Friday, 30 October 2015

Has the Genhound site ceased to operate?

A site that I used to plug occasionally seems to no longer be up and running. The Genhound platform at www.genhound.co.uk not only provided access to various useful datasets (including indexes to early sasine registers in Scotland), but also various background articles in its Geneapedia.

The site is currently down, but although the databases cannot be accessed in a cached version of the site from earlier this year, the Geneapedia articles can still be read at https://web.archive.org/web/20150306004815/http://www.genhound.co.uk/genped.php. They include the following topics:
  • The British Isles, Great Britain and the United Kingdom
  • Counties in the UK
  • Counties of the British Isles - an alphabetical list
  • History of London growth and administration for genealogists
  • Scottish land and property records for family historians
  • Scottish deeds and sasines
  • Glossary of terms used in Scottish deeds and sasines
  • The British Education System

Here's hoping that the site will re-emerge again in due course.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Newly catalogued material by National Monuments Record of Wales

The National Monuments Record of Wales has announced its latest catalogued acquisitions in October via the Heritage of Wales blog at http://heritageofwalesnews.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/national-monuments-record-of-wales_30.html, the blog of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.

For the latest monthly lists of recently catalogued holdings, please visit www.rcahmw.gov.uk/HI/ENG/Our+Services/Donate+Records/Recent+Acquisitions/

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Find witches in the neighbourhood...

It's Hallowe'en again, and so I thought I would list a few resources where you might find some links to cases involving alleged (perhaps actual?!) witchcraft in the family!

In Scotland, the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft (www.shc.ed.ac.uk/Research/witches), has details of nearly 4000 people tried from 1563-1736 for witchcraft, with evidence for many cases gathered by local kirk sessions. For the story of the Forfar Witches visit www.angusheritage.com/People/AngusLives/The-Forfar-Witches.aspx, whilst a look at witches in Fife can be found at www.thefifepost.com/history/witches/.

The tales of witches in Strathearn are recounted at http://perthshirecrieffstrathearnlocalhistor.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/witchcraft-in-strathearn-part-one-of.html and http://perthshirecrieffstrathearnlocalhistor.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/witchcraft-in-strathearn-part-two-of.html.

In England, the Camulos site, which covers Colchester, has tales of local witches at www.camulos.com/witchcraft.htm, whilst the brilliant Pendle Witches website at www.pendlewitches.co.uk tells you everything you need to know about one of the most famous witchcraft cases in British history, at Pendle in Lancashire. The UK parliament site has an overview of laws against witchcraft in England at www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/private-lives/religion/overview/witchcraft/, whilst tales of wicthcraft in Elizabeth England are available at www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-witchcraft-and-witches.htm.

A study of 17th century witchcraft in the county of Flintshire is online at the National Library of Wales website at www.llgc.org.uk/index.php?id=witchcraftcourtofgrearsessi. In Ireland, the last ever witch trail was that of the Islandmagee witches in County Antrim, who were convicted in my home town of Carrickfergus - you'll find the story at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islandmagee_witch_trial.

Finally, another tip of the hat to Bob Davey MBE, who I interviewed four years ago for Discover my Past England magazine. Bob was a man who basically took on the Devil's hordes and won, when he defeated a local witches coven that tried to desecrate the old 8th century built Anglo-Saxon Church of St Mary the Virgin at Houghton-on-the-Hill, Norfolk (pictured right).

You'll find Bob's story on a subsequent blog post here at
http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/genies-who-inspire-robert-davey-mbe.html.

Happy Hallowe'en!

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Your Family Tree issue 162 now on sale

The latest edition of Your Family Tree magazine is available in newsagents, with plenty packed in.

This month's cover feature looks at the history of fashion, whilst Doreen Hopwood investigates 'fallen women' and the moral double standards in Victorian society. There's a range of articles covering the length and breadth of Britain, including an article on Welsh nonconformism, the impact of industry on Norfolk, and the journey our own surnames have made.

Yours truly has also contributed an article on a topic not often discussed, namely the various courts to be found in Scotland that sat in judgement over us, from the commissary courts and sheriff courts, to the High Court of Justiciary and the church courts, to the franchise courts and those of the royal burghs. There's also a look at how to build a family history website, how to tackle surname distributions, the 1715 Battle of Preston, and a look at the occupation of an ostler.

For more on the magazine visit www.yourfamilytreemag.co.uk.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

December 2015 edition of Family Tree magazine on sale

The latest edition of the UK's Family Tree magazine is now available at all good newsagents, and as usual is packed with a variety of goodies.

