Book Review: Cemeteries and Graveyards

This long-awaited paperback by English professional genealogist Celia Heritage was published this month by Pen and Sword. It provides a microscope and macroscope for the topic in space and time that will open your eyes to unappreciated possibilities. Case studies, many from her own family research, bring life to the presentation. There’s also practical advice for getting the most out of exploring a graveyard or cemetery, and related resources, where an ancestor is waiting for you to find them and elements of their story.

Chapter 1, A Brief History of Death and Burial, starts with the story of  Celia’s lucky find of a memorial to great-grandparents and their children. The chapter covers the history of the way people’s bodies were disposed of, not only burial (inhumation) from 10,000 years ago to the present day, including the influence of religion.
Chapter 2, The Parish Churchyard, notes that the origins and early history of parish churchyards are undocumented. Celia advises that even though you assume your ancestor was poor, not to ignore memorials in the church and intramural burial, beneath the church floor and in crypts. Placement in a churchyard may indicate prominence in the community, depending on the era. She uses the case of the burial of a relative at Westminster’s St Martin-in-the-Fields church to suggest resources to explore to find your own long-deceased ancestor.
Chapter 3, Ex-Parochial Graveyards, explores a wide range of burial sites: Nonconformist, foreign church, Roman Catholic, Jewish, private, armed forces, institutional, prison, workhouse, hospital, asylum and plague pits. Also covered is locating defunct burial grounds.
Chapter 4, Cemeteries and Crematoria – the Nineteenth Century and Onwards, explores cemeteries as a gateway to many topics of interest aside from genealogy and history, including horticulture, nature conservation and architecture and their development.
Chapter 5, Gravestones and Gravesites, covers graves, gravestones and memorial markers. There’s helpful coverage of the evolution of styles, hints on reading eroded inscriptions and cleaning (and not cleaning). Mentioned in passing is a memorial said to be at St Paul’s Church (Cathedral) in London, Ontario. It refers to an article in the London Illustrated News and a memorial to those who died at the Battle of Alma in the Crimean War, not at the Alamo!
The final chapters rehearse the records, from those you immediately think of, like burial registers and newspapers, to records of undertakers and monumental masons, and websites.
Two appendices are followed by notes, a resource list and an index.

Cemeteries and Graveyards (Paperback)
A Guide for Local and Family Historians in England and Wales
By Celia Heritage
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Series: Tracing Your Ancestors
Pages: 248
Illustrations: 30 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526702371
Published: 17th March 2022

British Newspaper Archive March Additions

Another amazing month for the British Newspaper Archive, now with a total of 49,829,385 pages online (48,548,902 last month).

This month 240 papers had pages added (186 in the previous month). There were 54 (75) new titles. Dates range from 1804 to 2008.

The 22 newspapers with more than 10,000 pages added are

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser 1982-1985, 1987-1988
Birmingham News 1988, 1990-1991
Birmingham Weekly Mercury 1987, 1989, 1991-1992
Burton Daily Mail 1912, 1988-1989, 1992
Civil & Military Gazette (Lahore) 1845, 1847-1876, 1913-1928, 1930-1934, 1962
Constitution 1827
Daily Record 1989-1991
Essex Weekly News 1862-1881, 1883, 1885-1915
Frontier Sentinel 1904-1960
Grimsby Daily Telegraph 1991
Harlow Star 1986-1987, 1989
Herapath’s Railway Journal 1844-1848, 1852-1903
Hertford Mercury and Reformer 1990-1992
Herts and Essex Observer 1983, 1990-1991
Hoddesdon and Broxbourne Mercury 1990-1992
Huddersfield Daily Examiner 1911-1913, 1989, 1991-1992
Ireland’s Saturday Night 1874, 1895-1922, 1924-1929, 1931-2008
Lynn Advertiser 1946-1949, 1958-1962, 1964-1966
North Star (Darlington) 1887-1896, 1901-1910, 1912-1914, 1917-1918, 1921-1923
Nottingham Evening Post 1985-1986, 1989-1991
Nuneaton Chronicle 1911-1912, 1921-1943
Walsall Observer 1912-1913, 1919-1924, 1934-1938, 1946-1948, 1950-1952, 1954, 1956-1957

Major addition of Canadian newspapers at

Announcing Nearly 35 Million Pages of Canadian Newspapers!

A blog post from announces the addition of millions of new pages of Canadian content — papers from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec,  Saskatchewan, and the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Many of the papers are available only with an extra cost Publishers Extra subscription, especially for many post-WW1 issues.

The papers added are not named. I think the Montreal Star is one of them.

