Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Naval and Military Press sale

Naval and Military Press has a winter sale on just now, with a 20% discount on all titles ordered prior to 6pm on January 25th 2016.

To avail yourslf of the offer, visit http://www.naval-military-press.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/.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Durham Records Online update

What's New at Durham Records Online (www.durhamrecordsonline.com:

We hope everyone had a cozy and pleasant Christmas (or alternative) holiday. What better time to work on your family history?

Egglescliffe baptisms, marriages, & burials: 1539-1751

We are pleased to present the earliest records at Egglescliffe (St. John the Baptist), just upstream from Stockton-on-Tees, in Stockton district:

2,109 baptisms from the beginning of the first register in 1539 to the end of 1751
1,679 burials from the beginning of the first register in 1540 to the end of 1751
544 marriages from the beginning of the first register in 1541 to the end of 1751
There is a gap in the baptism register from Oct 1552 to May 1574, a similar gap in the marriage register from Nov 1552 to Nov 1574, and in the burial register from Feb 1551 to Apr 1574. In 1644, there is this note: "In this year there died of the plague in this towne one and twenty people, they are not all Buried in the Churchyarth and are not in the Register”.

We now have a continuous run of all existing Egglescliffe baptisms, marriages, and burials from around 1540 all the way to the end of 1851.


Hamsterley Baptist Church: baptisms, marriages, and burials

At the Hamsterley Baptist Church in Hamsterley, Auckland district:

605 births covering 1750-1837, one birth in 1845, and baptisms covering Nov 1859 through July 1869
794 burials covering 1785-1965
50 marriages covering 1840-1908


Newcastle All Saints baptisms 1801-1805

2,438 baptisms at All Saints church in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, covering the detail-rich period of 1801-1805, from the Bishop's Transcript with some checking against the film of the original register.


Sunderland Cemetery burials 1918-1934

10,492 burials at Sunderland Cemetery (Stockton Rd, Grangetown) covering 1918-1934. As is usual for this cemetery, most records include a parent, spouse, or occupation. Some samples:


Coming Soon:

Hartlepool St. Hilda baptisms 1839-1859
Mere Knolls Cemetery 1905-1909
Sunderland Cemetery 1935-47
Barnard Castle Primitive Methodist Circuit baptisms 1873-1934
Further down the road: Rothbury, Sherburn Hospital, Ovingham, Newcastle St. John, Ferryhill, Slaley, Hartlepool St. Hilda baptisms 1860-1894, early Durham St. Margaret, early Witton-le-Wear, Tynemouth burials 1851, Dunston Christ Church baptisms & burials

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/.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

TheGenealogist completes English and Welsh tithes maps collection

TheGenealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk has completed its release of tithes maps for England and Wales:

TheGenealogist has now completed the launch of searchable Tithe Maps and Schedules for England and Wales with the release of more maps covering 40 counties. This means you can now view a map of your ancestors parish for the counties of Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Brecknockshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarfonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, County Durham, Cumberland, Denbighshire , Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Glamorganshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Merionethshire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire, Westmorland, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, York City and Ainsty and Yorkshire.

These maps link to the searchable schedules which contain over 14 million records. The schedules contain detailed information on land use with linked maps that jump to the plot for an individual from the records. The maps can contain hundreds of individual plots with varying levels of detail. They can reveal buildings, fields, houses, rivers, lakes, woods and cities.

The next stage of this project is to digitise the many colour tithe maps held by the TNA and partner Archives. These will link to the same schedules in a similar manner.

For further details visit http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2015/the-tithe-maps-project-317/

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/.

Archive CD Books Ireland sale

Archive CD books Ireland and Eneclann have a sale on just now:

It’s that time of year again, yes you said it, Archive CD Books Winter Sale is here...

Nearly all of our publications are now 50% OFF from today until January 10th 2016.

Many of our titles are now available on digital download, so you could get yourself a hard-disk full of serious bargains long before waiting the postman's return to action from his well-deserved holiday rest.

If you purchase a download title and don't receive your download link immediately, don't worry - this is a busy time of year for us but we'll be on the case when your order is confirmed, and you should receive your link within a few hours or so.

For more visit http://www.archivecdbooks.ie

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/.

Nottingham General Cemetery records on Deceased Online

From DeceasedOnline (www.deceasedonline.com):

The Nottingham General Cemetery (also known as Canning Circus), opened in the 1830s and listed as Grade II historic park and garden in 2001, is available to search on www.deceasedonline.com. There are seven key sites managed by Nottingham City Council, comprising over 1.3 million records, exclusively available through the Deceased Online website.

General Cemetery
Earlier registers for General Cemetery include excellent detail such as trade or profession, and the 1841 example below indicates how lace making and knitting were important to Nottingham at that time. There are also wonderful details on the relationship of the deceased to other key family members (spouse, daughter, son etc).

Register Page
Cemetery maps for General Cemetery available on the website indicate the exact location of most of the graves within the cemetery as well as providing outline maps and the grave reference.

Grave Location Plan
Nottingham's General Cemetery has some famous pioneers from the mid 19th century from very contrasting trades. John Player, founder of cigarette manufacturer John Player & Sons, and John Boot, founder of Boots the Chemist, recorded in the burial register below as a 'Medical Botanist', have lent their names to world-famous brands.

There are now nearly 700,000 burial and cremations with over 1.5 m records for 13 cemeteries and crematoria in Nottinghamshire, available on www.deceasedonline.com with collections from Newark Town Council and The National Archives which features Mansfield and other areas. Simply use 'Advance search'; select 'East Midlands for region; then Nottinghamshire for county; then select either 'contributor' or 'cemetery or crematorium' to see what's available.

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, 23 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas / Nollaig Chridheil to all British GENES readers!

I'm off to Ireland for a few days to eat someone else's turkey for a change, but will do my best to post on anything relevant whilst away.

