31 August 2020

Scottish Land Records

In case you missed it, or would like to view it again, Chris Paton has made available his talk on Scottish land records at last weekend's Scottish Indexes conference for a limited time.  It's on YouTube at https://youtu.be/gBDpAr-mm-0  — for this week only.

British Newspaper Archive additions for August

The British Newspaper Archive now has a total of 38,386,080 pages online (38,109,702 last month).

45 papers (55 last month) had pages added in the past month. There were 24 (26) new titles. Dates ranged from 1792 to 1995. Again this month, The Daily Mirror with 193,544  pages is the major addition.

The 10 additions of more than 10,000 pages during the month:

Fleetwood Chronicle132181877, 1902, 1906-1921
Bradford Observer304201936-1952
Glamorgan Gazette143261894, 1911-1950
Carmarthen Journal137481821-1822, 1832, 1835, 1842-1843, 1845-1846,
1848, 1850-1868, 1871, 1876-1880, 1889,
1892-1896, 1906, 1911
Waterford News Letter169661838-1848, 1870-1889, 1891-1893, 1895-1916
Manchester Daily Examiner & Times12654 1856-1857, 1875-1877, 1889, 1893-1894
Star of Gwent238241853-1895, 1899-1903
Pontypridd Observer182201897-1950, 1912
Daily Mirror1935441921, 1935-1937, 1981-1993, 1995
Staffordshire Sentinel153241989

30 August 2020

Sunday Morning Genealogy

From Penny Allen - Canadian genealogist/librarian in England.


Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

On 31 August at 2 PM EDT Megan Butcher, Chief of Orientation and Genealogy for the LAC, walks us through what Library and Archives Canada has to offer, some of her favourite case studies from across the country, and how you can use the LAC archive to compliment your own family history research on Ancestry.

Findmypast Weekly Update: Wales

Over 900,000 additions to Welsh records, new and enhanced.

Wales Probate Records 1544-1858

Now, search by names, years, locations and others — over 700,000 probate records.

Caernarvonshire Parish Registers

Baptisms, marriages and burials from Llanbeblig parish have been added to this collection: baptisms (50,793); marriages (13,985); burials (25,711).

Denbighshire Burials

Over 37,000 records from Wrexham Cemetery added to this collection. As well as transcripts with the most important information, many of the records feature digitised copies of the original burial records. There is a free index with search returning transcripts of surname, forename, year, age, place of  death, burial number, burial date and  grave number at https://www.wrexham.gov.uk/service/wrexham-cemetery-burial-records-search-facility

There are 154 Commonwealth War Graves Commission burials including 9 Canadians, 7 from the WW2 RCAF and 2 from WW1.

Montgomeryshire Monumental Inscriptions

Over 17,000 new entries to this collection from 17 different locations.

PlaceYear fromYear toRecord Count
Llanrhaiadr ym Mochnant160420091,291
Llansantffraid ym Mechain155620062,221

Each has an image of the monumental inscription with more information. Some even include detailed local histories and Welsh language translations. 

28 August 2020

FamilySearch and Ontario Ancestors Announce Book Scanning Project

FamilySearch issued a press release on 28 August announcing a new book scanning partnership. FamilySearch will provide specialized book scanning services and support volunteers in exchange for access to Ontario Ancestors’ extensive library of historical and genealogical books. Digitized documents will be publicly available on both websites. Digitization is scheduled to begin by the end of 2020, depending on pandemic restrictions.

Read the press release.

McGill’s digital collections

If your family roots are in Ontario you're familiar with the McGill University Ontario Beldon Atlas collection providing access to 43 volumes produced between 1874 and 1881. 

You may not be aware of other McGill resources available online.

Canadian Architect and Builder was the only professional architectural journal published in Canada before World War I. With both advertisements and articles appearing in the text files, CAB provides a wealth of information on the state of architecture and building in Canada during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

McGill Library Electronic Thesis and Dissertation collection (1881–2018)  a large collection, some digitized, many with only metadata. Find out what a family member might have investigated while at McGill.

The Fur Trade in Canada and the North West Company, 38 manuscripts collectively known as the Masson Papers comprising letters, diaries, travel narratives, and other textual documents relating to the North West Company and the colonial-era fur trade more generally. The papers represent a settler perspective of North American places and peoples. 

Chapbook Collection contains over nine hundred British and American chapbooks published in the 18th and 19th centuries. The contents are organized by subject categories: Books of Instruction (40), Crimes and Criminals (2), Dramatic (1), Geographical Description, Local History and Natural History (43), Historical, Political and Biographical (19),  Jest Books, Humorous Fiction, Riddles (13), Legendary Romances, Fairy Stories and Folk Tales in Prose (63), Metrical Tales and Other Verse (122), Nursery Rhymes (60), Occult (5), Odd Characters and Strange Events (1), Prose Fiction (15), Religious and Moral (439), Song Books (29), Travel and Adventure (23).

See a more complete description here.

via a mention in the always informative Documentary Heritage News.

Remembering Gordon Taylor

Today is the 10th anniversary of the passing of Gordon de Rupe Taylor, a career public servant retired from the Canadian Government Office of Tourism who served as President of BIFHSGO from 1996 to 1998.

His induction into the BIFHSGO Hall of Fame reads:
Gord Taylor was recognized for his leadership in the Society through his service as a Director, President, Past President and his research and writing about genealogical subjects. He was a forward looking researcher having taken an interest in genetic genealogy at an early stage. 
Gordon authored “The Printed Page” column in Anglo-Celtic Roots for five years; his last column appeared in the Fall 2010 issue.

27 August 2020

FreeBMD August Update

The FreeBMD Database was last updated on Wednesday 26 August 2020 to contain 276,451,384 unique records (276,053,272 at previous update).

Years with major additions, greater than 5,000 records are: for births 1985-89; for marriages 1969, 1986-89; for deaths 1980, 1984-86, 1988-90

Book Review: Canada's Irish Pioneers: Their Story, by Lucille Campey


Ask a Canadian about the Irish in Canada and you'll hear tales about immigration of impoverished farm families in coffin ships escaping the potato famine. 

