Wednesday, 13 June 2018

ScotlandsPeople adds new maps and plans collection

From ScotlandsPeople (

More than 2,400 historic maps, plans and drawings from National Records of Scotland (NRS) collections have been made available on the ScotlandsPeople website. Many of the maps show the changing Scottish landscape over time. They also record where people lived or worked, so they can throw light on ancestors’ lives and even suggest new avenues for research. The maps and plans cover certain areas of Scotland, but not the wholeof the country. They include both country estates and plans of towns and cities, including for example Glasgow. Most of the maps and plans originate in the records of court cases, Scottish government departments, Heritors’ records, as well as in private collections gifted to or purchased by NRS.

If you would like to find out more, read our maps and plans guide, or search the maps and plans.

The maps and plans collection is amongst the finest in the UK and contains the largest number of Scottish manuscript maps and plans held by any single institution. Spanning four centuries, the collections cover both manuscript and printed topographical maps and plans. They are particularly strong in estate and railway plans; architectural drawings; and engineering drawings, particularly of ships, railway engines and rolling stock. More maps and plans will be added to the ScotlandsPeople website.

Plan of the Carron River from Carron works to Grangemouth, 1797
National Records of Scotland, RHP242/2

For more information, and several examples of maps that have been added, please visit


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Exhibition: Voices and Votes - Suffrage and the Representation of the People, 1832-1928

A new major exhibition coming to PRONI ( in Belfast:

Voices and Votes: Suffrage and the Representation of the People, 1832-1928

The exhibition explores the history of suffrage from a local perspective, particularly the struggle for women’s representation, and includes unique archival material which highlights some of the people who championed change.

A range of educational resources will also be launched on the day, including an interactive resource featuring archival material relating to the suffrage movement, a graphic novel exploring the lives of Countess Constance Markievicz and Edith, Lady Londonderry, and a 2.5D animation charting the history of the suffrage movement.

The event will also see the first public performance of a new drama production from Kabosh Theatre Company, featuring a fictional meeting between Edith, Lady Londonderry and Countess Constance Markievicz.

Dr Margaret Ward, Queen’s University Belfast, will deliver a keynote lecture, ‘Winning the Vote: Suffrage in Ulster’.

Additional information

PRONI opening hours and getting here
DATE: Monday 2 July, 10.00am-1.00pm
LOCATION: PRONI, Titanic Quarter, Belfast
Admission is FREE, however booking is essential. Register for this event at Eventbrite
LUNCH SERVED from 12.30pm
For further details, please visit the PRONI website

(With thanks to PRONI)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Friday, 8 June 2018

FindmyPast updates its Suffragette Collection

FindmyPast ( has updated its Suffragette Collection:

Suffragette Collection Update

Explore over 22,000 new additions to our Suffragette Collection. Exclusively available on Findmypast, this latest batch of records has been digitised and released online for the first time in association with the National Archives. It includes a wide variety of Home Office and Metropolitan Police files as well as 1911 census returns that list either "Suffragette" or "Suffragist" as an occupation.

The Suffragette Collection now contains more than 78,000 records that reveal the struggles endured by the movement's most ardent supporters and highlight the State's response as it attempted to contain them. These rich documents bring together the stories of women from all walks of life who actively supported women's suffrage, either by attending demonstrations and meetings or opting for militant "direct action".

The collection spans from 1902 to 1919 and includes the following series of records from The National Archives: AR 1, ASSI 52, CRIM 1, CRIM 9, DPP 1, HO 144, HO 45, HO 140, LO 3, MEPO 2, MEPO 3, PCOM 7, PCOM 8, PRO 30, T 1, T 172, TS 27, and WORK 11. Among these are photographs of suffragettes, cabinet letters, calendars of prisoners, Home Office papers of suffragette disturbances, an index of women arrested between 1906 and 1914 (the official watch list of over 1,300 suffragettes), reports of force-feeding, and more.

Women's Suffrage Petition 1866

Discover your ancestor in this index from the women's suffrage petition of 1866. The petition contains over 1,500 names and was obtained through Each transcript will list your ancestor's name, address and any additional notes. Additional information about these records can be found on the source's website.

The suffrage petition of 1866 was the first Votes for Women mass petition put before Parliament. It was presented on 7 June 1866 by John Stuart Mill, a Member of Parliament. The original document with the individuals' signatures no longer exists. However, the list of signatories was printed in a pamphlet for circulation in 1866. Today, only two copies of this list exist, and it was from this document that this index was created.

Suffragette Newspapers Browse

Over 58,000 new records and 14 new titles have been added to our collection of Suffragette Newspapers.

