Tuesday 31 July 2012

WDYTYA? Line-Up Revealed + More

The stars of the next series of WDYTYA? have been unveiled.

I see the folks at TheGenealogist have launched a DNA service.

TNA have published an updated action plan which gives a refreshed view of their outlook for the archive sector in the 21st century. See here and here.

This argument does the rounds from time to time, but it is worth revisiting as a reminder to us all. Check out Dick Eastman's piece on being related to famous folk, here. There's a related piece here.

Those of you with Gloucestershire ancestry may wish to check out this story.

A couple of items from Claire Santry's blog:

And a couple of items plucked from Chris Paton's blog:

A little bit of guidance on Jewish genealogy in Scotland can be found here.

There's a lovely success story concerning DNA testing as flagged by John D Reid, here.

Here is your list of forthcoming events...

More bits and pieces to be found via the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

In celebration of the 2012 Olympics, GenesReunited are currently offering 20.12% off their Platinum subscription (offer runs until midnight on Sunday 12th August). Click below and jump to the 'subscribe' section.

You can't be serious...

Monday 30 July 2012

London Stuff + Loads of Other News

Major news for London researchers. In celebration of the Olympics, FamilySearch has published a new guide to research in the capital.

London also features prominently in the latest British Library newsletter.

And some further, closely-related stuff from the British Library is available in the shape of their Olympic Exhibition, Olympic Oral History Recordings, and their Annual Report.

The latest (and always excellent) Lost Cousins newsletter is also now available.

Dick Eastman reports on the latest in the Ancestry-for-sale story. Dick also flags the second in the series of Genetic Genealogy articles.

As you probably know, FindMyPast.com has now launched in the US. If you think you may be interested in subscribing then do have a look at Randy Seaver's post on the topic.

There's a short piece on the National Library of Scotland website about regimental magazines as a research source.

Here's an unusual source for Irish genealogical research.

A new website/blog for those with an interest in Chipping Sodbury and area has popped up here.

Want some family history writing tips? Check out Ruth Blair's month-worth of advice, here.

Finally, I have been contacted by James McLaren regarding developments in Jersey. Take it away James...

The Jersey Archive have just upgraded their online public access catalogue. There's a new address http://search.jerseyheritage.org/ - and the immediate change people will see (aside from a new interface) is that searching both archive and museum collections held by Jersey Heritage is now possible. There are now over 270,000 descriptions of records and objects online, and a large number of photographs can now be viewed in a more user friendly format. This is the first stage of the upgrade process, as it's planned that images of the wartime Registration Cards, Court Records and pre-1842 parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials should follow in due course (but access to those will be chargeable).

In other news, anyone intending to use the Societe Jersiaise's Lord Coutanche Library (which has a very useful collection of material) now has to pay £4/day for access - unless they are members of the Societe Jersiaise or have a member's card from the Channel Island Family History Society. The library opens
10am-2pm Monday to Friday. There are also plans afoot to make more material available through the CIFHS's own website - more on that nearer the time.

Thanks James. Oh, and there's more Channel Island news here.

And though it has been rather quiet of late, do keep an eye on the BI-Gen Twitter feed for more news items.

A visit to the beach...

Saturday 28 July 2012

FMP, TNA & Irish Catch-Up

During my short break, FindMyPast released several new record sets. Just in case they passed you by, here they are:

The National Archives website/blog has been busy, too:

This may sound like a very lazy way to update you all on recent Irish news, but nobody covers the subject better than Claire Santry on her Irish Genealogy News blog. Just in case you haven't been keeping tabs on her scribblings over the past few days then click here and scroll back through her recent news items (includes stuff on NLI workshops; Olympics; Irish GRO shenanigans; new RTE website; Tipperary & Limerick records; new Irish World Heritage Centre; Waterford marriages; Irish National Heritage Week; and PRONI September lectures. A fabulous service is Claire's blog!

