Wednesday 23 February 2011

Open Genealogy Alliance


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Hope this is useful to anyone accessing BI-Gen.

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

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