New RootsMagic Version 7 just out

I’ve just received some news from S&N Genealogy that a new edition of the award winning RootsMagic is out.

Version 7 is the latest issue of what is a full-featured genealogy program that has become one of the UK’s most favoured genealogy packages. It is the top rated program in numerous reviews and articles which have emphasised RootsMagic’s ease of use and powerful attributes.

Packed with great features this software will allow you to easily create superb wall-charts and reports, make a family history website, publish your own family history book, shareable CDs of your research and more.  Authored by Bruce Buzbee, the author of Family Origins, the UK version is published by S&N Genealogy Supplies.

If you are a current user there is an UK update available, or the full new UK Edition of RootsMagic can be found here: http://www.genealogysupplies.com/rootsmagic/

RootsMagic 7
RootsMagic 7

Family history shop added to online site.

If you read my last post, then you will know that with a month to go I was writing my list for Santa (or at least as a massive hint for loved ones to buy me something useful this year!). So it is very timely that this news has come in from the team at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist Family History Shop is now open!

Christmas is coming; it’s that time for giving and receiving again.

Are you looking for some great gifts to make a family historian happy this festive period? Simply head over to the fantastic new shop pages recently added to TheGenealogist for a great selection of scanners, software, archival storage, spring binders and charts. Made available in association with S&N Genealogy Supplies, the UK’s largest genealogy publisher and retailer, your present selection is covered this Yuletide.

While you are there, why not browse for something for yourself? To make sure that you get what you want in your stocking this year, just drop your loved ones the hint by giving them TheGenealogist shop’s page link.

TheGenealogist shop
TheGenealogist shop 

http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/shop/

Christmas presents for the genealogist

Christmas is coming; it’s that time for giving and receiving again. So its probably a good idea to start thinking about what a family historian might want to put on this year’s letter to Santa. So here is mine to get people started!

That  shoe box of photos, certificates and A4 family-pedigrees could really do with being more organised. I would really love it if, this Christmas, under my tree I’d find some hard backed binders, to protect all that valuable research I’ve done and preserve it in a more presentable way for future generations of the family to read.

Gift vouchers to allow me to buy exactly what I want are always well received, especially if they are family history related!

I would also be so grateful if that kind person, who regularly gives me the box of shortbread’s that does nothing for my waist line after all the other food on offer at this time of year, would substitute the biscuits with a non edible present instead. Perhaps a useful set of charts to present my family tree in a more attractive way than the print out from my computer, or the scribbled hand drawn tree on that sheet of paper that I have at the moment?

At the top of my list (hint ,hint!) would be a portable scanner, to capture images of the certificates and photographs that I see on visits to my relatives or at the archives.

Flip Pal

On this day in 1905

1905 The SS Hilda, a steamship owned by the London and South Western Railway sank, with the loss of 125 lives when she struck ground at the entrance to Saint-Malo harbour.

She had sailed from Southampton at 22:00 on 17 November 1905 on her regular service to Saint-Malo in Brittany with 103 passengers on board. Thick fog caused her master, Captain Gregory, to anchor off Yarmouth, Isle of Wight to await better weather conditions. At 06:00 on 18 November the Hilda resumed her voyage and by 18:00, she was approaching St Malo. Although the lights from the town could be seen, squally snow showers  impaired visibility and her Captain was forced to abandon the attempt to reach port.

There then followed occasions when the visibility improved briefly but then deteriorated. Gregory made several attempts to reach St Malo’s port, each of which he had to abandon. Around 23:00, the visibility improved again and the Hilda made its final attempt to enter the harbour. Sadly, minutes later, the ship struck the Pierre de Portes rocks, that lie to the west of the entrance channel to St Malo’s harbour and broke up.

About 20 or 30 survivors managed to climb the rigging  of the wreck to await rescue. By 09:00 on 19 November, when they were discovered by SS Ada, only six remained.

SS Hilda sinks off Saint Malo this day in 1905
SS Hilda sinks off Saint Malo 19th Nov 1905

Was Twiggy’s ancestor a victim of fashion?

‘Twiggy’, the fashion icon and model from the 1960s and who appeared in a recent BBC Who Do You Think You Are? programme on the TV, had an interesting family story to tell.

