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.
TheGenealogist.co.uk has announced that it has now completed the launch of searchable Tithe Maps and Schedules for England and Wales with the release of more maps covering 40 counties. This means you can now view a map of your ancestors parish for the counties of Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Brecknockshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarfonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, County Durham, Cumberland, Denbighshire , Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Glamorganshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Merionethshire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire, Westmorland, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, York City and Ainsty and Yorkshire.
These maps link to the searchable schedules which contain over 14 million records. The schedules contain detailed information on land use with linked maps that jump to the plot for an individual from the records. The maps can contain hundreds of individual plots with varying levels of detail. They can reveal buildings, fields, houses, rivers, lakes, woods and also cover villages, towns and cities.
The next stage of this project is already underway and is to digitise the many colour tithe maps held by the TNA and partner Archives. These will link to the same schedules in a similar manner.
Let us look for the Leicestershire landowner Lady Noel Byron, the former wife of the poet Lord Byron. We find that she has large holdings in the county at the time of the survey.
We are then able to look at one of the holdings to see the record for some land occupied by Thomas Godfrey. We can see the tithe apportionment with only a single click and this image of the page reveals the amount of rent payable, in this case, to the Rector alone.
The apportionment gives us the measurement in acres, roods and perches and the value of the tithe payable to the Rector. Frustratingly, the size of these units of measurement could vary according to the locality that they were applied.
Save £14.95 when you buy RootsMagic UK Version 7 Platinum Edition & Getting the Most out of RootsMagic 7 Book – only £49.95!
RootsMagic has become one of the UK’s most favoured genealogy packages. This software is comprehensive yet easy to use, and creates superb wallcharts and integrates with research sites. It is the top rated program in numerous reviews and articles which emphasise RootsMagic’s ease of use and powerful features.
Version 7 is the latest edition of this award-winning full-featured genealogy program published by S&N. This great package is authored by Bruce Buzbee, the author of Family Origins.
UK Platinum Edition – with over £105 worth of online data and CDs
S&N’s most popular package, the UK Platinum Edition includes:
RootsMagic 7 UK Edition software
3 Month Online subscription to the award winning website www.TheGenealogist.co.uk, providing access to BMDs, Census 1841 – 1901, Military Rolls of Honour, Directories, Parish Records, Wills, Land Owner Records, and more.
Bartholomew’s 1898 Atlas of England and Wales, a complete series of topographical maps, statistical charts, town plans, and index of 35,000 place names. This atlas also contains street maps showing places no longer in existence through development or bombing in WWII.
Printed Quick Start manual
UK spellcheck dictionary
Movie Tour of RootsMagic
Index to Change of Names 1760 – 1901 UK and Ireland
General Armory of England, Scotland and Ireland 1894 (Encyclopedia of Heraldry)
English and Welsh Landowners 1873
Scottish Landowners 1872–1873
Getting the Most out of RootsMagic Book
RootsMagic is the easiest genealogy software available, yet many people will barely touch the tip of the iceberg of RootsMagic’s features. If you are one of these people, then this book is for you. You start with basic data entry and continue by learning advanced techniques such as custom reports, citing sources, GEDCOM, creating user-defined facts, scanning images, and merging. Mix that with time-saving shortcuts, and you soon will have a complete understanding of RootsMagic and its hidden powers.
Written by the author of RootsMagic, Getting the Most Out of RootsMagic will teach you how to:
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Organise your unfinished research using RootsMagic
TheGenealogist have just released over 190,000 records of passengers who departed Britain on early Migrant ships to New South Wales 1828 – 1896
These new records expand TheGenealogist’s Immigration,Emigration and Naturalisation and passenger list records.
The transcripts of the latest release uniquely give a family link so you can see spouses and children setting out on their new life. They also reveal details such as which ship they had sailed on, where they were landing, the passenger’s occupation and in the case where the migrant has been assisted to travel out to a job, their employer’s name.
Some records are more detailed than others and can divulge how much the emigrant was to be paid, whether rations were included in their employment. In some cases the immigrants Native Place, or where they had come from is also disclosed. A number of these settlers may have bought their own passages, while others travelled with assistance from one of the public or private programmes that existed at the time. With the discovery of gold in 1851 mass migration to New South Wales of a wider cross section of people took place.
