Sunday, 31 May 2015

New Your Family Tree magazine website

After a recent change of ownership, Your Family Tree (Your Family History overseas) magazine now has a new dedicated website online at www.yourfamilytreemag.co.uk.

Access to the magazine's online forum is currently not available via the site though this should hopefully become available again within the next few days.

YFT 157 will be out on June 9th , and will include an article by yours truly on the ScotlandsPeople Center in Edinburgh.

(With thanks to Your Family Tree via Facebook)

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.

National Archives of Ireland needs to step up a gear with its online catalogue

I've just had a look at the additions to the National Archives of Ireland's online catalogue (www.nationalarchives.ie/research/what%E2%80%99s-new-in-the-online-catalogue/2015-updates/). There's some fairly tedious government material from 2014 and 2015, but some resources that may be of interest to family historians include the following:
  • Galway District Probate Registry 1988 (2013/103)
  • Galway District Probate Registry 1989 (2013/104)
  • Galway District Probate Registry 1990 (2013/105)
  • County Carlow Finance Compensation Files (FIN/COMP/2/1) (197 files)
  • County Donegal Finance Compensation Files (FIN/COMP/2/5) (840 files)

The latter two entries on compensation files relate to the post Irish Civil War Compensation Act of 1923.

Unfortunately that is about as detailed as the catalogued entries get, on what is one of the world's least friendly online archive catalogues. If you compare the online catalogue from the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland at http://apps.proni.gov.uk/DCAL_PRONI_eCatNI_IE/SearchPage.aspx with that from the National Archives of Ireland at www.nationalarchives.ie/search-the-archives/ you are looking at the difference between the light provided in daytime and the lack of it at night.

When I look at the PRONI catalogue from my home here in Scotland I can ascertain a great deal of information that allows me to judge whether it is worth a visit over to Belfast. For example, on one occasion last year I discovered a PRONI catalogue entry mentioning that the archive held a copy of a school log book once kept by my four times great grandfather John Montgomery from Islandmagee. I hopped straight onto a ferry the following day to see it, and was stunned to find a lot of genealogical information scribbled within it, concerning John, a sister I never knew about, and John's land holdings in Islandmagee - that, plus of course details of many pupils who he taught, including several of my relatives. I was able to do so because I was able to get the heads up from the PRONI catalogue.

Some Irish records have been helpfully catalogued on platforms such as RASCAL (www.rascal.ac.uk) and the Irish Archive Resource (www.iar.ie). But the National Archives of Ireland, whilst having some success in recent years on the digitised collections on its genealogy site at www.genealogy.nationalarchives.ie, really needs to up its game on its online catalogue provision. I have no doubt that the archive has a tonne of material waiting to be plundered concerning both my family from the north and in Dublin, as well as for my wife's family in Kilkenny and Tipperary - but I am not going to just fly to Dublin and hope that I can find it whilst there. Time is money for such trips, and I need to be able to plan what I want to see in advance, something I can adequately do in advance of visits to Belfast, Edinburgh, London, but sadly, as yet, not Dublin.

How many other people would similarly consider consulting the NAI's collections if they could only see what it actually holds? Personally, I would be much happier if NAI held back on the digitisation efforts now for a bit, and started to put some more effort into its cataloguing programme.

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.

Scotland's Urban Past project launch in Paisley

I recently blogged about the creation of a new project from RCAHMS entitled Scotland's Urban Past (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotlands-urban-past-project-gets-hlf.html).

The project is holding a launch event at Paisley Arts Centre (15 new Street, Paisley, PA1 1EZ) on Saturday June 6th 2015 from 1am-4pm:

Join us for a fun filled day exploring Paisley's past and present to celebrate the launch of Scotland's Urban Past.

Drop in during the day to create your own map of Paisley and discover your buildings through guided tours, drawing and much more. Don't miss the chance to view the winning entries of Your Paisley! school' photos competition. Bring along your old photos of Paisley to share through our online archive.

This free event is suitable for all ages.

For more information contact Bryony Jackson at 0131 651 6736 or at bryony.jackson@rcahms.gov.uk

(With thanks to Jack Davis)

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.

Royal Naval Officers' Service Records Index 1756-1931 on Ancestry

Ancestry has added another third party UK collection index to its site (an index to a collection held by another records supplier on its own site).

It is entitled Web: United Kingdom, Royal Naval Officers' Service Records Index, 1756-1931 and can be found at http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=70686. The original records are held at the National Archives in England, catalogued under ADM 196.

Digitised copies of records found through the index can be obtained from the TNA site at a cost £3.30.

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.

Ontario's civil registration record images on FamilySearch

Thanks to Elizabeth Lapointe for the heads up on the following - images from historic civil registration records in Ontario, Canada, are now freely available on FamilySearch as follows:

Births 1869-1912 https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1784212

Marriages 1869-1927 https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1784216

Deaths 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths 1939-1947 https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1307826
Having recently discovered that three of my grandmother's first cousins emigrated to Ontario from Glasgow in the early 1900s, these should certainly help!

(Original story post
http://genealogycanada.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/familysearchorg-announcement-at-ogs.html)

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.

