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The very latest news from the world of genealogy



Lightkeeper Registers have been added to ScotlandsPeople


ScotlandsPeople have announced that four volumes of Lightkeepers Records, spanning 84 years (1837-1921) have been added to their website. Sourced from the Lightkeeper registers of the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses,  2,047 images capturing the entries of 1,363 lightkeepers can now be searched online. 


Lightkeepers can be searched by name, age and the year they entered service. Alternatively, searches can be undertaken by searching for the name of a specific lighthouse, the county or locality.



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New Seafaring Records to find ancestors from WW1 & WW2 released


TheGenealogist has just released a range of records that will appeal to many British family historians with seafaring roots. As an island nation, we have seen countless ancestors go to sea, especially in the two World Wars. Whether our forebears served in merchant vessels or in warships, this latest release has records of interest for those with both types of sailors in their family trees.



Researchers can use these records to reveal names, dates and information about ancestors who were recorded in a number of Navy Lists for the Royal Navy (RN) that cover both WW1 and WW2. Family historians looking for Merchant Navy (MN) mariners killed or who died on service in WW1 will also find something in this release for them, as well as gaining access to names for merchant seamen honoured with medals and awards between 1914-1918. 


For those who have lost seafarers, whether in either the Royal Navy or the Merchant Navy, then this collection of records is a useful addition. Family history researchers will be able to look for ships that were sunk. The new resources include Merchant Shipping Losses 1914-1918, and the British Merchant Vessels Lost or Damaged by Enemy Action During the Second World War 1939-1945. For the Senior Service’s vessels, the Returns Showing the Losses of Ships of the Royal Navy 1914-1918 will give details of the ship and where it was sunk.

Fully searchable by name or keyword from TheGenealogist’s Master Search. The new additions include records from a variety of sources, including:

  • The Navy List 1914
  • The Navy List January 1916
  • The Navy List April 1918
  • The Navy List August 1937
  • The Navy List October 1937
  • The Navy List July 1943
  • The Navy List April 1945
  • Return Showing the Losses of Ships of the Royal Navy 1914-1918
  • Merchant Adventurers 1914-1918
  • Merchant Shipping Losses 1914-1918
  • British Merchant Vessels Lost or Damaged by Enemy Action During Second World War 1939-1945

To learn more about how this collection of records helped in the research of a mariner whose daring deeds earned him a VC read TheGenealogist’s article: Under the “Red Duster” and the White Ensign.



About TheGenealogist


TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, who put a wealth of information at the fingertips of family historians. Their approach is to bring hard to use physical records to life online with easy to use interfaces such as their Tithe and newly released Lloyd George Domesday collections. 

TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch technology links records together to help you find your ancestors more easily. TheGenealogist is one of the leading providers of online family history records. Along with the standard Birth, Marriage, Death and Census records, they also have significant collections of Parish and Nonconformist records, PCC Will Records, Irish Records, Military records, Occupations, Newspaper record collections amongst many others.

TheGenealogist uses the latest technology to help you bring your family history to life. Use TheGenealogist to find your ancestors today!

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Digital image download of birth and death records now available from GRO (England & Wales)

It seems to have been a long time coming!


The General Register Office (GRO) for England and Wales has just announced that family history researchers can now get instant-access images of birth records from 1837-1922 and deaths from 1837-1887.

Civil birth and death registration records from selected years are now available as instant-access digital images via the GRO's website at: https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/login.asp

Civil registration in this part of the UK began in 1837 for Births, Marriages and Deaths (BMDs) and until now researchers could not get an instant-access digital image. 

Family history researchers have previously had to make do with ordering records as either a print record for £11, or as a PDF for £7. At this price you would need the GRO index references and then have a wait of up to four working days for orders to be despatched.


However, the GRO has now launched a scheme for births from 1837 to 1922 and deaths from 1837 to 1887 to be available as digital images (JPEGS). The online service is the cheapest and simplest way of placing an order but you do still need to order with the GRO index reference number. Their website says that it takes around 10 minutes and you’ll need a debit or credit card and the JPEG cost £2.50.

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New Occupational Records reveal biographical details of those in The Arts

- Find out more about ancestors who were writers, artists, actors and more


A new release of records by family history website TheGenealogist allows English, Scottish and Welsh family historians to discover useful information on a myriad of people. From ancestors who were writers, artists, actors and many other professions, this collection opens up the lives of these people for the researcher. 


Using entries recorded in a number of biographical resources Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist can fill in gaps with tantalising facts about the person. Facts which can lead on to all sorts of other records and avenues for investigation.


