Monday, 30 November 2015

Australian Passenger Lists launched on TheGenealogist

From TheGenealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk):

Australian Passenger Lists launched on TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist has released over 190,000 records for passengers who departed these shores on early migrant ships to New South Wales in the years between 1828 and 1896. These new records expand TheGenealogist’s Immigration, Emigration and Naturalisation and passenger list records.

The transcripts of the latest release uniquely give a family link so you can see spouses and children setting out on their new life. They also reveal details such as which ship they had sailed on, where they were landing, the passenger’s occupation and in the case where the migrant has been assisted to travel out to a job, their employer’s name.

Some records are more detailed than others and can divulge how much the emigrant was to be paid, whether rations were included in their employment. In some cases the immigrants Native Place, or where they had come from is also disclosed. A number of these settlers may have bought their own passages, while others travelled with assistance from one of the public or private programmes that existed at the time. With the discovery of gold in 1851 mass migration to New South Wales of a wider cross section of people took place.

The NSW passenger lists will allow researchers to

* Discover ancestors travelling to New South Wales from Britain and Ireland between 1828 and 1896 in the shipping lists of the era

* These fully indexed records allow family historians to search by name together with country and port of embarkation, as well as country or port of destination

* Find ancestors on “bounty scheme” voyages in which free immigrants to Australia were recruited by agents in Britain, who were paid a monetary reward for finding suitable skilled labour and tradespeople willing to sail out to the new colony

* Locate families travelling together with a single click

* See linked images and records on the New South Wales Government Website

These records can be found within the Immigration, Emigration and Travel collection on TheGenealogist and add significantly to the resources already available for researchers to use when looking for ancestors who left Britain. TheGenealogist’s extensive British & International Immigration and Emigration records, already include Naturalisation and Denization records, convict registers and early New Zealand settlers.

An example follows below…


By selecting Immigration, Emigration and Travel on TheGenealogist’s main search page and then choosing Passenger Lists from the dropdown menu, we are able to look for William Fortune and his young wife who set out for a new life in New South Wales departing from London on the 13th February 1841 on board the ship the Jane Gifford.

The detailed records confirm the departure date, the ship’s name and much much more. For example we are able to discover that William was from Newbridge, that he was a labourer aged 28 and a Roman Catholic. We can see that he was heading for Sydney, Australia and that William had been engaged by one Captain Flint at a wage of £19 a year.

Presumably William’s prospective employer, Captain Flint, was not the template for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Piratical character of the same name, who would appear in print forty years later. As the shipping records also reveals to us that William Fortune could neither read nor write, this fictional person with the same name as his boss may well have passed him by in the years to come.

An extremely powerful feature, of searching the passenger lists on TheGenealogist’s website, is the ability to look for a family travelling together. One click on the family group icon, next to William’s results, returns potential family members. We can see that his 19 year old wife, Susan, was also travelling with him. Her occupation is noted as a House Maid and she too was a Roman Catholic from Newbridge.

Another charming nugget of family history information revealed, by the Potential Family Members search, is that on the voyage William and Susan were delivered of a baby girl. Their child, Jane Fortune, was born at sea with her native place being prosaically listed simply as “Sea” on the passenger list. Jane is recorded as being aged 2 months and has then been pedantically noted in the records as being “under age”.

The passenger lists available on TheGenealogist can reveal a significant amount of information about ancestors that have emigrated to New South Wales in the 19th century. As we can see, from the example above, the unique ability to search for relatives travelling together is a compelling reason to use TheGenealogist to research for immigrants down under.

(With thanks to Nick Thorne)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Visit Scotland's archives to transform your research!

I have the best of both worlds. On my father's side, Scottish blood, on my mother's side, Irish blood, with a mix of Irish and Scottish in the mix from Northern Ireland. I therefore get a one in three chance of supporting the winning side in the Six Nations rugby, and two patron saints to play with!

For some time I have been diverting my attentions to the Irish side of my research, mainly because so much has become available online in recent times, but in the last couple of months I have returned to some of my earlier Scottish lines, most notably in the Perthshire parishes of Kinclaven and Little Dunkeld. And the discoveries keep coming!

Just a few days ago I found in the Associate Session kirk session records for Kinclaven that my six times great grandfather Andrew Henderson had been guilty of 'promiscuous dancing' in the parish at a wedding:

At Arntully 8th Decr 1752. After prayer by ye Modr Sederunt John Sprunt John Morice John Kea Elders & John Richie Deacon

The Officer having reported that according to appointment he had cited to this meeting the following persons viz: Andrew Henderson, in ye Miln of Airntully, Lillias Grigor, John Nathan & George Ramsays, James Stewart, Joseph Morice, John, Agnes & Elizabeth Mallochs, Mary Crookshank, John Grigor, John Gellatly & Emilia Bennet all in Arntully. They being called, they all compeared... and they being Interrigate by ye Modr One by One if they had been guilty of the indecent behaviour of promiscuous dancing, They all answered in the affirmation. Then After the Indelacicy & Sinfullness of such a Practise was laid before them ye Modr together wt ye Aggravation of their Sin having got publick Warnings agt the same They were severally Interrogate […] they acknowledged their said conduct to be sinful & thro’ Grace resolved agt the same for the future, & also against the Countenancing in so far as Witness it in others...

They were all Removed. Then ye session proceeded to consider what Censure to Inflict upon them, and after Deliberation upon ye Matter They agreed in regard of some circumstances in ye case of ye Persons who had fallen into ye forsaid Indecent behaviour, to List in an admonition of them wt certifica[tio]n That if they shall afterwards be guilty of such a practise, the Session will inflict a higher Censure upon them. And wt respect to John Ramsay the Session delayed ye Considerat[ion]n of his case till next Meeting & that both he & James Stewart be cited to attend.

They being called in, and after ye Mod[erato]r had intimated to John Ramsay what ye session had agreed upon wt respect to him all ye rest were admonished by ye Mod[erato]r in ye Name of ye Lord Jesus Christ the only King & head of his church, wt certifican That is all or any of them should be found guilty of such a sinfull practise again, ye session would inflict a higher censure upon them. And they were exhorted by ye Modr to watchfulness & Rependance upon the Lord.

(Source: NRS CH3/502/1/93; Kinclaven Associate Session kirk session minutes)



Proud of my ancestor's promiscuous dancing as I am, he pales in comparison with my other ancestors, James Brough and Anne Lamb, who I have also just found were guilty of antenuptial fornication in the same parish!

