'Arcy McGee's landlady, and more.  Of course there's a hockey story too; not to mention A Night Out in Lost Ottawa.

Expert speakers this year include authors Dorothy Phillips, Jane Cooper, and Randy Boswell; blogger Chris Ryan; Forrest Pass from Ottawa Museums; Bytown Museum director Robin Etherington, and Lost Ottawa's David McGee.

Register now on the OPL website or on EventBrite.

British Army Ancestry Research

Paul Nixon, a British military researcher, has four new posts on his British Army Ancestry Research blog this month.

1st Cadet Battalion, The Essex Regiment
Prisoners of War 1914
Search 9 billion records on Findmypast
British Army Ancestors - 17th Lancers identified

The blog was started in 2008 so you may find information of interest by searching older posts too.

Also don't overlook British Army Ancestors,  Paul's initiative to create a free photographic archive of British Army Ancestors.

Shannon Lectures 2018

The theme for the 2018 Carleton Universit Shannon Lectures is Bad Archaeology.

Here's the program:

Friday, October 12, 2018
“Ancient Art and Modern Crime: How Stolen Antiquities End Up In Our Most Respected Museums“
Dr. Donna Yates (School of Social & Political Sciences, University of Glasgow)

Friday, October 19, 2018
“#InventedFantasies – Using Social Media to Talk About Pseudoarchaeology“
Steph Halmhofer (Bones, Stones, and Books)

Friday, November 9, 2018
“Good Intentions, Bad Archaeology: The uses and abuses of Canadian archaeology against Indigenous people“
Dr. Kisha Supernant (Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta)

Friday, November 23, 2018
“There is no ‘net neutrality’ in digital archaeology“
Dr. Katherine Cook (Department of Anthropology, Université de Montréal)

Friday, November 30, 2018
“The Pathways of Pots: The movement of Early Bronze Age vessels from the Dead Sea Plain, Jordan“
Dr. Morag M. Kersel (Department of Anthropology, DePaul University)

Find further information at https://carleton.ca/history/news/shannon-lecture/

24 September 2018

RootsTech 2019 SLC Opens for Registration

RootsTech, the major 4-day annual family history and technology conference, to be held February 27–March 2, 2019, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah has now opened registration.
Early bird pricing is in effect until 12 October, $189 US for the complete 4 days of activities. That's about $244 Cdn. Find out more and register at www.rootstech.org/

What will it cost in total?

Add accommodation, the Hilton Salt Lake City Center is available at $161 US per night, $833 for four nights.
Add airfare. From Ottawa to Salt Lake City can be obtained for $660 Cdn on Expedia, a bit less for routing via San Francisco.
The total is $1,737 Cdn.

Add anything you buy at the marketplace
Add meals (but you'd be eating anyway), other transportation and hidden taxes.

If your interest is in the UK you might prefer the 24–26 October, 2019 RootsTech event in London, England.

Advance Notice: UELAC Fall Social

Sir Guy Carleton Branch, UELAC Fall Social,
November 17, 2018 : 11:30-3:30
Speaker: UELAC Dominion President – Sue Morse-Hines

All are welcome.

New Venue!
Salon “D”, Bldg. D, Algonquin College, 1385 Woodroffe Ave.

The room is completely accessible and washroom facilities are very close.  Handicapped parking is located next to Lot #8.  Parking, Pay & Go is $5.00 flat rate on Saturday.

New Menu!
Chicken – Grilled breast of chicken with mushroom & white wine sauce (potato)
Salmon – Pan seared fillet of Atlantic salmon with lemon dill butter sauce (rice)
Vegetarian – Three lentil and mushroom ragout in phyllo cup with quinoa pilaf and butternut squash coulis
Your meal choice and payment ($35.00) must be received by the Branch by November 9, 2018.  No exceptions.  A minimum number of 30 attendees are required or the event could be cancelled.

Please mail cheques along with meal choice to:
Bob Adair, 34 Briardale Crescent, Nepean, ON  K2E 1C2

For further information including directions : Homepage for Sir Guy Carleton Branch, United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada (UELAC)

23 September 2018

FreeBMD September Update

The FreeBMD Database was last updated on Saturday 22 September 2018 to contain 269,659,365 distinct records (269,308,681 at previous update).

