Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Family history fair in Ballymena

The Ballymena branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society (www.nifhs.org) will be hosting its first ever family history show at the Braid Museum, Ballymena, on Saturday, September 2nd 2017, from 11am-4pm.

The event, the Family History Fair and FTDNA Event, will have many exhibitors present including the Presbyterian Historical Society, Eddie's Extracts, Irish Origenes, the United Irishmen, Maghera Local History Group, the Mid-Antrim Friends of the Somme Association, and many other family history groups and societies.

Sounds like it will be a great day!

(With thanks to Alan Rosborough)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Unlock the Past roadshow – Melbourne and Canberra report

We’ve had a very busy few days since speaking at Parramatta, with the Unlock the Past Researching Abroad roadshow taking us on to Melbourne and then to the Australian capital of Canberra.

At Melbourne I stayed for three nights with my uncle Bill and aunt Beth in Keysborough, and was able to catch up with my cousins Roslyn and Alison, providing a great opportunity to see some of the local sights from an Australian-Irish point of view, and to sample some local wares – as well as to get some much needed washing sorted (everyone needs an Auntie Beth!)! For the roadshow itself, Unlock the Past visited the Veneto Club on Bulleen Road, an Italian club which I had the pleasure to speak at seven years ago on my first speaking trip to Oz with UTP. We had two very well attended days of talks, with myself kicking off with a day of talks on Scottish and Irish themes on Friday, followed by Dirk Weissleder’s sessions on Saturday covering German and resources and additional topics from further afield across Europe. Amongst those exhibiting were FIBIS (www.fibis.org), the Genealogical Society of Victoria (www.gsv.org.au) and VicGUM (www.vicgum.asn.au). The following are some pics from the event.






Early on Sunday morning we then flew to Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory. The last time I was in Canberra was also with Unlock the Past about three or four years ago, as part of a pre-cruise talks tour with American speaker Thomas MacEntee, and on that occasion it was very much a hit and run raid – fly in, speak, fly out, and grab some pics from the car as we hurtled to and from the airport! On Sunday, however, both Dirk and I toured around the capital sightseeing with UTP’s Alan Phillips, and Rosemary and Eric Kopittke, and boy, did we see some sights! We visited the old federal parliament building, now home to a museum of democracy, and the new parliament building. Although not in session, it was great to be able to visit the two chambers for Australia’s elected representatives and senators, not least because both Dirk and I have dabbled in local politics in Scotland and Germany. The current scandal underway in Australia just now is the seemingly continuous revelations that many of those elected appear to hold dual nationality, which is forbidden under the Australian constitution – at the last count I think six members, including government ministers, had been caught up in the drama. Sadly this means that Dirk and I will not be able to stand for government in Australia, but many believe that one day some Australians might…! (Sorry, cheap joke!)








Two of the highlights of the day for me as a genie were to be able to visit both the National Library of Australia (www.nla.gov.au) and the National Archives of Australia (www.naa.gov.au). The NLA is the body which famously oversees the TROVE project (www.trove.nla.gov.au), the online portal with digitised newspapers and other resources made freely available from across the nation, working in partnership with many state agencies. The National Archives was actually in a much smaller building than I was anticipating, but hosted a fantastic exhibition in the lobby area. Sadly, with it being a Sunday we were not able to gain access to the search rooms, but I was very impressed with what I saw and look forward to returning some day to properly plunder their holdings!

After driving around the part of town hosting various embassies and high commissions, as well as the Australian National Mint, we ended up at the National War Museum, another highlight of the day. I will write about this in a subsequent blog post.


On Monday then we visited our next roadshow venue, the German Club in Canberra. Unlike most of our venues, on this day Dirk and I were speaking at the same time in parallel streams in two different rooms, although I have to admit envying Dirk speaking in the Bier Kellar – I have no idea what they got up to downstairs, but everyone came out very happy! Upstairs I gave four talks of my own, and also heard presentations from Nick Reddan of the Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra (www.familyhistoryact.org.au). Nick may be better known to folk in the north of the planet as the founder of the Irish themed Registry of Deeds Index Project (www.irishdeedsindex.net), which has now passed 250,000 indexed entries (as of 12 AUG 2017), a superb project helping to unlock the potential of one of Ireland’s most important genealogical resources. It was great to meet Nick, and if you wish to contribute to his project’s efforts, the original deeds registers themselves have now been microfilmed and made available online at FamilySearch – consult Nick’s site for further details.







So that was it from Melbourne and Canberra! The only downside of the last few days was in the wifi provision at Canberra airport, which is unbelievably poor for a facility servicing the nation’s capital city, and hence the late posting of this update. Our next stop is Adelaide, where in addition to speaking at the German club (pre-booking is closed, but you can still attend and pay on the day – see www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/researching-abroad-british-isles-european-ancestors-adelaide). I will also be popping my head around the door of Unlock the Past itself….!