May 3d (1778) It being reported that James Burgh & Anne Lamb his spouse had been guilty of antenuptial fornication & James having been desired to attend this Meeting was called & compeard; and being interrogate he acknowledged his having been guilty of antenuptial fornication wt Anne Lamb his spouse. The Modr endeavoured to lay the evil of his sin before him wt the aggrevations of it, it was agreed that he be just now rebuked before the session for the same, & appear before the congregation this Day for the first time to make profession of his Repentance, he was accordingly rebuked by the Modr in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ the alone King & Head of his Church, and appointed to appear before the congregation this day.

James Burgh in Airntully appeared this day before the Congregation, & was rebuked for the Sin & Scandal of Antenuptial Fornication

May 10th – James Burgh appeared for the second time before the Congregation, & made profession of his Repentance.

May 17th James Burgh appeared before the Congregation & was absolved from the Scandal of antenuptial fornication.

(Source: NRS CH3/502/1/203; Kinclaven Associate Session kirk session minutes)


Just for good measure, they also upset the Associate Session, because they attended two different churches to confess their alleged sin:

May 31st (1778) Anne Lamb spouse to James Burgh compeared, acknowledged her having been guilty of the Sin & Scandal of antenuptial fornication wt sd James her Husband. After some conference & dealing wt her, the session understanding that both James & Anne had been attending last Lord’s Day in the parish church, had appeared before the session belonging to the Established Church & had made publick profession of their repentance before said Congregan, in obedience to sd session & that they were both absolved them. The session considering that their so doing was contrary to their profession as being members of this congregation and under the inspection of this session, who are in a state of secession from the established Church. They agreed to Delay the forsaid until afterwards.

(Source: NRS CH3/502/1/203; Kinclaven Associate Session kirk session minutes)


These cases were both sourced in just a day's work at the National Records of Scotland (www.nrscotland.gov.uk) from the kirk session records for the local nonconformist church, but I have also been going through additional estate papers for the Grandtully estate where the Broughs, Lambs, Hendersons, Rogers, and other lines lived. Of note in the series of papers known as hornings and arrestments was a court case where my seven times great grandfather James Brough (father to the above James), was cited to appear as a witness to a sheriff court case in Perth in 1744. He was asked to speak on behalf of Sir George of Grandtully, as part of a case to determine whether the appropriation of part of the common lands of the nearby Muir of Thorn by John McKenzie of Delvine, which was given in tack to a William Dow, was illegal (Source: NRS GD 121/1/Box 28/161, arrestments and hornings 1742-99; extract process Sir George Stewart of Grandtully & his tenents agt William Dow). Other records in this collection provide additional information on other relatives - for example, George Rodgie of Wester Burnbane was called to speak to the same case in 1750 (six years later - they took their time!), with the record noting he was aged 37, placing his birth in 1713.This was some 19 years before the parish baptism registers on ScotlandsPeople commence for Little Dunkeld (1732).

So why do I mention these examples? Because they contain useful genealogical and family history information that is not available online. If until now you have confined your research to the online sources for Scottish research such as ScotlandsPeople, then there is a world of material out there that can transform your research and your understanding about the lives of your ancestors.

It is for this reason that for the last few years I have been writing many guides for Unlock the Past (www.unlockthepast.com.au) to try to flag up how to access such collections, and to take folk to worlds beyond the usual online suspects. The records of property inheritance, of land transfers, of estate papers, churches, and the records to be found when our ancestors found themselves in times of crisis, all of these can be found in archives across the country, and are just waiting to be plundered by the hungry genealogist. To locate such collections you can visit the catalogues for the National Records of Scotland, the National Register of Archives for Scotland, and the Scottish Archive Network at www.nrscotland.gov.uk/research/catalogues-and-indexes. For details on archives themselves, visit the Scottish Council on Archives website at www.scottisharchives.org.uk/discover.

But it is not just enough to know where the records are, it also helps to understand the context in which they were recorded. How did feudalism work, which underpinned so many records from land sales to inheritance, what was the actual law behind civil registration, and why did the various church factions split from the Church of Scotland in the aftermath of the Reformation, and why are so many marriage records missing from the church and civil registers on ScotlandsPeople right up to 1940? Get to grips with all of that, and you will crack open a whole avenue of new possibilities for your Scottish research!

My Scottish based titles are, so far:

Discover Scottish Church Records (NB: a new 2nd expanded edition will be available shortly!)
Discover Scottish Land Records
Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records
Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis
British and Irish Newspapers



Whether you are inspired by Saint Andrew, or in need of a prezzie for yourself or a loved one for Christmas, hopefully these may help!

For further details on how to purchase them in the UK, Canada and Australia, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Happy Saint Andrew's Day!

It's Saint Andrew's Day! We're very proud of our main man here, but he's also something of a worldwide phenomenon - here he is in a metro station in St. Petersburg, Russia, as snapped a few months ago on an Unlock the Past cruise visit to the city:


Here in Largs we've been celebrating our patron saint - here's a wee video to enjoy from a bash I was at on Friday night!




Check out Google's tribute also at https://g.co/doodle/a8g7j2, and for things more genealogical, do check out my guest post on Ancestry's blog at http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2015/11/30/exploring-the-scottish-calendar-of-confirmations/ to read my overview of the site's new Calendars of Confirmations and Inventories 1876-1936 collection.

Have a great day!

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

‘The Scots in Ulster’ by the Rev Dr David Stewart

I've been asked to give the following title a quick plug:

‘The Scots in Ulster’ by the Rev Dr David Stewart (re-printed by the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland, 2015). Price £5.00

The latest publication ‘The Scots in Ulster’ is a re-print of 6 pamphlets published by the Rev Dr David Stewart between 1952 and 1957. The Rev Stewart was a distinguished historian of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland – he authored ‘The History and Principles of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (1907) and a very important work, ‘The Seceders in Ireland (1950) as well as being the editor of ‘The Fasti of the Irish Presbyterian Church’, 1613-1840, published in a number of parts.

The Scots in Ulster Part 1 is about the coming of the Scots to Ulster and the background to the grants of denization and naturalisation given to these Scots settlers to enable them to have the same rights and privileges in Ulster as Englishmen. The original grants found principally in the Irish Chancery Patent Rolls of James 1 and Charles 1 and in the Ulster Inquisitions were lost when the Public Record Office of Ireland in Dublin was destroyed in 1922. Fortunately, the Ulster Inquisitions and the Patent Rolls were published in the 19th century.