Tom Hood looks at childhood tragedies, David Annal examines family history databases, and Caroline Makein provides an overview of the decennial censuses. There's an intersting feature from Richard Morgan on an embezzling banker, Sharon Brookshaw looks at the tradition of having a family cradle, Amanda Randall takes a peak at temporary accommodation in the past, whilst Jayne Shrimpton explores portraits and family artworks.

There are also features on electoral registers, Suffragettes, and tradesmen, case studies and more. Yours truly also gets in with an article on the joys of researching Scottish ancestry, and he many differences with the records compared to the rest of the UK, which keeps it all interesting!

For further details visit http://family-tree.co.uk

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Who Do You Think You Are? magazine - November 2015

The latest Who Do You Think You Are? magazine, November 2015, is now on sale at all good newsagents.

This month's issue includes an interview with recent series subject Mark Gatiss, who recounts bhis Irish connections and how they were discovered, there's an overview of First World War centenary projects, a case of bigamy, a look at a Women's Institute log book from the late 1940s, a look at FindmyPast's electoral registers collection, and a masterclass in proof standards from Helen Osborn.

There's also a look at domestic service by Michelle Higgs and studio photographers by Jayne Shrimpton. In addition, yours truly provides two Scottish themed articles this month, one looking at the newly released Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories on Ancestry, and another looking at research in Glasgow, in the magazine's latest regular Around Britain feature.

For more on the magazine visit www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Review of Discover Irish Land Records book

Following on from Claire Santry's review of my book Discover Irish Land Records in July (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/discover-irish-land-records-review.html), I've had another great review from an Irish based genealogist, Nicola Morris, this time in this month's Who Do You Think You Are? magazine (Nov 2015).

After a brief introduction Nicola notes that the book "starts with a detailed history of the ownership of land in Ireland. Paton's perspective is that of an Ulsterman, with more focus on the plantation of Ulster... and the 1798 Rebellion than pre-famine subdivision of land and the founding principles of the land league." 

She adds that "...he transports the reader through Ireland's history with ease and includes a detailed explanation of the Irish land divisions that will aid anyone researching their Irish roots. In the absence of other genealogical sources, land records are employed to document the earliest generations of an Irish family."

In summary she notes that "Paton has written a comprehensive account of the records available for the north and the south of Ireland, from the 16th to the 20th century".

The book itself can be purchased in the UK from Yorkshire based My History at www.my-history.co.uk/acatalog/Discover-Irish-Land-Records-UTP0287.html#SID=876 for £7.50 plus p&p. If you live in Australia, the book is accessible from Gould Genealogy at www.gould.com.au/Discover-Irish-Land-Records-p/utp0287.htm for AU$17 (inc GST). Whilst not online as yet, I have been told that it should be available soon from Global Genealogy in Canada (http://globalgenealogy.com).

An ebook version of the title is also available from Genealogy eBooks at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/discover-irish-land-records.html, priced at AU$9.95

The contents are as follows:

Introduction
- Acknowledgements

Chapter 1. A troubled history
- Gaels, Vikings and Old English
- The Plantation of Ulster
- Wars of the Three Kingdoms
- Rebellion, union and rebellion
- Land reform
- The partitioned island

Chapter 2. Boundaries and administration
- Provinces and counties
- Baronies and civil parishes
- Religious parishes and dioceses
- Townlands
- Manors and demenses
- Boroughs
- Poor Law Unions and DEDs
- Registration districts
- Measurements

Chapter 3. Where were they?
- Vital records
- Decennial census records (1901-1911)
- Decennial census records (1821-1851)
- Earlier censuses
- Directories
- Electoral records
- Newspapers

Chapter 4. Tenancy, ownership and valuation
- Estate records
- Leases
- Rental records
- Quit rents and ground rents
- Estate maps
- Probate records
- Land registration
- The Down Survey of Ireland
- Tithe records
- Valuation records

Chapter 5. A sense of place
- Irish Historic Towns Atlas
- Ordnance Survey maps
- Ordnance Survey Memoirs
- Gazetteers, journals and parish histories

Useful addresses
Further reading
Index

I'm currently working on a second edition of one of my first Unlock the Past Scottish based books, and then hoping to turn to another new Irish title in due course - watch this space!

