Thursday 25 January 2018

Illustrated London News collection grows on TheGenealogist

From TheGenealogist (

News from the last decade of the nineteenth century

TheGenealogist has added over 500 further editions of the weekly publication The Illustrated London News to their Newspaper and Magazine collection. The latest collection is of newspapers that were published in the 1890s and offer a fascinating insight into your ancestors lives.

The Illustrated London News is one of a number of newspapers and magazines that are fully searchable by name or keywords by Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist. Not only can this extensive resource add context to your ancestors’ lives and times, these newspapers can be used to find out more about people who were mentioned in reports from the time. As well as notices for baptisms, marriages and deaths, there are also wills, crimes and court cases, plus the political stories of the time.

Read their article that looks at the news of 1890s and the world in which your ancestors lived:

(With thanks to Nick Thorne)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Service improvements at ScotlandsPeople

The ScotlandsPeople Centre posted an update last month (which I have only just seen) on some recent improvements with the online site and the hub facility in Edinburgh:
  • Online seat booking - customers online can now book and pay for a seat in the ScotlandsPeople Centre.
  • More than one hundred forename abbreviations were added to the name variant database in December 2017, improving the chances of success if you use name variants search option in the forename field when searching. Abbreviated forenames occur commonly in certain records, such as church registers, early census returns and early valuation rolls and less commonly in others, such as statutory registers and legal records. If you come across a variant of a forename in the records that is not being included in the search results, please tell us and give us an example of a record which contains it.
  • The 1935 valuation rolls were released on 10 October 2017 with 2.7 million indexed names and addresses for owners, tenants and occupiers of properties throughout Scotland.
  • More than 30,000 Other Church Registers of baptisms, marriages and burials were added to the site on 26 June 2017.
  • For earlier improvements and issues resolved see below under other work completed.

For more information, including news of forthcoming improvement work and projects, visit the full post at


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Over 5 Million U.S. passenger records released on TheGenealogist

From TheGenealogist (

For immediate release:

Over 5 Million U.S. records released 

TheGenealogist has added over 5 Million passenger records to their US records, featuring people that migrated to the USA between 1834 to 1900. The mass movement of people from one country to another isn’t a new thing. The motivation can be economic, political upheaval or religious persecution.

The data covers:

● 3,956,780 German passengers who arrived in the United States between 1850 and 1897
● 836,122 Italians immigrating into the USA between 1855 - 1900
● 522,638 Russians who emigrated to America from 1834 to 1897

Most were drawn to the U.S.A by the attractions of land and religious freedom, after being forced to leave Europe by shortages of land and religious or political oppression.

This release joins the millions of US census, death records, trade directories, wills and poll books already available on TheGenealogist.

(With thanks to Nick Thorne)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Tuesday 23 January 2018

GRO England and Wales PDF record pilot continues

The General Register Office for England and Wales has extended its PDF pilot service for digitised birth and death certificates until July 11th 2018. The current pilot phase comenced in October 2017, and offers birth records from 1837-1916 and death records from 1837-1957 for £6 each, instead of the usual £9.25.

For further details visit

(With thanks to the Federation of Family History Societies via Facebook)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Monday 22 January 2018

Forthcoming events at the National Archives in England

Forthcoming events at the National Archives in England (

Behind the scenes tour
Friday 26 January 2018, 11:00

The history of public information films
Tuesday 30 January 2018, 14:00

Emigrants: why the English sailed to the New World
Wednesday 31 January 2018, 14:00

The changing face of Kew
Tuesday 6 February 2018, 14:00

Spanish Flu: the global pandemic
Thursday 8 February 2018, 14:00

Behind the scenes tour - Authors in the Archives
Friday 9 February 2018, 11:00

Film screening: Suffragette
Friday 9 February 2018, 18:00

The Time Travel Club - Pirates in the arrrchives
Tuesday 13 February 2018, 10:30

The Time Travel Club - Suffragettes: Badges, buttons and ‘behaving badly’
Thursday 15 February 2018, 10:30

Suffragettes: Did militancy help or hinder the fight for the franchise?
Tuesday 20 February 2018, 18:00

Elizabeth’s rival
Thursday 22 February 2018, 14:00

Behind the scenes tour
Friday 23 February 2018, 11:00

For further details visit


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

What's Coming from FamilySearch in 2018

FamilySearch ( has released details of things to look out for in 2018:

Salt Lake City, Utah (22 January 2018), FamilySearch is a global leader in fun, online family history services with over 9 million users in 2017. In 2018 FamilySearch will be expanding its free site and services by adding new family discoveries, more online connections, expanded global reach, and millions of new sources to search.

1. Personalized Home Page

Refinements to the FamilySearch personalized home pagewill enable signed-in patrons to make many more new discoveries and easily engage with their family trees.

As new photos, stories, or documents are added by other members of the family, they will be shown on your personalized home page and prioritized based on relevance. You will also be able to see new additions as relatives add them.

FamilySearch's new user dashboard personalizes activity and new content in a fun, interesting way.Enjoy more adaptive, relevant FamilySearch Record Hints. As millions of new records are added to FamilySearch weekly, the search engine maps them with your family tree. FamilySearch will specifically begin looking for new ancestor record sources you don’t already have in your tree. It will be easier than ever to add them.