The NSW passenger lists will allow researchers to
Discover ancestors travelling to New South Wales from Britain and Ireland between 1828 and 1896 in the shipping lists of the era
These fully indexed records allow family historians to search by name together with country and port of embarkation, as well as country or port of destination
Find ancestors on “bounty scheme” voyages in which free immigrants to Australia were recruited by agents in Britain, who were paid a monetary reward for finding suitable skilled labour and tradespeople willing to sail out to the new colony
Locate families travelling together with a single click
See linked images and records on the New South Wales Government Website
These records can be found within the Immigration, Emigration and Travel collection on TheGenealogist and add significantly to the resources already available for researchers to use when looking for ancestors who left Britain. TheGenealogist’s extensive British & International Immigration and Emigration records, already include Naturalisation and Denization records, convict registers and early New Zealand settlers.
By selecting Immigration, Emigration and Travel on TheGenealogist’s main search page and then choosing Passenger Lists from the dropdown menu, we are able to look for William Fortune and his young wife who set out for a new life in New South Wales departing from London on the 13th February 1841 on board the ship the Jane Gifford.
The detailed records confirm the departure date, the ship’s name and much much more. For example we are able to discover that William was from Newbridge, that he was a labourer aged 28 and a Roman Catholic. We can see that he was heading for Sydney, Australia and that William had been engaged by one Captain Flint at a wage of £19 a year.
Presumably William’s prospective employer, Captain Flint, was not the template for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Piratical character of the same name, who would appear in print forty years later. As the shipping records also reveals to us that William Fortune could neither read nor write, this fictional person with the same name as his boss may well have passed him by in the years to come.
An extremely powerful feature, of searching the passenger lists on TheGenealogist’s website, is the ability to look for a family travelling together. One click on the family group icon, next to William’s results, returns potential family members. We can see that his 19 year old wife, Susan, was also travelling with him. Her occupation is noted as a House Maid and she too was a Roman Catholic from Newbridge.
Another charming nugget of family history information revealed, by the Potential Family Members search, is that on the voyage William and Susan were delivered of a baby girl. Their child, Jane Fortune, was born at sea with her native place being prosaically listed simply as “Sea” on the passenger list. Jane is recorded as being aged 2 months and has then been pedantically noted in the records as being “under age”.
The passenger lists available on TheGenealogist can reveal a significant amount of information about ancestors that have emigrated to New South Wales in the 19th century. As we can see, from the example above, the unique ability to search for relatives travelling together is a compelling reason to use TheGenealogist to research for immigrants down under.
The Society of Genealogists has released its new 2016 Events programme is now online and bookable.
Listed below are events taking place at the Society of Genealogists in January. Visit their website if you want to find out further information about each event, as well as events taking place during the remainder of the year.
If you are a member of the Society of Genealogists and are booking online, then you should remember to log in first, in order to receive the member discount. Non-members are also welcome to attend events, at the full price. Events can also be booked by telephone (Tuesday-Thursday & Saturdays), at the number listed below. All events take place at their premises in London, unless otherwise noted.
Wednesday, 13 January 14:00 – Discovering Discovery: Using The National Archives Website and Catalogue
Discovery is The National Archives online catalogue and holds more than 32 million descriptions of records held by The National Archives and more than 2,500 archives across the country. Millions of records are available for download, find out what can be found in the catalogue and how to get the best from the website.
A one-hour lecture with Guy Grannum, Discovery Product Manager at The National Archives. Free of charge, but must be pre-booked.
The Society’s successful family history skills course begins again with the first ten-week series of classes for those who are new to family history or who have had a little experience and want to build upon their initial progress. Our team of professional genealogists will introduce the records and illustrate how they should best be used for the study of family history. Publications, electronic finding aids and the internet will, of course, be included along with all the basic sources needed to start research. Topics will include how to get started, how to best search the census, newspapers, probate, parish registers, Non-Anglican family History and more.
With Else Churchill, John Hanson, Simon Fowler and Ian Waller.
