Ancestry adds Lancashire, England, Index of Wills and Probates Proved at Richmond and Chester, 1600-1858

This index, initially for probates proved at Richmond, may include name, age, date of the will, date of probate, place of probate, place of death, date of death and case number.

Typically find a couple to a few hundred wills indexed each year.

The guide Wills and Probate at Lancashire Archives is a helpful reference.

An index for the Chester wills is pending.

Findmypast Weekly Update: Ireland, India and more

Irish Newspaper BMD Notices
Find 42,605 birth, 68,760 marriage and 66,681 death notices from the Belfast Morning News, Champion or Sligo News and Cork Examiner in this collection. Publication dates range from 1836 to 1926.

British India births, baptisms and marriages
The British India Office Births and Baptisms collection and Marriages collection are augmented. There are now  735,503 birth results and 457,950 marriage results. Territories covered include India, Pakistan, Burma, Bangladesh, St Helena, Sumatra, Aden, Penang, Kuwait, and Macao.

Britain, Merchant Seamen, 1918-1941
An addition of some 5,000 records is profiled this week in an ongoing project. The total is now 1,229,063 results, sadly not my father yet.

Some give lots of detail, ranks, personal details including their address, next of kin, and physical descriptions, maybe even a photograph.

Not all are so informative like this for a seaman transcribed as name Olive, or is it Oliver? It could be a woman, there are 2,717 Marys in the collection.

Scotland, High Court Criminal Indexes, 1790-1919

Ancestry’s new Web: Scotland, High Court Criminal Indexes, 1790-1919 is an index-only collection made up of:

Records of criminal trials
Records of criminal appeals
Medical statements
Minute books
Paper evidence, such as shoe prints
Judicial opinions.

The original index data is from Scottish Indexes at

Records in the collection may include the name of the accused, charges against the accused, any known aliases, age, occupation, birthplace, physical description, names of family members, names of witnesses and names of court officials.

Ancestry updates UK Death Indexes

Ancestry is adding more records to its UK death indexes.

For England and Wales, the coverage is now for 1989-2021 and a total of 5,812,402 records, an additional 325,553 since May last year,

For Scotland and Northern Ireland, the death Index for 1989-2021 now has 780,189 records, updated from 752,902 in May last year.

These are transcriptions typically giving name, gender, last residence, postal code district, and death date from civic records and funeral homes, published with data from GreyPower Deceased Data compiled by Wilmington Millennium.

BNA adds Ottawa Free Press

Issues of the Ottawa Free Press from 2 January 1904 to 30 December 1915, 2,298 in all with 30,596 pages, are just added to the British Newspaper Archive.  At present, there are gaps — 1905, 1910, 1912, and 1914.

The paper was established in 1869 and amalgamated (taken over) in 1916 by the Ottawa Journal. The British Library holdings, the source for the BNA, date from 1903.

The Ottawa Public Library has earlier issues on microfilm and there are a few digitized by Google and available on MyHeritage. The catalog entry from Library and Archives Canada returns an error.  I enquired to LAC and the automated response was that “it can take up to 4 months to respond.”

A tip of the hat to Claire Santry from Irish Genealogy News who alerted me to the BNA addition.

OGS/Ontario Ancestors Conference

Calling all procrastinators. A last-minute reminder that the event starts tomorrow at your home, Friday.

I’m looking forward to speaking on Saturday at 1 pm on “Second World War British Migrants to Canada”, moderating Sunday sessions “Understanding the Past – To Improve Our Future” by Paul Barber at 10 am, and “Natural Phenomena and Their Effects on the Lives of Our Ancestors” at 1 pm by Wayne Shepheard.

Please join me at those and other conference sessions.


The annual rate of inflation in Canada in May was 7.7%. That’s higher than known for decades.

Higher energy prices resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine must be a major factor, directly and indirectly, coupled with an increase in travel from the vacation-staved.

The international influence is evident in the stats for other countries. The Eurozone, US, and UK all have higher inflation than Canada.

Perhaps like me, you recall the late 1970s and early 1980s with inflation above 10%. I had to renew a mortgage at nearly 20%.

This chart from Trading Economics gives a century-long perspective on inflation in Canada. For 30 years and more, inflation has been controlled in Canada leading a perception of what’s normal for most of us. How did your parents and grandparents deal with the inflation spikes of the 1950s and the massive deflation of the 1930s? Was there an impact on your family history?


Historical Research Grants

Does the Federal Government fund any research of interest for family history?
Each year the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council offers grants for academic research. Last week more than $175 million to support 809 social sciences and humanities research projects across Canada was announced.

21 Partnership Grants projects with $52 million in funding.
85 Partnership Development Grants projects over three years with a total of $16 million in funding.
560 Insight Grants projects over five years with a total of $96.5 million in funding.
143 Aid to Scholarly Journals publications over three years with a total of $10.5 million in funding.

