Category Archives: National Archives

Additional Military Records released by TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist has released some useful records this week for those who are researching their military ancestors. Here is the press release that gives you more information and a link to a fascinating article:

Military Records on TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist is pleased to announce it has added two new record sets that will be useful for researching the First World War and Victorian soldiers.

  • Part one of this release is The Worldwide Army Index for 1851, 1861 and 1871 which adds another name rich resource to the already vast Military record collections at TheGenealogist with over 600,000 records
  • Also released at the same time is another 3,368 pages from The Illustrated War News covering 6 September 1916 to 10 April 1918 and adding to those previously made available for this First World War paper from 1914 to 1916

The Worldwide Army Index for 1851, 1861 and 1871

If you have not found your ancestor in the various British census returns, and you know that they may have been serving at the time in the British Army, then this new release from TheGenealogist may help you to find these elusive subjects.

Many thousands of men of the British Army were serving overseas in far flung parts of the British Empire over the 1800s. This index of names is compiled from the musters contained in the WO 10-11-12 Series of War Office Paylists, held at the National Archives, Kew. The 1851, 1861 and 1871 Worldwide Army Index lists all officers* and other ranks serving in the first quarter of 1851 and second quarter of 1861 and 1871, together with their regimental HQ location. The index is, therefore, effectively a military surrogate for the relevant census.

Over 70,000 records have extra notes that can indicate whether a soldier was a recruit awaiting transfer to a regiment, detached from his regiment or attached to another, possibly discharged, on leave, had deserted or retired. Men identified as using aliases are also included. Many notes include a place of birth and former occupation.

Also included within the records are recruits, boy soldiers, bandsmen and civilians working in the armed forces as clerks, pension recruiters, teachers and suchlike. Colonial regiments which invariably had numbers of British subjects are also featured.

The Illustrated War News was a weekly magazine during the First World War, published by The Illustrated London News and Sketch Ltd. of London. The IWN publication contained illustrated reports related entirely to the war and comprised articles, photographs, diagrams and maps. From 1916 it was issued as a 40-page publication in portrait format, having been landscape prior to this. It claimed to have the largest number of artist-correspondents reporting on the progress of the war until it ceased publication in 1918.

To search these and many other records go to: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/advanced/military/muster-book-pay-list/

or read our article at: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/worldwide-army-index-1851-1861–1871-661/  

*While the 1851 and 1871 include officers, the 1861 index excludes officers as they were not mustered in all the Paylists.

Domesday Book to be loaned to Lincoln Castle

The National Archives has revealed on it website that one of the earliest surviving public records – Domesday Book – is going to be loaned to Lincoln Castle as part of a major exhibition for 2017.

The iconic document that was commissioned in 1086 by William I, the Norman king best known as William the Conqueror, to give him an insight into his new realm by recording the taxable value and resources of all the boroughs and manors in England is to travel North. The document will be on loan to Lincoln Castle from its permanent home at The National Archives in Kew. It will be on display in the Magna Carta vault from 27 May to 3 September along with a number of local and national treasures showcased as part of the exhibition ‘Battles and Dynasties’.

Read more on TNA’s website:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/news/domesday-loan-to-lincoln-castle/

 

TheGenealogist reveals its plans for 2017 record releases

 

Press Release from TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist logo

What TheGenealogist has in store for 2017

2017 is going to see millions of new records added to TheGenealogist across a wide variety of collections.

New Data Sets

We are adding millions of new and unique Parish Records and Bishops’ Transcripts are being added for many more counties.

A new and unique record set covering detailed records of our ancestors houses, which will be searchable by name, address and area, with high resolution maps showing the property.

Our ongoing project with The National Archives is set to release yet more detailed Colour County and Tithe Maps with tags to show where your ancestors lived.

We are releasing a 1921 census substitute, using a wide variety of records including Trade and Residential Directories of the time.

New decades of BT27 Passenger Lists and Emigration Records will become available.

Our International Headstone Project will be expanded with more Commonwealth Cemeteries added.

More worldwide War Memorials added to our comprehensive database.

Following on from our release of over 230 million U.S. records in 2016, we will be launching more U.S. records in 2017.

 

New & Improved Census Images

Thanks to new technology and new Silver Halide Film provided by The National Archives, we have now been able to re-scan the 1891 census with improved resolution and quality. This combination of improved readability and new transcripts will help locate your ancestors and view the relevant images with a superior grayscale format. Our “Deep Zoom” images have over 5 times the resolution of previous images. They will be lightening fast to view thanks to the  technology used in our new image interface. We will launch these new images in early 2017.

 

Look out for these exciting new developments and more in 2017 at TheGenealogist.co.uk

 

New Passenger lists go online with unique search facilities

New Passenger lists go online with unique search facilities

Departure of the RMS Campania from Liverpool

RMS Campania, one of the ships included in the passenger lists.

