There's a number of both free and ticketed events scheduled at The National Archives this week. On Thursday the 27th March, there's a free talk entitled 'We may lie and die in a land of plenty..'- the Victorian poor in their own words. This talk looks at pauper letters, statements and petitions highlighting the concerns, thoughts and feelings of the poor in their own words.
On the Friday, television broadcaster Jeremy Paxman explores what life was like for the British during the First World War, from politicians to newspapermen, Tommies, factory-workers, nurses, wives and children. Cost for this talk is £5.
For more details and to see the other talks and workshops available, go to The National Archives website.
With the launch of over 11 million new Tithe Records now available on TheGenealogist, it's now possible to discover more details on our ancestors before the census record years. Available online for the first time, TheGenealogist, in partnership with The National Archives, has released these unique records, which show life in England and Wales from the 1830s.
Amongst the new discoveries, the ancestors of Monty Python legends, John Cleese and Eric Idle are found in the Tithe records, as can the shared ancestor of Prince Harry and his girlfriend, Cressida Bonas. Both are related to Richard William Penn Curzon-Howe (1st Earl Howe). Earl Howe owned a substantial amount of land in both Suffolk and Buckinghamshire (the family ancestral home). Here is a copy of Earl Howe and his details in the Tithe Apportionment record now available to view online.
The shared family tree of Harry and Cressida can be found on TreeView.
The great great Grandfather of John Cleese was a grocer, and is discovered in the Tithe Records living in a cottage in Westbury-upon-Trym. The father of John Cleese, Reginald, changed the family name from Cheese to Cleese before he joined the army in World War One. The Cheese/Cleese family tree is listed here. Fellow Python Eric Idle's ancestors hail from Lower Soothill in Yorkshire. Eric's three times great Grandfather was a blanket maker by profession and lived with his family in a cottage and shop with gardens as found in the tithe records. The Idle family tree can also be found here on TreeView.
Other discoveries in the Tithe records include the ancestors of Lord Seb Coe, former athlete, whose relative, Robert Coe, a school headmaster, is found on the Tithe records in Durham.
See the family history of Lord Coe onTreeView .
The Tithe Maps are to be added to TheGenealogist later in 2014. The Maps were the graphical representation of who owned or occupied the land and property in England and Wales.
The second phase of the project will link images of microfilm maps with the plot references. Launch is due Spring 2014. The third phase will digitise the large original maps in colour for each county at high resolution to enhance this unique resource. Launch due for this is 2015.
Mark Bayley, Head of Online Content at TheGenealogist concludes: “This has been an exciting, major project for us. The records touch upon the lives of every family so they really are a must–have for every family historian!”
The Tithe Records now available on TheGenealogist have been mentioned in a number of British newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Daily Express and The Telegraph.
An interesting book we've recently read which is a good practical read and full of interesting historical points, is the Karen Foy book - 'Ancestors in the Attic- Making family memorabilia into history'.
With the main emphasis these days on the convenience of finding family history records quickly online, Karen looks instead at the valuable treasures we can find in lofts and cupboards or heirlooms left by our ancestors which can throw significant light on how they lived and what life was like. Karen carefully examines many aspects from journals kept, old tickets, the newspapers they read, mementoes kept, military medals , ration books and fashions that were popular at that time. The book advises what to look for and the clues we can find from many different types of memorabilia and the history behind many of the artifacts we come across.
It's well worth a read, currently available at the sale price of £11.95 from the S&N Genealogy Supplies website.
As today, the 22 January, marks the date of the famous battles of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift in the Zulu War, a gravestone has been discovered in a Liverpool cemetery of a veteran who fought in the famous rearguard action at Rorke's Drift.
In Ford Cemetry, Litherland, there is a distinctive Celtic cross monument dedicated to Thomas Burke, who died in 1925, aged 64. However, there is no mention of his military career in the Battle of Rorke’s Drift in the Anglo-Zulu War, in South Africa.
