British Pathé releases 85,000 vintage films on YouTube

British Pathé announced yesterday that it has uploaded its entire newsreel collection of 85,000 vintage news reports and cinemagazines to its YouTube channel. More than 3,000 hours of footage are searchable and viewable online. To make searching easier, the archive has been put into categories, from A Day that Shook the World to Weird Newsreels. The news stories vary from the Battle of the Somme and the first flight of the Wright brothers to disasters and movie stars.

These films that span 90 years, from 1896 to 1976, provide genealogists with an opportunity to see what life was like for some of our ancestors. The WWI collection is particularly worth looking at. You can also explore British Pathé’s newsreels on its website.

For more information, read British Pathé’s news release.

British Pathe

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The Book of Negroes being produced as TV miniseries

After I have read a book, I usually donate it to a book sale that raises money for charity. If the story makes a deep impression on me, I keep the book, and that is what I did with Lawrence Hill’s best-selling novel, The Book of Negroes. I have also given this book as a gift and on occasion I have recommended it to slightly startled strangers who were quietly browsing in my local book store. (This book is published in the US under the title Someone Knows My Name.)

Because I so enjoyed this book, I was really pleased to read in a CBC news report that The Book of Negroes will be adapted into a miniseries for television and that shooting begins soon in Nova Scotia. The series will be broadcast in early 2015 on CBC in Canada and on BET in the US. and will star Cuba Gooding Jr. and Louis Gossett Jr.

This book is an especially good read for those who enjoy learning about history. “The novel depicts the life of Aminata Diallo — an African woman who was kidnapped by slave traders in West Africa and sent to South Carolina. She navigates her way through the American Revolution in New York, the isolated refuge of Nova Scotia and the jungles of Sierra Leone in a bid to secure her freedom.”

The Book of Negroes, written by Lawrence Hall

The Book of Negroes, written by Lawrence Hall

While on the subject of Lawrence Hill, I highly recommend his book, Any Known Blood, to genealogists and historians. The story spans five generations in Canada and the US.

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Heritage Canada puts Manitoba parish records online

Blogger Elizabeth Lapointe of GenealogyCanada writes today that Heritage Canada has put some Manitoba parish records online, including those for the Red River Settlement. Three microfilms have been digitized and can be browsed. Ms. Lapointe advises, “Make sure that you read the first few pages before you start you search. It looks like they (are) in alphabetical order, but in case you do not find the person you are looking for, you will have to go page by page to see if the person is there.”

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More than 25,000 18th and 19th-century Quebec Protestant marriages available online

The Drouin Institute announced that all 25,925 of the Drouin Protestant marriages for Quebec, from 1760 to 1849, are available online through subscription in the LAFRANCE section of their website. They have also completed an update for the 1850-1861 baptisms and deaths and this database contains 94,642 records in 61 parishes. The index for the 1913 Catholic marriages has recently been added and links to the original records will follow soon.

A monthly subscription costs $13 and a yearly subscription is $100.

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New Brunswick historical newspapers

Blogger Kenneth R. Marks of The Ancestor Hunt is on a roll this week. In addition to posting a blog item a couple of days ago about historical newspapers available in Ontario and Nova Scotia, yesterday he added New Brunswick newspapers to his list. As for Quebec newspapers, Mr. Marks intends to work on a list soon, despite his difficulties reading French.

Tuesday, I wrote a post about Mr. Marks’ other Canadian historical newspapers lists.

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Free access to Irish newspapers for one day

On her blog, Irish Genealogy News, Claire Santry advises that Irish Newspaper Archives is offering free access to their databases until 11:00 a.m., which I believe is 6:00 a.m. Eastern time,  Thursday, April 17.

Use the codes to gain free access:
Login User: freebie16
Password: freebie16

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Lecture — Loyalist refugees in Quebec’s Eastern Townships

This Thursday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m., the Beaurepaire-Beaconsfield Historical Society presents Michel Racicot who will speak about Loyalist Refugees: The Story of the First Settlers in the Eastern Townships.

The lecture will be delivered in English, followed by a bilingual question period. It takes place at Centennial Hall, 288 Beaconsfield Blvd., Beaconsfield, Quebec.

Free for members or $2 for non-members. Annual membership is $5.

Information: 514-695-2502 or

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