Friday 28 December 2012

2012 genealogy review - part 1

It's coming to the end of 2012, and if norovirus doesn't get me in the next couple of days, Hogmanay probably will! As such, I though I'd flag up some of the key posts from this blog in the last year by way of a short three part review of key developments - here goes for the first four months of the year...!


This was the month that saw the launch of the new Commonwealth War Graves Commission website (, and the horrendous first incarnation of the new National Archives of Ireland catalogue, thankfully now brilliantly fit for purpose after a less than auspicious beginning. Brightsolid announced plans to invade the United States ( and the Internet Archive dramatically improved its scans of the Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae (

As well as adding the Scottish 1881 census, FindmyPast UK announced plans to digitise the records of Canterbury Cathedral, and the Mitchell Library provided access to the ScotlandsPeople computer system for £15 a day (, albeit without the Roman Catholic records which were also announced as coming soon to the ScotlandsPeople Centre (

Family Search kicked the British Isles out of Europe ( and in London, the bell started to toll for the old catalogue on the National Archives website(

Across the water, Irish TV showed an excellent house history series called Cé a Chónaigh i mo Theachsa? (, whilst in the north the GRO in Belfast announced plans to start adding parents names to death certificates (


Rootstech in the United States streamed live coverage of certain talks worldwide - whilst Josh Coates gave a great talk at the event, he also referenced another helpful lecture on how to survive a zombie apocalypse (see for the link on that one!).

Ancestry launched a new online image viewer, and added various Warwickshire records ( and cess and stent roll records for Perthshire (

As Hampton Court announced an exhibition on the Stuarts ( it emerged from an old 1968 RTE film that Kilkenny girls were the wrong shape for a restoration comedy (!

Cheshire and Chester burials were released on Deceased Online ( and a National Library of Wales cultural project for WW1 received funding from JISC ( The National Archives at Kew launched a new blog (, as FindmyPast updated its app for Apple devices ( and launched a new series of merchant seamen records online (

I gave talks at Who Do You Think Live for the first time ( and met a woman with whom I shared a somewhat extraordinary connection back to 1866 (

And an embryonic Scottish Genealogy Network had its first meeting in London without realising what it had just begun...! (


Four million Welsh parish records went online at FindmyPast ( and TNA released a great podcast by Paul Carter on the Victorian workhouse (

Ancestry announced a new test for autosomal DNA ( and some possibly optimistic news on the release of the southern Irish 1926 census was first announced ( Even more important on the Irish front, Tayto crisps announced a newly designed Titanic packet (!

Bradford FHS announced a project to help make local tithes maps available online (, and my ancestral home in Scotland became a city again ( Durham Records Online passed the one million mark in terms of online records (, and Friends Reunited was relaunched with a more genealogical slant ( - and has barely been heard of since on that front.

After a visit to Preston, the Europeana WW1 roadshow visited Dublin ( News that Scottish sasine records would be making their way online soon was included in a podcast by the NRS's Tristram Clarke (, the 1915 valuation roll was placed online by ScotlandsPeople ( and the John Gray Centre opened in East Lothian (

And RootsIreland made some very unpopular changes for its database (, still in play to this day...


The unindexed US federal census from 1940 went online (, sparking a race between several online vendors to get indexes uploaded first. Plans for the National Archives' Discovery catalogue were announced (, though were subsequently delayed, whilst new £3 million premises for West Yorkshire Archives were announced to be in the pipeline (

Everyone went a little crazy about Titanic for a bit.

The National Records of Scotland revealed a trendy new logo (, and God smiled on Ayrshire and provided access to the ScotlandsPeople computer system in Kilmarnock, for £15 a day ( Glamorgan FHS heroically came to to the rescue when contractors destroyed a local cemetery at Tonyrefail ( The Express looked at "ancestral therapy" sessions (, and the Telegraph announced 20 spitfires from Burma that had been buried in WW2 and perfectly preserved would be soon dug up (

I attended the SAFHS 2012 conference in Dundee ( and Ali MacDonald announced how to join the Scottish DNA Project, hosted by the University of Strathclyde ( Also in Scotland, Registers of Scotland's Glasgow office moved to new premises (, and Google Books released the Retours of Services and Heirs in 3 volumes from 1544-1699 for free (!

Emma Jolly released her brilliant book, Tracing Your British Indian Ancestors (

More soon!!!!


Having a Christmas present crisis?! Check out my range of genealogy books at - perfect for the family historian's Christmas stocking...! Also now out - new Kindle edition of Tracing Your Family History on the Internet, from

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