DNA study crowdfunding appeal from Strathclyde University

From the University of Strathclyde's Genealogical Studies programme (www.strath.ac.uk/genealogy/):

The Genealogical Studies Postgraduate Programme at the University of Strathclyde is following up the genetic genealogy research it undertook as part of the Battle of Bannockburn Family History Project (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/strathclyde-universitys-bannockburn.html) by conducting further research on male line descents from the Stewart, Berkeley and Grey families. The researchers are now seeking funds to allow further DNA testing and to help cover costs for staff research time. Test results have been received for a documented male line descendant of Sir John Stewart, Sheriff of Bute, a son of King Robert II, and it is hoped to upgrade this test to allow close comparison with the Big Y test results of Earl Castle Stewart. This may show up genetic markers which would identify descendants of Robert II.

The research in this field uses methodologies which are transferable to other surnames where documented male line descendants can be identified. This makes it possible to discover previously unknown medieval descents for individuals who can only prove their ancestry back two hundred years or so.

Any donations would be gratefully received and can be made via the following webpage - www.strathgenealogy.org.uk/projects/donate/.

(With thanks to Graham Holton)

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.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Scotland's CANMORE database relaunched

The online catalogue of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, entitled CANMORE, has been relaunched at http://canmore.org.uk. The database contains a wealth of information on archaeology, buildings, industrial and maritime heritage.


Meanwhile, the latest Historic Scotland and RCAHMS joint newsletter has confirmed that the date on which its replacement body, Historic Environment Scotland, will take effect is October 1st 2015.

Further developments from the HES can be followed at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historicenvironmentscotland.htm.

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.

Latest FindmyPast releases

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has released the following English and Welsh based collections on its site:
  • Images added to Merchant Navy crew lists from Anglesey and Devon, UK
  • Baptisms from North Cray, North West Kent, England
  • Burials from North Cray and Swanscombe, North West Kent, England
There are also some further Irish newspapers additions. For full details visit http://blog.findmypast.com/fridays/

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.

WW2 army casualty lists from Forces War Records

Forces War Records has released 90,000 casualty records from the Second World War, with a further 400,000 yet to be digitised and uploaded. The source for the records is WO417 at the National Archives in England.

For further information on the release visit https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/blog/2015/05/27/wo417-army-casualty-lists-1939-1945-war-are-going-live.

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.

TheGenealogist releases 60,000 railway worker records

From TheGenealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk):

TheGenealogist releases 60,000 railway worker records.
  • More than 60,000 railway workers have been added to the Occupational Records on TheGenealogist
  • Find details of railway ancestors, where they were employed and what they did
  • Trace your railway worker ancestor’s careers through their promotions
  • Discover when they retired
  • Read obituaries

The Genealogist has added over 60,000 rail workers to its online indexes of Railway Employment Records. Taken from Railway Company Staff magazines these records are useful to family historians with railway employee ancestors, wanting to find important occupation related dates and add some social history to their family tree. These records include such details as staff changes, promotions, pension records, retirements and obituaries. Often additional personal information is revealed in the magazines. In some cases you can read about gifts from co-workers given when rail staff leave.

(With thanks to Nick Thorne)

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, 28 May 2015

Change for Back To Our Past 2015 dates in Dublin

Claire Santry is reporting that there is a change of dates happening in Dublin for this year's Back To Our Past event (www.backtoourpast.com/mysitecaddy/site3/), which will now happen from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th October 2015.

For the full details, and the reasons why, see Claire's post at http://www.irishgenealogynews.com/2015/05/back-to-our-past-dates-venue-changed.html.

(With thanks to Claire)

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.

My Social Book - review

A couple of weeks ago I kept coming across an advert on my Facebook account for a product called My Social Book. The premise was that you could order up a printed book from https://www.mysocialbook.com which takes all of your comments, posts and photos from your Facebook account for a defined period, to effectively provide an illustrated diary for that duration. To do so, you have to let the site gain access to your Facebook account, something that may put some folk off.


It sounded an interesting premise, however, and I soon discovered that you could actually generate a preview from your Facebook feed. Once done you could then customise it to a degree by choosing how you wish for the cover to be designed, which images to use, and more. The preview was so impressive that I decided to go for it. I opted for a book at 315 pages long, reproducing my posts from January 1st to December 31st 2014, and with a hard cover for durability. The total cost was £80.90, although the cheapest books you can order are from £11.90.

Last year was a fairly major period on all sorts of fronts for me, including the immediate aftermath of my mother's death, overseas genealogy speaking engagements in Australia, Canada and Portugal, trips to see family in Dubai and Ireland, some fairly major family history discoveries, and of course, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and our independence referendum, as well as my growing interest in politics here in Scotland. Throughout the year I regularly recorded all of my thoughts, observations, pictures and more on my Facebook account, but I also kept a written diary of all of the same events. So why would I need a My Social Book?

Well apart from being considerably better illustrated, there are some other fairly major differences between the two accounts. First, because Facebook is a social network, anything posted can generate conversations with friends and families, and so as well as my own commentary I also have comments from many friends and family members in the book. Secondly, a huge difference is the spontaneity preserved. In my written diary, some entries are written a few days later, and they tend to summarise the days' proceedings, whereas on Facebook, situations can unfold, with constant updates, in some cases on a minute by minute or an hour by hour basis.

The book arrived yesterday, just two weeks after my order. So how does it measure up? I have to say, I am absolutely delighted with it! For the most part it faithfully reproduces the posts and images of interest, with each month presented as a separate chapter, with some great quotes selected from posts to act as chapter intros and more. The only oddity I have found is that for some reason, my wife's comments on some of my posts have not been reproduced, which was certainly not a conscious omission! Occasionally one or two images have been reproduced a couple of times also, but overall it is a fascinating read and a great souvenir of what may turn out to have been one of the most historic periods that I will live through in Scotland.

