Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Events at Home & Abroad

The title's a bit misleading, really, as I never feature fairs and other events which are happening abroad - except at this time of year, that is. For 2nd-4th February sees the mighty RootsTech extravaganza take place in Salt Lake City in the US - an occasion which can be enjoyed by anyone worldwide thanks to the live online streaming of many of the presentations. Several blogs have been building up to the event for weeks, but there are a couple of helpful posts at Dick Eastman's site, and at the ScotGen blog. The page you need for the 'Live Streaming' seems to be here.

As for events here in the UK, well, there isn't much happening. A book fair + a few postcard fairs, thus:
  • Sunday 5th February - Killerton (Devon) Book Fair;
  • Postcard Fairs at Bristol (4th), Guildford (4th), Nottingham (5th) and Southampton (5th) - see here. Please check with organisers before travelling.
It is worth pointing out that there are a couple of family history courses being laid on at the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland on 11th February and 10th March - with a whole lot of other talks available, too, during Feb-March. Full details here.

A quick reminder, too, of the Manchester Histories Festival during 24th Feb-4th March. A lot of the events are, I think, bookable, so get yourself registered at the site so that you don't miss a thing. Now I'll not be telling you again!

Please note that Devon's record offices and its local studies centre will all be closed during 6th-19th February - that is, the North Devon RO in Barnstaple, Devon RO in Exeter and the North Devon Local Studies Centre (also in Barnstaple). There are also to be some changes to opening hours in the near future, so do keep an eye on the situation if you're a regular visitor.

Many of you will have noticed the recent news from FindMyPast concerning the pending release of records pertaining to East Kent - with a pretty neat summary of what's to come available on the SoG blog.

FindMyPast's parent company, brightsolid, are, as you probably know, making moves on the US market. Blogger Dick Eastman sums up developments nicely here

FindMyPast Ireland has released a small record resource entitled Deserted Children Dublin 1850-54 - see here.

The outcome of the recent 'Rock Star Genealogists' poll has been published, the various category results being scattered across several posts on John D.Reid's Anglo-Celtic Connections blog (you will have to scroll back through the entries a bit). A public 'thank you' is extended to John, too, for mention of my blog a few days ago which produced a little surge of hits!

Family History Books for Kids!
(click below for details)

Entry from the unofficial 1816 Census of Rothbury, Northumberland, by the local clergyman:

Isabella Urpeth is a strange half-witted vagabond. She lives in a wretched filthy hovel with two grown up daughters whom she will not suffer to work or learn anything. She gives all imaginable licence to her tongue, and her hands, and her character is like her dress, all in tatters. She has a prayer book and a Bible, which she never uses, though she's asked for others!

We shall return to this curious document from time-to-time over the coming weeks...
(thanks to Pennie Redmile)

Monday, 30 January 2012

NLI Improvements & Tons More

What is supposed to be a quiet time of the year for family history is proving to be quite the opposite, with no shortage of news items to report at the moment. I shall shoot through them quickly ... and try to catch up on everything over the next couple of days!

We'll start with the National Library of Ireland, and their announcement concerning forthcoming improvements to their service. I can do no better than point you to the 'newsflash' itself, here.

It's time for the latest Lost Cousins newsletter - more excellent reading and banter from Peter Calver can be found here.

Another newsletter, that of Irish research company Eneclann, is also available (county focus on Sligo).

A couple of quickie announcements from TNA:

TNA also has another Podcast available, entitled Researching Mr Briggs' Hat: an account of Britain's first railway murder - see here.

The observant among you may have noticed a slight change to the FamilySearch website - a development I picked up on via The Family Recorder blog.

This might have limited appeal to genealogists, but the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales have a big day of talks, etc., coming up - full details here.

Lincolnshire researchers may want to check out this exhibition at Whisby (thanks to The Family History Show's Facebook page).

Those with an interest in the county of Essex may wish to keep tabs on the somewhat specialist website/blog entitled 'Essex Voices Past'. A real treat for those with ancestors from the parish in question (Great Dunmow).

Ditto those with interests in County Clare, Ireland, with an amazing new mapping resource as described by Claire Santry.

And I see that February is 'Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans History Month' - official website here.

Oh, sorry, but I really must remind you all about the 10% off all subscriptions at FindMyPast which ends tomorrow. Use the promotion codes NEWYEAR12 or STFTW12 (hopefully one will work) - try the site out here.

From Twitter:

Phew! Come back tomorrow for what is likely to be another lengthy listing...

All the men in my family were bearded, and most of the women.


Saturday, 28 January 2012

Death, and Other Stuff

Deceased Online have made an announcement regarding the addition of more burial records for London to their website.

Talking of death, here's a curious and gruesome tale from Bristol's M Shed Museum via the BBC's HistoryExtra site. And death also leads the stories from the Beeb's 'History Headlines' for the week.

The living among you may be interested in the February list of talks being laid on at London's Gresham College. Remember, they're free to everyone.

Users of the FamilySearch website - which will be pretty much all of us - will do themselves a lot of good by taking in this advice from the horse's mouth.

I think I may have mentioned this before, but the BBC website has a nice illustrated piece regarding the pending digitisation of BT's records by TNA/BT/Coventry Uni.

The GenealogyInTime website has some interesting news about forthcoming US records. And they have also upgraded their 'Genealogy Search Engine'.

Don't forget TNA's book sale, here.

Look out for this email scam currently doing the rounds.

And if you've been having problems of late with Ancestry.com, then you're not alone. Reader James McLaren points out that though the front page looks OK, search.ancestry.com keeps 'falling over', as he puts it, and then he gets a page with an error message. This has been happening for at least a week, it seems.

Whether it's a coincidence or not, I have noticed mention on Twitter of similar problems with some of the other major sites such as GenesReunited and FindMyPast. Strange.

Extract from the Northern Echo of November 1995:

Happened this day, on Friday 4th November 1831 - As agriculturists drew up a bill of indictment against these great snorting, roaring and mighty monsters, the Stockton & Darlington Railway prepared a handbill warning staff to go at a moderate speed on all Runs, and very slowly in crossing all Turnpike and other Roads ... especially when any Coaches, Carts or other Carriages are seen. They must avoid, as much as possible, letting off Steam near public Roads, and should any Horse or Horses take fright ... immediate assistance to be rendered by the Engine-Men and their assistants.

Friday, 27 January 2012

More Changes at TNA

Regular users of The National Archives website will want to digest this news item regarding changes which are being made to the institution's 'online research guidance'.

OK, so I'm a tad late for this, but there's a special 'Legacy of Robert Burns' page at The National Archives of Scotland website, here. Oh, and there are a few more paragraphs here.

The February issue of Family Tree Magazine is now available. Remember, you can also get your hands on a digital copy - see here.

If romance is your thing, then this piece of news from The British Library may interest you. In the meantime, the BL website has a new online catalogue - check out the brief announcement here. Oh, and the BL sale only has a few more days to run, too.

MyHeritage is a worldwide family history concern that made giant strides during 2011 and certainly worth  considering when looking for ways of interacting online with fellow researchers and family members. Here's a summary of their activity during 2011.

If you know who Thomas MacEntee is then you may wish to listen to Ruth Blair's interview with the said individual. Thomas is, of course, the guy behind GeneaBloggers.

A final reminder to vote for your favourite 'Rock Star Genealogist' - see John Reid's blog post here. Please vote now as the deadline is tomorrow!

Pen & Sword Books have a special offer on selected family history titles - see here (then scroll down a bit).

Two blog entries from Dick Eastman's site caught my eye this morning. Firstly, there's a genealogy 'app' for Android phones by an English company which works in conjunction with the Legacy Family Tree software package. Then there's an extraordinary story about the surviving (i.e. still alive) grandsons of a US president who was born in 1790!

Oh, and your forthcoming TV & radio can be found here.

From Twitter:

The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

More from the baptismal PR of Middleton, Norfolk...

21st May 1820 - Elizabeth, illeg. dau. of Tom "the Town Bull" & Elizabeth Claxton, Whore or Man-Trap;
12th March 1820 - Mary Anne, dau. of James & Maria Ashley, Publican & Beggar Maker;
27th Aug 1820 - Thomas, son of Thomas & Elizabeth Hammond, Farmer & Fortune Hunter.

