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The very latest news from the world of genealogy



TheGenealogist releases 260,000 individuals in a new selection of Poll Book records


TheGenealogist has just released 260,000 records into its ever growing Poll Book Record Collection. This useful resource for family historians can be used to find the address of an ancestor's residence from the period before and after the census records. The newly released Poll Books range from 1747 to 1930 and join records that also cover periods between the census years.


The Sphere Issue No 987 December 21 1918


The release allows researchers to:


  • Find ancestors who had the vote 
  • Discover where ancestors were registered to cast their ballot
  • See the nature of their qualification to vote, such as owning rateable property
  • Search Poll Books that range from 1747 to the 1930s

The records cover 36 different registers of people who were entitled to vote and covers constituencies situated in Bath, Devon, Hampshire, Hertford, Kent, Lincolnshire, London, Monmouthshire, Northumberland, Rutland, Scotland, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk and Surrey.


They join the millions of electoral resources on TheGenealogist which include Electoral registers, Voters Lists and Absentee Voters.


Read TheGenealogist’s article at:



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The National Archives now open and offering greater access to collections

The National Archives (TNA) have announced that they are increasing the access to the site at Kew. After welcoming back visitors into their reading rooms in July they are now able to expand their services and increase capacity, so that they can accommodate more visitors and give them greater access to TNA's collections.

From Tuesday 25 August The National Archives will be opening up their second floor map and large document reading room, as well as increasing the number of seats available in the first floor document reading room. Visitors will also be able to order more documents each day (nine instead of six), and TNA will also have a small number of two-day appointments available for visitors wishing to research bulk document orders (between 20 and 40).

All visitors are still required to book their visit and order their documents in advance.

The National Archives report that their building and services will look very different to regular visitors, as they’ve been busy introducing a number of measures to ensure the safety of their visitors and staff. These include:

  • New booking system to help them manage visitor numbers – all visits have to be pre-booked without exception, with a limit of one visit per week, and all documents ordered in advance
  • New document delivery processes to protect visitors and staff, and to ensure that documents are quarantined appropriately
  • One-way systems and capacity controls in frequently used areas
  • Floor markers and temporary signage to help with social distancing
  • Rigorous cleaning during and at the end of each day
  • Easier access to sinks for hand washing and provision of hand sanitiser.
  • Due to a change in the law, all visitors will be required to wear face coverings during their visit.

In order to visit TNA they are asking everyone booking a visit to agree to a new coronavirus visitor charter, aimed at encouraging all visitors to do their bit to help them ensure everyone’s safety. TNA will not permit anyone to enter the building who has not pre-booked, so please do not travel if you have not been able to book as they will not be able to let you in. The National Archives are open from Tuesday to Friday, between 10:00 and 14:50.

While they are currently able to provide access to their first floor document reading room and second floor map and large document reading room only – their other facilities will remain closed, including the reference library, exhibition spaces, shop, and the cafés. TNA say they will also be unable to provide many of their other usual reading room services, including, access to microfilm and microfiche, research advice, record copying and access to the computers.

In the current times TNA say that they will continue to provide free downloads of digital records on their website for the time being, as they are initially only able to re-open for a very limited number of researchers. This, ofcourse, and all of TNA opening arrangements are under constant review.


Read the full post on The National Archives' website: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/news/coronavirus-update/

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Hounslow Lloyd George Domesday records added to TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™


TheGenealogist has just released the records of over 33,000 individuals for the Hounslow area into its property ownership and occupancy record set: The Lloyd George Domesday Survey. This is a unique online resource that includes maps and field books and gives researchers the ability to discover where an ancestor lived in the 1910-1915 period. By making use of TheGenealogist’s powerful Map Explorer the researcher can see how the landscape where their ancestor lived or worked changed over time.


The maps and residential data, in The Lloyd George Domesday Survey records are sourced from The National Archives and are being digitised by TheGenealogist so that it is possible to precisely locate where an ancestor lived on large scale, hand annotated maps. These plans include plots for the exact properties and are married to various georeferenced historic map overlays and modern base maps on the Map Explorer™. With this resource the researcher is able to thoroughly investigate the area in which an ancestor lived. 


