Sunday, 31 March 2013

Western Front Association announces pension cards look-up service

The Western Front Association has announced a new look-up service for the 6.5 million First World War pension records cards that it rescued not too long ago in November (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/world-war-1-pension-cards-saved.html).

The cost per first look up is £25, plus £5 per successive look ups - with a maximum of five per request. If no records are found, you can get a refund of £15 for the first lookup and £3 per each of the following. It gets a bit complicated though - if your first lookup isn't found, the first £25 charge will be transferred to a successive lookup.

From the site, the following restrictions on access have been announced to comply with data protection and the basis under which the records have been given to the association:

"...if anyone is named on the card or ledger who may be have been born less than 100 years ago, then you must have a genuine reason for such a request, ie the persons you name on the request form must have a valid connection to you (eg a relative). You cannot use this form to undertake lookup requests for third parties where the card content will compromise the 100 year rule."

The full announcement on the look up service is at www.westernfrontassociation.com/about-the-wfa/175-pension-records/2961-pension-record-cards-manual-lookup-request.html - and for details on the cards themselves (and make no mistake, this is a major new WW1 resource) are available at www.westernfrontassociation.com/great-war-current-news/pension-records.html.

(With thanks to Ken Nisbet of SAFHS)

UPDATE: note the following also

"The WFA intends to determine the best methods of digitisation with archiving organisations, and to discuss potential partnerships to undertake the work. We also intend to seek out sources of grant and other funding for the task, and we will soon launch a fund-raising campaign to help preserve the records in the meantime. Prior to the records being digitised and made available online, we will offer a manual look-up of records through application via this website, in the near future."

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Friday, 29 March 2013

FIBIS conference in Birmingham

News of a conference being organised by FIBIS (www.new.fibis.org):

Join us at the first Families in British India Society (FIBIS) Conference
16-18 May 2014 at The Best Western Manor Hotel, Meriden, Warwickshire

Building on the success of our one-day open lecture meetings, FIBIS trustees are now preparing a three-day conference where FIBIS members and the general public can learn more about this fascinating period in their ancestors’ lives.

Over the weekend delegates can enjoy presentations on a wide range of subjects connected with the British in India, take part in open forum discussions and workshops and put questions to the experts.

What’s on at the FIBIS conference?
A friendly and social gathering in the heart of England

LECTURES
Enjoy specialist lectures on British India and Society. Visit the conference website www.conference2014.fibis.org for a list of speakers.

EXPERTS
Ask our experts to help you solve your family history puzzles

CONNECTIONS
Meet other family researchers, compare notes and display documents and photographs

OTHER ACTIVITIES
Other activities include:
Gala dinner
Special interest groups
Workshops and 1:1 sessions on:
identifying research sources
making the best use of our website
contributing to FIBIwiki
social networking and social media

Visit www.conference2014.fibis.org for further details.

(With thanks to FIBIS on Google+)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Free 1901 and 1911 census access on Ancestry for Easter

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) is providing free access to its 1901 censuses for Britain, and 1911 for England and Wales (and Channel Islands and Isle of Man for both). Here's the blurb:

*The 1911 and 1901 Census records will be available to search for free from 00:00 on 29th March 2013 until 23:59 on 1st April 2013. To view these records you will need to register for free with Ancestry.co.uk with your name and email address.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

India vaccination documents added to NLS website

The National Library of Scotland (www.nls.uk) has added more medical documents from the British Raj to it Medical History of British India website (http://digital.nls.uk/indiapapers/), thanks to funding from the Wellcome Trust. From the latest NLS newsletter:

'Medicine - Vaccination' shows British efforts to vaccinate the Indian population against smallpox using the latest 19th and 20th century western scientific techniques.

Over 60 reports reveal the complex nature and the scale of ambition of the vaccination programme in India as well as the conflict between western colonial medicine and indigenous society, culture and systems.

(With thanks to the NLS)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Origins: new London burials - and free access to Irish directories

New London burials on Origins (www.origins.net) - and free access to its Irish directories for Easter:

NEW South London Burials Index on British Origins

Over 389,000 South London (Surrey) burials for the period 1545-1905, with a handful (18) up to 1957 plus one as late as 1980, are available for searching on www.origins.net.

The South London Burials Index contains surname and forename, age where given in the register, year of burial, parish and additional info / notes, which may include information such as addresses, parents names and other personal details.

South London Burials Index is part of British Origins Greater London Burials 1545-1909 which indexes over 558,000 burials in the City of London, Middlesex and South London (metropolitan Surrey) parishes.

The indexes are covered by two searches:

Middlesex & City of London Burials Index 1560-1909
South London Burials Index 1545-1905.
Records include last name, first name, age, year of burial, place name, and sometimes additional info such as parent names or addresses.


Explore your Irish ancestry this Easter Weekend

Access ALL Irish Directories FREE Good Friday - Easter Monday inclusive

Only a handful of truly national Irish directories are available. The Irish Origins directories form the largest online collection, and include the most comprehensive Irish directories available. A vital research tool, and a must for those interested in Ireland shortly before enumeration of the 1901 Census of Ireland. The collection will grow into a comprehensive collection of over 400 directories and almanacs pertaining to Dublin, Ireland 1636 to 1900. The collection currently has 69 directories from 1824-1900. These directories are covered by two searches:

Dublin Directories 1824-1894
Directories of Ireland 1845-1900

Register or Login to access the directories FREE from 29 March to midnight (GMT) 1 April 2013

(With thanks to Jane Hewitt)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

TNA podcast - Henry V's accession

The latest National Archives podcast from Kew is Authority, Legitimacy and Orthodoxy: the Accession of Henry V in 1413, by James Ross, and just under half an hour in length. Listen to it at http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/authority-legitimacy-and-orthodoxy-the-accession-of-henry-v-in-1413/ or download from iTunes for free.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Northern Irish will calendars searchable on Ancestry

Ancestry has provided a search screen that essentially allows third party access to PRONI's database of will calendars. The title of it is a bit curious though - Northern Ireland, Will Calendar Index, 1839-1943. It is accessible directly at http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=70726, and for free.

The database on PRONI has information on all wills and administrations granted through the District Probate Registries from 1858-1943, with the exception of parts of 1920 and 1921 (these are handwritten copies held by PRONI, and still to be added). So why does the collection start in 1839? Well, it seems that it is down to one single entry found between 1839 and 1857 - for a Daniel McKevitt, who died on April 1st 1839. Here's the blurb:

Will of Daniel McDevitt, Moville, County Donegal. Lodged with the Probate Office on 30 April 1839. [This entry does not appear in the will calendars but information from the will books has been abstracted and a will calender entry compiled and added to the will calendar database. In this instance the will was lodged with the Probate Office but was never proved so the date of the grant and the date of death are actually the date of lodgement of the will.]

