30 April 2020

O/T: COVID-19 in Canada in Context

With deaths from the Coronavirus pandemic topping 3,000 in Canada and forecast to hit the range 3,277 to 3,883 deaths by May 5, where does this pandemic stand in the "league table" of Canada's natural disasters?

This table is based on the data in Wikipedia's List of disasters in Canada by death toll and the latest GoC COVID-19 death statistics

Spanish fluPandemicCanadaest 55,0001918 to 1919
Newfoundland HurricaneHurricaneNewfoundland4,0001775
Cascadia earthquakeEarthquakeBritish Columbiaseveral thousand1700
Tseax Cone eruptionVolcanoBritish Columbia2000~1700
Halifax ExplosionExplosionNova Scotia20001917
RMS Empress of IrelandShipwreckQuebec10121914
RMS AtlanticShipwreckNova Scotia5621873
Swine fluPandemicCanada4282009 to 2010
Duke WilliamShipwreckNear English coast3601758

Will the COVID-19 death toll exceed that of the Newfoundland hurricane of 1775? It's possible the first wave we're currently experiencing might not reach that total. Will there be second and subsequent waves as was the case in 1918-19 when the second wave was the deadliest?

In the context of annual deaths in Canada, here are 2018 statistics from Stats Can.

Malignant neoplasms79,536
Diseases of heart53,134
Cerebrovascular diseases13,480
Accidents (unintentional injuries)13,290
Chronic lower respiratory diseases12,998
Influenza and pneumonia8,511
Diabetes mellitus6,794
Alzheimer's disease6,429
Intentional self-harm (suicide)3,811
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis3,615
Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis3,514
Assault (homicide)373

British Newspaper Archives additions for April

The British Newspaper Archive now has a total of 36,920,238 pages online (36,633,282 last month).

23 papers (34 last month) had pages added in the past month. There were 7 (11) new titles. Dates ranged from 1792 to 2005.
The 9 newspapers with more than 10,000 pages added during the month are:
Home News for India, China
and the Colonies
1866-1870, 1889-189621098
Munster News1851-1860, 1862-1871, 1873-1877, 1879-1880, 
1882-1889, 1910, 1912-1915, 1919, 1922, 1925-1927, 1930
Sunday World (Dublin)1997, 200514816
Bombay Gazette1792, 1813-1814, 1816-1841, 1850-1856, 1858, 1860-186839496
Beds and Herts Pictorial1919-1927, 1929, 1931-1935, 1951-195816584
Derby Daily Telegraph1986, 198825406
Somerset Standard1886-1895, 1898-1899, 1932-1952, 1962-197024120
Englishman's Overland Mail1864-1905, 1907-1922, 1926-192862946
Dundee Courier1987, 199613840

A 30% off offer on a 12-month subscription ends today, 30 April.

29 April 2020

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Live

I'm looking forward to the next weekly live stream from the CWGC when the presenter will be Chief Archivist Andrew Fetherston.

“For everyone who died in the First World War there was inevitably a partner, parent or child back home who had questions. The heartbreaking letters in CWGC’s archive give us an insight into what it was like for those families trying to come to terms with their loss.“

He will no doubt be profiling the new CWGC Archive Portal which contains over 10,000 items from the Commission’s past including personal correspondence, maintenance and tour reports, staff records, photographs and press cuttings.

In the 12 months to November 2019 the names of 870 war casualties not previously commemorated by the Commission were added, and over 15,000 corrections, amendments or additions made to casualty, cemetery or grave records.

Thursday, 30 April 2020 at 9:30 am ET


Webinar: Online Parish Clerks in the United Kingdom

A shout out for a Legacy Family Tree Webinar being given this Friday at 2 pm ET by Calgary genealogist Wayne Shepheard.

The Future is Still in the Past: An Introduction to Online Parish Clerks in the United Kingdom

Wayne has long experience, since 2003 as a volunteer Online Parish Clerk, handling four parishes in the southwest part of the County of Devon: Cornwood, Harford, Plympton St. Mary and Plympton St. Maurice. He maintains websites for each parish where individuals may seek information and ask questions.

Find out more and register (free) here.

28 April 2020

Newspapers.com FREE Canadian access

Here's the slide from Tuesday's Ancestry Extra webinar showing how to get limited free access to Canadian digitized and full-text searchable newspapers from Ancestry affiliate newspaper.com/.
Take advantage until the end of the month.

Go here to view the webinar with tips on searching and more. Note that contrary to the statement near the beginning you can search by province if you enter via the Browse facility.

YouTube: Family Secrets Revealed in Free Archival Canadian Newspapers Online:Provincial Initiatives

27 April 2020

Theories of Family Relativity

There's a 30-minute session on Tuesday 28 April at 2pm EDT on the MyHeritage Theories of Family Relativity™. It provides plausible theories that may help prove or further explore a possible relationship path between a tester and their unknown DNA Match

My Neanderthal DNA

23andMe's updated information revised my Neanderthal DNA down to less than 2%.

The analysis for Neanderthal traits shows I have two variants associated with being less likely to sneeze after eating dark chocolate. I doubt that was a great handicap to my distant ancestor or ancestors!

I also have one variant associated with having a worse sense of direction, one inherited from both my parents. Isn't GPS great!

26 April 2020

Toronto Branch OGS April Meeting Online

For this month's meeting, open to all, go to Zoom where it will be in webinar format on Monday 27 April beginning at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time).

"This month, the featured presenter is Lynn Palermo, also known as The Armchair Genealogist. If like so many of us, you are finding it a challenge to keep your family history organized, this talk is for you. Lynn will show us how to control our clutter, keep consistent records and avoid repeating research we’ve already done. Join us for Habits of a Highly Organized Genealogist, and learn how to set up a file system that works for you.

We’ll also enjoy a short presentation by Janice Nickerson, titled Daily Life 100 Years Ago, as told in a mother’s letters to her son. Speakers' notes will be posted on the Members Only pages.

Click here to register in advance for the April webinar. Be sure to sign in a few minutes ahead of time and say hello!"

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Beginner's Latin
A guide for family historians from the Derbyshire Record Office

Ancestry Extra
Here's what's being offered this week.

Uncovering your ancestors’ story with Newspapers.comTuesday 28 April, 10:00 a.m. EDT
Ancestry Canada Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/AncestryCA/)
Ancestry Anne shows you Newspapers.com with tips for leveraging the site to fill in the blanks in your family history research. Come prepared with questions. 
Ancestry 101Thursday 30 April, 12:00 p.m. EDT
Ancestry Canada Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/AncestryCA/)
Guidance from an expert showing how to start building your tree, make the most of the collections, and share their tips and tricks for starting your family history journey

Philip E. Tetlock interviewed by Tyler Cowen
Is accuracy only one of the things we want from forecasters?

The Three Equations for a Happy Life, Even During a Pandemic
The genetic component of a person’s well-being is between 44 percent and 52 percent, that is, about half. The other two components are your circumstances and your habits. Research is all over the map on what percentage each part represents. Circumstances—the good and the bad that enter all of our lives—could make up as little as 10 percent or as much as 40 percent of your subjective well-being. Even if circumstances play a big role, however, most scholars think it doesn’t matter very much, because the effects of circumstance never last very long.

Four video games to boost your mood
“games can actually play a powerful role in creating empathy and other strong, positive emotional experiences”.

From Ginger Ale to Cream Soda: The Story of Ottawa’s Very Own Soft Drink Company
The story of Pure Spring Company and the family that founded it.

We could power a new green movement by talking about energy change
"language and narrative impact people’s understanding and decisions about their environmental futures."

Thanks to this week's contributors

A Stressed Nominations Committee Chair, Anne S., BT, Christine Jackson, Gail B, Gail Roger, K,  Linda Gloss, Mike More, Sophronia, Teresa, Top Schools

25 April 2020

TheGenealogist Lloyd George Domesday Survey records: Kingston upon Thames

The latest addition to the ongoing project to make available records from the Lloyd George Domesday Survey is for the Kingston upon Thames, Hook and Malden areas.

If that's an area of interest in the 1910-1915 period use it to find details of where they lived or ran a business.

Find out more about Kingston and what's available in this unique resource at https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2020/property-records-finds-ancestors-homes-and-business-in-kingston-upon-thames-1251/.

With this noticeTheGenealogist also has a special offer — for a limited time an annual Diamond Subscription (where most of the good stuff is) for just under £100 which is the regular price of a Gold Subscription.

