Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Welcome new subscribers.

The Bould Thady Quill
An instructive blog post by John Grenham, and

US 1950 census update
Both MyHeritage and Ancestry have searchable name indexes for all records from Alaska, American Samoa, Delaware, Guam, New Hampshire, Panama Canal Zone, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Wyoming, and four overseas islands of Canton, Johnston, Midway, and Wake.

The U.S. Government Thinks History May Be Harmful to Your Health
Not just the US government.

The Ruins of St. Dunstan-in-the-East
Legacy of The Blitz

Effect of lockdowns on birth rates in the UK

Thanks to this week’s contributors. Anonymous, Brenda Turner, Craig Milne, Deborah Wilson Cronin, Gail B., Jean Kitchen, jon ackroyd, Paul Jones, Susan Courage, Unknown, Victor Badian

OGS Toronto Branch: Paul Jones presentation

I’m registered for Monday evening’s presentation Edvard August Schüth: An Accidental Biography by the always entertaining Paul Jones.

Paul recounts the story of an intriguing character he stumbled upon in his research and why he was driven to find out more about him. This man proved to be a member of a secretive society with connections around the world, and his life story spans four countries on three continents.

Don’t miss it!

Find out more and register at

Findmypast Weekly Update: focus on Catholic records

England Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms
The biggest release of the week, explore nearly 400,000 new parish baptisms from the diocese of Salford. Most are for the 19th century and up to 1907.

Most transcriptions will include birth year and date, baptism year and date, church, parish, and parent’s names. The majority also have images of the original register.

England Roman Catholic Parish Marriages
Find 85,988 new Lancashire parish marriage records in this collection, from the diocese of Salford.  These records, to 1907, offer a combination of details, including marriage date, the church name, parish of both spouses, and father’s name of both spouses.

England Roman Catholic Parish Burials
These 21,525 new burial records up to 1907 are added to a collection covering 92 churches across Lancashire and Greater Manchester. Find death date, burial date, and often burial ground. Check the linked image of the original available for most transcriptions to verify the information.

Happy St George’s Day


Celebrating 100  years ago, from the Ottawa Citizen, 21 April 1922.

“Members of St George’s and kindred societies have completed arrangements for the annual celebration in honour of England’s patron saint, St. George. On the evening of St. George’s Day, a service will be held at All Saints Church. Many storekeepers have promised to decorate their premises, and all citizens of English birth or extraction are asked to wear the national flower — the Rose.

The grand “killing of the dragon” will take place in the Russell Hotel Monday night, when the annual St. George’s dinner will be held. A number of splendid speakers will be heard, and Merrie England will be the theme of many a song and story. St. George’s Society is in a flourishing condition and the membership is steadily increasing.’

Four years later this article by J Sydney Roe was published in the Ottawa Journal. (From the 1912 Ottawa City Directory, James Sydney Roe (1877 – 1942) was Private Secretary to  Hon. John D. Reid, Minister of Customs.)

“With the approach of Saint George’s day the thoughts of those of us who were born in England, or whose forebears hailed from there, turn fondly homewards. England is always “home” to the English and that fact does not imply that they do not love Canada, the land of their adoption. Far from it. You will find almost inevitably that an intensified spirit of what may be termed Canadianism accompanies the reverent love that men and women of English birth possess for

This royal throne of kings,
This sceptered isle
This precious stone set in the silver sea.
This blessed plot, this earth,
This realm, this England.”

So it is at this season of the year which brings St. George’s Day the doors of memory fly open and half-forgotten scenes and dear dead faces flash upon the screen. We see the little lanes that wander to the cliffs hard by the sea, the smell of the gorse comes to us again, the whirr of a covey of partridges, the hedgerows with the robins popping around, the fields carpeted with daisies, the woods ablaze with bluebells gently bedecking the graves in country churchyards, the clanging of bells from village spires, the roar of the Strand, the cries of the flower girls at Charing Cross and Piccadilly Circus, and roses, roses, roses! These are the thoughts that crowd in; not of the might and majesty of England, but her simple ways and customs and the friends we knew in the dead days of the long ago. Do you recall the verses about the English spy caught in German lines and sentenced to be shot at dawn?

“ My one regret is England — England the home of man,
All through these hours of darkness I’ve trodden her lanes again,
I can even smell her roses right here in this noisome place, England, my merry England, with the salt spray in her face.”

This is also an occasion upon which one can refer openly to England as England without having some well-meaning person tell you that you should always say Britain. But really you don’t talk about St George and Merrie Britain do you? It is St George and Merrie England. I think it was Chesterton who wrote

“St. George he was for England,
And before he slew the dragon
He took a draft of English ale
From out an English flagon.”

