Friday, 28 February 2014

Britain's first serial killer - fundraiser to save letters

A somewhat unusual post has just been made on one of my Facebook pages, concerning efforts to raise money in Durham to save eight letters written in jail by serial killer Mary Ann Cotton in 1873. Here's the story, from one of those seeking to raise the funds, Christine Wadsley Cunningham:

Mary Ann Cotton was considered Britains first serial killer. She wrote 8 letters from jail in 1873 which were recently auctioned to a dealer. A campaign to save these letters and ensure they go into the County Durham archives for all to see and use was begun on Facebook and has culminated in this page being set up to try and raise the £4,000 needed to buy them on behalf of the people of County Durham in order to donate them to the archives. Laws were changed due to this woman which make it much easier for us as family history buffs to access what we need to in order to do our research. The least we can do is donate a few pounds to help preserve this history. So dig deep, and look lively as we don't have much time to raise this money before some private collector decides that they want the letters - then they could disappear forever! Thank you - Regards Christine and Victoria

Please be assured that if we are unlucky enough to lose these letters to a private collector, we will advise on this page and will also ensure that any money collected will go towards preserving family or local history in the UK. We will make a statement on here as to where the money has been donated.

The donation page, with more detail, is available at www.gofundme.com/76trpc.

The Daily Mail has a story on Mary Ann Cotton at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2096423/Mary-Ann-Cotton--Britains-FIRST-serial-killer-poisoned-21-people-including-mother.html

(With thanks to Christine)

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's April lecture series

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

PRONI is delighted to release details of its forthcoming new lecture series in April 2014, which will be delivered by PRONI staff. These talks will provide excellent insight and tips on using PRONI sources.

The context of these talks will begin on the battlefields of the American Civil War, where we will learn about Irish émigrés involved in this conflict. We will explore these peoples’ letters sent home to loved ones, that reveal their aspirations and reservations on life as emigrants.

The series will continue by examining the suffering inflicted upon the population of Ireland during the Great Famine of 1845 to 1852. This talk will explain how the drastic action of emigration became the only option for many faced with this situation.

A wider discussion on the historical experiences of the poor in society shall follow. This talk will touch upon past attempts to relieve poverty, as well as provide tips on unearthing these peoples’ family stories from archival documents.

The series concludes with an overview of the work that transformed the lower River Bann from an uncontrollable waterway prone to flooding into a navigable commercial route. The major arterial drainage scheme on the Bann is well documented by PRONI sources. This talk will illuminate this, as well as touch upon significant archaeological discoveries unearthed during the works.

2nd April
Irish voices from the American Civil War by Brett Irwin

9th April
Hungry for change-the effect of the Famine on Irish migration by Ann McVeigh

23rd April
Experiences of the Poor and Excluded by Glynn Kelso

30th April
The River Bann: a view from the archives by Lorraine Burke

WHERE: All workshops will be held at PRONI
WHEN: Wednesdays from 1pm to 2pm
HOW MUCH: Admission is FREE but booking is essential. Please contact PRONI at proni@dcalni.gov.uk to reserve your place.

(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.

National Records of Scotland & SCAN catalogues down

The websites and catalogue for the National Records of Scotland (www.nas.gov.uk) and the Scottish Archive Network (www.scan.org.uk) are currently both offline, and have been for a few days. The NRS is aware of the problem and has promised to deal with it is as quickly as possible to get the sites back online.

The NRS umbrella website for both he GROS and the NAS is still accessible at www.nrscotland.gov.uk.

UPDATE 3pm Friday - now back up and running

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, 27 February 2014

UCC Irish genealogy summer school

University College Cork is running an Irish genealogy summer school in 2014 - here's the blurb:

Ancestral Connections: Names, Places and Spaces
Irish Genealogy Summer School, University College Cork, June 29- July 6, 2014

This genealogy summer school offers a complete course in the latest Irish genealogy research, as one would expect from a summer school held in UCC, one of the world’s leading universities. All aspects of the subject are covered by a series of presentations and ‘hands on’ workshops given by a selection of Ireland’s leading genealogical lecturers and experts. The latest online and offline sources are described and explained in presentations which will be of great interest to the seeker of Irish roots and family history, whether beginner or expert.

All aspects of the subject are covered by a series of presentations and 'hands on' workshops given by a selection of Ireland's leading genealogical lecturers and experts.

Genealogy sources, and approaches are described and explained in presentations which will be of great interest to the seeker of Irish roots and family history. It is suitable for genealogy enthusiasts.

Thankfully, it is not all work. A number of field trips are offered featuring sites and locations in Waterford, Dungarvan and Youghal., Not forgetting, optional evening tours to sites of interest in Cork itself, ‘the Venice of Ireland’, and the beautiful harbour town of Kinsale.

Contact Details UCC:
Ancestral Connections Summer School Co-ordinator: Lorna Moloney at E: l.moloney@ucc.ie or 353-(0)85-8721184 or 353-21-4904702
Lindy Meldon, Executive Assistant. Programme Assistant T: 353 (0)21 4904700. E: l.meldon@ucc.ie

All aspects of the subject are covered by a series of presentations and ‘hands on’ workshops given by a selection of Ireland’s leading genealogical lecturers and experts

Rates – Residential/Non-Residential/Concession
Full residential: Accommodation, half board at Victoria Lodge, tuition, fieldtrips, excursions and conference: €775.00
Non residential: €575.00 (We can supply a list of recommended providers on request

Concession - Non Residential (Historical & cultural groups, students, Over 55's, retired) non residential €488.75
Concession Residential - Accommodation, Half- board at Victoria Lodge, tuition, fieldtrips, excursions and conference: €658.75

Day rates - €95.00 concession rate - € 80.75 (Historical & cultural groups, students, Over 55's)


For further details of the programme (including timetable), and to book, visit www.ucc.ie/en/ace-genealogy/.