Findmypast extends Kent Parish Record Collection

This week sees major additions to the FMP Kent parish record collection, many with linked images of the original record.

Kent Baptisms
Added this week are records from 71 parishes, now 661,021 baptismal records. Chatham St Mary has the most records, 96,448 from as early as 1568. Most of the new parishes have records until the early years of the Great War. There are now 3,511,423 in the collection.

Kent Marriages and Banns
Of the 531 parishes in this collection 71 have records newly added. Typically extending from 1685 to 1935 the total is 636,061 from those parishes and brings the overall total to over 2.7 million records.

Kent Burials
Find 499.526 records added in 55 Kent parishes, some as late as the 1990s. The total number of burials in the collection is 2,993,168 in 512 parishes.

There are numerous duplicates in these collections.

24 April 2020

City of Ottawa Archives: A-OK

You may have been concerned about the state of the City Archives in these uncertain times. I'm pleased to relay this news from John Lund on behalf of City Archivist Paul Henry.

All is good at the Archives.  We are all working from home, with a select number of staff responding to urgent requests on a case by case basis in line with the City’s emergency response. Most requests are civic in origin, supporting critical City services. 

We are not fulfilling requests unless they are urgent.  Client’s are requested to update us on the urgency of their request, it is forwarded to the City Archivist for consideration.

The Archives environmental measures and HVAC system are in full operation to ensure the long term preservation of the holdings. A building facilities staff member remains onsite daily and our Conservator can monitor the environmental controls remotely.

We are all well, with plenty of work to keep us busy.  We either continue to work on projects that began before the pandemic crisis or we have taken the opportunity to delve into important back burner projects that we are now freed up to focus on. Staff remain fully engaged and informed on one another’s work through a variety of online tools.

The Ontario Gazette

The Ontario Gazette is the official publication of the Government of Ontario, containing legislative decisions, proclamations of new statutes, all regulations made under Ontario statutes, and notices that must be made public. It's published every Saturday.

The table of contents doesn't appear to hold much genealogical promise. Here it is for Volume 152 Issue 29 | July 20 2019:

Publications under Part III (Regulations) of the Legislation Act, 2006
Government Notices Respecting Corporations
Government Notices — Other
Government Notices — Other (continued)
Applications to Provincial Parliament — Private Bills
Applications to Provincial Parliament
Corporation Notices
Sale of Land for Tax Arrears by Public Tender
Publications under Part III (Regulations) of the Legislation Act, 2006

While the bulk of the content isn't of genealogical interest there are a few sections crammed with names:
  • Over 100 persons listed under The Marriage Act registering, reregistering or cancelling registration to perform marriages.
  • A four-page listing of name changes under the Change of Name Act.
Looking back to the issue for 12 August 2000, selected at random, there's a six-page name change list.

Publications are available online back to January 2000. Prior publications, back to 1868 are found at the Archives of Ontario and depository libraries. I suspect the content has changed substantially over the years. Maybe there's content relevant to your family history hidden in these obscure volumes?

23 April 2020

Free access to TNA digital records

It wasn't an April Fool joke as it seemed when free access was announced on 1 April and then nothing happened.

The (UK) National Archives has announced that:
"Registered users will be able to order and download up to 10 items at no cost, to a maximum of 50 items over 30 days. The limits are there to try and help manage the demand for content and ensure the availability of our digital services for everyone. 
To access the service and download for free, users will be required to: 
Register/sign in to their Discovery account before adding items to their basket (maximum ten items per basket)
Abide by the terms of our fair use policy 
Complete the order process to receive a download link, which will remain active for 30 days. (The link will also be saved in ‘Your orders’ in your account for 30 days)"
For details including some limitations on what's available read the complete announcement at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/news/digital-downloads/

YouTube: Canadian Archival Newspaper Subscription Sites

Here's a short, 11-minute video covering four Canadian newspaper subscription websites you may find useful in exploring your Canadian family history. By way of illustration, it ends with an exploration of what can be found on four local Ottawa genealogists. I expect to post a second video on free sites shortly.

OGS Ottawa Branch April Meeting

In lieu of the physical meeting this Saturday, the branch is offering a webinar: General Society of Mayflower Descendants: History, Resources and Applications.

(The Revd. Dr.) W. Becket Soule, O.P.:

Applications to the Society of Mayflower Descendants have exploded in the last few years in preparation for the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower in 1620.  After a brief introduction about the mission and history of the Society, the presentation will review the resources published by and available from the publishing arm of the Mayflower Society (known colloquially as the “Silver Books”) and the application form and process for the recognition of lineage.

You are invited to the Zoom meeting on Saturday, April 25, 2020, at 1:00 PM Eastern Time.

Register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

22 April 2020

225,000 pages of Tweedsmuir Community History

The following is a report from Irene Robillard, now former digitizing co-ordinator of The Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario which completed their three-year project through the Documentary Heritage Communities Program of Library and Archives Canada on 31 March. 

During this time 225,000 pages have been digitized and added to our Virtual Archives; most being our Tweedsmuir Community History Collections. These collections, with many starting in 1947, contain the history of a local community and can include farm and family histories, biographies, and photos.

Books from as far north as Cochrane in the north east and Kenora in the northwest, down to beyond London in southwestern Ontario, the Ottawa Valley in the east, and many books in between were brought to a central digitizing site and then returned. Some books were found that we were not aware of and one book was saved from destruction.

While the original documents remain locally across Ontario, the digitized documents are now together in one location, with visitors from around the world viewing them. We have fostered positive relationships with archives, museums, libraries, and historical societies throughout Ontario, with a few using our Virtual Archives to put their previously-digitized Women’s Institutes (WI) documents online. As well, some WI branches and districts have self-funded digitizing. All in all, there is about a quarter of a million pages on the platform.

There is still a lot of work to be done. About half of the documents have not yet been opened to the public as they need to be reviewed for any privacy concerns. This will happen over the next year or two. As well, there are many more books to be digitized. Already there is a waiting list for digitizing from branches, districts, and holding organizations.

Our appreciation again to Library and Archives Canada for offering their Documentary Heritage Communities Program. The WI Virtual Archives and digitization of the award-winning Tweedsmuir Collections would not have occurred without their funding.

The public can freely access the Virtual Archives at http://collections.fwio.on.ca/search . As well, all the records can be found through the portal http://search.ourontario.ca/

This was a challenging project and its success is a tribute to Irene's leadership.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Live

On Facebook on Thursday 23 April, the third installment of the CWGC Live series.

Max Dutton, Historian and Interpretation Officer, takes you on a virtual tour of cemeteries and memorials as we remember the Anzac contribution in the wars. 

Tune into the CWGC Facebook page at 9.30pm ET this Thursday. You can ask questions directly to Max during the live stream.

Watch CWGC Live here

If you can't watch live recordings of past live-streams are here

WDYTYA Magazine: May 2020

It's taken a while to get around to posting on the May issue of Who Do You Think You Are? magazine.


DNA Ethnicity
Debbie Kennett reveals how to make sense of your DNA test, and how to follow your roots around the world. ".Small percentages under 1 per cent are often nothing more than noise, and percentages under about 20 per cent will not necessarily provide a true reflection of your recent ancestry."

A Swedish Mystery
Emma Jolly explains how she tracked down the lucky British beneficiaries to a Swedish fortune for a TV show

Department Stores
How the 19th century revolutionized British shopping. Now shopping is again being revolutionized with the pandemic further stimulating the move online.

Best Websites
Online clues to your forebears’ life on the home front

Record Masterclass
Follow a relation’s service via Royal Artillery tracer cards

Ancestors At Work
Did your forebears rent out property to tenants?

Tech Tips
Back up your tree online with Family Tree Maker 2019

Focus On
Local genealogist Valerie Schneider shows you how to use free online civil records of Italian births, marriages and deaths back to the 19th century

Reader Story
“Eight generations of my family have served in the Army," says Paul Darran about his remarkable tree

My Family Album
Margaret Fuller from Tutshill introduces her relations, including a great uncle who died at Passchendaele

Eureka Moment
How Donna Tankard tracked down living descendants of her great aunt Lucy thanks to an online family tree

90 Family Hero
Howard Frost knows where his fascination with the natural kingdom comes from - his great grandfather Alfred, who became a renowned entomologist


Your ideas, comments and advice

All of the latest developments and record releases, including the impact of the coronavirus pandemic

A reminder that WDYTYA magazine is accessible for free through the PressReader online through many Canadian public libraries.

