Wednesday 29 August 2018

Forthcoming genealogy courses from Gill Blanchard

Details of two forthcoming genealogy courses to be taught by family historian Gill Blanchard:

The first is a six week course on 'Sharpening Your Research Skills' for the Diss branch of the Norfolk Family History Society. Starting Tuesday 4 September at 1.30 to 4.30pm at the Lopham's Village Hall. IP22 2LP. Follow on dates: 18 and 25 September, 2, 23 and 30 October. Cost to society members £30. Non members £60.

Sharpening Your Family History Research Skills - Unlocking Your Ancestry Six Week Family History Course
Starting Tuesday 4 September 2018 1.30 to 4.30pm. Continuing: 18 September, 25 September, 2 October, 23 October and 30 October
Lophams’ Village Hall, Church Road, North Lopham, Norfolk IP22 2LP

Hosted by the Diss Branch of the Norfolk Family History Society (NFHS)
£30 NFHS Members £60 Non Members

Tutor: Gill Blanchard. BA. MA. PGCE (Post. Grad. Cert. Ed)
Qualified Tutor and Professional Genealogist
Author of Tracing Your Ancestors: Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, Tracing Your House History and Writing Your Family History

To book contact Betty Morley, 01379 688354

1. Stepping Stones and Making the Most of What You’ve Got
2. Parish Registers, Nonconformist Records, Cemetery Records and Monumental Inscriptions
3. The Workhouse and its Records
4. The Parish Poor
5. Crime and Healthcare
6. Wills, Administrations and Inventories

The second is Gill's online Writing Your Family History E-Course Module 1 starting on 21 September. This is now 12 weeks long for £135.

This course guides participants through the process of bringing their ancestors to life. The lessons focus on enabling students to choose the most suitable format for them, decide what to include and how, and find and add relevant context. Students receive personalised and in-depth feedback on their writing throughout the course.

Students will be encouraged to move beyond a basic ‘John begat William and Jane begat Mary’ chronicle; learn how to integrate relevant social and local history materials and to deal with repetitions, missing pieces and anomalies in their writing. The course lasts for twelve weeks and is comprised of five lessons. The first four lessons are posted online at fortnightly intervals, with an extra week after lessons four and five to allow additional time for reading, writing, critiquing and feedback.

Each lesson includes writing exercises, focussed guidance, useful tips, writing examples, links to useful resources and background reading. There will be regular live online discussions with the tutor and other students. A dedicated learning hub can be used at any time throughout the course to share work, ask questions and post news.

Further details 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

Tuesday 28 August 2018

RootsTech to visit London in 2019

Freom FamilySearch (

RootsTech Announces 2019 Plans for International Event in London

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (28 August 2018), RootsTech is thrilled to announce the conference is expanding to international borders, beginning with the United Kingdom in 2019. RootsTech will host an event in London from 24–26 October 2019 at the ExCeL London Convention Centre. Find out more about RootsTech London 2019 at

“We are incredibly excited to take the learnings and excitement of RootsTech to London and to our friends in the United Kingdom and beyond,” said Steve Rockwood, FamilySearch International CEO. “Interest in one’s family discovery is growing throughout the world, particularly throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and this event will provide many people who are unable to attend the conference in Salt Lake City with the same excitement, resources, learnings, and motivation to discover more about their families and themselves.”

The RootsTech London 2019 convention will follow a similar model that has proved successful over the past 9 years the event has existed in Salt Lake City, Utah. RootsTech London 2019 will offer more than 150 informative lectures taught by industry experts, an exciting exhibit hall where vendors from around the world will display family history technology and services, entertainment, and inspirational keynote sessions.

“This event model has proven to be a great way for people to engage in family history, regardless of age or genealogical skill level. Everyone is welcome at RootsTech,” said Jen Allen, event director. “We are excited to further position RootsTech as a global community for anyone to discover their family and deepen their sense of belonging that we all yearn for.”

The RootsTech London 2019 convention will not replace the annual conference in Salt Lake City but will serve as an additional RootsTech event. All sessions of the RootsTech London conference will be conducted in English. Registration for RootsTech London 2019 will open in February 2019. To learn more, and to watch for continued updates, 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

Monday 27 August 2018

Dublin Metropolitan Police records join FindmyPast

The latest updates to FindmyPast (

Ireland, Dublin Metropolitan Police Prisoners Books 1905-1908 and 1911-1918
The Dublin Metropolitan Police prisoners books cover the year ranges of 1905 to 1908 and 1911 to 1918. These valuable records provide great insight into social and political life in Dublin during periods of great upheaval, including the start of the First World War and the Easter Rising. The records will provide useful information for those interested in genealogy, criminology, and family history.

Ireland, Dublin Metropolitan Police general register 1837-1925
Discover your ancestor in the Dublin Metropolitan Police's general registers. The records pertain to recruitment and transfers within the police force from 1837 to 1925. While the register was used up until 1975, due to data protection reasons, only the entries up to 1925 have been digitised and made available.

Wiltshire registers & records
Learn more about your Wiltshire ancestors with our collection of registers and records from the English county.

Westmorland registers & records
Learn more about your Westmoreland ancestors with three local publications, including:

Nebraska, Omaha births 1874-1887
Discover your ancestor in an index of Omaha, Nebraska, births from 1874 to 1887. Discover names, birth dates, and birth places, as well as parents' names.

British & Irish Newspaper update
This week we have added 140,716 new pages to our collection of historical British & Irish newspapers. We have added pages to six of our existing titles, including;

Evening Herald (Dublin) - 1892-1896, 1900, 1989, 1997, 2003-2004
Liverpool Echo - 1994-1995
Southern Times and Dorset County Herald – 1889
Horfield and Bishopston Record and Montepelier & District Free Press – 1912
Ampthill & District News – 1898
Drogheda Argus and Leinster Journal - 1905, 1913

Further details and collection links 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

Unlock the Past in Seattle conference LIVESTREAM

From Unlock the Past (, news of a forthcoming genealogy conference from Seattle which will be livestreamed:

Unlock the Past in Seattle with Blaine Bettinger and Maurice Gleeson LIVESTREAM

DNA | Irish research | Genealogy and the Little Ice Age | The hidden web: digging deeper

Adelaide, South Australia, 14 August 2018 – Unlock the Past Cruises announces that the Unlock the Past in Seattle full-day two-stream conference (previously announced) will now also be available to watch live online – and for a limited time after as a series of 10 recorded webinars.

