British Newspaper Archive January Additions

The British Newspaper Archive now has a total of 47,533,433  pages online (46,849,782 last month).

This month 136 papers had pages added (123 in the previous month). There were 17 (16) new titles. Dates range from 1837 to 1999. There are several single-year updates for 1915.

The 13 journals with more than 10,000 pages added are:

Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury 1865-1871, 1873-1888, 1890-1896, 1898-1900, 1902, 1908, 1914-1920
Diss Express 1971-1985, 1994
Irish Emerald 1877-1888, 1890-1912
Langport & Somerton Herald 1855-1896, 1898-1937
Liverpool Journal of Commerce 1886-1887, 1889, 1896, 1906-1909
Lynn Advertiser 1945, 1950-1951, 1963, 1967, 1995-1997, 1999
Magnet (London) 1837-1888
New Milton Advertiser 1970-1979, 1986, 1995-1998
Newark Advertiser 1994-1996, 1998-1999
Nottingham Evening Post 1951-1952, 1961, 1970-1971
Skegness News 1909-1962
Skyrack Courier 1886-1893, 1895-1898, 1900-1917, 1919-1923
Witness (Belfast) 1880, 1882, 1894-1900, 1902-1929, 1931-1941

Military Monday: In From the Cold Additions

In From the Cold (IFCP) seeks to find all casualties missing from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Roll of Honour for casualties from both world wars.

During January the following finds were verified by CWGC and are now an official war grave in their care.

The following Canadians (Newfoundlanders) served with the Merchant Navy, perished in the sinking of S.S. Caribou on 14 October 1942 and are buried at Port aux Basques (St John) Cemetery, Nfld, Canada

CARTER, Llewellyn
Age 24 years 
Husband of Alma Carter, of Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland.

TAVERNER, Harold Graham
Age 24 years
Son of Benjamin Taverner, Captain of the S.S. ‘Caribou’, and Mrs. A. Taverner; brother of Stanley Taverner who also went down on the S.S. ‘Caribou’.

GALE, Jerome
Age 18 years
Son of George and Jane Gale of Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland.

CREW, George 16.03.20
Buried in Reading Cemetery, Berks

HINDLEY, John Walter 29.11.18
Buried in Bradford (North Bierley) Cemetery, Yorks

DEAN, James 05.02.20
Buried in Bradford (Scholemoor) Cemetery, Yorks

GINGER, Albert Humphreys 09.08.14
Buried in Drayton Parslow (Holy Trinity) Churchyard, Bucks

MERENDA, Emile 30.10.20
Buried in St. Pancras Cemetery, Middx

The following have been identified by IFCP during January. Verification by CWGC is pending

LEWIS, Francis George 21.05.19
Buried in Chepstow Cemetery, Mon

FOSTER, John Thomas 12.02.19
Buried in Hampstead Cemetery, London

CHILDS, Frank James 11.03.19
Buried in Nunhead (All Saints) Cemetery, London

WRIGHT, Edward 02.04.21
Buried in Londonderry (or Derry) City Cemetery

COPP, Alfred John 19.01.20
Buried in Londonderry (or Derry) City Cemetery

BEYNON, Thomas Campbell 10.05.16
Buried in Greenham (St. Mary) Churchyard, Berks

NOAKES, Frank 05.06.16
Buried in Hendon Cemetery, Middx

MORGAN, Clarence Edgar 11.11.18
Buried in Hendon Cemetery, Middx

Booking Research at Library and Archives Canada

I’m hearing that on the days when LAC is open to researchers most of the seats aren’t taken.

The problem comes from having to book two weeks ahead. Sometimes other things happen in the interim meaning places remain vacant, while people who could use them are denied the opportunity.

While the present limited opening hours are in operation LAC could implement a mechanism to reassign seats of people who cancel or don’t show up on a last-minute basis. That would be particularly helpful for those with material already in lockers or in open access.

On again, off again LAC

The news pages on the LAC website provide a history of opening and closing of LAC on-site service at 395 Wellington. The latest is a 27 January closing — Temporary closure of services to the public at 395 Wellington, Ottawa.

This must surely be as frustrating for LAC management and staff as for clients.

What lessons has LAC learned from the past couple of years of experience which has caused many organizations to rethink business practices?

Perhaps LAC might be more open about the reasons for closure. “Due to circumstances beyond our control” for the latest closure keeps clients in the dark.

UPDATE: Several people commented that the closure is due to the so-called trucker’s protests.  While the closure is likely prudent why hide the real reason?

Perhaps LAC might recognize that digitization, with its many other benefits, is something to be enhanced and not reduced as has been the case since the end of the digitization of First World War service files. Would you like LAC to provide free and timely digitization on-demand as happened in Australia with TROVE? Does LAC management have enough initiative to try a pilot project?

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Equations built giants like Google. Who’ll find the next billion-dollar bit of maths?

The Winter of Our Discontent
January has been awful. The good news is we’re past 19 January which is the coldest day of the year (on average) in Ottawa.  Although there’s still scope for colder weather, the coldest temperature recorded in Ottawa, at the Experimental Farm, is -38.3C on 17 February 1934, we could have a bit of a respite in the middle of the coming week.

Traditional phrases sent to the knacker’s yard – the 50 UK ‘endangered’ sayings

How to read old handwriting and Transcription Tuesday
From WDYTYA magazine

Ottawa’s Many Peoples’
In 1965 the Ottawa Journal ran a series on the various immigrant groups in Ottawa. They are:

March 16, 1965, p.26, image 309 ‘The Italians’
March 23, 1965, p.22 image 453 ‘The Germans’
March 30, 1965, p. 22 image 592 ‘The Greeks’
April 6,  1965, p.27 image 131 ‘The Chinese’
April 13, 1965, p. 34. image ‘The Hungarians’
April 20, 1965, p. 26 image 438 ‘The Ukrainians’
April 27, 1965, p. 20 image 586, ‘The Danes’
May 4, 1965, p. 34 image 80 ‘The Dutch’
May 11, 1965, p.26 image 245 ‘The Poles’
May 19, 1965, p. 38 image 437 ‘The Austrians’
May 27, 1965, p. 40 image 608 ‘The Latvians’
June 1, 1965, p. 10 image 7 ‘The Czechs’
June 8, 1965, p. 18, image 164 ‘The Lebanese’
June 15, 1965, p. 34 image 333 ‘The Portuguese’

The image numbers are from of the ‘Ottawa Journal’, the same image numbers appear on

Thanks to this week’s contributors. Anonymous, Bob Jones, Brenda Turner, Ken McLeod, Nancy Frey, Teresa, Unknown.

Government of Canada Publications

There’s a collection of over 535,100 publications, including more than 414,300 digital publications available from Government of Canada Publications.
Most published prior to the 1990s are in digital form. Since 2000 most documents have been born digital.

What’s of interest? It’s a real mixed bag, and there’s a catalogue to help find what you need. You may well find things you didn’t know you wanted, especially in the older items.

Organizations, such as Statistics Canada digitized historical documents, in Statscan’s case summaries of census findings back to 1851-52.

The Statistical Yearbook of Canada 1890-1905

Sessional papers of the Dominion of Canada  1868-1925.

Directories of Marine Scientists in Canada during the 1980s

Directory of private schools in eight provinces (elementary, secondary and commercial) 1947, 1944, 1937.

Give it a try.

Findmypast Weekly Update: Berkshire

This week 2.1 million Berkshire baptisms, burials, marriages and banns transcripts have been added to FMP.

The over 1 million baptism records, between 1538 and 1917, often include sources from both the parish records and bishops transcripts. While that means fewer events than records it’s good to have both as you may get more information in one than the other. I found another sibling for my 2xgreat-grandmother.

With these additions, there are now 1,456,503 burial transcripts and  956,431 marriages and banns in this Berkshire collection. Again expect more than one record for the same event. 20 marriage events for a surname of my interest were in 33 records.

Distorted Descent

False claims of ancestry are nothing new. There was a living to be made a century and more ago in producing false personal genealogies back to notable people.

These days the motivations may be different, but the practice remains.

On Monday evening, in an OGS Toronto Branch presentation, Daryl Leroux, an expert on French-Canadian Genealogy, shared findings from his 2019 book Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity. He examined the increasing numbers of white French-Canadians identifying as Indigenous on the basis of false genealogies back to women like Marie Sylvestre who were not aboriginal but are claimed to be.  Leroux stated these are used to justify claims to aboriginal rights, such as fishing rights and land claims, and by organizations to inflate numbers of Indigenous employees.

Leroux was quick to state he would not enter into the discussion of what should be the criteria for “status” He was pointing out the numerous cases where the ancestry was false.

An article in today’s The Conversation Canada,  We are facing a settler colonial crisis, not an Indigenous identity crisis, provides further food for thought.

“The issue is that in their rush to “indigenize,” universities have created the conditions whereby someone who has mined the genealogical archives can access a position reserved for an Indigenous person, displacing those of us who are connected to and claimed by a living community/Nation of people.”

Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives Newspaper Project

image description

Subscribers will know I’m a fan of the work done by the Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives on newspaper digitization. So I was pleased to see their comprehensive blog post Behind the Archives’ Door: The Newspaper Project. It celebrates the completion of a project funded by the New Horizons for Senior’s Program of Employment and Social Development Canada.

To access the search function on the Archives’ website and the finding aids, click here.

LAC and digitization needs

On 5 January LAC posted a tweet with this before and after image of the August 1922 Dominion Government Telephone Directory. LAC added that after 100 hours of conservation it is in excellent shape to be digitized and can remain on the consultation shelf for a while longer.

Why would LAC not immediately digitize and withdraw the original from routine consultation?

Did you know there are 19 directories in the series, from 1922 to 1948. All are indicated in the catalogue as “not available”, some temporarily, some permanently?   Why is LAC not digitizing them, or making them available for digitization, just as it has with its Vernon Ontario directories?

Those with a long memory may recall that in February 2009 LAC issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) “in order to identify collaborative opportunities for the digitization of its diverse collections. Arrangements could include digitization and/or the creation of nominal indices or other research tools.”

More recently Leslie Weir promised “enhanced digital presence” when she became Librarian and Archivist of Canada.
What has been done?  Should LAC look again at issuing a Request for Expressions of Interest?