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The very latest news from the world of genealogy



Weekly book review- Tracing your Galway Ancestors

For those family historians with Irish ancestry, or for those people interested in Irish history, the book we've looked at this week could prove of great interest. Entitled 'Tracing your Galway Ancestors' by Peadar O'Dowd, it looks at all aspects of life in the second largest county in Ireland. The book starts off with a look at the history of the county, dating back to the 13th century Norman adventurers. It then gives some handy tips on how to go about researching your Galway ancestry. The author looks at the types of records available to the family historian which can help you find out more about your relatives- looking at Irish census records, census substitute records, church records, land records, grave inscriptions and more. The book is a comprehensive research tool for those looking into this widely diverse population, giving you the ideas on what records are available and how best to use them. The book is published by Flyleaf Press and is available from S&N Genealogy Supplies priced £11.55 at http://www.genealogysupplies.com/product_display.php?prodid=6224

New Book

Tracing Your Galway Ancestors by Peadar O'Dowd

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This month is 'Research your Local Community' month!

The Historical Association are in the midst of promoting the 'Research your Local Community' campaign throughout the month of May, designed to get everyone interested in the history of their local area or birthplace. From interesting facts about royal visits to the origin of street names, there is so much to find out about our local history.  It's a great feeling being able to conjure up pictures from the past and relate them to things you do now around about your community. The Historical Association have created a searchable database with events and talks happening throughout the month. Take a look at what is happening in your local area- there's more information on their website.
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New Family History comedy starts...

A number of genealogy bloggers have picked up on the new comedy series from Christopher Guest, entitled 'Family Tree' which started  yesterday on HBO in the US and is rumoured to air on BBC 2 in the UK in the near future.

Family Tree TV programme

Chris O'Dowd in Family Tree (HBO)

It stars Chris O'Dowd (pictured) who sets out to uncover his family lineage after being left a box of objects from a great aunt. Four of the eight parts are set in the UK, the other four are set in the US, giving the programme an international feel. There appears to be no definite date when it will screen on the BBC and we will await with interest. With Chris O'Dowd starring, it looks like proving a humourous take on family history research which may attract the attention of a younger audience and hopefully interest them enough to look into their family history!

Family Tree programme

Family Tree has now started on HBO in the U.S.

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Project to digitise Vatican Library manuscript collection commences

News from the Vatican Library is the major project to digitise 82,000 valuable manuscripts from their collection is finally underway. The project, finally up and running a year after its announcement, uses an armada of equipment to capture the vast range of pages amassed by the Vatican over five or six centuries into one of the world’s most valuable collection of books and manuscripts.

Vatican library

Vatican manuscripts to go online

They include the Vatican’s 8,900 incunabula (books printed before 1501): the Sifra, a Hebrew manuscript written a millennia ago, a 4th century manuscript of the Greek Bible and the De Europa of Pope Pius II, printed around 1491. More information on the project is available here
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Weekly book review- the Penguin Dictionary of British Surnames

Family History Social will be taking a weekly look at some of the popular books available for family historians which I hope are of interest to you. This week we've taken a look at the 'Penguin Dictionary of British Surnames' by John Titford. The book describes itself as 'the definitive guide to surnames and their meanings' and is certainly very comprehensive. The author looks at the history of British surnames, regional variations and offers in one section, a humourous take on surnames from various parts of the British Isles.

British Surnames

The Penguin Dictionary of British Surnames

The book is very meticulous, analysing the history and thought-processes behind the use of surnames. There's also a section devoted to how genealogists can approach the whole surname issue and its significance in our research. The book also gives a comprehensive list of further sources of research (both offline and online) to discover more about surnames. Finally, the majority of the book (as per the title) gives an A to Z of surnames and their origin and meaning. The book contains over 10,000 surnames and includes how names have developed and varied over the years. It's available from S&N Genealogy Supplies priced £14.99. There's more details on their website.
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Ordering your BMD certificates

For those new to family history research and looking to get hold of copies of birth, marriage or death certificates, it's important to know how to go about this and to ensure you don't fall into the trap of paying too much when ordering the certificates. Ordering a certificate in England & Wales will cost you no more than £9.25 from the General Register Office or GRO, but there are private companies currently charging up to £25 for ordering certificates on your behalf. Below are a selection of links of where to order birth, death or marriage certificates without paying any surcharges. If you have any other handy tips or links please do let us know! General Register Office for England and Wales online ordering service current price £9.25 General Register Office for Scotland ordering service General Register Office for Ireland ordering service current price €20.00 plus postage General Register Office Northern Ireland ordering service current price £14.00 Isle of Man General Registry ordering service current price £9.50
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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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Completion of BMD Transcription Project

TheGenealogist has now completed transcribing birth, marriage and death records for England and Wales giving a third of a billion fully searchable records. These are also linked into their unique 'SmartSearch' facility taking you through a person’s life events. This release marks the completion of a hugely successful project for TheGenealogist, now providing family historians with fully transcribed BMD records dating back to the start of civil registration in 1837. What makes this unique is the linked in ‘SmartSearch’ feature, which makes life even easier for the family historian. Mark Bayley, Head of Online Content, explains: "The transcriptions allow us to harness the full power of 'SmartSearch' and allow our users to swiftly jump from one record to the next. It's now possible to move through your ancestral line with unparalleled speed. No other site makes searching for your ancestors so straightforward." There's more details on the completion of this project at www.TheGenealogist.co.uk
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Discover Your Ancestors Monthly launches online

Family History Social has received news of a new online genealogy magazine now available in the UK. The magazine is 'Discover Your Ancestors', the quality genealogy publication previously only available in print as an annual magazine. Now this valuable content can be enjoyed all year round by family historians.

Discover Your Ancestors Magazine

'Discover Your Ancestors Periodical', online magazine now available

You can subscribe to the online magazine which will be monthly. It's well worth taking a look. If you are interested in subscribing to 'Discover Your Ancestors Periodical', you will find details here According to the Editor, Andrew Chapman, if you subscribe today you will also receive, for free, access to more than half a billion index records, the complete Titanic Passenger lists and a PDF copy of The History of Signboards. This is a fascinating account during times of limited education when signs were used instead of wording for identification. This book explores the meaning of these signs. Each month new free data sets will be made available to subscribers of Discover Your Ancestors Periodical to help move your research on at pace. The new monthly online magazine represents great value for money at just £1 a month for over 20 beautifully designed pages of high-quality research advice, social history, places in focus, book reviews and much more.
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New video on storing those valuable research documents

Browsing on You Tube this week, I notice S&N Genealogy Supplies have been active promoting their new Springback binders. Having purchased a couple the other week, I can testify how good they are but do take a look for yourself. The link is here with a full demonstration on how to use the binders.

Springback binders

Family History Springback Binders

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