Reopening of LAC services at 395 Wellington, Ottawa

In a notice posted on Monday LAC announced that as of 1 March research, by reservation only, will restart. Use the online booking system to schedule your next visit.

“When consulting our website, you will notice that our Ottawa service offerings have been enhanced. They now include greater access to the Special Collections Room (third floor) and the Reference Room (second floor). This is part of our previously announced plan to gradually increase our service offerings.

You can contact us by using our Ask Us a Question or Ask Us a Genealogy Question forms, or by calling 1-866-578-7777 (option 8; toll-free in Canada and the United States).

Note that the temporary closure of our services to the public in Ottawa as of Friday, January 28, was the result of circumstances beyond our control.”

LAC has already been allowing people with reservations cancelled owing to the occupation (euphemistically “circumstances beyond our control”) to rebook.

British Newspaper Archive February Additions

One million plus! An amazing month for the British Newspaper Archive, now with a total of 48,548,902 pages online (47,533,433 last month).

This month 186 papers had pages added (136 in the previous month). There were 75 (17) new titles. Dates range from 1808 to 1999.

The project continues to process more recent newspaper editions. Of the 72 single-year additions 48 were for 1960 and later as were 39 of the multi-year additions. Content predating 1900 was added for 71 newspapers.

The 32 journals with more than 10,000 pages added are:

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser 1975, 1977-1979, 1981, 1986
Andover Chronicle 1870-1895, 1898-1914
Bankers’ Circular 1828-1860
Birmingham Mail 1907, 1986
Bracknell Times 1973, 1975-1978, 1981, 1990
Burton Daily Mail 1981, 1983-1984, 1986-1987
Cheshire Observer 1980-1985, 1989
Cornish Echo and Falmouth & Penryn Times 1861-1912
Diss Express 1994-1998
Dover Chronicle 1835, 1837-1882, 1884-1888, 1890-1893, 1895, 1897-1927
Greenwich and Deptford Observer 1879-1909
Herts and Essex Observer 1984-1985, 1988
Hoddesdon and Broxbourne Mercury 1987-1989
Irish Weekly and Ulster Examiner 1927-1962
Kilmarnock Standard 1978-1979, 1981, 1986, 1988-1989
London and China Telegraph 1858-1891, 1901-1921
Loughborough Echo 1985, 1987, 1990-1991
Lynn Advertiser 1944, 1952-1957, 1998
Methodist Times 1885-1902
Middlesex County Times 1984-1985, 1988-1990
Nantwich Chronicle 1961, 1963-1964, 1986-1988, 1990
Nonconformist 1841-1900
Nottingham Evening Post 1957, 1962-1966, 1970, 1972, 1984
Nuneaton Chronicle 1873-1900
Rutland Times 1994-1999
Saffron Walden Weekly News 1889, 1892-1894, 1899-1900, 1903-1904, 1906-1910, 1913-1914, 1916-1917, 1919-1925, 1927-1929, 1931-1934, 1936-1937, 1941-1942, 1945, 1947-1950, 1952-1954, 1956, 1959, 1961-1965, 1969-1970, 1974-1975, 1978-1984
Southall Gazette 1985-1988
Suffolk and Essex Free Press 1901-1911, 1928-1940
Trowbridge Chronicle 1861-1868, 1871-1906
Walthamstow and Leyton Guardian 1876-1914
Welsh Gazette 1899-1900, 1903-1910, 1912-1951
Woolwich Herald 1896-1900, 1902-1904, 1906-1931

Toronto Branch OGS Monthly Meeting

TODAY: 28 February 2022
Who am I? Where did I come from?
Susan Moyer

Susan shares the very personal story of her journey to find and put together the missing pieces of her own family history puzzle. It all began when she learned as a teenager that she was adopted, with only the date and place of her birth to go on.

Find out more and register in advance here.

The free Zoom presentation starts at 7:30 pm.

Also, John Webb, a longtime Toronto resident with London, Cornwall and Yorkshire roots will give a mini-presentation on the Toronto Cornish Association, Then and Now.  John recently gave a fascinating presentation to the BIFHSGO London SIG.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Young Genealogists at the Helm
News and opinion from FHF President Janet Few

The US 1940 1950 census
NARA will release this census online on 1 April (no kidding). While Ancestry and FamilySearch are cooperating in producing a full transcription, based on handwriting recognition technology (HRT), NARA will release a transcription of only the names using HRT.

