Monday, 31 March 2014

GRONI launches online civil records platform

I've just spent the day in Glasgow researching a family with connections to both Scotland and Ulster. The Scottish end is just about resolved - if only there was a handy online one stop shop for Northern Irish vital records?

Et voila! At long last, the new ScotlandsPeople style records site from the General Register Office for Northern Ireland is up and running at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/family-history. I've just done a test purchase and so far so good.

You need to register with the site first, before you can begin. To do so, visit https://geni.nidirect.gov.uk/Account/Register. Once sorted, you can now start to search the records at the main platform page at https://geni.nidirect.gov.uk/

The site is inspired by ScotlandsPeople - but it is not ScotlandsPeople, the mechanics are quite a bit different. You can search for records and view records, but it appears that you cannot download those records. In fact, GRONI is quite specific about what you cannot do - if you right click on any record purchased, a message pops up stating GRONI prohibits the customer from printing images, downloading images, taking screen shots of images. For this reason, the only image I am using here is the basic search introduction page (I had hoped to show an illustrated walkthrough).

There are four search categories, including one that I was not aware was going to appear. These are:

Search for a birth registration
You can search for and view the record of any birth older than one hundred years

Search for a marriage registration
You can search for and view the record of any marriage older than seventy five years

Search for a death registration
You can search for and view the record of any death older than fifty years

Search for a WWII registration
You can search for any death from the period from 1939-1954.

And just to be entirely beautiful about the whole thing, GRONI have added a townland map facility for the whole of Northern Ireland at https://geni.nidirect.gov.uk/TownlandMaps.

I did a test purchase for a marriage record, to test out the workings. The basic search was free. When the results were returned - there were two possibilities - I could have spent a credit at 40p to see an enhanced result, but I did not need to, as both the grooms' full names and the brides' surnames were both displayed in the free search result, allowing me to select the correct event. That was good enough for me, so I simply purchased the full record required for just £2. I could use a zoom box to magnify parts of the record, though I have found this to be a little glitchy.

The record purchased was from Omagh, and was given a digital registration number of M/1880/Y1/2262/40/140 by GRONI. I'm not quite sure what the 2262/40 refers to, but the 140 is definitely the entry number. The original classification number for the centralised copy at the GRO in Dublin was Jul-Sep 1880, Vol 2 p.193, but I think I'm right in saying that GRONI's marriage records are actually sourced from local registration offices in the north, not the GRO returns - I will need to double check that!

Some down sides - the thou shalt not edict about saving a copy gets worse, in that you only have a 72 hour period to see the record once purchased - unlike ScotlandsPeople, there is no permanent digital copy saved in your account by the looks of it. Despite the instructions, I suspect that as a consequence the Print Screen button is going to find favour with the descendants of many Northern Irish ancestors. And one thing about ScotlandsPeople was its very name - how inspiring! A mission statement that became a brand! Whereas, until I find a name for the service somewhere, the NI offering appears to be the Research family history at the General Register Office (NI) GRONI Order a Cert section. I won't lie. The name's a passion killer...

Despite these wee niggles, the new GRONI website is affordable, accessible from home, and about to revolutionise family history across the water - one can only hope that both the GRO in Dublin and Southport are paying very close attention to this.

Well done Belfast!

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Scottish Genealogy Network visit to the John Gray Centre in Haddington

The Scottish Genealogy Network visited the John Gray Centre in Haddington yesterday, the main archive for East Lothian, and I went along for the visit (after a quick visit to North Berwick an hour before, just to see what was there, which turns out to be quite a lot by the looks of it!).

We were well looked after by both library and archive staff at Haddington - a full report on what we is available on the SGN blog at http://scottishgenealogynetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/visit-to-john-gray-centre-in-haddington.html, along with details of how to get in touch if you work professionally within the Scottish genealogy industry and wish to attend one of our meetings.


Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Unlock the Past Cruises - provisional 2015 Baltic cruise schedule

Unlock the Past Cruises have announced a provisional schedule for the first of its two Baltic genealogy cruises next year, currently expected to commence in July and to run for 14 days. The schedule is provisional still, as the cruise operators have yet to formally confirm their plans, but the following provides an indication of what to expect, starting from and returning to Southampton in the south of England:


Full details are available at the Unlock the Past Cruises blog at www.unlockthepastcruises.com/uncategorized/1st-baltic-cruise-provisional-announcement/.

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Edinburgh City Archives - temporary searchroom closure

From Edinburgh City Archives (www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/428/archives):

*IMPORTANT CUSTOMER NOTICE*

Due to a refurbishment programme Edinburgh City Archives public searchroom shall be closed from Monday the 31st March 2014.

We intend to re-open on Tuesday the 15th April 2014 but before travelling we would advise everyone to contact the City Archives on 0131 529 4616 or archives@edinburgh.gov.uk for up to date advice.

(With thanks to @GenealogyGirl on Twitter)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Durhams Records Online additions

The latest releases from Durham Records Online (www.durhamrecordsonline.com):

South Shields St. John Presbyterian baptisms 1742-1857
2,264 baptisms at St. John's Presbyterian church (and previous meeting places of this congregation) in South Shields, from the start of the register in 1742 to the end of June 1857. These are the earliest known records for this congregation, which was the oldest Presbyterian congregation in South Shields, and one of the oldest in Northern England.

Durham Wesleyan Methodist Circuit baptisms 1841-1856, 1860-1870
1,939 baptisms on the Durham Wesleyan Methodist Circuit, covering 1841-1856 and 1860-1870. This is the first addition we have made to this collection since Oct 2008. These filled all of the gaps we had, so we now have continuous coverage of this circuit from 1815 to 1957. Unfortunately, the baptism register between Apr 1837 and August 1841 did not survive, or if it did, its location is unknown and it has not been filmed by the Durham Record Office.

Hartlepool Methodist baptisms
Baptisms at three Methodist churches in Hartlepool and West Hartlepool:
  • 2,345 baptisms at Brougham Street Primitive Methodist Church from 1834 to Sep 1897. This church was demolished in 1965.
  • 398 baptisms at the Wesley Chapel covering 1855 to Feb 1874. This chapel was on Brunswick Street in West Hartlepool, dedicated on 28 May 1855. The congregation quickly outgrew the premises, and a new site was chosen in 1871, on the corner of Raby Rd. and Victoria Rd. The new church, which became known as the Big Wesley, was dedicated on 21 Jan 1873. It closed in 1973, but is still standing today.
  • 397 baptisms covering Sep 1855 to Oct 1868 at the Wesley Reform Chapel in West Hartlepool, which opened on 8 June 1851 but no longer exists. The records for this church, at the Teesside Archives, call this location Cambridge Place, but one announcement of its opening says it was on Church Street and that another Reform chapel had also opened in Hartlepool in 1851, but the address is not given.

