Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Forensic Genealogy Institute

An email arrived from Melissa J. Ellis of who is a director of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy asking that I give a shout out for the Council's 3-day Forensic Institute. It is being held 7-9 March 2017 in San Antonio, Texas.
There will be a particularly warm welcome for Canadian forensic genealogists attending the Institute.
Find out more at

London Genealogy Databases Online

In preparation for the Alberta Genealogical Society conference in April I've taken a look at what databases are offered online for London by Ancestry, Deceased Online, FamilySearch, Findmypast, MyHeritage. It's easy to overlook existing resources as new ones come along.
The table below is a consolidated list, organized by number of records. Not included are more comprehensive databases, such as the censuses, that cover a larger area, some cemetery database from the National Archives where number of records is not available and, newspapers. I'm aware of some additional mostly smaller databases, please add specifics as a comment.

London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965Ancestry179,071,664
England, London Electoral Registers, 1847-1913FamilySearch17,760,894
London, England, Land Tax Records, 1692-1932Ancestry12,772,584
London, England, Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records, 1659-1930Ancestry10,198,397
London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812Ancestry8,844,994
London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921Ancestry7,549,807
London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906Ancestry6,240,093
London, England, Poor Law and Board of Guardian Records, 1430-1930Ancestry3,864,371
London, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980Ancestry2,616,957
London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1840-1911Ancestry1,711,929
London Lives, Culture & Society 1680-1817Findmypast1,653,799
Greater London Burial IndexFindmypast1,634,962
Web: London, England, Proceedings of the Old Bailey and Ordinary's Accounts Index, 1674-1913Ancestry1,246,537
London, England, Clandestine Marriage and Baptism Registers, 1667-1754Ancestry894,892
Middlesex, London, Old Bailey Court Records 1674-1913Findmypast786,726
London and Surrey, England, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1597-1921Ancestry750,614
London, Docklands and East End Baptisms, 1558-1933Findmypast668,310
Southwark CemeteriesDeceased Online600,000
Boyd's Inhabitants Of London & Family Units 1200-1946Findmypast583,158
London Apprenticeship Abstracts, 1442-1850Findmypast486,370
Camden CemeteriesDeceased Online470,400
London, England, Selected Poor Law Removal and Settlement Records, 1698-1930Ancestry469,314
London, England, Freedom of the City Admission Papers, 1681-1930Ancestry463,958
Manor Park CemeteryDeceased Online430,000
Islington CemeteriesDeceased Online425,700
Lewisham CemeteriesDeceased Online385,000
Greenwich CemeteriesDeceased Online371,000
London, England, Overseer Returns, 1863-1894Ancestry294,833
Kensal Green CemeteryDeceased Online257,500
London, England, Stock Exchange Membership Applications, 1802-1924Ancestry256,986
London, Bethlem Hospital Patient Admission Registers and Casebooks 1683-1932Findmypast247,517
Boyd's London BurialsFindmypast242,635
Eltham CrematoriumDeceased Online210,000
Brompton CemeteryDeceased Online205,000
London, England, Selected Rate Books, 1684-1907Ancestry186,366
Newham CemeteriesDeceased Online180,000
Highgate CemeteryDeceased Online166,000
London, England, Marriage Notices from The Times, 1982-2004Ancestry160,046
City Of London, Haberdashers, Apprentices and Freemen 1526-1933Findmypast136,468
London, England, Wills and Probate, 1507-1858Ancestry135,186
London, England, Extracted Church of England Parish RecordsAncestry133,630
London, England, Non-conformist Registers, 1694-1921Ancestry120,699
Spa Fields CemeteryDeceased Online114,000
London, England, Births and Christening Notices from The Times, 1983-2003Ancestry107,315
