Saturday, 30 July 2011

Lancs and Manx


We end with a quiet day, after what has been a fairly uneventful week, family history-wise.  Liverpool researchers, though, will be happy to see more records going up at Ancestry - see the 'update' page here, and click on your area of interest.

Across the sea from Liverpool there is the Isle of Man, of course.  And I see there's a series of free 'Heritage Talks' coming up at Promenade Church in Douglas during August.

The National Archives has launched a new library catalogue - read all about it here.

The latest issue of CAIRT, the newsletter of the Scottish Maps Forum, is freely available online.

And BBC History Magazine's weekly podcast is also now available (the British seaside holiday and the reign of Edward VI).


Oh, and the BBC's 'History Headlines' have been posted here.


1966:  England win the football World Cup with a 4-2 win over West Germany at Wembley.

Friday, 29 July 2011

National Museum of Scotland


Big news of the day is the opening of the new National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh!  Read all about this major event at the institution's website, here.

The latest Lost Cousins Newsletter is now available for perusal.  As usual, there are many excellent snippets and research pointers - one in particular concerning an important update to the Hearth Tax Online project escaped the notice of this blog (and actually led me to some interesting family finds in East Yorkshire!).  Lots more besides, though, so do take a look.

GOONS gone!  That's the gist of the message adorning the website of the Guild of One-Name Studies at the time of writing.  Oh dear.  Thanks to John Reid for pointing this one out ... and for some suggestions for alternative modes of contact. (NB: please take note of John's recommended BBC Radio show, Word of Mouth - I mentioned it back on 23rd July, and it is DEFINITELY worth a listen).

If you're into this sort of fine detail, the British Library's Annual Report 2010-11 is now available online.  The link to the report itself doesn't seem to work, but the information in the Press Release gives you a decent summary.

Most of us can't resist a freebie - so here's news of a freely-available phone 'app' for 'Exploring Roman London'.


TV & Radio for the coming week can be scrutinised here.


1921:  Adolf Hitler becomes leader of the Nazi Party;
1981:  Prince Charles and Lady Diana tie the knot at St.Paul's Cathedral.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Captive Memories


The WDYTYA? website has flagged a resource of which I was not aware, namely, the 'Captive Memories' project, which contains memories of WWII POWs held in the Far East.   There's a nice introduction here (where there is also news of a conference on the subject), and the website itself can be found here.


The Society of Genealogists is getting into Webinars.  On 26th August the organisation is to hold a 'Legacy Software' webinar - take a look here, where you will also find a detailed description of how these 'web seminars' work.  Mind you, I can't help feeling that £6 (or £4.80 for members) is a bit pricey for something viewed over the internet.  Is this the norm for this sort of thing?

TheGenealogist has released a huge selection of Australian records for its Diamond members.  These include Convict Lists & Pardons, Muster Rolls, Census Returns and Ledger Returns.

The August issue of Best of British is now on sale.


A selection of TV & Radio for the next few days can be found here.


1586:  The potato arrives in Britain from Columbia when adventurer Sir Thomas Harriot sails into Plymouth.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Euro Film Archive


Europeana continues to break new ground.  Their latest announcement concerns the launch of a new component of the heritage organisation, namely, the European Film Gateway.  This brand new online resource "offers free access to currently about 400,000 digital videos, photos, film posters and text materials. By September, the number of digital items will increase to 600,000 from 16 film archives."  Check out this link, where you can follow the trail through to the press release.


Spotted on the Archives & Records Association blog is this short report on the most recent activities of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Archives & History.  Nothing much to write home about, but thought I'd give it a mention.  This slightly older post gives you an idea as to what the group is all about.

Another low-profile news item concerns The National Archives involvement in the archiving of local authority records - or 'web archiving' as they're calling it.  See the announcement here.

Whilst we're with TNA, a reminder that the 'early-bird' discount window for their forthcoming 'Celebrating the Census' conference is ending soon (31st) - see here.

If you're a Twitter fan, you may be interested in joining in with Ancestry's special 'Family History Live Chat'.  It's for the American market, judging by the write-up, here, but I suppose anyone, anywhere can join in - providing you can work out the broadcast times!  Good luck.


A couple of nice videos for you: This Week in History and the first cross-channel flight.


1694:  Bank of England founded;
1921:  Insulin isolated by Canadian team, thus enabling the treatment of diabetes.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Scottish Events


Forthcoming events include two major happenings north of the border.  Here's the list in full - and remember to send me details of anything I've missed! ...

