Thursday, 21 September 2017

Meeting a FreeCEN volunteer in Crete!

It's a small world really! Last night at a Greek taverna in Crete, a couple seated next to me at the bar, Brian and Diane Collins from North Wales, got talking with me. Within seconds we were talking genealogy, because it soon transpired that Brian is in fact a volunteer for the FreeCEN project (www.freecen.org.uk).

FreeCEN is a volunteer based project designed to provide free to access transcriptions of the censuses in Britain from 1841-1891. Volunteers at the Scottish end started with 1841, and are moving forward through the range, whilst English and Welsh volunteers started at 1891 and are moving backwards. It's a long standing work in progress, but has many key advantages over some of the commercial sites, in that underpinning the transcription effort is an equally impressive effort to oversee the quality of the transcriptions using local knowledge, thanks to people like Brian. Brian's role is to check what transcribers are producing, and to make any corrections needed where there has been an error in interpretation from the original source record.


FreeCEN is certainly a site worth bookmarking - I have actually found entries using the site that in the past ScotlandsPeople has not even indexed correctly. And don't forget to check out the future version of FreeCEN, currently available on a beta site at https://freecen2.freecen.org.uk.

(With thanks to Brian and Diane - have a great stay in Crete!)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Details of new digitised church records at PRONI

This Friday sees a significant event in Belfast at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (www.nidirect.gov.uk/proni) with the formal launch event for a newly digitised series of church records at the archive. First, here are the details of the launch event, and how to register:

PRONI will highlight the availability of church records that it has digitised at an event at 12:30pm on Friday 22nd September. Digitised records dating from 1642 from 15 churches are now available to view onsite in PRONI. The itinerary for the day is as follows:

12:30pm – 12:45pm: Welcome address by Dr Michael Willis, PRONI Director

12:45 – 1:00pm: How to Search for Digitised Church Records on the PRONI Catalogue, demonstration by Lorraine Bourke, PRONI

1:00 – 1:15pm: Rev Robin Roddie, Archivist, Methodist Historical Society of Ireland, ‘A History of the Methodist Historical Society of Ireland’.

1:15 – 1:30pm: Dr Susan Hood, Librarian and Archivist, Representative Church Body, Dublin.

1:30pm: tea/coffee

If you are available to attend the event, please email Avril Loughlin (avril.loughlin@communities-ni.gov.uk) or register through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/launch-of-digitised-church-records-at-proni-tickets-37691207416

I am unfortunately unable to attend this event, being currently tied up in Crete on a family matter, and so I emailed the archive to ask for details of the church records in question. Most are new sets of records, with some a re-scan of registers that in the past were very poorly photographed in black and white. Many are from Belfast based churches, but there are others from across the north - they are noted here, with their call numbers immediately after the name:

Church Records Available as Digital Copies in PRONI

Church of Ireland Records

St. Columb’s Cathedral, Londonderry CR1/113
Baptisms 1642 – 1983 (records from 1905 – 1983 are closed)
Marriages 1826 – 1830, 1843 – 1904
Burials 1829 – 1955 (records from 1874 – 1955 are closed)
Vestry Books 1741 – 1793
Vestry Minutes 1823 – 1935

Derryloran Parish, Co. Tyrone CR1/114
Baptisms 1797 – 1995 (records from 1913 – 1995 are closed)
Marriages 1832 – 2000 (records from 1930 – 2000 are closed)
Burials 1855 – 1878

St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, Co. Antrim CR1/115
Baptisms 1745 – 1911
Marriages 1745 – 1914
Burials 1745 – 1809

Drumcree Parish Church, Portadown, Co. Armagh CR1/116
Baptisms 1784 – 1930 (records from 1906 – 1930 are closed)
Marriages 1784 – 1930 (records from 1926 – 1930 are closed)
Burials 1784 – 2013

St. Andrew’s Parish Church, Hope Street, Belfast, Co. Antrim CR1/117
Baptisms 1886 – 1933 (records from 1903 – 1933 are closed)
Marriages 1870 – 1889

St. Mary Magdalene Parish Church, Donegall Pass, Belfast, Co. Antrim CR1/118
Baptisms 1847 – 1872
Marriages 1862 – 1872
Burials Not Received
Register of Vestrymen 1870 – 1932
Select Vestry Minutes 1900 – 1911

