Monday, 25 April 2016

Further funds appeal from Ulster Historical Foundation

An update from the Ulster Historical Foundation (www.ancestryireland.com) on its relocation to new digs in Belfast city centre, including a further appeal to help with a funding shortfall:

The Foundation’s move to the Corn Exchange – An update from the Executive Director

Our recent move to new offices in the Corn Exchange is already helping to transform the Foundation’s ability to engage with those who we exist to serve. And it is increasing our ability to interact more with the general public, who are curious about their history.

In the short time that we have been operational in the new premises we have already been able to host three events with an international dimension:
  • A presentation by representatives of the Maine Ulster-Scots Project who discussed their archaeological dig in Somersett, Maine – a settlement of Ulster immigrants dating from the early eighteenth century
  • A ‘fam’ visit by representatives of Ancestry’s ProGenealogists team (from Salt Lake City and Dublin)
  • A morning exploring Ulster ancestral research with a group of family historians who are currently touring with the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO)

This is in addition to the already increasing number of personal research consultations that we are providing for local people and overseas visitors interested in their Ulster roots.

This is why the Foundation sought to move to the city centre – to be more accessible to our users and so we can continue to develop more practical partnerships with kindred organisations (e.g. The Belfast Charitable Society (Clifton House), Linen Hall Library, Tourism Northern Ireland, and of course the other organisations with which the Foundation shares the building).

Moreover we have made it easier for ordinary folk to use the services and benefit from the knowledge of the Foundation’s team in the new offices. The central location is easing the burden on our team of volunteers, some of whom are disabled, and for whom the old unit at Malone Road was a less than perfect location.

Furthermore, the installation of a new elevator in the building will soon be completed meaning our accessibility for disabled visitors will be enhanced ensuring the Foundation’s staff can welcome everyone who wishes to call.

It also means we have been able to increase the number of intern and placement opportunities for local students, and have had expressions of interests already about the possibility of providing summer internships for some overseas students.

Therefore we would like to offer a huge note of thanks to everyone who has helped to support the move through practical assistance or by ‘buying a brick’. Your generosity is greatly appreciated by the volunteers, staff, and trustees. It has enabled the Foundation to open a new chapter in our history, in the sixtieth anniversary year since the organisation was established.

The fundraising contributions have made it possible to complete the move and install most of what we need. We are a little short still of where we would like to be – to date we have raised £27,875, leaving a shortfall of £2125, thus if you think you can help by making a donation, we would be delighted to have you join our band of supporters.

It has been a busy 3 months since we moved to the Corn Exchange (at the end of January 2016), and we have had some fun bringing order to the chaos of storage crates – the joy and despair of moving – with which anyone who has moved house will be familiar.

You can see how we are progressing by visiting our updated photo gallery of images related to the move (see http://www.ancestryireland.com/make-a-donation/buy-brick/big-move-photo-gallery/). And do revisit from time to time, as you will see other important developments taking shape – including the installation of our new library.

Thank you again for generously supporting our fundraising, we hope you can see the positive change and improvements the relocation is already bringing to the work of this charitable organisation.

Best regards
Fintan Mullan
Executive Director


Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including 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. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

SAFHS conference 2017

One to bookmark - next year's Scottish Association of Family History Societies conference is being held on Saturday 22nd April 2017 at Cairn Queensferry Hotel, North Queensferry, Fife, KY11 1HP. Unusually, the conference is not being hosted by a family history society on this occasion, but by professional genealogist organisation the Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives.

For further details please visit http://www.safhs.org.uk/conference.asp.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including 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. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Somerset and Dorset photography project

Somerset and Dorset Family History Society (www.sdfhs.org) is establishing a searchable database of photographs from the region, and is seeking public contributions. From the society:

Although you would be welcome to bring your photographs in to the Family History Centre at any time (just give us a phone call, to let us know you are coming), we intend to hold a series of Photograph Open Days, to be run by our inputting team, when we shall also have our experts available to advise on dating and caring for your photographs. Have a look at the ‘Events’ page on this website to check for dates arranged.

