Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Crowdfunding map digitization

The British Library have opened at campaign seeking support to unlock King George III’s personal map and views collection, over 1,000 maps and views of London and "one of the world's most important and beautiful map collections."
They aim to raise a total of £100,000 to catalogue, conserve and digitise all the London maps and views with £10,000 of the total coming from donors and enthusiasts.
Read more and donate at

St George's Day

A Mummers play in celebration of this day, St George's Day and Shakespeare's birthday.


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Now you'll know

Peter Munro correctly identified the list of nicknames published a few days ago as British Army regiments.  More specifically they were in the war of 1812 in Canada. They are:

The Holy Boys: The Royal Norfolk Regiment, recruited from East Norfolk
Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard: The Royal Scots, recruited from Berwick
The Elegant Extracts: The Royal Fusiliers (City of London)
The Vein-Openers: Worcestershire Regiment (Worcestershire and Herefordshire)
The Devil's Own: Connaught Rangers (Ireland and Scotland).

FamilySearch adds additional Essex and Bristol parish transcripts

There are now 1,022,771 records, updated from the 537,556 records available since December, in the FamilySearch collection of transcribed parish registers for various Essex parishes, 1538-1900. Further information, and a list of parishes with dates included is at
Also 724,809 transcribed Bristol parish register entries for the same period are now available, updated from January. A detailed list of parishes covered, but not dates, is at

Monday, 21 April 2014

Our (Ottawa) Heroes in The Great World War

While researching WW1 soldiers buried at Beechwood Cemetery last week at the Ottawa City Archives Harriet Fried drew "The Blue Book" to my attention.
The content is well described by the extended title "Our Heroes in (of) The Great World War: Giving facts and details of Canada's part in the greatest war in history,  including photoengravings of Officers, Nurses, Non-commissioned Officers  and Men from Ottawa, Ontario, and vicinity. Compiled by J. H. Dc Wolfe the history of the war is interspersed with pages of photos and mini-bios of many from the area who served. It's not comprehensive, a few war causalities buried at Beechwood are not included.

You don't have to go the City Archives to read it. Find a digitised copy, not nearly as good resolution as the hard copy I viewed, on the Internet Archive at

Top centre in the image is Nursing Sister Minnie Gallagher, a wartime fatality who will be one of those featured in the Beechwood Cemetery Historical Walking Tour in June.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Do you know?

Recognize these?

The Holy Boys
Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard
The Elegant Extracts
The Vein-Openers
The Devil's Own

What do they have in common?

Free admission to the Ottawa Zoomer show

BIFHSGO, the Ontario Genealogical Society, and the City of Ottawa Archives will share a booth at the Ottawa Zoomer Show on April 26 and 27 at the Ernst & Young Centre, 4899 Uplands Drive.

250 free tickets are allocated to society members. Below is the link to get a free ticket. CARP members will have received notice of free admission.

Print off the tickets for free admission to the show at:

For more information on the show:  Scroll down to see a floor plan and a list of the other exhibitors.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Primrose Day and a census odditity

April 19 was for many years unofficially commemorated as Primrose Day in Britain. Lord Beaconsfield, (Benjamin Disraeli,) died that day in 1881. Primroses, his favourite flowers, were placed on his grave, at his statue in Parliament Square, and worn by admirers.

His name was coupled with that of Sir John A Macdonald, both were considered outstanding Conservative leaders. Although Disraeli was not yet Prime Minister when the British North America Act which founded Canada was approved by the British Parliament, he was the leader of the government in the Commons and so must surely have had a substantial role.

Disraeli appears in the 1881 census, taken not long before his death, listed by his title, The Earl of Beaconsfield, with occupation ex-Prime Minister. Someone in the census office was obviously an admirer. When in genealogy class they tell you the 1881 census didn't recorded deaths show them this curiosity - a snippet from the census document with a R.I.P. scrawled beside the entry.

WW1 Beechwood Burials: Calvin Bezley

On this date in 1920 Private Calvin Bezley, serving with the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles, passed away from scarlet fever.

According to an Ottawa Journal article from 20 April 1920 he had recently undergone an operation on his spine following a shrapnel wound at Cambra(i) where he laid for two days before being brought in. The shrapnel was removed but he was paralyzed.

He was born in Toronto on 17 (18) October 1883 the son of George and Annie (Neil) Bezley. Prior to enlisting on 22 January 1918 he had been a clerk in the forestry industry.

He had three brothers and seven sisters including Mrs A Wall whose address, 559 King Edward Avenue, is in the Beechwood register. His aunt, Mrs T Bezley lived at 92 Wilbrod Street in Ottawa.