Findmypast Weekly Update

Findmypast doesn’t claim to be a leader when it comes to Canadian records. As if to prove it, a browse collection of the 1931 census has been added this week. That’s the same as available from Library and Archives Canada since the start of the month.

Also added this week is a book “Notes on Duels and Duelling (1855) which recorded almost 2,000 duels and challenges that took place in England, Ireland, the United States, as well some in Scotland and France. To bring Sabine’s research to life, we’ve made each entry fully searchable.” I didn’t find the search helpful. If you’re interested in the content I suggest skipping FMP and doing directly to a searchable version from Google at

Records for St Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Manhattan, New York, a total of 45,861 new records, covering 75 years of history, are now available at FMP.

While it would be nice if FMP invested more to provide unique Canadian content online, would it happen? The company strength is UK and Ireland records, and it already has strong competition there. Can it afford to be more proactive in Canada? Adding existing Canadian content, like the 1931 census, is a way to serve their clients, especially the UK-based ones who don’t have a subscription elsewhere covering Canadian content.

British Newspaper Archives June Additions

The total number of pages online is  68,383,253 an increase from 67,854,558 last month.

This month 66 papers had pages added (80 in the previous month). There were no new titles. Dates range from 1750 to 1961.

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

Stalybridge Reporter
1874-1890, 1895, 1898-1901, 1903-1906, 1908-1913
Streatham News
1891-1903, 1905-1908, 1925-1930, 1938-1961
Kerry News 1894-1920
Constabulary Gazette (Dublin) 1897-1922
Dublin Leader 1901-1963
Commercial Gazette (London) 1882-1895
Morning Leader 1892-1912
Hampshire Post and Southsea Observer
1874-1896, 1898-1909, 1911-1913
Edinburgh Evening News
1935-1937, 1940, 1961-1962
Dundee Courier 1993, 1995

Canadian Serials additions for June

The 42 additions to Canadiana Serials this month are, as in the past, many mercifully short annual reports and the like. The four items listed below include a couple of directories, and one sample almanac.

The fourth is three volumes of Canadian criminal cases annotated, for 1998 to 1900. It’s “A Series of Reports of Important Declsions in Criminal and Quasi-
Criminal Cases in Canada under the Laws of the Dominion and of the Provinces thereof, with special reference to Decisions under the Criminal Code of Canada, 1892, Tn al the Provinces; with Annotations, a Table of Cases Cited
and a Digest of the Principal Matters.”
Nearly 700 pages each, it you like true crime it’s here.

Title Publication Date URL (if online)
Canadian criminal cases annotated Vol. I-Vol. III
County of Simcoe and Hamilton & North Western R’y gazetteer and directory 1879
Hagyard’s Royal Canadian almanac and family receipt book for … 1868; 1879-1880
Wright’s classified business and professional directory and gazetteer of the Dominion of Canada and Newfoundland 1900

MyHeritage RAF Personnel Update (pre WW2)

United Kingdom, Royal Air Force Personnel
This collection contains 446,493 indexes to service records of the RAF, during World War I and between the years 1914 and 1928. Index records typically include the name of the person, date of birth, date of enlistment, and the service period.

The content in this collection originates from The National Archives and each index entry has a link to order the full record from TNA.

Ancestry: New and Updated

New to Ancestry on 27 June 2023:

Scotland, Postal Directories, 1825-1910,
These 20,083,919 transcription records (OCRd) are for major towns, some counties and a few specialist directories. They include links to the published page. Entries may include Name, Occupation, Street Address, Town. Year, and may also occasionally include: Employer Name, Employer Address, Occupation Title, Names of Coworkers.

Check out this WDYTYA Magazine article for further background and alternative sources.

Updated collections as of 27 June are

Prince Edward Island, Canada, Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, 1780-1982, 320,239 records

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Manifests of Chinese Arrivals, 1906-1912, 1929-1941, 28,508 records

1939 England and Wales Register, 45,915,113 records

MyHeritage adds Warrington Burial Records

Warrington, Cheshire, midway and a bit south of the M62, on a line from Liverpool to Manchester, has 116,092 records in this burial collection new to MyHeritage. The transcription records typically include the name of the deceased, date of death, age at death, date and place of burial.  Often named are others buried in the same plot.

Included are 40,477 burials at Warrington cemetery, which opened on 26 March 1857. It’s the burial place of George Formby (George Hoy Booth) who died in 1961.

The small Burtonwood Cemetery dates from 1901. It has 5 CWGC burials.

Hollinfare Cemetery, also known as Hollins Green Cemetery, dates from 1894. Just 2,317 burials are included in the MyHeritage database including 6 CWGC burials.

Fox Covert Cemetery has 9,616 burials dating from 1961.

The lion’s share of the database entries, 60,927, are for Walton Lea Crematorium, opened in 1964.

This Week’s Online Genealogy Events

Choose from selected free online events in the next five days. All times are ET except as noted. Assume registration in advance is required; check so you’re not disappointed. Looking for more options? Additional mainly US events are listed at

Tuesday 27 June

2 pm: OGS Ottawa Branch Virtual Genealogy Drop-In.

2 pm: An Introduction to Reimagine, the New Photo App from MyHeritage, by Ran Snir for MyHeritage and Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

2:30 pm: Fundamental Research in the (US) South, by J Mark Lowe for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Wednesday 28 June

2 pm: A Fresh Light on Old Newspapers, by Dave Obee for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Thursday 29 June

6:30 pm: Scotland’s Resources: There’s more to Scottish research than Scotlandspeople! by Tina Beaird for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Friday 30 June

Saturday 31 June



Military Monday

A couple of comments came in following the post on updates to the Women’s Land Army Index Cards.

A note on the Ancestry collection is that images and indexes are excluded for individuals born less than 100 years ago. December 1922 is the latest birth date posted by Ancestry, 16,356 were born that year, up from 13,461 born in 1921 and 10,961 in 1920. That could well be why you’re not finding a card for a person who was involved.  Patience.

Another comment was about a WW2 woman ambulence driver in London. Steve mentioned his mother was in uniform and therefore part of an organization. The first step is to identify the organization from the uniform in a photo, if he has one. A web search finds several articles on women ambulance drivers in WW2 England.

The State of Canada’s Access to Information System

None of Canada’s genealogical or family history organizations appeared as witnesses, despite chronic dissatisfaction with the Access to Information system, especially timeliness, at recent Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics hearings.

Just before Parliament went into a premature Summer Recess the  Committee presented a report “The State of Canada’s Access to Information System” with 38 recommendations.

It’s unsurprising that the word genealog* does not appear in the report.

The word histor* appear 72 times including in three recommendations:

Recommendation 5
That the government of Canada work with Indigenous peoples to develop a mechanism of independent oversight that ensures their full and timely access to records held by federal government institutions for purposes of substantiating historical claims.
Recommendation 10
That the Government of Canada improve the declassification system to provide greater access to Canada’s history.
Recommendation 11
That the Government of Canada implement a process for the automatic release of historical documents that are more than 25 years old.

There is a section, starting on page 32, on Access to Historical Documents. Most relates to WW2 and subsequent times for issues like the Holocaust, Indigenous rights, and policy documents, the type of materials routinely made available in many other jurisdictions internationally.

The following section of the report is notable.

Kristina Lillico, Director General of ATIP with LAC, confirmed that more than 45 million pages of documents have been made available in recent years through a risk-based approach (block review). While this number may sound impressive, she believes there are billions more waiting to be discovered that should not be subject to an access request.

Regarding the potential of digital, Mr. Lapointe expressed hope that advances in machine learning will make it possible to scan and read certain historical documents.

However, some witnesses raised the difficulties and costs of digitizing historical documents. For example, Ms. Lillico said that there are still a lot of historical documents to digitize, and digitization has a cost. Proper storage is needed to manage, hold, and migrate these items. Mr. Rubin said that digital stuff “which will make access to information harder and will make personal information and the consent of individual Canadians to give it harder.”

Michael Wernick, Jarislowsky Chair in Public Sector Management at the University of Ottawa and former clerk of the Privy Council, also noted the high cost of digitizing documents.

In a section, Library and Archives Canadastarting on page 48, Ms. Lillico explained the unique challenges of accessing LAC’s historical records. She illustrated what a single access request at LAC can look like.

She did not address the delays in providing WW2 service files where there is no issue in finding the material, no large volume of material, and the only barrier is whether the person has been deceased for 20 years which applicants are required to prove.


Today: OGS Toronto Branch June Meeting

Torontonians are voting for mayor today, 26 June, after which they, and all of us, can attend the local OGS branch meeting at 7:30 pm.

Dr. Romana Bahry, author of the 2018 book about her maternal grandfather Dr. W.S. Kindraczuk, Forgotten Chemist of Lancut and Pioneer of Probiotics, will present on the genealogical chapter of her book and will outline her research journey though Ukraine, Poland and Austria.

Bonnie Bell starts the evening with a talk about her 2X great grandfather George Fouch – Resettling and Rethinking: A Settlement Document that Revised a Family Story.

Attend in person at Lansing United Church or virtually via Zoom.

LAC Leadership

In a refreshing departure from faceless bureaucracy, Leslie Weir issued a Statement from the Librarian and Archivist of Canada “reiterating Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) and my personal commitments to 2SLGBTQI+ communities.”

Wherever you personally stand in the scale of wokeness, I welcome her making clear her way of tolerance and inclusion.

Let’s hope that a more open approach to communication will be a hallmark of her new term.