Relevant ancestor event notifications, if you want, will be able to prompt you throughout the year regarding relevant dates in the lives of your ancestors. These can be great nudges to learn more about your forbears.

2. Historical Records

FamilySearch will digitally preserve over 400 million images in 2018 and publish the majority of them online. It will also add hundreds of millions of indexed, searchable names in historical records, thus making it easier and faster to find your ancestors.

New additions will include prominent international collections from Europe, Central and South America, and the United States. New images will first be accessible in the FamilySearch Catalog Viewer. Once they are indexed or have additional metadata, they'll be published in the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

3. Online Discovery Experiences

FamilySearch will introduce fun, new personal “discovery” experiences online and in additional physical locations in 2018. The online experiences will be similar to the popular attractions currently found in select FamilySearch Family Discovery Centers.

4. Family Tree

Refinements to the FamilySearch Family Tree in 2018 will extend its reach globally to more devices through improved language support and making the service faster and easier to navigate in lower bandwidth regions of the world.

An underlying goal of the FamilySearch Family Tree is to ensure new developments regarding data are always converging towards more accuracy and completeness.

An upcoming feature will help improve collaboration while encouraging more sound edits and discouraging poor edits to good data.

5. Family Tree Mobile App

FamilySearch will continue to update its FamilySearch Family Tree app and mobile experiences, which extend the website's functionality. Currently, the robust app has 90 percent of the functionality of the web feature.

The app will provide fun, location-based experiences for making family discoveries wherever you happen to be. The popular 2017 “Relatives Around Me” feature allowed crowds or groups to discover who in the crowd was related to them and how.

New experiences in 2018 will build upon this, allowing interaction based on your proximity to people or locations with which you have a personal ancestral relationship.

The app will also continue to enhance the research capabilities of the mobile experience, including a new Research Mode that will allow multiple windows to be opened simultaneously to facilitate multitasking and research from within the app.

6. Memories

Individuals are now uploading millions of family photos and documents for free permanent storage at FamilySearch. In 2018, patrons will be able to add multiple photos to a family story, rather than just one.

The FamilySearch Tree Fan Chart will help patrons, at a glance, easily discover areas in their tree where memories and sources are attached to ancestors, and help them identify opportunities where they need to be added.

7. FamilySearch Web-Based Indexing

FamilySearch will end its desktop indexing software in 2018 as it continues to roll out more updates to its new web indexing platform. The new web tool is easy to use and works with any digital device (besides cell phones) with a web browser. It enables hundreds of thousands of volunteers worldwide to make millions of historical images easily and freely searchable by name so online family history researchers can quickly discover ancestors.

8. RootsTech

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch International, will continue to expand its support of community growth, personal development, and exciting industry innovation. This popular global family history conference will attract over 100,000 attendees (in-person and live online viewers).

Keynotes this year will include: Scott Hamilton, olympic figure skating champion, Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York photographer and writer, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Finding Your Roots. and Natalia Fourcade, internationally renowned Mexican pop-rock singer.

The RootsTech Innovation Showcase will highlight exciting innovations related to family history. It will replace the Innovator Summit and Innovator Showdown.

9. Oral Histories

Family history in oral (no written documentation) cultures are kept in the minds of village elders—walking, human libraries. When they pass away, the library is lost forever. FamilySearch will increase the number of oral histories it captures from these tribal historians significantly throughout Africa.

FamilySearch appreciates its growing customer base (over 134 million visits in 2017!). When you visit FamilySearch in 2018, be sure to sign in to your free account to enjoy the most of what FamilySearch has to offer. Come back regularly to add your own family memories. Enjoy the new content added daily and the new features coming soon. Collaborate with your family to upload your favorite photos, documents, personal histories, or journals from previous years, and update your ancestors' stories.

(With thanks to FamilySearch - original news release at


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Latest news from Belfast's Back to Our Past event

The full schedule of talks has now been confirmed by the Back To Our Past team for the event in Belfast on 16th and 17th February 2018. To view the list of those talking (including some wee hallion by the name of Paton!), and to purchase tickets, please visit

A couple of other pieces of news about the event:

Tom Keane, who is well known from his many appearances on the Cash in the Attic and Bargain Hunt will be giving free valuations of small antiques and collectables on both days

MyHeritage ( will also have a special offer for their DNA kits at the show, offering a kit for sale at £55 instead of normal price of £69, plus £11.95 postage. (MyHeritage will have a drop-box at the event for free shipping of samples to their laboratories).

I look forward to seeing you there - and please be prepared to particpate in a selfie!


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Friday 19 January 2018

Jersey Church of England records added to FindmyPast

The following records have been added to FindmyPast (

Jersey Baptisms 1540-1915
Does your family tree have roots in the Bailiwick of Jersey? Explore over 228,000 Church of England baptism registers from the island of Jersey, a British Crown dependency in the English

Jersey Marriages 1542-1940
Search over 119,000 transcripts of Church of England marriages from the Island of Jersey to uncover details of your ancestor's spouse and add new branches to your family tree.