Here’s the complete list of papers with more than 20-year runs

Province Newspaper Year Range
NS The (Halifax) Evening Mail 1894 – 1930
NS The Halifax Herald 1880 – 1905
QC Montreal Gazette 1785 – 1866
QC The (Montreal) Gazette 1857 – 2022
QC The Montreal Star 1869 – 1979
ON Aurora Banner 1900 – 1925
ON The Brantford Daily Expositor 1880 – 1917
ON The Brantford Weekly Expositor 1850- 1916
ON The (Brantford) Expositor 1918 – 2005
ON The Hamilton Spectator 1850 – 1900
ON The (Kemptville) Weekly Advance 1907 – 1933
ON The Kingston Daily News 1851 – 1901
ON The Kingston Whig-Standard 1849 – 2014
ON The Weekly (Kingston) British Whig 1861 – 1924
ON The Lanark Era 1895 – 1919
ON The (Niagara) Times 1895 – 1915
ON North Bay Nugget 1909 – 2014
ON Ottawa Daily Citizen 1846 – 1897
ON The Ottawa Citizen 1896 – 2022
ON The Ottawa Journal 1885 – 1980
ON Owen Sound Sun 1897 – 1918
ON The (Owen Sound) Sun-Times 1927 – 2014
ON (Owen Sound) Times 1871 – 1919
ON The Sault Star 1901 – 1930
ON St Catherines Standard 1891 – 1916
ON National Post 1907 – 2022
ON Magyar Elet Hungarian Life (Weston) 1957 – 1992
ON (Weston) Times and Guide 1890 – 1935
ON The Windsor Star 1892 – 2022
MB (Winnipeg) Free Press Prairie Farmer 1892 – 1931
MB Heimskringla 1924 – 1951
MB Manitoba Free Press 1874 – 1920
MB The Winnipeg Sun 1980 – 2007
MB The Winnipeg Tribune 1890 – 1949
SK Regina Sun 1986 – 2014
SK The (Regina) Leader-Post 1883 – 2022
SK (Saskatoon) Star-Phoenix 1902 – 2022
AB Calgary Herald 1888 – 2022
AB The Calgary Albertan 1906- 1980
AB Weekly Albertan 1895 – 1920
AB Claresholm Local Press 1926 – 1968
AB Didsbury Pioneer 1903 – 1958
AB (Didsbury) Mail 1968 – 2015
AB (Edmonton) Boyle-McCauley News 1979 – 2020
AB Edmonton Journal 1903 – 2022
AB The Edmonton Bulletin 1903 – 1951
AB Fort McMurray Today 1974 – 2014
AB The (Grand Prairie) Daily Herald-Tribune 1964 – 2015
AB Irma Times 1922 – 1968
AB The (Leduc) Representative 1907 – 1939
AB The Lethbriage Herald 1905 – 1983
AB The Lloydminster Times 1907 – 1968
AB Red Deer Advocate 1904 – 2014
BC 100 Mile House Free Press 1968 – 2008
BC The Abbotsford News 1977 – 2008
BC Alberni Valley Times 1967 – 1992
BC (Burns Lake) Lake District News 1975 – 2010
BC The Chilliwack Progress 1891 – 2007
BC The (Grand Forks) Gazette 1905 – 1970
BC Hope Standard 1958 – 1994
BC Houston Today 1969 – 2007
BC Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle 1957 – 1991
BC Langley Advance 1931 – 2009
BC Nanaimo Daily News 1874 – 2009
BC (New Westminster) The North Shore Press 1913 – 1935
BC Quesnel Cariboo Observer 1908 – 2017
BC Richmond Review 1932 – 2008
BC Salmon Arm Observer 1976 – 2007
BC The Eagle Valley News (Sicamous) 1979 – 2007
BC The Interior News (Smithers) 1910 – 2007
BC Surrey Leader 1929 – 2006
BC Terrace Standard 1988 – 2010
BC (Vancouver) Daily News Advertiser 1890 -1917
BC The (Vancouver) Province 1894 – 2022
BC The Vancouver Sun 1912 – 2022
BC The (Vancouver) Weekly News-Advertiser 1888 -1911
BC Vancouver Daily World 1888 -1924
BC Vernon News 1891 – 1916
BC The Victoria Daily Times 1884 – 1952
BC (Victoria) Times Colonist 1885 – 2013
BC The (Williams Lake) Tribune 1983 – 2006
YK Whitehorse Daily Star 1901 – 2021

MyHeritage adds Scottish and Australian Indexes

New to MyHeritage, from Scottish Indexes, a collection of High Court Precognitions and Trial Papers from 1800 to 1916.