As Lucille Campey documents in her latest book, the final one in her Irish series, that’s just a small part of the story of Canada's Irish settlement, and while there was a lot of hardship the horrendous death rates associated with immigration mostly occurred in 1847. There's much more to the story.

Following the first overview chapter, Essential but Undervalued, the book's chapters move from east to west starting with early settlement in Newfoundland. The early chapters rehearse material covered in more depth in earlier books in the series Atlantic Canada's Irish Immigrants: A Fish and Timber Story published in 2016  and  Ontario and Quebec's Irish Pioneers: farmers, labourers and lumberjacks published in 2018.

As settlement occurred further west the story moves to the later years. Many of the Irish who had originally settled in eastern Canada joined the movement which saw a western population explosion. There are chapters for Manitoba to the west coast. In Alberta, I was surprised to learn of an influx of prosperous, well-educated and entrepreneurially-inclined Irishmen to Calgary in the 1870s, and settlement as ranchers in the Macleod District of former members of the North West Mounted Police, which was modelled on the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

Canadians of Irish origin often ask about passenger lists for their ancestor's Atlantic crossing and are disappointed to learn that finding one is a rare exception. A 14-page appendix Selected Immigrant Ship Crossings from Ireland to Quebec, 1841–1850 compiles information from British Parliamentary Papers on the voyages: year and month of arrival, vessel name, departure port, and the number of passengers, and sometimes notes on the voyage. 

As with the previous books, there are comprehensive notes, a bibliography and an index. Inserted in the text are 26 outline maps by Geoff Campey and 14 tables including a few early lists of immigrants.

While Lucille Campey's previous books were published by Dundurn Press Canada's Irish Pioneers: Their Story is self-published on Amazon where the 391-page paperback edition is available for $25. There's a Kindle edition for an amazing $8 — within the budget and a feast for all but the most impoverished Irish immigrant descendant.

26 August 2020

O/T: Just sayin'


Did anyone notice that while government offices and businesses closed down during the pandemic one government service kept going. Despite infection in an office in Quebec weather reports, forecasts and warnings continued. When did you ever hear on radio or TV that there was no forecast available? 

It is possible the forecasts might not have been as accurate as the reduced number of automated reports from aircraft which were not flying are now an important data source for weather prediction models.

Kudos to my former colleagues with the Meteorological Service of Canada.

FamilySearch Weekly Updates

Here's a complete list of the Canadian and British titles updated this week at FamilySearch.

Canada, New Brunswick, County Register of Births, 1801-192012,894183,767
Canada, Nova Scotia Delayed Births, 1837-190412,512116,986
England, Essex Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-19711,11841,364
England, Herefordshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1583-18982,4901,092,567
England, Manchester, Miscellaneous Records, 1700-1916690853,933
England, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-198889,997913,535

25 August 2020

This Week's Online Genealogy Events

 Choose from online events in the next four days. All times are ET.

Tuesday 25 August, 11 am: Brick Wall Busting in North America, with Thomas MacEntee and host Jen Baldwin of FindmyPast: www.facebook.com/findmypast

🇨🇦Tuesday 25 August, 2 pm: Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from OGS Ottawa Branch and The Ottawa Public Library. Join here.

Tuesday 25 August, 2 pm: How to Use MyHeritage DNA Results to Enhance Your Family Tree by Michelle Leonard, Register at MyHeritage Webinars.

Tuesday 25 August; 2:30 pm: Using the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), presented by Adam Barrone for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Centre, http://www.genealogycenter.org/Events/SingleEvent/2020/08/25/default-calendar/using-the-periodical-source-index-(persi)

Wednesday 26 August, 7 pm: Slack for Genealogy Projects, by Thomas MacEntee. Register at Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Appears to be for the professional.

🇨🇦 Wednesday 26 August, 7 pm Strategic Searching on Find My Past with Jen Baldwin. More information at QFHS.ca. $ for non-members of QFHS.

Thursday, 27 August, 8 am: TBA: Commonwealth War Graves Commission  https://www.cwgc.org/our-work/projects/cwgc-live/ 

Friday, 28 August, 11 am: Friday's Live, with Ellie Overthrow- Jones. www.facebook.com/findmypast

And on Sunday

30 August,  Scottish Indexes Conference. Two sessions, 2 - 10 am or 10 am - 6 pm (repeat). https://www.scottishindexes.com/. By donation.

24 August 2020

Why I'm an OGS Member?

In his latest weekly video, OGS President Steve Fulton asked for feedback regarding membership. He asks people who could give him good reasons why they're a member of the society to email him at president@ogs.on.ca. 

This isn't quite what he asked for, but is pertinent. Why renew membership is a question I muse over each year. Last year was an exception when I picked up OGS membership as a door prize at the BIFHSGO conference. For a couple of years preceding I took advantage of the half-price membership when you pair with a non-member. Who doesn't get tempted to buy when there's a sale?

I joined OGS as I thought of it as a society for people in the province interested in genealogy. In recent years the rebranding has seen an orientation to being a society for people with Ontario ancestry. That isn't me.

I'm an immigrant like 29.1% of Ontario's population according to the latest census. I came from England, unusual for today's immigrants, and have lived in Ottawa for 35 years. Having two people in my whole family tree before me who lived in the province, and those only briefly, my genealogical links here are tenuous. 

My own family history interests are well catered for by the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa. Having an interest in local and family history I belong to local Ottawa societies - The Historical Society of Ottawa, the Gloucester Historical Society and the Pinhey's Point Foundation. 

Similarly, I'm a member of the Ottawa Branch of OGS. To be a member of volunteer-run Ottawa Branch I'm required to be an OGS member.

Another organization in which I have a membership is the UK Society of Genealogists. I do so mainly to support that organization as an advocate for UK genealogical interests.