A few more records for Co.Antrim have popped up on the Emerald Ancestors website.

Origins are running a survey with prizes on their Facebook page (entry for 21st).


Check out this post from Christine Woodcock for a neat Gazetteer for Scotland.


A few little general interest articles have appeared, thus:

Monday, 25 July 2011

The Oldknow Tragedy

In the absence of any news to report on today, I reproduce below a sad story sent to me by William P.Cross of London.  It does, though, have a happy ending of sorts...

The Suicide of Thomas Oldknow & Murder of His Children

[From the Manchester Mercury of Tuesday 12th May 1812]

On Sunday week in the evening a dreadful circumstance occurred at Nottingham. Mr.Oldknow, a respectable draper of the Market Place in the town who had a house in Park Row, went with his wife and two children to spend the day with a relation in Mount Street. About six in the evening he returned home with the children and sent the only servant who was in the house to attend chapel. Soon after he was left alone with the children it is supposed he, in a paroxysm of mental derangement, formed the horrid resolution of cutting the throats of the little innocents and of destroying himself and he executed his dreadful purpose, by almost severing the heads of the children from their bodies and then discharging a pistol down his own throat. On the return of Mrs.Oldknow, about 9 o'clock the shocking sight presented itself of the three lying dead in the parlour, weltering in their blood. One of the children was 6 years and a half old and the other younger and the heartbroken widow is in a state of pregnancy. A coroner's inquest sat on the bodies on Monday and in the case of Mr.Oldknow returned a verdict of lunacy; embarrassed circumstances are supposed to have occasioned the derangement of his mind, as he had some days before acted in a way which betrayed a disordered brain. The three bodies were interred on Wednesday in a vault in St.Nicholas' Church.

The burial details for Thomas, Ann and Henry Oldknow were registered in the St.Nicholas' Church Register on 6th May 1812.  It transpires that the little girl was six and a half years old and the little boy nine months. But, on a happier note, the unborn child of Mrs Ann Oldknow entered this world and made a success of her life, marrying, in 1830, a gentleman who became Rector of Costock, which is a village next to East Leake, on the Leicestershire-Nottinghamshire border. They had four children.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Surnames Project


Spotted on the GOONS website/blog:

The Family Names UK Project, which is being run by the University of the West England and funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, will feature on the Radio 4 programme 'Word of Mouth' next Tuesday, 26 July at 4pm, repeated on Mon 1 Aug at 11pm. The Guild and its members are assisting the UWE on this project.

Do check out that link - very interesting.

John Reid has spotted a recent Ancestry update to their Andrew's Newspaper Index Cards collection - see here.

Those of you with European interests may wish to have a look at the latest newsletter of the Europeana Libraries Project.

TheGenealogist have added to their records collection for Worcestershire.

Two new Podcasts have popped up, thus:


The BBC's 'History Headlines' for the week.

Friday, 22 July 2011

More Articles of Interest


The remains of Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, have been exhumed and his grave destroyed in an attempt to deter neo-Nazis using the plot as a shrine.  What's left of him will be cremated and thrown to the fishes.  See the story here and here.

For those of you a little confused as to what the future holds for the British Newspaper Library at Colindale, there's a short-and-to-the-point article here.

Christine Woodcock carries a useful guide to the traditional Scottish Naming Pattern on her blog, here.


Staying in Scotland, Chris Paton has produced a really handy list of websites for research in the Western Isles.


S&N have issued their July eNewsletter.  Though many of the stories and articles have already been mentioned on this blog, I would advise you to give it a quick scan - you may be tempted by an offer or two.

The Irish Genealogy News blog has posted a summary of recent additions to the Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives.

Further important news for the Irish comes in the shape of the forthcoming Irish Family and Local History Handbook - see Chris Paton's post, here.


The BBC's TV & Radio listing can be found here.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Postal Service Records


Ancestry have made an announcement regarding the availability of the British Postal Service Appointment Books 1737-1969.  For more information on this interesting new development - and a neat little video presentation featuring Tony Robinson - click here.

FindMyPast have unleashed 290,000 new parish records onto the market - covering Rugby, Suffolk, Sheffield and Handsworth Cemetery in Warks.

