Friday, 25 April 2014

Ancestry adds RCMP and Norfolk Poor Law databases

More from Ancestry's cooperation agreement with FamilySearch:

Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police obituary card index and notices, 1876-2007, 9476 records. There's more information at FamilySearch at

England, Norfolk Poor Law Union Records, 1796-1900 are 138,680 browse only records with further information at

Books Boxes and Boats

From The UK National Archives Books Boxes and Boats  "brings together a wide variety of websites and databases hopefully useful to anyone carrying out maritime related research but in particular librarians archivists and family historians. These include 'official' sites such as the National Archives and the Royal Naval Museum as well as websites run by enthusiasts," Some of the contents linked are:

Lloyds Register, with links to an incomplete sequence of 18th & 19th Century volumes scanned by Google and the 1930-1945 volumes from Southampton Library & Archive;

Lloyds List, with details of ship movements, marine casualties & maritime news, an incomplete collection from 1741 to 1826;

Mercantile Navy List. an annual publication containing "the most comprehensive listing of British vessels, incomplete starting in 1849;

and lots more.

Scattered in are resources explaining the records which you'll appreciate after you've struggled to interpret the many abbreviations used.

Thanks to Christine Jackson for the tip.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

FreeBMD April update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Tuesday 22 April 2014 to contain 237,672,737 (236,907,482) distinct records.

Years with major updates, more than 5,000 entries are: for births 1940, 1943, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1969-70, 1972; for marriages 1952, 1962, 1964-70; for deaths 1969-71.

Archives of Ontario ships fewer microfilms

Month by month, from April 2010 to February 2014 the Archives of Ontario have monitored various customer service statistics, including total microfilm shipments.
Shipments have slipped by an average 93 per year. At that rate in 3-5 years shipments will drop to zero. Let's hope a different technology, perhaps digital microfilm, will replace the antiquated current system.

OGS Ottawa Branch April meeting

The Ottawa Branch Meeting presentation this coming Saturday 26 April, 13:00 – 15:00 is "Using Social Media for Genealogy Research"

Ken McKinlay will be talking about the various social media sites, such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and blogs to name just a few places, that can be used to help in your own research through interacting online with others around the world via the world wide web.

Speaker bio: Ken McKinlay's foray into his family tree research started with three simple family stories that he wanted to confirm or refute. He has now been researching his family tree for over 14 years making use of the Internet as his primary means of locating relevant documents and also discovering new cousins. He has given talks for the Ottawa branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, BIFHSGO, and the Ottawa Public Library. His talks generally focus on methodologies and providing the skills needed to help solve those brick wall problems.  He is currently working on the Canadian Records certificate offered through the National Institute for Genealogical Studies.

The meeting is at the usual location, City of Ottawa Archives, Room 115 starting at 1pm with
Networking - tea, coffee, cookies. This meeting will be simulcast for members who can't join in person.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Crowdfunding map digitization

The British Library have opened at campaign seeking support to unlock King George III’s personal map and views collection, over 1,000 maps and views of London and "one of the world's most important and beautiful map collections."
They aim to raise a total of £100,000 to catalogue, conserve and digitise all the London maps and views with £10,000 of the total coming from donors and enthusiasts.
Read more and donate at

St George's Day

A Mummers play in celebration of this day, St George's Day and Shakespeare's birthday.


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Now you'll know

Peter Munro correctly identified the list of nicknames published a few days ago as British Army regiments.  More specifically they were in the war of 1812 in Canada. They are:

The Holy Boys: The Royal Norfolk Regiment, recruited from East Norfolk
Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard: The Royal Scots, recruited from Berwick
The Elegant Extracts: The Royal Fusiliers (City of London)
The Vein-Openers: Worcestershire Regiment (Worcestershire and Herefordshire)
The Devil's Own: Connaught Rangers (Ireland and Scotland).

FamilySearch adds additional Essex and Bristol parish transcripts

There are now 1,022,771 records, updated from the 537,556 records available since December, in the FamilySearch collection of transcribed parish registers for various Essex parishes, 1538-1900. Further information, and a list of parishes with dates included is at
Also 724,809 transcribed Bristol parish register entries for the same period are now available, updated from January. A detailed list of parishes covered, but not dates, is at

Monday, 21 April 2014

Our (Ottawa) Heroes in The Great World War

While researching WW1 soldiers buried at Beechwood Cemetery last week at the Ottawa City Archives Harriet Fried drew "The Blue Book" to my attention.
The content is well described by the extended title "Our Heroes in (of) The Great World War: Giving facts and details of Canada's part in the greatest war in history,  including photoengravings of Officers, Nurses, Non-commissioned Officers  and Men from Ottawa, Ontario, and vicinity. Compiled by J. H. Dc Wolfe the history of the war is interspersed with pages of photos and mini-bios of many from the area who served. It's not comprehensive, a few war causalities buried at Beechwood are not included.

You don't have to go the City Archives to read it. Find a digitised copy, not nearly as good resolution as the hard copy I viewed, on the Internet Archive at

Top centre in the image is Nursing Sister Minnie Gallagher, a wartime fatality who will be one of those featured in the Beechwood Cemetery Historical Walking Tour in June.