OGS Toronto Branch – Great Moments in Genealogy

On Monday evening, 28 November at 7:30 pm, catch Toronto Branch’s last meeting of the year, the annual celebration of Great Moments in Genealogy. Eight branch members will share highlights of their family history research.

Presenters will be:
Janice Nickerson: Barking up the Wrong Tree
Debi Eatherly: My Great Grandfather, the Imposter, a.k.a. Joseph Eatherley: (mystery?)
Margaret Kipp: Endogamy is Us
Patricia Blackstock: Digging Deep Into Family Research
Bev MacCulloch: The Irish Registry of Deeds
Debbie Hewitt: More about my Maternal Line: Beyond the Census and BMD certificates
Michael Nettleton: The Addams Family
Georgie Kennedy: Reunited, and it feels so good!

Register to attend via Zoom, free at: https://torontofamilyhistory.org/event/great-moments-2022/

It’s a hybrid meeting — in person at Lansing United Church at the corner of Beecroft Road and Poyntz Avenue, Toronto.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Digital revolutions: The limits and affordances of online collections.
A preprint of a book chapter by Australian Tim Sherratt, who writes “How do we discover relevant resources? What gets digitised and why? How can researchers use these collections to ask new types of questions? After more than 25 years, the web has its own history. What problems and possibilities has it brought to understanding of the past?” Goes in-depth into the situation in Australia, presented as an island entire of itself.

10,000 Step Myth

International Institute for Genealogical Studies
As announced at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies Winter graduation ceremony online, as of 2023, the institute will be rebranded as the International Institute for Genealogical Studies.

Why we feel like Christmas comes around more quickly each year

LAC Preservation Storage Facility
You probably saw the announcement of the official opening.
Does anyone else find the building ominous? Will LAC one day get over it’s fascination with new buildings – nitrite film storage, preservation storage, shared building with the Ottawa Public Library, and put as much effort into a virtual facility to enhance access across Canada.

Thanks to this week’s contributors: Ann Burns, Anonymous, Barbara Di Mambro, gail b., Glenn W., Teresa, Unknown.

TheGenealogist releases 1881 Census on Map Explorer

This is a news post from TheGenealogist.

We have now linked all of our 1881 census records of England, Scotland and Wales to our powerful Map Explorer™ so that users can see the locations of houses plotted on georeferenced historic and modern map layers.

Unique to our website, viewing a household record from the 1881 census will now show a map pinpointing its location. Clicking on this pin opens Map Explorer™, enabling subscribers to explore the area and see the records of neighbouring properties.

With this new release, family and house historians are able to research the streets, lanes and neighbourhoods in which their ancestors lived at the time of the 1881 census. Joining earlier releases that saw the 1911, 1901 and 1891 census linked to the powerful mapping tool, researchers can easily identify with just the click of a button where their forebears once lived.

A Borrower or a Lender?

One of the side benefits of society membership is that a book you’re looking for is on the shelves or packed away in a box of a society friend.  On Thursday, I picked up one I’d been looking for, and the side benefit was sitting down for a conversation over a coffee.

The lender was careful to make a note that I’d borrowed it. A wise move, as we can all be forgetful. He mentioned another book he’d lent and now couldn’t remember who to.

What’s your experience? Have you lent a book that hasn’t been returned? Do you have a book you borrowed and have been meaning to return?

Findmypast Weekly Update

Lincolnshire Baptisms
Over 144,000 new baptisms, transcripts and links to images of the original, have been added to this existing collection, spanning 1754-1862, with most of them predating 1812.

The updates bring the collection to over 2.1 million records. The new records cover over 100 Lincolnshire parishes, now 657 parishes in total, with the emphasis being the first half of the 17th century.

England & Wales, Paupers In Workhouses 1860
In 1860, the House of Commons ordered for a report to be taken of each workhouse in England and Wales. This report detailed every long-term adult resident of the workhouse.

First name, last name and location are transcribed with a link to images of the original printed report giving time in the workhouse and the reason(s) for their residency — types of physical and/or mental infirmity.

The report, published in summer of 1861, included 14,216 individuals who met the criteria for inclusion – in other words, had been living in a workhouse for at least five years. Of these, 6,569 were men and 7,647 were women. It was calculated that there were about 67,800 inmates of workhouses and therefore that about 21% of them were long-term institutional residents. For context, the population of England & Wales at the time of the April 1861 Census was 20,066,224.

The reasons given were categorised into the following broad groupings:

“Old age and infirmity” – 5,932 individuals
“Mental disease” [which included learning difficulties] – 4,989 individuals
“Bodily disease” – 924 individuals
“Bodily defects” [which included blindness and deafness] – 1,619 individuals
“Moral defects” [which included mothers of illegitimate children] – 182 individuals
“Other causes” [which included orphans and deserted wives] – 570 individuals


MyHeritage adds Netherlands, Holland-America Line, Passenger Lists

Find 2,595,792 records of the Holland-America Line between the years 1900 and 1969.

The Holland America Line was a passenger and shipping line that brought thousands of passengers between the Netherlands and North America. Not just the Netherlands!

For instance, in June 1954 the Ryndam sailed from Rotterdam to New York, via Le Havre and Southampton. Some entries show the fare was paid in pounds sterling.

Records, in Dutch, typically include the name of the passenger, date and place of departure, place of arrival, the name of the ship, and the place that the travel was booked from. Additional information on the linked images includes the cost of the ticket.

The records in this collection were made public by the Rotterdam City Archives.