The new titles available to browse include:

Church League for Women's Suffrage
Common Cause
Conservative and Unionist Women's Franchise Review
Free Church Suffrage Times
International Woman Suffrage News
Jus Suffragi
The Suffragist
The Vote
Woman's Dreadnought
Woman's Leader and the Common Cause
Woman's Signal
Women's Franchise
Women's Suffrage
Women's Suffrage Record

Further details at


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Thursday, 7 June 2018

The 1718 migration from Ulster

From the Ulster Historical Foundation (

The 1718 Migration: From Ulster to New England

The 1718 Migration: From Ulster to New England covers perhaps the most important single year in the story of the relationship between Ulster and America. The 1718 migration was not by any means the first migration of people from Ulster to America, but it is probably the first that was organised to bring groups of settlers from one definite catchment area, and importantly, these were people who wanted to continue to live together in the new land.

This publication which only costs one penny (P&P charges do apply) is now available on our bookstore - see

1718 Migration Bundle

To mark the re-publication of The 1718 Migration we are offering a 1718 Migration bundle. Get Ulster Emigration to Colonial America, 1718–1775, Robert Dinsmoor’s Scotch-Irish Poems as well as The 1718 Migration: From Ulster to New England for just £19.99

Visit to order your bundle.

(With thanks to the Foundation via email)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Looking forward to Glasgow Family History Discovery Day!

It's the conference of the week, and I'm looking forward to speaking at it about Irish Family History Resources Online - and as usual, I'll have a few wee words and thoughts to impart!

The Glasgow Family History Discovery Day kicks off at 10am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 35 Julian Avenue, Kelvinside, Glasgow, G12 0RB. Amongst the speakers there will be Irene O'Brien, Alison Spring, Bronwen Fogg, Roger Gardiner, Sandy Duncanson, June Cumming and James Greer.

For further details, please visit

I'll hopefully see you there! :)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

MyHeritage adds further protection for cybersecurity

From MyHeritage (

MyHeritage Releases Two-Factor Authentication

On Monday, June 4, we released a statement regarding a cybersecurity incident. Earlier that same day, at approximately 1 p.m. EST, MyHeritage’s Chief Information Security Officer received a message from a security researcher that he had found a file containing email addresses and hashed passwords, on a private server outside of MyHeritage. Our Information Security Team received the file from the security researcher, reviewed it, and confirmed that its contents originated from MyHeritage and included 92.3 million email addresses of users who signed up to MyHeritage up to and including October 26, 2017 (the date of the breach), and their hashed passwords. MyHeritage does not store user passwords, but rather a one-way hash of each password, in which the hash key differs for each customer. This means that anyone gaining access to the hashed passwords does not have the actual passwords.The security researcher reported that no other data related to MyHeritage was found on the private server.

We have no reason to believe that any other information was compromised, such as the actual user passwords, credit card details, family tree data or DNA data. Credit card details are only stored on trusted third-party billing providers, while other types of sensitive data are stored by MyHeritage on segregated systems, separate from those that store the email addresses, and they include added layers of security.

We took several immediate steps, including establishing an Information Security Incident Response Team to investigate the incident, notifying relevant authorities, setting up a special customer support team, expiring all user passwords and forcing users to reset their password upon next login, and expediting our work on the upcoming Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) feature to further protect MyHeritage accounts.

Two-Factor Authentication had been scheduled to be added to MyHeritage accounts in the July-August timeframe but following the breach and our June 4th promise to expedite its development, we worked around the clock and are glad to announce today that we have completed the development and have released its initial implementation to all users of MyHeritage.

In MyHeritage’s first release of 2FA, you designate a mobile phone and link it to your account by providing MyHeritage with its number. Then, any time you will log in to MyHeritage from a new computer, tablet or phone, or if a month has passed since your last login, MyHeritage will send you a six-digit verification code as a text (SMS) message to your mobile phone and you will need to enter it on MyHeritage to complete the login successfully.

The privacy and the security of our users' data on MyHeritage is our highest priority. The implementation of the Two-Factor Authentication, MyHeritage being among the first in the genealogy and DNA industry to provide users with this added layer of security, is a testament to this commitment.

Please find more information in this blog post:

(With thanks to Daniel Horowitz)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Family Tree magazine's 2019 European river cruise

From the UK's Family Tree magazine (, news of an interesting new venture in September 2019:

We've teamed up with AMAWaterways (, a luxury River Cruise line to bring you a brand new 7-night Family History Cruise. The cruise begins in Amsterdam on Monday 9th September 2019 and ends in Basel, on Monday 16th September.