British Newspaper Archive discounts

If you can use it, until 30 April, the British Newspaper Archive are offering 30% off a 12-month subscription. There's a similar discount for a 3-month subscription. Use the discount code BNA30APRIL20G or go directly here.

21 April 2020

MyHeritage LIVE 2020 Postponed

I was so looking forward to my first visit to Isreal. Sadly but understandably it's not to be as announced in the following blog post from MyHeritage

In light of the current global situation, MyHeritage has decided to postpone MyHeritage LIVE, our annual genealogy conference.

We were really looking forward to welcoming people from all over the world in Tel Aviv this October, but your health is paramount. While we certainly hope the crisis will be behind us by the time October rolls around, at the moment it’s impossible to predict what restrictions will still be in place. We want to make sure those who have made plans and reservations have plenty of time to change them. Accordingly, those who had purchased conference tickets have already received refunds.

We hope to hold the conference at a later opportunity, and that you will be able to join us when we do. Stay tuned for updates.

In the meantime, take care of yourselves, stay safe and healthy, and we look forward to seeing you in person again when circumstances permit.

Today: Virtual Genealogy Drop-in

This is a notice from OGS Ottawa Branch.

In order to do our bit for social distancing and to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Ottawa Branch and the Ottawa Public Library have temporarily switched over to a Virtual Genealogy Drop In. Share research strategies & discover what resources are available for your research. Volunteers from The Ontario Genealogical Society will be here to answer questions & help you get the most from on-line resources.

We will use Google Meet and you can join the meeting at 2 pm with this link:

You do NOT need a Google account but will be asked for a name. To listen only, you do not need a microphone or a camera. In fact, you are encouraged to turn your camera off (thanks) and also leave your microphone muted until you are called upon. Google Meet has been successfully tested with Firefox, Chrome and the newest Edge browsers in Windows 10. There are also apps for Android, iPad and iPhone.

If you are unfamiliar with the software, please join the meeting early in order to sort out any technical issues. If you need help joining, send an e-mail to ottawawebmaster@ogs.on.ca.

20 April 2020

BBC History Magazine: May 2020

Life has a habit of getting in the way. The pandemic means events to commemorate the end of the Second World War in Europe on 8 May 1945 will be muted.

BBC History magazine has a 24-page supplement, available through your library PressReader subscription.  Contents are:

The bitter taste of victory
Keith Lowe tells the story of 1945 — which saw inhuman violence and misery.

Memories of VE Day
Peter Hart surveys the nation's mood, recollections from five people who witnessed it.

The war without an end
Daniel Todman on the uncertainty that dogged the conflict's final years

Why did the Allies Win?
Eight deciding factors in the war against the Axis powers - one was the code breakers of Bletchley Park.

Other feature articles in the May issue are:

Reassessing the Anarchy
Matthew Lewis on whether Stephen and Matilda's 12th-century fight for the crown deserves its bloody reputation
The Corn Law crisis
Stephen Bates charts the political battle over bread prices that threatened thousands with starvation
Sorrow and spiritualism
Why did Britons reject rationality in the years following the First World War? David Nash investigates. Will the transformation from pandemic to post-pandemic see the same rise in spiritualism and occultism as occurred in England a century ago?
The war against magic
Catherine Rider explores the medieval church's bid to stop its parishioners dabbling in spells and charms

Call for nominations

You've likely received one or more calls for nominations for volunteer positions with a family history organization in recent weeks, either directly, in a newsletter or as a prelude at a streamed meeting. I've seen them from BIFHSGO, OGS and its various branches (Kingston, Ottawa, Toronto). There are undoubtedly many more.

They serve to show the organization is open to new people becoming involved and, especially, inviting those with experience on a committee or board to step up to chair or president roles.

Once you've served a term or two as chair or president you've acquired antibodies and are immune from further service in the role. Or you should be. An organization that retains or keeps recycling the same person or people in the top leadership role is not healthy.

These days, with organizations not holding physical meetings the job of nominating committees is particularly challenging. You may enjoy time working on your own family history but there's greater service to be rendered — there was never a better time for you to step forward.

LAC Co-Lab update for April

Here's the monthly update on Co-Lab challenges projects as of 19 April.


Women Lightkeepers: heroes by the sea is 97% complete (96% last month)

Diary of François-Hyacinthe Séguin is 7% complete (5% last momth)

Correspondence regarding First Nations veterans returning after the First World War is 84% complete (42% month)

Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 is 69% complete (63% last month).

