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The very latest news from the world of genealogy

Who Do You Think You Are? 2018 UK TV series celebs revealed

Today  we found out which celebreties are going to feature on our TV screens this summer.

The Press Release tells us that it includes stars from the world of music, comedy, sport, television and film.

The line up for the 15th series of the BAFTA-award winning genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? from Wall To Wall (a Warner Bros Television Production UK Ltd company) when it returns to BBC One this summer includes multi-awarding winning actor OLIVIA COLMAN, musician, DJ, fashion designer and British icon BOY GEORGE, Strictly Come Dancing’s Head Judge SHIRLEY BALLAS, comedian and Not Going Out actor LEE MACK, presenter and former JLS member MARVIN HUMES, barrister and television personality ROBERT ‘JUDGE’ RINDER, Our Girl star MICHELLE KEEGAN and gold medal winning Paralympian JONNIE PEACOCK all discover their families’ pasts in this year’s series.

Series fifteen reveals shocking discoveries, laughter and tears along the way, as our eight celebrities travel around the world to unearth the secrets of their ancestors.  Michelle Keegan uncovers some exceptional women on her family tree as she unearths a special connection to suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst. Olivia Colman’s journey is one of equal contrasts as she voyages from her family home in Norfolk to India, discovering that her ancestry is more diverse than she had originally thought. While Lee Mack’s investigation brings to light a comedy connection to his great-grandfather who performed on the frontline during WW1.  From adultery to asylums, illicit drinking dens to revolutions, our celebrities travel round the world, from Gibraltar to Genoa, India, Jamaica, South Africa and Latvia, as they solve the mysteries in their family trees.

By Sarah Winterman (Flickr: Me & Michelle Keegan (Corronation Street)) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Michelle Keegan by Sarah Winterman (Flickr: Me & Michelle Keegan (Corronation Street)) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


The series will air on BBC One over the summer with Michelle Keegan’s episode launching the series in June as part of the ‘Hear Her’ Season on the BBC which marks the centenary of women getting the vote.

The BBC is set to showcase women's voices in a dedicated season of content across TV, radio and online to mark 100 years since suffrage and the centenary anniversary of women being able to vote in the UK.


Executive Producer for Wall to Wall, Colette Flight, says: “Britain’s best loved stars are once again delving into their family trees, uncovering hidden secrets and solving mysteries. The stories they unearth are revelatory, often unexpectedly humorous but always affecting.”

BBC Commissioning Editor Fatima Salaria says: “The enduring appeal of Who Do You Think You Are is set to continue as BBC One broadcasts a huge host of names in series 15 including Olivia Colman, Boy George, Marvin Humes and Judge Rinder, which are guaranteed to move and entertain audiences. We’re particularly honoured to launch the series with Michelle Keegan’s episode which uncovers her special connection to Emmeline Pankhurst, as part of the BBC’s ‘Hear Her’ season. This is must see TV at its best.”


Series 15 was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director, BBC Content and Tom McDonald, BBC Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual. The Commissioning Editor is Fatima Salaria.

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TheGenealogist releases over a million Parish Records

TheGenealogist has added to its Parish Records collections with a second batch of Warwickshire registers in an ongoing project with the Warwickshire County Record Office. These newly transcribed records are linked to high quality images of the original parish register pages.

 

  • Over 1,270,000 individuals added to the Parish Records for Warwickshire
  • High quality transcripts with original images of the registers
  • Additional information such as Witnesses, Father’s Name and Profession have been transcribed where given
  • Released in association with Warwickshire County Record Office
  • This brings our total for Warwickshire Parish Records to over two million
  • Fully searchable parish records with images enable researchers to find ancestors’ baptisms, marriages and burials

Parish register for Emscote (All Saints) Warwickshire 1868

Parish register for Emscote (All Saints) Warwickshire 1868

 

These new records are available as part of the Diamond Subscription at TheGenealogist.

 

Read TheGenealogist’s article that reveals how a Warwickshire marriage was key to the career of an 18th century tragic actress: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2018/warwickshire-parish-records-reveal-the-marriage-of-an-18th-century-tragedienne-800/

 

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The Nineteenth Century through the reigning monarch's eyes

Queen Victoria's Journals

For those of us researching our ancestors the finding of a diary written by an ancestor would indeed be a red-letter-day.

For those of us researching our ancestors the finding of a diary written by an ancestor would indeed be a red-letter-day.

Not many of us are lucky enough to have access to such a resource. But in its absence we can read contemporary newspapers and magazines to get an understanding for the social influences on their world and what was happening around them.

