British Newspaper Archive August Update

This is being prepared in advance. So far, there are 70,394,671 pages in the collection, up from 68,822,392 at the end of July. 

New publications added this month include:
Skelmersdale Reporter (1963, 1965-1972, 1976-1978).
Sutton & Epsom Advertiser (1908-1914, 1916-1928).
Western Echo (1899-1903, 1906-1915).
Farnworth Chronicle (1906-1917).
Y Dydd (1877-1883, 1886-1891).
Llais Y Wlad (1874, 1876, 1878-1884).
Y Gwladgarwr (1858-1860, 1866, 1875, 1877-1878, 1880-1882).

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

Title Years
Gloucester Citizen 1991, 1994, 1996-1998
Holyhead Mail and Anglesey Herald 1921-1929, 1931-1950
Huddersfield Daily Examiner 1970, 1972, 1977-1979, 1983
Manchester Evening News 1962, 1977-1979
Portsmouth Evening News 1960-1961
Rochdale Observer 1972, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1991
Sheerness Times Guardian 1975-1978, 1980
Sherborne Mercury 1744-1747, 1749-1769, 1772-1783, 1790-1794, 1798, 1801-1826, 1828
Streatham News 1909-1916, 1931-1937
Suffolk and Essex Free Press 1949-1958, 1965, 1974-1975, 1979, 1981
Widnes Weekly News and District Reporter 1881-1882, 1921, 1932-1936, 1938-1950, 1952, 1954, 1956-1962, 1964-1971, 1973-1979
Y Dydd 1877-1883, 1886-1891

Major updates coming, and possibly available by now, are: Birmingham Mail (1955-1957, 1959, 1961, 1966-1967).
Widnes Weekly News and District Reporter ( 1912-1920, 1922-1931, 1937, 1951, 1953, 1955).
Ormskirk Advertiser (1856, 1941-1948, 1951, 1954-1955, 1957-1960, 1962-1966, 1968-1984).

All About That Place

From Friday, 22 September, to Sunday, 1 October, a range of speakers will deliver over 100 bite-sized free talks. A new 10-15 minute talk will be released roughly every hour between 7 am and 9 pm UK time.
The brief nature of each talk is designed to give you plenty of inspiration and information about a wide range of topics in a manageable way.
The talks are pre-recorded and will be posted in the event’s Facebook group and on YouTube. They will be available to watch at a time convenient to you; some may be available for longer.
As well as the talks, there will be an optional workbook to complete, guiding you through the various aspects of one-place studies. Participants will also have a chance to win various prizes such as 1-year membership to the Society of Genealogists, the Curious Descendants Club, the Society for One-Place Studies, BALH, Name & Place, a discount on The Genealogist’s Diamond subscription, and 4 Historic Towns maps.
“All About That Place” is a unique free challenge event celebrating this milestone. It is a joint venture between the Society for One-Place Studies, The Society of Genealogists, Genealogy Stories and The British Association for Local History.

Sign up at

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. Are you looking for more options? Additional mainly US events are listed at

Tuesday 29 August

2:30 pm:  DAR Applications: Ask the Experts, by ACPL Genealogy Center staff and members of the Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter of the DAR for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Wednesday 30 August

2 pm: Y DNA Discover Tool – What News Can Your Haplogroup Reveal? by Roberta Estes for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Thursday 31 August

6:30 pm: International Research: Where to Begin? by Tamara Hallo for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Friday 1 September

10:15 am: First talk in the Webtember series. Connecting Generations through Probate and Property, by Teri E. Flack for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.
For the others see

Saturday 2 September

OGS Conference 2024 Update

Conference 2024 has added another marquee speaker.

Diahan Southard, author, instructor and founder of Your DNA Guide. With more than 20 years of experience in genetic genealogy, Diahan’s goal is to make it more accessible to others. She’ll deliver a special plenary talk, and lead workshops on how to not only incorporate DNA in your genealogy research, but have fun in the process.