You’ll cruise aboard the 156-guest AmaMora, the new addition to AmaWaterways’ award-winning fleet. Known for their exquisite cuisine, active discovery tours and excursions, extensive complimentary amenities and personalised service, AmaWaterways’ ship AmaMora will provide the perfect setting for discovering your family history.

Sail with a family history expert, who will host several sessions and interactive activities throughout the cruise on topics including essential
records, information about DNA testing, how to use online resources,visiting archives and your next steps!

Where will you go?

9 Sep: Embark AMSTERDAM

Amsterdam Canal cruise and city tour. Scenic cruising out of Amsterdam

Walking tour and cathedral visit. Plus, enjoy a Cologne bike tour or Kölsch beer tasting

“Castles along the Rhine” scenic cruising
Wine tasting, Gondola ride or Schloss Johannisberg bike tour. Plus, Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum or Rüdesheimer coffee

“Romantic Heidelberg” excursionm, with Heidelberg Philosopher’s Path hike or “Secrets of Speyer” excursion

“The Gem of Alsace” tour or Strasbourg bike tour

Riquewihr walking tour, with Freiburg excursion, a Breisach wine country bike tour or Black Forest excursion

16 Sep: Disembark BASEL

Further details, inclusing the costs, are available at


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Franco-Welsh family archive gifted to Cardiff University Archives

News concerning an acquisition by Cardiff University's Special Collections and Archives (

Gift of family archive reveals Franco-Welsh links

Window on the past: experiences of an extraordinary family

The significant role in the two World Wars of a prominent French family who made the Welsh capital their home is being celebrated at Cardiff University.

Paul Barbier became the University’s first Professor of French after coming to the city to take up the post of lecturer at the newly founded University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire in 1883. The family’s continuing strong links to Cardiff have recently led to relatives donating a wealth of diaries, letters and photographs to the Special Collections and Archives at Cardiff University.

Paul Barbier’s eight children were all educated in the city, and two of his sons, Paul and Georges, were called up to join the French army during the First World War, and were seconded as interpreters to the British Expeditionary Forces.

During the Second World War, their nephew, Jacques De Guélis, played a crucial role as a spy in the secretive Special Operations Executive (SOE) due to his Franco-British background. His fluent French allowed him to go behind enemy lines unnoticed no less than three times and he was hailed a hero for his efforts. Following a car crash shortly after the war ended, he was buried at Cathays Cemetery in Cardiff.

Relatives Delphine Isaaman, Paul Barbier and other family members will attend a special event to launch the archive on Wednesday June 6, the 74th anniversary of D-Day. There will also be a blue plaque unveiled at 3 Museum Place, the house on the University campus where Jacques De Guélis was born on 6th April 1907.

Mrs Isaaman, a cousin of De Guélis, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that these documents will now be available to scholars and the wider public. There is an enormous amount of social history in the archive about the first 50 years of the twentieth century. It’s right that its new home is the Welsh capital, where we have such strong ties. ”

Professor Hanna Diamond, of the School of Modern Languages, an expert in French history, said: “This is a hugely significant collection, which will give the public, students and academics the chance to learn about a family with an incredible story. It also gives us an insight into what life was like for people in Cardiff during the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. It’s sure to become an invaluable resource and a fitting legacy for Paul Barbier and his descendants.”

Alan Vaughan Hughes, Head of Special Collections and Archives, said: “We are delighted to offer this remarkable archive a safe home for the people and students of Cardiff. The richness of the archive offers a magnificent insight into Cardiff’s rich cultural and civic heritage and we are excited to be making it available to the public as well as academics and students.”

(With thanks to Victoria Dando)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Illegal adoptions in Ireland

I have been contacted by professional genealogist and APG member Fiona Fitzsimons, of Dublin based firm Eneclann (, who has asked me to share an article she has written on the background to the historic adoption scandal currently playing out in the Republic of Ireland, and offering advice for those who may need it. (Fiona has also published the story on the Association of Professional Genealogists Britain, Ireland & the Isles Facebook page at


So, post-Referendum, and with little or no pause, Ireland is straight into another scandal where women’s reproductive rights are/ were stage-centre. This time, it’s all about adoption.

In 1952 legal adoption was introduced into Ireland by an Act of parliament (the Dáil). From this date, records of all legal adoption are held by the Adoption Board.

This last week evidence that illegal adoptions took place in Ireland after 1952 has come into the public domain.

Tusla, the child and family agency issued the following statement.

