Wednesday, 26 November 2014

My Heritage and RootsMagic partnership over search technologies

Having only just announced on Monday that Calico Pie's Family Historian software package is to adopt My Heritage's search technologies (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/familyhistorian-to-integrate-my.html), it seems that My Heritage has also now partnered with Roots Magic to do the same thing.

The full announcement is at http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20141125006490/en/RootsMagic-Adds-MyHeritage-Matching-Technologies-Powerful-Automatic#.VHYMudKKU6Z

(With thanks to Laurence Harris)

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, 25 November 2014

National Genealogy Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia

I've been asked to give the following conference a plug, in case anyone from the UK might be interested in attending - so here goes!

NATIONAL GENEALOGY CONFERENCE
JULY 17—19, 2015
At historic Pier 21, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

KEYNOTE SPEAKER DAVE OBEE
One of Canada’s most prominent authorities on Genealogy, Dave will provide excellent information and guidance for genealogists of all levels of experience.
Come be a part of this inaugural event!

GREAT HOLIDAY GIFT FOR ANY GENEALOGIST!
Conference topics and activities will include:
  • DNA testing in Genealogy
  • History of immigration into Nova Scotia
  • Recording family history through photography, digital filing and citing sources
  • Best practices for beginner & intermediate genealogists
  • Tour of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
  • Visit to the Titanic Graveyard

Conference information and registration coming soon
Questions? Contact Heidi Wilker at heidi.wilker@visiontravel.ca or call 905-457-2092

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!

Society of Genealogists responds to London Probate Service search room closure

The following response to the Probate Service's announcement that it is to close its London based search room imminently (see my earlier post at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/english-welsh-wills-to-go-online-but.html) has been received from the Society of Genealogists:

Genealogists will be aware that an online index of wills from 1996 to the present has been available since October 2014. However this index has severe limitations. The search functionality is very limited – particularly when searching for a common name or if you do not have an indication of the year of death.

The Society of Genealogists has already told the Court Service that adding a place or address search (as is noted in earlier printed and fiche indexes) could help enormously when trying to identify someone with a common name. There will be genealogists who will be interested in obtaining all wills for people with a particular surname in common from all years. Limiting the search to a year of death makes such broad searches very impractical. This it would be better to have a wider date search range than just one year of death

Other members have pointed out that it is very disappointing to discover that the search engine provided for wills from 1996 does not include the same level of information as the existing calendars. Specifically, all versions of the calendars from 1858 to date include the address of the deceased, whether searched in the annual calendar books (for grants dated 1858-1992), on microfiche (1993-5) or on the Probateman computer database (1996-present). If a search is to be made for someone with a relatively common name and the exact date of death is not known, your new search engine will not provide any way of positively identifying the correct person.

The Courts Service have been asked whether there any plan to add the address of the deceased to the list of search results at a later date? If not it was asked whether any assurance could be given that the London search room will remain open so that a manual search can still be made? Otherwise, the online search will not be fit for purpose as it will not enable a searcher to order the correct copy.

Clearly the Court Service does not intend keep the search room open. We do not know if the Court Service will take our suggestions on board when providing an online to wills back to 1858. It is evidently not sensible to introduce a new and essentially untried online ordering system while at the same time withdrawing the personal service and search room at the Principal Probate Registry at the Royal Courts of Justice. The Society will be represented at the user meeting in December and will report back accordingly.

(With thanks to Else Churchill)

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!

English & Welsh wills to go online - but London Probate Service search room to close

The following is an announcement from HM Courts & Tribunal Service - if ever there was an instance of good news and bad news combined this is probably it....

London Probate Search Facility

As of Friday 12th December, the Probate Service will make available our records from 1858 to the present and the records of some soldiers who died on active military service between 1860 and 1982 (predominantly those who died in the First World War) for searching online.

You can search, order and receive copies direct from your own computer without waiting for the Probate Registry to send them to you.

You can search and if there is a match you will be informed straightaway. You can then decide if you wish to pay £10 and order the documents.

You can pay by credit or debit card.

You will be informed by an email when the documents are available for downloading on your computer.

This is a change in the way the Probate Service deliver our copies and search service and therefore from Friday 12th December the London Probate Service will cease to provide a copy ordering function as this will now be available online. The facility will remain open for collection of orders made before the 12th December but will close permanently from Friday 19th December.

