Monday, 20 October 2014

Suggestions for Speakers at a Canadian National Genealogy Conference

As mentioned a few days ago a National Genealogy Conference is proposed to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia on July 17-19 of 2015.
I had a phone conversation with Heidi Wilker, one of the organizers. While there are no commitments at present she mentioned Dave Obee, Terry Punch, and Garry Shutlak as possible speakers.
Who else? The speakers should be Canadians, come from across Canada and be able to give informative presentations that hold the audience's attention.
Your suggestions either as a comment or directly to me at johndreid at gmail (delete this) dot com would be appreciated.

Census: The Family Historian's Guide

There's a revised edition of Census, Peter Christian and David Annal's guide to the UK and Irish censuses. The slightly altered full title is Census: The Family Historian's Guide. It is no longer published in association with The (UK) National Archives.
Reviews of the previous edition were overwhelmingly positive. Recent criticisms that details of online access in the 2008 edition were dated should be largely addressed although, as the authors point out, changes after their text was finalized in early 2014 are inevitable.

According to the publisher's blurb the new edition has been updated to cover:
  • the many innovations on the main census websites, which have all added new census data and made changes to their facilities in the six years since the first edition;
  • the complete records of the 1911 census for England, Wales and Scotland, now available on both official and other commercial sites; and
  • all the surviving Irish census records, which have now been digitised in their entirety.
Looking for more detail? Check out the authors' article What You Will Find In This Book (pdf).

In Canada the 384 pages paperback edition, $21.74 from is on 1-2 month backorder while available for $9.99 on the Kindle eReader where you can preview the first and part of the second chapter.  Chapters-Indigo has the paperback for $20.19 and at $12.99 for the Kobo eReader.

Peter Christian is also author of The Genealogist's Internet. Davis Annal is author of Easy Family History: The Beginner's Guide to Starting Your Research and co-author, with Audrey Collins, of Birth, Marriage and Death Records: A Guide for Family Historians.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Children Calling Home: explorations of BBC Genome

I've been playing around with the BBC Genome website which has archives of the Radio Times. If like me you grew up with BBC radio this is an opportunity for a walk down memory lane and perhaps, as I found, to correct some faulty memories.

If you didn't grow up with the BBC you may just wish to skip this post.

I looked for listings of programs which connected World War II child evacuees with their parents back in the UK. A few thousand children were evacuated to Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in 1940. Many were evacuated privately, often in parties from "public" (non-state) schools. Others came through a government program operated by the Children's Overseas Reception Board (CORB). The BBC program was "Children Calling Home" and was first broadcast on Christmas Day 1940 allowing children in Canada and the United States to greet their parents across the Atlantic. There were 54 programs altogether, not all of them involving children evacuated to Canada. The last from Canada was on Boxing Day 1943.

YouTube has a short video of the London end of the conversation from 1941 at

I searched for William Appleby who I recall being the host of a program broadcast to schools called Music and Movement. I was wrong. He hosted a program called Singing Together from 1948 to 1970. Music and Movement ran from 1934 to 1970 with various hosts..

If you're interested in home children The Weeks Good Cause on 8 September 1929 was an appeal on behalf of Middlemore Homes; on 5 February 1939 on behalf of Father Hudson's Homes; and on several occasions on behalf of Bernardo's Homes and Waifs and Strays.

Search for Toronto and you'll find during WW II there were regular broadcasts "For the Forces" in of Ice Hockey From Canada by Foster Hewitt, on a delayed basis.

Alexander Campbell: Ottawa WW1 Beechwood burial

This day a century ago, 19 October 1914, saw the death of the second Ottawa soldier to be recorded in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database as buried at Beechwood Cemtery.

The article in The Ottawa Citizen of 19 October mentions his residence as 190 Bayswater Ave. He had proceeded to Valcartier, became ill with bronchitis and returned to Ottawa. Cause of death was "cerebrial haemorrhage."

According to the CWGC site Captain Alexander Campbell, age 39, was "the son of the William James and Sarah Jane Campbell, of 510, Cooper St., Ottawa and husband of Ellen Margaret Campbell of 855 Carling Avenue, Ottawa." The latter address is that of the widow on the Circumstances of Death document.

He is buried in lot 72. North-West part. Sec. 29 at Beechwood Cemetery. There is a family gravemarker with his parents and wife which reads
Capt Alexander CAMPBELL BSc born Sept 14th 1875 died Oct 19th 1914. To the side is a maple leaf-military stone with information that he was with the Canadian Engineers CEF.

Further information on Campbell and other CEF soldiers with an Ottawa connection will appear in the December issue of Anglo-Celtic Roots.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Findmypast database additions

Charles I Court Of Chancery Index, 1625-1649
An index to all 81,163 Chancery Cases heard during the reign of Charles I (1625-49).
The Court of Chancery had jurisdiction over all matters of equity, such as land ownership, trusts, the administration of the estates of lunatics and the guardianship of infants. Each record is a transcript of the original document and tends to list the name of the plaintiff, defendant, brief details of the case and The National Archives reference number.

Inheritance Disputes Index 1574-1714
Contains over 77,000 records detailing over 26,000 law suits at the English Court of Chancery typically involving several members of the same family. so are of particular value to family historians. The index covers the wills, bequests, grants of administration, descent of property, identity claims and other testamentary disputes tried in the Chancery Court in London. The information contained typically includes the name of the testator, the name of the plaintiff, the name of the defendant, the year and place of the case and The National Archives reference of the original record.

Irish Newspapers
Over a quarter of a million new newspaper articles from The Drogheda Journal/Meath & Louth Advertiser, Dublin Monitor, The Galway Vindicator & Connaught Advertiser, Limerick Reporter & Tipperary Vindicator, The Newry Examiner and Louth Reporter, Northern Whig, Pue’s Occurrences, Sligo Champion and The Waterford Chronicle.

