Are you looking for a speaker for a genealogy event? Perhaps one or more of the presentations in my portfolio will be of interest. For further information contact me at: johndreid at gmail dot com.
Find Your British Family History in Newspapers
Chances are there is information about your family history recorded in a newspaper that, when discovered, will be news to even the most diligent researcher. That information is usually carefully preserved on microfilm and difficult to access. It may be necessary to visit a British library in person, which can itself be an adventure, or seek assistance from someone local. We explore sources to determine what’s available, and where to find it. However, digital and optical character recognition technology, still imperfect, are now making millions of frames of newspaper microfilm searchable online. Learn how to make best use of digitized newspapers to help your family history search.
The above talk is also available with a Canadian or joint focus
Researching Second World War British Child Evacuees to Canada
With bombing of British cities a long anticipated threat, and later reality, 1,532 children were evacuated to Canada in 1940 under a program operated by the government Children’s Overseas Reception Board. At least twice as many were evacuated under private schemes. They found temporary homes across Canada. Learn about there experiences, and the records available to research them and those who hosted them.
Finding London Burials
Nearly one in five of the population of England and Wales live in London. A much larger fraction of people with British origin have ancestors who at some time lived, and perhaps died, in London. Finding a burial record for Londoners is a challenge, one that is gradually becoming easier as more records become digitized and indexed. Find out how.
Silver Spoon and Short Straw British Migrants to Canada
The presentation provides case studies of two types of migrants to Canada. Some from well to do families were no longer welcome at home. Remittance men existed on monthly cheques sent while they remained overseas. Others, unsuccessful in Britain, made a fresh start finding jobs including in the military and red serge of Canadian police services.
Over 100,000 of Britain’s orphaned, neglected or abused children taken in by the Poor Law system, or charitable organizations like Barnardo’s, considered surplus to Britain’s needs were migrated to Canada where they found homes and employment on farms and as servants.
Finding British Migrants to Canada
Most people in Britain have someone in their family tree who migrated to Canada but don’t know it. Canada was a magnet, a land of opportunity for British migrants for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. That was especially true in the decade before the First World War when Canadian authorities made a marketing push to attract immigrants. The presentation explains the resources available, many free and online, to help you find these lost relatives.
The above talk is for British audiences and was given twice at Who Do You Think You Are? Live.