The scope is huge. Focusing on the Insight Grants, here are a few projects that may be of interest for our community as they take a historical approach. It has to be may be as it’s judging by title, all that’s given.

Applicant Lemire, Beverly J. University of Alberta
Title: Fashioning the Imperial Atlantic: Race, Gender, and Material Culture, c. 1660-1820
Funding $99,569

Applicant: Carter, Sarah A. University of Alberta
Title: Who Owns the Prairies? A History of the Land, 1871-2021
Funding: $91,688

Applicant Sheffield, Scott R. University of the Fraser Valley
Collaborator Lutz, John S. University of Victoria
Collaborator MacMath, Sheryl University of the Fraser Valley
Title: British Columbia and the Second World War
Funding $145,740

Applicant Field, Russell D. University of Manitoba
Co-applicant Adams, Carly University of Lethbridge
Co-applicant Joseph, Janelle B. University of Toronto
Co-applicant Nzindukiyimana, Ornella St. Francis Xavier University
Co-applicant O’Bonsawin, Christine CO. University of Victoria
Collaborator Orpana, Simon A. McMaster University
Collaborator Smith, Janice Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
Title: A People’s History of Sport in Canada
Funding $180,413

Applicant Sauer, Elizabeth M. Brock University
Title: Reorienting English National Consciousness: Renaissance to Late Restoration
Funding $72,217

Applicant Dolansky, Shawna Carleton University
Collaborator Malena, Sarah L. St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Title: Women of the ancient world: graphic reconstructions and digital resources
Funding $142,165

Applicant Duggan, Ana T. McMaster University
Co-applicant Poinar, Hendrik N. McMaster University
Collaborator Dhody, Anna The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Collaborator Hicks, Robert D. The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Title: In Crypts and Cabinets: Uniting ancient DNA and the history of medicine to re-examine the emergence of smallpox and the advent of vaccination
Funding $85,189

Applicant Gamble, Brenda J. Ontario Tech University (University of Ontario Institute of Technology)
Co-applicant Dubrowski, Adam Ontario Tech University (University of Ontario Institute of Technology)
Co-applicant Felder, Stephanie Office of the Surgeon General
Collaborator Rostek, Michael A. Defence Research and Development Canada
Title: Exploring and describing the life experiences of Canadian female Veterans during, pre and post military service
Funding $176,385

Applicant Gniadek, Melissa University of Toronto
Title: Unsettled Times: Temporalities of Settlement in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
Funding $35,819

Applicant Williams, David-Antoine St. Jerome’s University
Title: Opening the Oxford English Dictionary: A Data-Enhanced, Research-Ready Historical Dictionary
Funding $265,720

Applicant Margolis, Rachel Western University
Co-applicant Clark, Shelley McGill University
Co-applicant Wright, Laura D. University of Saskatchewan
Title: The Canadian Family Change Project
Funding $273,000

Applicant Greene, Elizabeth M. Western University
Collaborator Birley, Barbara A. The Vindolanda Trust
Collaborator Buck, Trudi J. Durham University
Collaborator Nelson, Andrew J. Western University
Collaborator Semmelhack, Elizabeth A. The Bata Shoe Museum
Collaborator Williams, Rhys E. University of Teesside
Title: Putting the Empire on its Feet: Investigating Roman provincial populations using paleoimaging of archaeological shoes
Funding $313,912

Applicant Wilson, Ciann Larose Wilfrid Laurier University
Co-applicant Flicker, Sarah E. York University
Collaborator Baldwin, Denise Ontario Native Women’s Association
Collaborator Kelsie, Teresa L. Common Good Solutions Inc.
Collaborator Paris, Tonya NSCAD University (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University)
Collaborator Webber, Kayla University of Toronto
Title: Living Memories: Community-based Storytelling of Indigenous and Black Histories and Realities in Canada
Funding $400,000

Applicant MacFadyen, Joshua D. University of Prince Edward Island
Collaborator Dillon, Lisa Y. Université de Montréal
Title: Animals and the Circular Economy: A History of Biomass Energy and Agriculture in Canada, 1870-2021
Funding $210,141

Applicant McGaughey, Jane G.V. Concordia University
Collaborator Fourie, Carina University of Washington
Collaborator Rodgers, Julie National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Title: Mothers in the Time of Cholera: Motherhood, Migration, and Pandemics in the Canadian Colonial Medical System, 1817-1867
Funding $78,290

Applicant Hilsdale, Cecily J. McGill University
Title: Treasure: Power, Loss, and Historicity in the Medieval Mediterranean and Beyond
Funding $99,245