Date & time: Thursday 6 September 2018, 9am-5pm (Pacific Daylight Time)

– watch in your own home – from anywhere in the world
– attend in person at Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA

– US$65 – Unlock the Past in Seattle Livestream
– US$45 – attend in-person at Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA
– US$20 – upgrade from in-person attendance to add access all 10 recorded sessions after

The program will feature 10 presentations in two streams – a DNA stream and an Irish/general stream

The presenters (see also presenters page at

BLAINE BETTINGER (USA) – Blaine is a professional genealogist specialising in DNA evidence. He is the author of the long-running blog The Genetic Genealogist and the books The family tree guide to DNA testing and Genetic genealogy.

DR MAURICE GLEESON (UK) – Maurice was voted Genetic Genealogist of the Year 2015 (SurnameDNA Journal) and Rockstar Genealogist, Ireland 2016 (Anglo-Celtic Connections). He runs a variety of Y-DNA Surname projects and organises the DNA Lectures at Genetic Genealogy Ireland.

CYNDI INGLE (USA) – Cyndi is the creator and owner of the award-winning web site Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet, a categorised index to more than 333,000 online resources. In its first three years, Cyndi’s List was voted the best genealogy site.

WAYNE SHEPHEARD (Canada) – A retired geologist, Wayne now spends most of his time on family history research. This has resulted in the pioneering publication Surviving Mother Nature’s tests: The effects climate change and other natural phenomena have had on the lives of our ancestors.

Details and bookings –

About Unlock the Past
Australian based Unlock the Past was established in 2009. It is the event and publishing division of Gould Genealogy & History which has served family and local historians since 1976. It is a collaborative venture involving an international team of expert speakers, writers, organisations and commercial partners to promote history and genealogy through innovative major events and a new publishing brand. It also maintains general and events directories online. Since 2010 Unlock the Past has run over 130 events, including expos, roadshows, regional seminars, history and genealogy cruises around the world – even Australia’s first ever battlefield tour. They’ve published over 100 guide books and handy guides for researchers, all of them offered in print and ebook editions.

(With thanks to Alan Phillips)


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

Oxfordshire Family History Society fair

From Oxfordshire Family History Society (

Oxfordshire Family History Society will once again be holding its Fair on Saturday October 6th. We are returning to the Marlborough School in Woodstock (OX20 1LP) which offers great access for all and ample free car parking.

The doors open at 10:00 and there is free entry for all visitors. We will once again have Good Food Catering providing excellent refreshments (hot and cold food and drinks) so that you can make a day of it. The doors will close at 16:00.

The Oxfordshire resources will be happy to help with your research within the county or beyond and we have many different stallholders providing services, books, CDs, postcards, family tree materials etc. For all the confirmed stallholders, maps and directions please see

We hope to see you in October whether you are a regular visitor or new - you will be most welcome.

(With thanks to Angie Trueman)


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 20 August 2018

Forces War Records adds Palestine medal clasp records

From Forces War Records (

Forces War Records has now added over 100,000 records to those who were awarded the ‘Palestine 1945-48 clasp’ to the General Service Medal.
QUICK SUMMARY: Forces War Records has now transcribed over 100,000 records to those individuals who were awarded the ‘Palestine 1945-48’ clasp to the General Service Medal. This collection records those who served in Palestine during the Jewish insurrection against British rule in the mandate between 1945 and 1948.

CONTENT: The General Service Medal was a campaign medal awarded to men and women of both the British Army and the Royal Air Force (the Royal Navy had their own equivalent medal). This decoration was instituted in 1918 to recognise service within a range of military operations where the service merited an award, but the campaign itself was not significant enough to merit the creation of an independent medal.

The particular campaign or service which earned this award was indicated by a small bar worn on the ribbon of the medal, which would bear the name of operation moulded onto this clasp. This new transcribed collection records the award of the ‘Palestine 1945-48’ clasp (under Army Order 146 of 1947) to those who served in Palestine during the Jewish insurrection against British rule in the mandate between 1945 and 1948.

The criteria for the award of the ‘Palestine 1945-48’ clasp was a minimum of 1 day of service in the territory between 27th September 1945 (the date a "state of emergency" was declared) and 30th June 1948 (when the last British troops departed).

This collection is transcribed from the medal rolls housed at the National Archives, labelled WO 100 which recorded the men who were eligible for this clasp. Occasionally a man who had already received a clasp from a previous campaign (e.g. Palestine 1936-39) or a concurrent one (e.g. South-East Asia 1945-46) is also noted.

It is a particularly useful collection as amongst its considerable detail, is not only the unit with which they served on the operation where they earned the medal but also who they were with when the medal was conferred. Some records have even more detail with the exact dates the men entered and left the award area and the places they were stationed recorded – so you can start to build up an idea of their service history.

Records in this collection are likely to include the following:

• Surname
• First name or Initials
• Service Number
• Gallantry Awards
• Regiment or Corps
• Battalion, Company or other sub-Unit
• Previous unit served with
• Duty Location
• Previous clasps awarded
• Date of the award
• The army order under which the medal was awarded.

Please be aware that due to the way we collate, and cross-reference our databases, some records will contain more information than that listed above.
Quote: Forces War Records are pleased to present this now transcribed collection of records for the ‘Palestine 1945-48’ clasp to the General Service Medal, as a permanent memorial to those involved and an invaluable resource for genealogists. Also, we are glad to give users of the site addition information to those who served post World War Two at very specific times.

Forces War Records August Bank Holiday Discount offer.

