Who Do You Think You Are? Live in Birmingham 2016 is over for another year and many of us who went enjoyed the mixture of all the main genealogy companies and family history societies in one place. Reports say that over 13,000 visitors attended this year, making it a busy three days. WDYTYA?Live! is considered to be the UK’s largest family history event in the genealogical year and The Society of Genealogists hosted the traditional fair, held numerous workshops and also provide a number of experts were on hand to answer questions.
Westmorland Colour Tithe Maps are published in partnership with The National Archives and is just one of the many counties to be conserved and digitised by TheGenealogist. Many more will be published in the forthcoming months.
These releases bring the addition of wonderfully detailed colour tithe maps to complement the online collection of tithe schedules and greyscale maps that have already been so well received by family historians researching where their ancestors lived.
This rich store of land occupation and usage records were created in a massive survey of England and Wales from between 1836 and the early 1850s.
In these early years of the Victorian period, at a time when people were moving from the countryside to the towns, many of the urban areas that we see today as part of cities and towns can be found mapped out as tithable plots. This includes some parts of London and other big cities where cottages and gardens are plotted in the same way as fields and woods are in the countryside.
These records are made available online by TheGenealogist in a partnership with The National Archives and several County Record Offices.
Brief History of Tithes
Tithes were an amount of produce given to the church, originally a tenth, then finally it became a tax on the income from the land. This was paid to the Church of England and to some lay people who owned the rights that had previously been due to the dissolved monasteries. In 1866 the majority of England and Wales was still paying what the government recognised was a discredited tax. Before they could legislate, however, they first had to collect details of what people paid – and so all the owners and occupiers of land subject to tithes were recorded and thus this fantastic resource was created.
Who Do You Think You Are? Live will run at the NEC from 7 to 9 April. Anita Rani is due to appear on Saturday April 9 at 10.15 to 11:00 and 12.15 to 13:00. To book tickets go to here.
The 38 year-old Countryfile presenter, who is of Punjabi descent but raised in Bradford, was reduced to tears on the WDYTYA? TV programme earlier this year when she heard about the horrific circumstances in which her maternal grandfather, Sant Singh lost his first wife and children during the Partition of India.
Who Do You Think You Are? Live is packed with exhibitors that can help you trace your own ancestors whether you are a beginner or a seasoned family historian. There will be a number of useful talks being held in a number of places inside the National Exhibition Centre hall including Breaking Down Brick Walls in your family history research by Mark Bayley of TheGenelogist, seen here at a previous year’s show.
The Society of Genealogists will also be running an extensive programme of talks by leading genealogists over the course of the three day show and they promise that there will be a choice of many different talks to attend covering a vast array of subjects from: Different Research Techniques, How to Record your Findings and Using Parish Registers to My Ancestor was an “Alien,” The Luck of the Irish and My Ancestor’s made Hats.
Discover Your Ancestors Online Periodical has published their March 2016 edition.
The Discover Your Ancestors Periodical is a high quality monthly digital magazine that is delivered to the subscriber’s own personalised online account every month. The 30+ page online magazine is packed full of stories, case studies, social history articles and research advice and is great for anyone starting out in family history research, or even for those with more experience but who have reached brick walls in their family history.
This months articles include:
Heavy work: Sue Wilkes digs into the lives and work of Britain’s lead miners Criminally insane or cold-blooded murderer?: Nick Thorne researches a 19th century cause célèbre using TheGenealogist’s record collections The privilege of the feu…: Chris Paton explores the ownership records for Scottish land and property The ancestral laptop: Ruth A Symes explores the history of family writing desks, and what family historians can learn from them History in the details: Jayne Shrimpton on trousers Meaning business: Jill Morris investigates the history of limited companies Regular features: This month’s region: Cheshire / News / Events / Books / Classifieds
Leading British Genealogy Website, TheGenealogist, has added over 150,000 World War II Prisoner of War records to its already significant military records collection. These new records detail Officers and other ranks from the British Army, Royal Navy, RAF and those members of the British Empire land forces that were held as Prisoners of War in Germany and German Occupied territories.
This release will allow researchers to discover servicemen held by the Germans between 1939-1945 and includes many of the brave escapees whose stories of breaking out and dashing to freedom have captured the imagination for decades.
These records allow us to:
Research POWs who served in Armies and other land forces of Britain and the Empire 1939-45 along with the Naval and Air Forces of Great Britain and the Empire 1939-1945
Find names and details of men who were captured and incarcerated in German POW camps in Europe
Check the details such as names, service numbers, and regiments of ancestors that were German POWs
Search for daring escapees from within the camp lists
Research where your military ancestors were held, revealing their camp number and location
Discover the ranks, POW numbers, Service numbers and Regiments of those held
Covering the Nazi German camps in Europe, these lists are taken from official alphabetical nominal registers and reveal names and other particulars of:
94,608 British POWs in Germany, including Officers and other ranks
39,805 POWs from Empire Land Forces
19,250 Naval & Air Force POWs from Britain & its Empire
Joining an already comprehensive range of military records on TheGenealogist that span from 1661 to the 1940s, these lists are a useful addition for researchers. TheGenealogist’s military collections already include Army, Navy and Air Force Lists, Dambuster records, First World War POWs, plus many other records.
