Friday, 22 May 2015

Ancestry reported to be exploring potential sale

The world's largest family history records site Ancestry (www.ancestry.com) is reported to be exploring a potential sale of its company valued between $2.5 billion and $3 billion (including debt).

For the full story visit http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/21/us-ancestry-m-a-exclusive-idUSKBN0O52UE20150521

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Recording Angels - Scottish Registrars since 1855 exhibition

From the ScotlandsPeople Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ScotlandsPeople)

A new display at National Records of Scotland tells the human story behind the millions of documents that record the lives of every person in Scotland. 'Recording Angels - Scottish Registrars since 1855' is a free exhibition marking 150 years of the Association of Registrars in Scotland.

The display is on show at General Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh, from 19 May until 26 June 2015, Monday - Friday 9:00 - 4:30.

Don't forget my book Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records book which may also be of interest - in the UK it is available from My History for £7, available at www.my-history.co.uk/acatalog/Scottish-Civil-Registration-UTP0284.html#SID=876 - it can also be obtained in ebook format at www.gen-ebooks.com. To obtain it in Australia or Canada, please see the Books section of this blog!

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

BIFHSGO uploads British Home Children deaths database

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) has added a new British Home Children deaths database to its website. For the full story read John Reid's blog post at http://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/bifhsgo-adds-home-children-deaths.html.

(With thanks to John)

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

National Library of Scotland's independence referendum project

The National Library of Scotland (www.nls.uk) is running a two year project to try to collect as much campaign materials and information as possible from last year's Scottish independence referendum. Its dedicated project page is at http://www.nls.uk/collections/topics/referendum.

Help us collect the referendum

Over the next few years we will be concentrating on collecting many different kinds of material from different sources. In essence we want to collect everything —
  • From the largest dossier to the smallest stamp
  • From official publications to jocular musings, both political and non-partisan.

We are looking for local items related to September's Scottish Independence Referendum, such as:
  • Leaflets, posters, newsletters or flyers — and nothing is too small to be of interest
  • Printed or digital material
  • Information about local campaign groups — including blogs, websites, or Facebook pages — will be especially useful.

We can only collect what we can find out about so your information now could make a real difference to our collections. After the independence referendum much of this material could be thrown out or deleted, making it too late to save.

Your help will be greatly appreciated!

Download our appeal flyer PDF at http://www.nls.uk/media/1128810/2014-07-referendum-collecting-appeal.pdf — and feel free to send it to your Scottish contacts so that they can contribute too. We want the collection to represent the widest geographical spread of Scotland that we can.

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

West Yorkshire bastardy records added to Ancestry

The following collection for West Yorkshire has been added to Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk):

West Yorkshire, England, Bastardy Records, 1690-1914
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=2582

The source is West Yorkshire Archive Service, Wakefield, England. Full details via the lkink.

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Strike action to affect trains next Monday and Tuesday

Proposed UK wide strike action next Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th will see severe disruption to services, should you be planning to visit any archives or libraries for your research.

Here in Scotland, very few services will likely be running, but for those that will, a dedicated timetable page has been established at http://www.scotrail.co.uk/plan-your-journey/uk-wide-rail-strike-plan-your-journey.

It is of course possible that the strike may be averted before then, but forewarned and all that...!

UPDATE 21 MAY - the strike has been called off!

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

New William Shakespeare portrait found

It's been a while since I've had an dealings with Country Life magazine (I worked as a researcher on a BBC2 documentary in Bristol about its 100th year anniversary in 1996!), but this story looks a good 'un - the discovery of a new image of William Shakespeare, thanks to the cracking of a Tudor code surrounding the illustration in a 16th century book.

The full story is available at http://www.countrylife.co.uk/features/world-exclusive-the-true-face-of-shakespeare-revealed-for-the-first-time-video-72243

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

What is the Scottish Archive Network?

