Saturday, 20 December 2014

Have RootsIreland search restrictions been removed?

I've been using the RootsIreland (www.rootsireland.ie) search today for some personal research, and it seems that some of the search restrictions that were imposed when it went to a subscription model recently have been lifted. I now seem to be able to do searches for children born to 2 parents with needing the child's name, and with a plus or minus year range of 10 years instead of 5. I've tweeted them to ask if they have indeed lifted the restrictions put in, but on today's work, it seems to be much more fit for purpose again. Will bring an update or response if I get one.

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

Friday, 19 December 2014

FindmyPast adds 1871 Worldwide Army Index, and other record sets

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has released a few new UK collections on its site today. The most interesting is a new Worldwide Army Index from 1871, effectively acting as a census substitute for soldiers posted overseas that year (and following on from the already long established 1861 Worldwide Army Index):

Military Records
The 1871 Worldwide British Army Index - British Army Other Ranks & locations contains over 207,000 records compiled using data extracted from the War Office army pay lists held in The National Archives at Kew. As with the 1861 Worldwide Army Index the primary aim has been to identify the location of men serving in the British Army throughout the world as at the 1871 Census day – 2 April 1871. However, the index generally covers much of the June Quarter 1871. The Index contains the details of both officers and men of the Cavalry, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Guards, Infantry and Colonial units serving both in Britain and elsewhere in the British Empire. archives reference.

Also released:
  • England deaths and burials, 1538-1991 contain over 14 million International Genealogical Index (IGI) death and burial records for England
  • Wales, deaths and burials, 1586-1885 contain over 1,200 International Genealogical Index (IGI) death and burial records for Wales (mainly Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire)
  • The Ryedale baptisms contain over 12,000 records listing the details of Baptisms that took place in nine parishes across the Ryedale district in North Yorkshire.
  • Kent, Bexley Asylum Minute Books 1901-1939
  • North West Kent Marriages 1562-1951, Burials 1686-1983, and Baptisms 1560-1962 from the Parish of Westerham.

Further details at http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/fridays/

(With thanks to Alex Cox)

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Scottish poll tax records from 1690s go online

The ScotlandsPlaces website (www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk) has added thousands of Scottish poll tax records online, as held within 88 registers at the National Records of Scotlnd. From the NRS news re3lease:

Poll taxes were imposed in 1694, 1695 and twice in 1698 in order to pay for the Scottish army and navy. Almost 1500 pages of tax records provide a snapshot of thousands of Scots from every walk of life, from cottars to dukes. They complement other historical tax records already available at ScotlandsPlaces in revealing life for ordinary people in late seventeenth century Scotland. From aristocrats to workmen, the Scottish poll tax rolls from the reign of William and Mary reveal an extraordinary range of people who were liable to pay the tax imposed to meet the cost of foreign wars and the defence of the kingdom. Searchable by parish, the tax rolls provide a valuable new resource for social and family history.

For details of the coverage visit ScotlandsPlasces dedicated Poll tax page at www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/news/poll-tax-1694-1698



(And before any local councils get excited, I think any arrears from this lot have long been written off...!)

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

ScotlandsPeople website to be overhauled

The National Records of Scotland (www.nrscotland.gov.uk) is advertising a service contract for a consultancy to redesign the ScotlandsPeople platform at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, which has been running since 2002 under the care of Dundee based DC Thomson Family History (previously Brightsolid). The new site and service is intended to go online to the public in September 2016, with the new service contract running for 4 years, and with an option to extend it by two more (2 x 12 month extensions).

From the tender:

NRS wishes to appoint a service provider to deliver a flexible service which we anticipate will be developed and expanded over the course of the contract. The service provider will deliver web design, application development, search functionality, e-commerce, testing, secure web hosting, infrastructure, website management (including further expansion) and support for the replacement service to support internet access to the official ScotlandsPeople online service (http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk). The replacement service must go live to public users on 1.9.2016, when the current contract expires.

