Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Canadian Exit Permits, 1942-1946

Canada needed all hands to the wheel during the Second World War. Exit permits were required if those able to work wanted to leave the county. Their names, mainly women and children, were published in Orders in Council of the Privy Council of Canada along with information about the people receiving them at their destination, often the UK.

You will find the names of those granted permits, and other names mentioned, at

Sample entries along with information on how to purchase photographs of the list that contains the information about your person of interest is at

Thanks to Glenn Wright for the tip.

Forthcoming Resources

--  Patient records and case notes, photographs, administrative documents and registers will be among 800,000 pages of UK mental health records digitised in a project funded by the Wellcome Library. The records will come from the York Retreat, St Luke’s Hospital Woodside, Crichton Royal Hospital, Gartnavel Royal Hospital and Camberwell House Asylum.

They will be added to the Wellcome Library’s own collection of archives from public and private mental health institutions, including the records of Ticehurst House Hospital in Sussex, which provide a rare insight into the running of a privately run asylum. The project will take two years and is part of an ambitious initiative by the Wellcome Library to make freely available over 50 million pages of historic medical books, archives, manuscripts and journals by 2020.

See the announcement here.

-- MyHeritage have announced a new collaboration and product integration with personal genetics company 23andMe which appears to go well beyond the marketing relationship currently existing between MyHeritage and Family Tree DNA.

"23andMe will provide its 750,000+ customers special access to MyHeritage’s family tree tools and matching technologies directly from its website. Eventually they will replace 23andMe's own family tree editor. 23andMe’s customers will enjoy automated family history discoveries by MyHeritage such as Smart Matches™ and Record Matches, bringing them significant new opportunities to grow their family trees and to enrich their family history."
This will be good news to genetic genealogists who have been far from happy with the family tree facility provided by 23andMe.

The immediate benefit to MyHeritage aren't as obvious but there's every prospect of them developing as genetic genealogy gains an even greater following.

According to the MyHeritage announcement the first phase of integration is to be completed by early 2015.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Canada's Great War Album

A gala event at the Canadian War Museum last evening was the occasion for the launch of Canada's Great War Album: Our Memories of the First World War.
"Published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, Canada's Great War Album is an unprecedented and remarkable collection of Canadian photographs, memorabilia, and stories of the war. Two years ago, Canada's History Society invited Canadians to tell their family stories from the First World War. The response was overwhelming and assembled for the first time are their personal stories and photographs that together form a compelling and moving account of the war. Canada's Great War Album also includes contributions from Peter Mansbridge, Charlotte Gray, J.L. Granatstein, Christopher Moore, Jonathan Vance, and Tim Cook. In the spirit of the bestselling 100 Photos That Changed Canada, the war that changed Canada forever is reflected here in words and pictures."
Mark Reid, no known relation, the editor spoke on the book, how it was compiled and some of the stories. A surprise was to have emcee Don Newman return to the podium to tell the story of his relative who won the Victoria Cross but died shortly before Armistice Day in the influenza epidemic.
A representative from Shaw Communications showed four one-minute vignettes based on stories from the book which, with several more, will air on Canada's History channel.

Industrial England Workshop in Toronto

Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society sent a reminder of the fall workshop, "Industrial England", coming up in less than two weeks - on Saturday 1 November.
"This full-day workshop, co-sponsored with the Canadiana Department of North York Central Library, will explore the social, economic and cultural effects of the Industrial Revolutions on the lives of English people from 1750 to 1900. Author and professional genealogist Kirsty Gray will be our keynote speaker.
Spaces are still available, but we encourage you to sign up soon to ensure a spot. OGS members are eligible for a fee discount.
Full details about the program, speakers and how to register, are available on our Branch website at"

Monday, 20 October 2014

Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2014 Videos

Maurice Gleeson has started uploading to YouTube videos of presentation from this past weekend at the Genetic Genealogy Ireland conference in Dublin .
So far there's a brief introduction and a nearly one hour video by Maurice - Which DNA test is best for you? If you've heard Maurice presentations before you'll recognize some of the content -- appreciate the new information -- and the humour. Recommended.
Watch for further videos coming to

Suggestions for Speakers at a Canadian National Genealogy Conference

As mentioned a few days ago a National Genealogy Conference is proposed to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia on July 17-19 of 2015.
I had a phone conversation with Heidi Wilker, one of the organizers. While there are no commitments at present she mentioned Dave Obee, Terry Punch, and Garry Shutlak as possible speakers.
Who else? The speakers should be Canadians, come from across Canada and be able to give informative presentations that hold the audience's attention.
Your suggestions either as a comment or directly to me at johndreid at gmail (delete this) dot com would be appreciated.

Census: The Family Historian's Guide

There's a revised edition of Census, Peter Christian and David Annal's guide to the UK and Irish censuses. The slightly altered full title is Census: The Family Historian's Guide. It is no longer published in association with The (UK) National Archives.
Reviews of the previous edition were overwhelmingly positive. Recent criticisms that details of online access in the 2008 edition were dated should be largely addressed although, as the authors point out, changes after their text was finalized in early 2014 are inevitable.

According to the publisher's blurb the new edition has been updated to cover:
  • the many innovations on the main census websites, which have all added new census data and made changes to their facilities in the six years since the first edition;
  • the complete records of the 1911 census for England, Wales and Scotland, now available on both official and other commercial sites; and
  • all the surviving Irish census records, which have now been digitised in their entirety.
Looking for more detail? Check out the authors' article What You Will Find In This Book (pdf).

In Canada the 384 pages paperback edition, $21.74 from is on 1-2 month backorder while available for $9.99 on the Kindle eReader where you can preview the first and part of the second chapter.  Chapters-Indigo has the paperback for $20.19 and at $12.99 for the Kobo eReader.