Jersey Burials 1541-1940
Discover the final resting place of your Jersey ancestors with a collection of over 155,000 transcripts of original Church of England burial registers covering 17 sites across the Island.

Connecticut, Stonington Cemetery Records
Explore over 1,800 records from Connecticut's Stonington Cemetery, a twenty-two acre non-sectarian burial ground founded in 1849. Once known as the Evergreen Cemetery, the cemetery began as the family graveyard for the Phelps family, with the first burials occurring during the mid-18th century.

New Jersey Birth Index 1901-1903 Image Browse
Browse through more than 2,000 images of the New Jersey birth index from 1901 to 1903. Discover your ancestor's name and parents' names. This collection has been obtained from the New Jersey State Archives with images courtesy of Reclaim the Records. Additional information can be found on the source's website.

England, Greater Manchester Baptisms 1571-1910
Find out when and where your Greater Manchester ancestors were baptised with over 1.7 million records the Diocese of Manchester. Most of records within this collection pertain to parishes within the historic county of Lancashire.

For further details and links, visit


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Thursday 18 January 2018

TNA podcast - Sylvia Pankhurst

If you haveen't yet heard it, the National Archives in England ( has a podcast online entitled Sylvia Pankhurst: suffragette, socialist and ‘scourge of the empire’, a recording of just under 40 minutes of a talk given by Katherine Connelly. Here's the blurb:

From militant suffragette at the beginning of the 20th century to campaigner against colonialism in Africa after the Second World War, Sylvia Pankhurst dedicated her life to fighting oppression and injustice.

Katherine Connelly will examine Pankhurst’s role at the forefront of significant developments in the history of radical politics. Guiding us through Pankhurst’s activism – from her teens as a member of the Independent Labour Party and her time as a leading suffragette before the First World War, to her revolutionary socialist, anti-fascist and anti-imperialist campaigning in later years.

To access the recording, visit


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Irish Daily Independent and Limerick Chronicle now online

The Irish Newspaper Archives ( have completed the runs for two titles and added two more:

We are delighted to announce the release of 2 new titles to our archives; the Irish Daily Independent & The Limerick Chronicle. We have also updated two existing titles and completed the archives for the Sligo Champion and Waterford News & Star.

New Titles:
Irish Daily Independent 02/01/1893 - 13/12/1904
Limerick Chronicle 04/01/1994 - 1812/2001

Updated Content:
Waterford News & Star 11/01/1980 - 24/12/1999
The Sligo Champion 01/01/1916 - 31/12/1949

Further info:

The Irish Daily Independent 1893 - 1904
The Irish Daily Independent was established 1890 with its first publication Vol 1 No.1 on the 18.December.1891 the Irish Daily Independent absorbed the Daily Nation newspaper and the merger of the papers can been seen through the change of mast head from September 1900. The title then became the Irish Daily Independent & Daily Nation.

The Limerick Chronicle 1994 - 2001
The Limerick Chronicle of 1768 was printed and edited by John Ferrar who was a prominent bookseller and printer in Limerick. He was also responsible for the first published history of Limerick which he brought out in three editions between 1767 and 1787.

The Waterford News & Star 1980-1999The Waterford News offers a wealth of information from County Waterford and the surrounding areas. The archive spans 169 years offering insight into local and the national events. Established on the 22.Sept.1848 by Mr Cornelius P. Redmond

The Sligo Champion 1916 - 1949The Sligo Champion is one of Ireland’s oldest and leading regional newspaper titles. The first edition of the Sligo Champion was published on the 04.06.1836 from Stephen Street, County Sligo. Mr Edward Howard Verdon was the founder and editor of the newspaper and Mayor of Sligo four times. On the day of it's first publication it is said that crowds gathered outside the premises from 8:00am although the paper was not due for release till 1:00pm.

The company has two promotional codes for subscription discounts to help:

30% off for one year = IDI30
25% off for 30 days = IDI25


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Belfast's Back To Our Past event - talks schedule

Back To Our Past will be going to Belfast on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th February 2018 - and I'm delighted to say that I will be giving a talk at the event, my first ever back home in Northern Ireland, so looking forward to it immensely! There are lots of great speakers attending over the two days, with the schedule now released and available online at, where you can also book tickets and check out vendors in attendance (including a few chums crossing the water from Scotland!). Here's the programme:

Friday 16 February 2018

10.30 Getting Started with your Family Tree
Ann Robinson
North of Ireland Family History Society
Join us for a few pointers on how to start off your family history research. Learn about the unique and extensive resources of the North of Ireland Family History Society, its research library and how the society can help you make progress with your family tree.

11.30 Genealogical Resources at the Linen Hall Library
Samantha McCombe
Linen Hall Library
Samantha McCombe, Librarian of the Linen Hall Library, will give an overview of the Library’s Genealogy Collection which covers family histories, gravestone inscriptions, surname directories, memorial records, army lists, clergy records, and, unique to the Linen Hall, the Belfast News Letter’s Birth, Death and Marriage Index from 1737 –1863, and the Blackwood Pedigrees, over ninety volumes of handwritten family trees, compiled by Reginald Blackwood and indexed by surname. Together, these general and unique resources give researchers a number of fascinating ways to discover more about family history.

12.30 Digitised Church Records at PRONI
Liam O’Reilly
Public Records Office of Northern Ireland
This talk will highlight recently digitised church records which are available in the PRONI Search Room. It will show users how to navigate the catalogue, highlight the digital process, what is available and future plans.

13.30 Researching 18th Century Ancestors in Ulster
William Roulston
Ulster Historical Foundation
As anyone who has attempted to do so knows only too well, tracing one’s ancestors in Ulster prior to 1800 can be both challenging and frustrating. The aim of this talk is to highlight some of the available genealogical records of the 1700s. These include surviving church records, including the often overlooked administrative records relating to the different religious denominations in Ulster, records relating to the occupation of land, and records that may reveal whether we have an ancestor who took up arms in the 1798 Rebellion.

14.30 The Remarkable Sons of Killyleagh
Clive Scoular
This small County Down village has produced many outstanding sons over the centuries - this will be an opportunity to hear the stories of their lives and the contributions they made - and are still making - to the world and society in general.

15.30 The 1718 migration to New England: perspectives from 2018
Linde Lunney
Royal Irish Academy
The talk will tell the story of the first group migration from the north of Ireland which actually got to the New World, at least, the first that we know about. But what do we know that our ancestors didn't know? And why is the 1718 story still important after 300 years?

Saturday 17 February 2018

10.30 Your Family Tree at PRONI – Getting Started
Janet Hancock
Public Records Office of Northern Ireland
This talk will explore key sources for starting your family history research at PRONI. Using real examples, it will talk you through some of the pitfalls and the strengths and weaknesses of PRONI’s archives.

11.30 Using Newspapers – a glimpse into the past
Catherine Morrow
Libraries NI
Come along and hear how newspapers can help you research your family. Discover how you can access old newspapers at a number of venues across Northern Ireland and learn how they can unveil details of your ancestors' lives.

12.30 Finding the Irish in Scotland
Chris Paton
Scotland’s Greatest Story research
From the vital records and censuses, to records of hardship and success, the impact of the Irish in Scotland has been well and truly documented. In his first talk in Northern Ireland, genealogist Chris Paton, originally from Carrickfergus but resident in Scotland for over twenty years, discusses how to look for Irish settlers across the water through a variety of resources available both online and offline.

13.30 Guide to Online Sources for tracing your Irish Ancestors
Brian Mitchell
Derry Genealogy Centre
This talk provides an overview of online sources to explore in tracing your Northern Irish roots.

14.30 Online PRONI Resources
Stephen Scarth
Public Records Office of Northern Ireland
This talk will highlight the major online resources that PRONI makes available via the web including wills, valuation revision books, street directories and PRONI’s new map viewer.

15.30 Scottish Sources for Genealogy and Family History
Stuart Coles
Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives
Designed for beginners, it will focus on how to use online resources for tracing Scottish ancestors and use illustrated case studies.

I'll hopefully see you there!

(With thanks to Martin McDowell)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

University of Strathclyde's genealogy MOOC course

The University of Strathclyde's Genealogy team have a new free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) starting soon - here's the blurb:

Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree. This free online course offered by the University of Strathclyde and FutureLearn will help you develop an understanding of basic genealogy techniques and how to communicate your family history. Starts the 29th of January and runs for 6 weeks (though you can sign up at any point during the course). The course has recently been updated to include more information on autosomal (or ‘cousin matching’) DNA testing and this run of the course will include ‘live’ updates from the RootTech conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. So far more than 57,000 students worldwide have participated! Learn more and sign up at:

For more on the university's courses visit

(With thanks to Tahitia McCabe)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Sunday 14 January 2018

Forthcoming events at London Metropolitan Archives

Forthcoming exhibitions and talks at London Metropolitan Archives (

Criminal Lives, 1780-1925: Punishing Old Bailey Convicts
Exhibition runs until 16 May 2018

Between 1700 and 1900, Britain stopped punishing the bodies of convicts and increasingly sought to reform their minds. Exile and forced labour in Australia and incarceration in penitentiaries became the dominant modes of punishment. This exhibition uses the collections of LMA to trace the impact of these punishments on convict lives.

Free - during normal LMA opening hours. Further details at

A Visit to Conservation
Thursday 18 January, 2 - 3 pm.

Meet members of the Conservation team and find out about the essential work which preserves our records for future generations.

Free - booking essential. See

The IHR British History in the Long 18th Century Seminar: Sparing the noose: the penal outcomes of convicts sentenced to death at the Old Bailey, 1730 to 1868
Wednesday 24 January, 5.15 - 7.30 pm.

A significant and increasing proportion of those sentenced to death at the Old Bailey were ‘spared the noose’ and instead transported, imprisoned, or given free pardons. This talk explains how the death penalty was gradually abandoned and discusses how, and on what basis, decisions about alternative penal outcomes were made. Speaker Bob Shoemaker


Approaches to Opening Up Medical Records
Friday 19 January, 9.30 am - 1.30 pm.