Thursday evenings (last class 17 March) Cost 175.00/140.00, Please see further information about Stage 2 and Stage 3 courses, on our website.
Saturday, 16 January 14:00-17:00 – Researching Irish Family Life in the Famine Years
80% of today’s English people have Irish ancestry and this seminar looks at Irish lives in the rural west of Ireland in the famine years between about 1800 and 1850.
In the first talk, we will look at how people lived; their houses, possessions, food, work, education, entertainment, etc. It touches on politics, social attitudes and the reasons for mass poverty and emigration.
The second talk discusses how to use such facts as these to build your own family history in places, like Ireland, where few real records survive. It looks at subjects such as additional places to search and how to follow leads, how to put the story together and to what extent you can judge events of 200 years ago by modern standards. It opens up a whole area of family history beyond the collecting of birth, marriage, death and census data. If you have just a few facts, this seminar will start you on a family quest that will be engrossing, interesting and, with luck, extremely rewarding.
A half-day course with Stephen Lally, Cost 20.00/16.00
Wednesday, 20January14:00 – Copyright for Family History
Copyright applies to photographs, diaries, paintings, film clips and many other works. This talk will aim to cover some of the issues you might face with copyright works in your family history, including how long copyright lasts, when you might or might not need permission to use the works, and what you can do if you cannot find the right holder and would like to copy the work. This talk will be especially useful for those considering publication of their family history.
A one-hour talk with staff from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the official government body responsible for intellectual property rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright.
Saturday,23January 10:30-13:00 – Research Before Parish Registers
Pre 1600 research is an entirely different “ballgame” with many records existing that can be useful. Many such records continued beyond 1600 but are under-used. Some family historians think they have to stop researching when parish registers end. How wrong you are! Come see what is available.
A half-day course with Ian Waller, FSG Cost 20.00/16.00
Wednesday, 27 January 14:00 – Catching up with FamilySearch
The familysearch.org website is the largest family history website in the world, with billions of names across thousands of collections – and more are added monthly. Learn what new major databases have been added, how to find this information, and how to best use the website.
A one-hour lecture with Sharon Hintze. Free, but must be pre-booked.
Thursday, 28January14:00 – Visit: St-Mary-le-Bow Church
We will learn about the history of this famous church and the great architecture of Sir Christopher Wren, in particular relating to the famous steeple. Inside the church we will look at the post-war rebuilding by Lawrence King, the beautiful stained glass windows by John Hayward and the other modern furnishings.
The church has many international connections, including significant ones with the USA, Norway, Germany and Australia. It also possesses an 11th century crypt, part of it now an elegant chapel, the rest of it used as a restaurant, set among many of the original Norman arches.
With Tony Tucker Cost 10.00/8.00 (appx 1 hour)
Saturday,30January10:30-13:00 – East London, Kent & Essex in the 18th Century
The emphasis of this course will be on the movement of people, money and goods backwards and forwards between East London and the counties – the pattern being very different between Kent and Essex. Come and learn more about these areas, and subsequently more about your ancestors during this important time.
A half-day course with Derek Morris Cost 20.00/16.00
Saturday,30January14:00-17:00 – Good Research Techniques
This course will take an in-depth look at the best ways to research in order to avoid making mistakes as well as how to get the most out of the records you use. We will also look at the likely causes of brick walls you may meet during the course of your research and the best way to tackle them. Sources covered include BMDs, census and parish records.
A half-day course with Celia Heritage Cost 20.00/16.00
You may need to be quick, but here is a great special offer we spotted this week. Makes a great gift for family historians!
Save 40% on the Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers
This guide to parish registers, now in its third edition, and covering England, Scotland and Wales, is a vital, time-saving tool that has become universally known as ‘the genealogist’s bible’.
The Atlas includes the famous county ‘parish’ maps, which show pre-1832 parochial boundaries, colour-coded probate jurisdictions, starting dates of surviving registers, and churches and chapels, where relevant.
Topographical maps face each ‘parish’ map, and show the contemporary road system and other local features, to help deduce the likely movement of people beyond the searcher’s starting point.
The Index lists the parishes, with grid references to the county maps. It indicates the present whereabouts of original registers and copies, and whether a parish is included in other indexes. It also gives registration districts and census information.