Parts 2-3 are largely lists of names of those who received such grants, arranged by county – Cos Antrim , Armagh, Cavan and Donegal in Part 1 and Cos Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone in Part 2.

Part 4 is an account of how Presbyterians fared in the years between 1636 and 1642.

Part 5 is a reprint of a pamphlet in the King’s Collection in the British Library describing the quelling of the 1641 Rising in the North of Ireland while the final Part, also from manuscripts in the British Library, gives an account of the impact of the Rising on Londonderry city and of the taking of Mountjoy in 1642 by Colonel Clotworthy.

The book can be purchased on-line from the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland website - -www.presbyterianhistoryireland.com

(With thanks to Valerie Adams at the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Society of Genealogists events in London

Forthcoming talks and courses in January 2016 from the Society of Genealogists in London (www.sog.org.uk):

Wednesday, 13 January 14:00 - Discovering Discovery: Using The National Archives Website and Catalogue
Discovery is The National Archives online catalogue and holds more than 32 million descriptions of records held by The National Archives and more than 2,500 archives across the country. Millions of records are available for download, find out what can be found in the catalogue and how to get the best from the website.
A one-hour lecture with Guy Grannum, Discovery Product Manager at The National Archives. Free of charge, but must be pre-booked.

Thursday, 14 January 18:00-20:00 - Stage 1 Evening Skills Course (10 weeks)
The Society's successful family history skills course begins again with the first ten-week series of classes for those who are new to family history or who have had a little experience and want to build upon their initial progress. Our team of professional genealogists will introduce the records and illustrate how they should best be used for the study of family history. Publications, electronic finding aids and the internet will, of course, be included along with all the basic sources needed to start research. Topics will include how to get started, how to best search the census, newspapers, probate, parish registers, Non-Anglican family History and more.
With Else Churchill, John Hanson, Simon Fowler and Ian Waller.
Thursday evenings (last class 17 March) Cost 175.00/140.00, Please see further information about Stage 2 and Stage 3 courses, on our website.

Saturday, 16 January 14:00-17:00 - Researching Irish Family Life in the Famine Years
80% of today’s English people have Irish ancestry and this seminar looks at Irish lives in the rural west of Ireland in the famine years between about 1800 and 1850.
In the first talk, we will look at how people lived; their houses, possessions, food, work, education, entertainment, etc. It touches on politics, social attitudes and the reasons for mass poverty and emigration.
The second talk discusses how to use such facts as these to build your own family history in places, like Ireland, where few real records survive. It looks at subjects such as additional places to search and how to follow leads, how to put the story together and to what extent you can judge events of 200 years ago by modern standards. It opens up a whole area of family history beyond the collecting of birth, marriage, death and census data. If you have just a few facts, this seminar will start you on a family quest that will be engrossing, interesting and, with luck, extremely rewarding.
A half-day course with Stephen Lally, Cost 20.00/16.00

Wednesday, 20 January 14:00 - Copyright for Family History
Copyright applies to photographs, diaries, paintings, film clips and many other works. This talk will aim to cover some of the issues you might face with copyright works in your family history, including how long copyright lasts, when you might or might not need permission to use the works, and what you can do if you cannot find the right holder and would like to copy the work. This talk will be especially useful for those considering publication of their family history.
A one-hour talk with staff from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the official government body responsible for intellectual property rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright.
Cost 8.00/6.40

Saturday, 23 January 10:30-13:00 - Research Before Parish Registers
Pre 1600 research is an entirely different "ballgame" with many records existing that can be useful. Many such records continued beyond 1600 but are under-used. Some family historians think they have to stop researching when parish registers end. How wrong you are! Come see what is available.
A half-day course with Ian Waller, FSG Cost 20.00/16.00

Wednesday, 27 January 14:00 - Catching up with FamilySearch
The familysearch.org website is the largest family history website in the world, with billions of names across thousands of collections - and more are added monthly. Learn what new major databases have been added, how to find this information, and how to best use the website.
A one-hour lecture with Sharon Hintze. Free, but must be pre-booked.

Thursday, 28 January 14:00 - Visit: St-Mary-le-Bow Church
We will learn about the history of this famous church and the great architecture of Sir Christopher Wren, in particular relating to the famous steeple. Inside the church we will look at the post-war rebuilding by Lawrence King, the beautiful stained glass windows by John Hayward and the other modern furnishings.
The church has many international connections, including significant ones with the USA, Norway, Germany and Australia. It also possesses an 11th century crypt, part of it now an elegant chapel, the rest of it used as a restaurant, set among many of the original Norman arches.
With Tony Tucker Cost 10.00/8.00 (appx 1 hour)

Saturday, 30 January 10:30-13:00 - East London, Kent & Essex in the 18th Century
The emphasis of this course will be on the movement of people, money and goods backwards and forwards between East London and the counties - the pattern being very different between Kent and Essex. Come and learn more about these areas, and subsequently more about your ancestors during this important time.
A half-day course with Derek Morris Cost 20.00/16.00

Saturday, 30 January 14:00-17:00 - Good Research Techniques
This course will take an in-depth look at the best ways to research in order to avoid making mistakes as well as how to get the most out of the records you use. We will also look at the likely causes of brick walls you may meet during the course of your research and the best way to tackle them. Sources covered include BMDs, census and parish records.
A half-day course with Celia Heritage Cost 20.00/16.00

Further details at http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses

(With thanks to Lori Weinstein)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Free 24 hour access access to UK Press Online

UK Press Online is offering 24 hours free access to its site at www.ukpressonline.co.uk.


To gain the code for the offer, please visit the site's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/UKPressOnline-Newspaper-Archives-150661478288962/?fref=ts

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Erskine Hospital archive to be catalogued

Recently found historic items and documents at the Erskine Hospital (www.erskine.org.uk), which for a century has treated military patients, are to be catalogued thanks to funding from the Wellcome Trust (www.wellcome.ac.uk). The cataloguing will be carried out by Glasgow University Archive Service, which has acquired the collection. The story is online at www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-34899609. Note also the following line in the BBC story:

Erskine are currently working on a patient database of every soldier admitted and discharged at the hospital during its history, which will become a research resource for families tracing their ancestry.

