British Newspaper Archive Update for October

There have been 37 additions in October, compared to 39 last month. Most are for well into the 20th century. The earliest is for 1869.

The collection now totals 71,794,658  pages, up from 71,140,389 in the September update. Four new titles have been added. 

Those with more than 10,000 pages added are:

Western Evening Herald 1994, 1996
Larne Times
1900, 1925, 1956-1984, 1993
Edinburgh Evening News
1945, 1986-1991
South Wales Daily Post
1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1998
Portadown News 1956-1982
Belfast News-Letter
1977-1978, 1987-1993
Derry Journal
1975-1977, 1981, 1988-1990, 1992-1994
Campbeltown Courier
1876-1879, 1893-1950
Lurgan Mail
1897-1914, 1916-1925, 1927-1984, 1989, 1993
Ballymena Observer 1959-1984

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 31 October

1 pm: Bone and Stone for the Many and Few: Charnel and Associated Individual Monuments in Late Medieval England, by Thomas J. Farrow for the Church Monuments Society.

2 pm: OGS Ottawa Branch Virtual Drop-in.

2:30 pm:  Séances and Spirits: A Spooky Look at the 19th and Early 20th Century Spiritualist Movement, by senior librarians in an informal conversation, for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

7:30 pm: What Happened To Mean Old Mr. Simons? by Kathryn Lake Hogan for OGS Haldimand/Norfolk Branch.

Wednesday 1 November

2 pm:  Finding Females in US Naturalization Records, 1790-1952, by Nancy E. Loe for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

2:30 pm: Women In Intelligence, by Helen Fry for The National Archives (UK).

7:30 pm: Lest we Forget – stories of those from Huron Co who served in wars., by a branch panel for OGS Huron County Branch.

Thursday 2 November 

6:30 pm:  Beginner’s Guide to 23andme DNA Testing, by Sara Allen for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

7 pm: Remembrance Of Canada’s “War” Dead: Overseas And At Home, by John Reid for OGS.

Friday 3 November

2 pm: Friends of Friends: Quakers and African American Communities, by Ari Wilkins for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Saturday 4 November


Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

The marvellous Judi Dench
(click the image if the sound doesn’t immediately play)

British Civil Wars Memorial Database

Royal Charter storm of 1859: how an almighty tempest led to the birth of the UK’s shipping forecast

Why do people with hoarding disorder hoard, and how can we help?

The Worst Cities for Bed Bugs in Canada
1. Toronto, 5. Ottawa.

Is Ottawa the second-fastest-talking Canadian city?

The Greatest Silent Film

Thanks to this week’s contributors: Anonymous, Brenda Turner, Glenn W., Kim Barnsdale, Lesley Anderson, Lolly Fullerton, Nancy Cutway, Romaine, Sunday Thompson, Teresa, Unknown.

Last Minute: BIFHSGO Update

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) virtual annual conference, themed Leaving Their Scottish Homes: What Were They Thinking? is on Saturday and Sunday 28 and 29 October from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Your registration will include six speakers; access to videos and handouts available to view until 30 November; the chance to win one of 21 door prizes; and a social time with fellow family historians to compare your “aha” moments.

Of special note:  the Conference Connect with Scottish Regions session on Sunday, 29 October, at 9 a.m. EDT where family historians, archivists and genealogists from regions around Scotland will be available to help you find records that might aid you with your research.  Check out the names of the local experts for this session on the program section of the BIFHSGO conference website.

Registration is $30 for BIFHSGO members and $40 for non-members. For complete details and  registration, go to HERE.


New and returning members can take advantage of the BIFHSGO Early Bird Membership Special during the conference, for two days only, 28 and 29 October, 2024
BIFHSGO memberships are available to new and renewing members for 10% off the regular price. Purchase HERE.

MyHeritage Halloween

From 27 October to 1 November 2023, MyHeritage offers free access to all their death, burial, cemetery, and obituary records: 370 collections and 881,738,760 records.

