Saturday, 26 May 2018

New and updated Norfolk parish records from Ancestry

Ancestry is going one up on Findmypast which earlier this month by added Norfolk Archdeacon's Transcripts from 1600-1812 as searchable, not just browse-able records.  Ancestry also updated other Norfolk parish records.
Norfolk, England, Bishop and Archdeacon Transcripts of Parish Registers, 1600-19355,930,500NEW
Norfolk, England, Church of England Baptism, Marriages, and Burials, 1535-18124,939,287UPDATED
Norfolk, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-19152,010,794UPDATED
Norfolk, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-19401269762UPDATED
Norfolk, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1990447,008UPDATED

The Findmypast collection includes other types of Norfolk records as posted here.

The free Norfolk Transcription Archive and FamilySearch sites, and commercial sites MyHeritage and The Genealogist, all have some of the same parish BMB records.

Ireland (military), Lancashire (POW), Worcestershire (probate) and records added to Findmypast

The following is from the Findmypast weekly press release

Ireland, British Army Officers 1914-1918
Discover military ancestors in this index of over 1,500 records obtained through the (free) Our Heroes website. Our Heroes provides photographs and biographical notes of the officers of Irish regiments as well as Irish officers of British regiments who were killed in action or who were mentioned for distinguished conduct between August 1914 and July 1916.

Transcripts reveal a variety of details including the officer's birth year, rank, regiment, death date, age at death, burial plot, whether or not they were killed in action and a link to their portrait on the source's website. Many will also include additional notes revealing details of their service and next of kin.

South Lancashire Regiment Prisoners Of War 1914-1918
Discover South Lancashire Regiment ancestor in this index of over 2,800 prisoners of war from 1914 to 1918. This collection has been obtained through the Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.

Each result will provide you with a transcript of some or all of the following fields: last name, soldier number, rank, regiment, year, where held and any additional notes. Some records may even contain details of the soldier's "adopter" as the Regimental Care Committee for Prisoners of War of the South Lancashire Regiment encouraged individuals to sponsor prisoners. Sponsors would then take on the responsibility of paying for their adopted soldier.

Comment: The original database, free here, has 2,847 entries. There's a second database of 655 South Lancashire Prisoners of War Public Sponsors.

Worcestershire probate index 1600-1858
Over 11,000 additional records are added to the Worcestershire probate index. There are four types of records in this index: grants of administration, administrations with will annexed, limited (where the entire estate of the deceased is not covered), and wills. The Bishop's Court had jurisdiction over all the probate in the diocese, which covered part of Warwickshire as well as Worcestershire, until 1858.

More on LAC and Government of Canada Survey of Heritage Institutions: 2017 report

As a follow-on to the earlier post 16% of Canada's physical artefacts and records converted to digital I sought clarifications from Heritage Canada. Here are the abbreviated responses.

Q. In which province, or provinces are responses for LAC included?
A. Data for (all of) LAC was captured under the province of Ontario, as the address of LAC headquarters are located at 395 Wellington St, Ottawa, ON K1A 0N4.

Comment: The survey is not representative of the actual situation with the allocation to Ontario of the large component of LAC resources expended and holdings associated with facilities in Gatineau, Quebec.

Q. As libraries are not mentioned as heritage institutions do responses from LAC exclude the library component of the organization, especially regarding the statistics under Artefacts and records and Digitization of artefacts and records?
A. For LAC, the survey has captured the archival (primary) and library (secondary) functions, which means that all of the artefacts and digitization of artefacts would have been included.

Comment: The report should make clear that library (secondary) functions are included. Some libraries have archival functions as secondary but hold much the same type of material as those for which the library function is secondary. As galleries, libraries, archives and museums are increasingly working together the separation is this report is archaic.

Thanks to Ken Amaral of Heritage Canada for the clear responses to the questions.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Unlock the Past Conference and Cruise

This 6 September event looks interesting, especially for those within a reasonable distance of Seattle.
Australian genealogy company Unlock the Past, on the day prior to the departure of its 14th cruise, this time to Alaska, is organizing a one-day conference with Blaine Bettinger, Maurice Gleeson, Cyndi Ingle and Wayne Shepheard.
Find out more about the conference at
Wayne's new book Surviving Mother Nature’s Tests was recently mentioned here.

