Friday, 1 August 2014

Who Do You Think You Are Story - beta site review

I've just been having an early look at the beta version of the Who Do You Think You Are Story site (www.whodoyouthinkyouarestory.com) from DC Thomson Family History. The premise of the site is that you can create your own version of a Who Do You Think You Are story using your own family - though anybody expecting an online television documentary is perhaps likely to be disappointed!

What the site actually does is to allow you to create a basic tree online (I think it's three generations maximum), adding facts and images about key members of the family, and to then essentially play it back in a timeline format, to the accompaniment of the Who Do You Think You Are theme tune. There are demo versions of such a tree featuring a story about Matthew Pinsent and another on Larry Lamb, both about a couple of minutes long each. Included amongst the data you supply are some historical facts to add some contemporary context, that you can keep or replace as you see fit. Once such a timeline is created, you can publish it and share it with friends via Twitter, Facebook or by email. The end game from DC Thomson's point of view is to direct people towards FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk).

When I left the BBC, one thing I initially thought about was going down the route of trying to provide a sort of bespoke WDYTYA experience for people, but to do so would cost an arm and a leg - I've seen a few other people have a go (including a former BBC colleague), and their services came and duly went for that reason. It takes a lot to produce something as bespoke as an episode of WDYTYA, you are not going to get that from a free website! So this is not at all a serious family history programme production tool, or even an online tree builder - what the site is essentially providing is a fun tool to help you put together a quick presentation that you can email to your friends and family. On that thinking, it's probably a good cousin bait tool, something to fire off to the rellies to see who responds with thoughts and stories about some of those mentioned in your piece, and presentations can be constructed very quickly.

One thing to be aware of though, are some of the terms and conditions. For example:

Intellectual property rights (including copyright): All intellectual property rights in the website and the content, including the story you create (excluding of course any content contained within the story that you contribute yourself), belongs to us or has been licensed to us. You can only use it for the purposes described in these Terms & conditions. All other rights are reserved. Find out more about copyright in this government guide.

I'm not a hundred per cent sure how the intellectual copyright of the story you create can be owned by them, except for the bits that you supply! I presume that they mean the structural format or template into which you have added facts and pictures etc - but that is very unclear and needs to be explained properly.

Also:

How we use content created by users: You keep the copyright in any content that you create or publish on the website, but by publishing it you give us permission (a non-exclusive, perpetual, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide licence) to use it (including editing, adapting or modifying it as we wish) for any purpose and in any media now known or invented in the future. Please be aware that we may not credit you as the author of the material.

If we use any of your personal information (for example your name) in connection with it, we will ask your permission first.

Examples of how we may use your content are that we may make it available to other users of the website, to users of websites that are either part of our company group or with whom we have a partnership, and by internet search engines.

So bear in mind that if you do add data to a presentation on the site, these are the rights that you are assigning to DC Thomson Family History. You retain the copyright, but actually, you are also giving them blanket permission to take what you create and to do with it what they will, presumably for advertising purposes. There are also the usual warnings about only using what you have copyright cleared for, not to mention living folk without their permission, and nothing offensive. You also have to be over 13 to use the site. Full T&Cs, as constituted just now, are at www.whodoyouthinkyouarestory.com/terms.

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

Glasgow and the Games - pure dead brilliant!

Readers will be aware that there haven't been any posts on British GENES since Monday - this is because after a busy start to the week I had the great pleasure to spend the day in Glasgow on Wednesday to see the Commonwealth Games athletics at Hampden Park, and then another day in the city yesterday with my family to soak up the atmosphere some more! This is not a genealogy post as such (though check out the last part!), this is about the Games - because I want to put on record how proud I am of what Glasgow has achieved in the last two weeks.

With my wife Claire, and sons Calum and Jamie, I travelled into Glasgow on Wednesday at lunchtime, the plan being to camp overnight (though due to a comedy of errors, which I won't bore you with, we actually ended up going home after the event!). We were really worried that in having to get into the Games there would be long queues of folk, ridiculous airport style screening by security, and other horrors awaiting us as we went in. There were indeed thousands of folk heading in, but there was little to no waiting at all - from arriving at Hampden to getting to our seat took about five minutes. I have never seen an operation of such a scale move so quickly, so professionally, and with such good humour - the police were having a whale of a time as well as the official volunteers, high-fiving everyone who came near them. In fact if I have a favourite memory of the night, it was actually when leaving, of four police women on horseback who decided to form an impromptu choir to sing the directions to Mount Florida train station together for those leaving the venue. You HAD to be there - Weegie humour at its very best!

In the games itself, there was a right mix of people attending from all over the shop. At the security screening I had a lot of fun helping a wee elderly woman from Northern Ireland win her argument with a bemused security guard about Scotland being Ulster's first colony (sort of true, Dalriada etc, long story, but as there was national pride at stake here, for that moment it became established fact - always happy to help my fellow country folk!). The majority of attendees were Scots or English, going by the flags on display, and we found ourselves seated in a row between three wee girls from Devon behind us, and two pensioners from London in front of us, all flying St George's flags with great enthusiasm - and England had one hell of a good night, so there was a lot of flag flying, and even one instance of standing for Jerusalem (a first for me!). Clearly being outflanked in such a dastardly way, we had to do our bit in between them, with my two sons effectively representing Scotland in the four hour seated-marathon-verbal-cheering-and-saltire-waving category! There was a lot of good humoured craic between us all, with everyone cheering everyone else's teams on, and some unbelievably brilliant sport.

Glasgow, you're doing Scotland proud, and showing the world the calibre of nation that we are!