Years with updates of more than 5,000 records are for births 1963-64, 1978, 1980-83; for marriages 1965-66, 1980, 1982; for deaths 1981-83, 1985.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

BBC History Magazine
It's not just BBC History Magazine, publisher Immediate Media has a 30 day free trial offer for many of their publications, but it ends on 30 September. Learn the details at http://e.immediate.co.uk/q/11mTfFq9oZPk0Nseo8Na2GC/wv

Society of Genealogists Chairman is not a Genealogist
There's a continuing debate about whether you need to have expertise in the subject to lead a specialist organization. The SoG is experimenting, and here's why paraphrasing from the Chairman Ed Percival's message in the September issue of Genealogists' Magazine.

He has been a Trustee and member of the SoG for the last couple of years. But he hasn't attended yet a course or looked at a single book of microfilm in the library. 

He's looking to help SoG at a critical time in its history. While commercial organizations like Ancestry and FindmyPast claim membership in the millions and revenue exceeding £billion SoG membership is in gradual decline and income has fallen. Does that remind you of any other genealogical societies?

In the next couple of years he is seeking to have the organization explore what it can offer, in line with its vision of "a world in which everyone has convenient, affordable access to records, finding aids, knowledge and skills necessary to conduct authoritative research into family history" that is unique, and if there are enough people in the community who value that uniqueness

FamilySearch updates England, Devon and Cornwall Marriages, 1660-1912

From the Devon Record Office come additions to the collection of marriage bonds and allegations from the Diocese of Exeter.
The indexed originals are in 4,692 browsable images.

22 September 2018

Findmypast Weekly Additions

Findmypast features new Roman Catholic Church records from Baltimore and additions to the New York collection this week.

Of UK and Ireland interest are the newly digitized:

Tavistock Gazette for 1860, 1862-1869, 1871-1873 and 1875-1888.

There are additions to:

Liverpool Echo - 1955, 1957-1958, 1967, 1985
Evening Herald (Dublin) - 2006
Irish Independent - 1917
Scottish Referee - 1897-1898, 1901-1903, 1905-1907, 1909-1914
Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser - 1863-1864, 1866
Berks and Oxon Advertiser - 1911
Sligo Champion - 2002-2004
Volunteer Service Gazette and Military Dispatch - 1903-1908
Coventry Evening Telegraph - 1959
Pall Mall Gazette - 1904, 1911

Saskatchewan History Magazine Archive

Now online, Saskatchewan History Magazine, published by the Provincial Archives from 1948-2017 explored the province’s history in a popular format.

Issues have included articles on the fur trade era, pioneer life, ethnic groups and immigration, the history of medicine and medical care, business and trade unionism, religion on the prairies, women’s history, First Nations and Métis history, sports history, and many other facets of Saskatchewan’s past.

Digital versions (image pdfs) of entire issues of Saskatchewan History are available at  https://file.ac/bVVZ6WWFP10/.

The collection could be made for useful for genealogy if the pdfs were searchable, and even more so if full text searchable across all issues.

A full searchable list of article authors with titles from 1948-2017 is at

21 September 2018

National Heritage Digitization Strategy News

The Fall update from the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) issued on 20 September included detailed results of a survey. More than half the respondents self-identified as genealogists.

Major input from genealogists came on the 19th and 24th of March. On the 19th this blog had a post Help determine priorities of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy. The 24th saw the survey included in the OGS eWeekly Update.

The NHDS update summarizes the survey results:
Despite(!) the high representation of genealogists, responses by profession show that priorities were fairly consistent.
Newspapers were by far the most highly prioritized material. Although most often cited by genealogists, newspapers appeared to be a priority regardless of profession.
Many respondents said they appreciated being asked their opinion and over half (57%) offered their email address to be contacted later, if needed.
Respondents gave many reasons for why they would prioritize the material, most often citing broad interest, unique value and preservation issues. 
NHDS expect to announce the successful recipients to a funding call in the coming weeks. It received 213 applications, requesting almost $10M in funding with $1M available. An external advisory committee evaluated the proposals. It will be interesting to see if, despite there being no genealogical representation on that committee, genealogical interests are reflected in the projects funded.

Other content in the update is a draft business plan with information on goals, activities and tasks. The plan also articulates the vision and mission to engage the Canadian library, archive and museum community and Canadian creators in sharing expertise, to facilitate the digitization, preservation and discovery of Canadian documentary heritage.

There's also a call for nominations for members of the NHDS Steering Committee and Technical Working Group with an application deadline of 4 October, 2018. Given the high participation of genealogists in the survey it would be good to have qualified representation from the community.  However, while most meetings will be by teleconference any costs incurred to attend in-person meetings with be paid for by the Steering Committee members and/or their organizations, not by NHDS. There's further information at https://nhds.ca/2018/09/20/call-for-nominations-nhds-steering-committee/.

