Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Family Tree Live returns April 2020

From Family Tree magazine:

NEWS RELEASE | 20 January 2020 | Family Tree Live 17-18 April 2020, Alexandra Palace, London
www.familytreelive.co.uk

Trace your WW2 family to mark the VE Day 75th anniversary

In May 2020 people across the globe will mark the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. And at the Family Tree Live family history show – coming to London’s stunning Alexandra Palace this spring – you’ll be able to learn how to research and remember your WW2 kin and heroes.

VE Day took place on 8 May 1945 and saw the end of World War II in Europe after the Nazis surrendered to the Allies. For millions, there was dancing, street parties and revelry but also, of course, memories of those who had paid the ultimate price, were imprisoned or displaced.

This historic day marked the end of six years of war, separation, hardship, death and destruction although, in fact, the conflict was to continue until August 1945, when Japan finally surrendered. This is known as VJ Day.


Research & remember
With these 75th anniversaries on the horizon, now is the perfect time to research and remember our WW2 family, whose lives would have been changed forever by the war.

And there’s no better place to start learning about wartime kin than at Family Tree Live 2020, where visitors will find a host of exhibitors, lectures and workshops to help them piece together their families’ past. All the family are welcome at the show, which will be marking VE Day to kick off this year’s commemorative events and help visitors find out about their WW2 families.

Organised by UK family history magazine Family Tree in partnership with genealogy experts from the Family History Federation, Family Tree Live takes place at London’s Alexandra Palace on 17 and 18 April 2020.

Family Tree Editor Helen Tovey said: ‘There can hardly be a family on the globe whose lives weren’t impacted by the Second World War in some way. Now, 75 years on from the end of the conflict, the war is on the edge of living memory – many of those who lived, fought and endured those years are no longer with us. So it’s more important than ever that we take the time to trace and remember the sacrifices they made, and cherish the peace they worked so hard for.’

Learning & entertainment
This unique show boasts family and military history lectures, workshops, one-to-one advice sessions, exhibition stands, living history and family fun, all included in the price of your ticket.

Lectures ideal for those tracing relatives during the 1940s include Keith Gregson’s Family records for Second World War service in which the stalwart genealogist and archivist will be looking at the kinds of records that might have been kept by both males and females who served in WW2.

Military historian Graham Bandy will be presenting Identifying your ancestors’ Second World War military photos, giving a fascinating look at the clues to spot to help you trace your World War II service personnel, while fellow military researcher Simon Fowler will talk on Sources for World War 2 Army ancestors, looking at the essential paper trail resources to help you trace your family heroes.

Tragically, many with Jewish ancestry will have family members affected by the Holocaust. If you have Jewish ancestors, then Michael Tobias’s Researching your Jewish ancestry on the internet lecture will be a perfect place to start tracing your family.

The workshop programme will also appeal to those tracing the stories of WW2 relatives. The varied topics include Why is the 1939 Register invaluable? with Dr Penny Walters, Jewish ancestors with Jeanette Rosenberg and How to use newspapers for family history with Keith Gregson. The workshops are small groups led by a tutor and places go quickly, so organisers advise booking them as early as possible.

These lectures and workshops are just a few of those taking place over the two days. Show-goers can browse them all and book when they buy their tickets online.

Military experts, living historians & more!
Graham Bandy will also be hosting a Second World War-themed stand, where visitors will be able to ask him expert questions about the period and get old family military photos dated.

In addition, a team from the Ministry of Defence, which holds WW2 service records and medals, will be exhibiting and answering specific queries. And living historians from Basingstoke’s Milestones Museum will also be there with treasures and handling boxes from its collections to explore.

Exhibitors also include the British Library and National Library of Wales, Royal British Legion, Jersey Heritage, the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, Families in British India Society and a wonderful array of other family history organisations to help visitors trace their roots.

The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) will be running bookable advice sessions while show sponsors FamilySearch and FamilyTreeDNA (look out for the special DNA lectures and workshops if this is your interest area) will have plenty to offer family history enthusiasts of all levels of experience.

Tickets to the event that celebrates all things family history cost only £13 a day (children free), including all lectures, workshops, one-to-one advice sessions, exhibitions and living history entertainment. It is ideal for everyone interested in their heritage, so head to Family Tree Live this April to learn and treasure your family’s story.