Release Date: 23rd Aug onwards.

This August Bank Holiday Forces War Records is offering you HALF PRICE membership off monthly and yearly packages. – less than £25.00 for the year, or less than £5.00 for a month* (use code AUG2018)

(With thanks to Neil White)


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 19 August 2018

Review: The Archives of the Valuation of Ireland 1830-1865

It has been a while since I came across a genealogy or local history themed book that radically redefined my sense of a subject, but Frances McGee's The Archives of the Valuation of Ireland 1830-1865 is an absolute gem, worthy of a place on any genealogist's bookshelf.

You may be familiar with various record sets from the 19th century in Ireland which are often cited as 'census substitutes', such as the Townland Valuation and Griffith's Primary Valuation, but what you may be considerably less familiar with are the contemporary circumstances in which the various valuation records were created in the first place. The first Valuation Act was passed in 1826 – but what was its purpose, how was the act of valuing property across Ireland carried out, who did the work, and what were the results used for? Between 1826 and 1864 there were twelve separate Valuation Acts, changing the goalposts within which Richard Griffith had to steer his teams on a regular basis, such as whether the basic unit of valuation should be the townland or the tenement, whether the rateable value should be set at £3 or £5 annually, and even whether the barony or the Poor Law Union should be the unit on which the surveys were recorded.

McGee's book superbly describes 19th century Ireland as a virtual laboratory in which Griffith developed the valuation system which would continue in use until the late 20th century, amidst a plethora of competing demands by various wings of local government. A former archivist in the National Archives in Ireland for forty years, McGee has provided a much needed expert guide to help users, including genealogists, understand exactly what they are looking at when consulting Griffith's Primary Valuation, freely hosted at, or the earlier general, field, tenure, quarto and house books hosted at

The book is structured over 8 main sections:

1. Development of the system and the work of valuation
2. The valuation staff
3. The manuscript books and other documents of the valuation
4. The maps of the valuation
5. The Primary valuation
6. Appeals against the Primary valuation
7. Keeping the archives safe
8. Conclusion
9. Appendices

Although Ireland was a single unified country throughout the valuation period, the book concentrates on the records held in the modern day Republic, although due consideration is also given to the records held at Northern Ireland's national archive, PRONI, with the records differing slightly in the way that they are catalogued and described. The book perhaps understandably cuts off at 1865, but this means that the Cancelled Land Books, aka the Valuation Revision Books, get only a brief hearing. Nevertheless, you will not feel short-changed by the experience, because this is by far the most definitive publication on the subject yet.

At 240 pages long, and beautifully illustrated with colour plates, the book is available from Four Courts Press at, priced at €17.95 - and is thoroughly recommended.


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 deaths and English marriages added to FindmyPast

This week's releases on FindmyPast (

England, Clandestine Marriages
Did your ancestor have a clandestine or irregular marriage ceremony? Explore over 881,000 clandestine marriage records covering the years 1667 to 1775 to find out. Each result will provide you with a transcript along with an image of the original hand-written record. Records will reveal a combination of the couple's names, marital conditions, occupations and residences.

Britain, Directories & Almanacs
Over 329,000 additional records have been added to our collection of directories & almanacs. The new additions include English & Welsh publications spanning the years 1766 to 1919. Inside you will find the names, addresses and occupations of prominent people, tradesmen, people who held office, business owners and local civil servants.

Scotland, Lanarkshire Death & Burial Index 1642-1855
Discover your ancestor who died and was buried in the Scotland county of Lanarkshire. This index of more than 64,000 death and burial records covers 31 burial places across the county and spans the years of 1642 to 1855.

Queensland, Seamen 1882-1919
Discover your Australian ancestor in this index of Queensland seamen. From this index, you may learn the name of the ship your ancestor worked on. The registers this index was created from pertain to the years from 1882 to 1919.

New Zealand Birth, Marriage & Death Indexes
Over 62,000 additional transcripts of baptisms, marriages and burials have been added to our collection of New Zealand Indexes.

British & Irish Newspapers
This week we have added 131,666 new pages to The Archive. We have updated six of our existing titles, spanning England, Scotland and Ireland, including;

Liverpool Echo 1991-1993
Drogheda Argus and Leinster Journal 1873-1904, 1906-1912, 1917, 1922, 1927
Evening Herald (Dublin) 1988
Scottish Referee 1894
Irish Independent - 1918-1919, 1986, 1988, 2002
Mid Sussex Times 1914-1918

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

Thursday 16 August 2018

TheGenealogist adds Old Bailey calendar records

From TheGenealogist (

Central Criminal Court Records reveal thieves, forgers and serial killers

TheGenealogist is adding to its Court and Crimianal Records collection with the release of over 160,000 records of prisoners at the bar and their victims from the CRIM 9 records held by The National Archives. These documents were created by the Central Criminal Court and document the After Trial Calendar of Prisoners.

After Trial Calendars give family history researchers details of ancestors who were up before the Old Bailey, revealing the names of prisoners that had appeared before the court, the committing magistrates, offences the prisoner had been indicted for, the date of their trial and who they were tried before. The records give the verdict of the jury, previous convictions and the sentence or order of the court. Other information in these records are the names of the victim and the level of education or ‘Degree of Instruction’ as well as false names that the criminals may have used to try and hide their tracks from the authorities.
Use the After Trial Calendar of Prisoners records to

* Find ancestors accused of crimes ranging from stealing a matchbox to murder

* Discover people standing trial as forgers, baby farmers, German spies and more

* Uncover some of the aliases adopted by criminal ancestors

* See the occupation or trade of the offender

* Research records covering the period 1855-1915

Read our article about the cycle thief who became a serial wife killer:

(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

Monday 13 August 2018

Edinburgh City Archives consultation

Edinburgh City Archives ( is having a consultation on its future service provision. Here's the blurb from its website:


Edinburgh has a rich 900-year history captured in its City Archives – from old charters to last month’s Council webcasts. But we don’t just preserve the past; we also collect records about life in the city today.