The items retrieved include original prosthetic limbs and tools.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Scots Italian exhibition at the NRS

The National Records of Scotland is hosting an exhibition on the history of the Scots-Italian community. Entitled Family Portrait: The Scots Italians 1890 – 1940, the exhibition has been created in partnership with the Italian Consulate General of Italy in Scotland, and focusses on the life experience of Italians living in Scotland prior to the Second World War.

For further information, visit the NRS own story at www.nrscotland.gov.uk/news/2015/scots-italians-exhibition-at-nrs.


Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

UK Press Online discount code

The UK Press Online website (www.ukpressonline.co.uk), which offers  digitised access to many well known historic UK based tabloid newspapers, as well as titles such as Church Times and others, is offering a discount by which you can gain access 15 days on its collection for the price of 5 days.

To receive this, you need to visit the company's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/UKPressOnline-Newspaper-Archives-150661478288962/?fref=ts to receive the relevant code, and take it from there!

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

1939 National Identity Register - TNA refs removal on preview screen

I have previously commented on the removal of the TNA reference numbers on FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) for preview views of the 1939 National Identity Register for England and Wales search returns, stating that I had been contacted by a source in the know that this was allegedly to prevent data mining from the site (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/National%20Identity%20Register).

Confirmation on why the numbers have been removed has now been finally made available on the National Archives blog, via a response to questions by Martin James and Nigel Osborne. Here is the reason as given by administrator Nell Brown on Friday November 20th at 9.53am, confirming this to be the case (see http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/blog/1939-register-census-census/#comment-630938):

Hi Martin and Nigel, Findmypast have removed The National Archives catalogue reference from search results in response to concerted efforts by some online groups to share and even build apps and spreadsheets encouraging the manipulation of the embedded file references which allows people to access large amounts of information without paying. The remedial action was taken by Findmypast to prevent this systematic breach of their terms and conditions and fair usage policy and to protect their income. You can still search using The National Archives’ catalogue reference in the advanced search and the reference is returned when accessing the full transcript and image. Best, Nell.

I'm still not aware that FindmyPast has itself made any effort to explain to customers why it has done this, though more than willing to be corrected on that.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Friday, 20 November 2015

FamilyRelatives will be back

A few days ago I blogged that a reader had informed me that the genealogy records site Family Relatives (www.familyrelatives.com) had seemingly disappeared from the internet. At that point, I posted a short guide on how to access the overseas GRO records, that I have personally found of use on the site, at alternative locations (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/familyrelativescom-and-gro-overseas-bmd.html). Since then, I have also been trying to find out what has happened to the site itself, and have now obtained an answer.

I've managed to contact a representative from the Jersey based company, and have just had a phone conversation with him to ask what has been happening with the platform. I have been told the following:

I have been informed that the site's online storage servers were enduring some major technical problems, and that in the period leading up to five weeks ago, various users of the site were enduring intermittent access to the records, caused by the fact that the data was stored on several servers which kept going down. The decision was taken about five weeks ago to close it down altogether on a temporary basis, and for a new storage solution to be found and utilised. The site is now being re-hosted on an alternative platform.

I have also been told that it is believed that the site should be back up and running in the next 7-10 days, and that it will be accessible at www.familyrelatives.com as before. Once the site is back online, current subscribers will be contacted to discuss their subscriptions, with a view to possible extensions. It was also stated that the new version of the platform should hopefully have increased search speeds, to improve the user experience.

NB: Please note that I do not work for FamilyRelatives, and I am simply responding to a reader's request to try to find out what has happened to the site...! Hopefully it should be back up and running soon, and that the platform's owners can resolve any queries or issues with subscribers in due course.

(With thanks to FamilyRelatives)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

North East Lincolnshire records on Deceased Online

From Deceased Online (www.deceasedonline.com):

Deceased Online adds records for North East Lincolnshire

Grimsby's Scartho Road cemetery, Scartho Road crematorium, and Cleethorpes cemetery are the three sites managed by North East Lincolnshire Council with their records now on www.deceasedonline.com.

There are nearly 400,000 records and over 170,000 named burials and cremations for the area, which date back to 1877 and feature records that represent the history and economy of the region. The records available comprise digital scans of original burial and cremation registers, grave details for each burial and cemetery maps indicating the section for each burial.

For those researching the Lincolnshire area, there are now records for 11 cemeteries and two crematoria on www.deceasedonline.com. As well as N E Lincolnshire, there are full, detailed council records for the City of Lincoln and Gainsborough, and older church records from The National Archives for St Michael's in Stamford, and St Mark's in Lincoln, dating back to 1707. Users can search by location (below), contributor, or the whole county.

Emma Jolly has blogged about the North East Lincolnshire records http://deceasedonlineblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/north-east-lincolnshire.html.
at

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Latest FindmyPast releases

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has two new collections which might be of interest:

British In Argentina, 1914-1919
This book contains information and photographs of British volunteers from Argentina who went back home to serve their country in World War I.

Additional Social & Institutional Records from Devon, England
Explore two centuries of Devon's social history to paint a vivid picture of everyday life there. We've added over 49,000 more records to the collection.

They've also made their English electoral records collection, released in early October, browsable.

Further details at https://blog.findmypast.ie/fridays/

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Thanks to Troon & Ayrshire Family History Society

A huge thanks to Troon & Ayrshire Family History Society (www.troonayrshirefhs.org.uk) last night for their warm hospitality at Pentland Church, where I gave a talk on the history of Scottish marriage laws, the various forms of regular and irregular marriage to be found in Scotland, what you might find in the records, and where to find them. A very different story to the English one you normally read about in the magazines - Lord Hardwicke, etc - as our last form of irregular marriage was only abolished in 2006!

Lots of great feedback from the society after, and it's always nice to head down to Troon - albeit last night in the midst of a minor storm! A couple of pics from the event:



Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Ontario Genealogical Society call for conference papers

One good turn deserves another! The OGS in Toronto recently brought me out to give a few talks, and are now looking for speakers for their 2017 conference. Here's the announcement:

Call for Presentations OGS Conference 2017

The annual Ontario Genealogical Society Conference 2017 will be held in Ottawa on June 16-18, 2017 at Algonquin College. The theme of the conference is Our Canada – Your Family: Building a Nation. As 2017 will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of Canada, Ottawa Branch OGS will host the annual OGS conference and give the Conference a national flair, bringing together genealogists and family historians from all over Canada. We are looking for speakers and talks of interest to genealogists from all provinces.