England and Wales Baby Names 2017

The Office of National Statistics have published an analysis of baby names chosen in 2017 in England and Wales.

348,071 newborn boys were given one of 28,222 unique names. The top three were Oliver, Harry and George.

331,035 newborn girls received one of 35,475 unique names, over 7,000 extra unique names than those given to boys. The top three girls’ names in 2017 were Olivia, Amelia and Isla.

There's considerable volatility in the popularity of names geographically and over the years.

If you'd like to explore further try:

Baby names in England and Wales
Released on 21 September 2018

Baby names: where you live could shape what you call your baby
Released on 21 September 2018

Baby names since 1904: how has yours performed?
Released on 2 September 2016

NLS has one-third digital target

The National Library of Scotland continues to lead the way in digital resources. Their large collection of digitized British maps available to all free online are well known to genealogists. There are a host of other digitized resources, some freely available, many requiring registration and restricted to those with an address in Scotland (an increasingly common model in other jurisdictions), some only accessible in their physical location.

Now the NLS aims to have a third of their holdings in digital format by 2025.

It's great when an organization, a government organization yet, sets its sights on an ambitious long-term goal.

Naturally material now being received in digital format will make a major contribution as the collection grows.

Read more about NLS Project: Digitise

Sydney Catchpole: CWGC Beechwood

Born on 6 April 1897 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Sydney Catchpole, a home child, came to Canada in 1910 with a party of from Mrs. Birt's Liverpool Sheltering Home bound for Knowlton, Quebec.

He died of pneumonia on this date 100 years ago, the first Beechwood soldier death attributable to  the 1918 flu pandemic. Sydney Catchpole is buried in Grave Reference: Sec. 29. Lot 13-14. 19 at Beechwood Cemetery.

Read Sydney's history in a previous blog post.

He was the second CEF soldier born in Great Yarmouth buried at Beechwood. By coincidence Sydney Catchpole died four years to the day after the first, Thomas Hardingham.

20 September 2018

OGS Ottawa Branch September Meeting

On Saturday, 22 September Ottawa Branch events are:

10:30 am — Genealogy: Back to Basics - Ottawa Public Library Resources, presented by Romaine Honey
01:30 pm — Cemetery and Monument Conservation, presented by Catherine Paterson, PhD.
03:00 pm — Computer SIG

It's all happening at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive (Room 115)

All welcome.

FamilySearch update summary

A quick catch-up on records added to FamilySearch since 7 September. It looks like you have to be at a FHC of affiliate library to see available original record images

England, Derbyshire, Church of England Parish Registers, 1537-1918; 2,233,277 entries
England, Devon Bishop's Transcripts, 1558-1887; 741,281 entries
Wales, Parish Registers, 1678-2001; 5,519 entries
England, Lancashire, Oldham Cemetery Registers, 1797-2004; 599,862 entries

19 September 2018

Thomas A. Cuthbert: CWGC Beechwood

Death on this date 100 years ago came to Gunner Thomas Albert Cuthbert of the Canadian Field Artillery, Service Number: 132492.
Born 9 November 1876 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, son of James S. Cuthbert and Malinda Jarrold, he married Gertrude Alice Wood in England.
The couple and their four children came to Canada in 1906. He attested in Ottawa on 23 August 1915 giving his occupation as molder, arrived in Britain in the Spring of 1915. Posted to France he was gassed, wounded in the head, had shell shock and found to be suffering from heart disease. Returned to Canada in June 1917 he was discharged from the CEF as medically unfit in November 1917. He left his wife and six children, one of whom was overseas.
Burial with military honours was in Sec. C. R.10. 77. at Beechwood Cemetery.

16 September 2018

Ancestry updates British Death Indexes

England and Wales Death Index, 2007 - 2017
Scotland and Northern Ireland Death Index, 1989 -2017
we're added at Ancestry on the 6th.

A reminder that there is no relationship requirement to obtain official copies of these certificates.

15 September 2018

Online Canadian Historical Images

A useful overview of sources from the Unwritten Histories blog.


Thanks to Ann Burns for the tip.

LAC Preservation Centre Open House

While it's not a BIFHSGO conference pre-event Library and Archives Canada is offering tours of their Preservation Centre in Gatineau, the crown jewel of documentary preservation in Canada, on Friday 28 September from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Members of the public are invited to tour this modern-day Parthenon at 625 Boulevard du Carrefour in Gatineau. Come and admire the archival treasures stored within its walls. Stroll through its vaults, discover the works of Canadian artists, and find out what our experts are doing every day to preserve Library and Archives Canada's vast collection.