Some further pics from the book are presented below give an idea of the kind of thing to expect if you are interested in preserving your own memories in a similar way...





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, 27 May 2015

New Herefordshire Archives and Records Centre to open in August

The new £8.1 million Herefordshire Archives and Records Centre has announced that it will be opening on Tuesday August 4th 2015 at 9.15am. A temporary enquiry service is still being run as collections are moved to the new facility.


For further details on the new facility, the journey to its full realisation, and the temporary enquiry service, please visit https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/local-history-and-heritage/herefordshire-archives-and-records-centre/

(With thanks to @HerefordFHS and @DavidUnderdown9 via Twitter)

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, 26 May 2015

Battle of Waterloo conference in Belfast

From PRONI (www.proni.gov.uk) in Belfast:

½ DAY CONFERENCE: The Battle of Waterloo: Ireland and Europe in 1815.
When: 18th June 2015 starting at 2pm
Where: PRONI

To mark the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, which was fought on the 18 June 1815, PRONI will be hosting a half day conference which will examine various aspects of the Battle and related events. The conference will focus on the part played by Irishmen as soldiers and statesmen in the conflict and on the British army’s presence in Ireland during the eighteenth century.

Speakers will include:
Dr Ivar McGrath (University College Dublin) - The Army Barracks of Ireland, 1690-1822
Dr Tim Bowman (University of Kent) – The British Army, Ireland and the Battle of Waterloo
Mr Nicholas Perry - Irish Gentry Officers at Waterloo: Embedding a Tradition
Mr Brett Irwin (PRONI) – ‘Entertaining to a degree and perhaps a little dangerous’: Lord Castlereagh, Lady Londonderry, Vienna and the Peace of Europe

Contact PRONI via http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/contact_us.htm to reserve a place.

(With thanks to the PRONI Express)

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.

Victoria, Australia, Index to Naturalisation Certificates, 1851-1928

Ancestry has released an index to naturalisation certificates for non-British settlers in Victoria, Australia, dating from 1851-1928.

The database is accessible at http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=60711, with the data sourced from Public Record Office Victoria in North Melbourne.

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.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Lancashire Quarter Session Records and Petitions on Ancestry

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has released a new collection for Lancashire:

Lancashire, England, Quarter Session Records and Petitions, 1648-1908
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=6820

This database contains records of the Quarter Sessions from the county of Lancashire, which is located on the northwest coast of the England on the Irish Sea.

The records document Quarter Session judges’ decisions in matters that include settlement inquiries, highway rates, criminal trials, registers of settlement, orders of removal, bastardy examinations, apprenticeships, licensing, contracts, lists of justices, payments for services rendered to the county, and other documents related to the business of the running of the county.

Some of the cases may span multiple pages, so be sure to use the arrow keys to browse surrounding pages to make sure you find all the records for your ancestor.

The original source is Lancashire Record Office, Preston, England.

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.

Letters of 1916 Belfast launch at PRONI

An interesting event taking place at PRONI (www.proni.gov.uk) in Belfast on May 28th:

Letters of 1916 Belfast Launch
SFI Discover Community Engagement Event on Thursday 28th May 2015

EXPLORE life in Ireland a century ago
CONTRIBUTE to a crowdsourced history project
LEARN about how a digital archive is created
DISCOVER hidden stories of 1916

Bring in your family letters written between 1 November 1915 - 31 October 1916 to digitize and add to the Letters 1916 archive.

5.30 - 6.30 PM OPEN SESSION
LETTERS 1916 DIY MEET THE TEAM DEMO / TRANSCRIBE / DIGITISE

6.30 - 7.45 PM A YEAR IN THE LIFE:
A series of talks exploring life in Ireland a century ago highlighting letters from PRONI’S collection

Professor Susan Schreibman (Maynooth University)
Ian Montgomery (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland)
Stephen Scarth (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland)
Jason Burke (East Belfast & The Great War)

7.45 - 8.30 PM RECEPTION

To view more information please visit http://www.proni.gov.uk/l1916-sfi-belfast-v2-2.pdf

WHERE: PRONI
WHEN: Thursday 28th May 2015, 5.30pm to 9.00pm
Admission is FREE, Please contact PRONI to secure your place:

E: proni@dcalni.gov.uk
T: 028 90534800

PRONI is approximately 1½ miles from Belfast City Hall
By bus, please take the Metro 26 route

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 Monaghan records on RootsIreland

The RootsIreland website (www.rootsireland.ie) has added new Presbyterian and Church of Ireland records for County Monaghan. The list of new records available is at http://monaghan.rootsireland.ie/generic.php?filename=sources.tpl&selectedMenu=sources&eno=2005#ChurchOfIreland

I haven't used the main site in a while, but despite recent changes my account did continue to allow me access to free searches for some time after the new subscription service was introduced. Those free credits, whilst still on my account, are now no longer usable, meaning I can't do any meaningful test searches up front before deciding whether to purchase a record - instead, I now need to subscribe at least £18 for a month's access. It is still quite extraordinary that a site with so much potential, going for as long as it has, can still continue to get it so wrong for so long.

