Wednesday, 31 August 2011

New Ways to 'Go'


As a genealogist, I'm sure you're as fascinated with death, burial and graveyards as any person you know.  Well, maybe not 'fascinated', but at least 'interested'.  I know I am.  Hence my immense satisfaction at coming across this little gem of an article on the BBC website.  All to do with a new method of disposing of the dead - and it's a British idea.  Doesn't it make you proud!


The Dunfermline Register, 1829-59, which has popped up at Ancestry, may be of considerable interest to those of you with historical links to Fife, Perthshire, Kinross-shire and Clackmannanshire.

FindMyPast have placed a new batch of records online (some 18,000) pertaining to Thames and Medway.  These cover the period 1825-71 for the parishes of Greenwich and Rotherhithe.

A reminder of the ongoing nationwide activities under the banner of the 'Archive Awareness Campaign', where there is still plenty to be enjoyed - as detailed on the 'Events' section of their website.

A couple of new Podcasts have appeared on TNA's website, here (Railways & the Mobilisation for War in 1914 and MI5 File Release).

And whilst we're with TNA, those of you who follow these things closely may be interested in TNA's Chief's latest activities.

A wee offer from the WDYTYA? website winds up today's news.


A few TV programmes for the week.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Archive Users 'Happy'


Seems like current users of the UK's archives and record offices are pretty pleased with the services on offer.  According to a survey by the Public Services Quality Group, 96% of those asked said the overall service they received was 'very good' or 'good' - the two highest ratings possible.  Not bad in the current climate of cuts, cuts and, er, more cuts.  Read the full story here.

From the very same blog comes news of an award for the Manchester Chinese Archive.

The only other news on offer today is the usual Tuesday schedule of events for this coming weekend...

  • Saturday 3rd September - Lanarkshire FHS Family History Day.  Not easy to find a useful web reference for this event - but Chris Paton has this post from earlier this month which seems to do the job!
  • Saturday 3rd September - Stratford-on-Avon Book Fair;
  • Sunday 4th September - Dartmoor Book Fair;
  • And advance notice about a major event ... Saturday 10th September - National Family History Fair at Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  Will give you all a reminder about this one next week. 


Thanks to The Professional Descendant for some useful internet resources pertaining to Scottish deaths, burials and MIs.


We end today's helping with some food for thought from blogger John Reid, who ponders the question of 'Genealogy and Longevity' - with a link to an equally thought-provoking article.  Mmm.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Free Immigration Records


From today (29th) until 5th September, Ancestry are offering completely free access to their Immigration Records.  If you haven't already done so, you'll have to register on their site first - but this is free, too, so it must be worth a dabble.

Whilst we're on the subject of special deals, further clarification/detail on that special offer from FindMyPast (reduced membership fees) can be found here.

I have been asked by publisher Bob Blatchford to plug his forthcoming Irish Family & Local History Handbook, full details of which can be found here.  I'll be reminding you all again of this major publishing event a little nearer the time - but you can get your order in now.  There you go, Bob.

Another issue of the Lost Cousins Newsletter is now available.  Unmissable, as ever - and a fair bit of interesting banter about the state and fate of our old cemeteries is included.  Do have a read.

The latest Eneclann Newsletter is up for grabs, too.  They've three new publications on offer, and there's a special look at County Antrim.


Bradford during WWI is the subject matter of this recently-spotted blog ... which will contain plenty of useful stuff for those of us with a general interest in the Great War.


Death of...
Brigham Young, Mormon leader, and founder of Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1877, aged 76.  If you don't know how many wives and children he had, then you'll be surprised - see here.  Extraordinary.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Bank Holiday Stuff


Would have brought you this a little bit sooner if I'd found it earlier.  Never mind.  A few events for the weekend can be found at the Best of British Magazine website.  Whatever you do this bank holiday, don't forget to take your brolly.

A few bits from Ireland now...

  • Ireland's 'Culture Night' is on Friday 23rd September.  Quite often there's plenty of good historical stuff to be had for free at these sorts of events, so do have a look;
  • Latest issue of Irish Roots is now available;
  • And Limerick researchers may be able to get something out of this new resource, via the NLI's blog.

Elsewhere, we have the latest Podcast from the BBC's HistoryExtra website.