I frankly admit that one is on dangerous ground, very, in referring to so noble a Saint as St George having anything to do with the beverage which, when taken in sufficient volume, is apt to be slightly exhilarating (“Fergie’s foam,” always excepted). So for the benefit of those who are at grips with the demon rum, it is suggested that they change the third line of Chesterton’s poems to “he took a cup of breakfast tea.” That will settle matters nicely, the only difficulty being that in St George’s time tea was undoubtedly as difficult to get as a draft of English ale. But Chesterton’s idea is quite all right. He indicates that St George went about the task of killing the dragon in the orthodox way by having a pint of “arf and arf” before he tackled his job. Eh, what.

Come with me for a moment on a memory trip. This is our day and we honor it. Stand neath the shelter of one of the Landseer lions on Trafalgar Square and watch the surge of traffic sweep down Whitehall, along Cockspur St, up the Strand and Northumberland Avenue. Hear the chime from Saint Martin’s in the Fields hard by. That roar of traffic, the peel of Saint Martins, constitute the sweetest sound in the world of all to the old-time Londoner who visits the city of his birth after long absence.

Come to the Midlands where the Ouse and the Nen meander gently through the meadows, up to Peterborough in the heart of the Fen country with its lordly cathedral; go onto Ely, Lincoln and Norwich, York and Chester. Or if you prefer to go South there is the lovely Kentish country with the hop gardens, Surrey and Sussex, Brighton and Bournemouth, and on to Somerset and Devon in the West. And everywhere we go we shall see the cowslips and roses pass through old-world villages with their Norman churches and “God’s Acre” where the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. Lovely verdant England, the land of our youth! We may not notice as many country mansions as we used to remember and we may have to remodel the lines which sang of their glories to

“The stately homes of England,
how beautifully they burn”

And there is lovely Cornwall. I always think of Cornwall as the hand of old England stretching furthest into the Atlantic to welcome home her sons and daughters. Cornwall, wave washed Cornwall where they used to sing:

“And they shall scorn Tre, Pol and Pen
And shall Trelawney die
There’s thirty (sic) thousand Cornishmen
Will know this reason why.”

That, there, our little trip is ended. But can’t you smell the roses, and the sea, my brothers?

I know it’s rather risky just now to talk about the weather when, in these parts particularly, winter has apparently fallen asleep in the lap of spring and does not seem to realize that it is time to go, but I recall the story of the Englishman who landed from a steamer in Montreal on one of those cold rainy days we sometimes get in July. He saw standing on the wharf a man he recognized as a compatriot. “Say matey” he asked, “don’t they ever ‘ave any ‘ot weather out ‘ere, any summer or nothing?” “Blimy don’t arsk me,” was the sad reply, “I’ve only been ‘ere eleven months meself.”

The article continues. To read the rest it’s in the Ottawa Journal of Thursday 22 April 1926, page 6.

50% off 1921 England and Wales census records

Is it in celebration of St. George’s Day, 23 April?

From Friday 22 April, 5 am EST to Monday 25 April at 6:59 pm EST, Findmypast is giving a discount — 50% off 1921 Census purchases.

No subscription is needed to take advantage of the discount which is automatically applied at checkout, no code required.

12-month Findmypast subscribers who already benefit from 10% off 1921 Census purchases will automatically have their discount increased to 50% for the offer period.

Ancestry adds Scotland, Army Attestation Registers

Just posted on Ancestry, 40,730 records in Edinburgh, Scotland, Army Attestation Registers, 1796-1857.

Records in the collection may include:

Person’s name
Attestation date
Attestation age
County of residence
Parish of residence
Occupation (labeled “designation”)
Physical description
Name of recruiter
Name of magistrate witnessing the attestation

A partial transcription is linked to an image of the original register page sourced from SL54 Army Attestation Registers 1796-1857. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh City Archives.


BIFHSGO conference program announced – Wow!

Dave Annal / Mia Bennett / Gill Blanchard / Derek Blount / Beryl Evans / Dr. Janet Few / Caroline Gurney / Andrea Hetherington / Paul Milner / Alan Ruston / Gill Thomas / Ian Waller.

That’s the impressive list of speakers on England and Wales for the 28 September – 2 October British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa 2022 conference.

So impressive I’ve already registered!

Here’s the announcement.

Ottawa: 20 April 2022—England and Wales: at home and on the move is the focus of the 27th and second virtual family history conference presented by the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO), to be held virtually from 28 September to 2 October 2022.
Twelve expert speakers will discuss topics ranging from finding elusive ancestors in London, through using maps in your research, to domestic or international migration in and out of Wales.
There will be stories of the plucky women who made new lives overseas after their husbands died in the Great War and life as a ship’s steward travelling the globe.
The conference will also feature a virtual Expo Hall, where you may make contact with organizations offering products or ideas to help your research.
A bonus feature of the event is three Connect Sessions, where speakers, vendors or societies will be available for two hours to answer registrants’ questions or discuss their offerings.
Both novice genealogists and seasoned family historians will find tips on furthering their research skills and the motivation to expand their family history story. Whether you attend the live sessions or watch the recorded sessions later at your convenience, you can enjoy our virtual conference.
“Our first virtual conference was a great success, and we expect attendees to find this year’s event just as interesting and helpful,” said BIFHSGO President Duncan Monkhouse.
The C$40 conference registration fee includes the 12 presentations, the Connect Sessions, and access to the presentation videos and handouts until 31 October. Visit our website for the full speaker and program details and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

FREE All Day – DNA DAY webinars at FamilySearch.

