Monday, 28 February 2011

The Storm Passes


For many of you today will be a day of recovery; a day when (if you're not at work) you will be sorting through your notes and all those leaflets you picked up at the WDYTYA? Live! fair at Olympia.  For those of you that weren't there, there are plenty of online accounts of the goings-on.  Take a look at The Wandering Genealogist and Scottish GENES for a flavour of how things went.  I've a feeling there may be a bit of a lull after the storm, so to speak, but I'll do my best to keep you entertained.

Anglo-Celtic Connections' John Reid gives us a reminder of just how much can be found at the FamilySearch website, Census-wise, here.  I must admit that I wasn't aware that all of the Census Returns for England & Wales for 1841-1901 (except 1871) can now be found at FamilySearch in transcript form.  Brilliant!

This piece of news has been out there for a few days now, but just in case you missed it then you may wish to know about the release by the GOONS of the latest edition of their 'Surname Atlas'.  I know it has a lot of fans among the family history community, so you may wish to check it out.

TNA's latest Podcast can be found here.  It's entitled Broadmoor Revealed: the Victorian Asylum.

One last thing.  Readers may be interested in the latest issue of Discover My Past: Scotland, which has been released today.  See here.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Weekly by Nature?

From the parish register of Wadenhoe, Northants:- 

12 June 1753John Weekly performed his penance before the congregation having been found guilty of fornication with Susan Smith of this parish.

20 June 1756John Weekly performed his penance before the congregation having been found guilty of fornication for a second time with Susan Smith.

31 May 1757 – John Weekly performed his penance before the congregation having been found guilty of fornication for a third time, with Mary Ward of the parish of Weldon.

16 July 1758John Weekly performed his penance before the congregation having been found guilty for the fourth time of fornication, with Mary Ward of this parish.

16 July 1763John Weekly and Sarah, his wife, performed their penance before the congregation having been found guilty of fornication before marriage.

I shall leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Get Ready for St.David's Day


1st March is, of course, St.David's Day, so there are bound to be a few special events around to celebrate the National Day of Wales.  One of the most prominent is the day's worth of activities at the National Library of Wales, see here.

Irish Genealogy News brings us the latest 'Dates for Your Diary', as well as news of more online images of Dublin and thereabouts.

The Genealogist have released two important pieces of news re. the 1911 Census for Bucks and Birth Transcripts for 1973-2005 - see here.

Those of us who have regular dealings with will be interested in this news (via the Anglo-Celtic Connections blog).


Readers may be interested in the latest set of records 'saved for the nation', here.  The Turing story, generally, is an extraordinary one - with a tragically unnecessary ending, of course.


1952:  British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, announces that the UK has produced its own atomic bomb.

Friday, 25 February 2011

TNA Appointment


The National Archives have appointed a new permanent 'Chief Executive and Keeper', in the shape of long-running acting Chief, Oliver Morley.  More here.

Ancestry have been busy.  Firstly, there's their latest 1911 Census Update.  Then there are some additions to there prisoners records, ably described by John Reid, here.  Also, you might as well enter the WDYTYA? Ancestry competition (well, you never know).


There are a few interesting stories to be had in the BBC History Magazine's weekly round-up, here; and another witty little effort here.


Forthcoming genealogy & history stuff on TV and Radio can be found here and here.

Oh, and by the way, no, I'm not at WDYTYA? Live!  Unlike everyone else, it seems...

Thursday, 24 February 2011

'Heir Hunters' Returns


OK, so I'm a few days late with this one, but I've just noticed that BBC TV's Heir Hunters is back.  It actually started on Monday 21st February - and it's being shown every day for five weeks (BBC 1 at 9.15am).  But you haven't missed anything, as each and every episode can be found on the BBC's splendid iPlayer, here.

I see a third series of the US version of WDYTYA? is being planned.  I picked up the news here.


On the subject of WDYTYA?, the latest issue of their magazine has just been released - see here.

And, of course, WDYTYA? Live! looms, too.  See here for a neutral view of the forthcoming extravaganza, with a few tips thrown in for good measure.

Alan Stewart's blog entry, here, tells us that the number of Scottish directories available online has recently doubled to more than 600.  Wow!  Follow the link in his blog for further information.


