Friday, 28 November 2014

FindmyPast adds Scottish OPR indexes

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has added two Scottish databases to its site, Scotland Births & Baptisms 1564-1950 and Scotland Marriages 1561-1910. These are the LDS databases already made available on the Family Search website (http://familysearch.org) and Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk), and two of the most important Scottish genealogy databases online, providing indexes to the Scottish old parochial registers/old parish records, aka the OPRs. Although not a hundred per cent complete or accurate (there are errors and missing entries which browsing the original records occasionally throws up) the parent search facility is one of the most useful exercises that the births and baptisms LDS database facilitates, often allowing you to trace a couple and their family from parish to parish across time.

Test search:
I have just tried a test parent search on the FamilySearch presentation of the births and baptisms database (https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1771030) for the children of my great great grandparents William Hay Paton and Janet Rogers. Using those terms only within the fields for the parents names, six children were dutifully returned, with their entries picking up on the surname variants of Roger and Rodger for Janet.

By doing the same search on Ancestry (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=60143), and unchecking the 'exact' boxes under the surnames, variants are also picked up, as on FamilySearch, with the first six entries in the records list returned being the children sought. In fact, Ancestry goes one better - it picks up a seventh child, Margaret, with the mother's surname recorded as Rogie (an older Perthshire variant of the name).

By contrast, however, when I tried the same search on FindmyPast, I received no returns at all when just using the same search terms in the parent name fields - William Hay Paton and Janet Rogers. By changing the mum's surname to Roger I got one return, by changing it to Rodger I got 5, and by changing it yet again to Rogie, Margaret was picked up. In other words, the search fields for parents do not recognise surname variants - the names as transcribed must be typed in exactly.

The fact that this cannot be done so effectively on FindmyPast's presentation is deeply disappointing, with its database the least successful of the three sites, and with Ancestry surprisingly even trumping FamilySearch on its own database. I'll be sticking with FamilySearch and Ancestry for my index searching.

* Also now available on the FindmyPast site are a gazetteer for England and Wales from 1895, and another 1.3 million Irish newspaper pages, as sourced from the British Newspaper Archive/British Library.

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Perth burial registers and UK Methodist ministers index on Ancestry

Ancestry has made two third party database collections available online, one Scottish, one for the UK.

The Scottish collection is Perth, Scotland, Burgh Burial Index, 1794-1855, available via http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=9737. The original source for this is Perth and Kinross Archives, which hosts the database at http://www.pkc.gov.uk/article/3887/Perth-burgh-burial-registers-1794-1855.

It just so happens that I have some notes on what this register contains, as a fair few members of my family were buried in Perth, so the following may be of use if doing a search.

The burial registers are a fantastic pre-registration resource, often listing relatives, causes of death, dates of death and burial, as well as cost of the coffin or cloth used. The original burial ground in Perth was Greyfriars, but in the late 1840s Wellshill took over - there was a brief period in which burials continued in both cemeteries, before Greyfriars was finally closed for burials. From 1870 Wellshill burials took place in both the old Wellshill cemetery and the two new parochial cemeteries, and in the 20th Century the grounds expanded again to include the new Jeanfield Cemetery.

From 1886 the registers are unindexed, but the registers can still be viewed at the A. K. Bell Library. The following are the accession numbers for the twelve indexed registers from 1794 to 1886, and a summary of the info they contain. Each volume has a fully comprehensive name index:

PE1/20/1: burials in Greyfriars from 1794 - 1824
Listing name of deceased, related partner or father, date of death, date of burial, age at time of death, and cause of death.

PE1/20/2: burials in Greyfriars from 1824 - 1844
Listing same as previous.

PE1/20/3A: burials in Greyfriars from 1844 - 1847
Listing name of deceased, related partner or father, occupation, birthplace, residence at time of death, age at time of death, date of death, date of burial, cause of death, method of burial, cost, and whether the grave had to be dug deeper at an additional cost.

PE1/20/3B: burials in Greyfriars from 1847 - 1848
Listing same as previous

PE1/20/3C: burials in Greyfriars from 1848 - 1849
Listing same as previous

PE1/20/3D: burials in Greyfriars and Wellshill from 1849 - 1855
Listing name of deceased, related partner or father, occupation, where born, residence at time of death, age at time of death, cause, date of death, date of burial, cemetery in which buried, method of burial and cost.