Thus, in this invaluable guide, the user may quickly find answers to such questions as: Have the registers been deposited? Where may they be found? What outside dates do they cover? Have they been copied or indexed and by whom?
Discover Your Ancestors Periodical is a high quality monthly digital magazine delivered to your own personalised online account every month and there is a new one just out!
If you haven’t seen this publication yet then what you are missing out on is a well designed 30+ page online magazine that is packed full of stories, case studies, social history articles and research advice. This regular and affordable online magazine is highly recommended for anyone starting out in family history research, or for those with more experience but who have reached brick walls.
This month we have been reading in our copy the following great articles…
The best of times: Daniel Hewitt explores the history of horology through his Clerkenwell clockmaker ancestry The quartermaster’s tale: Anthony Boulton presents a unique memoir of his grandfather’s WW1 experiences From Longleat to the Tower of London: Nick Thorne delves into the history of Longleat and its illustrious inhabitants Decoding Victorian jewellery: Victorian jewellery was rich in symbolism, as Kim Fleet explains Woven into history: Caroline Taylor explores carpet-making in Kidderminster and resources in the town’s carpet museum A fair hearing?: Jill Morris explains the Court of Chancery
History in the details: Jayne Shrimpton on boots
Regulars: News / Events / Books / Place in focus: Somerset / Classifieds
For those of us who were not born then, but had family who lived through this period, these images give us some idea of the shocking devastation that they lived with.
The Blitz began on Saturday 7 September when the Germans attacked London with 350 bombers escorted by 600 fighters. The attack lasted from 5pm until 4.30am the following morning. 335 tons of high explosive and 440 incendiary canisters were dropped during that raid.
On “Black Saturday”, 7 September 1940, 430 Londoners were killed and 1,600 injured. 41 German aircraft were shot down by RAF Fighter Command for a loss of 25. To escape the bombing 5,000 East Enders slept out in Epping Forest.
London was then bombed for 57 consecutive nights, and often during the daytime too. The most destructive raid was on 10/11 May 1941.That night the chamber of the House of Commons was destroyed and 1,436 civilians killed. Over 155,000 families were without gas, water or electricity and fires burned for ten days. 507 German bombers raided London that night dropping 711 tons of high explosive and 2,393 incendiary canisters.
Coventry, an important engineering and armaments producing centre, was raided on 14/15 November 1940 when 449 bombers dropped 503 tons of high explosive and 881 incendiary canisters (containing 30,000 bombs) on the city. The Cathedral was destroyed, 554 people were killed and 850 seriously injured. Despite the devastation production was back to normal in 6 weeks.
Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Plymouth were the most heavily bombed cities after London. Glasgow had 5 major raids, the others 8. 23,602 civilians were killed during the Blitz outside London, 1940-1941.
During heavy bombings over Manchester from 22 – 24 December 1940, over 650 people were killed and 50,000 homes damaged. For the rest of the Second World War, Manchester United had to play at Manchester City’s ground because Old Trafford was damaged by bombs.
The Second Great Fire of London took place on 29/30 December 1940, and while a relatively small number of civilians were killed -163- much material damage was done especially to historic buildings including 8 churches designed by Sir Christopher Wren. 136 aircraft raided London that night dropping 127 tons of high explosives and 613 incendiary canisters.
During the Blitz 177,000 Londoners were regularly using Tube stations as shelters. These were not always safe: 64 people were killed at Balham on 15 October 1940 while 111 died at the Bank on 11 January 1941.
In 85 major raids on London the Luftwaffe dropped 23,949 tons of high explosive. Holborn was the most heavily bombed borough with 39.75 high explosive bombs per 100 acres. 20,083 Londoners were killed during the 1940-1941 Blitz. 60,595 British civilians were killed during the Second World War.
Among the many historic buildings destroyed or damaged in the London Blitz were: The Guildhall, the House of Commons, the Royal Hospital Chelsea, St Paul’s Cathedral, the British Museum and Buckingham Palace. The Imperial War Museum was also bombed several times, the worst “incident” taking place on the night of 31 January 1941. The BBC was bombed on 15 October 1940.