Wednesday, 31 January 2018

British Newspaper Archive additions for January

The British Newspaper Archive now has 23,733,593 pages (23,319,767 pages last month).
The focus of additions in January has been the Coventry Evening Telegraph with 141,426 pages, from 1972 to 1979  accounting for 35 per cent of the additional pages. Nine years of Lloyd's List between 1889 and 1909 account for another 10 per cent.
The 31 (39 last month) papers with new pages online this month, including 12 new to the collection, are below.
Clifton Society1891-1892, 1894-1897, 1899-1916
Ally Sloper's Half Holiday1885-1896
Pearson's Weekly1891-1911
The Sportsman1911
Birmingham Daily Post1973, 1979
St. Neots Chronicle and Advertiser1855-1873, 1875-1886
East Anglian Daily Times1910
Shipping and Mercantile Gazette1880-1881
Birmingham Daily Gazette1926, 1931
Lloyd's List1889, 1894, 1896-1897, 1904, 1906-1909
Northampton Chronicle and Echo1880-1882, 1884-1885, 1891, 1893-1894, 1896, 1899-1908, 1910, 1913-1915, 1918
Bristol Daily Post1860-1864, 1867-1873, 1875
Clifton and Redland Free Press1890-1895, 1898-1910, 1913-1931
West Middlesex Herald1855-1858, 1860-1861, 1863-1870, 1890-1895
Reading Observer1897-1898, 1900-1909, 1911-1914, 1921-1924
Kinross-shire Advertiser.1850-1852, 1879-1884, 1890, 1892, 1900-1918
Leicester Herald1827-1842
The Suffragette1912-1918
Todmorden Advertiser and Hebden Bridge Newsletter1877, 1896
Coventry Evening Telegraph1972-1979
West Sussex County Times1874, 1877-1889, 1891-1892
Bristol Magpie1891, 1903, 1906-1907, 1911
Horfield and Bishopston Record and Montepelier & District Free Press1899-1911, 1913-1931
Middlesex & Surrey Express1887-1888, 1890-1895, 1899-1909
Croydon Chronicle and East Surrey Advertiser1870, 1875-1888, 1890-1892, 1894-1896, 1898-1908, 1911
Carmarthen Weekly Reporter1860, 1875-1876, 1878-1879, 1882
Windsor and Eton Express1882
Sports Argus1962
Merthyr Times, and Dowlais Times, and Aberdare Echo1895
South Wales Daily News1901
Dublin Evening Telegraph1876

FamilySearch adds Rutland Parish Registers, 1538-1991

Transcriptions of 326,083 records from the county of Rutland in the East Midlands of England have been added to FamilySearch. The records include: Banns, 1653-1931; Baptisms, 1538-1916; Burials, 1538-1991; and Marriages, 1538-1931. Original data is from the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland.

Images of the originals are available remotely to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and at local LDS Family History Centres.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Secret Lives Conference: 31 August - 2 September 2018

If the start of this video doesn't capture your attention what will?

Else Churchill from the Society of Genealogists talks with Helen Tovey, editor of Family Tree about this exciting event.

Find the details here.

Your Irish Heritage’s Green Room – A Place to Call Home?

The following is an invited guest post by Jim Purcell drawing attention to the Green Room website, one I'd not heard of previously.

A few years back, in an effort to research my Irish roots, I found myself floundering around in my family tree on Frustrated with the many hints leading to facts that may or may not have had any relationship to my ancestors, I was linking to any possible family relations, regardless of validity. Not a great way to do genealogy, but sometimes one hits on a fortuitous outcome.
On one of these outings along a branch of my family that wasn’t part of my family, I happened upon a very friendly cousin (who wasn’t a cousin). In our zeal, we linked each other through a “common ancestor”, Patrick Purcell. Alas, her Patrick and mine were two different people. Nevertheless, Colleen pointed me to a resource that has proved to be more satisfying that even finding that elusive 4th or 5th great grandparent – The Green Room on!
About 5 years ago, Mike Collins, a Corkman, began sending (for free) a “Letter From Ireland” every Sunday to subscribers interested in their Irish heritage. The letters run the gamut from descriptions of Irish history, to Celtic culture, to investigations of the homelands from whence we came. Perhaps you have heard of him and the site Anxiously awaiting his newsletter every Sunday are thousands of subscribers across the world, myself included.
An offshoot of that is The Green Room, available by paid subscription to those of us who want to dig more deeply into our roots. The Green Room exists to provide a home to we descendants of the Irish diaspora, as we share in the journey to discover not only the facts of our Irish roots, but the stories, the history, and culture that each of our ancestors experienced in their lifetimes. The forum brings our family trees to life and connects us with “family” from New Zealand and Australia, to the European and American continents, and, of course, Ireland itself.
While Mike is not technically a genealogist, he has provided hundreds of us with a forum to share our experiences, assist each other in research, link us to resources that we would be unlikely to find on our own, and provide us with historical and cultural perspectives that help us understand the lives of our ancestors. The Green Room membership includes free access to John Grenham’s excellent site,, and Jayne McGarvey, a professional genealogist, is a member who provides we amateurs with significant guidance. Stories from members who have lived through The Troubles, from those who’ve stepped across the thresholds of their ancestors to meet distant cousins still living in the family homesteads, Mike and Carina traveling to the homelands of our ancestors to document the past and the present, and countless other opportunities to share, and laugh, and cry – that’s The Green Room.

OGS February Webinar:

Thursday,1  February, 2018 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Presentation: Land of Canaan: Researching Black Loyalist Communities in Canada
Presenter: Janice Lovelace.

Nearly 100,000 Blacks left the U.S. after the Revolutionary War and settled in Canada. Who are these Black Loyalists? Why did they fight with Britain? What happened to them after the war? Learn how to research records to find out more about the people and their communities.

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

Monday, 29 January 2018

Alison Hare to be co-Editor of NGSQ

Congratulations to BIFHSGO Hall of Fame member Alison Hare who has been announced as co-editor of the US National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) starting in 2019.

The NGSQ is widely considered the most prestigious genealogical publication in North America. The appointment acknowledges Alison's experience as a journalist and active role as Trustee of the US Board for Certification of Genealogists since 2009.

Below is the NGS press release.

FALLS CHURCH, VA, 29 JANUARY 2018—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) has named Alison Hare, CG®, and Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGLSM, as co-editors of its National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) beginning with the March 2019 issue. They take the reins of editorial responsibility for this prestigious publication from retiring editors Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, and Melinde Lutz Byrne, CG, FASG, who will continue as co-editors through the publication of the December 2018 issue.

“NGS is profoundly grateful to Tom and Melinde, who have served as co-editors since 2002 and 2006, respectively,” said NGS President Ben Spratling, JD. “During their tenure, they ensured that NGSQ maintained the highest standards of scholarly articles, including genealogies, case studies, essays on new methodology, and critical book reviews. I know that Tom and Melinde share the NGS Board’s enthusiasm in welcoming Nancy and Alison as the journal’s incoming co-editors.”

Nancy Peters, of Aiken, South Carolina, serves as a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) and is the editor of its newsletter, OnBoard. A full-time professional genealogist, she has conducted in-depth genealogical research to solve complex “brick wall” problems of identity and kinship for clients. Her research focused primarily in England, New York, and southeastern U.S. She has been a lecturer at the NGS Family History Conference and an instructor for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the BCG Education Fund on skillbuilding topics and genealogy standards. Her articles have appeared in NGSQ and the Utah Genealogical Association’s Crossroads magazine. When asked about her forthcoming role as co-editor of NGSQ, she said, “The journal’s leadership role in publishing quality case studies and family histories is well recognized by our community. It will be an honor to serve as its co-editor.”

Alison Hare, of Nepean, Ontario, has served as a trustee for BCG since 2009. She honed her writing and editing skills during twelve years as a journalist and as an editor for Southam News, Canada’s premier wire service. In addition to providing ad hoc editorial assistance to BCG’s OnBoard newsletter, she contributed to the revision and development of genealogical standards as a member of BCG’s standards manual committee, 2013—2014. She has lectured at several NGS Family History Conferences. Among the topics Hare presented were citations and a case study illustrating the use of the Genealogical Proof Standard. She chaired NGS’s newsletter competition in 2007 and 2008. Her professional and personal genealogical research has encompassed the United States as well as Canada, England, Ireland, and Scotland. When asked about NSGQ, she said, “NGSQ has played an important role in my personal development, inspiring me with its high quality and continual demonstration of approaches to solve genealogical problems. It is an unexpected honor to serve as its co-editor.”

Thomas W. Jones has pursued his family’s history since age fifteen. He is an award-winning genealogical researcher, writer, editor, and educator. He is also a professor emeritus at Gallaudet University, where he designed and managed graduate programs, conducted research, and taught and mentored graduate students for twenty-seven years. Jones, a former trustee and past president of BCG, has taught genealogical courses, including documentation, writing, and advanced genealogical methods at Boston University, Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, Institute on Genealogy and Historical Research, Western Institute of Genealogy, and elsewhere. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles as well as the best-selling NGS textbooks Mastering Genealogical Proof and Mastering Genealogical Documentation. This year will mark his sixteenth year as co-editor of NGSQ. “I’ve enjoyed learning from every author and co-editor I’ve worked with,” Jones recently noted. “Helping authors ready their work for publication and to benefit NGSQ’s readership has been immensely rewarding.”

Melinde Lutz Byrne has been a genealogist, author, consultant, and editor since 1976. She has authored and co-authored thirty books and more than sixty articles as well as numerous editorials and reviews. She is the director for genealogical programs at Excelsior College and at Boston University (BU), including BU’s Essentials, its Genealogical Research Certificate Program, and the Summer Seminar Series. Drawing on her subject matter expertise in forensic genealogy, Byrne has worked with local law enforcement on “John or Jane Doe” cold cases and with estate lawyers on missing heir cases. She is a former president of the American Society of Genealogists. “In my long career as an editor,” Byrne said, “I can sincerely say that the collaboration with Dr. Jones has been my career highpoint. Our strengths and backgrounds were complementary, our discipline in tune, and the results were solid scholarship in a rapidly evolving field. Nancy and Alison will bring very similar combinations to NGSQ and will continue to provide the readership with examples of the very best in current research.”

(via Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter)

New Book: The Debatable Land: The Lost World between Scotland and England

Reviews are appearing for The Debatable Land by Graham Robb, due for official publication in the UK on 8 February, June in North America.

Andrew Martin in The Guardian writes that "Robb, like a conjuror, gradually shows us the Debatable Land as something else. His exploration of its history is punctuated by some terrific nature writing."

My Reid ancestry is documented back to the area where the surnames Armstrong, Crosier, Elliot, Graham, Little, Nixon and Turnbull associated with the Border Reivers are also common.

Here's the publisher's blurb.

The Debatable Land was an independent territory which used to exist between Scotland and England. At the height of its notoriety, it was the bloodiest region in Great Britain, fought over by Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and James V. After the Union of the Crowns, most of its population was slaughtered or deported and it became the last part of the country to be brought under the control of the state. Today, its history has been forgotten or ignored.

When Graham Robb moved to a lonely house on the very edge of England, he discovered that the river which almost surrounded his new home had once marked the Debatable Land’s southern boundary. Under the powerful spell of curiosity, Robb began a journey – on foot, by bicycle and into the past – that would uncover lost towns and roads, reveal the truth about this maligned patch of land and result in more than one discovery of major historical significance.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, The Debatable Land takes us from a time when neither England nor Scotland could be imagined to the present day, when contemporary nationalism and political turmoil threaten to unsettle the cross-border community once more. Writing with his customary charm, wit and literary grace, Graham Robb proves the Debatable Land to be a crucial, missing piece in the puzzle of British history.

Guild of One-Name Studies Free Webinars

You likely know about webinars from the Ontario Genealogical Society and Legacy Family Tree Webinars.
Did you know the Guild of One Name Studies also offers a free monthly webinar? On offer in the coming months are:
  • 20 Feb: Gathering Data: Where to Look & Where to Put It
  • 20 Mar: Now What? Do Something With Your Data
  • 17 Apr: Using DNA With Your One-Name Study
  • 15 May: Sharing The Joy: Getting The Word Out About Your Study
  • 19 Jun: Publishing & Preserving Your Study
  • 17 Jul: Six Months In With A New Study
  • 21 Aug: My Italian One-Name Study
  • 18 Sep: Back To School With Your One-Name Study
  • 16 Oct: All About The Guild
All webinars are free live and for a week after presentation, and longer if you're a Guild member. Find out more at

A reminder for BIFHSGO members, an archive of conference and monthly meeting presentations is available in the members only section of the society website.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Ulster Historical Foundation's North America Lecture Tour 2018

Here, courtesy of Claire Santry's blog, is the schedule for the UHF tour this March, and they're coming to Ottawa.