Media Statement re St Patrick’s Guild adoption records 
29 May 2018: Tusla – Child and Family Agency has identified at least 126 instances of incorrect registrations of birth in the records of St Patrick’s Guild. The registrations in question relate to births between 1946 and 1969 and were discovered as a result of Tusla proactively undertaking significant work to scan St Patrick’s Guild records and identify instances of incorrect registrations.

Tusla’s statement concerning 126 cases is only the tip of the ice-berg. As early as 1956 over 500 cases of illegal adoptions were known. The issue of illegal adoptions was openly debated in the Dáil, by Maureen O’Carroll of the Irish Labour party (incidentally, mother of comedian Brendan O’Carroll, aka Mrs. Brown). See

Falsifying records, or making no record in the first instance, has had and continues to have, catastrophic consequences: it places a huge obstacle to the person adopted from tracing a birth mother/ father; it likewise prevents birth parents from tracing their children.

Many readers will have seen the film Philomena with Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. But there are hundreds of other similar stories out there. (see

So how can we as family historians/ genealogists assist in tracing Irish children in these circumstances?

Here’s some guidelines:

Records were kept for the greater number of children in Ireland (26 counties corresponding to the Irish Republic) raised in care/ fostered from the 1920s.

Where an illegal adoption has taken place after 1952, records are not usually held by the Adoption Board.

What records were made were usually controlled by the Adoption Agencies (like St. Patrick’s Guild), or by the individual homes. The greater part of these records known to have survive, are part of the AIRR collection.

The A.I.R.R. (Access to Institutional and Related Records) Project is a central index to records of children raised in care in Ireland between the 1930s and 1990s.

Even where records have been falsified, there is often some note to this effect made at the time of the event. This is how Tusla uncovered the 126 cases.

These records are held by two Irish State agencies. A person directly affected, or their next of kin, can apply for access to these records.

The A.I.R.R. records are accessible through the Department of Health and Children.

Phone: A.I.R.R. 00 353 1 635 4190 or 1 635 3030

In addition, the Health Service Executive operates a Tracing Service that has greater coverage of the records of infant hospitals, mother-and-baby homes, adoption societies, and a large number of registers of private nursing homes. The earliest records date from the late 1890s.

Phone: H.S.E. Tracing Service: 00 353 1 8976858

If you have been directly affected by this and would like advice, please contact us. We can’t take individual cases, but are willing to act as guides, directing you to sources and contacts.

(With thanks to Fiona Fitzsimons)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Review: Plantations in Ulster, 1600-41 – A Collection of Documents

Plantations in Ulster, 1600-41 – A Collection of Documents, edited by R. J. Hunter

This guide, originally published by R. J. Hunter, but now expanded and updated with additional material by Ian Montgomery of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and Dr. William Roulston of the Ulster Historical Foundation, is quite simply a breathtakingly beautiful book - not just because it is a visual treat, with its many wonderfully captured full colour images of documents from the Plantation period and easy to access transcriptions, and not just because it only costs a penny! But because, as with any good resource book, it unlocks an entire new world of potential in terms of documentary sources to pursue, and research approaches to take.

Almost twenty years ago I wondered if I would ever be able to connect back to the resources of Griffith's Valuation in the mid-19th century; now I am at the stage where I am beginning to touch the Plantations of Ulster era on many of my Northern Irish lines. What this book does is to completely bring that era to life, telling the story of the Plantations, the frustrations of the Plantations, the failure of parts of the Plantations scheme, and also some of the successes of the Plantations, by providing an insight into the Plantations as a project and scheme which was actually carried out. This was not just a chapter heading in a book, this actually happened as an event, and had many real experiences at its heart – for good and for bad – which are to this day still vilified as controversial by some, and commemorated as an achievement by others.

The Plantations scheme as envisaged in London is described through a series of contemporary documents marking progress along the way, including its inception, its revisions and its impact. There are examples of surveys of the lands in Ulster to be planted with Protestant settlers from Britain, reports on the native Irish experience in Armagh from 1624, examples of port books, the Charter of Belfast, a photograph of the memorial stone to Arthur Chichester in my home town of Carrickfergus, petitions, maps, and the list goes on.

A third of the documents featured are new additions extending the late Bob Hunter's original work, with the new version of the book produced in association with the R. J. Hunter Committee. Some of these previously unpublished documents were actually worked on by Bob Hunter himself, whilst Ian Montgomery and William Roulston completed the additions.

The book costs just a penny, but you will need to pay for postage and packing – details on how to do so are available at

This may well become one of my all time favourite Irish genealogy books, because I now believe that whilst I may have made a lot of progress on my Irish research in twenty years, it's just reminded me I am still a novice with a hell of long way to go!

(With thanks to PRONI and the Ulster Historical Foundation)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at