Monday, 23 April 2018

Findmypast adds Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, and Somerset Registers & Records

For Northumberland you can now explore:
Early Deeds Relating to Newcastle Upon Tyne, 1100-1600;
records of baptisms, marriages, banns and burials in:
Parish Registers of Alnham, Ceadnell, Chatton & Ilderton, 1688-1812;
and baptisms, marriages and burials in
Parish Registers of Edlingham, 1658-1812
Parish Registers of Halton, 1654-1812
Parish Registers of Ingram, 1682-1812.

For Nottinghamshire five publications covering parish registers from the parishes of Gedling and Warsop, Archdeaconry Court Marriage Licenses and Parish Register Transcripts from the Peculiar of Southwell, the history of the county and its highways and byways.

Records for Rutland are augmented by Registers of North Luffenham, 1565-1832 containing baptisms, marriages, burials and monumental inscriptions.

Somerset adds material from volumes of the publication Dwelly's Parish Records;
Bishop’s Transcripts from Wells Diocesan Registry, Parish Registers from Chipstable, Raddington, Kittisford, Pitcombe and Wilton, as well as Wells Cathedral Monumental Inscriptions and Heraldry.

All are transcriptions sourced from the collection of the Anguline Research Archives which is well worth browsing, especially for your English counties of interest.

Celebrate St George's Day

Join me in celebrating English heritage with these tributes to ancient and beloved traditions.

Tongue in cheek.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

A Blast from the Past - Ottawa’s Weather at its Worst

My next talk is for the Gloucester Historical Society on Sunday, 29 April following a brief Society AGM.
Society President Glenn Clark arranged for some publicity with Erin McCracken, reporter for the local paper, Community Voice of 12 April, 2018.
Here, with permission from Erin, is the text of the article.
There’s something about extreme weather that gets people talking.
“Its something they’ve got experience with. Weather means things to people. It affects their lives,” said John D. Reid, a retired weather expert, author and local historian. “And it keeps on delivering.”
The long-time Hunt Club resident will share his research on some of Ottawa’s extreme weather events during a presentation hosted by the Gloucester Historical Society.
During his upcoming talk at the Greenboro Community Centre on April 29, at 2 p.m., called A Blast from the Past - Ottawa’s Weather at its Worst,’ Reid will delve into:
the ice storm of 1998-99,
the snow storm of 1970-71,
the deadly hurricane-force winds of 1888 that wrought damage across the city and blew down the Roman Catholic Church in Billings Bridge, and 
• the Great Fire of 1870 that devastated the Ottawa Valley and parts of Gloucester Township. “This had almost died down by the time it got to Gloucester and then a big wind storm came up,” Reid said. “It fanned the flames.” 
Reid has been blending his passion for historical research with aspects of his former career as a weather forecaster, then as an atmospheric research scientist before eventually serving as director of policy and international affairs for the Meteorological Service of Canada.
In his upcoming presentation, he will go back as far as the days
of Samuel de Champlain to talk of the first mention of weather in the Ottawa Valley, as well as share the warmest and coldest recorded days in Ottawa and photos of major events, such as the ice storm of 1942.
One key source of historical weather information was William Upton, whose farm is where the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club is today in the Hunt Club community. He kept diaries, which included weather and temperatures.
Late in the winter of 1869, Upton described extreme snowfalls and impassable roads.
“He talks about having to dig a trench to get his cow in the bam,” Reid said, adding there was flooding when milder weather finally arrived in late April and the snow melted.
Glenn Clark, a Blossom Park resident and president of the Gloucester Historical Society, which has its headquarters in Leitrim, said his own family was impacted by some of Ottawa’s most severe weather events.
His great grandfather, Timothy Cutts, was moving his family in 1869 from Ottawa to Gloucester Township. That winter, the area was hammered by blizzard after blizzard.
Cutts got caught up in one especially severe snow storm and had to find shelter in a home at Bank Street and Hunt Club Road.
“That’s part of our family lore,” Clark said. “He got stopped in his tracks by this horrendous blizzard.”
In 1888, a storm with hurricane-force winds whipped across much of Ottawa and the township. The former Ellwood school was damaged and some of the schoolchildren sought refuge at the Cutts’ home, half a block away in what is today the Banff-Ledbury area.
“One of my earliest memories is weather-related,” Clark recalled of a bad storm that hit in June 1958.
His mother got Clark and his brother ready to flee their Blossom Park home when a barn across the street was struck by lightning and caught fire.
“There was hay in the loft and it was blowing across Bank Street onto the roof of our house,” he said, adding his father and uncle were on the roofs of their homes with hoses to douse any hot spots.
Weather events unique to each generation offer a deeper connection to community, said Reid.
“As you live here and start researching things, you realize there’s some interesting history here,” he said.
His free presentation, which begins with the historical society’s annual general meeting, takes place at the Greenboro Community Centre, located at 363 Lorry Greenberg Dr.