At this professional seminar, London Metropolitan Archives and St Bartholomew’s Hospital Archives will share their approaches to opening up access to medical records in their collections through two current projects funded by the Wellcome Trust Research Resources in Medical History scheme. More information on the Eventbrite booking page.

Free - booking essential. See

Training and induction sessions
Check future events at LMA

Every month, we run a selection of training sessions for LMA users to enable you to enhance your research. Whether you're new to archives or a seasoned visitor, you may still find these sessions useful!

We run sessions most months on the following topics:

Getting started at LMA
Handling documents
Family History starter sessions
Understanding old handwriting


LGBTQ+ History Club: Discovering the Archive
Wednesday 17 January, 6 - 7.30 pm.

An introduction to LGBTQ+ History Club, including a behind the scenes tour, document viewing and a chance to discuss ideas. LGBTQ+ History Club meets to explore and share lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual and queer histories. Keep up to date here: Contact LMA to be added to the LGBTQ+ email list

Free - drop in session. See

(With thanks to LMA)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Tender issued for English and Welsh 1921 census project

The National Archives in England ( has issued a tender for a partner to digitise and license the 1921 census for England and Wales. From the tender:

The National Archives is seeking expressions of interest for the 1921 Census records digitisation and licensing project.

The project will be to digitise, transcribe and publish online the records of the 1921 Census of England and Wales. The contract award will include a commercial license to publish the images (and associated transcription data produced by the project) online and to complete all the required processes to complete this (including such activities as digital image capture, transcription of data to allow for meaningful searches of the records, online publication).

To demonstrate eligibility to be considered for this tender, potential Suppliers must demonstrate:

a) Experience of managing and completing large-scale digitisation projects of heritage material;

b) Online publication of heritage material specifically for use by the Family History Market;

c) Viable commercial models that return an income stream to licensor partners.

The full terms of the tender are available at

The 1921 census is the last available full census for these two countries prior to 1951, with the 1931 English and Welsh census destroyed during the Second World War, and no census carried out in 1941 due to the war.  The National Identity Register for England and Wales, an effective census substitute carried out in 1939, is available on FindmyPast (

There was no census carried out in 1921 in Ireland, with both the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland subsequently having a census on the same night in 1926 - of these, only the records from the Free State (now the Republic of Ireland) survive. The next available surviving census for Northern Ireland was recorded in 1937 (to be released in 2037), with the 1939 National Identity Register for Northern Ireland already available for consultation via the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (

In Scotland, the 1921 census is held by the National Records of Scotland, which will digitise the records separately to the English and Welsh returns, for release and presentation in 2021. The 1931 Scottish census has also survived, and will be due for release in 2031, whilst the 1939 National Identity Register for Scotland is already available through the NRS (see

For an indication of the information recorded by the 1921 census, visit The census form can also be previewed at


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

ScotlandsPeople civil registration records update

The ScotlandsPeople website ( has updated its website to now include a further 106,469 statutory birth records from 1917, 47,514 marriage records from 1942, and 59,729 death records from 1967.

The website hosts a short article previewing the new additional records at


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Saturday 13 January 2018

Forthcoming Londonderry Plantation talk in Belfast

From the Ulster Historical Foundation (

Lunchtime lecture with Professor James Stevens Curl

Thursday, 18 January, 12:15-14:00 GMT

Join us for a lunchtime lecture given by historian and author Professor James Stevens Curl on the historical background and unique story behind the financing of the early Londonderry plantation.

This event is designed for Guild members (though non-members are welcome) to help celebrate the achievements of ‘one of our own’. Prof. James Stevens Curl is a life member of the Guild and was awarded the prestigious President’s Medal by the British Academy in 2017. Everyone is welcome to attend the event, though pre-registration is advised.
How to register for the event

Guild member registration

This event is free of charge to members of the Foundation’s Ulster Genealogical and Historical Guild (the Guild).

To register visit

Non-member registration

Non-members can attend this lecture for just £5.00. Registrations made via Eventbrite will attract an additional charge of £1.84 comprising an administrative fee and VAT, giving a total amount of £6.84.

If you are not a Guild member and wish to register please go to Eventbrite at

Alternatively you can contact the Foundation on 028 9066 1988 to arrange payment.

(With thanks to the Foundation)

UPDATE: The Foundation is hoping to live stream this lecture for those who cannot attend on their Facebook page at The recorded talk will also be made available on YouTube later in the week.


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Scottish WW1 Pensions Appeal records update

Some welcome news concerning a potentially major resource in Edinburgh for those researching First World War military ancestors from Scotland and their dependants.

I've been contacted by reader Tunji Lees, to provide an update on a discovery he made over 5 years ago at the National Records of Scotland, and for which he wrote a great guest post for this blog. As noted on 2 JAN 2012, Tunji had found that the NRS held Scottish WW1 Pension Appeals Tribunal records, as catalogued under PT6. The key points were as follows:

The records are catalogued under the reference PT6 and contain the pension application records of 1000s of Scottish soldiers - and next of kin of soldiers (usually widows) - who suffered from injuries sustained in the war, or died after the war due to injuries. These appear to be the Scottish equivalent of the PIN26 series for England and Wales (which, unlike the Scottish PT6 series, is indexed). Whereas the PT26 series appears to only be a selection of the disability pensions awarded to English and Welsh soldiers after the First World War, the Scottish PT6 series appears to be complete...