On July 8th free access to Roman Catholic records will be made available by the National Library of Ireland, which will make a significant impact on RootsIreland's business. Unfortunately those of us with Presbyterian and Anglican connections (not to mention Methodist, Baptist etc) will still have to endure this current set up, though do bear in mind that the surviving records can be accessed at many repositories in Ireland. In Northern Ireland, for example, a useful guide is available at http://www.proni.gov.uk/guide_to_church_records.pdf, detailing holdings for the north (not just the Northern Irish counties), including those that can be accessed freely on microfilm at PRONI. For counties Antrim and Down do also check out www.ancestryireland.com, where the search interface is much better, and where many parish records (including most Roman Catholic) can be obtained on an individual pay-per-view basis at £4 each.

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.

Family Ceme-Tree Day at Southwark Woods in London

If you're interested in the burials at Camberwell Old Cemetery in Southwark Woods, London, this may be of interest on Bank Holiday Monday:

The woods are in their glory! This Bank Holiday Monday, we are celebrating the beautiful Southwark Woods in south London, and demanding their protection from the council's chainsaws.

7,000 now say No! online and on paper petitions to Southwark's plans to fell hundreds of trees, clear wild woodland and dig up hundreds of old graves - for thousands of private new burial plots.

The larger the throng, the louder the song:

Family Ceme-Tree Day
11.00am - 1.00pm Bank Holiday Monday 25th May
Camberwell Old Cemetery, Forest Hill Road London SE22 0SQ

Save the Ceme-trees. Meet Your Family Tree. Adopt an Oak. While we still can.
Once it's gone, it's gone.

Sign the petition: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-southwark-woods
savesouthwarkwoods@gmail.com
www.savesouthwarkwoods.org.uk
@southwarkwoods

(With thanks to Blanche Cameron)

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.

Friday, 22 May 2015

New FindmyPast releases

The following collections have been released on FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) today:

City of London Haberdashers, Apprentices and Freemen 1526-1933
City Of London Ironmongers, Apprentices and Freemen 1511-1923
St George the Martyr Southwark Mortuary Register 1880-1891
Royal Navy Foreign Awards to Officers Index 1914-1922
Victoria Inward Passenger lists 1839-1923

Full details are available at http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/fridays/

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.

Jersey and Lancashire records added to Ancestry

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has added two new third party collections sourced from Jersey Archives in the Channel Islands to its site, via its web search initiative:

Web: UK, Jersey, Channel Islands, Occupation Registration Cards, 1940-1945
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=70779

Web: UK, Jersey, Channel Islands, Wills and Testaments, 1663-1948
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=70778

A blog post on the release is available at http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2015/05/22/records-from-the-jersey-archive-in-the-channel-islands-go-online-for-the-first-time/

Also released is a new Lancashire collection, sourced from Lancashire Record Office, Preston, England:

Lancashire, England, Quarter Session Records and Petitions, 1648-1908
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=6820

Further details via the links.

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.

Colour film footage of Berlin from July 1945

Some remarkable film footage of Berlin shot in July 1945, shortly after the end of hostilities there in the Second World War, shows just how damage the German nation sustained under Hitler's regime. It has been cleaned up, stabilised and edited into a compilation - harrowing stuff.

The original post from which this has been drawn is available at http://twistedsifter.com/videos/remarkable-hd-footage-of-berlin-from-july-1945/.



Further footage below:



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.

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.

National Archives podcasts to resume shortly

I contacted the National Archives in England (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk) last week to enquire as to why there had been no further podcasts on its site since March 27th. Web Content Manager Angela Mullen has kindly replied to say that it is planned for the podcasts to resume shortly, with further uploads normally taking place on Fridays.

The reasons for the break in provision was the General Election, and the rules of 'purdah', which restrict civil service activities for the duration of campaigning by the political parties standing for elections (see http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN05262). 

(With thanks to Angela Mullen)

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.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

'Big Four' Records of English Research webinars

I've had a message from genealogist Paul Milner in the United States, who will be a fellow presenter on the forthcoming Unlock the Past genealogy cruise to the Baltic in July, about a series of webinars that he will be giving on English research. He is teaching four sessions in a program about the 'Big Four' Records of English Research for the Virtual Institute of Genealogy, with these happening on two upcoming Saturdays, 30th May and 6th June.

The schedule is as follows (all times U. S. Eastern) – each session is 90 minutes with Q&A

30 May 2015
• 11:00am “English Civil Registrations: Tips for use and problem solving”
• 1:00pm “Making Sense of the English Census”

6 June 2015
• 11:00am “English Parish Registers: How to Access, Use and Interpret”
• 1:00pm “Tips and Tools for Navigating the English Probate System”

England Times – 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm
Perth Australia Times – Saturday 30 May 11:00 pm and Sunday 1 June 1:00 am
Sydney, Australia Times – Sunday 1 June 1:00 am and 3:00 am
Wellington, New Zealand Times – Sunday 3:00 am and 5:00 am

The webinar will be recorded and made available at a later date for purchase.

For further details on these, and on how to register, please visit http://www.milnergenealogy.com/?p=711

(With thanks to Paul)

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.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Canadian First World War army service records update

Library and Archives Canada has announced a further update to its Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/canadian-expeditionary-force.aspx. There are now 155,110 of 640,000 files available, just under a quarter, with more to come soon.

For more on the news visit the archive's blog at http://thediscoverblog.com/2015/05/15/digitization-of-the-canadian-expeditionary-force-personnel-service-files-update-of-may-2015/.

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.

Books offer from Ulster Historical Foundation

From the Ulster Historical Foundation (www.ancestryireland.com):

You might be interested in a couple of mid-May offers, which are reduced to only £9.99 each (€14.99/$16.99/). P&P is extra. Order at: www.booksireland.org.uk

Scottish Covenanters & Irish Confederates by David Stevenson,
Ulster Emigration to Colonial America by R. J. Dickson

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.

