Ancestry updates UK, Portraits and Photographs, 1547-2018

There are now 156,917 entries in Ancestry’s UK, Portraits and Photographs, 1547-2018 database.

Sourced from The National Portrait Gallery (UK) this collection contains portraits in a variety of mediums, including paintings, photographs, sculptures, drawings and prints. Early works are primarily those of importance to British culture and history — nobility and political figures. Later entries can be from a wider range, notably the arts and sport. There are even 47 entries for meteorologists – 10 for one person.

You can also search by the artist who created the work.

Explore further at the website of the New National Portrait Gallery.

Lowest Prices of the Year

Black Friday offers continue to flood in. Here are two that look interesting. Just be sure you’re likely to get enough benefit.

AncestryDNA is offering their test for $69 CDN, plus taxes and shipping. The offer ends 28 November 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET. 

AncestryDNA has more than 25 million tests in its database, so all else being equal, which they aren’t, you’re more likely to find a match there than at the other test sites. Leah Larken has a useful graph showing the number of people in the database of each of the testing companies.

It may be you’re ancestry is better represented in one of the other DNA company databases, I thinking particularly of MyHeritage. You can always copy your AncestryDNA results over to other site and get the advantages of both.

The Genealogist is offering an annual Diamond Package subscription before the 1 December for a discount of over £120, or 55%. The actual price is £98.95 (about $169 CND) with a guarantee the price will never increase. The Genealogist has some unique content, notably the Lloyd George Domesday Survey records.

Family Tree DNA Discounts

Is your email inbox overflowing with Black Friday offers, most of which you can do without? Here’s one not to miss IF YOU NEED IT. A Y-DNA test can significantly aid in researching your paternal line, the paternal line from a brother if you’re a woman, or from a male cousin. Some consider it an essential part of a reasonably exhaustive search. Family Tree DNA is THE place to get it.

Don’t miss out on their Black Friday Sale with a wide range of discounts on their various test, not just Y-DNA, including bundles, until 30 November.

Take a look at the offers here.

Ancestry Updates Obituary Indexes

For Canada, the Obituary Index has 42,320,060 entries as of mid-November, up 2.08 percent since July 2022.
The corresponding US title increased by 17.17 percent to 1,129,742,602 entries.
Australia and New Zealand saw a 1.19% decrease, now 5,738,512 entries.
For the UK, historical figures are lacking; total entries now are 30,053,253.


LAC Co-Lab Update for November

One project reports progress, one was less complete than last month and one challenge was added among the Library and Archives Canada’s Co-Lab Challenges; 13 report no change.

Treaty 9. New. No progress

Mary Ann Shadd Cary remains 44% complete

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 remains 94% complete.

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 is 95% complete, last month was 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 is 94% compete, last month was 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 currently3,754  items in Collection Search identified as Co-Lab only contributions, an increase from 3,742 last month.

This Week’s Online Genealogy Events

I’m pleased to report that I’m back to full internet service, so posts should return to a normal schedule. 

There are very few free webinars this week.

If you are having problems with your subscription, perhaps only receiving one post in digest mode when there are the normal two, try resubscribing or switch to individual post delivery. 

Over the quiet Christmas period, I shall look again at an alternate subscription service.

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 21 November

2:30 pm: Voting Records – Genealogy’s Best Kept Secret, by Pam Vestal for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

7 pm: A Magnificent Young Man in His Flying Machine, by Pam Tessier for OGS Nipissing Branch.

8 pm: Why Standards Are for Everyone, by LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson for BCG and Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

8:30 pm: Kierkegaard’s book, Repetition, as a model for writing a family memoir (Leaving a Legacy), by George Kuhrts.

Wednesday 22 November- Friday 24 November

Saturday 25 November

10 am: Scottish Indexes Conference, see


Military Monday

Please remain patient as I continue to deal with no internet/TV/phone service from Bell.

A new independent film about the exploits of Britain’s first ‘ace’ pilot, Maj Lanoe Hawker, will be released on the anniversary of his death, November 23, 2023

The 23-minute film tells the story of a pivotal few days in World War One, when airmen were transformed into fighter pilots for the first time in history.


New on Ancestry: Norfolk, England, Indexes to Wills, Probate, Administrations and Marriage Licence Bonds, 1371-1858

The 323,144 indexed records, new in this collection, include wills, letters of administration, and probate inventories heard by Norfolk church courts from the 14th century to 1858. There are also marriage licenses.

Searches return name, event type, event or probate date, spouse name and a link to the Norfolk Record Office online catalogue. That will lead to the original document, often available only as a microfilm copy at the Norfolk Record Office.

Coming from Pen and Sword

Two books are scheduled for publication from Pen and Sword in the “Tracing Your …”  family history series.

Here’s the publisher’s blurb for Janet Few’s Tracing Your Marginalized Ancestors.

Often, our most fascinating ancestors are those on society’s margins. They might have been discriminated against due to personal misfortune, or have been a victim of society’s fear of difference. You may have ancestors who were poor, or sick, illegitimate, or lawbreakers. Were your family stigmatised because of their ethnicity? Perhaps they struggled with alcoholism, were prostitutes, or were accused of witchcraft. This book will help you find out more about them and the times in which they lived.

The nature of this book means that it deals with subjects that can make uncomfortable reading but it is important to confront these issues as we try to understand our ancestors and the society that led to them becoming marginalised. In Tracing your Marginalised Ancestors, you will find plenty of suggestions to help you uncover the stories of these, often elusive, groups of people. Will you accept the challenge to seek out your marginalised ancestors and tell their stories?

Tracing your Family History using Irish Newspapers and other Printed Materials by Natalie Bodle, is described as

Tracing your Family History using Irish Newspapers is a great introduction for the family historian into Irish newspapers, journals and periodicals and how these resources can be used to paint a picture of the lives of your ancestors with so much more than what can be found in primary source material.

An informative guide with hints and tips throughout, as well as case studies and excerpts that show you the type of material you can find on your ancestors, their lives and where they lived. Natalie Bodle explores how to find information in biographies, genealogies and name books, as well as how to find your ancestors in the official record, The Gazette, and how to track them down in street directories, including a range of physical and online libraries, portals and book publishers who have a focus on Irish genealogy material.

Both are scheduled for publication next February, available for pre-order at a discount.


Findmypast Weekly Update

New to Findmypast this last week (I missed posting) are parish BMBs from Cumberland, the most northwesterly of the old English counties.

Cumberland Baptisms
Sixty-five thousand two hundred fifty-two new transcriptions from across the county for a total of 192,404 records.

Cumberland Marriages
Covering from 1547 to 1975, there are 68,211 new records  for a new total of 125,020,

Cumberland Burials
Between 1566 and 1992, 62,746 new burial records for a total of 133,333.

The new entries have yet to be added to the parish list so which additional parishes for which year are now included is a mystery. Many of the entries are from FamilySearch and the old IGI. There are various other sources, including printed marriage listings.