The Probate Service has over the last few weeks received feedback from users on the changes we are making and ahead of the 12th December would like to extend and invitation to a Search facility users meeting to be held on Tuesday 2nd December between 1-2pm in the search facility.

If you want to attend the meeting or provide us with any feedback on the changes then please email Probate.records@hmcts.gsi.uk  (UPDATE: This is bouncing as an address - should possibly be Probate.records@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk)

For more information please go to:- www.gov.uk/search-will-probate

COMMENT: I've noticed from online chatter through LinkedIn and other sources that there has been a fair bit of faffing about by the Probate Service in London over recent months in terms of its search room provision, but I'm not sure anybody quite saw the permanent closure of the search room as being on the cards. The online database is good news for those not in London wishing to make an online search - though how accurate the database is has still to be tested - but for those who regularly use the search room for genealogical purposes, this will be quite a shock. The meeting on Tuesday 2nd December may well be the only chance to cause enough of a ruckus to make them think again - assuming this is isn't just some corporate PR session designed to tell you why you're wrong and it's right, the decision having already been signed, sealed and delivered.

(With thanks to Diana Bouglas and Philip Gloyn)

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, 24 November 2014

FamilyHistorian to integrate My Heritage search technology

From MyHeritage (www.myheritage.com), news of a collaboration with the Family Historian (www.family-historian.co.uk) software programme:

TEL AVIV, Israel & LONDON, UK – November 24, 2014: MyHeritage, the popular family history network, and Calico Pie Limited, London-based publishers of genealogy software, today jointly announced that MyHeritage’s Smart Matching™ and Record Matching technologies will be integrated into Family Historian, Calico Pie’s popular desktop genealogy program. This will enable users to benefit from automated discoveries sourced from millions of family trees and billions of global historical records on MyHeritage.
Family Historian incorporates comprehensive features designed to make family history friendly for beginners and experts alike. The new version 6 of Family Historian, scheduled for release on December 9th 2014, will feature MyHeritage matching. Some matches will be free to view while others will require a MyHeritage subscription.

MyHeritage helps millions of families worldwide discover and preserve their unique history effortlessly on its services across Web, mobile and desktop. Its flagship technologies Smart Matching™ and Record Matching match family trees with other family trees and relevant historical records. This allows users to discover new stories about their ancestors, discover relatives and connect with family members they have not known before. With a high accuracy rate of 97%, these technologies make fascinating family history discoveries automatically.

“We’re delighted to enhance the latest release of Family Historian with the best matching technologies in the industry,” said Simon Orde, Managing Director of Calico Pie. “With the seamless integration of MyHeritage technologies, Family Historian is set to deliver unprecedented value to users interested in exploring their past.”

“We’re excited to provide our matching technologies to a top-notch product like Family Historian”, said MyHeritage’s Founder & CEO Gilad Japhet. “Our technologies have been used successfully on MyHeritage by millions of people. They have helped people make life-changing discoveries and have enriched their lives. We are now proud to make these technologies available also to partners, and Family Historian will be among the first to include them, to be followed by many more.”

MyHeritage matching technologies are also being integrated by leading Dutch genealogy software Aldfaer and the online genealogy services of Coret Genealogie in the Netherlands.

COMMENT: This is an understandably good move for MyHeritage, but to me, the thing I actually want to see from FamilyHistorian is an easy sync facility with a tree hosted on both a PC and an iPad. FamilyHistorian was by far my favourite software programme until Family Tree Maker created a facility to sync its tree online to the Ancestry website and via its app on iPad, with one simple click, making it considerably more useful, and trumping FamilyHistorian in the process.

One feature I don't like or use on FTM, however, is its integration with Ancestry for searches, something I still prefer to do manually. I suspect I will feel the same about this MyHeritage collaboration, if it is attempting to do the same thing with its site. As long as it remains an option that can be ignored or used as a user decides, then what harm? But if it becomes a facility that tries to force me to use MyHeritage, I would have an issue. Online records sites provide data, and on that basis I am happy to go to them as and when I need to - but I never want to be in a position where they start telling me how to do my research and trying to control my research experience. I suspect I understand my needs and aims on that front considerably better than any online supplier ever will!