Stella burials 1852-1956
1,562 burials at Stella St. Cuthbert in Gateshead district from the beginning of 1852 to early 1956.

Hartlepool St. Paul marriages 1906-1935
2,189 marriages at West Hartlepool St. Paul from March 1906 to the end of April 1935. These are fully-detailed civil-registration-era marriages and include the witnesses. This gives us a continuous run of almost 50 years of marriages at this church since the parish of St. Paul was spun off from Stranton All Saints in Nov 1885.

Hartlepool St. Luke marriages 1934-1937
99 marriages at West Hartlepool St. Luke from Sep 1934 to the end of 1937. These are fully-detailed civil-registration-era marriages and include the witnesses.

Earsdon baptisms 1837-1844 enhanced with more information
Updated our existing 1,241 baptisms covering 1837-1844 at Earsdon St. Alban (and its subsidiary chapel at Blyth) in Tynemouth district. Most baptisms gained the following information: mother's maiden surname, the birth places of both parents, and the child's birth date. Starting in Oct 1838, the name of the parish in which the parents married is also included in most of these baptisms. We also corrected a few minor spelling errors in names.
If you purchased a baptism at Earsdon in this period, you should review it to see if any information was added or changed. Log in, click My Account, then click the My Orders tab to see your purchases. If a significant change, such as a name or date, was made, you have already been emailed.

Coming Soon:
  • Hurworth pre-1813 baptisms & burials
  • Benfieldside (aka Blackhill or Consett) Cemetery burials 1862-1920
  • Forest & Frith burials 1852-1901
  • Heighington baptisms & burials 1822-1847
  • Tynemouth baptisms 1827-32

(With thanks to Durham Records Online)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

More on 2021 census

I carried a story yesterday (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/scotland-to-have-2021-census.html) that the Scottish census is now being prepared for in 2021 as an online afair, and in the NRS statement there was mention that England and Wales were doing similar. I've just received the following from the Federation of Family History Societies (www.ffhs.org.uk), a note from Ian Cope, Director of Population and Demography Directorate about recommendations by the National Statistician for England and Wales, Jil Matheson, on the way forward for census and population statistics south of the border.

These are the recommendations:
  • An online census of all households and communal establishments in England and Wales in 2021 as a modern successor to the traditional, paper-based decennial census. ONS recognises that special care would need to be taken to support those who are unable to complete the census online.

This would be combined with:

Increased use of administrative data and surveys in order to enhance the statistics from the 2021 Census and improve annual statistics between censuses.
  • Together these would make the best use of all available data to provide the population statistics which England and Wales require and offer a springboard to the greater use of administrative data and annual surveys in the future.
  • Further research is to be carried out over the coming months and years to determine the most appropriate blend of methods and data sources.

Full details are available at file:///H:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Chris/My%20Documents/Downloads/thecensusandfutureprovisionofpopulationstatisticsinenglandandwalesrecommendation2603_tcm77-358009.pdf

Interestingly, the message notes "The Government will respond in due course" - so perhaps not quite 100% there yet in England and Wales, though it does now seem likely to happen.

The devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland have responsibility for our censuses in the rest of the UK - I'm not sure that Northern Ireland has announced its plans yet.

(With thanks to Beryl Evans)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

What if Richard III isn't Richard III?

Here's a good one - what if the skeleton found in the car park isn't Richard III? Two English history professors suggest that Richard's grandmother Jean Beaufort had 16 children, and that some of her descendants may also have fought and died alongside Richard at Bosworth. They would also carry the same mitochondrial DNA that Richard did. The discovery of mitochondrial DNA, passed down the maternal line, was used to help prove the origins of the bones found in Leicester - but what if it is actually one of Richard's relatives?

You can't beat a good cat amongst the pigeons story! Further coverage is in the Independent newspaper at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/richard-iii-expert-the-skeleton-in-the-car-park-may-not-be-the-missing-monarch-after-all-9219513.html

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Family History at the Mitchell - review

I popped into Glasgow earlier to have a look at the new genealogy set up at the Mitchell Library, which reopened its family history resources today after a move to the fifth floor (from the second and third floors). In terms of the facilities previously available, the new set up is almost identical for the various resource areas. Glasgow City Archives, the NHS Archives, the Registrars Genealogy Service and the Special Collections areas remain as separate units, but the major advantage now is that they are all situated on the one floor, branded together as Family History at the Mitchell (www.glasgowfamilyhistory.org.uk).

Whilst there I carried out some client research in the city archive. Access is via the door under the sign marked Bailie's Reading Room, and once in and established at a desk I was pleasantly surprised to be able to access a wifi signal - something I have long been begging for at the Mitchell...! In fact, it turned out that I was picking up the wifi signal from the fourth floor. In due course, the fifth floor will be getting its own wifi capability, but the signal strength there was not at all bad - I only had problems when at the computer terminals hosting the poor law indexes by the windows, but returning to the desk I was based at just a few feet away was enough to get connected back up again. In terms of production delivery, I only had to wait about ten to fifteen minutes for the poor law volumes I wished to consult, so being on the top floor causes no further disadvantage on that front. I say the top floor, but I actually ascended in the lift up to the sixth floor today, a minor miracle as I never knew there was a sixth floor, it's not marked on the lift buttons. Someone else in the lift had a key. It was like visiting Narnia, but I never stepped out of the wardrobe...! :)

I was informed that the archives, which were previously based on the fifth floor many years ago, still occupies roughly the same amount of floor space, but I have to say it felt considerably more spacious, and not like a facility trapped in a bubble within the library, as it previously felt on the second floor. There are extra seats within the archive now, and something that did amuse me was the fact that they are now selling merchandise! For just £6 you can purchase a USB 2GB thumb drive, there are pencils and notepads, but also a few items that will probably have some former archivists turning in their graves and current ones in their sleep, such as pens and headphones! What is the world coming to...?!

I popped over to the registrars area for a few moments also to make a booking for a computer terminal in a few days time for some client work (unlimited access to the ScotlandsPeople records for £15 for a day). I was informed that at present they have the same number of terminals available as previously existed on the third floor, but that three new terminals will be added next week. The wifi signal was good here also, which will be a relief to anyone who previously cried every time they tried to get online on the third floor.


The Special Collections area is accessed at the other end of the floor through a different door, and in here are many of the other assets that previously existed on the second and third floors. Electoral rolls, calendars of confirmations and inventories, directories, monumental inscriptions, all now accessible in a considerably larger floor space. I spoke to one of the librarians, and one of the big changes there is that as well as the microfilms for Glasgow newspapers that used to be held on the second floor, they have also incorporated the UK national titles (The Times, The Daily Telegraph etc) on microfilm, which used to be held separately on the fourth floor. Wise move. I was surprised to see Glasgow burgh electoral rolls going back to the 1860s - I asked if these had been available before on the third floor? Apparently they had been removed until a couple of years back, but had been on display prior to the move upstairs. I definitely missed those, I had always thought that that the library only had rolls from the early 20th century, so something to have another look at in due course!


Overall, I was very impressed with the new set-up. The second and third floors at present are now closed off, but I got a wee sneak peak - they are completely gutted out, and obviously some other function awaits them soon. Bringing all the family history resources onto one single floor has been a great move by all involved, and wifi access, good now, and soon to get better, is long overdue and now very welcome. I'll be properly road testing the facilities again next week, but so far, so very good. Nice one Glasgow!



Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Scotland, England and Wales to have a 2021 census

Scotland, England and Wales will have a census carried out in 2021. The following has been announced by the National Records of Scotland at http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/press/2014/plans-for-a-census-in-scotland-2021.html

National Records of Scotland (NRS) has today announced that it intends to focus on planning for a census in 2021 which will be primarily online, while offering alternative modes of completion where necessary. It also aims to make best use of technology and administrative data in its design, building on the online approach used successfully in the 2011 census.

This follows on from the Beyond 2011 programme of work in Scotland to review the options for providing population statistics. The review focused on two options:

an online census option carried out every 10 years supplemented by the use of administrative data to produce annual population estimates in intervening years

an administrative data option using administrative data already held by government and annual surveys.

The decision to focus plans on a census in 2021 in Scotland was based on a variety of evidence, including results from research, stakeholder engagement, a user consultation and international experience. A final decision will be taken in 2016 on the basis of the business case.

A programme of consultation and engagement will continue by NRS to understand user requirements and shape the design of the 2021 Census. The findings from Beyond 2011 to date will be incorporated into the programme of work.

Further research will be carried out to enable greater use of administrative data and surveys in the future.

England & Wales (UK Statistics Authority) also plan to carry out a modernised census in 2021 building on an online approach.

For further information please go to the new Census 2021 section on our website.

(With thanks to @dougangene)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

FindmyPast to digitise English/Welsh 1939 Register

New from FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) about the English and Welsh 1939 National Identity Register:

NEW PROJECT TO PUT 40 MILLION WARTIME BRITISH RECORDS ONLINE

· Most anticipated family history project since the 1911 census
· Only complete overview of the population between 1922 and 1950 will open up the past

British-owned online family history world leader DC Thomson Family History (who own findmypast) and The National Archives have today announced a joint project to make records of 40 million civilians held in the 1939 register available online. Once digitised, it is estimated that the collection will comprise almost 1.2 million scanned full-colour images of documents covering the entire civilian population of England & Wales at the outbreak of WWII.

The 1939 register was taken on 29 September 1939 by the British Government and recorded personal details of individuals in order to issue identity cards and ration books. It later formed the basis of the National Health Service’s records. When complete, the 1939 register will be fully searchable online for the first time, opening up the past to a new generation of family and social historians, just as the 1911 census did on its release in 2009.

The records contain the address, full name, date of birth, sex, marital status and occupation of individuals, as well as changes of name. Although the Register is literally within living memory for many people, information about living individuals will be kept closed for 100 years from their year of birth, or until proof of death has been authenticated.

From today, anybody interested in being kept informed about the project can register at www.1939register.co.uk.

Annelies Van Den Belt, CEO of DC Thomson Family History said: “This announcement is great news not just for British family historians and those with British relatives, but for anyone with an interest in history itself; providing a fascinating snapshot of the country as it stood on the edge of the most widespread conflict in human history.

“This significant project will bring these records to a global audience for the first time, and combined with the 1.8 billion records already available on our websites will make it easier than ever to begin your family history journey and uncover the powerful stories that lie within and that make us who we are.”

Mary Gledhill, Commercial Director, at The National Archives, added: “The National Archives is delighted to be working with DC Thomson Family History to open up this unique record collection to the world, allowing history enthusiasts to discover more about the people at the outbreak of the Second World War. In the absence of a 1931 and 1941 census, this collection is all the more valuable to family historians trying to trace their ancestors.”

The 1939 register project is the latest contract to be awarded to DC Thomson Family History by The National Archives. Record sets previously digitised by the company in association with The National Archives include Crime, Prisons and Punishment; outbound passenger lists; British Army Service records; Merchant Navy Seamen’s records; Maritime Birth, Marriage and Death indexes and the 1911 census.

(With thanks to Alex Cox)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Wobbly Williams Wobbly Day Out

Yes, it's my blog, and I'll use or abuse it as I will...!

So, in a completely non-genealogy related story, I wanted to give a quick plug to something happening in Aberdeen soon. When I went to school in Carrickfergus, back in Northern Ireland, seated behind me in many of my classes was Bryndley Williams. Bryn was the class funny man, always good craic with his partner in crime Colin Logan.

Bryn now lives in Scotland. He has come to national prominence in recent years thanks to his work for a charitable group he has set up called Wobbly Williams (http://wobblywilliams.com). Bryn now has Parkinson's Disease, but has taken a bad lot to make some good from it, working hard to raise funds to help try to find a cure. He is also as mad as a box of frogs, and in his own style has done so much in recent years to raise awareness of the condition, with his usual humour, and to raise funds to help treat it and other neurological diseases. You may well have seen him on national TV not so long ago on one of John Barrowman' shows on the Beeb, being thanked for his efforts, but his work goes on. Before he passed away in 2001, my father-in-law developed Parkinsons, and the world needs a few more Bryns to help raise awareness about it, and money to fight it.

Now Bryn is bringing the cast of Emmerdale up to Aberdeen! The event, A Wobbly Day Out with The Cast of Emmerdale, is taking place on Saturday June 14th. In fact, there's wee bit more on the cards than that - A Big Night In With The Cast Of Emmerdale on Friday 13 June at Thainstone Centre; a daytime event on Saturday 14 June at Storybook Glen featuring Its A Wobbly Knockout, The Jellympics and The Third ITC World Haggis Hurling Championships; and then The Wobbly Banquet on the Saturday evening at Thainstone House. It's his biggest fundraising event yet, where he hopes to raise £200,000, to help his work reach its goal of raising its first £1 million.

If you are suffering from Parkinson, Bryn's website is there to offer help and support. If you are looking for a good day out, Aberdeen is about to be invaded! For more information on the programme, and to book, visit http://wobblywilliams.com/awobblydayout/.

It will be very wobbly...!

(For additional Wobbly Williams events, keep an eye on Bryn's blog at  http://wobblywilliams.com/blog/category/bryns-blog/)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Victoria County History - Derbyshire Volume 3

The third Derbyshire volume for the Victoria County History series of local history publications is to be released almost a hundred years after Volume 2 saw the light of day.