With genetic genealogy experts Blaine Bettinger and Jonny Perl already booked the conference will be not to miss for anyone who has taken, or is thinking of taking a DNA test.

I hope to see you in Toronto, 14 – 16 June 2024.


What are LAC’s intentions on Handwritten Text Recognition technology?

“Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology is now a mature machine learning tool, becoming integrated in the digitisation processes of libraries and archives speeding up the transcription of primary sources and facilitating full text searching and analysis of historic texts at scale.”

That’s a quote from the 2022 journal article Understanding the application of handwritten text recognition technology in heritage contexts: a systematic review of Transkribus in published research.

If there was any doubt, the successful partial indexing of the 1931 census of Canada by Ancestry, using Library and Archives Canada images, as well as their earlier indexing of the 1950 US census, confirms the capability.

What are LAC’s plans? I turned to the recently published Vision 2030: Discover. Understand. Connect — A strategic plan to 2030.

“While the collections remain at the centre of LAC’s identity, the ability of Canadians to discover, understand and connect with the collections frames our vision of service. Vision 2030 will aim to provide access to the collections to anyone and from anywhere, as well as a framework to identify and respond quickly to users’ needs.”

What is the reality of “provide access?” Does that mean online? Why “a framework” and not “a system”?

Vision 2023 includes one mention of AI

“LAC will benefit from work being conducted in other domains, such as the digital humanities and ethical artificial intelligence.”

Am I alone in reading this as LAC having no plans to implement the mature machine learning tool of  Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology in its own operations to facilitate easy access to documentary heritage, as with the 1931 census, and why not?



TheGenealogist adds Lawyer Lists

Discover judges, barristers and other court officials in Lawyer lists from 1780 to 1911 at TheGenealogist.

These book records can reveal authoritative facts:

● addresses of ancestors in the legal profession
● confirm or unearth relevant dates
● some biographical entries will even give names of other family members
● schools and universities that forebears attended
● the qualifications that an ancestor had gained
● details of judges and lawyers involved in an ancestor’s cases

Read TheGenealogist’s article, An Ancestor Bar None:

SPECIAL OFFER: Better Than Half Price TheGenealogist Diamond Package for £78.95 – offer expires on 1st September!


Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

The modern day dictionary of Shakespearean words: £400 encyclopedia reveals The Bard’s most weird and wonderful terms 

Stewards of an Intergenerational Project

BC updates BMDs
Now available — indexes to births (1854-1903), marriages (1871-1947), deaths (1872-2002), colonial marriages (1859-1872) and baptisms (1836-1888).

Scientists find the last remnants of the human genome that were missing in the Y chromosome

We’re talking about AI a lot right now – and it’s not a moment too soon

Did June 6, 1780 Presage January 6, 2021?

Thanks to this week’s contributors: Anonymous, Brenda Turner, Christine Jackson, Don Ross, Lynne Willoughby, Nick Mcdonald, Paul Marsden, Teresa, Unknown.


Ancestry updates London, England, Selected Poor Law Removal and Settlement Records, 1698-1922

If you were poor in England, your official parish of settlement was responsible for your support. You could be removed there if you lived in another parish. This database contains Poor Law records relating to settlement and removals for the London unions of Bethnal Green (138,940), Hackney (43,397), Poplar (53,056), Shoreditch (223,940), and Stepney (4,396).

This example shows the transcription information for an order of removal

Name Ann Beckett
Residence Age 60
Event Type Orders of Removal
Birth Date abt 1812
Residence Date 2 Jan 1872
Residence Poor Law Union Bethnal Green
Residence Greater London, England
Relative 4 Information Name:
Relative 5 Information Name:

And the additional information in the linked original.

Advice from Scottish Indexes

Is Graham and Emma Maxwell’s Scottish Indexes a must-know resource, even if you don’t research ancestry in Scotland?
Here’s something for everyone: a blog series from last year on genealogy mistakes to avoid. They are: don’t assume anything, not looking at the next page, not looking at a map, ignoring the occupation, and not keeping a research log. 