The applications are organised in boxes alphabetically by month, from November 1919 (reference PT6/1), to December 1932 (reference PT6/288). That's about 29 meters (or 95 feet) of pension records! There are also records from the same series covering post-WW2 disability pension applications, however seeing as they are closed for 75 years, the first set (those from 1945) will only be available in 2021.

It doesn't appear as if any genealogists are aware of the existence of these records, as they aren’t mentioned in the NAS publication Tracing your Scottish Ancestors, or in any guides to tracing WW1 ancestry that I've read, although they're a fantastic source of information on Scottish army ancestors.

Tunji's full account of these records, including the potential detail available in each file, is available at

Tunji has now contacted me with the news that the charitable foundation Wellcome Trust has apparently approved a Research Resource Grant for work to index the records. The grant is believed to fund work for 24 months, which potentially means the job will have been completed by the end of December 2019. Tunji has also stated that as it is a grant, indexed records will be made available free of charge, posisble through the ScotlandsPeople website. It is unclear as yet whether this will just be the index, or digital images of the records themselves. Tunji's final point is that the records, referenced under PT6, have disappeared from the catalogue, perhaps because they have been removed for indexing.

Once again a huge thank you to Tunji for such a fascinating update on a collection with a great deal of potential for ancestral research!


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Friday 12 January 2018

The Genealogist previews its 2018 releases

From TheGenealogist (

What to look forward to this year on TheGenealogist

2018 will see millions of new records added to TheGenealogist, increasing our coverage of a wide variety of useful record sets for genealogists.

We have already started releasing New Parish Records with original images and are continuing to expand our already large coverage of Baptism, Marriage and Burial records.

Millions of new additions for further counties will also be released in our Parish Record Transcripts and Bishops' Transcripts collections.

We are launching the second stage of the Lloyd George Domesday project, giving even more detail on where our ancestors lived. Released county by county, these records will accompany the highly detailed annotated historic maps. Searchable by name, address and area, results will link to the high resolution maps pinpointing the property.

TheGenealogist's ongoing project with The National Archives will see the release of yet more detailed Colour County and Tithe Maps with tags to show you where your ancestors lived.

In the coming months we are also expanding our Criminal, Migration and Newspaper collections as well as the International Headstone and War Memorial Projects as more photographs and transcriptions are added by our volunteers.

New Warwickshire Parish Records

TheGenealogist has added over 366,000 individuals to their Parish Records for Warwickshire, to increase the coverage of this county in the heart of England.

Released in association with Warwickshire County Record Office, this brings high quality transcripts as well as images to family historians researching ancestors in this area.

Warwickshire Parish Records

The original Parish Register images are available for a growing list of parishes.

These new records are available as part of the Diamond Subscription at TheGenealogist and join the millions of Parish Records already on the site.


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

FindmyPast adds English burial collections

FindmyPast has released a few more English gravestone records and parish collections:

Norfolk Monumental Inscriptions 1600-1900's Image Browse
Browse through more than 14,000 transcriptions of monumental inscriptions captured from 260 parishes across Norfolk.

Lancashire, Oldham Cemetery Registers 1797-2004 Image Browse
Browse more than 45,000 records taken from cemetery registers covering Chadderton, Crompton, Failsworth, Greenacres, Hollinwood, Lees, and Royton in the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham.

Wiltshire parish baptisms index 1538-1917
Over 613,000 records have been added to our collection of Wiltshire parish baptisms. Whilst the registers are for Church of England parishes, most other denominations also used the Anglican parishes for registration purposes, with the exception of Quaker and Jewish records. Transcriptions were created by both Findmypast and Wiltshire Family History Society.

Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions 1485-2014
Over 3,000 records covering burial sites in Twickenham and Uxbridge have been added to our collection of Monumental Inscriptions.

And from the US:
  • South Carolina, Will Transcripts 1782-1866
  • South Carolina, Plats for State Land Grants 1784-1868South Carolina Land Grant Records
  • South Carolina, Legislative Papers 1782-1929
  • Search South Carolina Legislative Papers
  • South Carolina, Criminal Court Records
  • South Carolina, Records of Confederate Veterans 1909 – 1973 

Further details are available at


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

New part-time job, but business as usual!

As of this week I have taken on a new part-time job, three days a week from Mondays to Wednesdays, working as a case worker for an elected constituency member of the Scottish Parliament. From Thursdays to Saturdays I will be back in genie mode, although I will keep the blog updated throughout the week.

I don't foresee any major changes to the routine just now, just a slight re-ordering of how my workload is organised. Client research work will continue (I was at the Burns Monument Centre yesterday in Kilmarnock, and so impressed that they now have free complimentary tea and coffee!), as well as writing, tuition and lecturing.

My new part-time post gives me an opportunity to continue to support my fellow constituents here in North Ayrshire (I stood in a local election last year and narrowly lost), and I will be working with a great team. The new routine allows me to tap into both my key interests - local politics and genealogy - and in a much more focussed way, so I am very much looking forward to the months and years ahead!