NB: The Perth and Kinross database, and its Ancestry clone, only goes as far as 1855, but in fact the series continues as follows, with the records available for consultation in the archive:

PE1/20/4: burials in Greyfriars and Wellshill from 1855 - 1863
Listing name of deceased, date of death, date (and time) of burial, cemetery in which buried, method of burial and cost.
(With civil death registration having commenced in 1855, these registers are the least useful, concentrating mainly on the burial details)

PE1/20/5: burials in Greyfriars and Wellshill from 1863 - 1867
Listing name of deceased, date of burial (and time), cemetery in which buried, method of burial and cost.

PE1/20/6: burials in Greyfriars and Wellshill from 1967 - 1870
Listing same as previous.

PE1/20/7: burials in Greyfriars and Wellshill from 1870 - 1876
Listing name of deceased, date of burial (and time), cemetery in which buried, method of burial and cost.
(Wellshill entries are subdivided into those for the old Wellshill ground, ie. "Wellshill", or the new parochial ground, ie."parochial").

PE1/20/8: burials in Greyfriars and Wellshill from 1876 - 1882
Listing name of deceased, date of burial (and time), residence at time of death, cemetery in which buried, method of burial and cost.
(Wellshill entries are subdivided into those for the old Wellshill ground, ie. "Wellshill", or the new parochial ground, ie."parochial").

PE1/20/9: burials in Greyfriars and Wellshill from 1882 - 1886
Listing name of deceased, status at time of death, residence at time of death, age at death, date of death, cemetry in which buried, method of transportation for the deceased's body to the grave, date of burial (and time), cost and lair number.

From 1886 the registers are unindexed, but the registers can still be viewed at the A. K. Bell Library.

The other web based database now on Ancestry is UK, Methodist Ministers Death Index, 1800-1963 at http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=9744 - this has been sourced from The University of Manchester Library.

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

English and Welsh asylum records online at Ancestry

Three new collections concerning English and Welsh asylums and patients are now on Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk):

England & Wales, Criminal Lunacy Warrant and Entry Books, 1882-1898
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=9162
Source: The National Archives HO 145

England, Criminal Lunatic Asylum Registers, 1820-1843
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=9163
Source: The National Archives HO 20

UK, Lunacy Patients Admission Registers, 1846-1912
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=9051
Source: The National Archives MH 94

NB: Despite the title of the last collection, I think these registers actually refer only to England and Wales, rather than the United Kingdom.

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

Lincoln burial records on Deceased Online

From Deceased Online (www.deceasedonline.com):

The historic Lincoln is the second city in the English Midlands to add records to www.deceasedonline.com.

Immediately available are all records for the five cemeteries and crematorium managed by City of Lincoln Council.

The new collection, which dates back to 1856, comprises:
  • digital scans of original burial and cremation registers
  • details of all occupants of each grave
  • maps indicating the cemetery section for each grave

Lincoln is an ancient English city with a rich and colourful history. As one of only four locations with original copies of Magna Carta, 2015 is a special year where a new 'Magna Carta Vault' at the city's castle will help commemorate the 800th anniversary signing of the world famous charter.

Read Emma Jolly's latest blog about the City of Lincoln records on Deceased Online at http://deceasedonlineblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/lincoln-collection.html

Other councils in Lincolnshire and the East Midlands with records on Deceased Online include Gainsborough, Nottingham City, Newark, Kettering, Corby and Rushden. Also, The National Archives headstone transcriptions for Lincoln and Stamford

Coming soon.....records for a Northern Scottish region and memorial inscriptions for a large Lancashire town

(With thanks to Deceased Online)

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

My Heritage and RootsMagic partnership over search technologies

Having only just announced on Monday that Calico Pie's Family Historian software package is to adopt My Heritage's search technologies (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/familyhistorian-to-integrate-my.html), it seems that My Heritage has also now partnered with Roots Magic to do the same thing.

The full announcement is at http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20141125006490/en/RootsMagic-Adds-MyHeritage-Matching-Technologies-Powerful-Automatic#.VHYMudKKU6Z

(With thanks to Laurence Harris)

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

National Genealogy Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia

I've been asked to give the following conference a plug, in case anyone from the UK might be interested in attending - so here goes!