So in terms of the date of grant, prior to 1858, there is one entry only, that listed above. The civil process took over from the Anglican regime in 1858. Although the District Probate Registries recorded the info on grants of probate etc from 1858, and then summarised them in the calendars, not everybody had their estate go through the probate process from day 1 after they died! In some cases, it was many years later, so grants of probate, or administrations, from 1858 may well concern someone who died many years before - hence why there are many entries of deaths recorded in the database between 1839 and 1857.

There is nothing really advantageous from the access granted by Ancestry, the PRONI site's interface is far superior at www.proni.gov.uk/index/search_the_archives/will_calendars.htm, but it is worth knowing it is there. The collection is planned to be extended beyond 1943 in due course.

(With thanks to John Reid at Anglo-Celtic Connections)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Coming Soon - County Surveys of Great Britain & Fieldtrip GB

The University of Edinburgh's EDINA datacentre has a couple of major projects on the go just now, of potential interest to genealogists across Britain.

Following on from its successful digitisation of The Statistical Accounts of Scotland (http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/), the centre is now working on the digitisation and presentation of The County Surveys of Great Britain 1793-1817 (which, like the Statistical Accounts, were also commissioned by Sir John Sinclair), which will provide "comprehensive information on the agriculture, rural economy and political economy of each county in Great Britain between 1793 and 1817", to quote EDINA's latest newsletter. The project will take 18 months, and results will be made available through the Statistical Accounts service already up and running.

The second developments is Fieldtrip GB - a new app "that will support teaching, learning and research by making it easier to collect data in the field". This will allow you to save maps to a device and to collect data for field trips, such as images, audio, text and GPS tracks. You can create bespoke forms for your research trip and store results to the cloud. There is a dedicated blog at http://fieldtribgb.blogs.edina.ac.uk.

(With thanks to the good folk at EDINA)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

ScotlandsPlaces releases more tax records

From ScotlandsPlaces (www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk):

We are pleased to let you know that we have now added the following historical tax rolls into the ScotlandsPlaces subscription service:
  • Shop tax, 1785-1789
  • Horse tax, 1785-1798

As you may know, the OS name books for Morayshire and East Lothian, as well as the 18th century dog, cart, and carriage tax rolls were also recently added to the site.

You will automatically gain access to these when you log into the site to use your subscription. More historical tax rolls and Ordnance Survey name books will be added in the coming months.

(With thanks to ScotlandsPlaces)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Orkney in a time of giants!

One of my favourite online blogs is that from up north, entitled Orkney Archives - Get Dusty. It has a healthy irreverence and humour in many of its posts. The latest concerns a beautiful map of Kirkwall from 1766 by Sir Laurence Dundas, which the blogger has concluded depicts the town "in the time of giants or really peedie hooses and ships...".

View the map and post at http://orkneyarchive.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/in-time-of-giants.html - then maybe explore some of its other previous posts!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Manor Park Cemetery and Crematorium records release complete

From Deceased Online (www.deceasedonline.com)

Manor Park - all 430,000 burial and cremation records now available

With the addition of another 160,000 records, we have completed the digitization of Manor Park Cemetery and Crematorium in Newham, East London

There are nearly 430,000 burial and cremation records for this historically important Cemetery

The latest 160,000 records available now are for the period 25th March 1875 to 15th December 1898 and comprise burial register scans together with details of all interments in graves and grave section maps

What is both interesting and tragic is the sheer number of interments during this 25 year period due to a combination the teeming population of and the high infant mortality rate in 19th Century East End of London

These new records available include some fascinating burials including Jack the Ripper's 2nd victim Annie Chapman, Winston's Churchill's nanny and a 10 year old little hero who perished whilst trying to save a drowning friend

(With thanks to Deceased Online)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Canterbury Collection records released on FindmyPast

From FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk)

OVER 2 MILLION LOCAL RECORDS REVEAL EAST KENT’S FASCINATING PAST
STATE OF THE ART LOCAL ARCHIVE CENTRE REOPENS AFTER REFURBISHMENT

For the first time today, records covering baptisms, marriages and burials from Canterbury’s past have been made fully searchable online by leading family history site findmypast.co.uk.

The Canterbury Collection of parish records dating back to 1538 has been released to coincide with the reopening of the renovated Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library reading room and contains records of almost 900,000 baptisms, 100,000 banns, 500,000 marriages and 700,000 burials.

Among the famous figures who appear in the records are dramatist Christopher Marlowe, cricketer Fuller Pitch, who was described as “The greatest batsman ever known until the appearance of WG Grace”, poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Sir George Rooke, Admiral of the Fleet who captured Gibraltar.

One register, for St Alphege Seasalter, includes odd and sometimes cutting entries about the parishioners by the vicar, Thomas Patten; for example, a note about the marriage in 1744 between John Housden “a young gape-mouthed lazy fellow” and Hannah Matthews “an old toothless wriggling hagg.”

Debra Chatfield, a family historian at findmypast.co.uk said: “The Canterbury Collection of records, some of which date back to 1538, is an extraordinarily rich resource for family and local historians and is an important resource for tracing the history of the East Kent area. Having them published online and so easily searchable on findmypast.co.uk is a really exciting opportunity for people to gain access to the records.”

Cressida Williams from Canterbury Cathedral Archives added: “We are really pleased that these fascinating records are now available online for anybody interested in family and social history for the East Kent area. Records of baptisms, banns, marriages and burials document the most significant moments in people’s lives and looking through the records gives 21st century family and social historians a really interesting window through which to view the past.”

All of the registers for the historic archdeaconry of Canterbury are deposited at Canterbury Cathedral Archives, in the care of the Dean and Chapter (except for the registers of Ash with Westmarsh, which are held locally). Registers for the historic archdeaconry of Maidstone are held by Kent County Council at the History and Library Centre in Maidstone.

The Canterbury Collection is available on all of findmypast’s international sites as part of a World Subscription.

(With thanks to Debra Chatfield)

UPDATE: Just noticed you can search for them in Welsh as well as English.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Changes coming soon to FamilySearch

FamilySearch is about to reinvent itself again - the site has released a page at www.familysearch.org/whats-new/?icid=fsHomeWhatsNew describing some of the forthcoming changes, with videos and navigable graphic presentations.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Homecoming Scotland 2014

Plans for the next Homecoming Scotland event, to take place in 2014, have been announced. You can read a summary at www.scotsman.com/news/arts/homecoming-2014-programme-of-events-unveiled-1-2859928 and also at the Homecoming Scotland event site at www.visitscotland.com/see-do/homecoming-scotland-2014/.

There is an ancestry page at www.visitscotland.com/see-do/homecoming-scotland-2014/ancestral but from what I can see the key events confirmed so far are several clan gatherings and a Bannockburn re-enactment. There's also a page showing you how to get to the ScotlandsPeople Centre and the Scottish Genealogy Society, and some of Scotland's archives. No genealogical events have as yet been announced on the site, but the page advises people to bookmark the page for further announcements in due course.

(With thanks to George Mackenzie of the Ancestral Scotland Steering Group)

UPDATE: I should add....! If you are planning to come to Scotland for the Homecoming event, and wish to maximise your time here in regards to ancestral research, there are many professional genealogists based in the country who can help to prepare your research trip in advance. My own research service is called Scotland's Greatest Story, essentially a service to help you uncover the greatest story you will ever find, namely your own. The website is at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk. Along with many other genies, I can carry out research for you in advance, and/or help you to prepare a research itinerary on your trip - this can help you to specifically target resources that are relevant to your own needs in the precious little time that you may have whilst here. So please don't hesitate to get in touch!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Disease and Death in British India talk in Edinburgh

Forthcoming talk at the National Library of Scotland (www.nls.uk):

Painful Tales from the Raj: Disease and Death in British India
Wednesday 10 April, 6pm

What dangers to health did the British face in India? What treatments were available in the 19th century?

In this talk Francine Millard, Digitisation Manager for the Medical History of British India Project, will use fascinating medical reports to explore the more gruesome aspect of the British Indian experience.

The event is free and will take place in the George IV Bridge building in Edinburgh, EH1 1EW.

(With thanks to the NLS)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

New British Military Lists page on NLS website

I've often gone on about how brilliant the National Library of Scotland offerings are on the Internet Archive. Lots of the content, digitised by the Internet Archive, is also available on the NLS, most notably the Post Office Directories, although the NLS has fewer editions on its site than the Internet Archive does.

However, another major page to go live today is British Military Lists at http://digital.nls.uk/british-military-lists/pageturner.cfm?id=97343435. This holds the following, all accessible free of charge:

Army Lists
1913-1919 - Quarterly army list for the quarter ending
1938-1941 - Half-yearly army list for the half-year ending
1940-1946 - Quarterly army list

Navy Lists
1913-1914, 1918-1920, 1939-1940 - Monthly
1913-1921, 1944-1945 - Quarterly
1940-1944 - Bimonthly

Air Force lists
1919 - Monthly Air Force list
1938-1945 - Air Force list

I've just had a play, and the site is a little sluggish just now. It follows the similar style of presentation as the NLS's Post Office Directories site, which I'm not too fond of, so if you prefer to access the Internet Archive version, visit http://archive.org/details/nationallibraryofscotland.

(With thanks to Hazel Stewart at the NLS)

UPDATE: I've just been informed the site may be taken down again temporarily, possibly to the end of the week, to correct one or two glitches - if so it should be back shortly.

UPDATE - back up again! And a more direct link - via www.nls.uk/family-history/military-lists

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Irish Genealogy website expanded as a portal

The Irish Government has expanded its Irish Genealogy website at www.irishgenealogy.ie. No new content is available, just a portal appended onto the previous church records database previously in existence, which now facilitates a more global search. (The church records site is now directly accessible at http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords). A lot of content on the site is accessible via links, as opposed to being included in the global search.

Here's the press release from the Irish Government (www.ahg.gov.ie/en/PressReleases/2013/March2013PressReleases/htmltext,16913,en.html):

Tuesday, March 26th - Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, will today launch a newly expanded web portal that is dedicated to helping people search for information on their ancestors.

The portal - www.irishgenealogy.ie - enables visitors to search genealogy records from a number of on-line sources. The aim of the expanded portal is to make it quicker, easier and less complicated for members of public - at home or abroad - to find information about their ancestors.

Minister Deenihan commented: "There is a huge level of interest in genealogical research, especially overseas. I am frequently impressed by the strong connection that people feel with Ireland, and the interest they have in finding out more about their past and where they have come from.

"There are many different places that you can find information about your ancestors. This can sometimes seem confusing to a novice researcher starting out. The aim of the expanded www.irishgenealogy.ie portal is to allow people do one search which will scan a range of records. A link will then bring you directly to the results of the search.

"Major additions to the search facility includes links to the American emigration records of Castlegarden now called 'Castle Clinton' and Ellis Island. Records such as these are vital as these are the first records emigrants completed on arrival in the New World and are a great starting point for those looking to research their ancestry.

"This development is timely in that 2013 is the year of The Gathering. We need as many ways and means as possible to ensure that people from all around the world can readily gain access to the records of their ancestors."

Doing a search on www.irishgenealogy.ie will now include a range of records:

• Census 1901 Records - Irish Census of populations for 1901 for all counties of Ireland.
• Census 1911 Records - Irish Census of populations for 1911 for all counties of Ireland.
• Griffiths Valuations - the first full scale valuation of 19th Century property in Ireland, published 1847 to 1864.
• Tithe Applotment Records - compiled 1823-1837, these records include details of occupiers of holdings over 1 acre and the amounts they had to pay.
• Soldiers Wills - a collection of the wills of Irish Soldiers who died while serving in the British Army.
• Military Archives - the largest resource for individual testimonies for the revolutionary period 1913-1923.
• National Library of Ireland - many of the NLI's catalogued collections including its digitised material are included in searches.
• Ellis Island Records - including passenger lists and other records of U.S. immigration through Ellis Island, New York.
• Castle Garden (Castle Clinton) Records - comprising a database of information on 11 million immigrants to the United States for 1820-1892.
• Ireland-Australia Transportation Database - this National Archives of Ireland database of records relates to the transportation of convicts and others to Australia.
• Women in 20th Century Ireland 1922-1966 - this is a database of almost 20,000 entries on a set of records relating to central government.

Minister Deenihan also added "The launch today is a first step, with the focus being mainly on providing access to records which are available from bodies under the aegis of my Department like the National Archives, the National Library and includes Church records which were already available on the website. I hope that through further discussion we can include information from other genealogical sources in the future"

One search on www.irishgenealogy.ie will tell you whether relevant records are available in a number of online sources as set out above.

(With thanks to @GenSocIreland)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

More on PRONI's Valuation Revision Books

Just a quick update - I've been in touch with PRONI to ask about the content still to go online in the Valuation Revision Books (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/preview-pronis-valuation-revision-books.html for news on the release earlier). Forty four books have still to be added, the reference numbers being as follows:

VAL/12/B/1/12A   Electoral Division of Coggrey 1923-1929
VAL/12/B/1/14A-F   Electoral Division of Craigarogan 1864-1929
VAL/12/B/1/25C-F   Electoral Division of Rashee 1881-1929
VAL/12/B/3/1A-C   Electoral Division of Ahoghill 1865-1900
VAL/12/B/3/5L-T   Electoral Division of Ballymena 1896-1931
VAL/12/B/4/3D-G   Electoral Division of Ballymoney 1884-1930
VAL/12/B/4/17C   Electoral Division of Killoquin Upper 1884-1897
VAL/12/B/4/18A-E   Electoral Division of Kilraghts 1864-1929
VAL/12/B/4/19A   Electoral Division of Kirkmoyle, Ballymoney 1923-1929
VAL/12/B/7/3C   Missing from series (Ballynure)
VAL/12/B/8/7C   Missing from series (Lambeg)
VAL/12/B/25/7C   Missing from series (Magheraveely)
VAL/12/B/26/25D-E   Electoral Division of Imeroo 1890-1923
VAL/12/B/38/8A   Missing (Caledon)
VAL/12/B42/19C   ?
VAL/12/B/43/H/4   Electoral Division of Duncairn Vol 3 1906-1915
VAL/12/B/44/4A-C   ?

The Search Hunt and Tips page for the collection will carry the full metatdata for these shortly. I was interested to note that an early book for Caledon is missing - potentially the homeland where my Graham lot came from before moving to Belfast.

I asked also about the possibility of name indexing - as FamilySearch was involved in their digitisation, it is possible that they may be indexed in due course, but there's been no decision on that as yet.

(With thanks to Janet Hancock)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Digging Up Your Roots returns to BBC Radio Scotland

The seventh series of BBC Radio Scotland's Digging Up Your Roots finally returns to the airwaves, but in a new slot on Mondays, commencing April 1st, at 13.30.

I was recently told by the producer of the show that this will be the last series, it having been decommissioned, but at Who Do You Think You Are Live in London I was assured by Bruce Durie, a genealogist who appears on the series, that this was not the case. Whatever's happening, there's a few editions to keep listeners going for a bit longer...!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Emerald Ancestors 1831 Templepatrick church census news

New on Emerald Ancestors (www.emeraldancestors.com):

Templepatrick Presbyterian Church Census, 1831
In a further addition to our Church Census Collection, we've recently included over 1,000 new records listing members of the 1831 Templepatrick Presbyterian Church Congregation in County Antrim.

Our Exclusive Church Census Collection offers a valuable resource to researchers looking for ancestors during a period of Irish History which is sadly lacking in Official Census records. Look out for our regular updates of further church census records being added during Spring & Summer 2013.

The site is also offering 25 % off its look-up service from 29th March 2013 for two weeks, by way of an Easter promotion.

(With thanks to Emerald Ancestors)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

FIBIS wins FFHS awards

Congratulations to Valmay Young and the team at the Families in British India Society (www.new.fibis.org), for winning both first place in the Large Society category of the FFHS Geoff Riggs Award (second year running), and the overall award for Best Site. The full story is available at www.new.fibis.org/archives/875

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Irish society temporarily moves to SoG building

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (www.irishancestors.ie) is temporarily moving from its prior home at St Magnus the Martyr into the Society of Genealogists building at Charterhouse Buildings, London, until new accommodation can be found. A lot of the organisation's material will be placed in storage until new digs can be found although some will be accessible at the SoG.

(With thank to the Federation of Family History Societies www.ffhs.org.uk)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

TNA podcast - researching Stalingrad and Berlin

The latest TNA podcast is a talk by Anthony Beevor entitled Stalingrad and Berlin: Researching the Reality of War. It runs at some 42 minutes and can be listened to at http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/stalingrad-and-berlin-researching-the-reality-of-war/ or by free download from iTunes.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

PRONI's Valuation Revision Books now online

I spent a few hours last night playing with the new digitised Valuation Revision Books collection from PRONI, which will be officially launched tomorrow at a reception in Belfast. To sum up the experience - simply brilliant.

The Valuation Revision Books (catalogued under VAL/12/B) are the follow up to Griffiths Valuation, and the digitised collection contains the books from the point where each county was originally surveyed up to 1930. They are not searchable by family name - instead you need to search by county and parish, unless you know the townland of interest, which you can simply do a keyword search for (match all words, any words or an exact phrase). Once found, you will find a series of links for the individual books, which you will then need to browse. Sounds a bit of a nightmare, but in fact searching through them is very easy - you can start with the index at the front of each edition to see on which page the townland of interest is found in the book (note the page number is given for each in the book, usually written in the top left and top right corners of each facing page - when searching it is this you are looking for, not the number of the digitised page). In browsing to that point you can skip a page at a time, or skip ten pages at a time. Once you find a person of interest in one book, in most cases he or she will likely be close to that same point in subsequent editions (although in the final book leading up to one Londonderry region I saw last night, the order of the townlands appeared to be reversed).

Viewing the images is best done with your computer in full screen mode. You can print or save each page, and you can zoom in or out - the mouse when it hovers over gives an enlarged window of what is underneath, but you can zoom in and out with the wheel of your mouse also. And just to add, the digitisation is of an exceptionally high standard. First rate stuff.

Did I make any progress last night? A heck of a lot. The books show when previous occupation and/or ownership of land has been cancelled and conveyed to a new person - a coloured line is drawn through the name, and you then look to the far right of the entry for the year in the same colour. If 1872 pops up, it does not necessarily mean a person died in that year, simply that that was the year in which the change occurred. There may be several cancellations in one book - if so, each has its own colour. Using the search in two townlands of County Londonderry, I discovered a forty year occupation from the point of Griffith's to the point when the house and land (separate entries, the land was obviously acquired later) was given up. Indirectly I also found enough evidence for me to consider another search for the death record of a three times great grandfather which I have been unable to find in ten years - and I finally found him (twenty years younger than he should have been, and indexed name spelt wrong on Belfast City Cemetery database, but a newspaper intimation later found on the Belfast Newsletter from 1902, via Ancestry, confirmed it was him).

There is one major advantage to not having a keyword search, and it is something I commented on a few months back in a Family Tree article. You actually have to look through the pages for your target, and in the process, gain information on others in the same townland or nearby who may well be related or connected in some way. You can also see some interesting wee gems - such as one reference I saw to the imposition of 'magnetic telegraph poles'!

There's an official bash for the launch tomorrow (Wednesday), so expect these to be online shortly. But trust me, it is going to be one of the biggest advances for many people in a long while with online Irish research. Here's hoping an equivalent can be constructed for the south - this database only covers the Northern Irish counties of Antrim, Down, Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh and Derry.

UPDATE: The Revision Books are in fact now available online at www.proni.gov.uk/index/search_the_archives/val12b.htm - happy hunting!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Fire at Southwark based library and museum

A fire has broken out at a building housing Southwark Council's Newington Library and Cuming Museum. The BBC has the story at www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-21928861.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Sighthill cemetery map

The University of Glasgow Library has placed a digitised copy of the 2nd edition Town Plan of Glasgow sheet depicting Sighthill cemetery. It can be found at http://universityofglasgowlibrary.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/town-plan-of-glasgow-sighthill-cemetery/ - no names included, but a great image!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

FindmyPast Ireland adds 1852 Irish Medical Directory

FindmyPast Ireland has tweeted that it has added the first ever Irish Medical Directory to its site at www.findmypast.ie. The directory, published in 1852, has some 6500 names included. The site gives it the following description:

This publication was the first full medical directory of Ireland ever published. All doctors and other medical practitioners who had a qualification are listed, including apothecaries (pharmacist) or medical doctors throughout Ireland.

(With thanks to @findmypastie)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

More details on Cork genealogy weekend

I blogged two weeks ago that University College Cork's Adult Continuing Education department was planning a genealogy education holiday in Cork called Ancestral Connections: Names, Places and Spaces at the start of July (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/genealogy-educational-holiday-in-cork.html). The university has now come back with more details on the programme and costs:

Ancestral Connections: Names, Places and Spaces

Irish Genealogy Summer School, University College Cork, June 30-July 6, 2013

This genealogy summer school offers a complete course in the latest Irish genealogy research, as one would expect from a summer school held in UCC, one of the world’s leading universities. All aspects of the subject are covered by a series of presentations and ‘hands on’ workshops given by a selection of Ireland’s leading genealogical lecturers and experts. The latest online and offline sources are described and explained in presentations which will be of great interest to the seeker of Irish roots and family history, whether beginner or expert.

Thankfully, it is not all work. A number of trips are offered featuring sites and locations including Fota House, the Queenstown Experience in Cobh, and Spectacular Killarney with its beautiful mountains and lakes. Not forgetting, optional evening tours to sites of interest in Cork itself, ‘the Venice of Ireland’, Blarney Castle and the beautiful harbour town of Kinsale.

The Summer School Ancestral Connections will be completed by a one-day conference with a range of topics offered by expert speakers.

Cork Archaeological & Historical Society Conference – 6 July
Cork Connections: Names, Places and Spaces

The Summer School Ancestral Connections will be completed by a one-day conference with a range of topics offered by expert speakers. The Cork Archaeological & Historical Society; founded in 1891, the society is one of the oldest local interest societies in Ireland.

For Residential and Non-residential rates, please contact UCC: Ancestral Connections Summer School Co-ordinator: Lorna Moloney at E: l.moloney@ucc.ie or 353-(0)85-8721184 or Lindy Meldon, Executive Assistant. Programme Assistant T: 353 (0)21 4904700. E: l.meldon@ucc.ie

Residential/Non-residential rates, & Concession Rates
Full residential: Accommodation, Full board at Victoria Lodge, tuition, field trips, excursions and conference: €775.00 / Non residential: €575.00 (We can supply a list of recommended providers on request.
Concession - Residential - (UCC staff, students, Over 55's) non residential €625.00
Concession - Non Residential (UCC staff, students, Over 55's, retired) non residential €465.00

(With thanks to Lorna Moloney)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

US RootsTech 2013 conference over

The American RootsTech conference, where the technological concerns of the family history industry meet in Utah, has ended for this year. The site's website at http://rootstech.org has recordings of some of the sessions that occurred.

In terms of news, I've only caught some of the headlines, but FamilySearch has a new logo in the works and is planning to redevelop its site again (*sigh*!), and Ancestry has released raw data from its autosomal DNA tests and is planning a huge project with FamilySearch to digitise American wills. An updated Ancestry app for tablets is also on the cards.

Various bloggers were in attendance providing reports, you can catch a list of some of those there in an 'official' capacity at http://rootstech.org/bloggers.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Cantwell's Irish website updated

Ian Cantwell has been in touch to say that he has updated his website at www.iancantwell.com. The genealogy page has some indexes and material relating to three Irish collections collated by his father and made available on Irish Origins, FindmyPast Ireland, and on CD from Eneclann. The collections are:
  • Brian J. Cantwell's Memorials of the Dead
  • Memorials of the Dead, Counties Galway & Mayo (Western Seabord)
  • 1798 Rebellion, Claimants and Surrenders

Two additional indexes are
  • Annual Registers - Centenarians, 1758-94
  • Indexes to The Spirit of Irish Wit (1811)

(With thanks to Ian Cantwell)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

SAFHS appoints deputy chairman

From the Scottish Association of Family History Societies (www.safhs.org.uk):

SAFHS now have a Deputy Chairman. Steve Benson of the Federation of Family History Societies, has been co-opted to the position and will be formally ratified at the 2014 AGM.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Book signing and other Belfast events

Some events in Belfast over the next week or two:

Book Launch: Ernest McCall's 'The Auxies'

Thursday 28th March – 6.30pm at PRONI

Ernest McCall studied Government with Criminology at Jordanstown. It was during his dissertation that his interest in the RIC brought him to the history of the Auxies and led to his first book, “A study of the Auxiliary Division RIC 1920-22, Tudor’s Toughs”. After the publication of his first book, Ernest received photographs and information from family members from around the world relating to the Temporary Cadets which encouraged his second book “The Auxies”. “The Auxies” will be launched at PRONI on 28th March 2013. There will be an opportunity to buy the book with 20% off for all who attend the launch.

WHEN- Thursday 28th March at 6.30pm
WHERE- PRONI Lecture Theatre
HOW MUCH - FREE


2012-2013 Linen Hall Lectures

On Wednesday 27th March, Bethany Sinclair of PRONI will feature at the Linen Hall Library with the latest talk in the Linen Hall Lecture series. The details are as follows,

'Tracing Huguenot Footsteps through the archive: the Delacherois archive'
by Bethany Sinclair
27th March 2013 at 1pm

FREE EVENT

Please be aware that this event is happening at the Linen Hall Library and not PRONI

Linen Hall Library

17 Donegall Square North
Belfast BT1 5GB


Belfast 400 Easter Festival

A variety of talks will take place in Belfast City Hall as part of the Belfast 400 Easter Festival which takes place 30 March – 2 April 2013, 11am-5pm each day. As part of this event, PRONI's Ian Montgomery will be delivering a talk on Easter Sunday 31st March at 1pm entitled, 'Councils and Corporations: Local Government in Belfast'.

The talk will give an overview of the various bodies which have been responsible for local government in Belfast during the past 400 hundred years. The administration of Belfast has generated a rich and varied archival legacy which forms an important resource for the further study of the City. The talk will provide some examples of the records available and suggest areas for further research.

WHEN: Sunday 31st March at 1pm
WHERE: Belfast City Hall
Ticket Information:
Free Admission - Ticket required

Tickets for the above talks will be available from the Belfast Welcome Centre on 19 March at 9am. For more information call Belfast Welcome Centre 028 9024 6609

For more information on the overall Belfast 400 Easter Festival please visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/events

(With thanks to Gavin McMahon at PRONI)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

More industrial action to hit archives

Bookmark April 5th - looks like the unions will be back out on strike. The National Archives at Kew (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk) is advising that its services are again likely to be disrupted in another nationwide strike from the Public and Commercial Services Union (http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/825.htm). No words as yet from Scotland or from other institutions in the UK, but if there is a strike, it will be another national one. Further details when I get them!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Forthcoming English family history fairs

Forthcoming family history fairs in England:

13th April 2013 - City of York & District FHS Annual Fair
www.yorkfamilyhistory.org.uk

14th April 2013 - Wiltshire FHS - Northern Family History Day
www.wiltshirefhs.co.uk/index.php/component/content/article?id=4122

20th April 2013 - Spring Family History Day (Cleveland, North Yorks. & South Durham FHS)
www.clevelandfhs.org.uk

27th April 2013 - Pudsey (Leeds) Family History Fair
http://yourfairladies.ning.com/events/the-family-history-day

(With thanks to the Federation of Family History Societies)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

TNA podcast: Opium, Britain and China 1856-60

The latest podcast from the National Archives at Kew is entitled An Embarrassing Question: Opium, Britain and China 1856-1860, a talk given by Caroline Dawson which runs to just under 40 minutes. You can listen to the podcast at http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/an-embarrassing-question-opium-britain-and-china-1856-1860/ or by downloading for free at iTunes.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Griffifth's Valuation Revision Books for Northern Ireland

Exciting news on Griffiths Valuation from PRONI...!


Tadahhh!!!!

OK, I am going to have to admit that this is not quite the image I was hoping to show from the fantastic new records set of Griffith's Valuation Revision Books for Northern Ireland, which are being released by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland next week!

I should explain... I was booked to go on a ferry this morning over to Belfast for a PRONI User Group meeting, when lo and behold, overnight Snowmageddon decided to hit the west of Scotland (and by all accounts, Belfast). I woke up at 4am to get up to drive down to Cairnryan, and at that stage there was no snow in Largs, but a howling gale was raging outside - and I've done the Belfast ferry enough times to know that the correct strategy to adopt in such circumstances was just to retreat back to bed! Upon waking up again at 7am it was then to discover that the whole of Largs had received a major dump of snow, with much of the west of Scotland similarly afflicted. As school has been cancelled my son Calum (right) has spent much of this morning attempting to reform the snow into a handy igloo, as shown. So, sadly, I can't bring an update from the meeting, where we were to get a sneak preview of the new records.

However...!

Sir Richard Griffith's Primary Valuation of Ireland was published for the various counties in Ireland between 1847 and 1864, basically providing the rateable value of property on the island for taxation purposes. But that wasn't the end of it - after the initial publication, annual revision books were compiled which showed changes in ownership or rateable value. The books for Northern Ireland's six counties, up to 1930 and held at PRONI under VAL12B, have been digitised in partnership with FamilySearch, and will be going online next Wednesday 27th March. But you don't need me to go to Ulster to get the craic for you - instead, visit Bill Macafee's excellent description of the records at www.billmacafee.com/valuationrecords/griffrevisions.pdf, for a comprehensive example of their worth - and exactly how they should be interpreted, using Londonderry as an example.

If I get more on the set up, which I believe will be in a browsable format per townland, as opposed to name searchable, I will bring it to you in due course. I have used some of the revision books from the south before now, but none of the northern records as yet, so VERY much looking forward to what will be PRONI's biggest project this year in terms of online records provision.

You will find more information on the use of Griffith's Valuation, the best resources for it available online, and how to follow up research with it using revision books (aka cancelled land books), in my new book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (see below!).

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

National Archives survey

The National Archives at Kew has a website survey online at http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/822.htm - seeking views on how its services can be improved.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Wiltshire records added to Ancestry

The following transcribed/indexed records collections have been added to Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) for the English county of Wiltshire:
  • Wiltshire, England, Marriages, 1538-1837
  • Wiltshire, England, Quaker Births, 1636-1837
  • Wiltshire, England, Quaker Deaths, 1542-1897

The source for all is given on the site as a "private donor". For the marriages database the site states that "the index includes details extracted from parish registers, bishop’s transcripts, marriage bonds, banns, Quaker marriages and other documents".

(With thanks to Bryony Partridge)

Press announcement:

Ancestry.co.uk, the UK’s favourite family history website, has today launched online Wiltshire Church Records, 1538 – 1897 and Wiltshire Quaker Birth & Death records 1542 – 1897, a combined collection of more than half a million historic Anglican and Quaker marriage, birth and death records – offering unique insight into the history of many non-conformists in Wiltshire.

Spanning over 350 years, the records include more than 500,000 marriages from all 327 Wiltshire parishes, as well as more than 3,300 Wiltshire Quaker births and deaths.