Advocacy is one of the three aims of OGS. For me, that's where OGS provincially has fallen down in recent years by conflating outreach with advocacy. They are not the same thing.

The exception, where OGS advocacy has paid off, is one initiative with Library and Archives Canada, — digitization of their Ontario Vernon directory collection by FamilySearch. 

Provincially, what can OGS point to as resources that have become available from the Archives of Ontario as a result of advocacy? 

Or stepping back, as not all advocacy is successful, in the past year what advocacy initiatives have OGS undertaken provincially? Land record offices are being closed in early October; aside from expressing concern has OGS lobbied for timely alternative access?

Where's the list of AO records OGS would like to see digitized and online and what has been done to lobby for this to happen? 

Are there other initiatives or changes to service OGS has identified for AO? The pandemic has exacerbated access issues, particularly for those of us who live away from the Toronto area. Free and timely digitization on-demand would be a big help? With reasonable limitations, Australia did it years ago. Why not in Ontario?

As I was finishing this post I glanced at a Japan Camera envelope still holding old photos I'm sorting. Boldly printed was "We guarantee that you will be 100% satisfied with our products and services, or your money back." Lifting the flap I read "We've got to be good. It's your life we're developing."

As I muse on sending in my membership renewal — should OGS aspire to that standard in fulfilling its advocacy mandate?

The Future of DNA Testing: A Genealogy of Everyone

In an article for Your Genealogy Guide earlier this month Jayne Elkins, a genetic genealogy veteran predicts that:

clients can expect to see products that link them to relations near and far in the form of trees based on the inheritance of segments of autosomal DNA throughout human history. 
Some of this genetic tree information may complement traditional written genealogical sources, while some researchers may find the two at odds in places. 

This is based on articles published last year in Nature by two groups at Oxford University 

Inferring whole-genome histories in large population datasets by Kelleher et al

A method for genome-wide genealogy estimation for thousands of samples, by Speidel et al.

I struggle to understand much of the original articles so could be completely off base, but it appears the techniques will be mainly useful for investigating deep ancestry rather than relationships within the genealogical timeframe.

23 August 2020

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

A fully-searchable database containing over 64,000 names of people known to have migrated to England during the period of the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death, the Wars of the Roses and the Reformation.

Medieval baby names: what were people called in the Middle Ages?

Reclaim the Records Zinger

Thanks to this week's contributors: Anonymous, BT, Donna Jones, Gail B., K, Mike More, Rick Roberts, Seeds to Tree, Sophronia, Unknown.

TheGenealogist releases over 260,000 Poll Book records

TheGenealogist has added records from 1747 to 1930 to its poll book collection. These cover 36 different registers of people who were entitled to vote in constituencies situated in Bath, Devon, Hampshire, Hertford, Kent, Lincolnshire, London, Monmouthshire, Northumberland, Rutland, Scotland, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk and Surrey.

They join the millions of electoral resources in TheGenealogist collection which include electoral registers, voters lists and absentee voters.

For more detail read TheGenealogist’s article at https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2020/poll-books-and-electoral-rolls-used-to-locate-ancestors-address-1296/.

22 August 2020

Findmypast: Focus on Scotland

Explore over 250,000 birth, baptism, marriage, death, and burial records, mostly the latter, in three new collections from North East Scotland. 

Scotland, Banffshire & Moray Births & Baptisms

Transcriptions for dates from 1520 to 1998, 22945 in total. Over 70% predate civil registration in 1855.

Scotland, Banffshire & Moray Marriages

Transcriptions of 34,680 marriages from 1474 (a few earlier ones look like transcription errors) to 2012. Most (61%) occurred between 1875 and 1925.

Scotland, Banffshire & Moray Deaths & Burials

Transcriptions of 195,979 events from possibly as early as 1020 up to 2019. The late 19th and early 20th centuries are the focus.


Scotland, Burgess & Guild Brethren Index

Over 60,000 additions to this collection of occupation records dating from the 1200s to the 1970s. Includes exclusive portrait photos. Myko Clelland spent most of the Friday's Live session explaining these and related employment records as well as answering questions. He also mentioned FMP has records coming for Scottish physicians.

This week has also seen 11 new newspapers and six newspapers with expanded coverage added.

21 August 2020

AncestryDNA and the Longest Segment Match

Gradually Ancestry is releasing additional information about our DNA matches. While there still isn't a chromosome browser the longest segment in common with matches is now listed along with the total DNA and number of segments matched.

Why is this important?

  Debbie Kennett writes:

"This is particularly important for people who are descended from endogamous populations. Knowing the length of the longest segment you and a DNA match have in common can help determine if you’re actually related. The longer the segment, the more likely you’re related. Segment length is also the easiest way to evaluate the difference between multiple matches that all show the same estimated relationship."

Blaine Bettinger writes:

"Knowing the length of the longest segment shared with a match will be enormously beneficial to test-takers with endogamous ancestry. It will allow them to identify, to a degree, matches that share only small pieces of DNA (and thus much older common ancestry) and matches that share at least one large piece of DNA (and thus more recent common ancestry)."

 In an earlier post Blaine has tables with longest segment statistics for different relationships and separate stats for endogamous and non-endogamous relationships. Caution. It's unclear to me, along with many other things, how applicable these stats from 2015 are to results from Ancestry and the way they manipulate the data today.

Historic Montreal Cultural Treasures at Risk

An article in Le Devoir reports that "Archivists, curators, technicians, persons in charge of the maintenance of real estate: what remained of the specialized personnel to ensure the conservation of the rich archives and the patrimonial assets of the priests of Saint-Sulpice, the former all-powerful lords of the island of Montreal, were dismissed en bloc. The Sulpicians, these former lords of the island of Montreal, have accumulated cultural treasures since 1657, but have just dismissed all the professionals supposed to watch over their rich collections which touch on the origins of Quebec and Canada."

The paper was unable to find out the reason.

Read the article (in French).