Nottinghamshire records added to FindmyPast

From FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk):

Over 14,000 burial records and over 5000 baptism records have been added to our collection of Nottinghamshire parish records. Both the Nottinghamshire Baptisms and Nottinghamshire Burials consist of transcripts provided by the Nottinghamshire Family History Society.

The Baptism records date from 1538 to 1980 can include the child’s name, religious denomination, church, baptism date, residence, parent’s names and father’s occupation. The Burial records date from 1539 to 1905 and can include the deceased’s name, religious denomination, age at death, burial date, burial place, and any additional notes. Notes can include information about their marital status, cause of death, occupation or more biographical details.

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 computer terminals improve Glasgow Genealogy Centre service

A quick note to say that the Glasgow Genealogy Centre at the Mitchell Library has now updated all of its computers - and the improvement in accessing the ScotlandsPeople service is immense.

A huge thank you to the team there for doing this, as for a while there doing research at the centre was quite a chore, with the old terminals being so slow. But a road test of the new set up on Thursday there was a joy!

For details on the service, visit http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/?articleid=3214.

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.

Dublin workhouse records exclusive to FindmyPast for 5 years

From FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk):

Newly digitalised records reveal that even highly trained professionals were forced into workhouses by the misery of the Irish famine

· 2.5 million historical records reveal the hardship of Ireland’s poorest people, now available online for the first time

· With a dearth of census records available, tracing Irish ancestors is notoriously difficult. These new records include details of those who are hardest to trace, and uncover the tough times they lived through

· Records include tragic tales of poverty, forced migration of young female orphans to Australia, and the fates of lawyers and doctors sent to institutions for the poor

London, UK, 18 May 2015 – Leading family history website Findmypast has today released over 2.5 million Dublin Workhouse Admission & Discharge Registers and Minute Books. The records provide a unique view of the impact the famine had on all aspects of the Irish population, as hundreds of thousands of middle-class Dubliners – alongside the impoverished working classes - were institutionalised in the workhouses between 1840 and 1919.

These records will be the first in a series of Irish Workhouse records released by Findmypast in partnership with the National Archives of Ireland – the first step in the creation of a national resource of all the Irish workhouse and Poor Law Union records, which will be exclusively available on Findmypast.

During the famine, millions of people had reason to use the workhouses and other services supplied by the Poor Law Unions. These records have never before been indexed let alone made available online, and, given the lack of 19th century census material in Ireland, on completion these records will be an incredibly valuable census substitute.

Those professionals institutionalised in the Dublin Workhouses include:

· 1,130 doctors and nurses
· 1,056 teachers
· 321 soldiers
· 321 soldiers
· 175 solicitors and lawyers
· 125 artists
· 32 clergymen
· 24 policemen

Individual notable figures in the records include:

· 35 year old author, George Fitzgibbon Lysaght entered the North Dublin Union Workhouse in 1853. Before falling on hard times, George was a wealthy land owner in County Clare. The property was auctioned off on May 6th 1858. The house division on his estate alone was 133 acres with a yearly rent valued at £110 and ten shillings

· Soldier, Edward Byrne, entered the South Union Workhouse in 1850, aged 26. He was described as being in good health despite having a “ragged look”

· Gerald Keogh, a 75 year old widowed physician, entered the North Dublin Union workhouse in 1848. He was described as being of “delicate” health. He died the following year

· In 1853, solicitor, Stephen Cullen and his wife, Julia Anna Maria Cullen, entered the North Dublin Union. Stephen was a 73 year old from Scotland who was suffering from a “chest affliction” when he entered the workhouse

Those from poorer backgrounds include:

· Prostitutes, including Julia Goodwin, 40 years old, who entered the Rathdown Union workhouse in 1843. She was listed as Rheumatic and the cause of her admission was listed as ‘misconduct’

· 81 year old Mary Cohen, one of the oldest to be recorded. She entered the North Dublin Union in July 1846, “ragged and dirty”. She was dead by November

· Eliza Abbey, a 3 month old baby found by a policeman on 31st March 1867 on Abbey Street and handed over to a nurse 2 days later

· Jane and Thomas Tierny, siblings aged 7 and 6 who were delivered at the workhouse in 1867. They had been deserted by their parents who had gone to America, which was not a particularly unusual situation

Board of Guardians Minute Books

This collection of almost 900,000 records cover meetings held by the Board of Guardians of four Dublin workhouses from 1839 – 1922. They contain the minutes of meetings, including supplies, hiring of staff, case histories of individual paupers and letters received by the Board, among other details, providing rich contextual detail of daily life in the workhouse.

Dublin workhouses Admission and Discharge Registers 1840 – 1919

Over 1,500,000 records detailing arrivals at the workhouse with details of occupants’ age, occupation, religion, any illnesses or infirmities, other family members, original parish and condition when they arrived including clothes and cleanliness.

Brian Donovan, Irish Records Expert at Findmypast said “Workhouse records are an essential tool for family history research. They provide extraordinary detail and incredible heart-wrenching stories about some of the most poorly documented people who lived in Ireland.”

Levels of poverty in Ireland were far higher than in England so the workhouse was often an inescapable part of life. As many, if not most, Dublin families would have had some experience of the workhouses, this record set is one of the most significant available for those researching Dublin history.

