British Newspaper Archive Update for January

There have been 41 additions in January and 33 last month. The earliest is for 1873.

The collection now totals 73,465,208  pages, up from 73,140,981 in the December update. Three new titles have been added. Those with more than 10,000 pages added are:

Biggleswade Chronicle 1970-1980
Cumbernauld News 1961-1991
Derry Journal 1991, 1997
Market Harborough Advertiser and Midland Mail
1952, 1969-1980, 1983-1988, 1990-1991
Mearns Leader
1913-1957, 1959-1975, 1981-1984, 1986-1989, 1991-1992
Motherwell Times
1961-1976, 1978
Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph 1986
Retford, Worksop, Isle of Axholme and Gainsborough News
1955-1972, 1976-1979, 1981, 1989-1990

A reminder that newspapers from a range of communities are included, not just a largest. In Leicestershire, aside from nine Leicester titles, there are papers from Ashby(-de-la-Zouch), Coalville, Hinckley, Loughborough, Market Harborough, Melton Mowbray, Oadby and Wigston.

Probate for England and Wales

On Monday the BYU Library streamed a presentation, the first of three, on probate in England and Wales. Part 1 deals with the Prerogative Courts of Canterbury and York. Vivian Brown’s explanation of how to go about finding the record you need is a model of clarity.

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. Find out about many more mainly US events at Conference Keeper at

Tuesday 30 January

2:30 pm: Identifying Unknown Parents or Grandparents Through DNA, by Mike Sainsbury for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

Wednesday 31 January

2 pm: Genealogy Institutes: A Deep Dive Into Dynamic Education, by Cyndi Ingle for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Thursday 1 February

12:30 pm: The Blaeu Atlas of Scotland, by Chris Fleet for the National Library of Scotland.

6:30 pm:  DNA Matching Made Easy on MyHeritage, by Shannon Combs-Bennett for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

7 pm: AI and Genealogy: Trouble Ahead? byThomas MacEntee for the Ontario Genealogical Society. Free to members.

Friday 2 February

2 pm: African American Research 101 – Post-Civil War to the Present (Part 1 of 3), by Ari Wilkins for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Saturday 3 February

5:30 am: Family History: Using Second World War Army Records, by Will Butler for The National Archives (UK).

10 am: Delve into the Lives of Your Middlesex County Ancestors Through the 1931 Census, by Kathryn Lake Hogan for OGS Middlesex Branch.

2 pm: Topic: Surprises in the Stacks, An Overview of the Private Collections Program at the Simcoe County Archives, by Jenn Huddleston for OGS Simcoe County Branch.



New Ulster Historical Foundation Website

As the Ulster Historical Foundation’s Gillian Hunt and Fintan Mullan, are not conducting a speaking tour in North America this year, they will be in Australia and New Zealand, you may not hear about the new UHF website.

Even without being a member, there is a range of free resources conveniently available. Many are obscure and free to view. Check under the Start Searching tab.


Ancestry adds England and Wales, New Popular Edition Maps, 1940-1948

The New Popular Edition 1:50,000 maps were based on surveys conducted between 1914 and 1948 and published between 1945 and 1948. Available here in greyscale, they were a hybrid of the “Seventh Series” maps that would follow them in the 1950s and the Popular Edition maps from the 1920s.

A search found several places but couldn’t find Hackney! Navigating the collection is awkward; moving to an adjacent area map is impossible.

I prefer the NLS map facility.

Military Monday: Can You Help the DND Casualty Identification Program?

The Casualty Identification Program, part of the DND Directorate of History and Heritage, exists to identify the remains of Canadian war dead so that they may be buried with their name, by their regiment, and in the presence of family.

Family members of the Canadian military whose final resting place is not known can now help in the program’s investigations.  The Casualty ID Program has created an online registration form that may help by providing valuable information about the soldier and relevant family information, such as genealogy. 

Register to help identify Canadian war dead with no known grave.

Check out  Casualty Identification Program  for further information. It includes a section on DNA explaining that they use mitochondrial and Y-STR data. I’m hoping that page, from 

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Ontario Additions to
Highlights are in the Bradford area:
The Witness. 34,777 pages for 1880–1985
The Bradford Times, 29,042 pages for 1991–2017
Bradford West Gwillimbury Topic. 11,375 pages, 2007–2018

TheGenealogist has added over 5 million individuals to its
Residential and Trade Directories Collection with dates from 1744 to 1899. The new records cover England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Channel Islands, along with a few internationally.

The Byward Market and the First Golden Age of Jewish Life in Ottawa

What can we learn from the history of pre-war Germany to the atmosphere today in the U.S.?
Catch a live interview at 1 pm on Tuesday with author David Dyzenhaus, a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Toronto. Registration is free.

Ice storms, January downpours, heavy snow, no snow: Diagnosing ‘warming winter syndrome’

Fluke: chance, chaos and why everything we do matters by Brian Klaas for the LSE at 1:30 pm: Monday 29 January LSE.

Thanks to this week’s contributors: Anonymous,  Barbara May Di Mambro, Brenda Turner, gail benjafield, Gloria Tubman, Helen Gillespie, Joseph Denis Wayne Laverdure, Ken McKinlay, Margaret Dougherty, Maureen Guay, Nick Mcdonald, Robert Ross Halfyard, Sunday Thompson, Teresa,  Unknown.

Essential Keyboard Shortcuts and other PC Tech Tools for Genealogy

Florida-based Peggy Jude’s presentation for Legacy Family Tree from Wednesday is available for free for a couple of more days. It offers advice on time-saving shortcuts for your PC or Mac. As she suggests, try them one or two at a time to avoid overload.

She speaks enthusiastically about text expanders, software tools that automatically expand an abbreviation or shortcut to a full word, sentence or more. Be aware the one she speaks of most highly has a 30-day free trial, after which it’s a $39.96 USD annual subscription. There are free options — I’ve not tried them.

MyHeritage adds UK telephone directories

These new records typically include the individual’s name, year, and place of residence but not the telephone numbers, for 2001 and 2003. Some entries have possible relatives.

England: 18,723,475 entries.
Scotland: 2,170,524 entries.
Wales: 1,248,242 entries
Northern Ireland: 492,777 entries

These are about one-fifth of the population, one-third for Northern Ireland.

Canadiana additions

On 26 January, 60 more items were added to the Canadiana collection. Items, like annual reports, from the second half of the 19th century predominate. This time, there are several from Hamilton churches and two years of class lists from Hamilton Collegiate Institute.

You can access the Canadiana collection online with a full-text search.

Australia Records Opened

Chances are a branch of your family tree made its way to  Australia. Until 28 January, MyHeritage is providing free access to all its records from Australia — encompassing 108 million records from across 297 historical record collections. That includes 18 titles with more than one million records each; the largest is Australia Electoral Rolls, 1893-1949, with more than 16 million records.