[Shortly after 1820 the Rev.Wood reverted to the customary 'Ag.lab', etc. - on the advice of the Bishop we presume]

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Rock Star Genealogists

You may have noticed the latest craze going round the Internet, namely, voting for your favourite 'Rock Star Genealogists'. All to do with informally honouring the best and most effective speakers and writers of the family history world. Wonder what the heck I'm on about? See organiser John Reid's explanatory blog post here. And you need to vote NOW, as the deadline is Saturday.

Saturday (28th) also sees the National Library of Wales' Open Day. Looks like an utterly brilliant occasion - full details can be found here.

A few days ago the latest issue of the FFHS's e-Zine was published. Most of the stories have already been mentioned on this blog, but it is still definitely worth a look - check it out here.

'Ancestral Tourism' is a phrase which has crept into everyday speech of late, and here's some advance notice of an event devoted to the topic at Inverurie on 15th March.

Whilst in Scotland I'll remind you of the weekly updates from Electric Scotland - we've a couple of weeks to catch up on, with another instalment due soon by the looks of it.

Dublin is having a knees-up at the weekend, I see. And it seems there'll be a genealogical presence there, too - see here.

Some lovely photographs of Ireland can be found here (thanks to FMP Ireland's Facebook page). Even if you've no connections to the place, I'm sure you'll love 'em.

Issue 24 of Your Family History Magazine is now available.

... And the latest issue of the WDYTYA? Magazine is also on the market.

Origins.net are offering 20% off their subscriptions until the end of January.

And here's some stuff from Twitter:

These look handy...
One Stop Website CDs from My-History 
(click below)

All the following taken from the baptismal register of Middleton, Norfolk:
14th June 1818 - Jane, illeg. dau. of John Bartell & Sarah Farrer, Farmer & Concubine;
18th Oct 1818 - Mary Ann, illeg. dau. of Mary Dixon, Whore;
23rd Jan 1820 - Sarah, illeg. dau. of Teddy "The Grinder" & Sarah Forster, Whore & Man-Trap.
- more from the Rev Wood tomorrow.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Family History Small Talk

Nothing to write home about, news-wise, on the family history scene today, but, as ever, there's always something happening in some dark corner of the genealogical world worth a quick mention...

Ancestry have launched a competition in connection with the War Horse: Fact & Fiction exhibition at the National Army Museum - and the winner will have their story told as part of the exhibition display. Naturally, the tale must be relevant to the subject matter - see here.

Ancestry have also updated their 1911 Census records pertaining to Wales, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands - more details available on their updates page.

Those off to tomorrow's PRONI talk on the subject of 'Crime' will want to know about the late change of plan, here.

I now bring you three items from the HistoryToday Magazine website. First up is news of an interesting-looking Map App for history nuts. Then there's a frustratingly short insight into British participation in the Spanish Civil War. Finally, a historical look at Why Alcohol is Legal and Other Drugs are Not.

Judy Webster has been in touch to bring to our attention the worldwide 'Genealogists for Families Project'. I've been aware of it for a while but never yet mentioned it - so now I have! Click here, and then on 'About'. Very best wishes to Judy and the team in their worthwhile endeavours.

Interested in Cork and its history? Check out Claire Santry's blog post on the topic, here.

The British Library has won an award for its '19th Century Historical Collection' App - see here.

Another TNA Podcast has been made available online, here - its another effort from the October conference on the Census.

And you know how much I love the self-publishing organisation Lulu (I'm always going on about it)? Well, there's a 'free p&p' offer up for grabs until the end of January - and as p&p is the biggest (only) bugbear I have with the website, then this is a smashing offer. Click here to be taken to the homepage and you should see the offer flash up. You have to register (free) before you can use the site properly, but there are no catches (Note: my Lulu Storefront is here).

One final thing. From today, I'm going to try to include an 'oddity from the records' for every daily posting I make - so do remember to scroll all the way down to the bottom of each blog instalment so that you don't miss out. I will, in that case, need a little help from the readership in this regard, so if you have anything to send me then email me at micksouthwick@blueyonder.co.uk - I'd be delighted to hear from you.

... Walter Knapp ... while ringing the greate bell hanging in the tower of the parishe churche of Drayton ... was by misfortune taken up with the rope of the said bell and suddenly let fall against the grounde paved with stones by reason whereof he was soe bruised that he instantly dyed ...
[Extract from a report by Bishop White of Ely, 1630s]

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

FH Fairs are Back!

This weekend sees the first serious family history fair of the year with the Bracknell event on 29th - though it's still a bit slow, generally, events-wise...

If anyone is aware of any other forthcoming events (I sometimes miss 'em!) then do get in touch at micksouthwick@blueyonder.co.uk .

Worth mentioning, too, that the SoG have their own on-going series of lectures and the like - all neatly listed at www.sog.org.uk/events/calendar.shtml

A wee burst of activity from FindMyPast over the past couple of days have seen the following developments:
Additionally, Claire Santry's Irish Genealogy News blog has a neat little summary of news from various Irish archives, here - including a report on the revamped National Archives of Ireland's website.

Users of Hackney Archives will want to check out the latest news on their repository, here. There have been developments today, so do take note.

And check out this timely post from The Passionate Genealogist re. that ever-so-famous TV series, Roots. Coincidentally, I recently penned a short article of the subject - a piece which can be freely accessed here. Feel free to reproduce/publish the same wherever you wish - but, as a matter of courtesy, let me know first if you wish to do so (micksouthwick@blueyonder.co.uk).


BTW, I have made a few changes to today's blog post. Firstly, you will probably have noticed that I have decided to dispose of the 'NEWS', 'WEBSITES', etc., subtitles (which often got in the way of the 'flow' of the posts); and, secondly, from now on I shall not be labelling the posts ('English News', 'Irish News', etc), as my daily instalments seem to include news from almost all of the 'label categories' - rendering the exercise pointless! If you wish to search the entire blog for specific words or terms you can easily (and more accurately) use the Search Box at the very top of the blog. Unless there is a huge outcry, these shall be permanent changes.

And remember, if you'd like to 'Follow Me' on Twitter, use the button at the top of the right-hand column. And it'd be really helpful if you could Tweet this post (and every post!) to your followers by utilising the little Twitter button at the bottom of each blog entry. A big 'THANK YOU' to anyone who can do so!

Need a Genea book or software? Try...

Monday, 23 January 2012

Libraries on a Roll!


After similar news from Somerset early this month (see here), the courts have now stepped in to force Surrey Council to rethink their plans over library closures/restructuring. It now seems as if the recent negative trend has been well and truly brought to a halt!

The National Archives are all set to launch their new online catalogue, Discovery, at the end of the month - so if you're a regular user then you'd better examine the fine detail, here.

Chris Paton brings us news of the Northern Scotland journal, here - with a free sample issue up for grabs.

The latest newsletter of the Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO) Project is now available. And the website itself is here.

The British Library have some stunning images up for sale at their 'Prints' section.


Follow blogger John Reid to some newly-available records/documents from the British Army.


Kirsty Wilkinson has a little piece on Scottish naming habits.

There's an article on the History of Ellis Island at The History Channel website.

And the usual excellent weekly listing of history articles is now available at the Two Nerdy History Girls blog.


The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Articles Galore


Was having a wander round the Internet this morning and have found plenty of weekend reading for you. So let's get cracking...

The National Library of Ireland have published a piece entitled 'Researching the Irish Famine'.

Those with an interest in Irish emigration to Australia may find FindMyPast Ireland's recent post on the topic of interest.

An unusual piece on the death of Tom Williams, Edinburgh's hangman, has been flagged by Christine Woodcock. See the relevant post, with link, here.

With WDYTYA? Live 2012 approaching fast, That Moment in Time blog reminds us that you can still get your hands on the handouts/notes from the 2011 event, here. Very useful.

The latest newsletter from GenealogyInTime is worth a quick look - see here.

The week's 'History Headlines' from the BBC are now available.

The same website also gives us some smashing images from the travels of Captain Scott.

Might as well stick with the Beeb, and their latest Podcast (again, more Antarctic stuff).

Oh, and there's another Podcast - this time from TNA - to be found here.

BTW, just one slight amendment to give you to yesterday's blog entry. Many of you will have spotted the deliberate mistake in the email address given for the Ancestral Tourism Partnership event - yes, it should have read n.phillips@kingston.ac.uk (and not three l's as previously given!).

I think that's enough for the weekend. See you Monday. Occasional minor updates and other nonsense available on Twitter by following me at @HistoryMick (or click on button, top-right).

Fancy a book? Have a browse of...

Friday, 20 January 2012

1881 Scottish Census at FMP


A freshly-transcribed version of the 1881 Census for Scotland is now available at Find My Past. For full details and the relevant link see here. And, as far as I'm aware, you can still get 10% off the membership rates for FMP by using the promotion code NEWYEAR12 - or if that doesn't work try STFTW12 (until 31st January - try the site out here).

FMP have also released additional records for the county of Cheshire - see here.

DeceasedOnline have come forward with more releases - this time from the Scottish Highlands.

The February issue of Family History Monthly is now available.

Pen & Sword Books have issued another 'offers' bulletin.

And finally, news-wise, I will give you the next announcement (via the FFHS's Roger Lewry) in full...

The following announcement has been received from the Ancestral Tourism Partnership:
Dr Nick Barratt will be among speakers at the Archives, Digitization and Heritage Tourism Workshop taking place at The Centre for the Historical Record, Kingston University, London 2.30 - 5.30pm on Wednesday, 22 February 2012. This innovative workshop aims to facilitate discussion and dissemination of information about the latest digital developments in the field of archives and heritage that are designed to increase public use and awareness of historic records and to encourage more people to visit local repositories and sites of historic interest. It will be of particular interest to archive, museum and heritage professionals, local councils keen to promote heritage and tourism in their area, and anyone interested in public history, local history and family history.  Everyone is welcome and entrance is free but places are limited so please reserve your seat online (http://number8glass.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=dd1d56a1060255e3c02857d1b&id=2ae699084b&e=b2cded504a).  This link will also provide more information about the scope of the workshop. For more information please contact Dr Nicola Phillips, The Centre for the Historical Record at:  n.philllips@kingston.ac.uk or 020 8417 2895.


The 3rd anniversary of GeneaBloggers has just passed - which gives me an excuse to direct you to a neat little post on the worthy set-up, here.

Fell across the MemoryBistro website on Twitter, and thought it was worth a mention. Doesn't appear to have launched yet, but looks like an interesting concept.


The Family Recorder blog has two recent articles of interest. Firstly, there's a piece on Free Online Genealogy Tools; then there's an item on an unusual, and often ridiculed, occupation - the 'monthly nurse'.


What looks like a great week ahead for history on TV & radio can be scrutinised here.


Need a Genea book or software? Try...

Thursday, 19 January 2012

English & Irish News, Mainly...


A little bit of everything today - mainly from various spots in England and Ireland ...

We'll kick off with the Freemen of Dublin City records 1774-1824 from Find My Past Ireland - which I think is self-explanatory, containing around 6,000 names of tradesmen and the like from the time and place in question.

Also from Ireland, we have the latest issue of Ireland's Genealogical Gazette from the Genealogical Society of Ireland - essential viewing for Irish researchers, I'd say, so why not dip your toes.

London researchers may wish to peruse the 'Archives for London's' programme of events - lots of good stuff there. (See also 'Websites' below).

There's been a notable addition to the records at British Origins pertaining to Middlesex/London baptisms (1538-1751) - see here.

Some important news for Oxfordshire family and local historians with the following announcement (thanks to Paul Gaskell of the Oxford FHS):

The annual stocktaking closure of the Oxfordshire History Centre takes place shortly, and there has been a modification to the closure dates that were originally publicised last Autumn. The Oxfordshire History Centre will close at 5.00pm on Saturday 21 January 2012 and will re-open at 9.00am on Saturday 4 February 2012. A change of plan means that the centre will be closed on the "middle" Saturday - so the centre will be *closed* on Saturday 28 January 2012. That differs from stocktaking closures in previous years, and from the dates for the 2012 closure that were originally announced last Autumn. Further details can be found at :-

The WDYTYA? magazine website brings us a little snippet concerning a project relating to York City Archives. This, though, is old-ish news - it first broke back in early December (see here). No more information seems to be available online concerning the venture, as far as I can tell.