See you all 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/.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Erskine Hospital project TV feature

Forces TV has a short feature on the current Erskine Hospital project to catalogue a series of objects found recently in the premises, including a register of inmates from its opening in 1916 (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/erskine-hospital-archive-to-be.html). The hospital was founded in 1916 to help treat soldiers requiring specialist treatment, including amputations and the pioneering use of artificial limbs.

To view the story visit http://forces.tv/65791424.

(With thanks to David McNay via Facebook)

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/.

British GENES Review of 2015

It's been a busy year, with some extraordinary developments and some fun personal experiences, so here is a quick overview of the year I have just had, and some of the stories and developments of particular note for the humble Scottish based Irish genie!

In January, the National Records of Scotland, via its estates review, announced that it is not wedded to maintaining a permanent presence at General Register House - a building I have long admired architecturally but have deplored increasingly in its unsuitability as a modern day archive facility. The full story is at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/national-records-of-scotland-estates.html. From a CPD point of view, a book that has had a massive impact on me, both in terms of understanding how Scotland's land has been carved up and transacted over the centuries, and from a modern political perspective, has been Andy Wightman's The Poor Had No lawyers - Who Owns Scotland? - my review of it is at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/the-poor-had-no-lawyers-who-owns.html. Not only do I understand Scotland's land records system, I now understand exactly what led to the development of land registration in the 17th century, some of it truly shocking. On the vendors' front, probably the most significant January development was the launch of AncestryDNA in the UK - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/ancestry-launches-ancestrydna-service.html. My Irish Family History Resources Online book was republished in a new and expanded second edition (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/irish-family-history-resources-online.html).

In February I located Northern Irish OS maps online via the Northern Irish Environment Agency website (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/historic-northern-irish-os-maps-on-ni.html), and discovered that DNA could be used to store data for a million years (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/storing-data-in-dna-for-million-years.html). My book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis was published (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/my-new-book-down-and-out-in-scotland.html), and Alloway and Southern Ayrshire FHS ceased to be (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/alloway-and-south-ayrshire-fhs-to-cease.html).

The highlight of March was participating in the Genealogy in the Sunshine conference in Portugal's Algarve, and getting to see a spectacular eclipse (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/genealogy-in-sunshine-and-eclipse.html)!




April saw the relocation of Who Do You Think You Are? Live to Birmingham, with a huge thumbs up from me (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/who-do-you-think-you-are-live-2015.html), whilst Ancestry began to release some First World War army diaries on its site (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/ancestry-releases-uk-first-world-war.html).

In May Forces War Records released casualty records from the Second World War (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/ww2-army-casualty-lists-from-forces-war.html), and I had a lot of fun with Facebook's My Social Book (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/my-social-book-review.html). I also found an extraordinary film of a devastated Berlin in colour from July 1945 on YouTube (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/colour-film-footage-of-berlin-from-july.html), and British GENES passed the 2 million views mark (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/two-million-british-genes-post-hits-and.html). In Scotland, after a couple of minor operations in hospital, I was very proud to help work towards one of the most historic election results the country had ever seen (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/historic-week-in-scotland-and-absence.html).



In June, UK Press Online relaunched itself with a new website (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/uk-press-online-launching-new-version.html), and I discovered the difference between lifters and anti-lifters (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/were-your-ancestors-lifters-or-anti.html)! The Scottish Military Research Group continued to expand on its research guides (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/scottish-military-research-group-guides.html).

July saw me take part in the Unlock the Past tour of the Baltic, in which I got to visit Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden and Denmark for the first time, in what was a good humoured and highly informative two week genealogy conference at sea. Amongst other highlights was the chance to meet Paul Milner and Cyndi Ingle for the first time - great craic! (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/unlock-past-baltic-genealogy-cruise_30.html). By far the most significant online records release was that of Ireland's Roman Catholic parish registers by the National Library of Ireland (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/catholic-parish-registers-at-national.html). I released my third book this year, Discover Irish Land Records (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/discover-irish-land-records-now-on-sale.html).



In August I literally stumbled upon the fact that 50 years worth of the Dublin Gazette newspaper from 1750-1800 had in fact been digitised and made available on the Oireachtas website - something that seemed to be news to everyone, they definitely kept that one quiet (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/the-dublin-gazette-from-1750-1800-is.html)! A twelfth series of Who Do You Think You Are also got under way, for another successful run (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/who-do-you-think-you-are-series-12.html), and the English based AGRA website regenerated (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/agra-updates-its-website.html). The University of Strathclyde announced that its highly successful postgraduate programme in genealogical studies was now offering a modular format for study (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/new-modular-version-of-strathclydes.html).

In September the North of Ireland FHS website regenerated (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/north-of-ireland-fhs-website-is-revamped.html), and I got a sneak peak at PRONI's new OS mapping site, coming soon (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/new-proni-maps-database-sneak-peak.html). I travelled to Toronto and Ottawa for another fun filled weekend of conferencing and talks, catching up with Thomas MacEntee and Christine Woodcock amongst others (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/amazing-weekend-of-conferences-in.html).



October saw the Internet Archive announce plans of its own forthcoming regeneration (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/internet-archives-wayback-machine-to-be.html), and the contract for the new ScotlandsPeople website was handed to CACI, ending FindmyPast's involvement from September 2016 (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/scotlandspeople-contract-awarded-to-caci.html). DNA developments upset some blue-blooded folk (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/dna-tests-may-upset-blue-blooded.html), and Gordon Honeycombe, former presenter of Family History, passed away (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/gordon-honeycombe-has-died.html).

Last month then, I learned that Erskine Hospital was cataloguing its archive (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/erskine-hospital-archive-to-be.html), and to help a reader out, I investigated what had happened to the missing FamilyRelatives.com website - which is still not back online, despite assurances that it would be imminently (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/familyrelativescom-and-gro-overseas-bmd.html). The London Gazette celebrated 350 years of publication (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/350-years-of-london-gazette.html). FindmyPast launched its 1939 National Identity Register for England and Wales, and almost immediately after restricted the free information available in the form of TNA reference numbers, upsetting many (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/findmypast-restricts-tna-ref-numbers-on.html). The Scottish Courts Service confirmed that divorce records in Scotland are now subject to a 100 year closure for privacy purposes (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/access-to-scottish-divorce-records-to.html).