Now for the genie bit - for those who have never been to the city, and of a genealogy mind, that same level of humour and craic will also be available in the city at the end of August as we host the Who Do You Think You Are Live (www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com) event at the SECC from August 29th-31st. So if you didn't make it for the Games, why not pop north of the border or over the Irish Sea for a day trip or more, and see what Glasgow has to offer - it's pure dead brilliant!





Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

Monday, 28 July 2014

Who Do You Think You Are - 10th anniversary special

I announced yesterday that the new series of Who Do You Think You Are? will commence on Thursday August 7th at 9pm on BBC1 (see ). However, with this being the 10th series, a one hour anniversary special will be shown the night before on Wednesday 6th August on BBC 1 at 10.35pm. Entitled Who Do You Think You Are: Who Do They Think They Are? 10 Years, 100 Shows, it will celebrate the series to date - here's the blurb from the Radio Times:

The stories of celebrities who have been on a tour of their ancestry, marking the return of Who Do You Think You Are? as the series celebrates its 10th birthday and approaches its 100th episode. Featuring contributions from favourites including Jeremy Paxman, Bruce Forsyth, Alexander Armstrong, Emilia Fox, Alistair McGowan, Boris Johnson, Ainsley Harriot and Natasha Kaplinsky, who uncovered experiences of forebears spanning a cross-section of life from the workhouse to a royal palace, and even a brothel.

There's more at the Who Do You Think You Are website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04d8tdg.

NB: Don't forget that the Who Do You Think You Are Live event (www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com) kicks off on August 29th for three days at the Glasgow SECC. To enter a competition to try to win two tickets, see my post from Saturday at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/competition-win-tickets-to-who-do-you.html.

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

Special opening hours at PRONI in September

More news from PRONI in Belfast (www.proni.gov.uk), this time concerning some special opening hours in the weeks ahead:

Good news for those of you who cannot visit PRONI during normal working hours. To celebrate the forthcoming European Heritage Open Days 2014, PRONI will be open to the public on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September. On Saturday 13th September, PRONI will provide a full service (9am –4.45pm). On Sunday 14th September, the self-service microfilm facility will be available (10am – 4pm). Talks and tours of the building will be available on both days. For more information, please click here.

PRONI will also open its doors to the public on Friday 19th September (4.30pm – 7.30pm) for Culture Night Belfast 2014 . The theme of the evening will be PRONI and the Home Front. For more information click here.

COMMENT: This is exactly what I was referring to a few days ago in my posts about the National Records of Scotland's lack of any similar such provision - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/national-records-of-scotland-needs-to.html and http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/comparing-uks-three-national-archives.html. Whilst PRONI and the National Archives at Kew go out of their way to provide access for those working Mondays to Fridays from 9-5 when they can, the NRS in Edinburgh steadfastly refuses to provide any similar such provision. PRONI here is showing how it can be done - Edinburgh, please take note.

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

Researching the First World War conference in Belfast

News of PRONI's forthcoming First World War conference in Belfast:

PRONI is currently preparing a series of events which will mark 100 years since the beginning of the First World War. Among these events which start in August, will be a conference entitled ‘Researching the First World War – Sources and Resources’ The keynote speaker will be Dr Tim Bowman (University of Kent) and the conference will take place in PRONI on Tuesday 5 September. More details will be available soon at www.proni.gov.uk/index/exhibitions_talks_and_events/talks_and_events.htm.

(With thanks to PRONI)

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

Digging Up Your Roots one off special

BBC Radio Scotland will be broadcasting a one off Digging Up Your Roots edition, presented by Bill Whiteford, at 11.05am on Sunday 3rd August, to be themed on past emigration to Commonwealth countries.

For further details visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04cfh70.

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

TNA podcast - Courtroom reality in medieval England

The latest podcast from the National Archives at Kew (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk) is entitled Annual lecture of the Pipe Roll Society (2014): Formal record and courtroom reality in 13th and 14th century England, a 50 minute talk by Prof. Paul Bland.

The podcast can be heard for free at http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/annual-lecture-pipe-roll-society-2014/ or downloaded from iTunes.

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

Several new releases on Ancestry

Ancestry's been a bit busy - the following may be of use for your ancestors in Norfolk, or in various countries across the world:
  • U.S., Headstone and Interment Records for U.S. Military Cemeteries on Foreign Soil, 1942-1949
  • Jamaica, Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1879
  • England, Norfolk Non-conformist Records, 1613-1901
  • Canada, South African War Land Grants, 1908-1910
  • New South Wales, Australia, Passengers Arriving at Port Phillip

Full details via http://www.ancestry.co.uk/cs/reccol/default

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Try ScotlandsPeople out in Glasgow at the Games

The ScotlandsPeople team will be in Glasgow next week offering free demos of the website (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) - here's the detail from their latest newsletter:

The ScotlandsPeople Team at Commonwealth House, Glasgow

If you're in Glasgow while the Games are taking place, you might like to visit Commonwealth House at 32 Albion Street (G1 1LH) and have a free trial search on ScotlandsPeople. There will be access from Monday 28th July to Sunday 3rd August, with staff on hand to offer free tips and advice for people who are looking to trace their Scottish ancestors.

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Who Do You Think You Are returns August 7th

The new UK series of Who Do You Think You Are comes to our screens on Thursday 7th August, BBC1, with the first episode featuring actress Julie Walters. Her story is traced back to County Mayo in Ireland, and the formation of the Land League.

Further details via the Radio Times at http://www.radiotimes.com/episode/czt28p/who-do-you-think-you-are--series-11---1-julie-walters

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks