Monday, 20 April 2015

Tracing medieval Scots, Welsh and Irish emigrants in England

Amanda Epperson's Scottish Emigration Blog has a good piece on the England's Immigrants 1330-1550 database at www.englandsimmigrants.com, noting that it is possible to identify some 3389 Scottish emigrants who appeared in England in that period, as mentioned within various medieval documents. The full post is available at http://scottishemigration.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/scots-in-medieval-england.html.

I carried out a similar search on Irish emigrants who turned up in England, and found some 2018 entries, whilst for Wales, 60 folk are noted.

(With thanks to Amanda)

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Family history taster and archive exploration sessions at PRONI

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (www.proni.gov.uk) is hosting an IT and Family History taster session at the end of this week, and has added new dates to its Explore the Archives programme at the archive:

Spring Online Event: IT and Family History Taster Session
When: Friday 24 April 2015, 10.00-12.00
Where: PRONI

Spring Online Week will run from 20 April to 24 April 2015 to help and inspire people achieve a lasting use of the internet. Go ON NI’s programme of events are free and will take place in PRONI on Friday 24 April.

The event will include an IT taster session to help you go online for the first time, to improve your digital skills or help you search the internet for information and services. The taster session will be followed by a tour of PRONI's research areas and a workshop on online sources for family history.


Explore the Archives – Practical Workshops at PRONI – New Dates!
Once you’ve collected some information about your ancestors, why not come along to one of PRONI’s practical workshops where you will get a hands-on introduction to searching archives on the internet; and searching, ordering and using original documents held at PRONI.

The practical workshops consist of 2 sections the first being an introduction to Archives Online, 2pm and the second being an introduction to Using the Documents (searching for, ordering and viewing original documents), 3pm.

New dates added are the 13th May and 17th June. Please contact PRONI to secure your place on a session!

For both events contact PRONI to reserve a place - see http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/contact_us.htm

(With thanks to the PRONI Express)

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

New NIFHS research guide for County Tyrone ancestors

The North of Ireland Family History Society (www.nifhs.org) has released the third book in its new series of guides entitled Researching Your Ancestors in the North of Ireland, this time focussing on Northern Ireland's largest county, Tyrone.

As with the two previous editions, covering counties Cavan and Monaghan, this latest edition provides a handy reach-to guide identifying the key resources available for Tyrone based research. In addition to detailed lists of land based records (including a short guide to the Ulster Plantation of the county, and a guide to estate records), censuses, census substitutes, civil registration record sources, court records and newspapers, there is an extensive guide to surviving church records from all denominations in the county, as well as sources for locating gravestone inscriptions, online and offline. A handy appendix listing books specifically concerned with County Tyrone is of interest, as is a website guide.

A nice touch, as with its predecessors, is a range of colour maps in the guide. These depict i) Main towns and villages, ii) Civil parishes and baronies, and iii) Poor law unions.

The book is illustrated throughout, and will be an essential addition to any Irish family history library.

NB: It's so hot off the presses that the book has yet to be added to the NIFHS website, but it will cost £6 plus p&p. Keep an eye out on the site!

(With thanks to the NIFHS)

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Canadian WW1 war gratuities and Gloucester gaol registers

Two new collections on Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) which may be of interest if you have English or Canadian connections:

Canada, Imperial War Service Gratuities, 1919-1921
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=9149
Source: Imperial War Service Gratuities. RG9-II-F-10. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Web: Gloucestershire, England, Gaol Registers, 1815-1879
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=9742
Source: Gloucestershire Archives Genealogical Search. Gloucestershire County Council. http://ww3.gloucestershire.gov.uk/genealogy/Search.aspx: accessed 11 August 2014.

Further details via the links.

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Ancestry releases app for Apple iWatch

Ancestry (www.ancestry.com) has released a version of its app for the new Apple iWatch. I have to admit, I don't see this gadget going too far, but if it does, it will be interesting to see how or if it affects the world of family history.

"Daddy what time is it?"
"It's half past your great granny!"

For the full story see http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2015/04/20/family-history-on-your-wrist-introducing-ancestrys-apple-iwatch-app.

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Server problems continue with National Records of Scotland services

Earlier today I tweeted the National Records of Scotland (www.nrscotland.gov.uk) asking for a meaningful update as to why the online catalogue services for the archive, and other services reliant on the NRS (e.g. the SCAN catalogue for some fifty archives across the country), are still not available, now more than three weeks since they first went offline. To say it is now becoming farcical would be an understatement.

The NRS has duly complied with an update at http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/news/2015/nrs-online-services. The records are offline because of a service failure, but they still cannot provide any details as to when services will be restored. The catalogue is accessible at the archive, but not online, which I guess is fine for folk living in Edinburgh, but not for those living further afield within the nation. I should add that this is disrupting my own ability to carry out client research, and I have heard from other genealogists and academics that they are similarly being frustrated in their endeavours to make a living.

