Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Roman Catholics in the East India Company

The Catholic History Society has an interesting post about resources that can help research Roman Catholics who served in the East India Company. The post is available at http://catholicfhs.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/roman-catholics-in-the-east-india-company/

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...!

Seanruad Townlands database moves to new site

Claire Santry is reporting on her Irish Genealogy News blog that the Seanruad townlands database has now moved to a new site - it can now be found at www.thecore.com/seanruad/.

Officially the IreAtlas Townland Database, the site is a useful workhorse for trying to identify which parishes townlands are located within, a townland being the smallest unit of administration on the island, sometimes just a couple of acres in size. The full story is at http://irish-genealogy-news.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/seanruad-townland-database-has-moved.html

If your ancestors are from Northern Ireland, don't forget that PRONI also has a useful townlands and parishes facility at http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/local_history/geographical_index/townlands.htm, with maps of the parishes per each county and lists of townlands located within each.

(With thanks to Claire)

Chrius

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, 29 July 2013

National Records of Scotland on Twitter

The National Records of Scotland has a new Twitter account - find them online at https://twitter.com/NatRecordsScot or follow them using @NatRecordsScot

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 UK adds Worcestershire records

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has added 30,000 new parish baptism, marriages and burial records from 1537-1900 for Astley, Hanbury and Shrawley in Worcestershire.

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

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...!

Angus Heritage Trail leaflet

From Angus Heritage Week:

The unique heritage, traditions and culture of Angus are highlighted in a newly-published booklet providing a guide to the county’s many visitor attractions, museums, historic buildings, beautiful gardens and art galleries.

The Angus Heritage Trail focuses on each town in Angus individually and, as well as suggesting places to visit, also provides snippets of historic information and fascinating facts.

Forfar’s role as the centre of the Pictish heartland and the site of a castle destroyed by Robert The Bruce both receive a mention, whilst the Glamis pages of the booklet feature the village’s thatched cottages and majestic castle, as well as Strathmore Vintage Vehicle Club’s headquarters. “We only recently opened our doors to the public so this is a wonderful opportunity for us to tell people about the vintage cars, motorcycles, lorries and other vehicles from days gone by that are on display here,” said Lesley Munro of Strathmore Vintage Vehicle Club.

Kirriemuir’s mysterious standing stone on the top of Kirrie Hill is singled out as a place to visit in the Wee Red Town, along with the Gateway to the Glens Museum and nearby Glen Prosen’s stunning granite memorial to Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole.

Brechin’s often visible links to its fascinating past are reflected in the places which tell the town’s story in the the Angus Heritage Trail booklet. From Pictavia, which focuses on the Picts who inhabited this area nearly 2,000 years ago to the cottage which is the ancestral home of the Davidsons of Harley Davidson fame to the Victorian railway station where steam engines still travel to and from Bridge of Dun.

The heritage of Edzell, Montrose, Arbroath, Carnoustie and Monifieth is also well represented in the booklet. Amongst the many places mentioned are the medieval Arbroath Abbey, the fully restored working oatmeal mill at Barry and Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, the UK’s first military air station.

The Angus Heritage Trail is the latest publication by Angus Heritage, organisers of Angus Heritage Week, which this year runs from 13-20 September. “The Angus Heritage Trail features many visitor attractions which will be participating in Angus Heritage Week, such as Strathmore Vintage Vehicle Club and its outstanding collection of motor vehicles,” said Councillor Mairi Evans, Angus Council tourism spokesperson, who will launch the Angus Heritage Trail at Strathmore Vintage Vehicle Club’s headquarters on 1 August.

“Angus is a truly fascinating place,” continued Councillor Evans. “This handy – and beautifully designed – booklet will encourage visitors and locals alike to explore Angus and find out more about the people and places that have contributed to the rich and varied heritage of our county over the centuries.”

The Angus Heritage Trail is available at leisure centres, ACCESS offices, libraries and tourist attractions across Angus, Dundee, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and Fife (or download from www.angusheritage.com), For information about Angus Heritage Week, visit www.angusheritage.com, ‘like’ the Angus Heritage Facebook page or follow on Twitter.

(With thanks to Wendy Glass)

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...!

MyHeritage helps Holocaust restitution fund claimants

From MyHeritage (www.myheritage.com)

Genealogy company, MyHeritage, identifies and notifies claimants entitled to Holocaust restitution funds.

MyHeritage, a leading genealogy company, has been using its unique search technology and extensive database, to identify and then notify potential claimants of Holocaust restitution funds. These individuals are usually descendants of victims of the Holocaust era who had property confiscated. So far the company has found and notified about 150 potential fund recipients, now living in different locations around the world, who were unaware of their entitlement to make a claim. MyHeritage are providing this service with no charge and for no gain.

This project demonstrates how family trees, genealogy and technology can be put to positive use. We are proud to have initiated this project and to be investing our resources into it, and we are very energized with the positive feedback that we are getting from the families we are helping.

Further details of the project can be found at http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_GERMANY_HOLOCAUST_SOCIAL_MEDIA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT or by contacting laurence @ myheritage.com .

(With thanks to Laurence Harris)

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, 28 July 2013

TNA podcast - 13th Century Church of England and politics

The latest podcast from the National Archives at Kew is The Church and the propaganda of political reform in 13th century England, a 24 minute talk from Sophie Ambler which was the annual lecture of the Pipe Roll Society.

To listen visit http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/the-church-and-the-propaganda-of-political-reform-in-13th-century-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 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 Dumfries archive

The Scottish Genealogy Network paid a visit to Dumfries and Galloway Archives yesterday, where we had the privilege to meet archivist Graham Roberts and to have a private tour of the facility at Burns Street, prior to its assets being relocated to the nearby Ewart Library in September.

You can read what we got up to, and what we discovered, on the SGN blog at http://scottishgenealogynetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/sgn-visit-to-dumfries.html


(A huge thanks to Graham Roberts and to SGN member Emma Maxwell for facilitating the day's visit)

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, 26 July 2013

West Yorkshire burial maps and Military burials online

From Deceased Online (www.deceasedonline.com)

Cemetery section maps for seven W Yorkshire cemeteries now available

Following the addition of burial records for 20 cemeteries in West Yorkshire to www.deceasedonline.com, cemetery sections maps have been added to 7 locations. The 7 cemeteries are: Alverthorpe, Horbury, Normanton Upper, Normanton Lower, Outwood, Stanley and Wakefield. Maps for more cemeteries will be added soon. With three diagrams for each record, the maps indicate the section of each cemetery in which specific graves are located.


Now uploading:
Military burial records from The National Archives

We're currently uploading tens of thousands of military burial records digitized by us at The National Archives. These non-war grave records date back to the early 19th Century and feature: Greenwich Royal Hospital, Sandhurst, Aldershot, Haslar RN, Royal Victoria, Sheerness Dockyard and other cemeteries and burial grounds

Records are accessible on name and area/county searches but we will be adding more details and descriptions to the website soon


Northeast Yorks coming soon

All records for a major authority in Northeast Yorkshire are coming soon to Deceased Online. Sorry we can't say which one yet but we'll make announcements soon on Facebook and Twitter

(With thanks to Deceased 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...!

Digital Past conference announced for Llandudno in 2014

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales has announced a 2 day conference, Digital Past, which will showcase "innovative digital technologies for data capture, interpretation and dissemination of heritage sites and artefacts".

The event is planned for February 12th-13th 2014 at St George’s Hotel, The Promenade, Llandudno. Further details are available at www.rcahmw.gov.uk/HI/ENG/Our+Services/Outreach+/

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...!

Inside History previews Unlock the Past genealogy cruise

Australia's Inside History magazine is offering a free copy of its magazine, issue 8, at http://issuu.com/insidehistory/docs/free_inside_history_issue_8 - as well as a sneak preview of its latest issue, number 17, which can be accessed at http://issuu.com/insidehistory/docs/inside_history_issue_17_issuu.

If you're undecided about whether or not to participate in Unlock the Past's 2014 genealogy cruise, you'll find a four page article in the latest issue (and included in the sample, pages 64-67), providing a flavour of what to expect - with contributions from presenters Noeline Kyle, Thomas MacEntee, Neil Smith and yours truly. It's going to be a lot of fun! :)


Further details on Unlock the Past Cruises can be found at www.unlockthepastcruises.com.

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...!

Ship crew lists on The Genealogist

The Genealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk) has released a new collection for Royal Navy and Merchant Seamen. Here's the announcement:

Ship Crew Lists

TheGenealogist has launched a new resource for those with sea going ancestors. It gives details of over 439,000 Royal Navy and Merchant Seamen records which are searchable by name, rank, age and ship. The full crew list can be displayed for any of the ships.

Covering the years 1851-1911, these include lists and agreements for those involved in merchant shipping and ship crews for those at home ports, sea and abroad.

Details given may include age, place of birth, rank and ticket number, previous and current ships with ports of registration, dates and places of joining and leaving, reason for leaving.

The records are from a variety of sources which include BT98 and specialist county and non-county census records.

BT98 Example

Searching for David Benzie shows us the two ships he was Master of and then by clicking on the full details icon it reveals all of his information including his ticket number. The full crew list for the ship can be viewed by clicking on the ship icon.

An advanced search is also available where you can use the ships name.


Other Sources

You can select which years to search or search all the crew lists from 1851 to 1911 which include both ships at home, at sea and abroad.

One example is the large crew of the training vessel HMS Britannia which was docked in Dartmouth. She used to be the magnificent HMS Prince of Wales with 121 guns and was one of the first rate three decker line of battle ships. Launched in 1860 she was renamed HMS Britannia in 1869 and was then used for cadet training.

Searching for Captain Noel Digby in the Advanced search brings up his details out of all the records and allows his full record to be displayed. The Britannia’s full crew list can also be shown along with the original image of the record.

The new record set can be found under occupational records under Ship Crew Lists for those with a Diamond subscription.

Other linked records of interest are the large collection of Navy Lists under Military rolls and lists on TheGenealogist.


COMMENT:  The BT98 additions (Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Agreements and Crew Lists, Series I) are I think newly available online - records from BT 99 (Series 2), BT 100 (Series 3), BT 144 (Series 4), and BT 165 (Ships' official logs), along with various other Merchant Navy records, are available on FindmyPast.

The RG references, are as far as I can tell, simply provides records from the annual decennial censuses, already available online, with this release offering a different way to locate them.

(With thanks to Nigel Bayley)

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...!

University of Strathclyde's Genealogy Studies team now on Twitter

The University of Strathclyde's Genealogical Studies team, responsible for the Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and MSc in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies, is now available on Twitter, at @StrathGenealogy

If interested in signing up for the next session, you have until mid-August to get your applications in - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/postgraduate-certificate-in.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...!

Scottish Roman Catholic archive at Aberdeen

From Siobhán Convery, Head of Special Collections, Library, Special Collections & Museums at The Sir Duncan Rice Library, University of Aberdeen, Bedford Road, Aberdeen AB24 3AA:

The Historic Archive of the Catholic Church in Scotland will be available for research access at the University of Aberdeen’s Special Collections Centre from Thursday 1st August. For further information on the collection and booking arrangements, please visit the collection web pages at:

www.abdn.ac.uk/library/about/special/scottish-catholic-archives

Or contact the Wolfson Reading Room:

Tel: +44 (0)1224 27 2598
Email: speclib@abdn.ac.uk

(With thanks to Siobhán, and to Wendy Archer)

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 updates Oxford and Middlesex record sets

Just received the following from Bryony at Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) concerning two English collection updates:

I just wanted to send over some details about a couple of recent content updates on Ancestry.co.uk:
  • Oxford - Brasenose College Register 1509-1909
  • Middlesex County Records - Calendar of the Sessions Books 1690 – 1709

Both of these collections were previously available as image-only on the site, but have been indexed by the Ancestry World Archives Project (AWAP) a collaborative effort involving thousands of people around the world keying digital records to make them free for everyone.


Oxford – Brasenose College Register 1509 - 1909

Established in 1509, Brasenose College is among the older colleges of Oxford University. The College Register lists thousands of people who passed through Brasenose from 1509 through 1909. The Register has been compiled from a variety of sources, including admission registers, buttery books (lists of payments by students for food and drink), lists of college officers and administrators, inscriptions on college monuments, newspaper clippings, lists of sporting groups, directories, and numerous biographical resources.

The Register is divided into chapters that categorize the college member’s involvement at the institution (e.g., visitors, principals, fellows, officers, scholars, etc.). Details included vary from chapter to chapter, but typically include the name and years of attendance, admission, or degree. Some death dates will be provided as well. Several pages of name changes appear in the book, and it also includes an index of names contained in the Register at the back.


Middlesex County Records - Calendar of the Sessions Books 1690 – 1709

This book, originally published in 1905, is a calendar of the Sessions books for Middlesex County, 1690–1709. “Sessions” refers to court sessions, which dealt with a broad range of issues. This calendar serves as an index that notes volumes and pages where items can be found in the Session books at the London Metropolitan Archives.

What You Can Find in the Records

Beginning at the start of the reign of William III and Mary II, this two-decade collection gives unique insights into the times and the day-to-day workings of the county. Many of the entries deal with provisions for the poor, with references to individuals in many cases. Examples include wounded soldiers and sailors, or women who had been deserted by their husbands. There are frequent entries referring to the “settlement” of individuals between parishes. Right of settlement was an important issue in determining which parish was responsible for poor relief for an individual.

The calendar notes punishments for crimes, which may involve sentencing to imprisonment or, more commonly, fines, time in a pillory, or whippings.

The court heard cases on the parentage of illegitimate children and requests for terminating apprenticeships. Appointments to public positions are mentioned, and you’ll find entries regarding payments for work done on roads and other civic improvements.

Nonconformists needed licenses for assemblies of more than five persons, and you can find memorandums regarding these licenses among the records. Some Catholics were listed as “suspected papists” who had refused to take oaths of allegiance to the king and queen.

Licenses were also required for alehouses, and there are complaints about alehouses and suppression or revocation of licenses where owners had “suffered visits from prostitutes” or otherwise run afoul of the prevailing laws.

References to the military can include soldiers seeking relief, debtors being released from prison to serve in the army or navy, and relief for the spouses of soldiers and sailors.

Beyond the names of individuals, you’ll gain insights into the times through legislation aimed at bettering communities and conditions at institutions such as prisons.

(With thanks to Bryony)

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...!

NIFHS Centre - extended opening hours for World Police & Fire Games

The North of Ireland Family History Society (www.nifhs.org) has announced that it will be extending its Newtownabbey based Research Centre's visiting hours to facilitate visitors to Ulster attending the World Police and Fire Games in early August, a major international sporting event expected to draw thousands of visitors, as well as attending PRONI's family history fair in Belfast.

Family History Fair - Belfast - 3-4 August

To help athletics & visitors to the World Police & Fire Games trace their roots, NIFHS will be involved with the Family History Fair at the wonderful PRONI building in Belfast on the weekend of 3rd & 4th of August. As well as Public Record Office staff & ourselves, experts will be also be available from the National Archives of Ireland, the Ulster Historical Foundation as well as many other organisations. Details about the programme of talks will be released later.

For those that need extra assistance, the NIFHS Research Centre, only about 6 miles from PRONI, will have special extended opening hours in the following week. You will be more than welcome to visit us!

Tues 6th Aug 2pm – 8pm
Weds 7th Aug 10am – 12.30pm & 4.30pm – 9pm
Thurs 8th Aug 4.30pm – 9pm
Sat 10th Aug 10.30am – 12.30pm

Click on the link for a map to our Research Centre & a downloadable PDF file of our holdings.

www.nifhs.org/rescentre.htm

(With thanks to NIFHS on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NIFHS)

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...!

Death of former FFHS chairman Cliff Debney

I've been asked to share the news that Cliff Debney (Edward Clifford Denbey), a past chairman of the Federation of Family History Societies (www.ffhs.org.uk), passed away suddenly on 17th July. He also held significant roles in Berkshire Family History Societies and in Berkshire Local History Association.

Following a private family cremation on August 2nd the family would like to invite all who knew him to a memorial service in celebration of his life at 2.00pm in Saint Mary the Virgin Church, Purley on Thames, and afterwards at The Old Barn, Goosecroft Lane, Purley on Thames. It is requested that people wear bright colours, rather than black, and rather than sending flowers, for donations to perhaps be made in his memory instead to The Alzheimer’s Society or Crossroads Care, Newbury via www.memorygiving.com/cliffdebney, or direct to A B Walker & Son Ltd, Reading.

RSVP: Jean Debney, 8 Huckleberry close, Purley on Thames, Reading, RG8 8EH; jean@debney.org.uk; 0118 9413223

(With thanks to Wendy Archer)

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, 25 July 2013

The Andrew Paterson Collection - new Inverness resource and magazine

I've just heard from Adrian Harvey of Northmedia that a website dedicated to Inverness based portrait photographer Andrew Paterson (and later his son Hector G. N. Paterson), whose studio was in operation from 1895-1980, has been launched online at www.patersoncollection.co.uk. The first studio set up by Paterson was at 32 Church Street in Inverness, and the site details the photographer's and firm's history, his experiments in silent movie making, the Camerons’ Comforts Fund established in the First World War for the provision of parcels to the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders, and more.

In addition to background information on Paterson's career, there is also a free to read 52 page long digital magazine, Paterson's Inverness Portraits. The images in the magazine are simply stunning. The publication is accessible from the site's home page.

The project ties into the already established Scottish Highlander Photo Archive, which has also been upgraded, and which can be accessed at www.scottishhighlanderphotoarchive.co.uk. I recently discovered a possible photo on this site which may be of my grandfather, but there's a still a bit of work to do at my end to try to firm this up.

A brilliant resource for the Capital of the Highlands.

(With thanks to Adrian Harvey)

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 population in 2011

The 2011 census has revealed that the population of Scotland in the most recent census has risen to 5,295,400. A break down of the results is available on the Scotland's Census website at www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/en/censusresults/.

(With thanks to the National Records of 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...!

Leading England's archive sector - one year on

The National Archives at Kew has released a report entitled A Year in Archives, detailing its progress over the first year for which its has adopted a leadership role for the English archive sector. Not only does it summarise its achievements, it also provides "a showcase for the innovative work taking place in the archives sector, and the creative partnerships archives are building with other organisations".


The report includes information on Manchester Central Library's restoration, Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service's move to The Hive,Staffordshire Record Office's Landed Estates Collaborative Doctoral Award, The new East London Mosque Archives catalogu
ing project and much more.

For more on the report - and a link to the report itself (in PDF format) visit http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/861.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...!

National Family History Fair 2013

The National Family History Fair will take place this year on Saturday 7th September 2013 from 10am to 4pm at the Tyne Suite, Newcastle Central Premier Inn, Newbridge Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 8BS.

Tickets for entry will be £3, with the talks at a further £3 each. (Tickets can be booked in advance, with a further £1 p&p for each)

For a list of exhibitors and talks, visit www.nationalfamilyhistoryfair.com/The_National_Family_History_Fair_2013.html

(With thanks to @NatFamHistFair)

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...!

Free access to English and Welsh 1911 census

From Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk):

Find your family's stories in our England & Wales 1911 Census, free until 14 October*. Just think of a relative who was alive in 1911, and start searching.

It'll help if you know when they were born or where they lived. But if you're not sure,
just have a guess and we'll help you discover the truth.

*The England & Wales 1911 Census will be available to search for free from 00:00 on 24th July 2013 until 23:59 on 14th October 2013. To view these records you will need to register for free with Ancestry.co.uk with your name and email address.

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, 24 July 2013

MAJOR NEWS - And the new baby's name is....!

As a genealogist, there's not many feelings better than being able to add a name to a family tree that you have been waiting to find for months. Except one - the addition of a name that takes the family story onwards to the next generation.

A huge welcome to the newest and most important baby arrival of the week in Britain (the belief in this house at least!) - Pippa Louise Paton, born this afternoon in Portsmouth to my brother Colin and partner Mel at a healthy 8lb 1 1/2 ounces - latest news is that she has Mel's eyes and Colin's feet!!! :) Huge congrats!

And the story goes on... :)

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...!

Internet Explorer 7 users

A quick note to say that I've just been contacted by someone to say that users of Internet Explorer 7 appear to be having problems reading this blog via the browser. A quick internet search reveals that Google has actually stopped providing support for Internet Explorer 7 and 8, so I suspect this is the reason (the newest version of IE is version 10).

If you are having problems with IE7, I can only suggest that you either upgrade to a more recent version of Internet Explorer, or to download a separate browser. A quick look at the stats on my site shows that most readers of this blog in fact use Mozilla Firefox (36%), with Internet Explorer at 31%, Google's Chrome browser at 16% and Safari at 7%. Personally I use Chrome on my PC, and Safari on my iPad. (You can download more than one browser onto your PC if you wish to try them out first).

If any IE7 users out there are aware of a fix, I'd be more than happy to run an update to this post though!

(With thanks to Peter Munro)

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 - No (inter)sex please, we’re Olympians

The latest podcast from the National Archives at Kew is entitled No (inter)sex please, we’re Olympians. It's a 51 minute long lecture from Dr Louise Chambers on the theme of gender testing in Olympic history, which first commenced in 1936, and in particular on those who are labelled as 'intersex'.

Interesting stuff, available to listen at http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/no-intersex-please-were-olympians/ or to download for free at 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...!

Fort George history event

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

FORT GEORGE TO WELCOME ROMANS, VIKINGS and LAND GIRLS

2,000 years of history to be celebrated at Fort George

Fort George will welcome romans, Vikings and land girls next month as Historic Scotland’s ‘Celebration of the Centuries’ returns.

The award winning event,* which takes place at the Fort in Ardersier, Inverness-shire on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th August, spans over 2,000 years of history.

Over the weekend over two hundred and fifty performers will be at the Fort depicting centuries of history from the Picts, the Romans and the Vikings, through the Medieval, Renaissance, Reformation and Jacobite eras right up to World War I and II.

The event days will commence with a grand parade which will begin with the Romans and conclude with World War I and World War II and features re-enactors from all over the UK.

Visitors can also enjoy colourful living history camps, watch dramatic presentations in the main arena and experience the music and dance of the 1940’s throughout both days.

Crowd favourite, the WWII spitfire, will also return in a daring arial display above the Fort on both the Saturday and the Sunday.

Gillian Urquhart, Events Manager for Historic Scotland said;

“We delighted to be bringing Celebration of the Centuries to Fort George again this year.

“It’s a truly fantastic experience to see 2,000 years of history unfold before your eyes. You can be enjoying the 1940’s big band sounds at one minute, then turn a corner and be facing the guard of the roman empire!

“As well as the spectacular parade, living history camps and demonstrations, there are also lots of interactive activities to keep the whole family entertained.

“It’s just like having your own tardis and being able to step into the past!”

Tickets are available with a 10% discount online at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk or alternatively can be purchased on the day.

(With thanks to Sean Conlon)

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...!

Poverty and Public Health in Belfast

Another site worth bookmarking is Poverty and Public Health in Belfast, available at www.belfastpovhist.com. It's a Queen's University Belfast project funded for three years by AHRC, which examines poverty in Belfast and the surrounding area from 1800-1973. It aims to provide resources online and to list others offline that are worth consulting for studies into urban poverty in the east of Ulster. Check out the Resources page in particular, where you will find several videos on workhouses and other useful aids.

You can also find the project on Twitter at @BelfastSickPoor

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 school children from the 18th century

Here's a great site - Irish Children in 18th Century Schools and Institutions, located at http://research.dho.ie/children/index.html. It's a project from the Digital Humanities Observatory at University College Cork, drawing material from a range of sources and making them available in a searchable database through the site. Predominantly concerned with the Republic of Ireland, the north gets a look in with some coverage for Belfast as well.

Lots to get stuck into, have fun!

(With thanks to @BelfastSickPoor)

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 Tree episode 2

Last week I gave a brief review of episode 1 of the new Family Tree comedy series on BBC2, noting that it was quite clearly an episode to set everyone up in the show, and as such was quite a slow burner with not many laughs - I did note that it had some potential though, and was hoping for bigger and better things.

I didn't have long to wait - last night it really got underway and showed that it really was worth sticking with. If you are looking for advice on how to research your ancestry, it's not for you - but if you want to watch a show that hilariously exaggerates the expectations, discoveries, disappointments and more that many of us who do genealogical research often encounter, it is just the ticket. My twelve year old son and I watched it last night, and by the end of it we had tears streaming out of our eyes, it was that funny.

I'm giving nothing away - other than to humbly suggest that if last week you decided to hand the towel in, quickly go to your press, fetch a new towel, then sit and enjoy the second episode, "Treading the Boards" available on iPlayer at www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b037lxv4/Family_Tree_Treading_the_Boards/. In the space of half an hour you'll maybe discover whether a Chinese gene skips a generation, and the kinds of domestic disputes often experienced by pantomine horses.

Enjoy!

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...!

Quick apology

Just a quick note to regular readers to apologise for some fairly intermittent posting over the last couple of weeks - nothing to do with hot weather or lack of news. We have had quite a serious medical situation develop with one of my parents who lives in Manchester. It's involved a few trips down to England from here in Ayrshire to keep on top of things for the wider family (just back in the door again an hour ago), and in turn has led to a fair bit of disruption at this end. Should be a bit more back to normal for a week or two though, so will try to catch up with some updates!

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, 22 July 2013

New website for Coat of Arms journal

A new website has been launched for The Coat of Arms, the bi-annual Journal of the Heraldry Society. The site carries details of the latest issue and also contents listings for all journals back to 2005. It can be consulted at www.the-coat-of-arms.co.uk.

(With thanks to Peter O'Donoghue @yorkherald)

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...!

St Fagans Castle WW1 military hospital near Cardiff

The BBC has a story at www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-23271253 concerning the role of St Fagan's Castle, near Cardiff, and its role as a military hospital in the First World War. Staff at the National History Museum has located a series of photographs from the period and is keen to learn the identities of those featured within.

(With thanks to Anne Outterson via email)

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...!

Update on Canadian FindmyPast records

I mentioned last Friday that the US FindmyPast site had added the 1930 Canadian directory to its website, and a new Canada section had been launched (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/canadian-1930-directory-on-findmypast.html).

In fact, it turns out there's more there than just a directory! John Reid has a full list of what is now available in the Canada section at http://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/finally-findmypast-adds-canadian.html

(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...!

Barnardos photos to be destroyed?

The British Photographic History forum has reported that the original images from Barnardo's photographic archive, housed in Barkingside, East London, are in danger of destruction following their digitisation in Manchester over the next few months - apparently it is taking up too much room.

For further details, including details of a petition to save it, can be found at http://britishphotohistory.ning.com/profiles/blog/show?id=2680769:BlogPost:72775

Unbelievable...

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, 21 July 2013

Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical Studies - applications

A quick note to say that if you want to sign up to study for the University of Strathclyde's Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies, you should try to get applications in by mid-August - if still interested in applying after this you should contact the university directly to enquire about availability of any remaining places.

I studied the course when it first started in late 2006, and can thoroughly recommend it, particularly if you are wishing to pursue a career as a family historian or work in an associated discipline (such as ancestral tourism). I have just spent the last session for 2012-2013 working as a tutor for the certificate course, which is now run entirely online, and whilst it has evolved from the original programme, the core lessons are much the same in terms of the areas covered. There's in depth study of various topics of interest from across the British Isles, including vital records research, heraldry, palaeography, land records, inheritance procedures and more, as well as additional topics such as the growing area of DNA within genealogical research. The course itself can also be followed by a postgraduate diploma in the same subject, and ultimately a masters degree. It is hard work, but there is no better feeling than the sense of completion and achievement!

Due to several commitments next year I won't be tutoring on the 2013-14 session, but hope to return in due course. If you have any queries, do drop the core team an email (or feel free to drop me a note, always happy to offer advice!). For further details, including the current timetable for a sense of what is involved, and the course fees, consult the course's website at www.strath.ac.uk/genealogy/.

Good luck!

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...!

320 year old culinary recipe book project

An interesting story is in today's Irish Independent about a family recipe book currently being studied by Westminster City Archives in London, compiled between 1690 and 1820, entitled The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies. The recipes in the book provide an idea of the eating habits of an upper middle-class Georgian family in the period. There's even a blog following attempts to recreate some of the recipes, available at www.lostcookbook.wordpress.com

For the full story visit www.independent.ie/lifestyle/one-family-one-recipe-book-and-over-300-years-of-culinary-history-29434818.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...!

Buckinghamshire FHS Open Day

Buckinghamshire Family History Society will be holding an Open Day in Aylesbury on Saturday July 27th.

For further details see www.bucksherald.co.uk/news/more-news/major-event-for-family-history-researchers-1-5293672

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, 19 July 2013

FindmyPast to add and enhance PERSI database

The PERriodical Source Index, aka PERSI, will soon be moving to a new online home on FindmyPast.com (as well as FindmyPast UK, FindmyPast Ireland and FindmyPast Oz), having previously been accessible on Ancestry.co.uk. In addition to the index, FindmyPast will also be adding digitised images to the database of many of the journals themselves, thanks to a  new partnership with the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) Genealogy Center.

The project will take several months - the full story is at http://blog.findmypast.com/2013/07/19/persi-finds-new-home-on-findmypast/

(With thanks to FindmyPast.com)

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...!

Canadian 1930 directory on FindmyPast

This may not be news, but I don't recall seeing it before. The US version of FindmyPast, at www.findmypast.com, has a Canadian directory from 1930 listed in a separate 'Canada' category (which I definitely don't remember seeing before!). The book is the Canada Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1930, with some 69,314 entries.

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, 18 July 2013

The Great Gale of 1859 and other Welsh stories

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales has just posted a story about the winners of a Tell Us Your Story competition, who were announced at a bash in Flintshire Record Office. Six films based on some of the entries have been made, with amongst them a tale of shipping losses caused by the Great Gale of 1859, which battered the Welsh coast.

It's a great post, with links to other resources on the Great Gale, and can be read at http://heritageofwalesnews.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/tragic-stories-of-great-gale-among.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...!

FindmyPast UK adds recent electoral rolls to subscriptions

The UK's FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has just tweeted the following:

"Finding living relatives just got easier: now you can search UK electoral rolls 2002-2013 as part of a Britain Full & World subscription!"

It's also been explained on Facebook (www.facebook.com/findmypastUK):

"Lost touch with family members over the years? Finding your living relatives just got easier: now you can search UK electoral rolls 2002-2013 as part of a Britain Full & World subscription, instead of needing separate PayAsYouGo credits!"

A very useful development.

(With thanks to @findmypast)

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...!

Board of Longitude archive goes online

The Guardian newspaper has an interesting story today about the launch of the digitised archive of the Board of Longitude at Cambridge University Library, which contains the work of former astronomers, letters and papers of artisans, inventors, expeditionary astronomers and maritime explorers.

The full story is at www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-h-word/2013/jul/18/navigating-science-board-longitude-archive.

(With thanks to Vivienne Dunstan @vivdunstan for spotting the story)

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...!

Colonial records release for Cyprus

The sixth release of colonial records held by the National Archives at Kew concerns Cyprus, and will be released on July 30th in the facility's reading rooms.

For further details visit http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/859.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...!

BT launches digital archive

BT (British Telecom) has launched an online archive, The BT Digital Archive, at http://calmarenabt.axiell.com/web/arena. The project was created by Coventry University, BT and The National Archives, funded by Jisc, and contains material from the last 165 years of the company's existence.

(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...!

ScotlandsPlaces puts window tax volumes online

The latest digital records release from ScotlandsPlaces (www.scotlandplaces.gov.uk) is the series of 218 volumes of window tax registers from the 18th century, implemented in 1747 in Scotland as a tax to help pay for foreign wars. Not everyone was liable - your property initially had to have ten windows for you to be taxed, later reduced to seven. If you were taxed though, it was a right pane - sorry, pain (oh come on!).

For more on the release see www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/node/1028749. Further Ordnance Survey books have also been released for Roxburghshire (1858-1860), Ross and Cromarty (1848-1852), Lanarkshire (1858-1861) and Argyll (1868-1878).

(With thanks to Tim Ellis at the NRS, @timgov)

UPDATE: The BBC also has the story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-23356213 which notes that there will be a free accompanying exhibition called Window on the Past at General Register House, Edinburgh, from July 29th to August 23rd.

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, 17 July 2013

GRO Dublin search room to move

The General Register Office of Ireland (www.groireland.ie), though based in Roscommon now, maintains a search room in Dublin, which is currently located at Talbot Street. Dick Eastman is reporting on his blog that the facility is to move Werburgh Street on the other side of the Liffey. On the one hand, that's closer to the Temple Bar. On the other, not everyone is happy... The full story is at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2013/07/general-register-offices-dublin-research-room-to-move-to-an-appalling-location.html

I genuinely can't comment on whether this is a retrograde step or not. The last time I visited the GRO's search room in Dublin was well over a decade ago, and I think in different premises to where it is just now. I'd flown over for the day from Glasgow, and after looking up the first index entry for a certificate, I went up to the counter to ask for a photocopy of an entry from the register. The attendant looked at me and told me "The guy doing the photocopying is doing a course today". Oh right. "Fine," says I, ever the optimist, "who's doing it instead?" - "No-one is," came the typically civil service reply of the time. "Great stuff," says I, "that's about as useful as a fart in a spacesuit". I didn't stay much longer, and have never returned.

I order all certs/photocopied extracts from the GRO in Ireland by post now, and that will soon change to an email based service. The GRO for Northern Ireland (www.nidirect.gov.uk/gro) will also be launching a new online site from early next year (and revamping its current online site this Autumn). But as quoted in Eastman's piece, it's odd timing considering it's in the midst of the Gathering.

(With thanks to 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...!

Family Tree comedy series starts its BBC2 run

The new series of Family Tree started last night on BBC2 at 10pm, the comedy series that follows Tom, played by Chris O' Dowd, on the start of an ancestral journey. The first episode was a bit of a slow runner - one that can firmly be placed in the 'pilot episode' category, laboriously taking time to set up and introduce each of the main characters somewhat to the detriment of the story. But the potential for the series looks great, and hopefully things will step up a gear next week now that we know who everyone is!

To watch the first episode (if you live in the UK) on iPlayer, visit www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0182jm2/Family_Tree_The_Box/

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 forgotten English dialects

I love a good story about dialects and forgotten languages, but this one just came from nowhere! Ireland has been invaded, colonised, and done over by just about nation within boat range - but one of the things brought in by every successive invasion has been cultural change.

We often read about the Irish language, and the different dialects of Gaelic across the island. Ulster Gaelic is very different to that much further south, for example, almost Scottish Gaelic in character. One of the fave books on my shelf is Athchló Uladh which has many stories from the northern Antrim island of Rathlin reprinted within it (Sgealtan Rachreann) in both Rathlin Gaelic and a more conventional Irish - the Gaelic I've spent some time trying to understand is that from Scotland, so I find the Rathlin text much easier to read. Then there's the movement in the north that you might have heard of to promote the use of the Ulster dialect of the Scots language, which is not a variant of English, but a separate Germanic language very closely related to English, taken to Ulster during the Plantations.

But how many have you heard of Yola or Fingalian?! Yola is a medieval dialect of English taken to Wexford in the 12th century by Anglo-Normans and used there until the 19th century. Fingalian is a separate medieval dialect of English used near Dublin. Romanticism and politics have a lot to answer for - your ancestor may well not have been a Gaelic or modern English speaker at all!

Do have a look at the following article in The Journal about Ireland's forgotten medieval English dialects, and listen to the songs written in Yola and sung in the YouTube clip on the site - absolutely fascinating stuff - it's available at www.thejournal.ie/readme/column-yola-and-fingalian-%E2%80%93-the-forgotten-ancient-english-dialects-of-ireland-985649-Jul2013.

And remember, family history is about working out what your ancestors did actually do in the past, not what the broad sweep of history says they did - and if anyone can find a Yola speaking ancestor, do let me know!

By the way - about twenty years ago I remember reading a study, possibly a census report, that showed that neither Gaelic or Scots was the second most spoken language in Northern Ireland back then. It was actually one of the Chinese languages... God only knows where its speakers' politics lay though! :)

(With thanks to @IrishRootsMag)

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...!

First World War RAF & RFC records to be digitised

From FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk):

NEW PROJECT TO DIGITISE 360,000 FIRST WORLD WAR RAF AND RFC SERVICE RECORDS ANNOUNCED

Leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk and The National Archives have today announced a joint project to digitise hundreds of thousands of service records of First World War Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and Royal Air Force (RAF) airmen.

The contract to digitise this record set, known as AIR 79, was awarded to findmypast.co.uk by The National Archives following a competitive tender process. It is estimated that, once digitised, the collection will comprise 360,000 transcripts and 800,000 scanned full-colour images dating back to 1912.

The handwritten records begin with the creation of the Royal Flying Corps in 1912 and continue into the inter-war period. They provide insight into the lives of the extraordinary RFC and RAF airmen who served during the First World War, including details of medals awarded, discharge dates, promotions and information on the airmen’s families. For the first time these records will be made available and fully searchable online.

Some of the incredible details include information from the Ministry of Defence of servicemen who enlisted during the First World War and continued to serve during the 1930s and even into the Second World War.

Paul Nixon, Content Licensing Manager at findmypast.co.uk said: “The AIR 79 record set includes fascinating information on many incredible RAF airmen. The documents offer great insight and contain some amazing images.

“This significant project will allow these records to become more widely available to an international audience and make it easier than ever before to find an airman’s record through the straightforward search function on findmypast.co.uk. This collection will be an exciting and very welcome addition to the1.6 billion records already on our site.”

William Spencer, Principal Military Records Specialist at The National Archives, said: “The digitisation of AIR 79 will enable researchers to understand that the RAF was not just pilots and engineers but a multitude of different roles and skills needed to support the complex world of early military aviation.”

Once the records housed at The National Archives have been scanned and transcribed by findmypast.co.uk, they will join a growing online resource of military, armed forces and conflict records from the First and Second World Wars including Medal Rolls, Rolls of Honour and Recruitment registers from all three services at findmypast.co.uk. The records will also be made available on findmypast’s international sites as part of a World subscription.

The AIR79 contract is the latest in a number of contracts awarded to findmypast.co.uk by The National Archives dating back to 2006. Record sets previously digitised by findmypast.co.uk in association with The National Archives include Crime, Prisons and Punishment; outbound passenger lists; British Army Service records; Merchant Navy Seamen’s records; Maritime Birth, Marriage and Death indexes and the 1911 census.

(With thanks to Debra Chatfield)

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, 16 July 2013

TNA podcast - The Secret Listeners

The latest podcast from the National Archives in Kew is entitled The Secret Listeners, a forty minute talk from Sinclair McKay on the 'Y' Service, or 'Listening Service' that existed before Bletchley Park.

To listen to the podcast visit http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/the-secret-listeners/ or download from free at 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...!

Ancestry adds New York naturalisation papers

If your British or Irish ancestor migrated to the US and at some stage naturalised in New York, visit Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) to see the paperwork. A new collection, New York, Naturalization Petitions, 1794-1906, is now online via the site's World Subscription option, with some 1198635 records sourced from the National Archives at New York City.

For further details see http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=2280

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, 15 July 2013

Inside History Top 50 blogs

A big thanks to Jill Ball for including British Genes in her 50 Blogs You Need to Read feature in the Australian based Inside History magazine, produced by Cassie and Ben Mercer. The full list is available at www.insidehistory.com.au/2013/07/50-genealogy-blogs-you-need-to-read/ - some great reading!

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...!

Jodi Awards 2013

The Jodi Awards are presented annually to "promote the cultural equality of disabled people through the use of accessible digital media; the provision of accessible information and learning content; the involvement of disabled people in the process of creation, design and evaluation of digital media." The initiative is steered by the Jodi Mattes Trust, which was created in 2003 as part of the European Year of Disabled People. Started in England, the project was extended to Wales in 2006 thanks to support from CyMAL, then to Scotland in 2008, thanks to support from support of Museums Galleries Scotland, Scottish Libraries and Information Council and the Scottish Archive Network.

As part of the initiative's tenth anniversary three new awards are to be presented this coming November for the following categories - Access Planning and User Involvement, Innovation, and Legacy and Impact. There will also be an International Award for best website outside the UK. For details of previous winners see www.jodiawards.org.uk/awards-listing. NB: "The judges will be particularly interested in projects that have been evaluated after completion of the project."

Who can submit a nomination? "Museums, art galleries, heritage sites, archives, libraries, and disability organisations can submit a nomination, as well as commercial companies (commercial companies are invited to submit nominations in association with a service provider)." For more, see www.jodiawards.org.uk/eligibility.

Full details of the application criteria, and the nomination form itself, are available at www.jodiawards.org.uk/home. The deadline for applications to be submitted is Friday August 2nd 2013.

Good luck to all those nominated!

(With thanks to Ben Bennett from the Scottish Council on Archives)

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, 12 July 2013

GRO Ireland to offer email facility for research copies

The General Register Office in Roscommon is planning to update its website and to offer a new facility to allow photocopied entries to be emailed instead of having to post them out. Claire Santry has the full story at http://irish-genealogy-news.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/new-website-and-email-facilities-coming.html.

Let's hope that an online credit card facility is also introduced for payment....!

(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...!

1939 National Identity Register (England/Wales) - digitisation test

The National Archives at Kew has published its latest annual report and accounts for 2012-13 at http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/annual-report-12-13.pdf.

A summary is available at http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/our-performance.htm along with access to similar reports for previous years back to 2009-10. An interesting fact quoted on page 12 is that "Where UK content is used in global online genealogical research, around 80% of this originates from The National Archives".

On page 18 there are some useful titbits - the WW1 army war diaries digitisation project remains on target, and a trial has been carried out recently "to establish a secure methodology for digitising the 1939 National Register" (for England and Wales), with some 40,000 records transcribed - this has shown that "between 73% and 88% of individuals’ records can be opened on accession in digital form". Looks potentially promising!

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...!

Business Archives awareness event in Edinburgh

Business Archives Council of Scotland and the Scottish Council on Archives have organised a 2nd Meet the Archivists workshop event on Friday 20th September, at Evolution House, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh. The event will be free, and is designed to get academics and students to understand how business archives might help with their work - the theme this year being creativity and design.

Full details are available at http://businessarchivesscotland.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/meet-archivists-2013.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...!