Once the project is up and running, we may be able to extend it beyond Sherborne, by seeking the aid of the Society’s Groups to run similar Photograph Open Days.

We do have some criteria we need to observe to keep the database relevant to Somerset and Dorset.
  • The photographs must be of people born in, or who have lived in, one or both of the two counties.
  • Ideally no more than 3 images of one individual, for instance taken in youth, aged 20- 50, and 50 +.
  • At least one of the subjects needs to be identified by name.
  • A location and date, if only approximate, is desirable.
We would also like to have your permission to supply copies of photos to other researchers (we would make a nominal charge for this service, to cover costs).
    We would also be interested in any old photographs of places and buildings in the two counties with known family associations; for example houses, churches, halls, pubs and hotels, farms, factories, railway stations, and anything of this sort.

    To keep things manageable, we may, regrettably, have to decline offers which fall outside of the guidelines above.

    For further details visit http://www.sdfhs.org/sdfhs-projects/introduction-to-sdfhs-projects/a-hidden-resource/.

    Chris

    For details on my genealogy guide books, including 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. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

    Free ScotlandsPeople credits

    A quick reminder that 20 free ScotlandsPeople credits are available for grabs until the end of this month by using the code scotland on the website at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.

    You can access civil registration records from 1855 onwards on the site, Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic parish registers, censuses, valuation records, wills and more on the site. The normal cost of 30 credits is £7.


    Chris

    For details on my genealogy guide books, including 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. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

    National archives bank holiday closures

    The National Archives of Ireland (www.nationalarchives.ie) will be closed on May 2nd for the bank holiday, as will TNA at Kew (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk - also closed Sat 30th Apr), and PRONI (www.nidirect.gov.uk/proni).

    Best to check in advance with any other libraries and archive institutions that you might be wishing to visit also!

    Chris

    For details on my genealogy guide books, including 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. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

    Forces War Records Australian site

    From Forces War Records:

    Gooday…
    Today is ANZAC DAY - National day of remembrance and first landing of the Anzacs at Gallipoli. A busy day for our sister Australian site too, visit Forces War Records Australia… https://au.forces-war-records.com/

    Families can discover more about their ancestors' military service history with Forces War Records Australia

    Search over 9 million records for a family member’s Military History record with one of the most trusted and fastest growing Military Genealogy search facilities in the world for Australian, New Zealand and Commonwealth military service records to help trace family history. All records are sourced and hand transcribed from a variety of military and war documents, some exclusive to Forces War Records.

    The Gallipoli campaign was a costly failure for the Allies, with an estimated 27,000 French, and 115,000 British and dominion troops (Great Britain and Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Newfoundland) killed or wounded.

    Read more about Anzac Day… http://fwr.to/Wz5t7

    (With thanks to Jennifer Holmes)

    Chris

    For details on my genealogy guide books, including 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. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

    New book on how the Circus empowered women

    I've been asked to give a plug for the following:

    SAWDUST SISTERHOOD: How Circus Empowered Women
    by Steve Ward
    Fonthill Media Ltd www.fonthillmedia.com

    Now available for pre-ordering at www.waterstones.com and www.amazon.co.uk

    ‘Sawdust Sisterhood is a seminal text in recognising the role that our circus sisters played in the fight for gender equality’ (Kirstin Sillitoe; GM Vulcana Women’s Circus)

    Since the late 1700s the circus has allowed women to compete and succeed in a male dominated world. Steve Ward explores the rise to fame of some of these women, their colourful lives and the crucial roles that they played in the rise of feminism.