Saturday 3 MarchAugusta Genealogical SocietyAugusta GA(9am-4:30pm)
Sunday 4 MarchHeinz History CentrePittsburgh PA(9am-4:30pm)
Monday 5 MarchNEHGSBoston MAFull day
Tuesday 6 MarchFilson Historical SocietyLouisville KY1pm-4:30pm
Wednesday 7 MarchThe NewberryChicago IL9:15am-3pm
Thursday 8 MarchWisconsin Historical SocietyMadison WI9am-5pm
Saturday 10 MarchBIFHSGOOttawa ON8:30am-4:30pm
Sunday 11 MarchGenealogical Society of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia PAFull day/
Monday 12 MarchAndrew Jackson's HermitageNashville TN5:30pm-9pm
Tuesday 13 MarchAndrew Jackson's HermitageNashville TN9am-5pm
Wednesday 14 MarchSt Louis County LibrarySt Louis MO1pm-5pm & 6pm-9:30pm
Thursday 15 MarchGreater Omaha Genealogical SocietyOmaha NE12:30pm-4pm & 5:30pm-9:30pm
Saturday 17 MarchSacramento Genealogical SocietyFair Oaks CA9am-4:45pm
Sunday 18 MarchIrish Heritage ClubSeattle WA9am-5pm
Tuesday 20 MarchSt Andrew Society of HawaiiHonolulu HI9am-4pm
Registration information should be on the BIFHSGO website shortly.

Thomas George Flood: CEF Beechwood

Private Thomas George Flood died of tuberculosis at Mowat Hospital (Sanitorium) in Kingston, Ontario on 28 January 1918.
Born in 1880 in Renfrew County he was the son of Ireland-born John Flood and Scots-born Kathleen Warbrick. Having moved to British Columbia, working as a lumberman, he attested in Vancouver on 2 August 1915 with the 238th Battalion and served with the 72nd Regiment, the Seaforth Highlanders. When the regiment left for Europe he did not go with them.
He had been treated in hospital for bronchitis, which predated enlistment, for more than a year prior to his death.
He is buried in Sec. A. Range 9. Grave 50 at Beechwood Cemetery with Henry North, brother-in-law as informant.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Places of Wales

From the National Library of Wales, in beta, search and browse over 300,000 entries from the tithe maps of Wales and accompanying apportionment documents using original and present-day maps.
You can start here, although you may have more success starting with a little education at the help page.

Additional Hertfordshire Parish Records at Findmypast

Findmypast just added over 200,000 parish records transcripts, with images of the original, to their collection for Hertfordshire. Here's a summary.

Banns and Marriages62,015535,674
Total216,596 2,143,589

There is also a Hertfordshire Parish Record Browse with 16,698 new records for a total of 1,882 volumes.
These records are sourced from Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies which has stored and conserved them for decades.
Over 3 million documents dating from 1060 to the present day are stored on five miles of shelving at County Hall in Hertford.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Findmypast adds to British Armed Forces and Overseas Ital Records

Records of vital records for military personnel, British Consul staff, and British nationals outside the UK and their families have been added to collections at Findmypast.

British Armed Forces and Overseas Births and Baptisms adds 92,686 new records for a total of 1,966,310. It includes births at sea. This collection is a consolidation of the previously available record sets on Findmypast British nationals born overseas 1818-2005, British nationals armed forces births 1761-2005, and Births at sea, 1854-1960 with the additional records from The National Archives (TNA).

British Armed Forces and Overseas Banns and Marriages adds
35,555 records for a total of 462,142. This is a consolidation of Findmypast's record sets: British nationals married overseas 1818-2005, British nationals armed forces marriages 1796-2005, British overseas marriages, and Marriages at sea, 1854-1972. previously available along with new records from TNA.

British Armed Forces and Overseas Deaths and Burials adds 218,101 records for a total of 2,744,153. It consolidates the previous Findmypast record sets: British nationals died overseas 1818-2005, British nationals armed forces deaths 1796-2005, and Deaths at sea together with new additions from TNA.

British Armed Forces and Overseas Browse also covers births, baptisms, marriages, banns, deaths and burials with 193,457 new records added, along with some other miscellaneous collections for a total 913 volumes:

  • Registrations of British armed forces (including serving members who were not British nationals) posted overseas.
  • Births of the children of passengers, seamen, and Royal Marines, of both British and other nationalities
  • Regimental registers and chaplains' returns for army births, marriages, and deaths which took place in the British Isles.
  • A card index of naval officers who were killed between 1914 and 1920, including some Royal Marines and Naval Reserve officers, as well as officers of the Canadian and Australian navies.
  • A card index of ships lost from 1914 to 1919.
  • A war graves roll from 1914 to 1919.
  • Statistical casualty books 1914-1933.
  • Registers and indexes of births, deaths, and marriages at sea from 1891 to 1972 maintained by the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen. The registers include both British and foreign subjects, passengers and seamen.
Read details here.

BIFHSGO Conference Speakers reveal "Unusual must-search websites and archives"

Browse the February 2018 issue of Family Tree, the UK genealogy magazine, and you'll find a section where "expert family historians share their favourite little-known must-search archive sources and websites."
Bruce Durie, who will be presenting at the 2018 BIFHSGO conference, singled out ScotlandsPlaces as a fabulous source for names with a collection of land and tax records as far back as the late 1600s, maps back to the 1500s, plans, OS name books and many more resources.
Celia Heritage, who spoke at the 2017 BIFHSGO conference, identified vestry minutes from the mid-16th to the late 19th century as "one of the most enlightening of sources for recording everyday life ... you will often find references to individual parishioners and events which have happened to them."

You'll have to check out the magazine for the others. I don't want to give too much away, editor Helen Tovey will certainly let me know if I do, but I'll risk mentioning Claire Santry's suggestion, The Placenames Database of Ireland. Google it!

There's lots more in the February issue, including Diaspora: descendant tracing in the digital age by British Columbia genealogist Donald W. Davis. See a partial list of contents at

Thursday, 25 January 2018

University of Toronto's Discover Archives

Discover Archives is a new shared portal for exploring archival holdings at the University of Toronto and its federated colleges related to the university's history, as well as records from associated private individuals, families, businesses, and organizations.

Participating repositories include:
   - OISE Library Special Collections
   - Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
   - Trinity College Archives
   - University of St. Michael's College Archives
   - University of St. Michael's College, John M. Kelly Library, Special Collections
   - University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services
   - University of Toronto Media Commons (Media Archive)
   - University of Toronto Music Library
   - University of Toronto Scarborough Library, Archives & Special Collections
   - Victoria University Archives
   - Victoria University Library - Special Collections

The Illustrated London News

TheGenealogist announces the addition of over 500 editions of the weekly Illustrated London News from the 1890s to their Newspaper and Magazine collection available to Diamond subscribers.
It adds to the existing content from the founding in May 1842 to 1879.
The release is accompanied by an article showing the scope of the publication.
The Illustrated London News is included in the British Newspaper Archive, by subscription, and to institutions through CENGAGE Learning (Gale).
Coverage for the period 1914 - 1919 is available free at

Edinburgh Academy register [1824-1914]

Scots around the world gather on the evening of 25 January to celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns, the author of many Scots poems, with a traditional Burn's Night Supper.
Like haggis his poetry is an acquired taste, although an adequate supply of Scotch helps make both more palatable.
A Scottish resource I've been saving for the occasion, from the Internet Archive, is the Edinburgh Academy register [1824-1914], a record of all those who entered the school from its foundation in 1824 to the start of the Great War. Search it for "Canada" and you'll find many alumni who settled or passed through during their careers, and three with an Ottawa connection.