Seems that a national sound archive for Scotland is in the pipeline.

Another useful site for Scottish (Shetland) research can be found here. [Thanks to Christine Woodcock]

A useful resource for English/Welsh research has been flagged by Audrey Collins, here and here.

That's quite a bit covered, so I think we'll call it a day - but I'll be back with another bumper post on Monday. In the meantime, I'll be tweeting an oddment or two at the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

Another one from the excellent 'Questionable Advice & Advertisements' blog...

Conversations with low people

Friday 27 July 2012

Back After My Break

It's been over a week since I last posted to the blog - I do apologise for the absence - and I now have rather a lot of catching up to do! Anyway (and in no particular order) I shall attempt to do just that - and I'll start by trawling through the 100+ emails which awaited my return...

Pretty much the first thing I noticed was the 'recent releases' page at Ancestry - do give it a glance if you're interested in Midlands trade directories or Lancashire research (some other stuff has also been updated).

DeceasedOnline have added yet more London records to their holdings. Click here, and see bottom right of their homepage for the link - or see here.

Blogger Dick Eastman has a couple of interesting posts:

I see that the WDYTYA? Magazine has begun producing Podcasts - see here for their first instalment.

The latest Eneclann Newsletter features important Irish military news + focuses on Armagh and Tyrone.

I see the National Library of Scotland's 'Events' page has been updated.

Fancy a genealogy cruise? Check this out - and there's a list of future cruises here.

GenealogyInTime have issued another worldwide records update (listing by country here).

Fans of the ever-excellent Gresham College, London, may wish to check out their latest announcement.

Those of you who use GenesReunited to store their family tree will want to read the latest blog post on the topic.

As it's a Friday, there's the usual from the BBC's History Extra website:

There's much, much more to report on - but I think that's enough to be cluttering your brain with today. I'll be back tomorrow (Saturday) with another news report. And I shall try to get back into the swing of things on Twitter later today.

Astonishing advice from times past...

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Church Signs 3

The last instalment in my mini-series of witty church signs...

[please scroll to bottom for important message]

If you don't like the way you were born, try being born again.

If you're headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns.

Do not wait for the hearse to take you to church.

A singing group called 'The Resurrection' was scheduled to sing at a church. When a big snowstorm postponed the performance, the pastor fixed the sign outside to read, 'Resurrection is postponed'.

Dusty Bibles lead to Dirty Lives.

When down in the mouth, remember Jonah. He came out alright.

Looking at the way some people live, they ought to obtain eternal fire insurance soon.

Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving if you want to meet him.

[thanks to Christine Woodcock for the last one]

[Church Signs 1 / Church Signs 2]

Important note:
I'm away from my computer for a few days from Thursday 19th, so will not be posting to this blog for a while. I shouldn't think I'll be Tweeting or even emailing for a while, too (it's a bit too much to ask my family members to keep things ticking over in my absence!). However, I shall bring you all up to speed with the genealogy news when I return to work at the back end of next week.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Double-Dose of Events + News

As regular readers will know, Tuesdays are the day of the week where I provide you all with a listing of forthcoming events. Now as I'm not going to be able to do so next Tuesday (I'll be away from my keyboard for a few days), I thought I'd give you a double-dose this time round. Hold on to your hats...

Moving on...

Kirsty Wilkinson has produced a blog entry and accompanying PDF (free) on the subject of the 'Records of the Scottish Poor'. I'm not really an expert in the field, but it has received rave reviews from fellow professionals who know what they're talking about!

The latest issue of the FFHS E-Zine is now available for perusal.

FindMyPast continue to pump out the record releases - this time it's for London Docklands.

Blogger Alan Stewart brings us news from Northumberland, and a call for those who think they may be related to the great Victorian heroin, Grace Darling. The direct link for the event itself appears to be here. Northumbrians may also be interested in this taster session at Northumberland Archives' Woodhorn Centre on 28th July.