Well-known as the home of ancient Neolithic site Stonehenge and for its wool-producing history, the county of Wiltshire was home to many members of the prominent Quaker family the Frys. Included in the collection are birth records for Cornelius and William Storrs Fry - brothers of chocolate dynasty founder Joseph Fry, whose chocolate company Fry, Vaughan & Co was famed for creating the first ever chocolate Easter egg in the UK.

The records are available to search by criteria including name, age and residence and in some cases detail addresses, occupations and parents’ names.

Miriam Silverman, Senior Content Manager at Ancestry.co.uk said “These records are a fantastic resource for anyone interested in finding out more about their ancestors in Wiltshire – non-conformist or otherwise. The collection is also a significant addition to the Wiltshire records we currently have on Ancestry.co.uk, including almost 27,000 Wiltshire Extracted Parish Records.”

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

British Jewry Book of Honour online

From Forces War Records (www.forceswarrecords.co.uk):

The British Jewry Book of Honour is now available for military ancestry searches online at Forces War Records

50,000 Jews served in the British and colonial forces during World War I. Forces War Records is the only genealogy website to make these military service records available online for ancestry searches and tracing family history.

Forces War Records has recently transcribed The British Jewry Book of Honour and published its full contents on the website, making thousands of Jewish military service records available for online ancestry searches.

The British Jewry Book of Honour was published in honour of the 50,000 Jews who contributed to British and colonial forces' involvement in World War I. It includes an alphabetical list of Jewish soldiers awarded military honours, and those killed in action. Published in London in 1922, the book is a permanent record of Jewish enlistment, casualties, military honours, Jewish Units, Jewish hospitals and other Jewish institutions and agencies. It also contains the nominal rolls of Jews who served, listed by service and by regiment; indexed photographs of many of these individuals, as well as letters of support and acknowledgement from distinguished men of the day, both Jewish and non-Jewish. The book was originally edited by Reverend Michael Adler who was the first Jewish chaplain to serve in HM Forces.

Forces War Records is the definitive online guide to military ancestry searches and sister site to Forces Reunited, the leading British military community on the web with more than one million members and reuniting veterans since 2001. The British Jewry Book of Honour is exclusive to the Forces War Records Collections List.

NB: In the covering email from Dominic, he has indicated that the company is working closely with the JGSGB and the Jewish Miitary Museum, so more Jewish material will be forthcoming.

(With thanks to Dominic Hayhoe)

UPDATE (27/3/2013). From the JGSGB:

JGSGB welcomes the British Jewry Book of Honour going online

The JGSGB (Jewish Genealogy Society of Great Britain) today welcomed the announcement by Forces War Records that it has transcribed and placed online the British Jewry Book of Honour. First published in 1922, this compendium of Jewish military service records honours the 50,000 Jews who contributed to British and colonial forces' involvement in World War I. The ‘Big Blue Book’ as it is known, is a permanent record of Jewish enlistment, casualties, Units, hospitals and other Jewish wartime institutions and agencies. It also contains the nominal rolls of Jews who served, listed by service and by regiment and including indexed photographs of many of them. There’s an alphabetical list of the thousands of Jewish soldiers awarded military honours, and those killed in action. The full, searchable records are exclusively available at www.forces-war-records.co.uk (fees apply).

Mark Nicholls, JGSGB Chairman commented “JGSGB has wanted this book to be transcribed for a long time and had been exploring how to do it before Forces War Records’s excellent initiative. We know the value of the book to people with Jewish ancestors who served, were wounded and died in WW1. We know too, that many people will be inspired by the Centenary of WW1 in 2014 to search out their ancestors’ involvement WW1 and the transcription will be invaluable to them”.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Preview Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, was officially published 2 weeks ago by pen and Sword. Now you can see a free preview of the book on the publisher's website at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/ - it's the first 13 pages. Enjoy!

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Society of Genealogists Open Day and forthcoming events

From the Society of Genealogists (www.sog.org.uk)

We’re pleased to announce the Society of Genealogists Open Day will take place this Saturday, 23 March. Our programme of Free events will run as follows:

11:00 Family History for Beginners (one-hour talk with Sue Gibbons)
12:30 Treasures of the Society of Genealogists (one-hour talk with Sue Gibbons)
15:00 Finding Birth, Marriage & Death Records (one-hour talk with Michael Gandy)
Available Library Tours at 12:30 and 16:15

Places are booked on a first-come, first-serve basis and space is limited. To book a place on one of our free open day events, or any of the April events listed below, please visit our website at www.sog.org.uk/shop

Select the events tab and events are now searchable by topic, event type and date. You can also book by telephone, number listed below.

Sat 6 Apr 10:30-13:00
Using Record Offices, the Internet and Online Databases
Successfully Learn how to best find and use resources online and in local record offices
A half-day course with Simon Fowler cost 17.50

Mon-Fri, 8-12 Apr 10:30-17:00
Family History Getaway: Breaking Further Through Brick Walls (Part 2)
Spend another week on your family history with the Society of Genealogists. The SoG is hosting a follow-up to its very successful five day extensive genealogy programme in its Library in London. Attendees on this course are expected EITHER to have attended the first Getaway held last September OR to have a good and practical knowledge of genealogical research using online databases, indexes and finding aids back into the early 1800s. This intensive course will concentrate on researching before 1837 and focuses on using techniques and resources, at the SoG and elsewhere, to tackle genealogical conundrums and take your family history further. However, there will be plenty of opportunity to concentrate on your own research as use of the Society’s extensive genealogical library is included in the course and there will be opportunities for personal consultations with the tutors and members of the Slog’s expert help and advice team. The course will be led by Else Churchill, Genealogist at the Society of Genealogists and members of the lectures and education team.
The course will be led by Else Churchill, Genealogist at the Society of Genealogists and members of the lectures and education team. Cost 198.00 includes lunch

Sat 13 Apr 14:00-17:00
Tracing Ancestors from Europe - From Beyond the Danube
The course will be of interest to those researching ancestry of families thought to have Polish, Hungarian, Slovak, Czech or Ruthenian/Ukrainian ethnicity. The focus will be on how research in Eastern Europe differs from family history in the UK, remote access to secular and religious sources and databases, practical advice and experience of visiting and searching in local archives (including Vienna) and migration (by choice and obligatory). There will be emphasis throughout on the importance of addressing these topics in their local historical context (please note the course content will not specifically cover research into tracing victims and survivors of the WWII holocaust). Bring along your own specific family history research queries for discussion.
A half-day workshop with Hugh & Sandra Guilford cost 17.50

Wed 17 Apr 14:00
London Parish Registers
Were your ancestors from London? Learn where the various parish registers were kept and how to access them.
A one-hour lecture with Geoff Swinfield cost 6.00