20 August 2020

Irish Genealogy Matters

Now available, the latest four-page Irish Family History Foundation newsletter crammed with news on the Foundation, new records online and more. New at www.rootsireland.ie since the last quarterly issue are:

• North Mayo: Over 79,540 Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Methodist burial registers, gravestone inscriptions and tithes;

• Wicklow: Over 34,000 burial records from County Wicklow – mostly Church of Ireland but also some Roman Catholic;

• Armagh: over 41,000 baptismal, marriage, death and headstone inscription records of various religious denominations in County Armagh;

• Westmeath: Over 13,000 Roman Catholic and church of Ireland parish records and gravestone inscriptions.

• South Dublin: over 200 men from South Dublin who died in WW I.

Download the pdf here.

FamilySearch Weekly Updates

Here's a complete list of the Canadian and British titles updated this week at FamilySearch showing the total records for each, not the number added.

Canada, New Brunswick, County Register of Births, 1801-1920175813
England, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-1988861913
England, Essex Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-197138878
England, Herefordshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1583-18981089255
England, Cambridgeshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1538-198336480
England, Yorkshire Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1613-1887322876
England, Lancashire Non-Conformist Church Records, 1647-1996264217

19 August 2020

LAC please copy

With reopening things are different. Procedures and facilities we're accustomed to will have changed. 

Here are a couple of videos, from PRONI and the Ottawa Public Library via CTV which help clients so they're more prepared when they visit. While the videos won't win any awards they don't take a lot of preparation, même si elles doivent être faites dans les deux langues officielles. They do help us who understand more from audiovisual information than text.

 LAC please copy.

What books did your ancestors read?

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

These are the top five best books published during the 1900's decade (1900 - 1909) according to Goodreads Listopia. There's a good chance your ancestor of the era purchased, received or borrowed and read one of those.  

Even if only an occasional reader, your literate ancestor likely read, and maybe savoured one of those books. In writing their biography speculating on what your ancestor read can help bring them to life. By the way, present stats are that the typical person reads four books a year, the average number of books read per year (12) is biased by a minority of voracious readers,

Here are two other internet sources for popular books through history.

In 2018 Literary Hub published a year-by-year list of the Biggest Fiction Bestsellers of the Last 100 Years (And What Everyone Read Instead).

Wikipedia has a list of best-selling books. Below is the list sorted by publication date.