This month, Ireland's Military Archives released additional material and had its funding for further digitisation work confirmed until 2023 (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/irelands-revolution-will-be-digitised.html). England's Protestation returns were found to have been digitised (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/digitisation-of-english-protestation.html), and Ancestry committed softwaricide with its Family Tree Maker programme (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/rip-family-tree-maker.html). And I finally got my act together and rebuilt my research service website at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk!

Here's to 2016....!

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/.

English and Welsh BMD deregulation bill only deals with GRO

It would seem that the deregulation bill recently passed to facilitate the eventual digitisation and upload of English and Welsh birth, marriage and death certificates (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/progress-towards-making-englishwelsh.html) will only apply to the records of the General Register Office at Southport, and not those from local registration offices in both countries (mirroring what has already happened in Scotland and Northern Ireland). Locally sourced certificates, however, whilst being a tad more expensive, can sometimes contain additional information not available in the GRO equivalents, which are derivative copies from the originals, and which can occasionally contain transcription errors or omissions.

Ian Hartas of the UKBMD project (www.ukbmd.org.uk) attended a meeting on Friday 18th December to hear about the plans, and has written up an account which can be read on Tony Proctor's Google + account at https://plus.google.com/u/0/+TonyProctor/posts/EfbLTzwEuJL. In this he outlines concerns that the availability of cheap GRO images could provide financial pressures on local registration services struggling to compete.

(With thanks to Ian and Tony)

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, 21 December 2015

Festive season closures at major archives and libraries

Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
All the genies were asking
"What d' ye mean the archives are closed?!!!!!!"



Yes, boys and girls - Santa has to visit our wonderful archivists and librarians as well. The following key archives and libraries will be closed as follows over the festive season:

National Records of Scotland/Scotland's People Centre
http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/news/2015/nrs-festive-holiday-opening-hours

Thursday 24 December: Close at 13:00
Friday 25 and Monday 28 December: Closed
Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 December: Open 9:00 -16:30
Thursday 31 December: Close at 13:00
Friday 1 and Monday 4 January: Closed


National Library of Scotland
http://www.nls.uk/using-the-library/opening-hours

George IV Bridge Building and the Maps Reading Room during the festive season:

Thursday 24 December: Close at 16.00
25, 26, 27 and 28 December: Closed
Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 December: Close at 17.00
Thursday 31 December: Close at 16.00.
Friday 1 and Saturday 2 January: Closed
Sunday 3 and Monday 4 January: Reading rooms closed; Visitor Centre and exhibitions: 14.00-17.00.


Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/visiting_proni/opening_hours.htm

Thursday 24 December 2015: Closed
Friday 25 December 2015: Closed
Monday 28 December 2015: Closed

(New Year closures not yet listed)

NB: PRONI will be closed on Thursday evenings throughout December 2015 and January 2016


National Library of Ireland (Dublin):
http://www.nli.ie/en/opening-hours.aspx

NLI Reading Rooms
Closed Thursday, 24 December 2015 to Sunday, 3 January 2016 inclusive.

NLI Exhibitions
Closed Thursday 24 December to Monday 28 December 2015.
Open Tuesday 29 December to Thursday 31 December 2015, 10am-4.45pm.
Closed Friday 1 January to Sunday 3 January 2016.


National Archives of Ireland (Dublin)
http://www.nationalarchives.ie/2015/11/closure-for-christmas-new-year/

The Reading Room of the National Archives will close at 12.30 p.m. on Thursday, 24 December 2015 and will re-open at 9.15 a.m. on Tuesday, 29 December 2015. The Reading Room will be closed on Friday, 1 January 2016 and will re-open at 9.15 a.m. on Monday, 4 January 2016.

Normal opening hours resume on Monday, 4 January 2016.


The National Archives (Kew)
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/news/bank-holiday-closure/

Closed from Thursday 24 December to Monday 28 December, and on New Year’s Day, Friday 1 January.


British Library (St. Pancras, London)
http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/quickinfo/loc/seasonalclosures/index.html

Thursday 24 - Monday 28 December: Closed
Thursday 31 December: Close at 17.00
Friday 1 January: Closed
Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 January: Open as normal


British Library (Boston Spa, Yorkshire)
http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/quickinfo/loc/seasonalclosures/index.html

Thursday 24 - Monday 28 December: Closed
Thursday 31 December: Open as normal
Friday 1 - Sunday 3 January: Closed


National Library of Wales
https://www.llgc.org.uk/visit/before-your-visit/openingtimes/

The Library will close on Thursday 24 December at 3 pm and re-open on Monday 4 January at 9.00 am  (the Reading Rooms will open at 9.30 am)


For all other archives, check their website in advance of a prospective visit!

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, 20 December 2015

New website for my genealogy research service

I have been wanting to get to grips with the WordPress platform for some time, and having recently upgraded to a new computer, and having seen how awful my old research service website looks on it, I have decided to bite the bullet and go for it!

Details for my research service Scotland's Greatest Story can now be found at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk - the same address as before, but it will now redirect to the new WordPress platform.




In addition to providing details of the service, the new site also has two new features. I have taken the opportunity to upload a few resources that I previously used to sell on CD, as well as a copy of a dissertation that I produced a few years ago. The most useful of these records will undoubtedly be transcripts of many records from the Weavers Incorporation of Perth, which I have been working on - on and off! - for the last few years. In addition to the records previously available on the CD are some additional sets which I had hoped to include on a second volume, which never quite happened. The resources currently there concern Perthshire, but I will likely add more in due course.




Secondly, there is a blog on the site, to which I will be adding many Scottish research themed posts in due course. To get it under way I have added a few previously written posts from my personal blog, and I will add more in due course, from time to time, as and when the mood takes me! This will be quite separate from my continued British GENES posts, and will focus specifically on Scottish and Northern Irish based topics.



I hope you like it, and please do bookmark the site for your future ancestral research queries!

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/.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Statistical Accounts of Scotland site redevelopment

The good folks at EDINA have announced via their blog that their essential Statistical Accounts of Scotland portal is to be redeveloped and relaunched in late summer 2016. As well as an improved infrastructure the team is also creating a new interface, and has suggested that if anyone is interested in helping to beta test the service they should get in touch. The full blog post is available at http://statacc.blogs.edina.ac.uk/2015/12/18/182/.

By way of a quick explanation, the Statistical Accounts are the service I suggest that everyone doing Scottish research looks at once they have had a play with the ScotlandsPeople hosted vital records and censuses, because they contain gazetteer like accounts of each Scottish parish, as drawn up by the resident Church of Scotland ministers, in the 1790s and again the 1830s/
1840s. Each account provides information on the religious make-up of each parish, topographical information, details on industry, landowners, history, and just about anything else that might give you an idea of what parish life was like at the times in question. The site is currently hosted at http://stat-acc-scot.edina.ac.uk/sas/sas.asp?action=public - well worth bookmarking for Boxing Day if you fancy a fun read!

There's a bit more on the accounts in an old blog post at http://chrispatonsblog.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/statistical-accounts-of-scotland.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/.

Australian releases on Ancestry

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has released a few Australian collections in the last few days, accessible via a worldwide subscription, as follows:
  • Tasmania, Australia, Bailliere's Gazetteer and Road Guide, 1877
  • Queensland, Australia, Bailliere's Gazetteer and Road Guide, 1876
  • Victoria, Australia, Bailliere's Gazetteer and Road Guide, 1879
  • New South Wales, Australia, Bailliere's Gazetteer and Road Guide, 1870
  • Australia, Pastoral Directories, 1913-1954
  • South Australia, Australia, Bailliere's Gazetteer and Road Guide, 1866
  • Australia, Fox's History of Queensland
  • Australia, Handbook and Almanac, 1886
  • Western Australia, Railway Records, 1872-1949

For further details visit the new releases page at www.ancestry.co.uk/cs/recent-collections.

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/.

FindmyPast releases Dublin and Suffolk parish records

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has released several printed collections of Dublin parish registers on its site, for the following parishes:
  • The Register of the Parish of Saint Peter and Saint Kevin 1669-1761
  • The Registers of the Church of St. Michan 1636-1700
  • Marriage Entries from the Registers of the Parishes St. Andrew, St. Anne, St. Audoen, & St. Bride 1632-1800
  • The Register of St. Nicholas Without 1694-1739
  • Marriage Entries in the Registers of the Parishes of S. Marie, S. Luke, S. Catherine and S. Werburgh 1627-1800
  • The Registers of St. John the Evangelist 1619-1699
  • The Registers of St. Catherine 1636-1715
  • The Registers of St. Patrick 1677-1800

The site has also released a Suffolk Baptism Index covering over 350 Suffolk parishes and containing over 747,000 records.

For further details on these and other releases visit https://blog.findmypast.ie/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/.

Famberry releases new Family Tree Builder

From Famberry (www.famberry.com):

How building your family tree on Famberry could help you claim an inheritance

London, England (December 18th, 2015) Famberry (www.famberry.com), the private collaborative family tree builder, is pleased to announce the release of a new innovative Family Tree Builder with technology to help you claim an unknown inheritance. Building your photo family tree on Famberry has never been easier with new innovative controls, artistic themes that allow you to customize the look of your family tree and a whole host of other features, including; timelines, personal photo albums and messaging. With Famberry, building your family tree and preserving your family history is truly a family activity.

The new family tree builder gives members the chance to claim a real inheritance that could be worth millions. Each day we check your Famberry family tree against the UK unclaimed estates list and notify the relevant family member if we find indications that they may be entitled to an inheritance. Each inheritance could be monetary, possessions or property and could be worth thousands or millions of pounds.

The free new service is provided as part of complete re-write of the popular family tree builder, which also boasts an innovative family photo album, shared family organiser and a private family social network making it an ideal and cost effective place to preserve and share your family history.

“We have worked hard to innovate in the area of family tree building by talking to users to find out what really matters to them. We believe that our family tree builder is the simplest to grasp on the market.” said Steve Bardouille, co-founder of Famberry.

Famberry’s photo album functionality looks set to bring the family album into the 21st century. Not only can you store up to 2Gb (that’s thousands of photos) for free; your whole family can collaborate to collate and share their photo albums. Full browser screen display of your photo albums, photo swiping, photo tagging and drag and drop re-ordering of your photos means that you not only store your photos but more importantly you can share them with the people you care about automatically.

Not stopping there, Famberry’s flagship family social network has also been re-imaged to allow families to stay in contact with each other, without worrying about prying eyes. Family members can share messages, photos, videos and documents on their own completely private family social network.

Famberry’s free service has no restrictions on functionality and gives a generous 2Gb of photo space to start you storing your family history with your family. For those who want even more for their families, Famberry has introduced new upgrade options. Members can upgrade to a premium account to share up to 50Gb of space with their family and a whole host of additional features for only $7.99 a month or $77 for a yearly subscription. Professional family historians have the option to store up to 1Tb of photos and build unlimited client and personal family trees on Famberry for only $30.99 per month.

“If you have ever been given a family heirloom, you know how precious it is; full of history and significance. Famberry is your family’s digital heirloom, useful today, but even more precious in the future. Start capturing your family story together with your family today.”

About Famberry

Famberry, based in London, England was started in 2013 by families who were frustrated with the lack of privacy and controls on social networks and wanted a place that their family life could be documented, without being sold or shared with unknown third parties. With award winning customer service, Famberry lets you access your family tree, photos and keep in contact with your family anywhere that you have access to the Internet.

