Project to identify disinterred military caualities

Identifying the USS Arizona’s Fallen After 82 Years!, a post from Fishwrap, the blog, grabbed my attention.
As indicated here, the US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) disinterred seven caskets containing approximately 55 individuals as part of the Enoura Maru Project. It’s not an isolated occurrence but part of an ongoing effort by the DPAA to disinter, transport, and identify missing POWs from World War II.
The Fishwrap blog post is publicizing Operation 85 , a civilian effort led by family members of the unrecovered from the Pearl Harbour raid to assist DPAA in acquiring DNA samples from living family members. They hope to identify the remains and provide them with a proper burial.
Perhaps like me you were unaware of this US military initiative involving disinterring unknown remains. That is not the policy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission which predates the possibility of identification through DNA analysis by decades. In the unlikely possibility that were to ever change,  I know of a grave with a good chance it contains the remains of my great uncle, a candidate for identification.

Favourite Genealogy Software

From The Society of Genealogists, a review comparing Family Historian 7, RootsMagic 9, Family Tree Maker 2019 and Legacy Family Tree 9, the most popular genealogy software options in the UK.

Read the review, which leans heavily on UK genealogists’ Twitter comments at

A wide range of good-quality software is on the market. But, of course, all have their pros and cons. Just like ice cream, we all like it and all have favourite flavours, Does that mean we always choose vanilla and haven’t tried garlic?

99% of my needs are met by the family tree I keep online with Ancestry. I’ve tried all the others mentioned, some many years ago, but when I need to go back to Family Tree Maker. That’s what I started with.

Perhaps like the group in Ottawa, you prefer The Master Genealogist, or PAF, or one of the others lesser known and some no longer supported.

What’s your experience? Please let us know why.



Findmypast Releases Manchester Rate Books

City or United fan, this is big for anyone with Manchester ancestry. An excellent way of bridging censuses, these records comprise almost five million names of taxpayers from the early nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century in present-day Greater Manchester.

Indexed with linked original images, the records include:

• Name of Occupier (head of household)
• Name of Owner
• Description of the property (house or business)
• Street Address/Township/Parish
• Rate to be paid (e.g. poor rate, water rate)
• Amount to paid
• Date paid or any default on payment

Every fifth year’s rate books are indexed to coincide with census years for parts of the following boroughs:

• Bolton 1916-1936
• Manchester 1706-1941
• Oldham 1841-1936
• Rochdale 1826-1921
• Stockport 1886-1921
• Tameside 1846-1936
• Trafford 1836-1931
• Wigan 1806-1936

This Week’s Online Genealogy Events

Choose from selected 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. Additional mainly US events are listed at

Tuesday, 23 May

2 pm: Fishing in Your Match List with MyHeritage DNA Tools, by Paul Woodbury for MyHeritage/Lagacy Family Tree Webinars.

2:30 pm: In Search of the Blonde Tigress: Finding Missing Persons, by Silvia Pettem for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Wednesday, 24 May

2 pm: How Do I Keep All This Stuff Straight: Organizing Your Research, by Billie Stone Fogarty for Legacy Family Tree Webinars,

Thursday, 25 May

6:30 pm: Using Blogs to Share Family History Writing, by Craig Siulinski for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Friday, 26 May

Saturday, 27 May

Documentary Heritage Communities Program 2023-2024

The Documentary Heritage Communities Program (DHCP) exists to help local organizations increase access to, and awareness of their holdings and increase their capacity to keep and preserve Canada’s documentary heritage.

This year, archives, libraries and documentary heritage institutions will share $1.5 million to carry out 38 projects, selected by Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) .

According to the announcement from LAC,  11 organizations will receive funding for Indigenous documentary heritage projects, and 9 organizations for Francophone documentary heritage projects. Every province and territory has projects funded, except PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador.

As far as can be ascertained no genealogical or family history organizations are involved in projects funded in this round. As the genealogical community are major clients of archival materials that is a missed opportunity for the program’s awareness objective.

Populations Past – Atlas of Victorian and Edwardian Population

I’m rushing to post this, or I’ll spend all clicking around at

The website lets you make and see maps that show how people lived in different places and times from 1851 to 1911. Curious about an area in your family history; how many babies were born and died, who got married, where people came from, who they lived with, how old they were, what jobs they had and how crowded their areas were? Zoom in on a map to see a smaller area, and compare two maps of different times or things. The maps show Registration Districts for England and Wales — zoom in to see Registration Sub-Districts except for Scotland where only RDs show. 

Military Monday: 10th Anniversary of the Armistice

From the Collection of Capt John A. D. Cochrane Barnett

Six hundred former Canadian Expeditionary Force soldiers attended an Armistice 10th anniversary Dinner on 8 November 1929 at the Hotel Cecil in London.

