Saturday 16 November 2013

BI-Gen's Parting Special Offer

As the blog dies a death (and as it's my birthday today), why not take some of my stock off my hands? I've got a few copies of both my publications left, so here's your chance to get hold of 'em at a knock-down price. If you're wondering about me reducing them more, then I won't - I'm already taking a small loss on them!

There are three options. Buy one, buy the other one, or buy them both (to save even more). To find out more about the books, click on the images in the right-hand column - but make sure you come back to this page before ordering anything via the PayPal buttons!

Please help me clear out my loft - look upon your order as a 'thank you' for the free news service I've laid on these past three years. Oh, and remember that all prices INCLUDE p&p. Here we go then...

The Family & Local History Quiz Book
Normal price: £4.90
Special price: £2.75 (inc.p&p)


Dead End Hobby
Normal price: £5.00
Special price: £2.75 (inc.p&p)


Or to buy both books for £4.50 (inc.p&p) try this...


If you'd rather send a cheque, then feel free to do so. Make it payable to M.Southwick, and send to:
20 California, Winlaton, Blaydon-on-Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE21 6LY.

Just in case this is indeed my last ever post on the BI-Gen Blog, then, er, goodbye. And the very best of luck in your genealogical endeavours!

Wednesday 13 November 2013

The End

What began back in January 2011 with a tentative first post will end this week, as the 'British & Irish Genealogy Blog' winds down to a close. All a bit sudden, I know, but life moves on for your host ... and I don't suppose the family history world will grind to a halt without me!

Last weekend's instalment will effectively, therefore, be the last post 'proper', and in the next few days I will bring the curtain down for good with a couple of special messages. Today's effort is given over to explaining why I have decided to call it a day and to hand out some advice and a 'thank you' or two.

The reasons aren't complicated. I can assure you that nothing untoward has befallen me or my family, but simply that time is increasingly at a premium now that my new business (see here) is beginning to take off. Back in the Spring I was looking for ways to earn a few extra quid and decided to give this 'handyman' thing a go and, well, though it'll never make me rich, it is beginning to tick over nicely and I have decided to now give it my full attention. Several things will have to make way - and the BI-Gen Blog is one of them. I am pleased to say, however, that I have decided to retain the services of my wife and family.

How ever will you cope with keeping up-to-date with the latest genealogy news, I hear you ask? Well, the reason for setting up BI-Gen back in early 2011 was to fill a gap and provide a 'genea' news service - and I hope I have managed to do that, for a short while at least. In the absence of BI-Gen, though, you may wish to point your browser to some of this little lot - all of which I have to thank for helping me source my stories:

Usually, you can keep up-to-date with these blogs/websites by taking up their 'feeds' via someone like Give it a try - it's quite easy to set up.

In the meantime, I shall try to keep my Twitter feed going (after all, I still like to keep abreast of genealogy news for my own purposes!) - check me out at

And a BIG THANK YOU to those of you out there who have lent their support to my efforts these past few years (you know who you are) - every little contribution was greatly appreciated.

Oh, and look out for a SPECIAL OFFER re. my two publications, the Family & Local History Quiz Book and Dead End Hobby, later this week.

Finally, if you're an advertiser on my site in any shape or form (via the tabs above, or whatever), then please read on...


Note for advertisers:

Having paid for a year's worth of advertising on my blog back in February, I realise that by cutting the blog short in November I am (sort of) renegading on our original agreement ... so I would therefore like to offer you complementary copies of my Family & Local History Quiz Book and Dead End Hobby as an apology. If you would like to take me up on this offer then contact me at micksouthwick @ and I will get them in the post to you ASAP (at absolutely no charge, inc free p&p).

BTW, even though the blog will peter out this month it will still remain accessible for several months to come, so advertisers may still get 'click-throughs' during this time.

Sunday 10 November 2013

Genealogy News - 10th November

During 8th-12th November Ancestry are offering free access to many of their military records.