Merton CemeteriesDeceased Online100,000
London, Docklands and East End Marriages, 1558-1859Findmypast92,250
Havering CemeteriesDeceased Online75,000
Bunhill CemeteryDeceased Online71,100
London Probate IndexFindmypast62,820
Harrow CemeteriesDeceased Online58,700
London, England, Land Tax Valuations, 1910Ancestry44,374
Brent CemeteriesDeceased Online40,000
Surrey and City Of London Livery Company Association Oath Rolls, 1695/96Findmypast32,965
London, England, King's Bench and Fleet Prison Discharge Books and Prisoner Lists, 1734-1862Ancestry32,198
Surrey & South London Will Abstracts, 1470-1856Findmypast29,508
London, England, Marshalsea Prison Commitment and Discharge Books, 1811-1842Ancestry28,849
London, England, Crisp's Marriage Licence Index, 1713-1892Ancestry27,932
Sutton CemeteriesDeceased Online27,500
London, England, Church of England Confirmation Records, 1850-1921Ancestry26,329
London, Westminster Marylebone Census 1821 & 1831Findmypast22,522
London Poor Law Records, 1581-1899Findmypast22,344
London, Dulwich College Register 1619-1926Findmypast18,313
City Of London, Ironmongers, Apprentices and Freemen 1511-1923Findmypast17,822
London Churches, Christening and Baptismal RecordsAncestry15,596
London, England, TS Exmouth Training Ship Records, 1876-1918Ancestry12,107
London County Council Record Of War Service 1914-1918Findmypast10,145
London School RegistersAncestry8,347
London, Watermen, List Of Free Watermen, 1827Findmypast5,448
London Churches, Burials and Deaths RecordsAncestry5,289
London Volunteer SoldiersFindmypast5,271
City Of London, Gunmakers' Company Freedoms and Admissions, 1656-1936Findmypast5,187
London, Archdeaconry Court Of London Wills Index, 1700-1807Findmypast4,687
London, Court Of Husting Will Abstracts, 1258-1688Findmypast3,853
London Consistory Court Depositions Index, 1700-1713Findmypast3,104
London, England, Selected Church of England Parish Registers, 1558-1875Ancestry2,967
London, England, Gamekeepers' Licences, 1727-1839Ancestry2,578
London, Watermen, Admiralty Muster Of The Port Of London, 1628Findmypast2,393
London, Watermen's Petition For The King Charles I, 1648Findmypast2,026
London & Middlesex Will Abstracts, 1700-1704Findmypast1,982
London and Country Directory, 1811Ancestry1,655
London, Watermen, Birth Register Of Contracted Men, 1865-1921Findmypast1,494
London, England, Marriage Licences, 1521-1869Ancestry859
London Marriage Licences 1521 - 1869MyHeritage853
London Post Office Directory, 1829Ancestry730
London, Watermen In Royal Navy, 1803-1809Findmypast629
London, England: St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, Church of England Baptisms, 1628-1690Ancestry525
The London Diocese Book 1890Ancestry522
London Stock Exchange Memorial Roll 1914-1918Findmypast510
A calendar of the marriage licence allegations in the Registry of the Bishop of London : 1597 to 1700Ancestry481
British Army, Lloyds Of London Memorial Roll 1914-1919Findmypast432
University College School, London, Register 1831-1891Ancestry331
The Publications of the Harleian Society, the Parish Registers of St Mary Aldermary, LondonAncestry296
The Dutch Church Registers, Austin Friars London 1571-1874.Ancestry276
Cripplegate Ward, London Aldermen, 1276-1900Ancestry270
Child Apprentices in America from Christ's Hospital, London, 1617-1778Ancestry162
The Religious Census of LondonAncestry135

Quinte Branch OGS: Crouse Wanamaker Lecture

"Taking Root in a New Land" is the topic for the annual Crouse Wanamaker Lecture to be delivered by Cheryl Levy PLCGS on Saturday 21 January 2017 at the Quinte West Public Library, 7 Creswell Drive, Trenton from 1-3pm.
"Immigration and migration must be explored as you build your ancestors' stories. Where did they come from? Why did they move? What was your immigrant ancestor's country of origin?  We will explore early immigration movements, including specific groups and settlement plans, for those who chose to make Canada their new home."
Everyone welcome, bring a friend. For more information visit