Needing a Christmas present for a family history obsessed love one (or for yourself)?! For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

MyHeritage updates DNA Matching tools

From MyHeritage (

Major Updates and Improvements to MyHeritage DNA Matching

We’re excited to announce major updates and improvements to DNA Matching rolled out today for all our users. Anyone who took a MyHeritage DNA test, and anyone who uploaded DNA data from another service, will now receive more accurate DNA Matches; more plentiful matches (about 10x more); fewer false positives; more specific and more accurate relationship estimates; and indications on lower confidence DNA Matches to help focus research efforts. We also added the long-requested Chromosome Browser feature, described below.

These improvements have been many months in the making by our Science Team. They took much time and effort because we wanted to perfect the science and provide our users with optimal results.

What do these improvements mean for MyHeritage DNA users?

Now, you will get:
  • More accurate DNA Matches
  • About 10 times as many DNA Matches
  • More specific and more accurate relationship estimates
  • Indications of DNA Match confidence levels to help focus your research efforts

For the full detailed announcement, visit

(With thanks to Daniel Horowitz)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Wednesday 10 January 2018

FamilySearch updates Irish and New Zealand civil registration records

The following collections have been added to FamilySearch (

Indexed Records
Digital Images
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection

The full announcement is at


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

National Archives in Kew runs online survey

The National Archives in England is running an online survey - and there is some money up for grabs! From the archive:

We are carrying out research to find out more about people who are interested in The National Archives and how they use our services.
As part of this, we would like to learn more about you and what you think about us, especially our online services.
We would love to hear from you, even if you have never visited The National Archives or used our online services before.
As a thank you for completing the survey, you will be invited to enter a prize draw to be in with a chance of winning a £100 retail voucher.

To participate in the survey, visit


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Oxford College Archives new website launch

A new Oxford College Archives website has been established at, designed to provide useful information on its constituent members. From the site:

Oxford contains the largest concentration of archival repositories in the south-east. The documents they hold include the papers of local government and administration, the records of the University and its colleges, business records, and personal correspondence. Museums and galleries all have their own papers about their collections and collectors. There are maps and plans, archaeological records, the papers of religious institutions and politicians, charity and health records, and the papers of schools. In fact, there is very little you won’t find in an archive somewhere in Oxford.

Although these pages deal principally with the archives of the Oxford colleges, you will find information about, and links to, many other local archives and to other resources which will help you in your research.

The Oxford Archivists’ Consortium (OAC) was set up in 2001 to provide a support network for all those working in archives in the city. We hope that these pages will answer any questions you have about archives in Oxford but if the answer you are looking for evades you, please contact OAC and we should be able to point you in the right direction.

(With thanks to Wendy Archer)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Tuesday 9 January 2018

Rootsweb updates users on security breach

A new update from Rootsweb  (, following the recent security breach of the platform:

Update: January 9, 2018

We have spent the last few weeks reviewing the functionality on RootsWeb and have created a plan to bring many of your contributions back online over the next few months. As we stated before, our first priority is security, and ensuring that every part of RootsWeb meets our stringent security standards. Our next priority is getting you, the users of RootsWeb and its services, access to your content.

Right now, the best way for us to meet both goals is to begin bringing portions of RootsWeb back online in a read-only state. This means you will have access to content, but you will not be able to load new content in these sections. While this may not be ideal, it is the best way for us to protect RootsWeb users while also providing the ability to use the content you value. This is an interim step while we continue to evaluate the potential for bringing more of the RootsWeb services back online in a more complete manner.

Here’s our current plan:

Hosted Web Sites: Soon we will begin bringing Hosted Web Sites back online. We will start with a few hundred and then add more over time, giving us a chance to scan the content.

Family Trees/WorldConnect: Family Trees or WorldConnect allows you to upload a GEDCOM file and publish it for others to see. It is currently being reviewed by our software engineers and security team and we plan on having a read-only, searchable version up in the next few weeks. The ability to upload new GEDCOM files will be available in the coming months.

Mailing Lists: Mailing Lists have been functioning as normal, but the archives have been unavailable. We plan to make the archives available to you once we have WorldConnect available to you in a readable version.

We will be making decisions about other functionality over time.

We appreciate your patience as we bring the different pieces of RootsWeb back online in a secure manner. You, our contributors and viewers, are what has made RootsWeb the vibrant free genealogy community it is.

The RootsWeb Team

(With thanks to Wendy Archer from Oxfordshire FHS)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Monday 8 January 2018

Celtic Genealogy Cruise announced for 2019

From Christine Woodcock of Genealogy Tours of Scotland:


Visit Your Ancestral Homeland by Sea
May 4 – 16, 2019
Aboard Crown Princess

Are you ready to learn more about your Celtic Ancestors? Join us for a Celtic Genealogy Cruise, where we combine genealogy travel with research opportunities, chances to consult with local genealogists who can assist you with your brick walls, and loads of fun ways to connect with your Celtic heritage.