A free launch event is being held at Clowne's Heritage High School on Saturday 12th April, from 10.15am - full details are at www.worksopguardian.co.uk/news/local/derbyshire-local-history-books-are-first-series-in-a-century-1-6520951.

(With thanks to the Worksop Guardian)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Library and Archives Canada changes code of conduct

Elizabeth Lapointe has just written about a recent change to the previously draconian and Orwellian code of conduct imposed by Library and Archive Canada (www.collectionscanada.gc.ca) last year, which I previously reported on in March 2013 (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/orwellian-library-and-archives-canada.html).

It seems that the institution has recently backed down from its previous requirements, which had imposed several major restrictions on the staff's ability to express an opinion and on any “teaching, speaking at conferences, and other personal engagements", which was apparently high risk and dangerous, and able to lead to conflicts with staff members' duties, including their "duty of loyalty".

For the full story visit http://genealogycanada.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/lacs-new-code-of-conduct-nouveau-code.html or the Canadian Association of University Teachers' site at www.caut.ca/news/2014/03/25/lac-s-new-code-of-conduct.

(With thanks to Elizabeth and the CAUT)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Petition to open historic locally held BMD registers

Guy Etchells, who was responsible for securing early access to both the 1911 English and Welsh census and the 1939 National Identity Register, has launched an online petition asking for the right of public inspection to be restored for the viewing of locally held BMD registers at the superintendent registrar level (as opposed to the centralised GRO held copies). Here's the wording:

Petition to open historic registers

Responsible department: Home Office

We ask that historic birth marriage & death registers be open to public inspection at county record offices or the National Archives

Until 1973 registers of BMD held at superintendent registrar’s offices were open to public inspection

Today’s technology available allows the registers to be digitized and made available as facsimile copies protecting the original from damage

Commercial concerns are willing to scan the registers and make them available online under licence at no cost to the public purse

A new accurate index of BMDs could be compiled by volunteers thereby complying with the 1836 legislation for the first time in 177 years.

The benefits include taking pressure off Superintendent Registrars and the GRO enabling them to concentrate on the core task of recording & administering current registrations.

Revenue would be created for the County Record Offices or the National Archives swelling the government coffers.

All at no cost to the taxpayer or government.

The petition is available at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/62779.

Guy also further explores the subject of accessing local BMD registers, including costs, in a three page article carried within this month's Family Tree magazine (April 2014).

(With thanks to Guy Etchells)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Tayroots Family History Day in Arbroath

There will be a Tayroots Family History Day at Arbroath's Webster Memorial Theatre on Sunday April 6th, where a new publication, "Tracing Your Family’s History – Angus & Dundee", will be made available.

Further details are available at www.guideandgazette.co.uk/news/local-headlines/help-tracing-your-family-tree-1-3351718 and at the Tayroots site at www.angusheritage.com/tayroots.

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

The Irish Catholic registers digitisation that never happened

My recent blog posts on Ancestry's release of Irish parish registers has brought a response from reader Stuart McGee. He contacted the National Library of Ireland (www.nli.ie) in May of last year to ask what had become of its tender, announced in October 2010, to digitise the Roman Catholic parish registers for Ireland held on microfilm at the institution, with the intention to make them available online. The tender is accessible here, with sample images and an 18 page tender brief outlining what was required of the successful applicant. In this document the library described the collection as follows:

There are 520 reels of 35mm microfilm that represent the parish records from approximately 1,200 Parishes and some 24 Dioceses.

The original 35mm negatives are available and will be used to generate a clean positive format surrogate for digitisation purposes. The standard of original microfilming was variable as it was mainly done in the 1950-70’s.

Each film will be a 35mm positive microfilm. The case will be marked with the unique microfilm number – the P number e.g. P9156. A given reel may contain several registers. There is a lead in sheet/frame separating registers within a reel. The lead in sheet identifies the Diocese, Parish, Dates Range(s), and Events (e.g. Baptisms & Marriages) for the register which follows it.


Sadly, it never happened. Here's the response Stuart gained last year:

There were/are no preferred suppliers. It was with regret that we had to cancel the competition.

The decision was due to insufficient resources in the National Library of Ireland, with which to manage/coordinate the projects envisaged.  

At present there are no plans to resurrect the project.

Over three years on, perhaps it is time to try again? Before big scary Ancestry decides to move in further anyway... (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/armageddon-ancestry-and-ireland.html).

(With thanks to Stuart McGee)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Irish Lives Remembered switches to bimonthly publication

Irish Lives Remembered magazine (www.irishlivesremembered.com) is switching to a bimonthly format - here's the press release:

Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy e-Magazine moves to bi-monthly

Ireland’s FREE digital e-Magazine ‘Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy e-Magazine’ dedicated to helping people trace their Irish Ancestry globally will now be published ‘bi-monthly’ going forward. The next edition ‘May-June’ issue will available during the first week of May and can be downloaded for FREE at www.irishlivesremembered.com

Publisher Eileen Munnelly quoted ‘we believe that moving over to a bi-monthly publication will allow us to free up more time to enhance the current success of Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy e-magazine. Our bi-monthly e-Magazine will have a new look and feel to the publication together with more specialist features and supplements of interest to help our 20,000 dedicated readers globally research their Irish ancestry’.

‘We are proud to have played a huge part in ‘raising the bar’ to promote Irish genealogy/family history businesses and services in both Ireland and overseas and look forward to ‘reaching out’ to new readers and advertisers in the near future. She also wanted to thank the many genealogical organisations and businesses in Ireland and abroad for supporting Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy e-Magazine during the past two years and looks forward to working with them on future editions of Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy e-Magazine.

More exciting news will be the launch of a 2nd digital publication in the coming weeks which they believe will complement Irish Lives Remembered and will be of interest to their current strong readership.

On a final note, the business has now changed their name to Millennium Media – T/A Irish Lives Remembered Ltd., and is delighted to now be in a position to offer new services such as: Contract Publishing, Visual Communications & Graphic Design services.

If you are searching for your own Irish Ancestors, visit their website www.irishlivesremembered.com and click on Back Editions to read their past 22 publications for FREE.

(With thanks to Eileen Munnelly)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Armageddon - Ancestry and Ireland

I'm amused to read an article online on the Irish Central site entitled "New fears Ancestry.com is out to corner Irish genealogy market", available at www.irishcentral.com/roots/genealogy/New-fears-Ancestrycom-is-out-to-corner-Irish-genealogy-market.html. "New fears" - crikey, be afraid, be very afraid!

In Armageddon like tones, the article kicks off by stating that "The world’s leading genealogy website is threatening to dominate the Irish heritage industry, according to new claims", before it seeks to describe Ancestry's recent upload of records from 71 Roman Catholic parishes, something that took us all by surprise (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/major-news-irish-catholic-parish.html). God forbid...! The article takes its lead from a piece by John Grenham in the Irish Times at www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/irish-roots-1.1733903 in which John describes the acquisition by Ancestry, a company he notes as "the unchallenged colossus of online genealogy" with a "de facto monopoly of North American records", and that "if they continue what they’ve just done with Irish Catholic registers, there is no doubt they will reach the same position here".