The weather predicted for the 29th is far from its worst with temperatures a bit below seasonal.

Ottawa Electors' Lists

Tucked away in a corner of the Ottawa Public Library's Ottawa Room are a series of oversize bound volumes of municipal electors' lists. According to the OPL catalogue they are for 1976, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1988, and 1991. The books, organized by ward, poll, street and house number, give first and last name.
A more limited selection of lists for Kanata are at the Beaverbook library.
These nicely compliment the collection Canada, Voters Lists, 1935-1980 provided by where the lists for 1979 and 1980 are in most cases unusable owing to text bleed-through on the image.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Sale Prices for DNA Day

The week of DNA Day, 25 April, is one of the best times of the year to buy a test for genetic genealogy. Check your preferred service provider. Prices are in USD and shipping is extra.

Family Tree DNA





Advance Notice: Toronto and Montreal Welcome the Great Famine Voices Roadshow

The Great Famine Voices Roadshow is a series of open house events in the United States and Canada that bring together Irish emigrants, their descendants, and members of their communities to share family memories and stories of coming from Ireland to North America, especially during the period of the Great Hunger and afterwards.
the event will be in Toronto on 22 May and Montreal on 27 May. Find our more at

Friday, 20 April 2018

Findmypast adds British Army Officers' Widows' Pension Forms 1755-1908

Each result for these 13,150 records from The (UK) National Archives series WO 42: War Office: Officers’ Birth Certificates, Wills and Personal Papers provides a transcript and images of the original records.

Transcripts usually includes the soldier's name, wife's first name, his birth year, their date of marriage, regiment, his death date, and more. The images include an application form and often certificates or letters showing marriage and death.

Based on a sample of 500 cases their median year of marriage is 1812 and median year of death 1832.

Most served with the various numbered Regiments of Foot and Veteran Battalions also in the sample were those whose service was with the King's German Legion, Galway Militia, Six Nations Indian Dept, Royal Waggon Train, Bengal Staff Corps, Newfoundland Fencibles, and Nova Scotia Fencible Infantry.

Casting call for Canadian DNA Diners

The following opportunity is from

Know someone who is curious about their roots?

Do they want to know what makes them unique? Have they always wondered where their ancestors came from? They can explore their cultural origins through the magic of DNA analysis on Gusto’s new culinary adventure show.

Ancestry in partnership with Gusto Worldwide Media and Bell Media Inc. is pleased to announce a groundbreaking new tv series about discovering your roots and exploring them through food.

Applicants must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, at least 19 years of age as of April 1, 2018 and must be available for up to 7 consecutive days for filming this year. To apply, click here. Application terms and conditions here.

Food for thought?

Tomorrow in Ottawa: Discover Your Roots: Genealogy and Local History Fair

All welcome at 101 Centrepointe
Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, Nepean on Saturday, 21 April, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Here's what's happening.

10:00 – 3:00 in the Atrium:  Exhibitors’ Hall
10:00 – 3:00 in the Library 2nd floor, Resource Room: Genealogy specialists on hand to answer your questions!