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

FindmyPast adds Buckinghamshire parish records

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.com) has added the following collections to its site:


Muster Rolls of The Marine Corps
Explore over 1.7 million muster rolls records from the United States Marine Corps spanning the late 1700s up to the end of the nineteenth century. The rolls record the details of men who were serving with the Corps and were chronologically arranged by month and then ordered by detachment or unit. The exception to this is the records pertaining to World War I when they were sorted in two subseries: by posts and stations and by mobile units.

Buckinghamshire Baptism Index
Search over 870,000 transcripts created from original records held at the Buckinghamshire Archives. Buckinghamshire is located in South East England and is one of the Home Counties.

Buckinghamshire Banns Index
The Buckinghamshire Banns Index contains over 101,000 records created from original parish registers and bishop's transcripts held by the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies.

Buckinghamshire Marriage Index
Explore more than 485,000 transcripts to find out whether your ancestors were married in a Buckinghamshire parish church.

Buckinghamshire Burial Index
Were your ancestors buried in Buckinghamshire? Search over 662,000 transcripts created from original parish registers and bishop's transcripts held at the Buckinghamshire Archives to find out.

Ireland Calendars of Wills & Administrations 1858-1920
Search over 1 million Wills & Administration records to learn more about your Irish ancestor's will and estate. Ireland began publishing an annual will calendar beginning in 1858. This calendar typically contained a summary of the will and probate information including the name of the deceased, their address, occupation, beneficiaries, date of death and value of their estate.

British Newspapers
Over 2.3 million new articles and 7 brand new titles have been added to our collection of historic newspapers this month. New titles now available to search include:

  • Tenby Observer
  • Brechin Herald
  • Milngavie and Bearsden Herald
  • Alcester Chronicle
  • Abergavenny Chronicle
  • Ripley and Heanor News and Ilkeston Division Free Press
  • Eastern Daily Press and the Colchester Gazette


Further details and links at https://blog.findmypast.co.uk/findmypast-friday-2474168057.html.

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Latest National Archives podcasts

There have been several podcasts added to the English based National Archives website over the last few weeks:

Tudor trials: Confessions from the Star Chamber
http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/tudor-trials-confessions-star-chamber/

Medieval records specialist Euan Roger gives us a taste of the kinds of disputes dealt with by the Star Chamber, one of the highest Tudor courts.

The tens of thousands of Star Chamber records kept at The National Archives reveal a wealth of information about Tudor life. In this podcast, we uncover a few of the more unusual cases put before the King’s council, including a murder cover-up, a child maintenance complaint, and a marital dispute.


Jane Austen: from beginning to end
http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/jane-austen-beginning-end/

To commemorate the bicentenary of Jane Austen’s death in 1817, Professor Fiona Stafford delivered a talk on Austen’s life and work at the The National Archives, where Austen’s original will is held.

Fiona Stafford is a professor of English Language and Literature at Somerville College, Oxford, specialising in Romantic literature from Keats and Wordsworth to Austen. She is editor of ‘Emma’ for Penguin and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ for Oxford World’s Classics, and has written on many aspects of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century literature, including ‘Brief Lives: Jane Austen’.


A tormented Tudor queen’s treasonous ‘love letter’
http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/catherine-howard-thomas-culpeper/

In this episode, Neil Johnston and Christopher Day discuss a letter written by Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII, to Thomas Culpeper, a groom of the King’s Privy chamber. The document was part of a body of evidence collected against Catherine and Culpeper that ultimately led to their execution. It is now preserved at The National Archives.

Here Neil Johnston explains how it is crucial to examine this letter in the context of Catherine’s sexual past in order to understand how the queen accused of living “an abominable, base, carnal, voluptuous, vicious life” was effectively blackmailed into a path of action that led to her untimely death.

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Whitechapel Bell Foundry records deposited at LMA

The latest newsletter from London Metropolitan Archives has revealed that the archives of Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which was established in 1570, have been deposited with the archive. The company was responsible for the creation of the famous bells of Big Ben in London, the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, the Great Bell of Montreal, and London's Bow Bells amongst others, and is the oldest manufacturing firm still working in Britain.

The collection is accessible at the archive under catalogue number B17/040. For more on the history of the firm and the collection's acquisition, please visit https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/london-metropolitan-archives/the-collections/Pages/whitechapel-bell-foundry.aspx.