In keeping with this theme, we invite proposals for presentations on: family history from every region and territory of Canada (e.g. Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and British Columbia); migration to and from Canada and also within Canada and how this helped to not only build our families, but also Canada; pre- and post-1867 research in Upper Canada; religious associations; military connections; the latest updates on computer, social media and genealogy database technology; the ever growing use of DNA testing for genealogy; and skill-building for family historians (e.g. use of the genealogy proof standard, getting more out of online resources). Speakers from other related disciplines are welcome! Statisticians, demographers, archaeologists, researchers, archivists, librarians, geographers, cartographers, scientists, theologians, doctors, PhD candidates, software gurus, internet intellectuals, social media mavens, and historians of all kinds have information of interest to family historians and we would like to hear from you!

Most sessions will be one hour long. Sessions may be streamed in or out of the Conference venue. Topics for interactive, hands-on workshops are also welcome (typically half-day sessions). Speakers will receive an honorarium, plus appropriate expenses and complimentary Conference registration. In early 2017, speakers will submit content for inclusion in a syllabus.

Please submit your proposals by e-mail. Include your full name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, website address (if applicable) and biographical information including recent speaking credits. For each proposal, please provide a unique title, a summary of your presentation (250 words maximum), the intended audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and your A/V requirements. Multiple proposals are encouraged.

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS IS FEBRUARY 15, 2016

To submit proposals or ask questions, please contact the Conference 2017 Program Committee at: program.conference2017@ogs.on.ca. For more information about OGS or Ottawa Branch respectively, please visit: www.ogs.on.ca or www.ogsottawa.on.ca.

(With thanks to Jane Down)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

North of Ireland Family History Society launches writing competition

From the North of Ireland Family History Society (www.nifhs.org):

North of Ireland Family History Society Biennial Writing Competition 2016 – My Family Odyssey

The North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS) runs a writing competition every other year for its members. Organised by the Belfast Branch for all members of the society, it attracts entries from all around the world. The purpose of the competition is to encourage people to write up stories about their family history, going beyond just constructing a family tree.

The title of this year’s competition is ‘My Family Odyssey’. Weave a story on this subject which you can share with members of your family, fellow members of the North of Ireland Family History Society and others by entering the society’s Biennial Competition
for 2016.

Migration has played an important part in the history of many families in the North of Ireland. Through the centuries many people left their homes in the hope of better opportunities in a new land, to escape religious or political persecution or simply in search of adventure.

In researching our family history it is important to understand the challenges and opportunities that migration has presented to our families.

The competition is the brainchild of member Anne Johnston from Belfast Branch who has administered it since its inception in 2005. She said "I am delighted to be organising the competition again this year. I always look forward to reading the family stories that our members have uncovered. The prizes are attractive and I encourage you to enter."

Many of the previous winning articles have subsequently been published in the society’s journal, North Irish Roots.

Full details are available on the NIFHS website where a competition leaflet can be downloaded as a pdf file. The competition is open to all NIFHS members and the winner will receive £100 with the runners up receiving £60 and £40 which will be presented at the 2016 AGM. Entries are welcome from new members of the Society. Membership details are available on the NIFHS website. Entries can be submitted by post or email and must be received by 3rd April 2016.

Link to full competition details:
http://www.nifhs.org/resources/biennial-competition/

(With thanks to Maeve Rogan at NIFHS)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Ancestry adds English and Irish freemasonry registers

There has been an interesting release from Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) this morning, in the form of its new Freemasonry Membership Registers. The following is the announcement:

Reveal the Freemasons in your family
Uncover the secrets of the Freemasons in our exclusive new Freemasonry Membership Registers for England and Ireland. These extensive and revealing records cover details such as name, profession, initiation date and other personal information. Find out more about your family’s secrets with our Freemason records.

The collections are individually titled as follows:

England, United Grand Lodge of England Freemason Membership Registers, 1751-1921
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=60620

This is comprised of records from:
Antients Grand Lodge 1751-1813
Moderns Grand Lodge 1755-1813
United Grand Lodge of England 1813-1921

Sourced from the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, London


Ireland, Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Ireland Membership Registers, 1733-1923
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=60904

Comprised of 24 volumes covering 1733-1923. Sourced from The Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.

I've just confirmed my great grandfather Ernest Graham was a freemason in Belfast. The entry notes when he went through different degrees - entered apprentice 11 DEC 1919, fellow craft 19 FEB 1920, and master mason 15 MAR 1920, and received his Grand Lodge certificate on 13 MAY 1920. The fact that he was a painter is also recorded, and his year of death in 1942. It further lists the name of his lodge (Renown) and the lodge number (421).

Funny handshake anyone?!

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Scottish Military Service Appeals Tribunal papers on ScotlandsPeople

ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) has released a new dataset from the First World War, albeit one that will only affect certain parts of the country. From the site:

The Military Tribunal system was set up under the Military Service Act 1916, which set down terms for mandatory military service. This updated the Derby Scheme, a voluntary recruiting scheme devised by Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby, Director General of Recruiting, whereby men who 'attested', or voluntarily registered to serve in the military, would only be called upon for service when necessary. That scheme was introduced in autumn 1915 but was unsuccessful and abandoned by December. The new Military Service Act required all single adult males, aged between 18 and 41, to register for military service unless they possessed a certificate of exemption. By April 1918 the age range was extended, so that men aged from 17 to 51 could be called up, and exemptions were further restricted.

From 1916, men seeking exemption from military service could apply to various tribunals. There were three types: Local Tribunals, Appeal Tribunals and a Central Tribunal based in London.

Unfortunately, appeal records from these tribunal only survive for two regions in Scotland:

Due to the sensitive issues that surrounded compulsory military service during and after the First World War, only a small minority of the tribunal papers survive. In the years that followed the end of the war, the Government issued instructions that all tribunal material should be destroyed, except for two samples - the Appeal records for Middlesex in England, and the Lothian and Peebles records in Scotland. These were to be retained as a benchmark for possible future use.

The Lothian and Peebles Appeal Tribunal are now deposited in the National Records of Scotland (reference: HH30) and cover the Local Tribunal areas of Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Borders. Other chance survivals for Scotland exist, including papers from the Ross, Cromarty and Sutherland (Lewis Section) Appeal Tribunal, which are preserved in the NRS as part of Stornoway Sheriff Court records (reference: SC33/62). Both of these records series are now available on ScotlandsPeople.