The Dublin workhouse records are the first Irish workhouse records to go online as part of this project. Findmypast is working with the National Archives of Ireland to bring workhouse records online from every county in Ireland.

These records will be exclusive to Findmypast for 5 years.

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Australian Seminar Evening at Trinity College Dublin

On May 20th, from 6-8pm, Eneclann will be hosting two talks at a special “Australian Seminar Evening”, featuring Australian based speakers Perry McIntyre and Richard Reid. The venue will be the Emmet Theatre at Trinity College, Dublin.

The talks are as follows:

Perry McIntyre: "The infernal villain will be sent away"
Convict case studies from the National Archives of Ireland, Dublin

Richard Reid: Not Just Ned Kelly
The true story of the Irish in Australia, 1788 to 2011.

For further details on the talks, and on both speakers, visit http://www.eneclann.ie/2015/05/expert-workshops-may-2015/

I've met Perry and Richard before on an Unlock the Past cruise a couple of years back in Australia, and thoroughly recommend the session, as both are great speakers! This is a free event open to members of the public, and you can apply for tickets by emailing Eneclann at expertworkshop@eneclann.ie.

(With thanks to Laura Carroll)



Chris


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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

West Yorkshire alehouse license and occupational records

Two further collections for West Yorkshire are now online at Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk), having been indexed as part of its World Archives Project:

West Yorkshire, England, Alehouse Licences, 1771-1962
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=2563

West Yorkshire, England, Occupation Records, 1793-1930
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=9011

The source for both is West Yorkshire Archive Service, Wakefield, England, with full details on the relevant accession numbers for the collections featured available via the above links.

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Latest British GENES podcast now available

The third and long overdue British GENES podcast is now available online and for download. Apologies for the delay in bringing this to you, it's all explained on the podcast!

In this edition I have the following interview goodies in addition to the latest news from the British and Irish genealogy worlds, all recorded at the recent Who Do You Think You Are Live event at the Birmingham NEC:
  • An interview with Mark Bayley of The Genealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk) discussing the latest update to the English and Welsh tithes applotment records and maps, as well as a new First World War collection
  • A chat with Ann Robinson of the North of Ireland Family History Society (www.nifhs.org), discussing both the society and its latest publication on County Tyrone records
  • Tahitia McCabe from the University of Strathclyde explaining the new Summer Institute of genealogy to be held in Glasgow in June (http://www.strath.ac.uk/genealogy/summerinstitute/)

Plus reflections on the recent Who Do You Think You Are Live event in Birmingham and my first talks to a family history society in England, news on the forthcoming release of Irish Roman Catholic parish registers, the new online Irish platform for BMD indexes, two handy websites for medieval English and Welsh research, an update on the NRS catalogue, and much more!

(UPDATE: Apologies for a minor error in the recording - in announcing the dates for next year's WDYTYA Live show, I've stated it's April 6th-8th - it's actually 7th-9th. It's been one of those months...!)


The podcast is directly accessible on Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/chrismpaton/british-genes-podcast-03-13-may-2015 and can also be freely downloaded from iTunes - simply search for British GENES and it should be found in the podcasts category, or you can subscribe directly with the following RSS feed - http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:100412349/sounds.rss. The recording is also directly available below:




Finally, I am still learning the ropes here, and so rest assured that this podcast is now much easier to download with a considerably smaller file size than the first two - it is now in MP3 format! You live and learn.... :)

Chris


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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Irish Lives Remembered May/June edition now out

From Irish Lives Remembered (www.irishlivesremembered.com):

The May/June edition (29th issue) of Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy e-Magazine is now live and can be read/downloaded FREE of charge via www.irishlivesremembered.com or directly at http://bit.ly/1FbYal1

Topics of interest covered in our latest 60 page issue includes:

· Composer and singer/songwriter ‘Sting’ visits Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan to find out more about his 3rd great grandmother, Mary Murphy from Inniskeen.
· Fiona Fitzsimons from Eneclann writes about talk show host Graham Norton’s Wicklow ancestry.


Tracing your County WICKLOW Ancestors

· Findmypast Ireland records for the garden county
· Roots Ireland Wicklow branch showcases what’s on offer for the county
· The story of Nicholas Delaney ‘An Irish Convict & Rebel’ in Australia


The Irish in MINNESOTA

· Genealogist and lecturer, Joe Buggy looks at tracing the Irish in Minnesota
· Maureen Wlodarczyk discusses the life Irish-American Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm


General News

· National Library of Ireland announces July launch of 400,000 free catholic parish microfilms
· Eneclann & Ancestor Network return to the National Library of Ireland with their free genealogy advisory service
· Jayne Shrimpton covers a photo of the O’Grady Clan from Waterford in 1915
· Latest schedule of speakers at the prestigious Irish Genealogy Summer School at U.C.C.
· Fly Leaf Press are offering a special discount to Irish Lives readers on their title ‘Tracing Your Galway Ancestors’
· Townlands of Ulster – A case study on the parishes of Moire and Magheralin
· Rare artefacts brings Limerick’s military history back to life
· The North of Ireland Family History launch new Tyrone research book at WDYTYA
· New Irish records on Findmypast Ireland
· The story behind Irish Painted Clans – a new Irish business
· News, Events and Book store


(With thanks to Eileen Munnelly)

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Ross and Cromarty history talks

The Highland Archive Service (www.highlifehighland.com/archives-service/) is running a series of weekly talks at Dingwall Academy from 10-11am between May 14th and June 4th 2015.