Then there's another addition to TheGenealogist's database for Diamond subscribers (New Zealand records).

And if you've been following the GENI debate, then you'll want to take in this GeneaBloggers post.


If you're interested in the great celebration of Welsh culture and tradition that is the 'Eisteddfod', then take a look at this little effort.


The BBC's 'History Headlines' for the week can be enjoyed here.  There's a little story in there about genetics, so do have a dip.


The folks at MyHeritage have released some impressive facts and figures about their huge concern, here and here.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Tourism on the Up


I see that visits to England's tourist attractions are on the increase, according to a BBC report.  I'd like to think that this is down to more of us genealogists being on the historical wander, but I suspect it's more to do with more Brits staying in the country for their hols.  Either way, it's nice to see.

The north of England has had a little bit of a boost record-wise, too, in the last couple of days.  John Reid points out that FamilySearch has added a healthy swathe of Bishops' Transcripts to its holdings, covering most of the northern counties (i.e. the Diocese of Durham).  See his post here.

Liverpool has also got in on the act via the latest release from Ancestry.  Information about their newly-available Quaker Registers, 1635-1958 for the city can be accessed here (thanks again to John Reid for spotting this).

To coincide with the launch of its new-look website, FindMyPast has announced the restructuring of its membership fees.  Website here and fees announcement here.

Spotted on the WDYTYA? website is a chance to win tickets to the forthcoming Irish extravaganza that is the 'Back to Our Past' family history fair in Dublin in October.

Many of you may also be interested in the forthcoming 'Domesday Now' Conference being held at The National Archives on Saturday 17th September.  All relevant information can be accessed through this brief announcement (as far as I can tell, despite being dated 12th August, this announcement has only just popped up on the site.  Hope there are still tickets left).

Those considering subscribing to the e-version of Family Tree Magazine may wish to ponder John Reid's comments on the issue.


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


'This Week in History' can be viewed here.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Gwent Records


Welsh researchers will be interested to learn that FindMyPast have released almost 80,000 new parish records for Gwent for the period 1634-1933.

A number of new military records have been added to the GenesReunited site - see Chris Paton's report on the story, here.  Mainly WWI stuff, but Boer War researchers should also take a look, too.

Though (at the time of writing) the news has yet to appear on their website, it has been reported in a couple of places that the London Family History Centre will be temporarily relocating to the Reading Room of The National Archives (from 13th September) during its period of closure.

The Irish Genealogical Research Society is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a special symposium on Saturday 1st October to be held in London.  Check out their programme for the day and booking arrangements/details here.  As places are limited it seems pointless me mentioning this 'do' again, so please act now if you're interested!

A reminder to you all that the Heritage Open Days are getting ever nearer (8th-11th September).  You don't need me to tell you what this very special weekend is all about.  Check out the official website to see what's on offer in your neck of the woods.


The eighth article in FindMyPast's series on understanding and interpreting old photographs (courtesy of expert Jayne Shrimpton) can be found here.


If you'd like a recap of last night's Who Do You Think Your Are? TV show, then have a look here.  Might spoil your enjoyment, though, if you haven't yet seen the programme (it should be available on the BBC iPlayer soon).

Several sources have also mentioned an appeal for help from BBC Radio Scotland in the compilation of their forthcoming Digging Up Your Roots series - see the SoG version of the story here.

And here are a few a few TV/Radio shows to look out for in the coming week.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Apprentice Records


Ancestry is keeping up a fair old pace with the release of yet more 'occupations' records.  The latest batch to appear are their 'Apprentice Books, 1710-1811'.  Looks quite tasty - check 'em out here.

An up-to-date listing has been issued of the British Library's forthcoming events & exhibitions.  Lots to trawl through, so do give it a quick glance if you're within striking distance of the capital.

Those of you who like to keep abreast of developments at the FamilySearch website may wish to check out a couple of interesting announcements.  Firstly, there's a little piece about the ongoing development of the site; then there's a few paragraphs about the fate of the dear old IGI.

Off to Scotland now, and a nice spot by blogger Chris Paton in the shape of a couple resources for those of us with Perth ancestry.

John Reid reviews a copy of Tracing Your East End Ancestors - see his blog post here.