The latest newsletter from The National Archives gives prominent mention of their new WWI Portal.

I see tickets for February's WDYTYA? Fair have gone on sale.

Here's the latest National Library of Ireland newsletter.

The November newletter from the IHGS is now available (and very useful it is, too).

Check out these OS London maps.

And here's a little bit more London news.

The S&N's e-newsletter is always worth a look.

Irish researchers may wish to check this out from Ancestry - the census stuff is new, I believe.

More Irish stuff: the latest Ireland Reaching Out magazine.

And more new records from Ancestry: WWII Civilian Deaths.

You may wish to check out MyHeritage's latest bulletin.

Thanks to blogger John D Reid for this piece of tithe maps news for researchers in East Sussex/Brighton & Hove (and also West Sussex, Cheshire, Devon, Norfolk, Northumberland and West Yorkshire).

Latest issue of Your Family Tree Magazine.

Here's the Essex Record Office e-bulletin.

Cheshire researchers may wish to peruse this announcement from FamilySearch.

Thanks to blogger Chris Paton for this piece of news about Glasgow's Mitchell Library.

The November issue of Irish Lives Remembered is now up for grabs.

Claire Santry has plenty of Irish news, too, of course...

Latest TNA Podcast.

Worldwide family history round-up from GenealogyInTime.

Wiltshire & London cemetery news from DeceasedOnline.

Seems like that famous old '70s TV series 'Roots' may be making a comeback.

Latest history links round-up from the Two Nerdy History Girls.

Usual weekend stuff from the BBC:

And your forthcoming events (not many at this time of year!)...

And keep up-to-date with the latest news at the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

Monday 4 November 2013

Review: 'Family History at Your Fingertips'

Family History at Your Fingertips: Genealogy in the Digital Age is the title of a new 148-page, A4-sized paperback from the folk at 'Family Tree' magazine in association with MyHeritage. It is available from WHSmith stores here in the UK at a cost of £7.99.

On the face of it, this colourful brochure looks very much like a beginner's guide - which, essentially, it is, I suppose. But though I've been a family historian / genealogist for 25 years I still found plenty on offer within its pages to point me towards new avenues of research. Things have changed an awful lot for us these past few years and it is easy to fall behind the times - and this little effort brings us all nicely into line with recent developments.

I defy anybody to declare that they know it all and to have exhausted all the ideas outlined in this booklet. For example, I have often thought about things like Skype, YouTube and Flickr and how they can be used for family history research - well, these are a few of the many areas touched upon, together with guidance on the use of social media, online (and off-line) tree-building, 'connecting' across the Web and, of course, how to access all the online material with which we are familiar. Military research, DNA, photographs and mobile 'apps' all receive the treatment; and (despite the publication's title) there is good coverage of the old-fashioned ways, too - i.e. organising your research and using the archives themselves!

You might expect a little bias towards Family Tree magazine and MyHeritage, and this is indeed the case with many passages - but my experiences with both have been very favourable over the years, and there is much to be gained by fully exploiting the freebie MyHeritage CD on the booklet's cover if you're looking for a way to expand your 'tree' into the online world.

You may baulk at coughing up £7.99 for a paperback booklet, but Family History at Your Fingertips compares more than favourably with any of the much more expensive books on the subject matter. It keeps things simple, is written in a friendly/fun manner and is beautifully illustrated. The 'learning journey' that is the study of your family history is endlessly fascinating, and this booklet is the ideal way to help you achieve your genealogical goals. Seek it out if you can - you will learn something new.

Saturday 2 November 2013

Genealogy News - 2nd November

The old newspaper library at Colindale will close on 8th November. Read all about it - and the move to West Yorkshire - here.

There's been quite a bit of activity over at TheGenealogist - check out the fine detail here.

Important news re. school records from FindMyPast.

FindMyPast also look into the family history of Benedict Cumberbatch.