NATIONAL GENEALOGY CONFERENCE
JULY 17—19, 2015
At historic Pier 21, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

KEYNOTE SPEAKER DAVE OBEE
One of Canada’s most prominent authorities on Genealogy, Dave will provide excellent information and guidance for genealogists of all levels of experience.
Come be a part of this inaugural event!

GREAT HOLIDAY GIFT FOR ANY GENEALOGIST!
Conference topics and activities will include:
  • DNA testing in Genealogy
  • History of immigration into Nova Scotia
  • Recording family history through photography, digital filing and citing sources
  • Best practices for beginner & intermediate genealogists
  • Tour of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
  • Visit to the Titanic Graveyard

Conference information and registration coming soon
Questions? Contact Heidi Wilker at heidi.wilker@visiontravel.ca or call 905-457-2092

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

Society of Genealogists responds to London Probate Service search room closure

The following response to the Probate Service's announcement that it is to close its London based search room imminently (see my earlier post at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/english-welsh-wills-to-go-online-but.html) has been received from the Society of Genealogists:

Genealogists will be aware that an online index of wills from 1996 to the present has been available since October 2014. However this index has severe limitations. The search functionality is very limited – particularly when searching for a common name or if you do not have an indication of the year of death.

The Society of Genealogists has already told the Court Service that adding a place or address search (as is noted in earlier printed and fiche indexes) could help enormously when trying to identify someone with a common name. There will be genealogists who will be interested in obtaining all wills for people with a particular surname in common from all years. Limiting the search to a year of death makes such broad searches very impractical. This it would be better to have a wider date search range than just one year of death

Other members have pointed out that it is very disappointing to discover that the search engine provided for wills from 1996 does not include the same level of information as the existing calendars. Specifically, all versions of the calendars from 1858 to date include the address of the deceased, whether searched in the annual calendar books (for grants dated 1858-1992), on microfiche (1993-5) or on the Probateman computer database (1996-present). If a search is to be made for someone with a relatively common name and the exact date of death is not known, your new search engine will not provide any way of positively identifying the correct person.

The Courts Service have been asked whether there any plan to add the address of the deceased to the list of search results at a later date? If not it was asked whether any assurance could be given that the London search room will remain open so that a manual search can still be made? Otherwise, the online search will not be fit for purpose as it will not enable a searcher to order the correct copy.

Clearly the Court Service does not intend keep the search room open. We do not know if the Court Service will take our suggestions on board when providing an online to wills back to 1858. It is evidently not sensible to introduce a new and essentially untried online ordering system while at the same time withdrawing the personal service and search room at the Principal Probate Registry at the Royal Courts of Justice. The Society will be represented at the user meeting in December and will report back accordingly.

(With thanks to Else Churchill)

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

English & Welsh wills to go online - but London Probate Service search room to close

The following is an announcement from HM Courts & Tribunal Service - if ever there was an instance of good news and bad news combined this is probably it....

London Probate Search Facility

As of Friday 12th December, the Probate Service will make available our records from 1858 to the present and the records of some soldiers who died on active military service between 1860 and 1982 (predominantly those who died in the First World War) for searching online.

You can search, order and receive copies direct from your own computer without waiting for the Probate Registry to send them to you.

You can search and if there is a match you will be informed straightaway. You can then decide if you wish to pay £10 and order the documents.

You can pay by credit or debit card.

You will be informed by an email when the documents are available for downloading on your computer.

This is a change in the way the Probate Service deliver our copies and search service and therefore from Friday 12th December the London Probate Service will cease to provide a copy ordering function as this will now be available online. The facility will remain open for collection of orders made before the 12th December but will close permanently from Friday 19th December.

The Probate Service has over the last few weeks received feedback from users on the changes we are making and ahead of the 12th December would like to extend and invitation to a Search facility users meeting to be held on Tuesday 2nd December between 1-2pm in the search facility.

