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June 28, 2017

Unmarked Graves of Barnardo's Homes Children

Barnardo's Homes took in abandoned and orphaned children in England. Most were cleaned up, fed, clothed and photographed on arrival at Barnardo's. Many were sent to homes in Canada and Australia as little more than indentured servants. Some died in the Home. 

Researchers with Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park began research into some of the children who died in Barnardo's and were buried in unmarked graves in the London cemetery. in 2016 photos of the children along with their names and details of their short lives were put online.

See the photos of these lost children at The real Tiny Tims: Remembered at last, the faces of the Barnardo's boys and girls who were consigned to unmarked graves after their lives were tragically cut short by poverty and sickness

Also see 

June 27, 2017

No More Microfilm Ordering from FamilySearch

 On September 1, 2017, FamilySearch will discontinue its microfilm distribution services. That's right - no more ordering film into a local Family History Center.

Before readers react in horror, remember that FamilySearch has made good progress (over 1.5  million films done to date!) on digitizing its microfilm collections, and is continuing to digitize them. Once digitized they are put online.

There are many genealogists, like me, who have NEVER had access to microfilm loans due to no nearby FHC, nor have we been able to access them in Salt Lake City (due to travel and/or expense). But the world has not ended, and we have been able to make great progress on our genealogy.

I'd also like to remind those who think the sky is falling that FamilySearch records are FREE. It surprises me to see complaints about a free service as I am now seeing on Facebook as genealogist are learning of this policy change. We should all be thanking FamilySearch profusely for even creating the microfilms and then working on digitizing them.

And I know I'll get some flack for saying this --- but --- as much as I love genealogy, as much as I am absolutely addicted and obsessed with it --- it's not truly that important in the overall scheme of things. Finding a cure for cancer - that's important. Feeding hungry children - that's important. Figuring out how to have peace in the world - that's important. My suggestion is that we all keep it in perspective.

Just my personal thoughts on this.


Read the full explanation of this policy change on Family History Microfilm Discontinuation


June 26, 2017

Toronto City Directories 1910-1926 Online

Thanks to Gail Dever's article Toronto city directories digitized, 1910 – 1926 I learned that missing city directories for 1910, 1915, 1916, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1925 and 1926 have been digitized and are now searchable online.

The first Toronto directory was published in 1833. Most directories contain an alphabetical list of inhabitants (usually heads of households and others working outside the home), and a list of occupants arranged by street.

Genealogists with Toronto-based ancestors won't want to miss this set of city directories.




June 25, 2017

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 63V

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain.


"Sisters Dickinson Doughtery Mallory Spalker Billyard McNicoll Manchester Wilson Cummings Mills"

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page.

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos"



June 24, 2017

June 23, 2017

Finding Irish Immigrant Girls

Thanks to Sassy Jane Genealogy, I found out about a very nice database. The Watson House Digital Archives has information on Irish immigrant girls who arrived in New York.

The collection includes fully searchable records of the Irish Mission at Watson House 1883-1954. 

Another way to find out more about Irish immigrant girls in New York is to consult Olive Tree Genealogy's New York Almshouse records. In particular the following databases may be of interest:

New York Almshouse Records 1782-1813. Records contain name of ancestor, date admitted, age, where from or born, complaint [illness], discharged, died, remarks. Start with New York Almshouse 1782-1813 Surnames "A" | Surnames B | Surnames C. Other surnames to follow



Almshouse Records New York 1819-1840

Almshouse Records New York City 1855-1858

June 21, 2017

47 Year Old Mystery Solves Murder Victim's Identity

No. 537 grave marker in a potter’s field in Middletown, New York have held unidentified remains for 47 years. An article by Michael Wilson, states "A murdered drug dealer dressed as a man, had lovers of different genders and used several aliases, successfully concealing her identity even well past her death."

Who was the victim and how was her identity revealed? Her burial took place November 7, 1970, her body having been found two weeks earlier. She had no ID and was buried as an unknown person. Many years later, her fingerprints were run through a new database and were matched to a woman arrested several times in the 1960s in Harlem.

I won' t spoil the fascinating tale of how the New York Times solved the mystery using census records, police records and more.  Read the full story in Solved: The 47-Year Mystery of a Murder Victim’s Many Identities