Dromore Cathedral, Dromore, Co. Down CR1/119
Baptisms 1784 – 1846
Marriages 1784 – 1845
Burials 1784 – 1853

St. Luke’s Parish Church, Mullaglass, Co. Armagh CR1/120
Baptisms 1852 – 1865
Marriages 1845 – 1880
Burials 1853 – 1865
Preachers 1860 – 1865
Vestry Minutes 1870 – 1911
Register of Vestrymen 1890 – 1902
Roll of Subscribers 1877 – 1913

St. George’s Parish Church, High Street, Belfast, Co. Antrim CR1/121
Baptisms 1817 – 1870
Marriages 1817 – 1875
Burials Not Received
Minutes of Congregational Committee 1837 - 1840
Rector’s Notebook 1837 – 1843

St. Patrick’s Parish Church, Ballymacarret, Belfast, Co. Down CR1/122
Baptisms 1827 – 1883
Marriages 1827 – 1874
Burials Not Received
Minutes of general Vestry Meetings 1850 – 1980 (Closed)
Select Vestry Minutes 1891 – 1913


Methodist Church Records

Ballymacarrett Methodist Church (later known as Newtownards Road Methodist Church and now East Belfast Mission) CR6/18
Stewards Book 1871 – 1884

Hyde Park Methodist Church, Parish of Grange, Mallusk, Co. Antrim CR6/19
Marriages 1840 – 1931

Ligoniel Methodist Church, Belfast, Co. Antrim CR6/20
Baptisms 1870 – 1908

Frederick Street Methodist Church, Belfast, Co. Antrim CR6/21
Baptisms 1841 – 1877
Marriages 1840 – 1873

Salem Methodist New Connexion Church, York Street, Belfast, Co. Antrim CR6/22
Baptisms 1829 – 1904
Marriages 1836 - 1844


COMMENT: No doubt there will be something in here for some of you, but I am personally over the moon that the records of St Anne's have been rescanned - the original microfilms were virtually illegible and impossible to use. These records cannot be consulted from home, but must be consulted at the archive itself. But when they are hosted at the best archive across Britain and Ireland, that's not such a chore. Another trip to PRONI beckons soon then - well done team...! :)

(With grateful thanks to Lorraine Bourke and Gavin McMahon at PRONI)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Coming soon - Unlock the Past handy guides

Unlock the Past (www.unlockthepast.com.au) is preparing a new range of 4 page card based 'handy guides' which it will be selling at events in the immediate future, to complement its range of genealogy guide books. The guides contain detailed articles relating to various topics of use to the family historian - the following are the first five titles, of which I have contributed two:

Civil Registration Births, Marriages and Deaths in Britain and Ireland, Chris Paton
Twenty Useful websites for Irish Research, Chris Paton
DNA for Genealogy, Kerry Farmer
GEDmatch Tools for DNA & Genealogy Research, Kerry Farmer
Civil Registration Births, Marriages and Deaths in Germany, Eric Kopittke

Let the team know what you think of them of when you see them, and perhaps what subjects you might like to see added further down the line!

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

US based RootsTech event registration now open

From FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org), news of its annual family history show in Utah:

RootsTech 2018 Now Open for Registration

SALT LAKE CITY (19 September 2017)--FamilySearch International has announced that registration to RootsTech 2018 is now open. RootsTech is a popular 4-day annual family history and technology conference where individuals and families are inspired to discover, preserve, and share their family roots, heritage, and stories. The conference will be held February 28 to March 3, 2018, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, go to RootsTech.org. (Find and share this announcement online in the FamilySearch Newsroom.)

In 2017 the growing event attracted more than 26,000 attendees in-person from all 50 U.S. states and more than 35 countries. Family Discovery Day, a free 1-day event held on Saturday as part of the conference, is also open for registration.

RootsTech 2018 will offer attendees a full lineup of inspiring and well-known keynote speakers; over 300 informative sessions, including hands-on computer labs taught by industry professionals and leaders; interactive activities and helpful exhibitors in the expo hall; and entertaining evening events. All are designed to inspire and empower personal family discoveries.

INNOVATION SHOWCASE

RootsTech 2018 officially begins on Wednesday, February 28, with class sessions beginning at 9:30 a.m. The all-new general session begins at 4:30 p.m. Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, will be the keynote speaker. Following Rockwood's address will be the all-new Innovation Showcase. The Innovation Showcase will feature the best new technology in the industry from around the globe. RootsTech is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Innovation Showcase from the public. The public can nominate its favorite family history related app, product, or service by using #RootsTechInnovation on Facebook or Twitter, or visit the Innovation Showcase page at rootstech.org. The submission deadline is October 15, 2017.

The showcase also offers attendees the opportunity to interact and connect with industry influencers, executives, and investors. Online viewers will also be able to vote for their favorite product or service during the live showcase event on Wednesday. (See RootsTech 2018 Grows to 4 Days, Introduces New Innovation Showcase.)

FAMILY DISCOVERY DAY

Registration for Family Discovery Day is also now open. The event takes place on Saturday, March 3, 2018, and is designed for families and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This free and fun 1-day event includes inspiring messages from Church leaders; engaging classes for families, youth, and young single adults; and evening entertainment to inspire and help families and members discover, preserve, and share their family connections. Family Discovery Day attendees will also have access to all the interactive activities and exhibitors found in the RootsTech Expo Hall. Event details, including speakers and classes, will be made available soon at RootsTech.org. Registration is required.

PRICES

Early bird discount pricing is available for a limited time on 4-day passes at just $169 (a $100 discount). Single-day RootsTech passes are also available for $99. A 4-day Getting Started pass is only $69. All passes include access to the popular Expo Hall and morning keynote sessions.

About RootsTech

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

To register visit https://www.rootstech.org.

(With thanks to FamilySearch)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Canadian Expeditionary Force Service Files digitisation update

Library and Archives Canada has announced that it has now digitised 491,373 of 640,000 Canadian Expeditionary Force Service Files, available in its Personnel Records of the First World War project site at www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/personnel-records/Pages/personnel-records.aspx. The latest box digitised is Box 8363 (of 10686), with the last name included being Robertson.

For more on CEF records please visit www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/personnel-records/Pages/personnel-records.aspx.

(With thanks to LAC at https://thediscoverblog.com/2017/09/15/digitization-of-the-canadian-expeditionary-force-personnel-service-files-update-of-september-2017/)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

How to follow The GENES Blog

Hi everyone, just a quick note to point out two ways to follow the blog, other than just dropping in occasionally!

On the left margin side of this page you will see a section entitled 'Subscribe via email'. If you register your email address in this, you will get a daily post of content from this blog, allowing you to digest everything in one go. Last night the blog passed the 1000 email subscribers mark, so there has to be at least another thousand folk out there waiting to do similarly!

Alternatively, The GENES Blog's Facebook page is another way to subscribe, simply follow the page and new posts appear as an when in your timeline - to get to the page, click on the link. Note that on the Facebook page you will get a bit more banter and a few more extras (reshared posts etc), and you can also interact with me if you require to (you can of course, also leave comments on the main blog posts!). The Facebook page currently has 2200 followers and is growing by the day.

Finally, do let you friends and societies know about the blog - and feel free to lift and re-use content for newsletters, journals etc, if you are a not for profit genealogical agency. All I ask if you do so is for a simple acknowledgement for The GENES Blog as the source.

Many thanks, and I hope this helps!

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Genealogists for Families

Last month in Australia I caught up with genealogist Judy Webster, who a few years ago set up an initiative called Genealogists for Families (http://genfamilies.blogspot.com), and I promised I would give it another plug!


Genealogists for Families is a worthwhile scheme which seeks to make loans of $25 to people in need around the world, which can be reclaimed once repaid or re-invested to help another person in need. The idea was based on Judy's father's idea of setting aside 'Do Good Money' and is gaining widespread support across the world's genealogical community. The initiative also has a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/173969336022998/. All loans opportunities are provided through the Kiva non-profit platform, and you can select who you wish to pay to and for what worthwhile opportunity.

By the way - you don't need to be a professional genealogist to sign up! All donations will be very welcome, and if you contribute I will love you all even more than I do already and will shout your names from the Scottish hills for all eternity to hear! :)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

FIBIS AGM and autumn lecture

News of this year's Families in British India Society (www.fibis.org) AGM:

FIBIS AGM and Autumn Lecture Meeting 2017

The FIBIS AGM and Autumn Lecture Meeting will be on Saturday 28th October 2017 at the Resource For London, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA.
Programme

10.00 FIBIS experts answer your research questions
12.00 Break for Lunch. There is a café on the premises for light lunches.
13.15 AGM
14.00 Film and presentation by Andrew McMeekin: “Thomas McMeekin’s Tea Times,” a story of life on a tea plantation.
15.00 Break
15.30 Introduction by Ian Smith to his new book : “The Bitter End of the British Raj” – (a family’s experience of Partition)
16.30 - 17.00 Networking

The Meeting is free and open to all interested in the study of British India whether or not they are members of FIBIS. Please register you attendance via Eventbrite below or email membership@fibis.org

(With thanks to Valmay Young)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Sussex parish records join TheGenealogist

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

TheGenealogist adds over 1.1 million records to their Sussex Parish Record Collection

TheGenealogist has added over 1.1 million individuals to its parish record collection covering the county of Sussex. Published In association with The Parish Record Transcription Society, this first tranche of records will be followed by more releases in the near future.

This New release covers individual records of:

● 717,000 Baptisms
● 213,000 Marriages
● 208,000 Burials

The Parish Record Transcription Society (PRTSoc) have worked with TheGenealogist and S&N to publish their records online, making over 1.1 million individuals from baptism, marriage and burial records fully searchable:

"We are very pleased to be working with TheGenealogist on this major project, previously undertaken to transcribe the parish registers of West Sussex by the staff and dedicated volunteers of the PRTSoc. This will preserve these records for future generations and brings them into the online community." Peter Steward, Chairman of PRTSoc

Mark Bayley, Head of Online Development at TheGenealogist, welcomed PRTSoc to the growing number family history societies on both TheGenealogist and FHS-Online saying: “We’re delighted that PRTSoc chose to publish their records through TheGenealogist and FHS-Online. This release adds to the ever expanding collection of parish records on both websites. These partnerships help fund societies whilst bringing their records to a much wider audience, through online publication.”

This release joins TheGenealogist’s Sussex collection including parish records to form a major resource for the county. Read their article here: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/new-sussex-parish-records-reveal-a-grizzly-end-646/

If your society is interested in publishing records online, please contact Mark Bayley on 01722 717002 or see fhs-online.co.uk/about.php

(With thanks to Nick Thorne)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Friday, 15 September 2017

FindmyPast adds Herefordshire records

Latest additions from FindmyPast (www.findmypast.com):

Herefordshire Baptisms
Herefordshire Baptisms contains over 229,000 transcripts of original parish baptism registers. The collection dates back to the early 1500s and covers more than 240 parishes across the county. Some of the records have been created by the Leintwardine History Society from original documents and the rest come from FamilySearch's International Genealogical Index.

Herefordshire Marriages
Search over 49,000 transcripts of Herefordshire Marriages spanning the years 1538 to 1936 to uncover the name of your ancestor's spouse and add another branch to your family tree. Herefordshire is found in the West Midlands of England and share borders with Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire and Wales. You will find records from more than 230 parishes across the county, including Bromyard, Kington, Leominster, Ledbury, and Ross-on-Wye.

Herefordshire Burials
Do you have family members buried Herefordshire? Search transcripts of original parish burial registers that span four centuries and cover 75 parishes across the county to find out. Each record will reveal where and when your ancestor was laid to rest as well as the names of their parent's and spouse.

Herefordshire Wills, 1517-1700
Herefordshire wills, 1517-1700 is a collection of more than 49,000 records produced by the British Record Society. This handwritten index was created from the original documents found in the Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre. The index is arranged in alphabetical order by surname and can be searched the by the first initial of the surname. In the cases where there is more than one volume for a surname, the volumes are numbered.

Further details at https://blog.findmypast.co.uk/findmypast-friday-september-15th-2485517307.html.

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

FindmyPast management appointments

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.com) has made two personnel changes at the top.

Tamsin Todd has been appointed the new CEO, and Jay Verkler, the former CEO, is now its new Chairman of the Board.

