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.

Saturday’s Ottawa Genealogy Double-header

A reminder about another opportunity to attend Saturday morning and afternoon genealogy events in Ottawa, and an extra.


Online and at Knox Presbyterian Church, Elgin at Lisgar.

9 am:  Back to Basics: Military service records, by Ken McKinlay.

10 am: “We Will Remember Them” (Family stories from times of war), by Susan Davis, Sue Lambeth, Linda Reid, Mary-Lou Simac and Barbara Tose.

OGS Ottawa Branch

Online and at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood.

1 pm: Rural Diary Archive, by Catharine A. Wilson.


In casse neither of those appeal, an additional Saturday morning opportunity, online at 11 am EST, is Ye Olde Genealogie: Medieval English Research

The British Interest Group of Wisconsin and Illinois invites you to attend our November meeting with guest speaker, Dr. Daniel Hubbard, with the topic being “Ye Olde Genealogie: Medieval English Research.” In this presentation Dr. Hubbard will look at the transition from “modern” genealogy to researching in the middle ages, what you can do to research your ancestors among the “common folk” when there are no more parish registers to follow back in time. Then, browse through some of the vast amount of documentation for the gentry and nobility. Some of those documents, like wills, should feel familiar. Others will bear little resemblance to what we normally think of when we think of genealogy-heraldic visitations, inquisitions post-mortem, pipe rolls, etc., and we will know that we have entered the genealogical mists of time.

Via Zoom, please register in advance:

 After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about linking to the meeting.

Advance Notice: the Battle of Point Pelee

Kingston and District Branch, United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada will meet on Saturday, 25 November at 1:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall, 137 Queen Street or, if you prefer, on Zoom. Award-winning author Jean Rae Baxter UE will discuss her 2023 book, Battle on the Ice. Most Canadians have never heard of the Battle of Point Pelee in 1838. Why did the grandchildren of Loyalists, who had fought hard and had given up land and lifestyle to support the British Crown, rebel against the government in 1837? For the Zoom link for the meeting, visit the website All with an interest in Canadian history are welcome. Copies of Jean’s book will be available for purchase.

WDYTYA Magazine December 2023

I’d barely posted on the November issue when the December issue came out on 7 November.

Feature articles are by two of my favourite British genealogist/writers.

Debbie Kennett explains how to solve your family mysteries using the latest online tools and patient building out of DNA matches trees.

In Documenting Disaster, Chris Paton reveals how records of misfortune and crisis can tell us a great deal about our ancestors’ lives.  In a second article Chris examines the causes and effects of the tragic Highland Clearances in 18th- and 19th-century Scotland.

In the Research Advice section Simon Fowler shares his advice on the records available to research any publicans in your tree, and their pubs. Jonathan Scott rounds up the essential online resources for tracing your musical forebears, and Nicola Morris explains how to use digitised Valuation Office Revision Books to locate Northern Irish kin.

New to me was the free software Ancestris reviewed by Nick Peers. The majority of its user base is in France. It looks interesting with some unique features, but one does get concerned about the longevity of free software.

The issue also includes a five-page guide to Staffordshire.

Good news about death!

Let’s qualify that!

It’s for those of us researching people who died in England and Wales from the start of civil registration of deaths in 1837 until 1957.

On Wednesday, 70 years of the later death registrations became available as jpg digital image scans of the original GRO death registers. That extends the period previously available.

First, find the GRO reference coordinates from You will need a free registration.

Then, for the cost of £2.50, you can order and should receive a jpg image of the original almost instantaneously.