OGS Ottawa Branch January Meeting

The main presentation this month, on Saturday 27 January, is OGS past-president Shirley Sturdevant on Geography and Maps for Genealogy. 

"Although there are numerous record groups and tools to assist genealogists and family historians, this presentation focuses on the oft-overlooked importance of geography and maps in researching and understanding our ancestral roots. Terms, tips and sources will add to your research toolbox."

The presentation will be given remotely. It will be preceded by a networking opportunity at 1 pm, and a Genealogy Back to Basics session Introduction to DNA Testing given by Richard McGregor starting at 10:30 am.

The Computer Interest group get-together will follow at about 3 pm.

The location is City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive (Room 115)

Advance Notice:  The regular May meetings (Back-to-Basics, Monthly and CSIG on 19 May) are cancelled owing to unavailability of the City Archives venue.  Consider attending the BIFHSGO meeting on 12 May instead.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

What was the weather like for an event in your UK family history?

The UK Meteorological Office Daily Weather Report provides a summary of the observed weather for each day for a selection of UK stations with charts and tables and textual descriptions of the weather on the day.
The format and content of the daily weather summary varies over the many years of publication.
You may find tabulations of observations every six hours, ot the same information in map format.
Expect to find a UK weather map. Some years will provide a broader scale northern hemisphere map, some images from weather satellites.

Produced since since September 1860, so back several generations, the Daily Weather Report is available free from You have to narrow the selection down to the month, then scroll through that file to the date of interest.
A separate page at provides access to the recent issues.

Historical Society of Ottawa January Meeting

26 January, 2018 - Dave Allston -- Death, Illness & Squalor: Cave Creek & Primitive West Ottawa

The presentation will examine the problems west end residents faced through the 19th century and well into the 20th century in dealing with Cave Creek, which ran throughout the entirety of Kitchissippi. This small, yet troublesome creek was attributed as the chief cause of the typhoid fever epidemic of 1911, and also stunted the growth of west end neighbourhoods until proper sewage systems could be installed. The presentation will feature maps, photos, and many anecdotes from media reports of the time.

Dave Allston is a life-long west end Ottawa resident, with a passion for local history. A sixth-generation west-ender, Dave’s focus is strictly on the Kitchissippi ward, which encompasses Hintonburg west to McKellar Park. He writes a regular column for the community newspaper Kitchissippi Times, and runs his own website, the Kitchissippi Museum, along with regular contributions to mainstream media as well. Dave established a Kitchissippi history and heritage group in 2016, with a goal to promote local history, knowledge share, and contribute to the identification and protection of heritage buildings. He is married with three kids, and works full-time with the Department of National Defence, while also acting as Returning Officer for the district of Ottawa Centre for Elections Ontario.

As usual, the meeting gets started at 1 pm at the Routhier Community Centre, 172 Guigues Avenue.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Using mtDNA for Genealogy: A Case Study

Leanne Cooper, a BIFHSGO member and leading participant in the Society genetic genealogy interest group, has posed a five-part series on her blog documenting how she tackled a family history problem. It's an attempt to answer the question “Who were Charlotte Richardson’s parents?” using mitochondrial DNA.
mtDNA is usually not the test of choice for genealogy. This is one of the exceptional cases.The explanation is clear.
To read the case study start at

Please Only Pick ONE Session Per Time Period

In a conference with parallel presentations you can only be at one at a time. You'll likely feel conflicted. The most I recall was years ago at AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) conferences.
Looking through the program for the next OGS conference perhaps you'll face the same challenge. It's one organizers like to present you with -- something for everyone in each session.
This year OGS is offering, in addition to pre-conference workshops, plenaries and pop-up presentations, three sessions on Saturday and four on Sunday, each with five choices. That's 78,125 possible combinations. Unless you're joined at the hip nobody should have quite the same conference experience.
Check out the program for OGS Conference 2018 here to see what's on offer in each session.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Scotland's People releases annual update

More than 233,000 newly-released Scottish records of births in 1917, marriages in 1942 and deaths in 1967 are now available through Scotland's People.

Births in 1917 were at the lowest number since 1856 as a result of the disruption to family life caused by the continuing conflict in the First World War. Read more here.

The 47,514 marriages recorded in Scotland in 1942 include those of servicemen from various allied countries stationed in Scotland. Read more here.

The newly-released images include entries for 59,729 deaths recorded in Scotland in 1967. Compare that to the 55,511 deaths recorded in 2017. Read more here.


New LAC Collection Search

In a brief trial I liked it.
"It" is Library and Archives Canada's new catalog search tool in beta we are invited to try.
What I liked is the ability to filter results. It's better than TNA's catalogue filter in giving a finer breakdown in the timeline. I'd prefer it if LAC gave a courser initial breakdown with the option to go finer. That's how it works in the British Newspaper Archive.
I found resources I'd previously missed. Some I expected were missing but we're informed not all items are included.
Collection Search is in beta so perfection is not to be expected.
Try it, you'll probably like it, and LAC would value feedback on any problems you encounter. They likely wouldn't mind positive comments either.

Try it from the link in the LAC Newsfeed here.

Other news from LAC is the imminent launch of a new crowdsourcing tool enabling tag, transcribe and describe items in the collection.

Queen's Own Rifles War Diaries Online

If someone in your family tree was in or associated with the Queen's Own Rifles during the Second World War transcripts of their War Diaries online will be of considerable interest. These became available on 14 January 2018.
The documents, augmented by Routine Orders that help to fill in some of the gaps on personnel postings and casualties within the battalion. provide a wealth of information about the regiment’s participation and progress throughout the war. The period covered is from efforts to form the battalion in June 1940, through duties in Newfoundland, training in New Brunswick and England, the successful but devastating landing on D-Day, the continued fight through Europe, and finally to the German surrender on 8 May 1945.
Find them at the The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada Regimental Museum and Archive website. where you'll also find comprehensive information on the history of the regiment.

Advance Notice: Canada 150: What Next?

As part of the Walrus Talks series Library and Archives Canada invites you to a discussion entitled “Canada 150: What Next?”

What have we learned about our country during Canada’s sesquicentennial? How do we see ourselves? Where do we go from here? A panel of experts will weigh in on these questions and more.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Library and Archives Canada
Pellan Room, 2nd Floor
395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario

Presentation in English with simultaneous French translation. Free admission. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Reception to follow.

