Monday, 16 January 2017

Talks tour to New Zealand and Australia in 2017

Hi everyone and apologies that I've been away from this blog for a few days. I have some major developments on a couple of fronts currently happening at my end, which has kept me unbelievably busy, which I will be in a better position to discuss in the near future. In the meantime, here's news of another major development affecting what I will get up to later in the year...

So brace yourself Australia and New Zealand - I'm heading back down under again in August! And this time I'll be there for Family History Month!


From August 8th to 26th I am participating in another Unlock the Past talks tour of Australian cities, and in an expo organised by Auckland Library, in which I will be accompanied by fellow genie Dirk Weissleder, an expert in German genealogy (www.forum-familiengeschichte.de). The following is the current schedule proposed for the event:

BRISBANE - Tue-Wed 8-9 Aug
Kedron-Wavell Services Club, Chermside South - 9am-4.30pm each day

AUCKLAND - Fri-Sun 11-13 Aug (Auckland expo organised by the Auckland Library)
Fickling Convention Centre, Three Kings, Auckland

SYDNEY - Tue-Wed 15-16 Aug
Parramatta RSL, Parramatta - 9am-4.30pm each day

MELBOURNE - Fri-Sat 18-19 Aug
Veneto Club, Bulleen - 9am-4.30pm each day

CANBERRA - Mon 21 Aug
venue to be advised - 9am-4.30pm

ADELAIDE - Wed-Thu 23-24 Aug - Adelaide
The German Club, Adelaide - 9am-4.30pm each day

PERTH - Sat 26 Aug - Perth
venue to be advised - 9am-4.30pm


Program

Each city will have a two-stream program

Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide
- British Isles stream one day – headed by Chris Paton
- European/German stream the other day – headed by Dirk Weissleder
Canberra and Perth - both streams the same day in two separate theatres
Auckland - Chris and Dirk will be key presenters in the wider expo program

Supporting presentations will be given by major libaries and societies in each city.

Full details and booking form for each city to come

COMMENT: I'm very much looking forward to returning, particularly to Auckland, whilst my visit to Sydney in particular will be the third time that I'll have spoken in the Parramatta RSL - so I'm guessing I might even qualify for residency soon!

Keep an eye on the Unlock the Past website at www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/researching-abroad-british-isles-and-germanyeurope for more developments, as well as for biographies on both myself and Dirk, and I will of course update this blog in due course. 


It's going to be a lot of fun - see you there!

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Friday, 6 January 2017

FindmyPast completes Irish petty sessions court registers

Following on from the release of a further 900,000 more dog license register records from Ireland last week, FindmyPast has now completed the Petty Session Court Registers collection for the country, with the addition of 227,000 more records. A list of courts records previously available in the collection is available at http://www.findmypast.ie/articles/world-records/full-list-of-the-irish-family-history-records/institutions-and-organisations/petty-sessions-order-books-1842-1913 but I have absolutely no idea what is in the update, as FindmyPast has not actually indicated what court records have been added. Their blog merely states the following:


Ireland, Petty Sessions Court Registers

Over 227,700 new records have been added to complete our collection of Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers. Petty Sessions handled the bulk of lesser criminal and civil legal proceedings in Ireland. Now the largest collection of Irish court & prison records available anywhere online, there over 22.8 million records in the collection. They include details of victims, witnesses and the accused, such as address, date in court, details of the offence, details of the verdict and the sentence...

...before going into a general description of the records. It is great that these are online, but would it honestly hurt to actually inform us about what is actually new, other than the total of names included?

Other collections released today include:
  • Dorset Memorial Inscriptions
  • Warwickshire Burials
  • Northumberland & Durham Monumental Inscriptions
  • Ireland, Society Of Friends (Quaker) Congregational Records

Details - such as they are! - are at https://blog.findmypast.co.uk/findmypast-friday-january-05-2017-2180504219.html.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Asiatic Annual Register records indexes on FIBIS

The Families in British India Society has added indexes to birth, marriage and death records from the Asiatic Annual Register for the years 1806 and 1807 to its online database at http://search.fibis.org/frontis/bin/aps_browse_sources.php?mode=browse_components&id=1038 - adding to the entries already indexed from 1798-1801 and 1815. The records have been indexed by Pat Sewell and S. Seager.

Note that several editions of The Asiatic Annual Register; or, A view of the history of Hindustan, and of the politics, commerce and literature of Asia from 1799-1810/11are freely available to view on The Internet Archive (www.archive.org).

(With thanks to Valmay Young)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy book on sale in Canada

Another quick note here to say that I have also noticed that my latest Unlock the Past guide book, A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, released last August in Australia, is now also available for sale in Canda from Global Genealogy at http://globalgenealogy.com/countries/england/resources/2590289.htm, priced at CAN$18.

Here's the blurb!