TheGenealogist releases Metropolitan Police Habitual Criminal Registers

The following is a press release.

TheGenealogist has added to its Criminal Records collections with the release of the Metropolitan Police Criminal Records Office: Habitual Criminals Registers and the Habitual Drunkards Registers.

These are high quality transcripts with original colour images of the registers, as well as registers created by the Police to supervise released criminals. 
One of the most interesting features of these records are the photographic portraits taken from the Registers of Habitual Drunkards. These feature two photographs, face on and profile per individual Some records may also give distinguishing features. The Habitual Drunkards Registers were distributed to licensed premises and the secretaries of clubs to prevent the convicted person from buying alcohol.
Entries contain a description of the individual and date of discharge from prison.

Some records may also give distinguishing features of the individual.
See face on and profile Photographs of habitual drunks.

It may also give the name of the prison, length of sentence and previous convictions.

Includes registers created by the Police to supervise released criminals including spies!

All aspects of society are featured in these records on TheGenealogist.

These new records from The National Archive’s MEPO 6 are available as part of the Diamond Subscription at TheGenealogist.

Ancestry updates UK, Burial and Cremation Index, 1576-2014

This collection is an index connection to data published by Deceased Online. The 9,040,108 records were scraped on 18 July 2016. Although that's almost two years ago their pace of additions has fallen dramatically since then.
For later years you'll find name, burial or cremation, death date, burial or cremation date, place and a link to the Deceased Online record ($).
The database is especially strong in London but even with all the other locations it's still a fraction of the 74 million deaths in the FreeBMD database.

OGS Conference, one week to go and counting

A shout out for the annual Ontario Genealogical Society conference being held this year in Guelph and starting on 1 June. Rain or shine the conference site at the University will be buzzing. Find out more at

Those not attending will be able to catch two live presentations by University of Western Ontario history professor Jonathan Vance on YouTube.

Nation Builders You’ve Never Heard Of is the presentation in the opening session which starts at 7:00 p.m. EDT on Friday 1 June.
The lecture discusses the life and influence of two individuals whose contributions to the construction of the Canada that we know today were profound, but who are almost entirely unknown today. They deserve better, so we’ll meet these two nation-builders and survey their achievements.
Who was the Canadian Soldier of the First World War? is the topic for the plenary session at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Saturday, 2 June.
Jonathan Vance will describe conventional wisdom about the Canadian soldier and discuss how a return to the records of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, now available on-line, is giving us a dramatically different picture of the nation at war. In doing so, Vance will outline some of the hazards facing the researcher who uses these records - whether you’re trying to answer an obscure historical question or fill in some gaps in your family tree.
Did you know you can visit the conference marketplace AND take in the FastTrax presentations without registering. Here's the FastTrax schedule:

10:30 AM
Sher LEETOOZE: Calculating Relationships
Many charts abound about how to find out what relation you are to others in your tree. Each one was designed for a specific purpose. I will demystify these charts and will have some for handouts.
11:00 AM
LivingDNA - Katie WELKA
Katie Welka, Senior Product Manager, will stream-in live from the UK. Be sure to attend this session to learn more about this LivingDNA, their DNA tests and their plans for the futures.
11:30 AM
Ancestry - Lesley ANDERSON: AncestryDNA - 5 Things to do After You Get Your Results
You’ve taken an Ancestry DNA test. Now what? Learn what to do after you get your results.
12:00 PM
Pass It Down - Chris CUMMINGS: Stories of Our Communities
What makes your community special? Did you know that local history and stories are being rapidly lost every single day around the world? At Pass It Down, we are working to save the world's history with our award-winning community storytelling platform. Come and learn how we are working with cities around the world to crowd source and preserve local history.
12:30 PM
MyHeritage - Uri GONEN: Visualizing Your Family Tree on MyHeritage
Uri Gonen, Senior VP Product Management, MyHeritage
Discover the different ways you can display your family tree on MyHeritage through charts, directly from the person who developed them.
1:00 PM
Johanne GERVAIS: Quebec Genealogical eSociety
The Quebec Genealogical eSociety replicates the brick and mortar society experience for the Can’ts and the Won’ts. The Can’ts are those people who, because of time, distance, or other constraints can’t get to a genealogical society. The Won’ts are the device-driven people who won’t go to a society because their digital devices bring their virtual world to them. The Quebec Genealogical eSociety provides for both the Can’ts and the Won’ts in their genealogical research. Let me show you how!
1:30 PM
Lynn PALERMO: 8 Steps to Creating a Family History Book
Overwhelmed by the idea of creating a family history book. Learn 8 steps that will make the process more manageable and allow you to create a project plan that will keep you on task and ahead of your deadlines.
2:00 PM
Family Tree Maker - Mark OLSEN: What's new in Family Tree Maker 2017
Family Tree Maker Ambassador, Mark Olsen, will walk you through the newest features, tips, and upgrades in FTM 2017 as well as answer the questions - Do I need to upgrade? How do I upgrade? What's new in version 2017? Mark will also discuss ...?
2:30 PM
Kathryn HOGAN: Secrets in the Canadian Census Records
Discover the secrets within the Canadian census records that can help you learn more about your ancestor, add detail to your family history, and possibly break down brick walls.
3:00 PM
Pass It Down - Chris CUMMINGS: How to Bring Your Family Stories to life
Have you ever wanted to sit down with a loved one to record their life stories but didn't know where to begin? Come and learn from the award-winning storytelling team at Pass It Down as they share tips, lessons and technology to help collect and preserve your loved ones' legacy.
3:30 PM
MyHeritage - Kerry FARNSWORTH:Managing Your MyHeritage DNA Matches
Kerry Farnsworth, Content Project Manager, MyHeritage
Find out how to sort through your DNA matches, understand their significance and what to do next.
4:00 PM
Fraser DUNFORD: TONI - The Ontario Name Index
The Ontario Genealogical Society has compiled a massive surname database with more than 5.6 million records available. TONI directs researchers to where information about a particular name can be found. Leam how TONI can help your research your genealogy.
4:30 PM
Andria Barnstaple ANDREWS: Save Your Photos
Interested in preserving your precious family photos and memories? This presentation will demonstrate how to do so using For

9:30 AM
Pass It Down - Chris CUMMINGS: Reminiscence Therapy: Why storytelling Can Help Alzheimer's and Dementia Patients
Did you know that asking loved ones with Alzheimer's or Dementia about their past can be a form of therapy? Reminiscence Therapy (RT) involves the discussion of past activities, events and experiences with another person or group of people, usually with the aid of tangible prompts such as photographs, household and other familiar items from the past, music and archive sound recordings. Come and learn valuable tips and advice from the Pass It Down Team.
10:00 AM
Ancestry - Lesley ANDERSON: Ancestry Online Trees
Learn tips and techniques to make the most out of the Ancestry’s online family trees.
10:30 AM
Chuck WALLACE: Following our Loyalist Irish Palatine Ancestors
Mr. Chuck Wallace will share the itinerary of the "In the Footsteps of our Irish Palatine Ancestors Tour" planned for September 13-23, 2018. The tour trace the footsteps of the Irish Palatines (IP), who left Ireland in the mid 1700’s, (and previously emigrating from Germany through England to Ireland in 1709), to settle in New York City and then the Camden Valley, upper New York State, only to have their lives turned upside down once more when the American Revolution broke out in 1776. The tour will follow the men who fought for the British and who then had to tlee to Quebec when Burgoyne was defeated, followed later by their families. The tour will visit relevant battlefields, cemeteries, churches and homes of these Irish Palatine ancestors.

