Friday, 31 May 2013

Roots Ireland - strategic site review underway

Roots Ireland (www.RootsIreland.ie), the online platform carrying records from the Irish Family History Foundation's member societies, has recently asked its subscribers to fill out a user survey, which has generated some 19,000 replies from across the world. In an email I've just received the vendor has stated that the "feedback received is currently being analysed by the consultancy firm that we have engaged to conduct a strategic review of the site."

If ever a site needed a strategic review, Roots Ireland would certainly be one you would have to offer up for consideration. There are many changes coming fast and thick with online Irish research, not least the fact that the Irish Government is planning to place online indexes to civil registration records on its Irish Genealogy website at www.irishgenealogy.ie (which has a new wind behind it), the Northern Irish GRO is soon to launch its own Ulster borne version of a ScotlandsPeople type site, the National Library of Ireland is hoping to digitise Roman Catholic parish records, and more. Some offerings on RootsIreland are also available on other platforms, such as its 1901 and 1911 census transcripts, where the originals are freely offered by the National Archives of Ireland at www.genealogy.nationalarchives.ie, and with pre-1901 census fragments soon to join the site.

RootsIreland still has many unique resources, notably its transcribed parish records holdings, and recently made some changes to its site following a fairly disastrous re-organisation of its payment system and charging, but many people have been frustrated with the service, outraged by its charges, and more, for several years. Whether this is something that emerges from the survey findings - and if so, whether the site will listen - is still to be seen. But as competitors grow in strength, one thing that RootsIreland is running out of is time, because increasingly many other options are emerging providing considerably less grief for users.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

FindmyPast Ireland - competition to win copy of my book

FindmyPast Ireland (www.findmypast.ie) is running a competition to win a copy of my latest book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - the draw will take place on June 26th, you just need to answer a simple question using the website.

For full details, visit the company's latest newsletter at http://i.findmypast.ie/newsletters/assets/fmpie/N2013-05-023590/23590-online.htm

Good luck!

(With thanks to FindmyPast Ireland)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

PRONI adds photos of Belfast to FLICKR

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland has added some 200 photographs of Belfast from 1912-14 onto its FLICKR based platform at www.flickr.com/photos/proni

Taken by Belfast Corporation they include images from Little York Street; Millfield (including Gardiner Street, Brown Street and Boundary Street); mid Shankill (Hemsworth Street); Grovenor Road (Stanley Street); Hamill Street; Barrack Street; and Lower Falls (Christian Place); Mill Street; King Street; Divis Street; Manor Street; Crimea Street; Tate's Avenue; Chichester Street; Victoria Street; Cromac Square; Shankill Road; Woodvale Road and Antrim Road.

The full story is at www.proni.gov.uk/news_details.htm?newsRef=2685

(NB: 67 images there at time of viewing, but more are still to be added)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

National Records of Scotland website now up and running

Remember the rumour that the National Archives of Scotland and the General Register Office for Scotland merged a couple of years ago to form a body called the National Records of Scotland?! Well, believe it or not, it wasn't a rumour, and it did actually happen, but you wouldn't have thought so from the two former institutions' continued online presence which two years on were still doing their own thing!

That's now beginning to change. Tim Ellis, the new Registrar General and Keeper of the Archives, has just announced on Twitter (@timgov) that the NRS now has a more dedicated main portal site up and running at http://nrscotland.gov.uk. Previously the URL led to a site that told you there had basically been a merger, with little more to offer other than links to the previous websites of the two bodies, but the new platform now has considerably more bells and whistles. Some links still redirect to the old GROS and NAS platforms - mainly for catalogues and other tools - but with items for news and other areas you can now see stories appearing on dedicated NRS based pages.



First impressions? Looks great, a really nice job!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Family Tree - another preview clip

This one made me chuckle! From episode 2 of Family Tree, currently airing in the US on HBO, and coming soon to the BBC:



Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Scottish Online Catalogue Project

For most of us working as genies in Scotland, a key resource we often utilise is the Scottish Archive Network catalogue at www.scan.org.uk/catalogue, a project which is administered by the Scottish Council on Archives (www.scottisharchives.org.uk). The site is our equivalent of England's and Wales' Access to Archives portal, aka A2A.

The SCAN catalogue currently provides resources from 52 archives, but the catalogued holdings on it are varied and not complete - in some cases resources are catalogued to item level, in others, only to fond level, but in many cases resources are not included at all. The Scotland Online Catalogue Project is currently being developed as an exciting next stage forward for the archive sector, which will "provide archives across Scotland with an interactive online cataloguing portal with detailed searchable information about holdings". For more on the project, see www.scottisharchives.org.uk/projects/toolsstandards/scotlandonline.

In particular, please do have a look at Caroline Williams' Scotland Online Survey Report from 2011 which sought "to establish the nature and extent of online cataloguing in Scotland and possible approaches to its future development" (see http://www.scottisharchives.org.uk/toolsstandards/scotland_online/the_nations_catalogue_-_scotland_online__september_2011__final_version.pdf).

At present a funding bid is in with the Heritage Lottery Fund for project development funding, for what will be a major development for anyone using historical archives for research.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Scottish Catholic records now available at local family history centres

The Scottish Roman Catholic parish records, which have been previously digitised and accessible either on the ScotlandsPeople website or at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh (www.scotlandspeoplehub.gov.uk), are now also available at the local family history centres across the country which provide access to the same computer system. Previously the records have only been accessible via the system in Edinburgh, making this yet another welcome development across the country for family historians.

Having been alerted to this yesterday, I have just contacted the Burns Monument Centre in Kilmarnock (www.burnsmonumentcentre.co.uk), which has confirmed that this is certainly happening there. I have also tried to confirm with Glasgow Genealogy Centre - but there is only so long you wait on the phone in a queue to the sounds of the same piece of classical music playing over and over! If you wish to access the Catholic records at your local family history/archive centre, I would advise you call in advance to double check that they too now have them.

(With thanks to Chris Halliday at Highland Archives, and Ian at the Burns Monument Centre)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Scottish 'tee names' in the Valuation Rolls

ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) has issued a press release about the newly released 1895 valuation roll on its site - amongst the list of the great and the good found in the press release is the following very useful section on something that may help a hell of a lot of you to find ancestors in the north east, because up there, they did things differently when it came to surnames! Welcome to the wonderful world of Scottish tee names...

Here goes:

'Tee names' - community nicknames for people in NE Scotland

A splendid and quirky feature of the 1895 Valuation Rolls is the 'tee names' of people who lived in north-east Scotland, and also some locations in Fife, Argyll and Gairloch (though it was mainly NE Scotland).

'Tee names' are community nicknames, so researchers who are looking for forbears from NE Scotland might stumble upon their ancestors' nicknames. Further, by discovering the 'tee name' of an ancestor, you might also learn something about a character trait (or physical characteristic) of that ancestor. To give you a better idea about 'tee names', we've included a VR entry for Buckie in the Parish of Rathven, which contains some wonderful examples of these nicknames (see http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/content/images/buckieteenames.jpg).

Given that Neil Munro originally hailed from Inveraray in Argyllshire, we've also been musing on the possibility that 'Para Handy' (captain of 'The Vital Spark') might be a 'tee name'.

So far, 'Costie Stone' and 'Smacker' are our favourite 'tee names'! If you find the 'tee name' of one of your ancestors, then please give us a shout.

(With thanks to ScotlandsPeople - it's press releases can be found at http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/Content/Help/index.aspx?r=546&2153)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

TNA podcast - Elizabethan England A-Z

The latest podcast from the National Archives in Kew is entitled An A-Z of Interesting Things about Elizabethan England, from a talk lasting 1 hour 4 mins by Ian Mortimer. To listen visit http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/an-a-z-of-interesting-things-about-elizabethan-england/ or download for free from iTunes.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Irish Family and Estate Papers list

Here's a nice resource, courtesy of the North of Ireland FHS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NIFHS.

It's a site entitled Holdings of Irish Family and Estate Papers: List of Irish Family and Estate Papers held in Archives, Libraries and Museums, available at http://colletionsofpapers.blogspot.co.uk, and includes list of material at PRONI, but also elsewhere, including overseas.

(With thanks to NIFHS)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

The Great Parchment Book site now live

Thanks to Iain McCulloch (@sempaiscuba) for a tip off that the Great Parchment Book website is now live.

Last year I blogged a story about a project involving an extraordinary holding of the London Metropolitan Archives which was being conserved and digitised. The document in question was the Great Parchment Book of 1633, a survey compiled in 1639 by a Commission instituted under the Great Seal by Charles I , which lists many of the British planters who colonised Ulster, particularly around Derry and Coleraine, in the early 17th century (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/derry-parchment-book-conservation.html).

The Great Parchment site is now live at http://greatparchmentbook.org and can be searched for names, places and occupations of those involved. I've had a brief look so far, and it looks like there's a lot to get stuck into. The following fascinating video on the book's conservation helps to give a flavour of the offering:



The transcription work is ongoing, so keep returning to it for updates, but so far, it's a job well done - have fun!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Cornish heraldry

This one just popped up in a Google alert - a Wikipedia page on heraldry from Cornwall. I'm all for something different! It's an interesting read at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornish_heraldry.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

South Ayrshire History and Family History Fair

This coming Saturday 1st June I'll be giving a talk on online Irish family history research as part of the South Ayrshire History and Family History Fair, to be held at the Walker Halls in Troon.

Also giving talks will be Dauvit Brown, Tom Barclay and Terence Christian, the place will also be packed with vendors, societies, bookshops and more. And if it's a nice day, the beach is a minute away, and there's usually good ice cream available in Troon - though Nardinis here in Largs of course reigns supreme! :)

For more details visit http://southayrshirehistory.wordpress.com/programme-of-events/ - hopefully see you there!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

National Library of Wales - fire report

The National Library of Wales (www.llgc.org.uk) has uploaded a statement from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service concerning the recent fire at the facility. It transpires that the cause was most likely a blow torch being used to warm the roof covering on the edge of the Third Library Building Offices roof, in order to facilitate its removal with hand scrapers, which it seems accidentally ignited the timber behind.

The full statement is available at www.llgc.org.uk/index.php?id=1514&no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=5335&cHash=c26ea0d818533b45f853e4e94625c829

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Recent British Newspaper Archive additions

Recently added to the British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) in the last 30 days:

Birmingham Gazette - 1876
Chester Chronicle - 1893
Dublin Evening Mail - 1850, 1926
Edinburgh Evening News - 1875, 1896, 1899 - 1901, 1920, 1932
Gloucester Journal - 1876, 1882, 1888 - 1889, 1897, 1901, 1905, 1907, 1912 - 1914, 1917 - 1920, 1950
Kent & Sussex Courier - 1879, 1900 - 1906, 1912 - 1916, 1918 - 1920, 1922 - 1923, 1939
London City Press - 1860, 1864 - 1869, 1871
Middlesex Chronicle - 1870, 1896 - 1897
Newcastle Journal - 1872, 1882, 1898, 1916
Northants Evening Telegraph - 1902
Paisley Herald and Renfrewshire Advertiser - 1859, 1863, 1867, 1869
Reading Mercury - 1881, 1958
Southern Reporter - 1863 - 1925

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Major release of Surrey parish records on Ancestry

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has released four new Anglican parish records collections for the English historic county of Surrey, covering parish churches as far afield as Abinger (St James) to Yorktown.

The collections are as follows:

Surrey, England, Baptisms, 1813-1912
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=4772

Surrey, England, Marriages, 1754-1937
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=4779

Surrey, England, Burials, 1813-1987
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=4786

Surrey, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=4790

The records have been sourced from Surrey County Council History centre in Woking. At the bottom of each source page Ancestry has added the following note: "This collection includes select records after 1900. We plan to complete the later years in the coming months".

UPDATE: A free launch event for the digitised Surrey Parish Records 1538-1987 collection will be held on Saturday 6th July (10.30am – 3:30pm) at Surrey History Centre in Woking, with Ancestry.co.uk staff on hand to answer any questions about the records and help people search the collection, and experts from Surrey History Centre, East Surrey Family History Society and West Surrey Family History Society available to answer your family history questions. To book places on the presentations please phone 01483 518737 or email shs@surreycc.gov.uk

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

National Library of Scotland events - June

Forthcoming events at the National Library of Scotland (www.nls.uk), in Edinburgh:

Discovering Family History - Thursday 6 June, 2:30-4:00pm
Find out about the range of resources that the Library holds to help you with your family history research. The workshop also includes practical information on how to become a reader and using the Reader Rooms.

'Homecoming' - Material handling workshop for people with visual impairments
Friday 7 June, 10:30-11:30am
As part of 'Make a Noise in Libraries' fortnight, join Maria Castrillo (Manuscripts Curator) and Andrew Martin (Scottish Modern Collections Curator) for a sneak preview of some of the material which will be appearing in our 2014 'Homecoming' exhibition. You'll get the opportunity to handle and learn more about these special items.