Twiggy uncovered the sad truth that her ancestor’s family were torn apart by illness, poverty and crime. Her search took her into the Victorian’s bleakest institutions, the workhouse and the prison, something she had never heard about previously in connection with her family and on to her great-great-grandmother whose life ended in a tragic way, shopping for clothes and being killed in a “bargain sale” stampede.

Twiggy's family history story
Twiggy’s family history story

Twiggy whose real name was Lesley Lawson (formerly Lesley Hornby) appears in a fascinating piece in the Featured Articles on TheGenealogist.

Echoes of the Past 2014

This weekend sees the second family history fair to be held at The Lincolnshire Showground. Echoes of the Past will be on this Sunday 26th October from 10am to 4pm at the EPIC Centre, Lincolnshire Showground. Entry is £4 per person and there is free parking.

There is also a free hourly bus shuttle service to and from Lincoln city centre.

There will be free talks throughout the day including the popular ‘Breaking down brick walls’ talk from Mark Bayley of TheGenealogist. It promises to be another great event, if you live in or near the Lincoln area, it’s well worth attending the event!

There’s more information from the Lincolnshire Echo website who are organising the event.

Echoes of the Past
Echoes of the Past returns to the Lincolnshire Showground this Sunday 26th October.

Billy Connolly next to feature on Who Do you Think You Are?

Tonight on BBC1 at 9pm sees the next episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring legendary comedian and film star, Billy Connolly. With a family history stretching far from his native Scotland via Ireland to India in the mid 1800s, in a time of rebellion and turmoil, it’s a fascinating tale. TheGenealogist has produced a preview to read before the programme  in their Featured Articles pages on their website. 

Here you can read about Billy Connolly and also the other celebrities featured in the excellent series so far which has kept the programme as popular as ever.

Billy Connolly family history
Billy Connolly discovers his Indian heritage in his feature on Who Do You Think You Are?

Bristol & Avon Family History Open Day

This Saturday 27th September is the Bristol & Avon Family History Open Day. It’s on from 10am to 4pm at The University of the West of England in Bristol.  Entry is £2 per person and young people under 16 have free entry.

There’s a number of excellent talks happening throughout the day including the popular ‘Breaking down brick walls’ with Mark Bayley from TheGenealogist, Jacqueline Wadsworth ‘The Effects of World War 1 on home life’ and Clive Burton ‘Bristol at the outbreak of World War 1 and the formation of Bristol’s Own’.

If you have ancestors in the Somerset, Gloucestershire or Avon areas, or live nearby, why not visit the Bristol & Avon Family History Open Day? 

There’s more details at the Bristol Family History Society website.

Another special offer for family historians

If you’ve got an old selection of slides and negatives that have been passed down through the generations,  it’s often a hassle having to get out those bulky slide projectors or back-lit panels. However, with the Slide, Negative & Film Scanner you can view these old gems quickly and easily.

Simply connect via a USB cable to transfer images to your computer. These stand alone scanners store your pictures on a memory card which can then be transferred to your computer by a USB lead.

There’s also some good offers to be had at the moment too. S&N Genealogy Supplies have a special offer this weekend on the ‘Slide, Negative and Film Scanner Premium Bundle’. You can save over £245 with this current special offer. The Premium Bundle contains everything you need to digitise your slides, negatives and films. Visit their ‘Offer of the Week’ page to find out more.

Slide & Negative film scanner
Special offer this week on the Slide, Negative & Film scanner from S&N

New records released by The National Archives reveals a highly successful ‘agent provocatrice’ in The Second World War

The National Archives this week announced the release of more than 3,300 Security Service records available online to view. Within these new records is a fascinating file on the use of an ‘agent provocatrice’ by The Special Operations Executive (SOE) in Second World War Operations.

The SOE used this ‘agent provocatrice’, known as ‘Fifi’ but real name Marie Christine Chilver, as part of the training programme for SOE students before they were sent out into enemy territory. Students would use the skills they learned at SOE’s security training school at Beaulieu to carry out secret training activities all over Britain. The trainers would lay traps, either police interrogations or the temptation to part with secret information to a pretty young lady. Fifi played her part in these training schemes and managed to trip up many of the SOE trainees.

The release of this file (HS 9/307/3) reveals Fifi’s identity and her special talent for character assessment which enabled her to extract information from up and coming trainee secret agents. The file contains Fifi’s reports on trainee agents and handwritten correspondence from her relating to SOE training operations.

There’s more details on the new records and the role of Fifi and the Special Operations Executive in The National Archives blog.