(With thanks to Steve Bardouille)

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, 16 December 2015

More on the latest release from Ireland's Military Archives

As I announced yesterday (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/irelands-revolution-will-be-digitised.html), Ireland's Military Archives website has released a third tranche of material within its Military Service Pension Collection. Amongst those noted making a claim for a pension in this release was the father of the current Irish president Michael D. Higgins.

For further details on this tranche of records, see the archive's own announcement at www.militaryarchives.ie/en/collections/online-collections/military-service-pensions-collection/release-information/third-release. A document noting those included is available at www.militaryarchives.ie/fileadmin/user_upload/MSPC/documents-34/Third_release_names.pdf.

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/.

FindmyPast offers 50% off a 1939 register search

The UK wing of FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has an offer just now to receive 50% off the cost of a look-up in its English and Welsh 1939 National Identity Register entries:

Special Offer for the 1939 Register
Unlock a household for just £3.48
Search for your household, click ‘unlock’, enter X2UL38W4 into discount box, and click ‘apply’ to reveal the record...

I am unclear if this also applies to the other FindmyPast platforms in Australia, the US and Ireland. The offer is valid until December 23rd.

The 1939 collection is available at www.findmypast.co.uk/1939register.

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/.

Catch the Plague! exhibition at NLS

The National Library of Scotland has a new exhibition running from December 11th 2015 to May 29th 2016, entitled Plague! A cultural history of contagious diseases in Scotland.

From the NLS website:

The National Library of Scotland's exhibition examines the plague, cholera, smallpox, and many other contagious diseases that affected Scotland over the past 700 years. Discover how Scotland dealt with contagious diseases, through official and personal papers, religious writings, literature, press reactions and responses from folk medicine and the sciences.

The exhibition, held at George IV Bridge Building, is free to view. For further details, please visit www.nls.uk/exhibitions/plague

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, 15 December 2015

Various English collections updated on Ancestry

A variety of English collections on Ancestry have been updated in the last few weeks. I have absolutely no idea how they have been updated, but they may be worth re-visiting if you have ancestors from the areas concerned.
  • Gloucestershire, England, Burials, 1813-1988
  • Gloucestershire, England, Baptisms, 1813-1913
  • Gloucestershire, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1813
  • Gloucestershire, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1938
  • West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962
  • Manchester, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1930
  • Manchester, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1985
  • Manchester, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1541-1812
  • Manchester, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915
  • Wigan, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1580-1812
  • Wigan, England, Marriages, 1754-1926
  • UK, Naturalisation Certificates and Declarations, 1870-1912

For the relevant links to each dataset visit the site's Recently Added and Updated Collections on Ancestry page at www.ancestry.co.uk/cs/recent-collections.

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/.

TNA podcast - Indian soldiers on the Western Front

It's taken a wee while, but the National Archives podcasts from Kew have once again resumed, with the latest entitled For king and another country: Indian soldiers on the Western Front, a 36 minute talk from author Shrabani Basu.

The recording is available at http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/king-another-country-indian-soldiers-western-front/ or free to download from iTunes.

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/.

Ireland's revolution will be digitised

A welcome article in the Irish Times last Friday has confirmed that the Irish Government is to continue funding the digitisation of records relating to the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and the Irish Civil War until 1923.

The decision, taken by Minister for Defence Simon Coveney, will see the digitisation of the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection project until the end of the Decade of Centenaries. For more on the story visit www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/revolution-to-be-digitised-as-10m-documents-to-go-online-1.2462309.

The latest update to the project's website, comprised of some 2,839 files covering 882 veterans, has included a file showing that the father of the current Irish president Michael D. Higgins had to wait until a successful appeal in 1956 for a service pension - the full story is at www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/stories-of-the-revolution-john-higgins-had-to-wait-22-years-for-pension-1.2462086.

For full access to the collections from the Irish Army's Military Archive website, visit www.militaryarchives.ie/collections/online-collections/military-service-pensions-collection/search-the-collection.

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/.

Strathclyde's free 6 week introduction to genealogy course

The University of Strathclyde's Genealogical Studies programme (www.strath.ac.uk/cll/cpd/genealogicalstudies/) is running a free six week long online course from March 14th 2015 entitled Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree.

This is a course for absolute beginners to genealogy, with no previous experience required. From the course description:

This free online course will help you develop an understanding of the basic genealogy techniques and how to communicate your family history. We will consider how to effectively find and analyse sources and explore the potential of DNA testing as applied to genealogy. We’ll help you add historical context to your family history discuss how to record and communicate research findings in a clear fashion.

We’ll get you to define what you want to research, and consider the best ways to go about finding and storing information on your family tree. The key challenge of genealogy – finding the right person among a number of possible candidates, with ever-changing spellings of surnames – will be considered.

We’ll conclude by introducing the main types of tools genealogists use to communicate their research finds, including creating a family tree and look at how to write a meaningful family history.

For further information and a short introductory video (with a few familiar Glasgow locations!), please visit https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/genealogy

(With thanks to Tahitia McCabe)

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/.

DVD and book offers from Ulster Historical Foundation

Two exceptional offers from the Ulster Historical Foundation (www.ancestryireland.com) in Belfast:

An Independent People: The Story of Ulster's Presbyterians (DVD)

This series was originally commissioned and broadcast by BBC Northern Ireland television with support from the Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund. The series was produced by Below the Radar TV and has received much critical acclaim. It has now been produced on DVD by Authentic Ulster.

EPISODE I: TAKING ROOT The first episode of this series traces the story of the Scottish ministers who first established the Presbyterian Church on Irish soil and their struggle for religious liberty throughout the turbulent seventeenth century.

EPISODE II: SEEDS OF LIBERTY Episode two considers the extraordinary contribution made by Ulster Presbyterians to America’s struggle for liberty and how revolution in America and France inspired radical Presbyterians in Ulster to rise up against the Crown in 1798.

EPISODE III: UNION AND DIVISION The final episode explores the ways in which Ulster’s Presbyterians began to move away from their radical past to become part of the establishment in a new Northern Ireland state and looks at the role of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland today.