  • TheGenealogist’s Lloyd George Domesday records link individual properties to extremely detailed maps used in 1910-191
  • Fully searchable by name, county, parish and street
  • The maps will zoom down to show the individual properties as they were in the 1910s
  • The transparency slider reveals a modern street map underlay
  • Change the base map displayed to more clearly understand what the area looks like today

Hounslow records cover the areas of Bedfont, Chiswick, Cranford, Feltham, Hanworth, Heston, Isleworth, New Brentford and Old Brentford.


Read their article on finding the retreat of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire that became a "Lunatic Asylum" before the First World War and a Fire Station in World War 2 in these records:


About TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, who put a wealth of information at the fingertips of family historians. Their approach is to bring hard to use physical records to life online with easy to use interfaces such as their Tithe and newly released Lloyd George Domesday collections. 

TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch technology links records together to help you find your ancestors more easily. TheGenealogist is one of the leading providers of online family history records. Along with the standard Birth, Marriage, Death and Census records, they also have significant collections of Parish and Nonconformist records, PCC Will Records, Irish Records, Military records, Occupations, Newspaper record collections amongst many others.

TheGenealogist uses the latest technology to help you bring your family history to life. Use TheGenealogist to find your ancestors today!


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Society of Genealogists' Library reopen with limited times

The Society of Genealogists’ Library has opened to SoG members only from Tuesday 4th August 2020 with staggered sessions opening from 11am-4pm and 11.30-4pm

The SoG has posted on thier website that to begin with the number of members in the Library will be limited to a maximum of 20 persons per day and places must be booked in advance prior to visiting. Booking for sessions can be made on their website http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/category/book-to-visit-the-library/

For the time being, it is intended that the Society will open for Library use each Tuesday and one Saturday a month. Back office project volunteers only will be welcome in the Library on Mondays. ~The SoG hope to work up to opening for more days and to more people as they become more confident of providing a safe and workable experience for staff, volunteers and members and as resources allow. During the days when the Society's library is closed to visitors their staff and volunteers will continue the service provisons offered during lockdown.

Visits must be booked at least a week in advance and will be made available up to two weeks before the date of the visit on a rolling weekly basis every Saturday morning. Each booking is for one person only on a first come, first served basis – you will not be able to bring anyone with you, unless they book a visit themselves. Please be considerate of others when you book – the SoG may cancel your booking if you exceed our reasonable limit of one booking per week.

The Society of Genealogist say that they will not permit anyone to enter the building who has not pre-booked a visit, so are asking people not to travel if you have not been able to book as they will not be able to let you in.

When members come into the Library, they will notice some changes. The Society has introduced safety and social hygiene measures to ensure the safety of their staff, members and friends. The toilets and cloakroom will be open so you can wash your hands and all hygiene guidance will be adhered to. Lockers will be open for you to store your belongings and take as little into the library as possible. There will be a cleaner in the building when the SoG is open to make sure all surfaces stay clean and safe. The SoG ared asking every visitor to use the sanitisers and wipes provided around the building and to follow social distancing measures and one-way procedures as indicated by signs around the building.

Computers and Microfiche/Microfilm readers have been spaced around the building rather than just in the lower library. When you book a members’ visitor session through the website you can  reserve a reader or computer as appropriate at the same time. 

Films and fiche will be available as normal and the SoG ask that all books, microforms, CDs etc be returned to the returns trolleys and boxes provided after use so they can be cleaned and or quarantined as appropriate

Current  regulations in England require face coverings to be worn in libraries and public reading rooms from 8th August and it is recommend face coverings are worn in these settings now. The regulations strongly encourage wearing a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet. You can remove your face covering in order to eat and drink, if reasonably necessary, and in the Common Room only which is designated for food and drink. You must put a face covering back on once you  have finished eating .

The Society of Genealogist's staff will be wearing masks for visitors protection and they would appreciate it if everyone who is able would please wear a face covering in face to face situations within the library, shop and reception (such as when seeking staff assistance) and where social distancing may be limited.

A downloadable PDF of SoG  Coronavirus Visitor Guidelines can be downloaded here


For more information see this post on their website: http://www.sog.org.uk/about/coronavirus/

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