11:00 AM
Family Tree Maker - Mark OLSEN: What's new in Family Tree Maker 2017
Family Tree Maker Ambassador, Mark Olsen, will walk you through the newest features, tips, and upgrades in FTM 2017 as well as answer the questions - Do I need to upgrade? How do I upgrade? What's new in version 2017? Mark will also discuss the option to synchronize your FTM trees with your trees at This will be an interactive live session and you are encouraged to come with any questions you may have.
11:30 AM
MyHeritage - Esther SHUMAN: Finding Family Members Through DNA Testing
Esther Shuman, US and Canada Community Manager, MyHeritage
Witness the life-transforming stories of MyHeritage users who were reunited with their family members and find out the tools they used that you to can use to further your own family history research.
12:00 PM
Meg MACINTYRE: Megabyte Memories Photo Organizing
You know you need to organize your photos. What is holding you back? Digitize and add metadata to the digital files. Embedding names, dates and more into scans of historical photos gives meaning to photos. It’s the digital equivalent of a note written on the back of a photo. Preserve, protect and share your treasured memories.
12:30 PM
Pass It Down - Chris CUMMINGS: Want to Record Your Family Memories? Throw Those Memory Books Away
In 2017, we realized that all the baby books and memory books people buy have good intentions but no one ever finishes them. Come and learn how we reinvented the memory book to help families collect, preserve and share their memories.
1:00 PM
LivingDNA - Sarah MCFARLANE: Connecting with European Ancestors
Marketing Manager, Sarah McFarlane is with us from the UK to share various tips, techniques and tools to connect with your European Ancestors.
1:30 PM
Joe WILSON: OGS Cemetery Information Session
Do you have questions about cemeteries? Want to how OGS is preserving, promoting and making accessible cemetery information? Then this Fast Trax session is for you.
2:00 PM
MyHeritage - Maycie NIELSEN: MyHeritage's Unique Technologies
Maycie Nielsen, Project Manager, MyHeritage
An overview of the cutting edge tools and features on MyHeritage that make our platform accessible and user friendly.
2:30 PM
Fraser DUNFORD: TONI - The Ontario Name Index
The Ontario Genealogical Society has compiled a massive surname database with more than 5.6 million records available. TONI directs researchers to where information about a particular name can be found. Learn how TONI can help your research your genealogy.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Ancestry updates Wiltshire parish records

With this update Ancestry now make available over 9.6 million Wiltshire Church of England parish records—the original parish registers and/or Bishop's transcripts.

Each I examined was linked to a good quality copy of the original. Marriages after 1837 provide the same information as a PRO certificate.

Marriages and Banns, 1754-1916967,311
Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-18123,676,914
Deaths and Burials, 1813-1916379,758
Births and Baptisms, 1813-19161,759,381

The London Dead

Since 2014 David Bingham has been posting not quite once a week  on his blog The London Dead "stories from our cemeteries, crypts and churchyards". It's well illustrated withno lack of characters to draw on.

To catch up start with the list of all time popular posts at the top of the right hand column.

Grave Wax, Corpse Liquor and Kissing Dead Queens – the boundless curiosity of the Gentlemen of the 17th Century
John Aubrey in his prime. I have recently finished reading (with immense enjoyment I should add) Ruth Scurr’s ‘John Aubrey; My Own Life...

The Coffin Works & Warstone Lane Cemetery - a date with death in Birmingham
Is there a more entertaining way to spend a cold, dull, and wet day at the fag end of the year than in taking yourself off to Birmingham...

The Dead Keep Calling Me: 30 Years of Suicide in Brompton Cemetery 1888 -1908
If the spate of horrific deaths of gravediggers buried alive, the occasional freak fatal accident such as impalement on grave railings a...

St Patrick's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Leyton
 “A scruffy closely packed cemetery sited on the edge of the Central Line. Few trees and the lack of coherent landscaping contribute...

The posthumous life of Karl Marx, Highgate Cemetery
“On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the greatest living thinker ceased to think. He had been left alone for ...

The price of fame; Joyce and Ronald McQueen, Manor Park Cemetery and Crematorium
The night before Joyce McQueen was due to be cremated at Manor Park Cemetery her husband Ronald and the couple’s children had to decide...

