Monday, 17 September 2018

2nd annual Scottish Genealogy Virtual Conference

From Genealogy Tours of Scotland:

Genealogy Tours of Scotland announces the second annual virtual conference on Scottish Genealogy Research.


The ViC (virtual conference) will launch on Saturday, January 26th, 2019 at 8:30 am Eastern
The line-up of talks and speakers for the day:
  • The Lad o’ Pairts: Patterns of Scottish Migration to Canada, presented by history professor Kevin James
  • “Genealogy in the High Court of Justiciary” presented by archivist Margaret Fox
  • Using Sheriff Court Records for Genealogy Research, presented by genealogist, Emma Maxwell
  • Genealogy Gems in Scottish Poor Law Records, presented by archivist Irene O’Brien
  • An Introduction to LivingDNA, presented by LivingDNA co-founder David Nicholson
  • Family History Resources Available at the NLS, presented by NLS Enquiries Assistant Elaine Brown
  • Online Resources for Scottish Genealogy, presented by genealogy educator Christine Woodcock

Registration fee is just $99.99 (cdn) and allows unlimited access to the talks, handouts and marketplace until midnight (eastern) on January 31st. The live chat will only happen on January 2
*** Virtual "Seats" are limited! For more information or to register:

(With thanks to Christine Woodcock)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Sunday, 16 September 2018

University of Glasgow benefited from the Slave Trade

The BBC has an interesting article online about how the University of Glasgow ( benefited form the Slave Trade, thanks to donations it received in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The amount received in today's money is estimated to be between £16.7m and £198m in value. As a consequence, the university is planning to launch a "reparative justice programme".

The University's Principal, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli said: "Although the university never owned enslaved people or traded in the goods they produced, it is now clear we received significant financial support from people whose wealth came from slavery. The university deeply regrets this association with historical slavery which clashes with our proud history of support for the abolition of both the slave trade and slavery itself."

For more on the story visit

For resources on Scotland and the slaver trade at the National Library of Scotland, see


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

TheGenealogist adds 1910 Valuation Office Survey of Brent

From TheGenealogist (

The 1910 Valuation Office Survey of Brent, released online with annotated maps

TheGenealogist is releasing the third part of its unique online record set, The Lloyd George Domesday Survey. This major resource based on records created for the Valuation Office survey can now be used to find where an ancestor lived in 1910 in the area around Brent. This useful combination of maps and residential data from The National Archives is being digitised by TheGenealogist to bring it online for the first time. These records precisely locate an ancestor’s house on a large scale and extraordinarily detailed hand annotated map so pinpointing the exact property.

Family historians are often confused by modern maps when looking for where ancestors lived as the road names may have changed over time or been rerouted or extinguished. Wartime bombing saw areas razed to the ground. In the 1960s and onwards, developers changed areas of the country out of all resemblance from what our ancestors would have been used to. The passing of time means that searching for where an ancestor lived using websites linked to modern maps can be discouraging when they fail to identify where the old properties had once been. The area released today was still the location of farms and countryside at the time of the Lloyd George Domesday survey - but with the ever encroaching urbanisation of Brent the council moved to buy land to create a park for the future suburb of London.
  • TheGenealogist’s Lloyd George Domesday Survey provides links to individual properties on particularly detailed ordnance survey maps used in 1910
  • Linked to digitised pages from the original Field book often giving a detailed description of the property
  • Allows users to find an address discovered in a census or street directory down to a specific house on the map
  • Fully searchable by name, parish and street.
  • Maps will zoom down to show the individual properties as they existed in 1910

Augmenting the street maps on TheGenealogist are images of the pages from the accompanying Field Books. These can give the researcher detailed information about the property, including the valuation assessment number, map reference, owner, occupier, situation, description and extent.