World War One British Army Medal Index Cards
A record of the many medal entitlements earned by soldiers during the war. Some of the 4.5 million index cards in this record set contain additional notes and annotations on the medals given.Each record includes a partial transcription of the original Medal Index Card that lists a soldier’s name, service number and corps. Follow the URL included in the transcription to view online and download the original index card that is kept at The National Archives for a small fee. These records are also on and their world collections.

Gatineau Valley Historical Society Event

A double feature with a talk on the history of the Gatineau and Ottawa Valley forest industry and a book launch on Monday, October 20, 2014 in the Chelsea Library, 100 Old Chelsea Road, Chelsea QC

7:30 PM - Hurling Down the Pine Book Launch
To celebrate 50 years of publishing, the Society is pleased to announce the publication of the fourth edition of Hurling Down the Pine by John Hughson and Courtney Bond. First published in 1964, the third edition was released in 1987 and has been long out-of-print. This book recounts the story of the Wright, Gilmour and Hughson families, who were timber manufacturers in the Hull and Ottawa region and on the Gatineau River.
Copies will be available for sale for $25.

8:00 PM - Dr. Helen Parson - "The Forest Industry of the Ottawa and Gatineau Watersheds in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries".
Dr. Helen Parson has been invited back to expand on the short talk she gave at the Society’s annual dinner last May. Dr. Parson, formerly with the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, will be presenting an overview of the forest industry in the Ottawa and Gatineau valleys from the square timber


Friday, 17 October 2014

Canada’s Great War Album

A book launch for Canada’s Great War Album will be held on
Monday, October 20, 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm at the Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, Ottawa.

5:00 pm  Reception

6:00 pm  Presentation by Canada’s History Editor-In-Chief Mark Collin Reid and veteran broadcaster Don Newman

6:30 pm  Book signing

Register at

BBC Genome: the Radio Times Archive

Here's a new resource that should find its way onto best online resource lists for British genealogists.

The BBC Genome project involved digitising 4,469 editions of Radio Times from 1923 to 2009, 350,622 pages, 4,423,653 programme records.

BBC Genome allows users to search by programme, date or Radio Times edition, revealing a snapshot of the corporation’s schedule on any given day in its 91-year history – and a fascinating insight into changing social and cultural trends over nearly a century.

One-namers will find this a valuable resource to investigate people involved with BBC programs - presenters, performers, producers and editors and follow their broadcasting careers.

One-placers may well find mention of communities of interest, if only a church service broadcast on location.

No information is available for 11 weeks when the Radio Times was not published, between 1926 and 1983, for reasons including printing disputes, the 1926 general strike and 1947 fuel crisis.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Deceased Online launches Nottingham Collection

The first phase of a collection for Nottingham area cemeteries is now posted by Deceased Online comprising:

Northern Cemetery (Bulwell), opened 1903
Southern Cemetery (Wilford Hill), opened 1919
Wilford Hill Crematorium, opened 1931
High Wood Cemetery, opened 2006
They comprise the active cemeteries in the area. Searching is free. Record detail is available by voucher or subscription. See details for this collection at

For a list of historical burial grounds and closed churchyards see

LAC starts posting WW1 Service Files

Canadian Expeditionary Force personnel service files are becoming accessible via Library and Archive Canada's Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database. The first batch, 76,330 files are now available online. It appears to cover most surnames beginning with A and much of B.

The complete file is served as a pdf. While download isn't particularly rapid the quality of the images is good. Even the envelope, which sometimes contains the date of death, is imaged.

Regular uploads of about 5,000 files will take place every two weeks. All digitized files are searchable by name, regimental number and rank.

Search from

Wigan BMBs at Ancestry

Renowned for its pier, the industrial town of Wigan in the old county of Lancashire now has birth, marriage and burial records online at Ancestry. Links to images of the original entries are included.

Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1580-1812 contains 133,789 entries from the period when they were all recorded in one register.
Baptisms for the period 1813-1911 has 225,820 entries.
Marriages, 1754-1926 has 149,072 entries.
Burials, 1813-1979 has 133,177 entries.

Parishes included are: Abram, St John; Ashton, Holy Trinity; Ashton-in-Makerfield, St Thomas; Aspull, St Elizabeth; Aspull, St John Baptist; Bickershaw, St James and St Elizabeth; Billinge, St Aiden; Earlstown, St John; Golborne, St Thomas; Haigh; Haigh, St David; Hindley Green, St John; Hindley, All Saints; Hindley, St Peter; Ince, St Marys;  Lowton, St Luke; Lowton, St Mary; Newton-in-Makerfield, Emmanuel Wargrave; Newton-Le-Willows, St Peter; Pemberton; Pemberton, St John the Devine; Platt Brifge, St Nathaniel;  Wigan, All Saints; Wigan, St Andrew, Wigan, St Catherine; Wigan, St George, Wigan, St James; Wigan, St Michael and All Angels; Wigan, St Thomas.

Not every place named is in every collection; the parishes in bold are included in the early records.

OGS Quinte Branch October meeting

On 18 October, in lieu of the previously scheduled presentation, OGS Quinte Branch will offer a digital presentation
Timelines and Chronologies: Secrets of Success
by Geoff Rasmussen
Using Legacy Family Tree software, Geoff will demonstrate:
- Benefits of using a timeline in your genealogical research
- What a good timeline includes
- Methods of creating a timeline
- How to embed historical events into an ancestor's timeline
The digital presentation will be followed by discussion.
The meeting gets underway at 1 p.m at Quinte West City Hall Library in Trenton