A topical (if short) piece on the background to the film The King's Speech can be found at TNA's website.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Open Genealogy Alliance


If you're going along to the WDYTYA? Live! fair at the weekend then you may want to keep an eye out for the launch of the Open Genealogy Alliance.  Dr Nick Barratt has contacted me about the same, and, well, it sounds like just the sort of thing our hobby is looking for.  As Nick says...

I'm putting a coalition together that initially focuses on open rights and access to our genealogical datasets that are currently commercialised; it promises to be the genesis of a wider representative body, with voluntary & professional bodies from the sector starting to talk more openly about collaborative ventures. It's called the Open Genealogy Alliance, and will be launched at WDYTYA? Live!
Since I work with FFHS, SOG, AGRA, BALH, the Historical Association, FindMyPast and Ancestry, I might be able to persuade them all to sit round the same table one day!

I'm sure you'll all agree that this sounds very exciting, and we should all get together and offer our support to Nick and his team.  So why don't you add it to your to-do list this weekend?  The body does not seem to have an online presence at the moment, but there is a hint of its formulation here.  Good luck to Nick and all those involved in the venture.

In a similar vein, John Reid of Anglo-Celtic Connections, presents an assessment of the various genealogy-themed social networks on the Web, here.  It's an interesting discussion, and may flag some untried avenues for many of you.


Reader Steven Bruce of English Family Origins and Yorkshire Family History would like to recommend a couple of organisations of which he is a member - in his own words...

I notice your mention of the The Family & Community Historical Research Society, of which I'm a member.  Perhaps a lesser known society but every bit as informative from a genealogical point of view, is the Local Population Studies Society, of which I'm also a member and they can be located at:

You might be aware of the Institute of Local & Family History, of which I'm also a member, and who are based at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN).  What is worth knowing about membership is that in the members area there is access to, the index of all surviving probate documents for the Western Deaneries of the Archdeaconry of Richmond, 1748-1858. The deaneries included are Amounderness, Copeland, Furness, Kendal and Lonsdale.  The Institute home page is part of the University page and is located at:

Hope this is useful to anyone accessing BI-Gen.

If anyone else has any recommendations to make - especially about worthy and lesser-known societies - then please let me know at

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Cats and Stamps


What do I mean 'Cats and Stamps'?  I'll tell you later.  First of all, the serious stuff...

Subscribers to Ancestry may wish to make use of the latest addition to the organisation's data-bank, namely, the UK's Dictionary of National Biography.  Read all about it here.  Non-subscribers can register for a free account and search the index, but that's about all.

The latest TNA Podcast can be found here.  It's entitled 'Follow That Lead: from census entry to Google Maps', and advises the listener how to find out more about family properties using both traditional and modern-day on-line resources.

There's been a sizeable addition of some 40,000+ entries from various Yorkshire PRs to the FindMyPast website (primarily the Wakefield area) - find out more here.

OK, time for the Cats.

And, of course, the Stamps.


1797:  Last invasion of Britain takes place when 1,400 Frenchmen land at Fishguard, Wales - and were rounded up within a couple of days and imprisoned;
1997:  Dolly the sheep cloned.

Monday, 21 February 2011

My SoG


Members of the Society of Genealogists may (or may not) be aware of the latest area of development on the SoG website, namely "MySoG".  Rather than trying to explain the new set-up myself (and boring those of you who are not interested!) see here for further details.

A major new publication has recently been released by Flyleaf Press entitled Tracing Your Galway Ancestors.  My thanks to Flyleaf's Jim Ryan for bringing it to our attention - full details here.

The Family & Community Historical Research Society is a new one on me.  Their website can be found at, and it's their Annual Conference in Warwick on 14th May - an event which is open to non-members.  This year they're focusing on all aspects of the development and growth of a consumer society.


1804:  Richard Trevithick's self-propelled steam locomotive - the world's first - makes its inaugural journey near Merthyr Tydfil;
1861:  Severe winds cause the destruction of Chichester Cathedral's spire, and the partial collapse of the Crystal Palace;
1965:  Malcolm X is assassinated in New York by members of the 'Nation of Islam'. 

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Celtic News & Funny Accents


An interesting entry has been posted on The Family Recorder blog concerning developments in Irish research, more especially future digitisation projects.  It has been put together by Audrey Collins, freshly returned from the RootsTech Conference in the US.