You've decided that you want to trace your British and Irish family history, but have absolutely no idea where to start. If only there was a handy beginner's guide...?

In this Unlock the Past guide, genealogist Chris Paton takes you through the key record sets that will help you get underway with your family history research. He will introduce you to the family history societies and archives that can assist your efforts, and provide a little context to the ancestral landscape within which your ancestors once lived, and into which you will soon be immersed. Along the way he will point out some of the major differences in record types to be found in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and the Crown Dependencies of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

In each chapter Chris also provides a steer towards further books which can further develop your skills as you become more experienced with the subject matter, making this an invaluable introduction.

Warning – once you get started with your family history research, you will never stop...!

And the contents list:

Introduction
Acknowledgements
1. Researching your family tree
- Documentary sources
- Gateways
- Record your finds
- Gadgets
- Brick walls
- Overcome mistakes
- Question everything
- Make your ancestors real
- Damn the rules!
- Further reading
2. Civil registration records
- Basic information
- England and Wales
- Scotland
- Ireland
- Certificate exchange sites
- Further reading
3. Parish registers
- Baptisms
- Marriages and banns
- Burials and deaths
- Locating state church records
- Records of church governance
- Non-conformist churches
- Further reading
4. Monumental inscriptions
- English and Welsh gravestones
- Scotland
- Ireland
- Further reading
5. Cenuses
- What censuses contain
- Online records
- Scotland
- Ireland
- Census substitutes: directories
- Further reading
6. Wills and testaments
- Forms of estate
- Probate and confirmation
- England and Wales
- Recent wills
- Scotland
- Ireland
- Further reading
7. Maps and gazetteers
- Modern maps
- Ordnance Survey maps
- Other maps
- Gazetteers
- Further reading
8. Occupations
- Ancestral context
- Understand the job
- Newspapers
- Dig deeper
- Further reading
9. Societies, archives and libraries
- Umbrella bodies
- National societies
- Special interest groups
- Archives
- Catalogues
- Libraries
- Further reading
10. Social networking
- Facebook and Twitter
- Blogs
- Message boards and forums
- Family tree networks
- Further reading
11. DNA tests
- Types of DNA
- Testing companies
- Further reading
Appendix: The Crown Dependencies
- Isle of Man
- The Channel Islands
Index

For details of all of my genealogy books, and how and where to purchase them, please visit the Books section of this blog at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Enjoy!

Chris
 
For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Discover Scottish Church Records 2nd edition - on sale in UK

A quick note to say that my book Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition) is now on sale from Yorkshire based My History at http://www.my-history.co.uk/acatalog/Discover-Scottish-Church-Records-UTP0281A.html#SID=876. Released last year in Australia and Canada, it now joins several other titles available in the UK from both myself and other Unlock the Past writers.

For a sneak preview of the title, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/kirk-history.html, where you can read the first chapter for free, and get the heads up on what else to expect within the book. I should add that of all the books I have written for Unlock the Past so far, this is one of my faves, as it includes a great deal of material and topics that I have not seen covered in other Scottish genealogy guides.

The range of Unlock the Past books available from My History can be browsed at http://www.my-history.co.uk/acatalog/Unlock-the-Past-Booklets.html. I hope they can help with your research!

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

ScotlandsPeople's New Year records update

From ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk):

Entries from important statutory records have been released today onto ScotlandsPeople; the family history website operated by the National Records of Scotland.

Digital images of 110,000 birth entries from 1916, more than 47,000 marriage entries from 1941 and 64,000 death entries from 1966 are now available for members of the public to search, view and save, no matter where they are in the world.

Three entries give details relating to the lives of three Scots of note. These are:

* The birth of Jessie Grant Kesson (nee McDonald) (1916 – 1994), who wrote The White Bird Passes. Born in Inverness on 29 October 1916, Kesson rose from humble beginnings to become an acclaimed author receiving honorary degrees from both the University of Aberdeen and the University of Dundee.

* An entry detailing the birth Jack Milroy (1915 -2001), the Scottish comedian, who was born James Cruden on 28 December 1915 in Govanhill, Glasgow. Being born so near to the end of the year, Jack’s birth was not registered by his father until 17 January 1916. Jack Milroy was best known for his double act with comedy actor Rikki Fulton. Jack played Francie in the famous comedy duo Francie and Josie.

The death record entry for Alexander Carrick, RSA (1882 – 1966), one of Scotland’s leading monumental sculptors of the early twentieth century. Carrick’s extensive body of work includes war memorials include those at Fraserburgh, Berwick and Killin in Perthshire.

The 1941 marriage records reveal the details of those wed in wartime Scotland including one couple whose union was cut tragically short by the Clydebank blitz in 1941. They were married from just one month.

