To end the year, an acknowledgement and thanks to the organizations that supported the blog by providing complimentary access to their services during the year. In alphabetical order:

Ancestry for access to full Ancestry.ca, newspapers.com and Fold3 subscriptions.

FamilyTreeWebinars for full access to familytreewebinars.com

Findmypast for full access to findmypast.com.

MyHeritage for full access to MyHeritage.com.

Also, until they faded to black, to Moreshead Magazines for pdf copies of Internet Genealogy.

British Newspaper Archive Update for December

There have been 33 additions in November, the same as last month. The earliest is for 1844.

The collection now totals 73,140,981 pages, up from 72,474,029 in the November update. Five new titles have been added. Those with more than 10,000 pages added are:

Coleraine Times 1990-1999
Liverpool Daily Post 1997
Dundee Evening Telegraph 1986, 1988, 1991
Gloucestershire Echo
1993, 1995-1996, 1998-1999
Ballymena Weekly Telegraph
1895, 1903, 1905, 1917-1920, 1930, 1960-1970, 1985-1989, 1991-1992
Blyth News Post Leader
1987-1988, 1991-1992
Sutton & Epsom Advertiser
1929-1931, 1933-1942, 1945-1953, 1955-1958, 1960
1858-2000, 2002-2008
Western Evening Herald 1999

For the year as a whole 11,039,434 pages were added.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Historic Places That Have Made Doctor Who

Hayricks,  Lychgate, Market Cross, Milestones, Motte-and-Bailey Castle, and much more.

Crossness Pumping Station: A Victorian Gem In London, England

The Top 7 Graves Associated with Dickens

Thanks to this week’s contributors: Ann Burns, Anonymous, Barbara May Di Mambro, Bonnie, Brenda Turner,  gail benjafield, Joseph Denis Wayne Laverdure, Judy Thamas, Kim, Maureen, Nick Mcdonald, Sunday Thompson, Teresa, Unknown.


Selling Ancestry

Not THAT Ancestry!

Just published by the Oxford University Press, Selling Ancestry, by Stéphane Jettot, explores the emergence and development of commercial family directories, like Debrett’s and Burke’s, that provided genealogical information about the British elites, starting in the eighteenth century. It examines how they were created, published, and used by those who contributed to and shaped the historical narrative of Britain through their personal and political stories. If the history of genealogy and how it evolved and influenced the social and cultural changes in Britain during this period interests you put it on your reading list.

In hardcopy at 416 pages, with 16 black and white figures/illustrations. ISBN: 9780192865960 it’s listed at $130 US.

I found an ebook edition, still at over $110 US via Google with a generous preview.



MyHeritage adds UK Funeral Notices and Obituaries

These three new collections appeared in MyHeritage on 27 December with Funeral Notices and Obituaries in the title.

Area Records First Year
England 4,313,522 2003
Scotland 207,217 2008
Wales 527,471 2003

Records typically include the name of the deceased, last and former residences, the date and place the obituary was published and the name of the newspaper where the original obituary was published.

The source appears to be https://funeral-notices.co.uk/ where you can search over 5,061,465 notices. The newspapers included in the collections are listed here.


Most Popular Books of 2023

The Ottawa Public Library has posted lists of the most borrowed books in various categories. For Adult Books (English)

    1. Spare by Prince Harry
    2. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
    3. Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
    4. Happy Place by Emily Henry
    5. Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
    6. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
    7. The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
    8. Ducks by Kate Beaton
    9. Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune
    10. Everyone Here is Lying by Shari LaPena

See comments and the other lists at https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/blogs/ottawa-public-library%E2%80%99s-most-popular-books-2023

The items bolded are recommendation from the Halifax Public Library staff.

Here’s the list from the Vancouver Public Library

    1. 101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think by Brianna Wiest
    2. Spare by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
    3. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
    4. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
    5. The Myth of Normal by Gabor Maté
    6. A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny
    7. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
    8. Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
    9. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
    10. It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover

Item in red are also on the Ottawa list, one is on the Halifax staff list, none are on all three.

Want another opinion? Here are lists of the “best” books of 2023 from the New York Times and the Telegraph.

Which book would you put at number one? Are there any outstanding books from 2023 missed out?

FreeBMD December Update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Friday, 22 December 2023, to contain 289,764,153 unique entries, up from 289,525,246 on 22 November.

Years with more than 10,000 new entries are for births, 1992-1994; for marriages, 1991 – 1993; and for deaths, 1993 – 1995.

Looking back over the year. the bulk of the updates were for 1991 to 1994, with other additions for deaths for 1987 and 1990.