48 storage vaults
The Library and Archives Canada Preservation Centre, which opened in June 1997, was built to preserve the country's documentary heritage. Everything is designed to guarantee optimal conservation conditions. The building has 48 storage vaults, over three floors, with each vault measuring 350 m2. The vaults were built to protect the collection from every type of threat and include a sophisticated fire detection and suppression system.

The three stories of vaults are topped by preservation laboratories, which are arranged in a village-like setting. Featuring architecture inspired by the Canadian Prairies, the Preservation Centre brings Library and Archives Canada preservation experts together in an environment perfectly suited to their work.

The onr-hour self-guided tours are from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 625 Boulevard du Carrefour, Gatineau

Admission is free. Children are welcome but must be under constant parental supervision.

For security reasons, bags (backpacks, purses, diaper bags, etc.) are not allowed inside the Preservation Centre.

Library and Archives Canada in numbers
250 km of textual records
More than 30 million photographs
More than 22 million books
More than 3 million maps
More than 550,000 hours of audio and video recordings
4.5 billion megabytes of digital content
More than 425,000 Canadian works of art.

For those not attending the BIFHSGO conference there's the same opportunity on Saturday 29 September.


14 September 2018

Irish Lives Remembered: Summer Issue

The Summer Edition of Irish Lives Remembered is available to view now. This issue, Fiona Fitzsimons and Stephen Peirce look at the Family History of John Cusack. There are lots more fantastic articles for you to enjoy, such as:
Paul McCotter on the O'Mahony surname;
Dr. Maurice Gleeson on genetic genealogy;
Ned Kelly on the Inauguration Stone of Mac Aonghusa;
Patrick Roycroft attends the Cambridge History of Ireland book launch;
Nathan Mannion on Sporting Royalty - the Casey's of Kerry;
Catherine McAuley lets us know what tales are in her attic;
Reader Ann Shelley tells the story of her Great-Great-Grandmother;
Niall Cullen from Findmypast lets us in on 6 unique FMP resources for finding your Irish Ancestors;
Writer Patricia O'Sullivan on Newmarket (Cork) and the Foundation of the Hong Kong Police Force; 
Review of the Journal of the Medal Society of Ireland's 100th issue;
Jayne Shrimpton's Photo-Detective; 
Patrick's Page with Patrick Roycroft; and
Ask Genie, our family history agony aunt.
Read the latest free edition at https://irishlivesremembered.ie/


Findmypast Friday 14 September

England & Wales Electoral Registers 1920-1932

Over 53 million indexed England and Wales Electoral Registers covering the 1920s and early 1930s are now available to search. Improved access to these important documents will enable you to bridge the vital gap left by the destruction of the 1931 census of England & Wales. Combined with the 1911 Census and 1939 Register, today's release means that Findmypast is now able provide you with unrivalled record coverage for early 20th century Britain, helping you to trace ancestors across a period of history that has traditionally been problematic for many researchers.

The new collection, England & Wales Electoral Registers 1920-1932, has been created by reprocessing the original documents in order to improve image quality. Findmypast has also developed a new process for picking out individual names, allowing this vast bank of records to be searched with greater accuracy than ever before, in a similar way to other indexed collections currently available on the Findmypast.

Searches now also cover all of England and Wales electoral registers,  listings of all those registered to vote in a particular area. These newly indexed records were taken from Findmypast's wider collection of British Library Electoral Registers, over 220 million of which are also available to search in PDF format.

Jersey, German Occupation Identity Cards 1940-1945

This collection has over 62,000 transcripts,  taken from originals documents housed at Jersey Archives created under instruction from the German occupying authorities, through the Registration and Identification of Persons (Jersey) Order, 1940. 

Jersey, German Occupation Prosecutions 1940-1945

Discover details of their accused crimes and sentences in this collection of more than 800 transcriptions from original court documentation. Punishment varied and was undertaken by the German military authorities. Many who were given long sentences were deported to the continent, some of these people never returned.

13 September 2018

FamilySearch adds England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957

During the week of 10 September FamilySearch added more than 1 million index civil probate records for England and Wales.

To view the calendar images you need to go to a Family History Centre or affiliate library, or find them on a commercial site.

You can also search free year by year at 

TheGenealogist adds 1910 Valuation Office Survey of Brent

Here is a press release from TheGenealogist announcing addition to the Lloyd George survey.

12 September 2018

Kingston Branch OGS September Meeting

The Kingston Branch will meet on Saturday, September 15th at 9:30 a.m. at the Kingston Seniors Centre, 56 Francis St. in Kingston.  