One other point is that I believe that the problems may also be affecting the ScotlandsPlaces (www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk) platform with regards to the provision of some images. I noticed this a few days ago with some of the free to access collections such as the Farm Horse Tax records, whilst a friend of mine at WDYTYA Live reported similar problems that he has also encountered over the last few days. The transcripts for those images that have been completed are still available however.

It's simply beyond belief.

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

My latest Unlock the Past Scottish and Irish books now available in the UK

Yorkshire based My History (www.my-history.co.uk) has now made available several more Unlock the Past books within the UK, including my two latest guides, Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis and Irish Family History Resources Online (2nd edition). Here are the details:

Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis
Price: £7
http://www.my-history.co.uk/acatalog/Down-and-Out-in-Scotland--Researching-Ancestral-Crisis-UTP0286.html#SID=876

It is perhaps one of greatest truisms of family history research that we will often find that the lives of our ancestors were best documented when the chips were truly down.

There were many battles that our forebears fought for and against in Scotland, both on a personal level and as part of the society within which they lived. There were the laws of the local parish church and the punishments awaiting those who breached kirk discipline; the struggles to avoid poverty and the stigma of being a debtor; the darkest moments of the soul, from mental health issues and illness, to murder and suicide; and the dramatic moments of rebellion, when our forebears drew a line in the sand against a perceived tyranny or democratic deficit. Illness, death, bigamy, abandonment, accidents, eviction, ethnic cleansing - a dramatic range of challenges across a lifetime, and at times, outright tragedy. And close to each of them, a quill and ink.

But through all of these episodes, there is an even greater story that emerges, of how our ancestors overcame such struggles. In this Unlock the Past guide, genealogist Chris Paton goes in search of the records of ancestral hardship in Scotland, to allow us to truly understand the situations that our ancestors had to endure and overcome across the generations, to help us become the very people who we are today.


Irish Family History Resources Online (2nd edition)
Price: £9
http://www.my-history.co.uk/acatalog/Irish-Family-History-Resources-Online-UTP0282.html#SID=876

There is a popular belief that Irish family history research is virtually impossible because ‘all the records were burned in the civil war’. But as Northern Irish born family historian Chris Paton demonstrates, the glass is most definitely half full rather than half empty when it comes to research in the Emerald Isle. Many records still exist which can help with your ancestral pursuits, and for those unable to make their way to Ireland to carry out research, the internet is finally coming to the rescue, as more and more material is increasingly finding its way online by the day.

This concise Unlock the Past guide explores the key repositories and records now available online, and will prove to you that if you have been put off with Irish research in the past, now is absolutely the time to take another look.



Ebook editions are also available from www.gen-ebooks.com. These are in PDF format, with the Scottish title available for AU$7.95 (about £4.15) and the Irish title at AU$9.95 (about £5.20).

For the full range of books now available from My History, please visit http://www.my-history.co.uk/acatalog/Unlock-the-Past-Booklets.html.

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2015 review

This year's Who Do You Think You Are? Live provided a welcome evolution for a show which, bar a brief foray to Glasgow last year, has been confined to London ever since its inception many years ago. So how did it fare in its new home at Birmingham?

My normal routine for London is to travel down on an overnight bus from Glasgow before the show, and to then travel back on an overnight train on the return journey (for a little added luxury). With the disruption this causes for the three days away, plus the two travel days, it usually takes a significant chunk of a week from my normal activities. Locating the show at the Birmingham NEC was therefore an act of genius as far as I am concerned - I booked a flight from Glasgow which takes just an hour, and almost literally stepped off the plane at Birmingham and into the show (after a short 90 second transit shuttle in between). Similarly on Saturday, I left at 3.30pm and was home in Largs just three hours later. I have never had a more relaxing journey to an event and back again!

So travel wise, a big thumbs up. But what about the new venue? One of the advantages with the NEC is that the floor space was so much bigger, meaning that each of the vendors and societies were not huddled together like sardines. My impression was that the numbers attending seemed to be about the same as last year's event, but that it did not seem so congested. Such congestion always made it seem so much more frantic and stressful in the past, and its absence was welcome. The queues outside the venue each morning were impressive, and there were periods on the Thursday and Friday in particular when we were run off our feet. On the Saturday it was my impression that maybe the societies' stands were busier than those of the larger corporate vendors, but I have no idea if that was in fact the case, they just seemed busier to me!

This year I helped for the most part on the Unlock the Past Cruises (www.unlockthepastcruises.com) with Alan Phillips, and helped to promote the genealogy cruises and also the separate book range from the parent company Unlock the Past (www.unlockthepast.com.au), also available as ebooks on www.gen-ebooks.com. The range of books, including my various Scottish, Irish and British titles, is now also published in England by Yorkshire based My History (www.my-history.co.uk/acatalog/Unlock-the-Past-Booklets.html), who were merrily selling copies on our behalf.



