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The very latest news from the world of genealogy



New Roll of Honour Records available on TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist has released a selection of military records and data that will be of interest to military historians and those people looking for records of relatives and their war service records. The new records are all specialist records from The First World War, including in the new selection records such as : The Harrow Memorials of The Great War Artists Rifles Roll of Honour The Inner Temple Society 1914-18 The Roll of Honour of The Institution of Electrical Engineers (1914-19) More details are available from http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/nameindex/ai_content.php?type=diamond&show_cat=29#includes

Great War records

New Great War records available on TheGenealogist

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Records of a distinguished British Army Division from WW1 now available on CD

As we approach Remembrance Day and a time to contemplate the wars and conflicts of the past, it's a time when many people decide to look at the war service and records of their ancestors. The major World Wars involved so many of our ancestors that most families were touched by the events of the time. The military data CDs at S&N Genealogy Supplies are a useful research point in finding out more information about events and military history from the major conflicts. If you have an ancestor who served with the 25th Division in World War One, or if you have a general interest in military history, the new CD -'The 25th Division in France and Flanders' may be of interest. This CD looks at the operations and events of this Salisbury based Division that experienced many of the major battles of World War One. There's more information available at: http://www.genealogysupplies.com/product/World-War-1-Great-War/The-25th-Division-in-France-and-Flanders/

The 25th Division in France and Flanders

New military CD available from S&N Genealogy Supplies

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The pioneering years of aviation…was your ancestor involved in the quest to conquer the skies?

There’s an extensive range of pilot records now on TheGenealogist ranging from 1909 to 1926, looking at Aero Club members, Aeronaut certificates, airship certificates and the all too frequent fatalities as our forebears strove to master the skies and to get their places in the history books. From Geoffrey de Havilland, to Charles Rolls of Rolls-Royce fame, Samuel Cody to war veterans Edwin Moon and Albert Ball, TheGenealogist can now provide a number of fascinating records of the race for the skies. The new releases now join the ‘Who’s Who in Aviation’ record sets and the Air Force lists in a comprehensive aviation collection on TheGenealogist. There's more information available here.  

Pilot records

Early aviator records on TheGenealogist

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Dambuster records now launched on TheGenealogist

To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the famous wartime raid, new online records of the Dambusters Raid are now available on TheGenealogist To coincide with recent commemorations of the RAF raid on the industrialised areas of the German heartland, TheGenealogist has now made available full online records of one of the most daring bomber raids of World War Two.

RAF 617 Squadron, the Dambusters

Aircrew from RAF 617 Squadron, the Dambusters

Prior to the start of the war, the British Air Ministry identified Germany’s heavily industrialised Ruhr Valley and especially the dams as important strategic targets. Repeated air strikes with large bombs could be effective but Bomber Command had struggled for accuracy in the face of heavy enemy fire. Finally ‘Operation Chastise’ was devised using a specially designed ‘bouncing bomb’ invented and developed by Barnes Wallis. Full details of the Operation Record Book have now been made available to view online. It provides an in-depth analysis of the mission which went on to achieve legendary recognition. The fascinating information includes an account of each aircraft’s flight, including full crew list and details of the awards made to each of the crew members after the mission. This new resource is ideal if you had a relative involved with 617 Squadron (the famous Dambuster Squadron), or if you are interested in one of the most iconic RAF missions of World War Two. There's more details available here.
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New Home Guard records now available online

The National Archives at Kew has, according to their website, made a further 20,000 digitised Home Guard records for County Durham available online, which adds to the 40,000 records already available from the site as part of a pilot project.The records are a great way of finding details of a relative who may have been part of the defence organisation of the British Army consisting of 4.5 million volunteers in World War Two. There's more details at the TNA website here.
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New Casualty Lists

At Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2013, TheGenealogist launched a new set of records for family historians to use in their research. New Casualty Lists TheGenealogist launched a major new military collection to help you find more out about your ancestors that fought in The Great War. The collection is a list of soldiers of all ranks who were reported as injured, missing or prisoners of war by The War Office.

Trench Image

The coverage at launch covers the War Office’s ‘Weekly Casualty Lists’ from 1917-18 and this will be expanded by the daily casualty lists to cover from September 1914 to the last reports of 1919, as reports were still being published well after the war had officially ceased. There are over 600,000 records available at launch which will grow to cover the entirety of World War One. From the first records of British losses through to early 1919, there’s more information than ever for family historians to access, to find out what their ancestors did in the Great War. With casualty lists recording all ranks from war office published lists, rolls of honour and other reports of the time, it’s all on TheGenealogist. There’s more information on the Casualty Lists here.
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Did your ancestors make the ultimate sacrifice?

Tracing your family tree can often lead to some fascinating discoveries, surprising everyone in the family.  Some discoveries are good, some can be very tragic. As we approach the 11th November and Remembrance Day, we take a look at one family and how the war altered their family history. Using the ‘smart search’ features on one of the research websites I use- TheGenealogist.co.uk , we demonstrate how technology can help us remember those heroes of yesteryear.

The Freke Family

The Freke Family outside their family butcher business

This is a comprehensive way to trace your family history online through the years. The sophisticated ‘master search’ facilities allows us to follow a family and get a snapshot of their lives. With this example, we take a look at the family of Benjamin Freke, a family butcher from Bristol. Born in 1871, using the Master Search facility on TheGenealogist we find him.

Freke search results

Initial search results when found via an online family history website

From the 1901 Census listed here, we find the records of Benjamin’s two children, Frank and Albert. From here, we can find the birth record for (Benjamin) Frank Freke born in 1899.

Frank Freke aged 2

Benjamin and Albert

Frank and Albert (pictured above) are again picked up on the 1911 Census, as can be seen from the genealogy website I use:

1911 Census records

In 1911, Frank is now 12 and still classed as a scholar with his younger brother and probably destined to work in the family business in Bristol. On the census, he is listed by his middle name ‘Frank’ rather than his first name Benjamin, which can often confuse researchers. Frank was growing up in troubled times and with the dark clouds of war gathering, he would find himself by 1917, at the age of 18 obligated to join the fight against Germany. The next fact we find about Frank is his listing on the research website where we find he was tragically killed in 1918 at just 19 years old. We search in the ‘World War 1 Deaths’ section and find the details for Benjamin Frank Freke.

Frank Freke Casualty record

Frank Freke Casualty record

Private Benjamin Frank Freke is tragically killed in 1918 as is confirmed in the war death records as documented online.

Using online family history research websites can help you find the heroes in your family. Using modern technology to find information about your family can lead you to discover things about them you never knew, including tragedies such as this one where a family loses a son in the Great War.  
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