There's also a little bit of something from Scotland, with an update to the National Library of Scotland's events listing.

Finally, there's a competition to win an annual subscription to the British Newspaper Archive, here


More for Londoners with the impressive 'London Lives' website. It's fabulous search facility even gave me some results (no known London ancestry).


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Two Handy Newsletters + TNA Stuff


The most informative and entertaining genealogy e-newsletters are probably those issued by Lost Cousins and S&N Genealogy Supplies. The first is very much an 'independent' affair, with lots of news and views from across the whole sector, whereas the latter concentrates on events at S&N/TheGenealogist. In the last couple of days both have published another effort, thus:

  • Lost Cousins Newsletter - lots of debate concerning the GRO (England/Wales and Scotland), plenty of interest for East Anglian researchers, + GenesReunited news, the British Newspaper Archive, various other bits 'n' pieces ... and plenty of offers;
  • S&N Email News - Cornwall, Worcs & Devon added to their 1911 Census datasets, FH Fairs news, many new directories and PRs.

The National Archives have issued an announcement regarding the disposal of some of their old reels of microfilm - stock which they no longer need due to digitisation. If you're interested in laying your hands on some of the freely-available material click here.

And TNA have also unleashed their new 'Archives Media Player' - fabulous!


Muhammad Ali turned 70 yesterday, of course, and I'm sure many of you enjoyed the TV specials and the like which were aired in his honour last night. MyHeritage also has a look at the great man's ancestry - see here. More classic Ali here.


Episode 3 of Nick Barratt & Laura Berry's 'Family History Show' is now available. In the latest instalment the experts give their 'Top Ten Tips' on the Census Returns, there are some case histories, plus there's a visit to the Institution of Civil Engineers Archive.


Need family history stuff? Try...

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Of Scott and Scots


One hundred years ago today the brilliantly named Captain Robert Falcon Scott reached the South Pole on his ill-fated British Antarctic Expedition - and was a wee bit disappointed to find that he'd been beaten to it by some Scandinavian bloke. The Internet is awash with the anniversary news - but you may not have seen this entry on the Europeana website (see also 'Twitter Bits').

A few sources have mentioned the recent story regarding the appeal for descendants of, or information about, the victims of Scotland's Tay Bridge Disaster of 1879 - no doubt as a result of the recent Find My Past TV show about the event. As good a place as any to 'read all about it' is here.


Remaining in Scotland, Chris Paton brings us news of the opening of the new resource centre of the FHS of Buchan

The recent release of those London Electoral Registers by Ancestry has prompted a fair bit of debate. Blogger John Reid offers his views here (where there is also reference to Audrey Collins' recent article on the topic).

The Manx Museum Reading Room will be closed during 23rd-28th January - details here.

There's a Podcast from TNA - it's another presentation from the Census conference back in October.

And here are a few events of interest in the next few days...

  • Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd January - Oxford Book Fair;
  • Talk (27th) and Advice Session (4th Feb) at North Yorkshire CRO - see here;
  • Postcard Fairs at Twickenham (20th & 21st), Sittingbourne (21st), Chester (21st), Bloomsbury (22nd) and Digbeth (25th) - see here (please check with organisers).


Need a Genea book or software? Try...

Monday, 16 January 2012

A Few Articles for You


It's a quiet start on the news front this week, so we’ll entertain ourselves with a few articles.

The eternal question of which of the major genealogical subscription websites to sign up to perplexes many a new-starter in this hobby of ours. The Family Recorder blog has a stab at providing a bit of guidance on the subject, here.

I’ve been quite taken by the Two Nerdy History Girls blog since discovering it a few days ago. Once a week they provide us with a neat listing of recently-spotted articles - mainly stuff picked up on Twitter. The 'Nerdy' pair themselves are US-based, but the content of the blog has lashings of British material. The latest weekly instalment of article links can be found here. And I'm sure you'll find the piece on 'The Fine Art of Walking' entertaining, too.