These are:

May 14th: Going to School: Education in the Highlands in the 19th and 20th century
May 21st: Bricks and Mortar: Looking at historic property records
May 28th: The Kirk: Church records in the Highlands
June 4th: Crime and Punishment: police and court records in the Highlands

To book please contact Dingwall Community Library, tel: 01349 869869

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

South Ayrshire History and Family History Fair

South Ayrshire History and Family History Fair will be held on Saturday June 6th 2015 at the Walker Halls in Troon. In addition to the fair, where many vendors and family history societies will be in attendance (from 9am-4.30pm), there will also be a conference (10am-4pm), with the following speakers giving presentations on various topics:

David Goldie: "The White - washing O'Robbie Burns?: Robert Burns in the First World War"
Tom Barclay: "'It is a terrible place': Ayrshire Experiences of Gallipoli"
Fiona Watson: "Robert Bruce and Ayr: Gateway to the West"
Matt Ritchie: "Championing the Historic Environment: Protection, Conservation and Presentation on Scotland's national forest estate"

The full day's conference cost is £10, half day £5 (individual talks at £3, or £2.50 each for 2 or more). Access to the stalls at the fair is free. Further details are available at https://southayrshirehistory.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/speakers-announced-for-this-years-history-and-family-history-fair/

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Essex Ancestors - remaining wills now online

Essex Record Office has completed the upload of its remaining digitised wills collection, accessible via its subscription based site Essex Ancestors (http://seax.essexcc.gov.uk/EssexAncestors.aspx). In total there are now some 70,000 wills available on the site from the 1400s to 1858.

For further details visit http://www.essexrecordofficeblog.co.uk/major-essex-ancestors-update-remaining-wills-now-all-online/.

(With thanks to the FFHS)

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Two million British GENES post hits and more

Just another blogging milestone to mark. When my Scottish GENES blog (established in 2007) regenerated into its new incarnation of British GENES in September 2011, the hit counter for blog posts read was reset to zero. I've just noticed that about three days ago the counter has now passed two million blog post hits. It's a somewhat arbitrary number, partly because I ran both Scottish GENES and British GENES in parallel as separate blogs for a bit, and also because it does not take into account those who read the posts via a daily email digest, or those who landed on a post accidentally!

Nevertheless, if the mainstream vendors can boast about how many gazillion items they have, I might as well join the party - so here's to the next two million hits! :)

Chris
 
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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Monday, 11 May 2015

National Records of Scotland online services restored

The National Records of Scotland (www.nrscotland.gov.uk) has announced that its online services, including its catalogue, Scottish Documents platform, SCAN site, ScotlandsPlaces and others, have been fully restored. It also notes that "Work will continue to improve the resilience of our infrastructure, and we are sorry for any inconvenience caused" . The full announcement is at www.nrscotland.gov.uk/news/2015/update-on-online-services.

The problem was previously identified as being one with its servers, but why no back-ups could come into play has not been explained, and the fact that work still needs to be carried out to "improve the resilience" of its infrastructure doesn't particularly inspire confidence that everything has as yet been resolved.

It is to be hoped that a body that should be the main archival institution in Scotland setting the standards in the country never again fails so catastrophically with its service provision, not only for its own services but for those others reliant on it to carry content.

It's been a right shambles, but at least things are back up and running again, hopefully permanently.

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Scottish monumental inscriptions survey

Bruce Bishop has recently reported to SAFHS (www.safhs.org.uk) the findings of a short survey of the monumental inscriptions records that have been gathered by Scottish based family history societies. The full survey is noted at http://www.safhs.org.uk/news.asp (fourth story down) and includes the following state of play summary at present:

Of the 3543 sites across Scotland, the inscriptions in 2587 have been published, there are 475 unpublished records, usually where the site is too small to warrant its own publication, or where the transcriptions are in the process of being checked. Work is known to be in progress on 71 sites across Scotland. This shows us that out of the total of 3543 sites. Some 3133 have either been completed or are currently being researched.

The full report details where many publications are held within the country. For summary details on all known collections, also visit http://www.safhs.org.uk/burialgrounds.asp

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Lincolnshire Archives' Family History Day

Lincolnshire Archives will be hosting a Family History Day on Saturday May 30th 2015, from 10.30am-3.00pm, at St Rumbold Street, Lincoln, LN2 5AB.

Displays will include Military Records, Parish Registers, Wills, maps, Non-conformist Registers, Electoral Registers, Trade Directories, Censuses, Online Resource3s and many more. Staff will also be on hand to answer questions.

Lincolnshire Archives website is at http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/residents/archives/

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

PRONI's Ulster Scots lunchtime lectures series

There's a new Ulster Scots themed lunchtime lecture series kicking off soon in Belfast at PRONI (www.proni.gov.uk)

Lunchtime Lecture Series: Ulster Scots Connections; People, Place and Practice
When: 20th May 2015 – 17th June 2015 starting at 1pm
Where: PRONI and Discover Ulster Scots Centre.

PRONI, MAG-Ulster Scots Academy, Ulster Scots Community Network and Ulster Scots Agency invite you to a series of lunchtime talks that explore Ulster Scots culture.