World War One - Material handling workshop for people with visual impairments
Monday 10 June, 2:30pm-3:30pm
As part of our 'Make a Noise in Libraries' fortnight, join Alison Metcalfe (Manuscripts Curator) and Jan Usher (Official Publications Curator) for a sneak preview of some of the material which will be appearing in our 2014 World War One exhibition. You'll get the opportunity to handle and learn more about these special items.

Getting started at NLS - Tuesday 11 June, 10:30am
Learn how to register as a reader, find your way around the library, request materials and find out about our other services. The workshop also includes a tour of the Reading Rooms.
If you wish to register to use the Library after the workshop, please bring evidence of identity such as a current driving license or recent utility bill.

Read all about it! An introduction to online newspaper resources - Tuesday 18 June, 2:00pm
This session includes demonstrations of a selection of resources and tips on how to search and discover the information you need.

Please note spaces are limited at the free workshops.
To reserve a place visit the NLS website or call 0131 623 3734.

(With thanks to the NLS)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

The Original Record - half price sale

The Original Records website (www.theoriginalrecord.com) has just announced a Half-Price Sale for a limited, but undefined, period. The prices of all subscriptions and scans have been reduced by 50%, but this does not include DVDs/Ebooks.

The Original Record is one of those sites that I desperately want to sing the praises of - it has some genuinely useful and rare digitised materials on it for all of the British Isles - but it has always had the most bizarre payment and search systems, making it difficult to engage with and predominantly useful for those carrying out one-name studies. A half price sale is therefore a very welcome development, and I would encourage you to explore it - but you may still find some records to be pricey and the experience frustrating.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

MyHeritage to sponsor first JGSGB family history fair

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain has announced that My Heritage (www.myheritage.com) is to act as 'Gold Sponsor' of its first family history fair at the De Vere Village Urban Resort in Elstree’s Centennial Park on 7th July 2013 between 10am and 6pm.

Laurence Harris, Head of Genealogy (UK) for MyHeritage, specialist Jewish genealogical researcher and a former Chairman of JGSGB, will be one of the speakers at the Fair, giving a presentation on “Family Trees, SmartMatching, SuperSearch and Record Matching”.

For more on the fair visit http://jgsgb.org.uk

(With thanks to James Taylor)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - reviews!

My latest book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet has been out now for a couple of months, meaning that the reviews are finally coming in! Thankfully they've been highly favourable, and I'm extremely grateful to all those who have taken the time to explore it so far. The book is proving to be a great success, fast approaching its first thousand sales already. So here goes then...!

Family Tree magazine recorded the following: "Chris Paton has produced this much needed book for researchers tracing Irish roots, pulling together all the current online resources and expert advice into one handy guide...While those researching Irish ancestry may be aware that many of the island's genealogical records were destroyed during the civil war, Chris takes the 'glass half-full' approach, explaining family historians just need to think out of the box when tackling records in Ireland and further afield... The simple chapter headings and easy to read text make this a great reference book to dip into as well as a practical, step-by-step guide. If you are researching Irish ancestry, this will prove invaluable".

Who Do You Think You Are Magazine describes it as "a thorough and informative guide that will greatly assist the Irish family historian.... Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is a truly comprehensive and thoughtful guide that you will return to again and again as you dig deeper into your Irish roots."

Your Family Tree has awarded it with its Seal of Approval, and notes that "Inside are nine themed chapters on different types of records and the many online resources offering them or at least providing useful information. The result is far from just a list of useful websites: every resource is set in context and the result is an excellent guide to Irish research in general. Read it for: A concise but detailed guide to Irish research online."

Australia's Inside History Magazine states "This guide... is well worth adding to your collection if you’re searching for Irish ancestors... Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is well set out and easy to follow. It covers historical sources across both the north and south of Ireland, from the earliest times to the present day. This detailed book includes help on finding vital records such as civil registration, adoption, parish registers, burials and probate, land records, census data and occupations to name just a few. There is also a chapter devoted to the Irish diaspora. Plus each category is supported with case studies that are sure to help you with your own research."

Peter Calver stated in his Lost Cousins newsletter of June 20th 2013 that "Whilst the 19th century Irish censuses may not have survived, there are an amazing number of records that are not only available, but online - if only you know where to look. And that's precisely why this book is so invaluable - at less than the price of one BMD certificate it's a real bargain for anyone with Irish ancestry!"

Irish Lives Remembered notes that "As well as providing an in depth exploration of the various categories of records that the family historian can turn to, the author explored holdings from both the north and the south, but equally points out what has yet to be made available online, as well as problems found within some of the material that is online. In addition he demonstrates the value of resources for Irish research to be found in Britain, and from within the worldwide diaspora, from Argentina to Australia. A genealogical revolution is currently underway in Ireland, and in “Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet’, Chris Paton will safely guide you through the many exciting developments now allowing us an opportunity to reclaim our ancestral past."

Irish Roots magazine also notes that "Given that many records have been available online for some time, and that many more are being put there, it is surprising that this is the first book dedicated to such sources....The nine chapters cover all aspects of the available records from census returns to parish registers with information on how to find and use them to uncover family history." It also comments on the "thorough nature of the content".

Judith Eccles Wight of Irish Genealogy Internet Book Reviews did a dual review of my book and one other free beginner's guide to Ireland, and noted my book was "directed specifically to Ireland" and that it "discusses gateways, institutions and networks for Ireland including many not mentioned in The Genealogist’s Internet... Chapters 5 through 8, the most important in my opinion, cover web sites for the provinces of Ulster, Munster, Connacht, and Leinster. The discussion of each province includes online information for the various counties found within these provinces. The databases listed are not always name oriented. Background information about various topics is supplied such the Allihies Copper Mine Museum in County Cork. Local libraries and historical or genealogical societies are also identified and web site addresses listed.... The last chapter deals with the Irish diaspora, emigrants and their descendants who went to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South America and Europe. Paton also describes the “Ireland Reaching Out” project. I was very impressed with both books, particularly Paton’s. It was my reading material during a 14 hour plane ride to China and is highly recommended for people engaged in tracing their Irish ancestors."

FindmyPast Ireland, one of the many vendors featured within the book, promoted the book to its user by describing it as "...a book that will be of great use for finding your Irish ancestors. Tracing your Irish Family History on the Internet is a practical guide to researching Irish genealogy online. It covers the whole of Ireland, north and south and contains case studies demonstrating how online records can be integrated with other research."

American reader Mary J. Lohl notes on Amazon that it is "...an excellent guide and resource for conducting Irish research online. This is much more than a superficial list of obvious websites... Don't expect a quick survey of what's available. This work is filled with a plethora of Irish websites and history, all described with clarity and purpose. This book is for the researcher who wants to leverage the tools of online research. I recommend this title if you are willing to do some serious Irish research on your ancestors."

From Glasgow and West of Scotland FHS: "Scots/Irish genealogist and writer Christopher Paton has a new book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet which I cannot recommend highly enough. Published by Pen and Sword..it is stuffed full of tips and hints - some of which will save you money... it is not simply a list of websites but a really handy research aid with detailed instructions about how to make use of the most of them"

The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (www.ihgs.ac.uk) made the title its book of the month in June 2013: "This book describes the variety of Irish records available online and how to get the best from them. The book is not merely a listing of useful websites but acts as a guide to the records and addresses the difficulties and pitfalls of Irish research and how to overcome them. A useful reference book for anyone with Irish ancestry, as well as a step by step guide. "

The Federation of Family History Societies (www.ffhs.org.uk) has also given it a huge thumbs up: "The author prefaces it with a very relevant health warning: "The internet is most definitely not the be all and end all of your research .... but be in no doubt, the internet will certainly help provide you with one heck of a starting point". The contents are laid out in a logical and approachable manner... It would be an extremely unfortunate researcher who couldn't find some leads from this range of sources....This book is a veritable quarry for the family researcher into family branches in Ireland and there is little to criticise... the multiplicity of references will greatly assist researchers and, undoubtedly, result in many of them carrying their quest over the water to the Island itself."

If you have yet to obtain a copy, it can be purchased from Pen and Sword at www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/ or in a Kindle edition at www.amazon.co.uk/Tracing-Family-History-Internet-ebook/dp/B00C4YTUYM/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1369751272&sr=8-1

It was great fun to write - I hope it helps with your research!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Scottish Genealogy Society news

From the Scottish Genealogy Society (www.scotsgenealogy.com) - it includes details of a couple of events I'm speaking at:

60th Anniversary Conference
We have finally finalised the speakers for our 60th Anniversary Conference which will take place on Saturday, 5 October at the Augustine United Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh. Our programme of events will include talks by Ken Nisbet on researching records in Australasia - "From Convicts to £10 Poms"; Chris Paton on Irish records; Eric Graham on "Crossing the Atlantic before Steam"; and Naomi Tarrant "South of the Border - an introduction to English Records". Each talk will be followed by a Q&A Session and during the lunch break we will be holding surgeries, covering Military Records, OPRs & Censuses, Land Records and Maritime records. A full copy of our programme and booking form can be viewed on our website at: www.scotsgenealogy.com/60thAnniversaryConference.aspx.

Family History Classes
The final class in this year's programme will take place on Saturday, 1 June and will end as we began with a Beginners class. The talk will take place here at 15 Victoria Terrace from 10am-12pm and the speaker again will be Ken Nisbet. If you know of anyone wishing to make a start on their family history, please pass on our details. The charge for this class is £10.

Family History Classes - Next year!
After such a successful year with our family history classes, we have put together another programme for both members and non-members. The new programme will start in October, again with a Beginners class, and will include Maritime, Kirk Session records, Censuses, Old Scottish Handwriting, Heraldry, Burgh records, Military and Old Parish records. Please see our website for further details http://www.scotsgenealogy.com/Home/ProgrammeofClasses20132014.aspx.

New Publications:

Broughton Place Associate Congregation Edinburgh, Names of Members, 1785 and Baptisms 1836-1839
The congregation of Edinburgh Broughton Place United Associate Session was a result of a dispute within Bristo Burgher Church in 1784 over a call to William Peddie. A minority of the congregation were against this choice and wished instead to have James Hall ordained as their minister, so when the matter could not be resolved, this minority applied for disjunction. After a first refusal they were given permission by the Synod. In February 1784 sixty members of Bristo Burgher congregation were formally disjoined. This publication gives the names of the members of the New Associate congregation at Edinburgh on 19 July 1785 along with a part of their addresses. As well as the name of the child, the Baptisms from 1836-1839 give the date of baptism, parents' names and their address. The baptisms recorded here are to be found in the National Registers of Scotland, ref CH3/564 and are not included in the on-line records of Scotland's People. The price for this publication is £5.00.

Gaelic Church Edinburgh Communion Rolls 1836-1852.
Edinburgh St Columba's Free Church was established at the Disruption in 1843 when the minister and whole congregation of St Columba's Gaelic chapel of ease adhered to the Free Church. The congregation initially used the parish church for worship until December 1843, then the High School until February 1845 when they moved to a church in Lothian Road vacated by Free St George's. A new church in Cambridge Street was built and opened in 1851 on the site now occupied by the Usher Hall. This publication gives an alphabetical list of communicants and church elders from 1836 to 1852; their addresses are also included. The Gaelic Church papers are to be found at The National Records of Scotland in repertory CH3/709/35 - for the Rolls of Heads of Families. Also included are details of some 150 baptisms from 1852 to 1855. The price for this publication is £2.50.

Donations
The SGS has a small number of Ordnance Survey Maps here in the Library but would like to expand our collection. These can be useful when trying to track down small hamlets, farms etc which would not appear on other types of maps. If anyone has any they no longer require, and they are in reasonable condition - preferably 1 inch scale - we would be happy to receive them. We also have a need for CD cases (the box type, not flat cases) and would be grateful for any donations.

South Ayrshire Council Library Service is hosting a History & Family History Fair on Saturday, 1 June, 10am-4pm at the Walker Halls, Troon.
There will be a wide range of stalls available, with family history societies, local and national history organisations and professional & commercial businesses taking part. Conference speakers for the day are:
Dauvit Brown - "Recently discovered documents on Wallace and Bruce";
Tom Barclay - "1263 and ALL THAT: Ayrshire and the war with Norway";
Chris Paton - "Irish Family History Online";
and Terence Christian - "Flying the Scottish Hump: Prestwick Airport, Wartime Flights and Crash Sites".
There is a charge of £5 for a half-day conference or £10 for
the full-day (the fair will be free).

(With thanks to Ken Nisbet)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

1895 Scottish Valuation Roll now online

The following is from ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) - the records should be available online before lunchtime on Tuesday (update - now there!). There's further coverage also by the BBC at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-22683687:

Scottish property valuation rolls for 1895 go online

New records reveal a colourful picture of Victorian society in Scotland

The names of more than two million Scots from the late Victorian age will be published today, as records of Scottish properties and their owners and occupiers in 1895 are released on ScotlandsPeople, the government’s family history website.

Called the Valuation Rolls, the records give an insight into Scottish society during that period, and will be a major resource for genealogists.

The records comprise more than two million indexed names and over 75,000 digital images, covering every kind of building, structure or property in Scotland that was assessed as having a rateable value.

The Valuation Rolls include people from right across the social spectrum, from the wealthiest proprietors to the humblest property owners and tenants of Scotland’s urban housing.