Nevertheless, if you have a family member from these areas who participated in an appeal, this will be an exceptional record set. For further details on the collection, read the ScotlandsPeople site's full history of the process at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/Content/Help/index.aspx?r=554&2352 and see examples of the papers at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/Content/Help/index.aspx?2353.

Interestingly, the site is offering a new pay structure to see the results. The basic search is free, and if you come across a relevant find, you have two options for payment - you can pay £2.50 for the full result, irrespective of the number of pages contained within it, or use 10 credits (about 17p cheaper, but you have to buy a block of 30 credits at £7) to do the same.

An article on the release is also available from The National newspaper at www.thenational.scot/news/war-pleas-against-conscription-go-on-web-99-years-on.10185.


Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Scottish genealogy webinar on records of ancestral crisis

On Saturday, 12 December 2015, from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST in Canada (about 6.00pm-7.30pm UK), I will be giving an online webinar entitled Down and Out in Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Interest Group of the Ontario Genealogical Society, as part of its series of Scottish Genealogy Saturdays presentations. This will be a 90 minute session in which I will explore the contemporary Scottish landscape in times of ancestral crisis and examine many of the types of records to be found - whether it be in trouble with the church or the state, in times of rebellions or struggles for rights, or battles with poverty and debt.

To participate in the event you will need to register at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/december-webinar-down-out-in-scotland-tickets-18052494497 - the fee is CAN $14.95, with an additional small booking fee of CAN $1.36 (so in total we're talking about £8 Sterling).

Profits from the event go to the Scottish SIG's Symposium Fund - for further details please visit http://scottishgenealogytipsntricks.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/scottish-sig-webinar-for-december-is.html.

I'm looking forward to donning a microphone and headphones and crossing continents online!

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Eneclann seeks new brand manager

Irish family history, history and heritage firm Eneclann (www.eneclann.ie) is advertising for a new brand manager to be based in Dublin.

The advert notes that they are seeking "a candidate with strong managerial and networking skills to help assist in establishing a new family history web service and associated visitor centre in the stunning CHQ building in Dublin. This will include working alongside a team in dealing with website development and maintenance. It will also involve recruiting and managing a small team to operate a purpose built centre in Dublin in 2016. Ideally the candidate should enjoy working with customers, off and online, to create a rewarding and memorable experience."

For further details visit the full job description at http://ie.indeed.com/viewjob?t=brand+manager&jk=74d2299e0f632644&_ga=1.125931467.778807221.1447072287

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

FamilyRelatives.com and GRO overseas BMD records

Thanks to reader Keith Jones for informing me that the FamilyRelatives website at www.familyrelatives.com has been down for several months.

FamilyRelatives had several collections on its site beyond the English and Welsh GRO images and censuses. Whilst I personally rarely used it, it was still a favourite repository to visit for the GRO overseas indexes, which were freely available on the site. These record many events such as army chaplains and other military records and registers, various consular returns, Ionian Island registers, and more. Although administered by the English based GRO, they feature people from across the UK, including citizens from what is now the Republic of Ireland (which was previously in the UK). For example, the marriage of my 3 times great grandmother from Dublin, to a soldier who was born in India to an Irish father, took place in Corfu, and they went on to have kids in Gibraltar and Bermuda, before returning to Ireland - all events are recorded in the overseas indexes and certs.

The site was last cached on the Internet Archive on June 19th 2015 at https://web.archive.org/web/20150619095612/http://www.familyrelatives.com, and its dedicated blog at www.familyrelatives.blogspot.co.uk has not been updated since November of last year. I don't know if it has ceased to trade, or whether it has a technical fault, but if anybody has information on its current status, it would be gratefully received.

NB: I've not used other sites for access to the GRO overseas consular and military birth, marriage and death indexes for quite some time, but I've had a quick look and as far as I can see, they are on TheGenealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk) via its Overseas BMDs collection, and FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk), which seems to have the indexes gathered into datasets beginning with British Nationals in the UK part of the site - e.g. British Nationals Armed Forces Births 1761-2005.

Unfortunately, from what I can see, neither site allows searches in individual collections in the way that FamilyRelatives used to (indeed, as FindmyPast used to), so you cannot search for the GRO Ionian Islands Chaplains Returns, for example, as an individual dataset on its own. For an idea of what is included, cached description lists from Family Relatives are accessible at https://web.archive.org/web/20150510092737/http://www.familyrelatives.com/post_search.php?area_id=11.

* UPDATE: Thanks to Nick Thorne from TheGenealogist for flagging up that you can in fact select the individual collections there, via the Section drop down menu once you have accessed the Overseas BMDs item in the BMDs menu (see pic) - this would effectively seem to make TheGenealogist by far the best place online now to be able to control a search within these various GRO collections *


To order original entries from the GRO, obtain the index entry then visit the English based GRO at www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/default.asp. Note that for overseas certificates, you have to use a different search form on the site than those used to obtain English and Welsh BMD certs.

Note that some of the overseas entries for Scots are included on ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk), within the miscellaneous returns sections.

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) does not host the same indexes, but does carry various other miscellaneous overseas records, as sourced from the National Archives collections RG32 to RG36. These are available in a collection it calls UK, Foreign and Overseas Registers of British Subjects, 1628-1969, available at http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=1993. The same records are also available via BMDRegisters at www.bmdregisters.co.uk and on TheGenealogist.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Explore Your Archives Week

The National Archives in England has uploaded a page at http://exploreyourarchive.org to promote activities concerning this week's Explore Your Archive week. From the site:

Explore Your Archive is a joint campaign delivered by The National Archives and the Archives and Records Association across the UK and Ireland. It aims to showcase the unique potential of archives to excite people, bring communities together, and tell amazing stories.

Usually held for a week in November, the campaign showcases the phenomenal archival collections held by organisations across the UK and Ireland, whatever their size and scale, and wherever they are. Watch this space for news relating to the 2015 campaign and see below for some of the activities which took place in 2014.

The page has details on promotional events in archives across the British Isles, and more. Remember that the archive sector underpins our genealogy world. Whatever records you see online in a database was in many cases sourced in the first place from a repository that has spent many years and TLC taking care of them. If you spend all your genealogical effort using online resources, this week is just as good as any to try and partially wean yourself off them, and to suss out what is happening at your local archive. Believe me, from someone who uses them regularly, all the Ancestrys, FindmyPasts, Genealogists and more, wonderful as they are, hold but a mere drop in the ocean compared to what is actually out there!