TheGenealogist’s digitisation of the Lloyd George Domesday Survey is a huge ongoing project with over 94,500 Field Books, each having hundreds of pages to scan with their associated large scale IR121 annotated OS maps. This latest release from TheGenealogist includes these detailed IR58 Field Books that contains a great deal of information about the properties that had been surveyed.

The release this month, covers Brent and joins Barnet, Edgware, Finchley, Friern Barnet, Hendon and Totteridge, plus the City of London and Paddington Index and maps that have previously been released by the company. More areas will be released soon for other London Boroughs and the county of Buckinghamshire.

Find out more at:

You can also read our article about how the Lloyd George Domesday Survey reveals a rural idyll that disappeared into suburbia here:

(With thanks to Nick Thorne)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Stranmillis College evening classes on Irish family history

From the Ulster Historical Foundation (

Our Research Officer, Gillian Hunt, will deliver a 10-week evening class on Irish family history sources at Stranmillis College, Belfast from Tuesday 18th September 2018 (7pm-9pm)

She will be covering topics such as census, civil and church records, estate papers, wills, school registers and land and valuation records.

To book please contact the Lifelong Learning office on 028 9038 4345 or via email

(With thanks to the UHF)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Irish Lives Remembered issue 41 now available

The Summer Edition of Irish Lives Remembered is available to view now.

This issue, Fiona Fitzsimons and Stephen Peirce look at the Family History of John Cusack and we have lots more fantastic articles for you to enjoy, such as:

Paul McCotter on the O'Mahony surname;
Dr. Maurice Gleeson on genetic genealogy;
Ned Kelly on the Inauguration Stone of Mac Aonghusa;
Patrick Roycroft attends the Cambridge History of Ireland book launch;
Nathan Mannion on Sporting Royalty - the Casey's of Kerry;
Catherine McAuley lets us know what tales are in her attic;
Reader Ann Shelley tells the story of her Great-Great-Grandmother;
Niall Cullen from Findmypast lets us in on 6 unique FMP resources for finding your Irish Ancestors;
Writer Patricia O'Sullivan on Newmarket (Cork) and the Foundation of the Hong Kong Police Force;
Review of the Journal of the Medal Society of Ireland's 100th issue;
Jayne Shrimpton's Photo-Detective;
Patrick’s Page with Patrick Roycroft; and
Ask Genie, our family history agony aunt.

Access the magazine online at

(With thanks to Eneclann)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Ancestry's medal index cards free access until November

From Ancestry (


Mark the centenary by finding your family’s WWI story 

As we honour the centenary of the Great War, our thoughts turn to the last, deciding battles. This week marks 100 years since the start of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line.

A key turning point in the war-ending Hundred Days Offensive, the Hindenburg battles led to the collapse of Germany’s main defensive lines on the Western Front, and the enemy’s realisation that war must end.

Discover your ancestor’s experiences of these key battles in more than 30 million WWI records at Ancestry. Just about everybody who fought received some sort of medal as recognition. That means that our Medal Rolls Index Cards, free until November*, are a great place to start, as they form a virtual roll call of the British Army during the War.

*Medal Index rolls are free to access until 11 November 2018. Registration required. Terms apply.

The collection is accessible at


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

A week to go before Scottish Research Online course starts

There's just a week to go until the next 5 week long Scottish Research Online from Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Limited starts on September 24th, but there are still spaces available. The course was originally designed many years ago by Canadian genealogist Sherry Irvine, but has been constantly updated and taught by yours truly ever since 2011 to keep pace with ongoing online developments.

Each week I send out a lesson by email at the start of the week, and on the following Sunday we have an online discussion session for an hour to discuss its contents, answer questiuons etc. There is also a dedicated forum through the run of the course, where you can ask questions at any time. 