If the Irish state cannot get its act together, then as far as this genie is concerned - and I suspect the real point that John is getting at (he comments "Good on them" when describing E-Celtic obtaining the rights to the images on behalf of Ancestry) - Ancestry, FindmyPast, or any other commercial vendor that can get the job done is more than welcome.

I always say the following to my kids when they stubbornly refuse to eat a well cooked meal - "We can do it your way, or we can do it the easy way - but either way, we're doing it." If Ancestry muscling in can put a foot up the arse of the Irish state's intransigence over vital records access, then all power to its boot - I don't see the good folk of the United States lamenting their access to records via Ancestry.

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Diocese of Durham marriage bonds and allegations

FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org) has "recently updated or added" a new database as of March 21st which may be of interest to those with ancestors from the diocese of Durham:

England, Durham Diocese, Calendar of Marriage Bonds & Allegations, 1594-1815
https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1840743

The collection, which at the moment is a browse only based database, was compiled circa 1900 - a full description is available at https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/England,_Durham_Diocese,_Calendar_of_Marriage_Bonds_and_Allegations_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records).

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

PRONI events in Belfast for first week of April

Details of forthcoming events at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (www.proni.gov.uk) next week:

On Wednesday 2nd at 1pm, a new series of PRONI Staff Talks in the context of the battlefields of the American Civil War. Brett Irwin from PRONI Private Records will reveal the experiences of Irish emigrants who had moved to America in search of a better life, only to find themselves caught up in the throes of a bloody civil conflict. Many of these emigrants recorded their experiences in letters home to loved ones: many of which are now held by PRONI. Brett will illuminate these fascinating and often stark stories in his talk, Irish voices from the American Civil War. Further details on this lecture series can be found at www.proni.gov.uk/index/exhibitions_talks_and_events/talks_and_events/exploring_your_archives_in_depth_further_insights.htm

On Thursday 3rd at 6:30pm there's an evening dedicated to the study of the former Maze/Long Kesh prison site. Dr. Laura McAtackney was the chief archaeologist of the only independent survey of the site before it was almost totally cleared. Come to PRONI to learn of the tales of everyday prison life that Dr. McAtackney uncovered in her work. Further details can be found here: http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/exhibitions_talks_and_events/talks_and_events/an_archaeology__of_the_troubles.htm

Finally, on Friday 4th at 11am Belfast Civic Trust’s ‘The Story of Belfast’ exhibition will be officially opened at PRONI. PRONI’s Ian Montgomery will deliver a presentation entitled, “Improving Belfast? A glimpse of Belfast in 1911”, to examine what the inner Belfast community was like prior to the dramatic social, political and constitutional changes that lay ahead. This will be followed by an illustrated overview of the Belfast Civic Trust by Chairperson David Flinn. The Trust is a registered charity focused on the celebration of the city’s built and natural heritage. This talk shall act as a useful introduction for anyone interested in unlocking the story of their own community. http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/exhibitions_talks_and_events/talks_and_events/the_story_of_belfast.htm

Admission to all of these events is FREE, but booking is essential. Please contact PRONI to reserve your place, either by email proni@dcalni.gov.uk or by telephone 028 90 534800.

(With thanks to Gavin McMahon)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Forthcoming Society of Genealogists events in London (April)

From the Society of Genealogists (www.sog.org.uk):

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

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

Wed 2 Apr 14:00
A Brief Introduction to Rootsmagic Software

This talk will give you a brief introduction to the latest version of RootsMagic. During the talk Charlie will highlight which new features have been introduced since earlier versions for the benefit of anyone thinking about upgrading.

A one-hour lecture with Charlie Mead Cost 8.00


Sat 5 Apr 14:00-17:00
My Ancestor Came from Birmingham

Do you have ancestors in Birmingham? In this course, we will look at family history resources and useful collections available for researching family in the Birmingham area, including online sources of interest.

A half-day course with Doreen Hopwood Cost 20.00


Wed 9 Apr 14:00
Researching a Single Surname

Have you considered organising the names you acquired in your family history research into a one-name study project? Clearly the more unusual names are easier as there are fewer leads to follow (ie Rudd would be fine but Smith impossible unless you restrict it to a small area or county). Learn more about why and how you can further your research on one surname.

A one-hour lecture with Derek Palgrave Cost 8.00


Thu 10 Apr 14:00-15:30
Visit: Dr Williams's Library

Dr Williams's Library is the pre-eminent research library of English Protestant nonconformity. Established under the will of Dr Daniel Williams, the Library is one of the oldest open to the public still conducted on its original benefaction. The Library serves a very wide readership, not only ministers and lay people of all denominations and faiths, but academics, independent scholars, family historians and research students. Our group will meet at Dr Williams's Library, for a tour of the building and a talk by the archivist, Fiona Turnbull, on Nonconformist records. The library will be open for research until 6:30 this day Cost 10.00


Sat 12 Apr 10:30-17:00
Family Historian Software for Beginners & Refreshers

An overview of this popular and useful software, bring your questions along! Suitable for Beginners & Refreshers

A full-day course with John Hanson Cost 35.00


Sat 26 Apr 10:30-13:00
Getting the Best from Free Genealogy Websites

No one likes to pay for information unless they have to and whilst there is an increasing trend towards more information going into pay per view sites there is also lots that is still around for free - if only you know where and how to look. This course looks at some of the Internet sites that enable you to find information for free and points out some of the limitations of not paying.

A half-day course with John Hanson Cost 20.00


Sat 26 Apr 14:00-17:00
Tracing your Ancestors through Death Records

Of all the sources that family historians use, death records are among the most enlightening for the researcher and frequently bring our ancestors to life to a far greater extent than any other records. They often reveal personal information that is just not to be found elsewhere and which will help you see your ancestor in a much more accurate light. Finding an ancestor’s death is crucial in another way too - an awful lot could have happened to him in between the time you last found him on a census return or baptizing his last child and the day he died – without the death record you only know half his story! Yet these sources are surprisingly underused by many researchers. We will look in detail at all types of death records, from the familiar to the less well known and not only how to get the most from them but how to use them as springboards to discovering other sources too. We will also consider the causes of death given on death certificates and how to interpret them, discover why death records can be hard to trace, and what you can do to locate those that just don’t seem to be there.

A half-day course with Celia Heritage Cost 20.00


Wed 30 Apr 14:00
Records of the Goldsmiths Company

The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, more commonly known as the Goldsmiths' Company, is one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London. The librarian will discuss the company’s library collections, which include over 8,000 books and is also responsible for the Company’s archives, which date back to the 14th century.