BookAuthor(s)Original languageFirst publishedSales (million)
BecomingMichelle ObamaEnglish201811.5
The Girl on the TrainPaula HawkinsEnglish201520
The Fault in Our StarsJohn GreenEnglish201223
Gone GirlGillian FlynnEnglish201220
Me Before YouJojo MoyesEnglish201212
Fifty Shades DarkerE. L. JamesEnglish201210.4
Fifty Shades of GreyE. L. JamesEnglish201115.2
MockingjaySuzanne CollinsEnglish201020
The Lost SymbolDan BrownEnglish200930
Catching FireSuzanne CollinsEnglish200921
The HelpKathryn StockettEnglish200910
The Hunger GamesSuzanne CollinsEnglish200829
Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsJ. K. RowlingEnglish200765
The ShackWilliam P. YoungEnglish200722
The SecretRhonda ByrneEnglish200620
Confucius from the Heart (于丹《论语》心得)Yu DanChinese200610
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceJ. K. RowlingEnglish200565
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor)Stieg LarssonSwedish200530
The Book ThiefMarkus ZusakEnglish200516
Wolf Totem (狼图腾)Jiang RongChinese200420
The Da Vinci CodeDan BrownEnglish200380
Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixJ. K. RowlingEnglish200365
The Kite RunnerKhaled HosseiniEnglish200331.5
The Purpose Driven LifeRick WarrenEnglish200233
The Lovely BonesAlice SeboldEnglish200210
The Shadow of the Wind (La sombra del viento)Carlos Ruiz ZafónSpanish200115
Life of PiYann MartelEnglish200110
Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireJ. K. RowlingEnglish200065
Angels & DemonsDan BrownEnglish200039
Interpreter of MaladiesJhumpa LahiriEnglish200015
The Dukan DietPierre DukanFrench200010
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanJ. K. RowlingEnglish199965
The GruffaloJulia DonaldsonEnglish199910.5
Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsJ. K. RowlingEnglish199877
Who Moved My Cheese?Spencer JohnsonEnglish199826
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's StoneJ. K. RowlingEnglish1997120
Tuesdays with MorrieMitch AlbomEnglish199714
Angela's AshesFrank McCourtEnglish199610
The Horse WhispererNicholas EvansEnglish199516
Santa EvitaTomás Eloy MartínezSpanish199510
Guess How Much I Love YouSam McBratneyEnglish199415
Follow Your Heart (Va' dove ti porta il cuore)Susanna TamaroItalian199414
Long Walk to FreedomNelson MandelaEnglish199414
The Celestine ProphecyJames RedfieldEnglish199323
The GiverLois LowryEnglish199310
The Bridges of Madison CountyRobert James WallerEnglish199260
Diana: Her True StoryAndrew MortonEnglish199210
Wild SwansJung ChangEnglish199210
Sophie's World (Sofies verden)Jostein GaarderNorwegian199140
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleStephen R. CoveyEnglish198925
The Pillars of the EarthKen FollettEnglish198915
The Alchemist (O Alquimista)Paulo CoelhoPortuguese198865
A Brief History of TimeStephen HawkingEnglish198825
KitchenBanana YoshimotoJapanese198820
MatildaRoald DahlEnglish198817
Norwegian Wood (ノルウェイの森)Haruki MurakamiJapanese198712
Love You ForeverRobert MunschEnglish198620
Perfume (Das Parfum)Patrick SüskindGerman198515
Knowledge-value Revolution (知価革命)Taichi SakaiyaJapanese198510
You Can Heal Your LifeLouise HayEnglish198450
What to Expect When You're ExpectingArlene Eisenberg and Heidi MurkoffEnglish198420
The GoalEliyahu M. GoldrattEnglish198410
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾Sue TownsendEnglish198220
Totto-chan, the Little Girl at the Window (窓ぎわのトットちゃん)Tetsuko KuroyanagiJapanese198118
Ronia, the Robber's DaughterAstrid LindgrenSwedish198110
The Name of the Rose (Il Nome della Rosa)Umberto EcoItalian198050
CosmosCarl SaganEnglish198040
Flowers in the AtticV. C. AndrewsEnglish197940
Kane and AbelJeffrey ArcherEnglish197937
The Neverending Story (Die unendliche Geschichte)Michael EndeGerman197916
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyDouglas AdamsEnglish197914
Problems in China's Socialist Economy (中国社会主义经济问题研究)Xue MuqiaoChinese197910
Eye of the NeedleKen FollettEnglish197810
The Thorn BirdsColleen McCulloughEnglish197733
The Women's RoomMarilyn FrenchEnglish197720
The Hite ReportShere HiteEnglish197650
Your Erroneous ZonesWayne DyerEnglish197635
The Eagle Has LandedJack HigginsEnglish197550
ShōgunJames ClavellEnglish197515
Life After LifeRaymond MoodyEnglish197513
The Bermuda TriangleCharles BerlitzEnglish197420
JawsPeter BenchleyEnglish197420
The Total WomanMarabel MorganEnglish197410
The Front RunnerPatricia Nell WarrenEnglish197410
Fear of FlyingErica JongEnglish197320
Watership DownRichard AdamsEnglish197250
The Joy of SexAlex ComfortEnglish197210
The Happy Hooker: My Own StoryXaviera HollanderEnglish197120
The ExorcistWilliam Peter BlattyEnglish197111
Jonathan Livingston SeagullRichard BachEnglish197044
Love StoryErich SegalEnglish197021
What Color Is Your Parachute?Richard Nelson BollesEnglish197010
The Very Hungry CaterpillarEric CarleEnglish196943
The GodfatherMario PuzoEnglish196921
The Naked ApeDesmond MorrisEnglish196820
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien años de soledad)Gabriel García MárquezSpanish196750
The OutsidersS. E. HintonEnglish196715
Valley of the DollsJacqueline SusannEnglish196631
DuneFrank HerbertEnglish196520
The Gospel According to PeanutsRobert L. ShortEnglish196510
Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryRoald DahlEnglish196420
Where the Wild Things AreMaurice SendakEnglish196320
A Wrinkle in TimeMadeleine L'EngleEnglish196214
Catch-22Joseph HellerEnglish196110
To Kill a MockingbirdHarper LeeEnglish196040
Things Fall ApartChinua AchebeEnglish195820
Night (Un di Velt Hot Geshvign)Elie WieselYiddish195810
Andromeda NebulaIvan YefremovRussian195720
The Cat in the HatDr. SeussEnglish195710.5
Peyton PlaceGrace MetaliousEnglish195612.1
LolitaVladimir NabokovEnglish195550
The Ginger ManJ. P. DonleavyEnglish195550
Fahrenheit 451Ray BradburyEnglish195310
Charlotte's WebE.B. White; illustrated by Garth WilliamsEnglish195250
The Power of Positive ThinkingNorman Vincent PealeEnglish195220
The Old Man and the SeaErnest HemingwayEnglish195213
The Catcher in the RyeJ. D. SalingerEnglish195165
The Revolt of Mamie StoverWilliam Bradford HuieEnglish195130
The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeC. S. LewisEnglish195085
Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft (Kon-Tiki ekspedisjonen)Thor HeyerdahlNorwegian195020
Nineteen Eighty-FourGeorge OrwellEnglish194930
No Longer Human (人間失格)Osamu DazaiJapanese194812
The Diary of Anne Frank (Het Achterhuis)Anne FrankDutch194735
Goodnight MoonMargaret Wise BrownEnglish194716
The Plague (La Peste)Albert CamusFrench194712
The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child CareDr. Benjamin SpockEnglish194650
Autobiography of a YogiParamahansa YoganandaHindi194620
Man's Search for Meaning (Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager)Viktor FranklGerman194612
The Young Guard (Молодая гвардия)Alexander Alexandrovich FadeyevRussian194526
Animal FarmGeorge OrwellEnglish194520
The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince)Antoine de Saint-ExupéryFrench1943150
The Poky Little PuppyJanette Sebring LowreyEnglish194215
The Stranger (L'Étranger)Albert CamusFrench194210
And Then There Were NoneAgatha ChristieEnglish1939100
The Grapes of WrathJohn SteinbeckEnglish193915
RebeccaDaphne du MaurierEnglish193830
The HobbitJ. R. R. TolkienEnglish1937100+
Gone with the WindMargaret MitchellEnglish193630
Uncle Styopa (Дядя Степа)Sergey MikhalkovRussian193621
How to Win Friends and Influence PeopleDale CarnegieEnglish193615
Virgin Soil Upturned (Поднятая целина)Mikhail SholokhovRussian193524
Lust for LifeIrving StoneEnglish193425
God's Little AcreErskine CaldwellEnglish193314
How the Steel Was Tempered (Как закалялась сталь)Nikolai OstrovskyRussian193236.4
All Quiet on the Western Front (Im Westen nichts Neues)Erich Maria RemarqueGerman192920
The Story of My Experiments with Truth (સત્યના પ્રયોગો અથવા આત્મકથા)Mohandas Karamchand GandhiGujarati1925-192910
The Great GatsbyF. Scott FitzgeraldEnglish192530
The Good Soldier Švejk (Osudy dobrého vojáka Švejka za světové války)Jaroslav HašekCzech192320
The ProphetKahlil GibranEnglish192311
Anne of Green GablesLucy Maud MontgomeryEnglish190850
The Wind in the WillowsKenneth GrahameEnglish190825
The Tale of Peter RabbitBeatrix PotterEnglish190245
A Message to GarciaElbert HubbardEnglish189940
She: A History of AdventureH. Rider HaggardEnglish188783
Adventures of Huckleberry FinnMark TwainEnglish188520
The Adventures of Pinocchio (Le avventure di Pinocchio)Carlo CollodiItalian1881>80
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the ChristLew WallaceEnglish188050
HeidiJohanna SpyriSwiss German188050
Black BeautyAnna SewellEnglish187750
War and Peace (Война и мир)Leo TolstoyRussian186936
A Tale of Two CitiesCharles DickensEnglish1859200
Pride and PrejudiceJane AustenEnglish181320
Dream of the Red Chamber (紅樓夢)Cao XueqinChinese1791100
Paul et VirginieJacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-PierreFrench178825
The Divine Comedy (La Divina Commedia)Dante AlighieriItalian130411-12

Remember, they likely read the Bible too.