Private Thomas Burke served in B Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot, tasked with defending the mission station of Rorke's Drift. For this he was recipient of the South Africa Medal, with 1877-8-9 Clasp.
He also served in the Far East and was awarded the India General Service Medal with Burma 1885-87 Clasp. He reached the rank of sergeant and was discharged from the Army in 1897. There's more details on the discovery of this soldier who fought in one of the most iconic battles of Victorian times on the Liverpool Echo website.
TheGenealogist also has many of the British soldiers who fought in the Anglo-Zulu War in their Army Lists available online .
The National Archives have appealed for volunteers to help tag First World War unit diaries as part of their new 'Operation War Diary' outsourcing partnership with the Imperial War Museum. Volunteers are needed to record people, places and activities from the diaries as part of this major project.
There are 1.5 million pages of war diaries from the British Army on the Western Front during WW1 which had been stored away in the archives. Volunteer help is needed to now reveal the stories of the men who fought in the Great War. If you have any spare time to assist you can sign up to the project here.
The end result should be a great resource for researchers and family historians alike.
The latest news from the organisers at Who Do You Think You Are? Live is that due to work commitments, John Simpson has unfortunately had to cancel his scheduled appearance as a celebrity guest speaker and has been replaced by newsreader and TV personality, Natasha Kaplinsky, who appeared in the Who Do You Think You Are? series in 2007.
Whilst a disappointment at the withdrawal of John Simpson with his links to the flamboyant showman and early aircraft pioneer Samuel Cody, Natasha's family history story was just as fascinating and very tragic in parts. Natasha Kaplinsky will be celebrity guest speaker on Thursday 20th February at 10.15 and 11.15am at London Olympia.
Another celebrity appearing is former athlete and now sports commentator, Colin Jackson CBE. Colin appeared in a previous series of Who Do You Think You Are? with an international tale of family originating from Jamaica and Panama. Colin will be celebrity guest speaker on Saturday 22nd February. If you'd like more information, visit http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com
The National Library of Scotland have announced a couple of workshops for January designed to help people make better use of their services. The workshops offer practical information on family history research and advice on what services they can offer to the family historian.
On the 14th January, the workshop is 'Getting started at NLS' and on the 15th January, the second workshop is 'Discovering family history at NLS'. If you're local to Edinburgh or have a Scottish ancestral connection , it may be worth a visit to find out more! There's more details on the National Library of Scotland website.
This year, The National Archives announced 'Discovery' their new online catalogue, would become the only way to search online through The National Archives record collections. Many family historians were used to the previous 'Documents Online' system in place before Discovery so to help with any queries and to help people find their way around the new online catalogue, The National Archives have announced a webinar on the 20 January 2014.
The webinar takes place from 14.00 to 15.00 hours UK time and will look at how to conduct searches, using keywords, filters and other useful features to help make the most of the 'Discovery' catalogue. It's hosted by Audrey Collins and if you'd like more information, please visit The National Archives website.
The latest competition run by TheGenealogist is currently available to enter on Facebook. It's a 'name the place' competition and there's a 100 free 12 issue subscriptions to 'Discover Your Ancestors', the online family history periodical up for grabs.
If you haven't seen Discover Your Ancestors, it's a great new online family history magazine with plenty of useful articles and handy tips for the family historian.
If you'd like to have a go at winning one of the prizes, go to https://www.facebook.com/thegenealogist?ref=hl
As the main family history fair in the world gets ever closer, the organisers have been issuing regular updates and promotions to entice people along for the 2014 event. With the first of the celebrities -John Simpson now confirmed, it promises to be another good event.
With the usual main exhibitors, excellent speakers and family history societies sure to be present and the Imperial War Museum launching their new First World War initiative at the show, there's many reasons for those both new to family history and the more experienced family historians to attend.
Don't forget the show runs from Thursday to Saturday this year with no Sunday opening:
Thurs 20th February 09.30 -17.30
Friday 21st February 09.30 - 17.30
Saturday 22nd February 09.30- 17.30
To whet your appetite, this is their latest video promoting the show: