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The very latest news from the world of genealogy

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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News from the last decade of the nineteenth century

TheGenealogist has added over 500 further editions of the weekly publication The Illustrated London News to their Newspaper and Magazine collection. The latest collection is of newspapers that were published in the 1890s and offer a fascinating insight into your ancestors lives.

ILN 1890s decade

The Illustrated London News is one of a number of newspapers and magazines that are fully searchable by name or keywords by Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist. Not only can this extensive resource add context to your ancestors’ lives and times, these newspapers can be used to find out more about people who were mentioned in reports from the time. As well as notices for baptisms, marriages and deaths, there are also wills, crimes and court cases, plus the political stories of the time. Read their article that looks at the news of 1890s and the world in which your ancestors lived:   https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2018/our-ancestors-in-the-1890s-reported-by-the-illustrated-london-news-734/

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Over 5 Million U.S. records released

TheGenealogist has added over 5 Million passenger records to their US records, featuring people that migrated to the USA between 1834 to 1900. The mass movement of people from one country to another isn’t a new thing. The motivation can be economic, political upheaval or religious persecution. The data covers:

  • 3,956,780 Germans emigrating to the United States between 1850 and 1897
  • 836,122 Italians emigrating to the United States between 1855 and 1900
  • 522,638 Russians emigrating to the United States between 1834 and 1897

Most were drawn to the U.S.A by the attractions of land and religious freedom, after being forced to leave Europe by shortages of land and religious or political oppression.

“From the Old to the New World

“From the Old to the New World" shows German emigrants boarding a steamer in Hamburg, Germany, to come to America. Image published in Harper’s Weekly, (New York) November 7, 1874 (Public Domain).

This release joins the millions of US census, death records, trade directories, wills and poll books already available on TheGenealogist.

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Warwickshire Parish Records with images released by TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist logo

TheGenealogist has added over 366,000 individuals to their Parish Records for Warwickshire to increase the coverage of this county in the heart of England. Released in association with Warwickshire County Record Office this brings high quality transcripts as well as images to family historians researching for ancestors in this area. With 366,260 individuals included in this Warwickshire release, these new records will help family historians to find their ancestors’ baptisms, marriages and burials, in fully searchable records that cover various parishes from this part of England. With records that reach back to the mid 16th century, this release allows family historians to find the names of ancestors in baptisms, marriages and burials. These new records are available as part of the Diamond Subscription at TheGenealogist, bringing the total to 934,495 searchable individuals for the county of Warwickshire Read their article that reveals the last resting place of a murderous lord of the manor: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2018/warwickshire-parish-records-reveals-a-penitent-murderer-724/  

Baddesley Clinton church. Photo: © 2015 Nick Thorne of https://www.familyhistoryresearcher.com

Baddesley Clinton church. Photo: © 2015 Nick Thorne

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SoG Library tours and Advice

Society of Genealogists Free Library Tours & Advice for Members and Non-Members

Society of Genealogists 14 Charterhouse Buildings Goswell Road

The Society of Genealogist's blog has announced the upcoming dates for their next tours of the library at their premises in London will be 20 January, 3 February and 17 February. The SoG Library is packed with many family history records, directories and databases and can be a great help for people searching for their ancestors. With more than 140,000 items spread over three floors it  is a treasure trove for genealogists to explore. While you can just go and explore yourself, asking the staff and volunteers for help when you need it, the SoG recommends that you take a Library Tour so that you are introduced to what they hold. The visits are free to all, last approximately 1½ hours long, and they are on nearly every second Saturday at 11.15 am. The Society is also offering free half-hour advice sessions on these Saturdays. You can book an appointment by contacting the library by email or telephone.   To see more take a look at their blog here: http://www.sog.org.uk/news/article/society-of-genealogists-free-library-tours-advice-for-members-and-non-membe
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TheGenealogist adds over 1.9 million individuals to their Sussex Parish Record Collection

TheGenealogist has added over 1.9 million individuals to its parish record collection covering the county of Sussex. Published In association with The Parish Record Transcription Society, this second release of records for the English county more than doubles the number of parish records available for the area.

Sussex scene from TheGenealogist Image Archive

Sussex scene from TheGenealogist Image Archive

TheGenealogist now has over 3 million individuals in the Sussex Parish Record Collection. The new batch covers individual records of:
  • 1,278,413 Baptisms
  •   308,746 Marriages
  •   327,091 Burials
  The Parish Record Transcription Society (PRTSoc) have worked with TheGenealogist and S&N to make their records available online. With a combined 3 million plus individuals from baptism, marriage and burial records now fully searchable it is easier than ever to discover ancestors from Sussex by turning to TheGenealogist’s parish records collection. These records are published as a result of a major project undertaken by PRTSoc staff and dedicated volunteers to transcribe the parish registers of West Sussex with the aim of preserving them for generations to come. By working with TheGenealogist these are now also searchable by online researchers on TheGenealogist. This release joins TheGenealogist’s Sussex collection including parish records to form a major resource for the county. Read their article here: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/new-release-of-sussex-parish-records-reveals-709/ This release adds to the ever expanding collection of parish records on TheGenealogist.  
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