It is not often we get a glimpse into the everyday lives of our working class ancestors from around 400 years ago, but The National Library of Wales has brought a little something to our attention concerning the apparel of women c.1600.  The posting is a little confused, but the link to the actual clothing list itself is the last link on the page (in Welsh and English!).

And a little bit of fun from The British Library's 'Evolving English' project can be found here, where you can listen to folk from around the world talking in various accents and dialects (spotted this one mentioned on the Anglo-Celtic Connections blog).

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Special Offers


Whilst you don't have to go very far to find special offers for the forthcoming WDYTYA? Live! fair, there are a few others which I haven't mentioned so far, thus:-

The Irish Genealogy News blog has flagged a useful new pictorial resource for Irish researchers, namely, the Linen Hall Library's collection.  See the blog entry here


1674:  The Dutch cede New Amsterdam in North America to the English via the Treaty of Westminster, the settlement being renamed 'New York';
2001:  The UK foot-and-mouth outbreak begins with case no.1 at an Essex abattoir.  Nearly 4 million animals would be slaughtered in the following months.


Friday, 18 February 2011

Fair Build-up Continues


The now almost over-the-top build-up to the WDYTYA? Live! Fair in London on 25th-27th February continues unabated.  The latest news from the horse's mouth can be found here.  The WDYTYA? magazine is also currently offering overseas customers a special deal

It might not seem very relevant to BI-Gen readers, but a freely-available database is always worth a mention - so check out's 1910 US Federal Census 'Enhanced Index', which is free until 21st February (you need to register for a free account first).

A welcome announcement about TNA parking charges has also been made.

Might as well remind folk in England's south-west of tomorrow's Cheshire Family History Fair, too, I guess.


More forthcoming TV/Radio history stuff to be found here.


Birth of...
All on the same day in 1933:
Sir Bobby Robson, English footballer and manager, in Sacriston, Co.Durham;
Yoko Ono, singer and performance artist, in Tokyo;
Mary Ure, actress, in Glasgow.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Ancestry's New Service


Whether you're a registered user/member or not, you may wish to peruse's latest Newsletter.  The main article is the launch of their new 'Help & Advice Centre'.

A little more information about the big recent release of records on Deceased Online (see yesterday's blog entry) has trickled through.  Of the many mentions across the web, the ever-keen Wandering Genealogist sums things up nicely, here.

Those with Lincolnshire interests will be pleased to learn of the appearance of a further 54,000 marriage record entries on FindMyPast.


BBC History Magazine's website has an article on the state of history as a subject in our schools, here.

And then there's the Beeb's regular round-up of articles of historical interest, here.


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Early Release for Irish Census?


A long-running campaign for the early release of the 1926 Irish Census may be about to come to fruition.  For the full story, see this entry on the Irish Genealogy News blog.

A few more records have appeared online, thus:
  • Deceased Online have recently added the records of the UK's largest cemetery to their database, namely, St Pancras & Islington.  Some Scottish stuff has also been added lately, as you can see from the link.  Chris Paton has also flagged some other news, here, about the very same website and Scottish records.
  • FindMyPast has also placed more of the SoG's holdings online, namely, the Bank of England Wills Extracts, 1717-1845.


TNA has a little piece on the 40th anniversary of Decimal Day (which was yesterday), here.


Forthcoming TV & Radio programmes can be found here.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Valentine's Hangover


A few dribs and drabs have trickled through on other websites and blogs re. Valentine's Day which are worth a look, thus:-

If you've ever fancied joining the Guild of One-Name Studies then check out their forthcoming special offer.

And check out this special offer from The Telegraph this weekend (though, confusingly, some sections of their website have the offer as having been last weekend.  Guess we'll have to wait and see!)

Fans of European culture may also want to have alook at the February eNewsletter of the Europeana website.


Couldn't resist mentioning this piece on 'Extraordinary Marriages' from the Book of Days website - marvellous! ... though I think we should perhaps take it with a pinch of salt.

And Chris Paton's blog entry, here, gives us all something to think about when it comes to tracking down that missing marriage!


1971:  Yes, it's FORTY years since we changed our currency on Decimal Day.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Valentine's Day

In the absence of any big family history news today, I thought I'd offer a couple of links to some light reading regarding the occasion of Valentine's Day.

The first comes via the Irish Genealogy News blog - a sweet tale of, er, abduction in the name of, well, love, I suppose.

The second piece looks at the sixth marriage of Henry VIII and asks whether there was any love between the seemingly ill-matched couple.

Saint Valentine himself is a shadowy figure.  There are at least 14 so-named martyred saints of the name, though there is only one who seems to have a connection with 14th February - namely, a chap who was known to have been buried on this date at the Via Flaminia north of Rome around 270AD.  Little is known of him, other than he appears to have been a Roman priest who was persecuted for marrying and generally aiding Christian couples.  He was beaten, stoned, then beheaded after, as a prisoner, he had tried to befriend and convert Emperor Claudius II to Christianity.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Courses Call


The Society of Genealogists is running a major Beginner's Family History Skills 16-week course from mid-March.

Those with Irish interests may, however, be interested in the Ulster Genealogy & Migration Studies Autumn School in October.  Best book early - the Summer school is already closed to applications.

A couple of items from The National Archives:

Finally, a useful few paragraphs relating to the ancient laws of Wales can be found here, which may be of interest to some of you.


1689:  William & Mary ascend the throne, to end the 'Glorious Revolution'
1692:  Glen Coe Massacre

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Records, Records, Records!


Plenty of new resources have popped up online in the last few days, namely:
  • 30million new English/Welsh records at FamilySearch - see Anglo-Celtic Connections blog entry here;
  • Surrey Marriage Index 1500-1846; and...
  • York Marriage Bonds & Allegations Index 1613-1839, here;
  • Improved access to the National Archives of Scotland's kirk session records - see Scottish GENES blog entry here.

I quite fancy the idea of using this blog to promote worthy causes/petitions, etc., concerning historical matters, so why not take a look at this appeal for support from the 'Saving Oxfordshire History' campaign (expires soon).

With the WDYTYA? Live! event looming, you may wish to consider the special offer from the organisers, here - for this weekend only, though!

English Heritage have placed their publications guide online.  And whilst I'm on the subject of English Heritage, here's a recent news item on their website about a DVD release of interest.


Birth of (on exactly the same day!)...
Charles Darwin, in Shrewsbury, and Abraham Lincoln, in Kentucky, both in 1809.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Stuff to Watch


If you've some spare time over the weekend, then there's plenty to catch up on.  First of all, there's the BBC History Magazine's TV & Radio guide for the week, and then there's a chance to see the recent US episode of WDYTYA? (Vanessa Williams from Ugly Betty - thanks to Paula Campbell/Chris Paton) - to say nothing of the RootsTech conference over in the States.  The website, here, has a link to the live streamed content - and the programme of talks to be broadcast is neatly listed here.


The BBC History Magazine again provides us with some history-related entertainment in the shape of their weekly 'History Headlines'.  Of particular interest is the news of the re-opening of the Victorian part of the National Museum of Scotland this summer.

Though not strictly 'British/Irish', many of you may wish to know about the extensive collection of New Zealand resources which have appeared on  I can do no better than refer you to Chris Paton's splendid summary of the news, here.

There's quite a bit more to bring you over the weekend, so stay tuned.


1858:  Miracle of Lourdes occurs, when St Bernadette has her first vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
1975:  Margaret Thatcher becomes leader of the Conservative Party;
1990:  Nelson Mandela freed after 27 years in jail.

Pick your favourite from that lot!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

BMD Quotes 1

If men had to have babies they would only ever have one each.          
(Princess Diana)

In youth it is too early, in old age it is too late to marry.
(Diogenes, Greek philosopher)

The majority of husbands remind me of an orang-utan trying to play the violin.
(Honore de Balzac, French novelist)

When a man opens the car door for his wife, it's either a new car or a new wife.          
(Prince Philip)

Of course, I do have a slight advantage over the rest of you. It helps in a pinch to be able to remind your bride that you gave up a throne for her.
(Duke of Windsor)

If a man stays away from his wife for seven years, the law presumes the separation to have killed him; yet according to our daily experience, it might well prolong his life.
(Lord Darling, GB judge)

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying. 
(Woody Allen, US actor & director)

