Welcome to the Family History Social

The very latest news from the world of genealogy

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/

 

Leave a comment

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/

Leave a comment

TheGenealogist adds another 15,000 names from 53 new War Memorials

In time for Armistice day TheGenealogist has added to their War Memorial records on the website so that there are now over 383,000 fully searchable records.

Mark Herber's photo of a War Memorial at Olds, Alberta

War Memorial at Olds, Alberta in Canada newly added to TheGenealogist

This latest release includes war memorials from Worcestershire and South Yorkshire as well as some further monuments from Australia, Canada, London and various other British counties. A more unusual one added in this release is from Olds, in Alberta, Canada - the memorial is a Sherman tank! War Memorial at Olds, Alberta in Canada newly added to TheGenealogist Fully searchable by name, researchers can read transcriptions and see images of the dedications that commemorate soldiers who have fallen in the Boer War, WW1 and various other conflicts.   These new records are available as part of the Diamond Subscription at TheGenealogist. Read our article on War Memorials that reveal WW1 heros, The neglected Sheffield soldier finally recognised, at: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/war-memorials-that-reveal-ww1-heroes-681/  
Leave a comment

Powerful WW1 photographs superimposed onto modern images.

  There is a fascinating collection of World War I pictures that are superimposed onto the same scene from modern times on The Telegraph website here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-one/10993859/WWI-photographs-superimposed-into-modern-times.html Well worth a look if you have a minute or two!

telegraph

Leave a comment

Launch of new website - War-Memorial.co.uk

War-Memorial.co.uk, is the brand new website dedicated to Photographing, Transcribing and preserving war memorial records for the future, has just launched online providing a unique service that allows the researcher to find their ancestor using the largest collection of combined War Memorial records and images currently available anywhere.

war-memorial-5-sm

This project is based on Mark Herber’s growing collection of war memorial photographs and personally checked transcriptions. It honours those men and women, who died or served our country in military conflict over the years and it already features over 20,000 detailed photographs of more than 1,200 memorials, commemorating over 270,000 people, with their names (and the memorial’s information about them) transcribed and indexed. With regular additions of photographs, names and information to War-Memorial.co.uk expected as the months go by, War-Memorial.co.uk is the place to find your ancestors immortalised on the country’s war memorials.

Details that can be found in these memorial records include:

  • Name
  • Regiment, unit or ship
  • War or date of death
  • Rank and medals
  • Photograph of the War Memorial from multiple angles and zooms
War-Memorial.co.uk’s collection includes a very large number of records from the Boer War of 1899-1902 and WW1 and WW2, but it also includes memorials from as early as the 17th century up to very recent conflicts such as Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. Soldiers, sailors, aircrew and civilians are all featured - and not just those who died. Many men and women who served but survived also appear in the records. Using the sophisticated search technology and just basic details you can locate full information on War Memorials on which men and women are commemorated, find more details about them (such as their regiments, ships, ranks and medals), discover the location of the War Memorial and see images of the memorial itself and a close up view of the name of your ancestor! War-Memorial.co.uk is offering some great value options to suit every pocket starting at £5 for a month’s access, £9.95 quarterly, or take out a great value annual subscription at only £29.95. With regular additions of photographs, names and information to War-Memorial.co.uk expected as the months go by. War-Memorial.co.uk is the place to find your ancestors immortalised on the country’s war memorials.  

Example of finding your ancestor in the records

Here we find the unusual records of a Thomas Ambrose, who was killed in 1916 by a bomb from a German airship flying over Sudbury. The transcribed record details how he died and where he is commemorated, as shown below:

war-memorial search

Each transcript brings up details of the memorial with overview images of the entire memorial so you can find your ancestor using just their name, locate their memorial and add the images and information to your family history records, or even plan your visit!  

war-memorial

Click here to find out more: http://war-memorial.co.uk/
Leave a comment

Battle of Jutland

  This week sees the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Jutland. Many websites have been publishing their own stories to commemorate this event and browsing TheGenealogist's Featured Articles section I found this one that draws on some of the excellent records for Jutland available on their site. As they say in the piece: TheGenealogist has a comprehensive Battle of Jutland record set that provides researchers with a full list of the men killed or wounded in the battle with their rank, name of ship and date of death taken from official Admiralty sources. Within these records we can find the brave Boy (1st Class) Cornwell alongside his comrades in arms that died in this battle 100 years ago. It includes the commander of the 1st Cruiser Squadron, Rear Admiral Robert Arbuthnot, who went down with his flagship HMS Defence. The Battle of Jutland Roll of Honour database at TheGenealogist was initially based upon the Admiralty's Registers of Killed and Wounded (from The National Archives). These were cross-referenced with the Naval Who's Who of 1917 and subsequently the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, along with other records. Where possible the records online are cross-referenced to entries at the CWGC's website, as with other Roll of Honour records at TheGenealogist. This combined database is uniquely available on TheGenealogist. Read the full article here: http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2016/jutland-jack-cornwell-the-battle-of-jutlands-youngest-vc-332/

From the Image Archive on TheGenealogist

From the Image Archive on TheGenealogist: Boy (First Class) J T Cornwell of HMS Chester, though mortally wounded, stands at his post amid the dead and wounded crew.
Leave a comment

New WW1 Records Released

New avenues of research are opened up by the latest release of unique Great War records online.

During the First World War many servicemen were reported as ‘Missing’ or ‘Killed in Action’ and for the first time you can now search a comprehensive list of these online. Usefully this includes the changing status of soldiers as the facts became clearer over time, as many assumed dead were found alive and those reported missing had their status updated.

TheGenealogist logo

This new release from TheGenealogist contains over 800,000 records. Included are 575,000 Killed in Action records, over 226,000 unique Missing-in-Action records and 14,000 Status Updates.

Over 100,000 people previously reported as missing had further status updates:

  • 59,500 were later reported as killed

  • 47,400 were later reported as PoW

  • 2,000 were later reported as rejoined

  • 4,200 were later reported as “not missing”

  • 8,400 were later reported as wounded

Mark Bayley, Head of Online Content at TheGenealogist comments:

“The telegrams and published lists of Dead and Missing must have had a huge impact on the lives of our ancestors. These records give an insight into what must have been an emotional roller coaster. They also give new avenues of research into what some researchers may have assumed were dead ends.”

These records are now available to Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist.

Example 1 Thought to be dead

Some people initially reported to be dead may turn out to be alive; the change in status is usually reported in the War Lists. If it had been assumed that an ancestor was dead, from the initial report, it could reopen a closed off branch of a family tree for further research.

An example of this type of positive record status change is Flight Sub Lieutenant Trechmann who was first reported as “Died As A Prisoner” in the Daily Lists of 6th June 1917.

Flight Sub Lieutenant Trechmann who was first reported as “Died As A Prisoner” in the Daily Lists of 6th June 1917.

By the end of July 1917 his status changed to Previously Reported Died As A Prisoner, Now Reported Alive and Still a Prisoner.

Finally, in December 1918, his records show that he was Repatriated.

PoW camp in the image archives on TheGenealogist

Example 2 Thought to be wounded

A different illustration, on many levels, is that of the 5th Earl of Longford. Within the Daily Casualty List on TheGenealogist for the 6th September 1915, we can find Lord Longford who had previously been reported as “Wounded”.

5th Earl Of Longford

Lord Longford "Wounded" 6 Sep 1915 in records on TheGenealogistHis status was then changed to be “Now Reported Wounded and Missing” and this alteration appeared in the daily list of the 27th September 1915

Lord Longford Previously Reported Wounded in Military records on TheGenealogist

During the First World War, Brigadier-General Lord Longford was in command of a division sent from their base in Egypt to Suvla on the Gallipoli peninsula as reinforcements during the Battle of Sari Bair.

The initial attack by other Divisions on Scimitar Hill had failed. With his men waiting in reserve, the 5th Earl and his troops were then ordered to advance in the open across a dry salt lake. Under fire, most of the brigades had taken shelter, but Lord Longford led his men in a charge to capture the summit of Scimitar Hill. Unfortunately, during the advance, he was killed.