Shirley-Ann Pyefinch from the Ottawa Family History Centre will speak on "Making the Most of FamilySearch".  Visitors always welcome.  Further info at www.kingston.ogs.on.ca

LAC Blog Post on the Spanish Flu Centenary

John Hay RIP

To mark the death of long time champion for genealogy and local history in Ottawa John Douglas Hay who passed age 81 on Saturday, September 8, 2018.

John was a long time member of BIFHSGO and OGS.

11 September 2018

Quinte Branch OGS Meeting

On 15 September the Quinte Branch of Ontario Genealogical Society Doors Open 10 am-4 pm at the Quinte Genealogy Centre (Quinte West Public Library) will host a presentation at 1 pm featuring Steve Fulton, President of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) discussing "All about OGS" and its benefits to family Historians.  Held at  Quinte West Public Library, 7 Creswell Dr, Trenton. Everyone welcome, bring a friend.

08 September 2018

Community Archives and Heritage Group

Here's another resource discovered while I was at the Secret Lives conference.

It may be the information you need to make the breakthrough you're looking for is hidden a local archive. The Community Archives and Heritage Group has a map allowing you to zoom in to find what exists in an area of interest.

There are more than 600 archives mapped, the vast majority in England.


07 September 2018

Findmypast Friday Additions

Here the the new offerings from Findmypast on Friday 7 September.

Scotland, Edinburgh Temperance Pledges 1886-1908
These 916 temperance pledges were introduced by the United Presbyterian Church and originally called the Band of Hope Register. The index records names, birth years, addresses and includes the names and ages of numerous children who signed the pledge.
The original records are housed at the National Records of Scotland and have been transcribed by the Scottish Genealogy Society in Edinburgh. The society published the transcriptions as Edinburgh, Broughton Place United Presbyterian Church - Band of Hope Register, 1886-1908. According to the society, the objective of the Band of Hope Register 'was to teach children the importance and principles of sobriety and teetotalism'.

Scotland, Berwickshire, Ladykirk Heads of Household 1811
This early census recorded the names of 116 heads of the household in Ladykirk in 1811 as well as information pertaining to their family and other members of their household.
The index has been transcribed by the Scottish Genealogy Society. The original list came from the Kirk Session Records for Ladykirk.

Scotland, Edinburgh St Cuthbert's Census 1790
The index has been transcribed by the Scottish Genealogy Society. The original list came from the Kirk Session Records for Ladykirk.
This early Scottish census listed the names of each of the 5,385 heads of the household and within each family unit the number of parents, children, lodgers, and servants. Then each category was separated into male and female.

Scotland, Perthshire, Inhabitants of the Burgh of Perth 1766
The inhabitants list was taken by the magistrates on 19 March 1766 and the following days.
This early census recorded the names of the 2,048 heads of the household and then noted certain facts about the others in the house; such as age, occupation or religion.

Scotland, Shetland, Tingwall List of Inhabitants 1785
This early census will reveal a combination of your ancestor's age, residence and the number of other people residing in their household. 1,095 entries

MyHeritage Partners with British Retailer WHSmith to Distribute DNA Kits

The following MyHeritage press release will be of interest mainly because it may increase the chances for those of us with British ancestry to find matches.

Tel Aviv, Israel & London, United Kingdom, September 7, 2018 — MyHeritage, Europe's leading service for DNA testing and family history, announced today the launch of a retail partnership with WHSmith. This marks the first partnership of its kind for MyHeritage in the UK, and the first time that MyHeritage DNA tests will be available for purchase in retail stores in Europe.

Under the new partnership WHSmith distributes a unique product named MyHeritage Family History Discovery Kit, which bundles MyHeritage's popular at-home DNA test with 3 months of access to MyHeritage's suite of premium online genealogy services. This allows consumers to receive detailed ethnicity reports and connect with their relatives around the world through the power of DNA testing, and to utilize MyHeritage's 9-billion-strong collection of historical records and family tree tools to embark on a journey to uncover their family history.

The distribution of the kits via local retail stores caters to the surging demand for at-home DNA testing throughout Europe, and in the UK in particular. The affordable price of the MyHeritage Family History Discovery Kit available through WHSmith, £89, makes it an ideal gift for the Christmas season ahead. 

The MyHeritage DNA test is notable for its ease of use. It involves a simple 2-minute cheek swab. In addition to the DNA test, the Family History Discovery Kit comes with 3 months of access to MyHeritage's Complete plan, which includes all family tree features and historical records on MyHeritage, seamlessly integrated with the DNA test results.

