Tracing your London Ancestors — NOT Cheap-Cheap

The Society of Genealogists is offering a seven-week course, Saturdays,  3 July – 14 August, each session from 10 am to 11:30 am EDT.

Most of us have people on our family tree that migrated to London. They married, had children, and moved from one suburb to another. London has always been a magnet, attracting people to live and work. The speed with which the population grew in the 18th and 19th centuries is staggering. In 1780, Greater London’s population was 750,000. By 1860, it had grown to 3 million. By 1900, it was over 6 million. Our ancestors are part of that growth. Trying to follow our London ancestors’ lives can be baffling. Someone may have been born in Middlesex, married in Surrey and buried in Holborn – all without ever moving. It’s all related to that population boom and the way that local governments struggled to keep up. They moved boundaries, set up administration areas, and spilled over into other counties like Middlesex, Essex, Surrey and Kent. So how do you effectively search for someone? To tackle that needle in the urban haystack – your London ancestor – we have planned this series of seven Saturday sessions. untangle the complicated administrative boundaries in London. learn new ways of exploring sources in archives. find out what records are available, online and offline.

Each class includes a Q&A. A full programme can be found on our website, where bookings can be made. Classes are recorded and available to anyone who books a place, for up to two weeks afterwards.

Cost £135.00/£108.00 SoG members, with tutors Else Churchill, Ian Waller, John Hanson and Jeff Gerhardt.

REALLY USEFUL Early Bird Tickets – Cheap-Cheap

Until midnight UK time at the end of the month the (UK) Family History Federation is offering discount registration for its next REALLY USEFUL Family History Show, Friday-Saturday 12th-13th November 2021.

For £7.50 (about $12.50 Cdn) they promise

than at the April event, but
Even lacking any detail it looks like a good deal.
Note that although it overlaps with the BIFHSGO monthly meeting there will likely be more than one opportunity to view a presentation.

Findmypast Weekly Update: Focus on Ireland

Three new collections for those searching Irish ancestry.

Ireland, Petty Sessions Court Registers
From Donegal County Archives, over 62,000 new court records are added making the whole collection over 23 million records. Dates from 1828 to 1923.
The number of records by county is: Carlow 168,361, Cavan 1,112,173, Claire 1,327,993, Cork 1,717,486, Donegal 1,094,093, Dublin 543,743, Galway 2,661,677, Kerry 1,178,557, Kildare 554,800, Kilkenny 802,529, Laois (Queen’s) 516,083, Leitrim 177,003, Limerick 1,542,475, Longford 314,747, Louth 619,257, Mayo 2,082,408, Meath 690,929, Monaghan 882,652, Offlay (King’s) 212,119, Roscommon 785,497, Sligo 459,103, Tipperary 1,427,441, Waterford 999,602, Westmeath 413,430, Wexford 542,456, Wicklow 466,517.
Transcripts are linked to the original document original with more detail.

Ireland, Court of Chancery Bill Books 1627-1884
Uncover family disputes and more in this vast collection of court records spanning over 250 years of Irish legal history.  Cases to Exchequer tended to be land owners, merchants, business owners, professionals and the larger farmers as it was expensive for anyone else to attend court in Dublin. However defendants in cases could come from a broader sector of society.  There are 1,217,591 entries.
I found two entries for an Irish name I search. The year was about the only useful information I was able to glean.

Ireland, Court of Exchequer Bill Books 1627-1884
Did your ancestor have their day in one of Ireland’s busiest courts? Delve into over a million new records to find out.
I found these less useful than the Chancery Bill Books — nothing for the name I search.  Hopefully your search is more productive.

Letters from the Dorking Emigrants, who went to Upper Canada, in the Spring of 1832

The latest post on the London Historians’ Blog, a reprint from an August 2020 members’ newsletter is about some of the 2,500 pamphlets being reviewed in a volunteer project with the  Royal Institution.

The article lists the titles of some of the pamphlets. One that attracted my attention was Letters from the Dorking Emigrants, who went to Upper Canada, in the Spring of 1832. Google revealed that it could be viewed at the collection — with 52 full-text searchable pages.

Was your ancestor amongst those mentioned?

I wonder if these are in TONI — The Ontario Name Index from OGS?

I suspect these may be Petworth settlers, although Dorking is 50 Km from Petworth.

AMBA New Archivist

Kristen Mercier started this month as the new archivist for The Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives.

Kristen — who grew up in Pembroke and Chapeau, Que. on Allumette Island — will be returning home from the UK where she worked as an assistant archivist for St. George’s Chapel Archives and Chapel Library at Windsor Castle. She is a graduate of the University of Glasgow, Humanities Advanced Technology & Information Institute.

“Loves the Middle Ages – would never use a time machine to go there.”

