Ancestry Updates London, England, Marriage Notices from The Times, 1982-2004

This database now has 320,053 records, up from 160,030 when I looked in March last year.

A search gives a list of hits with name, event type, marriage date and spouse name. Clicking on View Record adds published date, father and father-in-law information.

The majority of the entries are engagement announcements with the “marriage” date and published date the same. For those, it’s not the marriage date. Not all engagements, even those announced in The Times, lead to marriage.

Check the published announcement, not available through Ancestry. for additional information. One I examined. less than 40 words, added the bride’s mother’s first name and that she was deceased.

Records Look Up Request

Many of us are chomping at the bit to get back into a library or archives to research. Sometimes you know exactly where to find what you need but there’s no access. An example might be finding an address from a city directory. Or you might want a copy of a couple of pages from an in-copyright book that mentions an ancestor and from an online index you know the pages.

Will your library provide that lookup service?

I’ve been fortunate to find kindly reference librarians to do a look up as time permits. With reductions in library hours during COVID time may not permit or delays may be long.

Recognizing the problem the Family History Library in Salt Lake City is now offering a look up service, one that will continue after the pandemic as part of the FamilySearch global outreach.

Find out more at

I wonder if LAC has considered such a service.

New Capability at MyHeritage

Expect a new capability to appear at MyHeritage today. As I write it’s embargoed. Watch the space below for an update or go to MyHeritage as they will no doubt feature it when it goes live … first on desktops with a slight delay for smartphones and tablets.


The capability, to automatically repair photos, is now live on my MyHeritage subscription.

Click on Photos under Family Tree or Photos, select an existing photo or add a new one.

Click on repair, or if it doesn’t appear try clicking the three vertical dots or the gear on the left-hand side. You should get options for a gentle repair or extensive repair. If not try later as the capability gets further embedded.

See the press release with linked video.

British Library and Findmypast announce renewal of long-term partnership

A blog post from FMP announces that the British Newspaper Archive will add a further 14 million pages by 2023 to the 42 million already available under an agreement with the British Library.
Over 5 million pages were made available to search online in the past 12 months
Under the agreement, 1 million new free-to-access pages will be added each year.
Until the end of May, a 30% discount is available for 3 and 12-month subscriptions to the British Newspaper Archive.

Are there newspapers you hope will be added? I’d like more content from Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

This Week’s Online Genealogy Events

Choose from free online events in the next five days. All times are ET except as noted. Those in red are Canadian, bolded if local to Ottawa. Assume registration in advance is required; check so you’re not disappointed.

Tuesday 25 May, 11 am: Devon Brick Walls, with Janet Few and Alex Cox for Findmypast.

Tuesday 25 May, 2 pm:  Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from Ottawa Branch of OGS and The Ottawa Public Library.

Tuesday 25 May 2 pm: Advanced DNA Features on MyHeritage, by Ofer Karp from MyHeritage Webinars.

Tuesday 25 May, 2:30 pm: Researching Your Quaker Roots in Ireland, by Elizabeth Hodges for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Tuesday 25 May, 7 pm: Family Research in Wellington County, by Sharie Aspden for OGS Wellington County Branch.

Wednesday 26 May, 11 am: Missing of the First World War, by Paul Nixon for Findmypast.

Wednesday 26 May 2 pm: How Testing Multiple Relatives Can Turbocharge Your DNA Research, by Michelle Leonard for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Wednesday 26 May 3 pm: Navigating the Scotlands People Website, by Christine Woodcock for OGS Simcoe County Branch.

Wednesday 26 May 7 pm: Beyond Bytown: The History of Public Transit in Ottawa, by Paul Henry for the Bytown Museum.

Thursday 27 May, 6:30 pm: Michigan Digital Collections at the Archives of Michigan, by Kris Rzepczynski for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.


4 — 6 June 2021: OGS Conference. 

19 – 26 September 2021: BIFHSGO Conference. Irish Lines and Female Finds: Exploring Irish records, female ancestors and genetic genealogy.


OGS 2020 in Review

Material for the Ontario Genealogical Society Annual General Meeting, to be called to order on 5 June at 3:30 pm, is now posted on the Member’s Corner section of the Society website.

The audited financial statement ending 31 December 2020 shows an improved situation. The excess of revenues over expenses was $21K compared to a deficit of $85K the previous year. Both revenues and expenses declined significantly, but government funding for COVID-19 of nearly $90K swung the bottom line to surplus.
While membership numbers are not given a reduction of about 2.5% in membership fee income, the largest revenue component, was experienced.

The President, Executive Director, Branch and SIG reports show the Society quickly made changes to accommodate the changed reality. In particular, the switch to online meetings meant increased attendance from those living remotely from a branch.