“This collection (of 138,934 index records) consists of three sets held at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh, precognitions (AD14 and AD15) and trial papers (JC26) of the High Court of Justiciary, which is the highest criminal court in Scotland. Records may contain the full name of the individual, age, residence, date and place of the event, name of the court, and various information related to the proceeding.”

Find more about these records in the Scottish Indexers Learning Zone.

Australia, Queensland Funeral Home and Burial Records is a collection of 633,015 records from the 19th and 20th centuries. Look for the full name of the deceased, age at death, burial date, burial place, and various notes such as whether the record is from a funeral home or a cemetery. These are also available on FamilySearch, Findmypast and Ancestry.

I occasionally find people complaining about the subscription genealogy companies adding collections available elsewhere, especially if they are free at the other source.  It’s a matter of convenience. Rather than hunt around various sites, some of which you may not know about or be ones you wouldn’t think to be relevant, you get an integrated search capability. That’s worth something. It’s why I know where a direct line ancestor, one who disappeared from English records, ended his days an ocean away from his birthplace.


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 or recommended

Assume registration in advance is required; check so you’re not disappointed.T

Tuesday 29 Mar. 2 pm: Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from Ottawa Branch of OGS and The Ottawa Public Library.

Tuesday 29 Mar. 2:30 pm: Even More New Treasures: The Genealogy Center’s Digital Collections! by The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library.

Wednesday 30 Mar. 11 am: Railway History for Ukraine. 30-minute presentations as a fundraiser for the British Red Cross Society’s DEC Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal.

Wednesday 30 Mar. 2 pm: Family Stories in 30 Minutes or Less, by Brenda Hudson for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Wednesday 30 Mar. 7 pm: Maud Lampman: First Woman Appointed to Work on Parliament Hill, by Dianne Brydon for the Historical Society of Ottawa.,17,19,21/maud-lampman-first-woman-appointed-to-work-on-parliament-hill

Thursday 31 Mar. 7:15 am: Launch of Demonised: ‘The Islandmagee Witches, 1711‘, with Dr. Andrew Sneddon, and Dr. Victoria McCollum.

Thursday 31 Mar. 6 pm: Don’t Let Your Memories Fade, by Rick Voight for The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library.

Friday 1 Apr. 2 pm: “We Were Supposed To Be Neals:“ Reconstructing an Enslaved Family Using DNA, by Renate Yarborough Sanders for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Saturday 2 Apr. 7 am: The Lusitania Disaster 7th May 1915, with over 1000 casualties – including Suffolk Outcomes, by Colin Chapman for Suffolk Family History Society.

History for Ukraine

I hope like me you enjoyed some of the presentations made this weekend as part of the History for Ukraine fundraiser.
If you’re quick you may still have the opportunity to view them in replay on YouTube. They are divided into four parts, see the list below. You’ll have to judge where within you’ll find the presentation of interest. They are mostly in the order given although it was occasionally disrupted. The ones I’ve watched and enjoyed are highlighted — that’s no slight on the others, just my choice at the times available to me.


Earl Charles Spencer: The White Ship
Phillipa Gregory: The Quiet 600 Years
Charlotte Gauthier: Resistance to Ottoman Expansion in the 15th Century Balkans and Central Europe
Susie Lennox: Body Snatching
Dr. Cat Jarman: The Viking Age Origins of the Rus
Dr. Janina Ramirez: Finding Women Then; Empowering Women Now
Dr. Saul David: ‘SBS: Silent Warriors’, the formation and early missions of the Special Boat Service in World War II (starts at 2:16)
Katherine Carter: Churchill at Chartwell
Dr. Kirsteen Mackenzie: Mythbusting the Jacobites
Annette Burke Lyttle: Finding American Quaker Records
Dr. Miranda Kaufmann: The story of Edward Swarthye, a BlackTudor
Sarah Wise: Streets Coloured Black and Blue: Charles Booth’s Notebooks and the Revelation of London Poverty (starts at 4:53)
Dr. Catherine Flinn: Urban Trauma & Recovery
Dr. Blaine Bettinger: DNA?? I’m so Lost!
Julia Laite: Trafficking in Times of Conflict
Rebecca Rideal: Killer Women
Nick Barratt: The seige of Saucy Castle
Vadim Aristov: Russian historical myths about Kyivan Rus
Dr. Gabrielle Storey: Ruling Sexualities: A History of the ‘Other’ in Royal Families