Wed 24 Apr 14:00
Little Italy: The Story of London's Italian Quarter
In the 19th century there grew to be such a concentration of Italians in one part of London that the area became known as "Little Italy". Based on his book of the same name, Tudor Allen will talk about the fascinating story of the Italian quarter in Holborn from the time of the first Italian settlers up to the last days of the community in the late 20th century.
A one-hour lecture with Tudor Allen cost 6.00

Sat 27 Apr 10:30-13:00
Making Contact: Surnames & Pedigrees Online & at the Society of Genealogists
A half-day course with Else Churchill & Peter Christian cost 17.50

Sat 27 Apr 14:00-17:00
Good Research Techniques
This course will take an in-depth look at the best ways to research in order to avoid making mistakes as well as how to get the most out of the records you use. We will also look at the likely causes of brick walls you may meet during the course of your research and the best way to tackle them. Sources covered include BMDs, census and parish records.
A half-day course with Celia Heritage cost 17.50

Note that non-members of our society are welcome to attend any event, but society members receive a 20% discount on lectures and courses.

(With thanks to Lori Weinstein)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Family Tree comedy series trailer

Coming soon to the BBC, the new spoof Family Tree mockumentary series starring Chris O'Dowd...! (And to HBO in the US)


(With thanks to Megan Smolenyak at www.huffingtonpost.com/megan-smolenyak-smolenyak/family-tree-mockumentary-_b_2906593.html?utm_hp_ref=tw)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

IWM sound archive goes online

The Imperial War Museum has made available online some 14,000 interviews relating to the Western Front and Gallipoli in the First World War. The recordings are accessible at www.iwm.org.uk/collections-research/about/sound - for more on the background read Family Tree magazine's blog post at http://family-tree.co.uk/2013/03/iwm-sound-archive-launched-online/

(With thanks to Family Tree magazine)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Northumberland and Wales FamilySearch additions

FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org) has added the following to its Historical Records collections

England, Northumberland, Miscellaneous Records, 1570-2005, 9294 added images to an existing collection.

Wales, Court and Miscellaneous Records, 1542-1911, 120113 new browsable images

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Orwellian Library and Archives Canada?

Crikey. It's all going a bit pear shaped in Ottawa, with the latest developments from Library and Archives Canada (www.collectionscanada.gc.ca). If you're not up to speed here's the last time I covered it on British GENES, from June last year - http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/canadian-archive-crisis.html.

Anybody who has been following the situation knows that morale has been plummeting in recent months at the facility. The latest development from LAC now is a new 23 page code of conduct that suggests that social media is a threat when used by archivists as it might undermine "a public servant’s duty of loyalty to the elected government", with acts such as blogging potentially leading to "disciplinary action". Staff are also encouraged to squeal about wrongdoers, and then it all gets apparently Orwellian: “teaching, speaking at conferences, and other personal engagements" is apparently high risk and dangerous, which can lead to conflicts with staff members' duties and their "duty of loyalty".

Now to be fair, I attended a talk at LAC itself last year and managed to briefly film those in attendance for this blog - so I do have some evidence of just how dangerous the Ottawa crowd are:


You can see the problem - dangerous! (Aye, a tough crowd!) The code of conduct is available at www.scribd.com/doc/130187655/LAC-Code-of-Conduct-Values-and-Ethics - have a good look at pages 9 and 17.

There's a quite a bit of commentary on this - John Reid at http://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/muzzling-federal-librarians.html and Sue Carter Flinn at www.quillandquire.com/blog/index.php/libraries/controversial-library-and-archives-canada-code-of-conduct-names-teaching-as-high-risk-activity for starters. Also the National Post in Canada http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03/15/library-and-archives-canada/.

And here's a comment I have just read from a British based archivist on Twitter: "#Library and #Archives Canada - currently proving itself 2be the biggest basket case in our profession @ present".

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

British GENES St. Paddy's Day competition winners!

Four books were on offer for the British GENES St Paddy's Day competition (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/saint-patricks-day-competition-time.html) - first prize being my new book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet and the Family and Local History Handbook 14, with second prize being the Irish Family and Local History Handbook 2 and my own Discover Scottish Land Records.

The question was: In April 1845, the partial civil registration of marriage commenced in Ireland (non-Roman Catholic religious weddings and civil marriages) - but in what year did the civil registration of ALL births, marriages and deaths finally get underway on the island?

The answer: 1864

There was a great response with 87 entries! For the draw, I needed someone skilled in the arts of messing about with wee bits of paper, and so the winners have been chosen by my youngest son Jamie!

So here goes...



Commiserations if you failed to win, and congratulations to the winners, Diane Bamberger (not sure where you are!), and to Carole-Anne Hamilton in Ottawa, Canada. I'll be in touch shortly!

And special thanks to Bob Blatchford and Rupert Harding for prizes - and to the mighty force that is Jamie Paton!

(To purchase copies of my books, see details in the Books tab at the top of the blog site!)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Glasgow Firefighters Heritage Trail

A new trail has been created in Glasgow to honour firefighters who lost their lives in the city whilst on duty. Details of the trail are available online at www.strathclydefire.org/media/172817/the%20firefighters'%20heritage%20trail%20guide.pdf - the BBC also has a story at www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-21813117.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Ireland Genealogy weekend offer

From Ireland Genealogy (formerly Pensear), which provides information from the 1841 and 1851 censuses as used in Old Age Pension applications from 1908:

Happy St Patrick's Day Chris!

We have a special St Patrick's day offer. Over the weekend, we will have a 50% discount running on http://www.ireland-genealogy.com.

Simply enter the code 'STPATRICK' as the coupon when you are purchasing your records, and you will receive a 50% discount!

Happy researching!

The IG Team.

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

Genealogy educational holiday in Cork

From University College Cork's Adult Continuing Education department:

Ancestral Connections: Names, Places and Spaces

Discover your Irish ancestors with our genealogy educational holiday in 2013 from ACE, University College Cork, from 30 June - 6 July 2013.

With over 65 years delivering Lifelong Learning Programmes you can have the opportunity to study genealogy at one of Ireland's best Universities.

Our Week long Summer School, Ancestral Connections will help you connect to your past while enjoying spectacular Irish locations and heritage sites.

Further details

Adult Continuing Education UCC
w: http://study.ucc.ie/ace
t: +353 21 4904700
e: l.moloney@ucc.ie

(With thanks to Lorna Moloney)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.