    • In her bicentenary year learn how Madame Saqui achieved celebrity status and influenced fashion
    • Discover how a young woman named Zazel became the first ever human cannonball
    • Uncover the secrets of strongwomen Sandwina and Vulcana and their fight for female emancipation
    • Explore the lives of the female Blondins and their death defying high-wire deeds
    • Learn about Nellie Chapman, the Lion Queen and her performance before Queen Victoria

    Steve Ward is a published author (see www.steve-ward.net) with a particular interest in circus. He has an M.A. from the University of Loughborough, researching the role of circus in education. He also devises and directs circus shows with young people.

    Chris

    For details on my genealogy guide books, including 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. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

    FGS Conference registration now open

    From the US based Federation of Genealogical Societies, news of a conference I am very much looking forward to speaking at in Illinois later this year:

    2016 FGS CONFERENCE REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN

    Register now for Time Travel: Centuries of Memories in Springfield, IL


    April 25, 2016 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces that online registration is now open for the 2016 FGS National Conference, “Time Travel: Centuries of Memories” to be held August 31 — September 3, 2016, in Springfield, IL, and locally hosted by the Illinois State Genealogical Society. Register by July 1, 2016, for the early-bird discount at http://www.FGSConference.org.

    Celebrating 40 years since the founding of FGS, each day of the conference is full of sessions aimed at strengthening attendees’ research skills no matter what level or area of interest they may have.

    “Returning to our Illinois roots for the FGS 2016 Conference to celebrate our 40th Anniversary in the state where FGS began is a dream come true,” says D. Joshua Taylor, FGS President. “With a solid educational program and a tremendous line-up of social events, this conference is not to be missed!”

    Conference Highlights

    • Conference Sessions: With over 160 sessions, 72 expert speakers from around the world, 10 luncheons with speakers, 7 workshops, and 2 interactive seminars, learning opportunities abound in the FGS 2016 Program. With strong daily tracks covering the U.S. Midwest (regional track), the United Kingdom (British Isles and Commonwealth track), and continental European research (ethnic track), attendees of all skill levels will learn a multitude of ways to uncover more about their family history.

    • Exhibit Hall: The large exhibit hall will feature the latest software, books, maps, databases and gadgets on the market for genealogists and family historians, as well as information about genealogical organizations. Located in the special Society Showcase area, representatives of FGS Member Societies will be on hand to demonstrate how their society can help attendees with their family history.

    • Special Events: With built-in networking opportunities, registrants can meet like-minded genealogists and family historians at FGS special events including “Farms & Families: Across the Decades” on Wednesday evening sponsored by FamilySearch and co-hosted by the Illinois State Genealogical Society and the Illinois State Historical Society; the “Meet & Greet” sponsored by Ancestry.com on Thursday evening; and the FGS 40th Anniversary Gala on Friday evening.

    • Focus on Societies: On Wednesday, August 31, 2016, sessions are jam‐packed with ideas and tools to help societies promote themselves, develop projects, increase membership, and leverage technology. The day kicks off with a plenary session that explores the opportunities and challenges facing societies today and showcases ways to facilitate the changes needed for societies to succeed and thrive.

    • Librarians’ Day: On Tuesday, August 30, 2016, ProQuest will sponsor a pre‐conference full‐day of sessions designed for librarians, archivists, and other information professionals serving family history researchers.

    Platinum sponsors include leading family history companies Ancestry.com and FamilySearch. Other participating and supporting organizations include Findmypast, Internet Genealogy, Your Genealogy, Lexmark, Eneclann, Illinois State Genealogical Society, Illinois State Archives, Illinois State Historical Society, and more. Please visit the conference website for a complete listing of all sponsors and partners.

    Also visit the conference website at http://www.FGSConference.org for additional details including links to conference hotels, research opportunities, and more. Keep up with conference news and announcements by reading the FGS Voice blog at http://voice.fgs.org/ and by subscribing to the FGS Voice Newsletter at http://fgs.org/cpage.php?pt=71.

    Chris

    For details on my genealogy guide books, including 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. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

    Durham Records Online additions

    New records available at Durham Records Online (www.durhamrecordsonline.com):

    Mere Knolls Western Extension burials 1921-1939
    9,390 burials in the Western Extension of Mere Knolls Cemetery in Fulwell, Sunderland, County Durham, spanning 1921-1939.

    Hartlepool St. Hilda monument inscriptions
    Approximately 467 monument inscriptions in the churchyard of Hartlepool St. Hilda, based on the state of the churchyard in 1952, with death dates running from 1746 to 1925.

    St. John Lee marriages 1813-1837
    297 marriages at St. John Lee in Hexham district, Northumberland, from the beginning of 1813 to the end of 1837

    Pittington baptisms 1574-1650 & marriages 1574-1812 updated
    Alerted by some recently-discovered errors and omissions, we went over our earliest Pittington St. Laurence (Durham district) baptisms and marriages, rechecking them all against the parish registers. We checked 920 baptisms covering 1574-1650 and 1,085 marriages covering 1574-1812. These are some of our oldest transcripts, and we have made numerous corrections. Abodes and 482 marriage witnesses, which started appearing in 1754, were added. Some marriages were converted to marriage banns, as the banns were called at Pittington but the marriage did not actually occur there.

    We discovered 96 baptisms that had been missed, with the bulk of these (84) between 1611 and 1620. We also realized we were missing all 83 marriages between 1655 and 1678, plus we found an additional 16 missing marriages sprinkled across various years. So if you're looking for somebody who might have been born or married at Pittington, and you previously couldn't find them, you might want to run another search.

    Coming Soon:
    1851 Gateshead census
    Sherburn Hospital baptisms & burials
    Newcastle St. John baptisms & burials

    Further down the queue: Newburn, Southwick baptisms, Darlington Friends Burial Ground, more Methodist records, Durham St. Nicholas baptisms & marriages 1540-1700, Durham St. Giles baptisms & marriages 1584-1700, Slaley, Mere Knolls 1940+, Newcastle St Andrew, Heddon on the Wall

    (With thanks to Durham Records Online)

    Chris

    For details on my genealogy guide books, including 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. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

    Sunday, 24 April 2016

    Thanks to Qualicum Beach FHS for two great conferences!

    It's been a mad week here in British Columbia, but the last two days have certainly been the busiest so far on Vancouver Island! On Friday I gave four talks in two half day themed seminars on Scottish and Irish research, whilst yesterday I gave two talks at a conference called Unlocking the Past 2016 (with California based Colleen Fitzpatrick the other main speaker at this one), with both events held in Parksville.

    The events were absolutely jam packed with attendees, and a huge lot of fun. Major thanks to Donna Fraser, who first suggested the event at a chance encounter in the Mitchell Library in Glasgow some two years ago, but also to Lorraine Butler, Lola Cook, and the rest of the team who put on such an amazing programme, attracting folk from various quarters in BC! Here are some pics from the events:







    A great two days with a lot of fun!

    One of the highlights for me personally was to get talking to a gentleman called David M Paton. David is not related to me, but he was somewhat astounded to hear me discussing one of my second cousins in a talk yesterday, because it was someone whom he knew very well! Sir William Drummond MacDonald Paton was a well known pharmacologist at Oxford University, a field that David also worked within, and the two gents met on various occasions within their professional work - it's a small world!

    Most of my Unlock the Past books also sold out at the conference, but if you attended and were unable to purchase copies, you can find them for sale in Canada at Global Genealogy - my dedicated author's page on that site is available at http://www.globalgenealogy.com/authors/paton-chris/chris-paton.htm.

    With thanks to Qualicum Beach FHS (www.qbfhs.ca), and especially to Donna, a true genie hero for all that she has done for the society locally. Now onwards and upwards for the second half of the trip!

    And finally, thanks to Pattie Watson and Pat Hocker for great craic last night, sharing an impressive whisky collection in Duncan, BC...!

     


    Chris

    For details on my genealogy guide books, including 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. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.