(With thanks to Lorna Moloney)

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, 26 February 2014

Shropshire Council seeks to reduce archive opening hours

Shropshire Council is proposing to reduce its archive's opening hours to just twenty hours a week. They have launched a consultation process online, which can be accessed at
www.shropshire.gov.uk/archives/options-for-reduced-opening-hours/ (link now dead - see below)

From the consultation page:

Budget reductions, part of the overall spending pressures on Shropshire Council, require a major adjustment in staffing and functions at Shropshire Archives. Inevitably this means a reduction in the service’s opening hours. We are seeking people’s views on three options and inviting them to suggest a fourth, one of which will be in place from April 2014. The consultation closes on Sunday 23 March 2014.

If you are likely to be affected by these cuts, please do respond before March 23rd.

(With thanks to Martin James via the UK Professional Researchers in Genealogy, Family & Local History group on Linked In)

UPDATE: The previous link above is now dead - to access the survey visit http://new.shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/archives-options-for-reduced-opening-hours/ and access the How to get Involved section

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 Welsh 1891 census joins Origins

From Origins (www.origins.net):

England and Wales 1891 Census comes to Origins.net

Origins.net now includes a full index to and digitised images of the original 1891 Census records for all counties in England and Wales. The 1891 Census includes the personal details of over 29,002,525 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 5th April 1891 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 1891 Census: www.origins.net/BritishOrigins/Search/Census/1891/BOSearchC1891.aspx

The 1881 Census 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.

Campaign to secure free access to birth, marriage and death records

Guy Etchells of Anguline Research Archives has started a campaign to get Historic Birth, Marriage and Death registers open to the public without having to purchase certified copies. Guy certainly has form on such campaigns, in having previously gained early access to the 1911 Census, and the National Identity Register from 1939 for England and Wales.

Guy's reasoning can be found on the Anguline Facebook page at
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anguline-Research-Archives/94765005946 but includes the fact that prior to 1898 and 1974 there was open access to records held by the national GRO and local registration offices in England and Wales. He'll be developing his arguments on his Facebook page over the next few days - well worth a read.

(With thanks to Guy)

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, 25 February 2014

UK Press Online offer extended

From UK Press Online (www.ukpressonline.co.uk):

90 DAYS FOR THE PRICE OF 30!

Throughout the remainder of February and all through March, we’re offering all subscribers a three-for-one special on one of our All-Inclusive packages:

instead of 30-days access to everything in our archives for £45.83 (£55.00 with VAT), you get 90-day 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

Visit www.ukpressonline.co.uk/ukpressonline/open/cart/cart1.jsp to go directly to the online store

(With thanks to Andrew Ford at 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.

Scottish soldiers wills to go online in May

Several press reports emerged yesterday announcing that the wills of some 26,000 Scottish soldiers from the First World War were to be made available online, as part of the commemorations for the conflict's centenary. A typical report from Newsnet Scotland, running the press release, is at http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/in-brief/8783-wills-of-scottish-soldiers-killed-in-wwi-to-be-made-available-online.

These wills have been available in a digital format for some time at the National Records of Scotland's Historic Search Room in Edinburgh, and are catalogued on the site's online catalogue at www.nas.gov.uk/onlinecatalogue.

One thing missing from the coverage, however, was an indication of when they would appear online. I have since contacted the NRS to ask them just that, and they have replied that it is the intention to make them available at some stage in May of this year, though an exact date has as yet to be confirmed.

At present it is possible to trace English and Welsh soldiers' wills from the First World War via a new payment based service at https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/, whilst Irish soldiers' wills from 1914-1917 are freely available at http://soldierswills.nationalarchives.ie/search/sw/home.jsp, with the coverage to extend soon to include wills from 1918-1922.

(With thanks to @NatRecordsScot)

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 D-Day exhibitions at IWM Duxford

Details of forthcoming exhibitions at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford (www.iwm.org.uk):

D-Day-The Last of the Liberators photographic exhibition
By Robin Savage
Produced by the Airborne Forces Museum(Airborne Assault) and Helion Books
April to December
Mezzanine Gallery, AirSpace

D-Day -The Last of the Liberators is a collection of photographic portraits of some of the last surviving British Normandy veterans. It records, in a unique way, the stories of these remarkable individuals and their emotional but dignified return to the locations, in many cases the exact spot, which are tied to their most profound personal memories of the campaign; places where they saw action or were wounded, where they experienced instances of miraculous chance or where they witnessed their friends being
taken away from them through the horror of battle.

The photographs in the exhibition are 15 of those from a new book of the same name. Taken during the 68th and 69th anniversaries by photographer Robin Savage, they are a record of some of the final visits these brave and dignified men and women will make to the places that imprinted themselves indelibly on their lives.

D-Day -The Last of the Liberators is included in general admission to IWM Duxford. Visitors aged 15 and under enjoy free admission to the museum.


The Padre’s Trail in the Land Warfare exhibition
From May 2014

Our Land Warfare exhibition houses one of the finest collections of tanks,military vehicles and artillery in the country. It charts the technological advances that have changed the face of ground warfare.

The Normandy Experience in Land Warfare vividly tells the story of the D-Day Landings through sound, film and military vehicles set in evocative dioramas.

As part of our commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, we are adding a layer of interpretation to The Normandy Experience which gives a very personal view of the D-Day Landings and how it felt to be in the thick of the action.

Captain Leslie Skinner was an army chaplain who landed on the coast of Normandy on the morning of 6 June 1944 with the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry tank regiment. Apart from 29 days spent at home recovering from his wounds, he spent the rest of the war with the Sherwood Rangers as they fought through France and into Germany. It is Captain Skinner’s story that is told in his own voice via extracts from the diary he meticulously kept throughout his time with the Sherwood Rangers.

He saw it as his duty to find the bodies of men who were killed as the Regiment’s tanks advanced. On many occasions, he risked his life to ensure that his comrades’ bodies were recovered or buried. The work could be harrowing and he refused to allow the other tank crews to help.

Padre Skinner travelled all over the front line and the battlefield, talking to the troops and listening to their worries. As this extract from his diary shows, he experienced at first-hand the stark realities of warfare.

25 June 1944: “In burst of machine gun fire I dived into slit trench on top of young soldier… it was his first show and he was all alone. I assured him that the machine gun fire was way up in the air…he picked up a ration box lid and held it above ground. Burst [of fire] cut it in two. It shook me. When firing stopped I moved out. He, poor devil, had to stay. About 11:30…Shrapnel got me across forehead and knocked me out. Lots of blood but soon conscious.”

The Padre’s Trail is included in general admission to IWM Duxford.

(With thanks to Esther Blaine at the IWM)

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 to extend online wills calendar coverage

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

Public Launch Event: Extension of the Will Calendars Application

PRONI will be launching its latest addition to the Will Calendars Application at its headquarters in Titanic Quarter on 13 March 2014 at 12.30pm. 170,000 additional Will index entries will be added to this unique resource covering the period 1918 – 1921, 1944 – 1965 which were proved in Armagh, Belfast and Londonderry District Registries.

This comprehensive index will enable researchers to search over 400,000 Will index entries, between 1858 – 1965, making this an invaluable genealogical resource.

To mark the event, PRONI will host a lunchtime lecture on the subject of Wills and Probates. The first presentation will be given by Wesley Geddis of PRONI who will talk about the range of testamentary papers held by PRONI and provide details of the information they contain. Wesley will also provide a demonstration of the Wills Application to those in attendance.

Nigel Bloomer of the Belfast Probate Office will talk about the work of the Probate Office and will explain more about current probate processes.

This launch event is free to attend and open to the public. Please contact PRONI to reserve your place.
E: proni@dcalni.gov.uk Tel: 028 90 534800
The Heritage Café at PRONI will be open for refreshments before and after this event.

(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.

Monday, 24 February 2014

WDYTYA magazine launches Britain Remembers map

From Who Do You Think You Are magazine:

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? MAGAZINE LAUNCHES WORLD WAR ONE VOLUNTEER PROJECTS MAP

‘Britain Remembers’ map provides central resource for sharing centenary projects

An interactive map of Britain enabling volunteers to 'pin' their First World War centenary projects to share with others has been launched by Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, the UK’s bestselling family history brand. The ‘Britain Remembers’ map will enable the public to discover the diverse range of projects that are occurring across the country to mark the centenary of World War One.

Sarah Williams, Editor of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, commented: "We were hearing about so many projects and events that hard-working volunteers were working on to mark the centenary and yet there was no centralised place where you could discover what was happening in your area. We hope that 'Britain Remembers' will become a central hub that anyone can add their project to whether it's a local event, a transcription project or just a small group who have researched the people on their local war memorial."

The Britain Remembers map can be found on the Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine website at www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/britain-remembers. Anybody involved in a project can add information, photos, videos, audio clips and a link to their project website to the map, and approved additions will benefit from publicity via Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine's Twitter and Facebook account.

Sarah Williams added: "Some family historians may know what is happening in their local area, but may not be aware of what is happening in the area where their WWI ancestors came from. The more projects we can get listed on the Britain Remembers map, the more useful it will become."

Examples of projects that have already been added to the Britain Remembers map include: WW1 – The Saltaire Story; Poppies on houses in Washington; Buckland Brewer in World War 1; West Sussex and the Great War and the Blackham Roll of Honour.

(With thanks to Carolyn Wray)

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 World War exhibition at the Jewish Museum London

News of a forthcoming exhibition in London:

For King and Country?
A major exhibition exploring the Jewish experience of the
First World War at the Jewish Museum London
19 March – 10 August 2014

To commemorate the centenary of the First World War, the Jewish Museum London and Jewish Military Museum are delighted to announce For King and Country?, a major new exhibition exploring the Jewish experience of the First World War, opening on19 March 2014.

The exhibition will investigate the war’s impact on the British Jewish community and raise questions around immigration, divided loyalties and integration at that time. With a Jewish population of nearly 300,000 in Great Britain and a total of over 40,000 Jews serving in the Great War, the exhibition will delve into a significant and often overlooked element of the war.

With a selection of objects, many of which have never been displayed in public before, the exhibition will explore the Jewish experience of war through the voices of individuals and give an extraordinary insight into the difficulties and hardships of life on the front-line. On display for the very first time will be the war diary of Florence Oppenheimer, a military nurse who served on a hospital ship in the Mediterranean and in Palestine and later went on to become a best-selling cookery writer under the name Florence Greenberg. The exhibition will also feature hand written notices made by pioneering Jewish Chaplain Reverend Adler, who organised a service for 200 soldiers during the Battle of Loos, enabling soldiers to continue practicing their faith in the difficult conditions of the trenches. Also exhibited will be the correspondence of Marcus Segal, a soldier who wrote over 160 letters to his parents from the front line until his death in 1917. Displayed in an interactive, digital format, Segal’s letters will shed light on daily life in the trenches and in particular how he kept his Jewish faith in the midst of the turmoil and trauma of war.

On display together for the first time together will be the uniform and Victoria Cross belonging to Frank de Pass, the first Jewish soldier to win the highest military decoration. De Pass was awarded the VC posthumously for his extraordinary bravery on the front-line after leading an attack on a German trench and carrying one of his wounded comrades over no-mans-land to safety. He died the next day trying to take the same trench. As a British-born, Jewish career soldier, de Pass was motivated to serve from a sense of loyalty to his country. Conflict grew between ‘old’ families such as that of de Pass and ‘new’ immigrant families who did not share the same loyalties or motivations to serve. The exhibition will explore this internal conflict showing objects such as a Jewish Chronicle newspaper which on the outbreak of war exhorted Jews to fight; and the work of Isaac Rosenberg, who despite being a fierce critic of the war served in France until his death in 1918. Rosenberg’s original draft of his seminal poem ‘Break of Day in the Trenches’, hailed as the greatest poem written about the First World War will be one of the highlights of the exhibition. Visitors will also hear the voices of conscientious objectors and learn the story of a group of Russian Jews who avoided serving by any means possible.