The full announcement is at https://blog.findmypast.co.uk/introducing-2484374980.html.

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Digital Panopticon: London convicts database project

News of a new British convicts database at https://www.digitalpanopticon.org/:

NEW, FREE HISTORY WEBSITE TRACES LIVES OF TRANSPORTED AND IMPRISONED BRITISH CONVICTS

Family historians, teachers, crime writers and academics can follow the lives of people convicted and transported to Australia or imprisoned in Britain using a vast, new, free online resource.

The Digital Panopticon website draws on over four million records to allow users to uncover how punishment affected the lives of 90,000 individuals convicted of crimes at the Old Bailey between 1780 and 1925, including those uprooted by the UK criminal justice system to carry out their sentence in the British Empire’s then newly established penal colonies in Australia.

By providing a wide range of search fields, including name, year and place of birth, criminal record, height, eye and hair colour, among others, it is possible to compare the impact of transportation and imprisonment on reoffending, desistence, family lives and health.

The free website also allows users to search by group, such as those convicted of a certain crime, and then download entire data sets for analysis.

Researchers have discovered that:

• Many convicts did not serve the punishments as originally laid out, including many sentenced to transportation that never left Britain
• British convicts that were transported to Australia tended to desist from offending once married with children.
• Children born to transported convicts were healthier and taller than those born to convicts imprisoned in Britain.
• A dramatic increase in record-keeping during the 19th century became a new form of state control over the criminal.

Project lead, Professor Barry Godfrey, a social historian at the University of Liverpool, said: “The amount of information is staggeringly huge, it’s a resource the likes of which we have never had before.

“It is one of the largest genealogical resources and one of the first to catalogue in chronological order so users can follow the whole life of a person.”

Professor Bob Shoemaker, at the University of Sheffield, said: “Combining extraordinarily rich records with the latest digital humanities methodologies, this free resource demonstrates the impact of punishment on health, family circumstances and future patterns of offending, with clear relevance to contemporary penal regimes.”

Tim Hitchcock, Professor of Digital History at the University of Sussex, said: “The Digital Panopticon helps us understand history from below in a new way – from the perspective of the hundreds of thousands of working people caught up in a global system of policing, punishment and empire.

“The material reveals the lived experience of trial and imprisonment. It really does change our understanding of the history of criminal justice, particularly the importance of both the criminal trial and plea bargaining to the system’s evolution.”

Professor Deborah Oxley, at the University of Oxford, said: “Social and economic history has entered a new era.

“Mass biography, connecting multifarious records across individual lives, offers new opportunities for understanding the past. Gaze afresh at the birth of the modern criminal justice system, as it journeyed from death and transportation to detention, from inside this Digital Panopticon.”

Professor Hamish Maxwell-Stuart, at the University of Tasmania, said: “The Digital Panopticon site will provide access to many records hitherto unavailable to Australian based researchers.

“It will prove a particularly important resource for family historians, enabling them to track the lives of the men and women sentenced in the Old Bailey to ‘leave their country for their country’s good’.”

The website forms part of the wider Digital Panopticon project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and has been developed by the University of Liverpool, University of Sheffield, University of Oxford, University of Sussex and University of Tasmania in Australia. The technical work, including data assembly, record linkage, and website creation was carried out by the Digital Humanities Institute at the University of Sheffield.

The new resource also includes data from genealogy sites Find My Past and Ancestry, as well as the National Archives and record collections in Australia. Users of the Digital Panopticon are able to see if additional materials related to their research are available in these external sources.

The website is online at https://www.digitalpanopticon.org/
Convict life stories can be read here: https://www.digitalpanopticon.org/Convict_Lives

(With thanks to Matt Hurst at the University of Liverpool)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Latest FamilySearch additions

The latest additions this week to the free FamilySearch website (https://familysearch.org):