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

South Kildare history online

If you have Irish ancestry, even if not from South Kildare, you're liable to find something of interest, sometimes shocking, in this resource.
Since September 1992 Frank Taaffe has been delving into topics of interest from the history of South Kildare, south and west of Dublin, and especially the community of Athy. The columns published in the local paper, the Kildare Nationalist. under the title Eye on the Past are collected together at Twenty-five years of columns have covered a huge range of topics.
With so many columns a search engine is a good facility to have. Find it at the top left of the web page. Try names (lots of mentions of people), places, events. What was life like in the workhouse? Where did migrants go and what was the journey like?
Thanks to BIFHSGO member Ann Burns, who is starting an extended research visit to the area, for the tip.

Perth and District Historical Society Meetings

The next meeting of the P&DHS is January 19, 2017  at the Perth Legion.
200th Anniversary Committee provides an audio-visual review of the Town's anniversary celebration in 2016.

For your diary, subsequent meetings scheduled, all at the same Perth Legion location, are:
February 16, 2017
Loree Tannett, presents "What Our Forebears Wore in the 19th Century
March 16, 2017
Janet Coward et al, with "Songs from Our Past"
April 20, 2017 
Glen Tunnock presents ‘Sir John A’s Indian Act, and Its Consequences’
May 18, 2017 
Anne Raina, author, ‘The Evolution of Health Care in the 20th Century (especially for treatment of TB)’
June 15, 2017
(Tentative) ‘The Women’s Institute and Its Influence in Our Area’

Monday, 16 January 2017

CEF Service Files Digitization: January 2017 Update

As of 16 January 2017, 387,710 (378,229 last month) of 640,000 files are available online via the LAC Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database.

The latest digitized is from Box 6526 (6355 last month) and the surname Murray (Morello).

9,481 (16,993) files were digitized in the last month, a reduced pace over the holiday period.

Library and Archives Canada is digitizing the service files systematically, from box 1 to box 10686, which roughly corresponds to alphabetical order.

Ottawa Historical Association January Meeting

You are invited to Library and Archives Canada (395 Wellington)
on Tuesday 17 January at 7 PM for:

“A Shiny New Penny: An Historical Overview of the National Currency
Collection and the Bank of Canada Museum”

Paul Berry
Chief Curator
National Currency Collection
Bank of Canada Museum

In 2013, the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada was officially
renamed the Bank of Canada Museum.  Work immediately began at
designing a new facility, not just to showcase the National Currency
Collection and tell the story of money in Canada but one that welcomes
visitors to experience Canada’s central bank and learn how individuals
influence the Canadian economy. This Summer 2017, the drawing board
becomes reality and the new Bank of Canada Museum will open its doors
to 10,000 square feet of interactives, exhibits and fun. This talk
will delve into the National Currency Collection, illustrate some of
its holdings, explain developments leading to the museum of today and
tease the audience with a few visuals of what to expect at Ottawa’s
newest cultural venue.

Paul Berry manages the Collection Services Unit of the Museum which is
responsible for the research, development and maintenance of the
National Currency Collection. An avid numismatist since age six, Paul
is past president of the Canadian Paper Money Society and the Canadian
Numismatic Research Society. His personal fields of interest include
the money of colonial era Canada, Edo period Japan and early 20th
century American sculpture. Paul holds a Combined Honours BA (1980) in
History and Art History from the University of Western Ontario.

Ye Olde Genealogy Faire

That's the branding of the Alberta Genealogical Society conference 2017. I've agreed to give four talks on British family history, mostly ones I've not given in some time. Updating and tailoring to the audience in Edmonton has been a gift. Not only have I found out things about Alberta history but it has been an opportunity to look at updated British resources. I found the burial places of three ancestors in London and a newspaper notice on the second marriage of my great grandmother. It's a lesson I (we) continually have to relearn, commit to a presentation to provide motivation.

I'm also looking forward on 22-23 April to hearing from the other speakers, notably Saturday banquet speaker Diahan Southard who gave a memorable and moving presentation last October in Dublin at Genetic Genealogy Ireland.