War affected everyone, not just those on the front-line. The exhibition will explore life for Jews on the home front, including the textile boom which took place in the largely Jewish East End of London, where the majority of soldiers’ uniforms were made. Jewish schools and boys clubs, including the Jewish Lads Brigade, played an active role in the war, providing soldiers for battle and recording the achievements and casualties among old boys. An in-depth look at the presiding politics will examine the rise of Zionism, and the debate between leading figures in the Jewish community who believed that Jewish soldiers should be integrated across the armed forces, versus the promotion of military segregation and all-Jewish fighting forces. Rarely seen footage of the Judeans, a Jewish-only fighting force, marching through the East End of London will be on display.

Jews have always had a great sense of unity. This was broken by the First World War as Jews served on both sides. To illustrate this the exhibition will display a pickelhaube, or spiked German helmet, worn by Julius Weinberg in the German army whose son came to Britain on the Kinder transport.

The final section of the exhibition will explore the legacy of the war in the Jewish community. A need for public remembrance and commemoration led to public memorials and ultimately the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX) and their Annual Remembrance Ceremony at the Cenotaph. Also on display will be the British Jewry Book of Honour which lists names of Jews who served and was compiled in part to counter the claims of anti-Semites who railed against Jews as ‘shirkers’ who had not played their part in the war.

The First World War was a pivotal time of change for the Jewish community in Britain and indeed throughout Europe and the Middle East as they fought to find their place in society and in the world. By exploring the stories of individuals who served on the battlefields or back in Britain the exhibition will allow the visitor to understand the experience of ordinary Jews in the face of war.

Jewish Museum London, Raymond Burton House, Albert Street, London, NW1 7NB.
Nearest tube: Camden Town. Open Sunday – Wednesday: 10.00 – 17.00,
Thursday: 10.00 – 21.00, Friday: 10.00 – 14.00
General Enquiries: 02073847384
Website: www.jewishmuseum.org.uk/kingandcountry

(With thanks to Kate Hassell)

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 talk - Ghaelphobal Feirste le Brighid Mhic Sheáin

Details of a forthcoming PRONI Lunchtime Talk in Belfast...

Ghaelphobal Feirste le Brighid Mhic Sheáin
Belfast’s Irish Speaking Community by Brighid Mhic Sheáin

Introduced by Jake MacSiacais, Director of Forbairt Feirste
Followed by a PRONI presentation

Fáilte roimh cách / Everyone Welcome

Simultaneous translation from Irish to English

WHERE: PRONI
WHEN: 1.00-2.00pm, Wednesday 12 March 2014
Admission is FREE, booking is essential

Please contact PRONI to secure your place:
E: proni@dcalni.gov.uk
T: 028 90534800

The Heritage Cafe at PRONI will be open from 9.00am to 4.00pm
PRONI is approximately 1½ miles from Belfast City Hall
By bus, please take the Metro 26 route

(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.

The Future of Genealogy - discussion panel on Unlock the Past cruise

One of the highlights of the recent Unlock the Past cruise based genealogy conference in Australia was a discussion panel session chaired by American based genealogist Thomas MacEntee. The panel consisted of Australian genealogists Shauna Hicks and Mike Murray, Kirsty Gray of the Guild of One Named Studies, and myself, and was entitled The Future of Genealogy.

Shauna has now written up a summary account of the questions asked by Thomas and the answers we returned, covering a range of topics. Although in parts the Australian and British based perspectives differ slightly, for the most part the topics covered seemed to produce a picture that was consistent on both sides of the planet.

To read Shauna's account of the discussion, visit www.shaunahicks.com.au/the-future-of-genealogy-as-seen-from-feb-2014/.

(With thanks to both Shauna and Thomas)

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.

Fife Family History Fair

I've been asked to give Fife Family History Fair a quick plug, which will be taking place at the Rothes Halls, Glenrothes on September 20th 2014.

The show will have a First World War anniversary theme and will include talks on researching military ancestors.

For further details visit www.fifefamilyhistoryfair.org.uk.

(With thanks to Jacqueline Hunter)

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.

Who Do You Think You Are Live 2014 Glasgow - rates

A few days ago it was announced that Who Do You Think You Are Live will be heading north for the first time to Scotland, to take place at the SECC in Glasgow from August 29th-31st.

For those considering exhibiting at the show, the following is a breakdown of the exhibitor costs:
  • Shell Scheme £140 per square metre
  • Space only £120 per square metre
  • Family History Societies £140 per table
  • Commercial business £350 per table 
NB: All prices are subject to VAT.


For further details contact David Showler via the following details:

Tel: 01179 338070 Email: David.Showler@immediate.co.uk
Genealogy Events, 5th Floor, Fairfax Street, Bristol BS1 3BN

Keep an eye out on www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com for further announcements on the formal programme.

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.

TreeView mobile app released by The Genealogist

At Who Do You Think You Are Live I was told of a new TreeView mobile app from TheGenealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk), but did not pick up the press release for this - thanks to David Osborne for sending a copy through.

Take your family history discoveries with you wherever you go.

New FREE family history app now available- ‘TreeView Mobile’ app enters the market, compatible with all iOS and Android Devices.
  • Free App designed for use on all Android and iOS devices
  • Access your family tree at all times, wherever you are
  • Clear and simple interface making it very easy to use
  • Multiple tree designs to choose from
  • Flexible Privacy option for peace of mind

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2014 sees the official launch of the new TreeView Mobile app from TheGenealogist. The highly regarded TreeView online family tree builder can now be viewed, updated and taken to family gatherings on a phone and tablet too. Also, you’ll still be able to access your family tree and saved details on your mobile device with the TreeView app, even when you don’t have a connection to the internet!

TreeView is a powerful tool in online family tree building and the app now brings the ability to add, modify and view your family history via any mobile device. Complete with the popular option of a variety of tree styles, you have everything available at your fingertips on the move!