Check out the SoG's Summer Membership Offer.  By the standards of the organisation's own hefty fees structure, this is actually quite a tempting little offer - especially if you're within easy reach of the society's HQ (which doesn't include me, unfortunately!).

The FFHS has released its July E-zine.  Always worth a look.

The latest issue of Your Family Tree was published a couple of days ago - see here.

A reminder to Welsh researchers that Gwent Record Office will be closed from 30th July until October 2011 - see here.  All to do with their move to new premises in Ebbw Vale.

Tracing Your Channel Island Ancestors by Marie-Louise Backhurst was published a few days ago - see the publisher's website for full details (thanks to James MacLaren for this news).

Your Family History magazine have posted a new competition, here.


Christine Woodcock has flagged a useful web resource which helps Scottish researchers identify the exact location of parishes - see her blog entry here.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Article Rush


There's been a mini-rush of interesting online articles of late, so I hope you've got a half hour or so to spare before embarking upon today's post.

We kick off with a couple of recommendations by blogger John Reid.  Now Mr Reid is something of a fanatic when it comes to genetics, and he often pops up with the occasional DNA-related item on his excellent 'Anglo-Celtic Connections' blog.  Our Neanderthal heritage is the centre of one of his recent efforts, with a pointer to an article which suggests that almost all of us have a little bit of the long-extinct species in us.  Secondly, he points us in the direction of an update from the British Newspaper Archive project, here.

The other articles I've spotted can be accessed via the MyHeritage blog.  The first takes a look at a curious new development in the field of monumental inscriptions (though I'm still not 100% sure what a QR code is); and the second provides a couple of leads on naming babies - one being a witty video of comedian David Mitchell's thoughts on the matter, and the other an astonishing fact about what German law has to say on the subject (is this really true?!?).  Oh, and there's a piece about daft celebrity names, too.


The Irish Genealogy News blog brings us an ire-tinged report of yet another delay at - see here.

And there's a GOONS Newsflash to peruse.  This seems a convenient time to remind you all of the looming deadline (7th Aug) for the GOONS forthcoming Seminar on 13th August.  I'll not be telling you again, now!


BBC Radio 4's Tracing Your Roots is returning to the airwaves soon, and they have put a call out for help from the public - story spotted here, official website (with old episodes) here.

And forthcoming TV & Radio on the subject of family history can be found here (don't be put off by the dates in the title - the listing actually covers 21st onwards).


A nice little 'This Week in History' video for you.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

New Mags Flurry


New editions of the following magazines are now available:

And the following events are coming up soon:

Another notable event is actually happening today, namely, the opening of the Museum of Liverpool.  See the BBC announcement and the official website.

Other than the above, there are just a couple of Irish announcements to make.  Firstly, Irish Roots Facebook page has brought the Irish Landed Estates Database to our attention - see this summary (with links).  And then there's some new County Down, County Armagh and County Londonderry records available at Emerald Ancestors.


The Nosey Genealogist has produced a helpful article on the subject of where to look for English/Welsh ancestors' wills.

And though it has nothing to do with UK/Irish research, I am sure you will find this article on Spanish naming conventions from MyHeritage most interesting.  Learn something new every day!

Monday, 18 July 2011

French Pointers


James McLaren has penned another piece for The Nosey Genealogist's blog relating to family history in Jersey.  This time he concentrates on French research, which quite obviously has lots of tie-ins with the history of the Channel Islands.  The article may also help out mainland Brits, too, though - so do take a look if you're interested.

If you fancy having a go at writing for the family history market, then you must have a read of Chris Paton's helpful post on the subject, here.  More advice to be found in the post's 'comments' section, too.


Eneclann have issued their latest Newsletter.  Contained therein are pieces on police ancestors, discount/sale news, and a focus on Kilkenny.

More news on the forthcoming 'Certificate of Irish Heritage' can be found at the Irish Genealogy News blog.

The ScottishGENES blog has a little update on the Scottish Monumental Inscriptions collection.

And the August issue of HistoryToday Magazine is now available.


Birth of...
Nelson Mandela, in 1918.

Death of...
Jane Austen, in Winchester, in 1817, aged 41.

1936:  Spanish Civil War begins.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Family History Show


You're probably as keen as I am when it comes to catching any sort of televisual coverage of genealogical matters, so you'll be thrilled to learn of a new YouTube Channel devoted to the topic called the 'Family History Show'.  A few blogs have mentioned it in the last day or so, and there's a nice intro, etc., to be found on the ScotGen blog, where you can follow the links to the website in question.  Obviously, it's early days with this exciting new venture, but let's hope it takes off.  Good luck to Dr Nick Barratt and his team.

FindMyPast and the SoG have launched a new Business Index Collection, being an amalgam of various directory entries, etc., from the period 1893-1927.

TNA have launched a publications sale which looks very tasty indeed.  P&P is free if you spend over £15, I believe, too - so get in there while you can.  Some of the deals are exceptional value, with up to 80% off!

Peter Calver has produced another fabulous Lost Cousins Newsletter.  Lots and lots (and lots) of interesting stuff in the latest issue, and plenty of hints and tips.  I shall not even begin to try to cover all the topics - but would instead urge you to have a look for yourself.

TNA have issued an updated version of their Discovery Service for you to have a tinker with - and to provide feedback on.  And their latest Podcast (Battle of Towton) is up and running.

The BBC have also issued another Podcast (Henry VII + medieval documents).

And I hope you will excuse my local bias, but we're all very proud of the story here in the North-East of England about Europe's oldest surviving complete book and the national campaign for it to be purchased for the nation.  An astonishing historical relic - and £9million quid's worth, too.


FindMyPast have produced another lengthy and fascinating article on understanding and interpreting old photographs (by Jayne Shrimpton) - see here.


I would just like to say that that there are plenty of newly-spotted websites in the above mentioned Lost Cousins Newsletter.  The website, in particular, looks like a cracker, with some great offers up for grabs.

I've still got some items to pass onto you, but shall leave it there for now as you've plenty to keep you going!  Do pay me another visit on Monday....

Friday, 15 July 2011

'New' School Registers


The folk at TheGenealogist have added a decent-sized batch of new Parish and School Registers to their collection - see here.  The set spans Bucks, Devon, Kent, Monmouthshire, Oxford, Suffolk, Warwickshire, and Yorkshire. 

Northants researchers will be interested in DeceasedOnline's latest news release.

And a couple of items from the WDYTYA? website.  Firstly, a little snippet of news regarding a Tudor Coroners' Reports project (there's a related piece here); and there's also a competition to enter.


The weekly round-up of 'History Headlines' from the BBC can be viewed here.


And more TV & Radio for the week.


A few days ago the BI-Gen Surname Register was updated, so you may wish to have a quick look.  It would be great if you could help it on its way by submitting a few entries of your own, so please do give it some serious consideration and get it touch if you want to tag along.


1948:  Alcoholics Anonymous founded in London (it had been in existence in the USA since 1935).

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Military Stuff from FMP


FindMyPast are blowing their trumpet (and why not?) over a new batch of military records which they have unveiled - read the blog announcement here.

The only other 'proper' news of note concerns more Cheshire stuff.  All to do with the availability of Bishop's Transcripts for the county spanning 1598-1900 on the FamilySearch site - see John Reid's write-up here.


That other trusty blogger, Chris Paton, has come up with another couple of useful posts.  Some very handy advice for Irish researchers can be found here (a chance to save money accessing the 1939 Northern Ireland National Register); and then there's a pointer to an interesting article on Edinburgh Poor Law Records, here (best read Chris's entry first, then go to Kirsty Wilkinson's piece, as there are some handy 'comments' to take in).

Yet more biographical info on Professor Dafydd Jenkins (see yesterday's post).  What an extraordinary chap.


MyHeritage are plugging the HistoryPin website.  It's not as 'new' as they claim it to be - but rather the partnership with Google is.  I've always considered the site cumbersome and slow-loading, but I would stress that this is most likely down to my ageing PC.  So give it a go for yourself - best access it from the MyHeritage blog entry (where you can view the promo video first).


Some TV & Radio for the next few days.


Just shows you how much notice I take of the 'celeb' news.  I have only just found out that the Beckhams have added a new daughter to their family.  FindMyPast take a look at the strange-sounding name of the kiddie in question, here.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The World's Population


If you read every single word of my blog (and why wouldn't you?), you will remember that a couple of days ago I mentioned that it was the 24th anniversary of the world's population hitting 5,000,000,000.  Well, as we hurtle towards the seven billion mark, it seems apt to check out this entry on the MyHeritage blog which provides some fascinating facts and figures on the topic.  Be careful not to miss the link to the excellent 'population clock', too.  Good stuff.

War doesn't seem to have done enough to stem the population growth.  And the HistoryToday magazine website has an interesting article on general war trends.  Seems like we just keep having more and more of them.  The reason?  Not necessarily because we want to, but rather because we can.  The same website also has a handy little round-up of 'History in the News'.


Following on from yesterday's announcement on this blog regarding TNA's 'Celebrating the Census' conference on 1st October, well, see Audrey Collins' comment underneath said blog entry.  Turns out that I hadn't looked closely enough at the website in question, because you can find much of the fine detail of the get-together (and booking info) here.  Good job someone's keeping an eye on me!  Thanks Audrey.

The splendid edifice that is The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth is celebrating its centenary on Friday 15th July.  If you want to help, well, there's a very practical way of doing so - see here!  There's a nice little side-story to the day's happenings, too, with the attendance of the library's oldest reader, the very distinguished Professor Dafydd Jenkins - a great story - see here.

And relax for a couple of minutes with a video summary of This Week in History.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Major TNA Conference


Check out The National Archives website for news of a major forthcoming conference entitled Celebrating the Census on Saturday 1st October 2011.  This is gonna be a big event, guys, so you may want to give it some serious consideration - though not all details are available as yet, it seems.  Discount available for early-bird bookings.

FindMyPast Ireland have unveiled the latest addition to their website: The Post Office Annual Directory Calendar for Dublin 1843 & 1858.

The August edition of WDYTYA? Magazine is now available.  It's their 50th issue, so it's sure to be a bit special.

Those within striking distance of Cambridge may be interested in the Books and Babies exhibition at Cambridge University Library.  Runs until 23rd December.

And here's a round-up of forthcoming fairs, etc:

A reminder, too, about the forthcoming Scotland's Family Tree AGM in Perth on Saturday 30th July.  

And a promised a mention for Teesside Archives' programme of talks and events, beginning with a splendid-looking film show on 23rd July.  I will remind all you Teessiders of the heavy Autumnal programme a little nearer the time - but it's all up there on the website.  You must book in advance.


Heard the one about the Irish polar bears?  Check the story out here.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Irish Round-Up


Ireland gets us under way today as we turn to the Irish Genealogy News blog for a neat little summary of news and events.  A couple of the items have slipped under my radar, so I would urge you to take a look if Irish research is your thing.

There's another interesting Irish story regarding the possibility of a new genealogy centre for Dublin.  Chris Paton takes the credit for this one - see here.

Oh, and I've just found out that PRONI (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland) will be closed to the public on 12th & 13th July.

Ancestry users may be interested in the following two snippets.  Firstly, there's the new look; then there's news of a forthcoming revamp to their Newsletter.  To get the latter, all you need to do is register at their website for free and this gets you onto the mailing list (as far as I can tell).

Those with Jewish roots may be interested in this item spotted by John Reid.


The Family Recorder blog has a helpful piece on the Army List.

And The Nosey Genealogist offers a few paragraphs on Wills.


An unusual census entry has been tracked down by the folks at FindMyPast: a wizard on the 1911 returns!


Birth of...
Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, 1274.

1987:  World population officially breaks through the 5,000,000,000 barrier - double that of 1950.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

A Bit of Everything


Rather like the weather of these glorious shores, we've got a bit of everything today.  So let's get cracking.

There's something for the weekend, entertainment-wise, with some Podcasts, etc:

Lots to catch up on with Chris Paton's ScottishGENES blog.  Among his many noteworthy posts are some interesting avenues of research for Scotland (and, indeed, England & Wales) on the FamilySearch site; a ScotlandsPeople Centre newsflash; and further clarification on those new London Wills that popped up on Ancestry's site a few days ago.  All good stuff, Chris.

Cheshire also seems to have received a boost on the FamilySearch website.  See John Reid's post, here.

A couple of snippets from Ireland.  I mentioned on 2nd July that the National Library of Ireland were preparing to launch a blog - well, here it is.  And users of Ireland Genealogy (formerly can obtain a 25% discount on their website by using the code 'WELCOMEBACK'.  Not entirely sure how the code works, but I got offered it by just being a subscriber to their newsletter - so thought I'd pass the news on.

There is a bit of bad news.  Spotted on the National Library of Wales blog is a bleak outlook for the institution's financial future.  Doesn't make especially pleasant or entertaining reading, but let's hope things don't turn out quite as bad as they are predicting.


HistoryToday magazine's website has released a lengthy piece from its archives on the history of the NHS.  It was written in 1998, but is still well worth a look.

I can see more news coming into my in-tray by the hour, but I shall leave it there for now.  Do call in again on Monday!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Born on 10th May 1946?


Were you born on 10th May 1946?  If so, you could be the star of a forthcoming TV programme!  ITV1 are putting together a show looking at the varying personal histories of a group of individuals born on the exact same day - social history in the main, it seems.  See the announcement on Ancestry.

Whilst we're talking about the telly, see the week's forthcoming TV & Radio schedule here.


Those of you with interests in Continental Europe should always keep an eye on the Europeana and Europeana Libraries websites.  It's still early days in the development of both projects, but I noticed a couple of items on the 'Libraries' website concerning a recent major conference in Barcelona and a nice video featuring some of the items the organisation hopes to bring to greater prominence through the co-operative efforts of all concerned.  With funding problems being as they are at the moment, let's hope the financial plug isn't pulled on this one.

Many of you will be interested, I'm sure, in tagging onto ScotlandsPeople's Twitter feed.  It's not fully up-and-running yet, but you may wish to bookmark the link (thanks to Chris Paton).

Many of you are fans of the US-based GeneaBloggers website/blog.  Well, you can now show your appreciation of the same by taking advantage of its new 'Donate' Paypal button.  I've got a 'Donate' button, too, you know - right-hand column of this page, if you're interested.  Don't all rush at once.


A delightful little piece by Audrey Collins entitled 'Work in the Workhouse' is featured on her 'Family Recorder' blog.

Worried about being overwhelmed by modern-day technology?  Then you're not alone - see this article at MyHeritage.

And there's another excellent collection of 'History Headlines' from the BBC, here.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

National Maritime Museum


Researchers with maritime ancestors will be thrilled to learn of the opening of a new wing of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich dedicated to making the centre's holdings more accessible to visitors.  The new facilities will be available following next week's opening ceremony - read a neat intro on the WDYTYA? website here, then get it from the horse's mouth, here.

A couple of newsletters have been released of late:

  • The National Archives (including details of their new Discovery Service, and don't forget to check out their Events programme - oh, and please ignore the 'Dear Michael' bit at the top!);
  • The National Library of Ireland (basically a 'Sales' special, where they're virtually giving items away!).

Diamond subscribers to TheGenealogist will want to have a look at the latest batch of education records to be placed at their disposal (together with a new 'search interface') - see here.

And the news keeps coming regarding the Isle of Man - see here for details of an important new book for Manx researchers.


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Mocavo Developments


The specialist genealogy search engine Mocavo often finds its way into my blog entries.  If you haven't had a look then please do so, as it seems like a really useful addition to the online family history scene.  I mention it again as I notice that some changes have been made to its set-up - see the announcement here (where you can also win an iPad 2).

You may remember mention on 30th June of a forthcoming iMuseum planned for the Isle of Man.  Well, here's a report of how the launch went a couple of days ago.

From the Irish Genealogy News blog comes another update of recent additions to the IGP Archives.

Parish Chest have issued their latest 'Chin Wag' newsletter, which includes the usual gossip, plus a raft of recent releases from family history dealers.

If you're a member/user of the MyHeritage website, then you may wish to learn about their new 'Family Goals' membership package.  May save you a few quid.

The contents of the latest issue of Best of British magazine can be examined here.


News from the far reaches of Scotland now, with the flagging of a new website by blogger Chris Paton called Hebrides People.  As I write, the site is not yet live, but check out Chris's post here - it contains a few other leads for Hebridean research and some useful comment.


1952:  The last London tram makes it's final run (see story and footage here).

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Welsh Chat


The National Library of Wales has introduced a new mode of contact, namely, an online Instant Chat Service.  The times at which it will be available for use are somewhat restricted - hopefully the service will be extended in due course.  See the announcement here.

Origins announced a few days ago that they have added 290,000 more names to their Wills collection - see here.

FindMyPast Ireland have added Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland 1899 to their collection.

An interesting exhibition is currently showing at Tower Bridge, London, entitled London in Black & White.

A special British History Explorer publication has been brought out by the BBC - a one-off effort which looks at 170 of the nation's top historical sites.  See here.

Eneclann's latest newsletter can be found here, with its focus on County Kerry.