LAC must have had a great travel agent!
A report of Government travel expenses

Weir, Leslie $749.36
Librarian and Archivist of Canada March 27, 2020
Destination: Egypt
Organization: Library and Archives Canada
Reference number:T2019-P12-0029

Weir, Leslie $984.67
Librarian and Archivist of Canada From Apr 30, 2020 to May 16, 2020
Destination: Australia
Organization: Library and Archives Canada
Reference number:T2019-P12-0030

In 2021 LAC has had “Nothing to report for this period.”

AncestryDNA has updated communities to now include 87 in Italy, 9 in Croatia and Slovenia, 10 in Czechia, 61 in Poland, 15 in Slovakia & Hungary, 8 in Ukraine, 1 in Latvia & Estonia, 4 in Lithuania, 4 Russian communities, and 1 in the Transdanubia region.

Thanks to this week’s contributors. Anonymous, Brenda Turner, gail benjafield, Georgia Roberts, jon ackroyd, Lynne Willoughby, Margaret Anne Sterling, Nancy Frey, Sheila Hewett, Teresa, Terry Mulcahy, Unknown.

Ukrainian Canadians

Unprovoked actions by Russian forces are a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.  We react emotionally to such aggression, as we would if our territory were violated.

In this fluid situation, with much information and misinformation circulating — the fog of war — it’s not easy to know the true situation.

The Red Cross Canada has a Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal and the Government of Canada will match all eligible tax deductable donations—not exceeding $100,000—made by individual Canadians  between February 24, 2022 and March 18, 2022, up to a maximum of $10 million.

On to genealogy.

I was pulled up short by Saturday morning’s OGS eWeekly stating that “Canada is home to the third-largest Ukrainian population in the world, largely responsible for early settlement of our Prairie provinces.”

I knew many Ukrainians settled on the Prairies. Were they”largely responsible for early settlement”?

A little Googling found an article Explainer: Why the Ukrainian diaspora settled in the Canadian Prairies in Pique news magazine out of Whistler, BC. It includes the “facts”

  • In 2016, there were 1.36 million people in Canada that said they had Ukrainian ancestry (verified at StatsCan), about four percent of the population.
  • Of those, almost 700,000 live in the three Prairie provinces (verified at StatsCan), where they make up around 11 percent of the population. (More than half are in Alberta)
  • According to official sources, the first Ukrainian settlers to come to Canada were Ivan Pylypiw and Wasyl Eleniak in 1891.

That first Ukranian arrival was in the fall of 1891. The 1891 census showed a population of 67,000 in The Territories (the Prairies);48,000 Canadian-born; 12,000 UK and Ireland-born.

The Explainer states 150,000 immigrants came from the area of present-day Ukraine pre WW1. Data from the 1921 census show the majority came in the early 20th century just before the Great War.

So it’s stretching the truth a bit to claim Ukrainians were responsible for early settlement of our Prairie provinces.

Another 70,000 arrived post WW1; 34,000 between 1947 and 1954; 40,015 from 2001 to 2016.  Those stats give a total Ukranian immigration to Canada of nearly 300,000.

The 1,36 million in 2016 is probably an underestimate. People who only have one quarter or one-eighth Ukranian ancestry. particularly those living away from Ukrainian settlement areas, may well not report it as an ethnicity.




Ancestry updates Essex BMD transcripts

Time to check Ancestry for elusive Essex ancestors

Essex, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1921,
4,072,316 records.

Essex, England, Church of England Marriages, 1754-1937,
2,003,102 records.

Essex, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1996,
730,465 records.

Findmypast also has a substantial Essex BMD collection.

A First Look at RootsTech

100% Virtual, 100% Free.
3–5 March 2022.
more than 1,500 sessions on 185 topics in over 30 languages.

A huge event makes it easy to get lost. What is there of interest to your family history?

There are nine keynote presentations and 20 speakers who will present live. The diversity is evident in that I only recognize two of those names. Those presentations go on almost around the clock reflecting the needs of a global audience.

Most presentations are recorded and they’re not the conventional 50 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions. Instead, 20 minutes is more typical, some less.

The presenters I recognize from the UK and Ireland include Dave Annal, Else Churchill, Myko Clelland, Gerald Corcoran, Jackie Depelle, Brian Donovan, Beryl Evans, Janet Few, Stephen Gill, Caroline Gurney, Gillian Hunt, Debbie Kennett, Michelle Leonard, Paul Nixon, Aoife O Connor, Alison Spring, and Penny Walters. I checked a few and they were already available to play. Go to, click on the menu at the top right, select speakers and scroll or search for the speaker of interest.

There’s more than presentations. Details will come on the website. Expect announcements from the major sponsors so you’ll need to attend live to catch the latest, and perhaps find out about specials.