(Image: Liberty Bell, Wikimedia Commons; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Liberty_Bell_2008.jpg)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Irish Ordnance Survey Memoirs book sale

The Ulster Historical Foundation (www.ancestryireland.com) is currently having a 50% sale on various editions of its Ordnance Survey Memoirs collection, which are essentially statistical accounts of the various parishes of the north of Ireland from the 19th century, compiled alongside the mapping survey work of the time. From the society's site:

The Memoirs are a uniquely detailed source for the history of the northern half of Ireland immediately before the Great Famine. They were written in the 1830s to accompany the 6" Ordnance Survey maps, but with one exception were not published at the time. In this new edition they act as a nineteenth-century Domesday book and are essential to the understanding of the cultural heritage of our communities. The Memoirs document the landscape and situation, buildings and antiquities, land-holdings and population, employment and livelihood of the parishes.

To access the sale, visit the society's bookshop page at http://www.booksireland.org.uk/store/ordnance-survey-memoirs.

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Sydney Anglican records online

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has uploaded a new collection called Sydney, Australia, Anglican Parish Registers, 1818-2011, with the parish records sourced from Sydney Diocesan Archives, Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney. Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

To access the collection please visit http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=61177.

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Researching Abroad roadshow report - Parramatta

We’ve just finished the Sydney part of our roadshow tour, with both Dirk Weissleder and I speaking at the Parramatta RSL, along with Unlock the Past’s Eric and Rosemary Kopittke, Kerry Farmer on DNA, and the Society of Australian Genealogists’ very own Heather Garnsey (see http://www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/researching-abroad-british-isles-european-ancestors-sydney). We had a massively warm reception - a huge thanks to all who attended! Along the way I managed to also catch up with a recent client, whose research report I emailed just a few weeks back prior to my leaving Scotland for the tour, so it was great to catch up and discuss the next steps ahead to continue the research. The following are pictures from the event…







This was my third visit to Parramatta’s RSL (an RSL is an armed forces veterans association), and I decided on this occasion that I actually needed to see some of the place, as in the past our visits have essentially been genealogical talk based hit and run raids! At lunchtime on my second day there I decided to leave the RSL building and visit the nearby Old Government House, where former New South Wales governor Lachlan MacQuarrie (originally from Ulva, by Mull, Scotland) lived for eleven years with his wife Elizabeth, from 1810-1821. Parramatta was essentially where the first major New South Wales convict colony was established in 1788, and the building itself had seen many changes and extensions before and during MacQuarrie’s time.

The following are some pictures of the location, well worth a visit if you come to Sydney.








Thanks to all who made us so welcome – next stop, Melbourne…!

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Scottish Research Online course starts Sept 11th

Just a reminder that my next Scottish Research Online course starts on September 11th, with plenty of spaces still available!

The course is five weeks long, and entirely taught online - for full details, and to book if interested, please visit https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.

Hopefully see you there!

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES. O

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Visit to the Society of Australian Genealogists

The Unlock the Past Researching Abroad roadshow has arrived back in Australia, with our next stop being Sydney. We arrived from Auckland on Monday, with talks scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday at the RSL Club in Paramatta (see www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/researching-abroad-british-isles-european-ancestors-sydney), and so with a day in hand to catch our breaths after a busy weekend in New Zealand, we did a little sight seeing in the city!

As part of our wanderings, we were able to visit the headquarters of the Society of Australian Genealogists (www.sag.org.au) on Kent Street, where we were kindly given a tour by Heather Garnsey of the building. The history of the building is itself fascinating, in that was not originally built where it now stands, but was in fact erected near the site of the original Parliament House building for New South Wales by Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis in 1849. After periods as a private residence, Parliamentary Library and headquarters for the Country Party, it was dismantled to make way for the new Parliament House in 1975 and relocated to the current site stone by stone. Since 1978 the Society of Australian Genealogists has occupied the premises as part of a fifty year lease on the property.

We were shown various facilities within the building, but one of my fave finds was a bookcase of journals from family history societies across the world, all neatly bound in various brightly coloured bindings. It’s the kind of thing I would love to have in my house, rather than the sprawl of magazines I currently have in every nook and cranny of my office! The amount of information locked away in old family history journals is immense, and one of the things Heather discussed how little indexing there had been done of the journals in the past – a project perhaps waiting to happen if someone has an afternoon or three hundred to spare over the next few years! Here are a few pics from the society's premises to give you a flavour...











Thanks to Alan Phillips for taking us to the society’s premises, and to Heather for her time in showing us around. For the rest of the day Dirk and I managed to walk from one end of the harbour bridge to the other, to visit the Sydney Opera House, and to see much of the CBD and the historic area of the Rocks. Later today we kick off with the roadshow, which I will report on in due course! In the meantime, here are a few more pics…!








For more on the Unlock the Past roadshow, please visit www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/researching-abroad-finding-british-isles-and-european-ancestors.


Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.