Make pals with your local archive. It will be the start of a beautiful friendship...!

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Canadian Expeditionary Force service files digitisation update

Library and Archives Canada (www.bac-lac.gc.ca) has announced an update on its project to digitise its service files for the Canadian Expeditionary Force soldiers who served in the First World War. many of the soldiers were recent immigrants from Britain and Ireland, my grandmother's cousin Robert Currie amongst them.

The archive has now digitised some 217,062 of 640,000 files, with more work ongoing. The archive is essentially doing them in alphabetical order.

For more information, visit the archive's dedicated blog at http://thediscoverblog.com/2015/11/16/digitization-of-the-canadian-expeditionary-force-personnel-service-files-update-of-november-2015/.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Friday, 13 November 2015

350 years of The London Gazette

This month sees the 350th anniversary of the London Gazette, initially published as the Oxford Gazette, and forerunner to its UK and Irish equivalents the Edinburgh Gazette, the Dublin Gazette (now Iris Ofigiuil) and the Belfast Gazette.

The Gazettes are the official paper of the state, essentially, and record a remarkable amount of useful information for family history research - notices of businesses, bankruptcies, military honours and promotions, civil awards, planning permissions, and much more. 350 years of publication is certainly worth celebrating!

The Gazette website has a dedicated section looking back at the title, available at https://www.thegazette.co.uk/history/350-years. As part of the celebrations, the site has uploaded a short animated video at https://youtu.be/JqK2Lx6mryI, presented below for convenience:



To freely search the Gazettes, visit www.gazette.co.uk.

Note that the Belfast Gazette replaced the all Ireland Dublin Gazette as a new title for Northern Ireland from 1921. I recently discovered that 50 years worth of the Dublin Gazette have also been digitised for the late 18th century - for more on this, see my blog post from August at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/the-dublin-gazette-from-1750-1800-is.html.

Congratulations to the London Gazette - and onwards and upwards for another 350 years!

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Lincoln born Jamaican planter and slave owner papers digitised

Beinecke Library has digitised diaries and papers of Thomas Thistlewood, a Jamaican planter and slave owner, who was born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1721. From the library's blog (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/collections/highlights/thomas-thistlewood-papers), the following is the material that has been digitised:

The papers consist of diaries, weather journals, commonplace books, reading notes and other material documenting the life, work, and intellectual interests of the Jamaican planter and slaveowner Thomas Thistlewood. Thistlewood's 37 diaries contain daily entries dating between 1750 and 1786. Topics include Thistlewood's work as an overseer, and later owner, of slaves, including his methods of assigning work, alloting provisions, and discipline; his personal and sexual relationships with several, including his lengthy relationship with Phibbah; and slave rebellions and rumors of rebellions, including Tacky's Revolt (1760). Thirty-four annual weather journals containing daily summaries, including precipitation measurements. Diaries from 1764 through 1767 also contain separate lists of daily Fahrenheit temperatures and rainfall amounts.

To access the material, visit http://brbl-dl.library.yale.edu/vufind/Search/Results?lookfor=OSB_MSS_176&type=CallNumber&sort=title

(With thanks to Cyndi Ingle)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

1939 National Identity Register - terms and conditions

I am withdrawing and amending blog posts that I have made in the last two days concerning a workaround for those trying to research the 1939 National Identity Register on FindmyPast.

A few days ago the company inexplicably withdrew details of the National Archives reference numbers for entries that were given in the preview screen following the initial free search. These references included piece numbers and item numbers that allowed for cross-referencing searches to be carried out, to check for other members of the household in order to make sure that the right household is obtained. Despite removing the details from the preview screen, FindmyPast still does makes the same information available for such entries elsewhere, which can still be utilised on the search screen itself via the very search boxes that FindmyPast actually offers to carry out such searches in the first place:



Although FindmyPast and the National Archives have yet to officially comment, I have been informed informally that the information has been withdrawn from the preview screens to prevent data mining, which is in breach of FindmyPast's terms and conditions. It has been suggested by my source that my blog posts on this issue may possibly constitute incitement to cause data mining. This was never my intent, which was actually to help people save money by utilising as much information in advance to confirm a correct household was found before a purchase. However, whilst perhaps being overly cautious, to protect myself legally from any potential accusation on that front, I am withdrawing this information from my blog posts.

I would suggest that any questions about the competence of FindmyPast concerning the provision of such information online in the first place, and its lack of communication to date for its reasons for the sudden unannounced change in its policy, should perhaps be better directed towards them.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Problems with English and Welsh Find a Will site

Thanks to reader Anne Sherman for the following advice concerning the English and Welsh Find a Will probate service site at https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk:

Having tried several times to order a will online from https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/#calendar and only getting an error message before I could input any payment details I contacted their customer service department who sent the reply below.

I thought your readers may find this message useful.

The order form can be found here: http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=739


The following is the Probate Service's advice:

Good afternoon

Thank you for your email.

It does appear that there is an intermittent problem with the payment verification software. Details of the problem have now been passed to our website developer for investigation. I strongly suggest that you can submit an order by post if possible, because I am unable to inform you (and other users) as to when this matter will be resolved. Please find the relevant form attached to this email.

On behalf of all concerned I extend my sincere apologies for the technical issues that you have experienced.

Kind regards


Patrick O’Hagan
HMCTS Wills Helpdesk


Obviously if I get a further update I will bring it to you!

(With thanks to Anne Sherman)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Surrey Regimental Rolls on Ancestry

Ancestry has a new English military collection, Surrey, England, Regimental Rolls, 1914-1947, available at http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=4865

The sources for the collection are as follows:
  • Queens's Royal West Surrey Regiment Enlistment Registers 1920-1946; plus transfers in registers 1939-1947. Surrey History Centre, Woking, Surrey, England.
  • Queens's Royal West Regiment WW2 Honours Indexes, 1939-1946. Surrey History Centre, Woking, Surrey, England.
  • Queen's Royal West Regiment Nominal Rolls of Officers, 1914-1918. Surrey History Centre, Woking, Surrey, England.
  • East Surrey Regiment Enlistment Registers, 1920-1946; plus transfers in registers 1924-1946. Surrey History Centre, Woking, Surrey, England.
  • East Surrey Regiment Nominal Rolls of Officers, 1914-1919. Surrey History Centre. Woking, Surrey, England.
  • 21st-24th Battalions, the London Regiment Nominal Rolls of Officers, 1914-1918. Surrey History Centre, Woking, Surrey, England.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Durhams Records Online update

From Durham Records Online (www.durhamrecordsonline.com):

What's New at Durham Records Online:

South Shields St. Hilda baptisms 1880-1891
9,906 baptisms at South Shields St. Hilda spanning 1880-1891, from the Bishop's Transcript with extensive checking against the parish register.