Here's the course description:

Scottish Research Online (102)
Tutor: Chris Paton

Scotland was first to have major records digitized and offer indexes and images online. It has also been a leader in placing resource information on the World Wide Web. This course describes the major sites, the types of information and data that they offer, the forms in which databases are presented and how to analyze results. You will learn to lay the foundations for searching a family, how to select best resources and what to do next either online or in libraries and archives.
Lesson Headings:
  • Scotlands People, Family Search, Ancestry, FreeCen: content, comparison, assessment
  • Essential Maps and Gazetteers
  • Civil Registration and Census Research Online
  • Searching in Church of Scotland Registers Online
  • Scottish Wills and Inventories Online
  • Take It From Here

Note: it is recommended but not required that students in this course sign up for the basic search option, 30 units/seven days, at ScotlandsPeople (cost is seven pounds)

Each lesson includes exercises and activities; a minimum of 1 one-hour chat s See How the Courses Work.

STUDENTS SAID: "I particularly liked the fact that the course didn't just focus on the well-known BMD resources available, but on a much wider range of websites, including many which give extremely useful background information on the geography and history of the localities where our ancestors lived."

"a very knowledgeable Instructor"

Relevant Countries: Scotland

This course is offered twice annually.

Course Length: 5 Weeks
Start Date: 24 Sep 2018
Cost: £49.99

To sign up, please visit - and I will hopefully see you there!


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Three new projects for the World Archives Project

Latest additions to Ancestry's World Archives Project (

The Australia, Newspaper Vital Notices, 1841-2001 will be familiar as we have keyed similar newspaper projects in the past. There will be some image sets without records to index – we opted for fewer images/image set so the indexing didn’t become overwhelming. Questions can be asked on the message board or sent to

On to the Ukraine with the USHMM – Ukraine, Applications for ID for the Citizens of Stanislav, 1939-1945 records. These records are in Ukranian and can be difficult to read – for this reason this project is advanced. Questions can be asked on the message board or sent to

And finally we land in the UK with the West Midlands, England, Criminal Registers. Criminal records are always fun and these are even moreso as many have images. There are quite a few different record formats so reviewing the sample images will be helpful. Questions can be asked on the message board or sent to

Happy indexing!

(Original source:


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Ancestry upgrades its DNA ethnicity profiles

Ancestry ( has announced an upgrade to its ethnicity estimates for Europe and Asia today "through a new algorithm that analyzes longer segments of genetic information, marking an important evolution in the way we interpret DNA data".

I'll be honest - I get bored rigid reading about ethnicity estimates from DNA testing companies, because every one of them tells you something different. And so on that front, I'll say no more other than that you can find Ancestry's press release at

Comment: Ancestry already impresses me immensely with its cousin matching facility - absolutely superb. If it wants to further impress me, ADD A CHROMOSOME BROWSER!!!!!

Come on lads, ye know ye want to...! :)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Major DNA service developments from MyHeritage

New DNA announcements from MyHeritage (

Announcement 1:

MyHeritage supports 23andMe V5 and Living DNA uploads

If you’ve tested your DNA already, we have good news for you, please read on. If you haven’t taken a DNA test yet, we invite you to check out the MyHeritage DNA kit which is now offered at a very affordable price.

Since 2016, MyHeritage has allowed users who have tested their DNA already to upload their DNA data from Ancestry, 23andMe and Family Tree DNA, providing DNA matches and ethnicity estimates on MyHeritage for free.

However, previously MyHeritage did not support the upload of tests based on the chip called GSA (Global Screening Array), that is used by 23andMe (V5), and by Living DNA. Recent improvements to our DNA algorithms allow us to support DNA data processed on GSA chips, and so we’re happy to update you that MyHeritage now supports 23andMe V5 and Living DNA data uploads, in addition to data uploads from all major DNA testing services, including Ancestry, 23andMe (up to V5) and Family Tree DNA (Family Finder).

Upload your DNA data to MyHeritage now — it’s fast and simple. If you upload now, you will get full access to DNA Matching, Ethnicity Estimates, our industry-leading chromosome browser, and more, for FREE.

If you manage additional DNA kits for some of your relatives, and you have their permission, upload their DNA data too, and MyHeritage will let you associate the data with the respective individuals on your family tree.

