Monthly Archives: April 2014

Webinar places available at forthcoming TNA event

The National Archives’ record specialists are presenting free webinars, focusing on different series of records and the research skills that you will need to make the most of them. It’s a great free way of understanding some of the varied records available to view at The National Archives.

The next webinar is on the 12th May at  4pm, entitled ‘Why did people fear the Victorian workhouse?’ This webinar will help you to explore records in The National Archives, showing what life was like inside the workhouse, and how it was viewed by those outside. It’s presented by Paul Carter, specialist in modern domestic records.

If you’d like to view the free webinar, there are places still available . Book now by emailing webinars@nationalarchives.gov.uk or there’s more information at The National Archives website.

 

 

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2015

Latest news as mentioned via the Who Do You Think You Are? Live twitter page is there will be an announcement on the venue for the show in 2015 before this  summer. With many rumours circulating that the show is moving out of London up to the NEC in Birmingham, confirmation is keenly anticipated by us family historians!

As soon as the venue for 2015 is confirmed we’ll let you know.

Over half a million new Parish Records now available online

A collection of over half a million unique Parish Records has been added to leading family history website, TheGenealogist.

These cover the counties of Essex, Kent, Leicestershire, Monmouthshire and Worcestershire. The new online records offer invaluable records of baptisms, marriages and burials dating from the 1500s to the late 1800s from Anglican parish registers. The records are a great tool for those people looking to track down early ancestors before civil registration.

The latest releases bring the total to over 2 million parish records already added in 2014 with more to come. Fully searchable and clearly transcribed on TheGenealogist, they provide hundreds of years of records helping you find those early ancestors to further extend your family tree.

Mark Bayley, Head of Online Content at TheGenealogist remarked:   ”With Parish and Nonconformist Records it is possible to go back so much further and you never know what new surprises or dramatic events you may uncover in the records. We are continually adding more records to our already extensive collection throughout 2014.”

Parish Church records on TheGenealogist
New parish records added to TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist launches new YouTube channel

Latest news from TheGenealogist is it has launched its very own channel on YouTube.  With the ever increasing amounts of records and many ways to search, TheGenealogist has produced a number of tutorials to ensure their subscribers make the most of the family history website.  In this first video, Mark Bayley, the Head of the Online Division at TheGenealogist, explains how to refine your results using keywords, helping you find records quickly and easily.

With more videos to come, their YouTube channel should prove an excellent, informative tool and allow those family historians with subscriptions to TheGenealogist to really get to grips with all the functionality on the website.

New S&N Genealogy newsletter now available

The latest Email News from S&N Genealogy is now available to download. It contains details on a special ‘Competitive Upgrade offer’ and news on nearly 2,000 images of churches added to the Image Archive on TheGenealogist from 1870 to 1920.

There’s also news on over half a million new parish record transcripts added to the website this month and some great offers on A3 Family History Binders and Window Springback Binders.

Take a look at the newsletter at http://www.genealogysupplies.com/email_news.htm

A3 Binders offer
Great offer on A3 binders from S&N

 

 

Win a Discover Your Ancestors subscription

The new online periodical ‘Discover Your Ancestors’ continues to go from strength to strength. With a number of interesting articles and helpful tips and hints, it’s a good read for family historians of all levels.

And if you’d like to win a free subscription to Discover Your Ancestors…

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’d like to enter the competition, go to https://www.facebook.com/thegenealogist?ref=hl

 

Discover You Ancestors
New facebook competition to win online periodical ‘Discover Your Ancestors’

 

Top secret MI5 files now available online..

For those family history researchers interested in tales of the underground world of secret espionage, The National Archives has announced the release of over 150 top secret MI5 files. The records are to be made available online for public viewing for the first time. The MI5 files date from around the time of The First World War and are part of the programme from the TNA to commemorate the centenary of the start of The Great War.

The files contain a wealth of material about organisations and individuals involved in espionage or under surveillance during the period of the First World War. It details the secret history and the agents operating in a time of war.