Alexander Clarkson and Margaret O’Donnell, were married on 12 February 1941 in a civil ceremony by the Registrar in the district of Old Kilpatrick. Sadly, Margaret was killed when the Benbow Hotel where Alexander and Margaret were residents was hit by a bomb on the evening of 13 March, leaving only the shell of the building.

Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“The releases of these records give us a richer understanding of Scotland’s story and our people. The marriage certificates from the early '40s in particular provide further insight into the consequences of the Second World War, and how it affected the things we take for granted today.

“I’d encourage anyone interested in finding out more about their local history or genealogy to have a look at the wealth of records now available as part of our new ScotlandsPeople website. No matter where you are in the world, you can instantly find out more about your own personal story.”

The new version of the ScotlandsPeople website launched in September 2016; it has experienced an average 3.4 million site views a year and around 1 million unique users since its launch in 2002.

Since September, visitors to ScotlandsPeople can now search statutory record indexes including birth, death and marriage certificates for free. Users are now only charged if they wish to view or download a record image.

The records will be released at 09.30 GMT on Thursday 5 January.

(With thanks to Richard Holligan)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

An Outlander family tree

A wee treat if you are an Outlander fan - I've just found that an Outlander family tree is available at http://content.randomhouse.com/assets/9780440246442/view.php?id=ohb001, as part of the extended ebook content for the eighth book in the series, Written in My Own Heart's Blood. It can be downloaded in PDF format from the link.


Outlander starts off as a fantasy time travel series involving an English nurse who mysteriously travels back in time through a stone circle near Inverness to the year just prior to the 1745 Jacobite Rising in Scotland. It is currently being produced as a television series, and just last night I finished watching the last episode of the second series on Amazon Prime. It is unfortunate that a series that is providing Scotland such worldwide attention has still yet to be broadcast terrestrially in our own country, despite being filmed here and set here, but if you have yet to see it, it is well worth getting it on DVD/Blu-Ray, or watching it on Amazon. It is of course a fantasy series - and has occasional hiccups on the historical front! - but I have yet to meet a genie that hasn't become a fan.

My three times great gran was a Fraser from Inverness, Janet or Jessie Fraser, who lived from about 1816 to 8 MAY 1860. Sadly she committed suicide by throwing herself into the Caledonian Canal, following the death of her own daughter, who tragically died whilst giving birth. Janet was buried in an unmarked grave, and had no parental details recorded on her death record, making her a current brick wall in my research. I still have a few threads to pull on, however, so haven't given up the ghost yet - I'll let you know in due course if I find a connection to Lallybroch...! :)

Incidentally, if you want to take a look at the real family tree of Fraser of Lovat, there are plenty of good references online - see https://archive.org/stream/historicalaccoun1825ande#page/62/mode/2up for example.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Plans to commemorate Passchendaele centenary

From the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (www.cwgc.org), an announcement of plans to commemorate the centenary of Passchendaele:

They called it Passchendaele: Government unveils plans to mark centenary of The Third Battle of Ypres
4,000 tickets available to attend centenary commemorations

Descendants of those who fought at the Third Battle of Ypres will be invited to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission(CWGC) Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium to mark the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele, the Culture Secretary Karen Bradley announced today, 3 January, 2017.

Opening the public ballot for tickets, she revealed the Government’s plans to mark both the centenary of Passchendaele on 31 July 2017 and the four years of war on the Ypres salient.

The commemoration of the Third Battle of Ypres, commonly known as Passchendaele, will start with a traditional Last Post Ceremony at the CWGC Menin Gate in Ypres (also known as Ieper) on the eve of the centenary, 30 July. The ceremony will give thanks to those who have remembered the British and Commonwealth involvement and sacrifices every evening in peacetime since 1928.

It will be followed by a series of live performances, open to thousands in Ypres’ rebuilt Market Square, which tell the story of the Battle. Images and film will also be projected onto the town’s famous Cloth Hall.

On 31 July 2017, the centenary of the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres, the focus will shift to the 12,000 graves and 35,000 names on the Memorial Wall to the Missing at the CWGC Tyne Cot cemetery, which bears witness to the ferocious battle.

CWGC Director General, Victoria Wallace commented:

“The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is honoured that two of our most visited sites in Ypres will be hosting the UK Government events, marking the final resting place and formal place of commemoration of so many thousands of British and Commonwealth servicemen who died on the Ypres salient during four years of fighting. We hope those attending and watching will take the time to see more of our cemeteries in Flanders Fields after the events are over.”

Descendants wanting to honour their relatives where they fought and died can:
  • Attend the ceremony at Market Square Ypres on 30 July 2017 for an evening of live performance and music with image and film projected onto the Cloth Hall, rebuilt from rubble.
  • Apply for tickets to the commemoration at CWGC Tyne Cot on 31 July 2017.
  • Enter a sub-ballot for a very limited number of places at the CWGC Menin Gate.

The public ballot is for tickets to attend the commemorative event at CWGC Tyne Cot Cemetery on 31 July 2017. The 4,000 tickets will be allocated in pairs, free of charge. Descendants can apply online at www.passchendaele100.org before 24 February 2017.

Those wishing to be at Market Square on Sunday 30 July 2017 can also register their interest in attending in order to receive regular updates and further information about attending the events.

While the Somme holds a powerful place in the national psyche today, during the First World War, Passchendaele and Ypres were household names. The battlefield is closely associated with terrible fighting conditions, and was the first time poison gas was used in battle on the Western Front. The story of Joey the War Horse, was set in this part of the Western Front. And Harry Patch, who became known as the Last Tommy, was conscripted and fought at Passchendaele.

The event will also be shown live on large screens in the Market Square at Ypres and at the Zonnebeke Chateau Grounds, so that those not able to secure a ticket will still be able to attend the public event on 30th July, and watch the Tyne Cot event on 31 July.

The Centenary of Passchendaele, the Third Battle of Ypres is a key part of the UK Government’s four-year programme to commemorate the First World W
ar. The Government will be working closely with its delivery partner, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, as well as local partners in Belgium, such as the city of Ypres, the community of Zonnebeke, Passendale and the Westtoer Province of West-Flanders to commemorate the centenary of the First World War in the Flanders Fields region.

Fighting commenced on the Ypres Salient between British and German forces in 1914, and continued throughout the war. The Battle was the first major British offensive on the Ypres Salient. The ferocity and horror of the battle is encapsulated in Siegfried Sassoon’s famous line: “I died in hell - They called it Passchendaele”.

Belgian General Commissioner for World War One Commemoration, Paul Breyne said:

"The Belgian Government is deeply committed in bringing support for the commemoration of this historical event of exceptional magnitude. It is for the Belgian people and the Belgian Government of utmost importance to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and peace. We are looking forward to welcoming those British citizens and visitors from other nations who will travel to Belgium to pay tribute to those who fought with dedication and bravery, a hundred years ago, in this devastating battle.”

(With thanks to the CWGC)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Monday, 2 January 2017

FamilySearch encourages your own story to be written

FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org) has launched a new project to encourage folk to write up their own stories, through a project called #52Stories. Here's a brief summary:


Each week in 2017, FamilySearch, the world’s largest genealogical organization, will publish topic questions designed to trigger your memories. You just need to focus on the topic and write a response.

It doesn’t matter if you write a few paragraphs, a single page, or several pages. You can write in a journal or in a document on your computer, or you can make a video or audio recording. When 2017 concludes, you will have 52 stories about your life to enhance your personal history.

“This 2017 personal history challenge, called the #52Stories project, is an expanded version of a similar, very successful challenge offered by FamilySearch four years ago,” said Wendy Smedley, FamilySearch project manager for social media. “This year, however, instead of having a list of only 52 questions, the writer can choose his or her 52 questions from a list of 144 questions.”

You don’t have to look far for a great series of memory triggers. The #52Stories Project has divided the year into 12 themes, from “Goals & Achievements” to “Education & School” to “Holidays & Traditions,” providing 12 different questions for each theme. That’s a total of 144 questions, giving you plenty of options to choose from as you build your library of #52stories. The questions are available for download by theme on 12 colorful pages, and you’ll also see a different question highlighted each week on Instagram (@FamilySearch) and the FamilySearch Facebook Page.

January’s theme is goals and achievements. Sample questions include:
  • What goals are you actively working toward right now?
  • What was the greatest achievement of your life?
  • What is something you taught yourself to do without help from anyone else?
  • What role has failure played in your efforts to achieve your goals?

For the full press release, please visit http://media.familysearch.org/write-your-life-story-in-2017-familysearch-52stories-project-will-make-your-task-easier/.

COMMENT: I am very much of the school that couldn't care less about the size of your family tree, it's the quality of the history which you wish to pass on that counts. And if there is one story that many family historians fail to record, it is their very own. This is something I realised many years ago, and sought to address it since both by keeping a diary (with occasional gaps!), but also by writing an account of my childhood for my kids, which I keep dipping into and updating every so often, as I remember more, or am reminded of past events. This initiative by FamilySearch is a great idea to help you achieve similar, providing a focus to get you started. You don't have to be Shakespeare, Burns or Chaucer, and by all means, hang the grammar squad - just put pen to paper and tell it like it is, or was! You may well find that you are as interesting, if not more, than some of the ancestors who came before ye, and just as important in the bigger picture!

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

National Archives book sale

The National Archives in England (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk) is currently holding a sale on books, with up to 70% discount on several titles. For a full description of what's on offer, please visit http://bookshop.nationalarchives.gov.uk/11/Bargains-and-offers.

Note that if you spend more than £25, postage and packing is free.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.