Death but entombs the body; life the soul.
(Edward Young, GB poet)

I do really think that death will be marvellous... If there wasn't death, I think you couldn't go on.
(Stevie Smith, GB poet)

Death destroys a man; the idea of Death saves him.
(E.M.Forster, GB novelist, Howards End)

'If you don't go to other men's funerals,' he told Father stiffly, 'they won't go to yours.'
(Clarence Day, US writer, Life With Father)

Die, my dear Doctor, that's the last thing I shall do!
(Last words of Lord Palmerston)


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

BBC Furore


Something of a revolt has broken out among dedicated fans of the splendid BBC website in the last day or so, following the announcement that the institution is planning to cut huge swathes of its online content.  We're not talking about archiving here, no - we're talking about deleting it.  And a lot of this stuff is history related!  I picked up the story from Chris Paton's Scottish GENES blog (where you can also find a link to more info).

Not a great deal more to report on today, other than The National Archives latest podcast ('Fictional Obscenities: lesbianism & censorship in the early 20C').  And there's also the release of the February issue of Discover My Past - England magazine.


Forthcoming TV & radio history programmes can be found here.


1983:  The world awakes to the news that prize racehorse Shergar has been nicked from the Aga Khan's stables in Co.Kildare late the previous evening.  The kidnapped beast is offered up for ransom, which is never paid - and the horse disappears into history.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Hearth Tax

Just a quick one today.  A break from 'news' and stuff - time for a quick look at the seventeenth century Hearth Tax for England and Wales.  This post was prompted by my coming across this website the other day:

Hearth Tax Online

- which certainly seems worth keeping tabs on in the months and years ahead.  Further investigation, however, brought me to the above's 'mother site', thus:

The Centre for Hearth Tax Research

Then I thought of The National Archives, where most of the original Returns are kept.  Turns out they have a guide to the records, too:

TNA Guide to the Hearth Tax

And, whilst I'm at it, I might as well give my own article on the topic an airing (though towards the end it concentrates on the North-East of England)...

A Rough Guide to the Hearth Tax

I can't pretend to know a great deal about the Tax in Scotland or Ireland - though a starting point for the former would be here.  In Ireland, the Returns are usually referred to as the 'Hearth Money Rolls', but no obvious online guide seems to exist.

All of which is largely irrelevant if your own research is stuck in the 1700s+, of course.  Ho-hum.

Monday, 7 February 2011

RootsTech Online


RootsTech is the name of a family history / technology conference being held in Salt Lake City in the the US during 10th-12th February.  It has just been announced that several of its sessions will be broadcast online - for free!  I can't confess to knowing an awful lot about this American get-together, but it may be worth keeping an eye on, here.  Several UK-based blogs have details of the online talks, notably here, and what may prove to be a useful link-in here.

A couple of handy items have popped up on the ever-resourceful Anglo-Celtic Connections blog.  The first is a whistle-stop guide to the terms UK, Great Britain, England, etc.; and the other is a well-spotted update to the FamilySearch database, namely, the addition of over 31,000,000 indexed entries for the 1891 Census of England and Wales (blog entry here, FamilySearch link here).  Very handy.

Latest issue of Discover My Past - Scotland is now available, too.


Birth of...
Charles Dickens, English novelist, in Portsmouth, in 1812.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Renaissance 'Road Map'


Those of us with an interest in the future of England's museums, libraries and archives, may find the recent news release by the MLA worthy of a read.  'Renaissance' is the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council's (MLA) plan to help transform England's regional museums; but with the MLA on the brink of dissolution, the Arts Council is poised to take over their duties.  Tricky times - let's hope it works out to everyone's satisfaction.


You may find this little general piece about Podcasts from The Family Recorder blog of interest.


The 1641 Depositions are witness testimonies mainly by Protestants, but also by some Catholics, from all social backgrounds, concerning their experiences of the 1641 Irish rebellion.  The records are held at Trinity College Dublin (MSS 809-841), and are now fully available in digital format here.


Death of...
George VI in 1952.  Queen Elizabeth II's exact moment of succession was as she was in a treehouse in Kenya.

1958:  Munich Air Disaster kills several young Manchester United stars.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

For the Irish & Scots


Regular visitors to West Register House, Edinburgh, will want to read about the closure of the West Search Room from Friday 25th February.  It's all part of the National Archives of Scotland's plans to centralise access to historcial documents, of course.  Click here for further details.

