Friday, 31 January 2014

Save Walsall Museum petition

From Stephen Francis:

I am sending this link to as many organisations, members of Walsall Council, and others that I can.

Please read the comments submitted, I hope they will convey the need to keep Walsall museum open, the importance of having a museum in the town, and how closing the museum will be a disaster for the people of Walsall.

Please make people aware of the petition...

Stephen Francis.

www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-walsall-museum

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

TNA podcast - News from FamilySearch

The latest podcast from the National Archives at Kew is entitled News from FamilySearch, a 55 minute talk from Sharon Hintze of the London Family History Centre. It can be listened to at http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/news-familysearch/ or downloaded for free from iTunes.

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

English and New Zealand records updates on Ancestry

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has updated the following collections of interest to those with English and Kiwi ancestors:
  • Surrey, England, Baptisms, 1813-1912
  • Surrey, England, Marriages, 1754-1937
  • Surrey, England, Burials, 1813-1987
  • Dorset, England, Electoral Registers, 1839-1922
  • New Zealand, City & Area Directories, 1866-1954

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

DNA and chimerism

Here's an extraordinary story of a woman who nearly lost her children to the state in the US, when DNA testing showed no link between her and her offspring - despite the fact that the third birth was witnessed by a state appointed witness. The woman turned out to be her own twin, with the twin's DNA responsible. Confused?! It's a fascinating case that shows how absolute faith in DNA testing can still be misplaced on very rare occasions. Welcome to the world of chimerism...

The full article is at http://guardianlv.com/2014/01/pregnancy-no-proof-of-motherhood-woman-was-her-own-twin-and-the-twin-was-the-mother-of-her-children/

(With thanks to Elizabeth Shown Mills and Helen a Smith via Facebook)

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

1901 English and Welsh census on Origins.net

From Origins (www.origins.net):

England and Wales 1901 Census comes to Origins.net

Origins.net now includes a full index to and digitised images of the original 1901 Census records for all counties in England and Wales. The 1901 Census includes the personal details of 32,461,105 individuals and provides a snapshot in time for all households including any servants, lodgers, or visitors. For each person present in each household on the night of 31 March/1 April 1901 details are given of their names, ages, address, occupations, relationship to head of household and place of birth.
Census records can be used not only to further your search for ancestors, but also to broaden your knowledge of the wider family or your community, supplementing information found in other sources. Geographic mobility can be easily tracked through the given birthplaces, and social mobility through addresses and occupations and open up other avenues for research. The census records are searchable by name, age, parish and county.

Search England & Wales 1901 Census: http://www.origins.net/BritishOrigins/Search/Census/1901/BOSearchC1901.aspx

Census & census substitute collections on British Origins
England & Wales 1871 Census
England & Wales 1861 Census
England & Wales 1841 Census
Association Oath Rolls: City of London Livery Companies 1696
Association Oath Rolls: Surrey 1695
Somerset Electoral Registers 1832-1914
Search all Census & Census Substitutes on British Origins: http://www.origins.net/BritishOrigins/Search/Census/BOSearchCensus.aspx

The 1891 and 1881 Censuses will be added to Origins.net in the next 3 months, and the 1851 shortly after, to cover the full range 1841-1901

(With thanks to Maggie Loughran)

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Canadian WW1 army service records to be digitised

Libraries and Archives Canada is to digitise its army service records from the First World War, some 640,000 files. Elizabeth Lapointe has the story at http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/new-flash-library-and-archives-canada.html.

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

British India Office records on FindmyPast

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has released the British India Office collections, composed of birth and baptism, marriage, and death and burial records, as well as probate records, all sourced from the British Library in London. The records include holdings from India, Pakistan, Burma, Bangladesh, St Helena, Sumatra, Aden, Penang and Macao.

A quick trial search has easily found the marriage record of two of my four times great grandparents in Bangalore in 1826, and the births of two of their children there subsequently, including one of my three times great grandfathers.

Many of the records available are freely indexed on FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org), and a very useful guide to all of them is Emma Jolly's Tracing Your British Indian Ancestors (www.pen-and-sword.co.uk).

UPDATE: Here's the full press release...

FindmyPast releases British in India collection

2.5 million records launched today providing a fascinating glimpse into life on the Indian subcontinent

Leading family history website findmypast.co.uk has, in partnership with the British Library, today exclusively added 2.5 million records covering over 200 years of history of the British in India, published online for the first time.

These records covering 1698-1947 give real insight into the heart warming and heart breaking stories of British citizens living in India during the tenure of the East India Company and the British Raj.

Debra Chatfield, Brand Manager at findmypast.co.uk said of the release: “The new British in India records at findmypast are a great opportunity to find ancestors that previously were considered missing, as so many of our relatives sought their fortune on the subcontinent. Whether your relatives were clergy, aristocracy, tradespeople, merchants, civil servants or soldiers, the lowest and the landed all have stories to be told with these records.”

These 2.5 million records include:

Baptisms, Marriages & Burials (Catholic, Anglican & Civil registers)
Army officers’ marriage notifications
Records for other locations administered by the India office (Aden, Burma, Kuwait, St Helena)
Civil service records
Pension registers
Probate records & wills

British in India records are available on all findmypast sites and can be searched at http://search.findmypast.co.uk/search-united-kingdom-records/british-india-office-births-and-baptisms

(With thanks to Myko Clelland)

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Buckinghamshire Family History Society Open Day 2014

Forthcoming event in July:

Buckinghamshire Family History Society Open Day 2014

Buckinghamshire's major family history event will take place in 2014 on Saturday 26th July, from 10am to 4pm at The Grange School, Wendover Way, Aylesbury HP21 7NH.