Examining some of the names of WWII Prisoners of War released online at TheGenealogist.co.uk allows us to uncover the brave and determined Allied servicemen who made escape attempts from the Nazi German PoW Camps. One brave serviceman, although hampered by being a double amputee from an air accident from before the war, still did his duty to try and escape.
The famous WW2 Air Ace with no legs – Douglas Bader
From the RAF Officers listed in the recently released Second World War Prisoner of War lists on TheGenealogist, we can find Acting Wing Commander Douglas Bader, whose story was immortalized in the book and film Reach for the Sky.
On 9th August 1941, Bader, a formidable air ace, was flying a Spitfire on patrol over France when he was forced to bail out over German-occupied territory. He had jettisoned the spitfire’s cockpit canopy, released his harness pin, and the air rushing past the open cockpit started to suck him out. Unfortunately, for Bader, his prosthetic leg was trapped in the plane and he was part way out of the cockpit but still attached to his aircraft. Bader and his aircraft fell for some time before he released his parachute, at which point the leg’s retaining strap snapped under the strain and so he managed to get free of the plane. Captured, the Germans treated him with respect and even gave the British free passage to drop off a replacement leg for Bader over a German occupied French airfield.
Bader didn’t appreciate being a prisoner of war and made a number of escape attempts. Because he was considered likely to break out again by his captors, he was eventually sent to the infamous Colditz Castle – as we can see from the record on TheGenealogist, it shows he was incarcerated in Camp No: O4C which relates to Oflag 4C Saalhaus Colditz. It was here that Douglas Bader remained for the rest of the war until April 1945 when the camp was eventually liberated by the United States Army.
His name can be seen on the Battle of Britain War Memorial on the Victoria Embankment. A record, plus an image of this memorial, can be found on TheGenealogist amongst other military records that also include mentions of Douglas Bader in the various Air Lists.
The addition of the World War II Prisoner of War records to TheGenealogist gives family historians a fascinating insight into this period of recent history and allows them to add more depth to their research.
For all those who are looking for family tree software in the light of all the uncertainty in the market recently, there is some welcome news from S&N Genealogy Supplies:
Revolutionary new multi-platform Family Tree software for PC and Mac
TreeView has been designed by family historians to fill the gap for a powerful, intuitive and feature packed family tree program that is easy to use from the outset. TreeView stores your family tree on your computer with the option to easily sync your tree with TreeView.co.uk and TheGenealogist.co.uk . There is also a free iOS and Android app allowing you to keep your family history at your fingertips! Privacy options for your online tree allows you to retain complete control over your research.
Access your data wherever you are by syncing your tree between the software and all of your mobile devices at the click of a button.
Navigate your family tree using a variety of different views including pedigree, family, ancestors, descendants, hourglass, fan and even a full tree view.
Create beautiful charts and detailed reports in seconds
Easily add details of your ancestors by attaching facts, notes, images, addresses, sources and citations.
View your entire tree on screen, or zoom in to a single ancestor.
Quickly discover how different people in your family tree are related using the relationship calculator.
Identify anomalies in your data with the problem finder.
Map out your ancestors lives – use the map view to track your ancestors life events across the world.
Import or export your family tree using the GEDCOM standard.
[Pedigree View – one of TreeView’s 9 navigational views]
TreeView has received praise from both genealogy reviewers and users:
Chris Paton, professional genealogist, writer and blogger:
“One of the most versatile family history software products now available”
“Navigating around TreeView is extremely straightforward”
Nick Peers, genealogy writer and blogger:
“It keeps your research file in sync with the web via TheGenealogist hosted tree, as well as your iPad, iPhone or Android device”
“I am so impressed with Treeview, I will be using it for my own research, it is so easy and user friendly, and has all the facilities you could wish for.”
“A comprehensive multi-platform package that keeps your tree backed up online with stunningly versatile charts and reports.”
“It’s quick to load and speedy in use”
“I particularly like the mapping facility”
[Maps View – showing all event locations for a particular individual]
TreeView allows you to create beautiful charts with a variety of ways to present your family tree. Choose from a range of drag and drop charting options and decide which facts to display. Charts include: Ancestors; Descendants; Fan; Circle; Full Tree; Hourglass and Pedigree. The software allows you to personalise your charts by adding photographs and customising the background with an image or a colour of your choice.
[TreeView’s drag and drop charting feature showing a full tree with both foreground and background images]
You can also create detailed reports in TreeView, including Individual, Family and Narrative reports. These can either be printed or exported as a PDF or RTF file (a cross-platform document that can be opened by most word processors) for further editing.