It is expected the new service provider will begin design and development of the new service from August 2015 with all testing phases completed and signed-off by the end of July 2016 in readiness for the new website service to go live on 1 September 2016, ensuring the ScotlandsPeople service to the public is seamlessly maintained from the ‘Go live' date.

The deadline for applicants is January 20th 2015. Full details for the NRS requirements can be viewed at http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:426525-2014:TEXT:EN:HTML&src=0

(With thanks to Design Week at www.designweek.co.uk/latest-opportunities/scottish-family-history-service-to-be-overhauled/3039564.article)

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Ulster Historical Foundation adds eight new databases

The Ulster Historical Foundation has added several new databases to its Ancestry Ireland platform at www.ancestryireland.com including two major new databases for those with Roman Catholic ancestry from Belfast. Here's the detail:

We are thrilled to announce the addition of eight new databases to the members’ section of our website, containing over 36,300 new names.

The largest database is the burial register of Milltown Cemetery in Belfast covering the years 1869 to 1895 and containing over 27,000 names.

Milltown Cemetery, which opened in 1869, is located on the Falls Road in Belfast and is the main Catholic cemetery in Belfast.

The database contains the name, age and address of the deceased as well as the date of burial and is an invaluable resource for researching Belfast ancestors many of whom moved frequently.

In addition to this burial register, we have a database containing over 1,600 names of those who purchased burial plots in Milltown Cemetery between 1924 and 1931, detailing their names and addresses.

We have also added over 5,400 names by townland and parish from the 1803 Agricultural Census for County Down, as well as the names of those subscribing to the publication of the ‘Historic Memorials of the First Presbyterian Church in Belfast’ in 1887 and the names of members of First Derry Presbyterian Church by pew number from the year 1883.

Earlier records which have been transcribed by our volunteers include a petition by residents of the parishes of Kilrea and Tamlaght O’Crilly in County Londonderry which declared the signatories to be opposed to the Jacobite rebellion in Scotland in 1745; a list of those who were restored to their estates in Ireland by King Charles II in 1660 and a list of those people who were issued with transplanters’ certificates in 1653 and 1654 to move to Connaught.

Access to the database is free for members of the Foundation.

(With thanks to the Ulster Historical Foundation)

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Jersey headstone inscriptions added to The Genealogist

It's all been very quiet from TheGenealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk) in terms of any news releases, so I've had a quick look on the site to see what's been happening. The latest news is that some 22,000 records have been added to their Headstone project with inscriptions from 23 cemeteries from the Island of Jersey. Also available are inscriptions from 13 cemeteries from Buckinghamshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, The West Midlands and Wiltshire.

For further details visit www.thegenealogist.co.uk/news/#latest and www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2014/the-hidden-treasures-of-gravestones-209/.

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Games of Crowns exhibition looks at the 1715 Jacobite Rising

The National Library of Scotland is hosting an exhibition as part of the lead up to the three hundredth anniversary of the 1715 Jacobite rising, when Jacobites loyal to James VII  first rose up against the Hanoverian regime, just 8 years after the union of Scotland and England to create the political entity of Great Britain. The exhibition charts the period from 1688, with William of Orange's arrival in England, to the Rising itself. Here's the blurb from the NLS exhibitions page (www.nls.uk/exhibitions) :

Game of Crowns: The 1715 Jacobite rising

10 December to 10 May

Treachery, power struggles, royal in-fighting and religious wrangling are all reflected in the 'Game of Crowns' exhibition at the National Library of Scotland.

The exhibition tells the story of the 1715 Jacobite rising as the 300th anniversary approaches. Using contemporary records, books, maps, portraits and songs, it explains this turbulent period of British history.

One of the documents on display will be the order for the massacre of Glencoe in 1692, when 38 members of the clan MacDonald were slaughtered because of their suspected Jacobite sympathies.

The attempt to restore the Stuart dynasty to the throne ended in defeat with James VIII — the Old Pretender — returning to exile in France. Thirty years later, his son, Bonnie Prince Charlie, suffered a similar fate with the failure of the 1745 uprising.

