Friday, 3 July 2015

County Surveys of Great Britain project developments

I've been kindly contacted by Nicola Osborne of the EDINA project at the University of Edinburgh to be informed of two major developments with her project. Here they are in Nicola's own words:

Last week we launched our County Surveys Online Bibliographic Tool. This is part of the final outputs from our County Surveys pilot project, which has been looking at "Considered Digitisation" - an approach to identify what has been digitised already and where there there are particularly gaps to target new digitisation work.

The Bibliographic tool is a bibliography of the 1793-1817 County Surveys of Great Britain and it also includes facilities to search for County Surveys from a variety of digitised text providers (e.g. Hathi, NLS, Google Books etc). You can identify what has been digitised and made available, and you can click through to access those digitised copies where available.

There's a blog post about this here: http://countysurveys.blogs.edina.ac.uk/2015/06/24/search-tool/

And you can access the tool here: http://countysurveys.edina.ac.uk/surveys/search

There are also some County Survey volumes being digitised as part of this work which will come later on in the project, along with some reporting and recommendations around digitisation practices.

It would be great to help get word out about this resource as we think that that ability to quickly identify and locate copies is likely to be of particular interest to genealogists and local historians. Because this is a demonstrator/pilot tool we are really keen to hear all comments, feedback etc. So if you (or any of your readers/clients/etc) have any questions or feedback on the tool or the project my colleague, Lisa Otty (cc'd), is the best person to speak to.

Nicola has also informed me that there will also be another Statistical Accounts of Scotland show at The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas at this year's Fringe Festival! For further details visit http://thestand.co.uk/fringe/show/1834/back_to_the_statistical_future. The show will be based around the Second Accounts (1834-45) and will draw parallels between some of the social circumstances now and then, from library provision/staffing to schools to disability benefit. Again, from Nicola:

There are some really interesting and challenging issues around what existed then, what cuts and policy changes mean for our current/recent services, and what that might mean we end up with. So I'm wanting to provoke discussion on the role of the state - and communities and others - to support individuals, and to get some discussion going on how we might get "back to the future" in the sense of moving on from 1845 style social policies...

The show is on Wednesday 26th August at The Stand in the Square. Sounds fascinating!

(With thanks to Nicola!)

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Monday, 29 June 2015

TNA webinar - tracing female ancestors in the First World War

The latest podcast is in fact a webinar from the National Archives in England entitled Tracing your ancestors – women in the military services during the First World War. It is a 30 minute recording with slides by Emily Stidston, and discusses records from the British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Merchant Navy, nursing services and voluntary organisations.

To watch and listen to the webinar please visit http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/webinar-women-first-world-war/ or download from iTunes.

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

UK Press Online launching new version of site

From the tabloid newspapers archive website UK Press Online (www.ukpresonline.co.uk):

New Site Rolling Out

UKPressOnline will be launching a new version of the site on the evening of the 29th June.

As such the site may go down intermittently and you can check our Facebook page for updates as they happen.

The main changes so far are when using the site with a mobile phone or tablet; the site scales accordingly and is much more responsive.

We do hope any interruption will be kept to a minimum and appreciate your patience

If you have any concerns or struggle to log-in then please email:
andrew.ford@ukpressonline.co.uk

We hope you find the new site useful and will continue to update the look and feel in the coming weeks and months.

(With thanks to UK Press Online)

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Review of my "Down and Out in Scotland" book

It's been a busy year on the book writing front for Unlock the Past, with my Irish Family History Resources Online book updated in January for a second edition, and my Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis book released in February.

American based genealogist (originally from England) Paul Milner has given a great review for the Down and Out in Scotland book at http://www.milnergenealogy.com/?p=725, noting in particular that it "assumes you have done your basic research and you want to go further, into more depth, and explore the troubled lives of your Scottish ancestors. It will help you understand how Scottish society worked, what records were created, may have survived, and may have been indexed and how to access transcripts or the originals. There is much in this volume that I have not seen in other Scottish guide or reference books, so is highly recommended for those wanting new avenues to explore."

A huge thanks to Paul, and a quick plug in return for his own UTP books, Buried Treasure: What's in the English Parish Chest and Discover English Parish Registers.