Features include:
  • Dynamic and clear layout with a flexible number of tree designs, allowing you a choice of family tree style layouts- from Pedigree, Hourglass, Ancestors or Descendants
  • Privacy Options are flexible so users can keep their information just to themselves or share with family and friends
  • Adding and amending information is easily done from within the app. It’s also easy to upload photos, add ancestors, alter dates and record other information you come across
  • Access and download information easily from TheGenealogist and other family history research sources
  • Build your family tree faster by connecting with Facebook

Mark Bayley, Head of Online Content at TheGenealogist comments: “With more people accessing the internet via mobile devices, we’ve designed an app that makes it possible for family historians to have their family history to hand at all times, in a format that is both easy to use and attractive to view. We’ve listened to our users wishes and tailored an app to their full requirements, to give them the best app experience possible.”

For more details and more information, please visit www.TheGenealogist.co.uk/app.

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, 23 February 2014

British Newspaper Archive additions

As the British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) approaches seven and half million pages of content hosted online, here are the additions to the site in the last 30 days:

Birmingham Daily Gazette 1865 - 1889
Birmingham Daily Mail, The 1884 - 1900
Birmingham Gazette 1880
Birmingham Journal 1837
Bolton Evening News 1869
Bradford Daily Telegraph 1875
Bucks Free Press 1947
Burnley News, The 1924, 1932
Coventry Standard 1856 - 1889
Daily Herald, The 1914 - 1926
Dublin Evening Mail 1824, 1826
Dumfries and Galloway Standard 1875, 1892
Gloucester Journal 1794, 1797 - 1802
Luton News and Bedfordshire Chronicle, The 1950 - 1953
North & South Shields Gazette and Northumberland and Durham Advertiser 1852
Northants Evening Telegraph 1904
Sports Argus, The 1914 - 1915
Surrey Comet, and General Advertiser, The 1878 - 1879
Yorkshire Evening Post 1910, 1917 - 1920, 1934, 1954
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, The 1866, 1871, 1883, 1887, 1894, 1902, 1904, 1912 - 1913, 1919 - 1922, 1927, 1938 - 1939

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.

IAJGS International Conferences on Jewish Genealogy

At Who Do You Think You Are Live I picked up a couple of leaflets on two major conferences being held by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS), in 2014 and 2015.

The 34th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy is to be held at the Hilton Salt Lake City Centre in Utah, USA, from July 27th - August 1st. There will be over 150 programms to enhance research, as well as a look at the First World War. For more information visit www.iajgs2014.org.

If unable to attend, a special live stream version of the conference will also be available, in the form of IAJGS Conference LIVE!, which will offer over 50 recordings that will be accessible up to three months after the event. This will cost US$149. Again, details are available via the website.

From July 6th-10th 2015, the 35th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy is to be held in Jerusalem. It is still early days on that one, but for further information at this stage visit the conference website at www.iajgs2015.org or contact organisers at info@iajgs2015.org.

(With thanks to the JGSGB)

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 and California resources on Ancestry

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has several new databases online that may be of use for British ancestors who emigrated to Canada and the United States.

California, Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1850-1941
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=8797

California, Death and Burial Records from Select Counties, 1873-1987
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=8835

Newfoundland, Canada, Index of Birth, Marriage & Death Notices from Newspapers, 1810–1890
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=9275

Canada, Seafarers of the Atlantic Provinces, 1860-1899
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=9274

Several previously released British parish records collections for Manchester (Anglican) and Liverpool (Roman Catholic) have also been updated, though there is no indication as to the nature of the update. See www.ancestry.co.uk/cs/reccol/default.

Finally, I was asked a question before on the Unlock the Past genealogy cruise, concerning Swedish ancestry. I was not able to answer at the time, but I notice that Ancestry has the following collection, which has also been updated: Sweden, Indexed Birth Records, 1870-1941 (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=2262). I can't remember who it was who asked the question, but I hope this helps if you read this post!

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.

Free PRONI workshop in March

News of a forthcoming workshop from PRONI in Belfast (www.proni.gov.uk):

PRONI: Showcase of Resources
27 February 2014, 6.00-8.00pm

In partnership with Digital Circle, PRONI is hosting a workshop showcasing the resources available to researchers and developers.

PROGRAMME
• Introduction - Maggie Smith
• As true as I’m standing here: amazing anecdotes from the archives - Ann McVeigh
• Photographic Collections at PRONI - Joy Carey
• Map Collections at PRONI - Wesley Geddis
• Politics and Power: The Londonderry Papers - Lorraine Bourke
• Questions to the Speakers
• Close - Stephen McGowan

This event is organised by PRONI with the support of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and in partnership with Digital Circle.

Admission is free. To register please please copy and paste the following link into your Internet browser: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/digital-circle-showcase-event-at-proni-tickets-10628581373.

A second showcase on First World War sources at PRONI will be held 20 March 2014, 6.00-8.00pm.

The Heritage Cafe at PRONI will be open from 9.00am to 4.00pm
PRONI is approximately 1½ miles from Belfast City Hall
By bus, please take the Metro 26 route

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 talk at the Braid in Ballymena

Through the British Genes Facebook page I've just been asked by Alan Rosborough to mention a forthcoming talk hosted by the Ballymena branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society on Wednesday 30th April 2014 @ 7:15 pm, to be held in the Braid, Ballymena (www.thebraid.com).

Dr Maurice Gleeson will give a talk on How DNA can help you research your North of Ireland family tree. Tickets cost £5 available from the Braid or from a committee member.

Some additonal blurb:

The Renowned DNA expert, Dr Maurice J Gleeson from London will be the guest speaker at a special meeting of the Ballymena Branch on Wednesday 30th April 2014. The Branch has hired the main Theatre for the event as there is considerable interest in DNA testing and how to learn more about your ancestry. He makes this complex subject easy to understand. Dr Gleeson is a qualified doctor, born in Dublin and worked for some time in the Lagan Valley Hospital in the late 80's before moving to London. He is a psychiatrist, pharmaceutical physician and part-time actor. He left medical practice to pursue his acting career and has been successful in films and voice overs. He has never given a talk in N. Ireland but has given several in Dublin. When researching our Family Tree in Ireland it is often difficult beyond 1800 because of the lack of records. However with DNA testing it will be possible to get beyond that ‘Brick Wall’ and verify existing research, discover living relatives and confirm or deny connections between families.