The program is now posted so take a look at everything on offer and join us if you can.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Twenty-one today

Congratulations to uber genealogy blogger Dick Eastman celebrating 21 years of Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter today, 15 January 2017.

Ed Broadbent at LAC

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) invites you to an hour of lively conversation with former New Democratic Party leader, the Honourable Ed Broadbent.
Mr. Broadbent will be the guest of Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, as part of the Signatures Series, which features original interviews with individuals who have donated their archives to LAC.
Reserve your spot now for this event, to be held on Tuesday, February 7, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., at LAC, 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. Places for this free event are limited, so please register here.
Documents from the Ed Broadbent fonds will be on display during the event.

Irish Genealogy News Catch-up

I doubt anybody keeps a closer eye on developments in Irish genealogy resources than Claire Santry. There's not a major development she doesn't cover on her Irish Genealogy News blog. On Thursday Claire posted a digest of some backlog items, most smaller developments, most new to me. Read the post at Irish Genealogy News: The Catch-up Dozen.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Library and Archives Canada’s free digital facility—the DigiLab

Are there resources of genealogical or other value at Library and Archives Canada languishing in obscurity?
Are there LAC archived materials you or your society would like to be available online but you can't get to Ottawa to spend the time needed to consult the originals?
Have you tried photographing LAC materials with a digital camera but found the quality unsatisfactory?

The newly-established DigiLab at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa, to be available from April, is a hands-on facility for users to digitize and contextualize LAC collections of value to their study, work and communities. LAC is inviting academics, individuals, genealogists and community-based groups to make proposals for digitizing LAC collections.  To be clear, LAC will provide the facility and space, including online storage for general public access, the proponent will be responsible for the work of digitization.

You can read more about this initiative, including the criteria and proposal form at

On learning about the initiative I had questions to which Melanie Brown, LAC Manager, Digitization Partnerships and Initiatives, kindly responded.

Q. What facilities will there be for bulk scanning from microfilm, such as newspapers?
A. This will not be part of the DigiLab but will be accommodated by new machines in the existing microfilm room.

Q. What large format scanners will there be suitable for digitizing original bound newspapers the pages of which are fragile?
A. There will be such large format scanner capability in the DigiLab. Original newspapers, and all materials, have to be vetted for copyright clearance and to ensure they will withstand the stress of transport and handling for digitization.

Q. What OCR capabilities will there be for printed materials or for creating searchable PDFs?
A. No OCR capability of planned at this time. It could become available at a later stage.

Q. What facilities will there be for flattening original documents that have been folded for storage?
A. The requirement will be accessed as part of the project approval process. Training will be provided as necessary as part of the general training required to use the DigiLab and its equipment.

Q. Will projects funded through the Documentary Heritage Communities Program be eligible to use DigiLab?
A. Yes, recognizing that the facility can only be used for LAC materials.

Q. For those not able to get to LAC to perform the digitization themselves are there other options?
A. LAC already has a program whereby clients can pay for LAC to perform scanning. It could also be that organization may want to hire a local person to perform the digitization but there is nothing, similar to the current list of consultants, yet available.

Findmypast adds Yorkshire and Derbyshire Methodist records and Middlesex MIs

By Findmypast standards this week's additions are quite modest, perhaps as they prepare for "a new landmark collection of UK parish records is soon to be released . . .  a whole new county added to our collection in the coming weeks." Peter Calver suggests the county will be Leicestershire (and Rutland).
The additions this week, provided by agreement with the Sheffield & District Family History Society, are:
Yorkshire & Derbyshire Methodist Baptisms, 42,033 transcripts from 1795 to 1997.
Yorkshire & Derbyshire Methodist Marriages, 22,430 transcripts from 1817 to 1970.

There are also 12,005 new records in the Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions 1485-2014 collection for St Nicholas Church, Chiswick. That brings the total for these MIs provided by West Middlesex Family History Society to 43,157 records.

Image of St Nicholas Church, Chiswick from Wikimedia Commons.