20th May: Cormac McSparron, Argyll to Antrim,
Venue: Discover Ulster Scots Centre

27th May: William Roulston, Edward Bruce in Ulster, 1315
Venue: PRONI

3rd June: Gary Blair, Ulster Scots Language
Venue: Discover Ulster Scots Centre

10th June: Andrew Gault, Archaeology of Dunluce
Venue: Discover Ulster Scots Centre

17th June: Laura Spence, Rhyming Weavers of Ulster
Venue: PRONI

24th June: Frank Ferguson & Kathryn White, Ulster Scots Literature
Venue: PRONI

(With thanks to the PRONI Express)

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

More PRONI archive exploration workshop dates available

More archive tours from PRONI (www.proni.gov.uk) in Belfast:

Explore the Archives – Practical Workshops at PRONI – New Dates!

Once you’ve collected some information about your ancestors, why not come along to one of PRONI’s practical workshops where you will get a hands-on introduction to searching archives on the internet; and searching, ordering and using original documents held at PRONI.

The practical workshops consist of 2 sections the first being an introduction to Archives Online, 2pm and the second being an introduction to Using the Documents (searching for, ordering and viewing original documents), 3pm.

New dates added are the 13th May and 17th June. Please contact PRONI to secure your place on a session!

Contact PRONI at http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/contact_us.htm to reserve a place

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Forthcoming Ulster Scots themed talks in Northern Ireland

The Ulster Historical Foundation will be holding the following talks:

Common Currency: The Shared Inheritance of Ulster and North America – 4 June 2015

Common Currency is a one day conference aimed at anyone with an interest in the deep and myriad connections between Ulster and North America across a broad range of themes including history, music, religion, commerce and the migration experience. In addition to live music the talks, which will be delivered by a mix of respected academics and cultural commentators, will demonstrate that the contribution of Ulster migrants to the development of North American society is more diverse, complex and important than the prevailing orthodoxy and single narrative of frontier men clearing wilderness and fighting Native Americans. Confirmed speakers include:

Dr Francis Costello
Dr Linde Lunney
Dr Brian Lambkin
Alister McReynolds
Mark Thompson
Dr Johanne Devlin Trew
Gillian Hunt
Colin Magee
Prof. William J. Smyth

This free event will take place in the Corn Exchange Building, Victoria Street, Belfast on Thursday 4 June 2015, 9.00-4.30pm. More details, including information on registration to follow. While the event is free registration is essential (pre-register your interest at: enquiry@uhf.org.uk)

Andrew Jackson: Victor of New Orleans, Seventh President of the United States – 06 July 2015

This one day conference will focus on Andrew Jackson the frontiersman with Carrickfergus ancestry, who was victorious at the Battle of New Orleans (defeating General Edward Pakenham from County Westmeath) becoming the first ‘people’s President’.

A number of influential American authorities on Andrew Jackson will speak including:

Professor Don Hickey, Wayne State College, Nebraska
Professor David Feller, Director of the Papers of Andrew Jackson, University of Tennessee
Professor R. David Edmunds, Watson Professor of American History, University of Texas at Dallas Kevin Chambers (National Archives, Kew)
Christopher T. George (Co-author of The man who captured Washington (forthcoming Univ. of Oklahoma Press))
Jason Wiese (Associate Director, Williams Research Center, The Historic New Orleans Collection)
Dr William Roulston (Research Director, Ulster Historical Foundation)

This free event will take place in the Corn Exchange Building, Victoria Street, Belfast on Monday 6 July 2015, 9.30-4.30pm. . More details, including information on registration to follow. While the event is free registration is essential (pre-register your interest at: enquiry@uhf.org.uk)

(With thanks to the Ulster Historical Foundation)

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Release of Brian Barton's new Belfast Blitz book

A new publication from the Ulster Historical Foundation (www.ancestryireland.com), which takes a look at the two main Blitz raids in Belfast in the Second World War:

The Belfast Blitz

We are pleased to announce that the Foundation’s new title The Belfast Blitz: The city in the War Years by Brian Barton is now available.

The book is the most wide-ranging, comprehensive and accurate account of the Belfast blitz yet written. Drawing on a rich range of primary and secondary sources it gets closer to the events described than any previous publication. Large numbers of people, including first-hand witnesses, were interviewed, and documentary material was assembled from some thirty archive centres.

Vividly illustrated with almost two hundred original photographs, many previously unpublished, the book also contains for the first time the full list of civilian dead – almost nine hundred names – compiled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It will thus serve as a timely memorial, on the seventy-fifth anniversary in 2016, of one of the most devastating periods in Belfast’s history.

Priced at only £19.99 (€29.99/$31.99) for a 656 page, heavily-illustrated publication, the book is superb value and an excellent read from one of Northern Ireland’s most respected historians and authors.

The book will be launched next week at two events:

Tuesday, 12 May 2015, at 2:00pm, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 2 Titanic Boulevard Belfast BT3 9HQ. The guest speaker will be Dr Michael Foy.

Thursday, 14 May 2015, at 6:00pm, The Northern Ireland War Memorial, 21 Talbot Street, Belfast BT1 2LD. The guest speaker will be Lord Bew of Donegore.

All are welcome, please RSVP to the Ulster Historical Foundation tel 028 9066 1988 or email: enquiry@uhf.org.uk.

To purchase the book visit http://www.booksireland.org.uk/store/all-departments/pre-order-belfast-blitz-city-war-years

COMMENT: I'm really looking forward to this book, as it was a previous edition that first alerted me to the fact that my own grandparents were caught up in the Blitz in the city's Whitewell area, a story that no-one in my family had ever mentioned to me before. Thankfully when asked about it, my uncle soon divulged all!

Chris

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. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.