(With thanks to Alan)

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.

Who Do You Think You Are Live 2014 - report

Another year's Who Do You Think You Are Live event is over, though for the first time I attended only the first two days of the three day event (largely due to jet lag after my Oz trip, and a real need to sleep!).

A first for the event itself was to pull the scheduling forward by a day, so that the three day programme fell on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and not the usual Friday to Sunday. Going by the attendance I witnessed on Thursday and Friday, I have to wonder about the wisdom of that decision, though reports from the last day do seem to indicate a much busier final day's attendance. Thursday's attendance felt to me like the lowest I had ever witnessed for a single day at the show, not really picking up until midday, though Friday's seemed higher and more par for the course. For those who have not attended the show before at Kensington Olympia, here is a quick view of the main shop floor from the upstairs gallery (http://youtu.be/o9AHw3cYRDk)...



Normally when I attend the show, there are several major announcements from vendors of new record sets, but this year there were not a lot of major developments. FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk), for example, normally goes to town each year with a new themed set based on a major record collection being promoted, and I had assumed this year the theme might be India, with its new India Office records collection having been just released online. In fact, the set used was the same as that utilised last year, from what I could see, with some reused costumes also. Despite perhaps lacking the usual visual wow factor this year, this in fact hid some major developments going on behind the scenes with the company, as relayed to me in a conversation with the company's Debra Chatfield.

Within the next couple of months, a new online search platform will be implemented on the FindmyPast site, subject to user feedback, and several more local authority derived record sets will be made available for English counties such as Shopshire, Devonshire and Yorkshire. The British Library sourced electoral registers will be going online, though this will be only for districts with a first letter beginning with A-L. This is because the British Library itself has only microfilmed these records, and not the later books for districts from M-Z. Debra did suggest that if the dataset became popular, it might encourage the British Library to look at the later records for microfilming, though that is not currently on the books by the sounds of it. Another major forthcoming development lies with the Periodical Source Index, aka PERSI - although the index itself is online, FindmyPast is ambitiously hoping to actually link the index entries to copies of the original articles themselves. And that is a whole new definition of ambition! If successful, however, that will become a major resource for genealogists in years to come.

I caught up briefly with Nigel and Mark Bayley at The Genealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk). It was really sad not to be able to see Sue Bayley there this year, she having unfortunately passed away just a few weeks ago, but despite such a recent blow to the family The Genealogist team were as hard at work as ever, pushing several new datasets and running their own talks programme. For more on their newest developments, including a major announcement on English and Welsh tithes records, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/new-tithes-and-headstones-databases.html. Exhibiting at the show for the first time was Australian based Unlock the Past, exhibiting to raise awareness of its new genealogical cruises venture (www.unlockthepastcruises.com) - it was a tad bizarre to see Alan Phillips, Rosemary Kopittke, Helen Smith and Jan Gow at the show, as I only left them a few days ago down under! They seemed to deal with the jet lag better... :)  A huge thanks to Jan for demonstrating her Brookstone scanner mouse - it's a computer mouse that is also a scanner. I soooo want one...!!!(See http://www.brookstone.com/scanner-mouse)!

Elsewhere, I caught up briefly with the team at Deceased Online (www.deceasedonline.com), the news there being that a new subscription is about to be launched, providing unlimited access for a set fee - the reason they can now do this is that they now have enough records online to justify this as the next stage of their development. The subscription fee is £89 annually, but there are some omissions in terms of what can be accessed, mainly cemetery maps (for licensing reasons). The new sub details are available via the site.

As far as I was concerned though, the biggest news event of the whole show was the presence of the General Register Office of Northern Ireland for the first time, and the news of their forthcoming ScotlandsPeople style records platform in (hopefully) early April. It was certainly the case that the team were blown away by the interest - I don't think they quite knew what was going to hit them. As a wise man in a shark infested film once said, for their next venture at WDYTYA Live, they're "going to need a bigger boat"! I have previously blogged a fuller report on this development at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/the-new-gro-northern-ireland-records.html.


It was interesting to also see the new set up for ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) at the show, which alongside ScotlandsPlaces (www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk) and the National Records of Scotland (www.nrscotland.gov.uk) all occupied a new, and much more centrally located stand. So Scotland and Northern Ireland both had major initiatives on display for the online access of statutory UK based birth, marriage and death records - whilst the General Register Office for England and Wales, also in attendance... well, it didn't. It really does get harder each year to feel supportive of an agency that seems determined to remain resident in the dusty past surrounded by tumbleweed, and rapidly becoming a national embarrassment - but that is no comment on the professionalism of those at the organisation's stand itself, who I assume probably had to answer the question "when will your records be going online?" more times than they had hot dinners!


I briefly caught up with Alison Wallace from DC Thompson Family History, who worked on the ScotlandsPeople terminals, and she mentioned that the big forthcoming project now is Lives of the First World War (www.livesofthefirstworldwar.org), a project in partnership with the Imperial War Museum.There was in fact a well attended stall on the first floor for the initiative, as indeed there was for a long overdue return to the event of the National Archives (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk) from Kew. Last year they did appear to give some talks, but this year they were back with what they should never have departed with a few years ago - advice desks. Great to see them back! Sadly, that was not something that could be said of the National Archives of Ireland, again absent, though the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (www.proni.gov.uk) and the National Library of Wales (www.llgc.org.uk) were again there to fly their respective flags and to equally offer advice - Stephen Scarth from PRONI looking particularly well tanned, having just got off the plane from Cuba to do his talk at the show! Eneclann (www.eneclann.ie) was present from the Republic of Ireland, however, offering help on their stall and participating at the FindmyPast stand, with whom they are in partnership on the Irish version of the site.