And TheGenealogist has released a batch of Australian records for its Diamond subscribers.


It's back to blogger John Reid for mention of a lengthy online article/interview with renowned Scottish historian, Tom Devine.  Scottish migration is Tom's big thing.


Birth of...
William Wilberforce, British politician and philanthropist, in 1759, in Hull.

1875:  Captain Matthew Webb becomes the first person to swim the English Channel.


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Bexhill Event


There are only two events which I am aware of this coming weekend, but one of them is a fairly big one on the south coast...

The south-east of England - specifically Kent - is soon to see a rash of closures which will be of considerable interest to local and family historians.  A recent announcement made via the FFHS's mailing list ran something like this...

The Canterbury LDS Family History Centre will close at the end of August for 8 to 12 months to undergo refurbishment. The Gillingham centre will remain open, their hours are now 10am - 2pm.

Canterbury Cathedral Archives & Library will be closed to the public from 5th to 16th September 2011 inclusive. The closure is in order for them to undertake vital work on the collections. It will also close again on 31st  January 2012 for approximately 7 months to carry out essential repairs.

The Centre for Kentish Studies will be closed from 29th August to 3rd September inclusive to prepare collections for the move in 2012.

Working our way up the country, Essex researchers may be interested in recent developments on the FamilySearch website - nicely summarised by John Reid, here.

There's a treat coming up for Gloucestershire researchers, too, with a 'History and Heritage Week' looming in early September - full details available here.

ReadIreland has updated its book listings - click here, then opt for 'ReadIreland Book News'.

And for some news with a difference, check out this link for a Scottish/Irish-themed cruise around New Zealand and Australia.  Seems like there are still places left at discount prices.


I know this topic has come up before on this blog, but you just can't resist the subject matter.  It's London's Foundling Hospital, and another touching little article.  Thanks to Christine Woodcock for this one.

Monday, 22 August 2011

'Extraordinary Concealment of Sex'

From the Middlesbrough, Stockton & District Daily Gazette of 27th November 1869...

Considerable excitement has been caused in the colliery villages of Etherley and Toft Hill [near Bishop Auckland] during the past few days, by a disclosure that had been made by the death of a woman who has for the past 50 years resided in that neighbourhood and married two wives.  It is said that she came from Scotland 50 years ago in the guise of a young man, and obtained employment at one of the collieries at which she worked as one of the men for some time, and paid her addresses to, and ultimately married, a servant girl at the village inn.

After her marriage she relinquished working at the pit, and commenced to make besoms, yellow clay balls, and pipeclay rubbers which she and her partner vended in the surrounding villages.  They lived together for 28 years, when the wife died, and the reputed husband professed to lament her loss very much, but at length the grief wore off, and she married a second wife, with whom she lived for a number of years, but not on the most affectionate terms, and eventually my mutual consent they parted.

For some time the woman had lain on a bed of sickness, and had been dependant upon some kind neighbours whom, however, she always prevented coming too near her, and latterly, she persisted in wearing trousers in bed.

The other day she died, and when her neighbours came and were doing the usual offices of laying her out, the discovery of the sex was made.  The deceased woman gave her name as Josiah Charles Stephenson, and she had often been heard to speak of being heir to some property near Berwick-on-Tweed, but had no money to go and claim it.

Many strange stories are told in connection with this singular individual's history...

At which point the article frustratingly ends!

[this extract originally appeared in the journal of the Cleveland FHS of April 1986]

Saturday, 20 August 2011

News From the South-East


FindMyPast have announced the release of 148,000 new burial records for East Kent and East Surrey - read all about it here.

Staying in the bottom right-hand corner of the British Isles, I see that London Metropolitan Archives have issued a press release regarding future opening hours.  However, the LMA's hours are subject to a good deal more change over the coming months, with the following caveat appearing elsewhere on the Web...

From Monday 14 November 2011 (following our re-opening after stocktaking) there will also be changes to our weekday openings. LMA will close on Fridays, but there will be an extra late night opening as we will stay open on Wednesdays (as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays) until 7.30 pm. 

So, in summary, do be careful when planning a visit!

The SoG have published another book: My Ancestor Was a Studio Photographer.

