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October 23, 2019

Poor Law Records on Oxfordshire County Council Heritage Search

Oxfordshire County Council Heritage Search is my new find! If you have Oxfordshire ancestors you will want to check this out. For example I searched "removal order" (without using a surname) and got 500 hits in Oxfordshire History Centre - Poor Law Name Index

This is an index of individuals and families named in the Oxfordshire Poor Law records, 1601-1861.

This index contains details of named individuals derived from records created in the administration of the Poor Law in Oxfordshire. The Poor Law was the system for providing a form of social security in operation in England from the 16th century until 1834. Individual parishes were responsible for administering the Poor Law and maintaining paupers and their families. The main types of records created were settlement examinations and certificates, removal orders, bastardy bonds, and apprenticeship indentures. Surviving examples of these records for Oxfordshire parishes are held at the Oxfordshire History Centre.

Also see the Poor Law Union Records online on Olive Tree Genealogy

23 ship names were given with the names of passengers on board. This is a first for most of these ships as no full passenger list is known to exist. Included in this Poor Law Union Immigrants to Canada Project are the names of emigrants for a 15 year period - no ship names were recorded but the researcher may be able to use the dates and years provided to compare with a list of known ship passages to Canada.

October 21, 2019

Oklahoma birth and death records are now searchable online at Ok2Explore
Ok2Explore is a free searchable index of births and deaths that occurred in the state of Oklahoma. Included is limited information on births occurring more than 20 years ago and deaths occurring more than 5 years ago. Indexes are updated each month.

The State of Oklahoma began filing records in 1908, however it was not required by law until 1917. 

Births The earliest birth record on file is 1865.

Deaths The earliest death record on file is 1908.

Visitors to the site may search the index using any combination of the subject’s name, date of event (birth or death), county of event, and sex of the subject.If you find a record of interest you can order a copy online.

October 18, 2019

Found an Ancestor in St. Marys Churchyard Brixham Devon

I just found an ancestor on a site Cowtown Brixham Graveyard that I didn't know existed until today.My 5th great-grandfather William Norman was buried in St. Mary's Church graveyard in Brixham Devon in 1836.

Brixham is divided into two halves, Lower Brixham, known as ‘Fish Town’ and Higher Brixham, known as ‘Cow Town’. Lower Brixham is a working fishing port which many people know as ‘the town of Brixham’. Higher Brixham was the original rural Saxon settlement. A thriving Victorian farming community developed centred around its medieval parish church of St. Mary’s.

A full database search engine website grant was funded by the Heritage Lottery. The database consists of all memorial inscriptions found in St Mary's church and grave yard in 2019. 13,000 names have been entered on the project register.
This is my ancestor's information and next I hope to spot a photo of his tombstone on the section of the site with images.
  • Surname NORMAN
  • First Name WILLIAM
  • Date of Death 21/01/1836
  • Age 80
  • Relationship HUSBAND OF ANN NORMAN
  • Plot PLOT 7 O04
If you are looking for births, marriages or deaths, see Featured Database Brixham Devon Church Records

There is more information photographs, family histories, walks etc on the Cowtown St Mary's 1850-1900 Project on Facebook. 

October 16, 2019

Female Denisovan Face Reconstructed via DNA

It was recently discovered that ancient humans called Denisovans once lived alongside Neanderthals. In 2012 a Denisovan genome was sequenced and it was found that their genes still live in the DNA of some Asians, Australians and Melanesians.

These early humans interbred with Neanderthals and other early humans. Thus their DNA lives on. Through DNA, researchers were able to predict  Denisovan appearance and now a young female Denisovan face has been reconstructed.

See her face, and read more at This is what mysterious ancient humans might have looked like

October 14, 2019

Finding Ancestors in Hearth Taxes

Hearth tax assessments 1667 Essex UK

Hearth Tax Digital is an online searchable database of Hearth Tax records in the United Kingdom. It is an ongoing project and is updated as new counties are completed. You will find both transcripts and databases available.

The website explains Hearth Taxes as:

Hearth taxes were levied in medieval and early modern Europe, notably in France and the Low Countries, but were not levied in the British Isles until the late seventeenth century. Following the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660, the hearth tax was levied in England and Wales from 1662 until 1689 (it continued to be collected in Ireland until the early nineteenth century). It was charged according to the number of fireplaces in dwellings, and it was collected twice each year at one shilling per hearth. It was also levied in Scotland in 1691 with collection lasting until 1695. The hearth tax provides a remarkably rich series of records on population, wealth distribution and poverty in a period of key political, social and economic change.  

The site is maintained by the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities (University of Graz, Austria) and Centre for Hearth Tax Research (University of Roehampton, UK) and supported by the British Academy.

October 11, 2019

A New Look for Canadian Military Heritage

Canadian Military Project is another site I've revamped with a new navigation system and content. The new site is two older sites merged into one clean easy-to-navigate site at
The Canadian Military Heritage Project is dedicated to presenting Canadian military history ~ the wars, uprisings and conflicts in which Canadians participated. Our pages provide historical background as well as genealogy records for each conflict.
These pages will be of interest to educators, students, genealogists, military historians and those who are interested in the stories of the participants themselves.

October 8, 2019

A New Look for

I've finally taken the plunge and have been working very hard on redoing and moving my many websites. Two are now online and I'm pretty excited to share them with you. I've removed dead links and stale content, and replaced those with fresh content and links. I've also designed new navigation (menu) systems to make it easier for visitors to find what they want.

First up is Past Voices. It is still at  Past Voices gives our ancestors a voice – and these voices from the past come alive in their letters. Many letters on Past Voices are from soldiers far from home. Nothing tells the true reality of war more than the simple writings of the common soldier. These poignant letters from lonely men to their mothers, wives or sweethearts will touch your heart.

Check it out for yourself - perhaps you'll find an ancestor's letter or postcard waiting for you!