Find out more and book tickets at www.familytreelive.co.uk

• Everyone has a story... discover yours at Family Tree Live. Watch the video at https://familytr.ee/ftlivestory

(With thanks to Karen Clare)

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

ScotlandsPeople website will be unavailable for 3 days

From ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk):

Please note, due to essential maintenance, the ScotlandsPeople website will be unavailable from 16:30 GMT Friday 17th January, and will be operational again on Tuesday 21st January. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.

NB: I understand from a conversation with the Burns Monument Centre in Kilmarnock yesterday that this will also affect all family history centres offering access to the ScotlandsPeople system.


(With thanks to @ScotlandsPeople on Twitter)

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Back To Our Past's Belfast genealogy talks schedule confirmed

The genealogy talks schedules for Back To Our Past on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th February 2020 are now confirmed and listed online at https://backtoourpast.ie/schedules/belfast-genealogy-lecture-schedule/. The venue is the ICC in Belfast (www.iccbelfast.com).

I am delighted to say that I will be returning to the event, having previously attended in 2018, to give a talk on Tracing the Irish in Scotland. This will take place at 1.30pm on Saturday 15th, weather and ferries permitting. I'm very much looking forward once again to not having to apologise to a crowd for my accent!

The DNA talks schedule is also available on the site at https://backtoourpast.ie/schedules/belfast-dna-lecture-schedule/.



(With thanks to Martin McDowell)

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Northern Irish government set to resume work

After three years, it looks like everyone has finally caught themselves on in Belfast and decided to resume sitting as a government at the Assembly in Stormont. See https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2020/0110/1105463-northern-ireland-politics/. It's good news for democracy and for Northern Ireland.

Quite apart from the very serious issues that have been left to drift through the suspension, there is, of course, always a genealogy angle to such developments! In this case, the suspension of Stormont had led to a cessation of Freedom of Information enquiries being dealt with by government agencies, as the legislation requires there to be a sitting minister (see https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/temporary-suspension-foi-requests-proni-faqs). This has impacted on the ability of agenices such as PRONI (www.nidirect.gov.uk/proni) to deal with applications, for example, concerning enquiries into Northern Ireland's 1939 National Identity Register, a major census substitute.

Fingers crossed for things to go smoothly, and a for a resumption of normal service soon!


UPDATE: Deirdre Hargey of Sinn Féin has been appointed the new Communities minister, the ministry which oversees PRONI. Congratulations to her.

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

FindmyPast adds WW1 UK soldiers' medical records

As well as adding 85,000 records to the 1939 National Identity Register for England and Wales, FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has also added the following records this week:


British Armed Forces, First World War Soldiers' Medical Records
More than 21,000 additional records have been added to the collection. This fascinating National Archives’ collection allows you to discover when and where servicemen were wounded, the nature of their injuries, where they were treated and notes on their recovery as well as details relating to their service.

The records in this series are a representative selection of the original collection. The records include admission and discharge registers from hospitals and casualty clearing stations, field ambulances, an ambulance train and a hospital ship.

United States, National Veterans Cemetery Index
Explore more than 1.8 million transcripts covering over a century of veterans who fought in various conflicts, from the American Civil War and the two world wars through to the Afghanistan war. Each result will reveal a variety of details relating to the deceased’s life, family and military service. Transcripts may include birth years, death years, service, rank, death date, home town, burial place, father’s name and spouse.

British & Irish Newspaper Update
With over 195,000 new pages recently added, there are a variety of new and updated titles available to search, including:

New Titles
· Western Evening Herald covering the years 1895, 1900-1920, 1922-1924
· Newtownards Chronicle & Co. Down Observer covering the years 1873-1874
· Warrington Advertiser the years 1865, 1877, 1879, 1884, 1887, 1889

Updated Titles
· South Wales Gazette covering the years 1903 & 1961
· Newcastle Evening Chronicle covering 1926
· Daily Review (Edinburgh) covering the years 1884 and 1886
· Witness (Edinburgh) covering the years 1842-1845, 1848, 1854, 1861

Further details and collection links at https://www.findmypast.co.uk/blog/new/new-1939-register-entries-and-military-records

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Paisley Poor Law indexes updated

Paisley Heritage Centre (www.renfrewshireleisure.com/heritage) has announced a significant update to its online Poor Law records indexes:

This important source of information for people researching their family history and Paisley and Renfrewshire’s social history is now much easier to search. The Heritage Centre has created an online version of the Paisley Poor Law Indexes to open up the collection to those with ancestors from this area.

We have recently completed indexing Series 14 of the Poor Law statements, which consists of an additional 100 volumes dating from 1930 to 1948. This adds approximately 15000 entries to our existing index.

To consult the index, visit https://libcat.renfrewshire.gov.uk/iguana/uploads/file/Website%20version%202019.pdf


(With thanks to the heritage centre)

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

All pre-Partition marriage records now available on IrishGenealogy.ie

Joseph Madigan, Minister of Ireland's Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht, has announced the completion of additions to historic marriage records for pre-Partition Ireland, with the release of marriage records from 1845-1864 on Irish genealogy (www.irishgenealogy.ie):

Delighted to announce new register records are now available to the public on the http://irishgenealogy.ie website!

Birth records–1864 - 1919
Marriage records–1845 -1944
Death records–1878 - 1969

A rich tapestry of Irish history



As noted the update also includes the latest additions for birth records from 1919, marriage records (Republic only) from 1944, and deaths (Republic only) from 1969, respecting the online closure periods for access to these records of 100 years, 75 years and 50 years respectively.

(Note that Northern Ireland's records platform at https://geni.nidirect.gov.uk has a rolling programme of updates to its database to comply with the same closure periods.)

Have fun exploring! 

(With thanks to @JosephMadigan) 


UPDATE - have just carried out a search and it appears the records may have been added twice - I'm getting double copies of results!


UPDATE 2: I've noticed with some of the birth records from 1919 and deaths from 1969 that whilst images are not available, transcripts are - for example, see https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/transcript-civil/2c07cb12977959 and https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/transcript-civil/0ff08d0490408. Not sure I have seen this before on the site?

Chris
 
Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

FamilySearch adds Irish Poverty Relief Funds 1810-1887 index

FamilySearch has added the following Irish collection:

Ireland, Poverty Relief Funds, 1810-1887 
691,210 added to new indexed records collection
https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/3499247

Digital images of originals housed at the National Archives. Index includes the borrower's name and the guarantors or witnesses for the loan. The Irish Reproductive Loan Fund was a micro credit scheme set up in 1824 to provide small loans to the 'industrious poor'. Local associations and committees administered the scheme, most often from a small town in a rural area, and county committees oversaw their work.

The records of the local associations and county committees are in the The National Archives record series (PRO) T91. As well as the notes of security for the loans, there are loan ledgers, repayment books and defaulters' books. The minimum information supplied is address and occupation, but much additional detail is often given in the local association records, including notes on health, family circumstances and emigration. The local records generally run from the late 1830s to the mid-1840s.
NB: FindmyPast has records from this collection also, through its Ireland, Poverty Relief Loans 1821-1874 dataset, noting its holdings to 'amazing collection of records from Ireland’s Western Seaboard'. Its description is quite detailed, noting the specific counties involved and details of the scheme - see https://search.findmypast.co.uk/search-world-Records/ireland-poverty-relief-loans-1821-1874.

Also for England:

England, Oxfordshire Parish Registers 1538-1904
43 added indexed records to an existing collection
England, Yorkshire Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1613-1887 
1,898 added indexed records to an existing collection
For details of other collections just released worldwide, visit https://media.familysearch.org/new-free-historical-records-on-familysearch-week-of-6-january-2020/

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

RootsWeb heads for an archival afterlife

From the RootsWeb Administration (https://home.rootsweb.com):

Beginning March 2nd, 2020 the Mailing Lists functionality on RootsWeb will be discontinued. Users will no longer be able to send outgoing emails or accept incoming emails. Additionally, administration tools will no longer be available to list administrators and mailing lists will be put into an archival state.

Administrators may save the emails in their list prior to March 2nd. After that, mailing list archives will remain available and searchable on RootsWeb.

As an alternative to RootsWeb Mailing Lists, Ancestry message boards are a great option to network with others in the genealogy community.

Message boards are available for free with an Ancestry registered account. Thank you for being part of the RootsWeb family and contributing to this community.

Sincerely,

The RootsWeb team

There goes another piece of family history based history!


(With thanks to Debbie Kennett and Wendy Archer)

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Ulster Historical Foundation announces US talks tour for 2020

The Ulster Historical Foundation (www.ancestryireland.com) has announced the dates and venues for its 2020 tour of the United States, from March 6th-22nd.