Another reminder of the forthcoming 'Ulster Genealogy & Migration Studies Autumn School' in October in Omagh.

The National Archives of Ireland have issued a short but stern warning, here.

A couple of Podcasts for you to listen to, thus:

Finally, a piece of important news about the 1940 US Census - it's gonna be free for nearly two years!


A useful-looking website can be found at  Be sure to check out the 'Heritage Events' section. 


If only all our youngsters were quite so keen...


Friday, 19 August 2011

PRONI Lectures


Great news for researchers based in Northern Ireland with the announcement of a series of talks by PRONI and The Open University in Ireland.  The 'Exploring Local History' lecture programme spans some seven events during September-April - full details can be found here.

The Irish Genealogy News blog has issued another update in connection with the Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives.

S&N Genealogy have published the 'Late August Edition' of their newsletter - one of those regular write-ups which is always worth a quick look

The folks at TheGenealogist have unveiled the complete 1911 Census for London for their Diamond subscribers.

A couple of items from the keyboard of blogger Chris Paton.  Firstly, there's the surprising news that the BBC are selling off several of their periodicals, WDYTYA? Magazine included!  Chris also sums up the recent controversy surrounding - not something which I have found myself embroiled in (thankfully), but many of you may have a vested interest.

Oh, and the September issue of HistoryToday Magazine is now up for grabs.


The week's 'History Headlines' from the BBC can be found here.


And the Beeb's TV & Radio highlights for the coming week can be perused here.


Thanks to Christine Woodcock and her blog for flagging a useful-looking website for those with genealogical interests in Sutherland, Scotland.


'This Week in History' captured on video can be enjoyed here.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

TNA Crime Records


Three million crime, court and convict records are to be digitised by The National Archives with the help of genealogical heavyweights Brightsolid.  The vast collection, dating back to 1782, will be processed in stages, with the first tranche expected to be ready in December 2012.  Full story here.

John Reid points out that the granddaddy of the UK genealogical magazine market, Family Tree, has gone digital - see his post here.  Can't see an announcement on the magazine's website, but it is most certainly kosher news, as evidenced by the link in John's post.

Additionally, Family Tree are running a competition/survey.

John Reid has also pointed out an update to the FamilySearch site, here, which will be of interest to Warwickshire researchers.

Ancestry have also issued another couple of updates - this time concerning London records.

Another top class effort from Peter Calver, in the shape of the latest Lost Cousins Newsletter.  This issue features news of several special offers - including free access to his website until the end of August.  There's also an interesting development at Essex Record Office, and ... well, just have a look for yourself, why don't you, as it's always full of good stuff.

Cleveland Family History Society are running another of their regular 'Family History Days' on Saturday 8th October - once again at Scotch Corner Hotel.  Jayne Shrimpton and Barbara Dixon will be giving talks, and the fee is £15 per person.  Full details and booking form here.

The recent redevelopment work at the National Maritime Museum has hit a snag, and researchers are to be slightly inconvenienced as a result.  See the announcement on their website.

The September issue of BBC History Magazine is now available.


Forthcoming TV/Radio can be found here.


Peter McGoldrick has been in touch to ask if I can mention his website dedicated to the Royal Irish Constabulary - so here it is.  More of a forum, really, but do get in touch with him through the site or directly at if this is where your research interests lie.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Catching Up With Chris


I took my first look at Chris Paton's ScottishGENES blog this morning since returning from holiday and, surprise, surprise, found myself with plenty of news to trawl through.  So if you didn't keep abreast of Mr Paton's trusty efforts whilst I was away, then you may want to have a look for yourself now.  Failing that, I've picked out a few highlights...

A couple of events for the weekend...

And the British Library has launched its 'eBook Treasures' for the iPad - see here.


An important new blog has popped up relating to Jewish ancestry.  The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain is the organisation in question, and their new blog can be found here.


Family history matters are making their way onto the small screen increasingly these days, it seems, and who are we to complain?  Latest news in this respect is the new 'Find My Past' programme to be shown on cable channel 'Yesterday' from 20th October.  Chris Paton explains all here, including the contents of the lengthy press release.


If you're a subscriber to GenesReunited you may not have noticed that you can gain access to an increasing number of online articles.  See here for a flavour of what's available.