Also of interest, to those researching the Victorian period, will be the journals written by the reigning monarch as they provide seven decades of royal history. Queen Victoria's Journals have been made available online in a partnership between ProQuest, the Royal Archives and the Bodleian Libraries. The result are high-resolution, colour images of every surviving volume of Queen Victoria's journals from her first entry in 1832 to close to her death in 1901.

 

Tracing the Victorian period through the eye's of the Queen this resource reflects the changes taking place in the nineteenth century as seen by Victoria herself.

Read more: http://www.queenvictoriasjournals.org/home.do

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TheGenealogist adds another 64,920 War Memorial records and 13,487 new Headstone records

 

This week TheGenealogist has expanded its growing headstone and war memorial record collections with some interesting new additions to both. The headstone records cover 53 new cemeteries and the various war memorials are from Australia, Britain, Canada and the USA.

 

The International Headstone collection is an ongoing project where every stone photographed or transcribed earns volunteers credits, which they can spend on subscriptions at TheGenealogist.co.uk or products from GenealogySupplies.com. If you would like to join, you can find out more about the scheme at: https://ukindexer.co.uk/headstone/

 

Anthony Eden, Earl of Avon’s grave in Alvediston, Wiltshire on TheGenealogist  Anthony Eden, Earl of Avon’s grave in Alvediston, Wiltshire on TheGenealogist

The headstone for the Earl of Avon, Anthony Eden, is included in this release. This politician served three periods as British Foreign Secretary and then succeeded Winston Churchill as Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957. He is laid to rest at Alvediston in Wiltshire.

 

Anthony Eden, Earl of Avon’s grave in Alvediston, Wiltshire on TheGenealogist

Anthony Eden, Earl of Avon’s grave in Alvediston, Wiltshire on TheGenealogist

 

Also published online this week are an additional 64,920 War Memorial records which include a complete roll of honour for both WW1 and WW2 for Shetland, with men's units and the Shetland village in which they had resided. There are other war memorials in this release that cover the country including the Abercarn Tinplaters Memorial Institute in Wales. There are plaques and monuments in Bedford, Bolton, Lancashire, London, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Warwickshire and even further afield in Canada, Western Australia and the USA. One of the Canadian memorials is a fascinating, but sadly very worn, WW2 memorial from Calgary in Canada that names 227 aircrew from Australia and New Zealand who died while training in Calgary, revealing just how dangerous WW2 aviation was.

 

War Memorial at Battery Park, New York, USA, on TheGenealogist

 

From the USA TheGenealogist has uploaded some WW1 and WW2 war memorials from New York, including a fine one in Battery Park. This is a roll of those men and women who lost their lives in the Atlantic coastal waters in WW2 and had no known grave as a result of U-boat action. The war memorial gives researchers the ranks, units and the US state from which they had come, and the shockingly large number of Americans included is a salutary lesson when in Britain we are often only aware of our own countrymen/women who died at sea from enemy action against the convoys.

 

Lastly there are a number of Boer War memorials - for example the tribute within Blackpool Town Hall that commemorates the 74 Blackpool men who volunteered to join various units for service in South Africa.

 

These new records are all available as part of the Diamond Subscription at TheGenealogist.

 

To find out more about the UKIndexer volunteer project, you can read the following article:

 

https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2018/family-history-can-be-a-rewarding-hobby-790/

 

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Meritorious Service Medals now available online at TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist has released the records of 29,000 individuals who were decorated with the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM). The roll of names for those who were awarded this British honour in the First World War have been released by TheGenealogist. Researchers can now look for holders of this medal up to 1920 from within their ever growing military records collection.

  • See a copy of the image of the Medal Card with the theatre of war where the medal was won
  • Details the name, rank, regiment and service number
  • Unique “SmartSearch” links to the comprehensive military records on TheGenealogist.co.uk
  • These new records cover British servicemen from The First World War

The medal was first awarded in 1845 to non-commissioned officers in the British Army who had a record of long service in the forces. Given originally for long service of at least 20 years to servicemen who were of irreproachable character and already held the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal of their service, the First World War saw it awarded to those who performed acts of non-combatant gallantry in the performance of their military duty. In the second case the bravery was not necessarily while the serviceman was on active service and may have been in the saving or attempted saving of the life of an officer or an enlisted soldier.

Family history researchers searching for ancestors who had been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in the First World War will be able to find their forebears in this new addition to the military collection of records on TheGenealogist.