Easington burials 1653-1757
2,312 burials at Easington St. Mary the Virgin, filling a gap we had from 1653 to the end of 1757. We now have a continuous run of burials at this church from the first register in 1570 to 1956 – nearly 400 years of burials.

Gainford baptisms & burials 1760-1797
884 baptisms and 719 burials at Gainford St. Mary in Teesdale district, covering 1760-1797, joining our existing collection for 1798-1851 at this church, from a combination of the parish register and the Bishop's Transcript for maximum detail.

Annual Subscriptions
You can now buy an annual subscription to Durham Records Online for £96 or $155 US. With that, you get:

unlimited access to all the records on the site for 12 months from the time of purchase. No more rationing your site credits or having to go through the payment process every few weeks (or hours, for our power users) to buy new ones!
the ability to filter your search by Parish instead of the broader District – you can select one parish or multiple parishes from a new drop-down list that appears when a subscriber logs in. This is very helpful when you want to search in just one parish or one parish and its adjacent parishes.
for parish records, the search results list will show the parish in which the event occurred, rather than District
for marriages, the search results list will show the spouse, allowing you to avoid a click for details if that is not the marriage you seek
We will probably add some more search filters or other capabilities in the upcoming months.

We are not offering the option to pay in monthly installments at this time. If there is high demand for that, we will look into it. We will not auto-renew the subscription; we will remind you when it's time to re-subscribe and will offer you a "loyalty discount” on the subscription price. We are not offering to cash in your existing credits; they are still perfectly good and you can use them up at your leisure and buy a subscription later if you like.

We intend to always offer a wide range of options for everyone from the person who buys one record at a time to the person who needs to see hundreds of records per month. We will continue to offer both credits and the ability to buy a single record or as many as you want via the shopping cart.

If you're interested in a subscription, click Purchase, which can also be found near the login boxes.

Coming Soon:
Tynemouth baptisms 1833-1849
Bishopwearmouth Cemetery burials 1940-1947
Sunderland Cemetery 1918-1924
Hartlepool St. Hilda baptisms 1839-1894
Hamsterley Baptist Chapel baptisms 1768-1837 and 1859-1869, marriages 1840-1908, burials 1785-1965
Egglescliffe baptisms, marriages, burials 1539-1751
Further down the road: more Sunderland Cemetery, Mere Knolls Cemetery 1905-1909, Tanfield, Rothbury, Sherburn Hospital, Ovingham, Newcastle St. John, Ferryhill, Newcastle All Sts baptisms 1800-1804, Slaley, Hartlepool St. Hilda baptisms 1850-1863,
Beware, ancestors - we're coming to find you!

(With thanks to Durham Records Online)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Explore Your Archive week 16-20 November 2015

From Glasgow City Archives (www.glasgowlife.org.uk/libraries/the-mitchell-library/archives/pages/home.aspx):

Dear Friends of Glasgow City Archives

We would like to take this opportunity to make you aware of ‘Explore Your Archive’, a national event run annually by the Archives and Records Association. All archives based in the UK and Ireland are invited to take part including all of us here at Glasgow City Archives.

We will be promoting the event each day via various social media themes and would love for you to help us. Use your own social media facilities to tell stories about how you’ve engaged with our archives using the hashtags #explorearchives and #glasgowcityarchives. You can be as creative as you like – dress up, take selfies or even make videos. The event will run from the 16th to the 20th of November and your support would be greatly appreciated.

To follow what we are doing every day of the campaign check us out on Facebook at: http://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/libraries/Pages/home.aspx.

We would like to thank you once again for being part of our story and look forward to seeing your contributions.

From all the staff at Glasgow City Archives

 Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Scottish Court service explains divorce records restrictions

On October 27th I blogged that there something was afoot with the Scottish divorce records, and the possible closure of records less than a hundred years old (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/closure-on-historic-scottish-divorce.html). In this post I noted that I had contacted the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service for clarification on this, and was awaiting confirmation from their end as to exactly what was closed, why, and what access was still possible in certain cases.

I followed this up with a further news announcement from the National Records of Scotland (www.nrscotland.gov.uk) on November 3rd, detailing some subsequent restrictions caused by the SCTS decision on the Register of Divorces at the ScotlandsPeople Centre (www.scotlandspeoplehub.gov.uk) from 1984 onwards, which notes Sheriff Court judgements from that period onwards (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/access-to-scottish-divorce-records-to.html).

True to their word, the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service has now come back to me with an official response:

SCTS has decided that it is necessary to put a closure period on the records of historic divorce cases in the Scottish Courts. All divorce cases, that is Sheriff Court (post-1984) and Court of Session, are closed for 100 years from the date of the case. Divorce papers can contain additional personal data and the restriction is in place to avoid that material being made public inappropriately. The closure was implemented on data protection grounds because these records can contain information that could cause substantial distress to identifiable individuals if made public. This issue was brought into sharp focus by a particular case and for privacy reasons relating to the affected individuals we cannot enter into discussion about that case.

This restriction does not apply to the fact of the divorce, the date of the divorce, the court in question or the names of the persons divorced. That information is still available from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service or for Sheriff Court (post-1984) from NRS. The parties can get a copy of their divorce/dissolution extract by applying in writing to the court which granted the divorce/dissolution. 

Further information is available at:

http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/taking-action/frequently-asked-questions/questions-about-divorce-or-dissolution-of-civil-partnership

Others who are not data subjects can make an application to SCTS for access to records under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. However, detailed sensitive personal data about living individuals (for example, child custody or access arrangements) is highly likely to be exempt under that Act. NRS will be updating their catalogues in due course.

The restriction will of course be a blow to those carrying out genealogical research, but it could have been much worse. It is still possible to note that a divorce took place within the last one hundred years, and to note to whom it related - the real genealogical restriction will be in noting any follow up concerning the children of such relationship breakdowns.

(With thanks to Chris Macrae, Media and Communications, Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.