Seating is limited, so please register by February 27. For more information about this event, call 416-971-4005 ext. 247 or email

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Jersey BMBs

The Bailiwick of Jersey, a British Crown dependency in the Channel Islands, has records for baptisms, marriages and burials by the Church of England, transcripts of which are now available from Findmypast.
They are:
Jersey Baptisms 1540-1915, 228,652 records,
Jersey Marriages 1542-1940, 124,778 records,
Jersey Burials 1541-1940, 155,641 records.

FMP also holds 14,342 records of Jersey Wills 1564-2000 in its collection.

The folks at Findmypast will please consider using the appropriate flag to publicize these new records and not the Union Jack.

The Last London Frost Fair

While I'm hoping we've seen it for 2018 today is, over the years, meteorological mid-winter in Ottawa, the day of the year with the coldest overnight temperature. That makes it an appropriate day to remember the frost fairs on the frozen surface of the Thames in London. According to an article in Historic UK between 1607 and 1814 there were a total of seven major fairs, as well as countless smaller ones.

The last one took place in the January of 1814 with the frost lasting from 27 December 1813 to 5 February 1814, one of the largest fairs on record. Booths lined the way from Blackfriars-bridge to London-bridge. Thousands of people enjoyed the entertainments, dancing to fiddlers, sitting round blazing fires smoking and drinking, even a parading elephant!

The end of the Little Ice Age and demolition of the medieval London Bridge which blocked the movement of ice conspired to end the opportunity.

I recall the exceptionally cold winter of 1963 was enough to permit skating on Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft, and an attempt to roast an ox on, perhaps more accurately over the ice.

Dominic A. Pelusio: CEF Beechwood

According to his entry in the CWGC register Sgt. Dominic A. Pelusio was the son of the late Giovani Pelusio, of Napoli, Italy, and the late Casterina Pelusio, of Cranford, New Jersey; and husband of Margaret Macdonald Pelusio, of Barclay Court, South Penn Avenue, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Birth on 7 August 1884 in Italy was given on his attestation paper, completed on 20 July 1915. At the time he was single, his mother in Cranford, NJ was given as his next of kin. He gave his trade as nurse (cook) and indicated he has briefly served with the 43rd Regiment on Ottawa.
There's a record of Domenico Pelusio arriving in New York on 13 June 1901 with a brother Cesare two years his senior with last address Calvi Risorto, Italy.
He joined the 77th Battalion and served briefly in France, but was transferred to the 224th Forestry Battalion in Scotland. He spent time in hospital, thought to be related to a preexisting leg injury. He married Margaret Mcdonald, as registered at Pancras, Middlesex, in the 3rd quarter of 1916. She is listed as living in the US.
He was assessed as unfit for further service, returned to Canada and died of lymphatic leukemia in Buckingham, Quebec, on 21 January 1918. US newspaper listings show him as a US citizen.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Toronto Branch OGS January Meeting

The first meeting of 2018 will be held at a new location, Lansing United Church on Monday, 22 January at 7:30.

The main presentation will be on the Lives and Times of the United Empire Loyalists. Sandra McNamara UE will speak about Loyalist experiences, traditions and contributions, and explain why Loyalists could be considered Canada’s first refugees. 

The mini-presentation Great Grandma’s Social Media: 100-year-old Postcards will be by Janice Nickerson.

Don't know the new location? Find it here, and please use the Poyntz Avenue entrance.

Findmypast adds England, Greater Manchester Baptisms 1571-1910

Numerically the largest addition to the Findmypast this week, 811,408 records, is a collection of baptism and christening records from 145 named parishes in the Diocese of Manchester.
You will perhaps recall that the corresponding records for marriages and burials were released on Findmypast in December. All were sourced from FamilySearch and many images of originals are linked to the index/transcripts.
There are now over 12 million records in the 20 Findmypast databases with Manchester in the title. By far the largest, over 9 million entries, is Manchester Rate Books 1706-1900.

OPL updates local history content online

The local history page on Ottawa Public Library’s website is being improved.
Librarian Romaine Honey tells me it’s a work in progress, now including an explanation of OPL local history collections; lists of community organizations and local history blogs; and a link to Recommended Resources catalogue lists.
There's a “Digital Ottawa” section which includes links to Internet Archive digital versions of titles held in the Ottawa Room (something I've been advocating for a long time). At the moment there are only 49 digital titles listed with more being added monthly. I hope they take a look at the rare volumes in the glass front cabinet in the Ottawa Room and add those as many are also already digitized.
“Digital Ottawa” has links to digitized community newspapers and the Ottawa Digital Archive on the Toronto Public Library’s Virtual Reference Library too.
This is a significant step forward. Maybe one day we'll see OPL contributing by digitizing some of their unique material.

Friday, 19 January 2018

World War II POW Collection

The (UK) National Archives has an estimated 190,000 records of individuals captured in German occupied territory during the Second World War. Held in series WO 416 these consist mostly of one or two cards for each individual for allied service men (including Canadians, South Africans, Australians and New Zealanders) but also several hundred British and Allied civilians and a few nurses.
The series also includes several thousand records relating to deceased allied airmen, whose bodies were found by or near to their downed aircraft.
The collection is closed as it can contain sensitive information about living individuals. Work is underway to catalogue the entire series with the aim of opening records for those born more than 100 years ago or where there is proof of death.
There's much more information in the TNA blog post Opening up our prisoner of war collection by Roger Kershaw.

Presenting at the Secret Lives Conference

I've been waiting for the official announcement to blog that I'm presenting at the Secret Lives conference in Leicestershire at the end of August.
With four leading genealogical organisations coming together to host this will be THE major family history conference in the UK this year. They are the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA), The Guild of One Name Studies, the Halsted Trust and the Society of Genealogists.
From Friday 31st August to Sunday 2nd September 2018 conference lectures will be "aimed at family historians interested in tracing ancestors who may be less represented in mainstream records, whose voices are difficult to hear or who might be overlooked or indeed elusive."
See the list of speakers announced so far at
If you're interested in attending there's an early bird discount. I know of at least one other Ottawa area family historian planning to attend.

Lloyd's List

Do you have an interesting in shipping, perhaps to fill out an ancestor's story? Then you need Lloyd's List, a newspaper reporting shipping movements and casualties, maritime news and other commercial information which is being digitized by the folks at the British Newspaper Archive.

They are presently working on adding issues from 1889, 1904, 1906-1909, filling in gaps in the run of those previously available 1801-1884, 1888-1889, 1893-1894, 1896-1897, 1906, 1910.

Issues for 1741 to 1826, with gaps, are also available at

If you're looking for a particular ship be aware than names weren't unique. Also you're more likely to find something useful if you can limit the search to a year or two. Fortunately the BNA allows an approach where you can start broad and then filter the results.