"Interest in DNA testing and family history research in the UK market has skyrocketed lately," said Akiva Glasenberg, MyHeritage's Business Development Manager. "We have created a unique bundled product to satisfy this need and are pleased to offer it to UK consumers through selected WHSmith High Street stores. Customers can look forward to discovering their ethnic origins and family history and making use of MyHeritage's vast DNA database and historical record collections to make new connections with their relatives in the UK and overseas." 

The MyHeritage Family History Discovery Kits are on sale in 200 WHSmith High Street stores, as well as online via www.whsmith.co.uk

06 September 2018

Input to LAC three-year plan

Below is a call for comments from Library and Archives Canada. I have already provided brief input, taking time out from vacation.

My primary concern is access. Despite having made progress in recent years LAC remains behind other peer institutions internationally in making its holdings openly and freely available. For instance, why is LAC witholding the 1926 census of the Prairie provinces which was officially released from Stats Can control several months ago?

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is currently identifying the priorities that will guide it over the next three years. LAC is therefore holding extensive consultations with its partners, stakeholders,  employees, and Canadians before its 2019–2022 three‑year plan is released in a few months.

Until September 14, LAC is asking Canadians: What do you envision as this—your—institution's priorities and activities? What trends could affect LAC's work?

It's easy to participate: visit our web page on "Share your thoughts on our three-year plan"<http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/about-us/consultations/Pages/default.aspx> and send us your ideas and suggestions.

Advance notice: Kingston and District UEL Meeting

The next meeting of Kingston & District United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada is on Saturday, September 22nd, at 1:00 p.m. at St. Paul's Anglican Church Hall, 137 Queen Street (at Montreal – entrance off Montreal).

The speaker will be Mr. Jay Young from the Archives of Ontario, speaking about Family Ties: Ontario Turns 150:  Stories of four family groups in Ontario at the time of Confederation

All visitors are always welcome.

Findmypast free access 7-10 Sept

Via Claire Santry's Irish Genealogy News


Note that the British, Irish, US and World Newspapers, the PERiodical Source Index and UK Electoral Registers & Companies House Directors 2002-2018 are not included in the free access collection.

Winnipeg Tribune Archive Online

The entire run of the Winnipeg Tribune, from 1890 to 1980 is now online: http://digitalcollections.lib.umanitoba.ca/islandora/object/uofm%3A1243378

Although there's a search box I couldn't get it to deliver results, perhaps because I'm trying on a (not so) smartphone while in Croatia. If you have better luck please post a comment.

BIFHSGO September Meeting

Saturday, 8 September
Ontario and Quebec's Irish Pioneers: Farmers, Labourers and Lumberjacks  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

Using wide-ranging sources, Lucille Campey will describe the communities established by the Irish in Ontario and Quebec during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She will reveal the considerable pioneering achievements of the Irish, while debunking the victim-ridden interpretations of more recent times.

The Irish were early birds. They arrived in mid Canada long before the English and became assimilated in the wider population much sooner. They had left their homeland to achieve a better standard of living and be part of a more egalitarian society and were phenomenally successful. By 1871 they were the largest immigrant group in Ontario and, in Quebec, outnumbered the combined total of Scottish and English immigrants. They founded many communities and had an immense impact on the economic development of both provinces.

The ships that brought them are also discussed and an overview is provided of the events in Ireland and Canada that shaped this immigration saga.

05 September 2018

Populations Past

I discovered a useful online Atlas of Victorian and Edwardian Population while at the Secret Lives conference. 

Based on censuses for England and Wales from 1841 to 1911, you can see 48 elements including fertility, childhood mortality, marriage, age structure, occupational status and population density displayed on a zoomable map.

There are brief explanations of these and the other elements.

04 September 2018

Growth in DNA Testing

Leah Larkin, the DNA Geek, posts on her blog on evidence pointing to a slow-down in the growth of DNA testing for genetic genealogy. 

Her estimate is that AncestryDNA, now claiming over 10 million tests taken, is running at least a couple of months behind the previous growth rate. There's confirmation in the number of people adding to gedmatch.

OGS September Webinar: Donna Moughty

Thursday, September 6, 2018 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Presentation: Navigating Online Sources for Irish Research
Presenter: Donna Moughty

Webinar descriptions and links to register are on the OGS website.

03 September 2018

Humble History

One of the things I enjoy about attending a conference like Secret Lives is learning about new (to me) resources. 

Her Humble History explains it shares the work of historian and writer Dr Lesley Trotter who has a special interest in exploring hidden aspects of history, teasing out extraordinary stories from the often mundane records of the everyday lives of people in the past. Her focus is Cornwall. 
At the conference she spoke about her research into the wives left behind while their miner husband went to work overseas, or sometimes to other parts of the UK. It's documented in her new book "The Married Widows of Cornwall".

Findmypast Additions for Friday 31 August

Over 26,000 Montgomeryshire Memorial Inscriptions from 1577 to 2016. Covers places A-H in Montgomeryshire (except for Alberbury, which is in Shropshire), comprising one-quarter of the entire memorial inscription collection for the county, published by the Montgomeryshire Family History Society. The full list of burial places is as follows: Aberhafesp, Alberbury, Berriew, Bettws Cedewain, Breiddon, Buttington, Bwlch-Y-Cibau, Carno, Castle Caereinion, Cemmaes, Churchstoke, Criggion, Darowen, Dolanog, Dolfor, Forden, Garthbeibio, Guilsfield, Hirnant, and Hyssington.

More than 110,000 memorial  inscriptions for Dorset found in over 250 parishes across the county.

Over 112,000 memorial inscriptions from Folkestone Cheriton Road Cemetery.

Over 9,000 new records of burials between 1797 and 1992 at the Northowram Independent chapel in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, are added to the collection of Yorkshire Burials.

Records of London's Livery Companies Online

ROLLCO provides records of Apprentices and Freemen in the City of London Livery Companies between 1400 and 1900.

The Records of London's Livery Companies Online project is a partnership between the Centre for Metropolitan HistoryThe Bowyers' CompanyThe Clothworkers' Company,The Drapers' CompanyThe Founders' CompanyThe Girdlers' CompanyThe Goldsmiths' CompanyThe Mercers' CompanyThe Musicians' CompanyThe Salters' CompanyThe Stationers' Company and The Tallow Chandlers' Company.

The aim of ROLLCO is to provide a fully searchable database of Livery Company membership over time. Searches can be made for individuals (and in the near future statistical 'trends') within the Companies' membership, with results available for downloading and saving.

Currently the database includes information about apprenticeship bindings and freedom admissions for ten of London's Livery Companies, with the records of further Companies to follow.

ROLLCO is a not-for-profit project, and access is free to all.


Call for Speakers: The Ontario Genealogical Society's 2019 Webinar Series

The Ontario Genealogical Society is currently accepting proposals for the monthly 2019 Webinar Series.

Proposals on a wide range of topics are invited. The top subjects from the OGS
2019 Webinar Survey are:
• Technology and Tools
• Research and Methodology
• Organization and Storage of Research, Documents and Heirlooms
• Research in the Country of Origin (i.e. England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France etc.)
• Comparison of Genealogical Websites
• Immigration
• Writing and Publishing Family Research

Selected speakers need to be prepared to provide Ontario and/or Canadian specific examples in their presentations. (where applicable).
Speakers may submit up to 3 proposals for consideration. All submissions will be reviewed but only those who are chosen will be contacted.

To submit your proposal please follow this link: https://goo.gl/MuF8jY
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: October 1, 2018, at 11:59pm ET

 Those chosen speakers will receive an honorarium for their webinar presentation.

02 September 2018

Claude Nunney awarded the Victoria Cross

Today 2 September 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the action that earned Claude Nunney the Victoria Cross. The following is from a report in the Ottawa Citizen dated 16 June 1919.

It was on September 2. when the Canadians punctured the Drocourt- Queant line, a switch of the famous Hindenburg line that Sergt C. P. (Red) Nunney. B Company. 38th Battalion, won the Victoria Cross.

B Company was following behind the smoke barrage. They were about 25 yards from a strongly entrenched enemy position, where a nest of machine guns was spitting fire. The Hun machine gunners were unable to see the moving line of Infantry then.

The usually trustworthy tanks hadn't arrived in time to snuff out the machine gunners who were causing such havoc in the advancing waves of Infantry. In a few minutes the barrage would lift and the infantry would be exposed to the withering fire of these bold machine gunners.

With his customary quick decision, his immediate consideration for his company and battalion, and absolute disregard for self, he jumped ahead of the company, hugging the fringe of the smoke curtain. and outflanked the machine gun post. He bayoneted three and shot one member of one gun-crew, and either dispatched or forced the other crew to surrender. His initiative and fearlessness enabled the battalion to proceed with a great saving of life. Half an-hour later. just as the battalion reached
their final objective, he was dangerously wounded in the neck and chest with machine-gun bullets. He was carried on a stretcher by Lieuts. Keeler and Stalker to battalion headquarters. From there he was evacuated to a casualty clearing station. Six days afterwards there passed away one of the bravest of the brave — one whose bold daring and self-abnegation was an example and inspiration to others. 