The locations being visited are: 

Friday, 6 March 2020 - Chicago IL (9:00am–5:00pm)
Saturday, 7 March 2020 - Madison WI (9:00am–5:00pm)
Sunday, 8 March 2020 - York PA (1:00pm–5:00pm)
Monday, 9 March 2020 - Staunton, VA (9:00am to 4:30pm)
Wednesday, 11 March 2020 - Bloomington, IN (12 noon–7:00pm)
Friday, 13 March 2020 - Richmond, VA (9:30am - 12:30pm)
Saturday, 14 March 2020 - Frankfort, KY (full day event)
Sunday, 15 March 2020 - Philadelphia, PA (full day event)
Tuesday, 17 March 2020 - Pittsburgh, PA (9:00am–4:30pm)
Wednesday, 18 March 2020 - Charleston, SC
Thursday, 19 March 2020 - Chicago, IL
Friday, 20 March 2020 - St Charles, MO (8:45am–1:00pm)
Saturday 21 March 2020 - Little Rock, AR (9:00am–3:00pm)
Sunday, 22 March 2020 - Coeur d'Alene, ID (11:00am-6:00pm-includes 1hr early luncheon)

For the full itinerary, full details of individual venues and links to book places at each please visit https://www.ancestryireland.com/usa-lecture-tour-2020/.

Note that the schedule is still flexible, and can take additional venues. As it states on their web site:

You may note from our previous itineraries that we travel widely across North America and are happy to visit any location where an invitation to us is extended.

If you know of a society, library or group near to you that would be interested in an Irish and Scots-Irish family history research programme, perhaps you would put us in contact with the local programme organisers by emailing enquiry@uhf.org.uk with the subject heading ‘Lecture Tour’.

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

ScotlandsPeople updates birth, marriage and death record images

From ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk):

129,445 new online images have been released on the ScotlandsPeople website consisting of just over 207,000 birth, death and marriage register entries. You can search for, view and save images of these entries on ScotlandsPeople.

The update sees additions of images for historic records of births from 1919, marriages from 1944, and deaths from 1969. An article looking in particular at examples of the marriage records additions can be found at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/article/our-records-double-wedding-celebrations.


* For further information for the background to Scottish civil registration and the records generated, consult my new book Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records, available via https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848.

Have fun hunting through the new records!

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

FamilySearch announces improvements expected in 2020

From FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org)

What to Expect from FamilySearch in 2020

FamilySearch announced expected updates and improvements for user experiences in 2020.Making fun personal and family discoveries at FamilySearch.org will be easier than ever in 2020.

FamilySearch.org, the popular, free genealogy website, has announced some of its plans to enhance user experiences in 2020 through select updates and improvements to records and Family Tree search capabilities. As a global leader in free family history discovery experiences, FamilySearch serves more than 13 million users worldwide.

In 2020, FamilySearch will add over 500 million new viewable digital images and searchable records online, ensuring more exciting discovery opportunities. The following list gives an idea of more fun innovation to anticipate.


Sitewide Support for Additional Languages

FamilySearch has a growing international user base and will translate core user experiences into additional languages in 2020.

Family Tree

The FamilySearch Family Tree is the world’s largest shared tree. In 2020, users will enjoy an improved merge experience. They will be able to learn more and more easily collaborate by combining duplicate profiles for common ancestors.

The Latest Changes feature for ancestor profiles (FamilySearch person pages) will be enhanced, allowing users to see more details of all past edits and changes through the family tree view.

The FamilySearch mobile app will release a cool new My Contributions feature available in both iOS and Android formats, with access on the website to follow. My Contributions will help users organize their family history work in three tabs:

Stats. These stats summarize your contributions to the shared Family Tree. They will include sources and memories attached and persons added.

Changes. This item is a list of all your activity in the shared Family Tree. Changes are organized by person, with the most recent on top.

Private Persons. This tab shows you a list of the living and confidential people you have added to the Family Tree, allowing you to better manage them within your private space. Only you are able to see and modify these profiles.

Memories

A simple but powerful update in Memories will allow users to add topic tags to photos and documents uploaded to FamilySearch.org. This change will improve the ability to categorize memories that users add to their ancestors’ profiles and enable them to search for specific memories among those that have been uploaded.

Users will also be able to "like" whole albums in FamilySearch Memories. Currently, they can only "like" individual photos and other memories so they show up in the My Likes section of their Memories gallery.

Social Interactions and Social Media

In 2020, FamilySearch will make updates to help improve social interactions between users on FamilySearch.org. For example, Family Tree users will find it easy to share the profile pages of their ancestors on social media channels.

