Sunday, 30 June 2013

Museum of Islay Life on Facebook

There's a new Facebook page just started for the Museum of Islay Life at www.facebook.com/pages/Museum-of-Islay-Life/253572141449875 - well worth signing up to if your lot came from Argyll and Islay in particular.

(With thanks to Jenni Minto)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Friday, 28 June 2013

The Working Archive blog

The Business Archives Scotland group (http://businessarchivesscotland.blogspot.co.uk) has launched a new blog to tie in with its The Working Archive campaign (www.scottisharchives.org.uk/workingarchive), which 'aims to explore the stories behind Scottish working life whilst promoting the vital role that archive and records management professionals play in creating and caring for our national heritage'.

The new blog is accessible at http://workingarchive.wordpress.com with three posts at present - John Campbell: a banker under fire, Mr Strachan: Tea Estates and Tiger Attacks, and a piece on The Working Archive itself.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Irish Government committee recommendation on FOI bill

The Genealogical Society of Ireland has reported on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=565116453539421 that the Irish Government's Finance Committee has included a section about genealogy in its Report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform on the Draft Heads of the General Scheme of the Freedom of Information Bill 2012. The committee argues the following:

The Joint Committee does not wish to be prescriptive in regard to the inclusion of genealogical research under the Act as the Joint Committee notes that this would require a definition of 'genealogy'; for example, would 'genealogy' be the study of any family or individual whether related to the researcher or not; or could 'genealogy' be interpreted as 'one researching ones own ancestry' - the latter would have a very negative impact on public accessibility to such records.

Therefore, given the above concerns the Joint Committee consider it appropriate to seek the inclusion, in the legislation, of the following as a guiding principle by which record holders (State and State Agencies) would give public access to records with a genealogical potential by the inclusion of a Section that states that the legislation endorses and fully supports the Principle of Public Ownership and Right of Access to our genealogical heritage' - this will allow Statutory Instruments and Departmental Guidelines to take cognisance of this Principle when assessing public accessibility to records with a genealogical potential.

In other words, genealogical records should be classed as public information, and not personal.

The full report is at www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/media/committees/finance/[Final]-Report-on-FoI-Bill.pdf and there is a YouTube clip as follows from Ciarán Lynch TD outlining a summary of the report’s findings, as follows:



(With thanks to the GSI)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

FindmyPast Ireland newsletter - Ashes to Archives

A reminder that FindmyPast (on all platforms) is offering free access to its Irish BMD indexes from 1845-1958 (to 1921 for Northern Ireland), until June 30th, as part of its Ashes to Archives promotion.

FindmyPast's latest newsletter includes details of its latest 2.5 million records release from its Irish Petty Session records - the full newsletter is available online at http://i.findmypast.ie/newsletters/assets/fmpie/N2013-06-027015/27015-online.htm

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Mary Queen of Scots exhibition tie in book

From Historic Scotland (www.historic-scotland.gov.uk):

New Historic Scotland book charts the travels of Mary Queen of Scots

A new book written and produced by Historic Scotland is being published today, Friday 28th June 2013 to tie in with the opening of the major Mary Queen of Scots exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland.

Mary Was Here, subtitled ‘Where Mary Queen of Scots went and what she did there’, is a fast-paced and very accessible guide to the travels of Scotland’s most famous historical figure.

Extensively illustrated, it charts Mary’s life from just before her birth at Linlithgow Palace to the months after her execution at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire.

Andrew Burnet, Publications and Information Manager at Historic Scotland and one of the co-authors said: “Mary Queen of Scots is a key figure in our history who continues to fascinate people from around the world. She has connections with more than 20 Historic Scotland properties including Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, Craigmillar Castle, Lochleven Castle, Castle Campbell, Dumbarton Castle, Dundrennan Abbey and of course, her place of birth, Linlithgow Palace.

“The book is based around specific events on specific dates at specific locations, however its main focus is on Scotland, where Mary travelled widely during her brief reign. It also features plenty of colourful imagery, including superb photography, and more than 120 images from art collections in Scotland, England, France, Spain and Italy.”

The book includes sections on Mary’s childhood in France and her long imprisonment in England. It also looks at key themes such as food and drink, sickness and health, marriages, costume and jewellery.

More than 35 Scottish sites connected with Mary are covered in the book. Additional properties include: Inchmahome Priory, Spynie Palace, Edzell Castle, and Whithorn Priory.

The book will be available from Friday 28 June, retailing at £7.95. It will be for sale at the National Museum throughout the run of the exhibition (until 17th November). It will also be sold at Historic Scotland’s shops at selected sites, including Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Dumbarton Castle, Lochleven Castle, Craigmillar Castle, Inchmahome Priory and the Abbey Strand bookshop next to Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh

(With thanks to Paul Spence at Historic Scotland)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Scotland's and UK's constitutional history timelines

Not sure if this has just been added, or if the Scottish Government has just tweeted about it, but the government has uploaded A Journey Though Scotland's Constitutional History to the independence referendum website at www.scotreferendum.com/scotlands-future/background/history/.


It details the history of governance in Scotland in three eras - Pre 1700, 1700-1900, and 1900 to the present day and next year's referendum date. The timeline starts in 162AD and the Roman abandonment of the Antonine Wall, and concludes with 2014, and the date of the vote. In each era you need to slide the white bar along to read the whole section.

The Westminster Parliament also has an equivalent timeline at http://assets.parliament.uk/education/houses-of-history/main.html (takes a few seconds to load), detailing a thousand years of English and UK government history.


Both are well worth exploring.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Pendomer Parish and Family History weekend

The first Pendomer Parish and Family History weekend takes place this weekend near Yeovil in Somerset, at Hardington Mandeville Village Hall - for full details see www.thisissomerset.co.uk/History-event-offers-tips-exploring-family-tree/story-19408807-detail/story.html#axzz2XVQvvO3h

Have fun!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

More Welsh parish records join FindmyPast

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has added 1.2 million more parish register records to its site, from Aberdare to Ystrad Meurig.

The full story is at www.findmypast.co.uk/content/news/walesupdate.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Sussex and Cheshire registers on FamilySearch

FamilySearch has added a new collection (or possibly made searchable a previous browse only collection) - England, Sussex, Parish Registers, 1538-1910. It's directly accessible at https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1465706. Another collection that has been just added is England, Cheshire Non-conformist Records, 1671-1900 at https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1610550.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Ancestry uploads JewishGen Holocaust records

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has added a substantial number of Jewish records from the Holocaust in the Second World War. The collections, provided in association with JewishGen (www.jewishgen.org) are as follows (numbers of entries per collection in brackets):
  • Poland, Martyred Jewish Physicians, 1939-1945 (2465)
  • Germany, Bergen-Belsen Prisoners Liberated at Farsleben, Death Train From Bergen-Belsen, 13 April 1945 (2018)
  • Germany, Jewish Arrivals to Buchenwald on Jan 22, 1945 (2746)
  • Germany, Breslau Deportations of Jews, 1941-1942 (1845)
  • Lublin, Poland, Initial Registrations of Jews, 1939-1940 (6535)
  • Poland, Jewish Prisoners of War Registration Cards, 1939-1945 (2938)
  • Poland, Auschwitz-Buchenwald Transport, January 22 & 26, 1945 (4359)
  • France, Hidden Jewish Children, 1939-1945 (4080)
  • Krosno, Galicia, Poland, Jewish Inhabitants (3298)
  • Hungary, Hungarian Jewish KMSZ (Military Forced Laborer) List, 1938 (4497)
  • Poland, Riese and Gross-Rosen Prisoners and Transports, July 1944 (4806)
  • Romania, Tîrgu Mureş Deportation List, 1944 (4596)
  • Rovno, Ukraine, Victims Killed in the Kostopol Forest, 1942 (5166)
  • Poland, Forced Laborers in Borysław and Drohobycz, 1939-1944 (4971)
  • Poland, Częstochowa Forced Laborers, 1943-1944 (4610)
  • Arad, Romania, Jewish Census, 1942 (9698)
  • Belarus, Jewish Partisans, 1941-1944 (8451)
  • Poland, Lódz Ghetto Work Identification Cards, 1940-1944 (13280)
  • Liepaja, Latvia, Holocaust Memorial Wall (6428)
  • France, Jewish Deaths During Deportation, 1941-1948 (7346)
  • Switzerland, Jewish Arrivals, 1938-1945 (21730)
  • JewishGen Yizkor Book Master Name Index (17306)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

FTDNA summer sale

FamilyTreeDNA (www.familytreedna.com) is holding a summer sale - here are he details:

Beginning on Thursday, June 27, 2013 and running until Friday, July 26, 2013, we will offer the following:

Family Finder was $289 Now $99
mtDNA Full Sequence was $289 Now $189
Y-DNA37 was $169 Now $129
Y-DNA67 was $268 Now $208
Y-DNA111 was $359 Now $308
Family Finder + Y-DNA37 was $368 Now $228
Family Finder + Y-DNA67 was $467 Now $307
Family Finder + mtDNAFullSequence was $398 Now $288
Comprehensive Genome (Y-DNA67, FMS & FF) was $666 Now $496

REMEMBER: ALL ORDERS MUST BE PLACED AND PAID FOR BY 11:59pm CST, JULY 26, 2013, TO RECEIVE THESE SPECIAL PRICES.

(With thanks to FamilyTreeDNA and to Ali MacDonald and Lauren Boyd McLachlan of the Scottish DNA Project www.familytreedna.com/public/Scottishdna/)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

PRONI clarifies 1939 National Register application process

After PRONI's user forum meeting last week in Belfast (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/proni-user-forum-news-highlights-from.html) I mentioned that the archive had slightly changed its procedures with regard to applications to the 1939 National Identity Register, the emergency wartime census carried out in September 1939 which is not protected by a 100 year rule. I made the first successful application to this a couple of years ago for my grandparents, which proved a useful process in that it confirmed my grandfather's job in Belfast in 1939 but also his date of birth, for which there had been a slight question mark, but which was resolved from a record informed by my grandfather himself.

PRONI has now issued new guidance on the application procedure at www.proni.gov.uk/news_details.htm?newsRef=2759. I'd like to once again publicly thank PRONI for its efforts in cataloguing the 750 books that comprise the collection, as it was something of a headache for them - last week at the meeting it was mentioned that there was absolutely no rhyme nor reason as to how they were compiled, with in some cases records from Derry appearing a few pages after Down, for example, amongst other bizarre orderings - something which has genuinely perplexed staff as to how they were originally compiled. Unlike the rest of the United Kingdom, there is no charge for access to these records at present, you simply make a request using a Freedom of Information application. For a country where the survival rate of censuses is not great, this is a hidden gem no longer hidden.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Ireland's Genealogical Gazette - June issue

The June issue of Ireland's Genealogical Gazette, from the Genealogical Society of Ireland, is available online at http://issuu.com/gensocireland/docs/ireland_s_genealogical_gazette__jun

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Ancestry's Old Search to go in 6 months

Ancestry (www.ancestry.com / www.ancestry.co.uk) will be stopping its 'Old Search' functionality in six months time. For those unaware, there are two ways currently to engage with Ancestry's databases, the much loved but-by-God-don't-they-make-it-hard-to-find-on-the-site experience, and the New Search, which isn't the old search, but which smiles at you every time you log in.

To be fair, New Search has improved dramatically since it first launched, but some of us still prefer to use Old Search. Ancestry states only 2% of users now use Old Search, though that could be because it has been playing hide and seek for a bit (it hides, we spend ages looking for it). Once New Search was released, the writing was always going to be on the wall for its older sibling, but it's still sad to be seeing it go.

Thomas MacEntee has the full story at http://geneabloggers.com/ancestrycom-search-functionality-removes-search/

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

1921 Canadian census petition

The Canadian Government is still not playing ball with the release of the 1921 Canadian census, which should have been released three weeks ago, and for which it is claimed they could not understand why they should bother when only 'three little old ladies' would be interested. Sadly for the Canadian Government, those three wee women are genealogists, and along with thousands of others are not impressed. Hell hath no fury like three wee Canadian genies scorned...

It's hard enough waiting for a census to be released as it is, without being denied access to one when it should have been made available, particularly one all digitised and sitting there, all dressed up with nowhere to go. Louise McGinnis Schulze has blogged at Olive Tree Genealogy about a new petition started by her blog reader Bill Robinson to demand access. I've just signed - I want to know what happened to two of my gran's first cousins in Ontario following the war - and they are looking for signatures from around the world.

Please consider signing the petition - Louise has the details, and the link, at http://olivetreegenealogy.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/sign-petition-to-release-1921-canadian.html. It takes a few seconds of your time, and Canada's genie community will love you forever.

(With thanks to Louise and Bill)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Irish Newspaper Archive additions

Claire Santry has flagged up some new additions to the Irish Newspaper Archives (www.irishnewsarchive.com) - these are:

Belfast Newsletter 1800–1890
Donegal News 1903–current
Fermanagh Herald 1903–1910
Longford Leader 1897–1949

The Donegal paper should be of particular interest to this researcher!

For more on this and proposed future additions to the site visit http://irish-genealogy-news.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/irish-newspaper-archive-grows-online.html

(With thanks to Claire Santry)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

More on proposed European data protection changes

Some more on the data protection issues which were recently flagged up in an article by the Irish Times, under proposed new EU legislation (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/eu-threats-to-genealogy.html).

Although the article flagged up that there were concerns, there was no link to explain the proposed changes. A huge thanks to Sheena Tait for pointing me towards the ICO website at the following link, which outlines the proposed changes, alongside the Information Commissioner's comments:
www.ico.org.uk/news/~/media/documents/library/Data_Protection/Research_and_reports/ico_proposed_dp_regulation_analysis_paper_20130212_pdf.ashx

A relevant clause for genealogists seems to be number 83, entitled "Processing for historical, statistical and scientific research purposes".

(With thanks to Sheena Tait)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Family Tree comedy series - BBC press pack

I've just noticed that the BBC has recently released a press pack about the forthcoming comedy series Family Tree, coming to BBC 2 imminently - the pack can be accessed at http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/mediapacks/familytree/.

Included is a synopsis of each episode at www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/mediapacks/familytree/episodes.html, as well as interviews with the actors and director Christopher Guest.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

WDYTYA US - new series on The Learning Channel

Thomas MacEntee has posted a list of the new participants in the new series of Who Do You Think You Are in the US (from July 23rd) on his Geneabloggers blog at http://geneabloggers.com/wdytya-tlc-celebrities-season-1/ - the post also has the following promo clip:



I quite like the new music (if this is indeed the theme) - it doesn't sound so much like the theme to The Lion King, as the old one did! It will be interesting to see if any changes are made to the format, now that the series has switched channels.

(With thanks to Thomas)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Lichfield Consistory Court Wills Index 1650-1700

From Origins (www.origins.net):

Lichfield Consistory Court Wills Index 1650-1700 - Index to over 28,300 wills and testamentary documents online.

Between 1541 and 1836 the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry was extensive, covering the entire counties of Staffordshire and Derbyshire, north Shropshire and north Warwickshire. The bishop of Lichfield and Coventry had jurisdiction over probate in this area, which was exercised through the Lichfield Consistory Court.

The index to over 28,300 wills and testamentary documents recorded in the Lichfield Consistory Court 1650-1700 is now available to search on the National Wills Index. This index - British Record Society Volume 125 - includes names of testator / testatrix, occupation and place of abode, which will help you to locate the original document at Lichfield Record Office. This compliments Lichfield Wills and Administrations 1516-1652 which already form part of the National Wills Index.

See full details on Lichfield Consistory Court Wills 1650-1700 at www.origins.net/help/aboutNWI-LICH.aspx

(With thanks to Maggie Greene at Origins)

UPDATE: Received the following tweet from @AtcherleyOrgUK - "Lichfield wills are also indexed - from 1650 to 1750 - at staffsnameindexes.org.uk/StartPage.aspx where copies can be ordered online"

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

New book on 36th Ulster Division

A new book from the N.I. War Memorial entitled "Scarce Heard amid the Guns" by John Potter.
For any further information please contact www.niwarmemorial.org or email info@niwarmemorial.org



(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 Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Scottish waters Aircraft and Wrecks map

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland has published a map showing the density of locations of ship and aircraft wrecks off the Scottish coast - it can be viewed at www.rcahms.gov.uk/rcahms_media/files/publications/project_adair_wreck_map.pdf.

There are also 5 weeks left for the consultation about the merger between Historic Scotland and RCAHMS - see www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/05/1373

(With thanks to RCAHMS)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Secrets from the Workhouse - review

I've just watched the first episode of the two part series Secrets from the Workhouse on ITV, and have to say that that was a truly worthwhile hour of television. All of those horror stories that you think you know about from the workhouse, or the poorhouse as it was known here in Scotland, were everything you believed them to be and probably more.

The approach was to take four celebrities with different stories about ancestors in the workhouse. Fern Britton's ancestor with the joyful name of 'Friend' managed to keep himself from the institution for as long as possible before finally going in aged 91 and dying shortly after; a story in marked contrast to Brian Cox's Irish ancestor by the name of McCann, who fell into a cycle of constant admission and discharge to a poorhouse through no fault of his own, before being committed to an asylum. The actor's comment on the Victorian era authorities, deciding between the so-called 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor? "Bastards". There was Barbara Taylor Bradford's discovery that her mother was illegitimate and that her mum also had two illegitimate siblings born in a workhouse, something that was clearly a shock to her, whilst Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter went in search of his story, discovering how he and his brother were sent to a pauper school after his mother entered a workhouse, before transferring to an asylum also.

The themes were bleak throughout - control through degradation and opium, the threat of dissection as a punishment for poverty following the 1832 Anatomy Act, and more. In the 21st century it all seems horrendously disgraceful that a society should once have treated its poorest citizens as it did, placing a question mark at times against the 'Great' of 'Great Britain', in an era where poverty was considered a crime.

For someone not usually bothered about celebrity participation in history programmes, this one worked an absolute treat in terms of being a well structured essay into one of the darker aspects of imperial Britain's past. The stories were genuinely engaging if not for the most part tragic, but next time I see the word workhouse or poorhouse in a census or vital record, I'll be a little closer to understanding the true significance of the word. It was also great to see Irene O' Brien and Glasgow City Archives feature, with the Glasgow poor law records some of the best genealogically useful resources in the country, despite the tragedy often contained within.

The second episode will be on next Tuesday at 9pm, ITV. Thoroughly recommended viewing.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Unlock the Past Cruises venture launched

I've been waiting to share this for a while! Unlock the Past, the Australian based genealogy company that offers products, publications, talks events, expos and cruises, has now announced the launch of its latest venture - its new international genealogy cruises venture site at www.unlockthepastcruises.com. Here's the announcement:


Adelaide, South Australia, 25 June 2013
Unlock the Past announces Unlock the Past Cruises, an international program of history and genealogy cruises. This expanded cruise commitment follows on from the success of the first three Unlock the Past cruises, high interest in the fourth in February 2014 and a proposed mid 201
5 cruise from the UK/Europe to the Baltic. Now there is more choice:
  • more cruises to choose from – two to four a year
  • more and varied itineraries – anywhere in the world, wherever there is enough interest
  • more price levels to suit different budgets – starting from under $1000
  • more varied programs – some full conference programs with many presenters, others much smaller
  • some conference focused, others more destination/itinerary focused

The fourth cruise in February 2014 is booking strongly. Further cruises under consideration include:
  • a British Isles discovery cruise in mid 2014
  • a smaller regional cruise from an Australian port or Auckland – Sydney late 2014 or early 2015
  • a major Baltic cruise from UK/Europe mid 2015
  • a transatlantic cruise November 2015
  • an Australia – New Zealand cruise early 2016


Unlock the Past cruises combine relaxing cruises with world class history & genealogy conferences. All major conference cruises feature an international team of presenters and a program with international appeal. Shorter cruises will also have leading presenters. Some cruises are more conference focused. Others more on the destination and places visited.

What a fantastic and wonderful experience it has been. Great speakers and a good variety of topics. I now know that I am on the right track with my research. I was travelling solo yet felt I was part of a warm and friendly group. Thank you. – Lauretta Nobes, 3rd cruise

Thank you … for your wonderful work in organising this cruise – we are now addicted to Cruising with Genealogy … you did a fantastic job … Congratulations. – Malcolm & Hazel Ford, 3rd cruise

Visit the Unlock the Past website: www.unlockthepastcruises.com. Feedback from a cruise survey at www.unlockthepastcruises.com/your-say will guide the choice of future genealogy cruise schedules.

Why Genealogy Cruises? See www.unlockthepastcruises.com/featured/genealogy-cruises/
Cruises to Suit You - www.unlockthepastcruises.com/genealogy-cruising/cruises-to-suit-you/

About Unlock the Past: Australian based Unlock the Past was established in 2009. It is the event and publishing division of Gould Genealogy & History which has served family and local historians since 1976. It is a collaborative venture involving an international team of expert speakers, writers, organisations and commercial partners to promote history and genealogy through innovative major events and a new publishing brand. It also maintains general and events directories online and is a cost effective marketing platform for partners.


COMMENT: I've been involved with Unlock the Past for the last three years, having already been out to Australia twice to do a talks tour in 2010, and to participate on the second genealogy cruise in November/December 2011, and have already produced three books for them, with two more on the way later this year. I'm heading back down under in late January 2013 for the fourth UTP genealogy cruise to participate as a speaker along with many well known names from the genie world in Australasia and the States. As part of the trip, I'll also be speaking on a top-and-tail end talks tour alongside Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers, at venues from Brisbane to Perth, as well as at shore based ventures throughout the voyage.

I've blogged before about UTP cruises, but to summarise, they are highly enjoyable floating genealogy conferences, combined with a bit of sight-seeing, some great company, and a varied and enjoyable programme. I'm looking forward to next February, and to the advent of genie cruises coming to Europe and the northern hemisphere in the very near future!

For details on the 4th cruise next February, visit www.unlockthepastcruises.com/cruises/4th-cruise/. The talks timetable is also now available online, this can be read at www.unlockthepastcruises.com/4th-cruise-program/.

Hopefully see you shipside!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Time Team's Mick Aston dies

One of the foremost experts of the Channel Four Time Team series, Mick Aston, has passed away. The show's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTimeTeam/posts/507567812650170) has recorded the following short statement:

It is with a very heavy heart that we have been informed this evening that our dear friend and colleague Mick Aston has passed away.

At this stage our thoughts are with his family and friends.

The BBC has further coverage at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23041568

History is a multi-faceted discipline, and archaeology just one of many routes to help us understand the lives of our forebears. Mick Aston was one of those rare things in academia - an expert who could communicate and speak in plain English to everyday folk - and his contribution on the series right up to his departure in 2011 was immense. As someone who used to make archaeology programmes for the Beeb, I can tell you we were always playing second fiddle to Time Team, quite simply because it was the team that was the show's greatest asset, with Mick right at the heart of it.

RIP Mick Aston, Time Team's Time Lord.

(With thanks to @DrTonyPollard and @HVSresearch)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

EU threats to genealogy?

Is the EU about to kybosh the genealogy industry? That's the view of the Genealogical Society of Ireland, according to an article in yesterday's Irish Times, if proposed changes to personal information on the grounds of data protection are pushed through in Brussels.

There have been major concerns on privacy and threats to the industry in the Republic of Ireland on these grounds in recent times, thanks to government shenanigans there, so I'm unclear how embedded or real this threat is. Nevertheless, it's an interesting read, and if true, could certainly have implications here - the article is at www.irishtimes.com/news/eu-regulation-could-restrict-genealogical-research-1.1440075

Meanwhile, on another front, it looks like the Europeana cultural digital platform (www.europeana.eu) may be under threat from Europe also, thanks to a budget slash for the cultural sector of 9 billion Euros to 1 billion. It's launched a petition at http://blog.europeana.eu/2013/06/sign-petition-to-keep-europes-culture-open-to-everyone-online/ to recruit support for the platform's continuation.

(With thanks to @CummingsPFH on Twitter and BI Gen at http://bi-gen.blogspot.co.uk)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Lost Cousins newsletter

Peter Calver's latest Lost Cousins newsletter is now out, and covers various recent news developments, including an interesting piece on indexing errors on Ancestry, and some kind comments on my latest book!

It's available online at www.lostcousins.com/newsletters/latejun13news.htm.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

1857 church census for Templepatrick online

Following on from the recent addition of the 1831 Presbyterian church census for Templepatrick to the subscription based Emerald Ancestors website (www.emeraldancestors.com), the 1857 census for the same parish has also now been made available.

I was lucky enough to be able to consult the original at PRONI last week - a very useful resource if you have connections to that part of County Antrim!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Eneclann and Ancestor Network continue Genealogy Advisory Service at NLI

From Vicky McAlister at Eneclann (www.eneclann.ie):

Eneclann [www.eneclann.ie] and Ancestor Network [http://ancestor.ie/] have assembled probably the largest ever team of Irish genealogists with a huge range of expertise, including our own Fiona Fitzsimons and Carmel Gilbride; Brian Mitchell (author of the Irish Genealogical Atlas; Guide to Irish Church Records); renowned Irish-American genealogist Eileen O'Duill; and the research team behind the Genealogy Roadshow - Aiden Feerick, Hilary McDonagh and John Hamrock, to name a few.

This crack genealogy team will be a wonderful resource for overseas visitors and the home audience alike, and a good news story in the year of the Gathering. This is the second year that the Eneclann-Ancestor Network partnership has brought you the Genealogy Advisory Service. This year operating on extended hours to give you even more opportunity to research your family tree.

Much kudos to the National Library of Ireland for securing the team that brought you President Obama's and Tom Cruise's Irish family history.

If it’s good enough for the Prez, it’s good enough for the Irish public! Find out more about the Genealogy Advisory Service in the National Library of Ireland [www.nli.ie/en/family-history-introduction.aspx]

COMMENT: Congrats to all!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Useful Fife website

If you have ancestry from Newport, Wormit and Forgan in Fife, check out www.twentytwoflassroad.co.uk for various useful resources, including OPR transcriptions, valuation rolls, registers of voters and more, compiled by William McM. Owen.

(With thanks to Tunji Lees)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

TNA - Meet the Keeper events in July

Oliver Morley, Chief Executive and Keeper of The National Archives at Kew, will be available at the archive to answer questions on three separate occasions in July.

Full details at http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/851.htm

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

SAFHS 2014 conference update

The Scottish Association of Family History Societies (SAFHS) has uploaded additional details for its 25th anniversary conference, to be held at the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline on Saturday 26th April 2014. The talks programme is now available at http://safhs.org.uk/images/2014/programme.pdf with details of speakers and the topics covered, and for this event there will actually be parallel streams of talks running throughout the day, rather than a single stream.

Conference delegate booking forms and details on the venue can be found at http://safhs.org.uk/silver.asp. Attendance as a delegate will cost £32, though if only attending the accompanying family history fair, the price will be £2, payable at the door.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Archive CD Books - English maps and gazetteers sale

Archive CD Books Britain and Ireland is offering a 50% discount on certain titles within its England Maps and Gazetteers collection until July 5th.

See the list at www.archivecdbooks.ie/acatalog/eng-maps.html?utm_source=Archive+CD+Books+Newsletter&utm_campaign=b24c87499d-200712_ACDB_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f9e8dfd7f2-b24c87499d-55046870

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Family History Centre at Highland Archives on Facebook

A quick plug for genie chum Chris Halliday, now working as a family history leader at the Family History Centre at Highland Archives. The centre now has a new Facebook page up and running at
www.facebook.com/FamilyHistoryCentreAtHighlandArchives which Chris and the team will be regularly posting updates to.


Highland Archive itself has a separate Facebook page at www.facebook.com/highlandarchives (although in the same building, the archive and family history service are separate bodies within the building).

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Scottish Genealogy Network visit to Aberdeen - report

The Scottish genealogy network made a visit to Aberdeen yesterday, where we visited the Aberdeen and North East Scotland Family History Society and also Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives. Read what we got up to at http://scottishgenealogynetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/sgn-visit-to-aberdeen.html.

The SGN is a networking forum for those working as professional genealogists in Scotland, or within associated fields, and a chance to meet regularly and to constantly develop our skills and knowledge base within our chosen field. For more details, see the SGN blog!


Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

PRONI User Forum - news highlights from meeting

Yesterday (Friday) I visited PRONI in Belfast (www.proni.gov.uk) to attend the user forum meeting there, with LOTS happening on the Northern Irish genie scene just now. With so much happening I'll just note quick bullet points:

PRONI's visitor numbers for the last year are slightly down, due to a combination of the flags protests deterring, mad weather (I was snowed off attending the last meeting three months back), and a drop in tourism over all. Interestingly whilst numbers visiting from Britain have gone down, those from the States have actually gone up, and a huge boost is expected later in the year with the World Police and Fire Games.

When the Who Do You Think You Are series returns, keep an eye out for the episode with The Apprentice's Nick Hewer, partly filmed inside PRONI - its first appearance in the series. For confidentiality reasons we were told no more, other than the staff comment think it's definitely one to watch.

PRONI's director Aileen McLintock is stepping down in August. The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, which PRONI falls under, is also getting a new permanent secretary.

Lots of discussion on a major new acquisition, the Londonderry Papers (D654, D3099, and other entries). This was previously on a long term loan to PRONI, but now purchased at a cost of £665,000, and currently undergoing major cataloguing effort this year and next. It's been described as in the top six collections held by the facility, a major resource - lots of material for Derry, Down, Donegal, plenty of material about British India from the 1720s onward, fascism in 1930s Britain, and more. Previously some material was closed to access, for privacy reasons with the family, but as this is now a public collection it will all be open, save anything that needs to be restricted for data protection issues (very little though). There will possibly be a conference soon on the importance of the collection, possibly mooted for much later in the year.

The Irish State Papers Online collection, sourced from the National Archives in Kew, is now accessible via terminals in PRONI - covering English administration in Ireland from 1509-1714.

Royal British Legion papers for Northern Ireland from 1921-2012 have been acquired by PRONI.

From early July, PRONI's online catalogue will be getting a substantial update and facelift. It's worth pointing out that the catalogue used on terminals in PRONI is vastly superior to that currently online (as I discovered to my cost when doing research on Thursday!) - the online catalogue will converge more towards this.

The online Wills Calendars database will see the currently missing gap from 1918-1921 plugged early next year in March, and the collection itself extended to 1965. That's as far as it is proposed to take the collection for now.

The Name Search database will also be added to, with more wills indexes, including for Derry & Raphoe.

Coroners Inquests are also being catalogued - at present available up to1920 on Name Search, but the rest up to 1999 will be heading for the main catalogue, not Name Search.

A big change on access to the 1939 National Identity Register - I've previously blogged in the past that to access entries from this emergency wartime census you needed to supply an address and a date/proof of death (via an FOI request), and that requests needed to be for one individual at a time. This is now altered - you only need to supply an address, and no longer proof of death. PRONI will instead add a 100 year closure, so anyone younger than that is presumed still alive and details will not be released. To balance that though, PRONI will provide ALL names in a household in a request that comply with this age rule. (UPDATE: See Claire Santry's post on this also at http://irish-genealogy-news.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/1939-national-register-proni-latest.html)

There will be a Family History Fair in PRONI's buildings on Sat August 3rd (10-5) and Sun August 4th (10-4), including a talks programme. Also a major Plantation Families conference at PRONI and Derry's Tower Museum on 27th-28th September.

For news on the latest developments with the GRO in Belfast concerning the new online records platform due out in a few months, see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/update-on-gro-northern-ireland-online.html.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Update on GRO Northern Ireland online records project

A quick update on the new service planned from the GRO in Northern Ireland (www.nidirect.gov.uk/gro) to provide access to historic birth, marriage and death records, thanks to a talk with one of its members earlier today in Belfast. As I've commented on before, the inspiration for the new planned online service is based heavily on ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) - however, there are some differences for what is envisaged between what Scotland has achieved, and what Northern Ireland hopes to achieve.

ScotlandsPeople offers access to digitised images and indexes for records that are classified as historic - so images from birth registers older than 100 years, images for marriages older than 75 years, and for deaths older than 50 years. Belfast plans to replicate this, after legislation in 2011 defined such records in Northern Ireland as 'historic'. However - crucially in Scotland, if an event is more recent than this, although the images are not online, the indexes for events up to 2011 are still accessible on the website - if not the corresponding images - meaning that you can still order up a certified copy, albeit at a cost of £12. This will NOT be the case in Northern Ireland. As statute currently stands, the GRO in Belfast still only has to provide access to these indexes at its search room in Belfast - and not online.

I was asked what I thought ScotlandsPeople had done for Scottish genealogy, and replied that quite simply, as the 1901 and 1911 censuses did for Ireland, ScotlandsPeople has both dramatically revolutionised, and democratised, access for those researching Scottish family history. I made the point that I suspect that access only to historic images and not the more recent indexes will be a severe blow to those hoping to see all the indexes online - I flagged up in particular that this will in fact see the bizarre situation where indexes for Northern Irish births, which are already online up to 1921 on FindmyPast Ireland, Ancestry and Family Search, would, under current proposals, stop at 1913 or 1914 if released now following a 100-year-rule-full-stop on the new GRONI site.

As things stand just now, the timetable for release is looking like early next year, although the GRONI's current online ordering system is to be revamped in September. A lot is still under discussion - not least of which is the proposed price for the digitised images. I was told that NI's higher costs of certs at £15 is based on a cost proportionate base for NI as a smaller country, but I'm yet to be convinced as to why that should be - if we are one big happy UK, central government at Westminister should subsidise Belfast (indeed Edinburgh) to make sure that all British citizens have equal access to such records at an equal cost, and not to be discriminated against on the basis of which bit of the UK we come from. With online records I made the point (undoubtedly made by many others) that genealogists do not need official certs, and that I always advise people to order Northern Irish records from the Republic of Ireland as photocopies if pre-1922, as these only cost 4 Euros from there, and not £15 as from Belfast. Any online set up needs to understand why people will do that - if online records cost as much, or not far off what the paper copies cost, no-one is going to use the proposed service. ScotlandsPeople charges about £1.30 per digitised record. That's the expectation, and that's the benchmark set by the agency that GRONI has taken its inspiration from. As it stands just now, GRONI has not set its charges yet, it's very much still up for grabs - so let's hope it does the right thing.

One further point I did make was in response to a comment that GRONI in fact has no obligation to fulfil the desires of genealogists at all, which is totally true - it's job is actually to register, births, marriages and deaths (and a few other events)!!! It wasn't a negative comment - it was essentially a statement that GRONI is in unchartered territory here. But it's no different to the position that the GRO in Scotland once found itself in. Scotland has pioneered how these things can be done, and has done so superbly. For those of a nervous disposition, one thing that will be good news is that the company behind GRONI's digitisation of records is not that which screwed up the same remit for England and Wales - and that is something to be truly grateful for!

I hated Field of Dreams, but Kevin Costner's line does summarise what needs to be done: if you build it - and build it right - by God they will come. The Irish diaspora in the United States alone is at some 40 million and more. So fingers crossed that GRONI's new set up will get it right - and achieve the same high international praise that ScotlandsPeople itself has long enjoyed.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Trove reaches ten million pages

Congratulations to the Oz based NLA Trove team which has now digitised some ten million pages of Australian newspaper content, and within an earshot of one hundred million articles - all available for free at http://trove.nla.gov.au - more details at http://blogs.nla.gov.au/behind-the-scenes/2013/06/21/10-million-newspaper-pages-in-trove/

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Free access to Irish BMDS indexes on FindmyPast

The American version of FindmyPast, at www.findmypast.com, has posted that it will be offering free access to its Irish birth, marriage and death indexes from June 27th-30th, to flag up the anniversary of the destruction of much of Ireland's public record on June 30th 1922.

There's more on the story at http://www.findmypast.com/articles/irish-records-office-destruction

UPDATE: Access will also be available on FindmyPast Ireland (www.findmypast.ie)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Massachussetts parish records on Ancestry

For those with Irish relatives who fled to America following the Famine in the mid 1840s, the following parish record sets for Massachussetts may be of some interest on Ancestry's World subscription (www.ancestry.co.uk):
  • Massachusetts, Birth Records, 1840-1915 (3829539)
  • Massachusetts, Marriage Records, 1840-1915 (3059458)
  • Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 (2713911)

The records have been sourced from New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts, and the Irish feature very heavily in them.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Scottish Genealogy Network - Aberdeen visit

The next meeting of the Scottish Genealogy Network (http://scottishgenealogynetwork.blogspot.co.uk) will be this coming Saturday 22nd June, when several of our members will be venturing to Aberdeen to explore the resources there that can potentially help us with our work - including the Aberdeen and North East Scotland Family History Society and Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives.

If you work as a professional genealogist within Scotland (or elsewhere and just happen to be in the area!), or in an associated discipline, feel free to come along - drop us a note at scotsgenenet @ gmail.com for details. The network is an informal opportunity to meet up and discuss relevant issues of the day within our community - there's no fees and no formal membership, we're just a group of genies wanting to continually push ourselves further within our chosen field.

In July we'll be visiting Dumfries, and later in the year we'll be holding our second Continuous Professional Development event. For details of our previous event in Stirling, visit our blog at http://scottishgenealogynetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scottish-genealogy-networks-first-cpd.html.

If you work professionally within the field, we'd love to see you!


Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Yorkshire Family History Fair

Yorkshire Family History Fair will be held on June 29th at the Knavesmire Exhibition Centre - full details are available at www.yorkshirefamilyhistoryfair.com.

(With thanks to Family Tree magazine @familytreemaguk)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

1926 Irish census to be released - in 2027

There's been a lot of talk recently about the prospective early release of the 1926 Irish census in the Republic of Ireland, but John Grenham's latest piece in the Irish Times paints a very pessimistic picture, noting that the Central Statistics Agency, which has responsibility for it, is adopting an official 'bah humbug' approach. John's piece in The Times is at www.irishtimes.com/blogs/irishroots/2013/06/17/not-the-1926-news/

A few years back the Canadian and Irish Governments collaborated in a project to get the 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses online, a move that overnight revolutionised - and that is not an understatement - the genealogical industry in Ireland. Today though, this is the second story to seemingly show that when it comes to the release of censuses from the 1920s in the two countries, there is once again common ground of an altogether different nature (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/1921-canadian-census-all-dressed-up.html).

Don't forget - if your Irish ancestors were in the Free Sate Army in 1922, there is a military census now online from the period at www.military.ie.

(With thanks to John Reid)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

1921 Canadian census - all dressed up, nowhere to go?

The latest news from Canada is that the 1921 census there, which should have been released several days ago, is apparently all digitised and ready to go, with a geographical index already prepared, but that it's release has been seemingly blocked by the Canadian Government.

I've also read in an email an unattributed comment, claimed to be from a Government member, that the Canadian government may be sitting on it because they think "the only persons interested in the 1921 census are "three old ladies in Kingston (Ontario)" who only want to use it for genealogy" (Source: http://globalgenealogy.com/news/articles/00059.htm). Talk about age discrimination! If a little old lady wants to read the census for genealogy, I'd be interested to know what the problem with that might be, particularly if there are three of them - hell hath no fury than three little old ladies with a genealogy interest scorned... or an entire nation. Apparently this is similar to the release of the 1901 Canadian census a few years back, for which a campaign was created to provoke action from another apparently intransigent government.

If you'd like to help three little old ladies in Kingston - or thousands of others - to gain access to something they are already legally entitled to view, read Elizabeth Lapointe's full post on the subject at http://genealogycanada.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/breaking-news-1921-census-of-canada.html, and John Reid's various posts at www.anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.ca.

(With thanks to Graham MacDonnell, Elizabeth Lapointe, John Reid and Dick Eastman)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

ASGRA to recognise Strathclyde genealogy course

ASGRA, the Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (www.asgra.co.uk), has decided to recognise the value of the Strathclyde University Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical, Heraldic and Palaeographic Studies (www.strath.ac.uk/genealogy/) as a means to becoming a probationer member of its organisation. Probationer membership lasts for 2 years, and at the end of this probationers are required to be assessed by members of ASGRA for competency before becoming full members. The full announcement is at www.asgra.co.uk/Strathclyde%20Agreement%20WEBSITE%20announcement%20pdf.pdf

I've not signed up myself in the past, simply because I think the achievement of a two years studied university postgraduate diploma course demonstrates a degree of competency in its own right, but I know friends and colleagues who are members who feel they do benefit from membership. The only question mark I really have is that the agreement to recognise diploma students apparently only applies to those who pass from July 2013 onwards, which does seem slightly prejudicial to anyone who has passed the same course in the last six years who may be equally interested to sign up, though I suspect that's not what was intended.

On the Strathclyde course itself, I've had a lot of fun working as a tutor on the postgrad certificate this year, with a great bunch of students slowly working their way towards the finishing line! Due to commitments next year (including two books on the cards and being out of the country for a bit) I'll not be doing so for the next session, but I hope to step back again into the role in due course. If you wish to sign up, please visit www.strath.ac.uk/genealogy/ for full details on how to do so, and to see a timetable etc. Entry to the diploma is then by successful completion of the certificate the following year, and you can also take your studies to a Masters in a third year.

Certainly as someone who has been through both the cert and the diploma I've recognised their value to refocus me from being a keen amateur to someone who wished to professionalise his skills to do this job for a living. It is hard work, and the course will not make you an expert on everything - for no-one is an expert on everything! - but it will open your eyes to what you don't know about genealogy within the British Isles and beyond, as well as affirm what you do - and help provide you with a confident path towards a truly rewarding career.

(With thanks to Bruce Bishop)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Society of Genealogists - July events in London

The following Events will take place at the Society of Genealogists in July. To book a place online, visit our website at: www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses

You can also book by telephone, at the number listed below.

6 July 14:00-17:00
Drawing up a Family Tree
We will talk about uses of family trees, standard layouts and conventions, what to include and how to draw one up by hand. Software is mentioned as one means of generating trees and pedigree charts but the emphasis will not be on specific programs.

A half-day course with Louise Taylor price 17.50


10 Jul 14:00-17:00
Upstairs, Downstairs: My Ancestors Were in Service
Many of our ancestors worked as domestic servants, some were employed in the “Big House” and some as glorified housekeepers to local artisans and tradesmen. There are no specific sets of records for domestic servants, but it is possible to piece together evidence from various records.

A half-day course with Ian Waller price 17.50


13 Jul 10:30-13:00
Sources for Tracing Female Ancestors & Population and Birth Control
Family historians are often accused of interesting themselves only in the male lines of their ancestry following the history of the surname. Older pedigree compilations often ignore the daughters of a family leaving it difficult to establish the distaff line. However there are some sources that can be used to throw more light into the lives of our ancestresses and which let us hear their voices. We will look at some strong minded, vocal women; hear their voices and learn about women who fell on hard times (with Else Churchill).

In the second session, we will look at how some of our ancestor's mothers appear to have produced children at very regular, even frequent intervals; then there is a break in the pattern often attributed by us to a still birth or an accidental miscarriage. Have you considered the possibility of the family using birth control? Contrary to a popular image, wealthy families tended to have more children than did those lower in the financial and social spectrum. Dr Chapman will examine family and commonality sizes and describes methods of birth control that have been attempted over the centuries to limit local and national population numbers.

A half-day course with Else Churchill & Colin Chapman price 17.50


20 Jul 10:30-13:00
Family Historian Software Practical (intermediate to advanced users)
A hands-on practical course which will help you to get the most from this leading genealogical software. You must bring a laptop.

A half-day course with John Hanson price 17.50


20 Jul 14:00-17:00
My Ancestor Came From Westminster
Those with London ancestry will fast realise that people moved in and out of localities within the metropolis. Westminster has always been a City in its own right generating its own records and with its own parishes. Although an area within London it is not part of London and its records reflect this. Come along and understand why you need to research at the Westminster Archive centre and what is available to identify your ancestor.

A half-day course with Ian Waller price 17.50


27 Jul 10:30 17:00
Family Tree Maker Software Essentials - for Beginners & Refreshers
A full-day course with Mike Bollinger price 30.00


31 Jul 14:00-15:30
Visit: Tower Hamlets Cemetery
The Tower Hamlets Cemetery, located in the East End of London, was opened in 1841 and closed for burials in 1966. It was then called the City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery but was called Bow Cemetery by locals. Our historic tour of the cemetery will last approximately one hour. price 10.00

(With thanks to Lori Weinstein)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

TNA podcast - Board of Trade design register 1839-1991

The latest podcast from the National Archives at Kew is entitled Design online: extending access to the BT Design Register, a talk given by Dinah Eastop running at under 20 minutes. The talk is about the Board of Trade Design Register design registrations from 1839-1991, a bit specialist, but if that's what your ancestor was involved in it will probably hit the mark perfectly!

You can listen at http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/design-online-extending-access-to-the-bt-design-register/ 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 Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

Useful Derry townland maps

My horse, my horse, my kingdom for a decent bl**ding online townland map for Islandmagee....! :)

OK, whilst that may not be quite on the cards yet, if you have connections to Derry then West Ulster Genealogy Services has been posting useful links to some handy townland map resources like the plague's in town! You'll find them at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.211670882316446&type=1 and in particular some absolute gems from a gent called Bill Scott at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.173426246140910&type=1

But if anyone can suggest one for Islandmagee on a similar line, mucho appreciatio...!

(Thanks to West Ulster Genealogy Services on Facebook - located at http://www.facebook.com/westulstergenealogy)

UPDATE: Eddie Connolly my man! :) Islandmagee townland map? Nae problem! See https://twitter.com/teddiec/status/347104758835847169/photo/1

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!