If you've Irish ancestry you may wish to participate in Eneclann's competition, where a neat prize is up for grabs.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

From the Capital


Now seems a good time to remind those of you in the South-East of England that the Mormons' London Family History Centre is closing for refurbishment in the next few days.  Saturday 20th August will be the last day of operations - see their website for updates as and when they are issued.

Also on the subject of the capital (and as a follow-up to yesterday's brief mention of the Archive Awareness Campaign), I see that the third Story of London Festival is currently under way.  By clicking on the 'Events' link on the website you will be taken to, well, an events list!  Very interesting.

FindMyPast are to conduct a drastic revamp of their website - see the announcement here.

Irish Genealogy News has a neat summary of recent updates to the Emerald Ancestors website (Northern Ireland specialists).

Teessiders may wish to check out the list of forthcoming talks and events organised by the Friends of Teesside Archives.  All free, but booking is necessary.

A strange-sounding podcast from TNA has been posted here.  Not sure what, if any, relevance the subject matter has for us genealogists, but I always like to give the talks a mention.

Your Family Tree Magazine has launched a 'Book Club' which many of you may be interested in.  It involves providing input for their book reviews section.


Have a read of this blog post at Irish Genealogy News for some forthcoming Irish genealogical TV news.  It all kicks off on Sunday 21st, so don't miss out.

The Wandering Genealogist points out an interesting 'background article' to the current series of WDYTYA? - see his post here, where you will find the relevant link.


The My Heritage blog has another (brief) article on 'Spanish Naming Conventions'.


The Family Recorder blog goes slightly off-beat with a little piece on Oxfordshire, here.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Catch-up Begins


After my short holiday I've a lot to catch up on.  So without further ado, let's get cracking.  Today we'll start off with what was waiting for me in my email in-box! ...

Society of Genealogists:

The National Archives:
  • A reminder of TNA's Summer Sale, which ends this month;
  • TNA announcement regarding the Archive Awareness Campaign's latest publicity effort. Sounds like an interesting one - with many of our archives and record offices opening their doors in celebration of our society's 'Culture and Diversity'.  Follow the links to check if there's anything happening in your area.


The September issue of WDYTYA? Magazine is now available - see here.

Eneclann's latest newsletter can be viewed here - including a county focus on Waterford.

The FindMyPast Ireland blog mentions an exhibition on offer in Co.Meath concerning the Irish in WWI, and goes on to mention one or two other related leads which may be of interest to those with Irish blood. 

And also from Ireland, comes a survey being conducted by the National Library of Ireland about the allocation of its dwindling funds - deadline 21st August.

Finally for today, the Community Archives & Heritage Group has announced the opening of nominations for its 2011 Community Archive Award.  The scheme covers all such groups across the whole of the UK and Ireland.

Do call in again tomorrow for another bumper update.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Help Me!

I should like to dedicate today’s blog entry, as I am occasionally prone to do, to an appeal for information.

You’ve probably heard it before, so I’ll keep it brief.  News, online articles, useful websites, unusual record entries, you know the sort of thing.  Anything to do with British or Irish family history.  Get items, links, etc., into me at .

My plan to bring out a publication of genealogical oddities, etc., is progressing well.  I am still keen to collect more material, though – stories, PR entries, MIs, that sort of thing.  I will be putting the final touches on the booklet over the next few weeks, then starting immediately on a second volume.  So I really do need some help!

If you want more info on my wants, needs and plans, then see this old post from June.

Oh, and don’t forget to help build up the ‘Surname Register’ (see link above).

The blog will be back to normal on Monday.  But not before another burst of …


1961:  The Berlin Wall seals the border between East and West Germany (wow – 50 years!).
1964:  Last hangings in the UK take place on the same day: Peter Anthony Allen and Gwynne Owen Evans.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Strange-Sounding Ailments

I dug this one out from my notes a few days ago when I was looking for stuff to give you to look at when I was away for a few days, so here it is.  Originally spotted on the Genealogy Gazette blog (see the post in question here), it’s a splendid website called ‘Rudy’s List of Archaic Medical Terms’.  Speaks for itself, really.