Searching Records

A new tool, Explore Images, will be available for viewing new record images within days of their being digitized from archives worldwide and published on FamilySearch.org, not to mention the billions of other historical records images FamilySearch already has online. This feature will give users quicker and better access to images that aren’t yet text-searchable.

Indexers will be able to edit dates and places on indexed records. This feature is an expansion of the update from 2019 that allowed users to edit the name field on indexed records.

10th Anniversary of RootsTech

RootsTech, one of the largest genealogy conferences in the world, will once again be held at the historic Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah, on February 26–29, 2020. The theme, “The Story of You,” will celebrate the many contributions that have been made in genealogy research and encourage attendees to reflect on their personal journeys. For seasoned researchers as well as beginners, the 300 breakout sessions, impressive keynote speakers, professional entertainers, and exciting events are sure to have something for everyone.

(Original press release, with links, at https://media.familysearch.org/what-to-expect-from-familysearch-in-2020/)

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

That thing where you're heading back to Australia!

I'm delighted to be able to announce that I am to be one of the key speakers for the Unlock the Past hosted event Family History Down Under, in Queensland, Australia in March 2021. Also announced so far as participating are Blaine Bettinger, Paul Milner, Judy Russell and Maurice Gleeson, with more speakers soon to be revealed, for what I am sure will be a superb and fun event! 


The last time I was down under was in 2017, and so I am very much looking forward to heading back - I'm sure we will have plenty to discuss! In the meantime, you can sign up to hear all the latest news about the events from its website at www.familyhistorydownunder.com.

I will hopefully see some of you there! Amd here's a wee intro video... (also at https://youtu.be/8mZGQHz0UKc)



Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Monday, 6 January 2020

Learn Gaelic (Gàidhlig) on Duolingo!

If you fancy learning the Scottish Gaelic language (known in the language itself as Gàidhlig) as a way of trying to reconnect to your Scottish cultural heritage, then I can throughly recommend the Duolingo site at www.duolingo.com.


I've been both learning and using Gaelic on and off over the last 20 years, and have found the Duolingo course, launched just prior to St Andrew's Day last year, to be a fun way to revise and practice, as well as to pick up a few new words. The free version of the app (as accessed on my Android phone) offers daily lessons and challenges, although I have not found how to access the grammar notes which are easier to find on the website. There is a subscription version of the course also with a few more bells and whistles.

One thing I love about Duolingo's Gaelic course is that the website's grammar notes (accessible via the Tips button on each lesson tab) are wonderfully irreverant, with some fun observations. Haggis is described as 'Scotland's mystery mince', whilst at the end of the clothes section it notes with glee 'Congratulations, you have just learned how to tell people if they are wearing clothes or not!'

And here's the comment on the difference between using 'tapadh leat' and 'tapadh leibh' for 'thank you':

"You are very unlikely to offend anyone by choosing the wrong form, and even if you did they probably wouldn't have much craic anyway."

The addition of Gàidhlig to the Duolingo project at the end of last year has already led to 127,000 subscribers, more than twice the current number of fluent native speakers in Scotland (see www.theguardian.com/education/2020/jan/02/duolingo-sparks-gaelic-boom-as-young-scots-shrug-off-cringe-factor).

I recently started a Gaelic themed genealogy blog at https://gaelicgenealogist.blogspot.com, although I have only posted a couple of items so far due to a heavy workload at the end of last year, but I hope to carry on with it again soon. It's not perfect, but if you read it, you'll see that's the point of it!

Have fun - agus suas leis a' Ghàidhlig!

PS: Duolingo also has Welsh and Irish courses available, for a bit of Celtic variation. And if you wish to prepare for a changed world by the 23rd century, it also offers Klingon - Qapla' !

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project Exhibition

An exciting event for the 700th anniverary year of the Declaration of Arbroath:

Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project Exhibition

The exhibition will display biographies, genealogical charts and coats of arms of 16 individuals associated with the Declaration, as well as information on another 33 'signatories.' It will also present the findings of genetic genealogy research, using DNA test results and documentary evidence. The aim is to find living descendants of the 'signatories' who knew nothing about their medieval ancestry, and discover how DNA can reveal more about these unknown ancestries.

The research is being carried out by staff and postgraduate students of the University of Strathclyde's Genealogical Studies Postgraduate Programme and is funded by the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy.