In the meantime, you can also check my Books section for details on how to access copies of my Irish titles, Irish Family History Resources Online (2nd edition), published by Unlock the Past out earlier this year, and the heftier Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, published by pen and Sword in 2013.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

National Archives offers free webinar on historic espionage

The National Archives (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk) in England is offering a free webinar on Monday 2nd November, from 5.30pm-6.30pm, on historic espionage from the First World War until the Cold War. From the site:

Discover infamous tales of cunning and intrigue from 20th century intelligence records with some of our records experts, including well-known individuals such as Burgess and Maclean. Pose your questions afterwards and learn all you’ve ever wanted to know about the secrets and spies in our collection.

Webinars are free online seminars that enable you to interact with expert staff and fellow researchers from the comfort of your home – after a short presentation on the subject you can take part in a question and answer session. Full instructions are provided when you sign up.

For further details and to sign up, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/webinar-from-the-first-world-war-to-the-cold-war-20th-century-espionage-tickets-18669880114.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

More on forthcoming English and Welsh 1939 register release

A couple of days ago I announced the forthcoming release of the English and Welsh 1939 National Identity Register on FindmyPast (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/english-and-welsh-1939-national.html). In the comments below this post I was asked what the following meant in the FindmyPast press release - "The Register is free to search but there is a charge to view the records". A further announcement from FindmyPast has just answered that point:

From Monday 2nd November, it will be free to search the register and to preview the transcript that includes the person’s name, year of birth, town and county of residence. In addition, you’ll be able to see how many other people lived in the house at the time and how many of them are closed due to being younger than 100 years old and still alive.

This will help you to confirm if you’ve found the right person and then you can choose to unlock the record. Unlocking will give you all of the additional information such as address, dates of birth, occupations and marital statuses of everyone that lived there, plus the original record image, maps, newspapers and exclusive photos of the time.

More news as it comes...

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Borders FHS archive and search room's revised opening hours

Borders Family History Society has revised its archive and search room opening hours on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

For full details please visit their blog post at http://blog.bordersfhs.org.uk/2015/10/revised-opening-hours-for-our-archive.html.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Perth and Kinross Electoral Registers 1832-1961 on Ancestry

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has released another important Scottish collection which will be of immense use to those with connections to Perth and Kinross - the Perth and Kinross, Scotland, Electoral Registers, 1832-1961 records, as sourced from the A. K. Bell Library in Perth.

From the site:

About Perth and Kinross, Scotland, Electoral Registers, 1832-1961

Electoral records are useful for tracking individuals over time and place because they were created on an annual basis. This database contains electoral registers listing names of voters for Perth and Kinross in Scotland.

Historical Background

Prior to 1832, the vast majority of the Scottish population did not have the right to vote. In 1832, the Scottish Reform Act of 1832 sought to level the playing field when it came to parliamentary representation and lowered the property threshold, enfranchising much more of the population. The 1832 act allowed owners or tenants of residences worth more than £10 the right to vote provided the appropriate poor rates and taxes had been paid for the previous year. Further reforms in 1868 and 1884 added even more voters to the voter rolls. By 1930, voting rights became universal in Scotland.

What You May Find in the Records

Electoral registers may list an eligible voter’s name, address, occupation, qualifications for voting, and a place where the property that qualified a voter is located.

These records were extracted using a new OCR indexing method. They were not transcribed. We encourage you to correct any errors you find in the data by going to the image and editing the name in the correction panel at the bottom of the page.

Here is the full source citation from Ancestry:

Original data: County Assessor's Department. Supplementary Registers, County of Perth. Registers of Electors. Digital images. Perth and Kinross Council Archive, Perth, Perth and Kinross, Scotland. Kinross Commissioners of Supply and Associated Committees. Freeholders and Voters' Records. Digital images. Perth and Kinross Council Archive, Perth, Perth and Kinross, Scotland. Perth Town Council, Perth Commissions. Administrative Records, Registers of Parliamentary & Municipal Voters. Digital images. Perth and Kinross Council Archive, Perth, Perth and Kinross, Scotland.

To access the collection please visit http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=60557 - I have a lot of connections to Perth, so I know I will be busy for a bit!

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Scottish Calendar of Confirmations 1876-1936 joins Ancestry

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has uploaded an immensely useful new dataset for those with Scottish connections - Scotland, National Probate Index (Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories), 1876-1936. In essence this is Scotland's equivalent of the English and Welsh based post-1858 National Probate Calendar.


From the site:

About Scotland, National Probate Index (Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories), 1876-1936
This collection includes an index and images to the annually published Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories filed in Scotland for the years 1876–1936. In Scotland, probate records are called confirmations and they include a testament and an inventory of the estate. The testament is the court record ordering distribution of the deceased’s estate. Some included wills (testament testamentar) and some did not (testament dative), the latter being more common.

