Help Improve The Archives of Ontario Website

The Archives of Ontario is getting a new website and they are asking for our help. Before launching the new site they are asking users to test the main design to see if it’s easy to navigate. Click on this link to access the short survey with about 20 questions, which will take about 10 minutes to complete:

You can provide the Archives with your email address to be notified of any further studies. Feel free to share with others to help them make their website easier to use. The more testers the better!

via OGS Toronto Branch Toronto Tree.

Ancestry adds Lancashire, England, Non-Conformist Registers of Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1762-2005

This collection contains 447,396 records. It includes images of the original and a browse capability, with the following details for some Lancashire adherents to Protestant churches who didn’t follow the practices of the Church of England:

Event type
Parish name
Event date
Date and place of birth
Sex assigned at birth
Marital status at event
Age at event
Names of family members.

Sourced from the Lancashire Archives, the collection has records from 335 churches and chapels. Curiously, none are from Liverpool or Manchester. Ancestry already has non-conformist records for Manchester. Liverpool is likely to come as the source for this collection; the Lancashire Archives has holdings. 

The National Archives holds a variety of non-conformist registers in series RG 4, RG 5, RG 6, and RG 8. All are available ($) on The Genealogist website.

This collection shows non-conformism found in fertile ground in Burnley, Preston, and Blackburn. These towns underwent rapid industrialization and urbanization during the 18th and 19th centuries, attracting many working-class labourers to the cotton mills and factories. There was a perception that the Church of England catered more to the interests of the landed gentry and aristocracy whereas dissenting churches and chapels appealed to the social and economic circumstances of the emerging industrial working class.

Catholic churches and Jewish synagogues aren’t considered non-conformist, therefore their records aren’t found in this collection.


Natural England – National Character Area Profiles

How can you find out about the natural landscape of the area your English ancestors came from?

One way is reading about the 159 National Character Areas (NCAs), each an area of distinct and recognizable character at the national scale. Their boundaries follow natural lines in the landscape, not county or district boundaries.  The profiles can be accessed through a search function, via a map of England, or through a list organized by region at

You can also find links to the Landscape Institute’s Landscape Character Assessment Database for the UK and Ireland for a comprehensive understanding of the natural landscape.

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, 21 May

2:30 pm: Discover Your Bluegrass Ancestors, by Christina Clary for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

7 pm: Using Timelines to Further Our
Genealogical Research, by Crystal Foisy for OGS Nipissing Branch.

8 pm: Editing Your Own Writing – Part 1, by Thomas Jones for Legacy Family Tree Webinars and BCG.

Wednesday, 22 May

2 pm:  A Tour of Goldie May’s Genealogy Power Tools, by Richard Miller for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Thursday, 23 May

6:30 pm:  Resources for Doing Genealogical Research in
Guatemala and Central America, by Walter Kevin Sánchez for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

7 pm: Where is Ed Taylor? by Art Taylor for OGS Wellington County Branch.

Friday, 24 May

Saturday, 25 May

1 pm: If It Is Not Going To Be A Book – Then What, by Gordon L. McBean for OGS Ottawa Branch.

LAC Co-Lab Update for May

There are currently 3,841 items in Collection Search identified as Co-Lab-only contributions, up from 3,797 last month!

One of Library and Archives Canada’s Co-Lab Challenges reported progress.

Treaty 9 now has 27 images, 2.7% complete.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary is 48% complete, increased from 47% last month.

Expo67 remains 7% 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 1% complete.

John Freemont Smith remains 93% complete.

Canadian National Land Settlement Association remains 98% complete.

Molly Lamb Bobak remains 95% 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 remains 95% 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 remains 94% compete.

Projects that remain 100% complete are no longer reported here.

Military Monday

During the Second World War, over 45,000 Canadian servicemen and women made the ultimate sacrifice. They aren’t just numbers. To truly comprehend the enormity of this loss, examine the impact at a local level.

Shown is an excerpt from a detailed map of Ottawa’s Glebe neighbourhood, a visual representation of the fallen. It’s hard to believe when you see it in the context of a neighbourhood you know! The map uses red to highlight Air Force deaths, black for Army, and blue for Navy. Find more detailed information in an article from the Glebe Report.

Credit to the research of Glebe resident Dave O’Malley.

Tact for those recently bereaved?

In his latest weekly Scottish Genes newsletter Chris Paton wrote, “I was a little troubled by a new release from Findmypast… which maybe could have included a wee bit more tact for those recently bereaved.”

Chris wrote on his blog “But I think what bugs me slightly about this is that a commercial company has an index of records including those up to 2024, and from a few test searches, the records appear to go up to January 2024 – in other words, there will be people included in this new database who have literally just passed away four months ago. At least on Ancestry there is a buffer zone of a couple of years for those who may be grieveing.

Perhaps a slight tweak to this might make it a bit more tasteful, FindmyPast?”

The latest issue of the Ottawa Citizen includes obits for about 40 people recently deceased, the latest on 14 May. The family pay a pretty penny to have these published, sharing their grief with the community.

In England and Wales, while entries on the GRO website are  only to 2021, probate register entries for deaths are as late as 12 April 2024. Scotland’s People has 202 entries for 2024 death registrations just for people named Reid.

Is Chris being a wee bit tad sensitive?

Chris will be an in-person speaker at the OGS conference in Toronto next month.



Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Stuff The British Stole
A podcast series about the not-so-polite history behind those objects.

A Toolkit for Archivists and Librarians Supporting Research and Teaching in Digital Humanities

NARA – Annual Online Genealogy Series
May 21 and 28, June 4, 18 and 25
Wouldn’t it be a joy if LAC took a leaf from NARA’s book!

A new old book for LAC

1922: A Year Like No Other
In the UK and beyond

Thanks to this week’s contributors: Anonymous, Chuck B, Sunday Thompson, Teresa, Unknown.

Findmypast Weekly Update

Here are this week’s additions

Scotland Deaths, 1855-2024
497,172 Scottish death record transcriptions

England & Wales Deaths, 2007-2024
225,815 Welsh death records

Northern Ireland Deaths, 1980-2024
28,292 Northern Irish additions


45 new and updated newspaper titles…over 400,000 pages.

The source of the death data is shown in the copyright notice at the end of the transcription to be © MiExact Ltd. A British company providing mortality data, MiExact Ltd was founded in 1985.  It was a part of Wilmington plc, that company name was previously given as the source,  MiExact Ltd was sold to Information Services Bidco Limited in January this year, the business to continue to be run by the existing management team.

The company address, 3rd Floor, 100 Wigmore Street, London, United Kingdom, W1U 3RN, is that of Private equity investor Foundation Investment Partners.

The sources MiExact use probably include newspaper obits and probate filings. However, the company is unclear about sources, be cautious.

MyHeritage adds New Brunswick Births, 1801-1921

New Brunswick is one of the provinces that’s fairly open with its recprds of genealogical interest. Now, MyHeritage offers the convenience of accessing  1,130,755 birth records between 1801 and 1921. Records typically include the name of the child, date and place of birth, and the names of the parents.

It’s instructive to explore the contents. How many records are there by year.

There are 33 in 1800, very few until 1860, a double peak at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 20th centuries, and the odd entry to 1950.
As described in the FamilySearch Research Wiki, the provincial government began recording births, as well as marriages and deaths, in 1888. Prior to that date there are a mix of sources, notably County Register of Births, 1801-1920.
In 1850, of the 72 entries there are people with birthplace listed in Australia, England, France, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Scotland, and United States of America. I’m guessing these are not New Brunswick’s attempt to expand its jurisdiction!