Latest Ancestry Video

This latest video from Ancestry has the well known genealogist, Crista Cowan taking viewers “Beyond The Shaky Leaf”. Many genealogists will be familiar with the little green leaves that shake at you from the online Ancestry family trees, but what do they mean and how can they add to your research? Crista answers these questions and offers advice on making the most of the  hints that the green leaves represent.

Canada 1921 Census

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Ancestry has added the1921 census for Canada to it’s Canadian and Worldwide Collection. Many people emigrated from the British Isles to Canada in search of a better life and more opportunities to further themselves. Some came back, but many stayed so it is always a good idea to run family names through the Canadian Collection to see if anyone familiar shows up. In fact the population of Canada rose by 1,581,840 between the 1911 and the 1921 census so all those people belong on someone’s family tree !

Fully indexed the census is easy to search, simply put in family names and press “search”. The information collected by the Canadian authorities was much more extensive than the English census so many details of the person can be discovered.

Well worth running family names through, enjoy this more recent census.


Canterbury Archive Collection online

Just a couple of hours ago FindMyPast announced the launch online of the Canterbury Collection. This is a major addition to their offerings for Kent and is a significant archive to have as a partner.

What is the Canterbury Archive Collection?

The Canterbury Collection is housed in the Canterbury Cathedral Archives which at the present time is undergoing extensive building works and is closed until the autumn of Canterbury Archive Collection online2012. The archive holds records relating to the cathedral and city of Canterbury, Kent, the parishes within the historic Archdeaconry of Canterbury, other local institutions and local family archives. A catalogue of their holdings is online at

FindMyPast and the Canterbury Archives announced their partnership earlier this year and it has meant that whilst the archives are closed the material is still available for research. Also, of course, it means that those who are unable to visit Canterbury can now have access to the documents. The documents released today are of the parish registers of the churches within the Archdeaconry, and is of scanned images not transcripts so it is as good as being at the archives. The images at the present time have not been indexed, but it is hoped that indexes will be available later this year.

What can you expect to find in the Canterbury Archive Collection?

A lesson on parish registers can be found at Mad About Genealogy’s sister site Teach Yourself Family History, this lesson explains what details the records will contain at what time period.

How to use the Canterbury Archive Collection.

The collection is available on which is one of the major subscription website. The records will also be available at the Canterbury Cathedral Archives once they reopen in the autumn. It would be wise to phone the archives first to ascertain when the archives will be re-opened and to book a seat in the reading room as space is limited.

Canterbury Archive Collection online

Because the images have not been indexed the “old” way of researching will have to be employed. The parish will need to be identified as the most likely place for the event to have occurred and the time period that it would have happened in. Then it is a case of reading through the register page by page. This won’t be as onerous as it sounds as the registers make fascinating reading.

The time period covered is 1538 – 2005, but of course this period will vary parish to parish depending on when the church was built and if the records have survived.

So if you have ancestors in Canterbury Archdeaconry of Kent then this collection certainly merits time spent researching.


Genealogy Snippets 11 July 2012

Genealogy Snippets are short news items that I think you would want to hear about sooner rather than later.

1. Family Search has just put online 76 million new records, those guys never do things in small numbers !! Amongst the countries covered are Canada, Ireland and New Zealand.

2. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has added more books to their collection. These items are only available for viewing at the library. For a list of the books click on

3. FindMyPast has just added to it’s Kent collection with 12,832 burials from Greenwich, Kent. Greenwich is on the edges of London so if you are missing someone in London then it would be worthwhile searching in the Kent collection for them. Date range is 1748 – 1793.

4.FindMyPast has also added to its Wales Collection, this time it is for the parish of Llanymawddwy, Mallwyd. Baptisms 1568 – 1894, Marriages 1568 – 1837 and Burials 1813 – 1888.

Think that is all the snippets for today, but I have just seen that Find My Past has just put up a major collection and that deserves a full post.

Online Parish Clerk

What is Online Parish Clerk?

Online Parish ClerkOnline Parish Clerk was created in 2000 over a pint of beer in a pub in Cornwall by Michael McCormick, David Stick, and Paul Brewer. They envisaged a scheme whereby a person would take charge of a county and enlist volunteers who would adopt a parish and then proceed to transcribe any and all the documents that would be useful to family historians researching ancestors from that parish. The resulting transcripts and information would then be place online with each county having a separate website.

What is the coverage of Online Parish Clerk?

Not all counties are covered by Online Parish Clerk and the overall coordinators for the whole scheme are always looking for people to take on counties not yet covered. The counties that are covered are

Cornwall Cumberland Devon
Dorset Essex Hampshire
Lancashire Leicestershire  
Kent Somerset Sussex
Warwickshire Westmoreland Wiltshire


What can you find on Online Parish Clerk?

Online Parish Clerk

The list of items that have been indexed,  transcribed and place online is almost endless. Parish registers, Bishops Transcripts, Wills, Indexes, Bastardy Bonds, War Memorial lists, Monumental Inscriptions, and much more.

Taking the parish of All Cannings, Wiltshire, including the hamlet of Allington, as an example this is what is offered online

  • 3 x photographs of All Saints Church & Allington Bethal Strict Baptist Chapel
  • A list of Contiguous Parishes
  • A link to six external websites which have information on All Cannings
  • Three wills of parishioners of All Cannings
  • Knights Compositions 1628
  • Poll of Freeholder 1772
  • Bastardy Examinations 1865 – 1878
  • Casualties of WW1
  • Where the original parish registers are held and for what time period
  • Transcripts of Baptisms 1578 – 1680, 1689 – 1812
  • Marriages 1578 – 1685, 1700 – 1812
  • Banns 1755 – 1805
  • Burials 1578 – 1812
  • Notes from parish registers 1578 – 1848
  • Monumental Inscriptions from the Strict Baptist chapel

It can be seen that a wide range of records have been transcribed for this parish.

If your county and parish are covered by the online parish clerk scheme then I recommend that you take a look and see what is on offer.

For a more in-depth lesson on using the Online Parish Clerk go to the Madaboutgenealogy sister site at