Collection
Indexed Records
Digital Images
Comments
262,608
262,608
Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
1,752,392
63,251
New indexed records and images collection
1,760,360
145,352
New indexed records and images collection
1,952,203
201,743
New indexed records and images collection
2,138,072
264,973
New indexed records and images collection
2,328,066
1,153,599
New indexed records and images collection
2,525,146
391,264
New indexed records and images collection
4,371
44,372
Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
4,853
9,903
New indexed records and images collection
15,127
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection
7,595,471
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection
60,015
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection
137,335
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection
29,115
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection
92,507
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection
5,350
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection
3,821
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection
4,054
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection
29,538
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection
96,910
2,106
New indexed records and images collection
281,584
0
Added indexed records to an existing collection

(Source: http://media.familysearch.org/new-historic-records-on-familysearch-week-of-september-12-2017/)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Ancestry to sponsor Dublin's Back to our Past event

From Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk), news that it is sponsoring this year's Back to our Past event in Dublin:

Ancestry 'Delighted' to Sponsor both Back to Our Past and 50 Plus Expo

Ancestry is delighted to be returning as the headline sponsor for Back To Our Past, and the 50 Plus Expo, Ireland’s premier family history event and event for people 50 and over. Every year the shows go from strength to strength, offering visitors a wealth of genealogy guidance and resources – whether you are new to family history or have been researching for years. There’s also a range of fascinating talks from some of the best experts around, sharing advice on how you can get the most from the billions of records available to search online, or how to use newer family history tools such as DNA testing. We look forward to seeing you at the show – be sure to come and visit us at our stand.

The 50 Plus Expo's are lifestyle events for people who want to be inspired in their retirement and cover a range of interests, needs and concerns to people 50 and over. The shows are run all over Ireland (Cork, Killarney, Athlone, Galway and Dublin). Our flagship Dublin show every October attracts on average 15,000 people and 220 exhibitors every year.



NB: For more on Back to Our Past, which takes place from 20th-22nd September 2017 at the RDS, visit www.backtoourpast.ie.

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

National Archives of Australia - temporary relocation

From the National Archives of Australia (www.naa.gov.au):

Information about the National Office temporary relocation to Old Parliament House

The Archives' National Office in East Block, Parkes, will be relocated to Old Parliament House (OPH) from 16 October 2017 to late 2018.

This will allow remedial works to be carried out on East Block.

Staff will be temporarily relocated to OPH, where a reading room for access to original records will be available to researchers, and a display of facsimiles of the Constitution and other founding documents will also be housed.

All Archives visitors wishing to see facsimiles of the Constitution and other founding documents will be required to pay the Museum of Australian Democracy entry fee of $2 for adults and $1 for children. This supports the conservation work of the Museum to maintain the heritage-listed OPH building, in which we will be a tenant.

Exhibitions will be placed in secure storage for the duration of the relocation. Our audiences are encouraged to visit our national touring exhibitions with venues and tour dates available at naa.gov.au or experience our online exhibitions via the Google Cultural Institute.

During the relocation, Archives staff will be developing exciting new programs and enhanced experiences for visitors on our return to East Block from late 2018.

From close of business on Sunday 17 September 2017 all galleries, store and visitor entry will be closed to the public. The Kings Avenue business entrance will remain open until close of business on Friday 6 October.

From close of business on Friday 6 October 2017 the reading room will be closed, and will reopen at OPH on Monday 16 October. Access to original records will not be available while the reading room is closed. Contact Reference Services staff for more information.

This relocation will not affect staff and records located at the National Archives Preservation Facility in Mitchell, or any of our state/territory offices.

Following the potential sale of East Block, the Archives has agreed to a new eight-year lease, with a two-year option, to commence on the Archives' return to East Block.

The new owner of East Block will be responsible for all remedial works and for ensuring they are undertaken in accordance with relevant regulations, including with regard to the heritage status of the building.


(Original story at http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/organisation/locations/oph-relocation.aspx)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

A graveyard in Crete

I am still in Pano Gouves, on the north coast of the Greek island of Crete, where I have been looking after my father, who broke his hip two weeks ago. I won't go into the new skills I have been picking up here on that front (!), instead, I thought I would briefly pop back into genie mode and show you some images from a local graveyard in the village. I popped in yesterday to visit, ostensibly to track down the grave of a friend of my father, who died in 2014, to pay my respects.

The main church denomination here is the Greek Orthodox Church, and the graveyard in Gouves is just down the road from the main church building. For some insight into the local funeral traditions and customs surrounding death in Crete, visit www.livingincrete.net/bereavement2.html and www.completely-crete.com/funeral.html.