To help the city’s archives reflect Edinburgh as it is now, rather than simply as it was, Edinburgh City Archives is asking residents, visitors, community groups, archives institutions, businesses and other organisations based in Edinburgh their views on:

* How they would like to access and support the city’s archives
* What we should be collecting about Edinburgh now for access in the future.

Why We Are Consulting

As the city evolves, so must its archives. Changes in the city’s people, buildings, businesses, and organisations need to be captured and reflected in its archives.

How we expect to find and access cultural content like archives is also changing due to technology. The same technology is even changing how we create records today and how we will preserve them as tomorrow's archives.

Edinburgh City Archives needs to understand how and where it needs to adapt its services and priorities to meet these challenges. Each response to this consultation will help us plan how we make sure that the city’s archives are accessible and reflect Edinburgh properly in the years to come.

Responses are welcome from Individuals, Groups, Organisations and Archives Services (based within or near Edinburgh).

Top subvmit to the consultation, please visit

The consultation runs until October 26th 2018.

(With thanks to the National Records of Scotland)


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 12 August 2018

Scottish Services of Heirs indexes on FamilySearch

I occasionally take a look to see what might pop up on the catalogue of the FamilySearch website (, and have just found a very useful collection for those seeking ancestors who may have inherited Scottish land and property (heritage) - i.e. the stuff not found on the ScotlandPeople's wills collection, which mainly deals with the inheritance of moveable property prior to 1868. The records in question are the indexes to the Services of Heirs from 1700-1859:

Decennial indexes to the services of heirs in Scotland, commencing January 1, 1700--ending December 31, 1859

From my book, Researching Scottish Family History, a brief introduction to the records:

The other form of personal estate to be dealt with after death was heritable property. Until 1964, the law of primogeniture meant that the eldest son usually inherited his parents’ land and any properties thereon, though from 1868 this could be bequeathed in a will to other members of the family. In order for an heir to inherit, however, he or she had to have that right legally confirmed through the Services of Heirs process. This basically meant that a prospective heir went before a jury of local landowners to have his or her right confirmed. The jury would deliberate on the matter and then return or ‘retour’ its findings to the Royal Chancery in Edinburgh.

The recorded retours were in Latin until 1847, with the exception of the period 1652 to 1657 (Cromwell’s Commonwealth period). Records for 1530 to 1699 were summarised in the Inquisitionum ad Capellam Regis Retornatarum Abbreviatio, an index for which can be consulted at the NRS (within the General Register House search room). From 1700-1859 you need to consult the Indexes to the Services of Heirs. The retours process in fact continued until 1964, but by then most land was being conveyed through wills, making the process virtually irrelevant.

Once an heir had been confirmed legally, they then had the right to inherit. In truth however, many people put off going through the process for years and took possession of the property in question straight away. It was only when they then wanted to sell the property at a later stage that they would suddenly have a panic about getting the paper work sorted. In other cases, the process took years because of legal challenges to the heir’s right to inherit. As such, the record can often be found years or even decades after you might expect to find it.

That's a simplistic overview of the Services of Heirs records, and considerable more detail can be found on how to use them in my book Discover Scottish Land Records (2nd edition) - here's a brief section about how to search them:

Additional indexes for retours from 1700-1859 are available at the National Records of Scotland and can also be purchased on a CD. These abridgements are written in English, but both Special and General Services are now listed together. There are again two separate lists, however, the main index and the accompanying supplement.

The records are indexed alphabetically in periods of ten years, starting with 1700-1709, 1710-1719 and so on. All heirs are found in the main index, with the following an example:

(1750-1759 decennial index list)

Names of the Person Served  Hunter – Helen – (or Colston)
Distinguishing Particulars  Wife of William Colston in Gifford, to her Uncle Andrew Hunter, Feuar there – Heir General – dated 22d January 1754
Date of Recording  1754 April 16
Monthly No.  16

If you wish to find the name of the heir to a particular ancestor, and that heir has a different surname to the deceased, you will need to consult the Supplement that accompanies each decennial listing, which acts as a finding aid. A typical example would be:

Names of the Persons served to, by Heirs not bearing the same Names
Stevenson – John – Wright, Kilsyth
Names of the Heirs – which see in the Principal Index
Renny – Jean – (or Gillies) – (Heir of Provision General)

Having found the name of the ancestor John Stevenson, I would now need to go back to the original index and look up Jean Renny’s entry for the full index details recorded for her relevant retour.

And that's just the start of it! Discover Scottish Land Records is available from outlets in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Cananda and the USA - see for details.

UPDATE: Just for good measure, the earlier records from 1530-1700 (Inquisitionum ad capellam regis retornatarum ... abbreviatio), are available at - but best to dust off your Latin skills if you want to use them! (Again, there's further info in my book on how to do so)

Also, just to add - there's currently a sale on for my book in Australia through Gould Genealogy - see


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

Forthcoming webinar - My Italian One-Name Study

From the Guild of One-Name Studies (, news of a forthcoming webinar on August 21st 2018:

My Italian One-Name Study - with Michael Cassara and Julie Goucher

Is the surname that you want to research and make your one-name study a “foreign” one? Perhaps you don’t speak the language or you wonder how you will handle translations, foreign record offices and websites, or putting your study together for a world-wide audience.

If you have not yet registered for our next webinar – My Italian One-Name Study – you can still do so!

Join us on Tuesday August 21st at 7:00 pm (BST) as we travel to Italy (armchair travel) with Guild Members Michael Cassara and Julie Goucher as they present on Italian surname research and their Italian one-name studies. Come learn how you can apply their tips and suggestions to your own one-name study.

To learn more about our presenters and register please visit our webinar no 9 page at And to sign up for any of the remaining webinars in the series, please visit our 2018 webinar series page, via

A reminder that these webinars are free and open to the public so please share with your genealogy and family history friends. And we will see you on August 21st!

(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

Saturday 11 August 2018

Scottish Fencible regiments

Another of my articles from the now defunct Discover my Past Scotland magazine, this time from 2009 (with any links duly updated!:

The Fencibles

Chris Paton takes a look at a forgotten Scottish army

There have been many famous regiments raised for military service in Scotland over the centuries, but a particular chapter in the country’s history is often overlooked. In 1759 and 1778, units known as ‘fencible’ regiments were raised in parts of Scotland as a form of home guard to allow the regular army to off and fight overseas. After a short and uneventful existence, they were disbanded in 1783, following the American Revolutionary War.

In the ensuing peace, Britain had reduced its military compliment, and so had found itself unprepared when the French declared war in February 1793. The order was given for the recreation of the Fencible units to defend against the threat of invasion, particularly important in Scotland as there were few militia forces to speak of compared to her southern neighbours. Less than a month later, regiments had been established by some of the country’s wealthiest and most influential clan chiefs and landowners, including the Sinclairs and MacKays in Caithness, the Campbells in Breadalbane and Argyll and the Grants of Strathspey. Initially they comprised of eight companies each, led by a colonel, a lieutenant colonel, a major, and five captains, but by 1794 had grown to ten companies, with some regiments forming separate battalions. There were two types of regiment, the infantry and the cavalry. Initially the infantry were given regimental numbers, as with the regular army, but were later renamed in favour of the landowners who had raised them, whilst the cavalry brigades were renamed as Light Dragoons.

Sergeants sent out to raise men for their units were under strict instructions not to take on apprentices, deserters from other regiments, or weavers with unfinished webs, unless they agreed to pay a fine for non-completion of the work out of their bounty. Upon passing a medical examination from a local surgeon, enlisted recruits were then paid a bounty of three guineas, out of which they had to buy their own uniforms. This would typically include a scarlet jacket with white cuffs, collar and buttons, a twilled white Flannel waistcoat, a pair of flannelled drawers, a bonnet and feather, three shirts with frills, two pair of hose, two pair of shoes, a comb, a black leather stock and buckle, a leather rose, and a haversack. Some, such as the Rothesay and Caithness Fencibles, wore tartan pantaloons, whilst others, such as the Gordon Fencibles and the Invernessshire Fencibles, wore full Highland garb instead.

As a home defence force, a great deal of the soldiers’ time was spent in barracks, on various manoeuvres across the country and in performing escort duties, with some sent to perform similar duties in Ireland. In 1798, the United Irishmen rebellion led to many Scottish regiments engaged in fierce fighting in the country, including the Reay Fencibles, the Caithness Legion of Fencible Men, the Fraser Regiment of Fencible Men, the Inverness Fencibles, and others. The Reay Fencibles fought in a major battle against the rebels near Tara Hill, with twenty six of their number killed or wounded in the fighting, though the rebels lost well over four hundred. The Fife and Argyll Fencibles fought at the Battle of Ballynahinch, the turning point of the uprising, whilst the Inverness men also saw serious combat operations, and were renamed as Duke of York’s Royal Inverness Highland Men in gratitude.

An interesting point concerning the regiments which travelled to Ireland is that upon their return they established the Orange Order within Scotland, having served alongside the recently formed Orange Yeomanry within the country. The first warrants granted to establish Scottish lodges went to the Breadalbane’s and Argyll Fencibles between March and May 1798, followed soon after by the Ayr, Tay, Dumfries, North Lowland and Caithness Fencibles. It was not until the early 1800s that civilian lodges were established within the country.

Many soldiers were, however, unhappy about the posting to Ireland. When Breadalbane’s Fencibles were asked to send over volunteers, about half of the compliment refused to go, infuriating those who had sponsored the regiment. George Penny, in his 1832 book ‘Traditions of Perth’, recorded that “Lady Breadalbane, who had taken great interest in these proceedings, was so incensed at their obstinancy, that she is reported to have declared, that she would raise a regiment that would march to the devil if she desired it”. A third regiment was duly drawn up, which did travel to Ireland, with the Earl of Breadalbane granting a medal to each volunteer in gratitude (see right). When these soldiers were subsequently asked to go to Europe to continue their service, they also drew the line at that point and refused. They returned to Scotland, and along with those who had stayed behind were recorded in a final muster on April 18th 1799, after which they were duly disbanded.

A major problem at the time was that many soldiers within the Fencible regiments were beginning to embrace ideas from political pamphleteers such as Thomas Paine, whose 'Rights of Man' publication in 1791 sewed the idea in their minds that they were no longer chattels, and had some degree of free will. This led in many cases to disciplinary problems, such as that which occurred in Glasgow in December 1794, again with the Breadalbane Fencibles. Following the arrest and detention in Glasgow of a soldier from the 1st Battalion for an offence for which he had been found guilty, a party of his colleagues armed themselves with muskets and fixed bayonets, and marched to the guard house, where they successfully secured his release. So outraged was Lord Adam Gordon, the commander in chief for Scotland, that an order was given to round up every spare soldier in the city to confront the soldiers to demand the return of the prisoner and the leaders of the mutiny. Before the issue was forced however, the ringleaders voluntarily gave themselves up to Lord Breadalbane without condition. They were escorted to Edinburgh Castle, where the ringleaders were tried and sentenced to death. Three had their sentences commuted, but the fourth, Alexander Morton, was shot on Musselburgh Sands.

In an almost identical situation, a similar mutiny broke out amongst the Strathspey Fencibles later in 1795, when several men were imprisoned following a joke made at an officer’s expense, and then similarly liberated by their comrades. Following a trial of the ringleaders, four privates were sentenced to death. Escorted to Gullane Links at East Lothian, they were informed that they could draw lots to spare two of their number. Charles Mackintosh and Alexander Fraser, who lost the ballot, were then executed in front of their regiments.

Following the rebellion in 1798 the majority of the service performed by the Fencibles continued in Ireland, which in 1801 became a part of the United Kingdom. Other units did see service elsewhere in the UK, with the MacDonald Fencibles sent to the English port of Whitehaven, for example, to prevent the ships of seamen trying to force an increase in their wages from leaving the port. So terrified were the sailors of the Highlanders that they backed own.