If you do have Scottish roots here’s a shout out to Scottish Indexes Conference XXI on Saturday 9 September 2023. The program is:
10:00 Introduction
10:15 ‘Scottish Tax Records for Genealogy and Local History’ by Robert Urquhart
11:15 ‘People Lie! How to unravel the truth when you are tracing your family history’ by
Emma Maxwell
12:15 ‘Crimes of an Heinous Nature’ by Margaret Fox
13:15 ‘The People of Cross House’ by Kate Keter
14:15 ‘Tracing Your Belfast Ancestors’ by Chris Paton
14:30 Genealogy Q & A hosted by Graham and Emma Maxwell
16:30 ‘“Like All These Country Folks Very Stupid”: Glasgow Highlanders in the Poor
Law Applications’ by Alison Spring
17:30 ‘What’s New on Scottish Indexes’ by Graham Maxwell

Findmypast Weekly Update

This week sees 13,795 Norfolk parish records and over 25,000 Welsh records added at Findmypast.

The Norfolk additions are 3,853 baptisms for 1923,  9,703 banns and marriages for 1939, and 239 burial records for 1998. These records come with both transcriptions and original images.

For Wales there are 15,428 baptism records from 13 counties, including Glamorganshire (5,542 records added) and Monmouthshire (3,801 records added).  Marriage and banns records added for 1938 total 10,236 including Monmouthshire (3,100 records added) and Glamorganshire (1,998 records added).

Family Tree Magazine (UK): Sept 2023

Wayne Shepheard, who has an article in this issue, reminds me I missed posting about the September issue which cam out on the 11th.

Wayne’s article, Peggy’s war: Women’s land army reflects on the WW1 military connections of Peggy Fisher’s wider family — several came to live in Canada. Wayne shares resources to help you research the WLA in both wars and in countries outside the UK.

Here’s a rundown on the rest ofthe issue:

Getting the best from Ancestry: user tips
Chris Paton shares his useful hacks & hints for using Ancestry.

Understanding genealogical sources & why it matters
Phil Isherwood has a useful approach to help you analyse how credible the clues that you come across are

DNA Workshop: How to prepare for your DNA test results
DNA advisor Karen Evans is here to help you get ready for your results

Slow down & plan your research
Fiona Brooker suggests you slow down and establish some great research practices that will stand you in good stead

Gill Shaw’s hopes are raised… then dashed, this month

How family history can provide children with life skills & resilience
Emma Jolly investigates, in part 2 of her family history & well-being series

Your stories with Storied
Katharine McKinnon reminds us of the importance of building trees out wide

Genealogy gadgets
Discover a meteorological history project and the new Reimagine tools & membership from MyHeritage. Wayne also contributes on the Little Ice Age and the Western University website –
Also in this section Helen Tovey looks at MyHeritage’s Reimagine app, launched in 2023. ‘Reimagine: Scan & Enhance Pics’ allows you to:
• upload or scan in photos (you can scan an entire album page and the images will be automatically cropped and saved as individual files).
• colourise, enhance, animate and repair your photos
• add voice notes to your photos to ‘tell the story’ behind each
• add details of date and place, also making for easier searchability later
• and sort into albums, add to your MyHeritage family tree, and share with family.

Academy: Case Study
Family Tree Academy tutor David Annal looks at a life less ordinary — extraordinarily complex!

Spotlight on…
Philippa Jarvis tells us about Ryedale Family History Group

Books & co
Helen Tovey & Rachel Bellerby share views on a selection of recent family history reads and the Pharos Tutors’ new-look website

Photo corner
Jayne Shrimpton analyses a selection of pictures from the past

Diary Dates
Events to look forward to in September

Thoughts on…
Diane Lindsay celebrates upgrading her family history software at long last… and an ‘unmentionable birthday’!