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The very latest news from the world of genealogy



Latest reading - Ancestors in the Attic

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.

Ancestors in the Attic

Ancestors in the Attic- new book available from Karen Foy

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Unlock the Past Cruises proving popular

As the 4th Unlock the Past Cruise gets underway in Australia early next week, the popularity of genealogy themed cruises shows no sign of abating. The Australian cruise was a sell out and the organisers will be hoping for  similar demand on the 5th cruise, around the British Isles in July. Scheduled for the 19th- 29th July 2014, on the Marco Polo ship, the cruise promises 40 topics, 25 different sessions and 10 Research 'help' zones during the voyage. Combined with the opportunity to network and discuss with other genealogists, you can find out more from the Unlock the Past website.

New family history cruise

Unlock the Past Cruises explore the British Isles in July

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New window binders now available from S&N

As family historians we are constantly adding new records, certificates and photos to our research collection. The range available to us of archival and storage products is forever expanding too and the new addition to S&N's product range- the 'Window Springback Binder' is useful to those who like their binder covers without pre-designed lettering and the ability to add their own specific text. This binder has a hard wearing cover, and comes without any gold lettering on the front and spine. There is a window on the front cover of the binder so you can add your own text. I purchased a binder from S&N last week and I'd recommend the high quality. If you're looking for more binders for your research or to upgrade the ones you currently have, there's more details available from S&N Genealogy Supplies here.

Windowed springback  binders

New windowed springback binders available from S&N

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Final celebrity revealed for Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2014

The team behind the Who Do You Think You Are? Live event have just announced the third celebrity appearing at the Olympia Show in February. Former Eastenders actor Larry Lamb will be appearing in the Celebrity Theatre at 'Who Do You Think You Are? Live' on Friday 21st February  along with series creator and Executive Producer, Alex Graham,  to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 'Who Do You Think You Are?' series. Alex and Larry (who appeared in the series in 2011) will also be joined by several members of the production team. There will be an in-depth conversation on how the series is made, a look at some personal highlights and the team will reveal some of the secrets from behind the scenes. Tickets are available on the day but you can guarantee a seat in advance if you wish. More details can be found on the Who Do You Think You Are? Live website.  
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Bracknell Family History Fair

A reminder that this weekend sees the Bracknell Family History Fair at Bracknell Leisure Centre. It's open this Sunday (26th January) from 10am to 5pm and there'll be a selection of free talks, including a few from TheGenealogist on 'Breaking down Brick Walls' and 'A Window into the Past' photo talk. Admission to the family history fair is £3. It's regarded as one of the major regional fairs so it's well worth attending for the great selection of exhibitors present offering all sorts of great resources for us family history researchers. Hopefully see you there!

Bracknell Family History Fair

Bracknell Family History Fair, this Sunday from 10am to 5pm

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Appeals against conscription records in WW1 go online

In this year that commemorates the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, The National Archives has released another set of records from The Great War.  The 'Appeals against First World War conscription' records have now gone online. The records are the case files of over 8,000 men who were appealing against conscription into the army between 1916 to 1918. The men applied to local military tribunals for exemption and if they were unsuccessful could then appeal to the county appeal tribunal. This new set of records cover the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal only and are classed in file series MH47.  More can be found at The National Archives website.

Conscription appeals records

New records released by The National Archives- 'Conscription appeals'

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Rorke's Drift Zulu War hero remembered

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 .

Thomas Burke Zulu War

The gravestone of Private Thomas Burke has been found in a Liverpool cemetery

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Another award for RootsMagic!

Congratulations to RootsMagic as they start 2014 with another award ! The software has won 'Best Genealogy Product of 2013' in the recently announced GeneAwards 2013. The judges remarked "RootsMagic continues to lead by example". There's more details at http://www.tamurajones.net/GeneAwards2013.xhtml  If you're new to RootsMagic, in the UK you can find out more information here at the RootsMagic UK website

Gene award 2013 Gold

RootsMagic wins Gene Award 2013 Gold!

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Free talk this week at The National Archives

This Thursday, the 23rd January, sees a free talk from The National Archives entitled 'Your Country Needs You' looking at the recruitment posters of World War One, including the famous Lord Kitchener 'finger pointing poster'. The talk asks if this was the most successful recruitment poster or if there were other more effective recruitment messages and posters that worked to encourage thousands of Britons to join up. This talk draws upon official records from The National Archives to provide alternative and surprising stories. The talk is being given by James Taylor, former curator of the National Maritime Museum who also writes and lectures on maritime and military art and design. There's more information available from The National Archives website.

Kitchener talk from The National Archives

Talk on World War One recruitment posters and their effectiveness at The National Archives

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Join the online crowd outsourcing partnership

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.

World War One war diaries

WW1 war diaries offer us a window into life in the Great War

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