Sticking with the Irish, I did my Ulsterly duty and signed up for another year's membership of the North of Ireland Family History Society (http://nifhs.org). Ann Robinson of the group kindly gave me a copy of a new publication, "Researching Your Ancestors in the North of Ireland: County Cavan", which I will review in the next day or so, but suffice to say it is a decent looking wee number with lots to offer! More on that soon... I also managed to have brief chats with the Anglo-German FHS, the Jewish Genealogy Society of Great Britain, One Stop Genealogy, and many others.

In addition to catching up with folk, I gave two talks at the event. The first was entitled Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, attended by amongst others, American blogger Dick Eastman, who gave it a favourable review at http://goo.gl/e5UnNx (about 23 minutes in). At a dinner later in the evening hosted by FindmyPast, Dick was given a well deserved certificate by the Society of Genealogists recognising his blogging work. After this talk I caught up with Peter Calver from Lost Cousins (www.lostcousins.com) to discuss plans for the Genealogy in the Sunshine event he is organising in a few weeks time in Portugal. I'll be attending this with other speakers including Else Churchill, John Hanson and Debbie Kennett - it should be good craic! Peter's site is free to access this weekend and until Tuesday night, so do pop along and see if you can make any family connections via historic census entries.

My second talk was British Civilian Prisoners of War in First World War Germany, which was attended by many folk who had an ancestral connection to the Ruhleben internment camp near Berlin, which housed some 5500 civilian POWs from 1914-1918. In addition I also did an hour on the Society of Genealogists expert advice area, handling several Scottish based enquiries, and a two hour stint on the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd stall, for whom I teach the Scottish courses - remember that my next Scottish Research Online starts next Thursday February 27th, and there are still spaces if interested! (See http://pharostutors.com).

Finally, it is worth mentioning some developments concerning Who Do You Think You Are Live itself. As previously announced (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/wdytya-live-to-come-to-glasgow-in-august.html), the show will be attending the Glasgow based SECC in late August, but there were big question marks about where it will actually be in England next year.

It seems that the Earls Court conference centre, not too far away from Kensington Olympia, is about to be demolished, with the result of additional pressure being placed on the Olympia venue. I heard several rumours at the show that the slot for the event next year had already been booked by another show, with the result that it might be moved - to later in February, perhaps in May, or possibly even to the NEC in Birmingham. Whatever the plans are, we could certainly do with hearing about them sooner than later. Personally speaking, I would love to see the show in Birmingham, or even Manchester - although successful in London, the capital should not have a God given right to constantly host the event in England, placing many societies across Britain at a financial disadvantage to exhibit in the most expensive part of the island. I look forward to hearing what the future holds for the show down south in due course.

A huge thanks to all those I caught up with, tweeted up with, drank with, ate with, advised and sought advice from at the two days I was there - and hopefully see you at the Glasgow event in a few months time...!

A few more pics of interest (apologies for the resolution, I had to use my iPad!)










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 tithes and headstones databases from TheGenealogist

The Genealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk) launched a few new items on its site at the Who Do You Think You Are Live conference, including a major project on English and Welsh tithes records. The following is a summary of the new initiatives:

National Collection of Tithe Records

This database of tithe records from England and Wales, dating to 1836, will provide some 11 million records upon completion. It will be released in two phases - the first will reveal all tenants and landowners from over 11000 English and Welsh parishes, noting if they owned the land they resided on, how the land was used, and more. The second phases, expected in Spring 2014, will add images of microfilmed maps with the plot references. The third and final phase, due 20-15, will see high resolution colour maps made available of the large original maps.

The tithes records are sourced from the Kew based National Archives series collections IR29 and IR30.

UPDATE: I previously could not find this on the site when I got home from London, but thanks to the comment below from 'Arkessian' for the heads up that the dataset is to be found at the Poll, Electoral Rolls and Landowners section - the site has obviously been updated since I last looked!


International Headstone Image Database

This is a new project to try to preserve information found on headstones, following on from the company's recent acquisition of a site called Last Resting Place (www.LastRP.com). Located via The Genealogist's UK Indexer project, the headstone project, hosted at www.ukindexer.co.uk/headstone, is described as follows:

TheGenealogist is starting a new project for 2014 to photograph and transcribe churchyards from around the country. We are building the most comprehensive record of headstones for family research and help preserve the memories these fragile stones provide.

A breath of fresh air
Enjoy the outdoor life, genealogy or photography? Join our project and photograph headstones in your area.

We are looking for volunteers to take the pictures as well as transcribe records.

Earn credits to spend on family history
With every stone photographed or transcribed you will be earning credits to spend against subscriptions at TheGenealogist or products at GenealogySupplies.


Parish Records

The Genealogist has also added 1.5 million new Anglican parish records to its site for churches based in Essex, Worcestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset. The records date back to the 1500s.

(With thanks to Nigel Bayley)

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.

FIBIS weekend conference

The Families in British India Society (www.fibis.org) will be hosting a weekend conference at the Best Western Manor Hotel, Meriden, Warwickshire from May 16th-18th 2014.

Amongst a range of activities will be discussion groups, a presentation of the new FindmyPast India Office records collection, genealogy help and advice surgeries, workshops, and several talks from speakers inclusing Charles Allen, Peter Bailey, Gill Blanchard, Anne de Courcy, John Keay, Sylvia Murphy, Jayne Shrimpton, Hedley Sutton, Philip Geddes and Michael Gandy.

The full programme, and details on how to sign up, is accessible at www.conference2014.fibis.org.

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 and Lost Cousins - free access

Data supplier Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) and census records connections facilitator Lost Cousins (www.lostcousins.com) are both providing free access to their respective sites.

Ancestry's free access expires 23.59 GMT Sunday 23rd, whilst Lost Cousins free access expires end of play next Tuesday 25th.

Have fun!

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, 21 February 2014

The new GRO Northern Ireland records platform

Everything comes to those who wait!

The General Register Office of Northern Ireland is currently in London demonstrating its new ScotlandsPeople style records platform, and I`ve been able to have a wee look. Verdict - it`s going to be great!