When the Treaty of Amiens was signed in 1802, the Fencibles were disbanded, and new regiments then raised to specifically serve overseas. This followed an order given in 1799 which decreed that all units which had been designed to purely serve within the British Isles were to be discontinued.

If your ancestor was in the Scottish Fencibles, you may have to search far and wide to locate their records. Some are held at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh (, some are held in local archives across the country, whilst others have not survived. A useful guide to help locate those that do exist is Militia Lists and Musters 1756-1787 (4th edition) by Jeremy Gibson and Mervyn Medlycott, available from


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

More First World War military records added to FindmyPast

The latest records added to FindmyPast (

Irish Officers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919
Search over 1,000 records to learn more about the Irish officers who died in the First World War. Discover where and when an officer died, as well as the cause of death. You may also uncover details of an officer's family and pre-war life.

Honourable Women of the Great War, 1914-1918
Discover your female ancestor who served during the First World War. Learn about the wartime activities your ancestor was involved in as well as her pre-war life. You may also find a photograph of your ancestor.

British Subjects Who Died In The Service Of The Indian Empire
Uncover the stories of British subjects who died in the service of the Indian Empire.

Airmen Died in The Great War, 1914-1919
Discover your relative in this index of airmen who died during the First World War. Discover your relative's name, birth and death years, cause of death, rank, and more.

Britain, Campaign, Gallantry & Long Service Medals & Awards
Over 58,000 additional records have been added to the collection. The new additions cover recipients of the Military Cross, Distinguished Flying Medal, Distinguished Conduct Medal, Distinguished Service Order and Commando Gallantry awards.

British Newspapers
This week we've added 144,026 pages to our archive of British newspapers, tipping the total to over twenty-seven million pages. Additional years have been added to five of our existing titles, including:

Liverpool Echo - 1989-1990
The Newcastle Journal - 1992
The Music Hall and Theatre Review - 1908-1909, 1912
The Scottish Referee - 1893, 1895-1896, 1899
The Wicklow People - 1914, 1917-1929, 1931-1976, 1986-2001

Further details 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

Thursday 9 August 2018

Oxford burials join Deceased Online

From Deceased Online (

Records from the historic city of Oxford now available on Deceased Online

There are now almost 50,000 records from Botley, Rose Hill, and Wolvercote cemeteries, from 1894 to 2016, available on Records for Headington cemetery have been digitised and will be released at a future date.

Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire in the South East of England and is known throughout the world as the home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English speaking world. In the city there are examples of buildings from every major period of English architectural history. Oxford’s industries include motor manufacture, education, publishing, IT, and science.

The records comprise digital scans of all burial registers up to 2007 and computerised data from 2007 to 2016, maps showing the section in which the grave is located, and grave details for each of the graves and their occupants.

Cemeteries in Oxford provide the final resting place of many notable people throughout history. JRR Tolkien, world famous author of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings rests in Wolvercote cemetery. He spent almost his entire adult life in Oxford and at 76 Sandfield Road, Headington, his residence for a number of years, there is a plaque displayed commemorating him.

John Richard Charters Symonds (aka Richard Symonds) is also buried at Wolvercote. He worked hard in humanitarian service in India after the partition from Pakistan and, after contracting typhoid fever, was cared for by his friend Gandhi. He worked for the UN for nearly 30 years. Symonds wrote about his relief work in the ex-colonies and was a champion of gender equality.

Edward Brooks, awarded the Victoria Cross in 1917, is buried in Rose Hill. Sergeant-Major Brooks single handedly charged an enemy machine gun, killed one gunner with his revolver and bayonetted another, causing the remaining gun crew to flee. Brooks recovered the gun and brought it back behind Allied lines, preventing many casualties.

Further information:
For other local records in the region available on Deceased Online courtesy of the National Archives for Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire, click here.


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

My next Scottish Research Online course starts September 24th

If you are inspired by the current series of Who Do You Think You Are? to find out more about your family history, and you have Scottish ancestry, then my next 5 week long Scottish Research Online course might help in September!

Here's the description:

Scottish Research Online (102)
Tutor: Chris Paton

Scotland was first to have major records digitized and offer indexes and images online. It has also been a leader in placing resource information on the World Wide Web. This course describes the major sites, the types of information and data that they offer, the forms in which databases are presented and how to analyze results. You will learn to lay the foundations for searching a family, how to select best resources and what to do next either online or in libraries and archives.
Lesson Headings:
  • Scotlands People, Family Search, Ancestry, FreeCen: content, comparison, assessment
  • Essential Maps and Gazetteers
  • Civil Registration and Census Research Online
  • Searching in Church of Scotland Registers Online
  • Scottish Wills and Inventories Online
  • Take It From Here

Note: it is recommended but not required that students in this course sign up for the basic search option, 30 units/seven days, at ScotlandsPeople (cost is seven pounds)

Each lesson includes exercises and activities; a minimum of 1 one-hour chat s See How the Courses Work.

STUDENTS SAID: "I particularly liked the fact that the course didn't just focus on the well-known BMD resources available, but on a much wider range of websites, including many which give extremely useful background information on the geography and history of the localities where our ancestors lived."

"a very knowledgeable Instructor"

Relevant Countries: Scotland

This course is offered twice annually.

Course Length: 5 Weeks
Start Date: 24 Sep 2018
Cost: £49.99

To sign up, please visit - and I will hopefully see you there!


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 8 August 2018

Ulster Historical Foundation to participate in USA's British Institute

From the Ulster Historical Foundation (

British Institute - 15-19 October 2018

Don’t miss the opportunity to attend a week-long course in researching Irish and Scots-Irish ancestors in Salt Lake City UT, in October 2018. This course which will be delivered by Foundation staff Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt is part of the prestigious 2018 British Institute which is organised annually by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History.