Earl Longford's body was never recovered and so, in the confusion of war, he was first recorded as “Wounded”, and then “Wounded and Missing”. Eventually, in 1916, he would be assumed to be dead.

Posterity tells us that the peer’s last words were recorded as: “Don’t bother ducking, the men don’t like it and it doesn’t do any good”.

To read more about these records and to read a featured article on TheGenalogist here.

Leave a comment

World War I attack on Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool

On this day in 1916 the German Navy's battle cruisers bombarded the north east of England. The Germans had hoped that the raid would draw out the Royal Navy’s capital ships in pursuit of the raiders and so forcing them into engaging in a sea battle. Their tactic was for a large number of ships of the German High Seas Fleet to join the fight by following on behind. The British force, however, managed to avoid being drawn into an unbalanced fight with the bulk of the German fleet. Unfortunately for the towns attacked, signalling errors and deteriorating weather meant that the raiding ships managed to slip the Royal Navy's attempt to intercept them. The tragedy was that nearly 140 people – predominantly civilians – were killed and 600 were injured. Searching TheGenealogist website, I have found a contemporary report in one of the newspapers and magazines on this site which give a flavour of how enemy actions were reported in Britain. The Great War  periodical gives us the sense of British outrage, at the time, under the no holds bared title of Crimes Germany has committed.

The Great War Issue 87 on TheGenealogist

The Great War Issue 87 on TheGenealogist

"The Bombardment by German warships of the coast towns of Scarborough, Whitby, and the Hartlepools, on the morning of December 16th, 1914, was a murderous act of barbarism." and later... "A  Berlin newspaper proclaimed this wholesale slaughter to be 'a further proof of the gallantry of the German Navy" If you are researching ancestors from the First World War then the articles in these publications on TheGenealogist can be very useful to fill in background and sometimes find an ancestor named in a report.
Leave a comment

Unique Military Medal Records released by TheGenealogist

Over 117,000 ‘Military Medals’ were awarded in the First World War for ‘acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire’. These records are now available to view online complete with an image of the actual Medal Card and a link to the official government publication of the time. It’s a unique, comprehensive set of records available only onTheGenealogist.co.uk. The Military Medal was the equivalent to the Military Cross (MC) which was awarded to commissioned officers. The Military Medal ranked below the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), which was also awarded to non-commissioned members of the Army but was still a very prestigious award to be honoured with.

The Military Medal was awarded to ‘Non Commissioned Officers and Other  Ranks’ for showing exceptional courage in battle. It was also awarded for those that risked their lives trying to save others, often in extreme danger. The Medal Records on TheGenealogist show people from a wide range of backgrounds and social classes, including a number of young women from very privileged families who chose to drive ambulances and rescue the wounded in the mud of battle.

The role of ‘stretcher bearer’ was one of the most dangerous jobs of the time and the records show many women bridged social constraints of the time to risk life and limb to help rescue and bring in soldiers wounded in battle.

If you'd like to find out more, TheGenealogist has full details of the new medal record release including some fascinating case studies on the brave recipients of the Military Medal.

Find out more at TheGenealogist Military Medal Collection.

Military Medal Winners

New record release from TheGenealogist covers the 117,000 winners of the Military Medal

Leave a comment

Latest free event at The National Archives

The National Archives have announced a number of talks and events, many of them free over the coming months. With the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War,  there's a free talk  on the 5th August 2014 at 2pm entitled: "The Royal Navy and British Army Go To War:  Mobilisation and their Roads to War 1914." This talk will discuss what happened to the Royal Navy and the British Army between the end of July and the end of the first week in August 1914, how the two services were mobilised for war and what records The National Archives holds and what the records tell us. The speaker will be William Spencer, the Principal military specialist at The National Archives. More details including how to book a place on the event can be found at The National Archives website.  
Leave a comment
Found 23 Results.
Back to top