As of December 1st 2018, our DNA upload policy will change: DNA Matching will remain free for uploaded DNA data, but unlocking additional DNA features will require an extra payment for DNA files uploaded after this date. All DNA data that was uploaded to MyHeritage in the past, and all DNA data that is uploaded now and prior to December 1, 2018 will continue to enjoy full access to all DNA features for free. These uploads will be grandfathered in and will remain free.

So it’s a great idea to upload DNA files for any kits you have as soon as possible. You’ll get the following benefits:

DNA Matches
DNA Matches are other users on MyHeritage from all around the world who are likely to be your relatives based on shared DNA. MyHeritage has a very strong user base in Europe so you are likely to get more DNA Matches from Europe than on any other DNA service. This is very useful if you have ancestors from Europe.

Ethnicity Estimate
A percent breakdown of your ethnic background from among 42 ethnicity regions. You’ll learn which places your ancestors came from.

Chromosome Browser
Helps you understand how you’re related to your DNA Matches by identifying DNA segments that you share with them. MyHeritage’s Chromosome Browser is considered by many experts to be the best in the industry.

After uploading, your DNA data will be kept private and secure, and our DNA service terms are the friendliest in the industry. You remain the owner of your DNA data — not us — and you can delete your DNA data at any time.

So don't delay, and upload your DNA data to MyHeritage now, while all the DNA features are free (and they will remain free for you). If you have tested with 23andMe (any version including V5) or Living DNA, you're in luck, and you can now upload this data to MyHeritage too. You can also upload DNA data from Ancestry and Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder test. Instructions for exporting your data and uploading it to MyHeritage are provided on our upload page.

P.S. We are currently processing the large backlog of 23andMe V5 kits that have been uploaded to us in the past, and their results will be rolled out to the users gradually within the next few days.

Full blog post: full blog post here:

Announcement 2:

MyHeritage Partners with British Retailer WHSmith to Distribute DNA Kits

Tel Aviv, Israel & London, United Kingdom, September 7, 2018 — MyHeritage, Europe’s leading service for DNA testing and family history, announced today the launch of a retail partnership with WHSmith. This marks the first partnership of its kind for MyHeritage in the UK, and the first time that MyHeritage DNA tests will be available for purchase in retail stores in Europe.

Under the new partnership WHSmith distributes a unique product named MyHeritage Family History Discovery Kit, which bundles MyHeritage’s popular at-home DNA test with 3 months of access to MyHeritage’s suite of premium online genealogy services. This allows consumers to receive detailed ethnicity reports and connect with their relatives around the world through the power of DNA testing, and to utilize MyHeritage’s 9-billion-strong collection of historical records and family tree tools to embark on a journey to uncover their family history.

The distribution of the kits via local retail stores caters to the surging demand for at-home DNA testing throughout Europe, and in the UK in particular. The affordable price of the MyHeritage Family History Discovery Kit available through WHSmith, £89, makes it an ideal gift for the Christmas season ahead.

The MyHeritage DNA test is notable for its ease of use. It involves a simple 2-minute cheek swab. In addition to the DNA test, the Family History Discovery Kit comes with 3 months of access to MyHeritage’s Complete plan, which includes all family tree features and historical records on MyHeritage, seamlessly integrated with the DNA test results.

“Interest in DNA testing and family history research in the UK market has skyrocketed lately,” said Akiva Glasenberg, MyHeritage’s Business Development Manager. “We have created a unique bundled product to satisfy this need and are pleased to offer it to UK consumers through selected WHSmith High Street stores. Customers can look forward to discovering their ethnic origins and family history and making use of MyHeritage’s vast DNA database and historical record collections to make new connections with their relatives in the UK and overseas.”

The MyHeritage Family History Discovery Kits are on sale in 200 WHSmith High Street stores, as well as online via

(With thanks to Daniel Horowitz)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at