(Source: https://arbroath2020.com/events/declaration-of-arbroath-family-history-project-exhibition/)

For more on the University of Strathclyde's Declaration of Arbroath project visit www.strath.ac.uk/studywithus/centreforlifelonglearning/genealogy/declarationofarbroathresearch/

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Fold3 adds UK militia attestation papers 1803-1915

From Fold3 (www.fold3.com):

New UK Military Records on Fold3

Our UK military records are expanding! We’ve recently added a new collection, “UK, Militia Attestation Papers, 1806-1915”. These records or attestation forms were filled out at the time of recruitment, and in most cases, annotated to the date of discharge. They form a record of military service for soldiers who fought in conflicts during that time period.

The collection is arranged alphabetically under regiments and in order of seniority.

Attestation Papers contain wonderful details for researching specific soldiers. They list parish, town, and county of birth, address at the time of enlistment, age, and trade or job. The papers also include a physical description including a place to list any distinctive characteristics or scars. The files list military service rendered and whether a soldier was wounded or received medals or decorations. They also list the name and address of next of kin.

Here are a few examples of what you might learn in this collection. John Hart from Wales served in the Royal Monmouthshire Engineers. His papers reveal that he didn’t show up for training in 1891 and was liable to serve for an additional year. In 1894, he was discharged by purchase, in other words, he obtained a discharge by payment.

The Attestation Papers for Robert Eastburn from Leeds record that his superiors deemed him unlikely to be an effective militiaman with defective intelligence and insubordination. He was discharged in 1906.

James Allison from Paisley, Scotland, was just 17-years-old when he joined the 26th Foot (Scottish Rifles) in 1875. His service record shows military service for 20 years before being discharged in 1895.

This collection of Attestation Papers provides a glimpse into the history of militias and multiple conflicts in the United Kingdom. If you are researching ancestors that served for the United Kingdom during this time, be sure to check out the collection on Fold3 today!

COMMENT: I find Fold3's user interface to be fairly uninspiring, with searches involving a lot of faffing about. Ancestry has a basic index to this collection entitled Scotland, Ireland and Wales, Militia Attestation Papers, 1800-1915, available at https://www.ancestry.co.uk/search/collections/61643/.

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Friday, 3 January 2020

English and Welsh GRO grants permission to use FreeBMD screengrabs

A recent press release I forgot to post in the Christmas rush! From Free UK Genealogy:

Exciting news from Free UK Genealogy CIO, an umbrella organisation for FreeBMD, FreeREG and FreeCEN.

Good news for those who want to share their family history discoveries online. The GRO has permitted users of FreeBMD to take screenshots of entries and share them online.

FreeBMD is one of a suite of free to use, forever, family history database - users are already free to share screenshots of FreeCEN (nineteenth-century censuses) and FreeREG (registers of baptism, marriage and burial from the Church of England and other bodies).

Pat Reynolds, Executive Director of Free UK Genealogy said “Personally, I love being able to share family history discoveries with my family on social media - I’m delighted I can now do this for the civil registration data we hold on FreeBMD”.

Free UK Genealogy is a registered charity, where thousands of volunteers - transcribers, developers and others - make historic documents freely accessible to all on its websites www.freebmd.org.uk, www.freecen.org.uk, and www.freereg.org.uk.

(With thank to Denise Colbert, Engagement Coordinator at Free UK Genealogy at Free UK Genealogy)

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

English headstone inscriptions added to FindmyPast

Latest additions to FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk):

Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions
Explore new additions from Hillingdon in Greater London. Discover birth years, death years, and places of burial. Each result will include a transcript that will reveal a combination of the deceased’s birth year, age at death, death year, burial place, monument type, dedication and inscription.

Sussex Monumental Inscriptions
Search new records covering the parishes of Alciston, St Andrew’s in Alfriston and St Mary the Virgin in Willingdon. Each transcript will include a combination of the deceased’s birth year, age at death, location, and inscription.

British & Irish Newspaper Update
Over 153,000 new pages and a variety of new titles have been added to the collection since our last update. Recent new titles include the “Truth”, an early Edwardian publication that was known for its exposures of many kinds of frauds and was at the centre of several civil lawsuits. Other recent additions include Liberty, The Christian News, The Aberdeen Weekly News, the Smethwick Telephone, the Daily Review (Edinburgh), the Newtownards chronicle & Co. Down observer, The Western Evening Herald, The Witness (Edinburgh) and the Warrington Advertiser.

We have also made substantial updates to a range of existing titles including the Newcastle Evening Chronicle and Rochdale Observer.

Further details and links at https://www.findmypast.co.uk/blog/new/discover-ancestors-in-south-east-england

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.