Ontario and Manitoba Vital Records Updates for 2018

Ancestry quietly added to these records on 10 January.

DatabaseTotal Records
Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1826-19367,480,585
Ontario, Canada, Deaths and Deaths Overseas, 1869-19463,241,953
Web: Manitoba, Canada, Birth Index, 1870-1917563,649
Web: Manitoba, Marriage Index, 1881-1937382,854
Web: Manitoba, Death Index, 1871-1947553,034

An additional year, 1936 for marriage records and 1946 for deaths are added for Ontario.

Note that you can search the Manitoba index records with no subscription required at

Thursday, 18 January 2018

FreeBMD January Update

The FreeBMD database was updated on Wednesday 17 January 2018 to contain 265,866,842 distinct records, 265,463,493 at previous update. That's 403,349 added, 17,537 per day.

Years with updates of more than 5,000 records are, for birth 1963-64, 1978-82; for marriages 1966, 1979-80, 1982-83; deaths 1979, 1981-82.

Forthcoming Canadian Family History Events

The following list of Canadian conferences, one-day and longer seminars compiled from various sources including links to some where further details are yet to be posted. Please let me know of any similar events I didn't find.

Saturday 10 March
BIFHSGO - Tracing Your Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors

Saturday 7 April
OGS Toronto Branch - Art of Genetic Genealogy Investigation with Blaine Bettinger

Friday 13 April through Saturday 14 April
OGS Ottawa Branch  - Gene-O-Rama

Friday 20 April through Saturday 21 April
Qualicum Beach FHS - Unlocking the Past

Friday 20 April through 22 April
Saskatchewan Genealogical Society - Your Family History: Finding
and Assembling the Pieces - Saskatoon

Friday 18 May through Sunday 20 May
Quebec FHS - Roots 2018

Friday 1 June through Sunday 3 June
OGS - Annual Conference -  Guelph

Monday 4 June through Friday 8 June
OGS Toronto Branch - Genealogy Summer Camp

Friday 28 September through Sunday 30 September
BIFHSGO - 24th Annual Family History Conference

Friday 28 September through Sunday 30 September
Kelowna & District Genealogical Society - Harvest Your Family Tree Conference 2018

Quinte Branch OGS January Meeting

Bob Dawes is the presenter for the 2018  Crouse Wanamaker Lecture“Making English Connections: Using Free & Pay Websites to Find your English Ancestors". Bob will use a case study to demonstrate the limits of tracing your English ancestry on the internet.
Bob is a retired tech industry executive and management consultant, and a long-time member of Quinte Branch.
This presentation takes place at 1 PM, Saturday, Jan 20, 2018 at the Quinte West Public Library
7 Creswell Drive, Trenton, ON

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

30% Discount on British Newspaper Archive Annual Subscription

I've only seen it at Claire Santry's Irish Genealogy News, so you'll need to go there and click on the image to get the discount. You'll find the promotion code is already entered when you arrive at the subscription page.

The discount gives one year unlimited access for £55.97 (about $96 Cdn) for the year. The offer expires at 11:59pm on Sunday 28 January.

Genealogical Miracles

Miraculous things found in compiled family trees.

  • Time travelers: Children born before their mother, or after their mother died.
  • Mis-conception: Alive in records before birth.
  • The man who never was: Dying before birth.
  • The well preserved: Aging less than 10 years per decade.
  • The Keener: Women having children in their 60s, and older.
  • Resurrection: Alive in records after death.
  • Scratching on the coffin lid: Buried before death.
  • The Methuselah Effect: Dying at an extremely old age.

Kingston Branch OGS January Meeting

It's an early start on Saturday, 20 January for one of my favourite Canadian genealogist-presenters, Marian Press will give two talks to OGS Kingston Branch:

Are You Really Finding it All When You Search?: Mining Databases For Every Nugget of Information,
Do not just search for information with simple keywords or a relatively random choice of words. Get the information buried deep in a database or help a search engine really find what you want by knowing both the general principles of online searching, as well as database-specific methodologies. Concepts such as Boolean operators, truncation, wildcards, synonym searching, word order and simple versus advanced search will be explained.
Putting Your Family Tree Online: Making Use of Modern Technology to Share What You Know.
There are now many choices for how to put your family information online for others to find, well beyond what was available in the early years of the Internet. This presentation covers the various options available for family historians to choose from: the use of major genealogy sites like, Ancestry or MyHeritage; wiki sites, such as WikiTree; blogs; or building your own web site. The simpler and free options will be emphasized, along with the huge benefits family historians can reap from sharing their research. There will also be discussion of what will happen to your family information online when you die and the planning you should do now for this eventuality.

Marian Press, MLS, MA, is a retired academic librarian in Toronto. Born in New Zealand, she has been researching her Scottish, English, Irish and Portuguese roots for over 35 years, sharing the results online and in articles in family history journals. Much of this research involves travel to the places where her ancestors lived and worked. She is a frequent speaker at genealogical workshops and conferences and a writer on family history topics. She teaches courses on various aspects of the use of online resources for genealogy for the Toronto Branch of OGS. In 2011, Dundurn/OGS published her book Education and Ontario Family History: A Guide to the Resources for Genealogists and Historians, the result of her years at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. SHARP at the Kingston Seniors Centre, 56 Francis St.
Visitors always welcome.
Further details at

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

William E Browne: CEF Beechwood

According to his military file Quartermaster Sergeant William Egbert Browne, was born in August 1871 in Newport, Wales. A saddler by occupation he enlisted on 13 August 1915 joining the 32nd Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, Service No: 300023, and shipped to England. He was listed as gassed and returned to Canada in October 1917 and the Mowat Sanitarium in Kingston where he died on this date, age 47 years.
He was buried on 18 January with full military honours at Beechwood Cemetery in military lot 13, West part. 14. Plot 29. The Beechwood Cemetery register gives his birthplace as Barbadoes.
Newspaper reports of the funeral, which list his middle name as Edward, are that he had service in South Africa and the Northwest Frontier of India. Four children, Ada Minto, Herbert Archibald, Aileen Eleanor and Leslie Harold are named.

On the war service gratuity form in his service file Mrs Mary E. Browne is listed as widow at 430 Clarence St., Ottawa.  of 21, Adelaide St., Ottawa.
Her death notice in the Ottawa Journal of 5 October 1971 under surname Browne lists her as Mary Ellen Dwyer, widow of W. E. Browne with four children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Civil records for the family before his death and in the 1921 census are elusive.

Monday, 15 January 2018

CEF Service Files Update for January 2018

As of today, 15 January 2018 there are 543,142 (532,447 last month) of 640,000 files available online in the LAC Personnel Records of the First World War database. That's according to a Library and Archives Canada Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Service blog post.