The cruise starts and ends in Dublin, Ireland. Ports of call include:

Glasgow (Greenock)
Edinburgh (S. Queensferry)
Le Havre, France
Southampton, England

To learn more:

The British Isles aren't very big and there are only 11 miles between Ireland and Scotland. We have very little time at sea to allow for a genealogy conference to happen onboard. Our learning will all be via webinars and will take place BEFORE YOU GO so you are well prepared for your time in your ancestral homeland.

On site research opportunities will be available in Glasgow, Inverness and Edinburgh. Unfortunately, we can't arrange research in Ireland because we arrive on a bank holiday and everything is closed. However, there will be ample opportunity to consult with local genealogists to seek help with your Irish brick walls.

We are happy to arrange a bespoke research tour for you after the cruise. This can take place in Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Inverness or Edinburgh.

Christine Woodcock

(With thanks to Christine)


For my, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at
genealogy guide books, visit

Saturday 6 January 2018

FIBIS 20th Anniversary Conference

From the Families in British India Society (

FIBIS 20th Anniversary Conference

The next FIBIS residential conference celebrates the society’s 20th birthday and will run from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th September at the Hawkwell House Hotel in Iffley, Oxford. We have lined up speakers on a range of topics which we hope will fill in some gaps and encourage delegates to pursue their own investigations.

There will be opportunities over the weekend to consult FIBIS and other experts on individual research problems, and also to view examples of past FIBIS transcriptions and research results and to browse a gallery of photographs.

There will be some tutorials; such as research or practical advice on the use of the FIBIS and other websites, and in contributing to FIBIS database, Wiki and Gallery

We will also have space for discussion groups on specific topics of common interest suggested by delegates and run by themselves. And of course there will be time to network with fellow delegates.


The event will start at 13.00 on Friday with an open forum session and other tutorial or discussion opportunities. Formal lectures will begin at 14.30. We will have afternoon lectures and one shorter after-dinner lecture. There will be a full day of talks on Saturday, including an after-dinner speaker, and two further talks plus a plenary session on Sunday morning. The conference will close at 13.00 on Sunday.

Not a FIBIS member? Join FIBIS today and benefit from the reduced member rate.

For further details on the programme, speakers, how to book, and how to join FIBIS if not a member, please visit

(With thanks to Valmay Young)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Friday 5 January 2018

London burials, Red Cross volunteers and Irish military pensions and medals

The first FindmyPast Friday in 2018 from FindmyPast ( has seen the release of the following collections:

Middlesex, Brompton Cemetery Records

Search through more than 645,000 records from one of Britain's oldest and most distinguished garden cemeteries. 'Middlesex, Brompton Cemetery Records' consists of transcripts and images of original documents held at the National Archives in Kew. In many cases, you will find more than one result for your ancestor – a burial register entry and a grave purchase record. Transcripts may reveal a combination of your ancestor's death year, age at death, burial date, burial place and residence. Images may reveal additional details such as the cost of the grave, the owner of the gravesite, who paid for the burial, whether a private or common grave, and your ancestor's occupation.

Greater London Burial Index

Over 19,000 new records covering Clerkenwell in central London have been added to the Greater London Burials Index. The Index contains over 1.6 million names from more than 300 Anglican and non-conformist parishes in the Greater London area.

England, Cheshire School Records, 1782-1950

Were your ancestor's educated in the English county of Cheshire? Search over 423,000 records covering more than 120 schools across the county in this collection of records from FamilySearch.

British Army, British Red Cross Society Volunteers 1914-1918

Find out if your ancestor volunteered for the British Red Cross Society during World War 1. Following the start of the 'Great War' in 1914, the British Red Cross joined forces with the Order of St. John Ambulance to form the Joint War committee and Joint War Organisation. They pooled resources and formed Voluntary Aid Detachments (or VADs) with members trained in First Aid, Nursing, Cookery, Hygiene and Sanitation. These detachments all worked under the protection of the Red Cross, working in hospitals, rest stations, work parties and supply centres.

Mississippi, Tippah County Records 1836-1923 Image Browse

Browse through more than 115 records related to deeds, chattel deeds (personal property), and probate case files from Mississippi's Tippah County Courthouse.

Ireland Military Pensions and Medals 1916-1922

Search over 52,000 records Pension and Medal records to find out whether your Irish ancestor served during the Easter Rising or the War of Independence. The collection covers members of the Óglaigh na hÉireann, National Army, Irish Republican Army, Irish Volunteers, Irish Citizen Army, or Cumann na mBan.

For further details and collection links visit


Needing a Christmas present for a family history obsessed love one (or for yourself)?! For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Thursday 4 January 2018

New social media channels for local APG chapter

Following my earlier post concerning a CPD event I participated in with the Association of Professional Genealogists (see, I've been contacted by Fiona Fitzsimons with news of some further developments for the local chapter - namely its new social media channels, which are now up and running. Here's the message:

The APG Britain Ireland and the Isles chapter of APG are delighted to tell you that with a little help from our friends, we've set up social media channels for the chapter:

Twitter: @APG_BII (

It should facilitate our being able to come together online, and is the first step towards more, and better networking. Details of the next webinar/ discussion for CPD will follow shortly.

(With thanks to Fiona)


Needing a Christmas present for a family history obsessed love one (or for yourself)?! For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at