This free event will have something for everyone - whether you are a beginner or an experienced researcher - and wherever your ancestors came from.

The Society’s research facilities will be available, including our Names Database (over 5 million names), Parish Register library, Bucks People (genealogies, histories, documents), and Bucks Places. Let us help you track down those elusive ancestors. Our bookstall will carry parish register transcripts and other research aids for sale, and there will be lots of free help and advice available.

There will be the opportunity to meet guest family history societies from around the country, representatives of local history societies, and a wide range of commercial suppliers of maps and books, software, archival materials and services.

Tea and coffee will be available; why not bring a packed lunch and make a day of it ?

Entry is free, and free parking is available at the venue. By bus from Aylesbury bus station take Arriva service 50 towards Wendover, and ask to be set down on Wendover Road opposite Chaucer Drive, about eight minutes walk.

Our website is being updated frequently to list all organizations attending:

http://www.bucksfhs.org.uk

(With thanks to Graham Gough)

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

New version of FindmyPast site coming soon

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has announced that a new version of the site is coming soon. Here's the announcement:

The new findmypast is coming soon...

We wanted to let you know about some changes that will be happening on findmypast and how they will affect you. There will be fresh features including a new and improved family tree, easier ways to search the records and new ways to bring each of your ancestors profiles to life.

You will start to notice some changes over the next few weeks and we will continue to make improvements in the coming months. We will be on hand to offer any help you might need at every stage. You can find out more about the changes we are making and why on our Learn More page. 

(Learn More is accessible at http://www.findmypast.co.uk/new-version-of-fmp-coming-soon)

COMMENT: I really hope the new search system isn't a move to the same system being utilised by FindmyPast.com and the other non-UK platforms, because that is one of the most tedious systems ever invented - all that filtering makes some searches take forever to achieve the desired outcome, you spend half the search time ticking boxes. Here's hoping FindmyPast UK has seen how tedious that is and has decided to improve it, rather than just adopt it. Here's the blurb describing what they are intending to produce:

We have made some changes to the way you search the records that gives you far more control and should help deliver even more accurate results. These changes will allow you to search across selected categories of records (for example Census records and Military records at the same time) and filter based on keywords, records sets and country. You'll be able to search all censuses at once for the first time too.

One apparent benefit being proclaimed is that the site will release new records 'every month'.

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Friday, 24 January 2014

On the road for a bit...

Tomorrow (Saturday) I'll be heading to Australia to participate in the fourth Unlock the Past genealogy cruise (http://unlockthepastcruises.com), as well as a seven city talks tour alongside Thomas MacEntee from the US. The first event does not kick off until Saturday week (1st Feb) in Brisbane, but en route down under I will be stopping off to see my brother in Dubai for a couple of days, and then my cousin just outside of Brisbane. Inevitably this means that there will likely be some disruption in terms of my being able to find time (and wifi access!) to blog, but I will do so as often as possible.

I'll be back in Scotland just two days before Who Do You Think You Are Live (www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com) kicks off next month, so will only be here for one night before heading straight on a train the next day down south to London for a few more days, but am looking forward to catching up with the great and the good whilst there, to find out what's happening in the foreseeable future!

Hopefully see some of you in Oz or in London!

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Plymouth and West Devon parish registers on Ancestry

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has launched a new parish registers collection online - England, Select Plymouth and West Devon, Parish Registers, 1538-1912.

Access is at http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=9936.

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

FamilySearch launches new indexing platform online

FamilySearch has launched a new dedicated indexing platform for its records at https://familysearch.org/indexing/, designed to encourage collaboration in the indexing of its vast genealogical records collections.

The FamilySearch blog has a post detailing the new layout at https://familysearch.org/blog/en/familysearch-launches-indexing-website-2/

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

New National Library of Scotland facilities in Glasgow

News on forthcoming new facilities in Glasgow providing access to National Library of Scotland digitised content, plus Scottish Screen and Sound Scotland materials:

Are you interested in research or in finding out about Scotland's moving images/films or sound heritage?

The National Library of Scotland is looking for feedback on the development of its new facilities at Kelvin Hall, Glasgow. The new facilities will offer access to the digital content currently only available through the NLS Reading Rooms in Edinburgh, including e-books, newspapers, digitised manuscripts, magazines and other content. They will also provide access to the Scottish Screen Archive and Sound Scotland.

Please complete the questionnaire by clicking on the link below - your response will be used to help develop the facilities and services at Kelvin Hall.

http://surveys.scotinform.co.uk/NLS%20Kelvin%20Hall/snnls_kelvin_hall.htm?id=Gxd03
(you may need to copy and paste this link into your browser)

All completed questionnaires will be eligible for entry into a prize draw for two £50 Amazon vouchers! Closing date for the survey is 31 January, so please complete the survey as soon as possible.

(With thanks to Janet Sylvester)

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Ancestry - limited Premium Edition offer for £20

I've just received Peter Calver's latest Lost Cousins newsletter (http://www.lostcousins.com/newsletters/latejan14news.htm), and his top story is that Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has a time limited offer of full access as a Premium subscriber to its site for 4 months for just £20 - but only if you purchase the subscription between now and 11.50pm Monday 27th January.

Full details on Peter's newsletter!