Some fascinating aspects of social history in Scotland during the late Victorian age are revealed in the Rolls, including the growth of tea rooms, the opening of Scotland’s first crematorium and the provision of housing for workers, such as shale miners and prison staff.

Researchers at the National Records of Scotland have also identified many ‘tee-names’ in the Rolls, the names used in some communities in the north-east and elsewhere to distinguish people of the same name.

Every one of the Valuation Rolls on the website is fully searchable by name and address, with the records listing the names of owners, tenants and occupiers of each property - in many cases occupations are also included.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs in the Scottish Government, said:

“ScotlandsPeople is an incredible resource that enables Scots, those of Scottish descent and anyone with an interest in Scotland to find out more about our nation’s fascinating history, heritage, people and built environment. The release of the Valuation Rolls for 1895 is a welcome development that will strengthen the rich resource available in Scotland’s national archive.”

Tim Ellis, Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said:

“The release of the Valuation Rolls for 1895 will prove invaluable for family and local history research, enabling people to discover much more about who their ancestors were and how they lived. Reading an entry for a single building can provide a fascinating insight into local life at the time – adding to the information people can obtain from census records taken around that period.

“This forms part of the National Records of Scotland’s commitment to improving our service to the public and providing researchers with the resources that they need.”

Chris van der Kuyl, the CEO of Brightsolid, the company that runs the ScotlandsPeople website on behalf of the National Records of Scotland, said:

“We're very pleased to add a third set of Valuation Rolls indexes and images to the ScotlandsPeople website, bringing our total number of index entries to a remarkable 92 million. As part of an on-going digitisation project, the Valuation Rolls are an excellent historical resource and will help to bridge the gap between the 1891 and 1901 censuses”.

The 1895 Valuation Rolls are available on the ScotlandsPeople website (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk), and at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh.

NB: Loosely linked to theme of censuses and valuation lists, I've made a recent census discovery which may be of interest - two surviving examples of the 1851 Religious Worship Census for Scotland, for Speymouth and Gartmouth (virtually all of the census returns have been destroyed) - see http://walkingineternity.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/1851-religious-census-of-scotland.html.

(With thanks to Grant Millar)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Recent posts on my other wee blog!

After a bit of a lull I've been blogging away merrily on my other wee blog, with a few posts this month that may be of interest for a Bank Holiday Monday!

1851 Religious Census of Scotland - surviving returns
http://walkingineternity.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/1851-religious-census-of-scotland.html

Seventeenth century medical care
http://walkingineternity.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/seventeenth-century-medical-care.html

Meeting grandad - the meeting I never knew about
http://walkingineternity.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/meeting-grandad.html

Tailzies in Skelmorlie
http://walkingineternity.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/tailzies-in-skelmorlie.html

All hail the conquering heir...!
http://walkingineternity.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/all-hail-conquering-heir.html

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire records on FamilySearch

John Reid has just blogged at Anglo-Celtic Connections that a new series of transcribed Bishops Transcripts for Cheshire have gone online at FamilySearch, covering 1598-1900.

See http://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/familysearch-england-cheshire-bishops.html.

Also released a few days ago is England, Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, Parish Registers, 1603-1910. here's the blurb:

This collection covers records from the Diocese of Manchester held by the Manchester Archives and Local Studies. The parishes are mainly from the historic county of Lancashire, with a few parishes from Cheshire and Yorkshire. Parish registers contain births, christenings, burials, marriages, and mixed church records.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Top Dog genealogy discussion forum

I've had a note from Guy Etchells alerting me to a new discussion forum, that may be of interest to readers. It is called Top Dog (Tracing Our Past Discovering Our Genes) and available at www.genealogy-specialists.com.

UPDATE: I have had an update from Jan Pearson on the project: "...we are hoping to go live either later today or tomorrow. Once we do, people will be more than welcome to register and use the forum for free".

(With thanks to Guy and Jan)



Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

North of Ireland FHS on Facebook

The North of Ireland Family History Society now has a new site on Facebook, located at www.facebook.com/NIFHS.

Even more fulfilling than an Ulster fry! :)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Photography - archives need to move with the times

An article in Thursday's edition of the Guardian entitled The cost of historical research: why archives need to move with the times was of particular interest to me, as it flags up something that was addressed at a recent archive conference in Scotland, by both historians and from a genie POV by yours truly. Written by Northampton based Nell Darby, a doctoral research student in history, the article flags up the inconsistent policy of many archives across England in charging variable rates for the right to copy documents in an archive with a digital camera. The full article is at www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/blog/2013/may/23/history-research-costs-archive-fees.

At present, national institutes such as The National Archives at Kew and the National Records of Scotland will allow free photography, so long as you don't use a flash. The point I raised in my talk was that this ability to do so can beneficially transform how genealogists work. The NRS in Edinburgh is a 5 hour round trip for me from the west of Scotland, and in the past I have often had to make repeated visits to the archive to consult documents for clients. The copying charges for documents were ludicrous - not to mention the travel costs. Thankfully that has now changed. To give an idea how dramatic a difference that can make, when I wrote a book last year about the murder of an ancestor, I previously had made several trips to Edinburgh to consult the precognition papers for the trial, and had still only managed to get about two thirds of the material transcribed. In one afternoon, following the introduction of permission to photograph material at the NRS, I was able to photograph the entire lot, including the material I had already transcribed, and was able to successfully complete the book without going bankrupt from travel costs! It made an enormous difference.

At TNA at Kew I was recently able to photograph an entire service history not yet available online for a WW1 ancestor - no questions asked! I also cited a client job where I was able to successfully take some 200 photographic images at the NRS of a range of 17th and 18th century estate papers, letters of horning, sequestration papers, and more, all written in Secretary Hand (the Devil's attempt to improve the style of old handwriting!), which needed to be forensically transcribed. Some of the documents were quite fragile, with one actually referred to the archivist as I was seriously worried about its condition. Being able to image the documents meant only one visit to the facility, less wear and tear on the material, and the ability to work on it at home for the client to extract the story I was pursuing. Such an ability means less costs for the client (travel mainly), and offers an ability to genealogists who don't live in Edinburgh (or London) to be more competitive, and productive. The national repositories may be based in London or Edinburgh, but they are there to serve the whole country/countries, not just the locals who can get there easily.

In Darby's article she points out that many institutions use photographic passes income as a way to plug the gaps in their funding. But she cites a horrendous inequality - in the piece she cites a charge of £25 at North Yorkshire to gain a photography pass, but only £3 at North Devon. TNA and the NRS don't charge at all. Whether a facility should charge or not is certainly an issue - but equally important is the issue about being allowed to photograph images in the first place. One other issue cited at NRS, is that some materials held there are held on behalf of private individuals, and permission is not given to photograph them. That's fair enough, though obviously if permission is granted by the relevant owner, I would hope this could be waived (I've not had to do this yet, as the need has not arisen, so not sure if this is possible).

So yes, archives do need to move with the times. The national repositories are leading the way - to everyone else, come on now, please let us photograph documents at your facilities as well. If we have to pay, fair enough - but as with academic historians, we're not a cash cow, so be gentle! But please do move with the times.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

What women could not do in Ireland in 1970

An interesting piece from the Galway Advertiser describes ten rights which were won by Irish women in the 1970s - it starts each point with a description of what a woman could not do that year, and then explains how the law subsequently changed.

Read the article at www.advertiser.ie/galway/article/57301/ten-things-an-irish-woman-could-not-do-in-1970-and-be-prepared-to-cringe

You will cringe...

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

TNA podcast - William Wallace and Edward 1

The latest podcast from the National Archives at Kew is William Wallace’s rising and execution, and Edward I’s conquest of Scotland, a talk from John Reuben Davies and Dauvit Broun at just under half an hour. here's the blurb:

The period of crisis in Scotland following the death of Alexander III, and leading to the eventual conquest by Edward I, still excites controversy and discussion, not least about the role of William Wallace. During work on an AHRC-funded project the ‘Breaking of Britain’, important discoveries were made using documents in The National Archives and in a private collection in Norway.

To listen to the podcast visit http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/william-wallaces-rising-and-execution-and-edward-is-conquest-of-scotland/ or download free from iTunes.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Scottish Monumental Inscriptions update

Helen Grant has just dropped me a note with the latest news from her Scottish Monumental Inscriptions site, which has recently been redeveloped at www.scottish-monumental-inscriptions.com.

The following is a summary of recent progress:

Still Under Transcription
Dunfermline Cemetery CD1 - CD2- CD3 maybe even 4
Dunfermline has been a total nightmare to do as we have had to go back at least 7 or 8 times, due to light issues, bad photographs, the list goes on, but glad to say were catching up here now with only about 12 sections to complete. This will be with you as soon as we can get it ready.

New On CD now.
From the Isle Of Bute:
Rothesay Cemetery (Barone Road)
St Colmac's Church, Cnoc-an-Raer
Kingarth Church and Cemetery

Cemeteries waiting to be completed are:
Patna- Ayrshire
Irvine Church- Ayrshire
Lesmahagow Cemetery- LKS
Linlithgow Cemetery

Recently Photographed:
Blairgowrie Cemetery
Blairgowrie old Kirk
Rattray Church

(With thanks to Helen)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Dambusters records launched on The Genealogist

From TheGenealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk)

To celebrate the 70th Anniversary in 2013, new online records of the Dambusters Raid are now available on TheGenealogist

To coincide with recent commemorations on the RAF raid on the industrialised areas of the German heartland, TheGenealogist is pleased to announce the availability of full online records of one of the most daring bomber raids of World War Two.

Prior to the start of the war, the British Air Ministry identified Germany’s heavily industrialised Ruhr Valley and especially the dams as important strategic targets. Repeated air strikes with large bombs could be effective but Bomber Command had struggled for accuracy in the face of heavy enemy fire.

Finally ‘Operation Chastise’ was devised using a specially designed ‘bouncing bomb’ invented and developed by Barnes Wallis.

The operation was tasked to No 5 Group RAF, which formed a new squadron to undertake the mission. Led by 24 year-old Wing Commander Guy Gibson, a veteran of over 170 bombing and night-fighter missions, twenty-one bomber crews were selected from existing squadrons in 5 Group. These crews included RAF personnel of several different nationalities, as well as members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). The squadron was based at RAF Scampton, about 5 miles north of Lincoln.

Full details of the Operation Record Book now online

The new records on TheGenealogist provide an in-depth analysis of the mission which went on to achieve legendary recognition. The fascinating information includes an account of each aircraft’s flight, including full crew list and details of the awards made to each of the crew members after the mission.

Operation Chastise was a success: two dams were breached and one was damaged, severely impacting German resources in the summer of 1943. However this success came at a high price. Of the 19 Lancaster Bombers that took part in the operation, 8 were shot down, with 53 aircrew killed and 3 taken prisoner. With the new records added to TheGenealogist, it is now possible to look at every airman involved in the raid, including all the brave aircrews and how they fared in this unique bombing raid.

The factual story of the brave men involved in the Dambuster raids

Flying very low in ever worsening weather conditions, the Operations Record Book of 617 Squadron provides us with an in-depth account of Operation Chastise. Commencing the story with their last training flight, to the operation itself, to the visit by the King and Queen to congratulate the surviving aircrews, all the details on the famous ‘Dambuster raids’ are now online. This new resource is ideal if you had a relative involved with 617 Squadron, or if you are interested in one of the most iconic RAF missions of World War Two.

NB: Additional releases from the company this month can be found on its newsletter at www.genealogysupplies.com/email_news.htm

(With thanks to David Osborne)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Further English parish records release on FindmyPast

From FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk)

Family history website findmypast.co.uk has added over 450,000 new parish baptisms, marriages and burials covering the period 1538-2009 from areas as diverse as Northumberland, Durham, Ryedale, Sheffield, Wiltshire and Suffolk to make it easier than ever to trace your ancestors further back through history and further expanding what has now become the most comprehensive collection of England and Wales parish records online. Paul Nixon, Content Licensing Manager for findmypast.co.uk commented on the new release “This is a tremendous step for those trying to uncover their UK ancestors, and a great resource for family historians with British roots worldwide”.

Full details of what this exciting record release contains are as follows:

141,525 Suffolk Baptisms 1753-1911
244,309 Wiltshire Baptisms 1538-1867
27,420 Northumberland & Durham Burials 1587-2009
22,687 Sheffield Baptisms 1837-1968
8,181 Sheffield Marriages 1824-1991
7,113 Ryedale Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1754-1999

These records are brought to you by Suffolk family history society, Wiltshire family history society, Northumberland and Durham family history society, Sheffield family history society and Ryedale family history society as a result of the ongoing partnership of findmypast.co.uk and the Federation of Family History Societies. They are available to search online now and can be viewed with PayAsYouGo credits, a Britain Full or a World subscription.

The records are available on all findmypast sites as part of a World subscription.

(With thanks to Myko Clelland)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Brompton burials now on Deceased Online

From Deceased Online (www.deceasedonline.com):

First records for premier London cemetery now available on Deceased Online

Another first for www.deceasedonline.com with the addition of all records for one of the historic 'Magnificent Seven' Victorian garden cemeteries

Brompton Cemetery in South West London is one of the UK's most prestigious and historically significant cemeteries

Approximately 30% of the Cemetery's 207,000 records are now available for the period 1840 to 1871

The records comprise burial register scans, grave details and cemetery section maps (photos of memorials will be added soon). All records will be available on the website within the next three weeks

Read about Brompton Cemetery's fascinating history and its role-call of historically important occupants starting in this week's blog (see http://deceasedonlineblog.blogspot.co.uk)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Parking at PRONI - but at a price

Titanic Quarter is now offering parking facilities at Titanic Boulevard in Belfast, opposite PRONI (www.proni.gov.uk), but it's clearly having a laugh at the rates.

Full details are available at http://www.proni.gov.uk/news_details.htm?newsRef=2653

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Bradford City Library to be relocated

Bradford City Library is to be replaced with a new purpose facility in the city centre, with the present building deemed to be a safety risk. The new facility will open in December at the present Bradford 1 Gallery building and in an adjacent unit in City Park.

The full story is at www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/10433704.New_library_to_be_built_in_Bradford_city_centre/?ref=mr

(With thanks to @FOBALS_Bradford)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Republic of Ireland's GRO indexes to go online at IrishGenealogy.ie

The genealogy bug continues to hit Ireland big time, with news that the Irish Government now intends to create online access to its civil registration indexes via its Irish Genealogy (www.irishgenealogy.ie) records platform in the not too distant future. This access will be to the indexes only, and not the original register data.

At present indexes for the Republic of Ireland are available online from 1845-1958 only, and indexes for Northern Ireland from 1845-1921, via the free FamilySearch site (https://familysearch.org), and the subscription based Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) and FindmyPast Ireland (www.findmypast.ie) platforms - the last of these is the best option for marriage searches, allowing you to perform searches for both partners in a wedding event in one go (Ancestry also allows this, but I find it less effective).

The new plan to make the indexes for the Republic available is interesting, because the site on which they are destined to appear, Irish Genealogy, has so far offered access to its hosted records for free - will the indexes therefore be free also? We'll know soon enough - the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2013 about to go before the Irish Parliament will amend the Civil Registration Act 2004 to include provision to make the indexes to the BMD events, and also indexes to civil partnerships, available online, but not those for adoptions or stillbirths. No date for this to happen has yet been revealed.

The full story is at www.irishtimes.com/news/burton-to-make-births-deaths-and-marriages-accessible-online-for-first-time-1.1403375

Meanwhile, keep an eye out for the forthcoming provision for online access to Northern Ireland's GRO indexes and records post-1921 later this year (see my new book, details below!).

UPDATE: Here is the wording for the relevant clause from the Bill, and the proposed amendment to the Civil Registration Act 2004:

Part 3 — Amendments to Civil Registration Act 2004 Section 16 provides for amendments to the Civil Registration Act 2004 to allow for the provision of index information from the registers of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in accordance with the National Genealogy Policy. This will enable online searching through the www.irishgenealogy.ie website hosted by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Index information in relation to adoptions and stillbirths is excluded.

The full explanatory note to the Bill is available at www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2013/5413/b5413dmemo.pdf

(With thanks to Aidan Byrne @8thRDF)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Lincolnshire Archives Family History Fair

Thanks to Ann Sherman for the following:

Lincolnshire Archives in St Rumbold St, Lincoln are holding a free Family History Fair on Saturday 15th June between 10.30 and 3.00pm. Included are tours of the search room and their 'Links to the Past' website.

Further details at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/residents/archives/events-gallery-and-document-of-the-month/

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Competing Stories 1912-22 event in Belfast

From PRONI (www.proni.gov.uk) in Belfast:

COMPETING STORIES 1912 - 1922
Free event incorporating films, talks and discussions, hosted by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI)

Thursday 23rd May 2013
2.00pm – 4.45pm at PRONI
(Titanic Quarter, Belfast)

PRONI will be hosting an event as part of Community Relations Week (20th-26th May) in partnership with Community Relations Council (CRC), Northern Ireland Screen and Heritage Lottery Fund.

Rarely seen films from Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive will be shown. These will include The Ulster Covenant, produced in 1962 to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of The Ulster Covenant and also the 1961 film Saoirse? (Freedom?), depicting the events of 1919-1922 and produced by Gael Linn.

Discussions will consider what is “documented community memory”? As versions of history shape the present, there are risks and opportunities in commemorating the decade 1912-22. Will the same versions of history which shaped the present, be driving the future?

Link to PRONI website:
http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/exhibitions_talks_and_events/talks_and_events/understanding_our_past.htm

The event at PRONI is free to attend and open to the public. Booking not required.

Please contact PRONI if you have any queries
E: proni@dcalni.gov.uk
T: (+44) 028 90 534800

(With thanks to Gavin McMahon)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

County Down records on FindmyPast Ireland

FindmyPast Ireland (www.findmypast.ie) has added records for the First and Second Presbyterian Meeting Houses and the Church of Ireland, and Catholic churches of Annaclone/Anaghlone and Ballyroney, near Banbridge, County Down

Full details at www.findmypast.ie/articles/news/county-down-parish-registers.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Northallerton Library genealogy event

Northallerton Library in Yorkshire is holding a genealogy afternoon event on June 18th. For full details, visit http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/10431219.Family_history_information_session_at_library/?ref=nt

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

BBC Motion Gallery - online nostalgia

The BBC has a Motion Gallery with all sorts of online films on subjects nostalgiac. For the full story visit http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=200aef5c26a09097ba0a07170&id=90bde20128&e=26027fd8b4

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

The forgotten members of the RAF

Lee Oliver at the National Archives at Kew has written about the AIR 29 Miscellaneous Records series on the archive's blog. These records concern other branches of the RAF in the Second World War, such as repair and salvage units, not as prominent to society as the various Spitfire and Bomber squadrons and their actions in the conflict.

To read the post, visit http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/blog/cataloguing-the-unsung-heroes-of-the-raf/.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Discover Scottish Land Records book promotion

My book Discover Scottish Land Records, published in Australia by Unlock the Past, is on a promotion just now from Gould Genealogy, retailing at AU$14.50, about £9.30 (normally AU$20), plus p&p. The promotion lasts until the end of May. For full details of what is in the book, and to order, visit www.gould.com.au/Discover-Scottish-Land-Records-p/utp0283.htm.

Alternatively, the book is also available in a PDF based ebook format from http://www.gen-ebooks.com, retailing at AU$18 (no p&p!), roughly £11.60, and where you can also find an ebook version of my Discover Scottish Church Records, at AU$21.50, about £13.80.