18 August 2020

This Week's Online Genealogy Events

 Choose from online events in the next four days. All times are ET.

🇨🇦Tuesday 18 August, 2 pm: Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from OGS Ottawa Branch and The Ottawa Public Library. Join here.

Tuesday 18 August, 2:30 pm: Adam Matthew: Enrich Your Research with Digital Primary Sources, presented by Alexandra Burnsides, Allen County Public Library. Register in advance for this program:

Tuesday 18 August, 8 pm: The Advance of Research Habits over Recent Decades — And the Downside
by Tom Jones. Register in advance at https://familytreewebinars.com/webinar_details.php?webinar_id=1283

Wednesday 19 August, 11 am: History Begins a Home, with Ellie Ellie Overthrow-Jones (FMP)  and guest Gary Tucson. www.facebook.com/findmypast

Wednesday 19 August, 2 pm:  Trace Your Immigrant Ancestors with MyHeritage, presented by Lisa Alzo, www.facebook.com/myheritage

Wednesday 19 August, 2 pm: Getting to Know Mexican Church & Civil Registration Records
by Colleen Robledo Greene. Register in advance at https://familytreewebinars.com/webinar_details.php?webinar_id=1228

Thursday, 20 August, 8 am: TBA: Commonwealth War Graves Commission  https://www.cwgc.org/our-work/projects/cwgc-live/ 

Thursday, 20 August, 1 pm. Ask the Expert: Recording Adoptive Parents, MyHeritage. .Click here to register.

Friday, 21 August, 11 am: Friday's Live, with Alex Cox. www.facebook.com/findmypast

Friday, 21 August, 2:30 pm: The 1939 Register, with Penny Walters. Herefordshire FHS, Information via https://www.herefordshirefhs.org.uk/meetings/

LAC Co-Lab Update for August

As of 17 August, progress reported on Co-Lab challenges has been frozen since last month. This is the third month where the stats have been the same.

As the crowdsourcing transcription, tagging, translation and description of the digitized records from LAC's collection have presumably remained active, like other online facilities during the pandemic closure of the physical facility, I'm optimistic a tsunami of progress will be reported soon.

17 August 2020

Two items on Ontario Newspapers

You learn so much when you listen. This past week I learned about a couple of Ontario newspaper resources.

On Tuesday afternoon during the OGS Ottawa Branch Virtual Genealogy Drop-In Chuck Buckley mentioned a thesis by John Michael Bolton from Wilfrid Laurier University Scholar's CommonsSpread and Growth of Newspapers in Ontario, 1781-1977. Use it as a source to find what newspapers were available at the time and in the area where an ancestor lived. I was surprised it's NOT AVAILABLE through Library and Archives Canada's Theses Canada.

On Saturday, Glenn Wright mentioned the digitized newspapers available as part of an ongoing long-term project undertaken by the Huron County Library and Huron County Museum. More than a century of historic news is on-line — more than 350,000 newspaper pages from 1848 to 2016:

Bayfield Breeze 2009-2018; The Bayfield Bulletin, 1964-1968; The Bayfield Post, 1981-1982; The Blyth Standard, 1893-1982; The Brussels Post, 1885-1929; The Citizen (Blyth/Brussels) 2016-2018; The Citizen, 2015-2018; The Clinton New Era, 1874-1921; Clinton News Record, 1912-1945; Dungannon News, 1915; East Huron Gazette (Gorrie), 1892-1893; The Exeter Advocate, 1888-1924; The Exeter Times, 1873-1924; The Exeter Times Advocate, 1924-1926; 2002-2008; The Fordwich Record, 1901, 1935; The Gazette (Mildmay), 1894; The Goderich Illustrated Signal-Star, 1889; The Goderich Star, 1868-1933; Goderich Reporter, 1880, Greater Goderich, 1918; The Huron Expositor (Seaforth), 11869-1980; 2013-2016; The Huron Loyalist, 1850, 1853; Huron Gazette (Goderich), 1848-1849; The Huron Record, 1881; The Huron News-Record, 1888-1897; Huron Signal (Goderich),1848-1936; The Lucknow Sentinel, 1875-1940; 2013-2016; The Seaforth News, 1917-1962; The Seaforth Sun, 1901; Wingham Times, 1882, 1885-1916; The Wingham Advance, 1889, 1893, 1902-1921; Wingham Advance-Times, 1922-1935; The Wroxeter Planet, 1909; The Wroxeter Star, 1900; 1902-1904; Zurich Herald, 1900-1957;  Zurich Citizen’s News, 1958-1978.

More are being added.

Hits are highlighted on the original page image — nice!

Share Your Expertise

Kim Barnsdale, OGS Webinar Coordinator emailed to let me know, actually reminding me, about the Call for Speakers: The Ontario Ancestors 2021 Webinar Series.

Proposals on a wide range of topics are invited, but especially on the top subjects from a recent 2021 Webinar Topic Survey:
• Ontario Land Records 
• Comparison of Genealogy Websites 
• Organization/Storage of Records 
• Immigration 
• Research in the Country of Origin (i.e. England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France etc.) 
• Advanced DNA 
• Research Methodology/Procedures.

