Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Findmypast adds 62,625 new English parish records

New transcripts of baptism and burial registers have been added to findmypast for Cheshire, Sheffield and North West Kent parishes.
Read the details at

Think Ahead: Global Genealogy at the BIFHSGO conference

A newsletter arrived from Global Genealogy with information on their products, especially new publications for Eastern Ontario, many at prices much lower for pdf versions than hardcopy.

It reminded me that Global has been the most faithful exhibitor at the conference and always comes with a wide selection of products. If there's something you particularly want from them, and would like to save on shipping costs, Rick and Sandra are always willing to bring items from their stock by request.

See their complete selection of products at and while you're there sign up for the newsletter, so you don't miss out on news and sales.

BBC on Canadian expedition aims to find Franklin's lost ships

A BBC Radio 4 item -

"It is one of the great mysteries of the heroic age of Victorian exploration: what happened to Sir John Franklin, 129 men and two ships that set out in 1845 to chart the North West Passage through the Canadian Arctic and simply vanished? Clues to the expedition's fate, and the bodies of some of Franklin's men, have been found. But not the ships themselves.

Nick Higham speaks to members of a new expedition, jointly mounted by the Canadian government and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, the most intensive effort yet to find Franklin's ships."

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

TNA blog post: The day the White House burned

Between the US burning of York (Toronto) and the Battle of New Orleans (We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin) British forces burned Washington DC.
Read a blog post on the 200th anniversary at

Imagine: DNA analysis at a family history conference

Walk into any major family history conference and you'll see a research room with free access to commercial genealogy and newspaper databases. If you're fortunate you'll walk out with new leads on your ancestors. For most of us that was unimaginable 20 years ago.
What you can't do, yet, is walk in, spit in a tube, and walk out with a list of possible relatives based on a DNA analysis. Imagine finding yourself linked to a cousin also at the conference. It's not a question of if, but when that will come.
You likely will not want to read the article Sequencing at sea: challenges and experiences in Ion Torrent PGM sequencing during the 2013 Southern Line Islands Research Expedition but if the capability existed in 2013 to perform real-time DNA sequencing on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean how far down the road can it be to human genome sequencing in a conference environment?

Findmypast adds Victoria, Australia, passenger lists

Looking for a British stray? Inbound passenger lists to Victoria (Australia), 1839-1923 and outbound from Victoria 1852-1915 are now available on findmypast

"Provided by the Public Record Office in Victoria after two decades of work carried out by volunteer transcribers, these records mean that our inbound to Victoria 1839-1923 passenger list records now total 2,125,578, while our outbound from Victoria 1852-1915 records stand at 1,753,919."

Monday, 25 August 2014

Guild of One-Name Studies: Medieval and Early Modern Records seminar

Videos from this recent Guild of One-Name Studies event are now available on YouTube

George Redmonds' leads off with "The way forward in surname studies."  If you thought just about everything there is to know about surnames is known think again. The talk is given without a single slide.

England's Immigrants 1330-1550 seemed promising but technical issues make it virtually unlistenable.

Wakefield Court Rolls - seven centuries of evidence for family history, by Sylvia Thomas explores the amazing content of this important source for the manor, and illustrates what might be, or might have been, available elsewhere.

Cause Papers in the Diocesan Courts of the Archbishopric of York: 1300 to 1858, given by Chris Webb is entertaining as well as informative.

Sister Heroines and the Llandovery Castle

I've been dipping into Sister Heroines, a 2002 book by Marjorie Barron Norris. As explained in the preface the book "makes accessible the hidden records of women who were Canadian nursing sisters (during World War I). Bringing together official records, personal memoirs, newspapers and interviews, she has given to us an account of courage and compassion that has too often been neglected. Most importantly, she has managed to bring the people she writes about to vivid life."

Interest for genealogists is packed in with names and lists, including one for the nursing sisters who lost their lives in the torpedoing of the Llandovery Castle on 27 June 1918. I'd been aware that one nurse from Ottawa, Minnie Katherine Gallagher, was a victim and is memorialized at Ottawa's Beechwood Cemetery. I was not aware that two other nurses from the area, Jean Templeman and Jesse Mabel McDiarmid were also victims

Jean Templeman was born on 16, 1885. She enlisted in Montreal on May 21, 1915 giving her home address as 43 Arlington Avenue, Ottawa. She is also memorialized on a family gravestone at Ottawa's Beechwood Cemetery.