Kristen will soon be re-opening the Archives to researchers and welcome back dedicated volunteers.

Free Access to MyHeritage Immigration and Travel Records: 24-28 June

MyHeritage has opened up, for a limited time, 57 collections with 181 million passenger arrival, naturalization, border crossing, emigration, passport, and convict transportation records.

They include 12,398,842 records of United States, Border Crossings from Canada, 1895-1956. 

As many people travelling to and from Canada went through  New York the largest collection, Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 with 113,439,585 records, and smaller collections for other US East Coast ports, are of Canadian interest.

Ancestry’s Lesley Anderson Likes to Cook Too

Joining the promotion of Food Day Canada which is 31 July, here are the first couple of paragraphs from an press release.


New survey reveals 67% of Canadians feel family recipes bring them closer to their heritage and almost half are concerned family history will be lost if recipes aren’t passed down

TORONTO, ON. June 22, 2021 – Ahead of Food Day Canada, a new Leger Marketing[i] survey, conducted on behalf of Ancestry®, the global leader in family history, reveals that seven in ten Canadians state their most memorable family moments involve home-cooked meals and eating together. However, almost half (44%) of Canadians feel that part of their family history will be lost if family recipes are not passed down.

Food heritage is one of the first and most prominent traditions passed down from previous generations, with nearly three-quarters (72%) of Canadians saying that they first learned to cook at home with their parents or grandparents. In fact, according to the Ancestry survey, 67% still cook at least one recipe that has been passed down by another family member and 58% feel family recipes give insight into how their ancestors lived.

The press release continues with a story about Ancestry spokesperson Lesley Anderson, one of the best-known family historians in Canada, who credits her family First World War-era “Cookery Book” as the catalyst for her foray into the world of family history.

It includes this image from the book — quantities given by weight the British way. I’m imagining Lesley preparing these in her newly renovated kitchen.

My own hand-written cheese scone recipe, a family favourite I copied from my mother’s dictation, substitutes cheese for the sugar and currants, reduces the butter and leaves out the egg. It may be her Second World War rationing-era recipe had to skimp on the ingrediants.

News from OurDigitalWorld

The Lake Scugog Historical Society and OurDigitalWorld have digitized more than 20,000 pages of Port Perry area newspapers dating from 1857-1933. The newspaper site was officially launched just in time to celebrate Port Perry, Ontario’s 150th anniversary! Now online:
Ontario Observer (1857-1873)
Port Perry Standard (1867-1868)
North Ontario Observer (1873-1919)
Port Perry Star (1907-1933)

Likely of broader interest is the Digitized Ontario Scrapbook Hansard, a collection of 10,000-15,000 newspaper clippings that provide substantially verbatim transcripts of Parliamentary debates and committee proceedings.

If your looking for other dates consult the Debates (Hansard) of the Legislative Assemblies of the Province of Canada and of Ontario, a pdf from the Archives of Ontario.

FamilySearch Updates

The following titles for the UK (England) and Canada (Ontario) have received updates on FamilySearch in the past week.

Title Records
England, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-1988 2,346,857
England, Herefordshire Bishop’s Transcripts, 1583-1898 1,545,030
Canada, Ontario Tax Assessment Rolls, 1834-1899 975,342
England, Essex Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-1971 138,716
England, Gloucestershire Non-Conformist Church Records, 1642-1996 134,296
England, Northumberland Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-1920 130,699
England, Lincolnshire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1574-1885 72,594
England, Lancashire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1746-1799 11,014
England, Hertfordshire, Marriage Bonds, 1682-1837 8,828
England, Surrey Marriages Bonds and Licenses, 1536-1992 909

100 Digital Files Added at Canadiana Héritage

It’s good to see LAC getting back to digitizing these files for loading to Canadiana Héritage. They include material from 24 microfilms. Two-thirds of the files come from three microfilms.

35 files from the Department of Indian Affairs, Headquarters central registry system, microfilms C-12060 and C-12777.

31 files from the Directorate of Movements : Marine files, all for July 1945 and all from microfilm C-5630. These likely include war bride arrivals.



How did Library and Archives Canada Rate in the 2020 Public Service Employee Survey

The results of the 2020 Public Service Employee Survey are posted at

The survey was conducted during the pandemic from November 30, 2020 to January 29, 2021 — not normal working conditions. About 700 employees of Library and Archives Canada responded.

The results posted are detailed, and a challenge to analyze if you’re interested in a particular department.

Based on the overall scores here are the 20 questions that received the most favourable responses from LAC employees —  discrimination is the least significant issue for them within LAC out of all questions posed.