I particularly love this line in the latter site:

"Members of the Greek Orthodox religion believe that at the moment of death, the deceased receives a partial judgment and gets a glimpse of both heaven and hell - and is thereafter sent to one of them."

Here are the images...


 











Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Writing Your Family History course

I have been contacted by genealogist Gill Blanchard, who has asked me to plug her forthcoming course, Writing Your Family History. It is a 10 week course beginning on 30 September - details at www.writingyourfamilyhistory.co.uk/#WYFHModOne

From Gill:

The lessons focus on enabling students to choose the most suitable format for them, decide what to include and how, and find and add relevant context. There are two weeks between each of the five sets of course materials to allow time for reading, writing, critiquing and feedback. The lessons include writing exercises, focussed guidance, useful tips, writing examples, links to useful resources and background reading. There will be regular live online discussions with the tutor and other students. A dedicated learning hub can be used at any time throughout the course to share work, ask questions and post news.

This course is aimed at those who have completed a body of research into their family history and are ready to start writing.

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

FIBIS Conference 2018

From the Families in British India Society (www.fibis.org):

FIBIS Conference 2018

Friday 28th to Sunday 30th September 2018

2018 marks the Families in British India Society’s 20th anniversary and trustees plan to mark the occasion with a residential conference near Oxford.

We are currently planning the content and activities and will post updates on the FIBIS website, www.fibis.org, at regular intervals.

To register an interest and receive updates direct, please complete the FIBIS Conference 2018 Interest Form (available at https://www.fibis.org/fibis-conference-2018-interest-form/) or contact Penny Tipper, Events Manager, events@fibis.org

(With thanks to Valmay Young)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Mass grave found in Lanark cemetery with over 400 children

There's a fairly shocking story this morning concerning a former care home in Lanark, Scotland. The bodies of some four hundred children are believed to have been buried in a mass grave at St. Mary's Cemetery, with the children believed to have been formerly raised in Smyllum Park Orphanage in Lanark, run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. The burials are believed to have been made between 1864 and 1981, when the orphanage finally closed its doors.

The discovery has been unearthed by the Film on 4 TV programme, working in conjunction with the Sunday Post newspaper - its coverage is available online at https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/smyllums-children-lanarkshire-kids-home-scandal-revealed-hundreds-orphans-laid-rest-nuns-mass-grave/. The charity itself has refused to comment.

UPDATE: "No crime" over orphanage mass grave - http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-41242514

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Scottish Roman Catholic registers join FindmyPast

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.com) has added over a thousand Scottish Roman Catholic registers:

Scotland Roman Catholic Parish Registers Browse
http://search.findmypast.co.uk/search-world-Records/scotland-roman-catholic-parish-registers-browse

Browse through more than 1000 volumes of Roman Catholic sacramental registers of baptisms, marriages and burials spanning the years 1736 to 1942. This extensive collection contains records from all eight Scottish dioceses: Aberdeen, Argyll & The Isles, Dunkeld, Galloway, Glasgow, Motherwell, St Andrews & Edinburgh, and Paisley.

(NB: I'm currently in Crete so have not had a chance to compare what has been released with what is also already available and searchable on ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk), also sourced from the Scottish Catholic Archives. The ScotlandsPeople presentation also include records from the UK wide Bishopric of the Forces).



Also released are some further English records:

Lancashire wills & probate 1457-1858
http://search.findmypast.co.uk/search-world-Records/lancashire-wills-and-probate-1457-1858
Lancashire wills & probate 1457-1858 is an index of more than 229,000 Lancashire records that will enable you to determine whether your ancestor's probate papers have survived through the centuries. Until 1857, the Church of England was responsible for administering wills and probate cases. These wills would have been proved in ecclesiastic courts. The records cover Amounderness, Copeland, Furness, Kendal, and Lonsdale deaneries. This collection has been created by both Findmypast, which transcribed original records from the Lancashire Record Office, and the Lancashire and Cheshire Record Society, which provided index work.