Findmypast Weekly Update: Norfolk MIs

This week FMP adds 96,820 memorial inscriptions from 255 places to the burgeoning Norfolk coverage. Dates range from 1680 to 2012.

I didn’t have any luck finding the unusually named February Backlog, or any of the Backlog family, as their parish of Shipdham is not included. For perspective, 98,820 entries are less than the total number of deaths in Norfolk in the 1850s.

The National Burial Index on FMP, with 143,845 entries for Norfolk, includes 17 for Backlog, most in Shipdham.

Ancestry’s collection Global, Gravestone Photograph Index, 1265-2014 has one entry for a Backlog in Norfolk. Ancestry also has England, Norfolk Monumental Inscriptions, 1600-1900’s with 31 pages of unindexed MI transcripts with no Backlogs recorded.

FamilySearch and TheGenealogist have no MIs for Shipdham.

This week also sees US Census 1860, Slave Schedule Browse added to FMP, and an incredible 89 new and updated newspapers.


How to Research from a Distance

On Saturday at 1 pm ET Penny Allen will talk about researching in The National Archives, the London Metropolitan Archives, The Society of Genealogists, and some lesser-known London archives.

It’s a Zoom presentation organized by Ottawa Branch OGS.

Penny, a Canadian and a genealogist, has been researching off and on for more than 30 years, with kids, family, uni and work taking up time in between. She currently lives and works in the UK. Find out more at her blog UK to Canada Genealogy.

Register in advance for this meeting at

Finding Periodical Articles about Your Geographic Area of Interest Using PERSI

Tuesday afternoon is prime time for online genealogy events. There were three conflicts this week, not counting AncestryHour.

I choose a presentation by Curt Witcher from the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center on finding articles for a geographic area on the Periodical Source Index. The presentation should come to the ACPL Genealogy Center YouTube channel soon. In the meantime, the handout is available at

Britain and Ireland Electoral Registers

Do you find yourself wondering which of the Big Four large databases, Ancestry, FamilySearch,  Findmypast, MyHeritage, is best for the search you need?

In this post we’ll look at electoral registers. They help fill gaps between censuses, especially when a person moved house. Or they may not have moved, no longer appearing can be a clue they died.

Check out the table below that compiles data from the Big Four for the countries of the UK and Ireland to see where you might find anything to help your research.