[TreeView’s Narrative report showing three generations]
TreeView is a powerful easy to use family tree program that comes with a host of useful features including charts, reports and maps. You can sync to the cloud and your mobile devices whilst also having the ability to work offline when you have no internet connection. TreeView’s privacy options allow you to keep full control of your data when storing your tree in the cloud, for extra peace of mind.
There are three versions of TreeView available:
Free Edition – Includes essential features, with no limits on the number of individuals or the amount of data you can add
Basic Edition (Download only, £24.95) – Adds support for:
Premium Edition (CD & DVD, £39.95) – Includes all features of TreeView Basic, plus:
4 Month Diamond Subscription to TheGenealogist.co.uk (Worth £59.95!)
Printed Quick Start Guide
Cassell’s Gazetteer of Great Britain & Ireland 1893 (Worth £16.95!)
Imperial Dictionary of Universal Biography (Worth £16.95!)
The first celebrity guest appearing at the next annual Who Do You Think You Are? Live show in Birmingham has been officially revealed.
Organisers of WDYTYA?Live have now announced that the television presenter Anita Rani will be taking to the stage to discuss her family history on the final day of the event. The three day show takes place at the Birmingham NEC between 7-9 April.
Although Anita was born in Yorkshire, the 2015 Strictly Come Dancing participant discovered the secrets of her Indian heritage in a very moving and sometimes horrifying episode of the Who Do You Think You Are? television programme in October 2015.
“My experience moved me to my core and from the reaction I had, it impacted most people who watched it, too,” said Anita. “I am very much looking forward to being able to discuss it at the WDYTYA? Live event.”
Anita will be appearing at the show from 10.15am-11am and 12.15pm-1pm on Saturday 9 April. Organisers suggest that, because of demand, it is advisable to book tickets in advance to see these interviews.
The family history show, that has now reached its 10th year, will bring together a wide range of genealogy experts and family history exhibitors from all across the world. If you are planning to attend you can book an admission ticket (£16 for an adult day entry in advance), with workshop tickets priced £2 in advance or £3 on the day by going to their website: http://wdytya.seetickets.com/tour/who-do-you-think-you-are-live
Tickets can also be purchased by phoning 0844 873 7330 (calls cost 7p per minute plus network charges).
The collection of Customs & Excise Staff Service Registers 1833-1911 that were deposited with the Society of Genealogists by HM Revenue and Customs in 2013 and comprises of 32 service registers created by HM Customs and Excise for staff born between 1833 and 1911, have been made available to family history researchers by the Society of Genealogists on their website.
If you have Customs and Excise officers in your family tree then this could be useful to you. The detailed records include date of birth, place of birth, date of civil service certificate, rank or office held, former residence (i.e. prior to employment), ports(s) in which staff served and date of admission along with notes of salary, offences and meritorious service. The registers often show dates of resignation, dismissal, retirement and pension received and dates of death. While predominantly relating to male officers some women staff members do certainly appear in the later years.
The registers, that have now been digitised and indexed by the Society of Genealogists, comprise nearly 14,000 images with approximately 16,800 entries and can be accessed via SoG Data Online. The index can be searched by non-member here for free but to view the full record with full entries then you will need to join the Society.
This week (2 February 2016) The National Archives have launched a new record copying service, integrating the service into their online catalogue, Discovery, with revised costs and clearer guidance on how to order copies.
Record copying allows people to request digital or paper copies of TNA’s records – an essential service for those unable to visit The National Archives in person, or for when records are not available to download.
Reviewing record copying
The record copying service is a two-stage process: people send TNA the details of a document that they want copied, and the staff at Kew find and check the document to see if copies can be made and how much they will cost. After this, researchers can decide if they wish to order the copies.
The National Archives said “During reviews of the service, we found that the system was unintuitive and that we received a high number of speculative requests which did not become record copying orders, as well as requests we could not fulfil. We wanted to improve the success rate of the first stage, as well as make the service more perceptive and easy-to-use.”
The new process will be introducing a new first step which involves a paid-for page check, costing £8.24. This will cover TNA’s staff resources for them to find the information that a person wants copied, and then to assess whether they can safely copy it. To offset this cost, they have revised their current fees structure, reducing the cost of both digital and paper copies. Documents up to A3 in size will now both cost £1.10 per copy; digital copies previously cost £3.50 and paper copies £1.30.
At the same time TNA say that they are also integrating the record copying service into their online catalogue Discovery, to make sure all requests provide a valid document reference number. Also they will be introducing new features so people can track their order as it progresses through the record copying service.
Have you recently got in contact with a family member you’d lost touch with?
BBC1 documentary series Family Finders is looking to hear from people who have lost touch with loved ones, and have managed to track them down, either independently or with the help of specialist agencies. The cameras will be there to capture the moment as the two sides are reunited and meet each other for the very first time. They are also looking for people who have already been reunited and are meeting up with their newly found family again.