Marriage is just a piece of paper - George William Lancaster and Louisa Mary Wilkinson (East Sheen Cemetery)
“ Chest tomb. Memorial to George William Lancaster (d. 1920) and Elisa (sic) Mary Lancaster (d.1922) by Sidney march (1876-1967). Portl...

"Anyone for a spot of buggery?"; Ernest Thesiger (1879-1961), Brompton Cemetery
Ernest rests with his mother and father in the family vault at Brompton Cemetery To the left of the main path, just before the catacom...

The parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water; Ernest Schwarz of the Kalahari (1873-1928), Willesden New Cemetery
“A most extraordinary story was told me by the late Professor Ernest Schwarz of the Rhodes University College. Many years ago, he said,...

Gender Equality of the Vote in Canadian Federal Elections

One hundred years ago today in Canada, 24 May 1918, An Act to Confer the Electoral Franchise upon Women S.C. 1918, c. 20 became law enshrining that "women who are British subjects, 21 years of age, and otherwise meet the qualifications entitling a man to vote, are entitled to vote in a Dominion election. In effect January 1, 1919."
It was not until 6 December 1921, resulting in a slim minority Liberal government, that the opportunity became available for a woman to cast a ballot in a General Election although they had already done so in 19 by-elections.
In the UK women were enfranchised and got to vote in the election of 14 December 1918 won by the wartime coalition government.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

CARN and Family Tree Live

A couple of items of special interest to those who search ancestry in England.

Do you have a CARN card? The “County Archives Research Network” (CARN)  access card scheme, which allow convenient access to 68 local archives at the moment, is under threat and scheduled to close on 30 November 2018. Read more here.

Would you like a speaking opportunity next year in England at the palace? Family Tree Live, being held at Alexandra Palace on 26 and 27 April 2019, seeking proposals for 30-minute talks. 10 minutes will be allowed for questions at the end of each talk, on subjects that will help people on the first steps of their genealogy journey, through to more advanced record sets and search skills and strategies. Find out more here.

Leicestershire Police seek relatives of their Great War (1914–1918) dead

Dominique Allen of Leicestershire Police is endeavouring to trace descendants and relatives of their officers who served and died during the Great War (1914–1918). Chief Constable Simon Cole QPM plans to hold a service to commemorate the end of the Great War by inviting family members of those who gave their lives. The venue will be at Headquarters and will be on Friday 9 November 2018. Further details will be made available nearer the time. Any information on the men listed below would be gratefully received.

So far Dominique has the following list of officers:
PC Arthur PREW – Rank Private – Number 29092 served with D Battery 160th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
PC Percy SMITH – Rank Gunner – Number 29117 served with D Battery 160th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
PC Colin BRAMMAL – Rank Sergeant – Number L/28853 served with A Battery 160th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
PC John DRIVER – Rank Gunner – Number L/29804 served with D Battery 46th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
PC Charles SMITH – Rank Corporal – Number L/29119 served with D Battery 160th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
PC W.A. BAILEY – Royal Horse Artillery
PC F. HUTSON – Royal Marine Artillery
PC E.M. MADDOCK MM – Royal Horse Artillery
PC W. WOODWARD – Royal Marine Artillery
PC Joseph WALKER – Rank Gunner – Royal Garrison Artillery.
Dominique is also looking for relatives of:
PC T. GRAINGER – Rank Lance Corporal – Leicestershire Regiment
PC L. HENSON – Rank Lance Corporal – Coldstream Guards
PC E. WAKEFIELD – Rank Private – Leicestershire Regiment
PC J. BRIGGS – Mounted Military Police
PC J. COBLEY – West Yorkshire Regiment
PC R. HAZELWOOD – Grenadier Guards
PC G.A. MANTON – Coldstream Guards
PC A.W. OSBORN – Leicestershire Regiment
PC T. PERCIVAL – Leicestershire Regiment
PC A.E. REEVES – Leicestershire Regiment.
Those with ranks are those of the County Officers and those without are City officers. If you are a relative of any of these men, Dominique would be delighted to hear from you at

via the Guild of One-Name Studies