A one-hour lecture with David Beasley Cost 8.00

(With thanks to Lori Weinstein)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Festival of Museums programme in Scotland

Details of the forthcoming Festival of Museums in Scotland, running from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th May 2014:

FESTIVAL OF MUSEUMS REVEALS JAM-PACKED, FAMILY FUN PROGRAMME OF EVENTS IN SCOTLAND

· Festival of Museums weekend takes place 16-18th May
· Events in 80+ museums across Scotland with more still to be announced
· Events range from science and WW1 re-enactment workshops, a giant gaming centre and a Charles Rennie Mackintosh-style baking competition!

Where: Festival of Museums events will take place in museums across Scotland including: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Falkirk, Stirling, Inverness, Aberdeen, Perth & Kinross, Fife, Angus & Dundee, Highlands, Dumfries & Galloway and Argyll & Bute, with more events still to be announced.

When: Friday 16th May to Sunday 18th May
Events will take place on different days and at various times throughout the weekend.

What: There’s something for everyone at this year’s Festival of Museums, with over 80 events taking place across Scotland from 16-18 May. Whether you’re a family looking for an educational fun day out to entertain the kids; a couple looking to do something a bit out of the ordinary; or keen to fly solo and enjoy some culture on your doorstep, the Festival of Museums has it all on offer!

Events range from hands-on workshops exploring the mysteries of DNA at the Dundee Science Centre, to an amateur baking contest that will produce cakes in the style of Charles Rennie Mackintosh at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum in Glasgow.

In Perth, First World War re-enactors will come to life at The Black Watch Castle & Museum, while visitors can become an experimental archaeologist for the day and re-live the Iron Age over at the city’s Scottish Crannog Centre.

Scotland Street School Museum in Glasgow will see the venue turn into a giant gaming centre offering a variety of traditional British and international games, and in Edinburgh, visitors can also learn about the medical advances that took place during the 1940s with the curator of the University of Edinburgh’s Anatomy Collection.

Further details are available at: http://festivalofmuseums.com

(With thanks to Kirsty Anderson)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Genealogy in the Sunshine - Days 4 and 5 report

The Lost Cousins based Genealogy in the Sunshine conference has almost ended here in the Algarve. Yesterday I had a day off speaking chores (each speaker had a day off!), and so I attended three great talks from Else Churchill, Debbie Kennett and John Hanson.

Else kicked off with a tour de force of the Society of Genealogists offerings from a distance - i.e. the resources that can be accessed online for those not able to get to London easily. Clearly they've been busy down south! Some interesting snippets here, such as learning that the SoG has the largest collection of trade directories in Britain, and that a whole host of other resources and index cards are currently being digitised. The impression I got from the talk is that the SoG is currently undergoing a major and massive period of evolution, with a big emphasis on getting content digitised and presented on its own site for members, and not just for commercial partnerships with groups such as FindmyPast and Origins. There is a hell of a lot happening, so do check out the recently radically revamped site at www.sog.org.uk.

Debbie Kennett then gave a talk on autosomal DNA, and its uses for family history research - something I was very interested to listen to as I have recently been contacted by a cousin in the US who has started a project, which I am soon hoping to participate in. This was then followed by John Hanson on migrating (overseas) ancestors. Some interesting resources mentioned, including Cora Nunn's site at www.coraweb.com.au (which Shauna Hicks also recently flagged up at the recent genie cruise I did in Australia), and one I haven't heard of before, Marj's Place (http://jubilation.uwaterloo.ca/~marj/) for Canada. Of particular interest was a comment that John made about military wives essentially being cut off from army support within four weeks of their husbands' deaths if they died overseas, often leading to them remarrying other members of the same regiment - something that explains exactly what happened to my 3 x great grandmother, when my 3 x great grandfather died in 1866 - she remarried another sergeant in the same unit shortly after, and now I most likely know why.

Today was the last day and Else kicked off again with a chat on our female ancestors, and where to find them in the records (they were often better recorded than we give credit for). This was then followed by John giving a talk on how to organise our research, both in digital and offline formats. I gave the final formal presentation, on writing family history articles, although the final final talk was a short impromptu piece by one of our delegates, Peter, who discussed self-publishing.

The week long conference has been an amazing success on the programme front, with a real range of talks and expertise, and never a dull moment. A huge thanks to Peter Calver from Lost Cousins, who bent over backwards to get it all organised - and who I hope recovers soon, I suspect he'll need a holiday to get over it!

We're heading off shortly to a final dinner, then many of the delegates fly home tomorrow. My wife, kids and myself don't fly back until Sunday, however, and so tomorrow is JEEP SAFARI day!!! I have absolutely no idea where we are going on that front, so can't post any pictures in advance - however, I do have a picture of Else Churchill in Irish mode, which should keep you all happy for a bit...!



Don't forget that you can establish connections between long forgotten cousin branches by registering details from the censuses in which your family appeared on Lost Cousins (www.lostcousins.com) - if someone else has the same branch in their tree and they have also uploaded the same census details, it should be possible to make the link. Peter also offers a regular newsletter on British genealogical developments, including offers from some of the mainstream vendors such as FindmyPast. Well worth registering and signing up!


Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Kent Messenger 1852-1912 free access - and WW1 coverage

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

The role of Kent in the Great War:

World War One as described in the pages of The Kent Messenger's newspapers from Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Gravesend, Herne Bay and across the surrounding region in the South Eastern Gazette.

You can view the years 1914 to 1918 for our special introductory offer price of just £7.99 for a full month's access.

The archive provides a fascinating insight into Kent's leading role in the Great War and will prove an invaluable tool for anyone interested in the period.

In addition, you can still view the archive from 1852 to 1912 for free thanks to a grant from the Your Heritage Lottery Fund and a dedicated group of volunteers who have worked on this project.

The site's online store is accessible at www.ukpressonline.co.uk/ukpressonline/open/cart/cart1.jsp.

NB: Free access to the Kent Messenger from 1852-1912 is accessible via www.ukpressonline.co.uk/ukpressonline/?sf=KM

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Ancestry releases three 19th century Argentinian censuses

Ancestry has released three Argentinian censuses from the second half of the 19th century, which may be of interest if you had ancestors from the British Isles who migrated to the country.

Argentina, National Census, 1895
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=9773

Argentina, National Census, 1869
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=9769

Argentina, Buenos Aires City Census, 1855
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=9771

The datasets are in Spanish and have been sourced from FamilySearch, which previously sourced them from the Comisión Directiva del Censo, Archivo General de la Nación, Buenos Aires. See the wiki links on FamilySearch for further details (accessible from the Ancestry links above).