Rosemary Gilliat (Eaton)’s Arctic diary and photographs is 71% complete (69% last month)

New France and First Nations Relations is 50% complete (39% last month)


George Mully: moments in Indigenous communities is 2% complete.

Legendary Train Robber and Prison Escapee Bill Miner is 99% complete

War Diaries of the First World War: 1st Canadian Division is 94% complete

Japanese-Canadians: Second World War is 64% complete

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


The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918–1919

Correspondence between Sir Robert Borden and Sir Sam Hughes

Letters from Wilfrid Laurier to Zoé Lafontaine/Laurier (newly completed this month)

One of the indicators for the LAC Three-year plan 2019-2022 is the number of records enhanced by user contributions in the Co-Lab crowdsourcing tool. The indicator is to be released quarterly as is the indicator number of images digitized via DigiLab. However, the last quarterly report posted was for the period July-Sept 2019.

19 April 2020

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

War Junk
A new addition to the @UBCPress's Studies in Canadian Military History series argues that the disposal of munitions and supplies was integral to the making of postwar Canada. www.ubcpress.ca/war-junk/ .

Will all the ventilators now being built become pandemic junk?

Not Close-up but Personal with the Hubble Space Telescope
This is a panoramic view from the Hubble Space Telescope taken on an important date in 1999, that "captures an iridescent tapestry of star birth, filled with glowing gas, dark dust clouds, and young, hot stars. The star-forming region, cataloged as N11B, lies in a nearby galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud."
The new Hubble tool can be found here.

Home Child Orphans
A rant. It was mentioned in the Ancestry Extra session on Tuesday that only 10% of home children were orphans. What's the source for that? Is it a genealogical myth? Remember, dictionaries, like Mirriam Webster, define an orphan as "a child deprived by death of one or usually both parents." Is there an implication that if the parents were living the work of the agencies that cared for the child was not justified? Should children of parents who could not or would not care for their offspring not be eligible for care by charitable organizations in the same way as orphans? 

Ancestry Extra Sessions 

Finding Susan: Exploring Chinese genealogy with Ancestry on Tuesday 21 April 21 at 1 pm EDT
Ancestry Canada Advisory Board member and genealogist Linda Yip will be sharing her tips and tricks for uncovering your Chinese genealogy on Ancestry

Ancestry Answered with ProGenealogy on Thursday 23 April at 12 pm EDT
A live Q&A with a member of the Ancestry ProGenealogists team, as they discuss all things family history, and answer your burning genealogy questions.

Join these sessions on the Ancestry Canada Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/AncestryCA/)

TheGenealogist Free First Steps Package Upgraded
No card details, no subscription, completely free for researchers and now with 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses of England and Wales, a package for beginning a family history discovery at www.thegenealogist.co.uk/first-steps/.

I don't know if this is the truth?

I do know the mandatory wearing of masks was in force in 1918 in Alberta.

Edmonton Journal 14 Nov 1918Edmonton Journal 14 Nov 1918 Thu, Nov 14, 1918 – 8 · Edmonton Journal (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) · Newspapers.com
Thanks to this week's contributors
Anonymous, Barbara T, BT, Don, Irene Robillard, Jenna Bruno, John Cordes, Kenneth R Marks, Nick Thorne, Sophronia, Unknown

CWGC Beechwood Cemetery Burials: Thomas Murray

Thomas Murray is found in the 1901 census of Scotland, age 4, living in the civil parish of Glasgow Govan with parents John and Jane, an older sister Jane (who died of TB before 1917) and younger sister Agnes age 9 months.
Thomas and Agnes came into the care of the Quarrier's Orphan Homes of Scotland. They both migrated as home children to the Fairknowe home in Brockville in 1912: he was placed with William Cathcart in Stanley's Corner's, Stittsville as a farm labourer.
He enlisted on 25 September 1915, giving his date of birth as 1 April 1896, serving with the 80th Battalion to May 1916, the 74th Batallion to the following month, and then the 46th Batallion.
Likely as a result of exposure in the trenches he contracted TB. He was in various medical facilities in England before returning to Canada and the Mowat Sanitarium in Kingston.
He died on 19 April 1920 and is interred in Section 29, Lot 14 at Beechwood Cemetery.
His sister Agnes married Aringo Thomas Kelly. They had five sons and three daughters named in an Ottawa Journal death notice on 2 April 1956.