This DVD is priced at just £15.99 and is available in both NTSC (compatible with North American DVD players) and PAL (compatible with European DVD players) region formats, so if you are interested in purchasing a copy please visit our online store at:

www.booksireland.org.uk/store/all-departments/the-story-of-ulsters-presbyterians

Ordnance Survey Memoirs
We are pleased that many of you have taken advantage of our recent special offers, including last week's sale on the Place Names of Northern Ireland collection.

To coincide with the frantic last minute shopping in the final weeks before Christmas we are now also delighted to announce that all volumes in the excellent resource that is the Ordnance Survey Memoir collection are now HALF PRICE!

If you are not aware of this series, the Ordnance Survey Memoirs provide copious background information on the character and habits of the people who lived in Ireland during the early part of the nineteenth century.

They are a unique source for the history of the northern half of Ireland before the Great Famine, as they document the landscape and situation, buildings and antiquities, land-holdings and population, employment and livelihoods of the parishes. The surveyors recorded the habits of the people, their food, drink, dress and customs. Details of ruined churches, prehistoric monuments and standing stones were also included.

The memoirs can contain individual names, particularly the volumes covering counties Antrim and Londonderry which may include, for example the names of those emigrating to American in 1833 & 1834 by townland & parish.

Other more unusual information on individuals from a parish can be obtained from the memoirs. For example, here is an extract concerning those living in the parish of Aghanloo:

‘The most remarkable person born in this parish was the father of George Berriman, who is said to have had 49 children.’

And In Tamlaghtard (or Magilligan) parish:

'James Conn and Dennis Hamson were the only remarkable characters in this parish. The former … was known to lift a pair of large cartwheels, newly shod, and raise them with one hand above his head also to break new horse shoes into pieces with his hands.’

http://www.booksireland.org.uk/store/ordnance-survey-memoirs

COMMENT: The TV series noted above was a truly exceptional piece of work. Episodes one and two in particular were superb - well worth the purchase. (And by the way, the church on the DVD cover is my old church in Carrickfergus, Joymount Presbyterian - my nan, and later myself, used to live in the row of houses adjacent to it!)

As for the Ordnance Survey Memoirs - if you are unfamiliar with them, think about the Statistical Accounts of Scotland or the Victoria County Histories, and you're roughly in the same ball park!

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/.

Help shape the 2021 Scottish census

The National Records of Scotland (www.nrscotland.gov.uk), which incorporates the work of the General Register Office for Scotland and the National Archives of Scotland, has the responsibility to carry out the next decennial census in 2021. As such, it is now planning which questions should be asked and how it is to be carried out.

To help fulfil its obligations, the NRS is currently running a consultation to seek the views of the public and of organisations across the country.

Here's oor Tim to say a wee bit more...! (Tim Ellis, Registrar General!):



To access the consultation, please visit https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/national-records-of-scotland-survey/scotlands-census-2021-topic-consultation.  Note that before answering any questions you will first need to read the consultation document at https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/national-records-of-scotland-survey/scotlands-census-2021-topic-consultation/supporting_documents/Topic_Consultation.pdf.

The consultation deadline is 15 JAN 2016.

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/.

Digitisation of English Protestation returns

The United Kingdom Parliamentary Archive is digitising the Protestation returns from 1641-1642. From its blog:

The Protestation Returns, date from 1641-42, were ordered by the House of Commons and required all adult men to swear allegiance to the Protestant religion. The returns were organised by parish and are the closest we have to a seventeenth century census, significantly taking place at the start of a civil war that involved all levels of society and affected all countries in the British Isles and Ireland.

What the blog post does not state is that the records that are digitised are for England only (union with Scotland not happening until 1707), with this being an important census substitute for those researching English ancestors from the 17th century. I genuinely have no idea why the Welsh do not appear to have signed, but a glance at the interactive map that the Westminster Parliament has put together to identify the locations of the signatories does interestingly show a record from Eaglefield on the Scottish side of the borders.

For more on the returns, visit the Parliament's archive service blog at https://archives.blog.parliament.uk/2015/12/09/none-hath-refused-digitising-the-protestation-returns/, and also a Wikipedia entry at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestation_Returns_of_1641%E2%80%931642.

NB: For records of the independent Scottish parliament prior to 1707, do visit the excellent http://rps.ac.uk/ project from St. Andrews University!

(With thanks to Luke Mouland via Facebook)

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, 14 December 2015

Forces War Records WW2 casualty lists reaches half a million

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

Forces War Records WO417 War Office casualty lists reaches half a million!


On 11th December 2015 specialist military genealogy website Forces War Records’ WO417 collection reached a milestone half a million records released. ‘War Office: Army Casualty Lists, 1939-45 War’ from the National Archives (reference WO417) is a list of every casualty sustained by the British Army, day by day during the Second World War.

Forces War Records released the first set of these ‘never-before-seen’ Second World War records on 8th May 2015. Within this collection there are volumes for Army Officers and nurses and separate volumes for other ranks, including details not available in previously released Second World War data sets. It will give Forces War Records’ users information about what happened to their ancestors at very specific times during the war. Almost any military record will give the name, rank and Service Number of the subject, but the Service Number is often missing from Officer records, which is why this collection is such a valuable resource to anyone searching for an ancestor who served as an Officer. In addition, information on deaths, wounds and prisoners of war is given along with specific duty locations. The British Army alone lost over 200,000 men over the course of the Second World War, over 180,000 were made Prisoners of War, and nearly the same number again wounded. Importantly, the collection also gives corrections for previously released lists where soldiers have been incorrectly recorded as killed or missing, for example.

For these reasons this collection is extensive and a very important resource for anyone researching their military ancestors from the Second World War, as there is currently so little information on that conflict available to the general public.

(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/.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

WDYTYA - Star Wars special

Sorry folks, but this one, doing the rounds on Facebook, is just too good not to share!



(With thanks to whoever originated 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/.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Free software and ebooks from MyHeritage

My Heritage (www.myheritage.com) has announced a couple of major developments worthy of note.