Our books are available from several retailers across the world, along with titles from many other authors. The outlets are:

My History (UK) www.my-history.co.uk/acatalog/Unlock-the-Past-Booklets.html
Gould Genealogy (Australia) www.gould.com.au/Unlock-the-Past-guides-s/2576.htm
Beehive Books (NZ) http://beehivebooks.co.nz/
Global Genealogy (Canada) http://globalgenealogy.com/resources.htm
Maia's Books (US) www.maiasbooks.com

And keep an eye out for the imminent release of my next title Discover Irish Land Records - and other forthcoming Unlock the Past titles...!

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

FindmyPast releases English and Welsh criminal records datasets

The following is an abridged press release from FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk):

1.9 Million Historic Criminal Records Spanning Over 150 Years Published Online for the First Time:
  • Wide Variety of Victims and Perpetrators Revealed Ranging from Petty Crooks to Infamous Assassins and Serial Poisoners
  • Over 1.9 million new records from Findmypast.co.uk shed light on 150 years of crime
  • Available online for the first time, these records from The National Archives provide fascinating details of the crimes, punishment and prison standards in England and Wales
  • Spanning 1779-1936, the records allow you to discover villains and victims in your family history and piece together their journey through the criminal system

London, UK, 29 June, 2015 – Leading family history website FindmyPast.co.uk has today released over 1.9 million digitised crime and punishment records in association with The National Archives. FindmyPast’s collection is now the biggest online set of crime records, with a total of almost 3 million crime and punishment records available online.

The records, covering 1779-1936, reveal many ordinary and extraordinary stories of criminals, victims and law enforcers from the criminal history books. The records include mugshots and coloured images of historical records, as well as detailed accounts of Victorian serial killers, notorious executioners, and the only assassination of a British Prime Minister.

“These new records offer a unique insight into the country’s criminal past. Whether villain or victim, anyone can now discover whether their family tree contains any hidden “black sheep” or victims, from their very own home at the touch of a button. Offering unrivalled detail and content, the records now online make it possible today to trace criminals through the justice systems from details of their arrest to punishment and rehabilitation,” said Myko Clelland, historian at Findmypast.co.uk.

Caroline Kimbell, Head of Licensing at The National Archives said: “We have worked with Findmypast to digitise this fascinating collection of historic criminal and prison records held here at The National Archives, Kew, making them available online for the very first time. The personal records for those locked up can be heart-breaking, especially those of child convicts. They shed light not just on individual family stories, but on a long history of crime and punishment in England.”

The records released today include records from criminal lunatic asylums, Central Criminal Court, prison registers and the Newgate Prison calendar among many others. The release marks the beginning of Findmypast’s Crime & Punishment month: four weeks of records, guides and stories to help you discover your family’s criminal history. Full details of the content released today and throughout the rest of the month can be found at www.findmypast.co.uk/crime-prisons-punishment.

COMMENT: The press release, as is often the case from FindmyPast, does not list the sources at TNA, but a browse of the England & Wales, Crime, Prisons & Punishment, 1770-1935 page at http://search.findmypast.co.uk/search-world-records/england-and-wales-crime-prisons-and-punishment-1770-1935 reveals that the following record sets are now available:
  • Admiralty: registers of convicts in prison hulks (TNA Ref: ADM 6)
  • Central Criminal Court: after-trial calendars of prisoners (TNA Ref: CRIM 9)
  • Home Office: Convict Hulks, Convict Prisons and Criminal Lunatic Asylums: Quarterly Returns of Prisoners 1824-1876 (TNA Ref: HO 8)
  • Home Office: Criminal Entry Books 1782-1871 (TNA Ref: HO 13)
  • Home Office: criminal petitions Series 1 (TNA Ref: HO 17)
  • Home Office: criminal petitions Series 2 (TNA Ref: HO 18)
  • Home Office: Register of criminal petitions (TNA Ref: HO 19)
  • Home Office: Registers of Prisoners from National Prisons lodged in County Prisons 1847-1866 (TNA Ref: HO 23)
  • Home Office: Prison Registers and Statistical Returns 1838-1875 (TNA Ref: HO 24)
  • Home Office: Judges’ Reports on Criminals 1784-1830 (TNA Ref: HO 47)
  • Home Office: Newgate Prison Calendar 1782-1853 (TNA Ref: HO 77)
  • Home Office: Miscellaneous Criminal Books 1798-1831 (TNA Ref: HO 130)
  • Home Office: calendar of prisoners (TNA Ref: HO 140)
  • Home Office and Prison Commission: prison records (TNA Ref: PCOM 2)
  • Home Office and Prison Commission: Male Licences 1853-1887 (TNA Ref: PCOM 3)
  • Home Office: Old Captions and Transfer Papers 1843-1871 (TNA Ref: PCOM 5)
  • Metropolitan Police: Criminal Record Office: habitual criminals' registers and miscellaneous papers (TNA Ref: MEPO 6)

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Crime and Society talks at PRONI

From the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (www.proni.gov.uk):

PRONI is pleased to announce that we are hosting a 5 part lecture series on Crime and Society throughout the month of October.