(With thanks to Laurence Harris)

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, 21 November 2014

TNA podcast - Transgender Diplomat at the Court of George III, 1763-1777

The latest podcast from the National Archives at Kew, England, is entitled The Chevalier d’Eon: Transgender Diplomat at the Court of George III, 1763-1777, and is a 46 minute talk by Dr Jonathan Conline.

It can be accessed at http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/chevalier-deon-transgender-diplomat-court-george-iii-1763-1777/ or downloaded fro 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!

New South Wales Quarter Sessions court records online

Ancestry has released a new database of interest to those whose ancestors may have travelled to Australia. The New South Wales, Australia, Court Records, 1830-1945 database is available at http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=5325 the Courts of General and Quarter Sessions (known as Quarter Sessions) records having been sourced from the State Records Authority of NSW.

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!

Latest FindmyPast records include Griffith's Valuation maps and plans

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has added the following records collections today to its site:

This week, we've added new records from Ireland, the UK and the United States, including:
  • Griffith's Survey Maps & Plans for Ireland, 1847-1864
  • Over 4,000 additional British Prison Ship (Hulk) Registers, 1811-1843
  • National School Admission Registers for Anglesey and Plymouth & West Devon in England
  • Births, marriages and deaths from District of Columbia, USA

Further details available via the site.

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, 19 November 2014

Society of Genealogists events in December

From the Society of Genealogists (www.sog.org.uk) in London:

The following Society of Genealogists Events will take place in December. To book a place online, visit our website at: www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/

Sat 6 Dec 10:30-17:00 Family Historian Software for Beginners and Refreshers
An overview of this popular and useful family history software package - the only major one now written in the UK (please note this course is NOT a general discussion on family history software packages). Bring your software user questions along! Suitable for Beginners and Refreshers

A full-day course with John Hanson, Cost 35.00


Sat 13 Dec 10:300-17:00 How to get the Most from Family Pictures
This full-day course is a visual Power Point presentation that provides an in-depth guide to dating, analysing and understanding all types of family portraits, from inherited paintings, drawings and silhouettes, to Victorian studio photographs and 20th century snapshots. Accurate dating is essential when trying to identify and discover more about unlabelled family pictures and the course demonstrates how to establish an accurate time frame, using a variety of techniques and research tools. It also discusses the portrait tradition and considers the historical context in which artworks and, later, photographs were commissioned: what did these special pictures mean to our ancestors and how should we interpret them?

A full-day course with Jayne Shrimpton, Cost 35.00 (please note this course is re-scheduled from its original date of 13 September).

(With thanks to Lori Weinstein)

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, 17 November 2014

Petition to save Imperial War Museum

A petition has been launched online to help save the Imperial War Museum (www.iwm.org.uk), which is being forced to find savings to stop an annual £4 million deficit due to funding cuts to be implemented as part of the UK Government's austerity agenda. The museum's services at London, Manchester and Duxford are all likely to be affected.

Here's the initial part of the petition:

One hundred years after the outbreak of the First World War, the Imperial War Museum is under threat.

The Museum is facing an annual deficit of £4m because of cuts in government funding.

It has drawn up proposals to:

• close its unique library and dispose of the majority of its collection

• cut important education services

• cut 60-80 jobs

• close the widely emulated ‘Explore History’ facility in London.

The Museum’s library gives ordinary people access to research materials on all aspects of British and Commonwealth involvement in conflict since 1914.

Prospect trade union believes the world's leading authority on conflict will be irreparably damaged by the £4m deficit.

It has launched this petition to help ensure that the Imperial War Museum continues to provide for, and encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and ‘wartime experience'.


For more information, to sign the petition and/or make a donation to the museum, visit https://www.change.org/p/rt-hon-george-osborne-mp-urgently-reverse-current-and-future-cuts-to-the-uk-imperial-war-museum-s-annual-operating-grant-in-aid-so-that-it-can-maintain-services-and-preserve-its-standing-as-an-international-centre-for-study-research-and-education.

There's also more on the cuts in a Financial Times story at www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2c1d49f8-6bfa-11e4-b939-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3JLAmfmbV.

(With thanks to @wdytyamagazine via Twitter)

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!