Findmypast adds to British Army Records

British Army, Royal Engineers 1900-1949
The first phase of this new release, for surnames from A-H, has over 92,000 tracer cards, mostly from World War 2

FMP states “Tracer cards track a soldier’s movement within and between regiments. The records can reveal names, army numbers, dates of birth, and enlistment, all useful detail for fleshing out your family tree.”

However, FMP also states “Tracer cards can be hugely complex, and the information on them is usually in abbreviated format.”  There is a partial list of abbreviations linked which, although somewhat helpful, still left me scratching my head over undecipherable content.

British Army, Coldstream Guards 1800-1947
Browse page-by-page, through a range of different records to uncover details of those who served in this famous regiment. The collection includes:

Casualties 1939-1947
Courts Martials 1800-1815
Decorations and Rewards 1914-1918 and 1939-1948
Discharges 1884-1947
Enlistments 1884-1947
Missing in Action 1939-1945
Nominal Roll of 1st Battalion men serving in Sudan 1932-1933
Officers’ Record of Services 1861-1915
Shanghai Defence Force 1927-1928
South African Campaign 1899-1902
Succession Book of 2nd Battalion officers 1797-1926
Succession Book of Officers 1826-1936
Record of Campaigns 1854-1895

As well as browsing through the records in this addition, you can also pinpoint military ancestors in the searchable collection.

I’ve not examined this collection.

Uncovering Unusual Lives

We all love stories. Toronto Branch of OGS is offering the opportunity to subscribe to “four extraordinary case studies, each with its own intriguing twists and turns. Our speakers will tell us about the roadblocks they faced, and the sources and techniques they used in their quests to separate fact from fiction.” They are:

Wednesday 16 June
Misbegotten, Misled, Mistaken
Lecturer: Paul Jones

Thursday 17 June
The Curious Case of Dr. Henry Head Gray
Lecturer: Jane MacNamara

Wednesday 23 June
FAKE News! Read all about it!
Lecturer: Guylaine Pétrin

Thursday 24 June
The 1815 Murder behind Toronto’s Oldest Ghost Story
Lecturer: Eamonn O’Keeffe

This series, organized by the Toronto Branch Education Committee, with Patricia Blackstock leading this particular initiative, looks like a good bet. I’ve subscribed.  Find out more and register here.

Findmypast adds 1939 Register Records

An additional 95,000+ records are now accessible in the FMP version of the 1939 Register for England and Wales. These are usually batches of records unredacted as people pass their 100th birthday or their death is reported.

Interestingly, if you search the database for people born in 1921 there are 8,464,807 results. That’s almost ten times the number with births registered that year! It’s equally large for prior years. The total appears to include about 8 million records with no name or date of birth.

Find out more about the 1939 Register at

Library and Archives Canada Scholars

In a virtual ceremony last evening five notable Canadians who have made “an outstanding contribution to the creation and promotion of our country’s culture, literary heritage and historical knowledge” were introduced as LAC Scholars for 2020.

Margaret Atwood, Roch Carrier, Charlotte Gray, Serge Joyal, and Terry O’Reilly need no introduction here, although during the ceremony they were each introduced by 2019 LAC Scholars and you can read career outlines here. The 32-minute ceremony is available on YouTube here.  The event gets going at the 25-minute mark – unless it’s subsequently edited.

Listen carefully and you’ll hear both Margaret Atwood and Terry O’Reilly gently mention some LAC deficiencies.


Thank you if you’re one of the 236 people who subscribed to the new site by 7 pm yesterday.

Tweaks are still being made to improve the experience.

For a few days if you subscribed on the old site expect to get two email notices each day until I stop daily posts there.  After that, an occasional post will still be made to keep the old site and all the archival material alive.

The Genealogy Show 2021

Online is where it’s at when it comes to genealogy events. The latest to be announced is The Genealogy Show which was last (and I think first) held at the UK National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham after WDYTYA Live folded.

To attend this year there’s no travel, no jet lag, no expensive hotel, no exceptional (or exceptionally mediocre) restaurant meals.  Speakers don’t have travel expenses either which brings the cost way down.  That’s reflected in the registration fee.

What’s on offer? Who’s speaking? I counted 62 live presentations, starting with Lisa Louise Cooke at 12:01 am BST on Friday 25 June through to Stephen Gill at 11:20 pm BST the next day.  You’ll recognize many of the speakers, including some Canadians. The lineup is here.

In addition, there’s an unscheduled on-demand section and presentations will remain available to view for 30 days.

Find out more at

According to the website “Companies House Number – 11275801” is organizing the event. Search that and you’ll find the sole proprietor of The UK Genealogy Show Limited is (The) Kirsty Gray.

Graveside Stories

This title won’t appeal, except to a family historian.

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If you have a genealogical interest in the area around Arnprior, Ontario, a series of blog posts by Laurie Dougherty could be an unexpected treasury.

Graveside Stories: Lindsay’s Store.
Graveside Stories: Finding Kathleen.
Graveside Stories: the Cameron Family.
Graveside Stories: Lt. Col. Harold Foster Baker.
Graveside Stories — Jean Graham Macnamara Cunningham.

Several bit players appear in each post, and locations, and businesses that might feature in your local family story. Worth a look.

North East Wales Archives (NEWA)

While some organizations have relapsed to stasis during the pandemic others have grabbed the opportunity.

North East Wales Archives, like many organizations, has been taking to social media recounting stories arising from the collections. However, it’s the work to make the major content of the collection accessible that’s of greater value.

For instance, staff in Ruthin, part of the new NEWA, have added a further 14,000 records previously only available in hard copy to their online catalogue since March last year.

Maps are a significant part of online content including Denbighshire Enclosure Maps and Awards, and Ordnance Survey Maps and tithe maps.

NEWA is also a partner in the Deep Mapping Estate Archives, from the Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates at Bangor University — an innovative project.

Fix FamilySearch Placename Frustrations

Have you ever been ready to tear your hair out when you find geographical errors on FamilySearch.  There’s plenty of room for confusion for the uninitiated — Prince Edward Island and Prince Edward County!

Now FamilySearch is giving you a new volunteer opportunity to help
fix, or rather standardize, place-names.

You can select a country and will be served information like this (without the map!)

Robert H. Adams

Male1938-2007FamilySearch does not recognize this user-entered place:

Add the standard place that is most similar to what the user entered. What you add will not overwrite or delete the user-entered place. Skip to the next person if you are unsure.

User-Entered Place:
Sea View, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Non standardized place:

This could prove an interesting task for a rainy (snowy!) day. You’d likely even learn some geography.

Give it a try at