The exhibition looks in detail at the period from 1688 to 1715 and the fierce contest for Crown of Great Britain, closing with a look ahead to 1745.

For further details visit www.nls.uk/exhibitions/jacobites

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

Friday, 12 December 2014

North Tipperary records added to RootsIreland

Tipperary North Genealogy Centre has added the Roman Catholic parish of Loughmore-Castleiney from 1798-1899 to its database at www.tipperarynorth.rootsireland.ie, also accessible via www.rootsireland.ie.

COMMENT: RootsIreland is a transcript based site, and currently the largest online presence for Irish parish records available. I just wanted to flag up an example of how the site can both hinder and yet help at the same time.

Last week I was trying to locate a marriage from Ulster for a couple that I believed were Church of Ireland in terms of their religious denomination. I had located children from the mid-1860s, but could find no marriage on GRONI's GENI site (www.geni.nidirect.gov.uk), which was odd, as the civil registration of Anglican marriages commenced in April 1845. There was similarly nothing in the Anglican parish records, which I consulted on microfilm in PRONI. As a last resort, I tried to find the marriage on RootsIreland. The couple I was searching for was a Robert McCOLLUM and a Letitia MOONEY, and no such entry was found. However, a Roman Catholic record in the same village dating back to 1850 was located for a couple called Patrick McCOLLUM and Letitia MONEY. It seemed unlikely, but I took a look at the microfilm anyway - and found that the RootsIreland transcript was in fact wrong. Not only was 'Patrick McCOLLUM' in fact a mistranscribed 'Robert McCOLLUM', but 'Letitia MONEY' was in fact recorded in the Catholic register as 'Letty MONEY' - Letty was what she was recorded as in some of the children's records that I had previously found. The fact that it was the right couple was confirmed when I later discovered that their (known about) first daughter was in fact baptised as Roman Catholic also. Not only had the transcriber misinterpreted Robert as Patrick, but he or she, for reasons best known to him/her, had also deliberately changed Letty to the more formal version of Letitia, which is not at all what was recorded in the register.

This flags up two points - the first is that the RootsIreland database can be exceptionally helpful as a finding aid. The second is, however, that it can also make some fairly spectacular mistakes with its transcripts. The moral here is that if using a transcription site (and RootsIreland is but one of many), ALWAYS check the original records if you can also. With Irish Roman Catholic registers this will become certainly much easier to do when the National Library of Ireland places its digitised microfilms online for free next summer 2015.

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

TNA podcast: First World War - putting it all together

A podcast from the National Archives in England that I have overlooked mentioning from November 18th, which may be of interest, is Audrey Collins' hour and ten minute long talk entitled Putting it all together: using archives to discover your community’s involvement in the First World War.

It can be located at http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/first-world-war-community-putting-together-use-archives-piece-together-communitys-involvement-first-world-war/ or downloaded for free from iTunes.

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

Northern Irish Petty Sessions Courts records

Following on from news that FindmyPast has completed the addition of petty sessions court registers for the Republic of Ireland to its site, as sourced from the National Archives of Ireland in Dublin (www.nationalarchives.ie), I've often wondered about the Northern Irish equivalents. Last week, I asked about this at PRONI in Belfast (www.proni.gov.uk). I was advised that the catalogue reference number for these is HA/1/1 up to HA/1/117.

Each collection varies in its coverage - HA/1/1 covers Ahoghill from 1918-1936, whilst HA/1/2 is for Antrim 1840-1980, for example. The HA prefix stands for the Ministry of Home Affairs.

I've not had a chance to play with them yet, so have no idea how easy or difficult they may be to use, or whether they might be indexed, but the easiest way to see what is held is to access the Browse function of PRONI's catalogue, and then under the category of H in the alphabetical list choose HA - the HA series will then be displayed in numeric order in list form.

Whilst records for some of my ancestors' areas disappointingly only seem to start from, or survive from, the early 20th century, Belfast looks particularly promising, with records going back to 1850.

Next time I go over, I'll see if I can find out a bit more!

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!