And FindMyPast Ireland have made yet more Irish Petty Sessions Court records available.

The CWGC November e-newsletter is now up for grabs.

The latest 'Family Historian' newsletter has been issued.

Here's the November e-bulletin from Essex Record Office.

The December issue of 'Family Tree' magazine is now available. And check out this neat little publication from the folk at 'Family Tree' (I'll be reviewing this booklet on the blog in the next few days).

The December issue of 'WDYTYA? Magazine' is also now on sale.

Latest Parish Chest newsletter.

Some Wiltshire news from DeceasedOnline.

Scottish genealogists may wish to check out the report on this little gathering.

Welsh researchers may wish to take a look at this. To quote the blurb: October sees the launch of a new website which hopes to harness the power of volunteers to record all the place-names of Wales as they appeared on Ordnance Survey maps at the end of the Victorian period. Sounds great.

Several more podcasts have popped up at TNA's dedicated website.

The British Newspaper Archive has provided us with a little update.

Blogger Claire Santry ably explains the background story to an interesting new online resource, namely, the 'Gazettes' website. See here.

Claire also has a couple of Irish bits 'n' bobs, thus:

Here's the weekly history links round-up from the Two Nerdy History Girls. Oh, and they have another bonus collection here!

Your regular weekend fix from the BBC History Magazine website:

And, of course, your forthcoming events:

Check out the latest news items via the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

A nice one from @AncestryUK on Twitter...

Saturday 26 October 2013

Genealogy News - 26th October

Let's begin this week with the ever-informative Lost Cousins Newsletter. This time around, Peter Calver spends a good deal of time pondering electoral registers - but there is plenty more to entertain besides.

If you think you may be interested in the Scottish 1920 Valuation Rolls then see here. They're due for release on 28th October.

Check out TheGenealogist's new 'Image Archive'.

More news from DeceasedOnline re. their recent Redcar & Cleveland record release (there's also a link to a related blog post which outlines changes to their website).

A couple of new additions have been made to the Scottish Association of FHS's website. From the homepage take a look down the left-hand side where you will see the options for 'Burial Grounds' and 'Pre-1841 Population Lists'.

Irish researchers may wish to check out this special offer.

And Claire Santry offers up the following Irish news:

Some noteworthy posts from Chris Paton:

Here's an interesting article about graveyard statues.

More on the recent London Probate Service move.

An appeal for volunteers by The National Archives.

New podcasts continue to be uploaded by The National Archives - see here.

Newly-added at Ancestry: Bedfordshire Gaol Index.

Newly-added at FamilySearch: Norfolk Bishops' Transcripts.

Latest batch of interesting history links from the Two Nerdy History Girls.

The regular weekly features from the BBC:

And, of course, your forthcoming events:

Latest news can be found at the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

Saturday 19 October 2013

Genealogy News - 19th October

The big news of the week has to be the latest big-name collaborations - the first between FamilySearch and MyHeritage (see here) and the second between FamilySearch and DC Thomson Family History (who run FindMyPast, etc.) - see one version of the story here. And blogger John D Reid gives a nice overview of recent 'partnership' moves here. All sounds very promising for us genealogists.

An important news release from DeceasedOnline (especially for Redcar & Cleveland researchers). There is a related blog post, too.

There's been quite a rush of new podcasts from TNA - begin your browsing here.

And then there's TNA's October e-newsletter.

It is always a good idea to periodically call in at the British Newspaper Archive website to check out recent additions to their digitised collection.

Latest NewsFlash from the GOONS.

News re. London's Probate Search Rooms.

Some great tips, etc., from blogger Christine Woodcock:

And lots of Irish stuff from Claire Santry:

Oh, and check out important recent Irish additions to Ancestry at their 'updates' page.

You may find this article useful: 3 Ways to Access Family History Library Materials Remotely.

A worldwide genealogy news round-up from GenealogyInTime.

FindMyPast have taken a look at the family history of Adrian Edmondson.