During the week we will be covering 19 different topics suitable for both the beginner and those with more experience in Irish and Scots-Irish research. The course includes sessions in the nearby Family History Library as well as a one-to-one 20 minute consultation with either Fintan or Gillian. More information on the course is available here.

We are really looking forward to spending the week in Salt Lake City helping people find out more about their ancestors and the sources available for Irish research – we would love to have you join us!

COMMENT: Also speaking at this event will be Paul Milner, Beryl Evans, Else Churchill and Alec Tritton.

(With thanks to the UHF)


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 7 August 2018

Sons of the Soil - Scottish agricultural labourers

The following is a version of an article first written by me for the now defunct Discover My Past Scotland magazine in August 2011:

Sons of the Soil

One of the hardest occupations to research within a family tree is that of the humble agricultural labourer, who causes so much depression for many upon his discovery within the censuses. The arrangements by which labourers took up work were either never formally documented, or such documentation has rarely survived. This is unfortunate in that prior to the Industrial Revolution most of our ancestors will have eked out a living from the soil on the estates of nobles and lairds for whom they worked in the capacity of serfs. Some worked collectively in ‘touns’, sharing land cultivated through the ‘runrig’ system, with each member of the settlement allocated strips of raised soil (known as ‘rigs’) for the growth of a particular crop. Others existed as pendiclers or cottars, inhabiting a small hut or building surrounded by an acre or two of cultivated soil from which they eked a living. They worked for the benefit of the landowner, and if they made any kind of profit from their year’s labour after the payments of taxes and rents, they were indeed fortunate in the extreme.

Prior to the 18th century tenants and labourers on estates were usually paid in kind, such as with grain, butter and milk, though a small amount of money could also be paid, and increasingly was done so throughout the course of the century. In return, rent was paid in kind also, with tenants and their families having to work for the landowner for several days in a year (known as ‘bondage days’), as well as through other means, such as the practice of ‘thirlage’ in feudal baronies. This much hated law required all tenants to grind their corn at the landowner’s mill, and to give a proportion of the grain known as a ‘multure’ to the mill operator, often as much as a twelfth of the total amount. The law was abolished in 1779, leading to the decline of many mills not long after. Tenants were also required to pay local taxes such as cess, scat, and wattle, and to perform other duties such as the carrying of coals to a proprietor’s house from a great distance.

The Agricultural Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries began to change the countryside and the agrarian lifestyle dramatically. Many Lowland estate holders enclosed vast numbers of smallholdings on their land into larger farms in an attempt to better manage and improve the soil through new agricultural techniques, many of them introduced from England. At the same time rents were increased dramatically. On other estates in both the Highlands and the Lowlands tenants were forcibly cleared to make way for more profitable sheep farming. As a result of all of these changes many families lost tenancies on the land on which they had previously worked. Some were repatriated to coastal settlements created by the landowners, others increasingly flocked to the cities to work in the factories, whilst many more were forced to emigrate.

Those who remained to work within the rural economy, and who were unable to secure or continue working a tack as a farmer, became part of a more mobile agricultural workforce, often moving regularly within a parish or from one parish to another to seek employment, whilst others became specialists in particular trades essential to the farming environment. At the bottom of the rung were the day labourers, who literally were hired by the day as and when required by farmers. Some lived within cottages which they built on waste ground, with the landowners’ permission, from which they would then hire themselves out. With the day’s chores complete, in their spare time they would plant potatoes and grain in the soil around them, feeding themselves and at the same time improve the quality of the land for the landlord. Others were more mobile, and were housed temporarily in bothies, small buildings which were often nothing more than basic rat infested huts with little furnishings but the simplest of amenities.

Particularly skilled agricultural workers such as ploughmen would be hired at fairs across the country for six months or a year at a time, usually reckoned from one of the term days of Martinmas (in November) or Whitsun (in May), a practice which all but died out towards the end of the 19th century. Once hired the ploughman and his family would take up their new position from the appropriate term day and be given accommodation close to the farm, where they would reside until the end of the contract, at which point they would seek employment at the next fair, and so on, though some remained with the same masters for several years on recurring contracts.

Trying to trace the movements of agricultural labourers can be difficult, but not always impossible. The censuses from 1841 to 1911 can of course help to locate them every ten years, but it is possible to build up a much more detailed picture of their lives as labourers. If you explore the records of baptism for their children, for example, you may well find that each child appears to have been born in a different parish or locality within the parish, which will give an idea of the geographic area around which they may have moved between contracts, as well as the frequency of their moves. Census and OPR records can be accessed via ScotlandsPeople ( or in many local libraries and family history centres.

Contemporary newspapers can provide details of the likely hiring fairs at which they were employed, which were often boisterous and fun filled occasions, and can at times even directly identify your ancestor, perhaps if he fell foul of the law or was the victor at a local ploughing competition. Check out the British Newspaper Archive at as a starting point for these. Church records can also help, detailing poor relief payments in the kirk session minutes for when times were hard, or perhaps instances when a labouring ancestor was hired for a specific task, which may be noted in the heritors’ records. Surviving Church of Scotland kirk session records have now all been digitised and can be accessed at the National Records of Scotland (, as well as in local family history centres in Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Hawick, Inverness and Orkney - see for details.

The two Statistical Accounts of Scotland at can be extremely helpful to build up a sense of the labourer’s lot in life. Not only do they provide considerably detailed descriptions of the country’s parishes in the 1790s and 1830s-40s, they can also describe local farming and fair customs, as well as identify the key landowners within a parish, which can help you to try to trace any relevant estate records. Whilst rental records within estate papers will not often name most labourers (as they were not tenants), other sources such as estate wages books may record payments for work carried out, and name those so paid.

There are many published parish histories which can also help to build up the picture further, with many books and reports also written which specifically concern the conditions endured by labourers. A useful book from 1861, for example, as hosted on Google Books at, is ‘The Cottage, the Bothy and the Kitchen, Being an Inquiry into the Condition of Agricultural Labourers in Scotland’ by James Robb, which explores the typical conditions for day labourers, ploughmen, kitchen servants and more within East Lothian, Fifeshire, Forfarshire, Aberdeenshire and Ross-shire, noting the wages paid for each form of employment and more. Other useful titles include several published transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland and the Farmer’s Magazine, again with many examples found on Google Books.