Applicant Gaudreault, André Université de Montréal
Co-applicant Hidalgo, Santiago Université de Montréal
Co-applicant Keil, Charles A. University of Toronto
Co-applicant Paci, Viva Université du Québec à Montréal
Co-applicant Raynauld, Isabelle Université de Montréal
Collaborator Dahlquist, Marina Stockholm University
Collaborator Guido, Laurent Université Lille 3 Charles-de-Gaulle
Collaborator Kessler, Frank E. Utrecht University
Collaborator Le Forestier, Laurent Université de Lausanne
Collaborator Pozner, Valérie Centre d’études franco-russe de Moscou
Collaborator Somaini, Antonio Université Sorbonne Nouvelle—Paris 3
Title: Capturer le rythme de la vie moderne : le montage rapide comme symptôme et modèle pour les sociétés du début du XXe siècle jusqu’à aujourd’hui
Funding $343,260

Applicant Maldague, Xavier Université Laval
Co-applicant Angenot, Valérie Université du Québec à Montréal
Co-applicant Bank, Carl-Georg University of Toronto
Collaborator Doro, Kennedy O. University of Toledo
Collaborator Elkarmoty, Mohamed Cairo University
Collaborator Helal, Hany Cairo University
Collaborator Ìbarra Castanedo, Clemente Université Laval
Collaborator Klein, Matt Visiooimage inc.
Collaborator Yamamoto, Kei Hill International
Title: Antique Egyptian Pyramids: Multi-Modal Research
Funding $388,932

Applicant Lemisko, Lynn E. University of Saskatchewan
Co-applicant Clausen, Kurt W. Nipissing University
Co-applicant Helyar, Frances M. Lakehead University
Co-applicant Raptis, Helen University of Victoria
Title: “Approaching Normal”: A Comparative Historical Study of Canadian Teacher Education Programs (1925 to 1975), Offering Insights for Today
Funding $304,487

Applicant Klaassen, Frank F. University of Saskatchewan
Co-applicant Wright, Sharon D.H. St. Thomas More College
Title: Female Magic Practitioners 1350-1550
Funding $212,809


Ambitious Plans for Society of Genealogists — reaching out

Moving from its crampled quarters in Clerkemwell has opened up thinking for The Society of Genealogists (SOG).

This article from History First starts with news that handwritten family trees containing names of a million and a quarter people from the medieval period onwards will be shared online.

The real news is found later. The idea is to make the new SOG headquarters not only a hub for family historians, but also the wider history community. 

“The new building is really going to be a destination for people,” said SOG CEO Wyporska, adding that new facilities might include a café and exhibition space and there would be a busy programme of on-site courses and events. “It’s putting the society back into society. I’m really looking forward to making this a really lively venue, as well as somewhere where you might be just sitting, having a cup of tea in between your research and overhear a conversation and your mind starts to work. And then you have a three-hour long chat.”

Historic family trees with 1.25m names to go online

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) free Zoom Presentations

Live via Zoom, a series of free presentations by GRIP in association with various sponsoring organizations. Pre-Registration is required through the sponsoring organizations’ links below. KEEP THE CONFIRMATION EMAIL that the sign-up generates. This will be the ONLY reminder and contains the link to join the meeting at the appropriate hour. You will need to register for each meeting separately.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022: Sponsored by Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society. Presenter Debbie Abbott, Ph.D. “Through the Eyes of a Genealogist: Paul Newman”

Wednesday, June 22, 2022: Sponsored by Bucks County (PA) Genealogical Society. Presenter CeCe Moore. “Serendipitous Story of John Doe and an Adoptee: Searching for Identity”

Thursday, June 23, 2022: Sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society. Presenter Michael Lacopo. “Methods for Identifying the German Origins of American Immigrants” 

Monday, July 11, 2022: Sponsored by North Hills Genealogists. Presenter Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG®“It’s All About Respect: Clinical Tips to Manage Uncomfortable Conversations about Surprising DNA Test Results

Tuesday, July 12, 2022: Sponsored by Western New York Genealogical Society. Presenter Annette Burke Lyttle. “Reconstructing the Lives of Our Farming Ancestors”

Wednesday, July 13, 2022: Sponsored by FamilySearch. David Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS, An Update on What’s New at FamilySearch and the 1950 Census Indexing Project” 

Thursday, July 14, 2022: Sponsored by Orange County, California, Genealogical Society. Presenter Rich Venezia. “Alien Registrations in America”

Presentation details are at

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.

Tuesday 21 June. 2 pm: Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from Ottawa Branch of OGS and The Ottawa Public Library.

Tuesday 21 June, 2:30 pm: Finding the Unknown Parents of Your 19th Century Ancestors, by Sara Allen for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Tuesday, 21 June. 8 pm: Negative Evidence: Making Something Out of Nothing, by Denise E. Cross for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Wednesday 22 June, 2 pm: Irish Emigration to North America: Before, during and after Famine, by Paul Milner for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Thursday 23 June, 6:30 pm: Who are All These People?
How you CAN figure out identities of people in your photos, by Tina LaFreniere for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Friday 24 June – Sunday 26 June: OGS/Ontario Ancestors Conference.