Peter Christian is also author of The Genealogist's Internet. Davis Annal is author of Easy Family History: The Beginner's Guide to Starting Your Research and co-author, with Audrey Collins, of Birth, Marriage and Death Records: A Guide for Family Historians.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Children Calling Home: explorations of BBC Genome

I've been playing around with the BBC Genome website which has archives of the Radio Times. If like me you grew up with BBC radio this is an opportunity for a walk down memory lane and perhaps, as I found, to correct some faulty memories.

If you didn't grow up with the BBC you may just wish to skip this post.

I looked for listings of programs which connected World War II child evacuees with their parents back in the UK. A few thousand children were evacuated to Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in 1940. Many were evacuated privately, often in parties from "public" (non-state) schools. Others came through a government program operated by the Children's Overseas Reception Board (CORB). The BBC program was "Children Calling Home" and was first broadcast on Christmas Day 1940 allowing children in Canada and the United States to greet their parents across the Atlantic. There were 54 programs altogether, not all of them involving children evacuated to Canada. The last from Canada was on Boxing Day 1943.

YouTube has a short video of the London end of the conversation from 1941 at

I searched for William Appleby who I recall being the host of a program broadcast to schools called Music and Movement. I was wrong. He hosted a program called Singing Together from 1948 to 1970. Music and Movement ran from 1934 to 1970 with various hosts..

If you're interested in home children The Weeks Good Cause on 8 September 1929 was an appeal on behalf of Middlemore Homes; on 5 February 1939 on behalf of Father Hudson's Homes; and on several occasions on behalf of Bernardo's Homes and Waifs and Strays.

Search for Toronto and you'll find during WW II there were regular broadcasts "For the Forces" in of Ice Hockey From Canada by Foster Hewitt, on a delayed basis.

Alexander Campbell: Ottawa WW1 Beechwood burial

This day a century ago, 19 October 1914, saw the death of the second Ottawa soldier to be recorded in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database as buried at Beechwood Cemtery.

The article in The Ottawa Citizen of 19 October mentions his residence as 190 Bayswater Ave. He had proceeded to Valcartier, became ill with bronchitis and returned to Ottawa. Cause of death was "cerebrial haemorrhage."

According to the CWGC site Captain Alexander Campbell, age 39, was "the son of the William James and Sarah Jane Campbell, of 510, Cooper St., Ottawa and husband of Ellen Margaret Campbell of 855 Carling Avenue, Ottawa." The latter address is that of the widow on the Circumstances of Death document.

He is buried in lot 72. North-West part. Sec. 29 at Beechwood Cemetery. There is a family gravemarker with his parents and wife which reads
Capt Alexander CAMPBELL BSc born Sept 14th 1875 died Oct 19th 1914. To the side is a maple leaf-military stone with information that he was with the Canadian Engineers CEF.

Further information on Campbell and other CEF soldiers with an Ottawa connection will appear in the December issue of Anglo-Celtic Roots.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Findmypast database additions

Charles I Court Of Chancery Index, 1625-1649
An index to all 81,163 Chancery Cases heard during the reign of Charles I (1625-49).
The Court of Chancery had jurisdiction over all matters of equity, such as land ownership, trusts, the administration of the estates of lunatics and the guardianship of infants. Each record is a transcript of the original document and tends to list the name of the plaintiff, defendant, brief details of the case and The National Archives reference number.

Inheritance Disputes Index 1574-1714
Contains over 77,000 records detailing over 26,000 law suits at the English Court of Chancery typically involving several members of the same family. so are of particular value to family historians. The index covers the wills, bequests, grants of administration, descent of property, identity claims and other testamentary disputes tried in the Chancery Court in London. The information contained typically includes the name of the testator, the name of the plaintiff, the name of the defendant, the year and place of the case and The National Archives reference of the original record.

Irish Newspapers
Over a quarter of a million new newspaper articles from The Drogheda Journal/Meath & Louth Advertiser, Dublin Monitor, The Galway Vindicator & Connaught Advertiser, Limerick Reporter & Tipperary Vindicator, The Newry Examiner and Louth Reporter, Northern Whig, Pue’s Occurrences, Sligo Champion and The Waterford Chronicle.

World War One British Army Medal Index Cards
A record of the many medal entitlements earned by soldiers during the war. Some of the 4.5 million index cards in this record set contain additional notes and annotations on the medals given.Each record includes a partial transcription of the original Medal Index Card that lists a soldier’s name, service number and corps. Follow the URL included in the transcription to view online and download the original index card that is kept at The National Archives for a small fee. These records are also on and their world collections.

Gatineau Valley Historical Society Event

A double feature with a talk on the history of the Gatineau and Ottawa Valley forest industry and a book launch on Monday, October 20, 2014 in the Chelsea Library, 100 Old Chelsea Road, Chelsea QC

7:30 PM - Hurling Down the Pine Book Launch
To celebrate 50 years of publishing, the Society is pleased to announce the publication of the fourth edition of Hurling Down the Pine by John Hughson and Courtney Bond. First published in 1964, the third edition was released in 1987 and has been long out-of-print. This book recounts the story of the Wright, Gilmour and Hughson families, who were timber manufacturers in the Hull and Ottawa region and on the Gatineau River.
Copies will be available for sale for $25.

8:00 PM - Dr. Helen Parson - "The Forest Industry of the Ottawa and Gatineau Watersheds in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries".
Dr. Helen Parson has been invited back to expand on the short talk she gave at the Society’s annual dinner last May. Dr. Parson, formerly with the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, will be presenting an overview of the forest industry in the Ottawa and Gatineau valleys from the square timber