If you want to attend the meeting or provide us with any feedback on the changes then please email Probate.records@hmcts.gsi.uk  (UPDATE: This is bouncing as an address - should possibly be Probate.records@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk)

For more information please go to:- www.gov.uk/search-will-probate

COMMENT: I've noticed from online chatter through LinkedIn and other sources that there has been a fair bit of faffing about by the Probate Service in London over recent months in terms of its search room provision, but I'm not sure anybody quite saw the permanent closure of the search room as being on the cards. The online database is good news for those not in London wishing to make an online search - though how accurate the database is has still to be tested - but for those who regularly use the search room for genealogical purposes, this will be quite a shock. The meeting on Tuesday 2nd December may well be the only chance to cause enough of a ruckus to make them think again - assuming this is isn't just some corporate PR session designed to tell you why you're wrong and it's right, the decision having already been signed, sealed and delivered.

(With thanks to Diana Bouglas and Philip Gloyn)

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

Monday, 24 November 2014

FamilyHistorian to integrate My Heritage search technology

From MyHeritage (www.myheritage.com), news of a collaboration with the Family Historian (www.family-historian.co.uk) software programme:

TEL AVIV, Israel & LONDON, UK – November 24, 2014: MyHeritage, the popular family history network, and Calico Pie Limited, London-based publishers of genealogy software, today jointly announced that MyHeritage’s Smart Matching™ and Record Matching technologies will be integrated into Family Historian, Calico Pie’s popular desktop genealogy program. This will enable users to benefit from automated discoveries sourced from millions of family trees and billions of global historical records on MyHeritage.
Family Historian incorporates comprehensive features designed to make family history friendly for beginners and experts alike. The new version 6 of Family Historian, scheduled for release on December 9th 2014, will feature MyHeritage matching. Some matches will be free to view while others will require a MyHeritage subscription.

MyHeritage helps millions of families worldwide discover and preserve their unique history effortlessly on its services across Web, mobile and desktop. Its flagship technologies Smart Matching™ and Record Matching match family trees with other family trees and relevant historical records. This allows users to discover new stories about their ancestors, discover relatives and connect with family members they have not known before. With a high accuracy rate of 97%, these technologies make fascinating family history discoveries automatically.

“We’re delighted to enhance the latest release of Family Historian with the best matching technologies in the industry,” said Simon Orde, Managing Director of Calico Pie. “With the seamless integration of MyHeritage technologies, Family Historian is set to deliver unprecedented value to users interested in exploring their past.”

“We’re excited to provide our matching technologies to a top-notch product like Family Historian”, said MyHeritage’s Founder & CEO Gilad Japhet. “Our technologies have been used successfully on MyHeritage by millions of people. They have helped people make life-changing discoveries and have enriched their lives. We are now proud to make these technologies available also to partners, and Family Historian will be among the first to include them, to be followed by many more.”

MyHeritage matching technologies are also being integrated by leading Dutch genealogy software Aldfaer and the online genealogy services of Coret Genealogie in the Netherlands.

COMMENT: This is an understandably good move for MyHeritage, but to me, the thing I actually want to see from FamilyHistorian is an easy sync facility with a tree hosted on both a PC and an iPad. FamilyHistorian was by far my favourite software programme until Family Tree Maker created a facility to sync its tree online to the Ancestry website and via its app on iPad, with one simple click, making it considerably more useful, and trumping FamilyHistorian in the process.

One feature I don't like or use on FTM, however, is its integration with Ancestry for searches, something I still prefer to do manually. I suspect I will feel the same about this MyHeritage collaboration, if it is attempting to do the same thing with its site. As long as it remains an option that can be ignored or used as a user decides, then what harm? But if it becomes a facility that tries to force me to use MyHeritage, I would have an issue. Online records sites provide data, and on that basis I am happy to go to them as and when I need to - but I never want to be in a position where they start telling me how to do my research and trying to control my research experience. I suspect I understand my needs and aims on that front considerably better than any online supplier ever will!

(With thanks to Laurence Harris)

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!

Friday, 21 November 2014

TNA podcast - Transgender Diplomat at the Court of George III, 1763-1777

The latest podcast from the National Archives at Kew, England, is entitled The Chevalier d’Eon: Transgender Diplomat at the Court of George III, 1763-1777, and is a 46 minute talk by Dr Jonathan Conline.

It can be accessed at http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/chevalier-deon-transgender-diplomat-court-george-iii-1763-1777/ or downloaded fro free from iTunes.

Chris

Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. Santa approves!