TheGenealogist has just released five million Emigration BT27 records as part of their growing immigration and emigration record set. Uniquely TheGenealogist allows you to track transmigration of people across countries routing through British ports on their way to America. TheGenealogist is the only website with the facility to discover families travelling together on the same voyage using our SmartSearch technology.

The new records, with original images, contain the historical records of passengers who departed by sea from Britain in the years between 1896 and 1909. These new records significantly boosts the already strong Immigration, Emigration, Naturalisation and passenger list resources on TheGenealogist.

TheGenealogist has further revealed that these records will be shortly followed by the release of many more unique migration records.

The searchable records released today will allow researchers to

  • Find people using British shipping lines and travelling to places such as America, Canada, India, New Zealand and Australia in the Passenger lists of people leaving from, or passing through the United Kingdom, by sea which were kept by the Board of Trade’s Commercial and Statistical Department and its successors.

  • The Homestead Act of 1862 in America gave free land to settlers who developed it for at least five years, and became a particular magnet for Norwegians, Danes, and Swedes, who arrived in their millions. To reach America, it was necessary to travel initially to England in order to then board one of the large transatlantic passenger ships and this preliminary journey has been recorded for many transmigrant passengers within the BT27 records. For the first time these can be easily found using the unique transmigration button.

  • SmartSearch identifies potential family members travelling together. When our system recognises groups of people on the same voyage as a potential family it displays a family icon. This then allows you to easily view the family.

  • Family SmartSearch

  • These fully indexed records enable family historians to search by name, port of embarkation, port of destination, country of departure, country arrival and nationality.

This release adds to TheGenealogist’s Immigration and Emigration records that already include the useful Naturalisation and Denization records.

Those with ancestors who travelled out of Britain will welcome this fascinating new release from TheGenealogist that reveal the details of the coming and going of passengers and is a precursor of a set of unique records joining the collection shortly.

Nigel Bayley, MD of TheGenealogist said: “We intend to make researching migrating ancestors easier with our new smarter interfaces and adding more records covering a growing range of countries.”

An example from the passenger list records:

Within the passenger lists, on TheGenealogist, we can find the passage of the Dunottar Castle from Southampton to Cape Town in South Africa on the 14th October 1899. One of the passengers was the young Winston Churchill who, at that time, was a member of the Press and was going out to report on the start of the Second Boer War.

Two days before his ship’s departure the war had broken out between Britain and the Boer Republic. At the news of this conflict Mr Churchill had obtained a commission to act as a war correspondent for The Morning Post newspaper. In return he was to be paid £250 a month for his services.

After spending a number of weeks in the Colony he managed to get himself onto an armoured train, loaded with British soldiers, performing a reconnoitre between Frere and Chieveley in the British Natal Colony during November 1899. A Boer commando force, however, had placed a big boulder on the track and the train crashed into it. The Boers, having succeeded in stopping the train, then opened up with their field guns and rifle fire from a vantage position.

After a fight a number of the British were taken prisoner, but the locomotive, decoupled from the carriages and ladened with men, managed to escape. Churchill, unfortunately for him, was not one of those on-board the loco. Without his sidearm, which he had left on the train, he had no option but to surrender to the Boers. Churchill was then imprisoned in a POW camp in Pretoria. After being held captive for about four weeks Churchill escaped on the evening of 12th December 1899. He did this by vaulting over the wall to the neighbouring property and taking flight.

Churchill passenger

If we look at Churchill’s travelling companions on the ship out to Cape Town, scheduled to take 65 days, we can see that he was sailing with a mixture of merchants, a jeweller, an actor, a Peer of the Realm (Lord Gerard), an optician and a couple of lawyers. The Hon A. Campbell was also listed, he was another member of the press corps who had made it on to that particular Castle Line sailing to the war zone with Churchill.

The National Archives has launched a new online database that reveals data of immigration in medieval England as held in their records at TNA.

England’s Immigrants 1330-1550 is the outcome of a major Arts and Humanities Research Council funded research project that was undertaken by the University of York in collaboration with the Humanities Research Institute (University of Sheffield) and The National Archives.

For the first time the resulting database allows researchers to search over 65,000 immigrants who were resident in England during this period by name, nationality, profession and place of residence.

To find out more take a look at TNA’s blog post in which Dr Jessica Lutkin and Dr Laura Tompkins explore the database and medieval immigration in more detail.

On 9 April Dr Lutkin and Dr Jonathan Mackman will also be giving a talk on the project as part of the weekly talks programme.

TNA blog

Tithe Maps go Online.

Detailed Town and Parish Maps go online for the first time

Tithe map of Tinwell

This exciting information has just been released by TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has added maps to its comprehensive National Tithe Records collection.

All aspects of society were captured by this survey

  • Identify the land your ancestors owned or occupied in the 19th century

  • Get an idea of their working lives by the usage made of the plots by your forebears.

  • Fully linked tithe maps for Middlesex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Leicestershire with other counties to follow shortly

  • Geographically placing where your ancestors worked and lived

  • In partnership with TNA, TheGenealogist is making it possible to search over 11,000,000 records from across England and Wales and to view theses valuable original apportionment documents with linked maps on one website.