The first is that for those looking for an alternative to the soon to be culled Family Tree Maker software programme, which allows you to sync a tree held on your PC with that on a tablet, My Heritage's Family Tree Builder software actually does the same thing. Until today, it was possible to use the software for free, but only to upload a maximum of 250 people - now they have removed the limit, which effectively means you now have a package for free which does exactly the same thing that FTM did. As FTM's ability to sync with my iPad was the only reason I switched from Family Historian, this is worthy of some serious consideration, not least because it is actually a great programme, I've reviewed it a few times in the past and always liked it. Dick Eastman has the full story at http://blog.eogn.com/2015/12/11/a-special-offer-for-family-tree-maker-users-myheritage-is-offering-the-family-tree-builder-genealogy-program-for-windows-and-macintosh-plus-an-unlimited-size-family-site-for-free/. Dick fully admits that as MyHeritage sponsors his blog, he is biased on this - I'm not, but would totally support his comments, it really is a good programme!

Secondly, MyHeritage has launched a new free digitised book collection of some 150,000 out of copyright books, in a collection it calls Compilation of Published Sources. From what I can see, some of these are available from the Internet Archive and Google Books, but there does seem to be offerings there from other repositories also, so worth bookmarking. You will find the collection at https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-90100/compilation-of-published-sources, and also a short piece on the launch from the US based Family Tree magazine at http://blog.familytreemagazine.com/insider/2015/12/11/MyHeritageLaunchesNewFreeCollectionOfOldBooks.aspx.

(With thanks to Dick Eastman and US Family Tree magazine)

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/.

Friday, 11 December 2015

More on Ancestry's planned cull of Family Tree Maker

I think it is fair to say that mankind has not looked favourably on Ancestry's decision yesterday to kill off its highly popular Family Tree Maker programme (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/rip-family-tree-maker.html).

Ancestry (www.ancestry.com) has put out a follow-up blog post to answer some queries concerning its decision and some of the ramifications for current users - this is available at http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2015/12/09/more-information-on-family-tree-maker-desktop-software/

Here are its three key points:

1. We are fully committed to supporting Family Tree Maker through at least the end of 2016 with all available support from member services, including technical issues, product issues, updates and attention to the product. You will be able to use the software, exactly as you do now, including TreeSync, for at least the next year.

2. We are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry.

3. We are exploring options to bring more reports and related functionality from Family Tree Maker into the online service. Stay tuned for updates on this over the coming year.

Note the phrase at least the end of 2016. In a follow on comment it adds that Towards the end of 2016, we will assess our progress toward a smooth transition for our customers and review our support commitment at that time, and that After January 1, 2017, features that require connectivity to Ancestry, such as TreeSync, uploading and downloading trees and media, and Web Search, may no longer be supported (my emphasis). The company has at present committed to support the product at present for a further year, until January 1st 2017, but theoretically, if the response is so overwhelming that it becomes detrimental to Ancestry's relationship with its customer base, it may well extend that. Theoretically - but we can't really rely on that.

In another point, responding to the question What happens to the family tree I’ve created using Family Tree Maker? Will it continue to be accessible? it responds You will continue to be able to access your data through the desktop software beyond Jan. 1, 2017, however over time there will be a gradual degradation of features. You can always export your tree and save it.

The company has also confirmed that it is not planning to sell off Family Tree Maker.

I've read a lot of comments online from the genealogical commentariat suggesting that this was inevitable, and that this is the way the world is moving, but I've never really been a big fan of self-fulfilling prophecies i.e. it was always going to happen, so it's going to happen. I've seen the Terminator films enough times to know that the future is not set, there is no fate but that which we make, etc...! Ancestry believes it is in its interest to kill off the programme, but Ancestry is nothing without its subscribers. I'd be inclined to watch this space for a bit - there seems to be a lot of genuine anger out there. Is it really so necessary to alienate a huge chunk of that subscriber base on something that seems actually to be so unnecessary? One to watch...

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, 10 December 2015

New Canadian based Home Children organisations guide

Library and Archives Canada (www.bac-lac.gc.ca) has added a new guide to its website detailing the various sending and receiving organisations both in the UK and Canada involved with the movement of British Home Children from 1869-1932.

The guide includes background information about the respective organisations and and details on where to research them, including at Library and Archives Canada, Other Institutions, Research Online, and Research in Published Sources.

To access the guide visit www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/immigration/immigration-records/home-children-1869-1930/home-children-guide/Pages/guide-organizations-receiving-homes.aspx

(With thanks to the LAC blog at http://thediscoverblog.com/2015/12/10/home-children-a-guide-to-sending-organizations-and-receiving-homes/)

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/.

Changes to the law on Fatal Accident Inquiries in Scotland

Thanks to my local MSP Kenneth Gibson for the following, summarising changes to the law on Fatal Accident Inquiries in Scotland, which were passed in a bill at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood earlier today.

For those outside of Scotland, we don't have a system of coroners as in other parts of the UK here, so FAIs are an important alternative in certain cases and have been since the 1890s (the majority of sudden deaths are investigated by the procurator fiscal):

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT PASS FATAL ACCIDENT INQUIRY BILL

New laws to modernise the Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) process have been passed by the Scottish Parliament.

Changes introduced by the Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc. (Scotland) Bill will ensure a system which is effective, efficient and fair.

Discretionary FAIs into the deaths of Scots abroad will also be introduced for the first time.

Other aspects of the incoming laws include:

• Mandatory FAIs for new categories of deaths, including the deaths of children in secure accommodation and deaths under police arrest, regardless of location.

• The power to reopen an FAI if new evidence arises, and to hold a fresh FAI if the new evidence is substantial enough.

• Flexibility on the locations and accommodation for FAIs.

• A requirement on individuals or organisations to explain how they have implemented recommendations placed on them by a sheriff after an FAI, or why none have been implemented.

Following efforts by the SNP Government, the UK Government has agreed, in principle, for mandatory FAIs to be held into the deaths of service personnel in Scotland. FAIs into the death of service personnel in Scotland could not be included in the Bill as it relates to defence, which is reserved to the UK Government.