Question 43c. To what extent have the following adversely affected your career progress in the federal public service over the last 12 months? Discrimination
Question 43d. To what extent have the following adversely affected your career progress in the federal public service over the last 12 months? Accessibility or accommodation issues
Question 70r. Overall, to what extent do the following factors cause you stress at work? Harassment or discrimination
Question 79e. I feel that the information I receive from my department or agency related to the COVID-19 pandemic is… Available in both official languages.
Question 70u. Overall, to what extent do the following factors cause you stress at work? Issue(s) with individual(s) working for me
Question 2. The material and tools provided for my work, including software and other automated tools, are available in the official language of my choice.
Question 70q. Overall, to what extent do the following factors cause you stress at work? Accessibility or accommodation issues
Question 35. Senior managers in my department or agency use both official languages in their interactions with employees.
Question 70v. Overall, to what extent do the following factors cause you stress at work? Issue(s) with other individual(s) (e.g., members of the public, individuals from other departments or agencies)
Question 70s. Overall, to what extent do the following factors cause you stress at work? Issue(s) with my co-worker(s)
Question 70t. Overall, to what extent do the following factors cause you stress at work? Issue(s) with individual(s) with authority over me
Question 29. During the COVID-19 pandemic, my immediate supervisor supported the use of flexible work hours.
Question 21. In my work unit, individuals behave in a respectful manner.
Question 12. I am proud of the work that I do.
Question 30. I am satisfied with the quality of supervision I receive.
Question 80. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, my department or agency has clearly communicated the mental health services and resources that are available to me.
Question 10. I know how my work contributes to the achievement of my department’s or agency’s goals.
Question 22. The people I work with value my ideas and opinions.
Question 49. Overall, my department or agency treats me with respect.
Question 20. In my work unit, every individual is accepted as an equal member of the team.

The issues of most concern, with those of greatest concern further down the list, were:

Question 70a. Overall, to what extent do the following factors cause you stress at work? Risk of exposure to COVID-19
Question 41. My department or agency does a good job of supporting employee career development.
Question 40. I feel I can initiate a formal recourse process (e.g., grievance, complaint, appeal) without fear of reprisal.
Question 70c. Overall, to what extent do the following factors cause you stress at work? Heavy workload
Question 72. Overall, my level of work-related stress is…
Question 33. Senior management in my department or agency makes effective and timely decisions.
Question 37. I feel that change is managed well in my department or agency.
Question 18f. I feel that the quality of my work suffers because of… high staff turnover.
Question 95. I am satisfied with the support (e.g., regular information, follow-up, making enquiries on my behalf, offering emergency or priority pay) I received from my department or agency to help resolve my pay or other compensation issues.
Question 86. My department or agency has provided me with adequate training and/or resources to manage a remote team during the COVID-19 pandemic. (for supervisors who manage employees who have been working remotely)
Question 18h. I feel that the quality of my work suffers because of… unreliable technology.
Question 18b. I feel that the quality of my work suffers because of… lack of stability in my department or agency.
Question 18a. I feel that the quality of my work suffers because of… constantly changing priorities.
Question 18g. I feel that the quality of my work suffers because of… overly complicated or unnecessary business processes.
Question 73. After my workday, I feel emotionally drained.
Question 18c. I feel that the quality of my work suffers because of… too many approval stages.
Question 70e. Overall, to what extent do the following factors cause you stress at work? Not enough employees to do the work
Question 42. I believe I have opportunities for promotion within my department or agency, given my education, skills and experience.
Question 18e. I feel that the quality of my work suffers because of… having to do the same or more work, but with fewer resources.
Question 96. I am satisfied with the support I received from the Pay Centre to help resolve my pay or other compensation issues.

Note that the two issues regarding pay received significantly fewer responses than the others. Is it the Pheonix Pay System still causing problems for those employees?


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 22 June, 2 pm:  Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from Ottawa Branch of OGS and The Ottawa Public Library.

Tuesday 22 June, 2 pm: Top tips for reviewing Smart Matches™ and Record Matches, by Daniel Horowitz for MyHeritage Webinars.

Tuesday 22 June, 2:30 pm: Anabaptist and Mennonite Materials in the Genealogy Center, by John Beatty for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Tuesday 22 June, 7 pm: United Empire Loyalists: A Case Study of Daniel Rose, by Stephen Bowley for Wellington County Branch OGS.

Wednesday 23 June, 2 pm: Angel Island’s Immigrants from 80 Countries: Stories from the West Coast Counterpart to Ellis Island, by Grant Din for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Thursday 24 June, 6:30 pm: Jamaican Genealogy: Tracing Your Enslaved & Free People of Color Ancestors, by Phillip Nicholas for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Saturday 26 June, 1 pm: AGM and presentation The mitoYDNA Project, by Mags Gaulden for Ottawa Branch OGS.


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