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...