The latest history links round-up from the Two Nerdy History Girls.

And here's a history crossword.

The usual weekend stuff from the BBC:

Forthcoming events:

Latest news can be found at the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

Saturday 12 October 2013

Genealogy News - 12th October

OK then, we'll kick off (as we so often do) with Peter Calver's excellent Lost Cousins newsletter.

If you're interested in what's going-on at TheGenealogist/S&N Genealogy Supplies, then you should bookmark this page - where you will find their latest releases (most recent being Militia records and Cheshire stuff).

Important news from TNA/DeceasedOnline.

A couple of news items from TNA:

Have an Electrical Engineering Apprentice in your family? Take a look at the latest release from FindMyPast.

An interesting report/update on Scottish developments from Chris Paton.

Latest update from the Parish Chest.

Another (free) issue of Irish Lives Remembered has been uploaded.

Latest Eneclann newsletter.

An interesting article from the BBC about 'Death in the Digital Age'.

Welsh researchers take note, here.

Looking for Scottish university records?

The usual weekly round-up of interesting history links from the Two Nerdy History Girls.

Usual stuff from the BBC:

And, of course, here's your forthcoming events:

Latest news can be found at the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

Saturday 5 October 2013

Genealogy News - 5th October

There isn't very much to report on this weekend - at least nothing major. Plenty of minor bits and bobs, though...

First up, there's the latest (and very useful) issue of the IHGS newsletter.

A couple of news items pertaining to Ancestry:

You may wish to keep up with recent developments at brightsolid.

October e-bulletin from Essex Record Office.

Interested in Lancashire, Cheshire or Yorkshire? This lot at FamilySearch has just been uploaded.

And here's the recently-released CWGC October newsletter.

Claire Santry's always-excellent Irish Genealogy News blog has the following stories:

Check out the latest offers at - especially, perhaps, the £5 voucher offer for FindMyPast.

November issue of Family Tree magazine.

Latest issue of WDYTYA? Magazine.

Jacobite Rebellion Ships Lists.

A couple of useful how-to guides:

Those of you with research issues surrounding UK nationality and citizenship may wish to take a look at this TNA post.

A worldwide genealogy round-up from GenealogyInTime.

Hello, this is an interesting one: DNA Memorials.

Entertaining history links round-up from the Two Nerdy History Girls.

Latest from the Beeb:

Forthcoming events:

Latest news can be found at the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

Ending soon!

Totally non-genealogical and in totally bad taste...

Sunday 29 September 2013

Genealogy News - 29th September

We'll begin with a bit of news which will be of great interest to all genealogists: the future of the Census (well, in England & Wales, anyway).

The latest Lost Cousins newsletter includes an interview with the UK's first 'celebrity' genealogist, Gordon Honeycombe. Also included (among many other things) is news of's price increases.

September bulletin from ScotlandsPeople.

New from Ancestry: UK Foreign & Overseas Registers of British Subjects 1627-1965 - see their 'updates page'.

Details of newly-released Irish & British newspapers from FindMyPast.

News for Devon researchers from

Fancy a British & Irish genealogy cruise?

Latest Eneclann newsletter.

Thanks to @YourFamTreemag on Twitter for this piece of news re. the National Army Museum.

Special offers at TNA's new online bookshop. More info here.

A few items from Chris Paton's BritishGENES blog:

Background info on the most recent episode of WDYTYA?

Forthcoming changes to the DeceasedOnline website.

These Sussex nonconformists sound like a bundle of laughs.

A worldwide genealogy round-up from GenealogyInTime.

The most recent round-up of history links from the Two Nerdy History Girls.

Latest from the BBC History website:

Forthcoming events:

And keep an eye on the latest news via the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

Ending soon!

Thanks to @DebbieKennett on Twitter for flagging this...

Saturday 21 September 2013

Genealogy News - 21st September

Irish family history website,, has launched its Irish Newspapers Collection, making almost 2 million historical Irish newspaper articles available to search on the website. This collection is also accessible on all FindMyPast international sites through a World subscription.

And has released over 300,000 new Royal Household Staff records. Again, the records are available on all FindMyPast sites.

Ancestry have announced the unveiling of new Birmingham material. An alternative way into the records can be found here.

Know what COPAC is? Have a look here.

A similar cataloguing-type post is here.

Scottish researchers may wish to check this out (old films!). Oh, and this, too (Scottish Postal Service).

Just spotted this: WDYTYA? Magazine Podcasts. And here's more from the latest WDYTYA? TV show.

Special offer from RootsIreland!

A useful-looking source of worldwide genealogy news.

Blogger John D Reid has been busy compiling his 'Rockstar Genealogists' lists - a couple of the more relevant results for the Brits/Irish can be found here and here. John also flags an interesting inheritance story.

The DeceasedOnline blog takes a look at St.Pancras and Islington Cemeteries.

The National Archives are tinkering with their website layout - see here.

Latest GOONS Newsflash.

News for MyHeritage users.

An Irish diaspora TV station?

More Irish stuff from blogger Claire Santry:

Chris Paton brings us some handy items, too:

A crucial - and often overlooked - aspect of family history research from blogger Michael J Leclerc.

Here's your weekly dose of entertaining history links from the Two Nerdy History Girls.

A history crossword.

Usual stuff from the BBC:

Forthcoming events:

And don't forget to keep calling in at the BI-Gen Twitter feed!

And finally, beware of ...

Sunday 15 September 2013

Genealogy News - 15th September

We'll begin this weekend's post with some reading:

Here's a worldwide family history round-up from GenealogyInTime.

Background info on the most recent episode of WDYTYA? (inc. a link to the programme itself).

Latest TNA Podcast.

Irish news from Claire Santry:

Oh, and then there's the latest issue of Irish Lives Remembered.

A new society of interest to family and local historians: the Society of One-Place Studies.

Derbyshire researchers may wish to check this out.
A useful general article on 'Types of Burial Records'. The same blog has a couple of other posts on the subjects of mourning etiquette and examples of mourning.

Interesting food for thought: The Things We Couldn't Say.

October issue of HistoryToday.

The usual history links round-up from the Two Nerdy History Girls.

Latest from the BBC:

Forthcoming events:

And there's more to be found at the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

More animal antics...

Saturday 7 September 2013

Genealogy News - 7th September

Not a huge amount to report on this weekend, but below you will find a fair bit of reading to catch up on...

What sounds like a big story from Ancestry/FamilySearch can be found here - though I guess we'll have to wait for the specifics.

Well worth a look: the latest IHGS Newsletter.

Also worth a quick gander: the latest releases from TheGenealogist.

Latest e-newsletter from TNA. You may wish to take special care to read the item entitled The Gloves Are Off.

September e-bulletin from Essex Record Office.

More info on the latest episode of WDYTYA?

Another newsletter from S&N Genealogy Supplies.

And yet another newsletter: Scottish Council on Archives' Broadsheet.

Those with merchant seamen ancestors will want to have a listen to TNA's latest podcast. Oh, and there's also a podcast on the subject of emigration/immigration.

Some great random history links from the Two Nerdy History Girls.

Thanks to @GuildOneName on Twitter for the latest news on the future of the Census.

@WYorkshireLives on Twitter brings us an update on developments in Bradford.

And @BMSGH on Twitter brings us the BBC news item re. Birmingham's new super-library.

October issue of Family Tree mag.

I see the nominations have been made for John Reid's 'Rock Star Genealogists' poll.

Various Irish bits and pieces from Claire Santry's blog:

I should really say that there are a good few more minor news stories from Ireland to be found on Claire's blog - have a browse here.

Latest from the Beeb:

Forthcoming events:

And the latest news can be found at the BI-Gen Twitter feed.