Not everyone filed testaments, as many chose to skirt the courts and just settle the moveable property within the family. The wealthy were more likely to have filed, simply because they had more property to distribute. But regardless of your ancestor’s social standing, it is worth a quick search to find out.

The calendar, which began publication in 1876, is separated into a different volume for each year. The entries in each volume are then alphabetised by surname. Information varies across different entries, but each typically includes:
  • testament date
  • full name of the deceased
  • death date and place
  • name of an executor (often a relative, but sometimes a creditor)
  • where and when the testament was recorded

Information on ordering copies of testaments and inventories can be found on the ScotlandsPeople website

The word 'probate' is actually not used in Scotland, the process here is called 'confirmation', hence the collection title in brackets (I suspect it has been given the title 'Scotland, National Probate Index' to cater for non-Scots based genealogists more familiar with that term). The full range of actual print published calendar volumes in fact goes beyond 1936 to 1959, with additional microfiche and digitised indexes beyond even this accessible at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh - however, this collection was sourced from the A. K. Bell Library in Perth (www.pkc.gov.uk/AKBell), which holds volumes up to 1936 only. Although there is a single volume available for each years from 1876-1920, for surnames from A-Z, the subsequent years each have two volumes, one for surnames from A-L, the second from M-Z.

Note that whilst the entries contain records from the Scottish courts (and records re-sealed from other UK courts), they may note events beyond Scotland and the UK. For example, the following is an entry for my civilian shopkeeper great grandfather David Hepburn Paton, who actually passed away during the German occupation of Brussels in Belgium, in 1916 (click to enlarge):


What also makes this collection particularly useful, and something not actually explained in Ancestry's own blurb, is that the available digitised records run on the ScotlandsPeople website (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) in fact ends at 1925 - meaning that this Ancestry collection uniquely provides confirmation details online from 1926-1936.

The database is accessible at http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=60558.

For more on Scottish confirmation records, and the subject of Scottish inheritance in general (with a very different set of legal proceedings to those found elsewhere in the UK) please consult my article in the latest Who Do You Think You Are? magazine (November 2015 - http://whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com). Please note that in that article, however, the provisional web link to the collection as given to me by Ancestry when writing the article a month back is inaccurate - so please access it via the link above!

(With thanks to Bryony Partridge)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

English and Welsh 1939 National Register to go online November 2nd

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has announced that the 1939 National Register records for England and Wales are to be launched on November 2nd - see https://blog.findmypast.co.uk/announcing-the-release-of-the-1939-register-1424355718.html

Brace yourselves though for the cost announcement:

Records will be available to purchase for £6.95 per household, or £24.95 for our 5 household bundle (£4.99 per household). Findmypast subscribers will be entitled to a discount, which we will email you about

UPDATE: The following additional information has just been supplied in a press release from FindmyPast:

The Register is free to search but there is a charge to view the records with different pay per view packages starting at £6.95. Owing to data protection, there will be some closed records at the time of launch, either because the individual recorded is still living and less than 100 years old or proof of death has not been verified. At time of launch 28 million records will be searchable. The Register will be updated weekly. Findmypast, working with The National Archives, will have an ongoing process to identify records which can be opened on proof of death provided either by matching against robust data sets or supplied by users. Records will also be opened as people reach the age of 100 years+1 day.

(With thanks to Alex Cox)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Closure on historic Scottish divorce records?

Last week I was alerted by a colleague to the fact that there seems to have been a development on access to historic records of Scottish divorces implemented by the Court of Session from September 29th 2015, something that was seemingly partially confirmed by an NRS contact at the weekend. From what I can gather, it seems that access is to be restricted to historic cases for the last one hundred years. This is clearly something that will be of concern to Scottish based genealogists, for whom the records have previously been accessible.

I have just spoken with a contact at the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (www.scotcourts.gov.uk) and have sent a subsequent email to ask for clarity on the following questions:

1) Can you confirm if a closure period has indeed been enacted by the SCTS on historic cases of divorces in the Scottish courts?

2) If so, are all divorce case records, including Sheriff Court cases post-1984, now subject to a one hundred year closure period for privacy reasons, or simply those of the Court of Session?

3) If a closure period is now in place, can I ask on what basis the closure has been implemented, i.e. for what reason? For example, was there a trigger case where a privacy concern was raised that sought a change to the access?

