Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Using London Metropolitan Archives sessions

Some forthcoming guided user sessions at London Metropolitan Archives:

Handling Documents at LMA
This practical session aims to help you to handle archival items in the most appropriate way. As well as demonstrating how to handle various archival formats, a Conservator will also explain the dos and don’ts that apply in the Archive Study Area.
Wednesday 8 January, 1 - 2 pm at London Metropolitan Archives. Free – drop in session.

Use LMA: Getting Started
Come along and tour the Information Area to find out how to get the best out of our research facilities.
Wednesday 15 January, 11 am - 12 pm at London Metropolitan Archives. Free, but booking is essential - you can book online using EventBrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/use-lma-getting-started-tickets-8930763153 or call 020 7332 3851.

Behind the Scenes Tour
Tour the archives and meet with LMA professionals to find out about the essential work which preserves our records for future generations
Thursday 16 January, 2 - 3 pm at London Metropolitan Archives. Free, but booking is essential - you can book online using EventBrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/behind-the-scenes-tour-tickets-8948490175 or call 020 7332 3851.

Visitor information for all events at LMA is available at http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visiting-the-city/archives-and-city-history/london-metropolitan-archives/visitor-information/Pages/default.aspx.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Pension applications offer from Ireland Genealogy

From Ireland Genealogy, formerly Pensear.org, at www.ireland-genealogy.com:

It's been a good year for Ireland Genealogy, and thanks for all your support this year, and in previous years!

We have introduced new methods of searching on the site - including Soundex to match those difficult-to-find names, and we are also very near our target of transcribing the last few remaining areas of Ireland, and recovering the pension information that has been lost. We'll hopefully have some news on this soon!

And as this is the season of goodwill (and you probably have some holiday time on your hands for research) we have a special offer for you. For just £10.00, you will be able to download 100 documents from the site!

This is a big discount from the normal charge of £2.00 per download, and we hope that it will allow you to discover your missing ancestors in this, the only remaining records of the Irish Census years.

The offer will only be open for one week from today (31st), but you'll be able to use your special coupon code until the end of January.

Follow this link to purchase the coupon

http://www.ireland-genealogy.com/add_to_cart/100000-2014-new-years-offer.html

You will purchase a document that has your unique coupon code - use this code at the checkout to download your 100 census records!

COMMENT:  This site proved to be very useful for me earlier this year, in identifying a pension application for my three times great grandfather in Belfast, which upon consultation in PRONI revealed information from several 1851 census look ups that happily named many addresses where the family used to live, as well as crucial and new information on my five times great grandparents who I discovered married in 1819 - for more on this see my other blog at http://walkingineternity.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/irish-pension-applications-and-census.html

It should be noted that a major project from the National Archives in Dublin is shortly to place online free to access digitised Census Search Forms for the 1841 and 1851 censuses, used for pension applications purposes from 1908 onwards - these will appear at www.genealogy.nationalarchives.ie. The records I consulted at PRONI were pension applications volumes (OAP Form 37s), not the census look-ups requested for them at the PRO in Dublin - essentially the other side of the conversation. I'm not as yet clear what the Ireland Genealogy site's index holdings for the Republic are at present, i.e. whether they are additional Form 37s requests or the PRO census look-up forms (green forms) about to go online.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Poets and lion tamers - ScotlandsPeople update

News on the latest ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) BMD releases from the National Records of Scotland:

The Marriage of a Lion-tamer and a Poet
Historical Birth, Marriage and Death Records Go Online

Scottish records of births from 1913, marriages from 1938 and deaths from 1963 will go online for the first time tomorrow (1 Jan 2014).

Almost 222,000 images of birth, marriage and death records will be made available to family history researchers, including those of well-known people and unusual stories.

There were 38,716 marriages in 1938, including that between German circus performer and lion tamer Alfred Kaden, then 35, and Vera Hüsing (née Lüdtke), 25, the poet daughter of a German landowner. At the time a Glasgow newspaper described Hüsing as “vivacious, flaxen-haired and handsome” and said she had “won distinction by her poems and songs.”

The records show that in 1938, the average age for women to be married was 26.7 and for men was 29.7. In 2012, the average age for women was 34.8 and for men was 37.2, and there were 30,534 marriages.

In 1913 the population was 4,73 million and there were 120,516 births. By contrast, in 2012 there were 58,027 births and a total population of 5.31 million people.

The records also show the change in babies names over the past century. In 1913 only three baby girls were named Sophie, whereas 580 girls were registered with the name in 2012. Likewise, while in 1913 only three boys were called Jack, over 500 boys were named Jack in 2012. In 1913, the most popular names for baby girls were Mary, Annie and Agnes, and John, James, Robert and William for boys.

The newly-released images include entries for 65,521 deaths in 1963, which compares to 54,937 in 2012. The life expectancy of Scots has risen during the last 50 years, as the growing number of growing number of centenarians shows. In 1963, only 28 people died at or over the age of 100, but in 2012 the equivalent figure was 389, or almost 14 times as many people, and well ahead of the increase in Scotland’s population.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:

“These new images, and the stories they tell about Scotland’s history, demonstrate the rich variety of information we have in our records.

“The new images of records being made available to the public from tomorrow (1st JANUARY 2014) represent a new chapter of Scotland’s story now available to the public. I’d urge anyone who is interested in finding out more about their history, or that of their family or the place where they live, to have a look at the wealth of records now available as part of our wonderful online resources.”

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

“The records that National Records of Scotland holds are crammed full of fascinating stories about Scotland’s people and history, and I know that people will find the latest additions to our online resources very useful for family history and other research. If someone out there recognises the story of the lion-tamer and the poet, we would delighted to learn what became of them.”

Annelies van den Belt, Chief Executive of DC Thomson Family History, who enable the ScotlandsPeople website for National Records of Scotland, said:

“We always enjoy the colourful personal stories that are revealed when the images for the statutory births, marriages and deaths records are added to the ScotlandsPeople website. In particular, we loved the story about the German poetess who married a lion tamer in Glasgow in January 1938.

“We also enjoyed finding out about the society weddings that took place the same year. We think many other fascinating stories will emerge when people start viewing these records.”

Background

Alfred Kaden, a 35 year-old German circus performer, had specialised as a lion-tamer with lions, married Vera Hüsing in Glasgow on 5 January 1938. She was the daughter of Albert Lüdtke, a landowner, and Natalie Zielinski. The parties were both divorcees, and were married by declaration in a Glasgow lawyer’s office, under a licence of the Sheriff of Glasgow. One of the two witnesses at the marriage was John Smith Clarke, a radical politician and newspaper editor based in Glasgow, who had begun his career as a lion-tamer. On 10 December 1937, when travelling to Glasgow, Vera Hüsing escaped unscathed from the railway crash at Castlecary Station, in which 35 people were killed and 179 people were injured.

The digital images of the official statutory records are of birth, marriage and death records that were registered more than 100, 75 and 50 years ago.

The new images will be available on the ScotlandsPeople website (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk), at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh, and at local family history centres in Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Hawick and Inverness.

(With thanks to Grant Millar)

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Why helping Ireland's genealogy provision to grow is not rocket science

Two articles today in the Irish press both highlight the recent dramatic growth in the provision of Irish genealogy resources online and the fact that the penny still does not seem to have quite dropped with what the genealogy scene could be, with a little more love and input from the powers that be.

Brian Donovan, CEO of Eneclann (www.eneclann.ie), has written an article in Ireland's Independent newspaper detailing the exponential growth of interest in the personal heritage sector, as recently explored at a Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht meeting in Dublin. It's an excellent piece summarising where we are at now - including the contribution of Brian's own company and others in the field over the last few years - but at its heart you can feel the frustration about the lack of a penny having yet dropped from on high at the Dáil:

"The Government needs to familiarise itself with the genealogy business and what it means for the Irish economy. Currently we have an excellent opportunity to turn this country into a European genealogy hub -- rather like the phenomenon in Utah in the USA.

But this requires the Government and senior civil servants facilitating this development and enabling innovation by freeing access to historic records, changing data protection guidelines, empowering the cultural sector to partner with publishers and other innovators.

This will allow us to better connect to the diaspora. Remember, tens of millions of people worldwide have an emotional connection to this island that other countries can only envy. But to maintain these connections with successive generations and strengthen these links, we need to connect these people to their personal heritage."

The full article is available at http://www.independent.ie/business/back-to-our-roots-weve-the-chance-to-be-the-hub-of-a-millioneuro-history-business-29872399.html.

Also online is a blog post from Irish genie John Grenham concerning Northern Ireland's Valuation Records (thanks to John Reid's blog for flagging this). Again there is a sense of frustration, often expressed in John's blog, at how Northern Ireland is beginning to grab the bull by the horns whilst the Republic is still trying to work out which field it is in. In this case he cites the brilliant upload of the Valuation Records on the PRONI website, and notes that "We can only hope that, as with the General Register of Northern Ireland, the example of the North might shame us into action." John's post is at http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/irishroots/2013/12/30/valuation-office-records-how-it-should-be/.

To be fair, the National Archives of Ireland is slowly beginning to get on top of things in the Republic. Whilst its online catalogue falls woefully far behind equivalents on offer in Northern Ireland or in Britain, many useful digitisation projects are soon to appear online via its www.genealogy.nationalarchives.ie platform. But it remains the case that records of births, marriages and deaths are the very bread and butter of genealogy. GRONI in Belfast will soon launch an online digitised image service (but will it price its service at the ridiculous end of the scale, as it does with its paper certificates?), whilst the GRO in the south is soon to add a new set of indexes online via www.irishgenealogy.ie - but when will it also see fit to place its digitised register records online through a similar service? And as for parish records, when will the National Library of Ireland get its Roman Catholic records digitised and placed online (long posited by it as a project), and when will someone in power finally realise that what we want to see are digitised original images from registers, not outrageously expensive transcripts from a project first conceived a generation ago?

A lot has happened in the Irish genealogy scene in the last few years - a hell of a lot has happened - but there is so much more to be done. But the biggest change of heart still has to come from the state itself. Let the penny drop lads, and reap the rewards.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Farewell 2013 and hello 2014

At the end of each year I normally look back over the previous 12 months to see what major genealogy developments have occurred. I'll not be doing that this year, as to be frank, this is one year I really want to move on from quite quickly, due to the recent illnesses and losses of both my mother and godmother (my aunt Sheila). These have impacted quite a bit on the blogging I have been able to do, as well as my research service which has been disrupted quite badly over the last few months, though which I am thankfully now getting back on top of. I still hope I have been able to record the most important developments in the UK genealogy scene, however - to review changes and developments for yourself over the last year, simply access the list to the left hand side of this blog, search by keyword, or use the long list of tags that can be found to the right hand side of the screen.

To all the readers, vendors, societies and organisations a big thank you for all the notifications about developments that you have asked me to mention, please do keep them coming. A thank you also to the ever growing army of genealogy bloggers making the daily geneasphere a worthy read, who often pick up on things I have not, and to whom credit is always given if I do refer to their posts. To all those I have written articles for over the last year, again a big thanks, and to all my clients, and to the students through the Pharos courses I teach, I hope the lessons have been of some assistance. Big thanks also to Bob and Liz Blatchford, for the craic at London and Newcastle, and to Tahitia, Graham and Ali at Strathclyde University for pushing the boundaries of the best academic genealogy courses in Britain.

Some of my biggest thanks should go to my fellow professional genies here in Scotland, who through the new Scottish Genealogy Network are transforming how we see ourselves as a profession, helping each of us to be better than we already are at what we do. When I first started as a genie a few years back there were a few groups ready to take a fee and dictate how things should be done, but who offered little to those who wished to better themselves, to keep learning, and to regularly network, not just online, but on a face to face basis. Where before genealogy in Scotland was an isolated career option for those based outside Edinburgh, there is now a thriving group of members based across Scotland that has taken the bull by the horns and created a professional community with the sole aim of helping ourselves. This year we've had two absolutely fantastic continuous professional development days at the University of Stirling, and held many meetings at archives, institutions and events across the country, with plenty more to come. In 2012 we set ourselves up, in 2013 we found our feet - who knows where we'll be by the end of 2014?!! Thanks to all of you, the best genies on earth! :) For more on the network visit http://scottishgenealogynetwork.blogspot.co.uk.

Each year at this point I seem to say that the next is going to be even busier, and once again there is no let up on that front! I have a new book coming out shortly from Pen and Sword, with another partially written already for Unlock the Past, and others to come. On the talks front I have several in the near future to give in Scotland, but am also heading on three international genealogy based trips in the next seven months to Australia (with Unlock the Past), Portugal (with Lost Cousins) and Canada (Ontario Genealogy Society), not to mention speaking at the Who Do You Think You Are Live even in London. For the first time in many years I won't be working on a stall at the show, which means I will have more time on my hands to get up to speed with developments in the UK genie world, and to hopefully return to getting some AV material recorded for this blog with some of the great and the good. I might even finally get to attend a talk at the show (I've never had a chance to before!). I'm also looking forward to getting back to Belfast soon for more user forum meetings at PRONI (www.proni.gov.uk), with a great bunch of people speaking with God's own accent. One of the major successes of the last year has been the virtual revolution in my Irish family history research thanks to some major developments in Belfast, mainly from PRONI. If, like me, you parked your Irish research years ago with an air of despondency at how Ireland didn't get the genealogy thing in the way that the rest of humanity did, trust me, things are changing enormously!

2014 is also going to be a major year here in Scotland - in nine months time it is entirely possible that the United Kingdom as we currently understand it may be redefined, should Scotland decide to vote for independence (though independence itself would not happen until 2016). Whichever way the vote goes, Scotland is still in Britain, and as genealogy deals with the past there won't be any need to change the remit of this blog - so this blog will continue, come what may. We also have another Homecoming Year in Scotland in 2014, the centenary of the start of the First World War, the Commonwealth Games, and even the start of working trams in Edinburgh (at last!).

So a Happy New Year to one and all, but the final thanks goes to my mum. Her illness was very sudden, and she went far too quickly at the age of just 63, but she was one woman who was always serious about what she did, though not necessarily in the way that she did it, and I fully intend to carry on that fine tradition! I wrote a wee post about her shortly after she passed on my other blog at http://walkingineternity.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/rip-mum-charlotte-harper-graham-1950.html - she was a special woman and thanks is nowhere near enough to express my gratitude for all she did for me in her life, but it is expressed nonetheless.

Roll on 2014 - and onwards and upwards...!

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

SSDI restrictions now implemented in US law

For those tracing ancestry in the United States, a major change has just been implemented into US Federal Law concerning the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), a useful genealogical tool widely used in America. It will now no longer be possible to order a SS-5 form for an individual to look up full details for their entry within three years of their death, whilst no new deaths will be recorded on the SSDI from 26 MAR 2014. The existing online platforms currently hosting the index will continue to do so.

The Legal Genealogist, Judy G. Russell, who has been reporting on these forthcoming changes for some time now, has the full story at www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2013/12/30/ssdi-access-now-limited/.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

CWGC centenary preparations for 2014

The Scotsman newspaper has a lengthy article detailing some of the preparations of and challenges being faced by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (www.cwgc.org) as it prepares for the centenary commemorations of the First World War over the next four years.

The article is available at http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/war-graves-commission-face-major-wwi-challenge-1-3248860.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

On tour down under with Unlock the Past

In four weeks time I'm heading for a brief visit to Dubai to see my brother, and then flying onto Australia to take part in the now fully subscribed fourth Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise, which takes place from February 4th-13th (see http://www.unlockthepastcruises.com/cruises/4th-cruise/).

Whilst the cruise itself has a packed agenda of talks, I will also be giving talks at seven shore based venues both before, during and after the cruise, along with fellow international presenter Thomas MacEntee and Unlock the Past stalwart Rosemary Kopittke, and joined by Noeline Kyle (at Adelaide, Hobart and Sydney), Tiggy Johnston (at Adelaide and Hobart), and Jane Taubman (Sydney).

Full details of this talks tour, with the talks programme at each venue, admission costs/ticketing and biographies on the speakers, are available at http://www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/chris-paton-and-thomas-macentee-downunder/brisbane.

The following is a summary of the talks I will be giving, and details of the venues themselves:

Saturday 1 February 2014, 9am - 4.30pm Broncos (Brisbane)
Broncos Leagues Club, Fulcher Road, Red Hill
11.15pm Irish land records
3.45pm Scottish inheritance records

Monday 3 February 2014, 9am - 4.30pm (Canberra)
Hellenic Club, Matilda Street, Woden, ACT
11.15pm British and Irish newspapers
3.45pm Scottish marriage: instantly buckled for life

Thursday 6 February 2014, 10am - 5pm (Melbourne)
Celtic Club, 316-320 Queen Street, Melbourne
10.30am The Godly Commonwealth: Discover Scottish Church Records
11.45am British and Irish newspapers

Saturday 8 February 2014, 10am - 4pm (Adelaide)
North Adelaide Football Club, Function Room, Menzies Crescent, Prospect
11.45am British and Irish Newspapers
3.15pm Irish Records Online

Tuesday 11 February 2014, 9am - 3.30pm (Hobart)
Philip Smith Centre, 2 Edward St, Glebe
Topics to be advised

Thursday 13 February 2014, 10am - 5pm (Sydney)
Parramatta RSL, Corner Macquarie and O’Connell Streets, Parramatta
11.45am Irish records online
4.15pm Scottish marriage: instantly buckled for life

Saturday 15 February 2014, 9am - 4.30pm
State Library of WA, 25 Francis Street, Perth Cultural Centre, Perth
11.15am British and Irish newspapers
3.45pm Irish records online

This will be my fourth visit to Australia since 2007, and my third giving talks - I am looking forward to a good few days in Brisbane before kicking off (I'll be staying with a cousin for a couple of nights before we get going!), meeting folk in Canberra, Adelaide and Hobart, cities I have not visited before, returning to the Paramatta RSL (were I previously spoke in 2010), the Celtic Club in Melbourne (my uncle's a member, and my first time speaking in the city!), and a return to the State Library in Perth, where I did some personal research in 2010. At each venue I will be present for the full duration, so will be more than happy to talk about Irish and Scottish research problems between talks, though I have to apologise in advance that I will be leaving early after my two talks in Melbourne to catch up with family for the afternoon before rejoining the boat.

A range of Unlock the Past publications (including from yours truly) and other genealogy materials will be on sale at the venues.

It's going to be fun both on board and ashore - hopefully we'll see you a few of you there!

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

French Settlers in Ireland

Eddie Connolly is posting an interesting series of articles on his An Extraction of Reflection blog at http://anextractofreflection.blogspot.co.uk, concerning French Settlers in Ireland. The articles are taken from the Ulster Journal of Archaeology from 1853-1854 and include potted histories of many families that settled in the north of the island, particularly around Lisburn in County Down.

The first parts of the series are available via the following links:

Part 1
http://anextractofreflection.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/the-french-settlers-in-ireland-no-1.html

Part 1 (continued)
http://anextractofreflection.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/the-french-settlers-in-ireland-no-1-pt2.html

Part 2
http://anextractofreflection.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/the-french-settlers-in-ireland-no-2.html

Part 2 (continued)
http://anextractofreflection.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/the-french-settlers-in-ireland-no-2-pt-2.html

Part 3
http://anextractofreflection.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/the-french-settlers-in-ireland-no-3.html

Well worth a read!

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Tay Bridge Disaster memorials to be unveiled

Two memorials are to be unveiled on either side of the River Tay to commemorate those whose lives were lost in the Tay Bridge Disaster of December 28th 1879, when a railway bridge gave way over the river, killing some 59 people.

The BBC has the story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-25527719.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Coming soon - Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: 2nd edition

Coming soon: Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians - 2nd edition.

This time it's more...!

And don't forget that my recently released Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is also still available from http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/ :)

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Good news from the English and Welsh GRO in 2014?

Peter Calver's latest Lost Cousins newsletter is now available at http://www.lostcousins.com/newsletters/dec13news.htm.

Amongst this month's news is a small hint of some possible good news concerning the English and Welsh General Register Office, in response to a letter from Peter's local MP on the matter of access. The GRO in Southport is well behind its UK counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland in terms of online provision for its records, but "there may well be better news for us in 2014".

There has been a gap of a few weeks since Peter's last newsletter, as he is recovering from an illness contracted whilst on holiday, but despite the setback he's still pushing to get his Lost Cousins site's membership up to 100,000 from its current 94,000 - well worth a look at www.lostcousins.com.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

British Newspaper Archive discount

Another festive offer, this time from the British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk):

To make the Christmas period that little bit merrier, we're offering you 30% off a subscription!

How to claim your discount
1. Visit The British Newspaper Archive
2. Enter the promotion code GOLDMINE
3. Click the 'Apply code' button and then choose a subscription package

A subscription to the newspaper archive will give you access to over 100 million stories, and articles on more than 200 years of historical events.

Treat yourself from just £4.87

Your 30% discount is valid on any package until 23:59 on Sunday 5th January (GMT).
Our discounted subscriptions start from just £4.87 and include 2 Day, 7 Day, 30 Day or 12 Month packages.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Eneclann half price sale

From Eneclann (www.eneclann.ie)

Welcome Aboard for the Eneclann Winter Sale - Starting Today!


It's that time of year again - no, not Christmas, but the Eneclann Winter Sale!

Hopefully you're over the worst of the Christmas dinner by now?

Now just in case the holiday fervour has been a distraction, we think the important point about the Eneclann sale bears repeating - all of our publications are 50 per cent off from today until January 12th*!

Many of our titles are now available on digital download, so you could get yourself a hard-disk full of serious bargains long before waiting the postman returns to action from his well-deserved holiday rest**.

If you purchase a download title and don't receive your download link immediately, don't worry - this is a busy time of year for us but we'll be on the case when your order is confirmed, and you should receive your link within a few hours or so.

*Special offer applies at the checkout on all titles does not and already discounted publications

**While the 50 per cent off offer applies to the vast majority of our publications starting today, if you would prefer to get a hard copy in the post we will be sending out all orders when the distribution gang return to the office with a vengeance on January 2nd.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Free credits on FindmyPast

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has launched its annual Start Your Family Tree Week promotion with an offer of 30 free Pay As You Go credits, accessible using the code XMAS13.

For further offers visit the site's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/findmypast/app_162995940520885, where you will find a calendar with daily links. I can't see anything about the promotion on the main site as yet, but suspect something will pop up soon.

NB: Apparently this is only accessible on a desktop computer, and not via mobiles.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Kensal Green Cemetery records on DeceasedOnline

Abridged press release from Deceased Online (www.deceasedonline.com):

Second of London’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries to make all records available exclusively on Deceased Online

All records for Kensal Green, one of the UK’s most historic and celebrated cemeteries, have been digitized and added to the specialist family history website www.deceasedonline.com.

Located in London’s Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Kensal Green was opened in 1833 by the General Cemetery Company and is the earliest of the capital’s major cemeteries pre-dating Abney Park, Brompton, Highgate, Nunhead, TowerHamlets and West Norwood; collectively, The Magnificent Seven. Kensal Green is home to graves for some of London’s most famous Victorians and Edwardians including Isambard ‘Kingdom’ Brunel, Wilkie Collins, William Makepeace Thackeray and Anthony Trollope, a collection of royals 650 members of the titled nobility and over 550 individuals noted in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Earlier in 2013, Deceased Online digitized all records for Brompton Cemetery, managed by The Royal Parks, so Kensal Green becomes the second of The Magnificent Seven to have all records digitized and available online.

As at Boxing Day, 26th December, 2013 (over 180 years after the first burial), all of Kensal Green Cemetery’s records from 1833 until 1901 are available on the website together with all records for West London Crematorium, 1939 – 2010 located at the same site and managed by General Cemetery Company. The remaining burial records post 1901 will be added during the early part of 2014 to complete the dataset.

The records available comprise the following:
  • Digital scans of the original burial reference books
  • Details indicating those buried in each grave
  • Digital scans of the original cremation registers (up to 1993, thereafter, computerized records)

Early in 2014 we will also add maps of the cemetery which will indicate the section location of each of the graves.

The Kensal Green digitization project was carried out on behalf of the General Cemetery Company to improve public access to the records and also to conserve these important records. Lee Snashfold, Director of General Cemetery Company, said: “We are delighted to have had all our records digitized which not only enables greater, easier access to these important records but also improves our own internal management systems. As one of the premier cemeteries in London, it is good for us to be in the vanguard of digitization and web access.”

An important local history group and charity, The Friends of Kensal Green, is dedicated to the preservation, conservation and restoration of the Cemetery for the public benefit. The Friends group not only campaigns to help conserve the many listed buildings and monuments but also provides tours, exhibitions and information about the Cemetery. For more information, see www.kensalgreen.co.uk.

(With thanks to Richard Gray)

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

County Down records added to Ulster Historical Foundation

From the Ulster Historical Foundation (www.ancestryireland.com):

We are pleased to announce that we have just added over 16,000 Church of Ireland baptismal records to our online database for County Down.

The records were transcribed by Dr Brian Trainor, former Director of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. The following Churches have been added:
  • Name Denomination Type Years Number
  • Killinchy Church of Ireland baptisms 1820-77 (418)
  • Blaris Church of Ireland baptisms 1661-1720 (7709)
  • Magheralin Church of Ireland baptisms 1783-1870 (6628)
  • Bangor Church of Ireland baptisms 1803-43 (1050)
  • Ballywalter Church of Ireland baptisms 1845-75 (125)
  • Ardkeen Church of Ireland baptisms 1746-1871 (541)

More Church of Ireland records will be added soon for the parishes of Antrim, Carrickfergus, Comber, Donaghadee, Down, Drumballyroney and Kilmore.

We would also like to remind you that we have also recently added Ireland’s Memorial Records to our Members’ Databases. This is a hugely important and indeed poignant resource listing the almost 50,000 Irishmen who gave their lives during the Great War 1914-18.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Merry Christmas / Nollaig Chridheil

No major news stories to report today, other than that I fully intend to get stuffed with turkey, roast spuds and Christmas pudding tomorrow, and to wash it all down with copious amounts of alcohol.

So Merry Christmas to all British Genes readers, and I'll see you on the other side...!

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Scottish Genealogy Society - temporary closure for building work

From the Scottish Genealogy Society, news about its library in Edinburgh:

TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF THE FAMILY HISTORY CENTRE AND LIBRARY

The library will close at the end of the day on Thursday 19 December 2013 and will remain closed until the end of January 2014.

The extended closure is due to the necessity of getting a small amount of building work done in the library.

Whilst we realise that this may be a disappoinment to those intending to visit the library we feel that this is the least disruptive way of getting the work done, as part of it will be completed during our festive closure.

If the work is completed early, and we are able to reopen during January 2014, a notice will appear on the Society website to that effect.

The online shop and sales should not be affected and orders may be placed in the usual way.

For full details and updates, visit the society's website at http://scotsgenealogy.com

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Durham Records Online update

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

Durham Primitive Methodist Circuit baptisms 1856-1879
5,362 baptisms on the Durham Primitive Methodist Circuit from Feb 1856 to August 1879. We now have a complete set of baptisms on this circuit from the first register in 1841 to 1960 – almost 120 years of Primitive Methodist baptisms in the area surrounding the city of Durham.

West Hartlepool St. Oswald baptisms & marriages 1895-1932
At West Hartlepool St. Oswald:
4,194 baptisms from the beginning of the first register of this church in March 1892 to mid-Sept 1931
849 marriages from the first marriage at this church in 1904 to the end of August 1932
The parish of St. Oswald's was carved out of the parish of Christ Church, first as a chapelry in 1892 and then as its own parish in 1904. Marriages were not performed there until 1904.

West Hartlepool St. Aidan baptisms 1890-1905, marriages 1891-1909
1,591 baptisms and 500 marriages at West Hartlepool St. Aidan, which was carved out of the parishes of Seaton Carew Holy Trinity and Stranton All Saints in late 1890. These records are from the first baptism and marriage register; the baptisms run from Oct 1890 to June 1905, and the marriages run from April 1891 to Sept 1909.

Earsdon baptisms & burials 1762-1772
963 baptisms and 745 burials at Earsdon St. Alban in Tynemouth district, Northumberland, covering 1762-1772, from a combination of the Bishop's Transcript and the parish register.

Houghton-le-Spring marriage witnesses 1830-1837
Added 1,162 witnesses to our existing 566 marriages at Houghton-le-Spring St. Michael & All Angels for 1830-1837, and corrected some errors, mostly minor spelling adjustments. If you have purchased a marriage at Houghton-le-Spring in this period, we recommend you take another look at it to see if anything has been changed, and to get the witnesses. You can review your purchased records by logging into Durham Records Online and clicking My Account, then click the My Orders tab. If you purchased a record in which a significant error has been corrected, such as a change in name or date, the corrected record has been emailed to you.

Middleton-in-Teesdale marriage witnesses added 1817-1851
Added 2,250 witnesses to our existing 914 marriages spanning 1817-1851 at Middleton-in-Teesdale St. Mary the Virgin, and added one marriage we had missed the first time. Abodes were added where they had been missing and minor corrections were made. If you have purchased a marriage at Middleton-in-Teesdale in this period, we recommend you take another look at it to see if anything has been added or changed, and to get the witnesses. You can review your purchased records by logging into Durham Records Online and clicking My Account, then the My Orders tab. If you purchased a record in which a significant error has been corrected, such as a change in name or date, the corrected record has been emailed to you.
All of the marriages after mid-1837 are fully-detailed civil-registration-era marriages, at a price far lower than what you would pay at a registry office…

South Hetton baptisms 1849-1852 updated with occupations, abodes
We have updated 389 baptisms at South Hetton Holy Trinity from 1849 to 1852 inclusive with the abodes and father's occupations, and made a few corrections. If a major change, such as a name change, was made to a record you purchased, an email has already been sent to you with the correction. Otherwise, if you have purchased a baptism at this church in this period, you should review it to get the father's occupation and abode. Log in, click My Account, then click the My Orders tab to see your purchases.

Coming Soon:
South Shields St. Hilda burials 1798-1812
Durham Wesleyan Methodist Circuit baptisms 1841-1856
Gateshead baptisms & burials 1827-1840
South Shields St. John Presbyterian baptisms 1744-1857
Blaydon cemetery burials 1873-1998
Stella St. Cuthbert burials 1873-1906

(With thanks to Durham Records Online)

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

RootsIreland 40% holiday discount on all records

Abridged news release from RootsIreland (www.rootsireland.ie):

Happy Christmas and New Year from RootsIreland, 40% Off all Records

Get 40% Off all records until Monday 6th January (midnight IrishTime/GMT). You can purchase any record for just 15 credits instead of the usual 25 credits. The 40% discount is applied when you pay to view any single record.

To obtain this offer just go to the following site and login using your existing RootsIreland login details: www.rootsireland.ie

We have recently added further records from Counties Down, Antrim, Armagh and Monaghan, and we have further records for North-East Cork due to be added shortly.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

National Archives webinar series for 2014

From Audrey Collins, Records Specialist, Family History, at the National Archives based at Kew (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk):

It has taken a while, but we have now set up a series of six pilot webinars, one every month from January to June 2014. We have a dedicated Webinar page with all the details. They are on different days of the week, and they are free, you just have to register. The first one (entitled Using Discovery), given by me on 20 January, is at 2pm GMT, but all the others are at 4pm. They cover a wide range of key areas of our records so there should be something for everyone.

For further details on the webinars (online based seminars), please visit http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/webinars.htm.

(With thanks to Audrey)

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

PRONI Christmas closures

From the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (www.proni.gov.uk) in Belfast:

PRONI will be closed to the public on 25th, 26th and 27th December 2013 and 1st January 2014.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

National Library of Wales festive season closure

From the National Library of Wales website (www.llgc.org.uk):

We would like to thank you all for your support over the last year. The Library will close on Monday 23 December at 18:00 and re-open on Thursday 2 January at 09:30.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

TNA podcast - The Day Parliament Burned Down

The latest podcast from the National Archives is a 42 minute long talk entitled The Day Parliament Burned Down, describing the day when Westminster was consumed by fire in 1834, and given by Caroline Shenton of the UK's Parliamentary Archives.

To listen to the recording visit http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/day-parliament-burned/ or download for free from iTunes.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Dudley Archives and Local History Centre

From the Federation of Family History Societies (www.ffhs.org.uk):

New borough archives set to open in January (From Dudley News)

STAFF from the borough's archives and local history service have been working hard to get Dudley's state-of-the-art new archives centre ready for opening in January.

Based in Tipton Road, Dudley, the purpose-built eco-friendly facility which replaces the old Coseley Archives is set to open its doors to the public on Tuesday January 14 .

For more information visit http://www.dudley.gov.uk/resident/libraries-archives/local-history--heritage/archive-and-local-history/

(With thanks to Beryl Evans)

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

National Archives festive period closures at Kew

From the National Archives (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk)

Over the festive period, we will be closed to the public from Wednesday 25 December to Saturday 28 December inclusive (closing at 17:00 on Tuesday 24 December). We will also be closed on Wednesday 1 January.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Irish BMD register indexes delay

Claire Santry is reporting on her blog that the promised release of BMD indexes for Irish civil registration records on Irish Genealogy (www.irishgenealogy.ie) has been pushed back until after Christmas. The indexes will be more complete than those offered already online, with other additions such as mother's maiden names from 1903 to 1927 on birth records, and a complete run of indexes to the present day for the Republic for births, marriages and deaths (and up to 1921 for Northern Ireland). No new deadline has been given, but Claire is stating her belief that "the delay is likely to be a matter of weeks rather than months".

For the full story visit http://irish-genealogy-news.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/christmas-is-delayed.html.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Irish Newspaper Archive site has welcome revamp

The Irish Newspaper Archives (www.irishnewsarchive.com) has recently had a bit of a redesign, with some very welcome new developments. Apart from a new blog, one of the most useful additions is an interactive map that allows you to search titles available for each of the island's thirty two counties, in the north and the south. Another major change is that the site now seems to return searches much faster also - there have been many times in the past when I have given up on searches when my patience finally snapped!


From the site's news page, some further enhancements are promised for the very near future:

Our new search has being up a for a few weeks now and we are delighted to hear that users seem to be really enjoying the new layout.

That said there have being some features which users have requested we look at implementing to make your searching experience that little bit easier. We are hoping to implement all of the below features by the end of January 2014.

- Full Date Range Filter (dd/mm/yyyy - dd/mm/yyyy) for searching
- Next & Previous Issue buttons for browsing
- Multi-Publication Select for searching
- WebMail Form for emailing articles

Check back for updates on the progress of the above new features.

A full list of titles now available on the site is at http://www.irishnewsarchive.com/media/Title_List_Location_2013Q2.pdf.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Forthcoming ScotlandsPeople BMD update

News on the forthcoming BMD update from ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk), due January 1st 2014:

Release of the New Year's images on ScotlandsPeople – birth images for 1913, marriage images for 1938 and death images for 1963

The arrival of 2014 also means that the New Year's images will be made available on the ScotlandsPeople website. So just after you've seen in the bells at midnight on the 1st of January, you'll be able to view the images of the statutory records for births in 1913, marriages in 1938 and deaths in 1963.

The total number of BMD images that will be released on the website on 1 January is 94,537, comprising 46,109 birth images, 23,310 marriage images and 25,118 death images. We've been looking at some of the BMD records that will be published on New Year's Day, and have uncovered some terrific personal stories behind the documents. Some highlights - and some fascinating statistics - from the New Year images will be featured in our January 2014 newsletter.

The latest ScotlandsPeople newsletter (Dec 2013)  is available at http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/Content/Help/index.aspx?r=2231

(With thanks to ScotlandsPeople)

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Family history workshop at the National Library of Scotland

From the National Library of Scotland (www.nls.uk):

Discovering family history at NLS
Wednesday 15th January | 14.30

Find out about the range of resources that the Library holds to help you with your family history research.

The workshop includes some practical information on how to become a reader and using the Reader Rooms.

*Free workshop. Booking essential.

To book, visit http://www.nls.uk/events/readers-workshops#started

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Tank Corps records 1919-34 & English rate books on FindmyPast

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has released two new collections.

The first is a collection of 19 million rate book records from England, as follows:
  • Manchester Rate Books, 1706-1900
  • Plymouth & West Devon Rate Books 1598-1933
  • Southwark Rate Books
  • Westminster Rate Books, 1634-1900

There's a bit of blurb on the site's blog at http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/2013/search-19-million-new-british-rate-book-records/#sthash.DLNIJNSx.dpbs about the collection. The records include:
  • Name of occupier (head of household)
  • Name of owner
  • Description of the property (house or business)
  • Street address/township/parish
  • Rate to be paid (e.g. poor rate, water rate)
  • Amount to paid 
  • Date paid or any default on payment

The second release is Royal Tank Corps Enlistment Records 1919-1934, as sourced from original enlistment ledgers held at The Tank Museum Archive & Reference Library. These include information such as the following:

Service history
  • Date of enlistment
  • Details of previous service, including any First World War service
  • Service number
  • Campaigns fought in
  • Medals awarded
  • Date of discharge and reason for it

Biographical information
  • Name
  • Age
  • Date and place of birth
  • Place of residence
  • Occupation
  • Name and address of next of kin
  • Marriage details
  • Names and dates of birth of any children

There's more on this at http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/2013/search-new-royal-tank-corps-enlistment-records-1919-1934/#sthash.4BwyiWem.dpuf, with the collection itself searchable at http://search.findmypast.co.uk/search-united-kingdom-records/military-armed-forces-and-conflict/royal-tank-corps-enlistment-records-1919-1934.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Edinburgh City Archive festive closures

Closures over the festive season at Edinburgh City Archives:

Taking into account the festive public holidays, Edinburgh City Archives will close to the public at 4.30pm on Thursday 19th December 2013. We will re-open the searchroom at 9am on Tuesday 7th January 2014.

Normal opening hours are listed at at http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/428/archives/189/accessing_information_in_edinburgh_city_archives

(With thanks to Kirsty Wilkinson)

For closures at the ScotlandsPeople Centre, the National Records of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and Glasgow City Libraries (including the Mitchell) visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/festive-opening-hours-at-edinburgh-and.html.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Essex and Norfolk records added to FamilySearch

Two new additions to FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org):

England, Essex Parish Registers, 1538-1900
https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1465709
The collection has been sourced from the Record Office at Chelmsford.

England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1844-1952
https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1824705
The source is given (on the wiki page accompanying the database) as Record Office, Central Library, Norwich.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

More details on Talbot Library closure in Preston

From the Federation of Family History Societies (www.ffhs.org.uk), more news on the closure of the Talbot Library (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/talbot-library-in-preston-to.html)

The Bishop and Trustees of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lancaster have recently and peremptorily announced the permanent closure of the Talbot Library in Preston, with effect from 31 December 2013 (although, because of the customary Christmas closure, the Library’s doors shut for good on 13 December). The decision has been taken without any external consultation and, so far as can be learned, without a proper option appraisal.

The Library was established by Bishop John Brewer and Canon Robbie Canavan in 1992 and has quickly grown to a collection of some 60,000 volumes of predominantly Roman Catholic and Irish interest. Outside of monastic foundations, it is one of the most important Catholic library collections in the country after Heythrop College Library, University of London, Ushaw College Library (now in the care of Durham University), and the Catholic National Library in Farnborough (whose own future has been on a knife-edge for several years).

A description of the content of the Talbot Library could formerly be found on its website, but the latter’s homepage does not appear to be online at the time of writing. There is a more skeletal overview in the ABTAPL directory at:

http://www.abtapl.org.uk/database/LibraryPage300.html

The Diocese of Lancaster attributes the closure of the Library to ‘the imminent retirement of Deacon Michael Dolan, Librarian … relatively few users and increasing costs’. Most of the books and periodicals will be dispersed, although a small archive centre containing records relating to the Diocese is to be created at an unspecified location.

The fullest account of the closure of the Talbot Library, including adverse reactions (such as from prominent Catholic peer Lord Alton) is currently to be found on the Independent Catholic News website at:

http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=23831

The Diocese’s press release about the closure (dated 17 December, although the news broke on the Catholic Family History blog as early as 8 December) can be read at:

http://www.lancasterdiocese.org.uk/Publisher/File.aspx?ID=125129

(With thanks to Beryl Evans)

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

DNA tests via TheGenealogist

From TheGenealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk), some news on price cuts concerning various DNA tests offered for sale through the company. Here's the blurb:

DNA Testing is now accessible to everyone as TheGenealogist offers DNA tests from under £50 and slashes prices by up to £150 on other tests!

There’s never been a better time to let science help you with your family history research...

Due to the increase in popularity of DNA testing and advances in technology, TheGenealogist is now able to offer DNA testing for genealogical research at significantly reduced prices. It’s never been more affordable to add your DNA to the world’s largest genealogical DNA database and start finding matches. You can see the prices and compare the various tests at www.thegenealogist.co.uk/dna

As family historians, DNA testing can really assist our family history research and help us break down those brick walls. Many researchers find the maternal line difficult to trace using traditional methods such as census and parish records. However, an mtDNA test could prove invaluable to your research and help you discover missing ancestors or add a new line to your research. The test can be taken by both males and females and helps you trace that maternal line.

It’s straightforward and can all be done online with the minimum of effort. A kit is sent out to you and you simply post it back to get added to the DNA database and discover your results!

Mark Bayley from TheGenealogist comments: ”With prices from under £50, DNA testing is now finally affordable to the vast majority of family historians. DNA matches are provided against the largest database in the world.”

The Range of DNA Tests on offer
TheGenealogist offers 3 types of testing- the ‘Mitochondrial’ mtDNA (maternal line) testing, the’ Y-Chromosome’ Y-DNA test (for paternal lines) and the Family Finder test, which tests both male and female lines and also tells you your ethnic percentages. With prices starting from under £50, it’s become more affordable than ever.

It’s amazing to discover how far DNA testing can help us trace our ancestry. A skeleton of a twenty three year old hunter who died 9,000 years ago was discovered in a cave in Cheddar, Somerset and Mitochondrial DNA testing was able to identify a local school teacher as a direct descendant. The same principles are being applied to the discovery of at least twenty eight early human skeletons found recently in the mountains of Northern Spain, the ‘Sima de los Huesos’ tribe, who are undergoing Mitochondrial DNA tests. This DNA is passed down through the maternal line and is easier to recover from ancient bones.

More information and the new price offers are available from www.thegenealogist.co.uk/dna

COMMENT: Although I can find no mention of it on the website at all, I have since confirmed with the company that the tests are still being carried out by market leader Family Tree DNA (www.familytreedna.com) - TheGenealogist has a distribution agreement with them. For DNA results to mean anything you need to be able to compare them against somebody's else results to find potential matches - TheGenealogist does not host such a database, so you would need to use FamilyTreeDNA's database, or others accepting the company's results.

UPDATE 22 DEC - see the FAQ link on the bottom right of the DNA page for further information on the tests.

(With thanks to David Osborne)

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Festive opening hours at Edinburgh and Glasgow libraries and archives

First up, the ScotlandsPeople Centre and NRS in Edinburgh (www.scotlandspeoplehub.gov.uk):

The ScotlandsPeople Centre and the Historical and Legal search rooms will be closed:

Tuesday, 24 December from 1pm
Wednesday, 25 December
Thursday, 26 December
Tuesday, 31 December from 1pm
Wednesday, 1 January
Thursday, 2 January

On 24th and 31st December ScotlandsPeople search rooms will be open from 9am to 1pm. Customers wishing to carry out research on these days can purchase a half-day ticket costing £7.50. To book a seat, please telephone 0131 314 4300 (Option 1) or email: enquiries@scotlandspeoplehub.gov.uk


Also, festive season opening hours at the National Library of Scotland (www.nls.uk):

Tuesday 24 December: Close at 16.00
Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 December: Closed
Friday 27 December: Close at 17.00
Saturday 28 December: Reading rooms: 09.30-13.00; Visitor Centre: 09.00-17.00
Sunday 29 December: Visitor Centre: 14.00-17.00
Monday 30 December: Close at 17.00
Tuesday 31 December: Close at 16.00
Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 January: Closed
Friday 3 January: Close at 17.00.


And just for the craic, here's how Glasgow City Council is advertising the hours for the Mitchell Library and other libraries in Glasgow (this took some finding!): http://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/libraries/Documents/Final%20Library%20Christmas%20and%20NY%20Opening%20Hours%202013%2014.pdf

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

London, England, Selected Rate Books, 1684-1907 on Ancestry

Ancestry has added a new collection, London, England, Selected Rate Books, 1684-1907, as sourced from London Metropolitan Archives.

Some blurb from the site:

Rates were collected in each parish for support of the sick and poor, maintenance of roads and church, and other parish expenses. This database includes rate books held at the London Metropolitan Archives for parishes in London. (Note: There are gaps in coverage for some areas, and approximately half the content is from the parish of St. Dunstan in the East.)

Rates were assessed based on a dwelling’s value. These records include a listing of who occupied the house, who owned the house, the type of dwelling, the name or situation of the property, how much rent was collected, and the rates paid. In some cases you may need to page forward for the rent and rate details which appear on the next page.

To search the collection visit http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=5209

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

London Poor Law Abstracts 1581-1899 online at Origins

Abridged press release from Origins (www.origins.net):

London Poor Law Abstracts 1581-1899 online

Abstracts of over 22,400 London Poor Law records, covering over 300 years and 66 City of London parishes, now online at Origins.net.

Poor Law records are a major source for those interested in both local and family history and touched almost every aspect of the lives of those who had fallen on hard times or whose predicaments drew them to the attention of the parish officers.

The parish officer / overseer of the poor was expected when necessary, to feed, clothe, house and find work for his poor inhabitants. He apprenticed pauper children and diligently pursued the fathers of illegitimate children born in the parish. But ultimately he protected his parish from the claims of paupers who were not his responsibility.

Thus these records can allow you to prove relationships between both members of the same family and between families and places. A large number of families lived a hand to mouth existence, illness or death of the main wage earner or a bad harvest or other disaster could cause a family to become dependent upon poor relief. Poor Law records can provide the means to help you to follow these 'pauper' ancestors through their trials and tribulations.

These poor law abstracts (summaries) contain a complete summary of the details contained within each entry and includes all details including names and places plus incidental information such as relationships and occupations where found in the original documents.

Search London Poor Law Abstracts 1581-1899: www.origins.net/BritishOrigins/Search/General/LondonPoorLaw/BOSearchLondonPoorLaw.aspx

(With thanks to Maggie Loughran)

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

UKMFH to concentrate on WW1 sites for 2014

I'm still trawling through several hundred emails received in the last three weeks - this is a press release from UKMFH (www.ukmfh.org.uk) received just over a week back:

UKMFH.org.uk concentrating on WW1 websites for 2014

Full website addresses : www.UKMFH.org.uk www.UKBMD.org.uk www.UKGDL.org.uk

These three websites have continued to grow since their respective launches. UKBMD.org.uk began first with just over 250 links to other websites - it now has over 2,400. Similarly UKGDL.org.uk and UKMFH.org.uk have also grown since their initial launches.

2014's 100 year anniversary of World War 1 has prompted a lot of interest in researching the many topics of WW1 on the Internet and so the team behind these three websites has been concentrating their efforts within UKMFH.org.uk into adding many more links to websites that have online information for WW1.

As with UKBMD.org.uk and UKGDL.org.uk , the website links within UKMFH.org.uk are all categorised by content and by county, but UKMFH.org.uk also has keywords.

On the UKMFH.org.uk menu the Category and County menu buttons will list links to websites relevant to your selection, but as the topic of Military Family History is so vast, it is often better to make use of the Keyword menu button. On the Keyword page the list of keywords is over 8,000 in length, so you have the option to refine the list by entering your interest. For example, enter Somme and click on the Refine the keywords button and the Keywords list will be reduced to those relevant to the various battles on the Somme. You can then select the keyword of specific interest and when you then click Search, the page that will be displayed will be links to all the sites that we know of relevant to this keyword topic.

Our aim with UKBMD.org.uk , UKGDL.org.uk and UKMFH.org.uk is that we do the searching so that the users do not have to. Many websites have useful information, but they do not appear at the top of Google's search results. We dig down past Google's (and other search engines) first page of results to find these websites and add links to them on the appropriate pages within our websites. In searching for WW1 related sites we are finding many sites with other military related themes and adding them too, so as always UKMFH.org.uk is not just for WW1 research.

So, we hope that as the interest in WW1 grows, UKMFH.org.uk can be of service to family historians researching their ancestors who played a part in the 1948-1918 war. It's free to use too!

(With thanks to Ian Hartas)

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Family Tree Maker Mac 3 released

The US wing of Ancestry (www.ancestry.com) has announced the release of an updated edition of Family Tree Maker for Mac users, entitled Family Tree Maker Mac 3 - for further details visit http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2013/12/13/just-released-family-tree-maker-for-mac/.

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Letters of 1916 project

I've just come across an interesting Irish crowd sourcing humanities project entitled Letters of 1916 at http://dh.tcd.ie/letters1916/. From the site:

The Letters of 1916 project is the first public humanities project in Ireland. Its goal is to create a crowd-sourced digital collection of letters written around the time of the Easter Rising (1 November 1915 – 31 October 1916).

The first two months of the project were very successful! Over 500 letters has been uploaded from both, national Institutions and private collections. The Letters 1916 team is identifying, photographing and preparing hundreds more for upload.


The letters themselves, of which there are hundreds awaiting transcription on the site, are not necessarily about the Rising, but about all aspects of society in Ireland in this period - a genuine 'slice of life' from the country at that period. Some concern the First World War, others are love letters, many concern last letters before death, and so on. A fascinating resource from Trinity College Dublin, with support from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the European Commission and many others.

From a press release issued at the end of September:

Ireland’s first crowd-sourced humanities project, The Letters of 1916: Creating History, aims to create a large scale digital collection of letters written for the six months before and after the Easter Rising. The project will lead to the creation of an online archive of letters created by the public for the public, which will be launched in 2016. 

Members of the public are being invited to include their family history in this important archive by uploading pictures of letters and related photographs hidden away in boxes, cupboards and attics to the database on the website . All letters written between 1 November 1915 and 31 October 1916 no matter what the theme romance, local politics, literature, gossip, the Rising and the Great War – can be contributed to this digital collection. 

People can also get involved in uncovering hidden stories by transcribing some of the 400 letters already contributed to the archive by public institutions, including, the National Library of Ireland, the National Archives of Ireland, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin as well as the Medical Missionaries of Mary.

(The full release is at http://dh.tcd.ie/letters1916/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1916-Letters-Press-Release-27-September-20131.pdf)

The project also has a Twitter account at @Letters1916.

(With thanks to @Letters1916 and @learnaboutarchives)

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.