Title Records Company
UK Electoral Registers & Companies House Directors (1998-2021) 121,561,368 Findmypast
UK, Electoral Registers, 2003-2010 65,218,347 Ancestry
UK, Poll Books and Electoral Registers, 1538-1893 4,677,818 Ancestry
London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965 179,071,659 Ancestry
England & Wales, Electoral Registers 1910-1932 157,221,851 Findmypast
West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962 46,743,829 Ancestry
Surrey, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1962 36,618,572 Ancestry
Glamorganshire, Wales, Electoral Registers, 1832-1978 35,226,372 Ancestry
Liverpool, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1970 32,578,653 Ancestry
Bedfordshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1986 17,982,265 Ancestry
Berkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1965 12,738,603 Ancestry
Gloucestershire, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1974 11,544,708 Ancestry
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Electoral Registers, 1741-1974 10,239,239 Ancestry
Midlands, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965 9,182,437 Ancestry
Worcestershire, England, Electoral Registers, 1837-1974 7,887,267 Ancestry
England & Wales, Electoral Registers 1832-1932 6,735,615 Findmypast
England & Wales, Electoral Registers 1832-1932 Image Browse 6,692,787 Findmypast
Cambridgeshire, England, Electoral Registers, Burgess Rolls and Poll Books, 1722-1966 6,234,037 Ancestry
Swansea and Surrounding Area, Wales, Electoral Registers, 1839-1966 5,918,713 Ancestry
Kent Electoral Registers 1570-1907 4,678,563 Findmypast
Norfolk Electoral Registers 1832-1915 4,557,907 Findmypast
England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1844-1952 Images 4,557,906 MyHeritage
Sutton, Surrey, England, Electoral Registers, 1931-1970 3,823,324 Ancestry
Cheshire Electoral Registers (1832-1900) 3,784,694 Findmypast
Bexley, Kent, England, Electoral Registers, 1734-1965 3,753,187 Ancestry
Pembrokeshire, Wales, Electoral Registers, 1740-1978 3,432,144 Ancestry
Lancashire, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1935 3,146,854 Ancestry
Glamorganshire, West Glamorgan Electoral Registers 1839-1925 1,643,483 Findmypast
Anglesey, Wales, Electoral Registers, 1832-1977 1,602,837 Ancestry
Dorset, England, Electoral Registers, 1839-1922 1,584,958 Ancestry
Hampshire, Portsmouth Electoral Registers 1835-1873 198,310 Findmypast
Norfolk, Electoral Registers 1832-1915 Image Browse 161,799 Findmypast
Leicestershire Electoral Registers 1836-1970 Browse 115,295 Findmypast
Devon, Plymouth & West Devon Electoral Registers 1780-1973 74,093 Findmypast
England, Devon, Plymouth, Electoral Rolls, 1781-1973 57,142 FamilySearch
Wales, Monmouthshire Electoral Registers 1832-1889 54,032 Findmypast
Somerset Electoral Registers, 1832-1914 31,783 Findmypast
Manchester Electoral Registers Browse 1832-1900 23,298 Findmypast
Britain, Absent Voters Lists 1918-1921 22,827 Findmypast
Britain, Absent Voters Lists 1918-1921 Browse 19,311 Findmypast
Wales, Monmouthshire Electoral Registers 1832-1889 Image Browse 13,126 Findmypast
Kent, Bromley Absent Voters List 1918 9,165 Findmypast
Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, Electoral Registers, 1857-1962 30,247,020 Ancestry
Edinburgh, Scotland, Electoral Registers, 1832-1966 19,784,218 Ancestry
Aberdeen City and Former Counties of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Electoral Registers, 1832-1976 14,346,425 Ancestry
Fife, Scotland, Electoral Registers, 1914-1966 5,594,960 Ancestry
Scotland, Dundee & Forfarshire (Angus) Electoral Registers 1857-1939 3,750,727 Findmypast
Perth and Kinross, Scotland, Electoral Registers, 1832-1961 2,477,867 Ancestry
Scotland, Linlithgowshire (West Lothian), Electoral Registers 1864-1931 1,050,793 Findmypast
North Lanarkshire, Scotland, Electoral Registers, 1847-1969 714,769 Ancestry
Scotland, Linlithgowshire (West Lothian), Electoral Registers 1864-1931 Image Browse 23,469 Findmypast
Scotland, Ayrshire, Kilmarnock Voters Lists 1837-1852 2,110 Findmypast
Dublin Electoral Rolls 427,974 Findmypast
Ireland, Clare Electoral Registers 311,080 Findmypast
Ireland Electoral Registers, 1832 – 1838 Images 52,630 MyHeritage
Ireland, Electoral Registers 1885-1886 3,253 Findmypast
Ireland, Electoral Registers 1885-1886 Browse 3,253 Findmypast

Looking at the totals, Ancestry has 709 million records, but nothing for Ireland. Findmypast has 328 million including the 122 million records in the recent past UK Electoral Registers & Companies House Directors (1998-2021) collection. MyHeritage has 4.6 million, and it seems electoral registers are not a thing for FamilySearch.

TheGenealogist has many small databases for specific towns and single years.

If the online databases don’t help you’ve just confirmed that everything isn’t online.


Did an Ancestor Transit Through Liverpool?

Up until the early 1970s there’s a good chance someone in the family travelling to Canada transited through the port of Liverpool. I did. Knowing the ship, you don’t forget the name of the ship, and approximate date, you may only remember it approximately, records of the movement of ships in and out of the port in local newspapers will likely add detail about the journey.  

The major Liverpool newspapers available through the British Newspaper Archive, and on Findmypast, are

Title Issues Years
Liverpool Echo 35887 1879 – 1999
Liverpool Journal of Commerce 21610 1861-1862, 1864-1867, 1869-1887, 1889-1892, 1894, 1896-1897, 1899-1940
Liverpool Daily Post 17262 1855-1873, 1875-1877, 1881-1883, 1885-1890, 1892, 1894-1897, 1899-1920, 1939-1945
Liverpool Mercury 15294 1811-1835, 1837-1871, 1873-1897, 1899-1900

The Post and Mercury are also digitized on Check both, I found the OCR of one was different from the other.

From 1958 there’s a regular column Merseyside Shipping in the Liverpool Echo listing the name of the ship, whether it left or leaves (L), arrived (A), due (D), called (C), berthed (B), for (F), passed (P) or sailed (S), the port and the date. I found L and D entries for the ship I sailed on along with an article about a local Liverpool person, a widow leaving for Ontario to live with her daughter. It mentioned there were 1,000 passengers. From memory, it didn’t seem like that many.

Liverpool newspapers are good sources for maritime news in general; the Liverpool Journal of Commerce is especially strong.