4) Are there exemptions to these restrictions - for example, for those directly involved in the cases seeking copies of papers?

5) I have been unable to find any formal announcement on this online, but if there has been one, could you perhaps direct me to the link?

The press officer I spoke to has indicated that he has indeed heard something on this, but has requested a few days to try to get some answers. Once I have those, I will pass them on.

Historic records from the Court of Session are deposited with the National Records of Scotland (www.nrscotland.gov.uk), and from what I can gather this seems to have caught them as much by surprise as anyone. However, it is imperative to point out that any restriction, if it has been implemented, is not one that the NRS has put in place - but if confirmed, may affect how such records are accessed at the facility.

I'll keep you updated if, as and when I hear anything.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

British Newspaper Archives passes 12 million images

The British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) has passed 12 million images, as it slowly approaches completion of the first third of its planned forty million pages target. There are now 527 titles online. The latest releases in the last thirty days is accessible at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/home/LatestAdditions.


Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Scottish Genealogy Network CPD session in Edinburgh

Yesterday I spent a hugely enjoyable day with the Scottish Genealogy Network (www.scottishgenealogynetwork.co.uk) at our latest CPD event, this time held via the facilities at Herriott Watt University's Edinburgh Conference Centre.

We had several speakers in attendance today, but for starters, special thanks must go to Anne Slater from the National Records of Scotland, who talked through various proposals and ideas for the evolution of the ScotlandsPeople website and the future development of facilities at the NRS. One of the things that I had not realised was now in operation at the NRS is the fact that materials located off site can in fact now be ordered for an afternoon delivery - something that many of us have been asking for for a very long time. There are still some issues that my colleagues raised that we would like to see addressed at the archive, but it was a very useful session and we were extremely grateful and impressed with Anne's obvious energy and commitment to engaging in a serious dialogue - not just with us as users, but for many other groups that also use the facility on a regular basis.

Special thanks must also go to George Mackenzie, former Keeper of the Records of Scotland and Registrar General, and now actively involved with the Scottish Ancestral Tourism Group, for his contribution on ancestral tourism. In the same way that we as a professional genealogy group in the SGN in Scotland are finding our feet and reaching out for dialogue with others in our sector, a parallel discussion seems to be happening in the ancestral tourism field also, and so a lot of discussion on how the two disciplines might meet further was explored.

There were many other sessions - Judith Russell provided an overview of records on British Home Children in Canada to be found both in Scotland and overseas; Carol McKinven gave a useful introduction to Estonian records (something I found of particular interest having visited Tallin, right, for the first time a few months ago), in particular demonstrating a useful resource at www.arhiiv.ee/en/national-archives, Andrew Armstrong gave a talk on agricultural labourers in south east Scotland (noting in particular the bondager system at work), and I gave a talk on the records of the Weavers Incorporation of Perth, and the handloom weaving industry. We also had sessions on business related queries, and discussed developments for the evolution of the SGN itself.

A huge thanks to our secretary Emma Maxwell for organising the event, the latest successful training day for the group. All for one, and one for all, and all that!

For details on the SGN, its role and how to get involved, please visit the website.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Internet Archive's Wayback Machine to be upgraded

Canadian based genealogist John Reid has news on a major upgrade being planned for the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine (at https://archive.org/), which allows you to search for cached or preserved versions of 'dead' websites, as well as previous incarnations of current sites still online.



For further details visit http://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/the-next-generation-wayback-machine.html

(With thanks to John Reid)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

HistoryPin website is redeveloped

The following announcement comes form the HistoryPin website (www.historypin.org):

We thought you’d like to be the first to hear about some major changes to the Historypin.org platform. We've been working hard to make Historypin the easiest way for heritage organisations and groups to come together around local history, and today we're excited to relaunch the site with some great new features:



Open Collections: You can create a collection of pins and anyone else can add to it
Re-designed Profiles: Showcase your pins in a new map and gallery view
A Community Forum: Connect with other people running local heritage activities to share experiences and find inspiration

As part of the updates, all pins now need to belong to a collection. To get you started we've created a collection for you with all your pins. You can share it, invite other people to add to it, rename it or move the pins into different collections.

We've also given Historypin a new look, but don’t worry, everything’s still there! You might want to read more about the changes in our blog (http://about.historypin.org/historypin-gets-an-upgrade/) or watch our 2 minute video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9zOgEztVjs).