Lord Byng of Vimy presided. 35 Canadian Victoria Cross holders were present as guests of honour. Among those was Lance-Corporal William Henry Metcalf, the only American holder of the V.C., awarded for his actions while serving with the CEF 16th Infantry Battalion on 2 September 1918 near Cagnicourt in France, during the Second Battle of Arras.

From the Collection of Capt John A. D. Cochrane Barnett

Find a Grave® Index Ancestry Updates

Below are the latest updates to the Find a Grave index on Ancestry.

Area May 2023 March 2023
U.S. 172,857,217 172,012,462
UK and Ireland ? 16,712,454
Global 14,604,632 14,005,716
Australia and New Zealand 11,044,654 ?
Canada 9,646,273 9,537,884
Germany 2,520,011 2,398,513
Sweden 719,305 367,538
Italy 318,700 312,025
Norway ? 216,182
Brazil 165,727 135,589
Mexico 62,956 61,512

Note that the actual Find A Grave site has additional entries. For Canada it has 9,714,642 entries compared to 9,646,273 at Ancestry. For England, 13,593,373, for Scotland 1,673,626, for Wales 462,997, for Northern Ireland 631,303, and for Ireland 1,055,669 entries.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items

The Collective Noun Catalog
Misses an annatafel of genealogists and a prognostication of meteorologists!

The ‘M*A*S*H’ Death That Stunned America

News from the OGS eWeekly
1. Families May Edition is now available online to OGS members with articles on the Grand River, Fenian Raids, Marriage Bonds, a Little Person in the Family, and Kingston Mills.
2. A call for speakers for OGS Conference 2024 in Toronto is available at .
3. Heather McTavish Taylor informs that “The Ministry has decided to send ALL land registry documents into long-term storage and to formally close all in-person land registry offices.  These documents will not be returned to the communities from which they came, and they will not be accessible to the public at any time.  There will not be any negotiation of new placement agreements either.  Any current placement agreements will remain intact.  All information is said to be accessible virtually via the OnLand portal. ” The eWeekly editor adds “If this decision doesn’t sit well with you let us know! More importantly, let your MPP know that these documents need to be in the communities where they originated.”

Replica Medals from The National Archives Shop

From my Friends
Christine Jackson recommends How genetics determine our life choices and The last remaining lamplighters of London

Bryan Cook wrote to inform about his most recent Bytown pamphlet Henry Gilchrist – Quarriers’ Home Child. It’s one I read in one sitting when the hadcopy version arrived at home.

Thanks to this week’s contributors: Anonymous, Bryan Cook, Christine Jackson, gail benjafield, Glenn W., Nick McDonald, Paul Milner, Sunday Thompson, Teresa, Unknown.


LAC Co-Lab Update for May

Two projects report progress among the Library and Archives Canada’s Co-Lab Challenges; 13 report no progress.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary is 8% complete, 5% complete last month.

Expo67 remains 2 % complete.

Summiting Mount Logan in 1925: Fred Lambart’s personal account of the treacherous climb and descent of the highest peak in Canada remains 13% complete.

Women in the War remains 1% 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 is 94% complete, remains 93% complete 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 remains 3% complete.

The Call to Duty: Canada’s Nursing Sisters remains 93% complete.

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

Other unidentified Co-Lab activities not part of the Challenges have seen progress. There are currently 3,683  items in Collection Search identified as Co-Lab only contributions, an increase from 3,670 last month. None of the new items are classified as Genealogy.

Findmypast Weekly Update

Anglo-Boer War Records 1899-1902

A further 19,117 records have been added to this collection, taking it to over 383,000.  Find short biographical details, unit, medals awarded, and casualties.
The collection includes 2,855 with the notation Canadian, and 329 for Canada. Toronto is mentioned in 24 records, Ottawa in 17 records, Calgary in 14, Montreal in 9, Edmonton in 8, Winnipeg in 5,  Fredericton in 5, Vancouver in 2.

Scotland: People of Nairnshire

Over 4,000 new transcriptions from a variety of sources have been added to this existing collection. You’ll find first and last name, year, parish and a brief note like “In Standalone, had 2 farm horses”, “In Cantraydown, in fornication with Christian Fraser” and “Tenant in Brannonhaugh.”

Scotland: Registers and Records

A further five publications have been added into Scotland Registers and Records. These PDFs cover 1290 to 1850, and include social histories, parish records and more. With 84 titles in total to explore, a search for Scottish ancestors is a bit of a lucky dip.



Ancestry adds Hampshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1536-1812

Ancestry has been busy beavering away at Hampshire parish records and has just added the early 1536-1812 records which were often kept in a single register.

The 1,999,963 transcriptions are linked to images of the original entry. Browsing around you may find notations of interest. Records for the parish of Overton include the notation that on “October 2nd, 1783 a Duty of three pence takes place on each burial by Act of Parliament.”