CWGC Beechwood Cemetery Burials: Calvin Bezley

He was born in Toronto on 17 (18) October 1883 the son of George and Annie (Neil) Bezley. Prior to enlisting on 22 January 1918 he had been a clerk in the forestry industry.

From 22 Jan 1918 to 15 December 1919 he served with the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles, Central Ontario Regiment in Canada, England and France.

According to an Ottawa Journal article from 20 April 1920, he had recently undergone an operation on his spine following a shrapnel wound at Cambrai on 29 September 1918 where he laid for two days before being brought in. The shrapnel was removed but he was paralyzed.

Death on 19 April 1920 was from scarlet fever. He is interred in Section 29, Lot 14.4 at Beechwood Cemetery.

He had three brothers and seven sisters including Mrs. A Wall whose address, 559 King Edward Avenue, is in the Beechwood register. His aunt, Mrs. T Bezley lived at 92 Wilbrod Street in Ottawa.

18 April 2020

Family Tree Virtually Live - Day 2

I had the opportunity to view a few, by no means all of the videos from the first day of Family Tree Virtually Live. It wouldn't be fair to single out one in particular.

Here's what available for Day 2.

Learn how to trace your ancestors in Northamptonshire
Discover the history of the county and the valuable historic records that will help you find your family in Northamptonshire with Chair of Northamptonshire Family History Society, Angela Malin. Contains useful information that people could apply to other localities too.
Discover resources to help you trace your ancestors in the British Isles
Exploring records for England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, Daniel Horowitz will show you the records and tools at MyHeritage that will help you trace your roots and find out who you are.
Plan your family history trip to Ireland
Off the beaten track – planning your Irish research trip with David Ryan: How to get around and which repositories to visit when planning an Irish research trip.
Making oral family history
Why you should record family stories and how to do this, with David Ryan, as he shows the value of the spoken word, with useful websites and top tips on how to become a great interviewer.
Living the Poor Life
Researching ancestors as inmates, governors or staff in the workhouse with Dr Gill Draper: Learn how to use workhouse records to research lives under the New Poor Law's dreaded Union Workhouse, glancing back at researching earlier periods.
How to use traditional family history to understand your DNA results
Long-time family history enthusiast Karen Evans shows how by growing your family tree online, both back in time, and filling in additional branches, you can make sense of that list of DNA matches.
Three easy steps to getting started with family history
Learn how to research your family history with three simple steps: ask questions & gathering records, using birth, marriage & death records, and exploring the census. Using the life of Emmeline Pankhurst, professional genealogist Nikki Paine puts these steps into practice to show what can be achieved in your own family tree.
What stories would your ancestors tell?
An engaging talk for beginners by Robert Parker on how to start discovering your ancestors using proven research techniques, exploring the key techniques, resources and top tips for finding your ancestors and their stories.
Starting your family history online
With the widespread use of the internet for family history, where do you start? Which websites should you use? Robert Parker shares his favourite websites; those that provide results - consistently. Discover the websites to use regularly, and those that are just emerging as useful to family history and genealogy.
Learn about the Great Frost and Famine of 1739-1741
How did these events of frost and famine occur in our ancestors’ lives? Wayne Shepheard looks at the changes to the environment and the devastating impact that climate could have on their survival.
Voyages of the past
Maritime historian Dr Simon Wills talks about the seafaring journeys our ancestors made over the past few centuries, exploring life at sea, what it was like in First Class and steerage, the food, accommodation, with excerpts from contemporary diaries. This is an audio, rather than video, recording.
An introduction to surname research and one-name studies
Learn about the enthusiastic group of experts who undertake one-name studies, and find out how you can become a ‘one-namer’ too, with surname specialist Julie Goucher.
Searching for ancestors when you’re adopted
Adoptee Penny Walters shares her valuable experience in how to trace family when you’re adopted – the approaches to take, and tips to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
Ethical dilemmas in genealogy
Penny Walters looks at the issues might arise when we’re doing our family history. From privacy issues, to breaking bad news and unexpected discoveries, a family history researcher can encounter many sorts of ethical dilemmas, so it’s as well to be prepared.