In addition, OGS is also looking for guest speakers who are interested in presenting for
a new online quarterly mini-conference learning opportunities in 2021. All submissions will be considered for both, unless otherwise indicated on the submission.

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS is 30 September 2020, at 11:59pm ET 

An honorarium is offered.

16 August 2020

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Broken Links
They're inevitable. If you have problems with links try googling the title. 

The Portrait Gallery of Canada has mounted an inaugural show on its new website.

Check out this COVID-19 challenge!

Thanks to this week's contributors: Anonymous, Brenda Turner, Btyclk, BT, Glenn W,  Incognito Anne St., Louis Kessler, M Anne Sterling, Unknown.

Ancestry Updates Norfolk Records

Updated on 14 August 2020. Major or minor? Ancestry isn't telling!

Norfolk, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915; 2,763,034 records
Norfolk, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1940; 1,925,088 records
Norfolk, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1990; 689,390 records
Norfolk, England, Church of England Baptism, Marriages, and Burials, 1535-1812; 6,005,703 records

15 August 2020

Go Get Gazette Gold

You can now search and view the UK official Gazettes for London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin from Findmypast. If you haven't searched them chances are there's something of interest for your UK family history.

London Gazette 1665-2018
35 million pages charting 350 years of Government notices from the oldest continuously published newspaper in the UK.

Scotland, Edinburgh Gazette 1797-2018
Scotland’s newspaper of record for notices on insolvency, estates, deaths, companies, legal affairs, matters of state and more.

Ireland, Belfast Gazette 1922-2018
Nearly century of Belfast newspaper stories, including business notices and the Queen’s annual honours lists.

Ireland, Dublin Gazette 1750-1800
Step back into 18th-century Ireland with records covering 50 years of news from the British government at Dublin Castle.

Gazettes have been available free online for years. Search those here. Now you can search them directly from Findmypast. Note that the searches lead to an image of the printed page but the search term isn't highlighted.

New at PANB

For those with New Brunswick interest, I know of at least one reader, a reminder of the six titles that have been added online by the Provincial Archives this year.

RS141 Vital StatisticsWe have added 6,168 digitized images of original marriage records for 1969.
County Council Marriage Records, 1789 - 1887For more than the first 50 years of colonial settlement, Charlotte County was the second most populated county in New Brunswick. Explore these early families and their connections by searching over 8,000 names from the 1789-1839 Charlotte County marriage register.[RS148 J4 a1] Please note, parents are not named in these records.
RS9 Executive Council: Cabinet Meeting Records, 1840 - 1862Want access to the Executive Council Records? Who wouldn't!! Over 6,000 records 1840-1862, from RS9 to research for the period leading up to Confederation. Search or browse.
RS141 Vital StatisticsWe have added 4,922 digitized images of Death Certificates for 1969.
RS141 Vital Statistics497 records digitized images added for 1924 Late Registration of Births (RS141A1b).
RS141 Vital Statistics11,017 Birth records for 1924 were added. (RS141A5)

Also, a reminder that there was a major addition of Saint John area records last year in RS427

Saint John Municipal Records: Maps and plans 1824-1968, Agreements 1806-1992, Tax Rolls 1881-1980, Expropriations 1968-1971, Common Council Agendas and Supporting Documents 1976-1993, Common Council Minute Books 1785-2007, Records of Returned Soldiers Given Certificates 1921, Parish of Portland Council Minutes 1871-1881 & 1886-1889, Parish of Simmonds Council Minutes 1947-1952 & 1959-1966, City of Lancaster Council Minutes 1946-1966, City of Lancaster Bylaws 1954-1966, City of Lancaster Agreements 1932-1966. Other materials including photographs and A/V material. (72.7m) 

14 August 2020

Death Trends in the UK

The dataset Vital statistics in the UK: births, deaths and marriages at https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/datasets/vitalstatisticspopulationandhealthreferencetables shows surprising trends for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 1887 to 2018.

For deaths, the chart below shows annual deviation from the long-term mean as a percentage.

All three show a decrease in deaths until about 1930.  This perhaps reflects an improvement in sanitation, medical services and general quality of life. It's more marked for Northern Ireland than Scotland and for Scotland more than England and Wales.

There a period of relative stability from 1930 to 1950.

From 1950 until 2010 all three show a hump-back pattern peaking around 1975. This perhaps reflects the evolution of population age.

For all three the number of deaths has been increasing in the most recent years.

The year-to-year variation is larger before 1950 than afterwards. Could that be the result of the National Health Sevice?

The peak of the 1918 influenza pandemic deaths stands out. Peaks of deaths in 1940 (air attack, the Blitz) and 1951 (influenza, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3294686/ ) are the next most prominent.

All else being equal you'd expect deaths to increase with population. Over the 20th century, England and Wales saw an 80% population increase; Scotland and Northern Ireland about 25%.

13 August 2020

Another Canadian Genealogical Resource Needed

It was almost a new year tradition. Every January a plastic-wrapped package thumped down on my porch. Until about 2011. As they say, the book didn't have much of a plot but did it ever have a cast of characters! Now the White Pages, along with Yellow Pages which continued a bit longer is history. 

Perhaps finding yourself in a city far away you turned to the phone book wondering whether you'd discover any of the unusual surnames in your family tree. I did that while visiting my old home town in England, found a cousin, phoned up and visited him and his wife at their home later that day. The news I got was that the information I wanted was probably in old documents being fed to the fire as witnessed by the newly married bride. She said she'd been horrified, a feeling I much belatedly shared.

Published annually, telephone directories date back well over100 years. Nothing was more name intensive than the white pages, so it's surprising those old volumes aren't more available online for genealogy to help fill in the gaps between censuses. Civil death records may be embargoed but disappearance from white pages is a clue to death. Or it could be they moved, that's part of a person's history too.

Ancestry does have the Canadian Phone and Address Directories, 1995-2002 collection. There are no Canadian telephone directories on Findmypast or MyHeritage.