[Biographical Records from TheGenealogist]


The name rich resources that make up this release augment TheGenealogist’s already extensive Occupational Records. Fully searchable by name or keyword from TheGenealogist’s Master Search, the new records come from a variety of publications, including:

  • Contemporary Biographies at the Opening of the 20th Century, Volume I
  • Contemporary Biographies at the Opening of the 20th Century Volume II
  • The Green Room Book 1907
  • The Dramatic List 1879
  • The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 1908
  • The Imperial Dictionary of Universal Biography 1863

Researchers can use these records to fill in gaps in the lives of individuals, discover stories and anecdotes about the person, read facts which may lead you on to research other records and point you towards more avenues for investigation.

To learn more about how this collection of records helped us in the research of A Child Actress who Managed The Prince of Wales’s Royal Theatre read our article here:



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This Saturday Online - Society of Genealogist's new home


This Saturday 1st July 2023 !

The new home of the Society of Genealogists will be Unit 2, 40 Wharf Road, London, N1 7GS. Plans are currently underway for its refurbishment as a wonderful library, archive and social venue for genealogists, and local and family historians.

The Society building is expected to re-open in Summer 2023. The SoG's newsletter editor, Emma Jolly, will be sharing with us the fascinating history of the area close to the Regent’s Canal which is steeped in industrial waterside history in this online event.

About this event:

    1-hour talk by Emma Jolly

    Cost: £5 / £3.25 for SoG members

    Recorded and available for 2 weeks

    Aimed at anyone with an interest in SoG and the history of our new building


    On Zoom



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Windrush Day 2023

Today is Windrush Day, marking 75 years since the arrival of the Empire Windrush to the UK.

The National Archives records can help you to understand the significant impact the Windrush generation has had on British society, the challenges they faced, and the global context of these migration stories.

Read their blog to find out how TNA is continuing to mark the anniversary.



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The Family History Show, York on June 24th, 2023

Join us for a captivating day of genealogy exploration. Watch free talks, ask the experts, and browse exhibitors, family history societies and genealogy companies from across the country. With free talks, convenient parking, and refreshments available, this event is a must for all Family history enthusiasts. Uncover more about your heritage and unravel the mysteries of your past. Get your tickets now and save on our two for the price of one offer.


Get your tickets now, it's just 10 days till The Family History Show – York.



Make a Day of it

Book an expert session and watch a talk in the morning, then have lunch in our restaurant before finishing the day with a bit of retail therapy, chat with societies and catch another talk before you go.

The Family History Show – York features:

  • Free talks held throughout the day in two large lecture areas
  • Book a free personal 1-2-1 session with an expert
  • Free goody bag on entry worth over £10
  • Free Parking and Local Train Station
  • All Day Refreshments
  • Wheelchair Friendly Venue

Early-bird Ticket Offer

Get your tickets now and save, Two tickets for £10 (£10 each on the day) and you’ll also get a goody bag on entry worth over £10


Save 50% by getting two tickets for £10 for the York show here: https://thefamilyhistoryshow.com/york/tickets/ 

Talks you can look forward to at the York show include:

10:30 The Genetic Detective - tips and tricks to solving unknown DNA matches


Donna Rutherford - DNA Expert


Delve into genetic genealogy and explore effective strategies to unravel unidentified DNA connections. How to discover identifying information on key matches that will further your research and help you solve brick-walls. This talk will enhance your genetic genealogy journey and help you become a skilled genetic detective.

11:30 Pinpointing Your Ancestors

Mark Bayley - Online Genealogy Expert

Unleash the power of historical records and maps to reveal the art of pinpointing your ancestors. Join us for an illuminating talk that brings your family’s past to life through geographic connections.


Tracing The Ancestral Home

Nick Barratt - Historian, Author and Professional Genealogist

A talk exploring the sources that enable you to research the history of the houses where your ancestors lived.


Breaking Down Brick Walls

Mark Bayley - Online Genealogy Expert

Uncover the secrets to overcoming stumbling blocks in your family history research! Discover new and innovative search strategies to locate those elusive relatives. Explore unique record collections that can tell you more about your ancestors' lives.


Tips & Tricks for Online Research

Keith Gregson - Professional Researcher & Social Historian

Keith shares top tips & techniques for finding elusive ancestors, illustrated by some fascinating case studies. He is both a popular and academic historian with a range of publications stretching over the past 40 years.


Talk times may be subject to change, please check the timetable at the venue on the day of the show for any changes.


Early-bird Ticket Offer

Get two tickets for £10 for the York show here: https://thefamilyhistoryshow.com/york/tickets/ 

Check out Family History TV on YouTube with their free short videos. These how-to-guides are by leading experts covering a variety of topics. Their speakers specialise in subjects from the world of British Genealogy, Military History, DNA, House History and Social History and many of them are past and present speakers from The Family History Show. Watch a short video now at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMnBEpCg-QwVzkq-zU4GDGg

Find Out More at: https://thefamilyhistoryshow.com/ 

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New Records for Guilds, Societies and People of Note released by TheGenealogist

Family history website TheGenealogist has just released a new collection of name rich records of interest to English, Scottish and Welsh family historians.