(With thanks to Peter)

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

New Zealand directories 1866-1954

If your ancestors emigrated to New Zealand, Ancestry's newly uploaded New Zealand, City & Area Directories, 1866-1954 collection may help. It can be accessed directly at http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=1845

From the site:

The majority of this collection is comprised of the Wise's New Zealand Post Office Directory. Although unauthorized, it was a commercial endeavor sanctioned by the Post Office and published by Henry Wise & Co., Dunedin. It covered all of New Zealand and was the first national postal directory of householders published nearly every year or two years from 1872 to 1955.

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Middlesex Appeal Tribunals WW1

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

The National Archives is making the digitised records the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal, which heard the cases of men seeking exemption from conscription into the army during the First World War, available online.

The records of the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal, in series MH 47 include case papers of over 8,000 individuals, as well as administrative papers reflecting the changing policy towards conscription as the war progressed. The records reveal men seeking exemption on medical, family or economic grounds, as well as the relatively small proportion wishing not to fight on moral grounds as conscientious objectors.

The Middlesex Appeal Tribunal was one of the county-level appeal tribunals, part of a national system of military service tribunals that were established across the UK to hear applications from men seeking exemption from military service. The collection is one of two sets of appeal tribunal records officially retained as a benchmark following the end of hostilities, and provides a unique insight into the impact of the First World War on families, businesses and communities far from the battlefields.

Local and county appeal tribunal records also survive in many local archives, within personal and local government collections, and with the Federation of Family History Societies, The National Archives has begun a survey of surviving material in local collections to supplement A2A and NRA data. Today's online launch has attracted a great deal of media interest, and although the focus is likely to be on the scarcity of surviving material, we anticipate that it may lead to an increased interest in locally held tribunal records.

The digitisation of this collection has been generously supported by The Friends of The National Archives and Federation of Family History Societies and forms part of The National Archives' programme of events to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Search the case papers through our First World War 100 web portal at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/first-world-war/ or search the series in Discovery, our catalogue: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/

Contact The National Archives with any enquiries relating to the project or the records at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact/

(With thanks to Beryl)

NB: In Scotland, military service tribunal papers also survive for Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders, and also Ross, Cromarty and Sutherland (see www.nas.gov.uk/about/081103.asp). Most other tribunal papers have unfortunately been destroyed.

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

For sale - house with previous owners

A friend of mine just posted this house sale advertisement from Teddington on Facebook. The last line in the property description is certainly worth bearing in mind...

See http://m.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/31554863

(Thanks Anna!)

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Dr Joseph Morrow is new Lord Lyon King of Arms

The new Lord Lyon King of Arms is Dr Joseph Morrow, following in the footsteps of David Sellars, who is stepping down from the post after five years in office. The Lord Lyon is the senior authority in Scotland on all things to do with heraldry, and holds a judicial post - in Scotland, breaches on the law of arms can be prosecuted at the Court of the Lord Lyon (www.lyon-court.com).

The official Government press release is at http://scottishgovernment.presscentre.com/News/New-Lord-Lyon-King-of-Arms-appointed-856.aspx - for more coverage on on the appointment visit http://forargyll.com/2014/01/advocate-and-student-of-heraldry-takes-up-ancient-position-as-new-lord-lyon-king-of-arms/ and www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/dundee/former-dundee-councillor-joe-morrow-made-lord-lyon-king-of-arms-1.178550.

COMMENT: Still no Lady Lyoness then!

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Genealogy in Time's top 100 websites for 2014

Genealogy in Time has released its list of top 100 websites for genealogy at www.genealogyintime.com/articles/top-100-genealogy-websites-of-2014-page01.html, as worked out from three leading internet ranking sites. Twelve of the sites are noted as being from the UK, though it should be thirteen - ScotlandsPeople has bizarrely been noted as from Scotland, and not the UK (possibly jumping the gun a little there, let's get the referendum out of the way first!), Four sites are from Ireland, but most are as usual from the United States, as to be expected. Some interesting additional inclusions are sites from Germany, Norway and France, as well as Brazil

Four blogs are amongst the sites included, all from the US and Canada, but Miles has kindly dropped me a note to say that although British Genes is not on the list this year, it is still the highest ranked British genealogy blog - so thanks to all who keep reading the site!

(With thanks to Miles)

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Friday, 17 January 2014

An Old World Place exhibition - the history of Doagh

PRONI (www.proni.gov.uk) in Belfast has announced details of a temporary exhibition from February 10th-28th entitled An Old World Place, concerning the history of the County Antrim town of Doagh.

This tiny village was once a centre of medieval governance; a seat of eighteenth century learning; a playground for Georgian Aristocracy; and a focal point of Victorian industrial development. This exhibition will allow visitors to discover how each of these factors shaped the face of the village we see today, and perhaps provide inspiration for similar projects.

This is one I might try to go over and see when I return from Australia - my Bill lived between Doagh and Templepatrick, and I recently uncovered the fact that they were involved in a massive murder case in the area in 1874, I'm so definitely in the mood to learn more.

For further details visit www.proni.gov.uk/news_details.htm?newsRef=3182

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

UK Press Online newspaper site offer

An offer from the UK Press Online website (www.ukpressonline.co.uk):


15 DAYS FOR THE PRICE OF FIVE!

Up until Monday 27th January, we’re offering all subscribers a three-for-one special on one of our All-Inclusive packages:

Instead of 5-days access to everything in our archives for £12.49 (£14.99 with VAT), you get 15-days access to our original:
  • Daily Express 1900-present
  • Daily Mirror 1903-1980
  • Sunday Express 2000-present
  • Daily Star 2000-present
  • Daily Star Sunday 2002-present
  • Morning Star 2000-present
  • Daily Worker 1930-45
  • Church Times 1863--present
  • The Watchman 1835-1884
  • Yorkshire Post 1933-45
  • Mosley Press 1933-40

(With thanks to UK Press Online)

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Canada's Hansard record now online

The Historical Debates of the Parliament of Canada database is now up and running at http://parl.canadiana.ca/?usrlang=en, as produced by the Library of Parliament and Canadiana.org. The database bilingually carries Canadian parliamentary debates from 1867 to the mid-1990s, from both the Senate and the House of Commons.

For further details visit Library and Archive Canada's blog at http://thediscoverblog.com/2014/01/16/historical-debates-of-the-parliament-of-canada-hansard-now-online/.

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Current PRONI developments in Belfast

Due to my mother's death at the end of November I was unable to attend the PRONI (www.proni.gov.uk) user forum meeting in Belfast on December 6th. I have now received the minutes from the meeting, and would first like to express my thanks to those there for their kind condolences concerning my mother.

The meeting discussed some of the forthcoming projects currently under way concerning the First World War. In addition to various talks, a new exhibition and possible contributions to the Imperial War Museum's Lives of the Great War project, the archive is also hoping to produce some relevant online databases, with one of those earmarked being an indexed database of military personnel treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital, 1914-16.

Of good news is the fact that PRONI is also exploring various means of communicating further with the public via social media (thumbs up!), as well as means to promote PRONI's services beyond Belfast, particularly in the north-west of Ulster.

The updated wills index and database will go online in March, and as reported before, will contain the currently missing entries from 1918-1921 and an extension of coverage from 1858-1943 up to 1858-1965. The new version of the catalogue was also due to go online at the end of December.

(With thanks to Gavin McMahon)

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

First tranche of Irish Military Service Pension records online

The Military Archives website has now made available the Military Service Pensions Collection at www.militaryarchives.ie/collections/online-collections/military-service-pensions-collection, which when complete will contain 300,000 files relating to 60,000 individuals who fought during the Easter Rising and the War of Independence from 1916-1923. This first release, comprised of 9600 files, primarily, though not exclusively, concerns the Easter Rising of 1916 itself, as well as others involved in the independence movement and Civil War. In addition are files for those who served with the Connaught Rangers in the mutiny in Solon and Jalandhar, India on 28 June 1920, and a small number of payments to folk who stored weapons for organisations involved in the struggle, though who were not members of those groups themselves.

Included are the following:
  • Membership Rolls of the Irish Republican Army
  • Membership Rolls of Cumann na mBan
  • Membership Rolls of Fianna Eireann
  • Brigade Activity Files
  • Administration Files

The collection page notes the following:

Explore the many testimonies and accounts of the surviving leaders, the veterans and volunteers who took part in the historic events of the 1916 Rising, the War of Independence and Civil War, along with a plethora of supporting documentation gathered from the participants through the unique collection that is the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection. For the first time, the collection is being made available on a phased basis leading to 2016.

The files were created in response to the following legislation from the Irish governments in the south of Ireland:
  • The Army Pensions Acts from 1923 to 1953
  • The Military Service Pensions Acts, 1924, 1934 and 1949
To search the collections, visit www.militaryarchives.ie/collections/online-collections/military-service-pensions-collection/search-the-collection.

The BBC has a feature on the collection at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-25752035

NB: A database listing those who received the 1916 Medal, The Service (1917-1921) Medal, The 1916 Survivor’s Medal and the Truce Anniversary Medal will be available on the site in 2015.

UPDATE: Oh - my - God! I've just made one of the biggest discoveries since I started my family history research 14 years ago. I can't elaborate just yet, as I am not sure if is a well kept secret in the family that I have just found out about, or if it is genuinely not known about. But this new collection has turned out to provide information of game changing proportions - I suspect I now know why certain people in the family emigrated! A huge thank you to Military Archives for an astonishing resource.

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Cadw and RCAHMW to remain as separate bodies

The Welsh Assembly has announced that the heritage bodies Cadw and the Royal Commission for the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales (RCAMHW) are to remain as separate bodies for now, and not to merge. The announcement is carried on the Heritage of Wales blog at http://heritageofwalesnews.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/new-measures-for-welsh-historic.html.

This contrasts markedly with the recent decision in Scotland to merge RCAMHS and Historic Scotland (see http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/index/about/rcahmshsmerger.htm).

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Irish Volunteers newspaper An t-Óglách online from 1918-1933

This Friday the Military Archives website (www.militaryarchives.ie) from the Republic of Ireland will add pension records for those who served in the Old IRA. A quick check on the site has, however, also revealed something else I did not know was already available online - free to access digitised issues of An t-Óglách, a newspaper designed to provide guidance and to develop the Volunteer movement.

The coverage runs from January 1918 (when the UK was still at war) to February 1933. If your ancestors were in the Old IRA or part of the Irish Volunteer movement, they are well worth a look - as indeed they are for anyone with Irish connections from that period.

For a background to the publication, and to access the editions themselves, visit http://www.militaryarchives.ie/collections/online-collections/an-toglach-magazine.

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

The Genealogist adds .com address & invests in IT

From The Genealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk):

TheGenealogist continues to invest in the future - ensuring both speed and reliability no matter where you are in the world!

Subscribers can now use both TheGenealogist.co.uk and TheGenealogist.com to access their family history research!

With the ever increasing popularity of family history and as our number of subscribers grows at a healthy pace, TheGenealogist has invested in a number of new core product features to ensure users of the family history website continue to enjoy the maximum reliability they expect.

TheGenealogist - an international brand
Firstly, with increases in sales all over the world, it was felt important to make it as easy as possible to access TheGenealogist and not just through a .co.uk address. The international .com web address will now equally represent TheGenealogist too. Secondly, as the unique search tools and major record set additions over the past few years have really pushed TheGenealogist forward internationally, the background technology has been further developed to continue the reliability of service that is associated with a subscription to TheGenealogist.

Major investment in IT Infrastructure
The website can now be accessed from both TheGenealogist.co.uk and TheGenealogist.com, held at multiple, geographically separate data centres on super-efficient servers that easily cover the needs of our subscriber base. The background IT infrastructure ensures there is plenty of room for our subscribers to continue to enjoy the reliable and quick searching features they demand.

The new service had its first major test over the busy Christmas period as our subscribers used the holiday time to further explore their family history. However, the large increase in workload was easily handled by our new multiple data centers and new hardware.

It is easy for a family history website to rest on its laurels and overload systems with large amounts of data and functionality and not anticipate reliability issues. However, TheGenealogist has in place a rigid IT framework ensuring it is well covered for many years to come. A high quality, efficient service will be maintained long into the future.

Mark Bayley, Head of Online Content at TheGenealogist comments: “We constantly strive to improve our service for all our customers. Our increase in user base, services and now free content such as the image archive, has given us the opportunity to redesign our service to be much more resilient to increases in magnitude of users. We have further extended our ability to offer large amounts of records for people to view in a secure and ultra-reliable framework. “

(With thanks to David Osborne)

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

New Dudley archives facility open

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

Dudley Borough Archives have opened a new archives and local history centre yesterday, more information can be found on the website and in the Dudley news

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

http://www.dudleynews.co.uk/news/local/10935039.New_borough_archive_opens_to_to_give_people_futuristic_facilities_to_peer_into_the_past/?ref=var_0

(With thanks to Beryl Evans)

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

PRONI family history workshops in Belfast

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

This is just to remind everyone that PRONI will be delivering a series of practical workshops in sources for family and local history over the next few weeks. These will focus on records and resources that are now partially or fully accessible online, and five respected specialists will demonstrate their use. The workshops shall provide an excellent opportunity to gain insider knowledge on often-overlooked archives, so come along to discover more about the world of your ancestors.

Workshops will run on Wednesday lunchtimes, 1pm to 2pm, on the following dates:

· 22nd January
· 29th January
· 5th February
· 12th February
· 19th February

For more details on the content of these workshops, and for guidance on how to reserve your place, please click on the following link: http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/exhibitions_talks_and_events/talks_and_events/exploring_your_archives_in_depth.htm

We look forward to seeing you there.

(With thanks to Garth Stewart and Gavin McMahon)

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Scottish Research Online course starts Feb 27th

I'm heading off down under at the end of next week, so getting this in a bit early! As noted recently, my next Scottish Research Online course starts Feb 27th. The course, taught through Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd (www.pharostutors.com) is five weeks long, costs £45.99 and is taught entirely online. The following is a quick summary of what to expect.

Scottish Research Online

Scotland was first to have major records digitized and offer indexes and images online. It has also been a leader in placing resource information on the World Wide Web. This course describes the major sites, the types of information and data that they offer, the forms in which databases are presented and how to analyze results. You will learn to lay the foundations for searching a family, how to select best resources and what to do next either online or in libraries and archives.

Instructor: Chris Paton

Scotlands People, Family Search, Ancestry, FreeCen: content, comparison, assessment
Essential Maps and Gazetteers
Civil Registration and Census Research Online
Searching in Church of Scotland Registers Online
Scottish Wills and Inventories Online
(Take It From Here)

Note: it is recommended but not required that students in this course sign up for the basic search option, 30 units/seven days, at ScotlandsPeople (cost is seven pounds)

Each lesson includes exercises and activities; a minimum of 1 one-hour chat.

STUDENTS SAID: "I particularly liked the fact that the course didn't just focus on the well-known BMD resources available, but on a much wider range of websites, including many which give extremely useful background information on the geography and history of the localities where our ancestors lived." "a very knowledgeable Instructor"

And here's a wee video setting the scene:




To sign up, please visit http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. I will hopefully see a few of you soon!

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/.

Stirling District Asylum records

A great blog post from the University of Stirling's archive team on conservation and cataloguing efforts to bring to life the stories of Stirling District Asylum from 1869-1918 can be found at http://archives.wordpress.stir.ac.uk/2013/06/27/continuity-of-care-4/. There are some 50 register volumes in total being worked on.

(With thanks to @unistirarchives)

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/.

Historians consider legal action against British Government

The Guardian has an interesting story today concerning thousands of files dating back to the 1840s, still held by the British Government's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which have yet to be released, in breach of the 30 year rule (see my previous blog post at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/foreign-office-hoarding-historic-files.html). The article notes that historians at Oxford, Cambridge and London universities are contemplating taking the department to court to force them to comply with the Public Records Act, to have the files released into the public domain.

It should be noted that there is most definitely a genealogical interest here - included amongst the files is a vaguely described collection entitled "Birth, death and marriage registers", taking up 20.88 metres of shelf space in the storage facility at Hanslope Park, 60 miles north of London, where the documents are currently being held.

Following the FCO's disclosure of the documents' existence in October, the Government has promised that the records "of the greatest public interest" will be handed over to the National Archives at Kew over the next six years. Concerns remain, however, as to how much will be handed over, and on what timescale, with no further announcements from the FCO having yet been made.

The full story is at www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/13/foreign-office-secret-files-national-archive-historians-legal-action

(With thanks to @CILIPinfo)

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/.

Oxfordshire History Centre closed for stocktaking

More from Beryl Evans at the FFHS (www.ffhs.org.uk), courtesy of Paul Gaskell, Publicity Officer, Oxfordshire Family History Society (www.ofhs.org.uk):

Oxfordshire History Centre is closed for its annual stocktaking from 28 January to 8 February 2014 inclusive.

More information from www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/directions-and-opening-times-oxfordshire-history-centre.

(With thanks to Beryl and Paul)

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/.

Lichfield Record Office earmarked for possible closure

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

PLANS to close Lichfield Record Office and re-home all the county’s archives into a single centre in Stafford are being “explored”.

Staffordshire County Council said the move would save £75,000 on costs such as property maintenance and has launched an online consultation.

See www.lichfieldmercury.co.uk/History-buffs-dismay-plans-close-Lichfield-Record/story-20414726-detail/story.html

(With thanks to Beryl)

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 Army WW1 war diaries go online

The National Archives at Kew has placed online the first digitised 300,000 pages of 1.5 million images from First World War British Army unit war diaries, for both Flanders and France. The collections have been sourced from the War Office collection catalogued as WO95. To search the diaries visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/war-diaries-ww1.htm.

At the same time the archive has launched a crowdsourcing project called Operation War Diary (www.operationwardiary.org), to tie in stories of individuals featured within the actions described within the diaries. A blog post has also been written further describing the initiative at http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/blog/operation-war-diary-archive-needs/.

For further details visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/905.htm.

UPDATE: I can't find a categoric list of which units are included so far, but I have found the following at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/first-world-war/centenary-unit-war-diaries.htm:

This first batch of unit war diaries reveals the real-time account of the first three cavalry (WO 95/1096 to WO 95/1156) and the first seven infantry divisions (WO 95/1227 to WO 95/1670) who were part of the first wave of British army troops deployed in France and Flanders.

The Operation War Diary page does have a section for its crowdsourcing effort which appears to outline the units available so far, though I am not sure if this is a complete listing - see www.operationwardiary.org/#/diaries.

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, 13 January 2014

Borthwick Institute reprographic services changes

The Borthwick Institute in Yorkshire has recently announced changes to its reprographic services productions, to reflect increased demand for digital images. Amongst the archive's important collections are the Prerogative Court of York probate records.

The full announcement is at www.york.ac.uk/library/borthwick/about-us/news/.

(With thanks to Ian Marson via Twitter)

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/.

Devon Heritage Centre stocktaking closure

More news from the Federation of Family History Societies (www.ffhs.org.uk), this time from Maureen Selley about Devon Heritage Centre:

The Devon Heritage Centre, Exeter, will be closed for stocktaking and collections management tasks from 3rd February and will re-open on Tuesday 18th February.

The North Devon Record Office, Barnstaple, will be closed for stocktaking and collections management tasks from 3rd February and will re-open on Monday 17th February.

(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/.

Old IRA pension records 1916-23 to go online

Ireland's Military Archives (www.militaryarchives.ie) are to release pension records for the Old IRA this Friday 17th January, as created by the Military Service Pensions Act of 1924 for those who saw active service with the IRA from 1916-1923.

John Grenham has all the detail at http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/irishroots/2014/01/13/pensions-coming/

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/.

Herefordshire Archive Service closure

From Beryl Evans at the Federation of Family History Societies (www.ffhs.org.uk), courtesy of info received from Rhys Griffith, Senior Archivist, Herefordshire Archive Service:

Please note that Herefordshire Archive Service is now closed to the public and will remain so for the whole of 2014 and early 2015. This is to allow staff and volunteers to prepare the collection for a move to purpose-built new premises next year.

The distance enquiry and paid research services will continue as normal throughout the closed period.

Details of progress on the new building and plans for the future will be available on our web pages at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/archives.

(With thanks to Beryl and Rhys)

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 Co. Down and Belfast records added to RootsIreland

Some 16000 Anglican records for County Down and 8000 Roman Catholic records for Belfast, transcribed by former PRONI director Dr Brian Trainor, have been added to RootsIreland (www.rootsireland.ie) - the collections are as follows:
  • Killinchy Church of Ireland Baptisms 1820-77
  • Blaris Church of Ireland Baptisms 1661-1720
  • Magheralin Church of Ireland Baptisms 1783-1870
  • Bangor Church of Ireland Baptisms 1803-43
  • Ballywalter Church of Ireland Baptisms 1845-75
  • Ardkeen Church of Ireland Baptisms 1746-1871
  • St Patrick's Belfast Roman Catholic Baptisms 1924-1931
  • St Joseph's Belfast Roman Catholic Baptisms 1900-1921
  • St Joseph's Belfast Roman Catholic Marriages 1921-1933

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, 12 January 2014

Irish Lives Remembered Jan 2014 issue now available

The latest free to access issue of Irish Lives Remembered is now out - here's the blurb:

The January issue (20th edition) of Irish Lives Remembered FREE Genealogy e-Magazine is now LIVE to read/download via www.irishlivesremembered.com.