His V. C. was a posthumous award.

01 September 2018

Your Genealogy Today Sept/Oct 2018

Here are the contents of the Sept/Oct 2018 issue. No comments owing to my travel schedule.

COVER STORY: Opening Pandora's Box 
Robbie Gorr offers six keys to unlocking hidden truths about your family

Shades of Gray
Sue Lisk suggests five ways to tackle the uncertainty that family historians are often faced within their research

Language & Genealogy
Gena Philibert-Ortega looks at GPS: Genealogical Proof Standard

Tools of All Kinds for Jacks-of-All-Trades
David A. Norris says you can learn about your ancestors' lives from the contents of their toolsheds

Circus and Vaudeville: A Family Act
Richard H. Goms Jr. researches his entertainer ancestors through a variety of sources

Helicopter Genealogy
Sue Lisk recommends five tactical maneuvers to help you achieve your research goals

The Story of Rachel
Diane L. Richard looks at manumission

Book Review: The Debatable Land
Christine Woodcock reviews Graham Robb's discovery of  Scotland's Borders region

Cathedrals, Crypts, and the Family Tree
Stephen Muff says if you are seeking a saintly line, don't overlook sacred spaces around the world

DNA & Genealogy
Diahan Southard explains XDNA and how it can help in your DNA research

The Back Page
Dave Obee recommends treading carefully when contacting matches

Book Review: Ontario and Quebec's Irish Pioneers

The latest book from Lucille Campey's study of Irish immigration to Canada, which follows her books of Scottish and English immigration, is to be released imminently. The focus, Ontario and Quebec, is bound to attract interest from the many descendants of the "good and talented people" of Irish origin who made an enormous contribution to Canada’s development, focusing on the pioneer period until roughly 1850.

The book follows the format of the previous volumes. As a prelude it covers the push and pull factors that motivated the Irish to migrate and stay. The second chapter, on early migration, starts with Irish settlement during the French colonial period through to the War of 1812.

The heart of the book, in seven chapters, looks at the situation in the various regions where Irish settlement occurred, from Quebec City and environs to southwestern Ontario. Readers with Ottawa Valley ancestry, where the Irish formed "a migration of epic proportions" will be happy to see a 21 page chapter The Ottawa Valley. Quotes from settlers or visitors letters and diaries along with contemporary illustrations bring the story to life. Geoff Campey's 16 maps orient the reader and depict Irish settlement in detail.

The following two chapters, Irish Arrivals During the Great Famine of 1847 and, Sea Crossings, have corresponding chapters in Lucille's previous book on Irish immigration to Atlantic Canada. The point is again made that while the so-called coffin ships did claim many lives, perhaps one third of passengers leaving Irish ports in 1847, the cause was spread of disease — not wilful negligence of shipowners and captains. The book details fake news about the sea crossing in an attempt to "debunk the victim-ridden interpretations of more recent times." A table documents the ships that arrived in Quebec, arrival date, captain, ship quality according to Lloyd's, the number of passengers and number of deaths.

The final chapter, The Irish in Ontario and Quebec, is an overview looking at the major role the Irish played in shaping Ontario’s future and in influencing Quebec’s economic and cultural development.

For those who want to dig further there are more than 50 pages of notes, a 31 page bibliography as well as a comprehensive index.

This book is a valuable addition to the literature on the topic for those looking to understand their own family story in the context of the broader Irish immigration to Quebec and Ontario.

This review is based on a pdf copy from the publisher. I took advantage to do a bit of digital analysis on the text looking at occurrence of the words catholic(s) and protestant(s). Of 318 mentions 202 are catholic(s), that's 63%. That ratio is lowest, 56%, in the chapters on Montreal and environs and the Ottawa Valley.

The most frequently mentioned places in Ireland are: Ulster (39), Limerick (30), Cork (28), Belfast (26), Tipperary (21), Antrim (19), Fermanagh (16), Dublin (15), Wexford (15), Wicklow (14), Kilkenny (14).

The official publication date is 8 September and Lucille will be at the BIFHSGO monthly meeting that day to launch the book and make the main presentation.

Ontario and Quebec's Irish Pioneers: farmers, labourers and lumberjacks, by Lucille Campey
Published by Dundurn, September 2018
$35 (6 x 9 in paperback or pdf digital download)
$16.99 (epub)
416 pp
ISBN 978-1-45974-084-6