Leicestershire Baptisms
http://search.findmypast.co.uk/search-world-Records/leicestershire-baptisms
Over 54,000 new records have been added to Leicestershire Baptisms. The new additions consist of Bishops transcripts from around the county that date back as far as 1538. Bishop's transcripts were abbreviated copies of the parish records sent to the Diocesan bishop several times a year. They can be an invaluable source of genealogical information when the original record has not survived.

Leicestershire Marriages
http://search.findmypast.co.uk/search-world-Records/leicestershire-marriages
More than 22,000 Bishops transcripts of Leicestershire parish marriages registers have been added to our collection of Leicestershire Marriages. The collection spans the years 1537 to 1931 and covers more 300 parishes across the country.

Leicestershire Burials
http://search.findmypast.co.uk/search-world-Records/leicestershire-burials
Over 39,000 bishops transcripts of parish burial records have been added this week. The records span over 400 years from 1538 to the 1991 and cover 279 parishes. These records will allow you discover when your ancestor died, their age at death, place of burial, date of burial and parent's names.

Leicestershire Parish Records Browse
http://search.findmypast.co.uk/search-world-Records/leicestershire-parish-records-browse
13,000 volumes of Leicestershire parish baptisms, marriages and burials have been added to this collection. Spanning from 1538 to 1916, these records cover more than 300 parishes.

British Newspapers
http://search.findmypast.co.uk/search/british-newspapers
More than 993,000 new articles and 12 brand new titles have been added to our collection of historic British Newspapers:

Illustrated War News
Exmouth Journal
Saffron Walden Weekly News
Lowestoft Journal
Woolwich Gazette and Greenwich and Deptford Chronicle
Newbury Weekly News and General Advertiser
Market Harborough Advertiser and Midland Mail
Eastbourne Herald
Stornoway Gazette and West Coast Advertiser
Bucks Advertiser & Aylesbury News
Morecambe Guardian
Clitheroe Advertiser and Times

Further details are available via the links.

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan records added to Ancestry

The following Canadian collections are now available on Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk), which may be of interest if your ancestors emigrated there from Britain and Ireland, particularly if they worked for or settled in areas controlled by the Hudson's Bay Company:

Manitoba, Canada, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1834-1959
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=61513
Source: Provincial Archives of Manitoba, Manitoba, Canada. Archidocese of Keewatin-La Pas, Manitoba, Canada.

This collection consists baptism, marriage, and burial records from various churches in and around Manitoba, Canada between the years of 1834 and 1959. Some information found by browsing the collection may date back to 1800, but baptism, marriage, and burial records are only found post-1834.


Manitoba, Canada, Census Indexes, 1832-1856 & 1870
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=61494
Source: Provincial Archives of Manitoba, Manitoba, Canada.

This collection consists of Census Indexes from Manitoba (Red River Settlement), Canada, from the years 1832-1856, taken by the Hudson's Bay Company, and the 1870 provincial census of Manitoba.


Saskatchewan, Canada, Catholic Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1867-1932
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=61499
Source: Archdiocese of Regina (Saskatchewan), Archdiocese of Keewatin-La Pas (Manitoba), Diocese of Prince Albert (Saskatchewan), Diocese of Saskatoon.

Baptisms, marriages, and burials from various Roman Catholic parishes in Saskatchewan, Canada. Confirmations may also be found. Records typically appear in either register or paragraph format, and are written in French and English. Some registers may have latin headings, but the entries will be written in English or French. Because of the location and time period of these records, some registers may include Metis families in the old Northwest Territories and in the province of Sakatchewan.


Saskatchewan, Canada, Cemetery Transcripts, 1850-1994
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=61500
Source: Saskatchewan Genealogical Society, Saskatchewan, Canada.

This collection includes cemetery records from Saskatchewan, Canada, spanning the years of 1850-1994.

Further details on each collection can be found via the links.

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Scottish Research Online course starts next week

My next Scottish Research Online course starts on Monday 11th September 2017. It is five weeks in length, and is designed to help you get the best out of the main websites used for online family history research in Scotland.

In addition to each lesson sent out, we have a live online chat session every week, and a dedicated discussion forum for students to use throughout, to talk to each other and to me (with myself just happening to be a working genealogist in Scotland - ask me anything throughout!).

For further information on the course content, and to sign up, please visit https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.

Hopefully I'll see you there - think of the fun we're going to have!

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.