Packed with 80 pages of Irish genealogy news, events and resources to help you research your Irish ancestry, this month we take a look at:

Tracing your Irish Ancestors in New Jersey (16 pages) includes:
Genealogical Research in the United States by Joe Buggy (new U.S. columnist)
Tracing your Irish Ancestry in New Jersey by Joe Buggy
Meryl Streep’s Irish family history in,Donegal by Fiona Fitzsimons in Eneclann
New Jersey based author and genealogist Maureen Wlodarczyk delves into her own Irish past witih ‘Immigration Life on the Cobblestones Streets of Jersey City
New Jersey Genealogical Resources & Research Resources
P.R.O.N.I discusses their catalogue of letters and archives on emigration and highlights the Barbour Thread Mills in Paterson, New Jersey - founded by Thomas Barbour from Lisburn.
Mary Flood from I.F.H.F. in Kilkenny showcases resources on tracing the Irish in New Jersey

Tracing Your Dublin County Ancestors (26 pages) includes:
Dublin Tourism showcases what’s on offer in the county
Findmypast Ireland provide a glimpse of their Dublin North & South resources
Genealogical Resources for Dublin County by Jim Ryan & Brian Smith
Roman Catholic Family History Resources by Noelle Dowling, Archdiocese of Dublin
Other records of interest in the Dublin Diocesan Archive
Dublin through the eyes of a genealogist by Dr. Paul MacCotter
Finding your Dún Laoghaire Past by Tom Conlon
Overview of the Genealogical Society of Ireland by Michael Merrigan
Resources available at An Daonchartlann by Michael Merrigan
Fingal Genealogy Centre & Fingal Heritage Network in North Dublin by Bernadette Marks
Killester and its families by Margaret Bonar & Elizabeth Craven

Other features include:
Findmypast Ireland adds over 88,000 records from the British Military to their database featuring thousands of Irish soldiers.
Photo historian Jayne Shrimpton covers a motoring image in Bunmahon, County Waterford
Interview with Probate Genealogist, Eileen O’Duill
Updated schedule from Ancestral Connections, Names Places and Spaces – Genealogy Summer School at University College Cork.
North of Ireland Family History Society latest news
Australian Genealogist, Shauna Hicks takes a look at Finding the Irish in Colonial South Australia
Genealogy Events, Classified Advertising Directory,Genealogy Providors, Books and Biographies of our writers.

(With thanks to Eileen Munnelly)

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, 10 January 2014

TNA user forum meeting

The next meeting of the National Archives (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk) user forum at Kew will be on Thursday 16th 2014.

From TNA's website:

The User Forum is your chance to hear what's happening at The National Archives and to have your say. It is open to all users of our services.

The forum takes place at The National Archives and lasts for approximately one to one and a half hours.

For further details contact user.forum@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk or telephone 020 8876 3444 extension 2238.

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/.

Ireland's Memorial Records database

Ireland's Memorial Records is a new free to access web based database located at http://imr.inflandersfields.be, produced by the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres (http://www.inflandersfields.be/en) in collaboration with Eneclann in Ireland (www.eneclann.ie) and Google Europe.
From the site:

This search engine opens up the information as it is published in the records. Preliminary research proved that more than 10,000 of the men listed to have died in France actually fell in Belgium. Correct details about their place of burial or commemoration have been added, as part of the ongoing In Flanders Fields Museum project called The Name List. This project aims to assemble all fatalities of the Great War who died or were mortally wounded in Belgium, both civilian and military, and whatever their nationality. The Name List will be launched on 4 August 2014. A completion of the Irish Memorial Records, beyond the casualties linked to Belgian territory, should be ready by the end of 2014.

(With thanks to @Eneclann)

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/.

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet - 2nd edition

A few copies of my new book, the second edition of Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, arrived in the post today. Officially published on January 17th, you can order copies from Pen and Sword at www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Family-History-on-the-Internet/p/6050/

Here's the blurb from the back cover:
  • Fully revised second edition of the best-selling guide to internet family history research
  • Updated with a new introduction and expanded social networking section
  • Expert advice on the dos and don'ts of internet family history research
  • Chapters on internet research in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the islands of the British Isles
  • Shows how internet research can be integrated with a broader programme of study

This fully revised second edition of Chris Paton's best-selling guide is essential reading if you want to make effective use of the internet in your family history research. Every day new records and resources are placed online and new methods of sharing research and communicating across cyberspace become available, and his handbook is the perfect introduction to them. He has checked and updated all the links and other sources, added new ones, written a new introduction and substantially expanded the social networking section.

Never before has it been so easy to research family history using the internet, but he demonstrates that researchers need to take a cautious approach to the information they gain from it. They need to ask, where did the original material come from and has it been accurately reproduced, why was it put online, what has been left out and what is still to come? As he leads the researcher through the multitude of resources that are now accessible online, he helps to answer these questions. He shows what the internet can and cannot do, and he warns against the various traps researchers can fall into along the way.

Details on e-versions of the book will be given out in due course.

For reviews on its companion book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, released a few months ago and available from http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/tracing-your-irish-family-history-on.html

Hope it helps with your research!

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/.

University of Strathclyde offers DNA genealogy course

From the University of Strathclyde:

To complement our growing online courses in genealogy we now have 'Genetic Genealogy: an introduction' due to launch in the autumn.

The course is fully online. For those interested in gaining accreditation, there is an option to gain 10 credits at SCQF level 7 on the satisfactory completion of 2 assessments.

Information is at the bottom of the following webpage http://www.strath.ac.uk/cll/alp/onlinescottishgenealogy/

More details to follow in due course.

Our postgraduate level courses at at http://www.strath.ac.uk/genealogy/

(With thanks to Ali MacDonald)

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, 9 January 2014

Irish pension records offer extended

Ireland Genealogy (www.ireland-genealogy.com) has extended its offer to provide 100 record downloads for £10, as opposed to the normal price of £2 per look-up. The extension runs until Sunday 11th January. For details of the original offer visit my recent post at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/pension-applications-offer-from-ireland.html.

