Friday, 28 December 2012

2012 genealogy review - part 1

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

January

This was the month that saw the launch of the new Commonwealth War Graves Commission website (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/new-commonwealth-war-graves-site.html), and the horrendous first incarnation of the new National Archives of Ireland catalogue, thankfully now brilliantly fit for purpose after a less than auspicious beginning. Brightsolid announced plans to invade the United States (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/brightsolids-growing-us-army.html) and the Internet Archive dramatically improved its scans of the Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/fasti-ecclesiae-scoticanae-improved-on.html).

As well as adding the Scottish 1881 census, FindmyPast UK announced plans to digitise the records of Canterbury Cathedral, and the Mitchell Library provided access to the ScotlandsPeople computer system for £15 a day (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/scotlandspeople-system-now-at-mitchell.html), albeit without the Roman Catholic records which were also announced as coming soon to the ScotlandsPeople Centre (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/roman-catholic-records-in.html).

Family Search kicked the British Isles out of Europe (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/familysearch-kicks-british-isles-out-of.html) and in London, the bell started to toll for the old catalogue on the National Archives website(http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/end-of-present-tna-online-catalogue.html).

Across the water, Irish TV showed an excellent house history series called Cé a Chónaigh i mo Theachsa? (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/ce-chonaigh-i-mo-theachsa.html), whilst in the north the GRO in Belfast announced plans to start adding parents names to death certificates (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/northern-irish-death-certs-to-add.html).


February

Rootstech in the United States streamed live coverage of certain talks worldwide - whilst Josh Coates gave a great talk at the event, he also referenced another helpful lecture on how to survive a zombie apocalypse (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/rootstech-day-2-online-lectures-and.html for the link on that one!).

Ancestry launched a new online image viewer, and added various Warwickshire records (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/warwickshire-records-on-ancestry.html) and cess and stent roll records for Perthshire (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/ancestry-releases-perthshire-cess-and.html).

As Hampton Court announced an exhibition on the Stuarts (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/hampton-court-exhibition-on-stuart.html) it emerged from an old 1968 RTE film that Kilkenny girls were the wrong shape for a restoration comedy (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/kilkenny-wrong-shape-for-restoration.html)!

Cheshire and Chester burials were released on Deceased Online (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/cheshire-and-chester-burials-join.html) and a National Library of Wales cultural project for WW1 received funding from JISC (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/welsh-ww1-project-receives-funding.html). The National Archives at Kew launched a new blog (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/new-blog-from-national-archives.html), as FindmyPast updated its app for Apple devices (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/findmypast-updates-app.html) and launched a new series of merchant seamen records online (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/19th-century-merchant-navy-records-go.html).

I gave talks at Who Do You Think Live for the first time (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/wdytya-live-2012-part-1-review.html) and met a woman with whom I shared a somewhat extraordinary connection back to 1866 (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/wdytya-live-part-4-victims-descendants.html)

And an embryonic Scottish Genealogy Network had its first meeting in London without realising what it had just begun...! (http://scottishgenealogynetwork.blogspot.co.uk)


March

Four million Welsh parish records went online at FindmyPast (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/four-million-welsh-parish-records.html) and TNA released a great podcast by Paul Carter on the Victorian workhouse (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/tna-podcast-victorian-workhouses.html).

Ancestry announced a new test for autosomal DNA (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/first-look-at-ancestrys-autosomal-dna.html) and some possibly optimistic news on the release of the southern Irish 1926 census was first announced (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/1926-irish-census-go-ahead.html). Even more important on the Irish front, Tayto crisps announced a newly designed Titanic packet (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/titanic-crisp-too-far.html)!

Bradford FHS announced a project to help make local tithes maps available online (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/bradford-tithes-maps-project.html), and my ancestral home in Scotland became a city again (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/fair-city-regains-status.html). Durham Records Online passed the one million mark in terms of online records (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/one-million-burials-at-durham-records.html), and Friends Reunited was relaunched with a more genealogical slant (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/friends-reunited-relaunch.html) - and has barely been heard of since on that front.

After a visit to Preston, the Europeana WW1 roadshow visited Dublin (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/europeana-ww1-roadshow-in-dublin.html). News that Scottish sasine records would be making their way online soon was included in a podcast by the NRS's Tristram Clarke (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/scottish-sasine-and-servants-taxes-to.html), the 1915 valuation roll was placed online by ScotlandsPeople (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/1915-scottish-valuation-roll-to-go.html) and the John Gray Centre opened in East Lothian (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/john-gray-centre-new-east-lothian.html).

And RootsIreland made some very unpopular changes for its database (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/rootsireland-makes-search-and-payment.html), still in play to this day...


April

The unindexed US federal census from 1940 went online (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/usas-1940-federal-census-release.html), sparking a race between several online vendors to get indexes uploaded first. Plans for the National Archives' Discovery catalogue were announced (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/national-archives-launches-discovery.html), though were subsequently delayed, whilst new £3 million premises for West Yorkshire Archives were announced to be in the pipeline (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/west-yorkshire-archive-new-facility.html).

Everyone went a little crazy about Titanic for a bit.

The National Records of Scotland revealed a trendy new logo (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/national-records-of-scotland-logo.html), and God smiled on Ayrshire and provided access to the ScotlandsPeople computer system in Kilmarnock, for £15 a day (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/scotlandspeople-access-at-burns.html). Glamorgan FHS heroically came to to the rescue when contractors destroyed a local cemetery at Tonyrefail (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/glamorgan-fhs-helps-with-chapel.html). The Express looked at "ancestral therapy" sessions (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/ancestral-therapy-psychic-sally-meets.html), and the Telegraph announced 20 spitfires from Burma that had been buried in WW2 and perfectly preserved would be soon dug up (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/20-spitfires-to-be-returned-from-burma.html).

I attended the SAFHS 2012 conference in Dundee (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/safhs-conference-2012-report.html) and Ali MacDonald announced how to join the Scottish DNA Project, hosted by the University of Strathclyde (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/scottish-dna-project-update.html). Also in Scotland, Registers of Scotland's Glasgow office moved to new premises (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/registers-of-scotland-glasgow-office.html), and Google Books released the Retours of Services and Heirs in 3 volumes from 1544-1699 for free (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/retours-of-services-of-heirs-1544-1699.html)!

Emma Jolly released her brilliant book, Tracing Your British Indian Ancestors (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/review-tracing-your-british-indian.html).

More soon!!!!

Chris

Having a Christmas present crisis?! Check out my range of genealogy books at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html - perfect for the family historian's Christmas stocking...! Also now out - new Kindle edition of Tracing Your Family History on the Internet, from http://tinyurl.com/d3vqtz5

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