For Canada, MyHeritage has 15 collections with 8,030,077 records, and for the UK, 28 collections with 156,341,915 records.

Search the free records at Non-MyHeritage members will be asked to register in order to access the records.

Findmypast Weekly Update

Wow! FMP has added an exclusive set of Manchester Electoral Registers25,066,154 records from 1820-1940. A search returns the first and last name, year, archive reference, address (road),  house number, location (community?), ward, borough and county. There’s a link to the printed original register.

The Greater London Burial Index has 396,992 additions for  Southwark, Tooting, Newington, Streatham, Battersea, Camberwell, Kennington and Rotherhithe covering 1558 to 1901. Information may include full name, age at death, birth and death year, burial date, occupation, denomination, address, and parish.

Berkshire Baptisms
The Berkshire parish collection is augmented with 231,375 transcription records of baptisms for years from 1538 to 1923. 

Ottawa Public Library Survey

If you don’t live in Ottawa you can safely ignore this post.

I’m a library service advocate. That’s rooted in my childhood days when the local Carnegie library was a 10-minute walk from my home and 3 minutes from my school. The community population today is only 5,800.

In urban Ottawa, my nearest library branch is a 75-minute walk. A library kiosk at the local community centre and bookmobile stop are promoted as filling the gap. Even so, it’s a 20-minute walk. The local population around the community centre is over 10,000.

My area is not alone in receiving sub-par service from OPL. In urban Ottawa the average distance to a library branch is 2.4 km, a 30 minute walk. In Toronto that’s 1.6 km and in Montreal 1.5 km.

You may be fortunate and live closer to a branch, or you may not care as you don’t use the OPL, only about 20% of the population are cardholders. It’s a fact that despite Ottawa’s growing population the number of cardholders has not increased.

Generally front line library staff provide  good service, but there are too many slip ups and service problems. Just yesterday, after waiting 2 months for an interlibrary loan, I was told they had overlooked ordering it. A microfilm reader that was supposed to be available at my nearest branch was not operational. Two of three library machines at our local community centre are out of service, and bookmobile hours are being curtailed with little notice.

All this to point to a survey being conducted by the OPL “to learn about people’s awareness of OPL and to gain some insight into their perceptions and impressions of the Library.”

You may not be surprised that I responded with criticisims.

If you’re in Ottawa please take some time to respond to the survey here.


Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Manifests, 1848-1891

My Heritage has just added this collection of 599,985 records of passengers arriving in the Port of Boston, Massachusetts, United States between the years 1848 and 1891. Records typically include the name of the passenger, place of birth, age, residence, destination, the date of arrival, and the name of the ship.

A search for destination place Canada yields 26,732 results. But beware. The transcription is highly problematic.

A search for last name Wiggins surfaced five results for Ackins, Aagenes and Ackens. Two of the ship names were “On Time” and “Only Son”! A search for last name Cross surfaced W. Murphy with occupation “Orient La Cross Club.”

FamilySearch has a database Massachusetts, Index to Boston Passenger Lists, 1848-1891 posted on 21 August 2023 citing NARA microfilm publication M265. A search for Wiggins there produces 123 results, half of which are for the exact name and the remainder variants. What’s more, there are links to images of the original index cards. Is Now Part of NGS

Each week, on Tuesday, I reference for upcoming mainly US genealogy events supplemental to my list of mostly Canadian online events.  Now, as of 1 October, is officially part of the National Genealogical Society (US) family.

Created in 2012, ConferenceKeeper was the brainchild of Jen Baldwin. Tami Osmer Mize has been its sole manager since 2016 and will continue in the role as a consultant for NGS.

Library and Archives Canada extends consultation room hours in Ottawa

Opening hours are extended for LAC’s consultation rooms at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa.

Users can now access textual documents and microform consultation rooms between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays, and between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays. The reference and genealogy rooms are open to the public without service from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

The restricted documents consultation room is now open until 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday only and the special collections room remains open until 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday as well.

Details are here.