Friday, 21 July 2017

Deceased Online adds Crewe area cemeteries

Records from six cemeteries and one crematorium from the Cheshire East Borough Council, totalling 130,000, are now available at Deceased Online:

• Congleton Cemetery – 500 records from 2004 to 2015
• Coppenhall Cemetery - 10,400 records from 1861 to 2015
• Crewe Cemetery - 51,750 records from 1872 to 2016
• Nantwich Cemetery - 11,150 records from 1870 to 2015
• Sandbach Cemetery - 3,950 records from 1935 to 2015
• Weston Cemetery - 1,150 records from 1908 to 2015
• Crewe Crematorium - 52,100 records from 1954 to 2009

The records comprise digital scans of all burial registers or cremation indexes and grave details for each of the graves and their occupants.

Deceased online notes that here is an historic lack of accuracy in some of the original register entries of older records in Nantwich cemetery. There are some duplicated records but as we have no way of ascertaining the correct grave details in these cases, we have included them for the completeness of the data.

Ontario Rural Diaries Archive

A project from the University of  Guelph "showcases over 150 Ontario diarists from 1800 to 1960." The archive "honours the daily lives of rural people. It encourages future research by making these under-used sources which are often handwritten and fading, accessible to all."
Searchable are 16 diaries transcribed by the project, and another 27 available from previous transcriptions.
Check it out at

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Shannon Lecture Series for 2017

The following is an announcement from the History Department at Carleton University on the annual Shannon Lecture series. Some years they're of interest to the family historian. Sadly this won't be one of them.
The History Department’s Shannon Lecture Series for 2017, will commence on September 22, 2017. This year’s lecture series looks at Expo 67 as the highlight of Canada’s centennial. A world’s fair held in Montreal, it dazzled the world with its daring architecture, innovative exhibits, and high-minded theme, “Man and His World.” Many Canadians regarded it as Canada’s coming-out party, a moment when the young nation burst into the international limelight and strutted its stuff to universal acclaim. Substitute “Quebec” or “Indigenous Peoples” for “Canada” in the previous sentence and it would be equally true – Expo 67 was a rich, multivalent spectacle that generated diverse messages. In Canada’s 150th anniversary year, the Carleton Department of History is revisiting Expo 67 to reflect upon the meaning of it all. A select group of lecturers will address key topics such as Expo’s intellectual origins, how it became a proud emblem of modernization for both Canadian and Quebec nationalists, its impact on Indigenous rights and culture, and its iconic stature in the histories of architecture and cinema. X out the dates in your calendar to experience exposition by Expo experts that will expand your mind exponentially. Visit the Shannon Lectures website for more information or click the individual event listings below. 
September 22: Gary Miedema: “A Painted Summer Scene: Expo 67 in the Context of Canada in the 1960s” 
October 13: Jean-Philippe Warren: “Quebec as a Woodstock Nation: When counterculture meets mainstream” 
November 3: Carmen Robertson: “Visibility/Invisibility: Art and the Indians of Canada Pavilion at Expo ’67” 
November 17: Inderbir Singh Riar: “Expo 67: Some Notes on Architecture, Nationhood, and Late Modernity” 
December 1: Janine Marchessault: “The Missing Archive of Expo 67”

Free access to Ancestry UK military records

From 19:01 EDT 20 July until 18:59 EDT 24 July, 2017 there's free access to the records in the UK military collection.

  • First World War includes Service Records, Pension Records and War Diaries.
  • WW2 records include Military Campaign Medals, Naval Service Records and British Prisoners of War.
  • Records for earlier conflicts include Casualties of the Boer War, Naval Reserve Records, and the Waterloo Medal Roll.
To view these records you will need to register for free with with your name and email address.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Free Webinar: Journeys Through Time: Discovering Travel & Migration in Old Newspapers

From the British Newspaper Archive, a webinar exploring the themes of travel and migration, where to find passenger lists, news from abroad, as well as the reasons people emigrated, in the extensive BNA collection.

The presenter is BNA Data Content Specialist Mary McKee who holds a Master’s degree in Irish History from Queen’s University in Belfast.

The presentation will be broadcast live at 4pm BST, 11 am EDT and will later be available to replay on-demand.

Register here.

Probability: invaluable for the genealogist

In his latest blog post leading Irish genealogist John Grenham writes that

"Without some idea of how to measure the likelihood of what you’ve found, its place on the scale of probability, it’s very hard to interpret it."
Grenham illustrates with examples from his own experience. He's not (yet) at the stage of fully quantitative assessment, instead advocating a quick search to gain a rough and ready sense of how common name combinations are.

Read his article at

English Blue Plaque for a Home Child

On the 125th Anniversary of his birth, an English Heritage Blue Plaque is being placed on the house where British home child Claude Nunney was born.

19th July 1892 – 18th September 1918
38th Canadian Expeditionary Force
Home Child      
Was born here
Hastings Borough Council
The Blue Plaque is to be unveiled by the Mayor of Hastings with other dignitaries on Wednesday 19 July 2017 at 447 Bexhill Road, Hastings at 1.00 pm.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

85,279 maps of England

From the National Library of Scotland, and free, now complete coverage of 25 inch maps for England. Wonderful detail. Search for a place in your family history, browse around, experiment, and watch the clock if you need to get anything else done.

There's more than England and more than those maps. Start at

Last of the WDYTYA Live DNA presentations

Maurice Gleeson has posted the final video of presentations from WDYTYA2017. It's by Katherine Borges.  As Maurice comments what better way than to have our (ISOGG) Director close the set from the final WDYTYA Live? Katherine discusses the benefits of being a Project Administrator.

You may have noticed I've posted on only a few of the videos from this year's conference. I did check most of them out, but had difficulty with the audio on many. The audio on Katherine's is relatively good.

You can find an archive of all the talk videos for this and previous years at A big thank you is due to Maurice for organizing putting these online, to Debbie Kennett as co-organizer, the volunteer speakers, and to Family Tree DNA for funding the sessions.

Now that WDYTYA Live is no more what next?

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Great Stink: disgusting not deadly

In retweeting a Guardian review of the just released book One Hot Summer. Dickens, Darwin, Disraeli and the Great Stink of 1858, by Rosemary Ashton, Deceased Online asked "Did any of your ancestors die in 1858 as a result of the "Great Stink"? Sadly responsible for the deaths of many Londoners."
I wondered how many, so turned to FreeBMD for statistics.

This bar chart shows deaths registered in the London City registration district from 1850 to 1860. There's an overall decline through the period with the major decrease between 1854 and 1855. While 1858 has the highest death toll of the five year period 1856-60 it's less than for any of the first five years of the decade.
The registration district recorded fewer deaths as a percentage of deaths in England and Wales in 1858 than in any prior year in the decade. That trend continued.

The Great Stink was primarily an event of July and August 1858. Did deaths recorded that year in the London City registration district peak in that period?

No. There were fewer deaths in the third (JAS) quarter, 173, than in the other three. 222 deaths in the second (AMJ) quarter was the next lowest. The district also recorded fewer deaths in the third quarter as a percentage of total deaths in England and Wales than in the other three quarters.

Obnoxious as the smell was during the Great Stink of 1858 in London the impact on mortality, as recorded in the London City registration district, was insignificant.

BBC History Magazine Items

From History Extra, the website of BBC History Magazine, comes an article 10 things you (probably) didn’t know about First World War uniforms. Not much extraordinary, but interesting.

They are also trialling a new audio version of BBC History Magazine, allowing you to listen to many of the articles featured in the July issue. You can download it for free by registering.
"Included in this audio edition is a feature where several leading experts tackle the biggest questions about the medieval Black Death. Meanwhile, Peter H Hansen describes the 19th-century mountaineering tragedy at the Matterhorn. Elsewhere in the audio edition, Frank McLynn considers whether Genghis Khan deserves his reputation as a monster, and James Holland offers a fresh perspective on the events of the 1940 battle of Britain."