I’m not sat at my PC today and can’t guarantee it, but chances are that the following two websites have been updated in the last 24hrs or so – or will be any time soon:
  • BBC HistoryExtra – for general historical chatter, and a TV/Radio schedule (see the blue-green bar just under the title);
  • WDYTYA? Magazine – generally covers a handful of the week’s major genealogical headlines, plus a TV/Radio schedule, too, of course. 


1960:  First communications satellite begins operating (Echo 1A).

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Turnspit Dogs and Hedgehogs

Another interestingly little article taken from my other blog, the 'North-East History Tour', concerns that most curious of subjects, the turnspit dog.  If you’ve never heard of ‘em, then I suppose you can easily guess what they are.  I stumbled upon the strange subject a few months ago and couldn’t resist passing on the information, here.  There’s also a bit in there about a domesticated hedgehog.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Devil's Dictionary

In my never-ending search of the Internet for historical curiosities, I came across this one a short while ago.  I made a note of it, thinking it might come in handy – so here it is: The Devil’s Dictionary.  It is best accessed through a neat little intro on the BBC’s HistoryExtra site, here.  The book’s author, Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce, was a great one for quotes, with examples of his wit and what we now call ‘observational humour’ scattered across the Internet.  The Devil’s Dictionary is a bit ‘heavy’ in places, but it’s worth the occasional ‘dip’.

If you’re getting desperate for family history news, well, at the risk of referring you elsewhere and losing you for good (“NEVER!”, I hear you say), these guys are the best ones to keep tabs on:

All the above guys are independent of the genealogical big boys, and, although specialising in certain geographical areas, always keep an eye on the major stories in England & Wales, too.  Indeed, I’ve a lot to thank them for over the first few months of BI-Gen’s existence … so ‘Thank You!’ to Chris, John and Claire.  There are others too, but these three are the ‘stand-outs’.


1842:  The Mines Act becomes law, preventing the employment of women and small children underground;
2003:  Highest temperature ever recorded in the UK: 38.5°C (101.3°F), at Faversham, Kent.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Fairs on the Horizon

I may be out of touch with the world of family history for a few days, but here’s something I can prepare in advance, namely, a little list of forthcoming events, thus:
 (if either of the latter two links don't work, go to and click through to the 2011 calendar)

If you’re otherwise bored today, then you may care to have a browse of a popular website to discover corners of it that you were previously unaware of.  I’m talking about the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? site.  No, I haven’t been put up to it by the Beeb, but the website actually has some very interesting areas which you may not know about.  For starters, have a look at the ‘Taking it Further’ tab and, if you’re a bit of a novice, the ‘Getting Started’ link may be the one for you.  The ‘Social History’ area used to be really good, too, but they seem to have wiped it.


1945:  Atomic Bomb hits Nagasaki.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Bye for a Bit

OK, so I’m not around for a few days to tend to your genealogical needs.  But I’ve still got a week’s worth of entertainment planned for you by cleverly scheduling things in a few days in advance.  Hope it all works in my absence…

First of all, many of you know that I have an interest in the history of the North-East of England.  So much so, in fact, that I maintain another blog called the North-East History Tour.  It’ll be of limited interest to the majority of you, of course, but you might find something exciting there.  One entry is sure to have an impact on you, though.  For a tragic tale of horrific proportions take a look at the story of the Victoria Hall Disaster, Sunderland, of 1883.  Get your hankies ready, for it is an incredibly sad affair.


1963:  Great Train Robbery;
1974:  Richard Nixon announces he is to resign as US president, effective from the following day;
1991:  Beirut hostage John McCarthy freed after more than five years in captivity.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Conferences to Consider


Two forthcoming conferences have come to my attention.  They're still some way off, but it's always best to 'get in there' early if you're at all interested (though I shall also give you a reminder of them a little nearer the time).  Firstly, we have the Scottish Local History Forum Conference in Glasgow on Friday 4th November, which has 'roads' as its central topic.  And then there's the Archives for London Conference on Saturday 29th October, on the subject of 'learning'.

S&N Genealogy have released their August Newsletter.  There's lots to take in, so do follow the link and have at least a quick look.

As you probably know, TheGenealogist comes under S&N's wing, and there are several new record releases pertaining to the central areas of England to be found here.