All of this is brand-new and isn't perfect yet, but we’ll make it better together along with you, our community. We’d love to hear your thoughts about what you really like, what isn't clear and what could be improved.

(With thanks to HistoryPin)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Half a million WW1 hospital records now on Forces War Records

From Forces War Records (www.forces-war-records.co.uk):

Half a million records now available to search

Wiltshire based genealogy site Forces War Records have just reached the first milestone of half a million named WW1 hospital records released, enabling members to search and find ancestors and family members via transcribed original hospital documents.

Forces War Record's latest collection - Military Hospitals Admissions and Discharge Registers WW1 (MH106 at The National Archives) has now topped half a million. Available to fully subscribed members who can search to find ancestors, details of their injuries and treatments and track their journey back to the battlefield, or back home. The collection is a major achievement, not just for the company but historically, as it could now be the only remaining genealogy source for WW1 servicemen and women due to many records being lost or destroyed during The Blitz. The highly skilled team of 70 plus experts at the Forces War Records office are still working to release the remaining records – an estimated additional 1 million.

CEO Dominic Hayhoe says, “The team here have worked tirelessly to get this many records released as quickly as possible, we're incredibly proud to have this level of skill, dedication and commitment within the company”.

The Military Hospitals Admissions and Discharge Registers WW1 Collection

A collection of records of soldiers' admission to, or discharge from, hospital in the First World War. After the war most medical and hospital records were destroyed. The rest were given by the Royal Army Medical Corps

(RAMC) to the Ministry Of Health. Just a representative selection (no more than two per cent of the total) remain, housed at The National Archives, where they are coded MH106

Each entry for a patient treated by the medical services includes:
  • Name
  • Rank
  • Regiment and sub unit
  • Age and completed years of service
  • Completed months with field force
  • Date of admission
  • Date of discharge
  • Injury / Illness
  • Any additional observations by medical practitioners
  • Plus details of movement back to the front or to another hospital

(With thanks to Jennifer Holmes)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Monday, 19 October 2015

TNA podcast - First World War rugby and the first World Cup

The latest podcast from the National Archives in England is entitled First World War rugby and the first World Cup, a 36 minute talk from author Stephen Cooper.

It can be listened to at http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/first-world-war-first-world-cup/ or downloaded for free from iTunes.

PS: Scotland was robbed of its semi-final place! But congratulations Australia... :)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

More English parish records released on FindmyPast

Latest releases from FindmyPast (www.findmypast.com):

Staffordshire, Dioceses of Lichfield & Coventry marriage allegations and bonds, 1636-1893

The Dioceses of Lichfield & Coventry marriage allegations and bonds contain over 327,000 records. The collection covers the historic diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, which includes Staffordshire, Derbyshire, North Shropshire, Staffordshire and north and east Warwickshire.


North West Kent Parish Records

Over 22,000 new baptism and burial records have been added our collection of North West Kent baptisms. The new additions cover the parishes of Bexley St Mary, Chelsfield St Martin of Tours, Lee St Margaret and Meopham St John the Baptist.


Burials for Auckland, Co. Durham

Over 18,000 burial records from the ecclesiastical parishes of At Andrew and St Helen in Bishop Aukland, County Durham have been added to the National Burial Index for England & Wales.

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

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Lost Cousins achieves 100,000 members

Congratulations to Peter Calver's Lost Cousins website (www.lostcousins.com) which now has 100,000 members. The site allows you to make connections with relatives through shared connections via various British, Irish, Canadian and US censuses.

The latest newsletter from the site is available at http://lostcousins.com/newsletters2/oct15news.htm - amongst the latest news is an announcement that the site's Genealogy in the Sunshine event, hosted in Portugal's Algrave in both 2014 and 2015, is skipping a year next year, and will be back in 2017.

(With thanks to Peter Calver)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Come and visit Scotland!

I've just been away for three days with my family to have a break up at Glencoe (a late birthday treat courtesy of my amazing wife Claire!). Whilst away we managed to make a few trips to see some places that have been on my "to-do" list for a while, not least of which the one that many of you probably have never heard of, despite it being one of the most important sites in Scottish history - Dundadd, the ancient capital of Dalriada.

So, no genealogy in this post, just a few images and comments, and a warm welcome to come and visit the country I am proud to call my home - Alba gu bràth!