Professor Suzannah Lipscomb: How Can We Recover The Lost Lives of Women
Cat Irving: Surgery Hall
Dr. Caroline Dodds Pennock: Indigenous American Discovery of Europe
Professor Kate Williams: Mary Queen of Scots
Dr. Kate Lister: Victorian Vibrators
Dr. Nicola Tallis: Crown of Blood: the Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey
D. Joshua Taylor: The Power of Family History: Why Studying Your Past Matters Worldwide
Jen Baldwin: Ethnic Organizations in the US: Preserving our Ancestor’s Heritage in the New World


Judy G Russell: The Rest of the Story
Cheri Hudson Passey: Where in the World? How to Tackle a New to You Research Location
Michelle Chubenko: Digital Genealogy in Ukraine
Fiona Brooker: With a Grain of Salt: (Dis)Proving Family Stories
Helen Good: The Globe Theatre and Star Chamber
Amy Johnson Crow: Finding Ancestors without Going in Circles: The WANDER Research Method
Maureen Taylor: Photos of Immigration
Dr. Jayne Persian: A Ukrainian Family History: War and Resettlement
Kelly Cornwell: Transportation to Tasmania
Margaret Roberts: Lottie Dod, the world’s first female sporting superstar
Helen Shields: Auntie Kate talks about her life and photo album
Rachel Croucher: German Ancestry
Professor Elaine Chaus: Ukraine and Canada (problem with slides)
Professor Tanya Evans: Importance of Family History in Australia


Shauna Hicks: A Look at Ukrainian People in Australia
Dave Annal: Fact From Fiction: What the great 19th century novels can tell us about our ancestors
Michelle Patient: A Stitch Through Time
Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan: Feeding Minds as Well as Bodies: The Design of Communal ‘British Restaurants’ in World War 2
Nathen Armin: Princes in the Tower Mystery
Dr. Kate Strasdin: Lost Voices
Helen Carr: John of Gaunt: The Red Prince
Else Churchill: 20th Century Genealogy Research in England and Wales
Dr. Wanda Wyporska: Dancing with the Devil: Tales from Polish witchcraft trials
Tracy Borman: Crown & Sceptre: 1,000 Years of Kings and Queens
Dr. Caroline Shenton: National Treasures: Saving the Nation’s Art in World War II
Dr. Fern Riddell: It’s a Bit Queer Here: LGBTAQ+ History
Simon Radchenko: Lessons taken from pre-Historic art of Ukraine.

If you have trouble connecting try the Facebook links from

If you do enjoy one or more please consider making a donation, I suggest at this time to the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

24 London Hills

A different perspective on global climate change
Watch to the end

UK’s rainfall records rescued by volunteer army
16 days to key in 5.4 million individual rainfall observations, each keyed four times for quality control purposes. What’s the lesson for LAC Co-Lab Challenges?

Statues have their own history

Find a Grave Index Updates
With the March update, Ancestry now has 214,754,024 index records in their Find a Grave collection. Over 109,000 are added for the UK and Ireland and over 39,000 for Canada.

Nobody does it better

History Slam 207: Navigating Online (Mis)Information

Thanks to this week’s contributors. Ann Burns, Anonymous, Brenda Turner, Don Ross, Gloria Tubman, Lynne Willoughby, Rick Roberts, Teresa, Toni, Unknown.

Findmypast Weekly Update

Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions
Nearly 4,000 transcript and image records are added to this collection from: Ealing, St Mary; Fulham, St Thomas of Canterbury; Isleworth, Quaker Meeting House; Littleton, St Mary Magdalene; Sunbury, Old Burial Ground; Teddington, St Mary; The Walled Garden, Sunbury. There are now 69,134 MIs in the collection.

Military Nurses 1856-1994
Nearly 9,000 transcript records are added to this collection. These mainly focus on military nurses who served in the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service, the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (Reserve) and the Territorial Force Nursing Service during the First World War.

The information varies considerably. Those I checked were quite sparse. The collection now totals 19,731 records.

Indian Navy Records Of Service 1840-1947
This transcript set, 1,802 records sourced from the British Library, complements the Indian Army Records Of Service 1900-1947. You may possibly be able to discover crucial information such as rank, regiment, and time served.


Ottawa Branch OGS March Meeting

Title: Arnprior McNab/Braeside Archives Update

Speakers: Kristen Mercier / Irene Robillard

Details: The Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives is excited to deliver an overview of their work over the last year, including the completion of two major projects: updates to the birth, marriage and death abstracts, and the digitization of local newspapers up to 1975! The Archives has also launched and improved tools for researchers, such as the digital War Memorial, places of interest maps, blogs and much more. A demonstration on how to search and browse the website will be provided!

When: 26 Mar 2022 at 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this Zoom meeting:

All Ottawa Branch monthly presentations are open to the public at no charge.