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 6 August 2018

The Family History Show - London

From Discover Your Ancestors magazine (

The Family History Show - London Saturday 22nd September
Don’t miss The Family History Show London, the major event of the genealogical calendar.

With many new features to help with your research, free lectures, and free parking. This year it’s taking place at the larger Surrey Hall at Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher, with more exhibitors and an additional lecture area.

It will be a packed day with the Keynote speech being given by the International Genealogy Blogger Dick Eastman on ‘The Future of Genealogy’.

Other speakers include Jane Shrimpton (Dating Photographs), Graham Walter, Chris Baker (Military), Keith Gregson (Social History), Mark Bayley (Research Techniques). Sponsored by TheGenealogist and organised by Discover Your Ancestors Magazine the show in York this June was a packed event pleasing both attendees and stallholders alike.

These events are attracting family history societies and companies from all over the UK and further afield. Including The Federation of Family History Societies, MOD, Local Record Offices, Archives, Guild of One Name Studies, Family History Book Publishers, Research Organisations, Genealogy Retailers, Online Services and more.

Our ‘Ask the Experts’ panel and the ‘Census Detectives’ will be there to help with your research, date photographs and identify medals.

There is plenty of free parking and refreshments are available all day.

Last year our advanced ticket allocation sold out and the visitor numbers were exceptional, we advise early booking to avoid disappointment.

Exhibitor numbers have increased with the keenly priced tables. If you wish to attend, space and the reasonably priced tables are rapidly running out. If you would like to book exhibitor’s space at the Family History Show London you can get the booking form here.

Tickets - Buy One Get One Half Price!

Early Bird offer: Buy your tickets in advance for £5 a person or buy two for £7.50 door price will be £7 each, and don’t forget everyone gets a Goody Bag worth £8 on entrance!

To take advantage of this offer:
Go to

For more information contact: Paul at

‘Discover Your Ancestors is both a critically acclaimed annual high quality print magazine and a monthly digital periodical. Launched in 2011 and well received by readers it is aimed at both those starting out in family history research as well as those more experienced family historians. Featuring case studies, social history articles and research advice, it is an informative and educational guide to help break down brick walls.

In 2017 it created the ‘Discover Your Ancestors’ Family History Show at York and London, these events have grown rapidly in size and a third show for the South West is planned for 2019.’

(With thanks to DYA)


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

Free access to Ancestry's UK military records

From Ancestry (

Get free access to more than 30 million military records

Find out where your family fought, the experiences they had and the places they had them.
Start your family’s WWI story today with free access to service records, medal cards, casualty lists and much more – free until 9 August.

* Access to the records in the featured collections will be free from 00:01 BST 6 August - 23:59 9 August 2018. To view these records you will need to register for free with with your name and email address. We will then send you a username and password to access the records. After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using an paid membership.

The collections featured can be found listed 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

MyHeritage LIVE international event in Oslo

From MyHeritage (

We are delighted to invite you to MyHeritage LIVE, our first-ever international user conference!

The conference will take place on the weekend of 2–4 November 2018 in Oslo, Norway and we'd love for you to attend.

It's open to anyone, from anywhere in the world, who would like to learn more about MyHeritage – including subscribers, DNA customers, those with free basic accounts, and those who haven't used MyHeritage yet but would like to find out more.

The conference will feature a keynote speech by MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet, and lectures by senior MyHeritage staff members and international guest speakers. All sessions will be in English. There will be three tracks: genealogy, DNA, and hands-on workshops, designed to suit all levels of experience, plus plenty of opportunities to ask questions and meet other MyHeritage users.

Tickets include entry to the Friday night reception, the keynote, and all conference sessions. They also include lunch and coffee breaks on Saturday and Sunday and entry to the exclusive MyHeritage LIVE party on Saturday night. Space is limited so please reserve your spot ASAP, before the Early Bird discount ends!

For a list of nearby hotels, details of how to get to the venue from Oslo airport, and other information, please check the FAQs on the MyHeritage LIVE website.

We look forward to seeing you in Oslo!

The MyHeritage LIVE 2018 Conference Team

For more on MyHeritage LIVE, 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

Back To Our Past to head back to Belfast

Some good news for those of us who enjoyed the Back To Our Past venture in Northern Ireland earlier this year - it's heading back to Belfast again next year, from February 15th-16th 2019!

For my review of this year's event, hosted at the Titanic Centre in God's own home town, visit

Don't forget that the event will also be in Dublin again from October 19th-21st 2018, at the RDS!

For more on Back To Our Past 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

Sunday 5 August 2018

Ancestry adds UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945

Ancestry ( has a new collection which may be of interest for those who may have UK ancestors interned as Allied prisoners of war between 1939 and 1945:

UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
Source: Original data: AIR 40: Rolls of POWs 1939-1945, WO 392: POW lists 1943-1945, WO 361: Casualities and Missing Personnel 1939-1945, WO 345: Japanese Index cards of Allied POWs 1942-1947, The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey, England.

About UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
During the Second World War, hundreds of thousands of allied troops were captured during and following military battles and were held in Prisoner of War Camps in both Europe and Asia. Whilst a large number were liberated once fighting had ceased, sadly many died before the end of the war, whilst being held in the camps. This collection contains information about the soldiers captured, where they were held and often, what happened to them.

Whilst details vary between sets of records, you may find the following information (where available):

Camp name
Place and Date of birth
Place and Date of death
Father’s name
Mother’s name
Date and Place of Capture
Service (e.g. Army, Air, Navy, Civilian)
Service rank
Service number

COMMENT: Some basic index information is returned on Ancestry for a search - but just for the record, I think that it stinks that Ancestry wants you to pay for another subscription on its platform to see the original record.

And equally for the record - I think that it also stinks that The National Archives is going along with this.


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