DNA Day, Monday, 25 Apri, 2022, from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM EDT. 

This seminar includes the following:

11:00 AM – DNA Basics: An Introduction to DNA and Genealogy

12:15 PM – Grouping DNA Matches

1:00 PM – Using DNA to Determine Relationships

1:45 PM – Quick and Dirty Trees: Crowdsourcing Your DNA Connections

3:00 PM – DNA Visual Phasing 2:30 PM – Immigration Research and DNA: A Case Study
5:15 PM – Using DNA to Find an Unknown Grandparent: A Case Study

Link to register

via a notice from Susan Courage and Shirley Monkhouse.

Co-Lab Updates for April

Of Library and Archives Canada’s Co-Lab Challenges progress is reported on two, including one new since last month.

Travel posters in the Marc Choko collection is 41% complete in French, 0% in English. New.

Women in the War remains 0% complete.

First World War Posters, with 140 images, remains 99% complete,

Arthur Lismer’s Children’s Art Classes remains 0% complete.

John Freemont Smith remains 93% complete.

Canadian National Land Settlement Association remains 98% complete.

Molly Lamb Bobak with 226 images, is 91% complete, 89% last month.

Diary of François-Hyacinthe Séguin remains 99% complete.

George Mully: moments in Indigenous communities remains 0% complete.

Correspondence regarding First Nations veterans returning after the First World War remains 99% complete.

Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 remains 96% complete.

Legendary Train Robber and Prison Escapee Bill Miner remains 99% complete.

Japanese-Canadians: Second World War, is 0% remains 3% last month.

The Call to Duty: Canada’s Nursing Sisters remains 92% complete.

Projects that remain 100% complete are no longer reported here.

Other unidentified Co-Lab activities not part of the Challenges may have happened.

history Scotland: May/June 2022

This is one of the hundreds, probably thousands if you count old issues, of magazines available free online through the Ottawa Public Library, and likely many other libraries’, subscriptions to PressReader.

Given the mention by Wayne Shepheard in my recent interview of a Scottish ancestor’s livelihood being disrupted owing to the silting up of a river, I was interested to see another example of the impact of natural environmental processes, this augmented by climate change. That’s right at the bottom of the list of contents below in the Final Word column.

5 News
Latest history and heritage news.
6 Plockton’s sporting dilemma
A quoiting or a shinty club?

8 Urban standing stones
Dr Kenneth Brophy takes us on a tour of these monuments.
10 Air raid archaeology
Report on the discovery and excavation of a unique domestic WW II air-raid shelter.

14 Plague returns to Glasgow
20 The annals of the Goodsir-Taylor brooch
A brooch that tells the story of three Scottish families across the centuries.
23 Three centuries of performance
Allan Ramsay’s Gentle Shepherd.
30 The police and the RAF in wartime Berwickshire.
38 How to take a town
The logistical and administrative directives of Jacobite army officials in the early weeks of the 1745 rising.
40 The First Scottish Enlightenment
Enlightenment and Jacobitism
46 Audobon’s Birds of America
Curator’s exhibition preview.
50 A lifelong passion for history
Interview with James Thomson OBE.
52 The end of Scottish witch-hunting
The group of skeptics whose endeavours helped bring the age of witch-hunting to an end.
55 NEW Climate Change Heritage Action.
The launch of a new series on the challenges facing our built heritage.

28 Events Online and on-site events
36 National Records Scotland
Archive evidence of the establishment of the midwifery profession
56 Book reviews
Anna of Denmark, by Jemma Field.
Women and Scottish Society: 1700-2000, by W W J Know.
The Case for Scottish Independence, by Ben Jackson.
59 Ten minutes on…
The Albany Stewarts.
60 Family history
Legacies of the slave trade In JamaIca.
61 Scottish History Society
The scholarship of Dr John Durkan,
62 Final Word
Dr Martin Kirkbride on a new extreme weather project, assessing changing patterns across the decades.

Condos on Juno Beach

Subscriber Rob Bennie sent an email:

I was horrified and disgusted by the proposal to build seaside condos on Juno Beach in Normandy, France. This decision reflects a total lack of respect and disregard for those brave Canadians who fought and died to liberate France. Some places should be sacrosanct.

He asks you, if that’s your sentiment, to write your MP, the PM and the French President to try to get this decision reversed so that Juno Beach remains a fitting memorial to Canada’s role in the D Day invasion which ultimately led to France becoming a free nation again.

There’s a convenient link, and the opportunity to sign a petition at