A reminder that Bangor University Archives are temporarily closed during 23rd July-7th September.

I was rather impressed with this little video of the 'History of Surnames' (OK, I know one or two of the dates quoted are a bit 'out' - still interesting, though). Thanks to @GuildOneName on Twitter for the tip-off.

And here are some more online videos - this time on the subject of Dublin's history.

TNA's blog carries an interesting post on LGBT history.

More items to be found on the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

I'm not at all sure that this is genuine, but I hope it is. 
Epitaph from Lansdown Cemetery, Bath:

In memori ov
Meri Pitman, 
Weif ov Mr Eizak Pitman,
Fonetik Printer, of this Siti.
Deid 19 Agust 1857, edjed 64.
"Preper tu mit thei God."
                        Emos 4-12

[By heck, that played havoc with my spell-checker]

Monday 16 July 2012

Let the Genea Week Begin...

We'll begin the week with that most essential item of reading, the latest Lost Cousins newsletter!

Next we have a couple of posts from Claire Santry's 'Irish Genealogy News' blog:

Here's a pretty comprehensive breakdown of what's in the new issue of Family Tree magazine.

If you're English and you enjoy using Twitter, then you may wish to participate in Tuesday evening's #Englandhour - see here.

If you've ever fancied joining the Society of Genealogists now could be the time.

The GenealogyInTime website has a nice (worldwide) summary of recent record additions to the Internet.

I found this piece about conserving old newspapers quite enlightening - and was somewhat surprised (and a little alarmed!) to discover that these old relics can actually be washed!

Here's the latest Podcast from TNA (Magna Carta).

Fancy a History crossword?

Check out the weekly history links round-up from the Two Nerdy History Girls.

An interesting question posed by the MyHeritage blog - but check out the splendid video!

More stuff at the BI-Gen Twitter feed (though it has been a bit quiet of late!).

Sir Christopher Wren's epitaph at St Paul's Cathedral, London:

Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice  

[Reader, if you seek his monument, look around you

Friday 13 July 2012

Friday Fragments

A quiet end to the working week. Here are a few scraps I've been able to collect...

Two new sets of Yorkshire records are now available at FindMyPast ... oh, and I see that FMP have also just released WWI Plastic Surgery records (1917-25).

It might not be of any obvious benefit to family historians, but you should, nevertheless, check out the detail of the UK government's change from the 30-year to the 20-year rule concerning the release of classified public/official records. Here's the announcement.

The British Newspaper Archive website has updated its list of recent additions to its digitisation project - see here.

Ooo, that's a big one!! The British Library is bragging again!

The National Archives' Summer Sale has been launched.

Irish folk may find this surname infographic from GoIreland.com interesting.

And from the BBC HistoryExtra website:

More news items to be found at the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

A 'miserable fellow' ...

Thursday 12 July 2012

The End of the Male of the Species

What? The end of us blokes! Whatever. We'll begin with a news round-up first, I think...

If you've a FindMyPast subscription and have Canterbury ancestors then take a look at this news item!

More word on that 'Ancestry-to-Ireland' move from Claire Santry. Oh, just spotted this, too, from Chris Paton.

Issue 2 of the free online e-mag, Irish Lives Remembered, is available here. Unmissable.

Fancy a week-long family history course at the SoG?

Interested in Scottish monumental inscriptions? Check this out from the National Library of Scotland.

The Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry is offering 20% off all microfiche purchases (even those on special offer). Simply enter the code word fiche at checkout - see here.

The latest Parish Chest Newsletter - with all its new product releases - is now available.

More news items of interest at the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

... Oh, and what's this about the end of us men? See Dick Eastman's post, here. Fascinating.

Living with a funny name...

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Church Signs 2

From a list found on the Internet many years ago...

Come in and pray today. Beat the Christmas rush!

Sign broken. Message inside this Sunday.

How will you spend Eternity - Smoking or Non-smoking?

An advert outside a church has a picture of two hands holding up two stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed and a headline that reads: For fast, fast, fast relief, take two tablets.

Forbidden fruit creates many jams.

If you can't sleep, don't count sheep. Talk to the Shepherd.

In the dark? Follow the Son.

Running low on faith? Stop in for a fill-up.

I'll have a few more for you next week...

['Church Signs 1' here]

Tuesday 10 July 2012

Forthcoming Events + Other Stuff

First of all, let's see what's on this weekend (& beyond)...
  • Saturday 14th July - Weston-super-Mare FHS Local & Family History Day;
  • Saturday 14th July - Southwell Book Fair;
  • Sunday 15th July - Woodbridge Book Fair;
  • The 'Archives for London' website has a few forthcoming events lined up for the autumn;
  • The 'Events' page of the National Library of Scotland has been updated;
  • If you're a regular at PRONI you may wish to browse this little lot;
  • And Irish researchers may wish to add this event over 30th Oct-1st Nov to their diaries;
  • Postcard Fairs are forthcoming at Twickenham (14th), Hastings (14th) and Powick (14th) - see here (check with organisers before travelling a long distance). Oh, and there's also a fair at Kinross Church Centre, High Street, Kinross, on 14th July, 10.30am-4pm (contact Gareth Burgess on 01368 860365);
  • The BBC's 'Things To Do' page.

FindMyPast are at it again. This time they've released a few new bits and pieces for Wales and Kent. Oh, and they've also put together a piece on the family tree of Olympian Victoria Pendleton.

The most recent instalment of TNA's newsletter is dominated, of course, by the Olympics. Then there's their latest Podcast. And what's this...? TNA in the movies!

Those of you with seafaring ancestors may wish to check out the GOONS' forthcoming seminar on the topic (open to all).

Nick Thorne has a few useful paragraphs on the subject of Rate Books.

FamilySearch's recent 'records update' features a major Irish resource.

A small village in Kent has been honoured with a national heritage award.

Here's an interesting little item about Michelle Obama's family history.

The latest newsletter of the 'Ireland Reaching Out' venture is available here.

And there's a good deal more at the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

A man with too much money...

Monday 9 July 2012

Ancestry Rumours + Lincs Records

You have probably noticed the 'Ancestry to Ireland' story over the weekend. All to do with a rumour that the genea giants, Ancestry.com, are set to move their 'world HQ' from the US to Ireland. It seems that the company may well be up to something, move-wise, but the original story has apparently been exaggerated somewhat. It could be that they're just upping their European presence. Or maybe not. See here, where there are more links to follow.

FindMyPast have released another batch of records - this time for Lincolnshire.

The Olympics will, of course, cause a certain amount of chaos in London over the next few weeks - if you plan to visit The National Archives during this time then check out their advice, here.

Still confused about that pesky calendar switch in 1751-52? Check out this post on the Sussex Ancestors blog.

The Scottish Council on Archives has published the latest issue of its online periodical, Broadsheet.

A reminder from Claire Santry about Northern Ireland closures this week.

Here's your regular round-up of handy history links from the Two Nerdy History Girls.

A few sources have pointed out this piece (including a short film) on the BBC website which features The National Archives and the question of 'going paperless'.

Though it's not really very genealogical, I found this article on 'Bombing Command and War Guilt' interesting.

More news, etc., at the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

Stay away from the water...

Saturday 7 July 2012

Something for the Weekend 13

Mapping Their World

A lovely thought occurred to me the other day. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to walk the streets, lanes and byways of our ancestors’ world – not as they are now, but as they were in former times? Imagine seeing the towns, villages and the countryside as your forebears saw them through their own eyes, 50, 100, or even 1,000 years ago! Someday this will be possible, and maybe sooner than you think.

It began when I spotted a story on the Ordnance Survey’s blog about 3D mapping (and there’s another report here). This caught my eye primarily because it involved my home town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, it having something to do with research into the efficient laying of solar panels using 3D mapping techniques.

Ordnance Survey will, of course, be the first to admit that they’re not the first on the scene. Google Maps (in the real world) and the gaming industry (in the fantasy world) are already well established on the Virtual Reality (VR) scene – and Apple are set to take things a step further with their soon-to-be-released interface (iOS6) for the iPhone, iPad & iPod which carries their own, brand new 3D mapping software. There are some nice examples of the Apple technology here. It’s hard to believe they are computer-generated – the ‘VR tours’ are stunning.

At the moment such efforts are largely limited to existing landscapes, including cityscapes and what’s left of the old world (nice example here) – and the aforementioned fictional and fanciful world’s explored by our teenagers in their computer games. How long will it be, though, I wonder, until such ‘flyovers’ and ‘walkthroughs’ are available for the historical mapping market to give us a feel of our world as it was decades or centuries ago?

This basic effort has been on the Hexham Local History Society’s website for some time, and there are probably more (and better) simulations out there. By using existing landscape features, historic maps, old photographs/drawings, historical surveys and the like it should be possible (with a bit of artistic licence) to recreate a realistic representation of any well-charted landscape from history. And via the use of VR helmets – and perhaps even sensory body-suits – it will be possible to play out and enjoy these experiences via all five senses. We may even be able to interact with these VR past worlds to a certain degree … and perhaps meet ‘virtual’ representations of our ancestors.

And that, I suspect, may merely be the tip of the technological iceberg.

Mick Southwick.

If you’d like to write a piece for the ‘Something for the Weekend’ feature, run it past me - I'd really like to hear from you. There is no need to be an expert, a published author, or qualified in any way. You just need to have something interesting to say – or maybe you’d like to promote a product, a research technique or even show off your expertise! And you can even give something a little ‘plug’ if you wish (a book, or whatever). Get in touch with me at micksouthwick@blueyonder.co.uk . Oh, and it’s OK to be controversial! 

Friday 6 July 2012

A Few Friday Bits & Bobs

Not a lot today, I'm afraid. But here's what I've got...

Ancestry have updated their datasets pertaining to West Yorkshire and Warwickshire - see here.

Here's a fairly comprehensive list of sporting events and exhibitions taking place across the UK, most of them with an Olympic tie-in.

Here are a few comments from Audrey Collins on the early days of civil registration in England & Wales.

Time for another mention for the excellent Scottish resource that is the Electric Scotland website - list of newsletters here.

There's been a slight change to the opening hours of the library of the Institute of Heraldic & Genealogical Studies.

The HistoryToday website has unveiled its latest Podcast (Tower of London / Iraq).

And Friday wouldn't be Friday without the usual round-up from the BBC History website...

Oh, and then there's the BI-Gen Twitter feed for more genea-related news.

Not at all genealogical - just funny...

Thursday 5 July 2012

News From Everywhere!

More records from FindMyPast ... this time for Plymouth & Devon.

Episode 8 of 'The Family History Show' is now available.

Think you may be interested in Scottish Post Office Directories? Then check out the National Library of Scotland's news release here. Oh, this is worth a look, too.

Researchers in the south-east of England may be interested in the latest edition of the Essex Record Office E-Bulletin.

Here's an interesting event coming up at the weekend at Ceredigion Museum (in Welsh here).

Some random Irish news from Claire Santry. Oh, and some Irish events!

And here's another event - at London's Kensal Green Cemetery.

A spot of Edwardian rollerskating, anyone?

Blogger John D Reid has the latest in a series of posts about 'Agricultural Records in Britain' - fascinating stuff. For previous posts in the series see his 'Blog Archive' at bottom left of his website. And genetics fans will want to read John's post on the topic here.