The site will be very similar to the Scottish site, with closure periods for access to the birth records less than 100 years old, marriages less than 75 and deaths less than 50. On the down side, this unfortunately includes the indexes, not the case with Scotland. However, if all goes well the site will be up and running by early April (not March 14th as previously reported), and the cost will be 40p per enhanced search (a basic search will be free), and a record image £2 - these prices should be confirmed very soon.

Searches will return the following details:

Births
Basic search (free):
Registration district, year, surname, first forename, sex, mother`s maiden surname

Further details from Enhanced search (one credit):
Sub-district, district of birth, date of birth, child`s second forename, mother`s surname and forename, father`s surname and forename

Marriages
Basic search (free):
District, year, surname of subject of search, forename of subject of search

Further details from Enhanced (one credit):
Place of marriage, date of marriage, surnames and forenames of both parties to marriage, date of birth/age

Deaths
Basic search (free):
Registration district, year, surname, first forename, sex

Further details from Enhanced search (one credit):
Sub-district and district of death, date of death, second forename, date of birth/age at death, marital status

As can be seen, quite a lot of details will be available from an enhanced search alone, but the full certificate images will also add more, including occupations and addresses.

Keep an eye out, not long to go now! Although not yet active, the new website address granting access will be www.nidirect.gov.uk/family-history

Oh - and I hear the GRO in the Republic of Ireland is very interested to see how the northern platform works out. Will a southern equivalent soon be on the cards?!

(With thanks to GRONI)

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, 19 February 2014

Who Do You Think You Are Live 2014

Having just returned from Australia yesterday, I'm heading out of the house shortly to get the train to London for the Who Do You Think You Are Live event (www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com).

I'll be attending for just two days this year, rather than all three, with the following my commitments at the event:

Thursday 20th February

2.45pm Talk: Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records
45 mins - Celebrity Theatre/SoG studio 1
Full details at www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/workshop/discover-scottish-civil-registration-records


Friday 21st February

10am-12pm - I'll be on the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd stand, discussing Pharos courses, including my Scottish Research Online and Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs courses

1pm-2pm. I'll be providing free genealogical advice on Scottish and Irish research at the Society of Genealogists' Ask the Experts area on the upper gallery area

4.15pm Talk: British Civilian Prisoners of War in First World War Germany
45 mins - SoG studio 4/WW1 ancestors
Full details at www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/workshop/british-civilian-prisoners-war-first-world-war-germany

Apart from this, I will be floating all over the place, so feel free to stop and ask for a bit of advice on any Irish or Scottish genealogy problems, and I'll help if I can - I'm always good for a blether!

Don't forget to check out the Pen and Sword at Stand 410, where you can obtain copies of my books Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, and the newly released second edition of my Tracing Your Family History on the Internet. Also present for the first time is Unlock the Past from Australia, which will be advertising their forthcoming genealogical cruises, as well as their genealogy ebooks - you'll find details there of several titles I've written for them, including Discover Scottish Church Records, Discover Scottish Land Records, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, with more on the way soon - they will be on Stand 932.

See you there... :)

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.

FamilySearch adds WW1 Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Records

FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org) has added a new First World War collection, United Kingdom, World War I Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Records.

The collection contains service records of some 7000 women who joined the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) / Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC) between 1917 and 1920, as sourced from series WO 398 at The National Archives at Kew. Amongst the documents included for each individual are enrolment forms and statements of service.

The collection can be browsed (not yet searchable) at https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2126214

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.

WDYTYA Live to come to Glasgow in August

A second Who Do You Think You Are Live event is apparently coming to the SECC in Glasgow from August 29th-31st, as part of Homecoming Scotland. Dick Eastman has the full story at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2014/02/who-do-you-think-you-are-live-to-hold-a-second-event-in-glasgow.html

This is interesting - will it be a major event as in London, or a tag on event? What are the rates for those wishing to exhibit, and will some of the key vendors wish to pay twice in one year to attend a show so branded? Will it attract vendors in Scotland and the north of England previously unwilling to fork out for the high costs associated with the London show (where accommodation and travel have previously further burdened the total costs involved)?

It seems quite a late announcement, coming just days before the February event (I'm on a train in the morning for London to attend), but it will be interesting to see if it succeeds on its first foray away from the south of England. Keep an eye on the organisation's website at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com for further details in due course.

(With thanks to Dick Eastman)

Update: For exhibitor enquiries please contact David Showler on david.showler@immediate.co.uk - the story itself seems to be missing from the main WDYTYA Live site, but the full press release is available at Visit Scotland, at www.visitscotland.org/media_centre/who_do_you_think_you_are.aspx.

Chris

My 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, 18 February 2014

Cornwall guide added to FamilySearch wiki site

FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org) has added a wiki page detailing how to research in Cornwall at https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Cornwall.

The full announcement is at https://familysearch.org/blog/en/free-guide-cornwall-england-ancestors.

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.

Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church records online

From Emerald Ancestors (www.emeraldancestors.com):

Baptismal records for Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church in the parish of Bangor, County Down have now been added to the birth database.

These entries cover the period 1841 to 1901 inclusive, and include the Child’s name, Father’s name, Mother’s Maiden name, Date of Birth & Date of Baptism. Townland is also included in a number of entries in the database.

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.

More Aberdeenshire records added to Deceased Online

From Deceased Online (www.deceasedonline.com):

We've started a long project to upload all burial records for all of the 200+ burial grounds managed by Aberdeenshire Council

Records for 20 burial grounds have just been added to the database joining those for Peterhead's historic St Peter's Churchyard and main cemetery.

The records will comprise scans of original registers (example above) many of which contain a wonderful range of information; grave details identifying all those buried in each lair; cemetery section maps.

Records - which date back to the early 17th Century - will be added over the next months and we hope to complete the entire collection by late spring.

The cemeteries are as follows:

Belhelvie
Essie
Forbes
Glass
Huntley
Kinnior
Kinnernie
Leslie
Midmar
Oyne
Rhynie
Ruthven
Slains
Tullynessle
Wallakirk
Ythanwells

(With thanks to Deceased 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.