In addition to the UTP stand, I also did two stints within the Society of Genealogists' Ask the Experts area, at an hour and two hours respectively on Friday and Saturday. Although I am based within Scotland and predominantly work within Scottish genealogy, I do also do some Irish research, but bizarrely I only had one Scottish query at the event, and eight Irish situations to deal with - though I was able to handle them all easily enough! One in particular was a real eye opener for the couple involved, concerning an ancestor of theirs who had been adopted. This had been a brick wall for some time, but they actually had the adoptive mother's name on a birth certificate, and I was soon able to locate a potentially significant target family for them in Ireland to which she seemed to be related, and therefore a whole new line of enquiry to pursue.

In terms of news developments, The Genealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk) launched an extension to their English and Welsh tithes records and tithes maps collections, and I managed to grab an audio interview with Mark Bayley on that, for the next podcast. I had fantastic conversations with Fiona Fitzsimmons and Brian Donovan from Eneclann (www.eneclann.ie) and Findmypast Ireland, and they have all sorts of goodies that they are currently working, not least of which a collection of Quaker records for the Republic of Ireland, and workhouse records from Dublin. Brian also hinted that something wicked this way comes later this year, but was keeping schtum on that for now! A new revamped website platform is also on the cards in the near future. Staying with Ireland, the wonderful folk from the North of Ireland Family History Society (www.nifhs.org) were there again in force, and promoting their latest research guide publication on County Tyrone, which I will review separately in due course. I also renewed my membership! The society's Ann Robinson also explained that they are planning to give their website a refresher in the near future - an interview with Ann will also appear on my next British GENES podcast.

There was a depressing absence of Scottish vendors or societies there, with only the two universities, Strathclyde and Dundee and ASGRA in attendance, as well as many members from the Scottish Genealogy Network (www.scottishgenealogynetwork.co.uk). Towards the end of the event I caught up briefly with Strathclyde's heid yin Tahitia McCabe, and recorded a discussion with her about the forthcoming summer institute in Glasgow that she is planning - again, keep an ear out for that on the next podcast, coming very soon! The fact that ScotlandsPeople and the National Records of Scotland were not there was simply extraordinary - but in the latter case I suspect not a lot would have been achieved by their presence anyway, with their online catalogue facilities now offline for over three weeks, which is frankly now becoming farcical. I did catch up with Miriam Silverman from Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk), however, who acquires content for the platform, and she revealed that there are plans to place some new material for Glasgow and Edinburgh online in the very near future, though I'll hold off mentioning any further specific details on that until I get the go ahead! Ancestry was also merrily plugging away its new AncestryDNA test, which is also soon to be launched in Australia. I briefly caught up with Bryony Partridge from the company, and thanked her for the test that she sent to me a few weeks past, which I have still to do, and will post a review on that when I do - honest!

It was good to see the English based National Archives (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk) back now in force, not only providing lectures but also an advice area once again, which was busy throughout, and Rebecca Probert, who I met in Portugal just a few weeks back, was also at the event, publicising her new book Divorced, Bigamist, Bereaved?. Deceased Online (www.deceasedonline.com) launched records for the Sandwell area, and I briefly caught up with genealogist Emma Jolly, who blogs for the company, and got to meet her kids and hubby for the first time!

This year I did not submit any proposals for any talks, and I never managed to attend any talks, although as the UTP stand was beside the SoG 4 theatre I did manage to eavesdrop in on a few! Overall, I would say that the show was a much better event for being held in Birmingham, with many fantastic benefits at the NEC such as the presence of so many restaurants and cafes on site.

The only criticisms I really heard from folk were some issues surrounding parking. The show will be at Birmingham again next year from April 7th-9th - it has been changed from April 28th-30th - and it looks like it may be there for a few years yet, one of the reasons for the date change. Personally, that decision gets the thumbs up from me also - Birmingham NEC is simply the most fantastic conference venue I've ever attended yet in the UK.

Finally, a few more pics...!













Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Date change for WDYTYA Live 2016

The dates for next year's Who Do You Think You Are? Live event have been changed only days after they were first announced. In a newsletter posted out a few days ago the organisers had announced the event would be held on April 28th-30th 2016, but during the event a new set of dates have been confirmed now as April 7th-9th 2016. Thanks to Else Churchill from the Society of Genealogists for the following explanation on the change:

At @WDYTYALIVE NEC came up with good deal for 2-3 years but can only offer 1st weekend of April as regular gig

So apologies for passing on the original dates, I was acting on good faith! But more importantly it looks like Birmingham now has the WDYTYA Live gig beyond 2016, and THAT is by far the better news - a much better venue! I'll blog a report later (when I wake up properly - what a 3 days!), but just to end... where's London again?!

(With thanks to Dick Eastman and Else Churchill)

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

New Lanark Mill Visitor Books transcription

Glasgow University Archive Services has an interesting post about a project to transcribe the names recorded in its New Lanark Mills visitors books.

The full story is at https://universityofglasgowlibrary.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/monthly-collections-blog-post-transcribing-the-new-lanark-mill-visitor-books/

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.