The latest box digitized is 9247 (9059) and last name Staunton    (Smith).

At the last month's rate, which is not typical owing to the holiday period, the project will be finished by mid-October 2018.  The previous month estimate was July.

New from Pen & Sword Family History

A new UK release, as of 14 December 2017, is Tracing History Through Title Deeds: A Guide for Family and Local Historians.

The company blurb describes it:
Property title deeds are perhaps the most numerous sources of historical evidence but also one of the most neglected. While the information any one deed contains can often be reduced to a few lines, it can be of critical importance for family and local historians. Nat Alcock's handbook aims to help the growing army of enthusiastic researchers to use the evidence of these documents, without burying them in legal technicalities. It also reveals how fascinating and rewarding they can be once their history, language and purpose are understood. A sequence of concise, accessible chapters explains why they are so useful, where they can be found and how the evidence they provide can be extracted and applied. Family historians will find they reveal family, social and financial relationships and local historians can discover from them so much about land ownership, field and place names, the history of buildings and the expansion of towns and cities. They also bring our ancestors into view in the fullness of life, not just at birth, marriage and death, and provide more rounded pictures of the members of a family tree.

A notice in Family Tree, February 2018
Although a major source of information about field and place names, property history and the growth of towns and cities, these documents are some of the most neglected. Useful reading for beginner and experienced family and local historians, Dr Nat Alcock, of the University of Warwick, aims to put this right by demonstrating how these records can be found, analysed and interpreted. With information presented in a series of concise and easy-to-read chapters, it reveals how fascinating and rewarding title deeds can be once their history, language and purpose are understood.

The release date for the paperback in Canada, according to, is 19 February. A Kindle edition is listed at CDN$ 9.99.

Perth & District Historical Society: 100th Anniversary Review of the Halifax Disaster

The following is a meeting notice from the Perth & District Historical Society.

Thursday, January 18, 2018
100th Anniversary Review of the Halifax Disaster
History’s Largest Man-made Non-Nuclear Explosion

Our society launches its New Year meetings, on January 18, 2018, with a presentation by committee member, Ellen Dean, on the devastating ‘Halifax Explosion’, of December 6, 1917, one of Canada’s worst disasters, and the world’s largest man-made non-nuclear explosion.

Although our society’s main objective is to examine historical events of Perth and surrounding district, the Halifax Explosion was one of the most tragic events in our country’s history.  Coming at the time of national, and often personal, distress from WWI, it was felt across the country.  On that December 6th morning, two ships collided in Halifax Harbour.  The ensuing fire on one of the ships led to a man-made explosion of a magnitude never before seen, literally obliterating a large area of Halifax and the companion community of Dartmouth.  The effect of the blast and the resultant fires created an unimaginable horror that could only be compared to a battlefield scene.  The shock wave was felt hundreds of kilometres away.

This past December 6, 2017, marking the 100th anniversary of that fateful day, Canadian news organisations effectively related the story of the disaster.  For our meeting, we will examine some of the relevant facts:  the reasons this completely preventable accident happened; the event’s human element, including racism; the aftermath and the stories of witnesses.  We will also consider the legacy of the disaster, many elements of which continue in Canada to this day.

Ellen Dean and her husband, who was a member of the Royal Canadian Navy, spent their early married life in Greater Halifax.  They moved to Ottawa in 1990, until retirement from their respective careers, and relocated to Perth 12 years ago.  In addition to her many appreciated duties with the historical society, Ellen volunteers at the Perth Museum and Visitor Information Centre.  She is also a member of both the Lanark County Quilters’ Guild and the Perth Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Please join us for this month’s presentation at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion,
home of the Hall of Remembrance, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, 7:30pm (Toonie Donation)

Our January Notices
Several interesting new articles have been added to our website, in the history section - including ‘The Perth Railroad Station’ and an ‘Early Log Driving’ video – and, also, in the ‘Mysteries’ Page.   Viewable at

Perth & District Historical Society is dedicated to studying and popularising our area’s rich history and culture, and providing a forum for discussion and celebration of our
heritage.  Our meetings are open to the public, usually on the third Thursday of each month, at 7:30 pm.  For more information, call 613-264 8362 or 264 0094 – or visit our website at .
To contact us by e-mail or to unsubscribe from our mailings, kindly address your e-mail to:

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Documentary Heritage Communities Program (DHCP)

A reminder that the deadline for submitting completed application packages for the Documentary Heritage Communities Program is 7 February, 2018, before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

The DHCP provides financial assistance to the Canadian documentary heritage community, including genealogical and family history societies, for activities that:

  • increase access to, and awareness of, Canada’s local documentary heritage institutions and their holdings; and
  • increase the capacity of local documentary heritage institutions to better sustain and preserve Canada’s documentary heritage.

Applications may be for small or large projects with $15,000 the boundary between them. The documentation requirements in proposals for small projects are considerably less than for the large.

I'm hoping the program will receive more projects this round that align with The National Heritage Digitization Strategy.

Boxes, Bodies, and Backhoes: Excavation and Analysis of the Forgotten Dead of Early Bytown

What's the story of the bones disturbed by excavation for Ottawa's LRT at the former Barrack Hill Cemetery?
Find out from Janet Young, Curator, Physical Anthropology at the Canadian Museum of History. She will address the January meeting of the Ottawa Historical Association.

7 pm, Tuesday 16 January 2018 at Library and Archives Canada. All welcome!!

Saturday, 13 January 2018

At what time of year are the most in births in England and Wales?

An article Do humans have mating seasons? This heat map reveals the surprising link between birthdays and seasons caught my attention.
It showed a consistent pattern across high-latitude countries in the Northern hemisphere -- the months with the greatest average number of births per day were July, August and September.
But that wasn't my recollection for England and Wales statistics, so I went back to FreeBMD.
There birth registrations peak in the second quarter, not the third for the period 1838 to 1979.
There's not necessarily a conflict, the article references 21st century data sourced from the UN.
To examine if there was a trend the FreeBMD period was divided into four, 1838 to 1849, 1850 to 1899, 1900 to
1949 and 1950 to 1979.
For none of these was the peak in the 3rd quarter. Each quarter in the first half of the year had more birth registrations than the 3rd, with one marginal exception.

Findmypast focus on death

New British records this week on Findmypast are:

Norfolk Monumental Inscriptions 1600-1900's Image Browse
Over 14,000 records from 260 parishes across Norfolk. Indexed by parish, not by personal name.

Lancashire, Oldham Cemetery Registers 1797-2004 Image Browse
Over 45,000 records from Chadderton, Crompton, Failsworth, Greenacres, Hollinwood, Lees and Royton in the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham.

Wiltshire Burials Index 1538-1990  
613,108 new records for a total of 2,089,750 from Anglican parishes across the county.

Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions 1485-2014  
3,688 new records for a total of 49,503 covering burial sites in Twickenham and Uxbridge.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Warwickshire Parish Records

I received an announcement that TheGenealogist has added 366,260 individuals to their Parish Records for Warwickshire bringing the total to 934,495.
This release of baptism, marriage and burial records, in association with Warwickshire County Record Office, includes transcripts and images reaching back to the mid 16th century.

Subscription sites Ancestry and Findmypast both have more extensive Warwickshire parish record collections, while the free FamilySearch site has 1,405,385 records in its Warwickshire, Parish Registers, 1535-1984 collection.

Family Tree DNA Y-111 results

In the Family Tree DNA pre-Christmas sale I upgraded my Y-DNA SNP test from 67 to 111 markers. The results arrived on Thursday.

As I'd expected the extra information didn't change things much. The two matches I had at 67 markers with 111 marker results were still there and in the same order as previously.The best match at 67 markers, 4 mismatches, became 6 mismatches at 111 markers.

The TiP Report showed we were likely more distantly related than in the 67 marker estimate.

GenerationsPercentage (Y67)Percentage (Y111)

I was also interested to see how these results compared to those estimated byYFull from my BigY results. Of the 44 markers 41 were identical. DYS716 and DYS462, were no-calls by YFull, and DYS710 differed -- 33 vs 33.2.

MyHeritage improves DNA service

Until Thursday I was lukewarm about the MyHeritage genetic genealogy service. That changed when tweets started coming in:

MyHeritage has changed their algorithms for DNA matches so you may want to check out your matches. Also they've added a (woot, woot) Chromosome browser. #HoundontheHunt #DNA

DNA Discoveries @DNADiscoveries
Ohhhh... @MyHeritage seems to have found me a "few" more matches... 
More joy from @MyHeritage - a chromosome browser :)

And this on my Facebook feed:

Blaine T. Bettinger‎ to Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques
Be sure to check your MyHeritage matches today! As first announced by Irene Morgan early this morning, MyHeritage has significantly changed (and it appears improved!) their matching algorithm. A quick review of my matches suggests that this is a MAJOR improvement. Kudos to MyHeritage!

[EDIT] - Via Lloyd Pfeilitzer DeVere Hunt and Marco Graf (thanks!) - A Chromosome browser with downloadable segment data is now available in the match page!

MyHeritage now shows I have 3,900 matches. One identified as 3rd to 5th cousin with 25.8‎ cM shared in 2 segments, one 18.2 cM. Looking at the tree I found our common ancestral couple  - we're 3rd cousins. The sister of the matching person,was already in my tree.

The range of shared autosomal DNA for 3rd cousins is 0 - 217 cM with an average of 74 cM. Although 25.8 cM is less than half the average we weren't in the 10 per cent of 3rd cousins sharing no autosomal DNA.

Clicking on Review DNA Match gives shared ancestral surnames, shared DNA matches (in common with), a pedigree chart display, ethnicity for you and your match, and a chromosome browser showing shared DNA segments.

That match has only about half the shared DNA of my best match. Don't dismiss matches lower down the list without investigating the surnames in common. Chances are the Smiths and Kellys won't be identifiable relatives so try your less common surnames.

Do you have data at MyHeritageDNA? Did you check since the change? If you did please share your experience.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Irish Registry of Deeds Index Project News

Claire Santry posts a comprehensive review of recent developments at the Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland site.
There appear to be important developments, not the least of which is that there are now 262,178 entries from 29,134 memorials of deeds.
See Claire's post here.

Blane Bettinger Toronto Genetic Genealogy Presentations

previous blog post mentioned Blaine Bettinger's genetic genealogy presentations on Saturday 7 April 2018.
The venue is now announced, Lansing United Church, Poyntz Avenue and Beecroft Road, Toronto. That's near the Sheppard/Yonge subway stop. not far off the 401.
See full program and registration details, including a discount for OGS members, here.
Scroll down to the bottom of that announcement for a link to information about a special session the previous afternoon.

BIFHSGO January Monthly Meeting

Saturday 13 January 2018 is the date of the next scheduled meeting of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.

(9:00am - 9: 30am)  Before BIFHSGO Education talk:Tara Grant will cover some of the basic sources for locating information on your ancestors who served as officers in the British Army.

9:30 - 10:00 - Discovery Tables  - featuring Yorkshire (North, East & West), Northumberland, Durham and Cumbria. If you are researching in any of these counties and you have items you would like to share and display, please bring them to the tables in the chamber between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m.

(10:00am - 11:30am) Monthly Meeting:  David Jeanes will then speak on The Kemeys-Tynte Family of Cefn Mably, a South Wales Estate.
The Ottawa Citizen called David Jeanes "a civic treasure." Read more here.

Members watch for an email before 8 am on the day of the meeting if cancellation is necessary.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

CWGC: Are you related?

The Commonwealth War Grave Commission in the UK is looking for the next of kin of soldiers who fell in war. Could you be connected to any of these individuals?

please contact through the link here.

There is also a Canadian list with 12 entries, most long-standing queries, See them here.

Edward Nicholl: CEF Beechwood

Private Edward Nicholl was born 28 October, 1870 in Ireland, the son of Mrs. B. Nicholl, of 14, Napier St., Belfast, Ireland. A bricklayer by trade he served with the 77th Battalion of the CEF.
He died in bed of heart failure at the Ottawa House, Hull on 10 January 1918. According to an autopsy his health had been "worn down by a strenuous life."
He was given a military funeral with the band of the GGFG leading the procession and buried in Section A, Row 21, Plot 20.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

AncestryDNA unites family

The Doc Project on CBC recounts a happy story of an adopted man reunited with birth mother and brother after 50 years. Read the story and listen to the 20 minute segment at

Ontario Historical Land Registration Books Online

Land registration provides interesting resources for genealogists, especially as wills are frequently part of the record, but "searching land registration records can be a complex process."

Access to some Ontario records just got easier. Under the headline OnLand is Here! comes this announcement from Teranet, in partnership with ServiceOntario:

The first phase of the web portal offers customers the opportunity to test out the historical land registration book search and view option only. Customers will still be required to visit a land registry office to print any records. For more information on Historical Books, please click here.
We will provide an update when full search capabilities are available on OnLand in late 2018.
When fully implemented, OnLand will allow users to search historical and current property records, anywhere in the province, from the convenience of your home or office, instead of visiting a land registry office.

Posts on Monday on My Moynahan Genealogy Blog by Cindi Foreman look in detail at what's available now, with examples. There are two parts of a four part series available as I write:

Part I: OnLand Records: Historical Books: Abstract / Parcel Register Book
Part IV: OnLand Records: Historical Books: First Registration Book