The Crown Office will also introduce a family liaison charter, to stand alongside the Bill, to keep bereaved families fully informed of the progress of a death investigation and the likelihood of criminal proceedings or a fatal accident inquiry.

Local MSP Kenneth Gibson said:

“This new legislation will strengthen Fatal Accident Inquiry legislation and bring it into the 21st century, ensuring that inquiries are effective, efficient and fair through implementing the recommendations of Lord Cullen. In particular, the introduction of the possibility of an FAI for deaths abroad is a hugely important step.

“I also welcome the UK Government agreement, in principle that the death of service personnel in Scotland, be subject to a mandatory inquiry.

“Requiring participants at FAIs to respond to recommendations made by sheriffs will improve compliancy, accountability and transparency in the process. I have no doubt this will particularly welcomed by residents of Fairlie with regard to the Catherine Bonnar case.”

-Ends-

Notes:

Around 11,000 deaths are reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) each year, and an average of 50 – 60 of these result in an FAI being held. In around a third of those inquiries, the sheriff recommends precautions which could prevent deaths in similar circumstances in the future.

A review of Fatal Accident Inquiry legislation was carried out by Lord Cullen in 2009. Lord Cullen made 36 recommendations for review of the system. Some of the recommendations were addressed to the COPFS and have already been implemented.

The Bill ensures that FAIs remain as inquisitorial fact-finding hearings which do not apportion blame or guilt in a criminal or civil sense. FAIs are held in the public interest to establish the circumstances of sudden, suspicious or unexplained death which have caused serious public concern. The sheriff considers what steps (if any) might be taken to prevent other deaths in similar circumstances.

Any changes to the law around FAIs into the death of service personnel in Scotland will not be part of the Bill, but enacted by a UK Order under section 104 of the Scotland Act 1998.

In the cases of deaths of Scots abroad, the Lord Advocate must still consider that the death abroad has not been sufficiently established in any investigation already carried out and there must be a real prospect that the full circumstances would be established at an inquiry.

The Bill introduces the possibility of an FAI into a death abroad, even where the body is not repatriated. This is not the case in the rest of the UK.

(With thanks to Kenneth Gibson MSP)

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/.

Durham Records Online additions

New offerings at Durham Records Online (www.durhamrecordsonline.com):

Tanfield's "lost register” 1577-1719
Researchers are often disappointed to learn that the earliest parish register of Tanfield St. Margaret, up to 1719, has been lost or destroyed. Fortunately, some extracts of the first register were recorded in a manuscript compiled by Sir Cuthbert Sharp (1781-1849), a distinguished antiquarian and friend of Robert Surtees, with whom he collaborated on that mammoth work on Durham's history, "The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham". Prominent Durham families and their pedigrees were included in that book, which may explain why Sharp collected noteworthy extracts from a number of selected parish registers. This small book, titled "Manuscript Library of Sir C. Sharp", is one of a collection known as Sharp MS22, held in Durham Cathedral's Library. On page 54 of the manuscript, under the heading of Tanfield, appears this statement: "The early register in a most lamentable condition has been drowned”.

One of our team recently transcribed the 271 extracts from Sharp's manuscript, consisting of 146 baptisms, 31 marriages and 94 burials between the years 1577 and 1719. The second register, which we have had online for years, begins in 1720.

Tynemouth baptisms 1833-1849
9,737 baptisms at Christ Church, Tynemouth, Northumberland, covering 1833-1849.

Bishopwearmouth Cemetery burials 1940-1947
8,898 burials from the beginning of 1940 to 24 March 1947 at Bishopwearmouth Cemetery in Bishopwearmouth, district of Sunderland.

Coming Soon:
Egglescliffe baptisms, marriages, burials 1539-1751
Hamsterley Baptist Chapel baptisms 1768-1837 and 1859-1869, marriages 1840-1908, burials 1785-1965
Hartlepool St. Hilda baptisms 1839-1859
Sunderland Cemetery 1918-1924

Further down the road: more Sunderland Cemetery, Mere Knolls Cemetery 1905-1909, Rothbury, Sherburn Hospital, Ovingham, Newcastle St. John, Ferryhill, Newcastle All Sts baptisms 1800-1804, Slaley, Hartlepool St. Hilda baptisms 1860-1863, early Durham St. Margaret, early Witton-le-Wear

(With thanks to Durham Records Online)

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/.

Ulster Historical Foundation conferences in 2016

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

Family History Conferences 2016

Members and friends of the Foundation will be aware that following the recent success of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, we will be hosting two family history conferences in June and September 2016.

Both events will combine a varied and exciting mix of research opportunities in the archives (including the National Library and National Archives in Dublin), talks from acknowledged experts and a choice of tours to a number of historic sites, including Kilmainham Gaol and Trinity College, Dublin, Barons Court, the palatial country house of the Duke of Abercorn in county Tyrone, Titanic Belfast and the world famous Giant’s Causeway.

The Foundation’s popular family history conferences are therefore ideally suited to the keen family historian who will be given assistance by our experienced genealogists throughout the week and also those who favour learning more about the Ireland of their ancestors as we travel through our verdant countryside en route to our selection of famous sites and locations.

Our summer conference will run from 15-22 June and our autumn conference from 4-10 September. For more information on both events and guidance on how to register, please visit our conference websites:

Summer conference, 15-22 June 2016
www.ancestryireland.com/family-history-conference/summer-2016/

Autumn conference, 4-10 September 2016
www.ancestryireland.com/family-history-conference/autumn-2016/

Feedback from the delegates who attended our autumn 2015 conferences has been very positive with many considering a return to our shores in 2016. We hope that you will also join us for Tracing Your Irish Ancestors in 2016 and experience the perfect combination of productive genealogical research, a host of interesting tours and of course good company and good conversation.

Please note that for early bird registrations received by 31 January 2016, the special price of £699.99 will apply.

(With thanks to the UHF)

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/.