If you have a Scottish family history story to tell, you may wish to get involved in the next series of BBC Radio Scotland's Digging Up Your Rootssee Chris Paton's post on the topic.

A notable landmark has been reached by a favourite website of mine, 'Geograph' - see here.

More news, as ever, available via the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

Insults of old...

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Church Signs 1

Several years ago I spotted this list of signs found outside churches. We've all seen something similar - perhaps you have a one to share with us all?

Free trip to Heaven. Details inside!

Searching for a new look? Have your faith lifted here!

[Church car park]
FOR MEMBERS ONLY - Trespassers will be baptised!

When a restaurant next to a church put up a big sign with red letters that said Open Sundays, the church reciprocated with its own message: We are open on Sundays, too.

God so loved the world that He did not send a committee.

Fight truth decay --- study the Bible.

Come work for the Lord. The work is hard, the hours are long and the pay is low. But the retirement benefits are out of this world!

This is a ch_ _ ch. What is missing? --- (U R)

I've a few more to pass on to you over the next couple of weeks. Watch this space.

Tuesday 3 July 2012

New Genealogy Website

A new website is available for searches of the UK Census Returns & BMDs 1837-2005 - see an overview of the site here (later note: this link now appears to be broken - go direct, here), Though I haven't looked at it in any great detail myself, it appears that you can only really get anything out of it by committing to a subscription (my attempts at the 'free search' feature brought me nothing). Still, though, looks promising - keep an eye out for other online mentions/reviews of the same.

I see Ancestry.com has reached the 2 million subscriber mark.

Blogger Alan Stewart has spotted this offer from Origin.net concerning a free wills search on 4th July.

Recent posts on the splendid Public Libraries News blog have featured several items concerning the future of our libraries - among them, recent utterances by Ed Vaizey MP (the guy responsible for the country's libraries) and an announcement by CILIP regarding the use of volunteers in the sector.

What about events for the next few days? Well, there's not much happening! As far as I can tell, this is it...
  • Saturday 7th July - Alnwick Book Fair;
  • Postcard Fairs at Exeter (7th), Haywards Heath (7th), Chichester (7th) & Birmingham (8th) - see here. Please check with organisers before travelling any great distance.
  • BBC's 'Things To Do' page.

There are a few news items to catch up with at the Irish Genealogy News blog. I shall not pinch Claire's stories - so if you're interested in Cork, Kilkenny, the RootsIreland website, forthcoming Irish events for July, or the Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives, then you need to click on the link above! Thanks Claire.

Blogger Ruth Blair has flagged an interesting venture: the Mapping Memories to Women in Scotland project - see her post here. Ruth is also planning a research trip / tour of Ireland for North American genealogists!

Check out the BI-Gen Twitter feed for more news (though it's been a bit quiet lately!).

M.I. from Somerset:

Here lies Tommy Montague,
Whose love for angling daily grew;
He died, regretted, while late out,
To make a capture of a trout.

Monday 2 July 2012

Scots Archive Closure

The weekend's big news is the sudden closure of the Scottish Catholic Archives. Bloggers John D Reid and Chris Paton have both reported on the matter.

From 30th July The National Archives will be changing the prices they charge for many of their services - see here for the official announcement.

I see that TNA have also posted a blog entry entitled 'Planning a Visit', which includes some handy tips for newbie visitors to archives/record offices.

Claire Santry has delivered two newsworthy items, thus:

The latest Lost Cousins newsletter is available for perusal.

Eneclann have released their latest newsletter (inc. county focus on Carlow and Wexford).

There have been some major updates to The Genealogist website of late - see here.

Origins.net has updated its 'Surrey Peculiars Probate Index 1660-1794'.

The Two Nerdy History Girls provide us with their usual weekly round-up of history links.

Here's the latest Podcast from the BBC HistoryExtra website.

Blogger John D Reid has pointed out a source or two for those interested in London maps.

More news items available via the BI-Gen Twitter feed.

Not available on the NHS...