Some of the agents listed in the records include the famous British nurse, Edith Cavell who helped Allied soldiers to escape from behind enemy lines and Mata Hari, the Dutch exotic dancer who was convicted of spying for Germany and was subsequently executed by the French authorities in 1917.

There’s more information available from The National Archives website.

Mata Hari wartime spy
Mati Hari, one of a number of spy records now available online

 

New email news available from S&N Genealogy

For those wanting to catch up on the latest family history research news from S&N Genealogy including some of their latest special offers, it’s worth taking a look at their latest ’email news’, now available.

With news on over half a million new parish records added to TheGenealogist website and how you can also save over £400 on preserving your memorabilia, there’s also free charts and the opportunity to track down your ancestors in the USA! It can all be found at http://www.genealogysupplies.com/email_news.htm

New parish records on TheGenealogist
New parish records on TheGenealogist

7 ways to demolish your family history brick walls

7 ways to demolish your family history brick walls

Family history research is a rewarding and addictive hobby. However, we all reach a point when get stuck or hit that genealogy ‘brick wall’. At this point, it’s helpful to consult text books, visit family history society talks and also spend some time looking at the popular family history forums frequented by fellow family historians only too happy to offer help and advice.

Using this external help, I managed to discover 7 new  techniques that helped me break down some difficult brick walls in my family history research. They may help you in your search.

1.      A missing marriage record

Looking in numerous sources I could not find the marriage records for ancestors in the 1700s  in my family tree. I was advised to take a look at the ‘Fleet Marriage’ record sets. Known as record set RG7 from The National Archives, they cover over 800,000 clandestine marriages conducted by unscrupulous clergy around the Fleet debtor’s prison near London. Covering the years 1667 to 1777,    it covers over half of the marriages in London at this time.

2.      County boundary changes throwing us off the scent..

Areas of England and Wales have undergone numerous county boundary changes over the years and it can throw us family historians off the scent. I was trying to trace an ancestor in the village of Cradley in Herefordshire. After struggling locating the whereabouts of my ancestor, it turns out in various census records, the village, moved between Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire through boundary changes!

3.      Overseas BMD records

Looking beyond the Civil Registration records helped open a few doors for me too. The National Archives overseas records can offer a great deal of record sets that can maybe help us track down that missing ancestor. There were 3 record sets I found useful, firstly RG33- Overseas BMDs of British Subjects (covering the years 1627 to 1960), this also included Lundy Island in Devon! RG32 covers Prisoners of War and Civilian Deaths overseas and finally RG34 which details foreign marriages including during World War 1.

The General Register Office (GRO) also have a number of overseas records including Marine & Army BMDs, Air Births, Informal certificates of births at sea and Consular BMDs. These records are also well worth taking a look at. I found TheGenealogist.co.uk particularly useful for records in this area.

4.      A nonconformist ancestor..

If you’re struggling to find an ancestor in the parish records, it’s worth looking at other religious denomination records that may provide the details of an ancestor you’ve been looking for. I discovered an ancestor (fortunately!) in the Quaker records of the nonconformist registers from The National Archives (series RG6). The record not only recorded immediate family from the wedding but the whole congregation!

  5.      Finding missing relatives using street search

As many of our ancestors often lived close to each other, it is worth taking a look at street names to track down a missing ancestor, you just may discover ancestors you weren’t aware of living in the same street! I discovered new ancestors in a search using the Street Search on www.TheGenealogist.co.uk

6.       Family forename search

Using TheGenealogist website I was able to discover a selection of ancestors that had previously been eluding my best search efforts. They had moved away from their original family home and I was able to track them down using the Family forename search- inputting the first names of the family (they had a common surname of Smith), the website narrowed down my search and discovered them in the 1891 census in Grimsby!

 7.       Will Records

Will records are a great way of discovering more information about your ancestors that can really break down those brick walls. Many will records offer comprehensive details of our ancestors lives, what they achieved, how much they were worth, who they favoured in their immediate family and who would gain the most from the will. They can be fascinating documents and can explain a period in time in your family history you previously knew nothing about.

What techniques have you used to break down brick walls? Let us know in the comments box below.