It’s always been a challenge to find where our ancestors lived, but now these records can help you explore the fields and houses in their home villages and towns. Never before have family historians been able search nationwide for these ancestral maps. We plan to have complete coverage in the next few months.

Tithe maps allow you to pinpoint your ancestors from our records. They show the boundaries of fields, woods, roads, rivers and the location and shape of buildings. The detail recorded within the maps and apportionment records will show you how much land they owned or occupied, where exactly in the parish it was, what the land was used for and how much tithe rent there was to pay.

Sir Robert Peel on Tithe map

The Tithe Commissioners maps are now housed in The National Archives (TNA). Due to their age and the materials used the original maps are often too fragile to handle. These were microfilmed in 1982 and some of the maps have deteriorated over the last 30 years. The first stage of the project is the release of these as online images.

There are over 12,000 main maps plus thousands of update maps as the boundaries of fields changed over time.

The second stage will be the delicate conservation and digitisation of the original colour maps.

Tithe records are a rich resource for family historians as they cover owners and occupiers of land from all strata of early Victorian society.

These maps can be three to four meters in length by several meters in width and have gone through a multiple levels of digitisation and processing so that the huge maps can load instantly, even on a mobile phone. This fantastic resource was created in the period from 1837 to the early 1850s as a result of one of the largest surveys into the usage, ownership and occupation of land in England and Wales since the Domesday book.”

Mark Bayley – Head of Online Content at TheGenealogist

Diamond subscribers to TheGenealogist are able to view apportionment records for all of England & Wales, with the accompanying maps now being live for Middlesex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Leicestershire. The maps for the rest of England and Wales will follow over the coming months.

See their page TheGenealogist.co.uk/Tithe to freely search the records and learn more about them.

Here is an example provided by TheGenalogist:

Sir Robert Peel in the Tithe records.

We can look for Sir Robert Peel in Middlesex, a county that covered some of the area we would now think of as London. By selecting Landowner Records and then from the drop down menu Tithe Records we then enter Robert Peel into the name fields.

In 1854 Sir Robert, twice Prime Minister of the country and creator of the modern police force, was the occupier of land that was owned by the Earl of Listowell in St Margaret’s, Westminster.

By clicking on the Transcription icon we can then see the names of both the owner and occupier, the date it was entered into the records and the plot number on the plan.

Sir Robert Peel transcription

The image of the apportionment reveals that it is a house: No. 22 Princess Gate.

Sir Robert Peel apportionment

By clicking on the map icon will quickly zoom the researcher in to see the plot on the plan. You can then use the magnify buttons to move in and out to see the plots in relation to the full plan of the parish.

Sir Robert Peel on Tithe map

Tithes are a rich resource for family historians to find their ancestors within. The records and maps cover owners and occupiers of land from all strata of society in early Victorian times.

For a special offer of £20 off TheGenealogist Diamond Subscription go to:

www.thegenealogist.co.uk/tithe20

New records released by The National Archives reveals a highly successful ‘agent provocatrice’ in The Second World War

The National Archives this week announced the release of more than 3,300 Security Service records available online to view. Within these new records is a fascinating file on the use of an ‘agent provocatrice’ by The Special Operations Executive (SOE) in Second World War Operations.

The SOE used this ‘agent provocatrice’, known as ‘Fifi’ but real name Marie Christine Chilver, as part of the training programme for SOE students before they were sent out into enemy territory. Students would use the skills they learned at SOE’s security training school at Beaulieu to carry out secret training activities all over Britain. The trainers would lay traps, either police interrogations or the temptation to part with secret information to a pretty young lady. Fifi played her part in these training schemes and managed to trip up many of the SOE trainees.

The release of this file (HS 9/307/3) reveals Fifi’s identity and her special talent for character assessment which enabled her to extract information from up and coming trainee secret agents. The file contains Fifi’s reports on trainee agents and handwritten correspondence from her relating to SOE training operations.

There’s more details on the new records and the role of Fifi and the Special Operations Executive in The National Archives blog.

 

 

New Chief Executive at The National Archives

The National Archives has this week announced their new Chief Executive, Jeff James, has now started his new role.

His official title is ‘Chief Executive and Keeper’ and his previous experience at The National Archives will no doubt be invaluable in his new role. He has previously been Director of Operations and Services at The National Archives, involved in a variety of tasks from managing customer relations to the development and delivery of public services.

More details on the appointment of Jeff James can be found on The National Archives website. 

The National Archives
New Chief Executive at The National Archives

 

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.

 

The Friends of The National Archives reaches membership milestone

Founded in 1988, the Friends of The National Archives has recently reached its 2014 target of achieving over 1,000 members.

The Friends of the National Archives is a voluntary organisation and registered charity, dedicated to supporting the TNA’s role in preserving and providing access to the nations records. The Friends also get involved in voluntary project work to assist The National Archives.

If you’d like to know more or are interested in becoming a member, more information can be found on The National Archives website.