It's not online but the catalogue for Library and Archives Canada lists the promising:

Microfilmed directories : Bell Canada telephone historical collection = Annuaires sur microfilm : collection historique du téléphone de Bell Canada.

The physical description is: 488 microfilm reels : negative ; 16 mm + 2 reel indexes (37 cm)

It's dated 1981. With that number of reels, it must cover more than the publication year, but there's no indication which years.

The FamilySearch wiki https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Canada_Directories includes the information:

The Family History Library and some large public and academic libraries have Phonefiche (microfiche copies of recent telephone directories of metropolitan areas) for Quebec and Ontario. The Family History Library also has:

Canada Phone Book: The National Telephone Directory on CD-ROM. Ed. 4.5 for year 1997. Danvers, Mass.: Pro CD, c. 1992–96. (Family History Library compact disc no. 20.)

Major Canadian libraries have copies of telephone directories (Bell Canada) from 1878 to 1979, but these are not at the Family History Library.

Charles Goad Fire Insurance Plans of Scottish Towns, 1880s-1940s

The National Library of Scotland now has online 230 Goad Fire Insurance Plans of Scottish Towns. These very detailed maps cover the main industrial areas of seven towns and cities in Scotland, and date from the late 19th century through to the mid-20th century. 

These maps often are annotated with the names of particular companies or institutions at the location.

Find maps for Campbeltown, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow (many), Greenock, Leith, and Paisley. Sadly, none for Aberdeen.

Also new online from the NLS, a collection of 102 specialised early maps, plans and profiles relating to Bridges, Canals and Railways.

12 August 2020

Limited Service at LAC

It was previously announced that 12 August 2020 would be the day when a limited number of staff would begin to return to LAC worksites. In this first stage of gradual reopening, LAC was to remain closed to the public. Copy services (online orders only) would resume with enhanced remote reference services with staff on-site having greater access to items from the collection.

I phoned to confirm, particularly whether copy services were restarted while also placing an order in case there's a rush.

I got two judicious replies very promptly. 

Clients should also expect delays beyond our usual service standards; we are applying significant safety measures and new protocols, including physical distancing and mandatory isolation of collection items.

Please be assured that we will process your request as quickly as possible.

We thank you for your co-operation and apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause you.


Marriage Trends in the UK

 The dataset Vital statistics in the UK: births, deaths and marriages at https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/datasets/vitalstatisticspopulationandhealthreferencetables shows interesting trends for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 1887 to 2017. There are no marriage statistics for England and Wales for 2018 and later.

For opposite-sex marriages, the chart below shows annual deviation from the long-term mean as a percentage.

The trends in all three jurisdictions are similar.

There's an increase to about 1970, likely reflecting the increase in population. After marriage becomes less popular.

There's a minor increase in marriages at the start of the First World War and a much larger increase after the war.

For the Second World War, the opposite is the case.

The peak in marriages around 1970 is due to the marriage of baby boomers. In 1971 in England and Wales the most frequent age for marriage was 20 - 24 years. By 1994 it had shifted to 25-29 years and by 2015 30 - 34 years.

Religious marriage ceremonies reached a peak in popularity in 1919 in England and Wales. By 1992 the number of couples choosing civil marriage ceremonies overtook those opting for religious ones. The number of civil ceremony marriages has remained reasonably stable since the 1970s while the decline in marriages has been in religious ceremonies. Church marriage records are to be less likely a useful source for genealogists researching this period.

11 August 2020

FamilySearch Records Update

In a News Release dated  11 August 2020 FamilySearch list the following new free UK historical records for the week of 10 August.

England, Derbyshire, Church of England Parish Registers, 1537-1918 65 records

England England, Essex Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-1971, 386 records

England England, Herefordshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1583-1898, 5,462 records

England England, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-1988, 68,761 records

England England, Shropshire Parish Registers, 1538-1918, 12,193 records

England and Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1640-1660, 28,868 records

Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935, 5,808 records.

These releases are not always as advertised.

Binge Photo Enhance and Colourize with MyHeritage

An opportunity to experiment. Starting today, until 10 September 2020 anyone can enhance and colourize as many photos as they’d like using MyHeritage Photo Enhancer and MyHeritage In Color™.  Normally, these features can be used by non-subscribers for up to 10 photos each. 

Although the focus is photos the enhancer may help clarify those difficult-to-read documents too.

This Week's Online Genealogy Events


Choose from online events in the next four days. All times are ET.

🇨🇦Tuesday 11 August, 2 pm: Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from OGS Ottawa Branch and The Ottawa Public Library. Join here.

Tuesday 11 August, 2 pm: Working with Different Family Tree Views on MyHeritage
by Daniel Horowitz/Uri Gonen. https://familytreewebinars.com/webinar_details.php?webinar_id=1307

Wednesday 12 August, 11 am: Parish Chest Records, with Jen Baldwin and Paul Milner. www.facebook.com/findmypast

Wednesday 12 August, 2 pm: Developing Your Own Research Plan by James Tanner. MyHeritage. https://www.facebook.com/myheritage/videos/

Wednesday, 12 August, 8 pm: Dissecting a Civil War Pension Packet--Union and Confederate, by Jill Morelli, CG    https://familytreewebinars.com/webinar_details.php?webinar_id=1264|

Thursday, 13 August, 8 am: VJ Day. Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Findmypast presentation. https://www.cwgc.org/our-work/projects/cwgc-live/ 

Thursday, 13 August, 11 am: Irish Family History Q&A, with Fiona Fitzsimons. www.facebook.com/findmypast

Thursday, August 13, 1 pm: Topic: Open Mic: Ask Your Questions About MyHeritage with Daniel Horowitz. https://www.facebook.com/myheritage/videos/

Thursday, August 13, 6:30 pm: Evaluating Ancestry’s Public Member Trees, by. John Beatty. Allen County Public Library. Register in advance for this meeting:

Friday, August 14, 11 am: Friday's Live, with Alex Cox. www.facebook.com/findmypast