Findmypast digs for new records

It's all about burials and graves this week from Findmypast.

Surrey Burials
Major additions, over 450,000 new records from the West Surrey Family History Society. There are now 141 parish burial locations in this collection which has 506,899 total burials.

Greater London Burial Index
The new records cover 10 parishes across Greater London.

ParishYearsNumber of records
Edmonton1557 - 16768,926
Enfield, St Andrew1813 - 18666,710
Southwark, St Thomas1614 - 185420,918
St Andrew By The Wardrobe1726 - 18524,426
St Andrew Undershaft1808 - 18492,042
St Anne & St Agnes1813 - 1853569
St Benet Paul's Wharf1619 - 185310,046
St Dunstan in the West1726 - 185616,752
St Mary Magdalen Old Fish Street1540 - 18535,289
St Michael Wood Street (including St Mary Staining)1813 - 1820923

The total collection now has over 2 million records in 314 locations. Some of the larger and better-known burial grounds are: Bermondsey, St Mary Magdalen 1549 - 1932 (107,723 records), St Andrew Holborn 1726 - 1929 (104,685 records), Newington, St Mary 1620 - 1878 (102,966 records), Spa Fields Burial Ground 1778 - 1849 (91,232 records), Bunhill Fields 1788 - 1853 (47,621 records).

Canada Billion Graves Cemetery Index
Almost 100,000 additional records — there are now over 900,000 entries. For each there's a transcript with a link to an image of the headstone with GPS details. 

United States Billion Graves Index
A further 2.2 million GPS tagged cemetery records.

17 April 2020

Family Tree Virtually Live — details

These videos for Friday are now live and will be freely available to watch until 24 April, after which they will only be available to Family Tree magazine subscribers.
Video tutorials, Friday 17 April…
Discover how to trace your family history for free
Learn about key family history websites that don’t cost a penny with the Frugal Family Historian, blogger and professional genealogist Alison Spring.
Hidden in plain sight!
Get in-depth research tips with professional researcher Amelia Bennett, Vice-President of the Society of Genealogists, who shares her wealth of experience in getting so much more from the websites you may already be using…
Learn how to integrate your DNA with your online family tree
Daniel Horowitz, the genealogy expert at MyHeritage, explains DNA basics, plus how to use the DNA tools on the website to transform your research into your genes.
How to write your family history. Starting with YOU!
Former Editor-in-Chief BBC Online, Bryher Scudamore now enlists her decades of journalism experience to help people tell their life story. Here she shares her simple but extremely effective steps to help you write your family history without further delay.
Starting out researching Irish family history
Take the first steps in your Irish research as David Ryan takes us through how best to get started in finding your Irish ancestors. From exploring the geography of the Irish county where your family came from to contacting descendants on the other side of the world, David has lots of tips on how to create a to-do list and what records will be of most use.​
Find your notable Victorian
Professional genealogist Mike Sharpe looks at ways we can research our ancestors’ stories and build up a better picture of their lives using a rich range of sources, and discusses how we can write these stories up to share them with our family too.
Investigate genealogy and the Little Ice Age
Wayne Shepheard looks at the impact of Mother Nature on our ancestors’ lives from about 1300 to 1850, an era of temperature drop and persistent cold weather that lasted for five centuries and caused great hardship for our forebears.
Weddings, work and welfare
Learn about parish life for family historians with Dr Gill Draper: Open up fresh ways to research your forebear’s lives and work using church, from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.
Exploring Second World War records & memorabilia for research
Using the wartime service records of his parents as case studies, Keith Gregson shows us what we can learn about the WW2 service of our ancestors through official documents, medals, photos and memorabilia.
Why is the 1939 Register invaluable?
With Dr Penny Walters: A look at the invaluable information that can be gleaned from the 1939 Register online for England and Wales, and reflect on hidden stories within the records.
The psychology of searching
Thoughts on the psychology of searching with Dr Penny Walters: A look at psychological explanations of kinship, tribalism, duty, responsibilities, nostalgia, homelands, voids, and the need to devise a narrative. Why do we search?
Learn about a FREE statistical tool for genealogy
A statistical tool for genealogy with Vincenzo Alfano. Are humanities condemned to not benefit from statistical modelling? Discover a ready-to-use tool to improve your genealogy research!