An interesting piece of news from the BBC reports on how scientists are investigating the murder of a man in Northampton in 1930. At the time, the man's badly-burned body was examined and samples taken during a post-mortem examination at a pub near the crime scene in the village of Hardingstone. The perpetrator was soon caught but the body was never identified.
Decades later, a woman was investigating her family ancestry when her grandmother revealed her long-held belief that her uncle was the man burned to death in a car.The uncle, William Thomas Briggs, left his home in London for a doctor's appointment in November 1930, but disappeared and was never seen again. "My family were convinced that William was the victim," said Samantha Hall, whose grandmother had confided in her.
The family were put in touch with the University of Leicester and the team that successfully identified King Richard III whose bones were found under a Leicester car park in 2012.
"The scientists were able to obtain a full single male mtDNA profile from the slide to compare to the family," a spokeswoman for the team said. The result is due to be revealed to Ms Hall shortly. There's more details available from the BBC 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 as yet, 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
According to the latest news from The National Archives website, a collection of Second World War RAF casualty records has now been released to view.
The records were produced by the Air Ministry's casualty branch following the loss of an aircraft or personnel. They include accident reports and correspondence with next of kin.
Known as the AIR 81 series, the first tranche contains 316 packs dating from the beginning of the war in September 1939 to May 1940. However, many of the files contain correspondence which runs into the 1950s and even the 1960s.
This first collection of records does include some notable RAF raids from the early years of World War 2, such as the raid on the Albert Canal Bridges in Belgium in May 1940 when five aircraft from RAF No 12 Squadron were lost and the first Victoria Crosses of the war were awarded.
There's more details at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/903.htm
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 first family history fair of the New Year is shortly upon us. The popular Bracknell Family History Fair is on Sunday 26th January at Bracknell Sport & Leisure Centre. Admission is £3 and doors open from 10am to 5pm. There is free parking available and a cafeteria for drinks and snacks.
The Bracknell Family History Fair has been voted Number 3 in the country by Your Family Tree Magazine and is widely regarded as a family history fair well worth attending. This year, the Society of Genealogists will be attending, there'll also be a military history advice desk, specialist groups and a number of family history societies present. S&N Genealogy Supplies and TheGenealogist will also be present, providing talks on family history research.
There's more information at http://www.familyhistoryfairs.org/dateloc.html#wirr
The National Archives have just announced the receipt of a number of valuable collections received by the UK government in lieu of tax payments.
Amongst the new collections are family and miscellaneous correspondence and early papers of the naturalist, Charles Darwin. Also received are correspondence, autograph collections, drawings and papers of Margaret Getty, the children's writer who died in 1873. The correspondence of the Acton family , Barons from the 13th to the 20th centuries has also been received.
The National Archives have asked if any library, record office or similar institution in the UK is interested in obtaining the papers they should contact the Head of the Private Archives Team, Archives Sector Development, The National Archives. They can be emailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. The closing date is 28 February 2014.
The latest January New Year issue of the email newsletter from S&N Genealogy Supplies is now available to view. Find out the latest special offer to subscribe to www.TheGenealogist.co.uk and also see the latest New Year offers on software packages, scanners and other archival products.
There's also a very interesting article on the invaluable information that can be found from a Will record, such as that of Jane Austen.
There’s more at: http://www.genealogysupplies.com/email_news.htm