City of London Cemetery and Crematorium Registers Now Online

Images of the general burial registers with 495000+ historic records from the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium dating from 24 June 1856 to 19 October 1998 are now free to view at  https://col-burialregisters.uk/.

It’s a pilot project. There is no name indexing; you need to know the approximate burial date to do a practicable search.

If you’re lucky, you may find your person of interest on Find A Grave, which has 16,125 memorials, 29% photographed, or among the 428 headstones recorded at Billion Graves.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorializes 732 war casualties at the cemetery, including eight Canadians, seven with the Infantry and one with the Engineers.

The cemetery, in the London Borough of Newham, is adjacent to Manor Park Cemetery and Crematorium. Further west lies West Ham Cemetery and St Patrick Catholic Cemetery. To the south are Woodgrange Park Cemetery and Plashet Jewish Cemetery.

In From the Cold Project Additions

There’s a major addition to the official Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list of casualties from the First and Second World Wars, thanks to the good work of the In From The Cold Project.

Of the 138 additions, 129 were First World War victims, and nine were from the Second. Most were victims of disease, 42 of malaria, 37 of tuberculous, and 11 of pneumonia.

Books of Remembrance are the source for most: South Africa (57), the UK (56) and India (13). No Canadians.

Among the civilian entries are three members of the Shannon family killed on Thursday, 2 January 1941, by German bombing at Knockroe, Co, Carlow, Ireland. It was part of a larger attack that struck four Irish counties even though Ireland was neutral and remained so throughout the war.

In Nottingham, two civilians died of burns on Monday, 28 August 1944, when a USAAF aircraft dropped a fuel tank on their house.

As of 21 November 2022, the From The Cold Project has 793 cases waiting for resolution by the CWGC. Each has to be verified. Along with work on newly discovered remains, routine maintenance and refurbishment, and initiatives promoting the cause, the Commission won’t run out of tasks any time soon.


Black Friday Sales

Is your email jammed with Black Friday sales offers, most of which are of no interest? Here are the genealogy offers I’ve received so far; I’m hoping for a particular one I’ve yet to receive.

Y-37 Test
$ 79 US discounted from $119 US

$119 US discounted from  $159 US

Family Finder
$39 US discounted from  $79US

Family Finder + myDNA Wellness
$59 US discounted from $119 US

25% discount on a 1 or 12-month subscriptions.

DNA test $52 Cdn, discounted from $129 Cdn

AncestryDNA® test, $69 Cdn discounted from $129 Cdn
AncestryDNA® + Traits $69 US discounted from $119 US

In his most recent newsletter, Peter Calver points out that for an autosomal DNA test, AncestryDNA is the best value, despite being more expensive. Most others agree. The AncestryDNA database is larger, meaning more chances of getting a match. To take advantage of their databases, you can transfer Ancestry’s raw data to other companies at a modest cost.

This week’s online genealogy events

Choose from selected free online events in the next five days. All times are ET except as noted. Those in red are Canadian, bolded if local to Ottawa or recommended. Assume registration in advance is required; check so you’re not disappointed. Many additional events are listed at https://conferencekeeper.org/virtual


2:30 pm: Key Online Record Collections for Researching Your Mexican Ancestors. by Colleen Greene for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

7 pm: These Poppies Really Rock, by Jan Briggs McGowan for Sudbury Branch OGS,

7 pm: Tracing your Loyalist Ancestor, by Elizabeth “Holly” Haimerl for Québec Genealogical eSociety.


11 am: UK – SCOTLAND – Researching your house history, by the National Library of Scotland.

2:30 pm: My ancestor was on the 1939 Register – well they should have been, by John Hanson for the Guild of One Name Studies.

7 pm: Canadian War Correspondents during World War Two, by Aimé-Jules Bizimana, for Ottawa Historical Association


2 pm: Twenty ways to find a townland – and other hints and tips, by Georgina Scally for National Archives, Ireland.



8 am: Scottish Indexes Conference XVII

1 pm: The Treaty of Niagara (1764), by Nathan Tidridge for Kingston & District Branch, United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada.

7:30 pm: Great Moments in Genealogy, from OGS Toronto Branch.

Military Monday

Inheritance Interrupted: Estate files during WWI is a recent blog post by Jane MacNamara, who has “dug pretty deeply into records spanning 1914 to 1919 and found some really good reasons why all Ontario researchers should pay special attention to estate files from this period.”

The post covers how soldiers’ estates were handled and changes to procedure during this period, including that their letters were admitted as wills.  Also, the “preprinted military wills form neglected to ask for an executor, so the courts could not grant Letters Probate. The soldier’s wishes were acknowledged, though, with a grant of Letters of Administration with Will Attached.”

Jane’s post leads to another on Durham Region probate for the WW1  period.


Military Monday: Canadian Army Service Numbers

Following up on last Monday’s post that included a mention of WW2 Canadian Regimental Numbers, the book Regimental Numbers of the Canadian Army 1936 – 1960 by Clive M Law details assignment by military district blocks and sub-blocks.

In case you’re not familiar with the Canadian military districts, there’s a summary with a map and table at https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/procedures/regimentalnumber.htm/. Each MD was assigned a regimental number prefix that applied to active and reserve forces.

In MD3, Eastern Ontario and parts of Western Quebec, the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa were assigned C 426000 to C 426999; the Governor General’s Footguards C 431000 to C 431999.

The 64-page paperback book, published by Service Publications, of North York,  is out of print. I consulted it at the Canadian War Museum. It’s also at Library and Archives Canada and the Toronto Public Library, not at the Ottawa Public Library nor the Kingston Frontenac Public Library.