Last Friday I attended the latest AGM of the Scottish Archive Network Ltd charitable trust, having been appointed one of the directors of the trust in 2013. The aims of the body are to "advance, promote, maintain, improve and encourage the education of the public in the education of the public in the appreciation of Scotland's history and in particular its documentary heritage by providing public access to Scotland's archives".

One of the key ways that we are trying to do this is in supporting the Scottish Council of Archives with the Scotland Online Catalogue Project (http://www.scottisharchives.org.uk/scotlandonline), which is attempting to modernise our access provision to online catalogues for many archives across Scotland. This is still a work in progress, but the long term purpose of the project is to hopefully update the holdings of, and eventually replace, the Scottish Archive Network catalogue available at www.scan.org.uk/catalogue.


We still have some way to go, but until this is achieved, the SCAN catalogue remains one of the most important workhorses for Scottish based genealogical research. Established in 1999, at present there are currently about 59,000 catalogue entries from some 52 archive based repositories across Scotland that are accessible on the site, of which some 28,000 are at fonds (collection) level, and about 18,500 at file or item level (i.e. the sort of description at which a person's name might pop up, a much more useful but more time consuming means to index a record). The site is at present maintained by the National Records of Scotland (www.nrscotland.gov.uk).

Equally valuable are the generic resources available on the main SCAN website at www.scan.org.uk, including glossaries of old Scots terms, currency converters, and various other useful tools and digitised collections 

So if you are carrying out Scottish research, in addition to using the National Records of Scotland's own dedicated catalogue at http://catalogue.nrscotland.gov.uk/nrsonlinecatalogue/welcome.aspx, it is always well worth searching the SCAN catalogue also for any research enquiries.

Good hunting! 

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

New Aberdeenshire monumental inscription booklets

Two new monumental or gravestone inscriptions booklets have been released for sale by the Aberdeenshire and North East Scotland Family History Society (http://anesfhs.org.uk). These are:

St Machar Cathedral MIs - set of 4 booklets
(ISBN 978-1-905004-39-3)
£13.50 plus postage: £2.80 (UK); £5.50 (Europe); £7.70(air zone 1) and £8.45 (air zone 2)

Kirkyards of Lumphanan MIs (St Finnan's and Stothert)
(ISBN 978-1-905004-44-7)
£2.40 plus postage: 74p. (UK); £3.45 (Europe); £4.10 (air zone 1) and £4.45 (air zone 2)

To purchase the booklets please visit http://anesfhs.org.uk/publ.php

(With thanks to Jean Shirer)

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Monday, 18 May 2015

County Surveys of Great Britain 1793-1817 may be digitised

There has been a great announcement from the University of Edinburgh's EDINA service, which makes accessible the Statistical Accounts of Scotland from the 1790s and the 1830s/1840s at http://stat-acc-scot.edina.ac.uk/sas/sas.asp?action=public&passback=. EDINA is currently contemplating the possibilities of digitising and uploading to the internet the County Surveys of Great Britain from 1793-1817.

From the announcement:

The County Surveys recorded comprehensive information on the agriculture, rural economy and political economy of each county in Great Britain between 1793 and 1817. They provide a unique insight into the innovation and agricultural improvement during a significant period in the making of Britain as the first industrial nation. Despite its remarkable historical interest, this resource is currently under-used because very few surveys are available in digital format, and printed copies are difficult to locate and access.

‘The County Surveys 1793 – 1817: Exploring Considered Digitisation’ aims to explore how the creation of a virtual collection can unleash the potential of the County Surveys for discovery. The project is funded by EDINA, University of Edinburgh and scheduled for completion in July 2015.

For the full announcement visit http://statacc.blogs.edina.ac.uk/2015/05/18/the-county-surveys-1793-1817-exploring-considered-digitisation/.

Further details on the project can be accessed via a dedicated blog for the project at http://countysurveys.blogs.edina.ac.uk.

Chris

The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.