(With thanks to Ireland Genealogy)

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/.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

IreAtlas Townlands Database offline

The IreAtlas Townlands Database (Seanruad) at http://www.thecore.com/seanruad/ seems to have disappeared offline, having previously moved to its current address in the middle of last year. The database is a helpful tool to locate a townland anywhere in Ireland - hopefully the disappearance is temporary.

In the meantime, for Northern Ireland you can find useful townland locations via a series of maps through PRONI at http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/local_history/geographical_index/townlands.htm.

UPDATE Thursday: Thankfully the IreAtlas database is back 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/.

English and Welsh civil registration indexes on FamilySearch

FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org) has placed three very oddly titled collections online for English and Welsh vital events. These are:

England and Wales, Birth Index, 1800–1920
https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2285338

England and Wales, Marriage Index, 1800–1920
https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2285732

England and Wales, Death Index 1800–1920
https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2285341

So what's the problem? Well, errr, the year ranges don't make much sense! The wiki pages entries for each collection notes the sources to be FindmyPast. (The wiki pages are accessible from each of the search screen links noted above.) However, there are absolutely no entries for the period from 1800 to mid-1837 included - and that is because these are in fact the civil registration indexes for births, marriage and deaths, which did not commence until mid-1837. The cut off date respected for each database is indeed 1920 - but why?

The birth records wiki page notes that the father's name is included in the search results - it isn't from what I can see. It's the name, registration district, year, quarter, volume and page number only - as in other online presentations of the same indexes, including FindmyPast. With the marriage indexes, the prospective spouse's name is helpfully returned, and with death indexes the age at death is also included.

It's great to see the English and Welsh civil indexes freely available, despite the somewhat arbitrary 1920 cut off point - but somebody needs to look at the collection titles again!

NB: Images from the BMD index registers are not available on the site, only the transcribed data.

UPDATE Fri 10th: The collections have been renamed to start at 1837. Ahem...!

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, 7 January 2014

Martyn Wade to retire from National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland has announced the forthcoming retirement of Martyn Wade as National Librarian and Chief Executive of the institution from March 2014, following 11 years in post.

The full press release is available at www.nls.uk/news/press/2013/12/announcement-of-national-librarians-retiral

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/.

Scottish Research Online course

The next Scottish Research Online course will start on February 27th 2014, and runs for five weeks, price £45.99. Yours truly is the tutor for the course, which will look at the best ways to use certain key online resources when getting underway with Scottish based ancestral research. The course is taught entirely online, with the lessons sent out once a week, a weekly online based chat room discussion, and with a dedicated discussion forum throughout.

For a full run down on what to expect, and to book, please visit http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102

A video I put online introducing the last time the course was run can be found on YouTube at http://youtu.be/VCLFZDXvXTs - and is presented here:



Hopefully see 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/.

The Sheffield Flood - 150th aniversary

March 2014 sees the 150th anniversary of the Sheffield Flood disaster, when the Dale Dyke Dam near Bradfield, Yorkshire, burst upon the reservoir being filled, flooding the Loxley Valley, and killing 238 people and some 700 animals. A summary of the event is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Sheffield_Flood. Bradfield Parish Council has announced plans to commemorate the event locally in its newsletter, available at www.bradfield-yorks-pc.co.uk/_NEWS_ITEMS/Newsletter%20January%202014.pdf.

Yorkshire based genealogist Ian Marson has kindly flagged up an archive resource online from Sheffield Hallam University for those who made compensation claims following the disaster - it can be found at https://www2.shu.ac.uk/sfca/, and may be of interest to those whose ancestors were caught up.

The story of the Dale Dyke is one I know well, having previously produced and directed a BBC documentary in 2003 (Time Flyers: Villages of the Dammed) which included the story, and which was partly filmed at the location where the breach - the old breach spot is marked by CLOB stones (Centre Line Old Bank) to this day. Another great resource for those researching the flood disaster is Mick Armitage's amazing site at www.mick-armitage.staff.shef.ac.uk/sheffield/flood.html, which is about as definitive a resource detailing what happened as you will likely find.

(With thanks to Ian Marson via LinkedIn)

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/.

Ancestry uploads English and Welsh PCC wills

Ancestry has uploaded some 1012964 wills as probated through the Prerogative Court of Canterbury from 1384-1858. The PCC was the highest of the Anglican probate courts of the land (and the superior of the two prerogative courts, covering the south of England and Wales - there was a separate court for the north of England, based at York). Despite being a southern based English based court, however, it was possible for folk to choose to go through the PCC rather than the PCY, and you will also find wills for folk across the British Isles - particularly if they had English interests and had wills confirmed elsewhere and then resealed in England, or vice versa (a search for Edinburgh as a location, for example, has 218 hits, with 245 returned for Dublin).

Digitised images of the PCC were first made available by the National Archives at Kew many years ago (see www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/wills.htm), though the images are at times quite poor, with the high contrast occasionally obliterating parts of the letter forms. A second filming in recent years has seen a much improved version appear on The Genealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk), though on occasion with this I have also found the odd image to be slightly out of focus. I may be wrong, but it seems that these are the same images from the first filming. Nevertheless, the database provides yet another way to search one of the most important genealogical collections from England.

Incidentally, the Prerogative Court of York records are still slowly being indexed - there is a Prerogative & Exchequer Courts of York Probate Index 1688-1858 on Origins at www.origins.net/nwiwelcome.aspx, with over 263,800 names - copies of the original images have not been placed online, but can be ordered through the site.

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/.