'Malthus and the Seven Billion' provides an interesting angle on population studies, and leaves the reader wanting to learn more about the chap in question. 

And it is always worth checking out the GenealogyInTime feature 'Newest Genealogy Records on the Internet' from time to time.


Claire Santry brings us another update to the Ireland Genealogy Project Archives.

And those within striking distance of London may wish to consider what the British Library has on offer over the coming weeks, here.


A new-ish website for researchers in the East of England has popped up in the shape of the 'East Anglian Film Archive'. Follow the link from Chris Paton's helpful blog post, here.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Scottish Bits, Ancestry + Podcasts


Details of the timetable for the SAFHS 2012 Conference on Saturday 21st April in Dundee has been spotted by Chris Paton - see his post here and follow the link.

In what is a very busy year for anniversaries, the National Library of Scotland is commemorating the ill-fated Captain Scott expedition to the South Pole - see here.

And there's another news item of interest to historically-minded Scots with a piece on TNA's website about the loan and display, in Scotland, of a 700-year-old William Wallace letter.

Two new history Podcasts are available:

Ancestry have released Electoral Registers pertaining to Dorset covering 1839-1922 - see their updates page.

And Ancestry have also released a free update to Family Tree Maker for Mac2.

Oh, and the February issue of HistoryToday is now available.


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


A history crossword for you to tackle (darn tricky).


And you can 'follow me' at Twitter by clicking on the relevant button at the top right of this page.

Need a Genea book or software? Try...

And what about a Kindle?

Friday, 13 January 2012

Libraries Bite Back!


Tucked away on the BBC website is a story to warm the hearts of library lovers, historians and genealogists across the land concerning the decision taken by Somerset County Council to scrap their plan to close several of the county's libraries. Fact is, they have had their hand forced by the High Court, no less - and it looks like it will lead to a bit of a cash injection for the institutions, too. Wow! One would assume that a precedent has now been set...

The Parish Chest has issued its latest newsletter, which includes details of the release of many, many new genealogical products.

As this year sees the passing of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, I guess we'll be hearing rather a lot from the guy in the near future. Londoners can kick off with this offering from the Museum of London.

I had a look at Claire Santry's Irish Genealogy News blog this morning, and realised that I'd fell behind a bit with the same! Claire has been busy catching up with various bits and pieces concerning Irish research - so I'd urge you to go there now and bring yourself up to speed on items such as ... oh, there's too much, so just take a look for yourself!

It seems that legendary blogger, Dick Eastman, is over the worst of his health scare.

And Pen & Sword Books have more offers up for grabs, here.


TV & radio guides for the next few days can be found here and here.


Another story out of Somerset, with the unearthing of an alleged 'Jack the Ripper' manuscript.

And if, like me, you're just getting into Twitter (or are thinking about it), then check out these two online articles on the same which I found most helpful:

Thanks to the many of you who have already decided to 'follow me' (see http://twitter.com/HistoryMick ) - which means that I shall have to at least try to entertain you as best I can with regular instalments!


In the meantime, I realise that many (most?) of you don't bother with Twitter, so the blog shall very much remain the main medium through which I work. And here are a few more little stories from the, er, Twittersphere, as I believe they call it...
The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

Thursday, 12 January 2012

TNA Stuff & a Good Deal of Reading


A couple of announcements from The National Archives first:

And there is also a new TNA Podcast to take in - Anxiety, Dread & Disease: British Ports 1834-1870.

The Scottish Genealogy Society is offering free advice sessions for newbie genealogists - see their homepage. (thanks to Chris Paton/Chris Halliday).

And followers of US blogger, Dick Eastman, will no doubt already know about his recent illness.


And with a good few articles to get through, we'll start, in fact, with the aforementioned Mr Eastman, and a strange tale about genealogy and crime detection

The Passionate Genealogist blog's post from a couple of days ago makes mention of two very interesting articles. Firstly, there's a lengthy piece on War and Famine in Ireland, 1580-1700; and then there's a light-hearted piece about how NOT to conduct your FH research. Access both here.

And the eternal question of the location of the geographical centre of Great Britain is tackled on the OS blog.