Buachaille Etive Mòr, Glencoe

St. Munda's Glencoe Church of Scotland (in Ballachulish)

Loch Leven, from the Isles of Glencoe Hotel

Arisaig

The Jacobite steam train, travelling from Fortwilliam to Mallaig, which has also appeared in various Harry Potter movies

A wee rest on the Road to the Isles - pictured behind me are the islands of Rùm and Eigg

Mallaig

The Glenfinnan viaduct - again, featured in the Harry Potter movies

First visit to the Glenfinnan monument - the site where the clans were rallied in support of Bonnie Prince Charlie

Looking down Loch Shiel from the Glenfinnan monument

Castle Stalker, once home to the Stewarts of Appin

Loch nan Uamh, where Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in mainland Scotland in 1745, and from where he later departed in 1746 after his failure at Culloden

View of the Isle of Easdale from the Isle of Seil (the Slate Islands)

Dunadd (Dùn Ad), once capital to the ancient kingdom of Dalriada (Dál Riata), which in the 6th to 7th century AD straddled the Irish Sea to cover Antrim in the north of Ireland, and Argyll and Lochaber in Scotland. The Dalriadic inhabitants were known to the Romans in Latin as the Scoti, for whom Scotland was later named.

My son Jamie sets his foot in the footprint basin on the stone at Dunadd on which the ancient Scottish kings were crowned. Setting a foot in the stone basin was part of the coronation ritual, and was practised at many historic sites in Ireland also. 

Clan Paton, with the Isle of Skye in the background.


For more on visiting Scotland see www.visitscotland.com. Have fun!

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Thanks to Central Scotland Family History Society

A huge thank you to Central Scotland Family History Society (www.csfhs.org.uk) last night in Stirling for their kind hospitality. I gave a talk on the history of Scottish marriages, and how to find the relevant records.

Lots of surprises for folk on the weirdness of Scots Law, and I came away also learning a couple of things from the audience - such as the story of the local minister in Stirling only too happy to perform marriages for folk who never went to church, when the other ministers refused to do so for that reason - "if no-one else wants them, I'm having them!" The talk was a last minute arrangement, as the previously scheduled speaker was ill, so this was in fact my second talk to the society in the last six months. Always worth a visit, as they always make nice coffee!

Thanks again!


Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Welsh at Gallipoli exhibition at the National Library of Wales

The National Library of Wales (www.llgc.org.uk) is taking its turn to host an exhibition entitled The Welsh at Gallipoli from Tuesday 13th October to Tuesday 3rd November 2015.

The exhibition tells the story of the Welsh soldiers who served throughout the Gallipoli campaign. It initially focuses on the Penmaenmawr ‘Quarry Boys’, Territorial soldiers who worked together at the local quarry, landed at Suvla Bay on 9 August 1915 and went into battle the following day. As the exhibition travels it will also relate the stories of men from other parts of Wales who fought at Gallipoli.

Future venues for the exhibition:

The Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh in Brecon (6 November – 28 November)
Firing Line Museum at Cardiff Castle (7 December – 20 January)
Gregynog Hall, Montgomeryshire (25 January – 26 February)

For further details please visit www.walesremembers.org/events_list/the-welsh-at-gallipoli-travelling-exhibition-national-library-of-wales-aberystwyth/.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

No WDYTYA episode on this week

There is no edition of Who Do You Think You Are? on BBC1 this week - the final edition, with Frances de la Tour, will be back again next week.

Incidentally, last night I caught an edition of the US version of the series, featuring actress America Ferrera, who played Betty in the series Ugly Betty). An absolutely brilliant episode, as she tried to trace her great grandfather, a general in Honduras, with only one appalling moment - the really blatantly shoe-horned in product placement bit with Ancestry. Thank God our version does not do that! Nevertheless, one of the best episodes I have seen from any version in a long time. The US version is currently being shown on Watch (with Watch+1 an option if you are an hour late!)

A quick word also on last week's UK episode on Mark Gatiss - a great programme, though I did think the vampire section went a bit off tangent for a few moments, as there was only one folklore story raised by Gatiss' ancestor, and it definitely wasn't that one! But great to see PRONI and Norn Iron in all its glory, and especially good to see Bill MacAfee make an appearance (check out his brilliantly useful website at www.billmacafee.com).

And go visit PRONI (www.proni.gov.uk) - you'll love it!

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

ScotlandsPeople contract awarded to CACI

Wow. According to the Government Computing website, the ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) contract has been awarded to CACI, as part of a four year deal for various services worth £3-£4 million, with the option of a two year extension. The four years deal includes a year of development for the ScotlandsPeople site, and then three years to run the service.