Significant numbers moved from our shores to Argentina in the 19th century, and there are many further resources that might be of use for your research if you have such a connection. Some 40,000 Irish folk emigrated to the South America, for example, with about half later moving on, leaving 20,000 in Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina. The Society for Irish Latin American Studies hosts a Dictionary of Latin American Biography at www.irlandeses.org/bios1.htm, with amongst those noted being Mayo born William Brown (born 1777), founder of the Argentinian Navy. The British Settlers in Argentina and Uruguay site is also at www.argbrit.org, with many records of Anglican and Scots Presbyterian churches. The Scots can also be further pursued in Patagonia via http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/scotsinargpat, whilst the Welsh in Patagonia can be explored via www.welshpatagonia.com and www.glaniad.com.

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

An individual's name is personal data

Just read about an interesting case from the UK Court of Appeal last month concerning whether or not a person's name alone can be classified as personal data under the Data Protection Act, or whether further biographical information is needed for it to be so classified.

The Court has ruled that a person's name does constitute personal data under the Act, unless it is so common that further detail is needed to identify an individual - and further that personal data is information that relates to a living individual who can be identified, regardless of whether they can be traced or contacted.

The case is explored at http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=0ddaaf24-2b0a-43f4-888a-9a69c7c51429 , http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/02/12/common_names_may_not_constitute_personal_data_says_court_of_appeal/ and http://www.mablaw.com/2014/03/edem-ico-fsa-personal-data/.

(I picked this up on Twitter earlier and favourited the page - apologies to whoever the original tweeter was, I can't now find your name!)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Ancestry adds more London poor law records

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

We just added more records to the London, England, Selected Poor Law Removal and Settlement Records (covers years 1828-1930)*. This collection has select records from five parishes or poor law unions (Bethnal Green, Hackney, Poplar, Shoreditch, and Stepney).

You may find children you didn't know existed and this collection also tells some interesting socio-economic stories. If you have ancestors in this area, start searching now at http://ancstry.me/1gPXwJW

* This database was keyed by our AWAP community and is free to the public.

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

National Archives at Kew website survey

The National Archives in Kew have a new online survey asking for your feedback concerning its website. It can be accessed at http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/918.htm.

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Dublin Hospital Archives Project - project archivist tender

The National Archives of Ireland (www.nationalarchives.ie) is advertising a tender for a Wellcome Trust funded part-time project archivist for a 12 month project entitled the Dublin Hospitals Archives Project. The closing date for the tender is Thursday 27th March 2014.

Full details are available at www.nationalarchives.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/RFT-Project-Archivist-part-time-Dublin-Hospital-Archives-Project-March-2014.pdf.

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

New Cornwall and Kent records added to FamilySearch

FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org) has two new English collections online:

England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010
https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1769414

From the site: "Cornwall parish registers containing baptisms, marriages, banns, and burials. Records are restricted for privacy reasons according to the following dates: baptisms to 1910, marriages to 1935, and burials to present. Date ranges of available records may vary by locality and availability. This collection is being published as images become available."

The collection is fully searchable, with the source noted as the "Record Office, Truro".


England, Kent, Register of Electors, 1570-1907
https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1949807

From the site: "Register of Electors for the County of Kent. This collection also contains a few militia muster rolls for Faversham. Availability of records varies by year and locality."

The collection, browse only at present, is cited as being sourced from "Kent Archives Office, Maidstone".

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

British Newspaper Archive - latest update

These titles have been added to the British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) for the following years in the last 30 days:
  • Birmingham Daily Mail, The 1900
  • Burnley News, The 1932
  • Coventry Herald 1916
  • Liverpool Daily Post 1906
  • Northants Evening Telegraph 1904
  • Sports Argus, The 1917 - 1918
  • Sussex Agricultural Express, The 1954

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

TNA podcast - Spies Like Us

The latest podcast from the National Archives at Kew is entitled Spies like us: The secret life of Ernest Oldham, a 40 minute talk from Nick Barratt.

The talk can be listened to via http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/spies-like-us-secret-life-ernest-oldham/ or for free via iTunes.

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Genealogy in the Sunshine - Days 2 and 3 report

Days 2 and 3 have now just about passed on the Lost Cousins (www.lostcousins.com) Genealogy in the Conference programme in Portugal - well, almost passed, the speakers are doing some one to ones on advice later this afternoon!

Yesterday, the Society of Genealogists resident gene genie Else Churchill kicked off with a talk about additional family history resources that can be consulted beyond the parish registers, followed by myself with a talk on the history of the Scottish Kirk, its schisms, and how to find various records - particularly for those of dissenting or nonconformist traditions. The big event of the day however was unquestionably Vancouver based Donald Davis' talk on the 1841 census, which not only discussed how the enumeration process was established for England and Wales (and Scotland), but which also included examples of original household schedules that he has recently discovered in Shropshire Archives for that census in Ludlow. It was a magic tour de force on a thoroughly well researched subject, and one which also alerted us all to the growing possibility, and perhaps likelihood, of such further discoveries coming to light elsewhere, as detailed cataloguing of resources continues across the country's vast array of archives. Truly one of the best genie lectures I think I have ever attended.

I later thanked Donald as I recounted how I had recently had a lengthy discussion with an academic genealogist who claims the censuses that we access to be primary sources, when they clearly are not, as enumerators' returns are copies of the data as extracted from the household schedules. What was truly shocking to discover from Donald's lecture is just how different the published 1841 census returns can be from the primary source - in the examples he gave, we actually saw family relationships recorded, correct ages recorded before being rounded down by the enumerator in the published return, and a truly lengthy list of occupations - as indicated by the householder himself/herself (apparently the only census where they had free reign to describe what they did themselves) which were later standardised in the enumerator's records to fit pre-determined categories. It was almost night and day between the household schedule and the enumerator's return, to the point that two people were in fact listed on one household schedule, and their names then crossed out - and those names did not subsequently make it to the extracted return.

In the evening, there was an opportunity for several delegates to cook for each other and to have a 'safari supper' in small groups, though as I am already in a group of four with my family, I bowed out from that one - sounds like a good time was had by some of the delegates who did participate! Instead, we went for a trip to a nearby town called Caroveiro, and had a few drinks by the beach and a bit of exploration away from the touristy bit, in some of the back streets!

Today I kicked off the proceedings with a discussion on Scottish civil registration records, and after this, and after a bit of a technical hitch (my computer became possessed by demonic forces for a short while), Debbie Kennett then gave an introductory talk on Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA testing. The SoG's John Hanson then took up the reins and finished with a talk on one name studies and one place studies. Later this afternoon we are having a scheduled experts advice area, then this evening an informal get together at a local bar in the resort.

So far the Genealogy in the Sunshine event has been working an absolute treat, with a small but dedicated crowd, a range of interests - oh, and some sun!!!!


Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Genealogy in the Sunshine - day 1

I arrived yesterday in Portugal for a week long event organised by Peter Calver of Lost Cousins (www.lostcousins.com), entitled Genealogy in the Sunshine. The format is that from Monday to Friday myself and others will be involved in a genealogy conference each day from 9am-1.30pm, and then essentially on holiday each afternoon, a perfect combination. I'm here with my wife and two sons, and speaking on four of the days, alongside Else Churchill and John Hanson of the Society of Genealogists, Debbie Kennett (DNA guru), and Vancouver based Donald Davis, who will be talking about some extraordinary discoveries concerning the 1841 English census.

John, Else and I kicked off the event today, with John giving a talk on English parish registers, myself a talk on - what else today - but Irish resources online, and then Else talking on how to get around being stuck by re-evaluating your approach, methodology and sources when it comes to brick walls. There are about forty attendees - very clued up attendees! - and the buzz was just brilliant. Granted, I did have to wear a St Paddy's Day hat, but I think I got away with it! :)

As ever, with any conference, I always learn. I did not know that IGI batch numbers beginning with P come from printed sources (that's bugged me for a bit, though now seems bleedin' obvious!), and I had never heard of the Crisp and Clench collection of apprenticeship indentures from Westminster, held now by the SoG. And Peter introduced me (and I suspect many!) to tomato jam - and it works! My Irish talk seems to gave gone down well also, and tomorrow I migrate into Scots mode :)

After a spot of food shopping at the local intermarche, Claire, the boys and I went for a drink with John and Else at a wee secluded bar near our chalets and watched the sun set - the bar's lighting had broken, so we literally had the dying light of the sun to illuminate our discussion, as my boys played with a frisbee on the beach. A pirate ship sailed by at one point, and two divers emerged out of the sea on a couple of occassions in full wetsuit gear with harpoon guns and a handful of fish. It's fair to say we did not see any of that coming! A great first start to the week, and a great way to celebrate St Paddy's Day. The week has just begun!

(I have taken photos, but am having browser issues with uploading to Google - may update in due course if I can resolve them, if not I will upload images at the end of the week!)

UPDATE - downloaded Safari, pics now attached!








Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

SMRG - The Outpost newsletter available

The first edition of the Scottish Military Research Group's new newsletter, The Outpost, is now available for download in PDF format at https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=31471A884E56A78D!117&ithint=file%2c.pdf&app=WordPdf&wdo=2&authkey=!ADPF6YEXqinW7AU

Lots to read - and further contributions sought!

(With thanks to @S_M_R_G on Twitter)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Friday, 14 March 2014

National Railway Museum research centre hours cuts

The National Railway Museum at York has announced cuts to the opening hours of its archive and library facility (www.nrm.org.uk/ResearchAndArchive.aspx). The new plan is to reduce the opening hours to four days a week, Wednesdays to Saturdays, from the current seven days a week access. The new set up will start next week, from Monday 17th March.

The full story is available at www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/11076629.Cuts_announced_at_York_museum/

(With thanks to Anne Outterson by email)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Eneclann - St Paddy's Day discount

Irish data supplier Eneclann is offering a €10 discount on any purchase this weekend - simply use the discount code StPat when making a purchase through its online shop at www.eneclann.ie/acatalog/index.php, and yer uncle will soon certainly be Bob! Valid until March 17th.

(With thanks to Eneclann)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

St Patrick is the patron saint of Irish genealogy

The photo on the left shows my youngest son Jamie a couple of years ago, getting stuck in some sand at a beach near Tramore in County Waterford. By an absolutely extraordinary coincidence, it also depicts the exact same feeling many of us have had with our Irish family history research over the years.

But a great new truism that continues to be reaffirmed every year is that Saint Paddy's Day was made for genealogists. In ways yet to be understood by modern science, it seems that his magical mystical pixie dust seems to get everyone motivated once a year to really push for new family history resources to be made available online, and on that front, this year has been no exception.

So here's a quick pre-St Paddy's Day round up of recent things that have been happening online, as reported on British GENES, which I will update over the next few days should more emerge!

More Northern Irish wills calendar entries now online!
http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/get-ready-for-more-northern-irish-wills.html
Also check out the British GENES Irish probate calendars page at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/ireland-probate-calendars.html (or top of this page)!

Irish Origins St Patrick's Day offers
http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/irish-origins-st-patricks-day-offers.html

Irish Lives Remembered - free March 2014 issue
http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/irish-lives-remembered-free-march-2014.html

Eneclann - St Paddy's Day discount
http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/eneclann-st-paddys-day-discount.html

Ancestry - free access to Irish records
http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/ancestry-free-access-to-irish-records.html

Major news: Irish Catholic parish registers join Ancestry
http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/major-news-irish-catholic-parish.html

1864 Dromore Presbyterian Church census on Emerald Ancestors
http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/1864-dromore-presbyterian-church-census.html

Co. Clare baptism records added to RootsIreland
http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/co-clare-baptism-records-added-to.html

PRONI guide to Northern Irish school records holdings
http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/proni-guide-to-northern-irish-school.html

FamilySearch's Irish page
http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/familysearchs-irish-page.html

Irish ancestry in Cavan and New York - book reviews
http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/irish-ancestry-in-cavan-and-new-york.html

National Archives of Ireland catalogue - March update
http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/national-archives-of-ireland-catalogue.html

And stories to keep an eye out for next month:

The new GRONI records platform
http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/the-new-gro-northern-ireland-records.html
The launch of the new ScotlandsPeople style Northern Irish records platform from the GRO in Belfast in April - civil registration records dating back to 1845.

Major Irish databases to launch in time for Christmas
http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/major-irish-databases-launch-in-time.html
They didn't quite get online at Christmas! But there are several major new databases coming online soon in the Republic of Ireland

Don't forget, for a round up, explanation, and detailed context of many resources already online, there is also my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. The book provides an extensive examination of how to find archives and societies, commercial sites, free resources, vital records, censuses, land records, occupational records, records in Britain (The Republic of Ireland was in the UK for 120 years, whilst Northern Ireland still is) and so, so much more. There is also a province by province, and county by county, guide to various resources placed online at a more local level, and a guide to many resources for the Irish diaspora.

The book is available to buy (print and ebook editions) from www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/ and many other retailers, including Amazon.co.uk at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tracing-Irish-Family-History-Internet/dp/1781591849 - you'll find a free preview version of the book on each site also to help give an idea of what's covered, and some great reviews.

Here's a wee video introduction:



(Also available at http://youtu.be/nzK_ipZWTB0)

I'm heading off to Portugal on Sunday for a week to give a few talks as part of the Lost Cousins Genealogy in the Sunshine event, and will be giving a talk on online Irish resources in the Algarve on Monday - will post pics up of the event in due course - I have to wear a St Paddy's Day hat....! :)

Just to end this post, the following photo, taken in Donegal a few years ago, shows exactly how the relief of breaking through an Irish genealogical brick wall can be manifested in human form...


Have a good one!

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.