Several blogs and websites are reporting the beginning of a new series of BBC Radio Scotland's Digging Up Your Roots. It began on Sunday - access it on the BBC iPlayer, here. It's only online until 15th - but is also available as a download from iTunes.


As I've just signed up to Twitter (@HistoryMick), I will, in due course, be working out ways of bringing you extra snippets of news from this area of the Internet - just as soon as I've got used to the darn thing. For the moment, though, I'll tag a few bits on at the end of my daily posts for you to take or leave as you wish...

If you want to 'follow me' then please do (@HistoryMick). Once I'm up to speed with the set-up, I shall no doubt contribute as best I can!

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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

News from ALL Five Nations!


Unusually, today we have news from all five major 'nations' of the British Isles...

The biggest announcement of the day is probably Ancestry's release of 130-year's worth of London electoral registers, 1835-1965 - a whopping great resource by the sounds of it, though I've not yet investigated it myself. Have a look at the story here.

Ancestry has also released a new batch of records for Kent, namely, the Tyler Index to Wills, 1460-1882 - see Ancestry's updates page.

And, lastly from England, there's this news story about the threat to the future of the Wedgwood Museum & Archive in Staffordshire.

News of a forthcoming Open Day at the National Library of Wales can be found here. Note that some sources are giving the date as 29th January - but surely the library's website itself can be trusted with the correct date, namely, Saturday 28th January. Not sure if the talks have to be booked.

Electric Scotland has issued another update - follow the relevant link from here.

There are genealogy courses available on both sides of the border in Ireland - see Claire Santry's blog entry on the topic.

We're off to the US now for a useful video presentation by FamilySearch regarding search methods which may be employed when using their website. A neat lesson in lateral thinking which could come in handy when using other databases and websites.


We return to Ireland for an article from the Irish Echo (via the CIGO website) about the campaign for the early release of the 1926 Irish Census - with plenty of background info, too.

And FindMyPast Ireland has a piece on Irish Marriage License Bonds.

On a slightly grander scale, we have another media rumour about Henry VIII and the identity of who should have been the 'real Queen Elizabeth I'.


The WDYTYA? Magazine website has a media update, including a chance for you to appear on TV.

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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Genea Offers & Newsletters


All the furore over the release of the new Hollywood blockbuster, War Horse, has triggered this offer at Ancestry. Basically, they're offering free access to their WWI Service records, Pension Records and Medal Index Cards every Saturday throughout January. Look out, too, for the 'Competition' tab.

The British Library has a sale on - see here.

The popular genealogy website, MyHeritage, is offering those who have a free account the chance to upgrade to a fee-paying affair at a 44% discount on the usual rates. From your 'Family Home Page' you should see the offer on the left-hand side (or simply try to upgrade, and you'll see the offer flash up). Runs until 25th January.

The National Archives' latest newsletter can be perused here.

And The National Library of Ireland's 'News & Events for Jan-April' newsletter (a substantial affair!) can be accessed via this page. Within the same can be found details of a couple of new UCD courses on offer (see also here).

Ancestry has issued an update to the 'London Freemen of the City Admission Papers 1681-1925'. Access the link at their updates page, here.

Lambeth Archives will be closed to the public for stocktaking from Monday 23rd January ... and will re-open on Monday 6th February. Keep an eye on developments at their website.

And in case you're wondering, I have not been able to find ANY events of interest occurring this coming weekend! No FH fairs, no book fairs and no postcard fairs ... unless anyone knows any different?


A couple of 'famous family trees' have popped up on the MyHeritage website - namely, those of Kate Middleton and Steven Tyler.


The self-publishing website Lulu.com has, it seems, TWO special offers on at the moment. By simply visiting their homepage at www.lulu.com you can see that they're offering a 'buy one, get another at 50% off' deal (until 15th January). And there's also a 25% off code (max saving £50) LULUBOOKUK305 - expires 31st January, and only works with GBP, USD and Euros. I shouldn't think you'll be able to use both codes at once, though. Should you be tempted, my Lulu Storefront is at www.lulu.com/spotlight/historymick. I heartily recommend Lulu.com - it's great.