The new version of the ScotlandsPeople service to be run by CACI, which previously worked with the National Records of Scotland on the 2011 census, will go live in September 2016, and will effectively continue a service provision that has been previously offered by Brightsolid (now known as FindmyPast) since 2002.

For further details visit http://devolved.governmentcomputing.com/news/nrs-picks-caci-to-help-develop-scotlands-people-ancestry-site-4691870.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Glasnevin Museum to host What's Your 1916 Story? event

Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum in Dublin is to host a What's Your 1916 Story? event, to ask folk to bring along documents, photos or other mementoes connected to the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916.

The event will take place on November 20th and 21st from 10am-4pm, and in addition to providing a free historic assessment of the items, requests for some items to be included in a temporary 1916 themed exhibition at the Museum's Prospect Gallery may be made of attendees with some of the more unusual items brought along.


For further details on the event, please visit www.glasnevintrust.ie/visit-glasnevin/events/whats-your-1916-story/index.xml.

And if interested to find out about their stories - those who were, or who knew or were connected to the Rising's participants - a new book has also been launched, entitled To Speak of Easter Week by Dr Helene O’Keeffe. It includes oral testimony from 240 people, the oldest of whom are relatives currently aged 102 and 104 when interviewed.

For more on the book, visit the Irish Times article at www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/to-speak-of-easter-week-brings-together-testimony-of-25-family-members-of-rebels-1.2390223.

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Society of Genealogists events in London

The Society of Genealogists (www.sog.org.uk) in London still has some spaces for the following events:

Sat 14 Nov 10:30-13:00 – DNA for Beginners
This course is aimed at beginners and will explain the three different types of DNA test that can be used as an aid to family history research: Y-DNA testing, mitochondrial DNA testing and autosomal DNA testing, and how it applies to family history research.
A half-day course with Debbie Kennett, Cost 20.00/16.00

Wed 18 Nov 14:00 – The 1939 Register: The Home Front from your Own Home
Findmypast family historian Myko Clelland will describe the 1939 register, one of the biggest family history record sets to be released in recent years. Learn the history behind the records, the details included within, the scope of the project to digitise them and all the search tips and tricks you need to be a 1939 expert!
A one-hour lecture, Cost 8.00/6.40 Note this is a late addition to our programme.

Wed 25 Nov 14:00 - My Ancestor was Catholic
We will learn more about how to use the wealth of historical records available to help you unlock your Catholic ancestors' past.
A one-hour lecture with Michael Gandy Cost 8.00/6.40

Sat 12 Dec 10:30-17:00 - Family Historian Software for Beginners and Refreshers
An overview of this popular and useful software, designed specifically for UK users. Bring your questions along. This course is suitable for Beginners and Refreshers. A laptop is not required.
A full-day course with John Hanson, Cost 35.00/28.00

Full details via the website.

(With thanks to Lori Weinstein via email)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Deptford, Catford and Lewisham burials on Deceased Online

New release from Deceased Online (www.deceasedonline.com):

Explore 160 years of burials from Deptford, Catford and Lewisham

With the addition of Hither Green Cemetery near Catford, Deceased Online has completed the full collection of burial and cremation records for the London Borough of Lewisham, which covers the former districts of Deptford, Lewisham, Penge and Lee.

The inclusion of the five locations managed by Lewisham Council in South London adds nearly a million records to Deceased Online, bringing our total number of records for London up to 8 million.

If you would like to preview the Lewisham records (and other UK records) Deceased Online will be represented at the Open Day in Brockley and Ladywell Cemetery, this Saturday, 17th October, 11.00 to 15.00. There is also a guided tour of the cemetery at 13.30. For more details, visit the Lewisham Council website.


A Brief History of the Area During the Time Span of These Records:

Lewisham, created in 1885, covered parts of London, Kent, and Surrey, and included the boroughs of Deptford, Penge, Lewisham and Lee. At the time, the Lewisham Parishes were Blackheath, Sydenham and Lewisham. Deptford St. Paul was divided into North, South, East and West. Deptford St. Nicholas and Lee went on to become part of Greenwich.

In 1889 Lewisham and Deptford became metropolitan boroughs in the County of London. Penge remained in Kent and Surrey. Further reorganisation took place when Deptford Metropolitan Borough Council and Lewisham Metropolitan Borough Council were joined to become Lewisham London Borough in 1964.

Deceased Online also holds records for the neighboroughing London boroughs of Southwark and Greenwich.


Historic East Midlands Records Next

More records for a significant city in the East Midlands will be added to Deceased Online very soon.


Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.