This lecture series starts at 1pm on Thursday the 1st of October and runs every Thursday throughout the month.

1st October - 19th Century Prison Records, by Chris Colvin
8th October - The Women's Suffrage Campaign, by Margaret Ward
15th October - Female Political Imprisonment during the Irish Civil War, by Laura McAtackney
22nd October - DeLoran: Back to the Failure, by Graham Brownlow
29th October - NIGRA & Decriminalisation, by Jeff Dudgeon & Richard Kennedy

Contact PRONI at www.proni.gov.uk/index/contact_us.htm to reserve a place.

(With thanks to the PRONI Express)

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Australian Ryerson Index passes 5 million records

Congratulations to the Australian based Ryerson Index (www.ryersonindex.org), which has now passed 5 million obituary notices on its site.

For more on the Ryerson Index's story, read Alon tester's post at www.gouldgenealogy.com/2015/06/ryerson-index-hits-5-million-australian-death-and-obituary-records/.

(With thanks to Alona)

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Searching for a diaspora is big business

The Economist magazine has an interesting article concerning attempts to mine a country's diaspora for resources, both economically and in talent. The article kicks off with a look at the Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO) genealogical initiative, and how it is attempting to trace the Irish diaspora to welcome them back to Ireland and re-establish connections, but it goes beyond Ireland to look at case studies from across the world.

An interesting article that is well worth a read at www.economist.com/news/international/21656176-governments-believe-their-diasporas-can-solve-all-sorts-problems-they-are-picky.

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Sligo and Clare workhouse records and Australian convict records now on FindmyPast

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has released two new workhouse records collections for Ireland. These are as follows:

Containing of over 9,000 records, the Sligo workhouse registers 1848-1859 consist of handwritten registers taken at the Sligo Union workhouse, one of three workhouses in the County Sligo. The records pre-date civil registration and will be a valuable resource to those with Sligo ancestors given the lack of 19th century census material available in Ireland. Each record includes a transcript and an image of the original document. The registers list the names of new arrivals and details including their age, occupation, religion, any illnesses or infirmities, family members, local parish, their condition on arrival (usually describing clothes or cleanliness) and when they were discharged or died.

Containing over 63,000 records, the Clare Poor Law Unions Board of Guardians Minute Books cover the Kilrush and Ennistymon unions, two of eight poor law unions located in County Clare. The Board of Guardians oversaw the running of the poor law unions as well as the hiring of teachers, staff and contractors. Guardians were elected by those who paid the taxes that funded poor law relief. The books recorded weekly reports on the number of inmates, new arrivals, births, deaths and discharges. They also recorded expenditures including food supplies and salaries as well as the number of inmates receiving medical treatments. Each record contains a transcript and an image of the original handwritten minutes.

Also released are some Australian convicts collections, and some English parish records:
  • Nearly 27,000 Australia Convict Conditional and Absolute Pardons 1791-1867.
  • New South Wales Registers of Convicts’ Applications to Marry 1825-1851 contains over 26,000 records.
  • Over 188,000 Australia Convict ships 1786-1849 records
  • Over 7,000 records from Victoria Prison Registers 1855-1948, for prisoners who passed through Pentridge prison, Coburg, Victoria.
  • Over 4,000 parish records for Southfleet, Kent.
Full details at http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/fridays/

(With thanks to Alex Cox)

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Discover Irish Land Records - coming soon

I've been a little quiet on this blog for a couple of weeks, as I have had my head down doing a raft of client research, talks and articles. In amongst that, there was also the little matter of a new book for Unlock the Past (http://unlockthepast.com.au). The first draft has been submitted, and I'm hoping it should be ready within the next fortnight, before I head off on a genie cruise with the company to the Baltic.

If you've had a look at my Irish Family History Resources Online from the company (recently revised this year for a second edition), then consider this the sequel! Discover Irish Land Records will be coming along shortly...! In the meantime, a quick sneak peak at the artwork being developed for the cover is on the right.

Will update soon when it is ready and available...

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.