And here's a summary of forthcoming events:
Just a reminder that the Powys FHS Fair, scheduled for Saturday 9th July, has been cancelled.


I see that the HistoryToday website has started issuing regular 'History in the News' bulletins - see the latest instalment here.


Get stuck into Your Family Tree magazine's latest crossword.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Lost Cousins Newsletter


Top of the pile today is mention of the latest Lost Cousins Newsletter, containing the usual eclectic mix of news items from the genealogical world.  Among the many interesting features are a brief review of TheGenealogist website, and an unusual story about inheriting a title from a very distant cousin!  Remember, if you're interested in joining TheGenealogist to go into the site through my banner link down the left-hand side of my site - as I get a bit of commission for any such custom.

I note that the Origins website is offering 25% off all subscriptions (including the 72 hours’ search) to celebrate US Independence Day.  To take advantage of this offer, enter the code 4July2011 in the promotional box on the sign up or check out pages once you have made your subscription choice.  Offer valid until midnight BST on 10th July 2011.  You might find it easier to go direct to their subscriptions page. (I received this offer via email but couldn't see the special deal on their website - but give it a go if you're interested).

And here are some July events for your diary from Irish Genealogy News.


Eneclann has a piece on chasing up student records in Ireland. Obviously, they are trying to push their own records into the limelight, but it's a useful article all the same.


Check out Chris Paton's post, here, for a new craze in pretend weddings.

And saying as we're a little short of news today, how about taking a look at BI-Gen's 'Surname Register' - see link at the top-right of the page.  I know the intructions are a bit long-winded, but I've introduced a temporary listing (see the message in RED) to help get us off the ground.  Don't be shy!  Get in touch with me at if you fancy contributing.


1776:  American Declaration of Independence is adopted;
1954:  Rationing in the UK finally ends.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

More on those Wills


Seems like yesterday's news regarding Ancestry's National Probate Calendar for England & Wales was a little incomplete!  Turns out that they are actually offering free access to the index (which covers 1841-1941) until close of play on 8th July.  This means that you can gain maximum information on a will before you send off for a copy.  See this link for the full story.  You will also note that they are providing free access to the Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976.  So get in there whilst the going's good.

As for the other wills news from yesterday (the newly available London Wills & Probate, 1525-1858), I would draw your attention to comments posted on both the SoG blog and the ScottishGENES blog on the subject.  Important to look after the small detail!

The National Library of Ireland will soon take the plunge with its own blog - see the announcement here.

A new resource for Jersey family historians has been flagged by The Nosey Genealogist and his informer James McLaren: the Victoria College Register, 1852-1929.  The link you are pointed to takes a while to load up, but your computer will get there in the end.

FindMyPast Ireland have released another record set onto the Internet: Farrar's Index to Irish Marriages, 1771-1812.

There are a couple of Podcasts to catch up on:

The BBC also have also released an 'Out & About' listing for July, offering you the chance to enjoy that glorious British weather (ahem).


Remember that announcement about the Sinn Fein Rebellion Handbook a few days ago?  Well, here are a few sample entries from the same in a short article by FindMyPast Ireland.

Interested in British participation in the US Civil War?  Then there's an interesting post on the McNicholl Genealogical Services blog to peruse.

Friday, 1 July 2011

London Wills


Ancestry have unveiled a brand new resource: London Wills & Probate, 1525-1858 - check out the official announcement.  Additionally, Ancestry have also filled in some of the gaps in its National Probate Calendar for England & Wales - nicely summarised by John Reid, here, and accessible through this handy page.

Irish Roots magazine now produces a monthly newsletter to supplement its quarterly mag - see here.  The magazine's Facebook page also reminds us about the 'Discover Your National Library' exhibition at the National Library of Ireland.


An exciting new website has also been flagged by Irish Roots magazine's Facebook page, namely,, which features a searchable online Irish Emigration database, plus many other interesting bits and bobs.


The BBC History Magazine website provides some great reading today, with a look at household composition trends, as well as its usual batch of weekly 'History Headlines' (a fascinating collection of stories - some quite shocking - but one is a particular stand-out: the online availability of the Reith Lectures, 1948-2010 - wow! - direct link here).


More forthcoming TV & Radio can be found here.


Birth of...
Princess Diana, at Sandringham, in 1961 (would have been her 50th birthday).

1837:  Civil Registration of births, marriages & deaths commences in England & Wales.