Jessie Mabel McDiarmid, known as Mabel, born 14 Aug 1880 the daughter of John and Janie McDiarmid, is mentioned on a family stone at Dewar Cemetery, Beckwith Township, Lanark County, Ontario

Sunday, 24 August 2014

TNA Podcast: Did she kill him? Addiction, adultery and arsenic in Victorian Britain

Author Kate Colquhoun talks about her latest book in this TNA podcast from a live presentation last June.

The Guardian book review starts "Did Florence Maybrick poison her husband? She was tried for the crime in 1889, but the court's verdict failed to settle the matter. The sensational details of the mystery obsessed the British public for months. Sensibly, if tantalisingly, Kate Colquhoun offers no final answers in her absorbing review of this old scandal. Instead, she highlights what the case can tell us about late Victorian England – its flawed legal processes and dangerous medical practices, its predatory appetite for gossip, and above all the uncertain position of its women. What Colquhoun reveals is a persistent doubleness – respectability concealing transgression, but also a startling readiness to challenge authority. Restlessness, rather than complacency, characterises the society that she describes."

There is a minor Canadian connection. Florence's son James Chandler Maybrick (aka Jimmy Fuller) became a mining engineer in British Columbia. He died in April 1911. That story, with a speculative connection to the Jack the Ripper case, is at

Saturday, 23 August 2014

New on Ancestry - Ireland, Marriages in Walker's Hibernian Magazine, 1771-1812

This collection contains 26,957 records indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors from:
Farrar, Henry. Irish Marriages: Being an Index to the Marriages in Walker's Hibernian Magazine, 1771 to 1812. London, England: Phillimore & Co., 1897.
Included is an appendix listing of births, marriages, and deaths for the years 1793 and 1794 from the Anthologia Hibernica.

Google to find some issues of Walker’s Hibernian Magazine online.

Forthcoming genealogy events in Toronto

Sometimes I wish Ottawa and Toronto were closer together. Here's a list of upcoming events being stage by the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.

Using Legacy Family Tree Software
Saturday, 20 September 2014, 9 – 5 p.m.
This one-day workshop is intended for beginner and intermediate users of Legacy Family Tree software. We'll review basic techniques for using Legacy, highlight what’s new in version 8, and explain how Legacy makes it easy for you to make the best use of LDS Family Search.
Instructor: Geoff Rasmussen
Where: North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto

Basic Genealogy and Family History
Wednesdays, 8 October to 26 November 2014, 2 – 4 pm
Are you thinking of starting your family history? Or maybe you have been working on it for a while but want to sharpen your research skills?  This course will cover the basics, including terminology, types of sources, the use of on-line resources, libraries and archives, including LDS Family History Centres, and record-keeping – to help you “think like a genealogist”.
Instructor: Jane E. MacNamara
Where: North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto

Maps and Mapping for 21st Century Genealogists
Thursday, 6 November and Wednesdays, 12, 19 and 26 November 2014, 6:15 – 8:15 pm
This four-week course, designed for intermediate and advanced-level genealogists, explores sophisticated ways in which maps and mapping tools can contribute to family history research, analysis and writing.
Instructor: James F.S. Thomson
Where: Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto

Industrial England 
Saturday, 1 November 2014
details to follow, speakers will include Kirsty Gray

Searching for Ontario Ancestors
Saturday, 11 April 2015

Latest developments and best practices in Genetic Genealogy
Saturday, 6 June 2015
Keynote speaker: Maurice Gleeson.

Irish Genealogy: Focus on Ulster
Saturday, 19 September 2015
Lead speakers: William Roulston and Chris Paton

BBC WDYTYA? Tamzin Outhwaite

Tamzin Outhwaite, known to me for her role in the TV crime series New Tricks, explored her paternal line Italian heritage in this new BBC episode shown on Thursday.
She found her Italian immigrant ancestor who, despite being interned on the Isle of Man during WWII, found success with an ice cream business in Fishguard. Along we way we discover one of those unusual community pairings, between his home town of Barga in Italy and Glasgow. We also get a demonstration of how to make ice cream, the BBC loves cooking shows, with wonderful reaction shots.