A flurry of Irish news now.  Firstly, it's worth pointing out that it's 'National Heritage Week' in Ireland during 20th-28th August, so you may want to have a browse of the official website.  There are plenty of bits and pieces of interest to local and family historians.

I notice, too, that there's been an update to the ReadIreland website (follow the link, then click on 'Read Ireland Book News').

Irish culture vultures may also be interested in this post on the Europeana website regarding the Irish Traditional Music Archive.

Welsh film fans may wish to have a look at this post on the National Library of Wales blog.

The newly-opened Oxfordshire History Centre will be closed for the week beginning 15th August - see here.

A couple of Podcasts are available:

The Parish Chest have issued another of their regular updates, here.  As usual, lots of new releases from various companies are listed therein.

And if you're stuck for things to do during this beautiful, bright and sunny month of August, then you may pick up an idea or two from BBC History Magazine's 'Out and About' online feature.


Also on the above BBC website can be found their weekly collection of 'History Headlines', as well as a thought-provoking article on the need for a 'Museum of British History'.  Mmm.

And finally, an important 'P.S.'...

... As I’m away from my computer for a few days from Monday, I’m not going to be able to keep you abreast of developments in the genealogical world.  I hope you will forgive me – it's a bit too much to ask my wife to look after the blog in my absence (!), but I will be sure to catch up on all the gossip on my return and to let you know all the juicy bits.  But I couldn’t possibly leave you with nothing to do, so I have scheduled in a few blog posts in advance.  I do hope they load up properly in my absence*, for there are some interesting things to come.

* Blogger can sometimes let you down when scheduling posts in advance!

Friday, 5 August 2011

FamilySearch on YouTube


Various sources have reported the recent launch of FamilySearch's new YouTube Channel.  I have had little more than a cursory glance at it, but why don't you have a look for yourself - with the resources this organisation has at its disposal, I'm sure the facility will become a handy resource in the future.

As you would expect, there has been quite a bit of coverage of the recent release of Ancestry's new Railway Employment Records (see yesterday's blog entry) - you may wish to take in the reports here and here.

Up to Scotland now, and the release of the latest issue of Discover My Past: Scotland - see this link for further information.  I have Chris Paton to thank for that piece of news - and those of you with Scottish interests may well be interested in Chris's upcoming online genealogy course, too!

A little bit of news from the National Library of Wales, in the shape of their plans for this coming autumn - see their blog entry, here.


Historical TV & Radio programmes for the coming week can be found here.


I suspect that many of us can sympathise with the sentiments expressed by blogger Kirsty Wilkinson, here.  There's also a recommendation for a way of cataloguing your book collection, too.


A two-minute film of 'This Week in History' can be viewed here.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

New Railway Records


Ancestry have released a further set of records in their 'Occupations' series, in the shape of their 'UK Railway Employment Records, 1807-1963'.  The main thrust of this new resource seems to be the 'Staff Register', which looks pretty handy.  Have a look at the little video whilst you're at it.

The Irish Genealogy News blog has provided a useful 'events schedule' for August - essential reading for Irish-based researchers.

Many of you will have already noticed that the Guild of One-Name Studies is offering a splendid membership offer during the month of August.  Don't be put off by the first few lines of the text, as the offer applies to all.

Users of the Family Historian software package may wish to have a browse of the latest dedicated newsletter.

And the British Library (in partnership with BiblioLabs) has announced the release of a 19th century historical book collection 'app' for the iPad ... containing some 45,000 books!  Isn't technology amazing?  See full details here.


The new series of Who Do You Think You Are? looms.  And for a little write-up on the first few episodes, check out the official website, here.

Also from WDYTYA?, here's the week's TV & Radio (wish they'd put these listings up a bit quicker: half the programmes have passed before we get a chance to read them!).


Just when you'd thought you'd read all you possibly could about President Obama and his Irish roots, up pops another piece from Eneclann, here.