Those who endured the election process at last year’s AGM will be pleased to know that so far one candidate is nominated for each of the vacant officer positions along with candidates for two of the three director-at-large positions.

BIFHSGO 2020 in Review

Material for the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa Annual General Meeting, to be called to order on Saturday 12 June at 9 am has been sent to members.

The audited financial statement ending 31 December 2020 shows a substantial decrease in both revenues and expenses.  That’s largely the result of cancellation of the 2020 conference due to COVID-19, much of it rescheduled for 2021.

A surplus of $3K for 2020 was a decrease from $9K the previous year, yet better than the small deficient originally budgeted. Membership fee revenue declined 0.4% while memberships declined 9.5%. The fee increase that took effect for those paying after 1 January 2019 likely has something to do with it.

The reports from President Duncan Monkhouse and the Directors show the society quickly moving online with a series of excellent monthly meeting presentations, averaging an attendance of 150. The addition of socials, workshops and SIGs helped compensate for the missed social aspect of in-person meetings. As with other family history organizations operating online meant greater accessibility to those not living in the local area. 

Several Board positions remained or became vacant during the year meaning an extra burden on the Directors who had to deal with the unusual challenges of COVID and website issues.

Military Monday

An oddity of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database is that entries for alias names all show up as linked to the UK. I asked CWGC about this and here’s the response:

All ‘Regiments’ in our database are linked to a particular force as all our ‘Nationality’ statistics are generated from this information. Casualties that served under an Alias are nominally entered under the regiment title ‘Alias’ which just happens to show as United Kingdom forces. However, alias casualties do not get counted statistically (the system only counts their true name entry), but the system still has to have a Nationality force linked to it, which in this case happens to be the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the system does not let us link ‘regiments’ to multiple nationality forces.

Ancestry Updates Canada, Selected School Yearbooks, 1901-2010

Were you in a school yearbook? If so how do you feel about what you can read years later? How many of your classmates can you recall?

This Canadian collection was originally reported on the blog on 21 July 2015. Ancestry’s information about this 10 May 2021 update (it didn’t go online at that date) is “Replaced old records with new updated records for 240 additional yearbooks.”

On 7 August 2020, there were 2,475,234 records in the database. With this update there are 2,318,578 records.  A decrease! What happened? What books are new? Ancestry keeps that a secret.

Ontario still accounts for the lion’s share — 1,648,511 records, in September 2016 there were 1,157,348 Ontario records.

For Ottawa, there are a good number of years for Ashbury College (1918-1988), Elmwood School (1923-1988)  and Carleton University (1943-1980). Others have just a few.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

How Perception Can Save Lives
There’s no exact parallel, but consider the impact of errors in identifying parentage in earlier generations of your family tree.

Transform an image into a pixel-ly visual

The controversial history of colourizing black-and-white photos
Family histories often add “colour” not explicit in the personal information available but surmised from context. Is colourizing family snaps any different?

Church of Ireland Gazette Digital Archive Complete (1856-2010)
All editions of the newspaper are freely available, electronically searchable with hits highlighted on the page image, at

Beyond Bytown: The History of Public Transit in Ottawa, by Ottawa City Archivist Paul Henry.
When I first tried to get a ticket for this presentation on Wednesday 26 May at 7 pm they were sold out. Now, further tickets have been added. You might want to book soon in case they run out again.

Ancestry Library Edition free access via Canadian public libraries extended thru September 2021.

The golden ratio: an ancient Greek formula could be responsible for most hit musicals

Thanks to this week’s contributors: Anonymous, Barbara T, Judith H., Richard Ruggle, Unknown.

Findmypast adds Modern Scottish BMDs

Additions to Findmypast this week are:

Scotland, Modern and Civil Births 1855-2019
Compiled from “a number of official and unofficial sources”, this collection has 2,579,212 transcript records. They came to FMP via FamilySearch Intl. There are very few after the start of the 20th century.

Scotland, Modern and Civil Marriages 1855-2019
These 1,068,518 transcript records focus on the years prior to 1875.

Scotland, Modern and Civil Deaths & Burials 1855-2021
This vast record set, 3,327,486 transcript entries, has a focus on the 1928 to 1956 period. The counties of Midlothian (Edinburgh) and Lanarkshire (Glasgow) account for two-thirds of the records.

Great Canadian Genealogy Blogs

They’re not a secret. London (England)-based Canadian librarian and genealogist Penny Allen highlights 42 blogs in an updated Canadian Genealogy Blogroll. They’re on her UK to Canada Genealogy blog.  Not a secret — but some of them are new to me, especially from Alberta.

Beyond blogs, Penny mentions Gail Dever’s  Genealogy à la Carte blog that has a Facebook for Canadian Genealogy page with a very long list of Facebook groups that concentrate on Canadian Genealogy.