Two recent blog entries on Irish Genealogy News are worth a look for those with Irish interests.  The first gives us a nice summary of dates for our diaries for the month; the second guides us towards a neat video telling us how to apply for a birth certificate online (in Northern Ireland, that is).


Here's the BBC History Magazine's TV & Radio Guide for the week.


Birth of...
Sir Robert Peel, British Prime Minister 1834-35 & 1841-46, in 1788.  He was the man responsible for the idea of a modern police force (hence 'bobbies' or 'peelers').

1953:  Sweet rationing ends in Britain.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Introducing Europeana


Just in case you hadn't heard of the organisation, Europeana is worth keeping an eye on.  Essentially it's a website which enables people to explore the digital resources of Europe's museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections.  It's only been on the go since 2008, but its latest blog entry gives an indication of how its importance is likely to grow in the future.

I should think all of you will want to have a glance at the latest news release from FindMyPast, which details the appearance of over 9,000,000 new records on their website - all from the Society of Genealogists' considerable vaults.

And Parish Chest's latest 'new products' page (just updated) can be found here.  Always worth a browse - and I see that they claim that Your Family History Magazine has a special offer for new subscribers of a free book worth £20 (yet, as I write, I can't find mention of this on the mag's website).

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Save Our Libraries Day


Saturday 5th February is 'Save Our Libraries Day', a day of action to bring the planned library cuts and closures to the public's attention - see CILIP's dedicated info page to see how you can participate.  Do something before it's too late!

For a neat overview of the week's history headlines, check out the BBC's HistoryExtra blog.  There are some unusual items to catch up on, including the accidental discovery of a 20ft mural of Henry VIII, and the sale of a locket of Nelson's hair.


WDYTYA?'s website offers a look at the week ahead on TV/Radio for us family & local history freaks.


1959:  The Day the Music Died.  A plane crash in Iowa sends Rock legend Buddy Holly to his grave, aged just 22.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

1911 Scottish Census Release Date


Today's big news is the unveiling of the release date of the 1911 Scottish Census - 5th April 2011.  For the official statement and press release, click here.

The Society of Genealogists has extended the time for which folk can book a place at their Centenary Conference at the special 'early bird' prices.  Non-members are welcome to attend, and you have until the end of February to get in at the special rate.  The big day is Saturday 7th May (dedicated site here).

A couple of interesting little snippets from the award-winning Anglo-Celtic Connections blog, namely the news of a pending Web-based UK-wide libraries catalogue (which sounds exciting), and an updated 'Tree to Go' family tree 'app' from for the iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch.

The February issue of BBC History Magazine is now available - see here.  And the Beeb have also released a 'what's on' guide, events-wise, for the month here.


OK, so it's a rather short article - just a blog entry actually - but The Wandering Genealogist issues a warning to us all about online family trees, here, which is worth taking note of.


1901:  Funeral of Queen Victoria;
1990:  End of apartheid in South Africa.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Save the Workhouse


The race is on to save the Cleveland Street Workhouse in London, which campaigners say is well worth rescuing from its imminent fate - and I'm sure most of us genealogists would agree.  See here for more information, and a chance to sign the online petition.

Good news for Derbyshire researchers who subscribe to FindMyPast, with the release of more than 2million new records - see here.


Birth of...
Boris Yeltsin, 1st President of the Russian Federation, in 1931.

Death of...
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, English novelist, in London in 1851, aged 53.  She died after many years of illness - probably as a result of a brain tumour.

Saint's Day:  St.Brigid, one of Ireland's three patron saints (the other two being Patrick and Columba).  Some versions of her life story have her being saved from an unwanted marriage by the loss of an eye and, therefore, her beauty.

1811:  Bell Rock Lighthouse, off the east coast of Scotland, fires its light for the first time:

The day long wished for, on which the mariner was to see a light exhibited on the Bell Rock, at length arrived. Captain Wilson, as usual, hoisted the Float’s lanterns to the topmost on the evening of the 1st of February; but the moment the light appeared on the Rock, the crew, giving three cheers, lowered them and finally extinguished the lights.

Find out more at .