Happy reading!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Family Tree comedy series broadcast in July

The Facebook page for Who Do You Think You Are magazine (www.facebook.com/whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine) has announced that the Family Tree comedy series, starring Chris O' Dowd and already being broadcast in the United States on HBO, will be shown on BBC2 in July. There is no official confirmation yet from the BBC on an exact transmission date, such details normally being announced a fortnight in advance of broadcast.

For more on the comedy series visit my earlier posts at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/family-tree-comedy-series-coming-soon.html and http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/family-tree-comedy-series-series-preview.html - the original BBC press announcement when first announced last November is at www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2012/family-tree.html.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Ancestry Library Edition available in Aberdeenshire

The Library Edition of Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) is being freely offered to visitors at libraries in Aberdeenshire. Amongst offerings available via this version of the Ancestry site are the 1841-1901 Scottish census transcriptions.

Full details at www.kincardineshireobserver.co.uk/news/local-headlines/chance-to-research-family-1-2935051.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Northern Irish GRO vital records platform online by October?

I've just received my latest copy of North Irish Roots (Vol 24, No.1), the Journal of the North of Ireland Family History Society (www.nifhs.org), packed with goodies!

There's an interesting unconfirmed report in the journal within a feature on civil registration in Ireland that the planned GRONI civil registration records platform may be going online in October of this year - I stress may. The platform, inspired by the success of ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk), is believed to be intending to operate similar closure periods to the Scottish site for births (100 years), marriages (75 years) and deaths (50 years), as well as to offer, for the first time, online indexes to Norn Irish BMD records after 1921. For further back ground to this, see my previous posts at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/gro-northern-ireland-to-set-up.html (which includes a version of the tender that was posted on the United Kingdom Tenders website) and http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/more-on-new-groni-records-website.html.

It has to be stressed that this is unconfirmed - but it could make sense if GRONI was intending to perhaps launch it an event such as Back to Our Past in Dublin, which happens in that month.

One plea I would make in advance - if the GRONI has been inspired by ScotlandsPeople on this project, one would hope that they would follow the inspiration on that site's pricing also, where vital records can be purchased for approximately £1.40 each (including search fee). At present, the GRO in Belfast charges the highest rates in the United Kingdom for civil registration based GRO certificates for births, marriages and deaths, at £15 per record (cf £12 Scotland, £9.25 England and Wales).

Fingers crossed....!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Society of Genealogists events in London

Forthcoming events at the Society of Genealogists in London (www.sog.org.uk):

1 June 10:30-13:00 My Ancestor was Welsh
A half-day course with Mari Alderman Cost 17.50

1 June 14:00-17:00 Care & Conservation of your Family History Collection
Liz will explain the best methods of preserving your documents and photographs. There will be examples for you to view and a question and answer session for queries about specific items
A half-day course with Liz Yamada Cost 17.50

5 June 14:00 A Brief Introduction to Rootsmagic Software
This talk will give you a brief introduction to the latest version of RootsMagic, v 6. During the talk Charlie will highlight which new features were introduced in versions 4, 5 and 6 for the benefit of anyone thinking about upgrading from an earlier version
A one-hour lecture with Charlie Mead Cost 6.00

6 June 18:00-20:00 Education and Apprenticeship Records (evening skills course)
A two-hour evening course with Geoff Swinfield Cost 20.00

8 June 10:30-13:00 A Look at Cloud Computing: One Researcher's View of Computing in the Cloud
In a time where many of us have more than one computing device, as well as other family members who would like to see our genealogy research, the cloud offers us a way to share and transfer information with a far greater ease than previously available. “The Cloud” is something often referred to but not necessarily always understood. It not only offers us a way to collect the data associated with family history but also to share and collaborate with other people all over the world, in real-time if we want. This talk is how one family researcher makes use of cloud tools in his family research.
A half-day course with Graham Walter Cost 17.50

8 June 14:00-17:00 TheWork of the Heir Hunter
Despite good practices to ensure the benefits due to policy and bondholders or their heirs are paid out when due, a rising mountain of cash remain in member mutuals coffers estimated to be worth as much as 20 billion pounds, due to the fact those entitled cannot be traced. The Heir Hunters Association is concerned with providing advice and information to new and fledgling “Heir Hunters”, people who trace beneficiaries to estates left by people who died intestate - without a will.
A half-day course with Maurice Clarke Cost 17.50

12 June 14:00 Tracing Family in Australia
We will look at books and fiche in the Society's library, as well as useful material in the Guildhall, British Libraries, and The National Archives. Online sources will be reviewed: births, marriages & deaths, probate, passenger lists, electoral rolls as a census substitute, newspapers, biography, military, cemeteries and other sources.
A one-hour lecture with Peter Bennett Cost 6.00

13 June 18:00-20:00 Trades, Professions and Guilds (evening skills course)
A two-hour evening course with Geoff Swinfield Cost 20.00

19 June 14:00 Getting the Most from the Society of Genealogists
A one-hour lecture with the society’s genealogist, Else Churchill. Free of charge, but must be pre-booked - preferably by email: events@sog.org.uk

20 June 18:00-20:00 Army Records Before 1914 (evening skills course)
A two-hour evening course with Paul Blake Cost 20.00

22 June 10:30-13:00 Making the Best of the TNA Website
A day at The National Archives at Kew can be a daunting experience. Join this course and arrive better prepared. Well begin by looking at resources you can use before you visit to discover exactly which documents you need to order. You will then make the best use of your time in the reading rooms. There will be tips to help you find what you want easily and quickly.
A half-day course with Simon Fowler Cost 17.50

22 June 14:00-17:00 Manorial Records for Family History Research
The Lord of the Manor had many more rights than just those of a landlord. Apart from recording transfer of land and fines for infringements manorial records usually record the appointments of officers for the many other manorial functions, especially ale tasting!
A half-day course with Michael Gandy Cost 17.50

27 June 18:00-20:00 Royal Navy and Merchant Navy Records Before 1914 (evening skills course)
A two-hour evening course with Paul Blake Cost 20.00

29 June 10:30-13:00 My Ancestor Came From Bedfordshire
Your Bedfordshire ancestors can be a diverse cross section of the population following either agricultural lives involved with rural cottage crafts, or with more industrial occupations such as brick making or car manufacture. Your ancestors are likely to appear in many documents available for research within the county. Find out what records are available back to the medieval period that will identify your native ancestors.
A half-day course with Ian Waller Cost 17.50

29 June 14:00-17:00 Nonconformist Ancestors - including 19th Century Sects
A look at tracing ancestors who were Nonconformist (outside the Church of England) and will include the interesting and more unusual religious sects
A half-day course with Alec Tritton Cost 17.50

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!