A short but sweet article about the origins of some of our month names, here.  Just shows what those Roman emperors thought of themselves!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Research Queries Idea


In the midst of a bout of email correspondence with Eastbourne Reference Library, East Sussex, I came across the following entry in their Summer 2011 newsletter:

Come to a dead end with your family history research?
If you’ve reached a point with your family or house history research where you’ve hit a brick wall why not ask other library users for help? Simply speak to a member of staff in the reference library who will give you a form to fill in with your questions – this will then be stuck onto our blog board (which is situated by the microfilm readers) where it will be available for everyone to view. If there are any responses you will then be contacted by library staff. The service is free and your contact details will not be made available to anyone other than staff. Why not give it a go, it could prove to be invaluable.

Now I don't get out much, but I must confess that I've never come across this idea before.  It seems an absolutely splendid idea, and I wonder how widespread it is?  If there are any libraries or archives out there who don't already do this (and there must be many), then I think they should consider doing so immediately!

Just up the road from Eastbourne is Bexhill, and on Saturday 27th August the town's Museum is hosting a Family & Local History Day.  The usual collection of stalls will be in attendance and a number of lectures will be laid on (bookable in advance, I think), together with plenty of family activities.  There's even still time to book a stall, if you want one.  This link is a good starting point, but you can also contact Claire Eden for more information.

More chat on the Welsh-themed, week-long shenanigans at Wrexham can be found here, where there's news about the town's new 'branch' of the National Library of Wales!

The latest Podcast from TNA can be found here (Land Tax).

An appeal has been made by the Scottish Screen Archive for donations of home movies shot since 1970  - see the article at the National Library of Scotland's website, here.

And the second issue of the completely free Warfare magazine can be accessed here.  There's no catch - it really is absolutely FREE!


Three very diverse items for you to cast your eyes over...

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Yorkshire Day & Welsh Week!


OK, so I'm a day late, but yesterday, 1st August, was 'Yorkshire Day', and FindMyPast have issued a flurry of posts on their blog which may be of interest to some of you (if you're accessing this some time after 1st, then scroll back through their blog to the date in question).  If any more belated news from the county's special day comes through, I'll let you know.

I'm a bit late with this one, too, but those with Welsh interests may wish to get along to what's left of the week's events at Wrexham - see here.  Wish I'd spotted this one a few days ago - sorry.

A report of an event passed now, with Chris Paton's account of the genealogical goings-on at the ScotFamTree AGM on Saturday.  And whilst we're at it, see here for news of a forthcoming Scottish event which may be of interest to those of you with tartan eyes (thanks again, Chris!).

As for events this coming weekend, we have...

And fill out the WDYTYA? website/magazine survey, here, for a chance to win a prize!


The British Library have redesigned their website.  For the official announcement, see here.

And there's a 'Community Archives' website, here, which seems very useful.  Have a look and, if appropriate, add it to your 'favourites'.


This really should have gone under yesterday's 'On This Day' section, but, hey-ho, this is my day for being late with things!  Anyway, yesterday (1st August) was the 150th anniversary of the first weather forecast - see John Reid's helpful post here, where you can click through to the BBC's little video tribute to a century-and-a-half of telling us it's going to rain. 

Monday, 1 August 2011

Tayroots Gathering


Scottish-based researchers will be most interested in the forthcoming Tayroots Genealogy Fair & Workshops at Dundee on 24th September.  The 'do' is being held at the city's Discovery Point visitor attraction, and there are all sorts of things lined up for the day - and almost everything seems to be free! (but it may be wise to book for some stuff).  Read all about it here.

Talking about events and the like, Londoners may care to take a look at TNA's list of forthcoming talks, etc. - see here.

Irish family history company, Eneclann, have released another newsletter.  Focus this time is on Cork, but there are some discounts and other bits and pieces to run your eye over, too.

Staying in Ireland, Linen Hall Library's August programme can be viewed here.

And moving back up into Scotland, blogger Christine Woodcock has flagged a series of online videos of the genealogical holdings at Glasgow's Mitchell Library.  See her post, here, where you can click on the link in question.  After you've viewed the first film (Poor Law records), you should be presented with the other videos across your screen.  Hope that makes sense.


If you've been following The Nosey Genealogist's recent articles on Wills, etc., then you'll want to have a look at the latest instalment (Administrations in England & Wales up to 1858).


1798:  The main action of the Battle of the Nile took place, the British under Nelson routing the French - forcing their surrender on the morning of 3rd.