The Guilds, Societies and People of Note collection includes records that reveal names, dates and information about ancestors who were Freemen, Liverymen, Aldermen, members of the Masons and Oddfellows, or people classed as Worthies.

The various records in this collection have been gathered together under TheGenealogist’s extensive Occupational Records and adds 65,000 names from fourteen new resources to this collection. Fully searchable by name or keyword from TheGenealogist’s Master Search. The new additions include records from a variety of sources, including:

  • Freemen Registers: These records list the names of people who were granted the freedom of a particular town or city. The freedom of a town or city gave its holder certain privileges, such as the right to trade within the town or city walls.
  • Liverymen Lists: These records catalogue the names of people who were members of a particular guild. Guilds were organisations of craftsmen or merchants who banded together to protect their interests.
  • Aldermen Rolls: These records list the names of citizens who served as aldermen in a particular town or city. Aldermen were elected officials who served on the town or city council.
  • Masons and Oddfellows Records: These records list the names of people who were members of the Freemasons or the Oddfellows. The Freemasons and the Oddfellows are two fraternal organisations that have been around for centuries.
  • Worthies Records: These records list the names of people who were considered to be “worthies” of their community. Worthies could be anyone from prominent politicians or successful businessmen to renowned military personalities.

Use these records to reveal names, dates and information about ancestors who were Freemen of various towns and cities, Liverymen, Aldermen, members of the Masons and the Oddfellows, or who were Worthies in their circle. Gathered together under the Guilds, Societies and People of Note section of TheGenealogist’s Occupational Records, this diverse collection can reveal fascinating research clues to work with.


This release includes the following resources:

– A Calendar of the Freemen of Great Yarmouth 1429-1800

– The Aldermen of Cripplegate Ward 1276-1900

– Yorkshire, History of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire, Volume I [1905]

– Yorkshire, History of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire, Volume II [1906]

– London Worthies by William Kent [1939]

– Freemen of Lynn 1292-1836

– Record Of Unitarian Worthies

– Rules and Regulations Office-Bearers and Members Weavers' Society of Anderston 1901

– Register of Freemen of the City of London

– Cornish Worthies, Vol. I, 1884

– Cornish Worthies, Vol. II, 1884

– A List of The Wardens Members of The Court of Assistants and Liverymen of The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths since 1688

– The Masonic Directory and Cyclopedia of History 1885

– Directory of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, 1908-1909

To learn more about how this collection of records helped us in the research of Captain Bligh read TheGenealogist’s article: A veritable Bounty of information found in the Occupational records.



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June edition of Discover Your Ancestors Periodical

In the June 2023 issue of Discover Your Ancestors periodical you can read the following excellent articles:

- What do we think they’ll discover? Who Do You Think You Are? is back on TV this month. Andrew Chapman introduces the new series
- The fasting girl: Stephen Wade looks at the phenomenon of the Welsh fasting girl, Sarah Jacob, whose story dominated the press for much of 1869
- Meet Kitch: unflappable Spitfire pilot: In 1980 Nick Thorne met a man on a yacht in the English Channel. Thanks to online RAF records, here is his story
- On the trail of George Orwell: Richard Willis follows the life and adventures of this giant of letters, born 120 years ago
- Making the censuses crystal clear: We explore how the latest technology can improve your research
- The forgotten rural martyrs: 150 years ago this month, 16 women – two of them with babies – were imprisoned. Keith Laybourn commemorates the Ascott Martyrs
- History in the details: Picturing fashion c.1710

Sign up today for only £24.99 and receive the following:

  • 12 monthly issues of the Periodical
  • Access to 500,000,000 birth, marriage and death records
  • Free data: Titanic passenger list
  • Free ebook: Liverpool Street Map c.1890



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National Archives blog that "the gloves are still off"

Back in 2013 The National Archives in the UK decided that it no longer required the wearing of white gloves during document handling. Now, in an update ten years on, they have set out their rational as to why the gloves are still off at Kew.

Check out their new blog post here: https://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/handling-historic-collections-the-gloves-are-still-off/

Key points are that the "wearing gloves reduces sensitivity in your fingers, which can be problematic when handling fragile or already-damaged documents. Cotton gloves in particular can catch easily on torn or uneven edges, can transfer dirt between surfaces and do not provide a moisture-proof barrier, all of which can lead to further damage. Additionally, poorly-fitting gloves can make it difficult to handle large or heavy items safely, increasing the risk of accidental damage."


Online event

While on the subject of The National Archives, you may be interested in their online event:

Webinar ┃From Strangers to Citizens: Immigration and citizenship records

Join the TNA online for a fascinating webinar introducing you to and explaining records relating to UK immigration and naturalisation from the 1800s to the 1970s. This informative talk will give you vital tools to take away and apply to your own research.

This webinar is presented by Roger Kershaw, Head of Strategic Operations and Volunteers at The National Archives.

Tuesday 13 June at 14:00 - tickets from Eventbrite:



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