10:00 – 10:40 in the Chamber:    Discover Your Roots: Getting Started
Have you ever wondered about your family's history?  Where did they come from?  How did they live?  This talk by Barbara Tose and Glenn Wright will help you get started, find information online and organize your results.  It will also tell you where to get help along the way.  Everything you need to get started - all in one place!

10:40 – 11:00 in the Chamber: Finding Your Roots with DNA
The DNA inherited from your parents in trillions of cells of your body has a story to tell.  You've seen the TV ads showing people surprised at their DNA test results and maybe heard people casting doubt on the reliability.  In this short talk by John D Reid find out about the reality of DNA testing, which has revolutionized family history research, its amazing capabilities and its limitations.

11:00 – 11:30 in the Chamber: Question and Answer Session
Genealogists are here to answer your questions!

11:00 – 11:45 in Room 1B: Building and Sharing Your Family Tree
There are many options for building and sharing your family tree: paper or electronic forms, family tree software, online family trees on sites like Ancestry or MyHeritage, and collaborative family tree websites such as WikiTree.  Leanne Cooper explores the key features, pros and cons of each, along with things to consider when making the choice.

11:45 – 12:30 in Room 1B: “I have my DNA results.  What do I do now?”
Your inherited DNA links you to potentially thousands of new cousins - some closer than others.  Susan Courage helps you find out about what you will learn from different DNA tests; how to determine where to start when you get your results back; and the resources and tools available to you to decode the science and apply in practice.

12:30 – 1:00 in Room 1B: Patrimoine familial francophone (en français)
Francine Gougeon, présidente de l’Association du patrimoine familial francophone de l’Ontario (APFFO), qui discutera l’Association et l’importance de préserver le patrimoine familial.

1 :30 – 2 :30 in the Chamber: Ottawa’s Most Lost
Join David McGee, creator of the popular Lost Ottawa Facebook group, for an entertaining tour of the top ten things that people miss in our fair city, as voted by you the people – think malted milks at Freiman’s and you’ve got the idea!

All activities are free. Registration not required.  Offered by the Ottawa Public Library in partnership with British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

TheGenealogist adds another 64,920 War Memorial records and 13,487 new headstone records.

A press release from TheGenelogist gives information on an eclectic mix of 64,920 War Memorial records just added:
- a complete roll of honour for both WW1 and WW2 for Shetland, with men's units and the Shetland village in which they had resided. - other war memorials including the Abercarn Tinplaters Memorial Institute in Wales.
- plaques and monuments in Bedford, Bolton, Lancashire, London, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Warwickshire and even further afield.
- a fascinating, but sadly very worn, WW2 memorial from Calgary that names 227 aircrew from Australia and New Zealand who died while training in Canada.
- from the USA WW1 and WW2 war memorials from New York, including a fine one in Battery Park, a roll of those men and women who lost their lives in the Atlantic coastal waters in WW2 and had no known grave as a result of U-boat action. The war memorial gives researchers the ranks, units and the US state from which they had come.
- a number of Boer War memorials - for example the tribute within Blackpool Town Hall that commemorates the 74 Blackpool men who volunteered to join various units for service in South Africa.

These new records and more are available as part of the Diamond Subscription at TheGenealogist.

Using DNA with Your One-Name Study

If like me you missed Maurice Gleeson's webinar presentation on Tuesday 17 April 2018, I did owing to a timing problem, it's now available for review.
Using DNA with Your One-Name Study, dealing mainly with Y-chromosome DNA, is available to everyone free for a limited time after which it will go into the Guild members only area, Don't miss the opportunity to view it.

OGS Kingston Branch April Meeting

The Kingston Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will meet on Saturday, April 21st at 9:45 a.m. at the Kingston Seniors Centre, 56 Francis St. in Kingston.  Kyla Ubbink, professional archival conservator from Ottawa, will speak on "Preservation of Documents and Photos".  Visitors always welcome.  Further details at