Meritorious Service Medal (MSM)

Meritorious Service Medal (MSM)

Read TheGenealogist’s article on a First World War NCO awarded his medal ‘For exceptionally good work’ operating night and day to keep the RFC’s aeroplanes at El Hammam flying:

https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2018/finding-ancestors-awarded-the-meritorious-service-medal-768/

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TNA is testing handwritten text recognition software

f you have ever looked at an old document and been unable to read the old script then you may be interested in a fascinating post on The National Archive’s blog about software that is being developed to read old handwritten documents.

A 1496 Prerogative Court of Canterbury Will from TNA retrieved from TheGenealogist’s online collection of Will documents

A 1496 Prerogative Court of Canterbury Will from TNA retrieved from TheGenealogist’s online collection of Will documents

 The National Archives (TNA) points out the revolution  that optical character recognition (OCR) technology has made reading printed words written in books, newspapers and some archival documents.  But OCR does not work on handwritten documents. It is for this reason that TNA say that they are excited by the new platform called Transkribus, developed by the EU funded READ Project. It will offer, for the first time, the potential to use computers to ‘read’ handwritten documents.

See TNA’s blog post on their website here: http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/blog/machines-reading-the-archive-handwritten-text-recognition-software/

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TheGenealogist releases Outgoing UK Passenger Lists for the 1940s decade

The RMS Mauretania; from TheGenealogist’s Image Archive

The RMS Mauretania; from TheGenealogist’s Image Archive

TheGenealogist has just released 1.4 million Passenger Records covering the 1940s. This expands our Outbound Passenger Lists to over 25 million and form part of their larger immigration and emigration collection on TheGenealogist. The new records feature passengers who sailed out of United Kingdom in the years between 1940 and 1949 these newly transcribed BT27 images are from The National Archives. The passenger lists released today will allow researchers to:

  • Discover potential family members travelling together using TheGenealogist’s SmartSearch
  • Find ancestors sailing to Africa, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and other destinations
  • View images of the original passenger list documents
  • See the ages, last address and intended permanent residence
  • Fully indexed records allow family historians to search by name, year, country of departure, country of arrival, port of embarkation and port of destination

Researchers who had ancestors that travelled abroad from Britain in the 1940’s will find these records a fascinating addition to the vast collection of records on TheGenealogist.

Read their article on the new records here: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2018/1940s-passenger-lists-reveal-evacuated-children-war-brides-and-service-personel-crossing-the-atlantic-758/

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Colour Tithe Maps for Buckinghamshire added to TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist has added Colour Tithe Maps from The National Archives to their National Tithe Records collection. With this release researchers can see the plots owned or occupied by ancestors that lived in this ‘home county’ at the time of the survey in the 19th century.


Colour Tithe map of Buckingham 1847

The new data includes:

  • Over 40,000 Plots of Land covering the years from 1837 to 1855 with some much later plans of altered apportionments
  • Joining the apportionment record books and the previously published greyscale maps

These tagged colour maps and their fully searchable tithe schedule records are from those held at The National Archives. The collection gives the family history researcher the ability to search by name and keyword (for example parish or county) to look for all levels of society from large estate owners to occupiers of tiny plots such as a cottage or a cowshed.

Read TheGenealogist’s article: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2018/buckinghamshires-colour-tithe-maps-online-748/

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Discover Your Ancestors Bookazine Issue 7 onsale

Discover Your Ancestors Bookazine Issue 7 Just Released!

In the latest issue of this high quality  bookazine (196 pages thick) there are articles looking into the family histories of:

  • Dame Judi Dench,
  • Jenna Coleman,
  • Emily Bronte,
  • and Roger Moore.

With pages packed with expert advice and fascinating social history this is a wonderful magazine for all those interested in family history.

Buy your copy now:
https://genealogysupplies.com/product/Discover-Your-Ancestors/Discover-Your-Ancestors-Magazine-Issue-7/

 

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Over 650,000 criminal records added to TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist has added 651,369 quarterly returns of convicts from The National Archives’ HO 8 documents to their Court & Criminal Records collection. With this release researchers can find the details of ancestors that broke the law and were incarcerated in convict hulks and prisons in the 19th century.

Prisoners on the hulks from The Illustrated London News on TheGenealogist

The new data includes:

  • 651,369 Records covering the years 1824 to 1854
  • Quarterly returns from Convict Hulks, Convict Prisons and Criminal Lunatic Asylums

 

These fully searchable records are from the The Home Office: Sworn lists of convicts on board the convict hulks and in the convict prisons (HO 8). They give the family history researcher fascinating facts that include the particulars of age, convictions, sentences, health and behaviour of the convict, as well as which court sentenced them and where they were serving their sentence.

Read TheGenealogist’s article “Criminal records of convicts on the Hulks” at:

https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2018/criminal-records-of-convicts-on-the-hulks-739/

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